In an era of high concept rock, the idea of a band based entirely around the 1986 big-budget family adventure SpaceCamp seems like a hard sell — harder than the sell the movie was, which came a mere six months after the Challenger disaster.
Luckily for us, and now that I've bummed everybody out with my opening sentence, SpaceKamp has nothing to do with that film that starred Jon Travolta's wife, Spielberg's wife, the gay guy from Revenge of the Nerds, and a chubby, pre-pubescent Joaquin Phoenix. Even though it would be really awesome if all those people, plus Lea Thompson and Tate Donovan, had formed a band due to boredome from lack of acting work.
No, this SpaceKamp is a trio from Brooklyn who play extremely catchy '60s-ish pop with occasionally forays into slightly Spanish and Jamaican influenced '60s pop. (Do not believe their MySpace page which categorizes them as "Bossa Nova/Afro-Beat/Reggaeton.") Jon, Chris, and Steven met as hired guns in Adam Green's backing band, hit it off and decided to keep the camaraderie going with their own joint.
It's at this point where I should admit some "full disclosure" type of thing and tell everyone I know these guys. We have mutual friends, I live in the same neighborhood as them, we've shared some beers, and they are genuinely nice guys. And great musicians. But I don't write about music I don't like. (Sorry, friends and acquaintances with bands I've never written about.) SpaceKamp are quality. You can listen to six songs on their MySpace, including the very Nuggets-esque "Girls on Bikes" and "Patagonia" which I called "Guantanalamba" before I knew the actual title.
My favorite song, though, is "High" which sort of reminds me a little of The Church's "Under the Milky Way" minus the bagpipe solo:
MP3: SpaceKamp – High
If you like that, SpaceKamp are playing tonight (11.18) at Black Betty in Williamsburg. It's drummer Chris Egan's birthday so I have a feeling things might be a little loose. And a good time. Also on the bill are Joe and the Flying Spoons, which is Joe Jurewicz of Dirty on Purpose's new thing where he's backed by a bevy of talented and cute girls, some of whom were in Au Revoir Simone and the much-missed (by me) Tralala. There are also a couple of other dudes in the band too, so it's not like some sort of Robert Palmer video fantasy that Joe is playing out or anything.