DEVO: The Men Who Make the Music
Devo were a blast of weirdness in the late ’70s. Seemingly coming from nowhere, with weird, robotic moves, videos with strange, almost subliminal images, and some sort of overriding philosophy, most people didn’t know what to think. If only there were some sort of document to explain it all. Luckily, MVD entertainment has reissued the long out of print Devo: The Men Who Make the Music, which, as much as anything else, will explain the band and their concept to the puzzled masses.
Devo: The Men Who Make the Music is an entertaining blend of concert footage, footage from the short film The Truth About De-evolution, and the band’s travails in the entertainment industry that just wants them to play the hits.
If that weren’t enough, General Boy pops in to gift us with wisdom like, “Artists and performers are usually good-looking guys and gals who couldn’t hold a real job. Entertainment is the excuse in which these people perpetuate their selfish hoax. I ask all of you to join Devo’s efforts to correct this situation from the inside out.”
Whether one agrees with the band’s theory of de-evolution or not, the footage of the yellow jumpsuited band doing their coordinated jerky, robotic moves to “Uncontrollable Urge” and “Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA” prove what a shit-hot band they were circa 1978. And if that weren’t enough, a full 1996 concert of the band playing in 1920’s prisoner outfits at the Sundance Film Festival prove that the band, while perhaps a bit fuller and more adult-looking, retained their moves and otherworldliness.
While Devo: The Men Who Make the Musicmight not actually clear up the band’s philosophy, it’s a testament to creative, organic weirdness that deserves to be seen by anyone with even a passing interest in the band.