I get a lot of interesting mail, like the “Sleestak in a Santa Claus hat” statue now perched next to my desk or the “Transformers” cupcakes that were delivered last week (and left a far better taste in my mouth than the movie itself). A few days ago, I got a parcel with a CD from a “Star Trek” spoof band called Warp 11; I decided to re-route it to the newsroom desk of Linda Whitmore, a copy editor with an intense passion for Starfleet and all of its ongoing missions. Here’s her report. — Geoff Boucher
Resistance is futile: Go ahead, try not to laugh. If you’re a fan of “Star Trek,” sex, booze and bawdy humor (and who isn’t?), you need to spool up “I Don’t Want to Go to Heaven as Long as They Have Vulcans in Hell,” the fifth studio album from rock band Warp 11. If you’re unfamiliar with the act, think of a Spinal Tap spirit and the best Starfleet music moments since the oh-so-groovy space hippies jammed in “The Way to Eden” episode of the original series.
On their new album, the highly anticipated follow-up to “It’s Dead Jim,” Warp 11 continues to mine the rich vein that is the “Star Trek” canon, with such tunes as “I Make It So” (the latest of a recurring theme; the band already had “Make It So” on their album “Suck My Spock Some More” and the equitable “She Make It So,” the opening track off the delicately titled “Boldly Go Down on Me”).
If Gene Roddenberry ever doubted that fans were listening, dissecting and memorizing dialogue, the man they called the Great Bird of the Galaxy would be thrilled (or aghast?) to hear Warp 11’s Capt. Karl Miller (lead vocals, guitar), take Federation techno-babble and turn it into sheer, um, poetry. Turn your tricoder on these lyrics:
“Red alert! My glass has gone dry/
You better beam me up
Another shot of “
No Kill I”/And while you’re at it
Please send me a yeoman or two/We’re gonna play a little game
This is some deep-space stuff. As a true fan, I have to say my Saurian brandy almost squirted out of my nose when Capt. Miller promises, “A thousand quatloos says I can make you scream.” (OK, for those of you “not of the body,” a quatloo is the monetary unit of Triskelion, where Kirk, Uhura and Chekov were pitted against … oh, never mind. As they say in comedy, if I have to explain it, it ain’t funny.
Literary “Trek” fans will experience true Ferengi oo-mox when they hear the song about sex with the empathic Betazoid. The title is unprintable here but here are some lyrics:
“What can I say? I can’t protest
I’m always thinking about her chest
And then I dropped a mental bomb
Because I thought about sex with her mom”
Warp 11 has performed at conventions and radio stations (primarily in California), and their music has been played by VH1, novelty maestro Dr. Demento and more than 65 radio stations. The band is comprised of Miller, Brian Moore (vocals, guitars), Kiki Stockhammer (vocals, keyboards) and John Merlino (drums). The songwriting is straight-ahead rock and the musicianship is better than adequate. And beyond that, well, dammit Jim, I’m a sci-fi fan, not a music critic!
So tap a keg of vintage Romulan ale and put the Mugato out for the night. Dig into this album with the right spirit and I’m betting that by the time you get to “What Would William Shatner Do?” you’ll be loving the chorus, every verse and most especially (wait…for…it…) the bridge.
– Linda Whitmore
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Warp 11 photos courtesy of the band. Chris Pine photo by Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times.