Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! – Devo (1978)


“Produced by Brian Eno, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! was a seminal touchstone in the development of American new wave. It was one of the first pop albums to use synthesizers as an important textural element, and although they mostly play a supporting role in this guitar-driven set, the innovation began to lay the groundwork for the synth-pop explosion that would follow very shortly. Q: Are We Not Men also revived the absurdist social satire of the Mothers of Invention, claiming punk rock’s outsider alienation as a home for freaks and geeks. While Devo‘s appeal was certainly broader, their sound was tailored well enough to that sensibility that it still resonates with a rabid cult following. It isn’t just the dadaist pseudo-intellectual theories, or the critique of the American mindset as unthinkingly, submissively conformist. It was the way their music reflected that view, crafted to be as mechanical and robotic as their targets. Yet Devo hardly sounded like a machine that ran smoothly. There was an almost unbearable tension in the speed of their jerky, jumpy rhythms, outstripping Talking Heads, XTC, and other similarly nervy new wavers. And thanks to all the dissonant, angular melodies, odd-numbered time signatures, and yelping, sing-song vocals, the tension never finds release, which is key to the album’s impact. It also doesn’t hurt that this is arguably Devo‘s strongest set of material, though several brilliant peaks can overshadow the remainder. Of those peaks, the most definitive are the de-evolution manifesto ‘Jocko Homo’ (one of the extremely few rock anthems written in 7/8 time) and a wicked deconstruction of ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,’ which reworks the original’s alienation into a spastic freak-out that’s nearly unrecognizable. But Q: Are We Not Men? also had a conceptual unity that bolstered the consistent songwriting, making it an essential document of one of new wave’s most influential bands.”
allmusic
W – Q. Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
40 years after Are We Not Men? we’re just now starting to get Devo (Video)
YouTube: [I Can’t Get No] Satisfaction (Live), Uncontrollable Urge (Live On Fridays)
YouTube: Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! Deluxe Remastered Version [Full Album]

Urgh! A Music War (1982)


Urgh! A Music War is a 1982 British film featuring performances by punk rock, new wave, and post-punk acts, filmed in 1980. Among the artists featured in the film are Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), Magazine, The Go-Go’s, Toyah Willcox, The Fleshtones, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, X, XTC, Devo, The Cramps, Oingo Boingo, Dead Kennedys, Gary Numan, Klaus Nomi, Wall of Voodoo, Pere Ubu, Steel Pulse, Surf Punks, 999, The Alley Cats, UB40, Echo & the Bunnymen and The Police. These were many of the most popular groups on the New Wave scene; in keeping with the spirit of the scene, the film also features several less famous acts, and one completely obscure group, Invisible Sex, in what appears to be their only public performance. …”
Wikipedia
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Urgh! A Music War 26 videos

The Truth About De-Evolution – Devo (1976)


The Truth About De-Evolution (full title: In The Beginning Was The End: The Truth About De-Evolution) was the first music video for the band Devo, directed by Chuck Statler. Filmed in May 1976, it contains two separate songs: ‘Secret Agent Man‘ and ‘Jocko Homo‘. It won First Prize at the Ann Arbor Film Festival in 1977, and was routinely screened before Devo live concerts. It is included as an extra on the Criterion release of Island of Lost Souls (1932). The film begins with an extreme close-up of a television, switching between channels while odd gibberish noises play in the background. The film title is superimposed over the television screen. The scene fades to a shot of a factory (filmed at the Goodyear World of Rubber in Akron, Ohio). Members of Devo in its quartet stage are seen in blue workmen’s suits, operating machinery, until one notices it is time to go. All the band members wear clear face masks, except for Mark Mothersbaugh, who appears in his Booji Boy mask. The members leave work and get into a car. They pull up in front of the burned out Kent bar The Water Street Saloon which was two buildings down from JB’s in Kent, Ohio. The next clip shows them entering the front door of JB’s, carrying instruments. A sign on the door reads ‘Tonight: 15-60-75’, a reference to The Numbers Band, which Gerald Casale played bass for at one point. The “Secret Agent Man” performance begins, featuring Bob Mothersbaugh on guitar, Gerald Casale on bass, Jim Mothersbaugh on electric bongos, and Mark Mothersbaugh/Booji Boy on synthesizers. The performance routinely cuts away to bizarre visuals, such as two men in monkey masks spanking a woman with ping-pong paddles, or a punk playing a double-neck guitar plugged into a space heater. The segment ends with a fadeout of Mark Mothersbaugh in a John F. Kennedy mask. The ‘Jocko Homo’ segment begins with Booji Boy running through a parking lot off of Front Street in Cuyahoga Falls. …”
W – The Truth About De-Evolution
Devo’s “In The Beginning Was The End: The Truth About De-Evolution” (Video)
YouTube: In The Beginning Was The End | THE TRUTH ABOUT DE EVOLUTION