Pizza and music go together like parties and fun, so it’s no surprise that pizza-themed music has been snagging headlines as of late. Music blogs have been heating up all winter long with talk of new pizza projects from seasoned pros and musical novices alike. In mid-December, alt-rockers the Foo Fighters treated patrons of Moorpark, California’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Pizza to a two and a half hour set (their first gig since October 2012). With the Foos’ performance coming just days after the announcement of child-star turned joke-rocker Macaulay Culkin’s new pizza-centric musical project, we have to wonder if Mac inspired the Foos to hop on the pizza train.Oh, you didn’t hear? Macaulay Culkin is back on the scene with a brand new pizza-themed Lou Reed/Velvet Underground cover band. That’s right; let that sink in. We can’t be sure if the plan for the band was hatched before or after the Velvet Underground’s iconic frontman, Lou Reed, passed away. But we can be sure that Mac is no stranger to mixing pizza with art…and let’s just assume that when Culkin emancipated himself from his money-hungry parents in 1996 at age 16, his diet consisted largely of pizza (this seems like a reasonable guess to me).
We can all imagine the scenario that inspired the pizza-themed Velvet Underground cover band: you’re sitting around with pals, late at night, when someone gets the brilliant idea to change all the lyrics to Lou Reed songs to be about pizza. “Ya know, like ‘Take a Bite of the Wild Slice!,'” some clever pal shouts. Somehow, the eruption of laughter turns into serious motivation. And the songs practically write themselves (because they have already been written)! Turning silly ideas into reality is what celebrities are great at, so Culkin and his cohorts headed to Mac’s house to record the creatively named Pizza Underground’s first demo. You can purchase this for as little as $1.
Pizza Underground, or “PU” as I call them, unleashed their cheesy tunes to a bar full of raucous Brooklynites, all hopped up on the free pizza and orange soda that circulated the room (you have the chance to relive this when they play San Francisco on March 5th). And of course they had fans at their first “show” (it was an 8-minute performance, where the band mimicked the Velvet Underground’s traditional black-on-black style). As the Daily Beast’s Caitlin Dickson put it, “what culturally-conscious Brooklyn 20 or 30-something wouldn’t stand outside in 35 degrees to catch a glimpse of Kevin McAllister singing pizza-themed adaptations of songs they’ve been listening to on Spotify ever since Lou Reed died?” By mid-December, it seemed like the Pizza Underground was on top of the world, but as it turns out, Mac’s not the first person to sing about pizza.
As word of Culkin and Co.’s “hilarious” pizza-punk concept made its way westward, pioneering pizza punx and Bay Area tough guys, Personal and the Pizzas, rolled up their sleeves and prepared for a fight. You see, Personal and the Pizzas have been serving up hot tracks dripping with delectable pizza puns since 2010 and haven’t received even a small slice of big attention for it. The main difference being that Personal and the Pizzas made up their songs all by themselves (which I guess makes them slightly harder to know than songs that have been circulating since the ’70s). Oh, and they aren’t famous child stars, which, at least in this scenario, seems to put them at a disadvantage.
eMusic reached out to the Bay Area bad boys for their reaction to Culkin’s wayfarer-wearing, wannabe beatnik band. Not surprisingly, Personal had some heated words for Culkin and his cronies:
“First we’re gonna kill em!
THEN! we’re gonna sue em!
DONT MESS WITH THE F**KIN’ PIZZAS, PR*CK.
I CAN REED MOTHERF**KER
I CAN REED.”
Kill first, sue later, got it. And Personal is right; he can Reed. I can Reed, too. We all can because Reed already Reed-ed before us. Still, threats of death and lawsuits and claims of unoriginality can’t keep the Party Monster down. PU marches on, releasing a new music video which features a Macaulay Culkin kazoo solo. Though the video has been removed from YouTube due to a copyright claim from EMI, It looks like this little joke is far from over and thus the battle rages on for this most lovable pizza-centric band.
Call me a purist, but I like my pizza-punk fresh and local and my Lou Reed tunes performed by Lou Reed. For me, it’s a no-brainer, Personal and the Pizzas voted #1 in quality and schtick. Where do your pizza band loyalties lie?