When the 9th Annual Devotional takes place at the Beachland Ballroom August 29, starting at noon and running well into the evening, it will feature a special treat for the Devo fans who come in from all over the country for the event. Not only will Bob Casale — the only key member of Devo who has not participated in a previous Devotional — be this year’s special Devo guest, but he’ll be cooking dinner for group.
“He’s known as a really good cook,” says one of the event’s organizers, Alex Brunelle. “He’ll be cooking a special meal for us. We thought that a good way to draw him into coming to the Devotional would be to say he could cook for us, which, to my surprise, worked. One of the things that’s been an issue at past Devotionals has been when to leave for dinner. So this is a way of getting people to stick around and also to give them an experience they wouldn’t have had otherwise.”
For a mere $15 in addition to the event admission of $20, fans can enjoy a gourmet meal prepared by Casale and Michael Proskin, a caterer/fan from Chicago. They won’t be flipping burgers either. The menu features grilled boneless chicken with goat cheese and cilantro, wilted mustard greens, angel-hair pasta with fresh tomato, basil, shallot, olive oil and vinegar sauce and parmegiano-regiano cheese, and custard with fresh berries.
Casale will take a break from the kitchen long enough to do a Q & A session with fans, which Brunelle says should be exciting for super Devo obsessives.
“Typically Bob is one of the quiet members,” he says. “I feel he has sharper memory than the other members. He was involved in the production process and is very detail-oriented. So we’re all excited to be able to ask really geeky questions that the other guys in the band probably wouldn’t know the answers to.”
As usual, the Devotional will feature vendors of Devo-related material and a lineup of bands — some new and some familiar to regular Devotional attendees — doing Devo covers and material in the spirit of Devo. Among the bands putting their own spin on Devo material will Seattle’s Nervous Energy, the bluegrass Mutant Mountain Boys, the Weird Paul Rock Band doing glitch-style Devo covers and Cleveland’s Bottle featuring vocalist Chuck Mosley. Also playing are Devotional regular Poopy Necroponde with a new group called the Burgee Boys and L.A. synth band FartBarf, friends of artist/Devo associate KRK Ryden, who “might perform a couple of songs with them,” says Brunelle.
The night will close with two sets from “house band,” the Spudboys, made up of five Devo fans from across the country including Brunelle.
“Each of us lives in a different city so every year we have to practice to predetermined arrangements and hopefully we can all play them simultaneously when we come together the day before the Devotional,” he says. “We have ridiculous eight-hour marathon practice sessions.
Last year, the band recreated a performance Devo did in 1982, playing in synch to a film. Brunelle says they’ll incorporate elements of that performance and again play to projections for a majority of their set this time around.
Because fans come from across the country, other events are planned for the previous night. Ryden will open a show at Asterisk Gallery in Tremont called No Pinheads Allowed. And the Nerd Germs Infestation Tour 2009 — a lineup of Devo-centric acts including Cleveland’s Baditude and Dudical Radical, Connecticut’s Malcolm Tent, A Friend of Mabel’s from Pittsburgh and Nervous Energy — will play at the Symposium starting at 9:30 p.m.
Go to http://www.boojiboysbasement.com/devotional2009.html for more information and to register for the event.