By Sarah Bennett
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By Jena Ardell
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So two headbanded strangers storm into a house, grab a tennis racket and golf club, and begin breaking lamps and turntables, then proceed to tear the clothes off the women. When all is said and smashed, the men retire to a couch, their captives smiling. For Plastilina Mosh, that's a good party—as well as the video for the Monterrey, Mexico, electro-nutso duo's bouncy platinum single "Peligroso Pop." And the Latin-alternative-music universe didn't just applaud this kind of vaguely creepy frat-boy misogyny—they laughed long and hard.
Plastilina Mosh isn't so much a musical group as it is a standup act: Alejandro Rosso and Jonáz are two self-professed geeks who mix every bargain-bin-reject record into electro-pop pastiches with Dada-esque lyrics. At concerts, their antics—they'll dress up as Godzilla and a banana, play excruciatingly long volleyball matches with a balloon, cartwheel into the audience at inappropriate moments—get people bent in half. Some with belly laughs, some to dry-hump.
But Plastilina Mosh finds their widest fan base through their videos, four-minute-plus head-scratchers whose happy surrealism is reminiscent of Buñuel's Un Chien Andalou without the eyeball cutting. "Mr. P. Mosh," a sleazily hilarious 1998 production that imagined the two trailing an aging male porn star like pitiful groupies, made them famous, and two years later, Rosso and Jonáz cast themselves in another synthesized techno-thumper, "Human Disco Ball"—this time, they live inside a pinball machine that embarks on a cross-country trek to return, Lassie-like, to its owner. Other videos feature the duo playing computer-enhanced nine-on-nine baseball against each other, racing in monster trucks for the appropriately titled "Monster Truck," even practicing in a studio while silhouettes of logos for such 1980 icons as Atari and T&C Surf flash onscreen.
1530 S. Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, CA 92802
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With this background in mind, rockeros wholeheartedly accepted the "Peligroso Pop" video when it debuted last summer. There was nothing malicious about Plastilina Mosh doing a G-rated version of the rape scene from A Clockwork Orange—it was all in the name of good, clean, wholesome objectification! It starts with the Plastilina Mosh boys lying on a couch in a nondescript home, surrounded by a bevy of babes in bras and underwear—Ross and Jonáz as sultans to their harem. We then flash back to earlier in the afternoon in that same house: a couple of Stepford Wives mill around during a Tupperware party, sipping wine and chuckling gently in their modest sundresses and classy hats. No one seems to notice that Rosso and Jonáz have just jumped a backyard fence and are slowly approaching the patio.
"And I don't know what you were thinking when you forgot your tanning lotion in my pillow/Only your scent of flower remained," they drone, with zippy synths and wacka-wacka guitar as soundtrack. Suddenly, the chubby Rosso throws a tennis racket toward a window. The racket smashes through, but the women don't cower in terror. Indeed, they laugh it off. And they continue to sport smiles as wide as their considerably wide bosoms as the two intruders invade the house, tearing at dresses and dancing with their victims. It's not as tawdry as it sounds—the women's unmentionables are of the modest variety, the type good Catholic girls wear. No ass is shown. Dancing is kept to raising one's hands over one's head. And the "Peligroso Pop" photoplay ends as it started, with everyone sitting on the couch, a serene expression on their faces.
What the video has to do with the song's lyrics—a vaguely romantic tune dealing with long-distance love and bikinis—remains unclear (except for the bikini part), but that's the point. This is candy for the eyes and ears, not for the intellect.
Plastilina Mosh performs with Ozomatli and Kinky at The House Of Blues, 1530 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 778-2583. Thurs., Aug. 5, 7 p.m. $32.50. 18+.