Rockin' Out with Animatronic Robots


Or should I say rockbots? Yesterday I wrote a bit about Al-Jazari, the 12th-century inventor of musical robots, and today I wanted to pay tribute to the modern-day descendants of his genius. I'm talking about the Rockafire Explosion band from Showbiz Pizza, of course, a life-sized "band" of animatronic animals which entertained kids while they were eating pizza from 1980 to 1991, and now, sadly, can only be seen in a few places around the country. There's been a revival of late, however, in which owners of the few remaining Rockafires have been programming their robots to perform recent indie rock and hip-hop hits, which is surreal to watch, to say the least. Take a gander!

Neighborhood #1 by Arcade Fire
The contrast between this song's bizarre lyrics and the Rockafire's bizzare look almost makes my head explode.

Love in this Club by Usher
Watching Billy Bob Brockali the Bear croon "C'mere baby let daddy show you what it feel like" is definitely a skin-crawler.

Nine Inch Nails: 1,000,000
Say what you will, the Rockafire Explosion were designed to play happy Beatles medleys, not Nine Inch Nails.

Beatles medley
For a taste of vintage Rockafire Explosion, check this out: