Pleaserock is an independent music collective operating out of Atlanta
, Georgia. Originally established as the band Y-O-U in Indianapolis
in 2000 by Nick Niespodziani and Peter Olson, they relocated to ATL in the hopes of actually getting somewhere with their music. Two cheaply-produced CDs (a self-titled debut & the Homestar Runner
album) and a few quirky gimmicks later, that dream became a reality of sorts. The most prominent of the collective's quirky gimmicks was their assortment of different identities, something a local music article called "alias rock". At least one core member of Y-O-U plays in nearly all of the alias groups. Amongst the Pleaserock aliases (alii?
The original identity of the group, an experimental rock band that focused on original music. Y-O-U released five records—three and a half new music, one-half a "best of", and one soundtrack collaboration—between 2003 and 2009 before the band was retired, partly because they were having trouble getting bookings in that form, partly to focus on some of the more-successful aliases.Discography:
Yacht Rock Revue
A nautical-themed ensemble which plays "smooth" rock covers, with varying degrees of sincerity. By far the most financially-successful alias, it has 2 spinoffs of its own: The more easily-transportable Yacht Rock Schooner, and remix duo Yacht Rock DJs.Discography:
- "A Yacht Rock Holiday: Christmas Vacation/Mele Kalikimaka" single (2009)
- "Can't Wait for Summer/Good Thing" single (2012)
- Live at the Georgia Theater (2012)
- Yacht Rock Revue (2013)
A new original-music venture fronted by Niespodziani which released a self-titled debut record in 2014.
Please PleaseRock Me
A cover band which plays nothing but Beatles
music, including all four Beatles' solo work.
Constantly Awesome (formerly The Tupperware Party)
A cover band which plays almost exclusively private engagements, like weddings, corporate events, what have you.
The marquee under which Nick Nespodziani makes solo appearances playing Y-O-U songs as well as new material. Has released a live album for free download.
Nigels With Attitude
Main Street Exiles
A Rolling Stones
The Greater Vavoom
An original funk-dance band.
Three Dawgh Stephens
A "sandal rock" trio "led" by "visionary" musician "Dog Stevens." (The band is comprised entirely of fictional characters and is the subject of a series of comedy videos. An MP3
of their "smash hit" "Furry Little Muskrat Woman" is floating around the Internets somewhere.)
A series of audience-decided "battles" between tribute sets to two artists.
Strong Bad's favorite Hair Metal
Uno Dos Tres Catorce
Billed as "the biggest U2
tribute band in the world...in terms of raw poundage."
John Macentoeshka and the Mosseknuckles note
A Europop quintet which played unannounced sets in public places.
The Flying Wallabies note
Not a band, but a "competitive" jump rope team (and the subject of another series of comedy videos).
Some recent aliases (alii?) feature no Y-O-U members at all: The REMakes (an R.E.M.
tribute band), the After Party (a cover band for private events), the Whiskey Gentry (a bluegrass band), and the Atlanta Funk Society (playing funk from the 60s to the 80s).
Core members (aka Y-O-U members) and which other aliases they perform in:
- Nick Niespodziani/"Lenny Koggins" (2000-present) - Vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards, percussion [YRR, PPM, CA, NWA, TDS, Limozeen, Indy Jones, Mosseknuckles, RF, FW]
- Peter Olson/"Saul Pimon" (2000-present) - Vocals, bass, keyboards, guitar, percussion [YRR, PPM, CA, TDS, Limozeen, Mosseknuckles, RF, FW]
- Mark Cobb/"Dog Stevens" (2000-present) - Vocals, drums, percussion, keyboards [YRR, PPM, CA, TDS, Limozeen, MSE, NWA, Mosseknuckles, Vavoom, RF, FW]
- Mark Bencuya (2008-present) - Keyboards, vocals [YRR, PPM, CA, NWA, Limozeen, MSE, RF]
- Clay Cook (2005-2006) - Keyboards, guitar, banjo [RF, CA]
- Matt Sonnicksen (2000-2004) - Guitar, keyboards [Mosseknuckles, FW]
- Eric Harlan Park (2002-2004) - Keyboards [Mosseknuckles, FW]
In the Yacht Rock Revue, they are joined by:
- Greg Lee - Bass, vocals
- David "Saxman" Freeman - Saxophone, keyboards
- Mark "Monkey Boy" Dannells - Guitar, vocals
Tropes present in the Pleaserock catalog:
- Adaptation Expansion - The live Limozeen concerts feature two "cousins" of the Chaps-created Palaroncini brothers, adding keyboards and rhythm guitar to the band's lineup.
- Affectionate Parody - Yacht Rock Revue often dips towards this in their shows.
- Animated Music Video - One for "LA Lindsay" done in Flash by The Brothers Chaps, one for "National Straitjacket" done in Power Point by the band, and one for "Moviekiss: The Lite Brite Remix" done with a Lite Brite by Nick's sister.
- Bonus Material - Over a whole album's worth of live & alternate cuts, Christmas tunes, & more has at one time or another been available for free from the Pleaserock website. Speaking of which...
- Christmas Songs - Y-O-U did four and put them up for free download. Yacht Rock Revue did two and they're available for digital purchase. And Three Dawgh Stephens did...this.
- Defictionalization - The two (so far) live Limozeen performances. Also the occasional Three Dawgh Stephens appearances.
- Everything Is an Instrument - Flashlights has songs including parts played on typewriter and broken glass.
- Fake Band - Three Dawgh Stephens.
- Fake-Out Fade-Out - The Flashlights version of "Moviekiss", and Taranchula's "Moving Very Slowly."
- Guitar Hero - The two Homestar Runner songs in the franchise, "Trogdor" and "Because It's Midnite", use the Y-O-U-produced-&-performed album versions of the songs.
- Lyrical Dissonance - "All Arranged" is a children's lullaby...about shadow governments manipulating every event on the planet.
- Mockumentary - The Flying Wallabies and Three Dawgh Stephens are each subjects of them.
- Mood Whiplash - "LA Lindsay" and "Glad I Found You".
- More Popular Spin-off - Yacht Rock Revue started off as an occasional specially-themed Y-O-U show back when the band had a weekly residency at an Atlanta club.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly / Genre Roulette - Y-O-U performed just about every kind of rock music imaginable, and the surviving aliases still cover a lot of ground.
- One Steve Limit - Averted. The last Y-O-U lineup had 2 Marks, and the Yacht Rock Revue has 3 Marks. Cobb started putting a "?" in front of his name on album art, press materials, etc. ("Question Mark", get it?)
- Precision F-Strike - Only two Y-O-U songs, "Shadows on the Page" and "National Straitjacket" contain explicit language, and they're both on the same EP, Everything is Shifting.
- Put on a Bus - When Eric Park and Matt Sonnicksen left the group almost simultaneously, the band's website joked that they were both hit by the same Greyhound bus, each on different streets.
- Serious Business - Jump roping to the Flying Wallabies.
- Spell My Name with an "S" - Dog Stevens is the character; Three Dawgh Stephens is the band.
- Step Up to the Mic - Niespodziani handles all of Y-O-U's lead vocals and the lion's share for the Yacht Rock Revue, but a few YRR songs give leads to Olson, Lee (on his original tune "Good Thing"), and Bencuya (on his composition "Cartoon Butterfly"). And the golden voice of Dog Stevens is drummer Cobb.
- Stylistic Suck - The Mosseknuckles and Three Dawgh Stephens. Averted with the Yacht Rock Revue; their kitschy personas are an act, but they mostly play the music straight.
- What Could Have Been - The first three tracks on The Long-Playing EP were originally intended for another full Y-O-U album featuring a horn section and a new R&B influence. (A live version of "Honest Man" with the horns and extra backup singers is kicking around the web someplace.) When it came time to record the tracks, though, the band could only afford to do a core rock version, with just a few hints of the previous arrangement.
- Writing Around Trademarks - The Tupperware Party was hit with a cease-and-desist letter from the Tupperware company, hence the name change.