Volcano, I'm Still Excited!! was a cutesy indie band for a minute, back in the early 00s. Maybe 2002-2004? Of immediate note, the band's lead singer was Mark Duplass, who went on to do quite a bit of television and film, most of which I haven't seen (I did see "The One I Love," which was a totally fucked up film.)
I saw them play at some point, with a crowd of, I don't know, twelve people. I think most of the people in the audience were just the members of the other bands who played, so I don't imagine the Volcano guys made their gas money back on that one. They played through the majority, if not entirety, of their sole album.
During one of their slower songs, one of the members took out a stack of posterboards, each of which containing a drawing. Cycling through the posterboards, what ultimately came out was a picture story about ninjas, unicorns, maybe a dragon? It was all very fairy-tale kitsch and cutesy.
It would have failed in front of a larger crowd, being as awkward as it was, but n front of a small crowd, you couldn't help but confront that awkwardness, rather than just laugh it off. This guy's showing a story about rainbows in front of 6 people he's never met. To music. Yeah, it was weird, but in sort of an intimate way. Like holding hands for the first time or fumbly sex.
And they killed it. The whole show. They performed their cute-ass songs with energy and love, not only aware of their small crowd, but in tribute to it.
The band itself always felt like the members' side job - something that they weren't completely sold on, themselves, which I'm guessing is why they didn't tour or record a follow-up. Their music was certainly cute and sappy. Brutally cute and sappy, even, which I'll admit is a niche market. I think it's part of why this band always stood out for me, but not the whole reason - it's not just brutally cute and sappy, it's unabashedly cute and sappy. They weren't putting on airs. They weren't playing to any particular crowd other than people who would like them.
Oh, I'm about 90% sure that the posterboard story came during this song (the other 10% goes to "Firebombing London," but I don't think that's right.)
And for good measure, one of their music videos below the jump:
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