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Fred Schneider & the Superions

Playing frantic electronic dance pop that's tuneful and often hilarious, the Superions are a group featuring Fred Schneider, the longtime vocalist with the B-52s, in collaboration with musicians Noah Brodie and Dan Marshall. Describing their work as "a nonstop disco new wave party explosion for all generations," the Superions blend the playful surrealism of the B-52s' lyrical stance with music rooted in classic dance styles, loaded with vintage synth sounds and a subtle undertow of camp. The band began as a casual recording project, with Schneider adding spontaneous vocals to grooves Brodie and Marshall had hatched up in their spare time, but when their friends urged them to share their music with the public, tracks like "Totally Nude Island," "Who Threw That Ham at Me," and "Fruitcake" generated laughs as well as dance floor action, and their 2017 album The Vertical Mind showed they could create memorable long-form projects as well as hot singles. Fred Schneider met Noah Brodie and Dan Marshall through a mutual friend who ran a record store in Orlando, Florida. All three were serious vinyl junkies who collected offbeat music of all stripes, particularly exotica and lounge music, and they became fast friends, with Schneider often staying with Brodie and Marshall when visiting Florida. In 2006, Brodie and Marshall played Schneider a track they'd cut in their home studio and asked if he could write lyrics for it. Inspired by the tropical mood of the tune, Schneider quickly came up with the words for "Totally Nude Island," and cut vocals for it in just two takes, using their bathroom as a vocal booth. After playing it for friends who responded with enthusiasm, the trio decided to release it as a single under the group name the Del Morons. They soon thought better of the name and adopted the new moniker the Superions, taken from a cheesy sci-fi film Schneider remembered seeing as a kid. "Totally Nude Island" came out as a digital single in October 2008, followed closely by remixes of the track by Ursula 1000, the Lolligags, and Marshmallow Coast. In 2010, Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records, an independent imprint based in Athens, Georgia, issued a vinyl EP titled The Superions, featuring "Totally Nude Island" and its remixes along with two new songs, "Sexy Saucer Gals" and "Who Threw That Ham at Me." The group soon got to work making an album, but after completing two numbers, they shifted gears and instead cooked up a batch of Christmas tunes. The first full-length album from the Superions, Destination…Christmas!, made its debut in October 2010, making the Yuletide season brighter for fans everywhere, while a year later, they dropped a track in time for Halloween, "Batbaby." 2014 saw the release of another new song, "Konnichiwa," but Schneider's commitments with the B-52s put the band on the back burner for a few years. That changed in 2017, when the Superions returned to action with their second full-length album, Vertical Mind, a set that was even wilder than their Yuletide release. The Superions had not lost their enthusiasm for holiday-themed releases, and in 2019, they dropped yet another Halloween number, "Real Scary Halloween Story." It appeared initially as a digital release, then was pressed as a limited-edition vinyl single, with "Batbaby" on the flip side.
© Mark Deming /TiVo
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