Backseat Beat is a video series highlighting indie musicians and the city by the Bay. Armed with Flip cameras, we interview bands in the back seat of our ‘83 Volvo as we spirit them away to unexpected, forgotten corners of San Francisco, where they plug in outdoors to play a few tunes. Each band’s performance transforms these urban spots from their anonymous day to day existence into surreal, magical backdrops.

It’s a damn shame my public high school didn’t have an orchestra. No orchestra means those kids contentedly playing D&D in a corner while everyone else was busy pretending to get laid before their 17th birthday were denied achieving their full nerd potential. In addition to reaching Level 10 wizarding status, they could have been honing their skills on classical instruments that would someday result in them rocking the panties off a crowd of adoring fans. I have seen this alternative reality, and it looks a hell of a lot like The Definite Articles. They collectively prove that you can love Star Trek, attend ComicCon, and be effing hilarious to hang out with while completely shredding the bow of your instrument.

Geekdom has its privileges. Not only do you end up inventing things like candy corn infused vodka (hello!), but you also figure out how to seamlessly incorporate an entire string section into your indie pop band. What’s even more impressive is when the music is so good it makes a bunch of middle schoolers hop on their bikes and zip down from the projects to headbang along with your drummer’s crazy math rock signatures.

The music speaks for itself; we promise it will make your jaw drop. But it’s the taxonomy of wide-ranging backseat nerd-dom that made this episode as hot as an nebula imploding next to your basestar in the Alpha Six quadrant. (FYI, that’s damn hot.) Incidentally, the original Justice League included seven DC superheros—Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter (yeah, we’d never heard of him either), and Wonder Woman. The Definite Articles has seven core members. Coincidence? Yeah, right. Just ask the Green Lantern how long he’s been playing violin.

By the way, if you write 6-minute songs with crazy complicated arrangements and multiple movements, and you have 7 irreverent bandmembers answering questions in the back seat, you end up with one episode in two parts. Enjoy this week’s installment, and stay tuned for part 2 later this month. In the meantime, be sure to check out the full video for “Bumbershoot”—it’s pretty epic.

—Dana Goldberg

The Definite Articles

Backseat Beat

Created by Brad Robertson

Produced by Dana Goldberg & Brad Robertson
Hosted by Jaime Lee Currier