By Joe Hadsall
Darth Vader plays an evil bass guitar.
He plays it as well as he can swing a light saber with one hand and choke a guy by pointing at him with the other. Dude’s got skills.
Jango Fett is a heck of a guitar player, too. He rips and shreds guitar strings like Jedis on Geonosis.
Fett’s musical skills must have carried over in the clones, because he plays with THX-1138, a drumming clone trooper who lays down a rhythm like a Republic beat-down.
But nothing tops the Emperor, with his lyrics and guitar. He leads the band because ... well, because he’s the Emperor, and he’ll do whatever he feels like doing.
This might sound like a “Saturday Night Live” skit gone horribly wrong, but it is a reality for four bandmates who are part of Dark Side of the Force, a new band playing shows around the region. The band pairs creative songwriting and character costumes involving the “Star Wars” saga.
“We all love Star Wars,” said bassist Devin Krtek, who dons the Vader costume for each show.
The band — which features Joplin and Pittsburg, Kan., area musicians — sings popular songs with altered lyrics reflecting the “Star Wars” universe. The band’s members all have experience playing together as members of One Track Mind, Ataxia or Philhorn Mellowhaze Band.
“These guys are great musicians,” said John Black, manager of Champ’s Pub and Grill. “We have only had them here twice ... they don’t have a bad following.”
Krtek, whose midi-chlorian count is actually quite low, said he and bandmate Brandon Nivens got the idea while they were at work a few months ago. Nivens, on a lunch break, was remembering a documentary on “Star Wars” hype that featured similar bands.
By Joe Hadsall
Comedy clarity: A.J Finney finds sobriety expands what he can joke about
Clean and sober for five months, Finney has observed a dramatic change on his comedy. His material has grown exponentially, and his life experiences have blossomed.
Joplin band LiveWire to headline Friday Galena Days events
Joplin band Livewire, which has been recording in Nashville with the Way Out West Records label, will kick off a month-long tour today at Galena Days.
Pridefest planners celebrate sixth year
But for attendees of an annual festival celebrating LGBT lives, it's good to get away from politics and enjoy a day at the park, said Terie Caliguiri, treasurer of Joplin Pride.
Attraction allows guests to try out a Segway
Seven days a week, Hager and Jose help Branson visitors master the unique vehicle and navigate the two-acre paved course. Hager remembered his first Segway experience. It wasn't a smooth ride.
Globe Phone Test: HTC One M8 looks even better than it sounds
I remember the phones HTC used to make, and they weren't my favorite. Granted, I've been a BlackBerry geek for a long time, so I probably never gave HTC a fair shot. But the cruddy plastic phones with weakly jointed slider keyboards or flimsy chassis didn't really do a lot to impress me.
Times have changed. And HTC's new One M8 smartphone is one of the market's best offerings right now.
I tested out a device on loan from AT&T for about two weeks. It's performance is comparable to any top-of-the-line device on the market, and it's scaled-back, uncluttered version of Android 4.4.2 is clean as a whistle without an onslaught of unwanted apps.
Globe Phone Test: Concept is clever, but transitions tricky with Asus PadFone X
It's kind of embarrassing to point this out, but "Candy Crush Saga" is one of the best ways to illustrate how well the Asus PadFone X, a smartphone and tablet combo really works.
Anyone who has more than one device will understand this situation completely: Let's say a player fires up "Candy Crush" on his tablet computer and really digs the game. A lot. So much so that he downloads it to his smartphone.
Only there's one problem: All the progress made on the tablet is stuck on the tablet. The smartphone has a completely separate path of progress, meaning the player has to play each level twice. This makes progress through the game twice as long. (This problem can be fixed by signing up for the game on Facebook, but no one really wants their Facebook friends to know they spend so much time crushin' candy.)
The Asus PadFone X is the dream solution to this nightmare of a problem.
Available exclusively from AT&T, the device is actually two devices. A standalone smartphone can be plugged into a tablet computer, meaning the owner can take his pick of how he wants to play the game, and all the progress he makes is saved on one device's hard drive.
AT&T loaned us a device that we tested for more than two weeks -- didn't like having to send it back -- and we found a lot of its qualities and quirks.
Tantric tours in support of latest studio album
"37 Channels," the latest album from Hugo Ferreira's band, features a lineup of guests including Hinder's Austin Winkler, Shooter Jennings, 3 Doors Down drummer Greg Upchurch, Uncle Kracker guitarist Kevin McCreery, Saving Abel guitarist Scott Bartlett and Leif Garrettt.
New exhibit combines works of married couple
Steve and Cindy Head create different types of art, which means they can be each other's best mentor. Steve makes mixed media works assembled from photographs, headlines and more; Cindy paints vivid patterns and fanciful scenes with bold color palettes.
Spirits school: Drink-making lessons taught at downtown bar
Some patrons have dubbed it "Drinks with Daniel," but the official name is "Cocktails 101," which has been attracting "students" for the last several weeks.
Benji Tunnell: 'Transformers' reaches new level of terrible filmmaking
Then there's "Transformers: Age of Extinction," a film so bereft of originality, spontaneity and life that one would assume its creator must be a talentless hack. That's when you remember that it was directed by Michael Bay.
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