Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet

Best known for supplying the theme song to the popular TV comedy show The Kids in the Hall, Toronto's largely instrumental trio Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet originally formed in 1984, consisting of members Brian Connelly (guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), Reid Diamond (bass, lead vocals), and Don Pyle (drums, backing vocals). The band merged punk (à la the Dead Kennedys) and surf (à la the Ventures) sounds together to create a highly original style, resulting in a steady stream of EPs/singles issued throughout the mid- to late '80s. These included such quirky titles as "Love Without Words," "Wow Flutter Hiss '86," "Schlagers!," "Live Record with Extra Bread and Cheese," "Explosion of Taste," and "Reid Does Neil." By 1989, a local comedy troupe (who were also friends of the band) was given their own TV show, The Kids in the Hall, which used the Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet track "Having an Average Weekend" as their theme song. In 1990, the trio issued their debut full-length release, Savvy Show Stoppers, which was a compilation of material from their earlier singles. Two more releases followed shortly thereafter, 1991's Dim the Lights, Chill the Ham and 1993's Sport Fishin' (the latter of which was recorded by Steve Albini), and the group backed B-52s frontman Fred Schneider on several tracks for his solo album Just Fred. But by 1995, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet had split up. The former members went on to other projects: Diamond and Pyle joined forces once again in Phono-Comb, while Connelly worked with Neko Case's Boyfriends and Atomic 7. In early 2001, Diamond passed away after a battle with cancer. In 2016, Yep Roc Records released expanded and remastered editions of the three Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet albums. ~ Greg Prato

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