Pizza Underground Report Card

NXNE ’14 Report Card: The Pizza Underground @ MIO Squirtcar

Thursday, June 19. Macaulay Culkin's pizza band plays a streetcar. Yes, really.

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- Jun 20, 2014

Background/Composition: Macaulay Culkin's "pizza band" The Pizza Underground plays covers of Velvet Underground songs, but about pizza. Hilarious, right? Oh, and they were playing on a streetcar sponsored by sugar you put in your water to make it taste like sugar instead of water.

The Pizza Underground

Clarity: C

In comedy, less is more. The Pizza Underground take that to the extreme by basically having one joke: imagen Loo Reid was never canceled and sing about pzza istead of heroine. But what was the joke supposed to be here: was it that we were on a streetcar? Squirting? Home Alone? All I know is few people were laughing, most were just gawking. That's including those out on the street, watching a streetcar go by with a band playing in it (if only they knew).

Celebrity Endorsement: C-

There's one reason people are paying attention to The Pizza Underground, and it's not The Velvet Underground or pizza. People are showing up to see the kid who played Richie Rich try to out-Franco James Franco. But here's the thing: there are no sightlines on a streetcar. You couldn't even see Macaulay Culkin most of the time. Instead, you just saw people taking selfies and trying come up with the perfect hashtag. At one point someone in the band said "if you've been paying attention to our band you may have noticed a member is missing... Phoebe, our Nico." As if anybody on that streetcar could name a member other than Mac.

The Pizza Underground

Photo by: Andrew Williamson

Brand Message: B-

I don't know about the other people there, but I had never head of MIO before I got on the Squirtcar. Now I know what it is and what it tastes like. So message received. But it was more an advertisement for pizza (naturally),  most specifically Panago, which they passed out to the crowd during the set.

Success of Campaign:  B

I'll admit it, even if the songs are what you come up with when you're 10 and first discover Weird Al, there's something pleasantly surreal about watching a band play music on a streetcar while eating a slice of pizza handed to me by Macaulay Culkin. And it's NXNE, so of course I was hungry. Points for that.

FINAL GRADE: C

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