Atom and his Package, Human Investment, 53rd State, Redrum

Pluto's, Pittsburgh, PA

29 October 1998

posted: 30 June, 2021 17:05

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My flatmate in 1998-99, Dan, set up a lot of shows and I helped sometimes. This was another where he did all of the organising and I just helped at the door or somewhere else (the primarily heavy/hardcore lineup indicates it wasn't something I would have booked on my own). It's at a very forgotten bar called Pluto's that I guess were into doing all ages shows,which was rare, and was on the second floor.

Atom and his Package became more well known soon after this, but as a teenage years friend of Dan, he was I think just an odd novelty –– a former hardcore guy writing silly pop songs over a synth backing and singing them, often about his friends. It was great fun, and a good challenge to what at the time seemed like a real orthodoxy of guitar rock. Talk about ahead of his time –– I think the humorous, nerd + punk subculture, synth combination would be a real winner today, but to his credit Atom did this for a few years and then moved on and didn't milk it past relevance.

Human Investment was one of Dan's bands at the time along with Pressgang, and this was clearly their last show.  Redrum was a metal band from some hardcore scene guys, at least two of whom also played in Crucial Unit (who were just getting started around then). 53rd State I've written about elsewhere, but they were just starting up around then and played a lot and I really enjoyed them every time (and later co-financed their CD release).

A good crowd came and I wonder how Pluto's made any money besides maybe paying something to rent the venue. I just remember this being loud, and enjoying the social vibe more than the musical one, and wanting to go home but having to wait ages for the bands to load up since Atom was surely staying with us.

Oddly enough, this was the first of two times I co-organised a show for Atom & his Package with 53rd State also on the bill.

Dan made the flyer; most of the flyers he did were funny and weird, usually sticking to the conventions of listing bands as "ex-so and so", but then playing around with it a bit.

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