For sure, shtick-core outfit the Evaporators has its share of Canadian indie-rock luminaries. The New Pornographers’ David Carswell and John Collins are both full-fledged members, and the band’s new full-length on Alternative Tentacles, Ripple Rock, features appearances by Zumpano’s Michael Ledwidge and Lisa Marr (formerly of Cub, now of the Lisa Marr Experiment). But the main attraction, for sure, is lead singer and organist Nardwuar. Yes, that Nardwuar, the Human Serviette, whose beyond-nerdy interviews with famous types from Courtney Love to Canadian premier Jean Chrétien have made him infamous, via the pages of Flipside, Popsmear, The Rocket, or on CITR 101.9 FM (University of British Columbia’s radio station). With the Evaporators, the squeak-voiced Nardwuar drops the celebrity shenanigans and sings about food, Canadian history, cardboard brains, and “Icicles on My Testicles” over a backdrop of upbeat garage rock. Surely, though, he must have used his considerable influence to get signed to Jello Biafra’s label. “When I first interviewed Jello Biafra in 1989, I don’t think he liked me very much,” Nardwuar says. “Actually, if you pop the new Evaporators CD into your computer you can watch five different interviews I have done with Jello over the years. So I guess it only took fifteen years to convince Jello to release one of our records.”
The Evaporators were formed back in 1986, though their first album wasn’t released until 1996. “We formed while doing push-ups in a high school gym class,” Nardwuar recalls, “when Scott Livingstone, future Evaporators drummer, asked if I wanted to start a band with him. Our debut was the school variety show where we played the Cramps’ ‘Human Fly’ and the Sonics’ ‘Shot Down.'” What can you expect when you see the Evaporators at 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley this Friday? “The only thing I can guarantee,” he says, “is that the audience will see my back hair.” Oh, and selections from Nardwuar’s Video Vault, plus the Rock and Roll Adventure Kids, Harold Ray Live in Concert, Clarendon Hills, and System and Station. All ages, 8 p.m., $5. For more information, call 510-525-9926.