Captured! By Robots Bringing Dystopian Nightmare To New Haven

Special to the Courant

You have to understand the mythology behind the “band” Captured! By Robots to fully appreciate what’s going on.

Well, sort of — on the one hand there’s a dude with a bunch of machines making an unholy racket, and that’s pretty entertaining even if you don’t know the story. The story, though, is that the sole human on stage is enslaved by the music-making robots and they’re forcing him to travel and perform. It’s a dystopian nightmare, for sure, but a funny dystopian nightmare, right? Lol.

As the nightmare story goes, the guy, JBOT, tried to start a band with a bunch of robots, and the robots took over. The conceit may meaningfully reflect the way many of us feel about the state of technology in modern life, chained as we are to devices, and seemingly forced to chime in and crank the wheels of a digital circus of current events. Or maybe it’s just the old man-vs.machine paradigm multiplied by one hundred.

You should be warned that JBOT, having had his freedom taken away from him by a bunch of mindless machines, is pretty pissed off about the erosion of personal freedoms in America today. A recent live video of Captured! By Robots from last month shows JBOT raging against the Senate for its handling of the most recent Supreme Court nominee.

If you’re familiar with fringe-culture phenomena like Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Survival Research Labs, you might think of Captured! By Robots as sort of a musical version of the two, with a little Gwar and Minutemen thrown in for good rage-filled measure.

See Captured! By Robots at The State House, 294 State St., New Haven, on Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. $15 to $18.

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