Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet's infectious surf-inflected instrumental pop songs will be instantly recognizable to anyone who watched "The Kids in the Hall." Their song "Having an Average Weekend" was the theme to that late, great, Canadian sketch comedy show, and they also provided the little instrumental flourishes between skits.
The band formed in Toronto in 1984 and released their first seven-inch in 1985 ("Our Weapons Are Useless" b/w "Bennett Cerf" and "Having an Average Weekend"). Over the next five years, the band released seven more singles, which they collected on their first full-length, 1990's Savvy Show Stoppers (Cargo). In 1991, they followed with Dim The Lights, Chill The Ham, also on Cargo, and in 1993, they released Sport Fishin' - The Lure Of The Bait, The Luck Of The Hook (recorded by none other than Steve Albini). Sadly, the band members parted ways at the end of 1995, stating, "We've pretty much done everything we can do together barring group sex so have decided to go in our own directions, more or less."
As if their name and their comedic affiliation didn't make it obvious, this band had a great sense of humor. Wacked-out covers of song titles like "Exit From Vince Lombardi High School," "Hunter S. Thompson's Younger Brother," and "They Don't Call Them Chihuahuas Anymore" only hint at the sheer joy of Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet's music. But make no mistake: this was no joke band. Their music is clever, creative, and catchier than the flu. "13" is from Sport Fishin', and it is a shining example of Shadowy Men at their shimmering reverb-heavy surfy guitar rock best. It's the kind of song that makes you shake your shoulders and do a happy little dance.
The members of Shadowy Men are still making music, albeit in slightly (OK, sometimes much) different genres. Reid Diamond (bass, lead vocals) and Don Pyle (drums, backing vocals) spent time in the now-defunct Phono-Comb. Guitarist and keyboardist Brian Connelly is working as one of Neko Case's Boyfriends, and also plays with Atomic 7.
Sadly, Diamond passed away after a battle with cancer in early 2001.
last updated: 11/12/01