Madison cabaret-punk band Screamin' Cyn Cyn & the Pons are no more, but their singer, Shane O'Neill (a.k.a. Shane Shane), is making lots of joyful noises in Brooklyn, N.Y., these days. Just in time for the holidays, he's put a new spin on the legend of St. Nick with a video called "Teenage Santa."
I asked him about the tune, the video and his most recent musical adventures.
The Daily Page: How did the "Teenage Santa" video come about?
Shane Shane: The song "Teenage Santa" was actually the result of Dan Potacke having me on his Christmas show a couple of years ago. I was thinking about how all my songs really skewed towards the adult in their hypersexual content and was trying to think about what a family-friendly Christmas song by Shane Shane might sound like. The first thing that popped into my mind was a marketer at some big advertising firm coming up with a really stupid idea to re-brand Shane Shane for something that "the kids" would like. And what do kids like more than Santa? Teenagers!
The video happened because a co-worker of mine here in Brooklyn, Kate Branom, approached me about collaborating on a video. I came up with the storyboard and wrangled the cast, she worked out the logistics and found our editor, Kyle McKay, and the rest was just time and hard work!
The "Greased Lightning" thing was honestly an accident. Obviously I'm a huge fan of Grease, but this was one of those deals where I really thought I was being wholly authentic and didn't notice till months later that I had ripped it off. As for Wesley Willis, we're both fat guys who hail from Chicagoland and work primarily on Casios, so there's bound to be some artistic overlap between us.
What would teenage Santa give Madison for Christmas?
I'm not sure exactly what it would be but something really wicked, massively deck and completely rippin'.
What else have you been up to that your fans in Madison should know about?
I've been throwing a party called FANCY that's been really fun. It's basically a monthly basement show that features NYC bands and performance artists alongside touring artists that I think are great. We've hosted midwesterners like Venus in Furs and Chicago's Big Dipper, NYC artists like Mx Justin Vivian Bond (who also appears in the "Teenage Santa" video), Colin Self, and Jake Dibeler, and artists that I'm super excited about like the banjee witchy hip-hop diva Abdu Ali, who hails from Baltimore. We also recently featured the debut of Edith Pop featuring Tim Oakley, formerly of Mathematicians and current drummer for Phantogram. I throw the party with fellow Madison transplant DJ Timothy Allen Living, whom I first met when he was DJing a party on Blair Street.
I'm also planning on finally releasing a full-length album in February and am hammering out details for U.S. and European tour this spring.