Fans who miss a new episode of "Lost" have few choices when it comes to getting a weekly summary of their favorite show: hit the message boards, pray to the Tivo Gods or hit up friends for spoilers. But now there's another option: get the recap in song.
New York-based weirdo-pop band Previously On Lost wrote a song for every episode of season four of the ABC drama last year, and will complete a few this year. The tracks are a literal, yet literary, take on the happenings of Jack, Kate, Locke, Ben and all the other characters, set to playful melodies and complicated arrangements of soul, funk, pop, rock and dance.
A few weeks ago, nearly a dozen members of Previously On Lost – bedecked in Hawaiian shirts (or no shirts at all) and positioned around baby pools and blow-up palm trees -- took to the stage at packed Brooklyn venue Bell House to perform every "episode" of season four in chronological order just prior to the season five premiere. They've also taken the act on the road -- to Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Band co-founders Adam Schatz and Jeff Curtin (cheekily) discuss exactly what goes into "the (only) genuine TV recap rock band" and what comes next for them and the Oceanic 6.
How long does it take for you to turn around a song?
Thirteen hours exactly. Every Sunday after an episode aired in season 4, we would convene at Jeff's Brooklyn mansion and begin brainstorming. Thirteen hours and a lot of BBQ later, we had a complete song written and recorded.
Are you going to retroactively write songs about the episodes from seasons prior to season four?
We were under the impression that there were no season prior to season 4. This is news to us.
Do you mean for songs to be just recaps or are they editorial reviews?
At the roots, the songs are recaps. It is our civic duty.
However, like many revered scriptures, our writings mean different things to different people. Some believe that the songs read into the deeper meanings of the episodes. We have on multiple occasions foreshadowed events in later episodes (specifically using the word "boom" to describe the freighter blowing up), and that sort of magic is what draws people to our music.
A woman came up to us at a show and said that our album saved her marriage. We take the message of JJ Abrams and break it down to a musical level for the public to absorb.
Have you planned to write songs in a similar style for season five?
We just posted a top notch recap for the premiere. As for the entire season, we don't want to taint the complete masterpiece we created that is "The Tale of Season 4 and the Oceanic Six" by attempting to recap another entire season. Besides, this one is 17 episodes, which would be taxing for us, and we have set our sights higher up on the recap ladder.
Expect future recaps of the process of photosynthesis, the 2010 World Cup (we know who wins), and the Oregon Trail computer program. If any episode in season 5 does particularly grab us, however, we will surely provide the necessary recap. The premiere is certainly one of those episodes.
Obviously performing is a big part of your act. Do you guys like to pretend you're one of the characters on the show? Or are you merely narrators?
We'd like to think of ourselves as bards who have seen the island and the stories it has sparked, who have returned to the mainland to retell, recap and rejuvenate the tale to all who will listen. That's not to ay we don't have bits of the Gilligan, skipper and the rooster from Robin Hood in each of us. We would never claim to be characters on the show. Because then we would be recapping ourselves. And that makes absolutely no sense.
Who is your favorite character on the show?
Daniel Farrady. We believe by season 6 he will be in the front of every cast photo and Jack will have a bag over his head.