Ookla the Mok (band)
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Ookla the Mok is a
filk Filk music is a musical culture, genre, and community tied to Science fiction fandom, science fiction, fantasy, and horror fandom and a type of fan labor. The genre has existed since the early 1950s and been played primarily since the mid-1970 ...
band fronted by Rand Bellavia and Adam English (b.1970). The two met as undergraduates while attending
Houghton College Houghton University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" is a song by British singer Dusty Springfield, released as a single on 20 November 1989. It was Springfield's third single in a row to be ...
in 1988, and the majority of their performances have been at science-fiction conventions or in their hometown of
Buffalo, New York Buffalo is the list of cities in New York, second-largest city in the U.S. state of New York (state), New York (behind only New York City) and the seat of Erie County, New York, Erie County. It is at the eastern end of Lake Erie, at the head o ...
. The band is named after a character from the Ruby-Spears Productions
cartoon A cartoon is a type of visual art that is typically drawn, frequently animated, in an unrealistic or semi-realistic style. The specific meaning has evolved over time, but the modern usage usually refers to either: an image or series of image ...
''
Thundarr the Barbarian ''Thundarr the Barbarian'' is an American Saturday morning animated series An animated series is a set of Animation, animated works with a common series title, usually related to one another. These episodes should typically share the same ma ...
'', created by
Steve Gerber Stephen Ross Gerber (; September 20, 1947 – February 10, 2008) was an American comic book writer and creator of the satiric Marvel Comics character Howard the Duck. Other works include ''Man-Thing'', ''Omega the Unknown,'' ''Marvel Spotlight:' ...
. They provided the theme song to
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's ''
Fillmore! ''Fillmore!'' is an American animated television series created by Scott M. GimplePegasus Awards for excellence in
filk music Filk music is a musical culture, genre, and community tied to science fiction, fantasy, and horror fandom and a type of fan labor Fan labor, also called fan works, are the creative activities engaged in by fan (person), fans, primarily tho ...
, and the 2014 Logan Award for Outstanding Original Comedy Song ("Mwahaha"). Ookla the Mok had the most requested song on Dr. Demento's syndicated radio show in both 2012 ("Tantric Yoda") and 2013 ("Mwahaha"). Two of their songs ("Stop Talking About Comic Books or I'll Kill You" and "F. People") have appeared on Dr. Demento CD compilations.


Band members


Current

*Rand Bellavia – vocals, guitar, percussion, trombone, keyboards, kazoo (1992–present) *Adam English – vocals, guitar, keyboards, accordion, trumpet (1992–present) The band consists of a core duo of Rand Bellavia and Adam English, who met as undergraduates at
Houghton College Houghton University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" is a song by British singer Dusty Springfield, released as a single on 20 November 1989. It was Springfield's third single in a row to be ...
in 1988. Although Bellavia and English continue to perform live with Luis Garcia and Mike Mallory if geography and convention budgets allow for it (most recently at
Windycon Windycon is a science fiction convention Science fiction conventions are gatherings of science-fiction fandom, fans of the speculative fiction genre, science fiction. Historically, science fiction conventions had focused primarily on literatu ...
, 2016), performances are generally two-piece sets. By day, Bellavia works as the Library Director at D'Youville University, while English makes his living as a caricature and cartoon artist. He previously founded and managed "Adam English's Cartoon City Caricatures" at Darien Lake Theme Park Resort (now Six Flags Darien Lake), as well as teaching workshops on cartooning in Buffalo Public Schools through the Arts-In-Education program.


Former

*Luis Garcia – drums, vocals (1994-1998) *Michael Mallory – bass (1996-2003, 2010-2013) *Doug White – bass, guitar (1997-2001) *Chris Gajewski – drums (1999-2003) *Joe Pepper – drums (2005-2007) *Wolfram Neff – bass (2006-2009) *Jeremy Stock – bass (2014-2015)


Musical style

Although Ookla the Mok has released many songs about more universal topics like relationships and lost love, they are best known for "
filk Filk music is a musical culture, genre, and community tied to Science fiction fandom, science fiction, fantasy, and horror fandom and a type of fan labor. The genre has existed since the early 1950s and been played primarily since the mid-1970 ...
" songs that cater to the interests of listeners at
science fiction Science fiction (sometimes shortened to Sci-Fi or SF) is a genre of speculative fiction which typically deals with imagination, imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, Paral ...
and
comic book A comic book, also called comicbook, comic magazine or (in the United Kingdom and Ireland) simply comic, is a publication that consists of comics art in the form of sequential juxtaposed panel (comics), panels that represent individual scenes. ...
conventions, where the band makes the bulk of their public appearances. For example, their song "Arthur Curry" from ''Less Than Art'' pokes fun at
Aquaman Aquaman is a superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger, the character debuted in '' More Fun Comics'' #73 (November 1941). The character is a pastiche of Namor. Initial ...
and the way his super-powers do not seem to compare favourably with the rest of the
Super Friends ''Super Friends'' is an American Animated series, animated television series about a team of superheroes, which ran from 1973 to 1985 on American Broadcasting Company, ABC as part of its Saturday-morning cartoon lineup. It was produced by Hanna- ...
. Another example is "Stop Talking About Comic Books Or I'll Kill You" from ''Super Secret''. "Song of Kong" from ''Smell No Evil'' takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the relationship between
King Kong King Kong is a fictional giant monster resembling a gorilla, who has appeared in various media since 1933. He has been dubbed The Eighth Wonder of the World, a phrase commonly used within the franchise. His first appearance was in the novelizat ...
and
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. "W.W.S.D.?" from ''oh okay LA'' asks its listeners to ask themselves "What would Scooby do?". "Mr. W" from the same album paints a nightmare scenario of Mr.
Worf Worf, son of Mogh is a fictional character In fiction, a character (or speaker, in poetry) is a person or other being in a narrative (such as a novel, Play (theatre), play, Radio series, radio or television series, music, film, or video game ...
being in command of ''
Star Trek ''Star Trek'' is an American science fiction media franchise created by Gene Roddenberry, which began with the Star Trek: The Original Series, eponymous 1960s television series and quickly became a worldwide Popular culture, pop-culture Cul ...
''s starship '' Enterprise''. "Spot The Cat" from ''Dave Lennon'' sets to music a poem originally read by ''Star Trek''s
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(written by Clay Dale). Tribute songs about celebrities
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,
Michael Jackson Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and philanthropist. Dubbed the "Honorific nicknames in popular music, King of Pop", he is regarded as Cultural impact of Michael Jackson, ...
,
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, and
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also appear on ''oh okay LA''. A song in the 2013 album ''vs. Evil'' is dedicated to the
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character
Kang the Conqueror Kang the Conqueror (Nathaniel Richards) is a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is most frequently depicted as an opponent of the Avengers (comics), Avengers and the Fantastic Four. A time-tra ...
.


Other appearances

Bellavia's voice and English's keyboards can be heard on the international top five hit " Cupid's Chokehold" by
Gym Class Heroes Gym Class Heroes was an American rap rock band from Geneva, New York. The group formed in 1997 when Travie McCoy met drummer Matt McGinley during their high school Physical education, gym class. The band's music displays a wide variety of influenc ...
.


Performances

Ookla the Mok were the musical guests of honor at the 2007 MarsCon in
Bloomington, Minnesota Bloomington is a suburban city in Hennepin County, Minnesota, Hennepin County, Minnesota, on the north bank of the Minnesota River, above its confluence with the Mississippi River, south of downtown Minneapolis. As of the 2020 United States cen ...
, the international guests of honour at the 2009 British Filk Convention, and the music guests of honor at the 2014
FenCon FenCon is a literary science fiction Science fiction (sometimes shortened to Sci-Fi or SF) is a genre of speculative fiction which typically deals with imagination, imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology ...
.


Discography

* ''Poor Man's Copyright (album)'' (1993) * ''Less Than Art'' (1997) * ''Super Secret'' (1998) * ''Sucking Out Loud: Ookla the Mok Live at Windycon 25'' (1999) * ''Smell No Evil'' (2001) * ''oh okay LA'' (2003) * ''Sketched Out (Adam English solo EP)'' (2005) * ''Dave Lennon'' (2005) * ''Less Than Art 10th Anniversary Edition'' (2007) * ''Nerdvana EP'' (2012) * ''vs. Evil'' (2013) * ''Live at Windycon (double album)'' (2017) * ''The Way of Beauty (Via Bella - Rand Bellavia side project)'' (2018) * ''The Tips of My Fingers (Rand Bellavia solo album)'' (2021) * ''Lukewarm'' (2022) * ''The Elbows EP (Rand Bellavia solo EP)'' (2022)


References


External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Ookla the Mok Rock music groups from New York (state) Filkers