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Arts & Culture

Gary Sweeney Interviews Hyperbubble

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

Gary Sweeney and Hyperbubble, trying to think of ways to rhyme "tonight" with "tonight"


Hyperbubble is the San Antonio art scene’s favorite electro-synth-pop/cyberpunk duo. The husband-wife team of Jessica and Jeff DeCuir both came out of the University of Texas at San Antonio art department in the ’90s, played with various bands, met, were married and formed Hyperbubble. They played their first live show in 2003 during First Friday in the dark, cramped hallway leading to Cactus Bra and Three Walls art galleries at Blue Star. I was so smitten by their songs and stage presence that I had them perform at my art opening at the Southwest School of Art later that year.

Combining infectious dance grooves with smart but hilarious lyrics, Jess and Jeff have built a rabid regional fan base, and an even larger audience in the U.K., where they released CDs and vinyl with the label Filthy Little Angels and Glasgow-based Bubblegum Records.

One of the highlights of 2012 for me was when I was asked to perform with Hyperbubble at Luminaria—“perform” in the sense that I basically danced around, played drums using Barbie dolls as sticks, surfed a Bongo Board, drew Leon the cat, and generally acted like a jackass while the real talent played music behind me. It was huge fun.

A 10th anniversary show (“An Evening with Hyperbubble”) will take place at the McNay Art Museum on Thursday, November 14, at 7 p.m.

Check out Jeff’s top five favorite Hyperbubble videos here!

Which came first for you: Art or music?

JEFF: According to my baby book, my first two sentences were “Come on baby, light my fire” and “Donald Duck eats soup,” so I guess both.

JESS: For me it was music. I grew up playing the saxophone, and my sister still plays the French horn. We had a piano and we sang in church and school choirs. I got serious about art later in high school. Around the same time, at age 16, I got a Casio synthesizer and joined a cover band with high-school friends that played at parties and school events.

What is your first art or music memory? JESS: My first art memory is my dad bringing home huge maps that he designed at the county highway department—we’d use the bad side as drawing paper, so we always had something to draw on. I remember drawing with crayons at age 3 or 4, and he came over and showed me how to draw really fast and with confidence. My first music performance memory is singing “Mah Nà Mah Nà,” written by Piero Umiliani. It was popularized by The Red Skelton Show and later The Muppet Show. My mom would have my sister and I perform this song for guests, and I’d come in with a really low “mah na mah na,” while my sister would go “do doo do doo doo!” I couldn’t understand why everyone was laughing, as I thought we sounded really good!

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