Arts Brief: Get your Zs
We always knew something magical would happen if we crossed Larry David and Gene Simmons; and on Aug. 24, the proof will be broadcast on the IFC Channel.
Z Rock, a semi-scripted television series, stars the Brooklyn-based band Z02—comprising brothers Paulie and David Zablidowsky and their pal Joey Cassata—and follows its two-faced existence as both a hard-living party band and a daytime kiddie-rock band called Z Brothers.
“The kids thing just kind of fell into our laps,” David said. So far the band has played the birthday parties for the children of Robert de Niro, Al Roker and a host of other celebrities we had no idea were fathers.
“It was just a job—no more humbling than playing a big arena one night and then having to be a waiter the next day,” Paulie said.
The reality-TV stars aligned when IFC producer Bryan Stearns heard the Z Brothers perform at a kids’ show and pitched the idea for a comedy series, which the boys insist is 95 percent ad libbed. If it weren’t for guest stars, Cassata and the brothers Zablidowsky surely wouldn’t have the chops to pull off a good show, a fact that they’re more than willing to acknowledge.
“Because we were playing ourselves and were surrounded by great talent, we didn’t really have to carry it,” Paulie said.
Guest stars like Joan Rivers, Dave Navarro and comedian Greg Giraldo keep Z Rock plenty funny, along with the help of a couple of regular characters like the strung-out-on-something-awful band manager Dina and Neil, a club manager with the hots for Paulie. Beyond the laughs, groupies and hot WASPy moms abound, a portion of the storyline that feels very, very unscripted.
“The groupies are not really exaggerated,” said David, who, in the show’s first episode, hooks up with the mother of a child whose birthday party the Z Brothers are playing. “But that’s it. We don’t kiss and tell that much, unless it’s on television.”
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