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On the Record with Steve Sciulli

"Kraftwerk is my daddy!"

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Steve Sciulli has played for decades in Pittsburgh bands like Carsickness and Ploughman's Lunch, but he says he's never played a cover song live — until this Sat., May 5, when he plays the entirety of Kraftwerk's 22-minute opus, "Autobahn," at Howlers.

Do you remember when you first heard "Autobahn"?

Back when dinosaurs walked Pittsburgh, there was a wonderful AM radio station that would play the full 20-minute track. I listened on a little transistor radio, and the song very much reminded me of a German version of The Beach Boys — of course, later Kraftwerk would say The Beach Boys influenced them.

Why break out a cover after 30-plus years of playing music?

Kraftwerk appeared at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City earlier this month. Tickets were $25 but scalpers had them going for five grand, and true fans stood no chance of getting in. I wanted to make it an "If you can't make it to MOMA, come to Bloomfield" event.

Why is your current musical project called Raised By Machines?

When I was born I was a pound-and-a-half, very premature — I was given last rites, they didn't expect me to live. I was kept in an incubator, and I wasn't ever touched by humans. Even when I was touched by a nurse, it was with gloved hands. The only life I knew was these machines all around me.

Do you think that kind of start is why you like Kraftwerk so much?

Kraftwerk is my daddy!

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