RoMak & the Space Pirates “Never Gonna Give You Up,” directed by Be Like.

Local band RoMak & the Space Pirates, who last caught our attention for releasing their debut full-length as a USB flash drive bracelet, have done it again. This time, the electro-rock foursome is RoMak-rolling fans and random YouTube viewers with its cover of Rick Astley's aging hit single “Never Gonna Give You Up” and accompanying video.

The Space Pirates' video is more than a spoof of a meme. The video, which largely mimics the source material for the Rickrolling phenomenon, intersperses footage of Project Chanology's Scientology demonstrations throughout the series of goofy dance moves. The video, says bassist [tlr], is the band's comment on the movement and Anonymous, the loose confederation of nameless associated activists, many of whom have also taken to creating safe spaces online for Iranian protesters in recent weeks. Members of Anonymous have been known to incorporate Rickrolls in protest.

[tlr], who says that he learned about Anonymous after stumbling into a few Stickcam chat rooms, notes that there are no Anons in the band.

“It's an interesting twist in cultural evolution,” he says, “So we wanted to become involved with it and the best way we could conceive of doing that is by creating the Romak-rolling video.”

“[Anonymous] is enabling people to voice their protests to organizations who are not afraid to harass their critics,” [tlr] continues. “Anonymity in social networks enables people plan their actions in safety.”

In another innovative move, the cover is set to be part of a “split download” with Sacramento-based Vyncent Flaw. Based on the concept of the split 7″ single, where two bands shared one small release, this four-song compilation will be available as a single file download that the two bands will begin offering for free through their respective websites sometime within the next few days. [tlr] said that the Space Pirates opted to work with Vyncent Flaw in part because of the Northern California band's incorporation of memes into their songs.

In the meantime, the Space Pirates' cover has earned nearly 1000 views since the video first appeared on YouTube last Saturday.

Read Alexia Tsotsis' article on Anonymous from February, 2009.

LA Weekly