Do androids dream of electric sheep?
So tonight my roommate returns home from work and tells me "You got a package." Since I write the occasional music review or do the occasional CD trade with someone, I expected to see a little padded envelope. I wasn't expecting anything else, since the only online order I'd made recently was for a Hank Williams box set that arrived two days ago. Curious, I open the shoebox-sized package and find this:
Hell yes, a tin wind-up robot that walks and shoots sparks behind its faceplate! Following the web address on the box, I headed to Robot Island, a fantastic toy store that specializes in old fashioned (and reproduced) metal toys.
Who wants to take credit for this gift? If Jay, the store "owner", is reading, I can only assume that you're the anonymous reader who asked for a robot-themed post last week. If this was your doing, thanks so much for the awesome gift. How did you get my address, though? I'm confused.
Anyway, this person's (completely unexpected) generosity made me think about two things: 1) the Internet is a great thing for letting us come into contact with the kind of cool, insanely helpful people that we rarely meet in real life, and 2) I have to take an immediate opportunity to let the world know some of my other loves, in case anyone else out there has access to them... things I love like Irish whiskey, Tasty Kakes, expensive DVDs, any combination of chocolate/peanut butter, rare or unreleased albums, pornography, Omaha Steaks, the art of Paul Klee, and - last but most definitely not least - Heidi Klum, Chan Marshall and Tina Fey, together or individually.
Send along any of those items... or really anything you want... and I'm your whore. For example, more robot songs:
"Robot" by THE FUTUREHEADS: The song that I mentioned to start this all off in the first place, and the last damned Futureheads song I'm posting for a long time! Maybe.
"Attack, El Robot! Attack!" by CALEXICO: The best song title in the bunch, for sure. This instrumental is from Calexico's excellent FEAST OF WIRE album. How excellent is it? The picky pricks over at Pitchfork gave it an 8.9 rating. See them live if you get the chance. Flawless.
"Funky Robot" by RUFUS THOMAS: Bo wasn't the only funkster who knew the power of the robot. Rufus Thomas, "the crown prince of dance" took his own stab at the phenomenon. I'm not sure which one of these guys took a stab at it first, but I'm sure they both preceeded the breakdancing version of the robot. Walk tall, ye great pioneers.
"Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Part 1" by THE FLAMING LIPS: Perhaps the best selling robot-influenced concept record since Killroy? I dunno. I do know that whenever I'm at a Lips show and the crowd is singing along with an absurd lyric like "Yoshimi, they don't believe me/but you won't let those robots eat me," I get a huge smile on my face.
"My friends are toys. I make them."
UPDATE: In the "Credit Where Credit is Due" department, it was my friend Brian who sent me the secret robot. This may be the third most important gift Brian has ever given me, after the freaky talking Yoda doll and my introduction to the music of Uncle Tupelo. Thanks again, Brian.