3.16.2005

You want robots? I give you robots.

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An anonymous reader mentioned the possibilty of a robot-themed post tonight, and I'll be damned if I'm going to walk away from a challenge, no matter how casually tossed out it may be!

The truth is, I love robots. Not as much as I love zombies, but robots are up there. The functional possibilities of a robot are fun to entertain, but what I really love about them are the designs. If you're ever fresh out of gift ideas for me, any sort of old robot toy will please me to no end. Those really busted up old tin robot toys that wind up and walk or shoot sparks? Fuggin' sweet.

A lot of song ideas crossed my mind when coming up with this post. Of course, there's the horrid "Mr. Roboto" by Styx, which I have in my iTunes library to help remind me of how wrong things can go in music. I could have thrown out the theme song to "Small Wonder" as well, but that Vicky always creeped me out. Not as much as the son on that show, but creepy. But I can't do that to you. So here are a few more obscure robo-tunes:

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"Tropical Robots" by GUIDED BY VOICES: Just one of many Pollard songs referencing robots. This one is too short to really be about anything. That's why I've got a back-up GBV track: a live version of "Gold Star for Robot Boy" from the "Jellyfish Reflector" bootleg. Did I already include the album version of this in my GBV 40? I'll have to check... the next 10 should be popping up around here in the next week.

"Show Me How the Robots Dance" by LULLABY FOR THE WORKING CLASS: I have to rep Nebraska once again, this time with a band that Cursive's Ted Stevens assembled amidst what seemed to be Cursive's demise. (Ted was also in a band called Polecat with a high school chum of mine named Boz Hicks. If anyone can snag me an .mp3 of their 7", "Chinese Water Torture," I would love you forever.) Again, this isn't exactly robot metaphor material on par with that Styx jam... but maybe we're better off for that.

"March of the Ciccone Robots" by CICCONE YOUTH: What's a robot medley without a totally creepy instrumental? And who can make a creepy instrumental better than the aural maniacs in Sonic Youth? Ciccone Youth was a side project the band created as a tribute to Madonna, and "The Whitey Album" is the freaky result. Check out AllMusic.com's review of it, which echoes a lot of my own sentiments.

"Do the Robot" by BO DIDDLEY: I wouldn't have found this ridiculous slice of robo-funk without the help of Bubblegum Machine, a blog I visit on a monthly basis. I'm not even sure he gives actual dance steps in the lyrics of the song, but Bo apparently knows his 'bots. I wonder what the guys in his band were thinking when they started introducing this into the set. "Hold up, brother. Are we trying to get down and dirty... about being robots?" That's okay boys. In Bo's future, all robots will rock Brillo afros that look like Roberta Flack's on the cover of "Quiet Fire."

"Robot Snares Got No Cadence or Balance" by PREFUSE 73: Another instrumental (from the album, "Extinguished: Outtakes"), but this one is much more soothing than the Sonic Youth contribution. You know what... go smoke something, put this song on a loop and go watch this clip of Transformers breakdancing.

Go robo.


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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Damn, could've been scoring big time on all your birthdays. I'll keep the robot idea in mind.

countrygrrl said...

glad u ar a big uncle tupelo fan...not many people know about the band but with the cds being available again with extra tracks on mid price hopefully a few more folk will give them a whirl. I like my country rough as a bare's ass sometimes and they come as loose and ragged as that..

RP said...

excellent selection. may i add the following suggestions if you are looking to expand on the theme:
I'm Seein' Robots - Kool Keith (I listened to this walking down a crowded street in Tokyo & it freaked me out in a good way)
Robot - Plastics (supreme Tokyo 80's new wave band, hard to find but worth the trip!)