Wednesday 23 Jul

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

Kierston White - Don't Write Love Songs

The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?

Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.

07/01/2014 | Comments 0

Depth & Current - Dysrhythmia

"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
06/24/2014 | Comments 0

Weak Knees - “IceBevo”

Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
06/17/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Aye, Robot

Aye, Robot

Yes, Lousy Robot knows its songs sound happy. Yes, Lousy Robot knows they’re actually sad. Yes, Lousy Robot wants you to dance anyway.

Joshua Boydston April 20th, 2011

Lousy Robot with People, People
9 p.m. Thursday Opolis
113 N. Crawford, Norman, 820-0951

Indie pop isn’t the first thing people associate with Albuquerque, N.M. The city is better known for hot air balloons and green chilies, but it did give us folk-rock favorites The Shins.

Now, Lousy Robot attempts to tread a similar path out of the desert. It’s made progress in spreading its music nationally through television, finding its tunes on MTV and Bravo. And bassist Dandee Fleming’s favorite placement? “Man v. Food.”

“It was in Detroit, the episode about the world’s largest hamburger. I heard it organically, didn’t even know it was being placed on the show,” he said. “One of my friends hit me and said, ‘That’s you.’ I was like, ‘I’ve never eaten a hamburger that big.’ Then it dawned on me that our song was playing.”

Finding their music on the boob tube is surprising in more ways than one. The perky, upbeat melodies certainly seem like a perfect match, but the cynical, disheartening lyrics residing underneath don’t. It’s been described as “the happiest music ever about feeling sad,” and the despair often takes a few listens before it manifests.

“When people see us live, they come up to us and say, ‘These songs are actually kind of sad, aren’t they?’ They definitely are,” Fleming said.

Anguish has always been at the heart of songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Jim Phillips’ work, and the rest of Lousy Robot was OK with that … but decided to fight that gloom with a little gleam.

“What ends up happening is we have this song that is musically upbeat and poppy, and the lyrical content isn’t necessarily so,” Fleming said. “A little bit of it is a conscious decision. We want people to be able to dance around and have a good time at our live shows, so we go that direction.”

People say, “These songs are sad, aren’t they?” Yes, they are.

—Dandee Fleming

The success they’ve had is a testament to that. Since forming in 2003, the ’bot has released three albums, including this year’s “Hail the Conquering Fool.” Having shared the stage with the likes of adored Oklahoma bands Colourmusic and Shiny Toy Guns — and Stillwater’s People, People, come Thursday night at Opolis — the group seems well poised to become Albuquerque’s next big export.

“Sometimes people around here think that because The Shins came out of Albuquerque, no other band can get that big,” Fleming said. “They can, though, as long as they’ve got something worth listening to.”

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