God forbid this place should ever turn into a music blog.
Not to say we don’t all love music. We do. Some of us even make wicked awesome mixtapes. USB-styles. But if there’s one thing I think the intersphere has enough of (other than porn sites, of course, although I’m not so sure we can ever have enough of those), it’s music blogs. Nobody likes to prattle on about obscure shit quite like indie music nerds, and there are few places more ideally suited to prattle than blogs. Ahem.
So I’m kind of breaking my own rule by gushing about a band on Res Ipsa, but this is an emergency. You, my dear readers, need to hear about this now. NOW.
Now, before it’s too late, before one of their tunes accompanies an Apple commercial to which an annoying, mange-bearded local hipster, sallow hands shoved disdainfully in the back-pockets of ill-fitting skinny jeans, sneers, “Oh yeah, I remember those guys, I bought their first seven inch after reading about them on iknowmoreaboutobscuremusicthanyoudo.com — they were better before they got signed.”
This band, my friends, is GOBBLE GOBBLE (AKA GBLGBL). And your local hipster is lying. They just keep getting better by the day and there’s no end to the magic in sight.
Truth be told, GBLGBL’s feverish electro-unicorn dance-pop project is already lighting up blogs like fireflies in a pixie forest. Brainchild of the incomparable Cecil Frena, GBLGBL has made the rounds on all your favorite indie mainstays, including everyone’s standard for noticeability, Pitchfork (more than once, in fact). The hype is well and truly on, as their growing army of Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and YouTube fans will attest. A North American tour just ended, and further North American and European dates are in the works.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” you say. “I’m already inundated with everyone’s ‘thing you really gotta hear’. You know, including the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. You better have more than just ‘blogs like them’.”
You want more reasons then, do you? You want me to convince you?
“Yeah. Hurry up, I have to go to the bathroom.”
Okay. Fine. Hold it just a sec — we both know your colostomy bag isn’t quite at bursting point.
You will love GBLGBL for at least one of the following reasons:
- The band is a brilliant example of the DIY music movement sweeping across North America and Europe. It’s a self-starter ethos that’s beginning to turn the music industry upside down. And the movement goes beyond just creating and recording music at the “local” level. Many of GBLGBL’s instruments are homemade: colorful objects handcrafted to coalesce with the digital brain that drives Cecil’s magical organ. (Not THAT magical organ, ya pervs.) Props are multipurpose and central to the fun. This music grows from its own soil, blooming into a live show that sprouts tropical jungles in humid human spaces.
- And that live show is… well, it’s indescribable, to be quite honest. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Pixie-winged and frog-fisted, Frena spreads his arms to send his minions forth: goblin dancing fuses with total neon overdose and crowds find it impossible to stand still. Every show turns into a sweaty gyrating dancefest — those few who dare remain motionless will be embraced by any one of three naked men clothed only in masks and tutus and convinced to join the fray. Eventually, you HAVE to move, and move you will! Some shows are pure spaced-out raves, while others result in heaving topless moshpits. Other descriptions include “flu pop”, “gay R&B”, and “day-care rave” — regardless of how you choose to label the show, people love it. LOVE it.
- And lots of people have SEEN it, because these four tour like nothing you’ve ever encountered before. GBLGBL promises to play anywhere, including your basement, and this is no lie. The intrepid quartet set off from their native Edmonton, Canada, in May this year, taking with them (in a single van) all their instruments and a full PA outfit, and only returned home last week. In the intervening 6 months they played upwards of 130 shows in venues ranging from small living rooms to large indiefests like Pop Montreal and New York’s Glasslands. I can attest, as someone who saw one of the first and one of the last performances of that tour, that the act never diminishes in intensity or joy. They’re GBLN just as crazy now as they did then!
- When they’re not GBLN, they’re likely gobblin’ pizza with locals, laughing and chatting and just being all-around nice guys. The boys in GBLGBL are the most open and approachable musicians I’ve ever met. They’re intelligent, they’re quirky, they’re friendly, and (unlike yours truly) they’re completely genuine and sincere. While you can’t help but love Calvin, Corin, and Graham, I have to make special note here of my good friend Cecil. Main GBLGBL composer and lyricist, he is perhaps the most brilliant and eloquent man you will ever meet who prefers to trim his own ginger Sideshow Bob locks into lopsided mutt-cuts and crack fart puns all night. What a turkey!
- But ultimately, it all comes down to the music, and no matter how much jive they got, turkeys just can’t make music like this. Frena has a genius ear for spotting melodic hooks in electrodistortion, gluing them together in intricate rhythms with a wizard’s touch honed by years spent playing in progressive and technical rock, punk, and hardcore projects. Though each song’s lyrics seem to coalesce naturally from its own sonic froth, closer inspection reveals Frena’s gift for subtly converting diverse philosophies and deep introspection into easy sing-along cadences. I make it sound complex, but take one listen and you’ll know it’s all so, so simple: throbbing, pulsing beat that tugs at your hips + hypnotic melody that taps your toes for you + catchy refrain you can’t help singing to yourself in public elevators = GBLGBL!
This music is infectious fun that everyone can dance to by themselves in their bedrooms. Everyone. Even your dad.
Try the electric “Lawn Knives”, the effervescent “Eat Sun, Son”, or the anthemic “Wrinklecarver”. Maybe you prefer the deranged cover of The Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind”, or the incantations of “Meteor Eschat”.
Choose any song, really. Take a listen. I dare you not to dance. GOBBLE GOBBLE!
CHECK OUT THE GOBBLE GOBBLE DISCOGRAPHY
EASY DOWNLOAD PACKAGE (all songs copyright and provided by the good graces of GOBBLE GOBBLE)
SOME SWEET GBLGBL YOUTUBE VIDS:
OKAY GO EMPTY THAT COLOSTOMY BAG NOW!!!