South by Southwest is a big ol’ music festival in Austin Texas. My band, Seamonster, has been asked to perform down there on March 15th. This is fairly short notice, and I’d need to fly there and I simply cannot afford to do so at this time. BUT I’d really love to get down there SO I’ve decided to have a TUMBLR BOOK SALE FUNDRAISER THINGEE.
I read A LOT of books. In my closets I’ve got a few hundred extra books piled up that don’t fit on my shelves. I figure some of you might be nutty bibliophiles like myself and be interested in snagging some crazy book from my personal library - so I’m putting this paypal donation button down here.
If you donate TEN DOLLARS or more, I will send you a book at random, and I will also include a handwritten thank you note with a tiny drawing in it as well (since besides making music as Seamonster, I’m also a cartoonist) also, if you don’t have the new Seamonster record yet if you donate FIFTEEN DOLLARS or more I can send you mp3s of that too if you want - the more you donate, the bigger the book I’ll send.
Subjects are all over the map, from biographies and poetry to music writing, philosophy, fiction, classics literature, and art history. I know this is a silly way to raise money for airplane tickets and travel costs, but maybe that makes it slightly more awesome? I don’t know. But I appreciate everyone who even reads this crazy post, and a huge thanks to anyone who donates - You rock! Sincerely, Todd/Seamonster
If you’ve never heard Seamonster but would like to, here is a link to my bandcamp: seamonster.bandcamp.com
AND here is my website, where you can read a bunch of comics for free: toddbot.com
THE YEAR IN GOLD ROBOT VINYL RELEASES
One of the great things about a year ending is that it gives us a chance to sit back and reflect on all that has happened in our little world. Here at Gold Robot, 2012 has been fairly epic, no matter how you measure it. We released 9 vinyl records over the last 12 months (out of a total of 30 since the label was founded in 2007). The growth of the label is a testament to the artists and their talent. I’d like to think that GRR occupies a small spot of the music landscape where we support creative artists and projects that might not have been made otherwise. So, thanks for everyone’s support thus far, and we hope to continue to bring you interesting and entertaining releases for many years to come. Here’s a chronological snapshot of our year in vinyl, meant to introduce us to folks who might not have ever heard of Gold Robot or to remind the longtime fans of some releases that might have slipped past their radar.
[Feb 21, 2012] Yalls - Fantasy 7”
I have loved working with Dan Casey (aka Yalls) over the last 1+ years, the dude is amazingly talented and prolific. In my eyes, this is the perfect 7” as it has three brilliant tracks that showcase the Yalls sound. I’m really looking forward to his proper debut LP, tentatively scheduled for 2013. (buy the record)
[Feb 28, 2012] Roman Ruins - Homebuilding 12”
Seeing this record finally come into existence was one of the highlights of my year, as I’d been hearing drafts and glimpses for a long while. While Graham Hill (aka Roman Ruins) might be better known as the drummer for Papercuts or former tour/session drummer for Beach House, he’s also the primary reason this label exists. I can’t recommend this album enough. (buy the record)
[March 20, 2012] James & Evander - Let’s Go b/w Welcome to Planet Dance 7”
Another local act which was an amazing pleasure to work with this year was James & Evander. I loved how they approached this 7” as a concept piece to explore new sounds, and the success of their recent LP makes it that much sweeter. (buy the record)
[May 15, 2012] Conveyor - Mane 7”
I was introduced to this amazing band early in the year and couldn’t be happier for these talented guys out of Brooklyn. The two tracks on this beautiful 7”, combined with the artwork, are an example of why we’re in this business in the first place. I’ve seen their debut LP on many year-end lists already, which is wholly deserved. (buy the record)
[June 19, 2012] Monster Rally - Beyond the Sea 12”
Over the last few years, no other artist has pushed the label harder than Monster Rally. His design sensibility is perfectly matched for what we try to do, his output is unparalleled, and his aesthetic vision continues to inspire us. His latest LP marked our first gatefold LP (and largest 12” run to date), and the sounds add to his growing and impressive portfolio. (sold out, download here)
[September 4, 2012] RUMTUM / Catamaran - New Goth Gypsies 7”
You’ve probably heard it before, but we love to make split 7” records. Their place in the music culture has a special spot in my heart, and the ability to pair artists and perhaps expand their respective audiences is really intriguing. The two tracks on this 7”, combined with some gorgeous packaging, make it an important part of our catalog. (buy the record)
[September 11, 2012] Seamonster - Baldessari 12”
This is exactly the type of record which Gold Robot aspires to release. When Todd Webb (aka Seamonster) and I started working together 3 years ago, first corresponding with letters and packages and eventually resulting in the Two Birds 7”, I knew I had found an artist who really understood what GRR was trying to do. This LP was dreamed up by the artist, and the principles and story behind how it was made couldn’t be cooler. (buy the record)
[December 4, 2012] Monster Rally & RUMTUM - Coasting 12”
This 12” featured our first full-sided etching along with a collection of sounds foraged by a couple of talented musicians with similar passions. From this end, it’s really amazing to see how the tracks take shape and how each artist puts their stamp on the final sound. (sold out, download here)
[December 4, 2012] Seamonster - Neighbors 7”
Our only collaborative release of 2012 found us working with the amazing Turntable Kitchen on this limited edition record as part of their pairings box subscription series. Seamonster recorded a couple of tracks that had previously never been released, and they’re both quite arresting. (buy the record)
Thanks again for a wonderful year of vinyl, we couldn’t have done it without the fans, the writers, the collaborators, and (of course) the artists.
This one has been in the works for a while, and we’re super excited that it has finally been announced. Our next vinyl release happens to be a collaborative effort with Turntable Kitchen as part of their Pairings Box series. Seamonster’s Neighbors 7” is limited to 460 total copies (400 on blue vinyl, 60 on gold vinyl) and is only available physically through their subscription series.
The music of Virginia Beach’s Seamonster (a.k.a. Adrian Todd Webb) has long been a favorite in our home. Although it’d be a mistake to over-generalize his style, I think it is fair to say that, by and large, Webb is known for recording tunes that are crisp, thoughtful, and exude a tender warmth. It’s also true that he generally favors a DIY-styled sonic palette that collects sounds from a combination of traditional and non-traditional sources from which he creates his folksy, often quirky, key-board anchored tunes. His Two Birds EP was one of my favorites released in 2010 and his new Baldessari LP is similarly excellent and engaging. As you can imagine, we were honored when he and his label (our good friends at Gold Robot Records) suggested we partner for this release through the Pairings Box.
Although not precisely “new,” both of the tracks featured here are exclusive to this release and have never been previously released in any form. The a-side “Crystal Tear” is based upon a novel by Alfred Jarry and features instrumentation recorded from 2010 paired with newly recorded vocals. It builds upon a gently swaying, clean melody that is pillowed with a mesh of shimmering tones, taut acoustic guitar, and a slow, steady rhythm. The result is a soundscape that is hazy and pleasantly dream-like.
Meanwhile, the b-side, “I Thought I Saw You In My Peripheral Vision,” is built from music Webb originally recorded in 2005 with an old Yamaha keyboard. It’s now partnered alongside newly recorded vocals and a few “iPad calculator flourishes.” It’s quietly buoyant and charmingly playful with its laid-back, head-bobbingly upbeat tune and swirling keys. Together, the pair of tunes are an irresistibly fun set that compliment one another beautifully.
If you haven’t checked out this amazing video for Seamonster’s “Normandy Landscape” which was directed by Chad Hartigan, then now is the time. The track is off the recently released Baldessari LP, which is available as a limited edition 12” and digitally.
Seamonster named the album after John Baldessari and notes that his creative appropriation of discarded materials to make new and interesting art was a huge inspiration to the process of making this particular group of songs. As an extension of that theme, the video was created solely from Seamonster’s own family collection of Super8 home movies, made by his grandparents nearly fifty years ago.
For those of you that have already purchased the Baldessari 12” by Seamonster (thanks!), you can also download a special liner booklet created by Warren Craghead to accompany your fine piece of limited edition vinyl. It includes instructions on how to print, fold, and assemble the booklet.
Craghead created all of the art for the release, where multiple references to various works of John Baldessari are incorporated throughout the packaging, including the yellow color of the record itself. The front cover depicts “I Am Making Art” - a video of Baldessari’s from 1971.
Purchase the 12”, which is limited to only 250 copies, here.
Seamonster’s Baldessari LP drops today! The vinyl edition is limited to 250 copies pressed on easter yellow wax and all orders will instantly receive an MP3 download of the album. The digital version also includes bonus remixes by Monster Rally, Yalls, Roman Ruins, Eric Steuer, and DJP & MrT!
The album is named after John Baldessari, an artist whose creative appropriation of discarded materials to make new and interesting art was a huge inspiration to the process of making this particular group of songs. The following instruments were used to create this record: Casio Sk-10 toy keyboard (which he received as a Christmas present in second grade), Yamaha PortaSound PSS-130 (thrifted), ukulele, an old iphone (purchased from a friend for $50), a Campbell’s soup can, and a broken Danelectro guitar.
“The results are sublime and beautiful.”
“Musically, Webb balances elements of traditional songwriting against his conceptual musical explorations. For example, there are clear sonic road signs pointing to his Elephant 6-inspired background (especially Neutral Milk Hotel and early Apples In Stereo). Throughout, lo-fi psych gives way to fully textured compositions and delicately threaded instrumentation.”
- Turntable Kitchen
“Building a lush orchestra of what I sometimes think of as “miniature noises” with less presence, but that in Webb’s work gain a new potential to inform the overall system, which unfolds most spectacularly in the presence of his voice.”
- Decoder Magazine
Buy the limited edition 12” now over at the GRR shop!