Hot on the heels of their critically acclaimed indie debut, JOSTLE IT! Von Robinson & His Own Universe (VR&HOU) are currently recording their first full-length album. They have signed with a new label and are working with a team that has...
Hot on the heels of their critically acclaimed indie debut, JOSTLE IT!¢ Von Robinson & His Own Universe (VR&HOU) are currently recording their first full-length album. They have signed with a new label and are working with a team that has delivered hits for Apples In Stereo and numerous Sub Pop label releases
VR&HOU have been featured on NPR’s Open Mic national series and has consistently been one of the top vote getters with fans on OurStage.com. On the west coast, KSCU picked VR&HOU as one of its “Top Myspace Music Finds of 2007.” They earned a spot in “The Winner’s Circle Showcase” at The Paradise Lounge in Boston, who’s organizer, Stephanie Fellingham, commented, “You guys were an amazing addition to the line-up, and you really did a phenomenal job of bringing up the energy level in the room!” In live performances, VR&HOU deliver music, humor and social satire for an experience that has drawn comparisons to, “a modern Smothers Brothers.” They serve up high-energy entertainment, earning them a reputation best conveyed by Sentimentalist Magazine “Boundless energy with a bit of Flaming Lips’ grandeur.” Von formed the band as a vehicle to communicate within pop culture about matters that matter. He serves up big, melodic tunes, rich with harmonies and underlain with socially and politically relevant lyrics, à la The Daily Show. WVKR (Vassar) has branded it as, "sarcasmopop!” Von Robinson and His Own Universe offer several entertainment packages to fit any budget or room The rock quartet—for energetic, danceable clubs and events The acoustic trio—for coffeehouses, smaller spaces and budgets The duet or solo singer/songwriter for very intimate events.
"Impressive pop subversives!" by Sentimentalist Magazine The universe of NYC’s Von Robinson can be compared to a poppy field: looks and sounds cheerfully packed full of bright, red petals from afar, but when you think about poppies main use, illegal...
"a musical force of nature with a mission" by Powerpopaholic “Von Robinson is best described as a musical force of nature with a mission, and this album is his first salvo. "Satellites and Totem Poles" is not just a great melodic slice of genius, but a...
"Impressive pop subversives!" by Sentimentalist Magazine The universe of NYC’s Von Robinson can be compared to a poppy field: looks and sounds cheerfully packed full of bright, red petals from afar, but when you think about poppies main use, illegal substances, life’s not so rosy. So too with VR—the music on this EP packs a melody-driven, multi-harmony punch, yet it’s armed with lyrics like “write it off as business or charity if we happen to discuss God or poverty,” that make the message more than a sarcastic subtext. Intelligent, fun and crisp, with vocals that recall Elvis Costello and a boundless energy with a bit of Flaming Lips’ grandeur. Impressive pop subversives!"
"a musical force of nature with a mission" by Powerpopaholic “Von Robinson is best described as a musical force of nature with a mission, and this album is his first salvo. "Satellites and Totem Poles" is not just a great melodic slice of genius, but a scathing political commentary as well… I am just drooling in anticipation of a full length album. He is a really accessible artist and I hope you buy his album and encourage him to make more great music!”
"If any band deserves to be signed, it’s VR&HOU" by Monkeyfeesh Genuinely talented and intelligent, with a firm grasp of the technicalities of song writing and a real knack for fresh, sunny indie pop. Few bands nowadays seem to realise the importance of good melodies and harmonies, but Von Robinson have it down to a tee. You could make comparisons with American indie bands such as The Shins or The Decemberists ; however there is a hidden gem in the lyrics...This is where [VR&HOU] shine, they manage to combine lyrics which make you think with a style that makes you feel chirpy and happy. It is refreshing and unique, and I eagerly await the arrival of a full length album. If any band deserves to be signed, it’s Von Robinson and His Own Universe, as they provide the antidote to shallow, samey pop music of today."
"so deceptively un-weird..." by Roll Magazine Review by Peter Aaron
The debut EP by Brooklyn-to-Wappingers Falls transplants Von Robinson & His Own Universe is so deceptively un-weird that it is, in fact, totally and extremely weird. The five beyond-unabashed pop tracks on Jostle It!#� are smothered with enough sugar to fill the Marshmallow Fluff factory, but Robinson’s lyrics, pregnant with brainy and surreal political protest, don’t even begin to register until the third or fourth spin.
Aurally this is quirky, orchestrated, Farfisa-fueled bubblegum that pulls from Squeeze, early Elvis Costello, Burt Bacharach, and the Beach Boys; it makes perfect sense that the band has a cut on a recent Elephant 6 Recordings compilation, since that label’s pysch-pop acts (Apples in Stereo, Neutral Milk Hotel, Olivia Tremor Control) figure heavily into the sound as well. But the words are another cartoon animal entirely. The Indiana-bred Robinson claims fellow Hoosier Kurt Vonnegut as a chief lyrical muse, and even quotes the late genius in the anti-military/industrial bon-bon mot “Satellites and Totem Poles.” It takes an oddly subversive pop record to get one hum-singing along to lines like “We’re one flipping lovely gang / eating velvet and we / write it off as business or charity / if we happen to discuss God or poverty / Beware the moat around our circle of empathy” (from “Xxxtraordinary Rendition”).
What is it they say about catching more flies with sugar than salt? Still not exactly sure why anyone would want to catch those darn flies, but whatever: Robinson’s sticky-sweet popaganda lemming trap is a clever one indeed. And he’s in the studio now building a full-length model for release this year.
"Von Robinson’s brand of “agit-pop” works well by The Deli Magazine Von Robinson’s brand of “agit-pop” works well because it is exactly that: packing enough biting social commentary to agitate the most apathetic listeners and enough multi-layered pop melody—reminiscent of Elvis Costello, The Zombies or Beach Boys—to placate any pop-rock fan. Sharp, disparaging lyrics could put the less-politically minded off, yet Robinson’s delivery is light enough of songs like “Briana” to keep his bold sentiments from feeling preachy. Unlike the in-your-face political rhetoric of some punk bands or folk musicians, Robinson omits specific references to events or politicians, dealing instead in the subtleties and personal observations. If there is a way to spoon-feed a loaded message to listeners, it would be through the sort of lyrical ambiguities and euphonic songs found on Jostle It!"