I have seen the future. I have already been there, and I already have my favorite album of 2014 thus far. It’s true… The Rock Father’s Urban Assault Vehicle is also a time machine, equipped with a Flux Capacitor installed by Doctor Emmett Brown on a visit to Hill Valley, California last year. And, while all of you will have to wait for three months until you’re able to enjoy TALES FROM THE MONSTROSITY SCROLLS, the new album from RAINBOW BEAST & THE ROCK BAND LAND ROCKERS, I have already set the dial for February 11, 2014 and returned with a copy.
Are you curious, yet, dear readers of The Rock Father? There is much more that I could say about this record, but I’ll save it for an “official” review. In the meantime, here’s the album announcement…
Embracing the long, rich history of dark, mysterious, and playful subject matter à la The Brothers Grimm, Roald Dahl, Lemony Snicket, Neil Gaiman, and Tim Burton, San Francisco’s beloved band Rainbow Beast looks forward to the February 11 release of Tales from the Monstrosity Scrolls, a collaborative effort with the youthful Rock Band Land Rockers.
The album is not intended for the youngest listeners or the faint of heart! it explores the edge of fantastic creativity that is the homeland of youth in our time.
Rainbow Beast is a band born from the minds of children, embodied in the lives of professional musicians, and straddling the border between the imaginary (but realistic) world of Rock Band Land and the real (but often fantastical) city of San Francisco. The band consists of Marcus Stoesz (vocals, guitar, keys), Brian Gorman (drums, backing vocals), and Jen Aldrich (bass).
In 2009, after years of performing as touring musicians, Gorman and Stoesz created Rock Band Land, an ongoing, San Francisco-based collaborative program that offers a venue for elementary-age kids to explore creativity through original rock music, story writing, and storytelling. Young rockers are encouraged to run with any and all ideas that inspire them. Anything can be explored in a song: fear, death, or alienation, as well as love, joy, and endless kindness. The young rockers are challenged to be original, be kind, and to resist the urge to sing about poop. All Rock Band Land songs must, in the end, be positive and full of redemption.
The members of Rainbow Beast act as interpreters, mentors and curators for the youth of Rock Band Land, and all the music that the band records and performs was written with the Rock Band Land Rockers.
Lemony Snicket (a.k.a.best-selling author Daniel Handler) has joined Rock Band Land‘s cheering section, summing up his enthusiasm for Tales from the Monstrosity Scrolls: “If the Rolling Stones were in elementary school, if Tom Waits had a sleepover party, if Prince was a second grade teacher, they still couldn’t make anything as awesome as this.”
This awesomeness begins with “Happy Clouds,” an exciting opener in the mode of Radiohead’s “Airbag” that sets the tone for the entire record. When the greed of clouds grows to the breaking point, and the weather becomes dangerous for all living creatures, the world finds itself reliant on some unlikely heroes: cereal-wielding parrots. Paying homage to ’60s bands like The Kinks, Small Faces, and the Animals, “Ice Girl” surrounds simple pop styling with copious charges of fuzz and plenty of riffs, as a young girl, trapped under a frozen lake for many years, emerges with a wonderful superpower and commits her life to helping others. The soft swing of “The Little Big Easy” contains a nod to New Orleans jazz, while the slow burning arc of the song (similar to Wilco at its most tender) tells of a fortune cookie prophesy concerning the rise of a man destined to save a race of creatures allergic to electric light by constructing for them an underground city.
When not rocking out in Rock Band Land or with Rainbow Beast, Brian Gorman is one third of the critically acclaimed band Tartufi. Marcus Stoesz is songwriter and frontman for the wildly talented and influential band Paper Airplanes. Jen Aldrich was longtime bassist for the band Excuses for Skipping before temporarily giving her transparent, 4-stringed thunder machine a short break while she raised two future rock stars.
Check out http://rockbandland.org/ for more.