Bo Bim
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Bo Bim

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"Bands in the 'Burg"

Bands in the ’Burg
a guide to the ninth annual Millennium Music Conference

by Lucy Redcay, Jeff Royer and Patrick Kirchner
press photo

If you’re cruising through Harrisburg this month, say between June 23 and 26, and notice hundreds of rock and roll-looking types piling out of vans all disheveled with tons of band equipment, it’s because the ninth annual Millennium Music Conference is coming to town. “We call it the summer school of rock and roll,” quips MMC founder John Harris. “It’s an opportunity to meet and work with industry professionals and other musicians. … [Bands] may meet a producer that helps them and that’s a way to advance their career.”

The conference, held at the Crowne Plaza, is an opportunity for independent bands from around the country and a handful from around the world to get one step closer to the big time. Trade shows, business sessions and showcases are offered during the day, and at only $55 to register, “we are the most affordable and musician-friendly event of its nature,” states Harris. “I know we are the cheapest to register, the cheapest for sponsors … and we have a history of some success in this area.”

One of this year’s keynote speakers is local-turned-national musician Jeffrey Gaines. “It’s a musical keynote,” explains Harris. “He’ll walk up with his guitar, he’ll probably open with a song, he’ll take questions, he’ll talk about some stuff with a guitar slung over his shoulder.” Other speakers are expected to attend, though those are kept under wraps for now. “There are two or three people in the works. There’s a couple others from the rock realm that we’ve been talking to,” says Harris.

At night, the lights go down and nearly 300 bands pack up their instruments and head to one of many participating venues. It’s an opportunity to catch some hot new bands and admire their unique sound and sense of fashion (refer to highly decorated acts like G-Spot and 1/2 Mad Poet or Jeffrey Gaines’ hair).

Off-the-wall attire aside, bands from around the country are packing the plaza and surrounding venues, playing original hip-hop, hardcore, indie, acoustic and all points in between. And it would be a shame to miss out on them during their stay in Harrisburg. “This is about original music and a career in the music industry and about touring and selling your music and writing good music,” Harris points out. “And if you want to be in the music industry and you’re serious about it, whether you want to be a publicist or an agent, a manager or a musician, that’s what our event is about.” –LR


Co-ed Harrisburg rock outfit that’s as playful as its name

WHO Male/female dual-fronted four-piece formed in December of last year out of the ashes of Harrisburg scenesters Evensong, The Blahs and Mad Revere.

SOUNDS LIKE Bo Bim plays hopscotch across a laundry list of rock influences, taking leaps and bounds that sometimes land in polished alt-rock and other times in the low-fi indie realm. The band’s debut album, Go. Get. Got., to be released this summer, boasts 15 dynamic tracks that romp about with ribald rock curiosity.

BAWDY BUNCH “Tara and Eddie like to have fun with motoroil,” says drummer Robby Gallagher. “Tony likes to head butt me.”

- Fly Magazine - PA - June 2005

"Bo Bim"

Bo Bim
Published: October 2005
Story: Jeff Royer
Photo: press photo

To rip off Kanye West: The way that schools need teachers, the way that Kathy Lee needs Regis – that’s the way the Harrisburg music scene needs Bo Bim.

For every leather pants-wearing, chest-shaving, Axl Rose-slithering modern rock poseur band out there, we need at least one band like this, a quirky art-rock band that makes compellingly weird music because that’s simply what comes out. The members make this kind of music because they have to, not because they’re trying to get laid in the back of their van or score an opening slot for Nickelback.

Bo Bim is one of the area’s most inventive, fearless and artistically credible bands. Fronted by singer/guitarists Tara Gordon and Eddie Okum, the Bim specializes in noisy, primal rock that shakes like Sonic Youth and shouts like the Pixies. They’re like a Modest Mouse that got its tail stuck in an electrical socket.

Okum is like a tamer version of Black Francis; the yin to his yang is Gordon, who’s got one of the best off-the-hook rock screams around. It makes for a dynamic switch-off.

“Tara and Eddie draw from their influences a lot, which are Sonic Youth, Sleater-Kinney, The Dandy Warhols, the Breeders – anyone in that genre,” drummer Robby Bones explains. “We make it interesting, but we don’t try to make it weird. We definitely have pop sensibilities. We try to go farther than that and not be so stuck in that genre, but we do have sensibilities when it comes down to it.”

The weirdest part about Bo Bim is not the music, but the fact that it’s going over so well in the mainstream scene. I don’t know where these people have been hiding, but suddenly it seems like the area is flooded with closet ’90s alternative rock fans. “We have that underground following where we get the people to come out who really don’t come out to shows,” Bones agrees. “We have that sound that’s different. It’s not polished – that’s not what we’re going for. It wouldn’t really work for us.”

The band’s debut album, Go. Get. Got., is rawer than a sushi roll. The band rocks with an open-air abandonment that captures the riot of its live show, the sky-high melodies mixed front-and-center over top sparse and savage guitar lines, wiggly bass lines and artful drumming that sounds like it’s coming from the next room.

“Musically, we really wanted to show the simplicity and the rawness we have, and our creativity,” Bones explains. “We really wanted to focus on that as much as possible and not go too much outside our bounds, but at the same time have a lot of different emotion and different kinds of songs.

“A lot of people are like, ‘We can’t get it out of our CD player!’” he beams. “It seems like the more we play, the more people understand us. First off, people don’t know what to think of us. But the more they hear us, the more they love us.”

While Bo Bim has been around for less than a year, the band is already starting to take its act on the road for a series of tours to the Midwest and back. Each of the band members has experience in past bands (The Blahs, Mad Revere, Evensong) and is aware of the amount of work it takes to get a new band off the ground. That being said, Bo Bim is easing its way into touring, working in concentric circles and capitalizing on the growing buzz in its home state (the band’s up to a staggering 15,000 plays on its Myspace page).

“We want to jump headfirst into what we’re doing, but we don’t want to jump into an empty pool,” Bones chuckles. “It’s kind of hard right now when you don’t have a label or anyone backing you to get your music out there. So all promotions are done through us. It takes a lot of time. I spend four or five hours a day doing promotions, getting in contact with bookers and promoters and stuff.

“With this album, we’re not looking to make a lot of money off of it,” he adds. “We’re just worried about getting people into it, and hopefully they listen to it and like it.”

Check out the band online at or

- Fly Magazine - PA - October 2005

""Go. Get. Got." Album Review"

This record's cool. Full of unexpected turns, but never leaving you feeling like you got the rug pulled out from under you, this experimental rock album is tight and appealing as hell. The record's got serious balls, and Bo Bim's got the musicianship to back it up. With two lead singers, one male, one female, there is an ever-changing dynamic that keeps the record and the listener hopping from one foot to another in excitement. My only qualm lies in the orchestration - there are a few too many moments where all guitars are in unison, and while I'm sure they were designed as such, it leaves me wondering what more could have been done with that particular verse/what have you. But, other than that, this record is totally fucking solid, and it would behoove you greatly to listen to it at least once. - Origivation Magazine - Nov. 2005

"Train Zone"

Both of those conditions arose last month when a band with buzz, Bo Bim, and a band that cranks out solid classic-inspired rock with the regularity of a genuine Swiss-made watch, Condition K, were headlining a bill at the Championship all-age club. I think this was a Saturday night, so it would have been perfect for sufferers of 'Blue Tuesday' who need to start their weekend late in order to trick their minds into thinking Monday is Sunday. 'Blue Tuesday' makes for as genuine sounding an illness as anything else I've heard.

The recently formed Bo Bim has generally been tagged with an indie-rock label. Plenty of truth there, but there is also, similar to that bad comb-over on your favorite Uncle's head, exposed blues veins showing through their aggressive rock vibe. Bo Bim puts an active bass bottom front and center (literally and figuratively in the person of Tony Garber) which pivots the action within their multi-layered songs. For sheer velocity, drummer Robby Gallagher brings the rock attitude that more, and harder, is always better. For Bo Bim, he's right. Completing the band, singers/guitarists Tara Gordon and Eddie Okum trade off on very divergent styles. With Okum it's more melodic cathartic rock. With Gordon, expect fireworks and vocals straining to stay just on the musical side of PJ Harvey. Gordon clearly has polished punk roots, but she wears them more as fascinating highlights than as a spray paint can dye job. And watching her embed an extended lead guitar lick within and into a song truly is something to behold. Bo Bim clearly has insight bordering on the visionary there.

- PA Musician

"Bo Bim, Skyline create a name for area scene"

Bo Bim, Skyline create a name for area scene
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Of The Patriot-News
The local music scene is often rightfully criticized for a lack of vibrancy, a spark, some electricity.

While that may be the case in general, there are oases to be found at venues such as Gullifty's Underground, the New Cumberland club that has been a long-time supporter of live, original music.

Thursday's double bill of Bo Bim and A Utopian Skyline showed what could be: a decent-sized crowd and two hours of hellacious rock.

Bo Bim, who will officially release its new CD "Go. Get. Got." Tuesday,proved why it has been building a reputation and a loyal following with its polished, self-assured set.

In the midst of a month of Thursday shows at Gullifty's, Bo Bim -- Tara Gordon and Eddie Okum on guitars and vocals, Tony Garber on bass and Rob Gallagher on drums -- veered from an art-rock vibe to channeling The Breeders to creating a wall of sound, all the while playing with the cohesion and precision of a polished outfit.

Tunes like "Danger Will Robinson," "Hot Trash" and the crowd-requested encore, "Northern Hills," give the impression Bo Bim has a real grasp of its music and what it wants to be.

The same could be said for the controlled fury and obvious musicianship of A Utopian Skyline -- guitarist/vocalist Aaron Miller, bassist Thomas Hand, guitarist Teague Quinn and drummer Bradley Stackpole.

While not particularly impressive lyrically, A Utopian Skyline -- formed from the ashes of The Midnight Drive, the Suffer Channel and Deviation Theory -- has an interesting mix of focused intensity and a loose, relaxed style that doesn't sound forced.

Miller's manic presence and stream-of-consciousness chatter, Stackpole's rock-solid drumming and the steady work of Quinn and Hand make this an interesting band to watch as they evolve and soon head into the studio. - Patriot News - Harrisburg, PA

"fly mag. "Go. Get. Got." review"

Bo Bim
Go. Get. Got
Five out of five

It seems that popular music today schizophrenically borrows and steals liberally from times that had a definable sound. I have come to think that our current era is adrift without one of its own. Today’s sound is jealous of the sound of the ’60s (Jet and scores of others) the sound of the ’70s (Kings of Leon and loads of others) and the sound of the ’80s (The Killers and tons of others). The real “groundbreakers” are simply hybridizing two or three bygone genres. Accepting that fact, I have realized that even largely derivative music can be great. Borrowing artists can tweak the form they are mimicking to create something worthwhile. If the future of music is to borrow from the past, then maybe the most cutting-edge bands are borrowing from the most recent period. If this is the case, then Bo Bim are on the cutting edge of derivative innovation.
Go. Get. Got. is a period piece that only hearkens back about 10 or 15 years. It is a spot-on period record. It is as well-executed and crafted to follow the period form as bands like Jet or the Kings of Leon who sound as if they were plucked from the ’60s and ’70s. Bo Bim’s advantage is that there aren’t other current bands that I know of turning out this early ’90s gritty indie-rock sound. The only other bands re-living the ’90s are the shameful Eddie Vedder parrots like Scott Stapp, whom I won’t waste another printed letter on. Bo Bim’s sound is a dirty, raw and genuinely refreshing in the current market. Jason Rubal’s production and recording serves Bo Bim well. The guitars have a nasty, tube-driven snarl, the drums are dry and impactful. The recording style is no-frills, but not obnoxiously lo-fi, like the Strokes.
The vocals are unkempt and cranky. Both Tara Gordon and Eddie Okum’s voices are rough around the edges in a way that serves their sound well. Gordon has a ferocious riot grrrl scream that makes the listener feel appropriately uneasy and agitated. The key _expression here (as it was for influences like the Pixies and Nirvana) is restless agitation. There are the big, ugly Mudhoney riffs, the straight-ahead pounding Nirvana choruses and the chunky forward-moving rhythm section that often reminds me of Sebadoh. All these influences successfully come together to create a sound that is wholly Bo Bim’s own, yet wholly derivative in the best way. Gordon’s voice and presence inject much of what makes these songs unique and sets them apart from their influences.
My only complaint is the length of Go. Get. Got. The musical statement could have been as clear and executed succinctly in 10 tracks instead of 15. However, when music like Bo Bim’s hasn’t shown its face in so long, I think I can manage the extra time.
–Keith Wilson
- Fly Magazine - PA - Feb. 2006


Go. Get. Got. LP, scheduled for release 08.23.05. Producer on the Go. Get. Got. LP is JASON RUBAL of Seventh Wave Mastering will be done by John Golden of John Golden Mastering (primus, sonic youth). has streaming audio of songs "Big Bad Gun," "L", and "Swiss Police"


Feeling a bit camera shy


To realize where Bo Bim is from, is to know the individuals themselves. Individually unique; Tara Gordon-guitars/vox, Robby Bones-drums, Tony Garber-bass and Eddie Okum- guitars/vox, draw from their creativity, influences and life to becoming peerless in their crafting of music. Bo Bim recorded their first LP in about 14 days in April of 2005, after only being together as a band for 4 months.

"Go. Get. Got.," released on August 23rd, 2005, will set the bar for releases to come. Containing 15 tracks, the album is curious from start to finish eventually leading you to and unexpected ending. Gordon and Okum attack furiously on track one with, "Big Bad Gun" and then continues to mix and match and staying unparallel to the end. Recorded by Jason Rubal of and mastered by John Golden (sonic youth, the melvins, primus) of John Golden Mastering.

Their influences span many genres and different fusions of art, from Bob Dylan to Sonic Youth. From James Brown to Sleater-Kinney. Velvet Underground to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

With their original lineup still in full force, Bo Bim is on the verge of being recognized nationally and internationally with plans of a November 2005 tour that will span from Canada to Florida and through the mid-west. With a growing number of fans, most being die hard, and grass roots, is giving Bo Bim and undeniable and ever popular live show. A review of a August 18th performance said that Bo Bim, "veered from an art-rock vibe to channeling The Breeders to creating a wall of sound, all the while playing with the cohesion and precision of a polished outfit."

Bo Bim has opened for national act Lit along with the bands Lake Trout, Planeside, Jealousy Curve, The Robot Ate Me (kill rock stars), City Sleeps(maverick), Quiet Drive(epic) and the Underwater. With all these various bands that go up and down the spectrum of the rock genre, its safe to say that Bo Bim can cross over into many facets of music.