Boy In The Bubble
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Boy In The Bubble

San Francisco, California, United States | INDIE

San Francisco, California, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative Rock

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Boy in the Bubble claims to be "fearless indie rock." I gained new insight into the definition of "fearless" when I read the following biographical statement about BITB's lead singer, Josh Seidenfeld.

"Growing up a bookish Jewish kid in South Texas has a way of making a body know who he is and what he wants."

I grew up marching to the beat of my own drum so this statement hit a chord for me. As a kid sometimes you just desperately wish your drum sounded like everyone else's. Lucky for those tuning in to the bay area music scene, Seidenfeld's journey brought him here to march fearlessly to BITB's indie beat.

Now there is an array of stylistic descriptions for BITB. Here's a link to what some of the press is saying: LINK I encourage you to decide for yourself. To my ear there is a strong hint of folk/classic rock that gets folded into the mix by varying degrees.

Boy in the Bubble's debut album, Songs from the City of the Sun, showcases the stylistic variety the band is capable of. As I write the title of the album I smile – yet another example of how lyricist Seidenfeld likes to pack in the syllables. In the space of a line Josh is able to artfully deliver twice the words a typical singer would. So beware, if you snooze you might miss out on some great lines like "When I said that I'd go to the ends of the earth for you I forgot to mention that you'd have to come with me." (from track 12, "Uncharted Waters")

In 12 songs this album covers a lot of territory. Four songs stand out for me so in no particular order…

The first is "Too Damn Crazy" (track 3). There is a Tom Waits (speaking of an artist who marches to his own drum) vocal quality to Seidenfeld's delivery, especially on the opening lines when his voice is alone against the backdrop of bass and a lumbering tom pattern. It creates a warped sense of reality, which is then augmented by the entrance of an oscillating keyboard pad. Thoughtful keyboard and glockenspiel parts juxtapose nicely with guitars to create just the right stage for Seidenfeld's storytelling.

"Stroll the Sun" (track 5) is an ultra-relaxing ballad that defies the burning sensation you might anticipate if you happen to interpret the title literally. I love the perfect utilization of "outer space effects" on the prechorus vocals and feedback-y guitars. Just as the lyrics insist, "when we're out here in space I'll feel washed away…" The guitar riffs that punctuate the first verse are very tastefully done and just what I would hear a heavyweight producer calling for. Overall the production builds the arrangement and creates contrast among the song sections to highlight the narrative lyrics. For me this song is a good example of BITB's strengths blossoming simultaneously. It illustrates the potential this band has to go on and deliver accomplished accessibility and unique artful music all in one package.

When I got to "Take Me Home" (track 7), I knew right away that this tune fit the bill to be a single. With an infectious Brit-pop vibe and tasty keyboard morsels this up-tempo track turns on the charm. I'm not alone in saluting this song as a strong one. The writer for FreeIndie.com notes, "I've had 'Take Me Home' on repeat all day."

My fourth fave, "The Real World Don't Matter" (track 10), hints at another era and reminds me of Performing Songwriters assessment of BITB: "rock at a burlesque show." The vibrato keyboard effects turn up the vintage vibe and combine beautifully with the glockenspiel to suggest childhood lullabies and simpler times. "We're just kids, we're just kids - it's really nothing that we're after," sings Seidenfeld. I commend him for his vocal delivery on this song. I especially love the smile in his voice the first time he sings "we're just kids." True to BITB's eclectic nature, the song ventures into a bit of jazzy territory with fun "commentary" overdubs that make me smile and expand the breadth of this song.

Songs from the City on the Sun is a strong debut effort from Boy in the Bubble. I sense that Josh Seidenfeld's determination is a force to be reckoned with and in my experience that determination often signals "this is a band to watch." - The Deli SF


From the melancholy accordion line of “When You Walk Around This City” to the marching beat of “Handy” to the Violent Femmes-esque “Too Damn Crazy,” Boy in the Bubble play an arresting game of musical hopscotch.

The Bay Area band is the latest project of luthier, park ranger, politician and rock ’n’ roller Josh Seidenfeld, and it’s his dramatic baritone that holds this eclectic music together. Alternating between soft and sighing, loud and sloppy, he knows exactly where he’s going—and he’s intent on taking us with him. Call Songs From the City on the Sun indie-rock at a burlesque show. Call it David Bowie on the verge of a meltdown. Call it what you like, but don’t miss this Sun set. - Performing Songwriter


Boy In the Bubble: "Songs from the City on the Sun"

Frontman and sole songwriter Josh Seidenfeld delivers a fine surprise. Boy in the Bubble's distillation of glam, vintage pop, and '70s adult-oriented rock delivers much more than one could rightly ask of the group, plus songs that speak loudly for themselves. - East Bay Express


Kings of the Bay Area, Boy In The Bubble manages to maintain an edgy rock sound in their light folk songs. Lead singer Josh Seidenfeld belts out deep lyrics over a heavy bass drum and rhythmic acoustic guitar. Although "Handy" is the band's single, I've had "Take Me Home" on repeat all day. - FreeIndie.com


“Very fun and infectious rock music with strong glam elements...” - The Bay Bridged


“Boy In The Bubble might be the cure for what ails the Bay Area music scene. ”

– Rosi Reyes, KPFA
- KPFA-FM (Berkeley)


“This is fearless indie rock that will rough you up, and then get all tender-like to ask forgiveness.” - Flavorpill


Discography

Songs From the City on the Sun (Red Cat Records 2007)

forthcoming: The King (Red Cat Records 2010)

Photos

Bio

Boy in the Bubble began as a project of singer, guitarist and songwriter Josh Seidenfeld, who got the nickname from his boss after calling in sick one too many times (often to recover from late shows). The band brings a rough-around-the-edges rock style to literary songwriting, and the only thing consistently said about the band is that it sounds like nothing else. Fans of The White Stripes, the Flaming Lips, Rufus Wainwright, T Rex, and the Decemberists are all equally at home here.

With an unforgettable live act, BITB has blossomed into one of the San Francisco area’s most promising bands, recently opening for Ben Harper at a sold-out Independent and frequenting classic Bay Area clubs such as the Bottom of the Hill, the Make Out Room, and the Hotel Utah.

The band also tours the West Coast and has played two successive years at SXSW. Seidenfeld grows the group’s fan base by touring solo around the country to play intimate acoustic shows.

BITB’s 2007 debut, "Songs From the City on the Sun", garnered nationwide critical praise and play on radio shows such as Nic Harcourt’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic” on KCRW. The band is currently collaborating with LA buzz band Oliver Future and producer Adam Lazus (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Yo La Tengo, Juliana Hatfield) on a new release, "The King," in early 2010.

PRESS

“Boy in the Bubble play an arresting game of musical hopscotch…Alternating between soft and sighing, loud and sloppy, [singer Josh Seidenfeld] knows exactly where he's going—and he's intent on taking us with him. Call Songs From the City on the Sun indie-rock at a burlesque show. Call it David Bowie on the verge of a meltdown. Call it what you like, but don't miss this Sun set.”

– Performing Songwriter

“Kings of the Bay Area, Boy In The Bubble manages to maintain an edgy rock sound in their light folk songs. Lead singer Josh Seidenfeld belts out deep lyrics over a heavy bass drum and rhythmic acoustic guitar. Although "Handy" is the band's single, I've had "Take Me Home" on repeat all day.”

– FreeIndie.com

Boy in the Bubble's distillation of glam, vintage pop, and '70s adult-oriented rock delivers much more than one could rightly ask of the group, plus songs that speak loudly for themselves.

– East Bay Express

“This is fearless indie rock that will rough you up, and then get all tender-like to ask forgiveness”

– Flavorpill

“Very fun and infectious rock music with strong glam elements”

– The Bay Bridged

“Boy In The Bubble might be the cure for what ails the Bay Area music scene. ”

– Rosi Reyes, KPFA

ABOUT "SONGS FROM THE CITY ON THE SUN"

Boy in the Bubble’s debut, "Songs From the City on the Sun," floats through musical moods with an uncanny ease. From lush pop (“Handy”) to violent urgency (“17 Irises”) to old-fashioned storytelling (“Uncharted Waters”) to pensive tenderness (“I Can’t Remember”), the songs cover a lot of territory. But somehow the record isn’t scattered. Songwriter and singer Josh Seidenfeld’s voice unifies the collection with a confidence and insistence on melody too often lacking in indie rock.

Seidenfeld’s vocal and songwriting confidence is hard-won. Growing up as a bookish Jewish kid in South Texas has a way of making a body know who he is and what he wants. His life since then has given him something to write about. After fleeing Texas, he collected stories and perspectives in an eyebrow-raising range of lives: building acoustic guitars for Keith Richards, Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell; park rangering in the Southwest; sweating through Columbia University; and years of work in the intense (and often heartbreaking) world of progressive politics. But try as he might, he could not escape the call of guitar, pen, paper, and sweaty rock and roll. "Songs From the City on the Sun" is the result.

“The Boy in the Bubble” sums up his approach to songwriting with a shrug: “I love stories, words, and melodies. Those things move armies. So I try to tell stories with this music, and work hard to use melodies and words that bring them to life. But also, who doesn’t love to shake their ass?”

CONTACT:

josh@boyinthebubble.org
http://www.boyinthebubble.org
http://www.myspace.com/boyinthebubble