Machine Go Boom

Machine Go Boom


A yowling, caffeinated folk-punk romp. Cathartic hook-filled pop-gasms and beautiful, haunting singalongs for the lonely spacemanchild. Irresistible.


ELYRIA, OH: Mikey Machine dabbled in recording school in his teens, and armed only with a 4-track, acoustic guitar, and some pots and pans, released his feverish self-titled debut Mikey Machine in 2001. His infectious melodies and strange songs soon brought ever-increasing crowds of happy drunken friends and curious strangers to see him perform at open mics and at Cleveland's premier rock venues.

Then Mikey formed a band: long-time friend Brian "Bubbles" O’Connor on bass, Carrie Bukala on keys, and (following a succession of drummers) the powerhouse rock battery of Mr. Arran Biggart. They took the name Machine Go Boom and made the rounds in Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. With Mikey's distorted pop inventions -- a frighteningly good mix of acoustic folk balladry, amphetamine-lit punk, and synth-fed new wave -- the band stood out from much of the industrial clang of Rust Belt rock. Word spread quickly.

Early in 2004, Cleveland beheld a most stunning and welcome musical event: the release of Mikey Machine’s sophomore effort, "Thank You Captain Obvious." It was generally agreed that the city had not seen a more original, well crafted, or flat-out rocking record in many, many moons. Mikey enlisted his songster friend Mike Uva on second guitar, and with a stellar LP in tow, Machine Go Boom have made children dance and housewives cry in every town they’ve played, performing with such acts as The Thermals, Ted Leo/Pharmacists, and Parker & Lily.

Go see a Machine Go Boom show. The room is packed. The amps blare. And the crowd knows all the words. No really, I'm not kiddin' ya.

You will love them.

Here's how one of Cleveland's leading rock critics describes "Thank You Captain Obvious":

"The new full-length from Machine Go Boom is executed with so much energy and depth of feeling, you’d think Mikey Machine once lived on the moon, and that somehow a mix-tape had fallen to its gray surface after being loosed from a wayward satellite. And that Mikey (in his loneliness and rapt amazement) absorbed so much from a cassette’s worth of our planet’s modern pop heritage, that his own songs trimphantly encompassed and compressed that genre in its entirety -- but in a weird and extraterrestrial way. For when Mikey’s songs fell back to Earth, they became faster, more maddening, more beautiful, and more haunting than most of the music his soon-to-be Earth friends had ever heard.

Stunningly recorded by rising Cleveland engineer Paul Maccarrone, and performed in its entirety by the one-man orchestra that is Mikey Machine, 'Thank You Captain Obvious' sounds like a glowing artifact from a cartoon moon. It bristles like the Pixies and careens comically like Ween. It’s popsloppy like early Modest Mouse and whimsically anthemic like early Guided By Voices. The opener 'Lil’ Devil' just yowls with melodic terror. After this cathartic shot, the title track winds up like a caffeinated Kinks cut, then explodes into a punk stomp that would have sent Doolittle-era Black Francis back to his guitar. Giddy munchkin vocals (which can be found all over this record) steer 'Captain Obvious' to a 10-car technicolor pile-up of hooks. More petulant is the hyper-distorted 'Madeleine Isn’t Coming Home,' a surefire and twisted hit whose cheery atonal lead line (synthesizer? fuzz cornet?) pulses with fist-pumping energy.

Alongside these punky pop-gasms are quieter gems like 'What My Buddy Said,' 'Kamikazi Plane,' and 'This Song is A Secret,' songs whose genius lies in a childlike nature that discloses nostalgia and sadness, with an adult yearning for real truth. 'This Song Is A Secret' closes the album with a weary sing-along redolent of a sorrowful Pogues toast or the Archers of Loaf’s 'Greatest of All Time.'

Extraterrestrial? Maybe. True outsider art, Machine Go Boom’s Thank You Captain Obvious defies all that surrounds it. It seems too good to exist. But these songs demand existence. And your ears."

--Ed Sotelo

Collectible Escalators
info (at) collectibleescalators (dot) com

Jimmy Hughes at Fat Man Touring
fatman (at) fairmountfair (dot) com


Hot Potato

Written By: Mikey Machine

i'll bet you a million bucks
i can't be relied upon
cough it up
i'll practice for carnegie hall
they'll never return my calls
coughing up,
i need a booster shot
hot potato
give your balls to the debutantes
they need something new to flaunt
feel them up
but can you carry a poor man
upon your head?
we could use a hairy bed
but we'll get the ground instead
hot potato
coughing up
i need a booster shot

Ms. Hepburn's House

Written By: Mikey Machine

oh, you know
this is not the way i thought i'd go
but the directions led me to
ms. hepburn's house
straight into the kitchen
with a cup of coffee
and the babies all
sawing logs

makes me think about the politics
of science and religion
and how everyone round here
just goes to sleep at night
to lock their doors
to keep their family secure

and no one sees her and i
no one hears her and i

you say you gotta work so hard
and what do you get
well, you got something in your laugh
that makes me calm
makes me forget the days are getting shorter
when you block me in the corner

and no one sees her and i
no one hears her and i

Captain Obvious

Written By: Mikey Machine

oh, it was illogical
she was so very beautiful
that i called her up to say,
"i'm coming home to you today
i'm only a couple years away"

oh, so save a seat for me
i'll be with you eventually
without a shred of dignity
a large man took that away from me
he said,

"halt, i am the captain of this ship
you must obey my every whim
i am the captain of this ship"

i remember everything
i just can't help remembering
they took us out of sunday school
and drowned us in the swimming pool

dirty shirts and underwear
they packed me with the silverware
it took a year or two or three
to find someone to rescue me

although it was illogical
she was so very beautiful
oh well, she did not wait for me
a large man took her away you see
he said,

"halt, i am the captain of this ship
you must obey my every whim
i am the captain of this ship"
take a look into the mirror
we are all captives of career.


Thank You Captain Obvious (2004)
Mikey Machine (2001)

Split 7" (w/ Self Destruct Button):
"Distance Yourself (The Building Song)"/
"I Only Have One Head" (2004)

"Copycat" (Refugee Records compilation)

Set List

MGB plays around a half-hour, maybe 45 minutes if the beer is flowing and the exits are blocked.