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Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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"Messes That Clean Up Nicely"

Los Angeles can be a dirty place sometimes. Making frequent travels throughout our fair city, one can find the abandoned housings of old flower shops, overgrown and infested gas stations, and boarded up windows that, prior, framed an array of the best imported rugs from the middle east. It’s a shame the dreams that have been forgotten behind those plywood windowpanes, and healthy weeds. In all that mess lies the dreams of yesteryear, the seeds planted by working men and women that were never harvested, or a father’s romantic memory that is only held in a dilapidating photograph.

This is how I imagine Messes’ music. The Los Angeles singer-songwriter claims the dirt and dust for his name, only to remind us of the beauty that can lie within if we only choose to see it. With finger picking that would make Sam Beam blush in awkwardness, and a voice that scratches through the throat of David Bazan, Messes is a refreshing and familiar sound in a city that seems to be as alienating as it is intriguing. With only these few songs to go off of, one might have a new song to soundtrack the descending sun touching down over PCH, or a lullaby that could sit in for a mother’s whisper. -

"Aquarius Records EP Review"

Looking for some pretty, hushed, gentle, folksy acoustic pop? Well, the debut cd-r ep by SF's Messes just might hit the spot. Their six songs are very intimate and sensitive singer/songwriterly along the lines of Elliott Smith. The 19-minute cd-r is lovingly packaged in a sewn paper sleeve festooned with bird imagery. - Aquarius Records

"The Deli Live Review"

12/05/2006 at The Hemlock Tavern, San Francisco, CA (Curated by Messes)
Nice little local acoustic Tuesday night yesterday at the Hemlock, Sean Smith, Messes, Joseph Childress and St. Ivy all performed, though we came after St. Ivy had finished. Some of the prettiest songs I've heard in a while from all three artists we saw, especially from Messes, who's lyrics were kind of boring and cliche, but guitar work was phenomenal. The mp3 linked below had this amazing instrumental ending when they played it live that sounded like way too many notes for two people to be playing, I was so disappointed when I listened to the song today and it wasn't there. Still a really pretty song though. - The Deli Magazine

"Spanish EP Review"

lo de myspace daría para hablar un buen rato, un de oca a oca y tiro porque me toca infinito de artista a artista desconocido, en uno de esos saltos terminas en Messes, y no redescubres con ello la pólvora ni la penicilina pero sonríes. Messes es el pseudónimo de Aaron Robinson, un tipo que al abrir la puerta trasera de su casa se enfrenta a 587 acres de bosques y árboles, imaginarán lo que eso significa, o más bien lo envidiarán (yo al menos). y aunque esa vista es inevitable encontrarla en todas las canciones, también es inevitable pensar que ya hemos estado en sitios parecidos a través de los ojos de M. Ward, José González, Elliot Smith o Sam Bean. ¿dónde están las diferencias? pues en los pequeños detalles, uno estaría en el artwork, que no suena pero casi, tanto que mirtamirta lo cambiaría por el in my own town de Karen Dalton con su generoso libreto, y su digipack gofrado. la responsable del imaginario pajarístico no es otra que Emily Prince, la también firmante del the milk-eyed menderde Joanna Newsom.
centrado en las canciones destacaría 'lucky pennies' destilando las mismas dosis de técnica y de corazón ('will you still remember when you're growing old?'), 'light in my eyes' y 'the rain & the hurricane' son preciosas, igual que 'when the notes sound wrong' o 'the hollow' con los cameos de Dave Scher de Beachwood Sparks y All Night Radio. en general la sensación es la de estar ante otro de esos discos que pones cuando después de hacer el amor decides amanecer siamés hasta la hora de la comida de un domingo que adivinas ocre a través de las cortinas. mmmmm!" - Microphones in the Trees


1 Self-Titled Self-Released EP



Messes is the pseudonym of American singer-songwriter Aaron Robinson. Born July 5th, 1979 Aaron began playing classical guitar at the age of eight and has not given his fingers a rest since. One of the quieter members of the ongoing folk revival, Messes makes songs that are gentle, pretty, and somewhat folky, with intricate finger-picking under sweet melodies. Messes' songs are probably what would happen if classical players and country players came together like the Mystics and the Skeksis in the Dark Crystal. His right hand guitar technique has been compared to that of folk guitar legends Bert Jansch, Richard Thompson, Nick Drake, and Mississippi John Hurt, and has drawn attention from bands and recording studios as far as England. As a songwriter he has been compared to several of his contemporaries including Iron and Wine, Elliott Smith, M. Ward, and Jose Gonzales. Messes writes and records his music at his home in Echo Park (LA) where his back gate opens up to 587 acres of park and trees. He can only be heard live or on his self-released e.p. which is available for sale at

Live, Messes is accompanied by the guitar of long time friend and bandmate Arvel Hernandez. Other live players have included Pete Newsom (Bert Jansch (The Black Swan), Noah Georgeson, Casual Fog) and Aaron Sperske (Beachwood Sparks, Elliott Smith (From A Basement On The Hill), Lilys, Blue Circle Magic) on drums, and Gus Seyffert on bass (Willoughby, Inara George, Benji Hughes). In the studio, Messes has featured guest appearances from Farmer Dave Scher (Beachwood Sparks, All Night Radio) and Elisa Randazzo (Red Krayola, Fairechild).

Messes has played shows sponsored by Arthur Magazine and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. He has toured with Marie Sioux, Joseph Childress, Trapeze and Carrots, and St. Ivy; and shared the stage with many great performers including Neil Haggerty, Inara George, Six Organs of Admittance, Frausdots, Beachwood Sparks, Diane Cluck, Ariel Pink, Winter Flowers, Becky Stark and Lavender Diamond, Sean Smith, the Moore Brothers, and Diamond Caverns. In the winter of 2004 Messes fulfilled a two month residency at Spaceland (LA) that he turned into a weekly folk festival and curated with help of friends in the Winter Flowers.

Selected Venues/Appearances:

Los Angeles:
Spaceland (Residency), Silverlake Lounge, The Echo
Tangiers, El Cid, Little Pedro's

San Francisco:
The Hemlock Tavern, The Makeout Room, The Hotel Utah, Bottom of the Hill (as "Late Night")

The Stork Club

San Diego:
The Che Cafe
The Honeybee Hive

The Delta of Venus

Nevada City:
Cooper's, The Basement

The Sunset Tavern

Monterey Live