miles benjamin anthony robinson
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miles benjamin anthony robinson

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"Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson's Empire of Dirt"

Life definitely handed Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson loads of lemons (and first names), but he chose Atmosphere's route and painted that shit gold on his self-titled amalgam of alt-country, blues, and garage grit. Even without firsthand experience of "tits dragging in the dust," you can't help feeling the ache in this multi-racial Brooklyn-via-Oregon troubadour's tenor. The 25-year-old's ruminations on homelessness, alienation, and trying (and failing) to kick drugs hark back to David Ryan Adams, Jeffrey Scott Tweedy, and Townes Van Zandt at their most downtrodden. Thankfully, Robinson's self-knowledge and self-conscious attempts to avoid veering into clichéd tortured-artist territory serve to cut the tension nicely: On "Buriedfed," he declares: "This is my last song about myself/About my friends/Find something else to sing."

A prevailing lo-fi looseness helps bolster the beaten-up nature of these songs, recorded by Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor and magnified by a choir of dark souls, from fellow Grizzlies Chris Bear and Daniel Rossen to TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone. A glint of hope comes in the early going of "Mountaineer'd," which begins as an acoustic meditation wherein Robinson officially repents to God; as the song scales the steep slope of forgiveness sought, however, a gash within him widens: "My faith has gone faint." The discord of an electric guitar swells around him, and what began as a promising spiritual shift ultimately can't be resolved; and the next track starts that bipolar cycle all over again. A more harmonious balance (artistically, anyhow) is achieved on "The Debtor," which reaffirms Elliott Smith's notion that a catchy, tinkling piano can make any sort of despair sound optimistic. Getting hooked on Robinson's tales is a mixed sort of pleasure, though: It's easy to convince yourself that the dirt under his fingernails is also under your own, but only you can turn down the volume when it's getting too heavy.

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson plays the Cake Shop July 19 - the village voice

"cover story"

Party scorchers, earbud melters, backyard breezers, road-trip lifelines—call them what you will. Summertime begets summerjams and The FADER is here to celebrate the season’s finest in their infinite, miraculous variations. Which is exactly what drew us to Estelle, whose multivalent tunes dissolve the borders between rap, reggae, R&B, NYC, LDN, Motown and your town. On the eve of her album’s release, we ventured into the eye of her publicity hurricane and came back with a candid portrait of the new pop star down the block. Once you’re done playing with our Estelle cover gatefold, flip the mag over and meet Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson. Yes, the dude’s name is epic but we urge you to recite it like scripture, make flash cards, name your pet hermit crab after him. Just do whatever it takes to commit it to memory, because come fall semester, everyone cutting class on the quad will be waxing about how they spent their vacation under the spell of a Brooklyn troubadour with a ten-syllable name and a soul-rattling songbook. - the fader

"miles benjamin Anthony Robinson's Empire of Dirt"

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson has four names, and you might just want to make a note of each of 'em. And while he may be a big name in the literal sense only at the moment, that hasn't stopped the Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter from enlisting a few of his more famous neighbors as collaborators.

Miles' self-titled LP, due July 1 on Say Hey Records, was recorded by Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor. It also features contributions from Taylor's bandmates Chris Bear and Daniel Rossen, plus TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone. Not a bad way to make a name for yourself on your first record, huh? Er, make that four names.

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson will open for Howlin Rain at New York City's Mercury Lounge April 2. - pitchfork


rooklyn patron saints Grizzly Bear and TV on the Radio helped Robinson record this atmospheric folk-rock album in 2006, but personal demons (addiction, even homelessness) led to the shelving of the project until now. Still, this is no record of redemption. While Robinson is consistently clever and self-deprecating, every line seethes with real pathos. On "Buriedfed," he pictures his own death and those of his friends over smoky acoustic guitar. It ends, like many of these tracks, in sparkling bombast. Such explosions are Grizzly Bear's signature, but for Robinson, they're the earned sound of life pulsing through the gloom. - spin


miles benjamin anthony robinson - full length 2008 - say hey records.

yes tracks are streamed / radio



Up until now, twenty-three year-old Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson was Brooklyn’s best-kept secret, but with the help of Kyp Malone (TVOTR), Chris Taylor & Christopher Bear (Grizzly Bear) and Say Hey Records, we are proud to introduce this stunning debut artist. In a recent interview with Another magazine Kyp Malone professed, "Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson is my favorite songwriter right now." Miles’ brief yet inspirational life story is truly awe-inspiring and one for the rock and roll ages, already.

The eponymous long player to be issued by Say Hey Records is the first recorded document after years of false starts, dangerous living, and amiable persistence in the face of near tragedy. Born in Oregon and raised in Portland and Eugene, Miles spent much of his youth on the road traveling with his comedian/playwright father as he played venues across the U.S.

After completing high school as a rather distinguished, if troubled student, Miles gravitated eastward and was in New York by 2000. Immediately he immersed himself in the burgeoning music scene, going to shows and eventually forming a few bands. Miles recorded no less than 5 albums in various early projects like Jackson Plastic, Mud Cub, and Jesus Jackson, but they sadly never glimpsed the light of day.

Each incarnation met its demise from a combination of erratic behavior, venue banishment, and drug use. Out of frustration, Miles descended further into addiction, leading to a stint in which he made his bed on the benches of Coney Island. But, throughout it all, Miles continued writing and to distill from his shabby surroundings the inspiration and imagery that make up his debut record.

Recorded with the aid of Chris Taylor and Christopher Bear of Grizzly Bear “Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson” (MBAR) began in 2006 in Miles’ apartment. Chris Bear did the drums in a single day and the basics were mixed at the famed Yellow House; later overdubs were added by Kyp Malone and Daniel Rosen (Grizzly Bear), and the record neared completion.

The album begins with the demented campfire sing-a-long, “Buriedfed”, a dirge disguised as a rave up, and it sets the pace for an album filled with unrepentant confessions played with abandon. MBAR takes the listener through a flawless sardonic narrative, detailing loss, excess, and blurred memories, all the while with an irresistible humor.

Look out for the MBAR sophomore LP in 2009, produced by Kyp Malone.