rob getzschman
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rob getzschman

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Mar
08
rob getzschman @ Starfish

Hermosa, California, USA

Hermosa, California, USA

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Rob Getzschman, a former D.C. resident now living in Los Angeles, has toiled in relative obscurity for years, releasing mostly anti-folk solo albums that wear left-field politics (Songs for the Anti-De-Counterrevolution), sense of irony (Heirs of Pretension), and high self-regard (Hypocrisy in the Genius Room) on their jacket sleeves. His new trio, Analog Jetpack, is different, playing a brand of pop-punk he’s dubbed “retro-futurist.” Joining Getzschman are drummer Robby Sahm and bassist Dan Ryan, both members of D.C.’s Le Loup. (Getzschman and Sahm met at an area Apple Store, where the former was training the latter to be an, er, Genius.) The group recently toured in support of D.C. voting rights and is attempting to sell MTV on a reality series about the subject. But its debut album, And How They Flew, is a largely apolitical series of easygoing (if verbose) good-time tunes that bend over backward not to take themselves too seriously. Getzschman sings, plays guitar, and wrote or co-wrote all of the songs, and his easy wordplay and gift for gab is by and large delightful. He describes the adventures of all-too-human robots on “Robot Garden”: “The quiet hum of precision, prosthetic poetry/The deft, mechanical rhythm, the subtle touch of narcissism.” That said, almost everything walks a fine line between clever and transparently ironic, and it’s sometimes hard to know when he’s being serious: “I got 18 lanes of superhighway coursing into my heart, from downtown to the boondocks of my soul,” he sings on “Tales of Woe.” Produced by Jerome Maffeo, drummer for Jimmie’s Chicken Shack, And How They Flew bounces between ’80s punk and ’90s alt-pop; Getzschman has traded in his acoustic guitar for an electric, and fuzzy, rambling jams sit alongside tight, precise singalongs. The band is more successful with fun, accessible tracks like “Savoir Sonic” than with hard-driving, more obtuse ones like “Punish the Rental.” But even at its poppiest the band isn’t exactly mainstream—on “ICBM,” the group sounds more like They Might Be Giants and Barenaked Ladies than anything now on the radio. On the album’s opener, “We Are the Freaks,” Getzschman addresses his intended target market: “We are the freaks/A loose union of disillusion/Cold distinguished by the company we keep.” That seems a little off—they’re the geeks, of course, disinclined to do anything more radical than fashion fun hooks and embrace their inner nerds. - DC City Paper


Discography

For Mature Audiences Only, 2006
And How They Flew (Analog Jetpack), 2007.
F Posterity, 2006.
Hypocrisy In The Genius Room, 2005.
Heirs Of Pretension, 2003.
Brooklyn Demos, 2002.
Eleven Coming Back, 2001.
Songs for the Anti-De-Counterrevolution, 2000.

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Bio

The varied career of Rob Getzschman starts in the entertainment town of Omaha, Nebraska, where he sang in musicals, peddled Runza Hut on television and served as a poster boy for Boys Town. After a formal education in St. Louis, Getzschman moved to New York City, where he took lessons from Dave Van Ronk and lived out the Lower East Side's antifolk scene. After a year working the clubs in Boston, he settled in Washington, DC, where he formed his first band and engaged the DC indie scene. Last year, Getzschman moved to Los Angeles to seek out a wider audience for his music.

"For Mature Audiences Only," Getzschman's sixth solo release, is Muppet music for old folks. He departs from indie stylings to compose a broad album specifically for senior citizens, from lounge to pop, cha cha, folk-rock and country blues. The resulting concept album is a whimsical tin-pan alley homage to old age for the +60 demographic. Executive Producer Judith McKelvey commissioned the project to tap the senior market, for whom little content is written. Recorded by Emmy-winner Jerome Maffeo and mixed by Grammy-winning Dan Gellert, the album plays like a peach from start to finish.