Von Robinson and His Own Universe
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Von Robinson and His Own Universe

Band Alternative Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos



""sleek, harmonious pop rockers""

These sleek, harmonious pop rockers bridge the gap (very neatly I must say), between 80's New Wave and current pop punk bands like Bowling for Soup, or The Raconteurs. Sometimes the tunes are light, dreamy synth numbers that would make for a good film soundtrack ("Polaroid Lenses," "Briana"), but Von Robinson achieve to be a harder, more aggressive guitar-driven band than most other bands that usually stop at the first sign of popularity.

They can rock out a little more ("Satellites and Totem Poles"), without losing the band's original conception of elegant melancholy. The exquisite surging of "Xxxtraordinary Rendition" is the telltale centerpiece of the album as to the band's direction that they're headed- which is pretty much wherever they want!
- Phil Rainone - Pop Vulture (January, 2007)

""Politi-pop? Why not?""

Politi-pop? Why not?

When you think of “political statement music”, this certainly isn’t what comes to mind. Von Robinson has taken his culturally observant lyrics and wrapped them up in a pop/rock package that will put you in mind of great folks like Ben Folds and even Elvis Costello.

Robinson’s vocals are nice and definitely stand out, almost how you think “Weird Al” would sound if he were trying to croon. The harmonies on this record are nice too. Each song is given a light touch, built around Von’s vocal performance. Adam Christgau deserves some credit here, because he’s made some excellent choices on drums and percussion, adding some unexpected elements (brushes, squeak toy?) to set a nice atmosphere and fill things out. Robert Weinstein’s orchestral arrangements work pretty well, too, when they show up.

For an album that contains lyrics like “The leaders went to rape the planet” and “If you see love as a non-renewable resource/You’ll understand greed”, it’s amazing how POPPY this record is. It almost fools you, it really does. No doubt, though, that this is socially conscious material. It isn’t all press hype. Von Robinson has something to say.

Even if you don’t agree with their politics, you have to admire the issues that VR and his band bring up in these songs. It’s not just Bush bashing (“XXXtraordinary Rendition” excluded, as it’s ALL Bush bashing), it’s true “I worry about the future of our nation” material. There’s a message here and a brilliant packaging made perfect for singing along to. It’s not propaganda, but it’s also propaganda at its best.

The 411: On their debut EP, Von Robinson & His Own Universe have crafted a political outcry album like no other in that it’s total sugar pop, a la Elvis Costello. The arrangements and vocals are sunny and pleasant and the songs are weighty, but don’t press down on you with urgency. They simply take a thought and “jostle it” into your brain gently, using a pop presentation that you would never see coming.
If you want to hear pop with a purpose, Von Robinson will definitely satiate you. - 411mania -- Mitch Michaels

""indie kids will love it.""

The lyrics are smart, a bit cryptic for the mainstream, but indie kids will love it. There is sufficient social and political subversion for the budding Bush basher, but it is elusive enough for an apathetic scenester who is more worried about retro haircuts than corporate-dominated democracy.

Bottom line: This is sugary-slick indie rock that is hard not to like. - Chronogram Magazine, Feb 2008

""so deceptively un-weird that it is, in fact, totally and extremely weird.""

Robinson’s lyrics, pregnant with brainy and surreal political protest, don’t’ even begin to register until the third or fourth spin. What is it they say about catching more flies with sugar than salt? Robinson’s sticky sweet propaganda lemming trap is a clever one indeed. - Roll Magazine, jan 2008

""If any band deserves to be signed, it’s Von Robinson and His Own Universe""

"Genuinely talented and intelligent, with a firm grasp of the technicalities of song writing and a real knack for fresh, sunny indie pop. Few bands nowadays seem to realise the importance of good melodies and harmonies, but Von Robinson has it down to a tee. You could make comparisons with American indie bands such as The Shins or The Decemberists ; however there is a hidden gem in the lyrics...This is where [VR&HOU] shine, they manage to combine lyrics which make you think with a style that makes you feel chirpy and happy. It is refreshing and unique, and I eagerly await the arrival of a full length album. If any band deserves to be signed, it’s Von Robinson and His Own Universe, as they provide the antidote to shallow, samey pop music of today." - Monkeyfeesh Music UK, June 07

""a great melodic slice of genius""

“Von Robinson is best described as a musical force of nature with a mission , and this album is his first salvo. "Satellites and Totem Poles" is not just a great melodic slice of genius, but a scathing political commentary as well… Just think, this is his first EP - I am just drooling in anticipation of a full length album. He is a really accessible artist and I hope you buy his album and encourage him to make more great music!”

- Powerpopaholic--April 2007

""It sounds like pop. It reads like poetry.""

"It sounds like pop. It reads like poetry. This is such heavy social commentary delivered with a surprisingly subtle hand. This is a smart recording. It is worth understanding the message of the artist. Maybe something like this is needed in the world of pop to get the message across to those who espouse commercial music."
- Neo-zine

""boundless energy with a bit of Flaming Lips’ grandeur.""

"The universe of NYC’s Von Robinson can be compared to a poppy field: looks and sounds cheerfully packed full of bright, red petals from afar, but when you think about poppies main use, illegal substances, life’s not so rosy. So too with VR—the music on this EP packs a melody-driven, multi-harmony punch, yet it’s armed with lyrics like “write it off as business or charity if we happen to discuss God or poverty,” that make the message more than a sarcastic subtext. Intelligent, fun and crisp, with vocals that recall Elvis Costello and a boundless energy with a bit of Flaming Lips’ grandeur. Impressive pop subversives!"

Frank Stein, Sentimentalist Magazine, Spring 2007 - Sentimentalist Magazine, Spring 2007

""Thought-provoking powerpop. What a concept.""

I do not pretend to omniscience when it comes to powerpop, indie, or any other life force. No doubt the cogniscenti could name several dozen artists who seamlessly combine “powerpop” with “ulism,” but this is one of the few I’ve come across who pull it off so well. [Von Robinson and His Own Universe] combine irresistible lyricism with thought-provoking lyrics. Thought-provoking powerpop. What a concept. - Powerpopulist -- april 2007

""Von Robinson’s brand of 'agit-pop' works well""

Von Robinson’s brand of “agit-pop” works well because it is exactly that: packing enough biting social commentary to agitate the most apathetic listeners and enough multi-layered pop melody—reminiscent of Elvis Costello, The Zombies or Beach Boys—to placate any pop-rock fan. Sharp, disparaging lyrics could put the less-politically minded off, yet Robinson’s delivery is light enough of songs like “Briana” to keep his bold sentiments from feeling preachy. Unlike the in-your-face political rhetoric of some punk bands or folk musicians, Robinson omits specific references to events or politicians, dealing instead in the subtleties and personal observations. If there is a way to spoon-feed a loaded message to listeners, it would be through the sort of lyrical ambiguities and euphonic songs found on Jostle It! Bill Dvorak, The Deli Magazine, Fall 2007
- The Deli Magazine (NYC) Fall 2007


Jostle It!*@# (debut 5-song EP)



Hot on the heels of their critically acclaimed indie debut, JOSTLE IT!¢ Von Robinson & His Own Universe (VR&HOU) are currently recording their first full-length album. They have signed with a new label and are working with a team that has delivered hits for Apples In Stereo and numerous Sub Pop label releases.

VR&HOU have been featured on NPR’s Open Mic national series and has consistently been one of the top vote getters with fans on OurStage.com. On the west coast, KSCU picked VR&HOU as one of its “Top Myspace Music Finds of 2007.” They earned a spot in “The Winner’s Circle Showcase” at The Paradise Lounge in Boston, who’s organizer, Stephanie Fellingham, commented,
“You guys were an amazing addition to the line-up, and you really did a phenomenal job of bringing up the energy level in the room!”

In live performances, VR&HOU deliver music, humor and social satire for an experience that has drawn comparisons to, “a modern Smothers Brothers.” They serve up high-energy entertainment, earning them a reputation best conveyed by Sentimentalist Magazine:
“Boundless energy with a bit of Flaming Lips’ grandeur.”

Von formed the band as a vehicle to communicate within pop culture about matters that matter. He serves up big, melodic tunes, rich with harmonies and underlain with socially and politically relevant lyrics, à la The Daily Show. WVKR (Vassar) has branded it as, sarcasmopop!”

Von Robinson and His Own Universe offer several entertainment packages to fit any budget or room:
The rock quartet—for energetic, danceable clubs and events.
The acoustic trio—for coffeehouses, smaller spaces and budgets.
The duet or solo singer/songwriter for very intimate events.