The Apples in stereo To Release Best-Of Collection
#1 Hits Explosion Street Date 9/1/09
June 29, 2009 (Chapel Hill, NC) – The shiny pop centerpiece of the famed Elephant 6 collective, The Apples in stereo was born of Robert Schneiderâ€™s infatuation with sound and his near pathological compulsion to write the perfect pop song. Schneider’s attempts, and some would argue his successes, in that quest have now been compiled for the 16-track best-of collection #1 Hits Explosion due on Yep Roc September 1st, 2009.
Citing Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys as their root text a decade before it was indie-en vogue, Robert and former and future band members Hilarie Sidney, Jim McIntyre, Chris Parfitt, John Hill, Eric Allen, Chris McDuffie, Bill Doss, John Ferguson, John Dufilho, along with countless friends and cohorts, used their basement-D.I.Y. beginnings as a launching pad into a kaleidoscopic galaxy of sound. Constantly mutating from debut album Fun Trick Noisemaker through recent opus New Magnetic Wonder, that galaxy has expanded from 4-track recordings made in Robertâ€™s bedroom to 100-track sonic experiments complete with new musical scales. The collection will look back at six albums of Apples material, highlighting 16 of the most well-known tracks of their already classic output.
“We have always pursued new sounds and different directions, trying to make something special,” says Schneider. “There is no better way to have a band.”
Through his songwriting and playing with The Apples, his influential production work for other Elephant 6 bands (Neutral Milk Hotel, The Olivia Tremor Control) and his many side projects (Marbles, Thee American Revolution, Ulysses), Schneider has been long respected as an architect of modern indie-pop. In recent years he has performed in feature films (Mike Myersâ€™ The Love Guru) and on the Colbert Report (â€˜Stephen, Stephenâ€™). Heâ€™s given lectures at prestigious Mathematical Association of America conferences, had his songs interpreted on American Idol (â€˜Energyâ€™), and completed a childrenâ€™s album (Robbert Bobbert & the Bubble Machine), all amid touring with The Apples and writing and recording new material. All of these extra-curricular activities have enabled Robert to bring the Elephant 6 â€˜create-anything you can, any way-you-canâ€™ ethos into the eye-line of popular consciousness and the mass media, yet #1 Hits Explosion marks the beginning in a new phase of focus on The Apples culminating in a new album in 2010. According to Schneider, “We are currently working on an album of soul music, filtered through a UFO.”
(Colorado Springs, CO):Â Â Colorado based luthier Andrew Scott has created a one of a kind Elephant 6 guitar for The Apples in stereo’s Robert Schneider.
The guitar, a playable piece of art made out of meteorite, elephant bones and combination of Walnut and Poplar woods, and shaped to play and perform much like a super-charged version of Schneider’s Danelectro DC-3. Scott came up with the idea in order to celebrate Schneider’s role in the long-enduring and profoundly influential Elephant 6 Collective which spawned The Apples in stereo, Neutral Milk Hotel, Olivia Tremor Control and numerous other members of their friendly confab.
“This Blindworm guitar plays incredibly well. It is the coolest, most beautiful, psychedelic guitar I have ever played!” enthuses Schneider. “The inlaid Elephant 6 logo is made of meteorite dust, and on the headstock, the elephant’s eyes are made of dinosaur bones. It feels like I am holding a living creature.”
“This guitar was custom designed down to the last detail,” explains Blindworm’s Andrew Scott. “This process started with tons of research into the sound qualities, materials, and design that would bestÂ accommodateÂ Robert.” (See detailed pics after the jump.)
“IÂ acquiredÂ a model of one of Robert’s favorite guitars, an original Danelectro DC-3 and took the favored qualities of this guitar (scale, weight, proportion, tone, etc.) and combined it with improved construction methods. Additionally, countless hours were spent watching how Robert plays a guitar, paying attention to strumming and picking style, how guitars sit with his arm and body, what sounds he uses.”
“The pickups were carefully selected to provide extensive range of new and familiar sounds for Robert. For his environmental conscience, only domestic woods were used. A hand rubbed oil finish was applied for the same reasons, as well as to give the instrument a softer smoother feel and improved tonality.”
“This guitar has its own life, and has been treated so since its conception. It listened to albums and albums of The Apples in stereo and other of Robert’s projects and videos during construction. When this guitar finally reached his hands, it already knew him. Â It needed him to feel normal and be a part of him before it ever left my shop!”
Schneider is currently at work on The Apples in stereo’s new album, tentatively titled “Travellers in Space and Time” but will be performing as his alter-ego kidsâ€™ project Robbert Bobbert and The Bubble Machine on the following dates:
Saturday, June 13: Children’s Day / South Street Seaport / New York, NY
(also performing: Zambelli Fireworks and The Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra)
Sunday, June 14: World Cafe Live / Peanut Butter And Jams
Monday, August 31:Â Children’s Day / Jay Pritzker Pavilion / Millennium Park / Chicago, IL
# # #
The Elephant 6 Guitar Technical Specifics:
– Solid wood, five piece neck through construction of Walnut with Poplar stripes
– Solid Poplar body
– Osage Orange fingerboard, nut, truss rod cover, pickguard, (same family as ebony, but domestic)
– Meteorite (collected in NW Africa) inlay for side fret markers, Elephant Six logo, and Blindworm Guitars logo.
– Lower elephant (upside down) is Indian, with pronounced trunk carved in the poplar body.
– Upper elephant is African, and carved into Walnut, with Osage Orange tusks
– Dinosoaur bone excavated in Colorado fills in the upper elephants’ eyes and the Blindworm snake’s eyes
– Custom made Walnut and Poplar knobs and switch
– 25″ scale, 24 jumbo frets
– Cream colored Duncan P-Rails, 2 Vol. 2 Tone. 3-way selector
– Sperzel locking tuners
# # #
Robert Schneider is the lead Composer, Arranger and Producer of The Apples in stereo, Robbert Bobbert, Marbles, and Ulysses, and was one of the founding members of The Elephant 6 Collective. He is also a well-known producer-engineer, having worked with such notables as Beulah, Neutral Milk Hotel and Olivia Tremor Control.
The Apples in stereoâ€™s â€œEnergyâ€ Featured on American Idol
On Wednesday nightâ€™s American IdolÂ the long-running weekly Ford commercial featuring AI contestants singing pop classics added another musical gem to its repertoire. The Applesâ€™ song â€œEnergyâ€ from their 2007 album New Magnetic WonderÂ was featured in the prominent in-show Ford spot by way of an enthusiastic re-recorded version featuring the remaining contestants. Recently the Ford-sponsored segment has included artists such as Britney Spears, Queen, Lykke Li and the J. Geils Band.
â€œEnergyâ€ will be included in the upcoming Apples best of collection “#1 Hits Explosion” due out later this year on Simian/Yep Roc/Elephant 6.
Lost in the Trees to perform this Thurs, 3/26 at Union Hall, Brooklyn. Show time is 8:00PM.
Please check out Carrboro, NC’s Lost in the Trees’ show this Thursday.
Preview here:Â (check out “Fireplace,” “Walk Around The Lake” and “Lost In The Snow”)
Video here:Â (skip first 30 seconds “Walk Around The Lake”)
I first became aware of this band about a year ago and have since seen them live and their live show blew me away. They performed recently at Schubas’ “Tomorrow Never Knows Festival” earlier in the winter. They are playing New York the Tuesday after SXSW and would love for you to check them out.
They have self-released an ep and lp on their own Trekky Records. However, I’m certain that they are flying under the radar of most of the industry.
“Melodic chamber-pop that is as musically ambitious as it is lyrically precious.” -All Music Guide
“Orchestral and ambitious…intensely lush.” -Pitchfork Media
“A sublime blending of Prokofiev’s ”Peter and the Wolf” with a dash of Vivaldi and the vocal stylings of a suaver Ben Gibbard from Death Cab.” -Entertainment Weekly
Lost In The Trees: Biography
Multi-instumentalist/songwriter/composer Ari Picker of the folk orchestra Lost in the Trees, began writing songs at age 15 in his hometown of Bynum, NC and started with instrumental music a mere two years later. Several years later, he would end up studying Film Music at the Berklee School of Music in Boston.
“I started listening to Atom Heart Mother by Pink Floyd and that really inspired me! I wanted to be able to write a composition like that,” Picker explains. “So, I taught myself how to read and write music, and then started composing in 10th grade.”
Having taken a leave of absence to give his project life, Picker moved back to North Carolina, where he had grown up and found a network of talented artists in which to rely upon. This “folk orchestra” concept, with arrangements written completely by Picker, include violin, viola, cello, trombone, french horn, tuba, accordion, bells, musical saw, banjo, mandolin, guitar, bass and drums, amongst other instruments.
Robbert Bobbert and The Bubble Machine On Sale Today!
Robert Schneider, the mind behind one of indie-rock’s seminal music groups, The Apples in stereo, will be releasing his debut children’s music album under the character name Robbert Bobbert for the Sony/RED Distributed Little Monster Records TODAY February 17, 2009.
The album, entitled Robbert Bobbert and The Bubble Machine will include a humorous comic book and coloring book both designed by artist Todd Webb, introducing kids and parents to his inventor/scientist character, Robert Bobbert.
“Recording music for children is an amazing and fun experience,”Â” Schneider explains. “Â“It forces me to be extra creative because you are writing for an extra creative audience. Kids’ ears are very tuned in to unusual sounds, so I threw many of my regular instruments out the window in order to come up with a whole new palette of colorful noises and wanted to make super-pop music that kids will like to sing along with.Â”” Schneider tests his tunes with his son Max.
In 2007, Schneider made his debut on the big screen in the Mike Myers’ vehicle “The Love Guru” where he enjoyed a cameo role and producing a song for the film. The ApplesÂ’ in stereo’s two most recent CDs for indie grownups – New Magnetic Wonder and Electronic Projects For Musicians, have been tremendous successes and are co-released through actor Elijah Wood’s Simian Records, Yep Roc Records and The Elephant 6 Recording Company.
Robbert Bobbert is being developed into a television series by Puny Entertainment and Carolyn Suzuki, the animation team behind Nickelodeon’s Yo Gabba Gabba show and the Creative Producer who has developed and produced hits for the Disney Channel and Cartoon Network, respectively.
Friday, February 20 – KiDS Place LiVe – Sirius/XM Satellite Radio
Saturday, February 21 – Jammin Java, Vienna, VA (Wash, DC), 11 am
Sunday, February 22 – The Bell House, Brooklyn, NY *Park Slope* 2 pm
Sunday, February 22 – Good Morning America (ABC), Robert Schneider Feature
ABC NEWS NOW’S AMPLIFIED TO OFFER AUDIO STREAM OF ROBBERT BOBBERT & THE BUBBLE MACHINE’S ALBUM ON ITS SITE: ABCNEWS.COM/AMPLIFIED
Beginning today, ABC News NOW’s “Amplified” a weekly indie rock show anchored by ABC News’ Dan Harris, will stream on its site, ABCNEWS.com/amplified, audio from the album Robbert Bobbert & The Bubble Machine. The full album will be available for two weeks at: ABCNEWS.com/amplified. Robbert Bobbert is the˜alter ego” and music project of Robert Schneider, who is the lead singer and bandleader of The Apples in stereo, performs kid friendly music for all ages.
Schneider was commissioned to write the theme music for â€œAmplified,â€ which premiered last week on ABC News NOW with an interview with musician Andrew Bird. Harris’ extensive interview with Bird about his latest album is available at: ABCNEWS.com/amplified. Each Monday the site will feature the latest interview from the week’s featured artists.
ABC News NOW is a 24-hour news, information and lifestyle network currently available across cable, broadband and mobile platforms. Key partners include Sprint, Verizon, Charter, RCN and MobiTV. ABC News Anchor Dan Harris hosts “Amplified” and David Wharton is the producer. Nancy Han is the executive producer of ABC News NOW.
ABC News Media Relations: Natalia Labenskyj, (212) 456-4396, email@example.com
I was excited to find Wired’s blog about Robbert Bobbert and The Bubble Machine today:
With notable contributions to music-heavy kid’s fare like Nickelodeon’s The Adventures of Pete & Pete and Cartoon Network’s Powerpuff Girls, The Apples, and more specifically frontman Robert Schneider, have long had a functional grasp of that blessed intersection between what’s simultaneously fun for kids and entertaining to adults. This trend continues with the forthcoming release of Robert’s debut children’s music album.More Kids Music That Doesn’t Suck: Robbert Bobbert & the Bubble Machine, Dec 2008