Songs for swingin' poseurs.
*special introductory paragraph!
Mark Robinson thrives on nonsense like this. Easy listening for hip '90s indie rock fans. Postmodern usurping of old-fangled liner notes and album sleeve constructions. Claims that every song was written by a superstar of the '40s (Were they? I have no clue, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and doubt it). This is horsenoodle! Absolute horsenoodle! But who knows what goes on in Mister Robinson's lil' mind when he wakes up in the morn? Never you mind, 'cause the man has found the most beauteous guitar tone known to man, and possesses the ability to provide said tone with many a gorgeous melody to boot. Who is this confounded Mark Robinson, you might be asking yourself? Well sir, he used to be in Unrest (who were killer) and now he's in Air Miami (who are bonus). And who else is in this goddamned band? Well first, let me ask you this - Did you know that the ashes of a cremated human body are called "cremains"? I'm not even kidding!!! That's in the dictionary!!! Now then, Grenadine also contains (contained? I know that it's just a side project, but they've already made TWO albums - who's to say that they won't make more?) Jenny Toomey of Tsunami (who are okay) and Rob Christiansen of Eggs (who are or were okay, depending on whether or not they've broken up yet. One thing about Eggs - they really didn't write that many good songs. But we'll talk about them at some other point).

Together they made some lovely strains, yes they did. Let's speak of the albums at this point.

* Goya - Shimmy Disc 1992 *
Rating = 10

Awfully slow and mellow, like Unrest gone even more dentist office than they were by the time they broke up anyway. But lovely. Jackie Gleason would have been fond of these tunes if he had not so sadly passed away a few years back. Perhaps Frank Sinatra even might have dug these crazy tunes had he not said his final goodbyes to our Earth on that fateful day in '9(fill in later). So it's all just lovely electric guitars. No strings or brass or nothin'; just hauntingly gorgeous guy and gal vox layered atop soothing and mostly catchy mid-to-slow guit melodies. My gal digs it even more than I do, so if you're a gal, purchase it at a grocery or album sale near you soon! At least two of these, "I Only Have Eyes For You" and "Jingle Bells," are covers. Others may be as well. I don't know, though; I don't listen to this shitty piece of shit non-rock-and-roll dinosaur piss music.

One final word: Dock.

Oh hell, that word didn't allow me to express any emotions whatsoever. Give me a few more, because I want to draw your attention to how deathly serious they seem about this project (except for "Jingle Bells," which is funny). Mark Robinson is weird. But if you're a rocker with a romantic side, you should get this one. The guitar tones are harmonious chiming bells of Heaven, and the songwriting just reeks of the acrid stench of love.

Reader Comments (Scott)
One of the finest jangling efforts in indie-pop . . . exactly what is to be expected from a DC indie-pop supergroup. Understated, romantic, and somber, featuring fine originals and only one known cover: the Flamingos' "I Only Have Eyes For You." Christiansen has the spare drumming if you've got the time. Goes down smooth like a cocktail.

By the way . . . Eggs are no more, were excellent, wrote any number of good songs, and are worthy of immediate discussion any day of the week. (Whew!)

Andrew Beaujon has done some (mighty fine) solo singles. Christiansen did a (mind blowing) solo 10", but currently records in (the quite formidable recording outfit) Viva Satellite. (New album in Sept.) (Mark Cybulski)
Mark, I'm just so damn glad you've acknowledged Mark Robinson on this site.

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Nopalitos - Shimmy Disc 1994.
Rating = 7

Okay, this one isn't anywhere near as romantic as the first one, plus several of the songs seem kinda half-assed and too jokey. One song is made up (possibly) almost entirely of Steely Dan quotes. Three others ("What On Earth Has Happened To Today's Youth?," "Hell Over Hickory Dew," and "Roundabout On A Tuesday") are boppy flapper music recorded with old-timey mics and filled with silly lyrical jokes strewn throughout. Sure, there are still several "serious songs," but most of 'em are so screwed up by annoying production techniques (another of Robinson's pet loves) that they're clearly not meant to be taken too terribly seriously. Even the band pics are lighthearted this go round. Weird. Good record, but a bit too novelty for a conglomeration so capable of creating tear-jerkoffs. Get it if you've got a decent sense of humor and appreciate a delightful poptone.

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