What’s Robothouse mean?
Simple answer: Nothing.
Robothouse is resonant. I still hear the word “Robothouse” from time to time. It’s used as a derogatory term in Flagstaff; the word seems synonymous with some sort of elitist vibe.
Nice, right. Thanks for the street cred. Here’s the history from the horse’s mouth: Robothouse wasn’t a house, it was an apartment. We had shows there, in the living room/kitchen for three years. We would put a couch up on its side, to put the PA on it. Bands played in the kitchen. Usually.
Some touring bands that played there were Federation X, Get Hustle, Flying Luttenbachers, Semiautomatic, The Locust, This Bike is a Pipebomb, Iowaska, Fleshies, Coachwhips, Kind of like Spitting, Blood Brothers, Dead and Gone, Tracy and the Plastics, and many, many others.
Some of the local (AZ) bands that played there were Fuchsia Ferrari, Half Skull, Ugly Kids, the Conversation, On Seduction, Gray Skys, the Necronauts, Ponies, Half Visconte, Stab City Slit Wrists, the Conversation and those are just the ones I was in and/or that I like.
We tried to have one or two shows a month, and when there was overflow, we would book shows elsewhere, and eventually found a home at One Eleven S San Francisco St, which we dubbed One Eleven (recently called the Lo-Fi.)
Who is ‘we?’
It’s not that important. We lived across the street from the tennis courts of NAU and lived in apartment number 3. Our neighbors in 2, (we were in #3, except for a brief period at the very beginning when Ray lived in #4) also had shows at their house. They were also rad elitist people, most of which, were women, and for whatever reason, don’t live in Flagstaff anymore. They are all raging successes. We started the website as means of promotion for the shows.
On July 25th, 2002, Robothouse held its last show. It was sweaty and positive. By August 1st, everyone moved out.
Bobby and Hesper graduated from college and moved to Tucson, Arizona keeping in contact with Flagstaff and eventually moving back via the band that would not stop, Ponies, until it stopped in the summer of 2005.
Shows continued. Robothouse continued as a website designed and maintained by Ray. Life continued. Elitism, born by Robothouse, spread like neoconservatism.
Ray, in his elitist selfish worldview, saw a tragic shortage of all ages venues in the Flagstaff community and began the still semi-conscious Flagstaff Youth Organization as a way of funding such a venue. That venue became what we elitists call One Eleven. Ray and other elitists tore down a stage that was felt too high and mighty (how elitist) and built the stage that is currently used by whomever rents out the space. He raised funds, and with the help of the Casebeer brothers and others, built a fantastic permanent sound system for all to use.
Of course, the venue, not loaded with bodies, as a giant empty room often does, sounded like shit. This was not Ray’s fault, as anyone who’s rented out the space would agree. But Ray was working that out. Unfortunately, (or very fortunately,) before improvements were made and grant money collected, Ray was evicted by the landlord and later libeled by him in NAU’s newspaper, the Lumberjack.
Ray got tired of booking shows (well after any normal human being would) and currently works at
Coconino Community College Northern Arizona University and has an apartment townhouse that any college student would be jealous of. He is a raging success story. As an elitist however, he feels the need to keep his status level high, and not fall into the anonymous crowd that you all belong to and continues to work on this fine website.
What is this website? That’s what I asked in the first place.
It’s a means to keep that Robothouse elitism alive. But more importantly, to document that elitism so that it can become a national and international cultural phenomenon.
As a Flagstaff elitist, I find that the shows here a lot of time, pretty much rule. The people here rule. The bands here, also rule. We need to document our ruling. The shows will continue. The radness will continue. As Ray and I move into the dreaded thirties, and are forgotten, we are confident things will continue to rule.
So Robothouse means elitism?
I’m pretty out of touch, but I think so. Now the other thing I hear about is the “Robothouse sound.” You know, that show coming up next week, “with the Robothouse bands?” Okay, well take a look at the list above.
What possible connection, aesthetically can you make between those local and national bands?
Anything? There is no connection, because we never cared about that. Nevertheless, there is one similarity: the willingness to play in a living room. The willingness to book a tour by yourself. From acoustic folk sounds to politically bent hardcore to metal brutality to dance-y electronic fun, who cares? We’re interested in promoting a certain kind of culture. A culture at war with the sheep that are okay with the celebrity hegemony, the expensive hair and the expensive jeans and the weak tunes that don’t say anything. They have got to go. We’re not interested. That’s Robothouse elitism. That’s our aesthetic. That’s our middle finger.
I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening, what’s the point again?
As you peruse the website here, please continue to talk shit. Please continue to spread negative energy. But as you do so, and so wonderfully and constructively criticize those that work hard to make sure you have something to hear, something to see, something to be inspired by, please ask yourself, what have I done? How have I contributed? How have I helped? How do I make communication better?
And for Christ sakes, shell out a few bucks for the touring band.
But don’t take our word for it, take NPR’s: Morning Edition Story on “Robot House”