Monday, February 23, 2015

Commercial Appeal Review of Let the Little Things Go

Vending Machine
Let the Little Things Go
(Shoulder Tap Records)
[view original article here]

Over the course of five albums, Big Ass Truck/Mouserocket singer-songwriter Robby Grant has indulged his quirky, left-field pop sensibilities via the mostly one-man, home-recorded project Vending Machine.

Grant’s sixth album under the moniker continues in that vein, adding a new multimedia component — the gorgeously illustrated CD/LP package comes courtesy of Russian-born artist Dimitri Drjuchin, and he plans to release videos for each of the album’s seven tracks over the next couple months at

Recorded over the past three years, Grant's latest packs a remarkable number of ideas and sounds into the brief 20-minute running time, from folktronica to industrial pop to lo-fi roots-rock, all of it played out on a collection toy keyboards, ancient drum machines and effects-laden guitars.

There’s a kind of sadness at the core of the songs. It is, in fact, a breakup record of sorts; Grant has said he intends to say goodbye to the Vending Machine conceit after this album. Let the Little Things Go serves as a perfect swansong then: a low-tech, high-concept journey through Grant’s nimble musical mind. —Bob Mehr

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Video for Ask You to Leave

Both at my day job and in my personal life, I'm fortunate to know several super-talented filmmakers and videographers.

When I first started putting the record together I thought it'd be great to have some music videos to go with it. The seven songs I chose are all pretty image-heavy from a lyrical standpoint, and Dima's brilliant cover art speaks for itself, so I guess I wanted to see how far I could push everything visually.

I was a little skeptical about asking folks to work for next to nothing, but it turns out I shouldn't have been. I was blown away by the positive response, and had no trouble finding friends who were as excited as I was about the idea of bringing the songs to life. The only criteria I had for the videos were 1) do whatever you want, and 2) I don’t want to be in the things.

So here it is -- the first of what'll hopefully be a seven-song video series -- Ben Siler and Douglas Sims's video for "Ask You to Leave."

Look for more in the coming weeks and months. (And please buy the record!)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Dima and "Let the Little Things Go" Cover Art

While touring with BAT in the 90s, I met my share of characters. Dima Drjuchin is one of very few I've managed to stay in touch with.

Around the time I launched Vending Machine in 2000, I asked Dima if he could do a t-shirt for me. In typical Dima fashion he agreed without hesitating, and sent me these incredible drawings a few days later. For various reasons (that all had to do with money) I never got the shirts printed, but I've had these designs pinned above my desk ever since.

Not surprisingly, he went on to be a successful artist, designing Father John Misty's amazing debut, among other things. Like me, he puts out his own records. Unlike me, he also actually gets t-shirts printed.

When “Let the Little Things Go” was coming together I sent Dima a rough edit and asked if he'd be interested in doing the cover. Not only did he say Yes (of course), he designed and laid out the entire package, adding a previous piece to the inside, art for the CD itself, and even a limited-run 13x13" poster.

Every time I look at this record and Dima's work, I can't think of a more perfect visual way to have brought the Vending Machine story full-circle.

Thanks, Dima!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Vending Machine - Let the Little Things Go to be released Tuesday 2/17/2015

The new Vending Machine record,“Let the Little Things Go”, will be out next Tuesday (2/17). Here’s the track listing as it appears on the back of the CD.

Here are a few facts about it:

  • Recorded almost entirely at home using Ableton Live and a Tascam 8 track recorder. One of the songs was recorded with Doug at Easley McCain Recording
  • Record will be available via a limited run of CDs (we only pressed up 100) and digital download (we got millions of those). It will only be for sale on the Bandcamp page (direct link to new record to come soon). I will also have an option to order a 13”x13” poster of the incredible record cover (more on that in the next couple of days). 
  • We will be releasing videos for each of the 7 songs over the next 2 or 3 months - each from different filmmakers. 
  • Last record I'm doing under the name "Vending Machine".
  • Last bullet point. Goodbye.

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