Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

Christmas Songs 2008

I just posted the Put a Quarter in the Christmas Vending Machine EP for this year.

You can download all the songs here.
Pay what you can (or not)!

Happy Holidays!

Christmas Limbs
Vending Machine

the north star
shined so bright it blinded me
and I ran into a christmas tree
and it fell right on top of me
i stood up and my

arms were branches
hair was tinsel
and feet were presents with bows
now you know

my eyes turned christmas lights
fingers changes to ornaments
when i got scared all my pine needles fell out
and the kids shout

they said help him
my future it looked grim
go my whole life needing a trim
that's when one kid grabbed me by my limbs
and took me inside

cut off my branches
pulled off the tinsel
opened my presents as shoes
now they do

peeled off the christmas lights
broke off all the ornaments
now i could see the star
that blinded me when I got here
and they all cheered

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Show next week! Vending Machine and Harlan T Bobo

Wed. Nov 26th 10pm!
Vending Machine with Harlan T. Bobo at the Hi-tone Cafe

A Vending Machine video:

A Harlan video:

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mouserocket live at the Ardent!

Check out this edition of the Ardent Sessions featuring Mouserocket featuring Alicja Trout and Robby Grant. The Memphis supergroup will soon be featured on MTV's new webisode series $5 Cover which chronicles the lives of a vast array of Memphis musicians!

00:00 The Ardent Sessions with Mouserocket
01:03 Ghost in a Jar
06:05 Hello, Talk to Me, Walk with Me
10:12 44 Times
13:39 Never Stand a Chance
18:03 Missing Teeth
23:25 All Been Broken
28:50 Place in Your Heart
30:00 Fall Down Sout
33:45 Black Helicopters
37:18 Alone Again
42:44 On the Way Downtown
51:07 Flying Saucer Home
55:49 Set on You
Ardent Sessions - Mouserocket

Ardent Sessions - Mouserocket - 'On the Way Downtown"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What Do You Hear? Robby Grant

By Bob Mehr (Contact)

Monday, September 8, 2008

mp3 of interview

Music writer Bob Mehr asks notable Memphians about their musical firsts and favorites.

This week: Robby Grant, founder of Big Ass Truck, and a member of Mouserocket, Vending Machine and the Ultracats.

What’s in your CD player, iPod or turntable at the moment?

That new Fleet Foxes record, the new Barbaras seven-inch, this old Flying Burrito Brothers greatest hits, and also, I just found XTC’s White Music, and have been listing to that a lot.

What was the first record you bought and where?

The first cassette was probably New Edition or Run-DMC’s King of Rock. The first CDs were Jimi Hendrix Live at Winterland and Ramones Mania.

What was your first concert and where?

The first concert I couldn’t see was Chuck Berry at the Mid-South Fair: I was too short. The one I was tall enough to see was Night Ranger at Mud Island.

If push comes to shove, what would you say is your favorite record of all time?

Probably, the Sly Stone record There’s A Riot Going On. There’s a home recorded quality to it, but a lot of personality in the record, which I love.

What, if anything, do you sing in the shower?

I’m either listing to NPR or WEVL. I like John Beifuss’ show, so whatever he’s playing usually I’m singing.

If you could be any musician, living or dead, other than yourself, who would it be?

David Byrne, mainly ‘cause he’s coming soon (to play in Memphis) so maybe he’ll read this and give me front row tickets to his show (laughs). Him or David Bowie; they’ve both had great careers doing what they want to do.

What’s your party jam? And your chill out record?

Lee Perry’s Chicken Scratch; no matter what the party or situation, people really dig it. Chill out record, I always go back to a Talk Talk’s Spirit of Eden.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mouserocket! Gonerfest! Saturday Night September 27th!

Mouserocket is playing Saturday night at Gonerfest:
Other bands on Saturday night:
Pierced Arrows
Static Static
Box Elders

Full schedule on the Goner site

Gonerfest, like all great things in this world, happened by accident. In 2005 Goner was releasing albums by King Khan & BBQ Show (their first) and King Louie One Man Band and scheduled them to play a friday and saturday night in January. Soon bands - including the Black Lips - wanted onto the shows, and we had 3 days worth of music . Just the bands would have filled the venue, the Buccaneer, which holds maybe 70 people, but people started planning trips from around the world to see the music that we'd lined up and also as an excuse to hang out in Memphis. When I saw a renowned Italian record label head hoofing it down seedy Cleveland Avenue at 10am one morning, I knew something was going on. We had 200 people in the bar, outside the bar, and roaming the streets of Memphis enjoying music, beer, and barbecue for a perfect, if sweaty, first Gonerfest.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Vending Machine Video for "Worms That Glow" Live at WEVL

Thanks to John Markham and Michael Norris at archer malmo for shooting and editing this video of the Vending Machine appearance on WEVL's "Memphis Beat" show.
Don't forget - Vending Machine live this Wednesday September 10th, 2008 at the Hi-Tone with Liam Finn.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Vending Machine (solo) opening for Liam Finn September 10th, 2008

Vending Machine one man band will be opening for the Liam Finn Wednesday night September 10th at the Hi Tone. His new record is great and the song "Second Chance" is incredible. Check out the video:

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mouserocket at the Cooper Young Festival / September 13th, 2008

More information on the Cooper Young website.

In its 21st year, this event has grown tremendously and is one of Memphis' most highly attended Festivals. This year over 80,000 guests will enjoy an appealing mix of art, music and crafts presented by over 370 artisans from around the country. This Festival is a true celebration of the arts, people, culture and Memphis heritage.

Scheduled Musical Performances for the Cooper Young Festival

Main Stage:
11:30:00 PM Lamplighter Junior Djembe Drum Troupe
12:15:00 PM U of M Jazz band
1:15:00 PM By All Means
2:15:00 PM Mouserocket
3:15:00 PM The Tennessee Tearjerkers
4:15:00 PM Snake Eyes
5:15:00 PM Eric Gales Band

Friday, August 08, 2008

Mouserocket will be playing Ardent Sessions on August 12th

Mouserocket will be live in the studio this Tuesday August 12th at 8pm. It's for the Ardent Sessions that are broadcast on Breakthru Radio. We'll be playing for about an hour or so.

Contact us if you're interested in coming via MySpace -

What are the Ardent Sessions?
Past videos from Ardent Sessions

It's free and will last from 8 til around 10pm. BYOB. Come on!

Also - check out the review of the review for Mouserocket's new album "Pretty Loud" on Pitchfork.

Pretty Loud
[Tic Tac Totally; 2008]

In some ways, Memphis has never gotten over garage rock. Largely left to their own devices by an industry that had little use for the city after the 1970s, generations of local musicians have been rethinking, reformulating, and in some cases re-creating that 60s sound and attitude. Following the Grifters, Simple Ones, and Oblivians in the early 1990s, the members of MouseRocket have mined these influences for more than a decade in numerous outfits: Alicja Trout in Lost Sounds (with Jay Reatard), the River City Tan Lines, and Black Sunday; Robby Grant in Big Ass Truck and Vending Machine; and cellist Jonathan Kirkscey in, um, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. In 2004, with rhythm section Hermant Gupta and Robert Barnett, they released a self-titled debut full of dirty guitars, distorted vocals, raunchy organs, and covers of Love and the Nightcrawlers.

Gloriously dark and weird, MouseRocket sounds like a one-off, but it wasn't. Four years later, the band has launched its follow-up, Pretty Loud, which they recorded locally over two years and are releasing exclusively on vinyl (the LP includes an afterthought CD, but it sounds significantly better on a turntable). It's a swifter- and cleaner-sounding record, less distracted by all the noisy interludes, spoken-word samples, and studio shenanigans that gave the debut its oddball flair. In a word, Pretty Loud sounds professional: a concerted effort by a real live band rather than just a bunch of friends screwing around in the studio. Both approaches have their merits, of course, and opener "All Been Broken" immediately lays out the virtues of this new attack. Beginning with Grant's low vocals over Kirkscey's elegant cello, the song crescendos into a heavy riff that sounds like the fossilized skeleton of a Dinosaur Jr song. MouseRocket have carefully arranged the song for maximum impact, ratcheting up the soft-loud dynamics until everything falls into place on the last chorus, which smacks you squarely in the jaw.

MouseRocket reshuffle the garage rock deck effectively, adding classic-rock guitars, punk vocals, new wave keys, prog drums, and Kirkscey's dexterous cello, which reinforces Grant and Trout's brazen riffs, bolsters Gupta's booming bass, and generally adds a distinctive texture to these songs. A curiously calm, nearly Byrdsian guitar theme opens "Never Stand a Chance", which builds over three minutes to an ear-splitting freak-out finale. Trout and Grant trade off vocals, each proving a commanding frontperson: He gives "All Been Broken" and "44 Times" a world weariness that contrasts nicely with the songs' frantic energy, and she alternates between sing-songy vocals on the country-pop "Set on You" and shouted attacks of the glam-metal "Shadows", whose abrupt, punchy chorus is one of the album's best moments.

The album flags toward the end. Following a buzzy cover of Steven Calhoun's "Fall Down South", "Steal" deconstructs itself aimlessly, barely holding together, and the start-stop momentum of "Aphrodite" is more stop than start. They're followed by an "electro" version of the MouseRocket closer "Missing Teeth", whose paranoid lyrics about fluoridated water are illustrated with muted beeps and clicks that cannot improve on the original. Sequenced together, they close a strong album weakly, which is especially a shame considering that most of Pretty Loud manages to put a distinctive stamp on familiar styles. Most bands never get around to doing that, but MouseRocket have done it twice already.

- Stephen M. Deusner, July 30, 2008

Link to article

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Vending Machine on Thursdays with Rachael and the City

On this week’s show Rachelandthecity folks things up! The theme seems to be solo artists who took a name and then a band. Listen up for new music from The Boy Bathing including an interview with singer/songwriter David Hurwitz from the band. Also on this week’s show, some fantastic live tracks from Oh No! Oh My!, Vending Machine and The Silent Parade.

00:00 Thursdays with Rachelandthecity
01:00 Big Mistake - Tim Fite
04:26 Simple Heart - The Hereafter
09:40 Heart-Shaped Stone - Freddie Stevenson
12:35 The Backseat - Oh No! Oh My! (Live from the Hitone)
17:18 Interview with David Hurwitz of The Boy Bathing
33:24 The Beaches Meet the Sea - The Boy Bathing
36:55 A Fire - the Boy Bathing
42:50 Black Dirt - Sea Wolf
46:29 Better to Be - Liam Finn
50:14 When Will I See You Again - Vending Machine (Live from the Hitone)
54:24 Sing Along - The Silent Parade

Play it here:

Friday, July 18, 2008

Rock for Love 2 at the Hi-Tone August 22nd, 2008

Second-annual Rock for Love benefit concert planned for August 22-23 at the Hi-Tone Café.

Vending Machine is playing first (half solo/half full band) on Friday night August 22nd - so get there early.

Full lineup:
  • Lord T and Eloise
  • Two Way Radio
  • J.D. Reager and the Cold Blooded Three
  • Vending Machine

More info:

For more than 20 years, the Church Health Center has provided quality, affordable healthcare to thousands of uninsured working people in Shelby County – many of whom are working musicians.

On August 22-23, members of the Memphis music community will come together at the Hi-Tone Café for the second-annual Rock for Love concert – an effort which aims at giving back to the organization that has helped so many of them.

The concert will not only raise vital funds for the Center, but it will also celebrate the diversity of Memphis music with performances by some of the city's best bands, including Lord T and Eloise, Snowglobe, Two Way Radio, Antenna Shoes, J.D. Reager and the Cold Blooded Three, Vending Machine and the Coach and Four. Oh No Oh My and The Royal Bangs will also perform.

For information about sponsorship opportunities, call Marvin Stockwell or Jeff Hulett at (901) 272-7170.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Vending Machine Mention in Outside Magazine, June 2008

Our friend Jonathan Kiersky at the Hi-Tone Cafe put "Desert Sun Played" on his summer mix. Check out the side bar below from Outside Magazine's June 2008 issue.

The perfect party mix...doesn't exist. But some people know better than others. And few can be trusted more than the folks at the Hi-Tone Cafe, in barbacue capital Memphis, Tennessee. The pizza joint hosts about 1,000 bands for 300 shows a year--both local and national touring acts. "If a tremendous band is playing rooms our size," says owner Jonathan Kiersky (who suggests the rootsy starter mix here), "they will be playing the Hi-Tone."

1. "Honey, I'm Too Old for You" Jack-O and the Tennessee Tearjerkers
2. "Push and Pull," Viva L'American Death Ray Music
3. "T New," Antenna Shoes
4. "Desert Sun Played," Vending Machine [Buy on iTunes]
5. "Is There a Ghost," Band of Horses
6. "So Much Trouble," Matt Pond PA
7. "Ugly Things," Unknown Hinson
8. "The Cry of Melora," Black CObra
9. "Last Day of Winter," Pelican
10. "Veni Vidi Vici," Black Lips

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Article: Rockin' Rockey, Redbirds mascot, gets his own theme song

From the Commercial Appeal:
Rockin' Rockey, Redbirds mascot, gets his own theme song

By Jim Masilak
Wednesday, May 7, 2008

In a bid to get more fans shuffling down to AutoZone Park, the Redbirds are launching a new interactive marketing strategy based on their most identifiable, ahem, personality: Rockey the Rockin' Redbird.

The nonprofit ballclub commissioned a song from a local artist, shot a music video and choreographed a dance all based around their popular beaked mascot.

The St. Louis Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate hopes that the result, "The Rockey Shuffle," will capture the imagination of the team's youngest fans and help lead families back to the ballpark after six straight years of declining attendance.

"We're always looking for a way to improve the fan experience," said Jason Potter, the Redbirds' director of marketing. "Looking at who is behind the decision to (go to the ballpark), I think it's the kids. If you can win the hearts and minds of the little ones, you're halfway there."

In considering the team's main selling points and the most logical subjects to base a campaign around, Potter decided Rockey was the obvious choice. Unlike the Triple-A club's players, who rarely stay in town for more than a year or two, Rockey is established as the face of the franchise.

"Rockey's our No. 1 marketing asset," Potter said. "We want to emphasize the individual experience at AutoZone Park. What's something we can get the kids engaged in on an individual level? We decided to put Rockey on a more interactive level."

Toward that end, Potter recruited Robby Grant, frontman for 1990s rockers Big Ass Truck, to create a new theme song for Rockey. Performing as Vending Machine, his pseudonymous solo project, Grant composed three songs and solicited input from his 8-year-old son, Five, and 3-year-old daughter, Sadie, before recording the version of "The Rockey Shuffle" now being heard at AutoZone Park.

"We've been to Redbird games and my son definitely knows about Rockey," Grant said. "That's kind of the impetus for me doing it -- my kids, and getting to share the whole process with them.

"They told me what was good."

Grant recorded "The Rockey Shuffle" at Easley McCain Studios. The two-minute, 45-second track features Robert Barnett, Quinn Powers, Doug Easley, Sean Faust and about two dozen kids who can be heard in a dueling chant of "Rockey! Rockey!"

Potter said Grant's participation "lends it a certain amount of indie credibility. We're borrowing some of Robby's cool."

The song debuted recently to rave reviews at AutoZone Park, where about 150 kids took part in a postgame video shoot on a cold Sunday afternoon. The song encourages listeners, among other things, to "put your elbows out beside you and flap them like they're wings" and "take a step to the right and do a loud scream."

The Redbirds hope the song and dance prove popular enough with fans that they'll submit video of their own interpretations. The best ones could end up on the stadium scoreboard between innings.

Potter, who said there are also plans for T-shirts based on "The Rockey Shuffle," said fans have already been requesting encore performances at home games.

"We really want this to be an element that kids come to the park expecting to hear and that adults get in their heads and sing on the way home," said Potter, who talks about marketing Redbirds games to families as "nine-inning vacations."

The song has already hit the local airwaves, making the play list at WEVL-FM 89.9, the city's volunteer radio station.

The Redbirds are selling CD singles for $5 each at the Backstop Baseball Emporium adjacent to AutoZone Park, and fans can listen online at or at

-- Jim Masilak: 529-2311
-- Pic by Nikki Boertman/The Commercial Appeal

Link to story:

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Mouserocket | Commercial Appeal | Mouserocket likes it Pretty Loud

On second album, band maintains spirit of collaboration, improvisation
By Bob Mehr
Friday, April 25, 2008

Although they've been playing together since 2001, the members of Mouserocket did something for the first time recently: They took a band photo.

It's odd that it should take so long -- nearly a decade, a handful of album and single releases, and countless shows -- for a band to get around to such a basic task, but Mouserocket has always operated in fairly unconventional manner.

A local "supergroup" of sorts, the band features guitarists/vocalists Alicja Trout (Lost Sounds, River City Tanlines) and Robby Grant (Big Ass Truck, Vending Machine), cellist Jonathan Kirkscey (Rob Jungklas Trio, Hi Electric), and drummer Robert Barnett and bassist Hemant Gupta.

Though it started it out as a side project for most of its members -- and remains that way to a large extent -- Mouserocket has become a fixture on Memphis' indie rock scene, while the band's recordings represent some of the best work any of them has done. Tonight, the group celebrates the release of its second and latest effort, Pretty Loud, with a show at the Hi-Tone Café.

"When we started," says Trout, "for me, Mouserocket was the band I'd go to and be like, 'This is a group where I can just enjoy music' -- as opposed to feeling stress or the pressure of touring or a career."

Originally built around a handful of children's songs Trout wrote in the late '90s, she began rehearsing with drummer Barnett and guitarist Grant, veterans of Big Ass Truck and Vending Machine.

"Originally, I was just going to come in and play loud guitar," says Grant, who soon began contributing his own songs to the mix.

Then, Gupta and Kirkscey came along, the two being old friends, roommates and band mates. "In high school, Jonathan played guitar in the band and I played sitar," says Gupta, whose mother is an accomplished sitar player. "She was teaching me for a bit but it didn't work, so I got a bass."

Kirkscey, who joined the Memphis Symphony in 1999, connected with Trout via their work together on the soundtrack to Craig Brewer's debut film, "The Poor & Hungry," and later, Kirkscey briefly played with her in the notoriously combustible Lost Sounds.

Kirkscey was invited to play with Mouserocket, and Gupta arrived with him, his bass in tow. "They came as a package, one day they both showed up together," says Grant. "And that was the band."

Mouserocket's self-titled debut, released in 2004 on Empty Records, was a quirky, angular affair that merged an early-'90s lo-fi/four-track aesthetic with the big-tableau pop of XTC and the odd blast of Sonic Youth-styled guitar noise.

Although they continued to play as Mouserocket with some regularity over the next few years, the group ultimately took a backseat to the band members' individual pursuits. Trout was busy with the Lost Sounds and later the River City Tanlines, and then the birth of a baby girl; Grant and Barnett continued with their quirk-pop combo Vending Machine and families of their own; while Gupta finished law school, got married and took a job at the firm of Butler Snow. Kirkscey is the only one in the band who's single or doesn't have kids.

"Be sure to print that," jokes Grant. "'Jonathan is single ... and he likes taking long walks on the beach.'"

Finally last summer, the band decided to try to complete work on its sophomore album, Pretty Loud. Recorded at various home studios in fits and starts over the last four years, it combines news songs as well as polishing up a few nuggets from Trout's and Grant's back catalogs.

Although Grant and Trout generally provide the original impetus of the songs, Mouserocket has, over the years, evolved into a more collaborative unit -- something that adds a unique texture to its indie-rock concoctions.

"For me, the songs start as something really simple that would sound good with big parts and people adding their own layers to it," says Trout. "Or it's something that's really unfinished and we work on it at practice -- 'cause we don't really practice our set; we just sort work on new material when we get together."

A kind of flowing improvisational element -- with each member adding his or her own touches to the songs -- has come to define Mouserocket, particularly on stage. "We all sort of enjoy the freedom to experiment and be creative," says Kirkscey. "That's a good environment to play music in."

"Although sometimes at shows, we don't know what we're supposed to be playing," says Trout, to gales of laughter. "It's like, 'Um, I think most of us played the D chord there.'"

Perhaps the biggest difference, both in concert and on Pretty Loud, is Kirkscey's cello work. Beyond his job with the symphony, Kirkscey has become the go-to cellist in local pop and rock circles, playing with everyone from Cat Power to Al Green to Harlan T. Bobo. His keening, sometimes dissonant playing has become a defining part of Mouserocket's sound.

"At first, trying to compete with these guys was incredibly difficult," says Kirkscey. "I tried a lot of different pickups, amp and pedals. I didn't have anybody to tell me how to play rock cello in a band, so it was trial and error. I think I've gotten it to where I can compete volume-wise with these guys. It's only taken seven years to get there."

Following a recent industry trend, Pretty Loud is being released this week, by Chicago's Tic Tac Totally! label, as a vinyl LP with a CD of the recording packaged inside. The vivid cover art that accompanies the album is the creation of New Orleans musician Miss Pussycat, depicting the band as furry, tribble-like creatures.

"She made a different puppet of each of us, but I had to describe everybody over the phone to her," says Trout, chuckling, "'cause we had no pictures. . . . They're pretty good interpretations, though."

Although the disc is already generating good reviews (including a recent nod on the Los Angeles Times Web site), it's unlikely -- given the band members' personal commitments in Memphis -- that they'll hit the road to promote the disc.

"This band has tons and tons of potential to do stuff, except most of us are not in the position to tour it," says Trout.

They will make the local rounds beginning with tonight's CD release at the Hi-Tone, continuing with an acoustic show at Goner Records May 1, and an in-store at Shangri-La Records later next month.

Although Mouserocket's members continue to stay busy with various projects, the band is something none of them plans on ever leaving behind. In fact, they all agree it's one group they can see playing in when they're old and gray.

"It's weird to think that," says Trout, "but it's true."

"Well, it's because we never have fights," says Kirkscey. "That's a rare thing to have in a band."

"That kinda is the deal with us. We don't have any drama. Which probably makes us boring," adds Grant, laughing. "We're happy to manufacture some if you want, though."

--Bob Mehr: 901-529-2517

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mouserocket | Memphis Flyer Article | Meeting in the Middle

Robby Grant's "pretty" and Alicja Trout's "loud" morph into Mouserocket.

The Midtown Memphis music scene has long been an incestuous network. It's almost hard to find prominent musicians who haven't worked together at one point or another. But one of the more interesting pairings in this world might be Robby Grant and Alicja Trout, who co-front the underrecognized indie-rock quintet Mouserocket.

Grant made his name on the local scene as the frontman for '90s notables Big Ass Truck but has lately recorded most of his music via the somewhat-solo project Vending Machine, a home-recording-oriented "band" in which Grant tends to write quirky, dreamy songs about subjects such as his wife, kids, and home life.

Trout became a major player on the local indie/punk scene via the synth-rockers the Clears and, later, as a co-conspirator (alongside Jay Reatard) in the ferocious Lost Sounds. More recently, Trout's signal band has the blistering power trio River City Tanlines. In Mouserocket, Grant and Trout meet halfway: Trout tones it down, and Grant amps it up.

"The whole pretext for me was that I wanted to make a lot of noise and play guitar and not write songs," Grant says. "I think Alicja turned to me one time at band practice and asked, 'What song are you going to do?' So it's kind of morphed into that. But what I like to do in this band is play really loud guitar and sing really loud."

Mouserocket started out, a decade ago, as a Trout side project of sorts — an outlet for lighter, poppier, more playful songs that didn't fit her other projects. But it's developed over the years into a classic, collaborative band.

"Here you can bring a skeleton of a song, or less, and make something," Trout says. "Everyone can come up with a part. It takes a lot to get to that point, but it's a true band. The sound isn't determined by the songwriters."

The band members who have coalesced around Trout and Grant include former Big Ass Truck drummer Robert Barnett, cellist Jonathan Kirkscey, and bassist Hermant Gupta. Barnett also plays with Grant in Vending Machine, and, in a Midtown landscape where there seems to be a handful of talented drummers who serve an entire scene, he stays busy, playing with Rob Jungklas, Hi Electric, and a jazz trio with guitarist Jim Duckworth and Jim Spake.

"He probably plays in more bands than any of us," Grant says.

Kirkscey plays in the Memphis Symphony Orchestra but lately has been bringing his classical chops to the rock world. Gupta, alone among his fellow Mouserocketeers, is a one-band man.

With its members involved in so many projects, Mouserocket is not the type of band that practices regularly or lives together in a tour band. But everyone agrees that, with a familiarity born out of a decade together, the band thrives on its looser framework.

"We've gotten to the point where we don't play a lot together, but we've played together for a long time," says Grant. "We're not a band that practices once a week and that practices our old songs. We can play shows and come together without that."

"Our shows are boring if we practice too much," Trout says.

This fruitfully ramshackle quality is reflected in the band's new album, Pretty Loud, only its second official full-length release and one that was recorded over several years. It features new versions of several previously recorded songs — two from Mouserocket's past ("Missing Teeth" and "Set on You," previously poppy rock songs here gone electro and country, respectively), one from Vending Machine ("44 Times"), and one from Trout's solo project Black Sunday (the epic "On the Way Downtown," which richly deserves a second life).

Along the way, the album presents a sonic variety — especially in guitar sounds — perhaps unique among Grant's and Trout's myriad projects.

"That's probably a result of it being recorded over such a long time in so many different places," Grant says of the variety. "But I love that about it."

"What are you supposed to do when you're a songwriter and you record a song on a seven-inch that sells 300 copies or whatever and then you record a better version with a band that's playing live?" Trout asks about reusing old songs, particularly "On the Way Downtown." "Black Sunday is my solo thing, but if I'm playing [that song] live and the version is totally different, I think you have the license to record it again."

If Mouserocket has, at times, been secondary to Grant's and Trout's other musical outlets, now the band seems to be moving to the forefront. As the father of two, Grant isn't as free to tour (or as interested in touring) as he was in his Big Ass Truck days. Trout, the mother of a six-month-old girl, is in a similar place.

"For me, when I was in Lost Sounds, it was very stressful, and I needed this band to remind me that music was fun," Trout says. "I've put it on the backburner because touring was taking up so much time. Now that I'm not touring ... You know, having a kid has given me less time in some ways, but it's given me more time to think about [my music]."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New Mouserocket Record and Show

The new Mouserocket record "Pretty Loud" is coming out next week.

Check out more on the Tic Tac Totally website.

We have a show coming up next week too:

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Rockey Shuffle - Vending Machine does a song for the Memphis Redbirds baseball team

The new Vending Machine song AND dance, "The Rockey Shuffle" will debut as a part of this Sunday's (April 13th, 2008) "Baptist Pediatric Care Kids Opening Day" festivities at the Memphis Redbird's AutoZone Park.

As is the Sunday tradition at the park, kids will be invited to run the bases at the conclusion of the game, which will be followed by a special invitation for all to stick around and be a part of the making of the Rockey Shuffle video which we will use throughout the season both in-game and on the Memphis Redbirds website.

Sunday's first pitch is scheduled for 1:35 PM, and tickets are available at or by calling (901) 721-6000.

The song was recorded last month at the new Easley McCain studio and features Robert Barnett, Quinn Powers, Doug Easley, Sean Faust and a cast of kids.

Check back here Sunday night as well to hear the song. We will be posting it here!

April 16, 2008 - Update! Take a listen here:

Monday, March 31, 2008

Show this weekend and muxtape

Hey - we're playing (second)this Friday night at the Hi Tone with Antenna Shoes.

Also - I made a muxtape. Take a listen.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Vending Machine at Shangri-La - Saturday Afternoon March 22nd, 2008


"Pre-Party" Afternoon Bash! FREE SHOW starring

* 2:00 pm: Jump Back Jake
* 2:45 pm: Ultracats
* 3:30 pm: Vending Machine
* 4:15 pm: Noise Choir
* 5:00 pm: Perfect Fits
* 5:45 pm: Warble

Check out for more details!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Memphis Flyer and Commercial Appeal Top 10 lists

Hey - this is kinda old news, but King Cobras Do made a couple of year end lists. Check it:

Memphis Flyer:
2. King Cobras Do — Vending Machine (Shoulder Tap): Where so much indie rock this year (ha — "this year") felt insular, Robby "Vending Machine" Grant's King Cobras Do is instead cozy. It's a home-recorded gem that takes domestic intimacy as its great subject: His son contributes free-associative lyrics; his toddler daughter is the subject of the delicate "Tell Me the Truth and I'll Stop Teasing You"; his wife gets a tribute on "Rae" that includes images of "dancing in the den" and memories that are palpably lived-in ("Remember when our room was just a bed?"). Even the house itself gets into the act with "Good Old Upstairs," a song about the attic studio where King Cobras Do was created. -I
Read the rest of the top 10 - Memphis Flyer

Commercial Appeal:
5. Vending Machine, King Cobras Do (Shoulder Tap): Memphis music scene mainstay Robby Grant (Big Ass Truck, Mouserocket) delivers his fifth solo effort under the Vending Machine moniker, and it proves his most entertaining exercise in left-field pop yet. A charmed collision of styles and sounds, its 12 tracks refract everything from '50s doo-wop to early '80s Australian pop through Grant's skewed kaleidoscope. - Bob Mehr
Read the rest of the top 10 - Commerical Appeal

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Friday, February 01, 2008

Ratings and Recommendations by outbrain