North Adams, MA: Falling somewhere between the manic energy of Devo and the refined performance art of Laurie Anderson, My Robot Friend gives North Adams a jolt this winter in a visually and musically unique experience. My Robot Friend will quite literally light up the stage (costumes and gear will be illuminated) in the Club at MASS MoCA on Saturday, February 23, at 8 PM. The performance is sponsored by the Hans & Kate Morris Fund for New Music.
My Robot Friend exists at the intersection of performance art, pyrotechnics, and electronic dance music. Frontman Howard Robot performs in an elaborate light-up suit, interacting with other intricate illuminated objects, wireless video cameras, synchronized videos, and other odd homemade props. Humorous, subversive, conceptual, and sometimes verging on dangerous, My Robot Friend questions humans about their relationships with technology and with each other. Wired Magazine raves, “My Robot Friend produces a sound and experience that pushes the stigma of one-man bands to the limit with the use of unique electronics and well-written songs.”
My Robot Friend was born from the ashes of the late 1990s New York City band Princess (made up of Howard Robot, Miguel Gutierrez, and Autojulie3000), which broke up just before signing on to the legendary label Too Pure (PJ Harvey, Stereolab). It was then that Howard Robot, who had previously worked as a computer programmer, constructed the first version of the light-up suit that would evolve with time. Robot donned the handmade suit in 2001 and took the stage, covered in duct tape, LED lights, and electrical wires. New York City dance club audiences and critics immediately took notice. My Robot Friend earned a spot on Rolling Stone’s annual “Hot List” in its first year of existence.
In November 2004, My Robot Friend’s debut album, Hot Action!, hit the Top 20 Electronic Albums on iTunes international sales charts. Since then, My Robot Friend has released two full albums and numerous EPs. Artists such as The Pet Shop Boys and Robbie Williams have covered My Robot Friend’s songs. Remixers and collaborators have included bands as diverse as Antony, Matmos, Modeselektor, Jeans Team, Dean and Britta, Electronicat, Safety Scissors, Derrick Carter, Tommie Sunshine, Outputmessage, and Zombie Nation.
My Robot Friend takes the stage in MASS MoCA’s Club B-10 on Saturday, February 23, at 8 PM. Club B-10 is an intimate, casual venue on the third floor of MASS MoCA. Full bar plus dinner and snacks from Lickety Split are available before and during the show. Tickets are $12 in advance, $16 on the day of the show, and $10 for students. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office, located off Marshall Street in North Adams, from 11 AM until 5 PM (closed Tuesdays). Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased online at http://www.massmoca.org.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings. MASS MoCA is an independent 501(c)(3) whose operations and programming are funded through admissions and commercial lease revenue, corporate and foundation grants, and individual philanthropy.