Posts Tagged ‘an elephant’

Fishboy at Backseat Mafia

Denton Texas four-piece Fishboy are a band that like a story. If you’ve followed their career its been littered with story based albums, ep’s and 7inches, often accompanied by comic books that delve into the theme a little deeper. The album that started to get them noticed in the outside world was Albatross: How We Failed to Save the Lone Star with the Power of Rock and Roll, which followed the story of the ghost of Buddy Holly who teams up with the band in your everyday (well, maybe in the Fishboy world) tale of going on a crime spree / tour performing all the songs (chief songwriter) Eric Michener had written in his sleep since he was in the womb (all 8,030).

Now the band are back with a new album / wordless graphic novel based on, well, an elephant. Crucially though, its not just any elephant, but Topsy, the elephant famously electrocuted by Thomas Edison. Not completely new subject matter (think of Lucy Dysons brilliant animated video for All India Radio’s Persist), but the band have made good use of the story, or at least their version of it, which follows Topsy’s attempts to avenge her death and pass into the afterlife.

Opener Electrical Elephant sets the scene – a vehicle for Michener and his lyrical dexterity, tale telling, tall stories and scene setting, over this frankly (generally) lovely power-pop / indie rock. Its straight up, driving music, with something of the Los Campesinos! about it in places, slightly leftfield but essentially flowered with the kind of fuzzy bubblegum melodies that quickly get stuck to the bottom of your heart.

Both Thomas Alva waiting and ‘Elephant in the room’ follow a similar theme, the latter in particular being one of the albums melodic high points, a little splash of brass and feedback adding a little colour to the palette. Elsewhere on the album, Totes Parts 1 & 2 are both, in their own different way, lovely with just a hint of Eels and even Mudhoney as well as their own reference points (or at least that of the press release) Danielson minus the crusades and of Montreal minus the perversion and disco.

There’s many lovely moments on the record, the flash of emotion and anger in I’m a Ghost and the stuttering Bury My Body, but perhaps best is the heartbreak of the aftermath of Topsys death, beautifully handled in Bury My Body.

That they chose to shed light (no pun intended) on a story that deserves attention is one thing, that they’ve done it in such a thoughtful and in some ways unexpected fashion (not the banjo filled indie folk, full of pregnant pauses and faux sincerity I’d feared) is so refreshing. It’s a shame more people don’t know the story of Edison and Topsy, but it’d be even more of a shame if more people don’t hear this record from Fishboy.


Fishboy at Dallas Observer

How’s this for an album release party? A band records a concept album about an elephant that was killed by Thomas Edison, and releases an accompanying “wordless graphic novel” that helps fill out the poor creature’s story. The band then decides to celebrate the release not at, you know, a concert venue, but inside of a bookstore. Certain scenes will be acted out from the story. And there will be costumes involved.

The first thing you’d probably say would be, “It must be happening in Denton.” And you would be right. More specifically, it’s happening at Recycled Books and Records this Sunday, and the band behind it all is Fishboy. It may just be the funnest thing happening in North Texas all weekend.

Fishboy is the brainchild of Denton musician Eric Michener. It started simply enough — i.e. as a rock band — back in 2003, but over the years Michener (a videographer by trade) has gradually morphed the band together with his love for visual art. In recent years that’s meant increasingly incorporating elaborate artwork into Fishboy’s aesthetic: intricate vinyl inserts, self-published tour diaries, conceptual 7-inch comics. Anything is fair game.

“Comics were something I had always wanted to be a part of,” Michener explains. “So I used the band’s small but dedicated fan base as a testing ground for self publishing my own stuff. We still sell more records than comics but hopefully one day my talents will be somewhat equalized and I’ll have an audience for both.”

In the case of An Elephant — which tells the story of Topsy, an elephant that was publicly electrocuted by Thomas Edison in 1903, and her attempts to “avenge her death and pass into the afterlife” — that means a 13-song LP accompanied by a 160-page comic. (Check out both at “‘Wordless graphic novel’ is a fancy way for saying a comic book with only pictures,” Michener says of the format. The reasons for the lack of text, he says, are twofold: One, Topsy (being an elephant) can’t speak, and two, he wanted to honor the silent movies that Edison helped pioneer.

All in all, some pretty high-concept stuff.

But it should all be a hell of a lot of fun to see done live and in-person, too. Songs will be performed on a host of acoustic instruments, including brass, woodwinds and “a xylophone with two broken keys.” Michener will also be walking the audience through the story. In Pied Piper fashion, he says, “[I may] possibly guide them to different locations in the maze-like store depending on how tolerant everyone is.”

An Elephant actually already had a release party, but Sunday’s show is for the vinyl edition. At the first release party, Michener says that many of the characters’ handmade costumes were destroyed or given away, but that there should be new ones this weekend. If all goes to plan, things should wind up getting a little carried away. (See photos below.) Either way, it should all be a blast.

Click through for photos!


Fishboy at D Magazine

Although it had to be pushed back, Denton act Fishboy’s new album will see release on Sunday, December 14. Don’t these bands know that new records only come out on Tuesdays? The record is called An Elephant and it will be accompanied by a graphic novel. The story revolves around the horrific story of a pachyderm being killed by Thomas Edison, by way of the inventor trying to prove how dangerous alternate current was. Fishboy’sEric Michener explains here:

An Elephant is a 13 song rock album and wordless graphic novel about the ghost of Topsy, the elephant who was publicly electrocuted by Thomas Edison in 1903, and her attempts to avenge her death and pass into the afterlife.

Michener is always extremely conceptually ambitious and this is just another example. The band plays an in-store performance at Recycled Booksin Denton on Sunday at 4 pm. More info can be found here.


Fishboy at douilles des rockeur

Encore un très joli album concept pour le texan qui donne cette fois-ci dans le pachyderme maltraité et la vengeance d’outre-tombe. Si le résultat est un peu moins impressionnant que le chef d’œuvre Albatross (…) (2007), on a droit à notre bonne rasade de ce folk-punk-pop si authentique et attachant.


Fishboy at We Heart Music

Denton, TX’s Fishboy is releasing An Elephant on January 20th, 2015. Originally set at an earlier release date, but a series of delays from faulty test pressings, bad color vinyl issues, and two broken stampers, moved the date to 2015.

Fishboy is the nickname earned by Eric Michener, who apparently swallowed a fish at the Dallas World Aquarium. Since 2001, he’s been making music under the Fishboy name.


Fishboy at Magnet

Denton, Texas group Fishboy, which has been described as “twee-core-punk-pop-spazzo-nerd-rock,” offers a free download of “Thomas Alva Waiting,” off new concept album An Elephant. The track is indie-rock bliss with pop/punk vocals centered around strong narratives and a touch of power pop. “Thomas Alva Waiting” explodes with tasty riffs while still keeping the same mood throughout. Download it below.

Click through to stream or download the track.


Fishboy at Coalition

This is the quirky video for Texas rock band Fishboy. Fishboy are named after frontman Eric Michener who once ate a live fish in middle school as a dare. The track is a poppy, crunch-driven ode to mortality and plays out extremely well. The album, An Elephant, as a whole is concept-based centered  around an elephant Thomas Edison once killed while experimenting alternating current on. Anyways, enough weird context. Enjoy!

Click through to watch the video.


Fishboy at Glasswerk

What would it sound like if Why?’s Jonathan “Yoni” Wolf fronted a lo-fi punk band infused with organs and garbled, stretched cassette tape sounds? It would sound like Fishboy, and it would be completely mind blowingly great.

Hailing from Denton, Texas, Fishboy’s new album An Elephant is released on January 20th, 2015 and you can check out the stuttering punk of new single ‘Bury My Body’ below.

Founded by Eric Michener, who was given the name Fishboy after a dare on a middle school field trip to the Dallas World Aquarium in which he grabbed a fish out of the water and swallowed it, the band’s squawked and strained brand of lo-fi trashy punk is riddled with sinister melodies and a haunting organ line which lends a tense feel to this knife-edge single.

Check it out here:

Click through to stream the track.


Fishboy at God is in the TV

The year twenty fourteen may well be drawing to a close but the productivity of Fishboy shows absolutely no sign of abating. Hot on the heels of the band’s seventh album An Elephant, and its  comic book accompaniment, comes the second video to debut off this record.

Where its predecessor ‘Bury My Body’ ventured deep into downtown Denton, Texas, ‘I’m A Ghost’ is just as happy staying in the suburbs of the band’s home city. Here Eric Michener, the man whose childhood sobriquet gave Fishboy its name, is in similarly playful, irreverent form as he nominally returns from the dead to guide the viewer through the various stages of how best to draw an elephant.

In keeping with the almost child-like surrealism of the video, its musical soundtrack is all sweetness and light. It fairly motors along with those major power-pop characteristics of cute infectious hooks, friendly verses and a rousing chorus all present and correct. Oozing a highly contagious toe-tapping quality, ‘I’m A Ghost’ has all the potential to be the indie feel good hit of this winter.

An Elephant by Fishboy was released on 1st October 2014 and can be bought right here.

Click through to check out the video!


Fishboy at Comic Book Resources

 Musician Eric Michener of the band Fishboy discusses his latest project,An Elephant, an album and graphic novel about a ghost elephant seeking to avenge its death; both are based on the true story of Topsy, an elephant who was executed in public in 1903 to demonstrate the efficacy of electrocution as a method of execution.