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SXSW 2008 has ended
Thursday, March 13 • 11:00pm - 11:30pm
Robert Gomez

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The small University town of Denton, Texas is beginning to take on a mystical significance for Bella Union. We could be forgiven for thinking the label was based there! Like Saddle Creek’s local development of Nebraskan bands, Bella Union has become home to 5 Denton bands already! Since 2001, the label has signed the incendiary and influential space rockers Lift To Experience, the punk-blues trio Jetscreamer, the unusual and under-rated Mandarin, and the current darlings of the UK and European press Midlake. The addition of Robert Gomez to the Bella Union stables is compelling as his music is not remotely connected to any of these artists. His pedigree is, however. Midlake had mentioned the genius of Robert back in 2005 and at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Simon Raymonde found himself at Robert’s show, standing next to a diminutive and pleasantly scruffy Norah Jones who rather surprisingly was singing along to all of Robert’s songs! His performance at Club de Ville was extraordinary and before long, to Midlake’s huge delight, their best buddy was now too set to join the ranks of the Bella Union-Denton set. (note- a documentary film called This Is Denton, inspired by the music of Lift to Experience, Midlake, Jetscreamer, Robert etc is currently being produced) Robert is a troubadour cut from the darkest cloth, crafting atmospheres as vast and beautiful as the midnight Texas sky. Paying no mind to simple genres on his Bella Union debut, Brand New Towns, Robert Gomez explores the textures of mood, often finding his voice in the seemingly saddest spots. He intones, "If I could have you back, I’d only break you", sharing moments familiar to anyone with longing. Robert’s music picks you up in a swirl of majestic melancholy; cradling you in real emotion. A student and lover of music since early childhood, Robert Gomez learned his lessons in expression in locales as disparate as the snowy sidewalks of New York City, under the suffocating summer sun of Denton, Texas, and from the cramped quarters of a swaying and clattering circus train. He lived and breathed the circus life for 6 months first with Ringling Bros and then the famous Barnum & Bailey Circus. Then he was approached by Middle Eastern musician Omar Faruk Tekbilek (Turkish) and toured Spain, Turkey and US playing Avery Fisher Hall in NYC and Central Park concerts. He also studied and played Cuban Guitar (Tres) with Nelson Gonzales, one of THE greats, who currently plays with Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan, Cachao, etc. He was actually recommended, by him, to play with the famous Cuban Son Group "Septeto Habanero" for a recent New York Concert. All these experiences no doubt seeped under the skin and as Robert began to record these songs, with help at the mixing desk from Centro-matic’s Matt Pence, he knew, as did those keen ears at Bella Union, that he was onto something…. The resultant album shows that as well as being a keen observer of love and loss, Gomez also writes with finesse and restraint, his lyrics delivered in a hushed croon. His talented crew of players glance sideways across meandering tempos and towards the finale, when the curtain will drop on another rainy afternoon. On these grey days, Gomez provides the light, in effect "Cutting open the blackest night, with our eyes opened wide", giving himself wholly through tune. Aside from leading his award winning Latin Pimps, and running his Denton-based boutique label, Basement Front Records, Robert Gomez now begins another era of travel, presenting his heartsick melodies to countless Brand New Towns.
http://2008.sxsw.com/music/showcases/band/59992.html

Thursday March 13, 2008 11:00pm - 11:30pm
Spiro's 615 Red River St

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