"I loved it...Tel Star updated and gone wild
and one of the loveliest love songs I've ever heard.
Laurie Anderson, 2007
It starts with surf, then like that strange first slimey creature crawling
up out of the ooze to become us, DOES!
Then it ends.
With even more surf.
And after all this beautiful weirdness...
YOU'RE the one who's STOKED!
I love the record and play it a lot.
-Terry Allen, 2007
Legendary LA performance artist, The Dark Bob, begins the year by crowning an extraordinarily busy season with the release of his surf-tinged concept album, Stoked!.
Exploring love in its various incarnations, Stoked! is a collection of 13 intentionally heartfelt songs, set to the surf sounds of South Santa Monica. The Dark Bob was joined in the studio by a small cast of local friends and musician: TV’s wild funnyman Andy Dick duets with The Dark Bob on “Father”, a song they wrote together for Andy’s new film “Danny Roane: First Time Director”. Drummer DJ Bonebrake (of “X”) provided the beat while guests like Peter Case also sat-in. Bassist Sheldon Gomberg (Ricki Lee Jones, Beck), guitarists Glenn Nishida and Pete Snell (Annie Lennox band) and percussionist Danny Frankel (kd lang, Lou Reed, Beck) formed the core band; Jamie Cohen & the Butternotes and Rachael Paschall were there to chip-in on some traditional Southern California style vocals.
Inspired by influences diverse as Robert Rauschenberg, Dean Martin and the Amazing Spiderman, The Dark Bob's style recalls the pranksterism of Andy Kaufman, the sharp social commentary of the best stand-up comedy and the musical stylings of the Incredibly Strange-variety (think of Esquivel, Elvis and Ennio Morricone turned inside out).
With his multi-media shows, paintings and sculpture, The Dark Bob’s work has toured U.S. universities, large theaters, nightclubs, county fairs and honky-tonks as well as the world’s museums and galleries.
"His wild inter-media performances are legendary for their excitement. They embody the very spirit of 'Pop'" said ArtCom Magazine. Says the Dark Bob, “I’m on a never ending search for new beauty.”
…FROM THE PRESS (Performance Reviews)
“…witty…often riveting…something for everyone.”
Philip Brandes, Los Angeles Times
“yet another LA audience succumbs to The Dark Bob”
Dianne Bates, Los Angeles Times (cover story review)
"Performance artist The Dark Bob stylishly crossed over into the role of pop singer"
Gregg Weger, Los Angeles Times
“A real Los Angeles artist…a true pioneer of multi-media”
Mary Melton, Los Angeles Times Magazine
“It’s flame at low ebb not so long ago, performance art in Los Angeles has been roaring back to life thanks especially to the ministrations of The Dark Bob…(his) shows in particular are notable for their emphasis on the local performance-art tradition, with it’s wit, narrative bent, and comfort with musical, verbal and theatrical reference.”
Peter Frank, LA Weekly
"Prophet, poet or performance artist? One of the brightest lights I'm aware of shines through an artist who calls himself The Dark Bob."
Cindy Lamb, LA Weekly
“The Dark Bob is one of the Big Orange’s premier crossover mixmaster’s…as a staple of the L.A. alternative scene...all those in the know see him as ready for the limelight.”
Peter Frank, LA Weekly
"A Sinatra from Mars."
Carl Heyward, San Francisco Chronicle
"There is a combination of sensitivity and romance in The Dark Bob's performance of this material that is utterly gripping. Many in the audience around me clearly felt moved."
Linda Frye Burnham, High Performance Magazine
“The DB makes intense music that draws from myriad schools - country, rock, Middle Eastern, surf, avant-garde, industrial, and more - and comes up with a fascinating hybrid...you should listen"
Natalie Nichols, L.A. Reader
"The Dark Bob is a compelling performer. An open sensibility with a neat sense of the ironic, the witty and the lunatic. That's apparently what it takes to make it through our times."
Mike Steele, Minneapolis Star and Tribune
"The (San Francisco) audience seemed to hang onto every nuance of his performance. They responded readily with lots of laughter and hand clapping. His performance is loaded with anthems and the feel of a pageant in the power of his sound, his presence, volume and audacity. The Dark Bob appreciates media as a tool to promote personal fantasy. He is an American artist aware of the American sensibility and ability to change self and things."
Carl Heyward, Heyward Report TV, San Francisco
"His wild intermedia performances are legendary for their excitement. They embody the very spirit of 'Pop'."
Carl Loeffler, ArtCom Magazine
"This frenetic performer seems to be double jointed in places where this author does not even have joints. All the better for The Dark Bob as he goes through his routine of on-stage painting, singing, dancing, movie-making and sorts through topics that range from politics to sex to death...his mixture of song and dialogue challenged old ideas and presented new. The Dark Bob is a clone of none and follows in the footsteps of all... to create a blend of shock with controversy that is all wrapped up as entertainment."
Greg Crawford, Indiana Perry Weekly
"The Dark Bob has a down-to-earth showmanship and his work is accessible to everybody. It won't be long before The Dark Bob is known to the masses."
Charles F. Carroll, Massachusetts Arts and Letters
"His music is a hybrid as his stage persona. Middle Eastern chants, country western, folk music and avant garde mannerisms are tied together by Brian Ferry-esque vocals that owe as much to the pathos of Merle Haggard and the crooning powers of Dean Martin as to the strident edge of the Clash."
Colin Gardner, Santa Monica News
"The Dark Bob has opted for passion over distanced irony, emotional intensity over conceptual cool, and the formality of 'classic' performance over high-tech production. He has a deeply appealing, romantic idealism and a popular appeal because of his undaunted optimism and his belief in people. He has been dubbed a modern tribal voice for a global family."
Jacki Apple, LA Weekly
"The Dark Bob, mutant man, stepped on stage cloaked in the persona of an anti-rock star singing lyrics of radical love. Watching his act is a bit like stepping back into the coffeehouse culture of the early 60's and seeing it crossed with the hustling hipness of the brave new global village. With a pop persona that sardonically apes the American dream machine, DB moves easily from entertainer to nagging international conscience. It's heavy stuff for a radical entertainer, but The Dark Bob transcends mushy wide-eyed do goodism, for a lot of reasons. First, he's genuinely talented. He can do his rock 'n' roll licks and do them one-up with a curl of parody, a little flip or gesture that says they're not really important.”
Bob Hicks, The Oregonian, Portland
"His two night stand in darkest Hollywood was only a surprise in the sense of it's overwhelmingly inspirational quality of humorous, intense honesty. There is no category of artist which fully describes the Dark Bob. To his roots he is a painter. Yet he is also a media-manipulator artist (that is, an artist whose palette is the public's electronic consciousness), a model-actor, a producer, a bag-lady, a fledgling saint, a sybarite, a dramaturge, a film-maker and a clown... But his most dynamic art of the moment is song...used in it's most ancient condition as a literal talk with God."
Lewis MacAdams, LA Weekly
CONTACT: The Dark Bob, MITB Records, POB 6461, Beverly Hills, CA 90212 USA
ALSO: David Wilkins, Badger Publicity