In this weekly column, RFT Music gets to know local creatives, musicians and their missions. Get a slice of the local scene, complete with a snippet of sound and info about upcoming releases and shows. Stick around to see what St. Louis artists have to say whenever they Fill in the Blank.
Rockabration, hosted by local musician Jason Robinson, has become a Memorial Day weekend tradition at Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Avenue). This Sunday, May 25, marks the fourth year Robinson has put together the event: a day of local music, food trucks, cold beers, roller girls, live art and more. He initially came up with the idea while fronting the now-defunct band the Orbz. These days, his rock project Shark Dad holds down the stage with a selection of other artists.
Shark Dad got its start in September 2013, the result of a friend telling Robinson he had six months to form a band and play an already booked show. Only two months later, his new band band already established weekly practices, some songs and its name.
"Like most things, a drunken dare turned into 'Let's do it,'" says Robinson, the vocalist and primary songwriter of the band. "The name still makes me laugh sometimes, like really? This is the name we went with, huh? This is the one."
The whimsical premise sets the tone for the band's fun-loving basis, with songs that reflect on nostalgic topics and just about anything else Robinson can think of. Song titles range from "Burlesque Taco Truck" and "Turds of Mercy" to "Kitty Cat Dolphin" -- a 32-second-long ditty inspired by his kids -- for instance.
"Lyrics come from anywhere. Once I have a little germ of an idea, I use the whole pig, or the whole shark, I guess. I don't know if you like that metaphor," he says. "I think having a sense of humor is one of the important things you can do. You connect over humor."
Four out of the five members of the band work together in IT infrastructure, and four out of five are also dads. Once a week, the group convenes to write rollicking rock-and-roll that doesn't take itself too seriously. Raunchy garage elements reign supreme in Shark Dad's sound, but Robinson's personal influences include a fairly varied list of favorite artists including Cheap Trick, Guided by Voices, Ty Segall and Smoking Popes.
Shark Dad releases a brand new digital demo every Friday via Bandcamp, in what what it has dubbed De Basement Tapes, a play on words with the Pixies' song "Debaser." The band has an EP in the works and will release a single called "OK Soda" this summer. Check out De Basement Tapes below.
Singer Jason Robinson filled in the blanks ahead of his event, Rockabration 4, this Sunday. See what he had to see after the jump.
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