Mobtown Laboratories
Microshows

Distilling all the kinetic energy and sonic kaboom of a large venue show into a teeny pint-sized house concert package, behold, the Mobtown Microshow.

Albert Bagman

Microshow
Albert Bagman - Microshow
Scroll Downers - Microshow

Blacksage

Microshow
Blacksage - Microshow

Post Pink

Microshow
Post Pink - Microshow
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The BSide Sessions

Revealing a distinctly intimate story narrated by song and sometimes-rowdy, sometimes-weary aftershow convo.

The Flying Eyes

The BSide Session
The Flying Eyes - The BSide Session

Drop Electric

The BSide Session
Drop Electric - The BSide Session

Starlight Girls

The BSide Session
Starlight Girls - The BSide Session
 

Guillermo Sexo The BSide Session

Boston indie quintet Guillermo Sexo has released five albums since its 2004 inception, going through several lineup changes between then and 2013’s acclaimed Dark Spring. For their BSides session, the band opted to reach into their back catalog, for a song recorded before drummer Ryan Connelly and guitarist Richard Murillo joined the band. “We decided to pick an oldie. And they weren’t on the old recording, so it’s cool,” keyboardist Noell Dorsey says. That song, “Color The Noise,” opened the band’s 2011 release Secret Wild, but the new lineup of the band gives the BSides rendition a lively new energy.

Guillermo Sexo joins us in the studio for a BSide (November 9, 2013).

The BSides series invites bands to Mobtown Studios to record two songs – one track might be a familiar song with a new twist, and the other a previously unreleased song (the b-side of the single, so to speak). With Dark Spring having just been released, Guillermo Sexo had to whip up something brand new for the second half of their BSides session, “Long Lines.” “The new song, we’ve only been working for three weeks at most,” Connelly says. “There wasn’t any major lyrical content when we first started jamming on it,” Dorsey says, adding that there were still changes being made to the composition at Mobtown during recording. “Lyrically, it’s directly inspired from the idea that you’re on this path, but then life comes, and suddenly it might take you some other way, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just life’s journey.”

That spirit of spontaneity, and rolling with the punches, as espoused in Dorsey’s lyric may also sum up how the band took to the new experience of writing and recording a song so quickly. “We’ve got it as fresh as it could possibly be, so we haven’t had a chance to really let it sink in,” says Connelly. “We weren’t totally comfortable with it coming in today, but we were willing to put ourselves in that position and see what happened. And I think the results were very desirable.”

Writing in the studio and tracking the songs together as a band brought out an off-the-cuff side of Guillermo Sexo like never heard before, while still utilizing learning experiences like Dorsey’s background in opera and bassist Elliott Anderson’s background in jazz. “When I play, I think a lot about the harmony and the contrapuntal relationship the bass has to melody. So I listen to a lot of what Noell sings and try to make a counterpoint to that,” Anderson says. “Also, Ryan’s like my north pole. What he plays, I’ll try and match rhythmically.” Dorsey sums up the band’s chemistry more ecstatically: “I feel like when I play in between everybody and get this, like, wall of sound, to me it’s the most spectacular moment I can ever experience.”

Although  this was the band’s first visit to Mobtown, the seeds of a relationship between the band and the studio were planted over a decade earlier. Both of the band’s principal songwriters, Dorsey and founding singer-guitarist Reuben Bettsak, went to college with Mobtown producer Mat Leffler-Schulman, and had long been looking for an opportunity to come to Baltimore and record. “I’ve been following the stuff he’s being doing at Mobtown, and he’s always been a fan of Guillermo,” says Bettsak. “It’s just cool that it worked out for this.”

Credits

Recorded on November 9, 2013 at Mobtown Studios

Keyboards and vocals by Noell Dorsey

Guitar and vocals by Reuben Bettsak

Bass by Elliot Anderson

Drums by Ryan Connelly

Guitar by Richard Murillo

Produced by Mat Leffler-Schulman, Nick Hughes and Sean Mercer

Mixed by Mat Leffler-Schulman

Engineered by Paul Mercer and Sean Mercer

Filmed by Justin Foreman, Joe Austin and Nick Hughes

Edited by Nick Hughes

Interview by Aaron Henkin

Written by Al Shipley

Thanks to Guillermo Sexo and Aaron Wold