2/22/09: Robbert Bobbert and the Bubble Machine @ The Bell House (31/100)

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Sundays suck. 

I don’t want to go out and see music on Sundays. I don’t want to do much of anything on Sundays. I guess that’s why I didn’t have any plan of attack for today until late last night. I was in denial. Why couldn’t there be more midday shows on Sundays? I mean, I couldn’t go do jazz brunch again – that would be a total cop out. So I scoured the venue websites trying desperately to find something earlier than 6pm, but nothing. Until…wait…there’s a 2pm show at Bell House? And it’s Robert Schneider from Apples in Stereo? But why is he playing under the name Robbert Bobbert and the Bubble Machine?

Damnit, it’s children’s music. Shit, they’re probably not gonna let me in, like the kid rocker event at Pianos. Fuck, I better control my swearing, because I just bought a ticket to the show. 

Fast forward to Sunday, 2pm. 

I’m out of the R train in Gowanus and headed toward Bell House – hoping they don’t turn me back for not bringing a kid. Luckily, they let me in. I hope there are other people at the show without kids. Luckily, there were. Albeit, not many. But I manage to befriend one: a woman named Christina who works in talent relations for Nickelodeon. She was there scouting Robbert Bobbert. I was there knocking out a 2pm show.

How is the Bell house different from when I saw Ninjasonik and Japanther here a couple weeks ago?

First, there were kids running around everywhere. Wait, no that’s pretty much the same (just add 10 years). The merch table had brownies, cookies and cupcakes for sale, alongside CDs. Juiceboxes for sale at the bar. A free coat rack for parents to hang their coats. And tables and chairs set up around the stage. Come to think of it. This set up isn’t too bad. I mean, I’ll take a beer over a juicebox. But other than that, I’m cool with the rest. 

The clock ticks a bit past 2:30, and I’m already halfway through my second Coke when Bobbert finally hits the stage. He’s dressed in a white lab coat, flanked by a huge boom box, easel and bubble machine. It seems half the show is going to be learning, the other half will be music. But not in that order. Or any order, just all jumbled up…I’ll shut up now. 

At first, the kids seem into it. He’s got their attention as he runs through his schtick for the show: Awesome Inventions. They are basically things that already exist, but he’s renamed in order to get the kids to tell him what they’re really called. For example, he shows the picture of what he calls the oscillating string-o-phone, waits a beat, and then a bunch of kids yell out that it’s a guitar. He agrees that’s a better name, then picks up his guitar and sings them a song with it. And so on, and so forth.

The total show was around 40 min at most, maybe closer to 30, which was perfect for me. But I couldn’t help but thinking, a bit of a rip off for the parents considering tickets were $15 each (not sure about the kid cost) for such a short show. But hey, it got me home before 4pm, with day #31 under my belt, while the sun was still up.

Today, Sunday didn’t suck that bad.

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