NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Falling somewhere between the manic energy of Devo and the refined performance art of Laurie Anderson My Robot Friend gives North Adams a jolt this winter in a visually and musically unique experience. My Robot Friend will quite literally light up the stage (costumes and gear will be illuminated) in the Club at MASS MoCA on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 8 p.m.
My Robot Friend exists at the intersection of performance art, pyrotechnics, and electronic dance music. Frontman Howard Robot performs in an elaborate light-up suit, interacting with other intricate illuminated objects, wireless video cameras, synchronized videos, and other odd homemade props. Humorous, subversive, conceptual, and sometimes verging on dangerous, My Robot Friend questions humans about their relationships with technology and with each other. Wired Magazine raves, "My Robot Friend produces a sound and experience that pushes the stigma of one-man bands to the limit with the use of unique electronics and well-written songs."
My Robot Friend was born from the ashes of the late 1990s New York City band Princess (made up of Howard Robot, Miguel Gutierrez, and Autojulie3000), which broke up just before signing on to the label Too Pure (PJ Harvey, Stereolab).
It was then that Howard Robot, who had previously worked as a computer programmer, constructed the first version of the light-up suit that would evolve with time. Robot donned the handmade suit in 2001 and took the stage, covered in duct tape, LED lights, and electrical wires.
New York City dance club audiences and critics immediately took notice. My Robot Friend earned a spot on Rolling Stone's annual "Hot List" in its first year of existence.