A collective endeavor which engages in rhythmic typewriter manipulation combined with elements of performance, comedy and satire. BTO aims to entertain the masses while providing an outlet for the creative urges of its members. *BTO promises to protect customer confidentiality with the utmost vigilance while remaining irreverent at all times.
We have certainly done things in our past that have earned us varying degrees of infamy, but this effort might just be the most ignominious of all. Somehow we have been tapped with the opening slot for the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony Awards. While Folks are filing in to one of the most acoustically sound spaces in Cambridge, we’ll be on stage typing and tapping away in an effort to divert them from being able to decipher seat and row numbers. If you’ve never heard of this before, well, it’s like the scientific equivalent of the Razzies. Certainly not Nobel prize worthy, this awards people for genuine scientific achievement of preposterous premises.
While ticket prices are a bit prohibitive to a casual science dilettante who wants to see us play for 20 minutes, the whole thing will be broadcast on the Improbable Research web site and should be up on their You Tube page after the ceremony for us to share.
Tonight is the official premiere of California Typewriter. Sure it’s shown at film festivals over the past year and a half, but tonight it begins a weeklong run at the Metrograph in NYC. Next week it’s opening in LA, and after that it should be popping up at screens across the country and we’ll try to keep you in the loop…
Here’s a clip featuring us that they are using to try to get folks to come out to the film… not using the charisma of Tom Hanks or John Mayer, or the recently deceased Sam Shepard, but it’s our mugs… go figure!
So sure, unless you’ve got an extreme excess of cardboard, hot glue and time on your hands I’d recommend yardsailing instead, but I guess this is a good way to waste some time and trick someone who’s got no idea about how simple mechanical apparatus work.
We’ve got a full fall coming up and our records are in hand ready to go out to you, so stay tuned for updates galore…
So we headed back to Greenville NY to visit our favorite place to watch movies. Outside.
Last year we were around for the first version of this, now it’s a second annual and a two day affair. We missed our pal Brian Dewan on Friday night, but made it for the whole of Saturday’s festivities.
That photo with all of us was taken by Doug Nichol, who directed the film that showed after our set, California Typewriter. Here, we’re checking sound and getting ourselves ready to type.
Our good pal Dwight Grimm thanked the crowd that gathered for the type-in and was ready to watch us play. I think he’s pointing to the screen here and getting ready to have us start.
As the evening approached we took to the stage with two sets prepared, just enough to take things to dusk. And we debuted our new metal tune to kick off the second set…
Clouds gathered to the south across the Catskills, but held off until the movie started, and then passed just as quickly, but the good omens were there from the start.
The sun set and the film rolled, and right in the middle of it all there we were. In a different quintet form, and younger…
Now we just need to find some more typewriter based films so that we can head back next year to help celebrate the joy of the typewriter and World Typewriter Day… 3rd Annual, here we come….
How easy is it to remember the name of a festival when they name it after what you’d type if you went left to right on the keyboard. And no, it’s not the more Esperanto DVORAK. We mean QWERTY: The 2nd Annual Festival of Type and Letter Arts. It’s this weekend, so let this serve as our final reminder to you to get yourself to the north edge of the Catskills and come out to type in and then sit back and enjoy us and California Typewriter on the outdoor big screen.
For some reason people seem to think of porches as a Southern thing. Maybe it’s the fact that our cold New England winters render them irrelevant for such a large portion of the year, but the fact is they are an architectural feature that is prominent even in the streets around Boston. Our region has such a love for the porch that a bunch of the towns around the city have set out to celebrate them specifically. For the second straight year, Brookline is on board with such a venture and this year we are joining in on the fun and playing a set at Brookline Porchfest. While some spots are hosting bands throughout the day starting at noon, we’ll be playing a set at 4pm at a house that backs up to the Emerald Necklace right along the Riverway
Last year, we were invited to the inaugural take at a Typewriter Arts Festival, with a type-in, typing poets, typewriter displays, and both a film and a documentary about typewriters being shown on a Drive-In screen at the north edge of the Catskills. We had a blast, and this year they are expanding to two days across this beautiful expanse at Drive-In 32 in Greenville NY for QWERTY: The Second Annual Festival of Type and the Letter Arts.
While we won’t be playing until Saturday, the festival begins Friday on World Typewriter Day Friday with a 10th anniversary screening of Gary Hustwit’s documentary Helvetica and a live performance from Brian Dewan, who did the cover art for our new record. On Saturday evening, we’ll be followed by screenings of Ink & Paper and Doug Nichol’s new documentary California Typewriter. Both evenings will host a gathering of typewriter poets, typewriter and letter art and a type-in hosted by Eric Molbach. People are invited to bring their typewriters or use one of the free typewriters provided. The USPS is even setting up a remote mailing station so you can type a letter and send it from the Greenville Drive-In.
So when a camera crew from CNN showed up at our show at Once Lounge last week to record our performance to grab a few clips for a segment in their feature for their site Great Big Story, it felt pretty great. It was weird though, I mean, we were opening for bands with deep legacies (Trinary System featuring Roger Miller from Mission of Burma, and Black Helicopter featuring guys from 90s heroes Green Magnet School and Kudgel), and they packed up the cameras as soon as we were done. They’d actually been to our practice a week before and the results, well, are certainly great…
We’re off to Maine next Friday to play at the Portland Museum of Art, and have our June trek to the Greenville Drive In for their typewriter arts festival set as well. The artwork for the vinyl version of our EP is finished and it’s heading out to finally get pressed. And a story like this has been snowballing into other coverage and offers, so keep an eye on this space as we announce other shows. And if you’re on Instagram, make sure to follow us as we’ve nearly equalled followers and posts as we put up our 400th image.
So thanks to the miracle of the internet, we’ve secured the financing to manufacture vinyl for Termination Without Prejudice, Volume 1, a 10″ EP set to feature some of our songs (we’d originally figured on 4, but we’ve been thinking of expanding it to add another track to each side for a total of 6). There’s still time left to pledge until 8pm EST on Cyber Monday (11/28). If you miss that deadline, we’ll be putting a pre-order option on our bandcamp page once everything is mastered and ready to roll.
While our last show of the year will be Chandler Travis’ Christmas bash at Once Somerville on Wednesday 12/21, the band is also in the midst of working on scheduling events for 2017, so if you’d like to see the band play near you, let us know the name of art galleries, museums, or other venues across the Northeast that might serve us well so we can present our sounds. Already in the works is a return to the Catskills for the 2nd Annual Typewriter Arts Festival in June and we’re looking to perform around the area when the documentary that we’re featured in, California Typewriter, premieres at a few locations around New England.
We’re open to further treks, but getting us there is a bit prohibitive, so let us know…