Giant Robot Dance | Live at the Butterball

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Folk: Contra Dance Rock: Folk Rock Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Live at the Butterball

by Giant Robot Dance

Giant Robot Dance provides a high-energy, alter-ego, super psychedelic contra dance experience - a wild night of blaring accordion, shredding electric guitar, bludgeoning drums and honking trombone solos, plus a sprinkling of very tasteful piano melodies.
Genre: Folk: Contra Dance
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Julia Delaney / Tween Spirit
6:08 $0.99
2. Redwing / Private Eye
7:09 $0.99
3. Jump at the Sun / Wizard's Walk
5:34 $0.99
4. Tam Lin / Other Andrew's Favorite
7:41 $0.99
5. Dancers of Teeth / Noah's Favorite
4:52 $0.99
6. Rainbow Connection / Memory
4:14 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
You may be wondering... "What exactly is Giant Robot Dance?" Not to worry, there is a perfectly plausible non-paranormal explanation. Unfortunately, I'm not at liberty to go into particulars (national security is after all our number one priority) but, suffice to say that a team of highly trained specialists has been analyzing various data collected from the most recent incident and it has nothing to do with a highly infectious strain of contra dancing or the outlandishly-rocking music and bizarre fashion experiments reported from the area.

Giant Robot Dance brings together five talented young musicians from New York, Vermont and DC for a high-energy, alter-ego, super-psychedelic contra dance experience. Two sets of musical brothers (Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand of The Great Bear Trio and Andrew and Aaron Marcus of The Gift Of The Marcii) have teamed up with this other guy (Michael Ferguson of Jiggermeister) for a wild night of blaring accordion, shredding electric guitar, bludgeoning drums and honking trombone solos, plus a sprinkling of very tasteful piano melodies and delicate violin accents. If you've ever longed to balance and swing with ELO, hey for four with Carlos Santana or petronella turn to the music of Queen, this may very well be as close as you'll ever get!

Trombot (Michael Ferguson): trombone
Aarobot (Aaron Marcus): piano, concertina
Compressor (Andrew Marcus): accordion
The Vortex (Andrew VanNorstrand): electric guitar, fiddle
Thumper (Noah VanNorstrand): drums, percussion

And featuring: Beth Molaro, caller

This album was recorded live at the Butterball, in Philadelphia, on Nov 27, 2009, and has been reformatted to fit your screen. It's about as close to a Giant Robot Dance event as you can get without being there. But really, you should be there. How could you miss dancing along with Optimus Prime, Wall-E and R2D2?



to write a review

Ryan Holman

Crossposted Review from
Giant Robot Dance (comprised of Michael Ferguson, Noah VanNorstrand, Andrew VanNorstrand, Aaron Marcus, and Andrew Marcus) is probably the only band I know that regularly reinvents pop and rock covers while incorporating an accordion. Even those of us who believe that the perfect pitch of an accordion involves missing the banjo on the way into the dumpster (sorry, old joke) can appreciate the way this band makes both traditional tunes and modern ones accessible. They bridge the two genres almost seamlessly live, and their album Live at the Butterball is no different. Recorded at Butterball 2009 in Philadelphia, the album captures the energy of the event and the dancers.

What does make it different than other live albums I've heard, however, is that the recording maintains not only the sounds of the dancers' feet, but also Beth Molaro's melodic calling as she calls a rather challenging square and several contras. Whereas on paper I would think this would be a distraction, it actually serves to help transport thr listener to the event, much like other genres' live albums incorporating the patter of the artists between songs. While the album is regrettably only half a dozen tracks, the ones that are there are evenly balanced between traditional tunes, which open several of the tracks (e.g., "Tam Lin," "Julia Delaney") and Giant Robot Dance's signature covers (my personal favorite of theirs, "Smells Like Tween Spirit," is on here -- no, that is not a typo, and no, you have not heard this tune until you have heard it with a trombone and an accordion). The final track is a waltz rendition of "Rainbow Connection," which sounds quite a bit like a cameo by Kermit the Frog in a well-meaning tribute, and "Memory."

Unlike some live albums, this one loses nothing in translation (and I can attest this having danced to them at Dandelion Romp last weekend). I just wish it had more tracks.