TFR005: An Octopus, But Like, An Octopus With Massive Wings And Junk – Women’s Basketball
“Way catchy and more than a little bit clever. I like these hand-crafted demos even better than Tyler’s main project, The Tyler Trudeau Attempt …” — One Base on an Overthrow, January 2010
Women’s Basketball is a (fake) band in which Tyler Trudeau is the only member. Women’s Basketball (the band) has nothing to do with the act of women playing basketball. Women’s Basketball is voice, electric guitars, bass, Casio keyboard and circa 1987 drum machine. Women’s Basketball is white-light, pure pop.
In the spring of 2008, Trudeau (The Tyler Trudeau Attempt, The Cavemen Go) started a fake band with himself. Originally, it wasn’t supposed to even be a fake band. In an effort to get better at writing songs, Trudeau decided to fire up his four-track, hammer out some three- or four-chord patterns on a guitar or a keyboard, and start making up melodies over it all. It was supposed to be just a writing exercise … but over the course of a few months, it started to get out of hand. The next thing Trudeau knew, he had songs with actual words, and verses and choruses, and full-band
arrangements — the kind of elements straight-up songs tend to have. He decided it was a band, and decided the band should be called Women’s Basketball.
Women’s Basketball is gritty and emotional. Lo-fi, bedroom recordings give the listener a window into the life of the struggling single living in an unforgiving city. Women’s Basketball tackles subjects as varied as insomnia, relationships, roommates, substance abuse and unrequited love.
EDIT Jan. 16, 2010: Full review from One Base On An Overthrow —
Fake band are a great idea, especially when they’re actually not even real (remember Sioux Savage? didn’t think so), except that Women’s Basketball are a sort-of-real band and it’s really the guy in the band who’s made up (if you’re not following me here then don’t worry about it). Anyway, the Women’s Basketball album is one of the first things CT’s Tweefort Records has released since becoming a full-fledged digital-only label, and on the whole, “An Octopus, But Like, An Octopus” is a pretty fun thing to check out if you’re into home-recorded stuff that’s way catchy and more than a little bit clever. I like these hand-crafted demos even better than Tyler’s main project, The Tyler Trudeau Attempt, though your own enjoyment might depend on your tolerance for Tyler’s singing voice; myself, I think hearing lines like “I need to act fucking dignified” being sung by a voice that sounds like a poodle that’s getting run over by a dump truck is pretty hilarious, if not a huge part of the overall charm. On top of that, there’s also an ancient drum machine that sounds straight out of a M.O.T.O. cassette from the ’80s, which goes even better with the songs that have a more punkish tempo, like “Hold Me, Fuckers”. Stephen Fievet has nothing to worry about, I’m sure, but in any case this definitely one of the more amusing things I’ve heard in the first two weeks of this year.
EDIT Jan. 20, 2010: Review from A Layer of Chips:
Tweefort Records from Connecticut are putting out some really zippy little pop records at the moment, the favourite one of mine is Women’s Basketball’s ‘Like an Octopus…’, which is available for free download from the label’s website.
Women’s Basketball is apparently a one man band that started out as a purely songwriting project, but has now grown to TAKE OVER THE WORLD.
Anyway, the album is full of edgy, messy, neurotic pop songs, and it’s great. Just don’t listen to it after a bottle of gin.
Download ‘Calling People I Used to Date’ here. I think you get the picture from that song title, eh?
EDIT Jan. 21, 2010: Review from CT Indie:
Initially a bunch of demos, and eventually released as a full album, Women’s Basketball’s “An Octopus, But Like, an Octopus with Massive Wings, and Junk” is a fantastic adventure into lo-fi pop.
You can’t really talk about Women’s Basketball without first mentioning the fact that it’s a fake band started by Tyler Trudeau (alter-ego of Brian LaRue) of the Tyler Trudeau Attempt. It seems like sort of a side project, but I’ve got a suspicion it’s more of a just-for-fun type of thing. Everything seems to hiss and pop in time with the drum machine beats that hold the whole thing together. Buzzing keys, scratchy guitars and weird squelches compliment the strained vocals nicely. The lyrics are squirrelly – but that’s exactly what you’d want with song titles like “Evan, Don’t Touch My Stuff” and “Rage With Me, Andrew.” It’s a solid release, and even though it’s a whole bunch of 4-chord angsty pop diddies, it’s fresh and fun.
EDIT Jan. 22, 2010: “Calling People I Used To Date” getting air play on WPRK FM Orlando:
Hey there. Wanted to let you know that I run an overnight radio show Tuesday mornings, 3 AM to 6 AM EST on 91.5 WPRK FM, Orlando, FL. The show is called “The Real Congregation” and it’s sort of a “by-record-geeks-for-record-geeks” show. Anyways, as of last Tuesday, I’ve added “Calling People I Used To Date” and been playing it on-air. Really good stuff, in my opinion, and we got some positive feedback from listeners – the show streams worldwide at wprkdj.org and has a diehard Euopean fanbase. I also mentioned your site and that the album was available there. Thought you might want to know!
Also, is there going to be a physical copy of this album? I would love to order one to put in my personal collection. (Heck, I’d also like to know if there are any other web resources on the Women’s Basketball project).
I’d really appreciate continued emails like these from Tweefort, in hopes that we can find some more fantastic pop goodness to play!
— RetroLowFi, Marc With A C
EDIT Jan. 22, 2010: Women’s Basketball on Indie-mp3 blog:
Pick of the bunch for me is the album from Women’s Basketball which is an album of simple and but pretty effective punk pop four track recordings.
EDIT Jan. 22, 2010: Women’s Basketball on area 51 del corazon.
EDIT Jan. 24, 2010: Women’s Basketball on Burning World’s Pod Fodder:
Women’s Basketball isn’t what you’d call a “real” band. It consists solely of a bloke called Tyler Trudeau who plays everything. The album “An Octopus, But Like, An Octopus With Massive Wings And Junk” is released this month through Tweefort and is guaranteed to put a smile on even the most miserable of creatures.
EDIT Jan. 29, 2010: Review of Women’s Basketball on Otherwise Open.
EDIT Feb. 1, 2010: Review of Women’s Basketball on Adventures In “New” Music blog:
I like this release. I was browsing the internet for record labels and came across the website for Tweefort Records. This release grabbed my attention purely by the cover and album title. This is some nice lo-fi bedroom recordings which consist of electric guitar, a cheap sounding keyboard, and mid-80′s drum machine …
EDIT: Feb. 18, 2010: Women’s Basketball reviewed in the New Haven Advocate:
When I first saw Tyler Trudeau play live, it was just him and an electric guitar, performing pop songs that could best be described as “Morrissey meets Billy Bragg.” After years of fronting his band The Attempt (which, in the interest of full disclosure, features Advocate music writer Brian LaRue), Trudeau’s side project Women’s Basketball finds him playing alone again, but this time he’s his own band, playing all the instruments. Cut loose from working with other bandmates, Trudeau indulges his love of lo-fi pop, but imbues it with the energy found in the first wave of post punk. Trudeau’s able to write songs that vacillate between hilarity and heartbreak, and An Octopus … nicely balances the two, from the goofiness of “Stuff that Sounds Like This” to the rejected self-loathing of “Rock Show/Not Rock Show.” He’s always had a knack for capturing painful situations with sharp observation and blunt honesty, and “Calling People I Used to Date” is practically a sequel to The Attempt’s classic “I Got a Lot of Poverty” (from In My Despair, I Took Up Painting, on Fromage-Cinq, 2007). —Drew Cucuzza
EDIT May 11, 2010: Very short review on our city is burning:
Somewhere between Atom and his Package and Casiotone for the Painfully Alone is Women’s Basketball. This is low-fi pop music with rambling lyrics about going on facebook drunk, or calling people you date because there’s no-one else to hang out with.