Prior to accepting the office of Chancellor of Austria, Englebert Dollfuss was a soldier with the Austro-Hungarian army, fighting on the Alpine Front in WWI. Although he was highly decorated and well-regarded, his time in the battlefield had a significant effect on his psyche. It did not help that his diminutive stature was the source of great amusement for his peers, who referred to him as “The Jockey.” He grew insular and took to writing lengthy works of fiction, featuring eerie parallel realities inhabited by characters that were obviously based on himself. Although his writing skills were limited, the stories were detailed and engaging. These pieces of fiction inspired a large batch of songs written by Sanftsprecher between 1932 and 1933. It is believed that the members of Sanftsprecher were among a very small audience with whom Dollfuss shared the stories. The present-day Soft Speaker (Chicago) recorded a selection of these songs in 2011 and released them as the album, Vortrobos, which borrows it’s title from one of Dollfuss’s works. The cover art was created by Chicago-based painter, Jason Brammer, and is his interpretation of one of Dollfuss’s parallel realities.
The dirty, blues-influenced garage-rock band has suddenly become an archetype for American music. The White Stripes and The Black Keys have taken the formula to massive heights, but neither seem to be having as unapologetic of a good time as Chicago's The Van Goghs. Having shared stages with a true mix of genres (from Megafaun's artful Americana to Tin Tin Can's charging, dark indie-rock to The Hounds Below's enigmatic, old-school sound), The Van Goghs' self-proclaimed "American laundry washed in British detergent" can fit any palette, while remaining unique. Mixing a plug-and-play aesthetic with huge nods to 60's guitar-pop acts like The Byrds and the almost symphonic production choices of George Martin, these guys are in a league of their own and coming up fast.
Rainbow Gun Show is an interactive entertainment experience for humans involving music and art.