Golden Bubbles on the horizon

A&E chats with the Bubble’s Christopher Vondracek about color branding, meth and getting kicked out of the Turf Club.

The band hits up Walmart for their big-shot portrait. Do you want diffusion lens with that? PHOTO COURTESY THE GOLDEN BUBBLES/WALMART

Ashley Goetz

The band hits up Walmart for their big-shot portrait. Do you want diffusion lens with that? PHOTO COURTESY THE GOLDEN BUBBLES/WALMART

The Golden Bubbles ALBUM: âÄúA Good Time Was Had By AllâÄù LABEL: Unsigned Album release party WHERE: Uptown Bar & Café, 3018 Hennepin Ave. S. WHEN: Sat., July 4, 9 p.m. Christopher Vondracek, singer and pianist of The Golden Bubbles , saw his idea of their debut album having a âÄúsuitable G-ratingâÄù unraveling after we discussed just one track. It was called âÄúA Good Time Was Had By All,âÄù and not only did it use the term âÄúschwastedâÄù but it referenced a guy writing âÄú[GirlâÄôs name left out for the sake of her dignity] gives good headâÄù on a water tower, which Vondracek pointed out was illegal. I added, âÄúYou could also call that sexual harassment.âÄù âÄúAnd it has hints of statutory rape âĦ âÄú he admitted. The Golden Bubbles are a band that wants to target the 12-year-old demographic, according to Vondracek. Whether heâÄôs being ironic or not, the album does release wave after wave of glitzy pop from its dungeon in ABBAâÄôs basement, but its lack of Disney stars might hinder their mission. In the local scene, The Golden Bubbles are in the same vein as Spiritual Mansions : flamboyant, literary throwbacks to famous acts of yore. But The Golden Bubbles are less whiskey-soaked than the Mansions. If their sound was âÄúsoakedâÄù in something, it would probably be the colored powder in Fun Dip . The band is made up of Vondracek, his younger brother Leo, who is a junior Japanese studies major at the University, and their friend Jared Fette , who plays the drums. They met in high school in Wells, Minn. Before forming The Golden Bubbles last year, Vondracek and his brother played in Brick House Boys , where he had enough crazy experiences to write a novella about the âÄúauspicious beginnings of indie bandsâÄù for his masterâÄôs thesis in English. One of the BubblesâÄô oddball experiences was getting kicked out of the Turf Club for sneaking in a minor. âÄúAll our friends helped us silently move our equipment out the back door. It was like a scene out of âÄúAir BudâÄù or âÄúFree Willy.âÄù (After being asked why he chose animal-themed films, he repeated that he likes âÄúthe PG aesthetic,âÄù and then proceeded to analyze the moral of âÄúAir BudâÄù as being a reminder of the importance of legal jargon.) The songwriting is split between Vondracek and his brother, who he explains spends painstaking months writing songs. Of his own style, he said itâÄôs like comparing Pizza Hut pizza to a really fine pizza. âÄúYou can get a really good pizza at Pizza Hut, and thereâÄôs a thousand out there.âÄù âÄúAre you saying your writing is like Pizza Hut?âÄù I asked. âÄúIâÄôm saying I write a lot of crap,âÄù he answered. Then, after thinking for a moment, added, âÄúI bring piano licks and melodies to the band.âÄù Their father was a band director, and the brothers grew up in a household that listened primarily to classical music, but also polka and a small dose of rock. âÄúWe didnâÄôt know what âÄòcoolâÄô was,âÄù Vondracek explained. On the other hand, he knows what kind of music he doesnâÄôt like. âÄúI have more in common with a hot dog than with someone who likes jam bands.âÄù Of their drummer Jared FetteâÄôs influence on the bandâÄôs sound, he says Fette is into Radiohead and âÄúheâÄôs got a fine taste in music; heâÄôs a connoisseur.âÄù But what really impresses him about Fette is his ability to âÄúpack a van.âÄù âÄúItâÄôs like playing Tetris. He can pack a hell of a van. I found him after he packed a van, and he just sat in the van admiring his Taj Mahal.âÄù Vondracek does the PR for the band himself and acknowledges their use of color branding. Their album has yellow packaging, and they frequently wear gold at gigs. âÄúWe have arguments, but we go yellow. ItâÄôs so predictable; you canâÄôt not use it,âÄù Vondracek said. âÄúDown the road, I want it to be kind of like when KISS took off their face paint. I want to do an album that will come out, and itâÄôs all black.âÄù The band itself is named after a small, middle-of-nowhere dancehall called The Golden Bubbles. âÄúA couple decades ago it shut down,âÄù he explained, âÄúIt had wood floors and a big disco ball.âÄù As a perfect example of irony, they saw a news story on the day they began recording their album that showed that the venue had been turned into a meth lab. âÄúIf this record is ever picked up by Clive Davis , weâÄôll buy that space,âÄù he added. And for the record, The Golden Bubbles donâÄôt do meth. They just get âÄúschwastedâÄù sometimes.