Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place: You’re Doomed, Be Nice

by Halee Hastad

photo/courtesy

Eeyore of Winnie-the Pooh may be one of the saddest donkeys known to man. He is dismally gloomy for all of eternity. He does not expect too much of himself, but is in no way unintelligent. He lives in the southeast corner of the Hundred Acre Wood, in an area referred to as “Eeyore’s Gloomy Place: Rather Boggy and Sad.” And, if you ask me, he is a modern-day hero.

Despite his melancholy existence, Eeyore is capable of great compassion. He is also a source of inspiration for Rob Crow, formerly the frontman of Pinback, and his new solo project, Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place.

You’re Doomed, Be Nice is the aptly titled album Gloomy Place has been touring since late-February. They will make their way to Bellingham on March 22 to play at The Wild Buffalo.

“Doomed, because we are all going to die,” he said. “Be nice, because it’s the easiest, most simple thing to do and you might as well.”

This 13-track album, released via Temporary Residence, will feature songs that Crow has written over the two-plus decades he has spent making and producing music.

Song titles include the like of, “Quit Being Dicks,” “No Shadow Left Behind,” and “Business Interruptus.”

This isn’t Crow’s first solo album, he explained in an interview last month, but it is his first full-band studio album of solo material.

“I wanted to get other people’s energy on the piece,” he said while explaining his motivations for the work.

After a seemingly tumultuous departure from Pinback, Crow has made an unexpected return music. The Gloomy Place model is the reflection of what he describes as a very emotional time in his life.

Crow is 45 years old, married, and has three children.

“It’s hard to do,” he said.  “Especially when you’re making bad life decisions.”

He describes that at the time he left Pinback, his wife was in college and they came close to losing their home. His family did not want him to leave music, but he felt he had little choice.

“The days of writing whole albums on tour and sleeping on random people’s couches are over for me,” he said.

In the time following his parting from Pinback, Crow has lost 100 pounds and quit both alcohol and people that are bad for him, he said. A personal transformation took place that allowed him to open up to the idea of making for the masses music again.

“I don’t necessarily think of making music as a career. It is just something that I feel like I have to do,” he said. “I want to make music with people who do it because they have to, not because they want to.”

It is clear that Crow’s talent is one that he cannot deny. Something he may not identify with, but will remain with him regardless.

Songs on the album resonate with the same sounds as Pinback, surely, but with a different mood. One’s sense of things is that Crow has come through a time in his life that has left him at a point where, good or bad, he has accepted life is happening.

The work was recorded and mixed by Ben Moore (Hot Snakes). The two have known each other since college, Crow said, when they first started recording music together as young musicians.

In total, Gloomy Place took a handful of months to produce and Crow is unwilling to theorize on it’s potential for success.

“If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t,” he said.

And that seems to sum it up. The band, the album, the tour. Life.

Eeyore would understand.

LIVE SHOW: Catch Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place at the Wild Buffalo on March 22.