The Rondo Brothers
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Brandon Arnovick and Jim Greer
|Origin||San Francisco, California|
|Genres||Hip hop, Alternative, Trip hop|
|Labels||War Chant (US), Jet Set (Japan)|
|Associated acts||Head Automatica, Dan the Automator, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Galactic, The Lovemakers, Deltron 3030, Prince Paul, Loveage, Mike Patton, MC Lars|
|Members||"Diamond Jim" (Jim Greer), "The Bastard Prince" (Brandon Arnovick)|
The Rondo Brothers are a musical collaboration between multi-instrumentalists and producers Diamond Jim (Jim Greer) and The Bastard Prince (Brandon Arnovick) from San Francisco.
Origins & background
Greer (primarily keyboards, bass guitar, rhythm guitar, drum programming) and Arnovick (primarily lead guitar, drum programming) were mutual friends in San Francisco who worked together at a now closed nightclub called the Paradise Lounge. Upon first entering into the music business in San Francisco, one of the first people both musicians met was Dan the Automator who started using them as musicians for various projects and tours. Jim Greer played keyboards for the original Dr. Octagon live band, and Brandon Arnovick played guitar on the Deltron 3030 and Lovage albums as well as accompanying the groups on US tours. While doing various side jobs for Dan the Automator, Jim Greer also worked extensively as a producer and founded a record label. His first major production was the legendary art-rock group the Gun & Doll Show, whose 1998 debut album he recorded in Petaluma, CA. Greer also wrote songs with RCA / Or Music (Matisyahu, Los Lonely Boys) artist, essence, and worked as a session player for producer Bill Bottrell (Michael Jackson, Sheryl Crow, Shelby Lynne). The Rondo Brothers didn't really take shape, however, until 2003, when Dan the Automator hired them both to help produce New Orleans jam band Galactic's fourth studio album, Ruckus. During production Greer and Arnovick seized the opportunity to form the Rondo Brothers. Almost immediately the Rondo Brothers were asked to join Warner Brothers act Head Automatica, and subsequently toured the United States with such seminal acts as The Rapture, Interpol, Thursday and The Cure. They remained on tour with Head Automatica for close to two years. Over this period they also began working extensively as producers and remixers, and landed numerous gigs in film & TV as well as making classic remixes of songs like Patti Page's "Frosty The Snowman", Bob James' "Nautilus", and Mike Patton's project Peeping Tom for which they remixed the song "We're Not Alone". They also recorded their first full-length album "No Time Left On Earth" which featured guest appearances from Daryl Palumbo (Glassjaw), Kelly Atkins (20 Minute Loop & Kitka), Vinnie Caruana (I Am the Avalanche), Samantha Stollenwerck, Pedro Shanahan, and Tim Carter (Kasabian).
Released on September 7, 2004, No Time Left On Earth was a hit among the college demographic with the track “Hey Stewardess” which featured Daryl Palumbo & Samantha Stollenwerck. At this point the Rondo Brothers had also contributed various performances to the album White People by Handsome Boy Modeling School (Atlantic), and were invited to open the month-long tour across the United States, and several shows at the Jazz Cafe In London, where they also performed with UK superstar Jamie Cullum. Meanwhile, the No Time Left On Earth blew up in Japan, being released by JetSet Records along with 2 special edition 12" records.
During this time the Rondo Brothers helped produce The Matches and MC Lars track called “Hot Topic is Not Punk Rock” which garnered a great deal of success, and also scored numerous remixes of classic artists such as Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Rosemary Clooney, and Dean Martin. In 2006, Rondo Brothers worked with local Bay Area beat boxer Kid Beyond, and made a popular remix record for the band Vinyl featuring legendary keyboardist Bernie Worell. They have also been involved in high-profile commercials for clients such as John Frieda, Banana Republic, the NFL and Dodge. Around this time they began working extensively with producer Jack Douglas (John Lennon, Aerosmith, Clutch, Cheap Trick) and contributed a remix of a New York Dolls song after Jack Douglas produced the New York Dolls album One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This.
Demand around the Bay Area increased, and the Rondo Brothers worked with other Bay Area artists such as The Lovemakers (interscope), Scissors for Lefty (Rough Trade), Loquat (Jack Pine Social), Jefrodisiac, and more.
In 2007 the Rondo Brothers released their second album Seven Minutes to Midnight. There was a second USA tour at this time where the Rondos performed with Chali2NA, André the Giant, and Casual from Hieroglyphics, while backing up Dan the Automator for his NBA video game score. They also produced multiple remixes by artists such as Common (one track featuring Lily Allen), Shwayze, and Mc Lars. The same year they also worked on the Cuba Gooding, Jr. / Michael Jordan commercial spots for Hanes, and also appeared on the soundtrack for the hit documentary My Kid Could Paint That. Later that year they scored their first full-length film Lonely Street.
Some selected works of 2008 included producing an album with Les Claypool, Fogshack Music Volume Two by Vinyl, producing tracks for MC Lars on his 2009 release of This Gigantic Robot Kills, as well as contributing production to legendary hacker YT Cracker's album The Digital Gangster. Southern artist Eric Lindell (Alligator Records) included a rondo brothers co-write on his 2008 album Gulf Coast Highway, and the Rondo Brothers also partnered with Sony Music to release a library version of their album Seven Minutes To Midnight, distributed worldwide for producers and DJs.
2009 saw the Rondo Brothers be one of a few winners of a remix contest held by Yoko Ono, who selected their remix of her song "The Sun Is Down" for inclusion on the Yoko Ono website, and producer Jim Greer saw success with an artist he discovered through Jack Douglas named Cyndi Harvell, who was included on Bay Area powerhouse radio stations yearly compilation. Cyndi Harvell performed at the major festival Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, accompanied by Jim Greer on bass guitar. The Rondo Brother at this time also contributed to a project featuring two brothers called The Kin - they added production and beats to their album "The Upside", and also began an extensive side project with the Kin called "Rondo Sessions". Over 2009 and into 2010 the Rondo Brothers recorded over 40 songs with the Kin.
In 2010 they released their third album The Foreign Globester, a concept album with MC Lars, Motion Man, K.Flay and Beefy. The album was released through Oglio Records and garnered them a cover story from Oakland tastemaker weekly the East Bay Express.
2010 also saw the Rondo Brothers gain some of their most far-reaching success, as a co-write with the band Galactic, the song "Heart Of Steel", was shouted out by NPR as a top single and also noted by the NY Times as one of the "best top ten songs of 2010" next to CeeLo Green, Brian Eno, Eminem, and Neil Young. The song was featured in numerous TV shows including True Blood. Around this time the Rondo Brothers live drummer Tim Carter also contributed to UK superstar act Kasabian's album, which was ultimately voted album of the year by the New Musical Express.
The Rondo Brother also saw success with the phenomenally successful artist Foster the People who included the Rondo Brothers production of their song "Chin Music For The Unsuspecting Hero" on the single for the smash hit song "Pumped Up Kicks".
2011 has seen the Rondo Brothers begin a variety of new projects, notably working extensively with folk-royalty artists Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, featuring Arlo Guthrie's daughter and Woody Guthrie's granddaughter, Sarah Lee Guthrie. They have also done several remixes for Foster The People as well as continued their near constant work on licenses and commercials.
In 2012 they embarked upon a project with Bay Area Gypsy/Punk band Diego's Umbrella, for whom the Rondo Brothers recorded full-length album Proper Cowboy. They have also teamed up with Angelo Moore of LA's legendary ska band Fishbone for the hot new single "Brand New Step".