Artist Details

Mark Robinson

Mark Robinson is best known as the guitarist and vocalist of the beloved indie pop band Unrest, in addition to being the entrepreneur of Teen Beat Records, a label that fired off its first release in 1985. While in high school during the early '80s he formed Unrest with Phil Krauth, which lasted several albums and several singles into the mid-'90s. Shortly after the demise of that band, he formed Air Miami with other Unrest-mate Bridget Cross. Breaking up after an album and EP, Robinson moved on to the more angular and post-punk driven Flin Flon, releasing two albums between 1998 and 1999. Other projects involving Robinson included the indie/lounge supergroup Grenadine and the Project, a one-off single with two members of Tuscadero that paid tribute to Christopher Reeve and the Titanic. While dividing time between his various bands and running Teen Beat, Robinson issued a number of solo recordings. 1987's Black Christmas cassette was the first, notably followed by the 1989 7" Sammy Supreme My Man, which honored Sammy Davis, Jr. 1990's ramshackle Mark E. Superstar cassette alternated acoustic tunes with snippets from The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. 2000's Tiger Banana was a full-fledged proper solo record, with Robinson backed by three members of Versus. Canada's Green Highways followed the next year. He also launched a series of experimental electronics EPs later in the year, beginning with Taste. Just as important as Robinson's own band and solo work is his Teen Beat label, which followed Dischord and predated Simple Machines as revered do-it-yourself outlets of independent music in the Washington, D.C., and Arlington, VA, areas. Similar to the other labels, Teen Beat's releases predominantly came from local acts. Robinson's label tended to be pop-based and also followed the ideology and graphic identity of some of his favorite British indie labels, including Factory, 4AD, and Rough Trade. Robinson emulated Factory to the extent of assigning a catalog number to anything label related, including their first paid employee, interns, legal paperwork, Connecticut warehouse, and mouse pad.
Andy Kellman, Rovi

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