Lost Classics: Tobin Sprout “Moonflower Plastic (Welcome To My Wigwam)”

tapem200bThey’re nobody’s buzz bands anymore. But since 1993, MAGNET has discovered and documented more great music than memory will allow. The groups may have broken up or the albums may be out of print, but this time, history is written by the losers. Here are some of the finest albums that time forgot but we remembered in issue #75, plus all-new additions to our list of Lost Classics.

:: TOBIN SPROUT
Moonflower Plastic (Welcome To My Wigwam) // Matador, 1997
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When Guided By Voices guitarist Tobin Sprout released solo debut Carnival Boy in 1996, it was overshadowed by Not In My Airforce, the simultaneously issued first solo outing by GBV mainman Robert Pollard. Soon after, Sprout quit the band to spend more time with his family. Though his contributions to GBV albums offered proof of his talent as a songwriter, none of them could’ve prepared fans for Moonflower Plastic, a fully realized pop album of guitar-driven rockers and piano-based ballads. Aside from a handful of guest drummers (including Spoon’s Jim Eno), Sprout recorded all of these songs by himself, a feat given the complexity of the arrangements. While not as seminal as the GBV albums he appeared on, Moonflower Plastic held its own against the records the band made following his departure.

Catching Up: Sprout has released albums as a solo artist, band frontman (Eyesinweasel), Pollard collaborator (Airport 5) and soundtrack composer (Fortunes). His most serious creative pursuit, however, has been visual art. Sprout makes his living from painting; in March, he’ll publish Elliott, a children’s book he wrote and illustrated. A new Sprout seven-inch single, Fix On The Races (credited to Bevel Web, a side-project moniker he used in the mid-’90s), is due this spring.

“All Used Up”:

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