Bodega began in Montreal in 1996. After years playing in
local bands (The Sherlocks, Stellar Dweller) songwriter Andrew Rodriguez had
developed his own style of twisted, surreal pop. Writing many songs, he
spent hours making elaborate 4 track recordings, which were circulated to
friends. Andrew then hooked up with the rhythm section he would play with
for the next few years, bassist Sam Goldberg and drummer Kim Temple.
In 1997, Rodriguez re-located to Toronto and began work on
the Bodega debut Bring Yourself Up. Self-produced by Rodriguez and
released independently that same year, many ears were pleasantly surprised
and one could hear echoes of Neil Young, The Beatles or Robert Wyatt.
re-mixing with Jim Rondinelli (Weezer/Wilco) and Dave Leonard (Prince) the
album was re-released in late 1998 by London/Universal to rave reviews.
Bodega (as a trio) toured from coast to coast and Bring Yourself Up
received a nomination for "best alternative album" at the Juno Awards
(Canadian equivalent to the Grammy Awards). On the heels of this success,
Rodriguez began recording demos of new material.
In 1999, his music found its way into the hands of Mercury
Rev/ Flaming Lips producer Dave Fridmann. They started working together at
Fridmann's Tarbox Road Studios in upstate New York, and the resulting disc
Without A Plan was born. Already generating excitement with the Canadian
press, the album is Rodriguez’s best work to date. Brought to you by the
fine folks at Brobdingnagian Records, Without A Plan is already thrilling
listeners with its
carefully crafted songs and fleshed-out production.
"Fridmann, a well known dreamscape spinner, proves the perfect foil
for Rodriguez, who dresses his catchier pop tendencies with fleshier musical
explorations that fill out ‘Without A Plan’ beautifully…melting together
the epic ambition of the Rev with a desire to hang each song on a hook…"
"Space rockers make epic return…a constantly evolving pop record
with no two songs that sound alike…the collaboration was a roaring success."
"Majestically fragile pop songs…a quest to scale the heights of
McCartneyesque pop perfection and Neil-worthy poeticism, but on a trail
filled with strange zigs and zags that ultimately make the trek more
rewarding than taking the straight route".
"…a set of sounds so diverse that trying to pin down one Bodega
sound becomes part of the fun. Seriously Smart."