In Search of Vyto B. for the Good of the Biorhythms – by Peter Nelson-King


Such is the nature of elusivitisation.

You can ask around.  Zip.  Attempt to locate physical copies of his two albums.  Noperino.  Google and Bing and Encyclopediate.  Cigars aren’t even on the horizon.  You could try out this website apparently run by him  but it seems to have been created to dissuade the curious and fatalistic.  Even his Myspace holds no answers.  And that is only half the appeal.

I’ll just assume Vyto B is an alias, but I’m not sure anybody knows his real name.  He apparently works in Chicago, and has been around since the 1976 (when this first album was released).  All we know is what we hear, and this first album is simply fantastic.  It’s a wild surge of sci-fi themed bar piano, barreling through its hip chords, acidic humor and optipessism (optimistic pessimism, if that makes any sense).  The wicked dynamism of his voice resonates perfectly with the parking garage the album was apparently recorded in.  Or a silo.  Such joyous lyrics for such frightening subject matter.  All Electronic Enforcers and Tricentennial new orders and dystopias.  Maybe this is how we’ll get through the apocalypse, making summer jamz from the whistling of falling nukes.  In case you’re wondering, this is my favorite Nick Drake album that never was.  Egg City Radio, where I got this album and the other one, described his sound as Billy Joel, but I think it’s closer to early Joni Mitchell on one of her more morose bents.  Some tracks have a feeling of the more child-like, quavering moments on The Wall.  I could listen to Tricentennial 2076 for about 10 hours and still want more, so all of these things are an enormous plus.  Why isn’t this on CD?  Extra New Year’s Resolution, guys.

And then there’s his second album, from ‘85.  And…well, it’s quite different.  Actually, I’m pretty sure he spent the time between the two releases holed up with Gary Wilson’s You Think You Really Know Me, but I could be wrong, as I’m not sure Vyto B listens to music other than his own, and I’m not sure he intended Automatic Vaudeville as anything near as solipsistically nuts as Know Me.  I…I just don’t know.  Maybe this article was a bad idea.  Maybe I should have just pretended that he just did Tricentennial 2076 and went the way of a Spinal Tap drummer, but I just can’t.  So yes, the soaring, armageddony celebration of the first album is gone, to be replaced by something much more New Wave-y and un-visionary.  And then there’s his more recent work:

And I just don’t know.  Maybe this is what’s keeping his work from gaining more recognition.  Maybe I should have lied.  Though I can’t fault somebody for keeping it real (if that’s even the case).

You know, I guess this is a different sort of ROTU article.  It’s not even so much about the whole artist’s work, but about one truly amazing thing he did that needs more recognition.  A LOT more.  And that’s really what this is all about; you could take any of the previously wrote-up artists here and scour their discogs to find some pure, undiluted horse hockey.  But where’s the good, fuzzy feelings in that?

You know what, forget it.  Here’s the full album.  Now you can listen to it for 10 hours and see exactly what I mean:



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