Member of the Boston Phoenix's Best Band Collective with an Electronic Drum Circle, 2006
They share a practice space in an undisclosed Somerville warehouse. They've got mix-tapes, an amazing local-music compilation, and a blog. They're Compound 440R and they're here to reclaim the city's music scene from the greasy-fingernailed clutches of dude bands and unironic cock-rock. And they [include the]...rad grrrltar foursome who should be the house band of a feminist telemarketing union (the Operators)...Did we mention that their landlord is a professional clown?
"There's a lot of cross-pollination [at Compound 440R]. Plunge into Death's [Mark E. Moon] intermittently shows up live with the Operators...The three Squids, Tsiakals, and Emily Arkin from the Operators have started spinning records as a DJ collective...'Everybody wants a gang," says Sidell. "We tried selling crack--it didn't work out, so we decided to have a musical gang.'"--Camille Dodero, Boston Phoenix
"Game of Rock, a Chutes and Ladders for the indie crowd, is inspired by Arkin's experiences as a member of The Operators"--The Boston Globe...and other Ops namedrops in the 12/07 Stuff at Nite, the 11/28/04 Boston Globe, and Frontiers Magazine--articles about the Bazaar Bizarre craft fair and Emily's store Magpie.
The Spring 2003 issue of Venus had a picture (above) and review (at right). Also, the City Paper in Philly had a great issue devoted to LadyFest*Philly with an Ops review and picture as part of the cover story!
Camden Joy namechecks The Ops in this 11/25/02 Splendid interview! "I just e-mailed the music establishment to ask, and they assured me that yes, they are absolutely terrified of me and of everything that I represent, and that everything I write creates shooting pains down their necks and legs. They also passed me a list of CDs to recommend and promised they would run over my dog if I did not endorse them, so here: go out and buy [Citizens Band]"--CJoy
The 7/19/02 issue of the Boston Globe has a full page article about our musical collective Handstand Command and Somerville's Art Beat Festival, with a big picture of us!
The 3/12/02 issue of Boston Herald had a review of our Indie Rock Mini-Circus! And the 2/21 issue of the Boston Metro had a full-page interview with and photo of Jen and Emily.
The Ops are spotlighted on Boston.com and the Boston Phoenix MP3 sites.
Ops namedrop in The Stranger Jef Czekaj interview, 6/1/00. The Operators are interviewed in Nothing to Write Home About! You can order it from Nicole's website.
To receive a press kit, just drop us an email. Our biography is also available online.
"If Slim Moon is auditioning replacements for Sleater-Kinney on Kill Rock Stars, one candidate we'd recommend is Somerville's own the Operators, three young women and one outnumbered dude who've always dug into the KRS catalogue for inspiration...On The Light and the Dark, the Operators sound better than ever, piling Butchies-ish vocal harmonies on top of Sonic Youth maelstroms shaded with mellotron backings."
--Carly Carioli, BOSTON PHOENIX
"[The Ops] meld opposite forces with The Light and the Dark...The light side grooves on a nice Rainer Maria type flow, with singer Emily Arkin soaring over the rolling drums and roaming guitars. But the moodier, darker songs show a much stronger side of the band. Jen Godfrey's bass holding the songs steady and deeply rocking against the vocals...Steph Melikian letting the drums kick against the rhythms...Are you going to go over to the Dark Side this winter?"
--Three Imaginary Girls
"In music, careful crafting is admirable; but shooting from the hip sounds even cooler. The Operators have pulled a Wyatt Earp with [The Light and the Dark]. The band displays an utter disregard for the standard musical dynamic model. If your average song follows an arc or two in terms of intensity, the music of The Operators ripples, twinges, speeds up, slows down, and generally just moves naturally about on its own volition...This record sounds clear, pleasantly bumpy...[and] inviting."
--C.D. DiGuardia, NORTHEAST PERFORMER
"The Breeders are the most easily recognizable influence on The Operators...[who make] it sound as if they alone have any right to 'that sound,' putting even said Breeders to shame. How do they do it? Quite simply, they rock, doing so with a punkily outlandish thrust that few bands today have the confidence (or competence) to pull off. [Citizens Band] is splendid...every song's a treat, each one boasting lyrics that should be the envy of every underground band currently operating...a feast for the ears."
--Jesse Fisk Cravens, NORTHEAST PERFORMER
"Giddy, raucous spaz-punk out of the suburbs of Boston that recalls the best parts--the crankiness, the furious single-string guitar, the excitement--of all those records K put out in the early '90s, with a dollop of The Raincoats' crash-boom-pop shamble for good measure. Let them be your favorite band, just so that grin that sprouts on your face after the first song doesn't come as too much of a shock."
--Maura Johnston, PHILADELPHIA CITY PAPER
--Douglas Wolk, THE VILLAGE VOICE
"The Operators [sound like Sleater-Kinney], and they have a suite of songs about famous rockstar girlfriends...Pretty cool."
--Amy Phillips, THE VILLAGE VOICE
"Unpretentious and humorous, the rock is strong...Sonic variety in each of the tunes and a punky edge to the mix, including sub-three-minute songs, add depth...The vocals range from blasé talk-singing to blistering screams while fine backing boy-girl chants are added to much of the recording...It's easy to detect the band's influences, but the Operators avoid mimicry for a hot-wired take on earnestly played but plafully earnest pop songs."
--Slarty Cohen, VENUS MAGAZINE
"Weaving Sleater-Kinney-like melodies and Breeders-style guitar textures with jingle-jangle effervescence and buzz-saw power, The Operators crank out a rich and dense sound...good times with zero pretensions."
--Martin Wong, GIANT ROBOT
"Even at their moodiest, the Operators are still a damned gleeful band...incredibly enthusiastic, but there are real brains behind them, too. Deadpan-voiced girls spin extended metaphors, get cranky about people who need to change their lives and...quote Dorothy Parker...while the token boy plays drums and theremin and writes the band's most oddly pretty songs...When it comes down to it...the Ops are chiefly here to rock you in their off-kilter fashion, and that's where they succeed most of all."
--Mandy Shekleton, SPLENDID E-ZINE
"Citizen's Band is an impressive debut album...The Sleater Kinney/Throwing Muses comparisons are most obvious, with oodles of trade-off vocals, scuzzy guitars and bass thump'n'grind, and there's also some minimalist Raincoats strumming to lighten the load a bit...[They get] the Kim Gordon vocodorised monotone moans so down pat that it's freaky--you know, that whole sounding like the growls of a wounded, yet lounging, lioness thing. A surface level scan would indicate a mean and snarling aesthetic, but the pop hooks and wry lyrics reveal an underlying sense of fun. And for a band that's organised a Punk Rock Crafts Fair and an Indie Rock Mini Circus (as well as helping out with Ladyfest NYC 2001), that's not surprising at all."
--Emily Orr, EXCLAIM!
"[CB] is infused with the spirit of rambunctious friendship...The chugging guitars, ragged 'n' bittersweet melodies and raspy harmonies are reminiscent of early Scrawl...[and] occasionally a Flying Nun/New Zealand feel shines through...with woozy tempo and acoustic guitars straight out of the Look Blue Go Purple songbook...Citizens Band is impressive and addictive."
--Mike Appelstein, SCRAM
Citizens Band is in the GM! Top 20
"Another inspiring Handstand Command release! Take the insistent guitar lines you'd hear from the Fall or Erin Smith...heighten the sense of melody, and you've got a sense of where the Operators are coming from. They up the ante with a wonderful way of arranging the vocals without cluttering the scenery...Any way you slice it, Citizens Band is splendid."
--Mike Faloon, GO METRIC!
"Beginning with the squeak and pop of a champagne cork, Citizens Band is one jangly glass of bubbly, through and through...[The Ops combine] accordion, cello, electric drill, theremin, violin, xylophone...an odd assortment of handclaps and whatnots, and some crazypants keyboards along with the usual bass/drum/guitar combo for one infectious riot of a first album."
--Anna Gilfillan, STYLUS MAGAZINE
"[CB] reminds me of a lot of early 90s indie rock, like Hazel, Excuse Seventeen, and Team Dresch, with a touch of Tuscadero. Not that the band sound dated or anything--I just can't think of many bands that sound like this these days, other than Sleater-Kinney...The music and vocals are very energetic, with lots of shouting...[yet] clean and clear...I bet these guys are tons of fun live!"
"Jangly, melodic, three-chord pop with raggedy elan...[and] nerdy little jokes between songs. The Operators...are adorable...with a charming repertoire of tuneful songs in the Muses/Blake Babies/Sleater-Kinney tradition."
--Robin Vaughan, BOSTON HERALD
"The Operators appeared on the Ladyfest East compilation album (for the love of Jezebel, you should own it by now), but their charming live performance is your best bet. What else can you say about a band who wrote a song about Charlie Brown on Valentine's Day?"
--Jeanne Fury, NY ROCK CONFIDENTIAL
"The first thing that comes to mind when you hear The Operators is indie rock... Quintessentially...wonderfully, happily, indie...The twinkling guitar work is reminiscent of Peter Buck...on the early R.E.M. albums...The rhythm section takes a nod from the work of Throwing Muses...Lyrical content is another strength of this band...Witty and quirky...The Operators offer up low-fi but highly listenable tunes with cerebral lyrics and snazzy hooks that make you feel like you've heard the songs before while at the same time making you happy you're listening for the first time."
--Jeff Burke, BOSTON.COM
"Like a teenager who just took a breath of their first cigarette, The Operators' sophomore effort brings the band's blend of innocence and knowledge to its now-or-never moment. The good news is the The Operators are now, bringing a new vitality to the indie-pop atmosphere in Boston."
"[The Light and the Dark is] kinda Galaxie 500 meets the Velvet Underground meets Beat Happening meets Yo La Tengo...Fragile...[with] emotional wallop...Majestic in the most low-key of all possible ways...Eminently worthwhile and will likely yield ever-multiplying dividends"
--Francis DiMenno, THE NOISE #247 December 2004
"I really dig [Citizens Band] because I also like jittery, abrupt, rhythmically eccentric stuff like...Wire and The Feelies...and crazed Brit new-wavers like The Rezillos, and Athens Georgia-area nutcases like The B-52s. I also like this because the Operators carry into 2002 the area avant-garde tradition of 1980s Boston combos...Uncontrollably glee-evoking...a frantic classic...This is a real keeper."
--Francis DiMenno, THE NOISE #227, December 2002
"I won't necessarily repeat myself by heaping great gobs of praise on this deliciously cool pop group, but I will say that this EP brought a few surprises. The first is that these four songs sound even better on vinyl...Their newer material still has their slumber party, naked Twister, Hello Kitty charm, but now also sports a bit of sophistication and rocks in that special quirky way--befitting a band in the Handstand Command collective. Keep making great pop and I'll keep loving it!"
--Joel Simches, THE NOISE #207, December 2000
"The Operators are just fun. [I Accuse the Operators] is all too short...Pure pop for now people...Please make more music soon."
--Joel Simches, THE NOISE #200, April 2000