Lyrics like "Staple my penis shut and nail it to the wall" usually suggest cheap potty humor; but, in the world of Toby Goodshank, even the most perverted images retain a soulful grandeur, sung with a tender baritone that could melt hearts and cocks alike. After recording 14 solo albums in just five years, Goodshank is a veritable gland of lo-fi acoustic gems -- a legend in his Anti-Folk community and a mystery to bio-musicologists: how does he do it? The soft-spoken, enigmatic Goodshank made his high-profile debut playing acoustic guitar in The Moldy Peaches (Rough Trade). Once that band began its indefinite hiatus, Goodshank kicked his solo career into overdrive, pumping out albums the way some men pump out semen, touring Europe twice with the likes of Jeffrey Lewis (Rough Trade) and fellow Moldy Peach Kimya Dawson (K Records). In a relatively short amount of time, Toby Goodshank has become a crucial voice in the underground NYC music scene, with unconventional song-structures and surreal lyrics supported by an uncommonly professional approach to his performative craft.
His records range from the soothing (2004's lush "Safe Harbor") and simple (2003's voice-and-guitar "We Can Build You") to the frenetic (2004's electronic "Come Correct") and preposterous (2002's erratically joyous "Music for Heroes, Volumes 1-3"). Recent albums like "Jyusangatsu" (2005) and "di santa ragione" (2006) find Goodshank synthesizing his history of sonic moods into a seamless blend of chunky guitars, crystal-clear vocals, fringe sexuality, and a rotating cast of Anti-Folk comrades.
A prolific performer, Goodshank inhabits the stages of NYC both solo and with bands Double Deuce (along with sister Angela Babyskin) and The Tri-Lambs (with Angela and her sister Crystal Babyskin). These projects have "Goodshank" written all over them, with his signature heart-felt pornographic tendencies lending the songs a sense of erotic wonder and innocence. If Anti-Folk has ever known a legend in the making, destined to have his records collected by the troubled teenagers of the future, it is Toby Goodshank.