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Sunday, March 05, 2006


They go on at midnight, so start your week off a little tired.


SHOUT PARTY - http://www.shoutnyc.org/
BAR 13 - http://www.bar13.com

Here's a pretty cool piece done on the band on Friday on MSNBC...

Gazing at brand new shoes
• Undersea melodies from Film School
This San Francisco quintet breeds reverb-drenched melodies that rewards patience with a surprising emotional lift. By Gregory A. Perez MSNBC contributor
Updated: 6:14 p.m. ET March 3, 2006

I have to admit, Film School’s self-titled debut didn’t grab me at first. I think I was in a phase of needing instant gratification, a quick hook, a catchy turn-of-phrase. Something. If you’re one to plow through a new record for 30-second bites to determine if you “get it,” this one takes a bit of sinking in. But it’s well worth it.

“I find that most of the albums I really like, the ones that I keep going back to, took me a bit of time to ‘get,’” said Krayg Burton, Film School’s founder and leader. “I don't think our music is difficult to get per say, but it's probably not as immediate as more traditional pop. We tend to focus more on melodies than hooks. I feel like strong melodies can be much more expressive and lasting when done right.”

Formed by Burton around 2001, this San Francisco quintet breeds reverb-drenched melodies that rewards patience with a surprising emotional lift. After a few listens, and after seeing their hypnotic live performance, Film School will, in fact, win you over. It’s a record that gets you to sit back, listen very closely and get very mesmerized by their ambitious vision.
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Most compelling about the band’s approach is how they mix that simmer-to-a-boil dynamic with a bombastic rock attack starting with the formidable rhythm section of Justin Labo and Donny Newenhouse and fleshed out by a maelstrom of guitar and Jason Ruck’s electronic ambience.

Songs like “Harmed” and “Pitfalls” kick out a jaunty pop vibe right up front, buoyed by Labo’s expressive bass, while others like "On and On" take you on a swirling journey of vivid deep-sea depth.

Crunchy rock elements mixed with Burton’s laconic vocals keep the music from falling into pure shoegazer la-la land putting Film School in a very nice place in terms of consistency and emotional balance. Not happy, not sad, not too hot, not too cold. Just right.

“We don't set up boundaries or predefine a way a song should move. But I do think we're suspicious and get bored easily,” said Burton. “If a song is starting to sound familiar and safe, I find myself trying to break it in hopes that it will recover into a better song. Sometimes it works, sometimes the song goes into the trash.”

“Many times it seems like we write in a reactive way,” adds guitarist Nyles Lannon. “If we have just finished a slower song, we turn around and work on something upbeat. We are always trying to stretch our sound.”

While the record is sonically dense, “Film School” still manages to ride on the crest of devastating melodies. Take “He’s a Deep Deep Lake,” an rousing anthem that’s as heavy and majestic as they come, like Built To Spill’s “Time Trap” only with a subterranean palette. It’s the best song to play on repeat the next time you’re watching a National Geographic deep-sea travelogue at 2 a.m. You’ll go places.

Atop these layers and layers of sounds, it’s amazing how Film School can keep their songs from getting buried beneath the weight of the production.

“It's definitely fun to tinker with songs, see how much you plug in there before it gets muddy and unnecessary,” said Burton. “I don't think we intentionally try to layer, I think it's just what sounds right. Not sure there's one way to tell when a song is done. Some seem to finish themselves almost immediately. Some I don't think will ever be finished and still drive me a little crazy when I hear them on the record.”

Aside from the obvious and oft-repeated comparisons to Pink Floyd, Kevin Shields and The Cure, Film School’s subtle playfulness and dynamics add a new dimension to the late-‘90s alternative drone formula. With the way their debut is stretching out creatively, they’re forging their own reputation.

“We’re definitely get sick of the comparisons. But I think it's also a natural way for people to understand something they're hearing for the first time,” said Burton. “I do the same sort of thing. But I’m hoping that after a few listens people will start to hear what's original in our music.”

“The music just is what it is,” adds Lannon. “After a while you just say ‘screw it’ and stop paying attention.”

For more information on Film School, visit: http://www.filmschoolmusic.com/.
Article found at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11658259/


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