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Tuesday, February 28, 2006


They've just landed in Australia and gear up for their first invasion of down under in forever - THE POSIES! The band is also putting the finishing touches on a live DVD, filmed in Helsinki on their last European tour that should help solve that fix for all their die-hard fans.

The Posies Australian and New Zealand Tour

03.01.06 Brisbane, Australia Her Majesty's w/Screamfeeder
03.03.06 Sydney, Australia Metro w/Wallspace
03.04.06 Melbourne, Australia Hi Fi Bar w/Gershey
03.05.06 Sydney, Australia Laneway Festival
03.07.06 Auckland, New Zealand Studio

Monday, February 27, 2006


I recently got an incredible care package sent my way from DANGERBIRD RECORDS. Now, with all the big, lame, tasteless labels alive out there (thanks mostly to their publishing divisions), it's amazing when you come across a label where their roster only contains quality. Dangerbird are like a throwback to those old days, record guys, putting out a sound, record-by-record, that defines who they are and where they are from. I'll talk more about them in a second, but first, the real gem of the care package: SABROSA PURR.

Now, I've had the mp3's for awhile, tipped them awhile back as a band getting some attention, but it wasn't until I received their CD, MUSIC FROM THE VIOLET ROOM, that I truly understood what an incredible record this is. The record came out in December of last year, and I'm upset that I didn't get it then and feature them on FUTURE SOUNDS. This record has a pulse! Finally, someone screaming for a reason, instead of 'yet another' emo band that screams again screams again. If I hear one more 'AS I LIE DYING IN FLAMES AND ASHES' type of band, I'm going to give up. PLEASE, we've had enough FALL OUT BOYS, the Vans Tour is full of one hundred sound a likes now, can someone under 20 figure it out yet and move on?
Back to my point - if there is one - when I put in this CD and got kicked in the face by something that has real energy for a change. I haven't seen them live yet, but they are an LA band so I have no excuse not to see their next show. They have this JANES ADDICTION vibe to their music, but not in a 'we're freaky/possibly Burning Man/kinda way', or that they have any connection to Perry & Co., but more in the overall feel that something here has some ooze to it, something dark, something angry, but something that can also drop some cloudy bliss on you. Their track 'All The Leaves..." is simply, gorgeous. The flip side is the assault that occurs on '..By The Water' and their single, 'The Lovely People'. It's all written, produced and arranged by Will Love, who is the vocalist, guitarist, bassist, and programmer on this 8 song delight that I've been playing non-stop since it's arrival. Outside of the new demos I've received from LEMON SUN, I haven't got this cranked on someone in awhile. I strongly suggest you don't just cherry pick off of Itunes and get one song to see if you like it or not, this should be digested as a piece of art, in it's entirity.
MANAGEMENT: Matt Soldky of Cast Management. Legal: Richard Grabel of Davis Shapiro. Publicity: Juliana Plotkin of Ink Tank PR.

So that brings me back to Los Angeles' DANGERBIRD RECORDS, and their tasty roster. Lead by the A&R team of Jeff Castelza & Peter Walker, these guys throw nothing but strikes in my book. They have distribution through ADA and after SABROSA PURR, their line up consists of THE SILVERSUN PICKUPS (former Future Sounds favorites), LA ROCCA (another ghost from Future Sounds past), and a solo record that just came out by PETER WALKER his damn self, called 'Young Gravity'. I've been meaning to spend more time on Walker's disc, but the Purr pulls me back. I can say that the first Peter Walker single, 'What Do I Know' is excellent, so I have another good feeling about this disc as well, especially given their early track record. I see Walker has Frank Riley of High Road in his team, so expect to see him all over this year. He's managed by Castelaz as well.
LA ROCCA, if you remember back to FUTURE SOUNDS 17, are from Dublin, Ireland, and I once described their sound as poppy TODD RUNDGREN meets EVERCLEAR. Thier Danagerbird debut is an EP called 'Sing Song Sung' that was produced and mixed by Tony Hoffer (Beck, Air, Belle & Sebastian). This new material sounds impressively enough like the first three BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E-STREET BAND records. Something magical is jumping out of these tracks, and this is just a 4 song. I'm told the full length is going to turn heads everywhere.
You should already know about THE SILVERSUN PICKUPS and their excellent release, Pikuls EP. 'Kissing Families' was one of the coolest songs of all of 2005.
I can't forget JOY ZIPPER, even though I haven't spent any time with the CD, I've enjoyed all the mp3's I've ever heard from this trippy band - giving DB Records in my mind, a perfect record.

DANGERBIRD RECORDS - http://www.dangerbirdrecords.com/
SABROSA PURR - http://www.sabrosapurr.com/
SILVERSUN PICKUPS - http://www.silversunpickups.com
LA ROCCA - http://www.larocca.ie
PETER WALKER - http://www.peterwalkermusic.com

Dangerbird Records : : : : 2658 Griffith Park Boulevard Box 610 : : : : Los Angeles, CA 90039 : : : : (323) 665-1144 : : : : info@dangerbirdrecords.com

Sunday, February 26, 2006


FILM SCHOOL hit the road this morning, on their way for their first US tour to support their Beggars Banquet debut, Film School. They will be supporting THE CLOUD ROOM at most stops before checking into Austin for SXSW.

2/27: Denver, Larimer Lounge
3/01: Minneapolis, 400 bar
3/02: Chicago, Schubas
3/04: Hoboken, Maxwells w/ Cloud Room
3/06: Cambridge, TT The Bears w/ Cloud Room
3/07: Philadelphia, The Fire w/ Cloud Room
3/08: DC, Black Cat w/ The Rogers Sisters, Cloud Room
3/09: Providence, RI, Century Lounge w/Cloud Room
3/10: Massachusetts, Welleseley College w/ Cloud Room
3/11: New York, Mercury Lounge w/ Cloud Room
3/12: New York, Mercury Lounge (second show added!)
3/14: Memphis, Hi Tone w/ Cloud Room
3/16: Austin, SXSW Beggars Banquet showcase at Club Deville (6th & Red River), 11pm
3/17: Austin, SXSW Jane magazine party at Beauty Bar (7th & Red River), time TBA w/Nada Surf, Mates of State, Of Montreal, Film School, The M's, What Made Milwaukee Famous, Tiny Steps
3/18: Austin, SXSW Hi Dive party at Gallery Lombardi (910 3rd at N.Lamar), 3:45pm w/Dressy Bessy, the M's, Ester Drang, Paul Jenkins (of Black Heart Procession), Bright Channel and more
3/31: San Francisco, Noise Pop Festival at Slim's w/ Cloud Room, Birdmonster, TBA
4/01: Los Angeles, The Troubadour w/ Cloud Room

Friday, February 24, 2006


It seems the song with the most feedback on FUTURE SOUNDS 23 was by far the track by GNARLS BARKLEY - 'Crazy'. I mean, what's not to like? It has the sound that could pull every GORILLAZ fan in, yet appeal to the OUTKAST crew. The mix of talent is also dead on, DJ DANGERMOUSE getting slightly commercial, and CEE-LO GREEN delivering on all his obvious potential. There is finally some new information on the album release of what will now be called 'St. Elsewhere' on May 2. ' I had it right before that it will be released on Downtown Records, which for those of you who don't know, is working with Atlantic. "Crazy", the single, will officially be released on April 10, and I think radio will spin it more times than John Mayer.

GNARLS BARKLEY - http://www.gnarlsbarkley.com/


Saturday February 25
10:00 pm (doors at 8:30)
Triple Cobra
Outline Kit

HABITFORMING - http://www.habitformingmusic.com/

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Had enough of the US team's downhill performances in the Olympics? Then get out and check out STYLOFONE with Lions and Tigers + Dirty Rainbow tomorrow night in New York if you get the chance. I love the sound of this band, as you can tell from FUTURE SOUNDS 23 and the new podcast.

ROTHKO - WEDNESDAY FEB 22 - 10:00pm $10
116 Suffolk St., New York, NY 10001

STYLOFONE - http://www.stylofonerock.com/

Friday, February 17, 2006


Former FUTURE SOUNDS act (FS20) MAZARIN, the fantastic band from Philadelphia will be playing New York City tonight for those lucky enough to make it over to the MERCURY LOUNGE. Quentin Stoltzfus' crew are truly a band that should have the following and reputation as someone like THE SHINS, but are painfully overlooked in my opinion. Don't believe me? Here's what those sOOper critics at Pitchfork had to say about their last release:

"(Mazarin's, We're Already There) is a spangled, soaring indie pop
record as winning and ambitious as anything else we're likely to
wistfully smile over this year, and the hits just keep coming...
For real, it's hard to find a track on this record that isn't
at once impressive in its craft and deeply lovable on a sensual level;
you don't even need to skip around to sing its virtues,
you can just go down the track list in order."
8/10 -pitchfork

THE MERCURY LOUNGE - 217 E. Houston St. (corner Ave A & Houston)

- 12:00 -
- 11:00 -
- 10:00 -
- 9:00 -
- 8:00 -

MAZARIN - http://www.mazarinband.com

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Finally, this one has been finished for about a month, just haven't had time to produce the huge number of these things that go out in the mail.

DJ Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo Green together as GNARLS BARKLEY?? That’s right, you already like it even if you haven’t played it yet. Then, once you hear it- DAMN! A sure fire hit, I think. So far it’s just been kicking around the blogs plenty and Zane Lowe has played it with frequency on his Radio 1 program, but this combination seems destined for greatness> beats with soul. Street date on this one looks like this spring and will play Coachella.
GNARLS BARKLEY – Crazy Single - Downtown Records.

2. SUICIDE SPORTS CLUB – Last Ghost In Town
The story behind London’s SUICIDE SPORTS CLUB is really just a return to form by two big time club DJ’s: Luke Brancaccio (the man behind LA ‘90’s Starfucker club nights) & Bruce Aisher, this time creating something part clubby-part indie in a KASABIAN kinda way. Released last year in the UK on a full length called ‘Electric Mistress’ on John Digweed's new imprint B_Rock Records, it seems ripe for discovery here stateside. A dirty club number - “She Goes Up, she goes down, she goes down...” Great remixes of this song are dance floor scorchers.
SUICIDE SPORTS CLUB – Electric Mistress –B_Rock Records .

3. GUILLEMOTS– Who Left The Lights Off Baby?
Now here’s a band that will be a breakout band in 2006: GUILLEMOTS [pronounced "gullymots"]. They are a four-piece based in London that have all the radio guys (Zane Lowe & Steve Lamacq) behind them, & once you hear singer/keyboardist Fyfe Hutchins' voice, you'll understand completely this support. They've been out with TOM VEK & RUFUS WAINRIGHT recently, turning on these challenging fans to their unique sound. US Management: MCT Management, UK Management: Ed Millett. Agent: Paul Wilson GAA.
GULLIMOTS – Who Left The Lights Off Baby? – Fantastic Plastic.

For those that have been FUTURE SOUNDS subscribers for some time, Dublin’s STARS OF THE CITY should be very familiar. I love this band! I think they write better songs than SNOW PATROL and have more long-run potential than THE THRILLS. I just heard that they are close on a label/publishing deal that could put a single out soon, EP by summer. Looks from UK majors happening. Management: Joe Grogan, TPS Management. Legal: Gary Mandel. Needs: Booking.
STARS OF THE CITY –128 Single – No label.

5. DAVID HOPKINS – Meet Me In The Morning
Back-to-back Dublin artists, and another FUTURE SOUNDS regular, here is a track from David’s latest sessions recorded in-between tours in Ireland, where his Christmas single went Top 40 (his second Top 40 notch off his perfect record, Amber & Green). This one reminds me of Gene Kelly in ‘Singing In The Rain’, the kinda ‘feelin’ groovy’ gem that is absolutely gorgeous. 2006 looks to have Hopkins showcasing in London and LA while finishing a follow up record. Management: From The Future. Legal: Robert Reynolds.
DAVID HOPKINS – Demo – Reekus Records.

6. LEMON SUN – Through These Doors
If you hang around me at all you should already be fully aware of this Los Angeles act that returns to FUTURE SOUNDS: LEMON SUN. This band is catching fire, and each new song recorded and written is an improvement on the last. Their star is beginning to rise here in LA, but a Japanese release and plenty of industry eyes appear to have them on track for even larger destinations. As cool a band as you’ll find anywhere – great personnel - great live! Legal: Peter Paterno, KHPB. Needs: Booking.
LEMON SUN – Demos – No label.

7. STYLOFONE – Nighttime
If they were going to make a soundtrack for a film like ‘Dazed & Confused II’, this song would have to be the theme. The entire EP, ‘Kings & Queens’, feels like one, continuous rumbling vibe. STYLOFONE are like your favorite THIN LIZZY cut meets ‘Fast Times At Ridgemont High’.
From Brooklyn, this is music for summer nights, hot rod cars, and the backseat – you know, some good ‘ol American rock ‘n roll for a change. Pitchfork gave them 4 outta 5. What a guitar hook! Touring regionally this spring. Legal: Saguit Saad. Needs: Management, Booking.
STYLOFONE – Kings & Queens EP - No label.

8. GOLDSPOT – Rewind
Los Angeles’ GOLDSPOT are getting those underground tailwinds that generally lead to bigger things. Their Union Records CD, ‘Tally Of Yes Men’ was named by NPR as on of the "The Best CD's You Didn't Hear This Year”. For fans of COLDPLAY, ELBOW, STEREOPHONICS, and KEANE, these guys have the likes of KEXP and KCRW in their corner. They were also just featured on ‘The OC’. Booking: Melissa Aubert, WMA. Legal: John Freund Management: Needs: Publishing.
GOLDSPOT – Tally Of Yes Men – Union Records.

9. JONT – You Can Be The Stars
From London England comes this singer songwriter known as JONT. At first, I thought it was Chris Martin of COLDPLAY, but then I realized that they stopped writing interesting lyrics after the second record (come on, ‘Let’s Talk’???). ‘You Can Be The Stars’ begs for a movie placement, where we all end up empowered and inspired, this guy has tons of potential! Management: Tony Dimitriades, East End Management. Booking: Angus Baskerville, 13 Artists.
JONT – One Long Song - No label.

10. MOVING UNITS – Dark Walls
Wait! I thought they broke up?? Not the case at all, as you can clearly tell. Los Angeles’ MOVING UNITS have some new label plans (goodbye to Palm) and some new demos – this being a track off of the 3 song I was handed. Like a fresh sounding NEW ORDER, sounds like they’ve made the switch from ‘angular’ to more lush and dreamy and dancey. Management: Blaine Kaplan, Taboo Management. Booking: Marc Geiger, WMA.
MOVING UNITS – Demos – No label.

11. VOXTROT – The Start Of Something
Here’s another band I simply LOVE – Austin, Texas’ VOXTROT! For any fan of THE SMITHS, THE HOUSEMARTINS, or early BELLE & SEBASTIAN, this band is another one that has a big upside in 2006. This song is off their EP, ‘Raised By Wolves’, however their new ‘Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives EP’ will be in stores on April 4th or if you catch them out on the road with WE ARE WOLVES, CONTROLLER CONTROLLER & IRVING. Management: James Minor. Booking: Christian Bernhardt, Kork Agency.
VOXTROT – Raised By Wolves EP – No label.

12. THE FRANK & WALTERS – Fashion Crisis Hits New York
Sometimes you simply completely miss a band altogether, and that is the case for me with this Irish band, THE FRANK & WALTERS. I not only missed them, I missed them by a decade! Here is a band that once sold 500,000 copies of their album worldwide, Trains, Boats And Planes in 1992, and their recent ‘we’re back’ CD (‘Souvenirs’) sold around the 10,000 mark in Europe and was nominated for 'Best Irish Album' at the 2005 Meteor Awards, up against U2 and Damien Dempsey. Sounding like ADORABLE meets THE JAM at times, you may already know them, but the point is, they’re back! Management: Cillin O’Flynn. Needs: Label, US booking, publishing.
THE FRANK & WALTERS – The Frank & Walters - FIFA Records.

13. ILLINOIS – Nosebleed
Illinois? What? These guys are from Pennsylvania. Their entire record, The Revenge of Some Kid, has this kind of quirkiness and warmth, almost like older BECK but with a mix of PAVEMENT. I don’t have much information on them, haven’t seen them live yet, but this disc is one I play all the time. Order it off their website, beginning to appear on people’s radar, probably won’t stay in the shadows long.
ILLINOIS – The Revenge Of Some Kid – No label.

14. THE BLACK ANGELS – Black Grease
Another Austin, Texas act this month; THE BLACK ANGELS - a band some of you should know if you listen to KEXP often or Zane Lowe’s Radio 1 show. Taking their name and inspiration from The Velvet Underground's "The Black Angel's Death Song", sounding like they’ve picked up where SPACEMEN 3, TBJM and THE WARLOCKS left off on that path. Their first full length, ‘Passover’, will be released on March 28th on Light In The Attic Records. Manager: Brian Jones. Needs: Booking, legal.
THE BLACK ANGELS – The Black Angels EP – Light In The Attic Records.

15. BIRDMONSTER – All The Holes In The Walls
Few San Francisco bands have had more local chatter during the back half of 2005 as BIRDMONSTER. Right away you love them for the name alone. This four piece gets lots of MODEST MOUSE comparisons, but that’s just lazy journalism, for it’s early days here and they’ve only recorded three tracks – this EP. They are currently down in LA recording their first full length. Everyone is onto this band now, won’t be long…Needs: Booking, legal.
BIRDMONSTER – EP – No label.

16. STREET TO NOWHERE – They’re Not Like Us
Thanks to acts like THE ARCADE FIRE & CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH, everyone is scurrying around, desperate to find THE next phenomenon. Recently, this Bay Area band has received a lot of attention, blogs, and for good reason. Based around singer Dave Smallen’s BRIGHT EYES-like vocals, this young band is getting looks from everyone and is already getting plays at KITS in San Francisco. Will be at the Knitting Factory in LA on January 27th. Legal: Dave Kostiner, DSLMH Needs: Booking, management.
STREET TO NOWHERE – Charmingly Awkward – No label.

17. THIS EPISODE – The Movies
THIS EPISODE appeared previously on FUTURE SOUNDS 20, but has since recorded new material with producer Rick Parker (BRMC, THE SHORE) and then moved to Los Angeles to make it happen. This song is so damn catchy I have to tell you in that fantastic pop kinda way, like BERLIN or BANNANARAMA, with Desi Blondell sounding like a young BELINDA CARLISLE. Not for snobs, so get over yourself. Needs: Management, legal, booking.
THIS EPISODE – New Demos – No label.

Hailing from Sydney, Australia, here is DAPPLED CITIES FLY, a four piece as precious as say the GO-BETWEENS, FELT, or THE CLIENTELE. They’ve got a big following down under, having toured plenty and played the likes of the Falls Festival in Tasmania. Look for them in America at this year’s SXSW festival. Management: Troy Barrot, Hub Management. Needs: Booking, legal, US & UK partners.
DAPPLED CITIES FLY – A Smile – Smash Records.

19. MASON PROPER – Life’s Cornucopia
Ann Arbor, Michigan’s MASON PROPER got my attention immediately upon hearing that memorable piano tinkle and those soaring vocals from Jon Visger. Their first full length, "There is a Moth in Your Chest", will be released online on March 7th and they look to expand their footprint beyond the Great Lakes in 2006. Needs: Management, booking, legal.
MASON PROPER – There Is A Moth In Your Chest – No label.

I had this demo CD handed to me while visiting Ireland at the end of last year, and I was quickly taken by something gentle and low-fi and fuzzy. Formed in 2003 by Martain Kelly, former frontman of Dublin band SUNBEAR, this is Dublin, Ireland’s THE RUBY TAILIGHTS. Thrift store-indie rocker types and fans of DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE, SUFJAN STEVENS, and BRIGHT EYES should warm up to this one. It just feels good. Needs: Management, legal, booking.
THE RUBY TAILIGHTS – Demos – No label.



THE POSIES – Having just finished their third leg of a European tour, they have it all happening in 2006 > BIG STAR dates in Europe, KEN STRINGFELLOW solo dates, ORANGER shows-SXSW, and a spring solo release and tour by JON AUER (Songs From The Years Of Our Demise – Pattern 25 Records). Look for a live concert DVD shot in Helsinki, Finland due out later this year.

FILM SCHOOL – Finally, the record dropped on January 24th – Film School - on Beggars Banquet. The band finished up their European tour with THE NATIONAL and will be touring the US with THE CLOUD ROOM, SXSW and EUROPE again before summer. This story is just beginning….

HABITFORMING – My favorite Bay Area freaks have been keeping plenty busy sharpening up the live act and creating a reputation for over the top performances in their hometown. Word has it a UK deal is on its way that might bring this arena rock ready foursome over to London for shows and a special UK tour before long. A remix of ‘Intermingle’ is also getting tightened up and new songs are being introduced into the set with each new show.

SECRETS – The FROM THE FUTURE team has a number of ‘secrets’ up their sleeves for 2006; so pay attention while we announce some new signings and side projects.


ROLL CALL: Some former FUTURE SOUNDS acts that have closed deals recently:


NEW STUFF: Hardly anything really amazing, this whole holiday stretch has been a big yawn! The new releases have been less than insane, but I think it’s because we’re gearing up for some big things. **** WE ARE SCIENTISTS (FS19) released their Virgin Records debut, 'With Love And Squalor' - a long time coming and worth the wait. *** THE BURNSIDE PROJECT. They've just released a gorgeous record on Bar None Records called 'The Finest Example Is You'- which was produced and mixed by Paul Mahjan of YEAH YEAH YEAHS/TV ON THE RADIO/THE NATIONAL fame. You may also remember this band from the Rolling Stone "Hot List" or for the theme song to Queer As Folk. Like an American NEW ORDER but with indie rock sensibilities. Fans of POSTAL SERVICE will love this cd. *** Dave Einmo, the guy behind PATTERN 25 RECORDS has released an amazingly enjoyable record under the name HEAD LIKE A KITE – ‘Random Portraits Of The Home Movie’, which includes members of SMOOSH, KINSKI, THE POSIES, CROOKED FINGERS & SUSHIROBO. This concept record is built around sounscapes inspired by Super 8 home movies. *** Really enjoying the new release by THE BOY LEAST LIKELY TO, ‘The Best Party Ever’ (Too Young To Die Records). This UK duo has touches of THE BEACH BOYS and even a bouncier OF MONTREAL. Innocent, childish, refreshing – check out ‘Be Gentle With Me’. *** I secretly got a copy of the new GRAHAM COXON album, ‘Love Travels At Illegal Speeds’ that is due out in March on Parlophone, and it’s brilliant. This thing kicks the ass off ARCTIC MONKEYS, and you’ll agree. Track, ‘I Don't Wanna Go Out’ – rocks! *** I LOVE the single, ‘Be Without You’ by MARY J. BLIGE *** The track available for download by San Francisco’s KELLY STOLTZ called ‘Memory Collector’ off his soon to be released Sub Pop debut ‘Below The Branches’, is everything I enjoy in this incredible artist *** Looking forward to the solo effort coming up by DONALD FAGEN of STEELY DAN named ‘Morph The Cat’ due out March 7 on Reprise. He will also be doing a first time ever, solo tour that I’ll be attending. *** I heard a very, very interesting advance for the band, PORTUGAL. THE MAN, called ‘Waiter: “You Vultures!” (Fearless Records). Kinda like prog-indie rock, good stuff! *** San Francisco’s THE OTHERSIDE have finished their self-released debut, ‘Dead Trees’ for fans of THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN. *** I’m excited to get my hands on the new SEAN HAYES cd, ‘Big Black Hole and the Little Baby Star’- he’s a longtime FUTURE SOUNDS favorite.***I LOVE the JIM NOIR album, Tower Of Love (No label). ***

**** Other names to watch: Tapes N Tapes, Bella, The Perishers, Aberdeen City, Protokoll, Bright Light Fever, The Ark, The Rinse, The Rumble Strips, Howling Bells, Rabbit Fighter, Cute Phase, Dust & Blood, Rock Kills Kid, & Fallout Trust.


Saturday, February 11, 2006



FILM SCHOOL will be performing live on KEXP today at 1PM.

You can always listen to KEXP on their site at http://kexp.org

This sets up their show later this evening at the
John in the Morning At Night 2006 @ Chop Suey
Saturday February 11th

This concert is a benefit for the Public Radio Station WWOZ in New Orleans with:
The Black Angels
Film School
Silversun Pickups
Common Market
Sera Cahoone

KEXP will also be broadcasting live from Chop Suey starting at 6pm with Sera Cahoone and Common Market performing live from Chop Suey on the air!

More about WWOZ in New Orleans:

Seattle's THREE IMAGINARY GIRLS said this about the Film School record:

Album Reviews: Spider "The Way to Bitter Lake"
Rating scale 0-11
11 = perfect ... 0 = awful.

spider Film School — "Film School" {8.4}
{Beggars Banquet}


By Salvador Santos

By about the fourth songs on Film School's self-titled debut on Beggars Banquet, it becomes painfully obvious that frontman Krayg Burton spent most of his teenage years singing Cure songs in the shower. But, what with all the buzz and hubbub from pop-media elitists such as NME, Music Week, and Jane Magazine, this San Francisco fuzz-rock band seems poised on the doorstep of breakthrough. Like recent up-and-comers Arcade Fire and TV on The Radio, Film School have managed to turn our collective heads with a sound which successfully combines at least four decades worth of influences into sublime pop confections.

And what a better label to take on this ethereal rock bliss than the one who introduced us all to the likes of Gary Numan, Bauhaus and Love & Rockets? The UK label Beggars Banquet has always had a penchant for taking on extremely gifted, slightly left of mainstream artists, and Film School should have no problem fitting right in.

Like a collage or (pardon the Bush-ism) "human-animal hybrid" of genres, there are moments where you will swear you are listening to a more indie Echo & The Bunnymen. Similarly, you'll have to look at the CD packaging on more than one occasion to remind yourself that you are not listening to a Robert Smith collaboration project with either Mogwai or Kevin Shields (although that would kick ass). While songs like "Sick of the Shame" bring to mind the transcendental gauziness of Slowdive, laced throughout the record you will also hear throwbacks to 70's psychedelic bands such as The Who and Pink Floyd.

This is not to say that this record is "derivative" (my new favorite buzz-kill word), but rather that it is familiar, albeit dressed in new clothing... most likely tight pants with white belts. Familiar is a good thing when you can do it right.

I'd be damned surprised if these guys weren't invited to play on Conan O'Brien within the next six months.

Friday, February 10, 2006




Friday February 10
Doors 8pm, Show 9pm
$10 advance, $10 day of show

DOUG FIR LOUNGE - http://www.dougfirlounge.com
DEAD MEADOW - http://www.deadmeadow.com/
FILM SCHOOL - http://filmschoolmusic.com
THE OUR CROWD - http://www.theoutcrowd.com/home.html

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


FEBRUARY 6, 2006


Rockers, Keep Your Day Jobs

To quote the sages of AC/DC, rock 'n' roll ain't noise pollution. And now it ain't that good a business, either.

In 2006 the mainstream rock act that reliably sells platinum, or 1 million copies, is an endangered species. Subtract those established in eras just past, such as U2 and Green Day, and the population shrinks further. This is a relief to savvy listeners -- thousands of independent-label flowers now bloom -- but it's hell on major record labels, which still need massive sales from franchise bands. Rockers favor albums over singles (famously, Led Zeppelin never released Stairway to Heaven as a single), and albums reap bigger profits for their labels. While rock helped build the big labels' superstructure in the 1960s and 1970s, now chunks are falling off that facade.

In recent weeks, New York and Philadelphia each lost their sole radio station devoted to "modern rock," the format most likely to play new rock bands for a mass audience, and Phoenix lost one of its two. This follows a year in which some seemingly sure-thing rock releases, specifically from Audioslave and the White Stripes, notched less than half their previous CDs' unit sales. These bands are hardly finished, but they show how achieving and maintaining rock superstardom is a different beast today.

ONCE IT WAS ALL MUCH EASIER. There was a simple symbiosis among rock radio, record labels, and the arena-concert circuit. In the 1970s their interplay enabled the emergence of a new class of megastar band like Led Zeppelin. But of nearly equal importance to the music business, it also gave rise to a cadre of second- and third-tier rock bands that, despite critics' complete derision, sold zillions of records. These days the names Grand Funk Railroad and Foghat are primarily punchlines, but in the '70s they scored a total of 17 gold or platinum albums. They were also big concert draws, stoking massive fan bases at the sleazy, smoky arena shows that were sort of spiritual, sort of Satanic. (N.B.: Grand Funk's records are better than you think.)

This type of band no longer exists and neither do the conditions that fostered their ascent. Rock radio is increasingly a victim of fragmenting demographics. The sole genre posting sales gains last year, according to Nielsen SoundScan, was Latin. Arena rock shows that once promised spectacle for less than a sawbuck have bloated into elite affairs resembling closed corporate events. Average ticket price for a show on the Rolling Stones' 2005 tour: $134. It's no surprise, then, that the arena-concert business has shifted decisively toward greatest-hits revues by graybeards such as the Stones and the Eagles.

Today's key entry points for music consumers are iTunes (AAPL ) and ringtones. The former favors singles over albums and thus further unbundles rockers' preferred medium, and the latter is peculiarly inhospitable. None of the top 10 ringtone downloads of 2005 came from rock acts. Hip-hop now owns the artist-as-icon phenomenon. Rock hasn't minted a star with the pop-cultural legs of 50 Cent or Eminem in this century.

There are benefits to the splintering of musical hegemony. Broader access to music, be it from online recommendation engines or satellite radio, gives consumers many more choices than they had in the old days. One big story of 2005 was the wildfire success of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, which parlayed blog buzz into selling something like 50,000 copies of a self-released CD and an appearance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

Some newish rock bands have established themselves as franchises reminiscent of another era. (Coldplay leaves the cognoscenti, ah, cold, but its sales make Capitol Records happy.) Still, the big business plays for today's bands are complex revenue-sharing deals that monetize everything down to T-shirt sales, as Korn did in pacts with EMI Group PLC and concert promoter Live Nation Inc. (LYV ) Once it was much easier. And so somewhere the thinning bangs of a music exec hang limp as he quietly sobs at his desk, overwhelmed by a sudden nostalgia. Who'd have thunk he'd miss Grand Funk this much?

For Jon Fine's blog on media and advertising, go to www.businessweek.com/innovate/FineOnMedia

By Jon Fine


I've been doing my best to keep it under wraps, but JON AUER's solo record, "Songs from the Year of Our Demise" now has a release date on May 2, 2006 on PATTERN 25 RECORDS. He'll be doing some solo touring in the States around that time, details to come later. For now, here's a sampler of the record, which is gorgeous and dark.

Download MP3's



JON AUER - http://www.jonauer.com/

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


The Big Takeover > reviews

Film School - Film School (Beggars Banquet)

by Steve Holtje
6 February 2006

This is the San Francisco band’s second album, but its first for Beggars Banquet—moving on up the indie ladder. The disc opens with a minute of buzzing, loopy, phased, speed-shifted solo guitar so striking that it gets its own track even though it leads directly into the driving first song, “On & On.” This wonderfully textured music takes me back to the early 1990s, when (mostly English) bands such as SWERVEDRIVER, SLOWDIVE, and KITCHENS OF DISTINCTION erected brooding, monumental mid-tempo song-sculptures built from multi-layered, effects-drenched guitars chiming, droning, spattering, and most of all soaring. And, in fact, when I play this disc at Sound Fix, customers often assume the band’s English.

Among the other highlights: “Harmed” is a cathartic burst of energy with some powerful drumming by DONNY NEWENHOUSE. “Pitfalls” is keyed around a skirling guitar lick in the verse, while the refrain features slides up and down across a sixth. “Breet” is more uptempo and alternates spare instrumentation in the verse—with the twitchy beat front-and-center—with everything kicking in for the refrain, plus a tension-building bridge. Occasionally the specter of THE CURE peeks through some of these songs, especially in the vocals; this one’s an example to a degree, but “11:11” is the epitome. It seems like there are two lead vocalists, but I could be wrong, though guitarists KRAYG BURTON (the founder) and NYLES LANNON (TECHNICOLOR) are both credited with vocals. (The other members are bassist JUSTIN LABO—also of Technicolor—and keyboardist JASON RUCK.) “He’s a Deep Deep Lake” effectively contrasts a massive intro with a suddenly stripped-down verse propelled at first by acoustic guitar strumming. The absolutely gorgeous “Like You Know” ends the album on an up note, even if the lyrics seem bittersweet, as usual.

Music as complex as this rarely breaks through to the mainstream, but happily the alternative scene’s big enough now that plenty of people will enjoy this excellent album.

Filed under music shoegaze

Back to the Future: RADIO BIRDMAN

I just read that one of the great Australian early punk bands, RADIO BIRDMAN, are currently in the studio working on an untitled album that is expected in stores in July. The band's official website also states that a US & Europe tours are planned for September and October of this year. These guys, along with THE SAINTS, lead the proto-punk scene downunder, with their version of the MC5-STOOGES kinda rock and roll. Radio Birdman remind me most of our very own FLAMIN' GROOVIES, a band that touched so many, but never commercially made a living.

If you need to play catch up, one amazing retrospective was released on Sub Pop in 2001 called, The Essential Radio Birdman

Listen to tracks like 'Murder City Nights', 'New Race' or 'Love Kills' to get things started.

RADIO BIRDMAN - http://www.radio-birdman.com/

Saturday, February 04, 2006


A FUTURE SOUNDS double-header tonight in San Francisco:

1233 17th st., San Francisco, CA 94107
bar telephone: 415-626-4455 info line: 415-621-4455
Cost: $7


Friday, February 03, 2006


LA's SILVERSUN PICKUPS (FS22) will be playing tonight with one of my favorite psych rock bands, DEAD MEADOW, at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. DEAD MEADOW are an incredible live act and SSP represent in strong fashion as well.

Here are the details:
8pm clean prophets
9pm silversun pickups
10pm dead meadow

Tickets $10 advance / $12 day of show
Doors - 8pm
This is an All Ages Show

The Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90069

SILVERSUN PICKUPS - http://www.silversunpickups.com/
DEAD MEADOW - http://www.deadmeadow.com/

THE BOY LEAST LIKELY TO - NA Tour with James Blunt

Hopefully you've heard THE BOY LEAST LIKELY TO at this point. If you haven't, give this record a try - "The Best Party Ever", or start by listening to the song, 'Be Gentle With Me'.

They had a solo tour set up but it seems were asked by JAMES BLUNT ('You're Beautiful')to hit the road with him, so they jumped up in venue size and exposure. Here is where you can catch them:

Headlining Shows
3.10 New York, NY – R & R (416 W. 14th)
3.17 SXSW

Supporting James Blunt
3.13 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
3.14 New York, NY – Webster Hall
3.15 New York, NY – Webster Hall
3.18 Boston, MA – Orpheum Theatre
3.19 Montreal, QC – Metropolis
3.20 Montreal, QC – Metropolis
3.21 Toronto, ONT – Massey Hall
3.23 Cleveland, OH – Lakewood Civic Auditorium
3.24 Detroit, MI – Majestic Theatre
3.25 Chicago, IL – Riviera, Theatre
3.27 Minneapolis, MN – State Theatre
3.29 Lawrence, KS – Liberty Hall
3.28 Omaha, NE – Sokol Auditorium
3.30 Denver, CO – Paramount Theatre
3.31 Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot
4.2 Vancouver, BC – Orpheum Theatre
4.3 Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre
4.4 Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom
4.6 San Francisco, CA – Warfield Theatre

THE BOY LEAST LIKELY TO - http://www.theboyleastlikelyto.co.uk/

Remember these guys, LOVEDRUG, from FUTURE SOUNDS 05? Well they are about to hit the road again, leaving the comforts of Columbus, Ohio on a college tour into March. Columbia Records will re-released their record, "Pretend Your Alive" on Jan 24th. The band is built around singer Michael Shepard, and I think he possesses something special. Here are their tour dates:

date city/state venue details
February 06 Greenville, IL Greenville College Only $7 off-campus!!
February 08 Denver, CO Lion's Lair Free Show!! 21+
February 10 Chico, CA Cal State Chico w/ Mae & The Audition
February 11 La Jolla, CA UCSD Price Center Plaza w/ Mae & The Audition
February 12 La Miranda, CA Biola University Gym w/ Mae & The Audition
February 15 Fullerton, CA Cal State Fullerton
February 16 Santa Barbara, CA Soho Rest & Music Club w/ Augustana
February 17 Las Vegas, CA Jillian's w/ Mae & The Audition
February 18 St George, UT The Electric Theatre w/ Mae & The Audition
February 19 Boulder, CO Fox Theatre & Cafe w/ Mae & The Audition
February 20 Omaha, NE Sokol Underground w/ Mae & The Audition
February 22 Columbia, MO The Blue Note w/ Mae & The Audition
February 23 East Lansing, MI MSU Union Ballroom w/ Mae & The Audition
February 24 Wheaton, IL Wheaton College w/ Mae & The Audition
February 25 Holland, MI Hope College w/ Mae & The Audition
February 26 Nashville, TN Exit/In w/ Mae & The Audition
February 27 Covington, KY The Madhatter w/ Mae & The Audition
March 01 Ithaca, NY Emerson Suites w/ Mae & The Audition
March 02 Allentown, PA Crocodile Rock Cafe w/ Mae & The Audition
March 03 Frostburg, MD Frostburg University w/ Mae & The Audition
March 07 York, PA York College w/ Twelve O One
March 11 Grove City, PA Grove City College w/ The Lonely Hearts

LOVEDRUG - http://www.lovedrugmusic.com/

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


NEW YORK: 2 chances to see DAVID HOPKINS

DAVID HOPKINS will be playing the next two nights in Manhattan.

Rockwood Music Hall @ 11:00PM
196 Allen Street
New York City
between E. Houston and Stanton

Mo Pitkins
@ 11:00PM
34 Avenue A
Between East 2nd and 3rd Streets