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Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Here's just a little teaser of some of the video PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS and Future Sounds were able to capture while at SXSW at our parties, from LISSIE to KINGS GO FORTH to CHASING KINGS, just to name a few. They'll be rolling out the full-length videos along with intimate interview segments so what this space for more.....

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Future Sounds Records releases the latest single, "Destroy Me" by San Francisco's LILOFEE today to iTunes, and with it comes a remix and the band's first video.

Having just supported GROOVE ARMADA at The Fillmore and this week were named LIVE 105 FM's 'Band Of The Week', Kimi & Co. drop their second single off their forthcoming full-length, 'The Only Years' with "Destroy Me". The band teamed up with blog - BIGSTEREO - and ran a remix contest and received over 200 entries before choosing this version, by PAULMETH, as the winner. This DJ-duo will receive a copy of REASON RECORD as well a VESTALIFE LADYBUG.

To complete the release, the band teamed up with Director Jordan Livingston and the Academy Of Art University in San Francisco to create an incredible music video for "Destroy Me". (Cinematography by Paul Nordin. Animation and Visual Effects by Tony Hudson. 2nd Unit Cinematography by Wyatt Garfield. Additional Visual Effects provided by The Academy of Art University.)

Destroy Me [Music Video] from Jordan Livingston on Vimeo.

Click Here to purchase from iTunes

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Monday, March 29, 2010


So we’ve given you two weeks to rest from the hangovers of SXSW, THE RUMBLE is ready to unleash a week of parties up and down the West Coast with line-ups that are sure to represent. As usual the party’s always free!

LA’s own PEPPER RABBIT will be headlining all of The Rumble West Coast dates and we couldn’t be more excited to have this three piece from Silver Lake. Not to be confused with the myriad of other hare themed bands (Frightened Rabbit, White Rabbit), PEPPER RABBIT were on the short list of bands to watch at SXSW and from what we’re hearing they didn’t disappoint.

Led by Xander Singh and Luc Laurent, PEPPER RABBIT are drawing comparisons to early Grizzly Bear with a slow building somber psych-pop heavy on the instrumentals. “None Shall Sleep” is all haunting melodies and aching vocals, while “Red Wine” is slow building groggy gem. With an endorsement from fellow Eastsiders made good, Local Natives, a feature in Under the Radar and the release of two separate EP’s last year, Clicks and Shakes; Pepper Rabbit are a must see before they blow up.

Kicking it off in the Pacific Northwest, THE RUMBLE SEATTLE at Havana Social Club on Monday April 5th, Pepper Rabbit will be joined by local favs THE GLOBES. Currently receiving serious love from Barsuk and Seattle bloggers alike, with Reverb calling THE GLOBES a “thing of budding greatness.

THE GLOBES will also be joining us as we head down to Oregon on Tuesday April 6th for THE RUMBLE PORTLAND. Portland darlings, THE GOLDEN HOURS, are set to open the night; led by Eliza Sohn, this foursome have been making garage rock that locals can’t get enough of. Their acclaimed 2009 Spooky EP is full fuzzed out guitar pop that could easily give Best Coast a run of their money.

Venturing down to the bay area on Wednesday April 7th, THE RUMBLE SF is sure to cure any midweek slump with a line-up of local scene makers set to bring the party to new location at Milk Bar. VEIL VEIL VANISH and SILVER SWANS will share the bill; both bring their brand of electro-tinged pop. VEIL VEIL VANISH, a gothy shoegaze outfit is currently riding high on a slew of favorable reviews for their debut, Change in the Neon Light with tinges of The Cure. SILVER SWANS, the side project of FS fav LoveLikeFire vocalist Ann Yu (and Jon Waters) is part LaRoux, part The Knife. Yu’s vocal prowess combined with beats crafted ala Ladytron, result in dreamy dance pop confections. As always, Resident DJ, BAGEL TED will be there spinning throughout the night. RSVP at Sonic Living.

On Thursday April 8th we’ll bring it back home to 3 Clubs for THE RUMBLE LA with Pepper Rabbit playing on their home turf. Journeying all the way from Down Under (by way of NY) we have Sydney troubadour JACK LADDER. Jack (aka Tim Rogers), ex-bassist of Expatriate, has already received a ton of acclaim down south, winning the 2008 AMP Red Bull Prize for Best Album for Love is Gone (Spunk) and opening for Aussie super group Wolfmother. Standing at 6’5, tall and broody, JACK LADDER is like a crooner from years past, with vintage inspired sounds incorporating the best of early blues, folk and rock. We can just imagine how Ladder and company will tear up the dimly lit intimate backroom of 3 Clubs.

Also on the bill are Fullerton natives, REGRETS & BRUNETTES; an OC band we’ve been buzzing about for quite some time. Their track “Uh-Oh,” an infectious piece of jangley rock that has been on repeat around FS HQ for the past couple of months. Classic indie rock coupled with sharp writing, this quartet has been drawing favorable attention from local bloggers including The Deli LA and Buzz Bands LA.

We’ll then head further down the coast on Saturday April 10th for THE RUMBLE SAN DIEGO to our North Park home, Bar Pink. We’ve got two SD acts, WRITER and BLACK MAMBA set to pack the tiny walls of Bar Pink. Our love of SD bands really knows no bounds and both of these bands popped up on our radar last September, and needless to say we couldn’t be more amped. WRITER, just back from their SXSW tour with December Rumble vets, Tape Deck Mountain have been mainstays on the scene for a while with their gritty rock sound. Comprised of brothers Andy and Jayme Ralph, WRITER are about to be big. Led by Aimee Sanchez, BLACK MAMBA is the Mazzy Star for 2010 with ethereal, moody piano driven pop. Coming off the 2009 Golden Birthday EP released last year, this group is making lush, airy songs that can’t be missed. JAMUEL SAXON (Jamuel Saxon is made up of Keith Milgaten and Aimee Sanchez (Black Mamba) and Andy and James Ralph (Writer). They all will be collabingto DJ that night) will also be on hand for special DJ set throughout the night.

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If you haven't caught on to the fact that San Diego is producing some of the coolest bands around these days, then it's time for some investigation. We just were sent this intimate look at a band we've been enjoying, THE VISION OF A DYING WORLD, where it's stripped down and personal. The band is on a cool indie label from SD - SINGLE SCREEN RECORDS - who seem to have their fingers in the right cake these days (Black Mamba, Beaters, The Paddle Boat).

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Saturday, March 27, 2010


AQUARIUM DRUNKARD has put together a festival happening today @ The Echo & The Echoplex called WAVED OUT, which features tons of up-and-comers and some that have already come up. Headliners SURFER BLOOD are everyone's favorites, but BEST COAST, TURBO FRUITS and DIRT DRESS also step in. The nice part about this line-up are there are new bands NOT from LA also featured, like our friends APES OF WRATH and TAPE DECK MOUNTAIN. Even the ICE CREAM MAN is going to be there. All ages + 12 bucks. 14 after six pm! Starts at 3pm

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Friday, March 26, 2010


It's obviously been a long, hard week here around the FS headquarters with regards to the events that have transpired around WOXY. We've received some of the most severe hate mail and calls and we realize that everyone is rightfully upset, as are we, and we've spent most of our time this week trying to find a solution that will make this story have a different ending, so apologies for the slow response. This is an attempt to shed some light on things.

When we rewind the clock to over a year ago when Future Sounds purchased WOXY, the station was sitting on the very same doorstep as it's at now, and we took on the challenge of keeping this amazing station running and devised a strategy on how to take something and create a sustainable revenue source around it, so it could remain basically commercial free and free to the world. Future Sounds isn't some giant corporation with an agenda outside of believing in great music and trying to help artists. For almost seven years we've done nothing but find unknown and up-and-coming artists and do our part to promote and share their craft to the world, and the compensation for it has been minimal, but was never the reason behind our motivations. We have been fans of WOXY for years, fans/friends of the staff, and were thrilled the day the 'Future Sounds' radio show first aired on WOXY. When the opportunity to save it from extinction presented itself, we checked our heads and got on board. We then discussed the goals and plans with the WOXY staff and everyone was on board with the direction and the move to Austin.

Perhaps these plans were based too closely on the partnerships we were developing to help take a station full of FREE music and insert ways that it could support itself, the staff, rent and royalties for the songs playing 24-7. Stepping back and realizing that we're in time of banks getting bailed out and labels going under and brands pulling their marketing budgets from the music/entertainment sectors, we for 6-9 months took meetings with everyone that could help make WOXY the biggest online station and develop content that could generate it's own source of income. These meetings and deals were with companies that were massive, with deep pockets, etc, but one after another these huge corporations starting laying off the very people that were writing up our deals. Sometimes, no matter how great you think your business is, or how clever or incredible your offering is, if the people you are doing business with go down, so do your interests. We are all connected in this enormous game of dominoes, and the trickle-down hits even the little guys - WOXY, Future Sounds, etc.

I’d also like to address the timing and the suddenness of the decision to hopefully only temporarily take it off the air. It may seem like it was ‘out of nowhere’ but internally we’ve all known the challenges and necessary deadlines that needed to be met. Even into SXSW week we had two companies that looked completely on board to acquiring the station and keeping it running without a hitch. Each day felt like forever while we awaited the verdict, one that looked like the solution, until one parties’ cold feet surprised us all and forced us to act.

Excuses are excuses, but in the end there are some financial realities to radio that stations like Indie 103 in Los Angeles and countless others are experiencing, and those are stations with advertising running constantly. After numerous deals didn't close we also explored dozens of options for investors/buyers/partners and many times after weeks of due-diligence and term sheets flying, people starting backing out, mostly due to the financial landscape that we are all living in daily. The financial community doesn't want to touch the media/music business with a ten-foot pole these days. We also fought hard with every potential suitor to guard and protect the integrity of what WOXY stands for, to protect the staff, so that someone doesn't just show up and strip it of the parts that make it so great.

So the future of WOXY is unknown, but judging from the massive outpouring of support and interest in the station that has survived for 25 years now and has more lives than a cat, I think that this radio station we all love dearly will deliver quality indie rock music to listeners.

We would like to respond to all those that wrote with such anger that there are humans on the other side that do read this and take it personally, and to acknowledge that we are in the same place of mourning for not just a station that we've loved for years, but for the staff that we consider friends and family that we've traveled with and made plans with. In a time when people don't feel like paying for the artist's albums anymore, and love to stream and download for 'free', there are costs of doing business for everyone to provide such services and music. This came down to a considerable monthly financial position; one that was maintained for over a year, but that eventually needed an infusion that didn't arrive.

Future Sounds’ efforts to work towards keeping the promise of WOXY alive have not ended and I hope this truly is only a temporary goodbye.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Friday, March 19, 2010


Hopefully this early AM hazy mist will burn off and we'll have another scorcher like yesterday, but you should start your day off with us at Shangri-La for Day 3 of 4 of THE RUMBLE @ SXSW. Today's line up is about diversity, ranging from Seattle's HEY MARSEILLES to a 12 piece soul band from Milawaukee (KINGS GO FORTH) to the piano driven CHASING KINGS to the perfect party band, CASXIO. LA's THE TENDER BOX and PEPPER RABBIT round things out. Free.

Run back to your hotel/crash pad and switch into night mode quickly then meet us at EMO'S ANNEX for the WOXY Official SXSW showcase. The line up is listed above but you see a bunch of FS/WOXY favorites in the mix!

Finally, if you're feet are falling off, it's late night party time and THE MUSIC GYM give you a free party with free Trumer Pils beer with another line up of some of our favorites around FS including JAGUAR LOVE and RAINBOW ARABIA. The party is over on East 6th (815 E 6th).

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For all of our SF friends not here in Austin, tonight you can cap off your work week by seeing LILOFEE tonight when they support GROOVE ARMADA @ The Fillmore. It's a big stage, lots of history, but we've heard they are pulling out all the stops for tonight's performance. Buy tickets here.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010


What? 2 parties at the same time?? Future Sounds teamed up with AMERICAN SONGWRITER MAGAZINE and XO PUBLICITY to put on a show that highlights those that are practiced at the art of quality songwriting. It all starts at 2:15pm @ Stompin' Grounds out on South Congress. Here's the line-up:

2:15pm David Vandervelde
3:00pm Lissie
4:00pm Rocky Votolato
5:00pm Ben Sollee & Daniel Martin Moore
6:00pm Matthew Mayfield
6:50pm Joe Purdy

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Still waking up? Get that bloody mary and beat feet for Shangri-La out on 6th Street (out by FADER Fort) for a line-up of acts that all bring it live! Opening up with Chicago's APTEKA with snap anyone out of the hangover. SHILPA RAY & HER HAPPY HOOKERS do us the honor of bringing their cosmic magic to the party, and then it's TWIN TIGERS, the band that's been rolling through all the Rumbles in March. It just keeps building from there when THE ETTES, now a four-piece, showcase their latest record, and then a band that got everyone dancing at last night's show -APES OF WRATH. The last act is someone I've been stalking since Norway - THE MEGAPHONIC THRIFT. You need to see this band while they are in the US.

Party is free > RSVP here > http://www.futuresounds.com/sxswrumble/
Shangri-La is at 1016 East 6th Street

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010


OK, so the SUPER RUMBLE was canceled for Wednesday night but the RUMBLE @ SXSW lives on that evening with a collection of bands that are just in Austin to party, or play parties that is. Shangri-La is easy to find, it's across the street from the FADER Fort and the Don't Mess With Texas parties.

John Isaac Waters 7:30-8:00pm
Geographer 8:15-8:45pm
Apes Of Wrath 9:15-9:45pm
Man/Miracle 10:15-10:45pm
The Dance Party 11:15-11:45pm


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Monday, March 15, 2010


FUTURE SOUNDS #57 - 3.15.10

David Vandervelde – Someone Like You – Waiting For The Sunrise – Secretly Canadian
Lissie – Little Lovin’ – Why You Runnin’ EP – Fat Possum
Rocky Votolato – Red River – True Devotion – Barsuk Records

Ben Sollee & Daniel Martin Moore – Only A Song – Dear Companion –Sub Pop
Matthew Mayfield – Can’t Change My Mind – Breathe Out In Black – Unsigned
Joe Purdy – Miss Me – Last Clock On The Wall – Unsigned

Apteka – Traitors – Traitors 7” – Unsigned
Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers – Filthy & Free - A Fish Hook An Open Eye – Kepler Records
Twin Tigers – Everyday – Gray Waves – Old Flame Records
Apes Of Wrath – Getaway – Apes Of Wrath – Unsigned
The Megaphonic Thrift – Acid Blues – A Thousand Years of Deconstruction – Hype City

Hey Marseilles – To Travels & Trucks – To Travels & Trunks – Unsigned
The Tender Box – Beautiful Sin – EP – Unsigned
Kings Go Forth – One Day – The Outsiders Are Back – Luaka Bop
Chasing Kings – Empathy – The Current State of Our Future EP – Unsigned
Pepper Rabbit – None Shall Sleep – Shakes & Clicks – Unsigned

Casxio – Seventeen – Seventeen Single – Plant Music
LoveLikeFire – Boredom – Tear Ourselves Away – Heist Or Hit Records
Rumspringa – Shake ‘em Loose Tonight – EP – Cantora Records
Nico Stai – Dead Pony – Dead Pony EP – Unsigned
Treetop Flyers – Is It All Worth It? – EP – Unsigned

Tape Deck Mountain – Scantrons – Ghost – Lefse Records
Jaguar Love – Polaroids & Red Wine – Hologram Jams – Fat Possum
Band Of Skulls – I Know What I Am – Baby Darling Doll Face Honey – Shangri-La Records

Southern Belle – Walk Out – Southern Belle – Unsigned
Panda Riot – When You Said When I Said – EP – Unsigned
Sonny & The Sunsets – Heart Of Sadness – In A Cloud – Unsigned
Tenlons Fort – Apple (A Potential Pen Pal) – Shelters LP – Unsigned
Yukon Blonde – Loyal Man – Yukon Blonde – Nevado Records


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Join us down in Austin @ Shangri-La all week as we have day party-Rumbles on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The parties are FREE but you need to RSVP here:


1. Apteka 12:15-12:45

2. Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers 1:15 – 1:45

3. Twin Tigers 2:15-2:45

4. The Ettes 3:15-3:45

5. Apes Of Wrath 4:15-4:45

6. The Megaphonic Thrift 5:15-5:45


1. Hey Marseilles 12:15-12:45pm

2. The Tender Box 1:15-1:45pm

3. Kings Go Forth 2:15-2:45pm

4. Chasing Kings 3:15-3:45pm

5. Pepper Rabbit 4:15-4:45pm

6. Casxio 5:15-5:45pm


1. LoveLikeFire 12:15-1:15pm

2. Rumspringa 1:15-1:45pm

3. Nico Stai 2:15-2:45pm

4. Treetop Flyers 3:15-3:45pm

5. Tape Deck Mountain 4:15-4:45

6. The Slip 5:15-5:45pm

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Sunday, March 14, 2010


A band we've been crazy about for some time now hits Hollywood this evening for Keith's night at Cinespace - GEOGRAPHER. They're in town on their way to SXSW and are celebrating their recent EP release, 'Animal Shapes' on Tricycle Records. Rumor has it that it's the special label ladies bday tonight and she'll be there drinking free vodka until 10:30pm and then champagne. Free

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Road To SXSW w/ Tape Deck Mountain & Writer

Last night San Diego haze-rock trio Tape Deck Mountain kicked off their SXSW tour at the Tin Can Ale House. Great times were had as the one-two duo attack (pardon the pun) of Primitive Noyes and Writer opened the night after which TDM swirled us all into the next day.

So begins the road to Austin, TX where after a week of shows, shows and more shows, promotional freebie overload and enough free beer to drown a whale, I am sure we will shall all return wrought with that good kind of collective exhaustion of knowing that we are a part of it all: 14o0 bands jockeying for some shipwrecked world's attention. The road to SXSW might very well a turning point for a band, so with that excitement, I couldn't be happier to be cram-jammed in their van as the journey unfolds.

I will be accompanying Tape Deck on the road to SXSW and back, rolling through the armpit of America, truck-stop dinners and whatever else comes our way. Keep an eye on Future Sounds, Fuel TV Music, Exitfare and Slumberjack for a (hopeful wealth of) coverage. For real-time anecdotes, follow @mdrapes (myself) and @tapedeckmt and @writertheband something called Twitter.

Wish us luck!


We're in Phoenix right now at the gallery/coffee shop/venue Trunk Space awaiting the gun-shot fury of Writer. Also on the bill are UK-buzzers Lovvers and Abe Vigoda. Should be a great night. We listened to some pre-disco Bee Gees and had a close call with a blonde-streaked mullet mongrel at the Thirst Oasis, so check back tomorrow for a recap how the show goes.


Writer, though setting up early on, managed to hold the crowd together, warming the small gallery space up before the other bands. UK foursome Lovvers are sharing a van with LA's Abe Vigoda on the way out to SXSW playing a handful of similar venues like ourselves so small talk and anticipation for Austin seemed universal. Merch in a fenced-in, dirt plot area behind Trunk Space proved successful as some 45's were sold and some high fives smacked. Because of the all-ages tag, the show was over before 11:30 and the vans (and Writer's Honda Element) were loaded and we were en-route to the kid's house where we were staying.

After watching Across The Universe most were out by 1am. There's something about getting used to shows that are out before midnight that give us all a little relief knowing that more than six hours of snooze is on the horizon and with today's drive under four hours, we woke up feeling limber. Most were up early as the apartment was like a sweat lodge. A smattering of Dell Webb communities and strip malls later and we are now at Starbucks thinking of what to do today. Grand Canyon isn't too far. Wineries and rodeos are also being passed around. Tonight in Prescott, AZ at Sundances.


The continental breakfast managed to wake us all up rightfully at 9AM, nice considering the night before was spent gorging on Cup-O-Noodles, saltines and beer, leaving our Juniper Suite smelling a general hint of armpit mixed with cigarettes and sweat as we all passed out around 3. Don’t let anyone tell you there are no glamours attached to tour. After filing out the room groggy and stiff, we lined up behind the hoards of RV riders, and in-law-visiting families with multiple small children rubbing their eyes over Styrofoam bowls of Fruit Loops while still in their pajamas.

The full-spread of breakfast fare (eggs, bacon, potatoes, waffles, juice, coffee, fruit, etc) quickly lead again to laughs, thoughts of the Ernest film catalog and remarking on how everyone in this small town either lived with their parents or their grandparents (making it harder than we thought to find a floor to stay on, hence the hotel, which proved a better bet outright). After breakfast, I decided to take a swim while the others showered. Legs-crossed, arms spread on the deck, I sat in the hot tub thinking about this place. The wood-roofed pool area was painted depressingly with a Miami-beach theme, the clock surrounded by painted sunrays, while undersized fake palm trees flanked the pool and skinny children challenged each other to underwater breath holding around the pool’s six-foot rosy-cheeked elephant statue that showered a weak stream of water from its trunk. Though the pool was indoors, there for some reason, were PVC-piped furniture arranged around umbrellas and a wealth of ferns and potted-plants crammed in the corner. I looked out the window at the bare-branch trees and the slate-blue sky thinking how for some, this was an intoxicated vacation to the musical Mecca of Austin, while for others it was, in a sense a sordid attempt at vacating from another neighborhood of slate-grey skies and minivans. It did however seemed to prove appealing for the only family of four happily splashing in the pool area.

Prescott, AZ is like visiting the set of American Movie shot in the town from Back to The Future (the city’s tag line: “Everybody’s Hometown”) sprinkled with the blunt depression of maybe Gummo. Most of the businesses in this town were pawn shops, liquor stores, kitschy art galleries selling ceramic tabletop horse heads or dream catchers, Western-named bars like “Coyote Joes,” or “Shotgun Sams” (each oozing with the sound of their equally as poorly-named bar rock bands like “Hot Honey” and “The Lizard Brothers”) while cowboys and hunters strolled around gawking at us as the long-haired hipster crazies. There was however a diamond in the rough found in The Raven Café, where we spent most of the afternoon sucking down happy-hour microbrews on a rooftop eating hummus and pita talking about San Diego’s current state of radio broadcasting. If for some reason you happen to find yourself in Prescott, this is truly the only place worth visiting. Oh, there is an In-N-Out there too down the road a bit.

The show proved equally as awkward while, after discovering that night’s opening band failed to show, if we could fill their slot (as well as ours) we would be payed for the entire night. The game plan presented itself quickly- jam session mixed with any song both bands thought to play, old, new or even “Sublime covers,” that actually weren’t at all Sublime covers. While watching TDM turn into Russian Gentleman--that night’s jammed-out supergroup-- one of the bro-bent, baseball-cap-wearing bar patrons leaned over after a few songs and remarked; “Is it just me, or do these guys suck?” I mean it’s painful to my ears.” Feeling like if I replied with something other that completely appeasing to this gentleman, I might end up the victim of a bar fight and quickly managed to raise my glass to him, tip my head and mumble a “yeah, I know right?” I felt like the only song this dude wanted to hear was “Let The Bodies Hit The Floor” while he ‘slam danced’ while guzzling down Jagermeister. Party. The venue’s sound guy turned out to be amazing, being one of the only one (besides us) that would clap or shout anything after a song finished. That guy ruled. Time to shower and saddle up for the drive to Albuquerque.

Follow the photos over at HOLLOW-EYED.


Waking up in a town like Albuquerque at a total stranger’s house is something you get used to pretty quick. Turned out that Andy from Writer has a good friend who is a landlord in the area and owns a few houses. He called up one of his tenants and told them two bands were in town and needed a place to stay. The young couple provided us with beds, late night food, beer, the remaining tequila and a wine bottle full of homemade coconut rum (a milky, spiced drink reminding me of horchata) that Andy and Paul stayed up late to finish. In the morning, our host Brian leaving for work, told us to have “a great rest of the tour.” I replied with “have a good day at… work,” which felt oddly like I was his mother, but nothing else really could have been a solid response. This tour was our work, and the call center was Brian’s.

Del Taco was breakfast, a $2.97 decision that was far from ideal, as my stomach decided it would not agree with the rubbery egg and hash brown mix the rest of the day. Stopping for gas on our way out of the muted-grey city, Paul tried bargaining an off-highway Chevron’s attendant for a pair of yellow Hulk Hogan-looking sunglasses from $12.99 to “eight bucks, cold hard cash.” It proved unsuccessful and he later continued his shade-search at a Las Cruces Salvation Army. There, Jaime, whose sucured a few fitted flannels already from our handful of thrifting stops, attempted to buy The Who’s Qaudraphenia on vinyl, but it was missing a disc. Las Cruces, New Mexico is a place rich with cheap beer, Western, Billy-The-Kid-shootout lore and big pickup trucks. We drove by pawn shops, fast-food-filled strip malls and a place that advertised “Donuts and Burritos” on the way to the historic town center where the venue was.

After wandering into the Double Eagle for an awkward bar counter session of bloody marys sipped under chandeliers and an over-ornateness of Baroque paintings filling gold-adorned frames, the (near comical) juxtaposition of us weary, scruffy longhairs getting served by a vest-wearing bartender next to midday martini drinkers conversing in an outdoor foliage-filled outdoor courtyard proved enough to handle and we opted for a healthy dose of $1 drafts and pool at the venue. After (what I think was some) traditional Tex-Mex, (It was all cheese, beans and the color brown to me) we set up inside El Patio for a Tape Deck Mountain production in between a jukebox blaring with Jay Z, Lady Gaga and Billy Idol. Sharing the bill with three two other San Diego bands, Black Mamba and The Paddle Boat, who closed the night with the great “Tears in a Bucket, Mother Fuck It” and dedicated the night to “fun.”

After more drinks and rounds of pool, it was full speed to El Paso. Empty sky and highway eyes. The pungent scent of roadside manure filled our nostrils as our speed neared 75 mph and we raced though the night towards the city lights. The breakfast burritos were still making me feel sour but I guessed it was only fitting that a bloated pile of MSG-filled glop was slopping around in my stomach as we crossed into Texas. Viva America!

Remember to check HOLLOW EYED for all of tour's photos as well as other coverage over at Future Sounds and Indigenous.


Waking up refreshed and full of an actually decent breakfast, our we lounged around our El Paso fortress (Jordan’s girlfriend’s parents house) until packing the van for the short trip down the road to Take Two. Upon arrival we discovered, due to a promoter/venue mix-up, the bartender wasn’t aware of any band coming that night and it the show was cancelled after some free drinks and gas money were handed out by the overly nice bartender. As we started down a 9 hour drive, this cancellation proved helpful in giving us a four hour head start to Austin, so with our hollow-eyed sights set on SXSW its impending week of free beer, corporate sponsored whatever and enough running around to sprain an ankle (I did), we packed up and headed east.

The only real town on this 560-plus drive is Fort Stockton smack dab in the middle, off the I-10, just south of Odessa. It was there we collectively rubbed our eyes, stretched our legs and stopped for gas around 4A.M. next to an SUV full of giggling girls. After I hopped over the cymbal stand, out of the van and onto the concrete, one of the girls, coated with makeup leaned out the van and asked, “Are you alls a band?”

“Something like that,” I replied.

I walked around to the trunk and while searching through my bag, she asked, “What’s ya alls band name?”

“The Beatles,” I told her, thinking to tell them the biggest band on the planet seeing how she took it.

“Really? That’s weird,” she said puzzled.

“Yes, I know,” I told her and walked inside.

Arriving Austin just past 9A.M. proved fruitful, as we were able to find a spot just outside of the beating heart of SXSW, the convention center, and head inside for our credentials. “All convention centers look the same,” Andy (who teaches architecture back in San Diego) said while we waited in line. The columns outside the huge building were haphazardly covered in posters and colorful flyers advertising bands, brands and showcases like puppies from a pet store window. “Pick me, pick me,” they begged, yipping and tripping over on another. This was SXSW, where 1800 bands come to make it or break it and hopefully (soon) go home with a shiny new collar around their neck. I was with two of these bands and (though I had no idea how each member felt) I knew the little pit in my stomach was growing for them.

Writer had been slated to have their video for “Four Letters” featured in a film screening alongside indie mainstays like Grizzly Bear and Passion Pit and had that event to attend while TDM and I drove over near Lustre Pearl, the trio’s first SXSW show, and try and sleep somewhere. Travis took his sleeping bag down the street to a park and tried to nap, while Paul and Jordan passed out in the back of the van. I forfeited sleep after a brief attempt at shotgun-seating snooze and instead talked to the sound guy, while behind me, cases, upon cases of Pearl and Tecate were unloaded and stacked under a tent. Afterwards I went for a walk. SXSW has begun I thought, and the only shoes I brought are these $12 plimsolls with holes in the bottom. Shit.

So you know at this point, the coverage with Tape Deck Mountain and Writer was about the road to SXSW. I attempted to attend all of their shows, but once in Austin, I had a wealth of things unrelated to that tour planned such as interviews, showcases and work-related parties to attend, so naturally, I missed a few. Below are photos from two of TDM’s SXSW shows, which both turned out great. The bulk of general SXSW coverage can be found (later) here on Slumberjack and all the photos are of course over at Hollow Eyed. Further content will be Fuel TV, Future Sounds post SXSW.


SXSW was exhausting fun (read in-depth coverage of it here and here). With Austin behind us, we packed up yet again (minus a drum throne) and made the long drive from Austin to El Paso. I drove half the way blasting a wealth of records including the likes of Piebald, The Mary Onettes and Oasis to keep my awake, while Travis took the reigns for the remaining hours. We arrived this time around 4A.M. and quickly passed out, the six of us, in one back bedroom.

Six or so hours later, after some quick laundry cycles, we were headed to Tucson, AZ to play day three of some local festival that was being held in a small airplane hanger. Fellow SD bands Black Mamba and Blessure Grave had played previous sets. While stopped in Lordsburg, NM for gas and food, Andy asked us all, “So what did everyone learn from SXSW?”

“I learned that everyone [that matters] in bands and involved with the industry are [act like they are] 20 years old,” he said, smoking a cigarette standing in a parking lot between an Econo Lodge and Taco Bell (Travis called it the “worst ever”). Paul has no doubt that the underage hype-band boat has docked.

While waiting to get gas, I went to get something to drink. I walked across the street next to Kranberry’s Family Restaurant, where a sign adorned with a portly prospector wielding a spatula, directed RV traffic one way. I thought about what the food was like in there. Settling on Tecate, the Texaco attendant attempted to put the beer can inside both a paper and plastic bag. Telling him I didn’t need a bag (as I would just as soon throw it away), he remarked that it was “for my safety” and that there are “cops all around.” It was broad daylight in this one-street town of a few gas stations, hotels, a Taco Bell/KFC combination and the aforementioned Kranberry’s and he was worried (for me I hope) of crawling cops. I thought about believing him, but then noticed his clip-on tie was affixed a near two inches from his top button/collar, and assured him that I would be fine.

Washed Out and Four Tet’s latest proved excellent driving music as we crossed the deserted New Mexico drab. After a stop for Indian ponchos and fireworks, excitement rose, but tackling SXSW-related work (for me) proved a hearty task at this hazy and fatigued point in the day and it was something I had no interest in jumping into. I opted instead to open the beer and settle on a movie.

Upon entering Tuscon and checking into the venue, looking for anything normal to eat in that part (looked industrial, but we were assured it was “the center of things”) proved difficult, even after our hand-drawn map that listed “food places.” For a few minutes it looked like our only option was gas station food (again) or Dairy Queen, to which Paul replied, “I’m not about to wait in that dirty line for my gross hamburger.” We finally found a Whataburger next to a Food Mart (what the Hispanic grocery store was called). I almost bought a can of tuna and some bread, but later decided I wasn’t hungry and instead had some Modelo Negra in the van while we drove to the venue. I later met up with an old friend and they took me to an all-night diner where I finally gorged myself on two eggs, potato pancakes and toast, and later a breakfast burrito.

The show went well for both Writer and Tape Deck, who both sold some records to kids from CA (that drove up just for this local festival). We loaded up the van and went to meet a friend of the promoter at a local burrito spot who said we could sleep on his floor after he had eaten. I passed out in the van en route to the house and woke up several hours later cramped in the backseat wondering where I was. In hindsight I learned the van was a better accommodation as the rest of the guys clambered out groggy at sunrise telling me of the house’s “disgusting” cluttered floor. Jordan and Paul were convinced there were roaches in the house.


After loitering over internet and coffee at a bagel place, plastered with posters of local swim, basketball and baseball teams of years past on the walls, we got in touch with a friend who had the night before invited us to their pool for a swim. The last day of tour and it was time for a pool party? You know we got margaritas and popsicles. Four or so hours later, sundazed and crispy, we showered up and headed for Tempe and the last show. I started to push the feelings of returning to normalcy out of head. Two weeks is a long time to do nothing but sit in a van, sleep, eat, drink and watch music (with the intermission of SXSW thrown in). Andy from Writer shared my thoughts.

“Think about it,” he said packing drums in the parking lot before the last show.

“Going back to work, doesn’t that suck?”

That night’s gig was at a place called the Sail Inn near the airport in Tempe. While the openers played, Travis and the Washington-state headliners (also on their way back from Austin) exchanged stories and CDs. I brushed my teeth in the parking lot and just after spitting the white froth on the ground Travis hustled over to the van and exclaimed “it’s time to rock!”

Token singer-in-a-band-statement yes, but with his nerdish, endearing demeanor, you can’t help but believe him. The Sail Inn was fairly dead that night and the guitar amp had been malfunctioning, but as I noted the first night on tour back in San Diego, seeing TDM play “Scantrons” every night, regardless of the vibe, was something I assumed I’d never get tired of. I was right. It sounded as alive, as slow-growing and perfect as it had the first time I played (TDM’s debut) Ghost. For the Tempe show, each band got just $8 as payment, some friends made it out to fill the seats and some didn’t. What mattered was not the pay or turnout, but overwhelmingly, the nicknames we came up for each other, the stories we shared, the Font sizemaps we couldn’t read, and most importantly, the camaraderie of each other clapping and singing along each night. I spent the last two (mostly sleepless weeks) with a core group of five amazing people, each riding some ever-longing, tiresome quest for, as Travis put it, finding that perfect “time to rock” and the overall fact of the matter is how I could not feel in anyway different from them.

All the tour photos (including the handful of bands I saw at SXSW) can be found over at Hollow-Eyed. SXSW coverage will be up soon over at Slumberjack. Thanks to everyone who came out to shows, to Future Sounds, Indigenous and of course to all the dudes in Tape Deck Mountain and Writer for this experience.

--Matt Draper

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