All posts in Take Notice
Hope you’re on this one… Word on the street is that the recent EP by Louisiana artist Baby Bee has been perking label A&R ears recently. The Andrew Brightman-managed sibling duo teamed up with studio whiz Dave Cobb (Jamey Johnson, Secret Sisters, Waylon Jennings) and renowned producer Mark Neill, better known for his production of The Black Keys’ Bothers LP. The recording blends influences of Little Richard fused with the White Stripes. Check out tracks “Shake That Tambourine” and “Sugar Bee.” Listen at Soundcloud: http://snd.sc/rAO0uH
L.A.-based of Verona have recently been drawing praise from both critics and artists alike, with comparisons to acts like Florence and the Machine, and landing on ‘bands to watch in 2011′ lists, including a recent feature on the MTV daily series The Seven. Comprised of members hailing from Brooklyn and Toronto, the band set up shop in Los Angeles, and have been touring constantly for the last year, including performances at Summerfest, SXSW, The Seattle Music Festival, Sundance Film Festival and The New Music Seminar. of Verona will take up residency at the Viper Room for the month of September, and they’re currently giving away their new self-produced album Fall Like Roses, which was mixed by John O’Mahony (Metric, Coldplay), on their Facebook page…. Check it our HERE.
SoCal locals The Drowning Men were not among the thousands of bands who descended upon Austin for SXSW last week, but that’s because they’ve been busy supporting Flogging Molly on their latest North American tour, including playing in front of more than 10,000 people on St. Patrick’s Day in Tempe, AZ… The 5-piece has been staying more than afloat recently, getting spins on hometown station 91X, being nominated as The Deli L.A.‘s artist of the month and gearing up for a busy summer of more touring. The band is also putting the finishing touches on a new set of recordings, which follow up their 2009 album The Beheading of the Songbird. The new tracks produced by Billy Mohler and mixed by Todd Burke are generating a bicoastal buzz with both independent and major labels… Cheers! www.thedrowningmen.com
As industry folks from all over the world are preparing to descend upon 6th Street in a matter of weeks, intent on keeping Austin weird during SXSW, a buzz is already developing down in Bat City over locals The Soldier Thread. The Austinite five-piece was originally formed by songwriter/pianist/guitarist Justin McHugh and guitarist Todd Abels, before recruiting lead singer Patricia Lynn along with drummer Drew Vandiver and Chance Gilmore on bass. The band recently finished a new set of recordings with local producer Dwight Baker, and the tracks are generating serious attention from both record labels and management firms on both coasts. Our intense investigative methods (i.e. Facebook), also reveal that Lynn was recently in the studio providing guest vocals on a few tracks for the new Blue October album… Make sure to put them on your SXSW dance card, but better hope it isn’t be too late.
As labels continue to struggle with breaking new artists, the common questions we hear from label folks regarding a potential signing are: what’s the back story and what’s the setup? In many cases, the answer for many acts is just fluff. But in Breanne Duren‘s case, it’s apparently putting label folks in hot pursuit. With new tracks recorded by studio whiz/ex-Whiskeytown member Mike Daly, the tracks are garnering lots of label attention. And it doesn’t hurt that Duren is a touring member of Minnesota act Owl City. Afterall, the band’s Ocean Eyes LP has gone platinum and the group has toured the world extensively in the past two years. Meanwhile, Duren will continue to tour with the group, while she finishes tracks with Daly and a proper label home is set in place. Ummm, sounds like a pretty good back story and setup to us. Owl City manager Steve Bursky is repping the songstress. In the meantime, we hear there’s some industry activity surrounding Daly. Hmmm. Inquiring minds want to know. Stay tuned…
The Northside Festival in Brooklyn, New York is returning this month for its second year in a row, and in doing so is continuing its theme of celebrating and shining a light on a local community currently teeming with independent artists. 2009 saw the festival’s inaugural run with 30 NYC-based record labels, blogs, independent show promoters, radio stations and other industry professionals curating showcases of their own, bringing together 250 bands to the Williamsburg/Greenpoint neighborhoods during a four-day span. Last year’s lineup included artists such as The Hold Steady, Sunset Rubdown, Free Energy and the Dodos… Presented by L Magazine, this year’s festival will again bring together a multitude of emerging artists including Liars, High Places, Titus Andronicus, Twin Sister, Real Estate and many others – a FilmFest has also been added this year.
With sold-out shows at The Roxy, long lines for their Spaceland residency and a packed room for their recent KROQ/Filter show at the Echoplex, Tinseltown music fans and industry folks alike have definitely taken notice of L.A. locals Saint Motel. Now, having completed a successful Northwest/Canada tour with UK buzz act Band of Skulls, expect a lot more folks to be packing their shows. And rightfully so, considering powerhouse talent agency CAA have picked them up for representation.
From the beginning, the group took added measures to stand out from other local acts by putting together themed “events” rather than just shows, like their annual Zombie Prom or the Black and White show. They also used creative methods of promoting, such as creating videos to virally promote their events. When they released their six-song ForPlay EP last September, it also came with a free video for each song. What may seem like small extra touches, have gone a long way to building a solid fan base, and has caught the attention of local tastemakers like KROQ’s Kat Corbett and Nic Harcourt, who have championed the band. Catch them on July 1st at the Hammer Museum where they headline the opening show of KCRW’s concert series, Also I like to Rock…
“Yes, that’s a girl singing,” reads the Fit for Rivals bio, and with one listen it’s easy to understand why they get that question out of the way early. Formed by vocalist Renee Phoenix and guitarist (and former Red Jumpsuit Apparatus member) Thomas Amason, the four-piece out of Jacksonville, FL is quickly building momentum with non-stop touring. The group toured non-stop in 2009 with support slots for Hoobastank and Saving Abel. They’re currently wrapping up a tour with Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. With a new batch of songs in hand, label calls are starting to pour in to Collective manager Chris “yes, I manage Michael Bolton” Allen. Barrister Matt Greenberg is handling legal duties…
Something has been bubbling at Hollywood’s Bardot club on Thursday nights, and we’re not talking about the bottles of Cristal. The late night event, merely referred to as the “Bardot Sessions,” features diverse guest artists from the world of rock, pop and R&B belting out covers of everything from Neil Diamond to Guns N’ Roses to Aretha Franklin. But amid the swanky bottle service, surprise appearances and an occasional drunken celebrity stage-crash, what’s more intriguing to those in the know is the intermixed performances from unknown, emerging or once-overlooked artists. In recent weeks this impressive new set of performers has been turning the night’s established artists into giddy fans, and even collaborators. Something’s happening here. Just don’t show up in shorts…
The nominees for the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards were announced last week. Typically this occasion holds about as much significance to us as the seasonal return of McDonald’s McRib (and yes, it’s back), however buried amongst the many Gaga’s and Swift’s this year was a nomination that caught our attention. The video for Oren Lavie‘s song “Her Morning Elegance,” is nominated in the Best Short Form Music Video category. The video has already received over 9 million views on YouTube, no SuBo numbers but damn impressive, and the song was used in a Chevy truck ad-campaign earlier this year. Lavie also won this year’s ASCAP Foundation Sammy Cahn Award. Labels and pubcos are sure to take note, particularly as we hear that he is getting back the masters for his full-length The Opposite Side of the Sea. The album was originally self-released earlier this year in conjunction with Chris Douridas via A Quarter Past Wonderful, before being licensed by a now moribund ADA-distributed virtual label. Checkout the video for “Her Morning Elegance” HERE
Nice Nice may be the title of Oh Darling‘s previous full-length release, but it certainly must also be how the L.A. indie-pop quartet is feeling lately. With music recently featured on CW‘s One Tree Hill, USA‘s Royal Pains and a national Macy’s radio campaign, the band heads into the release of their new album with a lot of steam. Produced by Gregg Williams (Blitzen Trapper, Dandy Warhols) the self-titled release comes out next week (11/17) via their label Creative Works/Oh Darling Music. With all that it’s a wonder they still have time to maintain their vintage wardrobe and provide world records-esque useless trivia to fans.
Oh Darling will play a private show at Swinghouse in Hollywood tomorrow night (11/11) from 7:30-9:00PM. Expect to jockey for position at the complimentary wine bar with more than a few of your closest label friends and assorted industry denizens (fyi, we’ll be in back packin’ a box of Franzia).
Send requests for list to: Julie@blackunicornmusic.com
Nations Afire is a new band comprised of former members of Rise Against, Ignite and Death By Stereo. Forming in early in 2009, the band recorded their debut EP The Uprising in a mere two-weeks and then hightailed it to Europe, touring with bands such as NOFX and The Get Up Kids. They’ve been featured in Alternative Press as their Unsigned Band of the Month, and we hear one label has already put paper on the table while others are scrambling. Nations Afire hit the stage at midnight tomorrow night (10/28) at the Viper Room. For more info and list requests, hit up email@example.com
In other updates and tidbits… San Diego’s Allstar have signed to Hollywood Records, indie-wunderkind Avi Buffalo lands at Sub Pop Records and Lucas Keller joins management powerhouse The Collective. Keller’s roster includes TV/TV who recently signed to Q-Prime-backed Mom & Pop Records.
Violence to Vegas is the band to get on your bill going through the mid-west, at least that’s true if your name is Avenged Sevenfold, Papa Roach, Buckcherry, Slipknot or Shinedown, to name a few. Spitting their brand of infectious rock venom to a rabid fan-base, the Tulsa, OK natives have supported numerous heavy-hitters. The single “In the Eyes,” off their past release, went to # 59 on the modern rock chart completely independently, and new track “Beautiful Mistake” is getting spins on KATT after winning the station’s specialty band vs. band call-in show, beating out the likes of Metallica, Creed and Green Day. CAA is already on-board for booking. The band plays the Viper Room tomorrow night Tuesday, October 13th @ 8:30PM. Check it: www.myspace.com/violencetovegas