In an odd redux of 2011, and the frenzy that erupted around The Head and the Heart, many eyes are again looking to the Pacific Northwest, and Seattle, and newbies Pickwick. The band were one of the buzz acts coming out of the recent MusicfestNW festival, with various labels checking them out, and a spirited chase developing between a selection of managers, most notably Jason Colton from Redlight, and Matt Shay from Zeigeist. Strangely the parallels to THATH are several, with the band already booked by Billions, and sharing a lawyer in Ed Pierson, which obviously has the contenders hoping Pickwick can also repeat the runaway sales of the Seattle sextet.
Closer to home, a number of label scouts, including reps from Atlantic, RCA and Columbia were out for the official record release party from LA’s Hanni El Khatib at the Echo last week. The singer/guitarist, who plays live as a duo with a drummer, performed to a packed house celebrating the issue of the album Will the Guns Come Out on the Innovative Leisure label. Hanni has already toured extensively, playing more than his fair chare of high profile shows, with Florence Welch (of Florence and the Machine) being just one of his notable fans and supporters, and a definite thumbs up for the two 7″ singles released to date has helped fuel the buzz. The slew of recent local gigs showed once again that Hanni, with his swampy garage punk that echoes the finer points of both the White Stripes and the Black Keys, has the goods, as an amplifier catching on fire, a sweaty house, and a rowdy moshpit, just added flavor to his eye-popping rock’n'roll set last week. Hanni played a repeat album release show last night at Chris Douridas‘ It’s A School Night, and he supports Peter Bjorn and John tomorrow night, 10/05, at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles.