As industry observer Bob Lefsetz reminded his followers earlier this week, there’s still no standard way to start generating buzz and “make it” in music. Plenty of musicians assume that relentless networking and appearances are what seal the deal—and they’re sometimes right—but Lefsetz’s point was that, more often than not, what breaks you is a chain of random occurrences and pleasant accidents. This notion is reaffirmed by stories like that of Sean Bones’ Sean Sullivan.
“All that matters is writing good, honest songs. That’s what I care about as well.” This quote comes from PAPA leader Darren Weiss, and was part of his answer to a Buzz Bands LA interview question about whether or not he pays attention to what’s on the indie landscape right now. This excerpt comes after the part in which he states, “I don’t look to too many other bands of this time. I don’t necessarily see us fitting in.”
Of all there is to know about LA via Provo quartet Eyes Lips Eyes, know this: They’re responsible for the best music video of all time. Of all time! We’ll let Taylor have her moment, but any thing she’ll ever create won’t hold a candle to Eyes Lips Eyes’ “I Worked My Thighs For Eyes Lips Eyes” promotional Pledge Music video.
OK, so maybe this video isn’t a music video in the strictest sense of the word, but it’s moving picture and there’s a band involved so we’re going to count it. The premise? Well that’s simple. Eyes Lips Eyes thought, and correctly so, that they’d get more attention and follow through on their Pledge Music campaign if they made a video that stood out. So, they dolled themselves up in spandex and some A-cup sports bras, and proceeded to instruct viewers on how they could improve their social lives by working out their thighs to Eyes Lips Eyes.
Watch the band play “Never Alone” in the Presskit.to bus above, and catch them live if you live in Florida—they embarked on their sunshine state tour just yesterday!
Sun Hotel’s biography indirectly states that the band is made up of a “group of young men with a perceptiveness far beyond their years.” This outlook can certainly be heard in their songwriting, but of more interest to the IA community, their wisdom is also proven in how they conduct business through their homegrown record label, Chinquapin Records.
From an outsider’s point of view, Chinquapin seems to hum along in perfect DIY harmony. Founded on the mantra of artists running artists, Chinquapin not only makes sure that all seven bands involved are pulling their weight, but also that each artist participating in the collective is assigned to a project they can excel in. Whether it’s flyering, booking, making t-shirts or recording, lead singer Tyler Scurlock firmly believes that tailoring everyone’s jobs to what they’re good at helps to create a sense of pride in each contributor, and in Chinquapin. And don’t think these guys are just local college kids booking shows at their campus venue—they’ve booked a slew of national dates for one another. That’s no small feat for only being 18 months deep in the operation.
The label hasn’t been held up by the roadblocks similar ventures face, like uninspired members or presumptuous self-promoters, largely because of the community vibe that Chinquapin’s founders and the New Orleans music scene have helped to construct. According to the guys, New Orleans venues are renowned for how generous they are in giving new bands paid shows. Keep that in mind when debating whether or not to make a stop in New Orleans on your next tour!
But enough about the business. Check out the world premiere of “Without Feathers (5/3/1808)” in the player above, and keep your eyes peeled for their next string of tour dates, most likely kicking off at the end of June!
Boy writes songs. Boy forms band. Boy’s band starts gaining momentum. Boy and band hit a rough patch due to artistic differences or personal issues with band mates. Boy and band part ways. And so goes the timeless story of how most bands meet their demise. Such was the case of Brian Marquis as we chronicled in his IAtv Session article in January, and such was the case of this video’s featured songwriter, Van Pierszalowski.
Van went through the cycle of band life with past haunt Port O’Brien. To cope with its disbanding, Van traveled to Oslo, Norway, and allowed inspiration to return organically. Amidst journeys around the states and then back to Norway, Van was ready to start a band again. This time he wrote songs himself before collaborating with musicians that would become his backing band, and with them sought to make music that was bigger and louder than what he could do as a solo artist. What resulted was a record about “getting out of a situation that seems endless, and realizing you’re not too old to make dramatic and sudden changes in your life.”
This band of fine Norwegian gentlemen (and occasional lady) stopped by the Presskit.to bus at SXSW to play “Mickey Mantle” for us. Listen in the player above and catch them while they’re out on tour in the first two weeks of May!
I may only be speaking for myself here, but Chamberlin held a special place in our SXSW journey as they were the first band to ever perform a Presskit.to bus session. At the early stage in our Austin stay in which Chamberlin performed, we were still oblivious to the strange Texas law prohibiting an alcohol-branded vehicle from projecting music, so we happily rigged up a PA to play their music out onto the street during their set. For all too brief a time, Chamberlin’s “Maryland” and “Jealousy” provided the soundtrack for our first Demo Day, and for any SXSW-er who was fortunate enough to be passing by at that point in time.
We couldn’t be more excited to premiere their unreleased track “Jealousy” here on IAtv. Check it out in the player above, and be sure to catch Chamberlin on their mini Midwestern tour this week and next if you like what you hear!
It’s not a stretch to say that Wilmington’s The Spinto Band might be the most DIY band to ever play an IAtv Session. To start, the project has been around in different incarnations since the 90s, and they’re still together. Back then, songs were recorded on an inherited 4 track, and their music self-promoted via bulky envelopes through snail mail. Over the years, they’ve created their own record label called Spintonic Recordings, built their own club house called The Garden Center for making music, hosting events, and housing their label operations, and have even built a recording studio out of salvaged university lab equipment and craigslist supplies.
Because car troubles forced the cancellation of the IAtv Session we had planned with Savoir Adore in 2011, we were more than a little excited to finally capture this buzzing “fantasy rock” group doing their thing on the Presskit.to bus at SXSW.
It has never been the intention of this website to review or analyze music in writing, but in this instance I will go so far as to say that the strength of Brent Walsh’s voice in person almost knocked the camera out of my hands. To his and all of I the Mighty’s fans’ benefit, this talent is complimented by the top-notch musicianship exemplified by his band mates—check out bassist Chris Hinkley’s frenetic fingers in the video above. That said, who is I the Mighty?