Moving in Stereo, Volume 3
as heard by darren paltrowitz
Moving in Stereo is a monthly column of music news by media-obsessed New Yorker Darren Paltrowitz. It also runs in Long Island Entertainment, Agouti, Rag Magazine, Suburban Clash, and other publications. If you have news to report for the next edition of Moving In Stereo, press releases and all other correspondence for Darren should be sent to ASellOut@aol.com
Although only a month since the release of Moving In Stereo: Volume 2, there is definitely no shortage of worthwhile entertainment. As we edge closer to the mid-point of 2004, the status quo of the Billboard Top 200 may be questionable as ever. However, the loyalty of this column's readers definitely shows that there are some self-sufficient, independent-minded people out there looking to make things better. And if you can think anything that would make this column better, feel free to get in touch with me via the e-mail address listed above.
…From The Island
The annual South By Southwest music conference may temporarily direct the music industry's attention to Texas, but Long Island did breed its fair share of contenders. One SXSW success story of note is that of Bandcamp, who attracted its usual fair share of A&R interest. Despite being a pop-rock quartet, the attention remained on 16-year old frontman and songwriter Matt Bair, who endorses Gibson Guitars and has a publishing deal with BMI…The Arrogant Sons Of Bitches didn't make the trip to Austin, but have been making up for that in the album sales of their self-titled release. A compilation featuring two new tracks in addition to the distinct ska band's entire recorded output, also included for the price of a single album is an enhanced CD portion containing a music video and 25 unreleased tracks. Interested parties won't be able to find this in stores, as its main distributors are Interpunk and Kill Normal Records. Just as obedient of DIY ethic is The Kelly Project, which has a 2-CD release to push at www.kellyproject.com. Similar to the excellent and economical Anyone In Love With You (Already Knows) set from the Brooklyn-based Rainer Maria, the Kelly folks offer a double-disc product that includes a live CD and a live DVD - with an option for 5.1. Surround sound - for an ASOB-like price…These Enzymes, Unitshifter favorites featuring former members of Sons Of Abraham and The Reunion Show, is another apparent band-on-the-rise as its first full tour includes upcoming shows alongside Taking Back Sunday, Motion City Soundtrack, Avenged Sevenfold and Sugarcult…In the most recent edition of this column, it was reported that some legendary area bands might be reuniting to take part in a Blood Red farewell show. One of said groups turns out to be Inside, which included Dearly Departed vocalist Mike Mallamo. Ironically enough, Joe Rubino, a current bandmate of Mallamo's, will be reuniting with his old bandmates in Tension for an album (to be released on California's Sadistic Records) and several performances in support of such.
…From The Studio
Whether or not you believe that it was actually Green Day on the Adeline Records-released Money Money 2020 album by The Network, a major-label follow-up to Warning is currently being recorded. The disc does not yet have a name, but 35 songs have been written for it and a September release date should be anticipated…Cave-In recently completed several weeks of pre-production in Boston with Andrew Schneider. However, rumors are flying that RCA isn't pleased with the band's return to a heavier sound…Production is well-underway on the solo debut of Superdrag founder John Davis, who looks to be working with Nashville-based legend R.S. Field; Davis has not yet signed a record deal, despite several offers being on the table. Those seeking to hear a less-subdued Davis may want to check out Shameless Self-Destruction by The Used To Be, as out on Wrecked 'Em Records and featuring the singer-songwriter alongside former Superdrag members Tom Pappas and Brandon Fisher. Fans of Asian Man Records' new EP from Toys That Kill ought to be pleased with that attitude-driven racket as well.
…From The Stereo
Have you heard the new CD from Piebald? All Ears, All Eyes, All The Times is more straight-forward with the rock than 2002's superb We Are The Only Friends We Have, yet just as reflective. In the rare case of Travis Shettel and company, a handful of piano-based songs about maturity isn't a bad thing for this always-charismatic band…The Living End may be one of the biggest groups Australia has ever seen, but they are still far from a Gold-selling act (500,000 copies) in America. MODERN ARTillery most likely won't catapult the trio into Beatlemania over here, although this is a mostly-solid album filled with all the expected anthem-like, sing-along choruses. "Who's Gonna Save Us?" makes for a great first single…The re-issue of Jawbreaker's Dear You, a undeniable cult-classic, is in all ways an essential purchase as it contains the music video for "Fireman" alongside five bonus tracks. If you think the world of "emo" bands that have cracked the aforementioned Billboard chart and have not checked out the Rob Cavallo-produced Dear You, you have work cut out for you.
…From The Ex's
It's been more than "six long years" since Matt Sharp left Weezer (whose Video Capture Device DVD is the best band-related video release that I've ever seen and will probably be the best thing playable on a Playstation 2 console until Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas hits shelves) and five years since the last Rentals full-length, but the guy hasn't gone completely AWOL. Despite last Fall's on-stage reunion with Rivers Cuomo, with whom he has been co-writing for an upcoming project, Sharp has put out both a self-titled album and the Puckett's Versus The Country Boy EP through In Music We Trust. The synthesizers and female vocals have been replaced by acoustic guitars and a vibe of relaxation…While nothing's been heard from Sharp's temporary replacement (and former Juliana Hatfield bassist) Mikey Welsh since a 2001 album alongside former Mighty Mighty Bosstones guitarist Nate Albert in The Kickovers, other members of the Bosstones family are using their hiatus time well. Former saxophonist Dennis Brockenborough has a new band, Chubby, and not a single drop of ska can be heard on Is It Time?, a straight-up rock effort. Meanwhile, rumors are circulating that vocalist Dicky Barrett may be working on a solo disc, however, until then, he can be seen every night on ABC as the announcer of Jimmy Kimmel Live, which is both one of funniest and most consistent shows to ever hit network programming.
…From The Stage
Country music may not be one of my three favorite genres, but every now and then I stumble across an exceptional country-oriented artist -- and in this case I found Allison Moorer; she has a voice that'll sound familiar if you've heard the original radio version of Kid Rock's crossover hit, "Picture." Playing a showcase for Sugar Hill Records at Joe's Pub, Moorer was backed by a solid four-piece band and hammered out the majority of her soulful forthcoming album, The Duel. Moorer will be heading over to the U.K. for touring in the coming weeks…A few blocks from Joe's Pub is The Continental, where I caught The Pettit Project. A six-piece hailing from Ontario, Canada, the Pettits play an irresistible hybrid of punk rock and power-pop that is void of screaming and full of keyboards. The songs are upbeat and fast, as evidenced by the band running through ten or so songs in 30 minutes. cheeROCKracy, its second full-length after more than a handful of EP's, ought to be out long before year's end…The Kites closed a Wednesday night at The Downtown to a somewhat-packed house. Those who waited through six other acts were treated to a distinct set of chaotic yet well-structured rock that sounded as influenced by The Beatles and The Pixies (a cover of "Gigantic" was performed) as Radiohead and The Anniversary. The switch-off vocals of Justin Raisen and Christine Poupis were especially of note since the two seem to have the same vocal range despite gender differences. However, this is a rare sort of band where even the rhythm section - comprised of guitarist Algernon Quashie, bassist William Eidenback and drummer Timothy Ruggieri -- is exciting due to the complex instrumental arrangements. These five early-twenty-somethings are doing something different, and it's not going to go unrecognized for much longer.
© 2004 - Column used with permission from Darren Paltrowitz. All right reserved.