Artists and Bands

Now this is Rock and Roll! Bang Sugar Bang

Bang_sugar_bang I just recieved a batch of CDs from the fine folks at Nicotine Records and as I shuffled through the pile I began looking for one CD to listen to first. I decided to pick Bang Sugar Bang’sGreatest Hits” using that twisted rock and roll logic that I thought the band’s name was cool. This is one of those CDs, and this is one of those bands that when you pop their CD into the CD player, you start to edge the volume up just a quarter of the way into their first track. Then a little bit more. Then some more after that. By the third song you are risk the serious possibility of speaker damage and yet you remain strangely unconcerned as the music is that good. Bang Sugar Bang are a great hook laden rock and roll tour de force that are a blast to listen to. If you don’t believe me, head out to the A/V section of their site and download or stream a couple of tracks to get them under your skin. See, I told ya so. Great stuff.

Reviews and Suggestions

David Bash’s Top Picks of 2004 Continued

We continue checking out David Bash of International Pop Overthrow fame’s top 125 picks of 2004 with today’s installment of numbers 50-74:

50. The Pillbugs-Happy Birthday (Proverus)

51. Daniel Saturn-Still That Same Refrain (Vladivostock)

52. Doug Powell-Day For Night (Parasol)

53. A.C. Newman-The Slow Wonder (Matador)

54. The Maharajas-Unrelated Statements (Self-Released)

55. The Ringles-Take A Ride (Jam)

56. Epic-Sunshine State (Revolver)

57. Lazy Susan-Never Better (Self-Released)

58. Fooling April-Every Good Boy Does Fine (Kool Kat)

59. Red Planet-We Know How It Goes (Gearhead)

60. Bowman-Living To Breathe (Self-Released)

61. Junebug-Second (Planet 8)

62. Bill Lloyd-Back To Even (New Boss Sounds)

63. The Breetles-Don’t Smile (Shuss/No Fault)

64. Sensory Lullaby-A Legend In Our Spare Time (Self-Released)

65. The Swift-Today (Flicker)

66. The Zinedines-Take Me Take Me (Rainbow Quartz)

67. Bang Sugar Bang-Thwak Thwak Go Crazy!! (War Room)

68. Stratocruiser-Suburban Contemporary (Zip)

69. Barry Holdship-Ruff Trax (Bad Axe)

70. Junebug-First (Planet 8)

71. The Breakup Society-James At 35 (Get Hip)

72. Rusty Anderson-Undressing Underwater (Oxide)

73. John Hoskinson-Miscellaneous Heathen (Kaopeoths)

74. Stephen Lawrenson-Every Summer (Paisley Pop)

Rock Biz

Sound Off! EMP’s Battle Of The Bands Is Launching Pad For Musical Careers

Sound Off!, Experience Music Project’s annual battle of the bands for Pacific Northwest musicians ages 21 and under, returns for its fourth year. The competition supports Seattle’s underage band scene by giving musicians the opportunity to play their original music at EMP in front of a live audience, and recording label representatives. Sound Off! Bands jam with the same pulsating sound and visual equipment that professionals use.

Previous Sound Off! competitions have proven an effective launching pad for young talent. Finalists from 2003 and 2004, Idiot Pilot and Schoolyard Heroes, signed with record labels Reprise Records and The Control Group just months after performing at Sound Off!. Schoolyard Heroes has received substantial airplay locally since releasing their first album, Funeral Sciences.

"We were blown away by this year’s pool of creative young musicians," said Bob Santelli, Director of EMP Programs. "Every year we have a panel of music-industry professionals who choose the nine semifinalists. We had over one hundred entries this year, and they really had a tough time narrowing down the field. We are excited to hear the nine semifinalists perform live."

This year promises to be another intense musical battle to the finish, with a full month of live weekend performances kicking off on Saturday, Feb. 5 with the first of three semifinals.

Three finalists will then go head to head on the Sky Church stage, Saturday, Feb. 26 at 8pm. At stake are career-enhancing prizes including an opening slot for the multi-platinum The Presidents of the United States of America at one of their local shows in 2005, time in a recording studio, an opportunity to perform at Bumbershoot 2005, production of a CD thanks to Discmakers, and guaranteed airplay on radio 107.7’s The Young & The Restless.

Bands competing in the first semifinal on Feb. 5 are Handshakes, an exhilarating fusion of electronica and rock, The Neons, an alternative pop-rock sister duo and Paper or Plastic, a promising rock band from Portland.

On Feb. 12, the second semifinal lineup includes hip-hop’s newest Aluzjun, Indie-influenced The Last Romance, and fast-paced punk band, Nameless Danger.

The last semifinal on Feb. 19 includes Gruff Mummies, an edgy glam rock band, The Paramours, an Indie-rock band and Squid vs. Shark, creators of quirky, danceable Indie-pop tunes.

All bands are judged on song composition and arrangement, creativity and originality, musicianship and audience response. Judges will include local musicians, as well as music industry professionals from recording studios, radio stations, and the press. DJ, Harms, from 107.7 The End will emcee each Saturday night.

For a full schedule of Sound Off! performances and sound clips from this year’s lineup, please see the special events section of the EMP Web site, . Tickets are available through EMP’s box office at 206.770.2702 or 1.877.I-LISTEN. Tickets are $5 for EMP members, $7 for teachers and students, and $10 for the public.

Odds & Sods

A New Spin on Montreal

Montreal Now I am no Spin Magazine fan as you may or may not know (my tastes run to Harp, Mojo and Magnet with an order of Ugly Things and Shindig on the side) but when I heard that they were doing a 5 page spread on Montreal as “the next big scene” my first and only reaction was….buy it! I have no problem with encouraging others to do the same as Montreal is a great, cosmopolitan city that is in many ways an unknown gem, especially when it comes to rock and roll. With the Dears, Sam Roberts, Arcade Fire, High Dials, up and coming sensations Pony Up! and many more, all I can say is if you ever were considering visiting our fair city, come for the food, stay for the rock and roll. You won’t be disappointed.
UPDATE! The New York Times has jumped on the bandwagon in their piece Cold Fusion: Montreal’s Explosive Music Scene. While some in the Montreal music community think the attention is great, others are not so sure according to the article Seattle Redux? by T’Cha Dunlevy of the Montreal Gazette.

Live Rock and Roll

Eclectic Roskilde

The Roskilde Festival is certainly both a historical event as well as an eclectic one. Taking place this year on June 30- July 3, the organizers have just announced that they have added Black Sabbath with its original line-up, Green Day and The Dears to the roster of acts. Now that’s a wide variety of rock and roll! Refreshing.

Rock Biz

Get Ready for Garagestock in the Ozark Mountains!

What can be any cooler than garage bands battling it out in the American Ozark mountains? Check out this press release and start tuning up!




For Immediate Release

For more information, contact:
Garage Stock
2110 Menard Ste. D
St. Louis, MO 63104

DATE: July 21,22,23,24 2005

TIMES: From 5pm Thursday until 2am Monday

LOCATION: Salem Missouri, at Camp Zoe, South West Missouri

TICKET PRICE: All week $60.00 Adv /$80.00 DOS
July 23rd all day $20.00, July 24th all day $20.00. No advance
Ticket Sales Available for a one-day only ticket. No
guarantee one day tickets will be available for July 23rd and

ENTERTAINMENT: Up to 900 Musical Acts

CONTEST: Event goers will vote on their favorite band where the winner
will be awarded the title of best “Garage Band in America” as
well as win $5000.00. Second place will win $1000.00 and
third place will win $500.00.

ATTENDANCE: 8000-10000 per day

ST. LOUIS – DiMBy embarks on its newest musical venture, which will bring 900 Garage Bands and 10,000 people from around America to Camp Zoe, which is located in the Ozark Mountains, to compete for the title of the “Best Garage Band in America”, from 5pm Thursday July 21st until 11pm July 24th, Camp Zoe will host the first annual Garage Stock.

Interested bands will register online by March 15th and be voted on, via the Internet, by their fans, from April 1st – April 30th 2005. The top 900 bands with the most votes will win placement in Garage Stock 2005 and be announced on May 15th 2005.

Registration will be conducted through and will require bands to sign up for a six month Sonic Bids account. Our partnership with Sonic Bids will save bands money, as well as offer each band the opportunity to build an online press kit to submit to various events around the world. A six-month membership with Sonic Bids is $29.95. Registration for Garage Stock is $20.00. Our partnership with Sonic Bids allows the bands to sign up with Sonic Bids as well as register for Garage Stock for $24.95 providing a savings of $25.00 per band.

Twenty PODS ( will be brought in to Camp Zoe as stages with bands aspiring to the semi-finalist rounds and then the finalists round where one band will be crowned “Best Garage Band In America” and receive $5000.00 Cash. Second place will win $1000.00 and third place will receive $500.00

Tickets for Garage Stock will run $60.00 Adv / $80.00 DOS for four days of camping plus entry in to all areas of Garage Stock.

Additionally, The United Exposition Carnival Company will offer rides and games during Garage Stock.

Missouri Bands will be showcased throughout the event in cabins around Camp Zoe. There will be a twenty-four hour open mic for anyone interested in stage time.

For detail information and or list of bands please visit

Date and performers are subject to change without prior notification.

To get directions and a map as well as see photos from Camp Zoe, please visit

Rock Biz

Indie Music Week Now Accepting Applications for Artist Showcases

Indie_music_week_logo Indie Music Week is now accepting submissions for their exclusive artist showcases which will take place over two nights at Nashville’s legendary Douglas Corner Café. There are a limited number of showcase spots available to artists and bands. In order to be considered, a press kit and demo must be sent to DaCapo Music no later than February 21, 2005. To attend Indie Music Week 2005 or submit for an Artist Showcase, please visit for information. Indie Music Week is offering a 50% discount for music industry students or artists that showcase. For more information about sponsoring Indie Music Week call 615-292-1337.

Rock History

Jim Capaldi R.I.P.

Some sad news to report as Jim Capaldi, the drummer for Traffic has passed away at the age of 60 from stomach cancer it was announced today. R.I.P. Jim.


Who’s Selling Out?

It happens more often then you might like. You’re sprawled out on the couch watching some enjoyably mindless TV show when a commercial comes on for cat food or tampons or something and then it hits you “I know that song!” Yup, they have used “Whip It” by Devo to sell Swiffers and you don’t know if you want to toss your cookies or heave the TV set through the window. Well relax, it’s not all bad and sometimes the song you like actually works in the commercial (like that great bit for Target with the dueling drummers from The Donnas and Cheap Trick) but if you want to see who has sold out to the man by letting them use their music for TV commercials then you should check out Music from TV Commercials which is chock a block full of the details behind what commercial has used what song by which artist to sell what product. It also comes with song samples that you can listen to! Have a great weekend everybody!

Rock and Roll Reads

Book buying suggestions from “the Professor”

Neil_peart Since I just bought myself a new set of drums and have been reconnecting with some of the great bands that I grew up covering in my early bar band years I have been listening to and reading a lot about Rush since Neil Peart was one of my main drumming influences growing up (along with Stewart Copeland, Keith Moon, Ian Paice and a guy named Paul DeLong who used to drum for Kim Mitchell). Now I know Rush is one of those polarizing bands that you either love or loath but to me they were and still are a great band who have influenced a wide assortment of groups from all over the musical map. Bands like The Tragically Hip, Sloan, the Rheostatics, Dream Theater, Primus and the Barenaked Ladies have all been influenced and encouraged by listening to Rush and certainly Neil Peart has been the fave of countless rock and roll drummers since the band burst on the scene in the mid-seventies. Besides being a drummer and writer, Neil Peart is also quite an enthusiast of fine literature and at the end of 2004 he was quoted in the Canadian newspaper the Globe and Mail as to what books he enjoyed over the course of the year and this is what he had to say:

“Among many favourites this year, from John Barth’s The Book of Ten Nights and a Night : Eleven Stories to Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything , I would have to choose The Big Year : A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession by Mark Obmascik, a non-fiction tale of epic sweep and depth about a competition among, of all people, birdwatchers….A few others I can’t resist recommending: Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography by Chester Brown, French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France by Tim Moore, The Inner Circle by T. C. Boyle and Middlemarch (Penguin Classics) by George Eliot.” – Neil Peart, Toronto Globe and Mail, Dec. 24, 2004

This came courtesy of Power Windows, the premiere Rush fan site. I believe I will hit the local library and get reading.