ShoutNote is an independent, non-commercial blog which profiles bands playing in or passing through the Los Angeles area, asking them all the same question, “How would you change the indie music scene?”
My first venture to Three Clubs turned out rewarding. Not only did I get to see New Limb once again, after speaking to them a couple of years ago in Downtown L.A., but one of their opening acts this time was a hot band called Robotanists. After listening to a few of their tunes, it’s not surprising that TV and film music supervisors have already come knocking on the band’s door. Tight rhythms pound under longing, soaring vocals. Lead guitarist Daniel DeBlanke’s mastery of the amp is evident on each song. Lead singer Sarah Ellquist said she’s seen a direct correlation between TV exposure and an increase in downloads of the band’s songs, citing recent placements on both ABC and MTV. I would categorize the band’s songs as high priority downloads. Next stop for Robotanists is the Make Music Pasadena Fesitval. I spoke with Sarah after the show, video below.
Five Star Bar in Downtown L.A. maintains its position as an upcoming venue to check out local bands (if anyone knows of a link to the bar’s website, please send to my Twitter). As it stands just two doors down and in a very tall shadow from The Smell, many club goers may not even be aware of its existence. There was a great lineup on March 25th, where I caught a set by L.A. girl band C-Horse (though they do, in all fairness, feature a token Y chromosome on keyboard). Below is a video of a short interview on the sidewalk just outside of the bar. As an added bonus, they’re all hot.
An occasional perk of being an indie music blogger is showing up at a gig that should have been attended by 100’s, but you end up being only one of the few. Not counting the bartender, all but 14 people were in attendance at a semi-acoustic set by L.A. band Chalk Farm. The group gained notoriety in the late 90s with a single titled “Lie on Lie,” releasing an album on Columbia Records at the time. Reuniting after a 10 year hiatus, the band’s current focus is on new material, even if that means playing to small crowds at local bars. The set at Room 5 featured a couple of new songs in addition to older tracks. I interviewed the group after the show, asking for any advice they have for indie bands that may one day consider signing to larger labels. There’s a very short stage clip before the interview, just to show how great these guys sound live. Below the video is a player featuring their prior material. The band’s new tunes sounded just as great.
Even though Jace Everett’s written one of the most popular title songs on television, he prefers the freedom and ownership that independent record labels provide, now working with Weston Boys Entertainment out of Austin. True Blood executive producer Alan Ball first heard what would become the show’s title song when Everett was with Epic Records a number of years ago, but the deal didn’t solidify until after Jace moved off the label. I caught up with him after a set that was part of the The Twilight Dance Series (no reference to the teen movie intended) on the Santa Monica Pier, and I asked him to compare his experiences on both major and indie labels. He also offers advice for bands looking to place songs in movies or television shows and takes on how he’d change the indie music scene.