Artists and bands who want to play on a bill featuring The Raconteurs, Justice, Vampire Weekend, and TV on the Radio may now have a golden opportunity. Last week, imeem, the social media network, launched its search for two acts to perform at next month's Treasure Island Music Festival. After artists submit original songs online by 11:59 PM on July 28th, the panel of judges consisting of representatives from imeem, Another Planet Entertainment, Noise Pop, and SF's The Independent, will pick 20 of them. They will announce the finalists on August 1st, letting voters on imeem will have their say on who should go live. For more information on the contest, dubbed "Mutiny & Mayhem," or to listen to a playlist of songs by some of the festival's featured artists, visit the Treasure Island Music Festival page on imeem.
The Audiophiles, composed of San Francisco high school students, deserve to play for more than just teenage audiences. After debuting at Bottom of the Hill last May, the quartet is on the verge of breaking beyond the all-ages scene. Its second EP is a fun, four-song set with tastes of punk, country, ska, and alt-rock.
A worthy first step into the unforgiving waters of instrumental- and post-rock. Many try, but only a few truly succeed at the amalgam of rock instrumentation and pseudo-classical structure (see Explosions in the Sky). Pfiffin is at least headed in the right direction.
Finally, the complete line-up for the Treasure Island Music Festival on September 20th & 21st has been announced. You no longer need to stress out about missing an artist you didn't know was playing; instead, you may now purchase your tickets for this indie music mecca in peace. The latest additions are Loquat and Chester French for Saturday and The Morning Benders and Port O'Brien for Sunday. All are Bay Area locals, except for Chester French, which hails from Cambridge, MA. These bands round out the electronic and dance acts on Saturday (Justice, TV on the Radio, Goldfrapp, Hot Chip, CSS, Antibalas, Aesop Rock, Amon Tobin, Foals, Mike Relm and Nortec Collective: Bostich + Fussible) and indie rock bands on Sunday (The Raconteurs, Tegan & Sara, Vampire Weekend, Spiritualized, Okkervil River, Tokyo Police Club, The Kills, Dr. Dog, John Vanderslice, The Dodos and Fleet Foxes). Single day tickets cost $65 and two-day tickets cost $115. More information can be found on the festival web site.
As of July 8th, the Internet radio and music-oriented social networking site Last.fm began paying unsigned artists "royalties": a portion of the ad revenue received from the artists' page. With this progressive move, Last.fm realized the potential of the Internet to cut out the middlemen (royalty collectors and music labels) so that artists can be paid according to their page hits and plays on the site. For listeners, it's a guarantee that their most beloved artists will benefit from their fanship, even if it's only a fraction of a penny per page visit. And as this type of program expands, it seems more likely that people will be able to find and support artists they enjoy, just by listening to them. For basic information, check out the Last.fm blog. For a more in-depth analysis, see Erick Schonfeld's piece in TechCrunch. And if you're an artist interested in participating, get more details at Last.fm's Music Manager.
Talk about DIY. Oakland's pop-punk sweethearts The Matches rummaged through their hometown in search of 38 TVs and VCRs to smash in the music video for "Salty Eyes" -- one of those single-take videos that seem so tiring to make. For a behind-the-scenes look at the only slightly emo TV trashing, check out Current.com's video.
The 12th Annual Mission Creek Music and Arts Festival will take place on July 16-20, featuring independent music as well as literary events, art shows, and alternative performances at almost a dozen venues. To focus its energies, the festival has shrunk from eleven or more days and over 180 acts in previous years to just five days and over 120 acts. The range of local talent can be generally categorized as either folksy or electronic influenced, and the quality is impressive. From the "Featured Artists" list on the festival's website, we would like to recommend the Brazilian funk rhythms of Bat Makumba, the endearing and spare indie rock of Lady Genius, the hip-hop influenced beats of Jel, ambient electronics from Tussle, soft sweet pathos from the Ian Fray, the speedy pop/alt-rock of French Miami, and the probable marriage of Gogol Bordello-like sonic theatrics and Drumline's time measures in Extra Action Marching Band. There will also be experimental music performances united with visual artists and dancers under the umbrella title of Collision, as well as a beefed-up Latin-rock segment to be housed at the Balazo Gallery in the Mission.
Oakland MC the Red Fox's appeal isn't so much in his lax, Atmosphere-esque flow - though the elongated, half-sung verses may seal the deal for some folks - nor in the moody, low-impact beats over which he delivers his life story. What truly elevates this debut from ordinary to noteworthy is his confident sampling of every flavor in the indie hip-hop rainbow.
Not sure what to make of some of her lyrics (Nothing says love like a monkey/A monkey is fun, for example), but otherwise Kowalchuk's debut is fairly solid pop-rock. Completely harmless, easy on the ears, well played and well produced, How Much Noise will no doubt find a place among those so inclined.
Defunct Berkeley band the VSS originally released its sole full-length, Nervous Circuits - a nihilistic, gripping blend of hardcore, post-punk, and gothic electronics - on Honey Bear Records in 1997. The album led the way for groups like the Faint and Death From Above 1979, yet still feels edgy today - hence this welcome reissue celebrating its tenth anniversary.