Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The third installment of the MUSEXPO music & media conference takes place in Los Angeles on April 29-May 2. Cool opportunity to do some networking and catch artist showcases from international acts. Get on it if you haven't already. Performing artists (some signed, some unsigned) include: 4LYN (Edel Records), A Fine Frenzy (Virgin), Apartment (Fleet Street), Bitch Alert (Poko Records), Bitter:Sweet (Quango Music), Dan Mangan, Deep Insight (HMC), Dune (Iceberg/Playground), Duke Special (V2), Four Day Hombre (Alamo Music), Honeys, Jyrojets (Songphonic), Laura Izibor (Atlantic), Losing Focus, Marit Larsen, Mint Chicks (Flying Nun Records), Move.meant, Pete Murray (Sony/BMG), Rubik (Fullsteam Records), Run Run Run (Song&Dance/Magic Castle/Universal), Sick City (Smallman/Trustkill Records), Skybombers (Albert Productions) SoShy (Daylight/Epic), Teddybears (Big Beat/Atlantic), Tiny Dancers (Parlophone), Transport (Shock/MSR), and Tyrone Noonan (Jellyfish/MGM).

Click on the band names to be taken to their MySpace pages.

QUINCY COLEMAN (unsigned, unpublished) -- We're sure you've heard of Los Angeles songstress Quincy Coleman -- write-ups in Billboard, Music Connection, Paste, American Songwriter, etc. Regular airplay from KCRW's Nic Harcourt has also brought her to the forefront of the L.A. singer/songwriter scene. But if you haven't seen her live yet, you're truly missing out. Performing with her onstage is a full band featuring piano, guitar, accordion, clarinet, bass, trumpet, drums and whatever kitchen pots & pans are lying around. Quincy (yes, she's actor Dabney Coleman's daughter) and her band will perform at the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles tomorrow night (2/28) at 10 PM. Label reps from Universal and Concord have confirmed attendance. Check the MySpace page to hear music -- "Want Me Back" is our personal fave.

Monday, February 26, 2007

ESMEE DENTERS (unsigned) -- Story from HITS Magazine's HITSdailydouble.com -- The newest Internet sensation is an 18-year-old girl from Holland named Esmee Denters. The young lass has garnered more than 8 million views on YouTube from the video blog she hosts from her bedroom... Denters is being managed by Billy Mann, who currently handles Teddy Geiger and a band called the Sunstreak. Labels are already scrambling, with interest expressed by Interscope, EMI and Universal so far. Mega-attorney Gary Stiffelman is doing the repping. Action to come.

Friday, February 23, 2007

PAN AMERICA (unsigned, unpublished) -- They're from L.A. They're big fans of Journey (and apparently, after seeing their L.A. show last night, Kenny Loggins?) They sound like a cross between Jimmy Eat World, All American Rejects and the Stone Roses. They completely pull it off live. KROQ Los Angeles has been regularly spinning songs from this band on their "Locals Only" program. And if you're the Head of A&R at a label and you don't think "Say You'll Be Mine" could be a big fat radio smash, you should seriously consider applying for that real estate license you've been thinking about picking up... Check the MySpace page.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

GOOT (unsigned, unpublished) -- You hip to this kid yet? Interscope, Epic, Capitol and Drive-Thru are, but no one's made a move just yet (tsk-tsk). The 19 year-old musical prodigy from Poughkeepsie, NY wrote, recorded and played all the instruments on the two EP's he's released independently. With over 375,000 MySpace plays, Goot is also currently the most-downloaded unsigned act on PureVolume.com. While the labels slept, Goot's put together a great mgmt./legal team as well as a full band which he'll take on the road for a mini-East coast tour next month.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

EVERYTHING IS ENERGY (unsigned, unpublished) -- Everything Is Energy is the newly-named project from an L.A.-based four-piece formed and fronted by Chris Shinn (former singer for the now-defunct Unified Theory). Very VERY cool stuff here, produced by Krish Sharma (Perry Farrell, Rolling Stones). The group was using the name The Sound I Saw for a few months, but have since changed it. What're they like sonically? Take some Sunny Day Real Estate, a hunk of Jane's Addiction and some sliced up Remy Zero and throw it into a great big blender. Add the zest of Queens Of The Stone Age, one copy of the Unified Theory self-titled album and the Singles soundtrack. Hit the 'grind' button. Leave the mixture chunky, and you'll have an idea. Sorry. Watching the Food Network while writing. Everything Is Energy is performing in Los Angeles at The Derby tomorrow night (2/21) at 8:30.

Monday, February 19, 2007

OBADIAH PARKER (unsigned, unpublished) -- Interesting story behind this Scottsdale, AZ-based trio ...In May of 2006, singer Mat Weddle (on the left in the picture) did a solo set at a coffee house which featured an impromptu remake of Outkast's "Hey Ya" -- it was videotaped by a fan, put up onto YouTube and has since been viewed well over 500,000 times. Write-ups in local newspapers and Spin.com soon followed and Mediaguide now reports that this cover is now the third most-played song by an unsigned act on Stateside terrestrial radio. All of this buzz has drawn people to the band's MySpace page, where they've been turned on to Obadiah Parker's original material. The cynic will say, "Great, but what about a correlation between the buzz and sales?" The band's debut EP reached the Top 30 on the iTunes Folk chart in less than a month! Obadiah Parker's original stuff does NOT disappoint, considering there was no A&R exec offering guidance/production advice. Fans of Phish, Ray LaMontagne, Ben Folds, Dave Matthews and Bill Withers will embrace their songs. Throw this trio on a college tour or onto the Bonnaroo bill, continue with the viral marketing and get them on a few major market radio station morning shows and a label could do well by working with an act like this!!

Here's Q101 Chicago MD Spike telling the story about how he got his hands on the song:

Saturday, February 17, 2007

STAREWELL (unsigned, unpublished) -- Fact of the matter is, there's a demand from the U.S. music-purchasing market (yes, they're still out there) for straight-forward, meat & potatoes Rock. Ask any 30 year-old construction worker from Kansas City, MO what three bands' albums he most recently either illegally downloaded or purchased, and chances are he'll say, "Nickelback, Creed and probably something old from Metallica or something..." Labels should be looking to supply this demand with some fresh new talent bringing old-fashioned, beers-in-the-back-of-the-pickup-truck RAWK. Enter Starewell. They're a five-piece from Calgary. With no help from a label, their song “Blurrier”, taken from the band's new Those Who Matter LP, reached #18 on the Mediabase Canadian Rock radio chart (Their new single, the title track, is currently at #32 with a bullet). Check the MySpace page to hear music. Sounds like something a 30 year-old construction worker from Kansas City would be into, no?

Friday, February 16, 2007

WARQ Announces St. Patrick's Day Celebration --
Alternative WARQ Columbia, SC will present "ROCK 93.5'S ST. PATRICK'S DAY CELEBRATION" on MARCH 17th... Along with signed acts Three Days Grace and Stretch Armstrong, they've got three local unsigned bands on the bill: Everything After (female-fronted rock-pop), The Movement (rock/reggae/hip-hop hybrid) and Hot Lava Monster (unfortunate name, decent songs). Click the band names to be taken to their MySpace pages.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

BORNE (unsigned outside of AU, unpublished) -- Back in December, our good friend Alex Luke from iTunes played a song called "Souls On Satellite" on his "iTunes At 2" program (airing on Los Angeles Alt-outlet Indie 103-1 every Friday at 2 PM) from a Melbourne, Australia-based band called Borne. Well, right now, as a first, iTunes has made the Borne track available as a free download -- worldwide. People overseas using iTunes UK, AU, etc. can get this song for free as well as U.S. iTunes users. The band is signed to an indie label in Australia but don't have much else going on in terms of representation...it'll be very interesting to see how many folks download the song worldwide -- and how many of them then purchase the album! Coldplay/Snow Patrol-ish, fer sure. Here's the MySpace link. Have fun.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

BRIAN WRIGHT & THE WACO TRAGEDIES - (unsigned, unpublished) -- Last night, after a great set by the legendary Patty Griffin and a jaw-dropping performance from L.A. local Meiko, another band-a-buzzing from Los Angeles took the stage at the Hotel Café. Brian Wright & The Waco Tragedies. Here’s a bit of a visual -- if you’ve ever been to this venue, you know how small the stage is. Well, Brian jammed a drummer, two guitarists, a pianist, a standup bassist, a clarinet player, trumpet player, and a backup singer onstage for what was one of the best shows we’ve seen in a very long time. Really tough to nail down what his sound is. Americana? Bluegrass? Maybe. Folk? Eh. Bayou blues-rock? Possibly. Does he stray from TALENTfilter’s rule of writing about artists with mass appeal potential? Not at all – this is music you’ll be putting on mix CD’s and giving as gifts. For real. Check the band's MySpace page and decide for yourself. Brian is the guitarist in singer/songwriter Joe Purdy’s band (last night Purdy returned the favor on guitar/mandolin for Brian). Honestly, though? With all the hype surrounding Joe Purdy’s brilliance, and with respect, we think Brian and his Waco Tragedies stand head and shoulders above anything we’ve seen Purdy do on his own.

Monday, February 12, 2007

FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH -- (unsigned, unpublished) -- We're closeted metalheads here at TALENTfilter. GOOD metal, though. Well-written, well-produced tracks with good song structure, brutal guitars, intense drumming, actual melody ...REAL metal. FFDP is an L.A.-based five-piece that brings all of those qualities to the table. Singer Ivan was in Motograter... Drummer Jeremy is so precise on the skins he sells drum loop discs as a side gig. Guitarist Darrell toured with W.A.S.P. for over six years. These guys are professionals. They know the drill. The band will release their debut album, The Way Of The Fist, on April 3 through their manager's indie label, American Royalty. This is "Red State Metal" which will do just as well throughout mainland Europe. Sign 'em up, people. Here's a link to their MySpace page. Hold those metal horns high! (**UPDATE -- FFDP will play the Knitting Factory in L.A. on Feb. 28)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

MAKING APRIL (unsigned) -- One of the most-listened-to unsigned acts on MySpace right now (over 3 million plays)...Four-piece from Cortlandt Manor, New York. Touring up and down the East coast for the next month including some SXSW dates (check the MySpace page for deets)

...Seriously...Check this video for their song "Roses & Butterflies" -- pretty fantastic.

East coast labels -- these guys are right in your backyard.

Friday, February 9, 2007

DOMMIN (unsigned, no management) -- We first caught Dommin at an L.A. Viper Room gig a few months back. Upon arriving at the venue, we’d noticed that it looked as if a Hot Topic convention just let out – the line was around the block – filled with Gothed-out Latinas. The show was fantastic. Singer/songwriter Kris Dommin has this Glenn Danzig/Elvis Presley thing going on – sounds ridiculous, I know, but it completely works and the dressed-in-black ladies pressed up against the front of the stage obviously agreed. The Dommin album, Mend Your Misery, is best described as “romantic, rock-tinged goth pop.” Fans of Type O Negative, Life Of Agony (basically any of the mid-‘90s Roadrunner Records artists) and lovers of The Cure, Depeche Mode, Sisters Of Mercy, etc. will and should immediately embrace Dommin. Again, there are a million ways to effectively market an act like this. Without the help of a record label, songs from Mend Your Misery are already garnering radio play on major market radio stations including KROQ Los Angeles, WFNX Boston, KUPD Phoenix, KUSF San Francisco, KTCL Denver, WXDX Pittsburgh, KIOZ San Diego, KVGS Las Vegas and XM Satellite Radio (among others). Check the Dommin MySpace page for show dates and music (L.A. music execs should hit the 2/17 show at Bar Sinister in Hollywood).

Thursday, February 8, 2007

SONIA LEIGH (unsigned, unpublished, no management) -- If you're NOT a fan of country-tinged, bluesy folk-rock from female singer-songwriters, stop reading now. If you can recognize talent in an artist like this and imagine all the incredible ways to market them, Sonia Leigh is worth a listen. She's 28, she's based in Atlanta, and we had a chance to catch her first ever Los Angeles performance a few weeks back -- super super good. Put this girl in front of KT Tunstall's fanbase...have her tour with Melissa Etheridge, hell, get her on a bill with a John Mayer or Ray LaMontagne and she'll win over all of their fans too! Check Sonia's MySpace page for gig listings and a couple of really well done songs.

Off The Clock Vol. 1: Up And Coming Artists From Starbucks -- Starbucks has done something kinda cool -- they went through over 800 submissions from musically-inclined store baristas, managers, etc., narrowed the songs down to about 15 tracks and they've put together a compilation which will be sold in stores across the U.S. Proceeds go to charity, too, so, even more props to Ken Lombard & crew. The disc doesn't hit the racks till April 3rd, but we got a sneak peek and here are links to some of the unsigned artists-of-note: The Young Immortals (cool indie rock), Fools And Horses (straight forward rock-pop..band gets much love from D.C.-area radio), Baumer (really good, synthy Alt-Pop)

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

NICK HALL (unsigned) -- Wow...another no-brainer here. From Birmingham...great looking guy, former race car driver...along the lines of James Blunt, David Gray...Another of the few UK artists that could easily translate in the States. Modern/Hot A/C radio will be all over this..film/TV supervisors...etc. Check the MySpace page -- "Room To Breathe" is a smash.

ARTIST UPDATE -- MEIKO, mentioned in yesterday's posting, will perform at SXSW 2007 in Austin, TX -- here is the official lineup for the "Hotel Cafe at SXSW" event taking place on March 15 at The Parish (214 E. Sixth St.) -- Aqualung, The Nightwatchman (AKA Tom Morello), Badly Drawn Boy, Cary Brothers, James Walsh from Starsailor, Rocco Deluca, Brett Dennen, Jim Bianco, Alice Smith, Meiko, Buddy

EFF ANTHONY (unsigned) -- (Story from CMJ) -- Bronx band Eff Anthony has been voted the first winner of Music Nation's weekly online video music competition (at www.musicnation.com). Chosen from hundreds of submissions in the pop category, Eff Anthony and their winning video, "Fantasy," will now advance to the Music Nation quarterfinals April 23, where they will go head-to-head with other weekly winners. The competition will crown three ultimate victors, one each in the genres of pop, rock and urban, all of whom will receive a recording contract with Epic Records. Thus far, Music Nation has received more than 1,000 submissions within the three genres. An artist like this could do well on a label like Epic -- sink some money into a Top 40 radio marketing campaign, etc. Hopefully solid management is in place to ensure that serious viral online marketing is also pushed.

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Tuesday, February 6, 2007

(unsigned, unpublished, no management) -- Five-piece L.A.-based band Never Heard Of It (NHOI) have sold over 100,000 copies of their previous EP's, toured the U.S. twelve times (including two full Van's Warped Tours) and the U.K. five times. They've got over 1.3 million MySpace plays and a brand-new, self-titled full-length that features at LEAST five NO-BRAINER Alternative radio hits. This one is a no-brainer. Hook-filled, catchy pop-punk. Will your A&R Assistant turn his/her nose up at this one? Of course. Will every 13 year-old girl buy their music, their merch and see them live every time they come through town? Absolutely. KROQ Los Angeles has been spinning the track "Finger On The Trigger" on their "Locals Only" program. (Performing at the Key Club in L.A. on Feb. 22 before heading out for a U.S. tour which goes through March.)

MEIKO (unsigned, unpublished) -- Twenty-something singer/songwriter Meiko hails from Roberta, GA (population 808). Now living in Los Angeles, Meiko has been busy building a loyal following through consistent performances at the Hotel Cafe and throughout Southern California. Meiko played the N.Y., L.A. and O.C. dates of the Hotel Cafe Tour and her recent showcase at Sundance brought her to the attention of numerous film/TV music supervisors. Meiko is in the process of finishing up her debut, five-song EP which management will soon shop to labels/publishers. Check her MySpace page for concert dates (Feb. 13 @ Hotel Cafe w/ Patty Griffin) -- check THIS quote out --

"I arrived in time to catch a gorgeous set from Meiko, a waitress at Hotel Café and from what I heard last night, my pick for their next big success story. If Nic Harcourt hasn't begun to champion her yet on his Morning Becomes Eclectic show, it's just a matter of time."
-Josh Jackson, Editor-In-Chief, Paste Magazine

Thanks for checking out the TALENTfilter blog! Apologies for keeping things a bit mysterious...just trying to help some great unsigned artists gain some exposure within the A&R community...

New to the whole 'blogging' thing, so please excuse any ugliness...

Looking forward to hearing what you think about the acts posted on the blog! Feel free to E-mail talentfilter@gmail.com for information about any of the artists...

Best Regards,