Friday, March 30, 2007

GEOFF MARTYN (unsigned, unpublished, no management) -- Someone sign this guy please. Just offer him a fair deal to release the body of work he's created. It's genius. Geoff was the original keyboard player in Travis -- he's based in Scotland and has been creating music as a solo artist for a few years. His songs are FANTASTIC. Go listen. If you dig it, go to iTunes and do a search for Jupiter And Teardrop (the name he formerly used for his project) and buy the EP. Good stuff. Film/TV music supervisors will eat it up. C'mon!! This is an easy one!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

THE HOUSE HARKONNEN (unpublished, possibly avail. for licensing outside of the U.S.) -- There's been lots of Stateside music biz chatter about this Arlington, TX-based band for well over a year now... The team at Atlantic smartly locked them in for a development deal last year and the band has been recording new tracks for a few months now (one of the newbies, "Sleep By Your Grave," can be heard on the band's MySpace page). Do yourself a favor and go to CD Baby to buy their Volume IV CD -- you'll thank us later. With Maiden-like dueling guitars and intense vocals with hooky choruses, this band could do quite well on U.S. Active Rock radio and would undoubtedly see MUCH love in mainland Europe. We can totally hear these songs placed in video games as well as any/all action/sports film/TV programs. In our opinion, there aren't very many acts of this particular genre that are currently 'doing it right' -- The House Harkonnen does it REALLY right.

Monday, March 26, 2007

DEARBORN -- (unsigned, unpublished, available for booking) -- Take of your "hipster hat" for a second and spend some time with the music from Chicago's Dearborn. It's the type of stuff that might trigger a snobby snicker from your 20 year-old A&R scout in this week's music meeting, but if you're running a major label and have an understanding of the music-buying marketplace, you'll immediately see the marketability of a band like Dearborn. They're currently the #4 Unsigned artist on the Purevolume website. They performed in front of a sell-out crowd at The Metro this week, which they played in support of their debut Always In Disguise LP (being released independently through their own Sideways 8 Records). Ryan Manno, from tastemaker Alt-outlet Q101 Chicago says of Always In Disguise, "I love the record ...It's very energetic and it makes me feel good which is the point..." Richard Milne of Chicago's AAA WXRT says, "This band has it all...crunchy guitars, great percussion, and incredible vocals. Dearborn is absolutely fantastic! You're gonna love them."
The songs featured on their MySpace page show two separate sides of Dearborn -- "Always In Disguise" and "Already Down" shine some light on the obvious influence from Angel Dust-era Faith No More and Incubus -- "Work For You" and "U Turn" are much poppier and show the band's potential to write songs that would be better suited for Hot/Modern A/C radio. Even WE get a little squirmy about those two songs -- there's almost an eery Loverboy/Rick Springfield quality to them -- but ready-made for soccer moms looking to 'rock out' -- that's for SHIT sure!
Dearborn is open to speaking with labels about licensing opportunities. They've been in talks with some publishers as well, but what they'd really like is to connect with a booking agent who can get them on the road. Check the MySpace page for tuneage.

Friday, March 23, 2007

TALENTfilter ARTIST UPDATE -- One of our recent faves, New York singer/songwriter Jaymay, has signed a deal with Heavenly/EMI. Our friends at SESAC tell us that the talented songstress will move to London for a bit to put the finishing touches on her debut album, but will perform at the Hotel Cafe in L.A. this Tuesday (3/27) at 11PM if you're interested in checking her out. Go to her MySpace page to hear songs from her Sea Green, See Blue EP ("Gray Or Blue" is a SMIZZASH. If you doubt us, we'll gladly mail you some Q-Tips for your ears).

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

KATE WALSH (unsigned) -- We stumbled upon Kate as she was performing a two-song daytime teaser set during SXSW last week. Not sure if it's possible to fall in love with an artist after hearing just two songs drowned by talking and the outside band sound-checking, but we think we did. Kate is from Brighton and she recently completed her debut album, Tim's House, which is being released independently (at least for now) through her own Blueberry Pie label. She shares management with another TALENTfilter fave, Tina Dico. The texture of Kate's voice is reminiscent of Harriet Wheeler of The Sundays... Her songs are mature and accessible...It'll be tough for you NOT to take a liking to what she's doing as a singer and songwriter. Kate is busy touring the UK through April -- fingers crossed she comes back to our shores soon! Check the MySpace page for tuneage.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

TALENTfilter SXSW RECAP: Seriously. You're gonna have to cut us a bit of slack this week -- it's gonna take a few days to recover from all that was SXSW 2007. We noticed that there was a lot less of an A&R presence this year (possibly having to do with the fact that there are a lot less A&R execs with gigs!). A good amount of publishers -- especially the smaller ones, plenty of Radio Promo peeps, but possibly the fewest amount of actual radio programmers that we've ever seen in our years of heading to Austin...

Here's a list of bands we were able to catch -- if you'd like detailed reviews on any of these acts, shoot over an E-mail and we'll get you one. But to save ourselves the trouble of writing a book, here's the big 'ol list (our favorites have hyperlinks to the artists' websites):

Wednesday, March 14: Meiko, Quincy Coleman, Simon Lynge, The Sunshine Underground, The Automatic, Jamie T., Firekills, Lily Allen, could be some others -- if we remember, we'll list 'em.

Thursday, March 15: Tunng, Circa Survive, Keating, Envy On The Coast, Joshua James, Buddy, Meiko, Rocco DeLuca, Jim Bianco, Brett Dennen, James Walsh of Starsailor, Badly Drawn Boy, Cary Brothers, Aqualung, The Nightwatchman (featuring guest performers including Slash, Perry Farrell, Les Claypool, Nuno Bettencourt, Wayne Kramer and actor Breckin [Travis Birkenstock in "Clueless"] Meyer, The Horrors

Friday, March 16: Kings Of Leon, Buzzcocks, KROX-sponsored party, Cold War Kids, Andrew Bird, Perry Farrell's Satellite Party, Razorlight, Mika

Saturday, March 17: Kate Walsh, The Silent Years, A Fine Frenzy, Paolo Nutini, Who's Your Favorite Son, God? Presidents of the U.S.A.

Monday, March 12, 2007

This week, Team TALENTfilter will be diving head first into the madness which is SXSW 2007 in Austin, TX. There will be no postings on the TALENTfilter blog, as our fingers will be covered in BBQ sauce. If you'll be down there, be sure to ask around for us (and maybe offer up a WetNap)!

Here are some shows we'll be attending:

Wednesday night (3/14):
8:00- Sunshine Underground- Stubb's
9:00- The Automatic- Stubb's
10:00- Jamie T- Stubb's
11:00- Lily Allen- Stubb's
11:00- The Hedrons- Red 7 Patio
12:30- Peter Bjorn & Jon- La Zona Rosa
12:45- Annuals- Beauty Bar Patio
1AM- Marc Broussard- The Parish Room

Thursday night (3/15):
8:30- Meiko - The Parish
9:30- Colbie Caillat- Eternal
10- Cold War Kids- La Zona Rosa
10- Rodrigo Y Gabriella- Stubb's
11- MuteMath- Dirty Dog Bar
11- The Dears- Stubbs
Mid- Novillero- Light Bar
Mid- Amy Winehouse- Eternal
Mid- Bloc Party- Stubb's
1AM- C-Mon & Kypski- Copa
1AM- Fratellis- Dirty Dog Bar
1AM- Chromeo- Flamingo Cantina
1AM- The Bird & The Bee- Opal Divine's Freehouse

Friday night (3/16):
7:45- Nellie McKay- Exodus
9:30- James Morrison- La Zona Rosa
10:00- Airbourne- Friend's
10:30- Amy Winehouse- La Zona Rosa
11:00- The Black Angels- Antone's
Mid- Peaches- Exodus
12:30- The Faint- Eternal
12:45- The Good The Bad The Queen- Stubbs
1AM- Mika- La Zona Rosa

Saturday night (3/17):
8:00- A Fine Frenzy- Stubb's
8:00- Mohair- La Zona Rosa
8:00- Buzzcocks- Emo's Main
8:00- Patton Oswalt- Friend's
9:00- Paulo Nutini- Stubb's
9:15- Meat Puppets- Emo's Main
10:00- Kings Of Leon- Stubb's
11:00- Spoon- Stubb's
11:30- Jessie Baylin- Whisky Bar
Mid- The Stooges- Stubb's
1AM- Cursive- Beauty Bar Patio
1AM- Junior Senior- Exodus
1AM- Marjorie Fair- Lambert's

Thursday, March 8, 2007

(unsigned outside of mainland Europe, unpublished) -- In our honest opinion, Andrew Paul Woodworth is one of the most intense male vocalists we've EVER come across. Watching him live, you don't know if he's about to jump offstage and rip your face off -- or curl up into the fetal position and have a nervous breakdown onstage. Seriously. The live shows leave you breathless. His full band consists of a drummer, bassist, slide guitarist, keyboardist, cellist and sax player. Quite a set-up, but Woodworth is just as compelling to watch when it's just him and an acoustic guitar. Sonically, Andrew is like an amalgamation of Eddie Vedder, Michael Jackson, Damien Rice and Stevie Wonder.
John Paul Jones once said of Andrew, "He's the best lyricist I have ever worked with." Jones discovered the talent in Los Angeles and produced an album for Andrew's then band, Elephant Ride. Fast forward a few years, and Andrew is now signed as a solo artist to Rodeostar in Germany. They'll be helping him record and promote an album in mainland Europe, but it should be noted that Andrew is available for signing in all other territories. His publishing is available for the world. Check Andrew's MySpace page to hear his version of the Beastie Boys classic "Fight For Your Right" -- all three Beasties heard the track and authorized its use for film/TV synchs, etc., -- a first for the Beastie Boys.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

JESSIE BAYLIN UPDATE -- Unsigned Jessie Baylin (written about below) has picked up the opening slot on the James Morrison U.S. tour. HELLO! Props to her new booker CAA. Also, FYI, Jessie is signed with Sony Publishing and her attorney is Reid Hunter. No management at this point.

DENA DEADLY (unsigned, unpublished) -- If you close your eyes and listen to Dena Deadly's voice, you'd think it'd be coming out of the mouth of a 250 lb. black woman. As you can see from the photo above -- not the case. Dena grew up in Hollywood and started singing at an early age in gospel choirs. While she's been part of the internationally-lauded soul/funk/hip-hop collective Plantlife, Dena's now branching out on her own with her debut solo effort, The Mastery Of Love.
Produced by Jack Splash (Cee-Lo, Lauren Hill, John Legend), this record features songs seemingly ready-made for film and television placements, as well as Urban radio airplay.
Dena is an extremely seasoned writer, with a catalog of over 170 songs written. Her tune "I Don't Eva Wanna Stop" was nominated for BBC Radio One's "Song Of the Year" award. Dena recently won the ISC Songwriters Competition with her song "What We've Lost" (beating out over 16,000 other songs).
Dena and her band play out ...semi-frequently -- you can catch them on occasion at the Temple Bar in Santa Monica.

It'd be a shame if someone doesn't give this talented girl some guidance and take her into the mainstream. Check the MySpace page to hear some songs.

Monday, March 5, 2007

THE LEFT (unsigned, unpublished) -- A couple of years ago, The Left were winners of Vancouver rock radio station CFOX' s "Seeds Competition" -- this is the same local 'battle-of-the-bands'-type contest that brought Nickelback notice from the international label community. We've been keeping track of them ever since. The Left has released three albums, they've been consistently touring the Great White North (over 300 dates on the books), garnering radio airplay in Toronto and Winnipeg, as well as in their home city -- all without the help of a label or publisher. They're gearing up to put out their fourth LP very shortly -- This time around, however, they've got a solid mgmt/legal team in place to really help generate awareness and interest.
About the sound -- singer Kevin Gau has a BEAUTIFUL voice...the songwriting is mature, hooky and accessible...VERY radio friendly...If you're a fan of the Foo Fighters and even some of the more middle-of-the-road Death Cab or Shins music, you'll enjoy The Left. Check the MySpace page or their official band website for more info and music. This is a band that should be receiving full-on major label attention. People will buy this music. 'Nuff said.

CLIMBER (unsigned, unpublished) -- We've been following Portland, Oregon's Climber for over a year now -- our friends at tastemaker Alternative radio station KNRK Portland, OR turned us on to them. Solid local radio play...Lotsa touring of the West coast under their belts...Quite fun to see live if you're a fan of Keane, Coldplay and Radiohead. The songs on their MySpace page aren't their best, to be honest, save for "Bug Bear." Very synchable material, for sure.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

ELIZABETH & THE CATAPULT -- (unsigned, unpublished, no management) -- The D.I.Y efforts of New York's Elizabeth & The Catapult are quite impressive -- their debut self-titled six-song CD has become a "Best Seller" at (the disc is currently sold-out there, but you can pick up the songs from iTunes). Extensive touring throughout the Northeast has garnered great press from the likes of The Boston Globe and In December of last year, NPR picked the band as one of their "Best Discoveries of 2006." If you're a fan of Norah Jones but you secretly get that creepy feeling of "God, I should be wearing elastic-waistband mom jeans" while you're listening to her, pick up some material from Elizabeth & The Catapult -- all the musical texture, tone and timelessness of Jones without the 'minivan, kids & Kool-Aid.' The band is busy recording a full-length album (on their own, of course!) but will play a show in New York on March 29 at Tonic -- check out their MySpace page to hear & read more!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

JESSIE BAYLIN (unsigned, unpublished) -- We hesitated to write about Jessie, since every A&R rep (and their grandmother) on both coasts of the U.S. is familiar with her. She's honestly one of the most sought-after singer/songwriters in Los Angeles right now. But, it's a big world, and there are some forward-thinking label executives from other territories around the globe who might not have heard of Ms. Baylin. Who might also fall in love with her. And who just might be able to present to her a more interesting, left-of-center way to create further awareness of her material to music fans on a global scale than you Stateside malooks. So here's our mention. We love her. Want some stats? 22 years old. Born in Jersey, lives in L.A. Consistently sells out shows throughout Southern California. Over one million MySpace plays. Just recorded her debut full-length with Jesse Harris, who you might know from writing/playing with Norah Jones. If you'll be in Austin for SXSW, Jessie will perform at the Whisky Bar (303 W. 5th St.) on Saturday, March 17, at 11:30. If you plan on approaching her, however, have your sales pitch down -- this girl has had A&R execs up her ass for the past year and no one's been able to win her over!