Preparations for the summer festival season is really kicking into high gear now. We recently told you about the return of OutKast, who will headline Coachella and the Governors Ball, and now you can add the Firefly Music Festival to the duo’s itinerary (along with 37 other fests). Big Boi and Andre 3000 will be joined by Foo Fighters, Jack Johnson, Arctic Monkeys, Weezer, Childish Gambino, Chance the Rapper, Sleigh Bells, Girl Talk, Tegan and Sara, Band of Horses, Iron & Wine, Sky Ferreira, tUnE-yArDs, Phosphorescent, and many more.
Firefly will be held June 19th to 22nd at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Get tickets now through the festival’s website. Check there or watch the announcement video below for info and the full lineup.
Here on BandAids, we’ll explore ideas, innovations and inspirations in band promotion. Making killer tunes is only half the battle; in order to find and keep fans, you need to think of yourself as (cringe) a brand and put some thought into marketing yourself!
By day, twenty-something Bostonian Erica Truncale manages events at a university, but by night she masquerades as Boston Merch Girl, slinging swag for many local and national acts in clubs all over the city and beyond”and she has become the go-to girl for Boston acts who need a hand with sales at their shows. We hit her up for some insider tips on what works and what doesn’t behind the merch table. Read on!
OS: So how did you become Boston Merch Girl? What exactly is your role?
BMG: I started doing merch when I was asked/offered to do it for some friends’ local bands. My boyfriend had been doing it for a couple of bands, and I took over his role when he took on other responsibilites. It sort of snowballed from there. Other bands alongside our merch would ask if I would do theirs, and I decided this was definitely a niche that no one was filling. My role is to be the support a band needs so they can focus on what they’re really there to do”play music. I arrange/inventory/sell merch, circulate mailing lists, answer fan or venue staff questions…things the musicians shouldn’t have to worry about”they should be focused on their music and gear.
OS: What is it that you do so well that makes all the bands want you?
BMG: I strive to provide a peace of mind, and like to think that’s what has bands reaching out to me again. Merch/fan interactions/mailing lists are really important to bands creating and maintaining relationships with a fan base, but there’s not always time to dedicate to that. I do my best to represent the band during a live show while they’re soundchecking, playing, breaking down”you know, the stuff musicians are supposed to be doing.
Sub Pop became famous as the breeding ground for the early-90s alt-rock revolution, home to the biggest bands of the grunge-era bands. Music changed fast, though, and Sub Pop struggled near the end of the decade to find their footing again, with WEA (Warner Elektra Atlantic) taking a substantial minority stake and making some cross-label promotional deals that didn’t seem like a bad idea, but didn’t really help Sub Pop’s long-term creative prospects. All that changed around the turn of the millennium, with a new generation of talent forging original and somehow familiar sounds. There have been many quality releases by the label since 2000, but these are some of the very best. I’ve combined multiple releases in some cases, and left off others when they didn’t quite hit the heights.
10. Band of Horses “ Everything All The Time (2006) / Cease To Begin (2007)
A slightly more grounded My Morning Jacket or more spacey Built To Spill”either way, nothing to change the world, but really nice vibe-y, hook-filled, atmospheric rock songs with restrained country influences. Now doesn’t that sound good?
Forget about dog years. Bands years are even more unforgiving. Ten of them can seem like one hundred when a group is constantly out on the road or in the studio. Luckily, the rigors of touring life haven’t dampened the spirits of Seattle-based indie rockers Minus The Bear. After writing songs all summer for the follow up to last year’s Omni, they’re embarking on a national tour to celebrate their tenth anniversary this fall. We sat down with bassist Cory Murchy to discuss the band’s favorite Seattle venues, their predilection toward remixes and what it’s like to look back on ten years of hard work.
OS: This fall you guys are playing your 10 Year Anniversary Tour. Where did you think the band would be in ten years when you began playing together?
CM: You know, when we first started playing I don’t think we had a vision far outside of just having it be something that we did as a side project. We were all in bands before and had bands going on at that time. But I will say that once we started writing songs and did get a little more serious we just wanted to do this as long as we possibly could and let the band run its course. We’ve been stoked that it’s taken us ten years so far.
OS: How do you look back on some of the earliest Minus The Bear songs, like those on Highly Refined Pirates?
CM: It’s always fun to revisit them and listen to the records all in sequence to check out where we were musically. For us, they’re little time capsules as far as what was going on at that time. Maybe it doesn’t even have to do with the song, but certain songs can remind us of certain places in our lives, which is cool. It’s kind of a retrospective of our lives. It’s neat to have that sort of marker.
Let’s just get this out of the way first: French Cassettes are a young band. As in “fresh out of high school, not that much older than Justin Bieber” young. And, because they’re nascent, there are some elements of the music you’ll have to overlook. First and foremost, the production quality of their recordings. It’s bad. Secondly, the looseness of their playing. Not much is locked in-step or a tempo. If you can get past those two things, there’s plenty to like about French Cassettes. They’ve got a keen sense of melody, a lot of ideas and ” as they say in the biz ” moxie. Singer Scott Huerta’s plaintive voice, reminiscent of Ben Bridwell from Band of Horses, is the most fully-developed instrument of the group, and leads the ramshackle pack through ska (See the herky-jerky Hands), Latin music (See the overwrought, fiesta-gone-wild Cantina) and indie rock (See the winsome and charming Seahorse”). Give these guys a couple years to perfect their technique and watch the indie pundits rave.
OK Go debut another expertly timed music video
On Monday OK Go debuted their video for This Too Shall Pass, and reaffirmed their status as music’s most synchronized video stars. This time around, they joined forces with Synn Labs in Los Angeles to build a large-scale chain-reaction machine to serve as the focal point of the video. The results include lots of funny, bizarre and often poetic effects, not to mention some pretty badass paintball action. Check it out here.
Kanye’s got a new blog
Well Kanye West is back at blogging, and his newly redesigned site has made his all-caps-stream-of-consciousness rants at least 10 font sizes larger. In this edition, Kanye laments the passing of Alexander McQueen and his mother, muses about the ancient Egyptians being robbed of their MTV awards and still finds space to remind us all that he is brilliant and sometimes his genius makes him cry. That and the booze. Read all about it here.
Mini Lady Gaga and mini Ke$ha prompt the question, What’s wrong with kids these days?
What makes you fear the future more “ a small child pretending to brush her teeth with a bottle of Jack to Ke$ha’s Tik Tok or a small child crawling pants-less across the stage to Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance? We’ll let you decide. We have to go lie down.
- Bruce Willis stars in Gorillaz video
- Lil Wayne jail sentence postponed (again)
- Kelly Rowland and Michael Bublé cover the Bee Gees
- Gang Starr rapper emerges from coma
- Pavement reunion tour is under way
- Band of Horses announce new album
- LCD Soundsystem frontman scores Noah Baumbach flick
- New Black Keys album