You probably don’t know the name All Smiles yet unless you’re a die-hard Granddaddy fan, but that’s the name of ex-Granddaddy guitarist Jim Fairchild’s new band. All Smiles’ debut, Ten Readings of a Warning, hit stores last week and Granddaddy fans shouldn’t be terribly surprised by the music Fairchild creates – quirky pop with a Flaming Lips influence.
You’ve got dozens, if not hundreds, of CDs and there are bound to be a few in the collection that you’ll never stop listening to by bands that put out one or two great records and then just vanished. Poof. Gone. Of course there are millions of reasons bands break up – from losing record deals to bad drug habits to financial instability – but that doesn’t mean these bands are forgotten about. The internet has made it easier to track down members of bands that you once liked. For instance, Seaweed’s lead singer Aaron Stauffer is now fronting The Blue Dot; Miles, former guitarist for For Love Not Lisa, is now in The Echo Division; ex-Best Kissers in the World singer Gerald Collier has been putting out solo albums since BKITW’s demise (though when they came to an end is still a mystery).
But for all of the bands whose members you can track down – and who are still involved in the music biz – there are musicians that have either completely gotten out of music, have started new bands but haven’t made themselves easy to find, or have just fallen off the face of the earth.
So, here’s a list of bands that I at one time really enjoyed that only released an album or two and then were never heard from again.
- Fretblanket – Brit-rock band that owed a bit to both Nirvana and Blur. After two albums, and one semi-successful video (“Into the Ocean”), Fretblanket was done.
- April’s Motel Room – Okay, so these guys probably appealed to a more mainstream/frat crowd than I associated with while in college, but I really dug at least one song (“California” – check it out on the MySpace page).
- Seed – Okay, I actually found out what happened to the guys in this band – Gabriel Ordonez (singer/guitarist) is in Billion Stars; Chad Salls (singer/bass) is performing as a solo artist; Dean Truitt (guitar) has played with a few bands since Seed’s breakup and also does some music writing for various magazines; and Kyle Schneider (drums) is currently playing in O:A.
- Dig – After a lengthy hiatus, Scott Hackwith and Johnny Cornwell, and Jon Morris reunited and have been supposedly working on a new Dig album.
This list could go on and on and as I come across bands that I thought were long-lost but that I’ve been able to find, I’ll post updates.
So, the question of the week that I’d like YOU to answer: What band did you love that has fallen off the face of the earth?
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, says UK rockers The Crimea who, on May 13, will offer up their sophomore album, Secrets of the Witching Hour, to download for FREE. They aren’t the first band to take this approach (one of my personal favorites, Bel Auburn, did the same thing last year … but they certainly weren’t the first to do it), but The Crimea may be the most well-known band in recent memory to just give away their music.
Here’s what the band says on their website:
Let’s cut to the chase here, our second album, Secrets Of The Witching Hour, will be available from May 13. What’s more, it will be available for free, for ever, for you, from a secret location on the web that we’re currently working on. And you read that right, by the way. It’s free, folks. Free as a bird, Free as that dodgy band that sang ‘Alright Now’, free as something you have to pay nothing, zip, nada, rien for. And it’s amazing. So good. So much blood, sweat and tears, but so, so good. You’ll shit yourselves. And that’s a guarantee.
Eagle-eyed observers of the shop may also see that you can also buy the album. This is for those of you who like something solid in your hands from time to time. And who can blame you. It’s a shiny disc, with full artwork, lovingly crafted by our very own J. Udwin. It’s the option for traditionalists, for purists for people who need something a little more… well… round. It’s available for pre-order now, with delivery guaranteed on or before the 13th.
It’ll be VERY interesting to see how this thing plays out.
Now in season two, the Virgin Festival brings together some of the biggest names of the past, present, and future for 2 days of glorious rock and roll out on a horse race track. The two headliners that were initially announced were The Police and The Smashing Pumpkins. Those two alone were enough to inspire some excitement but now that the 2-day lineup has been disclosed, well, it’s hard to believe that this thing won’t sell out.
August 4 lineup
- The Police
- The Beastie Boys
- Modest Mouse
- Peter Bjorn and John
- Sasha and John Digweed
- The Fratellis
- Amy Winehouse
- LCD Soundsystem
- Ben Harper
- TV on the Radio
- Sander Van Doorn
- Shout Out Out Out Out
- Cheap Trick
- Felix da Housecat
- Paolo Nutini
- Booka Shade
- Miguel Migs
- Fountains of Wayne
- Fiction Plane
- Danny Tenaglia
August 5 lineup
- The Smashing Pumpkins
- Yeah Yeah Yeahs
- The Crystal Method
- Bad Brains
- Deep Dish
- Velvet Revolver
- Regina Spektor
- Wu-Tang Clan
- Dieselboy and Andy C
- Chris Cornell
- Infected Mushroom
- Girl Talk
- James Zabiela
Tickets go on sale on May 5. Two-day passes are $175 while single-day tickets will set you back $97.50 (that is, if they don’t sell all of the two-day passes in which case the single-day tickets will not be put up for sale).
Anybody affiliated with the festival want to give me a press pass?
Last year I was part of a mix CD club along with 11 other people. The rules were simple. Every month, one of the people in the club would send a mix CD out to the other 11. That way, every month, everyone in the club got a new mix CD in the mail. One of the songs I put on my mix was Minus the Bear’s “The Game Needed Me,” the first track from 2005’s Menos el Oso, because it reminded me of the Dismemberment Plan.Â Of the 19 tracks on my mix, this is the one that the rest of the club seemed to dislike the most, much to my surprise.
Minus the Bear has a new album coming out in August on Suicide Squeeze records and have posted a new song to give people a sample of what’s in store. While “Dr. L’ Ling” doesn’t remind me of the Dismemberment Plan, I’m digging the song all the same. Give it a listen and let me know what you think of it.
DOWNLOAD: “Dr. L’ Ling”Â
The band has a load of tour dates this spring to preview tracks from the new CD and undoubtedly a full tour to support the new release will take place this fall.