Tagged: Spring Standards

THE SPRING STANDARDS: MY NEW MUSICAL STANDARD FOR 2009

  So, to follow up on my tease from yesterday (here is the link if it’s too much trouble to just go down an entry) … here is my “pick to click” to (hopefully) liven up the often bleak musical landscape for 2009 … may I present to you …

 The Spring Standards …

Little Better Spring Standards DC9.jpgwho you can check out and listen to at their MySpace page! 

  Meet the amazing Heather Robb … (pictured below on the left in festive green sparkly sweater and I can’t figure out why her picture isn’t as big as the guys, nothing personal!) …

 … James Smith … we call him “Dark James” to differentiate him from …

 … James Cleare  … aka “Red James” to us …

… “we” being me, my daughter Dana who adores them, and my honorary daughter Tricia who has come with us to the three shows we’ve seen here in the DC area since August …

 
Little SS Heather 1.jpgDana, who is at college in Boston now, has seen them four times since she also got to see them at Berklee’s CafĂ© 939 about two weeks after she started school, a nice welcome.

  So right before Dana left for school in late August, we went to see one of my old favorite bands, Squeeze, at the legendary 930 Club in DC (one of our favorite music clubs for many reasons, not the least of which was the amazing willingness of their terrific booker, Lisa White, to take a chance on Dana’s former band to play there twice, opening for Flogging Molly and then Rooney).

Little SS Dark James 2.jpg  We’d never heard of the opening act, but we knew that BEING an opener for a big-name act was a huge opportunity for a group to make a few fans, get heard, and get exposure so we always go in with an open mind. Much of the time we leave unimpressed but try to be respectful.

  So with our Squeeze-spots right at the balcony over the stage established, we settled in as the three members of The Spring Standards took the stage that night and launched into their opening number
Little SS Red James 2.jpg“Your Lie”   

It took, oh, maybe a grand total of 10 seconds before Dana and I looked at each other with our jaws slightly unhinged and eyes open wide (in a good way, even if that sounds ugly). I’d loosely sum up their style as alt-indie-country-folk but I couldn’t put them into a musical box nor would I want to.

  We were in total and immediate musical love. These guys (guys and gal, but we use the more generic “you guys”) were the whole package. They could sing. They could harmonize and blend. They could play their instruments (lots of instruments) … and their material was awesome.

  They are equally adept at upbeat songs you can’t help but dance to and gorgeous heart-stopping ballads 

  They got their big national media debut in late August on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” which we all waited up for instead of TiVo-ing it … you have no idea how big that is in our house, to actually WATCH SOMETHING WHEN IT’S ON!

  One of the coolest things about their musicianship/set-up was that they shared the front of the stage with their drumset split into three parts and all contributed to the percussion section. And their chemistry and stage presence was, on a baseball scout chart, an 8 (that’s as high as it gets). They were totally comfortable and funny and witty …

  They were, frankly, the closest thing we’ve seen to a band that could compare to our beloved Moxy Fruvous in all areas since the Canadian quartet disbanded in 2001.

  And here’s something funny … I took a chance on Saturday night after being blown away by them yet again at DC9 (great club, by the way, and great burgers) and while they were loading out (yes, they are their own roadies), I asked James Smith if by chance they’d ever heard Fruvous.

  Turns out they are HUGE fans (Heather was the enabler in this case) and he said that “Gulf War Song” was one of his favorite songs ever (ditto!). Somehow, while I am usually shocked to find out that anyone else has ever heard of Moxy Fruvous, this didn’t surprise me.

  I have been listening to their fantastic EP “No One Will Know” nonstop and never get sick of it, and cannot wait for their full-length CD, due sometime early-mid 2009 (hopefully early rather than mid-).

  You can buy the EP, check out tour dates, and learn all there is to learn about The Spring Standards here

  Anyway, no doubt about it, The Spring Standards were my most wonderful musical discovery for 2008 and I am hoping that 2009 will be the year that EVERYONE WILL KNOW about The Spring Standards.

 

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AMERICA’S GOT ZOOPY TALENT

I confess I do not watch “America’s Got Talent,” which airs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays on NBC TV … but I may have to start now.

That’s because the Top 40 finalist that is taking the country by storm is a longtime favorite of Gotmilb? and hundreds of thousands of Minor League Baseball fans across the country …

THE ZOOPERSTARS have not only made it to the Top 40, they are the FEATURED finalist on the the show’s website … and it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of guys!

I had the supreme pleasure, back in 2002, of spending a few days with the brothers Latkovski (Dom and Brennan) in Philadephia, where they were part of the Phillie Phanatic’s Cinco de Mayo’s Birthday Celebration, and a few days later in Reading, Pa., where I had the amazing experience of being a ZOOPERSTAR for a day (I was Tiger Woodschuck, who is front and center in the AGT act).

Blog Dana and Brennan prepping for Zoops.jpgIn fact, my daughter Dana got into the act as well, as the annoying kid who gets eaten by one of the Zoops in the “Eat It” routine (usually it’s Clammy Sosa, but that night it was Mackerel Jordan). In these pictures Brennan is giving Dana the rundown on how quickly she needs to climb into Mackerel mouth, pull off the oversized sneakers and throw them out onto the field, and Dana and her friend Sarah pose with the oversized glasses of the original ZOOPERSTAR figure, Harry Blog Dana and Sarah in Harry Canary's glasses Reading 2002.jpgCanary (the brainchild of Dom and Brennan’s dad). I realize that these reality TV shows have all sorts of non-disclosure rules but DAMN, I wish Brennan had told me about this when I saw him in Chicago last month at the Road to Wrigley game. In the meantime, all I can do is ask everyone to vote vote vote early and often for the ZOOPERSTARS!!!

Oh, and as long as I am urging people to turn on the TV and watch awesome and amazing talent being discovered on a national basis, I HAVE to give a plug here for one of my new favorite bands, THE SPRING STANDARDS who will be on Conan O’Brien FRIDAY NIGHT/SATURDAY MORNING Aug. 29-30. We saw them open for longtime favorite Squeeze last week at the 930 Club here in DC and they were the best act I’d never seen before (if that doesn’t make sense, what I mean is of all the bands I’ve seen in concert as openers or co-headliners or whatevers to the bands I was there to see, The Spring Standards are absolutely my favorite new discovery). They’re going to be huge so get in on the love train early.