Colour them red, white and blue
Forget the spelling. The Colour is not British; nor is the by-the-bootstraps quintet, whose roots are in Orange County, suffering from any weird strain of Anglophilia. "We're definitely an American band," singer Wyatt Hull says, "but we do believe in music that has international appeal."
That appeal helped Hull and band mates Luke MacMaster, Davey Quon, Nathan Warkentin and Derek Huele earn some notice across the Atlantic. The release of a single on tiny London imprint Lizard King (early label home of the Killers) and some tireless touring helped the Colour land a deal with Virgin in Britain and EMI/Rethink in the U.S.
"We've found ourselves as a live act," Hull says of the progress the Colour has made in two years, as its sound gradually morphed from shaded '80s revivalism to classic rock-influenced swagger. "I think a lot of people who see us think we're a totally new band. But I think we're finally becoming the artists we were meant to be."
They've done so with a tight kinship, "living the gypsy lifestyle" on the road, Hull says, and sharing living quarters in the band's 900-square-foot studio in Whittier. After a Monday night residency at Spaceland ends this month, the Colour adjourns to Nashville for two months to record its debut album with Jacquire King, who has done studio work for Kings of Leon, Smash Mouth and Modest Mouse. "This record is probably overdue," Hull says, "but we've just worked with what we had from the beginning."
No idea what took so long, but the debut album by Scottish sextet Driveblind -- which first caught L.A.'s attention back in the summer of 2003, when they were signed to A&M -- will be released this spring.... Joshua Tree quartet Gram Rabbit have finished recording the follow-up to their 2004 debut album; the new collection is called "Cultivation," and is set for release in March.... Whitestarr's album will be released early next year on independent Contango Records; the Hollywood quintet plays at its home venue, the Roxy, on Friday and Saturday.
Touts: Three benefits hit the Hotel Cafe this weekend. Kid Lightning's third annual show for the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund lands on Friday, with Butch Walker, Joe Purdy and Nina Gordon among the performers. Then on Saturday and Sunday, two shows lend their proceeds to the L.A. Fire Department's Spark of Love Toy Drive. The Saturday lineup includes Chris Pierce, Jim Bianco and Cary Brothers; the Sunday roster offers Jay Nash, Sara Bareilles and Gabriel Mann, among others.... Also on Friday, the Joint hosts Breastfest to benefit the UCLA/Jonsson Cancer Center, with rockers Shocknina, Paperback Hero and Hands Down performing.... The She Wants Revenge show Monday at the Troubadour is sold out, but early arrivals should check out opener Rock Kills Kid.... Old-school punk quintet the Starvations plays its final show ever Friday night at El Cid.... On Monday at Tangier, Eleni Mandell gives a taste of what's coming on her sixth album.
Shouts: To Mark Gardener (and his harmonizers from the band Goldrush) for some sterling psych-pop Sunday at the Knitting Factory.... And to Lashes frontman Ben Clark, who wore an electronic scrolling text belt buckle on Friday at Spaceland: Cheesy does it, dude.
-- Kevin Bronson
* Stream the Colour's "Save Yourself" at www.thecolour.tv