'Trying to stir up some notice'
The recent broadsides directed at major labels -- including his own -- from Trent Reznor certainly resonate with Jets Overhead. The Nine Inch Nails frontman said that if he had it his way, he would circumvent "bureaucratic and clumsy and ignorant" companies and simply release his next album on the Internet and have fans buy it (digitally or physically) via PayPal -- a tack the Canadian quintet has taken from the beginning.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday June 01, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 39 words Type of Material: Correction
Buzz Bands: The names of two members of the band Sunday Drivers were incorrect in the Buzz Bands column in Thursday's Calendar Weekend. The group's singer-guitarist is Brady Erickson (not Harrison). And the drummer is Bryan (not Brian) Zaebst.
"We are definitely on the pro-distribution-via-the-Internet boat," singer-guitarist Adam Kittredge says, citing the same issues Reznor hit upon, including building trust with fans. "Even with this current tour push, we're not going the hard-copy-in-stores route. We're just trying to stir up some notice."
The band's lush, driving rock, the bristling, slightly psychedelic offspring of the likes of Radiohead and Pink Floyd, has done that, on a small scale. A debut EP three years ago gained the band a little traction (including being touted by KCRW-FM's Nic Harcourt); then last year's "Bridges" sent a flurry of fans to www.jetsoverhead.com, where you can download the band's entire catalog -- free, if you like. Of course, Kittredge and bandmates Antonia Freybe-Smith, Jocelyn Greenwood, Luke Renshaw and Piers Henwood ask that you make a modest PayPal donation if you like the music; after all, it does help them pay the bills in Victoria, Canada.
The band's dates Tuesday and Wednesday at the Viper Room mark its first trip to L.A. in more than two years.
A Front moves into the region
Michael Bauer acknowledges his move from St. Louis to Los Angeles two years ago influenced his music. Not that he's writing paeans to palm trees, or waxing on the glitterati -- the pulsing, seething music on "Smiles & Handshakes," the debut of his three-piece the Front, knows no geography.
"It was more just the scene, the community, the people who introduced me to other kinds of music.... It helped me make what I was doing become more palatable," says the Front's frontman.
"Before, I was just kind of listening to Radiohead's 'Kid A' all the time, thinking that the way to stay interesting was to play dissonant chords."
The emotional dissonance remains, along with the kind of guitar squalor you'd expect from a band that gets compared to Fugazi. It's an agit-rock earful, and Bauer credits the studio wizardry of Mathias Schneeberger (Twilight Singers, Queens of the Stone Age, Great Northern) for bringing it all together.
"He was a magician," Bauer says. "We'd step out of the studio for lunch and when we got back there'd be Rhodes piano and another guitar track. We're pleased everything worked out so quickly."
Bauer and bandmates Kelly Kutasy (drums) and Nico Woolley (bass) celebrate their self-released album with a show Wednesday at the Troubadour.
They drive by intuition
The chemistry that the members of Sunday Drivers felt when they first got together manifests itself in the L.A. trio's churning synth-rock -- though not necessarily in the day-to-day details of running a rock band.
"From the beginning there was kind of an intuitive agreement about what the band would sound like," singer-guitarist Brady Harrison says. "Oh, we'll bicker about what time to rehearse and things like that, but nobody ever says, 'No, this is the direction we should be taking.' "
The path laid out on Sunday Drivers' new "Archetypes" EP is '80s-influenced and seemingly radio-ready -- maybe the Bravery if you thought they meant it, or a sportier, compact version of the Killers. Harrison met Marisa Dupuis on a double date ("Not a very rock 'n' roll way to meet," he says and laughs) and had attended art school (Otis) with drummer Bryan Zaebst.
"I come from kind of a punk perspective, Marisa is a fan of jangly indie pop and Brian is all about big drums and big rhythms," Harrison says. "We've jelled really well."
Sunday Drivers open for the Front on Wednesday at the Troubadour.
* Touts: A busy concert week starts with the Hold Steady playing a sold-out El Rey Theatre tonight.... Texas psych-rockers the Black Angels play the Troubadour on Friday, while Autolux rocks the monthly First Fridays party at the Natural History Museum.... Singer-songwriter Coby Brown performs Saturday at the Hotel Cafe.... At the Roxy, the Colour plays on Friday and Louis XIV emerges from recording sessions to play Saturday.... And the Aggrolites appear Tuesday at the House of Blues and Wednesday at the Galaxy.
More photos, downloads: latimes.com/buzzbands.
* Download Jets Overhead music at www.jetsoverhead.com.
* Download "Social Bat" at www.myspace.com/thefrontiscoming.
* Stream "The Sweetest Disguise" at www.myspace.com/sundaydrivers.
* Stream "Swim for Shore" at www.myspace.com/cobybrown.