weekend curfew

Tell Us Tim
November 4, 2008, 2:09 pm
Filed under: Concert Report | Tags: , , ,

It’s election day! I’m posting from rainy Florence, Italy–absentee ballot already cast–but make the effort into get out to the polls and vote. Every election is a big election, so get out and let your voice be heard.

Gretel Troung

Photo by: Gretel Troung

In other news, about a week and a half ago I had the pleasure of going out and seeing Tim Be Told play at Ebenezers Coffee House in Washington, DC. The rock/jazz/soul quintet gave their fans a healthy dose of a feel good buzz to take with them on a Friday night. Playing to a packed house just blocks away from the National Mall, Tim Be Told lit up faces and enlightened ears with favorites like “Collison” and “Gravity’s Hold” from their debut album, Getting By. The band–Tim Ouyang (vocals/keys), Luan Nguyen (guitar/vocals), Andrew Chae (guitar), Jim Barredo (drums) and Parker Stanley (bass)–even slowed things down with an acoustic intermission, treating the crowd with covers and less frequently played material. They held nothing back, also showcasing tracks from their upcoming record. It was definitely a fun show, and hanging out with the guys after the show–it was business as usual with plenty of jokes and shenanigans. Check out this video below, or watch it on their blog for a glimpse of what I’m talking about.

Tim Be Told has just announced the launch of the TBTStore. The online store features band merchandise such as CDs, shirts and posters. In fact, the band has an exclusive, limited time offer:

We are announcing the launch of the TBTStore at www.tbtstore.com (or www.timbetold.com/store ) !  Come check it out. Until Dec. 1st, you’ll be able to buy a shirt/autographed CD package at a special price!

Be sure to browse through the band’s webstore and be sure to check their website for updates. Also have a peek at their newly revamped myspace page, and feel free to listen to their music whenever you can. Finally, if you can, go see them at Marymount University in Arlington, VA tomorrow, Nov 5. Ciao.



Just less than two weeks ago I was able to catch Sparky’s Flaw at Jammin’ Java, one night following the Danger Radio/Farewell/nevershoutnever show I reviewed in the last post. I’ve followed this band loosely over the past several years at the University of Virginia. They’ve built quite a fanbase in their hometown of Charlottesville, VA and have begun touring since signing with Mercury Records last year.

The band has seen many lineup changes since I first discovered them in 2004, and who knows how many before then. Currently, Sparky’s Flaw is comprised of Will Anderson on vocals/guitar/keys, Johnny Stubblefield on drums, Alex Hargrave on bass, Kit French on sax/keys/synth, and Nate McFarland handling lead guitar. Major label stardom hasn’t hit quite yet, but these guys have their share of devoted fans. The gathered crowd of mostly teen and tweenage girls had no reservations singing the words back to frontman Anderson. The headliners played tracks off their latest release, Sparky’s Flaw EP, which can be streamed from the band’s website and on sale on iTunes.

Despite the fact that I’ve known about them for years, this was the first time I watched them play an entire set. Sparky’s Flaw did not dissapoint. They have a great, radio-friendly sound. Drawing from the bias of my own collection, I’d compare them to a mix of The Rocket Summer with a bit of Dashboard Confessional, all without the whining. Anderson’s voice rings with a unique clarity that melts into the piano/sax/rock sound. Now if only a member of the band had been on the Disney Channel, then Sparky’s Flaw would be selling out arenas across the world.

Even though this was my first full Sparky’s Flaw experience, I’m no stranger to at least some of the band members. I remember seeing the band with six or seven or even more members, complete with various faces and horns. I worked on a film earlier this year featuring music from McFarland’s solo side project, The Nightdrivers. However, I first heard of Nate as a member of the band Deep Space Romance, whose drummer was none other than Sparky’s Flaw tour manager Luke Rabin. The history lesson continues as I’ve seen both Nate and Will in concert, but as members of the University of Virginia a cappella group, the Virginia Gentlemen. This influence can be seen in this video, a personal favorite, featuring a live performance of the unreleased track “Losing Sleep.”

Sparky’s Flaw has released dates for acoustic shows on their myspace, so definitely try and catch them out on the road. For the DC/Northern Virginia area, they’ll be back at Jammin’ Java on November 10. I’ll be there. Won’t you join me?


On Tuesday evening I had the opportunity to check out the Make Like a Leaf and Fall Tour 2008 at Jammin’ Java in Vienna, VA. This show featured Photo Finish RecordsDanger Radio as the headliner with support from Farewell, nevershoutnever, Red Car Wire, and other local acts. Upon arrival, I was surprised to find that the cafe/venue was at capacity, leaving me to wait outside and eventually in the rain.

By the time I actually got in, Joplin, MO’s own Christofer Drew was mid-set. This 17 year-old one-man act has garnered heavy attention online, earning himself internet fame as one of the top unsigned artists today and since the release of The Yippee EP, Drew has appeared on MTV’s TRL. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical before I saw the kid play. I wasn’t sold on his haircut alone, but man, he’s has some talent. He’s got a mean set of pipes and has a knack for songwriting. As seen in the linked video, he can surely hit the high notes and has developed a strong following, arguably drawing the biggest crowd that night. I’ll be very interested to see what this kid is able to do beyond standing alone on a stage with an acoustic guitar and also how his songs translate to a full electric band. Until then, the kid is so fresh out of homeroom that he even referred to a past period of time as “tennis season.”

Next up were Greenboro’s Farewell. The hard hitting synth-pop-rock sextet rocked the stage to an unfortunately lackluster crowd. Emerging from a recent lineup change, the guys delivered a full-on energetic, chest pumping performance. Memorable moments included a couple fans stomping around on stage with bassist Buddy Bell, and frontman Marshall Davis belting lyrics until his face was red with asphyxia. Playing tracks off their Epitaph debut Isn’t this Supposed to be Fun!? Farewell sounded like a well rehearsed, headline worthy act. Though this was the first time I had seen Farewell live, I’ve been following the band for about a year and can’t wait to see them play again–whether it’s on MTV or on their own national headlining tour.

The headliners were Danger Radio. I didn’t stick around to watch their full set. However, I have seen them before, supporting Cute Is What We Aim For. I don’t know know if it was the small venue or the flu going around or what, but frontman Andrew De Torres was not at the top of his game, missing notes. I’m sure the band won’t let my words get them down, from the last time I know that their sound is quite infectious and inspires many a dance party.

Anyway, this marks another time when I had to go to a concert by myself. Sad, yes I know. I just don’t have that many friends with similar music tastes in the area. Next post will be about another lonely show, featuring Sparky’s Flaw.