weekend curfew


Curfew Microupdate 04/07/2009

In this flash of an update, The Downtown Fiction is playing a SOLD OUT show at Jammin’ Java this Friday, April 10. They’ll be supported by Parachute, along with The Goodnight Anthem, which should be one star studded event. In need of tickets? Maybe you could try MySpace or Craigslist or something.

Check out AbsolutePunk.net for a good stream of music news, including today’s releases. Also check out SupJustin.com for new music, releases, interviews, tours…basically anything you could ever want. I don’t know who he is, but he has some awesome job that lets him follow bands and do cool things. Of late, he’s reported on new Taking Back Sunday and The Secret Handshake, nevershoutnever’s upcoming EP, an interview with Hit The Lights, and even Hey Monday’s new video–which I admit isn’t bad, though I would’ve liked it better when I was in high school.

Meanwhile, I’m not sure what’s more exciting between Blink-182 getting back together, new music from Taking Back Sunday, or Brand New. Here’s a new one from Brand New, “Gasoline” (different than the links above, you should click those too).

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Facts and Fiction

The Downtown Fiction w/Parachute & The Goodnight Anthem @ Jammin' Java 4/10The Daily Chorus has reported that Fairfax,VA’s The Downtown Fiction has been causing quite the stir as of late. Their self-titled EP debuted on iTunes’ top 30 albums of last week. And if you thought that things couldn’t get any sweeter for the local trio, TDF also debuted at #93 on the Billboard HeatSeeker chart. I admittedly have no idea what  it takes to get on the Billboard HeatSeeker chart, but I assume that its quite an acheivement. The band, comprised of Cameron Leahy on guitar/vocals, David Pavluk on bass/vocals, and Eric Jones on drums/samples, will make their next local appearance at Jammin’ Java in Fairfax with Parachute (ex-Sparky’s Flaw, Parachute VA) and The Goodnight Anthem. I got a chance to meet Pavluk last year at Jammin Java where he worked and also performed with his former band, The Midnight Appointment. I wish him and his band the best, and hopefully I’ll be able to see them when they’re in town.

In other news, I was able to catch Tim Be Told when they played at Ebenezer’s Coffee House in DC. It was a great show and fun to watch. If anyone has heard that they may be changing their name to either Luan Be Told or Jim Be Told, that’s completely untrue.

Finally, look out for new releases next Tuesday, March17. St. Patrick’s Day album drops include Where Are You Now by This Providence, I Am The Hint by The Hint, and When I Hit The Ground by Ace Enders & a Million Different People. I’ve been looking forward to This Providence’s new album since the release of The Bright Lights EP in October 2008, and I’ve been a fan of Ace Enders since The Early November‘s beginnings. Justin Goldberg of SupJustin.com had some good words for Ace’s latest effort on his Twitter account.



Drop It Like It’s March

Not Without a FightNow that March is here, let’s look ahead to some highly anticipated albums that will be dropping this month. New Found Glory is set to release their sixth studio album, Not Without a Fight, on March 10. But if you’re like me and count all of NFG’s EPs and things like From the Screen to Your Stereo 1 & 2, than it’s really their 17th or so album. This will be the Coral Springs, FL easycore outfit’s first release on Epitaph Records since signing with the label last September. New Found Glory set the stage for pop-punk/emo rock music earlier in the decade as part of a heavily touted Drive-Thru Records lineup that also included the likes of Finch, Something Corporate, as well as The Starting Line. Currently finishing their tour of Japan, the band will return to the States shortly and begin touring the US with Bayside, Set Your Goals and Shai Hulud. NFG is also scheduled to appear at this year’s Bamboozle in May before a short stint of European shows.

Who Are You Now?Fueled By Ramen’s This Providence will release their sophomore effort, titled Who Are You Now? on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. This album follows the release of The Bright Lights EP back in October of last year. The quartet, fighting out of Seattle, WA, are currently on the Snakes & Suits Acoustic Tour in support of The Academy Is… with Evan Taubenfeld. Following Snakes & Suits, This Providence will slither into Washington, DC next on April 24 with Copeland, Paper Route and Brooke Waggoner. Check out the new single, “Letdown,” on TP’s MySpace.

Finally in other news, the band that was formerly known as Sparky’s Flaw is now formerly known as Parachute VA. The band confirmed via Twitter that they have indeed dropped the VA from their moniker, and are now simply, Parachute.  The band cites legal reasons for originally including the VA in their name.



New Year, New Name
January 2, 2009, 6:37 pm
Filed under: Bands | Tags: , , , , ,

2009 brought a major change for one Virginia band. Charlottesville’s Sparky’s Flaw has officially changed their name to Parachute VA. Parachute VA is currently signed under Mercury/Island/DefJam.PVA myspace Their old website url redirects you to the new Parachute VA Myspace page, which despite lacking any bells & whistles, looks pretty sharp and features a pair of new/revamped tracks.

Most recently, the guys helped bring in ’09 with a performance in Times Square on New Years Eve. Being in the image consulting industry myself (really, I have a day job), I only have positive things to say about the name change. Good luck to Will, Johnny, Alex, Kit and Nate in 2009.



Flawless

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?



The Glass Listener

Depending on what time zone you’re in, and whether or not you’re on a G5 like some of my friends, Jack’s Mannequin’s latest album, The Glass Passenger , was released yesterday (or two days ago). I just received my copy today from smartpunk.com, complete with poster, dvd, and bonus track.

I was able to listen to the album yesterday by streaming it from altpress.com, and all I can say is that this is a strong album. True to what I’ve read in interviews, tracks from the record like “American Love” bring older bands to mind, such as Fleetwood Mac. The sound, also evident in both “Crashin” and “Spinning,” is a refreshing change of pace in today’s world of pop and rock, but definitely pays homage to a genre that influenced frontman Andrew McMahon.

The record’s first single, “The Resolution,” is by far the best song on the record. The resounding track obviously revisits McMahon’s 2005 leukemia diagnosis and reminds me of my two favorite songs from Everything in Transit, “Dark Blue” and “The Mixed Tape.” The rest of the album is a chip off the ol’ Jack’s Mannequin block. Unlike many similar acts, Jack’s Mannequin’s sophomore effort won’t need any time to grow on you. Definitely go out and acquire this CD and, if you can, try to listen to the bonus track “Miss California,” another true gem.

Also check out the music video for “The Resolution.” It was directed by the lady who authored the Twilight series of books, which means nothing to me. Apparently they’re books about vampires and rivals Harry Potter in cult-like popularity.

Jack’s Mannequin visits the DC area on Nov. 20 at the 9:30 Club. Speaking of shows, Tuesday night I went to see Farewell, Danger Radio, and nevershoutnever and tonight I just got back from seeing the guys in Sparky’s Flaw. Posts recapping those shows are coming soon. I’ve decided to cancel the final leg of my three day tour (The Rocket Summer, Phantom Planet, The Secret Handshake) to recoup from this apparent cold and to watch the Vice Presidential Debate.

Have you been able to listen to The Glass Passenger yet? What do you think? Do you think Gov. Sarah Palin is going to make a fool of herself at the debate? Do tell.