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Demo Diaries A&R, 1999-2006, Part 6

In Canadian A&R, Demo Diaries, International A&R, U.S. A&R, UK A&R on November 5, 2006 at 7:45 pm

November 5-12, 2001

# Northern Ireland intelligent dance music act Lima has some new unfinished demos I snuck out of studios, two are acoustic. Something like Delerium, Everything But the Girl, Sundays, Sixpence. Listen:

# Dust2Dust

# Hymn To Her

# The Light

contact me at

# Unsigned/Indie Commercial Adds: Wheatland, Oklahoma’s Huver added to KDGE Dallas, former members of The Nixons, new demo by producer Steven Haigler (Fuel,Oleander,Local H), sounds almost like Lit, listen here:Lower

Email me at, I’ll patch you through to manager Travis Hill. San Francisco band Luce continues to impact radio: KFOG San Francisco, KRSH Santa Rosa CA, KBAC Santa Fe NM, WXPN Philadelphia, KTBG Kansas City MO. They will be on Aware 9 Compilation and on national TV spot for American Leather (Joe Schuld at Wetwerks added to WHRL Albany, C-Toe added to WLZR Milwaukee. Left Front Tire added to KWOD Sacramento and WDVT Cape Cod. Gladyss Patches added to WEDG Buffalo. Jack Johnson gets more adds at KAHA Honolulu, WAVF Charleston, KCNL San Jose. The Blank Theory (D Diaries 1/16/01) signed to New Line/Warner. Bleu (D Diaries 10/2/00) signed to Aware/Columbia.

October 29,2001

# Toledo, Ohio act Mad Mordigan did some demos for Columbia and one of them sounds like this (Puddle of Mudd meets Lit meets Deftones):”Staring at the Sun”
contact Chris Peters for more info,

Unsigned/Indie on Commercial Radio: 99X commercial radio in Atlanta adds Left Front Tire’s “Bring You Down” (off “American Pie” soundtrack). Universal/Republic has first rights of refusal etc. They still sound like Blink 182. WBBB Raleigh NC adds Far Too Jones. CFOX Vancouver adds By Divine Right. WPGU Champaign IL is spinning Absinthe Blind and Bottle of Justus. A.F.I. added again at WROX Norfolk VA. Jack Johnson on XTRA San Diego.

October 25,2001

# Scratching Post “Sorry for You”

# Ontario, Canada. Brand new demo produced by Chris and Drew Peters (of Sony Publ. act Six Clips). Veruca Salt meets Kittie. Manager Chip Ruggieri, Lawyer Matt Greenberg, Cloud 10 “The Sky is Falling”

# Northern Georgia/Atlanta. 17-20 year olds. I heard Capitol, Atlantic, Columbia, Arista, London-Sire etc. will see them play. Almost a little heavier than Smashing Pumpkins or Our Lady Peace. David Prasse, lawyer at Jeremiah Freed “Again”

Portland, Maine. The kids keep callin’ to hear them on the radio. Lifehouse meets Train. T.J. McNaboe at, manager and Mike McCoy lawyer. UPDATE: Signed to Republic/Universal in November 2001.

Where are all the young, hungry producers/engineers in NYC??? I need one to work with me on something right now. Preferably you have your own set-up/space (pro tools!? or….). Spec or moderate pay…depends on what you have going on. And I hope you’re one to know that the phrase “major label interest” plus a $1.50 will get you a cup of coffee. Email me at

News: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina act Echo 7 back in NYC this week to play for labels again. Who saw them already? Elektra, Warner Bros., Atlantic, J, Arista, RCA, Universal, MCA, Epic, Columbia, Sanctuary, TVT, Wind-up. Demo was done by Dust for Life producer Pete Matthews (lawyer Steve Sidman at, manager Terry White). justincase signing to Maverick (posted in Demo Diaries 16 months ago June 6,2000).

October 22,2001

# Missy Higgins “All for Believing”

# Melbourne, Australia. 18 years old. Was in regular rotation on Australian commercial Triple J. Signed to Eleven/EMI over there. I heard a few major U.S. labels are seriously pursuing her now. From what I’ve learned she’s not ready to hit the studio until sometime in 2002 because she’s going traveling in Europe. Reference points would be Alana Davis, Sarah McLachlan, Jewel, Tori. Contact would be John Watson at Downside “Recover”

# San Jose, California. Progressive sounding like Tool, melodic like Deftones. Negotiating with major label now after playing in front of Capitol, Interscope, Dreamworks, Columbia, Atlantic etc. Open to other offers. Jay Baumgardner will produce label debut. Band member Eric Victorino can patch you through to manager Dennis Rider, email Quench “Taught by Heroes”

# Charleston, South Carolina. Similar to Pressure 4-5, Deftones, Tool. Still on playlist at commercial WAVF. Alan Price at Lift 6 Eighteen “Compromise”

# Hampton Roads, Virginia. They’re like Godsmack, Drowning Pool. Contact Wide Awake “Better Than One”

# Marysville, Washington. They’re like Better Than Ezra, Semisonic, Matchbox 20 or maybe even U2 or Travis in the ballads. I have receipts here for cd manufacturer orders/re-orders, numbers add up to 15,244. So they must’ve sold a ton of cds out of their van. Non stop touring for a couple of years now. Contact would be Lott Shudde at Chomsky “Light”

# Dallas, Texas. They’re still on playlist at commercial KDGE and were on KKMR. Racked up 210 spins in past weeks. Weezer meets XTC. Contact is Erv Karwelis at Stripping the Pistol “I Think There’s Something Wrong”

# Chicago, Illinois. I posted them a long time ago. They picked up a new drummer, Joe Nunez from Soulfly. Now I hear they’re coming to NYC to showcase for a major label that’s into them. Also have a show 10/21 at Chicago’s Metro with Alone and Soil. Contact is Pete Tsiolis at Attention “What if Great”

Minneapolis, Minnesota. Home studio demo. Melodic pop rock sensibility. A band to keep an eye on. Steven Nearenberg at

Other artists added/regular rotation at commercial radio: Jeremiah Freed on WCYY Portland ME (#1 requested at station, T.J. McNaboe at A.F.I. is on KROQ LA, KEDJ Phoenix, KXRK Salt Lake City. Gene is on WBER Rochester NY. Jump Little Children on WSFM Wilmington NC. Headstones on CFNY Toronto. Smackradio and Omniblank on KMBY Monterey CA. Supermodel on WJNE Ocean City MD. Julian Fist on WQXA Harrisburg PA.

News: Burlap to Cashmere (formerly on A&M) will play a packed NYC Arlene Grocery show 11/7. Expected are RCA, Atlantic, Squint etc. They have sold 400,000+ worldwide (Diane Ernest 718-491-3474). Miami’s All Is Well is an electronic-rock outfit. I heard Epic flew them to NYC for a show. Evolution Talent Agency is now booking them. Show in Fort Lauderdale at Chili Pepper 10/27 (Mathew Beckerman at Also at Chili Pepper 10/27 is Jacksonville hardcore band Order by Chaos, reportedly Roadrunner, Elementree, Elektra, Maverick have been in touch with them (Mike Ciero at Premium to play Chicago’s Metro 11/11, Interscope scheduled to attend. Houston’s Faceplant to play NYC 11/8 at Acme Underground, RCA, Epic, Roadrunner, Warner Bros., Razor & Tie might be there. Another Man Down at NYC’s Mercury Lounge 10/22 8PM. Schatzi (D Diaries 1/16/01) is on Mammoth. The Szuters (D Diaries 5/15/00) are on Gold Circle.

October 15,2001

Watershed does a showcase at NYC’s Arlene Grocery Tuesday October 16 7PM. They sound like Replacements, Soul Asylum, American Hi-Fi, Cheap Trick. I’ll be there in my ugly green and black Structure jacket.

Sunfall Festival has offer but is looking elsewhere for healthier option. Producer Paul Fox (new Sixpence None The Richer, 10000 maniacs, Sugarcubes, XTC, Semisonic, Phish, Wallflowers) said he wants to produce next record. 3 demo MP3s below this entry. The songs represent their melodic pop sense and depth. Ultimately, a label record would fall in the vein of The Sundays, Frente and others mentioned above. Amy’s voice is precious. In the case that you love what you hear I’m the contact, Gary at

# Sunfall Festival “Victim”

# Sunfall Festival “Wah-Oh”

# Sunfall Festival “Someone’s Favorite Song”

December 9, 2001 Sampler (new songs added)

# Sound of Speed “Rear View”

# NYC. Big label execs and management pursuing band. They are of the Incubus, Puddle of Mudd variety. Nick Sciorra at Noelle “Up to You”

# Boston. 15 year old girl. Sounds like Liz Phair goes 1980s. Pete Galli at King Konga “100 Days”

# Mississippi. Good for TV-Film. Power ballad like Edwin McCain. Their single is added at WZPL Indianapolis and other small commercials. Randy Sadd at New Address “Lasting Words”

# Tallahassee, FL. This cut in particular is like Stereophonics meets Jayhawks. Name producers interested already. Rob Gilmore at The Used “The Taste of Ink”

# Sounds like Lit or Hoobastank with hardcore moments? Said to have had 6 label offers. Deal with Warner Bros pending. Bullets of Orange “Let Me Love You”

# Nashville. Smashing Pumpkins meet Jeff Buckley. David Park at Bully Pulpit “Six”

# NYC. Tough street rap from white guys. Signed to kingpin video producer Hype William’s production company. An interested Rick Rubin had flown them out to LA. Ray Maiello at Evil Engine #9 “Losing Control”

# Louisville KY. Deftones influences. Elektra, Roadrunner, Columbia , Lava all have demo. Scott Frazier at, lawyer is David Chidekel. Corey “Bleed for You”

# New York. Newer demo. Fuel goes garage. Andrew Bergman at Big Sky “Slow”

# Gainesville, FL. Compare this one to Train. They sell lots of records-24,000 I think. Eric Manin at Jibe “Yesterday’s Gone”

Dallas. Good for TV-Film. Was on some small commercial stations. Reminds me of The Cult. Monika Tashman at

News Item: Virginia’s Bailout said to have demo offer from Hollywood, Jim Anderson at

New in A&R, March 2002 (contact me if you care about these bands and I’ll fill you in,

First and foremost, something that I want to sign and that I love go to this link:

# Hudson River School “Don’t Keep Me Waiting”

# Salt Lake City. Jimmy Eat World meets Toad the Wet Sprocket Averi “In Tune”

# Boston. Almost 300 draw to live shows, CD produced by Mike Denneen (Howie Day). Sounds like Toad the Wet Sprocket, Live, Vertical Horizon. SomeOtherLife “Crush”

Orlando,FL. Produced by Rick Beato. Sounds like 3 Doors Down, Matchbox 20, Puddle of Mudd.

Highwater Rising “Wasted Days”. San Francisco. Some tracks produced by Eric Valentine (Third Eye Blind, Smash Mouth). Sounds like Counting Crows, The Wallflowers.

# Melodrome “Flowers”

Western Massachusetts. Like U2, Stones, Joseph Arthur

# Stripping the Pistol “Sunshine in the Rain”

This demo is officially added at WLUM Milwaukee and is in light rotation at KAZR Des Moines and KMYZ Tulsa. Who’s listening? Universal, Arista, Warner Bros, Elektra, Epic (contact Pete at

News: UK band The Most might be flown here by such labels as Dreamworks and RCA. It’s pending. Several labels have the demo, Adam Kaplan at
California band Army of Fresman has 5300+ in sales, new single being serviced, Rod Ensminger at
Javier Mendoza band getting 20 spins week at KYKY St. Louis, Dan Friedman at
Big Sky added at commercials WPLA Jacksonville and Z100 Gainesville FL.
Blue Sun has sold around 3500 cds. Show April 5th at NYC’s Bitter End 8pm, Josh at

# Tamara Williamson “Downsizing”

# Toronto. Like Cocteau Twins, Bjork, Enya, Cranberries, Beth Orton. Formerly of BMG act Mrs. Torrance. Contact Fischerspooner “Emerge”

NYC. New Order meets Kraftwerk meets Devo. Hip art band that everyone is hyper about in NYC, UK, L.A. Contact

Circ “Destroy She Said”. NYC. Following in the wake of successful IDM acts iio, Ian Van Dahl, Gigi D’Agastino. German labels offering, Ministry of Sound interested etc. Contact

W.I.T. (Whatever it Takes), another NYC nu-electro act, also has industry looking at them. They’re likened to DeeLite, Yazoo, Debbie Harry.

News: KNDD Seattle, WBRU Providence, WNNX Atlanta, WPLY Philly, WCYY Portland ME all add Dashboard Confessional “Sceaming Infidelities” (Vagrant) 60,000 sold? Spin, Interview, Alt. Press features. Jeremiah Freed (Universal) early add at WBRU. Faceplant (Demo Diaries April 24,2000) signs to EMI Publishing, label showcase Feb. 6 9:30 at Acme Underground in NYC. The adult alternative sounds of unsigned band Luce seem to keep getting official adds at commercial radio, the latest being KINK Portland, KBCO Boulder CO, WXRV Boston, KTHX Reno. Showcase for Interscope February 8, reportedly have offers from Lost Highway and Nettwerk (Joe Schuld, eastmountainsouth (D Diaries June 25,2001) signed to Dreamworks.

May 22, 2002 A&R Notes:

You see the article in Billboard Magazine May 25 issue page 16 about Rearview Mirror and producer Steve Lillywhite (U2, Dave Matthews, Counting Crows)? It reads “..Lillywhite first heard of the band through an internet mailing list..”, that internet mailing list is my Demo Diaries emailer. Er..that’s the second time I’ve been in Billboard, and also what about my mentions in the NY Times and Chicago Sun Times…remember those?hehee..

Graham Colton from Dallas, Texas. 5 piece, singer is age 20. They have second or third singles and are probably about a minute away from writing a monster hit. Ingredients include Counting Crows, Vertical Horizon, The Calling, Third Eye Blind, Wallflowers, Duncan Sheik, Matchbox 20. Cary Piece (of former A&M act Jackopierce) produced it. Hooky, youthful vocal style. 2000 CDs sold since Feb 2002 release. 500 kid draw to local shows. Hot prospect definitely. Elektra, Warner Bros., MCA, Lava, Artemis are in touch so far. No lawyer yet. Contact me for this at

NYC act Royal Playboy Cartel reportedly has Roc-a-fella, Republic, Lava into them. May 24 Showcase at Don Hill’s in NYC.
UK act The Most and NYC’s Longwave=RCA?
NYC’s Alablaster continues to plug away, they’re kinda David Byrne meets The Modern Lovers.
Chicago act The Ghost sold 1004 CDs last week, 1500 total.
Close buddy to Michelle Branch, 20 year old Kansas City girl Jessica Harp is shaping up into a little Shelby Lynn.

May 14, 2002 A&R Notes:

I?ve decided I really like Pittsburgh?s New Invisible Joy. Had the new demo for months now, ?Alone? is a good one produced by Ed Tuton (Alana Davis, Maxwell), Shudder to Think meets Remy Zero. 7PM May 29 show at Arlene Grocery.
LA?s Gabriel Mann is coming up. He?s Peter Gabriel meets Adam Duritz. First two cuts off new demo are good, potential for sonic greatness, strings and all. Producer David Bottrill (Tool, Peter Gabriel) heard and might get involved.
Boston?s Piebald has the new cd produced by Paul Kolderie (Radiohead, Hole). Career sales at 10,000. ?American Hearts? single gets an official add at Honolulu commerical KAHA. I liken them to Weezer meets Ben Folds. They?re touring with Juliana Theory and Nashville act Celebrity who I mentioned some time ago, another band that?s going somewhere.
Lefty departed Interscope some time ago. Almost 10,000 CDs sold of debut. New demos are sorta Lit, Jimmy Eat World, Elvis Costello or Cracker maybe. ?Miserable? is a good one.
Austin?s The Gloria Record has a new cd at well over 1000 in sales. AP write up on them. Selling out shows.
German act Liquido is on Virgin in Europe. 400,000 in career sales, 1 million singles sold. No U.S. deal yet. Melodic pop rock with indie stylings. I guess Germans don?t just like David Hasselhoff afterall.
Bay Area act Unjust finally comes up with a good one in ?Tired?, new demo. Hoobastank, Tool sounding. So maybe Hoobastool or Toobastank. Yea, that joke didn?t go over well. Zip it.
And there?s the show this Fri nite at CBGB with Spacerace, apparently 4 labels will show. Reminds me of how I listed all the “hip” bands the music biz is scrambling for at my site, then you play one of those bands at a friends party in NYC no less and everyone thinks they blow. Go figure.
LA’s John DiGrazia suddenly has Island interested. They?re supposed to see him play Fri nite. I liken him to David Gray goes American.
I mentioned Hudson River School and Averi (almost 1000 sold of new cd, 650 kids at release party show in Boston) a long time ago. Both are now surrounding themselves with music biz power people.
Oh, and please email me if youre a well connected person in R&B/Urban. I have something to tell you about.

Unsigned April 24 MP3 Sampler:

# Bigger Than You “California”

# Milwaukee. STP meets Rob Zombie. Artist Direct and Island have the music, Capitol was interested. Jeff Klein “Five Good Reasons”

# Austin. 25 year Old. Nick Drake meets Bruce Springsteen. Matthew Ryan produced CD. Patty Griffin guest sings on album. I think Interscope just saw him play. Stereoblis “One Minute”

Nashville. Goo Goo Dolls hooks. Said to have publishing offer.

The Mooney Suzuki were spotlighted on MTV, have offer from Roadrunner and being looked at by Dreamworks, Warner Bros., Republic, Ultimatum etc.
LA act Lexicon expecting a label offer, interested are Arista, Capitol, Columbia, Dreamworks.
Out with the new in with the old, the music industry scrambles to reinvent alternative: The Vue, Hives, Strokes, White Stripes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Faint, French Kicks, Vines, Walkmen, Liars, Interpol, Realistics, Dashboard Confessional, Thursday, Thrice, Detachment Kit, Trail of Dead, Distillers etc etc…

Unsigned April 16 MP3 Sampler Below (I’ll answer any questions at

# Kristin Hoffmann “Lay Down Your Light”

# NYC. 21 year old. This is the melody/song that moves me off her advance CD. It gives me the same feeling that Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me?” does. Full length due out, noted producer Ian Cross did a track on it. I?m going to the NYC show this Thursday April 18 8PM at Don Hill’s. Her talent seems effortless, confident and simply innate. You might hear Fiona Apple, Sarah McLachlan, Norah Jones, Natalie Merchant, Tori Amos in her. Minus “Balls”

# Atlanta. Newer demo that?s like the rock side of Deftones, POD, Papa Roach. Melodic, catchy, energetic. The Rugs “Breakdown”

# Nashville. Song is now added at commercial radio WRAX Birmingham. A more rootsy Soul Asylum, Fuel or Lifehouse. Celebrity “Cave”

# Nashville. Like Kent, Gene, The Cure, Splender, The Smiths. Dark sexy bass line to follow along with. Each listen gets better. Produced by Mark Nash (husband to Leigh from Sixpence None The Richer). Pinehurst Kids “Silent Treatment”

Portland, Oregon. Emo that’s probably rooted in Sunny Day Real Estate. John Goodmanson (Harvey Danger, Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill, Mary Lou Lord) just did this demo with them.

Unsigned April 1 MP3 Sampler Below (contact me if you care about these bands and I’ll fill you in,

# Lamb “Gabriel”

# London. Fanbase in Europe and pockets of fans/specialty radio support in North America. Dido meets Faithless meets Bjork. I?m not allowed to actually post this MP3, so this is a deadlink on purpose. Signed to Mercury UK, Universal labels in U.S. have not yet optioned newest CD ?What Sound?, released 6 months ago in UK. On “Six Feet Under” soundtrack. Lima “Hold On”

# Magherfelt, Northern Ireland. Cranberries meets Massive Attack meets Dido. Brand new demo. John Lardieri “Bitch”

# NYC. New raw acoustic demo. His vocal capacity and prolific songwriting seems unmatched by most stuff out there. Further more two of the industry?s biggest veterans with incredible track records see something in him. Replacements meets Jeff Buckley meets Ani DiFranco. Amazing Device “Calamine”

# NYC. New demo. Catchy chorus. Not unlike Hoobastank. Celldweller “Stay With Me”

# NYC. SIR Studios industry showcase this Wednesday April 3 at 7PM, 310 W. 52 Street in NYC. I?ll be there. Finished masters, mixed by Ben Grosse (Filter, Vertical Horizon) and Scott Humphrey (Rob Zombie). Sounds like Tool, NIN. Highwater Rising “Wasted Days”

# San Francisco. Have officially begun shopping songs. Had add at KCRW in LA. Counting Crows meet The Wallflowers. Melodic yet subtle. Producers Eric Valentine (Third Eye Blind, Smash Mouth)and Phil Steir are on top of this. SomeOtherLife “Crush”

# Orlando,FL. Produced by Rick Beato. Sounds like 3 Doors Down, Matchbox 20, Puddle of Mudd. Radio Holiday “Knowledge Hurts”

# Detroit. Bad Religion meets Sugar meets Helmet. New cd and building a fanbase. Go Kart Go “I’m Gone”

# San Francisco. Replacements meet Dinosaur Jr. meets Goo Goo Dolls. Morris Air “Traffic”

# New Jersey. Radiohead goes ambient. New demos on the way. Hudson River School “Don’t Keep Me Waiting”

# Salt Lake City. Jimmy Eat World meets Toad the Wet Sprocket Averi “In Tune”

# Boston. Almost 300 draw to live shows, CD produced by Mike Denneen (Howie Day). Sounds like Toad the Wet Sprocket, Live, Vertical Horizon. Laura Doyle “Your Love”

# Los Angeles. Beth Orton meets AIR. Noon Layer Drive “My Own Advice”

# Milton Keynes, UK. Radiohead meets The Verve, a ballad. Melodrome “Flowers”

# Western Massachusetts. Like U2, Stones, Joseph Arthur Stripping the Pistol “Sunshine in the Rain”

This demo is officially added at WLUM Milwaukee and is in light rotation at KAZR Des Moines and KMYZ Tulsa. Who’s listening? Universal, Arista, Warner Bros, Elektra, Epic (contact Pete at

Unsigned Radio Add/News:
Long Island/NYC act Early Edison getting spiked at commercial WLIR NYC/Long Island this week.
Los Angeles’ mellowdrone (not the same as Melodrome mentioned above!) has Epic, Columbia, Warner Bros., Island, Velvet Hammer/Atlantic, Elementree, Extasy/WB all interested, ASCAP showcase in LA at Viper Room April 11.

Other NYC showcases I?m scheduled to attend this month:
Alone at CBGB 4/9 7PM (Island, Roadrunner, Koch expected)
Wide Awake at Acme Underground 4/10 7PM
Timo at Arlene Grocery 4/8 9PM
Averi at Lion?s Den 5/2
Update: Demo Diaries artists’ Luce signing to Nettwerk and Social Burn went to Elektra.


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