Sound Advice: Not so complicated after all
Life in endless record-label negotiations: When Life in 24 Frames dropped a single on iTunes in May 2013, fans likely assumed it meant a new full-length album would soon follow.
Those assumptions were almost correct. The album, Bitter End, was completed last fall, and Life in 24 Frames has been waiting feverishly to release it.
But, of course, the music industry makes everything complicated. And the Sacramento indie band felt ready to enter the fray—to find a label, a publisher, a distribution deal and so forth. The band got offers, but none were too appealing, and frontman Kris Adams grew increasingly impatient.
So the band’s six members decided to release Bitter End on their own. For free.
“We thought the best bet to get it into the most homes and iPhones and ears was to just give it to everyone,” Adams said.
Anyone can email Adams at email@example.com, and he’ll send over a code to download Bitter End off the band’s website. Or folks who come out to Life in 24 Frames’ next show—the band co-headlines Autumn Sky’s EP release at Assembly Music Hall next Saturday, March 29—can pick up cards with download codes for Bitter End as well as the band’s debut, Time Trails. On Tuesday, March 25, the band officially drops the record on iTunes, Amazon.com and Google Play. Consider the price tag a donation.
Bitter End’s nine tracks flow together effortlessly, and, clocking in at just under 40 minutes, they’re ripe for repetition. The title track—and the single released last spring—well-represents the rest of the record. It’s catchy, simple and lovely, punctuated by warm harmonies. “Poor Rich Man” and “Angels” are other favorites.
Adams is deservedly proud of the record, but he’s ready to get into the studio and start recording the next one this summer. Despite the frustrations, Adams isn’t firm on staying independent—excellent news for the Pacific Northwest’s indie record labels, who hopefully won’t mess up twice.
Mini Cajun fest: I’m a big fan of Sunday-afternoon concerts. You dance to your heart’s content, eat dinner at a decent hour and immediately pass out. Perfect.
Understandably, that prospect probably sounds excellent to folks 40 years older than me. And sure enough, last Sunday’s Cajun afternoon dance party at Beatnik Studios was packed with seniors having a grand old time.
Though the audience and their hairstyles—bright-orange dye, ’80s perms, mullets—were already entertaining, the Magnolia Sisters were the day’s true stars. The Grammy Award-nominated group worked its way through Cajun-style originals and classics, utilizing fiddle, accordion, concertina and rubberboard.
A high-energy dance party ensued, but it quickly morphed into a long line for gumbo. It’s tough to compete with gumbo, especially when it smelled as delightful as L. DelVonne Moore’s crab-packed concoction.
The afternoon served as a precursor to the Isleton Cajun & Blues Festival from June 14-15. And while I can’t speak to the gumbo lineup yet, the music lineup was announced—Marcia Ball, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Nathan & The Zydeco Cha-Chas, and JD McPherson are among the headliners. Start your planning: http://isletoncajunfestival.net.—J.B.
Spellbound: The building that formerly housed Bows & Arrows, the Midtown cafe/boutique/gallery/venue, will officially open for business this Tuesday, March 25, in its new incarnation, Witch Room (1815 19th Street). (Bows & Arrows, by the way, has re-emerged as a pop-up boutique located inside Flywheel at 545 L Street, Suite 1047. It will reopen in a permanent location later this summer.) The spot, billed as a music and dance venue, is operated by former Bows co-owner Olivia Coelho, along with Liz Mahoney, who previously helmed Fools Foundation, and Liz Liles, an artist-musician also known for throwing epic house shows. The venue’s first show features Wax Idols, Wreck and Reference, and Hollow Sunshine. The show starts at 8 p.m. Witch Room will serve beer (quality local brews as well the good, cheap stuff in a can) and wine, as well as bar snacks. As of last week, the venue was still undergoing transformation, but, trust me, it looks promising. In addition to a decent-sized bona fide stage and professional lighting and sound, there are also comfy vintage leather booths, ample room to get your dance on, and a photo booth to document the fun. Best of all, the room still opens up to the welcoming, plant-enveloped back patio. Just in time for all this lovely warm weather. Visit www.witchroomsac.com for all the pertinent details.—R.L.