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Archive for Thursday, September 10, 1998

CMJ TAPS PRIAPUS ACTS FOR N.Y. FESTIVAL

September 10, 1998

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Lawrence band Sunbarrow will be heading to New York to perform at the concert.

Lawrence label Priapus Records has confirmed performances by two of their acts -- Lawrence's Sunbarrow and New York's Hopewell -- at this year's upcoming CMJ Festival in New York.

The dates and venues have not been scheduled yet. Mike Solderling, Priapus co-owner and founder, sees the CMJ appearances as a sign of respect for Priapus' music in bigger cities.

``It's been a few years of hard work and paying dues,'' he said, ``but the word has filtered and spread out and is slowly seeping to the coast. This is great because it means we can do well out of town even if we're not well-known here.''

A recent review of Sunbarrow in CMJ Magazine described the band's self-entitled, full-length album as ``a pleasantly narcotic fog, both cheaper and less tacky than a lava lamp.'' Solderling says that a good review in a trade magazine like CMJ has its benefits.

``It's been great,'' he said. ``We've had several radio stations call and request the record. Before, you had to call them to ask them to play it. And we've actually had venues call, too.''

Priapus solo recording artist Park, who is actually KJHK's music director Andrew Dierks, was featured in last week's CMJ issue. Park, not to be confused with the Illinois band of the same name, also has a song on a compilation out on Japan's Motorway Records.

Planetarium will be releasing a single-sided 12-inch record, limited to 100 copies, next month on Priapus. The band is made up of Priapus label owners Solderling and Troy McEvers, Egoless Recording Studios engineer Brad Whitaker and Ken Jensen.

Manhattan pop rockers Ultimate Fakebook, on Lawrence's Noisome Records, reeled in the ultimate prize last week at the Disc Makers Independent Music World Series at the Doubledoor in Chicago.

Out of 800 applicants, Disc Makers chose six bands to compete in the event and Ultimate Fakebook placed first.

Among the $30,000 worth of winnings: 40 hours of recording time at Chicago Recording Company, with a digital mastering package and 1,500 CDs and 500 cassettes made; a 16-channel mixing console; radio mailing; ad space in the Gavin Radio Report; display advertising in the Illinois Entertainer; and all kinds of drum, guitar, bass and microphone equipment.

Bill McShane, guitar and vocals, says he was impressed with the competition, but most of all, he was impressed with all the goodies Ultimate Fakebook won.

``We were totally shocked,'' he said. ``It's a lot of really cool stuff. We've been recording our second record and this could definitely help us put it out sooner.''

The Creature Comforts, also on Noisome, has released its debut record, ``The Politics of Pop.'' They will be playing a release party tonight at The Bottleneck, 737 N.H., with Ultimate Fakebook and Matt Wilson also on the lineup.

The Hefners' new 7-inch EP, ``Hefner Style,'' will be in stores Friday. The record contains six songs and is on bassist Billy Dee Hefner's Terciopelo Records.

According to drummer Bobby Hefner, the record is ``worth it for the vintage pin-up girl artwork alone.'' The concept includes mild nudity on the cover, but with an opaque bra and bikini on the plastic sleeve for the faint of heart.

In October, the band plans to swoop down to Austin's Sweatbox to record with punk-rock genius extraordinaire Tim Kerr, veteran guitarist of the legendary Big Boys. The product of these sessions, which is sure to superific, will be released in October on Erik Bauer's Middle Class Pig Records out of Tubigen, Germany.

A new addition to the Hefners' lineup is Bryce Hefner playing the organ, and, of course, L.J. Hefner still manhandles the guitar along with his vocal duties. You can catch them Monday night with the Bomboras at Hi-Jinx, 1117 Mass.

Brace yourselves for the heaviest show of the month. On Wednesday night, Slipped Disc Records recording artists N17 will be playing at Gator's in Topeka with local industrial lords Spine Thieves.

Sacrafice Isaac, who has just signed to Slipped Disc Records, will also be stomping on stage, along with MIA Records' techno act Pitbull Daycare.

Spine Thieves has added two new members: Marcus Williams, bass, Matt Heineken, drums. And according to Ramon Brice, guitar, vocals and programming, the band is revamping their old songs and heading in a new direction.

``The new material is a lot more driven, a lot more focused,'' he said. ``When I did the other stuff, I was just learning. Now I'm taking what I've learned and made it more intricate and complex, and more personal, lyrically speaking.''

Brice was a bass tech for N17 during its tour in 1995 and says he's been looking forward to playing live with them ever since. Also, Brice says N17 plans to record the rough tracks for its new album at Topeka's Rebel Base Studios, where he is a sound engineer.

-- James Grau is the music writer for The Mag.

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