125 Records

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Lookin' for a Cynical Girl

Turns out Don won't be in San Francisco next month, but you can still catch his wife Marti Jones and Amy Rigby at 12 Galaxies in the Mission on Thursday, April 27, with Wreckless Eric opening. Advance tickets are $12 including the service charge. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Au revoir, master

I have sent the Don Dixon master on its merry way to our manufacturer in Virginia. I'm hoping the discs will be ready in a month or so. Don may actually be visiting the SF Bay Area next month along with his wife Marti Jones, who is in a new duo, Cynical Girls, with Amy Rigby. Hey, it's just a few hours up the coast! I see they have a show scheduled in Southern California, so it would be great if they came up here, too. It would be mighty sweet to present Don with a finished copy of the CD in person.

Here's a thrilling piece of news. I didn't want to say anything until it was definite, but it looks like 125 will have another spiffy new release this summer: Gil Ray's I Am Atomic Man. He's set up a MySpace page and is planning to add a song or two. Now, it would be fabulous if Gil's CD came out at the same time as the Loud Family disc (which he also plays on), but as I've learned all too well, you don't rush genius. Gil's been working on the thing for something like three years now. I think this disc will surprise and delight a lot of Gil's fans.

Monday, March 20, 2006

The second "What If It Works?" review

Kim Cooper of Scram wrote this review for issue #22 of her mag. I hope to have real (not just home-burned CD-Rs) promo copies available to reviewers next month. By the way, Kim notes that the covers "might miff fans hungry for new originals"; that's why I hassled the boys to come up with two extra (original) tracks, beefing up the CD's running time from 30 to 40 minutes. This review convinces me that my instincts were correct; thanks, Kim!
Six years on from Attractive Nuisance and the brilliant, self-effacing Scott Miller returns with a revamped Loud Family, now something of a Go-Betweens-styled partnership with singer-songwriter Anton Barbeau. By kicking off with a punchy, new wave take on the Stones' "Rocks Off," it's immediately clear that Miller+Barbeau are a real band, not a wooden one, and the record is strong and playful straight through. Following close is Miller's reflexive "Song About 'Rocks Off,'" just the sort of twitchy, nostalgic, brainiac pop of which he's master. Barbeau's lush, twining tunes and adenoidal tones are good company for Miller's, and the sole co-written number ("Kind Of) In Love" is more than kinda swell. The title song, by Barbeau, feels like a sweet, high-energy update of Bowie's "Kooks." Covers of the Zombies' "Remember You" and a proggy take on Cat Stevens' "I Think I See the Light" are charming, but might miff fans hungry for new originals. Still, a most welcome and overdue return.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Welcome to the world, baby girl!

First of all, congratulations to the Loud Family's Scott Miller and his wife Kristine on the birth of their second child, Julianne Elizabeth, yesterday (March 15). Julianne joins big sister Valerie. The name must have been a favorite of Scott's for a while, since he used it in his song "Last Honest Face" (OK, it's "Julie Ann" according to the lyric sheet, but close enough!).

Secondly, it looks like the official release dates for our forthcoming CDs will be June 13 (Don Dixon) and July 11 (Loud Family). Summer still seems far away at this point, but if there's one thing I've learned as I've gotten older, it's that time flies. Plus, those are the street dates; I should have copies to sell via the 125 web site prior to those dates—there will be a super-special bargain offer for people who want to buy both discs. I'm about to sign with a distributor who will place our CDs in stores (both brick & mortar and on the web) on the dates above. And of course, you'll be able to buy 'em at the artists' live gigs. So hang on tight just a little longer...!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The first "What If It Works?" review

Nooo, we still don't have a release date—the artwork still isn't done—but due to a premature CD-R I sent to Amplifier magazine, we do have the first review of What If It Works? And I'm thrilled that the reviewer really "gets it."

Who would have thought that the combination of two of indie pop's most eccentric singer/songwriters would end up sounding relatively... well... normal? Surprisingly, that's pretty much what happens when the Loud Family's Scott Miller teams up with Anton Barbeau on What If It Works? This is the first new Loud Family effort since 2000's Attractive Nuisance, and the first collaboration between Miller and Barbeau. The 12 songs are typical Loud Family smart-pop (including a frothy cover of the Rolling Stones' "Rocks Off"), featuring clever lyrical twists and shared lead vocals. Coming from two guys who have written songs with titles such as "Please, Sir, I've Got a Wooden Leg" and "Hot Rox Avec Lying Sweet Talk," simple pop tunes such as "Kind of In Love" and "I Think I See The Light" are a tad startling, but still damned good. Better than damned good are Barbeau's dorky-yet-catchy "Pop Song 99" and Miller's stunning "Mavis of Maybelline Towers," both of which rank right up there with these guys' finest work. Other ringers are the laid back "Total Mass Destruction," where Miller gives insights on his long layoff when he sings "the fanzines rave, but I can't see it paying the bills," and Barbeau's bent bubblegum opus "I've Been Craving Lately," which closes things out on a high note. Toning down the overt nuttiness to a manageable level serves mad semi-geniuses Scott Miller and Anton Barbeau well, and makes What If It Works? an excellent addition to the Loud Family library.
-John M. Borack
Amplifier #53 March/April

Friday, March 03, 2006

Yes, it's come to this: MySpace

OK, I can't believe I did this, but at the urging of MySpace user Anton Barbeau, I have started a MySpace page for The Loud Family. Funnily enough I got the e-mail from Anton (who is currently over in the U.K., playing some shows) while I was listening to KQED-FM's "Forum" this morning, which just happened to be doing a show on the perils and pleasures of MySpace, which was described as "the popular teenage website." OK, so I guess not everybody who uses it is a teenager... besides Anton, Jill Tracy, Paula Carino and even Aimee Mann have MySpace pages, so I guess it really is "a legit promo tool," as Anton insisted. Anyway, if you are on MySpace, how about making The Loud Family your special friend?

It takes "up to 24 hours" for songs to be added, but please note that I did post four songs on the site, including another li'l preview from What If It Works, and (in a bald-faced attempt to get as many hits as possible) the Aimee Mann-Scott Miller "Inverness" duet.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Hear Jill Tracy on NCIS

Just got word that Jill Tracy's song "Evil Night Together" will be heard on an upcoming episode of Mark Harmon's CBS series "NCIS." It airs Tuesday nights at 8 PM ET/PT. Jill thinks it may be used on next week's (March 7) ep, so I'll have to TiVo the show and check it out. I've never watched "NCIS" but I understand it's quite a big hit. Let's hope it leads lots more people to check out Jill's music!