Holy Shnikes! When you turn inside back page of the February 24 issue of Entertainment Weekly you’ll find a 1000-word column by literary giant Stephen King lamenting the fact that Diesel Doug and the Long Haul Truckers didn’t make the big time. Seems he read the, ahem, Portland Press Herald’s profile of the band, bought their 10-year retrospective, Mistakes Were Made, and decided it was so good that Diesel and the boys should have been superstars instead of employees of Portland Color and real estate agents. Then he decided to publish that decision in, two million or so copies of the magazine (plus the heavily traveled www.ew.com) internationally! Charlie Gaylord, band guitarist, Cornmeal Records honcho, and purveyor of all things Greetings from Area Code 207, reported roughly a dozen record orders on the first day the magazine hit the web and subscribers’ mailboxes. We assume his phone will be swamped for quite some time. People think Stephen King is pretty danged smart and will likely take his advice in droves.
Update to last week’s note on As Fast As: They have a press guy now. Mike Farley’s Michael J. Media Group is out of Hermitage, Tennessee, and represents a whole bunch of other bands and artists at about exactly As Fast As’s level of accomplishment. There are a lot of Budweiser True Music Contest Finalists, High Times Band of the Weeks, people getting TV makeovers to look like rock stars, and sure-fire AAA-radio can’t misses. And it’s good to have a press guy. He says things about you like: “While As Fast As might seem like a strange name, it really does capture the essence of this band.” Also, he refers to you as a “smoking new band.” Further, he lets everybody know that your first Octone Records album will be called Open Letter to the Damned, the same name as your last album, and allows the “Sibilance” staff to kibitz about whether it’s a good idea or not to forsake your established fanbase by kind of pretending that your last album didn’t happen. We decided we don’t really care and that we do like that album name. Also, we will eventually release a book of compiled press releases and it will sell a million copies.
If Cerberus Shoal’s hard-to-categorize folk-noise ever made you suspect the band’s driving engine, Chriss Sutherland, was a little crazy, you can now rest assured you were right. “This spring I have embarked on a journey as a local promoter,” he wrote the “Sibilance” staff lately. Promoting music on a local level? With cool underground artists like French Toast (with Phantom Buffalo, March 22, at SPACE) and Jackie-O Motherfucker (with the contemporary alternative rootsy Sir Richard Bishop and the Akron Family, both from away, March 28, at SPACE)? That’s certifiable! Everyone knows getting people in this town to get off their couches is impossible unless you’ve got Cher or the Barenaked Ladies booked! Seriously, though, the “Sibilance” staff is pleased with this development. Chriss’s numerous albums have all been thoughtful, creative, and showed good taste even if they weren’t long-standing spins on the “Sibilance” hi-fi.