If you’re looking to be impressed, check out the promotional video that negativeimages.com has put together for Dead Season at www.deadseasonmusic.com/DSI.wmv. The production values are like something you’d see on E!, and brothers Matt and Ian Truman, along with bassist Craig Chaisson and brand-new drummer Andy Hackett, come off as articulate and thoughtful (though there might be a time or two when it gets a little overblown; you’re not a rock star if you can’t get overblown from time to time and keep a straight face). Matt reports that Hackett is “sick,” playing the double bass on a 14-piece kit. The “Sibilance” staff is certainly looking forward to the band’s debut full-length, which they’re recording as we write with Jon Wyman. Dead Season, the best-selling metal band in Maine since the turn of the century, are hoping for an August release.
Seekonk’s new Pinkwood album hit stores this Tuesday. Look for a review of the North East Indie album to preview their April 29 show with End of the World, a four-piece rocker featuring ex-Portlander Robert Stillman, sax player for Kalifactors and who released the solo album Horses earlier this year. End of the World’s “This Little Theater” was featured in the recent version of Manchurian Candidate, on a soundtrack that also featured Wyclef Jean and Mission of Burma, among other luminaries.
Wondering if Ray LaMontagne had finally made it? Wonder no longer. His “Trouble” was sung last week by Taylor Hicks on American Idol. Yes, by the weird gray-haired and portly twentysomething, who, in our opinion, shanked the song horribly with an affect like Eddie Vedder singing Motown and a totally unnecessary fadeout where he sang, “oooh, oooh, I’m in Trouble.” Hey, Hicks, Ray’s songs don’t need your arrangements, trust us. Also, anyone who can say this — “I am the soul patrolman. I just hope I can keep patrolling the soul.” — should be banned from all entertainment venues.
Former Portlanders (now Boston-ites) Catie Curtis and Mark Erelli have won the 2005 International Songwriting Competition’s Grand Prize, the highest honor the competition conveys, for their song “People Look Around,” a Katrina-inspired slow-burner. Judges for the contest included big names like Tom Waits, Macy Gray, Steve Vai, LeAnn Rimes, John Scofield, and Sonny Rollins, and the ISC is generally regarded (at least the New York Times says so) as the preeminent songwriting contest. Curtis and Erelli split $10,000 (not too shabby), along with $20,000 in prizes like microphones, amps, and industry-mag subscriptions. Also of note, Graham Isaacson (still a Portlander, baby!) took home second place in the folk/singer-songwriter category, for his song “What’s the Point.” The category was won by Ireland’s Mick Flannery. For his high finish, Isaacson receives a pre-amp, $100 at FYE, some music software, and a bunch of industry memberships and subscriptions. Still, pretty cool.