[Sound Guy] The Union Line and Avi Buffalo: Signed, Sealed, Hopefully Delivered

Signed, Sealed, Hopefully Delivered

Getting signed to a record label certainly isn’t an ironclad guarantee of “making it” for a band, especially in these tricky times for the music industry. There are just as many instances where it ends careers as it launches them.

On that cheery note, we’re actually optimistic about the two latest local acts to get picked up by big-deal national labels. Earlier this month, San Juan Capistrano’s rousing, percussion-happy the Union Line announced their deal with Black Seal.

A fairly new arm of RCA Records (which itself is part of Sony Music Entertainment), Black Seal currently features just three rather diverse acts on its roster: Oakland band Audrye Sessions, Wisconsin’s Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons, and Strokes guitarist/solo artist/Gibraltarian rock royalty Albert Hammond Jr.—respectable company, to be sure.

There are few labels in the history of modern music that project “respectable company” more than Seattle’s Sub Pop, the famed label that originally signed grunge gods Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney and current home to No Age, the Shins and Band of Horses. Its newest addition is Long Beach’s Avi Buffalo, a thoroughly original quartet that produce gentle, melodic harmonies with titles such as “Summer Cum.”

Not wasting any time, Sub Pop will release Avi Buffalo’s track “What’s In It For?” as a 7-inch vinyl single on Dec. 8, to be followed by a full-length, tentatively scheduled for spring of next year.

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Last week marked the three-year anniversary of Dinner With Dave, a free, twice-per-month event at the Memphis in downtown Santa Ana that brings together local music and tasty foodstuffs—an irresistible combo if ever there was one. The “Dave” in question is local chef Dave Mau, and the anniversary show—featuring sets from the New Limb, the Pharmacy Keys, Starpool and Billy Kernkamp—packed Memphis to capacity, with the line for food (soft tacos, rice, beans) stretching all the way to the bathrooms.

Starpool are the current project of onetime No Doubt co-lead singer Alan Meade and several members of Save Ferris, bringing a touch of the Orange County music scene from years past (including horns!) to the offering. The next Dinner With Dave is scheduled for Oct. 28; performers not available at press time.

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The Willowz may live in LA now, but they formed in Anaheim in 2002 and remain one of the most accomplished acts to come from our county in the 2000s. Last week, the band announced details for their latest record, Everyone, the second release on Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak label and their follow-up to 2007’s Chautauqua. It’ll be out on Nov. 17; no details on any concert dates promoting the record, but surely they picked up some tricks from their tour last fall with the Hives and Eagles of Death Metal—two of the best live bands on this planet or any other.



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