Friday, February 24, 2006

Left of the Dial

That wonderful Replacements tune reminds me of my high school days when I was "discovering" great rock music that certainly wasn't heard anywhere on the Memphis radio dial (or so I believed). It also calls to mind four years as a DJ at KCOU 88.1 FM in Columbia, Mo. where Ted and I were both students. That was a special station. In addition to diverse and eclectic programming, the station had that college radio "spirit" that left a huge mark on me musically.

I wrongly assumed that a station like that certainly didn't exist in Memphis. It wasn't until I moved back to town in 1998 that I was turned on to the wonderful little radio miracle called WEVL 89.9 FM. Founded 30 years ago, WEVL is independent, volunteer radio at its finest, folks. Over the course of the last couple of years since we released REFRAIN, WEVL has been very good to us. Several DJs, including Hayden (host of Tuesday's "Memphis Beat") and Paul (host of "Thursday Morning Throwdown"), play cuts from both of our records consistently. Of course, it's fun to hear our songs on the radio, but it's even more exciting to get the music out in a town that (perhaps surprisingly) isn't always so supportive of artists who write and perform original music. We are most appreciative of the work of this station. We hope you'll peruse the WEVL Web site and check out some of these fine shows. You can make requests by calling the air room at 528.1990. Naturally, the greatest way to support the station is to become a member. That's a whole lotta radio love for just $35/year. We hope you'll join us as members!

Now that you've sworn-off big, corporate-owned stations totally, I have exceptional news: There's a brand new local music show on the opposite end of the dial! Dennis and Ric host "The Great Unsigned" on Rock 103 every Sunday from 9 to 11 p.m. The show has only been on for two weeks now, but the guys do a great job of highlighting and promoting local talent. On Sunday night, Dennis and Ric played our song "In the Books". They followed it with some jabs about us changing our name to "The Pacific Standards" when we get big and move to L.A. and a really nice shout-out to our good friend and producer Posey Hedges. It's a fantastic show. Hope you'll go ahead and inundate the guys with requests for songs from our new record. They can be reached here.

So, before you rush out to buy your Sirius receiver or have XM installed in your car, give both of these great locals a listen! It'll be worth your while!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Like Your Favorite Song...

Photo by Jay Adkins

Love is in the air, and nowhere is it more alive than in the heart of our very own Ted Horrell. Ted will join the ranks of his married bandmates this Saturday, as he and fiance Sarah Cook get hitched, here in Memphis. One of Ted and Sarah's first "dates" actually was at a show at the Brookhaven Pub in August '04. Guess that sharp dressed man with the red Telecaster around his neck was just too much to resist!

Needless to say, we're all thrilled for the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. Horrell, and we'll be there to support them this weekend. After years of writing hard luck, mildly jaded love songs, our boy has found a new muse, not to mention a lifelong companion. Here's to you, guys!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Ready for Our Close-Up

Waheed AlQawasmi is one of Jeff and Ted's former film and television students. He was in Mr. Horrell's Introduction to Film & Video class as a sophomore and immediately demonstrated a passion for the art of visual storytelling. His family recently had immigrated to the U.S. from Jordan, and while still mastering the English language, Waheed starting making great strides in his artistic pursuits.

Now, not even two years out of high school, Waheed is off to a great start in his career. He is a skilled still photographer, graphic designer, cinematographer, editor and budding director. Waheed works with Running Pony Productions here in Memphis, but his true passion is working on his own indepedent film projects with a core of key collaborators. He's started a production company called WAFILMS, and he's embarking on a project in which he will shoot and edit three music videos for artists with widely varying musical styles.

And who might some of Waheed's featured artists be? Yep...his old teachers. Last weekend, Waheed and crew started shooting a video for "So Much Clearer" from our 2005 release Can't Remember the Last Time. While we've been featured in some television specials, this is our first "official" music video, and we're mighty flattered that Waheed thought to approach us with the idea.

So, where is the band, you ask? Well, Waheed thought it best to shoot the most important (and better looking) people first. Just kidding, Waheed! That's only partially true. Waheed shot the "story" part of the video first due to the band's erratic schedule right now. The actress, by the way, is a Memphian by the name of Micki Rogers. We're planning to shoot some performance sequences in the next month or so that will be intercut with what's already been shot. We haven't seen any of the video yet, but based on the looks of these behind-the-scenes photos, we can't wait to see what Waheed has in the works!

We plan to premiere the video at a special show this spring. In the meantime, keep it right here for updates, and keep up with the progress of a brilliant young artist at Way to go, Waheed!