Green St. Records, the only student-run record label in the Big Ten, has announced the bands appearing on this year’s compilation album, titled Playlisted. As in the past, each of the 13 bands will record a track at Champaign’s Pogo Studios with producer Mark Rubel, but this year things are bigger. Each band will receive eight hours of studio time, twice as much as last year, and the label will distribute an additional thousand copies of the upcoming compilation. Following is a short profile of what to expect from Playlisted.
[ The Elanors ]
Noah M.S. Harris, Adriel Harris and Joshua Lucas are known as The Elanors. Their debut, A Year to Demonstrate, is available directly from Champaign label Isidore Records. The Elanors share personal, reflective, heartfelt music with lyrics that touch upon the many aspects of living, loving and knowing in ways that truly engage the listener.
[ Bullet Called Life ]
Bullet Called Life brings a refreshing variety of sound to the local music scene. This rock and roll band brings back old-school guitar solo classic rock. The four met in high school in their hometown of Oak Lawn, forming The Wheel, which later evolved into Bullet Called Life. Inspirations for their style came from bands such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd, which can be heard in their newly released EP (available at bulletcalledlife.com).
[ Elsinore ]
Elsinore blends acoustic guitar and four-part harmony to create a sound they describe as acoustic folk/rock/alt-country. Led by Ryan Groff on guitar and vocals, their influences range from bluegrass to rock and Latin, earning comparisons to Crosby Stills & Nash. Originally a softer acoustic trio, the group has expanded into a quintet featuring congas, piano and additional vocals and is beginning to blend in electric guitar at live shows.
Elsinore has been named house band at Champaign’s White Horse Inn, and the group will release their six-song EP on Jan. 29 at Jackson Ave. Coffee in Charleston.
[ Shipwreck ]
Shipwreck’s effect-laden sound leads some to compare this shoe-gazer group to Radiohead or Interpol, but the four friends have trouble finding words for their spacey sound. Originally from small Illinois towns, the group has lived and worked in Champaign for years and are kept here by music and friends. “Champaign is an encouraging place to play,” says vocalist Harman Jordan.
Shipwreck has plans for a ten-track album due out in April. Jordan describes the album as a collection of “hypnotic spells and charged dark lullabies.”
Shipwreck will record “Alias,” one of their first collectively written songs, for GSR’s Playlisted, which Jordan calls their most musically complex and energetic tunes.
[ The Ending ]
Tempo, rhythm, beat, pulse. These words describe the fundamentals of music, since these concepts “are relevant to all aspects” of a song, explains Louie Golden, lead singer of The Ending. Throughout the year that the band has been together, they have been able to combine the skills they each picked up through participating in their university drum-line. The end result: highly percussive rock music with a metal edge. After touring this past summer, the band has been working on their new album, which should be released in March.
[ The Lifeline ]
The Lifeline is a unique band made up of two friends from New York. This guitar and violin duo wrote several songs together and made their first concert debut in Long Island, N.Y., during the summer of 2003.
In 2004, the band independently released their first EP to critical acclaim (and radio airplay) in upstate New York. After acquiring an astounding new rhythm section, the duo was given the opportunity to record their latest group of songs in their entirety, producing the album Where There is Life, There is Hope….‑The Lifeline put their musical style somewhere in a complicated mix of A.F.I. and Pink Floyd but delivered with their distinct violin melodies and edgy vocals.
[ DJ Farsheed Hamidi-Toosi ]
His hypnotic grooves on DJ Spinnerty’s track on Emergence made Farsheed a local favorite. This year’s track will prove to be a step up in DJ work and will please all lovers of hip hop.
[ Omniscient Presence ]
Omniscient Presence, a conscious hip-hop group, is made up of two members from the Chicagoland area.‑Edward Moses and Victor Carreon get their name from a line in the Company Flow song “Patriotism.” Moses describes the music he produces as lyrically complicated and slightly arrogant, while demonstrating strong pride in craftsmanship. Primary musical influences include Company Flow, Aesop Rock, Binary Star and several local MCs. According to band member Moses, “hip hop is something you live”.
[ Triple Whip ]
Lacing unpredictable funk, indie rock and hip hop laced with a jazzy edge, Triple Whip creates texture out of minimalism. Bass-riffs, clean and sparse guitar, and Santanu Rahman’s eclectic vocals, which draw from various genres of film, lead to Triple Whip’s branding as “Cinema Art Rock.” The group’s debut full-length, Slapshot (Innocent Words), was recorded by Matt Talbott (Hum) with help from Rick Valentin (Poster Children). The band has played as part of the Asians in Rock tour and GrrrlFest, appeared on local TV and radio, and played with The Unicorns and Salaryman.
[ Sincerely Calvin ]
Sincerely Calvin is a pop-rock band with a punk-ish groove. During the past two years, they’ve become a favorite for house parties, striking up a dedicated following. After taking a short break last semester to study abroad, the band is back this year with new songs and a new attitude. The group is led by vocalist Jack McCabe (also of Irish group Spiral Seisiun).
[ i:scintilla ]
i:scintilla is a quartet truly made for the electronic age. Influenced primarily by the likes of Garbage and Evanescence, the band craftily fuses vocals, grinding guitar and throbbing bass to create a slice of electro-industrial space-rock over sequenced drums and effects.
The group’s sound is immersed in electronic ambience and the dystopia imagined by the lyrics of Brittany Bindwell. Already an established live act on the Champaign-Urbana music scene, i:scintilla recently released their debut full-length LP, The Approach, on Chicago-based industrial label Positron! Records.
[ Missing The Point ]
Missing The Point is a pop-rock band hailing from Champaign-Urbana. The first task of the group was to create a name that represented each member of the band; after much contemplation, the word “miss” was formed from their names and they decided that Missing The Point was the best inclusion of that word. The band marked the release of their first self-titled album on Mar. 16, 2002 and have since produced several other albums and have been touring for a few years. Influences for their music include selections from reggae/breakdown as well as pop bands such as 311, Blink 182, Lucky Boys Confusion, and Plain White T’s.
[ Ambitious Pie Party ]
Formed from the ashes of Synesthesia, who appeared on last year’s compilation, Ambitious Pie Party channels their own groovy vibe to make big, danceable music.
Playlisted will be released free of charge to students on Apr. 23. Pay attention for upcoming shows featuring Green St. bands. More information about the label and the artists can be found at www.greenstrecords.com