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Popfest 2006 Band Profiles
(We'll be adding more profiles soon)

The Brother Kite, Providence, RI
Listen to The Music Box
Thebrotherkite is a stirring dream-pop experiment that is as absorbing as it is challenging – and one that no discerning listener should go without.
“But the human voice -- even one as ethereally lovely as lead singer Patrick Boutwell's -- is just one more instrument in the melange of guitars, keyboards and percussion that make up The Brother Kite's shoegaze sound. Think waves of harmony and melody, plus insistent rhythms, all sounding like a cross between The Beach Boys and a symphony, and you start to get the idea.” /The Providence Journal

Bunnygrunt, St. Louis, MO
Bunnygrunt formed in early 1993, releasing 7"s and EPs and drawing attention to their rapid release schedule. They recorded two full-lengths between 1995 and 1998 and attracted favourable reviews, yet the band disappeared soon after this, with little fanfare.

In the fall of 2004, a new collection of old tracks and rarities, entitled “In the Valley of Lonesome Phil,” was released and their earlier song “Season's Freaklings” was used on the soundtrack to the Billy Bob Thornton movie, “Bad Santa,” enhancing the band's popularity. The band played a house party, with Lauren Trull on bass, to celebrate the movie's release, and decided to reform full time, playing the Athens PopFest later that year. The band released their latest album, “Karen Haters Club,” on Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records, in the fall of 2005.

Colin Clary & the Magogs, Burlington, VT  
If you like to make out to the Beach Boys and have ever fallen in love or had your heart broken then we consider you among our peers and this album is about someone like you. Simplicity and subtlety are combined with solid songcraft and pristine arrangements to create an achingly poignant album of considerable emotional and lyrical depth all wrapped up and disguised as a sunshine pop record.

Dyrdin, Reykjavik, Iceland  
Einar and Maggi were all well versed in indie and alternative rock and found out that with a Dr. Rhythm drum machine and an analog Tascam 4-track Portastudio could do wonders. Einar's sister, Hafdís, surprised them all by suddenly displaying singing talent, and was hired immediately. Now with a keyboardist and drummer, Dýrðin are poised to please pop fans with their humor and charm in such songs as “The Frog Prince” and "17 júní," celebrating the Icelandic national holiday.

Dýrðin has begun their little pop revolution in their native Iceland, opening up for The Raveonettes, Blonde Redhead, Trabant, Bacon and Helvar at the Innupukinn Festival as well as playing at the infamous Iceland Airwaves Festival.

Hands and Knees, Boston, MA
“Spunkier than Strokes and as fundamentally uplifting as the first Legends! album (it’s the treated vocals that draw out the parallels as much as anything), La Fea froth and bubble with a bundle of trouble, erupting in an artfully poised rush of blood like rabid Pop Artists with safety pins stuck in their hearts. La Fea are Punk Rock in the same way that Baby Lemonade were Punk Rock and Green Day weren’t. Go figure.” Tangents

The Icicles  
The Icicles first full-length album, “A Hundred Patterns,” features sweet melodies, beautiful harmonies, smooth bass lines, solid toe tapping drum beats and great sing along choruses. But somehow the sum is more than the total of the parts. The beautifully quiet “Pretty” features Jeff Baron (Ladybug Transistor, Essex Green, Sixth Great Lake) on guitar. Pop fans need not worry, there are also plenty of get-up-out-of-your-seat-and-dance songs like “I Wanna Know.”

The Icicles have magically sewn together a classic pop album that will keep you warm on those cold winter nights, and will keep you cool during the dog days of summer. If you are looking for comparisons look no further than Heavenly, the Go Go’s, sixties girl group the Murmaids and more recently the All Girl Summer Fun Band.

The L’il Hospital, Washington, DC  
It started as an extra-curricular activity for Kevin Alvir. Needing to express his love for the Aislers Set and the Television Personalities, Kevin recorded pop songs in his basement using a 4-track, a cheap drum machine, and an electric guitar under the moniker "the Hospitals." Since Kevin didn't have any friends that shared his liking for pop music or to play with, he decided to call his tapes, The Lil'Hospital.

Recently, the Lil'Hospital has released their 2nd full length on Total Gaylord Records, "Heavy Metal" (2006). Kevin gathered a full band of 4 friends: Edward (drums), Lynne (bass), Bob K (guitar/moog), and Sadie (violin/vox). This time the songs are decorated with strings, horns, keyboards, and real drums. The songs, at times cryptic, bespeak a Ray Davies-esque world where characters strive for authenticity in a world full of inauthenticity. If you don't pick up on that, it's okay. The Lil'Hospital just wants you to hum along and dance around.

Locas in Love, Cologne, Germany
Listen to Zum Beispiel Ein Unfall
We are a band that took its name from a subseries of the Love & Rockets comics, a band that likes to play loads and loads of shows when it isn't burying itself in recording projects. We like to stay busy and we'd love to take you along for the ride. Yeah.

Math & Physics Club, Seattle, WA
Listen to Weekends Away  
Seattle five-piece Math and Physics Club will charm you with short, smart pop songs filled with sweet sentiments and jangly instrumentation. With inspiration drawn from their 80's pop roots, along with a nod to 60's folk, the sound is familiar but fresh, and before it's over you may well find yourself humming along and daydreaming of lost loves.
Childhood friends Charles and James first picked up guitars and started writing their own songs in college, but the collaboration remained confined to dreary Pacific Northwest basements until they met Kevin, Saundrah, and Ethan within a fortunate span of just a few months during the summer of 2004.
With a hastily sewn together demo recorded in their basement, they managed to catch the ear of Jimmy Tassos at Matinee Recordings. They soon signed on as the only active American band on the label and found themselves amidst Matinee's impressive roster of indiepop royalty, including The Lucksmiths, Would-be Goods, Pipas, and Harper Lee. They released their debut EP, titled Weekends Away, in February 2005, and they are working on a follow-up due later this summer.

My Teenage Stride, NYC  
The Brooklyn-based My Teenage Stride draws from a kaleidoscopal array of pop influences to create songs that are at once highly personal and idiosyncratic and universal in their appeal. My Teenage Stride's musical vision encompasses every era of pop music's rich history, but never flirts with pale imitation and craftless posturing.
The heart of My Teenage Stride's recorded output is found in multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter Jedediah Smith, who is thusfar the sole instrumentalist on all of MTS's recordings. Jedediah grew up in Massachusetts and at age 14 started playing drums and guitar, soon adding bass, piano, and organ to the mix. As soon as he could abscond with his older brother's Tascam 4-track, he was writing and recording songs as a one-man band, and by age 18 he had compiled several boxes of tapes and had already written 400 songs. A decade later, he's probably written thousands, with no signs of slowing down.
Echoes of John Cale's solo work, mid-sixties Kinks, Phil Spector, The Chills, David Bowie, Guided By Voices, The Wedding Present, 80s synth-pop and even Neil Diamond can be heard in Jedediah's recorded oeuvre, but that's just a short list - Jedediah is a living compendium of virtually every pop style that has existed from 1956 through the present.

Palomar, Brooklyn, NY
Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Palomar was born in 1998 with the instant release of their self-titled, self-released, debut album "Palomar." Packed with four-part harmonies, their Frankensteinian meld of spirited indie pop and angular punk immediately won them comparisons to Seattle's Fastbacks and England's Talulah Gosh. Their sophomore album, "Palomar II" was released in 2002 and was met with unbridled enthusiasm by such print publications as Billboard, the New York Times, and The New Yorker. Palomar also began touring nationally at this time, playing dates with alt. rock untouchables Spoon, Mates of State, The Wrens and many more. "PALOMAR III: Revenge of Palomar" is, not surprisingly, Palomar's long-awaited third album. Released in the summer of 2004, Palomar have already toured the country twice in support of the CD, most recently opening dates on Luna's farewell tour. This indie quartet's thoughtfully crafted pop songs exist, seemingly unconsciously, in stark and refreshing contrast to the exhausting march of faddish rockers that trudge anonymously along the commercial airwaves today. Palomar is a band that exists simply to express itself uniquely, timelessly, and with endearing optimism.

Polar Bear Parade, Brooklyn, NY
Listen to Mountain Lion
From: Marisha Chinsky
Subject: Re: Message from San Diego Zoo Web site user to Visitor/Guest Inquiries
Please get the polar bears on the camera. The view is only water. I have not seen the bears on camera in a long time. You should consider getting the moving camera that tracks movement like the Panda Cam at the National Zoo.
Thank you,

From: PublicRelations
To: Marisha ChinskyBR Sent: Tue, 29 Nov 2005 13:00:29 -0800
Subject: Re: Message from San Diego Zoo Web site user to Visitor/Guest Inquiries
Thank you for your suggestion. Please understand that our cam does not cover all of the areas where the polar bears may choose to go.

Ponies in the Surf, Boston, MA
Listen to Little Boy Lost
Hi, Ponies in the Surf started out as a strummed lark on a summertime porch -- novelty songs, children's tunes, commercial jingles, Zombies covers, stabs at Edith Piaf melodies and other attempts to create the soundtrack to our lives. We're a brother and sister duo (Camille and Alexander McGregor), so that soundtrack life has overlapped plenty of times. We've always thought our songs are best suited for 3 a.m. or early afternoon, since often those are the moods we're trying to recapture in sound. You know, like when you have an epiphany while washing dishes? We're from Cambridge, Mass and Bogota, Colombia, and we think people that only like one kind of music are sad. We try writing and singing in lots of international styles, most of the time with one guitar and two vocal chords. Sometimes the simulated orchestra shows up, too. Our musical heroes are many, but we have covered songs by Claudine Longet, the Everly Brothers, Talking Heads, Palito Ortega (the Argentinian Ricky Nelson), Antonio Carlos Jobim, and 60's Christian folkies Linda Rich and Joseph Wise. I think we even tried a Singing Nun song once, too. We think music is the most beautiful and profound thing possible in this world, and we try our best not to commit too many crimes against it.

The Sawtelles, Plantsville, CT
Listen to Garden
“Think of this as a lo-fi version of the White Stripes, with Peter Riccio as Jack White (voice, guitar) and Julie Riccio (voice, drums) as what's her name. Happily, this pair doesn't have the bloated affectations of the Motor City's only profitable export. Their best songs ("Floor It," "Happy," "Side by Side") are colored by steady acoustic strumming and simple but busy drumming that recalls Mo Tucker of the Velvet Underground. Their lyrics are at times as inscrutable as Robyn Hitchcock's, and some of the songs seem to be searching for a tune but Here Is... has a sneaky appeal, growing on you with each listen.” Alan Bisbort, “The Hartford Courant”

Secret Shine, Bristol, UK
Listen to Catch the Sun
In September, 1991, Secret Shine released two debut singles ("After Years" and "Unbearable") on two different labels (Sarah Records and A Turntable Friend, respectively), within a week of each other. The sound of these singles was definitive Sarah Records-styled pop. Shortly thereafter the band changed their sound to something more distorted, loud, and raw - but definitely still melodic. "Ephemeral" was released in April, 1992 and was the first hint at this band's great sonic achievements. "Loveblind" followed in March of 1993, and was quite a success - the single was played every night on Steve Lamacq's show as "Single of the Week", and that same week John Peel also played it every night - it reached #19 on the UK indie charts. "Untouched" was released a month later and was the bands shining moment - a full 8 tracks of gorgeous, blissful shoegaze/dreampop. Reverbed & distorted guitars, ethereal boy/girl harmonies, sonic bliss... "Greater Than God" was Secret Shine's last release for Sarah, and was their hardest-edged sounding release to date, taking big cues from the loudest bits of MBV's "Loveless."

Secret Shine will be promoting their latest ep, “Elemental,” released in spring, 2006.

The Smittens, Burlington, VT
Listen to Doomend Lo-Fi and in Love
The Smittens are a five-piece fi-curious indiepop band hailing from Burlington , VT. The Dangerfive label released their debut album Gentlefication Now! in winter, 2004, a DIY bubblegum pop explosion! Their second release, A Little Revolution, out now, was mastered by Rob Christiansen (Tsunami, Sisterhood of Convoluted Thinkers).
“This is pop music as an act of revolution… Like the Pogues might sound if every member were Jonathan Richman.” – Erasing Clouds

The Snow Fairies, Philadelphia, PA
Listen to Baja California
The Snow Fairies want to make you dance to pop music!  Originally formed in 2000, the five-piece has been crafting short and sweet tunes that have been heard on such record labels as Shelflife and Red Square Records. Rose Bochansky (vocals), Jayme Guokas (guitar/bass), Melissa Kramer (keyboards), Laurance Margaritas (guitar/bass), and Matthew Snyder (drums) combine catchy melodies and peppy rhythms with lyrical themes ranging from the romantic to the bizarre.  The most recent of these pop gems are available on the band's second album, Get Married, out now on Chocolate Hearts and Total Gaylord Records.

Spouse, Northampton, MA
Listen to Kiss or Wave
spouse is an experimental rock band from the northeastern united states. inspired by legendary rock and roll bands like the clash, the replacements, the pixies and pavement, spouse make music that follows in a tradition of great song writing while breaking new ground in sonic expression.
similar to groups like the magnetic fields and the flaming lips, spouse operates more like a project than a fixed roster band. josé ayerve, has been leading and directing the band since its inception. many musicians contribute to the project, creating a rich collage of talents and perspectives.

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