BANDS FIND SUCCESS ON MYSPACE.Byline: SUE DOYLE Staff Writer
SANTA CLARITA Santa Clarita, city (1990 pop. 110,642), Los Angeles co., S Calif., suburb 30 mi (48 km) NW of downtown Los Angeles, on the Santa Clara River; inc. 1987. Situated in the Santa Clara valley and nearby canyons, Santa Clarita includes the former towns of Canyon Country, -- Members of a local rock 'n' roll rock 'n' roll: see rock music. band were wandering the aisles of a grocery store after a concert in Arizona one night this summer when they first heard it -- their top song was playing on a cell phone.
The ring tone jammed their original hit ``Walked Away,'' a tune that speaks to relationships gone bad. The sound left the three Suicide Stompbox members speechless speech·less
1. Lacking the faculty of speech.
2. Temporarily unable to speak, as through astonishment.
3. Refraining from speech; silent.
It was a sign they had reached beyond Santa Clarita's local dives, well past Southern California's club scene and into a far larger arena -- the world of cell phones.
``It's a bigger tool than the radio, I believe. Not too many kids listen to the radio anymore,'' said Michael B, singer and lead guitarist who doesn't use his full last name these days. ``But every kid has every ring tone to every band.''
Fans download the band's main song into their cell phones from Suicide Stompbox's page on social-networking Web site MySpace.com.
The landscape for local bands in search of some precious moments in the music industry's spotlight has changed significantly because of the Internet and Web-related technologies.
Groups are finding valuable exposure by recording songs in their bedrooms, family rooms and other ordinary places and then posting them online to MySpace pages or their own Web sites, where they can be heard from Palmdale to Paris.
The technology shoots them over hurdles that young bands faced in the past when they drove around to radio stations, desperately searching for some willing soul to take a chance on them and play their records on the radio.
Today the Web can do the same job. Minus the attitude.
Always dreaming of making it big, Burbank guitarist John Armentrout has cobbled cob·ble 1
1. A cobblestone.
2. Geology A rock fragment between 64 and 256 millimeters in diameter, especially one that has been naturally rounded.
3. cobbles See cob coal.
tr. bands together for years, playing gigs wherever he can, from suburban bars to his son's school carnival. But nothing ever went beyond that. No agent or hopeful manager ever appeared in the crowd, offering fame, fortune and a coveted cov·et
v. cov·et·ed, cov·et·ing, cov·ets
1. To feel blameworthy desire for (that which is another's). See Synonyms at envy.
2. To wish for longingly. See Synonyms at desire. label.
But recently the 42-year-old made a page on MySpace for his band BurnDaddies and included downloadable songs that the five-member band of all dads recorded in Armentrout's living room.
Two days later, Armentrout received an e-mail from a promoter who had listened to the band's songs on MySpace. Then he invited BurnDaddies to play with other groups in an all-acoustic showcase in August at the Sunset Strip's Rainbow Room For the Los Angeles nightclub, see Rainbow Bar and Grill.
The Rainbow Room is a well-known upscale restaurant and nightclub on the sixty-fifth floor of the GE Building in Rockefeller Center, Midtown Manhattan, New York City. .
The lead guitarist still grins from the news.
``I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. how otherwise we would have gotten into this acoustic showcase. It was pure fate,'' he said. ``Just having that exposure on the Internet -- we never could have paid for it in any way, and a record label would never have covered us.''
And like Armentrout and his band discovered, some power once bestowed only to musical giants is now within reach of the little guys in the market.
Take ring tones, for example. Once limited to legendary melodies such as ``The Sting'' and ``Fur Elise,'' ring tones quickly emerged into a competitive musical market as the field expanded to include big-name bands like Counting Crows and one-hit wonders List of one-hit wonders can refer to
1. Contraction of want to: You wanna go now?
2. Contraction of want a: You wanna slice of pie? be Rich.''
But those singing their hearts out at graduation party performances and school dances were completely shut out of the catchy cell-phone market.
Now independent bands and unsigned unsigned
(of a letter etc.) anonymous
Adj. 1. unsigned - lacking a signature; "the message was typewritten and unsigned"
signed - having a handwritten signature; "a signed letter" artists are getting a small shot at the big time by selling their own ring tones from Web sites and MySpace pages through a new technology called MyxerTags, which launched in March.
So far, more than 100,000 users have downloaded about 150,000 of these ring tones, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the Florida-based creator mVisible Technologies Inc.
At the same time, there are more venues available today for new musicians because of the Internet, who can become DJs overnight by making their own radio stations online.
Pres Maxson, 26, of the Bo Dukes runs a weekly radio show online where, between interviews, he advertises his own band and its new CD.
The band also has a MySpace page.
``We always start and finish the show with music from my band and in the middle treat it like an interview,'' Maxson said.
Larger online radio stations such as thundergroundradio.com and scrubradio.com are more willing to take on unknowns than Hollywood's big labels.
But the fate of new musicians on these Web sites is often thrown to listeners who rank the new music online.
So far, it has worked for Suicide Stompbox.
``The Internet has helped us reach people who we wouldn't be able to normally reach. We get people from all over the state, New Jersey and Florida,'' said Spade, Suicide Stompbox's bassist, another musician who dropped his last name. ``There's no way we'd be able to talk to people like that without this technology.''
The 27-year-old said it also helps distribute and promote music cheaper than in the past when recordings were once shipped through the post office, messengers and overnight express facilities. He sends these items today through e-mails.
And while Spade, Michael B and drummer Gabe just came off a three-month tour of Arizona, Nevada and California and have signed with a record label, they are now recording a professional CD.
But the fate of other homegrown home·grown
1. Raised or grown at home.
2. Originating in or characteristic of a locality: "Rock is homegrown music in the United States, evolved from blues and country and Tin Pan Alley" bands isn't always as fortunate as this trio, who lucked out in the studio when they first recorded ``Walked Away.'' Someone there that day liked what he heard and had the right connections for the local band.
Others have spent lifetimes waiting for the big break, working for years at odd jobs odd jobs npl → chapuzas fpl
odd jobs npl → petits travaux divers
odd jobs odd npl → during the day just to play at some obscure night club in the evening.
But maybe the dreams of becoming the next Adam Duritz, Eddie Van Halen and other music legends aren't so far out of reach anymore for today's local rock stars.
``Now anyone can record as they want and publicize pub·li·cize
tr.v. pub·li·cized, pub·li·ciz·ing, pub·li·ciz·es
To give publicity to.
publicize or -cise
[-cizing, -cized] without the big boy behind them,'' Armentrout said. ``I think people can truly do their own thing.''
(1 -- color -- ran in SAC Sac: see Sac and Fox.
SAC - 1. An early system on the Datatron 200 series.
[Listed in CACM 2(5):16 (May 1959)]. edition only) Singer Scott Pontius, left, belts out a tune while guitarist John Armentrout joins in Saturday in Burbank. Their band BurnDaddies has gained exposure through MySpace.com.
(2) Lead singer Scott Pontius and guitarist John Armentrout rehearse re·hearse
v. re·hearsed, re·hears·ing, re·hears·es
a. To practice (a part in a play, for example) in preparation for a public performance.
b. for their band BurnDaddies at John's home in Burbank on Saturday morning.
Alex Collins/Special to the Daily News