Peek-A-Boo Records

Peek-A-Boo News

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Octopus Project to play Coachella 2006

So here's the deal. The Octopus Project received an email last weekend inviting them to perform at Coachella 2006. Holy shit, right? Apparently there was a contest on MySpace where people could nominate bands, and from these, Coachella would select one winner to play the festival. Check out the original call for entrants here.

Over a thousand bands were nominated, and although MySpace user votes played a part in bringing these nominations to the judges' attention, ultimately the winner was selected based on the opinions of the Coachella staff. And that winner was The Octopus Project. The kicker? The Octopus Project didn't even know about the contest until they won.

Needless to say, the band is psyched and quickly asked their booking agent to schedule a detour to Indio, CA (where the Coachella festival is held), in their upcoming 60-date Spring tour.

The full line-up, which includes Depeche Mode, Franz Ferdinand, Sigur Ros, My Morning Jacket, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Cat Power, Animal Collective, Devendra Banhart, The Walkmen, Deerhoof, Bloc Party, Mogwai, Wolf Parade and many, many more was released today.

» Official Coachella website
» Coachella MySpace site

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Octopus Project & Palaxy Tracks Join Forces

In one of the most unexpected displays of Peek-A-Boo Records incest to date, Palaxy Tracks frontman Brandon Durham will move back to Austin in March to join The Octopus Project, and in turn the Octopii will back him on the next Palaxy Tracks record.

The Octopus Palaxy Project
The Octopus Project had been looking for a new guitarist while Palaxy Tracks was also undergoing line-up changes, and Brandon, slightly homesick for Austin, was seeking an excuse to leave Chicago.

Brandon reports, "I already have 12 songs for the next record and was thinking about working with other people. I was essentially gearing up to ask Josh [Lambert] if The Octopus Project would play on my next record. But instead, Josh asked me first."

Josh, one of The Octopus Project's three multi-instrumentalists, adds, "We're all incredibly excited. Brandon is a fantastic musician and a great person, and we couldn't be happier."

Palaxy Tracks will perform a few more shows in Chicago and Austin with the current members before Brandon relocates to Austin in time for SXSW and The Octopus Project's upcoming 60-date US tour.

Although sharing members, the two bands will remain distinct entities, and both will begin working on new albums for Peek-A-Boo Records this summer.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Palaxy Tracks Cedarland released in Taiwan

Palaxy Tracks - CedarlandWhile Palaxy Tracks' latest album Twelve Rooms continues to garner great reviews in the US and Europe, the band's previous album is now gaining new fans in Asia, as Taiwan's White Wabbit Records has licensed "Cedarland" from Peek-A-Boo Records for release overseas.

Established in 2002, White Wabbit Records is one of the pioneer indie labels to introduce international indie music to Chinese audiences, importing thousands of titles for distribution in Taiwan and Hong Kong and working with labels such as Shinkansen (UK), Labrador (Sweden) and TeenBeat (US) to license and reissue select titles in that territory.

Palaxy Tracks joins White Wabbit labelmates Explosions in the Sky, Plus/Minus, The Album Leaf, Club 8 and Tracy Shedd this month with the White Wabbit release of "Cedarland."

» Cedarland on White Wabbit Records (Chinese)

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Fire at Sweatbox Studios

Sweatbox, KOOPEarly Friday morning (ie. late Thursday night) there was a fire in the dilapidated downtown building that houses Sweatbox Studio, the KOOP community radio station and numerous rehearsal spaces.

According to news reports, the fire was caused by "the improper disposal of smoking materials." Thankfully no one was hurt, but most of the damage was sustained by Sweatbox on the second floor (watch news video).

KOOP radio, which occupies the building's third floor, is currently off the air but claims to be broadcasting again by Wednesday, January 11th. As a non-commercial, listener-supported radio station, their need for donations has obviously sharply increased. Information about becoming a KOOP member and making a donation can be found here.

Both Sweatbox and KOOP have contributed greatly to the Austin music community over the years. KOOP has shared the airwaves at 91.7 FM with UT's KVRX student radio station for at least 12 or 13 years now, bringing us shows with a focus on independent music like "Ear Candy" and "Stronger than Dirt," plus more eclectic programming like "The Lounge Show" and "Graveside Service."

In its 12 years of existence, Sweatbox has been the birthplace of many beloved Austin garage and punk records. Countless bands have recorded there, including The Lord High Fixers, The Motards, The Moonie Suzuki, The Make-Up, The Makers and too many more to name. Peek-A-Boo artists Black Lipstick and Knife in the Water recorded nearly all of their albums at Sweatbox with proprietor Mike Vasquez at the board.

I have not yet spoken with Mike, but I assume all of the master tapes were destroyed, and more importantly, I wonder about the condition of Mike's large collection of vintage instruments and recording gear. With reports of half a million dollars in damage to the building and over $100,000 in damage to its contents, I fear the worst. This could sadly be the end of another Austin institution.

» Sweatbox article from The Austin American Statesman (July 8, 2004)
» Join KOOP

UPDATE (Jan. 7): I dropped by Sweatbox today and discovered that most of the fire damage was contained in one room across the hall from the studio. There was significant smoke damage to the halls and rehearsal rooms (my clothes smelled like a campfire without even touching anything), but the fire did not enter the studio or radio station. Studio engineer Bryan Nelson reports here that while all of the doors and windows were kicked in to let smoke escape, none of the studio's gear was damaged.

UPDATE (Jan. 22): KOOP and Sweatbox will have to relocate. There is a benefit to raise funds for KOOP at Beerland on Friday, February 10th with The Ugly Beats and Nervous Exits, plus DJs Jennifer (Ear Candy) & Scott (Stronger Than Dirt).
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