Arts & Entertainment

Press Pass: Where Are They Now?

With two years of artist interviews in the books, we thought we'd take a look back at some of the up and coming artists chronicled in this page and let you know the latest from their careers.

Honor By August: Momentum continues to build for one of our favorite local foursomes. The group just returned from a label showcase in New York before the likes of Universal, Capitol, Atlantic and Koch last Monday. Also of late, the boys got back from their first-ever West Coast show at L.A.’s Viper Room. Locally, the band sold out back to back shows at IOTA Club and Café, and spent a healthy chunk of time working on their first music video for new track “Into the Light,” due out in the days to come. Oh yeah, and they played with Peter Frampton at the Loudoun Summer Music Fest.

Rip It: “Good Enough.” We’ve been hyping the angsty song of inadequacy since it was first played live and now it’s available on the groups re-released LP Drowning Out the Television. Guitarist Evan Field shows his true chops on this track.

 

Ingrid Michaelson: If you weren’t introduced to her in the pages of “Press Pass,” you probably know her as the Old Navy Sweater Song girl. Her song “The Way I Am” has recently served as the catchy jingle for the clothing company’s latest ad campaign. The commercial continues Michaelson’ trend of TV success, as she’s already struck pop-culture gold with her song “Keep Breathing,” played during the climax of the Season Three finale of ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.”

What kind of effect can a song snippet have when played in prime time? The day after the “Grey’s” finale, Michaelson was the most-searched-for term on Google. In the week following the debut of the Old Navy ad campaign, Michaelson’s record sales spiked by 4,000 copies. That’s nearly a third of the total 15,000 sold to date, and a boost that landed her in the Billboard 200 for the first time at #166.

Rip It: “Breakable.” Trust us, in another week you won’t be able to get “The Way I Am” out of your head anyway. This fun-loving number makes light of all our romantic pitfalls.

 

The Alternate Routes: It seems as though everyone has been clamoring for a piece of these guys since we spoke with the Bridgeport, Conn. band last February. Since that time, they started a hot run with an gig on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in April. They appeared on 103.7 KMTT’s Mountain Music Lounge and were interviewed by the BBC in May. In June, the group was part of Clear Channel’s NEW! program, where clicks on the Internet translate to radio plays. They sat in on Paste Magazine’s Culture Club podcast along with Josh Ritter and Marc Broussard  this August. And last but not least, their single “Time Is a Runaway” was featured on the finale of PBS’s show “Army Wives” on August 26. With an pop-rock sound that appeals to a large spectrum of listeners, we suspect even bigger things lay ahead for this crew. You can check them out November 2 when they play the Black Cat in D.C. with The Sketches and No Second Troy.

Rip It: “Ordinary.” This catchy, well-crafted number builds from a campfire-style crooning to a raucous rebellion that will have you belting out the chorus before the end.

 

Alexi Murdoch: Aside from an appearance on Morning Becomes Eclectic with Nic Harcourt, Alexi hasn’t been up to much, but his blog posts on his MySpace site make us think that someone should be watching this guy. Of recent note are posts questioning the validity of childhood heroes and an apology to Kurt Cobain for putting his face on lunch boxes. We’re not exactly sure what to make of the posts, but we're pretty sure that if you look hard enough, the meaning of life can be found in those words. Such a pursuit would certainly suit Murdoch's super-serious nature.

Rip It: “All of My Days.” You’ve heard “Orange Sky” by now, so check out this Nick Drake-meets-Van Morrison tune. It goes perfectly with Indian Summer days and rolled-down windows on winding country roads.

 

Shane Hines and the Trance: Jammin’ Java guitar instructor Hines and his boys continue to make headway with a number of notable doings. This Saturday, Oct. 20, the band will play the Northern Virginia Brewfest before heading out west to play the Viper Room and L.A. SH&T (man, that’s a fun acronym) will spend a little extra time in the City of Angels, as the group was also invited to play a benefit show with Alex Band (The Calling) at Hard Rock Universal.

The band's inroads at MTV continue to pay dividends, with songs slated to appear on MTV shows “The Hills,” “Next,” “Parental Control” and “X Effect.” Hines’ songs will also make the jump to the big screen with a song on the soundtrack of upcoming indie movie release “6 Degrees of Genre.”

Rip It: “Rocket Man.” No, it’s not an original, but the single currently being showcased on 94.7 The Globe certainly shows of Hines’ vocal range, blasting off with each high note.

 

Joe Purdy: All he’s done since his appearance in “Press Pass” last September is finish four more albums. Yeah, you read that right, four, bringing his total catalog to nine. When’s Chinese Democracy due out again?

Purdy keeps a low profile, which is why we’re giving him the nickname “Low Pro Joe,” but whenever his music emerges, it’s always worth his absence from the concert circuit. His latest effort, Take My Blanket and Go, gets back to his full-band approach, which he diverted from on solo-acoustic release Canyon Joe, also put out in 2007. Blanket brings out more of the barroom-bash style Purdy so excels at, particularly on opening track “San Jose.”

Purdy has just two live shows planned for the rest of this year, sadly both in London. There he’ll record a live DVD spanning the entirety of his 10 albums. And no, that’s not a typ-o. Album No. 10, Last Clock on the Wall, is due out soon.

Rip It: All of it. Seriously. Alright, just one? “Good Days” off of Blanket perfectly illustrates Purdy’s knack for narrative song writing, simple-but-memorable melodies and poetic lyrics. Start there, then snag the rest of his work.