With many bands today self producing and promoting via Pure Volume, Myspace and national showcases music distributing today has taken on a more D.I.Y. ethic(Do It Yourself for all of you pop radio personnel). DIY was a lifestyle made famous by many hardcore and punk bands in the 80's, bands like Black Flag, Mike Watt and the Minute Men and the Bouncing Souls brought this style of playing and creating music to the fore front. It was the idea of "Fuck MTV" and corporate radio, if we are going to get our sound across we are going to do it on our own and with the help of college radio. After photographing a recent performance of LA's Under the Influence of Giants at the Knitting Factory in New York City, it was the opening act that really got the crowds and my attention right away. The East Village act known as The Spies, are one of the many bands today displaying that DIY ethic and lifestyle. After their set, members of the band jumped into the crowd to get people to sign up for their mailing list and let them know about their various websites. The Spies, a band that sounds much like a cross between Bloc Party and The Strokes gave a funky new wave approach to something that used to be a purely hardcore or punk scene. Its word of mouth that used to get attention to certain bands, its how The Ramones used to pack CBGB'S every night. But today with some many outlets and so many sounds it is becoming a tad easier for bands to break into this struggling industry. Below are a list of some of the best bands you may or may not have herd that are practicing this DIY lifestyle today.
-Patent Pending - The fun punk band from Long Island has damn near perfected how today's outlets can get you recognized. With riling majorly on sites like Myspace and youtube and of course the bands actual website www.patentpendingsmells.com the Long Island quartet are proving with enough heart and soul and of course an abundance of creativity you can live your dream.
-The Fire Flies - The Best Band You Never Herd (period!). Fronted by the musical genius of Dan Romer, a trained Gospel singer, this David Bowie/Flaming Lips inspired band will move you in ways you never thought possible. Check them out at www.myspace.com/firefliesmusic
-Paper and Sand - The Sister band to The Fire Flies, and equally as brilliant . www.myspace.com/paperandsand
- The Spies - Take a look to what the band has got to offer at www.myspace.com/thespies . I guarantee you will be dancing in your seat.
- Ra Ra Riot - A band from Syracuse University now making a name for themselves in NYC. A rock band with a cello is the best way to put it. www.myspace.com/rarariot
For More info on these bands, obviously click on the link above but go to shows and see them live. Sometimes the recordings dont do them justice, its all about the live set.
A live review from Good Times Magazine by Bill Reese will be up soon about the UTIOG show.
Also, for more on the history of DIY check out the book Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azarrad.