Chuck Daley, as they say in this business, gives good press.
The 31-year-old Charlotte native began his one-man music publicity machine, Beartrap PR, last year. In that short time, he's picked up 14 clients across the country from Oregon to Florida, including two -- Philly's Jena Berlin (playing the Milestone May 13) and Tallahassee's Look Mexico -- who were recently named to Alternative Press's 100 Bands You Need to Know in 2007.
But spend five minutes talking to Daley, and you know the kudos and acclaim are only icing; Beartrap is about building a community of like-minded, hard-touring bands -- friends who happen to make music he loves.
"I wanted to do something on a very DIY level," says Daley, who still works for John Szuch's local indie label Deep Elm, where he's been for seven years. "I'm working with bands I really like and I think deserve to be heard, and hopefully that translates. It's probably the majority of what I listen to on my own free time."
One of his first mailings -- a Jena Berlin record that had already been out a year -- was a modest 30, but he estimates two-thirds resulted in reviews -- a great ratio by any standard. Still, his initial six months weren't easy, and he spent a lot of time establishing the business the only way independent publicists can: Slowly and by word of mouth.
Daley's tastes run to punk-based bands, but he promises everything gets an honest listen. (You can even e-mail your band's MySpace page or link to email@example.com.)
"I'll listen to anything; if it's something I'm not into, I'll tell you that," he says.
Currently, Daley's only local act is Andy the Door Bum, whose stellar new record, the Mt. Holly Sessions, was recorded by Robert Childers (2013 Wolves). The lo-fi mix of swamp folk, found sounds, clanking percussion, processed howls and no-bullshit lyrics may not fit the traditional punk rock mold, but it's a helluva lot more DIY than Green Day.
"I put a lot of extra time and effort into his record because I know the guy, I love his music, and he's part of the Milestone and all that history," says Daley. "I'd love to have more local acts, but I'm not one of these publicists who are going to work something just for the money."
OUT NOW OR PRETTY DAMN SOON: The Avett Brothers, fresh off their Coachella appearance, will play a free in-store at Manifest Records on Tuesday, May 15, at 8 p.m. in support of their new record, Emotionalism. They'll be in the WNCW on-air studio the following day at 1 p.m. ... Local modern rock trio Steel Standing's debut, The Road, gets the CD-release-party treatment May 9 at Amos' SouthEnd ... Classically trained guitarist Adam Whiting delivers his sophomore effort, the folk-tinged Civilian, with help from, among others, local standouts Jason Atkins (keys) and Jim Brock (drums) ... Fans of instrumental rock ranging from Explosions in the Sky to Isis, take note: Hello Operator, the six-song debut EP from Via, will be out soon; check the www.myspace/viaviamusic link for more info ...
SAVE INTERNET RADIO! The future of Internet radio is in immediate danger. The Copyright Royalty Board -- backed by the Darth Vader of the music industry, the RIAA -- snuck a bill through a clueless and/or corrupt Congress in March that will exorbitantly raise royalty rates for webcasters beginning May 15 (retroactive to Jan 1, 2006). That's likely to bankrupt most of the 2,500-plus net-stations, which is, natch, the RIAA's intent. The good news is a more fair and balanced bill -- H.R. 2060, The Internet Radio Equality Act -- has been introduced, but needs your immediate help. Go to www.savenetradio.org to find out how you can tell Darth Vader to fuck off.
ODDS & SODS: A new rock-oriented club downtown, Alley Cat, is up and running. Located on College between 6th and 7th streets, you can consult their calendar and find out more about the club at www.myspace.com/insidethealley; the club's grub is provided by The Penguin ... The afore-mentioned Deep Elm is now accepting submissions for Chapter 11 (no, not that Chapter 11) of their on-going series, The Emo Diaries. Any independent artist, signed or unsigned, is eligible. The only requirement is that all songs must be unreleased, and it'd be nice if they didn't suck, either. Interested bands should visit www.deepelm.com and click on the "submit music" link for full details ... Finally, amidst all the hoopla after the successful Fool's Brigade benefit, we neglected to hand out well-deserved kudos to co-promoter Sara Kelly Jones for her hard work alongside Bruce Hazel leading up to and during the event; better late than never, we hope.