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MoRisen's New Horizons

The Talk at SXSW, publishing deal hilight busy 2005 for local label

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MoRisen's The Alternative Champs: In it for the ladies It's been an eventful stretch for local label MoRisen Records, and the horizon still seems a long way off. Back in October of last year at the annual CMJ Music Marathon in New York City, three MoRisen bands — Elevator Action, The Talk and Snatches of Pink — were featured in the CMJ Alert, the industry rag promoting the music conference clusterfuck second only to Austin, Texas' South by Southwest.

Speaking of which, local (the genre of your choice goes here)-rockers The Talk have been invited to this year's five-day (March 16-20) drunken spree during which musicians, industry wonks and crazed fans debauch in hedonistic musical fraternity. This marks the first appearance by a Charlotte band since...well, we're still working on that.

Label president Chuck Morrison summed it up this way: "The Talk being invited to SXSW is just another brick on the foundation for them and the label."

In a slightly less sexy development (unless bags of cash are your thing), the label announced a co-publishing agreement with Baby New Year Music, a music publishing company run by Jay Faires, former Chapel Hill label Mammoth Records' head cheese. BNYM's specialty is placing songs in hit TV shows, movies and the like, which in terms of exposure and paydays is an increasingly attractive option for many bands (or at least their managers) since "genrefication" of the radio fucked that medium up.

As for the rest of 2005, MoRisen has eight new releases lined up, including The Talk's next one (producer: Brian Paulsen — Arcwelder, Jesus Lizard, Wilco), a new one from Elevator Action (John Agnello — Mark Lanegan, Dinosaur Jr. — producing), the Mersey Sound debut and the sophomore effort from rock stars-in-waiting the Alternative Champs, which Morrison says to "watch out for."

Odds ´n´ Sods Another local label, Deep Elm, recently announced that its entire catalog (which includes Five Eight, Claire de Lune and Walt Mink) was now available for digital download — some new computer thing, we're told — on such sites as iTunes, Napster and DownloadPunk...It's not quite an invitation to play, but kudos to Jason Scavone & the Noises 10 for being chosen as a finalist in the SXSW web awards, one of five finalists in the music category; check out the fuss at www.jasonscavone.com...Ditto kudos to the Robin Rogers Band, who won "Best Self-Produced CD" from the Blues Foundation, Memphis; Jim Brock was at the board....congratulations also to local songwriters Becky Story and Mike McGinnis, whose song "Bow Wow Boogie" was named as a finalist in the Children's Music category of the International Songwriting Competition, and to Joey Auch, whose "Already Paid" was similarly rewarded in the Folk/Songwriter category. Not bad, considering there were 11,000 entries from 77 countries and the judges included Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Bo "B. Diddy" Diddley, Stacey "Yes, I'm Steve's Sister.Diddy" Earl and David "Of Los Lobos, Dummy.Diddy" Hidalgo; you can vote for your favorites after hearing them at www.songwritingcompetition.com, or try your hand by signing up for next year's event...and finally a tip of the cap to country crooner Chris Cook, handpicked to open Kevin Montgomery's upcoming European vacation (Cook's second trip to England in as many years under similar circumstances), and to local rockers Blanco Diablo, whose strong showing at an Atlanta music showcase earned them a trip to England, too, where they also booked a date at The Cavern Club in Liverpool which is famous for...damnit...something or other. (Well, it's a replica of the original anyway.)

In the studio David Childers & the Modern Don Juan's new one, Jailhouse Religion, is getting mixed down and is due out in April or May...The long-anticipated debut (which could function as the title) from local experimentalist octet Pyramid is done; the CD release is set for March 18 at the Neighborhood Theatre...Drat's debut, Sorry — We're Drat, was recently completed at Catalyst Recording; produced by Rob Tavaglione, all 13 tracks were recorded in one day with a minimum of overdubs and no computerized pitch or timing correction, which is pretty fuckin' punk rock by any yardstick...

Editor's Note: If you've recently turned in a locally produced disc for review, or would like to, the next Local Sit & Spin feature is scheduled to run at the end of March.

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