Friday, August 28, 2009

Trouble In Mind in the Chicago Reader's Fall Arts Guide 2009

We got a great article written about us in the Reader this week - Apparently we are "People To Watch"... so WATCH OUT!

"Everybody knows what happens when rock 'n' rollers get hitched and have kids: their bands split up, they quit going to shows, and their instruments gather dust in the basement. But Bill and Lisa Roe of CoCoComa, happily married for five years and the proud parents of five-month-old Veronica "Ronnie" Moon—named for Ronnie Spector and Keith Moon—haven't "moved to Berwyn," to borrow the Chicago scene's favorite euphemism for this process. Not only do they still live in the city, but CoCoComa has been playing out steadily since wrapping up a few months of family leave with a Memphis gig on June 20. What's more, the Roes have just launched a garage-pop label, Trouble in Mind, and plan to put out eight singles from eight bands by December. The first, CoCoComa's "Ask, Don't Tell" b/w "The Anchor," came out two weeks ago.

Both of the Roes work day jobs: Bill, 35, is production manager for Chicago Independent Distribution (formerly part of Southern), where he oversees the manufacture of CDs and LPs. Lisa, 33, is a librarian at the Chicago Public Library's Logan Square branch. But CoCoComa's second album, Things Are Not All Right, is due October 20 on Memphis label Goner Records, and they're going on a European tour in December and January—hoping their bassist's girlfriend will nanny for plane tickets. They plan to make weekend trips around the midwest as well. How will they manage all this on top of the full-time task of raising a baby?

"Precariously," says Bill, and they both laugh.

Lisa says starting a label just after Ronnie's birth was a way to make sure they didn't let music fall out of their lives. It's easy to neglect a band when you and your husband are the only two constant members. But when you're running a label, even if you don't do a thing, you'll still be hearing from artists, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.

"Our families are very supportive," Lisa adds. Her mother looks after Ronnie while the Roes are at work or playing a show—in fact, she moved to Chicago from Ohio to help. When CoCoComa plays Goner Fest in Memphis in late September, Ronnie will be coming along, and Bill's mother plans to drive the 300 miles from Chattanooga to babysit during the festival.

Music runs in both families. Bill's father turned him on to Chuck Berry and Jimi Hendrix at an early age, and Lisa's dad was a DJ at Kent State University who briefly managed Devo before they left Akron for Los Angeles. "Bill's biggest fear," says Lisa, "is that Ronnie won't be into music like we are."

Trouble in Mind has three singles on deck for September 22: Ottawa's White Wires, who play surfy doo-wop punk; San Francisco's Fresh & Onlys, who make psychedelic garage pop; and the Sonic Chicken 4 from Perpignan, France, who Bill describes as "the Archies on acid." In November the Roes will follow up with four more, by Albany's Cave Weddings, San Francisco's Ty Segall, Chicago's Tyler Jon Tyler, and Wheels on Fire from Athens, Ohio. Each will contain download codes, redeemable at the CID site.

"We like to start things out by going one hundred miles per hour," Lisa says. "It's a good way to show we're serious about this, and hopefully establish ourselves as a label where people will trust our taste." She describes Trouble in Mind's aesthetic as "every band's take on the two-and-a-half-minute pop song."

"We want this to be the way singles used to be," Bill says, "with one song only on each side."

Trouble in Mind singles won't have cover artwork, or rather they'll all have the same artwork: a radial blue-and-green design, "like a square record executive in the 1960s trying to do something psychedelic," says Bill. The only way to tell the releases apart is by the center labels, which change color from one to the next.

"We're trying to reduce the collectibility," Bill says. Each record comes out first in a pressing of 500 on "trash" vinyl—a swirled-together mix of colored scraps—and after that on plain black, with unlimited repressings. "We want to keep these records in print, something to enjoy instead of resell a month later."

The Roes do most of the label grunt work after Ronnie's asleep—during other people's TV time, as Bill puts it. Sometimes friends, paid in pizza and records, come over to help put records in sleeves or hand-stamp pressing numbers.

The Roes' life doesn't have a lot of wiggle room, but they're excited to be doing what they want to be doing. "It's not a chore to take care of Ronnie," says Bill, "or to put out records by bands we love."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tyler Jon Tyler Review From Buddyhead

Tyler Jon TylerS/T CassetteSelf-Released
So, I hate tapes, and I mean really hate them. It’s a stupid thing to put out in this day and age, but every now and then, someone puts out an all right tape. Nobunny did it earlier this year, and now Chicago’s Tyler Jon Tyler have done it. But we’re not going to talk about the tape; it’s really beside the point.
I’ve seen this band a few times, the first time at Spookie Dookie with the Yolks, then at the Empty Bottle with CoCoComa, and lastly at the Double Door with some bands I don’t remember as the Night Marchers showed up and we got drunk. Having seen them just about every chance I’ve had, I feel that you must know about them.
Like the aforementioned bands, Tyler Jon Tyler is part of the up-and-coming Chicago garage-pop explosion. When I saw them at Spookie Dookie, I was both drunk (1/3 a bottle of bulleit bourbon in my belly at the point, the rest of the bottle was gone by the time the Yolks finished), and totally enamored with their sound. Rebecca’s female-Lou-Reed vocals (I may or may not have yelled that at the show) are effective in the same way that Rick Froberg’s voice is effective; it also perfectly matches the sound of the band. Just listen to “Locked Out” on the band’s Myspace and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Their motto, “Pop Music for Floozies,” sums them up nicely. They might sing about Suicide Robots, but they keep things light with simple song structures and tunes that you can’t help but bob your head to.
With their current lineup, featuring all-around nice guy Tom from Daily Void, they’ve play only about 10 shows. Yet, with that handful of shows, they’ve managed to build quite a following, becoming something of a current favorite of the kids in the Chicago rock’n’roll world (making it onto the Pizza Fest lineup to boot).
There is a very simple sense of fun about the band. I feel much the same way about them as I did about the Smith Westerns last year, and look at how that turned out! Besides, Rebecca is from San Jose and was all about my old radio station, KSCU, so that’s some extra points. I’ll get around to interviewing the guys one of these days, but until then be sure to be on the lookout for them.
You can watch the first show here, and thanks to Acid Marshmallow for letting me post his video. Expect far more from this band in the next few months. They’ve signed to CoCoComa’s brand new label, Trouble In Mind, and should have something out soon.
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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Help fill out Sonic Chicken 4's upcoming tour

Our favorite French band is coming to the US in a couple months a need a little help filling out dates...if you live in/around any of these towns hit us up at

Texas sept 29-oct 1

AZ and NM Octo 2-6

San Diego Oct 7

LA Oct 8-9

Las Vegas ?

Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Sacto Oct 12-14

Seattle Oct 15