But most up-and-coming musicians arent fortunate enough to have their songs spotlighted in works by one of their generations most innovative filmmakers. The Anaheim-based Willowzs most dedicated fan is director Michel Gondry, who included some of their tracks in the hipster-approved films Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep. Little surprise that the band is quite proud of this. We didnt even have a record out, and we were still in school, says Willowz frontman Richie James Follin. He pretty much gave us a chance to stop going to school. Whenever he comes to our shows, hes in the front rocking out. Gondry also directed a buzzed-about video for the group. He even picked up the tab. He said he had a dream about one of our songs, says Follin. He drew it on a napkin for me.
The Willowzs new CD, Chautauqua, was made at a house in upstate New York. The blurry indie-rock of the bands previous two albums has mellowed into a lazier, almost-rustic groove this time around. Follin says the locale, plus being under the rootsy influence of the Bands self-titled 1969 opus, contributed to the sound. We recorded our other records in California, where our schedules would always get in the way, he says. All of the new songs just came together [in New York].
Yet, theres still quite a bit of garage-based rattle and hum on Chautauqua. Follin says its a part of the Willowz that theyll probably never shake -- even if they could. We wanted to make a Pet Sounds, he says. It at least sounds more like an album than anything weve ever done.
Sat., April 21, 9 p.m.