"They've been my favorite band for eons," says label co-owner Chad Pearson. "Bands like Further Seems Forever and Dashboard Confessional are doing really well, and Brandtson are playing to 100 kids every night. We want to take it to the next level."
Brandtson just finished recording with Ed Rose, who produced the band's last three releases, in addition to albums for the Get-Up Kids and Reggie & the Full Effect. Whereas each of Brandtson's previous albums was recorded in less than a week, the new one was cut over 20 days at Black Lodge Studios in Kansas. "We've put out five records now, and we've always been under the gun in the studio," says guitarist Matt Traxler. "This is the first time we've been able to take the time to explore different ideas."
The still-untitled LP is tentatively slated for an early summer release. Look for Brandtson's rocked-up cover of the Police's "King of Pain" on a Militia Group sampler that will hit stores February 10, or download it from www.themilitiagroup.com. The band is back home in Cleveland, rehearsing, but will tour most of the year, including an appearance at March's South by Southwest Festival.
· If you're a promising local talent who missed the regional American Idol auditions, Akron's Voodoo Lounge wants to help get you there next time. Monday, February 2, is the final night of auditions for the second annual Akron Idol. Five bucks gets would-be superstars the chance to face a panel of celebrity judges, including Akron Idol 2003 winner Chris Mitchell. Akron Idol 2004 wins an all-expenses-paid trip to the next American Idol auditions in Detroit.
· These Bloody Hands, the debut from Clevo metalcore phenoms 13 Faces, has sold more than 5,000 copies, making it the top-selling album of all time for Columbus's Bandaloop Records. This is due in part to the band's interstate touring with Mushroomhead (whose latest, XIII, just cracked the 100,000 sales mark, according to Nielsen SoundScan). The matchup worked so well that the bands are planning another go at it: Starting in February, Faces will hit the road with the 'Head and Dope, cutting a path of destruction from New York to Kentucky and back.
· The Northeast Ohio Jazz Society will premiere the documentary The Jazz Elders Saturday, January 31, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at Cuyahoga Community College's Eastern Campus. Produced by regional high school students, the film features interviews with local jazz luminaries, including vocalist Dolores Morgan, saxophonists Andy Anderson and Willie Smith, and trombonist William "Shep" Shepherd. The Jazz Elders will perform after the screening.
· Ripper Watch: In its first week of release, Iced Earth's The Glorious Burden moved more than 8,000 copies, coming in at No. 145 on Billboard's Top 200. The LP, the band's first with former Judas Priest frontman Tim "Ripper" Owners, also landed at No. 30 on the Finnish charts last week. Iced Earth plays the Odeon with Children of Bodom on April 25.