Wednesday, November 28, 2007

brushfire records

Brushfire Records
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Brushfire Records

Parent company Universal Music Group
Founded 2002
Distributing label Universal Republic (United States)
Genre Rock, pop, soundtrack
Country of origin United States
Official website

Brushfire Records is a Mango Tree, Hawaii based record label owned by singer-songwriter Jack Johnson. The label, formerly known as The Moonshine Conspiracy Records, was originally made to release soundtracks for Woodshed Films, a surfing movie production owned by Jack Johnson, Emmett Malloy, and Chris Malloy for Thicker than Water. It was after this that the three, with Jack Johnson's wife, Kim Johnson, decided to release albums along with soundtracks. The record company has put out the soundtrack for the Curious George movie Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George and Jack Johnson's In Between Dreams.

[edit] Bands
Animal Liberation Orchestra
Donavon Frankenreiter
G. Love & Special Sauce
Jack Johnson
Matt Costa
Money Mark
Rogue Wave

[edit] Movies and soundtracks
Thicker than Water
September Sessions
A Brokedown Melody
Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George
LOS ANGELES - An art-deco edifice built in the 1930s, the El Rey Theatre on Wilshire Boulevard boasts plenty of eye candy. But it's not the crystal chandeliers that garner attention this evening in mid-October.

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Sign up for: Globe Headlines e-mail | Breaking News Alerts It's the very non-rock 'n' roll item by the stage: a baby stroller.

Oakland-based indie-rock quartet Rogue Wave is sound-checking for the night's show, and singer-guitarist Zach Rogue's nearly 1-year-old daughter is down front in her mom's arms, oversize ear protectors on her tiny head.

Clearly things have changed since Rogue formed the band in 2002 after having been downsized from a project-manager job he hated. Three albums and five years of relentless touring later, the band fills bigger venues, including the Paradise Rock Club tonight. But with his first child at home, musical success isn't foremost on Rogue's mind anymore.

"That's the thing about having children," Rogue says before the show. "The world becomes infinite and very, very small at the same time, because I feel like the options are endless in terms of what life is about. And then it's also very simple, because all I really need is to just hang out with my kid, and life pretty much has its purpose."

Rogue, an earnest conversationalist with a laid-back vibe, enjoys his band's acclaim and is eager to expand his audience. But he's also determined to play music on his own terms.

"Sometimes I feel like, when I'm really in the moment of a song, I'm thinking about my whole kind of family lineage," he says. "Who came before me, and who's going next, and am I honoring them? Am I just doing something that's very self-indulgent?"

Such questions were brought into sharp focus for Rogue between the band's 2005 sophomore album, "Descended Like Vultures," and its new release, "Asleep at Heaven's Gate." The band weathered a barrage of major transformations, including a lineup change with former Beulah bassist Patrick Abernathy joining the group. Even more profoundly affecting, Rogue became a father, multi-instrumentalist Gram Lebron lost his father, and drummer Pat Spurgeon nearly died before receiving a last-minute kidney transplant.

According to Rogue, these experiences infused the music on the band's new album with a greater sense of import. The fresh dose of dedication was crucial for Rogue, who questioned his commitment to music after the grueling tour schedule to promote the band's second record. "Life started to seem very, very dramatic and urgent, and after a while, it just seemed like we had to make this record," he says.

These influences are audible on the record, which is more expansive and organic than the previous releases but still full of gorgeously orchestrated art rock. With half the album's songs clocking in at five minutes or more, and all crammed with instrumental filigrees and electronic effects, the band sounds hungry to pack in everything it needed to express. And yet the album also contains some of the prettiest pop melodies Rogue has penned. "Chicago x 12" begins as a lilting ballad that recalls Wilco before becoming an epic pop-rock jam. "Lake Michigan" opens with jangly guitar, rousing hand claps, and crystalline keyboards, then expands into an intricate sound collage.

It was the band's melodies that first impressed singer-guitarist Matthew Caws of Brooklyn-based indie-rock trio Nada Surf, which has taken Rogue Wave along as tour openers. Caws took a break from recording Nada Surf's upcoming album, "Lucky," to guest on Rogue Wave's latest.

"There's a lovely kind of elegant quality to Zach's melodies that I really identify with, and so I was really happy to be able to chime in a little bit," Caws says by phone from an Indianapolis tour stop. "What can you say? When you have a really good band that's made up of good guys, it's a good day."

Life gave Rogue Wave's members reason to dig deep for this album. Their move from indie label Sub Pop to Jack Johnson's Brushfire Records also meant they finally felt supported to create the album they needed to make. The label espouses values Rogue supports, and Johnson's mega recording career means its artists have abundant freedom. "They're not pressured to do things they don't want to do, and that's great," Rogue says, laughing. "Because I don't want to be pressured to do things I don't want to do."

For Rogue, fulfilling both his creative impulse and career ambitions validates what he's doing and why. Having spent much of the past five years traveling the country, Rogue is concerned about more than just his own family's well-being. Rather than dismiss the significance of making music in the face of poverty and strife, Rogue muses that the complete Beatles songbook has the same heft as the Bible and has offered solace to nearly as many people. Not that he's blaspheming or judging anyone's beliefs, so much as finally resolving that there are many ways to contribute to the world.

"What should people do?" he asks. "Should they follow their hearts? How do you help society? Because people
Live performances from Brushfire Records acts at the Bonnaroo and Vegoose festivals are collected on "Thank You. Goodnight," due Nov. 6. The album will be sold through leading indie retailers and the artist Web sites.

"Thank You" sports performances from Brushfire head Jack Johnson, G. Love & Special Sauce, Matt Costa, Money Mark and ALO. Fans who pre-order through Music Today will be entered into a drawing for VIP tickets to the 2008 edition of Bonnaroo.

In related news, Johnson's next album, "Sleep Through the Static," will arrive in February. It is being recorded at the artist's new, environmentally friendly Los Angeles studio, the Solar Powered Plastic Plant.

Here is the track list for "Thank You. Goodnight":

"Take You There," G. Love & Special Sauce (Bonnaroo 2005)
"Wasting Time," ALO (Bonnaroo 2005)

"Staple It Together," Jack Johnson (Bonnaroo 2005)
"Songs We Sing," Matt Costa (Vegoose 2006)
"Color of Your Blue," Money Mark (Vegoose 2006)
"Constellations," Jack Johnson (Vegoose 2006)
"Hot Cookin'," G. Love & Special Sauce (Bonnaroo 2006)
"Barbeque," ALO (Vegoose 2006)
"These Arms," Matt Costa (Vegoose 2006)
"Island Style," John Cruz (featuring Jack Johnson, Bonnaroo 2005


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