LIVE AID: These Are The CAPITOL YEARS Of Our Lives


BY AMY Z. QUINN You could call the Capitol Years’ show tomorrow at Johnny Brenda’s a comeback, as they haven’t played in town since November. You could call it the kickoff to the Philly contingent’s triumphant march toward Austin and next week’s South By Southwest Music Conference. “Or you could call it our fund raiser to pay for the trip to SXSW and back,” frontman Shai “Son of Eli” Halperin told me. The band’s most recent album, Dance Away the Terror [NOW PLAYING ON PHAWKER RADIO] is only a few months old, its first single “Mirage People” — inspired by a bitchy blog comment — is in steady college radio rotation, but new songs are already in the can, and some of them might get a tryout on at JBs tomorrow.

“These days, there is an odd dynamic to the life of a record,” Shai told me in an email confab. “It can blow up very quickly via certain tastemaking blogs or Pitchfork. That sounds like it would be fun. Or it could be more of a slow burn.” And despite the very real deconstruction of Big Music’s corporate music-pushing methods, in the end, he said, it still comes down to forces beyond anyone’s control. “We’ve always been very lucky with certain things like press . . . but that doesn’t always translate into people showing up for shows in Opelika, Alabama, which in a way is what we really want.” In the mean time, they will have to content themselves with the breathless superlatives of the rock crit bloggerati — which the Capitol Years rode like a magic carpet in ’06: spots on big year-end best-of lists, a track on the Fast Food Nation soundtrack.

But the Cap Years strike me as guys that have been through this movie before and it sounds like they will be packing the Reality Check in the van with the rest of the gear. “Lots of bands come down thinking they’re gonna get signed or something,” Shai said. But after the first year or two it becomes less about making it big in Austin and more about the experience itself. “Plus, we got signed five or six times last year, so this year we should get signed at least seven times.” Smart boys.

Johnny Brenda’s, Sat. March 10th. $8, doors at 8 p.m., show starts at 9 p.m.

[Artwork via SoundBites]

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