BTB#8 – Silverlake Sounds & Autumn Tone Records releases

Written by on January 6, 2009

Tonight we listened to songs from two of my favourite blogs: Aquarium Drunkard and Radio Free Silverlake. Most of the bands we featured tonight are either from one of my old stomping grounds, the Silverlake district of Los Angeles or the play in one of the many venues there quite regularly.

Autumn Tone Records is an independently owned and operated record lable that was founded by Justin Gage, who also writes the popular music blog An Aquarium Drunkard.

The label released of three new albums, plus the digital distribution of J. Tillman’s from Fleet Foxes back-catalog. Last Spring they released Travel by Sea’s sophomore LP, Days of My Escape, followed up in the Fall with Le Switch’s full-length debut, And Now…Le Switch, and The Henry Clay People’s For Cheap Or For Free. The Aquarium Drunkard recapped each release in a recent blog post. We’re going to play a couple of tracks by each of these three artists.

The Playlist

First 7 tracks are from this post: Autumn Tone Records :: 2008 Recap

The Henry Clay People

The Henry Clay People are a rock and roll band from Los Angeles. With common comparisons to Pavement and The Replacements they play a type of no-frills, pretention-free rock that has sorely been missing from LA. The band is made up of brothers Joey (vocals, guitar) and Andy (guitar, vocals) Siara, Noah Green (bass, vocals) and Eric Scott (drums).

The Henry Clay People :: Something In The Water
The Henry Clay People :: Working Part Time

Le Switch

A Los Angeles based rock ‘n’ roll band fronted by singer/guitarist Aaron Kyle.

The band’s self-released debut EP, Hello Today, came out in early 2007. Soon, Eastside Angelenos couldn’t escape them. They played shows pretty much every week at The Echo, Spaceland, Little Radio, Silverlake Lounge, El Cid, El Rey, The Scene and the Viper Room.

Le Switch :: Simple Gifts
Le Switch :: Give Me Something

J. Tillman

Since 2004, J. Tillman has quietly been releasing records, some of limited quantity, some mostly available in Europe, but for the most part, unheard. The borderline-alienating starkness and well lived-in narratives of his first two records, “I Will Return” and “Long May You Run, J. Tillman” (released in limited runs of 150) endeared him to fans of Nick Drake, Will Oldham and fellow Seattle resident Damien Jurado; one of the first to hear his recordings, and who would, early on, take him on his first US tour. In 2006, after three months in Europe touring on his third album, “Minor Works”, Tillman recorded his fourth collection of songs at home with his brother and roommate. “Cancer and Delirium” strikes a perfect balance between the intimacy of his earlier releases with the nuanced, melodic sense of “Minor Works.” Each song is imbued with the same strikingly disconsolate singing and devastatingly poignant prose that Tillman is known for and accented with some of his most gorgeous, spare arrangements.

J. Tillman :: Steel On Steel


Travel By Sea

No ordinary post-folk outfit, Travel by Sea’s music explores an aural countryside far past the traditional confines of their predecessors. While tales of travel and distance have long been songwriting mainstays for generations, Travel By Sea builds their vivid, spacious music on a new frontier: The ability to craft songs from afar.

For nearly three years Tustin, California’s Kyle Kersten and Denver, Colorado’s Brian Kraft have been painstakingly building their music via the internet.
Their 2006 self released debut “Shadows Rise” won critical acclaim and a growing legion of fans worldwide.

Look for their much anticipated follow-up “Days of My Escape” to be released late summer 2007 on Los Angeles’ Autumn Tone Records.


Truth Was
Split Second Time


Signal Hill

Signal Hill is an instrumental band from Los Angeles, CA. With influences such as The Mercury Program, Tristeza, My Bloody Valentine, Cinematic Orchestra and others, they play melodic, mid tempo, vocal-less tracks.

Llangolen Rough Mix

The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra

The Flying Tourbillon (Tour-Bee-On) Orchestra, or FTO, came together in the summer of 2007 under the guidance of lead songwriter Hunter Cousteau. Combining dark storytelling with deft songwriting, the result became a collection of idiosyncratic pop songs replete with intricate instrumentation and lush male/female vocal harmonies. Their distinct musical style was born out of the idea to marry the sounds of classic pop and old-time rock n’ roll with something newer, enabling the band to draw from the urgency of modern indie rock while fashioning a curiously ‘out-of-time’ sound.

Track: In a dream

The Rhone Occupation

The Rhone Occupation is a new band from Los Angeles, started as friends getting together to play along to songs written by (singer) Jacob Summers. While pulling from influences: Radiohead, Liam Flinn, Death Cab for Cutie, Tom Petty, and Bright Eyes; the Rhone Occupation has found a sound that is both recognizable and yet, largely unique. The Rhone Occupation is currently recording their debut record release, "would it kill you to talk this out?" in Venice, CA.

Track: I Told you so

The Amateurs

The Amateurs’ sound is all at once familiar, yet difficult to pin down. Huge drums and twisting guitars sometimes call to mind Zeppelin-inspired jams while the violin pushes the sound closer to the realm of fiddle-driven Fairport Convention. There are hints of classic artists like Fleetwood Mac and The Who and contemporary artists like Wilco and Midlake. But The Amateurs distill their influences into something that transcends a simple rehash of what they like to listen to. There are even shades of classical music especially apparent in their haunting, sprawling instrumentals. One listen makes it clear that The Amateurs revel in beautiful harmony, textural interplay, and dynamic crescendos.

Karma King


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