SO KEEP ASKING QUESTIONS WITH YOUR EAR TO THE GROUND
|Dec 09 03
"Live From Los Angeles: The First Waltz" is now available for pre-order from
Trampoline Records. The DVD features live footage from their raucous Trampoline Records Revues in Hollywood, where Minibar infiltrated the stage in every capacity.
Proof that they're way too hip for Sid's own good, the sweet sounds of Minibar were recently heard on the trendy FOX series, The OC ("The Homecoming" 11/19/03). Next up the band turns its sights to the silver screen. They joined producer Eric Valentine and Pete Yorn in the studio last month to record a cover of The Buzzcocks "Ever Fallen in Love?" for the Shrek 2 soundtrack. The Rocktober tour allowed the quintent to perfect the song in venues across the US; glamour shots aplenty from the tour finale are at Trampoline Records.com.
Surprising an unsuspecting audience, the photos also capture Morello's stateside debut just weeks before the official release of Minimal. Available through Miles of Music, the record features the songwriting and all-around musical talent of drummer turned side-project frontman, Malcolm Cross.
The legendary Pamela Des Barres characterizes Minimal as "an infectious romp through California's magnificent music memoirs, still managing to sound wildy Right Now." Catch up on Morello history and the making of Minimal with Mal's Wallflowers Network interview. Stop by Morello's official site to find out where you can catch the band next.
Recent college press from Binghamton University's Pipe Dream and Carnegie Mellon's Tartan sounds off with Fly Below the Radar reviews. The Pipe Dream describes: "Listening to each track is like opening a package containing contents completely unknown."
Speaking of unwrapping gifts, holiday cheer abounds this month: Happy Birthday to Lil' Timmy Chuzzler Cheese Guzzler on the 12th! (Baby photos continue to be withheld for future blackmail purposes.) The 18th delivers a special London homecoming show at the 12 Bar Club along with mates from Gingersol. Never fear Americans, the lads will be back to break in your New Year's resolutions with the traditional Daily Pint show on the 31st.
|Oct 10 03
Next week Minibar hits the road with Pete Yorn to expose the world to good music. After unleashing their sound and style throughout the south, midwest, and east, the Rocktober tour culminates with a Trampoline Records Revue in Seattle. Virgin Mega previews the tour and Upcoming Dates has all of your itinerary planning details.
Our very own Mini Mal turns frontman on the freshly released Trampoline Records Greatest Hits Volume II compilation. The Morello track "Turnaround," heralded as a "hit in every genre," was written by Mal and features contributions from all three fellow barmen. Lookout for Minimal, the debut Morello LP in the coming weeks. In other new release news, Tim, Sid, and Mal join a host of rockstars on Rusty Truck's Broken Promises. The trio share background vocal duties with Jakob Dylan on the Mark Seliger penned "Malibu Canyon."
New press gives us a Venice Magazine post-show conversation with Simon while Zia Records and San Diego CITYBEAT offer their two cents on Fly Below the Radar. Also checkout acoustic 'bar tunes from September's KSCR in-studio performance.
|Sep 09 03
With Fall just around the corner, what better time to reminisce about summer tours? Souvenirs from Minibar's latest road movie have made their way to MINIBARfans.com. Don't miss Simon's captivating report from the road ("Seattle and Back" below), recent setlists, or new additions to the Concert Photos gallery. Rewinding to Minibar's July east coast invasion, Pop Matters columnist Devon Powers reflects on the New York City show: "You get the feeling that they're just being exactly who they are: nothing more, nothing less." East coasters will allegedly get another dose of the 'Bar, compliments of the October Pete Yorn tour. Keep checking Upcoming Dates for details.
Brush up on Minibar trivia via No Depression's dessert with Simon. Our favourite lead singer acknowledges the band's evolution: "I think we've been forced to become a much tighter unit not just musically, but as a band in the broadest sense of the word." More press has been unearthed with an influx of positive Fly Below the Radar reviews. Pitchfork Media describes: "Minibar is not tears-in-your-beer music; it's more
on-a-cool-clear-evening music" while the Dallas Observer succinctly summarizes Fly Below the Radar as "the kind of album that slips into a listener's dreams." Catch up on the buzz from other parts of the globe with commentary from Americana UK, the Salt Lake City Weekly, Allentown's Morning Call, South Florida's Entertainment News, and the Omaha Weekly Reader.
Minibar fans worldwide can tune in to KSCR, USC's campus radio station on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. for an in-studio performance and interview. The broadcast will be streamed live at KSCR and those in L.A. can listen on 1560AM.
|Sep 05 03
Seattle And Back - August 2003 by Simon Petty
It's time to dust off the old tour diary, not least
because of the difficult circumstances under which
this latest foray up the West Coast took place. About
18 hours before we were due to leave, we got the
tragic news that Tim's father had died very suddenly
whilst on holiday in Europe. Kin was a
dyed-in-the-wool Minibar fan and will be sorely missed
by us all. We'd like to think he would have approved
of our decision to go on with the tour, with Tim's
place being taken at the last minute by the
multi-talented and ever up-for-it Zak Schaffer.
It's not often you begin a tour completely drained,
but as those of you who have driven the 5 North to San
Fran will know, there's plenty of scenery to keep you
going. We're talking about a 400 mile drive where the
only landmark of note is an enormous outdoor abattoir
that fills the car with the stink of 100,000 cows
waiting to be slaughtered in the hot desert sun.
Thanks to Zak, it will forever be known as Cowschwitz.
We were pretty numb by the time we got to The Great
American Music Hall, but the venue looked fantastic
and we were warmly greeted by the SF die-hards.
a pretty tired
and emotional set, not least because we
spent every spare moment before the gig teaching Zak
the songs he was about to play.
He was a consummate
professional, and rose above it in a manner that would
have made even the great Nigel Tufnell proud. The
Drive-By Truckers lived up to their name and played a
swaggering road-train of a set: huge, loud and very,
very long. It came to a juddering halt on the hard
shoulder in the end, by which time we had just enough
energy left to load out and hit the hay. Burned out
after less than one day: where's the spirit of Keef
when you need him?
A tired but resilient road crew
Next day was an easy 450 or so, through the
Whiskeytown National Park (over-shadowed by the
snow-capped peak of Ryan Adams' ego), and on to the
bustling metropolis of Medford.
It was Saturday night,
so we went out looking for a bar, but after an hour of
walking round a parking lot the size of Denmark, we
ended up going into an Adult Shop to ask for
directions. The man behind the counter indignantly
brushed us off with "I don't GO to bars...". It's not
often you are made to feel morally inferior by someone
who sells butt plugs for a living, but we drove off
undaunted with a hand-drawn map from the friendly
staff at the supermarket next door. In a business park
on what seemed like the outskirts of Idaho, we found
the Sports Bar they had recommended, but it had
naturally closed at 10, being a Saturday night and
all. We'd just about given up when, an hour and a half
into our quest, we stumbled upon The Trophy Club,
right next to our motel. Pool tables, stetsons, AC/DC
on the juke-box: citizens of Medford, I urge you to
patronize this fine establishment, or at least know
where it is for future reference.
Mini-break to play pool
Seattle is a much more happening place, and we
hadn't played it for nearly two years, so once we'd
recovered from the drive and dear Alisa Cohen's
hospitality, we were pumped up to be gigging at The
After warming up with an acoustic In-Store at
Sonic Boom Records
(the highlight of which was drinking beer
in a shop - hey, it's the little things), we
head-lined to a very respectable crowd for a Monday.
Thanks to KEXP for playing our song and promoting the
show, and thanks to the good people who keep
requesting it: we heard it on the way out of town the
Sonic Boom in-store
Another In-Store the next day at Tower Portland
proved a bit fruitless apart from the lovely tray of
grapes provided by the enthusiastic staff.
Fufkin didn't show up, so we scooted down to Dante's
and waited for five hours before cranking through our
final set of the trip. There's really no need to waste
money on expensive narcotics on tour: five days of
humping gear and sleeplessness and you get that
authentically frazzled and wired feeling free of
charge. We celebrated afterwards in true Rock 'n' Roll
fashion by driving 1000 miles in a malodorous van in
under 24 hours, back to where it all began. We're
coming back soon, we promise, sometime in October.
Tower Portland in-store
The Subway and Air-beds Tour is not over yet...
All photos by Alisa except Sonic Boom in-store by Mary.
|Jul 27 03
A recent Rolling Stone.com feature declares that "Simon Petty and his mates show plenty of promise" while Time Out NY's rave turns metaphorical: "The band's extravagant pop is just as colorful, overflowing with lilting 12-string acoustic guitars, galloping drums and harmonies so etherreal and feminine you might mistake them for a ghost in mink." The Graham Weekly Album Review, Free Williamsburg and Ink 19 offer up new reviews too.
Rolling Stone's cameras also caught the Mal fever during The Wallflowers tour. Meanwhile Simon makes cameo appearances on Pete Yorn, Bryson Jones, and Greg Johnson's websites. Tim remains behind the camera, but can be heard on Zachariah's Ghost Signs.
VCR Warning: Minibar is grooming for a special interview and performance on the WB/KTLA 5 morning show on the 30th at 8:40 a.m. As we head into August, Interstate 5 welcomes back the mini-bus with dates in San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. Upcoming Dates is chock full of these details plus a few new So Cal shows.
|Jul 01 03
On the 4th we'll celebrate our independence from England, and on the 22nd we'll celebrate our drummer from England. In honor of his birthday, renew your appreciation for Malcolm's talents with this feature on the Radar Artwork to which he contributed.
We're currently digging Miles of Music, whose most recent MoMZine explores what Simon's currently digging. He also elaborates on the inspiration behind "The Secret Life of Benny Hill", a treasure previously released on the 1997 Em One compilation. And speaking of Simon's secrets, Pamela Des Barres bellies up to the Minibar in her latest E! Online music scoop, which highlights a chat with the beefy frontman.
"Minibar have perfected the art of making delicious, slightly forlorn power pop with hints of Midwestern twang and British introspection," says the Alibi review of Fly Below The Radar. The LA Times concludes that the new album "has a more confident and distinctive blend of airy harmonies, pedal-steel touches and winsome melodies than [Road Movies]" and rewards 3 out of 4 stars. The Sun-Sentinel also finds a winner. In other press, Minibar has been enjoying artist spotlights all over the web: See Himmelfans,
Universal Buzz, and
Concert Photos has been re-stocked with loads of photos from The Troubadour (Jun 13) and the Last Day Saloon (Jun 25). The Assorted Pictures gallery has some photos from the CD release party and the Fly Below The Radar press kit, and a very special contribution from Tim's award-winning parents. His father Kin recalls, "One of the most memorable Minibar gigs was at the Paradise Bar in London. Special Minibar Budweiser labels were produced for the occasion and I still have my unopened bottle to prove it." Also look for a pin from Tim's previous band, The JR Hartleys.
James Michael's website stirs up some studio news: "JM produces track with Minibar. The song is a cover of the Buzzcocks 'Ever Fallen In Love?' and it will be submitted for the 'Shrek 2' soundtrack." Tim shares some photos from these sessions, also in Assorted Pictures.
Don't be a square, take a look at Upcoming Dates and circle some days on your own calendar.
|Jun 21 03
Friday the 13th, The Troubadour, West Hollywood, CA:
Dejected would-be concertgoers mill about Santa Monica Blvd., vowing to never again underestimate Minibar's ability to sell out the venue. Simon plugs in. Sidney dons white linen. Tim chuzzles and charms. Mal rocks the "Soho" space jam like never before. Fly Below the Radar is officially unleashed. And now you can have Minibar's cake and eat it too; download our exclusive "Radar Love" video (Quicktime, 7.6 mb) which captured the explosive launch party for the web.
New reviews are pouring in and critics seem to agree it just doesn't get any better than this. Banter with the band about their rock lifestyle in the Daily Breeze's Rave column and take a look at recent Fly Below the Radar reviews from Launch, Billboard, E! Online, and Tongue Magazine. Radio has also started to pick up on the well deserved hype with reported airplay on KCRW, KEXP, and WOXY to name a few. All of these stations stream their broadcasts online; please listen and let them know you want to hear more 'Bar!
Minibarians continue to lend their talents on other records too. Back from touring, Malcolm joined The Wallflowers in the studio to record "Into the Mystic" for the upcoming American Pie 3 soundtrack while Tim's pedal steel haunts Pete Yorn's "dawn" recording of "Suspcious Minds." Not to be outdone, Sid plays bass on Greg Johnson's recent EP and shares the producer's chair with Seth on Hawkeye's new disc, Red's Cafe.
Check out Hawkeye for yourself at their CD Release show tonight at the Hotel Cafe. Minibar takes the stage after Hawkeye wows you with their Americana-Indie-Southern-Folk rock.
Upcoming Dates is filled with details of this show and many others as the love spreads to San Francisco, New York, and Philadelphia over the next month. While several L.A. dates remain on the schedule, Minibar regrets to report that--due to no fault of their own--they won't be opening for Evan Dando on the 28th as originally announced. Apparently someone was afraid of the armadillos in their trousers. I mean, it's really quite frightening.
|Jun 04 03
Congratulations to Minibar on their L.A. Weekly 2003 Music Awards nomination for Best New Artist. Winners will be announced at the Henry Fonda Theater on June 26th.
Fly Below The Radar is landing in less than a week, and you can quench your thirst for it by enjoying "Happy Hour with Minibar" at Tower Records on Sunset--where the band will perform and sign your goodies--June 10th at 6:30 pm. Celebrating below the radar continues as KCRW hosts Minibar's launch party on June 13th at The Troubadour.
In her illuminating LA Music Scene (.com) feature, Jenn Cassie chats up our contemplative frontman. Simon discusses the life of a musician in L.A. and reflects on the sound, lyrics, and history of the new record.
In reviews, Miles of Music declares Fly Below The Radar "stirring and passionate" while Drum! Magazine places the spotlight on Malcolm, concluding that this is "the sound of a band establishing itself as the real deal."
|May 14 03
First things first, that's our motto. Happy Birthday Sir Petty! (May 16th)
Fly Below The Radar is on the runway, and Minibar is ready to take-off in support of the new record. At the moment, Upcoming Dates boasts a headlining gig at the Troubadour in Hollywood and a smattering of other So Cal shows. Don't fret, a trip to the East Coast in July sounds promising as well as a subsequent West Coast tour.
And talking of which, we've added the newly-penned Biography for Fly Below The Radar and updated the Discography for all you liner-note junkies. <spoiler>The record includes a limited-edition bonus CD featuring 3 live tracks from KCRW, an otherwise unreleased song from the Radar sessions, and a cover of The Smiths' "Ask"!</spoiler> Reviews are starting to trickle our way, too. "It just doesn't get much better than this," praises LMNOP, while All Music Guide remains only vaguely positive.
How'd you like to promote Minibar in your local area and on the web? Sign up for the Street Team and receive promotional materials and other bonuses from the band.
|Apr 02 03
Well, maybe we actually are in the habit of telling you where Minibar won't
be. For example, they are not going to be in New York and Delaware next week as
originally announced. We promise that Gingersol is just as worthy of your
adoration so get yourself there anyway. Rumor has it that the 'Bar
will head east in July so you have plenty of time to build up your
East Coasters will, however, be treated to a quarter dose of Minibar as
Malcolm infiltrates the upcoming leg of the Wallflowers tour. Mal made his bar-turned-temporary-flower national debut on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on the 2nd (sporting a Minibar t-shirt no less) and will tour with the Wallflowers until replacement drummer, Matt Chamberlain, can join the band in July.
Closer to home, Simon and a barrage of L.A.'s finest played tribute to
Elvis Costello at the Knitting Factory last week. Solo Simon celebrated
Elvis with renditions of "Alison" and "Shipbuilding" in the benefit
for the USC Norris Cancer Center. Sid and Mal have also been seen
around town, frequently supporting Greg Johnson as he prepares to release his new EP. In other new release news, Sid recently mastered Anchors for Architects self-titled 4-song EP and our favorite rhythm section appears on Weed Patch's Maybe the Breaks Will Fail, the first full length effort from Angeleno Neal Weiss.
If you have any remaining faith in the Upcoming Dates section (which you
should, really), you'll be at O'Brien's on Saturday.
|Mar 13 03
Minibar has signed with Foodchain Records and plans to release Fly Below The Radar, their new full-length CD, on June 10th. That's precisely 89 days from now, for those of us who are counting. Simon describes the album: "I don't think it's a huge departure. Maybe it's a little less alt-country than the first record, if that's how people found that. There are more influences on this album. The harmonies still stack up West Coast-style, but the music nods more to our British roots." Read the whole LA Times feature.
To clear up any confusion, Minibar is not scheduled to play at Largo Pub next Tuesday. Not to dissaude you from going, because Jude is playing and we like him lots too. But before we get in the habit of telling you where they're not going to be, I'll just happily point out that Upcoming Dates has been updated, okay?
Also, read this nifty review "on a bill featuring 2 of LA's most popular independent artists" (that is, Gary Jules, Gingersol, and Minibar at the Derby) from LA Music Scene (.com).
|Feb 28 03
An obscene amount of talent descended upon Hollywood's House of Blues for the return of the Trampoline Records Revue earlier this month. Minibar shined in the Sunset Strip spotlight with their three song set that featured an unreleased favorite, "Somebody Down Here Loves You." Members of the 'Bar were never far from stage as they joined sets by their tramp brethren throughout the night, delighted the raucous crowd with the anthemic Minisol/Gingerbar hit, "Lovin' the Shit Out of It," and united for an all-star "Suspicious Minds" finale led by head tramp, Pete Yorn. Trampoline Records official website re-delivers the magic and spirit of the evening with stunning Photos.
Liam Gowing illustratively describes Minibar's "flawless" February Largo performance: "With three-part harmonies drifting over Malcolm Cross's sensitive drums, Sid Jordan's intuitive bass meanderings and Tim Walker's beautifully spacey lap steel, Minibar perfectly realized their artistic vision at Largo - a desert in bloom." Read the rest of Gowing's insightful LA Weekly review as you prepare for the "superstars" return to the intimate Fairfax venue this week. Check Upcoming Dates for details and start planning your requests!
|Jan 31 03
February shows: The Borscht Belt welcomes Minibar home in a Headlining appearance on the 4th at Largo Pub. The band will also play the House of Blues in Hollywood for the second Trampoline Records Revue on the 8th. Minibar returns to San Francisco on the 11th, in an opening slot for New Zealander Greg Johnson at Cafe Du Nord. Jonny Kaplan and East Mountain South join Minibar at The Derby on the 28th. (Sooner or later, this will all be in Upcoming Dates. Presumably.)
New 'Bar tees: Two new t-shirts (complete with snazzy new Minibar logo!) are expected to be available at the Cafe Du Nord show in San Francisco.
Oh, and sales of Bushmills and Scooby Doo memorabilia surged on the 13th of this month, leading speculators to conclude that Sid Jordan had another birthday.
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