Fate is a funny thing. I grew up in Panorama City, and on my block was the biggest family,at the time, in all of the San Fernando Valley, or at least it seemed that way. They would actually compete against the rest of the block in games, led by Conrad.
Fast forward I go see Supergrass at Spaceland, and as we leave I am handed a CD EP by a band, not the first or last time that has happened.
A few days later, that CD come to the surface in my car, I play it and it is a advance EP of The 88’s first record I was blown away I LOVED IT!!!
I approached the band, and have been representing them ever since, oh and yes that family in Panorama City well that was Keith Slettedahl of The 88’s family, and Conrad is his dad!
Special to The Press-Enterprise
The 88, led by Keith Slettedahl, center, just might be the most famous unsigned band in the U.S.
The irony is that he only has his band to blame for the onslaught of questions. The 88, a lush pop-rock act in the vein of Wings led by Slettedahl’s Ray Davies-esque vocals, just might be the best-known unsigned band in America.
The group’s music has been heard on the Fox teen drama “The O.C.,” as well as the show’s soundtrack. They’ve performed on the late-night show “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and have shared the stage with Elliott Smith, Dave Grohl and The Thrills. All of this leads to the recurring line of interrogation that Slettedahl can do without.
Why has this band not been snatched up by a label?
“At this point, I can’t really speculate on that; I don’t know what it is that people are looking for,” the bespectacled singer said on the phone from his LA apartment. “When you start a band, you’re just playing for fun, and I know that if you want to make a living at it, you have to deal with things like this, but it gets old. I can see how other musicians can get derailed and caught up in the business and forget about why they started in the first place.”
It’s not that there haven’t been offers in the past. It’s just that nothing has been enticing enough to lure the group out of its do-it-yourself roots. This is a band that made a name for itself by passing out thousands of free, four-song CD samplers to promote its self-recorded debut, “Kind of Light.” One of those samplers landed in the hands of a man named Danny Benair, who happened to be involved in placing music on “The O.C.” He got the song on the show, which helped put the The 88 on the radar of a new group of fans.
“The great thing about that is it’s given us exposure to an audience made of excited kids,” Slettedahl said. “I mean who wants to play around LA for a bunch of jaded musicians? I don’t need to impress that guy.”
The band has attained enough monetary success so that only one of the members works in addition to playing in the band, which is impressive, considering that there are wives and children to worry about. The group has also started venturing outside of Southern California, and according to Slettedahl, the reception has been great.
So maybe the real question should be, “Does The 88 even need a label?”
“I’ve noticed that we tend to work a little bit harder than other bands, and there are guys in the group that are really good at following through with things,” Slettedahl said. “It’s not that we’re not open to working with a label. They would just have to prove they could do more for us than we’ve been able to do for ourselves.”
How can I explain this movie … I could really spend an hour talking about the new Ed Wood John S. Rad, but instead, let the LA Weekly review do the talking. It is maybe the best worst movie I have seen in many years… Genius… ??? Maybe… It is appearing around LA at Midnight Movies, but have a glimpse to get a idea!!
? Why? Because I can, Monte and Baby.