Back and Forth: Schedule Two
If you're in the mood for some shaky, poorly lit, barely audible video from a recent concert (or just that part where the drunk guitarist took a nosedive off the stage), go to YouTube. If you want to see online footage done well, check out scheduletwo.com. High school friends Luke Heiken and Steven Candy created Schedule Two as a record label, releasing the Monarques' My Imaginary Move in the fall of 2003. Then-bassist Trent Raygor joined the operation and the site now offers more than 60 videos of sets recorded around town.
City Pages:How did Schedule Two go from record label to video website following the Monarques EP?
Luke Heiken: Scheduletwo.com was born with the idea that as well as releasing records we would use our website to put out free MP3 releases and the like. Instead we took 18 months off to watch every episode of The X-Files.
Trent Raygor: I had been wanting to start my own all-digital online distribution for a couple of years. I had read something a while back about Thurston Moore wanting to do something similar with what turned out to be his Ecstatic Peace imprint. I guess the difference is that I had wanted to figure out a way to give good music away by completely cutting the costs that go into making a record. We met up to talk about merging the ideas, coincidentally right when Apple had just announced the future release of the video iPod. It sparked the idea for the release of free live performance videos.
CP:Where did the name come from?
Steven Candy: At the time SII was born, Luke and I were both being prescribed pain medication. The drugs fell into the controlled substance class known as Schedule Two.
CP:It seems as though live webcasts were really popular a few years ago but then they kind of died out. Now people are interested in watching concert footage online again. How would you explain the resurgence in popularity?
Raygor: The Digital Club Network (DCN.com) is probably the best example of the live webcasts that you're referring to from years ago. That method still has its benefits, but watching a still shot of a stage from a webcam mounted in the far back corner of a venue lacks the excitement that we're able to capture with high quality multi-camera shoots. Now in addition to the growth of the online music community, it seems like everyone has a broadband connection. The one service that I wish we could provide is the ability to watch a performance in real time. When we figure out how to make that happen without turning every club in town into a studio, we'll let you know.
CP:You've been getting visitors from all over the world. Where exactly?
Heiken: We've actually had visitors from every continent. Most are from the United States, Canada, and European countries. Lately there has been a big draw from South Africa and some very odd islands in the South Pacific. A friend who is stationed at McMurdo in Antarctica topped off our continent list.
CP:What has been your favorite show so far?
Raygor: Steven's is most definitely Mates of State. Luke's is Signal to Trust. Me? I love 'em all.
CP:What are your long-term goals for the site?
Candy: We love Twin Cities music more than anything and are trying to keep as close to 50 percent of our site devoted to their music as possible. We currently have downloads available from local artists like Signal to Trust, the Cardinal Sin, Tapes 'n Tapes, Die Electric!, Haley Bonar, P.O.S., and we have more on the way. We intend on doing more physical releases in the future as well.
CP:One last question: What classic music video do you wish you'd shot and why?
Raygor:Labyrinth. It's more of a musical/movie, but we all love David Bowie. Filming the choreographed goblin Muppets and Bowie in that spandex suit must have been pretty incredible. You've got to respect the codpiece he's sporting. Dance magic, dance.
ALBUM OF THE WEEK
A Detail of Soldiers
Two thumbs and several enthusiastic toes up for the Alarmists' debut, perhaps the best local release of the year thus far. It's only a six-song EP, but there's not a single filler track or wasted moment to be found. And as if that's not reason enough to fall hard and fast, the young band recorded the pristine disc themselves. Rather than executing a hasty smash-and-grab job on any one influence, the quartet has compiled all the best bits from the last 10 years of thinking-man's pop. The ghostly vocals that creep up on "Soldados" recall Radiohead just minutes before the paranoid android invasion. "Some Things Never Stop" throws choppy guitar strums over a simple piano plunk à la Spoon. And "Coming to Meet Me" is pure Wilco with slide guitar guiding the bittersweet refrain: "And she's coming to meet me/We got nothing to say/I try to keep it familiar/Like a lot's the same." My favorite track (as of this particular moment) is the driving "Good Advice," the chorus of which gets ushered in by a burble of synths that appears out of nowhere, and escorted out with a line of the most infectious oohs I've heard since Snow Patrol's "Spitting Games" took over my head two years ago. The keyboard-reliant "New Romans" and anthemic closer "She Will Love Again (Hey Kid)" round it out. There you go. Six tracks, all brilliant. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to put an end to this review, as I'm starting to feel like a publicist.
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