Paul Erol Finn is the man behind Odessa records, an independent label whose aim is to “release awesome music on CD, Vinyl, and Digital formats, with a focus on (but not limited to) the thriving music scene of the Chapel Hill/Carrboro/Durham area of North Carolina.” I’m aware of two of their bands, the legendary Spider Bags, and the art damaged Americans In France and I love them both. Americans In France are such a weird buncha guys, they rock and they stop and they shift and they rock again and perhaps their other bands are as great. Here is the rest of their roster: The Kingsbury Manx, Impossible Arms, Waumiss, Inspector 22, Wild Wild Geese.
I don’t know if this constitutes a scene though I have a feeling if the kids in NC are as skint as the kids in NYC they’ll be getting their teenage kicks while they can.
Brooklyn has constituted a scene for the longest time but though I haven’t started the New York Magazine cover story on the music scene it chills me to the depths of my soul. First off, of the three bands on the cover there is one potential greatest band in the world (Dirty Projectors), one most overrated (Grizzly Bear) and one somewhere in the middle (MGMT) but it feels more and more past its peak. I mean, if everybody knows it’s the scene then it isn’t the scene any more, it has become a trend, and already the move from hip to bridge and tunnel is well under way.
On the other hand Durham’s claim to fame is it is Clay Aiken’s hometown and, let’s face it, exnay on the hombre, right? But it is a college town and therefore oalways gonna be a hot bed of reactionary bar bands waiting to become the next Hootie and the Blowfish. But that’s just a fake impression, in it is an imitation of life because brooklyn is all a little 2009, right? You can just feel it tremble as it await the centennial to reach its teens. Brooklyn is for babies, North Carolina is for teens. Brooklyn is all about the warehouse, West Durham is all about your mom’s house. I think it all began in January 8th, 2008 when Titus Andronicus and Vivian Girls opened for Spider Bags at Dain’s Place. It is all very ground zero from what I can see on youtube (here is the url: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2NDvfww6Uk ), its real obstreperous and drunk and obnoxious and life changing. You know, like the Sex Pistols at the Other Free Trade Hall.
But maybe it’s about Paul Finn as well. He is pretty inspiring character with a long track record in indie bands and on indie labels taking in major minors like Merge records. Paul’s production of Americans In France is exciting and different and even if the somgs weren’t there the sound still would be. There is something kinda fun about somebody doing it for themselves. In an interview with Stranded In Stereo Finn said “I just want to work with artists I respect and admire and once they are on board I will work my fingers to the bone for them. At all three labels mentioned I watched the people there work tirelessly because they believed in the music and that was its own reward.” How can you not admire the bloke?
Finn plays keybs and sings with the Kingsbury Manx, an alt folk band with one good album The Fast Rise And Fall Of The South from 2005 and a newbie called Ascenseur Ouvert (Elevator Open if my French doesn’t fail me). At a glance, more fields of pastures green than rockie mountain highs.
It’s a pleasure to write about such a cool guy… support his label at odessa.com
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