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The Cropper!

A blog featuring #indie music, news, interviews, & the best darn songs west of Stockholm

The Monkees

On CHRISTMAS PARTY, The Monkees put their unmistakable vocal stamp on a wide array of classic Christmas tracks, from the R&B holiday standard “Merry Christmas, Baby,” to Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” and Wizzard’s yuletide classic “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day.”

After helming The Monkees’ critically acclaimed studio album Good Times! in 2016, Grammy® and Emmy®-winning songwriter Adam Schlesinger reprises his role as producer on CHRISTMAS PARTY. All of the album’s 13 songs were recorded this year, with “Silver Bells” and “Mele Kalikimaka” using classic Davy Jones vocals from the archives combined with newly recorded music.

Much like Good Times!, CHRISTMAS PARTY features songs newly written for the band by a group of talented songwriters, including Rivers Cuomo of Weezer (“What Would Santa Do”) and Andy Partridge of XTC (“Unwrap You At Christmas”). Schlesinger and celebrated author Michael Chabon teamed up to write “House Of Broken Gingerbread.” Guitarists Peter Buck of R.E.M. and Scott McCaughey of The Minus 5 play on two songs – a cover of Big Star’s “Jesus Christ” and the album’s title track, which they wrote together.

CHRISTMAS PARTY also includes two songs with Michael Nesmith on lead vocals, with each track being produced by one of his sons. His take on the yuletide classic “The Christmas Song” was produced by Christian Nesmith while “Snowfall” was helmed by Jonathan Nesmith.

Over the years, The Monkees’ amassed a dozen Top 40 hits, including a trio of tunes that soared to #1. Between September 1966 and December 1967, “Last Train To Clarksville,” “I’m A Believer,” and “Daydream Believer” collectively occupied the top position for 12 weeks. Sales of their LPs were more phenomenal still: The Monkees occupied the #1 position for 13 consecutive weeks, and More Of The Monkees for 18 weeks. Both Headquarters and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. went to the top as well, for a four-in-a-row feat in the incomprehensible space of 13 months. The final tally: 16 million albums and 7.5 million singles sold in a mere 2 1/2 years.

CHRISTMAS PARTY

Track Listing

1. “Unwrap You At Christmas”-written by Andy Partridge of XTC

2. “What Would Santa Do”-written by Rivers Cuomo of Weezer

3. “Mele Kalikimaka”-classic with original Davy Jones vocals

4. “House Of Broken Gingerbread” – written by Adam Schlesinger and Michael Chabon

5. “The Christmas Song”-vocals by Michael Nesmith; produced by his son Christian Nesmith

6. “Christmas Party” -written and played by Peter Buck of R.E.M. and Scott McCaughey of The Minus 5

7. “Jesus Christ” -written by Big Star and played by Peter Buck of R.E.M. and Scott McCaughey of The Minus 5 & R.E.M.

8. “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day”-written by Roy Wood of Wizzard; vocals by Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork

9. “Silver Bells”-classic with original Davy Jones vocals

10. “Wonderful Christmastime”-written by Paul McCartney; vocals by Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork

11. “Snowfall” -Michael Nesmith on lead vocals; produced by his son Jonathan Nesmith

12. “Angels We Have Heard On High”-classic

13. “Merry Christmas, Baby”-classic with vocals by Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork

Radio Contact:Email Lauren & Nelson Wells at Team Clermont

Press Contact:Email Bill Benson at Team Clermont

absolute boy cover

Soft People

What’s the point of even recording and performing music in 2018, when the world seems like it’s ending and — let’s face it — the field is crowded? That’s a question San Luis Obispo-based husband-husband duo Soft People seriously considered before starting the process of recording the follow-up to their 2017 debut American Men. The answer came to the duo’s chief songwriter Caleb Nichols during a late-night bike ride in the early spring; in the form of a melody that so affected him that he knew he had to get it down and record it.
The results of this musical epiphany are now available as the infectious and joyful pop single “I Saw The Moon!” which the band is releasing on their homegrown tape label, Sandwich Kingdom, along with a remix by Berlin-based dark wave duo Some Ember.
“I Saw The Moon!” builds on the foundation Soft People laid down on American Men while it pares down the duo’s sound to its essential elements. Simple and angular guitar lines performed by guitarist John Metz float above a thumping drum machine and motorik bass groove. Nichols’ vocal delivery drifts in and out in a dream-like haze, climaxing in an earworm of a chorus that calls to mind the euphoria of cycling fast downhill on a moonlit night. “I Saw The Moon!” is a fresh and colorful musical jaunt; the perfect soundtrack for the feeling of falling in love, for the coming fall; for that twilight inkling that reminds us that we’re here on this giant, gently tilting planet.

Soft People is an indie pop duo comprised of Caleb Nichols and John Metz, a married couple who live in San Luis Obispo, CA. The duo first met when Nichols, a veteran of the Oakland, CA music scene and who had recorded and toured with mid-2000s indie buzz-band Port O’Brien, recruited Metz to be the drummer of his Oakland indie band Grand Lake. Nichols and Metz started dating during their first few months as bandmates and were married several years later. Soft People is the first project that finds the pair collaborating as songwriters and producers. The band began in early 2017 as a bedroom recording project in Atlanta, Georgia. Later that year Nichols and Metz left Atlanta and relocated to their hometown of San Luis Obispo, CA, releasing their their full-length debut and playing their first shows. 2018 has seen them playing shows in the local DIY scene as well as starting Sandwich Kingdom, a tape label which releases an annual compilation of local DIY musicians and poets.

“The Absolute Boy” is perhaps Nichols’ most personal song to date. It deals with his struggle with PTSD resulting from years of abuse in early childhood. The track is Nichols’ attempt to wrap his head around generational domestic violence, and addresses his own abuse as well as the abuse his abuser suffered in his own childhood. The chorus is devastatingly vulnerable, and deeply cathartic as Nichols sings “before you hit me / before you clipped my wings / I was the absolute boy / I was him absolutely.”


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Press Contact:Email Bill Benson at Team Clermont

Radio Contact:Email Lauren & Nelson Wells at Team Clermont

Travoltas Cover

Travoltas, The

The Travoltas hail from Dallas, Texas, and were formed there in the fall of 2011. Salim Nourallah (vocals, guitar), Paul Slavens (keys, vocals), Nick Earl (guitar), Emsy Robinson (bass) and Jason Garner (drums), deftly swerve through music decades past ranging from tin-pan alley to the 60’s British Invasion and 70’s punk rock.

Nourallah, a well-established producer and solo artist in his own right, conceptualized the project, hand-picking each member for their unique skill set and a myriad of influences. The result is the Travoltas’ unique sound, a blend of pop/rock’s pre-1980’s history going back all the way to the 40’s.

The Travoltas recorded their full-length debut on the heels of a triumphant Midwest/East coast tour opening for the Old 97s. The 97s opening band sold over $7,000 worth of merch in just 4 weeks and the seeds of “Travolta-mania” were sewn, especially in New York City. Recording took place in Austin, Texas, with Jim Vollentine (Spoon; Old 97s, White Rabbits). The record was tracked in just 4 days and mixed back in Dallas by Matt Hibbard and Salim.

“I Can’t Say No” comes crashing out of the gate with reverb-drenched surf guitars and Liberace-esque piano runs. “Snowball” works a disco groove your mama would die for, almost as if the Kinks were doing a send-up of the BeeGees. The Travolta “formula” is basically twisted lyrics about situations gone awry coupled with perky pop tunes. “Mail Ya to Australia” showcase Slavens virtuoso piano work and continues the trend of clever wordplay. Slavens channels Randy Newman, Steve Nieve and even Scott Joplin on some of these numbers while Nourallah channels Ray Davies and some sort of punk-rock Sinatra persona.

The power pop/punky “If You Could Be the Star” and Weezer-esque (um…Blue album) “Making Out” call guitar player Nick Earl to the front of the class with his not-at-all-retro manipulation of sound. Earl fuses the past to the present with his guitar wizardry – at times creating sounds and textures that don’t even slightly resemble traditional guitar tones. This element is key to the Travoltas fresh sound and greatly helps the band step out of retro-kitsch land and in to the present day.

Team Clermont announces CMJ Showcase - New York

Team Clermont’s Bill, Nelson, Shil & team will be heading back to NYC in just under two weeks, and we’re thrilled to share details for this year’s official CMJ Showcase! We’ll be pairing up with our pals over at Hometapes Records to put on this year’s showcase, and we hope to see you there!

Our showcase is on Wed. October 16 at Union Pool in Brooklyn, and our lineup includes Pattern Is Movement, Leverage Models, Celestial Shore, Norwegian Arms, Laser Background, and Paperhaus!

We will also be hosting our annual CMJ hangout at Barcade in Brooklyn on Sat. October 19!

Team Clermont 2013 CMJ Showcase presented by Hometapes
Wednesday, October 16
7PM-12:30AM
Union Pool (484 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY)
$10 or CMJ badge

7:00 Paperhaus
7:45 Laser Background
8:30 Norwegian Arms
9:30 Celestial Shore
10:30 Leverage Models
11:30 Pattern Is Movement

- Steve, Bill, Nelson
Team Clermont, Athens, Georgia

CMJ Flyer

Team Clermont Awards & Showcases - CMJ - New York

It’s that wonderful time of year when college radio descends upon New York City for the CMJ Music Marathon! Bill, Nelson, Steve, Shil and Team Clermont crew will be representing again for the 13th year and this time we’re closing down the week with a cocktail party and lots of old school video games! Join us at Barcade (388 Union Ave) from 2PM-6PM on Saturday, October 23rd for free drinks and goodies, and bring plenty of quarters for their awesome video game selection!

If you have a CMJ badge, please stop by the voting booth and cast your ballot for Team Clermont! Last year’s Promoter of the Year, Shil Patel, is defending that title, and is also nominated for the awards Best Mentor and Probably Not Lying To You!
Team Clermont also has a title to uphold. Last year in New York, Athens own Team Clermont won the award Promotion Company Of The Year. Come see if Bill, Nelson & team will attain top honors again.

Finally, Team Clermont artists will be in New York this year, and we’ve made a handy little schedule of their official showcases for your convenience:

Tuesday October 19
7:45P – Kaiser Cartel – Living Room (154 Ludlow St)
8:00P – Eprhyme – Coco 66 (66 Greenport Ave)

Wednesday October 20
6:00P – Smile Smile – Bowery Electric (327 Bowery)
7:00P – Hardy Morris (Dead Confederate) – Bowery Ballroom (6 Delancey)
8:00P – Western Civ – Kenny’s Castaways (157 Bleeker St)
11:00P – Hooray For Earth – Spike Hill (184 Bedford Ave)
11:00P – Yukon Blonde – Arlene’s Grocery (95 Stanton St)
11:30P – Reptar – Canal Room (265 W. Broadway)
12:15A – Candy Claws – The Delancey (168 Delancey)

Thursday October 21
8:00P – John Vanderslice – Mercury Lounge (217 E. Houston St)
9:00P – Kinch – Ace Of Clubs (9 Great Jones St)
9:45P – Gringo Star – Fontanta’s (105 Eldridge St)
10:30P – The Blow – Music Hall Of Williamsburg (66 N. 6th St)

Friday October 22
7:00P – Sarah Jaffe – Fat Baby (112 Rivington St)
7:00P – Smile Smile – Living Room (154 Ludlow St)
8:30P – The Phantom Band – Knitting Factory (74 Leonard St)
8:30P – Elk City – Living Room (154 Ludlow St)
9:30P – Gringo Star – Cameo Gallery (93 N. 6th St)
10:00P – Reptar – Mercury Lounge (217 E. Houston St)
11:00P – The Streets On Fire – Kenny’s Castaways (157 Bleeker St)
11:30P – The Mommyheads – Maxwell’s (1039 Washington St, Hoboken)
12:10A – +/- (Plus/Minus) – Rock Shop (249 4th Ave)

Saturday October 23
8:00P – Gringo Star – Ace Of Clubs (9 Great Jones St)
10:45P – Sarah Jaffe – Living Room (154 Ludlow St)
1:00A – Reptar – Ace Of Clubs (9 Great Jones St)

See you in New York!
- Nelson Wells, Bill Benson
Team Clermont

Team Clermont awarded Promotion Company Of The Year!

New York – Top Honor, Promo Company Of The Year goes to Team Clermont.

CMJ Music Marathon is hosted in NYC every Fall, and this year was no different, except this year our team brought home the top honor!

Bill, Nelson, Steve, Shil and the entire team at Team Clermont headed up to the Big Apple to once again represent at CMJ’s music conference and music festival “the marathon”, and we did so in a big way! First off, CMJ and voters from across the industry and college radio honored Athens, Georgia’s Team Clermont with Promo Company of the year, as well as a few other top honors in these categories (included are quotes from some of the nominating industry reps:

Promo Company Of The Year:
Team Clermont – “They are way more legit than pretty much everyone else.”
“They really stepped up their game this year.”

Promoter Of The Year:
Team Clermont / Shil Patel – “He’s always lovely to talk to, remembers details about you, and he STILL promotes great music in an effective/non-annoying way.”

Most Sincere:
Shil Patel, Team Clermont

To see a full list of the winners, click here . If you attended CMJ and put in your vote for our team, Thank YOU for entrusting our team and for casting your ballot for Team Clermont!

It was also great to see so many of you at our Music Showcase held on Friday, October 23rd at Lit Lounge (93 2nd Ave New York). Thank you for supporting our artists who played!

Bear In Heaven (Hometapes)
Helado Negro (Asthmatic Kitty)
Peggy Sue (Yep Roc)
Hi Red Center (Joyful Noise)
Spring Tigers (Bright Antenna)

Thank you for voting and for coming out to party with us!
We couldn’t have done it without all your support, nor would Team Clermont be named Promotion Company of The Year.

Thanks from all the team
Alyssa, Bill, Nelson, Shil, Steve, Sarah, and all!

CMJ-FLYER-cropper

Team Clermont music @ CMJ And Top awards Nominations!

Team Clermont be heading to CMJ Music conference in New York tomorrow, and catching our bands while we’re in the Big Apple! If you want to see the official showcases of our artists, be sure to check the list below!

Also, we have been nominated for several top music pr and promotion awards this year including Promotion Company Of The Year, Promoter Of The Year, Best Use Of The Web, Holy Sh*t Their Records Are Awesome!, Biggest Ray Of Sunshine, Most Sincere, and Best PR Mentor, so please wish us luck! And Shil Patel in our radio promotion department will be moderating a radio promotion panel at 10AM featuring panelists from Bearcast Radio, Radio K (KUOM) and KXLU!

Official CMJ Showcases

Tuesday, October 20
09:00PM – Kaisercartel – Living Room (154 Ludlow St)
09:00PM – Western Civ – Kenny’s Castaways (157 Bleecker St)
09:05PM – Eprhyme – S.O.B.‘s (204 Varick St)

Wednesday, October 21
12:15AM – Hooray For Earth – Crash Mansion Downstairs (199 Bowery)
07:00PM – Tenderhooks – Spike Hill (184 Bedford Ave)
07:45PM – The Boy Bathing – Local 269 (269 E. Houston St)
08:00PM – Hermit Thrushes – Charleston (174 Bedford Ave)
08:00PM – Javelin – Mercury Lounge (217 E. Houston St)
09:00PM – Blair – Alphabet Lounge (104 Avenue C)
09:30PM – Dead Heart Bloom – Bruar Falls (245 Grand St)
10:00PM – Bosque Brown – Local 269 (269 E. Houston St)
10:15PM – Modern Skirts – Crash Mansion Downstairs (199 Bowery)
10:15PM – Renminbi – Lit Lounge (93 2nd Ave)
11:30PM – Alina Simone – Living Room (154 Ludlow St)
11:30PM – William F. Gibbs – Local 269 (269 E. Houston St)
11:45PM – Arizona – Fat Baby (112 Rivington St)

Thursday, October 22
07:00PM – Loxsly – Union Hall (702 Union St)
07:00PM – Otter Petter – Kenny’s Castaways (157 Bleecker St)
07:30PM – Eprhyme – Drom (85 Avenue A)
08:00PM – Antarctic – Lit Lounge (93 2nd Ave)
08:45PM – The Bronzed Chorus – Lit Lounge (93 2nd Ave)
09:00PM – Regia – Local 269 (269 E. Houston St)
09:30PM – Ho-ag – Lit Lounge (93 2nd Ave)
10:15PM – Cinemechanica – Lit Lounge (93 2nd Ave)

Friday, October 23
07:00PM – Spring Tigers – Lit Lounge (93 2nd Ave)
07:45PM – The Lovely Feathers – Fat Baby (112 Rivington St)
08:00PM – Hi Red Center – Lit Lounge (93 2nd Ave)
09:00PM – Peggy Sue – Lit Lounge (93 2nd Ave)
10:00PM – Helado Negro – Lit Lounge (93 2nd Ave)
10:00PM – We Landed On The Moon! – Kenny’s Castaways (157 Bleecker St)
11:00PM – Bear In Heaven – Lit Lounge (93 2nd Ave)
11:00PM – Lost In The Trees – Living Room (154 Ludlow St)

Saturday, October 24
06:00PM – Benyaro – Rockwood Music Hall (196 Allen St)
08:00PM – The Elusive Parallelograms – Arlene’s Grocery (95 Stanton St)
09:00PM – Yukon Blonde – Ace Of Clubs (9 Great Jones St)
10:00PM – Loxsly – Spike Hill (184 Bedford Ave)
10:00PM – My Teenage Stride – Delancey (168 Delancey St)
12:00AM – Javelin – Santos Party House (96 Lafayette)
01:00AM – Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt – Santos Party House (96 Lafayette)

CMJ 09 - Cropper

New York - Team Clermont nominated for Top Awards at CMJ!

It’s that time of year! Bill, Nelson, Steve and the entire team at Team Clermont will be headed up to the Big Apple to once again represent at CMJ’s music conference and music festival “the marathon”, and we’re doing so in a big way! First off, CMJ nominations were announced yesterday, and Athens, Georgia’s Team Clermont showed up in almost every category. CMJ also posted quotes about each nominee, so we’ll share what they had to say about us in each category:

Promotion Company Of The Year:
Team Clermont – “They are way more legit than pretty much everyone else.”
“They really stepped up their game this year.”

Promoter Of The Year:
Team Clermont / Shil Patel – “He’s always lovely to talk to, remembers details about you, and he STILL promotes great music in an effective/non-annoying way.”

Best Use Of The Web:
Team Clermont – “I’m pretty down with their site.”

Holy Sh*t! Their Records Are Awesome!:
Team Clermont – “Their records ARE awesome, and they like to do daily stretches at 3:15 p.m.” “Wilco… dude… Wilco!” Oh, and Flaming Lips, M83, Postal Service…

Biggest Ray Of Sunshine:
Steve Hendriksen – “We’ve had some of the best conversations ever.”

Most Sincere:
Shil Patel – “Nicest man in existence.”

Best Mentor:
Shil Patel – “He taught me everything I know!”

To see a full list of the nominees, click here . If you’re attending CMJ this week, be sure to swing by the voting booth and cast your ballot for Team Clermont!

Now, onto other news! We also want to remind every one of our showcase! It will be held on Friday, October 23rd at Lit Lounge (93 2nd Ave New York). It’s starting up at 7PM, and the following bands will be playing:

Bear In Heaven (Hometapes)
Helado Negro (Asthmatic Kitty)
Peggy Sue (Yep Roc)
Hi Red Center (Joyful Noise)
Spring Tigers (Bright Antenna)

Be sure to come out and party with us! And stay tuned for more details about our trip to CMJ!

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About The Cropper!

A blog featuring #indie music, news, interviews, & the best darn songs west of Stockholm

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The Cropper! accepts music submissions of all kinds. Though we cannot guarantee write-ups, we eagerly anticipate hearing, writing about and discovering new, unsigned, and exciting artists. Submit your music now. Thanks!

Here's to 20 Years of Team Clermont artists & bands. Thank you all!

We surely couldn’t have made it 20 years without all of you, our artists.
See our full roster, the whole list of the 2,238 artists, singers, bands and true creatives we’ve had the privilege of working with so far during our company’s (first) 20-year history. – with love from co-founders Nelson Wells and Bill Benson

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