Before his Fool's Gold Records CMJ showcase at the 88 Palace Wednesday night (Oct. 21), label founder and DJ A-Trak spoke with Billboard.com about co-founding Fool's Gold despite the music industry's rough patch and how the label has thrived to celebrate its two year anniversary this fall.
Video Above: A-Trak tells Billboard about why he started Fool's Gold during a rough economy.
"That meant the establishments were crumbling and suddenly there were no rules," he says of his timing in starting up the label with Nick Catchdubs in 2007. "We could do whatever we wanted."
Video Above: A-Trak talks about his proudest Fool's Gold moment.
Video Above: A-Trak lists his essential party tracks.
Hockey has been another CMJ highlight. Although they've been receiving much hype on both sides of the pond for their New-Wave-inspired dance punk, Portland, Ore.'s Hockey says they don't feel an ounce of pressure.
"That would feel great, if that happened; if we were the 'it' band," guitarist Brian White said in another informal video moment with Billboard. "Everyone wants to be the 'it' something."
Video Above: Hockey on being an 'It' band.
The group is planning to continue touring in support of their recently released debut CD "Mind Chaos", but hopes to avoid tour pitfalls like the time they played at a vegan gothic after-party that featured hooks and blood and caused drummer Anthony Stassi to pass out.
Video Above: Hockey on the "Suspension" party in Seattle that made the drummer pass out.
Video Above: Hockey on the band's upcoming plans.
There were no hooks to be found when Hockey took the stage at the Mercury Lounge on Thursday (Oct. 22). They steamrolled through seven songs including "Too Fake," "Learn To Lose" and "Work." The audience responded to the group's energy and bobbed, sang and danced along during the whole, abeit brief, set.
Singer Ben Grubin added to Stassi's kit, stepping over numerous times to play a giant floor tom with mallets as keyboardist Ryan Doliver pounded away on the keys and bassist Jeremy Reynolds and guitarist Brian White both strummed urgently on their instruments.
Following Hockey was Los Angeles band Local Natives, coming back from a month long overseas tour. Despite being unsigned in the United States, many people stuck around after Hockey to check them out. Utilizing a keyboard set up with additional percussion, the group tore through well-received songs including "Airplane" and a Talking Heads cover of "Warning Sign." The band's use of syncopated rhythms, building guitars and multiple harmonies was quite a treat.