The name game for March: Chalkline Beauty changed its name to Ares Caress. At least that was the word for a week or so. But it seems that Ares Caress was not "interesting enough" for the hardcore indie rockers, according to front man Rashad Penn, so the name is now The Red Hymnal. For real. No really, they mean it. The first show for the band, which also features former Beauty guitarist Chris Whitehurst, was in February, and the members are in the early stages of recording. Lesson for the day: Be thankful MySpace is free; buying Web sites can get expensive.
It's time to roll out the bands as 102.1 the X scouts the River City to fill slots playing its Chili Cook Off. In a nifty little bit of branding that the radio biz is famous for, the "rock-off" is called Local X-Posure and will be held at The Canal Club. Local musicians can apply to play alongside national acts at www.1021thex.com. Also check www.thecanalclub.com for these and other events.
Bassist and singer Bill Porter of noise-rockers Hallelujah is almost fully recovered from a December mugging in the Fan/VCU area that left him with two bullet holes. He is currently recording a yet-to-be-named disc for local label C.N.P. Records. www.cnprecords.com.
Local ethereal rock band Denali split up last year, as the members wanted to pursue new ventures. Keely Davis, who played bass for Denali and fronted Engine Down, is now the guitarist of national emo/prog band Sparta, which just announced an exclusive recording contract with Hollywood Records after two discs on Geffen. Sparta, which may be best known as half of influential El Paso prog-rock band At the Drive In, is recording its first Hollywood release and plans to tour shortly after recording is complete.
The rumor that power-pop band The Rachel Nevadas broke up is only about half true, as band members are doing side projects and mixing with other musicians both onstage and in the studio. Recent word has it that its members are on hiatus and may return. We'll keep you posted.
Celtic-tinged roots rockers Carbon Leaf have just finished their fifth U.S. tour in the last 18 months, playing with such acts as Blues Traveler and Jason Mraz, as well as on their own. All was in support of the band's first release for Vanguard Records, "Indian Summer," which has sold 85,000 copies to date. The band is preparing to record a new album in April with producer Peter Collins (Jewel, Rush, Indigo Girls, Bon Jovi) in Nashville. All this leaves little time for upcoming shows, but if you really need your Leaf, check www.carbonleaf.com and expect to do some driving. S
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