Saturday, January 31, 2009

Switchfoot's first show; Fiction Family goes to the Pastiness Magazine; New Album Fan reports

As you may already know, Switchfoot played their first show of 2009 a few days back (January 28 to be exact), and here's a sweet video of the class Jon Foreman cymbal-bash session for "Dirty Second Hands."



RAD.

Jeanna, our friend LOBH, reported that Jon said the following about the new Switchfoot record:

Jon said they'd be back working on the album in 3 weeks, not that that they would be DONE in 3 weeks. Also Thor, their engineer, was telling me they aren't going back into the studio till the beginning of march.


hmmm...?

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Next up, Paste Magazine posted a blog about the live performance that Fiction Family did in their studio. Check it out!

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NPR reviews Fiction Family:

The music has a built-in ache. "There's an icon in your mind that stands for happiness one day," they sing on the song, "Closer Than You Think." Using computer imagery — an earlier generation surely would have said "there's a picture in your mind" rather than an icon — Fiction Family strives to make simple, direct music, rooted in folk and 1960s pop, without going too limp on us.

Sometimes it doesn't work, as in the maudlin "Please Don't Call It Love," with its weepy, sleepy violin. And the lyrics on this album — which consist, for the most part, of carefully phrased examinations of heartbreak — aren't particularly original.

But Watkins and Foreman are smart enough to know which of their collaborations turned out best, and they lead off the album with "When She's Near," which is by far their most attractive, memorable song. With its Beatle-esque melody and soft harmonies, it is a lovely romantic trifle. Its chorus — "When she's near me all the world is new" — is the sort of starry-eyed sentiment that Fiction Family's music is ideally suited to transmit.

FULL STORY

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Another review (InReview):

A major deviation from each musician's more well-known projects, Fiction Family presents an emotional musical journey for the listener. Lacking flow at times, the disc presents itself more as being experimental — tossing out the rules and expectations throughout the recording process. In fact, in some instances, Foreman and Watkins didn't even make the tracks together. While one was touring, the other would add parts to a song, then leaving their product for the other to work on when he got off tour. Which, at times works better on some songs than others.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fiction Family Sells 7000 first-week copies; featured on MTV blog

Variety.com reports:

Fiction Family, featuring Sean Watkins, formerly of Nickel Creek, and Jon Foreman of Switchfoot sold 7,000 copies of their self-titled ATO debut to start at No. 71.


I would say those are solid numbers, nothing extraordinary, but nothing shabby either. It was outsold by several other noteworthy releases last week, like Andrew Bird, Animal Collective, and Bon Iver. But let's keep telling our friends about it and spreading the word about it.

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MTV Buzzworthy posted a blog about Fiction Family, highlighting the project and video:

Fiction Family is what happens when the soaring, epic rock of Switchfoot collides head on with the romantic, modern bluegrass of Nickel Creek. Well… sort of. Back in 2005, Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman started laying down some tracks on the side with Nickel Creek guitarist Sean Watkins. To begin with. they called themselves “The Real SeanJon,” hoping Diddy would sue and give them a huge publicity bump.

Alas, no lawsuit, but Sean and Jon have completed a full-length album called Fiction Family (go figure), out on ATO Records as of last week. The first single’s called “When She’s Near,” and it’s kinda just what you’d expect. A hooky ballad mellowed out with intricate fingerpicking, heartfelt lyrics and power-pop harmony breaks. Pristine pop sensibilities filtered simultaneously through arena rock and country sweetness. Switchfoot meets Nickel Creek. Listen up!



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Some reviews/articles about Fiction Family:

Tennessean
Holland and Sentinel
Slant Magazine (3/5)

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And, in the latest entry of the Fiction Family tour blog, (which, if you haven't checked it out, you better do so soon) Jon Foreman says something rad about the new Switchfoot album:

talked about the new record a bit with the fellas, I hope to be finished with it in two months.


YES! (New Switchfoot Album Timeline page Updated!)

Monday, January 26, 2009

"Trying to kind of go to 'Where the Streets Have No Name'..."

StandinOntheEdgeofMe from the official Switchfoot Message Boards found a great interview with Jon Foreman on ShineFM, where he talks about the new Switchfoot record with some more exciting news. I've transcribed some of it below:

Basically, we've tracked about 70 songs, probably more than that, but we've sorta narrowed them down. And I think, with that, there are several directions we can go to. One's a lot more beat driven, one's a little bit more what one of the guys has called "punchy," which is maybe a little bit more traditional, what we've been doing. And one's a little bit broader, ethereal. Trying to kind of go to "Where the Streets Have No Name" type of thing. So yeah, its just a matter of where or what song we want to play for the next ten years, and so I think its gonna be some sort of amalgam between those three elements.

Listen/download the whole interview clip here

To here the rest of that radio show, go here

(New Switchfoot Album Timeline Page has been updated!)

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TWLOHA posted a high-quality video of Jon and the rest of the crew on their encore performance at the "Heavy and Light" TWLOHA benefit show.

With a Little Help From My Friends


Still epic as ever.

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Here is a review of Fiction Family's album by Paste Magazine with a not-so-shining cap on Sean Watkins' voice.

PASTE Magazine (64%)

Note: the page is currently down for some reason.

The softly orchestrated “Betrayal” and the creaky “Mostly Prove Me Wrong” could be B-sides from Foreman’s Winter EP (a fourth of his moody solo project based on the seasons). In his own songs—a majority of the record—Foreman’s M. Wardian vocals share the spotlight with his sentimental but gritty lyrics. He goes wild with similes and metaphors and other literary devices you learn about in middle school (her eyes were like the winter, love is red, love is a dollar that’s already spent, we were both drinking fiction, there’s war in my blood, etc.), but it’s rarely trite, and otherwise cryptic lyrics balance his sometimes-precious wordplay. “Betrayal” typifies Foreman’s lyrical style: “I watched her as you put me in the dirt / She had my wallet wrapped inside her skirt / And I went numb, I went numb / So I’m not dead if what you did don’t hurt.”


Watkins’ lyrics, on the other hand, are cute at best and egregious at worst. In the pitchy “Elements Combined,” he sings, “You are elements combined / Earth, air, fire wine / Someday you’ll be mine.” First of all, how cheesy. Secondly, what is fire wine (other than NOT AN ELEMENT)? Maybe he’s trying to pull off some sort of metaphor a la Foreman, but either way, it just doesn’t work. The mopey “Not Sure” is as bland as its title: “How long will it take / For these ties to you to break / They’re much stronger than I thought / I’m not sure that I’ll get over you / I’m not sure that I want to.”


While Watkins’ higher voice harmonizes well with Foreman’s, his lead vocals aren’t as strong. The three songs that are entirely written and led by Watkins feel like wet rags—hearing Foreman’s voice at the beginning of a song is more of a relief than it should be, considering that the guys are supposedly equal partners in this Family. Foreman says in the band’s bio, “We came up with a few cowboy rules for the project: No double tracking. No pussyfooting. No tuning of vocals. etc.” The no-tuning rule is admirable, but it becomes a distraction because Watkins sometimes has trouble singing on-key. And the “no pussyfooting” part is debatable.

Ouchhh...

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Another: Kentucky.com (4/5)

When you're listening to new music and names like Lennon and McCartney, Difford and Tilbrook, and Neil Finn start rushing to mind, you know you have something good in your earbuds. When you mix that songwriting prowess with the instrumental dexterity of leaders of two of the most accomplished bands currently open for business, you have the first unqualified triumph of our young year.
090124FictionFamily

Fiction Family is the collaboration of Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman and Nickel Creek guitarist and singer Sean Watkins. The two reportedly met at a gig played by their respective bands plus R.E.M. and Wilco, which is to say Fiction Family was born of some great music.

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IndieVision Music (8/10)

Jon Foreman is a busy guy. His main band, Switchfoot, has been seeing significant mainstream rock success since they released “The Beautiful Letdown” in 2005. Then, over the past year, he released four solo EPs, with six songs for each season. Now he’s been collaborating with Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek to create a 12 song album for their new band, Fiction Family.

This record is more of an art project than it is another album to be put on the market. Everything sounds very organic, as each singer takes the lead for a number of songs and each offers something unique to the mix. Jon’s influence is more along the lines of his solo material, with tender vocals and diverse instrumentation over acoustic indie-folk-pop, while Sean brings the bluegrass/ roots rock feel, including some harmonica and the classic harmonized vocals. Now, I’ve never actually listened to Nickel Creek, but what I do know about each of these artists would lead me to believe that this album is something new for each of them, as they push themselves towards artistic growth and greater creativity, rather than a basic combination of what each of them already had. While my press copy of the album didn’t come with lyrics for me to fully examine, they seem like they’d also be a strong point to the album. One of the things I appreciate most about Fiction Family right now is that there are a lot of quality loves songs on here, which is something most new music I’ve acquired lately seems to be lacking.

While the duo may have been unexpected, this release is exactly what I expected after finding out the two were working together. Two great voices and two great songwriting styles come together for what will surely be enjoyed by a wide range of music fans. While you can typically tell which artist each song belongs to, it doesn’t sound like they just threw together a split EP or something. It definitely works well together to created a blended style and a consistent overall feel.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fiction Family covers a Radiohead song!

darkmage93 recorded some videos from last night's Fiction Family show in Philadelphia.

The first one that really caught my attention is a cover of Radiohead's song, "Idioteque," which can be seen here:



Oh, and Jon Foreman's song, Resurrect Me

More Press and new Fiction Family Myspace pic!



LEGIT.

Now, for the newsey pieces, with selected excerpts.


Record Online

The lead singers of Switchfoot and Nickel Creek created Fiction Family, a pretty good name for an indie band. And a pretty good start on their self-titled debut with “When She’s Near,” an addictive, sugary pop song. Great stuff. So is “Elements Combined,” a sweet love song that eerily sounds like Ben Folds.

For all the nice pop, however, there are some real clunkers. “Throw It Away” is just that, a boring, depressing song that may call for the gallows. “Please Don’t Call It Love” is practically the same thing, with wimpy country strings and tired guitar strums.

Somehwere in between the effervescent pop and crawling sad songs are some middle-road folkish tunes, where the lyrics tell the tale: In “Mostly Prove Me Wrong,” they’re confusing: “I’m tired with warring songs,” sings Jon Foreman, before he says “I’m feeling like a bomb.” Well, one or the other. Or, stop being lazy and write songs like “When She’s Near.”


National Post

Take one part California-alt-surf rock, combine it with some bluesgrassy-roots, and what do you get? Acoustic indie pop, naturally. Sometimes, out of the most illogical equations come beautiful results. And that's what happened when Jon Foreman from Switchfoot teamed with his high-school friend Sean Watkins from Nickel Creek. They call it a " byproduct of a music industry in crisis" and worked on the project between the schedules of their respective bands. We call it "worth checking out"


Daily Progress

“I was struck by the way he added something to a song without making a big deal out of it,” Foreman said of Watkins’ songwriting. “That’s one of his strengths. I’ve learned from this process that keeping things sparse has its advantages. There’s an urgency you can achieve by keeping things simple.”

With Nickel Creek on indefinite hiatus and Foreman largely concentrating on various solo projects, Fiction Family is in the middle of its first full tour together. The band makes a stop at the Gravity Lounge on Tuesday night. As for the future of this project, Foreman says the current state of things makes him hopeful it will continue down the road.

“It feels like we’ve really struck something great, not just as far as music but also personality,” he said. “We’ve already been talking about recording our next record. This feels like something we could do for a long time.


Penn Live

Some Reviews:

ACED Magazine (4/5)
The Lantern
My Central Jersey

And some pictures by Eric Anderson

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fiction Family Hits No. 5 on iTunes' Top Albums Overall




Well friends, the reception for Fiction Family's new record is probably even greater than previously imagined. It's hit No. 5 on iTunes' Top Albums overall. Early yesterday, sales were a bit sluggish, as the album was stuck at No. 26 until later in the afternoon, when it shot up to No. 9.

As of right now, 2:51 AM PST on January 21, it is sitting at No. 5. Awesome work promoting so far, guys! Let's keep this up and spread the word even more!

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Well, theRemarkableBarefootGhost from the official Switchfoot message boards posted an amazing bootleg of the entire Fiction Family show in Grand Rapids on the 14th. Here's the setlist:

1. War in My Blood
2. When She's Near
3. Closer Than You Think
4. Betrayal
5. Not Sure
6. Somebody More Like You (Sean Watkins Solo)
7. Unknown, nicknamed A Friend You Never Call (Sean Watkins Solo)
8. For The Sender (Sean Watkins)
9. Mostly Prove Me Wrong
10. Elements Combined
11. Learning How to Die (Jon Foreman Solo)
12. Somebody's Baby (Jon Foreman Solo)
13. Your Love is Strong (Jon Foreman Solo)
14. Keep the Car Running (Arcade Fire Cover)
15. Look For Me Baby
16. The Man in Me (Bob Dylan Cover)
17. We Ride

And he recorded it all! Check it out now, and you can even download the mp3's to your computer!

Board Post

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Now, here's an incredible article about Fiction Family from Relevant Magazine. These guys keep on churning out great articles. Here it is, reproduced in its entirety below:

Relevant Magazine: Music Reviews - Fiction Family

In a scene dominated by the gentle, hypersensitive sounds of Sufjan Stevens, The Welcome Wagon and Fleet Foxes, Jon Foreman and Sean Watkins finally inject some manliness back into the acoustic guitar. Fiction Family, the culmination of two of our generation’s most prolific and respected songwriters, debuts as a masterful collection of tales about murder, adventure, lost love, and war that highlight each contributor’s strengths and personalities while managing to defy perceived expectations.

There’s a beautiful carelessness to this project - a work birthed out of rest, friendship, and unabashed innovation. With no immediate deadlines, rules, or formats to follow, Foreman and Watkins embark on a musical journey of the purist, most unadulterated kind. The album keeps one foot in the folk door (a familiar home for both artists) while audaciously messing with everything from techno beats to ’60s pop choirs to fisher price instruments. While the acoustic guitar remains fixed in the foreground, a symphonic cast of unlikely characters join the conversation. Chamber stings, tympanis, accordions and electric fuzz tones somehow manage to play nicely together. A few of the most arresting tracks replace traditional bass lines with resonate piano timbres, dark pounding drones that duel eloquently against intricate finger-picking patterns.

There’s an idea that the farther one departs from the traditional pop format, the less tangible their work becomes to the average listener. Not so with Fiction Family. Wildly inventive and spontaneous (track two entitled “Out of Order” sounds exactly how it reads) the work stands in victorious defiance against a crumbling conventional music industry. Hooks and phrases linger long after their first introduction, and are sure to induce an involuntary foot-tapping episode or two.

It’s the stories, however, that give the project a sense of timelessness. In the spirit of his Season EPs, Foreman channels cultural staples like Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, even various Motown voices, conveying raw acoustic narratives like “Betrayal” and “War in My Blood” that read straight out of a great American novel. Watkins attaches his expertise for the hauntingly sorrowful love song that, in his case, always seems to relay more familiar truth than angsty longing. “Elements Combined” sketches the complexities of a woman, an intoxicating mixture of “earth, air, fire, and wine.”

But it’s not all love and war for the Family. Both Watkins and Foreman wrestle with the spiritual complexities of human nature. On “Closer Than You Think” the two critique the widely held notion of heaven as a distant and out of reach destination and suggest it may be “right under your feet.” In traditional Foreman lyrical style, “Prove Me Wrong” is laden with tender screams for affirmation and acceptance as it contemplates every man’s darkest struggles and fears through a solitary voice.

Those who have eased into a level of comfortable enjoyment of Jon Foreman’s solo projects and Watkins’ bluegrass repertoire may be caught off guard by the duo’s progressive departure from the predictable. Those looking for Switchfoot meets Nickel Creek will be disappointed. This is truly a profound exploration deep into the creative wells of two tremendously inventive and forward-thinking songwriters. Fiction Family is genius. It’s progressive without being high-brow, laid-back but fearless.



Listen to the entire Fiction Family album on The Drop.

-

CJ Casciotta is an artist, writer, and cultural commentator with a passion for raising a new generation of innovative artists and forward thinkers. he writes music reviews and features for RELEVANT, blogs at conversantlife.com, and manages the independant artist platform, Undiscovered.


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Here's some other press articles about Fiction Family, most of them positive. We'll start with the not so positive.

The News Star (2.5/5)

The duo, San Diego neighbors and casual pals since high school, began collaborating a few years ago after their respective bands shared a bill with R.E.M. and Wilco. Some of their writing took place in a coffee shop, and that relaxed mood proves deadly for much of “Fiction Family’s” midtempo acoustics.

Foreman and Watkins trade lead vocals and juggle a multitude of instruments, including mandolin, ukulele and steel guitar, but those stabs at variety fail to resuscitate colorless, unmemorable tunes.


CCM Magazine

“You have those conversations with musicians where everyone is buddy-buddy, and you say, 'Oh yeah, we should write together.' But rarely does that ever happen,” explains Foreman. “It's like signing a yearbook where you tell someone to call you over the summer, but nobody ever calls. It's that known thing that you're not supposed to call. But somehow we saw each other again and again, and he ended up giving me the instrumental version of 'Betrayal.' He said, 'Hey, I've got this song and don't have any lyrics for it.' So I wrote some lyrics and a bridge and sent it back, and that was the beginning of it. So it was pretty natural making a record without trying to make a record, which is my favorite way to make music.”


New York Daily News

Celebrate the release of Fiction Family's self-titled debut album at the Bowery Ballroom tonight! You may recognize the members of this musical duo as Jon Foreman of Switchfoot and Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek. In their first collaboration, though, these musical pros are forging their own unique sound. 8 p.m.; $18. 6 Delancey St. between Chrystie St. and Bowery. (212-523-2111).


WSJ

A self-imposed low budget helped the project, Mr. Foreman said. "It allowed us the ability to fail. We worked under the auspices that we were making music to make music. Your limitations are your strengths. When you find the limitations, you work around them."

"It doesn't take a huge amount of money," Sean Watkins told me when we met late last year near Griffith Park in Los Angeles. "Technology has made it easy to make music -- which is why there's so much bad music. It's more about being smart and creative."

....

If the musical menagerie of "Fiction Family" doesn't adhere to a fan's impression of either Nickel Creek or Switchfoot, neither musician seems concerned. "We have so many people in our fan base who are up for anything," Mr. Watkins said.

"You can mix in all the colors you want on an album," Mr. Foreman told me. "Everybody has all their songs in alphabetical order on their iPod anyway. All the boundaries formed by commerce are now gone."


Silent Soundwaves

You’ll know before the end of your very first listen that Fiction Family is a brilliant and fulfilling piece of acoustic art that catches you off guard, thanks to its humble appearance and serendipitous intentions. It’s a combination of writers like this that put The Beatles and The Eagles on the map. Fiction Family is not only on the map, but is a gratifying point of interest for any music lover. If I could give it 5 and 1/2 waves, I would, because it’s really that close to perfection. A must-have, period.


CIAO. =)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fiction Family Release Day!


Today is the day! It's finally here! Fiction Family's debut album is ready for the world! Take some time today, amidst the craziness of the inauguration of President Barack Obama and everything else around the planet, to pick up the album (if you haven't already). Here's some purchase links. Please note that there are two versions of the album on iTunes, and they seem to be priced the same for some odd reason. Might be fixed by morning, but grab it while you can! Be sure to check back throughout the day for updates on charts and stuffs...

iTunes Basic

Features the standard 12 tracks, and nothing more.

iTunes Bonuse Version

So far, this is a real bargain. Featuring the same $9.99 price point as the basic, it features three b-side tracks (Jon Foreman's "Resurrect Me," Sean Watkins' "No Other Needs," and Fiction Family's cover of The Cure's "Friday I'm In Love"). While you're at it, you get the music video for "When She's Near" along with the whole package!

OR

your could try Amazon or buy directily from the band at Bandfarm (and plus, you get the actual cd!)

I might be working on putting together a review of the album once I get it, so maybe look out for that? (if you care... hehe)


Fiction Family - When She's Near from ATO Records on Vimeo.

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The reviews are pouring in for the Fiction Family record. Here are some of them, the good, the bad, and the ugly:

Allmusic (3/5)

The fact that Fiction Family was nearly released by Starbucks says much about the music contained herein, with its emphasis on coffeehouse guitar progressions and wistful melodies. Foreman and Watkins recorded the disc themselves, finding brief moments between tours to trade ideas and build the songs layer by layer. Fiction Family is slightly sprawling as a result, having been compiled over a number of years, but the track list takes strength in diversity as it alternates between sprightly duets and slow, Elliott Smith-styled melancholia.


Jesusfreakhideout (4.5/5)

Though it would be easy to simply say that Fiction Family sounds like what would happen with Switchfoot and Nickel Creek had a kid, the complexity runs deeper. There are touches of Bon Iver along the way, and other ambient acoustical acts. Every track on this self-titled debut is of a completely different construction than the song before it, and each has its own story to tell. From the simple acoustic ballad "Not Sure," about being unable to let go of a lover, to the catchy, fun, ready-for-radio "When She's Near," to the Bon Iver-esque "Elements Combined"... every song has its own feel. It's a welcomed change from the norm.


And the not so good...

Streetband

To say that the instrumentation on their self-titled music CD is nearly flawless is also true. In fact, most elements of this recording, when examined individually, are quite good. But after listening to the CD, the one thing I remembered - was not remembering much of anything. While musically a good project, Fiction Family had no single on it that just stuck in the back of my head. In fact, try as I might, for the life of me, I couldn’t remember any of the songs I had just listened to.


(Ok, since when does music have to be catchy?!!!)


Anyways, the last one:

Christianity Today (4.5/5)

That said, there are certainly hints of Christian beliefs to be found. It'd be interesting to know how most interpret that "magic book" referenced in "Throw It Away," containing the so-called magic words, "Give your love, live your life each and every day." Later in the album, "Closer than You Think" encourages us to hold close to the vision of heaven that encourage us and compels us to press on: "You've got a vision of some far off day, beautiful and bright/A carrot out of reach, but always in your sight/There's an icon in your mind that stands for happiness someday/A picture on the wall of a kingdom far away/But oh, it's closer than you think/Oh, it's breathing in between."


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Our friend Jeanna from LOBH posted some videos on Youtube of Jon Foreman and Sean Watkins playing several covers at the Fiction Family show she went to. Please give them a listen and comment! Yeahhh!

The Man in Me


Keep the Car Running


More for the Sender


^awesome stuff Jeanna, despite the little camera pics in between... ;)

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CHARTS

Fiction Family's "When She's Near" continues to steadily climb Triple-A radio charts, and currently sits at No. 39.

These three stations are currently spinning the songs with regularity. Make sure you at least request ONE of these stations AT LEAST to play the song. Any bonus requesting, or if you request at all three stations, would be legendarily rad. Thanks for the help! Let's make this song a hit!

WFPK/Louisville, KY:
E-mail: studio@wfpk.org
Call: (502) 814-WFPK (9375).

WXPN/Philadelphia
Phone: 215-573-WXPN
Email: requests@xpn.org
Web: http://xpn.org/requests

WEHN/Long Island, NY
Contact

Also,

Jon Foreman's solo single, "Your Love Is Strong" continues to fare well on CHR radio, coming in at No. 26 this week.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fiction Family plays "Friday, I'm In Love" by The Cure!

Here's a Youtube video of the Fiction Family boys playing "Friday I'm In Love" by The Cure. Ilike!:



"Betrayal" from the same show:


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Tristan Rader from CNC Media in Ohio, emailed us some gorgeous photographs from Fiction Family's First Show Ever, in Ann Arbor. Here they are below:










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CHARTS

Fiction Family keeps moving up the charts. "When She's Near" is sitting at No. 41 now on Triple-A radio! Keep requesting your stations to start playing the song, particularly these three:

WFPK/Louisville, KY:
E-mail: studio@wfpk.org
Call: (502) 814-WFPK (9375).

WXPN/Philadelphia
Phone: 215-573-WXPN
Email: requests@xpn.org
Web: http://xpn.org/requests


WEHN/Long Island, NY
Contact

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Jimmy Eat World's Drummer Interviews Switchfoot bassist Tim Foreman

Zach Lind, the drummer from Jimmy Eat World, apparently has posted and done a few interviews with people. And one of them is Switchfoot bassist Tim Foreman. And this is pretty awesome... two members of two great bands with similar career trajectories (so far), just having a conversation about their music. Here is the vidoe below:


Interview with Tim Foreman of Switchfoot, Part 1 from Zach Lind on Vimeo.

Is that iChat?? haha

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Ok, so lots of people have sounded off on the news that Mike Elizondo is producing the Switchfoot record. The fact that he's a hip-hop producer by nature has some people on edge, others think it's a stroke of genius.


Here are my thoughts, if you care to read them:

It's important to remember that Elizondo is NOT only limited to Rap and Hip-hop and da "phat beats." He's an incredibly diverse musician and producer who has worked with the likes of Fiona Apple and Eminem, Dr. Dre and Alanis Morissette, Eric Clapton and Maroon 5. That's an incredibly diverse group of musicians right there, so I don't think we need to panic about him "forcing" or influencing Switchfoot into becoming a hip hop band and topping the R&B charts.

At the same time, I think there's so much musical diversity and creativity involved in these sessions right now. The Switchfoot themselves are already incredibly eclectic musicians themselves, and Jon Foreman has gotten a lot of slower, mellow songs off his chest. Darell Thorp, the engineer who has been working with the boys is Radiohead producer Nigel Goodrich's main assistant.

We've got a bunch of creative heads in the kitchen now, and I think the result can be nothing less than amazing. That being said, I'm not going make bold, grand projections that this album will be the album of the decade or win a Grammy or anything. Oftentimes, those kinds of things happen when we least expect it, and given the not-so-amazing promotion the band has gotten for the past two singles, I'm not going to be hoping for too much. Again, like I have said before, it's very important for us fans to keep spreading the word and telling everyone about the music... if it truly is great, word WILL get out.

So no worries about Mike Elizondo. I think he's going to be very good for Switchfoot, and we won't have to worry about hearing Jon rap anytime soon. ;)

Here:


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Now, moving on to some Fiction Family news:

Absolute Punk has a profile of Fiction Family on their site now

If you've got an account on there, make sure to fan them!

Here's a brief news story about Fiction Family:

Full Post

Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant and bluegrass songstress/fiddler Alison Krauss proved last year that unlikely pairings can work magic. Now we've got an equally unusual duo: Sean Watkins of bluegrass group Nickel Creek and Jon Foreman of rock band Switchfoot have joined forces for their self-titled debut album as Fiction Family. The duo, which kicked off its 21-city U.S. tour earlier this week, plays Philly's World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., Thursday night.

And, our friend Annie Reuter from You Sing, I Write has posted a review for the new Fiction Family record:

While it takes a few listens to fully understand the depth of this disc, Fiction Family proves the versatility and staying power of both musicians in a time when not many bands are leaving their comfort zones.

Calling themselves Fiction Family (despite Foreman’s wish for the Real SeanJon) the Watkins and Foreman project formed after a few chance encounters at a local coffee shop in their San Diego hometown. After the urging from friends to collaborate over the years, they decided to give it a shot — never expecting a completed release. Taking turns singing lead vocals and alternating between multiple instruments including guitar, bass, keyboards, percussion, baritone, ukulele, piano, organ, mandolin, steel guitar and 12-string guitar, the 12-song self-titled debut will be released January 20 on ATO Records.

read the rest here

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fiction Family Launches new Tour Blog!

Fiction Family have started a Typepad account, a la Daily Foot to recount the past tour.

Here are the first two posts that Jon Foreman have posted up:

January 13, 2009

show numero uno - ann arbor
well well well...

there is a first for everything and tonight was the first true show for our fictitious family! 

other firsts today include: 
my first time playing the ark. 
my first time eating at zingerman's. 
and my first fictional "blog" entry. 

(I'm not sure that I like the word blog,  incedently). Tonight was truly a crazy ride for me I haven't been that nervous/excited in a long time. It felt like caffeine... It was most certainly the deep end of the pool, or maybe like a musical bun-jee jump- where every song could quite literally smash into pieces on the rocks below: I loved it! So far the bun-jee chord is holding just fine. But the risk is always there- and I think that's wahat makes the whole thing so enjoyable. Sean, Aaron, and Tyler are such great guys. Together with andy, ryan and marshall off stage I have a really incredible feeling about this tour... 

Also, It feels so great to be out in a van again. I was talking to my friend Dustin about how nothing brings a band together like a van tour. As always, the only problem is the van itself. The belts are squeaking like a flock of birds, it has about 300,000,(000,000) miles on it, the door broke tonight, and it's uber, uber cold up here... We're taking it in to get looked at tomorrow. Well, off to the the rapids that are grand tomorrow in- we'll keep you posted!

peace,
jon 

-----------------------

January 14, 2009

day two - grand rapids
yes
it's starting to come together... spent the first part of the day stuck in a red roof inn cause the van died on our way to grand rapids. Spent the second half of the day in an incredible old theatre in GR. The show was beginning to feel much more comfortable- much more intentional. loving it... playing a set of entirely new songs!


three things about today:
consumed: (among other things) two shakes. 
confessed: (among other things) an undying love for ice cream
conversed about: (among other things) the way to make ice cream from fresh fallen snow, lemon juice, and milk. 

I'm skeptical about the third item but I do sense a trend of sorts.

jon


-----------------------

Some press about Fiction Family's full album stream:

Absolute Punk
Indie Vision Music
Driveby Media
Swearimnotpaul.blogspot.com

-----------------------

And, here's an article from Relevant Magazine, interviewing Jon about his solo ep's, Fiction Family, Switchfoot, Kierkegaard, and the meaning of life. We've posted the entire thing below:

RELEVANT Magazine


There are only a handful of “Christian bands” who have crossed over into the mainstream without losing their roots. Jon Foreman and Switchfoot have been playing rock music full time, and surfing on downtime, for about 13 solid years. And even though the band has gone from Christian labels to majors and elsewhere, they’ve not yet fallen into musical (and spiritual) obscurity.

Before playing a solo show for To Write Love On Her Arms in Orlando, Foreman reminisced about the various projects he’s taken on over the past few years. “You do all these songs with a band, and you have an identity with them," he says. "But I think in music you’ve got all sorts of different styles and ideas that you’re always coming up with. Every artist that makes music listens to a variety of different sounds, and sometimes it’s amazing to venture off into new territory and explore some new places. That’s what the EPs are for me.”

Foreman’s EPs were released throughout the course of 2007 and 2008, and eventually came to be known as Limbs and Branches. Each EP was released under the name of a season—four total made for a complete year of acoustic music. “Switchfoot pays the rent, but I love doing the EPs,” Foreman says. “After Switchfoot shows for years, I’d go out and play another set at coffee shops or a bar down the street. I think the EPs were kind of the fruition of that. All of these 'I wish I were Bob Dylan' songs that I could just let slide out.”

Limbs and Branches was one of RELEVANT’s Top 20 Albums of 2008, and has garnered him respect as a singer-songwriter capable of subtle introspection. Most of the songs Foreman played at the To Write Love On Her Arms show were from his solo album.



But that side project is so 2008.

On Jan. 20, 2009, Foreman will release an album called Fiction Family. “Fiction Family is myself and Sean Watkins from Nickel Creek," he says. "We did it several years back, and we were hoping to get signed by a certain ... coffee company that puts out music. But then their music department fell apart. So it has actually been done for almost three years now and we’ve just kind of been sitting on it.” Starting tomorrow, Fiction Family will be touring the country. Foreman is excited to finally release the album: “It feels really great to be partnering up with ATO Records. To have My Morning Jacket and Paul McCartney as label-mates is not a bad thing! We’re amped.”

The album is another that sees Foreman in singer-songwriter mode. Sounding a little more Nickel Creek with acoustic guitars and strings, Fiction Family requires Switchfoot fans to put away their rock fists for the sake of a more mature folk rock. But one thing that is as present here as with all of Foreman's projects is a clear lyrical search for deeper meaning. “The real project is just figuring out how to live," he says. "That’s the ongoing project.”

Influenced by the time-tested soul music of Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder, Foreman’s music is an existential journey for the spirit. “One of the best verses ever written is the dialogue between God and Abraham on [Bob Dylan's] 'Highway 61 Revisited,'” he says.

The song reminds Foreman of how Soren Kierkegaard brought Abraham and Isaac to the philosophical world in Fear and Trembling. “Kierkegaard is pretty hard to nail down, and I think he would want it that way," he says. "He wrote from so many surnames and pseudonyms and different perspectives, sometimes satirizing the very things he had said in the past. But he was against Christendom, which is kind of everything about the Church sans Christ. I think that’s something I can relate to in our times, when the church has become a business. You’ve got CDs and magazines and all these 'Christian' things. The question is, not only as a consumer but as a human being, how do you find your soul and dig underneath the veneer? I feel like there was quite a commonality between Kierkegaard’s time and ours.”

Like Kierkegaard’s restless dread of the Christian life, Foreman continues to ask life questions through song. “Kierkegaard stressed the ever-present now, the pressing needs of the moment that we have right now that will never transpire again," he says. "He was very specific about what a great honor it is to be in this moment. The fear and trembling that you face standing up on the cliff that is now.”

And for this reason, we will not see Foreman tire of music-making anytime soon. “I think the bottom line is that I’ll be doing music whether I get paid for it or not. I’m still digging...”

All of these projects have not gotten in the way of Foreman’s day job, though. “We are making a Switchfoot record," he says. "We wanted to start with a clean slate because the last couple of records felt kind of compromised.” Switchfoot recently left their major label deal to become a truly independent band again. Foreman explains, “With Sony, they fired people so quickly that it was hard for us to develop any sort of traction, so we fired ourselves. We got off the label because music is very sensitive to the place that it’s coming from. We wanted to create an environment where we were going to be with the same people for a long time and trust is established. We built our own studio and we’ve just been honing in on people we love to work with.”

The next Switchfoot album should prove to be something new altogether. “We’ve tracked about 75 songs in our studio and now we’re weeding down, working with engineer Daryl Thorpe who is Nigel Godrich’s right hand man for Radiohead, Air and Beck," Foreman says. "He’s incredible, he’s really helped us find some new territory. Another place we’ve gone for inspiration is our producer Mike Elizondo—he’s worked with Mary J. Blige and Eminem. He’s, like, Dr. Dre’s right hand man. We’re trying to find a new playing field for the next 10 years to throw the ball around in.”

With the soulful influences and the new producer, will the next Switchfoot album top the R&B charts? “I’m as white as it gets, but I love hip-hop! ... But, no, I’m not going to be spitting any phat beats.”


Foreman never runs out of brilliance, I swear...! But, the new Switchfoot album tidbits have been added to the New Switchfoot Album page. Be sure to check it out! It's a timeline of everything that's happened in the recording of the album so far. Enjoy!

Side Note/P.S.: The move to work with Mike Elizondo sounds interesting... we've got Radiohead's engineer and Dr. Dre's right-hand man! It sounds like a rock-meets-hip-hop fusion. Interesting!

-----------------------

CHARTS

Fiction Family's "When She's Near" is still No. 45 from Triple-A, but it's starting get spins from these two stations. Be sure to call-in, request, or email them to play the song!

WFPK/Louisville, KY:
E-mail: studio@wfpk.org
Call: (502) 814-WFPK (9375).

WXPN/Philadelphia
Phone: 215-573-WXPN
Email: requests@xpn.org
Web: http://xpn.org/requests



Any other ways you can help, like posting the Fiction Family Street Team banners everywhere you can, and posting the video and sending it in to music video sites, anything would be amazing! Call in to your radio stations as well, to let them know about the new song! Anything we can do will help! Thanks friends!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Stream the ENTIRE Fiction Family Album today!; Day 1 of tour!

As we said last week, Rhapsody will be exclusively streaming/premiering Fiction Family's brand new debut album. The streaming opened yesterday, and you can go here now to listen in! Let me know what you think... I'm going to hold off until I get the actual cd. =)

-------------------

Also new this week are the next two installments on Heartitfirst's exclusive videos with Jon Foreman and Sean Watkins of Fiction Family. One is a hilarious outtakes video, the other is the music video for "When She's Near"

Check the new ones, as well as the old, here

-------------------

Oh, yesterday was Day 1 of the Fiction Family tour! Along with it comes a bunch of new articles/press stuff, including a piece from mlive.com. Sean finally reveals the true meaning behind their name.. not just jokes. haha.

"Usually when two guys make a record together, it sounds cool to call them the 'something brothers,'" said Watkins, who plays guitar, mandolin and keyboards. "But we're not, so that's how Fiction Family came to be."

Ahh... now it makes perfect sense!

Read the rest of the article here

Here's some more pressage:

Inside Vandy
CMT
Daily Herald

-------------------

And, the first few official reviews for the Fiction Family record have begun to emerge!

Soul-Audio:
Fans of The Beatles, Dylan and Simon and Garfunkel will hear influences of these artists all over the recording. On “Elements Combined,” where Foreman and Watkins’ work together to great effect (combined elements, indeed), the vocal harmony on the bridge is startlingly similar to classic Simon and Garfunkel – it’s perhaps a subliminal clue on “We Ride,” as the first line, ‘Sunrise over troubled waters,’ echoes what is probably Simon and Garfunkel’s signature song: “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.” Beatle fans will recognize an homage to the Beatles’ “She Said, She Said” brand of psychedelia at the end of that same track. The British Music Hall / vaudevillian style of the closing song, “Look For My Baby,” is from the McCartney “Honey Pie” school, with the opening banjo straight out of the end of “Free as a Bird.” The chorus/bridge features Beatle-esque harmonies, while Foreman delivers lyrics like, ‘Yeah, you can give my regards to your house of cards /
Your dead end stars and your Pharisee shards…’ in a distinctly Dylanesque manner.

THE REST

Also, CCMmagazine

-------------------

CHARTS

Fiction Family's "When She's Near" holds at No. 45 on Triple-A today.

-------------------

Here's an awesome video from the Heavy and Light concert. It's the encore/closing of the evening, and how much more appropriate can you get than singing "A Little Help From My Friends" by the Beatles with your buddies? That's what Jon did, calling up all the performers for the night! So without further ado, here it is:



AP.net pressage

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Crazy, Ridiculous Big-time news about Fiction Family (oh, and SWITCHFOOT too!)

(Thanks LOBH friends for this)

A website called Stereo Subversion just recently conducted two incredible interviews with both halves of the Fiction Family. The first half is with Sean Watkins, the other half is with Jon Foreman.

Sean talks about writing with the Jon:

"Jon is a great songwriter. He’s got very thoughtful lyrics and he’s not afraid to be honest. He’s very intuitive about what is catchy. I hate to say that word, but he knows where the song should lead. Writing with Jon is very different than writing with Sara or Chris, which is my other experience with Nickel Creek. With him, it’s more about crafting a song and less about technical arrangements. So these recordings are just our attempt to make a good demo of each song, to capture the spirit of each song. On my other endeavors, there was an equal emphasis on the
technical side of things, so this is much different.


(Read the rest here: Part 1)

In part two, Jon talks about Sean as a writer, and his unique abilities:

"His songwriting has a real depth. He knows so many different covers. He’s the type of guy who can learn a cover song every day of the week just to learn it and know it and has a deep appreciation for the history of American music and rock and roll in general and bluegrass and all these different forms. So he has a deep springboard to jump from in different places than a lot of songwriters would.

I think whenever there’s somebody who’s really talented at playing quickly, the danger is that becomes the only thing they have. You’ll have these incredible geniuses on the fretboard that play too many notes potentially and Sean definitely can play really quickly but he has an understanding of when not to play as well. With his talent and his background, it’s an elevator that allows him to reach highs and lows that others wouldn’t be able to get to."



He also talks about the new Switchfoot record, and boy, is this interview filled with juicy, juicy tidbits!

Here's the one that really caught my eye:

"But on the new Switchfoot record, I’m trying to write these immortal anthems."


STOKED.

(Read the rest here: Part 2) Plus, more on the new Switchfoot studio tidbits later...

--------------------------------

Also, Fiction Family got its own feature on Billboard magazine! the guys blogged about it, and here is an excerpt below:

ATO product manager Jaclyn Bertsch credits Red Light Management's Bruce Flohr (who co-manages Fiction Family with Watkins' management Q Prime South) with bringing the music to the label's attention. "You're talking about one guy who has sold 5 million records and another guy who has sold 2 million records," she says of Foreman and Watkins respectively. "But the whole record was made in truly independent fashion. There were no label restraints. ATO wasn't involved until way after the creative process was completed. It just came from a really true place."

The label is now pushing "When She's Near" to triple A radio in advance of a North American tour that begins Jan. 13 in Ann Arbor, Mich.


--------------------------------

Now, some charts news:

(Mediabase is currently down, or not updating properly. We'll post today's results later if that is sorted out)

--------------------------------

Oh! Here's a video of Jon's performance last night for TWLOHA's Heavy and Light benefit show. Appropriately, it's titled "Light and Heavy":



HOLY... CRAP... that was brilliant!

--------------------------------

And last but not least, here's some summarizing about the new Switchfoot album, according to Jon:

*About the writing for the new record: "For me, for a little while there, I was afraid of anthems. I was afraid of the big songs. Fear can be a strange thing to try and describe, but I think that the past few years, I’ve really been set free from those fears. I’ve been able to write these quirky, mellow, side project types of songs. But on the new Switchfoot record, I’m trying to write these immortal anthems."

*About taking their sweet ol' time: Well, we’ve written and recorded about 60 songs that we’re just sifting through. I went out yesterday to write a song with a few friends in New York and we’ve worked with a bunch of different producers. Basically it’s on our dime and our clock and in our studio. We feel that this next record will represent the next 10 years of who we are as a band and so we want to make the best record we’ve ever made. We want to take our time and decide what are the songs that we want to sing for the rest of our lives and put them on this record.

*About Darrell Thorp, and the "landscape" sound Switchfoot is going for: We enlisted Nigel Godrich’s main engineer who has worked on our favorite records - some Paul McCartney records, some Radiohead, some Air records, some of Beck’s stuff. He definitely took us to a place where I feel like this record has a much wider scope - the darks are darker and the lights are brighter and the lows are lower and the highs are higher. That was our goal was to create such a landscape. That’s where my head is at is figuring out how to make sure that horizon is in every song.

*About the trickiness of a release date: We’re shooting for late spring. That’s our goal, but it’s been a little tricky. For the Fiction Family tour, we’re going out in January. Then as Switchfoot, we’re heading to South America right after that. We’re out right now as a band with Three Doors Down, so trying to fit in the recording schedule between all these tours is a little tough. [Laughs] But I think we’ll be able to squeeze it out by summertime or springtime.

All of these paragraph/points have been duly updated on the New Switchfoot Album page! Check it out here

Monday, January 12, 2009

Watch Jon Foreman play TWLOHA's "Heavy & Light" Benefit Concert; Fiction Family "When She's Near" Impact Day 1

Watch the To Write Love On Her Arms Webcast again!

In case you missed the live webcast, here it is again for your viewing pleasure. Jon Foreman plays in it... ;)

Go to TWLOHA Blog

Our friend Jeanna from Land of Broken Hearts says they'll have recaps, screen caps, and mp3's from the event later today! Stay tuned!

-------------------

Also, today is Day 1 of Triple-A radio adds for this week. Fiction Family's "When She's Near" is officially impacting at radio today and tomorrow. We'll keep you posted on what happens on those charts. But the signs are good because the song is already hitting certain stations, including coming in at No. 1 on S018-FM on Sirius Satellite Radio.

We'll keep you posted throughout the day on what (if anything happens) along those lines! What we can do right now for sure is to keep posting the music video everywhere you can! Myspace, Facebook, etc.

-------------------

UPDATE: 10:10 AM

We've received word from Red Light Management that WFPK/Louiseville has agreed to add "When She's Near" to their rotation.

Be sure to call in and request it or email:

email: studio@wfpk.org
Ph: (502) 814-9375

Current "When She's Near" Chart Standing: No. 45 on Triple-A

-------------------

UPDATE: 5:01 PM

WQKL (Ann Arbor) has added "When She's Near"!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Quick Chart updates

Fiction Family's "When She's Near" moved up two spots on Triple-A format radio, and now sits at No. 46 on the chart!

Jon Foreman's "Your Love Is Strong" has re-entered the Christian CHR charts at No. 26!

That's it, next full update tomorrow, which will be official impact day for "When She's Near." Excellent! Happy Sunday, all!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fiction Family's "When She's Near" officially Added to WXPN (Philadelphia); hits No. 1 on Sirius (S018-FM)

Red Light Management emailed alerting us that "When She's Near" has been officially added to WXPN Public Radio in the Philadelphia area!

Now is the time to act, Phillie fams! Here's the phone number, email, and request link so we can start getting airtime in the area! And if you're not in Phillie, still request and call in if you can:

Ph. 215-573-WXPN

Email. requests@xpn.org

http://xpn.org/requests

----------------------------

In other radio news, "When She's Near" is also the No. 1 played song on S018-FM Sirius Satellite Radio. This all in less than a week and way before impact day! Awesome!


In fact, yesterday, it was the song with the most increases in plays on the Triple-A format:


UPDATE: 2:12 PM:
"When She's Near" has hit the Top 50 on Triple-A radio, and currently sits at No. 48!


----------------------------

Here's some more press on Fiction Family. Word is getting out, friends! Let's help this snowball to keep rolling!

Indievision
Absolutepunk.net
Mog.com
Reuters/Billboard (here's an excerpt):

Foreman describes the sound as having "a lot of Jayhawks mixed into it. There's definitely a little Beatles influence. Both Sean and I are a sucker for a good melody, and Sean's an amazing guitar man, so I think that really factored in heavily."



Also, Rolling Stone posted the music video for "When She's Near" on their website!

Fiction Family - "When She's Near"

----------------------------

Lastly, Relevant Magazine did a Top Albums feature, and Jon Foreman's EP's made the list! Check it out here

Friday, January 9, 2009

Help Promote the Fiction Family Pre-Order; Plus, new FF Article!

Well, the first official Fiction Family Street Team project is finished! Now, if you don't know what we're talking about, be sure to check it out here right now and sign up! Getting involved and helping Jon Foreman and Sean Watkins get their record off the ground is both fun and easy!

So even as the dust from the first street team project still settles, a brand new project has been announced. Here's a message from Annette, the "team leader" if you will:

Hey guys! Great job on the last project, and congratulations to the winners! Here is another chance to win some prizes. As you know, the Fiction Family album will be in stores on January 20th. That's just a few weeks away so this is the time we need you to really help promote the CD.


Please take this Fiction Family video and post it just like you would a banner. In fact, there's a banner attached to the bottom where people can click to pre-order the album. After the release date the banner will automatically change to reflect "Now In Stores" so don't worry about having to take the video down.


The fans that get the most unique impressions will win the following prizes...

1st place: $50 iTunes gift card and the Family Fiction CD
2nd and 3rd place: $25 iTunes gift card and the Family Fiction CD
(Please be sure to upload at least one screenshot of your week in order to be eligible for a prize.)




The project ends on Feb 6th so get started and keep an eye out on the Leaderboard to see where you stand! If you have any questions, just email fanservices@fan2band.com. Good luck!!


So there you have it. If you look at the top of our page, we have the video embedded already, as instructed. Want to know the code? Go sign up for the street team, or if you're already a teamer, then sign in and get going! Let's give the guys a promotional boost and put all our support behind the great music!

-------------------

In other news, the Toledo Free Press did a new story on Fiction Family with some new news, including some more information about the writing of "When She's Near," as well as the origin of the name Fiction Family:

The collaboration clicked, Watkins said during a phone interview en route to San Francisco.

“Co-writing can be tricky; you never really know what kind of creative chemistry there’s going to be even if you’re good friends or play often, but he and I worked really well together,” he said. “Sometimes I’d have a melody idea and I’d e-mail it to him, and he’d write lyrics to go with it and send that back to me. There was some corresponding that happened, actually, most of the songs were written that way, kind of corresponding, and recording, actually, a lot of it happened that way, too.”

The singer-songwriters formed a duo, Fiction Family, which will release its self-titled debut Jan. 20.

“Jon came up with [the band name], and I liked it a lot because, first of all, everybody loves alliteration, but also a lot of bands that involve two guys are usually brothers, so we figured it kind of made sense since we’re not brothers,” Watkins said.

“‘When She’s Near’ is cool because it felt like a good mix of what we both do. It’s actually the melody to a song I wrote a long time ago called ‘Teaberry.’ I wrote it in ’03 or ’04, and I didn’t like the words, but I liked the melody,” Watkins said. “I brought the melody in and Jon did most of the lyrics. That song was really fun to co-write and feels like a solid collaboration.”


To read the rest of the story, go here

Thanks for reading! =)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Jon Foreman and Invisible Children; Fiction Family full-album Stream Scheduled!

Invisible Children posted a video and blog about the recent "A Very Merry Benefit Concert" that they held, involving Dustin Kensrue from Thrice, our very own Jon Foreman from Switchfoot, Aaron Weiss from mewithoutYou, Chris Conley from Saves the Day, and Jim Ward from Sparta. Here's a video with all four of those guys being interviewed here:

Invisible Children: A Very Merry Benefit Concert


Here's the blog talking about it.

On December 19th, 2008, Invisible Children teamed up with the lead singers of Thrice, Switchfoot, Saves the Day, Sleepercar, and mewithoutYou to put on A Very Merry Benefit Concert at the legendary Troubadour in Los Angeles. Before the show started, we had the opportunity to sit down with the guys (Dustin Kensrue, Jon Foreman, Chris Conley, Jim Ward, and Aaron Weiss) and ask them a few questions. One of the questions came straight from a MySpacer responding to a bulletin we put out. We’ll have a more detailed breakdown later in the week, but for now, you can listen first-hand to what they had to say. As for the show itself, well, you had to be there. But, hopefully, this gives you an idea of how cool these guys were donating their talents to raise money for IC.


And, last but not least, Alternative Press Magazine posted a bunch of awesome pictures from that night. Go here to check em out!

--------------------------

Next, Fiction Family posted a new blog on their Myspace with some exciting news!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Exclusive streaming of our album!

Rhapsody will be streaming our album starting Jan. 13 through release date, Jan. 20.

Click here on Monday to listen !!!

You can pre-order the album while listening at our website!!


We'll have a reminder for you right here on We're Awaekning! when the time comes! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Fiction Family's "When She's Near" added to Sirius Satellite Radio (S018-FM) Radio, amongst other exciting Fiction Family/Jon Foreman News

(Random Side Note: This is probably the longest post in A LONG TIME. Bear with me... hehe)

Sirius Satellite Radio (AAA Rock format) is the first officially recorded radio station to spin Fiction Family's debut single, "When She's Near," coming in at No. 7 on that stations playlist!



Woot! it looks like they're giving "When She's Near" a lot of spins. 32 plays within one week isn't too shabby at all! This is interesting, as it is an advance add, about a week before the song officially impacts to Triple A radio.

---------------------------------

Hearitfirst.com Post Exclusive Fiction Family Interview Videos

Today's post is almost all about Fiction Family! Here's some more stuff. Hearitfirst has got some videos that ask Sean Watkins and Jon Foreman about the project. There will be two new videos each Tuesday until release day! Awesome! Watch it now:

HearitFirst.com/fictionfamily

---------------------------------

PLUS: Tons and tons of Fiction Family Press!


For Music Video

mycrazymusicblog.com
perfectporridge.com
mog.com
The Round-Table

For Overall

Beliefnet
Takeyourvitaminz
Prefixmag
Melvillean
musicremedy


---------------------------------

Jon Foreman Song To Be Featured on "One Tree Hill"

The WB’s ONE TREE HILL will use Jon Foreman's "Behind the Eyes" in the Jan. 12th episode. Check out http://www.thewb.com/shows/one-tree-hill/ for more details on the show.

This should be awesome. Jon's songs have been in other popular tv shows. Remember "The Cure For Pain" showing up on Grey's Anatomy last year?

---------------------------------

New Jon Foreman Blog

Last but not least, Jon posted a terrific new myspace blog about the To Write Love On Her Arms benefit coming up, as well as yes, Fiction Family:


Tuesday, January 06, 2009


heavy and light, light and heavy

happy new year all!

and I know that it's about a week late but better late than never. And besides, in spite of the crazy times we're in, there's a lot to be thankful for. second chances. third chances. 734th chances. sunsets. sunrises. sunsets. And the passing of time begins to make a lot more sense to me in the context of grace instead of karma. Under a rule where love triumphs over justice...

Speaking of love, I have the honor of playing the heavy and light event presented by TWLOHA alongside of some of my favorite folks. If you live near florida (or if all that snow is making you think about moving to a warmer clime) you should hang out with all of us. It's a great community- check out more here...

www.twloha.com
www.myspace.com/towriteloveonherarms

What's after that you ask? well, I'll tell you: I'm setting out with a merry band of men called Fiction Family to traverse this democracy with songs of good cheer!

Jan 13 - The Ark -Ann Arbor, Michigan
Jan 14 - Calvin College - Grand Rapids, Michigan
Jan 15 - Abbey Pub - Chicago, Illinois
Jan 16 - The Union @ N Central College - Naperville, Illinois
Jan 17 - Ransburg Auditorium - Indianapolis, Indiana
Jan 18 - Mountain Stage - Morgantown, West Virginia
Jan 20 - Bowery Ballroom - New York, New York
Jan 21 - Paradise Rock Club - Boston, Massachusetts
Jan 22 - World Cafe Live - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jan 23 - Crawford Auditorium - Grove City, Pennsylvania
Jan 24 - Jammin Java - Vienna, Virginia
Jan 25 - Brubaker Auditorium - Grantham, Pennsylvania
Jan 27 - Gravity Lounge - Charlottesville, Virginia
Jan 29 - Variety Playhouse - Atlanta, Georgia
Jan 30 - Belcourt Theatre - Nashville, Tennessee
Feb 3 - Neumos Crystal Ball -Seattle, Washington
Feb 4 - Aladdin Theatre - Portland, Oregon
Feb 5 - The Independent - San Francisco, California
Feb 6 - Anthology Live - San Diego, California
Feb 7 - Largo @ Coronet Theatre - West Hollywood, California


peace in the mideast, literally and figuratively, my brothers.

jon

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Switchfoot's "This Is Home" is Australian (Christian) Song of the Year

I had no idea "This Is Home" was getting so much play in the international music scene, but check this out!:

Australia's national Christian music charts, The Rock Across Australia (TRAA), today announced Switchfoot's This Is Home as 2008 Song of the Year, and honored 24 year old American singer Britt Nicole as the 2008 Artist of the Year.

This is first time Switchfoot and Britt Nicole have earned TRAA honors.

The internationally acclaimed pop-rock quintet spent eight weeks atop TRAA with This Is Home, a song featured on The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian Soundtrack, and Switchfoot's The Best Yet compilation.

Best known for its 2003 CD The Beautiful Letdown and singles Meant to Live and Dare You to Move, Switchfoot regards itself as a mainstream act but is included in TRAA because of its parallel distribution in the Christian sector.


SOURCE

Gotta love our Aussie brothers for showing love to Switchfoot (at least, the Christian bros... hehe). No. 1 for eight straight weeks? Impressive!

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Warner/Youtube Fiasco and Why Switchfoot’s Label Independence Looks Even More Wise Now

The following is a random page of my thoughts about the recent fall out between Warner Bros. Records and Youtube, and how it relates to Switchfoot. It was written at roughly 3 this morning, so pardon the nonsensicalities (if any). Thanks for reading! haha



Following the fallout with Youtube, one of the biggest record labels in the country has removed all of their content from the popular video site. That’s right, folks. A major label throwing a fit over ad revenue related to content. Big surprise there huh?

In 2006, Warner Bros. Records was the first to sign on board with Youtube on a licensing deal for their music. The rest of the big four labels, Universal, EMI, and our beloved Sony, soon joined the hunt, and became partners with the site, receiving revenue dollars for ads, clicks, and views. (Not exactly sure how it works).

But now that Warner Bros. has pulled or is in the process of pulling ALL of their artist’s highly-viewed music videos from the site. Even Jason Mraz’s video for “I’m Yours,” which has over 43 million views, is gone. You can’t go watch “Teenagers” thrashing around with My Chemical Romance any more either, and Madonna’s pretty much going to be found dancing elsewhere. The reason is that the label “reported $639 million in digital revenue for the fiscal year that ended in September. Less than 1 percent of that was generated by YouTube’s ads and fees, said an executive close to Warner Music who requested anonymity because the company doesn’t disclose details about individual agreements.” New York Times December 21, 2008

This goes in huge contrast to the fact that Universal and other labels are reporting annual revenues in excess of “tens of millions” of dollars. Strange...

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Now why did I put you through all that business stuff? I just thought I’d paint the bigger picture of how incredibly money driven the music industry is today! The Major Labels, once huge money-making machines, are struggling to stay afloat, and are having a hard time adapting to the newer business models... The Major Labels are sinking, crashing, burning, you name it. While some are experiencing success with Youtube, others are looking elsewhere, even threatening to start their own music video services in the same vein as the rising-in-popularity hulu.com, which has full TV episodes and is driven by a robust ad-revenue engine.

All of this comes to my point: Thank GOD Switchfoot has left that whole scene. The continuing mayhem that the music industry is going through makes the band’s decision to leave Columbia/SonyBMG last year look even wiser than ever. Why sit through this disastrous time when you could be free-- free of the profit-seeking shareholders who control the majors, free of the Youtube wars, free of the pressures to “succeed?” Switchfoot (and, in that case, Jon Foreman and Fiction Family) are free to make the kind of music they love, however they want, and with all the freedom of the world. No deadlines, no hired songwriters, nothing. Just the band and the music. And now that Sony has released their final Switchfoot record (at least for a long time) with “The Best Yet,” and the “This Is Home” period with Disney is likely over, the band has found themselves COMPLETELY indie.

What does this mean from a fan standpoint, as far as the online experience with the band? It means that from here on out, whatever NEW music videos or songs they upload will not be in any danger. There’s no major labels to go under. I’m sure lowercase people and ATO Records (the imprint label, and the distribution label respectively) aren’t going to have giant death matches with Youtube over advertising revenue. It’s an awesome thought to think that as the music industry, at least from the major labels’ perspectives, continues to implode upon itself, our band will be one of the groups that will weather the storm without much devastation.

Who needs a major label deal, when you’ve already got your fan base? Sure the days when “Dare You to Move” permeated the airwaves were nice, and it’s important not to forget why Switchfoot can face the future without too much worry. But it’s also great to know that they don’t need that kind of widespread success to continue making great records and impacting people’s lives. There won’t be huge radio campaigns for the upcoming records; the music is going to have to spread the old-school way: word-of-mouth, with us, the Fams, being the ones who spread the music of Switchfoot accross the globe... or at least amongst our friends.

The end.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Fiction Family Previews are up on Amazon

SPOILER ALERT!

It's here! The previews for Fiction Family's entire album is available now. Granted it's only 30-second clips, but hey, at least we can get a basic idea of what the other songs may sound like.

If you don't want to hear them yet, don't! =)