Can a group just be be too fun?
It may be a problem that plagues Brisbane, Australia-based trio the Grates. Playing a pair of shows over the next three days in Los Angeles, the Grates will hit the Southland without an U.S. label. The band's 2008 release, "Teeth Lost, Hearts Won," can be had only on import, and will run fans upward of $30 on Amazon.com. It followed the act's 2006 debut "Gravity Won't Get You High," which was distributed in America via Cherrytree/Interscope.
Their lack of a label isn't due to a lack of fans. USA Today's Whitney Matheson witnessed the Grates at South by Southwest, and called one of their shows one of her faves. As joyful as The Go! Team, possessing the dynamics of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and expressing the youthful freshness of the Ting Tings, the Grates own an upbeat sound that wouldn't be out of place in a commercial for an MP3 player.
"I didn't know much about this Australian group until I caught Saturday's set, but lead singer Patience Hodgson blew me away with her enthusiasm," Matheson wrote. "At one point, she jumped off the stage and onto the floor, told everyone to clear a space and began twirling a ribbon, gymnastics-style. A hardcore fan suddenly appeared, dressed in a leotard, and joined her for a spontaneous dance. These are the SXSW moments you dream of."
Marketers and labels should appreciate the fact that singer Patience Hodgson, guitarist John Patterson and drummer Alana Skyring update their tour blog regularly, are Twitter fiends and take advantage of YouTube (The Grates documented the recording of their latest effort "Teeth Lost, Hearts Won" with behind-the-scene videos whenever they could).
Read more and watch the Grates talking about SXSW and their quest to find a U.S. label in the video interview after the jump.