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Major Label Deal For The 88

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A bear-hugging belated congratulations to local rockstars The 88 for their record deal with Island Def Jam (announced last week). These LA marvels have been working their tush (it’s a technical term) off for years and I am thrilled for their success.

I heard a track off Kind Of Light in 2002 or 2003 and it was one of those compulsive, immediate love, kismet things. I assaulted the internet looking for any information on the band -- surely this poppy and sunny Bolan-ish love child genius was EVERYWHERE! What I found was a dinky site, no lyrics, no message boards, and no fan presence. I remember thinking I had either magically stumbled onto something waaaay early or I had totally lost my mind. Pleased to say my mind is in tact. Well, you know… Subsequently, I’ve seen the dudes play around town a dozen times including an evening at the Echo where they covered Highway 61 Revisited in its entirety. Really.

Kind of Light is a tremendous album -- harmonized, effortless and Kinks-like in all the right ways. Their second effort, Over and Over, has sharper edges, and a great commercial vibe. And though it is equally as catchy as their first offering, I am partial to the haze of volume one.

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But that’s like picking a favorite child. Just go out and get a copy of each for the perfect Memorial Day weekend soundtrack. They will make your BBQs taste better. It’s true. Mr. Wizard proved it.

And keep an eye out for a giant commercial placement of “Coming Home” in a new Sears campaign.

Mazel Tov, boys.

Download: The 88 - How Good It Can Be [MP3]
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Download: The 88 - Coming Home [MP3]