Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My Return to Phantom Planet

From 2001 to 2003, I was OBSESSED with the LA rock band Phantom Planet. I saw them in multiple cities, joined their official fan club so I could sit in on sound checks, interviewed them for my first published article and more.

By the time their song "California" was chosen as the theme for The OC, Phantom Planet's music-making had already become somewhat stagnant and they were fading fast from my radar. Drummer/ songwriter Jason Schwartzman left the band to focus on acting, their third self-titled album didn't match the success and mass-appeal of The Guest and guitarist Jacques Brautbar would leave the band shortly as well to join Something For Rockets.

Despite these bumps in the road, I have always kept my ears tuned for any significant news from Phantom Planet. They were my introduction to industry vets such as Weezer and Elvis Costello and other so cal acts including Rilo Kiley, The Like, Rooney and Maroon5.

(In fact, Maroon 5's first CD, Songs About Jane featured a promotional sticker on it from Phantom bassist Sam Farrar that said "If I wasn't in Phantom Planet, I'd be in Maroon5")

Fast forward to now, when recent news that Phantom was signed to Fueled By Ramen has led to a new album called Raise The Dead and new tour dates with label-mates Panic at the Disco!


I listened to Phantom's new album on their myspace not really knowing what to expect. They are a 4 piece now and in a totally different places in their lives and careers.

Despite this disconnect, I am happy to report that once the percussion of the title track kicked in, I felt that familiar tingling in my bones and it was like being in grade 12 and drooling over every beat of the EP all over again.

I am totally loving all of the songs and can't believe that a version of "Do The Panic," a live track that is at least 8 years old, made it on to the new disc! The album is fresh and not nearly as dark as the last release - perfect for the upcoming sunny season!

So now Phantom Planet are poised for a major revival on my itunes and the inner music-fanatic in me can't wait to watch them live again next month (and 6 years later! oy)


cb said...

the music chapter is definitely lacking these days jessie!

Darren said...

Awesome! Thank you for your support, Jessica. -Darren