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The Busy Signals - JPop.com
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The Busy Signals

The Busy Signals

The Busy Signals


The Busy Signals refers to two bands: 1.) A Chicago-based punk band comprised of five serious record collectors who can talk your ear off about Milk ‘n' Cookies b-sides, the Busy Signals were formed by bassist Jeremy Thompson, an Atlanta native and former member of the Carbonas, and his friend Frankie Jensen, a drummer who had moved to Chicago to join the band the Tyrades. When Thompson and his gal pal Ana McGorty followed Jensen's lead and headed north for Chicago Read more on Last.fm
The Busy Signals refers to two bands: 1.) A Chicago-based punk band comprised of five serious record collectors who can talk your ear off about Milk ‘n' Cookies b-sides, the Busy Signals were formed by bassist Jeremy Thompson, an Atlanta native and former member of the Carbonas, and his friend Frankie Jensen, a drummer who had moved to Chicago to join the band the Tyrades. When Thompson and his gal pal Ana McGorty followed Jensen's lead and headed north for Chicago, Thompson and Jensen began talking about forming a band to play the sort of hooky twin-guitar old school punk that they loved, and in 2004 they began putting their plans into action. Needing guitarists, hompson and Jensen met up with Kevin Goggin, who played with the Krunchies, and they found Eric Cecil when he was DJ'ing a punk rock night at Delilah's, a popular Windy City watering hole. McGorty was also working at Delilah's as a bartender, and when the guys realized they needed a lead singer, Thompson and Cecil recalled the enthusiasm with which McGorty would sing along with her favorite records, and decided they'd found their frontwoman.

The Busy Signals played their first show in early 2005, and soon made a trip down to Atlanta to play some gigs. While in Atlanta, the Busy Signals recorded some original material at a friend's studio. The sessions produced a three-song seven-inch EP, Love and Dust, released in September 2005 on Douchmaster Records, and in March 2006, a second seven-inch, "Can't Feel A Thing" b/w "All The Time", came out via Shit Sandwich Records. Plenty of live work followed, and in the fall of 2007, the Busy Signals unleashed their first full-length album, a self-titled set issued by Dirtnap Records. 2) A bedroom pop wizard from Minneapolis by the name of Howard W.

Hamilton III. Even though he has a banker's name, Hamilton is a veteran of the indie rock circuit, having formerly served as Babes In Toyland's roadie and spiritual advisor and played in the ill-fated Twin Cities lo-fi band Saucer. After the demise of that latter group, Hamilton traded his old Ford Falcon for an eight-track and a sampler, then retired to his bedroom. And so began his wacky experiments with lo-fi pop quirkiness.

Tape loops and synthesized sounds abound, coupled with hilariously weird vocals. It's like hearing Phil Spectorish '60s pop get slipped acid and dropped in a washing machine. Hamilton has released three Busy Signals efforts on Sugar Free Records. His first was the "Headphone World" split seven-inch with Team Slabco in 1999.

His debut LP, Baby's First Beats, followed a year later, further exploring and defining The Busy Signals' humorous 'n' playful beat-driven bedroom style. For the follow-up, 2001's Pretend Hits, HWH3 (as he is known to friends and associates) recruited some of his likeminded cohorts to help take The Busy Signals' electronics-tinged bedroom pop in the direction of goof-off hip hop and hippie-dippy funk. Sean Tillman (aka Har Mar Superstar and Sean Na Na), Robert Schneider (of The Apples in Stereo), and a variety of other odd characters pop up periodically, sometimes offering some vocals of their own. At times Hamilton sounds almost like a lo-fi Beck on Quaaludes as he sings in honey-glazed tones over thrift store beats, his tongue planted firmly in cheek.

"Hyperrealitycheck" appeared first on Better Looking's Holiday Matinee 2 comp, before reappearing on Pretend Hits. "The Freeway" is also from Pretend Hits. Not much has been heard from The Busy Signals, though there is another band using the name now, with Hamilton's blessing. Read more on Last.fm.

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