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"Billboard's New and Noteworthy - "celebrity" -"


Producer(s): Dave McNair
Writer(s): M. Bair
Publisher(s): BMI
Label/Catalog Number: Bandcamp bc2 (EP track)
Source: Billboard Magazine
Originally Reviewed: June 26, 2004

While Bandcamp has yet to align itself with a label, expect that to change—soon. One of five tracks on the photogenic quartet's self-released "Radio Radio" EP, "Celebrity" is a blistering post-punk rock jam. Lyrically smart and musically alive, the tune is catchy and hook-laden. Lead singer Matt Bair sings of an ex-girlfriend-turned-celebrity: "I think I saw you on the TV/ Heard you on the radio/ Maybe in the movies/Now you're a celebrity." Don't be surprised when, to paraphrase Kylie Minogue, you can't get this charming chorus out of your head. Modern rock and top 40 outlets that have had success with Sum 41, Good Charlotte and Simple Plan are cautioned not to overlook this summer-primed track. Though currently one of Long Island, N.Y.'s best-kept secrets, Bandcamp is on the verge of becoming something much larger. For information, call 516-641-5929.—MP

- Billboard Magazine

"bandcamp signs deal!!!"

Label signing ignites Bandcamp fire

December 21, 2004

For several years, Matt Bair had been holding off signing with a major label because the timing just wasn't right.

Last week, however, Bair and his band Bandcamp - which has had local radio hits with the power-pop singles "Celebrity" and "Valentine" - took the plunge, signing a recording contract with Atlantic Records imprint E.V.L.A. Then yesterday, it finalized a publishing deal with EMI. The foursome will start pre-production work with producer Dave McNair (of Good Charlotte fame) in Los Angeles next month and hopes to have its debut out this summer.

By then, Bair can hit the road full time, after the 17-year-old graduates from Seaford High School, of course.

But don't mix up this Long Island phenom with Merrick's actress-turned-pop princess, Lindsay Lohan. Bair writes all his songs and is already a fixture of the East Coast circuit and high-profile industry gigs.

"It's sort of just starting to sink in," Bair said yesterday. "We've been working for so long independently, this seems like the right step for us to take now. It's really exciting to know we'll have that kind of machinery behind us."

Bair said Bandcamp will re-record "Celebrity" and a handful of older songs but will focus on newer material for the band's debut. "It's all a little surreal now, but it's awesome," he said. "I'm looking forward to getting in the van and out on the road."
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Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc. | Article licensing and reprint options
- New York Newsday

"BANDCAMP's "Daring Debut...""

After more than a year’s delay, BANDCAMP makes a daring debut with ‘Wanna Dance?’
Newsday Staff Writer

November 5, 2006

Matthew Bair isn't in any hurry.

Sure, the 19-year-old from Seaford has already been writing songs for half of his life and playing guitar for as far back as he can remember. His song "Celebrity," which recently became a staple at Shea Stadium during the Mets playoff run, won the international "Song of the Year" contest in 2004. And his group Bandcamp signed a deal with Atlantic Records and recorded its debut album before he graduated from Seaford High School last year.

But after that initial rush, Bair and Bandcamp did what so many bands do when dealing with the music industry - they waited. They waited for company politics to shake out. They waited for industry reshuffling to settle down. They waited until they felt they couldn't wait any more. On Tuesday, the waiting will finally end, when the band's debut album, "Wanna Dance?" (E.V.L.A.), finally arrives in stores - more than a year after it was completed.

Developing their sound

"We're all just really excited to get these songs out there," says Bair, calling from a tour stop in Detroit. "It's been great to see people's reactions. We've lived with these songs for a while, but to most people, they're brand new. That excitement gives them a new life, a new energy that comes back to us."

For Bair, "Wanna Dance?," which was produced by Dave McNair and Good Charlotte's Benji Madden, marks another important transition - from solo singer-songwriter to part of a band, with his brother, drummer Kris Mazzarisi, guitarist Sean Gould and bassist Steve Shebby. "I still write songs, but everybody puts their two cents in; we all work on the arrangements," Bair says. "It grows from a 'Matt song' to a 'Bandcamp song.'"

And "Bandcamp songs" are developing into a sound all their own, with Bair's love of Elvis Costello-styled power pop and Shebby's Motown-influenced bass lines mixing with Gould's churning, indie-rock leaning guitar and Mazzarisi's drumming, which runs from hard-core bashing to Stewart Copeland complex.

Though Bandcamp is currently known for the straight-up peppiness of "Celebrity" and the pretty power ballad "Someone," "Wanna Dance?" shows the band has a more adventurous side as well, in the chiming guitar on "Brightest Dark" or The Police-styled rhythms of "Situation Lose-Lose."

"It all just reminds me how unbelievable it's all been," says Bair, who wrote all the songs on the album while still in high school, starting with "Face of the Planet" when he was 14. "It shows how great a player Kris has become and how things really changed when Sean and Steve joined the band. It couldn't really have been Bandcamp without them."

Harlan Friedman, music director at WLIR/107.1 FM, says "Wanna Dance?" will turn a lot of heads in the music industry, adding that his station is already playing "Celebrity" and "Someone," which have both hit the station's Top 10.

A major album

"Bandcamp is putting out a major label album without the help of a major label," Friedman says. "Matt's songwriting is timeless, the band is rock solid, and almost every song on the record could be a smash hit. It will be very exciting and fun to watch the world's reaction to this record."

WLIR's support of Bandcamp is unusual in these days of tightened playlists and corporate song promotion. Because the station is owned by the Morey Organization, instead of one of the massive conglomerates that dominate radio, Friedman gets a chance to try out local bands and see which will click with his listeners.

Despite that support, it's still rare for an unsigned artist to break into the station's Top 10. "It does happen from time to time - in the past, Nine Days, Stage and Ryan Star's solo material, Jill Gioia, and most recently, Alexa Ray Joel, is about to break our Top 10," Friedman says. "A great song is a great song whether it is released from a major label or a local unsigned artist."

Bandcamp feels the same way, which is one reason they decided to release "Wanna Dance?" on the new indie label E.V.L.A. instead of waiting for another major label deal.

"We didn't want to wait until the songs didn't feel right for us any more," Bair says. "Records No. 2 and 3 are practically done already."

Stories that transcend time

However, "Wanna Dance?" isn't in danger of feeling dated any time soon. "There's a lot to it about being in Seaford and being in high school," Bair says. "But it's about so many different stories and times. It's not about any one thing. I think every song speaks for itself and that they could be about anyone, from 13 to 30."

Bair says the band is equally at home with specific songs such as the Soul Asylum-ish "Cammanns," about his trips to that Merrick park, and more universal love songs such as "Thinking About You."

"Cammanns" is Bair's nod to Bruce Springsteen, a "way to give a hometown reference and also write about real places and real things the way he does." And "One Day" may be Bair's first rock anthem, where he sings, "I don't want to get a real day job 'cause I don't want to live in the real world. I don't want to act my age or turn that page just yet."

"One Day" is a song about being on the edge of change, something Bandcamp knows all about. "One day soon, I'll start a revolution, I'm gonna make a contribution just to show that I can," Bair sings. "But I'm not ready right now."

Once "Wanna Dance?" hits stores, though, Bandcamp may have to get ready pretty fast.

WHEN & WHERE Bandcamp plays the YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 W. Main St., Bay Shore, 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $12 through the center box office or "Wanna Dance" will be in selected stores and on iTunes Tuesday. - NY NEWSDAY

"BMI Signs Teen Songwriter"

BMI Signs Teen Songwriter Matt Bair

Sixteen-year-old BMI singer/songwriter Matt Bair stopped by the New York office recently to perform an acoustic set of some of his newest songs. Bair, who fronts Long Island pop/punk/rock band bandcamp, is in the process of signing a deal with EMI Music Publishing while his band is generating major label interest. The high school band will also be featured at the upcoming NEMO Music Showcase & Conference taking place September 5-6 in Boston and is a major contender in the NEMO Emerging Artists Competition.


"bandcamp plays for the world from their home away from home"




This Week at The Stone Pony: Leon Russell (Friday), Black 47 (Saturday), bandcamp (Sunday)


Stone Pony favorites and Long Island natives bandcamp return to Ocean Avenue headlining a special all-ages afternoon show on Sunday, February 22nd. Adding a special element to this event is that the band's set will be showcased in a worldwide live Internet broadcast presented by WNR

Fronted by talented songwriter, singer and guitarist Matt Bair, the band is currently supporting their debut self-titled CD filled with pop/punk/rock sounds that should continue the band's success and critical acclaim that they've earned over the past few years.

The Newsletter interviewed Bair about the upcoming show and some of the support, both around their local scene and down here in Asbury Park, that's helped them to reach this point.

The Stone Pony: Your gig at the Pony on February 22 is going be a live worldwide Internet broadcast over WNR Wet Nose Radio. How did bandcamp hook up with WNR and what do fans need to know if they can’t make it to the club that evening and watch to catch the show online?

Matt Bair: We played the Stone Pony a couple of times in the past year. The first time, we met Pete Walton who is the webmaster for the Stone Pony website. He works for WNR and is a huge supporter of us. He started spinning our record and we got an amazing response from the US and Canada. People who can't make it out to the club can go to our website,, for the info and the link to the show.

The Stone Pony: This gig won’t be your first on the Pony stage, as you performed an industry showcase here a while back. How did your last show at the club go for the band, and did the showcase lead for any leads or opportunities for the band to follow?

MB: The show went great. We played the Warped Tour after party and it was an awesome opportunity to reach the Warped Tour crowd. The Pony staff has been super supportive from day one; we always look and sound great there.

Being able to add the legendary club to our bio increases our credibility while being visible from their site helped and will continue to help us follow up new opportunities. When they heard we were looking for a spot to webcast from to reach the new fans our Internet and magazine exposure had given us, they said "let us help." (Thanks to Pete & Kyle.)

A better "home away from home"? No way!

The Stone Pony: You’ve actually done a lot of different music conferences and showcases, both in this area and further north and west. How does the band usually approach an opportunity to perform in front of industry types, and are there things that you try and do differently to try to catch their attention?

MB: Whether we're playing in front of the industry or in front of our fans, we put on the same show. We always have to play as best as we can. There are no shows that are more important than others to us. Every show is another opportunity to gain new fans.

The Stone Pony: Your debut self-titled CD became available recently. When and where was the CD recorded, and who was involved with its production? Has the disc gotten airplay anywhere, and what has the band been doing to try to promote it?

MB: The CD was actually recorded in our house with producer Tomas Costanza of the band Diffuser (Hollywood Records). WLIR, WBAB and a lot of college stations have been great supporters of the band and have played a bunch of songs off the CD. We've been successful on internet radio as well picking up fans all over, thanks to WNR!

Our "live" shows promote it and our website sells it. For the month of February, if you visit, we will let you download "Valentine" from the CD for FREE!

The Stone Pony: One press clipping about the band mentions “major label interest.” Can you talk about where the band stands in terms of getting signed, and how things are going along in that process? Do you enjoy being part of the business part of music, or are you more comfortable leaving those aspects to others to handle for you?

MB: We've had interest from a few different labels. Right now we're focused on building the following, more fans ... but keeping the industry's interest, strong shows and support. When the right label/team/deal comes along, we'll be ready.

It's cool to see what goes on in the industry, but in general it's nice to just concentrate on the music.

The Stone Pony: The record is available in several records stores in Long Island, New York, which is your home base. Talk about your local scene a little bit; which clubs or venues around there have been most supportive of the band, and what sort of atmosphere exists for original acts looking to build a following and develop their careers?

MB: The Long Island/NYC scene is pretty cool. The Downtown on Long Island and CBGB's and Arlene Grocery in NYC have all been especially great to us. They have supported the band with all-ages shows, print ads helping to get our name out, adding us as support to headliners to build our fan base. We lost the Vanderbilt (closed), still have the Village Pubs and Palmer's and the Tri-State Sound show on the Box (107.1 FM) with Harlan Friedman, airplay for the locals.

There is definitely a fan base for the original scene and they are very supportive. Even the bands are very supportive of each other, working on shows together to help build each other's followings.

The Stone Pony: Your bio mentions something about a performance DVD being in the works. Is this project still in progress and what can you tell us about what the disc will include and when fans will be able to get their hands on it?

MB: The DVD is still in the beginning stages; got sidetracked working on a video. It's going to have a lot of footage from shows and some other extra surprises and might be available this summer.

The Stone Pony: You recently signed a deal with EMI Music Publishing. Do you see yourself primarily as a songwriter, and would you ever have interest in having other performers use your songs? Do you feel that the strength of the writing is going to be a major factor in bandcamp’s success?

MB: We've agreed to the terms of the deal with EMI, but haven't signed with them just yet. EMI will give me, among other things, the opportunity to have other performers use my songs and I think that's a great thing. I write a lot. Not every song turns out to be a "bandcamp" song. Sometimes I have songs I just don't know what to do with, so it'd be nice to have someone else put them to good use.

I definitely think the writing will be a major factor in bandcamp's success, but I also feel the musicianship, attitude and drive of the band will contribute greatly.

The Stone Pony: Give us a little insight into your songwriting process. Do you tend to write a lot, filling up notebooks with idea, and use the best bits for lyrics, or do you tend to sit down and work on a song from beginning to end until it’s done? Are you the type that gets inspired by something and have to sit and write about it, or are ideas for new songs constantly coming to you?

MB: I really don't have a particular way of writing. It all depends on where I am at the time. Usually, I work on songs from beginning to end; but sometimes I'll just have a line or two I keep or a melody that sticks with me for a while. When I'm not inspired, I still have lots of ideas for new songs and when I am inspired, I have even more ideas.

The Stone Pony: What’s the primary goal for the band over the next several months? What are the short-term accomplishments that you’re working on now, and where would you like to be by the end of 2004?

MB: The next couple of months will be spent playing more shows, including the Skate and Surf Festival in Asbury Park. We are editing what we hope will be our video for "Celebrity," mixing two new songs and working on a possible spring tour.

By the end of 2004, I will be more than satisfied if we have gained more fans and more attention from everyone everywhere.

The official bandcamp website can be found at

- the Stone Pony Online Newsletter

"The Players Hold the Cards"


March 22, 2004

Austin, Texas -- In recent years, the South by Southwest Music Conference transformed the streets of Austin into the set of a musical star wars - with thousands of industry types and media folk searching for the next artist who would be transformed into a multi-platinum blockbuster.

Not this year.

At the 18th annual edition of the five-day festival, which officially wrapped up early this morning, it was clear that most conference performers had moved on to the next chapter: "The Musician Strikes Back."

"There has been a paradigm shift," said Jay Boberg, former president of MCA Records. "With all this turmoil, people are building their own buzz."

Mark Cuban, the controversial dot-com billionaire who also owns the Dallas Mavericks, took it a step further in a panel discussion about the industry's future. He said that aside from the major labels, who have "an arcane business model to protect for Wall Street," the rest of the music industry has already weathered the storm. "I don't think there's a transition going on," he said. "I think there's four companies in trouble and everybody else is doing great."

Judging from the musical acts at this year's South by Southwest, Cuban may be on to something. Even if the business end of the music business seems a bit shaky at the moment due to ongoing consolidation at the major labels and in radio, the music end seems to be thriving.

From alt-country to Japanese pop, prog rock to hip-hop, the 1,200 acts performing at the festival continue to raise the artistic bar, offering their own visions of music's future.

Beyond rock

Hip-hop continued to grow in prominence at South by Southwest, which was once overwhelmingly dominated by country and rock. The showcases for up-and-coming "conscious rap" artists Atmosphere and Aesop Rock were among the most packed, while N.E.R.D., The Clipse and Handsome Boy Modeling School - who brought out loads of guests, including Glassjaw's Daryl Palumbo and Black Sheep's Drez - set up shop in the festival's biggest venue, Austin Music Hall, on Saturday night.

Though there was no Next Big Thing that hoarded festival buzz the way Norah Jones did a few years back, the sheer number of garage rockers and '80s-influenced bands made them hard to miss.

New-garage leaders The Hives and The Von Bondies, playing back-to-back at the ever-hip Spin private party, showed the range that genre has. The Hives were as hyperbolic and swaggering as ever, offering up sneak peeks from their forthcoming CD. The Von Bondies tapped into more genuine emotions, such as rage and love, while keeping the songs just as catchy. The '80s-influenced bands, from New York standouts such as stellastarr* and The Walkmen to newcomers The Killers, The Hiss and Franz Ferdinand - the closest thing to a festival must-see - were also out in force, adding their tweaks and updates to the music that has, so far, been underappreciated. Few bands were more potent than The Dears and Stars, a pair of Canadian bands that took the '80s delicate, pretty sound and toughened it up to today's standards.

Not so retro

Throughout South by Southwest, it became clear that there's nothing wrong with looking back as long as you add something when you bring it forward. As Little Richard, the architect of rock and roll, said in his keynote address: "There's nothing new under the sun. It's all already there. We're just bringing it out."

That didn't just go for new music, but thoughts on the new music industry as well. At 16, Matthew Bair of Long Island's Bandcamp has already internalized the possibilities and limitations of the post-major-label era. "I just want to play my stuff and have people hear it," Bair said shortly before taking the stage at the high-profile BMI brunch at The Four Seasons Hotel. "I like doing these things because I get to meet new people and see some friends. Whatever happens, happens."

He is unfazed by the high-level crowd, the drizzle, the lingering effects of food poisoning from the day before and the fact that his set is sandwiched between major label up-and-comers such as RCA's Charlotte Martin, who sounds like a new Tori Amos, and critics' darlings such as alt-country king David Garza and the bluesy Ellis Hooks. Bair's catchy, three-song set, which included his current local radio hit "Celebrity," goes over well, leading a handful of label execs and managers to congratulate him and ask about his plans.

He already understands that his music is his power, an idea instilled by his father Gerald Bair, a musician in his own right. After all, a walk around Austin shows how much corporations want to latch onto musicians in hopes that some of that cool will rub off. Esquire magazine threw a party, with actress Minnie Driver's new band, no less, on the bill. Microsoft Network pitched one of the most ambitious blasts, though its cool factor wasn't helped by keeping people waiting in line outside while the dance floor was virtually empty.

A growing number of music legends are relearning how to tap into that power as well, heading to South by Southwest to remind fans that they still are viable artists, even if major labels aren't interested in them. Gary U.S. Bonds, Kris Kristofferson, Toots and the Maytals, Mission of Burma and Joan Jett all took their places with the young up-and-comers to show that artists of all ages and styles can demand a place in the new music industry.

Little Richard reminded fans that it takes all types of artists to keep the music industry vibrant. "Any time something makes my big toe shoot up in my boot is good," he said with a laugh.
Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc. | Article licensing and reprint options

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"Bandcamp on verge of celebrity"

By: Rafer Guzmán

March 12, 2004
The boys in bandcamp aren't yet celebrities, but their single, "Celebrity," is climbing up the playlist at Garden City's The Box (WLIR/107.1 FM). Credit goes partly to the station's new music director, Harlan Friedman, a longtime bandcamp fan who often hosted the band in his studio back when he was a disc jockey at the old WLIR. But there's no denying that "Celebrity," which was added Feb. 3, is rising on its own merits: The sugary pop-punk tune has all the makings of a radio hit. It's now at No. 24, right under Hoobastank's "The Reason" and above Godsmack's "Re-Align." The Box is playing the song about 30 times a week - not bad for an unsigned band.

Another bandcamp milestone: Next Friday, the band makes its first appearance at South by Southwest, the yearly industry schmooze-fest in Austin, Texas. - Newsday


"WANNA DANCE?" (E.V.L.A. Records)
produced by
Dave McNair and Benji Madden (GOOD CHARLOTTE)
available NOW!

· check out songs from "WANNA DANCE?"
on the media files page
· check out video at

· "Radio Radio" - 5 song ep featuring "celebrity" produced by Dave McNair

· bandcamp - 8 song self titled cd debut produced by Tomas Costanza (DIFFUSER)




WHAT you should know…

- Aug.9th Warped Tour date in Boston (Tweeter Center)

- featured performers at 2007 All About Music (music supervisors retreat) - Nashville/the Exit In - July 14th

- Best Buy continues supporting select tour dates with in-stores

-"WANNA DANCE?" - Debut full length (produced by Dave McNair and Benji Madden of Good Charlotte)...

- BANDCAMP sells out “WANNA DANCE?” release show at Boulton Center NY - 11/05/06

- BEST BUY features “WANNA DANCE?” as part of their new artist series “Find ‘Em First”

- N.Y. METS features “Celebrity” as their FanCam/Rally Song during 2006 Playoffs

- BANDCAMP begins TERRA TOUR 2006 (March)

- BANDCAMP concludes tour at Chicago's House of Blues with three shows supporting Third Eye Blind

- tour includes shows with Jack’s Mannequin, Sugarcult, Halifax, and others.

- "Celebrity" gets added to rotation at Y101 (Quincy, IL) – (5/06)

- "Someone" gets added to rotation at WLIR (Long Island, NY) – (4/06)

-Signs with Atlantic Records/E.V.L.A. Records & EMI MUSIC PUBLISHING (12/04)

WHO said what…?

- "BANDCAMP proves its bull's-eye mainstream acumen with rocking guitar riffs and pop hooks primed for radio's rare that an album leaves you craving for more" (BILLBOARD)

- "BANDCAMP songs are developing into a sound all their own, with Bair's love of Elvis Costello-styled power pop and Shebby's Motown-influenced bass lines mixing with Gould's churning, indie-rock leaning guitar and Mazzarisi's drumming, which runs from hard-core bashing to Stewart Copeland complex.” (NY Newsday)

- “…the whole album just oozes top class songs to sing along to from beginning to end.” (BLACK VELVET – UK)

- First unsigned band added to playlist of WLIR 107.1fm (feb.'04)

- "Matt's songwriting is timeless, the band is rock solid, and almost every song on the record could be a smash hit. “ (Harlan Friedman, PD, WLIR)

- “bonafide needle in the haystack” “music fan in search of a cool band? you’ve hit the jackpot” (Inside Connection)

· BANDCAMP is endorsed by Gibson Guitars – Marshall/Vox Amps – D’Addario Strings/Evans Heads

WHERE they were…

- the ANNEX nyc - SOLD OUT! - 4/5/07

- Boulton Center Theater - SOLD OUT! "WANNA DANCE?" release show on Long Island 11/05/06

- 1st "WANNA DANCE" BEST BUY instore - Westbury Long Island

- Chicago House of Blues w/ Third Eye Blind

- Brookhaven Amphitheater w/Sugarcult, Halifax

- TERRA TOUR ’06 - (march–august)
- Milwaukee’s Summerfest - '04 –’05 –'06
- Bamboozle '05
- Skate and Surf '04
- SXSW '04 - presented by BMI
- worldwide webcast "live in asbury park" from the Stone Pony (feb. '04)

Support for

WLIR (92.7fm) sponsored support for Something Corporate, Finch & Stage
WLIR (92.7fm) sponsored support for Maroon5 & Audiovent at the Vanderbilt
and others!

visit –