Calendar for Preston
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Calendar for Preston

Band Alternative Rock

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

EP Review: Calendar For Preston

Calendar for Preston’s E.P. was reviewed on a local Columbus blog, Life on the C-Bus. Here are a few comments made about the first release:

“The songwriting is exceptional. I believe these guys will move quickly beyond this EP and create songs that may well have more depth both musically and lyrically.”

“I like this EP and my suggestion is for you to seek it out and pick it up. If you already like this band -- or are an introspective melancholic -- you shouldn’t be without it.”

“A self-tortured soul lamenting his sad existence in the wake of a broken relationship…the song I find myself singing along with the most…which shows how good songwriting can sometimes transcend. Maybe it’s because Jordan sings it with a mix of subtle irony and just enough emotion not to make it over the top. This is lyrically the best of the EP. Everything works…” – Commenting on Poppin’ Pills.

“…I wish there were more tracks, so my officemates didn’t have to endure listening to the same five songs over and over and over again. In the meantime, I guess I’ll have to go see Calendar For Preston when they’re playing in town and hope for a full-length soon.” - Life on The Cbus


Friday, October 19, 2007

Calendar For Preston

Here are some comments on Calendar for Preston’s live show opening up for National Recording Artist, VHS or BETA, post on Life on the C-Bus.

“I never skip an opening band…because there’s often a gem in the muck that often accompanies the band whose name is on your ticket. Case in point: Calendar For Preston…added at the last minute as an opener for VHS Or Beta last night at the Newport. They were a perfect match.”

“…they’re writing and playing their own songs. And they do it well. Pairing equal parts of melancholy and clever lyrics, the band delivers songs that are very listener-friendly and not too emo to be fun.”

“…I came away with a sense that maybe Columbus isn’t quite big enough for these guys.”

“With shades of Panic At the Disco and At The Drive-in, Calendar For Preston creates a smooth alt-pop-rock mix that takes from several recognizable influences but is still able to retain its originality.”

“Lead singer Stephen Jordan is a great front man. His voice is perfect for the music that blends immaculately behind him and he’s got an onstage energy that keeps you intrigued in what the band is playing, regardless of whether you know the song or not.”

“…they were musically tight and without their obvious talent, Calendar For Preston would be just another local band destined for obscurity. And as it stands now, I don’t see the word “obscure” anywhere in their future.”
- Life on The Cbus


Story | Cary Smith


It is always interesting to hear where some bands get their names. Sometimes, they are sitting around brainstorming and see something on the wall that seems too irresistible; sometimes, they name themselves after an obscure movie line they can’t forget. And sometimes, band names just happen to come from writing lyrics in the calendar of your blackberry, nicknamed Preston.

“We were just staring at the printouts of my lyrics from my Blackberry everyday while writing,” says vocalist Stephen Jordan. “At the top of every sheet it said ‘Calendar for Preston’ and it just hit us one day that it would work.”

Jordan and the rest of Calendar for Preston all met by chance in late 2006, and after playing together a little, they realized they had something. After switching some instruments around, and adding a new drummer to the mix, the solid lineup was: Joey Sexton on guitar, Tom Gutman on bass and keys, Ryan Harris on drums and Jordan taking on the vocals.

They started playing their brand of passionate pop with catchy riffs around Columbus and were quickly noticed. They signed on to have their music featured on Major League Baseball’s web site and other events, which lead them to start thinking about recording.

The group traveled to Philadelphia to work with Grammy-award-winning producer David Ivory, who has worked with the Roots and Erykah Badu. They were there for months hammering out their forthcoming album Paint by Numbers.


“It was just good to get out of town to work on it,” says Jordan. “It felt like we were doing something bigger.”

The hooks and catchiness of Paint by Numbers interlaced with the passionate story-telling lyrics make it stand out as your not-so-typical pop-rock album.

“The album is really just about mirages,” says Jordan. “It’s kind of about how you just think everything is going to be the typical get married, get a house, have a family happiness mentality and how it can be a mirage.”

For more information go to www.calendarforpreston.com


Date ran: June 2009
- C Magazine


How did local pop-rockers Calendar for Preston end up soundtracking Major League Baseball highlights, sandwiched between the likes of Daughtry and Elton John?

The good fortune started when Columbus native Tara Gore, a New York-based content producer for MLB.com, saw them at a New Year's Eve show in Columbus.

"She saw the future, I guess, and wanted to be a part of it," guitarist Joey Sexton said.

Fast-forward: The band found itself in the Big Apple last month, playing songs on a Major League Baseball sound studio that has hosted the likes of O.A.R. and Counting Crows. As of this Saturday, they'll be dubbed "Major League Artists" as part of the league's official entertainment package.

It may seem bizarre for the baseball brass to pluck a band out of obscurity and sit them alongside such established stars, but Calendar for Preston's lack of label ties and other red tape actually makes it much easier for the league to deal with them, they explained.

That's not keeping them from actively courting major labels with their full-length debut, Paint by Numbers. The album, recorded in Philadelphia with Grammy-nominated engineer David Ivory, is packed with carefully honed, radio-ready tracks - a little bit Fall Out Boy, a little bit Incubus, but all distinctly Calendar for Preston.

The band credits Ivory with helping them streamline their sound, cutting out pointless bass lines and extraneous drum fills. He even advised them to change some of their song titles to make them more memorable for listeners. Hence "Paint by Numbers" became "Change It Up" because the chorus says "Change it up!"

"We were just a regular garage band before we met him," bassist Tom Gutman said.

Before that, they were an acoustic trio. Sexton and singer Stephen Jordan had been jamming around the house when a friend called up and offered them a gig.

"We had never played a show. We just played Incubus [covers]," Jordan said.

They recruited Gutman to play bass and practiced incessantly until the show. After getting a good response, they hunted down drummer Ryan Harris through local music website Cringe.com, and within a few months they scored free recording time by winning a battle of the bands.

The resulting EP ended up in Ivory's hands, and by early last year they were regularly commuting to Philly to work on their debut with the acclaimed producer. The travel took its toll on the band's romantic life, even as it fueled songwriting about the age-old topics of make-ups and breakups.

"Calendar for Preston has now claimed three and a half relationships," Harris said.

Their toil and turmoil has finally yielded a finished album, ready for consumption this Saturday at CBR's.

The band knows this is only the beginning - they're bracing for several years of paying their dues before achieving the sort of success they seek, not unlike young ballplayers working their way through the farm system, awaiting their call-up to the big leagues. - Columbus Alive - Chris DeVille


An entertainment section on the Web site for Major League Baseball features song and video clips by a range of musical heavy hitters: Billy Joel, Elton John, Queen Latifah, Daughtry.
Sandwiched among the big names is an obscure Columbus band named Calendar for Preston.

The group was discovered by a New York-based MLB.com content producer -- Columbus native Tara Gore -- during its 2006 New Year's Eve concert in the Arena District.
Gore so liked the band's energetic pop-rock set -- staged at the since-shuttered Gibby's -- that she said its music would be perfect for sports television.

"Everything just happened by chance," said bass player Tom Gutman, 26. "It's been a long, random road."

At the time, the quartet had been playing only about a year, with no recorded material.
So Calendar for Preston rushed into Blue Moon Recording Studio on the North Side to claim no-cost studio time (the reward from a recent battle-of-the-bands victory) and produce a five-track EP.

The next year, snippets of the group's Paint by Numbers song were played during highlights of the 2007 World Series.

"It helped us a lot," Gutman said.

The EP soon fell into the hands of Grammy-winning Philadelphia producer David Ivory, who has worked with the Roots and Erykah Badu.

At Ivory's invitation, the band spent more than a year traveling between Columbus and his home studio, honing their music -- including changing their Paint by Numbers title to Change It Up -- to create a 10-song debut album that the group self-released in August.

"David taught us how to write music, how to understand it," Gutman said. "He made sure all the parts were tight."

It was enough momentum for Gore (now the band's manager) to lure the guys to New York, where this year they recorded several live songs for the league's Web site ( www.mlb.com/
entertainment).

Their music -- which borrows elements from popular mainstream rock bands such as the Killers, Hoobastank and Incubus -- is an accessible, unapologetic blend that Gutman knows music snobs might dismiss but audiences will enjoy.

"The way I look at it, you can either play for yourself or you can play for people," he said. "I love indie music, . . . and it is kind of taboo to say you want to sound like Fall Out Boy.

"We are a little more commercial, but we're proud of everything we write."

Likewise, the band opened for Creed -- a post-grunge arena band that is fashionable to hate but has sold 35 million records -- in August at the Post-Gazette Pavilion in Pittsburgh and continues to tour alone on weekends.
It is working on new material and, ideally, going after a permanent opening spot for a major touring band.

More sports-related exposure could be in the works, too.

"Actually, Major League Soccer could be a possibility. They work in the same building" as baseball staffers, Gutman said with a laugh.

"We're trying to work on that." - Columbus Dispatch - Kevin Joy


Discography

1. Calendar for Preston (Self-titled) EP. Message Board, Paint by Numbers and Traumateen each had local radio play. Paint by Numbers was featured on the 2007 MLB World Series Highlights on MLB.com.

2. Paint by Numbers - 10 song LP Produced by Grammy-winning David Ivory. "Pretty Little City" featured on the 2008 MLB Playoff Highlights on MLB.com. CD Release 7.7.2009.

Photos

Bio

- MLB.com Major League Artist
- Album produced by Grammy-winning producer David Ivory (The Roots, Erykah Badu, Halestorm)
- Opened for Creed in Pittsburgh, PA for 'Full Circle' Tour
- Included in Pandora (Jan 2010)
- Hear it Now Channel One Network artist (Feb 2010)
- Millennium Music Conference Selected artist (Feb. 2010)

Calendar for Preston, and their unique alternative rock sound, came on the Columbus Ohio music scene in late 2007. After only a few short months together they won their first battle of the bands which awarded them recording time at a local studio. In the span of a month they wrote and recorded 5 songs for their initial EP. This self-titled EP gained them interest from MLB.com along with Grammy-winning Producer David Ivory (the Roots, Erykah Badu, Halestorm). After a year of traveling to and from Philadelphia, working with David Ivory and Ivory Productions, they wrote, recorded and released their debut full length album, Paint by Numbers, in July of 2009. Already, Calendar for Preston has received national attention for the album landing them an opening slot on Creed's kick-off show in Pittsburgh PA for the Full Circle tour. MLB.com Major League Artist alongside such artists as Hoobastank, OAR, Wilco, Daughtry, Elton John, Billy Joel, etc.. Everything has moved fast but they continue to keep up with the pace!

Calendar for Preston consists of Stephen Jordan on lead vocals, Joey Sexton on guitars, Tom Gutman on bass and keys and Ryan Harris on drums. Over the last few years they have played over 250 shows in more than 40 venues in major cities around Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New York, Illinois and Indiana.