Get Set Go
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Get Set Go

| Established. Jan 01, 2002 | INDIE

| INDIE
Established on Jan, 2002
Band Alternative Indie

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From All Music Guide
By Jo-Ann Greene

Back in the late '60s/early '70s, Britain gave birth to Progressive Rock. Nestling in that genre's arms were a slew of bands that could rock with the best of them, but were also beholden to English folk. As Americans knowledge of that latter style was limited to "Greensleeves" and Simon Garfunkle's "Scarborough Fair", the movement never really caught on here. Which is good, because otherwise Get Set Go wouldn't sound anywhere near as audacious and unique as they do. On their debut album, the group seemed headed for a home in the powerpop scene, but then they through a spanner in the works with their punk meets folk followup. However, the music on that sophomore set was almost secondary to the album's overwhelmingly personal themes, as Mike TV bared his soul, foibles, and terrible failings for all the world to see.

Now, with their third album, Selling Out Going Home", Get Set Go seamlessly blend together all those styles and a bit more for good measure. So deft is the sequencing that the songs glide effortlessly from genre to genre, reinforcing the connections between them. Starting with a classic rock sound, they bring in folk elements, slide into a breezier '60s style, slip into melodic punk, fall back into early rock'n'roll but with a decidedly country flair, countrify poppunk, folkify poprock, shift across power pop, poppunk, postpunk, synthipoprock, and speedpunk, pull up into alternofolk, before finishing the set off with a bright '60s styled, folksy popper.

Some of the numbers are straightforward in their genre, but many mix in elegant strings, folky fiddle, and a variety of other elements to smudge the style. The arrangements are inspired, the performances flawless, while the moods constantly shift across the set.

The themes follow a similar evolution, working their way from the romantic to the sexy, and into the obsessive, fearful, jealous, and pitiful in poverty. You don't have to be a psychiatrist to recognize that at times Mike TV is substituting sex and love for drugs hey when he compares his girl to heroin, he's rubbing our noses in it. But his own problems have made him sensitive to others', and he reaches out to comfort the hurt and warn the alienated. There's a clutch of angst themed songs, with the anthemic "Thirteen", in particular, a rallying cry for every disgruntled youth in the land. Anger spews forth here and there, as does a few raunchy numbers, but unlike the songs on Ordinary World, the lyrics are far more universal.

Get Set Go aren't the first band to reach back into the past and into other genres for inspiration, but their mixture is thoroughly unique, and the appeal is already selfevident. - All Music Guide


By Paige Newman
MSNBC
Updated: 3:16 p.m. ET Jan. 26, 2006

Mike TV of Get Set Go knows his music isnt for everyone. Id be totally happy to sell 30- to 40,000 records, he said. There must be at least that many people who could relate to the sentiments of a song like I Hate Everyone.

Im willing to go door to door to find them, he said.

Get Set Gos second CD, Ordinary World is a study in contrasts: dark lyrics, combined with incredibly fun, I-just-want-to-dance-around music. His goal, Mike said, was to have lyrics that were so horrible that maybe not my parents but my grandparents would find them totally objectionable, yet so sing-songy that you cant get them out of your head.

Mikes lyrics are nothing if not completely personal. He went through a difficult period that was punctuated by drug use, bad relationships and just general misery. And he wrote the double albums 21 songs (plus 43 others) when he didnt even think the album was going to happen, simply using the songs to express all his frustrations. This may sound like it should have produced a pretty dour album; on the contrary. Im very serious about the lyrics, he said, but then I tweak them to a degree thats so silly.

This is exactly what makes the songs work. You get to experience all the awful feelings without having to descend into the abyss. A song like Die, Motherf----er, Die is, frankly, comforting I like my angst to have a beat. And singing lyrics like, Ill burn out both your eyes / And fill the sockets full of lye is one of the more cathartic ways to express anger that Ive run across. The song regularly runs through my head at work; meanwhile, I Hate Everyone has become my public-transportation theme song.

Mike says that Suicide, a song which basically lets the listener tongue-in-cheekily imagine his or her favorite way to die, is a fan favorite at live shows with the crowd taking over the chorus for the band.
<br> Lyrics that should be disturbing are just plain catchy. In the song Murder By Millions, Mike sings in the chorus, I think I might set my house on fire / Hang myself from the telephone wire/ Bomb the trade center and / crash all the trains / Murder by millions / Feast on their brains / I am shamed. It may seem strange to find a 9/11 reference on such a personal album, but Mike explains it by saying that he wanted to show how miserable he was. He felt, he said, that Im a piece of crap, and he wanted to prove it by imagining the most horrible thing he could think of. The discomfort caused by the lyrics is intentional, because hes expressing thoughts that hes ashamed of ever having to begin with.

I dont want to offend anyone [with the 9/11 reference], he said, but I want truth.

Mike said the Beach Boys Pet Sounds is one of his favorite albums and that Brian Wilsons ability to express pain and be honest is one of the things that inspires his own work.

The Beach Boys ability to put dark lyrics to bright melodies also reflects the spirit of Get Set Go, whose violist (and how many bands have one of these?), Eric Summer, adds an amazing texture to the songs, creating counter-pointing melodies and almost a second voice within some of the tunes. Summer, a classically trained musician, came up with his own melody lines, including the beautiful bridge on Die, Motherf---er, Die.

Though the band has gone through some personnel flux, they now have a complete lineup thats ready to start touring come March. Mike hopes they make enough money to keep the band together for a while. He says music is either a labor of love or a labor of idiots. Its probably a bit of both.

I did wonder, now that his drug days are behind him, what hell be writing about for the next record. He told me lately hed been thinking about more mundane things: like the personal hell that is the typical Los Angeles traffic jam. Music to pound on your dashboard to. - MSNBC.Com


"Sometimes, researching a band before sitting down and listening to a CD can be the most misleading practice in the world. While gathering information about Get Set Go, it became evident that frontman/guitarist Mike TV was at some point/is majorly involved in the Launchpad consortium of bands in the Los Angeles area (which at various times has included up to hundreds of bands - the biggest name associated seems to be Joshua Homme of Queens of the Stone Age). Further associations stretched out to ex-members of bands like Fu Manchu, so obviously, I was expecting something in a fuzzed-out, stoner metal vein here.

Pleasantly enough, sitting down and listening to So You've Ruined Your Life... proved me to be a fool, as Get Set Go tears off 14 mostly energetic rock numbers that are as full of dementedly humorous lyrics as they are catchy guitar riffs. Please, don't get me wrong on this - the songs are catchy, and the riffs are infectious, yes, but this is not your 13-year-old daughter's pop-punk going on here. So You've Ruined Your Life... is most definately a guitar rock record - it just happens to be catchy as an afterthought.

The best songs are, of course, the tunes driven by Mike TV's most absurdly funny or darkly romantic lyrics (which, at their finest moments, give the music an unexplainable boost). Perhaps it's just that the tracks with the most interesting lyrical content have better backing tracks ... It really does, however, seem that it's a little more fun to listen to tracks like "Jesus Christ Wore Leather" when you realize you'll eventually be singing along with lines like, "Abraham Lincoln smoked crack cocaine on the down low," and, "Mother Teresa liked to touch little girls in a special way" (the second of which made me laugh out loud and choke on my morning coffee the first time I heard it). The best thing about the song, however, is that despite the off-the-wall lyrics, this specific track is the best example to show that Get Set Go is ANYTHING but a gimmick band. The song's verses are backed by a strong stop-and-go rhythm riff, and the chorus is catchy as hell, thanks in part to the (surprise!) vocal harmony. There's even a dirty little bass solo tossed in for good measure, heh.

"Kiss the Girl" is a little more settled, with Mike TV taking some hilarious lyrical pot-shots at his own romantic interests ("Suzie has a nice ass ... But she's just about young enough, I think I could adopt her ... Mary is perfect / She's an angel and an artist / But I expect to f@ck it up as soon as I have started") before tossing out a rollicking chorus of, "I wonder why I'm afraid to kiss the girl tonight." The quickie guitar solo slices into the song almost perfectly, and despite the (obviously intentionally) comical lyrics, the track still comes off like an honest admission of romantic concerns, especially when Mike TV intones, "I know I'm broken but I'm not beyond repair / All I need is / I don't know / F@ck it, it's just not fair."

Still, all of the combined honesty and humor can in no way prepare for the Ramones-esque blast of "VKFD (The Fire Truck Song)," where Mike TV asks, "Do you assume the devil's daughter drinks only bottled water? / Well, I'll by her a glass just the same / When I grow up, I wanna be a Fire Truck." The sad part is, the song is actually really, really catchy, coming off in the same manner as The Hanson Brothers' records from the early 90s (which were blatant tributes to the Ramones) - the fill-piece that bridges between the verse and chorus pieces for "VKFD" actually sounds like it could've been lifted from NoMeansNo. Lyrically, this track got my second coffee-choking, thanks to, "If Jesus shows his face again, will he vote Republican? / I hope he votes for me - THE FIRE TRUCK!" The third (and biggest) coffee-choking award goes to the pseudo-ballad "What I Love About You," which gets major bonus points for being the most blatantly honest love song I've ever heard.

Of course, Get Set Go isn't all a mash-up of absurdity. "Lonely World" is a surprisingly sweet 'boy-meets-girl' number (though, admittedly, both the boy and girl have obvious issues), while "War" is a quite the upbeat and sarcastic little ditty about the admittedly twisted viewpoints that everyone seems to have about conflict resolution these days ("Bombs are falling / The sky is dropping / But everybody's Christmas shopping"). Also of note is the unlisted hidden track ("Wait"), which is probably the nicest and most conventional sounding track on the album - oddly enough, the track is downright soothing, which is an odd, yet somehow fitting way to end the roller coaster of weirdness that is most of So You've Ruined Your Life...

There's a lot said here about Mike TV's entertaining lyrics and guitar playing, but Get Set Go hardly gets by on his musicianship alone. Dr. Modo's basslines are solid and thumping, and Amy Wood's absolutely insane drumming often steals the thunder from the actual songs themselves - this - Delusions of Adequacy


Hate everyone but Get Set Go

It's about time for Mike TV and the other members of Get Set Go to get on their marks. After a Kiss or Kill night show Friday at Little Pedro's Blue Bongo and another performance Monday at Mr. T's Bowl in Highland Park, the L.A. band — whose second album, "Ordinary World," came out last month — hits the road for a two-month tour across the country.

The new album is a 21-song, 79-minute indie opus: straight-ahead rock and lilting melodies juxtaposed with alternating vulgar and stick-your-head-in-the-oven lyrics about depression, drug use, unsalvageable relationships, mortality, poverty, homicidal fantasies and, oh yeah, suicide (which is also a song title). "Grey's Anatomy," which has used Get Set Go's music before, just licensed the track "I Hate Everyone."

The album was culled from more than 60 songs, most written during the singer-guitarist's self-described "tumultuous" 1 1/2-year period leading up to last June's recording. "I realized that whenever I was writing a song that made me feel uncomfortable that it should be one that we could consider for the record," Mr. TV says. "If they made me cringe at the thought of people hearing them, then they definitely went in."
- LA Times


Discography

So You've Ruined Your Life - 2003, TSR Records
Ordinary World - 2006, TSR Records
Selling Out & Going Home - 2007, TSR Records

In stores across the country. Also available on ITunes, Rhapsody, and virtually all other online servies.

Songs also available on....

Grey's Anatomy Music, Vol 1 - 2005, Hollywood Records.
Grey's Anatomy Music, Vol 2 - 2006, Hollywood Records

Photos

Bio

Get Set Go

1. Licensed 6 songs 10 times to the hit ABC series, Grey's Anatomy, and was featured on both of their soundtracks. Also licensed songs to Weeds, Jack & Bobby, Malibu Spring Break, and other film and television projects.

2. Publicity handled by Monica Seide of Speakeasy Pr.

3. Signed to TSR Records, based in Tarzana.

4. Have received significant college and commercial radio play. Ordinary World, our second record, Charted on CMJ top 200 charts for over 8 weeks. Also charted on ITunes top 100 alternative records for a week and a half.

5. We have an pretty significant MySpace following of 50,000 friends and fans, whom we maintain daily contact with in the form of blog/bulletin entries.

This history of the band and other info...

From PopMatters.com Interview by Jodie Janella Horn. October 18th, 2006

"My response to Get Set Go’s second album, Ordinary World, was immediate and passionate. I quickly dubbed it “My New Best Friend”, and though I secretly believed that it was created just for me, I set out to spread the good word to my friends.

Their response was equally immediate and passionate. “Are you okay?” they would ask with furrowed brow and a comforting hand rested on my shoulder. “Do you want to talk?”

This turns out to be pretty much the same response that singer/guitarist Mike TV received from his label when he sent them his demos. Soaring, often jaunty melodies snuggle up with a backing viola to tell the story of a particularly rough period in Mike TV’s life. The obvious darkness of songs like “Die Motherfucker Die” and “My Wasted Life” belie a humor that oscillates between wry, ironic, and macabre, creating a sort of emo for grown-ups with a hearty dose of sangfroid.

I met with Mike TV, a.k.a. Michael Torres, at a mixing studio in Santa Monica where he was finishing up his third record. Throughout our conversation he spoke with a cheery enthusiasm totally at odds with my preconceived image of a man who sings of his desire to commit mass murder. His wide grin never retreated as he wildly gestured through his points with the bulky forearms of a musician, video game fanatic, junkie, chronic masturbator, or some combination thereof.

Now 33, Mike TV grew up in the sandy expanse of southeastern California and participated in the Palm Desert generator music scene that spawned Queens of the Stone Age. Through happenstance, he was able to charm a television executive into an internship in Los Angeles that eventually culminated in a post as a development executive at Universal Cartoon Studios. With pockets full of cash, he eventually bowed out of the television industry because “it ended up getting so political and so crazy at the end that I just did not want to do it anymore.”

With his sights set on more creative pursuits, he helped to create a music scene in Highland Park, an un-trendy neighborhood nestled between downtown LA and South Pasadena. He teamed up with a friend from the desert, Pat Flores, a.k.a. Dr. Modo, and started creating and distributing mix tapes under revolving pseudonyms. The most successful of the tapes left him stuck with the Mike TV moniker, named after Mike Teavee of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The former TV exec’s namesake had a lust for television that prompted the Oompa Loompas in Ronald Dahl’s classic novel to caution parents: “Or better still just don’t install / The most idiotic thing of all.”

With Flores and a few other friends from Highland Park, Mike TV created Vermicious K, named for the invading Vermicious Knids of Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. “We initially thought that we’ll be on some little tiny record label and we’ll tour around and be a little tiny band,” he says. However, the label that eventually signed Vermicious K—TSR Records, a label best know for a few ‘80s dance hits like “So Many Men, So Little Time”—“really thought that we had a lot of commercial radio appeal.” At the label’s insistence, the band’s name was changed to Get Set Go.

However, the dough devoted to its first album, So You’ve Ruined Your Life, was not enough to secure Get Set Go as an indie darling. As the group became “significantly demoralized” but the unlikelihood of success, Mike TV’s band mates moved on to new groups and family life, while he, in the great tradition of the E! True Hollywood Story, sank into addiction and depression.

While Mike TV was indulging his “everything habit”, Shonda Rhimes, creator of Grey’s Anatomy, got hold of a copy of So You’ve Ruined Your Life and decided to feature several songs on the air and give them a track on the show’s soundtrack along side Tegan and Sara, Postal Service, and Rilo Kiley. When Rhimes requested more songs, Mike TV “cobbled together maybe 25 acoustic demos” and garnered a request for a full-studio version of “Sleep”, a song inadvertently predisposed to being perfect for a show about restless surgical interns.

Confident that the licensing fees for Grey’s Anato