Long Distance Call
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Long Distance Call

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The best kept secret in music

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"Long Distance Call - Going The Distance (by Heather Champagne)"

Dateline:  Hollywood - a small club on the seamier side of town.  I had accepted an invitation from the three-piece band Long Distance Call (www.ThisIsLDC.com) to see them play.  Having seen a concert or two (hundred) in my day, I was reasonably sure of what to expect; but I had not factored in the unpredictable nature of rock ‘n roll, and what ensued makes it necessary to change the name of the guilty party.

I arrived at the door at 9:45pm, fifteen minutes before their set time, gave my name and indicated that I was on the list. The promoter (let’s call him Captain Buzzkill – more on him later) let me in as though he was doing me a huge favor. It didn’t sit well with me, but I shook it off and went inside. 

A band was just finishing, and I set myself up where I could take notes. Color me surprised when a different band starting setting up on the stage.  Evan Volk, LDC’s manager, came over to greet me and apologetically informed me that the show was running late, and that apparently the album cover girl for a national act was going to announce them (insert obligatory eye-roll here).  Lead singer Chip Godwin sauntered up with a smile and let me know that they had timed their set out to thirty-five minutes. I must have cocked my head like a dog and said, “Aroo?”, because he went on to say that this particular promoter had cut their set short no less than three times prior to this evening, and they were determined to finish it, come hell or high water.  Hmmm. This was going to be interesting.

Fast forward to 11:23pm, when LDC was finally able to begin their set.  Guitarist Joe Dancsak, who has known Godwin since college in Pennsylvania, had been itching to play for nearly an hour and a half, and he was unleashed on the crowd in a big way. Inspired by Van Halen, Hendrix, and Page, Dancsak also respects the White Stripes and their non-conformist individuality. An accomplished musician, Dancsak doesn’t believe in mincing words – or notes. He is a finesse player with the honest heart of eclectic folk, and his solos are energetic and melodic without being ostentatious.

Somewhere along the way Godwin had scored some cool 1970’s shades, pinned-together blue jeans and a Virgo wristband. Dylan’s influence is clear in his writing, and to a limited extent, his vocal stylings – most obviously in “Talkin’ California”, a humorous diatribe that alone would have made the evening worthwhile. His intelligent lyrics drip with wit and sarcasm, and while his somewhat misanthropic tendencies are made plain in his music, the pervasiveness of his dry sense of humor makes it palatable.

As LDC was burning through its set with a minimum of chatter and interaction, I became aware of a fracas backstage and went to investigate. Picture this: Evan Volk is slight of frame, and Captain Buzzkill (who is about the size of an Escalade) was in his face screaming at the top of his lungs that the band had to cut their set short.  I checked my watch. It was 11:48pm.  They had ten more minutes – as expected, the promoter was once again stepping on the set of the most easygoing band. This time, though, Evan was not going allow it. He firmly and politely told the promoter that the set had been timed out and the band expected to finish it.

Captain Buzzkill unplugged the band. 

In his giddy power trip (no pun intended), he forgot one minor detail:  You can’t unplug drums – especially those of someone bold enough to answer an ad looking for “the second coming of Keith Moon”.  Instead of walking dejectedly off the stage, drummer Darryl Blease hammered the hell out of the skins, as both Godwin and Dancsak also continued to play and sing. The crowd went wild, supporting LDC as they finished their last song, soaked in sweat and defiantly victorious as Captain Buzzkill skulked away.

Later, over Thai food and fortune cookies, Godwin understated the obvious.  “Hey, at least we gave you something interesting to write about!” But it was more than that. My evening with Long Distance Call reminded me that it always feels good to stand up for yourself and to be passionate about what you do.

For more information on Long Distance Call, log on to www.ThisIsLDC.com.  - All Access Magazine


"All Access Magazine Awards (by Susie Salva)"

     Paladino's and Jimmy D. presented the 2 nd annual ALL ACCESS Magazine Awards Show pre-party on Saturday October 9, 2004 in Tarzana. J.J. Garcia was the master of ceremonies presiding over the festivities and raffling off an Inferno guitar by Minarik, a snare drum by Topham custom drums, Monster Energy drink, gift certificates, and T-shirts. Special guest performances included Killola, Thousand Yard Stare (TYS), Long Distance Call, Nimbus and Paperback Hero.

Killola started off the night with the first set playing melodic hard rock. Killola band members included Lisa Reiffel, vocals, Mike Ball, lead guitar, Timm Sharp, rhythm guitar, Dan Grody, drums, and Johnny Dunn, bass. Reiffel, the sassy, sexy, sultry lead singer belted out songs with a sense of conviction. Their music is a combination of the Strokes meets Pat Benatar. Reiffel is nominated for best female vocalist. Their set included the following songs: “Hollow” “Down” “Eventually” and “Meet the Boys.” The band was engaging with a strong stage presence and strong vocals.

Thousand Yard Stare (TYS) was the next band to play. Band members included Brian F., vocals, David, guitar, Mario, bass, and Marco B., drums. This band by far was the worst band to perform that evening. They were all over the board and Brian F. vocals were sheer torture. He was totally off key and had serious pitch problems. He didn't sing the songs. He screamed his lyrics. The audience didn't even offer any courtesy applause.

Songs in their set included “Scary Submarine Sandwich,” where they had difficulty finding the rhythm and was a less than stellar performance. “Corrupt,” used special guitar effects, but came across as pure chaos. “Rebel Yell,” was their final song, which was batched up too. Not a good night for TYS.

Next up was Long Distance Call. They had the best set of the evening. Band members were comprised of Chip Godwin, vocals and acoustic guitar, Joe Danasak, lead guitar, and Darryl Blease, drums. The band was straight ahead rock ‘n roll with a pop-feel. They are a unique trio performing without a bass player, but maintaining a full sound. They started off their set with “Modern Female,” a paisley, Dylan-isk, melodic, high-energy tune. LDC are a throw back to the sixties. “I Want You,” has a warm sounding guitar on this love tune. Blease had solid drumbeats. “Not Right Now,” is an ode to Oprah Winfrey. The song is very melodic and Danasak throughout the set showcases his slow hand guitar playing. Godwin commanded the audiences' attention. The band was very engaging and entertaining.

Nimbus was the crowds' favorite band that hit the stage around eleven. Band members include Tim Deschaine, vocals and guitar, Adam Howe, guitar and banjo, David Howe, bass and vocals, and Rob Pathcca, drums. Nimbus is featured on the All Access vol. 1 CD. They are edgy, hard rock with sheering guitar solos and thumping bass rhythms. “Doesn't Matter,” has tribal rhythms, special guitar effects and an extended solo. Adam Howe is nominated for best guitar player. He is versatile musician playing both lead guitar and banjo for an interesting sound. “Rise Above,” has crisp vocals and an interesting guitar bit. They finished off their set and brought the house down with a Beatles cover tune, “Take it Easy,” with a slapping, funky bass and shredding guitar licks.

Finally, Paperback Hero performed the final set. Members included Bryan Hopkins on vocals, Chris Latham, guitar, Dan Fine, bass, and Pete Burke on drums.

Hero is high-energy rock ‘n roll. They have crunchy guitar solos with melodic, clean vocals. Hopkins has commanding stage presence and great interaction with the crowd.


“Cliché”, Hopkins voice is reminiscent of Vince Neil with raspy quality to it. Their set included “Now,” “No Long Goodbyes,” and “Call Out” as stand out tunes.

Overall, the evening was a success leading up to the actual awards show Saturday, November 6 th at the Key Club in West Hollywood. The pre-party award show showcased

a variety of bands with different styles and the actual awards show offers 40 awards,

9 bands, a guitar give-away and Miss ALL ACCESS.  - All Access Magazine


"Long Distance Call - An Interview with Long Distance Call by Heather Champagne"

Chip Godwin is chain smoking with a glass of vodka lemonade.   His wry grin and dark curly hair compliment his rebelliously unshaven countenance. As he sinks deep into the torn gold velvet cushions of the couch, he breathes out a sigh of contentment.    He and the rest of Long Distance Call ( www.ThisIsLDC.com ) are in my living room to talk about their music, which unsurprisingly, is their favorite subject – or at the very least, it's right up there with sex and politics.  

“ (Joe Dancsak and I) met on the Pittsburgh music scene in the late 90's,” he replies, when asked about the band's history.   “Joe was playing in the band Pied Piper with some other friends of ours, and I would lend a guest vocal from time to time.”   After playing a few one-off gigs together, they invited Godwin to join the band full time; but he already had plans in motion to move to California, a dream he had long held.  

As fate would have it, a few years later, Dancsak and Godwin ran into each other in Los Angeles, and began writing together.   Brainstorming on what they should call their collaboration, they decided to name themselves after a song. “So I picked up the closest record album on hand, which was (Joe's) vinyl copy of a Muddy Waters/Howlin' Wolf recording called Muddy and the Wolf ,” says Godwin. “One of Muddy's songs was Long Distance Call , which immediately jumped out at us. We knew that was it. It has so many meanings - being far from home, calling out to the world, a great blues song...and of course, a long distance call is special - not your ordinary call. When someone says, ‘It's long distance' - people listen.”

Having found a name, they began to search for a drummer; and when Darryl Blease answered the ad looking for “…the second coming of Keith Moon…”, they knew their alliance would be a memorable one.

Blease is more about finesse than flair, and is enjoyable to watch.   His heroes – predominantly iconic rockers Bonham and Moon – are so apparent that one wonders if he is not at times supernaturally channeling the two from the hereafter simultaneously.    He, like Godwin and Dancsak, believes that music can help change the way people think, and he wants to make a difference.

Dancsak is proud to draw his inspiration from guitarist Eddie Van Halen, and his style bears out that notable influence. “There just aren't very many innovators out there right now, not like Eddie Van Halen was when Van Halen first hit it big.”   He, as other musicians I have interviewed, expresses his concern about how pedestrian mainstream music is - the lack of a meaningful message being a manifestation of the absence of true talent on the scene.   In a world of Auto-Tune and 72-track recording, he thinks much is lost in translation when a live performance is too perfect. ”When you're in the studio, you're painting a picture,” Dancsak makes sweeping motions with his arms. “When you're doing a live show, it should be like you're spray painting graffiti all over the place.”   He points out that it is the spontaneity of live music that makes it unique – the purest form of a creation unto itself.

I once heard Godwin compared to Bob Dylan (“except Chip can sing!”).

“People say that Bob Dylan can't sing,” says Godwin, “but the first time I heard Girl of the North Country , I thought his was the most beautiful voice in the world. It essentially changed my life.”   Hearing him talk about how much Dylan has inspired him to write, sing, and play guitar, it is easy to see Godwin's passion for music, not only as high art, but as a medium for ideas, thoughts, and philosophy.   His frustration at the failings found in today's music begs deliverance, and his songs provide a vehicle for that release.

Godwin's lyrics parallel his personality - humorous, satirical, mysterious, and captivating. Going Dark is a song about his skill for becoming “invisible” in order to slip past velvet ropes and movie ushers.   Every Girl is brutally direct about the penchant women seem to have for choosing men who mistreat them.   In Paper Moon , he bemoans that “…the people listen to the loudest voice”.

“That's me,” he says with a self-deprecating grin, “I'm sure I've been guilty of listening to the loudest voice.” And though he says that, it is difficult to imagine such a staunch individualist conforming to any trend or mob mentality. Godwin is an indomitable free spirit.

Collectively, these three men (they have no desire or need for a bass player) are Long Distance Call. There has never been a band like them. The music weaves together diverse styles from blues to rock to folk.   Their performing style is chaotic, frenzied, and engrossing. I've seen Godwin, in his “I © Pee Wee Herman” shirt, careening from one end of the stage to the other, a feather boa flying out behind him and retro sunglasses perched on his nose.   Long Distance Call challenges you to think, do, and be more than you believe possible.

Godwin's hope is that people walk away from their show with more than the band's catchy tunes stuck in their heads. Lamenting the spoon-fed masses, he wants to tweak the paradigm and make people expect more from the music they listen to.   In the vein of a folk musician, he talks philosophy without a desire to be pretentious or abstruse. Unabashedly accepting his folk-rock roots, he spreads his hands wide in an embracing gesture. “Folk music is music for the people,” he says, “What more could you want?” - All Access Magazine


Discography

Six Hours 'Fore The Dawn-Self released EP - 2004
Yesterday's Gone - DVD/CD - 2005

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Since their first studio recording, 2004's "Six Hours 'fore the Dawn", Rock band Long Distance Call has taken advantage of every opportunity to record new music. Their hard work payed off in September of 2005 when they independently released a unique double DVD/CD disc titled "Yesterday's Gone".
Complete with live performances, music videos, and band interviews, "Yesterday's Gone" provides an up-close and personal look inside Long Distance Call.

LDC is:
 
            - Chip Godwin : Lead Singer, Guitar
            - Joe Dancsak : Lead Guitarist, backing vocals
            - Darryl Blease : Drummer, backing vocals
 
Long Distance Call has always been a bassless trio. Since forming after their cross-country move from the east coast to sunny California, they each brought their unique influences to the band. They have often been described as sounding like a cross between the best of Bob Dylan, the Who, and old school Van Halen. Their sound is both modern and classic, taking the best of the past and bringing it to the present. LDC has brought their high energy act to such venerable L.A. clubs as The Viper Room, The Troubadour, The Key Club, The Derby, The Whiskey A-Go Go, and The Gig, just to name a few. They also have been very well recieved in San Francisco, at the Hotel Utah Saloon.

Some highlights and accomplishments include:

-Tracks "Modern Female," "Talkin' California," and "Game Seven" have all received airplay on the highly lauded L.A. indie rock station, Indie 103.1 FM.

-A cover story in L.A. rock magazine, All-Access, provided a boost for the band in late 2004, and the magazine deemed their show-stealing performance at the All Access Awards pre-party, "By far the best of the night!" LDC was nominated for three All Access awards including Best Rock Band, Best New Rock Band, and Best male Vocalist (Chip Godwin).

-September 2005 saw the release of the highly ambitious double disc DVD/CD set, "Yesterday's Gone", which includes a full live performance, behind the scenes clips and a video for one of their new song, "Repugnance." The CD includes 18 tracks of all the bands recorded material to date. The set was produced by Director Andreas Fehrle and the band, and is available at the band's website (www.thisisldc.com), CDBaby.com, and Amoeba Records Hollywood, with many more outlets to come.

In addition to their work in Long Distance Call, each member of the band has stayed busy in other endeavors.

Chip took home an unprecedented "Sparky Award" at the 2005 Slamdance film festival for his lead performance in the indie film, "The Dry Spell." The performance award was the first ever awarded in the history of the festival.

Joe's versatility on his instrument can be heard on hip-hop tracks by up and comer Shyan Selah, whose current single "Concrete City," is available for download on iTunes.com and is awaiting major release.

Darryl has secured an exclusive endorsement deal with Soultone Cymbals www.soultonecymbals.com and was the music arranger for the recently released comedy-spoof "Boogie Board Beach" a feature length independent film.