Nine Fifty

Nine Fifty


Sensitive Lead Vocalist: “There’s no polite or delicate way to say this, so I’ll just say it: I’m getting divorced.” Wisecracking Guitar Player: “Really? Me, too...” (he wasn’t joking)


They say misery loves company. When Nine Fifty set up shop to build their own version of Frustrated, Incorporated in the fall of 2003, they were a typical independent (i.e. - unpopular) Chicago band working on their second album, Heads Up Face Down. The 13 songs about upheaval, transition, redemption and (of course) heartbreak were born from the personal chaos of one shattered marriage, sown by the sympathetic despair of another bruising divorce and finally brought to fruition amidst a number of internal and external band breaches. Fellow indie bands take note: your record should never take more than a year to finish! In the end, however, the music was more about the company than the misery.

2005 was particularly ‘challenging’: the band’s original bass player was dismissed, the group parted ways with their long-time manager and the bottom fell out from the record’s funding. A new bassist was hired, the entire catalog of songs was re-learned and a year-long series of live performances commenced to raise the thousands of dollars necessary to complete the album. One fondly remembered ’gig’: Home Depot + Round Lake Beach + Blizzard. Oh yes.

2006 brought the abrupt resignation of the new bass player (literally fleeing from the stage immediately following the group’s Abbey Pub performance) and the band hiring their third bassist in as many years. Following several additional months in the recording and rehearsal studios, the album was ultimately finished and the band was finally complete.

Writing, performing and recording the music together was never just a method to manage the madness, it was the only way to deal with it. Each track is a fragment of the picture documenting the anarchy which engulfed but never dissolved the band. The result is a record filled with classic American guitar rock, forged by a headstrong fire of sheer will and determination.

As a certain schmaltzy rock star would say, “Here’s one for friendship”.


Heads Up Face Down

Written By: Brown/Castino/Sanders

Light up another cigarette
Tonight’s your last and only bet
Put on the late night T.V. shows
Big Chin’s the one who really blows

See it risin’ up again
Feel it creep around again
Everything’s messed up and then

Heads up
Face down
When you wanna make a turnaround

Pick up the phone, it’s getting late
Just do it now, don’t hesitate
Another midnight booty call
You want it now, you want it all

Goin' Around With You

Written By: Brown/Castino/Sanders

I wanna sleep
For like a million years
I wanna wake up next to you

I wanna fly
Somewhere I’ve never been
I wanna fly away with you

Yesterday’s got nothin’ more than pain
Even though I love you just the same
I always get it wrong
Too tired to get it right

I’ve got nothin’ left to say
I’m goin’ around with you
I can’t wait another day
I’m goin’ around with you

I wanna walk
Another million miles
I wanna walk alongside you

And if I have to crawl
Some place I’d never go
I wanna crawl right back to you


Written By: Brown/Castino/Sanders

Behind your brand new better half
I know you think I’m over-rated
You laugh

You will stay
Well past your welcome
You will stay
So I wish you well
You will stay
Well past your sunset
Cuz you fell

Ten years have put themselves upon you
Looks like you haven’t worn them well
So now you cry upon your shoulder
Cuz you fell

You still think you're complicated
Behind your brand new better half
You still think I’m over-rated
You laugh

Sometimes it’s right outside your doorstep
Sometimes it’s right inside your heart
Sometimes it’s right outside your doorway
Sometimes it’s right inside your heart

Things will never be the same


Heads Up Face Down (NeedleDrop Records, 2007)
Tales From Shermer (60062 Records, 2002)

Transistor (American Laundromat Records, 2004)
International Pop Overthrow Vol. 6 (Not Lame Records, 2003)

Set List

A typical set is 12 original songs over 45 minutes. Nine Fifty can play up to 4 hours including 3 breaks of 20 minutes.

Another Second Chance
Be There Again
The Bend
Best I Never Had
Better Than Staying Home
Catch 22
Come Undone
Disco Shoes
Goin’ Around With You
Heads Up Face Down
I Love You But You Can’t Come Home
I Wish I Drove A Pick-Up Truck
I'm Done
Kings of the Brokenhearted
The Last Of What I Am
Nobody Knows
One Way
Save My Soul
Take Away
Thinking About You
This Time
Won’t Be the One

Ain’t Too Proud to Beg - The Temptations
Can’t Hardly Wait - The Replacements
Dead Flowers - The Rolling Stones
Down on the Corner - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Get Back - The Beatles
Get Ready - Rare Earth
Happy - The Rolling Stones
Honky Tonk Woman - The Rolling Stones
I Second That Emotion - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
I Won’t Back Down - Tom Petty
I Want You to Want Me - Ch