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MP3 FOAM, Orange County Artists - FOAM Orange County's Real Alternative

14 very catchy songs from great Orange County rock bands. All these guys should be stars.

14 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Modern Rock, POP: Power Pop

King of Pop

When we heard "King of Pop" we knew that FOAM would become a reality. We had listened to a lot of good tracks from a lot of great independent bands, but until this one hit our ears, we were wondering if we''d really be able to find cuts with the right combination of good songwriting and professional production value to be FOAM-worthy. The minute we heard "King of Pop" we knew this song was good enough to be in heavy rotation on any decent radio station.

Oh in case you''re wondering, what Jim Viviano is singing on the chorus is "want to be a waif in a black and white commercial with my own perfume."

Kim Cahill
Wake Up

This was a "wake up" call that we don''t have to dig through our old cassettes and "Best of the 80s" CDs to find the spirit that defined a decade of up-beat, worry-free music. Kim Cahill, formerly of Scotland Yard, has produced an unbelievably crisp, clean song with the same kind of energy that we felt when we heard the debuts of artists like Elvis Costello, the Go Gos and The Cars. "Wake Up" makes rock music fun again. Thanks, Kim. We needed that!

Tim Russell Band
Something Broken

Tim was largely the inspiration for the FOAM project whether he knows it or not. We watched him take a brilliant, self-produced solo project out to the clubs under various names and lineups- Fade to Black, Zen 17, TripSonic and Strange Fire. Despite the fact that Tim had produced some killer songs, it was difficult to promote them through bands in the crowded OC music scene. So many clubs spread out over OC plus so many diverse bands equal so hard to be noticed above all the noise and build a following from scratch.

We thought there had to be a better way to connect music appreciators with great songs like Tim and others had to offer. Rather than try to help Tim promote one band, we decided to embrace the vast talent that OC had to offer and recognize there was strength in numbers. So we created FOAM, a collection of not just good bands, but great songs, to help everyone get noticed!

Something Broken was everyone''s favorite off Tim''s solo debut, "Cellophane Fusion" under the name Fade to Black. After hearing several versions from Tim''s live lineups with different vocalists, we decided that in the end, the haunting keyboard and Tim''s baritone voice were what made this song really click.

Beyond 7
Light of Day
No, it''s not the Bruce Springsteen-penned song that led to a Joan Jett single and movie of the same title in the 80s. It''s one of many well-written songs from Beyond 7. This is one of the hardest working bands in OC with numerous appearances at The Galaxy, Coach House and House of Blues, opening for major acts like Gin Blossoms, Fastball and many others.

We''ve been getting emails about their shows for years now, going back to when they went by Cats and Dogs. You can tell that Greg Stoddard and company have been writing and playing together for a long time. They''ve established a polished pop sound that is truly their own. With so many great songs in their arsenal, the only challenge we had was deciding what song was right for the CD. Can someone tell us why these guys haven''t been picked up by a major label yet?

Neptune Thomas
Here''s another case where experience shows. This is one super-tight band that''s been together for awhile, delivering straight forward rock. The opening fuzzy guitar lick on "Scatterbrain" grabs you right away and won''t let go. It''s also the perfect match for the powerful raspy vocals.

Next thing you know, you''re "bouncing from the left to the right. Somebody turn out the light. I just can''t make up my mind. Somebody save me!"

NT is ready to pack up their tunes soon and take spread their flavor of OC rock to Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Las Vegas.

Thanks to Hopeless Records for loaning us this gem. The pop sensibilities of Boxcar, anthemic chorus and all, by rights should translate into solid air play for the boys. Did you hear that, major radio stations? To paraphrase the band, "they really got it goin,'' a really nice shot."

If you give Stairwell a shot, you won''t be sorry.

Any Wet
Sometimes less is more. "Any Wet" is a perfect example. Enter first- the drum beat- slow and steady. Then a few power guitar chords and we''re hooked by this raw, back-to-basics cut. Enter the vocals and finally the exact meaning behind the phrase, "Any Wet," and the deal is sealed. Did OUR eyes get any wet? Tears of joy erupted when Descention joined the first FOAM compilation.

National Product
Sean''s Song
We actually didn''t select "Sean''s Song" for the CD. National Product did. They pulled a fast one when they turned in their release form. We sent them a form for a song called "Harbor," which we still love, and they sent back the form with "Sean''s Song" filled in. We didn''t even notice until we listened to the master and "Harbor" was not to be found. What the...?

NP was not the first group to respond to our requests with, "we''d rather use this song," or "you gotta hear our new stuff."

We actually reached stalemates with a lot of bands that didn''t share our enthusiasm for some of their older creations and insisted that we use the tracks they wanted. Unlike some of those tracks that shall remain nameless, Sean''s Song did the trick and soon we liked it as much as Harbor. But if you see National Product in concert, make sure you chant for Harbor until they bust it out.

Maya Marin
Waiting Here
Now it''s time to take things down a notch and unwind after all the rocking on this collection. Maya''s breathy vocals and studio slick sound, which includes the work of viola player Novi Novog who has played for everyone from Prince to Scott Weiland, make for the perfect closer to our CD.

A one-time technical writer of software/hardware manuals, Maya decided she wanted to pursue a career in music which led to a "Best Female Performer" nomination at the 2003 Orange County Music Awards and of course a spot on our FOAM CD. Now that she''s successfully re-booted her career, we''re the lucky beneficiaries.

On the Passing of Fairytale Heroes
Halfwayhome aptly describes this crew. They are real road warriors that always seem to be halfway home. They''ve been on the Warped tour and are currently making a run at the usual southern California cities as well as Portland, Boise, Salt Lake City and Seattle to name a few.

This song is a perfect showcase for Halfwayhome''s tightness. With more changeups than you''d see at Edison Field, this song is like a rollercoaster, but you don''t have to worry about getting sick. Did we mix metaphors back there? Sorry.

Thanks to The Death Scene, Halfwayhome''s label, for loaning us this great track from Halfway Home''s A Brand New Subdivision album. For the record, (no pun intended) we still call them albums, even though they take the form of a CD instead of a vinyl LP.

Mind Driver
December Daze

Enjoy this limited edition song. They don''t make ''em anymore. In other words, Mind Drive has disbanded. They''re final farewell show is at Chain Reaction in Anaheim on March 4, 2005.

But that doesn''t mean the music dies. Rumor has it that some of the members of Mind Driver are striking out soon with a new name.

When we heard "December Daze" we were floored. How could a band this good not have been in steady rotation on one of the big radio stations in the greater LA area?

Best of luck to Mind Driver alums on their new musical ventures. The chorus of December Daze says it all- "I know we''re through we''re...just moving on and on. Moving on and on."

Two Million Minutes
I Wanna Be Romeo
Not enough "O''s" in "smooth" to describe this track and the Two Million Minutes sound.

We''re not the only ones to notice Two Million Minutes. The trio was nominated for Best Alternative Band at the 2004 OC Music Awards and two of their songs are featured in the upcoming film "Errors, Freaks and Oddities" by the Battista Brothers.

Thank goodness bands like this still exist to clear the palette from the daily assault of noise that passes for music coming out of open car windows these days. Keep the torch lit, guys.

Ever So Good
Before My Eyes

The band''s name says it all. That''s exactly how we''d describe "Before My Eyes."

Guys can try the opening line as... well... an opening line- "If I only got a dollar, for every time you were in my thoughts, I''d be set forever, cuz you''re so damn hot."

We were blown away by the production value of this song. The vocal sound effect on the chorus is an ever-so-good touch. What a big sound for 2 guys!

"Before My Eyes" is one of our favorites for driving, even though we don''t have Impalas like the guys desire. We just have to make sure we take it easy on the air drums and remind ourselves to keep the volume level low enough to notice fire trucks and ambulances.

Strong as the Worst
eightyonedays describes their sound as "emotionally driven rock." Emotions certainly run the gamut as you listen to their songs, which are all solid.

Kyle''s vocals are smooth and melodic, but he can scream with the best of ''em, a necessary duality to keep pace with band mates Derrick and Adam who deliver soothing guitar sounds one instant and then slap you in the face you with hard-paced riffs the next.

This band simply doesn''t know how to put together a mediocre song. This made it really hard to select a FOAM-worthy track from the eightyonedays arsenal. Strong as the Worst is a tasty appetizer that will likely leave you wanting a full course of eightyonedays. Dig in!

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