Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Future Laureates: Bio

With a successful presence at SXSW 2012, plus airplay on 140 college and community radio stations, The Future Laureates are celebrating with unabashed energy and triumph. Offering positive punk-rock energy with folk/pop musicianship, their sonic champagne is frothing and bubbling with the release of their third album, “Fortress Sessions”. It is seriously full of fun.

They’ve established connections with fans over shared interests. The bleakness of current events or dynamics of interpersonal relationships faced by college-age crowds (most of them singing along) can’t be downtrodden as the pure sunshine of radio-ready pop comes through in every millisecond. Soaring harmonies glide through serious matters of the head and heart, along with major jamming by guitar, bass, drums - and ukulele.

2011’s “Rethink the Recession” led to reviews of “Kingston Blues,” the EP’s single, as “a fresh and fun melody led by a lively rhythm, brisk percussion, and warm, spirited vocals.” ( and “…it’s not just a gimmicky thing; he jams the livin’ crap outta that uke!” ( The same year, the album won licensing deals with a variety of shows on MTV, Showtime, and Discovery Networks via Tinderbox music.

Touring has brought together even more fans through numerous Midwest and East Coast journeys as well as hometown venues including Chicago’s House of Blues, DC’s Rock and Roll Hotel, and the Congress Theater for the 3rd and 4th annual Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festivals. They’ve shared crowds with Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, Drive-By Truckers, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Hellogoodbye, Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons, JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, and Dawes.

Through it all, they keep it smart, fun and rhythmic.

In 2012, The Future Laureates have added “the fifth Beatle” with Chicago’s CAUDog Records. Working with accomplished producer Ellis Clark (Nikki Sudden with Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Kim Thayil of Soundgarden), the recent album is their strongest effort to date. “We’ve treated it as a separate entity and process than our live shows, with additional organ, piano, horns, percussion, and most notably, violin,” says Danny Surico, primary songwriter for The Future Laureates.

“Fortress Sessions” sees TFL’s three founding members (Danny Surico (guitar/vocals), James Hyde (bass/vocals) and Matthew Daigler (ukulele/vocals) polish 12 gems with an unprecedented level of honesty about the songwriting and arrangements. Also contributing are special guests Ellis Clark on keys and organ, Mike Scheiman on guitar, Aaron Apter on drums and percussion, and Kristina Priceman on violin. The album gained its unique title from the band’s practice space and songwriting hub, a coach house fondly nicknamed "The Fortress" tucked away in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood.
Following their SXSW appearances in Austin, TX this March, the band is gearing up for its Chicago album release show in May 2012. This summer adds some hot festivals followed by an East Coast Fall Tour to promote the new album. Spontaneous, professional and passionate, TFL is dedicated to bringing their latest effort to radio and online distribution. Most importantly, they’re bringing it to the fans that keep dancing and singing along.

OnAxis Does Social Media Campaigns for Facebook & Twitter-- so you don't have to!

First things first. You might be familiar with Helen Keller. Well, I am not a miracle worker. I am not a "Publicist" of the days of yore with a big black metal desk and lots of "press contacts" I obtained through smoking cigars or doing coke on the bathroom floors with rock stars before it all ended badly. Strangely enough, especially for me, the mere mention of the "P-word" brings all kinds of requests from the trenches of musicians' egos. Apparently, I will single-handedly be able to bring Jesus into their living room with my "press contacts".

In fact, I have no press contacts to give you. Pick your heart up off the floor-- and really check out what I am about to tell you. Social media is the new black. It's so black, that people in New York are wearing it now, and people in Indiana will be wearing it in 2045. Besides giving me a chance to feel bad about making fun of Indiana perhaps too gratuitously, the metaphor ends there as it's not a trend, it's not a "dot com" that's gonna burst, it's not the housing market that's gonna tank, it's very real that the online thing is the exact same thing as what "press contacts" used to be.

People everywhere, from every angle, soon, will start telling you little bits and pieces which you can put together's the latest:

Myspace is dead. God, it was great while it was in its heyday. And yes, if you're Rhianna, or Estelle, it's probably relevant, but please, don't worry about it any longer. Sniff, sniff...

Facebook is the new coffee bar. Get in there, make some friends, start some conversations. By the way, the metaphor of Facebook being like a cafe isn't mine, alas, it belongs to the author of "The Zen of Social Media Marketing".

Twitter is not rocket science. Yes, it got a bad name when Ashton started using it and John Mayer, or a celebrity of note, started telling people about pooping-- actually Ashton uses it for cool fundraisers connecting with his thousands of followers and John Mayer, he probably didn't mention pooping- but at some point people failed to understand Twitter. Do I just get on it, and tell people when I burp?

No, silly. Please, try it. It's not rocket science. Spend 10 minutes.


Similar to Helen Keller, if people can't see you, or hear you, your career is going to travel about as fast as snail hog-tied to a corpse. Therefore...let me lay it out for you.

First, and foremost, let me say a little somethin-somethin for the Publicists out there that DO have press contacts and do make it happen, and do get people in the press. I hope you enjoy your job. I'm sure your clients enjoy the publicity.

However--my bold statement that social media is TAKING THE PLACE of press contacts is a "zorro" mark on the wall of music marketing that will serve to become more apparent with "the writing on the wall" as it were. So let's go with that wall theory.

(Put the Pink Floyd record away, can listen to it later)!

1. Every publication that you want to be written up in has a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Most of the staff, editors and journalists have accounts as well. Are you friends with them or following them?