Austin, TX is home to The Black and White Years but Scott Butler, John Aldridge and Landon Thompson, actually met while attending NashvilleÊ¼s Belmont University in 2005. They performed together under a few band names before moving to Austin and settling into the electro-dance-rock sound that defines the The Black and White Years.
In 2007, they played their first SXSW Festival. Their â€œofficialâ€ showcase was in the parking lot of Opal DevineÊ¼s, far from the SXSW epicenter of 6th Street and Red River. B&WY were the first of a five-band line-up and when they took the stage there were exactly seven people in the audience. But, one of those seven people was once upon a time Talking Head and Modern Lover, Jerry Harrison.
Harrison was captivated by the bandÊ¼s performance and over the rest of the weekend he visited their rehearsal space where the Years performed all of their songs for him. Five weeks later they were in HarrisonÊ¼s San Francisco bay area studio, Sausalito Sound, recording what would become the bandÊ¼s eponymous debut album, The Black And White Years. The band did not have a drummer at the time that the album was recorded as they had opted for the precision of programmed rhythms. Harrison recruited Steve Ferrone to lay down the drums tracks for the album. In 2008, Billy Potts joined the band as full time live drummer.
Fast forward, to SXSW 2009. The Black and White Years are the epitome of a SXSW dream come true. At the Austin Music Awards, the annual show that kicks of the SXSW Music Festival by recognizing excellence in the Austin music community, the band is the big winner for the year with FIVE awards including Best New Band, Song of the Year â€“â€œPower to Change,â€ Best Rock Band, Bass Player of the Year â€“John Aldridge, and Producer of the Year. They also play a series of well-attended showcases topped by the BMI Showcase where they share the bill with DEVO and Tricky.
The bandâ€™s song, â€œPower to Change,â€ has quietly received a fair amount of national attention via modern rock specialty airplay and college radio but also went the distance at WEQX/Albany (#1 for four weeks), KROX/Austin (Top 10 and #1 Requests) and full time adds at stations like CD-101/Columbus, Indie 103.1/Los Angeles.
A new video for the song, â€œZeroes and Ones,â€ has just been released and although the band has appeared at CMJ and Austin City Limits, and done some limited touring in the Midwest and Northeast, they will embark on their first national tour this year.
Check out The Black & White Years during SXSW Wednesday March 17 at 6:00pm at our Manic Fest Destiny Party (RSVP HERE)
Mar 15 2010 10:00P Found Footage Fest @ CLUB DEVILLE Austin, Texas
Mar 16 2010 10:00P The Parish Presents Welcome to the Jungle – FREE SHOW! Austin, Texas
Mar 17 2010 6:00P Manic Fest Destiny Party @ The Belmont Austin, Texas
Mar 18 2010 1:00A SXSW: ASCAP SHOWCASE @ Dirty Dog Bar Austin, Texas
Mar 18 2010 2:00P High Five Party @ ELYSIUM Austin, Texas
Mar 20 2010 5:00P Obscure Magpie Party @ Encore Austin, Texas
Mar 21 2010 6:00P Six Stages Over Texas, 60 Band Benefit for YÃ©le Haiti Austin, Texas