lifeblood: songs: backgrounds: alien anthem


1996-03-29: call it a party for two, the atlanta journal constitution:

daemon started with one artist, the ellen james society, in 1990. ms. ray wanted to develop a recording environment for bands a bit too noncommercial for major labels.

also on the bill is belloluna, a coo-coo-nutty local lounge trio fronted by john brand, who just happens to be daemon's publicist. brand invited a host of musical friends - including members of indigo girls, big fish ensemble and viva la diva - to play and sing on the group's new album, "pleasant music for nice people." the gloriously slick results sound like steely dan's "countdown to ecstasy" album as interpreted by a las vegas show band.

underneath the cheese, though, lie some fairly meaty lyrics about jealousy, emotional abuse and love lost. brand, 31, is comfortable with the dichotomy. "i enjoy the juxtaposition of opposing elements," he says. "the music is tongue-in-cheek, but it's a vehicle to say things that i feel strongly about. hopefully, one doesn't undermine the other."

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1996-04-19: sitting in executive's chair gave artist new perspective, the augusta chronicle:

daemon started with one artist, the ellen james society, in 1990. ms. ray wanted to develop a recording environment for bands a bit too noncommercial for major labels.

"there was a time that labels kept artists that were really good, but didn't necessarily sell well, for credibility," ms. ray said. "but competition is harder now. you can have one critically acclaimed but poor-selling album and stay on a label, but if you have two you're gone."

she bills daemon as nonprofit - all the money goes back into daemon projects - though she said that's sort of window dressing right now, since it has never turned a profit. daemon basically started out of the living rooms of ms. ray and john brand, the ellen james society's former manager, who now leads belloluna and still works for daemon.

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1996-05-17: making a joyful, jazzy noise, the gainesville sun:

atlanta's belloluna, ambassadors of the cocktail nation, visit gainesville on thursday. the band stops in at the market street pub.

belloluna is fronted by john brand, a veteran performer and manager, who put the group together in 1993. brand made his first real impact on the atlanta scene as the manager for the ellen james society, and this led to a partnership with indigo girl amy ray and her fledgling daemon records label. "i enjoy my work with daemon," brand says. "but after a while i suddenly realized that i was spending all my energy helping other bands and i needed to find some time for myself and my own art. a quick search for like-minded souls lead to the formation of belloluna with bass player david hill and guitarist stacey cargal. "although i put this band together, it's definitely a collaborative thing. the music you hear on the cd is the vision of the musicians involved," according to brand. after a revolving door of drummers, brian kelly has settled in.

belloluna is currently touring behind its first full length release, on daemon, "pleasant music for nice people." the cd features carefully arranged, jazzy pop tunes that quickly insinuate themselves into your brain.

although the band performs as a simple piano/bass/drum trio, the cd features a much fuller sound with horns, strings and lush keyboard effects. brand explains: "one of the decisions we made early on in the recording process was to take advantage of the studio and the skills of our producer. the records that i really love the most, stuff like steely dan, kate bush, are artists that really examine what could be done in the studio "

what brand has also taken advantage of on this release is a group of talented friends from the atlanta area. the cd features the talents of members of the indigo girls, big fish ensemble and former members of the ellen james society.


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