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BMI Rocks the Windy City at MOBfest 2006

Posted in News on July 17, 2006
BMI presented a rock showcase as part of the MOBfest 2006 music festival held last month in Chicago, featuring live performances by Ivory, Cameron McGill, Matt Hoffer, Farewell, Exit the Ordinary and the Bon Mots. BMI also hosted a "Day Party" at the Bamboo/KMA Management offices with acoustic sets by McGill, Jerry Reid, Steve Moakler and Uncrowned.

Ivory's Nathaniel Swokowski, BMI's Samantha Cox, Ivory's Thomas Bishop and Adam Fuerst, BMI's June Neira, and Ivory's Daniel Beck

Kicking off the show was rock outfit Ivory. Take U2's guitar work, Coldplay's epic piano sound and Copeland's sing-a-longs, and you'll get the refreshing sound from this Wisconsin four-piece. Ivory has just signed with Ohio-based label, Carbon Copy Media, the label founded by Hawthorne Heights' JT Woodruff. Ivory's debut full-length CD is due out in early August.

Singer Cameron McGill, band member Noah Harris, BMI's June Neira, band member Jeff Kamesiak, producer/engineer Manny Sanchez, band members Jason Brammer and Sean Burke, and BMI's Samantha Cox

Taking the stage next was Chicago-based Cameron McGill. His first album, Stories of the Knife and the Back (2004), describes a youth who leaves his mountain village to become a poet. In 2006 he took pop music to the dark libraries of your old house with Street Ballads & Murderesques. He will release two EPs in 2006, The Company of Great Thieves and Hold on Beauty.

Matt Hoffer sings at BMI's MOBfest showcase before heading off to L.A. to be on "Rockstar Supernova" Steve Moekler performs at BMI's Day PartyCameron McGill performs at BMI's Day Party

Up next was Matt Hoffer, who left a successful and comfortable career in corporate America to follow his passion and songwriter muse to become what he describes as a "blue-collar" musician. In order to capture his vision, Matt spent three weeks in March 2005 going through preproduction and tracking the five-song Never Comfortable EP with up-and-coming producer Mike Shimshack in Brooklyn, N.Y. The resulting songs took pop to a new level and the end result is a very professional effort; an infectious alternative record without any over-the-top hooks and gimmicks.

Pictured after Farewell's performance are singer Marshall Davis, BMI's June Neira, keyboard/backing vocalist Chris Lee, BMI's Samantha Cox, guitarist Kevin Carter, guitarist, bassist Buddy and drummer Jeff Ellis 

Farewell is a six-piece band based out of Greensboro, N.C. During the past year, the band has recorded a six song EP, accumulated an active fan base, and rocked the eastern half of the U.S. like no other. They have shared the stage with such bands as Copeland, Glasseater, the Lawrence Arms, Limbeck, A Small Victory, Halifax, Madcap, Rocky Votolato, Tsunami Bomb and many others. The band just recently finished up their fall tour with Perfuma and is exploring options for the release of their newest album.

Exit the Ordinary members Tim West, Justin Niemi and Luke Frenette

Exit the Ordinary punched in to make simple rock with a beautiful blend of bigness and intimacy. Hailing from Detroit, Exit the Ordinary is the invention of Tim West (lead vocals, guitars), Justin Niemi (bass, background vocals) and Luke Frenette (drums, background vocals). The independent release of the group's EP, The Place You Are (2005), served to strengthen their identity as a band with the pulse and driven rhythm of a prizefighter, but with the gentleness of a good physician.

The Bon Mots perform at BMI's MOBfest showcase at the Double Door

The Bon Mots formed in Chicago in 2000 when Michigan natives Eric Chial and Mike Coy decided to combine musical efforts. In late 2001 and early 2002, the band recorded an album's worth of material and released Le Main Drag (Mellifluid Records). Reviews of Le Main Drag frequently reference Elvis Costello, and 60s and 80s British Mod influences such as the Kinks and the Jam. In addition to critics' praise, Le Main Drag was the eighth most added record on the CMJ Charts in August of 2004.

Jerry Reid performs at BMI's Day Party

Photos: Paul Natkin