Artist Name
Magic Bullets
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Formed
2004

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Magic Bullets is a pop band from San Francisco, California. Magic Bullets formed in San Francisco, California in 2004 with musicians primarily hailing from the Bay area who had spent most of their musically formative years playing with or alongside one another in various punk rock outfits. Vocalist Philip Benson and guitarist and primary songwriter Cunningham first met in 2000 and later played together in The Cosmos (a musical project of Cunningham's which released a split 7" on England's Becalmed Records with soon-to-be Words On Music artist Lorna in 2001). After a few years Cunningham and Benson called upon friends Colin Dobrin (drums), Matthew Kallman (Future Girls) (keys) and Nathan Sweatt (bass guitar) to form a new band to play music inspired by their favorite artists -- drawing from the likes of Orange Juice, The Sound, and The Feelies, to name a few. After developing an agreeable repertoire, and with the welcomed addition of long time friend and musical collaborator and guitarist Ryan Lynch (Former Cosmos/Future Dominant Legs/Girls), Magic Bullets set out to play scores of shows in the winter of 2004/2005. In October 2005 the sextet had their first recording session of material to be included on their debut at Atomic Garden in East Palo Alto, California[3]. In June 2006 Magic Bullets recorded six additional songs at House of Faith in Oakland with Bart Thurber, and a few more songs recorded by Lev Perrey at The Emergency Room. Perrey mixed the album in the Summer of 2006. In early 2007 the band released their debut, an album's worth of recordings collected over the span of the three years since the band's conception. Their first full length "A Child But In Life Yet A Doctor In Love" was released on Minneapolis' Words on Music. Numerous tours of the states followed, finding the band as far East as New York and showcased at Austin's SXSW music festival in 2008. 2009 would see the first change in the Magic Bullets line up as guitarist Ryan Lynch exited the group to pursue his own project (Dominant Legs). A few months later drummer Colin Dobrin left the band. Magic Bullets then recruited well-known punk drummer Danny "panic" Sullivan. Magic Bullets opted to self-release their second recording, a four song 12″ titled "Magic Bullets Lives For Romance". "Lives for Romance" saw a dramatic maturation of the band's sound from "A Child..." and despite various lineup changes, shining reviews for the EP encouraged the band to continue writing songs for a second album. Magic Bullets second full-length album (untitled) was recorded at Atomic Garden in East Palo Alto by long time friend Jack Shirley. Mona Dehghan (Mon Amie Records) offered to put out the new album and Magic Bullets jumped at the chance to be involved with the new start up. It was at this time that the band had yet another line up change. Danny "Panic" Sullivan and longtime keyboardist Matt Kallman left the group and the band was left in an incomplete state, recruiting various friends to fill in for one off shows. With the albums release date looming Magic Bullets set to the task of finding fresh blood. Sean McDonnell (Shony Collins), longtime friend and fan of Magic Bullets was asked to join the band and played his first show live on public radio's west coast live. Soon after that Alex Kaiser (Tempo no Tempo) took on the role of Magic Bullets drummer. With a full lineup and new album (released June/2010 on Mon Amie Records) Magic Bullets did multiple West and East Coast jaunts. Two years after completing the album, the Pop sextet--which also includes Colin Dobrin on drums, Matt Kallman on Wurlitzer and Farfisa, guitarist Ryan Lynch, and bassist Nathan Sweatt--has finally found its footing. Despite the fact that the band members aren't all coming from the same place--Cunningham, Benson, and Lynch used to play in The Cosmos, who were influenced by American indie-rock outfits like Yo La Tengo, and the rhythm section is made up of jazz musicians--they've rallied around a love of British bands like Orange Juice, Felt, and Echo And The Bunnymen. And they're certainly not afraid to talk about it. "We want to tell people as much about that as we can," says Cunningham, whose guitar work contains traces of British heavies like Johnny Marr and John Squire (The Stone Roses), and which perfectly complements Benson's Ian McCulloch-like vocals. "We take a scholarly approach to what we're doing. We love that music." Magic Bullets have been together since 2004, but things didn't get serious for the band until it was faced with the task of opening a show in San Francisco for the then-buzzing Voxtrot. Not surprisingly, the Great American Music Hall audience liked what it heard--a sound that's been compared to everyone from Vampire Weekend to Black Kids to Born Ruffians--and the response was similarly positive earlier this year when the band embarked on a month long tour with Seattle garage-rockers The Blakes. Those interested in getting a taste of what the band has been up to lately should swing on by its MySpace page, or head over to iTunes and download two great new tracks that find the band hitting its stride: "The Upstairs Flight" and "Enough Is Only Enough," the latter of which will remind listeners of Trash Can Sinatras in their prime. Next up for the Bullets is a 12" vinyl EP titled Lives For Romance, which they've been making demos for since early 2007. Sure, the group is taking its time, but as the members themselves have realized with their own music, good things come to those who wait. "I don't want to have to be pressured into doing anything," states Benson. "I want to be able to make songs at our own pace and be proud of them, not make a few stinkers and settle for it."


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