National Stage

On October 4, Ray Suen appeared on Saturday Night Live, playing instrumental backup with the Killers. Though he wasn’t seen on the band-photo cards preceding each of the band’s two songs, he was prominently featured throughout the performances of “Human” and “Spaceman.” Having played with a number of local groups – the Exfriends and the La Jolla Symphony, for example – Suen’s prowess on violin, guitar, and mandolin earned him the slot as a tour performer.

The next day, Filter magazine anointed Swim Party its “Undiscovered Band of the Month.” Asked what has been the group’s “biggest achievement” to date, an unnamed band member described the release party for their debut album Pixie Dust on the Blood Range: “The show was at an amazing bar called the Whistle Stop, which also happened to be the site of our first show. It culminated in having friends from local bands Writer and the Modlins on stage with us to perform our album-closer, ‘I’d Rather Be Mountain King.’ You know, I really hate it when people describe things as magical, but it was effing magical.”

On Monday, October 6, Jay Leno was doing his “headlines” segment on The Tonight Show when he came to a newspaper article about a Christian rock concert at which someone had been severely injured on a trampoline. “The name of the band playing,” guffawed Leno, “was As I Lay Dying.”

– Jay Allen Sanford

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The Leno bit, coming just a few months after the group’s 2008 Grammy nod, was a bit odd. His L.A. audience seemed to find the band name hysterical, notwithstanding the young accident victim’s devastating injury.

Other locals in the mass media: During the last week of September, Greg Laswell’s song “How The Day Sounds” was heard on TV’s 90210 revival (September 23). Two nights later, his tune “And Then You” turned up in the season premiere of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy.

This week, players of Rock Band 2 will be able to add Ratt’s “Round and Round” to their game selections (October 19), while Ratt singer Stephen Pearcy can be heard singing “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” on the just-released “We Wish You A Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year.” Seriously. Talk about your nightmare before Christmas.........

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