Hearts of Palm. That's the new name being batted around by the members of Nathan & Stephen. Ran into Nathan McGarvey, who was tending bar on Friday night at the hi-dive, and he confirmed the less than ten minute-old rumor I had just heard on my way into the dive to catch Roger Green's set.
When pressed, the raspy crooner said it was high time that the other members of the group got their due. Although I'm pretty attached to the Nathan & Stephen moniker -- mostly becuase it's grown on me and I dig the incongruity of the handle -- the name change seems perfectly sensible, considering that the outfit began as a collaboration between McGarvey and Stephen Till but has since evolved into a full-on nine-piece endeavor.
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Changing your moniker mid-stream is a dicey proposition, mostly because you lose any brand awareness you've established. All the same, though, the Autumn Film applied the same logic recently when it changed its name from Tifah, for essentially the same reason, and the group doesn't seem to have lost any momentum. (Trivia buffs take note: Hearts of Palm is the name of an Idaho album released in 2000. McGarvey confided that he and the other cats are huge fans.)
The Swayback's new album is finally done. After embarking on some extensive pre-production with legendary knob-turner Bob Ferbrache last spring, Eric Halborg and company began tracking the new album with Andrew Vastola this past summer and finished just a few weeks ago. And while I haven't heard the whole record yet everyone who has reports that it's the cat's pjs. If the cuts posted on the act's MySpace page are any indication, that sounds about right.
Finally, congrats to Eric Shiveley, who just received word that his film, Everyone But You, will be screened at his alma mater, Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio. "The cool thing is it's a University arts event, and those are usually reserved acclaimed poets and novelists," Shiveley reports. "It sounds like I'm exaggerating but I'm not. They fly me there, put me up in the guest cottage, and I get to be an insufferable, bombastic prick for the post-movie Q&A."
-- Dave Herrera