FridaysUpdate: TSF a permanent favorite for C'ville

tsf3The Sometime Favorites are, from left, Ray Szwabowski, James East, Adam Long, and Matt Chick.

If one band knows the hardships associated with breaking out of the college-band groove and into the larger Charlottesville music scene, it's local indie-rockers The Sometime Favorites. Formed while three of the four members were undergraduates at UVA, the students-turned-townies have managed to overcome any stigma associated with beer-chugging college rockers (been there, done that is how their story goes) and make a name for themselves amongst the established local repertoire.

"UVA is like a bubble," says guitarist Adam Long. "When you're a band there, it's so hard to break out and get your name in the C'ville scene. We paid our dues as a UVA band, but it was definitely a battle to break into the C'ville music scene– there's a lot of respect to be earned."

After graduating from UVA, TSF simultaneously graduated from being a mere bar band– in a town where a variety of musical genres can be heard on any night of the week, the quartet knew it had to prove itself with an album. But for a civil engineer, a Spanish translator and political blogger, a "cancer-curer," and a telescope designer, hard work wasn't much of a deterrence.

"Charlottesville is just a mecca of great musicians," says Long. "We all like our jobs, but we much prefer to be musicians– that alone will create inspiration to go out and do what little extra you can."

Their debut album, All Along, garnered the kind of respect the local music scene demanded. After a "meticulous" production– the band went to such lengths as playing the CD in their car and kitchen radios and computer music players to gauge the sound from "wherever people will listen to it"– the album has sold steadily and gained consistent airtime on local stations, such as 106.1 The Corner.

"We're very confident in the product that we created, but we worked our asses off," Long says.

"We're super proud of it, but maybe it's like a parent–- every parent thinks their kid is awesome," lead singer James East agrees.

After hunkering down and getting serious with the business side of the musical industry, TSF has finally begun to reach some landmarks necessary for a successful local gig– including taking the stage at the Pavilion headlining Fridays After Five. Working off the exposure gained from a widening internet-savvy fan base (the band has recently started a blog in addition to the more universal Myspace page) and the wisdom of post-collegiate life, TSF has begun to put more emphasis on their live performances– enhancing their style of indie-pop-rock to appeal to those outside the 18-29 age group.

"There's an emphasis to make the songs really fun live, but we also write lyrics that actually mean something and don't suck," East says.

Drawing inspiration from "old school country, early 90's alternative-wave, and mid to late '90s pop," the band uses the energy associated with their live performances to engineer their sound. "You may just fall in love if you're not careful," warns bassist Matt Chick.

Don't expect these translators and scientists to be buttoned up at the Pavilion– this is a band that lives together and chose their moniker through a March Madness-styled playoff of band names. For TSF, Fridays After Five is a milestone reached through a combination of hard work, endless promotion, and careful calculation.

"To take the stage at the Pavilion will be amazing," Long says.

"The next step– JPJ," adds Chick.

The Sometime Favorites play Fridays After Five on 4/24. The Hill and the Wood opens. Show starts at 5:30 pm and admission is free.