Good times at the Surfrider Free Fall Festival…

December 6th, 2009

We had a great day @ the Surfrider Free Fall festival – playing with the Wadsworth Bluff Rats, Tropo, Fish out of Water, and more.   The Bluff Rats had to freeze their various appendeges off, but Too Late for Roses got lucky and the sun came out (a bit) to create a classic Cayucos early Winter sky over our set.   A beautiful day…


Music Scene Ignites Across Central Coast Region of California

November 23rd, 2009

Download our new free EP at  – free mp3s of new california rock music

Reposted from

California’s Central Coast region, a foggy coastal zone 300 miles from San Francisco and Los Angeles, is best known for its tourism and agriculture. Local industry is driven by the vineyard culture seen in the film “Sideways” and its classic beach town atmosphere, as well as nearby colleges and universities. Most music fans outside of the region are unaware that the Central Coast is also home to a growing music scene. Its “far from anywhere” location has so far kept the music from the outside.

The Central Coast’s distinct setting far from the noise of its two nearest major cities drives many local musicians to collaborate. The ongoing relationships are the backbone of the growing music scene, producing music that reflects the culture and personality of the Central Coast. Diverse rock bands such as Too Late For Roses, the Wadsworth Bluff Rats, Tropo and Stilltime each possess an individuality, but the collective result is the sound of the Central Coast: organic roots combined with both aggressive energy and pop/indie sensibility.

Too Late For Roses ( is the next band from the region preparing to drop a record, with its debut scheduled for release on indie label LPE Records this fall. The band features Boston-transplant Karl von Kries on lead vocals, guitar, bass, percussion and flute; Wyatt Lund on drums; and Jordan Martin on bass, pedal synth, guitar and vocals. This studio project has been creeping into view at notable California concert events, including a benefit show at the famous Live Oak Festival in Santa Barbara and a recent near-capacity show at Downtown Brew in San Luis Obispo.

TLFR Press Photo

Too Late For Roses Features Central Coast Musicians Jordan Martin, Karl Von Kries and Wyatt Lund

The band performs as a minimalist trio despite the band’s massive recorded sound, using unique instruments and live arrangements to keep the sound full on stage. Karl and Jordan routinely switch between guitar and bass mid-set, each taking turns at lead vocals. Karl layers lead flute over with effects over the band, often while simultaneously playing guitar. Too Late for Roses also is a rare modern band to use the pedal synth popularized by The Police and other bands in the early 1980s and rarely used since. This adds another interesting texture to the overall sound.

All Too Late For Roses band members are active in several musical projects both inside and outside the region. Karl previously fronted the local band Instar and has composed film scores for award-winning New York filmmaker, animator and fine artist Pat Smith. Karl and Pat are now working on “Masks,” a new film anticipated for release early next year.

Wyatt Lund is a respected drum instructor and founder of the popular Central Coast band Siko, while Jordan Martin also records as a solo artist and drums for the Wadsworth Bluff Rats, a band that merges the sunlit ambiance of the Central Coast region with alt-country atmospherics. Karl is producing both the Too Late For Roses debut and the first record from the Wadsworth Bluff Rats ( at Hanging Fish Western Front, his private Central Coast recording studio.

Tracks from the Too Late For Roses debut can be heard at the band’s website. Songs like “Pacifier” are heavy on melody, as its aggressive guitar riff, hovering bass lines and rock-steady drumming explodes into a huge chorus. Meanwhile, “B.C.O.,” with its moody, ethereal vocal harmonies, favors a darker atmosphere that suggests the gray Pacific Northwest skies colliding with the Central Coast shoreline.

Song previews, photography and a moody self-produced video for the track “So Gone” are among the other downloads available at the band’s website. The video was recently submitted to New York City fashion designer John Varvatos and SPIN Earth’s “Free The Noise” contest, which profiled hundreds of unsigned bands from around the world.

Along with Too Late For Roses and the Wadsworth Bluff Rats, the band Tropo ( adds its stamp to the Central Coast region with its brand of electro-edged rock music that all at once reaches back to the early 80’s dance music of Manchester and the USA; emphasizes modern elements in rock and electronic music; and provides a glimpse into the future of where dance-oriented rock music is headed. And like Too Late for Roses, Tropo incorporates unusual instruments both in the studio and on stage: Tyson Leonard’s soaring lead violin, a focus of the band’s live shows; and Ryan Johnson’s atmospheric pedal steel, which adds an ambient flavor to the band’s emotionally-charged dance tunes.

Stilltime ( is another local band that defies genres, incorporating eclectic instruments such as harmonica, mandolin, slide guitar and upright bass to create groove-oriented rock. Other notable Central Coast bands include Criticnue and the Damon Castillo Band. This land of sun, surf, fog, and wine is emerging as a powerful artistic scene, and the ongoing connections and collaborations amongst local musicians have built a solid musical foundation.

New Show, DTB, Dec 19 with Diego’s Umbrella

November 21st, 2009

December is going to be a busy month for us.

First, we have the Surfrider Free Fall Festival on Dec 5, Cayucos Pier, 2:45.
Now, we just added Downtown Brew, December 19th, 7:30PM – with Diego’s Umbrella at their CD release party.

Behold the awesome poster:


Saw Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson @ Cal Poly

November 9th, 2009

As a sometime-flute-playing rock person, it was a treat  for me to see Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull play at the Cal Poly Arts Center with his band this Saturday.  Many classics (‘Jack in the Green’ being a personal favorite “/ ) along with many newer songs and rearranged versions of mid-period songs I was less familiar with.     M. Anderson, btw, performs his ass off on every song – great last-beat-of-the-song poses, one hand flourishes, eye-pops, dramatic silly-walks, you name it.  Marching all over the stage, and just –>killing<– it on flute.  Kind of motivates me to go add some flute to the new TLFR record...  Thanks, Mr. Anderson!

If Bruce freaked out, so can we.

September 29th, 2009
Springsteen in the Studio, 1974

Springsteen in the Studio, 1974

You can’t imagine what a relief it was to read’s article about the recording of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born To Run”.  And I’m not really a Springsteen fan.

I LOVED IT.  Here’s why.

Mixing a record is one of the weirder artistic processes.  It’s like carving a sculpture  – the performance is replayed perfectly every time , especially in the current era of total automation.   You can replay a mix with every detail captured, every effect dropped in at the perfect moment, the volume of each track scooting up and down on computer-command… and this means, in short, that IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT.  There’s nothing you can’t fix.  Don’t like what you hear?  Grab the fader and make the change, edit the reverb parameter, mute the percussion, whatever.  You have total control.

But it’s NOT sculpture.  Every playback happens in real time, like a film, and you can’t stop time and you can’t slow it down.  You play the mix and it passes before your ears, and everything is great, and you’re a happy listener, and then YUCK WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? (or not so obvious – you just lose the thread, the awesomeness fades, the energy drops).  And you have to rewind what you just heard and try to understand.  Were the drums too loud for a moment?  Was something harsh and lame sounding? Did the vocals go out of key in a bad way?

Painting is static.  Film can be paused, and you can look at one frame at a time.  But music is relentless – it is experienced in real-time, only, and crafting it forces a rhythm on the maker.  You have to constantly switch your mindset from generator to receiver, from studio wizard to general audience member, from a guy IN the band to someone who’s never heard OF the band or the song before, changing channels on the radio, hearing some random new song.  Does the song work, or does it suck?

Making music is like carving a sculpture on powered roller skates.   And Satan help you if your listening environment is bad – then you can’t really trust what you’re hearing (bass will be weird, at a minimum) – then it’s like chopping up a piece of granite on skates under a strobe light.

So you can imagine how nice it was to read about Super Legend Bruce Springsteen, sweating it in the Seventies as he and his crew struggle to make their 3d record – their last chance to have a music career, their over-committed, swan-dive, crash and burn attempt to translate his ambition into a record that didn’t make him want to puke when he listened to it.  And this was the era of tape – rewind slowly between each take, only so many tracks to put the music on, the high-frequencies slowly erasing themselves with each playback… I actually felt bad for Bruce for a minute – leaving the studio each night, burnt out, tired, ears fried, unable to figure out if he’d wasted the whole day.

You hear about the seventies (in the pro-audio, recording sense) like they were lived in a holy glow of awesomeness – all the gear was vibey, tube-powered and great, everyone could play well, the music industry was semi-friendly and cool, all the lights were incandescent, and times were generally OK.  Awesome bands just strolled into the studio, kicked out a SLAMMING track under the benevolent gaze of the super stoned  Engineer, and Voila! you got the Eagles Greatest Hits, the Hall and Oates catalog, and the entire Yacht Rock genre.   Meanwhile, we miserable digital-age fucks sweat and slave to get the slightest bit of soul into our recordings, while the old-timers say ‘oh you poor devil, you should have been around back in the day’.  Of course, this is pure Survivorship Bias, and plenty of talented people crashed and burned in obscurity… but those classic records we all know and love from that time seem to have sprung to life sui generis, perfect, effortless and whole.

But here, AT LAST, we hear-tell that things weren’t so simple.  That life was hard in the 70s.  That the music industry was horrible, (and is still, as Steve Albini would like to remind you). That making good work was difficult,  that THE man, Bruce, the Boss, struggled and lost faith and was killing himself (rewind after endless rewind) trying to get it right, to wrangle his band, to make the lyrics click and the groove cook.   And it’s probably been the same forever, and always will be.  Doing good work is usually really fucking hard.  Amen.

Now I want to go read up about the making of Siamese Dream

Check out preview mixes from the new Too Late for Roses » right here

Photos from Show at Downtown Brew

August 15th, 2009

We had a great time – thanks Korie, DTB, Kip, and everyone… We were able to invite Chad Schmid of the Wadsworth Bluff Rats  to open for us, and we loved Threes and Nines high energy set.

Show with Threes and Nines

August 1st, 2009

Show Friday August 14th at Downtown Brew with Threes and Nines!

threes-and-nines-08-14-09Downtown Brew
1119 Garden St
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-3525
(805) 543-1843

All Ages!

Doors at 7:30
TLFR starts just after 8!

Fan Thank You Page

April 1st, 2009

Hi There –

» Click here to download the TLFR EP –  includes 3 selections from our new album Debut, released June 1.  Includes the song “The Satisfaction”, featured on Pat Smith’s new animated film, “Masks“.   Like what you hear?  Grab your copy of “Debut” over at iTunes or CD Baby.



Wyatt / Karl / Adrian

PS – tell us what you think over at Facebook or Myspace

Protected: Drum Music

April 1st, 2009

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:


January 1st, 1985

Welcome DA Classmates – Enjoy ‘1985’ – lyrics below.  This song is from Too Late for Roses album “Debut”.
Download a copy by right-clicking here.

Audio MP3

C.B. jackets, ice climbing lenses
Snowballs in the quad…
Click to download song and complete lyric

© Karl von Kries  2010