The Audiophiles: live from the teenage angstland




I've posted before about Bay Area musician Greg Fleischut, the hyper-talented 15-year-old who plays in the fiery and awesomely-named bluegrass band The Lil' Billies, records his own solo folktronica, and, as of late, fronts an all-teenager indy rock outfit called The Audiophiles. (Above, from left to right, Jeremy Lyon Fleischut, and Zak Mandel Romann. Not pictured, drummer Jacom Blumberg. Photos by Jonathan Koshi from his Flickr photoset.) This year, the Audiophiles have been gigging all over the Bay Area, from Berkeley to Palo Alto, even though they're not old enough to get into some of the venues where they're performing. The Audiophiles recorded an EP (5 songs for $5) titled "This Party Has Just Started" that they're selling at their shows and are in the studio once again. Here is "Dance Wit Me," one of my favorite tracks from the first EP:

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From Jess Hemerly's review of a recent show, posted at The Owl:

For music-loving teenagers, forming a band with friends is a rite of passage. Most of these bands never get much farther than friends' birthday parties or the high school auditorium stage, but every once in a while something unusually good emerges from the world of lockers, lunch money, and late slips – and I'm not talking about Hanson. While so many teenagers are wrapped up in the self-loathing world of emo, the Bay Area's Audiophiles have a much more lighthearted outlook on being kids. They also happen to be great musicians making some great indie rock, and not just for a bunch of teenagers. They're better than a majority of the local bands I've been subjected to lately.

Unfortunately, the 21-and-over Elbo Room is not the best venue for a group of teenagers. I heard the bouncers talking about them as I locked up my bike outside: "They either have to stay backstage or outside. They're not allowed anywhere else, there's nothing we can do." Not only were they prohibited from watching the bands after them, they also had to perform with big X's scrawled on the backs of their hands in black marker. Hopefully the audience realized that they don't associate with the "straight edge" movement, they're just minors…


Between the back-to-back guitar jam, a crotch-grab fakeout, the bassist's tight pants, and the drummer's sunglasses, they are a little awkward but they are far from pretentious. Frontman Greg Fleischut's voice may sound a like a young and innocent Stephen Malkmus but you'd be hard-pressed to find evidence of a massive Malkmus-like ego. Coming from a genuinely optimistic place, their lyrics remind you that being a teenager sucked, but it wasn't the worst thing in the world. It was a time of discovery, experimentation, and exploration that can be awful one minute and fantastic the next. Link

For those in the Bay Area, The Audiophiles play on Saturday, September 1, at the Oakland Metro.

Link to The Audiophiles on MySpace

Previously on BB:
• Greg Fleischut: The Lil' Billies at Maker Faire and The Audiophiles Link

• Greg Fleischut's teenage folktronica and bluegrass Link