Photo by Jeanie Mayall
Photo by Carrie O'Brien
Denim TV Reunion show - Jan. 14, 2004 - Make-Out Room - San Francisco - Photo by Liam O'Brien
DENIM TV - Press
- Thundering out of the garages of Sausalito, Denim TV comes armed with an iffy name and a terrifically catchy, straightahead rock sound. In places they are reminiscent of the jittery art-funk-pop of the Embarrassment. (But then again, who isn't?). Elsewhere they dip into the R.E.M. chimebook for some affecting jangle and roots-folk consciuousness, while in other places they leap into the noise-rock maelstrom with the ghost of the Velvet Underground. (The clever "Can't Play Guitar" owes more than a little to "I Can't Stand It"). Denim TV rises above the indie pack by virtue of its musicianship, its wit, its serious (and slightly skewed) lyric perspective and the able production of Matt Wallace (Replacements). Faves: "Mr. Adult", the rampaging "In the Bag", the neatly ironic "What You Spend" and the jagged insights into human sexuality that are scattered throughout. We want more. - Joe Williams - CASHBOX - 5/20/89.
DENIM TV: DENIM TV
DENIM TV: DENIM TV - ...led by Sean O'Brien (a founding member of True West), Denim TV has a sound that was formulated in the same cloud of cow gas that bathed the brains of Russ Tolman, Steve Wynn, Scott Miller and Guy Kyser. This record doesn't have the big idiosyncratic edge that "makes" the best work of the aforementioned, but it is a packed tube of mid-paced guitar pop that barges into the turf surrounding such strange bedfellows as the Skeletons, early 11th Dream Day, and even the balladic side of Men & Volts. There's a little too much self-consciousness in the lyrics/vocals (imagine a jock who'd read and enjoyed later Faulkner), but this is sure to please afficianados of the central California sound. - Byron Coley - OPTION #15 - Forced Exposure - Summer 1989.
DENIM TV: DENIM TV - I've realized that the new wave of Southern rock has become quite infectious after listening to this album. If a San Francisco band can conjure up image's WVUA's (University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa) programming, then I'm going to be hard pressed to keep classifying this melodic pop/cow-punk brand of music as new southern rock (a la R.E.M., Green on Red, etc.). Jangly guitars and moderate tempos are the order of the day for this album. Produced by Matt Wallace (Replacements, Faith No More), Denim TV comes across as southern pop rock ("Mr. Adult" - R.E.M.ish, "Need It to Sleep" - Dream Syndicate/R.E.M.ish), as a bit more commercial ("When You Kill That Cow" - INXSish), and with a little counrtry ("Trouble Remembering" - definitely Green On Red style). Couple these comparisons with a few stronger cuts ("In the Bag", "Finger Inside"), and you have a very good album. It covers all the bases, all the intensities, and all the comparison you could ever want to make about a new band. I do like this band - it's just so easy to make comparisons. - Steve Petrovic - ALTERNATIVE PRESS - November 1989.
DENIM TV: DENIM TV - No nuclear science needed to figure out the subject matter of "Finger Inside", the best song on San Francisco band Denim TV's eponymous debut album. It's a rouser and it's immediately followed by a prime example of what Matt Piucci used to call "snake charmer music" - a long slow minor chord wonder, bordering on the hypontic. This one is called "OK Man I Will" and features Martin Pacholuk at the guitar controls, making certain you won't open the wrong basket. Denim's best song is too new for the L.P. It's the anthemic "I'll Think Of A Good One", and lead singer Sean O'Brien, who looks like Jim Carroll's younger brother, really leans into it to close their live set. O'Brien was in Davis, California, during their golden age and reportedly was a part of Thin White Rope during it's infancy. He is also in possession of some copies of the one and only single by the Suspects (Steve Wynn, Kendra Smith and Russ Tolman). All right O'Brien, let's talk turkey. Denim TV also have a cut on the excellent KUSF demo compilation album "Germ's Choice". This has unreleased elsewhere tracks by Bay Area bands Shiva Dancing, Monks of Doom and Eskimo amongst others. Well worth the search. - Jud Cost - BUCKETFUL OF BRAINS (UK) #30.
DENIM TV - Live review - Denim TV opened the twin gigs. Lead vocalist is Sean O'Brien, who looks like a combination of Jim Carroll's kid brother and 40's movie star Dan Duryea. Guitarist Martin Pacholuk's minor chording highlightened the moving "OK Man I Will" and the set roared to conclusion with the anthemic "I'll Think Of A Good One". - Jud Cost - FACE IT! - May 1989.
DENIM TV - Live review - Denim opened both sets with a fresh set drawn from their self titled album and spiced with several brand new tunes. Lead singer Sean O'Brien, once the original vocalist with True West, belies his veteran stance with an energy and ingenousness that charms and draws in the listener, especially on the tongue in cheek, "Finger Inside," as well as the brand new tune, "Railroad Station" where acoustic riffs give way to the charging guitar rush of Martin Pacholuk. Drummer Ihor Pacholuk and bassist Greg Bortolin abley underpin the rock rumble of Denim TV. Some of you more in the know modern rock fans should know Denim by the cut on KUSF's "Germ's Choice" sampler, "Close to His Kids," produced by Matt Wallace of Replacements' fame. Stay tuned to this TV, the sound is definitely on the way to a top Neilsen rating. - THE INFORMANT - May 1989.
DENIM TV: Denim TV - A four man rock outfit that's been getting lots of college radio airplay on the strength of this 12-song debut album, which foreshadows good things happening for them in a bigger way. The self-produced cuts like "OK Man I Will", "Trouble Remembering" and "In The Bag," are good - because they're good songs. But the band sounds even better on the ones produced by Matt Wallace, in particular "When You Kill That Cow" and "What You Spend". If D-TV could land an opening spot touring with an established act sometime soon, the exposure would give this album the attention it deserves. Another two years of hard work and this band could find itself in the same league as the Smithereens. - Chris Proctor - NOTE FOR NOTE - #5.
DENIM TV - Denim TV's newly released LP, Starving Rich (The group's second LP on its own Peligro label), finds the four bandmembers on the verge of no longer qualifying for a local band page. That is if they can take advantage of the favorable response the new album is likely to receive. Last year's self-titled debut earned airplay on over three hundred radio stations, but because of financial limitations, the Sausalito-based band was unable to follow with a tour. And this is a band that feels the need to get out of town now and then. "We've always had a bit of struggle locally," confides lead singer Sean O'Brien, "We don't really seem to have a place in the scene here." Denim TV combines a variety of tastes and influences into a sound that is catchy, intelligent and tough. With songs like "Do the Same" and "I'll Think Of A Good One," they take the anger and defiance of youth and combine it with catchy, melodic hooks. The result is a sound that, a la early Replacements, captures the sound of frustration. O'Brien cut his musical teeth in the thriving early '80's Davis scene, where he was a founding member, with Russ Tolman, of the Meantime, the group that went on to become True West. After brief stints in a number of Davis area bands, O'Brien moved to the Bay Area, where he formed DTV in 1986. O'Brien and drummer Ihor Pacholuk are the only remaining original members of the band, having since been joined by Ihor's brother Martin, and bassist Greg Bortolin. DTV's first effort was helped along by producer Matt wallace (the Replacements, Faith No More), who met the band one night after a gig at the Mabuhay Gardens. Wallace became a friend of the band and produced a six-song session for them before moving to LA. Five of the songs made their way onto the first LP. The second twelve-song effort is produced wholly by the band, and O'Brien likes it that way: "It's much more cohesive," he says. "It all sounds like us." - Alexandra Haslam - BAM - LOCAL MUSIC FOCUS - 3/9/90.
DENIM TV: STARVING RICH - Denim TV, the San Francisco-based band responsible for last year's college radio hit, "I Can't Play Guitar", has another release under their belts. puts me in mind of some of my Favorite Pop Summers of the Past, on such tunes as "I'll Think of a Good One". The warm summers spent in semi-friendly nightclubs where the beer flowed like mother's milk and Rickies filled the air, there was a promise of something romantic maybe happening later, and a lotta ride shares 'cause everyone had a car or was old enough to drive... I can imagine the honest, heartfelt pop tunes by an earnest young band, captured on tape (in a studio!) by an engineer who liked the band (as opposed to loving them), and doesn't fully realize what they're capable of. Sure, give them some stellar, crisp, real production, and you'll hear them on more than just college radio. But this is often what I like in a band - a band cutting its teeth in the studio, weaning itself from its own musical nipples... I'm getting way off track here. I like this record. Some really cool tunes - "Purple and White," good groove; "Embers" has some real memorable melodies; "We Capture" has a good, urgent feel to it, akin to the Bongos' "Bulrushes," and goes on. Buy it. - Manfred E. Hofer - CONTRAST #8 - 1991.
For "Purple and White"
This tune just keeps ya rollin!!!!
Really enjoyed The break downs & the smooth guitar leads & sound... The vox where right on to just enough effects... Keep up the great work...
Niagara Falls, New York
Purple and White?
I was trying to figure out who this super-familiar voice was, and finally it hit me! Ringo Starr! Nobody else sounds like Ringo, i thought. Anyway, lyrics sound, like, heavy, man. Is there an abortion or murder cover-up? i wish they let you read the lyrics when you're reviewing. The mood is cool; reminds me of Billy Bragg/ Morrissey's current band.
North Tonawanda, New York
For "Can't Play Guitar"
groove out -
Feels like a good time by the Beach jam out. Very fun song. I could see people at dance hall in the 60's dancing to this in mod suits. very retro. very cool
Kegger at Sunset Beach -
Good energy- a quirky little blend of Lou Reed, Kinks, and some obscure, not-too-serious arena rock band with a thing for surf guitar. Fun song that didn't make me think too much, but also didn't feel like a waste of my time. Well produced too.
DENIM TV'S Starving Rich broke the CMJ Top 100 Chart List during its initial weeks of release.
DENIM TV completed a national tour in support of its second album in the spring of 1990. The group played twenty-three shows on a six-week tour.
DENIM TV GIGS - 2004
January 14 - Make-Out Room, San Francisco CA
March 2 - Make-Out Room, San Francisco CA
July 23 - Stork Club, Oakland CA
July 24 - Hotel Utah, San Francisco CA
August 17 - Ireland's 32 - San Francisco