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Foreign Born Record Release Party ~ Tonight ~ Echo Park

Foreign Born Poster

The first time I saw Foreign Born I thought they were some A&R asshole's wettest dream: four handsome twenty-something white dudes playing '80s-influenced modern rock. That was back in June of '05, when their "In The Remote Woods" EP had just come out on StarTime Intl and they - along with a couple of other LA acts like the Adored and the Blood Arm - seemed ready to break out. I wound up going back to Spaceland every Monday that month during their residency, and each week the club was packed to capacity, with kids pumping their fists and suits nervously eyeing their competitors at the bar. Backed by a handmade lighting system that was triggered by pedals their bassist orchestrated, their music was widescreen, revealing, and passionate, and while their appearance suggested preppy Los Feliz kids, they were highly unique. Then, a funny thing happened: Foreign Born didn't blow up.

I always assumed that this was the kind of music Nic Harcourt would get a boner for, and that after the Brits jumped onto the bandwagon, Foreign Born would be up and away, opening for the White Stripes and playing festivals in Portugal. Instead, bands like Cold War Kids blew past them, and FB seemed resigned to doing half-assed gigs (like their show at the Hammer when they performed as a three-piece) and playing set lists that played up to the nickname their detractors called them: Four and Boring.

In the last few weeks, however, it seems like a fire has finally been lit under their asses. When the Rapture headlined at the Mayan last month, FB was there as support, displaying the driving foot tappers that got them noticed way back when, and this week they're featured on MySpace's music section, just got a slot on the first episode of the new show from the dude who did "The OC," and even Pitchfork gave them a nice review, accurately proclaiming them to be "full of vast, powerful tunes." Today their debut album, "On the Wing Now," finally gets released on Dim Mak, and tonight the band celebrates with a free show at the Echo with Eastern European women's choir Nevenka and lush droners In Waves.

Download: Union Hall by Foreign Born mp3

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