Culture watch

LaMotte Hangs Up His Guitar

In local singer/songwriter circles, there are few people as well-known or well-thought-of as David LaMotte. Over the last 17 years, LaMotte has earned an enviable reputation for not only putting out an outstanding collection of work (including 10 albums, not to mention the award-winning kid’s book S.S. Bathtub), but also for his highly professional approach to music. Sadly, after years of successful touring, LaMotte has decided to give up his gig as a touring musician. No, he’s not bitter about never getting a gold record or anything, he’s just changing his career so that he can follow his other great passion; peace work. According to a mass email he sent out last week, LaMotte has accepted a Rotary International fellowship, and will be pursuing a master’s degree in Peace Studies. But there is a silver lining to this grim cloud, as the popular folk musician also announced plans for a year-long farewell tour which should end sometime in fall of 2008. The tour will see him return to some of his favorite haunts across the country, and allow him to play at venues in the five remaining states where he has yet to perform. While news of the retirement is definitely a bummer, the real questions is: How long will it last? Given that LaMotte has devoted so much of his life to music, it’s a little hard to believe that he’ll give it up forever. Culture Watch predicts his return to the stage as early as 2009. Learn more at

Secret Lives Score A Victory

Last month, Culture Watch reported that local “screamo” outfit Secret Lives of the Freemasons were hinting none-too-subtly that they were on the verge of hooking up with a new label. Now, the cat is out of the bag: SLotF recently signed with hardcore/punk/indie outfit Victory Records. That’s kind of a big deal, as Victory is the backing label behind a number of well-known groups such as Atreyu and Silverstein. (Not to mention Hawthorne Heights, who had a high-profile split with the company in mid-2006.) Although the exact details of the deal haven’t been announced, it’s safe guess that SLotF is getting at least as good of a deal as they had with their last label, Astro Magnetics. The group should announce more details about the release of their second album, The Weekend Warriors, very soon. To learn more, visit


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