Daily Progress


The Daily Progress Entertainment Magazine
Friday, August 15, 2003

Coming Full Circle:  Big Circle moves forward with new songs and pays tribute to the Deal
By Jane Dunlap Norris
Daily Progress staff writer


When power-pop fans file into Outback Lodge tonight, they’ll hear Big Circle play some music by the Deal.  What they might not realize is that a dream is coming full circle, and it’s a big deal indeed.           

Big Circle has been performing power pop for two years now, said electric guitarist and vocalist Charlie Pastorfield.  He performs with acoustic guitarist and vocalist Mark Roebuck, electric guitarist and vocalist Rusty Speidel, bassist and vocalist Tim Anderson and drummer Jim Ralston.

Although the band is writing and performing its own music – enough for a debut CD, actually, which the band hopes to release later this year – the musicians originally got together in part to play songs by the Deal, an influential Charlottesville-based power-pop band that broke up 15 years ago.

From 1980 to 1988, the Deal performed up and down the East Coast, but its first nationally released album didn’t come out until July.  Not Lame Records, an independent label focusing mainly on power-pop bands, is behind “Goodbye September,” an anthology of music by the Deal.

Big Circle’s Roebuck, a founding member of the Deal, appreciates his new band’s role in keeping what made the Deal special alive – and finds sweet validation in the enthusiasm the CD has generated.

“It’s so small, but it’s so unbelievably gratifying to me,” Roebuck said.  “The whole Deal thing crashed and burned so badly back in the day.”

Roebuck said the Deal, which was on the brink of making a national name for itself, suffered from a combination of “really great good luck and really bizarre bad luck.”

The Deal’s history includes brush after brush with national prominence.  The band signed with Premier Talent Agency – home to such big-name acts as the Clash, Bruce Springsteen, Talking Heads and the Who – and Bearsville Records, a label tied to Warner Brothers.  Impressed impresario Albert Grossman, former manager of Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan, committed to releasing the band’s recordings.

A promising EP for Bearsville never got released after Warner Brothers severed ties with the label.  In January 1986, during his Concorde flight to Europe to market the Deal there, Grossman died of a heart attack.  Layers of legal tangles kept the Deal’s breakthrough tapes in limbo.

And then there’s another glimpse of what might have been, another swish-and-spit taste of the big time.  Roebuck co-wrote a song, “The Song that Jane Likes,” with another Charlottesville resident and watched the album launch an influential national band.  The co-writer was Dave Matthews; the CD was “Remember Two Things.”

Enough Deal fans, and member of other bands who credit the Deal as an influence, remain that “Goodbye September” was Not Lame’s biggest seller last month and is its fourth biggest seller so far this month, Roebuck said.

“They’re not going to regret having believed in us,” Roebuck said of the label.

Roebuck is gratified to see fans of the Deal show up for Big Circle gigs.

There’s a handful of really supportive old fans who are coming out to the shows,” he said.

But Roebuck isn’t living in the past.  Rather, he is pleased to find himself in Big Circle, a band that offers so many of the enriching facets of the band experience that he’d craved.

He said that two of Big Circle’s originals, “Heaven Eleven” and “Diamond,” are the real deal – genuine group efforts.

“I’ve never enjoyed playing with anybody more than these guys,” Roebuck said of his Big Circle cohorts.  “We are loving playing together.  It’s the most positive musical experience I’ve ever had.

“No head games.  Everybody contributes.  This has been an incredible couple of years since this process started.”

If you’re not sure what “power pop” is, consider Not Lame’s definition of “essentially a cross between the melodic sound of the Beatles and the crunch of the Who.”

Pastorfield characterizes Big Circle’s sound by saying, “The great majority of it is power pop – as in the Beatles, the Raspberries, Matthew Sweet, with heavier guitars than usual.”

The guitar-rich sound benefits from the contrast in his and Speidel’s playing styles by avoiding the muddy, heavy effects of duplicated parts, Pastorfield said.

“It’s very fortunate that my style and Rusty’s are so totally different,” Pastorfield said.

Pastorfield’s also impressed by the band members’ dedication to each other.  The musicians juggle busy lives filled with work and family obligations, and yet they meet every week to rehearse.

“It’s like Monday night poker, but no cards and no whisky,” Pastorfield said with a chuckle.  “We’re doing it once a week and that’s pretty astonishing.”

Pastorfield said the professionalism of the band has been educational even for experienced musicians, adding that Roebuck and Speidel “are taking us to school.”

Vocals are also important.  “Mark does the lion’s share of the singing,” Pastorfield said.  “Everybody takes a swipe at it.  It’s usually obvious who’s right for a song.”

“There’s a whole science to arranging the vocals for the right sound.  If you can’t blend your voices, it just sounds like five people wailing away.”






1980s pop music 1980s rock music 60s rock music 70s music 70s rock band 70s rock music 80s music 80s rock band 80s rock music 90s rock music alex chilton all music guide alternative indie alternative indie music rock alternative rock band alternative rock bands alternative rock music american pop music amplifier amplifier magazine amplifier magazines amplifiers ardent studio ardent studios arista record arista records atlantic record atlantic records audio cd cover background music badfinger barenaked ladies bearsville bearsville studio bearsville studios big circle big star big star lyric big star tab big star video billboard music bmg music service brian wilson britpop burning core buy cd buy cds capitol record cd cd burning cd case cd copy cd cover cd creator cd key cd label cd maker cd music cd now cd now com cd player cd receiver cd recorder cd ripper cd store cd stores cd to mp3 cd universe cda to mp3 cds census record cheap trick cherry twister chris bell cinnamon square classic rock band classic rock music columbia record connells connells flower convert mp3 convert mp3 to wav convert wma to mp3 copy cd cotton mather crowded house dave matthews dave matthews album dave matthews balbum dave matthews band dave matthews bbass tab dave matthews bbootlegs dave matthews bbusted stuff dave matthews bbusted stuff lyric dave matthews bchord dave matthews bcom dave matthews bconcert dave matthews bconcert ticket dave matthews bcover art dave matthews bcrash dave matthews bdiscography dave matthews bdownloads dave matthews beveryday dave matthews bguitar tab dave matthews bicon dave matthews bio dave matthews biography dave matthews blillywhite session dave matthews blogo dave matthews blyric dave matthews bmp3 dave matthews bofficial site dave matthews bootlegs dave matthews bphoto dave matthews bpic dave matthews bpicture dave matthews bquote dave matthews bscreen saver dave matthews bset list dave matthews bsetlist dave matthews bsetlists dave matthews bsong dave matthews btab dave matthews btablature dave matthews bticket dave matthews btour dave matthews btour date dave matthews busted stuff dave matthews bvideo dave matthews bweb site dave matthews bwhere are you going dave matthews concert dave matthews concert ticket dave matthews cover art dave matthews cover band dave matthews discography dave matthews guitar dave matthews guitar tab dave matthews lillywhite session dave matthews lyric dave matthews lyric where are you going dave matthews lyrics dave matthews mp3 dave matthews photo dave matthews pic dave matthews picture dave matthews quote dave matthews set list dave matthews setlist dave matthews song dave matthews song lyric dave matthews tab dave matthews tablature dave matthews ticket dave matthews tim reynolds dave matthews tour dave matthews tour date dave matthews video dave matthews where are you going dave matthews where are you going lyric direct cd dmb downloadable music downloading music drive thru record dwight twilley easy cd edit mp3 elvis costello empire record entertainment mp3 entertainment music epic record ez cd creator fools face fountains wayne free cd free download mp3 free download music free downloadable music free mp3 free mp3 converter free mp3 download free mp3 download site free mp3 file free mp3 music free mp3 music donwloads free mp3 music download free mp3 music downloads free mp3 player free mp3 site free mp3 song free mp3 to wav converter free music free music download free pop music free pop music downloads free rock music free rock music downloads fufkin gigolo aunts gin blossom gin blossom lyric gin blossom mp3 gin blossom tab goodbye september guided by voices guitar music haines fullerton hard rock band hear music history pop music history rock music history rock roll music hollies hugh patton independent record label indie indie artist alternative rock indie band indie fest indie label indie lyric indie magazine indie media indie mp3 indie music indie music label indie music magazine indie music review pop indie network indie news indie pop indie pop live indie radio indie record indie record company indie record label indie rock indie rock magazine indie rock mp3 indie rock music indie rock tab indie style international pop overthrow internet music ipo jellyfish linus hollywood listen to music listen to pop music listen to rock music live rock band local rock band lyric dave matthews lyric dave matthews band lyric pop music lyric to pop music mark roebuck marshall crenshaw matthews sweet mca record mp3 mp3 album mp3 burner mp3 cd mp3 cd burner mp3 cd maker mp3 cd player mp3 converter mp3 decoder mp3 download mp3 download program mp3 download site mp3 downloader mp3 encoder mp3 file mp3 file sharing mp3 finder mp3 free mp3 free download mp3 free music rock n roll mp3 gratis mp3 juke box mp3 maker mp3 midi mp3 mixer mp3 music mp3 music download mp3 music downloads mp3 player mp3 player download mp3 player review mp3 recorder mp3 rip mp3 ripper mp3 search mp3 search engine mp3 search tool mp3 share mp3 sharing mp3 site mp3 software mp3 song mp3 song download mp3 to cd mp3 to wav mp3 to wav converter msn music much music music music artist music book music box music cd music chart music chat music city music club music download music download site music downloading music festival music file music free download music lyric music lyric rock pop music maker music match music match juke box music mp3 music mp3 download music news music note music online music player music pop music review music rock music sample music search music sharing music site music store music to download music video musica mp3 my music myracle brah new music new pop music new rock band new rock music nick lowe not lame notlame online music pezband picture rock band plimsouls pop guitar music pop music pop music artist pop music chart pop music download pop music downloads pop music group pop music history pop music lyric pop music lyric search pop music online pop music portal pop music star pop music tab pop music video pop rock music pop sheet music portable mp3 player power pop powerpop progressive rock music punk rock band ratt rock band record record album record albums record companies record company record contract record contracts record deal record deals record label record labels record sale record sales record store record stores records rem rem album rem band rem discography rem electronic rem everybody hurt rem guitar tab rem inc rem koolhaas rem koolhas rem koolhass rem koolhaus rem losing my religion rem losing my religion lyric rem lyric rem mp3 rem music rem official rem sleep rem song rem song lyric rem tab rhino record rock b70s rock band rock bands rock blist rock blogo rock bpic rock bpicture rock bratt rock btool rock btour date rock bweb site rock bwho rock music rock music archive rock music artist rock music bsite rock music cd rock music chart rock music concert rock music download rock music downloads rock music history rock music links rock music lyric rock music magazine rock music message boards rock music online rock music review rock music site rock music sound clip rock music tab rock music tablature rock music video rock music wallpaper rock music wavs rock music web site rock n roll band rock n roll music rock pop music rock roll band rock roll bands rock roll music rosenbergs rundgren todd search mp3 sony record sony records sparklefest speeding lisa splitsville squeeze sub seven teenage fanclub the beach boys the beatles the byrds the connells the dB s the dave matthews band the deal the deal band the gin blossom the history pop music the history rock music the kinks the knack the posies the producers the raspberries the replacements the rock music the romantics the shazam the shoes the smithereens the song that jane likes the who rock band the wondermints the zombies todd rundgren todd rundgren connection todd rundgren discography todd rundgren hideaway todd rundgren lyric todd rundgren mp3 todd rundgren tab todd rundgren tour date todd rundgren utopia top rock band top rock bands top rock music tower record tower records tribe heaven underground rock band unsigned indie artist velvet crush vinyl record vinyl records virgin record virgin records virtual cd vital records wav to mp3 web music wheezer wilco yahoo music