Nov. 7 2012 02:53 PM

Blackout Party pays tribute to KUSI personality-plus, more music news

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Michael Turko
Photo courtesy: KUSI

KUSI personality Michael Turko has a new theme song. Written and recorded by local country-rockers Blackout Party, the rollicking, 30-second tune and accompanying YouTube video celebrates Turko's sharp instincts and nononsense mustache.

Turko, who's both admired and feared for his "Turko Files" segment, tells CityBeat that he loves the song. He played the video on his show last Thursday and says the station is interested in using it for a promo clip.

Blackout Party frontman Brian Holwerda says he's long regarded Turko as a larger-than-life local character. Though Holwerda isn't an avid "Turko Files" viewer, he's impressed by Turko's musical side: The reporter is a former member of the Guild of American Luthiers, and he builds guitars, violins and other stringed instruments in a big workshop.

Holwerda also digs Turko's ponytail, which he keeps tucked away while on camera.

"He's like a Hessian rocker at heart," Holwerda says.


More than a year ago, indie-rockers Ninja Love got a phone call from a guy in Amsterdam who discovered the local duo on Bandcamp. He liked their music and offered them a contract with MassiveTalent, an international group that gets licensing deals for artists. They signed the deal.

Now, their song "Gentle Sea Beast" is being used in a South American commercial for Axe body spray. Drummer Matt Liebowitz says the ad's been shown in Argentina, and their contract with Axe says it'll also appear in other South American countries. In exchange, Liebowitz says, the duo's been paid a "surprising" sum. He wouldn't say how much.

"We play a show, like, every two months. No one knows us," he notes with amazement. "I never thought [the ad] was real. … I was like, ‘Maybe somebody just made that. Maybe this is all part of some elaborate scam.'"

Email peterh@sdcitybeat.com or follow him on Twitter at @peterholslin.

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