In August, Brooklyn indie rockers TV on the Radio released a pair of hard-rocking new singles, "Million Miles" and "Mercy." But listeners might not have realized that the drums were played by a seasoned San Diego musician.
Jake Najor, drummer for The Styletones, Chess Wars and Lord Howler, among many other projects, provided the drum tracks for both songs. As Najor explained to CityBeat, he was invited to do some session work with TV on the Radio guitarist / producer Dave Sitek on some new material that Sitek was producing for R&B singer Kelis. While Najor was in the studio, Sitek asked if he wanted to add some drum tracks to some new TV on the Radio songs. However, he didn't get that much time to prepare.
"I was asked the day before we were supposed to do it," Najor says. "So I just listened to it on the drive up a bunch of times."
Initially, Najor says, he was just supposed to record one track, "Million Miles," but while he was there, Sitek asked if he wanted to tackle "Mercy" as well.
"It was rough—it kinda wasn't finished yet," Najor says. "I was really just supposed to do the one song. And then Dave said, Hey, you wanna take a crack at this?'" In addition to the TV on the Radio and Kelis tracks, Najor also recently worked on some new material by Detroit singer-songwriter Holly Miranda, which Sitek also produced.
On Sept. 21, a group of local musicians will hold a benefit concert that also pays tribute to a friend. Amy Cole, then-girlfriend of Tide Pools songwriter Dustin Illingworth, died accidentally at age 31 in 2010, and in her honor, Tide Pools, Marie Haddad and El Monte Slim will play a concert at Cole's family's house in Point Loma. Tickets are $20 and benefit the Amy Cole Memorial Scholarship. amycole.brownpapertickets.com