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Letterman Starts Record Label, Signs Pop-Punk Band


Late Show host Dave Letterman has launched a new record label — and he just announced its first signee. Who could it be? No, not his “favorite band” the Foo Fighters, but a Huntington Beach, CA, pop-punk quintet called Runner Runner. That’s right: Dave, the pop-punk fan. Who knew?

The new label, called Clear Entertainment/C.E. Music, is a subsidiary of Letterman’s Worldwide Pants, Inc. production company, and will release Runner Runner’s self-titled debut later this summer in partnership with Capitol and MRV. The band are currently wrapping up recording efforts in Los Angeles with producer Dave Darling (Stray Cats, Brian Setzer, Soulive).

But is Runner Runner’s music any good? Will frontman Ryan Ogren, guitarists Nick Bailey and Peter Munters, bassist Jon Berry, and drummer James Ulrich rake in the cash for ol’ Dave? Their resumes are indeed loaded with relevant experience;

Berry was a founding member of pop-punk outfit Rufio; Ogren was the vocalist/guitarist for New Jersey emo group Don’t Look Down; and Munters, Bailey, and Ulrich were all members of skate-punks Over It. And while it’s not going to win accolades for artistic invention, Runner Runner’s music isn’t bad. In fact, it’s catchy like Twinkies are delicious: you know it’s bad for you but you can’t say no.

Their new single, “So Obvious,” has already racked up eight million plays on their MySpace page. Its sound — anthemic guitars, slick synths, and cheesy lyrics (“my heart beats for you”) — is familiar and cookie-cutter, but when it comes to record sales, those are good things.

What do you think of Runner Runner? Listen to “So Obvious” below, then tell us your thoughts in the comment section. Runner Runner are touring the U.S. this spring/summer. See their itinerary below.

Runner Runner, “So Obvious”

Runner Runner tour dates:
5/20, Portland, OR (Satyricon)*
5/22, Seattke, WA (El Corazon)*
5/23, Pocatello, ID (Icon)*
5/24, Salt Lake City, UT (Kilby Court)*
5/25, Colorado Springs, CO (Black Sheep)*
5/26, Salina, KS (The Blue Goat)*
5/29,Lake Charles, LA (Luna Bar & Grill)*
5/30, New Orleans, LA (The Parish @ House of Blues)*
5/31, Wichita Falls, TX (The Hangar)**
6/2, St. Louis, MO (Old Rock House)**
6/3, Poplar Grove, IL (Chubby Rain – House of Tunes)**
6/6, Las Vegas, NV (Wasted Space @ Hard Rock Hotel)*
6/8, Anaheim, CA (Chain Reaction)*
6/9, Ramona, CA (Ramona Mainstage)*
6/11, Temecula, CA (The Vault)*

* with Amber Pacific
** with Cartel