Prison for Kids

my fan page for my brother's band

by Alejandro Ochoa García

A wikipedia-style article of this amazing new band

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Prison for Kids is an American rock band founded by César Ochoa and Christopher Dreisbach in 2008. Drummer Keith Krey became an official member in 2014, although he played and recorded with the band before that. The band is based in Los Angeles, California, where they met, recorded, and have given numerous live shows. Prison for Kids plays a very wide range of forms of Rock, including Post-Punk, Garage Rock, Acoustic/Indie, Ambient/Experimental, Shoegaze, and Noise Pop. César and Chris have distinctive voices and writing styles. While every song is a collaboration between all band members, usually the main writer of each song is also its main singer.

Chris and César are primarily guitarists and vocalists. However, their early recordings feature the founders playing other instruments, with César credited for playing bass and keyboards, and Chris playing drums, percussions, synths, and the trumpet. Their full recording and live lineup changed constantly since their inception until 2014, when Keith became an official member. From 2011 to the present, Prison for Kids has played with three bass players: Michael Cameron (of Waterlaso), Andrew Behjatnia (of Chameleon Conductor, Persian mega-star Andy, many others), and Nick Cullen (also of Waterlaso). All Prison for Kids works has also been written and arranged by Chris and César. Owen Granich-Young is the band's guru and producer, and he has mixed most of their material. Aida Daneshvar has taken most of the band's pictures, including those used on this page. Aida has also been involved in some of the band's music videos.

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On the band's name

Chris told in this interview that it came to him in the summer of 2005:

I had just finished a long, hot day stripping moldy wallpaper from dorm rooms at Hampshire College. I was about two beers deep and watching a local news report on TV when I heard a reporter use the phrase "prison for kids." It sounded so weird to me; the lack of euphemism. Not "Juvenile Detention Center" but "Prison for Kids." I didn't even meet César for another three years but I knew, at that moment, that "Prison for Kids" was the band name.

César has also told me that he likes that it can be interpreted in so many ways, it has a different meaning for every person. In this interview he elaborated:

For me it means a lot of things now [...] I always just think, in any situation, people are all trapped. Whether it's the earth, where it's the city, your job or your life. In the end, everything's just a prison and we're all kids. We don't know what we're doing. When I was growing up I was thrown in juvenile prison in Mexico a bunch of times, just for drinking and being stupid. So for me it comes back to this idea of being trapped by forces that you don't see necessarily.

Their biography, in their words

On 2014-06-05 I ripped these awesome lines from their Facebook page:

Prison for Kids is the art-rock duo of Christopher Dreisbach and César Ochoa hailing from, arguably, the least dangerous town (St. Johnsbury, Vermont) and most dangerous city (Ciudad Juarez) respectively. The two met as directing graduate students at the American Film Institute Conservatory in 2008 and quickly united over their mutual passion for both the caustic, dissonant and delicate, ethereal spectrums of rock 'n' roll.

After recording dozens of lo-fi demos with cheap acoustic guitars and kitchen utensils the Kids' first "proper" sessions came in 2010, tracking songs for Ochoa's short film KILL KITTY KILL. Now ensconced in Los Angeles, Prison for Kids continue to evolve their old material, forge new sounds, and perfect their boisterous live show.

Before Prison for Kids

César Ochoa was born in El Paso, Texas, USA, but he was raised in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México. He has been playing guitar and bass since middle school. In his free time, he made a dozen short films between 2004 and 2006, all but the first of which feature a soundtrack of his own creation. He graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso on 2007, with a degree in Electronic Media and a minor in Film Studies.

Christopher Dreisbach was raised in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, USA. He studied Film and Studio Arts at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he became a friend and collaborator with Prison for Kids' future producer Owen Granich-Young. They formed OCD Films in 2004 and created many short films, including the award-winning The Nightingale Princess. He was part of a few amateur bands before Prison for Kids, including St. Johnsbury's first Post-Rock band mrepicfactory, whose members (Ben Boye, Clifton Ingram, and Connor Long) went on to form careers in avant-garde and experimental music.

Keith Krey is a career rock, pop, and jazz drummer based in Los Angeles, California. He has been playing the drums since age three, and has been performing with bands since grade school. Notably, he recently played with Waterlaso. Keith also attended a year at the Berklee School of Music in Boston. Keith met César and Chris through Aida.

2008 to 2010 - American Film Institute, band foundation

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César and Chris met in the fall of 2008 when both started studying directing at the American Film Institute (AFI), in Los Angeles, California. Their mutual interest in music got them playing together, and they started recording demos in 2009.

César directed and cowrote the short film Kill Kitty Kill (IMDB), in 2010 for his thesis at the AFI. The soundtrack of this short film consisted entirely of Prison for Kids material, which later became part of their Kitty EP (released in 2013).

Chris directed the science-fiction short Paracusia, which featured a score by his former mrepicfactory band mates.

César and Chris obtained their Masters of Fine Arts in film directing in the summer of 2010.

2011 to 2013 - First EPs

Prison for Kids started recording home-studio versions of many tracks as early as 2011, almost all of which would not be released until 2013 and 2014. The band's first released song was the acoustic Long Gone in March 2011. A music video for the track followed three months later, produced by the band's AFI classmates. Around the same time they composed the soundtrack for the short film Beau (released 2011-04-28), which was also work of their AFI classmates. In 2011 the band joined Michael Cameron's (of Waterlaso) Mountain Fighting boutique record label. Cameron also engineered the band's "Dirty Numbers" EP and produced the song "Blonde Baby." The band played many live shows around Los Angeles area during this period, at house parties and venues such as The Bootleg, Three Clubs, Los Globos, Ham & Eggs Tavern, Lot 1, and Space 1520. Some of the tracks released during this time were accompanied by music videos, as detailed below.

2013 - Kitty EP

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The "Kitty" EP is one of a 3-EP set released on the same day on 2013-01-22 on bandcamp. It is the soundtrack to the short film Kill Kitty Kill that the band made while at the AFI in 2010, but it includes additional tracks not featured in the film. The EP features a mix of rock, metal, and ambient; the band tagged it as "alternative, garage punk, lofi, post-rock, proto-metal". Jonathan Wald played drums in most of these tracks, but Chris played some drums too.

  1. Bees and Aches. Same version released on 2012-10-31 on soundcloud. Earlier version featured in "Kill Kitty Kill". A video of a live performance at The Other Door Bar from 2015-03-08 was posted on 2017-07-07 on YouTube.
  2. Kill Earlier version featured in "Kill Kitty Kill" (credited under the title "Queen Kill").
  3. Kino
  4. King
  5. Queen. Same version released on 2011-06-08 on soundcloud.
  6. 'Round 'Here. Earlier version featured in "Kill Kitty Kill".
  7. Tippy Toes. Same version released on 2011-06-06 on soundcloud. Earlier version featured in "Kill Kitty Kill". A video of a live performance at the Bedrock LA was posted on 2015-03-05 on YouTube.
  8. Deny the Obvious. Earlier version featured in "Kill Kitty Kill".
  9. Kitty. Earlier version featured in "Kill Kitty Kill".

2013 - Dirty Numbers EP

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The "Dirty Numbers" EP is one of a 3-EP set released on the same day in 2013-01-22 on bandcamp. The band tagged it as "alternative, garage rock, noise pop, rock rock, space rock". Keith plays all drums in this album.

  1. Blonde Baby. Same version released a year prior, on 2012-01-23, on soundcloud. Video released on the same date on vimeo.
  2. Suggestion. Earlier mix released 9 months prior, on 2012-04-11, on soundcloud. A video of a live performance at the Bedrock LA was posted on 2015-04-14 on YouTube.
  3. Pregnant (with Violence). Earlier mix released 9 months prior, on 2012-04-20, on soundcloud. A video of a live performance at the Bedrock LA was posted on 2015-03-23 on YouTube.
  4. Post-op Bumpin'
  5. Crayons. Same version released on 2013-01-17 on soundcloud.
  6. Party 2

2013 - It is What it Isn't EP

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The "It is What it Isn't" EP is one of a 3-EP set released on the same day in 2013-01-22 on bandcamp. The band tagged it as "alternative, dream pop, garage pop, indie rock, lofi, psychedelic rock, shoegaze". Chris played drums in this entire recording.

  1. Ampere Repair
  2. Do You Remember You? A video of a live performance at the Bedrock LA was posted on 2015-03-17 on YouTube.
  3. Breezy Hill. Same version released on 2013-01-10 on soundcloud.
  4. Low Fevers. Same version released 7 months prior, on 2012-06-23, on soundcloud.
  5. It is What iIt Isn't. Same version released on 2013-01-08 on soundcloud.
  6. Your Doubts. Same version released on 2013-01-14 on soundcloud. Video was released on 2013-05-29 on vimeo.

2013 - ἐκδύω EP

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The "ἐκδύω" EP was released on 2013-09-13 on bandcamp. The whole album was reposted on 2015-01-22 on YouTube. The band tagged it as "alternative, ambient rock, dream pop, indie, noisepop, psychedelic pop, shoegaze, space rock". Keith played drums in this album.

  1. Shift Tides
  2. If We're Right. Earlier version released on 2013-05-10 on soundcloud, with cover art shown below.
  3. In the Race
  4. Allow it. Same version released on 2013-09-15 on soundcloud, with cover art shown below.
  5. Sides. Same version released on 2013-09-15 on soundcloud.
  6. Descenso (y regreso). Same version released on 2013-09-15 on soundcloud. Video was released on 2014-01-23 on vimeo, reposted on 2015-01-22 on YouTube.
  7. ἐκδύω. Same version released on 2013-09-18 on soundcloud. Live video version recorded on 2015-03-08, released on 2016-08-31 on YouTube.
  8. Beneath the Tree. Earlier version released on 2013-06-26 on soundcloud.
  9. Who's Barbara?
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2011 to 2013 - Tracks not part of albums yet

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These three are expected to be part of an acoustic album in the future.

2014 to present

On 2014, Keith Krey became the full-time official drummer for Prison for Kids. Note, however, that Keith had been playing and recording with Prison for Kids since 2012. The band also released their first full-length album.

2014 - Swill Purl

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The band's first full-length album, "Swill Purl" (meaning "swill" [n], kitchen refuse and scraps of waste food mixed with water for feeding to pigs, and "purl" [n], to flow with a murmuring sound), was released on 2014-06-06 on bandcamp. The whole album was reposted on 2015-01-25 on YouTube. The band tagged it as "alternative, rock, avant indie, experimental rock, indie rock, post-punk, post-rock". The liner notes include the following description.

Our new album, Swill Purl, was born from César's sinuous acoustic guitar demos and overall disgust with partisan politics both above and below the Rio Grande. Over the course of several months, and with the aid of Chris and Keith, these demos blossomed into strange, bold, sometimes delicate songs.
  1. Beauty and the Doppelgängers. An earlier version was released a year prior, on 2013-06-19, on soundcloud and bandcamp, with cover art shown below.
  2. Lines (never end)
  3. Red Falcon Takeover
  4. Teresa
  5. Globetrotter An earlier acoustic version without words is featured a decade earlier, in César's 2004 short film Prelude, back then titled "Segregation" (unrelated to the next song).
  6. Segregator
  7. Lost Your Out. Released on 2014-06-04 on soundcloud. Joint video of this song and Al Caer was released on 2015-09-15 on YouTube.
  8. Al Caer. Released on 2014-06-04 on soundcloud. An earlier acoustic version without words is featured a decade earlier, in César's 2004 short film Annatar Hemophilliac, back then titled "A Lament". Joint video of this song and Lost Your Out was released on 2015-09-15 on YouTube.
  9. Por Temer
  10. The Lies that Brought Us Here
  11. Penthos (bonus track). This track is not present in the online version. The CD version has this track between Red Falcon Takeover and Teresa. Video was released on 2015-02-09 on YouTube.
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2015 - Revived Divine EP

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The "Revived Divine" EP was released on 2015-06-18 on bandcamp and YouTube. The band tagged it as "alternative, art rock, dream pop, experimental rock, noise pop, post-rock, psychedelic rock, shoegaze, space rock".

  1. On Night
  2. Who Cares. Released on 2015-06-19 on soundcloud.
  3. It Doesn’t Say. Released on 2015-06-19 on soundcloud.
  4. Somehow, Fearlessly
  5. Revived Divine
  6. Watts. Video was released on 2015-06-19 on YouTube.
  7. Scratched Fingers. Released on 2015-06-19 on soundcloud.
  8. Pünktlich. Released on 2015-06-19 on soundcloud.
  9. This is Barbara

2016 - New music

Music from an as-yet unreleased album.

  1. Business Decisions. Released on 2016-02-12 on soundcloud. Video was released on 2017-04-03 on YouTube.
  2. Astillas. Released on 2016-04-21 on soundcloud.
  3. Cheap to Fight. Live video recorded at the "5 Star Bar" on 2016-10-22, released on 2016-10-25 on YouTube.
  4. The Best Words. Released on 2017-01-20 on soundcloud.

Music videos

Repeating what was listed above in the album sections.

Lyrics and liner notes

Prison for Kids Lyrics
Prison for Kids Lyrics, and liner notes
Covers every release (albums, EPs, singles)
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Interviews and reviews

Links

You can follow them and see more of their material and exhaustive info at Bandcamp (full albums), Soundcloud (free promo single releases), YouTube (free music and videos), Tumblr (images and other announcements), Instagram (images), Twitter (anouncements), and Facebook (most announcements).

Disclaimer

This is somewhat of a promotional article, so not exactly Wikipedia material in that sense and others that follow. The author, Alex, is César's brother, so this article is biased. I also hereby disclose my financial interest in their success (César owes me money). This article is based on my own knowledge of the band and some freely-available online data, and fact-checked by the band in personal communications. Chris contributed some writing.

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