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2004-10-00 - Long Island Press: Music B-Side

By Glenn Haussman

There's nothing common about Common Rotation. In fact, everything these guys do deliberately goes against convention.

Night after night, their performances are drastically altered. Set lists are different, each song shifts between musical genres, even the band's lineup changes. There could be a horn section one night, a stripped-down acoustic experience the next and a hard-driving classic rock 'n' roll show after that.

While it could be hard for any musician to keep up with such frenzied daily changes, that's the way Common Rotation vocalist Adam Busch likes it. It's no sweat for Busch; he even changes careers, switching between his rock star aspirations and acting jobs as time permits. To many he's known as Warren, a nemesis to Sarah Michelle Gellar on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But for now he's put a stake in his acting career to concentrate on Common Rotation.

Busch, along with singer-guitarist Eric Kuffs, form the heart and soul of Common Rotation. The two East Meadow natives met in a sixth grade art class and bonded immediately after realizing they were the only two in the room who'd heard of Elvis Costello. Later on they formed a band, performing for the first time at their high school talent show. (Common Rotation is rounded out by drummer Ken Bech, who Busch met in his school's jazz band, and bassist Michael Uhler.)

According to Busch, Common Rotation is all about "pop songs with depressing lyrics and catchy melodies." Their songs are rooted in folk tradition, and they build their ever-changing musical framework on this solid foundation.

"We're not a band just playing a record you own when we are on stage," says Busch.

Because they mix it up every night, the band has developed a rabid following that travels from show to show. Their fans also create fan websites and trade the latest versions of their favorite songs.

Which brings up the question of downloading music. Though there's been a lot of discussion lately about the ethical and legal issues on file-sharing, Busch says most artists that fear people getting music from the Internet have got it all wrong.

"Having music passed on to me or downloading from the Internet is how I got into most of the music I like," he says. "Any artists afraid of that affecting sales are completely out of their head. [A listener] may not immediately buy the album, but they'll support you in some way such as buying a concert ticket."

Busch says Common Rotation even serves up live tracks and studio demos on their website to continue to nurture their fan base by getting them to have an emotional connection to their material. Fans can even post their comments and swap stories as they hear each song develop.

"It has been pretty exciting," says Busch. "Our fans have an obsessive-compulsive need that comes into play so we get a really good response from them."

Common Rotation will be playing an acoustic set October 18 as part of the 20th Annual Oyster Festival in Oyster Bay. More information is available on their website, www.commonrotation.com.


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