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The view from the Palace Ballroom these days is good. Timothy Joseph emails that a producer of some stature is all over his band's latest project, recorded at his Studio 350/Phaser Control studio in Grantville, and he's happy with the results.

Mark Needham, who has worked with Cake and The Killers and Fleetwood Mac liked what he heard at a recent Palace Ballroom showcase gig in LA. He signed the band to a development deal.

Needham mixed the band's San Diego tracks in Los Angeles in exchange for points on the back end, "the same deal he made with The Killers," says Joseph.

"You have to have a team of people working with you," he says by phone. "A producer, a mixer, someone to master. And their ideas all have to coalesce."

Which in this case, they did. Joseph wanted the Tom Petty sound for example, and he got it.

"Through Mark Needham, we actually got the guy that mastered Damn the Torpedoes to master our CD," he says.

I got an advance download of "Descender" and I immediately heard the radio-ready high production value of a song built around some clever pop hooks. But then another thing jumps out at a listener: this track is not at all even close to the kind of music that Joseph has done in the past. He agrees.

"We are all deep into our indie-hardcore-punk roots. This is very different for us. We made a decision," he says, "to be commercially viable."

The digital release date for "Descender" is October 1. But you can't download the whole album -- that might take a year, or more, because Joseph says his band plans to release only one track per month.

The Palace Ballroom is a fairly new band in the grand scheme of things, but they've already gotten radio attention from FM 94.9 and KROQ, and are up for a San Diego Music Award.

"Not bad for a band that's only been around for a year," says Joseph.

He's right.

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