LIVE EN VIVO Magazine
STYX Live Fox Theater Salinas
Local Favorites Andrew Heringer Vocelka August Sky Grito Doleres Mortero De Piedra
Joan Baez Golden State Theater Monterey
Premier Issue Live En Vivo Magazine
Live En Vivo Magazine
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Febuary 2009 Contents www.liveenvivo.com myspace.com/liveenvivo
3 Grace Potter
Rick Bรกez Publisher Editor, Sales Layout, Distribution firstname.lastname@example.org 831-676-7248 Contributing writers Juan Galow Vanessa Garcia Ryan Pagan Sean R. Hernรกn Fisgรณn
And Blues and Lasers
4 The Andrew Heringer Band Charismatic Conquerer 6 Grito Doleres Latin Rock from Watsonville
Graphics Bill D. Rick Bรกez 9
The Andrew Heringer Band 8 Styx Live Fox Theater Salinas
9 Joan baez
Folk legand-Gold State Theatre
10 Vocelka From the stage to the grave
12 Mortero De Piedra A savvy blend of Music
13 Joan Baez Folk legand graces Montereys Golden State Theatre
14 Band Show Case August Sky Picture Me Broken She Likes Daylight
Mortero De Piedra 15 Shattered Atom La bands bold new sound
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals with Blues and Lasers. By Krista K
ave you heard of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals? I had once. I knew she was a blonde with powerful vocal chords and a decent backing band. On December 15th, I was to learn a lot more. The show took place at a small venue called “The Independent” in San Francisco, around the Embarcadero District. It’s highly reminiscent of the old venue “The Gaslighter” in Gilroy. The venue contains a lovely fully stocked bar in the back and seating on either side, with giant stage up front. I was fortunate enough to get a seat as I got there early, but the place started filling up fast, and within ten minutes it was standing room only. The crowd was mixed, college students, hippies in sandals and tye-dye, aging rockers, parents (including mine ha!), and me in my cheetah print leggings and leather jacket. It was neat to see such a meeting of the the tribes, such a variety of people, all talking and socializing, drinking and waiting for the opening band, “Blues and Lasers.” I had no clue what to expect from band with this name. I knew they were from Vermont and made up most of Grace Potter’s backing band, so I was intrigued. Were they going to play the blues B.B King style and give us a Jefferson Starship or Poison-like light show? The lights dimmed and my question was answered very quickly. The first thing I see is no lasers and five good looking’ guys. I’m happy so far. The guys picked up their instruments, got the light show going (yes!) and the party started. Their songs were full of swank, swagger and reminded me a bit of older Aerosmith or Hawkwind. The thing I love about the blues is the emotion that comes with it, whether it’s libidinous or sad. No wonder this genre has been around so long and continues to evolve, sustain and mutate into bands like what I was hearing. The more they played, the more I got into it. Every song was a hip-shaker. More than once the band breaks into a beautiful harmonious melody, stunning the crowd. The guitars were bluesy and spacey at the same time. Everyone was moving. Every instrument sounded beautiful and every song contained just enough blues that I felt something so powerful, but it wasn’t sad. And just like every good
band should, they came out with an overly impressive encore. After the set was over, I was blown away. Could it get better than this? I had the privilege to take a minute or two to speak to drummer Steve Sharon and ask him a few questions about this mind-blowing band. Here’s what he had to say. It was pitch black and Grace was set to go on in a few minutes, so I made it quick. KK: First off, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I enjoyed the set. I’m highly curious about your influences… Steve Sharon: Oh man, the Black Keys, Led Zepplin, Frank Zappa, J.R. Kimbrough and the Allman Brothers. There are a lot, but those are what I can think of right now. KK: Zappa is a necessity. How did you find your way to Blues and Lasers? SS: I knew Scott from Grace Potter’s band, and went to college with him in Vermont. KK: Why do you play? What keeps your passionate about Blues and Lasers? SS: I love that we’re trying hard to replace what rock and roll should be, as opposed to the pop rock that’s around now. KK: Definitely, it’s not the same. SS: The Jonas Brothers are NOT rock n’ roll! KK: I’m quoting you on that. Thanks for your time and talent! After my chat and a good laugh with Steve Sharon, I grabbed a drink and settled in for Grace Potter. Grace opened with a growl and a pack of bluesy, howling guitars. She was clad in a short black skirt, tall fringed boots, a clingy tank top, a cowboy belt and two of the shiniest hugest silver necklaces I’ve seen. I’m already inspired. Her hair is blonde with blunt bangs, to her shoulders, and from second one of the show, you know she’s in charge. The first number she purrs, “I don’t need no sugar,” tossing that blonde mane around like a headbanger out of control. The feeling here is lots of heartbreak and tons of slink and a heaping dose of swagger. She calmly sits at the piano next and coos “c’mon…treat me right.” seconds later screaming “TREAT ME RIGHT!!” This woman has seen her share of heartbreak, bad relationships and maybe just plain bad luck. “Give me Love, please…” she almost demands in the next number. Song by song, she reveals her indiscretions and vulnerability, peeling back each layer, letting us all see her as she is. Song by song she also has a band member bring up a different vintage guitar so she can shred along with her tunes. “I’m a no good mother, I’m a no good wife.” she confesses one moment, seconds later begging “Hey St. Peter, open up those pearly gates.” I think he will, based on this performance alone. It’s almost ethereal. Grace Potter looks and sings like a rock and roll angel if I’ve ever seen or heard one. This is someone who took their incidents and accidents and turned them into precious numbers like the aforementioned. She takes us through all her emotions, with her voice as your guide. But she doesn’t just leave it there. Just when I thought the show as over, she got on her knees and started banging the bass drum, chanting and howling. To top it all off, she transitions into a killer cover of Steve Millers ‘Big Ol’ Jet Airliner’ and rocks the house for the final song. The crowd went wild. This show blew me away. Both bands delivered beyond belief. There’s a new queen of rock in town, and her name is Grace Potter. I’ll leave you with a quote from one of Grace’s best songs, which she dedicated to a struggling friend,
“This too, my friend shall pass, so play every show like it’s your last.” Live En Vivo Magazine Feb 2009
The Charismatic Conquerer An interview with Andrew Heringer by Juan Garlow
s Andrew Heringer took the stage at Monterey Live!, even before the lights dimmed, a hush fell over the crowd. Purportedly the musician with the most fans named “Molly” on Myspace, Heringer’s extensive theater background goes a long way on stage. Heringer grew up a multi-instrumentalist, but was not one to spread his talents too thin; his technical skill involving the guitar matches the skill level of his songwriting, especially “Morgan the Conquerer”, a clever song about his sister conquering the world. Proving he is still human, halfway through his set, Max called his cell phone. Heringer answered, and asked the audience to say hello to an embarrassed Max. With music in the vein of Dave Mathews, Heringer proves it to be thoroughly modern, yet evoke memories of childhood, not unlike Jack Johnson. Heringer sits down with Live en Vivo Magazine to tell us about what it’s like to be an independent musician. Live en Vivo: Tell me a little bit about yourself, childhood-wise? Andrew Heringer: I grew up in the small town called Placerville. Little mountain town. But yeah, I lived with a lot of women; mother and sister. LEV:Morgan the Conquerer? AH: (laughs), yeah, Morgan the conquerer. I mean, my dad was around, but I was really close to my mom. And for some reason, that really shaped me. I went to a private school, until fourth grade, to this school called Waldorf. It was like fourth grade and it’s a big art school, and I learned violin there. I was taking lessons and did well in the classes. So yeah, it was a cool atmosphere, all about creativity and imagination, getting your kids away from the television. Did a lot of the violin, junior symphony. Then at some point, 4
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I picked up a guitar. LEV: What kind of music influenced you then? AH: Early 90’s rock. Just put my head into the radio and listen to that stuff. Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins. You know, the kind of stuff that was happening then. My parents would always listen to music to, like Tom Petty and George Thorogood. But my Grandma, who lives in Carmel, she just bought me a guitar one day (laughs). It just ended up there one day. But I did a lot of theater, too, in college. But I love stories, and I think it kind of shows. LEV: You’ve obviously tried to implement some of that training on stage. AH: Oh yeah, I had this moment, before I went to college that was like, do I go to music or do I go into theater, and looking back on it, I was watching to a lot of musicians on stage, and they were just so awkward, it drove me nuts. I tried to learn how to be comfortable on stage, so I did acting and directing and musical theater. But my favorite thing I did in college was music for theater. So I would sit on the side of the stage and play like a soundtrack. It was the coolest thing in the world. I would go into the rehearsals, and actors would be rehearsing, and bring things like a Dobro, and write during rehearsals with the actors. Eventually, it just started to click. I did that quite a bit. Thats a lot of fun. LEV: You play more than just guitar. AH:Yeah, pretty much anything with strings, I can figure out in a few minutes. I mean, I play mandolin a lot and drums and piano. I can pick up a banjo and that kind of stuff.
LEV: So you have that kind of instrumentation on your record? AH: Yes. I had a weird arc; I started recording in college with a buddy of mine, pretty much out of his apartment. And when we started out, I didn’t think it was going to become an album. I mean it was pretty much an acoustic guitar, and we put in some weird voices like violins and some percussion. But it was pretty minimal, and that was the first record. We put out, actually four records, and I’ve done one every year for the last four years. And so, the second one was, the thing about it for me was that the first three were really just me experimenting, but this last one, Paradise Sessions, are actually songs from the last three albums, played with a full band. Us, really figuring out how to do it, what we were doing. I view it kind of as my start, like my first legitimate album; I know I can hand this to anyone and say confidently “I am proud of this”. LEV: Who do you identify with, musically? AH: I’ve gone the independent musician route, and it’s not something you see a lot. And when you go to these different shows, and I meet these people, and I identify with these people who do these shows, and trying to network. So, I guess personally and emotionally at this point in my life, I identify with all these other people because it takes so much. Not only do you have to have good shows, and good songs, but you have to be a good performer, and you have to book shows, and you have to have friends to come to shows, and you have to have a website and and a Myspace, and you have to have good equipment... There’s so many things that go into, and every musicians just starting out, its like, “go us!”. As far as influences, Bryan Adams, and Dave Mathews was a big one for me, Bob Dylan, just different parts of my life. I listen to a lot of jazz. But right now, I’m really into songwriters. It was cool, because I had this really broad education in music, and I finally had this thing that really narrowed it down. So yeah right now I’m really into songwriters. The decemberists, groups like that. Strong melodies, strong lyrics, good vibe.
there were these 10 people who contacted me from Australia saying they really like it want such. It’s just the power of music, and giving it away. Don’t be afraid of giving away your music. They key to becoming a successful musician, is being able to have a demand for you and your music. And the funny thing about music is that it’s the only art that we have to be sold on it before we actually buy it. You have to be so sold on music. For me, I just want to get it out there and let people sample it. I’m just trying to build people up on it. Right now, I don’t need it to be a financial thing, I need it to be my calling card, and my identity. How people know me.
LEV: When did you decide to really dive in and become a working musician? AH: Last year (laughs). When I graduated from school. I love acting, I love theater, but I knew this was the thing that if I didn’t give a couple years of my life to, that I would regret it later on. So yeah, last year, and I played 75 shows last year, and I’m pretty proud of that as an independent musician. I do my own book, recording, that kind of stuff. LEV: So you’ve been on tour? AH: Yeah, I’ve done an official tour this last January earlier this year. Like, Oregon, California, Washington. And the rest of the year, I’ve played in New York. So yeah, I’ve gone around a lot. LEV: What’s touring lifestyle like? AH: Never know when you’re going to get to bed. Sleep schedule is never on. Funny thing is, time wise, we would usually wake up about 11 or 12, eat breakfast at 1 or 2 in the afternoon, eat lunch before we went to the venue at six, play, get out of the venue at like 11 at night, then go eat dinner at 1. It’s like the whole day was shifted back like 5 hours. Touring is really cool when you can go to places like Seattle, and have people come out. It’s like you see the whole west coast as like a little community, and they help us out, and it’s great to have that kind of support. It’s getting to the point where we’ll go to places, and the audience isn’t all just my friends. I appreciate that they’re there. LEV: So how do you define success? AH: I’d like to just be able to pay rent, and say I sell CD’s and play shows for money. But that’s like financial success. I think if you’ve got great people around you, that’s success. I feel like I’ve been successful in that way. I’ve had fun. LEV: You offered some of your songs for download? AH: I have some of my songs on my website for free, and if you join the mailing list and such. What I’ve been doing lately is, people add me on Myspace, and I’ll ask if they want a free song. For me, I’m not losing money on an MP3. What is it doing just sitting on my hard-drive? So I give a song, and that one song has so much more people, and that’s the cool thing about music, it just snowballs. There’s this guy in Australia, and
LEV: What are your thoughts on the major label system. AH: You know, obviously it’s crashing now. It’d be great, I mean, they have power and connections, and thats really what this business is all about, connections. The big ones still have connections, but obviously, you could do all this stuff on your own. As long as you have a little financial backing, you can do all this stuff on your own. You don’t need a label to go on tour or to come out with CDs. I’m not saying I wouldn’t want to be on a label, but it’s really cool that we’ve gotten to a point where you can do it all yourself. LEV: So the question on everyone’s mind; who is Molly? AH: A college friend of mine. So, I’ll usually write the music to a song first, and then the lyrics later. And I was playing this song, and she really liked it. I started calling the Molly Song. And it just kind of took on this thing where, the song wasn’t really about her, but it was about me. It just kind of wrote itself after that. So yeah, college friend. LEV: So what’s next? AH: Doing pretty much like three to four months of music, till mid April. West coast tour, California, Arizona, first time in Arizona, a lot of touring, sometimes in a band, and sometimes with myself. So that for a couple of months. We just pretty much released this album, but I hope we can get the band back in the studio around the summer months. That’ll be 5 albums in five years. Myspace is the best way to contact Andrew Heringer, but his music is available on Itunes, Amazon, CDBaby, and also AndrewHeringer.com.
Live En Vivo Magazine Feb 2009
- Band Bio
By Vanessa Garcia Among the rock en Español groups emerging out of the Monterey Bay is Grito Dolores (Cry of Sorrow) of Watsonville. This five piece band has been playing together for the past eight years and got their start performing at a talent show for Watsonville High. What started off as two bands in the show eventually came together to form one. Formally known as Cosa Nostra, they changed their name to Grito Dolores, a term close to their cultural heritage. The name refers to the cry for Mexican independence by Miguel Hidalgo on September 16th, Mexican Independence Day. But to the band it also represents their freedom of expression as artists. Originally, Grito Dolores started off as a cover band mostly playing songs from Maná. The band’s bicultural heritage is also reflected in their music through the influences of 80’s metal, alternative rock, Billy Idol, Santana, cumbia, salsa, and rancheras. They’ve also covered songs from other influences such as Los Fabulosos Cadillacs and Maldita Vecindad. Growing up on in the Monterey Bay, I wondered how they started listening to rock en Español when it really wasn’t being covered on the radio or other mainstream media…well except for maybe a Maná song here and there. Coincidentally those few Maná songs that did get air time opened up the doors, or ears if you will, to other musical acts in the same genre. Family trips to Mexico also helped, they told me, as they returned home a few more CD’s in 6
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their head. This opened the flood gates for the band’s Latin influences, who before that were listening to a lot of Marilyn Manson and not much music in Spanish. With their cover songs covered, so to speak, came the original songs they now play. Most of the lyrics are personal, including stories of border crossings, love gained and lost, their cultural experiences as Mexican-Americans, or sometimes just a pretty girl they met. So what’s in the future for Grito Dolores? They plan to continue to play to gain recognition from new listeners and hopefully industry professionals for a record deal. Most of all they want to get their messages across to audiences everywhere. www.gritodolores.com myspace.com/ gritodolores
Live En Vivo Magazine Feb 2009
Styx At The Fox By Rayan Pagan
heir career spans four decades. Their music has appeared in countless media, from films and television to auto ads. They were the first band to to have four consecutive albums certified multi-platinum by the RIAA. They are Styx, and they are coming to rock the Monterey Peninsula. On February 19th, Styx will be coming to the Fox Theater in Salinas on a tour where they’ll perform in several venues, including Las Vegas, San Diego, and Los Angeles. The band’s had a storied history, and it’s seen a few lineup changes over the years. Still fans can expect the same Styx they’ve grown to love over the years. According to on-line reviews of their recent live shows, the band still rocks. Styx first gained mainstream attention with the song “Lady” off their second album, appropriately titled Styx II. They released two albums and acquired the skills of singer/guitarist/songwriter Tommy Shaw in the time following that hit. Then in 1977, Styx released The Grand Illusion, and hit it big with two more huge hits, “Come Sail Away” and “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)”. Over the next ten years, the band would release several hit singles including “Renegade”, “Blue Collar Man”, and the mega hit “Babe”. The band then moved into a new direction with the albums Paradise Theater and Kilroy Was Here. The more theatrical direction yielded the hits “Mr. Roboto”, “The Best of Times”, “Rockin’ The Paradise”, and “Too Much Time On My Hands”. Following the release of Kilroy, the band went on a bit of a hiatus as the individual members focused on solo projects and other endeavors. Tommy Shaw released four solo albums during this time, and then formed Damn Yankees with Ted Nugent.
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Styx reformed without Shaw and released the album Edge of the Century in1990 which featured the hit “Show Me The Way” and the album was a success. However, the band disbanded again after this album due to a changing music climate and label mergers. When the band reformed again in 1995, Tommy Shaw returned with them. They released Return to Paradise in 1997, and scored another hit in “Paradise”. The album also featured a song called “Dear John” which was a tribute to their drummer John Panozzo, who had passed away. Drummer Todd Sucherman took his place in the band and the continues to rock with the band today. The band released the albums Brave New World and Cyclorama in the years to come, along with several live albums and an album of covers and tributes to their influences called Big Bang Theory. During this time, the band saw the exit of Dennis DeYoung and the arrival of current member Lawrence Gowan. Also, health concerns prompted bassist Chuck Panozzo to take on a reduced schedule, and he was replaced by Glen Burtnik, and then current bassist Ricky Phillips. Now Styx is touring, and bringing their rock god status to our fair home here on the central coast. These guys love music, plain and simple. Fan accounts of live shows speak of the energy and enthusiasm of the band, and that’s something that makes any show fun. If you want to check out their current sound, you can peep their Myspace (www.myspace.com/styxtheband) and listen to some of their tracks. The band still rocks, possibly harder than ever. So there’s the quick and dirty on Styx, one of the greatest rock bands of all time. The renegades will be here Feb. 19th, so the only question left to ask is, “Are you ready to rock?”
Joan Baez Comes To Monterey By Rayan Pagan
old out. When I went to check out ticket info on Joan Baez’s upcoming show here on the peninsula, those two words jumped out right away. Sold out. Those two words can apply to almost all of her shows, but never to the woman herself. Maybe I should explain, for those of you who may not be familiar with her work. The term “legendary” is sometimes used a bit lightly for my tastes, but in the case of Joan Baez, the title of legend is certainly appropriate. She brought Bob Dylan into the public eye. She has to date released 24 studio albums, spanning a variety of styles, though she’s mostly recognized as a folk singer. She’s been referenced in numerous films and television shows, from “Forrest Gump” to “Scrubs”. Her music influenced an entire generation, including fellow musician Emmylou Harris. She’s marched with Martin Luther King and stood in the fields with Caesar Chavez. She’s always been very vocal about her beliefs, and has become an icon in the music industry and beyond. The singer/songwriter/guitarist has been in the music business for 50 years, and is still performing today. In fact, she’ll be performing here on the Monterey Peninsula at the Golden State Theatre on February 16th. Over the past 50 years, Joan Baez has been a passionate protester, using her soothing voice to bring attention to issues which have shaped our country. She sang during civil rights marches, performed free concerts to benefit gay rights, and even formed her own human rights group. Her opinions have always been her own, sometimes clashing with her peers, but she’s never been much of a conformist. She has been linked to the song “We Shall Overcome” ever since she sang it at Rev. Martin Luther King’s march on Washington. Joan recently made an exception to her longstanding policy of keeping her political opinions private, openly endorsing Barack Obama, who as we all know, went on to become the 44th President of the United States.
Her songs are filled with lyrics that inspire the listener to think, and even more importantly, to feel. You can’t listen to a Joan Baez performance and not go through a series of emotions. And as if her songs weren’t enough, she’ll tell stories and make observations about the world around us that will definitely have you pondering contemporary issues. Go ahead, check out some video clips on YouTube or Google Video and then think of how many of her comments she made in the 60’s and 70’s seem almost prophetic. Though she’s an accomplished songwriter in her own right, she is known mainly for her covers, as her unique voice transforms each song she performs. When some people sing another songwriter’s lyrics, it’s karaoke. When Baez sings those lyrics, it’s a whole new experience. Her voice is almost magical, providing depth and nuance to already impressive musical works. She also doesn’t pick just any old songs to record either. They are always relevant to the message she’s trying to get across, and the covers are composed with obvious care and love. Any songwriter should be thrilled to have Joan Baez choose one of their works to re-create. Joan was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys in 2007, and she is currently nominated for Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album for this year’s Grammy Awards, which will be handed out February 8th. After 50 years in the industry, Joan’s still getting recognition and proving her relevance. How many other musicians can say that? And how often do you get a chance to see a Grammy Lifetime Achievement winner playing a show in Monterey? The answers are not many and not often, by the way. With all this in mind, is it any wonder that the show sold out quickly?
Live En Vivo Magazine Feb 2009
that Vocelka’s music is “depressing” (There’s “nothing bad in it!”). As far as genre goes, Vocelka’s music seems to defy even that. Some songs are fast paced, wild tangents into topics like over-medication, grave-robbing, even necrophilia, while some take a more Broadway musical approach. But even those that sound like they came out of a musical have a tinge of irony to them, and none are what would be considered “normal”. Even his love song, a ukulele tune called “Just a Dream” is about voyeurism. Not one to be pigeonholed, Vocelka refuses to adhere to a genre, preferring instead to let people kick around terms like, “Musical”, “Horror”, “Neo-Blues”, even “Punk”, something not usually found among the piano-playing crowd. After an exhausting set, complete with signing and pictures, Vocelka closed his piano case and put away his cardboard “Vocelka Cost of Living Foundation” sign before walking up to us. Brushing strands of teased hair away from his eyes and radiating cool, the ever-articulate Vocelka sits down to talk with Live En Vivo Magazine. Live En Vivo: You call yourself Vocelka. How did you come up with that? Vocelka: Vocelka is my surname, handed down from my Czech ancestors. It’s also the name that I go by. But you can call me V.
From the stage to the grave By Juan Garlow
ocal legend tells that Monterey Live! used to be a smoky cabaret before it was renovated into the venue it is today. Images of sultry women and gangsters abound, one can almost hear a piano behind the sequins and frills and dancers. A piano played by Vocelka. On November 10th, Vocelka took center stage as the opening act for Links, a blues-rock group from Los Angeles. Opening with the words “Both my cats died in an accident this evening/but it’s okay, I’ve gotten over it” from his song “Anti-Depressant Town”, shows just how out of the mainstream Vocelka’s songwriting is, but the fans who came to see him proved he created a following with it. After a few fast paced numbers, some fans sang along to “Tickle My Ivory”, a ballad (albeit, and interesting ballad), about high school and authority. Midway through, Vocelka whipped out a ukulele, and called on an audience member to be his “trusty kazoo holder”, who held his kazoo through the solo section of a vaudevillian-style, glee-injected rendition of Nine Inch Nail’s “Hurt”. And certainly not one to get his audience down, Vocelka ended this show, as he ends every show, with the crowd favorite, “The Happy Song”, a tongue-in-cheek attempt to refute claims 10
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LEV: Who influenced you most, musically? V: Al Jolson, Les Paul and Mary Ford, Johnny Cash, Tiny Tim... LEV:Tiny Tim? V: Yeah, everything was so ridiculously happy, but you could see a sadness hiding deep down in it, too. It was like he pasted a great big smile right on top of his own sorrowful soul. It’s the ultimate performance. That, and I love his singing voice. LEV: That seems to be a theme in your music. V: (Laughs) Yeah, I suppose. There was one song, called the “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die Rag”, that was like a carnival song about the Vietnam War. I’ll never forget it. There were bells and pipe organs and everything you would hear at a carnival, but the subject matter was very dark, and it ended with gunfire and explosions. It was so powerful for me that I think it kind of shows as an underlying theme.
LEV: Kind of tongue-in-cheek? V: Yeah, absolutely. LEV: It seems like your tastes are pretty eclectic? V: No, I love absolutely love The White Stripes and The Dresden Dolls. I’m a big fan of minimalism when it comes to parts being played on stage. I think it makes what is there more profound. LEV: Some speculate a potential musical theater background. V: Yeah. Well, I act. I’ve been a theater kid for almost as long as I can remember. I got picked on for liking “Cats”. Actually, I still get picked on. (Laughs). No, I’ve always been more drawn to dramas than musicals. But Kander and Ebb (Lyrics and Music behind musicals Chicago and Cabaret) are huge influences. LEV: When did you start playing music? V: I played alto sax in school. I was section leader in the marching band. Good times. I started playing piano and singing early on in high school. LEV: What kind of equipment do you use? V: Well, I play an RD-300SX because I love the feel of my weighted keys, but I’m definitely not opposed to playing a non-weighted model. In fact, I played a non-weighted Yamaha with The Tartan Clan, a Glam Horror Punk band at Monterey Live, earlier this year. LEV: How about the Ukulele and Kazoo? V: A Mitchel MU-100, made of Koa Wood. And the kazoo? I have no idea. Might be an Honor. LEV: I understand you write your own music. V: That’s right. I have my own set, and can play totally original music for about 45 minutes. LEV: I also understand you used to play music on the street. When did that start? V: (Laughs) In middle school. I would play my Alto Sax for change. I moved up to guitar on Cannery Row for all the tourists, then I played accordion at the Wharf, and now I play ukulele on Alvarado Street occasionally. LEV: Sounds tough. V: You know, the one thing I learned about playing on the street, is that the vast majority of people who donate never stop to listen. Most people take one look, and you’ve got about a split second to let them look you over, and if they like what they see, they’ll give you money. For instance, I was playing accordion once, no, I was holding an accordion once, and some woman, out of nowhere, came up and started talking to me about how she used to play and such. She ended up giving me a 20 dollar bill without ever hearing me play. Same with the ukulele. Now, I can’t take all that and immediately assume that’s how it works in the music industry, but from what I understand, image is half the battle, at least on the street corner.
Photo by Ross Nichols LEV: Why a coffin? You’re not a vampire... V: (Laughs) Well, first of all, my room isn’t heated very well, so when it’s cold at night, just close the lid and within a few minutes, it’s nice and toasty. And secondly, it has to be the coolest bed in the universe. Who wouldn’t want to sleep in a coffin? Vocelka is represented by Mean Bean Productions, and can be reached at through MSGORBASCH@aol.com, or through his website at Myspace. com/Vocelka
LEV: Speaking of image, I heard about your coffin. V: (Laughs) That’s right! I sleep in a coffin. LEV: A real coffin? V: Well, it’s wooden, a toe-pincher style, and I built it myself. It’s probably the single most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in. 8 inches of memory foam on top of a lining of feather pillows, and it’s wide enough to bring my knees to my chest, which is all anyone would need, I think. Yeah, definitely a dream, no pun intended.
Live En Vivo Magazine Feb 2009
Mortero de Piedra – Una Canción Ranchero, Pero Rokero By Vanessa Garcia
What do you call a band when their music encompasses multiple genres that might not seemingly fit together? Have you ever wondered what traditional Mexican Norteño music would sound like if you mixed it with some ska? Rock and cumbia? Reggae and a little rancherita? Or how about all of it at the same time? If you listen to Mortero de Piedra you’ll find out and your ears will certainly be pleased. In case you were wondering, Morderto de Piedra translates to mortar and stone. It’s an Aztec grinding stone used to mix different ingredients to create tasty salsas. As their name suggests, they combine flavors and influences of diverse music to create a fusion so unique, I’ve never even heard it before. I mean, I’ve heard different styles of music put together, with say Ozomatli and Manu Chao, but they are totally and completely unique, and plenty tasty to the palate. They represent a type of music that crosses borders. As any Mexican will tell you, they’ve grown up with their family’s ranchero, mariachi, Norteño, and cumbia music. The beats alone remind me of the weddings, baptisms, birthday parties, and quincineras I attended as a kid, unable to escape the tunes of Los Tigres del Norte or Vicente Fernandez. Once you’ve had enough of that, you’d go blast your rock music…well at least I did. Mortero de Piedra’s latest album, Libertad, reflects the two musical worlds Latinos live in today. Songs like “Libertad (Liberty)” are supported by a norteño baseline from Luis Avila, with a dash of reggae, romantic Santana influenced guitar riffs from Rudy Tovar, quick fast drum beats of Joel Garcia, finishing it off with a cumbia. “Mundo Extrano (Strange World)” starts off with a sweet accordion solo and quickly jumps into a norteño so fast, it turns into a ska. You’re not sure if you should find a partner to break a quebradita or thrown down some skank, because you can do either one, and that’s the beauty of it. Music is universal and shouldn’t have categorizations; one genre is influenced by 12
Live En Vivo Magazine
another. It doesn’t really matter what kind of music it is, all you know is that it’s good, and that you like it, and you’re not sure if you’re supposed to call it rock en Español. Their musical influences include the great mariachi songs of Jose Alfredo Jimenez and Pedro Infante, as well as rock en Español superstarts Maldita Vencindad, Los Fabuloses Cadillacs, Café Tacuba, Maná, and Caifanes, in addition to The Beatles, The Police, The Clash, Led Zepplin, The Rolling Stones, Johny Cash, Bob Marley, and the list goes on. All four band members contribute to the lyrics of the songs, and their topics are as diverse as their music. “Pachamama (Sacred Mother Earth)” is a song about global warming and the conditions we’ve left our planet in. It alludes to a women being left or abandoned, when in fact the woman is the Earth. You can hear the vocalist’s passion in his voice as he sings, and tells me he’s been singing practically all his life. In an interview with Mario Romero, he expressed his love for song so poetically, I just had to quote it. “Canto desde que levanto, y yo pienso hasta que me aqueste, y a veces cuando no estoy cantando, estoy cantando por dentro. I love music, I just love music.” “(I sing when I wake, and I think until I go to sleep. And sometimes when I’m not singing, I’m singing inside. I love music, I just love music.)” In addition to climate change and global warming, many of the songs are about the people in their community, like the illegal giving his life for a better tomorrow, to the families working in the fields, and even the violence in our streets. Their art represents their daily lives, they only sing what they know, have lived, and seen. Yet at the same time they’re not in it for fame or glory. They simply have a talent so powerful the only tool they hope to use it for is community inspiration, and that is a prize all its own.
Delirio-Biografíca Traducido por: Mayra Nuñez
l proyecto Delirio comenzó en 1997. Tres estudiantes de la preparatoria experimentaron con una forma de música que estaba a punto de cambiar sus vidas. Delirio comenzó su carrera en una presentación acústica en su escuela preparatoria para promover programas musicales en la escuela. Fue increíble como estos jóvenes podían manipular un sonido eléctrico con un instrumento acústico. Ellos descubrieron una manera de mostrar sus emociones a través de la música. Esta presentación brilló y siguió con el comienzo de la carrera musical de Delirio. Pronto después de formar el grupo Edgar Escobedo, Alberto, Marco y Juan Diego López, fueron reconocidos por los lideres de Rock’n Español, así también fueron invitados a presentarse en todo el estado de California inspirando el resultado de una nueva ola de música rock a punto de invadir los Estados Unidos. Si tuvieras que describir el estilo de la música de Delirio, sería un estilo “Oscuro y Sensual”. Con la influencia de otros grupos como Depache Mode, Filter, The Cure, Stabbing Westward, Guns N’ Roses, S.T.P., La Ley, Nine Inch Nails, Motley Crue, INXS, Garbage y muchos más, han ayudado a Delirio formar un estilo propio y continúan expresando sus sentimientos que los transforman a música. A través de los años Delirio ha tenido la oportunidad de compartir su música en grandes escenarios acompañados por artistas internacionales bien establecidos en la industria de la música. “Hemos sido muy privilegiados al viajar a muchas ciudades haciendo lo que amamos, y haber conocido muchos músicos talentosos que nos han influenciado en el transcurso del tiempo”; dice el líder del grupo Edgar Escobedo. En Julio del 2007, Delirio lanzo su más anticipado álbum “Auto Destrucción” que fue un éxito instantáneo. La industria de la música ha respondido muy bien, así como el álbum colocó 3 canciones en la escala nacional entre los Top 20 Latin Alternative. Muy pocas personas pueden tomar diferentes estilos de música y superar los obstáculos para guiar el camino a una nueva
generación de músicos. Con sus prioridades en orden, Delirio tiene el potencial de atravesar los límites de la música capturando no solo la atención de la comunidad Latina si no la música Americana también. Visite el sitio web de Delirio www.myspace.com/ delirioband
Live En Vivo Magazine Feb 2009
Band Show Case
“We are devoted to bringing you high energy, heavy rocking music and strive to be more than just the average kid band. We hope you can make it out to a show. Our music is inspired by a mix of melodic, female fronted bands such as Paramore, Heart, Flyleaf and screamo bands like Blessthefall, Before Their Eyes & Scary Kids Scaring Kids.” “Call it what you will, we call it POPCORE We Rock for MS, Pets In Need, Toys For Tots, benefit fundraisers and most importantly we rock in loving memory of Brent Albert and are continuing to work on The Soul Shine Project for Brent.” View for info on Picture Be Broken at myspace.com/picturemebroken
August Sky Classic Rockers from Salinas, Ca
t’s rare today to find some sort of musical connection with someone under 18, especially if your over 40. Rarer still is finding a band made up of teens with a true appreciation for classic rock can prove to be a difficult task indeed. Enter August Sky, a classic rock cover band made up of 12/13 year olds, based out of Salinas California.The band members Erich on vocal/guitar, Jake-bass/vocals, and Nathan-drums, play together with the tightness, dedication to their music, and the confidence of seasoned performers, exemplifing their passion for classic rock. The band plays local gigs, in and around theMonterey Bay, like Del Monte Center, East village coffee lounge, along with many pvt and charity events. Recently August Sky was one three bands selected to compete to open for 70s rock legend Pat Travers for his show at The Planet Ultra Lounge in Monterey. August Sky plays a mix of classic rock covers, such as the Led Zeppelins’ iconic “Stair way to heaven”, Deep Purples “Smoke on the water”, and “Rock & roll all night” by Kiss, along with blues tunes and August Sky originals, “Salute to the blues”, and “Wonderland” both of which resonate a classic rock influence. Later this month August Sky with record their first studio album at wave st studios in Monterey. Not bad for band of 12 and 13 years. The public is invited to enjoy a live performance at the same location. Feb 20 7pm Wave st studios 774 Wave St, Monterey, for more information visit www.augustsky.net or on myspace at myspace.augustskyrocks 14
Live En Vivo Magazine
She Likes Daylight Picture Me Broken Hard Rocking “Popcore” Redwood City
icture me broken a hard rocking band of 15 and 16yr olds from Redwood City Ca,came together in the 7th grade playing Classic rock covers and called themselves Lane Four. Eventually they entered KFOX radios Last Band Standing contest to great acclaim, one year later they were blasting their Heart & Zep covers to a live radio audience, resulting in a demand for live performances. As the gigs came rolling in they began writing original material and submitted their first songs to an MTV2 contest where they won a spot on “The Revolution Stage” opening the Linkin Park Projekt Revolution show in the Bay Area, after which they changed their name to Picture Me Broken in order to distance themselves from being a classic rock cover band.
he likes daylight, a south of the border english language band with plans to reach out to an american audience, are credited with placing their home town of Hermosillo, México on the map. The band of six musicians is a tour de force of raw talent, with superbly constructed songs like “My girl” and “five steps away” with potential of becoming easy hits in this country. The band has already demonstrated the power and talent of their music, with no album or ep to its cr, and only 3 songs showcased on their myspace page, the band has received huge amounts of attention, from both within their home country, the United State, and beyond. Find out more by visiting the She Likes Daylight myspace page at myspace.com/shelikesdaylight
Shattered Atom Biography Revised 10/2008
rom their early days rehearsing and recording in a dusty, West Los Angeles guest house, which also served as the residence of singer Jeremy Wilford and drummer Kelsey Drayton, Shattered Atom has steadily grown into their name. While much power can emerge from a small entity, the band is unimposing yet strangely disarming. Like shattering atoms, their music explodes, creating a vast soundscape in which it is easy to get lost. Best described as an alt/pop band, the unique sound of Shattered Atom can be regularly heard at any Hollywood hot-spot, recognized at such world-renowned venues as The Viper Room, The Derby, and House of Blues, making them one of L.A.’s favorite up-and-coming bands.
their debut EP entitled, “Why,” in 2007 and subsequent placement on such hit shows as MTV’s “Band in a Bubble,” Shattered Atom pushes on and is currently in studio working on their full-length album which will feature the hit single, “Hold Me Closely.”
Visit the Shattered atom website www.shatteredatom.com or on myspace/shatteradom
Wilford and Drayton, along with Daniel Khim (guitar) and Troy Ross (bass) are Shattered Atom. Wilford, the frontman, performs with unbridled passion, drawing comparisions to Coldplay’s Chris Martin and The Killers’ Brandon Flowers – both groups being major influences on the band. Khim’s avant-garde guitar licks and unique approach to playing add an atmospheric quality while Ross – a guitarist turned bass player – sets the tone for each song as he ebbs and flows with Khim’s stylings. Meanwhile, Drayton keeps his finger on the collective pulse of the band to guide Shattered Atom as they create their hook-filled tunes for appreciative fans everywhere. From headlining at Liverpool’s famous Cavern Club to performing in front of a packed MGM Grand arena, Shattered Atom’s members are a creative and determined force to be reckoned with. With the release of
Live En Vivo Magazine Feb 2009
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