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Dedication…

12.08.09

Sometimes, it takes a lot of work to do your part to support local, music-driven, movements. Some artists are so deserving of support that it can become necessary to really go out of your way. Music can be local music without being local to my hometown, and if it’s music I love then I consider it local to me personally.
Trevor Hall and Marc B played a show together last Saturday. Both of these musicians are amazing individuals who are working very hard all the time to promote love, peace, and social consciousness. They are working to start a grassroots movement with the ultimate goal of fixing the ills of our world. I’ve got my fingers crossed and I’m onboard.
Unfortunately, this show, which I absolutely had to attend, was occurring in Santa Monica, CA, a cool three and a half hours south of San Luis Obispo. I had to decide if the show would be worth seven hours of driving.
Easy choice: yes.
So I’m going to utilize google maps to document the experience. Check it out.

Also, here‘s a video from that night. This was the first time this song has ever been performed for the public and as far as I know it is still a work in progress. Enjoy.

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we’re upgrading!

11.30.09

So, this blog has been fun, and I’m very much planning to keep it going. It will be a bit different, but the goal will be to make it more useful and more user friendly.

The  blog is now located at slomusicblog.com

Check it out.

PK at Pavillion on the Lake

11.27.09

Last Sunday, the 22nd, I went to a show to see the illustrious PK. They are a true presence in the Central Coast music scene with an ever growing influence. Seems like everywhere I go, I hear people talking about PK. Everyone knows their music and everyone knows the members. They are awesome musicians and possibly even better guys.

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So, I was not able to make it to the show as early as I would have liked. I arrived about halfway through The Mighty Fine‘s set. They surely lived up to their name, I must say.

Then on came PK. They put on a great live show. For any music enthusiast living in SLO they are truly a must see.

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Their music is fun and accessible. I honestly can’t imagine anyone not being able to appreciate their sound. When combined with their amazing stage presence, you’ve got a pretty cohesively awesome live show.

Also, PK has an album in the works right now. It should be released very early in 2010.

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SO: Keep your eyes on their page for show dates and please try to make it out. I promise you won’t regret it. They are a true standout in a local scene rife with talent.

Photos courtesy of the extraordinary Lauren Gan.

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New things on the horizon

11.22.09

I’ve recently purchased a domain and am going to host this blog myself in the interest of control, flexibility, longevity, etc.

 

SO, I’m in the process of getting that set up. I’m going to try really hard to make it very cool, cohesive, and content rich.

 

I’m still looking for more contribution though, so if you want to help initiate a very cool, grass-roots movement, let me know. I want to make this blog a staple of the San Luis scene. In fact, if we can make this really cool, we can try to grow it beyond SLO. But we’ll start here.

 

The point is, if you want to be part of this, if you’re even slightly interested, let me know. It will cost you nothing but time, and you can have your writing posted here. If writing’s not your thing, pictures, audio, movies, pretty much any medium that I can figure out how to host is welcome here. The only requirement is that it’s relevant to our music scene.

 

And if none of that appeals to you, there’s designing and distributing of posters, stickers, maybe compilations of local artist’s music, anything we can collectively come up with. I’m always down for ideas, and everyone is welcome to help. I’m all about the community.

 

So please good people, leave me a comment here or email me at austinmmello [at] gmail [dot] com

Just a Rant.

11.19.09

There are two things I want to mention in this post: music as a fashion and the different types of people that are associated with several “rock” scenes.

Music is a universal language. It moves and inspires people to be a part of it, whether by fan support or creatively composing a piece.

I’m not a skilled musician nor am I a band groupie, but I do enjoy listening to all genres and observe what the general trends and stereotypes are of today.

(The following is based solely on my own experiences.)

When Avril Lavigne cranked out her tunes, it seemed like every girl in high school wore ties and carried guitars. Every girl jumped on the band wagon and took up guitar lessons. It was cool to go to local shows and know of the underground movement. At least for me, I felt like I knew what I was talking about being ahead of the game.

I was different though. I didn’t do it as a fashion to be purposely labeled in that misfit group. (Some people wore band shirts and weren’t really fans of that band.) I actually took up guitar lessons and wanted to start my own band. I failed miserably by the way. And, I loved listening to the ‘details’ in every song. Still in high school,  I remained wearing the same color every day, black, and I was criticized for the music I listened to by the “mainstream”, popular crowd at school. Funny though, Good Charlotte became way popular by the very same people who criticized me. They started wearing the studded belts and various punk looking outfits, and oh, not to mention those jelly bracelets. Somehow, that was when I knew that rock became the ‘in’ thing.

Look at Disney. Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers, and Camp Rock. Have you ever stopped to observe their appearance? I don’t know what it is, but Disney does a damn good job marketing this rock scene to a younger generation.

I remember there was this one music video played on the disney channel. It had like 3 young boys dressed in what looked like catholic school attire, and they had a bunch of crazed girls surrounding them while they held their guitars looking ‘cool’. At one point, I distinctly remember one of the boys just holding it, almost showing off how cool he was, and not playing a single note. I was frustrated. They just look dumb and fake, and their lyrics sucked. Wherever there is money to be made, this one scene is a solid go.

Metal. Some say its satanic and some say its a great genre to break down the stereotype. Props to bands that can do a good job at not sounding so pissed off but still maintain that same aggressive note.

I notice that the general stereotype of people who listen to Hannah Montana and the like are people in middle school. They’re your average fan girl, screaming away with excitement. This type of ‘rock’ sounds extremely pop rock to the max with cheesy guitar tunes and uncreative, blunt lyrics. Not meaningful in any way.

Then, you have people in high school that dress scene. They wear tight pants with side swept hair and carry with them this dark, almost pitiful cloud of sorrow and complaints. The girls wear too much eye liner and paint their nails black. This particular crowd is where groupies start to develop. They easily support a band, even if they lack serious talent, and will buy merch. In a way, this is the most important crowd for a band because they are the major network group for spreading the word.

Oh, and jelly bracelets and converses are still in at the high school point.

Hardcore and any core related label. These people tend to wear plugs, wear X’s on their hands, and do a whole lot of moshing and dancing. They’re pretty aggressive and get immensely offended if you intrude on their dancing space. Sometimes I think moshing or hardcore dancing is a way to hide your intended punches.

You also have the metal heads with long hair and black. Metal is complicated to break down because there’s symphonic, goth, death, speed…etc. In my opinion, this is the crowd that remains true to what rock was originally seen as.

The last major group, indie. I personally love this genre, aside from metal, and it attracts the college kids. After high school and going through the teeny bopper phase, usually people mellow out and turn to chill tunes. Some support local bands still and some choose to attend hardcore shows, but only to feel out of place because of their age. Indie is like Urban Outfitters and a warm sunny day with an acoustic guitar.

For me, every time I think of Jonas Brothers, Disney pops up. High school hardcore makes me think of braces, attitudes, and monotonous tones. Bands sound exactly the same and will never stand out in my mind. Indie is either boring or tasteful. I’m extremely picky.

What it comes down to is this. If a band can draw a crowd of all ages, you know you’re legit. High schools are a crutch and the kids are already a built in fan base, its cheating.

Lauren Gan

thelittlewhitebear.wordpress.com

Flobots at DTB tonight.

11.19.09

To anyone who’s interested, Flobots are playing tonight at Downtown Brew.

The all-ages show starts at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $20 at the door or $18 if you can still find them presale (check Boo Boo Records).

Here’s the original (but unofficial) video for their hugely popular hit single “Handlebars”

I would have put up the official video, HOWEVER, the fine folks at Universal apparently didn’t like the idea of their precious video being embeddable, so it’s not.

 

If anyone goes to this show and is interested in writing about it for this blog, let me know and we’ll set something up.

Places to know for music in SLO

11.19.09

As a musician in a small town, I know first hand that it can be tough to find what you need, be it tickets, gear, supplies, or the venues themselves. I’m compiling a map of some of the best musical resources in the San Luis Obispo area. The general idea is to make life easier for my peers who may be unfamiliar with the area.

Also, this blog is very much open to and dependent on reader input. I am well aware that there are more places in SLO that are valuable to the music community. So here’s what we can do:

You let me know what’s missing, and I’ll update the map. Deal?

Thanks much.