April 28, 2005
by BOB DORAN
AFTER YEARS OF HAND-CRAFTING CDS, BURNING THEM ON his home computer, creating idiosyncratic art work and assembling the packaging himself, Matt Kennedy of Arcata-based Monosyllabic Records decided that his label's latest disc, the 22-track compilation, Monosyllabic 002, would be a "retail-ready" professionally made album "with a bar code and everything."
What is the Monosyllabic concept? "Me and my friends have always been interested in instrumental math rock music and experimental electronic music," said Kennedy when we spoke during the break at a recent rock show. "There are not many labels doing avant-garde electronic rock, so I created the label to release the music we were doing. The first comp featured instrumental rock bands like Nap Attack and Brutally Handsome Gentlemen. The second one is all about instrumental electronic. I basically like the whimsical, fantastical side of electronic music as opposed to the dance music kind of thing."
Kennedy shows up twice on the disc, playing solo as Stereoprimer and as A Is for Algorithm. "That's my math rock electronic project; I did [the album] Soundtrack for an Imaginary Video Game using ever-evolving loops that repeat in a fractal pattern kind of way. The notes and scales are all based on mathematic formulas."
The Monosyllabic 002 album features seven local bands with 14 more from elsewhere. A CD release party Saturday, April 30, at the Eureka VFW Lounge, features Level Anchorage, a looping guitarist, coming here from Portland, and Arcata laptop artist Devon's project Swimming (both are featured on the comp), plus Stereoprimer, Kennedy's recently reunited math rock trio, Nap Attack, and for a change of pace, outsider rap artist JPG (who does not really play electronic music) backed by his live combo, The Jake Brakes.
As you may have heard, core members of the Electronic Legion of Feminist Sounds, aka E.L.F.S., are moving on, presumably after graduation. The group's last big splash is something they call Ladyfest, a series of shows this weekend featuring female-fronted bands. It begins Friday, April 29, at Rumours with an evening of rock including the metal band Iron Rain (with Peggy Martinez) plus neo-'80s rockers The Monster Women and an authentic '80s band, The Widdershins, a local outfit that re-formed recently. Does rock run in the blood? Apparently. Monster Woman Aimee Taylor is the daughter of Widdershins' lead singer Christine Walden. They both rock. (BTW, The Ravens were supposed to be on this bill but they're on hold while looking for a drummer to take Buffy's place.)
Ladyfest continues Friday night at Six Rivers Brewery with that funky little folky Tamaras and the all-gal old timey band The Whoreshoes, whose name is a pun that went right by me at first.
Saturday Ladyfest heads for The Alibi with electronica from L.A. by Goth girls Demonika and the Darklings and darkwavers Addicted 2 Fiction.
Ladyfest wraps up Sunday afternoon at Placebo with workshops on activism, DJing, stencil graffiti and silk screening, a BBQ, an all female skateboard movie, Getting Nowhere Faster, and music by local ladies The Ian Fays and Symbiote with E.L.F.S. spinning some feminist sounds.
Mazzotti's gets busy this weekend. First it's the Thursday, April 28, Living Legends show featured here last week. (Check the Journal online if you missed it.) Next night, Friday, April 29, Thicker Than Thieves returns from their San Diego headquarters for another overdose of high-impact punk/ska/reggae/metal. The Expendables from Santa Cruz open. Then on Saturday, April 30, Passion Presents brings in MC Lyrics Born from the Solesides crew, who has been touring the country behind his just released Quannum Projects disc, Same !@#$ Different Day, a remix album loosely based on his solo debut Later That Day . He's on the road with a four-piece live funk combo, his record is full of cool !@#$, should be a fine show.
Indie rock fans must choose. You have Shellshag, the punk duo spin-off from Kung Fu USA, playing Friday with The Buffy Swayze at the 330 Club. Then there's the Trash and Roll/Que La Chinga show at Humboldt Brews with Kerosene Condors in from Mendo.
HSU's Engineers Without Borders present Vivamos!, a benefit dinner/auction Friday at the Wharfinger with Latin jazz/rock master Ruben Diaz and Friends plus the Bloco Firmeza Samba Drum Troop and DJ Dan.
Got an e-mail from Madi Simmons. After numerous requests for funk at his last show he got together with Mike Meyers to assemble The Hipnokatz for a show Friday at Rumours. "We will be doing some of the funkiest funk around," claims Madi. "James Brown and Sly Stone, just to name a few." He added some personal news: "Wedding bells will be ringing for me this summer -- ole grumpy Madi done fell in love and he's loving every minute of it. Tell one, tell all!" Done.
More news via e-mail: Darin from Old Man Clemins wrote to let me know that his band is celebrating its fourth anniversary Saturday, April 30, at Humboldt Brews. Alas, it's also the always-funky OMC's last show -- guitarist Corey is leaving town. Opening the show, Darin's new band, Moo-Got-2, featuring members of Lyckitty Split, Bump Foundation and Ground Control.
Saturday afternoon, April 30, stop by the Kinetic Lab Fund-raiser for a round of Kinetic golf, a raffle, an auction, flowing brew and so forth. It's not on the poster but there's typically music, Spudgun, for example. They also have a special offer: would-be Kinetic racers who have no time to build a machine can bid for the "opportunity" to pedal one of Ken's old one-man all-terrain machines in the upcoming Arcata to Ferndale Kinetic Sculpture Race (starting at noon May 28).
Also on Saturday afternoon, Earth Rhythms Performance Company presents Songs of Labor and Love, a musical celebration of workers for May Day (it's also repeated Sunday) with songs by Joe Hill and John Lennon, among others.
Later that night catch a double dose of punkish metal when RPG and Decibators hit the 330 Club. Bring those earplugs.
Sunday morning at the Arcata Community Center it's the annual Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir brunch, renamed the Hope and Harmony Prayer Breakfast and Concert. AIGC will be making joyful noise along with the Humboldt Teen Interfaith Gospel Choir and as an added bonus, the choir has invited Joyce Hough to sing a couple of soulful tunes as guest soloist.
Sunday night at the Kate Buchanan Room get a taste of Jah-waiian music: Ooklah the Moc, a nine-piece dub reggae band here from Kailua, Hawaii.
Coming Tuesday, May 3, to Six Rivers Brewery, the inimitable Steve Kimock Band. The following night SKB plays at 8 p.m. on KPFA on David Gans' show, streamed live on the web (www.kpfa.org).
Can't get enough of that hip hop? Bayonics, a nine-piece hip hop/funk/salsa band is up from the Bay Area Tuesday for an instore at The Metro followed by a gig at Humboldt Brews. Then on Wednesday at Humboldt Brews it's more hip hop from the Bay: Nac One and DJ Gigs from the FSC crew, plus Ikeski and Jay G from M3E.
There's more loudness at the 330 Wednesday, a blast of Texas craziness from Honky with Butthole Surfer J.D. Pinkus, and for good measure, The Hitch. Then the following night celebrate Cinco de Mayo at the 330 with The Shine, Que La Chinga, The Great Salvation and Los Banditos Muertos.
Or for a quite different May
5 option try the show at the Blue Lake Casino's Sapphire Palace
with two interrelated alt. folk/rock string bands, Taarka
and ThaMuseMeant. Bring along some quarters; maybe you'll
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