Thursday, April 20, 2006
It’s 11pm on a school night, and coeds from nearby CSU Monterey Bay are packed into the Lava Lounge, a small rock club located inside downtown Monterey’s sprawling Club Octane, to see the alternative rock band Slices of Home. The trio onstage yells, “One, two, ready, go!” and starts to play some atmospheric guitar music that gives way to heavy riffing. Circling through the crowd, a few members of Monterey’s heavy metal scene pump their fists in approval of the song’s harder moments.
A few songs later, the band’s afroed bassist, Mason Rothschild, announces the mostly instrumental group’s next number. “This is our funky drinking song,” he says to the rowdy crowd. “It’s called ‘Frunk.’”
As Rothschild sticks his tongue out and the stoic guitarist Joseph McCarthy’s guitar solos flower above the band’s driving rhythm section, three college-aged guys jump up on a couch to get a better view of the proceedings in the crowded club. Meanwhile, Lava Lounge manager Paul Hastey headbangs along to the music as he serves drinks from behind the bar.
It’s the sort of scene that people like local music enthusiast Steve Vagnini, manager of longtime local acts like Red Beans and Rice and John “Broadway” Tucker, had been imagining for years. Vagnini says that when he heard that a university was moving onto the abandoned Fort Ord, he knew the school’s student body would eventually contribute to Monterey County’s music community. “I knew it would take some time,” he says, “but I knew it would help to create an original music scene.”
Now, music major Sara Bailey is hoping to introduce CSUMB’s music scene to her fellow students and other Monterey County residents with the release of a second compilation album featuring a wide range of the school’s musical talent. She hopes that the CD, titled Out of Order, will further integrate the college’s musicians into the larger music community.
“We really want to reach out to the community this time,” she says.
Last year, Bailey spearheaded the release of CSUMB’s first compilation CD, Unexploded Ordinance. The release, funded by the college’s student government, featured a wide range of school bands, from the hyperactive rock of The Nancy Boys to Mica Winsett and Luis Salazar’s acoustic instrumental “Going Barefoot.”
Like Unexploded Ordinance, Out of Order proves that the one common trait between all of the compilation’s artists is that they have little in common. This year’s release includes everything from haunting industrial music accompanied by demonic vocals (Social Construct’s “Follow Your Leader”) to an original neo-classical solo piano composition (Catherine Gianopoulos’ “Untitled”). “The CSUMB music scene is diverse,” Bailey says. “That’s the only way to describe it.”
Joining the mostly CSUMB musicians on Out of Order are a few acts only tangentially related to the college. A. Lee, a smooth female hip-hop artist whose song “An Artyst’s Angst” is on the CD, apparently has attended a few classes at CSUMB but is currently a student at MPC. Meanwhile, long-running local reggae phenomena Jonah and the Whalewatchers made the cut, because their trumpet player/keyboardist/vocalist Bill Steacy is an audiovisual assistant at the school.
Bailey says she and a crew, which included Matt Bollwinkel as primary engineer and Music Technology Professor Paul Contos as executive engineer, spent eight months working on the 20-song Out of Order. She sees Out of Order as a marked improvement over last year’s Unexploded Ordinance. “It sounds so much better,” she says.
Fired up about all the musical talent she discovered while creating the CD, Bailey has decided to create her own record label highlighting CSUMB acts and other regional artists as her Capstone project, which is CSUMB’s version of a thesis. The label, which has been named Fog Box Records, already has a staff of nine and hopes to sign between five and 10 acts. They also intend to promote one special artist, who has not been chosen yet, by creating merchandise, booking shows, recording a full-length CD and throwing a CD release party for the lucky signee.
Bailey is hoping that the release of Out of Order and the
creation of Fog Box Records will help put CSUMB on the map.
“At one point, Monterey might be known for its music scene
rather than just as a tourist destination,” she
THE OUT OF ORDER CD RELEASE PARTY will take place at CSUMB’s Black Box Cabaret, at the corner of 3rd and 4th Streets on CSUMB, Thursday, April 20 from 8pm to midnight. Slices of Home, Ryan Bisio, A. Lee, The Super Pineapples, Social Construct and Brea are all scheduled to perform. A thousand free copies of the CD will be given away at the event or can be attained by contacting Sara Bailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.