Thursday, August 27, 2009
Hip-hop and reggae hit Marina and Salinas with a sonic boom this Saturday night, when two local favorites perform at two different venues.
Wasted Noise has come a long way from the days of practicing in the backroom of California Collision in Salinas on Thursday nights. On Saturday, the garage band will celebrate the upcoming release of their first (still unnamed) full-length album at Giovane’s. The Salinas-based band hopes to have the 11-track album out in early October before hitting the road on a mini-tour of Southern California.
Spending the past several months in the recording studio has been quite a change for a band that thrives on the Patrón-laced crowds at their live performances – Wasted Noise won the Monterey Battle of the Bands in both 2006 and ’09.
“It’s been a fun experience, but very different from playing live,” bassist Hank Macias says from Z Minor Sound studio in Salinas, where the band is recording. “We’re used to playing as a full band and in the studio, you have to sometimes record parts individually.”
Macias says each of the seven members of the band (including his little brother Ruben on lead guitar) have different musical influences ranging from punk bands like The Casualties and The Clash to Spanish rock and samba. But when the group comes together, their styles and influences meld into one heap of roots-rock-reggae, backed by a horn section made up of Mony Lujan on trombone and Daniel Miltz on trumpet.
“Just Another Day” begins with an Augustus Pablo-style melodica riff, then a lead guitar riff is introduced. The horns, keyboard, upstroke rhythm guitar and vocals edge into the tune, gliding like the legato of an opera.
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While Wasted Noise is getting Salinas riled up, the reggae/hip-hop outfit Realization will take the stage at Mortimer’s, one of Marina’s most infamous watering holes, and one that rarely hosts live music.
Though the Seaside/San Jose-based group (formerly called 40831) leans more towards the hip-hop end of the spectrum than Wasted Noise, they definitely have a Rasta flavor evident in their overall message. Mark “Foot” Lofton, Realization’s manager and MC, credits a lot of the band’s reggae leanings to their frontman, who has a Rastafarian brother.
“Our music has a spiritual positivity that brings peace and has a clear message: It’s all about love,” Lofton says.
The tune “Equalize” includes samples of the Vienna Boys Choir, heavy cello chops and a chorus with an optimistic message: “Bless us with righteousness, with guidance to the king of where the lion lives/ self-sacrifice and lose the ego/ love, revolution keep us tireless.”
Realization is also working in the studio on a new album called Better Days that will feature several live tracks. Lofton says the band is planning another tour for 2010 with Para la Gente and other bands, to be sponsored by Fuerza Energy Drink. After the success of The Awareness Tour, Lofton wants to play again at some of the same venues and expand the tour into northern regions like Humboldt and possibly Oregon.
“We had great turnouts at all the venues we played, from San Francisco to Fremont,” Lofton says. “At some of the shows, people were even breakdancing. We were definitely well received.”
Lofton looks forward to playing Mortimer’s for the first time – and emphasizes the importance of local venues showing their continued support for local bands.
WASTED NOISE plays 9pm Saturday, Aug. 29, at Giovane’s, 348 San Juan Grade Road, Salinas. $7. 444-6717. REALIZATION plays 9pm, Saturday, Aug. 29, at Mortimer’s, 3100 Del Monte Boulevard, Marina. $5. 384-7667.