Archive for March, 2011

From the Symphony to a Rock Band – “Keep an eye out for Bandit”

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

It wasn’t about orchestras, symphonies or sheet music, but rather about putting on a great show for a new type of crowd. From the orchestra to a rock band, Sierra Nevada College Junior Caitlin Khoury takes her musical talents to The Alley in Sparks, Nev. where she performed with her musical crew Bandit.

Photos By: Will Burks

Khoury has played cello since she was 10-years-old and has contributed to the Pine Hill Waldorf School Orchestra, Greater Manchester Youth Symphony Orchestra, Keene Chamber Orchestra and Apple Hill International Chamber Music Association. More recently upon moving to South Lake Tahoe, she joined Carson City Symphony and Tahoe’s Symphony Orchestra, where she currently plays.

From the orchestra to a rock band, SNC Junior Caitlin Khoury takes her musical talents to The Alley in Sparks, Nev where she performed with her musical crew Bandit.

It was also a special occasion on this Saturday night as well because it was Khoury’s birthday. It seemed as if the “good times potential” was at an all time high.

Upon walking into The Alley it was difficult to get a read on the vibe of the venue. Unlike any Lake Tahoe Bar, where locals understand that there is a pretty even divide between mountain employees, ski bums, tourists and the regulars who never leave, The Alley seemed to have no regulars. However, they did have $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon tall cans.

Prior to the show, I asked a group of three women in their late 20’s if they come their often, they replied with a “hell no, but we are having fun.” From their mannerisms, I think the $2 Pabst had something to do with it.

As I was taking everything in, I noticed Bandit setting up for their performance. Through passing judgment based on their looks, you would be unable to guess what type of music was about to ring out from their instruments.

Stereotypes don’t work with this interesting and diverse group of musicians. With two guitars, saxophone and a cello, this band seemed prepared to play just about anything.

The bands Facebook page describes themselves as playing “country, rock, blues, indie, and hardcore with a mission to rock your face.”

Bandit led off with a ho down style song called Sweet Black Magic. I immediately felt as if I just parked my horse out front and swung the barn doors open. They brought the mood back down with a Bluesy country ballad called Ohh Las Vegas, “Aint no place for a poor boy like me.”

Bandit continued to switch up the energy level with a more upbeat song called Corn Liquor, where all the members got a chance to display their skills through traded solos. Corn Liquor turned into a musical showcase that the crowd seemed to enjoy.

Bandit is not just another garage band; the skills and talents of these musicians complement each other to form an original and well-rounded sound.

Their style of music promoted a natural tendency towards festive dancing, it wasn’t easy for the band or the crowd to stay still. The amount of fun the band was having did not correspond with the amount of space on the stage they had to work with.

With the exception of the lead guitarist, whose feet were in cement and fingers were doing the talking, and cellist Khoury who must sit down to play, the rest of the band made up for it by successfully exploring the little stage space they had to work with.

Bandit played what seemed to be two of the most popular songs on the set list, according to the crowd’s reaction. First, Oh So Low, which reminded me of a bluesy drinking song that you would hear in a movie and be so intrigued you would actually watch the credits to find out what its called and who sings it.

Bandit finished with the perfect finale for the show. They played Down at the Bar. It reminded me of the Dropkick Murphy’s if they were injected with a southern influence. It seemed as if all the genres played through the set were introduced in this one song at some point.

“You can hate country and love stuff like this,” said Ken Halten, a 24-year-old Sparks local covered in leather, piercings, and tattoos.

What makes Bandit special is their ability to constantly change the feeling and vibe of the show by jumping from genre to genre in a smooth and almost unnoticeable manner.One minute you’re in a cowboy filled saloon sipping on a pint and the next your head banging like an angry teenager. Most importantly, you’re left somewhat perplexed on how it even happened.

Also, The band seemed to impress a range of ages and personality types.

“I liked them, it was the first time I have heard them,” said Pat Hennessey a middle aged Tahoe local.

The same group of three women responded in unison with a Pabst Blue Ribbon slur, “Bandit is Fucking amazing.”

If you’re looking for an excuse to dance and let loose, Bandit gets the job done in an original and fun fashion.

Bandit will be performing at Mountain Vibe Music Gathering this coming July 2nd and 3rd. This is a 2-day music and camping event at Shinneyboo Creek Resort at the South Fork of the Yuba River in Tahoe National Forest.

Bandit @ The Alley

Genre- country, rock, blues, indie, and hardcore

Band Members-
Brandon Fox -    Vocals/ Guitar
Jonny Reed –     Guitar/ Vocals
Seth Hall –         Sax
Caitlin Khoury –     Cello
Fred Hell –         Drums
Andrew Fowler-     Guitar (solos)
Shrevin Campbell-    Bass Guitar

Where- The Alley in Sparks, Nevada

Next Show-  Mountain Vibe Musical Gathering 2011
-July 2nd and 3rd
-ShinneyBoo Creek Resort. South Fork Yuba River
-Tahoe National Forest

Find Tickets At:

More Info @:

By Andrew Gauthier

Zeds Dead in San Diego! – April 28th

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

From the people who brought you ABSTRACT and RADIUS festival…

On Thursday, April 28th 2011, Restep (Revelus’ dubstep events company) is proud to present Zeds Dead, an 18+ event at Red Circle in downtown SD. Revelus wanted to bring them back for everyone since they killed it at Radius! Do not miss this as it will be a more intimate setting since it is a small venue.

Tickets go on sale on April 2nd!

Check out music from Zeds Dead for free right here!

Web music player


Robert Landers – Bourbon Street

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Robert Landers is a beast. Take a trip back into Mr. Flanders neighborhood as he drops tricks for TAKE 3. Robert is the type of skater who dares to try things that you probably shouldn’t, he will push the envelope and enjoy doing it! He also has a UFC fighter temper that translates into broken boards and bloody knuckles. His enthusiastic anger mixed with a daredevil mentality makes him go off for one-hell of a show.

Shot/Edit By: Chase McMullen

MoonDog Matinee – Bourbon Street

Two-time Grammy winner Dan Reagan!

Friday, March 25th, 2011


Daniel Reagan is fresh off his second Grammy win in the best Latin tropical album category for his trombone instrumental in the Spanish Harlem Orchestra. The family man, who is married with three children as well as an SDSU graduate student in the Music and Jazz department, had just returned from a South American tour with Marc Anthony when I sat down with him. Reagan is a San Diego native and a talented trombone player that has been involved in the music scene since the 70’s when he moved to Berkeley. It was at this time when he first “fell into the wonderful, fertile scene where original music was what people were doing in respect to the jazz tradition, and there was an audience for it as well.”

Reagan says the flourishing Latin music scene in Berkeley is what helped him to develop his passion for La Musica Latina; his personal style of music really attracted him towards this particular genre. Following his time in Berkeley, Reagan moved to New York to pursue his musical career. This is where he began to play with some of the “top names” in Latin music. As for the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, it began with the Buena Vista Social Club who came together around 2000, and rekindled the career of a group of musicians in Cuba after becoming very successful.

“It opened the eyes of a lot of people, as far as a market for the type of music we’re playing.”

Leader of the band, Oscar Hernandez and Aaron Lebinson, decided to put together a group together which was, somewhat indirectly, “New York’s answer to the Buena Vista Social Club.” Reagan explains that the other musicians and singers in the orchestra are all contemporary. He was not part of the original orchestra; he was involved in the last three of the four total cd’s. “The first one was singer Frankie Vasquez, Ray de la Paz and Herman Olivera, these are to me, three of the best singers in the business in New York,” said Reagan.

Now the orchestra is a 13-piece band; 3 vocalists, a pianist, a bassist, 3 percussionists and 5 horn players. “It’s a powerhouse band, it’s kickass,” said Reagan. He did not expect to win the Grammy, not this year…and not in 2005. He believes the competition was fierce and, politically and musically, he didn’t think the Spanish Harlem Orchestra was popular enough outside New York. However, Reagan is proud to be a part of the orchestra and ecstatic with the outcome of their hard work.

His time spent playing with the Spanish Harlem Orchestra has taken him all around the world for music and jazz festivals, between 50 and 60, he estimates. He’s traveled to Australia, Japan, Indonesia, all over Europe, Canada, the United States and South America, to name a few destinations. “The Montreal Jazz Festival is the most amazing gig I’ve ever done,” said Reagan. The last time he played with the Spanish Harlem Orchestra was in December of 2009.

Reagan is now focusing on graduating in May. He finds the SDSU graduate program to be challenging and fulfilling in many ways. His return to school has helped him to delve into areas of music he wasn’t privy to in the non-academic musical scene. Since moving back to San Diego in 2007, after a brief stay in Atlanta following his time in New York, Reagan has been playing in more local areas around San Diego; retirement homes and centers for troubled youth. “I feel like I have a lot to tell people about how education can transform your life.” Following graduation, Reagan hopes to continue to be involved in the San Diego music scene, as well as other musical opportunities that may present themselves, and later down the road he hopes to be a professor of music.

 “I just feel completely fortunate to be able to make a living doing what I love to do and with my favorite people in my life, outside my own family.”


Click here to listen to the Spanish Harlem Orchestra

Spanish Harlem Orchestra website
ABC article on Grammy win!

By: Alexandra Tregre

John Browns Body U.S tour 2011

Friday, March 25th, 2011

“Future Roots Music”

SackMagazine has 4 free downloads for you!

In 2006, John Brown’s Body found itself at a crossroads, when the death of bassist Scott Palmer broke the band’s heart. After the tragedy, several longtime members left the group. But, a strange thing happened to the band staring at its own mortality: somehow, JBB emerged transformed and inspired.

A vital, creative energy sprang from the band’s new dynamic and new members. JBB found itself pushing more at the edges of reggae. New songs incorporated slinkier bass lines, denser instrumentation, less predictable rhythms. Beats became funkier, more drum-and-bass inflected.

JBB realized it was at a turning point: keep playing the same style of music, or follow the new sound and see where it leads. It was the same way the band members felt about reggae: how do you break rules and create something unique while still honoring the music that came before?

The answer is that it’s possible (and ultimately necessary) to push forward. “Future Roots,” which the band began using to describe its sound as far back as its 2005 Pressure Points release, took another step forward. The current evolution builds on a reggae foundation, incorporating elements from different genres. The new songs are timeless and futuristic all at once, anchored and exploring simultaneously.

These explorations are instantly evident on Amplify, which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Reggae Chart in October 2008, and its remix follow-up EP, Re-Amplify, released in March 2009 also debuting on the Billboard’s Reggae Top 10 Chart.

“Amplify is the sound of a band recreated, retooled and refreshed,” writes Canada’s Exclaim Magazine, and other reviewers agree: “Amplify has a forward thinking, fearless approach to tempos, beats and feel that expands the genre of reggae as a whole.” [Amazon].

While Amplify showed the world the fearless new directions JBB’s music is headed in, Re-Amplify took it even further by putting the band’s songs into the hands of outside remixers for the first time. Working with Gym Class Heroes’ Disashi Lumumba-Kasongo, Juno-Award-nominated producer Dubmatix, dance floor pioneer Tommie Sunshine, Australia’s urban roots powerhouse Blue King Brown and others, the band’s songs were stretched every which way, resulting in an EP that pleased fans and opened the band up to even further possibilities in their musical approach. How open? The band liked Dubmatix’s remix of “The Gold” so much, they switched to playing that version in their live sets.

JBB’s live show has the kind of organic, body-rocking sound that’s only possible with an 8-piece band where air tight drum and bass, a three piece horn section, and “the most gorgeous melodies in all of modern reggae music” [All Music Guide] meet a dubbed-out sound engineer. Where will JBB head next? The near future includes first ever tours of the UK, and New Zealand, as well as initial work on the follow up to Amplify. What direction will the music take? Who knows, but whatever it is, it is sure to push boundaries.

John Brown’s Body is:

Elliot Martin – Lead Vocals
Tommy Benedetti – Drums
Nate Edgar- Bass
Matthew “Kofi” Goodwin – Hammond B3, Clavinet, Synths
Mike Keenan – Guitar
Sam Dechenne – Trumpet
Drew Sayers – Saxophone
Scott Flynn – Trombone


Progressive reggae band John Brown’s Body kicks off a west coast tour with Galactic this Friday in Seattle. The run concludes with a two-night stint at The Fillmore in San Francisco.

JBB will share the stage with New Zealand’s Katchafire April 8 & 9 in Colorado. They’ll be celebrating 4/20 in NYC with Easy Star All-Stars and Cas Haley at the Highline Ballroom.

John Brown’s Body began 2011 with a sold-out Colorado run. In the past two years, they’ve completed first-ever tours of the UK, New Zealand, and Europe.

John Brown’s Body Tour Dates
March 25 – Seattle, WA – Showbox At The Market *
March 26 – Portland, OR – McMenamins Crystal Ballroom *
March 27 – Crystal Bay, NV – Crystal Bay Club *
March 29 – Santa Barbara, CA – Sandbar
March 30 – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up *
March 31 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre *
April 01 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore *
April 02 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore *
April 03 – Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst Atrium
April 06 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
April 07 – Vail, CO – Checkpoint Charlie
April 08 – Denver, CO – Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom w/ Katchafire
April 09 – Boulder, CO – Fox Theatre w/ Katchafire
April 20 – New York, NY – Highline Ballroom w/ Easy Star All-Stars
April 21 – New Haven, CT – Toad’s Place
April 22 – Syracuse, NY – Westcott Theater w/ Easy Star All-Stars
April 23 – Buffalo, NY – Tralf Music Hall
May 21 – Virginia Beach, VA – Chicho’s
June 03 – Pinnacle, NC – Smilefest
June 05 – Ozark, AR – Wakarusa
June 16 – Hoboken, NJ – Maxwell’s
June 17 – Newmarket, NH – Stone Church
July 29 – Floyd, VA – FloydFest
* with Galactic