Thursday, March 30, 2017

SPIN-OFFS: a look back at the Temecula New Music Scene 2000-2010


BSC, CA – No, you didn't blink and miss Parts 2 & 3, it's just that to really understand the original music scene around the valley during the Golden Era is to know it wasn't just because there were 2000 bands in a 25 mile radius that was the key. Like gas vapor in a carburetor you needed that spark. In Part 1 we spoke about the fuse combustion combination of three people. This part called Spin-offs has to start off with one of those 3 architects, William 'Bill' Gould, Jr.

It should also be noted that there was another common ground between me and the young, aka underground or political kids in those days besides music – The Simpsons. Almost like drawing a fish in the sand was being able to drop a Simpsons Show quote and hearing a snicker from a young person that got the 'in' joke while everyone over 30 snoozed on. Other influences included a long love of live music [see Memoirs] inspiring new bands.

This CD recording of a live performance with four or five band members was Bill's first band, and featured a song not unlike my last day of student teaching a gifted class; the fourth wall was broken in a way that truly touches you with surprise. Track #5 was a song not only about me, but it also bore my name [later tied into the title of Memoirs]. This song may have come from a question Bill asked me one day in the very late 90s: Should he follow a commercial route or a musical desire? My advice, do what you like and the money will come. He started a band with a girl singer from Kansas, a transplant - Jeney Kingsbury.

By the next CD drop, the band membership was dropping and Mr. Pete disappeared in the set list, but the Kansas singer with the strong voice was getting equal billing, so to speak.

Like smoke, SuperDank dissolved but as I found out later, the song 'Mr. Pete' developed into a downloaded Top Ten hit in Australia, peaking at No. 2, natch. 

A few years later Bill and Jeney formed the duo, Keenwild, named after an area up in Idyllwild, and Mr. Pete was back in the building to remain. Today Bill and Jeney still perform as Keenwild and have another CD available ('Sunsets' - on iTunes

The Full Value Review, later Temecula Calendar, now is the second spinoff of the original music scene and told of the flourishing development to a dedicated audience of fans, bands, and hands. Today's legacy of picture stories is a direct result of those early years but contrary to popular thought, BSC is not a new invention from the fertile mind of Bill Gould. It was part of the first musical spinoff from the kid who learned how to do shows. Big Joe joined the crew.

Shortly after that, Madlin's came into being and the scene gained more ground. At first the crowd wavered between a few to decent for a show featuring high school kids opening for touring young artists. Many of the artists, hesitant at first playing to an audience at eye level and no raised stage, soon appreciated the intimate gathering of their usually standing, and occasionally sitting, high school music fans. Not having access to alcohol or permitting drinking onsite was a plus for parents, some of which would stay to watch their kids play to a real audience past the fam and the garage. 

Then one day it happened. On a late afternoon when I stopped by the coffee shop to grab a smoothie before I rode my bike home, a Friday which had no music show scheduled, I turned the corner and saw a completely full parking lot in front of Madlin's. Surprised by the crowd, I saw an equally surprised Bill in the midst of the crowd of swirling teenagers. I quickly dismounted and the Jackie Findl internship to FVE started. You see, Jackie, a young woman I had met and discussed politics with just two days earlier worked a restaurant her mother owned. I had eaten there then. She was in high school and knew all the cool bands. Wow, who knew, right? 

With this added local promotion firepower and Jeney's keeping an eye out for traveling bands rolling through, Bill threw a series of Mall concerts and discovered more local talent to showcase.

For a minute Full Value Entertainment threw shows up in Orange County [Fullerton] again discovering new talent that opened up the WARPED TOUR circuit for our music fan readers.

Meg and Dia later was signed to Warner Bros. but before that they played Madlin's and the French Valley Theater for FVE

Another spin-off from the scene was the original art and genius of the talent involved, even beyond the band at times. One group Bill discovered early in FVE's online presence was a punk band [some labeled pop punk] out of Arvada, CO, named DORK, sometimes spelled as an anagram. Of all the bands that should have made it and put in the effort, no one had better tee shirts that were just offensive enough to get you noticed but not enough to get you kicked out. And there was no fowl language, just tongue-in-cheek raw humor. 

In a scene, the magic of the scene leaves with what you take from the scene. One day when I was working at Premiere Innovations, AJ picked me up but didn't tell me that we had to go to the bank for me to have cash for the weekend. When we got to Wells Fargo on Rancho Cal I looked at AJ and said, "I have a bad feeling about this. I'm not wearing the right shirt for here." But I walked in anyway.

I walked up in line and passed the teller the check, which was drawn on the bank and my valid CA ID, a photoed driver's license. He looked at the check [$20], my ID, and then at me. I stood there blank faced and wiped my mind of any thoughts. He then called over his department manager and they briefly muttered back and forth. The teller then stepped away and the manager said that 'I would be better served at the check cashing place down a few blocks which was for people like me.'

Any other day I would have been hurt, angry, or both; but not today. Today I was wearing a DORK tee that was printed on both sides. I turned rejected, and walked away,

Hearing several loud muffled smirks, one of whom I am sure was the teller's, I was thinking score one for the little guys as I walked toward the door past the long line of customers waiting for service, and he never even saw it coming. But it wasn't always fun and song. Once we had to get tough and push back against the man.

Again this was during the heyday of Java Joz. All-ages and original music could now be heard all over the valley, especially on the weekend. Old town was starting to rock beyond The Stampede but it was yet to snap and pop. The Temec City Council, still in its Pleasantville stage drafted up a noise ordinance, which if passed would have greatly dampened the variety of music now available, regardless of genre.

A small group at the heart of the scene [though not the whole heart] formed to initiate F.O.M.A.

Then, as quickly as they had formed, once the wrong-headed proposal died, the lovers of song vanished back into the scene, unsung and unknown heroes just as it should be. Other one-off events popped up to be covered.

The Secret Location brought North County flavorht in some SD North County Coast flavor via Indiana

The scene spun off into other publications [print] and I garnered my first cover, a surprise treat.

From photo skills polished at Burning Man, an opportunity arising from and in the scene, I branched out in what I saw for a shot. Sometimes even the artist noticed.

A young intern named Khalid joined our staff while at Madlin's, wrote reviews until he graduated, and went off to college with many happy memories to a start his writing career.

As Madlin's ran down after a city enforced code knifed our capacity crowd limit to a chilly Sunday morning size, two things happened that would be major parts of the kaleidoscopic music picture coming to the eyes and ears from college level artists at our next scene location.

The first was this band who played their last tour stop show at Madlin's from their first tour,

And the merchandise man they brought with them.

The second was someone that I had worked with at Best Buy when we opened the record-setting store. A computer nerd to some, I always saw this young dude doing what I professed, writing. We became friends over the time I worked there, which was about five years. It took that long to get fired I was so good at my job.

Now I was seeing him again, sitting on a milking stool, playing an acoustic [Ovation] guitar. It was nothing to write home about. However, when this artist showed back up at Java Joz, guitar in hand, I thought at first he must have a twin, the improvement was that marked a difference. At the height of exposure, the band my friend started opened for Foghat in Old Town.

That band would be none other than Nice Day, the very first sticker on the office fridge and the first sticker that greeted you when you walked inside the coffee shop cafe.

Alex Monk, the artist who started the band Nice Day became another core person at the heart of the scene. In the Java Joz era he was our artiste. His girlfriend during that time, an actress who did Little Princess parties [I think that is the name] contributed as well, since she was of the same cloth, only with a Southern exposure. Candice, the one before Buffy, our vampire slayer, came to join the party, did both the tee shirts and CD release covers, all original one-of-a-kind artwork that went beyond the music.

Now as the scene gravitated to a new location hand-picked by a Rastafarian named Johnny Blaze, it is important to understand that the scene had graduated high school and was about to become a GLEE on steroids, with a solid central cast of full color artists, a rotating guess star list, and various show arcs much like an expanded musical M.A.S.H. It was a time that would close when it delivered us a saint who made original music by the gift of synesthesia.

But for now the words of Englishman Alfred North Whitehead rang true, "[art] flourishes where there is a sense of adventure." No longer would I just be a crow on the fence like Heckle and Jeckle, reporting about the music and artists. I was about to be coaxed down into this college age crowd, becoming a mix of dirty uncle and Friar Tuck to a gaggle of Katzenjammer Kids as we went, Live! At The Mullet Room.
1-20-82 to 2-12-09, R.I.P.82 to 2-12-09 Rest In Paradise

Of course there were some other spin offs but you gotta save something for the sequel, Rocky.

(Ed. note: To maximize the scope and depth to understanding the scene, Part 4 was presented out of numerical sequence.)

No comments:

Post a Comment