February 2, 2012
Retro blues hounds ready to stomp
Bako will be hosting two visiting acts from opposite sides of the spectrum this week: pop rocker Cassadee Pope and blues stompers 4onTheFloor.
Artistically, they’re miles away from each other. But beyond the aesthetics and sound, they both share a time-tested formula for success: hit the road and find an audience.
In the case of Pope, the sparkly singer-songwriter is already acquainted with extensive touring as the former lead vocalist for pop-punk quartet Hey Monday. Now at age 22, Pope wants to retool her career as a pop singer-songwriter beginning with her first solo acoustic tour, making a stop at Jerry’s Pizza, Thursday, February 2.
Discovered by Fall Out Boy guitarist Pete Wentz, Hey Monday went straight to the majors quickly after their formation in 2008. But following the release of their full-length debut “Hold On Tight” and a few stints on various teen rock cavalcades, they lost steam, announcing their indefinite hiatus last year.
“I’ve grown up a lot since I was 18,” she said from the Los Angeles apartment she shares with other musician roommates with similar aspirations. “I really wanted to break out. I moved to L.A., got a new manager and put this tour together myself. I’m starting from the ground up.”
All growns up: Former Hey Monday lead vocalist, Cassadee Pope appears Thursday, Feb. 2 at Jerry's Pizza. Photo courtesy of Cassadee Pope
Originally showcased as a sweet-faced teen idol in videos to Hey Monday singles “I Don’t Wanna Dance,” “Homecoming,” and “Candles,” Pope now joins Paramore’s Hayley Williams and Gwen Stefani of No Doubt as someone with similar breakaway potential.
“I grew up being in a band situation like that. That’s all I’ve ever known. In L.A., everywhere I go there’s another singer in the room trying to make it somehow. I will always have that same kind of rock edge. I’m not going into Ke$ha territory. It’s just gonna be something kind of funky and radio-friendly.”
Curious fans will have to keep their eyes and ears on the Web for a preview of Pope’s new sound for review. Recent YouTube searches offer mostly older clips.
“I’ve been trying not to say too much because I may give fans the wrong idea once I get too far into what I’m trying out. I don’t know if fans are going to be completely shocked, but the production will be different. I’m adding strings. It’s a lot more epic and dramatic, not fast paced, pop-punk stuff.”
Sugary: Pope in her Hey Monday days
As for the future of Hey Monday, Pope says she prefers a realistic attitude about the group’s legacy.
“We’ve always said we’re on hiatus, because we wanted to see how our solo projects work out. I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t exactly change the face of pop-punk.”
Tickets for Thursday’s all-ages show are $10. Showtime is 7 p.m. Also appearing will be Stephen Jerzak, Darling Parade, Cidona and Streetside Vinyl. Jerry’s Pizza is located at 1817 Chester Ave. For more information, visit timgardeapresents.com or call 633-1800.
4onthefloor at B Ryder’s
Much less shimmering are road dogs 4onthefloor, who stomp into B Ryder’s for a Friday night stand.
Formed three years ago, the whiskey-swiggin’ blues brothers from Minneapolis are ready to stomp their goodtime message into the ears of listeners through an unconventional four-bass drum arsenal.
“When we first started, we just sat around on the back porch with our guitars,” said lead vocalist and guitarist Gabriel Douglas. “I wanted to be able to control the tempos, so I said, ‘Well, I’m playing bass drum even if we get a drummer.’ After awhile, it became this thing where everyone started playing one.”
Like the legendary Replacements — also from Minneapolis — 4onthefloor’s Americana sound has been causing a buzz on the indie circuit since the release of their debut, “4x4,” last year. Not your average country-inflected roots offering, their heavy-footed melodies will appeal to fans of The Black Keys and early Kings of Leon.
Bassheads: Minneapolis rockers, 4onthefloor appear Friday, Feb. 3 at BRyder's. Photo courtesy of 4onthefloor
“We’re lucky we’re kind of in the forefront of the revitalization of roots rock back home. There was a time where a lot of bands were sounding like post-Pearl Jam stuff. People eventually decided they no longer wanted to sing like Eddie Vedder anymore, so they started adding harmonies and other things. It was really funny, because before on some bills we’d be the back-porch roots band, then on other bills we’d be the poppiest group on some really harder bill. We have a great scene. Everybody stays to see every band.”
Douglas’ baritone voice on “Exile,” the opening track from “4x4,” sounds like he’s leading a chain-gang choir into another mile. Backed by a slow boom-clap pulse, he’s got a ragged old soul style that commands attention. He then launches into 15 more barn burners, including, “Working Man Zombie,” “Junkie,” “Magic Trick” and “Cashillac.” Bakersfield, prepare your livers. I foresee a wild night at B Ryder’s.
“Our live shows are very intense and energetic. A lot of hootin’ and hollerin’. We try to get the whole audience into it. This is our first trek over the Rockies, so we plan to make it count once we hit Bakersfield.”
Friday night’s show is all ages. Opening acts include locals Ruby Skye, The Bird Channel, Vlad Arthur and Hillsvainkill. Admission is $5. Doors open at 6 p.m. B Ryder’s is located at 7401 White Lane. For more information call 661-397-7304.
Jammin’ at The Frog
Green Frog Market will be hosting a free show featuring Bakersfield blues act Deedra Patrick and The Swamp Katz as part of the store’s successful Saturday afternoon concert series.
Held inside the retailer’s community room, the free weekly concerts feature a mixed bag of talent ranging from jazz, blues, folk and more. According to Green Frog Market manager Tyler Hair, the shows were inspired after he saw Bakersfield’s Patterson Family band outside 24th Street Café on weekends.
“It started just as enjoyment for the customers. They were the first act we booked. I saw potential with the Pattersons, who have their own little niche community that follows them every show. In turn they gave us some referrals for more acts.”
Swamp people: Deedra Patrick and The Swamp Katz appear Saturday at Green Frog Market. Photo courtesy of Deedra Patrick
Launched in the fall two years ago, shows initially were staged between the Bernard Street and Columbus location, which closed last year. Past performers include Cruise Control, Love Society Rejects, Jimmy Narducci & John Hollins, Luther Davis’ Blue Jam, Bunky Spurling and others. In addition to the music, attendees can also chow on tri-tip sandwiches, barbecued chicken and ribs cooked right outside the store. Hair said crowds vary depending on a group’s following. Seating is provided.
Above: The scene inside Green Frog Market during shows. Pictured are Bakersfield duo, Improvizados. Photo courtesy of Green Frog Market
“We advertise by putting it in our little market flier that goes out every week. The bands usually bring an entourage with them, so we don’t do too bad sales-wise. Musicians call it the gig at ‘The Frog.’ We’re open to everybody.”
Plans for a larger-scale event featuring past performers are in the works once they reach their 100th show. Interested bands can drop off their demos for future consideration at Green Frog Market. All performers are compensated for their appearance.
Shows are held every Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. Green Frog Market is located at 258 Bernard St. For more information visit greenfrogmarket.com or call 661-322-8420.
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*Also printed in The Bakersfield Californian, 2-2-12