January 10, 2013
Together, they're the new pop duo Arizonity
Choosing the right band name can be as difficult as formulating the right musical chemistry among artists.
Not for Bakersfield folk pop duo Arizonity.
First introduced as the Arizona Teas through a series of homemade YouTube videos, percussionist Josiah Frazier and guitarist/vocalist Hannah DiMolfetto promptly changed their name to Arizonity to avoid legal trouble.
"We realized real quickly that could be a copyright infringement. So, we changed it to the next best thing. People always asked us, 'What does the name mean? It's so deep.' No, it's not that deep. We like Arizona Tea. Arizonity is the closest thing we could do without going to jail."
Within just a few months of forming, the duo opens for post hardcore outfit The Hollowed at The Dome on Saturday, January 12.
"Writing music together works really well with us. I'm a big lyric person and she's big on melody," said Frazier, 24. "We also have the music that Hannah has had for years."
Hannah DiMolfetto and Josiah Frazier of Arizonity. Photo by David Cadena
Frazier may be familiar as the former drummer for Bakersfield alt-rockers Cidona. After leaving the group last year to pursue his latest project full time, he hasn't looked back.
"I wish them nothing but the best," he said. "Their new drummer, Diego Barrientos, is a fantastic musician. I'm really happy for them. They got a lot of talent."
DiMolfetto, 20, who's been performing around Bakersfield since her teens, is another well-known face from the coffeehouse and all-ages circuit. She also knows a thing or two about the benefits of the economics of music, growing up around the family business, Family Music Center in Bakersfield.
"This project was originally about me looking for musicians on my solo project, but when Josiah and I started playing music together, we really liked what we found," she said.
Between DiMolfetto's back catalog of original material and Frazier's collaboration, they've already begun making headway. Last year, they auditioned for "American Idol," where they made it to the second round of unaired segments before being sent home. Then in November they auditioned for "America's Got Talent." According to Frazier, they should be receiving news from the show's producers as to the results of their latest attempt.
"The auditions were fun, but we're really working hard on recording a new EP and concentrating on the business end of things. What I learned in Cidona is that you need to have something for people to get a hold of and we really want to make sure it sounds good before we get it out there."
DiMolfetto said the group is looking to add a backing group of musicians; however the marketing focus will remain on her and Frazier, who happen to be a romantic item offstage.
"It can be really hard sometimes and crazy, but overall we both want the same thing. We both love music and have this completeness when we play with the harmonies and the drums."
To stay in the loop on Arizonity's progress, visit facebook.com/arizonitymusic, or put in a search on YouTube.
Saturday's showtime is 6:30 p.m. Also appearing are Eyes on the Skyline, Far From Forever. Admission is $10. All ages. The Dome is located at 2201 V St. For more information, call 661-327-0190.
Active Drummers in Bakersfield
You may have heard the cruel jokes about drummers...
What's the last thing a drummer says in a band?
"Hey guys, why don't we try one of my songs?"
How do you get a drummer to play quieter?
Put a chart in front of him.
Well, local drummers in need of some group therapy now have a place to be themselves, thanks to the new Facebook group Active Drummers in Bakersfield.
Bakersfield drummer Cesareo Garasa, who teaches and performs with several local and out-of-town groups, started the group, saying that drummers often are misunderstood.
"Drummers have this real special bond between each other, not like guitarists where it's always a competitive thing," said Garasa, 39. "When drummers show you pictures of their kit, it's like they're showing you proud pictures of their kids. I've never met one drummer that's said, 'I hate playing drums.'"
Garasa said he was amazed at how quickly the group has grown in just a little more than a week since its activation.
Bakersfield drummer Cesareo Garasa performs with Mento Buru at Buck Owens' Crystal Palace on 12-31-12. Photo by Lee Ibarra
"It took on a life of its own. Right now, you're getting all these people talking shop. A lot of these guys won't meet each other in the scene, but you put them in a room together and things just go. Drummers are very open to other drummers."
A recent visit to the group revealed that drummers of all ages had already posted photos of their own drum kits, as well as videos of themselves and their favorites performing.
"I like people posting videos of themselves, training videos, and what they're practicing. Community and education, everyone gets a chance to throw their two cents in."
The group, found by putting in a search on Facebook, is free to join and comes with only a few restrictions. If you have a knack for drumming and geeking out with fellow musicians over the latest and greatest techniques and equipment, consider yourself cordially invited.
"This is for drummers and percussionists in Kern County and those sympathetic to what we do. Once they start posting spam, they're out. This is for talking about drumming and music with drummers."
Though Garasa said everything's been positive so far, he wouldn't be surprised if some negativity creeps in since musicians tend to be sensitive about their art.
"No one's said anything bad. No arguments yet. There's something about us drummers, because we get to beat stuff up for fun. We don't stay mad for long. Besides, apathy and complacency is not needed in the scene."
We received a nice note from Kelvin Gregory, organizer of the Great 48 bluegrass event held last weekend in Bakersfield:
"The walk-up ticket sales for the showcase and the Rhonda Vincent concert were fantastic. The leukemia charity did very well and we raised approximately $4,500 for them, and Rhonda was a sell-out. Without the support of you and the Bakersfield Californian I doubt that we could have done as good. This is what I like about Bakersfield -- people help each other out."
Matt's Pick: January 11 - 12
Beat Surrender DJ Night at Sandrini's Bar, 1918 Eye St., 10 p.m. Friday, January 11. Free. 661-322-8900. Sporting Bakersfield's best afro, local vinyl junkie Alex Rodriguez (pictured above right,) aka "DJ Moustache," provides the best in '60s and '70s funk and soul. A serious music man, you can also hit him up about his latest selection of rarities, including your missing Village Callers Live album.
Metalachi at B Ryder’s Bar, 7401 White Lane, 8 p.m., Friday, January 11, $10, 661-397-7304.
These loco bandidos continue building a massive fan base as the only group of its kind, even garnering a blessing from their idols Anthrax, Motorhead and Slayer. Meshing Mexican mariachi music with the headbanging sound of heavy metal, the result is nothing short of bizarre. Onstage they rock traditional mariachi outfits with wild makeup, covering classics by Metallica, Ozzy, Led Zeppelin, plus lots of extra cheesy covers from Europe, Poison and other hairy-fying acts from the '80s. According to the band, they were originally scorned by many of the longtime Los Angeles mariachi groups, who accused them of messing with tradition after forming last year. Don’t expect this loco train to stop anytime soon; they pack out every show. Opening act: The Aviators.
Tanked at Riley's Backstage, 1523 19th St., 8 p.m., Saturday, January 12. Free. If there's ever a book written on Bakersfield punk rock in the '90s, Active Ingrediants would certainly be deserving of their own chapter. Performing for more than a decade, the trio released a string of underground favorites for a loyal fan base, both independently as well as through Beer City Records, a tiny label based out of Milwaukee. But as with most young bands, age and responsibility usually pull the brakes on the fun. After a few breaks and reunions as Active Ingrediants, members Scott Burton, Dennis Harrison and Jeremy Cravens have returned as Tanked (picture above,) performing steadily at local watering holes just like the good ol' days. They've also been recording new tracks, which can be previewed online at reverbnation.com/tankedband. Also appearing on the bill are Metal Fatty and Bedlam. Sounds like the perfect date night.