June 7, 2012
LA reggae group heads for new venue
Get your sunscreen ready and lace your shoes tightly before entering the mosh pit: Rockin’ Roots returns to Stramler Park on Saturday, June 9.
Rockin’ Roots is seen as a primer of sorts for the Vans Warped Tour, which kicks off at the end of this month. But for local kids looking to blow off some steam, our local shindig offers an equal amount of youthful chaos, and this year it’s all crammed in to one day rather than the traditional two-day festival.
Headlining Saturday’s event will be post-hardcore heroes Falling in Reverse and Pierce the Veil, Of Mice and Men, Dr. Acula, ’80s skate punk legends Suicidal Tendencies, electro sister duo Millionaires, and dozens of other bands, all scheduled on eight strategically placed sound stages.
Above from left: Falling In Reverse, Pierce The Veil
If you’d rather root for the home teams, there will be plenty of local bands, including 2 Faded, Landen Belardes, The Aviators, Terra Alive, Of Athena, Kaptain Krunch and the Cereal Killers, Dead Ashling, DV8RZ, Big Deal Fair Trade, A Day Of Atonement, Hannah Di Molfetto, Fading Out Silence and others, with vendors selling snacks, water, soda and beer.
Above from left: Suicidal Tendencies, Millionaires, Dr. Acula
The gates open at 11 a.m. Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the gate and are available at several Bakersfield outlets or from any of the local bands performing. Stramler Park is located at 3805 Chester Ave. For more information, visit timgardeapresents.com.
Click picture of Rockin' Roots artist The Bunny Bear
below to see full Rockin' Roots performance schedule!
Above: The Bunny Bear
Aggrolites represent for reggae
On Friday night, June 8th, traditional skinhead reggae band The Aggrolites rolls into town for a show at On the Rocks. This will be the first time the Los Angeles-based quintet will be visiting our neck of the woods. It’s a long time coming for many local fans, given the solid reggae fan base we boast.
Lead vocalist Jesse Wagner recalled the band’s debut in 2002, when they formed as a live backing band to tour the U.K. with reggae icon Derrick Morgan. Following the success of that project, the band decided to keep the going full time.
The Aggrolites released their debut album, “Dirty Reggae,” the following year, with each song recorded in one take and with many lyrics improvised on the spot.
Above: The Aggrolites
“The Europeans are a lot more knowledgeable when it comes to the different styles of reggae music that we’re influenced by. Most Americans only know Bob Marley and ‘Legend,’ and that’s about it. Even with our name, the Euros know that ‘Aggro’ is a term used in a lot of skinhead reggae titles, ‘Lites’ is a reference to the Skatalites, and so on. It just made sense for us to go there first.”
Skinhead reggae is generally considered to be the period from 1968 to 1970, just before the Rastafari movement entered mainstream Jamaican music.
The music’s sound is distinguished from other early Jamaican sounds like ska and rocksteady by the slightly faster beat, marked out by the drummer using the hi-hat, heavy organ lines, lower mixing of the bass, and electronically doubled rhythm guitar stroke. It met with great success in the U.K., especially with the skinhead subculture. Major artists include John Holt, Toots & the Maytals, The Pioneers and Symarip, all of whom the Aggrolites cite as big influences.
Above: Aggrolites at Vans Warped Tour, Ventura 2011. Photo by Matt Munoz
“If anything, it’s enlightening to inform people on the whole about original skinhead culture. Skinheads have gotten such a bad rap for so many years because of all the racist boneheads. We call our music dirty reggae. Nobody’s going to play skinhead reggae like the Jamaicans did. It should be known that skinheads were a working-class subculture from the U.K., and the music they listened to was reggae. It’s not a racist thing,” Wagner said.
The band’s latest CD, “Unleashed Live: Vol. 1,” captures the group in front of an adoring audience, singing and stomping along to every song. Free downloadable tracks are available at the band’s website aggroreggae.com.
If you’re a parent, you may want to look up the band’s video of “Banana,” taken from its appearance on “Yo Gabba Gabba.”
“Doing ‘Yo Gabba Gabba’ was probably one of the best things we could have done for our band. We’ve done punk rock shows, hip-hop festivals. It’s a feel-good kind of music that fits with anything. People like to dance,” Wagner said. “Our music has always fit in anywhere, even ‘Yo Gabba Gabba.’”
Friday’s downbeat is 9 p.m. Admission is $10. Also appearing is Amity Flow and others. On the Rocks is located at 1517 18th St. For information call 327-7625 or visit tgptix.com.
Rapper goes MIA
Last Saturday’s concert in the basement of Jerry’s Pizza featuring veteran gangster rapper Brotha Lynch Hung (no relation to William) ended up being a big downer for many local concertgoers.
According to some emails I received on Sunday morning, the rapper was a no-show. Confirming this was Richard King, aka Riddya, a member of Bakersfield rap group Dirthead, who opened the show.
After inquiring about the incident on Facebook, King shared a message he received from Brotha Lynch Hung via Twitter later that evening. Basically, Brotha Lynch blames the no-show on what he termed a shady promoter. The rapper has vowed to return for a free show.
No word on what exactly happened or whether refunds will be granted.
“We rocked the opening though, set the place off and then everyone started getting weary and waitin’ on Lynch,” Riddya said.
“Some of Madesicc (Brotha Lynch Hung’s extended artist crew) made it to Jerry’s and apologized on Brotha Lynch’s behalf also.”
Word to your motha - Lynch Hung (rimshot.)
Matt’s Picks: June 8 - 9
Beat Surrender DJ Night at Sandrini’s Bar, 1918 Eye St., 10 p.m., Friday, June 8, free, 661-322-8900. Local vinyl junkie Alex Rodriguez, aka DJ Moustache, provides the best in ’60s/’70s funk and soul. He’s a serious music man, ready to be hit up by anyone on his latest selection of rarities, including your missing Mandrill album. He takes requests within reason and blends it like a true mixologist. Come as you are, free your mind and let your booty lead the way to the dance floor. Highly recommended.
Mike Pinto at On the Rocks, 1517 18th, 9 p.m., Saturday, June 9, $10, 327-7685. Raised on a steady diet of soulful sounds emanating from his hometown of Philadelphia as a teen, laid-back vibe maestro Mike Pinto credits California’s punk scene, along with the reggae flavor of Sublime vocalist Bradley Nowell, with inspiration to start his own musical solo project. Now residing in sunny San Diego, Pinto has released three independent, tropically influenced CDs and tours incessantly wherever his fan base reaches, even if it means a last-minute backyard barbecue like the one he did in Bakersfield a few years ago.
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*Also printed in The Bakersfield Californian, 6-7-12