Anodyne draws indie acts to Sactown

The Black Heart Procession has hypnotized the crowd. There is no other way to describe it. Pall Jenkins slides his bow across the bent, shining arc of a saw blade, emitting a warbling, ghostly tone. The rhythm rises and shifts. The audience sways in time with the slowly boiling sound of the band. Jenkins’ voice—broken, cracked, vulnerable and powerful all at the same time—rises above the sound.

It is the moment that proves the band’s status as a national act and further solidifies the amazing fact that it is performing here, at Capitol Garage, probably the most intimate venue on its U.S. tour.

The reason for the show is Charles Twilling. Twilling is the driving force behind Anodyne Entertainment, a label and booking company quickly becoming legendary for bringing big, national acts to the (relatively) tiny Capitol Garage stage—acts like Low, Calexico, the Supersuckers, Pedro the Lion and Damien Jurado, to name a few.

With the assistance of partners Jeff Melendez and Toby Bean III, Twilling scours the Internet, other booking agents and music publications to find acts. “After shows, I go home, and get right on the computer until 4 or 5 in the morning,” Twilling said. “I kind of see who’s out there to see who else we can bring into town. I’m always trying to bring it up one more notch.”

The dark side to this is that it’s close to impossible for local bands to get booked at the Garage, located at 1427 L Street, these days. The venue receives more than 200 press kits per month, more than 100 e-mails per day and more than 50 phone calls per day—all from bands, agents and managers looking to book a show. Twilling has tried hard to make his venue an intimate spot for national bands to play, and he has succeeded. Unfortunately, this has essentially blocked most local acts from performing here—a significant loss in a town short on all-ages venues. “When we get the nationals, I try my hardest to get someone local on the bill,” Twilling explained. Unfortunately for local bands trying to make their own mark on the scene, these nationals often bring their own opening acts in tow.

Twilling’s interest in local music, though, is intertwined with his next project, a “live from the Capitol Garage” CD that would mix local and national acts. “We got a great live recording of the Black Heart show,” he says. Indeed, that would be a wonderful place to start.

Sacramento gritty rock/pop combo 7th Standard, recently signed to Immortal Records, has its “LA demo” available as streaming audio on its Web site, Meanwhile, the band’s local show calendar remains blank as it holes up for the winter to write songs for its major-label debut and subsequent tour.

Completion of Sacpop 3 is wrapping up for a November release from Dimm Records. The CD features new tracks by David Houston, Popgun, Anton Barbeau, the Kimberly Trip, the Brodys, Nolan, Kevin Seconds and other local artists. Proceeds will benefit local charities.

Speaking of important new releases, those who remember the Crest Theatre’s presentation of independent film Voices from the High School also may remember that the Joe Gillis-directed film featured music by several local artists, including an original score by David Houston. Jowagi Productions has just released two soundtracks for the film: one, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, features Houston’s score and additional music by Dave Baxley and Bobby Jordan; the second, Music from the Motion Picture, includes tracks by locals Jordan, Kevin Seconds and the Knockoffs. The CDs may be purchased directly from Gillis at