Jammies Night of Contemporary Music


The death-metal quintet released their first demo, “Affronted,” this past September and it was recorded under unusual circumstances. “It was recorded in my bedroom,” bassist John Castberg explains, “but I was grounded, so I couldn’t let my mom know about it.” Needless to say, mom came home, sending his bandmates scrambling out the backdoor in their socks.

OK, that may not sound hardcore, but with classic death-metal influences like Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, Pantera and Megadeth, the guys in Decollate—Jordan Hoover, Josh Paniagua, Cruz Alverez, John Castberg, Lorenzo Arreguia—put on a stage show is a whole lot more intense than their “studio” antics.

When asked to name three of their biggest influences, Payola—lead guitarist Josh Guild, rhythm guitarist Erik Currier, vocalist Nicole Gough, bassist Robin Harlow and drummer Vinny Adorno—balked. “For all of us? We all listen to different stuff.”

The expanded list included classic rock and punk—AC/DC, the Ramones—current SoCal screamers—Atreyu, Avenged Sevenfold—a couple of songstresses—Larisa Bryski, Sara Bareilles—and, um, Oingo Boingo. Yeah, that qualifies as different stuff.

A Moments Notice
As a Christian band, A Moments Notice sees their music as a form of worship; a way to express their love for God through their talents. Any remaining thought that a Christian band might not rock hard enough will be quickly put to rest by a performance by AMN—Steven Box, Ryan Lewis, Corey Lewis and Markeda Shorter. The Elk Grove foursome come out with sus-chords blazing and double-bass rumbling, like a band on, well … a mission.

Michelle Iwase
“My sound? Well, a lot of people say I sound like Fiona Apple a bit. I’m more of a rock, folk, poppy kind of sound. I write my own music … it’s all very soulful.” Well, what would you expect from a vocalist who includes people like Ella Fitzgerald and Stevie Wonder among her influences? Most of all, though, Michelle looks to underground artists for the range of talents “you don’t really get to hear” from mainstream performers.

Scarred First Class
Nick McElyea and Westley Rose formed their band in 2005, despite the fact that Westley hadn’t ever picked up a guitar. He had been singing all his life, though, and early last year, Nick—who plays drums—and Westley added two new members to the band: Sam Plecker on lead guitar and vocals and Clay Crowley on bass. Three days later, they played their first gig, winning $200 at their school talent show. Soon after that, got a gig at the Underground Cafe and played their way into this year’s Jammies.

Green Light Blues!
It would be easy to call the music of this five-piece “blues-rock,” but it goes a lot deeper than that. And “prog-funk” doesn’t cut it, either. Bandmates Joe Grijalva, Patrick Sweeney, Matt Franklin, Eric Barger, Ryan Meinders and Levi Saelua have stirred up a musical mélange of the aforementioned styles, plus some healthy doses of reggae and jazz. The result is better heard than described—come on, what music isn’t?—but one thing it definitely is: tight.

One Eyed Rhyno
It’s all about the “Jim’s” with in One Eyed Rhyno—Jimmy Page, Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix, that is. The members of One Eyed Rhyno—guitarist/vocalist James Hunter, drummer/vocalist Elaine Hunter, bassist Josh Reeder-Esparza and keyboardist Michael Skelly—give props to the classic-rock gods for influencing their own “old rock” sound. The band formed in 2004 and has been rocking gigs around the Sacramento area.

The Shreds
Dylan Rodrigue, Griffin Meyer and Blake Severn settled on “the Shreds” as a band name because it was basically “the only word left,” having already ruled out “My Richard Hurts,” “Ass Monkey” and “Delicate Unit.” The Shreds have been playing regular gigs together in the Grass Valley and Nevada City area for more than a year now, combining grunge-laced rock and indie-acoustic balladry—or, in their words, “hippie music.”

The Not So Super Villains
Corey Poluk, Cameron Covello, Matt Beyak, David Graves, Andy Page, Sean Weiss and John Zimny toyed with the idea of disbanding when college became a priority, but their love of ska wasn’t dampened by long distances. They continued to write new material and book gigs, including opening slots at The Boardwalk for legends like the English Beat and the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies.

Falder Eyes
Originally called Fall To Rise, the acoustic duo of Mckenna Schwann and Tom Huber wanted a name a little more unique. Thus, “fall to rise” morphed into Falder Eyes. Mckenna and Tom—both who sing and play guitar—cite Nirvana as their biggest influence, which explains the cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on their MySpace page. These aren’t sulking, guitar-slinging teens, though: Falder Eyes plays for the fun of it—to relax and make friends; “The best part of this is watching people enjoy the show.”

Fashion City Scandal
“Power-pop indie with punk. Makes you want to dance.”

That’s the concise description the guys from Fashion City Scandal gave us when asked to describe what they do. Rocklin boys Joey Serrano, Corey James and Matt O’Neilin are all about the live performance: “We love the excitement.” Sure, their songs may be about “teenage stuff,” but they actually consider it a “responsibility” to entertain their fans.

The Late Chaps
Sean Clavere, Tyler Walker and Kelly Schureman aim to please, whether the audience is made up of 13-year-old skaters, college students or 50-year-old rock ‘n’ roll lovers. Besides playing for the sheer fun of it, the Late Chaps have channeled their passion and their “southern-fried rock and roll” chops to do more than just entertain—in 2006 Sean founded the Reach Out and Teach benefit concert to raise funds for the Goma Student Fund.