Reggae fusion lives!

Despite his aw-shucks demeanor, Frank Fairfield’s passionate interpretation of traditional American folk riled the crowd into foot stomping at Sophia’s Thai Kitchen on Friday, June 25.

Despite his aw-shucks demeanor, Frank Fairfield’s passionate interpretation of traditional American folk riled the crowd into foot stomping at Sophia’s Thai Kitchen on Friday, June 25.

Photo By SHOKA

Arden Park Roots CD release, Friday, July 9 at 9 p.m., $10. Harlow’s, 2708 J Street.


2708 J St.
Sacramento, CA 95816

(916) 441-4693

Caress those jams down:
Arden Park Roots sounds like Sublime. They highlight as a Sublime tribute band (The Livin’s Easy), but they’re also comfortable with Police-esque reggae jams and even grittier punk/pop anthems. They fill a strange musical niche, but it seems to work well.

When I interviewed APR, they didn’t have a title for their album yet. Turns out, they named it No Regrets in the Garden of Weeden, which is completely insane. And I wish I could have asked them about it.

(Scenario: I would have asked “What’s going on with the album name?” to which they would have replied, “It’s like the Garden of Eden, but with weed.”)

Anyway, singer Tyler Campbell (who used to do something at the SN&R offices that required him to don a button-up shirt and look miserable) and drummer Jonny Snickerpippitz sat down to talk about their new album, how they got such a clean sound and their new lineup.

What happened with your bassist?

Campbell: For someone who did little to nothing helping the band out on the business end, he had a lot of criticism for every decision made. It’s like, come on, we’ve made some pretty good decisions so far. Everything has worked out exactly how we would have hoped. It got to the point where every time there was an argument, it was a huge, major blowout.

So have you found anyone else?

Campbell: Yeah, we ended up hiring one of our guitarist’s best friends. He grew up here but went off to Chico for a couple of years, and we’re dragging him out of college to join this project.

So if his life is ruined, it will be your fault?

Campbell: I’d say he did a pretty good job of ruining it himself before we got a hold of him.

I appreciate how tight your music is. Do you guys practice constantly?

Campbell: Yeah, typically. We’ve got a lot of music that we’ve got to keep up to date with. We’ve got, like, 30 Sublime songs, and then we play another 30 to 40 songs in our own catalog—not all of them original, but just like anything: If you get out of practice on it, it goes to shit.

How did you get that clean sound on this album?

Campbell: We spent as much time as we needed on it. If you go to the Pus Cavern and you work with Joe [Johnston], or someone of his nature that has a ton of experience, it makes sense to just let the dude work.

Local bands go into the studio and record four songs in a day, which is fine. But if I could tell a band anything right now, it’s go in and do one or two songs and give the engineer half the day to work on them. Or if you’ve got a couple songs, let the engineer work his ass of for a couple days. It’s going to pay off.

Snickerpippitz: And keep your mind open, too. Joe had so much input, like, “What do you think about this?” And it was like, “Let’s try it.”

What else?

Snickerpippitz: Buy the album and then rip it to 50 of your friends for free.

Campbell: Seriously, if anybody gets a hold of the album, just pirate it. Get it out there. We want everybody in the world to hear this album regardless of the financial outcome.

(Josh Fernandez)

Another take on Concerts in the Park:
Just to be clear, I love all the bands that played last Friday night’s Concerts in the Park. And I love Concerts in the Park. The reality, however, is that the crowd that populates CIP isn’t the same people who attend last week’s lineup’s regular shows.

The night began with a beautiful performance by Sea of Bees. Her set started out with just her on acoustic with a backup vocalist. She didn’t really receive much attention from the crowd, though, until she was joined by a full band, probably because her set was during the time most people settle in and buy beverages. The new incarnation of Chelsea Wolfe (misspelled “Wolf” on the banner hanging over the entrance) followed. Wolfe’s newer Gothic sound really suits her. I’m not really sure what’s up with the veil she wore at both at the Dum Dum Girls show last Tuesday and at CIP, but either way, her new sound is spectacular.

Sister Crayon, who is not new to Sacramento, was enjoying their first try at CIP. The set was maybe not their best, possibly because of the setting (even Jerry Perry commented that they really belong in a nightclub). And I didn’t understand the crowd’s lack of interest.

That leaves the New Humans. They really went all out, adding on another guitarist, with Aaron Moore, formerly of the Refinery; and Ira Skinner of Paper Pistols; and a trumpet player. My only complaint was that singer Scott Simpson’s vocals were way too loud at times, making things a little unbearable. But they pulled through, and the crowd, who was actually there to see them, was enthusiastic, even if the older folks didn’t seem to really get into it. Maybe some of them were confused and thought Mumbo Gumbo was playing this week instead of last. (John Phillips)