Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tall Tales & the Silver Lining, Sparrows Gate, and Rad Cloud @ Avalon

JAN 12TH 2012
 The Avalon Bar
820 W 19th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(949) 515-4650

Tall Tales and the Silver Lining

“Nice to Meet You Again,” reveals that that he’s mastered unblemished, picturesque folk-pop, best exemplified on the upbeat summer track, “Dyed in the Wool.”- Ears wide open, Buzzbands.LA

Sparrows Gate

“They have a sound that falls somewhere between Drive-By Truckers and early electric Dylan, when he was backed by The Band. Bearded front man Zebedee Zaitz and his brother Anthony, on bass, look for all the world like the Avett Brothers, and they bring the same intensity to the stage. Fortunately they don’t break as many strings. Dig the harmonica and steel guitar, that’s real twang right there boys.”- Fiddle Freak

Rad Cloud

...the upbeat, San Francisco surf rock of Rad Cloud. The raddest part about Rad Cloud is that the members appeared consistently blissed-out. Even drummer Sarah Ashton smiled brightly while simultaneously sweating out the group's peppy beats and occasionally chiming in with backup vocals. Their obvious enthusiasm for performing added a lot to what felt at times like a rushed set...- Sf Weekly

Friday, December 16, 2011

Talking Elephants: A Q&A with Marc B.

So what’s this big news you’ve got to share with us?

Album, album, album.  I’m getting into the studio with an amazing band, The Song and Dance Society, who’ve toured with Jackson Browne and Graham Nash for years and years.  They also played with Brett Dennen and produced his first album, ‘So Much More.’  Very, very talented guys...So we’ve been rehearsing my songs and its so fuckin’ easy to play with these guys.  It’s a trip.  Absolute dream.  It’s really allowed me to branch out.

Is it difficult branching out as far as you can while still keeping your message in tact?

That’s every artist’s challenge.  My dad would beat that into my brain when I was a kid.  He would say, ‘Your songs are not made to play to your bedroom wall.  Do not write songs for that reason.  Play them for people.’

It seems like when you were explaining your song, you had a direct message.  If you look at any great musician, there always seems to be some sort of philosophy.

My music has always been a reflection of who I am, so my first album was this pretty happy-go-lucky, beachy, let’s just have some fun by the campfire and jam.  That’s what I had been through at age 19.  Since then, I’ve been brought down to my knees and back like five times and become a man.  This new album is going to reflect all that.  I can’t wait.

How old are you now?

27, a good age.  I’m getting into this phase where I just want to put my head down and work.  I’m really settled into my life as a singer and a songwriter.  I’m done exploring, although I will explore more, because I’m not ever done...I’m just done hiking these tropical mountaintops and searching for myself...for now.  I feel like I’ve found out who I am and now I’m ready to document it and share it.

Tell me more about your travels.  I know there have been many adventures.

Let’s talk about homes.  I’ve been in 15 houses in the past eight years.  I move every six months on the dot because I like moving to a center of a really vibrant location, and then wiggling myself into the very middle of it, becoming friends with everyone, and then leaving.  Then, when I return, it’s like, ‘Hey!’  I don’t like the idea of settling in, or having a schedule, a routine.

You never truly say goodbye then…

Yes, and so it’s this happy-medium of being lonely sometimes because I don’t have any one central clique that I can call home, but also never being alone because I have positive friends all over the world.  I connect the dots all over the place.  I’ve lived in Fountain Valley, Long Beach, Hawaii, Ventura, San Diego, Encinitas, Newport, Huntington, Los Angeles, and now I live in Hollywood.   I also went to Argentina not too long ago.

What were you there for?

To play music, make a greenhouse, and make a film.  We went out there with eight people.  There were four of the best professional women snowboarders in the world, two musicians, an environmentalist, a videographer, and a photographer.  So we went out there and it was this dream team, and we built this greenhouse out of recycled plastic bottles.  It really was phenomenal.  It took us 35 hours to travel to Patagonia.  When we got there, we collected 3,000 plastic bottles from the community and built this greenhouse.  We built the structure out of 2x4’s, bamboo, and bottles from the garbage.

We didn’t really know what we were doing.  We learned as we went.  All we knew is we wanted to create this.  We were in eight feet of snow (hence the snowboard film being made), and it was August, which is the middle of Winter.   I had no idea that bamboo grows in the snow.  We’d cut the top and bottom off of these 2-liter bottles and strung the bottles on like a necklace.  The plastic makes a reflective material, and so that was the wall of the greenhouse.  We built it and put it in a school, and planted vegetation in it.  I guess it yields like 20% more vegetation per year, and it also encourages the kids to be conscious of the environment and helping the community.  I think at the very least, the impact is that it inspired people.  I realized when I watched the video how relevant it must have looked.  All these people came from LA, who are musicians and athletes.  It really seemed to affect the community.  They still talk about it, we still have friends over there, and they still write us and send pictures of the greenhouse.  

Other than that, I’ve just been traveling.  I did a tour where we did like 15 cities in three weeks.  We started in San Diego, went all the way up the coast to San Fransisco, spent a week there, then went to Tahoe, did a snowboard film premier there, then it was back down the coast from San Fran to Santa Cruz, and San Luis Obispo.

What’s your opinion when a musicians claims, ‘I don’t want to be labeled.’

To me, music is labeled by the mood that it evokes, or through the message.  It seems easier to define those things, rather than sound, because of all the sub-categories these days.  To me, it’s more about having something to say.  But Bob Dylan is put into our lives for that reason.  He’s the perfect example.  You don’t have to be the best, you just have to have something to say, and you have to do what you do better than anyone else could.  No one can be Bob Dylan as good as he can be Bob Dylan.   I also realized that I shouldn’t hide my problems, I should write about them and expose them, ‘cause guess who else has problems?  Every single human in the whole world, and that’s what music is for us.  That’s what connects us to artists.  When you discover that hidden lyric and you’re like, ‘Oh my god, he’s talking about a girl…or his drug addiction…or something that I’ve felt.’  There’s that human connection, and that’s what music is all about.  Believing.
What do you believe in?

I believe in love.  I believe in love and the ability of our human race to evolve.  

In the end, there is still a mortgage and car payment…

(laughs) That’s what I can’t get.  I think about the things that I do, and they’re so in-the-moment things.  Like surfing; eyes roll back in your head and you’re on autopilot.  Music, same thing.  Eyes roll back in my head, and then I wake up and the show’s done.   All the things that I do are about making ‘right now’ as good as possible.  But I believe that a balance and a moderation in life is valuable.

But how do artists survive?

Because it’s all we know.  There’s nothing you can do to kill the process, because I need it to live.  So I spend all of my waking life planning ways to spread my creativity and share my art.

It’s where ‘culture’ is born.  To be aware in that moment, and to be able to document what is going on around…I find that most people can’t reach that state of mind.

‘Cause we don’t have the power to see this moment as we will in the future.  The clothes that we wear, the music that we listen to is brand new, but we’re going to look back and be like, ‘Those hairstyles and those glasses and the music, that is so 2011.’  Fuck trying to grab the coattails of another artist like Jack Johnson or Edward Sharpe.  Musicians just need to keep doing what we’re doing, find a way to unite, and just be a presence.  Are you a musician?  I want to meet you.  Everything that we’ve seen through history is happening right now too...with this occupy movement and all...I’ve seen it through so many people’s work.  It all is related under one common theme, and depends on being in control, or letting something else control you.

It’s a lot easier to convince yourself to not do something rather than to do something.  When you jump into a new environment, always in the back of your mind, you’re scared.  Do you think that keeps people from producing?

Yes.  I always talk about this vibration, or this energy that’s in our life.  For the two things that I do, it’s most obvious forms are the wave—a wave of energy when surfing—and then the wave of energy from a crowd in the audience.  When you go to a sports game, you can physically feel the energy of 30,000 people screaming together.  It’s measurable and it’s a presence.  People who can utilize that energy, flow with it, and align with it, are—in my profession, called performers.  They can channel that energy.  It’s our responsibility as humans to channel that, and not to limit our creativity in any way.

I’m not trying to preach and be holier than thou, but it’s what I have personally discovered to be true in my life, and that’s it.  And that’s all that advice really is—my own perspective on life.  I mean, if you ask a 35-year-old happily married man about marriage, he will have one opinion.  You ask a twice-divorced guy in the bar about marriage, and he’ll say a totally different thing, ‘cause their advice comes from different places.  
This is the advice that I have based on what I know.  That’s it.

Tell me about your move to Los Angeles.

Before I lived here I didn’t like coming here.  Just recently I got shown the right people, like my Producer Kevin, the right nooks, the right places to eat, like Cafe Gratitude, ya know?  Those things changed my whole world.  

I can see how it would totally get you inspired.  When it comes to recording, what is it that you want to say, now that you have grown up a bit?

So much.  It’s been a long time since I put another album out, so it’s like all of my life experiences are going into these songs.  This album deals with forgiveness, awareness, pollution, depression, and pure unbridled love/happiness.  Sums up my past year!

Tell me about the first single from the album.  I heard you used some interesting tactics.

Ha!  You’re talking about ‘Forgiven.’  So I was at Kellen Malloys’s place,  we were plugging in all these midi-sounds in his keyboard, and he was like, ‘This sounds cool, what do you think about this one, this is cool, what about these shakers?’  Nothing sounded right.  So I was like, ‘Alright, hear me out, let’s just try something.  Mic my lap, and we’ll see what works.’  So he put a mic near my pocket, and I stood up did this (plays beat with hands on his legs).  We filled my pocket with change, I put my cellphone in my other one, we did that beat onto the song, and it came out spectacular.  It sounds exactly like real life, and it was created in real life, more importantly.  I’m playing tiki torches, we’ve got a stomp, and a butterknife on the reeds...random shit.

People are spending a ton of money on a drum-head, and I’m literally using the change in my pocket, and getting, what I think, is a better, more accurate sound.  Percussion especially, everything has a sound (knocks on the chair, the table, etc.).  It’s just a matter of putting it in with the right combination of other sounds to make it sound good and attractive and what we want.  I’m kind of going on a tangent, but everything has a sound, so I just started listening to what everything sounds like, and used the things that are right in front of me.  So that’s what the album is gonna do, sound-wise.  It’s super exciting.

What do you see as your future until you can relax and surf in your old age?

Near future is here in Hollywood, after that, maybe New York—just because I want to be driven and surrounded by driven people.  The only faster place than LA would be New York.  When I am old...I don’t know.  Maybe start a life in Australia somewhere near Byron Bay.  It all depends on what I create.  Can’t plan it too much though.

You can plan as much as you want, there will always be random occurrences—those elephants.

Yes!  And I follow my gut, definitely.  You can convince yourself not to do something if you think about it long enough instead of just going for it.  I always just go.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Inside the Burger Bubble: A Q&A with Burger Records

            Recently, I found myself on the 91 Freeway, exiting State College Blvd. in Fullerton, heading over the train tracks, and turning left into an unassuming strip of small businesses amidst a neighborhood of industrial companies.  The only signs of Burger Records were a modest red and white light box sign attached to the building above the entrance, and a few bins of dollar records placed out front to entice potential customers.  But once I swung the glass-paneled door open, I was greeted by the lingering scent of Nag Champa incense, the glow of green walls the color of grass in the Springtime, a premium tune being emitted via vinyl from speakers in the back, and an eclectic mix of records and music oddities that had been discovered on Craigslist, at swap meets, or the local non-profit retail shop.  Owners and operators Sean Bohrman, Lee Rickard, Brian Flores and Bobby May greeted and invited me to the stock room in the way back filled with VHS tapes, record back-stock, posters, cassette tapes, crates, chests, bookshelves, tables, and couches to tell me about how the business began before the doors of the establishment officially opened two years ago, and what it means to truly be in the ‘Burger Bubble.’

Before Burger Records even existed, did all four of you already know each other?

Lee Rickard: Yeah.  We’ve been doing the label about five years.  It all started with mine and Sean’s old band Thee Makeout Party!, and Brian (Flores) used to have a record store called Third Eye Records.  He was a fan of our music, and he actually chipped in and paid for half of Burger recording number one, but he had his own label at the time called Yellow Sun Records.

Bohrman: I met Lee back in high school back in ’98.

Rickard: We became friends around Halloween time of ’98 at Koo’s Cafe and he was making fun of my long hair.  Then he started taking me to the movie theater.  I never really watched movies, so I finally started entering pop culture.  I grew up on a horse stable in Anaheim called Rancho Del Rios Stables that was established in 1970.  My mom helped run it for 30 or so years.  That’s where I kind of learned how to run a family business, and a lot of that stuff transferred to Burger.  We’re still working out the kinks.

That’s always a constant part of business I suppose?  When did you decide it was time to start the shop here, and why did you choose Fullerton?

Bohrman: Well I grew up in Anaheim.

Rickard: We met in East Anaheim.  We went to Katella High School.

Bohrman: Then later we had Thee Makeout Party!, and we started playing with this band called Audacity, who were from around here and are really good.  That’s how we met Bobby.

Bobby May: I’m from Fullerton, and Audacity is from Fullerton, and we all went to Fullerton High School.

Rickard: But when we truly bonded with Bobby, we were driving back from Brea’s Best and we saw Bobby walking by his lonesome…

Bohrman: …just down the street and we were like, ‘Hey we know that guy, pull over.’  And so we turned around and then we picked him up.  Then we went to like three shows that night.  It was a crazy night.

Rickard: We played a show sponsored by Vice and Colt 45.  Then we went to another party, and another party at the end too.  It was a hectic night.

Music and partying basically brought you guys together?

Rickard: Yeah, and same with Brian.  He had his record store where we used to buy all of our records.

Bohrman: I worked right next to there for years.  I was a graphic designer and on my lunch breaks I would go there and look at records.  We would trade music and we had a lot in common.

So Brian, you’re a little bit of the ringleader over here then?

Brian Flores: I went to like all of Thee Makeout Party! shows.

Bohrman: We took him on tour across the country.

Rickard: Multiple times.

Flores: We had been hanging out for a while before we opened the record store.

Bohrman: I was working at the magazine, and I was going to go on tour with Makeout Party, and my work wasn’t going to let me go, like they had two times before, because the economy went bad.  Then I decided I’m just going to quit after working there for four and a half years.  If I had saved another half a year, I would have gotten like $10,000 matched for my 401k, but I didn’t.  I just cashed out my 401k and got $7,000, and opened the store with Brian when we got back from tour.  It’s been going really well.
(L-R) Bobby May, Sean Bohrman, Lee Noise Rickard, Brian Flores
Photo by Olivia Hemaratanatorn
No regrets?

Bohrman: No.  At the time, I would drive around and just start to think about things, and I’d think, ‘What am I doing?’

Rickard: Well the beginning process with all the paperwork and the political aspect…

Bohrman: It’s the worst.

There are quite a lot of hoops to jump through.  Has the ‘bad economy’ affected your business at all?

Bohrman: It hasn’t really affected us as a store because people continue to buy music.  Last year around Fall ‘10 was our slowest time that we’ve had in the last two years.  This year hasn’t slowed down, which is good.

Rickard: Art thrives in times of desperation.  That’s what fuels the fire for the freaks.  And there’s a handful of people that buy nearly everything we put out, and that keeps us floating and it encourages us to put more and more out.  So everyday we’re doing layouts and every week we’re putting out new releases.  The ball is rolling, as they say.

For a band or an artist, their success seems to depend on if the vessel is genuine.  It seems like you have an excellent vessel floating here.

Rickard: We try to stay positive, and just seeing things and believing they can happen.  It’s easy to go, ‘Well that’s tough, and that’s gonna be hard, and that’s not gonna happen for this many reasons.’  It’s like, it can happen, and if you already believe that, then you can get your partners to believe that.  Then everyone believes who are on the same wavelength, like your friends and family.  You believe, and then it just blows up.  As long as it’s positive, and you’re doing good and helping other people, it will come back to you ten-fold.

So you started the label before you opened the store?

Rickard: The store has been open for two years, and the label has been around for a handful of years.  Before the label, we were writing Burger Productions on our artwork. As far as legitimizing over the last two years, the store has been a front for our religion.  People from all over the world come here, it’s pretty cool stuff.

Brian, you had your record store Third Eye Records.  How long have you been in the industry?

Flores: I’ve been in the music industry since I was about 17 years old.  I worked for Tower Records up north in San Francisco.  My goal always was to work for a major record label in artistic development.  I interned for two years before opening my own store, and then I finally did it.  So I was doing that sort of work up north, developing bands was what I wanted to do, but I found out the industry was what I hated, and everything started collapsing and there were mergers and stuff.  My job was not secure at all, so I freaked out.

Is that when you decided to start your own business?

Flores: It took a little while, but I knew even if I wasn’t working at a record store, I’d be volunteering at a record store.  I just had to be around it.

I definitely understand the need to have music around all the time.

Rickard: It’s a ritual; it’s spiritual.  When you listen to a record, in ten or 15 minutes, you’re going to have to flip it over.  In between, you have time to read every detail and look into every nuance.

We’ve lost that aspect as we’ve moved into a digital age?  When you have a computer with thousands of songs on it, you can hit the space bar to play, just let it run, and you don’t have to think about it that much.

Rickard: If you have a computer and a space bar.  But when you live in space and the world is your bar, you just go with the flow and it’s easier for us to make friends with all the rock and roll bands that are playing.

Flores: Burger Space (laughs).

With vinyl, it’s necessary to stay connected—you have to flip the record and have more of a relationship with it.

Rickard: Exactly.  It’s more up front in your mind, and it’s not something like a CD where you can listen to it while you’re driving.

Sean, what are you drawing over there?  You’re a lefty, eh?

Bohrman: Yep, just doodles.
Tell me more about the label. I would ask whom you’re working with, but there is a long list of artist names.

Rickard: We have done over 150 some odd releases thus far.

Bohrman: We’re adding new stuff everyday.  There’s so much good music happening right now that we’re just trying to keep up with it.

What do you think about the majors?

Rickard: We just do our own thing.  If you can push a record and believe in it.  The majors really believe in it, but…

May: Jive, Arista, and J Records all went under yesterday.  They all collapsed under into RCA and they got rid of them.

Rickard: That just shows the foundation of those labels.  They lose so much when they blow up and they turn into something that has no soul behind it.  We’re thriving because we believe in something, that’s not just our imagination, but all of our imaginations, including the bands and our friends.  It turns into a bigger thing.  It’s not that manipulated.

I wonder if those guys at the majors wake up and feel the obsession like you guys do?

Flores: It’s about business and numbers.

Rickard: We’re passionate about it.  Our numbers may be small, but they have grown.  We want every tape to get in the right hands.  It’s not about collecting money all the time, it’s more like, ‘You need to hear this.’  If it triggers something, then we just want to spread the gospel of rock and roll because we believe in the music.

I think you guys would be doing that even if you didn’t have a record store.

Rickard: Sean and I would go to the swap meets early in the morning on the weekends, and dig through records.  We would buy great records over and over again.  If you find a great record for a $1, you’re going to buy it and give it to your friend and tell them, ‘This will change your life.’  It’s a good feeling and that’s what the store is basically.  It started with our own collections, and then turning our friends onto it.

Community seems to be a big thing for you guys, and I notice you put on shows here at the shop, and also get the locals involved with label production as well.

Rickard: When we had a band, we would do whatever it took to make shit happen.  There’s a handful of people that do shows at their house, and touring bands come through and they are down to make shit happen.  We’re down too.  People come through and say that nothing else is popping up, and I’ll be like, ‘Yeah, you can play the store.’  It’s a big deal to some, and a big deal to give that outlet.  All of the neighborhood is doing awesome too.  They want to hear the bands.  Feeding People, Cosmonauts, Cum Stain, Audacity, Death Hymn—there’s too many bands in the neighborhood to even remember.

How do bands usually contact you guys? Or is it you reaching out to them?

Rickard: Occasionally we do reach out to bands—shit that we’re super horny for.  We’ll send vibes, and that’s how we got to work with some of the bigger artists like Milk ‘n’ Cookies.  A lot of friends from the community have turned us on to stuff after a while.  Touring got us in touch with a lot of people too.

Bohrman: We hear about bands sometimes through friends.  Every once in a while, we’ll get a demo or something from a band.  We get demos all the time, but every once in a while, we’ll get one that’s really good.

Rickard: We want to know that people, and if we want it to be like a friendly family-based thing, it’s not like we’re just trying to get the big dogs to make it look legit.  We know what it is.  It’s organic, and we’re really into those records at the time.  We get obsessed.  We’re freaks, or whatever you want to call it.  We’ll listen to records over and over again for however many days, weeks, months, or years. It’s all the bands that make Burger.  We just love them so much that we give them an outlet.  If they want to make a tape, we’re stoked.  Like The Go, was a favorite band of ours and now we’re putting out their box-set.  They’re like, ‘You like us?  You really really like us?  We’ll will you do this?’ and we’re like, ‘Yes.’  So we’re doing a five-tape box set that should be out for the holidays.

Most bands don’t exactly get ‘the treatment’ when they’re on the road playing venues and meeting people.

Rockard:  Yeah, touring in America at $5 a gallon for gas.  We did it for years.  We’ve always been like the outsiders or like the freaks, or the socially awkward people, and we have our moments of being personable, but it’s taken a lot for us to come out of our shells.  It’s nice when people say, ‘We like what you do.’  There’s a handful of kids, the same names, who are buying every release on our list.  We give them whatever we can, we want to turn people on.

What do you guys have in mind for the future?  Seems like you’re on a good path so far…

Rickard: Yeah, until the world ends next year (laughs).  We live in the moment, and we definitely feed off of energy.  Earlier, one of the dudes from Tyrannis was here.  We’re feeding off people who are doing art and layout and putting out tapes.  Kyle from Audacity called me a vibe-sucker.

Bohrman:  Vibe-vampire, or something like that.

Rickard: But it’s true.  It’s like we feed off of these energies.  People I’m excited to see, I’ll start freaking out and bouncing off of the walls.
What would you say an average day here at the shop is like?  Are all of you here every single day?

Rickard: No.

Flores: I’m here five days a week.

May: Five or six.

Bohrman: I’m here everyday.  I have nowhere else to go.

Rickard: That’s my excuse too.

Bohrman: But this is where I want to be.

Rickard: We created this.  We eat and breathe it.  It’s always on the brain.  And it’s great that we’re not working for someone else anymore.  Average day entails—you really want to know this shit?

I do.

Bohrman: I wake up and I go to the bank, and the post-office.

Rickard: For mail-order, we send stuff every couple of days.  In the entry-way of the store, there’s usually a couple packages to go worldwide.

Brian I feel like you’re the record organizer.  Every time I’ve come in here, you’re always pricing a stack of records.

Rickard: He’s the pricer.  He’s had so much experience, in the stores, and he knows the value of records.  Sometimes I’m like, ‘Really Brian?  This is gonna sell for this much money?’  And he’s always like, ‘Yeah.’

Borhman: Lee would be like, ‘Why is he pricing it so high? It’s just going to sit there!’  Then like two hours later, somebody will come by and buy it.  He’s knows what he’s doing.

Flores: There’s a lot to it.  It takes Lee to motivate us a lot of the time; back here in the stock room especially.  If he wasn’t around, we’d be in tons of filth.

Rickard: We have so many movies and records, and we’re trying to get Burger Video off of the ground, so we need to alphabetize.  We’ve started alphabetizing this side, and this side there’s a trunk full that you can’t even see.  We want to turn our love for creepy movies into something that the community can enjoy.

So what’s the rest of a normal day like?

Rickard: Sean usually puts out new orders and new arrivals around midnight.  If that happens, when you get in the store at 11am the next day, there will be a stack of orders.  Sean likes to go get coffee and cookies, and feed off of that.  Then we’ll do layout design, mail order, business orders, and talk to bands—groundwork trying to make shit happen.

Are you guys all working on the computer usually?

Rickard: I’m retarded on the computer.

Borhman: Bobby does a little work on the computer.  Brian and Lee don’t have email or a computer.

Rickard: So we kinda have an idea of what Sean’s going through being the main computer guy, but we have no idea.

Borhman: I can write anything I want about them on the Internet and they’ll never know.

When you’re doing Burger computer work, what are you normally shuffling through?

Borhman: Through the releases we have coming up.  Through business.  I make a list of things to do everyday.  This is my new book.  (Shows a clean, detailed, numbered list written in caps inside of his lined notebook).  This is the new one.  I don’t know, it’s all just random stuff.  Some people contacted us about licensing Tomorrow’s Tulips.  New merch.  Hyping shows, buttons, and new releases.

You seem quite organized.

Rickard: He is right there (in the notebook).  But sometimes he leaves his personal stuff at the cash register.

Borhman: I can’t pay attention.  Burger is all I think about and the only thing I do anything about.  So when it comes to my personal upkeep, or anything relating to myself, it gets lost in the dust.

Rickard: This is our temple, this is our church.

Hopefully people will show respect to the spot so it doesn’t go anywhere.

Rickard:  This is what we want—to share with you and help everyone.  Some people lose grip on that reality.  We’re in the Burger bubble full-time.  This is it.  Sean will be over there doing layouts, I’ll be moving things around and getting tapes out for the week.

Do you design the art for the tapes Sean?

Borhman: Not all of it, but a lot of it.

Rickard: He has to fit the artwork to a tape format.  So if they send us stuff, every tape is different from the original album itself.  It’s not credited, but Sean’s doing layout, and we’re designing things together.

You worked at a magazine before Burger?

Borhman:  I did.  I graduated college in 2004, and then I got the job.

Rickard: I found the job in the paper for him as a graphic designer, and he found a job for me as a costume character.  I ended up being Lady Liberty on the corner for a few months during tax season, and then he ended up getting a job for a few years.

Looks like you’re definitely an artist.

Borhman: It’s mainly just doodles.  I’m not an artist.

Rickard: Hearts and flowers, and I draw on every package.  We’re getting positive feedback.  We put love into everything.  There’s blood, sweat, tears, hair—lord knows what else.

That comes for free.

Rickard: It’s all free.  We take pride in everything we do.  All the tapes are hand-numbered during the first pressing.  We’re assembling, we’re manufacturing, we’re designing—we’re so involved with it.  It’s about the subtle things, and it comes through.  When you are putting that much effort into them, you need to number them so people know—this is hard and look at what we went through to prove to you what we did for this limited amount of tapes.  It’s a lot of effort and energy.

It’s cool that you have a whole team to help out here at Burger.

Richard: Yeah, doing it alone can be daunting.  If I’m by myself, putting a bunch of tapes together, I could choose to create a machine for myself.  But the other way, your friends come, drink a couple beers, and then next thing you know, you just put together a thousand tapes because you’re just hanging out and partying.  Everyone that helps gets the free merch.  Ultimately, you get to feel a part of the music.

Friday, December 2, 2011

OC Music Awards Announces Best Live Band and Best Live Acoustic Showcases

OC Music Awards Announces the 2012 Showcase Series Artists and Schedule
On Tuesday, January 3, the 2012 OC Music Awards Showcase Series kicks off at Costa Mesa’s Detroit Bar launching 7 weeks of free showcases at different venues across the county. 35 local artists will compete for the titles of Best Live Band or Best Live Acoustic, a performance slot at the 2012 OC Music Awards on March 3 at the City National Grove of Anaheim, and a generous prize pack from the Awards partners that will be announced in January.
The Showcase Series is free to submit, free to participate and all shows are free to attend. OC Music Awards received hundreds of submissions from artists across the county hoping to partake in the two-month long live series.
The World Famous KROQ station DJs will host each Showcase event and four respected industry professionals will participate as the Showcase Series Judges, scoring each band’s performance on musicianship, originality, song composition, stage presence and show attendance. The five finalists in each live category will move onto the Showcase Series Finals. Best Live Acoustic Finals will be held on Friday, February 24 and Best Live Band Finals on Saturday, February 25.
Fans of the OC Music Awards Showcase Series artists have opportunity to get involved through Fan Vote. Once the Showcase Series kicks off, fans can vote online at for their favorite participating Showcase artist and move one band in each category onto the Showcase Series Finals, regardless of the Judges scores. Fans who vote automatically enter to win the “Fan Vote” prize pack courtesy of the OC Music Awards partners to be announced in January.
Farmer John joins OC Music Awards as presenting partner in 2012 and will bring their take on “tasting the local flavor” to the Showcase Series and main Awards show. Annual OC Music Awards partners 106.7FM KROQ, Bud Light, Wahoo’s, Red Bull, and BMI will also have interactive presence throughout the Showcase Series and March 3 event.
The final 35 participating 2012 Showcase Series artists and the complete schedule follows. Visit OC Music Awards online for more local music updates.
2012 OC Music Awards
Showcase Series Billing and Schedule
1/03 Best Live Band
Venue: Detroit Bar, 843 West 19th St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Doors: 7:30p, 21+
(8:00) Jeramiah Red
(8:45) Paulie Pesh
(9:30) The Gromble
(10:15) Strange Birds
(11:00) James Fletcher

1/10 Best Live Acoustic
Venue: The District at Tustin Legacy, 2437 Park Ave., Tustin, CA 92782
Doors: 6:30p, all ages
(7:00) Nicole Vaughn
(7:45) Erick Macek
(8:30) Allensworth
(9:15) Moonsville Collective
(10:00) Headshine

1/17 Best Live Band
Venue: Slidebar, 122 East Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, CA 92832
Doors: 7:30p, 21+
(8:00) We Are She Is
(8:45) Midnight Hour
(9:30) Ceasefire
(10:15) We Are the Arsenal
(11:00) PWEST

1/24 Best Live Acoustic
Venue: Malone’s, 604 East Dyer Rd., Santa Ana, CA 92705
Doors: 6:30p, 21+
(7:00) Kacie Yoshida
(7:45) Button Willow Locomotive
(8:30) I Hate You Just Kidding
(9:15) Skee
(10:00) Honeypie
1/31 Best Live Band
Venue: Tiki Bar, 1700 Placentia Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Doors: 7:30p, 21+
(8:00) Red9
(8:45) Slime Kings
(9:30) Snakebit Drifters
(10:15) Death Hymn Number 9
(11:00) Railroad to Alaska

2/07 Best Live Acoustic
Venue: Continental Room, 115 West Santa Fe Ave., Fullerton, CA 92832
Doors: 6:30p, 21+
(7:00) Mandie & Ruby
(7:45) FoxxHound
(8:30) Danny Maika
(9:15) Parker Macy
(10:00) Tully James Wilkinson

2/14 Best Live Band
Venue: Constellation Room, 3503 South Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, CA 92704
Doors: 7:30p, 21+       
(8:00) Ethan Hulse
(8:45) Robert Jon & the Wreck
(9:30) Italian Japanese
(10:15) The Devious Means
(11:00) Mphase

2/24 Best Live Acoustic Finals
Venue: Bands and Venue TBA

2/25 Best Live Band Finals
Venue: Bands and Venue TBA
3/03 2012 OC Music Awards
Venue: The City National Grove of Anaheim, 2200 East Katella Ave., Anaheim, CA 92806