Fox Fest is right around the corner on April 13 and the band lineup has been revealed: The Bright Light Social Hour, Jacuzzi Boys, Levek, Saskatchewan, Girls on the Beach, and the Groove Orient. Having never heard of any of these bands, I took it upon myself and do some research. Here’s what I’ve dug up:
The Bright Light Social Hour
Lively, fun, and not afraid to be silly while rocking out. The Bright Light Social Hour is an American rock band from Austin, Texas and named ‘Best Indie Band’ at the 2010 Austin Music Awards. Songs of interest: “Back and Forth” and “Shanty;” the band is easily findable on YouTube.
Soft rock, beachy, and summery. Jacuzzi Boys is a Miami-based three-man group founded in 2007 consisting of guitar, bass and drums. Check out “Glazin’” on YouTube for a sample.
Trancy and rocking hints of 70’s groove with very modern house ambience. Atmospheric, instrumental, synth-heavy, indie-house, psychedelic dance; all of these describe the pleasant surprise that was Levek. Many of the songs are worldly and inspired by the tropics and new age house/afro-punk. I could easily see myself jamming to this on Fox Day on the beach with a drink in hand. My personal favorite and recommendation of what I’ve heard thus far of the visiting bands. Check out these songs on YouTube: “Look On The Bright Side,” “Loon & The Lion,” “French Lessons,” and “Heave Ho.”
Synthy and low-key, the epitome of mellow. If you need to take a nap in between the more energetic bands, this is what you’d want to fall asleep to. “Possession,” a teaser for their upcoming album, is available on the band’s bandcamp website where you can name your own price (or freely download) their music. You can also check out their tumblr page at ssktchwn.com
Girls on the Beach
A throwback to 50’s surf rock ala The Beach Boys. There are elements of blues and rock there amidst the filtered, Sepia-tone sound. Check out the song “Something Wicked,” available on the band’s bandcamp website where you can name your own price (or freely download) their music.
The Groove Orient is actually a Rollins-based group that consists entirely of current students. I sat down with one of the members, Holt student Chuck Magid, to ask details on the project.
Q: How’d the band start?
A: The band started because we went to every meeting where they were organizing the concert. I really wanted to play no matter what. So we put together this kind of super-group of music majors from the school and made this group where – none of us have ever played together before – but we all respect each other and know everyone involved is the best we got. We got two bass players, two guitar players, one playing organ, a drummer… we took a bunch of talented people from the music major and said, we’re all gonna sing, we’re all gonna play each other’s songs. We’re all gonna write songs. We kinda just put together this super group in the past month and a half and we got signed up.
Q: So you guys have never played a gig together before?
A: This will be our first opening gig.
Q: So how often do you guys get to practice?
A: We practice a few times a week. I’d say we have about five rehearsals where we’re writing out charts. We’re now all getting together. We’re all gigging – we all have busy schedules. I’m working at a recording studio half the time. I know two guys are playing in multiple bands. Half the band does jazz night at UCF. We’re all very active in the music community in Orlando and Winter Park. We all know a lot of people too, so we’re going to bring out all the fans from our respective groups and really hype up the set and show.
Q: So how many people are in the group? And where did the name come from?
A: There’s eight to nine people in the group. We call it “The Groove Orient” because we’ve all been playing our instruments forever – I’ve been playing since I was around six. We all know what we’re doing. We’re all excited to play together without the school’s guidelines. It’s us running the show.
Q: Sound-wise, are you guys aiming for one particular sound or are you guys all over the place?
A: It’s all over the place. We do everything from rock ballads, then we do stuff like alternate tuning acoustic based stuff that breaks into a Latin break, like a real funky Latin thing. We’re doing everything from Latin to rock to jazz to blues to world music. We’re gonna have a lot of percussion. We don’t want to limit ourselves because we’ve been training all our lives. The primary focus in the Rollins Music Department is on classical and jazz. One of the guys in the band, Tommy Shugart, just got Best Blues Guitarist in the city of Orlando, and he’s playing organ and keyboard in the band. He’s a freak. He’s one of the best musicians I’ve ever met. I’m super excited to be in this band – we’re gonna see how many gigs we can get after this because this is the start of something big.
Q: How many of you are on vocals?
A: We’re all going be singing. We all brought a handful of songs to the table. We all have certain ways that we want them to be done and we have these twists. We’re really going for that anthem jam-band feel – we want everyone to sing with us. If we all sing, then how can the crowd resist?
Q: How many of your songs will be originals and how many will be covers?
A: We’re doing all originals. We might add a cover in the middle of one of our originals. We might be jamming, and then next moment you think, “Wait, isn’t that–” and then just like that we go back to our originals.