Student showcase exposes talent
Truth is … listen to the lyrics,” said Mike Eddie, a performer in the Music Industries group’s Artist of the Year Finalist Showcase.
Where other schools offer music business courses and degrees, CSUN incorporates music into the business lessons so the students get more than the just the business side of music; they get what they asked for.
Music majors, in the Music Industry Studies (MIS) program, graduate with more knowledge, experience and a wider variety of job opportunities and careers.
The first people I saw at the show was this group of guys who look like they stepped out of the 1960’s and walked into 21st century CSUN.
These guys were the six members of The Refractacles, a psychedelic rock/folk group formed in early 2009, that got their name from the diffraction glasses that make you see prisms when you look through them. There’s Logan on banjo, trumpet and harmonica and vocals, Jerry on lead guitar and vocals, Mika on drums, Chris on bass, Devon on rhythm guitar, and Lincoln on piano. The interview “session” turned into something more like “chaotic nonsense,” Logan said.
Without missing a beat, Logan breaks down the lineup of the band and gives them Backstreet Boys nicknames. Mika is “Mysterious Gypsy,” Jerry the “Symmetrical Cute One,” Chris the fine young upstanding young American, Devon the “Bad Boy”, Lincoln the “Wise and Cryptic Funny One,” and Logan himself as “Manly Fuzzy One.” All the members, minus Chris, went to Loyola Marymount University and met each other mostly through hitchhiking.
The first performer of the show is singer/song-writer Ray Argyle. He’s got a very mellow sound, and to me, personally, his music sounds a little like Incubus. As he performs his songs, I look at his face and what emotions are running tracks all over his face. He’s totally into his music, and when he sings his voice conveys his feelings but dulls them a bit. He doesn’t raise his voice like other artists do when they get to an emotional part in their song. Every strum of the guitar, every chord change spills out what he is feeling like a pitcher with a hole on every side.
Next up we got, in my opinion, the best performer of the night, Eddie. His style is very Maroon 5, although he is considered Pop. The drums are very clear and distinct; you can hear the cymbals, the bass drum, the snare, each one a symphony on its own. And the lead guitarist had incredible solos. He had his sound board where he would change the sound of the guitar and it was just pure beauty.
Music is truly a thing created by the gods. Eddie’s music really comes to life in his lyrics and in the music arrangements. The drums kick in at the perfect time while Eddie is singing. They quiet down for a bit and then, when you are completely engrossed in the words, they jump in and add so much character to the setting. A piece of one of Mike Eddie’s songs goes, “Tell me baby, what’s it gonna be?” It literally felt like one of those surreal moments; the ones where you know what you’re seeing, what you’re hearing is real, it’s in the real world, but it feels like a dream. Mike Eddie’s music takes you to a whole new place, a place where all your cares are gone and nothing but the music, and the moment, matters.
Third group up is The Refractacles. This psychedelic rock-folk band is very Beatles-oriented. When you look at the band perform on stage, you can see the camaraderie between all the members. They have so much energy for a group that is fairly new. The music is electrifying. Everyone harmonizes perfectly and there is not a single note out of place. No riff off count, no ones voice off pitch. It feels like the group was just meant to be.
And our final performance of the night is Ride Your Bike, an Indie rock-pop group. They definitely live up to their genre by sounding very similar to Blink-182. The lead singer has a voice that is just a tad bit higher than Tom DeLonge.
They have a pretty simple band set-up with a seven piece drum set, rhythm guitar, lead guitar, bass and a piano. They are definitely an assortment of sorts; probably a group of the most unlikely people you would ever think to find in a band join together and make up one of the four finalists in showcase out of 60 applicants.
It’s amazing where talent hides and then reveals itself in so many unexpected ways.
This show was definitely amazing. It was probably one of the best performances I’ve been to. Not only was the music really cool, but knowing that the performers were students who are making music their future, their entire life.