Above: A Christopher Van Redman-designed flyer for UC Berkeley’s Resound. Below: Bicycle Day drummer rocks the Cloyne Coop Stage at Resound Magazine UC Berkeley’s Oct. 4 launch event.
First Friday often denotes the smorgasbord of artists who gather to showcase their work in downtown Oakland at the start of every month. But this Friday, Oct. 4, another kind of art first happened locally: Resound–UC Berkeley’s only strictly music publication–went live.
The invite-only shindig featured three talented, diverse bands, ranging from the bombastic funk-punk of Andrew Levin‘s collective, to the experimental indie rock of Casa Zimbabwe‘s Bicycle Day, to soulful closer Glass Atlas.
With a strict guest list of no more than 70 extra students plus allowances for Casa Zimbabwe affiliates and the members of Cloyne, the Resound launch kicked off strong with a quartet of gifted musicians. The drummer, bassist, guitarist and brass man were a brazen collective who, according to band namesake Andrew Levin, hadn’t formally jammed before that night.
But maybe the spontaneity was the right fuel to this band’s fire, because “lack of practice” was their least attributable characteristic. Whether covering songs like “Jungle Boogie” or bantering with the pumped crowd about George Clinton, the band played like seasoned professionals, captivating the numerous attendees trickling in to the Court venue just before 10 p.m.
After boogie-ing for a (seemingly too short) half-hour with the Levin collective, the lively mood was set, and everyone was anticipating evening favorites Bicycle Day. Immediately filling the floor with fans and noise, the “all killer / no filler” Berkeley band, whose influences include Spacemen 3 and The Coachwhips, commanded the room with their surf-rock fuzz and a filtered mic.
Resound editor Joshua Daranciang especially had fun during the band’s dancefloor-packed set when he jumped into the fierce mosh pit. Bicycle Day’s kinetic energy had provoked its devoted audience to move relentlessly; or as Daranciang describes the scene, he and the fans were “moshing…falling down, getting back up, moshing some more.”
Another editor, Jason Jia, was fascinated by Bicycle Day’s technical chops, and thought they pulled off the noise part of their set without ever sounding boring. “I love the part where Bicycle Day just twisted the synth knob for a whole five minutes,” said Jason. “And I had a lot of fun moshing with everyone.”
It was performance details like that which gave attendees something to talk about and connect over. Serious music fans like Nathaniel Leon, who is working on a multimedia music project, was happy to mingle and make potential collaborative partnerships.
“My favorite part of the evening,” said Leon, who heard about the event through Resound correspondent Penelope Leggett, “was getting to know everyone involved and discussing music with those who love it most.”
And last for the night, not lacking in bravado, was closing act Glass Atlas.
The two-man Oakland band, billed as a “prog/ambient/electronic rock project” on percussionist Sam Gearing’s Facebook page, closed the invigorating evening with a powerful, low key set. Gearing, who also does drum duty in punk band Elegant Trash, accompanied guitarist Myasha Nicholas as he sang original material for the midnight crowd.
Editor Jason, who was riling up the party later in the evening with spirited mic announcements, was particularly excited about Myasha’s playing style.
“The guitar solo of Glass Atlas,” said an enthusiastic Jason, “I could just listen to it all day.”
Also bringing the talent and party with in-house spinning was bangin’ DJ Al Shuman, who turned the co-op’s low-lit dining room into a deep house bunker party. Playing a mix of trap, techno, top 40 and house, Al moved the room with his animated dancing, playing before the opener, between sets, and past Glass Atlas til the show’s 1 a.m. close.
Reflecting on the event, editor Daranciang remarked that he was impressed with Al and each act’s delivery–enough so that he would have had a bigger audience.
“I do wish there had been more people,” he said, “because the talent there was actually pretty dang good.”
Fortunately, this event wasn’t an end-all, but a taste of what’s to come.
In the future we hope to see many more of you moshing with us to another sample of the budding talent the Bay Area has to offer.
Thanks for spending your First Friday with us, and helping to kick off the able future of Cal’s unbeatable music scene.
Editor’s Note: On behalf of the entire Resound UC Berkeley staff, we extend our sincerest thanks to everyone who attended, played at, and made the show happen, including the bands, attendees, social managers at Cloyne Court Coop, and especially the original Resound founders at UNC Chapel Hill. We look forward to the coming year, where we plan to keep you updated on the best things happening with music, and hope to hold more epic events like this one during the semester, and in the years to come. Cheers to your ears, and all that follows suit.
–Audrey Gertz, Editor-in-Chief, Resound UC Berkeley
words and photos by Audrey Gertz