Interview: Jesse Gonzales and the 2012 Indie-Pino Underground Music Fest

San Francisco's Good Night Robot at the 2012 Indie-Pino Underground Music Fest

As my friends will attest to, I have never been known as a indie music aficionado. I am a proud child of the 80’s with bands like Lakeside, New Edition and Wham pulsing through my veins . . . oh, and Debbie Gibson ūüėČ Still, I love music of all kinds and given the chance, love listening to folks who have found a way to share their passion and talent no matter what the genre.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to bring the whole family to the 2012 Indie-Pino Underground Music Fest that was held in conjunction with the ¬†program at The Yerba¬†Buena¬†Center for the Arts in San Francisco. It was an¬†uncharacteristically¬†warm San Francisco Day, but people danced, ate amazing desserts from Dr. Dawn’s Baking Company and enjoyed great music. I caught up with one of the organizers and long-time supporter of independent music, Jesse Perez Gonzales.

Here is my interview with Jesse followed by a little info about each of the bands:

What inspired you to organize Indie-Pino?

Organizing shows and supporting local bands are my passion. I love doing this ever since the pinoisepop music festival days. What really is inspirational (and I’m really flattered) is that for a well known organization such as YBCA (Yerba Buena Center for the Arts) to recognize what my brother and I have done in regards to supporting the local fil-am bands in the bay area. YBCA has heard about the piNoisepop Music Festival and they have reached out and asked if I can curate the music event.

It’s about the opportunity to organize an event at big venue and to be able to work with an organization (YBCA) that strongly supports the community, and its local art and music and music scene. It’s such a blessing that I felt appreciated on the small things that my brother and I have done with the music scene in San Francisco.

What do you hope is the results of the weekends show?

We were hoping that it would have a good turn out of people going and that the weather would be extremely beautiful. (In which, all expectations happened yesterday)

What is next?

My brother and I will still continue to organize small shows and be involved with our own music projects.

Name 2-4 organizations, people, bands that have inspired you.

Dawn Mabalon – She inspires me and I continually learn from her everyday. I’ve learned to be a strong leader and to be more compassionate on any work that I believe in.

Augusto Gonzales – without the support of my brother, I wouldn’t have done the “music” thing if it wasn’t for him. We have the same mission statement in terms of supporting and caring for the local bands. We’re not here to be RICH and be FAMOUS. We believe in the small bands and support their struggle in the music scene. If you’re an organization who thinks that you’re going to make money out of our small shows and events, then you’re working with the wrong people. All we want to do is have the bands play their music and just to have fun. Money is not a priority, the music is.

Descendents – ‘Cause they write awesome punk love songs. All their songs are inspirational. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to all the songs that they’ve written. My favorite songs from them is “Get The Time”, “Cheer” and “Pep Talk”. When I feel down and sometimes things are not going right, I listen to my Descendents cds and it changes my mood right away.

This really was a great day, the sun was shining and folks showed up who were both connected in some way as well as the random San Francisco wanderer. You can see some of the pictures of the bands here and below is a little more info* about each of the artists: The Savages, Pedro Gil, Golda + The Guns, the Jack Lords Orchestra and Good Night Robot.

The Savages [Website | Facebook]

The Savages are electrosoul, Vallejo-grown, first generation rock-and-roll. They are a 21st-century sound for heathens, future-seers and the civilized alike. Their music draws equally from the seductiveness of R&B, the honesty of soul, the explosiveness of rock and the root of it all that ties them all together.

Pedro Gil [Website | Facebook]

Pedro Gil is a five-piece from all around Los Angeles. We are friends first, a band second, and nerds third. We make sweet, delicious, catchy and addicting pop rock for boys and girls of all shapes and sizes, so good that you could put us in your pocket, eat it days later and it will still taste yummy. Our songs will make your feet tap from your ski hat to your knee caps and make you fall in love with your girlfriend/boyfriend all over again. Oh, and we’ve also been known to start some of the kindest riots in town where kids will ask each other, “Excuse me, may I mosh with you?”

Golda + The Guns [Facebook]

Golda + The Guns spin firelight tales of guitar and heart on the darkest of nights. Their ensemble‚Äďincluding Golda Supernova on vocals, Brandon Bigelow on guitar, Dennis Sarte on bass, and Eric Salvador on drums‚Äďdistinguish rebellious storytelling with rock, punk drive. Their video for ‚ÄúDrop You,‚ÄĚ directed by Wernher Von Goff and featuring San Francisco comedian Kevin Camia, won the SFIAAFF Judges Choice Award for best DIY Video 2010. G+G live in the Bay Area and are Bindlestiff Studio Resident Artists.

The Jack Lords Orchestra [Website | Facebook | Twitter]

In summer 2006, while on hiatus from their other bands, The Jack Lords Orchestra began as a quest for timeless, melancholic pop that exists in a universe where the Brill Building of the sixties, Manchester in the eighties, Manila under martial law and the islands of Oahu and New York City are somehow one and the same. Their self-titled debut album (‚ÄúThe Jack Lords‚ÄĚ) was released in 2007. They are currently master-mixing their forthcoming album of orchestral maneuvers in the dark.

Good Night Robot [Website | Facebook]

In reference to difficulty sleeping, Good Night Robot started as a secret bedroom project for songwriter Abby Camaya and drummer Rob Uytingco. For the on-again-off-again couple, playing and writing music served as the outlet for communicating with each other. In 2011, Rex Padayhag and Roberto Burgos joined the duo, making the Robots complete. The group has been good friends for many years as former bandmates and members of San Francisco bands Sweet Trip, Sugarspun, and the Parties.

Good Night Robot released their debut EP in October 2011 and are currently recording their full-length album, ‚ÄúSleeping Disorders,‚ÄĚ scheduled for release in May 2012. With a love of boy-and-girl harmonies, robotic electro glitches, simple pop hooks, and fuzz guitar, the band seeks to implant their robotic pop sounds in the heads of dreamers and sleepwalkers everywhere.

* Taken from the official indie-pino website.


Bruce’s Friday Five v6.8

1/ONE – I grew up playing games like Dungeons and Dragons and Tobrukyeah, I was pretty cool – so the fact that my all three of my kids enjoy The Settlers of Catan makes my geeky little heart jump for joy. I also love it when people combine passions: for instance this bit of Settlers awesomeness or this “want vs. need” Settlers masterpiece and lastly, for you¬†Shakespearian¬†Settlers in the house, my thespian Eldest child came up with the above Catamletesque illustration.

2/TWO – Quite possibly the most thought-provoking and compelling “open letter” that I have read about the struggles of young adults in the church, take a read of, a¬†letter from an exhausted/exasperate young person who has a complicated love/hate relationship with the church. h/t: Bob Carlton.

3/THREE – First,¬†If you have ever heard been to¬†either¬†of the arts/spirituality festivals,¬†Greenbelt or Wild Goose, I am jealous. ¬†I have wanted to go to either/both, but dates and logistics have never worked out . . . until now. The Wild Goose Festival is coming to the Best Coast and¬†I just committed to being there (role TBA). Wild Goose West is taking place over Labor Day Weekend in Benton County, near Portland, “We are a community creating a festival at the intersection of justice, spirituality and art. We take inspiration from many places, such as Greenbelt, Burning Man, the Iona Community, SXSW, and others.”¬†Get your $99¬†Early¬†Bird Special¬†here, follow the Wild Goose Festival blog and I hope to see you Labor Day Weekend

4/FOUR РFor those of you who know about the legacy and work of the National Council of Churches, I am excited about the announcement that the Governing Board unanimously selected Peg Birk as their Transitional General Secretary. As I have mentioned before, I am part of the Task Force on Re-envisioning and Restructuring so it feels like some great movement forward is starting to take place.  [Read full announcement]

5/FIVE – As many of you know, I am a huge baseball fan. Saw these great 1800’s pictures of baseball players from the sports section of the The Business Insider of all places. Who knew? And if you like those, you have to see all 1,3080 minutes of Ken Burn’s¬†documentary, Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns. Even the greatest of baseball fans will learn something.

BONUS 6-10 link love:

6/FOLLOW – For you Drum and Bugle Corps folks out there, Drum Corp International can be found and followed at @DCI_Tour.
7/LIKE – If you are a sucker for cute dog pictures and good people, like Lucky Buddy Petcare, a small business owned by Janet, a friend from my Sacramento high school days.
8/GO TO THIS CONCERT – If you are in San Francisco tomorrow, June 9th, head on down to¬†Yerba¬†Buena Sculpture Court for the FREE, All-Ages¬†“Indie-Pino”¬†an outdoor event celebrating “filiPino/a” independent and underground music. Bands:¬†The Savages,¬†Pedro Gil,¬†Golda and the Guns,¬†The Jack Lords Orchestra and, headliner,¬†Good Night Robot. Event is curated by Jesus Gonzales of the piNoisepop Music Festival. [FB Event]
9/READ THIS BOOK – If you need a good book to add to your summer reading list, check out¬†The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson. It reads like a mystery novel, but it’s all true. Creepy awesome.
10/SIGN THIS PETITION РSign this petition: I could not really believe that there has not been a female presidential debate moderator in two decades. Huh? Add your name to this petition.

My Friday Five is somewhat of a mishmash of stuff I have recently seen around the interwebs, some of which I actually kept track of and others, I just remembered upon the writing of this post. Enjoy.