Ingredients: Nick Green’s guitar, Chris Hopkins’ bass, Logan Bean’s drums, ample 4-track tape recorders, a hell of a lot of irreverence, and a pinch of freak pop with the rock. Stir ingredients together in a mixer with a lot of attitude and humor on tape, then set out on a stage to cool. The result? Cool Band Now. Friends who grew up in Livermore going to punk shows and pizza parlors together, the trio formed in Santa Cruz as a reaction against the sometimes stifling nature of taking music too seriously. With each member having spent plenty of time and energy on previous projects and recordings, Cool Band Now began over a year ago as a spontaneous endeavor to just have fun. “It’s a trapping feeling sometimes when you spend so much time on a recording to make it sound perfect,” Bean says, “so this was a lo-fi escape from all that.” When Green and Hopkins (whose words sometimes grace GT pages) first haphazardly started recording sound collages that flexed their multi-instrumental talents (there’s a bit of synth, a bit of punk distortion, a bit of indie acoustic guitar) the tracks were made with the idea of television commercial breaks in mind: whacky, experimental and short—very short; some “songs” run 15 seconds long. Think Guided By Voices mosaic of random textures, instruments and harmonies. After adding Bean to the recipe, all three members laid down recordings that would become the 29-track Better Ingredients, Better Pizza. Cool Band Now, album. And then they took it live—reincarnating the songs into straightforward rock storms that span your typical three to five minutes. “We work backwards to how most bands usually work,” Bean explains. “We’ll write and record on the spot and then go back and try to learn how to play them as a band and develop them from there.” Now, songs like “Whatever You Say Man” and “Christmas in Hell”—both written at less than a minute long—unleash at shows as full blown rock jams. “The live set is now pizza party rock and roll,” Bean says, “with some awkward moments.”
INFO: 7 p.m. Friday, March 12. Storey House, 215 Storey St. Santa Cruz. Free. myspace.com/coolbandnow.