Green is Greater lineup finalized: eight bands in six hours

The best in Long Beach music will be showcased Saturday at the Green is Greater Festival, when eight acts will appear on the Gaslamp Restaurant stage during six hours of non-stop tuneage-all to benefit environmental organizations from throughout the area. The final lineup:KOREY DANE & CO. This amazing songsmith and his excellent entourage comes to Green is Greater off a victory at the Buskerfest event that wrapped up the Summer And Music Series in downtown Long Beach. He's already been profiled on Greater Long by Alex Roman III. Korey Dane & Co. will be on stage from 5:10 p.m. to 6 p.m. THE GOSPELS The Gospels call themselves "a trifecta of localized Southern California nomads with a sound that changes as often as their addresses." That sounds like Sean Danson talking-he's a member of the band, and when he was a designer for the The District Weekly we heard a lot of this kind of patter from him. The Gospels just moved back to Long Beach this week and pledge to reignite punk and folk sounds akin to Iggy and the Stooges, Tom Waits, Nick Cave, and Bob Dylan-a stripped-down and amped-up rock & roll that's occasionally sideswiped by a blue song to enjoy your whiskey by. The Gospels will be on stage from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. JENNY STOCKDALE Our sentimental favorite, a former colleague at The District Weekly, whose personal sweetness completely belies the earthy, painful-and sometimes, kinda insane-themes she mines with a guitar and a voice full of lust and woe. A transplant from Upstate New York, grew up in a cow town with one stoplight, a grange and a lot of manure spreaders. Her musical roots-nourished by her country-loving father, her bluegrass-belting grandfather and probably the manure spreaders-are deep, sometimes dark and sort of all over the place. She fits into the singer/songwriter category, but awkwardly, as her influences buckle together folk, gospel, rock and jazz. She relocated to Long Beach, in 2005 and is in the process of recording her first full-length album, due in early 2011. Jenny Stockdale will be on stage from 4 p.m. to 4:20. HEAVY WATER A five-piece psychedelic-Americana rock band. As fans of rock, folk and roots music, the group endeavors to channel its influences into an entirely updated sound. Its current lineup has been together for going on two years, completing a self-titled debut album and already hard at work on a followup. Check 'em out at Heavy Water will be on stage from 3 p.m. to 3:50 p.m. OH GIRL A power duo from Orange County that dabbles in the fine art of sit-back-and-nod-your-head rock. A staple at Clancy's in Long Beach for a year this month, Oh Girl is equal parts Weezer and the Foo Fighters, with a healthy dose of Tenacious D to boot. They're a band that isn't afraid of creativity on the fly, often taking crowd suggestions and crafting songs on the spot. Check 'em out at Oh Girl will be on stage from 2:10 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. THE EXTINCTION THEORY Travis Burns, Sean Martineau, Bryan O'Neill, Lindsay Spence have a lot on their minds, and they let it go in their songs. "It's extremely simply music," they say. "It's just our life experiences put into the music you hear. Each song tells a different story: love, loss, pain, angst, life, death, suffering and faith. Sometimes they rock it and sometimes they don't. Check 'em out at The Extinction Theory will be on stage from 1:20 p.m. to 2 p.m. ALICIA MURPHY What originally may come across as the stream-of-conscious noodling of a playful young woman-Alicia's not yet 20-turns out to be so much more. Murphy has an uncanny talent for mining the poignance from thoughts most of us just let fly away. Alicia Murphy will be on stage from 12:40 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. THE POTENTIAL LUNATICS There's no better introduction to this band than the one that Ellen Griley wrote for The District Weekly lastJanuary. Here it is: "If the Potential Lunatics were 15 or 20 years older, we might lend them the same skeptical ear that perks up any time a band cites Nirvana or the Pixies as significant influences. But unlike the rest of us, singer/guitarist Emma Simons-Araya can't remember the day Kurt Cobain died-can't even begin to, actually. She was born the following year. "Where a typical 14-year-old girl might rattle off the names of all three Jonas brothers with ease, Emma, who arrives at our interview sporting Manic Panic blue bangs, a red plaid skirt and a Pixies shirt, immediately recognizes the shirt I'm wearing just for the occasion, a faded black tee with "Show Me Your Riffs" emblazoned across the chest: "Corin wore that!" she exclaims, referencing the original shirt worn by Sleater-Kinney's Corin Tucker. Emma missed their 1994 debut by a few months, too."I definitely like '90s music, [but] it's not like I remember it or anything," she says. "I mean, I was born in 1995, so I wasn't really there to experience it-but from what I read, it was awesome!" "Younger brother Isaac-turning 12 in January-joins Emma in the band on drums, an instrument he first picked up at age 9 after six years spent toying around with a glockenspiel ("I stopped because I didn't know how to actually play it," he says). "Growing up, music was all around them, says Isaac: mom Cecille's parents were jazz musicians, dad Cisco plays guitar and you may know uncle Tom-Tom Araya-from Slayer. "Cecille and Cisco played the Beatles for young Emma and Isaac, but it was sister Aubrey (older than Emma by 10 years) who first introduced them to punk and riot grrrl. After starting out on bass ("[I was playing] the Ramones, which isn't really 'good-playing' bass, but kind of more like punk bass"), Emma asked Cisco to teach her guitar: "I wanted to learn how to play a song for my friend Grace because she was moving, and so I learned how to play 'Good Riddance' by Green Day."And then, after "playing music together for like our whole lives," as Emma puts it-initial jams took the form of lip-synced Rancid sing-a-longs set to air guitars and air drums-the two decided to form a band in September 2008, writing punk/grunge songs that are definitely not kidz bop ("I wanna be the one who smiles as you play," sings Emma on the simply fantastic "Deranged Love Song"). Though early audiences assumed otherwise, anyway: "This one guy was like, 'Wow, what is this, the school talent show?'" Emma recalls. "[Afterward], we were just like, 'Whatever.' We got up and left!" "Many shows have since followed (including one that saw the band covering Sleater-Kinney's "Modern Girl" and Hole's "Doll Parts" and another with a Taylor Swift cover-"Yoouuuuuu Belooooong Witttthhh Meeeee," Emma reenacts in a monster growl) and an EP, too. A full-length album is on its way. As for a tour: "Ahhh I wish!" says Emma. "My parents are all, 'Can't do that-I don't want to be stuck in the car with you guys!'" Well, someday, maybe. Unless infighting doesn't get the better of the Potential Lunatics first: "Usually when we have fights it's about who's going on the computer," says Emma. "Like, 'Hey, it's my turn to go on the computer!' 'No! I'm playing a game!'" The Potential Lunatics will be on stage from noon to 12:30 p.m. •The Green is Greater Festival will be held Saturday from 12-6 p.m. at the Gaslamp Restaurant, 6251 E. Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach. Admission is free and all ages are welcome.

********** Published: September 16, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 22