What makes the bands in some college towns so much better than others? Kinda depends on how you define exactly what a college town is. Riverside has its ubiquitous UCR, and San Bernardino has their CSUSB, but really, these are mostly commuter schools, which aren’t terribly conducive to fostering intriguing local music hubs. There’s certainly more of a sense of that over at the University of Redlands, nestled in a burg that’s birthed some fine bands (insert gratuitous shout-out to Hobo Jazz here).
But none of these IE higher learning establishments have anything on Claremont, an incestuous music town where it just seems like every player knows one another. There’s something about its mix of a great record store (Rhino), an awesome music shop (the Folk Music Center), a cool little pedestrian-friendly downtown, its cluster of liberal arts campuses and the sweet, delicious alcoholic beverages that flow at the Press that’s responsible for nurturing such awesome aural talent.
And here’s our latest Claremont fave, Worried Minds, a band who goose up their guitar sounds with colorful accoutrements like cellos and mandolins. There’s a lot of deep thinking going on here courtesy of head singer/songwriter Martin Maudal (who, we guess, basically is Worried Minds, since he’s the only one pictured on their Buddy, Can You Paradigm? CD), with lyrics that touch on nameless power-crazed leaders, spiritual allegories, and richly descriptive lines that have you swearing Maudal has a lit degree from one of the Claremont campuses. The guy has a creamy voice, too, and can croon in a near-falsetto as if he were a resurrected Nick Drake. Smash his pipes together with music that sounds like newly-discovered bootleg tapes from Jeff Buckley’s old touring band, and you’ve got an outfit that’s churning out something really special.
More info at www.myspace.com/worriedminds or www.worriedminds.com.
Attention Riverside/San Bernardino County bands (you too, Claremont, La Verne and Pomona)! Mail your CDs and tapes (along with your vital contact info, plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Band of the Week, IE Weekly, 2175 Sampson Ave., Ste. 118, Corona, CA 92879. Or you can be lazy and e-mail us your MySpace link to firstname.lastname@example.org.