MEMBERS & INSTRUMENTS:
Marz Jackson (guitar); Tara Tavi (vocals); Captain Excitement (vocals); Michael Valentine (bass); Daniel Armsley (drums), Grampa (guitar).
CITIES OF ORIGIN:
Pomona, Upland, Claremont, Montclair.
It’s so very simple over here, as Captain Excitement offers just four words: “Rock, punk, party, fun.” That’s our kind of band…really.
Covers are the bread-and-butter of countless local bands. Roll by just about any area strip mall that’s housing a watering hole with a platform-cum-stage and a PA system blaring with the fidelity of a drive-thru speaker, and you’ll catch sets of familiar sounds to varying degrees of enjoyment.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with that. Plenty of bands with original material got their launch hashing out tunes penned by others. Add Dude Mirror to that list, a rock act from the northwestern quadrant of the region, which, according to vocalist Captain Excitement, started some three or four years ago, with an intentional decision to focus on playing B-side covers “because none of us had been in a cover band and wanted to do some cool tunes.” Hey, fair enough.
With a passion described by our Captain as solid, energetic and fun, Dude Mirror is now starting to write new material. Yes, originals are trickling out from the band whose yet-unexplained name is seemingly credited to the band’s first guitarist.
And you might hear some of these latest creations this Thursday at The Hip Kitty in Claremont, a familiar stop for Dude Mirror (and one sporting an actual stage and PA setup). That’s ’cause the group will be sharing the bill with three other fantastic locals (Wckr Spgt, Desperation Squad and Savage Republic) for a night in honor of local artist Kara Engel. (Editor’s note: Just as we were going to press, we learned of Engel’s death. This interview was conducted prior to her passing.)
And originality is key here, as there will be plenty of tunes that aren’t easily spotted on any best-of collection or commercial radio station chart. Plus the night will feature a collection of longtime Inland Empire musicians who’ve firmly placed their independent artistic mark on the territory.
“I think there is a diverse, creative and vibrant music scene here,” Excitement says. “I feel there are a lot of factors coming together that will make the world notice the music in the IE.”
Dude Mirror w/Desperation Squad, Wckr Spgt and Savage Republic at The Hip Kitty, 502 W. 1st St., Claremont, (909) 447-6700; www.hipkittyjazz.com. Thurs, Feb. 17, 9PM.