Expanding music scene

Samantha Lopez Arts & Entertainment Contributor

The collaborative effort between local musicians and their followers is essential in creating a repertoire of live music in town.

“The Corvallis music scene is here and it’s growing,” said Jason Owen, senior in New Media Communications, “There’s a lot of people who underestimate how much time and commitment these people, who have nothing to gain really, put into this. All they’re doing is sharing their passion with people who are willing to listen.”

On the evening of Jan. 19, a mixture of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as Corvallis locals, gathered at Interzone cafe to listen to a live mid-week concert. There were three bands on the show’s line-up.

The first artist to perform was Steve Hunter. Hunter is the lead singer of the locally acclaimed band, That Coyote, but took the stage solo—just him and his guitar—to perform a short list of very intimate songs.

Hunter sat in a chair centered on the make-shift stage, appearing rather small and timid. As soon as he started to strum his guitar and sing, his emotive vocals made the entire room come to a stand-still. People stopped what they were doing to take a seat anywhere they could, mostly right in front of Hunter on the ground.

Hunter’s songs were all filled with a dissonant emotion that paralleled the mood of the crowd and weather outside. A sense of connectedness radiated among the cross-legged individuals. His first song “Spark”, mimicked similar tones of Father John Misty.

For a complete shift in stage presence, the next band, Byrgeau Noil, was made up of Max Popff on guitar and Evan Callas on drums, both from Denver, CO.

The two are touring the West Coast and made a stop in town specifically for this event. Their sound is reminiscent of 90’s alternative bands like Pavement, Guided By Voices and Pixies—heavy in discordant feedback layered with unusual melodies, all of which was tied by the belching vocals of Popff.

The spirited performance of the two invigorated the crowd as they bobbed their heads in unison.

“You can really feel what they’re trying to say in their music. It’s a powerful feeling to sense how happy a band is while playing on stage.” said Corvallis community member, Ian Butcher.

The last band to take the Interzone stage was Mons La Hire. Members include Daniel Watkins on guitar and lead vocals, Suzanne Watkins on bass, Charlie Carr on guitar, Patrick Beasley on drums, and Matt Cornelius on keyboard.

As the night went on, the cafe filled up to its brim. Together, the five portrayed a sense of camaraderie, taking time while setting up and in between songs to talk with the crowd.

Their music is a crafted collection of instantly memorable melodies that are filled with complex arrangements, sounding like Wilco and Minus The Bear. The group had nothing but smiles as they performed their set.

A collective led by Indiana Laub and Caitlin Garets called Corvallis DIY, put on the event. The group is dedicated to shining a light on the hidden music scene of the town. They aim to bring attention to the “do it yourself” music scene that has been developed as a way to go around the mainstream music industry.

“I like how personal the setting is. I love that after their performance, you can just go up to the band and talk to them, it’s very cool,” said Lucas Paris, New Media Communications sophomore.

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