The Kohoutek Battle of the Bands united music lovers
across the Claremont Colleges and raised enthusiasm for the Kohoutek Music and Arts Festival Feb. 24 at the Grove House. The show featured eight Pitzer College student performers or groups that competed for four spots available at Kohoutek, the largest music festival at the 5Cs.
Bands and performers included Chris McKinney, Pirates in
the Kitchen, KCW, Yachter’s Daughters, The Sweet Nothings, Death’rection,
Dr. Nudel and People People. The battle covered a wide range of genres, including hip hop, folk, rock, metal and electronic, as all the performers strove to entertain
the audience and impress the members of the Kohoutek committee. Miranda
Gonzalez Brown PZ ’12, who organized The Battle of the Bands, took part in choosing the four winning student acts.
“We are going to vote based on stage presence, talent and what [the bands] are going to bring to the Festival as a whole… it’s not about
[the band’s] set time or who they are friends with, it’s really about what they
are going to bring to the Festival,” Brown said.
Brown released the winners Sunday at 11 p.m. on The Battle
of the Bands’s Facebook page. The winners were Pirates in the Kitchen, KCW, The Sweet
Nothings and Dr. Nudel.
Pirates in the Kitchen, a three-person band that
consists of a drummer, bassist and guitarist/singer, started the show off with
catchy covers by various artists, including Rage Against the Machine and The Misfits.
Pirates in the Kitchen also performed original songs, including one about
the main singer’s hometown, in which the band sang the lyrics, “Where are you, Portland, Oregon?”
The show progressed with KCW, a solo
performer who plays the keyboard and sings. KCW’s set acted as a transition from more upbeat bands
to a melodic and ambient sound. Although some of KCW’s songs tended to be
slow at the beginning, many of them progressed with strong beats and
funky sounds as the set continued.
Toward the end of the battle, The Sweet Nothings, an emerging folk/rock band, got the crowd dancing with their eclectic folk
sound and vibrant stage presence. The culmination of diverse instruments,
including the electric violin and harmonica, flowed seamlessly throughout The
Sweet Nothings’ set. The Sweet Nothings left the audience smiling and wanting
Dr. Nudel, the second-to-last band of the night,
showcased its unique mixture of funk, rock and roll,
folk and a hint of reggae. The trumpet, with its smooth sound, stood out among the
other instruments as a great addition to Dr. Nudel’s assorted sound on
stage. Dr. Nudel received a positive response from the audience at the Grove
House, demonstrating their strong fan base.
After the show, members of Dr. Nudel shared some of their hopes for their
performance at Kohoutek. Created at the end of last year, Dr. Nudel consists of Jacob
Moss PZ ’13, Rio Bauce PZ ’12, Scott Hunter PZ ’12, Matthew Graham David
Emonson PZ ’12, Dylan Farrell PZ ’12, Alexa Carassco PZ ’12 and
Francisco Simbaña PZ ’12. Though the band is new, the members have been
making music together throughout their four years at Pitzer. Kohoutek is an
optimal opportunity for the members to play formally together at an established, well-equipped music festival before they leave
“Dr. Nudel has only played at the Grove House so far. The
most important part is not the quality of the sound, but getting out there and
playing and having fun with all of your friends. Playing Kohoutek is cool
because you get professional sound engineers coming in, a big mixing board and
monitors,” Emonson said.
Brown is also optimistic about Kohoutek this year and
highlighted the importance of the student bands’ presence at the Festival.
“[Kohoutek] is going to be a really fun event. We are bringing
a lot of great bands. There has been a lot of involvement in the committee and
people have been really working together,” Brown said.
Kohoutek is the weekend of April 27 and 28, and it will be
a great way to see live music and discover new local, national and