Heavy Rotation Record's Annual Epic Event, Berklee Performance Center, February 7, 2007
Beatboxing is overrated. Its initial entertainment value can easily become borderline irritating, even cringe-worthy, with repetition. So the presence of Steve Foxx the Beat Boxx as an MC of sorts at Heavy Rotation Records’ 7th Annual Epic Event on February 7 at the Berklee Performance Center was less than welcome. The Berklee alum was quick to cover any dead air between two-song sets by eight eclectic bands with all sorts of squeaks, snorts, and blips. The crowd (to judge by the abundance of backpacks, mostly Berklee students) used this time to socialize and scout out better seats.
The event’s host, Heavy Rotation, is both a label and one of the best ever ways to get college credit. Each semester, a new batch of Berklee’s music-management hopefuls get to put out an actual album. Sure, they have to wade through hundreds of demos to pick the eight bands to feature on their Dorm Sessions compilation, but they also get to address all aspects of production. Heavy Rotation also released an Apollo Sunshine disc with spinART in 2005, and in 2002 Epic distributed HR’s all-female comp Shekinah. Last year’s class leaned toward hip-hop, but this year the music ranged from the comfy alt-country of Madi Diaz to the thunderous metal of September Twilight to the reggae dance grooves of Spiritual Rez. The Berklee grads in the power-pop Click Five even popped in for a surprise performance.
But the evening’s highlight was a set by Thick As Thieves, who recruited a second drummer and a string quartet to join them for two powerful, layered rock originals. For a while, real-world professionalism ruled. Then Heavy Rotation co-director Jessica Wolfe strode on stage to make an announcement, Steve Foxx sprinted by and snatched the paper from her hands, and the school-assembly spirit was restored.
: Live Reviews
, Apollo Sunshine, Madi Diaz