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Most of my readers are probably too young to remember the Wall Street business strategy of ‘less is more’. More than just a clever marketing ploy or answer to the decadent 80’s MTV call of ‘too much is never enough’, it is a 21st Century principle that was demonstrated tonight at Madlins. So what is ‘less is more’, other than a seeming contradiction of terms? Tonight’s Madlins crowd experienced it firsthand, those most were unaware of it. That is the real world of magical music. To start with, there were four bands scheduled to play tonight but the first group called at 4PM to say they wouldn’t be able to make the show. But this is ‘less is more’ so let’s look past the ‘smoke and mirrors’ for a moment to see how this function works.


Making their second appearance in almost as many weeks, Murrieta’s own AUTOTONE broke the show open with their style of grunge rock for the hefty size crowd of fans, friends, and family. The group made up of Garrett McGregor (drums), Brandon Stephenson (guitar), Brian Meredith (guitar), and Brad Allen (vocals/keyboards) played the set without their bass player John Garrido (‘less is more’). Drawing ample applause after the first song which was opened with a rhyme about each band member by Brandon, the 18-19 year olds displayed budding talent in dishing out tuneful rock to the hometown crowd. The “next song is so fresh (that) we don’t have a name for it, so here goes” piped Brad to the adoring fans, as Brian put in some fresh lead licks of his own. The third song called ‘Falling’ was written for a special little girl. But the corker was when the boys put on lounge lizard shirts, fuzzy wig hats, a large foam cowboy hat, and a bubble head helmet, and threw light sticks out to the mostly young fans before launching into a power pop grunge rocker that got the crowd all fired up.


Fresh from playing a show last night around Phoenix (Peoria, Az, to be exact) this four piece stepped into Madlins as smooth as a cowboy swings open the barroom doors, the promptly blew the roof off the sucka. Recent addition to the three year band from San Luis Obispo, CA, an hour north of Santa Barbara, of Bobby Lucy (drums), Taylor Odenwald (guitar/bup vocals/banjo), and Adam Pasion (vocals/acoustic & electric guitars/mandolin) is Roger Thompkins (bass/bup vocals). Folks, boys and girls, let me tell you, this band is hot!! Excitement is what you get as you watch Roger and Adam play their axes like a witch rides a broom. If you closed your eyes, you would think that you were somewhere deep in Kentucky listening to the sons of bluegrass musicians make music. On their myspace they list it as ‘outlaw rock’ but whatever they call it, it got under the skin of the crowd that came for the first band, including the first band, and made believers of them all, including me. This is why you come to a music ‘scene’, to see rebel youth at its best, kickin’ ass and taking names. For those that missed this performance, and you will hear about it on Monday at school (tonight on myspace for you hipsters), you can catch this unsigned (I can’t believe that) band again at Madlins on March 30th, a Wednesday night show during Spring Break. We’re planning for a sell-out.


The musical ass kicking didn’t stop with the second act though, as more rebel youth made their voice heard. Listed as Fallbrook (CA) rock ‘n’ roll on their myspace, you must put the word ‘punk’ in front of the phrase, cause that’s the attitude that comes with the music, along with thin hotties in RAMONES T’s. Also making their second appearance at Madlins in a month to the day, Jake Smith (rhythm guitar/vocals, Jared Spears (5 string bass/vocals), Dave Sahlem (drums & dreads), and Jared Huntington (lead guitar), blew everyone’s face off with ‘Straight To The Top’, an infectious crowd pleasing rocker. Debuting a new song, now a Madlins tradition, the boys did ‘In History’. Keeping the crowd on its feet while spotlighting a friend was the aim of the ‘Lyle Song’, about “a fine young man”. But once again the roof was blown off the sucka with ‘Freedom Fighter’, a rowdy rocker that the crowd sang along to, and a song you can hear at their place on myspace. The next stop was the after party, somewhere down in Fallbrook, too far and too hilly for my bicycle, damn. These guys will be back at Madlins on April 23.

So as the crowd emptied the lot at Madlins to roll down to the AP, you knew no one missed the band that didn’t show. Less was more and very filling. For those of you wondering just who PT Rothschild is who writes all these reviews, you can see me at my place on myspace. Whew, what a night!!

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