Heavy Rotation Records 13th Epic Event, February 6

By
Nick Balkin
January 18, 2013
Red Oblivion

Heavy Rotation Records (HRR) presents its 13th annual Epic Event on Wednesday, February 6, at the Berklee Performance Center. The concert showcases artists on Dorm Sessions Volume 8, the upcoming compilation by HRR, Berklee's student-run label. The compilation—a mix of rock, pop, funk, hip-hop, and electronica by Berklee students and alumni—features Bear Language3rddy BabyNikolas MetaxasSharin ToribioRed OblivionBrite Lite BriteBent KneeEvolfo DoofehtSirmaSarah WalkMelanie LynxStone Giant, and Canary.  

The Heavy Rotation Records Epic Event is $8 in advance, $12 day of show, all ages, and starts at 8:15 p.m. at the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA. Call 617 747-2261 or visit berkleebpc.com for more information. The venue is wheelchair accessible. HRR artists scheduled to perform at the concert include 3rddy Baby, Bent Knee, Melanie Lynx, Red Oblivion, Bear Language, Brite Lite Brite, Nikolas Metaxas, and Evolfo Doofeht.  

HRR is a class that gives students at Berklee majoring in music business/management hands-on experience in running a record company. Under the guidance of faculty advisor Jeff Dorenfeld, former manager of the band Boston, the student staff oversees all the label's functions, including marketing, sales, web development, media, and A&R. The label presents events in the Boston area and at some of the music industry's largest festivals, including Lollapalooza, SXSW, and the CMJ Music Marathon. 

In the fall, HRR's A&R group listened to more than 300 submissions and used Survey Monkey to compile the votes. Each week they went to see the artists that garnered the most votes perform live, putting them in a pool to be reconsidered. 

The label has released 14 albums since 1995, including Shekinah: 13 Artists, distributed by Epic; Apollo Sunshine's second CD, coreleased with spinART; and Dorm Sessions 1-8 and Under the Influence with RightsFlow, a Google Company. Many up-and-coming artists have appeared on HRR albums, including St. Vincent (as Annie Clark), members of Passion Pit (as the Peasantry), the Click Five (as Oscar Bravo), Big D and the Kids Table, and Madi Diaz. The label also serves as a springboard for careers in the music industry. HRR alumni have gone on to work at Interscope, Capitol, DreamWorks, BMG, Universal, Live Nation, AEG Live, and RightsFlow. 

About the artists: 

Bear Language
Formed in 2011 at Berklee, Bear Language—guitarist/vocalist Luca Buccellati, bassist Archi Denis, and drummer Ian Barnett—blend heavy riffs, gritty vocals, and esoteric musical landscapes. The trio lists Radiohead, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and the Mars Volta as some of their top influences. They released a self-titled EP in 2011. A second EP, The Ventriloquist, was released in 2012. 

3rddy Baby
Best known for his aggressive flow, powerful wordplay, and catchy hooks, 3rddy Baby is making a splash in Boston's local hip-hop scene. 

Nikolas Metaxas
Singer-songwriter and composer Nikolas Metaxas, who was born in the U.S. but grew up on the island of Cyprus, is known for his emotionally raw acoustic performances and poignant songwriting. He has won numerous awards for songwriting and placed second on the British version of X Factor. His sound has been compared to John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Muse, and Incubus. 

Watch Nikolas Metaxas perform "Wait for Me" in the Red Room at Cafe 939:

Sharin Toribio
As a teen, Tampa, Florida native Sharin Toribio performed at countless youth conferences, festivals, and concerts. But in 2005 her momentum was put on hold when she was diagnosed with stage IV non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and given a 20 percent chance to live. After seven months of chemo and clinical trials, today she is cancer free. In 2011, Toribio took part in a Berklee songwriters tour of Spain, and she released the EP Quiero

Red Oblivion
Boston-based rock quartet Red Oblivion—cellist Eden Rayz, guitarist Emma Torres, vocalist/bassist Zach Adams, and drummer Carson Groenewold—are influenced by a wide variety of styles, including classical, metal, pop, world, and electronic music. In 2012, this up-and-coming group performed at Lollapalooza and recorded with renowned producer Paul Kolderie (Portugal. The Man, Billy Bragg, Buffalo Tom, Dinosaur Jr, Hole). 

Brite Lite Brite
Described by SPIN as "twitchy, Scandinavian-sounding electro-pop imbued with urgent, even desperate, vocals," Brite Lite Brite is composed of singer/guitarist Andrea Stankevitch and guitarist/electronic musician Luke Johnson. A few of their career highlights include winning the grand prize in the electronica category of the 2007 John Lennon Songwriting Contest and being selected to play Virgin Mobile FreeFest in 2010. Their debut, Universe Universe, is available now, and Stalker, their second album, will be released in February 2013. 

Bent Knee
The seven-member group Bent Knee builds its sound on orchestral textures and haunting vocals, delivering a dynamic sound and presence. In addition to its original music, Bent Knee puts its stamp on other artists' tunes, creating warped and distorted arrangements. Their self-titled EP, released in 2011, has gained support from many avid listeners. 

Evolfo Doofeht
Self-described "funk gypsies" Evolfo Doofeht—"the food of love" spelled backwards—are known for their fusion of classic funk and dance music, as well as for their thrilling live show. Last month, the high-energy octet was named International Artist of the Year at the 2012 Boston Music Awards. 

Sirma
Turkish-born electronic artist Sirma is influenced and inspired by creativity, humanity, and multimedia. Reviewing her self-released 2012 EP TracesDigBoston said, "If there's one thing Sirma knows how to do, it's create a mood... She is a facile singer capable of subtle shifts in tone, from honeyed croon to throaty wail, but just as often opts for auto-tuned multiplicity."

Sarah Walk
Minneapolis native Sarah Walk has a distinct voice and piano playing style, and her music has been described as aggressive, raw, and challenging. Backed by bassist Lenny Brown and drummer Ale Giuliani, the group has a high-energy piano rock sound with tight rhythmic changes and a wide range of musical styles. Her debut EP White Noise was released in 2012. 

Melanie Lynx
Vocalist Melanie Lynx discovered she had talent for singing at an early age, succeeding at competitions both locally and nationally. Some noteworthy accomplishments include her participation in Hollywood Week on Fox's American Idol, performing at the Apollo Theater and Carnegie Hall in New York, and playing more than 350 shows with one of New England's top cover bands. Lynx is currently developing her original music with producers Chris Leon and Jay Weiss. 

Stone Giant
Founded in 2012 by guitarist Sebastian Fernandez and keyboardist Joao Nogueira, Stone Giant expanded recently to a quintet specializing in an energetic fusion of rock and dance music. Influenced by artists ranging from Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath to Stevie Wonder and Tame Impala, the group played top venues in New York and Boston last year, and are primed for an even bigger 2013. 

Canary 
Drawing on influences like the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and Fleetwood Mac, Canary plays classic rock with a modern flair. In less than two years, the group has performed at SXSW and the House of Blues, toured Texas and the Northeast, opened for Jackson Browne, and released two EPs.