Heavy Rotation Records Concert February 4

Margot Edwards
January 16, 2009
Shea Rose
Rebecca Muir
Nathan Reich
Model Cars
White Shoe Brown Shoe
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist

Heavy Rotation Records (HRR) presents its ninth-annual Epic Event and Dorm Sessions 6 CD release concert on Wednesday, February 4, at the Berklee Performance Center. The concert, a popular event that packs the venue every year, showcases artists featured on Dorm Sessions 6, the new compilation CD by Berklee's student-run label Heavy Rotation Records. The CD—a mix of rock, pop, folk, r&b, hip-hop, and funk by Berklee students and alumni—features Nini&Ben, Shea Rose, Re-Up , Rebecca Muir, Nathan Reich, White Shoe Brown Shoe, Model Cars, SuperVolcano, and SEX!

The HRR Epic Event and Dorm Sessions 6 CD release concert is $10, all ages, and begins at 8:15 p.m. at the Berklee Performance Center, located at 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. Call 617 747-2261 or visit berkleebpc.com for more information. Free copies of the CD will be given away at the concert.

While HRR's previous releases have been available only on CD and digitally through iTunes and other sites, the label plans to also release Dorm Sessions 6 on vinyl. With vinyl sales hitting record levels in 2008, Dorenfeld thought the time was right. He says, "I have always been a vinyl fan. I have over 2,000 records. When I realized kids are purchasing vinyl again, I thought it would be good for us to service the market."     

Heavy Rotation Records is a class that gives Music Business/Management majors at Berklee 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 of the label's functions, including A&R, marketing, sales, touring, web development, media, and accounting. The A&R group chose nine artists—from hundreds of submissions—to be featured on the CD. 

The label continues to grow and its accomplishments multiply every year.  The students promote live shows in the Boston area that are used for A&R and promotion, and HRR is scheduled to present the first two nights of music at the brand-new House of Blues Boston, in mid-February. The label also presents events at some of the music industry's largest festivals, recently hosting its second showcase at the CMJ Music Marathon. Berklee and HRR's fourth-annual SXSW party takes place March 20 in Austin. In addition, Dorm Sessions 5 is a finalist for an Independent Music Award in the category Best Album - College Record Label.

Dorm Sessions Volume 6 is the 11th HRR release since the label formed in 1995. Other releases include the all-female CD Shekinah: 13 Artists, distributed by Epic Records; Apollo Sunshine's second album, coreleased with spinART records; and Dorm Sessions Volumes 1–5, showcasing Berklee musicians in varied genres, including rock, pop, folk, r&b, funk, and hip-hop. 

Many up-and-coming artists have appeared on HRR compilations, including Annie Clark (St. Vincent); the Click Five (then called Oscar Bravo); members of Passion Pit, who appeared on Dorm Sessions 5 as the Peasantry; Big D & the Kids Table; Madi Diaz, who has appeared at the Newport Folk Festival and on WXPN's World Café Live; and hip-hop artist Anjuli Stars, whose song "Raindrops" was featured on a Pitbull CD.

About the artists:

Nini&Ben is the duo of vocalist/pianist Christina Fabi and guitarist Benjamin Gebert, both Berklee students. Before arriving at Berklee, Fabi and Gebert traveled through Europe and Australia for two years in an old VW doing various jobs, performing at clubs, writing music, and connecting with fellow musicians. This lifestyle inspired them to capture the most profound moments of life in their warm and expressive folk-rock songs.

Shea Rose accepted a Berklee scholarship after interning at MTV, touring with MSN Music, and performing with Luv Jones. She hosted the Berklee Girls Rockseries at Matt Murphy's Pub and recently opened for Nona Hendryx and Siedah Garrett. Said Andy Buckley on CapeCodToday.com, "She can't be put in a box. She's the black Rickie Lee Jones . . . the female Lenny Kravitz . . . She's a singer/songwriter who can plug a hole in a soulful folk tune with a bit of rap."

Re-Up  offers effortless flow between hard-hitting hip-hop, soulful melodies, and booty-shaking grooves. The group is comprised of Berklee students Owen Ross, Chris Holdridge, Andrew Plourd, and Jeremy Vovsko and alumni Cliff Kuhn-Lloyd, Bryan Percivall, Cole DeGenova, and Keith Dickerhofe. The rhythm section lays down a rock-solid foundation while the horns add colorful riffs and the DJ pours hot sauce on top using effects and scratches.

Rebecca Muir is a Berklee graduate with a big voice from Halifax, Nova Scotia. She has racked up impressive credits, including performing the national anthem at Fenway Park and sharing the stage with Steve Winwood, Gloria Estefan, Herbie Hancock, Paul Simon, Tower of Power, Christopher Guest, and the New Pornographers. She is currently performing original blues-pop songs with her band, and working on her debut album.

Nathan Reich plays acoustic folk-rock with fellow Berklee students, cellist Alexandra Spalding and pedal steel player Tom Bohlen. Said The Groove of Reich's debut CD, "The group's indie-folk blend weaves simple and elegant string parts, and tasteful pedal steel volume swells. The musical intricacies of 'The Hard Stuff' and 'So Gratefully' are as dreamlike and wondrous as Ronald Dahl's classic novel James and the Giant Peach, while still retaining a mature, professional sound."

White Shoe Brown Shoe is the collaboration of Patrik Gochez and Berklee student Alex Britten, two songwriters brought together by rock, roll, and a bowl of chili. Gochez was forged in the kiln of New England, while Britten was crafted in London and Los Angeles. They realized they needed a hurricane rhythm section and students Andrew Nesbitt (drums) and David Lee (bass) signed on to run the groove train. The Shoes quickly built a reputation with explosive live shows and are currently writing songs in an abandoned mansion in California.

Model Cars is a Berklee student band formed by pianist/violinist Claudio Olachea, who, after moving to Boston in 2006, began searching for musicians whose goal was to play original indie rock music inspired by intelligence, melody, and harmonic movement. Mike Day, with his funky bass playing and appreciation for strong grooves, was the first piece to fit into the puzzle. Drummer Kevin Lynch and guitarist Matt Berger, with an innate ability for creating harmony, soon came on board.

SuperVolcano - Berklee students David Khoshtinat, Matt Powell, Jesse Weiss, and Michael Thomas are four friends from the future, who, having found frailty in foundation, now fight the phantasmic facade of symphonic freedom by forcefully forgetting former forms. They face the frighteningly fast-approaching finality of their fortunate fates by finding fleeting feelings of unfathomably glorious euphoria, fostered by their fervent affinity for the frantically focused; the frenetic aesthetic of polyphony plus rhetoric.

SEX! is comprised of Berklee students Kyle VandeKerkhoff (guitar), Andrew Burri (vocals), and John Adams (drums); alumnus Skye Handler (guitar); and Josh Hari (bass). The group prides itself on the pure, raw quality of their live shows where they play balls out, leaving nothing behind after the set. SEX!'s music is a potent mix of rock, blues, r&b, and soul, aiming to recapture the essence of the early days of rock 'n' roll.