Have you ever ended up in a place, event, or situation where you had a really good time without ever expecting it? This past Saturday, March 5, 2005 three of my friends (two are my cousins) and me drove to the Westchester Bar in Los Angeles to see a band called Penelope Red and had just that type of experience.
None of us knew who they were; I had found out about them because Leo Cajina, the bass player had contacted me through e-mail after having seen one of my stories on this website, and my friends just came along for the ride. The other members of Penelope Red are Black Child Red (Gary Beasley) on vocals and guitar, Antonio Valencia, guitar and Marco Duarte, drums.
The first thing we all noticed was that each of these guys has a style all their own but they do not conflict with each other, instead they look comfortable being themselves and making music in the process. Again, we did not know what to expect because Leo hadn?t really told me anything about the music and I decided to show up without letting them know.
We quickly found ourselves looking at each other and wondering where we were because this band has such a presence that it sort of takes you into some other realm. Each member has something about him that makes him unique and yet they sound awesome together. After having talked to them I realized that they considered themselves more of a collective rather than a band. They aren?t just there for the music, they aren?t just there to have fun, they aren?t just there to make a life out of being musicians, but they are there for all of those reasons and also to create meaningful relationships.
Black Child Red said he considered their music Revolution Rock, because the music and the lyrics carry a message: People have to wake up, escape the matrix if you will. They gave me one of their demos and although only three songs are on it, it gives a good array of the music they are creating. One song called, ?Suffer the Day? contained some powerful lyrics. Just to give an example: ?So they?re dropping bombs on some babies, who do they think they are the f@*#^n crazies. Driving tanks through the streets of helpless cities?? Besides the lyrics the music makes you get fired up! The closest I could come to describing the music is by combining Classic Rock of the 1970?s with the Roc en Espanol of the present with touches of 311 and 1980?s hair metal bands.
I also found out that they have only been together since December of 2004, but if you had seen their performance and heard the quality of their music you would have thought that they have been together for a lot longer than that. Hanging out with these guys and getting a chance to chat with them was a blast. I hope to find myself checking out one of their future shows, which can be found on their website at www.penelopered.com. Their more recent shows are at The Equator in Pasadena this Thursday, March 10, 2005 and at Mal?s Bar in good old L.A. on Saturday, March 12, 2005 with Viva Malpache, Horny Toad, and Humo Verde. Thank you to Leo for contacting me and the entire band for putting on a great show and giving me the opportunity to ask them some questions.