Category Archives: bands

Open Source Band: Fresh talent every year

OSBThe Open Source Band is an SVRocks tradition – available to the public for use and modification beyond its original design. Band members this year include: Jonah Matranga, Moniz Franco, Whitney Nichole, Greg Studley, Larry Marcus, Andrew Stess, Maxine Marcus and Alexandra Elliott. 

Tell us about your band. How did you get started? How long have you been playing?
The Open Source Band was formed in 2008 with the debut of Silicon Valley Rocks. The band was formed via phone calls, Facebook, email, and quick conversations at conferences. True to our roots, we welcomed people who were freely available and unrestricted in their ability to build one of the most awesome cover bands in the Valley. We’ve added new and different players every year.

Who are your major influences?
Radiohead, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Police, Blondie, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Bauhaus, Cocteau Twins, XTC, The Jam, Kate Bush, The Replacements, Duffy, One Direction

What’s your ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame and fortune in the music business?
All of the above and a free night away from home.

What are your day jobs? How does music influence your work and vice versa?
Larry is a “sprout stage” VC at Walden Venture Capital and an early investor/director at digital media companies including: Pandora (Internet radio); SoundHound (music / sound search); Aarki (joyful mobile advertising), Boombotix (ultraportable audio), BandPage (online Platform for bands); Jukely (concert discovery with friends), LessThan3 (Live Online platform) and LyricFind, a service that helps bands make the move to Facebook with its BandPage product. Andrew is a director at LyricFind, the first and leading legal provider of search and display for lyrics. He also does biz dev for RDIO. Alison is the founder of Silicon Valley Rocks and the VP of business development at Gigaom. Jonah is a regularly touring musician, former lead singer of Far and is super well-versed on the use of tech to keep his fans happy and informed. Greg regularly teaches other musicians how to take my job and is a guitarist and keyboardist with House of Floyd. Moniz is co-owner of a consulting firm, working on a demo reel for voiceovers and a studio vocalist. Whitney runs Songbird Studios and is a vocal instructor to many of us. Alexandra is high student at George Washington High in SF. Maxine is in an 8th grader in Hillsborough.

Why do you think music education is important?
Music enriches the soul, creates community and focus. Music education is critical for advanced thinking skills, and it is an extremely important emotional, creative and physical outlet for every child. Frankly, none of us would be where we are now without.

What was your own experience learning music as a kid? Who flipped that switch in your brain?
I loved music when I was little kid, and Abbey Road was my first album. My guitar teacher when I was six was a great influence, the music teacher in elementary school, my junior high band director, and the High School of the Arts. My switch was flipped because of my want and need for music and the great people that taught me.
[Larry] My mom noticed my makeshift drumset of tin cans and cardboard that I played with chopsticks. On my 13th birthday she asked if I wanted drum set… I liked that question, Mom. Music took over my free time at that point. At university, UC Jazz Ensembles (Director Susan Muscarella now of the JazzSchool in Berkeley) was very impactful both musically and community-wise.
[Moniz} I began learning music when I was a toddler. My family is made up of musicians, and I had the luck of living close to NYC.

The Funkery: Creating funky records and live performances to stand the test of time

funkerySMLDave Pierce of Stand Sure Systems, Steve Ginsberg and Chris Horgan of Pandora along with Greg Studley, Glenn McNulty are bringing the funk to DNA Lounge when The Funkery hits the stage Dec 12th!

Tell us about your band. How did you get started? How long have you been playing?
Steve and Dave met while working at a San Francisco tech consulting company around 2003, and we’ve played together in various projects off and on ever since. In 2011, we decided to put a project together to play and write music that we love to hear.

We thought about who would be the best possible player at every position, and when we asked them they all said yes! Our debut gig at Slim’s was such a roaring success that we decided to make a record and we’ve been in the studio ever since.

Who are your major influences?
The Meters, James Brown, Pink Floyd and the entire jam band tradition! Plus too many others to list.

What’s your ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame and fortune in the music business?
We want to create funky records and live performances that we can be proud of and that will stand the test of time.

What are your day jobs?
Steve is VP of technical operations at Pandora. Dave is VP of engineering and co-founder at Stand Sure Systems. Greg is a music teacher and author of instructional videos and books. He also performs and records professionally (and is playing in the Open Source Band).  Chris Horgan is a project lead in music analysis at Pandora.

How does your music influence your work or vice versa?
Stand Sure Systems has an official company policy, “We respect gigs.”  The links between music and working at Pandora is obvious and very important!

Why is music education important?
Because music makes the brain work better. A new study shows that playing music increases one’s ability to find and fix mistakes!

What was your own experience learning music as a kid? Who flipped that switch in your brain?
Dave (keyboards) says: I got almost all of my formal training from public school music education. The switch was flipped by his Mom, though, who plays piano and guitar in a Southern Gospel context.

See The Funkery play live on Thursday, December 12 at DNA Lounge. Buy tickets here.