The Shatners LOSE a Battle...of the bands.
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Battle of the Bands
As the smoke clears, It's Lakota with the $100
By Frank Minna, Lumberjack Staff
A mangle of music and sound erupted from the Kate Buchanan Room Saturday night as the KRFH radio-station-sponsored Battle of the Bands gave students and community members a taste of the musical scene in Humboldt County and beyond.
Audience members sampled sounds from the grungy music of Grout to the parodies of Bocephus Und Ed and a dozen styles in between.
The winner of the $100 first prize was Lakota, a seven-member band comprosed of HSU students: vocalists DJ. Maube, a physical education senior, and Pete Collins, an art senior; bass player and engineering sophomore Brian "Moose" McFadin; guitarist and music sophomore Isaac Vanderveer; drummer Gabe McDowell, a journalism junior; percussionist and political science senior Dave McGillis; and tenor saxophonist and music senior Bar Mckinon.
Lakota will put its prize winnings into a general group fund. The group wants to make a demo album with the nearly $500 saved from parties and other gigs it has played.
McDowell said the band, like its music, comes from all over, with members coming from Marin, Oakland and Berkeley.
"Basically no one’s doing what we're doing,” McDowell said. "We take our influences from all over. I'd describe our music as rap-funk-reggae fusion with a little bit of jazz, a little rock.”
Perhaps it was this "bit of everything" sound that made judges KHSU disc jockey Shannon Donahue, speech communication Professor Gary Melton and Residence Hall Association President Kevin Murphy, choose Lakota as the winner of the contest.
The criteria used by the judges were originality, workability, potential to be marketed, and audience participation.
All proceeds from the Battle of the Bands, organized by Vandals Production Manager Summer Nastich, go to KRFH to be used for the purchase of more music for the radio station.
One of the most original bands at the contest was The Shatners. Its members, dressed in baby blue and yellow coveralls, undressed on stage to reveal their Federation uniforms from Star Trek and showed the concertgoers why the name Shatner had sounded so familiar.
As the band pushed their coveralls down around their ankles and found themselves facing technical difficulties, a friend of the band, journalism senior Lee McCormack, played on trumpet the theme from the late-’60s TV show Star Trek.
Donning plastic helmets wrapped in duct tape, Chris Imlay, philosophy junior presently on leave, and Jess Hilliard, multiple subject teaching senior, played riffs of music reminiscent of the surf sound from the early ’60s.
"We believe Star Trek was the greatest moment in William Shatner's Classical acting career and so we chose to honor him thusly,” said journalism senior John Kiffmeyer, The Shatners‘ drummer.
Of his reasons for kicking over his drums at the end of 15- minute set, Kiffmeyer said, "Every great drummer in history never left their drum set standing and it's mandatory that drums be kicked over to show the set is final, complete and resolved.”
Kiffmeyer said The Shatners never planned on winning, and if they had, they would have refused the $100 first prize.
"We challenge all bands to a dead heat,” he said.
He described a dead heat as a contest where bands set up across from each other and play for the attention of the audience, the band which receives the most attention wins.
Kiffmeyer admits to never listening to KRFH, which he said "is completely out of touch. We just didn't win and screw them if they (KRFH) can't take a joke."
After The Shatners’ set, the group was asked to play at the wedding of one of the audience members.
"And that,” Kiffmeyer said "is the true first prize.”