Are-Eye-Pee Are-Oh-Vee

After 13 years and exactly 500 episodes, Are-Oh-Vee, the much-loved regional music-video show—one that actually played clips by local bands—is no more. The final episode aired Friday, Feb. 16; the last video played was Reel Big Fish's "Sell Out." Senior producer and Are-Oh-Vee creator Scott Barrett is yanking the show partially because 500 is such a "nice, even number to end on," he says, but he also cites other interests, such as band management (Barrett is working with Anaheim trio Square). And, well, it just came time to move on, to the heartbreak of some of the show's more devoted fans. "One girl called us up Friday as the last episode was airing," says Barrett, "and she was in tears"—a mark of the almost religious devotion the show sometimes attracted. "People would tape the show and mail the tapes to friends. We got mail over the years from places like Minnesota—letters from kids saying that the show was made just for them." Are-Oh-Vee was instrumental in hyping the local punk and ska scenes during the '90s—guests like the Aquabats were frequent hosts, and the show was often the only outlet that bothered with bands like Guttermouth. "We did a good job of supporting the SoCal music scene, and those ska and punk kids really latched on to the show," Barrett continues. The show built an audience by using the lure of big bands and then following up those clips with ones from local, unsigned acts—a Beastie Boys video would be followed by a Killingtons or Smile clip, for example. Barrett says it wasn't unheard of for a local band to go from drawing 10 people one week to 125 the next after getting a little Are-Oh-Vee exposure. "We touched some people in the OC/Inland Empire area," he says. "And we actually played videos, which MTV doesn't do anymore. But the main point of the show was always to get people to go out and support local bands and see live music." Are-Oh-Vee (a phonetic spelling of R.O.V., which itself was an acronym for Rock On Video; Barrett used to tell people the longer version was Lithuanian for "punk rock." "It's funny how many people bought into that," he says. "Even the LA Times printed that once.") jumped around various independent TV stations but spent most of its lifespan on KDOC—also known as "the Wally George channel"—and never aired earlier than midnight. For a spell, it broadcast on LA international-language station KSCI, wedged between sumo wrestling matches. "I can't believe we made it to 500 episodes," Barrett says. (Rich Kane)

OPEN ALL MIC

It's open season on the open mic again at Koo's Art Cafe, but this isn't going to be the self-indulgent, hippie-centric ego-fest you pretentious coffeehouse types so dearly love. Sure, you can still bring along your bongo drums and tattered notebooks brimming with Beat poetry, but be prepared to share the microphone with experimental filmmakers, local hip-hop DJs and every deranged banned-from-Borders performance artist this side of Beach Boulevard. Mic mastermind Mike Smithling and Koo's booking coordinator Dave Clark are looking to put together something a little more avant-garde than the sanity-pulverizing "Oh, um, wait, I almost got it" folk jams that beat the last streak of open-mic sessions into the dirt. "The goal is to get a diverse crowd and interact with a lot of different people," says Clark. "If you only have one kind of thing, then only one kind of people will come." So, yon huddled masses yearning to speak free, this is your night. Koo's is looking for filmmakers, MCs and DJs, poets, random street weirdoes with exhibitionist streaks, and maybe even an acoustic-
guitar-slinging hippie or two. Besides the standard up-for-grabs 15- to 20-minute slots, each night will showcase a "Featured Artist" (it could be you!) who might not otherwise fit into Koo's steady diet of hardcore, emo, indie and punk rock self-abuse. Be daring and creative, says Clark. "As long as it's not dangerous, it's totally cool." Call (714) 638-0937 or e-mail koos_openmic@excite.com. Ad-
mission is free, and the polite applause starts at 8 p.m. every Tuesday at Koo's, 1505 N. Main St., Santa Ana. (Chris Ziegler)

MIXED NOTES

Following the January death of proprietor Don Himes, the La Vida Roadhouse—nestled in the relative tranquillity of Carbon Canyon in the hills above Brea and a home for many local roots and alternative bands over the years—has closed its doors. Fixtures have been sold off, and reports are that the building itself may be demolished. . . . Local bands just added to this year's South By Southwest contingent: Fullerton's Relish, the re-formed, Jack Grisham-fronted TSOL, and Le Shok, who apparently are hell-bent on driving all the way to Texas just to play their usual 20-minutes-and-not-a-minute-more set. . . . LowBallAssChatter just loves mindless music trivia, which is why we were happy to get our hands on a copy of the new Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits by Joel Whitburn, who logs anything and everything that's cracked the magazine's famous chart since 1955. Still, we prefer accurate trivia, thanks, for when we looked up Sublime, we found out that the band was not in fact from Long Beach but San Francisco, and that Sugar Ray are not in fact OC-bred, but a "rock group from Los Angeles." The No Doubt blurb was more or less accurate ("ska-rock group from Orange County, California"), but the Offspring listing is far more generic, branding them as being merely "from California"—apparently Whitburn's research budget went dry that day. (RK)

 
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