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Maybe it's time for lesbians to make somenoise on Orange County's club scene, even if that idea does rile some insecure, macho haters.
That's the aim of Reboot Sundays' movers and shakers Mel (Melissa Ayala, 23) and Roxy (Roxanne Munoz, 24), both born and raised in Santa Ana. The duo have convinced Proof Bar's brain trust to open on the so-called holy day so they can showcase a varied banquet of bands and DJs they believe deserves more exposure.
Mel, who does the booking, says she became inspired to kick Reboot into gear after reading this columnist's cover story about the tribulations the owners of Proof and the Crosby have gone through to get their businesses running (see "Three the Hard Way," Sept. 14). Her only previous promoting experience involved working for GRRL Fair, an annual DIY event held on International Womyn's Day (the next one is March 8) that promotes community and female artists, photographers, activists, DJs and musicians in and around Orange County.
"I feel like Santa Ana lacks a scene," she asserts. "That's why I'm putting this club together-to 'reboot' the scene and give a place for all musicians, bands and DJs to take part. It's like I'm Richard Hell and Reboot is my CBGB. My goal is to bring you a cool place to check out some bands and DJs for free and have some drinks."
The plan: book two bands and one DJ every Sunday night and build a loyal following of people hungry for quality local music. "I find it so much easier that way," Mel says. "I've put on shows where I've had six bands play. It was a pain in the ass."
In response to the grief she's received from some dudes in the music community, Mel stresses that bands and DJs of all genders and sexual orientations are welcome to play Reboot, provided they can draw an over-21 crowd (underage bands can perform at Proof, too, but they're only allowed in the bar to play their sets).
"A lot of the entertainment bars/venues around [Santa Ana] are mostly DJs," Mel observes. "That's cool and all, but personally, I'd like to check out some bands and DJs in hopes that [they] will boost the scene."
So far, Reboot has all of Janurary booked, including SanTana bands such as the Dig, B-side Effect and sLoW (of which Mel is a member), plus such groups from LA and Long Beach as Big Moves, the Health Club, FM Bats and THE BABES. "My music criteria [are] pretty vast," Mel says. "I'm into rock, indie, electronica, hip-hop, punk, rockabilly and so much more. I'm looking for bands that will catch my attention and put on one hell of a show."
Success for Mel and Roxy partially means catalyzing and unifying their city's music scene. "I want to create a collective of musicians and artists that are willing to work together and help one another out by putting on shows and attracting an audience," Mel earnestly states. "We have fantastic art galleries surrounding us, [so] I thought, why not take advantage? Success for me is just putting this city on the map. I love LA, but I live in Santa Ana. I want to bring the music here for our friends and neighbors. This is our underground scene."
Reboot's opening night will feature sLoW (scrappy, lo-fi indie rock that harks back to K Records' '80s heyday and Raincoats' tart, taut approach), Big Moves (LA trio plying sparky, melodious indie-pop), and DJ Memo (longtime organizer of "crazy" warehouse parties) and Jonathan Fienstien (Memo's favorite partner in sound; they'll both be spinning indie, '80s, electro, rock and electronica). Bring an open mind, and you just might get it blown.
Let's give the last word to the heretofore-quiet Roxy, whose role in Reboot should not be underestimated. "When Reboot Sundays was conceived, Mel asked me to help her with all the brain work. I'm more like Mel's editor, accountant, therapist and muse," she says. "What I hope to contribute to Reboot is a contrast to Mel's ideas. I feel that it is essential to provide a different perspective to club patrons in order to appeal to a wide audience. My vision for Reboot is the creation of a unique and progressive venue/night where people who love music can be exposed to something new every week."
Reboot Sundays, featuring sLoW, Big Moves, DJ Memo and Jonathan Fienstien, at Proof Bar, 215 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, (714) 953-2660; www.proofbar.com. Sun., 8 p.m. Free. For more information, visit www.myspace.com/rebootsa.