Recently, our Best Of OC issue highlighted Sweet Relief president and local music mover and shaker Bill Bennett for his commitment to OC music culture. Between running a national musician's charity, wrangling band lineups and offering his sage wisdom to any band wise enough to take it, the guy pretty much never rests. That includes kicking his latest venture as a show promoter with his company Secret Chief into high gear this year. Co-operated by fellow promoter Josh Couture, the brand is branching out into multiple venues and band circles across OC and doing some pretty neat stuff. Case in point: their new indie night at La Cave every Thursday.
Though the prospect of having another weekly opportunity to see live bands is far from earth- shattering news, what is pretty cool is the fact that it's really the first steady indie night at the Costa Mesa venue we can think of that doesn't involve seeing the same resident rock or jazz band four times in one month. Bringing in a fresh batch of local talent every week–both acoustic and full band shows–Secret Chief is priming this little steak house/ club/ historic watering hole for a new staple on it's show calendar. And they're not scared to mix it up either. In fact, when was the last time you heard about an all-acoustic metal lineup happening anywhere around here?
“That was our first show,” says Couture, who was recently approached by La Cave about booking a new live music night. Tonight marks the third show for Secret Chief. “We had a bunch of metalheads down here, and they were super into even though it definitely wasn't a typical metal show. People were into it.”
Combining Bennett's experience running venues like the Fox Theater in Boulder, Colo. and Couture's stockpile of up-and-coming acts like Alice Wallace and local faves like the Steelwells, they believe they have a pretty winning combination to add something solid to your weekly show schedule.
“There's a lot of talent in our own backyard that you may or may not know about and it's our job to not only assist people in hearing that music but also getting these artists the credit they deserve, ” Couture says. “Eventually, we'd like to make it into a premiere entertainment one-stop shop of doing records and having a management department so we can build the careers of our artists as well as our own.”
Tonight, Indie Nights at La Cave is bringing in Ethan Hulse of Costa Mesa band band Lowly Spects, along with countrified singer-songwriter Annie McQueen and Evan Ambrose of experimental rock outfit Future Fix. Sounds like a pretty cool pow-wow.