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Corvallis, Oregon, United States | SELF

Corvallis, Oregon, United States | SELF
Band Rock Reggae


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"Change It Up (Sure Footed CD review)"

audiophilia ‘Sure Footed’

Corvallis band audiophilia (they like to be all lowercase) will celebrate the release of its first CD, “Sure Footed,” at 10 p.m. Friday, March 5, at Bombs Away Cafe, 2527 N.W. Monroe Ave.

Since forming in September 2008, the band’s trademark has been groovy — yet sophisticated — tunes that are built around an infectious, irresistible pace made possible by the solid musicianship of the crew, who double in other notable local bands such as Stairway Denied and The Badfish Band (soon reforming as LavaRaka).

The group is led by Curtis Monette (guitar and backing vocals) and includes Kailana “Kai” Baldwin-Francis (lead vocals and percussion), co-founder Joel Gustafson (bass — a student of local bass legend Dan Scollard), Ryan Craig (drums) and Alex Cooper (keys).

“Joel’s the creative genius in the band,” Monette said. “I talk with him every day, and he’s always saying, ‘I wrote a new song last night.’ ”

The group recorded the CD in one marathon 32-hour live session at Wild Rose Studios in Corvallis using multiple line-of-sight isolation rooms and working with sound engineer Sam Kincaid.

Monette estimated that each band member only got about one two-hour nap each during two days of recording. It was a wonderfully creative time.

“A lot of the stuff came out in the middle of it,” Monette said. “It was the middle of the night when we got to vocals.”

Lead vocalist Baldwin-Francis adds some reggae-flair and soulful moments from time to time with laid-back vocals that are a pleasant addition to the group’s dance-friendly soundscapes, which is saying a lot. This driving music has a mind of its own. Pop it in and start the party.

“Sure Footed” can be bought through PayPal on the band’s Web site. Price T.B.A.


- Nancy Raskauskas

Copyright 2011 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. - Gazette-Times (Corvallis, OR)

"Get Stoked on Accessible Grooves"

Audiophilia boogies down with familiar beats, new sounds

CORVALLIS - Start dancing. Right now.

Audiophilia's music practically begs you to get up and shake it, groove it, move it -pouring an undeniable energy outward from the five-piece band as it weaves its sophisticated and groovy web of sound.

"From day one we were all about accessible grooves," guitar player Curtis Monette said.

The band which formed up in September is the brainchild of Monette and bassist Joel Gustafson.

Both have impressive pedigrees in the local music scene. Monette is also a member of Stairway Denied and The Badfish Band and plays solo acoustic shows. Gustafson has toured nationally with Eugene-based band Forever Growing.

The band is rounded out by Alex Cooper on keyboards, Ryan Craig on drums and fellow Badfish Band alum Kailana Baldwin-Francis on percussion and vocals.

The band members, who range in age from 21 to 27 years old, consider Bombs Away Cafe to be their home stage. Monette works there as a cook, and Gustafson works as a waiter.

"We're so fortunate" Monette said. "We're pretty much family at Bombs Away. If there is any type of project like this or anything, we just don't even have to ask."

Although the group has not headlined any shows in the area yet, they've already picked up some fans while packing Bombs Away during a spontaneous show in November following a solo set by Monette.

"It was really cool to see," Gustafson said. "Because we didn't have a cover charge, it gave people the opportunity to listen to us. It was a really casual, really comfortable kind of a thing -. it had a really great vibe."

"They were moving tables out halfway through the show," Monette said.

"Dancing," Gustafson said with satisfaction.

"The coolest thing for me was afterwards talking to the people, and seeing that they did have a good experience. It wasn't just some flashy new band that had a lot of tricks, they actually took us seriously," he added.

"This New Year's show is going to be even better," Gustafson said. "My main goal was to establish a certain level of performance and then have this huge space of time to song-write and practice."

"I was really happy to see that everyone in the band took that time really seriously," Gustafson said. "We've doubled our song set and have communicated where we want to take the band and we're all in the same space."

The band's boogie boot camp has included frequent practices in a rented space out on Wake Robin Road in south Corvallis that they share with a few other local bands. When it got really cold they gathered around the wood stove at Gustafson's house and played until they could no longer take the brutal heat.

"It was like a real-life simulation of when the lights are on you [on stage]," Gustafson said.

Fans have been able to keep up with the band's progress because Monette records many of the band's practices and concerts and posts them online on the band's Myspace page (


Because of the band's rapid development, however, even songs that were posted just a month ago are already pretty dated, according to Monette.

The band's whole process has been based in progressive collaboration led by Monette and Gustafson, who do most of the songwriting.

In addition, Gustafson, who is a graphic design student at Oregon State University, creates all the group's posters and designed their minimalistic logo (see above).

"When I do design I like to be collaborative. Even though I'm the one who is like drawing or doing it, I like to have at least one of the members or a few of the members of the band sitting there and going over what we want to do," Gustafson said. "That way, it's not just my vision of the band, but rather a collective one."

That teamwork is evident as the band has already weathered some telling situations together, such as winning over a crowd playing the River City Saloon in Hood River. Gustafson relishes the challenge of getting a tough crowd on its feet.

"I think that's a really good way to actually test - not whether people will like it or not - but, if the band is going to be stable as a group and if we can keep each other stoked," he said.

"It's all about creating an environment that people are stoked in," he repeated. "But, I also like to push that boundary and put people a little on edge, so we have some parts to our songs that challenge what traditional dance music might be, but there is still a pulse and there's still this vibe and this groove."

- Nancy Raskauskas

Copyright 2011 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. - Gazette-Times (Corvallis, OR)

"audiophilia | audiofeelya-audiofeelin ya-howdyafeelin y'all (All Purpose EP review)"

audiophilia's "All Purpose EP," the preliminary version of an album to be out later this year, begins with an uplifting jolt through funk/pop/jammy musical territory. We;re bouncing somewhere between cuddly rainbows and groovypoprocks akin to the softer side of psychedelic musical explorations.
audiophilia brings the funk balanced out nicely with newer elements of jam rock, into a sound popular amongst bands recently populating festivals. It resounds of Sound Tribe Sector Nine, un-surprisingly, as the band lists them as one of their main influences. This is music one should be listening to on the grass at a festival where good vibrations and overarching positivity reign.
The crisp recording makes me think this festival would take place in the future. Masses lying and listening on a field o'plastics which contour immediately to the shape of your body - tempurpedicpsychedelic. It's hard to listen to this music without imagining what the concurrent light show reflecting out of your third eye might look like.
Track 1: The music strengthens itself in that it provides a clear vision and layout of the environment it puts you in, and of the mood progression the band itself chooses to make as the album continues. It leads you where it wants you to go. Tou are not left wondering how to feel. In case you couldn't tell, audiophilia, as the name suggests, is impossibly uplifting.
Track 2: It's like we are giant hand holding children being led down caves. Walking though echoes of light and sound caverns in which the beat of your footsteps resound out with sonar pulses that are reflected and refracted as the stalactites drip honeyed melodies that mix into the waves your own movement provides. Hypnotic movements tempting you closer to comfort in these safe, safe spaces of sound.
Track 3: We're brought into classic jam band territory, with guitars rocking back and forth between a loosened drum beat and lead vocals and guitar stretching out the spaces between.
Track 4: The melancholic alliteration of the fourth track falls into the repetitive movements of trance like musical development. It feels like the song leads us through the emotions of the players before we really understand the depth of the place we have come to. Keyboard on this is my favorite as it's reminiscent of the space which might have been created between Coldplay and Nina Simone.
Track 5: On the fifth track the upbeat drums and guitar bring us into ealy 80's Police like pop going into harmonies reminiscent of a later point in the same decade. Appropriately wrapping up our audiophiliac experience.
The instrumentality of audiophilia is spot on, and complemented by the clear hi-fi recording done at local Wild Rose Studios. The capricious but comfortable tempo changes porvide fodder for more attentive listeners while keeping the music from getting staid or drifting into more predictable patterns. On all the tracks the notes seem to carry themselves, bringing complex musical developments under smooth vocals.
The album is technically satisfying as local favorite Curtis Monette fills out complex guitar work which falls through triplets arpeggios and links the vocal harmonies with complexities more appropriate to the genres of jazz and funk. At times we go into what feels like it could be Stevie-like wonders of funk/pop/soul complementing easy movement through uplifting harmonies and quick movements of melody more akin to Miles Davis or Curtis Mayfield.
It is clean...very, very clean. In places the album is so sweet it almost seems like and eighth grade slow dance for adults. I can't help but wonder what throwing in some vinyl or some more out there ambient themed or synth work could do with this album. The musicians are doing such a good job that they can afford to branch out further.
They all know each other well enough musically that bringing another voice to the mix would stir things up and add an element of unpredictable static energy that adds to the formula of REALLY GREAT music. Of course they do a great job with it, and the undercurrents keep us moving to the motions and happily so.
This album, like their shows, will make you feel that this thing called music is more attainable and experienced.
The good vibrations you get overall will stay with you longer than any understanding of how or why it makes you feel certain ways. Music is a powerful thing and it can be used for good and evil, for positive or negative emotions to paint pictures that enlighten us or throw us back into the depths of our darkest selves. All of it projecting the path and future - creating our own realities just a few notes ahead of where we are.

- Ella Marie Canus
originally printed Alchemist Weekly Vol. 4 Num. 167:36 (March 15, 2011) - The Alchemist Weekly (Corvallis, OR)

"Man to god to man, through audiophilia"

In a bar small enough to be a bed room,
I listen to men listening to the AM Radio, the AM Radio
with Beaver loss on their lips,
head splashed, eyes sashed with Irish Whisky
and well rum saddled up to a table for four,
one strange stranger making marks in a little black book.

Bombs Away, the bar claimed to be,
but nothing seamed scarred, post apocalyptic
or flashfried into the hand-faced walls;
just the scent of hand-made carnitas and wood,
wood like it is everywhere here,
which is everywhere
made into everything from the floor to the faces of the fans,
carved for the night into smiles by spirits with names like Calapooia and Widmer.
At a corner table a dread-locked man scratches at a crossword, mumbling
“Baba Ganoush, baba ganoush, baba ganoush…”

The wood smiles widen as five audiophiles, five of many before, but now
sliding into their respective spots on the small stage
they are no longer men, but our gods for the evening.
Dreads calls out
“Does anyone know how to spell baba ganoush?”
laughter bubbles through the crowd, but no answer.

Shrugging, a slow jam begins, splashed with reggae,
staccatoed throughout by the blondes behind me,
loud and loquacious about
‘did you know she knew that he knew
but he still did anyway, oh my god,
oh my god, OH, my god-’
the lead shuts their mouths,
leaping out front of the smooth,
overdrive roaring,
summoning cousins of Carlos Santana, Phish and Floyd,
a flight up out of the groove and into the stratosphere.

Behind, the keys scribble niches within electronica,
swirling senses in between the drummer’s downbeats,
tipping test tubes glowing with riffs into others
ricocheting with pings and trills until a mad scientist pulse and glow adds even more lift to the madman slicing stripes out of my ears with his guitar.

Inside of six minutes, five men are not men any longer,
but funktronica furies, lifting us out the trees and green
into the endless black of possibility.

And then it stopped, broke back into the sway of islands.

Dreads slips up to his Shure 58,
clear with a catch, vocals out front (where they should be)
bongos just behind, sings about wandering ways,
wishing for something, but not too hard,
too cool as if it were his job to just be ambivalently amused
at how the light comes to the eyes,
to the minds around him.
He slaps his skins three times, and it’s over,
leaving every mind in the room alone amidst the crowd.

Song six; the bass, not driving but playful,
Wooten nodding somewhere back behind the grinning, laughing,
havin-a-helluva time man slappin his strings.
The notes meander, slipping through Ionian to Dorian, Mixolydian,
wood soaking modes as men and women float up from the tables like moths,
swaying at the knees, the hips, lips open,
some with the words, some with soundless rapture.
The song turns on itself, something darker arrives, longing,
stops to look, then runs seeking, stops,
memories cloud and swirl like smoke under glass until up out of the moan,
running again, then six harsh snare snaps
stop us again.

They don’t wait for applause-
don’t need to break the jam with ripples of real
and we oblige caught up like leaves.
The bassist is not here, goofy leer making love and laughs while
Lead is like stone, cold as January topsoil,
precise, too surgical for any cracks to show.

Whereas Dreads is aloof, alive inside the jam,
unwaiting for his turn to speak, to share,
to stand up and cry out inside the jam, and burn.
He watches Lead scribble, scram across the fretboard,
carving up a six-string symphony,
and he just laughs, slamming applause across his skins.

hotboxed bathroom, good shit, at least.
Still getting used to the faces here,
not so uniform as my redneck past,
but not so far from familiar.
The shapes are there, but the decoration is different;
playful hats and tye-dye unironically applied, honest preference.
Strange, but welcome.

Song 12; so called, “Babymaker”;
Slow, slow; slow as reggae goes,
darker now as the kitchen closes down.
The counter lines with shadows just off their shift;
when they dance my table dances with them, their shapes,
jumpingsinginglaughing just the same.
Bass and lead lines play the parts of lovers here,
mingling, pulling, pushing off one another.
The crowd is up on their feet now, bodies moving,
rhythm to sex to, sly to, slip the flesh and fly.

A woman in a white skirt burns alive before us;
turning so many steps bare foot across the wooden boards
I wonder how they don’t burst into flame with her passing.
Dreads looks on, playin air guitar unabashed,
proving that truly beautiful people can do anything
and still look cool.

Closingtime comes early in this zone,
and so the air is once again devoid of anima.
Tabs paid, gig played, the various components of a show become human again;
The barefoot dervish, white skirt whirling, is now just another woman,
The bass’s grins are gone,
not gone, but not the same grins
as when slapping his way through a forest of triads.
Even Dreads is somewhat diminished,
almost human without bongos close at hand.
As we shuffle to our homes, hollows and lanes,
I can’t help but imagine him scrawling “baba ganoush” into the empty spaces,
maybe even eating a bowl of cereal.

Man to god to man, through audiophilia.

- Jimbo Ivy
originally printed Alchemist Weekly (September 8, 2010)
- The Alchemist Weekly (Corvallis, OR)


All Purpose EP (audiophiliamusic, released January 11, 2011)

Sure Footed (audiophiliamusic, released March 2, 2010)



audiophilia was formed as a result of the shared love of music between four individuals and the equal desire to create a musical style that is as sophisticated as it is groovy. Their initial efforts throughout the past few years have yielded great success and the band has developed a sound that is both danceable and memorable.

Throughout the years, audiophilia has crafted a style entirely their own. While refusing to conform to any one specific genre. The band creatively weaves through concepts of live electronica, funk, reggae, soul, and rock. An idea that has defined audiophilia since they first formed is the incorporation of improvisation during live shows, ensuring that no two shows will be the same. While genre and solo sections change, one aspect remains constant: Funky-danceable grooves permeate throughout their music, keeping crowds moving all night.