Bucket of Fun
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Bucket of Fun

Baltimore, Maryland, United States | SELF

Baltimore, Maryland, United States | SELF
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The best kept secret in music


"Bucket of Fun Discuss History, Prepare for Palooza"

Bucket of Fun discuss history, prepare for Palooza
Tom Korp
Issue date: 4/4/06 Section: Arts & Society
PrintEmailDoubleClick Any WordPage 1 of 1 I managed to work in an interview with 2006 Battle of the Bands winners Bucket of Fun. Meeting in senior members Greg Krupiak and James Hayden's McAuley Hall apartment/practice space, we had an impromptu roundtable discussion about the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and the general history of this on-campus band.

Equal parts kismet and concerted effort, Bucket of Fun traces their origins back to Newman 709 West in the fall of 2003, when then-sophomores Hayden and Krupiak first began to jam out to covers of Phish and the Grateful Dead (much to their RA's apparent distaste). A third-generation percussionist, Krupiak eventually made contact with singer/guitarist Conor Mulroe ('07) through a mutual acquaintance, and the rest is history.

Well, not so much history as local folklore. Amusingly, the Bucket's first live show was the result of disciplinary action for under-aged drinking. As part of their punishment, Krupiak, Hayden, and other residents were forced to plan and host a Newman floor event that eventually evolved into a live performance in Upper Primo's.

After a few line-up changes -- Hayden switched from rhythm guitar to bass and Kenny Fontain ('08) stepped in for Dave Robbins ('07) on keyboards -- the Bucket reemerged as a fairly set entity, consistently playing on campus and even touring in the summers.

But it hasn't always been wine and roses. There was the rough turn at 2005's Battle, when the Bucket was slammed by judges and relegated to last place. Also, Mulroe's semester abroad in China put them on a performance hiatus until this spring.

- Loyola Greyhound

"Battle of the Bands 2006"

Battle of the Bands 2006
Tom Korp
Issue date: 4/4/06 Section: Arts & Society
PrintEmailDoubleClick Any WordPage 1 of 3 next >
Media Credit: Allyson Carroll

This past week, the college once again hosted its annual Battle of the Bands, wherein campus bands compete for the opportunity to perform at the year-end festival Loyolapalooza. The yearly knock-down, drag-out bout of riffs, rolls, and chords was held on Tuesday, March 28 in McGuire Hall from 5-9p.m.

Though normally a weekend affair, scheduling conflicts with the Loyola events calendar necessitated that the Battle be held mid-week. Remarkably, this seemed to have no negative effect on either the Battle or its participants, as the event went off with nary a technical issue and decent crowd support throughout.

WLOY DJs Amy Birck and Paul Dircks stood by to interview the competing bands after their performances, providing both follow-up commentary and ancillary band information.

Sophomore Dylan O'Shea emceed the event admirably, showcasing both his wit and his arithmetic skills to banter with the crowd and tally the judges' scores.

This year's panel was comprised of seniors Ryan Dwyer and Brigid Darrah, junior and SGA president-elect Michael Hardy, sophomore Christelle Jerome, and faculty member Xavier Cole, the widely-respected jazz trombonist and assistant to the Dean of Students.

Bands were judged on an objective scale of 1-10, 10 being a perfect score from an individual judge, 50 being a perfect total score. Explicit emphasis was placed on song originality, artistic creativity, performance quality, and musical tone. Additionally, judges considered how well the band would fit with Loyolapalooza headliner, Blues Traveler.

When the dust finally settled, Bucket of Fun was declared the undisputed winner of the 2006 Battle of the Bands. Second and third places went to Geary for President and Jump the Gun, respectively. All three bands will be performing on April 30 at Loyolapalooza.

First up at 5:05p.m. was Bravo Romeo Bravo. Featuring juniors Dan Walker and Dan Ciarrocchi and sophomores Matt Anderson and Mike Campbell, BRB let loose with flurry of screamo-riffic power-chords and pulsing rhythms. Their set was unfortunately hampered by seemingly similar songs, due in no small part to heavy feedback and uneven mic levels.

While the tight intro, rumbling bass, and fantastic solos of "Send Me a Postcard" quite nearly redeemed BRB from their rough start, the judges still took issue with the lost vocals, distorted levels, and underutilization of drummer Mike Campbell. Problems notwithstanding, BRB received a respectable score of 30.

Up next at 5:45p.m., Sesh provided a potpourri of mid-'90s pop-rock. Featuring sophomore drummer Chris Blair, Sesh's all-original grab-bag of familiar-sounding toe-tappers borrowed heavily from the likes of Radiohead, Green Day, Nirvana, Oasis, Coldplay, Tom Petty, and the Smashing Pumpkins.

Though vocally and instrumentally tight -- the pristine Edge-like guitar delay and occasional soloing were especially nice -- Sesh's lyrics seemed a bit stale, particularly with the overly Chris Martin-esque "Universal World," the chorus of which was nearly a direct ripoff of "Don't Panic." The judges were nevertheless favorable, granting Sesh a combined score of 38.

Geary for President rocked out at 6:20p.m., bringing their upbeat instrumental antics and amiable stage presence to bear. Playing their standard fare of melodic, emo-flavored punk-rock (think the Starting Line and Yellowcard), the all-senior/alum band thrived on Ryan Weidmann's harmonized vocals and Mick Ferrara's energetic spray of sweat and percussion.

Mike Demato and Greg Savarese held down the rhythm department with tight bass riffs and effortlessly layered chords, while alum guitarist Adam Wessinger ('05) returned for yet another go-around.

Lyrically, Geary's originals adhere a bit too closely to the common romantic clichés of pop-punk to truly be considered novel, but their covers are nothing short of amazing. High points like the fantastic crossover cover of the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" and Matisyahu's "King Without a Crown" eventually garnered Geary for President a score of 43.

Taking the stage promptly at 7:00p.m., Loyola's celebrated Bucket of Fun kicked up the funk, rocking out with a tight combination of jam, blues, rock, and prog. Junior Conor Mulroe led the way with super-clean guitar solos and mellow vocals, while Sophomore Kenny Fontaine held it steady with an undercurrent of keys and synthesized effects. Building it up before breaking it down, seniors Greg Krupiak and James Hayden ruled the rhythm section with a potent combination of throaty rumbles and brassy percussion.

"Horace Brown the Helping Clown" brought on the crowd participation with its whooping, yelling chorus and wah-wah guitar. In an unexpected treat, the Bucket's newest, as-of-yet untitled jam kicked out whinging vocals and a crisp, salsa-inspired beat.

Driven by tight melodies, rumbling rhythms, and explosive percussion, Bucket of Fun signed off with a fantastic cover of Loverboy's "Working for the Weekend." In the words of Xavier Cole, the performance was "paloozalicious," earning a well-deserved score of 46.

Up next at 7:40p.m., the duo of Koye Berry & Nick Logler cooled things down with a surprisingly fleshed-out piano/drum combo. While only practicing twice before last Tuesday's performance, senior Koye Berry and freshman Nick Logler managed a cohesive set.

While a bit jittery on the intro, "Ecstasy of St. Theresa" made full use of a religious/sex metaphor to create a decidedly dark pop song. "Humbert" employed a time-shift between chorus and verse, vacillating between a snare-powered march and an upbeat melody. Covers of Tori Amos's "Caught a Lite Sneeze" and Sarah Slean's "Sweet Ones" also made appearances, the former with an a capella solo and the latter featuring a quickened pace and the full-on Logler treatment.

Bright spots aside, most of the judges deemed the duo technically good but not quite right for the 'Palooza stage; they tied with Bravo Romeo Bravo with a score of 30.

Last but not least, Jump the Gun began their performance at 8:15p.m. Winners of last year's Battle of the Bands, sophomore Brian Brutzman and junior Sean Allocca draw heavily from reggae, blues, and classic rock.

Allocca's sense of rhythm is impressive, both when filling in on drums and bongos and when supplying clean, jazz-flavored chords. Though Brutzman is by all means a guitar virtuoso -- his intuitive fills, tight licks, and Kingstown riffs were a thrill to the ear -- his vocals were coarse to the point of unpleasantness.

Senior and Battle coordinator Gary Lamsback made an impressively sax-y guest appearance on bluesy tunes "Undivided Attention" and "Tragedy Strikes." Performance ender "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" featured angular dueling guitars as well as guest vox by sophomore Katie Reid, lead singer of Long Island's "punk-rock" travesty Mr. Guy and a Few Good Men.

Jump the Gun fell somewhat below my expectations; still, the judges saw fit to award them a score of 38.5. - Loyola Greyhound


Still working on that hot first release.



Bucket of Fun's roots began in the presitigious Loyola University Maryland - although more affectionately known as Loyola College. A couple of kids wanting to jam here and there turned into something special and soon Bucket of Fun was on to winning Battle of the Bands. Getting the chance to open up for Blues Traveler and play in front of the entire student body - Bucket of Fun rocked the entire college's socks off. The band members have since gone their separate ways - onto their different endeveaors, but very once in a while they unite for a epic night of music, debauchery, and just good ol' fashioned fun.