Calvin Yordy
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Calvin Yordy

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Musician Jesse Atwell found his stage name written inside a T-shirt.

Several years ago, Atwell, who grew up in Salina and now lives in Olathe, bought a T-shirt at a Salvation Army store in New York City. Written on the tag inside was an odd name: Calvin Yordy.

"I didn't know whether it was a real person or not, but I thought it was a great name," said Atwell, 26.

The T-shirt has been long lost, but Atwell never forgot the name. It inspired him to choose Calvin Yordy as his stage alter-ego.

Why the pseudonym?

"I was working in the music business and wanted to separate that side from my artistic side," he said.

When Atwell moved back to Kansas last year, Calvin Yordy became the name of Atwell's band, which performs original modern rock. Their first compact disc, "Lost in the Dirac Sea (Part 1)," was released on iTunes in the fall of 2007 as a limited edition of 1,000 copies.

Calvin Yordy will be in concert with Salina-based alternative rock band the Liquid Kids and People Noise, a psychedelic rock band from Louisville, Ky., at 8 p.m. May 30 at the Blue Goat, 232 N. Santa Fe.

Bennington graduate

Atwell, a graduate of Bennington High School, earned a master's degree in music business from New York University. He lived in Manhattan and Brooklyn for four years, where he worked in music marketing at Razor & Tie Entertainment, "the No. 1 independently owned record label in the U.S.," he said.

"I did marketing for indie bands and children's bands," Atwell said.

Atwell decided to move back to the Kansas City area in 2007 to finish writing his original five-song composition, "Lost in the Dirac Sea (Part 1)" and to form his own music marketing firm, Zero Age Media.

"It will be an entertainment marketing and artist development and promotion firm," Atwell said. "There's a gigantic talent pool in this area."

He also wanted to devote more time to his independent projects and to take advantage of business opportunities.

"I can afford my own home here and rehearse in my basement," he said.

When Atwell isn't scouring Kansas City and Lawrence clubs seeking new bands to sign, he's busy working on his own music project.

Calvin Yordy wasn't conceived to be a performing band, Atwell said. Originally, it was just a solo project conceived by Atwell in his Brooklyn apartment.

Calvin Yordy in concerts

Soon after moving back to Kansas, Atwell met Kansas City bassist Wally Dover and drummer Stevo LaCerte. Together, they turned Calvin Yordy from a solo project to a band.

"Lost in the Dirac Sea" was recorded in 2007 in Eudora and mastered in Omaha, Neb. Just a week ago, the band went to Austin, Texas, to record 12 new songs for a yet-untitled CD with veteran music producer Dave Percefull.

"(Percefull) has a great ear and has worked with some incredible artists," Atwell said.

Atwell, who is the primary songwriter for the band, hopes the new CD will be released in early September. Then he, Dover and LaCerte will begin touring whenever time allows.

"Before, our touring was always hit and miss — we didn't put a lot of energy into it," Atwell said. "But it's a big part of the marketing angle now."

Atwell is adamant that the band's live performances should be more than just an forum to sell records.

"I want to take the live concert experience back to what it was meant to be — a medium of self-expression," he said.

- Gary Demuth, The Salina Journal - Salina Journal (daily)


Discography

2007 - Lost in the Dirac Sea (PART 1) CD//EP
Produced by Calvin Yordy
Recorded and Mixed by Nick Day (The Only Children)
Mastered by Doug Van Sloun (Bright Eyes, The Faint)

2008 - Lights Fantastic
Produced by Dave Percefull (David Cook, Bowling for Soup, Zac Maloy)
Mastered by Derek Taylor (Bush, Blue October)

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Bio

NEW ALBUM COMING FALL 2008

- Produced by Dave Percefull (David Cook, Bowling for Soup, Zac Maloy)
- Mastered by Derek Taylor (Bush, Blue October)
- Recently featured on the homepages of Reverbnation.com and Cyqo.com
- CD EP serviced to National College Radio Spring 2008 by AAM Promo
- Peaked at #25 on MTV Soundtrack
- Nearly 300,000 impressions on Facebook and counting

More info at www.calvinyordy.com