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Dirty Hippie Radio: Whiskey Music, part two (and a VFW Circle One punk preview)

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suzy's bar and grill

Ok...Here’s The Plan, left to right: Kyle Bahneman, Andrew Pringle, Andrew Oliver, and Chris Saunders. Photo by JP Cordero

 Last time ‘round these parts, we were talkin’ ‘bout whiskey-breathin’, folk-blended music happening here in the South Bay. We talked ‘bout the numerous outfits dabbling in Americana, Country, and Bluegrass roots, while weighing in their own variants on the general sound. A whole new bag called Whiskey Honk, perhaps. Bullys & Matadors were the featured band, and Ok… Here’s The Plan were previewed, with both containing a former member of the currently dormant Metal/Hard Rock group Gabriels Fallen. As promised, although a week early, here’s the second shot of Whiskey Music for your music drinking delight.

Ok… Here’s The Plan

So, what is the plan?

We’re going to need 3 RUHS grads, spanning the classes of 1999-2000, and 1 dude from Incline Village (Nevada side of Lake Tahoe)… 1 on resonator, slide, and harmonica, 1 strumming acoustic guitar, 1 picking mandolin, 1 slapping upright bass… Mix in some Punk roots, testosterone, and booze, and then we’ll have what the band calls “Folked Up Whiskey Music.”

They are Andrew Pringle (resonator guitar and slide, harmonica, vocals), Andrew Oliver (mandolin, vocals), Kyle Bahneman (acoustic guitar, vocals), and Chris Saunders (upright bass).

“We are a Bluegrass Folk outfit with a hint of Punk, that has its west coast background stamped into the sound,” says Pringle. “We’re easy to dance to, easy to drink to, and easy to get you pumped to play music!”

Pumped is right… To be sure, the band does take stage with the air of a folk outfit – with the chatter between numbers, accompanied by a boozy grin and smile… that high-lonesome vocal pitch at the opening of songs, just before the bass explodes in jovial fury… But it’s like it’s all been laced with a hit of cocaine.

Saunders says, “I would call our genre a mix of Newgrass/Bluegrass Folk. (Personally, as a bass player, I am influenced by Lee Rocker.)”

Rocker being Rockabilly, and Ok… Here’s The Plan being very bass-driven, it would explain part of their high-energy appeal.

The whole plan developed from Pringle’s solo project, deriving its name from a desire to do something different from his former band called The Rescue Plan.

He says, “As the right friends and musicians fell into place it became a full band, instead of a solo project, with everyone’s input forming the sound. Drew [Oliver], Chris [Saunders], and I have been playing music, together and in separate bands, throughout the South Bay for nearly 15 years before the formation of this project.”

Saunders reflects that prior to the whole plan coming to fruition, he was the guitarist for Gabriels Fallen, while Oliver drummed in the Punk band Allover, and Pringle was in the Metalcore outfit Rescue Plan.

He says, “I got hit up to play the upright a few months back with some friends for a one-off show, around the same time the Andrews [Pringle and Oliver] and Kyle had started up Ok… Here’s the Plan… thanks to me making a pic from that one-off as my profile pic on Facebook, they saw that I played the upright and asked if I wanted to jam… see if I liked how things went. At the end of the day, they just assumed I joined the band. A few days later I realized, damn, I think I did.”

Ok… Here’s The Plan are currently playing a set or three worth of their original “Folked Up Whiskey Tunes,” mixed with a light sprinkle of covers like “Hey Good Lookin’” from Hank Williams, and “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show/Bob Dylan.

Saunders suggests they’re like an upbeat version of The Devil Makes Three, Mumford & Sons, or Old Man Markley.

Pringle says, “Musically, we are somewhere between The Devil Makes Three, Old Man Markley, and Bright Eyes.”

The band is focused on playing and getting their sound out, with plans to record a healthy full-length as soon as can be.

“We’re planning on recording in the near future,” says Saunders. “Most likely a 16 track LP.”

“We plan on spreading our sound as far as possible, to as many people as possible who want to have a great time and listen to some classic American music with our own generation’s twist on it,” Pringle says.

Unfortunately, the boys are first recording a 5 song EP at XYZ Studios (who recorded Blink 182) in an effort to generate proceeds benefiting Pringle’s brother Jacob Steeple, who has cancer. They’re also set to record a song with Sarah Blackwood (of The Creepshow, and Walk Off the Earth), who appears in the Youtube video featuring the 5 members of Walk Off the Earth all playing the same guitar together to create their cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know;” which has accrued a mere over 49 million views.

Ok… Here’s The Plan are performing at Mahe Grill in Dana Point on Feb. 10 for a cancer benefit show, at Suzy’s Bar & Grill in Hermosa Beach on Feb. 17 (and Mar. 3), the my beating heART SHOW at the Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach on Feb. 23, and at Ocean Bar in Hermosa Beach on Feb. 25 for the Becker Surfboards Grand Reopening afterparty. For more information on the band, visit their facebook page at facebook.com/Okherestheplan.

The Punk Beat

I remember growing up next door to an old man named John, who used to frequent the VFW bar around the corner. His age suggested Korean War. I remember when John’s wife passed away, and at some point he disappeared too. Perhaps it is with the gradual moving on of such vets that the Redondo Beach VFW has transformed into a younger watering hole, and venue.

It’s been a surprising, yet somehow sensible shift to see the VFW Post 2828 in South Redondo Beach become today’s preeminent punk music venue in our immediate South Bay area. Over the past few years, the establishment has billed bands from both the old and the new, such as War Called Peace, Glue Gun, STD’s, Local Hate, Unglued, Don’t No, and Short Temper.

Forever plaguing the live punk scene here in town has been the constant battle to book all ages shows. VFW’s got that covered too, typically with 3 P.M. Sunday slots.

This Saturday, Circle One, a part of the Southern California punk scene of the early 1980s, will be playing at our VFW Post 2828. They’re a hardcore punk band from Pico Rivera, CA who made a name for themselves nearly 30 years ago, give or take. Their current lineup features a mix of original and new members, including Jeremy Perryman (vocals), Mike Vallejo (guitar), Mike Ituarte (bass), and Nick Manning (drums).

According to the band, “If you ever saw us back in 1981 or ‘82, expect to see that same energy, enthusiasm, and early 80s hardcore style we had back then with this lineup.”

They’ll be joined by Unglued, Dont No, Short Temper, and the Hermosa Beach-based hardcore punk band Local Hate. Local Hate, a “youth trio feeding those hungry for the hardcore they thrive for,” recently released a split CD with local band Special C.


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