Wednesday, Aug 07 2013 05:13 PM

MATT MUNOZ: Club Heresy's doctrine is sound

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    By Photo by Mike Fowler

    Bakersfield goth dance night, Club Heresy, returns to Replay Lounge on Saturday. Pictured are club-goers Alex Arias and Ravyn Moon.

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    By Photo courtesy of Choirs

    Choirs' vocalist Joel Brewer (standing) and producer Josh Mallit work on tracks for the band's second CD at San Diego's Studio West.

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By MATT MUNOZ, Californian columnist mmunoz@bakersfield.com

Children of the night could be heard happily flapping their bat wings all over Bakersfield once news hit that popular local goth dance night Club Heresy would be rising from the grave.

A monthly gathering for fans of all things alternative, Club Heresy caters to those who dare to dance on the wildly darker side of life. Originally held downtown inside Riley's Backstage, the themed club night went on hiatus in February once the venue made the announcement it would be remodeling.

Rather than put up with the construction headache, Mike Fowler, the specialty club's founder, decided to relocate to Replay Lounge, where it returns on Saturday.

"We stopped hosting at Riley's because I planned on taking a hiatus from promoting while they remodeled. It was a good plan. When I was ready to start back up again, Riley's wasn't finished remodeling yet. I had been considering Replay for about a year now, but Riley's had been so good to Heresy that I didn't want to change anything at the time."

Last month's Replay Lounge debut was an overwhelming success, according to Fowler. Though the venue typically hosts nightclub dancing for the young, glitzy, singles bar crowd, the club was transformed into an elegant evening in Transylvania with special lighting and decor brought in to pick up where the club left off.

"The response to the new location has been 100 percent positive. The attendees love the new location with all of its room and growth potential. The venue owners also love the Heresy people."

Additions to Heresy at Replay include an ample dance and lounging area, 18-and-over admittance, two rooms of music with dance floors featuring guest go-go dancers, and deejays spinning all things goth-related: dark wave, industrial, punk and more, against a multimedia explosion of screen projections to boggle the senses.

"Heresy has always been about all manners of alternative self- expression, without fear of judgment. Newcomers can look forward to enjoying people in their creative outfits."

Live music will resume at Heresy as well. In the past, the club has hosted veteran death rock act 45 Grave, local acts Burning Image and Funeral Club. This weekend Bay Area industrial act RetConStruct and Deep Drain from Los Angeles will appear in the main bar area.

Club Heresy nights will be once a month, rotating between the first and second Saturday. For specific dates and news, check their website at heresyentertainment.com.

Club Heresy begins at 10 p.m. Saturday inside Replay Lounge, 4500 Buck Owens Blvd. Admission is $10. Ages 18 and over admitted.

Free Choirs show

Out to smash any early talk of a sophomore slump, Bakersfield band Choirs will be showcasing music from their upcoming new CD, with a free show for fans tonight at On the Rocks.

It's been just over a year since the release of the group's well-received debut, "We All Need Closure," which put the band on a brief tour and onto semi-regular show bills in Bakersfield and around California. Following a few more promotional treks, the band retreated to the lab to begin work on their follow-up.

"The album is not yet complete," said Choirs vocalist Joel Brewer of the seven-track collection, which has a working title of "USALKT."

"The show was initially put together for an out-of-town band called Lightsystem and then we all decided, 'Free show, why not?'"

As they did for their debut, the band recorded most of the project in San Diego, this time at Studio West, where such acts as Blink-182, Patti Labelle and Greg Allman have all recorded. The band reteamed with collaborator and producer Josh Mallit.

"It was a long and arduous process, but it made it easier when we were welcomed by their staff; better yet, surrounded by a litany of previously recorded albums lining the halls. When you're walking into an unknown environment for seven days, there's a wonderful relief when you're made to feel at home in the first few minutes. To date, we have recorded all of the instruments and are working on finding a studio in Bakersfield to finish recording the vocals."

Hoping for a winter release, Brewer is working feverishly with his bandmates: drummer Cass Faulkenberry, guitarist Dax Dominguez, bassist Michael Aguilar and guitarist Tyler Slayton.

"I can initially put it this way: It's difficult to explain feelings when you're going through them, but the common conversation we've all had when working these songs out and when listening, post recording, is 'Are we being less aggressive on this one?' Which is always followed by an agreed response of, 'No, this is what's coming out of us this time around.'"

Also appearing are bands the Volume, Lightsystem and the Nature.

Tonight's showtime is 9 p.m. Free admission. On the Rocks is located at 1517 18th St. For more information call 327-7625 or visit facebook.com/choirsofficial.

Matt's picks

Atlas Genius, 7 p.m. today at B Ryder's, 7401 White Lane. All ages, $12, 397-7304.

This weekend's Outside Lands festival in San Francisco may be sold out, but many bands slated to appear have opted to add some one-off appearances en route to Golden Gate Park. One such act is the Australian brother duo of Atlas Genius, making a rare stop into B Ryder's. Their 2012 single, "Trojans," can still be heard in regular rotation on top college playlists. Also appearing is Los Angeles quintet Cayucas.

Return of the '90s Cover Show, 9 p.m. Friday at Sandrini's, 1918 Eye St., $5, 322-8900. It was an era of grunge, flannel, emo and nu-metal music, but for Bakersfield musicians Salvador Galindo, Pablo Alaniz, Zachary Spier and Jason Blakely, it was a prime time for teen self-discovery, zits, girls and first gigs. Not sure what their set list will be, but you can expect a lot of "That's my song!" heard in the crowd. For those eager to reminisce about terrestrial radio's last hurrah before the arrival of robot programming, MySpace and hipsters, pack up the car with your best mates and get your sing-a-long on.

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