Geza X-It: Celebrated and beloved producer Geza X has been a fixture on the Los Angeles musical landscape for decades. He’s most closely associated with the punk scene, but not exclusively. He produced mega-hit “Bitch” for Meredith Brooks in the ’90s — his biggest commercial score. But still, when we think of Geza X, our heads go straight to the Dead Kennedys, the Germs, and Black Flag.
Nowadays, the man is the head of the eponymous Geza X Records, and his spirit hasn’t changed. He’s still looking to provide great musicians with the best possible opportunity to create something wonderful. He’s still producing, occasionally performing. He’s still very much Geza X.
“I knew there’s no real money in indie labels, especially now,” he told us last year. “I’m making $40 a month to split between 20 different artists. It’s sick. It’s an embarrassment actually, to our culture. Everybody can put out their own record yeah, but as far as monetizing it, it’s worse than the ‘70s. This has always been a labor of love for me anyway – why don’t I just start a label? I have the resources and the connections. I was able to get a really good distribution agent who works through The Orchard, which is basically Sony. I started finding acts I really wanted to put out. Things that I love. The record is set up, it’s stable and I’ve got a few records out. I love every single one of them.”
At the Redwood Bar & Grill on Saturday night, the label hosted a showcase featuring some of its best talent. And while the vein running through the metaphorical marble is rock & roll, the music on offer was as eclectic as one would expect from a Geza X label.
First band Stomp Box Holiday fit their name. Contemporary Americana with male/female vocals, they warmed the crowd up nicely. Magnet Hearts plays California folk-rock with a modern edge. It’s as if the classic Laurel Canyon bands formed 20 years later, so there’s a Paisley Underground lean here that works really well.
The Magnet Hearts stuck around a little longer and were joined by Geza X and his wife and partner Larva to run through a couple of the main man’s tune — “We Need More Power” and “Isotope Soap.” It’s rare to see Geza on stage nowadays, and it was a real treat. The latter song in particular is a bonafide L.A. punk classic, and it received an appropriately rowdy reaction from the Redwood crowd.
We saw two more bands; They Call Us Scoundrels play punky power-pop and they have a new album out. Snotty vocals, melodies for days — this group is superb.
Naughty Women were introduced by Geza as “the only band to be thrown out of the Masque.” Apparently, the Orange County group were just too disgusting for the infamous club. They also have a new album out, Anti-Grammys and, while they may be less disgusting nowadays, they’re still super-lively. Mannequin heads decorate the stage, as Naughty Women blast though a set of punk rock energy, aggression and general debauchery. Brilliant.
Carnage Asada and Strychnine 99 played later, as Geza X Records put its best foot forward. One great band after another from Geza. Some things never change.
Geza X-It: Visit gezaxrecords.com for more info.
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