Getting a residency at a club or bar is often a great opportunity for an up-and-coming band, giving them a chance to gradually build a following. But Derek Jordan -- whose band Decoded plays Amplyfi every Thursday in May -- also saw it as an opportunity make a difference. "The small venue made it a great opportunity to do something for the community," he says of the alcohol-free, all-ages spot.
West Hollywood's Decoded play melodic alt rock, working with producer Davey Julson-Rieley, who has formerly collaborated with Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins and others. While the locally-based Decoded hasn't released much -- a handful of free mp3s on Bandcamp and Reverb Nation -- there's an obvious level of pop craftsmanship. Their music rocks, in that it makes you want to sing along.
As for the benefit causes, Jordan picked issues that move him personally, including animal welfare, kids and the arts, providing for the poor and protecting the environment. A different charity will raise money at each show, and raffle prizes include signed CDs, records, video game controllers, books and T-shirts.
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On May 3, the experiment kicked off, raising money for Ace of Hearts, a dog rescue agency, and on May 10th, the efforts were focused on Create Now, a group trying to make positive changes in the lives of abused and neglected children through the arts. For this week's show, May 17, the Coalition for Clean Air -- an environmental organization -- is the beneficiary.
On May 24, it's Hearts Giving Hope Foundation, which also helps out kids through the arts, and the May 31 show will be raising money for Rent.Food.Broke, a website that helps L.A. denizens learn to live on a budget and help them better themselves financially.
"I like charitable work in general," says Jordan, noting his wide-ranging volunteer work. The band members, while hired guns (Jordan is the only permanent member of Decoded), are equally enthusiastic about the project. Jordan adds that he's been contacted already from musicians in other cities who want to make a difference in their communities. "If we can make this thing grow bigger, even better."