On July 12, KOMP 92.3-FM DJ Laurie Steele will finally celebrate the 15th anniversary of her weekly local rock program, The Homegrown Show, with a four-band concert that also acts as the release party for the program’s third compilation, which highlights Homegrown faves from the past five years. Steele gave CityLife the backstory to each of her compilation’s inclusions. MIKE PREVATT
1. Searchlight, “Contagious”
I could not play this song on the air without cranking up the studio monitors to max volume. Every. Single. Time. It was the perfect choice to lead off this compilation, and I was so excited to be able to include it. You can also hear a version of this song on the Resident Evil: Extinction soundtrack.
2. Thomas Nicholas Band, “Wasting My Time”
This song was a favorite of one of my interns, and The Homegrown Show was the first to spin it — or any tracks from the band, for that matter. The band has since released another album, which has also been featured on the show, and the newest material can be found on the American Reunion soundtrack (Thomas Nicholas plays Kevin in the American Pie movies.)
3. Theory of Flight, “Worthless Symphonies”
Theory of Flight showed so much potential that I was disappointed when it disbanded; singer Beau Hodges and drummer Tyler Williams have teamed up again for the Beau Hodges Band, but without Theory of Flight’s songwriter, Vince Casas, there is little resemblance stylistically between the two projects.
4. Left Standing, “32 Years”
Left Standing has been a part of The Homegrown Show almost as long as I have. Many Left Standing songs have been featured over the years, and [it has been the only band with] a spot on each of the three compilations. There has been a noticeable shift away from the pop-punk roots of the band into a more mature, traditional rock sound over the years, while still maintaining the core substance of the band.
5. Ministry of Love, “A Promise for Forever”
Ministry of Love, in its current incarnation, has been around for a few years now, but … this just might be their year, with a new E.P., tour and, of course, singer Meg Vitale’s defeat of thyroid cancer. The CD release party will be their first public show since the band’s hiatus last year.
6. Sin City Sinners, “Numb”
Sin City Sinners seems to be the ubiquitous house band in every venue in town. Despite all their shows, the constant stream of special guests keep the performances from becoming stale, for either the band or the audience. That is fortunate, as it allowed the band to carry on without missing a beat, while singer Todd Kerns tours with Slash (on bass and backing vocals).
7. The Asphalt, “Where the Past Begins”
Hailing from Lake Havasu City, Ariz., The Asphalt plays Vegas regularly. Their punk-tinged rock won them a spot at South by Southwest two years running, and this is the fifth song of theirs that has been featured on The Homegrown Show.
8. Dinner Music for the Gods, “Fighting Hydra”
DMFTG is the most recent incarnation of a group of musicians who have been playing together since high school (you may also know them as Native Tongue or Ultravulture). Incredibly technically proficient, this instrumental act is a band you must see live to truly appreciate. Truly musician’s musicians.
9. Judge Jackson, “Letting Go”
Based in Southern California, Judge Jackson’s Southern/classic rock brings an added dimension to both the show’s playlist and this compilation. They are regular performers at both the Laughlin River Run and Sturgis motorcycle rallies.
10. Slow to Surface, “Shake the Rafters”
Another band that has been featured on the show for years, starting when it was known as Product. The guys announced they were shelving STS in May, and several members have been working on new projects. I always thought this song was one of their best, so I’m glad I could include it on the CD.
11. Roxy Gunn Project, “At the End of the Day”
RGP is a newer band on the scene, but it has been working hard, and it doesn’t hurt to have a couple of scene veterans (Chris Reject and Ryan J) in the lineup. For a few years, there was a real dearth of female-fronted rock bands, so I’m glad to see that changing, and to be able to include a couple of them in the CD mix.
12. Leaving Springfield, “Monday”
I’ve played many songs from Leaving Springfield on The Homegrown Show, and this one seems to be a fan favorite. It’s not hard for a two-member band to sound full when recording, but it is amazing what these two can create live. Drummer/keyboardist/vocalist Matt Norcross was a regular Homegrown Show intern for awhile, and still fills in occasionally.
13. Happy Campers, “Buried Alive”
Despite lineup changes and personal tragedies, Isaac Campa and the rest of the band have managed to persevere, recently adding a member to become a four-piece. I’ve always really liked their style, and this third compilation wouldn’t seem complete without their inclusion.
14. Calicos, “Something Wrong”
Calicos is another two-piece band, but due to singer Terry Fusco’s struggle with multiple sclerosis, it is unable to perform live with the regularity necessary to really carve a niche in the Vegas scene. Fortunately, its Secret Music album was handed to me, and I was able to turn people on to it via the show.
15. Holes and Hearts, “Lost & Lonely”
This is definitely the youngest band included on the CD, with brothers Riley and Casey Macek, ages 15 and 17, respectively. They have managed to make it on to the top-requested list two years in a row, and “Lost & Lonely” is their latest single to do so.
MINISTRY OF LOVE, LEFT STANDING, DINNER MUSIC FOR THE GODS, SIN CITY SINNERS Friday, July 12, 9 p.m.; Whiskey Dick’s, 2750 E. Craig Road, www.komp.com, free