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Jul. 8th, 2005
Vancouver, BC

media press release:


10th Anniversary Showcase
Sunday, July 31, The Joint,
8771 W. Pico Blvd, Los Angeles,


Bongo Beat Records celebrate their 10 year anniversary with a special night at The Joint, Sunday, July 31, as part of the International Pop Overthrow Festival.

Free CDs to first 25 people!

In addition to showcasing new signings, the evening will serve as a retrospective of the label's history, starting with our roots in the 1977 Toronto punk scene. Label head Ralph Alfonso used to manage the legendary Crash n Burn Club and The Diodes (Tired of Waking Up Tired) in addition to writing & photographing for Bomp, New York Rocker, Goldmine and other publications from that era. He is joined by long-time collaborator and special guest Dave Rave (ex-Teenage Head) in a special pre-show interview segment hosted by Pop Overthrow supremo David Bash.

This will be followed by the world premier of "The Diodes Live at the Crash and Burn Club, Toronto, 1977". This footage has never been shown in its entirety and this is a one-time only public screening. We have also come into possession of the Rod Swenson Diodes at Max's Kansas City film and all this footage will eventually be released on DVD. After another conversation with Ralph and Dave, there will be the US premiere of "Ralph, Coffee Jazz and Poetry", The BRAVO TV (Canada) documentary on Ralph & Dave's early touring & Ralph's 90s adventures as Canada's beat crusader in addition to great 50s style animation by director Patrick Jenkins.

Bongo Beat was originally started by ex-rock writer & major label drop-out (EMI, Warner, etc) Ralph Alfonso to showcase his RALPH beatnik garage rock group. He has since curated a deep and rich roster of new and veteran cult artists. Johnny Dowd, Paul Hyde (ex-Payolas), Katrina & The Waves (reissue), Kimberley Rew (Soft Boys), Ann Mortifee, Andy Creeggan (Barenaked Ladies), Meryn Cadell, Kathy Acker, Dave Rave (ex-Teenage Head), Lauren Agnelli (aka Trixie A. Balm, ex-Washington Squares), Anton Barbeau with The Bevis Frond are joined by new faces Lola Dutronic, Joe Mannix, Kobayashi, Linda McLean, Kevin House, Man of the Year, Bedsit Poets and more to come.

"There is a strong literary thread that connects what might be disparate acts at first," says Ralph, "But I'm very picky about words and what people are saying and quality of the packaging. I grew up where a cool label took you down many interesting roads. I don't want to keep putting out the same record. When you're an indie, you don't have the luxury of time. If you like something, you have to go for it right away - it may not be around tomorrow. Somebody has to document the alternate history of things and that's us."


Showcasing in order of appearance:

RALPH: First ever LA appearance. Label head Ralph Alfonso dares to connect Mose Allison with Sky Saxon and Lawrence Ferlinghetti for some drinks with Gene Vincent and Jack Kerouac. Somebody has to do it. Bring the party hats.
"Ralph Alfonso's extraordinary combo manage to be heaps of fun as they take the listener on a rare and worthwhile journey." Max Bell, London Evening Standard, UK.

BEDSIT POETS: Edward Rogers and Amanda Thorpe are two ex-pat Brits living in New York. They have solo careers on other labels, but honestly, it is this inspired Luna meets Fairport Convention meets Serge & Jane (in English) shimmering pop concoction that will make their mark. Guitarist Mac Randall will take you to the altar. Don't say no. First ever LA appearance.

LINDA McLEAN: She lives in the Canadian backwoods of North Ontario ("There is a town...etc"); a rough-hewn Lucinda Williams, wiser Kathleen Edwards, Norwegian steel-chiseled good looks and an album full of hooks & choruses not easily forgotten. Her last album was released by Rounder Europe, but we have her now!!! For the world (insert cackle here)! First ever LA appearance.

MAN OF THE YEAR: The coolest Brit band of the evening, and they're from Portland, Oregon. Produced by Tony Lash (Dandy Warhols, Tahiti 80) and Jeff Saltzman (Steve Malkmus). Over breakfast at The Roxy Diner in Portland, we signed the deal on a napkin. See them now before a major label steals them away. We can always sell the napkin on eBay. In the meantime - guitars guitars, keyboards, drums, singalong choruses, big harmonies and... more guitars. Texture, baby.

DAVE RAVE: Dave went from Teenage Head to the first western signing with Russia's Melodyia label (one problem, they wouldn't let him take money out of Russia, so he got paid in cheese). Somewhere in there, he was a studio guitarist for Daniel Lanois in their hometown of Hamilton, Ontario. A sort of Canadian Nick Lowe, Dave is an in-demand co-writer/producer/session guy (too long a list but Dave is on records by Alex Chilton, Steve Wynn, Andrew Loog Oldham, etc). Dave is the perfect closer for the night, as witnessed by our tearing down the Cavern Club Liverpool last year... every set is a party. Make no mistake, the stage will be full of dancing sweaty people. It's Sunday night, who's gonna see you? Do you think he'll close with "Let's Shake"?

v Ralph Alfonso will be in LA from Thurs, July 28 till Mon, Aug 1.
If you'd like to talk to Ralph or if you'd rather talk to any of the bands, you can reach us below. Otherwise, Ralph will be spending most of his time at either Amoeba Records or Book Soup with his wife trying to drag him out of both.

Ralph Alfonso,
Bongo Beat Vancouver

Kevin Komoda,
Bongo Beat Montreal (press/promo/retail)

Bongo Beat, Box 93627,
Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6E 4L7

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