Port Townsend band seeks financing from fans

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

QUILCENE — After 12 years of 400 performances in seven states, and 10 or so albums, along with accolades, the members of Locust Street Taxi want something more.

They want to be famous.

The group already is well-known locally. Its frenetic performances draw large crowds of people who know all the words to their songs.

But the band members seek a wider scope that includes cross-country tours, songs on the radio and an album released on an actual record label.

So the band is asking its fans for help.

Members are seeking contributions to finance their next album, which they hope will catapult them into the big time.

Should they fall short of the goal, the album won't get made.

Should the album get made, and fame still elude them, they might not do another album, or scale down their performance schedule.

“We left it kind of vague,” said guitarist Franco Bertucci, who lives in Quilcene with his wife and three children.

“We'd just like to get some wider exposure.”

One path to success is if the new album can capture the essence and energy of the live shows.

Bertucci, 31, and trombonist/singer/keyboard player Nathan Geyer, 30, both have families and teach music while not performing.

Bassist James Porter and drummer Sam Stockard, both in their mid-20s, work in Japanese restaurants.

Or maybe they're kidding, a behavior that seems to be normal for them.

How many bands feature a guitarist who does gymnastic tricks in the middle of a song, or climbs up an adjacent building?

And how many rock bands actually use a trombone?

“A lot of people like our variety,” Bertucci said.

“They like how our music changes from song to song. They like the horns, and they like our attitude because we have a lot of fun onstage, and we're not overly serious,” he added.

Not to bicker, but they aren't even in the same time zone as “overly serious,”

Their performances are mixtures of tongue-in-cheek originals, wacky covers (a reggae version of “Hey Jude”) or a song made up on the spot from a title suggested by the audience like the classic “Boogers and Spinach.”

The band has turned to Kickstarter, an increasingly popular option for artists and small businesses to raise start-up funds.

Anyone seeking to kick-start a business needs to set a goal to be accomplished during a finite time period.

If the goal isn't met, investor money is returned.

Locust Street Taxi's pitch is the financing of their new album, specifically to hire a producer to supervise the sessions.

“A producer can give the music a more concrete vision,” Bertucci said.

“As a musician, you don't always hear what you do in the studio, and three months later, you say to yourself, 'Why did I do that?'

“That's what we've been missing, because musicians don't always know what is good.”

The incentives range from $2, where Bertucci “will pray for you, Catholic style,” to $10,000 for the privilege of playing didgeridoo on every track.

The band members have a sense of humor.

The band set a goal of $4,000 although Bertucci said it can use as much as it can raise.

As of Sunday morning, they were $600 short of the goal, with the largest single investor plunking down $300 in exchange for Geyer's trombone.

Locust Street Taxi is scheduled to begin recording the new album in January for a projected March release.

It has no title, as “family friendly” naming rights are available for just $800.

Aside from the souvenirs there is another important reason for people to kick in.

“Peoples' record collections are getting stale, and they need to have some good new music,” Bertucci said.

“So it would be great for them to own something they had a hand in creating.

“It's the same thing as attaching value to a plant that you've grown in your own garden rather than something you bought from a store.”

For information about the incentives to support Locust Street Taxi or to contribute go to http://tinyurl.com/d8wn5gs.



Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at charlie.bermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 25. 2012 5:49PM
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