The closest rock 'n' roll has to a fairy tale is that of the talented unknown plucked from obscurity and positioned for greatness.
A fortuitous twist of fate for local musician Hannah Dimolfetto wasn’t as quite cinematic as that, but it was just as effective.
While working as a manager at the local Guitar Center about two years ago, she helped a customer who happened to be the founder and CEO of NuVibe Entertainment Group. He was there buying the equipment for his new recording studio downtown and offered Dimolfetto a record deal and her own shot at a happy ending.
“Back then I was stoked to meet someone who had the connections that I didn’t have,” Dimolfetto said. “I was lucky enough, really, being in the right place at the right time.”
This Saturday at Jerry’s Pizza she'll unveil the two newest facets of her career: her debut solo EP, “Sky Love,” and her new palindromic stage name, “Hannah.”
Other NuVibe-affiliated artists, with the exception of guitarist Emile Antonell, will be performing that night as well.
“It’s nice to think it’s a rags-to-riches (story), but the label is still in its infancy. This show and the label’s artists are trying to get to that next level where we are actually making music and we can quit our day jobs," said the insurance broker at Colonial Life. "Hopefully we’ll be able to get to that next level.”
For many people familiar with Dimolfetto and her music, “Sky Love” is a bit of a departure from the singer/songwriter style she has championed over the years. Whenever she hit a stage with her acoustic guitar — either by herself or with her previous group, Arizonity — her songs were way more James Taylor than Katy Perry.
It’s obvious from the first listen of “Sky Love" that Dimolfetto is being positioned to be marketed as a pop artist, ala Taylor Swift and Alessia Cara. When her acoustic sensibilities are combined with her own natural pop instincts, they create a unique mix that can be impressive. The two strongest songs on the EP are “It’s Alright” and “Rabbit,” the former an upbeat, rhythmically deceptive swirl of guitar, piano, drums and vocals that is at turns melancholy and ecstatic. The latter is the most personal to Dimolfetto as the only song on the release she co-wrote.
“It’s about a relationship that was wonderful and then kind of fell apart,” Dimolfetto said, “and then this person is talking to the person who broke her heart saying, ‘The same thing is going to happen to you.’ That what goes around comes back around. It’s just a reminder for people to be nicer to each other.”
She has a musical maturity that belies her 24 years but Dimolfetto’s ambition has been nurtured from years of performance — both as an actress and a musician — along with a pragmatic determination.
“I’ve been doing this since I realized I could possibly be a musician,” she said. “My mom (Carolyn Dimolfetto) is a voice teacher, so I started taking voice lessons at 5 years old. I grew up playing music in the church, in the theaters, and then as soon as I was 18, I started hitting the downtown scene with my guitar.”
She will be fleshing out the songs on her EP with a live band of local musicians: Damian Hayes on bass, Jeremy Bridgman on drums, John Calanchini on keyboard, Jazz Garcia on electric guitar. Dimolfetto will be handling the acoustic guitar duties herself.
Kelsey Snider, aka DJ Riskletter, will be spinning her own music in-between acts as well as performing with Dimolfetto.
“I really want this to be a big deal,” Dimolfetto said. “I want all of Bakersfield to come out and support local music. This could be something really big to have a record label come out of Bakersfield. We haven’t had anybody break out of (here) in a while."
The Bako Show presented by NuVibe Entertainment Group featuring Hannah Dimolfetto's EP-release party with Destiny Gutierrez, Emile Antonell and featuring Quentin “Q” Cheatham and DJ Riskletter, 9 p.m. Saturday at Jerry’s Pizza, 1817 Chester Ave.; $10; all ages
'Border Brothers' movie red carpet premiere
I would best describe Hectic Films’ latest full-length comedy, “Border Brothers,” as a gonzo combination of stoner comedy/gangster/action/accidental buddy movies. If you can imagine a cross between “Pineapple Express,” “The Hangover,” Cheech and Chong films and those Bob Hope/ Bing Crosby “Road to…” pictures, you can sort of get an idea of what kind of chaos to expect. After six years (!!) in the making, the movie will finally (!!) have it’s red-carpet premiere on Thursday, April 20, at the Fox Theater.
The film tells the story of Brian (Brian Ross), a ne’er-do-well pool guy who spends more time smoking weed and complaining about life than actually cleaning pools. In a fit of determined self-pity, he volunteers to become part of his mafia family’s business and ends up finding himself in one bonkers situation after another. Eventually, he finds himself unwittingly partnering up with two illegal immigrants, Juan and Lupe (played by Luis Fernandez-Gil and Orlando Chavez) who are on a mission of their own.
The film’s release and our current political and social landscapes have intersected to make the film’s plot serendipitously prescient, an unintended minor miracle in timing and hindsight.
“Honestly, the issues were still going on back then,” said the film’s director and co-writer Rickey Bird Jr. “(Illegal immigration) has always been a hot topic and that’s what I try to write on. I think it’s just a hotter topic now because it went from level 10 to 15 after Trump made that speech (about illegal immigrants). So I don’t want to take as much credit as people have been giving me about predicting the future. It’s one of those topics that never really dies; it just becomes valid for a little bit and then drops out.”
And in a bit of irony mirroring the film itself, the filmmakers had to do a border jump of their own — even if the trip itself was legal — in true low-budget guerrilla-filming style.
“We actually stole shots from Mexico,” Bird said. “We went to Tijuana and got those shots illegally and came back over. I almost got stabbed for my camera."
Even with the low budget, the film’s production values are world-class, on par with any independent film out there right now; plus the film really brings the funny. "Border Brothers" is not rated, but definitely NOT recommended for children. If the words “hilarious cock fight” offend you, skip this movie.
The event will start at 6 p.m. with a red-carpet entrance and photo ops with the cast of the film. Bird will introduce trailers for upcoming Hectic Films’ releases before the main attraction. After the movie is finished, there will be a quick Q&A for cast and crew and then the party will be moved to Sandrini’s Pub.
“Border Brothers” Movie Red Carpet Premiere, 6 p.m. red carpet/ 7 p.m. show on Thursday, April 20, at the Fox Theater, 2001 H St.; $10; unrated but not recommended for children, viewer discretion is advised
This week in tribute bands
Planet Earth (Duran Duran tribute) 8 p.m. Friday at B Ryder's, 7401 White Lane; $10; all ages; ticketweb.com; 397-7304
last week’s 1980s/The Cure/Billy Idol tribute night at Elements, B Ryder's is doubling (tripling?) down Friday with Duran Duran tribute act, Planet Earth.
These gigs are a blast and as a fan of Duran Duran, I’m stoked to hear that Bako will be treated to spot-on re-creations of the 1980s style mavens’ greatest songs — including, I hope, my personal favorite, “Save a Prayer.” These shows are best enjoyed with audience participation, so bust out the jelly bracelets and pastels and live it up notoriously. Reserve seating is recommended because the target audience for this group will prefer to sit down in between bouts of rocking out. I should know; I’m part of it.
Vanessa Silberman (L.A.), The Love Dimension (San Fransisco), and Crooked Folk, 9 p.m. Friday at Riley’s Tavern, 1523 19th St.; $5; 21 and over
The Love Dimension is a psychedelic rock band based out of San Fransisco that sounds like they came straight out of the summer of love. Singer Vanessa Silberman comes from the other side of the Golden State and will be performing a set of her own music before joining Love Dimension’s 1960s time warp on stage.
Crooked Folk, whose sound represents the darker side of the late-sixties, will bring their own style of doom and boom to the formalities.