Often it’s been said that there is no place for the younger crowd in Santa Clara to call their own. Entertainment within the city is limited, and has been since the Avalon nightclub closed to make way for a dialysis center – the telling tale of the city’s lack of options for a lost generation. However, there is hope, as one local spot, Studio Bongiorno, is trying to change the status quo.
Stripping down punk rock by turning angsty music into melodious masterpieces, the studio kicked off an all-ages series back in July with Emily’s Army, Kill the Bats and Skandalism, and continued the trend by welcoming Rodrigo Lopez, Kurt Porter, Caskitt and The Citrus Sound on Aug. 14.
“I really want to make this a hub,” said Billy Bouzos, who has recently taken on the task of booking bands at the studio. “I want bands – when they’re coming through on tour, or local bands. I realize that doing acoustic is not for everyone, but I want bands who want to play stripped down to play here.”
What Studio Bongiorno offers is a unique perspective on punk music – an unplugged, folky set performed in an eclectic artistic space, although acoustic punk bands aren’t the only acts that will be playing at the former California Monument Company location. “Most of these bands are writing these songs acoustic,” said Bouzos. “I feel like you get an actual perspective of what that song is [at these events]. When it’s stripped down like this … you get the real nitty, gritty heart of it.”
Porter opened Thursday night’s show, followed by Lopez, who will be playing at the studio again in October. San Diego punk rockers Caskitt stepped into the third spot after their scheduled show fell through two weeks ago, and vocalist for The Citrus Sound, Casidhe McClone, played a solo set to close out the night.
“It went really well,” said Bouzos of the intimate evening. “I feel like the South Bay doesn’t have a lot of attractive, respectful and interesting all-ages spaces. It’s really lacking that, so my goal is to make this that spot … I’m still looking for bands who are interested in playing here … I’m really looking to build a name here and get bands inquiring … We would be open to giving anyone a shot.” Those interested can contact Bouzos through the Studio Bongiorno Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Studio-Bongiorno/152343428168641 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bouzos’ next curated show will likely take place on Friday, Oct. 17. In the meantime, Studio Bongiorno will host a “Celebration at Studio Bongiorno featuring Thomas Sage and the Chemists,” that’s being billed as an “instrumental journey incorporating jazz, rock, classical and funk [that will] ignite your senses with imaginative music, unique artwork and a belly dancing performance by Chris Moon, [and] led by Thomas Sage playing an Australian didgeridoo and piano simultaneously for a live show that is not to be missed” on Saturday, Aug. 30 at 7:30 p.m. There is a $5 suggested donation to attend.