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Annapolis Concert Series Highlights Youthful Bands

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Thank goodness for magnetic poetry.  Without it, the teens in Pandomonia wouldn’t know what to call their songs.

The alternative rock group has a bunch of the black and white word magnets stuck on the side of a refrigerator in their basement rehearsal space. And random combinations have yielded titles such as “Trudge Wax,” “Fiddle Knife” and “Drunk Puppies.”

“What makes us successful is that we’re best friends,” said Devin McCord, a 17-year-old Severna Park High School junior and drummer for the group, which won this year’s Battle of the Bands competition at Maryland Hall in Annapolis. “The music brings us together.”

Pandomonia, whose name is a riff on a middle school vocabulary word, will release its first-ever seven-song recording, “Refrigerator Rock,” in conjunction with an Annapolis concert next month.

The show is part of the “Rock of All Ages” summer series at The Whiskey. The concerts build on past shows by youth bands at the city venue and offer an entire season of varied entertainment.

“It’s youth at The Whiskey,” said Sam Scardefield, 17, bass player for Pandomonia. “That’s where all the cool kids play.”

Mike Hearne, owner of The Whiskey, said summer is typically slow and he liked the idea of providing a performance space. “These kids have no place else to play,” he said.

Although the schedule isn’t completely set, the aim is to have four bands or acts every Sunday from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door.

Promoter Danny Mays, a musician himself, is organizing the concert series for Hearne. He’s trying to provide a mix of bands, acoustic performers or comedians.

“It’s definitely a big break for me,” said Pablo Escobosa, an aspiring comedian and sophomore at Broadneck High School. “I’m a little nervous, but to be really, really funny, you have to have a huge ego. If you think you’re really, really good at what you’re doing, than people will think you’re really, really good.”

Escobosa is part of the June 5 slate at The Whiskey, which also includes Red Light Renegade, In Soviet Russia and Venus Corps.

A few of the acts, such as Pandomonia, might get a chance to play twice during the summer, though it’s not definite, said Mays, who is a fan of the band. The group’s initial appearance is June 19.

“Kids in high school are so quick to emulate what’s popular and they’re not doing that,” Mays said. “These guys are so unique.”

Pandomonia has several other concerts scheduled this summer, including a “tour” which will take them to Boston. The current lineup has been together about a year, but the core of the group dates back to 2007.

In addition to McCord and Scardefield, the band consists of McCord’s younger brother, Shane, on guitar and bells, Mikey Powers on guitar and vocals, and Kory Johnson on percussion and vocals.

Johnson is the oldest member of the group at 18, and the only one not attending Severna Park High School. Johnson is a senior at Old Mill High School. He plans on going to Anne Arundel Community College next year so the group can stay together.

Mays said a lot of teen bands either perform well, or are good at getting people in the door. Pandomonia is adept at both, as are other bands in the “Rock of All Ages” series.

“The most successful bands understand there’s a blend of musicianship and putting on a show,” Mays said. “I’m hoping the series opens everybody’s eyes to the young talent that’s in the area.”

Information from: The Capital of Annapolis, Md.,http://www.hometownannapolis.com/

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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