Band capsules

Band capsules
Ready to dive into the local music scene? Here's a sample of what's available:
Members: Leanne Binder, lead vocals, acoustic guitar and keyboards; Rajma, electric and acoustic guitars, violin, mandolin and vocals; Rick Young, electric guitar and vocals; Marcus Fontane, bass; Dave Wilson, percussion.
Recordings: "Leanne Binder & amp; The Steel City Blues Band"; "Two Drinks Til Midnite" (1999).
Comparisons: "Janis Joplin meets Heart meets Aerosmith" is how she has described her sound.
Style notes: "I'm a diva. I like rock 'n' roll and big hair," says Binder, 37, one of a handful of women on the local scene. She wrote or co-wrote everything on her last CD; she and Rajma (formerly of Graphic Pink) are writing tunes for the next Binder recording.
What is success? When she makes someone feel something, and when people say listening to her music made them feel better. "Then you know you're connecting, that you're making a difference. That's cool. That still doesn't mean I don't want a Grammy."
On the Web:
Members: Jon Reider, guitar and vocals; Rick Stoner, bass; David Galazia, drums.
Recordings: "Two More Weeks"; "Work, Sweat and Pain Among Friends"; "Guido El Sorrio" (1994); "Universal Solvent" (1995); "The Schematic" (2000);
Comparisons: Primus, Faith No More, Mr. Bungle and various metal bands, but "we're much more melodic than that," says Reider, 31.
Style notes: Coinmonster should have been around for the era of album-oriented rock radio. The band played in a musical showcase in Los Angeles. The event organizer told Reider that Coinmonster was the best band that played, but none of its songs would ever get played on radio. Reider says he was right; Coinmonster's songs are "too long, too complicated" for the airwaves. Coinmonster also has a reputation for energetic performances.
What is success? "Being able to pull up to a 500- or 700-seat club and see it totally packed," Reider said. It also means making enough money at music to quit his day job, but "not so much money that I take it for granted and become an idiot."
On the Web:
Members: Erik Hendel, guitar; Obie Savage, vocals; Justin Arroyo, bass; Chris George, drums.
Recordings: "Are You Pumped?" (February 1998); "Salmon of Knowledge" (December 1998); "Don't Take No Twitch" (2000); "Standing in the Shadow of St. Patrick" (2001).
Comparisons: Red Hot Chili Peppers, both in terms of music and onstage antics. "We just try to have a good time," Arroyo says.
Style notes: That Savage jokingly refers to Raul's sound as "Gangsta polka" is indicative of the band's free-spirited nature. When Raul isn't rocking on "Standing in the Shadow of St. Patrick," the musicians are joking around in skits -- think commercials as done by "Saturday Night Live."
What is success? "Just for people to dig what we're doing," Arroyo says.
On the Web:
Members: Brian Peebles, guitar; Michael Johnston, guitar; Jeff Reda ("The Front Man"), vocals and bass; Joe Reda ("The Professor"), drums.
Recordings: "Seasons," slated for release next spring.
Comparisons: People say Pearl Jam and Creed, Jeff Reda says. Twin brother Joe Reda thinks Soul of One has much more in common with classic bands such as Led Zeppelin.
Style notes: Soul of One likes to offer a concert atmosphere -- plenty of lights, fog, a drum riser, whatever it takes, Jeff Reda said. Their music reflects every decade from the '50s to today, except for the '80s. That's the era the band is often associated with, perhaps because the musicians sport long hair. "We like the music of the '80s. It just didn't fit our style," Johnston said.
What is success? "Being able to do what you want to do and not what you have to do," Joe Reda said. All four musicians have day jobs as laborers. Success would also be "helping to push music forward," Peebles said. "It's stood still for the last few years."
On the Web:
Members: Jason Wurst, vocals; Joe Kent, bass; Tim McNickle, guitar; Matt Colla, drums.
Recordings: "Comfort in My Skin," (2000).
Comparisons: Many modern rock bands, yet Via Sahara doesn't quite fit any mold.
Style notes: Via Sahara offers "rock 'n' roll with a little bit of everything," the band says. Its appeal is primarily to the 18-to-30 crowd.
What is success? Making it to the big time and quitting their day jobs (night job, in Kent's case).
On the Web:
Members: Sirius Thots, 24; various guest musicians and vocalists.
Recordings: "The Grain" (2000); "Art of the Cadre" (2001).
Influences: Stevie Wonder, OutKast, Mos Def, Dub Tribe, Ded Prez ("a little more extreme than me, but we need them," he said) and Maxwell ("he's poetic).
Style notes: His praise of R & amp;B singer Sade seems to mirror what he wants to be as an artist: "She doesn't care what's going on, what the trend is ... she's going to do her music the way she wants ... she approaches it from the heart."
What is success? "When the area clubs want you, when you're doing three or four show a month at their request, in your city. If you sell 3,000 records -- that's success."
On the Web: