In Boston and later Cambridge in the 1980s and '90s, Fort Apache Studios recorded some of the biggest names in "alternative" music, including the Pixies, Radiohead, Weezer and Yo la Tengo, along with local faves gone national on the Pixies' trail, such as Juliana Hatfield, Buffalo Tom, Dinosaur Jr. and the Lemonheads.
Now Fort Apache co-founder Paul Kolderie, who turned the knobs on many of those recordings, has put some of the old mics and amps and other gear to work on behalf of Berklee students performing in tribute to those influences.
The "Under the Influence" album Berklee's student-run label Heavy Rotation Records has Berklee up-and-comers recording a pair of covers by big-time '80s and '90s bands and the acts that influenced them: Julia Easterlin (Pixies, Radiohead), Da'Rayia (Gang of Four, Red Hot Chili Peppers), David Pramik featuring Johnny Duke (Joy Division, U2), the Boston Boys featuring Emily Elbert (Hüsker Dü, Green Day), the Berklee String Metal Ensemble (My Bloody Valentine, Smashing Pumpkins), and Pinn Panelle (Mission of Burma, REM). Previous releases on Heavy Rotation tend to feature previously recorded tracks submitted by the performers; this time Kolderie plugged in his equipment and recorded the artists himself. You can sample the tracks here:
This Saturday at at the Berklee Performance Center, Heavy Rotation will host an album-release concert with the student performers plus a ringer, a solo - but electric - set by Roger Miller of Mission of Burma. Tix are $8 in advance ($12 day of show) at berkleebpc.com and at the box office. Call 617-747-2261 for more information.