VALLEY WEEKEND : The Four Postmen Deliver Tunes With a Humorous Twist : The band plays alternative folk rock with a theatrical bent. They will play Saturday at the Coffee Junction.
The Four Postmen did not start out as a rock band. Stefan Marks and Matthew Kaminsky met in 1988 at Cal State Northridge, where they both were theater students.
“I was writing a lot of plays and these guys were performing in the plays,” says Marks.
After they left school, they decided to form a band. They recruited a drummer, Geoff Dunbar, a high school friend of Kaminsky from Palm Springs and a bass player, Brett Pearsons. And the Four Postmen were born.
The Four Postmen, in almost-authentic postal attire, will bring their blend of rock and theater this Saturday to the Coffee Junction in Tarzana. They call their music alternative folk rock with a comedic edge.
“When we put on the outfits, it gives us a freedom, a license to be odd,” says Marks. “But we’re not up there making fun of postal workers. We’re not into postal humor.”
Instead, the Postmen’s repertoire includes ditties like “I’m in Love With Grandma, What’s Grandpa Gonna Say” and “I Asked You If You Loved Me and You Said, ‘Why?’ Wrong Answer.”
Postal humor or no, the Postmen have performed all over Los Angeles, including gigs at the Whiskey, the Roxy, Genghis Cohen and Highland Grounds. The Four Postmen even played at the Melrose Place wrap party last spring.
“It was pretty funny: ‘Hey, there’s Heather Locklear,’ ” Marks says. “And we’re in postal outfits.”
The Four Postmen will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Coffee Junction, 19221 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana. No cover. Due to the intimacy of the room, only three of the Four Postmen will be appearing. The drummer will stay home. Call (818) 342-3405.
Bob Marley brought reggae out of Jamaica in the 1960s and gave it to the world. Its infectious rhythm and socially conscious lyrics won him and his music international acclaim. Even though he died in 1981, he’s still reggae’s most influential artist.
Carrying on that tradition, Urban Dread, the San Fernando Valley’s own reggae band, has been performing locally for about seven years. The band consists of Jason Bourne, Jahmark Dacosta, Tony Lee, Gary Stevenson and Kris Carpenter. They describe their sound as “roots music from Jamaica with a customized, urbanized twist” or more succinctly, reggae with a California accent.
“I wanted to play music that everyone would like,” says Bourne. “Reggae works everywhere, almost all audiences like it.”
The band has a cassette album, “Life We Love,” which has been out almost a year, and plans to go on the road in 1996 to play college concerts and other gigs.
“We’re ready to step up to the next level,” Bourne says.
This week, the group will be performing at Pelican’s Retreat on Friday evening in addition to its usual Monday night gig.
Urban Dread goes on about 10 p.m. Friday at Pelican’s Retreat, 24454 Calabasas Road, Calabasas. $5 cover. Call the club at (818) 222-1155 or the Urban Dread hot line, (818) 776-2835.
Blacktop Records recording artist Johnny Dyer will perform at 9 this Friday at the Classroom, 8333 Tampa Ave., Northridge.
The veteran blues harmonica player and singer, who made the pilgrimage from his native Mississippi to Los Angeles way back in 1958, will conduct class for novice blues players with guitarist Paul Bryant. No cover. Call (818) 885-0250.
Lyn’s Vision, Kluster and Kicking Harold are headlining this Saturday at Club Dump at the Blue Saloon. All three bands defy the usual musical labels and all have albums out.
Lyn’s Vision’s “Tea Party,” the group’s first CD, was released on the band’s own label, Toe Jam Records, in May. Of the three, LV seems to have the most mainstream potential.
Kicking Harold’s “Ugly & Festering” was produced by music biz veteran George Tobin. The Headliner Records release includes song titles like “Fred’s New Dress,” “Recipe for Disaster” and “Nasty Habits.”
For some reason, Kluster has a picture of Lee Harvey Oswald imprinted on the label of its debut release on Outstanding Records. Go figure. But the music has some great energy, even though the lyrics might cause their mothers to blush.
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