POSTED: Friday, June 14, 2013 - 7:00pm
UPDATED: Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 3:11pm
BATON ROUGE, LA — Local pop rock outfit Pacifico, led by songwriter Matthew Schwartz, will be celebrating the release of its new album “Without Heroes” this Saturday night at Mud & Water downtown. The album will mark the band’s ninth studio release, and its first entirely self-funded one, with a digital and limited vinyl release.
Album release events are fairly common for independent bands, but it’s a rare occasion to attend one with a raffle for charity, a documentary screening, a photo booth, and a post-performance dance party – which is exactly the kind of release event Schwartz has organized for June 15.
“I want to go all-out,” Schwartz said. “It took us three years to record ‘Without Heroes,’ and I’m hoping to share it with as many people as I can.”
“All-out,” involves a lot of collaboration. In addition to the band’s live performance with a guest horn section, Schwartz and company have rallied the support and donations of many local vendors, including Kerry Beary’s Atomic Pop Shop, Yoga Bliss, DJ Matsy, photographer and artist Amber Nichole Gendron, GoYaYa’s, and Fresh Salads and Wraps. Mud & Water, the venue hosting the event, has agreed to donate a pair of V.I.P. passes as a raffle prize, which earns the winners free admission to all Mud & Water live events for the rest of the year.
To match the generosity of the raffle donors, Schwartz is raffling away a new iPod, preloaded with every Pacifico album the band has ever released.
The band also managed to gain the help of an oddly appropriate international sponsor. A few weeks ago, Pacifico Beer called the songwriter to confirm the company’s involvement, which includes a bargain of a draft beer special, among other things.
“We’re just glad they aren’t mad at us for taking their name,” Schwartz said.
Admission to the party is free, Schwartz said, but the raffle tickets will be sold -- and the money will be donated to a nonprofit organization called Paradise Uganda, www.ParadiseUganda.com .
“It’s an organization that our drummer Jesse Sprinkle started with a friend of his,” Schwartz explained.
According to the nonprofit’s website, Sprinkle and fellow musician Kurt Johnson have been working with a group of orphaned children in Uganda called The Kampala Street Singers, who have taken refuge in a youth center they dubbed “Paradise.” The center aims to give the orphans an escape through music education, and Sprinkle and Johnson plan to record an album with the children to help fund the future of the Kampala, Uganda “Paradise.”
The evening will kick off spinning “Without Heroes” on Kerry Berry’s record player, followed by a screening of a behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of the album. Pacifico will take the stage at 11:00 p.m., and DJ Matsy will end the evening with a mod dance-style set. A temporary photo booth with props and backdrop will be set and operated by Amber Nichole Gendron, and raffle prizes will be given away throughout the night.