Theater & Arts

Artists you should know: Murdoc

Hailing from Orosi, prog rock band Murdoc is working hard to put the finishing touches on its debut CD.

Made up of Erick Valdovinos (vocals), Israel Flores (guitar), Kenny Gonzalez (bass) and Cristobal Carrillo (drums), Murdoc has three South Valley shows scheduled in the next week: A free show today at 8 p.m. at Border's, 3415 S. Mooney Blvd. in Visalia, then at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Angelina's Nite Club, 811 N. Farmersville Blvd. in Farmersville and back at Border's for another free show at 7 p.m. May 23.

Here's your chance to get to know Murdoc, via Carrillo.

Give us the CliffsNotes version of the Murdoc story: Murdoc started out in Orosi as an anonymous art project. Over time Israel, the originator, started recruiting old friends from various Orosi bands to help flesh out the music. Together for almost three years now, the group has evolved into a mechanism through which we evoke stories both surreal and painful. We are available for children's parties and the occasional quinceañera. Yeah, you can edit that last part out.

Describe your style and influences: We've boiled it down to the term "progressive/experimental," which doesn't really have a meaning but sounds fancy enough that people don't question it. I liken the music to a melodic/aggressive hybrid of rock, with hints of noise and syncopations to spice things up.

I know you guys are working on your album; what can you tell us about it? The album will feature new songs and some older favorites. A few of the songs focus on a mythology we've created ourselves (centered on a mysterious figure called The Juggernaut and a benevolent whale named Aurora), while others are simple takes on human actions and the lessons learned from them.

When should people expect it? If all goes well, we're hoping to release the album in June. We're in the beginning stages of planning a tour in late July, so we'd like to have the album out by then.

Are there challenges that come with being from Orosi? Aside from no one knowing where the heck Orosi is, the challenges we face aren't altogether different from those of other local bands. We still have to travel, get people to shows, etc. I'd say the big disadvantage is not having any hometown venues to perform in.

You guys have three shows in the next week. Special occasion? Two shows are "almost acoustic" ventures that, we've discovered, are wildly popular with the coffee-drinking crowd. They'll feature stripped-down versions of our originals as well as arrangements of some of our favorite songs. The other shows are regular energetic affairs, meant to help raise awareness of our upcoming CD with the booze-drinking crowd.

What's the most exciting thing about your live show? The possibility of seeing Erick bust a few break dancing moves or hang from the ceiling ... or both.

For music and more: Go to

Know a local musician that more people should be familiar with? Send the who and why to Mike Osegueda, mosegueda