Local Bands Play for Fans and First Friday Visitors
Los Altos’ June “First Friday” event is scheduled 6-8 p.m. on Friday, June 5 along Main and State streets in downtown Los Altos.
The monthly event, sponsored by the downtown advocacy group Los Altos Forward, features crafts, face painting and games for kids, a scavenger hunt and dog adoptions at Pet’s Delight on State Street.
Friday’s event also includes artist receptions at Gallery 9 and Viewpoints Gallery, and wine tasting at Enchante Boutique Hotel.
Six local bands are on tap to provide live entertainment. Among the regular First Friday performers are 37th Parallel and Mollie and Scott. Homegrown talent 37th Parallel features four juniors from Mountain View and Los Altos high schools playing the classic rock of The Who and Led Zeppelin. Despite their love of classic rock, they describe themselves as an “indie band with a strong blues influence.” The band members, who met while attending Blach Intermediate School, include Brad Guesman on lead guitar and vocals, Philip Chang on keyboards, Eric Dyer on bass and AJ Pelayo on drums.
What’s with the name? “37th Parallel is the latitude that runs through the Bay Area,” said Jason Guesman, the band’s manager. “We thought of it while conducting random searches on Wikipedia.” Guesman said First Friday audiences are supportive of the band, even if the sidewalks of Main Street are an unusual venue for rocking out. “Fans loved seeing such young musicians performing classic rock songs and doing it well,” he said. “It was at one of these shows that we caught the attention of a music industry exec. He saw the potential but also counseled that making it in the music industry was really tough and would require lots of hard work and more than a little luck – but neither hard work nor luck would get us anywhere if we didn’t start writing our own music. That was the push we needed to working on our first album, ‘Escape.’”
For more information on the band, visit thirtyseventhparallel.com.
Another regularly performing group, Mollie and Scott, features a pair of high-powered local residents. Surely they won’t quit their day jobs: Mollie Thompson is a lawyer in San Francisco and Scott Vanderlip runs a software company. Formed five years ago, Mollie and Scott play “a bit of folk, older rock and pop, and kids’ music,” according to Vanderlip. The duo also has worked behind the scenes, directing a recent Egan Junior High School production of “The Music Man.”
“Adding music to downtown Los Altos creates community and clearly differentiates downtown Los Altos as a real community of local merchants and residents from that of a shopping mall or center of stores,” Vanderlip said of performing downtown. “It’s always fun for our group to get out and play, and we could do it other Fridays, too – it’s a great venue and great excuse for us to get out and perform.”