Southeast bands are rare sight in Anchorage

Posted: Friday, July 11, 2003

In the year Cyndi Ramirez has worked at Humpy's, a 250-capacity bar and restaurant in downtown Anchorage, Contra Public has been the lone Southeast band she's booked.

"I don't recall having very many inquiries or many promotional packs from bands in Southeast," Ramirez said.

She said Contra Public was very persistent.

"I enjoyed their music, and their Web site was well put together. It was easy to navigate, and that made it a lot easier for me," she said. "I guess they have a pretty good name down there in Juneau, and hopefully that will carry over."

Humpy's books bands seven days a week, and occasionally books additional acts for its back-room patio. Ramirez tries to schedule a good variety, "everything from rock to acoustic to full ska bands to salsa bands and everything in between." She pays bands depending on their longevity and popularity.

"I prefer to have a promo pack with a little background about the band, or a CD or tape where I can hear what their sound is like," Ramirez said. "And references, as in where they've played before, just to get some feedback and see what kind of crowd might come in."

The bar provides all the equipment: monitors, a PA system and sound crew. The crew also can record each show to compact disc, straight off the sound system.

"Most of our musical acts are based here in Anchorage, just because they're more readily available," Ramirez said. "And unfortunately, there are fewer venues to play than you'd think."

As with most clubs in Juneau, and Alaska, Humpy's wants bands to play for four hours. The club doesn't want "dead air" while bands are tearing down and setting up equipment.

"A lot of bands don't have enough material to carry for four hours," Ramirez said. "We like to have something going on all the time."

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