"The shows started dwindling, and the scene was kind of going to the dogs," says Roberts, whose band Matt Rock & the PowerBoxx formed in early 2004. "Right around two years ago it started to get to where there were shows coming up again every night. And it was music that was interesting and different and not just an imitation of what you might hear on [local rock radio station] 96.5. It bred a nice environment for bands to grow."
Now hitting its stride, the PowerBoxx just played its first anniversary gig at Club Renaissance for the Fourth of July Indie-Pen-dance Fest. The group returns to Renaissance this Saturday to host a CD-release party for its debut album, Hang Out Now.
The album, like the group itself, is an ambitious homegrown project. The band poured all of its gig money (roughly $2,000) from the past year into making the CD. A "100 percent independently and locally produced" project, Hang Out Now was recorded over three weeks at Lafayette's LEAP studios. The band even squeezed out enough money to hire noted local design firm BBR Creative for the CD packaging.
"Nobody in the band gets paid," notes Roberts, who says gig earnings are going toward financing a second album.
Frontman Roberts, aka Matt Rock, is one of eight members in the PowerBoxx, which also features three backup vocalists and a keyboardist, bassist, drummer and lead guitarist. The songs maintain a raw edge even while incorporating bubblegum pop influences reminiscent of '80s-era Huey Lewis and the News. Roberts' voice sounds like a cross between Elvis Costello and Mick Jagger belting out harmonies over his guitar-driven tunes.
The PowerBoxx is known for its theatrical stage presence. The band picks a theme for each show, and its attire has paid homage to everyone from lumberjacks to '80s pop icon Robert Palmer, whose "Addicted to Love" video was the inspiration for the above picture. The theme of its CD-release party is a secret until the band hits the stage.
Matt Rock and the PowerBoxx plays Renaissance Nightclub (425 Jefferson St., 267-7404) on Friday, July 8. Showtime is 9 p.m., and Frames of Reference and the Rah Rahs open.
A push to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program as allowed under the federal health care has been overwhelmingly rejected by the Senate health committee.
See which events are taking place during INNOV8 Lafayette this Thursday.
It’s on, y’all. Fest fIND, our annual Festival International de Louisiana reader contest, is now accepting photo submissions.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana welfare recipients would be prohibited in state law from spending the federal assistance at lingerie shops, tattoo parlors, nail salons and jewelry stores, under a bill that received the support Wednesday of a House committee.
Senators will consider whether to prohibit private businesses in Louisiana from paying unequal wages to employees of different genders for the same job.
Rep. Joel Robideaux has delayed bill hearings and said unless a compromise can be reached, he won't bring up the legislation this session.
Once again, Lafayette Parish School Board President Hunter Beasley is focused on an issue that has nothing to do with the educational well-being of our public school children.
Fashion and music make great bedfellows
Producers, manufacturers, restaurants and chefs host roundtable and tasting
After exhausting his appeals all the way to the state Supreme Court, the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete has no legal remedy left save one: do an end run around the high court via a bill that would grandfather his “right” to keep a 550-pound tiger enclosed in a pin at his roadside business.
Louisiana poet Darrell Bourque has won the 2014 Louisiana Writer Award, given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to Louisiana's literary and intellectual life.
Drivers would have to secure dogs riding in truck beds while on interstate highways, if the Senate agrees to a bill backed by the House.
The easy one-piece way to style
Comfy feet for long days
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, April 23, 2014:
Newsy bits for the whole fam
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Don't forget: our annual Festival International contest begins Thursday! Win. Cool. Stuff.
An effort to prohibit employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity was shelved Tuesday for the legislative session.
Louisiana won't lessen its penalties for marijuana possession, keeping laws on the books that allow people to be jailed up to 20 years for repeat offenses of having the drug in hand.
State bar foundation bestows honor on founder and managing partner of NeunerPate
This Wednesday, April 23, marks the first full day of INNOV8 Lafayette.
National awards recognize outstanding achievement in leadership development and leadership programs
A federal court magistrate has issued a seven-page schedule of hearings, conferences and deadlines leading up to January’s trial aimed at determining how much money BP will owe in Clean Water Act fines as a result of its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
“This is one of the oldest divides that exists, and that divide is about the haves and the have-nots.”
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The state’s “greedy trial lawyers” haven’t scared this oil giant away.
Local boutique celebrates all things green
It took a few weeks for the pitfalls to emerge in the governor’s $25 billion budget, but the time of judgment has finally arrived.