"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.
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
Queen Evangline and King Gabriel ruled Tuesday night
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
IND Style does Gabriel
Newsy bits for the fam
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.