"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.
Black Friday shopping begins; Pope visiting Turkey; oil prices decline and more national and international news for Friday, November 28, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Casual cool for Thanksgiving
Shop Lafayette goes strong
The fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
A divided 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal reversed a Lafayette district judge’s ruling absolving the co-owner of a New Iberia accounting firm of liability in an embezzlement case.
Our View: It’s reasonable, temporary and invests in Lafayette’s future.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
Three bedroom in Port Barre or two bedroom in Opelousas
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
“I am only getting a little nervous about two projects — the proposed Sasol GTL facility [not the new ethylene plant] and the proposed G2X facility — both in Lake Charles. They need a hefty difference between oil and natural gas prices to make sense.”
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Lower oil prices also might slow the growth of oil production in parts of the U.S., Canada and elsewhere because it will no longer be so profitable.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
A Lafayette woman faces up to 20 years in prison for running up more than $1 million in unauthorized charges to her company credit card.
Signs that our state’s banking industry is undergoing a downsizing in 2014 were further confirmed today with the FDIC’s latest figures showing a third straight quarter in which Louisiana lost more banks and earned less money.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State police say a 47-year-old Lafayette man, who collected more than $83,000 in disability benefits, is accused of operating two businesses out of his home at a time when he claimed he had no income.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.