That Folk Punk Thing
Dr. Ven’s eclectic formula.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
When drummer Luis Montes’ punk rock band opened for Jon Williams’ folk rock band, the punker was impressed with the folkie’s stage presence. “He was the first performer I ever saw that was original and theatrical,” Montes says. “I was sold on him the first time I saw him.”
By 1999, the two combined forces and joined up with bassist/guitarist Gerard Serafini and guitarist/bassist Michael Noel to form the Sonoma-based rock band Driven. After discovering that several other bands had the same name, the group changed its name to the similar yet strange name, Dr. Ven.
A promotional DVD with footage of the band performing on Bay Area television programs like the Bruce Latimer Show and Soundwaves shows why Montes thought Williams was original the first time he saw him. On a tune titled “Satin,” a lightly funky pop number, the singer holds a picture frame over his head for part of the song and wears a rubber mask for other verses. Another original titled “Emotion Ill,” ends with Williams laughing like Woody Woodpecker. It’s strange.
Montes, who graduated from Monterey High School, says the band is planning on releasing a debut album, Dr. Ven House Calls, by late November.
Dr. Ven plays Ocean Thunder, 214 Lighthouse Ave in Monterey, Saturday at 9pm. No cover. 643-9169.