Local Talent

Jacob Chase Gonzales-Butorac (center) leads The Dead Cassettes with rhythm guitar and vocals. Catch them, and others, at a local band showcase.

Remember road trips before we all had smartphones? CDs and tape cassettes were the only lifelines to save us from deafening boredom as road signs blew past. Now imagine a 13-hour road trip but you forget all of your CDs and tapes except one: Silhouette by Kenny G.

For Jacob Chase Gonzales-Butorac, rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist for The Dead Cassettes, this experience was literally music to his ears.

Chord changes and jazz progression, mixed with music theory, form the basis of Gonzales-Butorac’s style. He and his brother, pianist and synth-master Mathew, have been playing and writing music since they were 16-year-olds attending Salinas High School.

“Melody is everything,” says Gonzales-Butorac, who credits that Kenny G album for the floating feeling that trademarks his musical style.

The Gonzales-Butorac brothers have humble beginnings in music – busking around downtown Monterey and producing from their home. In early 2022, Jacob heard bassist Kito Rayburn-Garcia (a Castroville native who plays in several other music projects in Monterey) at an open mic and asked him to record together. Three quickly became five when lead guitarist Alex Bezdjian and drummer Adam Renteria met Rayburn-Garcia and the Gonzales-Butorac brothers for the video recording of their single, IDOLS. After that recording, the band was formed.

“It felt really fluid and everything was natural,” Renteria recalls of playing together for the first time.

Now, the Gonzales-Butorac brothers are the catalyst behind an upcoming local band showcase at Golden State Theatre. Bezdjian says the band came up with the idea for the same reason that community members put on house shows for bands in Monterey. “They seem just as eager to get local bands in the spotlight,” Bezdjian says, highlighting a common issue that many local artists have noticed: a lack of small – to medium-sized venues in the area.

Rayburn-Garcia hopes Golden State will continue to showcase local bands after this “test run.”

The showcase will include The Dead Cassettes as well as Salinas’ Flaco El Jandro, reggae group Sensory Tribe and punk band The Scalps.

THE DEAD CASSETTES, FLACO EL JANDRO, SENSORY TRIBE and THE SCALPS 7pm Friday, April 28. Golden State Theatre, 417 Alvarado St., Monterey. $12.50. 649-1070, goldenstatetheatre.com

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