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Preview: Young Science Get On The Radio and On BFD’s Local Band Stage

In Music
James Mellow's electro project Young Science plays the Local Band Stage at BFD Saturday.

James Mellow's electro project Young Science plays the Local Band Stage at BFD Saturday.

The Morgan Hill mafia will invade BFD this year, when Mike Garmany and James Mellow (better known to many of his early fans by his real name, Grant Averill) will both be playing the Local Band Stage at Live 105’s annual music festival.

Garmany will be performing with the Holdup, whose first two records both debuted at #1 on iTunes’ reggae chart, and who have been in rotation on Live 105 with “Young Fools,” their sorta-cover of Peter Bjorn and John’s “Young Folks.” Mellow will lead his electro-pop group Young Science, who got onto the airwaves last year with “Liquor Store,” the single from their debut EP. Both do production at Garmany’s Morgan Hill studio, where Mellow just completed the first Young Science album.

“We’ve been super good friends since we met in junior high,” says Mellow, taking a break from work at the studio. In fact, he says he picked up his first instrument back then, the bass, just so they could be in a band together. That one never went anywhere, but they do have a hip-hop/R&B collaboration now called Twin City, for which they released a free 17-song mix tape.

In light of all that, it’s a little remarkable that neither their professional collaboration or personal connection has anything to do with the fact that they’re the sole representatives of the South Bay on the BFD lineup this year.

“It was absolute coincidence,” says Mellow. He knows dozens of band are vying for the attention of Aaron Axelsen, the Live 105 DJ who picks the lineup for the Local Band stage, and who first played both Young Science and the Holdup on his Soundcheck show. Many seem to try to figure an angle that will get them noticed, but Mellow thinks Axelsen’s continued success comes from his straightforward approach: “He just has to like your music. That’s it.”

Axelsen says both Young Science and the Holdup are hard-working bands with great songs, who embody what he wants to showcase in the Bay Area scene. “People ask me all the time, ‘How do I get on the radio, Aaron?’” says Axelsen. “I just say ‘look at what Young Science is doing.’”

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