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SOUND AND VISION
Sound and Vision is a little bit more than a local music magazine. In Visalia, where the magazine is based, it is a cultural hub around which the entire music scene revolves. Included in each issue are interviews with visiting and local bands, photos, ads and occasional reviews of films or videos.
I discovered a copy of the magazine for the first time while standing in a parking lot on Visalia's Mooney Boulevard. I was completely shocked by the degree of professionalism the magazine projected. I read it cover to cover and was still starving to learn more about the motley collection of artists the publication spotlighted. Mostly, I was really curious who the people behind the magazine were.
That person, as it turns out, is Aaron Gomes. A veteran of the Visalia music scene and the man responsible for booking the high profile touring acts that have been visiting Visalia this year (Album Leaf, Xiu Xiu), Aaron also managed to find time to publish a bi-monthly music magazine.
"The magazine came about in a strange way. Initially we would just pass out flyers (to promote shows), but usually people just throw out flyers. So we thought we should do interviews with the bands and have something like a flyer but a little fancier," explained Gomes when I spoke to him over the phone about how Sound and Vision came about.
While the initial sketch for the magazine may have been a "fancy flyer", Sound and Vision has grown to encompass more information about Visalia's artistic community.
"We have started integrating local businesses and graphic artists," said Gomes. "Now we're trying to put up information about other venues and include more info about the Visalia area."
After putting out the first issue of the magazine, friends began approaching Aaron about lending a hand with his new venture. And While Gomes is a self confessed control freak about everything he organizes, the loyal group that came to his aid helped pave the way for the magazine's success; without compromising Gomes' vision.
"Sound and Vision is mainly done by Kent Stahl. He is the guy who actually puts the magazine together and edits. I interview the bands and sometimes other guys also contribute," commented Gomes. "The first issue came out a year ago and Kent immediately helped get it into shape."
Once the production of the magazine was in place, Gomes was faced with the task of distributing the magazine and letting advertisers and readers know that it exited.
That's when Paul Lerma stepped into the picture. Quiet and shy, Lerma is a very pleasant guy in his 20's with closely cropped hair, he doesn't strike one as particularly outgoing or agressive. Qualities which most people search for in members of a DIY "street team". Lerma has been helming Sound and Vision's street team campaign since day one and he can always be found at Howie's or other Valley hotspots handing out flyers or hanging posters. His hard work has paid off for the magazine, as the once hard-to-come-by publication is now omnipresent in Visalia and can be found in select Fresno coffee shops.
A third friend, Bryan Cole, came on board to handle web maintenance and internet related duties.
"Bryan's great. He posts all the dates of Howie and Son's shows and it is almost like the second I send them them to him they are up."
To celebrate Sound and Vision's 1 year anniversary Aaron and Company have organized an incredible festival featuring Skateboard demos, artwork, food, beer, and of course -- great music!
"I have always kicked around the idea of doing an outdoor show and it just kind of escalated from there," said Gomes. "We started for looking for a bunch of different bands and then we started incorporating tattoo culture and skate culture," said Gomes.
The lineup is eclectic and features several national acts like the morose Manouk (who recently toured with the Album Leaf) and DMBQ (an Japanese rock outfit) as well as Visalia based bands like Foot of Feathers. Sound and Vision plans to set up two separate stages in the Visalia Oaks ballpark. It will be an all ages event and an all day pass will cost $10.
The Sound & Vision Music & Arts Festival will be held Friday, Oct. 14 at Visalia Oaks Stadium Park from 5 to 11 pm. soundnvisionmag.com