Joker Holds Court in Studio

Two weeks ago, Rookie Card's Adam Gimbel sent out a mass e-mail to friends and acquaintances. He asked them to meet the band at Earthling Studios in El Cajon to sing, clap, and/or say something to record for the band's upcoming release. About a dozen people arrived to take Gimbel up on his offer of making a guest appearance.

Gimbel asked everyone to step up to a microphone and say a few words about their first concert. Those who admitted to seeing performers such as Sha Na Na, Linda Ronstadt, Glen Campbell, or Rick Springfield sounded as though they were confessing to a crime. After the testimonials, headphones were handed out. Before the backups and handclaps were recorded, Gimbel lightened the mood and explained the ideas behind the lyrics; he convinced even the wallflowers that they needed to get in front of the microphone.

Along with Rookie Card, Gimbel brings together musicians for cover and parody bands that can make the most jaded scenester crack a smile: Cover Me Badd (Color Me Badd), Geezer (costumed old men who perform Weezer songs), Wookie Card (Rookie Card dressed as Star Wars characters), Rabbi Gimbel's Jews Explosion (Jon Spencer Blues Explosion), and Rookie Ricardo, which backed El Vez as a wedding band.

What's on Second? is scheduled for release in April 2006.

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