By September 25, 2015 Read More →

Modesto Area Music Awards (MAMAs) Alternative/Indie Category MAMAnees

The Modesto Area Music Awards (MAMAs) is a great thing that was started to enhance the culture in our community. Shining light on the positive people, events and venues in our area. Not to mention allowing some of the most talented people around us to share their passion and art.

As many have said, and still say today – there are a lot of things wrong with our great town we call home. But this event is about the select few, with odds stacked against them, pushing forward and making the best of the resources available to them while trying to make a difference.

The music industry is constantly changing, and sometimes it is very difficult to keep the masses tentative and coming back for more. Most of the time being original and appreciated for that uniqueness is often a losing battle. But these nominees keep writing & performing whatever pours out of their souls with hopes that it will be accepted with open ears and resonate with the audience.

I feel that what “Indie” means is to write exactly what you feel and hear for the sake of being true and genuine and hoping that it is received, but not allowing that factor to determine the creation or pride that one has in their own music.

That being said… we have some great musicians in the Alternative/Indie Category this year that have worked very hard composing new and original music, practicing in a hot garage, recording until wee hours of the night and playing gigs all over the area. Thankfully, they are being recognized for that. We hope that you can pick one out of this list that, in your opinion, is most deserving.



Buffalo Buffalo is a relatively new band to the scene that classifies themselves as Indie Folk Rock with backgrounds in orchestras, big bands and jazz combos.

Most members are from our nearby neighbor Turlock. Which, if I may add, has a music scene that has been cultivating some very talented and original sounding artists most recently.

They are a pleasant addition to the Modesto Music Scene with influences from our own Indian Runner, Surfjan Stevens, and Joe Mazzaferro to name a few.

The frontman of this group has been MAMAnated 7 times and all band members have received awards from the Reno Jazz Festival.

This 8-piece band just got back from touring in Oregon over the summer and are ready to get back on stage!

Check out their music and see if it’s your style!



Every Atlas has been kicking around since 2007 with one member and an acoustic guitar. This 4-piece band has influences from Bright Eyes, Brand New and Manchester Orchestra.

Hailing all the way from Hilmar, Gustine, Los Banos and Santa Nella, they try to pop-in at least once a month to keep a consistent local presence.

In fact, they have a show coming up on October 23rd at the Queen Bean Coffee House in Modesto.

Their first MAMAnation was in the Pop/Rock Category, but they feel more comfortable this year in the Alt/Indie Category.

Not only do they play music on a consistent basis, they also ventured into starting a Record Label called “Safe & Clean Records” where they release music from their band and other projects that interest them.

Check out their newly released EP on their website:



The Great West End is another veteran band from 2007 currently rockin’ in Hilmar, CA. They describe themselves as “California Rock” which can only be fully explained by listening to their music.

They are influenced by bands like Rancid, Green Day and pretty much anything Punk Rock. Even though their music fits better in another category, they are very honored to be MAMAnated, and alongside some great bands is a bonus.

The GWE is always looking to be up on stage and you can catch them at the Grizzly Rock in Turlock on 9/25. They are going on their 3rd MAMAnation and have a large social media presence.

Check ‘em out @

For pics and tweets follow @thegreatwestend



Boy On Guitar started as a solo project in 2014 and has progressed rapidly since. Coming from Turlock and Oakdale, this 3-piece band has been on 2 different tours including 7 states while promoting their EP “We Wait.” Guess what? They are already booking their next tour for January 2016 which will include 5 states they haven’t played in yet.

While still experimenting with their sound, some people classify their music as Indie/Pop but they feel comfortable in this category. They have over 8,000 followers on Instagram and 1,000 likes on Facebook from bands and show-goers all over.

This is Boy On Guitar’s first MAMAnation and they also got nominated for “Top International Act” at this year’s “Pure M Awards” in Ireland. Not only are they touring the US and recording music, they also run a local Label called “Ronald Records.”

Check out their stuff @



Surf Club is a 4-piece Pop/Indie band that started in June 2011 in Stockton, CA. They have several releases out and have had the pleasure of being invited back to San Francisco’s Noise Pop Festival year after year. Surf Club can be heard at their next upcoming show at the Oakland Music Festival on Sept. 26th, 2015. A new album is slated for release early 2016.

Or you can check out their music at



Salacious Wizard Cult was founded in January 2010 and have gone through multiple members since while retaining core members Stephen Cowdrey and Hannah Baron. Stephen Cowdrey & Hannah Barron They do not limit themselves to any genre, but this category defines them well enough.

You can find their unique sound at:



Stop Motion Poetry are three brothers Clark, Devin and Spenser Beggs from Modesto founded in 2009 that plays Intelligent Indie Pop music. With their first album on iTunes and over 2,000 likes on Facebook, this is a band that you have to check out! They are looking towards the future with smart bright eyes and so should you.

Check out their videos, music and full bio at



Hailing from Stockton, CA. Monster Treasure is a female fronted Alt Indie Punk powerhouse Trio.  With the critically acclaimed S/T album out on Harlot Records along with a split and two other self released Eps. Named after a Shadowy Men On a Shadowy Planet song they are unique and original with a hook to catch any music fan.



What can be said about the Panduhs? This trio from Modesto, CA. loves their fans and playing shows. They have four releases out and play a form of surf tinged pop rock and roll.



This one-man-band from 2007 has changed into a great sounding 5-piece over the years. Playing shows all over with articles written about Sean Duncan and his band by CBS, The Bay Bridged, Snob’s Music and a few others. Currently under Way Grimace Records/Ronald Records, you can find their music on Pandora, or Bandcamp. Check out their new EP now!



I hope this article will help you choose a band for the Alternative/Indie Category!


Happy Voting!


Nate Yager

Play Shows Dot Org



About the Author:

Bring on the rain, and a bottle of Wonky & Wry's Honey Braggot Ale. Loves to roast marshmallows over a fire. Enjoys the mix of cigars and whiskey.