City Lights: The best Mother's Day gifts April 01, 2011

When HP Laborde finishes his pet project, it may be the mother of all music videos. And the music video of all mothers. Laborde, the leader of the Huntington Beach-based band A Choired Taste, has embarked on a project to create a DVD tribute to his mom, who died April 10, 2010. He hopes to have the video available by Mother's Day. And as Mother's Day gifts go, this one is elaborate to say the least. The song, "To Mom," runs about four minutes, but the list of contributors sounds almost as hefty as the team on Britney Spears' latest album. In addition to the eight members of A Choired Taste, the track features a 12-piece choir, strings, a symphonic arranger and pianist, a flautist, a videographer and a team of engineers. And when viewers pop in the DVD of "To Mom," all those performers will only take up part of the screen. Laborde has asked friends and fans to submit photos of their mothers, which will scroll vertically on one side as the band plays. "We're offering this to the general public," said Laborde, who has a recording session booked April 12. "We have fans that have come and watched us play, and we've sent them requests to participate." Laborde originally wrote the tune in 1989 as a gift to his sister, but he never settled on lyrics for it. After their mother's death, he completed the words: "Are you sorry you gave up your freedom for your family?/Do you wish you had spent more time just for yourself?/Do you gaze at the mother that you once called your baby?/Then your heart fills with joy as you realize your wealth." It's wealth of a different kind that Laborde has struggled with in undertaking his project. The participants have contributed funds for the video, and Laborde has contacted his e-mail list asking people to send him checks along with photos of their mothers. When he finishes the video, he plans to put a 40-second clip of it on YouTube with an advertisement to visit http://www.achoiredtaste.com to buy the DVD for $10. Proceeds from the song, which Laborde plans to sell on iTunes, CD Baby and other websites, will go to pay off the donors, musicians and other creative team members. "We have so many hardship cases," he said. "I'm trying to provide for 25 people, basically, who are struggling in this economy." In other words, Laborde is trying to do a lot with a little for a large group of people. And if that isn't an apt tribute to mothers everywhere, I don't know what is. City Editor MICHAEL MILLER can be reached at (714) 966-4617

A Choired Taste, "Tasty"

(independent) - A Choired Taste has just released "Tasty," the first of three releases the 10-member Huntington Beach band plans to release this year.

A Choired Taste is armed with a horn section, but the band's classic rock sound extends beyond the confines of any one genre as evidenced by the band's 12-song debut. "Tasty" features an eclectic mix of material ranging from a decidedly reggae number ("Not Me") and Santana-minded Latin rock ("Chemistry") to a country-tinged rocker ("Cruise Master Imperial").

Led by singer-songwriter-guitarist HP Laborde, the mix of styles really works. There are times the material sounds as if it might have been included on classic albums released by artists ranging from Randy Newman and the Eagles to Fleetwood Mac. "Hollywood Show" sounds as if it was an outtake from a album.

Sometimes positioning one's self all over the map is a good thing; clearly it works for A Choired Taste.

Giving community an A Choired Taste

Tom Matranga, HP Laborde, and Mike Schnoebelen, left to right, Members of A Choired Taste, will play music festival in the Meadowlark Plaza with help from local merchants.

Eight-piece band hopes Meadowlark Eclectic Music Festival will boost publicity for shopping center and its music. The show is for all ages.

By { Story by MICHAEL MILLER | Photo by DON LEACH }

Updated: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 10:14 PM PST


HP Laborde wears sunglasses, often dresses in black and picks a mean acoustic guitar. Over the years, the Algeria native has lived the life of a scrappy rock musician, playing in dive bars and doing his best to hook a rowdy audience.

But when his band, A Choired Taste, takes the stage Saturday at the Meadowlark Plaza shopping center in Huntington Beach, Laborde wants to see the opposite crowd: toddlers, grandparents, entrepreneurs, high school students and anyone else who wants to give the community a shot in the arm.

Laborde, who lives a block away from the shopping center, organized the Meadowlark Eclectic Music Festival for two main reasons: to give publicity to the center’s merchants, who will be advertising and demonstrating their products throughout, and to give his band a Get Out of Taverns Free card.

“We don’t play bars,” Laborde said. “We’re tired of that. Everyone’s burned out of that stuff. We want to play for family audiences.”

The eight-piece band — which plays rock, jazz, reggae and other styles, but isn’t actually a choir — had a successful engagement at Bella Terra this summer, where it played three concerts and drew hundreds of spectators of all ages. Guitarist Tom Matranga said that was a course the band wanted to take in the future.

“We’re all kind of older, so it behooves us to play in venues that are more open-air, more of a festival kind of thing,” he said.

Earlier this year, Laborde approached Meadowlark Plaza management about putting on a free outdoor music festival. The center put on an event in May with A Choired Taste as the only band, but turnout was small and participation from merchants was minimal, so Laborde decided to make a larger go for the fall.

Over the last few weeks, he went to work knocking on merchants’ doors, booking other musicians and calling local high schools to enlist their bands and cheer squads. Many of the center’s tenants donated money to cover expenses, while Laborde took out a bank loan and plans to sell videotapes of the event to recoup the funds.

Frank Vogel, the property manager for Meadowlark, was more than happy to play host.

“We hope that this event will bring people to the shopping center who might not otherwise be familiar with it, and in doing that, they become acquainted and begin patronizing tenants,” he said. “So that’s part of it. It’s essentially a promotional activity.”

Many of the tenants will set up information booths, and some will even provide part of the show.

Pa-Kua Martial Arts & Yoga plans to give a series of martial arts demonstrations, and Laborde said Honda World from Westminster will provide a car for display.

Laborde hopes to make the Eclectic Music Festival an annual event.

“It’s basically our own little stimulus package for the city of Huntington Beach,” he said.

If You Go

What: Meadowlark Eclectic Music Festival

A Choired Taste "Garden of Love"

independent) - Listening to the dozen tracks on A Choired Taste's latest full-length disc is like traveling back in time.



A Choired Taste, "To Mom"

independent) - Although everything from Beatles remakes and anti-war collections to holiday music-themed sets have become commonplace in recent years, the Orange County collective A Choired Taste has shaped an album geared specifically toward honoring admittedly-unsung mothers with a full-length collection of original songs. Well-produced and heartfelt, "To Mom" will please fans of '70s soft rock with warm songs such as the jazzy "Someday" (featuring singer Stacie Chavez) and the instrumental title track written by group leader HP in the late 1980s and finally released on this set.

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A heard a lot of good things about your band this past Saturday. Thanks for coming out to play for our Farmers Market.
If it is alright with you, can we invite you to play again sometime this Spring or Summer?
Lorena Matarrita
Executive Assistant
Downtown Pomona Owners Association

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