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THS grad heats up Boston music scene

THS grad heats up Boston music scene

Turlock High graduate Clark Davenport, second from the right, plays drums for the band The Modern Elite. The group released their first full length album, "Blind" on Nov. 14.


POSTED November 24, 2009 11:07 p.m.
When Clark Davenport moved from Turlock to Boston to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he took his love of music with him. Davenport was in jazz and symphonic bands at THS, and he said he spends about 20 hours a week at his drum set now.
During his freshman year of college, Davenport decided that he wanted to join a rock band. So he went on Craigslist to find a group in need of his talents. Most bands that he was interested in were looking for someone who had reliable transportation and could haul their own drum set to and from gigs. Davenport said he takes the train when he can’t find a ride with someone else.
Eventually, however,  he found a group that fit just what he was looking for; the powerpop band The Modern Elite was looking for a new drummer.
“Well, these were the only guys who didn’t care that I didn’t have a car,” Davenport joked.
The Modern Elite is a female-fronted group that Davenport describes as a mix between pop and rock. He said he was hesitant at first, because female fronted groups tend to lose fans who won’t give them a chance. But he hit it off with the group musically, and they have been playing together for over two years.
When he first joined the band, Davenport said he felt a little like the odd man out. Joining an established band as the new guy was tough, especially when all of his bandmates were students at Northeastern University, and he was the only one who went to MIT. But he didn’t let it get to him, and he still enjoys playing and jamming with his band.
“It’s difficult at times, but we’ve stayed together despite some interpersonal conflict,” Davenport said.
Whatever problems the group may have offstage -- and any group of 20 year-olds is bound to have disagreements -- the group is gaining popularity on the Boston music scene. They have been reviewed by several music Web sites and magazines.
“The Modern Elite have quickly separated themselves from the pack of ‘imitation’ girl fronted bands,” said one reviewer from Under the Gun Review.
The band released their first full-length album on Nov. 14. “Blind” was self-produced by the unsigned band. Davenport said that it was difficult maintaining a full-time school schedule while recording.
“I had to take the train for about an hour and a half each way before each four to six hour session, many on weekdays. We were pretty time constrained since we had our recording spot for drums for only a limited time,” Davenport said.
The Modern Elite also ran into some difficulties when they first started playing shows at venues that served alcohol. Since none of the band members were 21 in the beginning, they had to play all of their shows before 10 p.m.
“It’s weird in Boston, everything shuts down early. I saw them pull Dredge offstage at midnight. And they are a really popular band in the Bay Area,” Davenport said.  
Davenports’ mom, Linda Davenport, said that she was excited for him.
“We’re all very proud of him, he’s a very hard worker,” Linda Davenport said.
Clark Davenport said that he will continue working on a degree in mechanical engineering, and keep playing with his band. The Modern Elite enjoys having a dedicated core group of fans, but Davenport said they could always use more.
The Modern Elite’s album “Blind” can be previewed at Myspace.com/TheModernElite.
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail agoodwin@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.

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