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HesperiaStar.com
  • Book store event to be a winner with 'Losers'

    Losers of the Year band to perform free concert at Hi Desert Book Oasis on Saturday
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  • The High Desert-based band Losers of the Year seems to have no shame about its derogatory moniker. Perhaps that’s because co-founder Joshua Barkdull says his group has been winning over scores of fans since it formed in 2003.  
    The four-piece alternative rock ensemble, which consists of Barkdull and his three brothers, also has graced the stage of just about every major club and venue in the High Desert. They include the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds, Victor Valley College and the former Angel’s Roadhouse, to name a few.
    Not bad for a group of guys who started out with low self-esteem playing in their parent’s living room on hand-me-down instruments.
    “We all got our first instruments from the High Desert Pawn Shop in Hesperia,” said Barkdull, the group’s lead guitarist, who will perform a free concert with Losers of the Year at 7 p.m. July 26 at Hi Desert Book Oasis, 12046 Jacaranda Ave., Suite A in Hesperia.
    “My guitar was a Japanese knock-off of a Fender and I’m not kidding, the neck was bent in the shape of a crescent moon. Looking back, it was really funny.
    “Of course we’ve upgraded since, but back then, we made due.”
    Barkdull says that once Losers of the Year found its footing, the gigs started rolling in. Early on, the band played mostly punk rock. Over time, its sound became more sophisticated and mainstream.
    Currently, fans who attend a Losers of the Year concert will hear cover songs by Green Day, Blink 182, Sum 41 and the Foo Fighters, Barkdull said.
    “We still play the old stuff but definitely have evolved into a much more mature sound,” said Barkdull. “I would classify it as dynamic alternative rock. And we add our own unique spin to the music, especially with Jeremy’s powerful and interesting drum beats. He’s always coming up with fresh stuff.”
    Along with Barkdull on lead vocals and rhythm guitar and Jeremy on drums, Losers of the Year’s lineup includes Jason on bass and Justin on lead guitar and vocals. The brothers collaborate on original material and have produced three CDs since 2004.
    Their latest, “Misery City,” is a concept album featuring 21 songs exploring why so many High Desert youth are desperate to leave the area once they graduate high school.
    “A lot of our friends would talk about how they couldn’t wait to get out of this place,” said Barkdull. “So we decided to write about it and in the end, we realized that even if you leave, you take yourself and your problems with you.”
    According to Barkdull, “Misery City” was so well-received, it inspired him and his bandmates to head back into the studio and write and record the material for their fourth CD. The project, which is being recorded in Barkdull’s home studio, is scheduled for release in early 2015.
    “The new material is a mix of all kind of stuff,” said Barkdull.  “There are songs about love and everyday experiences. We’re also writing some fast-paced tunes, but nothing too crazy.”
    For more information about Losers of the Year, visit www.losersoftheyear.net or www.facebook.com/losersoftheyear. To inquire about events at Hi Desert Book Oasis, visit www.hidesertbookoasis.net.
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