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At Lop-Off Sessions, bands have 30 minutes to make the cut

When musicians Maitejosune Urrechaga and Tony Kapel record new music at their home studio in Coconut Grove, local bands often drop by and join in. The husband-and-wife duo, who sing for the experimental punk act Pocket of Lollipops, hardly mind the interruptions. For the past five years, they’ve uploaded videos from these sessions to YouTube.

It is this spirit of collaboration that inspired the Lop-Off Sessions, Urrechaga and Kapel’s traveling series of live-recording sessions that turn local stores and galleries into pop-up studios. On Saturday, Jan. 28, their latest Lop-Off Session will visit Girls’ Club Collection in Fort Lauderdale, where nine all-female acts will take turns recording new music for Pocket of Lollipop’s indie record label Houndstooth Cottage.

Starting at 4 p.m. Jan. 28, members of the public can stop by the Girls’ Club and witness musicians performing for 30 minutes apiece. Each recorded track will then be edited and mastered for Houndstooth, and released as a compilation album in February on vinyl and digital on the Girls’ Club and Pocket of Lollipops websites.

“I just got bored with the disconnectedness of the [South Florida] music scenes, the jazz and blues and rock and electronic scenes,” says Kapel, whose home is also headquarters for Houndstooth. “So I wanted to create a compilation album, and tap into different time periods of Miami.”

Describing the Lop-Off Sessions as “more performance art” than concert, Urrechaga says the project exposes any vocal fumbles or technical snafus bands may encounter in the recording booth.

“It’s kind of intoxicating when you’re watching it,” Urrechaga says. “You get to see the range of emotions, the confidence and insecurities of the musicians. People don’t realize the amount of work artists have to do to share their music.”

Urrechaga and Kapel will bring their own recording gear, speakers and mixing software to the gallery. Bands need only bring their instruments. Urrechaga will appear with Bison Twins, her side project with drummer Brittany Ruiz and guitarist Lauren Bouza. The band will record a new song titled “Martha’s Thumb,” which may appear on a Pocket of Lollipops album.

Also performing are Miami indie-folk act Bows and Ties, Fort Lauderdale alt-rockers Farina and Didi, Miami act Roseasia, Soety of Sunny Isles Beach-based psych-rock band Honey Henny Limes, Fort Lauderdale pop act Tete-a-Tete, and Miami singer-songwriters Lori Garrote, Raffa Jo and Margaret McInroe. Set times have been posted to the Girls’ Club website.

“These people represent different scenes and time periods of South Florida music,” Kapel says of the lineup, which includes musicians active since the late 1980s.

Other Lop-Off Sessions, Kapel says, have yielded the same type of improvisational collaborations he encouraged in his home studio. During a 2016 Lop-Off Session at Swampspace gallery in Miami’s Design District, two local bands wrote a song “on the spot.”

“Unexpected performances happen all the time,” Kapel says. “You come in, throw down your best track, and something great happens.”

The Lop-Off Sessions will begin 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at Girls’ Club Collection, 117 NE Second St., in Fort Lauderdale. Admission is free. Call 954-828-9151 or go to GirlsClubCollection.org.

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