The Thermals & Nada Surf

Hobnob is kicking off the summer\’s #ArtistSeries events in cahoots with veteran music industry executive John Katovsich and his Saturday Service listening party.

An intimate venue for influential film, tv, and music decision makers who ultimately still just love good tunes and good times, Saturday Service is exactly the type of party we want to get invited to.

\"Host, music

Host, music afficionado, and Saturday Service creator John Katovsich

John Katovsich has long been recognized in the Los Angeles music scene as having a golden ear—able to identify musical talent and intuitively apply their sound to achieve a targeted mood in everything from indie films to major motion pictures, reality shows to action sports sequences. It’s a gift he’s used from his earliest days supporting TriTone as they built musical soundtracks for Quentin Tarentino films like Jackie Brown, to his television work for the likes of Fuel TV, Fox Sports, and MTV, and in his most recent post as Vice President of Theatrical Music at Lionsgate. From Public Enemy to Mumford & Sons to Motorhead, the musicians he’s worked with run the gamut. John\’s deep love of music and authentic charm attract a dynamic array of music industry talent to his orbit.

Hobnob works so well for showcases like this: private, close-knit, intimate. But it also is so professional and of-the-moment in a way unlike any other invite service
— John Katovsich, Creator of Saturday Service & VP, Lionsgate

Looking for a fun, familial way to share his passion and favorite bands with his peers in the industry, John developed his semi-monthly Saturday Service event. Inspired by the vibe, community, and energy of the SXSW day parties, he tells us “I wanted to create an event for the people I know who love music to appreciate it together in a relaxed setting, where they can even bring their kids, and also network and do business.”


The Thermals

If a friend extended an invite to come over for tacos, beer, and some great live music in the backyard, you’d likely respond with a resounding “Hell yes!” Last weekend, on a particularly glorious day in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, Hobnob joined forces with John for a seasonal summer kick-off of his latest Saturday Service event. In a backyard canopied by trees, he hosted what on the surface seemed like an eclectic mix of music junkies, families, and dogs. In this case, though, the music junkies happened to represent the leading execs from powerhouses like Interscope Records, NBC Universal, SONY, Warner Brothers Film and TV, Lionsgate, Universal, RedBull, Apple, and most major music publishers. Folks were summer sipping small-batch brew from Angel City, and John, between serving up bowls of his handmade guac for the taco bar, introduced two of the hottest indie rock bands you need to know.


Nada Surf

Nada Surf was up first and they definitely did not disappoint. Alt rock heroes led by the emotive vocal of Matthew Caws, Nada Surf has been on the scene for about 20 years, developing a cult-like following along the way. Their tunes ease the memory back to carefree college days in a coastal town.


The mellow mood was a perfect segue to the hard-rocking hooks of the next band, The Thermals. If you haven’t heard their lo-fi sound, get acquainted. Lead singer Hutch Harris’ vocals snag your attention and his gyrating theatrics a la early Jagger or Freddie Mercury keep you entranced. Flanked by Kathy Foster on bass and Westin Glass on drums, The Thermals are a raucously entertaining and adrenaline-filled act that is undoubtedly best seen in an intimate venue. At the party, film and TV execs got a first listen of their newly dropped LP We Disappear, produced by Chris Walla (formerly of another Katovsich favorite, Death Cab for Cutie.) In response to the album NPR states, “that mixture of fatalism and hope, of heart-pumping romance and snub-nosed realism, is what makes We Disappear so gripping.


John plans to use Hobnob for his next Saturday Service showcase featuring the U.K.’s Eagulls —if only we could all get on that Hobnob guest list.

Photos by Matt Draper. Follow him on Instagram @holloweyed.


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