CULTURE- FRIDAYS UPDATE- Electrified: Pun and Lasko get loud

Jay Pun and Morwenna Lasko

Three years ago, when Jay Pun and Morwenna Lasko were holding down their Friday night residency at the now-defunct Garden of Sheba restaurant/club on Market Street, they established themselves as a duo and began exploring the intricacies of pairing violin with acoustic guitar. Now, however, they've traded up to wider horizons and larger venues– this Friday's show at the Pavilion, of course, is the most obvious example.

But the sad truth is that even with amps that top out at 11, acoustic instruments are never going to be able to fill the giant white pastry puff's sonic space. The pair has toyed with electric instruments from time to time, but for a high-profile gig like this one, they had to pull out the big guns.

Johnathan Chance and Stuart Gunter would probably be flattered to learn that they qualify as such. Chance's alter ego plays maniacal electric bass for Kung Fu Santa these days, and Gunter holds down the drums for Richmond roots-rockers Wrinkle Neck Mules, but Pun says he's been surprised by their dedication to his project.

"They've really invested in it and want to see it go places," he says. "We're always one step ahead of what I thought we'd have to rehearse."

Pun can even point to a specific moment when it all came together. Gunter stepped in as a substitute for a performance at the Wednesday Music Showcase at Orbit Billiards back in May, and the band gelled on the spot.

"We showed that we're more than an acoustic listening act," he says. "We had a ball, and usually we don't play bars anymore."

And even though they lean toward Gravity Lounge for their gigs and Pun has been a vocal supporter of Fred Boyce's all-acoustic vision the Prism Coffeehouse, that may soon start to change.  

After all, if you've got the volume, why not use it?