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Jason Mendelson is a lawyer trapped in a rock star’s body. But don’t expect him to chuck his general counsel gig at Mobius Venture Capital for a shabby bus, hot house lights and throngs of groupies. At least, not yet. “I’d be an idiot to throw away the GC position, but if Warner Bros. comes knocking, I’m willing to listen,” Mendelson said. The 30-year-old lawyer is a member of Soul Patch, which has just released its first CD, “Summers in Rangoon.” Mendelson and other band members also own the recording company putting out their CD and others from up-and-coming bands. But don’t be fooled by the band’s pro per approach to promotion. Or for that matter, the dopey CD title and slick but sophomoric cover art — which features a cartoon rendition of a buffed, body-suited man shooting down a hillside on a luge. Soul Patch, composed of a lawyer, a Web developer, a venture capitalist, a sound creator and a restaurant manager, is professional grade. The 11-song CD features sophisticated, often-poetic lyrics, velvet, come-hither vocals, and an upbeat, rhythmic mix of guitars, drums and keyboards. For Mendelson, it’s a return to his roots. Whenever he heard music as a toddler, Mendelson rooted out the source and beat time with his feet. It earned him the nickname Thumper. At two years, he was taking lessons in classical percussion. At age 11, he played with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. A repetitive stress injury prompted him to consider other options, and he went to the University of Michigan Law School thinking maybe he would go into entertainment law. Instead of Hollywood, he wound up in Silicon Valley. He was an associate for two years at Cooley Godward before moving to Mountain View, Calif.-based Mobius, formerly known as Softbank Venture Capital. There, he found some like-minded musicians trapped in khakis. One of his Mobius partners, Ryan McIntyre, who co-founded Excite Inc., was part of a group and they recruited Mendelson when their drummer quit. That was in November 2000. Since then, they founded a record company, Toothless Monkey, and they’ve been working on “Summers in Rangoon,” a debut album for them and the company. What they didn’t do was seek out late-night gigs at local joints. “Given we all have day jobs, we had to choose one or the other,” he said. Now the band has a CD to shop around as proof of its abilities. “We’re not ready to give up everything and get on a smelly bus and start touring around the country,” Mendelson said. But being almost famous has a down side. “You worry a little bit,” Mendelson said. “You want people to take you seriously, and not as some wanna-be rock star.”

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