Showing posts with label "Drink Up Buttercup". Show all posts
Showing posts with label "Drink Up Buttercup". Show all posts


Drink Up Buttercup; Hot @ Northside Festival

Drink Up Buttercup @ Northside Festiva

Drink Up Buttercup cools the heat on a hot night at Berry Park in Brooklyn, leaving their garbage cans behind and clearing the air for the sound of upgraded instruments and urgent harmonies. DUB clicks on the refresh button playing their familiar songs from their release Born and Thrown on a Hook with a refreshing twist making a live experience never stale and full of surprises.

Drink Up Buttercup @ Northside Festiva

I like to document the band's visual sets, and new additions are optical illusion amps and the colorful use of duct tape. The mannequin's mouth was covered with duct tape masking a human expression from an inanimate object. But no one there was expressionless, and this blogger, as usual, could not be contained.
Spending time with photographer Maryanne Ventrice is always a treat, her shots can be seen here at the Brooklyn Vegan, and below is the flyer for her gallery show this week.

Monitor 8PM Image


Drink Up Buttercup's Release; Born And Thrown On A Hook worth spreading / review

Drink Up Buttercup's debut full-length Born And Thrown On A Hook, released on Yep Rock Records, has hooks galore and mixed to be heard in full. Between each glorious track are surreal conglomerations for the cerebral explorer. It is an earful of delight around every corner.

They have created a contagious commotion worthy of note, splicing the ruckus orchestra and highlighting the bands' many strong suites, one of which is James Harvey's vocal gifts. Ben Money and Farzad Houshianejad harmonize beyond perfection, and Mike Cammarata lays down unpredictable drumming. The sound they create using drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, and melodica with a host of bells and shakers can be categorized with the following descriptors; Psyche pop, Crash and Burn Pop, Hardcore Pop, Barbershop Vibrato, Campfire metal, and Psychedelic Mayhem. I can go on.

This release proves their musical inventiveness by revisiting beloved genres like the Beatles and Beach Boys to splice, dice, and re-mash into a schizophrenic whirlwind. While all the songs create an uplifting levity, there is a darker,  almost tragic subtext. This is just one of the many dichotomies of Drink Up's broad-stroke style. Slower numbers are delightfully beautiful, forgoing the loud and chaotic for harmonic delight. "The Lovers Play Dead" gives the tired genre "Barbershop" a vibrato edge going full tilt acoustic with some shakers, kick drum, and the bang of a cymbal. "Young Ladies" is Drink Up Buttercup Light, airy, bouncy, and sweet with lots of bells, shakers, and melodica. And "Pink Sunshine" weighs in on the light side, showing off Harvey's Angelic vocals, rippling keys with a contrasting slaphappy beat.

They save the full assault for "Mr. Pie Eyes," "Heavy Hand," and "Gods and Gentleman" and end with their most inventive, "Maestro Monsignor." These tracks escalate off the rafters with a delirious juxtaposition of instruments and vocals.

The first song, "Seasickness Pills," starts with a strange, trippy intro and the familiar NBC sound logo hook, adding vocals that rise and descend. The Boing of the bass, and the clinking clash of cymbals, mashed with horror organ, and dramatic opera, lead to a frenetic ending. The disjointed song structure in "Heavy Hand" jumps between fast and slow, creating a full mashed-up mesh of voices that escalate to uproarious levels, the bass mimicking melody, drunken keyboard, interim yelp hooks, and drums that pound at abandon. This is one muscular song.
Three "dance Tracks" that should appeal to the geek in everyone are "Doggy Head," with its throbbing tribal beat trot combining awesome harmonies and rhythmic bass scales. "Even Think" has a pop beat catchiness that layers keyboard hooks between vocal harmonies. I dare you not to move to "Sosy and Dosey," although awkwardly, to the broken keyboard and one / two polka-like beats with so many time changes it will make your head spin. The collection concludes with the experimental rock opera "Maestro Monsignor," which blends strange musical reverences sequenced together like a broken kaleidoscope into four distinct parts. Beginning with sing story style, macho vaudevillian vocals, loonie bin choral howls, and ending with surreal multi-layered chants of frenzied exaltation. Born On a Hook Debut is worth the anticipation of waiting and proves that Drink Up Buttercup's stubborn conviction to work it all out on the road before laying down the recording worked out. They nailed it. 

Buy HERE Drink Up Buttercup is: Jim Harvey // multiple octave singing, sleigh bells, borrowed guitars Mike T // hand-painted trap kit accompanied by maracas, sticks, and tambourines Ben & Farz // harmonies, hollow body lead bass, melodica, electrically tweaked Yamaha electronic piano, and low end bent Casio keyboards.


Drink Up Buttercup Record Release @ Piano's review

Explosive and Strong like duct tape!

Drink Up Buttercup Record Release @ Piano's

Drink Up Buttercup's record release show set at Piano's was strong, flexible, and explosive. The effect is long-lasting, much like the pink duct tape used last night to coordinate their makeshift setup. Duct tape on the run.
Drink Up Buttercup has muscle and flexes it with experimentation creating an urgency of sound. The guitars were amped up, the bass notes held down to contort and extend beyond recognition, and James Harvey proved that his thoracic diaphragm can scream, do opera and harmonize simultaneously.
The rain didn't put a damper on the enthusiastic crowd who waited till 12:00 for the lively set.
How they sustain this energy for all eleven dates at SXSW will be a testament to a band that could. I'm sure they will prove their might. I wish them well!
The official release date for Born And Thrown On A Hook on Yep Rock Records is March 23rd, but you can pre-order here and get two bonus tracks.
Read all my Drink Up Buttercup write-ups literally from the beginning till the present Here

Drink Up Buttercup Record Release @ Piano's


Drink Up Buttercup Does It Right

Drink Up Buttercup

Drink Up Buttercup Does it Right when it comes to the promotion of their new album Born and Thrown On A Hook, One Awesome Click at a Time Especially interesting is their concept of releasing each song with one homemade video at a time. Filming at various locations with different setups, we get to hear each song live, raw, acoustic, or electric. Using a grid of picture links on Muxtape site, each shot is coordinated with a new video upload every Tuesday until the grand March 23rd release date. Each video is creative and friendly, much like the band. Without an outright commercial assault, the Drink Up Buttercup Aesthetic is true to form. Below: Video Five, "Even Think," filmed in their van!


Spreading Drink Up Buttercup Around


The first time I saw this amazing band on their first trip to New York, my mission was to spread Drink Up Buttercup around. Mission accomplished!
You'll be able to buy their record debut, Born and Thrown on a Hook, in your local stores and everywhere online come March 23rd. The Video Trailer tells the story from the band's perspective about their recording process.

Drink Up Buttercup // Born and Thrown on a Hook EPK from Drink Up Buttercup on Vimeo.

This is the EPK for Drink Up Buttercup's full-length debut, Born and Thrown on a Hook. The album was recorded in Philadelphia in the summer of 2008 / 2009 and was mixed by Rusty Santos Band: James Harvey, Farzad Houshiarnejad, Ben Money, and Mike Cammarata.

Drink Up Buttercup stopped by Band In Boston Podcast (The Flophouse Sessions) and recorded: Gods and Gentlemen, Lovers Play Dead, Doggy Head, Sosey and Dosey and Young Ladies. Listen or download all here.


Art and Music Party

Kyle, DUB Mascot, Maryanne Ventrice

Obsession Collection Music played a small part in coordinating a fabulous holiday party back in September. This was a family affair with all attendees invited by my husband, two great adult children, and me (OCM). The art and music crowd shared lots of love into the wee hours at Tre Merli.

I end the year once again, saying how much I enjoy writing this blog and have been fortunate to have met wonderful people that have enriched my life and others.
OCM curated the music line-up. Below are some picture highlights from the party in line-up order.

Novice theory 

Novice Theory

Novice Theory with Brian Newman

  Hop Along 

Hop Along

 Drink Up Buttercup 
Drink Up Buttercup

Drink Up Buttercup 

Drink Up Buttercup


CMJ Day Five

Emanuel and the Fear @ The Delancy rooftop, Afternoon Scores

Emanuel and the Fear CMJ @ The Delancey

Emanuel Ayvas’ brought an ensemble of four and delivered lush scores with tabulators, and music stands in place. His poetic writing and emotionally delivered vocals, accompanied by violin, cello, and guitar, created a toned-down but perfect acoustic orchestral pop and afternoon score for a roof garden space. Their set was a smaller representation of a group.

Listening to Emanuel and the Fear recordings exemplifies the lush, ambitious arrangements full of complexities and swelling of orchestral passages with smart, lyrically emotionally delivered vocals.

Bryan Vaughan, founder of their label Paper Garden Records has a passion for music he loves and believes in, so I should have followed through and heard them sooner.

Flickr Set

Drink Up Buttercup CMJ @ The Delancey

                     Drink Up Buttercup @ The Delancey rooftop, Acoustic Muscle

Drink Up Buttercup is a very different band in the early afternoon. But this is not Drink Up Buttercup Lite, anything but. Although they abandoned their drums, amps, garbage cans, and kinesthetic body contortions, they highlighted the muscle of their vocal muscle. They stretched their harmonic layering of show-stopping standards, adding detailed appendages. Showing off their incredible versatility and giving the tired genre "Barbershop" a vibrato edge.

Flickr Set

Cale Parks CMJ @ The Delancey

Cale Parks 2 The Delaney Warmth to Techno

Cale Parks brings warmth to Techno, blending cascading dance beats and looping of original music with synth and drum machine. Live Cale Parks drumsticks twirl through the air and hit his mark. The baton twirler, soft crooner, and synth composer do it with precision and finesse. Adding two new players on guitar, bass, and keys to his live line-up. Performing as a one-man band is hard, he said as he introduced his new bandmates, saying, “how nice it was not do this alone.” The packed, dank basement at the Delancey was the perfect setting to be transformed into another place. Cale Parks and Company took me there.

Flickr Set


Catch Drink Up Buttercup CMJ

There are four more stops. Catch the mayhem. This latest video, Drink Up Buttercup, performs Heavy Hand live on East Village Radio for the CMJ Festival. Believe me, this is restrained.


Free Range Drink Up Buttercup @ Santos Party House

Santos Party House has a nice vibe, and I love the space. The stage is wide and deep, which offers a lot of room for the performers. It has just enough space for the audience, not too big or small. Its square shape appeals to my feng shui sensibilities.

It was a fun, relaxed atmosphere at The Santos Party House, presented by Adult Swim. Our two hosts, Dave Willis (voice of Carl and Meatwad) and Dana Snyder (voice of master shake and Granny on squidbillies) had a prime-time audience familiar with the shtick and inside jokes ready to dive to pick up random objects being thrown from the stage. The early bird crowd was feisty for 7:30 so when Drink Up Buttercup was introduced, I was surprised that they seemed unfamiliar with what they were about to experience.

The light hues and added fog worked so glowingly with Drink Up Buttercup's electrifying over-the-top set. The larger stage area let Ben Money out of the cage to strut, stagger and pluck in free-range mode. His bass was never in the horizontal position. "Honey Honey" sounded great with an Afrobeat that slowed down only to re-energize in full force. It didn't take long before DUB's enthusiastic infection spread. They announced the last song, but after it was finished, the audience demanded more.

Oakley Hall Had a pretty long setup and sound check for their very short set. They are a country-tinged band with gospelesque vocals with some nice instrumentation. I especially liked one of the songs where the bass and vocals compete sonically. They ended with a multi-layered vocal that made me think I heard a full church choir. Unfortunately, It ended before it began.

Marnie Stern and company were a delight. A wild veteran punk hybrid of sorts where instrumentation is important, but the raw is magnified. Marnie's high-pitched yelps were spliced perfectly between her faced-paced guitar leads using both hands up the fret. The sound is less nuanced than typical guitar leads. Her confident attitude is striking, and she enjoys playing her instrument. Malia James played the bass and applied rhythms in a reactive style. The drummer Jim Sykes deserves major Kudos! Keeping time with unstructured rhythms is an art form. I was instantly taken with the sound and spirit of Marnie Stern.

A crazy unexpected highlight of my night was a campy, kitschy visit outside the venue by a rocking mini bus on wheels blasting music and filled with an energetic dancing crowd. It was the I Got A Heart On promotion for the new independent movie Paper Heart. The bus stayed in place for about twenty minutes. When the driver started the engine, the bus pulled away from Lafayette Street "Day O" (the Beetle Juice version) accompanied the sweaty dancing bodies! How Fitting.
Drink Up Buttercup OCM Flickr Set Marnie Stern OCM Flickr Set
Paper Heart Bus OCM Flickr Set


Drink Up Buttercup; Ten Times Happy

How many times have I seen Drink Up Buttercup! Never enough! Since I was the first New York Blogger to write about Drink up Buttercup, I thought it would be cool to post a summary of all the live shows I've had the pleasure to see and review. The awesome photograph above this copy is one of mine! (Embed it, but credit!) That awesome shot was taken at the Cake Shop, where I met the photographer Maryanne Ventrice. She had no idea what she was in for that night and, ever since has made it her mission to document almost every Drink Up Buttercup show in NYC and Brooklyn. It's not a competition, but she's winning.
1. PA Bands Bus Trip to the Bitter End 5 /14 /07 This is a newly formed band with James Harvey having the most experience formally of Playwright. They are just getting started and only have demos out. Playing to a supportive crowd in Doylestown PA gives them the opportunity to hone their craft with supportive fans. At some point, they have to venture out to the cold hard world. I think they will get a warm welcome. More
2. Drink up Buttercup at the Cake shop 9 /15 / 07 It is great to see a young band with so much promise and enthusiasm, eager and ready to make somebody's day. They made mine. More
3. Fun Sound of Contagious Delight 01 /08 Headlining at the Cake Shop makes it better. Their insanely zany acrobatic stage antics, mixed with a full-bodied sound of harmonic delight, produced an atmosphere of sensory overdrive. The garbage can and auxiliary percussion were banged, and the harmonies were fully intact. Involuntary operatic passages and rough bawdy instrumentation all came into play. What emerged is a band worthy of praise. continued 4. Drink Up Buttercup Piano’s Residency 2/ 20 / 08 I love this band. What struck me is the gloriously jam-packed uproar they create. Extraordinary harmonies, lyrics, and instrumentation are audible simultaneously. Nothing is sacrificed. Edgy disorder gone right! more! 5. Drink Up Buttercup Less Artists More Condos 04 / 2008 My astute and musically credentialed friend described their music with one awesome idiom, “Campfire Metal.” Shit, wish I had come up with that one. and..... 6. CMJ Day 2 Seriously Happy 10 / 25 / 08 Drink Up Buttercup is a conglomeration of everything right with music. and....

7. Drink Up Buttercup Sick Night of Catchiness 12 / 15 / 08 They are eye and ear candy mixed with the roaring crash of metal and sweet swell of harmony. Moving about the stage, falling to the ground, operatic vibrato, and tambourine in-mouth theatrics abound, but the music is the essential ingredient of Drink Up Buttercup. 8. Kidrockers Don’t Kid Down Jeffrey Lewis / Drink Up Buttercup 02 /09 Drink up thought for their next song, the kids would follow them to the center of the venue for a stomp and clap sing-along. Watching the faces of the band turning toward their abandoned instruments to sing to their little comrades of music who stayed firmly on the stage was a riot. When the set was finally over, our MCs referred to it as the best trash can-related Jam ever! 9. Shilpa Ray Drink Up Buttercup Piano’s 5/ 23 / 09 As audacious as their shows are, the band members are unassuming and unpretentious. They are happy to perform and welcoming. That enthusiasm translates. Most bands profess a style and do variations on it. Not DUB. They change styles and genres within songs, making variety part of the mix. Last night only exemplified that which sets them apart. 10. Drink Up Buttercup Full Tilt Acoustic @ Northside Fest 06 / 2009 The drunken barbershop quartet proceeded with full-tilt acoustic gusto. The diaphragms of all three vocalists were in working order, enough to project across the packed bar space. 
UNTIL THE NEXT TIME................................................................................................................


Drink Up Buttercup Full Tilt Acoustic @ Northside Fest

Drink Up Buttercup's performance at the Trophy Bar at the Hooves on the Turf showcase for the Northside Festival blew me away. The Drunken barbershop quartet proceeded with full-tilt acoustic gusto. The diaphragms of all three vocalists were in working order, enough to project across the packed bar space. With only one instrument mic for the guitar available, their loud and passionate harmonies rose above aggressive percussion and the plugged-in Casio. Drink Up Buttercup's spirited set was the kind of commotion needed late in the afternoon.

Guilty as charged, I contributed to the first round of drinks, and too many followed within the set. But the band put on a spectacular show and somehow had enough energy to be whisked away in their van to do a video for L magazine. When I asked Simon, their manager, where they were going, he said, "to North Sex" in his thick Irish brogue. At the time, it all made good sense. I was just too aroused to realize they were off to North Sixth Street.


Shilpa Ray, Drink Up Buttercup; Piano's review

I specifically went out tonight to see the first night of Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers residency at Piano’s. Drink Up Buttercup opening was added incentive for a late Wednesday night out.

Drink Up Buttercup never disappoints. In Late April, they opened a two-night stint for Dr. Dog in front of an 800-capacity crowd. Tonight they came with the five remaining copies of their beautifully packaged 7" release on Kanine Records.

DUB live set had new intensity. Their movements on stage were faster and harder to capture on film without proper speed adjustments. They were quite adventurous, transitioning from one song into another, adding some edgy, unexpected noise, featuring a new rollicking rock song, and morphing song standards. Most bands profess a style and do variations on it. Not DUB. They change styles and genres within songs, making variety part of the mix. Last night only exemplified that which sets them apart.

Listen @ Muxtape
DUB Flickr Set

Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers
There are not too many female-fronted bands that I feel strongly about. Feeling privileged to have seen Tina Turner with Ike, Janis Joplin, Patty Smith, and Tracy Nelson reminded me of how much I miss hearing female vocalists with deep powerful effects.

Shilpa Ray has the WOW FACTOR. Her raw, gritty sincerity can be felt. It isn’t just about wow she can belt, it is the authenticity of lyrics mixed with sincerity of delivery. I love her foal-mouth lyrics and how she unabashedly owns them.

Shilpa Ray was center stage directly behind her Harmonium and flanked on either side by the solid tight band of four male Happy Hookers. The band can deliver a punch, and their thriving presence was heightened by Shilpa’s vocal acuity. And it was loud, hard, and strong.

Watching Shilpa play the Harmonium and sing was fascinating to witness. Leaning forward, she undulated above and below the instrument. At times she laid her head below that, affording her pacing and build-up between wails into the mic. The drumming was powerful and masculine. The small Casio, guitar, and bass created orchestrated pop of magnitude and awesome noise. The only subtlety was the occasional vocal harmonies and shaker.

Shilpa Ray can Rant!

It was an unusual night for my first introduction. Upfront with all the other Photographers / Bloggers, I took shots (Photos) while listening to the music. We were many, lining the entire width of the stage. In a larger venue, our numbers wouldn’t look so imposing, but at Piano’s, it felt wrong. After the first song, she went into a rant, starting with “Fuck all you Bloggers.” At that, I immediately put my camera down. She said, “I’m drunk and probably will forget all the words, I don’t give a shit what you think.” To that effect. 
I felt pangs of guilt and self-doubt, thinking, who am I anyway. And she was right. I stopped to live for the moment and to feel the music along with the enthusiastic fans. The uninhibited rants of truth continued for the rest of the set, but the music is what penetrated and sustained a lasting impression. Catch them for their last residency show at Piano's on May 27th!

I purchased eight songs self-released EP, A Fish Hook An Open Eye, and listened for the late ride home. Still listening! Review soon

Apologies to Wild Yaks. They opened, and I heard great things about their set.
Shilpa Ray Flickr Set


Drink Up Buttercup Acoustic Daytrotter Session

It is nice when a group can create different versions of their songs, both live and recorded. Drink Up Buttercup traded in the keyboard for piano, garbage can percussion for a more lightweight kick drum, and some tambourine for this very special Daytrotter Session. The session highlights the virtuoso James Harvey's softer vocals while Farzad Houshiarnejad and Ben Money's harmonies are beautifully nestled in the background. This Campfire Metal is more like a marshmallow Roast. Soft, Syrupy, and ready for consumption, get your tasty free download at Daytrotter.


Kidrockers Don't Kid Down; Jeffrey Lewis / Drink up Buttercup

Kidrockers is a great way to spend a Sunday at The Living Room. My tiny kids days are long behind me but seeing Drink Up Buttercup and Jeffrey Lewis solo with a roomful of mostly three, four, five to nine-year-olds was something I was not going to miss. Jeffrey Lewis and Drink Up Buttercup are both affiliated with Rough Trade Records. Their shared sensibilities but uniquely different music genres created an inspired lineup. Kidrockers is the perfect vehicle to expose the young to emerging and established music on the independent scene. Seeing music live true to form without filters is a Kidrocker philosophy. Their Non-commercialized approach to presenting music raw and full of energy or simply acoustic is the groundwork for a lifetime of appreciation.

The founders of Kidrockers Morton Lorge and Beth Lorge are fine hosts and curate fabulous afternoons of diversity in the music with Time Out Kids and their sponsor partners. Kidrockers don’t KID DOWN. So as an adult member of the audience much of the music and general banter is aimed at the adults without ever losing sight of the children's experience. The awesome MC team Seth Herzog and Craig Baldo took a few liberties with adult material. Their jokes were effortlessly delivered with clever and quick responses. They told the children “now watch your parents there is a two-drink minimum today”. In the middle of each performance set, they work the room with a mic in hand for a Q and A, much like a contemporary version of Kids Say The Darnedest Things. Waiting for the unexpected question is part of the fun. It was especially interesting hearing the non-questions, along with poignant ones. One boy raised his hand and recited abcdefg and Seth’s response was I think that’s a Feist song.

Drink Up Buttercup brings out the kid in me. I assumed they would play an acoustic set, but I was so wrong! Not at Kidrockers! The sound was loud but not nearly at the intensity of a typical Drink Up show. They do protect the little ears. The carnival-like atmosphere was toned down. They started with "Sozy and Dozy" a hard rocking zany children’s rhyme in a two-step rock polka. A treat was a great new song that repeated the word, honey. The kids politely took it all in not knowing exactly what to do, but when asked to join the group on stage, they eagerly marched up. The bombardment of little feet forged toward the stage, leaving only the timid behind. The Ramshackle miniature orchestra of percussionists accompanied Drink up for “Gods and Gentlemen." Drink up thought for their next song, the kids would follow them to the center of the venue for a stomp and clap sing-along. Watching the faces of the band turning toward their abandoned instruments to sing to their little comrades of music who stayed firmly on the stage was a riot. When the set was finally over, our MCs referred to it as the best trash can related Jam ever! 

Seeing Jeffrey Lewis has been a goal of mine. I think that I chose the best possible venue to see him perform. Nothing was toned down he was totally himself, yet his interaction and inspired off-the-cuff reaction to the kids were genuine and charming. The songs he chose to sing were sophisticated nursery tales with broad visions of a better world. He delivers his inspired lyrics through an idealistic lens of hopefulness but with the ironic witticism of a seasoned adult. The music celebrates his commitment to social justice, global warming, and a broad scope of issues using irony and humor. The banter was highbrow to adults' pleasure and charmingly sweet with the kids.  He played a great song that he had never performed live called “I’ve Been Everywhere.” He invited three enthusiastic audience members to hold the lyrics up, and he described them as avant-garde teleprompters. The questions for Jeffrey were great. “Have you been everywhere”? “When did you get your guitar”? “Do you write the songs yourself”? My favorite was, “how do you get your ideas”? His answers were sincere and thoughtful. I just loved him. If you have kids, I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon with them. If you don't, borrow a kid, or bring a nephew or niece, then check the Kidrockers calendar or subscribe to their newsletter for scheduled events at various venues. Their plans to take Kidrockers on the road are emerging. So LA, get ready. Gothamist interview with Beth Lorge Maryanne Ventrice Flickr set (Official Kidrocker Photographer!) Her Site!



Drink Up Buttercup; A Sick Night Of Catchiness!

Drink up Buttercup came to play the Cake Shop all geared up. Aside from the large metal garbage cans, melodica, assortment of electric guitars, bass guitars, keyboards, drums, and official mascot manikin head, they were armed with some new props. New was the baby head sound gear and hand-held sleigh bells. The all-time best prop that tells the sick story of the night is the little pink bottle of Pepto-Bismol propped on top of the side of the keyboard. This was intended for Farzad’s case of food poisoning. Maybe? Ben Money was recovering after having four wisdom teeth extracted presented another dilemma.

Whether they were sick or recovering, nobody would have guessed. They were their lively selves and, regardless of how they felt, put on a spectacle as if it was the most important show of their lives. What an awesome treat. They are eye and ear candy mixed with the roaring crash of metal and sweet swell of harmony. Moving about the stage, falling to the ground, operatic vibrato, tambourine in mouth, and theatrics abound, but the music is the essential ingredient of Drink Up Buttercup. I rarely go to shows and play a key role. Usually, I listen, observe, and take pictures. Tonight was different.

To be upfront, Farzad’s mic stand broke in the middle of a song. His harmonies play a key role. He looked at me with hand motions and gave me my marching orders,  So I held the mic through two songs, following his lips with a steady hand and making sure I didn’t hit his teeth. He moved quite generously from one side of the keyboard to another. It was finally resolved when Simon, their manager, found a small mic stand that he had placed on the keyboard. Relieved of my duties, I was able to take more shots. Although I have seen and reviewed Drink Up many times, I have yet to see them play in a big venue. I don’t always have the luxury of going out during a workweek, so when a Saturday shows come up, I take it.

Anyway, my intentions were to show some Roman visitors a good time. They were young, in their early twenties, so I thought going to an eleven o’clock show would not be too difficult. They left just as soon as the first note to get some rest. Shit, I have yet to find people who can keep up with me. Forget my age group. So I’ll continue to go alone to be mistaken for the band's mother, not the dedicated Blogger I am. What was assumed to be food poisoning was catching on. Some of the other members and traveling friends were feeling sick. The impending doom of a stomach virus was a predicament. As they packed their gear, the thoughts about throwing up the next day to come back the following night to the much bigger Union Hall would linger. I decided to come to the smaller Cake Shop after all, but I’m sure they put on an amazing show regardless. That is just who they are!


Novice Theory Getting UK Love

Novice Theory accordian center stage

I met Geo Wyeth (Novice Theory) at a party and was impressed by his intelligence and articulate description of his music that I made it a point to go to the Trash Bar in Brooklyn to see him. I was overwhelmed and moved and wrote a review entitled "Novice Theory Extraordinary Emerging Talent." I believe that was his first review. A few months later, he did a headlining sold-out show at Joe’s Pub, and I wrote this review, "Novice Theory, The Magic of Delivery." Here in the states, we don’t have DJs on the radio with their fingers on the pulse of the music. We have barometers of taste at Public Radio, emerging Internet sites like Daytrotter, and many dedicated Bloggers giving great music exposure regardless of label status. No nationally televised outlets like Later With Jools Holland are devoted to creating a well-produced segment for the newcomer. I’ll never forget Willy Mason's debut. And now, this incredible debut of Novice Theory. All the musicians I have featured have been very well-received in the UK. The most ravenous example is Willy Mason. Langhorne Slim and o’death have been well received as well. I am grateful to those fans and say thank you.

At Obsession Collection Music, we have written about many under-the-radar artists. What has been satisfying is witnessing their exposure spread around. Novice Theory’s talent is ready for exposure. Here are a few of Obsession Collection Music's most recent UK connections. Drink Up Buttercup 7" Single coming 11.10.08 on Make Mine. Another cool connection is Peasant, whose song “Raise Today” was featured in the TV show “Bones" (premier UK episode). I'm proud of this association with UK native Alex Newport, engineer extraordinaire. read.


CMJ Day 2 Seriously Happy

Ear Farm @ Pianos; Drink Up Buttercup, Project Jenny Project Jan After The Jump Fest @ The Knitting Factory (Old Office); The Beets, The Lisps I only had one day. I played hooky from my full-time for some Bloggers presented CMJ. My day started with Earfarm’s Matt and Mike (my inspiration) at Piano’s and ended at After the Jump Fest at The Knitting Factory. The Music Slut’s Matt and Jennifer we’re one of the many Blogger coordinators for this event, they are sweet and dedicated to music. Photographer Maryanne Ventrice was awesome to hang with.

Drink up Buttercup

Being the first New York Blogger to write about Drink Up Buttercup back in May of 07 and many times since has been a joy. It never ceases to amaze me the power and exuberance this band projects. Drink Up Buttercup is the zany jolting sound of crashing garbage cans, infiltrated with out-of-kilter skating rink organ, muffled guitar, brutal bass, pounding polka drums, and killer dead-on harmonies. Their sound of infectious delight drew instant smiles from the crowd of new listeners at Piano’s. Their short set consisted of many favorites, but the evolved version of “Farewell Captain” is a succinct intense punk-like rockabilly infused with a madcap circus-like keyboard. When it slows down, James Harvey’s operatic vocals astonish. Stage exploits are a given at any Drink Up show. Watching Ben Money banging a small red metal garbage can and abandoning it in mid-air as he seamlessly switched to bass and continued to move around the stage is exilerating. Listening to Frazad Houshiarnejad sing perfect harmonies while banging a giant metal trashcan with a maraca is admirable. Mike Cammarata will do anything for percussion, including positioning a tambourine between his teeth. An unintended mishap was James Harvey had to trade in his muffled acoustic for a baby blue electric. It was pretty! The set ended off stage with an acoustic stomp along with “The Lovers Play Dead.” What do they possess that other bands don’t? As audacious as their shows are, the band members are unassuming and unpretentious. They are happy to perform and welcoming. That enthusiasm translates. Drink Up Buttercup is a conglomeration of everything right with music.

Project Jenny Project Jan @ Piano’s

Project Jenny Project Jan was a treat to behold. Jeremy Haines (vocalist) is joined on stage with Sammy Rubin (programmer/keyboardist). Rubin’s feverish dance grooves are combined with Haines's extraordinary mock-speed rap. In front of a backdrop of video graphic editing, Jeremy includes every cliché dance move a geek dressed in a white suit, and black tie could conjure. Much like a Saturday Night Live skit, except this is not a joke, the talent is undeniable. Behind the digital setup, Sammy would smile and occasionally do an arm wave, creating a comedic contrast to Jeremy's intense kinetic performance. It was a rip and a roar of an art performance, full of sweat and energy. Hysterically, Karaoke gone Real. I loved them!

The Beets

The Old Office of the Knitting Factory was the appropriate setting to hear the beat-up sound of The Beets. The trio Juan Wauters (guitar), Jose Garcia (bass), and Jacob Warstler (two kick drums) all share vocals. They sound like a muted garage band with speakers at full throttle. Their vocal harmonies are barely audible but create an intentional direction of distinction. Something about it sounded like sloppy fun pop with a low-fi twist. Kind of like, The Monkees through a liquidizer. The Beets sound aesthetic has endearing qualities. Also, they had the best metal merch lunch box for their CDs and tapes.

The Lisps
My evening ended with The Lisps. The foursome creates quirky cabaret folk-art-rock whose vaudevillian staging augments their stellar sound. They combine great vocal arrangements with off-center instrumentation. The guitar, bass, and drums are combined with snippets of melodica and spiced with eccentric percussion accents like the banging of a soft mallet on a metal cabinet or hammer on a drum kit. The vocal synergy of the two main vocalists has a dynamic juxtaposition of pitch and style. Cesar Alvarez and Sammy Tunis sing/talk in a wordy patter in sync with precision and ease.

Center stage is the lovely star-lit Sammy. Her voice has Broadway-like clarity peppered with avant-garde finesse and a twangy bent. A little like Jenny Lewis meets cabaret. Cesar, her vocal counterpart voice is awesomely low in contrast. They present topical and contemporary savvy lyrics as editorial black comedy.  
The vaudevillian panache is highlighted with low-fi costume changes. Cesar and Jeremy Hoevanaar (bass) switched glasses and goggles between songs. They had a costume theme of sorts. Caesar wore a NASA suit, and Sammy a onesie (pants suit). A funny moment took place when Jeremy announced he was making a costume change advertisement. He slowly unbuttoned his shirt to reveal Drink Up Buttercup’s new brightly colored Tee shirt. The drummer Eric Farber was certainly part of the comic flair. I loved when he bounced on his cushiony drum seat, flying up in the air, looking like an oversized baby in a bouncy seat. His facial expressions were priceless throughout the set. He also weighed in on song selection, illuminating that this group is collaborative. The Old Office never sounded better! The Lisps music won me over, but their personal approach killed me. It was so inclusive. If they were a club, I’d sign up immediately. By the evening's end, my smile o-meter had risen off the charts.

Maryanne Ventrice Drink Up Buttercup Video / early date

flicker set