Faren and the French Fries! New Video

Hello, Hello, I know you’re there.. Well, I just need to talk....... OMG, this video is so cute, and the song Answering Machine by the pop duo Faren and the French Fries is sooooo catchy!

The Children’s Museum of the Arts (CMA) art colony class has created a POPTASTIC video production (as described on CMA’s blog). Watch for the credits with the featured kids and a listing of the production team of teaching artists along with Faren and the French Fries's song “Hey You.”

CMA's new headquarters will be a 10,000-square-foot former loading dock in Hudson Square at 103 Charlton St. The grand opening is set for Oct. 1.

Oh, to be a kid again. I wish!!


Ava Luna @ the Clocktower Gallery

Ava Luna played a show at the Clock Tower as part of the Above the Law Series curated by Joe Ahearn. One flight up from the 13th floor and adjacent to the roof, the audience squeezed in close for an intimate experience. 

This is a great band, and the acoustics in the space only enhanced their sound. We were all lucky enough to hear almost a complete album of gems performed for the first time, creating an immediacy and edge.

Dynamic acoustics, crazy awesome harmonies, soul strutting, and hard-hitting music structure were made for a listener who enjoys being challenged. Ava Luna combines many music genres, creating a jumbled juxtaposition of dynamic excitement. 


Style Meets Substance; A Poets Guide To The Bars

Style counts today, even in the world of poetry. The latest reprint of Kenneth Sonny Donato’s “A Poet's Guide To The Bars” has hit the shelves, bringing poetry up front and out of the backroom's dusted stacks of treasured finds.

Pax Americana Productions, LLC has curated Sonny’s poetry into a visually graphic format where text, imagery, editing, and layout meet to house his retrospective of legendary LA bars in which dreams are one shot away. For online promotion, they have created a must-see book trailer. (below)

Kenneth Sonny Donato reads and shares stories alongside his friend Harry Dean Stanton, to whom the book is dedicated @ Book Soup on Wed. Aug. 3, 7pm.


Geo Wyeth's, One Man Exceptional Band @ Joe's Pub

Geo Wyeth’s masterful skill and intentional hesitation created an edge of uncertainty and unpredictability at his solo show at Joe’s Pub last night. Although the set was clearly planned, it felt like a conceptual foray into musical chance operation.

Geo opened with the set, creating a disorderly clutter of drum beats with a strapped-together Tom Tom. He paced through the crowd, leading his parade to join the guest saxophone player on stage. He played the baby grand with unbridled force and exuberance throughout the set. Geo sang with conviction but created a vocal stutter, suspending his vocals in mid-air. While playing a handheld Casio, he sang phrases gathered from field studies of New York conversations.  When he picked up the acoustic guitar, I didn’t expect it to be beaten with a drumstick.

Whether he played the electric guitar, keyboard, baby grand, or drums, each instrument provided an opportunity for self-expression and undeniable experimentation.


Introducing Faren and the French Fries

What a great way to start the new year with a bang and the song AK-47 from Faren and the French Fries.


Peasant's Video; Perfect For Last Day of Summer

The song "Well Alright" from Peasant's 2010 release Shady Retreat is featured in this sweet and simple video. Perfect......


The Shivers; Affectively Charged Set @ Rockwood Music Hall

There were many hindrances. The 18' by 18' room, the mini stage that just fit the grand piano, leaving the drums on the floor; the folks "just trying to get through," the peep-show reminiscent red light above their heads, the nine dollar rail whiskey. Through all these obstacles, including the strict 45-minute set restrictions implemented by the Rockwood Music Hall, The Shivers valiantly and deftly jumped through the hoops.

The duo opened with a guitar and piano only version of "Love is in the Air," a track off frontman/songwriter/master-dancer Keith Zarriello's debut solo album, Truants From Life. With Jo's piano taking the melody, Zarriello slowly and methodically sang the first verse, but at the song's climax, "love doesn't care, if you prance around in your underwear, in your underwear, you're in your underwear," his face was riddled with emotion, excitement and an undisclosed manic glee that stayed hidden on his face throughout the show. Including one song on her own, Jo's thunderous piano exists as the structure of each song played, teaming in perfect harmony with Keith's sharp yet minimal guitar picks and the occasional marching band drumbeat.

I can't tell you the rest of the setlist, I can't tell you how many songs they played, all I had written on my hand at the end of the show was "LIITA," detailing the opener. It wasn't that I necessarily forgot to write as the show went along, it was that I couldn't bring myself to do anything but stare. Enthralling, rapturous, magnetic, these words don't make the cut in my memory. I remember his face, I remember her face, I remember their cues to each other, I remember hearing the bartender telling people to "wait a minute," because she couldn't stop watching either.

There are so many musical references you can tally up when describing The Shivers' sound (The Velvet Underground being the biggie), but they transfer so well between all their influences that it creates something only them, making a list pointless. If I must create a profile for your imagination, think the intensity of Mick Jagger, the emotional outbursts of Mark Hollis, and all wrapped up in a similarly-sporadic David Byrne. It's just so damn entertaining, and these are not happy songs! This is (apparently) not a happy man, and he's letting you know this, which becomes extremely admirable as you witness his disappointment manifest on stage.

And while contained in each song may lie a story of unrequited love, depression, or hatred, the path one travels through a Shivers live show is not one of heartbreak but one where you take desperate stabs at trying to attain that eternal glee disguised on the face of the performer; and at least this audience member was ecstatic to be allowed that attempt.

The Shivers are Keith Zarriello and Jo Schornikow; they are taking a hiatus from New York City, Zarriello stating, "I forgot there were places with…trees. I gotta get out of the city for a while.”

Pulse Films Weird Hero 'Documentary' Director D.A.R.Y.L. Here

Elias Necol Melad is my first guest contributor. He is an avid and knowledgeable music fanatic with exceptional taste, a visual artist who also can complete the Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle with a pen in record time.


Ava Luna @ Piano’s; Trichotomy of Styles

Ava Luna@ Piano's

The twisted soul, punk attitude, and divine harmonies of the band Ava Luna were welcome sounds @ Pianos. The seven-member band presented a very lively set full of soul/funk and a bass line groove that made dancing my only option. Carlos Hernandez, the lead singer, and ultimate contortionist, aptly put his falsetto into hard drive. His enthusiastic rendering of soul-ridden vocals brought to mind, Sam Cooke. The female trio’s sophisticated Doo-wop harmonies worked as passages alongside the synth, bass, and drums that had a scratchy, almost garage-band feel. 

Ava Luna effectively created a trichotomy of styles into a soul-melding mash. Having only seen a few videos and hearing some tracks seeing the band live left me with a strong impression. I loved their energy, spirit, and intention. This was the conclusion of Patrick Duffy’s relaunch party for the music blog Pop Tart Sucks Toasted, which was taken down by Google’s Blogger in February earlier this year. Duffy’s taste and hard work have helped enumerable musicians gain much-deserved exposure. 

Sorry, I only came out to see Ava Luna but the other bands on the line-up were MiniBoone, Your Youth, and Bermuda Bonnie. Ethan Bassford – Bass, Felicia Douglass – Vocals, Carlos Hernandez – Vocals, Becca Kauffman – Vocals, Anna Sian – Vocals, Alex Smith – Drums, Nathan Tompkins – Synthesizer.


Kickstarter Campaign For Adventures in Plymptoons

In the spirit of the independent music I write about, I was compelled to feature this Kickstarter project because it reeks of DIY gone right. Determination, conviction, and a little humor go a long way, and independent filmmaker Alexia Anastasio has all that and more.

Her documentary Adventures in Plymptoons about Oscar-nominated animator Bill Plympton is currently in post-production and needs additional funding. Alexis hopes to achieve her goals through an inventive Kickstarter campaign that brings fans and donors into the fray. She is willing to give her all to achieve her goals, including shaving her beautiful hair and fashioning a Mohawk.

Alexia’s enthusiasm for this project is contagious. She celebrates and is inspired by Bill Plympton’s career as an independent filmmaker and is making this documentary with the same independent spirit. All filmmakers, artists, and musicians should take note and be inspired.

Alexia’s Kickstarter campaign is absolutely worth a click to view. It features some takes with Bill Plympton and anecdotes by a few of his voice-over team edited with clips of Plympton’s animated world.

Even if you don’t have the funds to help her achieve her goals, you can help spread it around through networking.

For additional inspiration, read Alexis’ interview with Film Threat here

video interview with Alexia Anastasio at Comic-Con 2010 for Adventures in Plymptoons
by Jon Raymond from The Writers Muse.


Coyote Eyes, Dynamic Set @ The Delancey

Coyote Eyes @ The Delancey
I attended a fundraiser for the band Coyote Eyes on Friday night at The Delancey. Their goal was to recoup the costs incurred recording their EP after the small label that offered financial backing folded, leaving the band with expenses they hadn’t planned for. On hand to help were the Flying Pace, Marie Stella from Portland, Maine, and Quiet Loudly, who played sets and offered cheap merch while friends baked treats for sale. It was an atmosphere of love, support, and good music-making.

As soon as Coyote Eyes hit the stage, it was apparent why everyone there was showing love. The foursome floored me with two guitars, pedal boards, synth, bass, drums, and combined vocals. Coyote Eyes were engaged, creating an invigorating sound guided by melodic sonic movements. They rev-ed up clean bell-like guitar riffs that build and scaffold, blasting with pulsating fast strumming meant to take you somewhere. Leading from the back and divine to witness was Jeremiah McVay, whose thunderous drumming skill was always on queue and the force and backbone of the sound. The dynamic contrasts between the two vocalists diversified the sound and what made it more surprising was how they fluctuated between dominating one song or another or singing in unison. Manny Nomikos's emotional singing style with bursts of volume, multiple pitches, and at times, Yoko-like channeling, while Marta’s Deloreon vocals were smooth intoxicating, and perfectly phrased. What is especially strong is how Deloreon’s voice rises above the amplified sonic rock cycles hanging suspended like a cloud above the surface of the forceful instrumentation. Calling and cooing and taking the listener in. I am looking forward to the EP and am ready to be wowed. Listen Here and hear why.
Marie Stella pictures as well