by Lisa Sanchez Gonzalez
Twitter at @lsgoriginal
I’m veering off my usual format this week to catch up on the last 3 weeks. It’s been a crazy whirlwind of music, music, and more music (and an unfortunate incident involving a drunken crawl through a window because I’m also MacGyver) so I’ve had a hard time keeping up!! Damned day job!
I did reach an LBR milestone since my last post. I have been writing my blog for a full year now. Wow. It’s hard to believe what I’ve seen and done in a year’s time! I want to thank all of you for your support and to all of the amazing bands I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing and photographing. Most especially, I love the local Connecticut music scene and I thank all of our incredible song writers and musicians from all genres for all that you do to keep giving us a vibrant and viable local music scene. You FUCKING ROCK! And, I’d also like to thank all of the venues and promoters who keep giving us all places and bands (both local and national) to experience on a weekly basis. Lastly, I’d like to thank some special folks who support me and Local Band Review. Mike Lawson…you are my hero and my partner in crime. LBR contributors…You inspire me with the things you guys are doing. We are a great team. Chip, Robbie D., Dave K., Mike H., Nick C., Tom P., Gary G., Bob D. and so many others – mad love for you guys and what you do in expanding and promoting music in CT. My girlies…You know who you are. And to Robbie B – thanks for being the LBR Official Bag Handler (and lsg corraller) and for putting up with my crazy shit for the last year. I’m not sure I could have done it all without you. OK. Jeebus…now I’m all weepy and shit so…
I am looking forward to the next year to come. Take the ride with me, will ya?
IndieFest – 7.14.2012 – The Charter Oak Cultural Center, Hartford – COCC brings in local music each month for a show called “Indie Night at The Oak”. This particular show (IndieFest) was special as it was an all day event promoting all types of local music. The day started out acoustic outside and moved into the lovely and acoustically beautiful sanctuary. I wasn’t able to catch the day show but I did catch a few of the bands in the evening. Post-Modern Panic, Farewood, The Radical Dads, and The Suicide Dolls all blew the roof off the place! It was the first evening of what I’ll call “Chick Badassery” included with Leah Booker Lorenzo singing and playing guitar with Farewood and Michelle Suicide singing and bassing it with The Suicide Dolls. Two of my fave female musicians in CT! It was outstanding. Things to note about this venue…it’s kid friendly since it’s not a bar and you can BYOB. Please “like” their FB page and keep watching for events. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Indie-Night-at-The-Oak/206528459368391
Club INT opening show – 7.15.2012 – Club INT, New Britain – There’s a new club in town, kids, and it’s gonna rock your socks off! Rick Bober and Full Circle Music Productions proudly introduced their latest place to see awesome live music. It’s got everything you could want in a live music venue…larger venue (think the size of the “W” in Hartford); fab stage (with a cat walk!), sound, and lighting; moody underground club atmosphere; gorgeous bar, ample parking in a GOOD area – well, I could go on and on. First show, on a Sunday night no less, brought in approximately 600 – yes, 600 on a Sunday night – concert goers. I had the great fortune of catching two great sets by Fair to Midland and 10 years. The place was insane! Whipped into a frenzy and hot. Manic Productions has announced their first show at Club INT – SUNN O))), Dead In The Dirt on 9.3.2012. Tickets on sale today through Manic Productions. Seriously, this club is going to resurrect the medium size venue concert scene in CT! Like the page! Go to some shows! http://www.facebook.com/ClubINTCT
Here are my opening night pictures! http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.364545540280871.79244.123226597746101&type=3
Girl in a Coma/You Scream I Scream – 7.17.2012 – Café 9, New Haven – I came out to this show to see YSIS. I was pretty stoked to see Audrey Sterk back banging those drums only scant months after the birth of their (her’s and Floyd Kellogg’s) son. Rock on, Audrey! Their set was terrific, per usual, with lots of energy, humor, and singalong opportunity. That would have sufficed for me. But, Manic Productions also had Girl in a Coma, 3 hard rocking, sultry chicks out of San Antonio, TX. I was completely blown away by their sound and especially vocalist, Nina Diaz. She is chick badassery all around as is Audrey. I picked up Girl in a Coma’s album , “Exits & All The Rest” on vinyl. You should really check them out along with YSIS!
The Hold Steady – 7.19.2012 – Arch Street Tavern, Hartford – The Hold Steady at Arch Street? What??? Yes! It was absolutely incredible. Seriously, how often do you get to catch a band of their caliber at an intimate setting like Arch? Not often. More Manic Productions magic. The venue was gutted of all furniture in order to accommodate the 350 folks that packed the house. The Hold Steady absolutely rocked the place. It was one of those special moments in time when you know that they were digging the small venue – hot and sweaty with up close and personal fans right in hands-reach. Solid rock and roll performance from a band that I finally got to see. Who says Hartford doesn’t have it going on?!?! Thanks, Manic Mark!! I haven’t completed the photo gallery for this but here are a couple of shots for now…
Live & Local featuring Sunspots, Daphne Lee Martin and Raise the Rent, and Paper Hill Casket Company – 7.20.2012 – Arch Street Tavern, Hartford - I rave about the Chip McCabes’sLive and Local shows all the time. With good reason. They have never not been kick ass.
Chip is always spot on with his selections. And this show was no exception. I had actually planned to only catch Sunspots because I had planned to be at GOTV that evening. However, I decided to catch the full show at Arch (OK. I’ll admit it…The Hold Steady show the night before kicked my ass so I stayed local!). And I am so glad I did. It’s always a pleasure to check out my girl crush, Daphne Lee Martin. She never disappoints and she sang “Pull My Daisy” for me. I heart her. I still hadn’t seen Paper Hill (they’ve been on my “list” for some time). Wow! Completely blew me away. So many elements I love: Fab vox, banjo, violin (Anjanineon violin is worth the price of admission alone!). I anxiously await their debut album coming soon! But the band it seemed everyone had come out to see where Sunspots. For a couple
of reasons…They are amazing and they play VERY infrequently so this was a special show for all of us. Pre-show, I spoke with a few local musicians who come out to see them and Sunspots absolutely lived up to the raving I heard. Not sure when they’ll do it again, but if you ever have the chance…Go!
Gathering of the Vibes, 7.19-22.2012, Seaside Park, Bridgeport – I am doing a special piece on my experience at Vibes this year to be coming this weekend. In the meantime, here are my pictures from Saturday and Sunday. It’s really an experience you should take in at least once. http://www.localbandreview.com/2012/08/gathering-of-the-vibes-2012-in-pictures/
Dopapod, 7.26.2012 – Arch Street Tavern, Hartford – I caught them at Vibes and knew I had to see them again. And I am so happy I did. It was good to see them outdoors at Vibes (daytime) but this is a band you MUST see in the darkness of night or indoors so you can get the full force of their show. Dopapod isn’t just sound, they are also a visual experience like very few “local” (they’re from Brooklyn) bands around. It was another huge show at Arch Street, this time driven by Nectar’s. The place was packed. The crowd was completely into it and grooving. This girl couldn’t keep her feet still and got her noodle dance on. So much fun to be had at a Dopapod show. I actually took a night off from the lens and simply enjoyed. And I’m glad I did!
The Head and The Heart, 7.30.2012, Toad’s Place, New Haven – As with GOTV, this will be a special piece to be out this weekend. It was amazing. Here is my gallery. http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.369942866407805.80967.123226597746101&type=1
Wilco with Lee Ranaldo – 8.1.2012, The Bushnell Performing Arts Center, Hartford – I am not a rabid fan of Wilco like many are. I wasn’t, anyway. I liked em. But in no way expected the show they put on at The Bushnell. I was completely blown away. I get what all the hubbub is about. Electric, colorful, amazing. They captured the capacity crowd from first note and just rocked The Bushnell to its foundation. And the bonus? Original Wilco bassist, John Stirratt, and multi-player, Pat Sansone showed up at Arch Street Tavern to play with Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion! Yeah. It happened. Now that’s rock n roll! Here are my pics! http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.369963596405732.80973.123226597746101&type=1
Have I mentioned how much I love what I do!!! =)
Grand Band Slam 2012 – The voting is OVER. And finalists for each category will be announced today at CT.com. Here are the details of the First Annual Connecticut Music Awards show to be held on September 12. I hear that the finalists are from all over the state of CT and I will be “stoked” by the selections. CT musicians deserve an awards show to celebrate their accomplishments. Thanks to CT.com for making that a reality! http://www.ct.com/entertainment/music/grand-band-slam/
Nick Caito – I just want to give a shout out to Nick. He stepped into some big shoes when he took over for Eric Danton as he made his way to bigger things. In the last 3 weeks alone, I have had the pleasure of shooting alongside Nick at so many events all over CT. Most importantly, he has quickly established that he is carrying on the support that Eric was giving to CT’s local musicians at The Courant. I’ve witnessed it. CT music scene…Nick’s out there getting to know you and embracing you. Show him some love when you see him and read his Soundcheck!!
Podunk Bluegrass Festival – Not gonna lie to you, bro. I wasn’t really a fan of Bluegrass until I volunteered at my first Podunk about 6 years ago. Friends of mine, Kathy and Roger Moss, run the event. My daughter and their daughter have been friends since high school and volunteered each year. I declined until Kathy wore me down. And I am so damned glad she did! I never expected to start a love affair with Bluegrass. But I did. Podunk is the biggest Bluegrass festival in the Northeast and attracts the biggest names in Bluegrass (I met Ricky Skaggs last year!) including many Grammy-winning artists. They also won the The International Bluegrass Association “Event of the Year” award in 2010. This year, Podunk has moved to a new venue at Dodd Stadium in Norwich. The lineup is stellar. I’ll be there Saturday. You should go! It’s family friendly and features some of the best pickers and singers in the world! http://www.podunkbluegrass.net/
Local Bands – Mad love to all the local band members and musicians I have seen out in the last 3 weeks supporting other local bands. It makes my heart sing to see that kind of community and support. I think it’s a huge reason why the CT music scene is so great. You know who you are. Peace.
I’ll get back to my regular format next week although there’s a lot of amazing stuff coming up. No rest for the wicked, my friends! But, in the meantime…
Occupy a Venue! Get your asses out to check out some music, people! CT is rich in depth of talent and diversity. There IS something for everyone!!