Posts Tagged ‘New York’

Less than a week ago I had the pleasure of seeing Lisa Loeb perform again. I’d seen her only once, and it was 20 or so years ago in NYC when I was kid. I remember being so happy after watching her play and being able to be a part of that time when she was really at a peek and I myself was just learning how to be a singer and a songwriter and really absorbing the moment. Now, so many years later and having seen her again was a similar experience but different at the same time. I realized her influence even more.

Promptly taking the stage at 8pm, Lisa and her guitar looked more petite than usual in the Boulton Center on Long Island. Moments into the performance you knew that you were truly in on something special. The room was full of people that were very eager. It was obvious this woman’s work had come to be adored.

Lisa Loeb Live @ The Boulton Center, Long Island 03.30.17

Lisa Loeb live @ The Boulton Center, Long Island 03.30.17 (Photo by Soda)

 

Lisa played and sang and regaled us with a number of stories that spanned the course from her time just starting out up until that very moment. I mean, who wouldn’t want to hear stories of someone coming up in the early to mid-nineties in NYC. Sign me way up! This particular performance was full of those stories and just about equal to the songs given like precious little gifts, and, I was one of the lucky people there for the unwrapping, (thanks Blacktop Records). Hits like “Truthfully” and of course “Stay” were delivered so delicately with connections to the stories that went along with them. Lisa told us about how “Stay” of course changed her life. She was at number one without a record deal, we learned how that happened thanks to the film Reality Bites. It all sounded so magical. We were also treated to songs like “The Disappointing Pancake,” a tune true to it’s title. If you didn’t know, Lisa has also become successful in writing songs for kids, she also has an amazing foundation called Camp Lisa in which all proceeds from that recording of the same name goes to help children who can’t afford a summer camp experience to have one.

Myself and Lisa Loeb, Boulton Center 03/30/17

Myself and Lisa Loeb, Boulton Center 03.30.17

We could sit and listen all night long. It was intimate and personal. She has the charm to make you feel like you’re the only one in the room. Throughout the performance Lisa may have forgotten some words and had to poke around a few chords as well as a very nimble guitar intro in which she was very happy to have learned because it was “the guitar AND bass part rolled into one”. Those happy little mistakes made only for a better show, one in which a successful songwriter, an actor, an author and more…can just seem so, human. Tales of her friends and her children made you feel like you’d have known Lisa your whole life, and…that is a true gift. I certainly hope I don’t have to wait a bunch of years to see the one and only Lisa Loeb perform again as some shows you want to just get lost in. Thanks Lisa!

Check out the latest Lisa Loeb album, Feel What U Feel, out now.

Lisa Loeb - Feel What U Feel

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Brooklyn’s own SHINOBI NINJA are just about to drop their best album to date. So, you should be aware that this Friday “Bless Up” will arrive a powerhouse of sound and songwriting. Few bands in NYC are at the level the Ninja’s are at. And I don’t say that due to the fact that over the past four years we have become good friends and have shared art, music, respect and bounced ideas off of each other, that is just a bonus. This would be a band I would migrate toward regardless. Watching artists grow and really corner what they want to represent is really a beautiful thing. And “Bless Up” is just that “thing”. Every song on this record could be a single, it’s like everybody in the band within their vast many roles have spit-shined what they do best and brought it to the table like it was the last supper. It’s Rock (Subcon), It’s Pop (Programmable Animal), Alternative (Funday), Trippy (Bending Spoons)…it’s a wonderful melting pot of everything you’d want in those styles. The songwriting is so fine-tuned that it’s hard to find a hole in the album to pick apart because it is that good. You can hear components of classic Incubus, Faith No More and 311 weaved through some of the compositions but saying that doesn’t take away from the freshness and originality that SHINOBI NINJA possess. The turntables are sickening, the rhythm section is tight and thunderous, the guitars are chunky, nimble and fun and the dual vocal strikes from Duke Sims and Baby G have never sounded better.

This is the kind of record you’ll spin a few times in a row and roll down those windows burnin’ up the highway. It’s a good time and it’s meaningful. Through clever marketing with videos, merch and a powerful live show these Ninja’s prove that as a unit of like minded people with drive and a multitude of talents that anything is possible. It’s hard not to get caught in this vortex, if you don’t know you will. “This is the right direction, the right direction…”  Minus the two fun little interludes you’ve got nine rock solid songs that are begging to be accepted by a multitude of formats. It’s a great record, no BS.

http://www.shinobininja.com/home.html

BUY BLESS UP

Well, it is indeed a new year. And, ideas are flowing. Thusly the first post for M-S-G this year I guess is somewhat business oriented. I have a cool idea. I’ll also be posting it on all of my social networks, personal website, etc to see the reaction it gets.

So, cutting to the chase. I’m curious if any Band, Musician, Podcast, artist of any kind in the Music world would be interested in ad space on MUSIC-SURVIVAL-GUIDE. Last year (2016) M-S-G was visited by almost 10,000 people all over the world. There are many reasons for this. One, being the great content that I have built here since it’s inception, my meticulous writing style and attention to detail and, a multitude of other reasons. This statistic is amazing and just plain awesome to me as here I can combine two passions. Music, and writing.

This is how it will work. It’s basic and simple. If you have an ad to post or something to promote…a new record, video, radio show…an announcement of any kind, I will host it at the top of the site for AT LEAST two weeks. I generally publish on Wednesday’s. I personally think it’s great promotion as it can be seen from someone in Hong Kong or someone right around your neighborhood. Thus the beauty of a blog like this that hosts a topic that a million people love.

For this to be successful for everyone involved, there will of course be a small fee which will be only $20.00 flat. Cheap and affordable. I’m not looking to make money off of this but rather to take M-S-G up a notch this year. I guess I’ll see how it goes. Not sure if this will catch on or just become history here. We shall see.

Contact me here or email officialsoda@yahoo.com

THANK YOU AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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The Conflict, was a record (yes, a concept record) I had made with my band His Mighty Robot. 10 years ago this past Thanksgiving we released this piece of art, which revolved around a character called Sad Boy and lead me to a near nervous breakdown. As soon as it was done I hopped a plane to Chicago and disappeared for a week. I always wanted to do a track-by-track for a record that I had made and, be it that no one came knocking, I did one for myself. And, here it is. I wanted to honor this albums important birthday with something, anything. So…here it is.

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CONNECTION OF FINGERS

This song, I felt was a great introduction to the record. It leads you in with a calm fluidity before we get into any of the real chaos, it’s a song about being one with someone else, kind of like how fingers can intertwine, thusly the title was born. But it also goes beyond just connecting fingers, but full bodies as well. The last line in the song is “We have connection, with rocket lift off intensity,” an ultimate climax.

THE CLICHÉ

It’s not too long into our “Story” that our character Sad Boy decides that he has reached the end of his rope after little deliberation. This song is about experimentation with multiple partners and using them for one thing and one thing only with no concerns for repercussions. “It’s not you, it’s me is so cliché…” In this case that is very, very true. Not caring about anyone, not even one’s self. Absolute self-destruction.

STARLITE BROKEN

Being foreign in ones own body is something we all have felt at one point or another in our lives and then some of us feel that way forever. So, we create another world of our own to live in. I’ve always been a firm believer in the INDIVIDUAL. So many people want to be like something else. It’s harder to just be yourself, plainly. And here, in this twisted and chaotic structure as a band we fully experimented with that idea.

EMBRACE (Dream Sequence 1)

This song was meant to be a bouncy, fun, weird distraction from the first three tracks on the record. That’s ultimately why two dream sequences were created for the album while, at the same time, our Sad Boy is dreaming about being a child again. To embrace your inner child is truly to accept who you are as an adult. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that age should dictate anything that you are. That’s purely a load of malarkey, anyone who subscribes to that is just simply afraid to…Embrace. We also wanted to say, yea we’re alternative but we fuckin’ love jazz chords too, haha.

YOURSELF

One of my favorite songs on the record, if not my favorite. Vocally, lyrically…the composition, just everything. It’s about soul searching, it’s about realizing your own personal worth, it is about dying to survive. This song hurts my heart. We were real young when these songs were created. It captured us fully at the time, three Gemini’s to the absolute fullest. “It’s yourself you gotta know.” TRUTH.

THE CONFLICT

The centerpiece of our beautiful disaster. The light, the dark. Some of the most chilling sounds I have ever put down on a record. H-Rocker and I really knew how to communicate with sonic landscapes. I’ve never had that with anyone else. It was truly a gift. For our character this would be something like a David Lynch movie, what sense can we make of it all? Speaking of movies, this instrumental was used in the film 3-Day Weekend over a sex montage, so…I was pleased.

SNOW ANGEL GIRL & BLUE FLAME BOY (Dream Sequence 2)

Our second dream sequence. I really wanted H-Rocker to sing this one on her own, she never wanted to take lead on the tunes but I just had to have her take this one. I wanted it to be our nod to Smashing Pumpkins’ “Daydream” off of Gish where D’arcy sings lead. After we put this record out it was heavily praised as a throw back to that magical part of the 90’s with The Pumpkins, The Cure, The Pixies…when bands like that were all doing this special stuff overflowing with soul. We drew on our influences and completely embraced them for this album. It was beautiful.

THE CONDEMNED

Yikes. The dreaded spoken word piece. We spent the least amount of time on this one. It had to be visceral. The words were sharp. I wanted to spit and piss all over everything. I wanted to bring my imaginary Boy to life through me and make him feel what he had done to us and this record. A lot of noise, rushed words, screams, out of tune guitars, feet and hearts pounding. “Accepted. Finally. No Longer. Condemned.” No longer condemned to walk in your own skin, finally accepted by his God.

YOUR BODY AS A CRUCIFIX

And so we segue-way into religion again, which under lays a lot of this record. I even threw out the title REALIGION as a possibility for the album. This pushes more of the male/female vocal trade offs into our outer space. We walked into a room, picked up our guitars, cleared our throats and sat in front of a hot mic. I always like to hear a juicy mouth on a record. This song uses crucifixion as the beautiful imagery we wanted to put across. We search for repentance, we search to vomit all the guilt and lies before it’s too late, “You say, you will pray for me, and I will listen, undoubtably (which actually isn’t a proper word, but this is a fantasy anyway) almost a play on words for the Godless. The confession has come; it is almost time for judgment. One of my favorite guitar outros sits on the edge of this song.

PLAY PRETEND

Another one of my favorites hands down. It’s for the dreamer in us all. Don’t believe what the doctors tell you, don’t eat all those pills or you’ll become a zombie. So many young boys and girls die because they can’t cope with whom they choose to love or how they live their lives. It takes a Sad Boy to truly know this. Your dreams sometimes are only ever dreams. Again, this is a fantasy if you choose to believe in fiction. It’s all too real “Make believe, that you are free.”

SAD BOY

What you’ve been waiting for (Barrett finally got his chimes!) This is the final chapter in a diary of a lost soul that we love and that we wish could have lived to see another album. Let me be perfectly crystal clear about this song. I/we do not condone suicide because it fucking sucks. But sometimes you just don’t ever feel right enough to live. Here, another character enters, and briefly, a Dr. Kevorkian of sorts appears to help our Boy make his final decision. “Do me a favor, let me drown. Would you please help kill me?”

“I know it sounds so sick but what can you do to cure a Sad Boy?” I miss him…I miss her, heart achingly. I miss this mighty robot. It is not a sin. You are all angels.

CONNECTION OF FINGERS (REPRISE)

She sat down by the piano. We had no map for the end of this journey. I closed my eyes, pen to paper and listened to those painful fingers press those keys to hammer to cord/chord. We died all over again. Rewind. Repeat. It is infinity. The Conflict is a circle, heaven and hell for all the misunderstood beautiful souls.

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Please continue to share and discover this record.

Digital: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-conflict/id212939651

Physical: http://www.officialsoda.com/apps/webstore/products/show/866281

This past Saturday night (10/15/16) Teenage Fanclub returned to NYC’s Bowery Ballroom to a very ecstatic and eager crowd. Just a few weeks prior The Fannies dropped their latest record simply titled Here, (Charting at No. 10 in the UK). The almost bare bones approach the band has been taking for the last 10 plus years has shown that when a band matures a number of things may indeed change, including the sound and songwriting, but in the case of Teenage Fanclub they remain a very sharp force to be reckoned with as far as that is concerned. Their album covers and artwork may be very subtle since 2005’s Man-Made but the content that awaits the listener is, and has always been a blissful experience, even since their noisier days there’s always been…the bliss.

Arriving on stage just after 10pm on a Saturday night in New York City, the band was greeted by an excited sold out audience. Opening with lead track “Start Again” off of their classic record, Songs From Northern Britain, we were all immediately immersed in what Teenage Fanclub was about to offer us this evening (that offering would be 20 songs long). The band would proceed with a mixed variety of tunes spanning their near 30 year run as a group.

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Teenage Fanclub Live @ Bowery Ballroom, NYC 10/15/16 (Photo: Soda)

The in between song banter was playful and humorous from Norman Blake. Although Teenage Fanclub doesn’t necessarily have an elected frontman, Norman seems to fill those shoes, and sweetly. As the crowd shouted out song title after song title the men on stage smiled from ear to ear, clearly content with the turn out and enthusiasm. There was never a contest to see who played better or sang louder, the band was just one well oiled machine. Vocal harmonies and instrumental chops still perfection, evident on such songs as “I Don’t Want Control Of You”, “Don’t Look Back” and the infamous, “The Concept” it makes you wonder why this band was never a massive success story.

teenage-fanclub-live-bowery-ballroom-nyc-101516

Teenage Fanclub Live @ Bowery Ballroom, NYC 10/15/16 (Photo: Soda)

As the night pressed on Mr. Blake spoke to and joked with the crowd. At one point he was asked by an audience member to tell whomever it was that was farting the whole night to please control yourself. Over an hour had passed and the announcement from Norman came that the end of the show was evident. Concluding with their biggest American hit, “The Concept”, The Fannies jangled through an amazing rendition, leaving all in attendance hungry for more. And, we would get just that, in the form of a powerful encore including fan favorite, the very upbeat “Radio” off of their ’93 record, Thirteen (this would be the only selection performed from the much maligned album) and concluding the night with “Everything Flows” from their 1990 album, A Catholic Education.

A beautiful and charming performance. Thank you Teenage Fanclub! Come visit again soon.

teenage-fanclub-setlist-101516-bowery-ballroom-nyc-photo-courtesy-of-gabby-lemons

Teenage Fanclub setlist 10/15/16 Bowery Ballroom, NYC (Photo courtesy of Gabby Lemons)

http://www.teenagefanclub.com

This Saturday, October 15th 2016 marks two years ago since this Blog/Idea went live. I had talked about it for some time before finally jumping in and throwing up my first post. I wasn’t sure if it was going to continue or even end right there. So many ideas…ya know. But here, 2 years later and growing slowly over time my MUSIC-SURVIVAL-GUIDE is very strong and a cool source for music geeks all over the world. It allows me to squeeze two of my passions up into one ball and throw it all to an infinite sky. This project alone has put me on the phone with one of my idols for a huge three part interview, has gotten me tickets to rad shows to review, some free swag…all because people respect the quality and content that goes into my work. I treat it like everything else. It’s a joy for me to see anyone sharing these write-ups and enjoying them right along with me. Anyways, let me not get all whimsical here, there’s plenty of other stuff to write about. Soon enough I’ll get an official domain up for M-S-G as it grows here and slowly on other networks.

So, if you read one or many posts here, I thank you. If you’ve shared an interview, I thank you…and so on and so on. Here’s to many more years!

Cheap plug

Posted: January 7, 2015 in Blog, Music, Nox Cult
Tags: , , , , , ,

Hey everybody. I’d like to thank you all again for reading MUSIC-SURVIVAL-GUIDE. It’s been a blast writing this stuff each week. It sounds silly, but prepping only one of these every week and publishing has been a true test. My schedule is crazy and putting the quality I want into each installation weekly can be tough.

So, with that said, scheduling and what not. My new band NOX CULT begins gigging this month so I wanted to make this weeks drop into M-S-G a cheap plug for me and my band! I’m very excited about this venture, once again putting everything I have into another band and making music I believe in that I want to share with the world. Our first cult gathering/show is on 1/25 at Blackthorn51 in Queens, we are sharing the stage with Wednesday 13 and a bunch of really awesome bands. We go on at 5:30pm sharp! It’s gonna be killer.

https://www.facebook.com/events/325391907661048/?notif_t=plan_user_joined

Please keep up with us over at http://www.facebook.com/noxcult. We are also on Instagram and Twitter and intend on having our official website rolled out before we hit that stage on the 25th!

So, to all who dare to dream and give a crap about independent artists of any kind. I sincerely thank you. Here’s to the paths less traveled!

NOX CULT

NOX CULT