Monthly Archives: May 2016

The Quinn Spinn: May 23, 2016

We’ve come to the end of our worldwide season, and we head into the summer on a strong note! We highlight artists from Factory Fast Records, the world of electronica, and a few friends who played last weekend’s Jersey Shore Festival in Seaside Heights.

Track listing:
REVEL 9 – All I’ve Become (Opening theme)
Slumlord Radio – Tycoon
Rock’n Herby – Brave Love
Bronson Burner – Solace
Those Delta Wolves – Whispers
Lemonade Kid – I Used to Fall In Love
In This Mode ft. Meter Bridge – The Squad
Wet Dentist – A Rare Earth Element
Rofo Audio – Maisie
Autoerotica – Alone
REVEL 9 – The Good Fight
Audra McLaughlin – Tennessee Cowboy

PHOTOS: Soul Folks and Not For Coltrane at Godfrey Daniels

Fact: The first time I set foot into the City of Bethlehem was as a Moravian College freshman in 2006.

Fact: Last night was the first time in those ten years where I had attended a show at Godfrey Daniels.

I am not proud that it took me so long to visit a venue that has been a mainstay in our music community for 40 years. Rather, I point this out to say that Soul Folks and Not For Coltrane definitely made it worth the wait.

When you visit Godfrey Daniels, there is a very pronounced focus on the music. It is a listening room, where the entire audience is there to engage with the musicians. Likewise, the musicians engage back by means of storytelling and supreme musical talent.

Highlighted by originals, covers, special appearances, and a rousing, unexpected folk finale of Snoop Dogg’s “Gin & Juice,” Soul Folks and Not For Coltrane combined their powers to make Saturday night a memorable experience. It certainly won’t be another ten years before I’m back at Godfrey Daniels.

PHOTOS: Site Unknown, Dissension Rising, Autoerotica and Alpha Zero Three at The Originals Music Series

Thursday night at The Originals Music Series was a reminder why those of us on the local music scene do what we do. Not only was it a night showcasing great talent, but it was a night of togetherness. It was a night highlighted by the community that we all continue to create together. Friends, family, other bands, local music fans, and even Neue Regel Radio was in the house to support our local scene here in the Lehigh Valley.

The bands were all on-point, too. Whether it was Site Unknown’s emotionally jarring cover of Purple Rain, Ireland’s Dissension Rising and their hard-hitting rock, Autoerotica’s incredible presence, or the impressive debut of Alpha Zero Three, there was much to enjoy musically throughout the night.

Artist Q&A: Alpha Zero Three

Tonight, Alpha Zero Three makes its hotly-anticipated live debut at The Originals Music Series. The band, whom you’ve heard on Quinn Spinn programming over the past several weeks, is joined by Dissension Rising, Site Unknown and Autoerotica for a great night of heart-pounding rock.

Monty Leach, Bob Giovannetti, and Jeff Smith from Alpha Zero Three answered a few questions for Lehigh Valley Underground prior to the big night.

What were you all doing before Alpha Zero Three?
Monty:
I was doing some writing, mostly on a hiatus, for the past two years. Prior to that, I had been in the original band Driver, a cover band named Wicked Garden, and several other original bands. The rest of the group has been kicking around the Lehigh Valley music scene for years. Jeff was the vocalist for Magnum, Russ played drums for Toga Party, Bob played keys for Skinny Mulligan and Truth & Soul, and Stefon played bass for Simon Apple and Cranked.

How did you guys come together?
Monty:
I recorded the Driver CD at Bob’s studio, and Bob and I became friends and wrote and recorded a couple songs together over the years. Jeff and I had played together in Wicked Garden, and when I found out he and Bob had played together years ago, I finally put the three of us in the same room, and we’ve been working together ever since.

How did you guys come up with the name, Alpha Zero Three?
Bob: Unfortunately, there’s not a very compelling story here! *laughs* We write and record at my studio in Alpha, NJ. At the time, the band only consisted of Jeff, Monty, and myself. The Zero…well, that just sounded cool.

Speaking of names, Ninja from the Fyre & Ice Show wanted me to ask this next one: How did you get the name for Crystal Pig Studios?
Bob:
Back in the early 90’s, I was on a vacation in Florida and went into a shop on the boardwalk that sold crystal figurines… and walked out with a crystal pig. I put it in the control room and, next thing I know, I start getting them as gifts for Christmas and birthdays. Before long, they were everywhere! A friend walked into the studio one day and said, “Crystal Pig Studio.” If anyone would like to see where AZ3 creates our music, check out crystalpigstudio.com

You guys have a handful of songs already released, including your latest, “My Signal.” Tell us what listeners can expect to hear.
Jeff: We are big fans of heavier melodic rock, so that seems to be what comes out. There’s no denying we’re fans of bands that came out of Seattle in the 90’s, and Monty is a huge Dave Grohl fan. There are also more obscure influences from each member, like Nine Inch Nails, Bob Mould, Kings X, and even Ozzy.

People have a chance to hear these tracks on Thursday, when AZ3 makes its live debut at The Originals Music Series. How stoked are you guys?
Bob:
A few of us have played in original bands in the past, but for me and Jeff, this is a new experience. Having people connect with music that we’ve written is an incredibly powerful feeling, so we can’t wait to take the stage and share our music in a live setting!

You’re sharing this bill with Site Unknown, Dissension Rising (from all the way in Ireland), and Autoerotica. What’s it like to be debuting as part of this great night of rock?
Monty: It’s super-flattering! I can’t imagine a better time. It’s going to be a really, really huge, quality night of music. We’ve gotten to know these other bands through Neue Regel Radio, and it feels like it’s going to be a really positive, collaborative night, as well. Group hugs all around!

Any surprises in store for those in attendance?
Bob: So far, AZ3 has released five songs that you can check out on our ReverbNation page: www.reverbnation.com/alphazerothree. In addition to those songs, we’ll be performing a few new originals that no one but the band has heard yet! We also plan on throwing a few cool cover songs into the set… but you’re going to have to be at the show to find out what those are.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Monty: It’s really satisfying to be back out there playing original music again. We can’t thank Ninja, Pitbull, RTFX, Lunatic Fist, and all our other friends at Neue Regel Radio, and Chicago Restaurant’s Club Gravity enough for the opportunity to play and hear original music in the Lehigh Valley.

PHOTOS: Delbert McClinton at the Musikfest Cafe (RiverJazz)

On Wednesday night, we were back at the Musikfest Cafe on the third floor of the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks. This time, it was to experience RiverJazz through the sounds of multi-time Grammy winner and six-decade music veteran, Delbert McClinton.

McClinton, who was supported by an outstanding opening set from singer-songwriter Brian Dunne, took the stage with his band to play their patented uplifting blues rock in front of a packed house.

Review: Dissension Rising – Retribution

Dissension Rising joins Site Unknown, Autoerotica, and Alpha Zero Three at The Originals Music Series this Thursday at 7 p.m., only at Chicago Restaurant’s Club Gravity in Allentown.

Artist: Dissension Rising
Album: Retribution (EP)
Released: 2015
Genre: Hard Rock

Dissension Rising’s EP “Retribution” has everything you could want in a hard rock record. It’s fast, it’s high-energy, and contains more face-melting guitar riffs and solos than any mortal band would be able to fit into a four-track EP. Yet, the Irish quartet does all of that and more so effortlessly, leaving their listeners pumped up and ready to take on the world.

Singer Danni Carroll makes a statement on “Retribution” as one of hard rock’s emerging female stars, possessing a soulful voice and vocal presence that puts her among the genre’s best. She’s supported by driving, head-banging drum beats from Kian Johnston and masterful guitar work by the duo of Keith Garrett and Romulo Albuquerque.

The thing about critiquing this EP is that it’s tough to pick out highlights, only because every track could be considered one. From the beginning of opening track “From the Inside,” the band lets you know that they aren’t playing around. Then, we keep the high energy going with “Heaven Knows She Tried,” a big-sounding track destined for rock radio that features a standout performance from Carroll. “Left Behind” is another fun performance, which seems like a great early-set fit to get the crowd moving.

The apex of “Retribution,” however, is the closing track, “Shame.” Johnston’s drum work in particular Is downright impressive, and it makes this the type of track you turn up to 11 while driving with your windows down on the highway – the faster, the better!

Track listing:
1) From the Inside
2) Heaven Knows She’s Tried
3) Left Behind
4) Shame

News from the Underground, Delivered to Your (Virtual) Door

As Lehigh Valley Underground continues to grow and do new and exciting things this spring and summer, we want to be sure that you’re privy to all the local music news that is fit to hear.

So, I took the liberty of going onto MailChimp, signing us up for an account, and enabling things in such a way that we will soon introduce Underground Weekly, a e-newsletter bringing you the week’s top stories.

Just imagine: Being able to read about your favorite local artists, find episodes of The Quinn Spinn, and browse photos — while having the content delivered to you.

Yeah, aren’t we awesome for doing this? You’re welcome.

All you have to do to get started is sign up for our mailing list. We promise not to send too many emails — just enough to keep you posted!

Subscribe to Lehigh Valley Underground’s mailing list by clicking this link.

The Quinn Spinn: May 16, 2016

On today’s episode, The Quinn Spinn gives you music from across the pond and right here at home. From Quinn Spinn veterans, to talented first-timers. From bands playing their debut show, to those getting ready to rock the stage in front of thousands. This is a vast, always-growing indie music community of ours, and we show it off on today’s show! #BuildingBetter
 
Track listing:
REVEL 9 – All I’ve Become (Opening theme)
Royzy Rothschild – Eminem Effect
Rod McCoy Music ft. Ron Shirley – My Queen & My Mistress
GC – Wannabe
Ayoinmotion ft. Edson Sean – She’s Leaving
Verde – Power
Snake – Dark Place
Stereo Treason – Open Range
Hell Beings – Leopard
Redleg Husky – My Old Heart
Red Zephyr – Darkened Days
Alpha Zero Three – My Signal
Midnight Mob – Ghosts

Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week: May 16-22

Autoerotica (pictured) shares a bill with the debuting Alpha Zero Three on Thursday night.

Debuts, outdoor festivities, and more await you in the Lehigh Valley this week. It may have been cold last night, but things are bound to heat up with these…

Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week!

Thurs., May 19 | 7:00 p.m.
Alpha Zero Three Debuts at The Originals Music Series
Venue: Chicago Restaurant, 1179 Airport Road, Allentown
Admission: FREE
Description: The upstart band highlights a night of hard rock alongside Autoerotica, Dissension Rising, and Site Unknown

May 20-21 | 7:30 p.m.
Levitt Pavilion Preview Weekend, Presented by the Lehigh Valley Music Awards
Venue: Levitt Pavilion at SteelStacks, 1st St., Bethlehem
Admission: FREE
Description: The outdoor free concert series kicks off for the summer with performances by Jordan Kenzie and James Supra on Friday, and Jacqui Armbruster and Lou Franco on Saturday

Sat., May 21 | 8 p.m.
Soul Folks and Not for Coltrane
Venue: Godfrey Daniels, 7 E. 4th St., Bethlehem
Admission: $10 suggested donation
Description: Bethlehem’s mainstay folk venue features two high-energy local acts.

Sunday Thought Series: Face-to-Face

I lived in rural New Jersey for the majority of The Quinn Spinn’s previous run. As a direct result, I often found it difficult to get out on the scene on a regular basis. Heading to New York was always an all-day, expensive affair, and constantly being cash-strapped at the time always made it much more difficult. I loved what was going on in Philly, but it was two hours away, and even if I had known about the wealth of talent in my “second home” of the Lehigh Valley, it was still an hour drive at the time.

I knew the whole time that I needed to be out there. I needed to be much more than a talking head behind a computer (or phone, or tablet) screen, and I needed to get out, support local music, and build relationships with the same artists I’d play on our shows every week. Oddly enough, the best way in this digital age to be a resource and build a brand as an indie music authority is to meet people face-to-face. Who would have thought?

I’ve seen this in action ever since moving back out here (a year ago today), and then by launching Lehigh Valley Underground in January. I’ve gone out on the scene more than I’ve ever had the opportunity before.

Getting to at least once show per week is my rule. As a result, I’ve had the chance to meet great people and talented artists whom I now call friends. I’ve had some really cool opportunities – Allentown JazzFest comes to mind – which have helped build the profile of LVU as an emerging player in our local music scene. I would like to think that bodes well for everyone.

Through it all, I just want to express my gratitude for being able to work with all of you to this point. For as busy as life gets, I now know I can count on going out, snapping some photos, and hanging out with some talented folks, to the point where doing so has become ingrained in my weekly routine.

It’s been a blast so far, and I look forward to discovering where the road leads us next.

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