|Fall may be upon us but the NYC music scene refuses to cool down. Lots happening, including a couple big music festivals we have mixed thoughts about. Though we may think the competitive mentality behind the “battle of the bands” concept is better suited to sports rather than the arts, and we abhor pay-to-play and no-pay set-ups, the annual M.E.A.N.Y. Fest does manage to concentrate a broad range of music talent into a short period of time. Running from September 15th through the 25th, the fest gives well over 200 bands some elusive “exposure” (with the popularity contest winner getting free recording time, a distribution package and other goodies) and allows fans to witness some of the hottest groups in the area along with the many new bands that seem to pop up out of nowhere for these things … this quickly followed by the 24th annual CMJ Music Marathon from October 13th thru 16th that has over 10,000 artists, music pros and fanatics (replete with hanging badges) overrunning the city scrambling to catch seminars and showcases from both major and minor talents. A real pain for regular club-hoppers, but it does add a festive American heartland aura to all. And we do so love observing those rosey-cheeked out-of-towners. They look so damn healthy!
No we don’t like band competitions, but it was still cool to hear that Little Steven’s national Garage Band Festival might be aired on his Soprano’s home HBO in the future. Among others, this year’s event featured NYC rock bands Bona Roba, Head Quarters and winner The Soft Explosions.
Band Buzzz: The Everyothers continue to show other cities what we (and a good deal of the rest of the country) already know. Recent tour stops in Detroit and Pittsburgh had ‘em rockin' to songs off their self-titled debut … also hitting the road have been The Minors bringing the sounds of their latest, Not So Shy to the uninitiated in Philly, D.C. and up in the Berkshires … meanwhile, Orange Park has really gotten out of town! As of press time ten September shows were set up for Japan with their fanatical following there definitely psyched for OP's long awaited premier in the land of arising fun ... One time Lorry Doll ‘n’ the Wild Ones guitarist Pete Scott is now hooked up with the Michelle Wolfe Band. The hard rockers open for Naked Beggars (ex-Cinderella) mid-October …Though their EP Seven-One-Eight continues to catch the attention of radio programmers, alt-rockers Coppermine are in the midst of recording new songs … Ashford Breaks (before legal threats known as The Amber Smith) are also hunkered down in the studio after a summer of extensive gigging … Cover bands may be a tad more comfortable gigging to the beer and barf crowd of Jersey, but that hasn’t stopped all-female Depeche Mode followers Violator from infiltrating Manhattan’s hipper haunts where they are becoming quite the thing. … The Inevitable Breakups who have a new recording due out as we write this are on a short hiatus as singer/guitarist Daniel Stampfel recuperates from his recent tonsillectomy.