Archive for October, 2014

Last Tuesday Night I popped over to Littlefield in Brooklyn for CMJ and to see my buds in Shinobi Ninja rock the house. I headed in fairly early, as I wanted to check out some other bands and do a little chatting and networking.

Now, Littlefield is a modest sized venue and it was CMJ so I thought maybe I’d be heading into a packed house. That however was not the case; it was a pretty quiet night, maybe because it was a Tuesday? Who can really say anymore with the way the world of music has changed so much. I remember when some 10 plus years ago CMJ would bring lines of people wrapped around venues trying to get in.

My choice to arrive a bit earlier paid off because I had the opportunity to catch a band called The Feed, a 3-piece (at least they were this night, sans bass player) all the way from St. Louis here to play for CMJ. They were fantastic and really gave it everything although they played to a handful of people. But that’s the way to do it. ALWAYS bring it.

I bumped into drummer, Kevin Bowers afterward and we talked a bit, exchanged some info and CDs, I told them about Music-Survival-Guide and mentioned I may review their record Outsider that I had just been handed. They seemed excited by the idea and I’m not really one to disappoint, so…here we go, let’s talk about Outsider.

The Feed - Outsider Album Cover

The Feed – Outsider Album Cover

Outsider opens with a brilliant piece of music called “Celestial Ceiling”. Right out of the gate the band gets you kinda moving. The musicianship is tight and clean which was also reflected in their live show. The album is a collection of 9 songs, which gives us the idea that the guys have somewhat of an adoration for the 60’s and 70’s without sounding dated. The whole record is fresh and fun. Singer/Keyboardist extraordinaire David Grelle really cuts loose on this offering, especially on the track “My Blues” where he channels the late great Vince Guaraldi with those nimble piano fingers. I’m sure The Peanuts gang would get down to this jam if given the chance. The rest of the band is no slouch either boasting their obvious skills over the 33 some odd minutes.

Stand out tracks are “Rexy”, “Stella” and the above-mentioned “Celestial Ceiling”. After my third listen to the album I feel like my favorite songs keep changing, always the sign of a good record. My only regret is that I wasn’t familiar with the songs before catching them live. Next time guys!

So, I’m thinkin’ if you dig Hot Hot Heat, The Killers and The Bee Gees you may wanna take a bite out of The Feed. Excellent work gentlemen!

1:15AM with White Trash

Posted: October 22, 2014 by Soda in Live Shows, NYC, White Trash
White Trash - Live @ Revolution, Amityville, NY 10-18-14 photo by Soda

White Trash – Live @ Revolution, Amityville, NY 10-18-14 photo by Soda

Saturday night, Autumn. A bit chilly, but perfect for a mid-October in the town of Amityville which may be best known for a horror that happened back in 1975, but we are not here to talk about that, now are we? Not too far from that very home sits one of Long Island’s more prominent rock venues, Revolution. A moderate sized venue that has seen all walks of music pass through its doors within the short time it’s sat on the corner of Merrick Road and Broadway.

This night was a birthday celebration for…Andrew, no idea who that is/was, but I’m sure he was happy. I mean, a full-fledged rock show for your Birthday, not bad, eh? Anyway, let’s cut to it. Hometown heroes (well, kinda hometown anyway, Queens ain’t that far) White Trash, sprang a last minute announcement on the world of Facebook that they would be performing this night at 11pm. It had been a while since their last performance and they teased the aspect of new material at this show as they have been hard at work on a new album.

I raced from Far Rockaway after a show I myself had performed to make it back to Amityville for said 11pm set, I bumped into drummer Mike Caldarella and he promptly told me that it’d be a little while before they hit the stage, sure, normal for a rock show and it WAS Saturday night.

The guys were all hanging around the club, smiles on their faces and welcoming as always. The night proceeded and 11PM turned to Midnight(ish), the crowd dwindled and the openers honestly started to bore everyone in sight until finally, a young band from Connecticut called Switchblade Serenade came on and woke people up with their kick ass brand of hard rock a la 80’s style. I took serious note of these guys, they absolutely rocked (more on them in a future installment, on we plow!)

Finally, at about 1:15AM, spirits a little deflated, White Trash finally got on stage. Now, a WT show is never dull. This one in particular was a little raw, but nonetheless extremely entertaining. This night’s line-up consisted of a mix of members from the self-titled debut and Si O Si Que? the bands second record with guitar madman Craig LeBlang being back in the fold. Now, 1:15AM even on a Saturday night can be somewhat of a drag when that’s the time you hit the stage. White Trash, once a “big” band back in the early 90’s with heavy video rotation on MTV with their breakthrough hit “Apple Pie” played to a fairly small crowd, but once again and as usual we were treated to a fun and funky raw set of dirty rock that only they can deliver. The band ripped through a short set which featured music from each of their records, including the promised new tunes from a forthcoming release. Highlights of the night were “Minor Happiness”, a new song called “The Return of Buzz” and the nasty “Fat Ethyl”.

Battered but not beaten by the late entrance to the stage and ill attendance singer Dave Alvin still proved that he can work any kind of room with his classic sarcasm, no bullshit attitude and a remaining vocal style that can still give you chills. All in all it was a good set with a few bumps in the road. The end of the show came fast with the above mentioned “Fat Ethyl” being the closer. Fun and a bit sloppy the band tore through it ending the show in noise and the almost bizarre antics of one of the more eccentric members of the band, trumpet player Damien Rich as he grabbed the lead vocal mic and left us with such poetry as “Fuck your Mother, Fuck my Mother and if you Fuck with my Mother, I will Fucking kill you!” Words to live by, thank you White Trash, see you next time!

White Trash - Live @ Revolution, Amityville, NY 10-18-14 photo by Soda

White Trash – Live @ Revolution, Amityville, NY 10-18-14 photo by Soda

White Trash - Live @ Revolution, Amityville, NY 10-18-14 photo by Soda

White Trash – Live @ Revolution, Amityville, NY 10-18-14 photo by Soda

White Trash - Live @ Revolution, Amityville, NY 10-18-14 photo by Soda

White Trash – Live @ Revolution, Amityville, NY 10-18-14 photo by Soda


Posted: October 15, 2014 by Soda in Atlanta, Moonwater
Moonwater-Invitation Album Cover

Moonwater-Invitation Album Cover

Artist/Album review
Artist: Moonwater
Album: Invitation
Release: 1995-Masquerade Recordings
Danny Whitt-Vocals & Percussion
Joe Gardner-Guitars, Vocals, & Percussion
Christian Nesbella (AKA Adam Matthews)-Bass
Jeremy Slotin-Drums & Percussion

In 1995 I was a young kid not yet old enough to even get into a lot of shows to see my favorite bands. Fake IDs, copied birth certificates, rub on tattoos were all examples of things that got me into these shows. And lucky for me a place called The Roxy in Huntington on Long Island didn’t really care who they let in, so this night in particular was easy.

I walked into The Roxy that night dressed in black, rocking a Pantera shirt wearing plastic star-shaped glasses with the lenses poked out, my long nappy hair in full swing fully expecting to finally see one of my favorite bands Saigon Kick who were currently supporting their latest record “Devil In The Details”.

I was not quite sure who was playing when I walked in, nor did I know who was about to come on stage. Some time passed and I was at my usual spot, front and center of the stage when walked out this tall and skinny delicious creature in skin tight pants with a monstrous floppy hat on and a crushed velvet shirt holding a bass almost hanging down to his knees. I was instantly intrigued, my friend Steph even said to me “These look like your kinda freaky people.” And they indeed were. Next came a half naked beautiful skinny little monster with bright orange hair full of piercings stopping in the middle of the stage, behind him sat what I thought was just a giant head of hair on a drum throne, and stage left was a thrifty, striped tight wearing guitarist lingering in the shadows. Moonwater started their set with a trippy sonic offering and once Danny Whitt opened his mouth I was almost convinced that he was a she. Bending gender and genre Moonwater offered up one of the most original sounds and performances I’ve ever seen, and it left its mark on me. Not knowing them or the music at the time they sent me into a seizure of joy. Upon completing their set I had swiftly fallen in love. My friend Sindee and I both ran backstage immediately. In the process I ripped a poster off the wall which still remains hanging in my home to date.

Backstage we had the honor to meet the whole band…I remember almost attacking Jeremy as he was breaking down his gear. Christian stole my friends purple lipstick and Danny was a mystical presence. Joe, although quiet was equally sweet and graceful as the whole band. I bought their record, “Invitation” which has gone on to be one of my absolute favorites and we were given some stickers as well. Not only was I there for one of my favorite bands but I now had a new one to obsess over, and I did just that.

Almost 20 years later I have the honor of being friends with most of the guys. Danny is now in the army, Christian (now going by birth name, Adam) lives in Knoxville in a wicked apartment clothed in leopard print and rock n’ roll still playing Bass regularly and Jeremy plays in a few cover bands…and as far as I know Joe still plays guitar but has laid kind of low.

As for “Invitation”. It’s an album that stood on its own years ago and remains completely fresh today, a beautifully produced record that cannot be pigeon-holed. It’s Alternative, It’s Rock, its Psychedelic…It’s Moonwater.

The album opens with a creepy instrumental followed by the first proper track entitled “Straight” which highlights instantly Danny’s gender bending vocals and the unique instrumentation of the band. “Straight” is followed by one of the most stand out tracks on the record, “He’s A Girl.” Which lets you know this band is not putting on an act…they are exactly who they are, open-minded cosmic hippies from the future! The whole record oozes a vibe that preaches individuality. As the final track on the record will tell you…”My friends I am alive.” Indeed they were. Hailing from Atlanta GA they worked hard to get “Invitation” heard. And for the lucky ones it was, loud and clear.

A record that I indeed call perfect, overflowing with wah-wah guitar splendor and a sexy bass tone that would rival Duff McKagan’s. Drum styling from a guy who says “I wasn’t playing that long when I made that record” would just shock you, and one of the most original vocalists going at the time…and maybe even still today.

I could truly write an essay on my love for this band and the offerings they have shared. I hope that those who may read this will hop on Amazon and spend the few bucks it would cost to make this record part of their collection because it truly transcends genre and music fanatics will appreciate the magic that went into making it.

(This article was originally published in Vellum Magazine Issue 11 May 2013 – Paper and digital version available through magcloud:

Vellum 11


Posted: October 15, 2014 by Soda in General, OfficialSoda

Greetings and Rockutations kids! The idea for a straight up Music Blog has been something I’ve toyed with for a VERY long time. Being a Listener, Performer, Supporter, Promoter and WORSHIPPER of Music ever since I was a little kid I wanted to finally put my words and rants and raves down “on paper” rather than just into the air. I’ve worked as a writer for a long time now also, and I wanted to finally take the time to really properly merge these two worlds and see if I can finally get a somewhat successful Blog off of the ground. This isn’t my first dip into the Blog pool. I’ve tried a handful, but never fully focused on ONE singular theme, which here I will be doing. I plan on posting often and plan on brining you some truly awesome content. I look forward to diving into this and hoping to take many of you on this rockin’ ride. So stay tuned to the MUSIC SURVIVAL GUIDE! New content every Wednesday (or close to it!) -Soda

Music Is Life