Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Check Ya Later, Man

I've decided to lay this blog to rest.  It's been a great ride, but it's time to move on.  Thank you to all of the wonderful people I've met, who've made this endeavor worthwhile.  

When I dove into writing and photographing music a few years back, there was a void in my life that seriously needed to be filled.  My grandmother had recently passed away, and I was lonely as all hell.  I was also shuffling back and forth between Savannah and New York in the midst of a recession, in pursuit of a number of goals.  Some things worked out wonderfully.  Others did not.  That's life.  Becoming immersed in music scenes wherever I landed did something magical, which made the whirl significantly easier to navigate at times.  I'm extremely grateful for all of it. 

Recently, when I began seeing the various segments and searches of the past few years flipping through my head, I knew it was time to call this quits.  I don't think I can naturally place something in mental retrospect, while still trying to convince myself that it's a current set of actions.  To me, that feels like a paradox.  Without consciously (maybe a little) realizing it, I was phasing this out.  This is the moment where I should be getting all gushy and wide-eyed, explicitly listing all of the places I've done and people I've seen over the past few years.  That, however, is time consuming, and no matter how hard I try, I'm bound to accidentally forget to include someone(s).  Besides, this is a blog post, not a f*^&ing Lifetime Achievement Award.  I will, though, humbly (and briefly) tip my hat to Danny Arana, Noko and Sean of All New Episode, the Henry Miller Memorial Library, the 20,000 + people who read Altercation at Alter Bridge, powerkompany, Venice is Sinking, Dare Dukes, the Oryx & Crake crew, Patrick Longstreth and, Sam Hoyas of Playing Dead, The Kid Henry, One Might Ugly Backpack's Chris Andrews and CMJ.  Thank you.  Oscar style speech out.

Did I think this would become as involved as it ultimately did?  Yeah.  When I set an idea into motion, I "ride the wave until the bitch breaks" (Thank you, Hunter S. Thompson.).  I'm still going to be collaborating on projects and such in the near future.  Maybe, down the line, I'll fully resurrect this blog in some different format, but that remains to be seen.  If we've worked together before, and you'd like to reach out for one thing or another, feel free to do so.  I'm around, and happy to help.

In some ways, all of this postingandshowgoingandnetworkingandrunningmyassoffforwhat became a posthumous present to my grandmother.  I hope she liked it.  The bottom line is that losing her sucked.  That sort of thing always does.  Though I've often stated that "I didn't handle it well," three years later, I actually think I did.  From that pain, I created all of this, and that's a beautiful, beautiful thing.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

One Mighty Ugly Backpack in Manhattan

Writing by Stephanie Augello

Tonight, Saturday, November 24th, One Might Ugly Backpack has organized a great show at the Ding Dong Lounge in ManhattanPerformers include The Bloody Muffs, Cycles, Strange Things Done in the Midnight Sun and The Best Lies.


It's no secret that Chris Andrews from NY band The Best Lies is a pretty active individual.  In addition to playing out on a regular basis, he's constantly booking shows in the area under the auspices of One Might Ugly Backpack.  Most of the time, he works with and through The Place Bar & Lounge in Greenpoint, but tonight he's set up a show on the other side of the East River at Manhattan's Ding Dong Lounge.  Tonight's show gets started at 8PM, and costs $5 at the door.  The bands include The Bloody Muffs, Cycles, Strange Things Done in the Midnight Sun and The Best Lies.  Below are brief glimpses at all of the acts.

The Bloody Muffs


According to their Facebook page, this three-piece band from Brooklyn/Long Island, has been making magic together since August 2011.  I couldn't find much more about them on the internets, so they shall remain shrouded in mystery for the time being.


Strange Things Done in the Midnight Sun

The Best Lies

Further information about the show can be found via Facebook.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Triple EP Release

Writing by Stephanie Augello
Video Flyer by Jeff Shipman
Book Club Video by Emer Reilly & Robbie Horlick

On Saturday, November 17th, Book Club, Blake Rainey & His Demons and Jeremy Ray will hold a triple EP Release party at The Earl in Atlanta.  Below is some more information, including a video flyer by Jeff Shipman, and Book Club's latest music video.


For all that I've come across regarding independent music over the past few years, this is the first time I've heard of a Triple EP Release party.  It kind of made me happy to learn of it, because my inner hippie felt that it expressed a notion of togetherness; of three different artists convening on one night to show their new creations to their city.  All cheesy sentiment aside, that's exactly what it is.

Tonight, Saturday, November 17th, at The Earl in Atlanta, Book Club, Blake Rainey & His Demons and Jeremy Ray will be the acts releasing their achievements to the public.  As a publicity method, they worked with visual artist Jeff Shipman to release the video flyer posted below.  It's a really cool pixilation animation piece, which I think you should take a look at.  Yes, it's aesthetically appealing, but it also consists of all of the information about tonight's show.


Additionally, Book Club has also launched a brand new music video for their track 'Oh, You Lied," the first single off of "Shapes on the Water."  Created by Emer Reilly and Robbie Horlick, it "... is a mish-mash of old-school claymation and stop-motion animation, featuring a sasquatch named Frank, and was actually shot entirely on an iPhone."

"Oh! You Lied" - Book Club (Music Video) from Book Club (The Band) on Vimeo.

 The Triple EP Release show kicks off at 9PM tonight, and tickets can be purchased in advance HERE.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Photo Follow Up: Cusses and Brother Reverend at Lit Lounge

 Writing & Photos by Stephanie Augello

On Thursday, November 8th, Cusses and Brother Reverend played at Lit Lounge in Manhattan.  Here's a photo recap of the event.


This is one of those moments where I'm staring at the computer screen in astonishment, saying to myself, "Wow.  I'm totally updating my blog the day after a show."  Wonders never cease.  Anyway, last night, Brother Reverend and Cusses played a great show at Lit Lounge on Manhattan's Lower East Side.  Instead of being overtly wordy (you're welcome), I'll let the photos do the talking. 

Brother Reverend









If you didn't get a chance to see Cusses last night, they'll be playing at The Flat in Brooklyn tonight, Friday, November 9th.  The show starts at 9PM.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cusses in NYC with Brother Reverend

Writing by Stephanie Augello

Tomorrow night, Thursday, November 8th, Savannah, GA band Cusses will be playing at Lit Lounge on Manhattan's Lower East in support of their new self-titled release.  They will be joined by local band Brother Reverend.


What the Hell Just Happened?

With all that's gone on since Hurricane Sandy, it's hard to believe that I'm living in the same New York as I was on October 28th.  Having lost power for nine days, I definitely missed most of the news coverage of the storm's aftermath, and even now feel like I can't fully comprehend the devastation that has occurred.  I had been able to periodically check Facebook from my phone (when it was charged, at least), and what I'd noticed is how well those involved with the greater indie music scene(s) have been banding (no pun intended) together to benefit those effected by Sandy. 

Showing Support

One such group is popular Savannah, GA act Cusses.  They released their self-titled debut album on October 30th, which is available for purchase on a number of sites including iTunes,, Best Buy and Barnes & Noble.  Prior to Sandy's landfall on October 29th, Cusses had already scheduled a few stops in the Northeast in support of their latest endeavor. Luckily, the weather has not forced them to cancel their dates up here, and they will be playing in Manhattan at Lit Lounge on Thursday, November 8th, and at The Flat in Brooklyn on Friday, November 9th.  Prior to leaving for tour, the members also set up a Hurricane Sandy donation spot in Savannah, and will be bringing supplies to help out those hardest hit by the storm.  That's a wonderful show of humanitarianism, folks.


Tomorrow night, Cusses will be joined at Lit Lounge by awesome NYC band Brother Reverend
According to their Facebook page, they "...cite the chords of Ray Davies, the commitment of Bob Dylan, and the vision of James Brown as an influence."  Their latest record, 'Ike Turner Kills Fascists' was released in February 2012, and you can take a listen to it below.

Tomorrow night's show starts around 9PM, but due to potential transportation issues, I'd recommend trying to get there a bit early.  All of the other information you might need can be found HERE.  They'll also be playing on Friday, November 9th at The Flat in Brooklyn.  Click HERE for more information about that.  We're looking forward to seeing you!

Friday, October 12, 2012


Writing & Photos by Stephanie Augello

After taking a few months away from posting, things are back in gear.  The 2012 CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival kicks off on Tuesday, October 16th, and this blog is going to be having a little party at Brooklyn's Spike Hill on Sunday, October 21st.  That night will be all about highlighting the talents of some of Long Island's finest bands.  

Hiatus, Quietus

Taking a break from this here blog wasn't something I'd planned on doing.  It sort of just gradually happened, and then "Boom!" I realized that this space had been basically dormant from July-September.  Ya see, it was that thing called life.  Yup, my overall existence took over, and overshadowed this endeavor.  I unfortunately didn't have time to really make it out to shows, and most definitely did not have the focus to sit down and document anything.  But, that time has since passed, and some pretty cool stuff is in the works.

As many of you know, the 2012 CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival will be running in NYC from Tuesday, October 16th-Saturday, October 20th.  Last year, I worked as an official photographer for the Marathon, and I'm happy to say that I'll be doing it all over again in less than a week.  If anyone in the area is interested in attending, badge prices range from $150 for a Show Pass to $549 for a full pass.  There will also be a host of "unofficial" events going on that week, so keep your eyes peeled for those, as they're a great time as well.

Uncounted Showcase

I was able to set up an "Unofficial CMJ After Party," which will be presented by this blog, at Spike Hill in Brooklyn for Sunday, October 21st.  Since I felt that the night as a whole would require a theme (I read too many books in my younger years), I decided that the showcase should be geared towards highlighting some of the wonderful acts currently emerging from the Long Island Music Scene - Wiretap Crash, Vision Through Sound, The Best Lies, All New Episode and Playing Dead.  The party will be hosted by popular local indie radio personality Radio J, and will run from 7PM (doors) until midnight.  We've also put together a compilation of tracks by the bands who will be performing that night, which you can take a listen to below, or purchase for $1.00 via  All proceeds will go towards the showcase itself.



"What's so great about the Long Island Music Scene?" you ask.  Good question!  If I may, I'd like to provide you with a solid, yet brief, response.  The whole "operation" is comprised of some really hard working people, who are in this game for the sheer love of it.  That underlying meaning lends itself to creating one helluva fun-loving, welcoming atmosphere.  On Friday, October 5th, local organization New Muse Productions, put together a show at Mr. Beery's in Bethpage.  I took some photos that night, including shots of Playing Dead and Wiretap Crash, and I think that they can better express the idea that I was just attempting to convey in writing.





So, don't forget - Sunday, October 21st, come down to Spike Hill, and check out some of the best of what Long Island has to offer.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Family Affair

Writing by Stephanie Augello
Photo by England in 1819
Video by Stephen Kinigopoulos

This week, Baton Rouge, Louisiana band England in 1819 will be playing a series of shows in New York City.  Andrew Callaway, one member of this family-oriented group, took some time to share thoughts on the origin of their name, touring and the band's first time playing in the Big Apple.


"An old, mad, blind, despised, and dying king,--/Princes, the dregs of their dull race, who flow/ Through public scorn,--mud from a muddy spring,--" begins 18th Century poet Percy Bysshe Shelley in his politically charged poem England in 1819.  Drawing not from the political sentiment of the piece, rather the sense of distance in it's title, a contemporary band of the same name is pushing their way through the size and depth of their musical creations, connecting with a distant time and location in the process.

England in 1819
consists of Andrew Callaway, Liam Callaway, Dan Callaway and Sean Barna.  Yes, all of the Callaways listed are relatives.  According to Facebook, the band was born in 2007, when brothers Andrew and Dan found themselves " in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the entire family together for the first time since their childhood spent in the English countryside."  They began writing songs with their father Liam, creating " unusual combination of Southern edge and English introspection, with haunting lyrics and massive chamber rock unfurling in a sweeping, evocative surge of sound."  The band expanded and intensified with the addition of Barna on drums, and recently released their latest album "Alma," which can be purchased on iTunes.

England in 1819 is currently engaged in a tour to support "Alma."  This week, they'll be making a two day stop in New York City - first at Fontana's on the 18th, and then on the 19th at Arlene's Grocery.  They also recently released a beautiful video for their track 'Waterfall.' Directed by Stephen Kinigopoulos
, the work as a whole feels like a snapshot trip through time, helping to further affirm the band's roots, and define their overall philosophy.

Andrew Callaway was gracious enough to take a few minutes out of his tour schedule to answer a few questions I'd sent him.  I've posted the conversation below. 

1) Is your band named after the Percy Shelley poem?  If so, why?

It is a Shelley reference! We were looking through some poetry books at the house and came across the title. England in 1819 is a heavily political poem, written about the corruption and misguided values of the current political situation. We are not a political band. We connected more with the title than the message. We really loved the sense of distance. Distance in location and distance in time. The name by itself implies size and depth and that's central to our music as well.

2) What's it like playing with family?

It's very interesting to tour as a family. We've had a rotating cast of musicians play with us through the years, but the core has been the three of us. We've got a line-up right now that we are thrilled about. The band also includes Sean Barna on drums and we will soon add the very talented Flanna Sheridan on piano and backing vocals which will really expand the sound! 
As far as touring with your dad, it's a great experience. Liam is very laid back and we're more comfortable with each other and have an easier time communicating because we've known each other for our whole lives.
3) How arduous has your tour been?

Arduous? That's one way to say it, haha! It's stressful for sure. We had only toured for a few days at a time before we headed out for this 10 week stretch, so we pretty much just dove in. It's really important to like the people you're with because you just spend so much time together. It's also been an absolute blast. We try to balance performing, business (booking, press) and fun/sight-seeing - and that has definitely makes it more enjoyable.

4) Have you played NYC before? 

We have not played NYC before. I've driven through a few times, and went with my high school girlfriend and her family to see The Rockettes. We walked around and saw some street performers too - very touristy stuff. I think we're all really excited to see the city. Our little sister goes to school at Parsons and she's given us a whole list of places to go, so we're going to try to get to as many as possible!