A sound analogous with a creepy journey to the boonies of New Orleans amongst the rattlesnakes, witches and vampires are the chords that splinter the air this night.Front center is the mysterious man with the voice of a musical ringmaster, who here commands a circus of rockabilly apparitions. His name is Tony Bones and his ribs make his guitar. His even more enigmatic companions - Percussionist Antoine Dukes, a squeezebox playing creature known as Paultergeist and Thee Scarecrow Jenkins on a bullfiddle - collaborate to release a soul long lost since the death of hip swashing skinny Elvis. Along comes the beautiful Audrey Rose of Shameless Burlesque sinfully moving in synch to the conjuring music which invokes a spirit gone astray.
This is a typical evening with South Floridaâ€™s rockabilly sensation Viva Le Vox, who for the past year has been touring the SFL Coast in the fashion of spell casting gypsies luring us onlookers with their hypnotic sound. Their latest album Desperation Alley offers a great mix of roots rock delivered by an insane bunch of carnie types, reminiscent of Rob Zombieâ€™s Devilâ€™s Rejects. You can buy the album right now on ITunes, or you can actually experience this eccentric band for yourself this February 3rd and 6th at Miamiâ€™s Church Hillâ€™s Pub 5501 NE 2nd Ave or at the Poor House - 110 SW 3rd Ave in Fort Lauderdale - on Feb 12th. The experience will be like a bottle of Southern Comfort, the 1st season of True Blood and someone sexy to enjoy it with.
While attending Fort Lauderdale Art Institute, photography students, Kim Drake, Jaime â€œThe Mexâ€, and Mike D. realized their mutual pursuits also extended into Music, and the triad fused a brilliant alliance. They ignited City Link's Beerfest two years in a row, represented FemmeFest at Tobacco Road, released their self-titled album at Radio-Active Records, received an outstanding concert review in Miami New Times from Auteur Explosion XI @ Cinema Paradiso, and continue to bang out creative melodies interwoven with the pearls of wisdom that can only come from experience.
Front woman Kim Drake, is exactly who you want to see and listen to. The animal rights activist sings from the heart and voices her light to topics such as: the state of the world today, relationship break-ups, suburban life, frenemies, positive intentions, etc... that make you want to forget the dramas of everyday existence and roll out to the beach in her Camero.
The rocking triad also combines their visual creativity and shot their own music video for "Stolen Flowers" on Kim's Mark II that can be seen at www.theshuttermusic.com. Keep a look out for "The Shutter" at a venue near you.
â€œNice ink, whereâ€™d you get that it done??â€ Itâ€™s a sentence that hopefully all of us who have ink hear at least a few times in our body art careers. Since my first encounter with Rev. Fish, that question has become all too familiar for me. Working out of Whole Addiction (located in Coral Springs) the man has been using his god given gifts to paint up the town since February 2003. At the time the shopâ€™s owner, John Miller, won a legal tug of war with the city in order to open the first legitimate tattoo studio in the area. Reverend Fish hit the ground running, executing Coral Springâ€™s first tattoo with quickness and still going strong today.
When you think of a hardworking family man with a military background, this tattoo artist isnâ€™t what comes to mind. But donâ€™t let the ink fool you, underneath his tatted exterior lies an intelligent artisan whose dedication to his craft is peerless. While working full time in the Navy Fish became an apprentice in 1993 and continued his artistic education every way possible. Stored between this manâ€™s temples is the cumulative knowledge of 17+ years of attending seminars, workshops, and going over texts. His work station is a testament to his personal history, sitting next to his chair is a small personal library containing the most referenced works of his.â€œI love doing many different styles of tattooing including fine line Black & grey realism such as portraits, bold new school color work, and traditional Japanese-style tattooing.Although these are some favorites, I can do whatever you like, whether it is super-detailed biomechanical to super-simple traditional American tattoos.â€ Fish is the shit, if your considering getting a tattoo, it should be done by him. Nuff said.
I recently posted an article on the ARTISTOCATS forum asking â€œWhats wrong with the south florida live music scene and what can we do to fix it?â€ Too much can be said. Sure we can sit here pointing fingers saying itâ€™s so-and-soâ€™s fault, or we can make this a positive learning experience. I am writing this now to give some free pointers to you bands out there. Yes, some of this is obviously common sense, but believe it or not, some of you bands need this. So pay attention!
#1. Practice. If you have to play with sheet music on stage, you have no business booking a gig.
#2. Bring Someone. If you can't bring at least, MINIMUM, one person per band member to come see your band play live, donâ€™t bother booking a gig.
#3. Promote Yourself. If you think it's the promoterâ€™s job to promote your band, don't bother booking a gig. Yes, it is the promoterâ€™s job to promote the event, but would you really rely on someone else to do it all? Wouldn't you want the best show possible and to play in front of as many people as possible, including your own friends, family and fan base? Be your own promoter. Music is equally art and business.
#4. Style. Seriously. Put some effort into how you look. You might not be Brad Pitt, but you should respect your fan base enough to run a brush through your hair, at least. You can have style without looking like a poser. You don't have to be a model. but whatever you do, make it unique. Make it YOU. (Personal Tip- Guys with eyeliner=HOT. Guys with Glitter=HOTTER).
#5. Develop a stage show. Your front man should have charisma and the whole band should have a chemistry that shows. Anyone can stay home and listen to a CD or the radio. When they go out to see a live band, they want to see a SHOW. Give 100% for your performance, every time!
#6. Play and STAY. Shows are your best networking opportunity. Far too often bands show up right before they play and leave right after, giving no opportunity for people to come up and say "great job, when can I see you again, do you have a CD, etc". You might have lost a big opportunity with local media or a label scout. Plus, if you support the other acts on the bill, they'd be more inclined to stay and support you as well.
#7. Get involved in your local music scene. The more you know about whatâ€™s going on, the more opportunities you will learn about. Make friends with other bands so they'll support you. It's very common at shows that the majority of the audience is made up of other local musicians. Make contacts and find out who the good people to know are and who you should probably stay away from.
#8. Know Your Fans. Pass around a mailing list at your shows. Keep in touch with people by sending emails announcing future shows. Include news about the band, picture's, maybe even a free download once in a while. Most importantly, make sure there IS news to announce. Make your band sound interesting by announcing newspaper or magazine articles, videos, awards, anything. If you have nothing to announce, no one will remember you or care about you after awhile.
#9. MERCH! Demos, CD's, T-Shirts, Stickers, and Buttons - Anything with your bands name on it. You are nothing until you have something tangible for people. You should really develop a recognizable logo. Free is always good for the crowd, but you should always give value to your product, so giving things away for free should be limited. How often have you been given something for free and just tossed it, figuring its crap? How often have you given away your CD's just to find that people leave them lying around? Thatâ€™s because they assume there's no value to it. Save the freebies for specials friends and fans who you know will appreciate it and to media who could help further your career. If you really want to give things away free, just to get them in some hands, do a CD release party or some type of special event for that reason. Got New Shirts? Make a deal such as "buy our CD and you get a free t-shirt!".
#10. Physical and Electronic Press Kits. You should have them ready to mailed out or emailed at any given momentâ€™s notice.
Stay tuned for next issue where I will discuss exactly what should be included in your press kits!
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â€œColors of Mayvilleâ€ -
Uber conservatively raised Maytee Bringas, 36, did not bat an eye at 22 when she got her first tattoo. â€œIt was something off the wall but Iâ€™d been yearning for a tattoo since the age of 15,â€ recalls Bringas. â€œOnce I had it, I was hooked.â€
Fourteen years later and nearly fully tattooed, Bringasâ€™s enthusiasm for tattooing hasnâ€™t waned. In fact, her keen eye for design and color has led her to expand her tattoo skills to the world of art and fashion.
In 2006, Bringas launched Mayeville, a print collection of colorful and lighthearted girlish illustrations. These Sanrio inspired designs are both, irreverent and innocent, playful yet sexy â€“ qualities which are completely reflective of the artist.
â€œMy art is cute and bubbly,â€ explains Bringas. â€œMayeville is a delusional world full of sweet characters. I use simple bold lines with lots of color, like Hello Kitty â€“ I love to draw this type of art.â€
Through Mayeville, Bringas hopes to further develop the brand by developing a clothing and accessories line.
Bringas credits husband Phat Joe, of famed ink spot, Phat Joeâ€™s Tattoo Parlour, with encouraging her to explore her artistic instincts. As co-owner of Phat Joeâ€™s, Bringas honed the artistic inclinations long buried from her days as a youth at Hialeah Junior High School.
â€œI was surrounded by art and it re-sparked my need to draw,â€ says Bringas. â€œIâ€™ve always been an artist. I didnâ€™t do anything or pursue it until I met Joe because I didnâ€™t think it was hot.â€
Clearly, Bringasâ€™ playful illustrations are hot and in demand.
â€œI love what I do. It will never get old,â€ asserts Bringas. â€œThis is my lifestyle.â€
In Fort Lauderdale there is a sanctuary for artists lucky enough to survive a year long waiting list known as the Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts. In this low-rent "wonderland" (as this writer deems to portray it) lives a visual pop artist, who paints smirks on all who lay eyes on her witty candy colored images.Â Her name is Lisa Bulten Rockford, a graduate of the esteemed Art Institute of Chicago, who upon completing her Masters launched headstrong into the competitive arena of fine art. In prolific fashion she exhibited all across the nation before settling in South Florida as an instructor at Broward College in 2006.Â She draws inspirations from both her loving parents who in one way or the other, shaped her art today.
A series entitled "Barbie Magic Reveal" are humorous illustrations much in the style of your supermarket "Coloring & Activity Books" made for children (and some strange adults).Â It exhibits her playfulness yet engaging deconstruction, and reconstruction, of familiar pop images and content.
3 Floors of 1310 Gallery will be covered in her work from Jan. 16th - Feb.12th 2010.
2 Distinct Painting series will survey the portrayals of gender and romance.
Only 1 Twist - That it will be a TWIST.Â Yeah, that's the name of this wonderfully twisted exhibition of art coolness.Â You simply must put your mind in a TWIST @ the 1310 Gallery, Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts, 1310 SW 2nd Ct. (Middle St.), Ft. Lauderdale, 33312. Admission: Free & Open to the Public
There is an emerging Palm Beach collective of talented MCâ€™s that have been running musical mayhem.Dj Fono is the eye of this storm. His company Roundabout Records has been behind the production of many of our local talents including Dino Ferrari, J Saavy, Cat Shell and many more.
But Fono is not a just a DJ; he is a musical entrepreneur and has been blessed by a keen sense of the hustle. He makes his rounds down the east contour of our gun shaped state, lighting life on the dance floors of many of our favorite local venues. One may say itâ€™s in his blood, and one may be right. Fonoâ€™s father was a DJ who passed down the finger cutting genes to his two sons. Early on in his childhood Fono was groomed for music. While most 16 year olds were scrubbing toilets at McDonaldâ€™s, Fono was already getting his DJ career started working for an audio-mixing company in Boca Raton known as R&R Djâ€™s. A lover of beats and sound, DJ Fono brilliantly pounds away silence with his repertoire of Hip-Hop, Dancehall Reggae, Drum & Bass, Electro-House, Dubstep, Funk and Soul.
CSKA, one of Fonoâ€™s latest progenies has now hit the streets with a new single â€œDrop Downâ€ which has the astute producerâ€™s electro funk grooves all over it like fingerprints in a crime scene.
And what good is a DJ without an online Mix Show? When the hour strikes 8pm, jump on to www.DJFono.com and catch Roundabout Radio where DJ Fono spins hits and features Live Guests from the local South Florida Music and Art Scene.
In South Florida there is very underground Horrorcore / Acid Rap music scene with a cult following, lead by popular local acts such as Web Three, Urban Horror Clique, and The J.Hexx Project. Square in the middle is a label on the rise ready to feed South Florida's as well as the entire globe's dark music appetites with a tantalizing smorgasbord of raw hip hop acts. E2DaP Records (pronounced "E to the P"), is headed by dark mind of Horrorcore MC Epitaph.
Recently his label delivered an onslaught of 3 professional releases. The first of which is a self titled LP released by Jersey's own Sullen Mc, it features horrorcore legends Mars and J. Hexx as well as a few other familiar faces (Dj Immortal, Randum Shotz, & Epitaph to name a few). Second up on the list is an experimental, horror themed, Hip Hop EP entitled, "There is No Rest..." all produced by acclaimed producer "J Nyce" of "Psychward". The pseudo-storytelling album revolves around Epitaph's retelling of a horrific sleep study supposedly done in Soviet Union years ago. The final release is the smash hit follow up to last yearâ€™s surprisingly successful volume one of the label's debut Horrocore mixtape. Volume Two is entitled "The Descent". It features many of last yearâ€™s favorites as well as some of the more established acts in the Horrorcore genre from around the world.
This yearâ€™s HC Mixtape murders mainstream instrumentals real Dexter style, with the sharp, edgy, and shocking lyrics spawned from E2DaP and their ever expanding network. You can interact and check out more music from many featured artists on the nefarious www.horrorcore.com.
Remember Rock? Yeah you know, the rock you grew up with. Not the sub-genres and the offshoots that tread on the fence of a being described as rock, but their original parent and core elements? When vocals ( Daniel Rayon), guitar (Daniel Cartegna), bass (Luke Rice) and drums (Angel Delgado) pound on our pulses with cool and slick attitudes, that my friends, is what we call “rock”.South Florida is far from dry of Rock Virtuosos thanks to the emergence of this group - Dear Dad Yours Truly.ARTISTOCATS was lucky enough to sit down and converse though SKYPE with this local rock quartet.
ARTISTOCATS: “So first question - Your Name - An Open Letter and Signature, what does it mean?”
DDYT: “Basically, it is addressed to God, we sought a name the world could relate to, and being as God is love, everyone can relate to love in one form or another. It is the beginning and ending of a letter. Also, It leaves it open to the middle, as it simply addresses the beginning and ending, and each of us writes his own story. That's why the body is missing of the letter.”
ARTISTOCATS: “So would you say you could be bordering the genre of Christian Rock?”
DDYT: “Not really. Being as our fit lies in the fact that we write secular music, and our personal lives are kept private, the Christian influence is in the interpretation of the lyrics from the listeners’ perspective. Depending on who you ask in the band, depends on your answer.”
Christian or not, this group’s skills place what was once deemed as “Satan’s Music” into a well deserving divine musical paradigm. Their lyrics bring positive messages of love and drive awareness to many important social issues that face us today. So how did they meet?
DDYT: “MySpace (laughs) But seriously... thanks Tom...”
ARTISTOCATS: “(laughing) For real?”
DDYT: “Yes.... seriously... no joke. This band was a miracle.”
ARTISTOCATS: “I heard of couples meeting on MySpace, but not super group rock bands”
DDYT: “It just so happens we all get along”
While Facebook is quickly becoming the leader in the Social Media field, MySpace is to thank for the creation of this awesome rock collective. The gang is now signed with Sparks Management and is represented by former Vice President of Universal Music Latin America, Tere Batista. The local rock media have also taken interest, as Dear Dad Yours Truly has been recently interviewed by 93 Rock (Youtube.com/watch?v=9jAobnwm2MY).
ARTISTOCATS: What’s up with 93 Rock. How did you get on?
DDYT: We were cherry picked by Spano from 93 Rock, who asked us to come in and do an interview.
ARTISTOCATS: Cherry picked from where, myspace? Or did he see you rock a house down?
DDYT: Both, he found us on MySpace, and attended our concert at Pulp Live in Fort Lauderdale before approving the interview. One thing that really touched him was our name. He said he related with it on a personal level.
Although currently working on a full-length album, the band has an EP circulating the buzzed up, tattoo loving hooligans of the SoFla rock scene. Self-Produced, and recorded @ The Shack North Studios, these 6 tracks will leave you for an appetite for more. Listening to their favorite track SAINT OF SIN is like entering a dark corridor alone and exiting with an army of angels to abolish the sins of today’s society.
With Influences that range from SlipKnot, 3 Doors down, Metallica, to even Evanescence, Dear Dad Yours Truly will soar through your speakers from the beginning to end. Their current album, “2009 Untitled Demo” can be found on their website www.deardadyourstruly.com, or you may get your copy by coming and seeing them LIVE @ CINEMA PARADISO for the 1st Auteur Explosion of 2010 on Jan. 23rd.
ARTISTOCATS: So on Tiger Woods....any comment?
DDYT: …Is an idiot, Obviously, his wife has as good of a swing he does.