Zac Clark, Rocker Tycoon

The Rogue Rock Writer, Half in the Bag, Submersed in the Scene

Archive for the ‘Kiwi The Child’ Category

McMickle Bros. EP Release party a Lucky 7 Tavern

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Some people are blessed with powers far beyond that of mortal men. Take me for instance. I have the uncanny ability to be able to cook, bartend, video, photograph, and write a blog all at the same time. No joke! I really did that Saturday August 22nd at Lucky 7 Tavern in Jersey City. I think Teddy Roosevelt said, “Some men are born great and some men have greatness thrust upon them.” Like I said though, I think he said that. What I mean to say is I know Robin Williams said it when he played him in that museum movie with Ben Stiller. Anyhow I’d say greatness was thrust upon me that very night. The funny thing is I can tell you the exact time and place of my baptism by fire. At about 7:00 The Porchistas entered the bar and kicked off the McMickle Brothers EP Release party. I know it’s not the most glamorous way to realize that you’re a super hero. No lives were saved, no enemies defeated and certainly no radiation was involved. I don’t wear a cape and cowl, opting for a porkpie hat and a vest instead. There are better origin stories. But I’ll say this: My genesis had the coolest soundtrack, by far!

The Porchistas are Deivis “Deivito” Garcia, Alan “Sucia” Smith and Adam “Devil-Hands” Falzer. This merry band of troubadours calls Montclair home. They specialize in a funk fusion of folk and spanish rock. Their original work is fun and easy to dance to. They have a way of making cover songs totally their own. Porchistas’ vocal stylings coupled with their instrumental finesse really makes these cats stand apart from the crowd in the local Scene. I doubt you’ve seen anything quite like this before.

After The Porchistas warmed up the crowd the kitchen took a hit that was like throwing a pack of rabid wolverines into a shark tank. For the next 40 mins my life was chaos. Hamburgers, Pizzas, Chicken Sandwiches, and Hot Wings flew from the kitchen as I rushed between bar and grill. My only saving grace was Kiwi the Child. Vera’s soothing voice and Alex’s guitar stopped me from going positively postal. Sadly during the rush I hadn’t the time to get over and take some pics and vids, but as luck would have it they played last Wednesday at the Groove on Grove. And I still have some exclusive and previously unreleased pics and video. Kiwi the Child is a reggae rock duo. Like The Wailers meets Batman and Robin. Scratch that! More like Dave Hillyard meets the Wonder Twins! The set itself sounded great. I only wish I was able to get a visual as the bar was packed with people enjoying the music.

After I sweated out my time in the kitchen Tip Canary sprung into action! Robbie and Wes are another dou of local rockers. They specialize in storytelling and spoken word with guitar backing. Songs like Doobie Blues pt 1 and Apple City are some of my favourites. Material ranging from getting hassled by John Law or dealing with a girl’s lame excuse to not give you her phone number are just part of the daily grind for these fellas. It’s familiar ground for me as well, in fact we’ve all been there before. Robbie leads the rants with a cynical but optimistic tone, and Wes backs him up with a greek chorus type inquistion. This normally goes off to a tangent from time to time, but it’s all in the sake of comedy and rock. Few can combine these element so well! “Normally you can find Wes and I on a Friday or Saturday night grabbing a slice of Pizza or a Sharma around 3-4am on the Lower East Side.” Robbie tells the crowd, in case anyone’s phone mysteriously stops working and they don’t have a pen and paper, but maybe they still wanna get in touch for something potentially meaningful down the road.

I had just finished working as Kagero took the crowd by storm. Kaz, JW, Rob Simpson, Mr Wynn, and Kate are a Brooklyn Japanese Gypsy Rock Band. Now that’s a music genre! This group is heading the way in the JGR wave that will soon take over the world the way the Beatles headed the British Invasion of the 60’s. Each member has their own unique style. Kaz plays the part of the lead man so well you’d think he took lessons from Chuck Norris’ School of Charisma and Raw Awesomeness. JW makes the violin dance sing and cry like some kind of steampunk puppetmaster. Rob’s bass is solid rock and roll, like his collection of 80’s metal t-shirts. Mr Wynn plays the Chindon drum like a man on fire. Whats a chindon drum? You’ll just have to see for yourself. Newcomer or at least I should say this is the first time I’ve seen her with the band Kate fills out the band on orchardian. Just when I thought this band had achieved perfection they go and add a piece to the puzzle that goes with their sound like Peanut Butter and bananas (If you haven’t tried it, take my advice it’s unconventionally amazing, like this band)! The bar became a dance hall! JW’s solo for Grappa featured Deivis “Deivito” Garcia hanging on JW’s back and crying while he played. It’s impossible to deny this band’s star power. You see them once and you know the words to the songs you can’t help but sing along and dance with the crowd!

So we were here enjoying all this rock for one reason. The McMickle Brothers geared up and began rocking our faces off. Matt and Sam are actual brothers. Matt “the Red Knight” does most of the singing and plays the guitar, Sam lends his voice every so often and beats it out on the drums. They are the White Stripes of the local scene. They keep it simple and head straight for the highway with songs like Finish Me and Dancing for the Smokers have become anthems that their fans know well enough to scream out all the words to. I took a quik break to clean up the kitchen while they began. At the climax of their sixth song I sprung into the door from the front and joined the already excited crowd with some dancing. Deivito and the Porchistas members of Kagero Tip Canary and Kiwi the Child all joined in. We couldn’t help it, there was a steady wave of hooting, hollering and stomping. They played two encores! The crowd couldn’t get enough. James Dower who runs the Live Music Events at Lucky 7 Tavern nearly had a mob on his hands! They couldn’t be sated by just one more song!

After the Live music was over DJ Leonard Smalls (Lucky 7 Tavern’s resident Jockey of Discs) took over. The party continued on through the night and this was about the time I had my first drink. I checked the clock. It was only 11:30 pm. I ordered up a few shots of Jameson, a Vodka Redbull to re-charge myself. I thought if there’s a time and a place to start drinking, spatially and temporally, I wouldn’t have it any other way. As the swelling is going done from the hangover that ensued shortly after I woke up this morning, I promise myself to only use my powers for good.

Written by rockertycoon

August 26, 2009 at 4:03 pm

One and the Nines’ and McMickle Bros.’ worlds collide at IMAC

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This Friday I once again ventured out to I.M.A.C. to see the One and the Nines and McMickle Bros. play. The day started as most Fridays do for me…….around noon with the remains of what would have been a hangover washed away with some pepto and a lil bit of Knob Creek, my mouth tasting like something the cat dragged in and a vague recollection of deeds of the prior night. Damn! I was working last night how did this happen? As my memory slowly decompressed in the worst way it can from a black out. I noticed two things. Less importantly, the first being a sandwich that had been half eaten (man, I have to clean my room today), much more importantly I have a notice on my calendar that the McMickle Bros. were going to be playing in town tonight! I have to tell you I get a lot more excited when a band is playing in Jersey City, while my traveling exploits make great stories to write about, taking the train is a pain in the ass way to travel.

Eight hours later, I’m slightly more sober (by the way as I’m writing this I’m knee deep into the start of what looks to become a very drunk Sunday afternoon) definitely a lot cleaner and my room is starting to shape up a bit. I called up my friend Missy (and by called, yes I mean text messaged. For some unknown reason my cell phone wasn’t using the voice or sound options) after a bit of back and forth and persuasion she agreed to meet me out.

I want to make an imperative point: I believe that bringing a friend to a show is not just vital for local music but essential to the very fiber of local music and the future of the music industry! It is especially important if we ever hope to be freed of monster corporate labels and the soulless music they produce. That said its a nice thing to do too!

I piddled around the house for a few more hours doing pretty much nothing in particular checked out the other bands playing and realized that the One and Nines were set to be there too! Awesome! Two bands I dig are playing! Suit up….Hmm it’s cold out again. Will spring ever come to Jersey City? I mean it’s cool to get all dressed up and wear all this wacky stuff, I have a lot of neat jackets, shoes and t-shirts. But all most folks get to see is the jackets because its SOOO FUCKING COLD OUT! So tonight its back to the classic T-shirt, Jeans, Track Jacket, Leather Jacket, Doc Martens and out the door I go. I took the walk over to I.M.A.C.

It’s 8:15 and the doors open at 8, so I assumed the bands would be warming up or something like that. It was much more like it’s something like that. Ghost Town: population Zac Clark, Rocker Tycoon! I sat down for a bit, grabbed a Budweiser and chilled out. Paracusia was setting up….(they were the first band). They started up, played a few songs the place started to fill in. By the end of their set there was a sizable crowd in the place and I wasn’t feeling like such a loner anymore. They finished up their final song. And this is the first time I’ve EVER seen this from a Non-Headlining band….THE CROWD WANTED MORE. “One More Song!” came a shout from the back! Soon the entire crowd was yelling it. What were they to do? Well, Of course they played another song! It really makes my heart warm up when the crowd has that much love for a band! After the show I got a chance to talk with a few of the guys from Paracusia. I asked them about the encore. They were just as surprised as I was, it was their first encore! Mark my words it won’t be their last! I shot a few of them and snagged some video for you to check out!

Took another Bud and Missy showed up. Next up was Kiwi the Child a side Project of the One and Nines’ Bassist (Alex Tyshkov) and Vocalist (Vera Sousa). My only question I’d asked myself upon first hearing about K.t.C. would have been, “With such a distinctive sounding band, why did you feel the need for a side project?” In my experience with bands the side project band is almost always a watered down version of the original band or some kind of in-joke or cover band. It’s obvious that sideshow buffoonery was about the last thing I could use to describe K.t.C.. TOTALLY DIFFERENT SOUND! If One and the Nines are Wilson Pickett meets Roy Orbison with the vocal style of Patty Labelle then Kiwi the Child is Bradley Nowell and Gwen Stefani (pre-solo career, of course) with the Wailers backing it all up. Actually HOLD IT! That’s not fair! Both of these bands have their own distinct sound, comparing them to other widely known acts is only one of two ways I know to give you a clue of what they sound like. The other much more complete way is for you to see their videos. That tells the real story. I can chatter all day and night about what I think a band sounds like or what their influences are but the real proof is in the pudding…… pudding brought to you via Youtube!

So after K.t.C.’s set The rest of the One and Nines stepped up to the plate. I had been so busy taking pictures and chatting with various bands that I had totally neglected my beer. Missy let me know, with a disapproving shake of the head as she ordered another. I was not to be out drank during a show, or out classed as it were. I took down my now hose water warm 12oz and promptly ordered another.

So as I was saying, The One and Nines were on! I’ve seen them play about 4-5 times now. Its a funny thing becoming a “music writer” does to you. You start to really listen to the bands and you really analyze what they sound like, the nuances of each song, what the bands trying to convey. I guess what I’m trying to say is the last few times I’ve hear them play I must not have been paying enough attention or maybe I was too shit-faced to realize. Fuck, these guys really bring it to the table. Vera channels this sort of Motown Diva Vibe that’s so genuine you wouldn’t think that sound could come out of a white girl. Will Hansen (Keys) busts out a sound that is some where between blues and western switching from piano to organ, and back again. Jeff Marino (guitar) strums and plays tangentially to Alex’s bass while they both support Vera vocally. Did I mention there was a sax player? Barami Waspe might as well been born with that brass in his mouth the way he made it whine! Ken Walz (drums) pounds out beats that work like a glue to hold it all together. The whole thing is rather genius to me. I have to admit I can barely play the guitar and my bass skills are rudimentary at the very best. So, when I see a band that really puts together the big picture so seamlessly, it gives me goosebumps! They finished up their set. Of Course the crowd wasn’t just gonna let them get away that easy! “ENCORE! PLAY ONE MORE!” With a veritable riot on their hands otherwise they really had no choice but to Rock out a little longer! Who was I to complain? NOBODY! (that’s right haters I beat you to it!)

So I guzzled down another beer, had a shot of Jameson and I settled in for The Headliners: The McMickle Brothers! Change gear really quick, reader! The One and the Nines as I said pulled together a styled polished sound with Six members all working together to create something that, while is complex, comes off unpretentious and very planned, sort of like a musical equivalent to 2001: A space Odyssey. Things like this can be achieved with a Six Shooter Band or with the Double Barrel variety, of which the McMickle Bros. are. Matt’s (vox, guitar) distinctive red mop top serves as a sort of trademark of the band. Sam (vox,Drums) although reserved and generally content to let Matt do the talking bursts with noise and charisma once the music starts up. I was almost too busy tapping my feet and bobbing my head to take pics and video of these cats. I certainly didn’t let that stop me though! As they finished up their last song Missy and I realized it was 1:15am! CRAZY! As the Romans say, “Tempus Fugit!” Of course The McMickles were called to play a final song! Matt announces to the crowd, “This isn’t our song, but it belongs to us now!” I’ll leave you in suspense to see that one! Whats Even Better Is they Are Playing Again this Tuesday at Lucky 7 Tavern in Jersey City! Its a Free show! You’re Losing money by not showing up!

After the show was over, we spoke with the owner of the venue, Steve. We discussed the local music scene in town and how great New Brunswick had been for it in the mid-nineties. Touched on topics like the Melody Bar and Matt Pinfield, and before I knew it was time to get going. What a kick-ass night! I hope you enjoy it half as much as I did collecting for you.

There’s a lot in store this coming week. I’m revamping my blog schedule, and maybe even bringing on a guest writer or two! The Rocker Tycoon is franchising!

Written by rockertycoon

March 15, 2009 at 7:03 pm