Loads of fun

Attention Ithacans! Your new music venue, The Dock, is awesome! Saturday night, Diwas and I joined Gabe Tavares and Lora Pendleton for a Rungs and Sisu Powder The Moon show. Lora opened the night with a lovely surprise solo set. I’ve seen her perform multiple times with PTM, but it was my first time seeing her originals and I absolutely loved them! Her smooth guitar playing paired with her captivating voice inspires a sense of comfort and ease. It makes me want to get in my car and drive across country with the music blasting through my speakers. As a female vocalist I’m always on the lookout for other female vocalists to listen, to learn from, and get inspired by, so this lady is definitely added to my list!

As for Diwas and me, the amount of fun we had at this show, measured in units of loads, was approximately 10 loads of fun, which is a lot!

all smiles on stage
all smiles on stage

 Thank you to our friends for coming out, it was so great to see everyone and we can’t wait to return to The Dock!

A Musical Marathon

The benefit was a success! We raised over $1000 for women’s and children education programs in Nepal, and attendance at the door was just over 100.

Diwas rode the bus in from New York City late Friday night arriving only a few hours before setting up for the 4-8pm Saturday evening benefit. After not seeing each other for a couple of weeks, it felt so good to play our songs together on stage! Much of our set is dependent on bouncing spontaneous ideas off of each other, so it’s a little different each time.  Sometimes being a little less rehearsed makes for a fun energy on stage and after being under the weather for practically all of January, it felt good to just let the songs take me away.

Mandy & Diwas @ Rock for Himalayas
photo by Local Shakes


Gabe Tavares and Sisu PTM followed The Rungs opening set. It is usually just Gabe Tavares and Powder the Moon, but Diwas played drums with them for the first time, hence the addition of ‘Sisu’ in the name. I loved the sound of the trio!

Gabriel Tavares & Sisu Powder the Moon
photo by Local Shakes



Following their set, Diwas joined the drummer from his old band Ayurveda to play some popular Nepali songs. Those two can really rock together and I enjoyed jumping up to play bass on a couple of songs with them.

Mike the bad-ass drummer!
photo by Local Shakes


Closing the evening was one of our favorite Ithaca bands, Boy With a Fish. We were so happy they agreed to volunteer their time for our event, it was really very special! The crowd just lit up when Boy with a Fish began to play, everyone danced and cut loose to the music.

Boy With a Fish
photo by Local Shakes


After breaking everything down we had to hustle over to another venue, the Haunt, where the Sutras were opening up for the Fly Rod’s CD release. I’ve been singing with the Sutras since July and I just love it! I feel so lucky to be a part of this band.

The Sutras!


The Fly Rods are good old rock ‘n roll and they capped the night with just that. My sister and I got our groove on the dance floor while they rocked on stage. Overall I’d say they had a successful CD release, but I do wonder what’s going to happen to CDs as the Internet continues to influence music. The amount that people are willing to pay for music seems to decrease. I know these guys put a lot of hard work into putting their album together and it sounds fantastic. Definitely a staple in my car cd collection (since long drives are when I really enjoy my cd collection!)

fly rods haunt local shakes jan 2014
Fly Rods CD Release
photo by Local Shakes

Lots of pictures and videos were taken at the events by local music promotion team, Local Shakes. Artists can just be the worst at promoting themselves and local shakes is doing something really important for local musicians, promoting and spreading the word about music and events. If you are in the Finger Lakes region, get in touch with these guys!! All (but one) of the pictures in this entry are by them and more videos are available on their facebook page.

I just wish every Saturday was filled with back-to-back shows like this!!!

House of Thoughts and Trees Live!

hot logo

House of Thoughts is a new clothing company influenced by art, culture and music, recently launched in Wales. True to its name, the fall launch party featured underground musicians, artists and poets who presented interpretations of the theme of the night, ‘unorthodox’.

In the midst of launching a new company, our friend and founder of H.O.T was kind enough to also mail us two matching screen printed shirts! They fit perfectly and the unique design was just right for our look at the show.

In our matching House of Thoughts shirts
In our matching House of Thoughts shirts

Fashion seems to be on the brain and in the air this season, at least for me, as I’ve been brainstorming merchandise ideas for our band, working on t-shirt designs and screen print experiments with friends.  Then there was the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion show that aired this week, with models decking the runway in elaborate barely-there outfits that folks have been describing as ‘sexy Halloween costumes’. Oh fashion what a bizarre industry you are!

I will stick to clothes that are wearable, comfortable, and available for everyone. Not like the high fashion Victoria’s Secret designs that seem to be exclusive to the tall and thin! Hmm but then again it is fun to fantasize about playing a show in something that could also be compared to a Halloween costume 🙂 hehe

Here is a live video of us performing in our super cool House of Thoughts t-shirts. Friends have already asked me where we got the shirts and it is inspiring to see a motivated young individual launch an artist driven clothing company. And to top it off, the abbreviation, H.O.T, reads ‘hot’!

Playing Gigs – Be Flexible!

at lot ten

The LOT 10 show went magnificently well!  The guys from the touring act, Sool, had some old friends in the Ithaca area, so there was a nice little vibe of reunion in the air. I also learned a surprising lesson in flexibility. These guys are of a slightly older generation, and it seemed to be a later than usual night for some of their friends. Although they were scheduled to play last, they asked us to switch with them so that they could play earlier and relieve their friends of staying up super late. Diwas and I didn’t really think much of it. Here it was their show, they were only in town for one weekend, and they hadn’t seen some of these friend in many years, so of course we were like, ‘hey guys, its your show, whatever you want!’ From their response, it was evident that they were not used to playing with bands that were so flexible. Man, imagine how awkward and rigid the night would have been if we were like, ‘No guys, sorry, the line up has already been discussed, we can’t change it.’ Ha! That would have taken the fun right out of it! So anyway, the lesson learned is that when it comes to gigging with other bands, the key to having fun and ensuring a smooth event is flexibility. Things are constantly changing and you’ve just gotta roll with it. That night, with such good attitudes all around, the music was that much better. Both The Fly Rods and Sool rocked it! And here is a little home video from the first song of our set, BFF.

Friday night gig!

Well, after all of our groovy Sunday sets since the birth of the Rungs, (we’re just over a year old now!), its about time for a Friday night gig! We will be hitting the stage at Lot 10 in Ithaca tonight with our local friends, The Fly Rods, and touring rockers, Sool. We have some friends in town who have been super supportive of our music and through them we were connected to Sool, who contacted us to open for them when they came through Ithaca on a summer mini tour. I feel so lucky to have such supportive friends! (I think it helps that they like our music too 🙂 ) And after the shaky performance last weekend, I’m hoping for an awesome night tonight. It’ll make for a perfect end to the week! Plus with this line-up, Fly Rods, Rungs, Sool, its just gonna be rockin with high-energy-dance-to-the-grooves-feel-good-vibes.

Sool sool

Sool: http://www.soolmusic.com/

The Fly Rods: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fly-Rods




More Grassroots Festival Recap

Grassroots Festival recap continues… (oh yes, there is more!)

Soooo as if playing late night Saturday night with the Sutras wasn’t enough, (see my last post if you missed this!) I played again on Sunday with ‘Diwas Gurung’! Diwas, (who is the other 50% of The Rungs) also plays in other projects, including his own solo Nepalese venture, titled, ‘Diwas Gurung’.  You can listen to it at his bandcamp if you are curious 🙂 http://diwas.bandcamp.com/album/adhunique

Anywhooo, his Sunday set included a mix of Nepalese folk songs, originals, and we even threw in a Rungs song, Missed Connections! The band included members of a previous band he was in, his current bandmate in his other indie-electro-pop duo ‘Photoreal’ annnnnnd me! It was quite the musical reunion. I played a mix of synth parts, electronic drum hits, guitar, and vocals.  Many thanks to those guys for letting me join them!

Most importantly, check out my loud pants, compliments of Diwas 🙂 videos on the way!

grassroots diwas gurung band

mandy and diwas grandstand




Festival of Music and Dance!

Well I’ve slacked a little this month on my posts, but I’m back! I’ve been busy gearing up for the 23rd annual Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance that took place this weekend in Trumansburg NY.

I’ve been a regular Grassroots go-er since 2005, but this year was the best yet. The Sutras, an awesome indie-psychedelic-pop rock band from Ithaca NY invited me to sing with them! These guys are true rockers and some of the most talented musicians I’ve met, so you can imagine how psyched I was to perform with them. After two weeks of fun practices, we hit the stage around 1am on Saturday night, ready to rock the late night crowd! It was a completely different experience than what I’m used to with The Rungs. My only job was to sing certain parts of the songs, (and let me just say that EVERY song by The Sutras is super fun to sing), so I had no guitar or keys to hide behind, just me and my voice, loud and proud (or at least trying to be 🙂 ).



The entire set was a blast. I had a funny little moment to myself when I took a look at the set list and realized we were getting towards the end, I thought,”noooo this is so much fun, not ready for it to end yet!!!!” but as the universe rules, everything must start and end. So now I am ready for the next show. Where is it at? Lets go! More music!

Diwas was there too, not performing, but manning our newest purchase, a Cannon T2i. We decided to treat ourselves to the new gadget last week and it was a great choice! Every time I looked up he was like a little spiderman getting cool angles of videos and photos. Soooo hopefully we’ll have a video from the night to share soon! In the meantime, checkout The Sutras! http://thesutras.bandcamp.com/

Thank you June!

Well, June began with a bang, (literally a ‘bang’ – flat tire on the way to Shindig in Brooklyn!) and closed with a mellow Sunday night set at Felicia’s in Ithaca. I’m so happy our friends, The Sunday Vipers, asked us to open for them. I mean, its an honor when anyone asks us to play with them. My reaction is always, ‘Really?! You want us to open for you??!! Yes!’ And then I am secretly flattered forever that they liked our music enough to share a bill together 🙂

This night was particularly special because I’m a huge fan of Sunday Vipers, AND the venue is practically my neighbor. Diwas and I just hop on out the door, guitars and amps in hand, and take about 20 steps to load in. The awesomeness of the night can further be summed up by fun music, delicious cocktails, good friends, a great audience and one new Rungs Facebook fan! (Yes, one. I will take what I can get!)

Here is a live song from the set! This is a new one. It’s called Indecisive. You’ll get what I mean 🙂

Thank you readers, thank you June (month of the supermoon!), and thank you Sunday Vipers for an awesome night!

Wild Weekends

I must provide a recap on our recent weekend adventure.

It started over a month ago, when a good friend asked Diwas to host one of the weekly open mic nights she organizes in a newly established Brooklyn music venue called Shindig. We love getting out of town and visiting our friends, so of course he agreed, and we put it on our calendar,   ‘a weekend in Brooklyn in June’.  It was May at the time, so adding something to the next month’s agenda felt like such a ways off. But boy does time fly! The weekend was here before we knew it and ended it up being the perfect time to get out of town.

We hit the road early Saturday morning only to get an unexpected surprise on the way….


Our first band flat! I had never gotten a flat before, so I kind of thought it was exciting. The next surprise was that Diwas, a guy who I’ve never seen do much car work, got in there and successfully put on the spare like a pro. Definite road trip buddy! We were back on the road in no time 🙂


We drove for about two hours with the little donut spare, and despite feeling extra nervous in the nyc tunnels, the ride was pretty smooth all the way to Shindig! Our luck returned when we got to the venue in time, found a parking spot right outside, and enjoyed a night of entertaining and diverse open mic performances. Here is some of the crew:


close but no cigar

‘Front Desk Runaway’ is one of those songs that Diwas and I have been omitting from our set list. For some reason, something about it just didn’t sit well but we couldn’t pin point exactly what was wrong. So, we decided to avoid this song at our live shows, at least until we would have time to plop ourselves down and give it a good working out. As many of you songwriters know, some songs just don’t quite make the cut. We thought Front Desk Runaway would be one of our ‘close but no cigar’ songs.

Anyway, I’m not sure why we added it to our set last month at the Elephants for Autism Festival. We hadn’t changed anything since I first wrote it back in February, but I guess we both just missed it!

Turns out, we had a lot of fun playing it! So much fun that the song even creeped onto another set list, last Sunday’s show. Not to duplicate content, (I already posted the Front Desk Runaway from Elephants for Autism Festival), but here is a live video of the same song from our Chapter House show last Sunday. This neglected song just needs a little TLC!

Any other musicians out there with their own ‘close but no cigar’ songs??? Lets work on these babies!