Listen With Monger is a blog by Roland Monger from West Country, United Kingdom. If you are looking for new music, I definitely recommend checking this out! He’s got really great taste in his selection and he pulls in a lot of knowledge about bands and songs to present music from a cool new angle. Basically, he know his stuff and he knows it well.
Annnd he reviewed Confluence of Anomalies!! So yeah, we are officially big Listen With Monger fans 🙂
I don’t know what I like more about being in a band, playing shows, writing music, recording songs… I love it all! Recently we’ve been playing more shows than anything else. The show a few weeks ago at Rockwood was a lot of fun and we had the pleasure of meeting up with some of our out-of-town friends who happened to be in NYC that night.
Last weekend we returned to the lower east side to play a gig at Leftfield joined by our friends Beloved Binge on tour from North Carolina. They are another guy girl duo and like us, they are married! They had such a powerful energy in their performance of songs about their own personal life experiences, the aging of relatives, eating a vegan diet, and funny life lessons. Find their music here: http://belovedbinge.bandcamp.com/album/pockets-2
Every new venue we play here has its own charm. Getting to experience that is something I love about shows and I really like the crazy music filled lower east side. We’re trying to stick to one show a month right now, but finding it hard to resist playing more! I was not able to get video from the past two, but we do have pictures! ( thank you friends for taking these 🙂 )
When we first pulled up to the Greenpoint Gallery, we thought we might have made a wrong turn. Sitting across the street from a large overpass and sandwiched in between big warehouses, the address we were looking for did not exactly seem like a venue. It turned out to be super cool! Large rooms with artwork that covered the walls from the floor to the ceiling, people everywhere dancing and having fun, the high stage with motion sensitive lights, and the pet wolves that the property owner called his pets made for a pretty eventful evening.
When we started our set, we realized that we left a piece of our equipment back in Ithaca, but we were able to make do without it. At first it was a real bummer, but the next day I received a text from a friend who found it on the stage right where we left it! How awesome is that?! Major thanks to that dude 🙂
And the host of the event at the Gallery, Carlos, was the nicest guy! I am so glad we were able to be part of the launch party fundraiser for his film, ‘Last Day.’ You can still donate to help fund the making of this film, find more information here: http://www.runningfilmmaker.org/
Here we are getting eaten by some of the awesome art:
A clear sky, warm sun and cool breeze combined to form the perfect weather for this year’s Ithaca Festival. The annual summer celebration is notoriously hit with downpours, but that never stops the town from enjoying the festivities. With our set scheduled for 2 PM on Saturday, I was thrilled to see such a positive forecast! No rain boots needed?? Yay!!
So many friends came out. Some folks I haven’t seen in a while and even some from out of town! It was mega fun to see everyone. I always get a little tickle of happiness to look up after singing a song and see someone smiling.
Diwas had an exceptionally busy day. Right before our set, he joined Luke G & The Candy Hearts to play guitar. Luke is known around town for his performances of classic doo wop songs. He is such an energetic performer and the addition of a full band to back him up took the catchy doo-wop renditions to the next level. The crowd was a’dancin left and right!
After our set, Diwas raced over to the beer garden stage to join Gabe Taveras and Sisu Powder the Moon. He played the madal, a tradition Nepalese drum. The specific sounds he can get out of it blend well with Gabe’s unique folk guitar style.
While Diwas ran around the stages swapping instruments, I ran back to help my sister and good friend move out of their apartment. Music day plus moving day. And that it is only part one of our Saturday! Part two was all the way back down in Brooklyn for a launch party at the Greenpoint Gallery, which I’ll cover in my next post 🙂
Pete’s Candy Store in Williamsburg is cozy and welcoming and filled with good vibes! For anyone who hasn’t been there, the stage is intentionally separated from the bar in an adorable room where performers and audience members can completely immerse themselves in the music. We loved this stage and this room! It made a certain togetherness possible between us and the audience. Check out the cool lights that frame the stage over head 🙂
It was great to play at a venue in a new neighborhood. Before our set, I couldn’t resist one of their specialty sandwiches, the black forest ham which was delicious! I’m already thinking about our next show there, because I want to try to the roast beef! 🙂
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!
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!
About three years ago, one of my favorite places to go to see live music in Ithaca was Castaways. It was a large enough space to accommodate big bands, but at the same time small enough that it never felt empty no matter how small the crowd. I think it might have been the big stage, low ceilings, and lay out including the bar and pool tables opposite the large dance area. It was notorious for being run down, but I liked that about it.
When the venue closed a few years ago, it was a huge loss to the local music scene. Sure, other venues gained new shows, but in my opinion, nothing could quite replace the feeling of seeing live music at Castaways!
Now, the same building is under new ownership, and has just opened as The Dock. With a completely new look and atmosphere, The Dock is beginning to book live music and guess who will be playing there at the of this month.. 🙂
We invited our friends Linus in the Sapphire from Philadelphia to come up to Ithaca and join us this past weekend for the Chapter House’s Sunday night music series, free live music every week 7-9 pm. The timing was perfect, as it worked out to be the last stop on their one-week winter tour. Since they are also a male-female duo, we decided to make it a night of duos and invited two pals, Zac & Elly, to join the bill as well. A night of duos!!
It was great to get some friends from out of town up to Ithaca. Even in the winter, this is still such a cute place to visit and I love hosting! The local music scene always benefits from bringing in new sounds and Linus in the Sapphire are an awesome psychedelic audio chameleon. We first met them at an Elephant Talk Indie music festival in Atlantic City back in May and we’ve been talking about getting them up here ever since.
Little did I know that I would also be blown away by Zac & Elly’s performance. Elly’s voice, with no exaggeration here, is comparable to Christina Aguilara. She is a total diva! Her voice just shined through the room and immediately captured everyone’s attention. Amazing. Her and Zach are currently forming a full band in Ithaca with a bass player and a drummer. They plan to get out and start performing by the summer and I can’t wait!
So yeah, February was kind of a crazy month and I didn’t really get a chance to update the blog 😦 but the show last weekend brought us together with such good friends and such a good time! It made up for all of the craziness of February 🙂
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 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!)
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!!!