Ithaca Festival is Here

What do the residents of Ithaca NY do after the Cornell students leave? Celebrate!! With an annual weekend festival featuring a lively parade, lots of live music, dance, delicious food, craft vendors, and summer craziness. Our set is Saturday May 31st 2:10pm at the Cayuga St Stage. Lots of other great musicians on the schedule this year! Check it out:

2014 Ithaca Festival Program

Diwas will also be playing with Gabe Tavares and Sisu Powder The Moon at 4pm on the MLK Junior St Stage. Then, it is straight back down to Brooklyn for the Launch Party 🙂 (see previous post)

Two gigs in one day? OH YES!

May 31st at The Greenpoint Gallery

A launch party will take place this weekend for the filming of a Mexican-American coming of age story, Last Day, and we’ve been invited to perform! The Launch Party is a fundraising event that will feature live entertainment by four bands and three DJs Saturday May 31st at the Greenpoint Gallery.  Tickets are only $20, include one drink ticket, and can be purchased here.

To crowd fund the movie, the film makers from 4&1 Sibling Productions and Fox Yew Media hit the streets running! For the past six months, they’ve embarked on daily runs wearing t-shirts that say, ‘I am running to fund Last Day’ to spread the word. They also gave free shirts to anyone who wanted to run with them and the entire journey can be tracked here.

Now, they are ready to begin filming. Hope you’ll come out to the Launch Party!!

 https://www.facebook.com/events/272581382921539/

D-Rock rocked

The Rungs @ Haunt Ithaca

The D-Rock benefit was a success! Each year, local rock band The Sutras host the event to benefit Family and Children Services of Ithaca. It was our first time playing it, as well as our first time playing at The Haunt music venue. Our set fell between Steve Gollnick’s Insect Brigade and The Sutras. The Thins closed the night. Three awesome bands that I love! And we shared the stage with them?!? Yes! And it was for a good cause!!!

Diwas warming up back stage

Pete’s Candy Store

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 🙂

Mandy and Diwas at Pete's Candy Store
Mandy and Diwas at Pete’s Candy Store

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! 🙂

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!

Ithaca’s New Music Venue

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.. 🙂

the dock

 

Not your usual Sunday night

guys versus girls

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!

The Rungs, Linus in the Sapphire, Zac & Elly

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 🙂

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!!!

A busy weekend ahead!

image

 

Getting ready for a busy weekend ahead! Saturday is going to be a long day. First, The Rungs will play a benefit for the non-profit organization, Educate the Children, at Lot 10 4-8pm. Then, I will head over to sing with the Sutras, who are opening for The Fly Rods CD release party! This should be fun. Lots of music. I just hope I am over this never-ending cold by then!

I wish this is how every week felt, with a busy weekend of shows ahead.  More shows please!