Dub-T - Band of the Month for September, 2011
Location: Orlando, Florida
Dub-T is an Orlando artist originally from Jacksonville, Florida who has been performing, recording, and independently selling music since 2001. The former lead singer of the statewide successful band GreyScaleMusic, now has released three albums that are available on I-Tunes and various internet retailers. On the recent ‘That’s How We Roll’ E.P. the production is provided by multi-platinum producer Gary Carolla, who also is the artist’s manager. Dub-T combines great music, live energy, and complex artistry into the performance that makes him a great act to watch.
Clayton Senne - Band of the Month for June, 2010
Location: Orlando, FL
The way Clayton Senne sees it, a songwriter’s work is never done and that’s just how he likes it. Onstage for the fifth night in a row, he plays his crowd-favorite “Walk Out The Door,” but this time adding in just enough tweaks and twists to keep it fresh and fun - not just for his fans, but every bit as much for himself. Such is the life of a singer/songwriter who loves the road and plays a different show each night, even if the set list remains the same. “I’m constantly tinkering with songs, even after they’re recorded,” he explains. “I’m not making these major, sweeping changes, but maybe I’ll alter a certain emphasis or chord. They’re still living, breathing parts of me and are always going to grow and morph and change.” For Senne, whose songs are built around the fluidity of feelings and emotions, it’s only natural that they shift shapes during live sets whether they be his own headlining gigs or opening slots for Marcy Playground, Eve 6, Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers or Vertical Horizon. “As a fan, I think it’s incredible to go to shows and say, ‘oh cool, it was recorded like this but the performer killed it in another fashion.’ And I don’t want to shortchange myself musically, I want to feel that freedom onstage and not be confined to completely duplicate the recorded version….if ‘Cry’ is really flowing one night and the crowd is really into it, yeah, we’ll toss a couple of extra lines in there. I’d do myself and them a disservice to just say ‘hey this song is 3:42 and I can’t go a second over.’”It usually takes the spirit and ability of a seasoned professional to approach each concert with this kind of casual confidence, not a youth whose peers are still taking shaky, tentative steps toward adulthood and careers. But Senne started on his journey decades ago while growing up in Kansas. The son of working musicians, he describes a childhood of piano lessons (from Dad, of course) that began before Kindergarten and of being “a five year old kid in the bars at 3am watching my parents play.” Their artistic influence runs deep, explaining how he can channel such deep blues and soul in each of his songs. And their professional influence is even more obvious - becoming a songwriter and musician was a natural, and extremely supported, choice for their son. Despite such a seasoned approach to his work, Senne remains remarkably modest about his own soulful pop. On his debut album, Wonderland, he aims to just let people know who he is. “I want it to be something I can have confidence behind and use as a great foundation. I want to hand it to people and maybe open some really cool doors as much as I want my niece or nephew to love it.” And those doors are indeed swinging open, including the front gates at MTV, who picked both “Cry” and “The Sun Will Rise” for their hit series “The City” and “Wonderland” for The Real World: Brooklyn.Wonderland is a personal tome, a collection of songs that reflects his life, songs that tell of the heartbreak and mutual destruction of a 3 year relationship that was headed toward the altar. “A lot of the lyrics on the album are about my (and friends’) experiences, but recently when the audience starts singing along with me at shows it’s been making me hear them from a whole new perspective,” he laughs, “and it makes me want to be an even better writer.” While Senne is a multi-instrumentalist and a complex songwriter, he chose to include two tracks on the album that are stripped down, pairing his vocals with only a piano. “There’s that temptation to squeeze too much into a song, just to sort of say ‘hey look at all this cool stuff I can do,’ and I won’t lie – I certainly went through that phase,” he admits. “But I’ve grown so much and feel so comfortable in my own abilities that I don’t feel like I have to overdo it.”While working on the album, Senne penned “The Sun Will Rise,” a slow ballad that actually brought him to tears as he wrote the lyrics. “I’m amazed that even with all the emotion I put into the song, I think it’s the album’s best crafted one, too, totally stripped down to chords, melody and lyrics.” His emotion breaks through again on “Cry,” the first song Senne’s stepfather gave his stamp of approval on. “He’s an incredible musician,” Senne raves, “a real bluesman and when he said ‘dammit son, I wish I had wrote that, can my band cover it?’ it was the height of my career. I learned so much about what it means to feel each note or word in a song from him.” Wonderland has its share of fun, too, with songs like the title track, an uptempo, fun crowd-pleaser where he strives to create something broad enough for his audience to love while bringing even the most cynical songwriter to his feet right alongside them.
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Jenn Grinels - Band of the Month for March, 2010
Location: here and there United States
"Grinels began to sing and the whole room stopped breathing. She has a dazzling voice, Chrissie Hynde's mojo, Rickie Lee Jones' feel for the jazz in the spaces between notes and a unfailing sense of the dynamics called for in each moment." --- Southeast Missourian (Bluebird Cafe, Nashville)"Stunning Vocals and Original Songs; Extraordinary New Discovery""Grinels' voice really has to be heard to be believed. It’s jazzy in its pacing, soulful in its delivery, heartfelt in its sensuous tone . . . it will be interesting to see how the future unfolds for this soon-to-be legendary singer.----P.T. Rothschild, Full Value Reviews "I was immobilized by awe, [Grinels] was amazing - When she plays - hearts open . . . she knows how to hear the voice that tells us all what we were meant for. " - Vincent Lowe, ThrivingArtists.net"Her voice is just absurd. Two artists kept coming to mind - Martin Sexton and Fiona Apple. Sexton because of her vocal focus & control. Fiona Apple because of her tell-off confessional/conversational lyrics, her penchant for complex rhyme schemes (like rhyming a 3 syllable word with a 4 syllable word), and her powerful, listen-up-buster delivery. She also understands the importance of dynamic changes, and songs go from sultry whispers to soulful cries in like .3 seconds." - CrazyTalk.com (San Francisco)
Orange Avenue - Band of the Month for February, 2010
Location: Orlando, FL
Orange Avenue is a five-piece American Rock band from the shores of Daytona Beach. They started up like many previous acts, a diverse group of local musicians, and have since formed into one of Florida’s largest concert draws. Borrowing from the formula of vocals/guitar/bass/drums they’ve added their own twist to the equation with the inclusion of keyboard/percussion player Glenn Sedita to set them apart sonically. The five-some released their self titled debut cd (known by fans as the orange album) in the middle of ‘07. Building on their hard work and do-it-yourself attitude, the group has currently sold over 11,000 copies of their first cd with no major marketing/tour support other than shameless self promotion at gigs and on the street. The album garnered airplay from such radio stations locally as wjrr/orlando and wvyb/daytona and press from numerous central Florida publications. In the few short years since the album’s release they have shared the stage with The All American Rejects, Rihanna, Smash Mouth, Hello Goodbye, Low vs. Diamond, Egypt Central, Pop Evil and many more talented artists. The band recently released the follow up to the debut cd aptly titled “Reset.” The new material has been described as a more focused and concise effort by the group. From the synthesizer grind of ‘Just Refrain’ to the unapologetic ‘This Time Baby’ and the dance driven ‘Nightwalk’, Reset has a distinct character unto itself. “We went in the studio this time with the mindset to write exciting songs people can sink their teeth into” says Derek Anderson the group’s frontman. “We kind of wanted to show all the different styles we were capable of on our first disc. On this disc we wanted to show what we do best” says guitarist Chris Yetter. The track ‘Just Refrain’ has been recently featured on the MLB Network for their games of the week and other various station programming and “No Goodbyes” has just started rotation and receiving rave reviews on Daytona’s 103.3FM WVYB. Looking to build on the still growing success of their first record, ‘Reset’ has got the group in the position to widely expand their fan base all while looking to leave their unique mark on the musical landscape. I asked the band to provide us with a drunk story from on the road and this is it. The Disappearing Act:Many venue owners don't mind and even encourage their female patronsto get up on stage and dance while the band plays. A lot of times,especially during the last few sets, the more intoxicated women willshow off moves that would've made Johnny Castle from Dirty Dancingblush (RIP Patrick Swayze). On one particular night at a club in FortWayne, Indiana called Piere's, a group of women came up on stage anddid what a 50's band would've named "The Slosh". They grabbed ourmicrophones and sang, what their bachelorette party thought, werebeautifully rehearsed renditions of every song we performed. Theyspilled drinks onto monitor wedges, foot pedals and brand new shoes inthat "cute" way that makes using your food money for gear expenses"fun". They even knew how to improv and "grinded" our fretboardsuntil C's became C sharps, and band members became "people holderuppers". Witnesses say we transcended that night to a new level ofmusic one can only describe as "Wuh?" (It's a bit like acid rock, onlywithout the acid and with earplugs).And here comes the best part.At some point during this frenzy an even drunker woman decided that(she + drums = good idea). She made her way through the lesser drunksoon-to-be bride's maids and headed straight for the drum riser. Shedid this sort of "Drunken Master meets Ninja Gaiden" move through theamps and guitar stands and finally found herself behind the kit. Seankept playing and managed to wince his way through several more songs--keeping his cool and hoping things wouldn't get too crazy (whichusually means too broken at times like these). Right behind the 1/2foot drum riser on the 4 foot stage was a 6 foot catwalk, and betweenthose two structures a thick but loose curtain hid a floor-leveltech-area behind the stage. The rest of us played on as well, butevery minute or so we'd look back at Sean and this very drunk womanthat was dancing, leaning and falling all over the kit and sometimesSean himself.Then, it happened. All I can remember is looking back, seeing a drunklady, looking back again... no lady. Sean had a look of horror on hisface, and the band will never forget it. A few moments later we foundout she was o.k., but she definitely made-out with the club floor thatnight.
Rebecca Loebe - Band of the Month for January, 2010
Location: Atlanta, GA
Rebecca Loebe is a laid-back award-winning indie-folk singer from Atlanta, GA. Since quitting her job as a full-time recording studio engineer in 2006, she has performed 100+ shows per year at colleges, coffeehouses and theaters in over 30 states of the US and in Europe. She has garnered rave reviews for her high-energy performances, weaving together skillful, emotional songwriting, folk storytelling and whimsical comedy for the ADHD generation.
In the May of 2009 she was honored as a winner at the Kerrville Grassy Hill New Folk Songwriting Competition, and in 3 years of full time touring she has shared the stage with greats such as Glen Phillips, Angie Aparo, Ellis Paul, Sophie B. Hawkins, Emerson Hart, Ellis Paul, Girlyman & The Bacon Brothers.
One Night Stan - Band of the Month for December, 2009
Location: Orlando, FL
One Night Stan comes from the Deltona and Orlando areas to create some of the most original, fun, head rocking music Central Florida has to offer. Getting away from the same old metal and "creed-smack" sound that has over saturated the scene lately, ONS brings a wide genre of styles to the new era of music. Mixing up sounds of Punk, Alternative, and balls-out Rock with the influences of The Beatles, Green Day, Sublime, all the way to Jimi Hendrix. Their stage performances, sound, and CD has since got notable awards such as: 2005 Alt Rock Band of the Year (That's Entertainment Mag) 2006 Top 5 Artist of the Year (Q's House Internet Radio) 2006 Best On-Air Acoustic Performance (Q's House Internet Radio) 2008 4-Star Rating for New CD Supa Mega Good Happy Fun Time Album Goals: To be that One band to make a BIG Difference in the Music Industry, like the effects that bands like Nirvana, Alice In Chains, & The Beatles did to music industry. To keep our fans interested and their heads rocking to original songs and our crazy stage antics. We want to be able to stop in a song and hear the fans sing the song back to us. ROCK OUT!!
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Funk Alcmemy - Band of the Month for October, 2009
Location: Orlando, FL
This Orlando, FL jazz trio is the perfect music put on while sipping Bourbon on the Rocks. This is "Pure Clean Funk"
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Confused Little Girl - Band of the Month for September, 2009
Location: Orlando, FL
Billy Myers', front man and driving force behind Southern Rock Punk band Confused Little Girl, favorite drink is a Jack & Ginger. He told Slackertown, "It sounds gay when you order it but it sure tastes damn good." Billy first turned to Scotch and Bourbon when he was 21. He hated beer and wanted a drink that fit his style and style of music. We hope you like the crunknes of "Abstinence Makes the Heart Grow Longer."
Fairweather Friend - Band of the Month for August, 2009
Location: Winter Park, Florida
In 2005 we were grooving to Orlando, Indie rock band Fairweather Friend and their EP, Love's Year. Then we waited for more...and waited...and waited. We finally caught up with singer Alex Saiz and guitarist Aaron Ford to explain themselves. They played us their new full length CD and we loved it. Parts of it made us sad but in a good way.
Slackertown: Why did you make us wait so freakin' long for this album? [Translation: Why 2 ½ yrs?]
Aaron: It is our 1st LP so we wanted everything to be perfect. There are 5 of us. We struggled a lot but ultimately the conflict over parts of songs generated a better product.
Slackertown: The CD is completely self produced and recorded. Are you happy with the outcome?
Alex: There is room for improvement but we are very satisfied with the CD. It shows you can get good sound quality on a recording without spending a ton of money. It just takes a lot of hard work.
Slackertown: Did any one band member take on more work than others?
Alex: We all had a hand in writing and arranging. Lyrics, verses here and there, chord progressions. It was completely collaborative.
Slackertown: How did you manage to get five guys to all agree on something?
Alex: Yeah, It could have really become a mess. It's a testament to the overall musicianship and professionalism of the band. The songs "Sorry" and "They've Got Guns" are good examples of how working together can work.
Slackertown: who came up with the album title?
Alex: The title is actually a lyric written by our keyboardist Brad Carman on the song "UnNmbered."
Slackertown: What were the goals you set before making this CD?
Alex: We wanted to make a CD that could be appreciated by fellow musicians and the casual music fan.
Slackertown: We think you succeeded. Listening to the album there are a lot of instruments being played. More than 5 guys could play at once. Will someone who's heard "Six Strings" find your live show missing parts?
Aaron: What audiences hear at our live shows very much sounds like what they hear on the CD. We use a computer to fill out the sound but all instruments they hear were at one time played by the band.
Slackertown: How have adding those little extras helped the songs themselves?
Aaron: The song "Dark Cold Night" was written by Alex to be played with just an acoustic guitar. I expanded it by adding strings in a way that doesn't take away from the song's meaning but helps move it along more.
Slackertown: How have you used new technologies in marketing "Six Strings, Five Days?"
Aaron: The CD is available in a physical form and for download. We used iTunes and Amazon and every online distribution outlet we could find. We are promoting on web zines, podcasts, and regular paper and radio outlets. We can track not only plays and downloads but see who is listening and where they're from.
Slackertown: With all those media outlets it might be difficult to get them all up and ready at the same time. Have you taken a different approach in setting your CD release date?
Aaron: Most local bands focus their efforts around a release date and after the excitement of that day dies down they can be forgotten. We want to build that excitement in hopes the band and our music will be around for a while.
Slackertown: Has this approach helped sales?
Aaron: Our goal for sales was just to break even but our sales have been steady and growing! We've done well with online sales but lately almost 40% of the audiences at our recent live shows have bought the CD. We hope playing to larger crowds and targeted touring translates into sales.
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3 Kisses - Band of the Month for July, 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Tish Meeks (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) launched 3 Kisses in Austin, TX, in January 2004 and since that time the band has released 4 CDs, performed hundreds of live shows and played for crowds as big as 50,000. In 2007, 3 Kisses performed on ABC’s ‘Wife Swap’ performing for millions of viewers. 3 Kisses jumps from one high energy style to another with traces of just about every cool female-fronted rock band of the last 20 years. 3 Kisses’ live performance has been called ‘freakin’ explosive’ and Tish Meeks has been referred to as ‘a ball of fire on stage.’ An idiosyncratic combination of alternative, pop, rock and punk filled with catchy guitar hooks and introspective lyrics, the heartfelt vocals and positive party vibe make the songs of 3 Kisses addicting. Tumultuous lyrics delivered in a zany, upbeat fashion have become a 3 Kisses trademark. In addition to their regular tour schedule, 3 Kisses supports breast cancer research by performing at Susan G. Komen Races and Relay for Life events and donating a portion of their CD sales to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the American Cancer Society. Tish’s original story, Legacy, about the loss of her mother to breast cancer, appeared in Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen’s Chicken Soup for the Recovering Soul in December 2004.