Friday, May 30, 2014

Cold Dark Train - Buffalo NY

Vagabond Flag

The Enigmatic Vagabond Flag Debuts ‘Not Afraid’, June 16th from Debut Album out July 4th

Vagabond Flag is somewhat of an enigma. His focus is on the music pure and simple; he made the decision to produce an album of quality music, which he was absolutely proud of, before releasing anything publicly. Quite a refreshing approach. 

Vagabond Flag’s background is steeped in emotional conflict and tension. He was, like most of us, affected by the 9/11 terror attacks in New York. He started to notice previously thinly masked social divides and became aware that culturally and racially the West was far more paranoid and far less secure than it had previously considered itself. He also saw that the way countries like the US and the UK responded sought only to compound the effects of terror by clamping down on liberty, rather than working against it. These thoughts, which were inescapable at the time, fuelled the fire for Vagabond Flag and encouraged him to return to his love of music. He always knew he had songs and stories in him - it was just a matter of amassing the courage to take some time out from his day job and get writing and recording.

Vagabond Flag’s debut release, ‘Not Afraid’, incorporates these ideas and puts them into words which resonate politically today. He sings:
“You think I’ll turn and hide because you think in this world the strong survive You think you own this world…So you can try to get me to run
But I'm not afraid of you
No I'm not afraid of you“
Listen to the track here:

These are undoubtedly words which protesters from Kiev to Cairo might find poignant today. Musically, ‘Not Afraid’ draws on a Lo-fi indie inspired sound reminiscent of 90s garage rock. Clearly Vagabond Flag draws musical influence from the likes of early Oasis or Pixies, and lyrically from thoughtful and quality acts such as Eels or Radiohead. On top of this Vagabond Flag himself claims that his musical inspirations range from house / DnB artists like Photek to modern R&B legends like Erykah Badu. Despite, Vagabond Flag’s clear ideological drive to write and the influence of his background, his main inspirations come from the world of music. He is an artist and ultimately just wants to put into words and notes what is happening in his head – an admirable objective in itself. 

Thank You Vicky and Vagabond Flag!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

RockNRoll books from the library

Do you really want to learn how to succeed in the MUSIC business?
Any serious musician should read, at least part of, this very informative book.
Don't be thrown off by the simplistic white cover.
David Byrne knows exactly how the MUSIC biz works in 2012 and he breaks it all down for anyone to read in HOW MUSIC WORKS.
Dave is a musical veteran who's seen it all in the world of MUSIC, from the small band scene @ CBGB's to releasing solo CD's online and hiring backup musicians for worldwide tours.
If you read this book you will know HOW MUSIC WORKS and you will learn how to sustain a career in the musical climate of these modern times.
This isn't a Talking Heads book and it shouldn't matter if you like his music or not, this book is about MUSIC and HOW MUSIC WORKS so I picked it up @ the library.
I'm glad I did and I can guarantee if your a MUSIC fan you will too.
I found this small part of the book very interesting, "The "don't give a shit" attitude of the amatuer musician is another precious (musical) commodity. Amatuerism, or at least the lack of pretension associated with it, can be liberating."

You want to be a Savvy Musician? then read this book. The book poses 3 important questions for any wanna-be savvy musician 1. Are you passionate about music? 2. Do you have strong musical skills? 3. Do you think you can sustain a career as a result of these musical abilities?

Guitar FOR DUMMIES Makes Everything Easier!
I found this part of the book interesting, interesting enough to post, just for you.
Chapter 20, 12 guitarists you should listen to make playing the guitar easier. Andres Segovia, Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, Chet Atkins, Wes Montgomery, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan (and now in the still alive category...) B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Eddie Van Halen.
And of course, the 10 greatest guitar songs of all time. 1. Minor Swing by Django Reinhardt (punched this one up on and listened to it for the 1st time on youtube today). 2. Walk, Don't Run by the Ventures.
3. Crossroads by Cream. 4. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin. 5. Gavotte I and II by Christopher Parkening, checked this 1 out for the 1st time as well, can you say classical guitar masterpiece?...
6. Hotel California by the Eagles. 7. Eruption by Van Halen 8. Texas Flood by Stevie Ray Vaughan
9. Surfing with the Alien by Joe Satriani and One by Metallica. I would've chosen Purple Haze over the last two songs for sure, or why not just make it the 11 greatest?, but hey, who am I?

rock chronicles features band histories of 250 of the greatest rock bands of all time. Photographic features highlight each member of each band in chronological order.

Noah Gokey & The Skulls - Mr Goodbar

July 19 - Noah Gokey & The Skulls will be @ Mr. Goodbar with The Great Mistake

CD Release Extravaganza! May 2nd at Nietzsche's in Buffalo with Dirty Smile, The Great Mistake, and John Gusky. Noah Gokey & The Skulls will be giving out a copy of the new CD Dream American, along with our 2011 album Questions for Answers, and a bonus limited edition live CD with handmade signed artwork, to each guest.

Noah Gokey & The Skulls "Dream American" CD review.

I'd like to start the review with a back story about my first exposure to Noah Gokey & The Skulls (NG&TS). While attending open mic at The Tudor Lounge I met NG&TS bassist Rob Schmarder and I explained to him that I have a local music blog and I gave him my biz card. I catch alot of people off guard with this info but much to my surprise Rob had a copy of the NG&TS CD release Questions For Answers in his car and he was nice enough to give me a promo copy of Questions For Answers. Thank you Rob!

Next I was contacted by NG&TS's multi-instrumentalist Corey Hagstrom. Corey asked me if I was interested in reviewing NG&TS's new CD Dream American, I said Yes! not yet knowing that Corey had a way cool internet podcast show. I was scheduled to do the Noah's Ark show as a member of The Psychedelic Dragons. Again much to my surprise upon learning Noah was Corey or was it learning that Corey was Noah? ... the Dragons had a great time on AllWNYRadio with Noah and JoeC. I became Kyle3 to avoid any confusion between me and JoeC or is it Josey?...

OK now that's out of the way I can continue onto my review of the Dream American CD.
Dream American starts off with an acoustic rock song called Subtle. The overall feel of this mid-tempo rock song is melancholy. Subtle's lyrical content conveyed the feeling of a dream that may have been a reality if not for the small, subtle changes in our lives that carry our dreams just out of our grasp.
The tempo of the CD is lifted a little higher with the next track, In The Sun. The drums kick in with a very powerful and punchy beat provided by Bill Nelson. In The Sun is a strong rock song with it's hard driving backbeat and melodically strummed acoustical guitars. A distorted electric guitar solo brings in a little more power into the musical landscape of In The SunIn The Sun is one of my faves! on Dream American.
Tick Tock is a timely rock and roll time bomb that explodes into an all-out rock jam at about the 4 minute mark. Tick Tock slowly builds the musical tension up and up until the inevitable release then the band slows down into a calming and satisfied silence. A tick tocky, like clockwork, bass line by Rob Schmarder brings this song to an end.
Stand In starts off with a Sweet Leafish coughing sound for it's intro. Stand In reminded me of an 80's band called The Specials or was it The Replacements? Either way Stand In is a jumpy rock and roll track that will get your toes a tappin'. An absolutely blazing guitar solo brings Stand In out. Stand In is my 2nd fave song on Dream American.  
Calvalcade is a quick and catchy rock song with a healthy dose of electrified rock and roll guitar throw in to spice up the melody.
Next up is Stranded. Stranded is the song when I finally realized which band NG&TS sounded like to me, Soul Asylum, Corey Hagstrom's voice reminds me of David Pirner's voice. Stranded contains a ripping guitar solo as well. Ceremony continues in the same 90's alternative vein as Stranded.
Just reading the title of Pregressive reminded of progressive rock music and when I think of progressive music I think of the band Rush. Along with being a psuedo-progressive rock track, Pregressive features a standout vocal performance by Corey Hagstrom. Bill Nelson kills it on this song.
Program Space slows the musical pace of the CD down to a calm, easy flow. When I read the title and heard the sweetly strummed, guitar intro I immediately thought of Space Oddity.
6 clicks beyond 420 lies the original NG&TG song Four 26. Roll into Four 26 to squeeze out the most musical enjoyment you possibly can out from Four 26.
Free and uninhibited, Eagle Man swoops in takes over track 11 of the Dream American CD. Eagle Man brings his super powered, world beater, the Eagle Man Vortex to power up track 11 into a electrified, acoustical rock and roll, no holds barred, jammin' rock track. Perched on his grade, Eagle Man will use his blade to feed on every rodent in the street! Think of Eagle Mans ultimate power as you listen to Eagle Man Vortex! The outro of Eagle Man Vortex contains the actual battle cry of Eagle Man as he flies off to his next's cool.
Kingbus is truly a powerful rock and roll song. The harmonica track adds some super sweet melody and a great rocknroll/bluesy feel  to the slammin' backbeat of the song. I was reminded of the band Live when I listened to Kingbus. Kingbus is my favorite song on Dream American.
Even Better continues the acoustic alternative rock sound that defines NG&TS.
Fickle is a uptempo folk/metal rock song. Fickle is a fine example of the band using their diverse set of influences to come together as a cohesive rocknroll band.
Nope reminded me of Alice In Chains with it's distorted, doubled up vocals and melodic, wailing guitar.
Dream American the song, and the CD, is a clever commentary about the classic American Dream in all it's captivating glory - in the world where it may not exist. Dream American is about justice, political machinery, modern warfare, and the modern illusions of success, fame and fortune.
Support Local Music and goto Nietzsche's on Friday May 2nd. All Guests Recieve 3 CDs with admission.

Special Thanks to Noah, Rob and Corey!

Monday, May 26, 2014


Above, from my big RNR weekend @ RockNRoll Heaven, Thank you Maria!

Below, Supporting The Buffalo Drum Outlet while playing my last gig w/KISS THIS!

Gettin' Vicious classics...Thank you Maria!

...just wanted to share a few musical memories...above, Sudden Urge from a Borders gig
and below Sudden Urge from Brennans in 2007.

This photo was taken after I did the unexpected...I slid my bass neck on Kevin's guitar neck like Judas Priest/Blue Oyster Cult...from a Space Ace gig at The Evening Star.

and finally KISS THIS! from 2/14/14...

complete with tape...Thanks Ray!

The last pic goes out to all the haters.

Saturday, May 24, 2014


RISE will feature covers from Alice In Chains, Black Sabbath, The Cult and The Tea Party.
Buffalo News Gusto 5/1/14: "Though the crowd was far from large at that point of the night, the band was barreling full-bore through a set of covers, including War Pigs, Born To Be Wild and Peace Dog. They lost their place in one song, leading to a sheepish apology, but no one seemed to really care."

Post is dedicated to LYNX.

Friday, May 23, 2014

On The Cinder - Buffalo NY

On The Cinder - Buffalo NY Punk Rock

Dates and venues for the OTC June 2014 tour:
June 6 The Flower House
June 14 Dover NH  Red Alert Skateboard Shop and Indoor Park

June 15 Boston MA Obriens Pub
June 17 NYC  Arlene's Grocery

June 18 Baltimore MD The Sidebar
June 19 DC  The Electric Maid
June 20 Wilmington DE 1984

June 21 Shickshinny PA for Yardstock 2014 at Par Glass