Artist Profile- Belikos

Artist Profile- Belikos

Begin to fan the burgeoning flames of excitement, festival goers.  Belikos from New York City is heading back upstate to their 4th year at the UMAF!  Fresh off a live recording at The Electric Company on July 8th, the band is as excited as the fans to exchange some massive energy inside the EC.  They are headlining both Friday and Saturday with shows at 12:00 midnight and it will be a packed house on both occasions!

The fest’s relationship with this band  is one of my favorite Cinderella Stories in our history because it’s a great illustration of what the whole thing is about.  Since their first year with us, Belikos and Utica were a match and they return frequently to partake of both the show scene and the local culture as well.   As I understand it, they are on life contract with our festival, per Zee, illustrious owner of the Electric Company.  “Obviously we love the EC, it’s our home away from home and Zee is like our crazy uncle…Love Voss’, Nail Creek (I mean, where else can you get a side of Utica Club with dinner!), the brewery, and the list goes on and on…we just love Utica!” -Keith Reed (bass).   Belikos is family returning to visit you, and a talented family it is!

I expect you to be familiar with this band, but if you’re not, I’ll attempt to bring you up to speed.  Belikos is (excerpt from their fb page, in their words): Shane Maux – vocals, fancy footwork; Aaron Orr – vocals, acrobatics;Keith Reed – Bass, fabulous hair; Ethan Hampton – Guitar, vocals, assless chaps; Justin Hampton – Drums, stoic stone face.

How’s it sound?  You’ve got some very high energy, talented word smith spitting and a bounce in the groove you’d expect from a hip hop fusion group of high caliber, but where Belikos takes an interesting turn is what this happens over.  The music behind the mix of singing and rapping often meshes moments of psychedelic funk with the barely restrained energy of the power pop punk that forefronted the movement…all in the same 5 or 6 minutes and without a stutter.  The live band is kicking at all times.  Incubus meets Kravitz meets Linkin Park and the Chili Peppers.  Uncanned awesomeness bursting down your eardrums.  Call security.

Wild times in store to kick Fall off right!  And, they expect to have copies of the live CD available for purchase by then!  I know I will be picking one of those pieces of history up and bringing it home with me for posterity.

Do not miss the shows Friday and Saturday night at 12:00 midnight at The Electric Company!  Get on up!

Another great photo by Ray!

Get ’em on the web:

Belikos on Facebook

Belikos Official


Kitty Glitter at Greens Fest!

Kitty Glitter at Greens Fest!

If you don’t know who Kitty Glitter is and you live in Utica, NY, I think it’s possible that you’ve been under a rock.  She is adorable, she is active, she is excited, and she’s everywhere!  One of the places she will most definitely be, I am pleased to report, is frolicking around the Utica Greens Festival the weekend of the UMAF.

Rainbow Young, local legend, and Kitty Glitter in front of the Uptown Theater. Photo by Marc Goldberg

Perhaps you’ve seen photographs in various social media (as well as this humble blog) of sweet little green hearts with our  “I ❤ U” slogan on them.  Maybe you think that once you cross the sidewalk onto Varick Street on festival weekend that these magically appear, unable to be removed until your fond memories of the event itself fade with time.  But no!  We have not yet arranged for this manifested UMAF stigmata and until then, Kitty Glitter is the primary being responsible for this heart warming tradition.

Kitty Glitter and Randy Niles at Mardi Gras Utica this March- Photo by Marc Goldberg

Do not try to escape her, she is fun, and she will find you and ink you up!  You’ll see her coming (it’s the tail) props a-plenty trailing behind her and a smile from…ear to ear.  If you have kids with you, they are in for a treat.  However if you are meandering around the street and make eye contact, prepare for some laughter and joy to blow your way.  Musicians are not immune!

Kitty Glitter sets up shop at the Glitter Box and is available for a variety of merrymaking.  You’ll see her with the Derby Gals and Guys, too, as Kitty Glitter is the illustrious, official cheerleader of the Utica Derby!


Kitty Rah's for Derby! Photo by Walter Romero- Hispanic Attack

Artist Profile- Amanda Ashley

Artist Profile- Amanda Ashley

Change brought me to Utica. I did my research, and had found that there was much going on musically in the Utica community, and right away gained interest. ~Amanda Ashley

Amanda Ashley, originally of Holtsville, NY (Long Island) and now of Rochester, is making a name for herself in the state of New York based upon the strength of her voice and also the strength of her drive and work ethic.  A good example might be the day I caught her set at Trinities in downtown Rochester around Noon, after which she was hauling a keyboard larger than she is around the streets to navigate the parking mess, to take off for a mid afternoon show in a suburb, and then play in the evening somewhere else!  And she does this all over the state in a collection of the sickest heels you’ve seen for days.  I think the femme fatale angle is quite stunningly obvious.  You sort of want to purr.

Don’t let the va va voom fool you.  I know Amanda personally, and I know that her she doesn’t sit back and capitalize on outward appearances.  Her motivation is considerable, and extends to the community around her.  She makes connections through her music and though just being herself and is generous in sharing the fruits of those connections.  She co-hosts The Five Alarm Open Jam at The Firehouse Saloon (which I can attest is a fun time!), is the Creative Director of the Local Visionaries which works in the art and music community to empower female artists, and through that, she has hosted a series of events at the Tango Café in Rochester called ReHatched that feature women artists of various mediums.  I’ve met a lot of great people through Amanda, and I’m not the only one.

So, it’s a love fest.  But, I seriously would be surprised if you could meet this woman and not love her.  Unless you’re another singer taking the stage after her!  Because when Amanda opens her mouth, the amount of sound that this person creates is astonishing!  She has a beautiful, powerful voice that is intimate at the same time.  That’s nice work if you can get it.  Her musical aesthetic is also smart.  She plays a wide range of music, both originals and covers.  Harkening back just to the show at Trinities, she played several great originals (I appreciate her thoughtful lyrics that are more than just a clever turn of phrase) as well as some Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys.  Not an unpleasant way to spend a lunch hour!

“Music and performing makes me feel a sense of power, and confidence which I do not carry with me in everyday life. I’d like to think of my music as being honest and unfiltered. I really write from my heart, experiences and from what I observe in those whom which I’m surrounded by.”

Photo by Evolution Photography of Utica, NY

Amanda’s come to town pretty regularly lately and among her most recent conquests are a photoshoot with Evolution Advertising, a local agency, and a gig with fellow singer/songwriter Lisa Romano at Mr. McGills.  While not a UMAF venue, McGills is a staple on the local working musician scene and I’m glad to see traveling artists of that work ethic find a home for the evening!  “I have spent this past year performing in Utica on occasion and trying to promote my music out that way. I’ve gained some new fans, very cool new friends, and am looking forward to participating and being a part of the excitement.”

Photo by Evolution Advertising, Utica, NY

Did I say she was busy?  Between now and ‘fest time, Amanda will be in Boston, Brooklyn and Long Island.  Then we get her for a little bit.

You can get the album Back to Me and “possibly other fun stuff” which you should take off her hands on Saturday, September 17th at the Celtic Harp at 8:00 p.m. and then 10:30 at the Hotel Utica in the same evening.  Lighten the woman’s load!

Amanda on the web:


Artist Profile- Yesterday’s Saints

Artist Profile- Yesterday’s Saints

Back to that what’s in a name thing…you wouldn’t necessarily know on impact that Yesterday’s Saints from the Washington, DC area are going to come out of the speakers so hard that you might just look like you’re facing a wind tunnel.  So let me just get that out of the way for you real quickly.  This band is not screwing around!  This is tight, aggressive music!  Metal / Hybrid Thrash about to blow Sickenberger Lane like a scene in Backdraft.  Don’t tell the insurance agents.

Nobody is paying them to look perky.

Matt of the band tells me that they’re cranking along at around 190 beats per minute in most of their ditties.  Excuse me?  Yes.  No sweat though, this “fast and intense pace” will do you no harm whatsoever.  It merely causes Matt to “Get up in peoples faces during performances and include them in the angst.  The rest of the guys fuel that fire with such energy to the music.  I can’t help but explode.”  Have you any full body armor?  Where are the outlets for such things in Utica?

You have no one to blame but yourself for this acute aural assault scheduled to arrive in a mere month.  You churned out bassist Phil D’Arcangelis!  He’s a Mohawk Valley native!  Matt gave me a nice little memory you all may appreciate, also “I grew up in Rochester and having played ice hockey in high school remember always having our asses handed to us in State finals by Rome Free Academy.”  Right on, right on.  They know Zee and Joe, too, but anyone who doesn’t before September certainly will after!  It’s nice to see the connections, as I always say.

Photo by Vernon Hawkins III

Yesterday’s Saints is looking forward to networking with other bands of similar ilk, so we’re letting that be known!  Zee’s band, Brass Knuckle Intercourse is on their hit list, and should be on yours, too.  So you know who you are dealing with, specifically, the line up is Albert Born on drums (give this man a break, he may be very tired after the set.  Hold his drink for him), Witt Black on guitar, Matt Rice up in your face on vocals, and your own Phil D’Arcangelis on the bass.  Make sure to welcome him home.  A nice little tid bit to keep in mind for you doom metal fans is that Albert whose drinks you will be holding was the drummer for Pentagram and just this year toured Europe with them.  You feel a little better about helping him out now, I bet.

The last show they played was in Virgina Beach at The Geared Up Rock Bar with Synesthisia (indeed!) to a crowd of about 200 lunatics.  I wasn’t there, I can’t say they were all lunatics, but I’m guessing from the stories I heard while gathering this information that the vibe at these shows is, let’s say, intense.  And they’d like to do this to you a couple times a year, Utica, if you like what they’ve got.

“We’re hoping for a big turn out for our performance to make the trip worth the hours of smelling farts in the van to get there.”  Matt

You can help ease that strain by preparing to buy some fun merch!  “We have the typical t-shirts for boys and girls, some nice tank tops for the ladies when its sweaty outside, stickers, an EP, and a friendly conversation about the weather if they like too.”

Saturday, September 17th “late”!  (You know I will be posting full schedules later, so no worries!) at Sickenberger Lane on Varick Street.  Why wait to get your tickets?

If you like that place, you might want to head over there that night to pay what could be your final respects.

Photo by Vernon Hawkins III

You know you want to listen.  Don’t lie to yourselves:
Yesterday’s Saints Official

Yesterday’s Saints on Reverbnation

Yesterday’s Saints on Myspace

YS on Facebook

Purchase YS on iTunes

Purchase YS on Amazon


Artist Profile- Clouds Make Sounds

Artist Profile- Clouds Make Sounds

“Upstate New York is such a great place for original music and original people.” Joe Marchese

It’s true that I am frequently moved by music I’m listening to.  It happens all the time.  However, I clicked on the website for Williamsport, PA band Clouds Make Sounds, and kind of sat at my desk with my mouth hanging open.  I’m in their thrall, they’ve got me.  And I cannot figure out why.  I can’t tell you exactly what it is that keeps bringing me back to their page to listen, but I have to offer them up in a beautiful light in case you feel it too!  We’re going to get them at the Utica Music and Arts Festival on Saturday, September 17th at O’Donnell’s Pub and Grill at 9:00 p.m.

I’m at a loss for how to describe this music, also!  They are self described as rock/indie/folk, but this is so much more.  Josh Hines, Deron Johnson, Jeff Mach, Joe Marchese, and Shannon Cantor are making some kind of sonic magic that makes me want to say random descriptive words like soaring tones of bliss and sounds of peace.  The music that a heart makes.  Then, they rock for a minute or two, no doubt!  And then, then my people, they drop it all out in startling harmonies that wrench something deep inside of you.  There is so much texture to this music and if you believe at all that sound can raise your vibration, you need to see this band in September.  You will feel it dance along the corridors of your vascular system- an energy exchange via sound.  Then I found out none of them are past their mid twenties and that might just make these folks even more interesting. Great innate sense of music!  Would you like some words strung together that actually help you figure out what they sound like?  Good luck.  Joe’s description is perfect, probably because it’s just as abstract- “A dynamic flexing of melodic and rhythmic muscles within the confines of a child’s storybook.”  Erik Jensen of Upstate Live fame suggests they are Vampire Weekend-esque.  I do agree that you can hear a reminiscence.  You’re just going to have to click the link below and take a listen!  There is no reason I can conceive that this band is not a household name already.  We are in for a treat, Utica!

Official video for Chasing Joy.  Refreshing and adorable.

“Follow what you love before it’s gone. You know I’ve come to rescue you from a dream.” ~Clouds Make Sounds (Chasing Joy)

Like In Like Lions, Clouds Make Sounds looks forward to winning over new fans who are unfamiliar with them and hope to come back again to play.  They’re going to leave you with some reminders at great value, too.  They’ll have three different T-shirts and their full length CD available for purchase at their show, and you can get both in a package deal for $15.

See them Saturday, September 17th at O’Donnell’s Pub and Grill at 9:00 p.m.

On the www:
Clouds Make Sounds Official Website
Clouds Make Sounds on Facebook
Clouds Make Sounds on Bandcamp


Artist Profile- 28 North

Artist Profile- 28 North

“[The music is] A positively charged bolt of pure joy/truth, penetrating the soul of the listener and leaving cavernous impressions on scale with things like the Grand Canyon & The Northern Lights.”  Michael Lindner, 28 North

28 North is one of the bands traveling furthest to get to us in Utica for this festival and that is awesome stuff.  They’re coming all the way from LA, and this is their third year doing so.  I expect you remember your old friends, because they sure remember you!  They just sold out the Roxy.  Yes, the Roxy.  And here they come, back for more of your particular energy!

and here they are at the freaking House of Blues, too!

There is a subtle jam flavor to this rock band, and it’s cherry.  There’s a Rhodes, for starters, and the guitar work is nice and stringy, which I am using as a compliment.  These guys’ wrists must be made of elastic bands.  The songs are crafted with a rock mentality, though, and can get heavy quickly having you thinking for a second that you’re listening to something much harder.  A few well placed power chords and it’s getting power pop…and the next thing you know, the guitar is screaming bloody murder in pentatonics.  The drummer seamlessly transitions through all of this right along with the rest of the band crashing and splashing creatively.  They’ve even got an organic power ballad in “Call Me Up” that showcases a prominent vocal.  Undoubtedly the sound work of the bass is steering the band from one direction to another, in and out of the bottom of the sound.  Let me network for a second because the last thing I wrote was a piece on In Like Lions, and I want these two bands to meet each other this year if they get a chance.  You would not mistake them for each other, but they’d sound great on a bill together.  I love when I can say ‘this is a rock band’ and have it mean that they run the gambit of most of what that means.  28 North let’s me say this and backs it up soundly.  The cast, particularly, is Michael Lindner on guitar, vocals, and aforementioned Rhodes, Tyler Bond at the drums, on vocals, and handling all percussion, Jonathan Colman on the bass and vocals, and Taylor Netzler on guitar, and vocals.

Here’s a real groovy tear up clip of the band doing Sneaky Woman at Arlene’s in NYC.  Just press play, Taylor’s solo is filthy.

They drew a bead on Utica because it was well known to them to be in a hotbed region for jam bands, and they can appeal to that booty shaking flailing dance vibe.  “We fit right in!”

They keep making this long trek across this great nation to you because they dig what’s going on in the scene.  Mike said, “ We have made some very strong relationships in Utica via the fest. From the first day, the whole thing builds. People are passing the word, ‘Did you catch this or that band,’ and if you are playing more than one show, your attendance organically increases. That is what happened to us our first year…We quickly befriended Hank & Cupcakes and the cats from Belikos, both awesome NY bands making moves. We keep in touch throughout the year, and Shane Maux from Belikos sat in and busted a freestyle with us at the Electric Company. There certainly is a sense of camaraderie amongst artists at the fest.”  You know I love to hear that the manifesto is working.

This is a beautiful thing.

One of their favorite memories from last year was an impromptu set outside the Nail Creek Pub, which is something you can accidentally catch a lot over the weekend, together with choice collaborations like Shane freestyling at the EC.

They’re working on a new album and crushing the LA scene, so make sure you get yourself some 28 North while they are in town.  Get a couple of doses, if you like.

Keep your eyes here for TBD show and venue info!

And visit them on the web in the meanwhile
28 North
28 North on Myspace
28 North on Facebook
28 North on Sonicbids

Artist Profile- In Like Lions

Artist Profile- In Like Lions

In Like Lions is a rock band from Boston, MA that embodies their name.  They want to bust in here and show you what they do.  They are very excited about coming to Utica for this festival, and they are thoughtful about their reasoning.  They have no association to our area.  They don’t know anyone who has ever been to Utica.  But they are ready to make some connections and have some fun and have you talking about them when they leave.  They’re good with the ‘behind the back’ thing, as long as you’re real nice!  I don’t think that’s going to be at all difficult for you.

“We are a group of guys who try to leave it all onstage.”

Dave Bates, the drummer of the band, described the pending fest experience (their first festival to date!) as a “true test” of their appeal because the audience is a fresh pool who has no ties back to them either.  I think that’s a great way to look at showing up in a new place!  We are all such slaves to the ‘draw’ in this industry and the expectation that we will have a full room to play to somehow by magic or divine intervention.   In fact, a blank slate is a great way to burst into the consciousness on the back of your talent.  No sweat, for In Like Lions.

They recently headlined Church in Boston, where they have a standing reputation for packing the place to capacity.  “They give us a date and let us fill the bill! The crowd is a range of people from 21-40, some serious characters, some college kids, some smell weird, some give more hi-fives than necessary, lots of girls, and a bunch of guys. It’s an eclectic crowd! The experience is great though because we are in charge of how things run during the show. The bands help each other set up and break down, share equipment, and psych each other up before sets! ”  This is all good news, Utica.  This is a group of big picture viewers, and that’s part of what the UMAF is about.

“We are losing sleep in anticipation.”

Since you know I’ll try to describe this to you, I’m going to get down to that.  I hate to immediately compare an indie band to another, national act.  I think it is insulting and lazy.  However, this is going to be a compliment.  If you like Kings of Leon, you’re going to like In Like Lions.  Frankly, because they just might be better.  There is a distinct soulfulness to Troy Ramey’s vocal at all times that creates a slightly blusey quality to the overall affect while still being perfectly understandable.  The music is American rock music to a T.  There is no gimmick.  There is a skillful energetic guitar that has a particularly great rock tone in the solos (James Bridges), smartly written songs with good lyrics about all of the things you deal with in your life.  The drummer (Dave Bates) is also smart and like clockwork, doing a lot of interesting fills.  They can groove, too!  Dave Kauffman keeps a steady rumble of backbone support.  There are a lot of shades to this band, and I like every one of them.  “At Night” is a *killer* song and should be on the radio yesterday.  Maybe last week.  Email your local stations about this.  This guy’s voice!  I have to nod to “Leave It Up to California” also.  A great piece of work that features a lot of shifting rhythmic flavor.  I predict several of the bands coming this year will burst onto the national scene should they choose to go that route, and this one is included in that hit list for me.

You can listen to At Night here: 
They offered to buy you shots.  Do not abuse this privilege, beautiful people!  But do go up and chat nicely with them after their set.  They welcome this, and you are all nice people!  If not, you are going to have to pretend.  We’re going for an overall vibe here.  Maybe you should buy them one for rocking your soul and rolling your hips.  They didn’t say if they come back, they said WHEN.  If you tell two friends and they tell two friends…we can all rip off that shampoo commercial together- partners in crime type bonding.

They’ve checked out the bill, and figured out a few artists they are excited to see.  “To be honest, we went down the list and picked bands with names we liked and checked it out. Forget Paris sounds pretty high energy, Clounds Make Sounds are gonna be great for curing some hangovers, our guitar player is from Winslow Maine so we are gonna check out Winslow’s set, AZitiZ from New Orleans sounds pretty sick…like a female B.I.G.”  Allow me to say, these are excellent descriptions of these artists and this is another really good sign that In Like Lions has their act together.

Merch!  You can get their EP at the festival shows as well as download cards they anticipate will open the door to a download of their new single from the upcoming album.  Their drummer designs the t-shirts with stencils and spray paint!  They are each an original hand done work!  How fun is that for a music and arts festival?

Rock around the U in your one of a kind hand crafted tshirt! Randy Niles needs one to go with those kicks!

You should catch this band, and the smart festival planners have given you two chances!
Friday September 16 @ Nail Creek Pub and Brewery
Saturday September 17 @ Blu  [This new venue is one to watch this year!]
(time details forthcoming)

The best way to find them on the web is to start at their website, which has links to all other pages and mentions
In Like Lions


Buy some tickets!

Buy some tickets!

I am talking to YOU in this post!  I can see you, sitting there, reading this (thank you!), and know that you don’t have a ticket yet.  I am writing to you personally because I know that you should not sleep on this.  This is a friendly wake up call.  I have been not only arm deep in these bands for days and know them to be fantastic, but I know that it is straight up INSANE to me that tickets for this are still $25.00 for an entire weekend of music, in multiple venues, with around 135 bands already booked.  Why would you wait until the price nearly doubles?  Are you not interested in having more capital available to you to browse around the Greens Fest or to purchase a delightfully lovely beverage from any of our fine establishments hosting music for you?  Have you tasted any of the Utica food?  Mmmm!  Think of the band merch you are going to need to have!

Let me put it to you straight for a second.  You’re going to pay $25.00 to see the amazing kick off party at Saranc on Thursday, Ryan Montbleau, Michael Glabicki, Hank & Cupcakes, Belikos, 9 Round, Randy Niles, The Big Takeover… and you would never get even that bill for that price.  We’re then throwing about a hundred other great bands into the mix for nothing.  You’re robbing us and should be arrested as it is.  But we like U, and we want you to have FUN at this event!

So why not grab a ticket now?  You could talk your friends into it also and we’d appreciate that.  So would all of the bands coming to raise your vibration Fest weekend.

To quote my friend Joy, “Do it, it will feel good!”

Purchase your tickets to the 2011 UMAF here

Hand painted poster at top (shoes below) by local artist, Tony Thompson.  [available in many colors!]

Also Tony Thompson- just cause I love these!


Amazing shot by Ray of

We have great photographers! Ups to Lenny for this one!

Artist Profile- My Pet Dragon

Artist Profile- My Pet Dragon

My Pet Dragon from Brooklyn, NY could not be fresher off their album release.  Yesterday, Mountains and Cities dropped on the web and Friday will be their Record Release Show at the Mercury Lounge in New York City.  They recently rocked the crowed at Jillian’s in Albany and recorded a video all nice and local (look for it months’ end).  Todd Michaelsen [Lead Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist] said they are proud of the release of this record, and there is very good reason for that pride.

I have truly enjoyed listening to selections from Mountains and Cities over the past few days.  My Pet Dragon is an indie rock band, and Todd has a great ear for melody and the rare ability to write pop songs that aren’t fluff.  This is not a pop band, but what I mean by the statement is that it’s catchy and somehow familiar. But, it’s still fresh, and you smile, cause you like it.  He clearly has an understanding of how music works and what is pleasing to the ear.  He also has a great vocal range and a Jeff Buckley quality with a bit of a Killers flavor if no one minds my saying so.  He’s supported by Reena Shah (back up vocals, percussion, and dance, which is expressively Indian in nature – she is linked below),  Mario Padron (bass), Rajeev Maddela (drums), and Vincent Mascolo (guitar) and the whole thing together fits like it was made to. Todd cites bands like the Smashing Pumpkins and Radiohead in his influences and I think you will hear that influence and appreciate it.  In fact, this band is reminding me a lot of Clouds Make Sounds, another of my indie rock picks of the weekend.  They’re both ethereal and ambient but with different approaches, and if you like one I feel you will enjoy the other.  Both have great lyrics to accompany the beautiful music and an almost haunting quality, to varying degrees.  I hope they meet up!

Yes, that's the Bowery Ballroom, people!

The best part besides the obvious music we get to hear, is that these guys are already family!  Todd’s mother was from Utica and he still has family here.  Holidays and family gatherings- Utica.  He remembers the Blue Sox and nodded to the Zoo, it’s a genuine article.  “I have so many memories of Utica.  I love this town…We are definitely looking forward to networking with the community at the Festival: the musicians, the music fans, and the City of Utica. This really is a great opportunity for all artists to come together and support one another.  I definitely anticipate new connections being made and it’s great that the Utica Music and Arts Festival is invested in helping this process for all of us involved.”

We know we will have a good experience.  That is precisely what we want to do.  I’ve known for years about all the fantastic music that comes through Utica year after year.  I know Bob Dylan has played the Stanley Theater and my mother used to work there.  This place has history. This is a great music town.

They are not an acoustic band, or a duo, but I fell in total love with this clip, so I’m sharing it.  Authenticity diffused from pores.

“I want our fans to know that everything we do is genuine and we feel that we have something very special within this band.  There is some connection we are starting to make with fans that have come to see us over and over again and we want others to share in that experience.  Music should be communal.”

Yes, it should.  Come to the compound in the 315, lead by the siren song of My Pet Dragon.  Dodge the flames.  


My Pet Dragon Official
MPD On Facebook 
MPD On Bandcamp
MPD On Twitter

And, some stuff Todd and Reena have going on, too

Todd Michaelsen – Website:
Todd Michaelsen – Twitter:

Reena Shah – Website:
Reena Shah – Twitter :


Artist Profile- Liquid Me

Artist Profile- Liquid Me

Some of the members of Liquid Me have been rocking the Upstate NY scene out of Oneonta harder than it even asked for since…we’re talking 1996, people.  1996.  What were you doing then?  One evening that year, I was in a bar in Herkimer called Brownies and I saw some of them play, spun that project’s CD frequently, and still enjoy it to this day.  I am happy to reconnect with old friends!  I bring this up because it speaks to what this Upstate, NY scene is about, which is loyalty and community.  Loyalty, community, and according to Todd, the drummer of the band, groupies.  Groupies which they are seeking to amass en force.

Our product is pro, our future is bright, our frustration is earned and genuine, and our trousers are uncomfortably constrictive.  

It’s “punk infused hard rock” according to Todd.  I call in a punch in the face.  Similar descriptions, overall.  Nothing sits back about Liquid Me.  They’re not sorry they didn’t buy you dinner.  They do not want to meet your mother.  They want to play as if you just did something personally to them and they’ve been in prison for a while.  It drives.  The drums are aggressive and Kriss’ bass thumps away in interesting tonal ranges giving the overall project an evil sound.  Lotus’ vocal growls and whispers unapologetic things over power chords.  I’ve always appreciated their use of effects on the instruments also and that’s still going on here.  Here, in Utica!

Social networking at it’s finest is really how this delightful 6 degrees of Upstate NY musical separation ended up here. Todd again, “Checked into UMAF and heard lots of good things, so we got in touch.  The rest is history: sexy, filthy, comprehensively impaired history.”

They just released a CD and launched a party for it at the Oneonta Theater on July 1st.  They will have this EP with them, together with t-shirts for your fest’ing pleasure, and they want to practically give them to you.  Probably so you will take your top off.  I mean, I’m just gonna give it to you Q and A style from this point:

Is there anyone on your radar you are looking forward to hearing or meeting? 
Looking forward to seeing Nineball and Brass Knuckle Intercourse (and everybody else) and looking forward to converting, and pledging, some new, female groupies w/ questionable moral standards and considerable flexibility/appetites (we love you).

If you have a good experience, will you be back? Hoping to establish a lasting connection with the area and fans? 
Yes of course (especially w/ said groupies).

Anything you are looking forward to about this year’s experience? 
We are looking forward to tearing the roof off of the Sickenberger Lane indoor stage around MIDNIGHT on Fri 9/16 (along w/ new friends/networking, partying, the “groupies” thing again, etc).

You can find these power driven lunatics over at the Sickenburger Lane indoor stage, inside a seething mass of people they hope have questionable morals, at 12:00 a.m. Midnight on Friday.  If you find you can’t wait until then, here’s what you’re in for.


LM on iTunes
LM on FB
LM on Reverbnation
LM on Twitter (this ought to be fun) 

Here they are looking relatively innocent to lull you into a false sense of security.