Monday, February 4, 2013

Star Beat Records Celebrate a Year of Musical Excellence

This past week I went to my first show of the year in attending Star Beat Music's first anniversary shindig at the Lamp Post in Jersey City. Though I had a shot at a last minute ticket to see Quicksand I wasn't quite in the mood to attend a big and somewhat impersonal show. I'm sure I'll have the chance to see them again when the weather gets warmer. Getting back to my night at the Lamp Post. I had gotten a message from my buddy
Adam Bird of Those Mockingbirds a few weeks earlier, inviting me to a "Secret Show'.
My mind immediately conjured up thoughts of some sexy loft show with suggestive lighting, fancy drinks served in knee high hooker boots and a cast of shady hipsters dressed in their best pimp wear. Upon hearing that it was being held at a tiny bar where the band is pinned between the bathroom and the kitchen door. Any such visions quickly faded. Regardless, the bands were excellent, the crowd responsive and the vodka tasted just as good in a glass as it would in a boot.

Melissa Luciolla
I got there just in time to see Melissa Luciolla open the nights event. Melissa, best known from Melissa and Paul, (One of New Jersey's most deservingly notable acts.) had been doing some solo work as of late and I was eager to listen to what she had to offer. Melissa's soulful, bluesy voice and inspiring guitar work was just what this old man needed to shake the cold off and get the late night off to a roaring start. You can check out Melissa's solo work as well as her Melissa and Paul releases and news here. melissaandpaul

Brooklyn  two piece  Hilly Eye followed and didn't really leave the best impression on me. After just a few songs I headed to the bar for a refill and some conversation with a few friends. Hilly Eye

Those Mockingbirds Adam Bird
Soon after, the nights secret band was revealed as none other than
Those Mockingbirds.
The band just finished recording their new album and performed a set that gave us a nice taste of what's coming. I really like this band a lot. They've got a great rock sound. One that seems to been completely ignored by FM radio for some time.
The band combines excellent hooks and rhythms with notable songwriting and structure.
The bands singer/lead guitarist Adam has excellent charisma and stage presence
(Though the Lamp Post lacks anything remotely close to a stage.) I always look forward to seeing them live. Can't wait to hear the new album.
Band Site

Ralph Icastro of Boxed Wine
Putting the perfect end to an almost perfect night was Boxed Wine. I first heard about them through none other than a above mentioned Adam Bird about a year and a half ago. At the time, I couldn't decide if "Boxed Wine" was the worst band name ever chosen or the absolute best. I'm still kinda on the fence. Ask me any given day and you'll probably get a different answer. Regardless, Boxed Wine are an elixir to be savored and appreciated if not danced to spastically. As much as I loved the bands self titled EP See Review Here, the bands just released "Cheap Fun" EP is a nice step forward.
Prior to the bands set I had the pleasure of meeting the bands guitarist Ralph Icastro.
We had been friends on Facebook for sometime and had been exchanging pleasantries as of late. However, like it is with many of my acquaintances on social networks. I wouldn't know them if I walked past them on the street or if I had to pick them out in a lineup. Getting to put a face to the Facebook picture is always a step in the right direction.

Boxed Wine
As the band set up I was surprised by one thing. In listening to the bands quirky and very danceable rhythmic  beats, I couldn't help but think I'd be watching keyboards, samplers and
Mac Books roll into the bar. While instead I watched in respectful awe as guitar, bass and drums began to fill the space. It was great getting to finally catch Boxed Wine in a live and intimate environment. One simply cannot be mad, sad or surly when listening to what this band has to offer. Pure mirth with nerdy melodies that would have even the grumpiest feet looking to spring into action. It was an extreme pleasure getting to come out and support these guys, no matter how cold it was outside. Congratulations to the bands and to Star Beat Music on their first anniversary; I can't wait to see what year two brings. Check out the new EP here Boxed Wine
See you guys when the weather gets warmer. James Damion

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