Monthly Archives: October 2010

screaming females


Screaming Females is a female-fronted DIY band straight outta New Brunswick, New Jersey who have been playing basements, clubs and festivals relentlessly for the last 5 years and recently released their fourth album, “Castle Talk.” Their songs are loud and inspired by punk , funk and music from the Riot Grrl era. Actually, it’s really hard to describe the music they play, but it is a must to check them out. Marissa and her guitar solos are SICK! She is also an amazing artist who does all the band art work for their albums and flyers. The band recently made heads explode during CMJ week and now they’re off doing their first tour overseas in Europe. Here’s an interview with the band. Thanks to Jarret Dougherty (drums), King Mike (bass) and Marissa Paternoster (guitar and vocals) for taking the time out to answer a couple of questions!

How did you all meet and form the band?
Marissa: Mike and I were playing in a different band in high school called Surgery on TV. I met Jarrett at college at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. He played in Surgery on TV for a while until that band broke up, then we started Screaming Females. That’s the abridged version, but that is generally all that happened.

What were your initial expectations as a band?
Jarrett: Surgery on TV were a funk band and I always wanted to play in a funk band. Somehow we turned into a punk band. I wanted Screaming Females to be the most significant artistic statement I’d ever made.

Tell us a little bit about the new album, Castle Talk.
Mike: It’s yellow and it has a horse on it.
Marissa: Yes! That is exactly what I was thinking.
Jarrett: Marissa tells people this every night at our shows. The only other thing she says is “We are Screaming Females and we are from New Brunswick, NJ.” So it must be important.

Where are some of your favorite places to play?
Jarrett: Hopefully a bunch of places in Europe because we are going to be playing a show almost every night here for the next 5 weeks. If it doesn’t have a few new favorite places then I might lose it.

Are you feeling nervous about the upcoming tour in Europe?
Mike: We’re there now.
Jarrett: Yeah, its not upcoming anymore. I guess we shouldn’t be nervous now because there is no way out! We play our first show tonight in Amsterdam.

Do you all have other interests or hobbies outside of music?
Jarrett: I have a box of worms that live in my closet. I feed them my food scraps and they turn it into compost (poo). I check on them everyday to make sure they are happy.

What are some of your favorite bands to listen to at the moment?
Mike: Fall Out Boy. But just “From Under the Cork Tree.”
Marissa: You should just say Fall Out Boy because you might start to like the other albums, like me. Don’t put your foot in your mouth.

What is everybody’s favorite movie?
Jarrett: I just remembered that it is “Cool Hand Luke.” Before I remembered that I thought it was The Room.
Marissa: My favorite movie… um… I have a bunch. Freaks, Brazil, Sid & Nancy, Biodome, Tank Girl…
Jarrett: That’s enough.
Mike: No, list all of them.
Marissa:.. Homeward Bound…
Mike: Keep listing them.
Marissa:… Clockwork Orange…

What can we expect from Screaming Females in the near future?
Marissa:…Home Alone…
Jarrett: Well, we will be in Europe for the next 5 weeks. After that I think we get to take a break. We’ve been touring more days this year than we’ve been home. We released a record. Did 2 full national US tours. A 5 week European tour. Had a van break down in New Mexico. Recorded a new record. Toured with Ted Leo 3 times.
Marissa: …Christmas Story…

Any closing comments?
Marissa: …Mommy Dearest and Mildred Pierce.


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THE FOREIGN EXCHANGE – instore performance at Best Buy/Union Square

Foreign Exchange(Left to right:Phonte,Nicolay,Darien) pic by CHOCKO

The refreshing cool breeze R&B group, THE FOREIGN EXCHANGE appeared at Best Buy’s-Union Square NYC on 10/23 for an instore performance including members: Nicolay(producer/composer), Darien Brockington(vocals), & former MC from the group ‘Little Brother’, PHONTE(vocals/MC) performed their own brand of an eclectic mix of smooth flowing modern RnB with the deadly venom lyrical flow of hip hop! Chocko & I, successfully landed our spaceship at union square and quickly teleported ourselves to the instore performance just in time to catch Phonte’s standup comedy & chill lyrics! Darien Brockington provides the powerhouse vocals & takes the baton from Phonte when things need to be cranked up a notch or two! Phonte steadily takes control of the mic again before it got too hot on a drop of a dime with a little “a one two, a one two” when the smooth sounds got too smooth, some fun emcee work gets re-introduced back to the parlay for a tasting of some urban droppings! Phonte & his crew performed a few songs including Take off the Blues, Don’t Wait, Maybe She’ll dream of me, & Eyes to the sky. They were scheduled to perform at BB Kings in Times Square later on in the night! Some of my favorite Foreign Exchange songs new & old include Daykeeper,Take off the blues, I wanna know, All that you are, The answer, Come around, & don’t wait.

It’s really cool that there’s an RnB group like The Foreign Exchange where you feel comfortable blasting a tune at the stop light with the windows rolled down when chilling with your homies. Otherwise, the sounds of Keith Sweat, Babyface, Surface, Luther, Peabo Bryson, Brian Mcnight, & the likes often gets muted at the traffic light when the raggamuffin friends are in attendance. THE FOREIGN EXCHANGE makes it aight again to listen to RnB with a bunch of dudes around! Get your copy of AUTHENTICITY ‘cause it’s straightup authentic! Their 2004 album “Connected” is more hip hop influenced with a dash of r&b melodies(totally off the chain!) while their 2nd album “Leave it All Behind” is more RnB flavored with some sprinklings of lyrical madness, but still off the meat rack just the same! My head is still bumpin’ to their 2 older albums! The new album AUTHENTICITY is even more chillax’ than the last but still a good mellow vibe for the tribe! Pure hip hop heads might gravitate away from the mellow digs, but not me. Go..go..go…get it, y’all!
As an appetizer, check out some vids of the Foreign Exchange performance at Best Buy that Chocko & Mr. C took below…

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DAR WILLIAMS at Housing Works Bookstore-Cafe

Dar Williams at Housing Works(pic by Mr. C)
Dar Williams at Housing Works(pic by Mr. C)

DAR WILLIAMS took it back to her acoustic coffee house roots by playing a 5 song set *Free* at HOUSING WORKS BOOKSTORE-CAFE in Soho on Saturday 10/16! More importantly though, her appearance was about showing support for HOUSING WORKS & their mission to fight homelessness & battling AIDS/HIV in NYC. DAR was gracious enough to volunteer at the Cafe serving coffee & playing a casual acoustic set much to the delight of her fans! She ended up playing 5 songs including THE EASY WAY, IOWA, THE BLESSINGS, THE BABYSITTER’s HERE, & a very beautiful song called YOU RISE AND MEET THE DAY! DAR also stayed around to meet & greet her fans after her set before volunteering at the cafe! She happily signed anything you presented to her. She was selling her latest 2 disc CD compilation MANY GREAT COMPANIONS. All proceeds of her CD sales went directly to HOUSING WORKS! If you ladies, martians, & tri-state freaks have never been to Housing Works Bookstore & Cafe, then…you DEFINITELY know what to do! The Bookstore has a great selection of books both new, but mostly used. They also have a good selection of used CDs, vinyls, & comic books. The bookstore also plays host to numerous music, literary, & comedic events. Suzanne Vega will be playing at Housing Works on 11/14 which I’m totally stoked for! The cafe also provides a good brew to satisfy your caffeine needs for the day! In the summer, I often find myself dashing into Housing Works for a nice refreshing iced coffee & some pastries before combing the streets again! ALL workers at HOUSING WORKS BOOKSTORE-CAFE are volunteers. All sales & proceeds of the bookstore cafe go right back into to the Housing Works mission! Remember, HOUSING is a NOT for profit organization. Represent, y’all! This joint bleeds NYC…straightup! One last verse before I go…It’s from Dar Williams’ song THE BABYSITTER’s HERE..”Tonight was just great, she taught us the sign for peace”. Check out a few vids I took from Dar performance below…

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
FIGHTING AIDS & HOMELESSNESS one book at a time!
126 Crosby Street, New York, NY 10012
212-334-3324
Hours: Mon-Fri: 10 AM-9 PM, Sat-Sun: 10 AM-5 PM

KNITTING IS FOR PUSSIES exhibit by Polish artist: OLEK

I went to a really cool exhibit called KNITTING IS FOR PUSSIES at the Christopher Henry Gallery on Elizabeth St. on the outskirts of Chinatown/Little Italy. The Polish Artist OLEK was responsible for bombing a living space with YARN! Literally & figuratively! Even the rug & walls were adorned in yarn! I first caught wind of her yarn encased bicycle chained to a pole in the east village in the summer & wondered who was responsible for this neat creation! Unfortunately, today is the last day of the exhibit at this gallery, but I’m sure she’ll resurface again in the East Village. ALL her work is available for PURCHASE! Without further ado…AND please take your shoes off when entering the exhibit!

Christopher Henry Gallery
127 Elizabeth Street (between broome & grand st)
New York,NY

TARA McPHERSON at NY COMIC CON 2010!

Tara Mcpherson at NY Comic Con 2010(pic by Mr. C)

Check out TARA McPHERSON’s new solo exhibit called THE BUNNY IN THE MOON from Oct. 23-Nov. 20th!
The opening reception is on Saturday October 23rd from 7pm-9pm at the Jonathan Levine Gallery 529 West 20th St. 9th floor.
http://www.taramcpherson.com/

Cover me with YARN in NYC!

Just lollygagging around manhatty like I usually do & ran into a few cool subjects embossed in YARN! The volkswagen was parked outside of the Christopher Henry Gallery on Elizabeth Street between Grand & Broome. The yarn bicycle was chained to a street sign on Elizabeth & Broome, a half block away from the volkswagen. And last but, not least the baby yarn bike was on the center island chained to a street sign on the Bowery & Delancey/Kenmare Street intersection! I hope the artist doesn’t have to move the Yarn Volkswagen due to alternate side parking!

After doing a little bit of research, the Polish artist “OLEK” is responsible for these cool yarn creations! Her beautiful pieces of street yarn art is a dog & pony show to promote her new exhibit called KNITTING IS FOR PUSSIES at the Christopher Henry Gallery at 127 Elizabeth Street. Check it out y’all, the exihibit is running till this weekend Oct. 17!

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INGRID MICHAELSON performing at Best Buy-Union Square

Ingrid Michaelson at Best Buy(pic by Mr. C of Planetchocko.com)

Ingrid Michaelson graced some lucky New Yawkers’, a few scholars from NYU who decided to cut class, & a few of us New Joisey’ G-Funks who were in sabbatical mode that day by providing us with a free instore performance yesterday at Best Buy’s-Union Square store in NYC around 12:30pm to promote her new single PARACHUTE which is available on iTUNES!(yes, I know…it’s an epic run on sentence,but bluck it…it’s our blog, we kidnapped the grammar & composition police so EAT ME!). Ingrid was accompanied by her bandmates Bess Rogers, Allie Moss, Elliot Jacobson, & Chris Kuffner! She joked around saying that it was weird to see all of her fans faces on a sterile-brightly lit performance space like Best Buy as opposed to a dingy dark club or theatre. Her Best Buy performance was also being streamed live via the internet from http://www.livestream.com/liveatbestbuy . I’ll post one of Ingrid’s videos that I took at Best Buy sometime tonight so check back at a later time! Ingrid performed a quickie 5 song set including SOLDIER, PARACHUTE, THE WAY I AM, MAYBE, & the MEXICAN FOOD song! Her vocals were spot on! She is always so friendly, engaging, & cheery to her fans which brings a smile to our faces! Ingrid sticked around to meet, greet, & take photos with her fans afterwards. I was stoked as I finally got her to sign my copies of her EVERYBODY, GIRLS & BOYS, and BE OK albums! She also had a gig later on in the night at the BEST BUY THEATRE in Times Square! The performance space was formerly known as Nokia Theatre. Unfortunately, I didn’t attend Ingrid’s concert that night, but instead opted to check out THE THERMALS at Irving Plaza which was a blast and a half! I’ll definitely have to catch INGRID MICHAELSON & her bad self when she comes back around to HIGHLINE BALLROOM at the HOLIDAY HOP on Dec. 10th!

Ingrid Michaelson at Best Buy(pic by Mr. C of planetchocko.com)

Rob Zombie Signing at Forbidden Planet

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Rob Zombie was at Forbidden Planet in New York City yesterday to sign the brand new issue of Royal Flush magazine and his latest CD Hellbilly Deluxe 2. The long line of fans stretched around the corner and despite the hour delay and threat of a torrential downpour, the night was a success. Forbidden Planet is a comic book shop in Union Square and the staff there handled the crowd like a bunch of pros, always friendly and once the signing started they got the crowd in and out of there in about an hour. Surprisingly, Mr. Zombie brought along his band which included Piggy D (Zombie bassist), Joey Jordison (Slipknot drummer) and John 5 (ex-Marilyn Manson guitarist). Zombie and the crew signed stuff pretty fast, keeping his head down and every once in while looking up to acknowledge his fans. He seemed like a low-key type of dude that night, wearing a hat that covered his eyes…all you saw was long hair and a beard. The event was part of a week long festival celebrating the 10th anniversary of Royal Flush magazine which is an ultra-cool source for fans of rock music, music, art and comic books. The newest issue has a really cool painting of Rob Zombie by Ed Repka. Repka’s done some amazing album cover art for bands like Megadeth, Death and Municipal Waste. A quick mention about the latest Rob Zombie album, Hellbilly Deluxe 2: Rob Zombie is back with what he does best which is horror influenced industrial metal. If you’re a White Zombie fan and love his early solo stuff, this album is for you. My favorite tracks are the catchy ones: “Jesus Frankenstein”, “What?” and “Burn.” Check out the Deluxe version which features more tracks and drums by Joey Jordison. Good stuff, but I would kill for a White Zombie reunion. IMG_1862

con sketches

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Here are some sketches I’ve collected over the years going to comic book conventions. It’s always appreciated when an artist takes the time out to draw a quick sketch! The top row from left to right: Alex Pardee, Gabriell Bell, and Sammy Harkham. Middle row from left to right: Glenn Danzig (lead singer of The Misfits), Futura (graffiti legend), and Joëlle Jones. Bottom row from left to right: Sophie Crumb (Robert Crumb’s daughter), John K. (creator of Ren and Stimpy) and Hellboy by Mike Mignola.