Monday, July 30, 2012

The importance of supporting YOUR favorite artist

Hello again everyone! It's time for a bonus post tonight. And I hope that I can convey this one to you properly because it's something that's weighed heavily on my mind for a couple of days now.

I've touched on, in a previous post, the importance of the fans to indie artists. Going back and reading that post, I don't think that I got my point across quite the way that I wanted to. It took a conversation I had with the lead singer of Lit On The Flash, Jake Roche, to make me rethink this.

This past Saturday night was the 5th time that I've been fortunate to see Lit On The Flash live. This show was the second time that I've seen them as a duo (after recently amicably parting ways with their bass player). Now again, I will admit that my opinion of this band is completely biased in every way, shape and form. I honestly believe that GREAT things are ahead for Jake and Kerry, and hopefully in the very near future. Every time I've seen them live, I just sit back and smile to myself at how much better they get every time out. And this doesn't even include the shows of theirs that I don't get to. 

Editor's note: Contrary to what some may (jokingly- I hope!) say, I am not stalking this band! I just know a good thing when I hear it!

Now something that I've said about them in the past that's worth repeating is this: as a fan, I wait for the day (soon) when they get their shot and get to share their passion with the rest of you in the world who haven't discovered them yet. But also as a fan, I'm going to miss these small club and bar shows that I get to see them play now. I'll put this out there because I know they won't... if you read my post introducing them to you, you'll remember that part of Jake and Kerry's pedigree is that they were both members of the band Jeremiah Freed. For those of you not from the Northeast or who may have slept thru the early part of the 2000's, Jeremiah Freed was a pretty big deal when they came out. Now these guys could easily capitalize on that and use it to their advantage when it comes to promoting shows, but they don't. Do they even realize that they could and sell a few more tickets at the doors to their shows? Or do they consciously choose not to so that they can sell their fans on them, and not what they used to be? If I know them as well as I think I do, I would hedge my bets on it being the latter.

What I'm trying to get at here now is this: something that Jake said to me that made me rethink this was to the effect of not having (as a song writer) his finger on the pulse of what the fans are looking for these days. For someone trying to re-establish themselves on the national music scene, I can't imagine how this weighs on HIS mind. You have to keep in mind that this latest album of theirs was recorded in Kerry's converted garage and mixed by the guys themselves. When I say, on many occasions, that these artists are putting their music out there for your enjoyment on their dime, I'm not kidding! And to think that since they've released the album it's been FREE on their BandCamp page! The return on their investment is when they build a fan base dedicated enough to come out to their shows. Will most people travel as much as I have to see them play a show? Maybe not, but if you're a fan and are within a relative proximity to a show, PLEASE come out and support them! 

And this is not just reserved for fans of Lit On The Flash... this is meant for ALL fans of indie music! It's just as important to use YOUR influence on your Facebook friends and family as well as those who follow you on Twitter, as it is to bombard your local radio stations, whether it be Top 40, adult contemporary, modern/hard rock or alternative, to request the music of your favorite indie artist. It's ultimately going to be YOUR voice who gets their music where it belongs, on the radio for EVERYONE to enjoy!

So let's start NOW making a difference. 

Support Unsigned Artists. Give Indie Music A Chance!

Help Dion Roy get to the U.K.

Hey everyone! Just stopping in to see if I can help out a deserving indie artist... that's what I'm here for after all!

Dion Roy is one of the MANY artists that I've discovered listening to Wise Radio, and he's joined the ever growing population of indie artists taking over my iPod. Indie music has taken over my life so much so that I don't recognize 85% of the music played on mainstream radio these days... and I LOVE IT!!!

So do yourself a favor and first discover one of the coolest indie artists around today!

Find him on Facebook:

Dion Roy on Facebook

And follow along some of the quirkiest Tweets around:

Dion Roy on Twitter

Don't forget his YouTube channel:

Dion Roy YouTube channel

And as always, support the artist by purchasing his music on iTunes:

Dion Roy iTunes

Now on to the matter at hand. Dion was recently invited by Tyler Hilton to join him on a tour across the pond in the United Kingdom. Now, the U.K. has been nice enough to grace us with such acts recently as Euphoria Audio, Slam Cartel, Rum Honey, The New Caldera & The Verdict that it's the least we can do to send them one of our best... Dion Roy! But he needs YOUR help!

Click on this link:


Please help out in ANY way that you can!

Now get out there and support Dion on his journey to the U.K., and hit up all of your friends and family on Facebook and TWEET LIKE HELL to ALL of your followers on Twitter... GO NOW!!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The travels of the (indie) music fan

Good Thursday evening everyone! I haven't posted in a few days and I apologize for that. I chalk it up to getting older and having young kids... if I were ever this physically and mentally draining on my parents, please accept my deepest heartfelt apologies! LOL!

I'd been planning on my next (read- this) post being another artist feature. I have a specific indie artist in mind for the next feature I do, but I still haven't finished putting it together in my mind. This may be one of the reasons why I decided, against the best efforts of my high school journalism teacher, not to pursue a career as a writer of some sort... I've had a pretty bad case of writer's block going on for about 2 days now!

So let's move on to today's topic: the travels of the (indie) music fan, me! I was texting with a buddy of mine earlier this evening setting up our travel schedule over the course of the next few weeks, and into September, for upcoming Lit On The Flash and Mother Leopard shows in Maine and New Hampshire (if you're reading this Sasha, don't worry, I'm stalking your show schedule too and plan on taking in more When Particles Collide shows too! I haven't seen you and Chris blowing up any bars since your last show with LOTF in Dover at the Brickhouse... I might be going thru withdrawals!) and it got me thinking about some of the concerts I've been to in my life and why it is that I decided to wait until I was nearly 40 to start driving all over the place to see indie acts. My first ever concert was (I'm gonna catch hell for this and I know from who) was Madonna in 1987 (maybe 1988) at the old Texas Stadium on Irving, TX (outside of Dallas for those of you not from the great state of Texas!). She was touring in support of her movie and album Who's That Girl. I was a freshman in high school and Madonna was the shit back then, so don't judge me! That was a Sunday night concert, and the following Monday night, I went to Dallas Alley in the West End in downtown Dallas to see her opening act, Level 42, perform at an outdoors concert. So began my obsession with national touring acts in the music business! The following year was the INXS: Calling All Nations tour again at Texas Stadium. THAT was a line-up... The Smithereens, Iggy Pop, Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, Guns N Roses (before Axl had to ruin it for us all) and INXS. In between, I discovered my affection for hard rock/heavy metal with weekly trips to the Bronco Bowl and Dallas City Limits to see local rock bands play. I even got to hang out with the guys from Pantera on more than a few occasions after their sets at City Limits... the stories I pray that my wife NEVER hears about those days! I'll even own up to this one: we used to go to a club in Dallas called Monopoly's to see Vanilla Ice rap when he was still Robbie VanWinkle (contrary to what he wants you to believe, he got his start in Dallas, not Miami!).

The early to mid part of the 90's were some of the best times I've had concert wise. National stadium tours were HUGE during that time, and artists from all genres made it a point to stop in and around Dallas on their tours. I was just getting into country music at that time and saw just about every major country star at the time at one point. The only one I never got to see that I still wish I had was Garth Brooks in his heyday. I lost track of how many times I camped out for tickets (yes kids, they used to make us stand in line for tickets... Al Gore didn't invent the Internet until YEARS later <--- that'ts a joke, you know that right? The Al Gore/Internet reference, not the standing in line for tickets, that was legit, we didn't have the Internet and forget about being able to get thru to Ticketmaster on the phone when tickets went on sale!). Anyway, I didn't have to travel too far back then because everything was right there in and around Dallas, so it made it a breeze to go to a concert. The bar scene, in later years, was just as accessible because the party hotspots were all grouped together as well. Your taste for the evening dictated which part of the city you went to, simple as that! I've been to a lot of great shows over the years, and I think one of my tops (probably still the number 1, no matter what I may have said otherwise) was seeing Van Hagar (read: Van Halen) in Dallas at the (then named) Starplex Ampitheatre. Me and one of my best friends in the world paid $300 each for front row, dead center tickets. And yes, you caught my band name reference correct, Van Hagar. In my opinion, Van Halen always has been and always will be on of the best rock n roll bands EVER in Sammy Hagar form (let the debate begin!). Some of the other most memorable concerts for me were the MANY George Strait concerts I was fortunate to attend. No bright lights, no huge sound, just a man and his band on stage singing the songs like they should be sang. You can't get much better than King George in any musical genre!

So let's flash forward now to married life and being a father. My concert going took a serious nosedive after I got married nearly 12 years ago. This is in no way a knock on my wife. We just don't share the same taste in music outside of country music and a few rock bands. I chalk it up to life moving on. Friends drift off in different directions, the music scene changes and the same acts that you enjoyed seeing 10 years ago just don't come around as often as they used to. As it is now, my favorite shows always have been and always will be bar/club shows. It's a more intimate atmosphere and you're not struggling to hear the music over 10, 20 or 30 thousand other people. The bar/club scene isn't my wife's thing. She's entertained me once or twice, but I never push her to join me at these shows. That's what friends are for! As far as these days, I live in Central Maine, where the pine trees outnumber the people about 4000 to 1 (that's an exaggeration, but not really that far off!). Shows that I go to these days require quite a bit of travel. I didn't get back into the music scene again until I started to get into the music of Lit On The Flash. I stalked their website for months trying to line-up time to see a show. My first show was (this is where getting old sucks, cause I really can't remember the exact date!) around 6 months or so ago at Empire Dine and Dance in Portland. Since then, I've seen them a total of 4 times. May not seem like a lot, but I've driven to Dover, NH twice and upta (that's a Maine term, seriously, ask Bob Marley) Bangor once (just this past weekend). Next show is this Saturday again in Portland, then the following Friday in Newmarket, NH (yes, that's 3 weekends in a row), then the next show I'll make it to is in August in Ogunquit (down south of Portland somewhere along the coast... it'll be my first time there... and my daughters don't know it yet, but I'm taking them to this one too, which will be their second LOTF show (they were with me this past weekend in Bangor to see them)). Then another show I set up travel plans with my buddy for is on September 15th in Dover, NH again.

Now, all this travel isn't reserved strictly for bar/club shows like these. I still do go to see the occasional mainstream act. We've (read: me, wife and daughters) have seen Daughtry three times. The first time we drove to Bridgeport, CT. We've seen them in Portland and most recently in Lowell, Massachusetts. Ryan Star? I waited six years to see him in concert and made it to Boston twice this year to finally see him. My .avi pic on Twitter is of me and him at the last show I went to see him at just last month. 

I'd love to be able to afford to travel more too... high on my list is Southern California. You folks there just don't know how good you've got it. David Gielan, David Geftakys, In Air, Mike Peralta, August Rising. Arizona? How about Broken Romeo and The Vera Groove? New York? Last Stand For Lucy. Florida? Message To Venus. And don't get me started with overseas... South Africa has Zoey'z Fallacy and The Parlotones. A topic on this very blog, The United Kingdom... Euphoria Audio, Slam Cartel, The Verdict, Rum Honey... Just these mentions alone, 15 incredible indie artists that are begging for their chance to right the ship that is the current music industry! And let's not forget about my current state of residency, Maine. Who woulda thunk that acts like Lit On The Flash, When Particles Collide, Mother Leopard, Hutch Heelan, Temperature Of the Sun and Volcano Rabbit would give me as much hope for the future of music as they have?

These are exciting times for the indie music fan. Get out there and support them people! They won't get their chance if you don't give them their chance!!!

Support Unsigned Artists... Give Indie Music A Chance

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ladies & gentlemen, THIS is Lit On The Flash

First and foremost, I want to apologize to Jake and Kerry for taking so long featuring them on my blog. I thought I was doing them a favor by waiting for the "right time" to post this. Then the West Market Festival in Bangor, ME happened yesterday and I came to the realization that Lit On The Flash is the GREATEST band I have ever seen. Just goes to show you that you should always follow your instincts, because 100% of the time, they're usually right! So without further ado, allow me to introduce you to Lit On The Flash!

In their most current incarnation, Lit On The Flash is comprised of Jake Roche (lead vocals/guitar) and Kerry Ryan (drums/vocals). Not many duos have what it takes to pull off live what these two are capable of (luckily in Maine, we have another powerhouse duo, When Particles Collide, who I hope to introduce you to in a later post). Up until very recently, they were a three piece band with a nice bass accompaniment that smoothed out the rock edges. When I learned yesterday that they were now a duo, I worried that their sound wouldn't come across as powerfully as it has at past shows... WAS I WRONG!

A little background on this duo: Jake and Kerry have been playing together in bands for well over a decade now. Right out of high school in York, ME, they were members of the band Jeremiah Freed. I saw this reference on their bio page once and couldn't for the life of me remember why that band sounded so familiar to me. I didn't move to Maine until 2006 and didn't start really following LOTF until about a year and half ago, but couldn't shake that band name. One night while I was perusing iTunes, I finally remembered to look up Jeremiah Freed and that's when it dawned on me who they were! I instantly remembered their hit song "Again" from the early part of the 2000's and listening to it on an alt/rock station in Dallas. A week later, I finally found my box of cd's and low and behold, there were the Jeremiah Freed cd's that I bought all those years ago!

What interested me more than anything about LOTF and their days in Jeremiah Freed was a story that Jake told me one night after a show at the Dover Brickhouse in Dover, NH (yes, I have traveled great distances to see these guys live... and it's always worth every last mile!). Signed to a record deal by Universal Records right out of high school, they were ushered into the studio to record their first (and only album) with Universal and the single "Again" was released. Lots of airplay for that one single and one world-wind show in Houston, TX at EdgeFest, and the band was essentially shelved by Universal so that they wouldn't compete with another band signed to the same label, 3 Doors Down. No disrespect to 3 Doors Down, because I've been a fan of theirs for a long time, but I think Universal made a HUGE mistake by shelving Jeremiah Freed. Go find their albums and listen to them in order: Jeremiah Freed, Times Don't Change (EP) and then Slowburn. Hear the progression they made musically (Times Don't Change and Slowburn were both released as independents). I dare you to then compare what they were doing by the time they released Slowburn to anything that 3 Doors Down had done up to that point and see if you don't come to the same conclusion that I did! When you hear first hand accounts like this from artists that have been there, it makes you wonder how many other artists the record execs have shelved over the years that we were never given the choice to hear...

So lets flash forward to Jake and Kerry after Jeremiah Freed. They haven't played exculsively together over the course of the last decade plus. Various band gigs for Kerry along the east coast and time spent out west by Jake (along with a self released 2007 album titled "Just Survivin'") eventually brought them back home to Maine and Lit On The Flash was born. Their many years of playing bars and clubs has given their sound an edge that you don't hear on mainstram radio these days. Again, I'm not a critic and I'm not a so-called expert of all things music related. I will admit that my admiration for this band is completely biased, but that's why this is MY blog!

To fully appreciate what Lit On The Flash is capable of, go to their BandCamp page and download their debut album "Revolution Time", their 2 song EP (Black Triangle Blues and My Baby) and then their newest self-titled release "Lit On The Flash". What you end up with is a musical experience that you will not forget. Revolution Time makes you wonder if they didn't come along 4 or 5 decades too late. Black Triangle Blues and My Baby are two of the most raucous bar tunes I've ever heard, and their newest album, Lit On The Flash, hasn't left my cd player or iPod since it was released. Modern rock, hard rock, call it anything you want as long as you realize it's the hardest hitting rock and roll you'll come across anywhere! I would gladly put them up against ANY band currently on mainstream radio and smile wide when they blow them off of the stage!

Decide for yourself where they fit into today's music scene. If you want my opinion (and why else would you be here, right?), here it is... a huge part of me wishes that the one right person would read this blog and understand one fan's passion about this band and realize, like I do, that they belong on the worldwide stage. Music this incredible should be heard by EVERYONE! Then there's the part of me that likes them just where they are... playing small clubs in the Northeast that are an easy drive to, giving us more intimate sets, but more importantly giving us every single thing they've learned over the years each and every time out. And you want to know how important their music is to them? They're known to drive 7 hours to play for little more than a handful of people. THAT'S dedication!

Where else can you hear LOTF? They are currently on rotation on Wise Radio on the Live365 network (their link is just to the right of this post) as well as KrankIt Radio on the Tune-In network (link also to the left of this post). Locally, the following stations have both Revolution Time and Lit On The Flash, so call them relentlessly and request LOTF!

WCYY 94.3fm Portland, ME - (207) 792-WCYY
WMPG 90.1fm & 101.4gm Portland, ME - (207) 780-4909
WUNH 91.3fm Durham, NH - (603) 862-2222
WHEB 100.3fm Portsmouth, NH - (603) 668-0234
WSCA 106.1fm Portsmouth, NH - (603) 430-9722

The essential Lit On The Flash links:

Jake Roche ReverbNation (because Just Survivin' is just too good not to listen to!)

Now enough from me, get out there and discover Maine's best kept secret and my personal all-time favorite band, Lit On The Flash... you'll be glad you did!

Friday, July 20, 2012

It's Friday... the importance of the #FridayFollow

Good Friday afternoon everyone! I just wanted to take a few minutes of your time to talk about #FridayFollow (#FF) on Twitter and what they mean to me. Anyone who's on Twitter knows that as soon as the clock strikes midnight all across the world, your Twitter feed will essentially be blown up with #FridayFollows from some of the people you follow. While I must say that I am personally glad that all 395 people that I am currently following on Twitter do not actively participate in this practice, I am equally glad that at least a small percentage of them do. This is social networking at its finest happening here, and I feel like some of you may miss the point of it.

While it may seem like overkill to give a #FF to every single person that you follow on Twitter, please do not discount this (as I've seen complaints about) as a cry for attention. Giving a #FF shout-out shows that that person has a genuine interest in someone or something. As often as I like to try to clean up the list of Tweeps that I follow, I've quickly come to realize that I've followed each one for a reason. And yes, more than half of the people I follow on Twitter have been at the suggestion of someone that I follow... see how that worked? Social networking at it's best! The majority of the follows I've made over the course of the last year have been for some of the most incredible indie artists that I may never have found were it not from a #FF (or #MusicMonday or any of the other creative ways folks have found to send shout-outs). And as for my own #FF? I do it as a way to spread the word about some of the greatest music by some of the greatest artists that YOU may not get to hear about otherwise! So rest assured, my #FridayFollow time on Twitter is very near and dear to my heart and each and every one that I send out to my follows is done with the absolute best of intentions!

And my #FF aren't just about the artists themselves... they're also about those who share my passion for supporting indie music. Whether it be an individual, an artists "team" or one of the internet stations (that coincidentally you can find links for just to the right of this post!) that I support, I spread the love around equally!

AND just because, I do spread #FF cheer around for a select few of you who may not share my passion for indie music but are just all-around fine people that make me smile on a daily basis (you all know who you are!).

So please, don't be afraid to read a #FF Tweet and most importantly, don't be afraid to hit that follow button! You'll never know what your ears have been missing if you don't give indie music a chance!!!

See you later tonight for another artist feature!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Upcoming events in the world of indie music!

Good Wednesday evening everyone!

Just wanted to give you a few updates about some upcoming shows and music releases by some of the artists I've featured on my blog so far. This feature will continue to be a work in progress. Hopefully I'll be able to figure out the best way to incorporate this as a weekly feature...

There are some excellent shows coming up THIS WEEK! 

For those in and around Southern California, I AM SO JEALOUS OF A COUPLE OF SHOWS COMING UP FOR YOU!!!!

David Geftakys has a show coming up this Friday July 20th at Trip in Santa Monica
FREE Admission. (age restriction - 21+ venue) 
2101 Lincoln BLVD, Santa Monica, California 90405

Here's the link to his event page on Facebook:

David Gielan & The Willing have a show coming up on July 30th at The Mint in Los Angeles... I can't begin to tell you how excited I am that David is getting back out there to play some shows. I'm sure this new venture will yield more of the best indie music around. Can't wait to hear the new tunes!

In Air recently played at The House of Blues in Anaheim and are putting the finishing touches on a new EP due out, I believe, at the end of August (please correct me if I'm wrong gentlemen) which I will be reviewing once it's released. For tons of video from their House of Blues show, look for the links on their Twitter feed @inairmusic

Mike Peralta just made my evening by posting a link to his new single, Will I Be Okay? being released on July 29th. Click on the link below to pre-order (I just did!):

For those of you in the New England area, Lit On The Flash has made my month musically. Their much anticipated self-titled 2nd album is now out and available for a limited time free on their BandCamp page:

This album seriously rocks from beginning to end. They have shows coming up in Stratham, NH this Friday, July 20th at 4:30pm at the Stratham Fair 

Then this Saturday they'll be in Bangor, Maine at the West Market Festival

Then next Saturday, July 28th, they have a show in Portland, Maine at The Big Easy with another Maine indie band, Mother Leopard, then they return to Bangor on August 4th for a show at Paddy Murphy's. Check out their website for show information:

Lit On The Flash 

This is just a small sampling of what's coming up for you from some of the best indie artists around. Again, I hope to be putting something together each week, so all of you indie artists out there, please send me a Tweet (@cgnipp) to be included. I will do my best to get the word out for you!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

This is Mike Peralta

I could stop this post right here, and this picture could tell you a thousand words about who Mike Peralta is. If I weren't already sold on him, THIS would do it!

Mike Peralta is one of my original indie favorites. I've been following him on Twitter for a little over 2 years now... has it really been that long? Some of the best times you'll have on Twitter are watching him Tweet his way thru 2 weeks worth of mentions because real life got in the way! That's when I like to throw a new mention or two at him to start his back log over!

Need to know what he's like as an artist? Just watch the video above. Like any great indie artist worth his weight, he takes an already incredible tune and redefines it as his own. He never takes himself too serious, as he even makes light of himself for mis-pronouncing the original artists name (he even went back and added the comments to the video AFTER he posted it instead of re-recording it!).

Original music you ask? Well, let's see what we can dig up for you...

A Story Forever is one of my favorite Mike Peralta tunes and is on Wise Radio's regular rotation. One of these days we're going to see it make an appearance on their weekly Top 10 Countdown... Do we have a PeraltaNation out there yet to flood Wise with requests???

Where does Mike Peralta fit into today's music landscape? Judging by what's on mainstream radio these days (again, every chance I get I will slam mainstream radio!), if I had my way, he'd already be a superstar! I've said in previous posts that I don't think it's fair to any artist to have to be labeled or compared to another artist, that they should be allowed to stand on their own merit and judged according to their talent. Mike is no exception to this rule. He has one of the smoothest deliveries I've ever heard in an artist, and his heartfelt lyrics make you wonder exactly how much he draws upon his personal life as inspiration. No need to worry about believability when he sings either. You can feel the lyrics he sings in every song and you really do believe the words he sings.

I put this one in here just for you Mike... who wouldn't love them some Fred too?

Now it's up to you to make a decision for yourself. Here are the essential Mike Peralta links:

When checking out his music, please keep in mind that like most indie artists, Mike offers a lot of his music to you for free. When and where you can, please make sure that you are properly supporting these artists. They're putting themselves out there for your enjoyment on their dime, and it's not cheap, so please try to give back to them as much as they give to you!

And a personal note to Mike, you will always have my unwavering support as a person and an artist. You are truly one of the most talented individuals I've ever had the pleasure to know. I wish you nothing but the best in all aspects of life my friend!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Well, it sounded like a good idea...

Hello everyone! Hope Monday has been kind to you all... I had a LONG day at work, compounded by the fact that I thought I had a cool new idea for my blog that sorta distracted me this afternoon.

What started out as, what I thought, an excellent idea quickly tuned into something that I don't think got enough thought from me to begin with before I opened my mouth! If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen the following Tweet earlier today:

"INDIE ARTISTS: PLEASE READ THIS POST! As part of my new blog ( I would like to incorporate a weekly post of indie shows. If possible, I would like to post this by Sunday evening of each week for the coming week's shows. I will add links to your tour page as well as the venue(s) that you will be performing at. At this time, I will include each indie act that currently follows me on Twitter. IF you would like to be included in this, you DO NOT HAVE TO FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER... I am far from being that shallow. IF you would like to be included, just send me an @ on Twitter to and I will be more than happy to include you too! I'm going to give this a trial run later this evening and post some show times for this week, so look for my Tweet later this evening!"

Well, that sounded like such a good idea to me that I even had to use Twitlonger to put that out there! This is where the planning portion takes place. I sat down about 30 minutes ago and figured the best way to track the indie artists that follow me would be to put you all on a spreadsheet (like I don't see enough of THOSE at work). Then I added in your website or Facebook links... I was even going so far as to put links to your "show" pages on there. I got about 60 artists into the spreadsheet before I realized that some of you don't play shows on a somewhat regular basis. Some of you don't have websites up. Some of you don't have events pages set-up on your Facebook pages. Some of you only have YouTube channels... you get the idea.

I still think that this is something that I would like to try to do, but I don't think that I personally have the capability to pull it off with the original intent that I thought. I'm closing in on 300 followers, and a good chunk of you are indie artists. So I'm looking for some feedback and what YOU may think would be a good way to implement this and incorporate it into my blog. One thing that's come to mind as I type this was tagging Tweets by YOU the artists as favorites and culling the info from them into this blog, still on a weekly basis (but I would track the Tweets daily so that I don't end up with 40 or 50 or 60 Tweets at the end of the week to go thru). It's a thought.

So let me know what you think. Leave a comment here or send me a Tweet (@cgnipp). I'd love to put all of this on Facebook too, but I just don't do enough on there these days to try to justify spending twice as much time on the internet as I already do. Plus, FB keeps changing so much that it's starting to look like a Sunday sales circular these days.

Be back tomorrow with a new artist feature... wonder who it'll be???

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Broken Romeo

Good Sunday evening everyone!

I want to start out by apologizing to Broken Romeo. First, for not coming up with a witty title for their introduction to my readers. And second for being pissed while I write this... but hopefully they'll see why this is a good kind of pissed!

"In the end, one is left wishing Broken Romeo had decided to get a little more specific with its songs. Rather than singing about believing in “Believe,” for example, they could have written about the particular things they believe in. What are their politics? What is their religion? How do they feel about social issues? We may not agree with everything they say, but at least we’d know their point of view. Generic statement songs are just as bad as generic love songs. Songs about girls are fine, one supposes, but songs with an actual girl’s name in the title lead us to believe there’s a real girl behind them. The same goes for Broken Romeo. There’s no ‘there’ in their songs, and we’re left confused over what all the shouting’s about."

THAT my friends, is a direct quote from an online review that I read about Broken Romeo's album "Desperation Daze". And THAT is what has me in a sour mood right now. I'm sure that the guys in the band would have read this review and took it all in stride... as an indie artist, the best they can do is give us the best they have and hope that they find an audience for their music. I've become as disgruntled with "music experts" as I have with mainstream radio in general. What these so-called experts don't realize is that it's not them putting themselves out there, it's the artists. The music listening public has been dangerously led to believe that, when they read a review like this one, the author has more than a personal opinion about the artist. They have been led to believe that these critics are actual "experts" and that their opinion is actually an "expert" opinion. This particular critic's bio: "He’s an expert in Christian and country music, but he’s also extremely knowledgeable when it comes to most every kind of rock." I'm not gonna give this guy any more "free press" than I already am by naming him, but I don't recognize his name as either a critic or an artist. Does writing about music for 30 years make you an expert? No, it just means that someone has been lucky enough to be paid for his opinion for 30 years. I've been listening to music for almost 40 years. Does this make ME an expert? No... it makes me a lifelong fan of music. So let me give you MY review of Broken Romeo:

Broken Romeo is a Tuscon, AZ based alt/rock band made up of James Turpin, lead vocals/guitar; Steve Turpin, lead guitar/vocals; Ari Sloane, bass; Matt Ringnell, drums. If I absolutely had to, I could come up with 3 or 4 bands easy that you could compare them to. But why would I do that? It's not fair to them as artists to have you compare them to someone else. Listen to their music and judge for yourself. You want my personal opinion? (EDITOR'S NOTE: I am not a so-called "expert" when it comes to reviewing music. My opinions are my own, and whether or not you agree with them, they are still my opinions.) Broken Romeo is unlike any other band on mainstream radio right now. What they are is a fresh coat of paint that the music landscape is begging for RIGHT NOW. Summer days like today are perfect for riding with the windows down cranking "Mark of Cain", "Hallelujah", "Raging Sea"... hell, it was the perfect day to crank the volume for the entire album (which is exactly what I and my family did on our way to and from the lake!).

This is unapologetic, in your face, rock and roll... plain and simple. The vocals are spot on, the guitar riffs are ripe for stadiums across the country. The drums and bass keep it all tied up in a neat little package that bursts at the seams and beg to be unleashed on some unsuspecting soul in the car next to you! Most important to me though, again, as a fan, is the passion that the guys give their music. I believe "Believe". Do I dissect their songs to find the meaning in them? No. I leave that to James and the guys to give you their interpretation of the songs and make you believe them.

So don't just take my word for it. Give them a listen and decide for yourself.

I've already decided that Broken Romeo can easily pace modern rock radio and take it back to its glory days.

The essential Broken Romeo links:

Saturday, July 14, 2012

New music from Lit On the Flash

Good Saturday morning everyone! Just stopping in real quick to let you all know that the new album from Lit On the Flash has officially been released!!!

Jake, Kerry & Matt have really outdone themselves with this one! I won't get into a lot of detail for now because they have a post all their own coming up soon! In the meantime, I'll let the music speak for itself!

So do yourselves a favor and go get this album now... it's free!

And while you're there, look for their debut album Revolution Time, as well as their first release, a 2-song EP that stands on it's own!

The @Wise_Radio effect

I started to think about the subject of this post about 2 minutes after I decided to start this blog, which means I've been thinking about the subject of this post for about 3 or 4 months now. To me, in my young blogging career, this may prove to be my most difficult post yet. Not because I have any reservations whatsoever, but because I'm worried that I may not convey to you properly how much Wise Radio has meant to me over the course of the last year. I also worry that I won't be able to give this group of ladies the credit that they truly deserve... but I'm going to try my best! So let's go!

Click on the link above. Set it in your toolbar favorites... set it as your homepage (like I did)... bookmark it, do whatever you need to do to keep it in a safe place, because it should soon become your favorite station. I first introduced you to Wise Radio in my first post. I keep saying that I lost faith in mainstream radio about a year ago, but the truth is I lost faith in it a long time ago. I will take every opportunity I can to slam Q 97.9 FM in Portland Maine for misleading their listeners on a daily basis. "Today's Hit Music" is their calling card to their listeners. One look at their play list (because I wouldn't dare recommend that you tune in for fear that you may think less of me afterwards) easily proves my point. I'm beginning to get a firmer grasp on how the recording industry works these days, and it's become woefully obvious that the record labels really only care about lining their pockets. Right now, I have the luxury of sharing artists like Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, the entire Mowtown sound, The Righteous Brothers, The Rolling Stones (I could go on all night) with my daughters because my parents were fortunate to grow up in one of the greatest musical eras ever. Sure, sometimes I get the feeling that they listen and act like they really like my music just to "entertain" their old man, but I know that they genuinely enjoy listening with me, and they really do like some of the music I listen to! But they're 9 and 6, so I will let them be kids, and they do listen to what they want to (within reason of course) and yes, daddy does buy them some pretty crappy music on iTunes! Therein lies my problem. It saddens me to think of the music that THEY will get to share with their kids when they're my age. Justin Beiber, LMFAO, Flo Rida, Lady Gaga, Rhianna, Kei$ha (she really does spell it with the $ instead of "s")... you get the point, because I'm almost embarrassed that I could name that many of them!

So I spent a lot of time with earbuds in my ears listening to my iPod, or toiling around with satellite radio, or just listening to country radio. DISCLAIMER: I LOVE country music (sorry David Gielan!). Country music is just what it is... there is no pretension, and it always stays true to itself. Then one day, Wise Radio came into my life, and my faith in music was restored. Debbie, Melody, Bella, Josie, Summer... I don't know where I'd be without you! No other station is as in tune with their fans as Wise Radio. Their fan interaction is unmatched. Some of the best times I have on Twitter are during their frequent request times. The DJ's interact with the listeners, the listeners interact with each other, my Twitter feed blows up with re-Tweets, and all the while they are providing us with the soundtrack to our lives on a daily basis. My bank account can attest to the great music that I've discovered listening to Wise Radio. In the last year, my iTunes catalog has nearly doubled thanks to Wise (I hope my wife doesn't decide to read THIS post! LOL!!!). Some of the artists I've discovered listening to Wise? Ben Semmens, August Rising, Small Room 9, Last Stand for Lucy, Broken Romeo, Zoey'z Fallacy, Euphoria Audio, Slam Cartel, Dion Roy, MWK, Voodoo Vegas, The Hush Band, The Vera Groove... you see where I'm going with this? Some of the best artists that you can't hear on mainstream radio. They are also unmatched in artist promotion. I am forever indebted to them for giving artists like David Gielan, Lit On the Flash, Mariana Bell, Mike Peralta, In Air & David Geftakys an outlet for getting their music out there and reaching a new fan-base.

One needs to look no further than their weekly countdown for proof of their artist diversity. This week's Top 10 looked like this:

1. Lee DeWyze

2. David Geftakys

3. Tie: Lit On The Flash
           Ryan Star

4. In Air / Nobody Gets Killed

5. David Archuleta

6. Tie: David Gielan
           Zoey'z Fallacy

7. David Cook

8. Zac Brown Band

9. Last Stand For Lucy

10. Tie: MWK
            Message To Venus

Yes, you see mainstream music acts (because they support REAL music by REAL artists) on there along side some of the best indie artists around. And also note the American Idol influence on there too. Wise Radio is better at promoting artists from America's #1 talent show better than America's #1 talent show is! What else does Wise Radio give us? How about artist features (some lasting HOURS! LOL!) and a weekly Music Challenge on their Facebook page!

So find Wise Radio on Twitter and become a member of the greatest radio family out there:

Find them on Facebook and join the throngs of fans voting for their favorites every week (nearly 25,000 votes this week!):

On their Facebook page, don't forget to check out their YouTube videos of some of their concert excursions. They have some really good ones on there!

Okay, I'm saving the best for last on this post. I want to leave you with this... it's something that I post quite frequently on Twitter, in different variations, that all carry the same meaning:

There is so much more to music than what mainstream radio will allow you to believe there is. Start a musical revolution and give indie music a chance and support unsigned artists! 

I can't think of a better place to start than Wise Radio!

"We must fight back... Revolution time!" (Lit On the Flash)

I almost forgot the most important thing: Wise Radio, THANK YOU for restoring my faith and giving me back REAL music by REAL artists!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The David Geftakys experience

I hadn't planned on doing this artist feature quite so soon. I had a few other artists in mind and a particular order in which I was going to feature each one (I wouldn't necessarily call it a theme, but, eh...), then an L.A. based singer/songwriter by the name of David Geftakys went and did this:

So here I am tonight, introducing you to the David Geftakys experience!

As far as indie artists go, David is one of the most fan friendly around. I honestly don't know how he manages to dedicate any of his time to his art considering the amount of time he spends interacting with his fans thru social media. Just on Twitter alone, a quick check found 17 dedicated #TeamDG accounts from at least 8 different countries (USA, UK, Russia, Germany, Holland, Italy, Japan & Malaysia). And that's just what I found typing TeamDG into the search bar! 

You may recall in an earlier post that I introduced you somewhat to David. I credit the creation of this blog to both David and our friends from the band In Air (formerly Nobody Gets Killed), whom you have also been introduced to. In Air actually replied to a comment that I left on their YouTube channel about one of their videos, saying that I should consider doing a blog. That got the wheels turning in my head and I starting weighing the pros and cons of this endeavor. Then along comes David and his endless quest to please his fans. A simple "I would love to know what you think about (my video for) Games We Play" comment and now my 7th post just over a week later and here we are!

The biggest advantage of this blog, for me, is that I get to write about music as a fan. I'm not limited by word count or comment restraints. I don't have to try to stay neutral and unbiased. But most importantly, I don't have to come across as pompous. I'm just me and this is the music that I like and these are the artists that I chose to support. You can like it or you can not like it, the choice is yours... but I appreciate you coming along with me no matter your opinion!

Now let's get back to the matter at hand, Mr. Geftakys. I can not tell you how grateful I am to the guys in In Air for turning me on to his music. He has an originality about him that you just can't find in any mainstream act these days. While every record company is flooding the market with cookie cutter copycats of each other, indie music fans are left to pick up the scraps... and that's fine by me! Artistry, passion, talent, commitment, originality, genuineness... just a few words I can think of (without whipping out the thesaurus!) to describe David and what he gives us of himself. Don't believe me? Check this out:

There may come times in this blog where you start to feel like I'm repeating myself, but that's because the praise that I heap on these artists bears repeating. I will frequently overlap artist mentions from one post to another, as well as continue to bring up one of the more important aspects of the indie artist... their fans. One in particular, Tatiana (David's beloved Tail) is one secret that is bound to get out sooner or later and the world better be ready for it! She embodies the truest passion of a fan and is a force to be reckoned with in promoting David the person and David the artist. I also consider myself to be blessed to call her my friend and partner in relentless indie music promotion! I'm gonna stop now because I know she doesn't think she deserves any credit, but we know otherwise, don't we David!

I'd also like to give a quick mention to David's mother Judeth who is also a talented artist in her own right as a sculptor. If you're a fan of art, do yourself a favor and check her out:

Now here are the essential links that you need for everything David Geftakys:

David Geftakys on

And I leave you with the video that started it all for me:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Is the music industry ready for another British invasion?

THAT my friends, is the $64,000 question of the evening (I wonder what the value of that question would be adjusted for inflation? lol!), and one that I hope to help answer.

Within the context of ANY post that I put up on this blog, I will forever bitch and moan about the current state of the music industry. It saddens me to no end to think about how my daughters are going to grow up without the benefit of music worth listening to when they reach my age. I pray that some, any, record exec and/or radio station gm catches wind of this blog and reads these words: YOU ARE COLLECTIVELY SCREWING AN ENTIRE GENERATION OUT OF THEIR RIGHT TO HEAR GREAT MUSIC!!! I want you all to tune your radio (does anyone actually listen to a traditional set-top type of radio anymore? You know the ones with an actual antenna and a tuning and volume dial???) to your local "oldies" or "classic rock" station. Go ahead, I'll give you a few seconds... you back? Okay. Now, put yourself in my 9 year old's shoes. Fast forward 30 years, and tune this same station in. Now, compare the context of what is playing at this very moment with what potentially may be playing on that same station in 30 years. Right now, my oldies station is playing Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine". In 30 years, it may be playing Justin Beiber or LMFAO or Pit Bull. Let's see what one of our classic rock stations is playing... oh yeah, Magic Carpet Ride by Steppenwolf! Coming right up in a few years, Nickleback (my fingers actually cramped up typing the name of that band!!!!!!)... ugh! You see where I'm going with this? If what is playing on mainstream radio today is the musical legacy that my children have to look forward to, they're seriously up the creek and no paddle known to man can help them!

Now, on to the title of this post... Is the music industry ready for another British invasion? Judging by my iPod, I would say HELL YES! One of the greatest things about being a fan of independent artists in the electronic age that we live in is their ability to reach out to like-minded fans. Over the course of the last few months, I've gotten Twitter follows by some of the most incredible artists our brethren from across the pond have to offer! Now before we get carried away here and have someone start throwing One Direction's name around, let me clarify the purpose of this blog... to introduce you to REAL artists. Let me give you MY definition of REAL artists: an individual or group who has the essential basics needed for quality music... they write their own songs, they play their own instruments and they sing from their heart, all while playing and singing their asses off!

What's that? You want proof? Well buckle up, cause this is gonna be one helluva ride!

Euphoria Audio:

It would be soooo easy to fill whatever space I have on this hosting site with soooo much awesome music from just THIS band! But this is only the beginning of it!

The essential Euphoria Audio links: