time to change the way we view music and the arts

Six Scorpios sing in a shamrock themed bar…

Band silhouette

“Band silhouette”, Online Image,
“10 Band Names You Can Use Right Now”, 12 November 2014
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While the title of this page might have people insisting a joke is about to follow, this is not the case. In fact, the description could not be more accurate.
Sliding the spotlight from the global and grandiose to the local and lively, it is always important to remember things like roots, smaller venues, intimate audiences and the magic of mashed together lineups where band members can make surprising new friends with one another, just as much as their audience can.
One such example of this scenario is the Twisted Shamrock–a modest but bustling bar / lounge in Babylon, NY. The facade initially gives off an impression of, “Don’t mind us, we’ve been here forever, so feel free to continue on your way”; mostly seeming like a mainstay devoted to regular late night commuters–as the local Long Island Rail Road Babylon station is a mere few hundred feet from the Shamrock’s front door. Still, if one applies the mantra of not judging a book–or in this case bar–by its cover, the ensuing reveal would be one of pleasant surprise because unlike the presumption of solely come and go commuters, the Twisted Shamrock is actually home to a tightly knit but ever growing community of musical people that encapsulates far more than the cliché of one person or one instrument on a soapbox stage all night.
Tuesdays are a regular staple for the Shamrock, presenting a weekly open mic night that has brought in first time music makers passionate enough to then become part of specified events and showcases hosted there on other nights, which is where Scorpio comes into play. Both the regular and the specialized intermittent events are the brain child of Peter DeMaio, one such passionate musician himself, DeMaio is a man of many bands (including one featured here) and founder of budding artist and creative collective, The Satellite Tribe.
This Saturday, 15 November 2014, six groups will be putting on a special show, celebrating many of the participating artists themselves, who happen to be of the tail stinger’s sign. The event is thus aptly titled, “Scorpio’s Birthday Bash!” The bands slated to perform include the following
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Alset Alokin are self-described “alternative funk goodness,” embodied in a three piece band from three different towns. Skeptics of separate origins fear not, Alset Alokin keep busy with lots of shows in lots of places–both on and off of Long Island–all while presenting a sound that is as cohesive as a band that has been jamming in the same town since day one. Their “Super Moon Sessions” up on Pure Volume offer up three tracks (I’m noticing a favorite number here?) of varying tempos, rhythms and moods, while retaining a very firmly planted foot in the sonic character of funk, with just a bit of sheen mixed in, giving them the “progressive” hyphenate add-on and throwing new listeners a touch of modern–not showing the group to reside only in a genre susceptible to chains of chronological bias. The instrumental, “40 Something and Change,” is a nice surprise and showcases the prog side of things well.
Currently, Weather Underground might only have one track up on their bandcamp page and the track might be disconcertingly titled, “Paper Tiger.” However, don’t presume that means the band, or that song, leaves nothing to be desired. Based in New Paltz, NY, this four member noise rock outfit certainly calls up the vibe of the classic underground group, whose sound has “un je ne sais quoi” that makes one miss the days when descriptions like “underground” and “hipster” were described with each other respectively and held more weight behind their meanings. It’s the kind of music meant to be heard and experienced in person.
The brevity of autumn days is very much in swing and that means cold airs, darker skies and watching leaves colorfully die. Okay, that last bit was a little on the cheerfully morbid side but regardless, the surf rock and rap of Motion Ocean is perfect for thriving in these next two seasons because who wants to harp on the dry and morbid? Packing some snappy raps, major keys and of course, a ukulele, this island based group, (with the emphasis on Long) has their niche but isn’t settling to be boxed in, as their beats give the group an edge that surf-related genres sometimes lack. Their EP, “Drift Away” is on bandcamp and for a sample of their raps, check out “My Apologies.”
Based in the Twisted Shamrock’s turf, Golden Wave might have the band name with the most connection to their sonic presentations–at least if one is to go by their succinct description of “sound waves, waveforms [and] dancing.” Led by host Peter DeMaio, an analogous band often bill-sharing and from whom listeners can get a sense of Golden Wave’s stylistic company, is psychedelic dream rock group, Phantom and the Fox. Golden Wave are focused on playing music that thrives in the moment and sets a fluid mood, which makes them a perfect follow up to Motion Ocean on Saturday’s bill.
Despite having the phrase “House Band” in their name, Rhino House Band is not a middle of the road group dedieed to playing behind the scenes. Babylon bound for this weekend all the way from Brooklyn, this three piece group is bringing their indie rock A-game with a solid repertoire that can be relished here and now through their newest bandcamp EP, “Golden Summer.” (Check out Little Things!) Clean and tight production teamed up with an off-the-path band arrangement (organ anyone?) dances smoothly on the “line of different” enough to be indie but stay strongly approachable.
The question mark in Sugarskull Piledriver’s name might be the most pertinent thing when it comes to “doing one’s homework” on this group. Nevertheless, as it’s a band about which is being discussed, the music is what matters and though their recent releases only include the lone track “Highspots,” this is arguably the most instantly addictive of the three songs available for listening–especially if the first thing people see is the garage punk rock labels before hitting the play button. The uptempo, half step-fueled hook brings to mind, classic hit ,“Brand New Cadillac” by iconic, English punk rockers, The Clash, evoking much of the same energy and farinaceous character in Sugarskull’s collective sound as a band.
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The show is bringing together lots of styles, stage presences and people committed to creativity, so if local to the area, it is certainly worth a visit!
The Twisted Shamrock is located at:
11 Railroad Avenue
Babylon, NY 11702
21 + (ID required)
Doors at 8:30PM
Music at 9:30PM
 $3 cover

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