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VLA

local artists you ought to know

Inspired by Vh1’s You Oughta Know.

Vincent’s Late Arrival

By Rachel Rimm

3948724955_2f3ff45f1cThe band Vincent’s Late Arrival (better known as VLA) made their debut this past spring at Jamnesty. VLA consists of Dan Rimm on the drums, Shane Emery on guitar and lead vocals, John Vincent on guitar and backup vocals, and Emmett Cassidy on bass and backup vocals. When asked what genre of music they play, drummer Dan Rimm replied, “We’re an alternative rock band that deviates into other musical styles on the inconsistent whims of its members.” The band was optimistic that, during the summer, they’d be able to boost their publicity and gain some fans, but they didn’t know that the end of the summer would bring a victory in a Battle of the Bands competition. The band entered the competition at “The Space” in Hamden, hoping to do well and have a good time.  After an excellent performance followed by deafening applause from friends and strangers alike, the band made it to the final round. In the entire contest, there were roughly forty-eight other bands. VLA was one of only nine bands who made it to the finals. “After we found out that we made it to the final round,” Bassist Emmett Cassidy remarked, “I was surprised… but I had a feeling that we had it. When we got off the stage, we all kind of looked at each other, and we knew… it was ours.” After hours of long, sometimes frustrating and hard-to-schedule practices, the band stepped onto the stage for the final round. They played their best, and walked away with $1000 and a great feeling of victory. “I was expecting it to be one of our best performances, but I did not expect to win,” said guitarist John Vincent. “I was really surprised because everyone else was a lot older… much more put together,” commented Shane Emery. So $1000 prize money to a group of teenage boys? What will it be spent on, you may ask?   Vincent answered, “We split $500 between the four of us. The other half we are going to put toward equipment that will benefit the whole band.” Recently the band purchased a Didgeridoo, which is a large instrument that originated in Australia. A Didgeridoo? Why? “Well, we went to an Incubus concert, and they had a Didgeridoo. We’re trying to incorporate unique instruments in rock music. We’re considering bagpipes…” joked Shane Emery. Even though the members have moved apart, the band plans on staying together. This winter, they will record their first CD. Any last words for your fans, VLA? “Thanks so much to everyone! We appreciate your support! We love you guys!”

Want to know more? Check out VLA’s Myspace and Facebook.

Photo by Rachel Rimm

For more interviews with local artists check out our interviews with:

The Red Tide

Dr. Rocktopus and the Nunks

Great Caesar and the GoGetters

The Smyrk

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The Red Tide

local artists you ought to knowInspired by Vh1’s You Oughta Know.

The Red Tide

(An interview with the new local band The Red Tide with Matt Schell and Sam Blackstone)newspaper2

The Buzz: You’re called the Red Tide. Why did you choose that?

The Red Tide: You may have noticed the video we projected at Mr. BHS. Well, as Matt looked at different videos to include, he found a bunch on the red tide, an algae bloom that occurs in New England and Florida.  The tide makes great impact on the ecosystem and literally changes the water color to red. Similar to the tide, we’re trying to change music and bring in some different colors of our own.

B: Have you played out much?

RT: We’ve played every show we’ve ever been offered. Most of the shows have been at the high school and a few have been at the Guilford Congressional Church. We’re very new, which makes it difficult to get a gig. But, after we get a few recordings done and create some advertisement, we’ll be playing at places like The Space.


B: What style of music do you play?

RT: Well, I’m not really sure. It’s kind of like The White Stripes got into a crash with Beck and Radiohead and out popped something great. We’re trying to make something new and exciting.

B: Do you do covers? Or is it all original music?

RT: No, we don’t do any covers. All of the songs are completely original, even some of the tones on the piano have been custom made to give that extra uniqueness. Matt does all of the song writing, but he works with Sam to find the perfect beat to match the music style.
B: Are there any famous bands/musicians who greatly influence you?

RT: Our band has a very wide of influences. As mentioned earlier we have a sound that gives hints of The White Stripes and Beck. But, we’re always searching more new and interesting sounds to give us inspiration. Recently, we found the band Mute Math, a new band with an amazing drummer and electronic sound that sounds like nothing else. We are also influenced by some of the older blues masters and even get into jams that are derived from some of the funk masters newspaper1from the 70’s.

B: Tell me about any new stuff.

RT: We have a ton of new stuff coming out. First off, we hope to have eight recorded songs done by the end of June that we’ll be able to make into an album titled, Within the Tide. We have also designed a few t-shirts and stickers that we’ll be giving away. If you would like to hear what we sound like, we have a new myspace (www.myspace.com/theredtidect) that will be constantly updated.  Also, we are considering expanding, adding a bass player to the group. We’re still searching, so if you like our style, and play bass, let one of know!

Thanks to the members of The Red Tide. Good luck!

By Rachel Rimm

Photo credit: Miranda Platt

For more interviews with local artists check out our interviews with:

Dr. Rocktopus and the Nunks

Great Caesar and the GoGetters

The Smyrk

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“Behind The Scenes of “The Pirates of Penzance”

By Rachel Rimm

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As the curtains opened, a huge pirate ship spilling over with grimacing scallywags rolled onto the stage. Clad in their costumes designed and made by the hardworking costume crew, they began to sing loudly and dance perfectly in step. The show “The Pirates of Penzance” is considered an operetta. An operetta is basically lighter version of an opera; a less serious and downscaled version that still consists of a large amount of musical numbers and singing. If you saw the show, you may have noticed that there were very few spoken lines. Throughout the show, one would often hear Sarah Mahoney or Liz Lalor (who both played the part of Mable for alternating performances) hitting high C’s with perfect pitch backstage. At one point, Ryan Bloomquist (who played the part of Frederick with Emmett Cassidy) was interviewed and was asked to sing a bit of one of his songs. Without hesitation he let out few beautiful measures of one of his solos. During intermission, the backstage crew led by Sam O’Neil and Caitlin O’Neil changed the entire set. While exiting the stage in preparation for act two, they were nearly clobbered by a mob of tap-shoed policemen. The policemen marched down the hallway in perfect formation dressed from head to toe in their black and gold police get-ups. Finally nearing the end of the performance, crews had to help swiftly clear the stage and push the ship back on for curtain call. All of the talented cast members bowed and accepted their well deserved applause for a job well done. Congrats Cast and Crews of  “The Pirates of Penzance.”

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Photos:Jamie Kazmercyk

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Jamming for a Cause

 By Rachel Rimm

n693030176_6802977_1476206On the evening of Friday May 8th several music-loving teens assembled in the school auditorium to support “Jamnesty”. Jamnesty is an event hosted by the Amnesty International club, which runs not only in our school, but in the rest of the world. They raise money to protect human rights and bring awareness to people who don’t know about or understand the injustices in the world. On Friday night, several student bands each played a small set. The featured bands were The Branford Ballers, The Green Team, The Red Tide, All Else Fails, Vincent’s Late Arrival, and Flashbang. They played a variety of different genres ranging from metal, jazz, funk, rock, and alternative. The Branford Ballers did a great job pumping up the crowd with their rendition of “99 Red Balloons” and the audience was surely quite impressed when Matt Schell from The Red Tide played his “keytar”. Vincent’s Late Arrival featured Shane Emery singing the band’s original song “Fading Away” which made it hard for Flashbang’s Tao Markovich’s to compete with his James Bond influenced entrance. Certain songs got everyone dancing, and after a few songs, a few people even danced with the bands on stage.  Cole Freeman, from The Red Tide, was “really pleased with the whole result. We were able to pull together a good show from very little prep time and organization.” It was a great night. Everyone was there to support their friends, support a great cause and have an all around fun time.

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Photos: Rachel Rimm

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Dr. Rocktopus and the Nunks

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Inspired by Vh1’s You Oughta Know.

Meet Dr. Rocktopus and the Nunks

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Photo Credit: Madeline Alden

They are a local band from Guilford with an unusual sound and I got a chance to interview Jesse the singer from Doc Roc.

-Madeline Alden

What towns are the members from?
We’re all from Guilford, CT
Jesse Duran Crelin- Bass and Vox
Dave Vitola- Guitar
Dalton Patton- Drums
Will Gratz- Sax
Mat Auretta- Trumpet and Synth

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Photo credit: Zach Elston

When did the band form?
Freshman Year so ’07ish. We got together to play 25 or 6 to 4 by Chicago.

What genres/bands does doc roc sound like?
I always say we’re Acoustic Electronica (impossible)–> but no one seems to laugh. I guess you could say we sound like Alt. Rock with horns. I can tell you that though we have 1 ska song and 1 reggae song, but that we are not “ska”. Though when people see horns they like to say it.—don’t get me wrong I love and respect ska it’s just not us—- we have probably too many influences. Rx Bandits are defiantly a key one; The Beatles are gods of melody so they continuously inspire me, and everything else. I’ve listened to everything from The Beatles to BigE Smalls to Miles Davis to Tower of Power to Enter Shakari to The Mars Volta to The Cold War Kids, today. So it’s hard to say what we sound like, or where the music we play comes from.

Does Doc Rock have any claims to fame, which is the best artist you’ve shared the stage with

Claims to fame: hair, horns and volume

We have won a few Battle of the Bands(es) and played some decently large shows.
Best artist we’ve shared the stage with would have to be Great Ceasar and the Go Getters cause they’re awesome

Also its really fun to play with our friends From Dark To Dawn!

Anything new such as CDs, Merchandise or tours/shows?

5 song EP coming VERY SOON !!!!
Merch is the usual- t-shirts and stickers
Many many shows:
*May 16th Battle of the Bands Final Round The Space in Hamden.
*May 23th Amity Teen Center (pending)
*May 24th The Playwright New Haven(pending)
*May 29th Lawrence Long Island BOTB(pending)
*June 5th – Toads Place YAYY!! – New Haven
* June 6th Town Of Guilford BOTB
*June 12th ARTS BARN MADISON CT–with GCGG
*June 13th Waterford B.O.M.B Fest

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Photo Credit (from Left to right): Laura Robinson, Madeline Alden, and Lucas Cecchetto
If you are interested in more about Doc Rock check out their myspace

For more interviews with local artists check out our interviews with:

Great Caesar and the GoGetters

The Smyrk

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Great Caesar and the GoGetters

By Madeline Alden

The Buzz presentsyok

Inspired by Vh1’s You Oughta Know.

Meet Great Caesar and the GoGetters

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Photo Credit: Emily Spine

They are a jazzy rock band with a twist. Here’s a Q and A with Stephen from Great Caesar and the GoGetters

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Photo from Caitlin Armitage Photo

What towns are the members from?

  • All the members are from Madison, CT, except for (me) Stephen who is from Oyster Bay, NY.
  • Right now, we’re all in college. John-Michael (vox/piano/guitar) and myself (alto sax) go to Yale; Mike (guitar) goes to Quinnipiac; Adam (bass) goes to NYU; Sean (drums) goes to UCONN; Andy (tenor sax) goes to UMass Amherst; and Tom (trumpet) goes to Williams.

When did the band form?

  • The band formed a long time ago (I believe in 2001) as a jazz trio, featuring only John-Michael (who played sax at the time), Adam, and Sean. Over the years the rest of the members joined and the band evolved more into what it is today. Fun fact: some of our current songs are actually rock versions of the jazz trio’s originals.

What genres/bands does GCGG sound like?

  • This is a tricky question. All of us have very diverse influences on our personal musical styles, and so the music that we make together is not easy to classify. Of the four songs on our upcoming EP, one is in a jazzy style (almost like “Love Song” by Sara Bareilles) but quotes classical composers like Mendelssohn and Chopin; another song has an atonal sax solo; one is in a latin style that switches to a disco for the chorus; and there’s a hard rock song that’s mixed with a little funkiness. Of the new songs we’re writing right now, one’s very latin influenced but the melody is a quote of “Nature Boy” by Duke Ellington; one of them is very reminiscent of new music like Wolf Parade; another one is heavily influenced by John Mayer, but also at the same time Sly and the Family Stone.
  • I think if I were pressed to give a short list of our musical influences, I would list the following artists (in no particular order):
  • Monty Are I, RX Bandits, Wolf Parade, John Mayer, Muse, Mad Caddies, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Brand New, and Charlie Parker.
  • Here is a quote from Mike (guitar): “As far as bands we sound like, Steve from the Space said we remind him of Buena Vista Social Club. I think we try to stress that we don’t really sound like anything out there, that’s a pretty clichéd response but we’ve started writing songs that sound like Mad Caddies, Brand New, or John Mayer songs and by the time we’re done they don’t resemble those bands much at all. Everyone has their own influences, and they all seem to come out at once.”
  • Another important point I want to make is that, yes, we are a rock band with horns, but we definitely don’t categorize ourselves under the ‘ska’ or ‘funk’ label. So it’s tricky to tell people about us without them automatically thinking we play ska.

Does GCGG have any claims to fame, who is the best artist you’ve shared the stage with?

  • Yeah – we’re played with these guys: Minus the Bear, Kevin Devine, Mad Caddies, Nightmare of You, and Patent Pending. Plus other bands of course, but I would say those are the most famous ones we’ve shared the stage with. I guess a well-known CT band would be Tip the Van, who we love playing with.
  • Another claim to fame, I guess, is that we went on a self-booked and self-promoted tour last summer for two weeks. It was a really awesome experience and we gained a ton of fans.

Anything new such as CDs, Merchandise or tours/shows?

  • As I mentioned before, we have a 4-song EP coming out soon which we’re hoping to sell and also to send out to record labels & venues. We have some sweet T-Shirts and stickers as well that you might see around CT. It’s usually a bit difficult to play shows during the year as we’re sort of separated from each other due to school. However, we usually play shows around weekends, breaks, and the summer. We’ve been taking a break from shows to write new music, but I know that we will be appearing in a bunch of Battle-of-the-Bands later this year.
  • We are also going to be filming a music video for “Everyone is a VIP to Someone” during the next few months. This could really hit it big (we’re hoping at the level of MTV, etc) so be on the lookout for it.

Anything else interesting you feel like sharing?

  • We’d like to give a shout out to Doc Rocktopus and the Nunks, Hungry Hungry Hypocrites, and Kevin D. Also, our next appearance in CT will most likely be at Toad’s Place in New Haven, and if not that, the Madison Arts Barn in Madison. We love making friends with and supporting local bands, so if somebody has a sweet show they want us to play at, we’d love to.
  • Finally, we’re looking to start building a street team in a bunch of different cities around the East Coast, so tell a friend about us 🙂

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Photo from Betty M Haggerty

Great Caesar and the Go Getters were also mentioned on MTVU

An additional interview is at The New Haven Advocate
Other Buzz Local Artists You Oughta Know are:

The Smyrk

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Local Artists You Oughta Know

The Buzz presentsyok

Inspired by Vh1’s You Oughta Know.

Meet the Smyrk.

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The Band is made up of three members: Doron, Ari, and Chris. They are a phenomenal band and I actually got a chance to interview them. Here’s a Q and A with Ari from the Smyrk.

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What towns are the members from?

  • Doron and Ari are from New Haven. Chris is from Hamden.

When did the band form?

  • The band started around 2004 when Doron saw us at an outdoor festival in New Haven. I happened to announce that we were looking for a singer and he approached us after the show. We wrote a song at our first practice and it was a done deal. His old band sounded like Boyz II Men. They were called On Point.

What genres/bands does the Smyrk sound like?

  • We try to sound like The Smyrk first and foremost, but we’ve been compared to Incubus, John Legend, and Minus the Bear to name a few. Our goal is to sprinkle some Motown soulfulness into post-rock goodness.

What claims to fame does the Smyrk have, who’s the best artist you’ve shared the stage with?

  • Doron was born with 6 fingers on each hand. Oh, fame… yeah. We recorded an EP with Ben Kenney, bass player for Incubus, and opened a show for his solo project as well. We were on MTV a couple times for a contest sponsored by Mountain Dew. Too bad it’s a terrible drink.

Is there anything new, such as CDs, merchandise or tours/shows?

  • I can’t really give away too much at the moment, but we played our “last show” this summer and we’re somehow still a band…

Anything else interesting you feel like sharing?

  • We have some exciting things going on but like I said, I can’t reveal anything right now. We once watched “Purple Rain” 3 times in a row. Doron’s hair once caught on fire at a show. Chris had a pet goose named Frederick. I was voted 3rd best barista in town by the New Haven Advocate.

Check out their Myspace, Purevolume, and store.

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Above photo from Bold As Love

-Madeline Alden

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