Jack Pierce Makes it POP!

giraffes

“Giraffes”

By Caitlyn Shea

Jack Pierce is a graphic artist that combines dynamic pattern and imagery with bold text elements. Currently, he is unveiling a new series entitled Maximum Pop, which captures the zeitgeist of Pop art while adding a fresh, contemporary twist through his use of digital media.  His designs are extremely engaging and bring together surprising subject matter; for example, in his recent design “Giraffes” the viewer is met by an exceptionally large barcode with giraffes marching in the foreground.  The giraffes exceed the edges of the print, and since we do not see their heads they work as both patterns and figures.

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“Voltage”

Originally, Pierce was a painter. He explains: “I still make paintings today. Painting is much more sensual than graphic design, it is a great balance. I love painting more, but I have been sketching some of these designs for quite a while and needed to make them real, to actually design them and get large prints made of them.”  His painting background is apparent in his digital work, as he juggles composition and color in a very cohesive manner.

Pierce’s work ethic is impressive, he continuously expresses a wealth of ideas as sketches and then the strongest concepts are created digitally. These developed vector images can then become fragments for new designs.  Pierce describes his outlook as an artist:

“My personal philosophy on art is to approach it as a student who is always learning. I operate on a yearly cycle. What can I learn this year and how can I demonstrate where I am as a creative entity? It is an attempt to learn a highly cultivated form of human communication and trying to continually progress.”

Having studied visual psychology, Pierce knows how to excite his viewers.  His designs are beyond smart color and composition choices. It is through developing a strong original concept and then rethinking, reworking, and redefining his ideas that he creates work that continuously delivers unexpected results.

fifty-birds

“50 Birds”

On April 18th you can see Jack Pierce’s new designs in person! On Saturday Night, April 18th, join us at LaunchPad Huntington from 6-10 PM for our special #artntech event – “ART BYTES”. Featuring: Visual Art, Animation, Illustration, Videography, live painting, and musical performances. Plus, enjoy delicious food courtesy of Massa’s Coal Fired Brick Oven Pizzeria, Tasty American Coo Coo, and Neraki Greek Mediterranean Grill Drinks courtesy of Greenport Harbor Brewing co. and Hint Water.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlyn SImagehea is a professional fine art painter. She studied Studio Art and Art History at Pratt Institute and Skidmore College before graduating with a BFA from Adelphi University in 2011. Outside of her studio, Shea is captivated by the pluralism that exists in art today, and the ways in which individual artists define themselves and their practices in order to carve out a unique career. By interviewing participating SPARKBOOMTM artists, Shea looks to develop a dialogue between practicing artists and an audience that does not only include other art experts, but people who have a newfound urge to become involved in experiencing the work of fresh, exciting artists.

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Life and Beauty – Spoken Words of Steven T. Licardi

stevenbooks2By Jenna Weis

Finding beauty and self-acceptance in our ever-changing modern society can be found with the help of many creative outlets if one allows it. When faced with a struggle early in life, poet, author, and visual artist Steven T. Licardi found his calling in the written word. The West Islip native exudes positivity and brings forth social issues in his poetry to connect with and inspire his audience. Taking the stage from South Hampton to the Upper East Side, Licardi’s greatest personal achievements as a poet are opening for award-winning poet Buddy Wakefield at the Velvet Lounge in East Setauket, and performing throughout California.

Before all of the numerous honorable mentions, awards, and truly making a name for himself in the world of poetry, his journey began with writing as an apparatus for Licardi to express and understand his emotional states. As a child he was diagnosed with Pervasive Development Disorder, which made it difficult to connect with his emotions. Creativity allows Licardi to fully connect his mind and spirit.stevenspeaking1

“I think writing and specifically poetry provided the best way for me to make sense of my emotions. My manifestation of a PDD was a developmental disconnect between my cognitions and my emotions, and the ability to express myself helped to bridge that gap.”

The road of self-remedy has also paved the path of self-discovery for Licardi who has built his confidence and stamina to use his talents to be heard, understood, and cause emotional reaction. This seems to be a driving force for Licardi, as it would for anyone who is immersed in the creative world. To do something of passion that attracts attention as Licardi has accomplished is a true success. Not only his words but his delivery resonates a powerful punch of hope, even when addressing serious issues.

“My writing and my art are inspired by a desire to get people thinking, to explore a facet of culture, of society, of life, or of humanity. That is why a lot of my work deals with social issues (mental health, death, pop culture, etc.) I want people to understand, to think, to feel. To experience something new”10700317_831358190231647_2061123366574394804_o

Once an obstacle, now Licardi praises the mere experience of feeling an emotion, any emotion. What can bring more of an emotional force than the thought of death? Specifically, your own death. The ultimate inevitable end-game we all face has fascinated Licardi for quite some time. He is in the final stages of finishing a novel he began 10 years ago which explores death from the point of view of the main character “Anaximander”. Working on this project has guided Licardi to an unexpected new outlook on life.

MVI_7096.MOV.Still001“If you embrace death, invite it into your home, sit and have a cup of tea with it, take it by the hand and say, “Come with me. Guide me” (because a good guide always knows what your final destination will be), it will show you how precious everything is. A glass of water becomes a delicacy. The fact that nothing will last makes everything beautiful and perfect.”

Licardi’s poetry strengthens our perceptions and challenges us to believe in something, stand up for it, experience new things, and embrace life and all its beauty. He will be performing at SPARKBOOM’S JINGLE BOOM: HOLIDAY BASH event on Saturday, December 20th at Huntington Arts Council’s Main Street Gallery located at 213 Main Street from 6-10PM along with James Kim, Frankie A. Soto, Meredith Nussbaum, and Bri Onishea. There will be craft beer courtesy of Saint James Brewery, treats from Stella Blue Bistro, Hint water, prize giveaways courtesy of Sip Tea Lounge, Lotus Vintage, Kilwins Huntington, and Escape Pod Comics, live music and windows tinsled out by Reme and Caitlyn Shea.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

rain roomJenna Weis grew up on Long Island and graduated from Commack High School in 2007. She received her Associates Degree in Visual Arts from Suffolk Community College then went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University. This is her second summer working for SPARKBOOMTM, first as Lead Blogger. She hopes the blog will really engage readers to want to see more of the artists work at our SPARKBOOMTM events and help further promote the artists themselves.

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Artist, Caitlyn Shea Embraces the Uncertainty

CShea_BlogPicBy Jenna Weis

The unknown and sense of uncertainty can make one anxious and even fearful. It is definitely something that is often avoided, but artist Caitlyn Shea desires the uncertainty when creating her powerful paintings, even manipulating various mediums to distance herself from intention. Painting and re-painting, configuring and re-configuring the composition in the midst of the creative process, Shea produces figurative artwork with the spirit of Abstract Expressionism. As a female delving into a style dubbed long ago as “masculine”, Shea summons a new, strong sense of femininity to abstract art.

The actual process of building up and breaking down the image are critical elements in Shea’s work. Her paintings consist of meditative yet lively colors applied in an action painting aesthetic with an animal, insect, or a human being as her muse for the visual complexity they can offer. For this artist, inspiration is often found in a photo of a natural being in a unique pose or from a unique perspective, giving Shea a compelling layout to explore the anatomy. Through a gestural array of colors the subject seems to be formed through the abstraction that gives the being life and energy.2_RavenHiRes

“I like to take risks and will sometimes bring a painting to a place where I completely dislike it. Then a spark will come back again and I will rework the painting.  Figuring out the balance between form and abstraction keeps me engaged and excited – and keeps me up all night very often!”

Utilizing charcoal, acrylics, spray paint, and even house paint helps Shea generate the out-of-the-box results that she strives for. She says “These mediums give me unpredictable results and bring an element of discovery that makes painting more exciting…In many ways I allow the mediums to dictate the work, and I pull the form out of the materials.” This method allows the viewer to witness the process of change as it unfolds throughout the painting, creating a state of sublime.

10659022_879263097663_2796195771679992064_oOver the summer Shea experienced her greatest achievement as an artist when she completed a massive humming bird mural on a vacant building in Riverhead thanks to the East End Arts Council’s program “JumpstART”. After an enormous amount of work, proving her capability, and fundraising, Shea created her own opportunity to display her work to the public. She says “In the end it is my greatest achievement because it will continue to stand in Riverhead permanently and offer hope to a community that is eager to revitalize.”

Shea will be making her art a public affair in Huntington as well at SPARKBOOM’S JINGLE BOOM: HOLIDAY BASH event on Saturday, December 20th at Huntington Arts Council’s Main Street Gallery located at 213 Main Street from 6-10PM. She has decorated a window display of whimsical animals in chaotic holiday environment consisted of 2D and 3D elements. Along with great artwork to see there will be craft beer courtesy of Saint James Brewery, treats from Stella Blue Bistro, Hint water, prize giveaways courtesy of Sip Tea Lounge, Lotus Vintage, Kilwins Huntington, and Escape Pod Comics, and live music and poetry. RSVP here via Facebook.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

rain roomJenna Weis grew up on Long Island and graduated from Commack High School in 2007. She received her Associates Degree in Visual Arts from Suffolk Community College then went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University. This is her second summer working for SPARKBOOMTM, first as Lead Blogger. She hopes the blog will really engage readers to want to see more of the artists work at our SPARKBOOMTM events and help further promote the artists themselves.

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See and Be Seen: Street Art of Reme 821

By Jenna Weis

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In the more recent years, street art has become a widely appreciated style thanks to the artists who create it. What was once mostly seen as an act of vandalism, street art has been transformed into exceptionally crafted visual artwork that is easily accessible to anyone of any background. Artists like Reme Rowland (aka Reme 821) uses this tactic of displaying their work as a way to expose their art to the public, making the connection between artist and viewer a more stream lined transaction.

IMG_8934Rowland is a fellow Long Islander from Suffolk County who has been leaving his creative mark throughout the island at music studios, art studios, tattoo shops, and various other businesses as well as around the Bronx and Brooklyn area. A self-taught artist creating dynamically bold designs since the 80s, Rowland possesses immense confidence in his work and wanted to share what he can offer as a visual artist to the people.

“After many years of writing my name over & over I got bored with that” he says “and thought it was just getting selfish like it was just for me. So after painting in Brooklyn a few times & seeing people’s reactions to my art I wanted to paint for the streets, the people, the daily commuters that walk past art daily. They really appreciate it. It’s a great feeling to see them react to your art on a big scale”

Immensely energetic yet approachable artwork constructed with explosive shapes and loud colors, is described as “Geometric Funk” by Rowland who spent years developing his signature style. His fun and fresh abstract approach adds a new dimension to the already multi-faceted world of street art. An element of his work that can easily be traced back to Rowland is the frequent appearance of an animated hooded eye design. Its significance speaks to how Rowland sees art as something alive that also looks back to the viewer.IMG_0762

“The EYE design is basically a representation of how you are able to see Art & the world, through the Eye. So it’s called EYEF** … It’s the Art itself staring back at you.”

A formal introduction to the EYE and the Geometric Funk style of Reme Rowland will be taken place at SPARKBOOM’s “JINGLE BOOM: HOLIDAY BASH” on Saturday, December 20th at Huntington Arts Council’s Main Street Gallery located at 213 Main Street from 6-10PM. Rowland will be showcasing his work on a window display customized for the event to “introduce the Eye to new ‘Eyes’”. Enjoy amazing artwork, craft beer courtesy of Saint James Brewery, sweet treats from Stella Blue Bistro, Hint water, prize giveaways courtesy of Sip Tea Lounge, Lotus Vintage, Kilwins Huntington, and Escape Pod Comics, and live music and poetry.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

rain roomJenna Weis grew up on Long Island and graduated from Commack High School in 2007. She received her Associates Degree in Visual Arts from Suffolk Community College then went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University. This is her second summer working for SPARKBOOMTM, first as Lead Blogger. She hopes the blog will really engage readers to want to see more of the artists work at our SPARKBOOMTM events and help further promote the artists themselves.

 

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Dasha Bazanova – Everything is Significant

9642223_origBy Erin Corrigan

Growing up in the country side of Kulikovo, Russia, one could say that Dasha Bazanova’s childhood was unlike many others. Being that there was no running water, Dasha and her grandparents periodically made trips to a local well for fresh water; it was also imperative they stay stocked on plenty of firewood once the cold season began to draw near. At the age of 18, Dasha made her way to Moscow where she enrolled in Moscow State University of International relations. This is where she acquired her first degree, while also taking on the challenge of learning an entirely new language: English. Dasha said that learning English helped tremendously with her career regarding art; allowing her to move her studies to The Big Apple, where she could truly branch out and expand her many horizons.

Although Dasha says painting has come naturally to her from the very beginning, she also projects a great appreciation for a multitude of artistic facets. She states, “I feel happiest and most connected making installations; realizing the work in a new space, and reflecting with the action of placing materials in space. Also, creating and working in clay calms me down and brings me to an inner dialog, 774310_origand brings me some fresh ideas.”

Being that Ms. Bazanova is a Mixed Media artist, she feels the need to work with all types of artistic outlets; as should any open-minded creator. She believes her developments are connected to everything from places, to experiences, to brief moments in time, and so forth.

Dasha is a strong believer in the notion behind everything having potential to become something significant, and harnesses a great sense of recognition for all kinds of art. The list extends anywhere from objects to materials, to media and styles. She believes it is in every artist’s best interest to stay away from using the word favorite. To her, this can leave a person in a risky position, causing them to develop a one-track mind and a loss of exploration. Everything has the potential for collaboration and layering, creating something that is unique and remarkable from what is was before.

Ms. Bazanova will ha9028482_origve her installations and artwork on display from the first of October to the first of November at the Islip Art Museum hosted by SPARKBOOMTM. The closing reception will take place on Saturday November 1st, “Things Are Getting Hairy”, featuring a Hair Sculpture Show, tasty treats, live music, a Mythological Costume Contest, and of course, all of the talented artist’s work on display. If you are interested, check out the official FB event.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

IMG_1801Erin Corrigan is an aspiring writer with an open mind. She believes that music, art and poetry are the essential nutrients for every soul. Giving a voice to the budding faces of the literary and fine arts community is what she’s here to accomplish!

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Maria Macedonio-Ritter – Intimacy Knitted in a Quilt

MariaMacedonio-RitterIslipMuseumBy Caitlyn Shea

Maria Macedonio-Ritter is an artist that is uniquely skilled in both traditional painting and conceptual quilt making.  In her newest work, Come Unity-A Quilt For One Another, Macedonio-Ritter took on the unique challenge of creating a quilt that incorporates human hair.  In this project she reflected on the extremely intimate nature of working with the hair of both strangers and loved ones, and chose to also include notes from family and friends that remain illegible in the work.  When installed as part of Islip Art Museum’s It’s Getting Hairy exhibit, the quilt will be hung parallel to the gallery’s fireplace.  Macedonio-Ritter states: “The fireplace, a feature that we welcome in our homes, represents a delicate balance, as it is potentially aggressive, however, when controlled provides warmth and security.”  The overall finished product is very innovative and the fresh-perspective on the tradition of quilt making exposes the vulnerability of those who donated a part of themselves to it.  It also speaks to the vulnerable nature of humanity as a whole.

Macedonio-Ritter explains:

“The hair was donated by family members and friends and even some people who I don’t know. I left a description of the project for my hairdresser at The Cutting Club in Blue Point, and people donated their hair.  When I told people about the project they were excited to donate their hair because they felt as though they were a part of a piece of art.  As I created the quilt it became something bigger. Everyone struggles with something in life and the quilt became more of a prayer, it was quite an emotional project.”

When she is not working on conceptual quilts, Macedonio-Ritter paints vibrant, expressive paintings in a variety of different styles and techniques.  She is successful at capturing the essence of many different art genres and shares her knowledge as an art teacher in the Connetquot Central School District and as Director of The Center for Visual Arts in Blue Point, New York.  Creating gestural paintings of animals is where she feels most at home, and hopes these paintings inspire viewers to examine their relationships with animals.  Her figurative and conceptual works are unified by a strong sense of gesture and color that are apparent throughout her bodies of work.MariaMRQuiltEastEndArtsResidency

When I asked Macedonio-Ritter where her inspiration stems from, she replied: “I have always loved the work of Grace Hartigan. I also admire the way she stayed true to who she was as a painter rather than following what was popular.   My quilt works address another concern of mine. My primary goal in these works is to push the limitations of how painting is defined. I decided to eliminate the surface for pigment so that the painting could be viewed on either side.  I feel my father, who is not a painter, but a very creative person, has influenced me by always showing me how to take the road less traveled.”

Macedonio-Ritter’s work is on display from October 1st to November 1st at the Islip Art Museum. SPARKBOOMTM will co-curate the show along with Beth Giacummo, including the closing reception on November 1st, “Things Are Getting Hairy”, featuring a Hair Sculpture Show, food, music, Mythological Costume Contest, and of course, all of the amazing artists on display.  Visit islipartmuseum.org for more info and check out the official FB event.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlyn SImagehea is a professional fine art painter. She studied Studio Art and Art History at Pratt Institute and Skidmore College before graduating with a BFA from Adelphi University in 2011. Outside of her studio, Shea is captivated by the pluralism that exists in art today, and the ways in which individual artists define themselves and their practices in order to carve out a unique career. By interviewing participating SPARKBOOMTM artists, Shea looks to develop a dialogue between practicing artists and an audience that does not only include other art experts, but people who have a newfound urge to become involved in experiencing the work of fresh, exciting artists.

 

 

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Puneeta Mittal – From the Microscope to the Canvas

"Dendrites I"

“Dendrites I”

By Jenna Weis

Abstracted art has for centuries allowed artists to break boundaries of the norm and encounter new discoveries in the art-making process as well as provide a more discrete means of spreading ideas. At first glance it seems the only concern is with color, form, and texture, but upon more careful observation and research, sometimes an abstracted work goes beyond its formal qualities. You just have to peel back the layers. Duality, depth, and beauty are just the cusp of what can be experienced when confronted with a piece by artist Puneeta Mittal, who has managed to effortlessly incorporate a fascination of science into her powerfully appealing works of art.

What we see in her art today can be traced back to the spring of 2004 when Mittal came across a high-resolution image of a mouse brain. A scientist would take this image at face value and focus on the subjective –the facts, but Mittal saw a landscape. An organic arrangement of artistic elements that inspired this artist to, “visualize beauty in the repulsive, find knowledge in the unknown, and to observe the unseen to more clearly see our world.”

"Internal Space IV"

“Internal Space IV”

Mittal is highly influenced by the technique of glaze painting for its textural multi-layered quality, and was a suitable approach to produce works of substance and depth, the same substance and depth she sees in a single microscopic view; how she sees the world.

internal Space III

“Internal Space III”

“While I utilize scientific content as the basic substrate of my works”, she says “as an artist I exercise my freedom to break the confines pertaining to accuracy of data and reality.”

Her signature touch is how the structure and the subjective are undercut by the spontaneity in composition of Mittal’s oil paintings. She fuses the rigidness of modern science with the freedom of expression in her use of both passionate and subtle colors rhythmically composed as a nod to the natural world that also greatly inspires Mittal. This constant juxtaposition of real and metaphorical, science and spiritual, abstract and literal add a sense of complexity and intrigue for the viewer that is also seen in her ceramic pieces. Simplistic shapes of painted multi-layered surfaces which she refers to as “landscape and terrain” acknowledges a quote by Robert Morris; “The simplicity of shape does not necessarily mean simplicity of idea.”

Mittal’s work is on display from October 1st to November 1st at the Islip Art Museum. SPARKBOOMTM will be co-curated the show along with Beth Giacummo, including the closing reception on November 1st, “Things Are Getting Hairy”, featuring a Hair Sculpture Show, food, music, Mythological Costume Contest, and of course, all of the amazing artists on display.  Visit islipartmuseum.org for more info!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

rain roomJenna Weis grew up on Long Island and graduated from Commack High School in 2007. She received her Associates Degree in Visual Arts from Suffolk Community College then went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University. This is her second summer working for SPARKBOOMTM, first as Lead Blogger. She hopes the blog will really engage readers to want to see more of the artists work at our SPARKBOOMTM events and help further promote the artists themselves.

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KB Jones and The Kontraband – The Expedition Through One Note at a Time

KB Jones & the kontrabandBy Erin Corrigan

KB Jones, also known as Daniel Munoz, takes a multifaceted form when engaging in what he loves most. With flares of pop, hip hop and classic rock, Mr. Jones and his group “The Kontraband” string together to create a funky-fresh approach to music that coats the idea of realism and authenticity.

Daniel Munoz himself takes responsibility for the vocals and production. In regards to the rest of the young musicians, the guitar is handled by Steve Gornic, the bass guitar by Andrew DeMatteo and the percussion section by Mike DeConzo.

When asked the question behind what keeps Daniel inspired, he responded with the influence of his overall surroundings, as well as the day-to-day individuals that enter his life. Something that may seem commonplace to some is merely a palate of creation to others.

10561800_10152281492086984_6205384801003013157_nMunoz’s music does not exactly fit into a precise genre like a square hole to a square peg. His beats play on the realm of funky, yet pragmatic; adding hints of emotional satisfaction -actually telling a story to the person wearing the headphones.

Anywhere from SoundCloud, YouTube, MySpace, Twitter and Tumblr, you can find KB and his crew mixing up styles and putting forth new music one song at a time. Daniel says that their ultimate goal behind their musical career is to have as many listeners and supporters as possible; making it their dream to pursue such as passion that also doubles as a permanent career. Here is just a little taste of what him and his group work diligently to create: “Journey Man”  – STREAM HERE!

Come see KB Jones and The Kontraband this Saturday, September 20th at SPARKBOOM’s second annual “OFF THE WALLS” event at 1520 New York Ave, Huntington Station, NY. This occasion will feature a handful of Long Island’s newest musicians, a BMX bike stunt show, salsa dancing, and over thirty art and business vendors.  So don’t miss out and RSVP here via Facebook.

For more on KB Jones and The Kontraband, visit their Facebook, Instagram or their Website.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

IMG_1801Erin Corrigan is an aspiring writer with an open mind. She believes that music, art and poetry are the essential nutrients for every soul. Giving a voice to the budding faces of the literary and fine arts community is what she’s here to accomplish!

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Get On Board with Nonstop to Cairo

nonstopBy Patrick Peterson

LI-based band, Nonstop to Cairo are composed of Andrew Hagerty (Trombone), Agustus Harris (Vocals), David Bartlett (Bass), Matt Ezzo (Drums) and Nick Diamond (Guitar, Vocals). Though they weren’t always in the same band, they were practically always in each other’s lives. Nick and Ezzo, two of the three original founders of the band grew up together and have been friends since grade school. “We met somewhere during first grade or probably even before that. We just knew each other for a long time. My dad (Nick’s father) even gave Ezzo his bass guitar.”

The other members of the crew all went to the same high school. Though some are older than others, and were in different grades, they grew up around the same years. Little did they know, these casual coincidences and meetups would lead to an epic sounding rock band, with sounds like Funk and Ska. An incorporation of sounds that’s leading a continuous journey from their instruments to their fans’ ear drums. Casual fans might question where the name comes from but to the crew, it’s a weird but irreplaceable name.

“The reason we chose our name was actually from an airplane ad(vertisement) on the LIRR. We were nonstop4locked up in the band-room with the trombone player, with a giant list of names that we had to choose from. It was one of the few that we actually didn’t hate,  so it just stuck with us. Yet, even though our name has Cairo in it, we just eventually drew away from it as a place and used it more as a destination.”

Like their name suggests, they have tons of drive and inspiration. They put all their heart into their music, on stage and off. For instance, one of their favorite memories is winning the the 2009 Long Island Music Festival. “We were only together three months at the time”, they said with smiles on their faces. “Yeah, and Nick’s hand was bandaged from a fight with a saw-blade.”, Ezzo recalled. “Yeah, they were sliced off. But we still managed to win the Festival. It was a real underdog story to us. It started the snowball of success that we’re rolling on now. This success has made us lucky enough to play with bands like Fishbone and Gwar. We kind of want to share that same feeling to the fans.”

nonstop3Unfortunately, they feel like they don’t have an avenue to promote their music like a major label band would. Their income as a band is small so they don’t have a large budget for CDs, music videos, and marketing tools. Yet, that’s one of the things that makes them smile the most. What you would think was a weakness is an actually uplifting strength. “We don’t really have the means to sell CDs. We have digital stuff but that’s about it.” And as they do think online streaming helps, it’s the live shows where they confidently stake their claim. They, particularly Augustus, who is the only one without an instrument and has a second hand perspective, and feel that their live performances are out of this world.

“The whole unavailable music thing is why it’s really awesome when we see fans come back to sing along with us. It means that they’ve been to our shows more than once, it means they love seeing us play. It’s one of the things that motivates us to keep playing.”

Playing music, they do. Having performed at least shows in the last three weeks (40 shows total this summer). So what’s next for them? After this huge wave of live concerts end, they plan to go into hibernation. “We want to take a step back and focus on recording. We plan to put out the best thing that we can, together, in a reasonable amount of time. Hopefully, it will not only be life-changing but scene-changing as well. A thing, that will not only bring our band closer together, but also other bands as well”.

They are friends, they are a band, and they are Nonstop to Cairo. Their next flight? Nonstop to Success. Rock on.

See Nonstop to Cairo on Saturday, September 20th as SPARKBOOM hosts “OFF THE WALLS II” at 1520 New York Ave, Huntington Station, NY. The event features a handful of up-and-coming LI music, a BMX bike stunt show, salsa dancing, and 30+ art/business vendors.  RSVP here via Facebook.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

IMG_0882Patrick Peterson Growing up, Patrick was nicknamed The Mayor. He had and still had an outgoing personality with a sincere, charming, dedicated personality to those he meets. He’s a writing, photography, and video game enthusiast who likes helping out the little guy.

 

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New and Shiny – A Chat with A Penny’s Worth

photo 1By Moe Tompkins

I caught up with Mike LoCicero of up-and-comers, A Penny’s Worth. They’ll be performing at Cinema Arts Centre on the night of Wednesday, September 17th during the after-party for the new film, God Help The Girl. Here’s how our conversation went down…

MT: I know how I’d describe your music – If The Black Keys played strictly Folk/Americana and had John Mayer singing. I however, can be incredibly oblivious and short-sighted sometimes, so, in your own words, how would you describe it?

ML: I’d say that is a pretty fair description of what we play. I grew up with a lot of different influences from a lot of different styles and I try to incorporate as much as I can, but most of what I write tends to have a pretty strong folk vibe. I think that’s where I feel most comfortable as a songwriter.

MT: That being said, is The Black Keys comparison something that comes up a lot? Does it annoy you, or do you embrace it?

ML: This is actually the first time I’ve heard that comparison, but I will definitely embrace it! They’re a super cool band, who wouldn’t want to be compared to them?

MT: How did ‘A Penny’s Worth’ come to be?

ML: That’s a good question. I wish I had cool origin story for how we were formed, but it was kind of a long-term process. I used to play with Matt Rueger and Jason Rothenberg (Matt is the drummer, Jason plays bass) in high school. We’re all grew up around here and used to jam and make noise in Matt’s basement and occasionally play a couple covers at a school talent show. After we finished college I was in North Carolina writing and playing at open mics. Matt and I ended up recording a couple of songs down there under the name A Penny’s Worth.

MT: I see you guys are based in North Carolina now, are you touring? Did you start on Long Island and then relocate? If so, why?

ML: It’s actually the other way around. I’m originally from Long Island and went to school in North Carolina. I first started writing and recording my stuff there, but now we all live on Long Island.

*CLICK IMAGE TO STREAM APW’S DEBUT*

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MT: After re-reading question 1, I’ll be honest, I don’t know the difference between Folk and Americana. Am I just splitting hairs here, or is there a something that I should know?

ML: They’re pretty much the same. Americana is American Folk music. They’re both pretty broad terms.

MT: Other than Wednesday’s event, do you have any other gigs up here in our neck of the woods?

ML: Nothing yet.

MT: What’s your song-writing process like? What inspires your music and lyrics?

ML: I always start with music first. I find a chord progression or riff that I like and I try to find a melody that will match my vocal photo 2range to go with it. The process itself is actually pretty embarrassing. I’m usually just pacing around my room playing whatever guitar part I’ve come up with and making vocalizations to the tune of the melody. It sounds like complete gibberish, but it helps me find the sound I want for the song. Once I feel like I have a solid base of music and melody I start trying to replace the gibberish with lyrics.

My lyrics are pretty personal and they’re mostly inspired by life experience. Inspiration for the music is a little broader. It can come from anything that I think sounds good. I feel more confident as a musician than as a lyricist so I’m willing to venture farther out of my comfort zone for ideas and inspiration for the music.

MT: Do you prefer the smaller set-up, or have you thought about adding pieces to your band?

ML: This is something I think about a lot actually when writing. With a small group like ours you really have to think about how a recording can be replicated live. It all comes down to what it is we’re capable of with three people. There’s one song we recorded that has a banjo and a mandolin part that come in as the song progresses. It would be great to have those on stage, but, again, there are only three of us.

That being said, I do really like the small set-up. It’s the same guys I was playing with when I was 15 and that’s a lot of fun.

MT: Any advice for up-and-coming musicians?

ML: Well, seeing as I am still very new myself I don’t think there is much I can offer without a false sense of superiority. If I’m ever lucky enough to get interviewed again I’ll have a better answer for this. Doing something twice is the minimum amount of experience required to be patronizing.

You can see A Penny’s Worth live on Wednesday, September 17th in The Sky Room Cafe at Cinema Arts Center, for the after-party of God Help The Girl (as part of SPARKBOOM and CAC’s “Movies That Rock”s series). Film starts at 7PM / After Party starts at 9PM. $10 for CAC Members / $15 for non-members. Your movie stub gets you into the party, where courtesy beer/wine and snacks will be served. RSVP via Facebook and go LIKE APW on Facebook.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MImageoe Tompkins, a native of Islip, New York, holds a double degree in jazz studies and music education from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). Upon acceptance to the College-Conservatory of Music he began simultaneous study both with Ray Charles Orchestra alumnus Marc Fields, and Tim Anderson of the Dayton Philharmonic. For several years he worked as a highly-in-demand trombonist on the Cincinnati scene and beyond playing everything from salsa, to reggae, neo-brass band sharing the stage with the likes of Streetlight Manifesto, The Aggrolites, and Foxy Shazam, just to name a few. He currently resides in Islip, working with the Long Island Arts Alliance and finally pursuing his own musical vision with his original group Slang (facebook.com/slangthebandli). When not making music, Moe can typically be found enjoying horror movies, fusion jazz, or White Castle.

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