Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Music Friends!

Almost all of my friends are borderline obsessive about music. There is an unofficial litmus test to determine whether I can socialize with you on a regular basis, and music is the backbone of the examination.

If you're not interested in coming to see a local show with me, we probably won't be spending much time together.
If your musical taste has the range of 10 bands from 20 years ago that are no longer relevant, we probably won't have much to talk about after the first day we meet.

I mention these things because my music lovin' friends have banded together and given me some great new tunes recently. The onslaught of new music started at the end of April.

Joel burns a mix cd for my birthday every year, and the diversity always runs the gamut from classic blues to Michael Jackson.

Heather and Kyle made it a point to take me to see Clutch, whom I've been threatening to get to know better for years. What a fantastic show. Subsequently, Heather gave me two Clutch albums and Josh Ritter's The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter. I was quite certain years ago that I'd filled my quota of singer- songwriters. I was wrong, and now I can't stop playing that damn album. It comes to a close and I let it roll right back to track 1. She also made me a mix cd with a great variety of artists.

Lisa made me a mix of songs as upbeat and happy as the two of us (a.k.a. Ersa) and I danced in my seat in the car on the drive home from her house.

Luis and Andrew both mentioned Thrice within 24 hours of each other, which lead to a YouTube blitz of all things Thrice, plus The Starting Line, Saosin, and Something Coporate among others.

A Facebook status about this latest group of bands led to suggestions from Tom, Gaston, and Emily for other bands that I can't even begin to list right now. More research to be done later!

Meanwhile on the local scene, Joel DaSilva and the Midnight Howl are working on their debut. Beauty to the Moon just announced that they're working on a follow-up album. I've discovered Bobby and the Renegades, Hymn for Her, and gotten more into the Shakers. Hit Play! has drastically changed their lineup. Checking out Sugar in the Gas Tank live is on my to-do list, thanks to Spano's new hosting gig on Buzz Junior.

I have the greatest music friends in the world.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Jimmy Pagano Memorial @ America's Backyard

I spent last evening with my local music family, celebrating the life of drummer and music promoter Jimmy Pagano.
Standing off to one side just after I arrived, I surveyed the motley crew of rockers assembled for a night of music and memories. It was a bit surreal to see bandanas, torn jeans, and myriad tattoos at a Top 40/dance club, but what a great time indeed.

The guests in attendance read like a who's who among South Florida musicians, photographers, and artists. There was absolutely zero ego in this room, however. Lots of laughter and rotating jams as everyone took turns hitting the stage and playing some really solid covers.

Judy Blem and several fantastic volunteers organized a fine event, along with the help of area businesses donating items for raffle and silent auction. A program has been set up in Jimmy's memory: The Jimmy Pagano Music Scholarship Fund. This has been arranged through the Dan Marino Foundation, and information can be found here:

I did not know Jimmy personally, aside from a few haphazard Facebook run-ins. But to hear what a beautiful soul he was, such a hard working and positive force in our community, made me proud to be part of this community, too.

This gathering allowed me the opportunity to catch up with some old friends, and meet a bunch of new ones as well. It was nice to spend the evening with good music, great company, and a few drinks.