Sunday, November 9, 2014

Most Music Venues: Broken Business Model Here's Why

Just finishing up here at the Elm City Music Festival, a lot topics popped up that referred to the scene and the smaller venues that base their business of showcasing original independent music. I also had a great conversation thread on Facebook with a lot of musicians in the Philly scene regarding the same topic. So I decided to do a comprehensive blog breaking down the reality of venues and where so many go wrong and have a broken business plan. I thought this would be great to share and feel free to add your comments below.

Being a booker/promoter/former club owner for over 20 years I really never really liked when people used the term "Support the Scene", it’s more like support my bar or establishment.  It's “supporting artists” and music you personally like, people go out to shows to experience music that they like to hear. It’s more like "support the music you like". Is there a so called music scene in Philly, yes of course there is, if not all the clubs would be closed. But people fall into that term because bars are falling, they make excuses why nobody's at your show or a scapegoat why nobody's at shows.

The problem is and it’s something I struggled with after my 10+ years at The Grape St Pub (Philly), is that many bar/venues owners don't get it. The goal for a bar/venue is to put asses in seats so you can sell alcohol. Where the model fails is that they rely 100% on the artists to fill their room. Venues do not promote or do different programming to get people in their bar. That's why places close or fail because they work off a broken business model. You want people to go to your venue because they want to. The Grape St. was so successful because we had a lot to offer to the common person and we just happen to have great music there. People loved to hang there. This is why like R5 Promotions has been successful also at various venues they created an environment that people wanted to be apart off.

Also looking a lineups lately at several venues I say what the hell are people thinking of with building shows, it seems bookers/promoters lost the art of putting together cohesive shows and try to do shows based on draw which equivalent to a winning the lottery. Which never really works, people come for one band and then leave. When there is a real cohesive bill and right promotions the odds are people will stay for the entire night. This includes bars/venues actually programming their place correctly with liquor programs, real promotions (adding bands to your schedule of events and a Facebook post is not promotion), building relations with outside vendors to enhance the experience for your customer and having a staff that is about hospitality, fun, engaging, etc.
On the financial side of things the major problem too is that all promoters/booking agents have when the clubs put the cost of doing business on the bands also. I always hate adding production costs into a deduction in bands payment this is at most clubs. Sound/Door/Security is really an operating cost for the bar/venue - sorry owners it is. So putting on shows you’re a min $200-$300 in the hole before you open the doors. Then it goes back to my above comment that they rely on the bands to make them money with no real return. Every bar/venue owner would fight me on this but reality is when shows are booked correctly, you build your business first than the music; money will be there. High cover charges are set to cover these costs which really scares away the public. If you’re in the city, parking sucks, so you’re looking at $15-20 to park on the weekend and then $10 cover. So your already spent $25-30 bucks before you enter to see your favorite band. And the way the most venues/bars work is out of the $10 a portion goes to production, than the promoter, and then the band. Oh yeah, because most venues have put the cost of the promoter/booking agents on you the artist. Again another fail in most bar business plans. Reality is several bar/venues use the booking agents as free labor, do not pay they but rely them to pack the bars, do their promo, handle all the scheduling, handle staffing, handle payouts and then want you to take o cut of the artist money for you pay. This is a BS model and why your business will fail.
Realistically the cover charge should go to the bands 100% but these venues set the tone not to make this happen.
For local shows I really like to see $5-$8 cover charges which all the money goes to the band w/ no added deduction costs. If venues actually really worked on their business, setup correctly and the artists draw is a plus.
The problem the wrong people go into the bar/restaurant/venue business. My normal job (yeah music business doesn't pay well for is a consultant/designer/dealer for Food Service Equipment and I designs of these places along with consult them on business operations. You wouldn't believe the some of the people who try and open bars and think people are just going to come to their place because they think their shit doesn't stink. It goes all around where they think these are easy investments and the cash comes in by relying on other people for their success. Again a bad business model, who in their right mind would put out 200-600gs and rely on someone else for your business success. Hiring a great team to have a successful club is one thing but leaving your lively hood on someone else is insane.
As people know over the years I have always been on the band side of things. If people were in rooms over the years dealing with all the behind of the scenes BS they would be really shocked. Some of the ideas and shit I heard that owners wanted to do was insane and resulted in heated arguments.
Now to be the devil’s advocate once, it costs a bar in the 125-300 person cap about $40,000.00 to operate a month. It may be low I'm going on costs from the Grape St Days. So the bars do have to make a nut to break even, but if you know a number you have to hit to break even, I as an owner would make sure I fill the calendar up with additional events to bring in other cash. If these owners did the leg work these venues wouldn't have to rely on band draws all the time to pay the bills. They are stuck in this broken model. I have venue owners say you go figure out special events... really??? Isn't that your job...

 Most bands are aware of the situation they are in with local bars. Bands can make decent money with the right club and booker, bands that packed bars for me have been paid $500-800 for an hour set which is decent cash for a local band. I think I paid $2000 to local band for an hour set 2 years back. But that also is my being a booking agent and not rely on the bar to cut me a percentage from the bar. So there are ways to make cash it’s just finding the right place and developing a real crowd.

So, like most of you I am tired of bar/venues owners using excuses or blaming the artists for their failing business plans. The reality is your lack of knowledge, game plans and failure to build your business is the way you’re failing not the entertainment.
Jim Thorpe
DVT Entertainment,
Liberty Musicfest
Dewey Beach Music Conference
ELM City Musicfest

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Band 101: The Skinny on Opening for National Artists

I have been asked a lot lately about getting on a National Show either large venue to a smaller venue. It’s a show that everyone wants, to open for a major act and play to full house of people. So I figured on breaking it down to different type of opening slots on different levels with pros and cons of each along with ways to get on the show.

The biggest myth is that most shows have a local support opening the show. That is totally false, especially nowadays when most of the artists/management/agencies profits come from touring and merch. So majority of tours are packaged nowadays that those slots for a local opener is scarce. This so true with larger venues from 400 cap and higher. With smaller national’s in smaller rooms usually are more achievable but I will explain good ones from the bad ones.

These comments are based on my experience and there are always exceptions to the rules especially in music there are no rules.

1. The Sold Out National Act at a Large or Small Venue:
This is the ultimate score for any artist to play to a sold out crowd of people who never seen you before. Alias fresh meat. These shows are tours that come in that only have 2-3 artists on the bill. The venue wants to have a full night of music so they tap into the local music community. There are several ways they do this; contact a friends band they know, a band they worked with before on less aspiring shows, contact a local booking agent/promoter for a hot new band.

This is key for artists that do solid local shows, do not over book, always a strong draw and continue to grow and have a great live performance. There is really no negatives to this type of show.

Tip: this goes for all national artist shows, try getting in on a show the back way by contacting the booking agency and/or the band management. I have seen several bands be successful this way. I have done it in the past and has worked. The key is to be honest with these people, make sure your band looks pro and have strong branding. This is a longshot but do your research and find an angle to get in.

2. Open for a National at a Large or Small Venue but need help with ticket Sales – initial sales are good but need help:
These show come about from a tour package that is not selling to its optimal potential. Just say the national band sold 200 tickets for the show and the venue needs 300+ to break even with the guarantee and production costs. When this happens the venue reaches out the local community, same as above, but looking for bands to sell tickets to help meet the breakeven point. The venue may ask you to sell a min of 50 tix to 100 tix for a show. The pitfall here is and a huge no, no is a band buying the tickets just to be on the show. This will basically put you at the end of the list for the next opportunity. When the venue asks you to sell tickets they will usually put a radius clause on your performances in that area. Usually 3 weeks before and 2 weeks after. If the venue makes its quota for the night they usually pay the bands up to $200 bucks.  This is another great show to get, more people to get your music out there. Be smart with this type of show, go all out and make this a priority.

Note: As with both 1 & 2 scenarios be prepared to raise your merch costs either equal to 15% higher  than the touring artists. This sucks for your regular fans that are interested in your merch, but for the new fan they look at it as your part of the tour and most likely won’t squirm at the prices. I also seen several times when a band offers free stuff from CD’s and shirts that they get shut down by the tour manager or tour representative. So the key is to ask before you do it. To get people to sign up to a mailing list, etc. is always totally cool.

3. Open For a National at a Large or Small Venue with poor ticket sales:

These shows come about when the national has bad ticket sales. This happens, I have been there several times. Ticket sales aren’t there and now the venue/promoter needs to cover as much of his losses as possible. Also I seen a lot of nationals booked because the show was booked on a fanboy reasons versus booking a correct show by researching before you decide to book. Which from Jumpstart the bands are asked to sell tickets to cover a nationals costs with real no return – don’t do it! Yeah its cool to play with a favorite band but for a business of band I would avoid at all costs. Here are the reasons. You are asked to sell a high ticket to your base to put people in the venue for the national. Now let’s say the ticket is $15, you are required to sell 50, so you sell them all generating  $750. Now you might get zero or maybe a $1-2 a head if you’re lucky. Now you play to a room with your fans and not benefit playing with a national act – no new fans, no growth or exposure. It’s cool to say you played with a national, a large stage but in reality if you can’t benefit a chance of building new fans it real doesn’t mean shit. To be honest, I rather sell tickets for my own show and take more money in for the band fund. Use the money in other areas to build new fans. Bands are usually lured into these shows on false hopes.

Tip: on these shows there are exceptions just like anything else in life. I would highly recommend asking numerous questions about the show. Why do you need me to sell tickets? What promotions are you’re doing for the event? What benefits the band – future top bookings? What are we getting per ticket sold? (feel free to negotiate this in your favor), Draw up a basic contract with this information to cover your basis.

4. Buy On to National Show

This is definitely a 50/50 proposition. It depends on the show like every other option. Lots of times when there is a buy on offered the national band is making sure they cover their costs above and beyond there guarantee.  Not that it’s a bad thing, it could be a kickass show and maybe not. I see buy on’s usually around $300-$500 per show depending the size of the venue tour. If you’re willing to shell out that money to get on the show really make sure you do your research. I have booked tours where bands buy onto the tour/show, are the first band and play to their fans or no one and then the rest of the packages fans start coming in. Again why waste that money use it for something else more beneficial to the band.

Tip: if you decide to buy on a show or tour, again research the hell out of the bands and past tours, negotiate your time slot and payment for the show (usually it might be over 300 tickets we will pay you this), make sure you are a part of the shows promotions and mentioned in their email/social media posts.

Hopefully this helps you out understanding  open for a national band. I tried to keep it as basic as possible. Feel free to comment or ask questions on the blog!

Thanks for reading

Jim Thorpe
DVT Entertainment
Liberty Musicfest
Dewey Beach Music Conference
Elm City Musicfestival

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

AFU Podcast: For Love of the Game - New Music


AFU Podcast is back in October with another Episode featuring the hottest new tracks from Major Artists and the Best Independent Artists on the rise. These podcasts are to introduce you to new music if you enjoy please support these artists and buy there music and see there live shows!!!
This Episode is called "For the Love of the Game" - music is the game these artists play in, they right incredible music for you the fans to build their Audiences!!

Here is the Track Listing:

Stars - Sixx A.M.
Back to Oblivion - Finch
Colors - Empire Theory
You, Me & the Sound - Face the King
Submissions - The Tea Party
Your Future - Timothy Bloom
Little Miss Whiskey - The Morrison Brothers Band
Follow - Lovebettie
Sweet Gitchey Rose - Lenny Kravitz
Midnight Oil - California Breed
Contemptress - Motionless in White
Matter of Time - Wovenwar
King of Errors - Evergrey
Ember City - Mastodon
Bitch in the Pit - Body Count
Flashback Golden Nugget TrackThe Knife - Genesis
Man of the Times - In The Presence of Wolves
Eternal Reigns Will Come - Opeth
A Beautiful Mistake - Voyager
Siren Sky - Threshold
Kerakrps - Thought Chamber
Language I: Intuition - The Contortionist

Friday, September 26, 2014

3 Artists You Should Check Out

I have decided to do a reoccurring blog series called "3 Artists You Should Check Out". With the past two extremely successful Conference/Festivals Dewey Beach Music Conference (Delaware) and The Liberty Musicfest (Philly), along with the upcoming Elm City Music Festival  (Connecticut) and the South Street Spring Festival (Philly) coming up I have been exposed to hundreds of amazing artists making music you should know about.
- Feel Free to leave comments -
Jim Thorpe - DVT Entertainment

Bobby Church
Bobby Church is Josh Paul (Daughtry, Suicidal Tendnencies, Everlast), Timothy Bloom (two time Grammy award winner), Matt Holmes and Pat Besecker (The Underwater, Sinclarity). As you see this is a diverse band that blends rock and soul to its fullest potential. Imagine 4 successful musicians from different backgrounds of music getting together to create music for the love of music, no one telling them a direction to go and create music organically. We that is Bobby Church! With organic nature of the writing process we get a fantastic honest record. Honest meaning its real and grabs you on many levels, I highly recommend you to check them out and if you like if please purchase their music. Below is their video for "Blood Rain" of their new release.

Their brand spanking new release can be found at:
 Born Again EP on iTunes

The Silent Scene is Ben Spremulli, Duran Visek, Richie Arthur and Jeff Maurer. The band refers to themselves as an electro~house // indie~dance // pop band. What does that mean? "We want to revamp and reamp the whole four piece, two guitars, bass and drums format." says Ben; " We're throwing in elements of EDM and indie dance to innovate and reinvent that sound...we are finding out where we, as a four piece band, belong in the electronic dance scene."
We had The Silence Scene at Dewey Beach and was their show explosive and they totally live up the "revamp" and "revamp" statement. These young guys have hit songs, fresh sound and originality! Check their new video out for the their song "Collecting Hearts" 

For The Silent Scenes music on Amazon

Observe the 93rd

Observe the 93rd (OT93) is a high energy, melodic hard rock band from Harrisburg, PA. OT93’s incredibly diverse and innovative songs seem to be an uncommon yet perfectly harmonious coup...ling of static and satin. This comes as a result of their myriad of influences drawn not only from music, but many other sources of inspiration, such as: visual art, everyday life through the eyes of strange people, dreams, brisk, cymbal monkey, hidden milk, and, because, at, also. Their live shows are that of extreme energy, passion, banter made up of obscure references, and Abdul Wright. Breaking down the band/audience barrier seems to be no trouble as they get the crowd involved through chants, clapping, jumping, and sometimes through the cherished custom of teabag and sexual protection dispersal.
Another over the top performance at #DBMC2014. I never seen this band live but heard through industry friends that I needed to see. Boy was I blown away they reminded me of 30sec of Mars meets Coheed and a little System of the Down but in their on creative way. Talk about a show, it was a sonic onslaught and visual controlled chaos. This band is really going to make some waves in the region and hopefully on a national level

Monday, September 8, 2014

Liberty Musicfest 2014 Recap, upcoming Events!!!

Liberty Musicfest 2014 Recap, upcoming Events!!!

Sorry for the delayed recap of this years Liberty Musicfest 2014 at Finnigans Wake in Philadelphia - still recovering from the event \m/.
Each year our main goal is to offer a event that artists can perform, hang out, meet new artists/fans, network with industry folk and have a great time in the process. Hopefully we achieved this for you. Thanks to people from Unclaimed Bands, SSA Music, Starr Hill Brewery, Broken Goblet, Paystr, Gashouse Radio, The Recording Academy Board Members, Greg Styer (GMS Photography), Industry Professionals, BassPlayer Tees, Rick's Drums, Official Philly - Black Maverick, Phreedom Events and S.O.S Sound - this wouldn't be possible with out your support each year. Oh Yeah!! major thanks to Eric , Jared, Alex, Ali, and Noami for making things run smooth!!!!

(Midnight Mob - NY)

We had over 1500 people in attendance over the 5 days which is amazing in itself and the true testament of the talent that torn FW down every night over 4 floors. Thank you, the artists for being apart of something special that is need in our independent music community. The beauty of this year #LMF2014 is that all genres were represented and supported by each other. A true essence of musicians and music fans in the Philadelphia Scene.

(Joie Kathos)
Its seriously hard to name standout performances this year, Since every artists put their heart and soul into their performances. Personally I love seeing bands bringing it 110% and keeping all the performances at a such high level. This is the reason I love doing this, its all about the show and the energy that music embodies. There were numerous people who were coming up to me all the nights praising the talent they just saw and many couldn't believe that you were independent artists. Again Thank you for lending your talents to this event.

(East of the West)

To be honest, I was a little disappointed in the attendance for the Music Industry Panels during the day; but understand the artists mentality these days that have their business all straight. There was a good crowd don't get me wrong, but offering great information and introductions to industry professionals is priceless.  The artists in attendance they truly benefited from the panels along with one on one networking with them. The topics were geared to the DIY artist and not promising the world. The common theme work your asses off, network with everyone and keep true to what
your doing.

(In the Presence of Wolves)

We always preach to the artists to raise the bar, so we took our own advice and raised the bar. We had a blast putting this together, hanging with old friends, meeting so many new kickass artists and providing an outlet for independent artists to strut their stuff!!! We look forward to next years event!!! Announce we come in January 2015!!!
See below on upcoming DVT Entertainments Events!!

Thank You Artists - Jim Thorpe

(Kid Felix)

Upcoming Events!!!!

September 18th to 21st
The 12th Annual Dewey Beach Music Conference
Dewey Beach, De.

November 7th to 9th
The Elm City Musicfest
New Haven, CT.
Artist Submissions are on Reverbnation
DVT Entertainment presents
In the Presence of Wolves CD release party!!!
We are proud to be working with the Philly Alternative Prog rock band with their new release!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

3rd Annual Liberty Musicfest - Podcast Vol 2 of 4 - Meet the artists

Wed. Aug. 20th through Sun. Aug 24th
at Finnigan's Wake - Philadelphia, PA.

This is the second of four blogs and podcasts that introduces you to the artists performing at this years Liberty Musicfest. The goal of LMF is to help expose their music to a your everyday music lover and build bigger fanbase.
Below click on the link for the PODCAST to listen to their music.
Each artist that is on the 1st Podcast is listed below with a photo, bio and links to their individual sites. Enjoy and hope to see you at this years festival.

Nadira Norjahan
Nadira, (Born Artheis Reeves) a native of West Philly, knew from an early age that she wanted to sing. Singing in the church choir, and in high school provided an environment to develop her stage presence and vocal delivery. Some of her achievements includes - singing the national Anthem and “America the Beautiful,” for the Judicial Inauguration Ceremony for the City of Philadelphia, PA, Singing lead for the West Philadelphia SDA Chorale, and performing in “The Messiah,” with the Mass Choir of Ebenezer SDA, Pinn Memorial Baptist Church among many other performing activities. Nadira’s influences are – her mother – Shirley Ferguson, Whitney Houston, Jill Scott, India Arie and Stevie Wonder
Paul Saint John (UK/US)
Philadelphia Area's Great New Emerging Artist - Scottish Singer Songwriter - Paul Saint John His Folk-Rock sound, original unique songs and raw emotive vocals,combine to create the breakout Artist for 2014. His songs have been featured on various radio networks throughout the East Coast,on music blogs and radio stations throughout Europe, and worldwide on internet radio. Fresh onto the music scene, his powerful Live Solo Performances have him fast becoming Hot property on the Philadelphia Live music scene and beyond. Debut LP - Eleventeen, released in August 2013 to critical acclaim. In fact Eleventeen made it into Popa's Tunes Top 10 Albums of 2013 !!  His Folk Rock sound is a touch of old school Tom Waits and Bob Dylan mixed with David Gray's songwriting quality and the raw power of The Tallest Man on Earth.
Bobbie Morrone Trio
Using blues as a starting point, Bobbie ended up directing his guitar studies in the area of jazz. This then took him to Indiana, where he studied Jazz Guitar and Songwriting for a Bachelors Degree in Music. Despite the blues and jazz studies on guitar, his songwriting was always aimed towards making a catchy melody and structure, while still allowing those blues and jazz influences to naturally compliment it's melody and harmonic structure. The end result was a combination of Jack Johnson's voice and melodies paired with John Mayer-esque guitar playing, but with more jazz roots than blues. While Mayer wasn't a heavy influence on Bobbie, artists like Michael Kiwanuka, The Avett Brothers, The Bahamas, Jack Johnson, Dr. Dog and a select few others helped shape the songwriting and stylistic characteristics of his music

Satellites Fall (RI)
"Imagine a brit-indie sound that mixes elements of The Killers with elements of The Cure."
- Alex Kantarelis, The Pulse Magazine
"Satellites Fall has released the blueprint for things to come. An exceptionally produced example of what happens when a group of serious and professional minded guys follow their hearts into the recording studio. Five tracks that sound a bit like a cage match between Radiohead, Coldplay and the Foo Fighters in which the quirkiness of Radiohead and the pop sensibilities of Coldplay come out on top."
- George Dow, The Deli Magazine - New England
Cypher Clique (NY/DE)
 in feb of 2011, their 1st taste of the main
stage came about when they were picked among 30 acts to open up for
Mac Miller’s "Incredibly Dope Tour" stop in PA. Since then the trio
has been on countless websties such as hotnewhiphop,,, released a top 8 mixtape in 2011 called “The Show”and have opened up for many other acts such as Meek Mill, Tayyib Ali,
Roscoe Dash, Wale, Waxx, Diggy Simmons, New Boyz, A$AP Rocky, Action Bronson, Taylor Gang & Pac Div. With a summer tour currently running featuring shows with D-pryde, Peedi Crack & MGK, their latest video on an MTV PUSH Segment, and a new project in the works set for this fall, the future looks very bright for the next hip-hop trio on the rise.
Mile Marker Zero (CT)
As great as Mile Marker Zero sounds on album, they shine brightest in concert. The band are equally powerful and captivating whether playing in small clubs or a large stage, and have won over crowds at outdoor festivals and support shows with artists including Periphery, Porcupine Tree, Spock’s Beard, Scale The Summit, Fair To Midland, Queensryche’s Geoff Tate, and many more.
Part heroin sunset, part shotgun blast, Lovecartel is band of brothers driven by an undying passion for songcraft. Known for their introspection and swagger, the Philadelphia three-piece creates emotionally-aggressive, soul-drenched ‘pocket-rock’. Their distinctive sound melds infectious rhythms with distorted and ambient guitars alongside synthetic overtones to lay the backdrop for a poignant & punchy vocal delivery. Having been compared in part to the likes of the Black Keys, the Cold War Kids, and Talking Heads, Lovecartel is humbled by the comparisons yet is intent on carving out their own slice in the musical spectrum……
Evan Russell Safer (NYC)
 ERS has been performing and recording most of his life, has released records as the frontman for road warriors Fixer (Riker Hill Records) from 2000-2009 touring coast to coast in the USA. Since embarking on a solo career in 2009 ERS has toured with Tremonti, Hurt, Filter, Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg, Joey Belladonna (Anthrax), Queensryche, Saliva, Candlebox and many others as well as Buzzfest 2012 and Rockapalooza 2008 and 2013. ERS has seen his music featured in various broadcast formats and networks including TLC’s “NY INK”, MTV’s “Awkward”, Exposure: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2011 (officially released by Playstation Network), ESPN U for use in 2012 college football. ERS has been a featured artist on ReverbNation and MusicDish Secret Sounds vol. 1 as well as performing the National Anthem at Madison Square Garden in NYC for NIT college basketball.
Melody Rose
Melody Rose is a vocalist from New York. Melody has been fortunate to have many prestigious opportunities, such as touring Europe on two occasions whilst performing at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Melody is now working on her debut album, with producer Ryan Lerman.
Following the release of her first single "Dressed to Kill," Melody was featured on,,, and, receiving stellar reviews across the board. Because of her feature on Reverb Nation, she was invited to showcase at the Driven Music Conference VIP kickoff dinner in Fort Lauderdale, FL May 2013.
Melody's second single "Lightning Strikes" has garnered her more attention, as it has reached the "Top 5 Most Requested Songs" on LLUVIA FM radio in Spain and continues to climb the charts.
Pistol Shot Gypsy (RI)
It’s about time Rock-n-Roll got a swift kick in the ass! I mean what happened to the bands that left you wanting more, music that stayed with you long after your ears stopped ringing and showed you an experience that reminded you just what Rock-n-Roll was meant to be?
While playing alongside national acts such as Bush, Crossfade, Buckcherry, Faster Pussy Cat, Non Point, The Treatment, Joey Belladonna, Gary Hoey, Sick Puppies, Pop Evil, and Chevelle, Pistol Shot Gypsy has won The Providence Phoenix “Best Loud Act” for two consecutive years along with their frontman Travis picking up “The Best Male Vocalist” accolade during the bands second run.
Liz de lise 
Liz de Lise is a singer/songwriter for guitar and voice. Her 6 song EP, "To and Fro" (to be released Summer 2014), is an interpretation of stories de Lise collected during anthropological fieldwork in Portland, Oregon. Liz lives in the Greater Philadelphia area.
Additionally, de Lise is a singer with David Dorfman Dance and the front-woman in Camp (EP Vol. II to be released Summer 2014).
Jay Griffy (Bronx,NY)

Strength like the body of a lion, the head and wings of an eagle that soars, a Griffin is the perfect representation of Jay Griffy. It is no surprise that is also where he got his name. Hailing from Castel Hill in the Bronx, Jay Griffy saw a lot of movement with his family as they struggled to live the American dream finally settling in New Jersey when Jay Griffy was a teenager.
Now not only sought after to perform, producers and labels have been reaching out to Jay Griffy for his natural song writing ability and keen music knowledge. Soon everyone will get to see the complete package in his upcoming mixtapes “Rising of the Don” and “HitTape Volume 1”. Simply put it is a based on real concepts and filled with a new cross breed of music. Also coming this year is the Sound Barrier Experience featuring Jay Griffy.

The Late Saints
Led by vocalist, guitarist and kazoo virtuoso Jacopo de Nicola and propelled by the driving rhythmic section of bassist Jason Bachman and drummer Micah Hebbel, THE LATE SAINTS bring on stage an explosive sonic cocktail, Italian Gypsy style. Treading a path between Lucio Battisti’s baroque pop and the frenetic rhythms of Manu Chao and Gogol Bordello, this Philly based trio manages to charm with infectious original songs in Italian and English and riveting pop covers, rearranged and translated into Italian. Jacopo’s inspired kazoo lines, a soul warming and tasteful homage to the “one man band” street music tradition, define the distinctive band sound.
Tony Desimone
" This sunny bit of guitar-rock will invite comparisons to Jack Johnson and John Maher, all while Desimone’s vocals tattoo themselves in the minds and hearts of listeners "
James McQuiston, NeuFutur Magazine
"The talented singer-songwriter Tony Desimone offers an imaginative and entertaining album of indie/alt melodic rock, likely better than the mainstream milieu and many of his peers. Recommended"
Craig Hartranft, Danger Dog
Pioneering Electronic-Pop act Vishno ties together transcendent DJ culture, real-time virtuoso musicality, and philosophically like minded sponsors in an unprecedented lifestyle experience. The innovative creative vehicle, Vishno, just may become the model for artistic autonomy in the new music era.
Alright Junior 
Alright Junior is a raw, genuine modern rock trio who has a desire to communicate their collective internal focus. Playing hundreds and hundreds of shows since 2006, touring a vast amount of area in the USA, Alright Junior is keen on constantly being on the go, as this band’s live show is what defines them. This musical endeavor has led Alright Junior to share the stage with Incubus, Cake, Circa S...urvive, Local H, Flogging Molly, Civil Twilight, Maps & Atlases, Sponge, Our Lady Peace, 10 Years, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Young the Giant, The Head and The Heart, KONGOS, Bear Hands and more. The explosive, impulsive, and intense mindset of Jace Miller, mixed with the creative efficiency of Mike Fraclose and Rob Perry, make for an electric mixture of rock, with passionately haunting lyrics, infectious riffs and stunning energy.
Emily Danger (Brooklyn, NY)
Emily Danger is a dark cabaret rock duo from Brooklyn, New York. They make pretty music about ugly things. Both classically trained musicians, Emily Nicholas and Cameron Orr joined forces in 2012 to create orchestral, progressive rock n’ roll. Emily’s powerful, over four octave vocal prowess compliment Cameron’s violin virtuosity to create the band’s unique sound. Their live show combines a my...riad of electronics, a host of instruments and Danger’s voice (“an instrument unto itself”) with a Patti Smith meets Bjork presence. They've been featured in Baeble Music, and AM-NY's Hot List as well as the BBC Music Video Festival, SXSW in Austin, and at IMVF in Paris. Look for them in the next issue of "V Magazine"! 

DOE Boy Philly
As Real As It Gets
There’s a lot of doeboys out there, but there’s only one D.O.E.BOY PHILLY. As it stands today, there are very few people in the industry who are not fond of this SW Philadelphia native. He’s a walking combination of Biggie, Scarface and J-Dilla. That’s right… not only is D.O.E. (Dollars Over Everything) a great MC, he’s one of the dopest producers around.
As an MC, D.O.E.’s style is one of a conversational nature. He paints pictures in such a way that it sounds like he’s talking to you, directly. As a listener, you become wrapped up in the sheer brilliance of the candid autobiographical quips, beyond clever metaphors and vivid storytelling as only D.O.E. can do. No stranger to the game, D.O.E. has a history that stretches from Philly to LA, Atlanta, Chicago, New York and all points in between. D.O.E. has put in a lot of work and it’s very evident, even at first listen. He is a true student of the streets and the music world. This work is evident in D.O.E.BOY’s “HARDBODY” series.
Zymotic Flow
The band calls upon influences from the 90's and 70's and combines them to bring heavy grooves in the vein of Black Sabbath, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and KYUSS! At times their sound can be described as heavy and raw but they also can be describe as refined and melodic. Their tunes will def stimulate you physically and mentally, making you simultaneously want to get up and move and also reflect upon the lyrics.
In 2014, the band moved it's home base to Philadelphia, PA. While in Philadelphia, they recorded their first 6 song EP "Out of The Dark" at Milkboy Studios with Karl Petersen (Miley Cyrus, Usher, Daughtry, Michael Jackson). The band released their debut EP on May, 30th 2014.

Old Man Savage
Old Man Savage is a groove thrash metal band from the southern end of New Jersey. Over the years Old Man Savage has played venues all over the area, including The Starland Ballroom, and headlining a metal fest at The Trocadero Theater in Philadelphia. We have shared the stage with great bands and will be opening for the great "Metal Church" in March 2014.
Danielle and Jennifer
Danielle and Jennifer are sisters who grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and started singing and acting professionally at the young ages of 3 and 6 years old. Danielle (born 12/28/91- now 21) was “Young Cosette” in the Broadway show Les Miserables for 2 years and 9 months and Jennifer (born 07/29/95- now 17) has been on “Law & Order” and “All My Children”.
They have a long list of experience of years on Broadway (Les Miserables, Tale of Two Cities, Broadway Kids, etc.), Off Broadway (House Of Bernarda Alba, The Alchemist, A for Adultery, etc.), TV (“Law & Order”, “All My Children”, “Guiding Light”, etc.), Commercials (Numerous National Commercials such as Wendy’s (Wendy’s Family Series), Kodak, Campbells, AT&T, Lowe’s, Spaghettios, Franceso Rinaldi, etc.), Voiceovers (Blue’s Clues, Lowe’s, Spaghettios, Volvo, Royal Caribbean, etc.), Jingles (Pepsi, Hess Truck (also in spanish), Charmin, Curad, Nickelodeon, etc.), Film (LBS, Corn, Olivia, etc.), Readings (Night of The Hunter, Tale of Two Cities, etc.), Print (Sears, Boscovs, Child Magazine, etc.).

Jesse Baker Band  (Lancaster, PA)
For the past three years, Central PA's Jesse Baker Band has been hard at work, with many appearances at the Chameleon Club, Lancaster Convention Center, and WXPN's World Cafe Live. Initial exposure came from regular gigs with national act Kingsfoil. Reaching over 20,000 plays on YouTube, they focus on creating timeless musical experiences, such as live, one take, unedited videos without tricks or gimmicks. This has appealed to an audience that wants a new sound, but also appreciates the music of past decades.

Roxy Rollz
"RoxyRollz", the person, the band, is candy to your senses. Rocking a guitar, Jamming her keyboards or sliding on her knees dominating the keytar, at any given moment, you don't know what to expect. What is a given… her powerful voice, her amazing angelic delivery and then to just rock her vocals like there was no tomorrow, she is truly carving her way to being one of the greats.
STEALING FAME is a perfect blend of musical styles creating a sound that is unique and popular. Combining influences from Metal to pop with driving rhythms and creative lyrics, STEALING FAME is guaranteed to please. Originally formed as The Michael Stoutenger Band back in 2009, the band gained fans and success playing at multiple festivals, competitions and venues. The band went on for about a yea...r before changing members and direction. With this change came a stronger focus on a sound and goal for the band, leading up to the formation of STEALING FAME. In Nov 2011 STEALING FAME debuted and released their first E.P Homemade at The Grape Room. Since then Homemade has gained a lot of attention with its hard hitting rhythms and driving melodies. Night Stalker is one of STEALING FAME’s number one songs landing several indie movie sound tracks. Revolution and Had Enough are widely popular over iTunes and Xbox live music. With success on the rise STEALING FAME is looking forward to more shows and the release of their second E.P in the year of 2013.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

3rd Annual Liberty Musicfest - Podcast Vol 1 of 4 - Meet the artists

Wed. Aug. 20th through Sun. Aug 24th
at Finnigan's Wake - Philadelphia, PA.

This is the first of four blogs and podcasts that introduces you to the artists performing at this years Liberty Musicfest. The goal of LMF is to help expose their music to a your everyday music lover and build bigger fanbase.
Below click on the link for the PODCAST to listen to their music.
Each artist that is on the 1st Podcast is listed below with a photo, bio and links to their individual sites. Enjoy and hope to see you at this years festival.
Gifford's Lane (NY)
Grade School Kids Who Rock!!! They have been featured on WMMR's Preston and Steve's show a few times!

"Beautiful guitar work, delicately crafted vocals, and cool polyrhythmic bass and drums reign supreme in this four piece’s formula; it can be easily assessed as rock solid in nearly every aspect, with no facet falling flat."

Midnight Mob (NY)
"This group encompasses that old New York sleaze rock sound that we all grew up loving, but with the combination of the sexy, sultry rock vocals of Blackey Deathproof (I’m sure not her real name) are an absolute diamond in the ruff."
Rich Quick (Woodbury, NJ)
Who is Rich Quick? A Jersey bred true-skool lyrical emcee on the rize in the Philly Hip-Hop scene, bridging the gap between Bakkpakk+Street Rap one bar@a time. Outside of the local Philly music scene the MC isn’t well known. Despite working the game touch for over a decade, releasing albums and mixtapes and performing with The Roots, Freeway, and Reef the Lost Cauze

Cookie Rabinowitz (Philly)

a city with a long and rich recorded history with Cameo-Parkway, Philly International as well as vocal groups like the Soul Survivors, Stylistics and Hall and Oates emerges a new singer who mines the Blue Eyed Soul genre in a slightly different way. Cookie Rabinowitz has dubbed his music “Four Eyed Soul,” as a nod to Philly’s rich history of Blue Eyed Soul. This aesthetic encompasses funk, hip-hop, rock, and R&B.
Adam Travis and the Soul (Hatboro,PA)
Blues Rock and Reggae fused together to create both a positive vibe and outlook on life. My goal in my lyrics is to speak inspiring truth in a new and unique way that any listener can relate to. My optimistic mindset is greatly displayed in my music and I hope to bring this joy to anyone who hears it.
Montgomery Streets (Brooklyn, NY)
After their critically acclaimed band "The Vinyl Addicts" disbanded, Brian Murray and Anthony DeFeo began writing some new songs in an apartment on Montgomery St in Brooklyn's Crown Heights. The songs were catchy, unapologetically pop riddled with harmonies and introspective lyrics.


Survay Says! (Blairstown, NJ)

Survay Says! Is a 6-piece pop punk/ska band from New Jersey. Averaging 150+ shows a year for the past 3 years, Survay Says! Blends horn-driven ska music with a hard hitting and quick, catchy pop punk sound. The release of their new record “Observations Of The Human Condition” will be quickly followed by several North American tours in April through August, including a month-long run with ska legends Reel Big Fish. More tour dates are to come in the fall, including a return trip to the Fest.
Rowboat Casino (Philly)

Rowboat Casino is a high energy, content heavy, live band hip-hop powerhouse from Philly. Since their onset late 2012 they’ve already shared the stage with legends Black Thought (The Roots), Raekwon (Wu-tang), and Big Daddy Kane (Las Supper). While finishing up their debut EP “Boat Drinks” they’ve been gaining a lot of festival love starting with the Liberty Music Fest (Philly), Dewey Beach Music Conference (Delaware) and the CBGB Festival (NYC). Get on the Boat!!
Stephen Lyons (Brooklyn, NY)
“I am about to pay Stephen probably the best compliment that I can think of. He sounds a LOT like Elvis Costello, James Taylor, Bono and Bob Dylan donated their collective man juice and had a son that combined every single best quality that they have.”

 The Currys (Florida)

The Currys are a home-grown acoustic folk trio born and bred in the Florida panhandle. Incorporating elements of country, bluegrass, blues, and rock, the Currys music showcases tight vocal harmonies, thoughtful songwriting, and a strong emphasis on rollicking live performance. They've been featured on PBS, toured Ireland, guest starred during the headlining set of the 60th Florida Folk Fest, and collected a full back-up band.

The Blackfires

They are just coming off two huge gigs for us: one supporting Aerosmith in Moscow, and the other California Breed (Jason Bonham/Glen Hughes/ndrew Watt) in NYC.
“The perfect description of their musical style, however, was given by frontman Chegodaev himself – “Don’t think too much about it, just go crazy.” That we did. So if you’re starving for some ear-splitting rock ‘n’ roll badassery, look no further than The Blackfires.”
Revel 9 (Long Island, NY)
“The delivery on ‘The Razorblade Diaries’ is amazing.
- Hip Rock Magazine
“The intensity of opener ‘San Jose’ is palpable and Pearlman impresses with his perfect rock vocal tone and blistering guitar licks.”
- Now This ROCKS!
“They offer up a sound that is bound to catch on like crazy!
- Neufutur Magazine

Black Rue (Philly)
You can describe the music of BlackRue as Rock alt country with a twinge of Punk attitude. Since its release in November 2013 the band has sold hundreds of copies of its debut Ep “"The Likelihood of Confusion"” produced by Grammy nom...inated producer David Ivory leading to a sold out release party on Nov, 9. It has far exceeded expectations. Songs off the Ep such as “Last Chance”, “Confusion” and Baby Blue have been receiving airplay on 95.1 WZZO Allentown, PA, 93.7 WSTW Wilmington, DE, 104.9 WRKY Altoona, PA, 99.1 Johnstown, PA. and 91.7 WCUR West Chester College Radio.

Angel Vivaldi (Princeton,NJ)

"If people don’t like instrumental music, I’m here to make them like it.”

In today’s music scene where countless bands are effortlessly duplicated, Angel Vivaldi stands out as a cutting edge and unprecedented up-and-coming artist. His blend of spell-binding guitar anthems, tasteful yet virtuosic playing and engaging song arrangements have captured the ears of many who would have never given instrumental music a listen.


Carfax Abbey (Philly)

Carfax Abbey is a fifteen year old electro industrial rock act out of Philadelphia PA, that embraces the darker side of everything. Loud, unique, edgy and downright scary is the band's method and madness.

Steve Foht (Pittsburgh, PA)

Steve Foht is a singer / songwriter from Pittsburgh, PA. He spent almost 8 years playing and touring with Music From Another Room. In that time, he has played Warped Tour, Bele Chere Festival, Dewey Beach Music Conference, Liberty Music Festival, Pittsburgh EQT Three Rivers Regatta, and toured over 30 cities in the eastern United States. He has shared the stage with acts like Big Time Rush, The Maine, Action Item, Before You Exit and Honor Society. He is currently writing for his upcoming solo recordings and pursuing collaborative writing with other musicians.
Messages of hope embedded in emotionally driven rock...
Much like Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom and sponsor of the arts from whom they take their name, Peg and Kevin combine both their passion for music with a desire to inspire and heal others.
Joie Kathos (Philly)

Joie Kathos, (Born Jordan Shannon) is a multifaceted recording artist from the city of Philadelphia. As a lyricist, singer, producer, songwriter, dancer, and actress, Joie is bringing something unique to the entertainment industry by delivering messages of optimism and hope through songs that talk about her everyday struggles in life. "I have nothing to prove to anyone. I want to share my gifts wit...h the world, and I hope to entertain and relate to people from all different backgrounds and walks of life. " -Joie

Core Wade (Philly) 
Cory is an American singer, actor, model, and spokesperson in the LGBT community. He was the third place reality show contestant on America's Next Top Model (ANTM), cycle 20 (Fall 2013).He and Chris Schellenger were the first openly gay male contestants on ANTM. According to interviews on the show he loves to sing, act, model and being a drag queen. He has been criticized for his feminine style and sexuality. During the ANTM cycle, he continuously got criticized by judge Rob for his feminine mentality and lack of masculine poses.
Those People (Philly)

Those People is a rock band from Philadelphia formed two years ago by Daniel DiFranco and Seth Carter. Their single “Black Swan” has recently been played on WMMR’s Jaxon’s Local Shots and WZZO’s Backyard Bands. After garnering some attention from a demo they recorded at Fresh Produce Studios, the band has been invited to play some of Philly’s more esteemed venues (Milkboy Philly, Northstar Bar, ...Bourbon and Branch, Kung Fu Necktie, to name a few.
Kid Felix (Philly)

 Kid Felix then went on to solidify there role in the music scene when they released their second EP, 'Young Luck' in October 2012. 'Young Luck' grabbed the attention of some very important figures in the music industry today, allowing them to play to huge crowds in venues such at the TLA, World Cafe, Susquehanna Bank Center, Electric Factory, House of Blues, Starland Ballroom and more. Now on the heels of their third release, 'Rivals', as well as a brand new music video for "I Am the River", Kid Felix finds themselves touring the East Coast, playing music festivals and growing their markets.
A Better Class Criminal (Philly/Queens)
While fusing together classic rock'n'roll and hip hop, A Better Class of Criminal brings a different element to the music scene. With influences ranging from Rage Against the Machine to Black Sabbath, from Beastie Boys to Iron Maiden, and from Cage The Elephant to Wild Cherry,
Terrible Friends (Mullica Hill, NJ)
Terrible Friends was started by childhood friends Dan Tumolo (drums) and Vin Dammann (vox/rhythm guitar) in early 2012. The duo crafted the first batch of songs and soon added the lead guitar work of Rich Ealer and Morgan Bartz on bass. The band has since evolved its sound into something that would satisfy fans of 90s-alternative and modern indie rock alike.
Vajra’s music is hauntingly dark and hypnotic weaving Eastern Indian themes with melodic, progressive rock creating foreboding and mysterious lullabies. Vajra was formed by composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist, Annamaria Pinna during her self-imposed exile in India. The child of a former monk and school teacher, Annamaria was encouraged to learn about the world around her and to question her assumptions. She believes there is divinity in creativity. Annamaria has a neurological condition called syne...sthesia, where she attaches color and shapes to sound.

Steve Haley (Philly)
Real Trash Rock n Roll!!!! Ripping guitars!!!!