Turn It Off

Turn it off.  It seems like a simple enough directive.  Have I been able to turn it off while on vacation?  Barely.  My Facebook, Twitter, band and venue clients call to me like sirens.  I might be spending my days crashing waves and eating slices but my mind can’t escape the music.

De Lazy Lizard bayside bar: 2nd Street OCMD

De Lazy Lizard bayside bar: 2nd Street OCMD

I love my family and friends and am grateful for this week to spend with them in leisure.  But I can’t stop Gigspotting.

I left town with some hot loose ends that are haunting me.  I coordinated a performance by Silencio at Zoetropolis Art House on 7/13 and didn’t get to see the show; we left town that morning.  My friend Bjorn Jacobsen of The Wayfarer Experiment hosted the open mic at Shank’s Tavern in Marietta on Tuesday.  I hated to miss that!  Matt Wheeler played WCL at the Queen Wednesday night after my urging him to connect with Gable Music Ventures’ Singer-Songwriter series.  Missed it.  Today, Thursday 7/18/13, is The Ladybug Music Festival in the streets of Wilmington, DE.  My banner will be flying over the Xtreme Pizza stage.  Awesome women musicians will be in the spotlight from 5-11pm and the streets will be filled with vendors and music lovers.  I will only be there in spirit.

So what am I spotting in OCMD?  Boy, am I seeing a lot of great cover bands!  Our vacation home for the week is triangulated between two great bars: Caribbean Pool Bar on the boardwalk and De Lazy Lizard on the bay.  Both have live music every night and great drink specials.  At the Lizard, I saw Brandon Hardesty of Bumpin Uglies playing solo acoustic.  Have you picked up a copy of their latest, Ninjah: Reggae Assassins?  It’s phenomenal fun!  It was great to be there just relaxing with friends and not working behind my camera.  Tonight we might slip up to 45th Street Taphouse to catch a set by Bond and Bentley.  But first, it will be a seafood feast and some go-cart racing.S1140026

So I’m turning it off for now.  I’ll be back in central PA to stir the pot Saturday night and Sunday brings Dawes back to Long’s Park Summer Concert Series.  I hope to visit my new outrageous pals at The Rattler in Pittston mid-week.  Then it’s Toy Soldiers at Chameleon Thursday and three glorious days of the XPoNential Music Festival in Camden.  Count on me catching some central PA bands on those wonderful stages, namely The Districts and The Stray Birds.  Saturday night I get to see The Lumineers with my daughter.  The festival culminates Sunday night with Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket and other great acts on the AmericanaRama Tour.  It can’t be much bigger or better than that!

Gigspots Interview: Kirk Salopek of Silencio

SILENCIO- A Tribute to the Works of David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti

PhilaMOCA (532 N. 12th Street Philadelphia, PA) 7pm 7/12

Zoetropolis Art House (315 W. James Street Lancaster, PA) 11pm 7/13


7/12 PhilaMOCA &/13 Zoetropolis

7/12 PhilaMOCA
&/13 Zoetropolis

Twin PeaksMulholland Drive? Blue Velvet?  Maybe even Eraserhead?  How big of a David Lynch fan are you?  If your answer is BIG, this mini-tour by the band Silencio is a must-see for you.  It was Twin Peaks that set Kirk Salopek on a course through the weird and wondrous ways of filmmaker and composer David Lynch that eventually lead to Silencio.

“Man, those Julee Cruise songs from the Twin Peaks soundtrack, I just played that cassette to pieces.  It’s definitely how I came to love that twangy, tremolo-filled kind of 50’s sound.”  Kirk Salopek of Pittsburgh is a self-taught musician on a mission.  He and drummer David Jamison performed in a band The Mandrake Project from 2002-2011.  Their sound was progressive, mixing jazz, prog-rock and much experimentation; check their release A Miraculous Container.  Mid-2011 Kirk visited his local guitar store and saw this Epiphone SG copy “…that looked like it had been dipped in pond water.  Nasty.  My buddy who owns the store said he’d sell it for $40.  I took it home, cleaned it up and holy cow, you’d have to play it to believe it.”  That guitar and Kirk and David’s restlessness for a new musical challenge was the birth of Silencio.Silencio-lpr

“We both loved that retro sound, kind of sci-fi movie, 60’s cop shows, you know.  We started composing some stuff and realized we needed a bass player.  That’s where Matt Booth came in.  David was simultaneously working on a side project and had brought in his friend Dessa (Poljak) to sing a bit.  Well, her looks and her sound were perfect for our project.  The next thing you know, we enlisted Lee Hintenlang on sax and Dan Barrett on keys.  They play with Matt in City Dwelling Nature Seekers.  So in the space of about a month, we had a band and our first show.  It was at Le Poisson Rouge in Manhattan and it sold out!  We knew we were onto something!”

The David Lynch fan base is a large and voracious body all over the globe.  Lynch hasn’t released a film in a while but has released two music albums since 2010.  All sorts of anniversaries and celebrations are planned for some of his major works in the next year or two and audiences are clamoring for Silencio to be there.  Friday July 12, the band plays the “Eraserhood Forever” celebration at PhilaMOCA to help celebrate that weird neighborhood in Philly where Lynch lived while studying art in Philadelphia.  Eraserhead was his first full-length film in 1977.  Before returning to Pittsburgh (and the studio!), Silencio will also perform at Zoetropolis Art House in Lancaster, PA Saturday July 13 at 11pm.

Is Lynch aware of Silencio?  “Oh yeah, he knows about us,” says Kirk.  “He was interviewed in Rolling Stone mid-2012 and was asked if he had heard about us.  At the time, he replied no but we have heard through channels since that we have his blessing.  Plus, we were mentioned in RS, you know, so that was cool!   Even better has been getting associated with The David Lynch Foundation.  They espouse the use of transcendental meditation and consciousness-based education as therapy for people like soldiers returning with PTSD, victims of abuse and other people whose emotional and psychological scars are deep.  It’s a fascinating organization and you wouldn’t believe how many big stars are involved.  It’s cool to know that you’re making the music you want to make and that people find it not just enjoyable but actually helpful.”

Music fans who love David Lynch films: it makes perfect sense if you know Lynch’s work at all.  But anyone who appreciates great musicianship, ambience and escape should invest a few hours in Silencio.

7/12 PhilaMOCA &/13 Zoetropolis

7/12 PhilaMOCA
&/13 Zoetropolis

Time to Jam at the Dam!

On and off the grid.  That’s been my June and July so far!  I have plenty of stories to tell from Make Music Philly, World Café Live at the Queen, Loyalstock and more.  I hope to find time to write them.  But today, right now, is about Jam at the Dam, suckas!  If you don’t have tickets yet, you better jump.  This event is tomorrow 7/13 and is the last time for this gorgeous 50-acre campground party.  There will be a new location next year.  This year, I want to welcome you at The Gigspots Lawn Stage!

Jam at the Dam is a DNL Entertainment event.  That means Pirate Rob is at the helm!  I’ve written numerous times about Rob and his fantastic bands and events: Birthday Bash at Rams Head, Blockstock in OCMD and last year’s Jam.  This dude knows how to throw a party that’s part concert, part family reunion, and all fun!  I had so much fun last year I had to sponsor a whole stage this year.  And wait til you see this lineup on my and the other stages!Jam lineup

Do you jam?  This year, you can actually take part by heading for the Xtra Alltra Jam Stage.  Do you camp?  Come early for the best spots but hey, there’s fifty acres!  Come prepared to rough it, but count on some amazing food vendors as well!Jam map

So enough writing!  I’ve been advertising this for two months because I know you’ll dig it.  Join us! Many thanks to my stage co-sponsors: Tellus360, The Lancaster Roots and Blues Festival, and Wood Stove House Productions.  Stop by the stage to say hello, grab a beer and enjoy some great tunes!  Jason Mundock from Wood Stove House will be doing podcasts on-site for those who want to make a lasting record of the day and reach some other markets.  PEACE!