Archive for Bands

Villaintines 2015 Tour photos: The Other Door (2/12/2015)

Here are some photos I snapped on the third night of the Villaintines 2015 tour at The Other Door in North Hollywood.  It was my first time at the venue, and I was really impressed considering it’s unassuming exterior.  The sound guy turned out to be the owner of The Other Room.  He was a nice guy who seemed to really care about making sure the bands sounded as good as possible.  I missed Ricky Small’s set, but I thought Tiny Stills, Mariel, and Sullen Ray sounded great.  -Mark

Overexposed Villaintines Poster.Enthusiastic new fan holding up the Villaintines poster.  (Click ‘Read More’ below for more photos.  Click on the thumbnails to see full res versions)

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Band Spotlight: My My My uses community outreach and crowdfunding to reach out to fans

My My My band photo

Photo by Huda Krad and Sarah Snow.

For a band whose name implies a selfish streak, you would think that Chicago-based My My My would be less hardworking and good-hearted than they actually are.

My My My came under my radar when I was looking for musicians to feature in an article about crowdfunding. That article never happened, but through my interview with John Szymanski — who, according to their website, plays “everything” — I learned a lot about how to build a community that trusts and supports you. And that means trusting and supporting the community in turn.

To do this, My My My volunteered 80 hours of community service in 2013 as a “thank you” for helping to fund their latest album, Tigers on the Dance Floor. Community service included volunteering to benefit the homeless and LGBTQ teens, raising awareness for multiple sclerosis, and organizing the “Kittypalooza” benefit concert for a local no-kill cat shelter Tree House Humane Society.

Organized by singer Sarah Snow, Kittypalooza raised over $500 for the shelter with the help of Martyr’s — “a beloved Chicago venue” according to Szymanski — who donated the space to the event. In addition to My My My, two other Chicago bands Love and Radiation and Save the Clocktower performed pro bono.

Community is a huge part of the Villains ethos… and we think more musicians need to help within the community. After all, a good community is the foundation that supports all of us. And My My My is doing it right. Even the rewards for their crowdfunding campaign focused on the backers: Thirty second songs written about any topic, a signature drink at a local bar made specially for the backer, joining My My My in a recording session, one-hour music lessons… These are just some of examples of how My My My wanted to create a relationship with their fans, not just hand over their music.

And My My My hasn’t stopped helping the community just because their crowdfunding saga is over. According to Szymanski, the band will be “putting in feelers” to Songs of Love, an organization whose mission is to provide children and teens personalized songs to uplift them during tough times. They hope to work with the organization as soon as possible.

My My My's Tigers on the Dance Floor cover art

Tigers on the Dance Floor goes on sale Tuesday, November 18, 2014.

Their latest album, Tigers on the Dance Floor comes out on November 18, 2014. Like the name suggests, their new record is poppy and dancy, and perhaps ferocious as well? “We pride ourselves on being a very powerful, tight live band and wanted to capture that energy,” says Szymanski. They’ll be celebrating the record release with a show at the Double Door on November 21, 2014.

Beta Lion: Back in practice to get back in action.

Opie Tran of Beta Lion

Dean Fulinara of Beta Lion

Hey guys, Mark here.  My band Beta Lion has been back at it at our rehearsal space prepping for our show with Mariel and The Voveri at the Tin Can Alehouse on 10/25.  It’ll be our first show this year and Opie’s first double header Beta Lion/Mariel performance, so we’re super excited.

In my spare time, I keep a blog about these types of things, and also other types of things.  Click here to see more pictures from our rehearsal!