Upcoming On Paths of Torment/Necrosis Show

Oh yeah -- the High School.

INCREDIBLE Looking Hip-Hop Fest in April

Looks so awesome I'm gonna do an article about it!
Keep your eyes on the Advocate as the date draws near...

Damn! Has it really been a week?

Dude! Sorry about the recent lack of activity over here at Local Commotion. You'll have to forgive me -- it's because this past week was my birthday, and, well, I really hooped it up. :)

Of course, there's tons of news that needs posting, but for now, allow me to toot my own horn over the fact that I just had my first band interview published in Clamor Magazine. It's with the Long Island-based hardcore band Cipher, and the folks at Clamor did a wonderful job with the layout. I'm so psyched!

Kid Ginseng

Fans of electroclash, breakcore, and other punk electronics will want to check out Kid Ginseng. His shit is pretty ill. Reminds me of Drop The Lime.

Quoth the Ginseng:

"Blesse" CD released. YES you can get it in america!
Check it out!
Listen to tracks on my

Metus Remedy

In a recent post on MySpace, Metus Remedy writes:

We are finally going into the studio tomorrow.
Recording a 3 track Demo.

1. Symbiosis
2. Dysphoria
3. Remedy of the Fallen

Some recordings will be up on the myspace tomorrow night.

Sounds pretty good! Local Motion will be keeping track of these boys.

Want a mix CD?

I have plenty of news to report, but I thought I would take a break to let you know I have made a baddddaasssss mix CD.

Want one? Take a blank CD (or your own mix -- even better!) and a stamp or two for postage, and send them to me care of The Advocate. Make sure to include a name and address so I know who to mail it to.

Dan Barry - Local Motion
c/o The Hartford Advocate
121 Wawarme Ave. 1st Floor
Hartford, CT

Who's on this mix, you ask? Well, mostly national artists (although one local ex-group, First Aid Kit, does a wicked job of opening the disc, and there's a good Randy Collins track). The heaviest artists on here are Tool and Propagandhi; there's some old-school 40's jazz courtesy Gene Krupa and his orchestra, some proto-emo from Sunny Day Real Estate, and some current indie-alterna-pop from Rilo Kiley. Also, post-jazz from Tortoise, and just for good measure, some Japanese alterna-metal from the kings of the Visual Kei scene, Dir en Grey. There's a bunch more artists -- 16 tracks total -- but what fun would it be if I spoiled it all?

Get mailin' kiddies!

New Sling Slang Signings

From local asskickingly-good indie DIY label Sling Slang records' homepage:

Sling Slang will soon be adding Lost in Ashford, Final Fall and Moon Halo, Omega Vague, Dharma Brown and Lisa Lawrence to the Label. More info. to follow.

I reviewed Final Fall a while ago -- they were a two-piece alterna-folk duo that has since become a three-piece. They're young, but I would keep my eyes on them if I were you. I think they could evolve into something really cool.

And Dharma Brown -- I got a CD from them a while ago and have been trying to track them down live ever since. More great alternative.

The other new additions, I'll have to investigate!

I have totally heard Lisa Lawrence before, and she was excellent!
I saw her play at Peaberry's in Simsbury (cool coffeeshop, reminiscent of Javapalooza in Middletown but without the Wesleyan crowd, which is a loss in my opinion). She and Pete Serge threw down pretty awesome sets. All I can say is, now that it finally clicked, I'm glad to see her on Sling Slang!

Some electronic/dance recommendations

Local DJ/promoter/all-around awesome electronic music guy Anton Banks writes:

If you've ever heard of Prototype 909, Dietrich Schoenemann, who now runs several record labels and has started a couple of other projects, will be spinning at Zen Bar this Wednesday (the 15th) night. He played a great set last time he was there. Very nice guy too.

On a different note, have you ever heard of Jeff Mills? If not, he's techno producer from Detroit. His music has always been abstract, yet generally danceable stuff. He recently made a recording of his music live with the Montpellier Orchestra (France). If you're a Mills fan then this will be a
real treat for you. It's quite good. http://www.uncivilizedworld.com/blue_potential_en.php3#.

There's a 35 min sample on this website. http://www.lesinrocks.com/DetailArt...m?iditem=183342 The article is in French but just click the "AUDIO/VID√ČO" section. The link is in blue in the center of the page.

Looks like I got to BAR just in time.

...because apparently they had a bigass fire there! Which blows, because that place was beautiful. They had all these pretty candles...

Walt from Brass City Records writes:

Dan, got this from Rick at Bar in New Haven

As you may have already heard, BAR nightclub suffered some damage last week from a fire while the building was being re-roofed. Thankfully, no one was hurt. While the restaurant will be up and running before you know it, our Sunday night concert series is on hiatus until we can replace the sound equipment and repair the building. In other words, we're just taking some time to bring things back up to speed and make the night even better than before. Unfortunately that means cancelling some amazing shows that we've worked hard to get:

All shows at BAR have been cancelled until Sunday March 26th.

Again, the pizza restaurant will be operating much sooner than that, but we've got some work to do before we're ready for our Sunday concert series to be up and running. Obviously all Shaki Presents shows that are NOT scheduled at BAR are still on. And no, we were not able to put any of those cancelled shows in other venues (yes, we tried, but it just can't happen).

There will be more news, soon enough, but that is the short of it.
Thanks for your support.
-Rick Omonte
Shaki Presents
BAR nightclub"

sucks because I had heard that Whitehouse was to play in March...

we will start to do shows again when I can get my stage back...right now it's covered with a TON of punk vinyl...gotta get rid of some of it to make room again...

You heard the man -- go buy punk vinyl!

Weekly Mailbag! Vol. 1: Margo A-Go-Go

Welcome to the first edition of Local Commotion's Weekly Mailbag!

I get a lot of interesting responses to my column, ranging from the hostile to the supportive to the flat-out hysterical.

This past week's column on Margo seems to have raised the hackles of a lot of their fans. And there are a lot of fans.

In case you didn't see the column, you can catch it here. The gist: Margo is an excellent local metalcore band with a cocky frontman. They are one of two bands whose fans are held largely responsible for inciting some pretty serious fights/injuries a few weeks ago in Torrington. I went to the Hamden Elks Lodge last Thursday (Feb. 2nd) to see if they were the provocateurs people said they were.

My problem with Margo is not with their music -- I loved their songs, and I think they make some of the heaviest, most degrading, make-you-feel-dirty-inside metal in CT. My problem isn't even with their fans, per se. My problem is with artists who don't take social responsibility for their work.

Allow me to explain.

Hardcore, punk, and metal are aggressive music, and they attract aggressive fans. For the vast majority, the music helps them burn off some steam and get rid of some of the anger that troubles them. But there has always been a minority who just use the music to multiply their anger -- they jump in a mosh pit and pick a fight with the first kid who bumps into them. (Here it's important to differentiate between true moshing -- which is an aggressive, non-contact form of dance akin to breakdancing -- and slam dancing, which is the stupid, watered-down, pro-wrestling inspired dance for kids who think they know what moshing is, but don't. In moshing, you may very well catch a stray fist or elbow -- but you're just as likely to get a clap on the back and an apology from the person who did it. In slam dancing, you beat or get beat. In moshing, if you fall, people will immediately stop dancing and help you back on your feet, asking if you're alright. Slam dancing pits are where people get trampled at large-scale, arena-rock venues.)

Aggressive music breeds aggressive dance forms. Duh. So let's take it as granted that if you come to a hardcore or metal show and you mosh, you stand a small but significant chance of getting accidentally hurt.

The fact remains that your chance of getting hurt is substantially higher (or lower) depending on the band. New Haven's Hatebreed, who over the past few years rose to national prominence, has a reputation for violent, thugged-out mosh pits. If you go to a Hatebreed concert and you clock in at less than 200 lbs., jumping in the pit is about as smart as lighting your arm on fire.

So why is it that, within the same genre of music, you can dance safely to some bands, and have to fear for your safety with others? As with anything, it's a combination of factors. Some frontmen, like Hatebreed's Jamey Jasta, actually demand their audience to spill blood. Still others (lest we make the scene sound like a complete bloodbath) will stop their set at the first sign of a disturbance, ostracize the violent kids, and even run them out of the venue. Other factors include the sound and attitude of the band, the fans who associate themselves with the band, the location of the show, and the attitude of the locals towards the band/show/fans, to name a few. Hardcore fans who start beef in the mosh pit often take the concept of loyalty to particular bands/geographical areas a little too far: they claim to "rep 203," or claim membership in the "Buried Beneath The Ashes of November Mosh Crew," or they "represent Waste Haven/Wallyworld/T-Town/[insert witty nickname for town here]."

(Hmm. Wait. "Represent"? Isn't that rap slang? And doesn't "represent" also carry a secondary meaning of representing a particular gang? And you mean entire *crews* of these dudes will take over a mosh pit during a given band's set, and clock non-crew-members in the face with fists and folding chairs? Yes, Virginia, let's call a spade a spade: hardcore and metal, like rap, serve as crystallizing points around which young, angry, security-seeking, emotionally- and/or economically-deprived kids form gangs. Gangs. There, I said it. They're no Bloods/Crips/Los Solidos/Latin Kings, for sure. They're not selling drugs or murdering. But they ain't playin' patty cake, neither.)

What's clear is this: Margo and Deadgirlsdiary, both of whom gig in the south of the state and have large fanbases there, came up north to Torrington. So did a bunch of their fans. Fights broke out during their part of the evening. Some poor dude left in a neck brace and an ambulance. Cops came and pulled the plug.

The next week, when I saw Margo, lead singer Dave Avery was making fun of Torrington and those events mid-song.

In my column, I compare Avery to Eminem. Like Eminem, Avery is a talented young artist who, to some degree, divorces himself from the traditional styles, images, and mannerisms associated with his music's culture. Like Eminem, Avery also disavows any responsibility for what fans do during his set. It's an attitude most of his band seems to share. In an unsigned message to me on MySpace, Margo wrote "if we were at torrington to be security we would have done something." Which, to me, reeks of "I was just following orders"-style complicity. Margo may not have been brought onto the bill to stop fights -- but they certainly weren't brought on board to start them, either.

The online response to the column has been pretty astonishing. Margo scanned and posted the column on their MySpace, and within 24 hours there were pages upon pages of replies. If you're a member of MySpace, click on this link and log on to see Margo's fans' responses.


(Bonus points if you can find me among the snide commentors .)

If you're not a member of MySpace, you probably have good reasons to stay away. So I'm reprinting some of the more interesting responses to my column:

Jimmy Two-Step

February 8, 2006 9:22 PM
Eminem= Dave avery? This guy is trying too hard to make this more than it is.


For someone who doesn't think Margo played a very big role in the recent mosh pit fights, Jimmy Two-Step sure seems to have a vendetta against Torrington.

!!i am up to my neck in glitter and vodka!!

February 8, 2006 8:29 PM
hahah thats funny.

you guys should be dicks and make a big deal about it and demand an apology and a retraction or some shit.

Glitter/Vodka's killer hangover prevented him from attending the class where they taught big ten-dollar words like "slander" and "libel." Otherwise he would know my column is hardly out-of-line enough to be grounds for an official apology. It's ok, GlitVod -- for my next column, I'm going to print offensive cartoons about the prophet Mohammed. The column will be titled "Fun With Retractions" -- keep your eyes peeled.


February 9, 2006 11:39 AM
Yeah since dave doesnt wear shitty clothes hes an outcast right. Dan Barry is a clown. Violence is everywhere and since not everyone can be calm and obviously one person out of a room of 200+ is gonna have an attitude about something. Let Dan Barry keep mocking good bands and fuck himself in the ass with his type writer.

Mmm. Deep. "Violence is everywhere." Yes, WHMC Joe, you're right: neck-breaking mosh injuries are just a fact of life, and as such, we shouldn't worry our little heads about them. That one loose cannon out of 200 is going to do what he's going to do, regardless of any outside provocation. And, adding insult to Joe's injury, my typewriter broke this week, forcing me to write my column on a personal computer.

In what is perhaps the most fitting end of all time, Margo wrote me a follow-up message in which they, once again, poetically divorce themselves of any responsibility for their fans' actions. "Just so you know we didnt ask anyone to write any of those comments," they wrote. "Those our our fans."

Indeed, they are.

Red Tide, We Barely Knew Ya

Alex Khan, bassist for Margo (who I review in this week's upcoming column), just lent me a CD by a former CT band called Red Tide.

I'm completely astounded. This recording, "Type II," is from 2000, and yet it's filled with techniques that are only recently being popularized in metalcore. These guys were using blastbeats long before The Red Chord and Between the Buried and Me popularized the crossover of deathgrind into metalcore. And they were incorporating bizarre elements like Latin polyrhythms into their songs -- something perhaps only Flo Mournier of Cryptopsy can lay contemporaneous claim to.

Drummer Justin Foley's jazz-inspired drumming has since led him to greener pastures, which rules. After the breakup of Red Tide (which I think occurred in 2000 or 2001), he joined Blood Has Been Shed, whose 2003 album "Spirals" is, in my not very humble opinion, a metal masterpiece. "Spirals" is a challenging and rewarding listen, and I'm thrilled to see that Foley's complex ideas have roots in Red Tide's fertile, more jazz-friendly compositions. (Most people probably know Foley as the drummer for titans Killswitch Engage. He and BHBS vocalist Howard Jones transplanted to KsE after the departure of their original drummer and their vocalist Jesse Leach. While KsE obviously consumes the majority of their time, there is no official word of a BHBS breakup, and I'm quietly hoping for new material -- or at least an announcement of new material -- sometime this year.)

I'm beginning to think that, between Red Tide and Biartz, CT may have had an all-too-brief (and altogether undocumented) moment where it was on the bleeding edge of the jazz-metal-hardcore fusion.

If anyone has more information about Red Tide, or is in touch with former members, let me know -- I'd love to hear more.

Review of "Type II"
Review of

How You Know You're Moving in the Right Direction

This afternoon, Local Commotion's comment cherry was popped by none other than Johnny Cakes -- the Sugarfist singer/percussionist who wears a blood-stained lab coat labeled "Gynecologist" on stage.

Perfect! Thank you, Johnny! I was afraid I would be a virgin forever.

Homegrown: The Local Music Radio Show

Robert DeRosa, of ThinManMusic fame (the CT label that releases CDs by excellent artists like The Sawtelles and Frank Critelli), also has a radio show! It's called Homegrown (nyuk nyuk), and it focuses on local musicians.

Homegrown broadcases on WESU 88.1 FM from 5 - 6 p.m. every Thursday. If you're out of range, you can tune into the webcast (god, I love the internet) at:


Porto: How and Why They Rock My World

Here is the weblink for Porto, who I reviewed/enjoyed in this past week's column. Might I add that I had an awesome discussion about music with their guitarist Justin; and that their bassist, despite his metal looks, is the nicest dude in the world?


Also, here is a video (pardon the shitty sound -- Best Buy is working on fixing that as we speak) of Porto totally rocking out the last portion of the last song of their set. Note that they rocked so hard that something in Stacey's mic actually broke!

Here's the Rapidshare link (you have to jump through a hoop or two, but hey, it's free hosting):


everyone in belle and sebastian is ugly.

research the validity of this claim if you dare.

conclusions to be drawn:

1. maybe this is why they suck.
2. this must be why they put pictures of other, prettier people on their album covers.

Read about The Smooth Hands, and understand why I love them.

Tragedy struck this week in dusky woods of Bridgeport, Connecticut. The beautiful bodies of Adam and Luke, members of the popular teen music duo The Smooth Hands, were found by authorities after receiving a phone call from an undisclosed source. Forensic expert Rodney DunMorogh explains how the untimely deaths of these obscenely talented individuals took place:

"It seems that The Smooth Hands were out on their daily jaunt to gather berries" explains DunMorogh, "While distracted by Adam's provocative charm and riotous wit, Luke found his powerful legs snared in a rusty bear trap. Adam frantically tried to free Luke from the devil's jaws, but to no avail. Dizzy from exhaustion, Adam inadvertently sat on a bee hive, angering the one hundred thousand bees that were inside. He did not last long against the black and yellow demons. Luke, however, was still alive and in quite a good mood considering the circumstances. The evening drew nigh, the temperature was declining quickly. Desperate to stay alive in the bitter winter cold, Luke did the only thing he could do; he cut Adam open and slept inside of him. Unbeknownst to Luke, the bees had laid their bee eggs inside of Adam. Luke's manly musk catalyzed the hatching of the bee eggs. The irate bee babies then took Luke's precious lil life."

The Smooth Hands were scheduled to play The Acoustic Cafe on Friday February 3, 2006. They have never broken a promise, so please join them for this performance before their glorious souls are brought to heaven in a crystal carriage.

Join The Smooth Hands and friends at the Acoustic Cafe (2926 Fairfield Avenue - Bridgeport, CT - 06605) on Friday February 3, 2006 for The Smooth Hands' Happy and Healthy MP3 Release Party! Joining them in this celebration will be their bffs Stiz and Federal Bison. The party will commence at 9pm, finishing up around 1:30am. It will cost cost 5 dollars to get in the golden gates, but its well worth it, because there will be an unbeliveably high fun to dollar ratio. Below is some sugary sweet info on each of the acts performing. You'll never forget this party, it'll be like a silver dolphin swimming in your mind.

The Bands:

THE SMOOTH HANDS - The Smooth Hands tenderly record 1 minute love songs, on windows sound recorder, in one take, through a beautiful generic computer mic. Dan Barry of the Hartford Advocate says: "Singer/guitarists Adam and Luke unleashed an arsenal of twisted love songs that were half comedy act and half serious. The shit is bananas. Every song is exactly one minute long -- namely because that's how much time you have to record audio in the generic Windows Sound Recorder, The Smooth Hands' audio tool of choice." Oh my god he is so nice!


STIZ - Stiz is a comedian. His jokes have been described as intellectal comedy, a man that keeps you thinking and on your feet. So if you don't laugh at Stiz' jokes then you are just plain dumb. Comedians like Stiz are rare: only one in five laugh at their own jokes, one in ten wear glasses, one in twenty graduated from college, and very few earn a masters degree to fall back on in case he wasn't funny enough.


FEDERAL BISON - Federal Bison's goal is to write rock n roll music that is relevant to modern times, while incorporating classic elements. Their music reflects their live performance; high energy, no gimmick rock n' roll. They will be playing an acoustic set at the Acoustic Cafe on February 3rd.


We strongly urge you to come and join the celebration! Don't be a shy little seashell!

EDM Radio Show -- With a Webcast!

James Fusion spins an EDM radio show on Weslyan's WESU station. Check out his website for links and MP3s of prior broadcasts!


Fusion Radio airs every Wednesday night from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm EST on 88.1FM WESU. If you're out of range, you can catch a webcast at: www.wesufm.org

Here's last week's playlist:


Chiane's February Schedule

Chiane's (across from the Warner Theatre, Main St., Torrington) just sent me their February lineup:

Feb. 3 Jeremy Hopkins with special guest Ron Zabrocki (Pop)
Jeremy is making a CD with Ron Zabrocki who was back up guitarist for many famous musicians. You might want to stop by.
Feb 10 Sweetheart Mountain w/ Sean & Arlene (Blue Grass)
Feb. 17 Jesse Meade (R & B, Blues)
Feb. 24 Rob Aldridge

Music is 8 - 10 B.Y.O.B

Every Thursday is Open Mic Nite

EDITED: At least bad news occasionally has a good bearer.

UPDATE 2/2/06: Brass City is happily NOT closed! Apologies for any confusion. Walt just wrote me to say:

over the holidays we did 3-4 shows...just got in a massive collection of 70's-mid 80's punk vinyl and everything seems to be going well... we did a really great Bludrum show for new years....had one of my xylophones set up. sounded like Capt.. beefheart.

Well, rock on!

Krizta Moon wrote this to me at the beginning of December:

Unfortunately, Brass city went under and closed about a week ago. I can't believe it! I've been going there since I was 14.

Brass City has long been one of the most unique record stores/performance spaces that CT had to offer. It's a huge loss -- especially to the avant-garde music fans who would shop there, not to mention the DIY-kids whose first shows at Brass City taught them how to organize a musical event, use a PA, and not trip over their own wires.

I know Walt, the owner, was having trouble with zoning (he told me the city wanted to demolish his building to put in a new "Transportation Center" that, in our minds at least, seemed better off closer to the current train station). Has anyone spoken to him since/about the closing?