Interview: So, in anticipation of tonight’s show, I was interviewed by Damon Howard (formerly of Elan and The Verge, for you old heads), for his blog, switchflip.com. Click here to get the inside scoop on The Lift Up. Thanks again Damon!
And Wilmo News Journal reporter Ryan Cormier posted a little pre-show write up on his blog as well. I know this piece has a few folks up in arms, so I just want to be clear that I had nothing to do with this, no one from the paper contacted me about the show or doing a write-up. We don’t use the words “surviving members” when talking about this group, and we’re not out to exploit our past lives or the life or death of our dear friend. So let’s just leave it at that. If you know, then you know all to well.
And in preparation for our debut show, I’ve been sneaking out stealth style and hitting a few open mic nights here and there to test out the material – this past Monday I went to Jazmine Thai in West Chester, which oddly enough is in the same building that used to house Rex’s back in the day, a spot I played quite a bit in both Nero and The Situation. In fact, the last time I played there I think was with Raccoon, right when they were first starting to morph into Dr. Dog. Was it really ten years ago? Damn.
Anyway, open mic night host Jan Bohan was kind enough to write this little review on her facebook page: “Joining us for the first time was Joe Castro, who I’d met out at Burlap and Bean a couple months back. I remember being impressed with him the first time around, but think the even more ‘intimate’setting at Jazmine served to compliment his direct, pop-infused folk songs that much more. Each line within a given verse seemed to be that much easier to grasp and examine, before moving on. Hook lines would then emerge for balance, giving the music a chance to take over the listener’s attention. Joe clearly enjoys toying with changes in time signatures, and this couldn’t have been better demonstrated than on his third song of the night which speaks of ‘trading in dreams for a good night’s sleep’. Music is far from Joe’s only creative outlet, as he is a very accomplished painter and graphic artist as well!”
Enough rambling – I’m very excited to play tonight and am looking forward to everyone hearing what we’ve been working on. See you at Mojo Main!
I have a small collection of collages and gig posters (9 total) for sale at Home Grown Cafe in Newark, DE throughout May and June, including this brand new one, entitled Aftershock. It’s mixed media on paper, 12″ x 16″. April 2012. Prints are available through Society6.
Home Grown is a great spot with good food – lots of vegetarian options and well worth checking out, especially with the weather getting warmer. And if you’re planning on heading down to Newark for the debut show of my new band, The Lift Up (Friday May 11th), it’s a good spot to grab dinner and drinks before hand (hint hint). 126 East Main Street, Newark, DE.
Friends Friends Friends…
For you long term readers who may have wondered “What ever happened to Nick P?” Well, he’s NYC based now (Queens to be exact) and recently started his own podcast, Tales from the Outlaw Shack. From his site: “Remember that amazing story you heard at a party? Wish you could remember the details so you could pass it on? That’s what we do on Tales from the Outlaw Shack. We’re telling true stories that shouldn’t be lost to the sands of time.” The debut episode, Crazy Cows and Psycho Squirrels, is now available for your (free) listening pleasure. Funny and engaging – definitely worth checking out.
Good friend and occassional video collaborator Justin Clowes recently put the finishing touches on a documentary about Philly bad, East Hundred (trailer below) Entitled Kings, Queens and Fools, the doc will get it’s world premier at Johnnny Brenda’s, Sunday May 6 as part of the band’s farwell show. Looks cool – can’t wait to check it out..
And we finally got the lineup worked out for The Lift Up’s debut show on May 11th at Mojo Main. We’ll be playing with Lush Farm, The Jolly What and Echo Mission. We’ve been working hard, getting the new tunes ready and we’re super excited to finally get out there and play. Hope to see you there.
Friends on the west coast – please be sure to make a trek to Costa Mesa this Saturday night for the 3rd Annual 1 in 91 art auction to help raise money for the A.skate foundation. Like last year, I donated a limited edition print to the event. which also includes work from many great artists and skateboarders including Greg Hunt, Christian Hosoi, Jeremy Wray, Kenny Anderson and Russ Pope among others (click here for the full list.) All money raised will help fund a.skate’s work with autistic children (take a moment and watch the short video Vans did on them below to get a real sense of what they’re all about) . They’re a really great, grassroots organization that definitely deserve your support.
Anyway, the party is Saturday, April 21 at the Artery Gallery at the Lab, 29030 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, CA. 6-9pm. Food and drinks provided. $15 at the door. Or save a fiver by ordering advance tickets here. Sounds like a great time – really wish I could be there. Maybe next year Cali.
Face in the Crowd in Wilmington Delaware
I’m showing a selection of recent portrait paintings at the City/County Building in Wilmington, De this April, as part of the City’s Art Loop. The opening party is on Friday the 13th and goes from 5:30 – 8:00 pm. There’ll be live music by Lowercase Blues along with free wine and finger food. This is the first time I’ve shown a large body of work in Delaware, so definitely stop by if you’re in Wilmo. Should be a fun night. Unofficial after party at 1984? Louis L. Redding Cit/County Building, 800 N. French St, Wilmington, De.
And thank you everyone for the positive response concerning The Lift Up – we’re working hard and looking forward to May 11th at Mojo Main.
It’s been a long time coming but John Paul Travis, Larry Zappaterrini and myself have a new band – The Lift Up – and we’ll be playing our debut show at Mojo Main (the old East End for all you old heads) on Friday, May 11. Full details (like the lineup) are still being worked out, but I wanted to give everyone a little advance notice.
It’s been six years and a lot of mileage since the last time we three stepped on stage together and I couldn’t be more excited and honored to be playing with those two again. For those wondering – yes, I am writing songs and singing lead for the band, which is a first for me – and no, we’re not going to be playing any songs by The Situation (sorry). And for those about to ask “well, what do you sound like”? It’s hard for me to say much except that it’s somewhere in-between The Situation and Nero (OPF). Less brit-pop, maybe a little more rock-n-roll. We’re definitely not a “power trio” but instead look toward some of the great three piece bands like Husker Du, The Jam, The Minutemen, Dinosaur Jr. and The Rock-n-Roll Trio for influence (as well as the usual suspects).
We’re on facebook as well as twitter – and will hopefully have a full website up sometime in the near future. Other than that, we have tenative plans to record two songs later this spring, with hope of doing a record sometime down later this year, if things work out. Time will tell.
Friday May 11th – hope to see you there.
As some of you might have heard, Bob K. has decided, after many years, to pull the plug on Club mumble website.
I just wanted to quickly thank Bob K for inviting me to be a member artist and contributor – to be listed among so many other talented artist and skateboarders (including more than a few childhood heroes) was and is truly an honor. And through my involvement in the site, I’ve met a lot of really cool people and have had a few great opportunities come my way (like working with Science Skateboards on a board graphic.) So, yeah, I feel very grateful to have been a part of this. Hopefully I will get to collaborate with everyone again somewhere down the road. Onward and forward as always.
Special thanks as well to Amber B for carrying the torch over the past year.
And the site will stay up in an archival form, for those who want to take a look through.
Blind Exodus is a piece of cut paper collage art using images taken from vintage magazines and other ephemera that are hand cut with an xacto knife and then dry adhered to paper using a gel medium. The original is roughly 16 inches wide by 18 inches high (not including matte and frame) and was completed March 2012.
I recently had the pleasure of working with an old friend of mine, Chris McNulty, on a music video for his new band, The Big Black Night. Chris and I go way back – we went to college together, played in a band called Hyperchild (more on that another time) and, before Larry joined the band, he filled-in on bass for Nero, playing about half a dozen shows with us.
The video was shot in an old warehouse in North East, Philadelphia, with lighting professionally supplied by Thom Discher, who brought a truck load of equipment with him as a favor to the band. It was a fun (and easy) project to be involved in, as the guys handled everything on a pretty professional level – basically, I shot the footage and gave it to the band, who then edited the whole thing together. Hope you dig it.
And they just released their debut album, which you can preview and purchase here.