Tag Archives: Local music

Why I don’t agree with a local music award show and why we don’t need to have one…

I just wanted to talk about more of my thoughts on this local music award show that is happening in the Albany area:


Ya know, if this area wants to have an award show based on local bands and musicians, that’s fine by me. That’s their prerogative. Just leave me out of it. I’m not interested whatsoever. I don’t play music to win awards. I don’t care about some freakin’ trophy that means nothing. Winning awards is not what I play music for. I’m not desperate for that kind of attention and my ego is not that big, trust me. You don’t need to win awards to prove that you’re a talented musician.

On top of that, awards for musicians and bands are for the national industry. Local musicians aren’t famous people. We’re not celebrities or stars and that’s the problem with this area. A lot of musicians around here live under the delusion of being a “rock” star. Once again, we’re not local celebrities or rock stars. We’re just regular human beings playing music but of course, in this day and age… nobody sees music that way anymore. Everybody around here just wants to become locally well-known and popular. Everybody is obsessed with wanting to become that recognizable musician and become more established.

This award show that these guys are putting together “The Cammy’s” is just a “Do It Yourself” kind of event. It’s not being run by professional business people. It’s being run by amateurs putting their own money toward this thing. I’m willing to bet this award show costs them a lot. I’m sure those trophies are custom made from some shitty trophy company that anybody even myself can get.

If you want to know a few interesting facts about this show, here you go:

1) The winners of this award show are probably gonna be chosen by the nominees just like last year’s. So chances are, the nominees are going to be voting for themselves or their friends.

2) All the owner of this award show wants to do is to promote his shitty Alice In Chains tribute band, “Sludge Factory”. You’ve probably heard of them. This guy doesn’t care about us or the scene. All he cares about is shoving his shitty band, Sludge Factory in our faces and he just wants to make money off this award show. Chances are, this guy which shall be nameless at this time is gonna nominate his own band in a category or two and he’ll give himself an award this year.

3) The people running this show are all a bunch of douchebags. If you give these people any criticism of any kind about this show, they’ll become all defensive. They’re really unprofessional toward people. They have horrible attitudes, they’re very rude and they’re not to be trusted. I’m fine with this area having an award show, I just hate the people running this show. Trust me, they’re all pricks. These are the kind of people who shouldn’t be running shows like this. If there was a real award show in this area, they would be very friendly and courteous to others but the people organizing “The Cammy’s” are all assholes.

I understand this area wants to be “friendly” and “supportive” toward local music but they gotta stop being so naive about it. Watch out who and “what” they trust ’cause everybody is not your friend around here. If you actually go to this show, “The Cammy’s” all you’re going to see is disappointment.

The people running this show, “The Cammy’s” are egomaniacal and delusional. Just people trying to get more attention. That’s all I see it as.

If you’re a musician and if you’re willing enough to support this thing… chances are… you’re just hoping to get an award yourself even if you don’t wanna admit to it. I’m sure people are gonna accuse me of being the only one being against this show but trust me, I’m not alone. There are many others out there who are with me that this award show is garbage.

This is one of the reasons why I can’t stand this area’s music scene. Too many delusional people living in their own fantasy world.


Album Review: Hard Soul, “Seize The Year”…


The band Hard Soul is a band coming from the Capital District in Upstate, New York. The band’s lineup includes: Johnny Salka (lead vocals/guitar), Justin Cheever (drums), Nick Kossor (guitar), and Erin Grim (Keys/Piano). The band has got their start as an acoustic duo performing in bars, coffeehouses, and music venues across the Capital District. The band plays both acoustic and electric guitar-driven rock which defined their straight-forward rock n’ roll sound. “Seize The Year” is the band’s second EP, a follow-up to 2012’s, “Love Eats The Young”. Their latest EP “Seize The Year” has 5 tracks: the title track, “Conquered The World”, “Passes You By”, “Falling Faster” and “Not Alone”.

The album’s sounds is mostly straight-up-rock with one acoustic song, which is “Not Alone”; it has a folky feeling to it. As for the rock n’ roll songs, they can be catchy and they can easily be radio-friendly songs; something that you would here on EQX. Songwriting seems simplistic and easy to listen. That’s the way songs should be. You don’t have to be a technical musician or be a speed-demon shredder to make great rock n’ roll music. The guitar sounds on the album are good. Once a song starts, the songs get straight to the point, and you’re immediately hooked. Great rhythm chops, tasty guitar solos, and good sound over-all. The band’s sounds reminds me of other national bands such as Weezer, Silverchair, Oasis, The Beatles, and others. The band says they get most of their sound influences from Thin Lizzy, and I guess you can hear a little bit of that in their music as well.

Johnny’s singing is good and can easily catch a listener’s ear. He draws you to the music. His singing is real, heartfelt, and he doesn’t try so hard like most rock singers seem to do. He’s no classical singer or Robert Plant, but you don’t need to be to perform great rock n’ roll. All you need is to sing songs with passion and Johnny has that.

Even though this album has 5 tracks, this album is worth a listen. They’re a great rock n’ roll band and they have the potential for a big career in music in their future. I loved the album and hope they release a full-length album with even more songs in the near future. I’m a new fan.

For more information on Hard Soul visit these links:







Q&A with the Brock: Ill Funk Ensemble

I have came up with a cool idea for my blog site. Each month, I will do a Q&A session interview with a different local band. This month, I will start off with a Q&A session interview with Albany local rap and R&B band, Ill Funk Ensemble. They are a five piece band that is fronted by, Jermaine Wells, who is a local rapper, and he is also an actor. This band does a mix of both covers and originals at their live gigs. They are fun, entertaining, and you can dance to their music. So if you go check out a show of theirs, be sure to bring your dancing shoes!

Q&A with Ill Funk Ensemble:

  • When did the band first form?
    Ill Funk formed in 2005 with the idea to create a live hip-hop R&B experience in the Albany area.
  • How did you guys find each other to form a band?
    BJ hand-selected the members of the band because of their combination of professionalism, musical ability, and positive personalities.
  • What made you want to start a rap/hip hop/R&B band?
    It’s a genre we love and is underserved in the area.
  • You guys do a mix of originals and covers both, who does the writing for the originals? Does Jermaine do all the writing or all of you guys write together?
    The originals came from Jermaine and BJ writing the outline of the song- chord progression, lyrics, flow- and then they present the songs to the band to create the whole sound.
  • You just released a brand new song called, “Summertime”. What inspired you to write that and what is the song about?
    Our best moments have occurred in the summer, and we’re pretty sure people relate well with the subject.
  • Got any crazy road stories to share?
    We plead the 5th Amendment.
  • What other local Capital District bands do you support around here?
    We’re big fans of The Getdown, Soul Session, The Hillbilly Horns, and IMI, but there are loads of others we respect and enjoy performing with!
  • Since you released, “Summertime”, does that mean you got a new album in the works? When do you expect the new album to be released?
    Right now, we’re focused on getting Catching Wreck to be the biggest album that it can be.  We’ve received a number of great reviews from media types and fans alike, so we’re running with that for the time being.  Jermaine and BJ are always full of ideas, so the next album won’t be far off!
  • How did you learn to rap and how long have you been rapping for?
    Jermaine Wells: I started writing poetry at 5 and rhyming at that point. I have always been a writer and a fan on rap.
  • Who are some of your favorite rap artists of all time?
    Jermaine Wells:  I am a fan of Jay-Z, Big Pun, Nas, Biggie and Pac and others but these are my favorites.
  • Do you like Eminem at all? What do you think of his new album, “Recovery” if you’ve heard it yet?
    Jermaine Wells: I have alot of respect for Eminem. What I like most about him is his ability to create what he feels freely. I have not heard the Recovery yet.
  • What do you like to do in your free time other than music?
    Jermaine Wells: Other then music, I write books, stories, etc. I also volunteer and help youth.
  • Do you like any other type of music other than rap and R&B? Do you like rock n’ roll or other genres?
    Jermaine Wells: I am a fan of good music. So I do listen to many genre’s of music.
  • On your website, it said, you are also an actor, do you want to be a movie star one day or is your main focus is on music?
    Jermaine Wells: The plan is to do movies and TV in conjunction with the music. I started acting before doing music.

I would like to thank the band for this opportunity in working on this Q&A for this blog.

If you would like to learn more about Ill Funk Ensemble check out these links:

Official website: http://www.illfunk.com/

Official Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jermaine-Wells-The-Ill-Funk-Ensemble/28912977566

Booking contact: booking@illfunk.com


Thought: Being an unsigned musician is no career folks…

Do you know what one thing I get annoyed with unsigned bands and musicians? Is that a lot of them think that being unsigned is having a music career. Sure, many bands and artists (I’m not just talking about Capital District, NY musicians, I’m talking about musicians everywhere), go out on world tours at small clubs and making records but that still doesn’t mean you have a career because you get paid a few extra bucks from the clubs.

I never saw myself being a part of the bands/musicians scene having a career. I never saw other local bands and musicians doing this as a career even though they say they do. I always saw music as a passion. Just a hobby that everyone’s doing this for the love of music. Doing this for fun. I always saw unsigned music as not being a rock star type of thing.

If you want to think you have a career and be a big shot rock star wannabe, that’s fine with me. You just have to accept reality that you are unsigned like everyone else.

The fact is, if you’re a signed musician getting paid by major profesionals from the big business people in the music industry, then you have a career in music. Being unsigned is not having a career no matter much money you make from touring. Nothing wrong with wanting to make a living and making money by quitting your day job and playing music full time in your area, but don’t go calling it a career if you’re unsigned.

We’re not rock stars, we’re not big local celebrities, in my opinion there’s no such thing as that, we’re just normal people having a good time with music.