scene

Please allow me to introduce myself…..

Please allow me to introduce myself……

I’m the owner of First Angel Media and while I’m sure you want to know more about that, I’d rather tell you about something far more important – The Pittsburgh Music Scene. If you’ve heard my interview then you know I’ve been in music scene’s since I was 14. I’d always been under the impression that Pittsburgh was THE place for music. If you played in Pittsburgh, well that was just an honor. I saw some of it first hand at concerts and I always pictured it being the center for a love of music. Recently I came out of hiding, so to speak, and back to my music addiction. I began going to see live music again….and it didn’t let me down. I sat in the back of the bar, out of the way, letting the music flow over me. The electric sounds finding that place deep inside and bringing me back to life. The bass making my heart keep time, the beat of the drums making me move slightly in time. The guitars can bring out bliss and live vocals, well, there is nothing like live vocals. A single person standing on stage using words to seduce, to kill, no digital mix – the true talent searching your soul. And then there are those moments. Those moments when the music hits a sweet spot and you can literally FEEL these musicians feeding their very being into it. I was once again in love, enraptured, my addiction stronger than ever. Music has never let me down – but the crowds did. Over and over I paid my small fee to enter a venue and watch an amazing on stage performance to a “crowd” of five to fifteen people. For those of you not familiar with what I mean, I’ll gloss over it a bit. That means that a sound person was hired, Lights were run automatically or a light tech ran them, and approximately four people cleared their entire night, practiced for weeks and gave their very soul into playing….for five people.

I couldn’t believe it. When I left the scene you could count on a crowded house for pretty much any venue, any band. So, being me, I searched for the cause. Oh man did I find them. Yes, them. So much more than one cause. First and foremost – people believed the scene to be “dead” but I’m here to tell you, the further down the rabbit hole you go, the more you see it was just asleep for a little while…and it’s had it’s coffee mixed with Red Bull to wake it up! Bands always come and go, that’s the nature of the beast, you don’t give up on music just because one band you liked stopped playing. Music is LIFE. It is needed, it is necessary and it is here for eternity. When this world is no more, eaten by a black hole, burnt to ashes by the sun’s explosion, or a vast barren landscape due to our own destruction of ourselves….the very stars themselves will make a noise in space, that noise will travel through galaxies, and the gods will sit up and listen to even that sweet sound. This scene is not dead, it’s the person on the other side of the bar that you notice and wonder about. That mysterious stranger you want to explore. So come find it. The ego’s are dying, there is so much love and support between musicians that there is an actual movement to bring back what belongs not just to the music community but to everyone else as well. Some venue owners are finding new ways to help bring in crowds because they remember the high sales on live music nights and want to see that prosperity again. Musicians who were ready to give up have seen this, and with new flames in their hearts are once again getting out there to show their talent. Oh the things I will tell you in our time together on this site…this scene is alive, vibrant, driven and sexy.

It’s time. The movement has started and it will not be stopped. I stand before you as the voice of one person in this scene, but behind me are thousands of others. They are the musicians who move you, the promoters who help you feed your addiction, the event planners who put on the shows you will talk about for weeks, the radio hosts and DJ’s who introduce you to the local music you might miss otherwise…and there are even more. Join us in this change, this new world we are creating. We are not content to wait for the gods to listen to the stars… We will force them to sit up and listen to us now, and revel in what is created here.

Lady Jaye

#PittsburghMusic

The Challenge… Unite the Scenes and Share the Family!

.It’s time for me to channel my inner Hilljack and rant for a few moments! There is a movement happening on the internet right now to unite the music scenes throughout the tri-state area. I think that the AK Valley and surrounding areas have done a great job creating an amazing scene, no make that family of bands that work together for a common goal. I am so happy that the scene has allowed me to interact with them as a blogger and podcaster for over 20 years! You are not in this alone. There are many resources out there willing to help, and many of them are free to help promote the scene. What I’m trying to get at it, is USE them!

Social Media

Social media can be both a detriment and a godsend when it comes to bands. You should be posting about your band and their upcoming shows, news, cds and so on, BUT, do not rely solely on Social Media. It can help, but it isn’t the only answer. When posting on social media, I suggest tagging the other bands playing the show with you and using hashtags so that people can search the show easily. You need to have a website or some sort of online presense, you need to be posting flyers (PS Venues I’m talking to you here, too!), you need to be sharing shows and resources with other bands and people in the scenes. Together we can take our scenes to higher places.

Our Part in This

When I started AK Music Scene and the Pennsylvania Rock Show back in 2004 my goal was to help build the scene, I have some growing to do still too, BUT the scene has grown and it has began to prosper, and it will get noticed! But why not work together and speed up the process? Why not start linking some local scenes and trade some shows, you’ll make John Lane happy by doing that. John is a staunch support of the AK Valley and Pittsburgh Scenes while he’s out hitting the road in the Akron scene! Lady Jay can help us pull in the West Virginia scene, too.

Would you like to have your music played on the Pennsylvania Rock Show. We’re always looking for guests, just drop us an e-mail. Do you have an upcoming CD Release, epic event, shows, want a cd, show, or song review,  have a tip or trick to share with our scene, want to do a guest article, or just some information that you’d like to get out to the masses? We have AK Music Scene at your disposal to disperse information about our scene. If you have something you want to discuss about the local music scene, that’s where our new website/podcast, Podcast your Scene, comes in. We are also using Podcast your Scene as a home for podcasts that feature local music.

AK Music Scene and the Pennsylvania Rock Show had over 1 million hits last year alone. I’m offering that to you, for free!

Podcasting?!?

As far as my call for interaction goes, we’ve been doing a lot of that around here lately. John Lane, of The Hellfire Club, has started to kick his podcast, The American Hilljack Files into gear. We’ve helped him get it setup and into some directories. Bill has even guest hosted it with him. His podcast is a very to the point look at the OH and PA music scenes.

We have also been involved in the evolution of another podcast called, The Weekly RockBlog. It is hosted by Brian Shaffer of The Free Peanuts Band.  The Weekly RockBlog is devoted to new up and coming music from across the state and beyond. It will review new music of all genres, talk about current musical trends, offer insight into local scenes across the country and provide some tips and tricks on promotion.

First Angel Media

In the Pennsylvania Rock Show’s last episode we interviewed Jana Lee Macheca of First Angel Media. First Angel Media was founded to help promote the Pittsburgh music scene. It has evolved to photography, promotion of shows, written articles, and CD as well as show reviews. Working behind the scenes to help bands find venues as well as helping to promote a supportive and positive environment for all musicians. There is also an element for national and international bands, reviews and articles have reached across the USA and into other countries. Contact First Angel Media if you can use these services, fees stay low – it’s about the music. Jana is a staff writer at The Heavy Metal ICU and Adrenaline 101 Radio. In the coming weeks you will see her start to provide music articles here on AK Music Scene under her writing name, Lady Jaye, as well.

Let us know in the comments, how we can help you! Or let us know how you feel about this article, or even some of your own ideas to help the unification hit the ground running!

– Bill

State Of Local Entertainment 2015 – AKMusicScene.com

Total Music & EntertainmentWhat is the state of local entertainment going into 2016? For those of you that may not know Tony Marinacci of Total Entertainment & Entertainment passed away on September 2, 2015. He was an important figure in the history of the Pennsylvania Rock Show. Tony was instrumental in teaching me how to run a sound board on his own for the live performances that took place in the early years of the show. Tony made suggestions on things such as what bands to play, what equipment to buy, & so much more. But more, much more than that, Tony was Bill’s friend. One of the very last thing’s that Tony asked me to do was to keep his website online for a few years after he passed away. I agreed without hesitation.

Now, I bet you’re wondering what this preface has to do with this post. Every year Tony would release a post on the news section of his website about the State of Local Entertainment. I want to pick of the reigns and continue it for him; however, I don’t feel that I am qualified to do it on my own. So I came up with a plan. I have asked a few people the same questions about the local scene. This article will allow you to read their thoughts. I have asked Brian Drusky (Drusky Entertainment), Chip DiMonick (Chip DiMonick Band, Londona, & Helping Hands Rock Reviews), John Klazon (Western Pennsylvania Local Music Scene), and Vinni Belfiore (Musicans Hotsheet), Michael Stover (MTS Management Group), and Doug Carnahan (After the Fall) to help me tackle this in this article. You can also listen to John Lane’s (the Hellfire Club) answers to the questions in this month’s the Pennsylvania Rock Show.

The State of Entertainment PARS342 by The Pennsylvania Rock Show on Mixcloud

Continue to Brian Drusky’s Responses

Western PA Local Music Scene – Local Spotlight – AKMusicScene.com

Interview with John Klazon from Western Pennsylvania Local Music Scene

John Klazon of Western Pennsylvania Local Music Scene

John Klazon of Western Pennsylvania Local Music Scene

1. How did you originally get involved in the local music scene?
A: I’ve always liked bars and bar bands. I married someone that absolutely did not. 15 years of wedded bliss lead to a divorce and my freedom. I re-discovered my love of both once I regained my freedom in 2008 and never looked back.
2. What was the best concert you have ever been to that involved big name bands?
A: 1986. Tarrant County Convention Center Ft. Worth, Texas. Ozzy and Metallica. Ultimate Sin and Master Of Puppets. I was fortunate enough to not only get great tickets but see Cliff Burton play.
3. What was the best local concert you have been to?
A: Tie. The Mayan Apocalypse Show at the Leechburg Moose in 2012 with Skell and Gigaroo 2014.
4. What past local band that is no longer together would you like to see get back together?
A: Dragline
5. How did Western Pennsylvania Local Music Scene come about?
A: After a few years going to shows, meeting the bands and seeing how Facebook was being used I thought I may be able to do my part spreading the word. I actually kicked around the idea for over a year. One night as I was on my way to a show, I stopped in a bar for a cold one on a karaoke night and the place was packed. After my beer, I went to the show and saw a really great local band playing to a half-full house. That did it. I then created the group over the course of one sleepless night and began inviting people to join. I re-posted what I was receiving in my news feed regarding shows, bands, etc. I then set out to discover just what was here in Western PA. In two years the group has grown to 3,800 members. Participation is the key. Bands need to get their shows, music, videos and Facebook pages in the group. Everyone should try to post pictures and videos of the bands they go to see as well. Shows the band they are reaching people with their music. Everything posted in the group is Public, so fans should feel free to re-post anything posted to their Timelines or ‘networks’, if you will. Spread the word.
6. What do you see as the singularly most important thing about our local scene?
A: Participation. Hands down. Without participation, it would be a shadow of what it is now.
7. You are a local band t-shirt connoisseur. Which band gets the honor of being your first? Which shirt is your absolute favorite? Which band’s t-shirt is your most recent purchase?
A: My first band T-shirt (not event, mind you) was Big House Pete. On the back was a Paul Petersen greeting to all terrorists. Some of you may remember that shirt. I still have it. My most recent purchase was a Dave Iglar shirt that I bought at the Town Tavern in W. Leechburg. My favorite shirt? You’re not putting me on the spot that easy.
8. What was the first local cd that you ever obtained? What is the most recent cd that you have purchased? Are there any cds in particular that you recommend for fans of the scene?
A: First local music CD was Hybrid. For whatever reason my ex-wife decided to open the cell door and let me out for a night. I wandered into Vandergrift and they were playing at the Gazebo in Kennedy Park. I can’t remember who was handing them out. Took it home and listened. Liked what I heard. Can’t seem to locate it, though. My last purchase was Silk9’s “Exit The Pain” EP. My last acquisition was Slant 6’s “No Regrets” (Thank you, Matt Ferrante). Wow, recommendations? Really, it depends on what you are looking for. That’s what I like about the “Scene” here in Western PA is that whatever your tastes, you’re bound to find something you like in original local music.
9. What is your favorite venue to attend a show at?
A: Hands down, Iselin Ballfield for an outdoor venue. I’ve attended 6 years of the Rock For Life shows at the Ballfield without missing a single show. Each year it gets better. I bought a camper specifically for the Ballfield. I even had a very minor part in building the new stage. Indoor, if I am looking for that dive bar atmosphere and some great local music in a more “intimate” atmosphere, the Sidebar in Kittanning. In Pittsburgh, I like the Altar Bar for a larger indoor venue. Like music, there are so many great venues in this area. Hard to give the nod to any particular indoor venue.