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Hi, I saw Pat Travers at Jaxx in Springfield, VA and he was totally awesome. There was also an incredible opening act called KORUPT. They literally blew me away and the rest of the sold out crowd. You really have to make an effort to see this band yourself to believe it. They played cover songs by Ozzy, Queensryche, Aerosmith, Van Halen, AC/DC, Crue, etc. I plan on seeing them play at Jaxx again at the Quiet Riot show on 5/1, and at Terrapin Station in College Park on 5/21. Check out this talented group on their website at http://Get.To/KORUPT. I talked to a member and I can't wait to hear upcoming originals. Come and see them, you won't be disappointed!
New Kid in Town Snap Pop! is a new monthly music magazine started by Regina Esposito (Signs Point to Yes) and Courtney Reyers in order to fill a vacuum they saw in the local music scene. They felt that most local papers were more concerned with the club scene than the music. To Regina and Courtney, the music is most important. Snap Pop! is about covering and promoting the music, not the clubs. You won't see a "local music" section in Snap Pop!, they don't separate the local and national bands and reviews.
Snap Pop! is run by an all-volunteer staff who are allowed and encouraged to be creative. The second issue, August 1999, says it all - from the well done parody of the Rolling Stone's Red Hot Chili Peppers cover (you gotta see it!) to the Ray Gun style layout inside. The cover, featuring the pin-up boys from Power Lloyd, was an instant hit. Regina told me that all of the ladies where the paper is printed in Richmond had to have a copy of the cover photo for their own! But it wasn't just three naked guys on the cover that made it an overnight success story. It was a success from the first issue, which featured interviews with Moby and Steve West of Pavement.
That first issue launched a buzz that not only caused a new reader to call Snap Pop! when the second issue was one day late, but it had shops and cafes asking to carry copies. One distributor, Marcus Esposito, even said that people were stopping him on the street in Old Town Alexandria asking for copies while he was trying to make his deliveries. The best story, however, comes from Regina. She said, "after delivery the second issue to the Rhodeside Grill, we went downstairs for about a forty minute meeting. When we came up, there was a cop standing on the corner outside reading a copy!" (remember, this was the Power Lloyd cover) In that case, a picture would be worth a thousand words.
So what is Snap Pop! doing to support the local scene? Well, their current policy is to review anything....label, unsigned, CD, CDR or tape. They want to offer honest reviews about the music in the hope that when industry people look through the paper they won't just see "they rock". Snap Pop! wants to "raise the bar" by critiquing, not slamming, and by not automatically saying that everything is good. Their goal to be objective is achieved by listening to the CD or demo at least three times before reviewing it. Which, according to Marcus "is hard to do with music you've never heard before". In addition to reviewing anything and everything, Snap Pop! is also planning to have a monthly feature called "Bill's Bashing Corner....Are you band enough for Bill's bashing?"
Sound interesting? You can contact Snap Pop! at PO Box 2812, Sterling, VA 20167 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Snap Pop!, you rock!
from tourdates.com 8/99
Regina and Marcus Esposito are also the founders of the band "Signs Point to Yes". SPTY, fronted by Gina, is definitely an up and coming band on the scene. They have a cool sound and a great show that is always unique and entertaining. Be sure to check them out at The Red Party on September 11 at Studio 1019, 1019 7th St. NW and watch for their debut CD "Too Content To Be Mediocre" out this fall. I recently had a chance to talk with them about the band and their new album..
CB: Signs Point to Yes formed after the breakup of Kismet?
ME: Yes, I was playing with Sisters of Morissey filling in you know cause one of their guitar players left. Their bass player Dave expressed an interest in working with me and Gina, I said well...
RE: Yeah, he was like, "well we might start writing some things." He (Dave) was like so enthusiastic he was like, "well I'll come over, I'll be over to your house on Sunday".
ME: So we started writing some stuff and one day got a call from Dan, our other guitar player, somebody I had known for awhile. Used to work in a music store. He used to help me set up my guitars and stuff like that. Great guy. I knew he was a bass player, I didn't know he was a guitar player. One day he called just to see what was up and I just said, "well, we're actually looking to put another band together." and he said, "okay, I'll be over with Mark on Sunday." I said, "oh, okay right". And I didn't hear anything else from them that week so I thought it was a "yeah let's do lunch" thing.
RE: So next Sunday I'm there along and he's (Marcus) at a Sisters of Morrisey rehearsal. I'm there alone and Dan shows up with his amp and guitar and he's hauling it in.
ME: All of a sudden my pager starts buzzing. RE: I'm like, "wait a second, Marc's not here!" He (Dan) said, "that's okay Mark's still got his drums to bring in and it will take him awhile to set up". I'm like paging him and going "get your ass home! I have a drummer and guitarist in the basement!" And that was the beginning of Signs Point to Yes. ME: And from the first note it was like "this is it".
RE: Everybody kinda went "uh, damn!"
CB: What about the name?
RE: It was just, in all honesty, I had been reading some music magazines and there was a band name that really caught my attention. I just really loved the band name God Lives Underwater. It really stuck out and I really liked it because it was a phrase, you know and it actually said something. It was a sentence. And now there are so many one-word bands out there, you know it's just populated with that or number bands.
ME: In the 80's it was always "the" something. RE: Yeah and it's like there's all these one name bands or number bands so I just wanted to do something different and you know that phrase (signs point to yes) came to mind and I had just recently used it in a sentence. And I really liked it because it was positive. And I like the whole magic 8 Ball, kinda kid connection.
CB: I knew somewhere there had to be that connection.
RE: Oh absolutely. And when I first started I had actually had a list of names that I like took around to my friends and you know, "which ones do you like best?" And everyone liked Signs Point to Yes the best. But there was always this debate about whether it's "signs point to yes" or "all signs point to yes". So we actually had to go buy an 8 Ball. This was like the omen that this was to be the name. So when we went to buy an 8 Ball at Spencer gifts, of course the only place you can get an 8 Ball, we were telling the clerk why we were buying it and so she simply said, "oh well let's see" and she turned it over and it popped up. I'm not kidding you "signs point to yes". "Well I guess you answered our question, thank you."
ME: "That will be $10 please!"
RE: I really like it because it's so positive. Now, in the back of my mind it always brought to mind the story, if you're a Beatles fan, the story of when John Lennon met Yoko Ono...And it's interesting because when I met Bob Cherry from Ether Net, that's exactly what he said. He said, "it reminds me, have you ever heard of the story of when John Lennon met Yoko Ono?" And I'm like "YES". I like it and it is a different name but it is not like anyone else.
ME: Most people get it, some people have trouble.
RE: Some people don't get it and that it's the 8 Ball.
ME: Yeah I'm like, "you know, the 8 Ball." and they're like "what?" I know we have one at the house and we consult it, "should we do a bridge or a chorus now?" "Ask Again Later"
CB: Have you ever used one on stage?
ME: No we haven't used one on stage. You know what a great idea! We always come up with other crazy thing to do onstage. Like the exploding guitar that didn't explode and things like that. I was so disgusted.
RE: And the dancing girl that won't keep her clothes on.
CB: At the end of a video though you should have somebody turn one over.
ME: Yes, there you go.
RE: Yes, that's what should be on the tv on the album cover.
ME: Our album is called....
RE: It's that John Lennon thing again. Our album is going to be called "Too Content to be Mediocre". When we were in Cleveland (to record) the first time and met Don Depew...
ME: He didn't know what he was getting into. He had a deer in the headlights look when he saw us. We were 9 hours late - the tardy boys.
RE: But we actually took a morning off and went down to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and they had the John Lennon exhibit and I think it was the first time it had been there because Yoko had just donated a bunch of items. They had some of his report cards and on one of the report cards one of the comments from the teacher was "too content to be mediocre". So I like the ambiguity and all that.
ME: A lot better than the one that said "just awful". That wouldn't work as a CD title, Just Awful "oh guess I'll pass on this one"
CB: You're begging for a bad review with that one.
ME: I like to lower expectations so you know, "oh that wasn't that awful, that was pretty damn good actually!"
CB: You were saying about the different things on stage. I've seen you a couple times. The first time was at the Bayou with the dancing girls...
RE: Oh okay, with the dancing girls. We used to have two dancing girls, now we just have one. She doesn't dance with us all the time; and that is our daughter. She's the one who won't keep her clothes on.
ME: It packs them in, what can I say? I have a tendency to call people the day before a gig and say "hey, you wanna play with us?" What the hell. One of the best moves having Rupart and Art.
RE: They're great. They're going to play the Red Party (Sept. 11) with us. Have you called them yet? (to Marcus)
ME: No, I've got to email them. Like I say, I usually wait until 2 days before. Sometimes I wear a dress or we'll just change the arrangement of the songs.
RE: What we did one time, and this is what I love about playing with these guys, they're crazy. Um one time we played a song and we had never played it altogether as a group, ever. They had written it, I wrote the words after the fact just with him (Marcus) okay and then they decided one night, "oh let's do the new song". Okay fine, let's do the new song and we had never played it together before.
ME: Sometimes with Dumb during the mayhem section Mark and I will switch off; he'll grab my guitar and I'll go back and play drums.
RE: Or Dan will take his guitar off and hand it to someone in the audience.
ME: Oh yeah we like to do that. One time we went into the crowd and had people playing the guitar and stuff. Or we just invite people to come up and sing on stage. We try not to do the same thing all the time. It really does keep it fresh.
RE: And literally they'll just decide they're going to switch parts.
ME: Oh yeah, yeah well that's the biggie...Dan the part stealer. I come up with a cool part and he's like "I'll play that, you play the boring chords". See I'm the band retard. I write and all that shit, I'm the big concept guy, but I'm really a keyboard player.
RE: He plays piano on the CD. (looking at the CD they explain the songs: Hungry-the masterwork, Sugar-radio friendly, Dumb-the sing-a-long, POV-keys, Blink-trashy rock n rolla)
ME: That's the other thinkg about our whole style, we're kinda all over the map. I mean, one of the things I hate when I buy a CD is that by song 3 I've heard everything this band is gonna do. I like to be surprised. I mean one of my favorite albums, which was produced by Don Depew, is Guided by Voices because all the songs are different. There's like all these little vignettes and everything just has kind of a different character. It's like listening to a mix or something. You know it doesn't have a flow, it's not a concept album, but it's like a smorgasbord. I've just played so many different kinds of music in my long musical career that I just can't get stuck with one thing you know. I think she's pretty much the same way too. I don't know, or are you just along for the ride?
RE: No, I like that aspect about this band....we just do anything.
ME: It's not like we're trying to be really different, we just try to be really creative about the stuff.
RE: I guess the way I think of it is that we're a real fun-based band and we do what ever is appropriate for the song. And we do a lot of different songs.
ME: I mean even to the point of instrumentation. Even like what type of guitar; everyone in the band is sensitive to what sound is going to work best. There's really no like ego stuff, like " I gotta have a guitar solo" here. We all basically bow down to the song. Which is kind of unique. I've never really been in a band like that. I treasure these guys, I really do.
RE: Yeah, our drummer actually plays guitar and he writes a lot of the songs. He truly is a songwriter.
ME: He plays guitar better than I do...that's why I'm listed as the bad guitarist. I'm unique. There are a lot of people that really like the way I play. But they usually cart them off at the end of the gig. They've been institutionalized.
CB: But you did some great work at The Kingdom of Leisure show.
ME: Oh thanks.
RE: I really enjoyed that.
ME: I dug that show. Those guys are just so fun. I'm really glad they invited me into their world. That was a fun gig. Again, I like the free-form aspect of that.
CB: So when is your CD coming out?
ME: (hardy laughter) Well, this whole thing started in ....Well, I don't know if you've seen our website but we have like 4 CD updates on there. "No, really, it's gonna come out, I swear".
RE: We've got so much grief from all of our friends over this CD. What happened is we went up to Cleveland and we really hit if off with Don and then we just kept going back. Well we lost our bass player. He quit the band. So then Dan the guitar player was playing on bass parts and Don Depew's playing a lot of the bass parts. We've got everything mixed.
ME: So it's already to be mastered.
RE: So probably October.
ME: We were really hoping to get it out this summer. It just always takes more that twice as long and the thing is that it's really kind of an ambitious project. Everything's very orchestral. You'll hear there's just so much shit in there. I mean nine million guitar tracks and all this little stuff.
RE: When you hear it, you'll understand why it took so long really. I brought in a CDR to work, I mean granted these are the people I work with so they're going to be enthusiastic, but I've never received a response like this before. I said, "see, we were doing something in Cleveland!"
ME: Yes, we weren't just going down to Mr. G's and drinking ourselves into a stuper.
RE: Yeah, Mark our drummer's favorite thing is to take some unsuspecting, or suspecting, person out....our drummer can drink anyone under the table and get that person absolutely sick. I've been married to him (Marcus) for 20 years and I have never seen him vomiting all night until Mark Taylor took him out on the town. I'm in the hotel room, I have him vomiting, I have the guys in the other room coming in talking so loud and describing the nude dancers okay? And I'm like "okay, I'm now in a band with guys. I'm in a guy band." Welcome to Guyville.
ME: And you love it.
RE: I love them. I love my guys. They're great!from tourdates.com 8/99
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