Tuesday, January 31, 2012

MUSIC: Meeting of Important People Release New Album with Kickstarter Campaign

Meeting of Important People
Meeting of Important People (MOIP) is set to release a new album, but first it needs to be recorded!  To do this, they are seeking the support of their fellow fans and community with the Kickerstarter Campaign. The campaign allows the community to donate money towards the recording, mixing, mastering, and production of the album.  In return, there are a plethora of interesting rewards depending on your pledge level - such as a personalized Valentine's Day song, a fish stick dinner, music video memorabilia, and of course a copy of the album.

The album -- which is nameless as of now, but the band is thinking something somewhat of a "fake Flaming Lips title" like "My Ears Are Having a Heart Attack" -- is said to be their most mature work yet.  MOIP started out about 5 years ago as somewhat of a "joke band" -- which included current lead man Josh Verbanets, Matt Miller, and Jeremy Diehl -- they had a very garage-band sound, but in 2007 things got serious when bassist Aaron Bubenheim joined.  According to Verbanets, Aaron wasn't originally a bassist, but he mastered it and "became an amazing musician."  Now, the band has figured out how to sound more dynamic and has graduated from its garage rock days into a new "percussive, textured, and groove-like sound mixed with a little 90's rock." 



When MOIP was just starting out, their lyrics were songs written years ago by Verbanets that talked mostly about a youthful, weird suburban life. This new album promises a more adult-like tone; songs about love, community and friends.  Their Pittsburgh fan-base plays a huge role in MOIP's history.  Their shows are always jam packed with friendly faces ready to have a good time! MOIP holds very strong friendships with other local bands such as Lohio, Donora, Delicious Pastries, Nik & The Central Plains, and Boca Chica.  The pairing of any of these local bands with MOIP is a recipe for an amazing, fun, energetic show.

"It's the best community for local music," says Verbanets.  He commented on how the bands are all very different sound-wise, but its the focusing on songs rather than style that's more important.  Lately, MOIP has been playing with the new and upcoming local band The Whiskey Holler.  "They're the youngest hardest working band around," says Verbanets.  MOIP will be playing a show this Saturday (Feb 4th)  with Boca Chica at the Thunderbird Cafe in Lawrenceville. 

SUPPORT  MOIP in the Kickstarter Campaign - who doesn't want their own love song?
LISTEN & LEARN about MOIP - check out their other albums and read more about them.
LIKE MOIP on Facebook - because we all could use more friends! 


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Friday, January 20, 2012

ART: Wildcard presents SUPERS***S: Art from the Staff of The Andy Warhol Museum

SUPERS***S

During the 60's, Andy Warhol made hundreds of films, screen tests, and other forms of art with the help of his entourage made up of glamor girls, starving artists, poets, models, actors, and drag queens - a unique clique of people he called his "Superstars." Though these Superstars were a less than aristocratic or ultra-famous group of people, they were certainly very unique from the other and fabulous in their own way. Andy and his group of Superstars created a whole movement known as "Pop." As the sixties ended, Andy and his Superstars parted ways one by one and left their footprint in art history, forever.

Warhol and some of the Superstars
 Now, most of Warhol's work and clues as to what life was like when he and the Superstars took over the art world in 60's, is all neatly organized and chronologically ordered at The Andy Warhol Museum. Known as one of the biggest tourist attractions Pittsburgh has to offer, the museum is home to seven floors of Warhol's work and also includes work by modern artists that are conducive to what Warhol had done during his life.  I had the pleasure of working as a Gallery Attendant (GA - as we call them) at the museum for a little over 2 years. While working there I met the most interesting group of people I've ever known. Each of them had a unique "something" about them, all so talented,creative and quite fashionable.  We were a group of about 10 - 15 people all hired to appreciate, communicate, and protect Warhol's work and then by night, artists ourselves.  Some of us paint, some collage, some screen print, others photograph, and some of us just observe and record. 
SUPERS***S show at Wildcard
What better way to express the parallelism between the GAs and the Superstars, than an art show featuring work by the GAs? The show opened last week at Wildcard in Lawrenceville, titled SUPERS***S, so not to be mistaken with the actual Superstars and left for a little naughty interpretation.  SUPERS***S features art by Warhol Gallery Attendants (and past GAs): Adrienne Rozzi, Joel Brown, Matthew Robinson, Erin Phillips, Ryan Emmett, Katie Watson, and Kathleen Guzowski.

Curator Elliot McNally
Wildcard focuses on art by local artists and crafters.  Not only does it act as a great gallery space, but it also sells stationary, clothing, bags, jewelery, trinkets, gift wrapping supplies and interesting baubles.
Photographer Matthew Robinson
Screen printer and artist Adrienne Rozzi.

......and her amazing shoes!
Surrealist collager Joel Brown
Collages by Joel Brown
A good crowd for the opening!
Artist Erin Phillips
Artist Kathleen Guzowski
Wildcard is located at 4209 Butler St. Come see the SUPERS***S gallery and this amazing shop!

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

EMERGENCY! SAVE YOUR VOICE!!

IN HONOR OF THE PROTEST AGAINST SOPA AND PIPA. I WILL NOT BE BLOGGING TODAY.  BUT PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION AND SAVE OUR SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKS.
 We as the people have the power to change things and have the power to speak for ourselves.  Half the people in Congress don't know the first thing about blogs, Facebook, YouTube or any other social media.  But can you imagine life without them at this point or being censored and watered down to something that its not?  Please take a moment to sign the petition and save our generation!!

                                                 CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION
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Thursday, January 12, 2012

EVENTS: Steve Emmett: Internal Reflections ***Plus - More Art Shows Coming Up!!!***

Jerome in Cottonwood by Steve Emmett (1995)
Steve Emmett was not a portriat painter.  However his work does express the human condition and brings a familiarity to anyone viewing his work. He was a painter (oils mostly), a print maker, and a professor at Edinboro Univeristy of drawing, painting and 2D design. Steve Emmett passed away in 2008, and now his son Ryan is keeping his art alive by showcasing his father's work.  His latest gallery titled "Steve Emmett: Internal Reflections," will be opening (tomorrow) Friday January 13th  at 6pm and running until  February 19th at 707 Gallery on Penn Ave.

Ryan Emmett, Curator of Internal Reflections and son of Steve Emmett

"I don't like the idea of memorializing," Ryan says. He wanted to showcase Steve's work in a more realistic and cognitive sort of way.  This stems from an observation Ryan and his mother came to while going through Steve's paintings: that his work consistently featured solitary male figures. The reason for this is unknown, and though Ryan has his theories, he prefers to leave it open ended for the viewer. 

At first glance, Steve Emmett's work is colorful, somewhat humerous, and humanistic.  But then when observed at a closer perspective, you will find all sorts of mysteries.  "He would leave a painting alone for a month then say 'I don't like it' and completely paint over it - so there's like these ghost-like figures [in the background] from past paintings," says Ryan.  Steve would say "It's only paintings, nobody died on the operating table."


Roam by Steve Emmett (1991)
  Steve's use of color is somewhat similar to South Western, Native American art, it only seems fitting that his biggest inspirations were Native American artist Fritz Scholder and Bay Area painter Nathan Oliveira. "He was very aware of his influence of the Bay Area Figure Painters, but he always wanted to expand beyond that," says Ryan.  Steve Emmett: Internal Reflections is said to be a show that focuses on the humanistic value of Steve Emmett's work and the mysterious meanings behind his paintings. 


MORE ART SHOWS COMING UP:



Andy Warhol's Superstars were an elite clique of personalities that gained notoriety and fame through thier association with the infamous artist. They were heavily featured in Warhol's early works and lived their lives immersed in the NYC art scene. The staff at the Andy Warhol Museum are similarly immersed in the Pittsburgh art community.  They are a (less than) elite clique of personalities that have 2 things in common: they have worked as caretakers of Warhol's art by day and as fine artists by night.  The show opens (also tomorrow) Friday January 13th at 6pm at Wildcard on Butler St. 
 For more information click here


Local Artist Danny Devine hosts his first solo show since 2008, Heaven With The Lid Off.  The show will feature drawings, paintings, and photos depicting the artist's favorite aspects of Pittsburgh and pays homage to what was once Industrial Pittsburgh.  It will open on Saturday, January 21 at Blasfome Store in the Southside.
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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

EVENTS: New Year's Eve at Free Ride

Free Ride New Year's Eve Party 2011
It's always the same debate when it comes to New Year's Eve - do I stay in or do I go out? Though the idea of having a quiet evening at home, alongside your closest loved one, with a soft buzz before midnight sounds lovely, there's always that fire in the belly urge to go out and have a crazy, awesome, unforgettable (well maybe forgettable but still awesome) time! Especially on a night where for at least 10 seconds, everyone is in the same tempo and waiting for the same thing to happen - then boom...it's a new year!  This time I wanted something fun, a little different, and most importantly to be celebrated with great people. 
Artwork by Danny Devine
Free Ride's bicycle warehouse proved to be a large and creative space for a dance party,bar, and taco stand, all provided by local up and comer's Nikita Beniaminov, Sara Vi Cious, Mark Lang and Stefan Timov. The proceeds went to charitable causes including a donation to help support G20 prisoners and Children's Heartlink.    A long list of DJ's spun with their very broad spectrum of tastes; spacerap, cumbia, reggaeton, funk, throwback, dancehall, russian ska, house and hip-hop. The party was a melting pot of styles, cultures and relationships coming together in a dizzying blur of enjoyment. "It was an awesome time, everyone seemed to be having fun," said event organizer Nikita Beniaminov.  The New Year's Eve Soiree at Free Ride is certainly a party to be talked about all throughout 2012...

DJ
The Crowd
The Hip and Ultra-Chic, DJ and Event Organizer Sara Vi Cious
Party People
Bicycles Everywhere!!
Boris (the BF) and Mike


Tacos!!
Badass Bombshell look
Me and my lil Bro! 
Leather
LOVE the sheer skirt over the tights!
Winter Glam
The Color for 2012: A shock of Blue
  
All photography for this blog was taken by guest photographer Ashley Laird (check out her awesome blog!)  Thanks Ash!!!

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