Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Early 2020: Live Shows at The Bitter End, Rockwood Music Hall, plus New Recorded Music

The emergence of a new year frequently provides opportunities to branch out in search of fresh ideas or previously untapped resources. Artists who have established an awareness level of their work now receive a closer look, experiencing both recent live shows as well as current featured recordings. Emerging from that comes an occasion to look back into previous decades history and influence. Additionally, new tracks only recently released are featured here, allowing the first month of 2020 to reflect on a rich and storied past against the most current endeavors.

Kira Metcalf is a Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter whose been crafting a uniquely introspective lyrical style of music since her early teenage years.

Catching Kira's short-notice, folky solo performance live show at Rockwood Music Hall on January 5th showed an artist making the most of her time in the spotlight.

While the bulk of her material lyrically explores the emotional aftermath of loss and heartbreak, there is an uplifting quality to her melodies and lively delivery, preventing everything from becoming too morose.

Her latest single release “Cheap Kind” came out this past summer and continues to serve as fully produced introduction to her musical world.

The song sits equally well in a single voice and acoustic guitar atmosphere of Rockwood's solo show setting, with the official recordings fuller band and bigger vocal production providing additional creative insight.

Initially ruminating on the loss of an earring against a single chugging electric guitar, the full band crunches in on signature line “this is why you always buy the cheap kind” giving the track a rougher 90's Nirvana-esque grungy feel.

While the drums clack like Dave Grohl-on-Butch-Vig's-production (and wonderboy mix-masterer Chris Krasnow might have something to do with that) and guitars chug hard, Kira's voice remains the dominant element throughout.

Through the course of a single vocal line segment “this is why I'm scared to try, afraid I'm only going to lose” the singer displays a wide range and impressive variety of inflections.

Hard-edged guitar riffs are given space between the lyrics, maintaining an underlying Seattle-grunge vibe.

There's a serpentine element in the way lyrics like “this is why you ought to stay a stranger – feign allure then slink away to waste before you get into trouble” are set against first rising atmospherics, then driven by throbbing bass guitar.

A tasty angular lead guitar interlude keeps the 90's Flannel vibe alive, until Kira comes back with one more initially quiet verse, creating metaphor on the difficulties of keeping things together.

Listen to the track "Cheap Kind" on Spotify, which can be easily accessed via her Official Website.

Kira holds the distinction of being the first Deli Local Artist of the Month for 2020.

Be sure to catch her during the Winter Madness Tournament at Our Wicked Lady.

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The internet age we currently live in is a wonderful place to make contact with people and become “virtual friends” with them. Those e-relationships can go on for many years (even a decade) without actually ever coming face-to-face. So it's always cool to eventually meet up with someone you've been cyber-interacting with for years.

That is precisely what occurred when musician and long-time e-friend Bill Dwyer came down from the more northern city of Boston to play New York's venerable nightclub The Bitter End on Sunday, January 5th.

Interacting on Social Media in all the casual, everyday usual ways, Bill's music had already made it's way onto the DaveCromwellWrites reviews two years ago in January, 2018.

At that time there was a distinctly folky element in the bright chiming twelve-string acoustic guitar backed returning-home road song.

This night, however saw Bill supported by his trio with Alex Casanova on bass guitar and Rich Stannard on drums added to his now electric guitar.

Similarly, his full-band presentation on single “South Caroline” takes his previously established 'Americana' approach and enhances the storytelling with more complex instrumentation.

“I'm leavin' – I'm leavin' this time – to South Caroline,” Bill states against strong opening piano notes. “Long way down the rails South Caroline.” There's a subtle gospel feel to it all, before the rest of the band joins in, pulling everything closer to an Allman Brothers Band vibe. A chorus of female backing vocalist bring the gospel back in a heavy way, with “woooo wooooo's” abounding. While Bill vocally emotes and churns away on his rhythm guitar, a Les Paul armed guitar-gun-slinger rips tasty licks in front of Marshall stacks.

Check it out here:

Bill and the band rolled out a brand new song "And There You Are" on this night, dedicating it to his girlfriend Holly back in Boston.

Initially building off a descending open note riff and full chord punctuation, the tune settles into an easy groove rock n' roll stroll. “And there you are – just like a star,” Bill sings in a raspy folk-blues manner. With a steady, precision drum pattern keeping things tight, the bass guitar walks that progression out behind Bills clean-strummed guitar. Returning to the opening 4 bar descending riff, Bill and the band chug through that good-vibe progression one more time.

Check out that just released video here:

The venue Bill and his band played on this night deserves it's own special focus, as The Bitter End is New York's longest running rock club.  Established in 1961, it has been going now for 59 years with no end in sight.

Original owner Fred Weintraub opened it as a showcase venue for emerging folk music and comedy acts.  Bringing in manager and talent booker Paul Colby early on (becoming the clubs full-time manager in 1968), Colby would eventually become the owner and name most associated with it's six decade existence.

Immortalized on the walls above the bar and throughout are a number of notable performers from both the comedy and music world.  Woody Allen, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan being some of the most recognizable.  That early first decade of the clubs existence catered to stand up comedians and folk musicians under Weintraub, until he turned over operations and ownership to Colby, to pursue a career producing movies.

On the opposite walls are glass encased photographs displaying highlights from some of the most influential moments in the clubs early history.

The above photos serve as a late 1960's, early 1970's history lesson.

This classic shot of a very young Bob Dylan performing there is impressive on a number of levels.

Paul Colby looking dapper as the Every Brothers perform up against that famed brick wall.

More glass-encased goodness shows a signed George Carlin headshot, as well as quintessential Patti Smith and Bob Dylan photo together.

Which rightfully shares a place of prominence on the cover of Paul Colby's 2002 book, The Bitter End: Hanging Out at America's Nightclub (also framed and under glass on the wall).

Since the publication of that book, other notable events occurring there include none other than the notorious Stefani Germanotta's early days (as a 19 year old in 2005), and then coming back triumphantly as Lady Gaga in October of 2016.

There probably isn't a more iconic venue in all of New York City than The Bitter End

With the city awarding it landmark status in 1992.

The perfect setting to meet up with and listen to one more in a long-line of working musicians who continue on in that spirit of live performing.

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SINthetik Messiah is an electro/industrial bass artist from Louisiana who recently put out a Name Your Own Price benefit compilation to generate funds for disabled veterans.  All the proceeds of funds committed to this digital album will go to DAV - Disabled American Veterans: a leading non-profit organization that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families.

DAV is a wonderful organization dedicated to helping the most deserving and neediest people out there.  They help subsidize veterans' needs in temporary housing, work programs, employment assistance, utilities support, transportation to appointments, hospitals and therapy sessions, and supportive assistance in dealing with substance abuse and rehabilitation issues.

SINthetik Messiah is the working "band name" for the equally mysteriously named sound designer Bug Gigabyte.  Based out of the bayous of Louisiana, he is the main composer, producer and engineer for all of these recordings.

“I would like to thank all our Military Veterans. Our country and/or government hasn’t done enough for you in return. I'm simply just want to raise awareness of that. My love and respect goes out to the ones who protect our lives for the greater good.To my international fans, when your brother,sister,mother or dad serves for their country and they come back to you, be there for them, help them heal, help them get back to a normal life.” - Bug Gigabyte (SINthetik Messiah)

The compilation consists of early demos and remixes of material the artist has been working on. Opening track “A Bitter End” is a somber acoustic guitar and vocal only rumination. Follow-up track “Make You Cry” adds piano notes, electronic percussion and Gregorian Chant backing vocal chorus for more passionate upfront vocals to be layered over. The collection fully hits it's stride with the driving Industrial Bass cut “Survive.” Dipping into rhythmic elements and similar pacing as Nine Inch NailsReptile,” a more orchestral sound emerges with the synths approximating flutes and violins. 15 tracks in all, a number of variations in electronic music styles include Dark Electronic Pop (“Sex and Violence”), Electronica (“Can You Feel” - with vocal enhancements in the Tobacco/Black Moth Super Rainbow mold), Experimental Dubstep (“A Better Tomorrow”) as well as Dance subgenres Hiphop, Trap, Witch and Breakcore.

Get the album here and go on a fascinating sonic journey while contributing to the worthiest cause.

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Coming out of the gate with a vengeance in 2020 are new found DaveCromwellWrites faves The Carvels NYC. Catching their live show and recent recorded music back in May of 2019, an instant kinship was felt with (and for) the the bands mastery of classic-era downtown NYC original roots rock and roll sound.

An initial review of that live show (and recordings) found it's way into This Feature, which ultimately garnered the band inclusion in this sites annual end of the year Best Of wrap up as well. Meanwhile, the band has subsequently signed on with Die Laughing Records and is preparing to release a new 3-song 7-inch vinyl EPLate Night Heart” this Valentines Day.

The song and accompanying video combines an upbeat, chugging track with the band members playing in front of Top Cat junk yard cartoon images. Telling a tale of surviving younger days in the city, frontwoman Lynne Von Pang's lyrics couldn't ring more true. Blessed with a powerful, appealing voice, clever lyrical turns like “when you're born in hell you can't fall from grace” and “nothing lasts forever but you never were together so, you can't fall apart” show an intelligent approach to this good time rock and roll.

Check out this super fun video here:

The Carvels NYC have a show this Saturday, January 25 at Otto's Shrunken Head in New York City's East Village at 10 pm with no cover charge.

With a tour of Southern California soon to follow.

To connect, email:

For full credits, thanks and more information please go to

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Another band making it's initial appearance on this site over the past year were the Birmingham, UK based glam-rockers TREMENDOUS.

Being duly impressed with their single release at that time (the catchy earworm "Copycat Killer") also earned them inclusion with a Best Of 2019 distinction.  With their debut album "Relentless" due out in early 2020, the band is now offering a new unplugged version of their first (2018) single release "Like Dreamers Do." 

This acoustic guitar only accompaniment eases the pace somewhat from the original full band version, breathing an intimacy in it's reading, while still maintaining vocal intensity. Subtle lyrical shifts are apparent this time through. Opening lines now focus more on the individual than the couple. It's now “she stares outside that window pane into space” rather than “we stare outside this lonely place, into space.” However, the pleasurable payoff is still a wonderfully brilliant chorus “She (or We) dream(s) of a million things to do. As she (or we) stare outside and dream like dreamers do.” Additional highlights emerge with lines like “smoky surface disguise life – taking place” (where the emphasis on those last two words exhibit a rich and powerfully passionate voice). An interesting descending guitar figure creates a subtle change towards the end, emphasizing a true songwriters touch on this compact two and a half minute song.

Listen here:

The band is offering this acoustic version as a free download, and can be had by sending an email to: likedreamersdomp3@gmail

Keep up with TREMENDOUS on all their social media outlets here: 

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