Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome. See my complete profile
This week’s NYC Scene Report features a hip-hop “Eulogy” from Otis Clapp, a live clip from alt pop-rock outfit Me Not You, something “F*cked Up Crazy” from the soulful Stolar, and singer-songwriter Ricky Lewis checking out some “TV On A Tiny Screen.”
* If you’ve been involved in NYC’s indie hip-hop scene anytime over the past decade there’s a pretty good chance you’re familiar with Queens-based emcee Otis Clapp. He’d now like you to meet Quentin.
Quentin is the name of his just released EP, produced entirely by Ricky Vaughn, and it’s an introduction to Otis’ alter-ego – Quentin Ballantino, a mash-up of one of his favorite movie directors, Quentin Tarantino, and his favorite beer, Ballantine.
The lead single off of Quentin is “Eulogy,” which Otis explained the inspiration for in a statement, saying, “During the writing process for Quentin I thought a lot about death. Not necessarily suicide, but more how I wouldn’t want people to be upset at my wake if I DID die. Unconventional to some, but through the good and bad I’m living the life I want to live. If I died tomorrow and was able to speak at my own wake, ‘Eulogy’ would be my final thoughts and perspectives to offer the world.”
Thankfully, Otis Clapp is still alive and well, and able to deliver this “Eulogy.”
* As any reader of this column knows, I’m passionate about telling folks to get out there and enjoy some live music. In my mind, an indie music venue, with a good band on stage, is a perfect recipe for a great night.
Longtime column favorite Me Not You created such a night when they hit the stage at Brooklyn’s Baby’s All Right last month, and for those of us who weren’t able to attend (sadly, myself included), they’ve posted a few clips from their performance. One of these clips is of the alt pop-rock band’s closing number, “Bulletproof.”
Check out the video, catch the vibe, and you’ll understand why I look forward to being in the crowd next time Me Not You has a show in the city.
* If you’ve ever been in a relationship that’s “F*cked Up Crazy” (and who hasn’t?), NYC-based singer-songwriter Stolar has created a soulful pop anthem for you.
Stolar explained “F*cked Up Crazy” in a statement, saying, “‘F*cked Up Crazy’ is really about caving in to be with someone who you know will completely tear you apart. It's a love story where I’m convinced that this person and I are perfect for each other since we are both ‘f*cked up.’ The truth is, however, that we are just being manipulated by the dark side of our minds because we don't want to be alone."
The video for “F*cked Up Crazy” features Brooke Johnson, Miss Alaska USA 2018, and is shot in a vertical style that emulates an Instagram story.
Speaking about the video, Stolar said, “I think this video is about REAL life. It is literally a night with a new person I met in New Orleans. She is also Miss Alaska USA, and a mental health advocate. It’s real, raw, no bullshit or structuring. It's just a peek into life,” adding, “I think it comments on how complicated the balance between real life and technology is. This is the new real, even though it’s digital, it’s life experience.”
For Stolar, his ultimate goal with “F*cked Up Crazy” is to show people “it’s okay to be a little crazy and wild if that's who you are. It doesn’t make you ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Crazy, sad, happy, ugly, messy are all beautiful things. I want to celebrate them all.”
* NYC-based singer-songwriter Ricky Lewis grew up in what he describes as the middle of nowhere New England (I’m actually pretty sure I’ve driven through there a few times). A latchkey kid of the ‘90s, he spent a considerable amount of time in front of the TV.
After his TV infused youth Lewis felt the call of NYC, and moved to the city … well, Astoria.
As he waited tables, and wrote music when he could, he started to question his decision, but just as he was about to call it a day, and move back home, a young women invited him to live with her in her loft on Astor Place.
The locale was perfect, as was the relationship … for a while. The breakup was a tough one, and Lewis moved to Alphabet City, where he finished writing his upcoming album, See You In The Morning.
See You In The Morning will be released on September 21st, and the lead single is “TV On A Tiny Screen.” It’s a song title that brings Lewis’ life full circle, and with a vibe that’s slightly reminiscent of early R.E.M., it’s a song that’s easy to enjoy.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.