Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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This week’s edition of the NYC Scene Report features the very long awaited first music video from hip-hop artist Chaz Kangas, the emergence of Long Island girl group The Janes, the indie folk of The Leeway, and some fantastic power pop from Miniboone.
* Chaz Kangas has been a mainstay in NYC’s hip-hop scene for the past decade. His battles are nothing short of legendary, and he might be the only artist who had in store appearances at both Fat Beats and the Virgin Megastore (read his full story here). What’s been missing from his resume, however, is an official music video... until now.
“Travel Size,” a two verse song that encapsulates Kangas’ skills as an emcee, love of pop culture, and wit on the mic, marks his first official foray into the world of music videos.
The song, which is off of Kangas’ The Rex Manning Day EP (available for free via bandcamp), was produced by Good Goose, and will get you nodding your head, and moving in your seat. Check out the black and white clip for “Travel Size” right here.
* Long Island is sometimes a forgotten part of New York. It sits there right alongside Brooklyn and Queens, floating in the water, but while Brooklyn and Queens have their distinct music scenes, LI is often an afterthought.
This isn’t always the case, as, at times, an artist emerges from LI that reminds us Nassau and Suffolk County are pretty large parts of the state. The latest act on its way up from the area is an all-girl group named The Janes, whose harmonies might very well put LI back into the forefront of people’s minds.
The Janes came together in the summer of 2014 via an open casting call at Donnie Klang and Matthew LaPorte’s The Loft Sound Studio. Since then life has been a bit of a whirlwind for the fivesome, as they’re posted numerous, uniquely arranged, covers on YouTube, and performed throughout the area.
Check out their very cool medley that encompasses the history of girl groups, and let’s look forward to hearing more from The Janes throughout 2015.
* A banjo, mandolin, guitar, bass, piano, and a little magic from Portuguese musician Pedro Barquinha is the recipe that gives us Brooklyn based indie folk act The Leeway.
Last year The Leeway released their eponymous debut EP, and now they're back with some new tunes, and they’re doing it live. The Leeway’s plan is to introduce fans to the songs by releasing a video per month for four months, after which they’ll release a live EP titled The Bunker Sessions, the name of which comes from the fact that they've recorded all of their work at The Bunker Studio in Brooklyn.
Check out "Morning Sun," which comes from one of those Bunker Sessions, and get to know The Leeway.
* Brooklyn indie power pop quartet Miniboone recently completed a two week tour that took them from Ohio to Virginia (and I assume back home to New York. Hey Miniboone, if you’re randomly stuck in VA, let me know. I’ll send help). While on the road the band released their latest video, a simple, yet creative, clip for “Wake Up Factory Bouquet.”
If you aren’t really paying attention to the video, it might seem like a typical performance clip, but if you keep your eyes on it you’ll notice the numerous outfit changes, including what appears to be a post-shower look from the band’s frontman. This follows what has become Miniboone’s tradition of creating visuals that are equal in their awesomeness to their music.
Check out “Wake Up Factory Bouquet,” which is off of their recently released album Bad Sports, and see, and hear, what I mean.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.