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 NYC Scene Report features Olympics inspired rock from Doubting Thomas Cruise Control, something sultry, and very animated, from Leah Jung, the singer-songwriter stylings of Ocean Carolina, and huge news for Wakey!Wakey!
* The Olympics, and the stories of Olympic athletes, have a way of inspiring people. Take, for example, the latest single from Brooklyn rockers Doubting Thomas Cruise Control. Titled “Lillehammer,” the song is loosely based on the ESPN 30 for 30 film on the Tonya Harding - Nancy Kerrigan incident from the 1994 winter games.
Lead singer, and guitar player, Bobby Cardos, explains that while he by no means condones Harding’s involvement in Kerrigan getting whacked in the knee, he was drawn to the story of Harding's earlier years. “I really liked the sense of defiance Harding had as a young skater who was much poorer than figure skaters tend to be, and how she would get derided by judges for wearing homemade costumes that weren’t ‘fashionable,’ or whatever, which I imagine must sound ridiculous when you’re barely eating enough because you can’t afford to, since you participate in a fucking expensive sport, and are still somehow one of the best in the world at it."
He adds that he sees plenty of parallels between sports and life, saying, “I think the crapshoot nature of athletic competition translates to other pursuits, as well. Something as stupid as a busted skate two minutes before you’re supposed to compete can ruin you.”
“Lillehammer” is off of Doubting Thomas Cruise Control’s upcoming album, Remember Me John Lydon Forever, due out August 14th via Fleeting Youth Records, and the band's own Duckbill Records. Check out the single right here.
* When you’re one of the most well known inked up models in the world, it would seem like an odd move to not include yourself in your debut music video, but Brooklynite Leah Jung decided she wanted to get a little animated to launch her singing career, and did just that with the clip for her first single, “Meanstreak.”
“Meanstreak,” which is out via Suna Sounds, begins with a gorilla bouncer letting us into a nightclub where an animated version of Jung is singing the sultry pop effort. The various male characters in attendance, which include a wide range of species, are enraptured by her, and they show it, as their eyes bug out, and tongues roll out of their mouths.
There’s a bit of a Cool World element to the clip, at least in terms of the animation, and that makes sense, as Jung is definitely going for a cool feel with this. Personally, I think the drummer is rad. Check him out for yourself, and enjoy Jung’s “Meanstreak.”
* Most musicians go through artistic phases, but very few go through as many radically different ones as Brooklyn singer-songwriter Ocean Carolina. As a teenager he listened to everything from Prince, to Led Zeppelin, to Jeff Buckley. He then took that musical background and launched, of all things, a career in EDM as a producer.
The glow of the dance floor didn’t necessarily fade for Ocean Carolina, who was then known as Michael Simone, but he began to see his career veering in a new direction. That direction led him to his current work as a singer-songwriter.
Ocean Carolina’s latest album, titled, Maudlin Days, was just released via Old Hand Record Company. The first single off the album is “If It Burns Out Bright.” Check it out, and hear how a former king of the dance floor has changed into a king of emotions.
* After a decade of playing bars, and opens mics, throughout NYC, singer-songwriter Wakey!Wakey! finally caught his big break in 2009, when the creator of the CW show One Tree Hill put Wakey!Wakey!’s song, “War Sweater,” into an episode of the show, and have him a small role playing a bartender.
The album “War Sweater” was featured on, Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said the Last Time I Saw You, went on to sell 45,000 copies independently, and Wakey!Wakey! followed it up with the fan funded Salvation. Now, having found his place in the indie music scene, Wakey!Wakey! has signed to The End Records/ADA, and will be releasing a digital EP, and 7’’ single, this fall, followed by a full length album in early 2016.
Known for his songwriting skills, Wakey!Wakey!’s words adorn many of his fans’ bodies, as his audience has a history of getting his lyrics as tattoos. Check out his song “Overwhelmed” to hear why they grow so attached to his words.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.