Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Girl in a Coma Wakes Me Up

I am so psyched for you all to read my interview with Girl in a Coma's bassist Jenn Alva. I really enjoyed getting the insight her life with the girls and being in an up and coming all female band. She shared with me some stories on the road and what's up next for the band. Look out for the next Rock Hotsheet to read the entire interview. But until then, check out this vid to see how rockin' these chicks are!

xoxo Ang

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Work in Progress

It has been a week since I had publicly declared that I would have a full written song by July 25. I've been keeping a daily log of this musical project and hopefully in the near future I will be taking pictures and doing some video blogs as well. But here's what I've been up to.

Day 1: Crap. I don't know anything about writing a song.

Day 3: Making some progress, have some lines down. Thank goodness for having so many musician friends to seek advice about lyrics.

Day 4: Started losing focus of my emotions and inspiration towards the song. Watched Jon and Kate Plus 8 separation announcement, got back the emotions and started writing again.

Day 6: Lots of lines yet there not put together in any organized fashion, seek help from my fellow rocker chick for some help on lyrics.

So I'm getting there. Slowly but surely.
As for other things, Rest In Peace to musical legend, Michael Jackson.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Can She Pull It Off? Stewart To Be Cast in The Runaways Biopic

There are millions of girls in the world who are extremely envious of actress Kristen Stewart. For me, it has absolutely nothing to do with Robert Pattinson. She's trading in vampires to roll around with rock stars. Stewart has been cast to play my rock idol Joan Jett in the biopic The Runaways. Buzz has been surrounding Stewart who has been hanging with Jett, word has it that they've been working on Stewart's guitar and vocal skills. Recent photos show that the young starlet has been rocking a black mullet and channeling a young Jett. She may have the the look but my question is, can she talk the talk and walk the walk? As a die hard Joan Jett fan, I will have nothing but high expectations of Kristen Stewart. Regardless, I am excited for the film to come out next year 2010.The film will be directed by Floria Sigismondi who has directed music videos for Marilyn Manson, David Bowie, and The White Stripes. The Runaways will also star Dakota Fanning as lead vocalist Cherie Currie.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Female Sound Rocks New York

Make Music New York, a festival of free music all over New York, enticed our musical desires for a third year. On Sunday June 21, nearly 900 concerts filled the streets of the city from 11 am to 10 pm. Genres like reggae, classical, jazz, rock music and more each spiced up the dreary day with their unique musical sound. And of course this day definitely had women who rocked.

The Brooklyn Historical Society, for example, showcased its very own rockin' women by hosting the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls in downtown Brooklyn. The Camp, a Brooklyn based mentoring program for girls, has been a part of this event for a second year in a row. Sady Sullivan, a volunteer and staff member at the Brooklyn Historical Society, said being part of the festival was a great way for her to combine her volunteer job and her regular job. “It's such a fun festival to be a part of,” she said. The concert included young girls and volunteers playing in their own bands. The first to rock the stage was the band called Twilight at the Idle. This band had a jazzy yet rocker feel (with a drummer and a singer on keyboard). Rickie Gal, pianist of the group and piano instructor at the camp said she loves contributing to the camp. “I think Willie Mae does a great job,” sie said. Another awesome band that played was the Crinolines. This group had four women who rocked out with their skill that generated to the crowd. Leu Chekowsky, singer of the band, said she didn't know she would like playing music when she first got started. She said Make Music New York is awesome that it can allow people to play music together at the same time. “It's like an experience to help girls speak up,” said Hanna Fox, president of the girls rock camp.

Women for sure spoke up and played hard at Punk Island. Governor's Island was scattered with stages of different types of punk rock from 11 am to 5 pm. The island was big and had punk music in various parts. But women rocked on at Stage 11. Bands like S.M.U.T., Vagiant, and the Percocettes were showcased. Yet one group that had one fan loving their sound “kicked-ass.” Pat Mitchell said he really liked Shira Girl, a Brooklyn based group. “They were poppy, but punk enough,” Mitchell said. He added that he was totally for women in rock music.

Not only is Mitchell a fan of these women. Athenia Henderson, singer of a Caribbean/ R&B/pop infused band, said women in rock is a nice change from a male dominated genre. She also said this event is an excellent way to get musicians together. Henderson is part of a band of six musicians. She sang covers from rockers like Gwen Stefani to R&B divas like Alicia Keys at the Brouwerij Lane bar in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The singer writes her own songs too including a pop-rock oriented song called “Always.” The influence of women rockers was spread out in the city that day. New York knows how to make its music fly.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Make Music New York Festival

Music is definitely a big part of my life. I love to feel the rhythm of music surge through my body as I make my way through this fast-paced city. Yet, there's nothing better than hearing live music all around you. New York City is having a free music festival June 21 by Make Music New York from 11 am to 10 pm. It features live performances by many different bands ranging from hip-hop to opera to Latin jazz to punk rock.

This music explosion can definitely please our rockers with it's bands at Punk Island, Washington Square Park, Brouwerij Lane, and more different venues in New York. One concert to check out is on Punk Island. This will be on Governor's Island rocking out from 10 am to 5 pm. Women of rock will have their own place to jam on stage 11. Bands like Vagiant, Kissy Kamikaze, S.M.U.T, Percocettes, and more will be rocking out on the stage.

More female groups like Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, Beluga, Spread the Rumor, and Demi will be playing on various stages throughout New York. I know I will be checking out Elika and Her Vanished Grace out in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. What a joy music is.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Heartless Rocker Chicks: A Common Misconception

There comes a lot of baggage with carrying a rocker chick persona. There's this belief we have to be tough man eaters, crush egos, and be heartless. I guess for as long as I can remember I've taken pride on raising myself that way. Like the songs I've heard from Joan Jett to Alanis Morrissette, I thought the best way to deal with matters of the heart and hurt emotions was well, to lash out. While I thought perhaps I was empowering myself, I might have hurt others along the way. Now don't get me wrong, I won't shed tears on people who don't deserve them or blame myself for things I feel weren't my fault. But when I'm wrong, I'm wrong.

See my problem is that I put up walls around me and I hurt others emotionally before they can hurt me. I put up a tough girl act with a devil-may-care attitude to drive people away. Now after learning a tough lesson I've realized that the act just isn't working out for me anymore.

But that is where the beauty behind music and writing comes in. It serves as an outlet for those negative emotions. Musicians and writers open themselves to the world with written words rather than spoken to face to face. Speaking personally, sometimes it can make me feel vulnerable. It's times like this where I wish I was more of a professional musician and have the ability to write a song. Infact...

As of this moment, I-Angelica Castillo, will attempt to write a song. Yes. I just got this crazy idea right now! I have never in my entire life attempted to do such a thing. But hey, if I've got to do this to prove a point, to show the world that I'm no longer heartless and dead inside, then so be it.

I will give myself one full month(not counting my vacation week haha). My deadline will be July 25th. This tough cookie is trading her boxing gloves in for a pen to write some lyrics.Wish me luck!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Feel Inspired with Lachi's Songs

There are so many pop divas and pretty girls out there in the music game so it was such a breath of fresh air to hear Lachi for the first time. This songstress has a rock, jazz and alternative sound that many music lovers surely can vibe to. Lachi doesn't let being legally blind slow her down from flying high. Her band creates a formula of beautiful lyrics that encourages, innovates and puts the soul at peace with a rocking edge. Her songs “We can Fly” and “Ugly Beautiful” are inspirational wonders that'll leave you feeling self-reliant and amazed.

-- Tiffany

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ang's Flavor of the Week:Charetta

One thing I love about music, is that you can always find the right type to reflect your mood and emotions. Now I won't go on to be spilling my guts out in public, but it's been a tough couple of days for me. Luckily, I turned my negative energy into a positive by finding music to soothe my hot headed emotions and fancy my ear drums. Right now, it's Charetta that I'm loving.They just recently released their debut album "Defying the Inevitable". The band has a sound similar to Evanescence, Chevelle, and Sevendust. My favorite tracks are "The Truth is Out" and "You Prevail". Lead Vocalist Angelina Del Carmen has a powerful voice that matches that of the instrumentals of each song. If you're looking for music fueled by energy and looking to get frustration out, expect to find it in Charetta.

Check them out here:

Monday, June 15, 2009

MM & The Underage Hotties, S.M.U.T. and Her Virgins Rock Desmond's

Okay, I admit it: I'm the lead singer and one of two guitarists for Marisa Mini & The Underage Hotties. So writing a blog about how we rocked Saturday night's show with our pals S.M.U.T. is nothing less than self-promotional. But I have no voice today, so the blog medium is the only way I can express myself today. Yes -- if you missed Saturday night at Desmond's Cafe, you missed three of the hottest girl-rock sound machines in NYC. Not kidding. Her Virgins, fronted by a chick who reminds me of KatieJane Garside, former singer of the frantic Brit rock band Daisy Chainsaw (don't even bother to listen to their current material sans Garside -- just download their 1994 album "Eleventeen"), did their electro-rock thing. Jordan Hope, who strummed her guitar barefoot, played with just a drummer on the low-to-the-ground stage. Fast forward past my band, and you had me and Trauma Team 666's singer Amy plus a couple of Gotham Girl Roller Derby chicks waving/tossing pom-poms while chanting with S.M.U.T. frontwoman Cutie Calamity (pictured) "Drink Drink Drunk Drunk Fight Fight Fuck Fuck/Just another case of beer and bad luck!" 
Don't miss S.M.U.T. at Lit Lounge this Wednesday: They're playing a GGRD Jeerleaders fundraiser with Royal Pink and Sister Anne.

-- Marisa

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Stefani +Williams on one stage= A very happy Ang!

The summer season always brings about amazing concert tours, one in particular that I'm extremely excited about is the No Doubt/Paramore tour.What's better than two of the most popular female fronted bands together performing across the nation?
I recall being nine and watching the "Don't Speak" video early one morning for the first time and how mesmerized I was by Gwen Stefani. Everything from her beauty to her powerful and unique voice amazed me. Since then, I've been a huge fan and am overly ecstatic to see No Doubt back to work. I obviously cannot forget about the equally talented Paramore and the lovely Ms. Hayley Williams who seems to almost be a carbon copy of Stefani. With their album Riot being such a hit and another on the way due to come out in September, Paramore is following No Doubt's footsteps onto the road of music success. So with these two rocking ladies sharing the stage, I predict the show and the tour itself to be a summer highlight to any loyal fans. Let's just hope I still have enough cash in the bank to make it to the concert. :crosses fingers:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

PJ Harvey & John Parrish Kick Ass at The Beacon Theatre NYC

The last time I saw PJ Harvey at New York City's Beacon Theatre, in October 2007, she wore a diaphanous, white dress and worked a stage full of instruments. Traipsing from piano to guitar to unidentifiable noisemakers, she belted out tunes from her then-current White Chalk album, and plenty of classics.
We got the opposite effect with PJ's return to Manhattan, and to the Beacon, at last night's show with longtime collaborator/guitarist John Parrish. The seated crowd -- in my opinion, seats were not right for the five-piece-band concert -- were assaulted with a full-on, big-loudspeaker sound, as a barefoot PJ (who remained guitarless for the entire show) belted out songs from the duo's two albums, Dance Hall at Louse Point and this year's A Woman a man walked by.
I got a kick out of hearing a feverish, theatrical rendition of the disturbing "Taut" (from Louse Point), "Circle," and some new song where Ms. Harvey simply repeats "I WILL NOT" -- which left Rew and I asking "I will not what???!!" (And we made up a bunch of answers, too: "I will not play songs from Rid of Me," "I will not give you an encore until I've had my English tea," etc.).
Though the absence of PJ's most memorable tunes from past albums like Dry and To Bring You My Love made me nostalgic for her last full-band tour, I'd say the concert left us feeling jolly good by the end of the night.

-- Marisa

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Girlfriends and Groupies

All I ever wanted since I was 13-years-old was to work in music. I wanted to be a big name, a female powerhouse calling all the shots. Now I'm not trying to brag or anything, but I've had a lot of experience and success early in my aspiring career. I've interviewed celebrities and produced and hosted shows. I can proudly say I've done pretty well so far.

But there's one thing that I'm still having a difficult time conquering.See, I work and hang out with a lot of musicians, the majority of them being male. I work at a mainstream booking agency where the majority of the staff are men. And while I worked my butt off to get to where I am, the general assumption is that I'm either someones girlfriend,groupie, or that I was picked off the casting couch.

Even in the new millennium, the music industry is still the boys' club. For years, I've had to face the evil glares from jealous girlfriends who think I'm the groupie screwing her boyfriend and the groupies who think I'm the overbearing girlfriend. Sometimes I think I should walk into a venue with a disclaimer on my shirt saying: "The female standing before you has never had or plans to have personal relations with any male in the building. Thank You."

And sadly, the girls are the harmless ones. Guys are worse.I can't think of a time where I did an interview where a male musician didn't use a pick up line on me or something of the sort. Even guys who aren't into music think, "If she's a rocker chick, she'll drop her pants for anyone. "
NO! That's not what I signed up for!

I understand that music is tough to get into as a female, whether you're a musician or a business woman. While, I do want to get my foot into the door, I don't want to have to show some thigh to get in it. I once was told by a previous female boss that, "If you want a job in the music industry and you're boss is a guy, wear a mini skit to your interview." Well there goes about four years of schooling and about $120,000 down the drain. :sigh:

Look, I'm simply a girl who finds happiness in writing about bands and helping them out occasionally in a cut throat business. More importantly, I'm just a girl who's head over heels crazy in love with music. I got here by being myself, lighting a fire under my ass, and a lot of hard work. Not by being a rock musician's girlfriend. Not by being a groupie. And certainly not by sitting pretty on a casting couch.

So for those of you strong and determined women looking to make an impact in the world of music, I salute you. Keep fighting the good fight.

P.S. Tomorrow's my birthday!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ang's Flavor of the Week: April's End

I met April's End about two years ago back when they were called Striving in Greater Hopes.They're a fantastic alternative/metal rock band from Long Island. Along with a new name, they also have a new track called "No Other Way". It's simply to die for! A very Evanescence/Flyleaf sound. Lead singer Cyrille Robes just happens to be one of my favorite female rockers in the local tri-state scene. Take a listen to their cover of "You Oughta Know" -- she gives Alanis a run for her money. Not only are they good on record, they're even better live. The band puts on a stellar perfomance full of energy and definitely worth seeing. Be sure to check them out! April's End's next show is a Traxx on June 14th. For more info go to www.aprilsend.com or http://www.myspace.com/aprilsendband

Happy Listening!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What's the big deal?

I was in the supermarket the last week or so and my eye couldn't help but gaze at one of the weekly tabloid magazines near the check out. On the cover had been a two pictures of Kelly Clarkson, one with her looking very svelte and the other not so much, with a bright bold title geared towards her weight. Last time I checked, Kelly Clarkson had a professional career in making music, not in keeping track of how many pounds she's lost or gained.

It's an unfortunate thing to see that the media is keeping more tabs on what she or any female in the entertainment industry looks like instead of embracing their talent. Clarkson won the hearts of Americans with her amazing voice back in 2002 on American Idol and since then was able to respectfully separate herself from a molded pop star image and continue success in music.

Clearly today's magazines are running out of interesting things to write about for the week and too blind to see that Clarkson's talent surpasses whatever she may look like on stage. She can sing. She's selling records. She's making hits. She's got a good reputation. Who the hell cares?! Kelly Clarkson seems to be living the good life. Let her have her cake and eat it too.
-Ang Castillo