Editor’s Ramblings – March 2019

By: Josh Noll

March Madness is upon us. It’s getting crazy around here at the office it’s starting to feel like spring is about to be sprung from the deep winter slumber. The phone is ringing off the hook and they all want to sell me car insurance or some great extended warranty. I keep telling them, I don’t own any cars so why would I want insurance, and would your warranty cover my 1987 Nissan ‘cause I’d like a new bed please, mine is rusted. They never seem to understand my frustration with them calling me from some local random number. Sometimes I get some cool calls from readers with crazy off the wall questions and we talk for a couple of minutes maybe even several. Some about a band they can’t remember the name of or if I know the dudes name from this band? Then before we know it bam, friends are made and new music is found.

After attending MMC 23 I got to meet so many new people and hear new bands that it was a little overwhelming at times, but we had a crazy good time listening to so many live bands and hanging out with everyone. I’m not going to attempt to do a run down of all the great music like my talented writers do but I will give you a quick retrospect of what I took in from MMC. First, a lot of people don’t really understand what a bag stuffing is. It was kind of funny watching them all figure it out. Yes, it is a BAG-STUFFING, YOU WILL BE STUFFING BAGS! Like for real, place the goodies in the bag, read later. I was aware and ready to go, others not so much, but by the end of the night everyone has a blast and it’s a great ice breaker. You get to know the people you will be hanging with for the weekend. You can really pick out the over achievers figuring out ways to go faster and we did get it moving at the end by doing double time.

Next its straight to the kick off party and live music! Chelsea Takami started off the night as a solo act out of New York. She ended up winning the Jim Price download Cd pick and will have an interview on his 105.9 Qwik rock show later in the spring along with Anker a New Jersey based singer-songwriter who won the Cd pick. The bands were all amazing and I’m sure Rachel has the full list in her article so check Out ’N’ About for the rundown. JP and Michelle will cover all they experienced in our April issue.

So Friday was go time, setup the booth and start meeting people. It was cool talking to people from out of the area not familiar with the paper. A lot of them wish they had something like this around or did at one time and now it’s gone so it felt good taking over the helm and keeping ‘her’ going for our local music scene. I also got to meet lots of local people who do know of us and its great catching up with people and meeting new ones. Before I knew it bands were playing again and some of the stand outs for Friday were Six Bar Break, they rock it! Love Ben’s hat and his guitar riff’s, great band, those guys are some hard working dudes. A new band that I really dug was Blind Choice, a three piece of younger dudes out of Scranton/Wilkesbarre area who really rocked. They got the punk rock sound going and some great energy and If you haven’t heard of them then you need to check them out at facebook@blindchoice. Another big one for me at MMC was Defiant, these guys are booking some great gigs and coming up soon they are playing with LA Guns at the Chameleon Club on April 20th in Lancaster. This is one I would put on the must see list for us heavier listeners. They sounded great in the Ballroom up at HMAC. What a cool place to play it is such a great room. After them it was Meka Nism they were awesome with sound splitting lyrics and heavy guitar riffs with a whole “performance involving” show if that makes sense. All great bands loved it.

Saturday was another day on the trade show floor, the bands really started breaking in the Open Mic stage provided by Rock Mill Industries and they did a great job. Super nice guys and we had a great time hanging and making jokes all weekend. One band that caught my eye was Sour Mash String Band. I knew I had to catch a full set so I put them on the list for later that evening up at Midtown Tavern. They are a bluegrass string band as the name suggests complete with an upright bass. Man I just love Bluegrass and I knew Missy would too. We got there a band ahead of them and got to see The Charming Beards out of Wilkes barre area, I believe.They are the self proclaimed worlds most awkward band according to the drummer but the way they mesh on stage makes for some awesome tunes in what they call a blend of folk and rock. I just know I liked it. Sour Mash String Band was next, and they just captured everyone’s attention as soon as they started playing the mix of stringed instruments and vocal harmonies straight from the West Virginia based band it was nothing short of amazing. MMC really brings in great talent so you can’t go wrong hitting up any MMC showcase band they are all good. I even heard from a good friend who I was meeting at HMAC that he got to see his first Hip-Hop show and he loved it. Coming from a guy who favors Clutch and Slayer that’s saying something. We went up and ended our MMC with Small Town Titans. I had seen them at Club XL before the Grinch and really thought hey this could be one of the last times you get to see them before they become famous like Halestorm. They put on a great show as always and its awesome seeing the Titan Army coming out in support. Check the schedules in the paper catch them while you can so you can say “I seen those guys live at Blarney’s Dude! on St. Patrick’s Day March 16th 2019 they killed it brah!” And that was Millennium Music Conference/MMC 23.

Ok, so now what is WAYNESTOCK? Well that is a great question. It all started 20 years ago as some dude named Wayne and his buddies wanted to run some white water rapids. I just happened to be best friends with his brother so it became an annual head to West Virginia Pilgrimage that turned into a huge 200+ some people attended camping, adventure, rave, mud/jello wrestling (depending on year), zip lining, hiking, biking, jeepin, lounging by the pool, bi-plane rides oh did I mention white water rafting. The ticket includes white water rafting and your campsite, “basic snack food” and a meal ticket for after rafting and much more. The area is packed with things to do outside of rafting so if someone in the group is scared of the rafting there are plenty of other groups to join or to go do some other cool adventure (even if that’s laying by the pool or hot tub). This year marking 20 years, Wayne is going all out and The Mighty River Band Is heading down to entertain the group. There have been bands in the past but never a PA transplant, so it’s going to be a blowout adventure not to be missed. Bring your acoustic or some drums for the circle, there are always musicians on this trip ready to jam. Plan now, this isn’t for everyone, and its sorta of a, hey we need to ok it thing. But you most likely have a friend of a friend who can vouch for your saneness. If you have always wanted to whitewater raft this is the way to do it. You have a support system and a bunch of like minded people around to insure you have a great time and make lifelong friends. Peace out Pennsylvania I got to catch up on my Survivor Reruns from 2006. Talk to you next month and see you on the delivery trail.