Hi, my name is Jessi and I'm an independent musician in the NYC area. I also write articles for Urban Folk magazine, design web pages, create fliers, and do various other music and technology related tasks. Please visit my Indie Music Resources blog for more. Meanwhile, Drawing Pretty Things is my big, giant archive for all things Jessi (in blog form).


August 5th, Midnight: Jessi solo at Rockwood Music Hall

I am playing a solo show at the lovely Rockwood Music Hall on Sunday, August 5th at Midnight. It's free to get in. Please come. I love Rockwood. You love Rockwood. You know want to.

LC Music Festival: Day Four Recap

It took me awhile to get to writing this recap, because I'm a little sad now that the festival is over. For four days I was in the company of some of my favorite people and treated to the best local music in NYC. It's a little hard to recover from. And now, my everyday life has resumed.

Saturday was in many ways a magical night. Some friends of mine had just arrived from the UK and I think seeing their reactions to the music made it even more special for me. Holly filmed the evening and interviewed musicians out on the sidewalk. Tanya and I were a bit camera shy, so we shared an interview and then we couldn't stop talking.

Mikey Die started off the night with a subtle, understated vocal style that is unusual and lovely. Lara Ewen followed, with sweet, timeless songs from her recently released album. Then Bryan Dunn. Oh Bryan Dunn, thank you for playing the BEST cover version in the world of Prince's "Kiss"! I love you forever for doing that. And I also enjoyed Bryan's original songs like "Geraldine" and "AudioStereoRadio."

Next up, Andy Mac! Andy always makes me smile. I can't help it, it's infectious. Beautiful vocals from Jennie Muoio. Big, bad bass from Jim McNamara. Sigh (of goodness)! The magnificent Casey Shea played some gorgeous songs, accompanied by Jeff Jacobson. There was a beautiful moment where the entire bar was singing "Roll Your Windows Down." Everyone was participating and joining their voices together. It gave me shivers. Every time I hear Jeff Jacobson play I fall more and more in love with his voice and songs. When he played "Castles" I think everyone in the bar was singing and tapping things and stomping their feet. It was riotous and sweet.

Wakey! Wakey! played some mean, mean piano and belted out his unrelenting melodies. War Sweater is one of my favorite songs. When I first heard Mike whisper "cuz we fucked it all up" this gleeful dark chill went down my spine. His delivery is flawless. That song has such dynamic tension. Matt Singer had the entire room giggling with his song about the American Idol contestant. Let me just tell you, he is a naughty man and I love him for it. Matt is probably the best lyricist I've met in NY. Which makes me very jealous, but still full of love.

Oh and then The Picture played. How can I explain my Picture love.... hmm. Well, their last album spins religiously on my iPod. RE-LI-GIOUS-LY. It is such an addictive album. Their songs have these amazing emotional high points that draw you in. You can't stop from singing the lines at the top of your lungs. Even though you know you may look and sound a little silly. You just get lost in it and you don't care. (PS - Their CD Release party is next Friday July 20th at Mercury Lounge. Lowry and Blip Blip Bleep are on the bill! Woot!)

Only Paula Valstein can quiet a bar full of Saturday night drinkers. I was a bit worried because the bar had hit a loud point as she was setting up. I told her I would beat them into submission if she needed me to. But the girl sang one blissful note and the entire bar was in love with her. Then she proceeded to ROCK OUT! Absolutely beautiful. And my Irish friend Tom Hayes. Tom is an adorable, lovely, sweet man with incredible talent. His voice is a true instrument with a distinct timbre. Don't even get me started on the way the boy floats out melismas. I am envious of the way he can hit a dozen notes without missing a pitch on a breath.

Gene Back played the best show I have ever seen him play. He was confident and pretty much owned the stage. His joy in playing was contagious. It was so nice to hear him get on that piano. I love watching him play guitar... and violin... and piano... ok, you get the point.

Finally, last but definitely not least, Jeff Schram (you must imagine yourself singing "Jeff Schram" to the tune of BATMAN while you are reading this blog). I am a huge fan of Jeff's new songs, like "False Alarm." Don't get me wrong, I love me some "Devil Ain't Got a Chance" but I think Jeff has really come into his own with the release of his latest recording. The songwriting is brilliant and he has written some very intense and intricate melodic structures.

But now I am winding down, coming to the end of the night's recap. Ah, I was just reliving it all for a moment. Well, there's always next year for the 2nd Annual Fest, and it can't come soon enough in my opinion.

Love and Kudos to:

The PERFORMERS: Mikey Die, Lara Ewen, Bryan Dunn, Andy Mac, Casey Shea, Jeff Jacobson, Wakey! Wakey!, Matt Singer, The Picture, Paula Valstein, Tom Hayes, Gene Back, and Jeff Schram.

Holly - Thanks so much for being there all night to capture it on film!

Larry, Peter, and Ted - You have the best music venues in Brooklyn, hands down. Your commitment to supporting and encouraging artists is exceptional. The venues are beautiful, but it would not be the same without the feeling of warmth and family that you bring to everything you do. I have so much respect for you. Thank you!

Tanya Buziak - My partner in shushing! The originator of the open mic! You have helped so many people develop and believe in themselves. You have literally changed people's lives and that must be such a good feeling. I know you keep insanely busy, so you probably don't have time to sit back and think about it, but you should be extremely proud and satisfied with what you've accomplished.

Greg Tuohey - I would not have survived this whole thing without you. Remember back in the day when you thought up the showcase idea? (People, don't forget to give Greg his props! He is a huge part of the LC Team! Just wanted to remind you, Greg is the biznizzle.) I think you also hold the record for playing with the most acts in the festival. Everyone wants you by their side, because you feel their music, you get it and you add something beautiful to it. I miss it when you're not playing with me. If only we could clone you, because you are bound to be even busier after this! I believe you are the most in demand guitarist in NY. And you are also one of my favorite, favorite people. Mwah!


ANOTHER HumbleVoice feature: VIDEO!

Um, seriously people, how many times do I need to tell you about the awesomeness that is Humble Voice? I am still listed under the Humble Voice features on their music page, and they've now added a nice, big feature of my song "Eggshell Heart" on the video page. This was a live performance of Greg Tuohey and I filmed at Rockwood Music Hall by the great Larry Hyland.

Check out Humble Voice for Art, Music, Video, Photography, Word. They have great taste. After all, they choose to feature ME didn't they???

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LC Music Festival: Day Three Recap

Sorry this took so long guys. I needed a little vacation after the LC Fest.

The Friday show could not have gone smoother. Everyone sounded amazing, and the night flowed seamlessly. This was a night with a lot of friends and artists that have been involved in Local Correspondents from the start, plus a few newer people that play frequently at Matchless and Bar4. One of the things I really appreciated is how many performers came early and stayed late. It really shows how supportive a community LC has become. This was the longest night, with fourteen performers but it flew by for me. I was excited to see old friends like Keith Varick and Joe Wilson. And I have to say Olga (Bell) deserves huge thanks for coming out and playing late after she spent the day moving.

Thanks to everyone who made this night possible:

Performers: Peter Inc, Keith Varick, Sami Akbari, Joe Wilson, Sean Han, Red Orange Morning, Zach Williams, Daniel Wayne, Matt Cranstoun, The Reverend John DeLore (& Kara, Aya, Steve), Bell, Mark Yodice, Austin Donahue, FK Ridge

Larry, Ted, and Peter: Thank you again for welcoming and supporting all the musicians and artists in your lovely venues.

Tanya: The hardest working woman in Music! You always point out the new people that I should pay attention to. You have a great ear for music.

Niko: Amazing sound as always!

Greg: My musical genius.