BAM, Easy Tells, Danielia Cotton, Vanity Belles, Christina LaRocca


Easy Tells

Danielia Cotton

Vanity Belles

Christina LaRocca

Tue, November 20, 2012

Doors: 6:30 pm

Mercury Lounge

New York, NY

$8 advance / $10 day of show

This event is 21 and over

BAM - (Set time: 10:30 PM)
BAM is an up and coming indie rock band from New York. Thanks to a craigslist add, the band was formed in the summer of 2011. There sound has been compared to such bands as Jet, Soundgarden, Audioslave and Radiohead. The members of BAM have performed and studied with some of the worlds top musicians. In their short time together they have already played at some of New York’s top venues such as The Bowery Electric and Sullivan Hall. The members of BAM have also been members of The Bailen Brothers, Soul Cannon and The Kelly Bell Band. BAM is about to be play CMJ and Mercury lounge!!!!
Easy Tells - (Set time: 9:30 PM)
Easy Tells
In 2010, singer-songwriter Matthew Crosby and guitarist Ryan Mackstaller, both members of NYC-based rock band, The Majorleans, began collaborating on alternative arrangements of Crosby's songs as well as new material and a handful of covers. Mackstaller recruited drummer Keith Robinson (Charlie Robison) and later bassist Matt Brandau (the Old Ceremony), recent transplants from Austin and Chapel Hill respectively, and by early 2011 the foursome were gigging consistently around the Lower East Side and Brooklyn as Easy Tells, honing a sound centered in American Rock, and influenced by artists like Wilco, Stephen Stills, and Elliott Smith, though not without a healthy nod to the Brits. The band's recently completed debut EP, "Got What You Paid For" is set for release in October.
Danielia Cotton - (Set time: 8:30 PM)
“Survival,” says Danielia Cotton after a long pause, when asked what she’d like people to take away from her new album.

“’Survival,’” she repeats slowly. “That word comes because something came beforehand that made you have to try. Survival also means great strength on the other side. It’s a dual-edged sword.”

Cotton knows a lot about survival, and it shows on “The Gun In Your Hand,” her third album. During the time between this album and the critically lauded “Rare Child” (released in 2008), the singer endured devastating and life-changing loss – the kind that makes you question the universe, your sanity and your choices, not to mention whether you have the strength and will to go on – when she lost the twins she’d conceived through in-vitro fertilization five months into her pregnancy.

It’s the kind of real life stuff that might’ve knocked the wind out of a weaker person’s sails, but Cotton established a wealth of inner strength as the child of a single mom raising several kids, not to mention a mixed-race youngster in a small, almost exclusively white town.

“(When we’d get hurt) my mom would say, ‘Get up. Are you bleeding? No? Alright, you’re fine,’” she explains. “It makes you realize you can get knocked around and you’re going to be OK. Those are the times where you gain character and they enable you later in life to have the strength to go through very intense moments.”

Those moments exist on “The Gun In Your Hand” as what Cotton calls “minutes” – those periods when life feels completely and utterly overwhelming.

“’Save Me’ is me having a minute,” she explains. “’Save me, help me, save me. If I could, I’d help myself, but it’s a minute.’

“But it’s definitely not somebody trying to go down,” she quickly clarifies. “It’s somebody trying to keep their head above water.”

It would be a stretch to interpret “Save Me” as anything but a fight song. The album’s opener, it kicks off with a squall and jagged guitar before Cotton’s voice – raw, unbridled and undeniable – ignites the proceedings like a flare with her cry for help.

On some level, every song on the album is a fight song – whether it’s about the struggle to keep your head above water (“Lighthouse Keeper”), putting yourself in the shoes of those who are lost (“Boy Blue,” which was written after a friend’s son hung himself – proceeds benefit the Suicide Hotline), social justice (“Long Days” and a hauntingly beautiful cover of “Strange Fruit”), escaping and embracing your roots (“Torrent Bay”), temptation (“Deep Dark Love”), dealing with mistakes (a pleading version of “Purple Rain”) or weighing choices (“Easy”). Even the love song (the resolutely uplifting “The Only Reason”) is a fortress from the storms, as Cotton sings “You’re the only reason anything good happens at all; you’re the only reason I don’t fall” with hard-won triumph tempered with humbled resolve.

Recorded with producer Kevin Salem, “The Gun In Your Hand” may have been born of trying times, but it has the bracing, life-affirming feel of opening all the windows on a house that’s been boarded up and letting the spring air work its healing magic.

“Going through this album, it was a lot about life and birth and death – it was a really powerful album for me,” Cotton explains. “It was really great to get back with Kevin and be in a place where I really had more of sense of who I was and he embraced where I was at emotionally. To work together is really beautiful – the two of us coming together, the power of it. “

Working with a producer and friend who respected her talent as well as her experiences going into and recording the album resulted in a powerful, eclectic and emotionally rewarding record for all concerned. “The Gun In Your Hand” showcases Cotton’s riveting voice, naturally stunning and heartfelt whether she’s delivering bombastic rock or tender gospel; whether she’s raising hell with a howl or giving Billie Holiday a run for her money with her goosebump-inducing cover of “Strange Fruit.” It’s not, as Cotton laughingly describes, an “incense burner” – an album made for background ambience.

For that reason, Cotton considers the album a personal success. “I listen to it a lot of different ways. I like it,” she says. “The albums I like are a little eclectic and emotional – they get off into so many different things, top to bottom. That’s the album I like to put in my car – the kind you want to take with you everywhere. I just love that kind of thing. So this is the closest I’ve ever got to creating an album that I really thought was eclectic and strange but still cohesive.”

The album may offer a broad spectrum of styles and emotion, but it is definitely cohesive. If there’s one song that sums up “The Gun In Your Hand,” it’s the sprightly “Smile,” the second to last track and a message of hope from someone for whom music has always been a lifesaver.

“As a child, I suffered from depression,” explains Cotton. “My mom bought me a guitar and it saved me. Whatever I was feeling, I got to let it go and verbalize it – to put it somewhere. It gave me a way to write the story and get it out.

“One reason I wanted (“Smile”) toward the end is because every day is not a good day – but that’s alright,” she offers. “You just have to hold on and try to smile a little bit more. That’s just life – even in a good one you’re going to have some really hard times. And when you’re down, the only way to go is up.”
Vanity Belles - (Set time: 7:30 PM)
The Vanity Belles are a genre-bending "Cosmo-Country" harmony duo living in New York City and winning the hearts of a nation. The band is comprised of Jessi Rae Waltz, a Nashville native and Carrie Welling, a military child from Colorado. The two have garnered significant attention over their short careers, including winning a local MTV VMA award for Best Breakout Artist. Their debut album, "Take Two" was released at The Cutting Room and will be available for purchase at the show!
Christina LaRocca - (Set time: 6:30 PM)
Christina LaRocca
Native Brooklynite Christina LaRocca is no stranger to setting standards. Her voice and talent have been heard across the states and overseas in festivals such as CMJ2010. Her innovation as a singer-songwriter echoes rich vocals with a haunting infusion of Folk and R&B. Committed and driven, Christina draws her inspiration through one simple and profound act- creating excellent music. As a result of her passion and experience, Christina has expanded her expertise by creating "L Rock the Party Booking." L Rock the Party Booking is an NYC based company dedicated to live performance and recorded music through musicians committed to creating art in their music. Whether on stage singing, or as a business woman, Christina continues to be an element of opportunity and possibility in today's Music Industry.
Christina LaRocca grew up under her mother's musical influence, hoping to one day to sing as beautifully as her. With the record player constantly spinning Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole, and Aretha Franklin and it's easy to see where Christina got her soulful and smooth sound. After moving from Brooklyn to Staten Island, during her teen years Christina found herself listening to listening to female radio stars like No Doubt, TLC, Fiona Apple, Alanis Morsette, and Lauryn Hill. She started auditioning for plays and realizing theatre wasn't satisfying her musical impulse, she picked up a guitar and following her father's beatnik poetic ways, dug into the deep dark mass throbbing inside her heart and began writing her own music. By 2005 Christina had caught the ears of local musicians such as Carl Gallagher and Dorian Lake. After jamming at a hurricane Katrina fund-raiser, they decided to name their newly found project Heavy Weather.
Venue Information:
Mercury Lounge
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002