By Krista Doran

l_2ee409d71c5d412e8855906e436107ccGrowing up in the 80’s was a great time for me, as I am sure it was for many. It was a time of constant fun, parties and MUSIC. Not just any old music though. If you grew up in the 80’s you know what I mean. The launch of Hair Bands and Arena rock was huge and it just took over that decade. It was electric, big production, neon lights with leopard tights, all about sex and good times. Ahhh, those were the days!

If you are craving a true flashback to the 80’s, then all you need to do is take a look at Philly band, Mane Attraction. Now here is a band dedicated to a cause and it’s not just music…but we’ll get to that in a minute! This band puts on that full production with the bright lights, big hair, leather pants and vintage instruments and they play the party anthems we all love to sing along to by bands such as Def Leppard, Cinderalla, Poison, Dokken, Judas Priest and many others. As lead guitarist, Butch puts it “Our shows are totally over the top, obnoxious yet lots of fun. We want to give everyone a chance to relive the 80’s or to experience what it was like.” I asked Butch what Mane Attraction does differently than some of the other bands out there who also offer a trip back to the 80’s and his answer was “Our approach. We want to give the audience a show that is worth more than their cover’s worth and that is why we make sure our shows are always high energy, quick paced and we play songs that everyone loves to scream and head-bang along to.” All the members in this band lived through the 80’s, so they know what people want. They did a lot of research by checking out other arena rock style bands to see what songs they would do in order to get that “Wow” factor and Mane Attraction is following that same path of giving people exactly what they want. Their stage presence is something you won’t soon forget between the costuming, back drops and song choices, you really feel like you’ve gone back in time to an 80’s hair band concert.

The band is 5 members: Shakey on lead vocals, Butch and Paul who both play lead and rhythm guitar, Bones on bass guitar and Joe on drums. They have been together now for 6 months and are already playing some great rooms in the area like JT’s Philadelphia House, The Beehive Pub in NJ and Cazz’s Sports Bar in Levittown. They have also been doing some charity events including Toys for Tots and several Veteran organizations and recently spearheaded a campaign to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. If you go to the Mane Attraction website at www.myspace.com/maneattractionband you can purchase a “Rockin’ for the Cure” Mane Attraction t-shirt and 100% of the proceeds from these sales will be donated directly to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. I asked Butch why they decided to be so dedicated to this cause and he said “We’ve all been through our own garbage and we are all OK now. We just want to make sure things stay that way by keeping the Karma train going.” You can also find these t-shirts at local retail stores such as Pat’s Music Center on Frankford Avenue in NE Philly and at Way Out in the Roosevelt Mall.

You can of course, pick up one of these t-shirts at a Mane Attraction show as well, so be sure to check out their site and support a band that does so much to help others.

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By: Karli Rizzo

GrandyPhotoI sat down with one of Philly’s pioneering original bands, Grandy, where we discussed music, their upcoming album, cheese steaks, women and more. The band- vocalist and guitarist Matt Courchain, lead guitarist Laine Diaczuk, bass guitarist and vocalist Dan McHenry, and drummer Brandon Marsh- has been touring local Philly venues for nearly a year now. Grandy prefers to be known as four guys from Philadelphia playing the music they love. It is this very humble nature paired with musical prowess and stage presence, which draws one into their powerfully unique sound.  Determined to share their music, Grandy proves to be a steadfast presence among the ever-changing original music scene.  “I truly believe in Grandy’s talent, their music and their future-they write from their own experiences in life.” said Grandy’s manager, Heather Mae of HM Promotions.

Out On the Town: How have you improved since your first gig?

MATT: We focus on being as tight as possible, having good stage presence, and the maturity level of our writing has definitely been the biggest change for us. We try not to over think songs but like to fancy them up here and there too.

DAN: My first gig with the band was at the NorthStar Bar in Philly.  We’ve improved tremendously since then, the chemistry both physically and mentally that we’ve built with each other

OOT: Who came up with the name Grandy?

MATT: Grandy was never meant to be the band’s name. I was talking about my grandmother who had passed one day while on the phone with our old bassist/friend Gary. After hearing it he said we should name the band that. We were going to change it a couple times but its short sweet and meaningful.

OOT: What’s the strangest thing that’s happened to you guys during or after a show?

BRANDON: When we played the North Star Bar, they misspelled our name on the website as Grady. The actually band Grady, who had not played a show in years, showed up to North Star thinking they were playing and we had to tell them ourselves that we were playing.

DAN: One time after a Phillies game, some girl came up to me and asked “Are you with Grandy?” which was pretty awesome because that meant someone recognized me.  But it ended up that she only knew me because she wanted my friend who had been at some of our show. Does that count as a groupie?

OOT: Describe your fan base.

LAINE: Sexy women

MATT: Our fan base is just blue-collar people who work and go through the same bull as the rest of us; love, loss, life, happiness, all that jazz. I try to write so people can connect with our music but I also write very personally. I try not to hide anything.

OOT: Philadelphia is notoriously a difficult town to break through musically, what distinguishes Grandy from other local original bands?

MATT: We don’t overdo the guitar solos or have a load of flare. We keep things simple but musically talented. I like the idea of being able to talk to someone for an hour and walk on stage thinking I’m no different from them and vice versa. I like the idea of that.

BRANDON: What we do is add guitars solos, which you don’t find lately, and unique drum patterns, as well as, catchy vocals.

DAN: We pride ourselves in a great stage show and musical precision.  I lose at least five pounds every time we play from all of the energy that I exert.

OOT: What are the challenges Grandy faces, playing in a city like Philadelphia?

LAINE: All the cheese steaks

BRANDON: Obviously, creating a fan base. Playing shows on a Tuesday or Thursday night really doesn’t draw a crowd when most people work in the morning.

DAN: Having another band whose name is just one letter different than ours in the same city.

OOT:  How often are you in the studio rehearsing?

MATT: I rehearse every day. As a band anywhere from one to three times depending on our show schedule that week. We just keep getting more shows thanks to the lovely Heather Mae

DAN: We practice once or twice a week and then hold group calisthenics at least twice a week. We have to keep in shape.

HEATHER MAE: I manage a Rehearsal Studio in N.E. Philly called Branded Sound Studio. It’s a great place and has turned into a little community of multiple bands. Grandy has their own room which they can lock all their stuff in and come and go as they please.

OOT: What is the band working on now?

MATT: We’re discussing more business oriented things right now like merchandise, the album cover, how we want to sell the album, etc.

DAN: We’re waiting on our album to be completed and we’re continually writing new songs.  There’s also a Rubick’s Cube in our practice space that we’ve been trying to solve for at least a month now.  Those things are tough.

OOT: Are the songs based on fiction or reality?

MATT: I try and write as close to me as possible. It’s the only way I see a song working. There are so many bands that just bullshit their way the music, melody, and lyrics. I tend to over think everything, but if my hearts not in it, then I can’t do the song. I can’t lie like that. I connect so much more with songs written from the heart and I want that same connection with fans/friends.

OOT: Describe Grandy’s sound.

DAN: Bands are always out there trying to find the next new sound and then a thousand bands copy that once it’s successful.  I like to think that Grandy is reaching back to the music of the late 90’s and early 00’s when post-hardcore and dare I say “emo” was taking over.  It was the stuff that we grew up with and want to continue to watch thrive instead of all these bands out there these days with their tight jeans, brightly colored t-shirts, and their stupid haircuts.  It’s unfortunate that music has come to that, but Grandy is willing to buck those trends, except for tight jeans because they are quite comfortable, and melt your face off with our brand of rock.

OOT: Any upcoming gigs?

HEATHER MAE: MRoom 9/22, Whiskey Tango 9/25, Bootleggers 10/30 (Halloween show), Freddies Tavern 11/06, Kildares Manayunk 11/19

Check out Grandy on Facebook & Myspace for more information and upcoming shows. www.myspace.com/GrandyMusic and for local Original bands that are looking to play bootleggers, send me an e-mail at www.myspace.com/BootleggersWednesday

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By: Krista Doran

OOT_LostPint_promoshotTo me, there’s nothing better than a band who purposely doesn’t try to fit into the typical cover band mold. There are so many of those types of bands out there, and it’s always refreshing to see a band that makes an effort to be different. Once of those bands is Lost Pint.

I first met these guys a few years ago when I was still booking bands. From the very first time I spoke to guitarist Shawn Byrne, I knew I was dealing with professional, honest people. Lost Pint is a 4 piece band based in the Warminster / Hatboro area. Love and a huge enthusiasm for music have brought these four together who truly bring something special and unique to this area. Rather than playing the typical “party rock” stuff that everyone else does, Lost Pint really mixes it up by playing Classic and Modern Rock as well as Blues, Country and Irish Music.

Lost Pint has been together about 2 years now playing some really great rooms in the area, including Squirrel Murphy’s in Warminster, which is a really fun bar with an Irish ambience. They have become a regular act there, and many of their friends and followers will pack the place when they make an appearance. One reason that Lost Pint has been able to develop such a big following is because they play so many different types of music. As drummer Tom Cashman puts is, “We try to reach at least one person with every song.” These guys put a lot into their set lists, carefully choosing songs that best fit each of their playing styles which range quite a bit, but mesh perfectly. Shawn told me that whenever they play live they “can’t help but feed off the energy of the crowd.” It’s true – I have seen it myself. A Lost Pint show is like a big get together with friends from start to finish. Each member of the band does their part by getting the crowd involved and singing along, talking with everyone in between sets, asking their opinions on the music…they genuinely appreciate the fact that people come out just to see them. As Tom told me, “everyone who comes to see us deserves the attention we give to them. After all, they could have gone anywhere, but they came to see US, and we want to make them feel appreciated.”

Lost Pint also dabbles a bit in original music and has a great song called “My Life is a Cliché”, written by bass player Phil Williams. Phil wrote this song while going through a very difficult divorce several years back when he was in the Air Force. He told me, “I was in the shower one day feeling really, really bad and just started thinking about all the normal clichés…why is this happening?…what could I have done to make it better?…if I only knew then what I know now…and the song developed from there.” Phil is now remarried to a beautiful girl named Allison, so I’ll through another cliché out there for you Phil – “everything happens for a reason.”

These guys have become dear friends of mine and I am so proud of the hard work they have put into not only getting their name out there in many unique ways, but the obvious effort they put into their playing. They truly care about the product they put out, and it shows. You can catch Lost Pint at many fine establishments every month such as Squirrel Murphy’s, The Street Road Bar & Grill, E’s Irish Pub and many others – just check out their schedule at www.lostpint.com. The band will also be performing at a wonderful charity event on September 25th from 7 pm – 12 am called Special Equestrians, which is a Forbes Enterprise Award winner and non-profit Therapeutic Riding Program located at 2800 Street Road in Warrington, PA. The mission of this organization is to improve the physical, mental, and emotional well being of individuals with disabilities through the equine experience. The event is being held at Vereinigung Erzgebirge, located at 130 Davisville Road in Warminster. Tickets are $35 pp, and include food, beer and live entertainment.

Lost Pint is Shawn Byrne – Lead Vocals, Guitar and Harmonica, Phil Williams – Bass and Vocals, Dave Rosenblatt – Lead Guitar and Tom Cashman, Drums and Vocals. Check out live YouTube video at their site www.lostpint.com and definitely take the time to see a show. You will certainly be glad that you did.

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