Episode 18: Pilfers

I’ve been a fan of the Pilfers since the start of the band. I wasn’t there for the first show (I don’t think) but definitely one of their first shows. It was at 7 Willow St in Port Chester, NY and they opened for The Specials (the 90s version). From then on, they have always been one of my favorite bands to listen to and watch live.

I’ve been trying to get the band to try something new and do some acoustic versions of their songs. While I didn’t get them to do that (yet), I did get the chance to film their soundcheck at Gramercy Theatre in New York City. The band played their song “Kawaii,” which is off the compilation New York Beat Volume 2: Breaking and Entering and they also played “Why” off their brilliant Chawaleng album.

This episode is a bit of a departure then what I usually do but since I love this band so much, I wanted something on the site! The video & audio quality could be better, next time I’ll have a monopod and hook the recorder into the soundboard. Trying to hold my camera up for 20 minutes can be challenging so I was trying to rest my arms on the railings in the little VIP section. I did the best I could under the conditions. Thanks to Gramercy Theatre and the band for letting me film the soundcheck!

I took a ton of photographs at the show, which you can see over at my photo site SkaPunkPhotos.com.

If you like YouTube better, you can watch the episode over at the Before The Concert channel.

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Episode 15: Howi Spangler of Ballyhoo!

For those that don’t know, Ballyhoo! hail from Maryland and play reggae rock. The band recently released their newest album Pineapple Grenade, which is their best album to date and I think one of my favorites of the year. Ballyhoo and Authority Zero just did a co-headlining tour and made a stop at Gramercy Theatre on 23rd street. I met up with Ballyhoo! frontman Howi Spangler and their publicist Becky at the venue, and then we decided to stroll over to Madison Square Park.

I originally wanted to film both Authority Zero and Ballyhoo but AZ was quite busy before the show..err concert. Thankfully, the weather held up because it was supposed to be nasty weather out. There’s no reason to film in a stuffy office or corner of the club if its nice out. I was just worried about filming in Madison Square Park since there’s always park rangers there. Especially with the new restrictions on street musicians, I was thinking we would be kicked out but that didn’t happen. I think if we lingered around, we would have though as some guy with a walkie talkie looked like he was scoping me out as I was leaving. Lovely New York City, where it’s now a Police State and can’t even have someone with a guitar play a few minutes.

But anyway, this was the first time seeing Howi and Ballyhoo! so I was amazed at how tall he was. I told him he made me look like a damn hobbit. Howi, Becky and I walked over to the park and avoided most of the crowd in front of the venue. We tried to stay away from everyone in the park since a lot of people were just relaxing & suntanning. There was a funny moment that happened before Howi began to play. When I put my Zoom H4n recorder with the “dead cat wind muff” down in front of him, Howi looked up and laughed saying he thought it was an animal. Those squirrels in Madison Square Park do come right up to you but this time it was just the mic.

Three Ballyhoo! fans randomly encountered Howi while we were setting up. They stayed around to watch Howi perform “Lost At Sea” and “Walk Away.” During “Lost At Sea,” Howi flubbed the verses a little but laughed it off & pressed on. I like keeping those moments in my videos because it makes me laugh & smile. Like Billy Joel used to sing, we’re only human. I was going to ask if he wanted to do that over again but seemed like Howi just wanted to get back to the venue. He was doing press all afternoon so I don’t blame him.

I was happy to get the chance to film Howi of Ballyhoo!, just wished my footage wasn’t so shaky. Really need to invest in a shoulder rig because the DSLR cameras are too shaky when being used as handheld cameras. I don’t want to use a tripod because I think it’s boring doing it that way (unless I filmed with multiple cameras). But maybe next time I’ll be able to film the entire band. Glad I got the chance to film with Howi and also glad I finally saw the band live as well. Let’s just say I was VERY hungry after that show haha.

If you like YouTube better, you can watch the episode over at the Before The Concert channel.

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Feel free to share this video and post the embed on your website! Just remember to include a link back to this page! Thanks a lot!

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