Monday, November 08, 2010

Spotlight Artist: LYVA

Our next Spotlight Artist is LYVA, a new project from Lynda McLaughlin & Valerie Gurka. I have known Valerie for many years through her website NY Planet. She has teamed up with her friend Lynda McLauglin to form LYVA Music. They are producing and starring in their first ever LYVA Fest this Wednesday, November 10. MurphGuide is proud to be a Community Partner for this unique music event, which will be broadcast live on MurphGuide via livestream. Lynda & Valerie answer our questions below:

Photo credit: Carrie Schecther.

Spotlight Artist: LYVA
Lynda McLaughlin - Lead Vocal
Valerie Gurka - Vocals
Tony Novarro - Guitar
Steve Bonacio - Bass
Aaron Belinfanti - Drums and Percussion
Justin Flynn - Saxophone
Frank Stainkamp - Keys

How long have you been performing? (individually, and together)
Lynda - forever, both my parents are talented musicians and it's just a way of life in my family. I have been gigging about 4 nights or more since I was a teenager and that's really helped me to get my live performance down- solid.

Valerie started performing on stage at the age of 7 and kept it going throughout high school and college. As an adult, September 11th brought about a lot of charity events and with that Valerie's love of music helped her work through the troubling time. She continued rocking out with lots of bands from rock to pop.

A Queen tribute band brought us together musically about 3 years ago and we have been playing together ever since.

How did your band get its name?
Lynda and Valerie: take the LY and the VA and you got LYVA. Truthfully, Lynda and Valerie were forming a business entity to house all their music publishing, distribution and marketing and called it LYVA. The name caught on and just sort of stuck. It covers everything the two are doing from business to music.

Past lives (i.e., previous bands, your early years, etc.):
Lynda worked with her dad, Donn McLaughlin and they had a band called LDM Music. They toured, performed at shows and festivals like SXSW, ACL and were the morning guest on NBC's morning show with their single, "You Are Mine." Lynda has opened for the nationwide concert series the "Freedom Concerts."

Valerie formed a cover band in 2005 which evolved into an original band in 2007 called Planet Girl. She has performed in several different cover bands, sometimes performing with Lynda in them, including a Queen Tribute band and an 80s Tribute band, before joining Lynda with the LYVA project.

Musical influences:
Lynda -- Absolutely love all music by Sarah McLachlan and Frou Frou, can't get enough of the Police ever, and love Vivaldi; it's a little bit of everything and whole lot of taking chances and mixing it up.

Valerie -- Sara Bareilles and pretty much all classic rock or pop music.

Favorite venues to play:
Lynda -- Anywhere the sound guy actually cares and the fans show up and participate - that's a great show!
Valerie -- Knitting Factory, World Cafe

Blatant self-promotion: What would you like to plug?
LYVA FEST on November 10, 2010.
Lyva Fest is all about combining music and media and bringing them together in the live and digital formats. This way you can reach a broader audience and show them new artists they would have not heard of otherwise. We will be incorporating blogging, tweeting, a "twee-J" as opposed to a DJ, a live visual show and a digital live-stream in real time.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

featuring performances by:
The Deafening Colors - 7pm
Lunic - 8pm
LYVA - 9pm
Bob Pepek - 10pm
Tied in 2 - 11pm
Tickets: $12 in advance, $15 at the door
purchase online
doors: 6pm
showtime 7pm
Knitting Factory
361 Metropolitan Ave.
(Havemeyer St.)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY

How did the idea come about for your upcoming LYVA music event?
What else should we know about it?
LYVA FEST came about because we were seeing all these other people subscribing, submitting and paying for all these festivals. We thought why not host our own and promote other indie bands and make a splash by combining our efforts with digital media.

Brainstorming on ways that the event could be different than other types of showcases and collaborated with bloggers, tweeters and other community partners to help promote and broadcast the event on the internet. As more and more partners came on board, the enthusiasm for the concept became enormous.

Now we have a livestream aspect of our show that we will fully integrate and it will enable people to watch the show worldwide. That's what we want - to reach everyone.
facebook: lyvamusic
Youtube: lyvamusic
Twitter: lyvamusic
Myspace: lyvamusic
Sonic bids: lyvamusic

Where can we buy your music?
at our site,

You have a new EP coming out. Can you tell us a little about it?
"NOT YET", our upcoming EP, we started about a year ago writing and producing these songs together. About 6 months into writing the songs we decided to hire a professional producer, and that's when Vic Thrill came on board. He has been such a terrific asset and just a sweetheart to work with, and ultimately we are producing everything as a team which is great. The recording of the 3 songs on our EP took about 4 months, bringing in our band to record their parts and get the right sound and then get the production completed and the mastering and whatnot. LYVA is a 50/50 partnership and we work on all the songs together.
Photo credit: Carrie Schecther.

Tell us a story or anecdote about performing live.

Lynda -- Performing live is always a challenge, each room, each crowd and each live event is a new experience. You need to be able to read and adapt and just go with it. Two nights ago I was on stage singing, this is Lynda, and a guy got past security and sprinkled money over my head, while I was singing. TRULY CRAZY. Anything can happen, but hopefully one thing always happens, people leave happy and humming our songs. :)

Valerie -- The best part of playing live is seeing the audience responding and feeling moved by the music. When people move their bodies, shake their head, tap their feet, give the artists eye contact and smile at the band when the music is playing, then we know we’ve done a great job entertaining the audience. We’ve had audience members that were so moved they came to the stage and hugged us while we were performing. Now that’s a fan.

Any advice to someone just starting out?
Yes, push through - and listen to everyone, but make your own decisions. You can always learn something when you listen, even if it's that you don't agree or something is not for you.

Connect with your community, write good music and read a business book!

Can you recommend any other act(s) we should feature on MurphGuide?
Yes, Beyond this Point, Lunic, and the artists from The Tinderbox Festival.

Below are two clips: Lynda describing LYVA Music, and Valerie announcing the LYVA Fest:

1 comment:

Chris Garra said...

Hi Murph - dig your blog and your twitter feed. Thx for keeping me up-to-speed on things going on in NYC