Saturday, August 28, 2010

Beach Party NYC - Saturday, August 28

This is for everybody that is NOT away at the beach already.

Want go to a beach party without leaving Manhattan? If you can't make it to the beach, we will bring the beach to you at Beach Party NYC.
Join us at our city beach party at Hudson Beach Cafe in Riverside Park, overlooking the Hudson.

We are teaming up with our friend Andy Troy of and our friends at Big City Volleyball for a party with food, drinks, music beach volleyball and a magnificent view of the sunset.

Saturday, August 28, 2010 & present....
Beach Party NYC

A summer in the city party with food, drinks, music

Summer cookout menu: burgers, dogs, sandwiches, etc.
A bar stocked with beer and other summer drinks

Free casual beach volleyball hosted by Big City Volleyball
(they will provide the nets and the balls)
PLUS a magnificent view of the sunset
free admission
4 - 10pm
Hudson Beach Café
Riverside Park (at W. 105th St.)
New York, NY
(917) 370-3448

Enter Riverside Park at W. 103rd St. & Riverside Drive
Descend stairs at 103rd St. then take the foot path to the promenade level.
You will see Hudson Beach Cafe, which has two levels.
Go one more flight of stairs to the lower level, where our party will be.

Driving: Park near Riverside Drive between 100th & 105th St.
There are also parking garages in the area if you cannot find free street parking
Enter the Park at Riverside Drive & W. 103rd St. or

Subway: #1 train to 103rd St.
Walk 2 blocks west to Riverside Park entrance at W. 103rd St.

co-hosted by

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Spotlight Artist: Black 47

Our next Spotlight Artists: Black 47.
They have been called "The house band for New York City", and have played countless gigs in countless venues across the five boroughs and beyond, appearing on MTV, Letterman and Late Night with Conan O'Brien. When they are not touring, Black 47 sets up their home base at The Klub 45 Room at Connolly's on W. 45th St. in Times Square.

They will be performing this Saturday, August 28 at their annual Pirate Cruise, as part of the Rocks Off Concert Cruise series.

Saturday, August 28, 2010
Rocks Off Concert Cruise:
Black 47 Pirate Cruise
Tickets: Advance: $25 / Day of Show: $30
Boards: 6:30pm / Departs: 7:00pm
Aboard The Half Moon
Skyport Marina
E. 23rd St. & FDR Dr.
on the East River
New York, NY

Black 47:

Photo by Mark Blandori

The band's co-founder and front man Larry Kirwan has been a reader and supporter of for many years, and was kind enough to answer our questions for this feature.

Band Lineup:
Larry Kirwan (guitar/vocals)
Geoffrey Blythe (saxes)
Joseph (Bearclaw) Burcaw (bass/vocals)
Thomas Hamlin (drums)
Joseph Mulvanerty (uilleann pipes/flutes/vocals)
Fred Parcells (trombone/whistles/vocals)

How long have you been performing in NYC?
20 years.

Past lives (i.e., previous bands, your early years, etc.):
Between these six guys, do you have time to read a book? Everyone from Dexy's Midnight Runners to Cyndi Lauper to the Johnny Reck Showband.

What's your favorite venues to play?
Any place with a crowd.

Upcoming Tour Dates:
Aug 28 Rocks Off Pirate Cruise, NYC
Sept 3 Blackthorn Resort, E. Durham, NY
Sept 4 Bennington Irish Festival, VT
Sept 5 Blackthorn Resort, E. Durham, NY
Sept 11 South Buffalo Irish Fest, NY
Sept 17 Ocean Mist E. Matunuck, RI
Sept 18 Blue Ocean Music Club, Salisbury, MA
Sept 19 Echo Lake, Leverett, MA (Larry Kirwan solo)
Sept 25 Jersey City Irish Festival, Exchange Pl, NJ
Oct 2 Long Beach Irish Day, NY
Oct 8 Brownie's 23 East, Ardmore, PA

Musical influences:
Legion... from Sean O'Riada to Jeezy with stops in between for Miles Davis, Eddie Cochran, Astor Piazzolla and The Clash.

Blatant self-promotion: What would you like to plug?
Our sheer honesty and stunning good looks. And I suppose the latest B47 CD, Bankers and Gangsters.

Band Website:
Facebook: Black47
Youtube: Black47NYC
Myspace: Black47Band
Reverb Nation:
Sonic bids (electronic press kit): Black 47
Wikipedia: Black_47

Where can we buy your music?
Most record stores - or the ones that are still standing. Most major online site, or you can visit:, CDbaby, or TheConnextion

Tell us a story about performing live in NYC.
Played to a huge crowd in Central Park one July 4th with the temperature over 100 degrees. Tubes in both my Fender amps died from the heat - was reduced to playing through a $40 practice amp. The series was canceled after that year because the authorities said "Black 47 was too rowdy - and too LOUD!" Go figure.

Any advice to someone just starting out?
Yeah, get a real job! And if you're still crazy enough to get into this world then make sure you have skin like steel and that you learn a practical skill first that will net you $200 a day. Otherwise, save yourself the inevitable heartbreaks, alcoholism and other hassles.

Don't take anyone's advice (including mine) - you'll have to learn how to make instant decisions that will affect a lot of people, so you MUST learn to hone and trust your own instincts.

Learn every aspect of the business - no one will do it as well as yourself. Can you imagine a hotel manager who hasn't had experience of washing dishes or mopping the floors of the lobby? And remember - this rock life is a 24 hour job. Of course, there's a slim chance you may end up in champagne and limos but even then it's better to drink beer and walk.

Can you recommend any other acts we should feature on MurphGuide?
Seanchai & The Unity Squad, Celtic Cross, Shilelagh Law, The Ruffians, Screaming Orphans, The Gobshites, Lily Sparks, The Canny Brothers...

Here is a video from their early days: "40 Shades of Blue". (Notice the original Paddy Reilly's location).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Village Pourhouse on Restaurant Row

There goes the neighborhood!
Or is it "here comes the neighborhood?"

Congratulations to our friends at The Village Pourhouse on the opening of their newest location on Manhattan's famous Restaurant Row. Taking over the site of the former Joshua Tree West, the newest V.P. joins its older siblings, Village Pourhouse Uptown on the upper (upper) west side, and the original Village Pourhouse in the East Village. (There are also plans for a Village Pourhouse in Greenwich Village and Hoboken, too.

They are hosting a friends and family grand opening party tonight, featuring karaoke and The Naked Cowboy, and then invite everybody to their official grand opening this Friday:
Friday, August 27
Grand Opening of The Village Pourhouse on Restaurant Row
Complimentary open bar from 6-7pm
RSVP required:

Here is a sneak peek photo of the upstairs at Village Pourhouse Restaurant Row:
The Village Pourhouse has the atmosphere of a neighborhood sports bar, with a boat load of HD TVs for watching your favorite team. They also boast a great beer selection with over 100 beers. The new Village Pourhouse will have private party rooms which can be equipped for Rock Band, Wii, private viewings, and music.

The Village Pourhouse
366 W. 46th St.
(between 8th & 9th Ave.)
New York, NY

Village Pourhouse (Restaurant Row)
Become a fan on facebook
Follow on twitter: @pourhouse46th
Village Pourhouse (Downtown)
Village Pourhouse (Uptown)

Monday, August 16, 2010

MurphGuide Summer Party Cruise - Aug. 19

Our 13th annual MurphGuide Summer Party Cruise is this Thursday, Aug. 19. This is the event where we try to get the MurphGuide readers out for a night on the waters. We have been doing it since we started MurphGuide back in 1997.

Who's going on the MurphGuide Cruise?
Hipsters, scenesters, rockers, adventurers, yuppies, frat boys.
Urbanites, suburbanites, Hamptonites & tourists (All NYC lovers).
Birthday boys, people in their 20s, 30s, 40s and up (my dad has gone).
All ages (over 21) are welcome. (sorry kids)
Socialistas, fashionistas, recessionistas, the literati and the obliterati.
Party animals, social butterflies, hot dawgs & cool cats.
Cougars, cubs, hotties & dirty old men.
Movers & shakers, wake & bakers, yelpers, nerds and wall flowers.
Republicans, Democrats, and the apolitical.
Wannabees, ustabees and just plain B’s.
The bottom line: a bunch of fun people from all walks of life
coming together for a fun time out on the water.

Here are the details:
Thursday, August 19, 2010
13th Annual
MurphGuide Summer Party Cruise
$60 in advance, $70 at the dock
Price includes open bar, hot & cold buffet,
DJ & cruise in NY harbor aboard The Temptress
Dance to the tunes of DLJ
boarding: 6:30pm, departs: 7pm
return: 10pm
The Temptress World Yacht Marina
Pier 81 (12th Ave. & W. 41st St.)
New York, NY
Tickets can be purchased on-line at:
Call Murph: 917 627-0858 for more info.

Our friend Stephen Bailey has provided a write-up & photos from four previous cruises:
2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006.

Will you please join us?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday the 13th - Yet Another Reason to Party

Some say Friday the 13th is bad luck.
Others just see it as an excuse to party.
Guess which side we favor?

Some Meetup Groups, including The New York City Social Group and the Fun in the Big Apple group are getting together for a "Freaky Friday" party:

Friday, August 13
Freaky Friday the 13th Meetup Party

Everyone gets a fun Icebreaker Tag.
Drink specials: $6 Wine, Sangria & Beer.
Complimentary Chocolate.
Large projection wall will show some famous Horror Movies.
Live music performance by pop classical singer & song writer Elizabeth Tryon, singing songs from the hit play 'Phantom of the Opera'.
Face Painting by NYC makeup artist Jade Elhaddad for only $5.
Listen & dance to party favorites on the venue's state of the art sound system sound system.
Black & White dress attire is preferred for this event, but not required.
Everyone who wears Black & White will get a free raffle ticket for a special prize.

free admission
La Pomme
37 W. 26th St.
New York, NY
But wait, there's more...
What better place to celebrate the 13th than at
Bar 13?
Friday, August 13
Friday the 13th Party at Thirteen
Celebrate the spookiest of days in style.
For this momentous occasion, Bar 13 will bring in top local talent Steven LeTigre [ Esthetik ] with supporting DJs Gio, Los & Mattias Jofre.
21+ w/ID, Doors open at 10pm
$5 or RSVP to for free admission.
35 E.13th St.
(bet. Broadway & University Pl.)
New York, NY
(212) 979-6677

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Help a New Yorker: Fundraiser In Honor of Climber Selma Hafizbegovic

Thursday, August 12
Fundraiser In Honor of Climber Selma Hafizbegovic

New Yorker (by way of Yugoslavia) Selma Hafizbegovic was paralyzed in a climbing accident in the Rockies on June 17th. Her friends have organized a fundraiser to offset medical expenses not covered by insurance (see details here)
Tickets are $20 and include drink specials, food, music, silent auctions, drawings, and more
This is a community effort where NYC professionals and companies donate their services and products for the auction and drawings.
Tax deductible donations can also be made to NTAF New York Spinal Cord Injury Fund

This event is in the upstairs private party room
6 - 10pm
The Central Bar
109 E. 9th St.
(between 3rd & 4th Ave.)
New York, NY
(212) 529-5333

If you cannot attend, and would still like to donate,
you can make checks payable to:
NTAF New York Spinal Cord Injury Fund
(Note in memo section: In Honor of Selma Hafizbegovic)

and mail to:
150 N. Radnor Chester Road, Suite F-120
Radnor, PA 19087
For secure credit card donations: Call 800-642-8399

If you need additional details about the accident, you can read the sheriff's account:

Monday, August 09, 2010

Spotlight Artist: The High Kings

Today's Spotlight Artists are The High Kings. Having already completed a hugely successful Irish tour, they are playing some US shows in advance of the US release of their new album, "Memory Lane", which debuted at No. 5 in the Irish charts and quickly achieved platinum status. The album features classics such as Fields of Athenry, Star of the County Down and Leaving of Liverpool. It will be released in the US early next year.

The High Kings
Finbarr Clancy - Guitar.
Brian Dunphy - Guitar, Bodhran, Stomp box and Shakers.
Martin Furey - Banjo, bouzouki, Low Whistles/Whistles and Shakers.
Darren Holden - Piano, Accordion and mandolin.

The High Kings visit NYC for one show only:
Thursday, August 19
The High Kings:
Martin Furey, Finbarr Clancy, Brian Dunphy and Darren Holden
$20 admission
doors open at 7pm
show time 8pm
Connolly's Klub 45
Third Floor
121 W. 45th St.
(between 6th & 7th Ave.)
New York, NY
(212) 597-5126

Ticket Giveaway:
We are giving away two tickets to this show to one lucky MurphGuide reader. Enter to win at:

Thanks to our friend Anita Daly of Daly Communication for providing the tickets, and for introducing us to Finbarr Clancy of The High Kings, who was kind enough to answer our questions:

How long have you been performing together?
Since September 2007.

How many times have you performed in NYC?
We've performed in New York once before when we opened up for Celtic woman in Radio city music hall about a year and a half ago.

Past lives (i.e., previous bands, your early years, etc.):
My early years musically were spent with my dad Bobby Clancy attending Saturday night ballad session nights in local country pubs around my home town of Carrick-on-suir, County Tipperary, Ireland. Then I decided to try something different, so along with my cousin Colm "Collie" Power and friend David "Doc" Doherty, we formed the Rock group "Chicken Soup" with me on bass, Doc on drums and Collie on electric guitar. We wrote a lot of original material and also did covers. We sent about three demo tapes to record companies but, alas, never got signed so we called it a day.

Favorite venues to play:
In the States, Radio City so far, but I'd love to play Carnegie Hall. In Ireland, the new Grand Canal Theatre, but I'd love to play the O2.

Musical influences:
Clancy Brothers, The Fureys, The Beatles, Neil Young, Dylan to name but a few.

Blatant self-promotion: What would you like to plug?
The High Kings new album"Memory Lane". It's awesome!

The High Kings (wikipedia)
Finbar Clancy (myspace)
Brian Dunphy (myspace)
Martin Furey (myspace)
The High Kings (Facebook)
The High Kings on Twitter: @TheHighKings
There's also lots of great music on Youtube.
Free download of "Step it Out Mary"

Where can we buy your music?
Our first album "The High Kings" is available in all good music stores, our second album "Memory Lane" is only available in the States on-line thru itunes but is being launched there February 2011.

Tell us a story about performing live in NYC.
One of my proudest moments as a musician is seeing The High Kings advertised in huge letters at Radio City Music Hall. Also seeing us advertised on the jumbotron in Times Square.

Any advice to someone just starting out?
Have a plan B.

Can you recommend any other acts we should feature on MurphGuide?
Danu. Their website is

Thank you Finbarr!
And since MurphGuide is a big fan of Irish pubs, we will leave you with a video of "The Irish Pub" by The High Kings:

Saturday, August 07, 2010

The Saw Doctors Kick Off U.S. Tour

Irish rock band The Saw Doctors returns to the US for another summer tour, with 6 dates, kicking off tonight in NYC:
The Saw Doctors
The Saw Doctors - USA Tour - August 2010
Saturday August 7
New York City
Highline Ballroom
431 W. 16th St.
New York, NY
212 414 5994
Sunday August 8
Dublin, OH
Irish Festival
Coffman Park
5600 Post Road, Exit 17A
614 410 4545
Tuesday August 10
Sellersville, PA
Sellersville Theater
1894 24 Temple Avenue
Sellersville, PA
Box Office: 215 257 5808
Thursday August 12
Washington, DC
9:30 Club
815 V Street
Washington, DC
202 265 0930
Friday August 13
Hyannis, MA
Cape Cod Melody Tent
21 West Main St.
Hyannis MA
508 775 5630
Saturday August 14
Orkney Springs, VA
Shenandoah Valley Music Festival
Rte 263
Orkney Springs VA
Box Office: 800 459 3396
Sunday August 15
Lancaster, PA
Longs Park Amphitheater (free concert)
1441 Harrisburg Pike
Lancaster, PA
Info: 717 735 8883

Friday, August 06, 2010

Spotlight Artist: The Funky Fritters

Our series of Spotlight Artists features some of NYC's top musical talents. Next up is Danny Drexler, guitarist for The Funky Fritters. Danny is a long time reader of MurphGuide. I got to know him better this year when MurphGuide was a sponsor for his Mardi Gras Party. You can find his gigs listed on the MurphGuide Events Calendar.

The Funky Fritters Line-up
Danny Drexler — Guitar
Marvin Joshua — Vocals
Maggie Kus — Vocals
Celeste Fleurival — Vocals
Jay Gracin — Guitar
Roy Shimmyo — Bass
Towner Galaher - Drums
Marshall Nichols — Trumpet
Fingers Delray — Keyboards
Brad Madsen — Trombone
Tim Veeder — Sax
How long have you been performing?
I started performing in bands in college. First real good serious band was called West of Here and that was about 16 years ago. We had a regular once a month gig at Crossroads on the Upper East Side. One of my favorite hangs. My present band The Funky Fritters actually started performing in 2003 under the original name Ma Skillet & The Funky Fritters. They went through some major personnel changes and re-emerged in 2005 as The Funky Fritters.

How long performing in NYC?
About 16 years ago with West of Here. The Fritters have always been NYC based so except for a few shows out of town like Block Island, The Hamptons or Westchester, our shows are generally in downtown Manhattan or Brooklyn.

Past lives (i.e., previous bands, your early years):
Before I formed The Funky Fritters I've had many bands that lasted a few gigs to a few years. West of Here, was one of the more successful old bands which did a lot of classic rock and we wrote a lot of our own stuff. We actually got up to about half original material in our shows. Those were some very good times. There we quite a few short lived acts that followed from Jelly Roll, to The Alligators to Last Lonely Eagle. Just prior to Ma Skillet & The Funky Fritters, I put together an acoustic country blues, folk, bluegrass & gospel band called Whiskey River. Besides for guitar we had fiddle, banjo, mandolin and 3 great looking gals who could really sing and harmonize. The band had a lot of potential and probably could have been very successful very quickly. But the bass player kept showing up late and stoned to rehearsals. And then spent half the time in the kitchen with the munchies. It was to the point where I had to hide all the good snacks! There was a real range in the band from very inexperienced and novice players to seasoned folks so that was a problem. It got frustrating to me that people weren't hearing or didn't care about obvious mistakes.

Favorite venues to play:
As I mentioned before I used to love playing Crossroads. There were a lot of friends in the audience as it was my regular hang out even when I wasn't playing.
Musical influences:
Going back to the beginning when I was very little. Maybe I was about 8 or 10 years old and I found a bunch 8 track tapes that my parents had. The coolest thing that I discovered was Creedence Clearwater Revival. I think this was a total fluke that my parents had this because the rest of the tapes were stuff like Ray Coniff & Montivoni. But luckily there was one cool tape from CCR, I think it was the Willie and the poorboys album. My friends and I listened to it over and over again. "Down on the Corner" was our favorite song. And there was another cool gospel tune I liked called "Cotton Fields", which I found out much later was a Lead Belly tune. As you can see my roots are quite different then teeny boppers today.

Other early favorites were the Beatles and Beach Boys. Then the Doors and then my Brother introduced me to The Grateful Dead and turned my world upside down. I love Garcia's playing. Say the Dead about a hundred times. I was into all the classic Rock at the time from Led Zeppelin to the Who and Stones, Pink Floyd and southern rock was big with The Allman Brothers and Marshall Tucker, The Band & Eric Clapton. Also loved softer stuff like Simon and Garfunkel, Van Morrison, Cat Stevens and The Eagles. I just soaked it all in. I came across Bob Marley in high school and even got into New Wave in college.

My college roommate turned me onto BB King and that's when I started getting into the blues & jazz. I was at an outdoor jazz concert at school and was blown away. I didn't discover New Olreans music until a little over 15 years ago, when my sister's boyfriend at the time insisted I join them for a trip down there to the Jazz Fest with his sister and friend. I had recalled that a bunch of coworkers went down about 5 years earlier for the Fest and raved about it. (I'm sorry i didn't make it down there then!) Needles to say I instantly fell in love with New Orleans. Great music, food, culture. I love the French Quarter. The next year I went back again with some of my friends and within a few years I was leading a group of about friends people down there! I must have gone down to the Jazz Fest nine years in a row. My NOLA experiences have shaped the sound and direction of my music with The Funky Fritters.

My recent favorites are Gatemouth Brown, The Funky Meters, The Neville Brothers, Dr. John, Professor Longhair, Marcia Ball, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, The Rebirth Brass Band, Fats Domino, Buckwheat Zydeco, Louis Armstrong, Taj Mahal, The Marsalis family & Muddy Waters.

Blatant self-promotion: What would you like to plug?
Our recently released CD...Deep Fried Live

and our next show...
Friday, August 6
Put on Your Neon: Dance Party
Put on Your NeonLive music party by 5 bands:
8pm: LP Stiles
9pm: Laura Cheadle
10pm: The Funky Fritters
11pm: Mamarazzi
12am: Heylady
$10 cover includes an open bar from 9-10pm
with $1 shots for those who dress for the theme
and $4 beer/$5 mixed drink specials all night.
Doors open 8pm
Crash Mansion
199 Bowery
New York, NY

Where can we buy your music?
You can buy Deep Fried Live on, iTunes or Myspace

Twitter: @funkyfritters
Reverb Nation:
Apparel for sale:

Tell us a story or anecdote about performing live in NYC.
At a recent Tea Lounge show in Park slope a fan led the audience in a second line march during our performance of our new original song "March on down on the second line." Our singers Marvin, Maggie and Celeste jumped out into the audience and joined the march with the audience! They circled the whole place about a half a dozen times and made it back on stage just in time to sing the last choruses. I looked over at Travis Sullivan (from Bjorkestra fame) who was sitting in on sax with us for this show, and we both started cracking up! What was happening in the audience was so totally hilarious and unexpected. It was a real change of roles. The audience had become the entertainers and the band had become the spectators. That was the most fun I have ever had on stage. I hope this is a sign of the good times to come.

Any advice to someone just starting out?
This will probably sound cliche but it's all true: practice hard, don't give up on your dream and don't let anyone tell you you can't do something!

Can you recommend any other acts we should feature on MurphGuide?
Ex Caminos, Zen Tricksters, Brian Mitchell, Bill Sims, Jr., Bruce Katz (a 3 time Blues Music Award nominee for "Piano Player of the Year").

Thanks, Danny! We leave you with a video from a 2009 performance at The Bitter End: "Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky". Now who can argue with that?

Thursday, August 05, 2010

MurphGuide Night at Coney Island - Fri. Aug. 6, 2010

Our annual MurphGuide Night at Coney Island is this Friday. Each year, we team up with our friends at Peggy O'Neill's for a night of baseball, beer, burgers, beach and bands.

Friday, August 6, 2010
MurphGuide Night in Coney Island

$30 per person includes:
Game ticket, pre-game tailgate party, a souvenir Brooklyn Cyclones cap and post game live music.

Pre-game tailgate at Peggy O'Neill's:
Price includes bottled beer, hot dogs, hamburgers from 6-7pm
Live music by Double Play (2 girls with 2 guitars)

The Game:
1 ticket to Coney Island Cyclones Game
Brooklyn Cyclones vs. Batavia Muckdogs
game time: 7pm
Good viewing location for fireworks on the boardwalk

Post-game party:
with live music by The Groove

Peggy O'Neill's

1904 Surf Ave. (at MCU Park)
Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY
(718) 449-3200

Tickets: $30 per person
Purchase on-line:

Brooklyn Cyclones - NY Mets minor league affiliate (A-ball) - The official website of Coney Island, USA
Coney Island Sideshow - Sideshows by the seashore
Astroland - Home of the world famous Cyclone
Peggy O'Neill's (facebook)
Peggy O'Neill's (MurphGuide)

Plus, our Coney Island Night was featured on three cool websites this year:
The Cyclones at Coney Island (
Beer, Baseball & Backman (MurphGuide Night!) (
MurphGuide Night in Coney Island: (

Below are some pics from our outings in previous years:

Brooklyn Cyclone Roller CoasterNo trip to Coney Island would be complete without riding the Cyclone.
Shoot the FreakShoot the Freak on the Coney Island Boardwalk

Thank you, good night, you've been a wonderful crowd!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Spotlight Artist: Exemption

Next in our series of Spotlight Artists, featuring NYC's musical talent: Exemption.

Our first spotlight artist, Michael James of Midnight Mob, recommended that we feature Exemption, and he introduced us to guitarist Nick Lee, who answered our questions for this feature.

Photo credit: Gavin Spielman
Tom Moran – Vocals/Bass
Nick Lee – Guitar/Vocals
Ray MartĂ© – Drums/Vocals/Production

How long have you been performing together?
The three of us met in middle school when we were twelve and thirteen through our shared love of music and formed a band soon after that. We’re now all 21 and 22. We went through different lineups and band names for a few years early on, but the three of us have been Exemption since 2004.

How long performing in NYC?
In the beginning none of us could drive obviously so we played almost exclusively on Long Island, but I’d say we started playing the city when we were about 18 so around three years now. When we were 16 we played our first “city” gig at The Hook in Red Hook, Brooklyn as part of a battle-of-the-bands and had to have Ray’s dad drive us in…we didn’t win, haha.
Photo credit: Alli Murphy

Past lives (i.e., previous bands, your early years, etc.):
The three of us started out in a band called Unatoned with our good friend Anthony Lopardo who now works with Ray producing music out of Killingsworth Studios on Long Island where we our now recording our new album. Nowadays, we each have our own music that is separate from the band but for the most part we have always been concentrating on Exemption. Our “early years” are way too early to even count.

Favorite venues to play:
In New York City we have had probably our best shows at Santos Party House and The Bitter End. We also really like Fat Baby and in Brooklyn there is Matchless and Don Pedro. Anywhere a show can be free or cheap and easy for our friends to attend is our favorite venue. It is unfortunate that many venues on Long Island are closing these days, but if any band reading is looking to play there we would probably suggest Broadway or Sinclair’s. The Downtown was at one time the best place to pay but it’s long gone now.

Musical influences:
I’ll try my best to speak for everybody… Mastodon probably had the biggest influence on our newest material. Many others, including: Pantera, Sabbath, Allman Brothers, Queens of the Stone Age, Metallica, Down, Clutch, AC/DC, Zeppelin, Hendrix, The Mars Volta, SRV, B.B. King, Beatles, Dylan, Nick Drake, Neil Young, Slayer, Pink Floyd, Boris, The Bronx, Pelican, Torche, RHCP, The Clash, The Ramones, The Misfits, Johnny Cash, Bob Marley, Velvet Underground, Notorious B.I.G., A Tribe Called Quest, Daniel Johnston, Fleet Foxes, Jesu, Meshuggah, Pig Destroyer, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Gov’t Mule, High On Fire, Creedence, Rage Against the Machine, System of a Down, Bongzilla, Weedeater …we love all music.

Blatant self-promotion: What would you like to plug?
We are near completion of our new album!
Keep an eye on our pages for the release show to be announced soon!

Youtube: Here are a lot of our videos. Search around for more!
CD Baby:
Photo credit: Alli Murphy

Where can we buy your music?
We have our first full-length, 2007’s “The Rabbit Hole” as well as our 2009 EP “Harmony of the Spheres” available on iTunes and CDBaby. Of course you can also pick up either release as well as shirts and stickers at any Exemption show! Come say hi we love meeting new people!
Upcoming Shows:

Tuesday, August 3
with Praetorian & Battlesteer
$5 admission
Cameo (at The Loving Cup)
93 North 6th St.
Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY
Sunday, August 8
"Hell in Hell's Kitchen"
w/ Bot, Aqua Cherry, and more
Port 41
335 W. 41st St. (Between 8th & 9th Ave.)
New York, NY

Tell us a story or anecdote about performing live in NYC.
Last July I got an e-mail that seemed very random asking us to play Santos Party House for a benefit show, which of course we agreed to do. What we wound up playing was a fashion show and we actually had girls running the “catwalk” while we were playing, modeling new designers. It was really cool but a little surreal. The guy ordering the girls around was intense and hilarious, he was not messing around and if they screwed up he just lost it and went jumping and pacing around the room. Between bands they were blaring Britney Spears and Sean Paul (often the same song repeating) and after a few beers our singer Tom snuck up to the DJ booth above the stage and threw our EP in the CD player. We got to about the third song before somebody realized what was happening and shut us down.

Any advice to someone just starting out?
Being from Long Island, as we grew up playing shows, we would often get suckered into the pay-to-play thing. While sometimes an opportunity that presents itself in that manner seems impossible to refuse, no band should have to lay our their own money to some promoter just to prove something. Even though sometimes it seems like the best shows are under the control of the greedy, there are always gonna be people out their who are really supporting the bands and trying to help rather than taking advantage of kids. If you can’t find these people, then try your best to build your own scene up with your friends. This community should be based around a shared love of music not money, don’t let yourself be taken advantage of.

Can you recommend any other local act we should feature on MurphGuide?
Vision Through Sound is a great band from the same town as us who have been at it even longer than us. They have been through a lot and changed a lot over the last few years but they are a really strong unit right now and busting their asses. They’re about to release a new album and tour and they are definitely worth checking out.

Thanks, Nick.
We leave you with a video:

Exemption - Mutating Skulls (Live on Jammin' TV)