No dear readers we are not changing the way we do things so please don’t be alarmed by the title of this musings post. We have no intention of disappointing the PiercingLegions by shifting musical gears in such a dramatic fashion but the title is based on the events of the most recent evening of attempted Rocking and Rolling. It began very simply enough with the appearance of a band called Orange Sky who were set to play a club called The Annex this past Sunday. I had caught them perform once before when they were direct support for Yngwie Malmsteen back in late 2005 and with the group hailing from Trinidad and Tobago, they don’t exactly get around to these parts all that often. I liked what I saw that first time around and the band was playing most of their debut album “Upstairs” for that show. Since that time they have delivered “Dat Iz Voodoo” and while I had only recieved the CD a day or so before and hence not absorbed it yet, I did get to hear samples online that made me realize it was heavier than the previous effort. This was surely something that will appeal to those who enjoyed them in the first place and could also possibly generate additional interest in those who are just learning about them. We have provided some links for you to snare their albums should that interest you. So please have at it……
I got to the club’s vicinity about an hour before the showtime was to happen and there were already a lot of people outside milling about, but to be brutally honest this didn’t appear to be a Rock crowd at all and instead more along the lines of what one would see gathered together for a more urban event. I looked over and saw Nigel (the lead singer of Orange Sky) who actually remembered my face and name (always a good thing from a band one has written complimentary things about) and he informed me that they were going on in an hour but right now there was a Rap event going on and they were remaining outside. It didn’t seem like the security staff wanted the two events cross-mingled, but of that fact I am not 100% certain. Anyways, I exchanged pleasantries with the other dudes in the band and we put the CD on to get a better lock on it. It sounded good and Nigel made sure to point out the new material that would be played this evening. The Annex club is located down on the Lower East Side (Chinatown) near Delancy Street over on Orchard. Its a nice club and PiercingMetal.com had been to a party there once that found Joe Perry (from Aerosmith) performing. Look for that item under our Concerts somewhere should you like to read it. Anyway, while we are standing there two dudes start opening the doors of the bands van. Apparently they are cops and they are answering “complaints” from the neighbors. Now, to be honest the band and I were just idly standing and waiting to get inside to Rock and even the Rap guys hanging out where not doing much more than talking but the lawmen are the lawmen and just doing what they were told to do. They searched the van, the band and even me. Yeah, I got frisked for weapons if you can believe that and as you readers know, I am always armed (but it’s either with a camera or my PiercingZune and not much more). Anyway, our lovely lawmakers tell us they smell weed, but its not coming from the band at all, and instead it turned out to be one of the party goers hiding across the street. Probably the nature of the complaint now that I think about it. They find nothing at all among the musical folks and I and make there way down the street to address their next complaint I guess, and tell us they that they don’t want to come back and the very authoritative “it ends here”. To be honest none of us knew what they meant by that unless they meant leave (which was hard since we were only waiting to be allowed inside. Moments later one of those small trucks where you see them toss people in to take them away to the pokey drives down the block and I suggest to the group that we make our way inside no matter what the security guy outside wants us to do. Once inside the band and I found ourselves smack dab in the middle of a full on Rap & Hip Hop party and it was a bass loaded, singing and rhyming type of thing. Now we can move into the whole “PiercingRap” aspect of the musing 🙂
The Rap party was for a young lady named Mala Reignz who was somehow involved in the “Miss Rap Supreme” program which aired on MTV. I admit that I never watched it so was just taking what I heard to mind for reference in this piece. She was enjoying the release of her mix tape and presenting videos she had done for it on the screen up on the stage. There was an issue with the video so she turned it off and got up on the stage and said she was going to actually perform a number of the tracks and joining her would be a number of special guests. Since I was already armed with the PiercingCamera and was waiting for the band I decided to keep myself amused by taking some photos of Mala and her friends while they performed. I had to admit that I was definitely the odd man out in the place but figured if I looked and acted like a paparazzi that I would be fine. No issues encountered and I was able to safely mingle in one piece despite a bump here and there with the camera bag slung over my shoulder and to be honest the Rappers knew I was there and at times seemed to play up to the lens for me. By this time I had lost track of Orange Sky, but soon would find out that they were in the process of cancelling the performance. This party was at its zenith and people were grooving and drinking and dancing, so with the bar making some money I didn’t think that an ill-attended Rock show was even a concern of theirs.
Mala Reignz was joined by here Brother Elus at one point and also a gentleman by the name of Chino Moy. Chino had another dude singing with him, but I did not manage to catch his name. He did a few songs which sounded fine for the style of Rap that he was doing. Of course I am far from being the study of this genre and cannot effectively compare it to anything since I know less than nothing about it but felt its safe to say it was good if this is the kind of thing that gets you through the day. Mala came back up to sing and at one point called up a girlfriend to join her onstage to do the same, but her name escaped me also. There was a nice crowd there for her and everyone seemed to know about here and what she was up to. We’ve provided their MySpace pages should any readers musical preferences cross both lines between the Rocker and the Rapper at the close of this narrative.
I also mentioned that I shot photos of the performance and was glad I did because this allowed me to see how I handle a completely different genre from the likes of what I am most used to. The Rap performer is a lot more casual during a set than one of the Extreme Metal bands that you feel are going to jump off stage and attack you. Of course I tend to prefer the latter since it keeps me on my toes. Linked below are the galleries for Mala Reignz and Chino Moy should you want to see how the PiercingMetal guy’s eye captures a Rapper in action. I know some of you are probably saying to yourselves “yes Ken can capably photograph bands like Poison and Rush, but can he photograph LL Cool J or Eminem?” LOL. To be honest, I did find it educational in the photographer sense and now realize that I can shoot for magazines that cater to the genre if such action is ever required of me. Hey Vibe and Source Magazine, are you feeling me? As a member of the media who does what he can to bring the world at large information about talented people, I wanted to extend wishes of good luck to these performers as they adventure forward on their own quest for greatness. Hip-Hop & Rap may never become my thing, but there is definitely a lot of people who love it and let’s hope that those fans get to hear what Mala and Chino are up to on their behalf.
By the way, Orange Sky did eventually cancel their gig and it was both unfortunate and good at the same time. Unfortunate because they should never have been booked on the night of such an event with no advance promotion for them to generate any interest outside of a handful of people and good for the exact same reason. Hoping you future Rock and Rollers are paying attention because there are some nights where this stuff is not exactly what you had hoped it would be and drama often awaits you in every single city you visit. Oh and yes before I forget to tell you this, we will not really be launching a “PiercingRap” anytime soon and that’s largely because there are enough people covering the genre effectively which allows me to keep my focus on the heavier side of things. That’s fine by me because in the end “PiercingMetal.com” sounds so much better…….Oh and before I forget….
I couldn’t write all of this up without giving you a visual of the guys in Orange Sky in case you still didn’t know what they looked like. It was really a shame that the night played out like this I must admit, because they are not only excellent rockers but excellent dudes as well that give a great show.
They couldn’t resist tossing up the horns for ‘ole PiercingKen and it clearly separated them from the Rap stuff that was happening only a few feet away from us. I asked them to hang out and kill a few beers but they had a long drive to the next town and wanted to get some rest. NYC really missed out on something good thanks to a person who had no idea what he was dealing with. Ahh the music business….it never fails to surprise me.