Posts Tagged ‘Mike Bendy’

Hipster Assassins, Now Vs Now, & Edit Bunker

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Now Vs Now, Hipster Assassins, Edit Bunker

 

I’m Incredibly excited (and kinda nervous-who wouldn’t be playing next to Zach Danziger and Mark Guiliana?!)- but this will be an excellent show to see on a Monday! July 8th, just three days from now, you will hear some of the finest Jazz/Rock/Fusion/Electronica/World/Anything/Everything that NYC has to offer. This is not to be missed by any means and the ticket price is ridiculous for something of this magnitude. We will also be playing a couple of Brand New Tunes, so you definitely don’t want to miss this!

I will see many of you New Yorker’s there!

cheers,

Kenny

The 2013 Update: New SC3 Music, 50th Anniversary Concert, & a New Endorsement

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Greetings,

So it’s been a while since I’ve last updated this site, let alone, wished everyone a happy new year! In a short amount of time quite a lot has taken place, so I will do my best to be as succinct as possible, though we all know that this could very well be quite long!

As of this writing, several great things have taken place. In order of them taking place, here goes:

1) While many of my fellow musicians were attending the NAMM show this year in Anaheim, I was in Los Angeles recording with Trey Spruance of Secret Chiefs 3 (Mr. Bungle, Faith No More), for the upcoming SC3 album. We recorded some new Holy Vehm material, inspired by L. R. Hubbard’s A History of Man. I also recorded some drums for other various SC3 tunes to fall in line with the other ‘satellite groups, ‘ as well as some older material which will now hopefully see the light of day. We still are planning another recording session for even more material, so I’ll keep you all posted on that and hopefully next time I will have the ability to videotape the session! As for Holy Vehm, I recorded roughly  90 minutes of material, including a 10min drum solo which may hopefully see the light of day! I think now the next goal for me would be to actually hang with John Merryman!

A History of Man

2) On January 15th, one of my metal bands, Resolution 15, released it’s newest album, Svaha! It’s been some time coming, especially after our successful kickstarter campaign, but our album has finally been full realized and is now available on iTunes, Bandcamp, and any where else really. I’m happy that some of my music made it on to the album and I think the guys did an awesome job of making those songs come to life (Mr. Dark, Overdriven Maxim mvt.2, and The Current, all songs that were written in 2008/2009!). As I’m writing this now, we have also signed on with PR firm Adrenaline to help spread the word about what Resolution 15 is up to. Though this album is done, we are not resting on our laurels! We are currently setting a new goal for ourselves of attempting to record no less than 3 albums this year! Personally, i have enough “metal” material to fill this out, but some of this music is reserved for my own solo project (which I will touch on later this year, lets just say its in planning and I have some serious players who will be making appearances on it), but we will be going with only the songs that are Violin appropriate, as well as some new compositions by Earl Maneein and some by our new bassist, Mike Bendy, and possibly some from our dear friend Joel Lambdin! Either way, expect to hear some “new” music soon, but in the meantime, grab a copy of Svaha online or at any of our upcoming shows!

http://resolution15.bandcamp.com/album/svaha

3) Leading up to the session, I officially signed a contract for my very first cymbal endorsement! I’ve never had one of these, but I’m now honored to say officially and publicly that I am currently a proud endorser of Bosphorus Cymbals! I was approached by them at the behest of Ari Hoenig after his recommendation, as well as having discovered some of my videos and this website. Once they approached me with a proposal, I quickly said ‘Yes!’ I’ve been playing on their Gold Series crashes for some time now and I absolutely love them. If any of you have seen my facebook post I made sometime ago complaining about my cymbal graveyard, you know that I have gone through roughly 30 cymbals in the last 4 years of playing hard rock and metal. My bosphorus 19″ Full Crash has survived many double bills with the bands Hung and Resolution 15, with not even a scratch to speak of. I’ve recently placed my first order with Bosphorus, filling out my setup with a full drum set rig for pop/rock/metal. This setup got it’s first big show recently with the next item that I will bring up, but let me say for now that these cymbals sound Tremendous! Beautiful, articulate, expressive, very easy to control but also easy to pull volume out of without needing to bash. I will also get the chance to record with them this week as I will be in the studio with Imperial Triumphant recording a track for them. I couldn’t be happier with them right now, and I’m grateful to Emrah and all the guys at Bosphorus for making this dream a reality!

kenny1 kenny3 kenny8

3) Last on my list, I’m happy to say that my cymbals got a very nice public debut at the recent concert of Richie Ray y Bobby Cruz for their 50th Anniversary celebration! It was an amazing concert, full of special guests such as Alex de Castro, Ismael Miranda, Alfredo de la Fe, and Viki Vimari, plus many more. We performed in El Coliseo de Puerto Rico, which both Richie and Bobby inaugurated, for a very enthusiastic audience in a severely packed arena. This particular occasion was special for me, not only getting to be a part of something of this magnitude (for those of you who don’t know, Richie and Bobby have sold countless Gold records over the years, won several Grammy awards, and were members of the famed Fania All Stars, just list a couple of accolades), but also that for me this is a family affair. Some people may be aware, but not many, that Bobby Cruz is my grandfather, but also involved in the concert were my Mom, Cynthia Cruz Ortiz and my step-father, Victor “Papo” Ortiz, and my aunt, Tania Ortiz, all of whom performed in the orchestra (My mom and aunt being backup vocalists and my step-father as Musical Director). It also reminded me of when my late father, Ken Grohowski Sr., performed with Richie and Grandpa at their farewell concert in 1991 at Madison Square Garden. I felt dad with me this weekend, and it was really comforting to feel his presence there. It also was a great chance for me to reconnect with a lot of family and friends that I had not seen in ages, as well as work with some of Puerto Rico’s top Salsa musicians. The whole week and experience feels as though it went by in a blur, but it was still incredibly fun and it was a pleasure and honor to be apart of such a landmark event in both our family’s history as well as for Latin music and the Puerto Rican community!

2013-02-02 15.05.12 2013-02-02 15.05.04 2013-02-02 21.04.28 2013-02-02 22.30.02 2013-02-02 14.56.19 Sound check, drum set view 2013-02-01 16.25.01 2013-02-01 14.48.25 2013-02-01 13.59.13kenny5 2013-02-01 13.59.13 2013-02-01 14.48.25 2013-02-01 16.25.01

Well, I did my best to keep things short, but I hope this read was pleasurable! Please check in with my gigs list for the shows that I have coming up, many of which will be super fun, and as always, I hope that where ever you are, that all is well and that this messages finds you in good spirits! Please enjoy this video, taken during sound check for the Richie Ray Bobby Cruz 50th Anniversary Concert:

Cheers,

Kenny

Resolutions, Assassins, Theories, & Secrets

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Greetings,

In this moment I’m reminded of Louis CK when he said, “I really don’t know how to start shows…” I find the need to write to whomever will happen upon this writing, as well as to the loyal followers of my site, but I never know how to actually start the process of writing. I have always been much more of a reactionary person than a initiator, if you will. But then again, it would seem that I’ve already started, so here we go.

I’m currently in the process of preparing for several upcoming ventures, one of those being the upcoming Dapp Theory performance at the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival this Sunday, the 26th at 4PM in Tompkins Square Park. For me, this brings back memories of when I first joined Lonnie Plaxico’s group. It would also happen to be the first time Dapp Theory bassist Chris Tordini saw me perform, before we became good friends and band mates in several projects, including my old fusion group Hybrid. It’s been some years since I’ve performed at this festival, but considering how the years have gone and everything that has happened for me personally over the last several years, it truly feels like a homecoming. This is a good thing because the highschool I went to had ZERO sports teams, so no marching bands, no cheerleading squads, and certainly no homecomings. We played Mahler and Coltrane’s quartet music, so I think it was a much better trade off. In other news with Dapp Theory, we are making our final push with the Kickstarter campaign we started some time ago, raising funds in order to complete the album we’ve started working on. Having been an artist whom several times has had to record, release, and promote an album without management, label, investors, PR, or any industry consideration, I can tell you first hand that it is never easy when doing it alone, regardless of how long you’ve been in the “scene.” I do have to say that though I’m usually never happy with any of my recorded performances, I am happy with the musical repertoire on this album. It’s a much more eclectic mix of Jazz/World/MB than previous offerings, but still retains many of the concepts and elements that make Dapp Theory what it is. Then again, with 3 new players, one of which that plays the Armenian Duduk and another that plays Salsa and Death Metal, things can go to much different places. So, I would encourage any fan of Dapp Theory or any fan of mine or even the wayward cyber-traveler, If you feel lead, then feel free to donate a couple of bucks. Every dollar that goes into the campaign does really count for a lot. The album will then have the means to fly and considering the work myself and the rest of the band has put in over the last 6 years for this group, It would be lovely to finally have a physical offering for the world to hear.

As some of you may have noticed, if you’ve checked out my Itinerary, I will be doing a string of performances throughout Europe. Many of us tend to refer to this as a “Tour.” Well I am happy to make public that I will be performing with Trey Spruance’s Secret Chiefs 3 this year on their European Tour in the Fall. It’s something that came to fruition after the Abraxas Jazz In Marciac concert with Zorn’s Aleph Trio and Secret Chiefs 3. Ches Smith, drummer for SC3, Xiu Xiu, various Tim Berne projects, Mary Halvorson, Trevor Dunn, Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dogs and slew of other ridiculous music, as well as Timba Harris, Violinist for SC3 and Estradasphere, thought it would be good to have me fill in for Ches on this upcoming tour. When they both asked me what I thought about it I was honestly kind of stunned. Getting the chance to see SC3 live and share the stage was one thing, but to perform some of Trey’s music is something else entirely. Disco Volante was a go-to point musically for myself and high school friend and badass guitarist Edwin Itoh: His old band, Zeno, used to cover Mr Bungle tunes in various shit-hole venues throughout South Florida, such as the ill-located Chuchill’s in Miami, Fl. Mr Bungle was truly a gateway band that lead me to many other interests and places musically. In a lot of ways, my performing with Abraxas, Resolution 15, Hung, Hipster Assassins, and Nevereven, as well as many other projects, would never have taken place because I still would have been a 70’s Fusion/60’s Jazz/40’s mambo/Classical geek all this time. Suffice it to say, to have the chance to play with SC3 is beyond an honor; it’s more like living a childhood fantasy. I’ll continue to write about and hopefully post more as the weeks follow, but for now, it’s time to learn the depths of this mountain of beautifully visceral music. Here’s something that it may sound like-

Abraxas, Aleph Trio, & Secret Chiefs 3 Live:

Lastly,  here’s a clip from the last Hipster Assassins hit from 55 Bar this past Thursday, August 23rd. It’s not the complete song, but it still has a bit of vibe on it, I think. Also, you get to see me drink and play at the same time. (Yes, it was one of those kind of shows, but not in a bad way). We played in front of a very dedicated and energetic crowd that night, who stuck around for TWO 90min sets. I call those people ‘Champions.’ All in all, it was a great night of music, which leads me to my last bit of news.

As some of you may already know, Resolution 15 bassist Jim Robertson has left the group to pursue other interests and musical endeavors. As you can imagine, it was a huge blow for the band, but thankfully all is passed on good terms. We were saddened to see him leave, but as the man he is, he completed the tracking for our upcoming full length in half a day. About 25mins worth of music that requires scores and pages of sheet music done in the time it takes to setup drums and mic them. It was utterly ridiculous and it’s truly a Badass parting gift! Since then, we’ve held several auditions for the new bassist, and some pretty badass bassists to boot, but we’ve found the missing link. Mike Bendy, member of the Hipster Assassins and The Bendy Effect, has taken over the reigns as our new bassist. Out of everyone we tried out, he literally brought the kind of musicianship, aggression, and fire that we need to be who we are. I’ve been very happy having him on board and I’m looking forward to unleashing him and all of the new R15 music upon the public very soon. More news on that will follow soon…

I believe that is all for now, save for maybe that clip from the 55 Bar I promised earlier. As always, thank you for reading and see you soon…

 

Cheers,

Kenny

One Band, One Song, Two Weeks At The Zinc Bar (Same Hair, Sorry)

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

For your viewing pleasure, Felix Pastorius’ Hipster Assassins performing Butter Biscuit, from April 23rd, 2012 and April 30th, 2012. Feel free to comment and leave me with your thoughts as I’m always curious as to how people perceive this music.

Enjoy,

Kenny

Sambismo and Recording!

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Greetings All,

It is my hope that this message finds you in good spirits! I’m excited to let you all know about some very special shows that will be taking place both this week and next. Ze Luis, Beco Dranoff, and Simone “4MuLA” Guiliani‘s Sambismo will be making it’s first appearance since its inception this week at a favorite haunt of mine, Nublu.This project has been a collaboration between these three musical powerhouses, and their unique and thoughtful blend of Bossa, Lounge, Funk, Soul, and Samba will be shared with the regulars and new fans alike  this Wednesday and the following Wednesday, opening up for Nublu mainstay, Forro In The Dark. Both shows will take place at 10PM and will feature the likes of Ze Mauricio on Percussion, Masa Shimizu on Accoustic Guitar, Simon Katz on Electric Guitar, Jim Robertson on Electric Bass, Ze Luis on Winds, Simone Guiliani on Keys and Samples, Beco Dranoff at the DJ booth and handling Visuals, and Gabriella Tessitore and Mila Burns on Vocals. I strongly urge you all to make either or both of these shows as they will be Monsterous!

In other news, Resolution 15 will be going back to Big Blue Meanie Studios in New Jersey to continue with our next batch of songs for our prolific DIY project, The Svaha Sessions. For those of you who may not know, Resolution 15 has decided to undergo a self promoted recording project in which we offer up a brand new song every 5-6 weeks, in leu of recording a full length or Ep, to help keep momentum going and keep the fans happy. If you haven’t checked it out, our first song released utilizing this process is available now for download at our bandcamp page under the song name Yama. I think the results will speak for themselves, and it doesn’t hurt either that we’ve been using the aid and expertise of studio ace Ryan Kelly. Not too shabby.

Hollands will also be making a triumphant and long awaited return to full group status since our last shows terrorizing the L.E.S. with fellow stringers, Project 60/40. We will be making our way north to Toronto for the upcoming NXNE festival with a warm up at a favorite city of ours, Rochester, at Boulder Coffee. If you haven’t had a chance to check out this group yet, I highly recommend giving them a listen. Incredibly sarcastic, dark, an hysterically thoughtful lyrics blended with impeccable song writing and excellent musicianship. Besides, where else can you hear me hold down a simple 4/4 groove?

Also in Awesome gig news, the brimstone-summoning tour de force  that is The Hipster Assassins will be making their return back to Zinc Bar, but this time it will be a special event since this coming Monday, June 20th, we will be doing a live recording of the show! This will also be a quite legendary show and if you want to have your voice immortalized, or at the very least, your hand claps and/or snickering, then come down to Zinc Bar at 930PM and take part in the festivities!

That is all for now, but I do believe I’ve left enough food for thought. I hope to see you at one of the upcoming shows, and until then, be well.

 

Kenny

Back In Black

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Greetings,

I hope this posting finds you all in great spirits on the first day of May. I’m writing to let you all know about some upcoming shows in New York and Long Island, starting with the return of Felix Pastorius’ Hipsters Assassins this Monday, May 2nd. Show time is at 930PM at our usual haunt, Zinc Bar, so please stop in and see the triumphant return! My apologies to those who showed up last week to find that we were not able to perform, but we will make up for it with the best 90 minutes ofJazz Fusion in the City!

Here’s a clip from us playing in Mid-April, playing Jaco’s Used To Be a Cha-Cha:

Hipster Assassins\’ Used To Be A Cha-Cha, Live from Zinc Bar April 11th, 2011

Featuring in this video (and as usual): Chris Ward, Mike Bendy, John Bendy, Felix Pastorius.

*(Julius Pastorius is the usually drummer for the gig, but I’ve had the privilege of filling in for him while he’s been out conquering the world)

Also coming up with this week is a some-what last minute show for the Greg Diamond Group on May 4th at Nublu, featuring Edward Perez, Ilia Skibinksky, and Mike Ekroth. We go on at about 9PM, so come on out and hang with us and stick around for Forro In The Dark, one of Nublu’s hippest and craziest shows. So if you love Latin Jazz, Forro, Bayon, and dancing, then you will love this night of music!

Lastly, Hung will be performing this Friday, May 6th, in New Hyde Park, Long Island at the Dublin Pub. We’ll be sharing the stage with Misery, so if you are in the area or within driving distance, you seriously need to be at this show! The show starts at 7PM, so we’ll see you Islanders there.

As always, please check in periodically and I hope to see you all soon!

cheers,

 

Kenny

Keeping Busy, Moving Forward

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Hello All,

I hope this day finds you in good spirits and in good health! To give you all the heads up here’s a bit of news…

For the remainder of this month, I’ll be working on finishing up the mixing for the upcoming Hung album. It’s coming along amazingly and for those of you who may have not heard my work in metal before, or for those of you in the North East US area who have, you will be pleasantly surprised with the result. We made sure that no Sound Replacing or Triggering took place in Any aspect of the recording and the results speak for themselves. More on that as the mixing process comes to a close. We will also be performing at the infamous New England Metal and Hardcore Festival this year, going on at Noon on Saturday, April 16th. If you plan on going, please come out and support our set. We will be there all weekend so feel free to reach out, hang, and bang your head to the music with us. (more…)