Archives For Rockwood Music Hall

Ocean Park Standoff is comprised of an unlikely but talented group. You have drummer Pete Nappi, who was born on Long Island. Then there’s the lead singer Ethan Thompson who is from Montana. And rounding-out the group, the British-born and Upper West Side-raised Samantha Ronson. The three linked up through writing sessions, although they first got a kick out of responding to that question by “Tinder” and then categorizing the aforementioned sessions as “playdates.” A self-titled EP later and break-out single later and the trio finds themselves on late-night TV and as a supporting act for Third Eye Blind’s upcoming tour.

“We were talking about what was going on in our lives and in the world,” Thompson recalled regarding the creating of that single, “Good News.” “Samantha had a chord progression and then pretty much we just started off with the chorus right away and it just took off from there.”

Certainly Thompson was alluding to the country’s political climate; Ronson was a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton, DJ-ing rallies and using her influence on social media to get the vote out for her. The twin sister of fashion designer Charlotte and younger sister of GRAMMY Award-winning producer Mark, Samantha is no stranger to the spotlight both through her own work and by relation. Her step-father is founding Foreigner member Mick Jones, who she casually mentioned during a recent performance with the band.

“This is my dad’s guitar that I borrowed, actually,” she told me. I asked if it was a last-second move and she quickly replied, “No, last night. I planned it ahead of time!”

What’s funny is that it’s not the first time I’ve seen this group fly by the seam of their pants in the city. During the band’s first ever New York City performance inside the Lower East Side’s Rockwood Music Hall, Nappi’s drum kit broke during the set. But the band said it never affected their show, or their mood. And it’s probably that disposition, along with their individual talent, that will yield a bit more good news for 2017.

Atlantic City, a red carpet, two album release parties, zero hours of sleep. It was one for the books.

Singer/songwriter Benjamin Wagner stopped by the show to chat about his new album, “Great Lakes,” which he decided to release weeks earlier than his initial target date of Summer Solstice. Wagner explained why he pushed up the date and spent two years writing and recording the tracks.

This interview was the first in a series last week highlighting independent artists.

The release party for “Great Lakes” was last Thursday at Rockwood Music Hall, and hosted by yours truly.

I love Delta but they were wrong, twice.

Also, some very talented musicians are featured in this video.

New York City-based musician Ryan M. Vaughn stopped by to chat about “A Holiday Benefit,” an annual compilation album and charity concert. For the second straight year, money raised will be sent to ArteAmor, a non-profit that places artists in orphanages across the globe so that kids living in extreme poverty can experience the arts.

The benefit concert was held at Rockwood Music Hall on the Lower East Side and hosted by yours truly. To buy the album, click here.