Tony Island Baby • EP.4 | DVD Concerts

DVD Concerts, Episode FourTony Island Baby performs 5 songs (Curse of November, Talking in Your Sleep, Daddy Never Knew, Hits Hits Hits cover by Fat White Family, and I Know a Place) and talks about his process on Dan Victor Does. Watch the full performance and story he shares on this episode of DVD Concerts.

Tony grew up in Asbury Park, New Jersey. He worked on the boardwalk and would bring his typewriter with him to write stories to stave off boredom. He grew up in the shadow of Bruce Springsteen and the desolation of the surf city. So making music on his own came natural.

As a child, he won a writing contest, which he was awarded with a pizza party at his Teacher’s house. For some reason the teacher whispered in Tony’s ear that he didn’t belong there, which he thought was odd since he already ate his slices. But what did she know? The eight graders who judged the contest believed he deserved his pizza prize and they outnumbered her. Although, Tony admits, this did leave a lasting impression.

Not long after beginning to make music, Tony set his sites on New York City. CBGB‘s, The Ramones mythology and music scene of Greenwich Village called to him and was compelled to answer. He would visit on weekends, underage until he finally moved up to begin performing in bands and DJing in clubs. After 15 years, he still calls NYC his home.

Writing is a daily practice for him, sometimes two pieces a day. When Tony writes a song, he begins with the words and the story, which later is put to music. When he is on hold, it is a good moment to come up with some chord changes that marries well with his verse.

I thought I heard some Conor Oberst, which Tony confirmed he had collected all of the Bright Eyes records, even ones you had to call up the radio station to get. Bob Dylan was a clandestine influence (Uncle Robby as Tony refers to him) as he found The Best of Bob Dylan record in a snow bank. It must have been fate.

Tony Island Baby is putting out a new album entitled “I Let The Dogs Out” on December 19th, 2020 – to celebrate the 35th anniversary of his birth.

Grateful for having Tony Island Baby for the fourth episode of DVD Concerts. Watch and listen to the music videos “I Know a Place” and “Daddy Never Knew“, two selections from his set. Follow Tony Island Baby on Instagram and SoundCloud.

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Dan Victor DoesArt + Music + Mental Health: Performances, Interviews and Commentary on how creatives achieve mental well-being through their craft. Support the podcast.

Chango • EP.3 | DVD Concerts

DVD Concerts, Episode Three — Chango performs a Live Set: “A que vienes wey?” and “Demonomania”. He also speaks to us about his process on Dan Victor Does in his native language, Spanish. Pure Energy, Electronic Music, Mexican, Producer, Rapper… Luchador. Watch Chango on Episode 3 of the next DVD Concerts.

Chango was born and raised by a subwoofer, and bass pushed him out of the womb. Because of his upbringing, he’s been attracted to low frequencies and the underground sound all his life. Growing up he listened to metal, industrial, cyber punk and psytrance. Some of his influences include Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Isao Tomita – The Bermuda Triangle, and Nine Inch Nails.

A bald eagle flew him to New York and began playing music in the subway. He used to have a drummer, but immigration took him and ICE deported him. So he stayed and continued to play by himself. Chango hired other musicians to fill out the lineup for performances. The last shows were not in the subway, but at venues, international concerts or festivals.

Chango in the subway at 14th Street-Union Square L-train platform.

Chango is everyone. Chango is all of us, not just one person, it’s a collective of musicians and artists. Chango is a conceptual project that has the opportunity of exposing themselves on the greatest stage ever, the subways of New York City.

He is very proud of Mexican heritage and the reason why he chose to speak Spanish during the interview. I provided English subtitles in the video. There are no borders, no one is illegal, he feels very strongly that we are all connected and no one is better than anyone else.

Grateful for having Chango for the third episode of DVD Concerts. Watch just the music in the video “Chango Live Set”. Follow Chango on Instagram.

Chango collaboration with performance artist, Mathew Silver.

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Dan Victor DoesArt + Music + Mental Health: Performances, Interviews and Commentary on how creatives achieve mental well-being through their craft. Support the podcast.

Amongst The Dead 10-Year Anniversary

Happy Halloween! Celebrating 10 years today. “Amongst the Dead” EP by Ductape Halo. Dan Victor (vocals, guitar and bass), Shamari Rocka (keys), and Stevie Kings (drums) played on this album, which kicked off a musical relationship with Steve for many projects and years after. Michael Benham joined on bass soon after. It was recorded at Steve’s apartment in Bushwick at “The Castle”, right next to the band called U Say USA. It was a 5th floor walk up and he lived at the top floor. All we did was play music, smoke weed, drink coffee and beer. The album release was at Spike Hill in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Halloween 2010.

It was the Potion Collective days and there was an open mic at McKibbon Lofts like no other. It had a full backline and there was a speakeasy bar with PBR, shot of bottom-shelf whiskey or a dime bag. Filled with amazing art and creative minds. I met people like Alec Stephens III, Chris Carr, Worm, Bill Bartholomew, Eve Blackwater, Catie Taylor and Jessie Richardson, just to name a few. Alec, Steve and I would go on to play in I AM THE THIRD a few year later. It’s wild to see what we have all accomplished over the last ten years.

There was something magical at that time, instant nostalgia. It was the beginning of something. Occupy Wall St was still a thing, unemployment lasted years, and jobless even after it ended. Best and worst of times. Really got to make a documentary or something. Through adversity we find our strength. It is still true today. You can find the EP on Bandcamp.

Official Music Video for “Insomniac” the 2nd track on Amongst the Dead
“My Mutha” Ductape Halo – June 5th, 2011 Bushwick Open Studios 2011 – The Hide Bar

Chango • Live Set

Chango performs a Live Set on Dan Victor Does. Pure Energy, Electronic Music, Mexican, Producer, Rapper… Luchador. Watch Chango on Episode 3 of the next DVD Concerts.

1. “A que vienes wey?”
2. “Demonomania”

Dan Victor DoesArt + Music + Mental Health: Performances, Interviews and Commentary on how creatives achieve mental well-being through their craft. Support the podcast.

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Wild Kunz • EP.2 | DVD Concerts

DVD Concerts, Episode Two — Jason Kunz, aka Wild Kunz, performs 4 songs (Joanie, The Mask, Craw and The Stone) and talks about his process on Dan Victor Does. Watch the full performance and story he shares for the new acoustic series.

Jason brings a thoughtful sensitivity to his music. His strumming is gentle and hypnotizing, setting the tone before his soft vocals lay over top like snow delicately covering a countryside. It’s a magical combination that’s effect broadens the more you listen. Wild Kunz creates a vibe that makes me remember a feeling and the story associated with it, rather than a story. The words are cues, but his vocal delivery tells the tale.

Wild Kunz mentioned Daniel Rossen of Grizzly Bear and Annie Clark of St. Vincent as two influences, because they remind him of an old Hollywood noir soundtrack. Although he says his main inspiration comes from dreams. Learning Banjo has given him an added insight to how he can blend finger-picking into his guitar playing. I think he is reminiscent of Nick Drake, which also has a dreamy quality.

When describing his song, “The Stone”, he speaks about how music helps him channel his depression into something positive, giving purpose in learning a craft he will use even after his mood has lifted. I can identify with this so much. Playing guitar gives me a release when I’m feeling down. Such a positive way to make the best out of the difficult experience.

Grateful for having Wild Kunz for the second episode of DVD Concerts. Watch and listen to the music videos “Joanie” and “The Mask“, two selections from his set. Follow Wild Kunz on Instagram.

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Dan Victor Does Podcast — Art + Music + Mental Health: Performances, Interviews and Commentary on how creatives achieve mental well-being through their craft. Support the podcast.

Depression… it’s a bitch.

It’s not sadness, it’s an emptiness, lack of enthusiasm (what’s the point) bullshit, adverse to doing anything to make it better. Wanting to tell the world, it’s a trap. Not interested in struggling, with my physical manifestations absent, I hope to wake up different. I’m annoyed with myself. Actively bored with myself. Waiting it out. Not wanting to interact. Then saying something requires responding, which I really don’t want to do. So what is this?? A message in a bottle?

Bed is a sanctuary, an island, a vacation from dealing with intangible eventualities. It is depression’s nature (yes a personification) to be this way, it’s important I don’t forget. That it’s also my nature, that can be so frustrating to people around me, although I don’t really care in this moment, which undoubtedly morphs into remorse.

I wasn’t going to post this, but maybe it’s important to share what this is like. To articulate… I often write things and not share it. It’s a tactic to not getting myself in trouble on social media. I tend to have momentary emotionally driven XYZ. But this isn’t directed at anyone, so perhaps an appropriate dissection. There is no secret I have bipolar disorder.

I don’t like people thinking of me as less capable, the look on someone’s face, acknowledgment of being ‘special’ makes me want to run circles around them, pummel them with insight, drop my body of creative work at their feet and ask “what have you done with your life?” In truth, wishing I could trade my gifts for… something I could never have. I’ve come to terms (more or less) that I am different than most. Depending on my state of mind, that could be a good thing.

I have names for the aspects of my personality I don’t like. Brad and Vic. When I’m in a mood, I can indulge it, which prolongs the phase. Brad is a bitch, who complains and deprecates himself. Sometimes I can be irritable. And Vic is a dick that starts arguments and wants to destroy what I’ve built. Neither is good company. When Brad and Vic get together, I can be a real asshole, so I try not to expose anyone to that part of me.

So I wait until it’s over, until I can interact with other humans. For right now, I’m going to continue to hang with Vic, that’s a dick and Brad, who’s a bitch. At least until I can get them to fucking leave.

Rowe/Modelo • EP.1 | DVD Concerts

DVD Concerts, Episode One — Justin Rowe and Johnny Modelo, aka Rowe/Modelo, perform 5 songs (Dry Land, Fishing For Feels, Flame and Gasoline, Cut ‘Em Off, Clever and Cool) and interview on Dan Victor Does. Watch or Listen to the full performance of the debut show for the new acoustic series.

Justin and Johnny are Brooklyn musicians that have known each other for a number of years, playing in various bands together. This project came together in January 2018 when Justin sent some original songs to Johnny that blew his mind. So Johnny  learned them and when they got together, to Justin’s surprise, played them back to him with ideas of his own. Since then, they have written over 20 songs together. After coming together on this acoustic incarnation, they decided to feature their vocal harmonies, which is admittedly infectious. It is very noticeable upon first hearing Rowe/Modelo perform. 

They talk about the challenge of practicing in the era of Covid or Corona Virus, whichever is PC, according to Johnny, he is not overly concerned with what people think. They have a nice guy image with a punk-rock attitude, even though their music is definitely power pop. It is apparent the two of them have excellent chemistry whether they are harmonizing together or cracking jokes, which they do plenty of. You can often find them laughing or smiling during the interview, even while playing their songs.

The songwriting is reminiscent of Paul Westerburg, Matthew Sweet, a stripped-down instrumentation like Guster and harmonies that remind you why Simon and Garfunkel were so savory. Rowe/Modelo‘s combination of vocals compliment each other in the way John Lennon and Paul McCartny did, without The Beatles drama.

It was a true pleasure having Rowe/Modelo on the first episode of DVD Concerts. They represent the best of what I admire in artists… talent, personality, awareness and genuinely fun to be around. Watch their live performance and speak about their process. Follow Rowe/Modelo on Instagram.

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Dan Victor Does Podcast — Art + Music + Mental Health: Performances, Interviews and Commentary on how creatives achieve mental well-being through their craft. Support the podcast.

“Cut ‘Em Off” Live • Rowe/Modelo

Rowe/Modelo perform their song “Cut ‘Em Off” Live on Dan Victor Does. Watch the full experience on Episode 1 of DVD Concerts.

Dan Victor Does Podcast — Art + Music + Mental Health: Performances, Interviews and Commentary on how creatives achieve mental well-being through their craft. Support the podcast.

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“Fishing for Feels” Live • Rowe/Modelo

Rowe/Modelo perform their song “Fishing for Feels” Live on Dan Victor Does. Watch the full experience on Episode 1 of DVD Concerts.

Dan Victor Does Podcast — Art + Music + Mental Health: Performances, Interviews and Commentary on how creatives achieve mental well-being through their craft. Support the podcast.

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Coffee From A Thermos • Mental Chillness

Coffee from a Thermos, live from The Neverland Ranch. Plans that Dan has for the future, streaming and strategy on DanVictorDoes.com. This is a catch-up on all of what has happened since moving to a new apartment. There is complete transparency in the process of building the brand. Analyzing podcasters techniques, like Bill Burr and Joe Rogan. Making some decisions. Building a platform for creative and mental advocacy.

Also Cobra Kai, which Bill Burr had plugged in his podcast, is an excellent series. I caught it first on Youtube Premium before it came on Netflix. So much can be said about Karate Kid follow-up becoming Bad Sensai just like Bad Santa with Billy Bob Thorton. Next generation is very fresh in twisting who the hero is, while not making anyone a villain. After all, the true villain is self-doubt.