Getting excited about my current live set up, seeing how my music is finally being realized. I have an album almost done, my live performance is getting very close to where I want it & confident with my creative choices.
I play fast acoustic guitar, with songs that rock out about internal struggle and powerful vocals from the depths of my soul. Ductape Halo.
I’m good with that. I don’t need to make excuses for not having a band or style or playing to what’s currently trending. I’m doubling down on myself. Whether it is currently apparent or not, I have absolute faith that the music is undeniable. My skills continue to improve as I practice every day. I see where it’s leading and it is making sense. I’m going down a path I know is the right one, confident I don’t need to rethink my approach.
There is no time limit. There is no comparison. It simply is. So grateful I came back to singing, playing guitar and sticking with practicing the songs over and over.
The practice has taught me so much about the arrangement, solving issues I didn’t realize were there, taking time with it daily. Technique has improved where I thought I had plateaued.
In closing, I was always second guessing myself and calling it critical thinking. At some point, choosing a lane was necessary, I was just uncertain to what it was that would make me happy, so I tried on many hats. Then I looked back at my life and recognized it was performing my own music that gave me the greatest joy, and I now believe putting effort into that with intense consistency has and will improve my quality of life. Grateful for so much. Thank you to those that support me and God for guiding me through some dark times.
DVD Concerts, Episode 5 — Adam Kautz, drummer, musician and NYC scene aficionado, performs some songs and talks about his process on Dan Victor Does. Watch the full performance and story he shares on this episode of DVD Concerts.
As Adam likes to say, I introduce him as a friend first and neighbor second, Mr. Kautz has a huge impact in the world he inhabits. He has been around the world as a touring musician with many bands, participated in a vital part of New York City culture and been a been a fixture in our community. A very inspirational and fun-loving guy to be around. Favorite visual artist is Keith Haring, favorite musical artist is Jim Morrison of The Doors and animal he would most like to be is a Golden Retriever in New England.
He currently resides in Bushwick. Brooklyn, where he has lived for the last ten years. Having grown up in Florida, but born in New York, he says this city was always an inevitable destination for his creative interests. Adam has been playing music since grammar school. He asked his father for a guitar and drum-set for Hanukkah, which he got with the condition he join the school band. It has been a passion for music which has been pervasive his whole life.
Adam is a collector of gear, records, organs, art, amps and objects which he creates a wonderland-like environment, which extends to his wardrobe, style and can be observed in the external habitats he cultivates. The Neverland Ranch, one such space, is a converted vacant lot he transformed into a punk-charming palace to perform and chill with zero fucks given.
Adam curates musical acts into an outdoor show he calls The Matinee which starts and ends early, but rocks during daylight with respect for the neighbors. If you live here, you are invited, but if he’s DJing, don’t ask him to put on a song. There is a sign clearly posted that says, ‘No Requests’ and that we play punk rock here.
Part of the DVD Concerts series started with Dan interviewing the artists upstairs and afterwards Adam would host a “Secret Show” with those performers. So all of the artists that you have seen on this podcast has also been a part of The Ranch.
After the first wave of the quarantine lifted, Adam introduced me to The Hercules Garden, a community space that he helped convert from an empty lot, with the rest of the local community. It was a magical place we all contributed to and were able to express ourselves artistically, while connecting with our Bushwick neighborhood. Marcus Vigilance began The Garden in memory of his dog Hercules, who was also an institution on the block, but passed away during the pandemic. Adam and I hosted the DN’A Open Mic during the late summer months to allow all to have a platform for 10 minutes on the stage we constructed collectively.
His album “Even If It’s A Dream, Who Cares” celebrates the mystical qualities that a dreamer like Adam cultivates and cherishes. It is a sentiment that I admire and whole-hearted approve of. Give a listen to his work that opens a door to his musical aesthetic and vision that extends to visual and experiential expression.
Grateful for having Adam Kautz for the fifth episode of DVD Concerts. Watch and listen to the music video “Die By Your Side“, a selection from his set. Follow Adam Kautz on Instagram and Youtube.
DVD Concerts, Episode Four — Tony 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.
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.
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.
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.