I’ve been learning a lot about the various factors behind success, both as a musician and in other pursuits, over the past year.
One of these factors that had never revealed its vital role in this regard to me before is to be genuinely kind and courteous to all around you.
This principle on its own should, in my opinion, be universal and a common practice for mankind. Obviously, this is not the case, but I feel it’s something that I’ve personally excelled at for a long time. However, having shared the stage with an increasing number of musicians in my still somewhat brief performance career, I’ve found that those musicians and bands who exhibit this kind of behavior on a consistent and all-inclusive basis are the ones who have been achieving the most in the scene.
I had the opportunity to work with some of the most kind-hearted and helpful individuals this weekend when Cold Lazarus played at Buffalo Iron Works on Sunday, and those were the members of Mungion, from Chicago.
It’s likely you haven’t heard of Mungion, and that’s OK. They’re not a mainstream band by any means, but in the burgeoning jam scene that seems to really be gathering steam throughout Western New York and all along the shores of Lake Erie, for that matter, they have been a nearly unstoppable force as they tour various areas of the country several times throughout the year. They are unbelievably tight and technically proficient. I felt utterly unworthy when I witnessed the musicianship coming from that stage.
In just under three years, these four guys have not only crafted a sound that is wholly and uniquely their own, but they’ve amassed a large and fiercely loyal following that rivals that of Buffalo’s own Aqueous, who has been in the game for much longer. Both of these bands, while not as disparate to the undiscerning listener as they could be, most definitely have their own distinct sounds and grooves. But the main commonality between them is that each and every member between them has been nothing short of supportive and just plain nice to all they meet.
I can now speak from experience, because I finally got to officially meet and briefly chat with two of Aqueous’ members after our show. They came out to support Mungion, because they’ve all known each for a while, but thankfully our manager pulled some strings and got them to come out early and catch our opening set. Their reputation did, indeed, precede them and we were able to talk generally about music and touch base about our upcoming show with them in Buffalo on March 10. (See my column from Feb. 8 for more details)
One of my all-time most pleasant interactions, musician to musician, was with Mungion’s drummer, Matt. He was not only extremely intelligent, but truly kind and personable. I could feel gratitude coming from him. Matt unexpectedly lost his brother last fall and he talked about how he knew life had to go on and he continues to play music in his brother’s honor, because he knows that’s what his brother would have wanted — for him to be happy doing what he wants to do.
It made me think of my father, who’s been gone for almost 11 years now, and how everything I am as a musician comes from him. Obviously, at this point life I’m far enough removed from the situation and my life has taken on its own momentum, and subsequently my thoughts of him come far more infrequently then they once did. But in my heart I know that every time I pick up a guitar and step on a stage, it’s because of the legacy he left behind.
Playing in Cold Lazarus, and the early and unanticipated success we’ve experienced over such a short time, has given me a sense of appreciation and gratitude I’ve never felt before. Whenever we play a show there is usually at least one point during which, in the middle of a song, I will break into an unprovoked smile and just marvel at the fact that I’m doing what I love with people I love; truly embracing the moment. And the best part is I get to share that moment with other people; people who are not only receptive to our music, but in many cases enthusiastic about it.
It’s a feeling unlike any other, and I couldn’t be happier that it came upon me at a moment in my life where I desperately needed some direction. Because of this, I vow to never take my music and present circumstances for granted. I get one shot at this life, and I’m determined to make the most of it.
And now, here’s some of what you can expect to find in the area this week.
Foreigner To Perform At Seneca Allegany Events Center Saturday: As part of their 40th anniversary tour, Foreigner will stop in Salamanca on Saturday to perform a 7 p.m. concert at the Seneca Allegany Events Center. Foreigner is one of the best-selling bands of all time, with a resume containing 10 multi-platinum albums and 16 Top 40 hits. A dominant arena rock band, the group has sold over 75 million albums worldwide and remains one of YouTube’s most viewed artists, with between 700,000 and 900,000 weekly streams of their songs.
The band is responsible for some of rock ‘n’ roll’s most enduring anthems including “Jukebox Hero,” “Cold As Ice,” “Hot Blooded,” “Waiting For a Girl Like You,” “Head Games,” “Urgent,” “Dirty White Boy,” “Feels Like the First Time,” and the worldwide No. 1 hit, “I Want to Know What Love Is.”
Tickets to the band’s performance at Seneca Allegany Events Center start at $45 and are available online at senecaalleganycasino.com/ events/foreigner/, or by calling 1-877-873-6322.
Reg To Host ‘Spirits From Around the World’ Fundraiser Thursday, March 8: The Reg Lenna Center for the Arts will have a “Spirits from Around the World” food and drink fundraiser on Thursday, March 8, at 6:30 p.m. on its stage. This spirited culinary trip around the world will feature Evans Wine & Liquor and Wines and Southern Tier Distilling’s Phin DeMink teaming up to create four unique worldly cocktails. A variety of foods from around the world will be provided by Reg Lenna Center for the Arts board members. Several fun winter games including mini-curling, shuffle board and a ring toss will also be part of the festivities. Tickets are $30 per person presale and $35 at the door. Proceeds benefit Reg Lenna Center for the Arts.
Due to construction at The Reg, a temporary box office location is open at 215 Spring St. (between Third and Second streets) and the entrance to the theater is next door. This box office is open between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday. The temporary theater entrance will be open one hour prior to movies and events, at which time tickets will be available upon entering the building.
Infinity’s Fourth Annual Art Market, Auction Set For Saturday, March 10: Infinity Visual and Performing Arts will host its fourth annual Art Market and Auction on Saturday, March 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Infinity Arts Cafe, located at 301 E. Third St. in Jamestown. The art market, which serves as a culmination to Infinity’s “Step Up for the Arts” annual campaign, will feature work for sale from an eclectic variety of talented local artists, an art auction of locally-made art and an array of fun, family- and arts-based activities. Infinity’s Art Market and Auction features 20 or more artists each year, and is a great way to show support for Chautauqua County’s visual arts community.
This year’s Art Auction will feature a chainsaw carving by Vince Liuzzo and a private collection of pottery and ceramic art created by the late Douglas Hay. His wife, Carol Hay, generously donated these auction items to Infinity for the Art Market and Auction event. All proceeds from the auction will support arts education experiences for young people at the Infinity Center. A giveaway will also take place for a second chainsaw carving that will be created live during the event. All proceeds will support music and arts education experiences for young people at the Infinity Center.
Auction items can be viewed online at Infinity’s Local Artist Showcase Facebook page at facebook.com/localartistshowcase. Online pre-bids are also being accepted until Friday, March 9. For more information, call Infinity at 664-0991, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit infinityperformingarts.org or find the event on Facebook.
To include an upcoming show or event in this column, email email@example.com or call 487-1111, ext. 243 by Monday.
Pulse Poetry Slam: 6 p.m., Infinity Arts, Cafe, 301 E. Third St. in Jamestown
The Karl-Marks Show: 7 p.m., Good Time Saloon, 590 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown
Comedy open mic: 8 p.m., Labyrinth Press Co., 14 E. Fourth St. in Jamestown
Karaoke with DJ Xcite: 9 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown
Karaoke with Felony Entertainment: 10 p.m., Forte, 114 E. Third St. in Jamestown
Bill Ward: 6 p.m., The Wine Cellar, 309 N. Main St. in Jamestown
Jules-R-Us Karaoke: 8 p.m., Lakewood Legion, 174 Chautauqua Ave. in Lakewood
Karaoke: 8 p.m., Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 865, 41 Bigelow Ave. in Jamestown
“The Post” screening: 8 p.m., Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown
Cabin Fever Madness party with DJs Unlimited: 9 p.m., Lakewood Rod and Gun, 433 E. Terrace Ave. in Lakewood
The Freeze: 9 p.m., Big Shots, 674 Route 394 in Kennedy
Karaoke with Felony Entertainment: 9 p.m., Shawbucks, 212 W. Second St. in Jamestown
Pressure Sensitive: 9 p.m., Good Time Saloon, 590 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown
Screamin’ Lou: 10 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown
The Freeze: 6 p.m., Lakewood Legion, 174 Chautauqua Ave. in Lakewood
We Speak Canadian: 9 p.m., Big Shots, 674 Route 394 in Kennedy
Jules-R-Us Karaoke: 9 p.m., Good Time Saloon, 590 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown
New Wave Nation: 10 p.m., Shawbucks, 212 W. Second St. in Jamestown
Karaoke with DJ Felony: 10 p.m., Mojo’s Music Bar, 104 W. Second St. in Jamestown
“Call Me By Your Name” screening: 7 p.m., Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown
Open Mic Night: 10 p.m., Mojo’s Music Bar, 104 E. Second St. in Jamestown.