Bright and early this morning, we headed over to Jay Della Valle’s house…
When we arrived, Jay wasn’t home. We let ourselves in with our Dunkin iced coffees, cameras (x3), and violin (which Nikki Stixx plays so well, you’d think she was born with it in her hand). And so what if we got up at 6:30am to play music, meet up with friends and talk business.
Jay’s place is definitely eclectic, but the best part is that he’s traveled the world and hand picked the items in his place himself. How’s that for shopping.
Meet Rodrigo… born and raised in Argentina with a love for music and acting, he found his way to Brooklyn, NY where he’s livin’ it up. He’s currently filming a few movies in the Manhattan area so you can expect to see him on the big screen in the near future. I can’t show you what they’re looking at right now, but don’t worry, you’ll see it soon…
Now we head outside where the weather couldn’t be more perfect. Setting up the Jeep with proper angles, lighting, sound equipment, and swag…check.
The thing that’s most awesome about music, is that it can travel and be shared wherever you take it. Just so happens that this is the place, and now is the time.
We headed to a park a few blocks away…people were popping their heads out of the shops with smiles on their face just to hear where the music was coming from. It was almost like Broadway, except more “real.” The main purpose behind this morning is to get ready for something that is fairly new. Nikki and Jay have toured the country playing rock music in all sorts of venues. From coffee shops to music halls that seat upwards of 10,000+ people, they’ve done it. They understand what many artists seem to forget. It’s not about them, it’s all about the music. They want you to hear it…and so do you. This is the beginning of “Owls & Lions.”
Oh hey Rodrigo…
When we got to the park, Nikki and Jay took a seat and the music continued. It would have been pretty awesome if this bench was shaded by a giant cherry blossom tree.
Oh wait, it was…
Live for music. Die for music. Owls & Lions…Coming soon.
Lately the weather has been amazing around these parts of the East Coast. With temperatures reaching in the mid-70′s, it’s been awesome and definitely uncommon to say the least! The days start off as usual with checking emails, getting work done, browsing the internet, watching youtube videos, eating, dirtbikes, skateboarding, basketball, and music. What’s not to love about that!? Yesterday, at around 4pm, we headed over to Jay Della Valle’s pad over in Montclair where we hung out for a bit. Jay and Nikki practiced a few songs that they were going to be performing later in the night at the Rockwood Music Hall on Allen Street (NYC).
On our way to Rockwood, we couldn’t help but pass Retna’s new piece on Houston (where the former Obey/Shepard Fairey wheatpasting display had been for a while). Using his bold rolled lines and almost perfect circles, his work is something that can’t go by unnoticed. If you know our love for street art, then you know our love for Retna…
Here we are at our crossroads where we divide the evening for the rest of the night.
We got to Rockwood, hung out, set up, then it was showtime…
You may have heard of both, one of, or neither Jay Della Valle or Nikki Stixx. They’ve both been involved in multiple bands, traveling the country and parts of the world to perform for fans of all types. Now they’re bringing it home and dialing it down to an acoustic duo that will get your head bobbing and your foot tapping. There’s no doubt about it.
Rattlesnake skin boots… yea, he got those.
After the show, we stuck around the city for a few to enjoy one of the first nights of the year warm enough to walk around. There’s no city quite like Manhattan.
We love this part of the city in particular because it’s a showcase of a young, hip, artistic culture. It thrives off independent artists, musicians, and everyone who is trying to/already has made it. There are nice cars lining the streets, stickers planted on every lightpost (or wherever there is a clean enough surface), someone walking with an instrument, or a kid who’s wearing dark denim with a snapback cap and a backpack stuffed with aerosol cans. There’s really nothing not to love. (If there was a place in NYC we’d plant ourselves…it’d be near Houston and Stanton.)
Now, back to the reason we went into the city on this rainy night…music. It was a great night spent with lots of great people listening to lots of great music. Just add a camera crew, videographer, and fans that flew in from different parts of the country and it’d make a great scene for an upcoming movie. Oh wait, that’s exactly what happened. Some of you may have heard of our good friend Jay Della Valle, and some of you maybe haven’t. He’s the leader of a worldwide trend called Movember and The Glorious Mustache Challenge (I hope that rings a bell now!) Maybe you even saw his interview on Good Morning America, The Today Show, Geraldo at Large, Fox & Friends, CNN, or even read about it in The Herald News, New York Sun, Time Out New York, or The Bergen Record. Yup, he’s that guy! Aside from being an avid supporter of mustaches, he’s also an entertainer and musician.
To kick off the evening, Jay started solo, playing a few rockin’ tunes and inciting an audience sing-along.
Then on-stage came Nikki Stixx with her kick-ass vocals and instruments which really got the crowd moving. For the fans that know her, they were anxious to hear her. For the fans that didn’t know her, they were floored by her.
After a few songs, the stage switched over to the cast of the upcoming movie, Mount Joy…
The photo below is particularly important because you may notice there are 2 bassists on stage. The funny part is, the kid in the plaid has no clue how to actually play bass and isn’t even hooked into the system… (In the above picture you’ll also notice a guy to the left, that’s Taylor…he’s a commercial musician (guarantee you’ve heard a commerical that he’s written and recorded the tunes for) and a well sought after producer. Oh yeah, he’s also a multi-instrumental guy, lending his talent on bass for this event.)
Cameras were on Jay and Tim (plaid guy) as they played a few songs from the Mount Joy soundtrack. Considering the Rockwood Music Hall is about the size of a standard living room; you can safely say it’s an intimate atmosphere and last night it was packed to the max and bumpin’. After the set was over, we packed up the instruments and headed down the block to Epstein’s Bar just on the corner.
Nikki Stixx and Jay in the house…
And here you see Jay in the spotlight with Katie (redhead), who plays Alex in the movie “Mount Joy” (watch trailer).
We shared some good conversations and cold beverages to close the night out on a good note (pun intended).
So we took a trip to a not-so-little place in middle America…North Platte, Nebraska. Home of Colonel William Cody and our own, Nikki Stixx. Flying in was a very interesting experience because there was nothing but land…flat land, as far as you could see. We landed in Denver and took a 4-hour drive to North Platte where we stayed for a short while. Seeing farm after farm for hundreds of miles was something you don’t see everywhere you go.
This place is FLAT…
…and did you know there are more cows than people in Nebraska?
When someone here says they have a Volvo, chances are that it may be a machine, not a car…
I’ll admit my camera wasn’t glued to my hand on this trip to document all the bbqing, and unique eateries and shops we visited, but take my word for it…it’s a whole new world out here, and I mean that in a good way. While we were here, there was someplace that was on the checklist of what needed to be done among seeing family and friends…and that was paying a visit to “Carhenge.” It’s exactly what it sounds like. Carhenge is an exact replica of Stonehenge, to scale, completely created out of different vehicles….by one man. Damn!
Here are some shots of what Carhenge is about…and remember, everything is created using nothing more than automobiles, and automobile parts…
The weather was averaging 96 degrees and the wind was rushing through like it was late for work…making aerosol art nearly impossible
…and that’s that.
Below are a few random shots taken throughout the North Platte area by Nikki Stixx to help give you a rough idea of what life is like in Nebraska.. and don’t act like you’ve ever been somewhere like it before.
Meet Colonel William ”Buffalo Bill” Cody. William Cody is the founder of Cody, Wyoming and also nicknamed “Buffalo Bill.” The nickname was given to him after he undertook a contract to supply Kansas Pacific Railroad workers with buffalo meat. Cody earned the nickname by killing 4,280 American bison in eight months. He was also known to be one of the most colorful figures in the American old West.
Traditional Native American chillin “in a glass case of emotion” -Ron Burgundy-
Here is a real 2-headed cow that was born on a farm and lived a total of 48 short but interesting hours.
This was Colonel William Cody’s house… always cool to see where someone lived back in the day and imagine how life must have been.
Interesting fact: North Platte is home to the world’s largest railyard, Bailey Yard.
There is a lot more history here than once thought…
Goodnight and Goodbye Nebraska…
Here are Shannon and Tomo…
Next to the boys you may recognize the faces of our Nikki Stixx and Joelle of Planet Verge.
While we were here with some questions on hand…it was time for some Q&A with the band. Shannon seem’s to have quite a hold on
the mic Nikki’s hand.
You may notice Jared isn’t here. He had to run just up the street to speak to one of the boys of Virgin Records over at Cuban Pete’s. No big deal, Shannon and Tomo had no problem holding the fort down, giving us some DL info and tell us a few off topic ideas they have been working on. Pretty dope.
Jared’s back… this time he’s posing for me to take a photo…
…or two. What you don’t know about this photo is that while he was standing there and I took this shot, he was making a really funny growling sound. Needless to say, the fellas of 30 Seconds to Mars (30STM) are some real cool dudes (that love to eat healthy and live very eco-friendly lives…including touring in a bus that ran on used vegetable oil a few years back).
Now it’s time to head in for the show…
These guys rocked for a solid 2 hours and it was an action packed show that was nothing short of electrifying. In between a few songs, it was like stand-up with Jared. He told some funny stories, picked on some people in the audience, and made everyone get out of their seats and all get on the floor stage level…then it was time for some Kings and Queens.
What a great show. Oh yea, and Nikki Stixx and I both got our photos individually taken and printed on the 30 Seconds to Mars album cover art sold worldwide. If you like 30STM, I recommend catching them next time they’re in your area. You’d be missing out if you didn’t…
Last night we spent some time at American One Rehearsal Studios located in West Paterson (a.k.a. Woodland Park), NJ. Not only is this a great rehearsal studio for any new, upcoming, or established bands, but it’s the studio where True Feel’s Nikki Stixx practices with her band “Likely Story” and drops lyrical bombs.
The great thing about this studio, besides the professional staff, is it’s simplicity. Schedule your room, arrive with your instruments, and everything you need will be in your room, even the drum kit. All you need to do is hook up your gear to the PA, adjust your levels, and jam out. (And don’t worry, if you’re not too savvy in the “adjusting your levels” department, A1 also has a skilled sound technician to make sure you’re rockin’ right.)
Just a few of the equipment choices…
Stixx on the keys….
Plus, the main office has a pretty sweet fish tank…and inside is Oscar, the 24/7 security guard. He’s been known to get out, flap about, and give some musical pointers; so come check out American One and bring your A-game…
This week, we had the privilege of attending the first “Acoustic Wednesdays” night at Session 73 in NYC. This lounge located on 1359 First Ave @ 73rd street holds more than just a great vibe, but now showcases a great variety of musical talent. Being visited by celebs such as Derek Jeter, Will Farrell, Ben Afleck, Dan Marino and many more, you never know what you’ll find on any given night.
Throughout the night, there were a total of five 45 minute sets all consisting of different artist/bands. Included on that list was Jay
Delle Della Valle, featuring Jay himself, and True Feels very own, Nikki Stixx.
Jay Della Valle and Nikki Stixx kicked it with a very fun, high energy set list that captivated all attendees with clapping hands and stomping feet. Their blend of vocals, guitar, and violin was nothing short of solid and entertaining. It was a great night to be at Session 73. Check out one of our favorite original songs performed by Della Valle here.
Another band that is no doubt worth mentioning, is Peter Bagale. Using nothing more than an acoustic guitar, cajon, and tambourine…these two guys played the most ridiculous mix of acoustic hip-hop we have ever heard. After starting off with a handful of originals, they side-swiped the entire audience by jumping into some acoustic Biggie Smalls and Black Sheep….they didn’t miss a beat.