In today’s Life & Style section of The Journal News, Karen Croke profiles three local bands that won some major Battles of the Bands contests.
In June, Beyond This Point, a band based out of Long Island’s Five Towns College, made it to the final round of the national College Battle of the Bands in Las Vegas, coming in a second by a margin as slim as a guitar pick.
The judges included John Baker, a manager for The Killers, and PJ Bloom, who does the music for the HBO series “Nip and Tuck.” “Although we didn’t win, it was totally a learning experience for us,” says Joe Scuccimarri, a 2008 Pleasantville High School grad who plays guitar and sings back-up for the band. Here’s what Evan Shapiro, the executive director of College Battle of the Bands had to say about them: “Beyond This Point offers an incredibly-entertaining show with a genre-bending sound and great songs.”
In 2009, they won the top prize at the Standard Next Top Single Showcase at Don Hills in Manhattan after performing their single, “Future 2 Future.” On August 22, they’ll be at the Underground Music Awards,?at B.B. King’s, 237 W. 42nd St., Manhattan. BTP is up for the Best Male R&B Group award. You can vote for them at www.pmfmusic.com, or listen to their music at www.myspace.com/SwitchBTP. Of all the attention headed their way, Scuccamarri says, “I’ve waited my whole life for this.”
Scam is made up for two Clarkstown High School seniors, Andre Jevnik and Manny Silverstein who have a sound well beyond their years. They recently won the Playland Battle of the Bands with a playlist of three original songs:?“Spring,” an acoustic piece, “Role Model,” and the rocking “Treason,” which, they say, almost in unison, “has an epic ending; it’s very chill; like reggae with some rock.”
And that kind of describes Scam — they do a little of everything. “We have a contemporary take on the classics,” says Silverstein, who plays bass and produces most of their tracks. “But mostly we do what we like,” adds Jevnik, the drummer, whose influences, he says, run from Rush to Paul Gilbert. Here’s their song, “Spring.” You can check them out at www.myspace.com/bandscam.
Then there’s Darien, a totally smooth R&B/hip hop singer from Mt. Vernon who has a little Stevie Wonder mixed with Michael Jackson mixed with Usher going on. Darien, a Stepinac High School grad, is a veteran of Battle of the Bands. After winning Budweiser’s Battle for the Crown, he was the opening act at the Budweiser SuperFest at Jones Beach. “I got to sing one song,” he says of the celebrated R&B and soul showcase, which featured Kem, Anthony Hamilton, Jaheem, Raheem Devaughn and Hal Linton. Right before that, he was in Aruba, opening for Mary J. Blige, another prize, this time for winning the 2010 Blackplanet.com Soul Beach Music Festival Competition.
“At that point, it was the biggest audience that I’ve ever played for — 5,000 people,” he says. Darien has an album out on Righteous Music Records called “If These Walls Could Talk.” Here’s his song, Composure. You can lListen to his music: www.myspace.com/darien. He’ll be performing at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Sounds of the City Concert, 5 p.m. August 19 (New Jersey’s Performing Arts Center, 1 Center St., Newark; www.njpac.org.
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