O’K and the Night Crew: Mini-Tour Summer 2017

20170622_172421Today, the band hits the road! We are heading up to Burlington, VT to begin a short stretch of dates. The other dates are taking place in: New Haven, Merriden, Stratford, and Manchester – CT.

This is my first experience with being ‘on the road’. I’m looking forward to good times with great friends but I can’t ignore my feelings of reflection. Its been 11 years since my first show and like anything else, you set goals for yourself along the way. One of my goals was to do a ‘mini-tour’ and another was to play Toad’s Place in New Haven, CT. I will be checking off both of these goals after this weekend.

I’m proud of how far we have all come and its exciting to see what new goals can be set and accomplished. We will be joining some friends out there including Mojo Dojo and Crazy Neighbor

See you out there!

Most Surprising Cassette

Wishbone Ash - Here to Hear CassetteYou already know, sometimes one of the best tapes in your deck came from out of nowhere. Some album you’ve never heard from a band you’ve never heard of. Then WAMM! You discover something genuinely tastey.

I was standing in a Saver’s (thrift shop) in Manchester, CT. After studying the 10 cent tape rack for some time, I picked up Here to Hear by Wishbone Ash. Once I listened to it, I kept it on deck for months. Although, I am the type to listen to things repeatedly to the point of brutality.

The songs are smart and the album is genuine compared to the many contrived sounds released at the time (before and after). I must admit, I gave it a shot because I know that Wishbone Ash is a cited influence of Iron Maiden, but this album is smart pop/rock/prog , and sonically, not much like Maiden.

Wishbone Ash – Here to Hear (Youtube)

Keep an eye out for those hidden gems! (You never know, you never, never know.)

– Derek/CTEP/O’KNC


The ‘1st’ Tape: Driving/Exciting/Up-Tempo

20170619_160329I made my first mixtapes in the late 90’s/ early 2000’s. Recently, I started making a series of tapes called the ‘Mind Meld Mix‘ as a way to keep my long drives interesting. The goal of these tapes was to explore the range of genres in my collection. I take great pleasure in lulling someone into a relaxed state with an old folk tune only to blast them in anxiety with some screechin’ metal.
However, the lack of a theme makes the tapes a very ‘hit or miss‘ experience. Everybody liked a song or two but no one enjoyed the piece as a whole. The CTEP was born during the construction of a tape that I will call my 1st tape. The theme was Driving/Exciting/Up-Tempo, the track listing is provided below.
Side A:
1. Peace Frog – The Doors, Morrison Hotel 1970
2. Take it Back – Cream, Disraeli Gears 1967
3. Why Must You Always Dress in Black – Ben Harper, White Lies for Dark Times 2009
4. Make Some Noise – The Beastie Boys, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two 2011
5. Smoke and Wine – Hank Williams III, Straight to Hell 2006
6. Hypnotize – The White Stripes, Elephant 2003
7. Stand By Me – Atomic Rooster, Made In England 1972
8. The Mob Rules – Black Sabbath, Mob Rules 1981
9. The Rocker – Thin Lizzy, Vagabonds of the Western World 1973
10. Dare – Gorillaz, Demon Days 2005
11. Prove My Love – Violent Femmes, Violent Femmes 1983
12. Resurrection – The Misfits, American Psycho 1997
13. Halftime – Nas, Illmatic 1994

Side B:
1. Mary Had a Little Lamb – Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Texas Flood 1983
2. The Prisoner – Iron Maiden, Number of the Beast 1982
3. I Love Everybody – Johnny Winter, Second Winter 1969
4. The Red & The Black – Blue Oyster Cult, Tyranny and Mutation 1973
5. Liquid Swords – GZA, Liquid Swords 1995
6. Billy Boo the Gunman – Blossom Toes, If Only for a Moment 1969
7. I Against Osbourne – The Dead Milkmen, Beelzebubba 1988
8. I Want You – KISS, Rock and Roll Over 1976
9. Sure ‘Nuff ‘N Yes I Do – Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band, Safe As Milk 1967
10. Yekermo Sew – Mulatu Astatke, New York-Addis-London: The Story of Ethino Jazz 1965 – 1975 2009
11. Secret Society – Title Fight, Floral Green 2012
12. Never More – Elf, Elf 1972

Well, there you have it! Use this as an example and have some fun! Throw together your own Driving/Exciting/Up-Tempo mix and send it in!


Getting Started

20170619_025842The idea came to me while I sat cross legged on a floor littered with CD cases. There’s a distinct joy that comes from exploring your collection and sharing your hidden gems with other music lovers; it filled my heart as I was recording the ‘perfect’ mixtape for a roadtrip.

My objective is to share my collection while allowing others to do the same. I will be spending time looking for members to enlist. Participation is simple: If you send in a tape, you will receive a tape. Make a tape with the theme in mind and send it in. A tape made by another member will be sent to your return address. That’s it!

The theme will change as an effort to keep things fresh while presenting an enjoyable challenge to any Mixtape Maestro!

Lets see how far this goes! -Derek