The Spotlight: Emily Angell

This month’s spotlight is on singer and songwriter Emily Angell, of Bronx Battle of the Boroughs Winners Emily Angell and the MK47s. 

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What part of the Bronx are you from? What do you like about the neighborhood? 
My drummer and I live in Woodlawn, I work in Riverdale and my bass player Cristina grew up in Morris Park.  I love the community feel of it while still being part of NYC and having access to all the amazing things that go on in the city.
 
Has the Bronx played a role in your development as a musician? If so, how?
Yes, absolutely.  I sing in and around Woodlawn and I love the live music scene in our neighborhood.  But the crowds are tough, so you really have to be on your A-game (and know how to handle those less sober than you)! I’ve had to step outside of my comfort zone and really get into playing for hours on end.  Its such a fun experience to bring an eclectic mix of music to a new crowd… they never know how to handle me at first, and then we all end up being best friends at the end of the evening.
 
What was it like competing in the Battle of the Boroughs? 
Battling for the Bronx supercharged my love for playing with my band.  The MK47s were downright giddy waiting to go onstage, and that was one of the most fun parts… the rush of walking out to the crowd together.  Having our friends, family, and about 300 people in the Greene Space in addition to the thousands watching online was awesome.  It was a joy to bring our music to all of those people and to feel the love and support.
 
What are your top three favorite places in the Bronx?
I enjoy kicking it at the Rambling House in Woodlawn, biking through Van Cortlandt Park, & brunching (that’s word… right? 😉 at the Tin Marin in Riverdale
 
What’s next for the band? Are there any new projects or shows we should look out for?
There is a LOT in store for both for me as a solo artist as well as with the MK47s.  We’ve been writing new material that’s completely taken on a life of its own, so stay tuned for the latest EP dropping in the fall.  I will say it’s got a little bit of a pop/bluegrass thing going on.  I’m constantly recording new material as a singer/songwriter, and am in the midst of a website rebuild.  Our fans can stay up to date on the latest by visiting emilyangellmusic.com as well as liking us on facebook (facebook.com/emilyangellmusic) as well as following me on twitter @emangellmusic.  Rock on Bronxites! :*

Battle of the Boroughs: Bronx Edition

Last night, WNYC and WQXR sponsored the fourth annual Battle of the Boroughs competition at The Greene Space. To sum it up, Battle of the Boroughs gathers the best of the best from each borough and audience members (and the public) get to vote for who they’d like to represent their borough at the Ultimate Battle in June.

The musicians representing the Bronx were: Blue Meadow, Corky Has a Band, I am B 13, Yurby, Al-Lisha Burns, Bill Santen, Flow Freequan, Captains of Industry, Tee Dot Ohh and Liya Marie, Emily Angell, marie-claire, and Tyrone-Birkett/Emancipation.

The event was hosted by Terrance McKnight and the night’s commentators were

Though I’d love to give you a full review on each and every act (they were all really great. I’m excited to find out the finalists on Monday!), I don’t think you’re in the mood to read some long tome on the internet. Below are the groups that stood out to me the most:

Blue Meadow

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Blue Meadow was  the first group to perform. They began slowly coming to life as each member began to play his instrument. By coming to life, I mean that they were literally slumped over before and sprang up when one of their band members gestured to them. One of the coolest things I noticed about the band is that all of the members sing. The drummer was actually the first person to begin singing, so that was pretty awesome. They have a smooth, rhythmic rock thing going out, kind of like Maroon 5, but with a little more soulfulness. I could definitely see me buying their music.

Corky Has a Band

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While live tweeting the battle, I said, “Corky Has a Band Just Did Unimaginable Things to a Piano Just Now” and I was not lying. Described as hyper-vaudevillian, their music is as surprising as it is carefully orchestrated. The duo incorporates the entire instrument into their performance in a purposeful discordant harmony.  And there was a kazoo.  Who can play a kazoo and make it work in 2013? Probably only Sergeant Whiskers and Professor Tickles.

I am B 13

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He had me when he said, ” This is dedicated to the rappers who rapped about nonsense.” YES.  Commentator Helga Davis (love her)  said it perfectly after I am B 13’s performance when she said, “I can tell you read.” Educated rap is a beautiful thing. It’s so refreshing to hear multisyllabic words in a rap song. He said ‘pantomime,’ you guys. Plus, there’s just something really endearing about a rapper with braces who says lines like, ” If you got a problem with me, go to a mathematician.”

Captains of Industry 

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Captains of Industry utilized a recording someone had made on a seemingly ordinary day in Germany. or Austria. The base of their completely improvised performance was a soundtrack of cars honking, dogs barking, and people walking. The drummer used some sort of plastic tubes instead of drum sticks, which was very cool because you could hear the sound echoing through them. It kind of reminded me of Australian dj group, The Avalanches.

Check out some photos of the other musicians:

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