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Alicia Explores the Southtowns: Looking for the Southtown sounds

Kyle Tatum, of Blasdell, and Brian Doyle, of Orchard Park, form DJ duo Eyes Everywhere, who recently signed a track to Fool’s Gold Records.

HAMBURG – My role, I have come to realize, as a writer – specifically in the music world – is to bridge the gap.

After years of experience in music journalism, with a lifetime spent listening and exploring sounds, my self-discovery for my niche is increasingly expanding.

In the beginning, it started small. I was writing preview posts for local music website, buffaBLOG. After a business meeting with Mike Marshall, I soon began fliering for his promotion company MNM Presents throughout the hallways of Canisius College.

Additionally, I was the Life & Arts section editor for my school’s newspaper, The Griffin.

During this phase of my music-infused writing career, I was a middleman. My hope was to let fellow students know what is happening in the underground scene of our Rust Belt city. Luckily, I was introduced to it all in a very beautiful way.

Two friends and fellow Canisius students Brian Doyle of Orchard Park and Kyle Tatum of Blasdell, at that time were DJs who went by the name of Huxley, with the great writer and thinker Aldous Huxley as their namesake.

They brought me to The Communist Parties, which were underground events that used to be held at the now-closed venue Soundlab. At those events, my eyes were opened to a whole new world.

Although I have become known in Buffalo as a reliable source for electronic and hip-hop music news, my taste defies any genre boundaries.

In my collection you will find Ani DiFranco’s entire catalogue, remixes from United Kingdom electronic producers, every single Led Zeppelin album, some Bruce Springsteen, plenty of Notorious B.I.G. and Jay Z, The Smiths, Bright Eyes, some hardcore music, Lana Del Rey, the sounds of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, Italian music from Zucchero, some Spanish pop music, ‘90s house jams, and so on.

During that period of my life, my time was spent scouring music blogs and mixes for new music. I began developing my own crates.

I went to great lengths to make my way into shows on Allentown. Daydreaming about going to Toronto and music festivals in California, my life – which has always been filled with music – became much more otherworldly, and filled with more dancing.

BuffaBLOG continued on and I started to develop more progressive ideas. My stories started to increase in depth.

I am not even sure how the connection happened, but soon I was doing “See You There!” contributions for Cory Perla, of Buffalo’s Artvoice.

Caught in a whirlwind of writing, I hardly noticed my growth.

Within three years, I went from being a college student who was balancing all-nighter study sessions in the library and often returning from shows after 4 a.m. (more often than Fridays and Saturdays) to a 22-year-old woman making phone calls to high-profile musicians.

I have interviewed Derek Miller of the bubble-gum metal group Sleigh Bells, formerly the guitarist for hardcore band Poison the Well. For a week, I tried to coordinate with Fool’s Gold Records rap artist Danny Brown for an interview, finally succeeding with my phone call to Detroit.

When I was going through a heavy kick of listening to Odd Future, a rap collective from California, I would sometimes lay down at night and imagine interviewing them, writing their story.

Within a year of that visualization, I was on the phone with Odd Future members Hodgy Beats, Domo Genesis and Left Brain, as I interviewed them before their show in Buffalo.

Where does that side of my life play into the Southtowns? I want to expand my horizons and explore the music scene of this area. Consider me your new middleman. I hope to bridge the gap between the city and the Southtowns, as I discover many friends of mine who perform in the city have Southtown roots, and as I learn about the wonderful talent that is exclusively based out here in the ‘burbs.

Starting this week, The Sun is beginning a “Sounds of the Southtowns” series of music profiles. The articles will consists of all types of musicians, artists and genres, playing in, based in or having solid connections to Hamburg, Boston, North Collins, Eden, Angola, et cetera.

Although I have been here a year, I am by no means a Southtowns veteran. Getting lost on my way to work is no longer an issue, and my favorite spots to eat have become clear to me, as I’ve explored the roundabouts and winding roads. But, there are so many faces I have yet to meet and stories I have yet to hear.

I want to hear your sounds, whether you’re signing deals for distribution labels or whether you just post tracks on SoundCloud or YouTube.Want your stories to show up on Sounds of the Southtowns? Email me at agreco@thesunnews.net.


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