But I’m very excited to introduce Noon Fifteen, the new musical endeavor I’m working on with Ego Band vocalist and my best girl Mandy Goldman, as well as frequent collaborators Joe Massa (guitar) and Harry Nichols (vocals, bass, and pretty much anything else).
Since a few longtime, core members of the Ego Band moved on to new towns and new opportunities during my tenure with The Blind Spots, Mandy and I decided the time was right to start the collaborative effort we’ve been moving toward outside the realm of “Sam’s solo project.” Noon Fifteen will continue the tradition of groovy, soulful, quirky, melodious rock and roll that the Ego Band had going, but the five-piece will be a little leaner and meaner, with an emphasis on interweaving vocals. Mandy and I both have a penchant for harmonizing, and anyone familiar with Harry’s solo work knows that he’s the king.
To that end, we have a bunch of brand new music we’ve been incubating — songs I’ve written, songs Mandy has written, songs Harry has written, and songs we’ve all collaborated on. Mandy, Joe, Harry, and I will be joined by drummer Chris Armitage to debut about half a dozen of these new tunes on WVBR’s Tuesdays with the Band tomorrow (5/3). We’ll then be performing in front of a crowd for the first time at the place where the Ego Band got started, the Nines in Ithaca, on Saturday, 5/7, along with Brooklyn dark-pop outfit The Junkie Twins.
Tune into WVBR online at wvbr.com/listen at 6:15 EST on Tuesday, May 3rd. If you’re near the Ithaca area, drop by the Nines this Saturday, May 7th. If you’re not near the Ithaca area, well, tell us when and were to come and we’ll make it happen.
I’m so excited for this new phase of music making. If you’re so inclined, you can like Noon Fifteen on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. A website is forthcoming. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support.
Music is the most fun thing in the world, but booking gigs and rehearsing and traveling and making records comes with its fair share of mental, emotional, and physical turmoil. So it’s always a great joy to be recognized for what you do.
Thanksfully, the Ithaca music scene is lucky to have such a dedicated supporter in the Ithaca Journal‘s Jim Catalano, whose annual “Jimmies” reflect on the many highs of the calendar year for the scene.
We here in Ego Band land are proud to announce that Ten Square Miles was voted one of the top local CDs of 2015. Catalano writes: “Lupowitz and band swung for the fences on this love letter to Ithaca and succeeded — especially on songs such as ‘Green Street Blues,’ ‘Lucifer Falls‘ and the epic closer ‘City on the Hill.'”
“City on the Hill” was also voted one of the Songs of the Year — a great honor for an ambitious eight-minute suite that almost didn’t make the record!
But that’s not all. Because Jim Catalano is a mensch, SBL was voted “Most Valuable Player” on the Ithaca music scene (in a category that included some world-class musicians) for his 2015 contributions to Julia Felice and the Whiskey Crisis, Alan Rose and the Restless Elements, the Jeff Love Band, Thru Spectrums, and The Blind Spots, in addition to leading the Ego Band. Honorable mentions in the category include Ego Band/Thru Spectrums/Jeff Love Band guitarist Joe Massa and the ever-versatile Harry Nichols.
Ego Band vocalist Mandy Goldman also received an honorable mention for Best Female Vocalist — not too shabby for her first appearance singing lead on a record (and surely not her last).
Sam’s compadres in The Blind Spots were also heavily awarded for what they were cooking up prior to his time on keys, with the #2 local record of the year with Rhizomatic as well as one of the Songs of the Year with “Song for Leyla.” The incomparable Maddy Walsh also appeared in the Best Female Vocalist category.
So all in all… not a bad year, eh?
Happy New Year to all! Now to look ahead to all the music that 2016 will bring.
The Blind Spots have released a new single for the holiday season, and it features Sam on piano and Wurlitzer.
Check out the melancholy “Leaving California Again” (music and lyrics by Maddy Walsh; produced and engineered by Mike Parker) exclusively on Bandcamp (or listen below).
Sam will be hitting the road with the Spots for a ten-day run through the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Ohio before returning home. He’ll be documenting along the way, so be sure to follow along on Twitter and Instagram.
In a very pleasant surprise, Ten Square Miles was in the first batch of reviews posted by Ithaca Record Freak.
“This record from Samuel B. Lupowitz and the Ego Band is perhaps the most appropriate use of the ‘Ithaca’ tag yet … unique, epic and yet still highly relatable even if you didn’t grow up in Ithaca. … Sonically, Ten Square Miles is a breath of fresh air.”
Some exciting news from Sam:
I haven’t exactly been keeping this a secret, but I wanted to make something resembling an “official announcement,” so here goes.
Starting this month, I will be playing keyboards with Ithaca’s favorite moxy rock band, The Blind Spots.
My first performance with the band will take place this Saturday, August 8th at 16 Mile Brewing Company Summer Bash in Georgetown, Delaware. I won’t be joining them for all of their shows just yet; the Spots are being very understanding as I follow through on my pre-booked commitments for the Ego Band, Julia Felice and the Whiskey Crisis, and my myriad other projects. I plan to continue my musical multitasking as much as possible, but I expect The Blind Spots to become a major focus of my time and energy in the coming months.
I’ll be operating on hired-gun status for the time being while we feel things out personally and artistically. In the meantime, I will do my best to honor the band’s history as I put my own spin on their tasty, expressive keyboard parts.
I’m honored to be joining Maddy, Suave, Khris, Parker, Sammi, Diwas, and the rest of the Blind Spots extended family for this exciting new phase of the band.
Thank you everyone for your support. I’m excited to see what the the future brings.