Winter’s Descent

Finding words to measure the depth of sensory exclamation I experience listening to this band would be like counting crystals in a snowflake. Much of my taste in music has been influenced by them, since their original incarnation and over the course of the past decade. When I was 14 years old I met my husband Jerry Mulligan, lead singer, and his friend, bassist Paul Lucas. The first band they were in together materialized about five years after we met. Both had been in other projects prior to Winter’s Descent, but from my perspective, something about this one felt different from the start.

The band’s beginning was marked by their first show at 31st Street Pub, which is now sadly closed. At the time their fledgling project was without a name, so in a very systematic and scientific approach, the guys wrote ideas for a band name on scratch paper. The band chicks and I distributed hand written scratch paper ballots to audience members for their vote, and Winter’s Descent was born. Jerry and Paul are the only original members of the band as it exists today.

I remember someone once telling Jerry, “A band is a fragile thing.” Not being a musician myself, I can only understand this statement as an outside observer. But I do understand the growing pains these guys have endured, which has forged an essence in their signature sound.

John Peluso joined the group during a time when Jer had stepped out. When he re-joined the project I met John for the first time, and felt like he was already family. Watching the dynamic between John, Jer, and Paul grow as their music developed through the years has been a personally enlightening experience.

Once Nick Triangles (I’m won’t attempt to type his last name, my phone auto corrects it as Greek triangles) joined the band I knew Winter’s Descent had something special. The music produced since Nick came on board continues to surprise the audience. Their first acoustic song, “Paper Angels,” has been a crowd favorite, infusing the darker melodies Winter’s Descent is known for, with a softened edge. “Counting Backwards” and “Machine Dream” thrust the listener into more familiar territory, holding true to the tradition of Winter’s Descent’s heavier style with updated octaves.

Update: Most recently, after persevering through a long-fought battle in effort to find their 5th member, Cody Tyler joined the band. This guy brought solidarity and structure to their music, along with an energy and enthusiasm to write and perform at an even higher level of intensity than before. Jer and I were sitting on the couch one night and he started sharing some of the riffs that Cody had sent him and we both just smiled at each other. Beyond style and technique, he infuses an emotion into his music that that is catching. You can check out his contributions to “How It Ends”  live from The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls courtesy of DanGTX. “The 5th” (get it?) brings a pumping chorus with driving melodies that have come to characterize Cody’s expression within the band.

I don’t even try to tone down my enthusiasm for what these guys have accomplished, and what they have in store for the future. Check out this recent article by Lady Jaye on the guys’ big come back after Nick Triangles joined the band, and keep up to date on the latest by visiting Facebook and Instagram.

Custom Cuts

Over the past couple years, I have acquired a vast collection of band shirts. I love showing my support when I am out and about in the scene. However, often times when I purchase a band tee I like to add my own flare to it. Custom cuts have become a staple in my signature style. Here’s the run down on how I created one of my favorite pieces to date for my Reign of Z shirt.

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  1. The first thing I like to do is decide how I want the shirt to fit. For this one I knew the beginning product was a little big on me and I wanted to give it a bit more of a shape. I started by cutting off the bottom to have it fall pretty much right at the belly button.
  2. The next 2 cuts I made were to remove the sleeves.thread 2
  3. I hate having anything against my neck so I typically cut my collars out by simply following curve of the seam.thread 4
  4. At this point it’s important to try on the shirt to make sure you’re happy with the structure and overall fit of where all of the larger cuts are falling on the body.thread 5
  5. This is where it gets interesting. For this particular shirt I decided to base my design off of a type of threading technique. I started with the back.thread 6 To get even cuts to thread I folded the shirt right along the middle, then cut horizontal slits in descending length, starting at the top near the neck and working my way down toward the waistline.thread 7
  6. The best way I can describe the technique is that you want to create loops starting at the top with your longest slits, working your way down and threading each above loop through the slit below it. thread 9When you get to the bottom you can cut the loop and then tie off the ends.thread 10
  7. Here is a link to my Pintrest pin that I got the technique from. Be creative and have fun making your very own custom cuts!

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Twist of Fate Productions

So, the past few months have been entirely consumed by Twist of Fate Productions, our new business venture. My blog-time has taken a major backseat and I just thought it would be cool to take a minute to write a little update on how the business is going and what we’ve been up to.

For anyone who has bumped around this site, you know that I am a Pittsburgh music scene enthusiast. I’ve clocked some time at shows and in the past year and a half or so have gained experience in organizing and promoting them as well. In December of 2016 when we launched the Homegrown Hard Rock Showcase, I got a feel for what it took to organize a slightly larger scale production with multiple moving parts. That showcase has since been renamed The Crucible Project and I love that I get to continue to collaborate with our team at The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls.

When I look at how all of this came to be, I’d say that Jer is the vision and I am the logistics. After observing the process of event promotion and production from a silent partner perspective being married to a musician, somehow, I got inspired to try it on my own from start to finish. Thus, Femme Fatale was the first show I ever organized myself and that Winter’s Descent was not performing on. The fact is though, that every step of the way we were bouncing ideas off of each other and found out we really enjoyed the process of creating something together. I think if I had gone into that event with any expectation or inclination that we would actually start a promotion company, I would not have had the guts to even begin. The night of the show someone referred to me as the promoter and I was asked if I planned to continue “doing” this and I brushed it all off as something I was just doing to see if I could. As an artist, I can almost guarantee that the last thing Jer ever thought he would do was become a promoter, yet the following year we found ourselves filing paperwork for an LLC for Twist of Fate Productions and it’s been full speed ahead ever since.

When I launched this blog in January I fully intended for it to be my primary focus outside of my day job as a clinical Dietetic Technician. I figured this would be my creative outlet, I would continue to help promote WD and help out with the monthly night at The Funhouse, and that’s about it. To be completely honest, we talked about the idea of starting a promotion company off and on since last summer but I figured it would be something we would either never do “for real” or maybe it would be something we would buckle down and focus on in a couple years. Then before I knew it, we were talking about it more and more, naming it, planning a launch strategy, mapping out our first few shows, and suddenly… pow! We were business owners.

It has definitely been a rocky road at times but the more I branch out and talk to other business owners both in this industry and in others, I realize no one knows what they are doing at first. There are experts out there on everything that seems daunting at first, like obtaining a tax ID. When it comes to the work itself, most of it is what I have done for years…just a lot more at a time. As of today, we have organized 2 shows as an official company and helped to sponsor a stage at the last ever Warped Tour! We have 3 shows on the calendar right now, and just scheduled our First Annual Twist of Fate Productions Picnic. We have been making it out to as many events as possible this summer, just like we have for years. I am always on the look-out for artists and other individuals who are trying to grow and contribute to what we are all building together in the Pittsburgh Music Scene. I feel genuinely fortunate that I get to be a part of it!

 

Flashback to Collision

Time for a Flashback! This Friday I am taking a moment to reflect on the VERY FIRST Twist of Fate Productions collaboration with The Crucible Project. This December will mark 2 full years of Jerry, Jason, and I working together on our monthly hard rock and metal series at The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls! As it continues to grow and evolve thought I would share these photos taken by the lovely Lady Jaye of First Angel Media from Collision. You can Flashback to my original “Collision” article in the Backstage section of my website to see how we came to the promo flyer.

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Shout-out to Jason and Jana for their incredible work in teaming up on this. Jana’s photography combined with Jason’s awesome graphics skills are what make these images what they are and I can’t thank them enough for their ongoing hard work and dedication. Also be sure to check out the band pages for A Notion of Silence, Dematus, and Resistance 13 and give them some love. Happy Friday, Friends!