Stacie Rose, along with a few energetic band members, took the small platform in the performance room at the Goldhawk on Park Avenue last Thursday night.
In her powerful, enlivening voice, Rose effortlessly belted out the lyrics to songs off her self-entitled EP released last year, including catchy, live versions of "Carried Away," "The Angel Song" and "When You Turn." She also filled the room with the poetic words and tunes of some of the songs included on her full album, "This is Mine," which is scheduled to be released by the end of next month.
"Music is all about mood," she stated before the performance on Thursday. "I just let the songs come to me."
She explained how some of the music comes to her in pieces, or at all times of the day, and she has to scatter to write it down somewhere, on napkins, or even the back of her hand with eyeliner.
Rose takes on a cool, collected, and yet excited air on stage and off. It's obvious to anyone watching that she has a great time making and performing her songs. Rose said her inspiration in creating music is the way singing makes her feel.
"It's a rush and a release at the same time. Intangible," she said.
Rose grew up in the Garden State's suburban town of Woodcliff Lake. Despite being a Jersey girl, Rose admits that she felt a sincere connection to New York City.
"Growing up in Woodcliff Lake was sheltering for me, but very fortunate in retrospect," Rose said. "There were big yards to play in, woods to get lost in, and trees to climb. It was great to be a kid in suburbia."
At a young age, her parents encouraged her musical interests, and eventually she found herself attending school during the day and performing for friends and strangers at local coffeehouses in New York. For half a decade, she has worked hard to build a following.
Despite being virtually unknown in the pop world, true indie fans have heard of her.
Every day she works at writing songs, self-promotion, rehearsals and performances.
Success for Rose is "doing what really makes you happy and doing it well. Feeling pride and contentment with your place in the world," she said.
In the spring, Rose is scheduled to release a full-length 10-track album featuring new recordings. She has auditioned for major record labels and according to her spokeswoman, a few labels in New York City have been paying attention to her music.
The Goldhawk (formerly the Liquid Lounge) is a cozy bar and hangout with a friendly staff and an intimate stage setup in the back room.
The venue's telephone number is (201) 420-7989. For more information on Rose, call (201) 842-8555 or visit her on the web at www.stacierosemusic.com.
In front of more than 50 fans at the Whiskey Bar on Washington Street last Friday, Hyperactive took the stage and performed a great live set.
The band opened with "You, me, and the bottle makes three" by the swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. They then played some original songs and other cover songs from popular bands.
The crowd loved the charismatic band, and several people in front of the stage were dancing and jumping around.
John Brezniak, a Jersey City resident, was in attendance with his girlfriend Becky.
"The band is cool, they play good music," Brezniak said while drinking a beer.
Hyperactive is made up of Joe Bembry (lead singer), Mark Dileo (bass), Tom Cottone (drums), Guy Licciardo (guitar), Lee Stanford (keyboards), Brian Steele (saxophone), and John Martin (trumpet).
Their music is a perfect blend of ska, rock, and alternative punk. The band's creativity is perfectly exhibited on stage with ska covers of Lita Ford's "Kiss Me Deadly" and Dr. Dre's "Forgot About Dre." Their influences include such artists like Fishbone, Elvis Costello, Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, and Run DMC.
Throughout their set they seemed to encompass every popular music genre, from rap, R&B, and modern rock.
The roots of the band date back to 1991 when they were the Extremes. At that time, the band, then consisting of five members, played its first show at the Rutgers University's "Battle of the Bands" in November 1991. The band came in second and got a gig that very same night playing at the Zeta Psi fraternity house. The show was wild, according to Bembry.
"This was the genesis of a long musical journey," he said.
The band eventually changed its name to Hyperactive (inspired by a Thomas Dolby song) which seemed to capture the essence of their stage show.
Hyperactive recently competed in MTV's "Battle of the Bands," where they made it to the semifinal round before being eliminated. They tour extensively throughout the Jersey Shore.
For more information on the band visit them on the web atwww.hyperactivemusic.com. The Whiskey Bar is located on 125 Washington St. Their number is (201) 963-3400. q
(Current editor Eugene Mulero and Current Contributor Pat Antonetti contributed to this report)