BuzzUniverse first formed in 2000 with members Alex Garay, guitar, Freddy Moises, saxophone, flute, harmonica, and Dave Migliore, drums. Greg McLoughlin, bass, joined in 2003 and completed the line-up. All four guys share the vocals and are known for their four-part harmonies. Together they groove and jive their way through their blend of rock, jazz, folk, funk music.
"We try to touch on every different genre out there," said McLoughlin. "We all come from different genres and the four of us are best friends, which is great."
"Our music is eclectic. Our music is mature," said Moises. "It's not something you will hear on the radio. It makes you feel good."
"We sing songs to make people feel better," said Garay.
"Are we rock and roll? Absolutely," added Migliore. "And our music invites people in."
The band has played at the Whiskey Bar, Maxwell's, Shannon Lounge, and the Goldhawk. Recently, they performed at the Hoboken Art & Music Festival in May, 2005. McLoughlin said that there were kids spinning around in front of them as they played.
"Our following is kids and middle age people," Moises said with a laugh.
Aside from their younger fans, they also have developed a following at Maxwell's. According to Moises, Maxwell's is one of his favorite places to play. McLoughlin agreed and said, "You always feel that you never know who is going to see you play." At a Maxwell's show they opened up for the Radiators and at a show several weeks ago they performed for the cable show Across the Hudson.
BuzzUniverse has played at several well-known music places in the city, including: The Bitter End, Kenny's Castaways, The Back Fence, and Tribeca Rock Club. At city venues and local ones they run into other local bands including eugene and Butterspy. Sometimes, the bands jam.
"We have friends that are musicians that we invite up on stage," said Garay.
This summer they had a residency at Chelsea Piers, which had them playing every Saturday and Sunday. With their prime location on the Pier, people walking by would stop to listen. Saturday, Oct. 8 they are part of the show, Beer on the Pier, at Pier 51 in Manhattan. This is the second year they are part of the festival, beating out hundreds of other bands to perform.
Their first album, musik for abstract citizens, produced in 2004, has 10 tracks. The music is as versatile as the band is with their ability to slip from a swing song, "Hydroponic Boogie," to the bluesy number, "Some People," to the Latin number, "Rhumba."
From track to track, the band captures rhythm and conveys another feeling. Just when you think you've heard all the different possibilities, here comes another track with a different instrument. First a flute, then a saxophone, and wait is that an organ?
The music makes you tap along to the beat. It makes you want to dance. It makes you happy.
They are currently at work on their next album, which should be finished in early 2006. There are about 14 tracks finished and includes everything from a capella to jazz to bluegrass to funk.
When asked about their a capella song, they told me about their Christmas do-wop song and broke into an impromptu version of a song about Phish at Coventry and their last show. The song sounded like a public service announcement that just happened to be sung in a spot on four-part harmony.
Another band might boast that their music combines all genres and fall short. BuzzUniverse is a band that might just pull it off.
Check out BuzzUniverse live at The Goldhawk, on Thursday, Sept. 15 at 9 p.m. For more information please visit, www.buzzuniverse.org .