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Slingshot Dakota

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Slingshot Dakota

Slingshot Dakota came to Shards in December, 2014. As the year was drawing to a close, the Bethlehem duo--made up of husband and wife, Tom Patterson (drums) and Carly Commando (keys, vocals)--found themselves beginning an exciting new chapter in their lives. Carly and Tom had recently quit their day jobs to devote their full time and energy to Slingshot Dakota. As they recorded this session, the band's calendar for 2015 included a final round of shows in support of Dark Hearts, released in 2012 on venerable western Massachusetts indie label, Topshelf Records. The band were also in the midst of writing songs for their upcoming new album. Slingshot Dakota's most recent endeavor, however, was a split 7" released on Soft Speak Records. Sales of the split go towards Hopeline, a non-profit organization dedicated to suicide prevention, awareness, and education. The band began their session with a cover of Rainer Maria's "Rise" from the 7" release.

Rise (Rainer Maria Cover)
May Day
Grudge
Gossip

Band Picks:
Cloakroom - http://myndfuneral.bandcamp.com/
The Box Tiger - http://theboxtiger.bandcamp.com/
VoirVoir - http://voirvoir.bandcamp.com/

Slingshot Dakota:
http://www.slingshotdakotamusic.com/

Other Links:
Benefit split 7" on Soft Speak Records - http://bit.ly/1IooJ4E
Hopeline (suicide prevention, awareness, and education) - http://www.hopeline.com/

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Robert Sarazin Blake

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Robert Sarazin Blake

"Enjoyment's mostly on the inside," Blake mused during our interview. "You have to make a choice in life whether you're going to enjoy things or not." Robert Sarazin Blake's choice has him living the life of a modern troubadour and enjoying his journey along the way. Blake comes from Bellingham, Washington or as he puts it, "The most northwest corner of the most northwestern city in the the most northwest state in the lower 48."

He's been bringing his modern twist on the tried-and-true folk songwriting tradition to venues around the country since 1997 when he dropped out of college to first hit the road. In the 21st century, that means playing everything from legitimate concert venues to coffee houses to DIY basement spaces. His billing alongside punk musicians has brought him an unlikely but loyal following from young audiences who may be more used to seeing a hardcore band than a folk singer. His louder, frenetic playing style coupled with his heartfelt storytelling define Robert Sarazin Blake as a unique and talented singer and songwriter. He joined us at Shards in April 2014 to record this session.

1. October 2, 3 PM (0:04)
2. Mopping (2:18)
3. Oil Money (6:10)
4. Sister (9:09)
5. Interview (12:04)

Louis Ledford (Band Pick):
http://www.louisledford.com/

Robert Sarazin Blake:
http://robertsarazinblake.com/

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Moonstruck

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Moonstruck

Moonstruck's gritty sound has been filling Lehigh Valley venues for a little over two years. Kelsi Page and Felicia Vee have honed a guitar and drum combo that delivers what can only be described as "controlled nastiness." The two were introduced to one another through their boyfriends during a show at Bethlehem DIY venue Secret Art Space. Inspired in part by Katy Otto and Diane Foglizzo who made up Philadelphia two-piece punk band Trophy Wife, Kelsi and Felicia bonded immediately and decided to start a band of their own. The result is a heavy crunch in their sound which delivers plenty of headbanging moments ("Airplane") while also providing memorable and catchy songwriting ("Scopo"). They recorded their Shards Session in January 2014 on a back-to-back recording day with Philly band Marge.

1. Shiny (0:08)
2. Trouble (3:40)
3. Airplane (5:27)
4. Scopo (9:26)
5. Interview (11:36)

Moonstruck:
https://yaymoonstruck.bandcamp.com/

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Marge

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Marge

Formed in August 2013, Gabby, Melissa, Emily, and Aidan played their first show not too long after that at Philadelphia's "First Time's a Charm" event. The goal of the event was to raise money for a PA share, and the catch? The whole event was going to feature bands playing their first show. For Melissa Brain, this was an opportunity she wasn't going to pass up. "I had played drums in the marching band and with my dad when I was younger," Melissa recalled, "And then grew up going to shows and watching my friends be in bands forever." First Time's a Charm gave Melissa the opportunity she had been looking for. "That kind of kicked me in the butt to be like, 'all right, I have to do this now.'"

Now, Marge has a few successful shows under their belts. This session was recorded in January 2014 and their first 7-song EP was released 3 months later. The EP bears the title Not Bad, exactly the kind of modest, nonchalance we've come to expect from a band who continues to describe themselves as "four girls figuring it out". With songs like these, its safe to say they're figuring things out pretty well.

1. Will I Am
2. Trading Places Starring Eddie Murphy
3. Interview
4. Raincheck
5. To-Do
6. Interview
7. BAND PICKS: Moonstruck - Trouble [Blossom]
8. BAND PICKS: Gunk - Photograph [Gradual Shove]

Marge:
https://marge.bandcamp.com/

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Broski

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Broski

Bursting at the seams with unbridled energy, the young four-piece from the Lehigh Valley manages to create songs that feel like complete works without lyrics and without going off into progressive rock wankery to compensate. Broski's attack is quick and concise with no part of the song lasting longer than it needs to. What exactly guides a band like Broski if there's no lyrics or instrumental grandeur? "The tone. The integrity of the tone," the band explains in our interview. What sweet spot a song needs to hit to satisfy this integrity isn't clear. It's something only the band members really know, and that's why we keep coming back to these songs time after time. If anything, it looks like we'll only be doing that more in the future as Broski has a debut full-length album in the works. This sessions was recorded in January 2014.

1. American Plaidiator
2. Hello Edna
3. Interview
4. Kroner
5. Savory
6. Interview
7. BAND PICK: Young Crybaby - Amanda Bynes [Pennsylvanian Hunger Mixtape]

Young Crybaby (Band Pick):
http://heavenpegasus.com/

Broski:
https://broski.bandcamp.com/

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