Writing Portfolio

Overview

As a writer, I have contributed to such sites as Paste Magazine, Buzzfeed, Tunecore and Big Blue United. I also create artist and executive bios, press releases, mission statements, website and social media copy, content for mailers and advertising campaigns. I have over a decade of experience helping brands and artists craft their voice and making sure their marketing material portrays their mission in a way that will engage potential clients, fans and press opportunities.

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As Cities Burn Artist Bio

Since their inception in 2002, As Cities Burn have garnered tremendous respect for their progressive take on the post-hardcore genre. Upon the release of their 2005 full-length debut, Son, I Loved You At Your Darkest, fans and critics alike fell in love with the balanced dyamic of TJ Bonnette’s visceral screams and the clean vocals of his brother, Cody, who also serves as the primary songwriter in the band. In 2006, TJ’s new marriage saw him leave As Cities Burn for a new life in Mississippi. The remaining members forged ahead, undergoing several lineup and stylistic changes over the next three years and releasing two more acclaimed full lengths - Come Now Sleep (2007) and Hell or High Water (2009) - before disbanding in 2009. 

This, however, is not where their story ends. 

In the time since, As Cities Burn would occasionally play one-off shows, but no plans for a proper reunion were discussed until a few years ago when TJ moved to Nashville where his brother and the rest of the band were living. Casual jam sessions commenced and, before long, a concrete plan fo a new record began to take shape. Two years later, As Cities Burn are ready to unveil Scream Through The Walls - their first album in ten years and the first with the Bonnette brothers collaborating since the band’s seminal debut. 

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Alex Shenitsky (Beach Channel Records, Rockaway Bakery) Executive Bio

Alex Shenitsky is a music industry professional with over fifteen years of proven success in a diverse range of roles. Since beginning his career as an A&R executive in 2004, Shenitsky has developed a well-earned reputation for spotting talent and helping artists find success while staying true to their creative vision. He’s been a valuable member of such highly-regarded A&R teams as Island Records, Stolen Transmission, Razor & Tie, EMI (Virgin/Capitol), Republic and, most recently, John Varvatos Records. During that time, Shenitsky helped contribute to the success of some of the biggest names in rock - including The Killers, Fall Out Boy, Good Charlotte, The Bronx, Badflower and Amos Lee. He also served as A&R supervisor on the Season 1 Soundtrack to the hit television show The Vampire Diaries, which aired on the CW.

After years of working in the major label system, Shenitsky has since found success as an entrepreneur. Building on the experience of helping noted A&R, Rob Stevenson, launch Stolen Transmission Records, Alex went on to manage platinum-selling artist, Dawin, under the banner of the agency he co-founded, 110 Management. Since then, he has launched several successful businesses in his adopted hometown of Rockaway Beach, Queens - including the Rockaway Beach Bakery and Beach Channel Records. A staple of the burgeoning Rockaway music scene, Shenitsky also hosts a radio show for the Rockaway Beach Broadcasting Company where he has been pivotal to introducing some of the community’s most talented acts to a wider audience.

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The Artistic Imprint of Kaaterskill Falls

Today, Kaaterskill Falls is one of the most popular hikes in the Catskills region. The breathtaking 260 foot cascading waterfall that serves as its calling card is one of the tallest in New York State and standing in its presence evokes an intimate awareness of just how epic and powerful the natural world is. Before it became a hub for extreme selfie seekers, Kaaterskill was the subject of local lure that drew countless artists and other lovers of nature from all of the region.

The Mohican people who inhabited the Catskills regarded Kaaterskill as the resting place of the creator. The stories about the area told by its native people are steeped in spiritual energy - painting it as an ethereal place considered the gateway to a mystical world. That same mysticism has attracted writers, poets, painters filmmakers and photographers ever since - making Kaaterskill Falls a staple part of the artistic folklore of the United States.

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AVOID DEAD ENDS: 6 TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL TOURING AS AN INDEPENDENT ARTIST

If you were to survey one hundred independent musicians who have spent at least a full year touring, I’m willing to bet that at least 75 of them are going to say the experience did not live up to their expectations. Touring is arduous, it’s difficult and there is, by no means, a guaranteed light at the end of the tunnel. 

That being said, it’s 100% worth it. If you’re willing to take the risk and smart enough to approach it with a degree of preparation and hard work, it will be the source of a lot of the best memories you’ll ever create in your life. Also, if you’re serious about making a career as a musician, it is necessary to start generating enough of an income to dedicate your life to what you are passionate about. 

It won’t be easy, but if you’re ready to take the risk and hit the road, here are six things that you and your bandmates can do in order to make it the most successful experience possible. 

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MAKING THE MUSIC VIDEO DECISION

As a child of the nineties, I remember the days when the music video was king. I first fell in love with alternative music as an eight year old, when I stumbled into the living room to find my sister watching “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and I spent hours obsessing over 120 Minutes as I got older.

A well done music video creates an almost mythical glimpse into the artistic universe of our favorite acts. They don’t seem to carry the same sort of clout these days, as we consume most of our new music through streaming, but a great video can still do wonders for an artist.

One needs to look no further than Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” or any of the visuals from (TuneCore Artist) Lizzo’s “Coconut Oil” EP for proof that a well-crafted video can still provide a powerful impact today, whether you’re an established act or a new artist looking to bring your career to the next level.

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Patsy Artist Bio

In that diversity of life experience and appreciation for the American canon, you’ll find two foundational elements of Carroll’s solo project, Patsy. To find the other major inspiration, you have to travel to his current hometown of Rockaway Beach, Queens. Rockaway is an open-minded, surf haven on the outskirts of New York City. It’s the sort of tight-knit, blue collar artist community where the guy singing to a packed house on a Friday night will be tending bar at the same place on Saturday. Artistically, it’s a vibrant young scene that has become a beacon of experimentation and collaboration, and still finds time to surf. There is a tremendous amount of innovative music coming out of Rockaway these days, and with his new EP, Patsy is doing his part to push the scene to new heights.

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RDGLDGRN Artist Bio

RDGLDGRN have always been about the blending of worlds. Even their name stems from the merging of its member’s diverse influences and personalities, each represented by a corresponding color - Red (Guitar), Gold (Bass) and Green (Vocals). On LP3, they’ve managed to set a new bar for how contrasting sounds can come together. With that being said, it’s no surprise that it is also the record they’ve had the most control over. After learning the many lessons of navigating the major label system over the past six years, the band will be releasing LP3 on their own label, Deuce Day World. It is an album that the band feels finally captures the idea RDGLDGRN was based. “Everyone views us in a different way,” Green adds, “and in the past that has defined our music. On LP3, the music captures exactly how we see ourselves”.

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The End Of The Ocean Artist Bio

Since the project’s inception, The End Of The Ocean have been the subject of great expectations. Upon the release of their 2011 full-length debut, Pacific-Atlantic, the Columbus, Ohio band was immediately christened a torch-bearer in the second wave of American post-rock. They managed to live up to predecessors such as Explosions In The Sky, This Will Destroy You, Caspian and Red Sparrows with Pacific-Atlantic and their 2012 EP In Excelsis. The acclaim for those releases resulted in almost 20 million streams on Spotify and allowed the band to take their dynamic live performances on the road. It’s safe to say that all signs pointed towards a long and successful career for The End Of The Ocean.

Then, as often happens with promising bands, things fell apart...

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The Stranger Things Happening at Montauk's Camp Hero State Park

For anyone that grew up on Long Island, Montauk is a special place. In recent years, the Hamptons crowd has crept in, but most of us still think of Montauk as a low key fishing community with great beaches and plenty of family-friendly fun spots (i.e - Puff n Putt, Fudge n Stuff), lovingly referred to as The End. What many people who enjoy Montauk don’t know, though, is that it has a separate past. A dark and mysterious history full of covert government experiments, time travel and an other-dimensional creature named “Junior” that served as the inspiration for the Netflix original series, Stranger Things.

Or at least that’s how the story goes...

Camp Hero State Park is 415 acres of pristine maritime forest, freshwater wetlands and sandy beaches situated on a peninsula just southwest of the iconic Montauk Point Lighthouse. It’s a favorite locale for Long Island hikers, thanks to its dramatic bluffs that offer breathtaking ocean vistas and diverse wildlife. It also happens to be considered one of the best surfcasting locations in the world. But before it attained status as a nationally registered historic site, the government used the land for over four decades - the extent to which is highly debated.

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Polyphia Artist Bio

On the band’s greatly anticipated new full-length, New Levels New Devils, Polyphia have taken yet another defiant leap forward. The virtuosic guitar work that has defined Polyphia is still present, but the band made a conscious effort to replace distorted guitars and epic breakdowns with a soundscape of bass-heavy trap music. The elite cast of collaborators on New Levels New Devils includes producers such as Y2K (Killy, Yung Bans) and Judge (Migos & Marshmello, blackbear, Young Thug). It also includes features from some of the best guitarists in the world - including Jason Richardson, Ichika, Mateus Asato, Yvette Young (of Covet) and Erick Hansel and Mario Camarena (both of CHON). Finally, the lone vocal feature comes courtesy of hip hop phenom - and long time Polyphia fan - Cuco, who has captivated tastemakers over the past year with his lyrical prowess and unique style.

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Hail The Sun Artist Bio

Donovan Melero can’t sit still. Since finding sobriety nine years ago, the vocalist and drummer for California-based progressive-rock band, Hail The Sun, has found himself constantly consumed with the idea of making the most of every day. Melero - along with bandmates Aric Garcia (guitar), John Stirrat (bass) and Shane Gann (guitar) - manage both the creative and business sides of Hail The Sun as they continue to grow into one of the most revered acts in their genre. Melero has also developed into one of the most respected booking agents in rock due to his incomparable work ethic. Somehow he even manages to find time to advance his side project, the progressive rock supergroup Sianvar, which has developed a sizeable cult following of its own. Still, he can’t seem to reach a level of success where he is satisfied with what he’s accomplished enough to take his foot off the gas - even for a second.

On Hail The Sun’s latest full-length, Mental Knife, Melero tackles that constant need for self improvement and his obsession with making up for lost time in a way that is both unabashedly honest and artistically innovative. The title of the record stems from the idea of cutting out those aspects of your life that don’t contribute to a more fulfilling existence. The subject matter largely centers on trying to develop a genuine confidence that allows you to acknowledge your own imperfections and provides the strength necessary to work towards correcting them.

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Hopesfall Artist Bio

Trust is key to any successful creative collaboration. It allows an artist to take risk and creates an open dialogue where each member is free to set aside personal ego to work towards a greater common goal. For melodic hardcore legends, Hopefall, that trust has become second nature over their twenty plus years of friendship and, as a result, their new full-length, Arbiter, continues the band’s legacy as pioneers.

Hopesfall formed in 1998. Over the next decade, the band would undergo numerous line-up changes but always drew from the same core group of lifelong friends to source new members. The bond between the group was so strong that even after disbanding in 2008, guitarists Joshua Brigham and Dustin Nadler and drummer Adam Morgan continued to get together on Wednesday nights to work on new music despite having no plans to release it. It was during these jam sessions that the music that would eventually find its way onto Arbiter first began to take shape.

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Hot Flash Heat Wave - Glo Ride (Paste Magazine)

Glo Ride", the new single from San Francisco's Hot Flash Heat Wave, is basically the soundtrack to escapism. Whether you're talking a vacation in the Caribbean or some particularly dank Indica, the uplifting bounce and lofi groove of "Glo Ride" sets the stage for your trip. It's also one of those rare hybrid tracks that has a little bit of something for everybody - some trip hop, a dash of psych rock and a whole bunch of shoe-gaze can all be picked out on this genre-bending anthem. 

The band is currently on the road with fellow San Franciscans No Vacation and, from what we hear, HFHW's live show is a mood enhancer on the same level as the two previously mentioned escapes. Don't sleep on them if they're in your town

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Grandmas Shred and Party in New Polyphia Video for “40oz.”! (Polyphia Press Release)

Genre-blending instrumental heavyweights, Polyphia, treated fans to a hilarious new video for “40oz” - one of several singles off their 2017 The Most Hated EP - today. The video stars three grandmas shredding and partying their way through a beautiful afternoon. The elderly friends enjoy decadent desserts, malt liquor, tasty riffs and banger drum fills as they dance and roll through their neighborhood on 4-wheel scooters. Somewhere in Miami, Blanche, Rose, Sophia and Dorothy are undoubtedly nodding their approval as they watch a new batch of Golden Girls jamming out. There is no better way to kick off the weekend than by partying with these ladies on Polyphia’s YouTube this afternoon.

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Greyhaven Artist Bio

Empty Black, the new record from progressive metal band Greyhaven, is best encapsulated by one phrase - “make the accident look like it was on purpose”.  This isn’t due to a lack of intent, but more so to a commitment to experimentation. As a product of the vibrant yet insular music scene in Louisville, Kentucky, Greyhaven has never been afraid to pursue the avant-garde. On Empty Black they’ve created an album that is pristinely violent while challenging the norms associated with heavy rock music.   

Greyhaven’s debut full-length, Cult America, was released in 2014 and has since enjoyed a steady increase in revarance from fans and critics alike. On Cult America, Greyhaven came close to achieving the sound they’ve sought since beginning their careers in music. With four more years of creative maturity in hand,  the members of Greyhaven - Brent Mills (Vocals), Johnny Muench (Bass), Nick Spencer (Guitar) and Ethan Spray (Drums) - were able to precisely pinpoint their intentions on Empty Black, resulting in a collection of songs that brings to fruition their vision of a rock record that could withstand the test of time.

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The Day The Lights Went Out On Broadway; What The Way The Giants’ Handled Eli’s Benching Says About the State of the Franchise (BigBlueUnited.com)

Instagram, Thursday Night Football, The Oklahoma City Thunder and the country of Serbia have all been established since a quarterback other than Eli Manning last started for the Giants. In that time, Manning has thrown for over 50,000 yards. He has twice been named Super Bowl MVP, one of only five players to win the award multiple times, and he has led over thirty 4th quarter comebacks and forty game-winning drives. As evidence by the outpour we saw on Twitter, he has earned a position as one of the most respected players, by teammates and opponents alike, in the NFL. He is an iron-man that undoubtedly deserves to go ahead and eventually overtake Brett Favre for the all time record. Still, what’s so infuriating about Eli’s benching isn’t so much the fact his consecutive game streak is coming to a premature end. It’s the manner in which it was carried out and the implications in terms of who we are as a franchise, not just in 2017 but moving forward, that it represents.

For over eighty years, The New York Giants have been a beacon of class and loyalty. The Maras have been revered around the league for what they represented; a family-oriented organization that cared about their players and fans more than selling jerseys and luxury boxes. 

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I the Mighty Share How To Get Over A Breakup in New Video For "Pet Names"; To Play Reading and Leeds Festival Next Weekend! (Press Release)

Just ahead of their appearances at the legendary Reading and Leeds Festivals next weekend, I the Mighty have offered up some advice on coping with a break-up via the official video for “Pet Names”. The video, which premiered this morning on RockSound.tv <will be hyperlinked>, lays out a 21-step plan for getting over your ex that would undoubtedly go viral as a list on Buzzfeed. In doing so, the band added some humour to a song that deals more with the unhealthy consequences that often accompany the end of a relationship. “Pet Names” has proven to be a fan favorite with its massive sing-along vocals and infectious command of melody and it will undoubtedly be a highlight of the band’s sets next weekend. You can watch the official video on YouTube and the song is also available to stream on Spotify and most of your favorite streaming services.

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STAHL Artist Bio

STAL translates to steel in more than a few languages. As a result, the word conjures feelings of coldness and evokes imagery of a modern, industrial life. On his new EP, Fresh Blood, Pierre-Marie Maulini (the man behind the STAL moniker) strikes the perfect balance between the cold, sleek varnish of this picture and something decidedly more harmonious and human. In doing so, he creates a perfect example of how one can keep their humanity in the age of twenty first century digitalism.

Maulini has always shown an exceptional proclivity for music; even as a child growing up in the South of France. This love and talent would first manifest itself in the form of A Red Season Shade, the post-rock outfit he formed with his older brother and a few close friends. The band signed to Gentleman Records in 2006, an opportunity that would lead to Maulini connecting with local shoegaze legend, Anthony Gonzalez. The two grew close and Gonzalez would eventually invite Maulini to be a touring member of his band, M83. The next two years for Maulini would be spent touring the world, opening for acts like Kings of Leon and Midnight Juggernauts or headlining their own international tours. It was here, on the road with M83, that Maulini was first exposed to the world of synths, keyboards and other electronic elements that would soon be so prevalent in the music he would create.

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Pop Math Mission Statement

Pop Math is an audio-engineering class that introduces young girls with a passion for music to the basics of the recording process. Our curriculum offers participants the opportunity to learn how to work with Garageband recording software, as well as, vocal coaching and songwriting. We believe that technology is an essential component of the creative process in 2017. When young musicians incorporate it into their art, the sky is the limit in terms of what they can accomplish.

We also work with students to analyze the structure of some of their favorite pop songs, keying in on what makes them so memorable. Participants in the Pop Math program learn valuable lessons such as what it means to "challenge a hook" or the difference between verse and chorus melodies, giving them the foundational knowledge necessary to begin turning the songs they've dreamt up in their head to reality.

Once our Pop Mathematicians have captured the basic knowledge of writing and recording, we turn our attention to performance. We teach the girls about topics such as vocal projection, breathing and correct usage of a microphone, leaving them ready to sing properly over the tracks they've been working on or make the transition from the studio to the stage.

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10 F*cking Awesome People I Only Know About Because Of The Joe Rogan Podcast

The Joe Rogan Podcast is one of the most diverse and inspiring podcasts I've come across. It was my gateway to the podcast world in general and the majority of other podcasts I now listen to are ones I found through the JRE. Here are ten amazing people doing great things that I only know about thanks to Joe Rogan.

Rickson Gracie is one of the greatest names in the history of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. In addition to his revolutionary impact on BJJ, Rickson is also a dedicated yogi and surfer. If you haven't yet, I highly recommend checking out "Choke", a great documentary about his life.

Rickson Gracie was a guest on episode 524 of the JRE.

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Big Blue United: Why Odell Beckham Jr. is a Natural Fit for the Giants

One is a major collegiate program, decidedly southern, that is no stranger to controversy. The other, a legendary professional football franchise that has built its reputation on being a model organization and, until recently, a beacon of good ol’ northeastern smashmouth football. From there, the differences between the programs seem to continue on indefinitely until you start to think that perhaps the only common ground they share is an innate, longstanding ability to win football games.

Still, dating all the way back to Y.A. Tittle in the early 60’s (well technically Tom Loflin in 1946) there is a long line of LSU Tigers that have gone on to play with the New York Giants including Leonard Marshall, Corey Webster and Rueben Randle. Last night, Odell Beckham Jr. became the 19th Bayou Bengal to sport a Giants jersey on draft day, as well as, one of the countless others that have called both Giants Stadium (or Metlife) and Death Valley home.