Tag Archives: Staten Island

Staten Island Girls

No, not the Katy Perry parody that lit up Islanders’ news feeds last summer…

The Bad Mouth Betties are a quartet of talented young ladies from the fifth borough. Boasting three superb singers who regularly swap lead vocal duties, the Betties are at their best when performing close, tight harmonies and nailing classic girl-group backup vocal arrangements.

They released a four-song EP in the fall, and recently debuted a video for the single “Sunglasses,” written by my good friend and longtime bandmate Nicole Pignatelli.

Bad Mouth Betties, “Sunglasses” [Buy]

“St. George,” a gospel-pop number penned by the group’s keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Tina Kenny, is the other standout track on the EP.

Bad Mouth Betties, “St. George” [Buy]

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Shaolin dance party: Paragraph’s “Powernap”

ParagraphBack in the summer of 2005, my brother, some friends, and I started performing a few cover tunes each Monday night at an open mic at Martini Red, a dive bar in Stapleton, Staten Island. A quartet of college students called Paragraph also performed each week, and they were by far the most exciting original act I had seen on the island. Their early stuff was mostly quirky dance-punk — angular, Gang-of-Four-type guitar stabs, driving bass lines and disco beats — fun, catchy, and always danceable.

The quartet became a trio, and over the years they honed their sound, experimenting with drum machines, adding layers of keyboards, working with other local musicians, and in 2009 they released a self-titled eight-track disc. “Body Part(y)” is one of the standouts.

PARAGRAPH by ParagraphParagraph, “Body Part(y)” [Buy PARAGRAPH]

Paragraph recently released a video for their single “Powernap,” which is available on a three-song EP, Chic Punk One. As with their self-titled album, the vocals are too buried in the mix for my taste — I have some trouble actually making out what singer Danny Lane is saying — but it’s a fun club-banger of a tune, and the video is slick. (Plus, it employs a variation of my all-time favorite music video conceit: the band traveling to the gig, where they eventually perform the song we’ve been hearing all along [see Huey Lewis and the News’ “I Want a New Drug”].) It’s been a thrill watching these guys grow as a band, and I’m glad they’re around to rep Staten Island.

Paragraph - Chic Punk OneParagraph, “Powernap” [Buy Chic Punk One]

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