Last month, I mentioned that Charetta bassist Richard Mollo left the band, but I also mentioned that he was playing in a new project called Otan Vargas. Let me tell you something: While I thought Charetta had some great momentum on the scene, this Otan Vargas project could be huge, and curiosity killed his cat. I had to give my bass brother’s new band a quick listen. The music that I heard off of Otan’s EP, Origins, I was blown away! The songs “A Place,” “Gravel” and “Contaminated” almost had this Alice In Chains Jars Of Clay and Sap feel to them. I was an instant fan!
According to his bio, the Filipino-born Otan Vargas actually received what seemed to be overdue recognition back in 2009 when Staind frontman Aaron Lewis discovered Vargas on YouTube covering one of his songs. Lewis would soon invite Vargas on stage at The Music Box Borgata Hotel and Casino right here in NJ’s Atlantic City to perform Staind’s “It’s Been Awhile.” Shortly after this “dream come true” performance, Vargas released his debut full-length CD, Alone. In 2011, Otan was given the opportunity to perform alongside Aaron Lewis once again, but this time with Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour, Tesla, and Lo-Pro at the It Takes A Community benefit show. Otan’s honesty in his music is what has captivated so many of his devoted fans, which he garnered with his 2013 EP, Selected Sorrow. The EP featured the song “Hollow Destination,” which was in the documentary, Battlefield Of The Mind.
Otan Vargas tapped into the crowdfunding website, Indiegogo, to successfully raise the $10,000 he needed to produce the EP, Origins, which was produced by Staind bassist Johnny April, and featured bassist Richard Mollo, drummer Dom Barranco and guitarist Cody Bryden from the band Sakara. Origins is currently available on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play. Trust me, if you love bands like Alice In Chains and Staind, you will love Otan Vargas. This kid can write some good music. Check him out at otanvargas.com or catch him live this December. I will post dates as they get closer.
NORTH JERSEY NOTES UPDATES:
My bros from Long Gone Day landed a pretty interesting gig opening for the Supersuckers at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch, NJ next Friday night (11/14). Who are the Supersuckers? Well, they’re the self-proclaimed “Greatest Rock ‘N’ Roll Band in the World.” In that case, this is a must-see show! Who wouldn’t want to see the “Greatest Rock ‘N’ Roll Band in the World” with Long Gone Day opening? Also performing that night at the Brighton Bar will be The Black Clouds, After The Burn, my buds in Kosmic Daydream and Big Tom And The Guns. For more info and tickets, visit Long Gone Day at longgoneday.com.
My new buds from Blameshift are back out on the road once again. This time they’re out with Devil City Angels, which features Poison drummer Rikki Rockett, Cinderella bassist Eric Brittingham, and L.A. Guns guitarist Tracii Guns. So, basically, Blameshift are on tour with a supergroup! Also on the road with Blameshift and Devil City Angels is Shallow Side from Alabama. Congrats to the Blameshift crew on a pretty amazing tour! To find out if this tour hits our area, visit blameshiftmusic.net.
And finally, an old friend, Queen V, is playing back in our area over the next month as she records some new material. V was a major part of the Bring Back New York movement a few years ago. She’s also been spending some time on the West Coast performing in L.A., but homegirl is back home on the East Coast. Catch Queen V live at The Bitter End in NYC tomorrow night (11/6) or visit her at queenv.com.
That’s all for now! If your band is from North Jersey, and you want some exposure, send your press kits to Arts Weekly, c/o Tim Louie P.O. Box 1140, Little Falls, NJ 07424, or you can email me at email@example.com, where you can also let me know where you’re performing next!
Just remember….We’re all in the same boat, so every little bit of exposure counts!
Tim Louie is the Author of S**t Happens.
NJN Concert Calendar:
11/6—Queen V/Molly Adele Brown—The Bitter End, NYC
11/6—Zephaniah/Sun And Flesh/HexVoid—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
11/8—End Of An Era/PLANESIDE/The Skinney/Through The Grey/Paris Under Fire—The Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ
11/8—Tarpit Boogie/Dead Drop/Buried Under Ruined Nations—The Clash Bar, Clifton, NJ
11/8—ANTiSEEN—Tenth Street Live, Kenilworth, NJ
11/8—Beyond Fallen/Psychoprism/Crime X Scene—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
11/14—Supersuckers/Long Gone Day/The Black Clouds/After The Burn/Kosmic Daydream/Big Tom and The Guns—The Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ
11/15—Queen V/The Battery Electric/Hot Blood And Sunshine/The Rain—Lot 13 Longbar, Bayonne, NJ
11/15—Gears/Losing September/One Day Waiting/Mesmeria/Ashes Of Our Sins/Steel Spade Syndicate/Stealing Fame—Backstage at Championships Sports Bar and Grill, Trenton, NJ
11/15—Roulette/LEEDS/We’re Ghosts Now/Modern Suits/True Friends And Dead Ends—The Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ
11/15—Noc Boots—Bread, NYC
11/17—Kurt Travis/Hotel Books/Tommy Boys—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
11/19—Syka/F-Units—Arlene’s Grocery, NYC
11/21—Scottish Widows—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ
11/26—KnuckleHead/The Growling Hounds—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
11/28—Queen V—Rockwood Music Hall, NYC
12/2—Famous Last Words/For All I Am/Kingdom Of Giants/Whether, I/Ashes Of My Regret/GlassHouses—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
12/5—Red Dragon Cartel/Audio Empire/Lipstick Magazine—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ
12/5—Ted Poley/Rock Kandy—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
12/10—Otan Vargas—Mulcahy’s, Wantagh, NY
12/19—That Metal Show’s Holiday Bash featuring Psychoprism/Madysin Hatter/Gathering After Ashes/Stereo Outlaws—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ