Into the Water Music Video Release at Bowery Electric, and John…Charles…Raffa!

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The people started arriving, slowly entering through the wide wooden doorway into the Map Room at the Bowery Electric on Tuesday night. This was followed by a steady flow of anticipatory fans.  The band was already on stage, preparing their instruments, plugging in and getting ready to perform.  However, one space on the stage was empty.  It was the area directly behind the microphone. 

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Finally, a hush fell over the Map Room as Jon Popin introduced the first-ever viewing of the music video for Under Culture’s latest single, Into the Water. When he finished, in an instant, the large, lit screen on the Map Room wall blew up with images of the band behind a booming audio of the single.  The music video showed the boys in a dark, creepy rubble basement, playing emphatically with raw power. 

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Cheers rose at the conclusion of the well-received video.  Then, Under Culture again took the stage, with the area directly behind the microphone still empty.  At once, Jon began to furiously strum distorted sounds from his guitar, while Andres Marin pounded the skins of his drums and Wendell Ypil ran off white hot licks on his 6 string.  All of a sudden, John Charles Raffa lept onto the stage, and with that, the space  behind the microphone was filled with the dynamic form of Under Culture’s new lead singer. 

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The show was a blast, as the boys supported their new mate while the band raged through a powerful set which even included a tribute to the late, great Tom Petty.  A new era for the Under Culture band began on the same night that they released their music video.  What an exciting evening!

Into the Water is Released and Mike Steps Away

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It was a bittersweet night at the Delancey on Thursday as the emotions tore in different directions from the start.  The boys were once again greeted by a fantastic response from their fans as they took the stage.  Some were cheering because Under Culture was releasing its next single, Into the Water, while others cheered Mike  Turk, whose last show with Under Culture was the same night.

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After weeks of hard work in the studio, Into the Water was finally ready for release on all major music platforms.  It was a sonic success, as the Under Culture boys along with their talented sound engineer, Daniel Alba created a powerful blast of heavy rock.  At the same time, after 3 years in the band as its lead singer, Mike Turk decided to move on. 

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The mixed emotions created an electric atmosphere, as if the atoms in the room were at odds.  In the end, the music and the band burst through, with the music carrying the day.  Mike was on top of his game, singing his heart out, while Jon nimbly shot out 16th note runs on fire.  Under Culture drummer and producer Andres Marin left no doubt that the music was most important as he blasted rhythms with his gifted sticks.  Wendell Ypil was magical on guitar and keyboard all night, while Junio Rodrigues kept the thump going with a steadiness that was focused and alive. 

Jon gave an emotional tribute to Mike near the end of the set, followed by Mike’s touching farewell speech.  Into the Water had  a successful release party show and the guys ended the set with a rousing, burning version of the single.  What a night. 

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Best of luck Mike! We love you brother! 

Video Release Party at Smash Studios

Crack! With the sound of drum sticks smacking together, Under Culture was performing on stage at Smash Studio in Midtown Manhattan.  All the hub bub revolved around the celebration of the release of the music video for their single, Hard Time Letting Go and the band was fueled with heavy, positive, wild vibes.  The showcase studio at Smash bent to the sonic explosion that Under Culture was putting out.  The band ran through an abbreviated set of seven songs, with Jon Popin giving shout-outs and thank you's to the packed house.  During their song Let Love In, Jon introduced Wendell Ypil, the newest member to the Under Culture tribe.  Wendell, a recent transplant to NYC from the Phillipines, made a huge statement that night, pounding out sounds through a Marshall Stack.  Mike Turk busted out an energetic and enthused version of Hard Time Letting Go, while the rest of the band danced and played  feverishly.  Andres Marin and Junio Rodrigues played wickedly, keeping the band's rhythm deeply rooted in the pocket.  

Earlier in the evening, after much anticipation, the music video of the single was presented on a large screen on stage.  While the audio experienced some technical difficulty, the crowd of fans nevertheless seemed totally amused.  Tyrone Holguin (aka Tyrone), a talented rap artist in NYC, and the band's manager for the first three years of it's existence, opened the evening with a focused, humorous introduction of the band and then ripped into a set of his new material.  Rap and Rock n Roll worked splendidly together, as the Under Culture fans took to Tyrone immediately, giving him rousing applause at each turn.  

Food and drink was served and the event was recorded live by DJ Stuart Robbins for a future airing on Homegrown Radio.org, a popular rock music internet station.  The night was a smashing success made possible by all the friends, family and fans that showed up that evening.  Hail Under Culture!  

Under Culture releases "Hard Time Letting Go" on Night of Desmond's Tavern Blowout Show

The anticipation could be felt in every corner of the packed, routy back room at Desmond's Tavern as Under Culture prepared to begin their set.  There had been hints on their Facebook page for weeks, followed by an announcement that Under Culture would release their first single, "Hard Time Letting Go" on the night of December 2, 2016.  This was the same night that Under Culture would play Desmond's Tavern for the first time.  As a result, there was an extra level of excitement buzzing through the air before showtime.  There is nothing better than a release party show, and Under Culture did not disappoint.  Guitarist Jon Popin stepped up to the mic during the band's opening musical blastoff and announced with great passion the news everyone was waiting for.  Tonight, Jon said, would be a special night as Under Culture was releasing its first single.  With their fans interest elevated, Under Culture then launched into opening number Little Tennessee.  

Lead vocalist Mike Turk took control of the evening and never looked back.  He performed like never before, lifting everyone in the room, including the band, into 5th gear.  During "Into the Water", Andres Marin's pounding of the skins almost caused the stage to explode, while the deep bellowing coming from Junio Rodriguez's bass thumped joy into everyone's chest.  During Jon Popin's lone vocal number "Stuck in a Box", guitarist/keyboardist Ryan Metosky dropped a deep, stirring southern-inspired riff that caused everyone in the room to boogie down.  New, attractive Under Culture merchandise was on display as well, attracting fans to the merch table after the show.  However, nothing compared to what was to come near the end of the evening.  The room had quieted and with everyone waiting, Jon stepped up to the microphone.  With passion and focus, he announced that the next song up would be "Hard Time Letting Go".  He thanked everyone for coming to the show, explained the long process involved in getting the single released, and then demanded that everyone get very VERY LOUD.  

The band then blasted off into the most electric, enthusiastic, out-of control version of Hard Time Letting Go it had ever performed. Mike spun and danced and heaved with every ounce of energy he had and the band played feverishly.  The song ended with loud, fantastic cheers, whoops and applause!  "Hard Time Letting Go" was released on all major platforms just shy of midnight that evening, and the release party show was one for the ages. Next up- the "Hard Time Letting Go" music video!

Under Culture Raises the Roof at the Delancey

Under Culture had been away from the stage since its July show, which caused the combustible material within the boy's chemistry to be furiously reactive.  The delayed start time of almost 8:30 pm caused further bubbling of the Under Culture brew, such that when Under Culture finally took the stage, the explosion of sound and fury reverberated within the Delancey's red-hued basement.  With the confidence of a true-believer, Jon Popin interrupted the initial guitar driven enthusiasm that opens most Under Culture sets by imploring the Under Culture faithful to move to the front of the stage, away from the bar at the rear. 

Thereafter, Under Culture went into a rousing set that made those who moved nearer the stage, happy they did.  The boys shook up the set list, as if each song landed somewhere unusual as a result of the explosion that had been building since July.  The boys re-introduced fan favorite You Should Know into the set after an almost year absence, and the Under Culture fans became frenetic during the song's high-impact crescendo.  While the whole band was on high, drummer Andres Marin seemed to be particularly enjoying the night, keeping time with a two-fisted attack, as close family were present in the audience.  Near the end of the set, Jon introduced Lawrence Kochoa, the actor who played the leading part in Under Culture's video of their song Hard Time Letting Go.  It was stated that the video would be released later this year.  Stay tuned.  After the show, the party continued on the Delancey's beautiful roof-top terrace, as Under Culture reserved tables for its faithful following. 

Drinking, dancing and picture taking ensued late into the party-driven evening.  When looking down through the haze of the New York City night, it appeared that mysterious fissures had opened up on the Delancey's rooftop, causing many in attendance on the terrace to echo what the band knew from the start, that the Under Culture explosion raised the roof at the Delancey that night.  

Home Run to Leftfield

Under Culture played a hellacious set Saturday night, July 23 at the gritty/wonderful Leftfield on Ludlow Street.  Downstairs at Leftfield is a rocker's paradise- sweaty hot in the summer, no frills and no elevated stage.  There are no barriers between you and your fans, and you can feed off their excitement or wilt from their lack of expression.  Luckily for Under Culture and its fans, the former was the case Saturday night.  Rocking, dancing, bouncing and cheering, Under Culture's fans were sucking up the setting and the show being put on by the boys.  Mike Turk was 60 Minute Mike, never even once coming off the accelerator during the set. Many vocalists would just as soon avoid the thin building column that is a part of the stage at Leftfileld, but Mike wound around it, lamented to it and leaned against it, neatly working the post into his performance.  

With the set winding down, and with the large plexiglass drum shield hindering Mike's raw energy all night, with fury during Under Culture's crushing finale, Into the Water, Mike tore the drum shield down to the ground and into pieces, collapsing under it's weight.  Hell Yeah Mike! The rest of the band showed exuberance and tons of fight all night.  

Jon Popin largely kept up 60 Minute Mike's pace, dancing, swooning and gyrating with his white Jackson guitar, while Andres Marin smashed the drums so hard that the drum shield almost tore apart from his vibration.  Ryan Metosky grooved with excitement all night, his large smile maintained whether on keys or guitar, while new bass player Junio Rodriguez rocked and rolled while holding down a steady rhythm for the band.  In the end, the ball sailed over Leftfield as Under Culture hit a home run on a hot summer night in July.   

Parkside Lounge - The Return

Parkside Lounge was crackling with anticipation as Under Culture made its triumphant return, not only to the venue, but also to live performance generally.  Away from the stage for eight months, Under Culture was rabid to give its fans what they wanted.  Everyone had to wait a little bit longer, as Under Culture somehow got booked to play at the same time as another band from Boston.  Because the other lads had to catch a 10:30 pm bus back home, Under Culture graciously let the Boston band go first for an abbreviated set before taking the stage.  No worries Parkside, we love you!   

The house was packed when the band came on.  With fury, Under Culture unleashed a 10 song set that rocked everyone in the house.  Hoots and hollers came as lead vocalist Mike Turk belted out opening number, Hard Time Letting Go, as if eight months of waiting was saved up in his belly.  Lead Guitarist Jon Popin bobbed and danced all night, his long locks bouncing up and down.  The band introduced new song Stuck in a Box, sung by Jon, which was received with a loud cheer.  Drummer Andres Marin, Guitarist Ryan Metosky and bass player Junio Rodrigues smashed and gnashed to Under Culture staple Into the Water with a crazed focus.  Wow!

The band had been away from live performance not because it was taking a break, but quite the opposite.  Under Culture had taken the time to record its first single, shoot its first music video and to give time to new kick ass bass player Junio Rodrigues so that he could get up to speed.  Way to go Junio!

With the show a big success, Under Culture awaits the release of its single and video, as well as its next show on July 23 at Leftfield on Ludlow.  Rock on! 

The Bowery Electric

It was unclear whether there was more anticipation in the green room at the Bowery Electric, where the boys of Under Culture waited for their curtain call, or from  the fans who occupied the two levels of the iconic East Village venue. While nobody said it out loud, “I could get used to this” was on more than one mind as Mike, Jon, Ryan, Andres, and Oren enjoyed the refreshments provided for them while preparing for the show to come.

Finally it was showtime, and things went from green to red as the boys took to the stage and delivered the hard hitting, high energy show the crowd had been waiting for. A great time was had by all, as Jon Popin shared with the fans that Under Culture would be taking some time to go into the studio and record its first single.  Stay tuned!

Pianos

Tensions were high at Pianos when call time arrived and only 4 of the 5 members of Under Culture were able to take to the stage! Bassist Oren Bayonne was stuck in a cab due to a bad accident that had ground traffic to a stand-still. "The show must go on", and go on it did, with frontman Mike Turk, lead guitarist Jon Popin, rhythm guitarist/keyboardist Ryan Metosky and drummer Andres Marin rocking extra hard to hold it down until Oren could join them.

Fortunately, it didn't take long for him to arrive; the boys continued to fire on all cylinders, and the addition of their bassist put Under Culture into overdrive, resulting in what fans reported to be one of the most exciting shows yet. The band put the larger stage at Pianos to good use, and fans got a taste of what the group could do when unleashed - a taste that left everyone hungry for more. Everyone had a great time, band and fans alike, and the night was capped off with the announcement that Under Culture would soon be going into the studio to record its first single, "Hard Time Letting Go". Stay tuned for more news on that and Under Culture's future shows.

Packed Parkside

Parkside Lounge

Parkside Lounge

Things went from lounging to rocking at the Parkside Lounge this past Wednesday, where the boys from Under Culture did their thing for a room packed full of fans. The band tore through a revised version of their set list, meant to make each hard-hitting song hit that much harder, and the response from the crowd made clear that they felt it!

In signature Under Culture style, lead singer Mike Turk once again brought the energy off the stage and into the crowd, while lead guitarist Jon Popin shredded guitar solos. Jon was especially psyched because his brother Kyle and Kyle's girlfriend Michelle, who were visiting from California, were in the audience.  Although rhythm guitarist and keys player Ryan Metosky was not being visited by a brother from far away, he might as well of been, as he played both the guitar and keys with an inspiration that left everyone talking.  By the end of the show, fans were on their feet, dancing to the swinging, sweet number “You Should Know”, which culminated in a standing ovation. The result? The boys were asked back to move Parkside again, and will reprise their sonic ass-kicking there on July 31st at 9:00 pm.

Be there, be moved, get Cultured!