Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Shameless hustling for another mother's daughter's band . . .

I really admire people who want to make a living in the arts and are willing to get out there and hustle to make it happen.

I also really admire people who play musical instruments I've never heard of.

Denise Zito, who's written two fine Civic Soapbox essays, has a musician daughter, Suz Zito Slezak, who does both. That's her, pictured below, making music on something called a Donkey Jawbone. (She also fiddles and sings harmony). Beside her are  David Wax (middle)  and Jordan Wax,  the two other members of the band The David Wax Museum. They are one of those bands that is never not playing gigs -- which is, after all, exactly what it takes to get your music out there. (check out their the band's large presence in NPR's Here and Now story on Mexico-centric Indie rock)

These three folks describe their band as a a "jarana-strumming, donkey jawbone-whacking, accordion-pumping folk group out of Boston." Their website describes the David Wax Museum as "infus[ing] Mexican son into its literary, countrified folk rock." A donkey jawbone (quijada), by the way, is a traditional Mexican percussion instrument and a jarana is a small Mexican guitar. The David Wax Museum's music, in other words, is music that's never seen the inside of a box.

WMRA really is a community operation. A listener happened to hear Suz's band in Staunton and took pains to let me know that she'd been entranced, to put it mildly. Then another listener let me know that the David Wax Museum is one of three finalists in competition to appear at this year's Newport Folk Festival. As we do get by with a little help from our mother's fellow public radio station listeners, I got Suz's phone number, called and asked her to let me know what the deal was. Here's what she e-mailed back:
"Hi, I'm Suz, from The David Wax Museum. We are absolutely thrilled to announce that we were chosen as a top three finalist for a competition to get to play at the famous Newport Folk Festival! Over 150 bands submitted applications for these three spots and the band with the most votes by June 30 will get to play at Newport. The voting is neck and neck, so we need your help!
This is a huge opportunity for us! Playing at Newport would not only allow us to perform in front of thousands of music-lovers, but would also give us a chance to meet some of the most renowned artists in the country.

We would be honored and most grateful to receive your vote! It's very easy and only takes two minutes of your time. Thank you so much and we hope to see you when we're back in Virginia!"
Here's how to vote to send The David Wax Museum to the Newport Folk Festival (it takes less than 2 minutes!):

1. Go to www.magichat.net/opener/voting 

2. Type in your birthday
3. Scroll down and click "REGISTER" to vote in this poll
4. Enter information (only fields with asterisks are required)
  a. username
  b. email address (any old email address will do!)
  c. zip code
  d. password
5. Unclick "newsletter" (unless you want to receive the Magic Hat newsletter!)
6. Click "Create new account"
7. Click on the dot next to our band to VOTE for David Wax Museum! 
I would never, ever use this blog to suggest that you do something. But I do think it's part of this blog's mission to let you know what is going on out there in WMRA Land -- including the Boston branch of it!

So, if you are so moved, give The David Wax Museum a listen and take it from there . . .

Artwork by Alec Dempster

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