Introducing: Iron City Sound Ambassadors' Pick of the Month

Published On December 14, 2011 | By Kymbo Slice | Music
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A few weeks ago, we told you about our partnership with Pittsburgh Brewing Company and our big plans for Pgh-based musicians with our Iron City Sound Ambassador program. Each month, we’re going to ask the ambassadors to select a “pick of the month” which will be Pgh-focused and highlight some of their favorite aspects of the city. In case you forgot, the Iron City Sound ambassadors include DJ Bonics, Bear Cub, Dream Job and 1,2,3. This month we asked them to select their favorite local band or DJ. It was fun learning about who these well-respected Pgh musicians are fond of in the Pgh music scene. Some of their picks are new to us too. Enjoy!

Dave from Dream Job’s pick – Mega-Def

KS: What makes this band stick out from others on the local scene? We’ve got some great talent here in Pittsburgh. What separates your pick from the rest of the pack?

Several things that make Mega-Def unique are that they are a multi-racial band, which is rather uncommon around Pittsburgh. Also, they have their own unique look and style. It’s not hipster and it’s not hip-hop…it’s just smooth. The lead singer/rapper Billy Pilgrim who goes by the stage name “Free” wears some funky gear & sometimes paints his face & the rest of the band looks and plays tight. Most of all, they stick out from other bands because they have two lyricists who rap and do spoken poetry with a live band, rather than the typical rapper & DJ setup. They are one of only a few “rap/rock” bands in Pittsburgh, though I hate to use the term “rap/rock” because douche bags like Kid Rock & Limp Bizkit gave that term a negative connotation.

KS: What is your (or your band’s) relationship with your pick?

Dream Job has played two shows with Mega-Def, once at Lava Lounge last January, and more recently at the Dead Prez show. I think Ricardo is pretty good friends with those guys. I got to know & hang out with Free a little after the Dead Prez show.

KS: If you could offer your pick one piece of advice for navigating the local music circuit, what would it be?

My advice to Mega-Def would be to not change their style or vision. They really are unique on the Pittsburgh scene, which is one of the reasons I picked them…and most of all, they should focus on getting a good recording finished…at least an EP, and have a CD release show to get some press & get their name out there more.


Bonics’ pick – Petey C

KS: What makes this DJ stick out from others on the local scene? We’ve got some great talent here in Pittsburgh. What separates your pick from the rest of the pack?

I would consider Petey C most notable in the “new school” of deejays in Pittsburgh. Why? Because I see a DJ who is more than a “DJ.” He respects the craft. He is a student of the turntable. Not only does he rock one hell of a party but he supplements the DJ experience with a taste to learn the art of turntablism, which to me is an aspect of Djing that is has been lost. He also knows how to build a relationship with his audience and shows a lot of personality while DJing. He’s not just staring at the screen waiting for a reaction.

KS: What is your relationship with your pick?

With my love for Djing, especially PGH deejays, I keep my eye on who’s coming up. Petey C used to have some DJ sessions with my roommate DJ Mcfly. I saw how hungry Petey was to DJ. He was willing to learn anything about mixing/djing and always stepped up to try anything without hesitation. Eventually we started to session and anytime I get back to Pittsburgh we are both eager to show off a new trick to learn.

KS: If you could offer your pick one piece of advice for navigating the local music circuit, what would it be?

I would tell Petey to take a Friday or Saturday night off every once in a while to see what’s cooking around the city. There is always something fresh going on, especially with music and art in Pittsburgh. It’s easy to get caught up in the DJing, but it’s important to get to know other artists in the city no matter what genre. Having them know that you support the scene is super important.


Next up, Josh from 1,2,3 who actually interviewed his pick, New Shouts, instead of using my questions. Way to be different, Josh.

J123: For all the people in Pittsburgh who dont know, tell em what New Shouts is all about.

Well, just another band trying to create the kind of sounds we like. We’re lucky to have four songwriters that all sing, and we’ve been recording and producing all of our releases ourselves. We’ve put out two singles and an EP, and now we’re just demoing new material. With the new stuff people will see a whole different side. More moody, sad & dreamy pop. Where as we started out with a bunch of fun & bratty mod/soul kind of stuff.

J123: What would you like to see change about the Pittsburgh music scene?

I don’t think I’d change a thing. We as a band personally have a lot of love and respect for so many musicians we meet in local bands and totally dig that everyone is creating something different. Pittsburgh is a town of working class kind of people. The only downside is that myself and a lot of these artists seem to work dead end jobs that take our focus away from doing what we truly love. I witness a lot of local bands playing mostly in Pittsburgh. Nothing wrong with that but I think everyone would benefit out there in the industry if we’d all quit our day jobs and just focus on our art and music. It’s difficult to tour these days, especially without a label and no tour support, hence the reason I’m a sad ol’ bag of bones. I believe the more the artists buddy up and collaborate, the more we grow. My goal is to record and produce more local artists and help put us all on the map n’at.

J123: What would you like to see change about Pittsburgh pizza shops?

Well I’m gonna come straight out and say it. Only a handful seem to actually be passionate about the pizza pie. The pizza pie is a beautiful thing, a real love affair. I wish more pizza joints were passionate. I have a lot of love for the ones that are. May I also include that Cory and I participated in The First Annual Greater Pittsburgh Pizza Cruise with about 18 other brave men. If there’s one thing I know, it’s a good pizza. I wanna give some shot outs and name some favorites… Frankstown Wood-Fired Pizza, Mineo’s, Vincent’s, Fiori’s, and Aiello’s.

J123: Favorite place to buy records in Pittsburgh?

I think the Attic is probably my go to spot. They always hook me up there and I normally find more hard to find stuff there, but Jerry’s is wonderful too. The Attic is great for this reason…I was in search of this Pittsburgh record “Work Out” by Michael Clark, so I left the shop after a couple purchases.. 2 minutes later I was around the block and Fred Jr. calls me and says “Hey bud, I dug out a copy of ‘Work Out'” I drove back and snagged it. That’s the kind of thing that makes a man fall in love. But yeah, the Fred’s, & Jerry.. we’re lucky to have guys like that here. Go buy some wax from them.

J123: Alright, you gotta answer this, no BS.. What is your favorite Beatles song? You gotta pick just one, don’t duck me, bro’s.

Aw, why you gotta do that? Well, if I really have to pick one that moves me every time it’s probably “Golden Slumbers”. If I had to guess about the other mates I’d say Cory seems to fancy the 1965 era, whereas Mario favors the 1966 era, and you already know Jonathan is into the zany 1967 “Magical Mystery Tour” era.

J123: Which do you hate worse, Sq. Hill tunnel traffic, or Fort Pitt?

Fort Pitt, I don’t like the feng shui of that part of town, people drive worse over there.

J123: Favorite Pittsburgh watering hole?

Well in all honesty I don’t get too cozy at bars, so my favorite water hole would have to be Linn Run in Ligonier. That place is the closest thing to heaven an hour from the Burgh. The air is so fresh by the stream and the pine scent is soul cleansing.

J123: And last, and most important, what do you think is gonna happen on Breaking Bad next season?

This is certainly the most important. In Season 5…I think Walt is going move to Pittsburgh and start a doom metal band. Man…I seriously don’t know! Breaking Bad is such brilliant, genius, insane shit, I’m not even on that level to be entitled to have a guess. That series ruined TV for me, nothing comes close.


Last, but not least, Jesse from Bear Cub with their pick – Gypsy And His Band Of Ghosts

KS: What makes this band stick out from others on the local scene. We’ve got some great talent here in Pittsburgh. What separates your pick from the rest of the pack?

We’ve played a couple of shows with them and I’ve been more impressed each time with how great they are live. I love bands that pull it off live, and they certainly do.

KS: What is your (or your band’s) relationship with your pick?

I’ve known Diego for several years and have enjoyed anything he’s done musically, he’s in another band called Spontaneo. Diego introduced me to lead singer/songwriter Giuseppe a while back and I was blown away by the songs he was writing. They recently recorded their debut album with my father, Buddy Hall, at Beacon Hill Recording Studio.

KS: If you could offer your pick one piece of advice for navigating the local music circuit, what would it be?

Write as many songs as you can, as an exercise everyday if possible, and they’ll keep getting better. Go to as many local shows as possible and get to know the bands personally that you’re enjoying. Set up shows with those bands and share your fans.

Stay tuned for next month’s installment of our ambassador’s picks. We hope you enjoyed the first edition! If so, leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts!

3 Responses to Introducing: Iron City Sound Ambassadors' Pick of the Month

  1. Pingback: Pick of The Month « Dreamjobmusic's Blog

  2. Pingback: Bear Cub’s New Years Eve-Eve Show | NakYouOut

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