Show Review: Midday Records, 95.5 WBRU, & Naragansett Beer Presents: The Sweet Release, The Skinny Millionaires, The Brother Kite, & The Morgana Phase at Mardi Gras in Cranston, RI

95.5 WBRULast night (Friday, April 18) was another fantastic night celebrating local music for Midday Records, 95.5 WBRU, Narragansett Beer, and Mardi Gras MultiClub Presents: The Sweet Release, The Skinny Millionaires, The Brother Kite, & The Morgana Phase at Mardi Gras in Cranston, RI

The Sweet ReleaseThe Sweat Release kicked off the night and we can say that everything you have been hearing about The Sweet Release is true. Musically, they borrow from 70’s punk, hard rock, and some classic rock. Frontman, Austin Sheridan is a combination of Mick Jagger and Iggy Pop with a dash of GG Allin (without all the self-mutilation, defecation, and beating up fans). And we don’t say that lightly. Austin brings the sex, controversy and provocation, and one hell of a performance. When you see them you’ll either get it or you won’t. You’ll either love them or hate them. There is no in between.

10259706_844689025548644_5054199807491904484_nUp next were The Skinny Millionaires. Anyone who saw Mike O’Donnell play an acoustic set at The Midday Social and were expecting a similar sound with some drums, as we were, were in for a surprise. Mike gave an amazing performance at The Social but the full band brought more of a punk rock element to the table. They describe themselves as folk rock n roll and while their is plenty of rock there is also plenty of good old fashion punk. Especially in how they approach their backing vocals and harmonies. Pure bliss.

The Brother KiteThings shifted gears when The Brother Kite took the stage. Incredibly tight and absolutely beautiful. Last time we saw them was over at Fete Ballroom in Providence, RI opening for Civil Twilight. They’ve been around for some time and are just one of those bands that capture the beauty of local, independent music. Their sound is ethereal at times and rhythmic at others. As a musician watching other acts you often unintentionally zone in on the strengths as well as the weaknesses. There were no weaknesses. These guys are damn near flawless. Interesting and beautiful guitar work, extremely tight rhythm section, and vocals with harmonies that were spot on. I heard elements of Arcade Fire, Death Cab, and even some Cure (good Cure) in the lead lines of some of their older material.


The Morgana Phase95.5 WBRU were up last. These guys pull from post-hardcore with some punk/emo. It was definitely evident before they covered a Taking Back Sunday song that they were heavily influenced by them and bands like Brand New. They gave a very energetic performance, engaging the crowd and getting every last person in the venue up on their feet. Could not have asked for a better closing to the night

The great thing about events like this, other than the performances, is hanging out and getting to know artists. We spent much of the night hanging with Mike O’Donnell of The Skinny Millionaires, a man who is as sincere as he is polarizing at times. And while we won’t go into details, we want to publicly give props to The Sweet Release for their willingness to step up and do whatever it took to make the night a success and run smoothly.

The Brother Kite, Skinny Millionaires, The Morgana Phase, The Sweet ReleaseThanks to the BRU crew for coming out and giving away some great swag and for their continued support of local artists. Also, thanks to 95.5 WBRU and Narragansett Beer for sponsoring the event and their help promoting. Thanks to Mardi Gras for hosting these events and allowing Midday to bring in local artists. Also, thanks to our friends from Providence Night Out,, Downcity Armory, and The October Accord for constantly coming out to support local artists and our events.

Perform At The Midday Social: Get To Know The Artists

Check out our interviews with the 6 artists in the upcoming “Perform at The Midday Social” competition for a “Get to Know the Artists” segment. 6 questions for the 6 bands; Echoes of Petra, The October Accord, Downcity Armory, Weld Square, Escape Pod, & Most Dangerous Men Alive.

Jump To The Interviews:
Echoes of Petra
The October Accord
Downcity Armory
Weld Square
Escape Pod
Most Dangerous Men Alive

The Midday Social You can catch all these bands this Friday, January 24 at The Met in Pawtucket, RI. (Doors at 7:00. All ages. 10 bucks. Click here for the event page.) They’ll be competing for our judges: Mike Delehanty, talent buyer for Lupo’s and The Met; Marc Clarkin, music journalist for Motif Magazine, and Brian Manfredi, Senior Account Executive at 95.5 WBRU for a chance to perform at the next Midday Social. The Midday Social is one of New England’s fastest growing music related networking events. Held quarterly by Midday Records at Platforms in Providence, RI, we fill the room with the area’s top promoters, venues, radio stations, publication, etc. for a night of networking. The event is always free and open to all genres. For more details click here.

Downcity Armory

Midday Records sits down with Todd Bowes of Downcity Armory for a “Get to Know the Artists” feature. Downcity Armory will be competing on Friday, January 24 at The Met in Pawtucket, RI for a chance to perform at the next Midday Social.

Midday Records: Lets start with the basics. Can you tell us a little bit about the band and the story behind the name, “Downcity Armory“?

Downcity ArmoryDowncity Armory: Downcity Armory started as just a solo project while I was in between tours with my previous group. Eventually I finished the songs with producer Phil Petrie and put them on Bandcamp. That was the end, until people actually liked it and started asking me to perform live. Now we’re playing shows, rehearsing new material; I really never expected it to go even this far. I chose the name Downcity Armory for two reasons: the downtown area of Providence, where I live, is called Downcity and that had a nice ring to it. I love the city and wanted to represent it. The “armory” part comes from a sociopolitical concept of the individual, their voice and their creativity, as a weapon against injustice. Your choice to speak out makes you a weapon.

MDR: You’re currently working on a new album, what can we expect in terms of sound and message?

DCA: We were working on “Workhorse/Firehorse” a double EP, with the former consisting of all aggressive, hard industrial tunes, the latter a more catchy, hooky, electrorock album. An early critic, albeit an appreciative one, noted that we had two sides to our sound, and wanted us to pick one. I just decided to make two EPs and give the people a choice. While most of the songs will continue our efforts to point out injustice and corporate fealty, some of the songs get a narrower focus on more timely topics, like the whole NSA wiretapping scandal, and women’s issues.

MDR: You’ve mentioned that any proceeds the band takes in go to charity. Can you go further into detail about this? Which charities and why have you chosen this path for the project?

DCA: Back in the day, people used not to think twice about spending money on music. Buying tapes and CDs was just how you got music. Sure you heard songs on the radio and on friends’ mixtapes but eventually you wound up at the record store. The internet changed all that. But instead of lament it, I’d rather give people another incentive to spend their money on music. Charity seemed like a good idea. Besides, you can’t really go around saying things like “real social welfare is corporate dependence” and then hog all your merch money. Of course, that’s just a personal decision, mind you. We would never discriminate against another band who worked hard and played hard and then decided to keep the dough they made! Bands are good causes too!

Anyway, last year we supported two charities: Free Geek Providence and Rosie’s Place, with donations culled from fans who spent money on our music. Free Geek because they help the less fortunate get computers and get online; you’d be surprised by how many people are not wired into the web. Computers are creative tools too; we use them to make art and music, not just send emails and watch videos. We supported Rosie’s Place when we released our single “Girls Love Digital” because they’re a women’s shelter who do a great job servicing their community, and our song was designed to be an anthem for women. We plan on continuing to work with more charities and non-profits in 2014, so please, download some songs or order a t-shirt. We don’t keep a dime.

MDR: Which of your songs do you enjoy playing live the most?

Downcity ArmoryDCA: All our tunes really fire me up, but these days, “Private Army” seems to be the band favorite. I also love the live response our latest single “Girls Love Digital” has gotten from fans.

MDR: You’ll be competing for a chance to perform at The Midday Social, have you attended a Midday Social in the past or worked with Midday Records prior to this event? If so, what was the experience like for you?

DCA: Downcity Armory wouldn’t even be here right now if it weren’t for the Midday Social. The ability to make face-to-face connections with all the people in the biz who seemed mythically unreachable before, and are now suddenly ground-level and excited to meet you, has made all the difference in the trajectory of DCA. We’ve represented at every Midday Social so far and will continue to do so. We also appeared on the Midday Records charity compilation for OneFund Boston. Despite the tragic circumstances surrounding that release, we were excited to be a part of it, and appreciate Midday Records’ history of giving to causes.

MDR: What can we expect to see in this upcoming year from the band?

DCA: The double EP, and more shows. We plan on busting out and getting to some other major cities to spread our sound around and get more people involved. 2014 is the Year of the Horse according to the Chinese zodiac, and we plan on making it a memorable one.