April 29, 2010

If you want to enjoy a day of hanging out with friends, camping and some great local music, there is a local festival that is just for you going down this weekend.

Domefest is a local College Park based music festival that has been planned to bring together the local music- loving community.   The first annual Domefest will be taking place this Saturday, May 1 at The Domes of Beltsville, a beautiful location that is located just 15 minutes away from College Park and 30 minutes from Baltimore and D.C. 

Domefest is sponsored by NORML Terps, Maryland Music Business Society, Terrapin Sound and other groups and radio stations based out of the University of Maryland College Park.  The festival was planned in a collective effort by Jeremy Schon, guitarist for Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, and Ben Curwin, keyboardist for Fivestock.  Schon and Curwin have been planning the event for a few months and are real excited about the event and the location.

“The idea for Domefest came together when our two bands were booked for a Hungry For Music (a local music-oriented non-profit) Halloween concert at the festival site,” Schon said.  “As soon as we saw the property we knew something had to be done there and immediately began talking with the property owner about setting up our own festival for the spring. The site is called ‘The Domes of Beltsville’ so our obvious initial reaction was DOMEFEST.”

Domefest will feature the music and jams from a group of talented local bands and DJs including: Basshound, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Fivestock, The Flying Eyes, Lion Turf, Vasudeva, The Rez, Soohan and DJ Iggz. People in the College Park area have been hyping up the festival, and Schon is very hopeful that the first Domefest will be a success.

“We’re expecting an excellent turnout for the festival. There has been a lot of buzz going around the local music community, and people seem really excited about the event,” Schon said.  “However, due to the limited capacity and the more intimate nature of our festival, we strongly encourage people to buy their tickets in advance.We are very excited for this Saturday, and we hope to make Domefest an annual or semi-annual event.”

Domesfest will open its gates at 2p.m. and music will start soon after at 3.  Tickets are only $16, and you can order them through the event’s website. Domefest will be a day of clean friendly vibes backed by some of the best local bands in the area.


Meet Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

March 11, 2010

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong always brings the party. That’s what they do, and they do great job performing that task.  Based out of College Park, Md., Pigeons has been rocking the local music scene since 2007, performing over 50 shows from basement parties to Byrd Stadium, Maryland Terrapin’s football stadium.

Pigeons is comprised of Jeremy Schon, guitar/vocals, Dan Schwartz, drums, Greg Ormont, vocals/guitar and Ben Carrey, bass. Fresh off of recording a new demo, FUNK E P, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong is working hard on building their fan base and elevating their jazz-rock sound to new heights.

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong performs at the 8x10.

Check out my conversation with drummer Dan Schwartz about the origin of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong and other features about this great local band.

Q: When and how did Pigeons Playing Ping Pong form?

A: Pigeons formed in the fall of 2007 when I agreed to jam with Greg/Jeremy, who were already doing the acoustic thing. We needed a place to jam, and Jeremy knew Ben from freshman year, so we all loaded our equipment into his house and he jammed with us and the connection was made.

Q: What is the reasoning behind your band name?

A: The name is based on an actual BF Skinner science psychology experiment on using a reward system to train pigeons to play ping pong. Plus, it’s highly marketable and sweet alliteration.

Q:What are some of Pigeon’s biggest influences?

A: Our top influences right now include Lotus, Phish, Soulive, New Deal, New Mastersounds, Perpetual Groove and the entire 90’s rock genre.

Q: How would you describe your band’s sound?

A: Funk/Rock/Jazz/Dance band that Jams. We don’t want to be pigeon-holed (pun intended) as a Jam Band.

Q: What has been your biggest show to date? What made that show so special to your band?

A: Our biggest show was our CD release party in February at the Santa Fe Cafe. The night was sold out and the energy was incredible. It was a culmination of a lot of hard work we put into the album and a lot of word of mouth buzz we generated. It was great seeing all our friends get into it.

Q: You guys just finished recording your demo FUNK E P. How was the recording process?

A: We recorded the entire album as a live instrumental take in one night at WMUC studios courtesy of engineer Ilia Kobrinsky. Then, Jeremy overdubbed crucial guitar parts and solo’s and Greg did his vocals over the instrumentals. Ilia then mixed and mastered the album over the next week or so. “Couldn’t We All” started with a beat I had made on Reason.

Q: Where do you hope to see Pigeons Playing Ping in a few years?

A: Our goal is to play All Good 2011, and Madison Square Garden 2012. You gotta have big hopes.

Q: Any tips and advice for local bands through your experiences to date?

A: Develop your sound. Master your craft. Then, learn the ins and outs of the business and use your creativity to make your presence known on a local level. Most of all, make sure you can have fun doing what your doing, because once people see you’re into it, it becomes infectious.

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong will be rocking the 8×10 next Thursday, March 25.  If you want to dance and have a good time, Pigeons is the band to see. Support this awesome local band.