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Monthly Roundup: What was on repeat this February at The MIC?

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

Welcome to The MIC's Monthly Roundup, where you can see what we've had on repeat all month long!

Hunter Guzenski:

This month, The MIC featured our very first, Musician of the Month: Hunter Guzenski! This month, The MIC featured our very first, Musician of the Month: Hunter Guzenski! Hunter Guzenski has been on his musical journey for over 15 years. Before even learning how to play the guitar, he was determined to write songs. Throughout the years, Guzenski has gone through many iterations of his musical style and goals. After aiming to be a strong player with solos and fancy riffs, he realized his true strengths lie in songwriting and storytelling. This style is evident in his latest record Lady of the Lake, with his band Steam Enginess leading him to more emotionally cathartic songs. Read more about Hunter Guzenski here! Listen to Steam Enginess' Lady of the Lake:


Jack Powers:

Jack Powers is a Montclair State University student dedicated to indie rock-ing. Jack Powers started writing music in 2019 and shortly after formed "The Petal Tones" made up of entirely music majors! Late last year, they released their EP Jack Flowers and The Petal Tones, and this February, they came On The MIC to give us us an exclusive live performance of one of the tracks off that record! Jack Powers performs their track "She's In My Head," which he explains "was the first song [he] wrote. It's about how exciting and also terrifying the pre-dating stage of a relationship can be. No matter what your doubts are, you can't really get that person out of your head once they are there." Read more about Jack Powers here and here! Watch Jack Powers On The MIC:


Sounds on the Couch:

Karen Harding is a singer-songwriter who is just as passionate about independent and emerging artists as we are! The MIC was thrilled to have the opportunity to sit down and chat about her this month about her latest Sounds on the Couch project, "Independent Discovery (Volume 1)'! This compilation album features a wide range of genres and artists, from divine&acajou to Madi Leeds and Tillerman Pete. Karen explains, "There is something so special about the memory of compilations growing up that goes so far beyond a playlist or listening to a track on its own. It's the experience of going through a whole album and not knowing what you're going to discover. I think it's a great way to discover more of the independent music scene, and I'm really excited that it's come to life." Read more about Independent Discovery (Volume 1) here! Listen to Independent Discovery (Volume 1):


Missy Alvarez:

This month, we celebrated Valentine's Day in a big way. Not only with our amazing V-day cards but also with another holiday On The MIC episode! Not only was it our first Valentine's Day episode, but it was also our very first fully instrumental On The MIC episode! We featured Missy Alvarez, a music educator, clarinetist, and composer. Missy performed the classic "My Funny Valentine" because she said, "I've always had a soft spot for this jazz standard. The melody seems to over-romanticize, while the lyrics reveal the reality of authentic love. My favorite versions of this tune are by Chet Baker and Ella Fitzgerald." Read more about Missy Alvarez here!

Watch Missy Alvarez On The MIC:


Brenda Carsey:

This month, we sat down with Los Angeles-based Brenda Carsey just released her much-anticipated album, Cognizance. Stef had the excellent opportunity to chat with Brenda about her writing, recording, and release journey to the final product, Cognizance! The album covers a range of subjects, from public shootings to love, partying, and the experience of being a woman. She ran a successful Indiegogo campaign which allowed her to fund her journey of creating the album and printing vinyl and t-shirts. She also released two music videos for the record, with a third on the way! This album is incredibly well-written and produced. Read more Brenda Carsey's Cognizance here and watch her On The MIC episode! Listen to Cognizance:



The Emergencies originated in one of the most unexpected locations: a graveyard in Jersey City. Made up of members Lindsay Sanchez (vocals, bass, keys) and Brendon Masters (guitar, keys), Emergencies bring a fun energy to their alt-dance music. This month they came On The MIC to perform this upcoming but currently *unreleased* track, "Queen"! The track originated from Brendon, who had a guitar progression and 'metallic' drum beat for years. Three years later, Lindsay discovered it, and the demo title inspired her, as she imagined it was like, "Pursuing this kind of relationship is potentially life-changing and would "kill" the person you were before it. Once that theme was worked out, the song was completed in a few hours. And that's "Queen.""Read more about the Emergencies here!

Watch Emergencies On The MIC:


The Brothers Union:

Four-piece indie-alt outfit from Monmouth County, NJ, The Brothers Union, comprises two real brothers, one lifelong friend, and a guitarist.This month, the group came On The MIC to play "Mirror in the Woods" off their full-length concept album, Esoteric, which covers existentialism, love, and life's mysteries. The track is "about life passing you by intensely, and by the time you know it time will be up for us all. Time is not on our side, and that there is more to what meets the human eye. (Volume 1)'! Just trying to do the best I can in this incarnation. "Circling down again" in the chorus refers to what if we keep coming back as ourselves over and over or as something else." -The Brothers Union Read more about The Brothers Union here! Watch The Brothers Union On The MIC:


Other Fun Things The MIC Did In February:

Rihanna's Super Bowl Stunner: Shattering Glass Ceilings and Challenging Expectations:

The Super Bowl was a speck on the radar compared to Rihanna's grand comeback to music and her first solo performance in seven years. Music fans all over the country were waiting on February 12th for the Rihanna Concert, as it has been so aptly referred to. Since her announcement, fans have been excited about the performance and what she could surprise us with. And as always, she did not disappoint.

LONG STORY SHORT: Rihanna is rewriting history; she did not need a man or otherwise to lean on during her performance. She proved a woman, a pregnant woman, is capable of anything. She can wear what she wants, sings the songs she wants, and does not have to listen to anybody's expectations of who she should be or what she should do. Although fans are eager for a new album, that doesn't seem to be on the horizon anytime soon; either way, everyone will be patiently waiting.

Read the full article here!


Why Playlist as a Low-Budget Independent Artist?:

Okay, so you're an independent artist trying to make it and trying to make ends meet. You're working on little to no budget, but you need to get your music heard. What better than getting your music on popular playlists? It seems like a no-brainer, right? But what if playlisting costs money?

LONG STORY SHORT: Playlisting is good. Playlist Push is a great service, and you can get 7.5% off your first campaign with our code 'EQYVLWD.' Why playlist?

(1) they have user-generated and 'vibe' playlists, (2) playlisting boosts your algorithm and song streams (3) can work like dominoes and eventually get placed on a big or editorial playlist, (4) it helps you find new fans and more listeners! Read the full article here!


YouTube Shorts!

Akie Bermiss with Lake Street Dive 2/5/2023:

Akie Bermiss of Lake Street Dive captivated the audience of the NJPAC in Newark, NJ with his "Shower Song." One of the final stops of Lake Street Dive's 'Gather Round Sounds Tour'!

The Avett Brothers 10/5/2019:

Seth Avett and The Avett Brothers rocks out to their track "Bleeding White" at the Barclays Center in New York City October 5, 2019!

Thanks for seeing what we've been up to and listening to in February; stay tuned for March!


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