Welcome to the Kasbah blog. Check in daily for the scoop on whose performing, what artists are showing in the gallery and special edition interviews and happenings!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Hi! The Kasbah celebrated it's one year anniversay this evening with a huge party! The lineup was awesome! Starting the night off was Strum Diesel, a  really great member of the Kasbah family. His set rocked, as usual, the crowd gathering throughout his performance. Following Strum was SweetLilly Pinelli. If you have not heard Sweet yet, you should, her name perfectly suits her musical style and voice. She gave us a lovely hour of entertainment. She passed the stage over to Phemie Alcott at the top of the hour. Phemie shared her beautiful voice and cool originals with us. Her final song on piano was enough to melt anyones heart. Up next was Rara Destiny, the very first performer to take the Kasbah stage one year ago! She led us through the hour with her sexy, soulful voice and adorable personality. Harper Messmer was waiting in the wings as Rara finished up her final song. Harper, also a longtime regular here at The Kasbah, was true to form, singing in his relaxed style. His gentle tone and easy manner were a pleasing addition to the evenings festivities. At 9pm Maximillion Kleene began his set. Max, one of Kasbah's favorite players, gave us some beautiful music before inviting Harper and Raspbury Rearwin to join him on stage. The three talented musicians entertained us with their adorable banter and incredible musical abilities. The sim was packed, everyone who is anyone was here for the triple stream! Their renditions of "Chasing Cars" and "Hallelujah" were enough to make you fall in love. When the triple stream ended, Raspbury continued for the rest of his hour. Rasp, a regular at the Kasbah was in rare form, still on a high from the triple stream. LizAday Solo, another member of the Kasbah family, finished off the night with her strong vocals and sparkling personality. The night was sponsored by Scruplz Magazine and free t-shirts and party packs were given out to all! We at Kasbah would like to thank everyone for coming to the celebration and for making this past year something special!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tessa Chats with Maximillion Kleene

  Have you ever just sat back and I love my job? I did this evening. I had the opportunity to speak with one of SL's most well known and loved musicians, Maximillion Kleene! I know right?  I learned a lot about Max tonight, and I can't wait to share it with you.

    We met at The Audio Union and after a brief tour we sat down to chat. Max has been performing in SL for close to three years, and I was curious how the music scene had changed since his early days. He told me that he thinks the biggest change is the size, saying, "Basically the whole scene has grown exponentially." We talked about how, when he began performing, the entire music scene was one big community; that it was easy to get the buzz going about a new artist, but that now, as the scene has grown, there are different groups of musicians and fans that may not intersect. "New artists have a harder time growing their fan base, if I were to have come in now rather than 3 years ago, I doubt I would have the following I do." Max explained how there are so many more musicians and even types of musicians hitting SL, and that he thought it was really great to be part of such a growing community.

     One of the things that I think sets Max apart from some of the other SL musicians is his vast repertoire of songs. I asked him how he goes about choosing a song, what goes into deciding whether to add it to his list or not. He said he gets a lot of suggestions for songs from his fans and he tries to check each one out. He also hears them on the radio or T.V.  "It's kind of how the song makes me feel, happy, sad, has to catch me and I think about if I would want to play it or not." I was curious what his current favorite songs to perform are right now and he said, "Starry, Starry Night"" and Hey Soul Sister", both very new to his set list.

     While we were talking about songs and performing I asked Max if he had anything new in the works here in SL. I was excited to hear that he is making plans to resurrect The Zone, a live music venue he ran awhile back! He said, "It's just time, you know...everyone has that place, that happy place to go and relax, could be here, RL or even in your head, that zone where you feel good" He is looking forward to working on it, finding the time to obsess over it and make it just right.

     Speaking of finding time, Max has been spending a lot of his time at SL music jams. I wanted to know what it was like for him there, and what keeps him going back. He shared with me that to him, it's about the music and meeting the people he considers his friends. He loves the energy, how the music just builds, and how everyone is just so happy to be there. "It's just....FUN!" He will be attending the South Carolina Jam this month and I was curious where he would most like to go for a future jam. "Buffalo!" Max told me that he and another SL'er have been in talks to do a jam in Buffalo, N.Y. next year, because it's close to home and easy to get to, so keep an ear out for news about that jam coming soon!

      When he isn't going to SL meet ups he is in world performing. One of the many shows he does is at The Kasbah. I happen to know that Max has a soft spot for the venue, so I asked him about it. He was kind enough to tell me that he likes the feel of it there, the people, the hosts; he said that when you go there, you just know it's going to be a fun night. He also mentioned how much he enjoys being part of an awesome lineup of musicians, spouting names such as Raspbury Rearwin, Harper Messmer and Edward Kyomoon to name a few.

      If you have ever been to a Max Kleene show, at the Kasbah, or anywhere the first thing you notice is the crowd. Max has a huge group of fans, and a good portion of those fans go to his shows faithfully. I asked him how he felt about having so many people feel they know him, care for him...Max's voice changed, became softer, as he said, "People connect through music, I love that they feel so close to me, that’s part of why I go to meet ups, why I speak about my life during sets." He spoke about getting used to seeing the same names at the shows and how he makes a point of trying to get to know those people. "I'm a live music fan as well as a musician and I love hanging out after my shows to listen to the next performer and to get to know the people who come to see me."
     I realized that the time for his next set was quickly approaching so I asked Max my standard question...Do you have anything you would like to say to your friends and fans before we close? Max said..."Oh man, that's a good one" there was a long silence, to the point where I thought perhaps I had lost sound, then..."speechless" and in that one word I heard all the emotion, all the gratitude he felt for the people that have made his SL so special. Sometimes there just are no words that can adequately express ones feelings and for Max, this was one of those times. We sat there for another moment, quietly reflecting. It was a well spent 90 minutes, a chat I hope you enjoyed reading about as much as I enjoyed having. That's all for now, until next time...Tessa1 Beck

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tessa Chats with Raspbury Rearwin

   Hey Kasbah! How's it Goin? It's time for another installment of Tessa Chat's With.....and this time, it's Raspbury Rearwin! We sat down in my livingroom today to have a chat about SL music and the Raspinator himself. I was really excited because those of you that know Raspbury know, he is full of questions...but today, it was MY turn!
    My first question was simple, I wanted to know how long Raspbury had been on SL before he began performing. He told me he had been here around 5 months before he even knew there was a live music scene! His first experience came at the hands of Keiko Takamura, a great SL musician. Rasp was hooked and began using search to find more music. It was at least another month before he would stream his own music and even then it was on a friends lawn just for fun. Despite the numerous offers, Rasp didn't actually book his first show til he had been in world 9 or 10 months. I asked him if he also performed in RL and he let me know that while he does go to the occasional open mic, the bulk of his performing is on SL. He performs on SL as a hobby, to have fun.."If it wasn't fun, I wouldn't do it"  
         Raspbury does a lot of originals during his shows, and many of them are collaborations between him and other awesome SL musicians. I was curious to learn more about how it all works and his take on it. We talked about how sometimes words come to him, ideas for songs that might not fit him per se, so he might send them off to one of his friends to see if it clicks with them. He has co written songs with Mimi Carpenter and Amforte to name just a few. He said that sometimes it's just him goofing off and the song writes itself. He told me how he and Amforte were just talking, messing around playing music and he started singing what he called an "Amf" song....she came back later and said..."Hey I finished that song we started"...she had loved it...Took it Away can be heard by both of them during sets...
       I recalled hearing both Raspbury and AMFORTE perform the song together and it made me wonder about dual streaming, so I asked Rasp who he would like to dual stream with next. He said he would like to do more dual streaming with a lot of people, has feelers out, but the one he thinks he would most like to dual with is Rara Destiny. They have played together in the past and feels that their voices and styles blend well together. We talked about how he hounded Rara to learn a certain song and how well it turned out. He said he likes to make covers of songs interesting, to take them in a different direction. "Music in itself is a universal language." he said, and followed with "I love to take something familiar, change it, and then perform it  totally out of context" You never know what you might hear at one of his shows....but you know it will be fun!
      Speaking of fun...I thought it would be fun to tease Rasp a bit so I asked him why people call him the SOUND NAZI! He laughed and said Rara gave him that nickname. He isn't afraid to tell someone if their sound is off, because he thinks it only helps people get better. You can often find Rasp in someones IM box helping to fix their sound. We talked about how for the most part the musicians in SL have formed a very supportive community and he is proud to be a part of it. "SL does nothing to promote the live music aspect so we as performers have an obligation to promote each other" Rasp does his part by volunteering his time to new musicians to tweak their sound and by giving shout outs to the musicians in the audience at his shows.
      For those of you that don't know, Kasbah has a birthday coming up, and Raspbury will be performing for the celebration. I asked him for a few thoughts on Kasbah and he had lots to say! "I often don't play more than once in a place, but Kasbah is different" He mentioned how great the crowds are there, how he likes to be the last act, getting the carry over guests from previous shows. He told me how great he thinks it is that Kasbah is now on the Studio Genre sim, mixing art and music for a unique experience. "It's really cool because you can park there for the night, knowing it's going to be 4 hours of quality music" He also mentioned that he felt the shows were well run and organized and how friendly the staff is to work with too.
      TIme was running short, but I had to ask Rasp about his fans. He has this extremely strong and loyal core of fans that come to every show. They will fight til the death for him....believe me, I have seen them do it....and I was curious how he felt about it. He said he thinks it's because he doesn't look at his performances as shows, more like..."Hey, I wanna play, you wanna listen? that's when it's fun."  Rasp explained to me that he shares a lot of himself during his sets, doesn't matter if it is a 30 strong group or an intimate concert of 2 or 3, he chats  about his life between songs and that he really feels like he is hanging out with his friends rather than performing. He told me that he is amazed by the support from his friends, fans and the music community in general and wanted to thank everyone for making SL what it is for him. I asked if he had a message for his fans and he said..."thanks again and next time, when you are scanning search, pick a name you have never seen before and go catch a few might be surprised! It was great fun to talk with Raspbury, check out his weekly gig at Kasbah! That's all for now, Tessa1 Beck

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Loegan's Log

Hey folks,  Kasbah is celebrating it’s one  year anniversary on July 21st and you are all invited!  We have a great lineup in place and our friends at SCRUPLZ magazine is sponsoring the event.  So come on down and Rock the Kasbah’s Anniversary bash!

We’ve gathered together your favorite Kasbah musicians
4pm  Strum Diesel
5pm  SweetLilly Pinelli
6pm  Phemie Alcott
7pm  Rara Destiny
8pm  Harper Messmer
9pm  Maximillion Kleene
10pm Raspbury Rearwin
11pm JordanReyne Deezul

It’s sure to be a great nigh that you don’t want to miss.  We hope to have a surprise or two along the way.

Check back for more info soon,
Loegan Magic

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tessa Chats with Van Caerndow

  Hello Kasbah Friends and Family. Today I was given the opportunity to meet with one of Studio Genre's featured artists, Van Caerndow. His show at Kasbah will begin July 10th in the upper gallery. We decided to have our chat in his space at Studio Genre. It was a fun experience listening to Van talk about his artwork as it surrounded us. Van is originally from New York, but came to Illinois for college. That was some 40 years ago and he now resides in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. Before he began his painting career he owned and operated a record store. He did all the advertising himself, always the artist. When the record store closed, he was inspired to begin painting, using small strips of 2 inch by 10 inch pieces of glass as his canvas. He used Pebeo glass paint to create scenes for a renaissance fair he was working. He was surprised that people liked them and he actually did ok selling them.  He eventually began working with different sizes of glass, creating paintings of mythology, medieval scenes and eventually old west themes. That first year he did 150 paintings!

    Van shared with me that he actually came to SL for the sole purpose of showing his artwork. Friends of his suggested he try it out, and he cautiously logged in. He began by doing some role playing and asking people how he could go about bringing his art in-world. While here in SL he happened upon the article about Filthy Fluno, another SL artist, in the New York Times. He again began asking around and was given the information on how to bring his works here and how to display them. He even learned how to scan and printout his glassworks on watercolor paper to make them any size he wanted. He had been in SL for about 7 months when he began painting portraits of avatars, the bulk of his SL work now.

     I was camming around a little as we talked, and I was curious to know what influenced him in his art. I learned so much! Van is very influenced by Van Gogh, and yes, that is the inspiration for his avatars name. He has used several of Van Gogh's paintings as a starting point, even using the same couple from a famous painting in several of his own! He told me he likes creating paintings that tell a story, and that he needs to feel moved by something before he paints it. He likes action in his art, and hopes when people see his paintings they can see the story he is trying to convey.... "even with portraits, I try to get to know the person, spend time with them before I begin painting them" Van was so sincere as he spoke about his desire to create art that pushes him to get better and satisfies what others want to see as well. I asked what his current favorite was and though he had several the one that stuck with me was one called ‘Ed is Dead.’ He enjoys painting so much and you can tell in his work. In Ed is Dead, you have to really study the painting to get all that he has included....even down to a painting within a painting the size of a postage stamp!

     Van was excited about his upcoming and current shows and projects. In RL he has some of his SL portraits displayed in a hair salon. Each avie is sporting wild hair and getting great reviews from customers! In SL he has his own gallery, will be showing at Kasbah starting today and has an upcoming project that sounded intriguing. He will be painting portraits of ten SL artists, hopefully including, Filthy Fluno, Fuschia Nightfire, littleone Aries, Rowan Argus, Genevieve Silvercloud, Rag Randt and a few more, and they will in turn paint his portrait. The 20 paintings will be displayed as a series coming hopefully before the end of the year.

    The gallery was proving to be enticing, so I asked Van for the full tour. I was impressed by the detail in his works and we stopped to chat about several of the paintings. I especially liked the one he did of a Unicorn....there are so many I could mention, but I think the best thing is to check them out for yourself. As we came to the top of his gallery I noticed the sim around us. Studio Genre is a very unique place and I asked Van his thoughts about it. "I was impressed" he said, "when Gen and Jacobo first came to me about showing there, I had no gallery, nowhere to show my art full time. I thought it sounded tremendous! It feels like a family here." I was touched by how open and friendly Van was, and how much he truly appreciated what SL and his friends here have given him. I said goodbye to Van and before I tp'd out took a last look at some of my favorite pieces. It's not surprising that he has 7 commisioned works currently and has even sold some of his SL paintings in RL.  It was pleasure learning about this artist and his works. That’s all for now; until next time, Tessa1 Beck.