Founded by Joe Steinhardt and Zach Gajewski in 2003, Don Giovanni Records focuses on the New York/New Jersey indie scene while supporting and working with female-fronted bands and plenty of LGBT artists. Among the 60-plus artists who have released albums through Don Giovanni Records, feature many genres going from punk to hip-hop, pop-rock, and even comedy, and with one of the most diverse and inclusive rosters around, Don Giovanni artists have always been very vocal about plenty of social issues. Don Giovanni Records has even its own indie music festival with the mission to provide an ‘alternative to music released and distributed by three multi-national corporations,’ an ‘alternative to music festivals as branded experience for millennial males,’ an ‘alternative to music steeped in sexism, racism and homophobia,’ an ‘alternative to corporately managed bands,’ an ‘alternative to music as a commodity,’ and an ‘alternative to corporately run music festivals.’
If you missed Don Giovanni marathon concert, ‘Live at Home’, last week, there is still plenty of time to check the 20 bands which played almost all day long on Monday. The performances are now archived on the label’s YouTube channel, in several separate 30-minute long videos.
Working like a mini-festival in your bedroom, the original lineup was the following: Nato Coles, Dusk, Izzy True, La Neve, Painted Zeros, Paisley Fields, Teenage Halloween, Fat Tony, Lee Bains III, Jeffrey Lewis, Evan Greer, Amy Klein, Downtown Boys, Noun, Bad Moves, She/Her/Hers, Mikey Erg, DJ Haram of 700 Bliss, Erica Freas, Worriers, Sammus
I watched just a few of the performances to have a taste of the very long event: Ex-Washington, D.C. Bad Moves gave a sample of their new record with some high-energy melodic pop-punk songs taking inspiration from power pop and executed with an upbeat and profound conviction. Ex-Titus Andronicus Amy Klein played a distorted and fuzzy guitar with a dark sensibility and high-pitched vocals. Dusk’s Julia performed a few songs on piano with her powerhouse and a certain sense of humor, as well as a few of her own. The Asbury Park-based Teenage Halloween had interesting and personal pop songs with catchy melodies sung with raucous vocals while the singer announced they had just signed with Don Giovanni Records.
Worriers’ Lauren Denitzio rocked her songs which were showcasing her beautiful Dolores O’Riordan timbre, while Ph.D. rapper Sammus executed her rap songs with plenty of enthusiasm over a tape of her own beats. Noun was none other than Screaming Females’ frontwoman Marissa Paternoster doing a solo thing with her incomparable shredding and howling style, and the always very political Downtown Boys raged with that angry howl about white supremacy, police brutality, racism and capitalism from their own cozy home studio, while even reworking a famous Pretenders song.
Of course, all these performances pf ‘Live at Home’ are stripped down to one or sometimes two people, but their intimacy allows us to appreciate all these artists in a simple setting till we can see on stage soon.
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