For the latest installment of its Starbucks Live Music series, the Lawrenceville campus is getting a little taste of the New York music scene.
Two artists — The King Left, based in Brooklyn, and Patent Pending, a semi-famous band hailing from Long Island — will perform acoustic sets at the Student Recreation Center (SRC) this Saturday night in the SEC-sponsored event.
Members from both bands have admitted that playing a quieter set will be a challenge. After all, rock bands don’t play quietly. Just ask Graham Rothenberg, drummer for The King Left.
“We’re usually like a rock ’n’ roll band; we’re loud,” he said. “[But] this show is going to be a new experience. It’s going to be very different.”
Patent Pending’s Joe Ragosta, who plays guitar, agrees. Ragosta hinted that Patent Pending has a few surprises up its sleeve for the acoustic show.
“College shows are always amazing,” Ragosta said. “It’s good to go and play with kids our age. [Acoustic shows are] not something that we normally do, but we have some surprises, including a cover of Kid Rock and Sheryl Crowe’s ‘Picture.’”
So where did these New York bands get their start? Both started out where any good success story should begin: in college. The King Left began when the lead singer, Corey Oliver, volunteered to help out a friend’s video project, Rothenberg said.
“We went to Ithaca College and our friend was doing a music video for his senior thesis,” he said. “He heard our lead singer had written this song and he wanted to use the song for his project, but there was no band.”
After The King Left finished recording and performing the song, the band members decided to try the music scene “for real,” Rothenberg said.
Patent Pending began in 2000 thanks to the efforts of Ragosta, who was attending college on a hockey scholarship until a broken ankle ended his career. Ragosta taught himself how to play guitar “to keep myself from going crazy,” and soon after, forming a band became a serious venture.
“We were always serious about it,” he said. “The first two years we would tour backyards; we tried to build a following here in Long Island. We booked our own tours across the country for two years.”
The band has earned its place playing at the Van’s Warped Tour and has even performed alongside Gym Class Heroes, who are set to appear at Rider in little more than a week.
Both The King Left and Patent Pending describe themselves as rock bands. Ragosta refers to Patent Pending as “a pop-rock party” according to Rothenberg, The King Left sounds similar to Modest Mouse and Franz Ferdinand. Either way, both bands are anticipating this weekend’s performance.
“My favorite part of live performing is the interaction with the crowd,” Rothenberg said.
Ragosta also loves the feeling of connecting with fans.
“Traveling far away and meeting people who already know the words to your songs is cool,” he said. “There are really no rules; you sort of just freak out.”
For more information on these Starbucks Live Music artists, visit The King Left at http://www.myspace.com/thekingleft and Patent Pending at http://www.myspace.patentpending