Members Christina Stock – As a one-woman act, I play guitar and sometimes keys. Yet, my upcoming album has 10 people featured, so you never know what you’ll get for a bigger live show!
Years Active Songwriting, 10 years. Performing, 3 years.
Upcoming Release “In Due Time” (my first album!)
Current Album on Repeat Fiona Apple – “Fetch the Bolt Cutters”
Best Wings in Buffalo Gabe’s Gate, no contest.
Biggest Inspiration Regina Spektor
What do you think is the biggest lesson we can all take away from this experience?
I think that the biggest lesson that we can take from “the pandemic,” thus far, is that money isn’t everything. When you’re forced to stay home, cook dinner, and communicate virtually, it really puts into perspective how much of the “outside world” revolves around blowing your money. Yeah, I will be going out when this is over, believe me! But in the meantime, I’ve been trying to reflect on what really matters—the safety, happiness, and health of the people that I love. Aside from that, everything else is a bonus.
Are you working on anything new / specific at the moment?
With my spring tour postponed and recording put on “pause,” I’ve been delving into more experimental performance pieces and really embracing my roots in poetry. Time at home means time to organize and reflect… so I’ve been re-opening the floodgates from my Fredonia years. My Creative Writing advisor would always tell us to keep “creative” notebooks for each semester (no homework or to-do lists!), so I’ve been revisiting those moments from my past—reflecting, then editing with a fresh perspective. I’m hoping to craft my old poems and scribbled lyrics into something new and unique. I’ve been really into Kate Tempest (and Fiona!) lately, and have been playing around with some minimalist synth and drum beats behind long-form poems. I have no idea where this project will take me from here – at home, surrounded by cluttered notebooks and post-its – but I’m really excited to start incorporating poetry into my music and performance art.
What would you consider your favorite local show experience?
In 2019, I made it a point to accept every gig request. Foolish, to some, but I was searching for my place in the city’s music scene. I ended up playing over 20 venues—from the Broadway Market to sweaty punk basements, from Hostel Buffalo-Niagara to Karpeles Manuscript Museum. As tiring as it sometimes was, the people planning and attending each and every show made the effort worthwhile.
That being said, the best show I’ve ever played was “Toon Down with Kerry Fey” at Pine Apple Company. The venue was intimate, the walls were covered in local art, the refreshments were local, the staff had vested interest in the venue and event atmosphere… but what truly struck me about Kerry’s events was the crowd. They listened – actively, often silently – throughout three 45-minute showcases of acoustic songwriters. It was incredible.
Kerry Fey, as the host, set the tone for everything that I value in my own events—creating a unique and safe setting for performers to express their art and for audiences to engage with it.
That show was the first time that I truly felt like an original artist. I played my songs in chronological order, set the stage for my life at the time, and really opened up to the vulnerability within my music. Two people told me after the “Toon Down” showcase that they cried during my set and, honestly, that’s the greatest compliment I can fathom.
What does Buffalo have to offer aspiring musicians?
Some people hate on the Buffalo music scene but, honestly, Buffalo has the ideal environment for aspiring musicians. Our venues don’t tend to be “exclusive,” so newcomers have a fighting chance for gigs. More importantly, most performers aren’t cold or competitive. We really want to see each other thrive. I’ve always been amazed by the amount of support that our “scene” provides for musicians of all experience levels.
As I’m straddling the lines of “aspiring” and “experienced,” I really try my best to host events that help up-and-coming artists form connections. Open mics were such a huge step to help me get my name out there (shout out to Bobby Angel for his years at Tutor and Alley Cat!) and now, I try to pay it forward to people that deserve a wider audience.
Bottom line, we are the City of Good Neighbors, and that translates to the music scene. The mutual support that I see among original artists has me convinced that this is the perfect city to kick off your music career.
Top 5 favorite Buffalo bands/artists?
Over & Out, Space Cubs, Tortoise Forest, Oats Holy Roller, Timothy Alice and the Dead Star Band
What has your recording experience been like?
It has been wild recording my album with so many musical guests… I think when Jason (Flower House Records) offered to take it on, he was assuming it would have an acoustic singer/songwriter vibe. Turns out, I’ve got 10 musical guests for this project. One even sending her parts from Chicago! He’s been great about it, though, and it’s been a blast working with him.
It’s been so much fun to have my friends in and out of the studio over the past few months. I’m just really honored that so many talented people were willing to be a part of it. The process, for me, is to put down some simple chords with a focus on lyrics. The accompaniment has really taken it to the next level. In the future, I may resort to more lo-fi solo stuff. But, for my first album, I really hope to take people away from the dark bars that I usually play in. I want to shine light on the lyrics I’ve been developing. It’s ten years in the making, after all.
What are the ingredients to a thriving music scene?
Ideally, a “scene” boils down to a conglomerate of shows or events that attract a reoccurring crowd. That crowd gets to know the musicians, artists, and each other in the process, and they keep coming back for more. A community like that can’t be created overnight. An effective “scene” grows and adapts over time—step by step, show by show.Audience and atmosphere are, in my opinion, the most important elements of a thriving “scene.”
At the base level, I’m fascinated by what makes an event memorable—what helps a show really flow for a performer, what allows a crowd truly let their guard down… The audience size doesn’t matter. What matters is how effectively you can reach the people who are listening.
As far as our role as artists… I think that collaboration is crucial. My “dream scene” would provide a truly different show every time. We would cultivate fun, safe, and unique spaces that are decked out in local art—from live painting to creative set designs, mixed media projections… shows would feature impromptu musical guests, covering each other’s songs even. Think, “Hey, so-and-so is here with us and featured on my last record, come on up and play a couple!”
We’re all working together and supporting each other as it is, so why do our shows and events seem so formal? These microcosms of amazing original art already exist, as do their unique audiences… It’s just a matter of blending them together to create memorable show experiences that keep people coming back for more. Invite the audience into your living room, hell, let ‘em help you make up the lyrics.
The more we connect with each other – artistically and otherwise – the stronger the Buffalo “scene” will be.