Brent Michael, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent
Venue: The Orpheum, Ybor City – Cute Is What We Aim For
The band is very political, but a straight reading of what they say (and put on their T-shirts) might not give it away – nor give away who they support, unless you’re astute enough to figure it out. “Make America Cute Again” could just be a play on words, but the band’s frontman – and consistent driving force through several line-up changes over their 12-year history, Shaant Hacikyan, made it perfectly clear that he disapproved of people who thought things were true just because the guy on stage was shouting it at them, and even more so of voting on that basis. Influences listed as “Anyone who encourages thought” should tell you that their fellow New Yorker hasn’t found favor with them. The current line-up includes Shaant and original members Jeff Czum (guitar, backing vocals) , and Tom Falcone (drums). Seth Van Dusen (bass guitar) joined in 2014. Currently on tour with We the Kings, Plaid Brixx, and Brightside, they’re next scheduled to be in the UK for the Slam Dunk Festival. See their website for the most up-to-date info.
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When not in custody, I've been involved with music, photography, and writing my entire life. Ever since I was a young boy and played those silver tunes, I've had the beat, but being a drummer didn't suit me so I became a lead singer, which lasted a few years. Settling down, sort of, I translated my knowledge of audio and glib tongue into mobile emcee work, and my training as a photographer and videographer into a living in the wedding, party, bar/bat mitzvah, and entertainment industry. During this time I also managed to bamboozle my way into a master's degree in writing, worked for a couple of magazines (yes, I took photos for a nudist magazine!), have photographed hotels, done commercial work (shot the cover of Tablet and Capsule magazine), published a few articles, hosted some public access shows (a couple times in drag, but that's another story), and generally made a nuisance of myself until I landed here.
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