Staples of the Albany rock scene, The VeLMAs have been voted the Capital Region’s “Best Alternative Band” and “Best Rock Band” in 2006, 2007, and 2009 (Metroland).
The VeLMAs have shared the stage with numerous acts, including Soul Asylum, Collective Soul, Everclear, moe., Tally Hall, The X’s, Winger, Vertical Horizon, Richard Lloyd, Samantha Ronson, and Shaw Blades (members of Styx, Night Ranger, and Damn Yankees).
Their debut album Another Day At School was followed by Recess, a 10-song “double EP” featuring new studio tracks, as well as several live tracks. Recess included the song "Restless, Restless," which was selected out of thousands of entries as one of the top 20 finalists on Howard Stern's much-publicized "Restless, Restless" contest. The song was also included on a compilation album called "The Best of Restless, Restless" with other top entries, including those from William Shatner and Robert Goulet.
Following Recess, Station was released on City Canyons Records. Station was recorded at Robby Takac's (Goo Goo Dolls) Chameleon West Studios in Buffalo, NY. Two digital-only singles, "Playground" and "Wait", were released by City Canyons in 2009.
The VeLMAs track “Clue”, from their debut album Another Day At School, is featured on the soundtrack for the Xbox LIVE® video game NLL Lacrosse, which was released in Spring 2010.
Mike "Harvey" Grosshandler - Vocals, Guitar
Todd "Figaro" Minnick - Vocals, Bass Guitar
Michael "Bruce" Bruce - Vocals, Drums
*Another Day At School (2002)
*Recess (Double EP) (2004)
*Station - (2006)
*"Playground" single (2009)
*"Wait" single (2009)
*Best of 2004 (Compilation CD from LakeFxRadio.com) - (2004) (features "Sun" by The Velmas)
*Music Is Art 2005 (Live Compilation CD) - (2005) - (features "One More Day" by The Velmas)
*The Best of Restless, Restless (Volume 1) - (2005) - (features The Velmas)
*Twenty Stories Below (A Tribute to Blind Melon) - (2006) - (features "New Life" by The Velmas)
Tell Her I Love Her
One More Day
Forever With Me (Emily's Song)
Out of the Hole
Awesome and Refreshing
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Kicking it with The Velmas Three-man band "The Velmas" have been big in the Albany scene for the ...Kicking it with The Velmas
Three-man band "The Velmas" have been big in the Albany scene for the last few years, even scoring an award for best alternative band of 2006 from Metroland. They've got a new CD out, "Station," with 13 great tracks, including a cover of Lionel Richie's "Hello."
Their music has a strong alternative vein, with a little bit of punk thrown in. Somehow they manage to have a genuine sound, despite being in such a packed genre. This is probably due to the fact they don't stick to a set vibe. Each song has a feel that distinctly matches its lyrics and sets a mood to the sound. They don't try and stretch their words to fit their band's "sound." They avoid the formulas and go for their own brand of originality.
The band's influences show up at unexpected times in their music. In "Past Tense," there is a decidedly anti-social twist and a dark, deliberate sound reminiscent of Nirvana. "Would It Matter" is more like a journey from The Red Hot Chili Peppers into the realm of Primus. In short, their music has an awesome and refreshing old-school essence that makes it almost familiar listening after the first time.
The Velmas now have three albums including "Station." They've been signed by City Canyons Records and their music is available on iTunes for the discerning iPod owners among us.
Overall, the band has a winning sound. They play to the crowds, they play for themselves, and they generally play around.
#1 Alternative Band
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March 2006 - The Velmas were voted #1 Best Alternative Band by readers of Metroland (www.metroland....March 2006 - The Velmas were voted #1 Best Alternative Band by readers of Metroland (www.metroland.net).
"A Velmas show" was also given a nod as a "Best Time to be Had for Under $10".
In addition, Velmas guitarist/singer Mike "Harvey" Grosshandler and Velmas bassist "Figaro" were both voted "Best Local Celebrity With Whom You'd Like to Have a One-Night Stand" in the Metroland Readers' Picks 2006.
Hook laden songs, top notch vocals
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This is a modern rock record with a large slice of power pop. The Velmas possess both goofy nickname...This is a modern rock record with a large slice of power pop. The Velmas possess both goofy nicknames (the three singer-songwriters are Todd "Figaro" Minnick, bass/vocals; Michael "Bruce" Bruce, drums/vocals; and Mike "Harvey" Grosshandler, guitars/keyboards/vocals) and hook-laden songs. Some songs sound as if they'd fit alt-rock play lists, with pummeling drums and white-hot guitars. The vocals are top-notch, and there's a playful, punky twist to some of the tunes, like "Midnight" and "Out There." There's also a speedy cover of Lionel Richie's "Hello" to close out the set. Check the Web site if local merchants don't have it! Ask locally, or shop online at www.citycanyons.com.
Great Modern Rock
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Good news for regional rock...yet another band has been signed to an honest-to-goodness label. The V...Good news for regional rock...yet another band has been signed to an honest-to-goodness label. The Velmas, who hail from points just south of our coverage area but are certainly familiar to fans of local original rock, signed on the dotted line with indie label City Canyons Records and just finished the first album of the deal. Titled "Station," the record is full of why the "proof is in the pudding."
This rock trio writes great songs...in the vein of modern rock like Pearl Jam, The Shins, and the kinds of bands fitting the intellectually stimulating middle-of-the-road genre. I like it. You can see The Velmas at almost any regional club that hosts good live music...if they book rock, The Velmas have played there. For more info: www.TheVelmas.com.
Best Rock and Alternative Band
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Readers of Metroland, in their 2007 Readers' Picks, select The Velmas as the #2 Best Local Alternati...Readers of Metroland, in their 2007 Readers' Picks, select The Velmas as the #2 Best Local Alternative Band AND the #2 Best Local Rock Band.
Velmas guitarist/singer Mike "Harvey" Grosshandler, and Velmas bassist/singer Figaro are both voted "Best Local Celebrities With Whom You'd Like to Have a One-Night Stand".
Grosshandler was also selected "Best Local Producer" and "#2 Best Local Solo Musician".
Top 15 Albums of 2006!
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STATION finishes ahead of some great albums to take the #15 spot on the list of top albums of 2006 a...STATION finishes ahead of some great albums to take the #15 spot on the list of top albums of 2006 at Rkstar.com.
The Velmas in the Charts
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November 2006 - "Station", The Velmas' first release on City Canyons Records debuts at #27 on the ch...November 2006 - "Station", The Velmas' first release on City Canyons Records debuts at #27 on the charts on KCWU 88.1 in Ellensburg, WA for the week of 9/26/06 - 10/03/06.
Station has received airplay on over 120 radio stations across the US and Canada, with more stations adding the album each week.
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"The Velmas are a band with balls. While most rock bands stand complacent and refuse to show any pr..."The Velmas are a band with balls. While most rock bands stand complacent and refuse to show any progress, the Velmas are already taking chances and mixing musical influences. There is a definite and easily found chemistry at work within the trio, allowing the musicians to try things that other bands shy away from... I am looking forward to hearing more!"
Top 10 of 2005
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January 2006 - Crumbs Radio (www.crumbs.net) selects the song "Silenced" from The Velmas as #2 in it...January 2006 - Crumbs Radio (www.crumbs.net) selects the song "Silenced" from The Velmas as #2 in its Top 10 Tracks of 2005 list.
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May 2004 - The Velmas were selected by readers of Albany2Go.com in their Best of The Capital Region ...May 2004 - The Velmas were selected by readers of Albany2Go.com in their Best of The Capital Region 2004 Poll as the #2 "Best Development on Local Arts Scene".
Set lists vary depending on show/venue. The Velmas have over 25 original songs, and that list is growing. The Velmas perform original music "showcase" type shows, as well as primarily cover music shows, with original music played throughout those as well, as appropriate.
The Velmas have a repertoire of a couple hundred cover songs of rock and pop-rock material mainly from the 80s and 90s, which gives them the ability to vary their set lists for the cover-heavy shows.
A typical original show can be 30-90 minutes or longer, with The Velmas often performing much longer shows of 2 or 3 sets of 45-90 minutes of music each.
The Velmas also perform as an acoustic duo, with the drummer and guitar player (Mike "Harvey" Grosshandler and Michael "Bruce" Bruce) both taking up acoustic guitars and/or percussion and both singing.
Mike Grosshandler also performs as a solo acoustic act.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.