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Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"“I will not call it a rock show. Or pop show. Or alternative show. I will call it an eye-opener.”"

The duo from Los Angeles that goes by the wonderfully phonetic name Elemenopy returns for its third annual holiday homecoming jam at 10 p.m. Friday at Meghan MacMurphy's, 7990 Route 57, Liverpool.

I will not call it a rock show. Or pop show. Or alternative show.

I will call it an eye-opener.

Liverpool natives Nick Liberatore and Joel Rutkowski sent me their interesting DVD. It's title is their motto: "Effing the Genre Police."

The simple explanation is that Rutkowski and Liberatore can't stand people who try to pigeonhole their music into one small corner of the music world.

Watch them with their original work on the DVD, and they do things their way. (I'll write a full review of the DVD come January.)

The pair stack the stage with numerous instruments, percussive and otherwise, and wander around playing whatever they want.

"I guess the main thing that people always notice is that it's a two-piece band with such a full sound," says Rutkowski during a recent phone interview. "The most frequent comment we get is, 'Wow.' We trade off. We use different effects. We take a guitar, we loop it, we're running around onstage, passing instruments to each other. It's vaudevillian.

"We use water jugs, cooking instruments. Cookie sheets. We've been known to use chairs. Different things to beat on," he says.

Liberatore was known in Syracuse for his drum work with Elisha Delios and Sean Grimes in Anodyne. Then he was in This Afternoon. He kept in touch with Rutkowski because both been in the garage band The Mood Circle.

A year after Rutkowski had moved to L.A. to pursue film -- his major at Ithaca College -- he convinced Liberatore to go west.

"Once I got up the nerve, it started out as a singer-songwriter thing," Liberatore says. "As we realized we could bring more and more to the stage, we found we could bring out more musical ideas from our heads. I picked up a guitar along the way and wrote songs."

Their L.A. success includes a year-long residency for weekly performances at an underground club called the Unknown Theater.

They think it's time for more.

"I think our ultimate goal is to keep evolving musically," Liberatore says.

"We'll still do it indie," Rutkowski says. "But we want to make enough to pay for the gas and the van. Go on tour and have it funded. Record and have it funded. Whatever that means in cyberworld." - The Post Standard

"“A warm, friendly, lively and energetic rock duo described as "Simon and Garfunkel meets The Smashing Pumpkins". Their performance was a combination of "vaudeville” and “Everyman” with musicians Nick and Joel sharing equally all the instruments like two l"

HOLLYWOOD, CA, September 22, 2009 One of our Hollywood landmarks, the famous and infamous Boardners, a snug little bar that has endured for nearly 70 years, was the venue for the “Rockin’ Out for a Cure” Concert - a very special event. Held in the charmingly eccentric patio with huge old trees creating a canopy and a lovely Moorish tiled fountain from another era, this evening couldn’t have been more of the moment. All kinds of music, all kinds of great treats available at a silent auction, and all kinds of people with everyone there with a common cause – raising money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society with all proceeds going to support the fight against blood cancers. We may be living in a recession, but most blood cancers still aren’t. ROCKIN’ OUT FOR A CURE was hosted by renowned stand-up comedian Steve Mazan, who has appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and most recently on The Late Show with David Letterman. It included amazing bands and performers from the Los Angeles area that have a huge fan following. All the performers donated their time and talent for the cause, and to add to the casual fun of the evening, the audience had an opportunity to vote for their favorite bands by donating money into special ballot boxes in a friendly competition. The band with the most money in their box at the end of the night was the winner of this battle of the bands. All of the money earned through the voting will be donated in the winning band’s name to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The bands for the evening ranged from alternative to rap that were so diverse there was music for all tastes. Opening the show was Fiction Nation, a Silver Lake band, which set the tone of the evening with its riveting combination of alternative, Industrial, and new wave. Following them was Elemenopy (pronounced LMNOP), a warm, friendly, lively and energetic rock duo described as "Simon and Garfunkel meets The Smashing Pumpkins". Their performance was a combination of "vaudeville” and “Everyman” with musicians Nick and Joel sharing equally all the instruments like two little kids playing a very accomplished game of one-upmanship. We caught our breath next with Joe Con, who uses the tag “the word made fresh”. He worked alone with his guitar and harmonica backed only by his buddy on the “cajon” literally – sitting on and playing a small rectangular wooden box that is indigenous to Peru. Joe took us through a series of journeys with his lyrics and then gave us a different taste of his work by intensely rapping an original song. Considering Con is originally from the bluegrass covered hills of Kentucky, he smoothly combines Hip-hop while staying true to his country roots. Dizzylilacs was a three piece power band without the garage band sound. Each of the members contributes completely different influences which is the success of their original sound. The influences range from rock to jazz. In turn, the final product is straight ahead, melodic/indie rock, providing an emotional psychosis and powerful and creating an energetic performance. The final band was Julie the Band whose style is fervent indie rock performed with the passion of the band’s namesake spitfire. The story of how they got their name speaks volumes about the kind of music they play. Lifelong friends and Los Angeles residents, vocalist Nathan Blumenfeld-James and guitarist, Dustin Bath found themselves walking out of a nightclub where a petite woman was being restrained by her friends from trying to ‘beat up’ the bouncer. “Julie… Julie” they said “Let’s just go home.” As her friends walked toward the car, Julie ran back toward the bouncer and got a hit in. “That fearless nature – that was what we had in our music,” says Dustin. “To be known for being fearless in the face of such odds was why we named the band Julie.”
Being fearless in the face of such odds was the undercurrent and purpose of this entire event. The evening is just a small sample of the dedication of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) members of the Team in Training Program to raise awareness and funds for their lifesaving mission to cure Leukemia, Lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and Myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. So far as an organization, LLS and Team in Training have raised over 850 million dollars. The goal is to reach one billion by the year end. With evenings like this which combine funding and fun for such noble causes, it seems that the ongoing work, which is so difficult to continue in these difficult times, will continue to gain momentum with the light glowing more brightly at the end of an ever shortening tunnel. - LA Performing Arts Examiner

"“Part rock concert, part vaudevillian spectacle and part extreme sports event, ELEMENOPY shows are intense adrenaline fueled adventures for the band and its audience alike. Two guys making a huge intense dynamically shifting sound. Switching dramatically "

Part rock concert, part vaudevillian spectacle and part extreme sports event ELEMENOPY shows are intense adrenaline fueled adventures for the band and it’s audience alike. Joel Rutkowski & Nick Liberatore (originally from Syracuse, NY) amaze those seeing them for the first time: two guys making a huge intense dynamically shifting sound. Switching dramatically between Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Drum Kit, Keyboard, Congas, Hand drum, Bass… the guys use whatever will work for each song in their thrill-ride paced sets.
Their songs range from huge explosive epics to intimate confessional ballads, and they refuse to limit their sonic choices preferring to live up to their motto: “Ef The Genre Police!”.

New CD: The Sound That Thursday Built (titled in tribute to their long-term residency at the now closed Unknown Theater… and all the tremendous support from their fans). The record comes out swinging with One Act Tragedy : pounding percussion and pulsating bass setting the stage for shifting layers of wide acoustic guitar landscapes and punchy crunchy guitars and a constantly varying dynamic level in service to a melody that embodies the often used description of the band “Simon and Garfunkel meets The Smashing Pumpkins”. Big brutal rock tracks like Getting Smaller stand side by side with gentle pools of calm like Chicken Little and peppy pop tunes like A Ghost of Rebecca. Strong melodies, tight multiple harmonies, kicking percussion and big guitars are all over the 13 tracks. So go here and get the record because as the website says:”All items are unconditionally guaranteed to ROCK YOUR ASS OFF. If any items fail to do so and you are not completely satisfied, then Joel and/or Nick will personally come to your home and surgically remove your ass for you! “ - DTLA Buzz

"“The founding members (well only members) of Elemenopy, Joel Rutkowski and Nick Liberatore, are like kids who are never satisfied with their instruments. In the middle of a song they will loop their sound, switch guitars, drums, keyboards, or really whate"

Deep in the heart of Los Angeles' theater district, after all the patrons have gone home, there is a lot of rock 'n' roll going on. Surprised? I was too. Specifically, one evening a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of stopping by the Unknown Theater after hours. This is where Elemenopy hold court every other Thursday. With a motto like "F the genre police," Elemenopy that is a band that will play what they like when they like. Their catchy melodies and funny lyrics reminded me strongly of They Might Be Giants or the Barenaked Ladies. But what is more exciting is the way they perform.

The founding members (well only members) of Elemenopy Joel Rutkowski and Nick Liberatore are like kids who are never satisfied with their instruments. In the middle of a song they will loop their sound switch guitars, drums, keyboards, or really whatever is handy, therefore creating a new song. I saw Andrew Bird use a similar technique, but his was very strict, where as Elemenopy is wild and fancy free. Each show from them is different. The night ended with a giant drum off from with three drummers from the audience. It was incredible. Joel and Nick were kind enough to speak with me this weekend:

So you guys are from Syracuse, what made you move out here?

Joel: Well, I came out here to pursue film, which is what I studied in school. Nick and I have known each other since high school. We did the whole garage band thing. We’ve been playing with each other for years. Eventually I decided to do something more realistic…like film. (laughs) But after a year I managed to convince Nick to move out here and try the music thing again.

What do you think of the music scene out here? Did you feel embraced by the community or more like you had to prove yourselves?

Joel: I don’t think I’d call it a welcoming mat. Not because of other musicians but because of the way the music business is structured out here. Especially with the clubs out here, you know, the pay to play people. Or the club owners who ask, “Well how many people can you draw?”

Jesus, do you guys have to like fill out applications to play at a club?

Nick: Almost. There seems to be this unspoken rule where if you can’t draw people then you can’t play. But when you first move out here, and you don’t know anyone, then how can you get a draw if you don’t play somewhere?

If you could change anything about the music industry what would it be?

Nick: Record labels should hire people based on the creativity and the energy and the originality of the band, you know, instead of looking at it as a commodity. I mean, they have to it’s a business, obviously, but from the artistic standpoint you want to be appreciated for what you do, not how much money you make.

Joel: I mean real talent is rarely rewarded in the music scene anyway. A certain fashion sense or a style…

Yeah, or a certain sound gets really popular and suddenly there are five bands who all sound the same because that’s what sells.

Nick: Exactly!

So how did you guys decide on your style of performing?

Joel: Well when Elemenopy first started it was just Nick and I on guitars, like sort of a singer-songwriter outfit. It was just two guys on acoustics, but it slowly started to build. One night we would bring bongos to a show and the tambourine, just to get some rhythm. It was a gradual process, a few years in the making, but I started buying foot pedals. Originally we were trying to form a full band with a bass player, you know, a typical band, but the more and more we started playing just the two of us with the looping and the effects the more songs started to form. We started having a lot of fun with that too. It keeps us interested. You know you’re less likely to get jaded and get sick of playing the same song you were playing last night. It keeps us involved in our own music. You know you could have four guys play one song perfectly, but it’s a really easy way to get bored with your own stuff.

Do you like playing the guitar better or the drums?

Joel: Well, I know how to play guitar better than I do the drums. We always say that I’m the guitarists who can play a little bit of drums and Nick is the drummer that plays a little bit of guitar. But you know for the sake of the song or for the sake of ourselves, we’ll switch it up.

When did you first realize that this was what you wanted to do?

Nick: Oh man, since always. I’ve always been obsessed with music. I mean if I like a band, I will go out and get every album they’ve done, every side project and solo project. You know I actually got grounded from playing the drums when I was a teenager and that’s when I picked up the guitar.

Joel: I picked up the guitar in middle school. I just did what many, many teenage boys have done before me, saw a guy on tv with a guitar and thought, “Wow, I wanna play guitar.” Maybe it’s a puberty thing. You grow some armpit hair and then all of a sudden you’re holding a guitar. (laughs).

Is it eas - LAist

"“Elemenopy is nothing short of an experience rather than just a live performance. Seeing them play should be right up there with bungee jumping and waking up naked in your neighbor’s front lawn after a night of heavy drinking as things you need to do befo"

As the curtains fall in the small theater -- about 50 seats in five rows -- the audience stands with a roar of cheers and applauds. The cast, whose number could fit in the palm of your hand, comes out from backstage to absorb the gratitude one last time. After the audience settles, they begin to file out, row by row, but not to go home; just a short trip to the lounge where an open bar awaits and a new crowd fills the couches lined against the opposing wall. The main event has yet to even set up.

Even though a major reason why the Unknown Theater is being kept alive by its caretaker is to hold small, independently run plays, it isn’t the only reason. Independent artists, ranging from musicians to slam poets to circus performers grace the stage most nights and try to keep the nonprofit theater afloat as well.The bar is stacked with free domestic beer -- although donations are highly recommended -- and the decorated area is quite unique; with glamorous belt buckles encased on the wall across from the bar, and candles positioned on the tables that, along with the couple of chairs and couch, create a gate that separates this sitting area from the populated bar.Joel Rutkowski, one-half of the headlining band Elemenopy, modifies the lounge area into an up-close-and-personal live performance for the opening act, Lindsey Nadolski, who tunes her guitar in the not-so-quiet corner of the room. Nadolski is a native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina and for the past couple of years has spent most of her time stationed in the Central New York area. Other Central New Yorkers have congealed in the small Los Angeles theater, as word got out that Nadolski, as well as Syracuse natives Elemenopy, were performing. Nadolski walks to the mic as a round of applauds moves through the venue.Her small stature doesn’t match how strong her voice carries around the small area. There are a few people gathered around her, and she smiles in their direction as she delivers light-hearted lyrics along with strong acoustic riffs. People just arriving move toward the lounge area, following the folk guitar patterns with a hint of a southern melody in Nadolski’s rendition of Spoon’s “I Turn My Camera On,” sandwiched in between various original tunes.A few songs follow before Nadolski takes a breather to chat with the audience, which has doubled since she started. She introduces Jesse Wakeman, a fellow East Coaster, to join her in a cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “Come to Me.” Wakeman took lead vocals on this one while Nadolski harmonized along with her. Wakeman’s dynamic voice kept even the people she strolled in with in awe, as she kept a similar vocal range as Raitt but gave a more bluesy vibe with a country twinge.After another collaborative effort from the two strong winded ladies, the small, personable crowd asked for an encore, and so Nadolski finished with an original solo piece that caused anyone with a significant other present to look over to him or her as if to say “This one’s for you.”

Giving sincere thanks to Joel Rutkowski and Nick Liberatore, otherwise known as Elemenopy, for the opportunity to perform, Nadolski leaves the area and joins the embracing crowd. The migration then begins into the theater where the headliners are already set on stage, waiting to take back the night.The crowd eventually floods the aisles with a mess of ages, from established business men to drunk college kids. The two Syracuse natives wait for the crowd to settle. Rutkowski stands at the mic with his guitar while Liberatore sits patiently at his drums. Various other instruments are scattered across the stage, along with cables and pedals and even a Hello Kitty doll that rests innocently on the bass drum. The scenery is still set up from the play earlier; a cluttered office with stacked boxes and metal cabinets everywhere.The set starts with a unique rendition of “Happy Birthday,”directed at yours truly who had recently turned the ripe age of 21 just a week prior. It didn’t gain them any brownie points, and the rest of the act exemplified why they didn’t need any.After that treasure, the duo went into an original track called “A Ghost of Rebecca,” a teenage heartbreak at its best; straying away from cliché pop-punk whining and keeping with their unique sound on an all too close to home subject. Even though the band prides itself on unique covers that usually end up in a medley of sorts, the Elemenopy originals can easily hold their own, as does “A Ghost of Rebecca.”While transitioning from song to song, the friendly banter between the two friends keeps the crowd connected to the show. They quickly move into a Beatles medley called “Sgt. Walrus” and had jaws dropping throughout the venue.They start with “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club;” a harder and faster version of the original, with lights flashing as the bass drum kicks. Resembling the epic instrumentals of The Mars Volta, Joel rips away at his guitar, using the hundreds of pedals (that may be an exagge - Imprint Magazine


"SGT. WALRUS'S WESTWARD JOURNEY" showcases a keen pop eye reminiscent of another pretty cool twosome, Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood of Fountains of Wayne. On "STARS FADE," they observe, "She says the boy in which I sense the hunger is the one that's most becoming." Now that's a love song. On "GOD IS A FUNNY GUY," they declare "God didn't give me a good voice, but he filled my head up with a million songs." Keep letting those songs out, fellows. And don't be so humble about your admirable singing voices.

Mark Bialczak, Music Critic - Syracuse Post Standard - Syracuse Post Standard


“So many bands are in such a rush and force the music down your throat. This song is nicely broken up, and the jam in the middle really makes this song stand out from the rest I have heard. The band also sounds young and that scares me. We may all be out of jobs if this is what we're up against. I can't wait to see you live and tell everyone I heard you here first!”
-MORE THAN MARSHMALLOWS - Reviewed by: tokyolovecash from Minneapolis, Minnesota

“You guys have a lot of spirit, and I can tell you have just as much respect for great bands from 40 years ago as you do for great bands out right now. I'm not catching the elitist feeling I get from most people trying to sound as pop or as rockin' as they can. You guys are definitely using your potential without overextension.”
-MORE THAN MARSHMALLOWS - Reviewed by: cheddarfreak from San Francisco, California

“I never thought I'd hear a song that was a good cross between Third Eye Blind and the Violent Femmes, yet still interesting and original. This song has so much appeal (read: commercial potential). The drummer is insane, and the vocal has a ton of emotional punch.”
-GOD IS A FUNNY GUY - Reviewed by: KillarneyStar from Gainesville, Florida

“An emotive song - from the simple raw but well perfected guitar strumming to the incredible enchanting orchestration of the strings to the crying second vocal of the lady to the laid back but exacting melody of the lead vocal male. It's just nice.”
-20 YEARS - Reviewed by: cjdenecia from Rockledge, Florida
- GarageBand.com


"Whoa. That's probably the best thing we've ever played! That song kicks ass!"

Comment from show host John W. Brill regarding MORE THAN MARSHMALLOWS - HeSaidSheSaidPodcast.com


"Sgt Walrus's Westward Journey" EP 2005
"The Sound That Thursday Built" CD 2010




A highly energetic rock duo described as "Simon and Garfunkel meets The Smashing Pumpkins", these two multi instrumentalists blend the subtlety of singer-songwriter intimacy and passion, with the aggression and fun spirit of rock star theatrics, to create an unexpectedly fresh and dynamic genre-bending sound. Their live performance has been called "vaudevillian," "intense," and "inspiring," and is like no two-person act you've ever seen before... Nick and Joel generate a completely unique and intense full band sound by rotating through a myriad of instruments onstage (including Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Bass, Drum Kit, Keyboard, Congas, Hand drums & other percussion, etc.) and by utilizing multiple effects and looping. New audiences are inevitably left shocked and dumbfounded after ELEMENOPY leaves the stage, consistently voicing their amazement that "all that sound came from just two guys!" And devoted fans always return to see "what they will do next," as Nick and Joel are never satisfied to play the same show twice and they always have something new and exciting to unveil.