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"Bonnie Milner"

As I sit in the control room of this warm, comfort...
As I sit in the control room of this warm, comfortable, overcoat of a recording studio, the band critique I'm about to write is that of no idle musing. In my over thirty years experience at Long View (a place name of some of the headiest musical genius ever digitized or laid to tape), the Philadelphia-based, rock/hip hop band, GrindCity, is one for our age, and beyond.Here last summer, writing and recording in the barn studio, five remarkable artists, led by a prophet named, J-O, and extraordinarily seconded by Gabby, his lead guitar virtuoso, my mind was sent reeling to some of rock's great pairings… Steven and Joe, Mick and Keith, Vernon and Corey, Ozzie and Geezer… J-O and Gab. They are the point and counter-point, the magnetic poles of a sphere, two of a force that grabs you, shakes you and makes you glad for the experience.

This chemistry is not by design but by organic evolution, by magnets sewn into the linings of their souls, these two off-set and interject into a conversation that extends beyond mere music. They are brothers who fight and love and understand the yin and yang of life's music through which they help us sense what lies on the other side of the moon.

It would be a sad mistake to let the rapidly aging moniker of "hip hop" color who and what you think GrindCity is all about. Their songs are not a warmed-over reiteration of the all too common stories of struggles in the community. We've seen, heard and lived that and longed for more. "More" comes in the form of GrindCity, a clear and ringing voice, not unlike that of a church bell on deserted streets after a snowstorm. These men, born at opposite ends of the earth, bear witness and invite us into their truths of celebration, sadness, anger and hope. This is a band whose songs feel deeply inside a world that tries its best not to.

I remember once seeing a band called DDT rehearse here on the Barn stage. They hail from St Petersburg, Russia and sell over 10 million units of each of their releases and play to sold-out stadiums. As this jaded rock princess stood watching and listening to them, I marveled at how their music touched me despite a language barrier that should have made the connection tenuous. Years later, as I stood and watched GrindCity perform their newest effort, "Hannibal", I came away with much the same feeling. If you're of a mind to both nourish your brain, take a listen to GrindCity. Better yet, dazzle your eyes and catch the spectacle of a live performance. It's a party and a fix for those Jonesing for some of the finest lyrical stuff on the street. J-O and Gab take care of the junkie in all of us. Trust me. No idle musing.

Bonnie Milner is owner/operator of Long View Farm Studios, the oldest and one of the few surviving residential recording complexes in the United States.

- Bonnie Milner

"A Critical Look At This Year’s CMJ"

“The band began an exhilarating set at The Avalon ...
“The band began an exhilarating set at The Avalon by mixing soulful R&B ballads with hardcore hip- hop beats, the crowd was washed up in the lead singers’ erratic dancing and the backup vocalists ass shaking moves. Even with a mere 30 people in the audience, it was clear they out shined the headlining performers, Mates of State

From the article:
Capitalist Culture Corrupts College Music Journal Festival – A Critical Look At This Year’s CMJ by Courtney Nichols (The New School Free Press)

- The New School Free Press

"Band Review"

Grindcity is a notoriously difficult band to categ...
Grindcity is a notoriously difficult band to categorize. On the surface, this Philadelphia 7-piece is best described as hip-hop, with smooth flowing vocals, a beat and a DJ. To the tuned-in listener however, it’s much much more, from the funky rhythms and guitar trills on “Floozy Sue” to the soulful R&B vocals on “Haterz.”

“Haterz like you make it hard for me…,” croons lead singer J.O., microphone clutched tightly in fist, backed up by vocalist Jaimes Hines. With a busy schedule and growing fan base, the group certainly has no time for negativity. J.O. tells Unsigned Artists, “I don’t curse, I don’t promote violence…I come from love, you know what I’m sayin’, when you breathe love, you raise love, you receive love.”

Respect and determination seem to be the tenants of the band, and not surprisingly, these values are reflected in their music. The band’s hit song “Hannibal” tells the story of the ancient Iberian dictator who crossed the Alps and conquered Rome with insistent rapping and lush vocals. As the song continues, the music builds, with loud drumming and thrashing guitar, until finally it resolves with a single line: “Being but a man, I walk alone…”

“You know what I love about Hannibal?” posits guitarist Gab Guma. “He’s humble. He was so humble that [the enemies] didn’t see him coming. He took the route, snuck up and around and they didn’t [even] see him coming.” -

"Blogger Review"

Philadelphia's Grindcity played as part of an Unsi...
Philadelphia's Grindcity played as part of an Unsigned Artists showcase at Avalon on Wednesday.

All I have to say to that is WHAT????

Somebody SIGN this band!!

They're hip hop in the sense that they have an MC but Grindcity is all about the groove - and they keep it loose and funky.

They've got it all - performance chops, fired up songs and slow R&B burners.

Avalon was crowded early in the night so there MUST have been an A&R person out there somewhere that will be smart enough to take these guys off the unsigned market! -

"Band Review"

"To label this Philadelphia group hip hop just bec...
"To label this Philadelphia group hip hop just because they rap and have an MC would be a crime..."

"They bring on funky grooves that rock, roll and are pretty much completely out of control...."

"Guitarist Gab Guma rocked it Jimmy Hendrix style with guitar god moves and looks..."

"The band has big moves and even bigger sounds..." - Kevchino

"Sig Ep pays tribute to Brother"

"The Barry Concert was the first large event I hel...
"The Barry Concert was the first large event I helped out with my freshmen year as a SigEp. It showed me how our chapter can ban together for one profound purpose, the memory of a fallen brother," said Sigma Phi Epsilon Tony Firrantello. Many people on West Chester's campus either remember Barry from his stand out personality or as the brilliant musician but in either aspects Barry Goslin is one of the few people the brothers of Sigma Phi Epsilon will not soon forget.

On Feb. 21st in Sykes Ballroom, Sigma Phi Epsilon will be putting on their annual Barry Goslin Memorial Concert. Doors open at 6:30 but the show starts at 7:00 and will last until 11:00pm. Tickets are 5 dollars and can be bought from any brother of Sigma Phi Epsilon. If you want to buy your tickets at the last moment, tickets can be purchased at the door for 7 dollars. This year the bands playing the show have gotten bigger and better than the years before. Grindcity, The Absolute Zeros, Redhead Betty Takeout, Simple Indecision, and the Outlanders will be this year's top bands. In recent years, Sigma Phi Epsilon has hosted bands such as Shotgun Addiction, Fusion, The Arrangement, and the Absolute Zeros.

"I'm glad that even in his passing, Barry was able to help our brotherhood grow stronger, and I hope that these great bands can play him a worthy tribute," Brother Casey Wernick said. "As one of the oldest brothers and one of the last classes to actually know him it shows that even though your time at West Chester may be short, your time here can really make an impact."

All the money goes to VH1's Save the Music foundation in memorial of Barry Goslin. Barry Goslin was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and had just recently graduated in 2006 when he died in his sleep. In the past SigEp has raised over $1000 dollars each year. "Barry was a great person, who loved everything about music so this concert is probably the best way to honor his memory, and to also help others at the same time," Brother Dan Piemontese remembers.

Save the Music Foundation was started by VH1, which raises money for musical education in public schools around the country. It also is used to raise awareness about the importance of music in children's lives.

The foundation was started back in 1997 and has already been able to donate 43 million dollars worth of musical instruments to more than 1,600 public schools in over 100 cities across America.

"With is being the third annual, more import his legacy is going to be the main, with me being the leader it's about practicing brotherhood and making the frat whole. It's our way of making sure that Barry is still around. Hope to keep new guys knowledgeable about who he was. It's a touchy situation with the people who knew him. Hope to stay in the chapter for a long time," President Evan McCaffrey added. - The Quad- West Chester University Student Newspaper


GrindTaytaShipp- March 13, 2009 release date



Grindcity has been astonishing fans of all ages and races with its powerful live show, delivering the band’s rock/hip hop/soul/funk fusion type of sound that dazzles audiences with advanced musicianship and entertaining showmanship. Lead vocalist, rapper J-O commands the stage delivering his message with power and passion, while his rough edge is smoothed by the soulful sound of backing singers Jaime and Reem. Ethiopian-born Gab Guma uses guitar as his second language, drawing influences from Jimi Hendrix to Tom Morrello to classical into his own unique style of rhythmic, powerful riffs and solos. Ron DiSilvestro drives the band with his multi-talented musical background as a drummer, producer, and engineer.

Although GrindCity’s members hail from Philadelphia, PA, the band really emerged at the famed Longview Studios in Massachusetts. “Hannibal,” written and recorded at Longview, quickly gained media attention and has been played on radio stations across the country. “Hannibal” was performed at the CMJ Festival in 2007 and was selected as one of the tracks on the CMJ compilation CD. “Hannibal”, like many of Grindcity’s songs, tells a meaningful story of life, strife, and survival. GrindCity represents the voice of the people; people in the grind trying to make a living. They highlight current events to capture the essence of their times.

Grindcity performed "We Want America Back" at numerous Obama election rallies around Philadelphia and will be featured in an Obama campaign documentary about the grassroots political movement that swept the nation this year.

Philadelphia radio stations 93.3 WMMR-FM and 94.1 WYSP-FM have given airplay to Grindcity's sports anthems for the Phillies (Philly’s Red) and the Eagles (Go Green).

At a time when the future of hip-hop is being questioned, Grindcity offers a breath of fresh air for music lovers who desire timeless lyrics, ceaseless energy, and a higher meaning. Their dynamic combination of rap, rock, R&B and soul is a truly unique experienced that must be seen and heard to be appreciated.

GrindCity’s Accomplishments include:

- 2007: Recorded at world-famous Longview Studios in Massachusetts

- 2007: Starred in an internet-based reality series at

- 2007: Performed at CMJ Music Marathon; song “Hannibal” featured on CMJ Compilation CD

- 2008: Song “Emma Stone” written for and featured on WYSP 94.1’s DJ Metro’s weekend show.

- 2008: “We Want America Back” featured on 93.3 WMMR-FM Jaxon's Local Shots, Vol. 5 compilation CD

- 2009: Signed with Forge Recording, GrindTaytaShipp, the band’s first full-length album released March 13