Naked On Roller Skates
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Naked On Roller Skates

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
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"Guide to what's happening in Boston this week"

We rolled our eyes at this local band’s name at first, but it turns out their bright, female-fronted power-pop music is good enough to withstand the cheap novelty of such a moniker. Everything about their sound is chart-toppingly accessible. Well, at least, it was about 10 or 15 years ago. But pop was better back then anyway, so we’re not complaining. - The Metro


"Contest Crush"

Holy night of rock at Great Scott, Batman! Naked On Roller Skates has a sparkling new EP ready to go, and they’ve rounded up a bunch of friends to help celebrate. Mellow Bravo, The Lights Out and Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling will all be there to honor the gods of rock in the only way they know how: loudly.

Wanna go for free? We’ve got a pair of tickets in our hot little hands that we’re looking to give away. How about some free merch? The bands are including a box ‘o rock* as well. Email us with the subject line NAKED ON MELLOW BRAVO by Friday at 10am, we’ll randomly pick a winner and be in touch by noon. - Boston Band Crush


"Help Boston band Naked On Roller Skates open for The Bangles"

Boston pop rock band Naked On Roller Skates is one of ten female-fronted bands in the running to open for The Bangles at South by Southwest Music Festival in March. It’s down to 10 out of 500 bands who submitted a song about “small town charm.” Naked On Roller Skates needs a rally to move up from the 8th to #1 spot. Go vote for Naked On Roller Skates in Maurices Small Town Sound Band Search at Sonicbids. Vote every day through December 15th. - Exploit Boston


"Boston's Best Female Vocalist"

Boston's Best Female Vocalist:
Results http://supplements.thephoenix.com/bmp/boston/2011/femalevocalist/ - Boston Phoenix


"MayFair in Harvard Square: Viva Viva, Spirit Kid, Naked On Rollerskates, Leo Blais..."

Boston's new indie-pop darlings NAKED ON ROLLER SKATES celebrated the release of the band's debut EP on Saturday, February 12 at Great Scott. Thanks to merch cohort, Erica Truncale, there was even a pair of old school roller skates in attendance. Naked On Roller Skates is Leesa Coyne (vocals, guitar), Kelly Davidson (bass), Travis Richter (lead guitar) and Randall Creasi (drums). - The Boston Phoenix


"SILVER CIRCLES REVIEWS"

The only crime with this CD is that the girl on the cover with roller skates is NOT NAKED! This album is chock full of cute power pop, infectious lyrics, clever hooks, and a relentless knack for melody. This EP is a feast for the eardrums and a sonic joyride for the brain. The songwriting is top notch and peppered with all kinds of cool production. You could call this folk with a modern rock attitude, but you would sell the experience short. It would be like calling a fine gourmet meal with a vintage wine good eats with something to wash it down. I could listen to this forever and still find something fresh about it. This album is a cerebral pop feast! Make more music soon. Somebody spank me! (Joel Simches) - The Noise


"Song about Burlington 'Small Town at Heart'"

Burlington —

Burlington native Leesa Coyne dreamed of stardom as a child and now, as the lead singer for the band, “Naked on Roller Skates,” she is closer than ever to achieving her dream.

“Naked on Roller Skates” is one of ten finalists in a nationwide band competition called Small Town Sound Band Search. Small Town Sound is sponsored by Sonic Bids and Maurice’s women’s clothing store. Over 540 female fronted bands competed with original songs about their hometowns. Naked on Roller Skates is now in the Top Ten. The winner is chosen by fan voting.

The winning band will score a spot at the 2011 South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festival in Austin Texas on March 11-20, 2011. The SXSW Conference has in the past hosted bands such as Hole, Ryan Adams and the Cult. If Naked on Roller Skates wins the competition, they will play with the Bangles. The winners will also have a video and professional recording made of their song, and will receive gifts from Daisy Guitars and Maurice’s clothing store.

“You get great exposure,” said Coyne. “There are a lot of industry professionals there watching. It’s an amazing opportunity,” she adds.

Coyne grew up in Burlington and sang in the Marshall Simonds Middle School chorus and the 8th grade Select Chorus as well as Burlington High School’s chorus. Coyne says she benefitted from wonderful music teachers at all levels but she remembers her Wildwood Elementary School music teacher Mr. Butler with special fondness.

“Mr. Butler really encouraged me,” said Coyne. “I just wanted to play rock and roll but he stressed the importance of learning the notes and theory.” Those lessons proved valuable when Coyne started writing her own music in college.

Coyne said that many of her Burlington music teachers helped her along the way.

“They push you to do things you don’t want to do at the time. They make you sing stuff you may not like at first but it ends up serving you well in the long run,” said Coyne.

After graduating from Burlington High School in 1998, Coyne attended the Art Institute of New England where she studied multimedia, gained experience with audio production, and worked for the school record label.

After a successful poetry slam session at school, Coyne started playing at local coffee houses and clubs. She continued to hone her craft in this manner for about 5 years until Naked on Roller Skates was formed less than one year ago. Coyne is the lead singer and plays guitar. She is joined by Kelly Davidson on bass guitar, Travis Richter on guitar and Randy Creasi on drums.

The band plays about twice a month a local clubs such as Middle East, Great Scots and the Lizard Lounge. The winner of Small Town Sound will be announced the week of December 20, 2010.



Upcoming Performances of band Naked on Roller Skates and singer Leesa Coyne

Dec. 16, 9 p.m., Lizard Lounge, Cambridge

Dec. 18, 7 p.m., The Armory in Somerville

Jan. 7, 8 p.m., The Rosebud Diner, Somerville



Lyrics to Lisa Coyne’s song, “Small Town At Heart”

I know these roads like the back of my hand

Walking down the street and I know exactly where I stand

I don’t have to try to hard to find my place with this space

I just feel at home when I am here



Taking all of my small town heart to the city

Cause I have placed all of my life’s bets on where it will take me



The Roads here were never enough to contain me

Placed them like a candle in my heart and as the roads they weaved it shaped me

Never had to move beyond, where it is that come from

It keeps me warm on the cold nights in the city.



Taking all of my small town heart to the city

Cause I have placed all of my life’s bets on where it will take me

If I happen to stray too far you know I will always be

A small town girl at heart, A small town girl at heart



Time ain’t for nothing and we are wasting no where

And you know you got it no matter where you stand

You be a small town girl at heart

You be a small town girl at heart



Taking all of my small town heart to the city

Cause I have placed all of my life’s bets on where it will take me

If I happen to stray too far you know

I will always be

A small town girl at heart,

A small town girl at heart

A small town girl at heart

Read more: Song about Burlington 'Small Town at Heart' - Burlington, Massachusetts - Burlington Union http://www.wickedlocal.com/burlington/archive/x493346958/Song-about-Burlington-Small-Town-at-Heart#ixzz1FU2EUD6f
- Burlington Times Union


"Listen"

Sometimes, you just need some good, solid guitar chords, a singer who can scream as bad-assedly as she can croon beautifully and a repertoire that fits right at home on a number of radio frequencies. With Naked on Rollerskates, this is exactly what you get on I Lost My Heart in the Battle: comfortable, catchy songs that hit your ear just right without bowling you over on the conceptual or buzz-busting front.

The premiere EP showcases the versatility of frontwoman and vocalist Leesa Coyne, allowing her to wail like a woman scorned on “Bad Side” while capitalizing on her enthusiasm on “Bullshit” and lead-off single “Sugar.” Coyne’s not just another girl cranking the volume to 10 and hoping that the vocals blasting back at her through the monitor are in tune—each chorus, high note and inflexion vibrates with purpose. A strong start, indeed.

NAKED ON ROLLERSKATES CELEBRATE THEIR EP RELEASE AT GREAT SCOTT ON SAT 2.12.11 - Weekly Dig


"Noisy Neighbors"

Just about the only thing bigger than the hooks and widescreen production values on this Boston band’s bracing debut EP is singer-guitarist Leesa Coyne’s powerhouse of a voice. It’s a good thing, too, because this seven-song sampler built on classic rock melodies and sharply chiseled riffs demands a bold approach. NORS is made up of Boston music scene veterans playing musical chairs — Coyne honed her vocal chops with the Counterfolk Collective; Motion Sick drummer Travis Richter grabs the lead guitar here; ex-Liz Borden Band guitarist and music photographer Kelly Davidson switches to bass; and Air Traffic Controller’s Randall Creasi mans the drum kit. The combustible chemistry works terrifically well, roaring right from the atomic pop of “Sugar’’ all the way through to the Heart-leaning semi-ballad album closer, “Symphony.’’ In between, there are a couple of quieter moments (well, they start quietly, anyway) like “The Fighter’’; but even that number builds to an anthemic climax worthy of a stadium filled with flicked Bics. As huge as it sounds, however, “I Lost My Heart in the Battle’’ isn’t marred by showboating bombast or empty gestures. These are muscular (but not muscle-bound), diabolically well-executed songs about love, pain, shame, and perseverance, played with vigor, heart, and volume. - Boston Globe


"PGB Pick: Naked On Roller Skates, Liberation Day, Croquet, Highly Personal Trash @ TT The Bears 4/28"

Make your way to T.T. the Bear’s place on Wednesday night and you will definitely see some familiar faces, as this week’s trip over the hump will be filled with sounds in the air from some of the Boston independent music scene’s more prolific & industrious cast members.... Click the link to read the rest... - Playground Boston


"Stripped Down Show Crush: Leesa (Naked On Roller Skates) / Anne (Pray For Polanski) / MacKenzie & Stu (This Blue Heaven) at the Armory Wednesday"

The Armory in Somerville is really making a name for itself this year, bringing diverse acts to its café stage for intimate, stripped down sets. The café is small but not claustrophobic, there's plenty of free parking (unless there's a show in the big room, in which case it might get hairy) and it’s just a leisurely stroll down the street to the Highland Kitchen (this last part is important because while awesome, the Armory’s shows are early and the modus operandi has been to move the party en masse to the HK once the music is done). .... Click Link to read the rest... - Boston Band Crush


"Hey Ladies"

The guarantee of light-up toys as party favors would ordinarily be a solid ploy to lure local music fans out on any given evening. This Saturday night, however, promises to be nothing short of extraordinary, as The Downbeat 5, This Blue Heaven, The Sun Lee Sunbeam, Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, St. Helena and Naked on Rollerskates take the stage at the Middle East Upstairs. The lineup may seem like a genre clash, but the common denominator at play here is undeniable: Each group incorporates the talent of some of the city's best rockers ... who happen to be talented females.... (see link to read more) - Weekly Dig


"C.D. On Songs"

Naked On Roller Skates - “Bad Side”

It's hard to think of any bodily area where one would want road-rash, but there are several places upon the human form where you could guess someone would really not want road-rash. Leesa Coyne says, “You know what, screw it!” with her new project Naked on Roller Skates featuring members of the Motion Sick, Casey Desmond's band and others. And you know what? Safety concerns be damned, “Bad Side” is a pretty smooth ride. Like “Did they just pave this street? Because it's awesome!” smooth.

This tune surges with a quiet, almost dignified power. It's not to say that the pounding drums and the churning guitar in this song's choruses are quiet sounding in any sense of the word; but they retain some odd form of maturity. This song knows it could blow your windows out and your doors in, but chooses not to. Rhythmically, “Bad Side” is a solid headbobber. Melodically, it's a barbed fishhook that Coyne casts out and sets on the first try, wrangling the ear about with a palette of sound swabbed from different decades. There's the moody vocal tones of the '70s, stuttery drums of the '80s, the feminine fire of the mid-'90s and what the French call a certain “I don't know what” from the 2000s.

“Bad Side” is a modern-day lament, ending with Coyne bemoaning all her good intentions as they relate to the song's title. The coda is one of the strongest sections of the song, ending with a the final surge of Coyne's powerful vocal refrain. Let's just hope she doesn't hurt herself on those skates before she gets to record more music under this exciting new banner.

Read Full Here:
http://www.bostonbandcrush.com/2009/07/feature-crush-cd-on-songs-072109.html - Boston Band Crush


"Artist Spotlight"

Leesa (as seen in the June 1, 2002 TV Guide as a contestant for American
Idol’s first season) never walks quietly. As a 24-year-old singer-songwriter
this young talent is no veteran to the scene, but never fear, she knows what it
means to rock. Her songs drift and wander, but never stray far from the
thought-provoking vocal and musical improvisations everyone has come to
expect from her.
Sometimes painfully honest, she has been compared to Beth Orton, Chan
Marshall of Cat Power, and Joni Mitchell. She has played such rooms as The
Milkyway, The Paradise Lounge, The Abby Lounge, and Club Passim.
Leesa is part of the Counterfolk Collective, a collection of singersongwriters
from the greater Boston area that has been creating a stir on the
local music scene. Other members include Sophia Cacciola (solo artist and
member of Blitzkrieg Bliss), Mike Epstein (solo artist and member of The Motion
Sick and Blitzkrieg Bliss), and Joe Kowan.
Leesa has been very busy working on pre-production for her first studio record. The tracks have been narrowed down, plans have
been made to go into the studio over the next few months and the record should be out by late summer/early fall. Chris Phair, her
band member, went to her show after seeing her on Billerica cable access TV (she used to host an open mic at Java Janes) and
since he is on the shy side, did not say anything to her at the show, He later emailed her to say he was into my stuff.
She will be playing New York for the first time at the legendary CBGB’s for a short set on Monday, June 13th.


http://www.friekman.com/nomasonha/NoMaSoNHa_june_web.pdf - NoMaSoNHa


"Counterfolk: Navigating Music and Image on the Singer-songwriter Scene"

Counterfolk: Navigating Music and Image on the Singer-songwriter Scene

Folk music was never supposed to be about image. In fact, it was supposed to be about bucking mainstream trends and commercialism in favor of the raw expression of individuals and communities. The term came into widespread use during the sixties folk revival when stripped-down acoustic music posed an alternative to an America enamored of consumer goods since the post-war boom of the fifties. Railing against contemporary pop music lyrics they found vapid or irrelevant, folk singers wrote words that were intellectual, political, or poetic. Songwriters wanted you to listen to what they had to say and perhaps even sing along. They downplayed their appearance, renouncing eye-catching outfits, hairdos and makeup for loose cotton clothing, unpainted skin and free-flowing hair. Yet as soon as music business decision-makers realized that anti-image was a market, they tapped into it, ironically fixing a particular “look” for non-image. Thus were born a series of anti-folk genres that positioned themselves in opposition to this industry-defined “folk.” Seattle-based grunge and the Anti-Folk movement in New York City are two recent examples.

The Counterfolk Collective, a group of four independent Boston-based musicians who write and perform their own music, might easily be mistaken as just another group of anti-folks. Indeed, Counterfolk members Boys Suck, Joe Kowan, Blitzkriegbliss, and Leesa all cite Nirvana among their influences, and the first link on their website is to antifolk.net. Yet this group formed precisely because they didn’t feel quite at home within such communities as grunge and Anti-Folk. Dynamically and critically engaging with issues of expression, image, and commercialization, Counterfolk refuses to reject contemporary folk or mainstream music wholesale. Unlike several artists both in mainstream folk and its anti-genres, these musicians do not vilify MTV, and in fact, credit the television channel with expanding their musical horizons during their development as musicians. Instead of condemning or ignoring image as a means of disseminating music or denying that it plays a role in their careers as performers, the members of Counterfolk have confronted visual representation head on and have attempted to use it in unorthodox and constructive ways. Central to Counterfolk’s employment (deployment?) of their own images and bodies is contradiction, the use of familiar concepts in unfamiliar ways, and good old-fashioned shock value.

Boys Suck has been playing out in the Boston area for four years. His visual appearance inspires comparisons to serial killers, Jesus, and Frank Zappa, and his self-presentation is deliberately confusing – he uses stage names like Boys Suck or the Sleepwalker that tell you nothing about him or his music. Though he frequents “folk” open mics and coffeehouses, he plays guitar in an aggressive style, rapidly strumming over simple changes as he spits out densely packed lyrics. On first seeing Boys Suck, one struggles to place him - while the setting is folk, the musical style is alternative metal, the clothing grunge. In an interview, he gave me his own take on how audiences respond to him.

I get up on stage.

(That guy is a hippie. He looks like Jesus. I bet he'll play a Grateful Dead cover)

"I'm in a band called Boys Suck."

(That's a funny band name. He must be gay. I bet he'll play a funny song about being gay.)

Then I completely lie about what my song is about. I almost always lie about what my song is about.
"This is a song about unrequited obsession and the armageddon" or "this is a song about ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ religion, and cell phones."

(Hmmm...what is he talking about, I better pay attention. I love “The Wizard of Oz”) or (weird, a song about the end of the world.)

While the confusion of this hypothetical audience member reveals a lot about the function of image in the open mic scene, Boys Suck is mostly concerned with the punch line “I better pay attention.” Ultimately, he says, his play with image is less about making a statement or even being funny than it is about creating a space in which he can express himself and get people to listen. When he first began playing the open mic scene, he told me, “I didn’t necessarily feel like what I was doing, regarding both sound and content, fit with that realm, but that was less important to me than knowing that I was given a few minutes of peoples’ time to express whatever I wanted.” Stock expectations created by media marketing, he feels, get in the way of audiences listening to what an artist is actually saying. Before his music can get across, he must detach it from such expectations. His shock tactics, he says, are just that – shock tactics that facilitate communication. The name Boys Suck seems almost a play on the more conventional justification for utilizing shock in music – a cause, an association with a particular group of people (i.e. angry feminists) who share a common mission. He subverts this expectation of “righteous” indie music the minute he steps on stage, revealing that he is, in fact, male. Any lingering attachment to an image of the crusading vagina warrior is severed when he begins playing a song completely unrelated to feminism.

While emphasizing his role as an individual artist seeking to express himself, however, Boys Suck is aware of his place in a lineage of other musicians, musicians who played in a style that has now been termed folk, but was once just ‘music of the people.’ “I doubt that Woody Guthrie decided he wanted to be a folk musician,” Boys Suck said. “He just played something personal and expressive that showed the plight of a section of the American population … [he] didn’t know he was defining folk.” This tag was attached, Boys Suck explained, by marketing forces, which could then control to which other music the term was applied. Because the definition of folk was motivated by capitalism, its meaning changed. “Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, and even Bob Dylan … built their careers on confrontation,” he told me. “I would say that folk singers now are markedly known for their vulnerability and delicate, friendly nature. This is expressed in their physical image and their sound. Rarely do harsh words (vulgar or otherwise) appear in folk songs. Rarely do folk singers break strings. Rarely do folk singers scream.” Boys Suck, however, is less concerned with the direction of mainstream folk than the legacy of Guthrie and his contemporaries. Counterfolk, he explains, is subtly different from Anti-Folk in that it seeks to recover the original spirit of the music rather than deliberately opposing the music that is currently marketed as folk. This approach leaves Counterfolk at liberty to pursue a wide range of influences, even mainstream folk itself.

One of Joe Kowan’s signature songs is “Beautiful Asshole Guy,” a tongue-in-cheek wish to be the sort of man women go for. “I would like to be a tall and beautiful asshole guy,” sings the self-described “short, bald, slightly overweight” Kowan. Unlike Boys Suck’s, however, Kowan’s music doesn’t sound aggressive or challenging. Instead, “Beautiful Asshole Guy” features gentle strumming and finger-picking up the neck. It always draws raucous laughter, especially at open mics, because everyone recognizes Kowan’s musical language as that of the very “Beautiful Asshole Guy” he condemns – he has appropriated the sound and presentation of the “sensitive male singer-songwriter” in order to poke fun at him.

As Kowan explained, the importance of attractiveness is hardly restricted to mainstream pop music or female singers. “Ellis Paul? Hello! Sure he’s great … but I don’t think his looks are hurting him either,” he wrote in an email. Early in his career, Kowan struggled with his own inability to live up to this image. “The thing that got me the most at the Open mic was I'd see folks who were tall, attractive...with hip guitars and seeming really confident and I'd think, ‘I can't wait to see them play... they're gonna be really good.’" Ultimately, however, as Kowan got more comfortable on-stage, he became convinced that “you can't 'look' like talent or charisma.” As proof of this point, Kowan not only doesn’t disguise his normal-guy image, he plays it up with songs like “Beautiful Asshole Guy,” stage garb that looks “regular, even a little bit on the sloppy side,” and a “male pattern baldness” link on his website that features a bird’s eye view of the artist. “As a performer, I wanted to send a message that you don’t have to look like anything to be a good musician/songwriter,” Kowan says. For this message to be heard, however, he knew he needed to catch people’s attention; hence his unexpectedly tame sound.

When audiences hear a familiar folk framework, Kowan explains, “people are ready to listen to a folk song.” By folk, of course, he means the contemporary associations Boys Suck refers to – delicate, friendly, vulnerable. “That’s when I go and insert the ‘other song,’” Kowan continues, “the song about parents having sex, or Martha Stewart, or stalkers, or how there are ugly people in the world. No one forgets a song that catches them off guard.” By engaging with the audience and convincing them he has something interesting to say, Kowan believes, he can transcend their expectations for his body.

While insisting that men struggle with image expectations, Kowan acknowledges that women have it even tougher. Boys Suck agrees: In “Grace Kelly Falling” and “Model,” he writes about the destructive effect of “the female ideal” of extreme thinness and supermodel fame. The women of Counterfolk, however, confront the beauty/sex issue head on, neither tacitly accepting a sexual subtext to their careers nor openly denying, criticizing or ignoring it. Like their male counterparts, Blitzkriegbliss and Leesa use image to their advantage, employing heavy doses of contradiction to channel audience expectations into a vehicle for self-expression.

“In a country that is so numb and forgetful, if I can make someone feel anything (even if it is discomfort) than that is an amazing accomplishment,” Blitzkriegbliss writes. If Boys Suck is somewhat shocking, Blitzkriegbliss is completely so. She dons elaborate punk-influenced outfits that foreground the synthetic and the outrageous, yet wears them as one would an expensive ball gown – demanding the adjective beautiful rather than campy. “The look/image that I perform with is purposely contradicting,” she explains. “It is glamorous yet trampy; tough though tragic. The mascara, the lace and the pearls all present a vulnerable sexuality that is sort of a visual presentation of the songs.” The songs, whatever you term them, are certainly not folk songs. Blitzkriegbliss often shouts or screams her lyrics, which float over jarring, rhythmic guitar accompaniment that may or may not be entirely tonal or chord-based. She didn’t come to folk clubs looking for kindred spirits. Her influences, she told me, were early punk, new wave, and grunge. Like Boys Suck, though, she found that folk open mics were simply the most accessible venue for a newcomer. “One of the problems with contemporary folk music,” she said, “is that it ignores other music trends that have happened in the past 30 years. People plugged in, people screamed, and I think the kids in my generation would find it impossible to try to ignore punk music.”

As for the “vulnerable sexuality” that characterizes both her on-stage image and her songs, Blitzkriegbliss is careful to differentiate between commercially peddled sex and what she portrays. “I suppose it all goes back to sex sells,” she says, “but I think I’m selling an alternative more threatening sex to a smaller group of people that can understand it.” Rather than trying to entice with the constructed or false innocence that pervades both mainstream music and contemporary folk, Blitzkriegbliss wants to make a mockery of innocence by being “raunchy and glamorous at the same time.” Sexuality, her performance suggests, should not stifle the ability of female musicians to express themselves, but should be employed to facilitate such expression. Rather than allowing herself to be passively defined by her sex/sexuality, Blitzkriegbliss actively defines it.

Leesa doesn’ t shy away from sex either. “People may look at me in a more sexual way,” she acknowledges frankly. “I am fine with that. … In my mind, there is nothing negative about being sexy.” While many mainstream folk musicians lament the sexual gaze that young female musicians must confront, Leesa calls attention to another problem: the shame that such females are taught to feel about their own sexuality; the perception that one cannot be respected as a musician if they choose to perform this part of themselves. Similarly, for Leesa, there is nothing negative about another taboo of the folk world: “popular” music. “A lot of modern pop music is complex,” she contends, listing Madonna among her influences and refusing to automatically attach opprobrium to the “easily digestible” or the “commercial.” Rather than differentiating image-consciousness by genre, Leesa separates music from its marketing, alleging that no genre escapes the influence of the mighty dollar. “I don’t think folk music is immune from commercialization any more than any other contemporary form of music,” she says. “I would have to say that maybe the only thing that is safe from having a flashy something on the cover would be our good old buddy J.S. Bach and the rest of his classical crew.” As an example, she cited the Seattle grunge scene, which, to her judgment, is still an influential musical tradition, but a dead style – as well it should be. “It was the media marketing whatever was cool at the time and selling it to the masses,” she said of the grunge look. “People in Seattle didn’t wear ripped jeans and flannel to be cool. They wore ripped jeans and flannel because they were poor musicians.”

Leesa was ultimately very optimistic about the role of image, however. Mass media’s exploitation of image, she felt, should not blind us to the fact that image is a useful and integral part of what performers do. Most musicians, she felt, understand their potential to influence people and try to utilize this bully pulpit in a positive way “whether to teach girl power, say it is OK to wear nothing but fishnets out of the house, or [ironically] to care less about your image.” Unlike colleagues Boys Suck and Blitzkriegbliss, Leesa did not see ambiguity or mystery as helpful to getting her message across. “I like to be very forward and up-front with my audience,” she told me. In many ways, Leesa attempts to realize the dream of the folk revival – that an honest presentation of herself and her expression will be enough to attract an audience. Here, in truth, is the secret of Counterfolk. This motley crew is really just folk music – raw expression, by the people and for the people. While at first glance, they may seem anomalous at folk open mics, they are actually those who most belong there.

As Boys Suck says, “I want to recall what folk was and what folk should be and provide that.” If Counterfolk doesn’t sound like the folk revival, it’s because they didn’t grow up with that music or those problems. But in the same way that Woody Guthrie spoke to Depression survivors and Pete Seeger spoke to protesters of the Vietnam War, Kurt Cobain spoke to disillusioned surburbanite Leesa. “Like Boys Suck said,” she quoted, “they could ‘directly translate angst into an amazingly dynamic sound’ … that was exactly what I was going through.” Leesa expressed a desire to give back to this music and, like her heroes, speak for and touch a particular community. For her, perhaps, this community is repressed Catholic girls in suburbia. Kowan hopes his music might reach men whose appearance doesn’t conform to societal standards. Counterfolk, however, isn’t targeting a specific audience. “If I was doing something compelling and interesting, then I assumed that anyone, whether they listened to adult contemporary or death metal, would be able to take something home from what I said,” Boys Suck remarked. And regarding the way Counterfolk’s image is perceived? “People are ultimately judged against each person’s unique set of life experiences and maybe a second set of intangible (maybe even innate) emotional responses triggered by thousands of little neurotransmitters and receptors,” Kowan says. “Not trusting your audience to decide for themselves what they like is a big mistake.”









- Harvard


Discography

I lost my heart in the battle (7 Song EP - 2011)
Small Town Girl (Single 2011)
Songs from a Wooden Box (4 Song EP - 2012)

Photos

Bio

HONORS:

Best Female Vocalist Boston Phoenix BMP – Runner Up (2011)

Harvard Square Mayfair Showcase (2011)

NECN Morning Show Local Music Feature (2011)

Maurices Small Town Sound Finalist (2010)

Boston Band Crush Golden Unicorn
“Best thing to look forward to in 2010” (2009)

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BUZZ:

“These are muscular (but not muscle-bound), diabolically well-executed songs about love, pain, shame, and perseverance, played with vigor, heart, and volume.” (The Boston Globe)

“Boston’s new indie-pop darlings” (The Phoenix)

"Catchy songs that hit your ear just right without bowling you over on the conceptual or buzz-busting front” (Weekly Dig)

“A relentless knack for melody” (The Noise)

“Layered rhythms, frantic drumming, and spacey hooks abound in this album…” (Playground Boston)

“Naked on Roller Skates have pop sensibility, a classic rock attitude, and punk rock energy.”
(East Coast Playlist)



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BIO (IN THREE SIZES):

SMALL: NAKED ON ROLLER SKATES is a Boston-based rock band that merges their powerhouse pop melodies with a classic rock energy.

MEDIUM: NAKED ON ROLLER SKATES keeps on rolling after the amazing response to their freshman EP, I Lost my Heart in the Battle. From playing The Harvard Square Mayfair festival to hundreds of fans, landing an opening slot for the band Wheat, and Leesa being nominated for Best Female Vocalist in the Boston Phoenix Best Music Poll, there are no signs of them slowing down. In support of their freshman EP, they continue to rock the faces off fans at some of the North East’s premier venues, while also working on new material for their sophomore release.

LARGE: At seventeen, Leesa Coyne moved out of her parents’ house and made her way to Boston, where she honed her songwriting craft on the roof of her brownstone with a single acoustic guitar. Travis Richter met Leesa through the local music scene and immediately realized that her powerhouse melodies had outgrown their humble singer/songwriter beginnings; Naked on Roller Skates was born.

Naked on Roller Skates is comprised of Leesa Coyne (vocals, guitar), Kevin Harvey (bass), Travis Richter (guitar) and Aaron Zak (drums). Lead singer Leesa Coyne’s unmistakable voice rings out with power and soul, and her beautiful melodies, coupled with her proud and angst-filled lyrics, linger in your brain for days on end. Recent transplant Kevin Harvey, formerly of the Nashville-based rock outfit Newmatic, is handling bass duties. Travis Richter, fueled by his love for melodic riffs and solos, showcases his talents as lead guitarist. Aaron Zak brings his high-energy drumming style to the fray, and has most recently been performing with Slant of Light prior to joining Naked on Roller Skates.

With infectious songs like “Sugar” (mixed by Anthony J. Resta) and “Badside,” NAKED ON ROLLER SKATES keeps on rolling after the amazing response to their freshman EP I Lost my Heart in the Battle. From playing The Harvard Square Mayfair festival to hundreds of fans, landing an opening slot for the band Wheat, and Leesa being nominated as Best Female Vocalist in the Boston Phoenix Best Music Poll, there are no signs of them slowing down. In support of their freshman EP, they continue to rock the faces off of fans at some of the North East’s premier venues, while also working on new material for their sophomore release.