Sweet Serena
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Sweet Serena

Band Alternative Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"It's OK, Mom's with the band!"

One of the boys has joined a band, as in the garage variety.

This is how I came to be in a smoke-filled Melbourne strip mall bar last Friday night, shaking my head about how life loops around on parents in unexpected ways.

Back in the '70s, I was just one more of those teenage girls mooning over boys in various bands, including a rock outfit in Chapel Hill, N.C., called Arrogance with a cute keyboardist. Not that they ever noticed.

But now, I was on the music scene on special invitation from another cute keyboardist. At last, I would get to indulge that "I'm with the band" fantasy from the ancient past. Or so I thought.

After all, a Facebook invite had arrived practically imploring me to attend the soiree.

When I mentioned to the cute keyboardist that I planned to attend, he sounded mystified. "You're coming?"

"Well, you sent me that invitation," I replied.

"Oh. I sent that to everyone," he said, as if he hadn't remembered I was part of "everyone."

Another illusion shattered.

The crowd in the bar was a mix of locals who obviously had no idea who these kids in the band were or why they were interrupting "Free Bird" from playing on the jukebox.

But they were low-key, and no one was throwing bottles. In the corners, the real "I'm with the band" crew -- young friends corralled as fans -- stood by, not fitting with the bar's ambiance, playing some darts in between sets but leaving the pool table to the regulars.

Some of the middle-aged clientele were enjoying the rawness of the alternative/indie songs though, reliving perhaps their own lost ambitions to play in a band, and offering advice or comments.

Listening to the Sweet Serena sound, I couldn't help but see a pattern.

I'd dragged my kids to years of music lessons, forced them to practice, encouraged them to stay in band and orchestra, but eventually they quit.

That's what I'd done too, quit piano, quit clarinet, abandoned music by the end of high school.

Then, in my 20s in New York in some wild dream of a different life, I rented a piano and crammed it into the kitchen of our tiny apartment in the DMZ south of Spanish Harlem. I signed up for lessons from a woman in a fancy pre-War building up on Madison Ave.

She was enraptured with classical composer Pachelbel, and I spent nights after work trying to master some of his pieces.

Probably for variety, the next thing she gave me was a blues book with pieces like the "The Saint James Infirmary Blues," and when I played it stiltedly, she told me to loosen up and imagine I was in a "beer bar." When she started asking me to perform at her recitals, I fled. Too much pressure.

Now, I get home after work and hear the garage band keyboardist playing boogie-woogie or practicing funny riffs on "Fur Elise" in the back room, stuff he's remembering from those long ago piano lessons.

He has mustered the confidence to perform in public. The ride might not last long or go anywhere, but a for a little while, he's having a blast, exploring his musical side.

It's amazing the things your kids can teach you, even if you have to come home from the beer bar smelling like cigarettes to learn it.

Maybe it's time to rent a piano again. - Florida Today


Still working on that hot first release.



Sweet Serena formed in early January of 2008, as a concept project among Bryan Fine (Lead Vocals and Rhythm Guitar), Nick Davey (Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals), and Robert Young (Bass), and all of the songs are snapshots from the band's story concept. The story involves dark science, zombies, vampires, and the dark side of the human psyche.

Sweet Serena's major influences range from such bands as Joy Division and The Doors, to The Smashing Pumpkins, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath.