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Stoic's Handicap: Media

The Brass Noose Review
TODAY: Local and area acoustic musicians are finding strength in numbers. Singer-songwriter Elliot Szabo has organized “The Brass Noose Review,” a show that features his trio along with sets from Jen Fleets, Ian Daniels and Nick Bognar. The musicians have struggled to find outlets for their original music by themselves. The four singersongwriters prefer music more aggressive than folk but still prefer to play acoustic. “On our own, our music tends to be too loud for coffee shops but too soft for bars,” Szabo said. “Together, we can offer a full night of music without compromising what we do.” Szabo, 26, will be joined by bassist Chris Stahly and drummer Clayton Henady. Szabo doesn’t ignore his rock roots with his music, but he aims for a sound closer to Elliot Smith and Jethro Tull’s acoustic side. While now living in the Chicago area, Fleets will return to Lafayette where she established her songwriting while a student at Purdue University. Fleets can go from one of her sweet originals to a Tool cover on a dime. Daniels’ music is guitar-driven while Bognar will be working with a bassist and drummer, too.
• When: 10 tonight
• Where: Knickerbocker Saloon, 113 N. Fifth St.
• How much: $3
Tim Brouk - Lafayette Journal and Courier (Feb 23, 2007)
Sitting comfortably on a local coffee
shop couch, Jen Ryan radiates a certain exuberance when speaking about her newly founded music career. Since graduating last May from Purdue with a double major in Pharmacy and Biology, the singer/songwriter has taken her guitar wherever anyone will let
her play.
"It's addictive, absolutely addictive…just playing in front of people." Ryan, who goes by the band name "Stoic's
Handicap," admits that her experience majoring in pharmacy drained and depressed her, ultimately revealing to her that she had a different path.
That path led Ryan to perform at the Taste of Melrose festival, the
second largest annual festival in Chicago, as well as record shows at
Chicago State and Columbia College, the latter to air on a national college network.
"…Being a musician is such a powerful thing. All the work that
goes into music and touring, like hauling equipment and traveling, that is fun for me and is where I want to be."
A year ago, Ryan couldn't image that she would be where she is
today. It was around that time that she began to write songs after a
boy "drove her crazy," though she had been playing the electric guitar
since her freshman year of college. Then after her last class ever at
Purdue, Ryan played at an open-mic night at Skylight Coffee and
knew that her future was in music.
Since then, Ryan has constantly been looking for shows, self-advertising through her website, www.myspace.com/jenfleets and by
handing out free copies of her demo CD. That persistent attitude
landed her a gig at the Knickerbocker on October 22 for a hurricane Katrina relief benefit. Ryan feels strongly compelled to help in any way she can in the wake of Katrina; she plans to go to New Orleans this December with a friend and work with Habitat for Humanity.
Ryan describes her music as ethereal, using her lyrics as personal confessions in attempt to evoke themes of free spirit. She believes her songs to be about "taking chances in life" and says she doesn't have to go far to find something to write a song about.
"People shouldn't have to live a scared life…that used to be me.
But through a self-actualization I realized people take a chance by not taking a chance. I have no regrets. I love where I am right now in life, absolutely."
Where would Ryan like to see herself in a year? "My goal is to open up for the band Chevelle."
With her determination, Ryan seems able to accomplish any goal
she makes.
Paige Gray - Tipp-C Magazine (Oct 26, 2005)