AR Whiskey & Wine Volume 1

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Unexpected Expert

We were broke. It was Obvious. And people wanted to help.

Has anyone ever gotten a call from eBay?

I have. 

And that's how I know I can teach anyone a thing or two about how amazing the art of 'crowd funding' can be.

The phone call went something like this, "Hi, Kristen. This is so and so from eBay. We're just wondering how you plan to fulfill these orders for tanks of gas and what exactly you're auctioning them off for? We're not sure it meets eBays compliance standards."

Antigone Rising was about ten thousand dollars into what turned out to be a forty thousand dollar campaign to raise money for our 2006 U.S. Tour. We didn't need a platform like Kickstarter to know that our fans loved to come along on the journey with us, from the recording of our albums to the embarkment of U.S. tours. From the very start of our story, our band incorporated our fans as friends, as family, and quite frankly as business partners.  

I mean no disrespect when I say we trained our fans from very early on in an exchange process. The "training" was not planned or intended, but we were broke. It was obvious. And people wanted to help.

We were also passionate. It was obvious. And we inspired people to help.

We said no to nothing

We played shows in bowling alleys and parking lots and floors inside malls. We quit day jobs and cashed in 401Ks. We showed up, night after night. Every gig was life or death. 

Albany, New York on a Friday to Charlotte, North Carolina on a Saturday. We did it happily. For the most part. 

We got to know every single person in every single room who bothered to listen to our music. And then, I will share our secret. We kept in touch!

From day one we established a dynamic.

We will live our dream. Please help us do it.

       ...I will share our secret. We kept in touch!

My voice shook as I spoke to the clearly perplexed man on the phone from eBay, "I play in an indie rock band and we are going out on tour. Our fans are purchasing the tanks of gas to help fuel our way around the county. In exchange, we plan to send them photos of us pumping the gas, and depending on where we are on tour, we will send them indigenous gifts from the region. You know, if we're in Georgia we will probably include a peach magnet and from Idaho we will send a potato peeler. Get it?" I said, fearful our hard earned money would be 'null and voided' by the young eBay executive.

Your Rights, Your Music, Your Career Seminar hosted byAriel Hyatt and Michael Whalen
(pictured L to R Ariel Hyatt, Aly Tadros, Kristen, and Benji Rodgers of Pledge Music

Yesterday, I was a member of a panel discussion on the topic of crowd funding. There I was, Kristen the drummer turned rhythm guitarist turned bassist, Kristen the bandmate, Kristen the songwriter, Kristen the expert on crowd funding?

As it turns out, yes. Kristen, the expert on crowd funding.

Want to know how to make money in the music industry? Just ask for it.

You don't need platforms like Kickstarter or Pledge Music or Indie GoGo, though Antigone Rising has used these sites from time to time with great success. You just need people who love what you do. And you need their email address. And that's it.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Kristen Co-Hosts Under Country with Neil Smith!


This week, Neil learns how to plaster cast breasteses, howl like Tucker and rock a multi-colored unitard from Kristen Henderson of the country rock band ANTIGONE RISING! Oh, yeah, he plays 4 songs from A.R. including a brand new one from their upcoming album which they co-wrote with a former member of Sugarland!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Make Better Choices

I recently read somewhere that Monica Lewinsky considers herself "patient zero" with regard to cyberbullying.

My initial reaction to the statement was to giggle. Seriously? We all make choices, Mo Lew.

As one of my least favorite Aunt's would say, "make better choices." Of course, whenever she said that to me or my cousins, it was annoying. But in this case, the case of Mo Lew in the Oval Office doing lewd things to The President and saving the dress (who does that?), she probs coulda made a better choice.

But then I thought about it for a second. I do that from time to time. I actually think about how the other person might feel.

Quick example:  Last night as I walked downtown from Penn Station with my friend Raph, a car driving across town got stuck in the box. My instinct was to let him go before I crossed the street so he would not block 7th Avenue traffic. The person next to me decided she needed to cross, though, leaving the guy stuck in the box. Once she moved, it was like an avalanche of pedestrians now filing in front of this guy's car, complete with a few knuckleheads smacking the hood to make their point that he should 'make better choices.'

The guy did not want to be in the box, people. Nobody wants to be in the box. For crissakes, let the guy out of the box. Stand on the sidewalk for two more seconds and let the guy out of the box. 

As one of my least favorite Aunt's would say,

The legal age of consent in the United States is eighteen years old. Monica Lewinsky was twenty two years old when she chose to have an affair with the President of our fine country. Let me repeat that. THE PRESIDENT. OF OUR ENTIRE COUNTRY!

She was just four years past the age of consent. Think about four years for a second. A lot can happen in four years, sure. From the ages of eighteen to twenty two, while attending Bucknell University, I probably matured mentally, emotionally, and physically about 0%. I'm just being honest. In fact, I was probably getting into bigger predicaments my senior year than I was my freshman year. #Justsayin'

I have two five year olds. The difference between them at one and them at five is, well, not gigantically huge with regard to making better choices.

I realize we've got to draw a line in the proverbial sand, and eighteen seems to be a reasonable enough age to choose, albeit haphazard considering you still cannot have a drink until you're twenty one.

Maybe the age of consent should correspond with the legal drinking age. And let's say that it does, hypothetically, for the case of this nail biting argument I am building. Now Mo Lew is just months past the age of consent, maybe even minutes. And any mom will tell you that days, weeks, months matter. The December babies versus the February babies of a given year are vastly different.

Twenty two is not so much older than twenty one 

is not so much older than eighteen. 

So the President of the United States hits on you. You're twenty two years old, fresh out of college, working at The White House. And. The. President. Hits. On. You.

Make a choice.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Bum Rush Ep. 1 - June Millington from Fanny!

"One of the most important bands in American rock has been buried without a trace. And that is Fanny. They were one of the finest rock bands of their time. They were extraordinary...they're as important as anybody who's ever been. Revivify Fanny. And I will feel that my work is done." - David Bowie

Every now and then I have an idea. Rarely, but sometimes, I actually execute the ideas.

My latest idea is to bum rush interesting people via video - selfie style - and ask them questions about who they are and what they're doing to make the world a better place. Because quite frankly, the world needs to improve itself...on many levels.

I personally think the world would be a much better place with more successful all female fully sustained rock bands in it.

Why has there not been a commercially successful all female band since the 1980s? Yes, I am talking about The Gos Gos and The Bangles. Why has there not been a single all female self sufficient band to crack the Top 40 in the United States since the 1980s? Why has there not been an all female band to rise to the ranks of U2...or even Coldplay?

Dixie Chicks...sort of. Indigo Girls. Not as successful commercially and technically neither are fully sustained bands. Both Indigos and Dixies tour with guys supporting them on stage and in the studio. Don't misunderstand. I've got deep mad loving respect for both Indigos and Dixies. L'HOVE both.


Why hasn't the music industry in our country given the public an all female Beatles, or Stones, or U2, or Dave Matthews Band 
and on and on...

Fanny, first all female band to release a major label album (1970)

So, I had a chance to bum rush June Millington, founding member of the very first all female band to ever release a major label album. Her band is called Fanny. Some of you may know who Fanny is. But I am sure some of you DO NOT know and are just learning that this epically important band in the history of rock music even exists.

It is absolutely butt ass crazy that you had to read Hangin' With Hendo to learn this. Even David Bowie is pissed off about it.

In a 1999 interview with Rolling Stone, Fanny fan David Bowie revealed his respect for the band:

"One of the most important bands in American rock has been buried without a trace. And that is Fanny. They were one of the finest rock bands of their time. They were extraordinary...they're as important as anybody who's ever been. Revivify Fanny. And I will feel that my work is done." - David Bowie

Roll the video:


PS- Here is a list of all female bands out there doing it today. Learn about them. Support them. Help me fix this crisis! And by all means, send me more names, I am happy to post links:

Sick of Sarah


Hunter Valentine


Girl in a Coma

The Blue Bonnets

Oh yeah and Antigone Rising

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Silver Springs Saturday.

Fleetwood Mac has reunited with Christine McVie after a fifteen year absence. A few nights ago, my newsfeed began clogging up with photos from their show at Madison Square Garden. All five of them, together, on the same stage. The thought of it makes me leap with joy.

So talk at the band breakfast table turned to Fleetwood Mac this morning. Dena, our overly loaded with knowledge drummer, said the reason Christine left the band was because of an overwhelming fear of flying. Apparently The Mac showed up in England a few years back and McVie was able to join them on stage, since she didn't have to fly there, and while on stage she realized how much she missed it and decided to seek help to get over her fear.

And it worked!

A few days ago they were on The Today Show. Sarah Kate looked over at me and said, "Are you crying?"

"Yes! I am. I am crying! THIS BAND...MEANS....EVERYTHING!"

So today, let's celebrate Fleetwood Mac.


Friday, October 10, 2014

The World is my Potato.

I cannot find a single piece of encouraging information in my newspaper. Yes. I read a newspaper. This may shock some of you, since you all know that I spend an exponential amount of time on a computer media socializing.

Sometimes you just need good old fashioned paper and ink stains on your fingers. I like it that way, and so long as someone is willing to toss a newspaper into my driveway every morning, I am in.

So, let's briefly summarize the news as I see it.
The United States Supreme Court does absolutely nothing to advance equality on a national level. I mean, our one and only chance for some good news, and The Supreme Court sits there like a bunch of twits with nothing to say.

So now my friends in places like Virginia and 4 other states CAN get married, because the Supreme Court is NOT making a decision. And all the other states, well, tough crap.

So I am not married in Louisiana. Or in 20 other states.


Kristen, or should we call you #Hendo?, your tax money pays me a great salary and I am perfectly
comfortable perched here in my black robe decisionless for you and every gay American and those that love them, says every single Supreme Court Judge right TO MY FACE with a giggle.

It makes me extremely unattracted to anyone on the Supreme Court, even though I could "technically" date one of them in a state like Louisiana, thanks to their LAZY COMPLACENCY!

And then there's ISIS/IL. I have been to the Middle East. This, by no means, makes me an expert on the affairs carried out in the region. It does, however, enable me to say unequivocally that not everyone in the Middle East wants to cut American citizens heads off.

Americans and Middle Easterners co-mingling happily in The West Bank (Palestine). 
Basically, the Middle East is having a PR crisis and they need to fix it STAT. The guys in the minority over there cutting peoples heads off are casting a very long shadow over every single Middle Easterner.

And our government seems cool as cucumbers about it all. It's like Obama is just fine with us 'head counting' - "now it's 3, whoops 4!"

 I am unwilling to live like this, fearing entire regions of the world filled with more kind people than bad ones. And I know for a fact, without even asking, that you are too.

Not the guy I voted for, and not the guy you voted for. I am not a disliker of men, I have a son and father and uncles and boy cousins and love Ryan from The Notebook...

But men in blue suits and tele prompters need to shut the f* up. And YOU ALL agree with me.

The corruption in our own government is forcing us to watch our own people getting their heads cut off in the Middle East ON YOU TUBE!

That is NOT a leap. And I am NOT some crazy left wing liberal. Believe it or not, Rachel Maddow is not my primary news source. And neither is Anderson Cooper. Even though I bet they're both really nice people.

I actually watch Fox News sometimes (I believe it's important to keep the enemy close). And Morning Joe. I do not think Sean Hannity is a nice person, but I went to college with 50 Morning Joe's and Bill O'Reilly actually makes me nervous laugh with some of the things he says. And whether I agree with him or not, I like that he says what he thinks and is outraged in his own right.

I am capable of taking it all in, mixing it in my blender and drawing my own conclusions.

I have a great idea.

Let's keep the amazing 2 party system in place that we have and continue to force our 'civilized' brand of democracy on everyone while we watch the world fall to pieces around us. And the one opportunity we are given to put a bright and happy story in #Hendo's New York Times, yeah, let's just remain undecided on that.

Seriously. I am taking suggestions. Right here on this blog. Sound OFF people! Leave yours in the comment boxes below. I will compile and update you all as to our best course of action.

In the meantime, I am strongly contemplating running for Prez in 2016. This blog may not have won me the support of Ms. Maddow, but there's a strong possibility I've gained that of Bill O'Reilly, and that's what it's all about. Blurring lines. Keeping it weird. Mashing it up.

The world is my potato.


PS-I do not actually think I have gained the support of Mr. O'Reilly. That's just me using a little dramatic flair for the sake of the blog post.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hendo's Top 3 Guilty Duet Pleasures List...

Since posting Hendo's Top 5 Worst Duets of All Time, I've gotten quite a bit of feedback from people adding their suggestions to duets even worse than the ones mentioned in my original blog piece. If you would like to refresh your memory on my Top 5 Worst Duets of All Time, click here. We will wait for you to return.

So, now that you're back, I am adding an additional three songs that should logically fall onto the top 5 worst duets of all time, yet this guy (that's me) loves and knows every word, every nuance, every key modulation to each of them. In other words, make sure #Hendo's your karaoke duet partner on 80s night at Winnie's. 

We are calling it Hendo's Top 3 Guilty Duet Pleasures List. And once again, a shout out to the 80s for making this possible.

Dim the lights and be amazed at my self confidence when I admit to not just liking, but loving these songs:

#3) Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin - Separate Lives
You have no right to ask me why I love this song.
You have no right to act like you don't love it too.
I can't go on pretending this isn't one of my favorite duets of all time.
So for now we'll go on living.....separate lives.

The song comes from a movie that I can't remember a thing about. Oops, I just remembered one thing about it. Barishnikov and Russia.

Oops again. That's two things.

Wait a minute. I just got a flickery flash of Jeff Bridges and a short haired brunette. And after googling it, I realize it's a different movie with a Phil Collins song in it (Against All Odds).

So it's official. I only remember two things about this movie, and one of them is not the name of it.

But none of that is important. What is important is that I still quote the lyrics in moments of unabashed melodramatic-ness. Just visit my twitter feed for proof of this. The words wash over me from time to time and I am compelled to share them via social media. The song is just that good. To me.

"You have no right to ask me how I feel...You have no right to speak to me so kind..."

I just love the drama in those lines and am green with envy that I didn't write them first.

And who could forget the woman Phil Collins sings the duet with? Marilyn, Manson...Martin. Of course. Marilyn Martin. Or the name of the classic movie from which it comes from....I just googled it. wait for it, wait for it: WHITE NIGHTS!

#2) Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald - On My Own
On the minus side, The sexual chemistry is pretty much non-existent. And the singing while gazing out windows on separate coasts only strengthens the speculation that Michael McDonald and Patti LaBelle have likely never even met.

On the plus side, I could listen to Michael McDonald sing the Iliad...the phone book is too overused a phrase nowadays. And I certainly have a healthy respect for what Patti LaBelle can do, even if she physically attacked Aretha Franklin. Yes, I know that was a satirical article about a feud between the two singers, but once it's in print, it is fact. Isn't it? Don't know what the h*** I'm talking about? Clickety click right here.

A duet between two amazingly great singers, albeit extremely random in pairing, recorded in the 80s inevitably leads to one outcome. Me loving it.

#1) Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam with Full Force - All Cried Out
In 1986, I was a camp counselor at the YMCA singing this diddy at the top of my lungs with my co-counselor Sheri. Every kid in our camp group knew the words. We would scream it from the arts and crafts tables, from atop the horses during riding lessons, from around the campfire on sleep out nights. The video, the production, every single thing about it became dated within 6 months of it's release.

And. That's. Why. We. Love. It. So.

Oh yes, I said WE. I assume you love it too.

And if you're thinking to yourself, "Sorry Hendo, I don't love it too...."

Your apology is NOT accepted add me to the broken hearts you've collected. - Lisa Lisa

Watch this video. Keep both eyes open and don't blink, not for one second. Then let's make our date for karaoke night. I know both parts by heart, so you tell me which side you want to sing.

Until next time,