Music

2012 Nightcrawler Notables

Joseph Skutnik, Orange Crush and Tommy Ardolino provide some of the year’s most memorable musical moments.

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Tuesday, January 01, 2013

It’s shameless, really, the way members of the fourth estate utilize the holiday season to regurgitate copy published throughout the year under the guise of a Top 10 or some other thinly themed superlative just so they can hit the office party early.

But far be it for the Crawler to be the kid who tells the teacher, “Wait, you forgot to give us homework for the weekend.” And he’s managed to get his name on some pretty cool guest lists himself this week. So without further ado, here are the uh... 2012... Nightcrawler Notables. Yeah, yeah, that’s the ticket...

The Jingle All the Way Award: Joe Skutnik

Best known as one half of the viral video generators/local hip-hop heavyweights All Out, Skutnik already bested the competition in a 2011 jingle contest, landing himself in the driver’s seat of a Nissan Versa in the process.

And the beat—and booty—went on in 2012, he reports, as the Sunderland wonderkid and his long-distance girlfriend/sonic collaborator Katie Wood scored more than $5,000 in clothing for another promotional tune they inked.

“We work together either over Skype or when we fly to see each other,” he explains. “And, while the jingles are fun, we are also currently working on a new album of both original songs and songs we cover in very original styles.”

To hear a sampling of said offerings, kindly point your browser to youtube.com/kaytuhpai.

The Now, That’s Networking! Award: Orange Crush

As previously reported in this very column, the boys of OC said goodbye to 2011 with a Happy Ending... or, more specifically, by having a tune from their ’80s All Over disc featured on the ABC comedy of same name.

In 2012, Orange Crush squeezed some high-profile exposure out of not one but two small-screen appearances on the peacock network as well.

The first featured nearly one minute’s worth of the band’s “All The Pretty Hotels” on the March 22 episode of Community, NBC’s Chevy Chase-driven sitcom.

Soon after, yet another tune was tapped for an NBC made-for-TV movie, Game of Life, featuring Lea Thompson.

Orange Crush encourages fans to spend their spare time on Saturday, January 19 at the City Sports Grille on Pleasant Street in Northampton. “There’s no cover and the show is located inside the venue’s bowling alley,” the band explains via its website, ocrush.com. “So go bowling before the show, then dance to Orange Crush all night.”

The Surest Way to Get the Crawler in the Dol-Drums Award: Tommy Ardolino

The personable percussionist’s 2012 passing was a musical and personal loss for yours truly.

Ardolino was a Springfield native who spent the lion’s share of his NRBQ years living a block and half from my grandmother, and was always gracious with his time—he was my go-to guy when I needed some star power as a budding journalist.

He passed earlier this year, just three days shy of what would have been his 57th birthday. He left three decades of live performances, some 15 studio recordings and countless smile-inducing moments behind (particularly when he would exit the drum kit for the microphone).

When the Q went on hiatus in 2004, he used the occasion to make a solo record, Unknown Brain, and the disclaimer emblazoned across the cover was vintage Ardolino:

“Warning: If out-of-tuneness bothers you, don’t bother listening.”

Rest in peace, my friend.

*

Last but not least, lest we end on a sour note, there are at least two other local notables who overcame some serious situations in 2012.

Continued health and happiness to musician/promoter Donal Rooke, who suffered a heart attack earlier this year, and journeyman bluesman Art Steele, still on the mend from a midsummer car accident and reportedly making great progress.•

Send correspondence to Nightcrawler, P.O. Box 427, Somers, CT 06071; fax to (860) 394-4262 or email garycarra@aol.com.

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