By Anthony J. Machcinski
From rock to rap and from paper to canvas, this area is ripe with culture and talent. If you’ve read the Out and About section all year, you know that there have been so many good bands, musicians, vocalists, writers, and artists to grace Out and About’s front page.
To remember the year in entertainment, The Observer wanted to recognize some of the great performers and events of the past 12 months.
Best Musician: Mia Borders. The 24-year-old guitarist/singer came to Donegal Saloon August 12th and blew the doors off the place. Not looking like the stereotypical, factory-produced pop star, Borders, who wore jeans and aviator sunglasses provided those in attendance a style of music only found below the Mason-Dixon line. Borders makes very few appearances in the North, but when she does, they are worth traveling to. With her well-crafted guitar playing and a soulful voice to go with it, Borders was named one of the hidden surprises at the 2010 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival by USA Today. To listen to her music, check out her website www.miaborders.com or search for her in the iTunes store.
Honorable Mention: Karen Luschar, singer.
Best Movie: Fast Five. Normally, sequels to movies are awful. “Clerks 2”, “Major League 2”, and this year’s “Hangover 2” are only some examples as to how disastrous a film sequel can be. However, despite being the fifth installment of the series (fourth if you take out the out-of-storyline “Tokyo Drift”), “Fast Five” had all the action moviegoers could ask for. Best of all, there was actually a storyline. Sure, this was not the best movie plot of all time, and if your’re looking for a serious movie this was not for you, but if you wanted straight action that didn’t get so blown out of proportion that it took away from the plot (like the “Transformers” movies), this film was definitely the best of the summer.
Honorable Mention: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Music act most likely to be famous: I Am Fighting. Mia Borders could have been considered in this spot, but was not because of her success in the South. However, that should not discount one of the best young bands in the area. Comprised of Joe Gehrmann, Dan Tretola, Dom Gaglio, Joe Hughes and Mike Lisa, I Am Fighting won the contest to play at Bamboozle, the annual three-day event that has become one of the largest in the area. Since then, the band has continued to play shows all over the area. With an emotional, yet powerful version of pop music, I Am Fighting is definitely one of the area’s best bands around. Check out their music on iamfighting.com or on iTunes.
Honorable Mention: Ripped
Best all-around talent: Steve Egoavil. A true artist in every sense of the word, Egoavil has been the complete package when defining art. Originally a sketch artist who got his start being “a hardcore doodler,” Egoavil went from selling paintings on the streets of New York to becoming a tattoo artist, eventually owning his own business, Art in Motion in North Arlington. However, Egoavil’s added skill as a percussionist makes him the winner for best all-around talent. From playing samba with people in Riverbank Park in Newark to some of the largest stages including NJPAC, Giants Stadium and Lincoln Center, the always-humble Egoavil has certainly become of one of the area’s hidden gems.
Honorable Mention: Karlee Roberts
If 2011 is any indication on the future, our coverage area will continue to be one of the entertainment hotbeds in the New York Metro area. Continue reading next year to track the progress of some of these stars and to discover a few more.