By Pat Sullivan in New Work

No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes. Punk Rock attitude a must. Wall of death optional. Please don’t sue.

Earlier this year Brian Goodheart mixed the awesome documentary Riot on the Dance Floor about DJ Randy Now and the punk rock haven, City Gardens. Members of bands like Descendents, Dead Kennedys, Fugazi, Minor Threat, and The Bouncing Souls give us an inside glimpse into what it was like to play at one of the most iconic venues in the scene.

It’s full of archival footage and photographs of the New Jersey venue, plus great stories about riots and moshing and fire and of course, GWAR.

The film, directed by Steve Tozzi, will screen at CBGB Fest in NYC on Friday, October 10th and Saturday, October 11th. You can watch the trailer below and tickets can be purchased here




Peter Tabbot (Producer), Brian Goodheart (Mix Engineer), and Steve Tozzi (Director) do a final pass on the mix at Sonic Union earlier this year. (Photo by Ken Salerno)

By Sonic Union in The Core

Ok so we know it’s Wednesday but just pretend we posted this on time…we just couldn’t leave you hanging an entire extra week to hear about our receptionist with the best-ionist, Maggie Carroll! This international woman of mystery hails from Italy and is famous around S*U for her fabulous headbands and wraps. Read on to check out this filmmaker’s favorite songs.

Maggie handling a very serious phone call.

Maggie handling a very serious phone call.

Q: Is there any specific theme to your playlist?

A: Well my father, who is pretty hip music wise, has accused me of listening to “old fuddy duddy” music. I use to be offended by this, but I’ve realized its pretty accurate. I like songs that either tell a story, remind me of a good memory, are impressive talent-wise, or have a good beat you can dance to! Fuddy-Duddy-Dance Theme.

Q: Would you say your music taste has been influenced at all by your international upbringing?

A: Si! I grew up listening to a lot of classic, American stuff, but also listening to a lot of Italian music from the 70s thanks to my mom. I spent every summer with my grandparents, who loved Pavarotti (not because of opera, but more as a point of pride) and “fuddy duddy” Italian TV personalities. Think Lawrence Welk quality stuff…

Q: Anything you love to listen to that didn’t make the cut on this list?

A: Soooo I really like Bollywood movies….and spotify hasn’t gotten the Indian music memo yet. I’ve played this song called “kabhi kabhi aditi zindagi” at least once a day for the past month. I like songs with sampling…and Chance the Rapper’s new song “Everyday” isn’t on spotify.

Q: Has a boy ever serenaded you? What did he sing?

A:  Do I sound like a total jerk if I say two have? I am that cool…So I dated one guy who serenaded me in his native language, Spanish, accompanied by some well-intentioned but poorly executed guitar playing. The other one might not really count. He composes music for commercials and films…so I was serenaded by ambient, electronic sounds. Oh, so, romantic…

Q: What do you think the best song/type of song to sing in the shower is?

A: I’ll answer with a pandora station- Usher. Done. Next Question.

Q: Did you ever have an embarrassing phase in your music taste?

A: I’m pretty sure I included disney music and a Brian McKnight song on my playlist. I love disney music, I know all of the words to all of the songs, and my 25 year old sister and I reference lyrics in texts, completely un-ironically. But never embarrassed! I don’t know- music is music it makes people happy. Even that crappy taylor swift stuff.


Check out Maggie’s playlist here!


By Sonic Union in The Core

If you’ve ever come into S*U and worried about gaining ten pounds due to being surrounded by delicious treats, blame Cheres Espinosa. Our wonderful chef (who is also a wonderful artist!) hails from Spain and is by far the bubbliest and sweetest member of our family. She’s sharing some of her cooking secrets with us, starting off with delicious paella. Here’s what she has to say about her recipe:

“I learned this recipe from the owner and chef of a very good restaurant in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria called “El Horreo”. Her name is Ana and she is from my hometown in Spain, Asturias. She is an excellent cook and a great friend. Every time I make this dish, titled “Arroz Caldoso,” or Winter Paella, it’s like being with her at her restaurant by the beautiful beach of Las Canteras in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.”

Check out her instructions and pictures below! (We made half with meat and fish and half vegetarian)

“Arroz Caldoso”


  • olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • chicken meat
  • pork meat
  • Arborio rice
  • 1 dozen italian clams
  • 4 calamari (squid) cut in rings
  • 1 small octupus (cooked and cut in little pieces)
  • 1 dozen shrimp with shell (and heads if possible)
  • saffron

Dice the onion and garlic and cook in a shallow pan with olive oil until is soft. Add tomato, also diced.

Add meats, dressed with salt and diced small. With the stove on medium-high, cook until golden brown but not overcooked.

Put the heat on high add the rice (one cup for two people) and let it get a little color for 2 or 3 minutes.

Then add water, salt to taste, and saffron. Stir well.

Add all the seafood.

photo 8

Let it cook covered for aprox. 18 to 20 mins.

You can stir it once in a while.

After 18 or 20 mins. turn off the heat and let it rest cover for 2 more minutes.

Uncover and let it sit for another minute.

Take it out of pan and pour onto a large tray to stop the paella from cooking further.

SERVE IMMEDIATELY! This is very important, Paella can not wait because when rice sits without being eaten it keeps cooking and we end up with overcooked, mushy rice. Not good.

Octopus tips-

Bring water to boil with a bit of salt and when boiling submerge the octopus and take it out. With water boiling again do the same for a second time.

The third time leave the octopus in with half an onion and let it cook until gumminess is almost gone and it is soft but still a little rubbery (depending on size of octopus it can take 20 to 30 mins for one pound).


Serve with Rosado wine (from Spain of course!) or semi-dry white.

By Pat Sullivan in The Core

It’s Tuesday so you know what that means…tunes! This week we sit down with Marissa Lando to talk roadtrips, awkward emo years, and how amazing the song Danger Zone is. See her interview below and stick around til the end to check out her full playlist!


Marissa Lando (Alias, Lando Calrissian) equipped with coffee and denim.

Q: So what does this playlist say about YOU?

A: Well, it obviously says I have pretty varied taste in music! Each of the songs or artists on this list were at one point super important to me and played a LOT of times. So it’s more about what each individual song says about me than the list itself. A lot of these songs take me back to a very particular place or time.

Q: What band/artist would you say means the most to you?

A: A lot of the classic rock songs and artists on here are important to me because they remind me of my parents and being a little kid and listening to their music in the car. Weezer was also one of the first bands I discovered that showed me that there was music to listen to besides top 40s and whatever was on the radio. I can’t count the number of times I’ve listened to Pinkerton.

Q: Best concert you’ve ever gone to?

A: Well unfortunately I haven’t been to nearly as many concerts as I hoped I would have by now. I’m quickly making up for lost time though. Frightened Rabbit was pretty unreal mainly because of the energy of the band and the chemistry between the band and the audience. It was in an intimate venue and they were just unbelievable. It made you feel like you were really a part of something.

Q: What song would you say is your guilty pleasure?

A: Anything by My Chemical Romance which I strategically left off of this playlist. They are too embarrassing for even a self professed emo kid to admit they liked.

Q: You’re heading on a roadtrip. Which 5 songs are absolutely necessary?

A: This could go two ways. The best road trip songs are either classic rock or 90’s hip hop. So here would be my top picks for either of those themes:

Classic Rock:
Sultans of Swing – Dire Straits
House of the Rising Sun – The Animals
Lovin Touchin Squeezin – Journey
Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams
Paradise by the Dashboard Light – Meatloaf

Hip Hop:
Can I Kick It? – A Tribe Called Quest
Forgot About Dre – Dr. Dre/Eminem
Check Yo Self – Ice Cube
No Diggity – Blackstreet
Boyz-N-The-Hood – Easy-E

*Honorable mention goes to Kenny Loggins with Danger Zone which is is perfect for any occasion.*

Q: What’s one artist you think more people should know about?

A: alt-J has been the band I’ve been singing praises of since their first album came out in 2012. They’re just starting to really get some steam now that their sophomore album is coming out this month. I don’t know if I’ve ever listened to an album more times than An Awesome Wave (their first album).

You can check out Marissa’s full playlist below. Enjoy!

By Sonic Union in The Core

A few Sonic employees and some FOSs (Friends of Sonic) got together this past Saturday to hang out outside the office building. We just love where we work THAT much.

pretty colors

Okay…while that may be true, we had an extra special reason to be in Union Square this weekend. We signed up for the Greenmarket Rescue volunteer program to help stop food from going to waste. City Harvest coordinates volunteers at farmer’s markets around the city to collect excess food at the end of each day. It then distributes it to community feeding partners throughout the five boroughs.


We spread out into teams, armed with plastic bags and big collection bins. Our task was to ask the farmers and booth keepers whether they had any leftoverproduce to donate to the feeding programs. The answer was often “of course” and they even helped  weed out the less- desirable fruits and veggies.

We had a great time meeting other volunteers, learning about the food rescue program, and just hanging out.

Visit their site to learn a bit more, and look out for next volunteer hang out!

Doin' WorkVolunteeringIMG_08591  Truck Time


By Sonic Union in The Core

Holy fishsticks, Batman! It’s been a long time since we’ve posted. Luckily that is about to change- starting with some awesome new (and old) music. Check in with us on Tuesdays and we’ll be posting playlists about everything from staff and client favorites to guilty pleasure songs. First up, our own Pat Sullivan answers some hard-hitting questions about the music that best defines him, from mixtapes to Space Jam. See what he had to say and listen to his playlist below!


Pat Sullivan with his muse, Michael McDonald.

Pat Sullivan with his muse, Michael McDonald.

Q: What approach did you take when making this playlist?

A: My musical interests are all over the place. My mood, the weather, and what activity I’m doing can inspire some really diverse song choices. I think if the music you listen to is one-sided, then you become a one-sided person. Embrace it all! So, for this playlist, I decided to take those different influences and organize them into sort of a timeline.

Q: What band would you say had the greatest formative impact on you? What was the first band to change your life?

A: HA! Can’t wait to get judged on this answer. It has to be Van Halen. I remember driving to my little league games with my dad when I was a kid. He would play Van Halen’s self titled in the car. I just couldn’t believe that the sounds I heard were from a guitar. It definitely sparked my interest in music and it’s great pump up music to kick some ass in teeball.

Q: What’s the worst thing on your iPod?

A: Oh god…It’s either OMC’s “How Bizarre” or rough recordings of my high school marching band’s halftime show. Every time my friends scroll through my iPod they make it their mission to find the most embarassing songs. You know what? It’s definitely the marching band stuff.

Q: Have you ever made a girl a mixtape? What was on it?

A: Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever made a mixtape for a girl. If I DID:

  1. Here’s Lookin’ At You Kid – The Gaslight Anthem
  2. Holocene – Bon Iver
  3. Stay With Me – Sam Smith
  4. The Girl – City and Colour
  5. I Want to Know What Love Is – Foreigner (I mean, you gotta end it on a classic)

Q: What is your personal least favorite song of all time?

A: We Built This City by Starship.  It’s horrible. There’s also a home video of me playing air guitar to it when I was 4. It needs to be buried along with that song. (Writer’s note- we are currently working on uncovering this footage.)

Q: All time best movie soundtrack?

A: My favorite movie soundtrack, nay, AMERICA’S favorite movie soundtrack, is the 1996 classic…Space Jam.

Q: And finally, if you could make everyone in the world listen to one song, what would it be?

A: If I could make the whole world listen to one song it would be “Leave” by Glen Hansard from the movie “Once”. I saw him perform at Beacon Theater a few years back and it was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. He played that song without a mic and his voice still filled the theater. It was just him and a busted up acoustic guitar and it blew my mind.

 Listen to Pat’s favorite songs below: