Haiti receives a dose of medicine

Giant Mind and local bands gather to perform a benefit concert for the disaster victims in Haiti.

Giant Mind and local bands gather to perform a benefit concert for the disaster victims in Haiti.

This Friday, Giant Mind will host a Haiti relief concert at Philadelphia’s Arts Garage. All of the profits from the event, Alternative Medicine: Local Artists Helping Haiti, will go directly to Doctors Without Borders.

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Courtesy Chelsea Schryver Members of Giant Mind – (left to right) John Kutlu, Tom Magliaro, Greg Puglese, Steve DiRomualdo and Andy Hagerman – host Alternative Medicine: Local Artists Helping Haiti. All proceeds made Friday will go to Doctors Without Borders.

“We organized this event because we all felt that it was extremely necessary to help as many people as we could based on our musical skills,” drummer Tom Magliaro said.

Having performed at local venues such as the M-Room, the Khyber and the Blockley Poorhouse, Giant Mind – a group consisting of Temple alumni – doesn’t let social constraints keep them from pushing the limits.

They said the more scattered the genres of music performed at the concert, the greater the impact the fundraiser will have on the audience.

The lineup of bands includes Giant Mind, Power Animal, Andrew Lipke, Sky Ship and TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb.

“We’ve asked each of the participating bands to play because we love their music,” Puglese said. “We are excited to be playing with some great Philadelphia talent that we respect very much.”

Giant Mind is new to the scene, with five members from Philadelphia. Through the suggestion of vocalist, keyboardist and guitarist Greg Puglese, Giant Mind was created and the unique musical backgrounds of its members gave life to a brand new sound.

“It’s always exciting to try and play something a little different than what’s out there,” fellow keyboardist and trumpeter, Andrew Hagerman said.

Other group members – guitarist John Kutlu, bassist Steve DiRomualdo and Magliaro – noted that their musical interests have broadened since the formation of the band.

They said this expansion is partly due to the diversity of Temple’s campus that students are subject to every day. Main Campus is drowned with people not just from across the nation, but from abroad as well.

“We all went to Temple for four years, and I think the cultural diversity that thrives at [the university] definitely opened our eyes to all sorts of styles and influences,” Hagerman said.

Besides Temple’s diverse campus, Giant Mind also gets inspiration from a variety of music genres. The band doesn’t stick to a single type of music to follow, citing inspiration from Miles Davis to James Brown.
The majority of their music has been based off songs that Puglese wrote. Lyrics usually roll of the top of Puglese’s head, he said, but he still acknowledges the significance of the group as a whole.

“Even though we mostly perform my songs, I wanted to use a band name rather than my own name, since it had become more of a collective effort,” he said. “It just seemed kind of silly to use my name when other members of the band are just as important when it comes to the overall performance.”

The five bands are going to bringing originality to the stage Friday. Members of Giant Mind said they hope for a large turnout.

“We encourage any music fan to come out, even if they haven’t heard any of the bands,” Puglese said. “It will be a great way to raise money for a great cause and strengthen the local music scene.”

Kenny Thapoung can be reached at kenny.thapoung@temple.edu.

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