Mean Wendy Band

The Mean Wendy Band is a folk-rock-do-wap-a-cappella-ragtime-sing-a-long comedy group fronted by song-writer and singer, Wendy Lenhart. She is accompanied, as always, by her trusty Man Band of Ryan T. Barlow, Brian Kelly, Dan Kristie and Zachary Wiseley. Together they write & perform original music.

A Delaware Love Story (from Wendy)

We have had pretty great timing as far as when we got the band together. We all knew each other in one way or another by 2014 through a network of improvisers, sketch comedians and in Dan and Ryan's case- as college roommates. We took the band from the concept of a solo lady standup comedian/storyteller with a musical instrument to a silly vocalist backed by a talented group of musicians fondly known as the Man Band. (I love and admire them in case you can't tell. I even make them dinner sometimes.) Actually, if you've seen "Mean Wendy Band Changes the World" you know that it was just Ryan as the original man (singular) band.

Perfect timing returned in the summer of 2015 when my dear friend, long-time former coworker, and all-around Delaware advocate Jana Savini told me about Gable Music Ventures and an opportunity they were offering for artists to play Wilmo Wednesdays. I contacted Jeremy and explained that we were a comedy band that wanted to expand into playing music venues. He invited us to play and after that, things really started to evolve quickly for us. Jeremy and Gayle booked us just a few months later to perform with Delaware comedy staples Hot Breakfast and Todd Chappelle for "An Evening of Musical Comedy" at the Smyrna Opera House. (Our first contracted gig!) After talking to the big kids on that bill (shout-out to Jill, Matt, and Todd!) about recording their music we were connected with our buddy Ray Gagliardino at Studio 825 where we recorded our first EP. And the rest is pretty recent, but successful history. We even did our digital release for our debut album at a subsequent Wilmo Wednesday back in November of 2016. 

The opportunities that Mean Wendy Band has had playing in Delaware introduced us to some truly generous people who have really helped us on our journey. More recently, in addition to our work with Gable Music Ventures we had an opportunity to open for City Theater Company's resident improv troupe, Fearless for a very appreciative and fun crowd. Don't get me wrong, the fine city of Philadelphia is my soulmate, but Delaware makes a mighty fine special friend too.

Playing the Ladybug Festival last night made it crystal clear that Delaware is pretty great, but even more so the people in it. Now we just need to track down Joe Biden to teach him the Mean Wendy Dance and our lives will be complete. 

 

 Of course we kept our sign from the Chelsea Tavern!

Of course we kept our sign from the Chelsea Tavern!

Mean Wendy Band Saves the World: A Rock Doc Update!

Here's a teaser of the rockumentary you've been waiting for! Our comedy short collaboration with Brazen NYC will debut on April 19th at Philly Sketchfest's 2nd Annual Sketch Comedy Film Festival. We are in the process of making the final cut of the ~7 minute comedy short and couldn't be more proud of the funny art we've created with Elaine and Alyssa of Brazen. See us on the big screen at the Roxy Theater on April 19th and help us celebrate! We will also be doing a Q&A with Curt Reidy of sketch group, High Dramma and Philly Sketchfest Producer during the screening.

Hot Damn! We're ISC 2016 Finalists!

I feel like we just posted that we were semi-finalists in the International Songwriting Competition, and here we are finalists! It is such a huge honor to be along 16 comedy/novelty finalists and 300-some finalists in all categories worldwide. The grand prize and assorted first, second, and third prizes will be decided by a panel of pretty distinguished industry professionals, but there is actually also a People's Choice category where you can vote daily through April 15th every 24 hours. Cast your vote (once every 24 hours) here!

International Songwriting Competition Semi-finalists!

When you apply to as many festivals and venues as we do, you hear more "nahs" than "yays". However, this time around we received an email that is a pretty big yay for us. We are very excited to announce that we have been selected to be semi-finalists in the Comedy/Novelty Song category of the 2016 International Songwriting Competition. We applied way back in the fall and found out today that we were in the top 10% of over 16,000 entries. What this means, is that over the next few weeks (essentially the month of March), judges will review the remaining semi-finalists and narrow down the finalists who go to a set of celebrity judges and into a People's Choice category. The winners will be announced in April. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

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The Mean Wendy Dance: A Rockumentary

You may know it or this may be news to you, but the Mean Wendy Dance is going to change the world- so much so that we made a rockumentary about it this past weekend. It's just a step to the right, and then a step to the left... you know how it goes! The rockumentary business all started back in September when Wendy met Alyssa and Elaine of Brazen NYC Videography at buddy, Cat London's EP Release party. As luck would have it, Wendy won a videography package in a raffle and the ladies have been plotting some video comedy collaboration ever since!

Months of planning came to fruition at the Friday, February 3rd Comedy Show Gates monthly First Friday Show which was filmed and will be featured in the Rockumentary. Lucky audience members served as extras simultaneously performing the "Mean Wendy Dance" in all its glory with the full band AND the addition of Mean Wendy Dancers Martha Cooney, Claire Halberstadt, and Caroline Rhoads. We owe a special thanks to our Show Gates family, particularly our dear friend Joe Gates, the visiting singers of Vocal Motive, the intimidating improvisers of SMFers and of course Cat and Vegas and the Temple of Boom.  

After the Friday night show, production continued at Wendy's South Philadelphia home where the mockumentary/rockumentary interviews were staged. On Saturday morning, we had several of our Philly comedian friends join the project as special guest stars. We can't wait for you to see their hilarious additions to what has become quite the fun project. We owe many thanks to Jacque Baker, Emma Needleman, Dan Rich, Matt Schmid, Ben Shelley, Meredith Weir and Nicole Zeits.  Wendy and the Man Band filmed their bits on Saturday afternoon. Who knew Wendy's row home could be a revolving door for Philly comedians? Speaking of Philly comedians, we also owe Paul Triggiani a world of thanks for his technical assistance from afar.

So good times! Once again, we are ever-so-lucky to have hit the jackpot in working with Alyssa and Elaine from Brazen. Not only were they easy to coordinate and work with personally, but their technical skills, adaption to the performance spaces and suggestions were totally on point. Brazen would be worth a gander for anyone looking to put together a top-notch video production with clever, funny ladies. (We like them a lot.) Now onto posts-production!

 

Crowdfund Our Next Single and Music Video!

Happy 2017! Wendy and the Man Band hope you had a fantastic holiday and are ready to hang with us and get the new year started already. By "hang with us," we could mean to go to a First Friday show, listen to a Mean Wendy Band EP you already own, follow us on Spotify...OR <ahem> help us with our Indiegogo campaign!

Our t-shirt booster fundraiser last year successfully funded our 8-song EP, so this time around we are trying to raise an additional $2,000.00 to do three subprojects that are essentially going to give us a very snazzy digital press kit that can be used for marketing and festival submissions. This includes: 1. Marketing our "rockumentary" which will show how fun our shows are; 2. hire a sound engineer to professionally record what we hope will be our 2017 anthem for empowering women, "Swing Your Dick Around," and 3. shoot and edit video to make a "Swing Your Dick Around" music video. This is a pretty conservative financial goal to do those three things, but we're pretty sure we can "swing" it. (hehehe, swing it)

If you follow the link below, you can select a newly designed, ever-so-soft cotton t-shirt as a perk, but also snag one of our remaining cd EPs. For the more wealthy and adventurous, you can even order a custom Mean Wendy Band singing telegram. That's a pretty one-of-a-kind present! We will drop the hammer on ordering the t-shirts when the campaign is almost over, so expect your shirt in March and the other perks sooner.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mean-wendy-band-makes-a-music-video#/

One last thing- share our existence through our Facebook posts, Spotify, ITunes, or hit that RT button for @JeanyRoo. We have high hopes to share our music thanks to our gang of followers. Or, just share the Indiegogo link with your friend who likes to collect random t-shirts. Whatever you decide, thanks!

-W

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We've Been Busy

By now you have seen the facelift of our website with new branding and new uploads from our soon-to-be-released EP. Special thanks to Ray Gagliardino at Studio 825 for his patience, advice and general coolness during our recording sessions back in April and May. That album also comes with some fantastic cover art by Philly comedienne and graphic artist, Kristin Finger. We've been a little busy getting those stuffs together and writing some new songs we hope you'll come hear at some of our upcoming shows. We are also pleased to announce that we will be continuing our First Friday Shows at L'Etage through 2017. Joe Gates is such a gracious and kind host, we just couldn't resist the fun times in what has become our little cabaret home.

In short, here are the take-aways:

  • On October 5th, we will be playing another Wilmo Wednesday for Gable Music Ventures down at the World Cafe Live in WIlmington, DE. The show is free and was have outstanding sound and acoustics. Just pay for your tasty food and beverages and see our set along with other local musicians. This is also happening on the day our EP releases digitally!
  • On October 7th, we're kinda taking over the First Friday Show Gates for our Official EP Release Party. We will do two sets instead of one, then do some collaboration with resident improv team, Yeti Detectve and the always funny Vegas Lancaster. Tickets are $10 and this is going to be a show to remember!

February in the First State

The first Saturday in February was a rockin' one for us at the Smyrna Opera House in Delaware. We took my favorite exit off of route 1 (they have the biggest, cleanest rest stop on the way to the Delaware beaches) and made our way to a beautiful, historic building in the heart of Downtown Smyrna. This has been our biggest venue to date, (and the most generous one at that!) We owe a huge thanks to Gable Music Ventures for booking this for us after we met them at the World Cafe at the Queen over the summer.

Starting 2016 with a Sketch Hangover

What do you do with a bunch of Philly comedians who have been running around for the holidays, had a hangover/Mummers drinking day on January 1, but then feel all fresh and new by the evening of the first day of January 2016? Have a Sketch Hangover show! Our brilliant drummer Brian Kelly put together a swell little who's who of Philly sketch comedy to start 2016 through his production child, Philly Sketchfest . 17 sketch groups provided a packed audience at the Playground at the Adrienne with a little taste of everything Philly sketch. Me and the Man Band (except for poor Dan who was sick for the entire holiday) tied up the evening with a little "Mean Wendy Dance" and our newer number, "Cthulthu." Between hobnobbing with our community in the green room and playing to an appreciative audience, we'd say 2016 is starting out swimmingly. 

Make our 2016 continue in its awesomeness by coming to our next show, (our BIGGEST VENUE YET) on Saturday, February 6th at the Smyrna Opera House! We will be sharing the bill with fellow musical comedians, Hot Breakfast and Todd Chappelle. The show is brought to you by Gable Music Ventures.

Tickets can be purchased here or from the Smyrna Opera House event page.

Philadelphia Homebase December Show

Well, look at us starting a blog! It seems appropriate as we ride on the coattails of a fantastic show where it all began off South Street in Philadelphia. Almost two years ago, my dear friend Joe Gates let me fill 10 minutes of the show with some nonsense I wrote with my ukulele and here I am 5 musicians strong with a handsome and talented Man Band.

If you haven't learned our new song, "The Mean Wendy Dance," our crowd last night appears to have mastered it. (It was a very coordinated crew.) Speaking of coordinated, it was such a pleasure to do an encore with the lovely and talented Shushanna! (http://www.shushanna.com) Imagine the angst and power of "Jesus Don't Love You the Way That I Do" interpreted by a belly dancer with a beautiful smile! 

We also revealed our newest whimsical folk children's song to Philadelphia. (Sorry, New York saw it first.)  People seemed to dig it. If you follow us on Facebook, check out our post of Bobby Lang's photographic interpretation of the performance.

Be nice! More soon.

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