Rocket Shop 7/25/2012: Gon JA; Briana White; The Dirty Blondes

Gon JA Words by Ben Nordstrom. Photo by Lily Chau.

Tonight, Rocket Shop was joined by Johnny “Drumbo” Siple and frontman Dana Wana Pskana of the jam metal trio Gon JA. Gon JA is comprised of Dana, John, and Mark RX, and they write and perform in a wide array of genres. Dana is 39 years old, and went to Berkley College, studying music, mathematics and art. He is an artist and composer, and draws inspiration from being homeless while working in Hollywood. “Dana Wana Pskana” is a childhood nickname coined by his sister. John has played the Djembe since he was just nine years old, and plays many other instruments as well.

Three tracks were played on air. These included “I Know Why You Say Goodbye,” an emotional acoustic piece; “Nine and Flesh,” a suspenseful orchestral piece written for a movie; and the self-titled “Gon JA”, a semi-improvisational electric jam metal piece. The group has an EP coming out, produced by Craig Parker Adams at Winslow Court studios.

Briana White

Words by Suzanne Friedman. Photo by Lily Chau.

Briana White was a wonderful guest on Rocket Shop tonight. She showed up with a huge smile on her face, ready to perform with enthusiasm. She has a raw acoustic sound with truthful lyrics drawn from personal experiences. Originally from Rhode Island, the 20 year-old has already attended Berklee College of Music for a semester and has chosen to spend the summer in good ol' Burlington, Vermont. Briana is nothing but humble and honored to have the opportunity to perform her music at local venues. After playing for 11 years, the passion can easily be heard bursting through her vocals. She has an excellent vocal range and her songs all have a great, catchy rhythm.

Her first live song performed tonight was “Happy” which she wrote at Berklee in a hallway where she and a stranger jammed together. He actually taught her the chord progression for the song, which is quite a songwriting story. The second song played was “No Assembly Required” which she describes as, “an angry song.” Both Briana and Samantha (our Rocket Shop host) discussed how the best songs come from relationship struggles. Finishing the set with an Alanis Morissette cover, Briana truly showed how strong and crisp her vocal ability is.

Briana White can be heard this Saturday in Montpelier at Bagitos (burritos and bagels) from 6:00pm-8:00pm. Also, she is thrilled to be performing in the Maritime Festival on August 11th, so make sure to stop by and check out her music. For more information, go to

Dirty Blondes

Words by Suzanne Friedman. Photo by Lily Chau.

Diane Sullivan is Reverend Blonde of the Dirty Blondes and she closed Rocket Shop tonight. Reverend Blonde is quite the character with a witty sense of humor. She joked, “I expect to earn a Grammy for best new artist.” The Dirty Blondes truly represent girl power with angry lyrics and head-bobbing tunes. The vocals are gritty and add quite a unique sound. Heard first on Rocket Shop, The Dirty Blondes are thinking about remixing songs with local DJs. Catch The Dirty Blondes this Friday the 27th for The 7 Days Band Night at Red Square. They will be performing at 9pm. Also, make sure to stay updated because they should have a CD coming out soon.