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January 22, 2010

"This indie rock band has all the right stuff to satisfy your craving for music you like but have not heard yet."
    - Hurley Whitticomb, Articlesbase.com

February 2007

"Good news for regional rock...yet another band has been signed to an honest-to-goodness label. The Velmas, who hail from points just south of our coverage area but are certainly familiar to fans of local original rock, signed on the dotted line with indie label Canyon City Records and are just finished the first album of the deal. Titled "Station," the record is full of why the "proof is in the pudding."

This rock trio writes great songs...in the vein of modern rock like Pearl Jam, The Shins, and the kinds of bands fitting the intellectually stimulating middle-of-the-road genre. I like it. You can see The Velmas at almost any regional club that hosts good live music...if they book rock, The Velmas have played there."
    - Alex Hyatt, SPICE magazine

July 13, 2006

"Coming Into Their Own

After years of moonlighting as a cover band, the Velmas hope to break out with a new album and label deal

Do you want to know a secret? Here's one: Albany pop-rock trio the Velmas. They've been around for a long time now-seven years-yet a biography on their new label's Web site calls them the "best kept secret in upstate New York." But judging by the number of Velmas-logo bumper stickers (oval-shaped, black and green) pasted on automobiles around the Capital Region, you'd think they were the most popular band in town. Based strictly on their frequent placement atop Readers Polls in Metroland and other publications, they actually are the most popular band in town. Yet they claim they're pulling bigger crowds in Syracuse than at home, that only 10 people showed up for their label-signing party at Valentine's last spring.

In actuality, lots of people have heard the Velmas, they likely just haven't heard the band's own music. For the better part of a decade, the Velmas have been doing what bands need to do to stay happy: not playing too often, keeping the vibe loose and fun, and making sure the members walk off with a few bucks after gigs. In the Capital Region, that means playing covers. They've been writing their own music all along-they've released one full-length CD (2002's Another Day at School) and the 2004 "double EP," Recess; guitarist-vocalist Mike "Harvey" Grosshandler also has released two solo discs (Scales and Wrote Myself)-but the bills get paid through playing acoustic happy hours and four-hour request-fests at bars like the Bayou Café, places better known for being hookup spots for drunk collegegoers than for being live-music destinations.

Obviously the Velmas would prefer not to be kept secret, hence the aforementioned label-signing. They have a photo shoot scheduled for their new record label, City Canyons Records. By Grosshandler's count, this will be the first time they've had band pictures taken in three years. Bassist-vocalist Todd "Figaro" Minnick anticipates this by ordering a "low-carb" burger-basically, a hamburger without a bun (and it inexplicably costs a dollar extra!)-at the local tavern where I meet them for dinner.

Drummer-vocalist Mike "Bruce" Bruce comments: "He's gotta get to Fig weight for the pictures!"

(The etymology of the nicknames isn't all that interesting-"Bruce" is, obviously, the drummer's last name-but Minnick does claim to have been passed off as "Fig" in public on occasion, and the guys refer to each other by these names almost exclusively.)

Nicknames, in-jokes, what have you-these things donít necessarily set them apart. And the Velmas' music is nothing groundbreaking. This is not a slight: They play pop-rock music, which some would lump into the "alternative rock" category. All three members can actually sing and play their instruments, which is nice. They're three regular guys in their late 20s and early 30s. No out-of-control personalities, no crippling drug habits. They all have regular day jobs, regular lives. They all wear hats.

And all three share lead vocals, which can make a band seem practically anonymous to listeners. While this might make them a tough sell, it's the band's identity: three personalities vying for the spotlight, and it has been since day one.

Bruce and Minnick began playing together in alt-rock quartet Pour Jayce; Grosshandler joined later. The three members left that band, one by one, only to re-form a few months later as the Velmas. That was seven years ago, an impressive tally, considering that the average life span for an original, local band is less than two years. "All the bands that were around when we started [are gone now], except for Sirsy, and theyíre just a two-piece now," says Grosshandler.

Longevity doesn't always equal success. So how do they survive, especially at what is (theoretically) their busiest period to date? We discuss the stress and, ultimately, burnout that can result from the long hours and little pay that come with being in a regularly gigging original band, to which Minnick laughs, "That's exactly where we are, but (somehow) we're still together."

The band currently average four to six full-band gigs per month; Grosshandler also plays solo, and performs as a duo with Bruce. I ask exactly how much time each member wants to-is able to, much less, factoring in jobs and personal lives-put into the band. Grosshandler replies, "I want to play the most; he [Minnick] wants the weekends off."

"Bruce does most of the booking," adds Minnick.

"I do some booking," continues Grosshandler. "He [Minnick] does a lot of reality-TV watching."

"We all have our roles, and we all agree that we're in the right spots. That's how we negotiate-what's the bare minimum for me to do and stay in the band?"

Bruce: "t usually requires two phone calls from me a year to keep him in the program."

Minnick: (mimics holding a phone to ear) "Free beer? OK!"

The whole group breaks into laughter. A democratic process, indeed.

While they laugh together often, the guys are serious about their music. Their work ethic-always looking for the "big break," trying to make a living (eek!) as musicians-is admirable, as is their ability to make the most of the small victories. For instance, in 2004, the band submitted a version of "Restless, Restless" to a contest on the pre-satellite The Howard Stern Show. While they didnít win, they stayed in touch with Stern cohort Vinnie Favale (who, if you're familiar with the show, wrote the "song"), and worked out a publishing deal so they could release the song commercially. Last summer, Favale released the Best of 'Restless Restless' Vol. 1 CD through his Web site (ripthemusic.com). The Velmas version is track six, following a version by the one and only William Shatner.

"We've got, like, 25 bucks in royalties so far," Grosshandler says. "We've got the MP3 up on our site. We get like 600 plays a month."

The Recess EP also provided another, unexpected success: The band's cover of the theme song from Scooby Doo, included as an unlisted bonus track, has "taken off, without any promotion of [the band's] own," Grosshandler says.

People can buy the song individually because, he points out, "On iTunes there are no hidden tracks. . . . We've sold or streamed over 2,700 copies. With all of our other songs, we've made $100. We've made over $1,000 off 'Scooby Doo.'"

"At one point, we were in the Top 10 children's plays!" Minnick adds.

The band took a step toward a larger victory at a label showcase in Connecticut three years ago. There, the band met J-Rock and Patty the Radio Girl, two DJs who took to the Velmas' music and began spinning the band's tracks on their Internet radio show, Rock Solid Pressure. The Velmas' music won the show's call-in voting contest five weeks in a row. (Minnick jokes that the DJs liked the band enough that they lied about the numbers; this information is, of course, unsubstantiated.) J-Rock and Patty went on to host an FM radio show in Florida, where they befriended Trebor (yes, Trebor) Lloyd of City Canyons Records. The DJs passed on the winning songs from their Internet show, Lloyd was into the Velmas, the Velmas were into Lloyd's master plan (something about artist development-does anybody remember artist development?) and, after a live show in August 2005, followed by months of negotiation between the band's lawyer (William Morris, no joke necessary) and the label, the band finally signed on the dotted line this January.

"This is a genuine deal," says Grosshandler. "[Morris] says this is the best deal heís seen a band get, for a first-time deal."

Lloyd is excited to have the band on board. "Our idea with the first album out is to brand them," he says, "to make them known nationally and internationally." That includes retail distribution, and the possibility of an overseas release in early 2007. "Our focus is really international rather than national. While we are branding the Velmas in the U.S., will be making a big effort to sell them in the U.K."

Plenty of acts have signed label deals, only to find themselves back where they began six months on. Wisely, neither the Velmas nor Lloyd are getting their hopes too high for the new release, but rather looking at the bigger picture.

"We aren't even thinking that much about commercial success yet because we're still in phase one of our business plan," says Lloyd. "We're kind of like the Wall Street guy who buys undervalued stocks and waits for them to grow. . . . While we are always happy to have lightning strike, we are patient and don't expect artists to become instant hits. We're in it for the long haul."

Station, the Velmas' first recording for City Canyons, was recorded mostly at the John Storyk-designed Chameleonwest Studios in Buffalo over the last two years. Two years is a long time, but Buffalo is Goo country, and holdups were inevitable: Producer Marc Hunt was called on to do preproduction for the latest Goo Goo Dolls release halfway through the Velmas project.

"For four months, we couldn't work on our album," Bruce says, "As soon as the Goos said [they were] coming to Buffalo . . . Marc was off-limits to everything until they were done."

"If they had an idea at three in the morning, he had to go out there," follows Grosshandler.

The mixing stage of the project was batted around to various engineers as the studio got busier; the 10-hour round trips further delayed the project. But the band members are excited about the end result-in fact, they're hoping to get all 15 songs they've recorded onto the final release, although, as Grosshandler recalls, "[Lloyd] was like 'How do you guys feel about 12?' I believe he called it 'commercial suicide.' "

Minnick continues, "Of course we've said the same thing about everybody else's 15-song records." A possible compromise would see the cast-off tracks released as an EP at a later date.

Of the 15 songs, a handful have genuine hit potential. Grosshandler handles some of the strummier, more-earnest material, and his "Now for a Then" and "Forever With Me" sound ripe for crossover success-or placement on The O.C. Bruce plays crooner on the ballad "Would It Matter," then imitates a Brit accent on "Tell Her I Love Her," a fun- sounding song (think Third Eye Blind meets Blink 182) with a made-for-radio chorus. (For a drummer, his songs are pretty good.) Minnick's "Out There" is an upbeat party-rock tune just begging to be played loud while driving. And then there's a (sort of) tongue-in-cheek cover of Lionel Richie's "Hello" that . . . well, defies explanation.

Overall, the sound is reminiscent of modern rock's "heyday," that moment in time (roughly 1996-1998) post-grunge, pre-nü-metal, when melodic, guitar-driven bands like the Verve Pipe, Toadies, Everclear, and Tripping Daisy could thrive. And right now, with no clear trend happening in rock music (nobody's going to buy a second Killers record, and you know it), the Velmas might just be in the right place at the right time.

They wax enthusiastic about the perks, some financial, that come with having signed to a label. As previously mentioned, until recently they've split their stage time between all-original sets and mostly cover gigs-for the money, obviously. (Nobody plays "Brown Eyed Girl" just for fun.) And the cover-gig money has been a big help up to this point.

Grosshandler: "We bought a trailer, we bought a Pathfinder to pull the trailer, we got equipment."

Once those bills are paid, Grosshandler continues, and City Canyons releases the record, the Velmas plan to cut way back on the cover gigs. With Station in the can (scheduled for an early fall release) and the label promising tour support, the band members are excited to mount their first more-than-a-weekend-long tour. But more than that, even, it seems like the very idea of having a label is exciting for the Velmas.

Bruce says, "All the reasons we had to play cover shows, soon we won't have to worry about anymore." But, he adds, "We'll still do it [once in a while] just to have some extra. You always want to have something in the bank."

They're a practical bunch, which suits them well at this stage of their career. They mention that they've never had to pay band dues or pay out-of-pocket for anything major, that the band has "paid for itself." This in itself bodes well as they attempt to make the move to an all-original, even full-time, outfit. (Although they could consider teaching a few classes in Band Management 101 to make an extra buck.)

Grosshandler sums up: "We've worked really hard to get as far as we have, and we don't plan on messing that up any time soon! You canít accomplish anything if you don't keep trying."

And that's no secret."

    - John Brodeur, Metroland
"The Velmas were very impressive with their 3 part harmonies, great pop hooks, and all 3 guys working the crowd like a real team - that is rare to see, and it was very well done."
    - Vince Ripper, Xoch
"What's a 'Velma'?"
    - Gene Simmons, KISS (yes, for real.)
"December 2, 2002

So I recently had the joy of seeing The Velmas and The Flying Bobbz play. I want to start out by saying that this is in no way a comparison of the bands to one another. They both have similar strengths, so I wanted to write about them together. Though I don't think either of the bands would really care because, from what I understand, are good friends.

The Velmas and the Flying Bobbz both play original music, as well as some covers. I give them the most credit for their original music. It's not easy to write original music; which I talked about previously, so I won't get into that again. The Velmas have a Pop Rock type style and The Flying Bobbz have a Pop Punk type style. Sorry guys, and babe, if that's an inaccurate analysis of your music. I think they both capture their styles well. They don't try to write and sing to music that they can't necessarily pull off. One thing I love about both bands is that they have members in each band that can sing lead, as well as backup; especially in the Flying Bobbz, very unique. Skip (from FB) has the perfect guy voice for punk, and Sarah (from FB) has a very sincere sweet voice than you don't really hear too much in a female punk singer. You can't stop your ears from transfixing on to her every word. Skip and Sarah sound great singing and playing together, especially with drummer Rick in the mix. They're like sticks of dynamite exploding during every song with a classic, yet modern Pop Punk sound. The Velmas drummer Mike "Bruce" B. does the same. Pounds them skins like it ain't no thing, while together with Mike "Harvey" G. and Todd "Figaro" M. wailing out their Pop Rock sound. Bottom line........ their originals kick @$$.

As for cover songs, well, there's nothing I hate more than when you go see a band and all they play are cover songs; which I would like reiterate that neither The Velmas nor Flying Bobbz does. Everyone is so judgmental, including me, when it comes to hearing a band (other than the original band) play a cover song and it doesn't sound like or better than the original. Fortunately this isn't the case with these two bands. The covers that they play, they do well, if not better than the originals.

There are however, a couple of popular local bands (that shall remain nameless) that in my opinion are extraordinary musicians, but don't touch me in that ever so special spot, when comes to playing covers. Though for some odd reason, people like them. I guess those people are the close-minded, talent less, yuppie freaks. It makes me sick that these bands make money off other people's talent and don't really push original music; especially local original music. If they care, and want to help the Albany music scene, they should at least play The Velmas and Flying Bobbz songs.

Some of you may already know of these bands. What they're all about. What they've done. Just remember to spread the word of them, and what they can, and will do to come. If you haven't heard of them, make it a point to check out their websites, www.thevelmas.com and www.flyingbobbz.com, as well as a show. You won't regret it. I'm sure you'll soon have your favorite song from each of these bands. Support them and be at their next show, party down, and tear s#!t up... in the most legal way of course!!!! They're playing together on Jan 3rd at Valentine's in Albany. Hope to see you there... I will. Oh ya, I forgot to mention, they're both really cool to hang out with as well. :)"
    - Wacki, "Wacki's Werdz", Albanybands.com

 
Kicking it with The Velmas

Three-man band "The Velmas" have been big in the Albany scene for the last few years, even scoring an award for best alternative band of 2006 from Metroland. They've got a new CD out, "Station," with 13 great tracks, including a cover of Lionel Richie's "Hello."

Their music has a strong alternative vein, with a little bit of punk thrown in. Somehow they manage to have a genuine sound, despite being in such a packed genre. This is probably due to the fact they don't stick to a set vibe. Each song has a feel that distinctly matches its lyrics and sets a mood to the sound. They don't try and stretch their words to fit their band's "sound." They avoid the formulas and go for their own brand of originality.

The band's influences show up at unexpected times in their music. In "Past Tense," there is a decidedly anti-social twist and a dark, deliberate sound reminiscent of Nirvana. "Would It Matter" is more like a journey from The Red Hot Chili Peppers into the realm of Primus. In short, their music has an awesome and refreshing old-school essence that makes it almost familiar listening after the first time.

The Velmas now have three albums including "Station." They've been signed by City Canyons Records and their music is available on iTunes for the discerning iPod owners among us.

Overall, the band has a winning sound. They play to the crowds, they play for themselves, and they generally play around.
    - Lauren Levine - Albany Student Press, March 2007

"Hook laden songs, top notch vocals

[Station] is a modern rock record with a large slice of power pop. The Velmas possess both goofy nicknames (the three singer-songwriters are Todd "Figaro" Minnick, bass/vocals; Michael "Bruce" Bruce, drums/vocals; and Mike "Harvey" Grosshandler, guitars/keyboards/vocals) and hook-laden songs. Some songs sound as if they'd fit alt-rock play lists, with pummeling drums and white-hot guitars. However, the vocals are top-notch, and there's a playful, punky twist to some of the tunes, like "Midnight" and "Out There." There's also a speedy cover of Lionel Richie's "Hello" to close out the set. Check the Web site if local merchants don't have it! Ask locally, or shop online at www.citycanyons.com."
    - Ricky Flake - South Mississippi Sun Herald, January 2007

"The Velmas is a result of what happens when three uber-talented musicians get together and form a band, each one holding his own and complementing the others. [Recess] is a MASSIVE development in rock n roll as we know it today. Music like this doesn't just come our way so you have to grab it when you find it. Grab and be grabby!!! And... if you sign up to be on their street team, you get to be called a "Velmite." So calling all you who don't have a nickname or need a better one. BTW - the phone actually rings on Track 2 on their latest CD "Recess...""
    - fearlessradio.com, February 2005
"Now I have to tell you I hate most things that come from the city of Albany, New York. One of the things that I can say with a straight face that I enjoy is The Velmas. They're an excellent studio band and an entertaining live band. If you ever see these guys playing in your area you should come out and see them. They're not marred with the typical suck that comes from Albany rock bands. The Velmas remind me of bands like the Monkeys only a little heavier. Very catchy music and some great lyrics. Another Day at School was a lot of fun to listen to, with I've Been Thinking my favorite track on the album. There are only one or two spots I felt that take away from the overall album, but it is worth checking out."
    - thebrandonshow.com, June 2004
"Punk or rock fans, pay attention: The Velmas are in town! The Velmas write and sing their own songs, and their first album, released in 2002, is called Another Day at School. The members of the band are Mike 'Harvey' Grosshandler, Todd 'Figaro' Minnick, and Michael 'Bruce' Bruce. (Harvey also has a solo CD called Scales, and it's on sale online at www.cdbaby.com.) The Velmas got their name from Velma, a cartoon character in the cartoon Scooby Doo, and the trio formed when all three members were in a previous band, Pour Jayce, that fell apart, so they formed a new band.

Bruce, who is a raving Kiss fan, plays the drum set for the band. Harvey plays many varieties of guitars, and so does Figaro. They all sing and produce their own songs which is their main strength. The band plays all over the Capital region, and even though Metroland called The Velmas 'The Capital Regions' Best-Kept Secret', they are actually popular all around the Northeast. A lot of The Velmas' songs are not just musically complicated, but they're lyrically complicated as well because they give the listener something to think about, and they intellectually challenge the reader. A good example of this can be heard in "Listen". The listener has to listen to the song over and over before understanding what the lyrics mean.

Another Day at School, overall, is a very lyrically clean and yet head-banging CD. All of the songs have good drum set solos, great electric guitar solos, and some harmonies that can amaze, draw in, and entertain the listener. A lot of people that hear The Velmas' music will say that they are just as good as any of the world-famous bands. The members of the band, especially Harvey, have superb sound and all of them have a huge range. On this CD, The Velmas really show that they know how to showcase their talents. In the song "Sun", which Harvey sings, The Velmas have awesome harmonies, loud and clear drum set solos, and electric guitar that makes the listener want to get up and dance. However the "oooooooo's" sound more like country music, not rock music. Another song, "I've Been Thinkin'", which is written and sung by Harvey, is the best song on the album. The singer rocks, there's loads of intricate drum set solos, and the end of the song leaves the listener wanting to hear more. Amazingly, this Capital Region band sounds more like a world-famous group than a local one. The Velmas aren't just good; they're the real thing."
    - Christian Rohr, Miss Pufky's 6th grade class, Iroquois Middle School, April 2004

"Hold on to your hats kiddies. Here's the latest in mainstream radio rock pop videos. The band, The Velmas. The video, track 4, Sun. Acoustic intro. Slow zoom to guitar player sitting alone on a stool playing acoustic guitar, head down. First drum beat, guitar disappears and he gets up... 3 seconds of walking and break to a shot of the right side of his face. Everything has that dismal lighting. He mouths the words only when everyone is singing. He keeps walking down the street and is joined by his band mates, who only sing when his vocals are solo, this gives it a mysterious, but not too weird feeling. At the acoustic guitar break he is again on the same stool and the same street, but the light gradually enters and he looks up, squinting. At the chorus it breaks to a helicopter shot of the entire band playing under the sun on top of a grassy peak. Various shots of the lead singer and an obvious ray of light on his face. For the ending acoustic portion, the guitar player is now on the stool, but on the hill, alone. Fade out with him looking up at the sun. This video will be all the rage on TRL."
    - John Goulet, Scenester Online, June 2003
"March 19, 2003

For all my years of work being a CD rater for a radio station, I can tell you a few things about music. I am more than pleased to have been given the chance to review "Another Day at School" by the Velmas because, unlike a lot of the chud Iíve had to put up with by starving musicians, this was actually a pleasure to listen to.

The Velmas are a band with balls. While most rock bands stand complacent and refuse to show any progress, the Velmas are already taking chances and mixing musical influences. There is a definite and easily found chemistry at work within the trio, allowing the musicians to try things that other bands shy away from. I'm thinking of the vocal harmonies and barber shop breaks in songs like "Red Sky" and "Sun" and that neat "Ooogah!" sound at the beginning of "Clue". Who else has done this?

The bass is down-right adventurous, standing out as a definite groove-foundation within the music. The guitar, comparatively, is actually sort of quiet, but when it does speak up it has something just as catchy and memorable to say, executing solos with feeling and pizzazz only present in the hands of true guitarists. The drumming is precise and never for one moment boring, another rarity in the rock genre. The combination of all three factors make this album uplifting, memorable and promising.

If I had to pick out something I disliked, I would have to say the school samples. Not too destructive to the overall sound, but it does remind me of that Twisted Sister song "I Wanna Rock". Given the highlights however, I think thatís a forgivable offense.

All in all, I would say this album rocks. The Velmas are a band that everyone should be paying attention to because there is something for everyone in the sound. "Another Day at School" is an optimistic first effort from this Albany trio. I am looking forward to hearing more!!!

* * * * stars out of five! "
    - Genevieve Salerno, WAIH 90.3FM, March 2003

"If you ask a kid in the know if he wants another day at school, he'll say yes. That's because 'Another Day at School' is the title of The Velmas' rocking little long player. The Velmas (bassist Todd Minnick, drummer Michael Bruce and guitarist Mike Grosshandler) rose out of the ashes of Pour Jayce three years ago and the trio has been steadily building an audience (for their own stuff as well as for their big bag of cover tunes) ever since. Their tight sound reflects jazz, blues, funk, fusion and reggae influences while remaining true to the modern rock thang."
    - Michael Eck, albany2go.com, June 2002
 
March 2009 - Readers of Metroland, in their 2009 Readers' Picks, once again select The Velmas as the #2 Best Local Rock Band. Velmas guitarist/singer Mike "Harvey" Grosshandler was also selected "Best Local Solo Musician".
November 2007 - The Velmas opened for Shaw Blades - featuring Tommy Shaw from Styx and Damn Yankees, and Jack Blades from Night Ranger and Damn Yankees at Northern Lights in Clifton Park, NY.
August 2007 - Out of over 1000 songs, The Velmas are currently in 4th place in the Alternative Charts on Clearchannelmusic.com! We are also in 6th place in the "Rock" charts, and 7th in "Hit".
July 2007 - The Velmas performed at the Albany Conquest Season Finale Block Party in front of the Times Union Arena.
March 2007 - Readers of Metroland, in their 2007 Readers' Picks, select The Velmas as the #2 Best Local Alternative Band AND the #2 Best Local Rock Band. Velmas guitarist/singer Mike "Harvey" Grosshandler, and Velmas bassist/singer Figaro are both voted "Best Local Celebrities With Whom You'd Like to Have a One-Night Stand". Grosshandler was also selected "Best Local Producer" and "#2 Best Local Solo Musician".
January 2007 - Rkstar.com readers voted the Velmas album Station in the Top 15 Albums of 2006.
November 2006 - Station debuts at #27 on the charts on KCWU 88.1 in Ellensburg, WA for the week of 9/26/06 - 10/03/06. Station is receiving airplay on 58 radio stations across the US and Canada, with more stations adding the album each week.
September 2006 - The Velmas performed with Everclear, Nightmare of You, Mohair, Ism, and many more bands at Larkfest 2006, Albany, NY.
August 2006 - The Velmas opened for Soul Asylum at Revolution Hall in Troy, NY.
July 2006 - The Velmas performed at Fox 23's Summerfest at Altamont Fairgrounds.
March 2006 - Readers of Metroland, in their 2006 Readers' Picks, select The Velmas as the #1 Best Local Alternative Band. Velmas guitarist/singer Mike "Harvey" Grosshandler, and Velmas bassist/singer Figaro are both voted "Best Local Celebrities With Whom You'd Like to Have a One-Night Stand". "A Velmas show" also receives a nod as a "Best Time to be Had for Under $10".
January 2006 - Crumbs Radio selects the song "Silenced" from The Velmas as #2 in its Top 10 Tracks of 2005 list.
December 2005 - The Velmas' version of Restless, Restless is featured on "The Best of Restless, Restless, Vol. 1", a greatest hits compilation from the Howard Stern Show Contest.
September 2005 - Pulse Radio, a web radio station out of the UK, features "Silenced" by The Velmas as one of their "Hot Trax".
August 2005 - Velmas guitarist/singer Mike "Harvey" Grosshandler was again voted "Best Local Celebrity With Whom You'd Like to Have a One-Night Stand" in the Metroland Best of the Capital Region 2005 Readers Poll.
February 2005 - Based on customer purchases at Amazon.com, The Velmas' "double EP", Recess, was ranked #86 in the Early Adopter Product in indie music.
January 2005 - Velmas guitarist/singer Mike "Harvey" Grosshandler's second solo acoustic CD, Wrote Myself, placed in the Top 20 Albums of 2004 as voted by readers of Rkstar.com.
December 2004 - The LakeFX Radio compilation CD, "Best of 2004", features The Velmas' song Sun.
September 2004 - The Velmas open for Collective Soul at UAlbany's FallFest 2004, Albany, NY.
June 2004 - Velmas guitarist/singer Mike "Harvey" Grosshandler was voted the "#1 Best Local Solo Musician" and "Best Local Celebrity With Whom You'd Like to Have a One-Night Stand" in the Metroland Best of the Capital Region 2004 Readers Poll.
May 2004 - The Velmas' song "Clue" was the 5th most played song on XM Radio Channel 52 for the week of May 28, 2004.
May 2004 - The Velmas' song "Clue" was the 7th most played song on XM Radio Channel 52 for the week of May 21, 2004.
May 2004 - The Velmas were selected by readers of Albany2Go.com in their Best of The Capital Region 2004 Poll as the #2 "Best Development on Local Arts Scene".
May 2004 - The Velmas are added to rotation on XM Satellite Radio Channel 52 "Unsigned".
April 2004 - The Velmas win four weeks in a row, and are declared Grand Prize Winners, on Rock Solid Pressure, as decided by listener votes. Rock Solid Pressure is a web-radio station contest affiliated with Epic/Sony records.
February 2004 - Crumbs Radio selects the song "Sun" from Velmas guitarist/singer Mike "Harvey" Grosshandler's solo acoustic CD as #9 in its Top 10 Tracks of 2003 list.
October 2003 - The Velmas opened for Vertical Horizon at Northern Lights in Clifton Park, NY.
October 2003 - The Velmas performed at Larkfest 2003 in Albany, NY.
July 2003 - The Velmas achieved a second mention in the Metroland Best of the Capital Region 2003 Readers Poll as one of the Best-Kept Secrets in the Capital Region. Velmas guitarist/singer Mike "Harvey" Grosshandler was voted as #2 Best Local Solo Musician as well.
July 2003 - The Velmas performed with Moe. at the K-Rock-A-Thon at Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont, NY.
March 2003 - SanctuaryRadio.net chose "Out of the Hole" by The Velmas as #4 in the First Annual Sanctuary Radio Top 10 Awards!
"#4. The VeLMas "Out of the Hole" (Another Day at School) - 2002
...Great vocal harmonies and a solid effort for their first record..."
January 2003 - WEQX (102.7, Manchester, VT) listeners chose The Velmas as one of the Top 5 Local Bands of 2002.
December 2002 - The Velmas made it into Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM's top 15 of 2002.
October 2002 - The Velmas open for Winger at Northern Lights in Clifton Park, NY.
July 2002 - The Velmas achieved a mention in the Metroland Best of the Capital Region 2002 Readers Poll as one of the Best-Kept Secrets in the Capital Region.