- Retro Records
CBGB Punk Rock Veteran Vicki F Goes Downtown with Post-Punk Petula Clark Cover and Music Video
Connecticut punk rocker Vicki F has released a new music video for her acoustic, post-punk version of Petula Clark's classic "Downtown." The video was captured "Let It Be-Style" on a rooftop in downtown Norwalk CT.
NORWALK, CT, April 12, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Fairfield CT-based singer-songwriter Vicki F, aka Vicki Ferrara, has released a new music video for her cover of the classic 60's song Downtown, as originally recorded by Petula Clark. The video, which is now streaming on YouTube, was filmed on a commercial rooftop in downtown Norwalk CT, close to Factory Underground Studio where Vicki F recorded the song.
The recording was produced by Ethan Isaac, co-owner of Factory Underground, and mixed by co-owner Kenny Cash. The video was produced by Factory Underground, directed by Marc Alan along with co-director and cinematographer John Shyloski, who also edited the film. Additional drone footage was provided by Jeffrey Willet. The recording was released on the Pilot Light Records label, a subsidiary of Factory Underground Records.
Downtown is a childhood favorite [song] of Vicki F, from days long before she performed at CBGB and other legendary punk venues such as Max's Kansas City and Ron's Place...
The song Downtown is a childhood favorite of Vicki F, from days long before she performed at CBGB and other legendary punk venues such as Max's Kansas City in New York City and Ron's Place in New Haven, CT in the early 1980s. It was in that time that her band Troupe DiCoupe blazed a trail through the early New Haven CT punk scene and began performing in New York City, sharing a stage alongside other emerging notables such as Blondie and the Talking Heads.
Troupe DiCoupe was an eclectic band with a unique mix of electric punk rock, featuring trombone, saxophone and congas, that put on an exciting show. They certainly caught the eyes and ears of CBGB owner Hilly Kristal who gave the band a Saturday night slot after a single weekday evening audition.
Troupe DiCoupe would go on to release a double album entitled So Young, So Desperate, which was rereleased on Spotify and other streaming platforms in 2019. By all accounts, these were wild days in Vicki's life - performing in Troupe DiCoupe under the pseudonym Trudi- ones that she would eventually need to leave behind.
"This was a period when I was in and out of a lot of relationships, and drinking a lot. I don't know if I would have survived if I kept going at that pace. It was then that I met my wife Michelle, who brought a lot of stability to my life, and it was then that I decided to sacrifice making music to have children. I made the right decision, because we are still together, with two grown sons that we could not be more proud of," said Ferrara.
During her period away from music, Ferrara found herself pursuing an entirely different passion - one for the law. This, combined with her passion for family, led to her becoming a prominent attorney in the state of Connecticut, representing couples seeking children through adoption and surrogacy.
Music, meanwhile, had become a part of her past - a memory that she tried unsuccessfully to distance herself from, with the occasional twinge of longing: "I would go to concerts and see myself on the stage, and I always wondered "What If...," she says.
It would be the passing of a close friend that prompted Vicki to finally return to music. As she was singing to her dear friend in her final moments, Vicki says that she felt her friend's spirit come into her, willing her back to music. It wasn't long before she dusted off her favorite acoustic guitar and began writing. She has not stopped since.
Finding her way to Factory Underground Studio in Norwalk CT, she began to work with studio co- owner/producer Ethan Isaac, who felt a personal connection to her music and her story. With Isaac's guidance she released her debut solo EP Definite Yes in 2019, and a second EP, Perfect Here in 2021. Vicki continues to write and record, releasing new works in 2022 and 2023, including Put the Critic in the Coffin an original song about eliminating self-doubt, and her latest recording, the cover of Downtown featured in her music video.
About the look and feel of the video: "For the cover art on Spotify, I had wanted to evoke the type of cover art that was popular in 1964, with a cool artist portrait and oversized, stylized lettering. We needed a portrait of Vicki for the cover, so I turned to Factory Underground photographer John Shyloski. We had a great time with Vicki, shooting in the streets of South Norwalk, CT,' said Marc Alan.
So when it came time to shoot the video, it was only natural for Alan to work with Shyloski as the cinematographer and video editor.
"I had worked with John on a couple of other videos before, so I knew what he was capable of. I had the idea of shooting this on a roof-top setting, something like the Beatles did in "Let it Be." I actually envisioned something very close to what you see in the actual music video, with the song being performed during twilight, during that magic time when the sunset is on the verge of becoming night. We had to shoot very quickly, as we began losing light," Alan said.
"Unfortunately, it was a rather gray overcast day, so John really had to pull out all the stops in getting it filmed in pretty low light conditions. In editing the video, he did wonders with color correction, adding interesting lens flares, and filtering the video to bring out the warmth and sunset I wanted," Alan explained.
"While I can say that the final video really captured the images I had in my head all along. But the truth is that without John Shyloski's technical skill, that vision would have remained in my brain. I think that that's why we make a great team," Alan said.
Pilot Light Records is a label dedicated to the promotion of the emerging, independent recording artists, a subsidiary of Norwalk, CT-based Factory Underground Records and Factory Underground LLC.
Pilot Light Records
16 Isaac Street
Norwalk, CT 06850
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