“It’s called the Snow Ball and it features 10 bands plus several acoustic acts and DJs using both floors of Club Cattivo in Lawrenceville. Acts include…The Harlan Twins. Chet Vincent and Big Bend, Carney Stomp, Thundervest, Vertigo-go and many others. Things start off at 6pm with acoustic acts and DJ’s providing a laidback cocktail/dinner atmosphere along with free “ice princess” makeover by Salon Christine and ice and snow sculpting.

Then at 8pm, It’s a series of 10 bands (five on each floor) providing a huge variety of styles of rock and roll. There is a $10 cover (and that gets split up between the bands). Backstage Guitar and Yeungling Beer are sponsoring the event. The idea is a huge “something for everyone” show all under one roof…no one likes to trudge around in the winter! The date is Saturday, January the 19th from 6pm-2am at Club Cattivo 146 44th St. in Lawrenceville.”

Many amazing bands playing tomorrow night’s ‘Snow Ball’ including a favorite of mine The Hawkeyes. This will be too much fun! Check out the Pittsburgh band on Facebook, ReverbNation, MySpace, YouTube and Twitter as I thank frontman Jay Wiley (Vocals/Guitar) for taking a few minutes to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?

With my own money? Stone Temple Pilots, “Purple”.

Your last album bought?

Geez, I’m a horrible wretched music thief, download after download. I think it was Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, “Cardinology” but that may have been bought for me at a concert. I can’t remember, all in all I remember it was a good time, unforgettable show, Palace Theater I think. Cleveland, few years back.

Favorite album of all time?

Changes like the seasons. In high school I would have said Abbey Road. In college I would have said The Black Crowes, “Amorica”. A little later on Ryan Adams, “Gold”. Nowadays it’s Drive by Truckers, “Southern Rock Opera”. Just an unbelievably produced piece of work, I loved how they recorded it. The songs create this incredible imagery that isn’t just done with the lyrics but also all of the dripping, wet, dark overtones. The guitar tones are to die for. The rhythm is just right. It drives, it sways, it teaches, it preaches. It fucking breathes and goes right into you. Beautiful, beautiful piece of rock n roll mastery.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?

My first solo record. ? I’m not kidding. A lack of focus on my part. There are many folks who like it, I don’t.

First concert attended?

Technically, my first concert that I can remember was when I was about four years old and it was Dad’s Christian Rock band called RAMA. Oh, the ‘80’s and BIG speakers and lights! But I guess if you wanted to say my first real deal concert/big name artist/big stage was Eddie Money and I remember him distinctly polishing off ‘Two Tickets to Paradise’ with an ultra cheesy (but still puts a smile on my face every time i think about that) moment. He quips, “Two tickets to PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA!” and oh how the crowd roared. ? I think my dad’s band in the ‘90’s named Common Ground played second stage at the Three Rivers Ribs Fest. That’s how I got in I think because I was maybe 12 or 13, can’t remember exactly. Oh and dad never wanted me to be a musician like him ?

Last concert?

I’m gonna say Hero Jr. at Radio Radio in Indianapolis. Yeah, I know it technically doesn’t count because we were the opening act (along with The Delta Routine from Milwaukee) but here’s my rationale. The place was jam packed. Before they even took the stage there was distinctive buzz about the audience. When they took the stage the place went bonkers, plus after every song, they were urgently asked by the audience for an encore. They did a REAL encore and when they came back on stage for the encore the place went bonkers again. To me, THAT is a concert. Everything else is just a gig, a show, call it what you want. Last concert I went to where I wasn’t playing? Drive by Truckers, few years back. ‘Big To Do Tour’ w/ Langhorne Slim.

Favorite concert ever?

Can’t really name just one, too many. Drive by Truckers at the Beachland Ballroom sticks out (same tour previously mentioned). Tool at Mellon Arena. Ryan Adams in Cleveland (at some high school actually, I sat all the way in the back and the sound was amazing and the performance was incredibly killer). I saw my old man put on a few good concerts for many, many years. Learned a lot. Stage fright, what’s that? Every Black Crowes concert I go to. Saw Radiohead once. If you haven’t, you should. As good as everyone says they are.

Least favorite concert?

There have been a few, mostly ones that friends have asked me to go to. Had an ex-girlfriend drag me to a Dave Matthews Band concert. Yes, they are amazing musicians. I have no real credible reason to dislike that band but for some reason every ounce of my soul does. I’m sure he’s a great guy. Here’s a funny story about a least favorite concert. My college roommate junior year at Penn State says he has an extra ticket to go see his most favorite band at the time called Fuel (another one like DMB for me). So I agree to go with him. I felt bad he had no one to go with and it was at one of my favorite clubs in town anyway called Crowbar. I couldn’t even make it through four songs of the first band. Loud and not a good loud. Annoying loud, annoying sound, annoying singer. That band? Nickelback. At the time, nobody had really heard of them. I had heard enough and that was that.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?

I love Pittsburgh. I grew up in Ellwood City, so not that far away from the “big city”. I lived in the city of Pittsburgh for about six years and had many good times. On occasion, you may hear something negative said about the area, the music scene in particular, but it’s really all about attitude and perception I believe. I don’t believe Pittsburgh has a terrible music scene. In fact, I think it’s a good one. Not a great one yet, but definitely one that can be appreciated and when we go out of town, it feels great to tell the folks in the audience “We’re The Hawkeyes from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania”. It really does. There’s history around here. Caring people, hardworking and good honest people up and down these river valleys that make this area home for me. And I don’t call it rustbelt pride or a blue collar ethic or something, just an honest to goodness feeling of balance and chaotic calmness that makes me want to call this area home.

Thanks, Jay. Always love seeing you and the guys play, buddy. See you Saturday.