It’s safe to assume that every kid who didn’t want to be a doctor when she grew up wanted to be a rockstar. For most of us, that goal faded with the realization that someone has to pay the bills. For a lucky few, music became an integral part of life, and being a professional musician inches a bit closer with every new step.
Point in case: Bern & the Brights. More than just a simple descriptor of a girl and her band, Bern & the Brights is a clever moniker chosen for a group of musicians who are doing just that, burning bright.
“We had a chemistry right away as a band,” Bernadette Malavarca, vocalist and guitarist, notes. “I think that’s kind of what made us go as far as we did, because we all recognized that there was something easy happening.”
An “easy” band relationship is a blessing when involvement in the music industry comes along with a collection of days jobs.
“Everyone’s got big kid life,” Malavarca says. “For me, music kind of is my life. I have a job and I’m a grown up in the world, but music is the center. It’s why I’m here. It’s sometimes challenging in the sense that it’s a time issue, and that’s just rough, but I don’t have to worry about the basics. I can focus on making music that is right for me.”
Along with putting out retro, euro-pop inspired tunes and holding down day jobs, Bern & the Brights also make the time to actively share their creations with the New York and New Jersey music scenes. But it doesn’t stop there. The band’s annual Christmas special (that’s right..they do this EVERY year, regardless of whether a recent hurricane destroyed half the city…) serves not only as a live performance, but also as a chance to collect food and clothing donations for a local shelter.
This year’s hometown holiday benefit show will be at Tierney’s Tavern in Montclair, NJ on December 1. For those of us (yes, I’m included here) who are afraid of New Jersey, for good reason, no need to fear. Bern and her Brights are also gracing the Rockwood christmas stage on December 11. You should make it. Because they’re awesome, and what the hell else do you have to do?
Where: Tierney’s Tavern, Montclair, NJ 136-138 Valley Road Montclair, NJ 07042
When: December 1 @ 9 pm
Where: Rockwood Music Hall, 196 Allen St.
When: December 11 @ 11 pm