Angel Casiano, a local musician from Morrell Park, has been playing music all his life. In 1988 he started touring with various bands which took him around the world. Now he’s back in Morrell Park playing guitar, singing and producing his second CD. For about the past 15 years he’s also been writing for Out on the Town, a local entertainment magazine. He writes three to four feature stories a year.
“It’s a musician’s magazine,” Casiano said. “We show whose playing, what they’re playing and who they’re up against.”
Out on the Town Magazine (OOT) is a monthly, free publication covering local entertainment in Delaware Valley. OOT lets people know what’s going on in the area. The magazine is filled with ads for bars and venues in the area with a calendar of events for what’s going on in those places. It list drink specials, open mic nights and other events in the area.
The magazine does more than just list events. Local bands are featured throughout the publication.
“We try to help people who are getting into the industry. Anyone can talk about the hottest person of the moment but I’d rather talk about local unknowns,” said editor Mike Vagnoni.
He said OOT employs mostly entertainers to write it’s pieces.
“99 percent of the items we do are by area entertainers and performers,” Vagnoni said. “The reason is they know this business and can relate will with the people we are addressing.”
Vagnoni started OOT 31 years ago. During college he started playing music to make some extra money. While doing so he noticed a void in the local entertainment scene.
“There was a gap between people who are entertaining, bar owners and those who wanted to go out,” Vagnoni said. “This paper bridged the gap. It told people what they could do. There was nothing like this before in our market.”
Casiano feels the magazine has definitely helped him get his name out.
“A lot of people know I write for OOT. It’s given me local notoriety,” Casiano said.
He said a lot of local bands have contacted him due to the magazine. In past years a lot of the bar tenders and bar owners knew who he was because of the magazine.
“We do a lot for the musicians,” said Casiano of OOT. “It’s the only magazine in Philadelphia that caters to bars and bands.”
Vagnoni’s roots are in the Northeast. He used to live in Mayfair and is still active in the community.
“My focus has always been in the Northeast. It’s a city in itself. It’s vibrant. There are so many places for local musicians. The Northeast is its own element,” Vagnoni said.
Donny Smith is an active member of the Mayfair community and writer for Out on the Town.
“As far as Out on the Town and the community goes, the both go hand in hand. OOT is constantly promoting events right here in Mayfair,” Smith said. “Events like the Mayfair May Fair, the 5K Run, the Shamrock Shuttle, Erin Express, the Pennypack Concerts, as well as the Thanksgiving Parade.”
Vagnoni was MC for the Thanksgiving Parade in Mayfair.
“I was proud to be asked. It’s just one of the doors Out on the Town has opened for me,” Vagnoni said.
Smith is passionate about local music. He’s been writing for OOT since 1999 hoping to help keep local music alive.
“I speak daily with various bands and band members about shows, studios, up and coming gigs, rooms looking to book bands. I go to every Pennypack Concert representing OOT,” Smith said. “Judging by the positive response that I personally get from readers each month, I’d say that what I’m doing is effective, informative, and well liked. Every time that I meet someone either personally, or via email, OOT and the work that we do is always spoken of in a positive light!”
John Ciocci, the bass player for the band Mighty Little, has not been featured in the magazine but has had shows advertised. He believes the advertisement has brought people to his shows.
“It’s a pretty cool magazine. It keeps people up to date so they can catch their favorite bands,” Ciocci said.
Vagnoni hopes to see the music industry gain momentum in the future and he hopes to be a part of it.
“I’m doing what I believe in,” Vagnoni said. “I say you have to have faith, courage and enthusiasm. You have to have the passion and dedication.”
OOT has branched out to become more than a magazine. In the past Vagnoni has produced TV shows to highlight local bands as well as hosted radio shows playing a diversified selection of local music.
Starting next month OOT will be hosting specialty shows at Sweeney’s Saloon in Somerton. Once a month OOT will take over Thursday nights to showcase three local bands and make people aware of OOT.
OOT is available in bars and restaurants throughout the Northeast. The magazine can also be found online at www.ootonline.com.