CMU Grad Creates Power Hour, the Album

If Ali Spagnola's hour-long Power Hour tunes don't get you moving, the booze certainly will.

You learn a lot when you get to college. One of the first terms I picked up was “pre-game.” No, not the four hours of radio before kickoff.

The fine, subtle art of “pre-gaming” is the practice of drinking while getting ready for a party, so as to already have a nice warm buzz going on arrival. (This is, of course, much more practical in a college town, where you rarely have to drive.) The ritual takes different forms for different people, from merely sipping a beer to elaborate drinking games that would send more moderate quaffers running for the hills.

One such game is the popular but treacherous Power Hour—get a watch/clock/timer/friend willing to count seconds and take a sip every minute for one hour. (The traditional wisdom is to take a shot-glass full of beer, but a sip will do just fine.) Certainly not for the timid, and to be approached cautiously, but a nice way to get where you’re going.

Enter Ali Spagnola. The local musician and CMU grad was more than keeping busy, but facing the problem that a lot of young artists face: getting anyone to show up at concerts. As she put it, “I had struggled with promotion for concerts, so I wanted to make a party.” In 2007, she began putting together one-minute pop songs that generally revolved around drinking; once she had come up with sixty, the party was born.

Turning a live show into a drinking game—the live Power Hour—was a stroke of genius, and an instant hit at CMU. The five dozen ditties are catchy, varied bits of pop fun, and with each clocking in at exactly one minute, Spagnola doesn’t even have to bother remind the crowd to drink. Every time a new song starts, it’s time for a sip.

With many other endeavours, though, it took a while for the songs to evolve beyond fodder for legendary parties. Spagnola is, by day, an artist and sound designer with local game company Evil Genius Designs; she’s also produced several other albums and is an active visual artist. Finally, after four years, and an extended lawsuit with some dude who claims to have invented the term Power Hour (note: he didn’t), the Power Hour Album was born.

Available at powerhouralbum.com, even the format is ingenious. You can by a shot glass with a USB drive in the base, which contains the album. The shot glass, obviously, is for drinking (although you should probably keep the USB dry.)

To celebrate the long journey from concept to product, a CD release party is scheduled for this Friday at South Side’s Diesel Club Lounge.

“The crowd will drink along and play with me. It should be a good time. A lot of the songs are interactive, so you’ll be jumping up and doing dances.”

As the first live Power Hour in over two years, Friday’s event promises to be another unforgettable party, no pre-gaming required. You can pick up the shot glass/album combo or a regular CD of the Hour, and party coaches will be provided to keep you motivated throughout your long path to inebriation.

And, of course, Spagnola (and After Dark) would like to remind everyone to be responsible. Stick to your limits and, obviously, get a designated driver. Even as a confirmed ‘Burgh party queen, Spagnola agrees.

“I had to start a company for this, so I called it Binge Responsibly, LLC. On my CD, I say, ‘Be responsible. Having fun is cool, but killing yourself is not.’ The game is not about finishing all sixty shots. Everybody wins.”

(1601 E Carson St, South Side. Friday; Doors at 9 p.m., show at 10 p.m. $5. Info: http://www.fadedindustry.com/2011/11/30/power-hour-concert-at-diesel/ )

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Southwest Airlines Planning More Flights from Pittsburgh

Southwest Airlines Planning More Flights from Pittsburgh

The Allegheny County Airport Authority has been lobbying for more direct service from Pittsburgh to the West Coast.
Zing Basket Promises Speedy Grocery Delivery to Your Door

Zing Basket Promises Speedy Grocery Delivery to Your Door

The online grocery delivery service opened this week, promising delivery in 45 minutes or less to selected neighborhoods.
Old Farmer’s Almanac: Winter in Pittsburgh Will Be Warmer, But…

Old Farmer’s Almanac: Winter in Pittsburgh Will Be Warmer, But…

In its 225th year, the reference book on weather suggests we tune up our snow-removal equipment.
Chris Jamison Releases His First EP

Chris Jamison Releases His First EP

The Ross native finished third on NBC's “The Voice” in December of 2014.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Chuck Noll: A Man for All Seasons

Chuck Noll: A Man for All Seasons

Two years after Chuck Noll’s death, University of Pittsburgh Press prepares to publish the first definitive biography of the legendary Pittsburgh Steelers coach. Pittsburgh Magazine is proud to share an interview with author Michael MacCambridge and an exclusive excerpt of “Chuck Noll: His Life’s Work,” scheduled for release in October.
The Changing Face of Campus in Pittsburgh

The Changing Face of Campus in Pittsburgh

Renovation is under way at nearly all of our area colleges and universities. For students heading back to school this fall — and their parents — we offer this crash course on the highlights of these projects and their projected benefits.
Fall Fashion: In the Black

Fall Fashion: In the Black

The little black dress, and shirt, and pants, never go out of style. Add mystery to your wardrobe with these easy-to-accent autumn staples.
Apteka: A Taste of Home

Apteka: A Taste of Home

Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski bring top-notch vegan, eastern European cuisine to Bloomfield.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sign Up for the 412 e-Newsletter

 

Our daily e-newsletter is curated by the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine and is designed to give you the very best Pittsburgh has to offer -- delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign me up!
* Email
 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Southwest Airlines Planning More Flights from Pittsburgh

Southwest Airlines Planning More Flights from Pittsburgh

The Allegheny County Airport Authority has been lobbying for more direct service from Pittsburgh to the West Coast.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

Kennywood Park opens soon and new this season is the return of the famed whale at the entrance of Noah’s Ark. In the name of science, PittGirl paid an early visit to test the squishiness quotient of the whale's all-important tongue.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Where to Go at the Three Day Blow

Where to Go at the Three Day Blow

Our dining critic (and Three Day Blow organizing committee member) has a roundup of some open to the public events.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The 5 Best Comic Shops in Pittsburgh

The 5 Best Comic Shops in Pittsburgh

These comic book shops offer more than just your casual Batman or Spider-Man choices.

Comments


New Industry Public House Location Up to Par

New Industry Public House Location Up to Par

If you’re in need of a dining option that’s not a national chain while visiting the Robinson area, this is one to keep in mind.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Le'Veon Bell Talks The Talk But Can’t Walk The Walk

Le'Veon Bell Talks The Talk But Can’t Walk The Walk

The Steelers running back emphasized his latest suspension resulted from missed random drug tests, and not a relapse into the marijuana-induced haze that got him jammed up last season. But if you lack the maturity to grasp the consequences of your actions (or, in this case, inactions), does it really matter?

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Custom Made: The Surmesur Suit

Custom Made: The Surmesur Suit

Straight out of Canada, the custom menswear store opens its first U.S. location in Pittsburgh.

Comments


Sean Collier's Popcorn for Dinner

The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
'Hands of Stone' Keeps the Boxing Movie Genre Strong

'Hands of Stone' Keeps the Boxing Movie Genre Strong

Reviews of "Hands of Stone" and "Don't Breathe," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
The Lucky Ones: Katie Doré and John Potter

The Lucky Ones: Katie Doré and John Potter

Want even more Real Pittsburgh Weddings? We'll be bringing them to you throughout the fall, beginning with this lovely and lucky couple.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Put a Lid On It! The Container Store Coming to Pittsburgh

Put a Lid On It! The Container Store Coming to Pittsburgh

The store famous for carrying storage and organizational products is set to open at the revamped Block Northway in Ross Township.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Two Events Planned for Prospective Waynesburg Students

Two Events Planned for Prospective Waynesburg Students

A fall visitation day and a Saturday information session aim to allow interested students a look into life at the university.

Comments