Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Just Like Heaven - A Tribute to The Cure

With a music dream in one hand, and a Tax Refund check for less than $2000 in the other, Joe Spadaro started American Laundromat Records in 2004.

Now, about 4 and a half years later and over 10 releases to their credit, American Laundromat Records continues their run of putting out great records with the disc - Just Like Heaven - A Tribute to The Cure.

The 17 song (includes 1 Bonus Track) record features bands and musicians alike - The Poems, Julie Peel, Tanya Donnelly & Dylan in the Movies, The Wedding Present, and many more (see track listing and band listing below).

In my (that's me, the author here) opinion, "10:15 Saturday Night" by The Poems is one of the standout tracks - Joe shared this opinion when he first heard the song sent to him by The Poems,
"When Robert sent me this I was like you've gotta be kidding
me. This is unvbelievable. He really re-invented it. And
they turned it into this epic song. And it's just gorgeous."

01. Just Like Heaven performed by JOY ZIPPER
02. The Lovecats performed by TANYA DONELLY & DYLAN IN THE MOVIES
03. Lovesong performed by THE BRUNETTES
04. In Between Days performed by KITTY KARLYLE
05. Friday I'm In Love performed by DEAN & BRITTA
06. Jumping Someone Else's Train performed by LUFF
07. Boys Don't Cry performed by THE SUBMARINES
08. Close To Me performed by ELK CITY
09. The Walk performed by THE ROSEBUDS
10. Pictures Of You performed by ELIZABETH HARPER & THE MATINEE
11. Let’s Go To Bed performed by CASSETTES WON’T LISTEN
12. Catch performed by DEVICS
13. A Night Like This performed by JULIE PEEL
14. 10:15 Saturday Night performed by THE POEMS
15. A Strange Day performed by GRAND DUCHY (Violet Clark & Black Francis)
16. High performed by THE WEDDING PRESENT
Songs listed in this color/italics/etc...played on Independents Uncovered on Dec 8, 2008.
To purchase this CD or any others from American Laundromat Records....just find your way here: http://www.alr-music.com/shop.php
Joe also gets help from his wife and kids with putting things together so, know that he runs a good family operation and that the hands that are helping him are family.
We had a great show last night with Joe Spadaro as our guest and I thought so much of the interview and his record, I wanted to make sure I put this out there.
I may put some of the interview on here, but I dont know yet. We'll see.
Graphics/Art courtesy of American Laundromat Records.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Slow Learners and OMEGA Band!

If you didnt' make it to Asylum in DC, you missed a great show by both bands.

I left my home and took mass transit into DC and when I popped out of the Metro, I took my maiden voyage on a DC BUS!

And, the driver was a woman, and young and cute! How the heck does that happen????? I mean....I'm 39.....but.....I didnt know that was possible!

So, in my humble opinion - this show was great!

I want to take a moment to thank Ed from the slow learners who literally introduced me to every person he knew at Asylum to make sure that I was comfortable but also for networking purposes - for friends of his in other bands.

But the bottom line here is that I was cool because I'm friends with Ed and that was great with his friends.

Ok - the show.

The Slow Learners -
Sweet B
Mr. Burroughs
Paul and
ED (also known as Special Ed)

This show was great with people getting up and dancing and moving their heads - The Slow Learners rocked the house. And members of the Omega band i spoke with prior to the slow learners show were so appreciative of Ed and so complimentary.

The Omega Band came on and Ricky just Rocked the house with - well, this is going to come out weird, but the word I want to use is LUSCIOUS and SOULFUL. They have a great sound, the vocals were great - and, it doesnt hurt that the 2 woman at the front of the band are beautiful.

Last night's show was free to all who came and The Slow Learners as well as The Omega Band were selling CDs for $5 each.

That's not much considering when Independent Musicians need to pay for studio time, equipment and, OH YEH! If someone gets sick, its not like they always have a day job giving them medical benefits. If a doctor costs 100$ to go see and they dont have insurance, there's no copay folks! And, if they need medication, once again, no copay - they pay full price.

Check out the slow learners at:

and the Omega band at

Recordings dont do justice to how the crowd reacts with the slow learners on stage or the omega band.

Take some time and listen to their music and go seem them live.

It's a great time.

PS - I want to thank those folks that gave me music last night - Dar, the omega band, and Mike Ivie - yes - THE MIKE IVEY of BASEHEAD.

* Quick Story *
Ed from the slow learners is a part of the mini community that Mike Ivey created that has spawned Citizen Cope and The Slow Learners as well as up and comers Mr. Burroughs and Yellow. But, the big thing is building the community and as your band grows or your following grows within the band, you also do your own thing until you spin off/out of the band. At the end of the day, it's like being born - again. But at the end of the day, they all know where they came from and Ed is repeatedly speaking so highly of Mike and this community he's built that I had to mention it here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Don Caballero and Ponytail

I went to IOTA's last night with Mike - our very own Mike who brings us Donohue's Music Den every week.

So, we arrive as the opening act - Ponytail - was playing and Molly Siegel was belting out sounds that made me think of Bjork. Basically - the spoken word doesnt matter - its the music and the sound of the voice that count. - Think Psychic TV.....or, at least, that's what I did. The vocals are an additional instrument here.

So, while I don't typically listen to this type of music, I was open to it and, in the end, I thought that Ponytail's show was better than Don Caballero.

Don Caballero performed for about 50 minutes. And.....when they all walked off the stage.....I didnt know they were done. People stood around for awhile inside IOTAs - and there were probably about 50 people maybe more there......and I couldnt believe that there wasnt anymore. My gut tells me that a headliner plays for more than 50 minutes, but hey - I dont know what the deal was there.

Don Caballero's performance, for me, can be characterized as - mostly music....some vocals.....AND NO ONE WAS IN SYNCH with eachother.....

Mike and I just kinda kept looking at eachother like.....something was off....and, it was all of them.

Mike said to me.....I know what they're trying to do.....which would be good......but......they're not in synch.

So.....Don Caballero.....I dont know what you typically sound like so I have to be fair to you.....but, if you walked out of IOTAs thinking that you werent at your best and this was your first show and you're still working some stuff out....that's cool and good luck the rest of the way.....but.....I think some more rehearsal time is needed on your music.

If you want to read the article in the washington post about this tour, check in with this link for the washington post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/14/AR2008081400907.html

And, Don Caballero is touring with only 1 day off from August 19 - Sept 6. Good luck.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Fusiliers Rock!

(left to right and from back to front)
Oen - Bass/Backing Vocals
Savage - Drums/Percussion
Jonny - Lead Guitars
Tom - Lead Guitars
Gary - Sharp Dressed Vox Man

I had on 3 members of one of Scotland's hot Indie Bands - The Fusiliers.

Jonny - lead guitar - from The Fusiliers reached out to me a while back - maybe a month or 2 ago - and we emailed a bit and I remembered telling him that I was real busy but would listen to his band's music.

And, then I said to myself - ok - I've got time for one now and then another one and then another one and so on.
All I can say is Wow!

Raw Energy
Pure Energy

One thing that stands out for me is actually the story behind the song - Holding On. Gary explained that the song came about because a former song writing partner wasn’t as into the music writing as he was. And folks - before we start a controversy here - there is no controversy. It was matter of fact the way Gary said it and, we need to realize as people that " WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT " and accept that for what it is.

On the phone we had Oen, Jonny and Garry. But, of course, like friends and some bands out there, they have their 'alternate names.'

Gaz - Vox Major
Jon - Lead Guitars
Tom - Lead Guitars
O-Dog - Lead Bass/Vox Minor
Savage - Lead Drums

And, it was great.

How they recorded the EP is really interesting and was done using Reel To Reel Tape and not electronically so, when there was a mistake, they started over. And, I believe that one of the reasons that their sound is tight is because of this.

Studio time costs money.

Indie bands pay for everything out of pocket before getting a record deal. And even then who knows how much really comes out of the band's share.

And, you don’t want to screw around when these factors are involved.

How do you know a band or musicians are committed to the music? You know when they make a statement like: "if you do a gig and only 6 people show up, you have to make sure you play just as hard for them as you would for the times you have a crowd of about 3000."

Making music is an art form and carving out your own niche with your own sound is hard to do. And, The Fusiliers do it very well with a strong drum backbone and great vocal powers that allow Jonny, Tom and Oen to "walk on up the red carpet" - if you will - and round out the sound with strong guitar work giving The Fusiliers an intense sound that makes you take notice and want more.

I'm looking forward to having The Fusiliers on again and sharing their sound with more people.
The Fusiliers have an intersting story and I suggest you check them out at:

Check out their music on their media player, but also, tucked away a little bit lower, you'll find a little yellow jukebox of some acoustic music of their's. Click on 'play' and take a moment to hear them stripped down. Great bands, when stripped of the electric options, sound just as good if not better. Like a woman who wears makeup and then doesn’t wear makeup. (And note, I'm not saying The Fusiliers wear makeup or are women. They're guys.) If she's attractive without the makeup - then, there you go. It's all about perspectives.

To purchase the music of The Fusiliers, go to http://www.mp3.com, http://www.napster.com, and, of course, iTUNES !


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Shane Cooley - Live!

Oh - to be 20 years old again.

When I turned 20, it was between my sophmore and junior year of college.

Having a dream and following your heart......yeh - I like that.

Shane Cooley is out there touring this summer in various places like Florida, Virginia, New Jersey, and, hopefully - Toronto Canada and supporting his latest release - Whirlpool.

It's funny saying that his sound matures - but how can it not as he goes from album to album and grows musically and also in his life.

New experiences.
Loves found.
Loves lost.
Love's moments forever etched in his mind.

I won't bore you with some long winded explanation of his songs or his sound, but I will tell you that Shane had a crowd around him around the stage at Celebrate Fairfax - all people he did not know - so I hope this is a sign of good things to come for him.

And, I met his family. How great is that. Family - supporting their son/nephew/etc... How awesome.

This photo is of Shane belting out my favorite song of his - My Asbury Park. And, whether he's playing this song with his band or acoustic - it's fantastic to hear him sing and play.

Go check out Shane's music at:

Friday, May 23, 2008

Trop Rock Has Some New Goombas In Town!

The King of Rock and Roll?
Elvis Presley.

The Sultan Of Swing?
Mark Knopfler

The Queen of Rock And Roll?
Pat Benatar

The GodFathers of Trop Rock?

The first thing you need to do is get this album.
iTUNES, Download, Buy theCD, Whatever....just go and buy the CD.

The next thing you need to do is get yourself in a convertible on a nice dayand pop that CD or MP3 into your disc player in the car and DRIVE - but, in this green world we need to live in today, make sure that you have a placeto go and you have a carpool going - you know what I'm sayin?

Now.....Trop Rock is semi - new phrase that was arguably started by one of the leadsingers for THE YOUNG REBEL GOOMBAS - Goomba Richie Saccente.

Let's go through who the Goombas are:

Goomba Richie
Goomba Kevin
Goomba Cosmo
Goomba Uncle Bee
Goomba Randy

Sharing vocal duties - hu hu....i said duties....-ommmm ok - sorry, guy-joke...

Sharing Vocal Leads are Goomba Richie and Goomba Cosmo.

And, of course the rest of the guys are on backups as needed.
Some of the songs on the record:
Daydream Smile - with it's sounds of the beach are great.
Summer Whine - A nice, occasionally wailing sax sound provided by RichieCannata - for those of you playing at home, Richie Cannata has played with fellow Long Islander - Billy Joel and Elton John and another band known only as - The Beach Boys.
Ignition Remix - This is a cover of R Kelly's song, but make no mistake....this isn't a sound for sound/word for word adaptation. OHCONTRARE MONFRARE!
This song absolutely knocks you out the house.
It starts off with the guys jokin' around "Are you ready...." and I instantly thought of the song Daydream Believer and the in studio banterbetween the guys and here we are....Ignition Remix and you think you're in a1970s Cadillac Convertible in mint condition with a ZZ TOP Signature Key-chain dangling from the starter of the car.

The bouncing front end is optional. :)

Goomba Richie said it best when he told me, "It just had to get on the album. I would just pick up my guitar and here I had this version of it andit needed to be on the disc."

Sing-A-Long - you have got to grab Goomba Richie and ask him how he recorded the vocals for this song because he just HOME-RUNNED IT! If I were to do a video for this song I'd have a string of Cadi Convertibles at the beach and the Young Rebel Goombas playing in one and everyone surrounding them in bikinis dancing to their music. Of course we'd have a few token guys, but, let's face it....bikini's have been known to sell music.

It's awesome having guys just bust on each other.....and, that's what Goombas do.

And, what family's do you know that dont exchange some "high volume" discussions from time to time too?

Goomba does mean family to these guys and I've spoken with Goomba Richie a few times and Goomba Jake and had the Goombas on our show a few times to boot.

Number 1 - These guys are great guys.
Number 2 - These guys know how to play music
Number 3 - They've started a new music genre called Trop Rock and no one can deny them their place in Rock History - especially when they're the first ones to bring us Trop Rock - AND COIN THE PHRASE.

Pick up their music. Get to one of their shows this summer. Or, better yet....like....NOW!

Each song is great and, the last time I could say that about a record (aside from Boston's first album) was the album 'Laughter' by The Mighty Lemon Drops(circa 1989).
And.....not since the band THE OUTFIELD in 1985 have we heard an entire album that just bursts at the seems giving us the sounds of summer.
If you want to experience the sounds of summer 365 days per year.....Pick up the Young Rebel Goombas CD.
You'll be glad you did.
The Young Rebel Goombas are doing a weekly spot on our show called "Ask The Goombas" so be sure you tune in by 10 PM EST (Virginia USA Time) so you can hear their music and hear them answer your questions.

Monday, April 21, 2008

So.....I was thinking today

Joan Jett does this song from the 80s called "Do you wanna touch......."

And, well.....Joan is getting up there in years.

You need to watch the video here on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHvm88yVvNQ

And then, I want you to picture Joan as a 72 year old woman singing the song. She's only 22 years away from 72.



Gotta love 'em.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

When A Singer/Songwriter "makes it"

I'm the distro list for the venue - Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis, MD.

I got an email notification about some shows going on there and one of the performers is Shawn Colvin.

I've seen her on the CBS TV show '2nd Cup Cafe' or something like that and seen her on TV and heard her Sonny Came Home song (which I believe is an homage to Sonny Bono going home to Cher).

Just kidding.

So, here's a photo from the Rams Head Tavern Ticketing Page for Shawn Colvin the cost of the ticket is $55.

Fifty Five Dollars.

That's.....Fihf - Tee Fi-v-uh Dah-lerzzz

Ok ..... it's $55.

Now - What I'm about to write, may be harsh and I won't ask you to forgive it, because - it's my opinion. And, my opinion and your opinion are - JUST THAT.


However.....I'm not driving an hour (on a good day in DC area traffic) to see Shawn Colvin.

I'm not going to spend the cash on gas, mileage, wear on my car and all that good stuff to go see her and spend $55 for the ticket PLUS whatever I buy there. That's just too much for me.

And, maybe if I were into her music more I would consider it, but, I cant do $55.

Is this why some fans get tired of musicians?

Shawn is in her early 40s so, her fans have grown older with her and hopefully she's picked up some new ones along the way. But, sadly, I guess I'm at the point where I'm rating musicians and movies, and food, etc...by the amount of money I spend to _____ them.

And, if people will pay 3.50/gallon for gas....they'll pay $55 to see Shawn....but, because I'm not a fan (yet), I cant say I'd be able to go for it.

And, I'd have to be a hard-core fan to go.

Does this make me bitter? Or - the dreaded - "OLD!!!!!" ?

I dont know.

And, I just thought about opinions/opining/etc....and, came up with this definition about opinions:
So…opinions are like bunyons.Or…hemorrhoids.Or foot odor….yeh…foot odor.

We all have foot odor and no one wants to smell our feet, but, when we take those shoes off…they have no choice.

So, that’s what this woman did. She took her shoes off and her feet stunk.
And, you didn’t want to smell it.

David Wilcox's show was like $25/ticket and it was at the wolftrap barnes and, well....the wolftrap barnes is 100% better than Rams Head in Annapolis - for many reasons (starting with the sound and the stage).


I think my rant is done.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Album Review - Stuart Ferguson - Shackles & Ties

It's funny.

I see the "&" in the title here and I think to my daughter who's 4 asking me what the letter is and what it means.

I know it typically means the letter 'n' but it has some 48 syllable word that goes along with it. Kinda like the singer Prince - who's no longer Prince..... or is now back to Prince but he was a 'symbol' at one point.

But I ask you....what does that have to do with Stuart Ferguson?

Well, he had the great fortune to put the "&" in his album title - Shackles & Ties...and, you have someone like me writing about his music :).

I was introduced to Stuart's music about 2 1/2 months ago when he friended me on my myspace page.

Instantly I was drawn to one of his songs from when I finished college - One Thing Leads To Another (not the song by The Fixx).

And, here we are - 2 1/2 months later and his music has just reached inside of me and grabbed me and held my attention.

I told him about the radio show and within about a week, I had 2 CDs with his music and was featuring his music on the show.

I have a connection to Stuart's music.

Each Song tells a story - whether it be fiction or non-fiction.

And, the beauty of singer-songwriters is that the music always has a piece of them in it and how they view the world.

If I were to whip out a 'small review' of Shackles & Ties, I'd have to say this:
What’s great about listening to Stuart Ferguson’s music is that I genuinely want to listen to it over and over again because I know I’ll hear something new or hear something differently in his music or lyrics.

Stuart’s abilities as a singer/songwriter remind me of the Ghost of Christmas Past carrying Mister Magoo through the air to see the life he had in his younger days. How many singer/songwriters do you know that can take you with them to show you the things they want you to see and hear in the songs they write and sing?

Doing that is a gift that Stuart is sharing with us all if we take a moment to say yes to his invitation to join him and his guitar - Busby. Stuart and Busby’s tempo changes and image-laden lyrics will keep your interest throughout Shackles & Ties and even catch you off-guard too.

Stuart tells a story with each song that you want to hear over and over again to make sure you get that last crumb and when each song ends, you long to have it on again.

Pick up his CD by going to www.stuartferguson.net and let his music become intertwined in your life of music.

Become his friend on myspace at www.myspace.com/stuartgferguson.

Sent him an email to let him know what you thought of his music.

Check back for the full blown album review - It's taking me longer to do than I would have expected.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Glen Phillips and Jonathan Kingham

I went out last night with my friend Tina to see Glen Phillips (Lead Singer Toad the Wet Schprockets) and Jonathan Kingham.

We had a fun time.

Jonathan and Glen were out front before the show selling their latest and greatest music and, I struck up a conversation with Jonathan before I recognized who he was.

When I met him, he reminded me of a guy I worked with - John Dawson - and just one of those nice, gentle people you meet.

We couldn't talk long but we instantly connected while we spoke.

I introduced myself - later I would find out his Grandfather and I share the same name. He did too.

And we talked about music, the people who were there, etc...

Eventually he had to go - because, well, he's performing - ahahahaah.

Jonathan did about 5 songs I think and one - was priceless.

He did a song called - Every Little Step by Bobby Brown and he threw my name out there as being an older College Student he'd just met.

It was funny. He was funny. And, really good with the song.

He went Freestyle and threw in his own lyrics that have everyone laughing.

At the end of the night, I spoke with him for a few minutes and I brought up luka bloom's I Need Love and Jonathan knew EXACTLY what I was talking about.

That was good.

Glen was good too.

He was up there playing his outside of TtWs Songs and he whipped out a few Toad the Wet Schprockets songs. Jonathan joined him on guitar for a good chunk of the night.

How'd it feel?


My friend Tina yelled to Glen to take off his shirt - which led to Glen adding a few funny comments. Tina and her friend Terri are known for yelling "Take off your shirt!" "Take Off Your Pants!" at shows like this - or at bars. So, this was not something new Tina was doing - hahahah.

I met a nice 24 yr old girl at the show also - Jehan I believe her name is. She said she'd become our friend on Myspace and listen to the show.

That's cool.

All in all. A good time. A good nite.

Give these guys a little love by finding them
Here for Jonathan

And, Here for Glen (note, Glen and Toad the Wet Schprockets will be in Alexandria, Virginia on June 14)


PS - Yes, I know that I did a play on the spelling of Schprockets. If it was a big deal to you, then I can only say this: Lighten Up Francis

Go check out our myspace at www.myspace.com/independentsuncovered and friend us....before we friend you - haahaha.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Local Musician

Yesterday I went out to Jammin' Java to see Celeste Starchild play.

I got there just as she was playing Apple Of My Eye - a great song we just introduced this past week on our show.

I walk into Jammin' Java and there's Justin Trawick - right there.

He was funny - I was so happy to see him I gave him a hug.

He says - hey john! - Ok - we're hugging. Ok.


I was excited to see him and off his right shoulder was Jean - his bass playing, stage sharing, and good friend.

Celeste - was great. And, she had this great dress on. Stunning is a word that comes to mind.

One thing about Celeste is that well - I think red is an awesome color on her so her red and white dress, red lipstick fair complexion and brown hair, just really added to the whole experience of seeing her live.

A chick.
In a dress.
Playing guitar.

It was cool.

And I got to talk with her near the end of the entire showcase of bands.

She's great to talk with and fun - and she's got a full time job outside of music too.

And that leads me to a little discussion here:

Local bands/musicians

Where does your money go when you pay for the show?

- The bands/musicians get paid but usually there are things that come out of their payment:
- Food
- Drinks (so if a musician asks you to buy him/her a beer or one for the band, this is why)

To get the gig that you're paying for, they've typically:
- Driven to countless open mic nights and driven all over creation to play and introduce themselves to other bands
- Paid for their gear - out of their own pockets (That's Guitars, Strings, Amplifiers, cables, mic's
- If they have a CD, they've paid for that cost all up front and, their handing out free CDs to people at radio stations, people in the industry, etc... so they can be heard (hopefully)
- Taken a job they use as a means to an end.
- May not have health benefits - and we all know how much a doctor's visit is.
That's right - the musician's hope is to be seen/heard and become successful.
We have jobs where we want to be seen and heard and move up the ladder and get raises, etc...
But, the musician is taking it on the chin for the love of their craft.

Think about it.

The person scanning your food at the grocery store. The person taking some babysitting gigs. The person you see with their guitar case open in the street somewhere. And, in some places, they PAY for the use of that spot and have to hope that they recoup that money by 'busking.'

And, in other cases, the musician is sitting across from you in a meeting discussing strategy for the company to get $1 Billion in Sales Revenues.

You really never know.

So, I'm rambling here, but, to wrap all of this up:

1. Thanks Celeste and Audrey for the CD for our show

2. Chris from Leaving TX - thanks for the CDs - we'll get your music on the show for sure. Please note this photo is taken from their website at www.leavingtx.com

And, if anyone reads this.

Please support your local musician.

If you want processed cheese-whiz music, just listen to your ho-hum radio station.

But, if you want something different.
Something that pushes the envelope.
A musician or band to get committed to....I ask that you seek out and support the musicians in your local music scene.

Ok - I think I said what I wanted to here, but if I didn't I'll come back.

Oh yeh - and don't do drugs. "just say no"

Monday, March 17, 2008


I walked out from my radio show to this as I left the JC building last night from my radio show - a bit frustrated for my guests and me.

I expected things to go great - and they did - but, I couldnt get the lads from Braintoy on or Celeste Starchild.

And, then, I arrived upon this so i took a picture of it.

While I'm not going to say the war is bad or good/right or wrong I will say, that my frustrations dropped quite a bit after I saw it. So much so that I stopped to take this picture.

And then, I came home, pulled out my guitar and began playing along "what about everything" by Carbon Leaf.

You need to listen to this song.

If you don't own it, go to iTUNES and spend the 99 cents on it. It's more than worth it.

I am not in need.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Record Review - Rebecca Katz

Before you get started on this, you have to know that the request was to review the record - and, I went ahead and did just that. Reviewed the whole thing - hahahahahaha.

BUT, Rebecca was looking for something that was short and I dont know how good I am with that (i'm a big fan of quantity time you know)...but, here's my 2 sentence offer on her record and, I believe it to be true.

Rich with flawed and real characters, Rebecca Katz's first EP 'Spendin' on Today,' invites us all into her living room to sit in that oversized brown leather chair with a cup of warm tea and watch her stories unfold before your ears.

Let yourself be drawn into her music like you would a warm fire on a snowy winter's day.

And, if you want more than continue on down.



So there I was.

Minding my own business - well, not really - I was working on the first radio show I'd done in about 18 years. Getting music ready, gathering information and, I received a friend request for the myspace page from a singer/songwriter named Rebecca Katz.

She put a quick note on the request about checking her music or that this was a great idea for a show.

And - well - I'm sentimental. She took an extra step, wrote some words so I went to her page thinking I was going to get the 'typical' singer/songwriter vocals and songs about chipmunks dancing on pizza which was to represent the scientists doing their work on global warming in Antarctica.

What's great about myspace is that you can try on a song like a jacket in a store and see if it suits you. And, if you like it, you can just keep the jacket on for a little while as you browse thru the rest of the store. Just to make sure you like it.

That’s how I felt with Rebecca's music on myspace.

I can tell you….she DOESN'T sound like other folk artists. And, to me - that's important because it's like Peanut Butter. Peanut Butter all tastes the same to me - unless it's this one brand. And, I'm not a Brand Name Dropper – yet - but, I've settled in on this one because it tastes great.

So, while I'm not saying that Rebecca Katz is that brand of peanut butter, I can say that she is unlike the rest of the peanut butters out there.

And, to be fair, someone doesn’t just join the ranks of my favorite peanut butter in 1 week.

Ok - enough parables and metaphors about peanut butter. Let's get down to the jam!....ommmm…..I meant to say music there.

Let's start with the last song of her record.

Home Again.
Acapella - is not my bag - most of the time. And, when this song first started I was transformed to the records - YES RECORDS - of my youth and the song Cotton fields Back Home - it may have been done by the New Christy Minstrels, but, it's not often that you get a song done acapella and, sadly, I kept anticipating music to come on to join Rebecca and it didn’t come. And, I wasn’t disappointed. I just wasn’t expecting it. Isn’t it funny how my pre-conceived notion of a song involves an instrument playing with the vocals?

I need to remind myself that our voices are an instrument too.

This song is a little gem and not what I expected to hear. I love hearing something I wasn’t expecting to hear.

Kinda like when I go home to my parents' house and I smell fudge brownies from the kitchen.

I'm home again and my life as an adult kinda just morphs back to being their son and they my mommy and daddy.

Kiss Me Good Night

So, I’m writing about this record and, am caught a little flat-footed on this song.

The first things that catch me with a song are the music and the tone and sound of Rebecca’s voice. And, I can’t always keep up with the words and the possible meanings behind the words.
Rebecca knows what these words mean. And, she may not share what they mean – and, as she says – ‘it’s an artist’s prerogative.’ - J

This song is interesting because her request of her man is to kiss her good night, but he doesn’t have to do anything else.

Sadly, when we love someone in a way that we put minimal expectations on them or none, chances are, there has been some activity where the other half – in this case for our song – “the guy” has been exhibiting a behavior of womanizing or plain non-commitment.

And, our poor singer is saying, “Ok. You don’t have to do anything for me except kiss me good night.”

And we know that he can’t do that.

And we also know that she needs more than that kiss good night – she’s just looking for that door to his heart to be open so she can come in and lean like he’s done with her heart.

To Donnie
Now - I think the normal person would not bring up another musician when commenting about their album, but, I'm not someone who can stick with formulas and rules.

I heard this song, and I IMMEDIATELY was brought to - in my mind - the singer songwriter Sabrina Dinan - from Ireland - and her song that's at http://www.blogger.com/www.fabchannel.com/sabrina_dinan - you need to check out Timebomb. These are 2 totally different singers with different voices, I just wanted you to know where I was brought upon hearing the opening of the song.

Ok, back to Donnie.

Funny hearing the song - that as soon as he removed his hat everyone noticed him. Hidden. Kind of like the hidden love RK wrote about in Kiss Me Goodnight.

I'm not sure who got the whole first verse last verse thing started - and I've heard it on a number of Vertical Horizon songs….but the good news here is that while Rebecca brings us back to the image of our boy Donnie at the end of the song, it's a little different, a little more breath in her voice a little more longing. How awesome to have a verse-reprise that's different….has emotion…..in this case….longing for Donnie to come home, and, it's done in a way to make me a part of the group who miss Donnie too.

If you see the one

Anytime I hear a song that starts with the vocals right away with the up or downstroke of the guitar - personally, I prefer the upstroke because it's different - where was I - Oy VAY! I'm A.D.D. on my own writing and am still in the same sentence!!!!! Ok - haahahaha - When a song starts with the vocals right away it makes me think of one of the "Lethal Weapon" movies - I think it was # 3 where Mel Gibson is running right at the start of the movie.

I like that - it's like BAP! - here I am. (I believe ‘BAP’ came from the ‘60s TV show – Batman.)

And, in music, I guess I look for a song to do that somewhere after the first two songs. But hey - that's just me. Rebecca made this song her first song on her record. And, why not? (Rhetorical question ladies and gentlemen). Why not jump out and say - HEY - Here I am?

Her vocals are great and overshadow the guitar playing for sure - especially at the beginning of the song but those first words ring thru my head - If you see the one.

Poor Rebecca's character has so many longings for love in her songs…..I'm thinking we need her to do a cover of Love Hearts - ommm - I was going to fix that word there before publishing, but I believe in Freudian Slips so, it stays….Rebecca needs to do a cover of Love Hurts by Nazareth somewhere in her repertoire.

And, this song is her first song on the record, so intriguingly it points you in the direction of a set of songs about love-gone-bad….

Maybe this is the Conclusion song that ties it together - and, I'm no music psychologist….who wants to be….this is music and Rebecca has crafted a good song for us to listen to with a character and imagery to set up the next songs on her record.

I love it when she says
If you see the one
That I could Love
Just give him a push
In the wrong direction

But let's be honest, Rebecca's character in her songs doesn’t want her friends to introduce her to who they think is Mr. Right. Rebecca's character wants her Mr. Wrong to see the light and become Mr Right. Kinda like Superheroes who are mild mannered by day and Super heroes by night.

The Real Thing
The first thing I thought of when I saw the real thing was the song by Kenny Loggins (which I LOVE!!!!!).

I'm a big fan of building into a song and, while I recognize that the norm is to kinda play 8 measures before jumping into the words, I think if the music here on ‘the real thing’ were a little slower in the beginning and then built into the riff that would be the main one for the verses, it would impact the song a little bit more - but hey - I'm nit picking here on a good song….so I'm going to, as my friends say, "shut the 'f' up and tell you more about it - hahahahaha.

One set of lyrics in this song that just grabs at my own heart are:

Laying Down Warm at the end of it all
With you Leaned into my heart

Obviously I'm going to think this verse refers to the "after some great sex," our character has that 'warm-fuzzy' feeling.

And, "With You Leaned Into My Heart."
What a strong statement of love.
The best feeling.
As if that love is an extension from her character's heart - the home of love for the singer/songwriter. Like an arm or leg to all of us…those are examples of extensions of ourselves, but that's one mighty powerful statement there.

I was actually brought back to my loves and remember the times when I truly felt like someone had leaned into my heart - and, to me, that's the best kind of love. The love you just know without speaking it.

A love that’s natural. A love that feels like home.

It's like sitting on a sofa, and you're both reading books, while your laps to your feet are under a blanket or quilt with a fire going and your feet are touching and every now and again you look up, your eyes missing eachother until that one time when they see eachother, you smile, you close your books, and you sit right next to eachother….safe in eachother's closeness.

Thank God you're the real thing.

A few times in here, you here a little unexpected 'clank' in the guitar playing and, whether done on purpose or not, immaterial because, the real thing is never perfect every day, every minute or every second. Listen to the songs Every Picture Tells A Story by Rod Stewart or I Saw Her Again Last Night by the Mama's And The Papas.

In Every Picture….there's a girl singing and there's a part in there where you hear her breath thinking she needed to go into the song right at that moment……..AND THENNNNNNN….then, all of a sudden, you hear her line "look how wrong you can be."

In I Saw Her…..there's John Phillips - I think - and he sings "I saw her uh…I saw her again last night and you know that I shouldn’t."

The ones that we love are not perfect, but the good ones are perfect for us.

And when we discuss soul-mates or whatever the flavor of the day word that soul-mates turns into, it's really that we're discussing that perfect love. That love that we can give to someone that is perfect for them and the love we receive in return that's perfect for us.

And, the good news…..love is a topic that can be sung about forever. Even if Twisted Sister sings "love is for suckers." The good news is that I've only been married to that song 2 times in my life. Twisted Sister sang at both of my weddings. They offer a two-fer package because divorce rates are so high, they just naturally expect you to split up and marry again. :) Ok - I'm funny - or maybe not with that one. This paragraph is just me adding humor here.

Ommmm….yeh ok…..Rebecca's Record.


The Story (the maid and the sailor)
What this song needs is a good cello or viola to help attack that bass line a little bit or even an acoustic Bass. Maybe we just need to import an Irishman or Irish Lass to join our girl Rebecca on this song to add a little - Irishness to it.

But aside from that, I kinda went into this song being a song in a musical or stage show. I don’t know why. Maybe the song title or the dut dut dut dut part of the guitar work.

Have you noticed that I have pre-conceived notions? Isn’t it great to have those preconceived notions call me out often!!!!! Good thing I can recognize it – haahhahaaa.

Ok, back to ‘the story’ - I picture 2 folks on stage and Rebecca sitting on the side telling a story with symbolism and imagery made real through the characters on the stage.

And the last line - But He Won't Be Coming Home. Is kind-of a recurring theme here in Rebecca's record.

The song makes me think of Brandy by Looking Glass or the relationships from the movie the perfect storm….or Hard Rain's Gonna Fall as sung by Edie Brickell (hold the new bohemians).

Closing Statement

I like repetition in songs - meaning - The ones I like, I'll listen to multiple times in a row, to hear the music, catch onto the words, catch the chord changes, the mood…..the direction…..etc…

I believe in quantity time not quality time. And, I believe that quality time is just a way for people who want to pretend that they don’t have much time for others justify that little time they spend with the ones they love. “But I gave you ‘quality time.’”

A first record by any good singer songwriter has a lot of soul and emotion and passion that the listeners can hear and feel - especially when they give a record good long listening to.

Rebecca has put her soul out there for you to hear, listen and be engaged.

She's opened her door for you to walk in, but she only wants you to walk in if you want to - so you need to take that step.

So, walk in
Make yourself at home
Hang up your coat
Grab some Hot Cocoa - the marshmallows are on the table if you want to add them
Sit by the fire
And Lean into her music like Donnie leaned into her heart

Monday, March 10, 2008

The David Wilcox Show on Thursday, March 6, 2008

Folks - you have no idea what you're in for here.

I mention the following when sharing David Wilcox's show with you all:

- Twisted Sister
- Happy Days
- Quiet Riot
- Wookie
- and Much Much More

So, give it a read.


Armed with the same excitement as a 17 year old who just got his drivers license and a new car, David Wilcox walked out on stage with a big smile and welcomed everyone in the audience into his home with his music, his stories, and his humor.

It was my 2nd time attending a show at the Barnes at Wolftrap.

My first show was great. I sat in the back for the opening act – Sabrina Dinan – and then was invited up to the front row by none other than Luka Bloom himself.

Now, he didn’t call me by name, but, he did say anyone in the back row who wants to come up front, come on up.

Funny. I was kind of hoping I’d have the same experience with David Wilcox.

But, I didn’t – And that’s ok because, each experience should be different and unique.

David came out laughing and smiling to us all and now that I’ve had a few days to think about what he shared with us about his family, himself, he made a remark that I believe pulls together the experience at the concert.

He talked about being in a national forest and seeing the light in the window of the Airstream Trailer. And, it was his home for 2 years.

I feel like we were all David Wilcox – all of us in the audience…..and he was that light inside that Airstream Trailer that he saw in the distance.

This was my first David Wilcox concert and, I walked in, saw the sign that the show was sold out, and got my ticket that I pre-ordered the week or 2 prior. My seat was in the middle about halfway back.

After getting my ticket, I walked into the area where they were serving some food and some drinks.

I grabbed myself a couple of beers and proceeded to find a seat.


But what’s great about the barnes is that you grab a seat on the floor and there’s other people on the floor.

Keep in mind that there are seats and tables too, but, there’s the floor too.

I kind of felt like Bill Murray in the movie Caddyshack and being told by Chevy Chase that I should swim in ‘the pond’ – hahahaaha – but I digress.

I met a group of 4 people and Jason – if you read this – I had your card. Lost it. Found it again. And then lost it and this time, I really think it’s gone. I put it in the proverbial “place where I know I won’t lose it.”

So, me with my papers and pen, Jason’s girlfriend introduced herself and Jason picked it up by intro-ing the rest of the gang.

We had a nice conversation.

I love meeting new people and this group of 4 were all nice.

After talking a bit, the lights dimmed a couple of times letting us know to get into our seats because David was coming.

Now – I’d read on the internet somewhere that David Wilcox was known to come out sometimes and do tributes to his favorite glamrock bands of the 80s –
- Twisted Sister
- Whitesnake
- Nelson

So, I was thinking – wow! A singer/songwriter who does this stuff. AWESOME!

Ok, that was a joke. Sorry if you bought into it.

Anyway – I was going to write about each song he did, but, that would take away from the experience of seeing David live.

He shared stories about his family and their 2 year trip and at one point pulled out an acapella song about bone mass growing inside Nanc’s leg that had broken in 5 places. And, as he sang it, I started thinking of the song by Potsie when he was in college in an episode of Happy Days called “Pumps Your Blood” – or something like that. But, it was funny. Very funny.

He jokingly referred to himself as a “car whisperer” with his car songs.

He talked about biking in France and coming to a T in the road and for the first time not knowing where to go until a truck moved from it’s spot and he commented that he didn’t know where to go because he was he was at his destination.

Which reminded me of the song by Luka Bloom – where ever you go….there you are.

David finished with 1 encore song – the song that I first heard when Christina Crerar introduced his music to me. Eye Of The Hurricane.

It’s funny, but, he also talked about what a successful marriage is to “Start With the Ending is the best way to begin.”

How great it was to have David to bring me his beautiful music and close with the song that I started to enjoy him with.

Throughout the show David laughed, smiled, and shared himself with us.

And, I started thinking about the Singer/Songwriter relationship with the audience vs. the relationship that a band like Quiet Riot would have with their audience.

It’s definitely different.

It’s intimate.

The audience wants to know what the inspiration is for the music and to learn more about the singer/songwriter to see what makes them tick vs with a band like Quiet Riot, the fans typically want to hear about the drinking stories and the partying etc….. It’s different.

And, I wonder if there’s an anonymity that singer/songwriters throughout the land feel they have to keep sharing and keep sharing and share some more.

I read on David’s face that this is a man happy to do what he’s doing.

He loves his wife and his son Nate.

He loves to play guitar for people and audiences.

He will leave his guitar on the stage for us to see at the end of the show.

He had some writings there – but I don’t know if it was his set list, some words to songs to remind him or just words of encouragement.

If a quarterback can wear a list of plays on his wrist, why not have information taped to an indestructible guitar.

David gave us 24 songs without an intermission and everyone had the opportunity to buy some CDs at the end of the show, but, I was expecting to see him there too.

As a fan, I was a little disappointed, but, I have to remember that going on tour and singing at all these places takes a toll on a voice so, no harm – no foul there David. J

Someone asked me to rate the show for them and…..well……I’m not a big fan of that. You either Liked It or you Didn’t Like it.

I liked it.

But, my friend pressed me for a rating.

So, I told her – “I give it 4 wookie cries” and proceeded to cry like Chewbacca 4 times.

“What was that!?!?!?!?!” – she asked.

“That was your rating for the show.” I said.

Her response was – paraphrased because she just used more words than this review has – hahahahahahahaahah – (I’m funny) – “why can’t you just give me a real answer.”

To which I responded, “Do you want 4 more wookie cries?”


Maybe this was the calm before my impending storm – hahahaahaha.

David – can I grab a ride in the eye of the hurricane?

And, 4 Wookie Cries to anyone who reads this.

** PS **

If you see any typos, or grammar or verb tense issues. It's ok. You don't need to let me know. :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Rock and Roll That ROCKS!

The Greater Good took the stage unassumingly as the crowd sat or stood in IOTAs waiting for their music to come on.

Cooper took his seat behind the drum kit, put on a pair of headphones and grabbed his drum sticks.

JR played with his microphone stand and unwrapped the microphone wire from it.

Aaron, Nolan and Taylor grabbed their guitars, plugged in, and got set.

Nolan found a spot for him and his bass behind Taylor and JR and in front of Cooper's drum kit.

Toby grabbed his seat behind the keys.

And then.


I was reminded of the part of the Foo Fighters video for 'Pretender' where the 'mystery fluid' shot out at like 80 miles per hour from behind the band.

With Aaron and Taylor on each side of JR in the front, with each song, The Greater Good, put out -

In your face
Dance on your feet

Where is Rock And Roll Today?

Rock and Roll is on tour right now in the form of 'The Greater Good' before their album launches on May 20.

The Greater Good list The Faces, The Beatles, The JAM The Stone Roses and Rod Stewart as being some of their influences for their sound, but The Greater Good have their own sound that's just raw and tight.

Check out their songs on their myspace page. If you want processed cheese music, stop reading this now.

But if you want to hear great rock and roll with a real band, you'll check out The Greater Good when they're in your area.

These guys are young, go for broke, rock and rollers.

Right now, The Greater Good are opening for Deep Blue Something on their tour that ends on March 14th in Austin, Texas.

You'll even find that members of The Greater Good 'cross-mojinate' and play on stage with Deep Blue Something. And, let me tell you this, Deep Blue Something has still got it. People singing along with their songs and Todd Pipes can REALLY play the bass. What a great instructional video that could be.

Whatever you pay for the show, it's worth it.

What's great also is that the band members are all accessible after their shows and hang out so you can talk with them and, you won't find more regular guys.

And, they bust on eachother.

These guys are like friends you played with in your neighborhood growing up where, in the summer, you played wiffle ball in the back yard, in the winter, you knocked on their door to go ice skating or play hockey with on the frozen pond, and during the school year, you ate lunch with them and you cut up about stupid stuff that's funny.

It's great to build a history with friends who get you and understand you.

Come and give The Greater Good their shot at being a part of your music present and future. And let their music mark various poignant moments in your life where you hear one of their songs and you are brought back in time to a memory you'll never forget..

These guys genuinely like eachother and after spending over an hour talking with them, and hanging out for about 4 hours in total, I can tell they're good guys getting started to leave their mark as The Greater Good.

They deserve that shot.

You'll find The Greater Good at:

And, their tour-mates, Deep Blue Something at: