Friday, December 4, 2009

Details In The Fabric - Jason Mraz feat. James Morrison

Calm down
Deep breaths
And get yourself dressed instead
Of running around
And pulling all your threads saying
Breaking yourself up

If it's a broken part, replace it
But, if it's a broken arm then brace it
If it's a broken heart then face it

And hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way
Hold your own
Know your own name
And go your own way

And everything will be fine
Everything will be fine

Hang on
Help is on the way
Stay strong
I'm doing everything

Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way
Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way

And everything, everything will be fine

Are the details in the fabric
Are the things that make you panic
Are your thoughts results of static cling?

Are the things that make you blow
Hell, no reason, go on and scream
If you're shocked it's just the fault
Of faulty manufacturing.

Yeah everything will be fine
Everything in no time at all

Hold your own
And know your name
And go your own way

Are the details in the fabric (Hold your own, know your name)
Are the things that make you panic
Are your thoughts results of static cling? (Go your own way)

Are the details in the fabric (Hold your own, know your name)
Are the things that make you panic (Go your own way)
Is it Mother Nature's sewing machine?

Are the things that make you blow (Hold your own, know your name)
Hell no reason go on and scream
If you're shocked it's just the fault (Go your own way)
Of faulty manufacturing

Everything will be fine
Everything in no time at all
Hearts will hold

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Can't be everything to everyone...

First off Happy Birthday to the greatest mother in the world! Thanks for being so awesome all the time!

December 3rd, 2009. Time is flying by and yet sometimes it seems to be crawling along. Somedays my mind is racing and I can't figure out where to start and then the next day I can't get out of bed to get my day started. There is a lot going on with everyone. The past couple weeks it just feels like we are on the edge of something. Good, bad, indifferent it just feels like something is about to break. It's just this feeling of pressure from everywhere at work, at home, with friends. I don't think it's just me either because other people have mentioned it.

I think one of the things I've struggled with for a while is trying to be everything to everyone. To try and do everything. I struggle with limits and saying no and sometimes saying yes. I can't live peoples lives for them and while sometimes I want to prevent people from making mistakes that I've made, but at the same time people need to learn for themselves. That's so hard to experience because I have this problem with caring. I fucking care alot and it fucking sucks to watch people you care about get hurt, because I take that with me. I'm always thinking about other people and their shitty situations and how I can fix it. Most times I can't fix it, I may not be able to help, but I just can't wrap my brain around that. I just want to tell people that everything is going to work out and we are all going to be okay, but the scary part is I don't know if that's true. Maybe it's not going to be okay, maybe shit is just going to get worse.

And I don't know if there is actually more bad shit going on or if I just am more aware of it. It's kind of like cancer. When I was younger I didn't really know about cancer because I didn't know anyone with it, or if I did people didn't talk about it, because cancer sucks and who wants little kids to worry about that. But now that we are older I feel like it's everywhere. Like seriously old, young, good, bad tons of people are dealing with cancer or know someone dealing with cancer. I don't know if there is more cancer and more bad shit going on in the world or if I'm just more aware of it. Screw people who say awareness is good. It would be much easier to not care if I didn't know all this shit was going on.

Then I try not to care, and I come off as an asshole and I'm totally not an asshole. I wish I could just go on cruise control or have a day where I don't hear about other people's problems and just sit back and talk about fun stuff like music or TV or go see a movie and just veg out. I need a vacation without anyone as weird as that sounds. Maybe even just hang with a random group of people where there is no pressure and no expectations. I can't be alone, because I hate being alone. So definitely in a crowd of people, hm.

So for now I'm going to continue caring, but just focus on productivity and try to be better at everything. I need re-prioritize some things in my life and maybe make a few sacrifices.

But here's hoping that we will all be okay, that the dust will settle and we'll all figure out whatever we are struggling with. And if not that we'll continue to fight the good fight because tomorrow could be the day that it all turns around (when I win the lottery and buy an island in the Carribean).


"At the end of every hard earned day, people find some reason to believe" - BS

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ten Out of Tenn 9/29

Sometime last year I heard about this touring group of musicians know as Ten Out of Tenn. As you might guess they are Ten musicians based out of Nashville, TN. The current line-up is the Vol 3 and features Kyle Andrews, Andrew Belle, Jedd Hughes, Madi Diaz, Joy Williams, Sarah Siskind, Ashley Monroe, Mikky Ekko, KS Rhoads, and co-founder Trent Dabbs. Last night Vol 3 made its way to Berklee's The Red Room @ Cafe 939.

The performers each take turns highlighting each others songs with each performer getting to spotlight 2 of their own songs. One thing is clear these guys (and girls) enjoy playing with each other. Take Joy Williams 'perma-grin' for example. Another member called living on the bus with all of them like being at summer camp, including the smells.

This year's group is quite eclectic, where Ashley Monroe and Jedd Hughes were a bit more country, Kyle Andrews was a bit more electronica/pop. Mikky Ekko and Berklee Alum's Madi Diaz got everybody moving and KS Rhoads was a bit reminiscent of the Mat Kearney show I attended last week, right down to freestylin' about his short stay in Boston at the end. Sarah Siskind stripped it down for a solo version of her song Lovin's for Fools, which has been recorded by Bon Iver and Joy Williams smile shone through on her "Charmed Life", which was co-written by Trent Dabbs and featured on
the "Grey's Anatomy" finale last year. Andrew Belle's "Static Waves" was a highlight for me with Joy Williams stepping in gracefully on back-ups, and Trent Dabbs "Your Side Now" really resonated with me.

One of the most fascinating aspects of this set-up is watching the musicians share the spotlight with such ease. Moving from keys to bass to guitar or from lead vocals to backing vocals, this was clearly a collaborative effort. If this tour is anything like the last one we will soon be seeing these individuals up here in Boston again for sure.

Next week Ten Out of Tenn Vol 2. alum Erin McCarley will be joined by Landon Pigg for two shows 10/9 & 10/10 at The Red Room @ Cafe 939. Another show not to be missed.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mat Kearney / Diane Birch 9/23/2009

So about a week ago, LiveNation started offering a 'passport' which would get you into all* shows for the rest of the year at various LiveNation venues/clubs across the country for $49.99. I thought it about it for a minute but then noticed the * which usually means there is a catch. The catch was it wasn't any show at House of Blues it was a limited number of shows, and only if those shows are not sold out. So is it really worth the hassle? Not for this guy.

I still managed to get into last week's Rusted Root/The Kin show (thanks to The Kin) and to last night's Mat Kearney/Diane Birch show (thanks Steph & Katarina). Both shows were great. The Kin are playing a show here Oct 16th and if you haven't heard these guys I would definitely recommend checking out their MySpace (

Mat Kearney was a last minute show and I have to be honest I wasn't too familiar with the newest album. 2006's Nothing Left To Lose was one of those albums that I could listen to start to finish on repeat, especially when I first got it. I was glad to see that the show was heavy with tracks from that album. The new album stuff worked well also especially the title track "City of Black & White" & "Closer to Love" both featured in the encore. Check out a unique rendition of "Closer to Love" featuring basketballs for percussion from Mat's tour blog

Opening this show was Diane Birch who not too long ago played a headlining show at Berklee's Red Room @ Cafe 939. Diane's soulful voice is a mix of Carole King and Grace Potter. She can bring it down real slow or get the crowd moving and clapping like a revival. Her album, aptly titled Bible Belt features the single "Nothing But A Miracle".

To close the evening in honor of the birthday boy Bruce Springsteen Mat's band brought out Diane and her band for a rousing version of "Dancing in the Dark".

The crowd seemed a little more interested in the drinks or each other, but the hits got some great reactions. A large group up front seemed to be singing along with Diane and while Mat seemed to be struggling to get audience participation the somewhat reluctant crowd played along. Overall a great show.

Next up Ten Out Of Tenn Tuesday at The Red Room @ Cafe 939.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Boyle and Nadal lose, Kate+8-Jon, Dave Matthews Band takes over Fenway and more

Susan Boyle lost Britain's Got Talent and soon after checked into a clinic for exhaustion. After going from practically nothing to being a worldwide overnight sensation has to take its toll. From a humble home in Britain, to our living rooms via YouTube, Larry King and Oprah there was tremendous pressure on her to win being the heavy favorite and after losing it is no doubt that she felt the need to recover away from the limelight. I hope that she is able to capitalize on her success, even if only for 15 minutes.

Nadal, the king of the clay, lost to the 23 seed in the French Open over the weekend. I love that immediately following in interviews people always ask, what are you going to do to prepare for next match. Give the guy a break it was like people being mad that Lebron didn't run over to congratulate the team that destroyed him. Lebron said imagine someone beating you up then running over to congratulate them for beating you up. It just doesn't feel right. Nadal said he's going to prepare for his next match by hanging out by his pool. Maybe he can invite Boyle and they can enjoy the lack of pressure for a while.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Discovery Health shows, but I never got hooked on Jon & Kate plus 8, but you can be sure that we watched the season premiere to see the drama unfold. Us and the other 9.8 million viewers who turned in. I think it's interesting to see how different Jon and Kate look from the first documentary about the birth. Much less 'real' and much more cleaned up for the cameras. I don't think that anyone is winning (besides TLC) from the whole situation and no one can confirm any alleged infidelity, but I think Jon said it at one point that somehow the show went from a documentary for their kids to see, to a business. The show moved from being about their life to being their life. Unfortunately the kids may be able to see the dissolution of their family on TV. I don't think that was ever the plan.

Dave Matthews Band returned to Fenway Park this weekend for the second time, the first since the loss of horns player Leroi Moore. The band was fresh as ever playing a healthy mix of new and old songs. Jeff Coffin of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones stepped in as a horns player along with Rashawn Ross (A Berklee graduate) and long time Dave collaborator Tim Reynolds filled out the guitar sound. Both nights had their strong points, but there was something about night 2. Willie Nelson stepped in to help on Gravedigger and recalled the lyrics a little better on night two. Night one saw an epic Jimi Thing while night two brought out Two Step and Dancing Nancies. The crowd was a Fenway crowd, strongest participations came during Yankees Suck chants and the night 2 cover of Dirty Water. My brother Mark, in town to celebrate his 21st bday, pointed out that during night one's Everyday the audience didn't seem to know the Honey Honey part. Makes me really wish I was going to the SPAC shows. New album "Big Whiskey and the Groo Grux King" comes out tomorrow! Overall a great weekend of music. Phish also graced centerfield Sunday although I didn't make it to that show.

Heavy week of shows at work this week. Jessica Lea Mayfield kicks of the week tomorrow night along with shows by Julius C, Kid:Nap:Kin, and bass legend Stu Hamm. Be sure to check out for more details.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Twitter has taken control of my writing...

It so easy and convenient and I do it all the time. It's kind of like having a radio show, but not quite as cool. I'm doing song of the day and now talking about TV shows. I've realized that I'm such a pop-culture sucker and I'm just going to embrace it.

Missed the Bruce show in Albany tonight. It looked like a good setlist (Backstreets AND Kitty's Back) and got a phone call during Kitty's (Thanks KATE).

I did not get selected to go to New Orleans for Habitat for Humanity this year, but I will be re-applying for the program next year for sure.

LOST, Fringe, and Grey's provided great Finales this year. Excited for Summer, but hate having to wait several months to see the conclusion of these cliff hangers.

This weekend is the CF walk in Albany and unfortunately I will not be walking, but it's a great cause and Sarah is walking so please do anything you can. Even a $1 counts. Here's hoping you guys have great weather

Now it's time for The Office and Parks and Recs and 30 Rock. Working tomorrow night then the WEEKEND.

Peace Love and Cocoa Puffs!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Cage The Elephant

I had the great opportunity to work with this band on Friday and after getting their promo CD a couple weeks back I knew it was going to be a great show. I wasn't sure how it was going to be working with them, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was one of those nights like in SXSW where I just realize how lucky I am to have the job I do and meet the people I do. These guys are extremely professional and genuine.

Originally from Bowling Green, KY Cage the Elephant is made up of brothers Matt and Brad Shultz and friends Jared, Lincoln, and Daniel. After meeting in high school the band has had great success overseas and is just starting to see it hit in the states. Their single "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked" is getting seriously airplay in Boston and I'm sure elsewhere. (UPDATE: According to Mediabase 24/7 it is currently the 10th most played song on alternative radio stations across the country.) It was the boys' first trip to Boston and the sold out crowd made them feel welcome.

After a set this weekend at Bamboozle Cage heads to UK. Then it's back to several American festivals including Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and All Points West. Next time they are back in Boston we'd love to have them back, but I'm guessing these guys will be playing Paradise Rock Club if not House of Blues.

Check out their website
Follow them on Twitter
Get a free download here

Bruce Springsteen 4/22/09 Night Two Recap

So after the first night I was able to score a floor seat for the second night. The way Bruce works the floor is there is a front pit and the general floor section. To get in the pit you have to get a wristband, then it's a lottery system. I was number 66 out of 636 and they picked 501. 350 of us were let in and when I got in I went straight to the stage on the left hand side in front of Clarence. While the first night was great, the second night blew it out of the water. Maybe it was proximity to the stage or the fact that I high-fived the man during Waitin' On A Sunny Day but something about the energy of this show was incredible. It's been almost two weeks and I'm still talking about it.

Maybe I'll end up at the show in Albany too?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bruce Springsteen 4/21/09 Night One Recap

So this was my 5th Bruce show, but only my second E St show. I was hoping to score GA's but ended up on the lower level even with the soundboard and it was great. Of the two shows I've seen 43 different songs, and people are wondering why I want to go again?

What I great way to hit the ground running. The song sounded great and I like it more at the beginning then the end.

Adam Raised A Cain
Back to back Darkness tracks raised the roof. Not a single person was still in their chairs and we were only about 10minutes in.

Outlaw Pete
Wasn't sure how this was going to be live and I really enjoyed it. After the first two rockers it brings it back down, but didn't complete destroy the momentum.

Out In The Street
A personal favorite of mine and we are back at full volume!

Working On A Dream
Love the message, still out on the song. It was good live, but I didn't LOVE it.

I can do without this song. It's not one that I listen to on a regular basis, but it still rocked.

Johnny 99
As you can tell by my s/n this and Thunder Road are two of my favorites. I think its interesting that we've almost all of the last couple tours represented, except Devils & Dust. As long as he doesn't start closing the shows with Dream Baby Dream I would love to see a solo song or two or full band versions. Right around The Wrestler would be great. But Johnny 99 was smoking tonight.

The Ghost of Tom Joad
Nils shredded this song apart. If they can rework this, they really need to work on some of the Devils and Dust stuff.

Raise Your Hand
It was like Simon Says. Bruce said Raise Your Hand and the crowd obliged. Signs collected.

I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide
Everyone loves a good cover, and this was fun, but I wish there were more BRUCE sign requests.

I'm Going Down
Really enjoy this and since Gillette when it was "Rarely played, and ever more rarely requested" it seems if there is a sign for this one, it's going to get played.

Growing Up
Another sign request. First saw this on D&D tour. Liked the full band version equally live.

Waitin' On A Sunny Day
I know here this song is tired and old, but I've never seen it and it's been a song with a lot of personal meaning to me. So those first couple chords really got be going. As much as the handful of people here are bored with it. First timers and others really get into it. It has to give the guys on stage a huge boost of energy.

The Promised Land
I fell in love with this song on D&D and personally think he should strip it down going into The Wrestler.

The Wrestler
This song live was awesome. More powerful and emotional if that's possible. I remember when someone recorded from the end of the film before it had released and I wasn't sure about it. Now I'm hooked. The smoke effect was pretty cool. It's interesting to see mid tour he dropped the super bowl screen. Wonder if it will come back?

Kingdom of Days
WOAD has been growing on me as an album and I'm glad that this was one of the ones I got to hear live. Dedicated to Patti tonight who had a spill off a horse, although not a 'Madonna-like' spill. This one went out to her.

Radio Nowhere
While the sign was great and I like this song...he replaced Jungleland for it. Sign maker is not forgiven.

Lonesome Day/The Rising
Where some people are really tired with Waitin'. I'm tired with these two. They are great and I'm sure I was singing at the top of my lungs, but can't we get Lost in the Flood or Thunder Road or Kitty's Back or more Working On A Dream.

Born to Run
Lights on. Security guy in front of my section looked startled that the lights came on, then was smiling from ear to ear. I think this works really well to close the main set. Tramps like us...

Hard Times
Good song. Prefer How Can A Poor Man... if he is going to do something along these lines and I'm not sure it works really well as an encore opener, but it does work with the PSA.

10th Avenue Freezeout
Some people think this has gotten to hammy, but I love this song. It's a 'New Jersey fairy tale' as he said in July. The crowd gets into it, the band has fun with it. And I mean it's the BIG MAN! (Who by the way was holding his own, but he sat in his chair during the encore break and Cindy helped him across the stage for the bows.)

Land of Hope and Dreams/American Land
It's when you know it's the end of the night. I like LOHAD but also think its tired in the Encore slot. I'm okay with a consistent main set closer, but get rid of these two for a bit.

Just like Gillette one more for the road. Rosie came out and the lights came back on and it was a rocking time in the Garden.

Great energetic night. Setlist was great. Hoping to score a single ticket for tonight!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Please Enjoy The Music While Your Party Is Reached

New music player on the right side. I'll update it when I hear new music that I have to share!

I suck at blogging again

I know. I've not been good at blogging lately, but I'm working on it. I really want to get back into writing more and about more things and maybe finish that movie/book/tv pilot I'm writing. I was talking about it to someone the other day and they like it, so back to that soon. Things are crazy here at work, but good crazy. Trying to make some changes and seeing resistance, but I'm just remember that I can't change everything or that changes don't happen instantly. Serenity!

Music is great. Everyday finding new stuff and rediscovering old stuff. Trying to me less ADD and more focused on things and get the ball rolling on my 10 year plan. It's scary to think that I have a 10 year plan (and that I'll be 34 when I get to the end of it) but I have goals and if I want to make it happen, I have to start now. Too bad saving money is hard when all I want to do is go to shows. I'm not one to ask for favors and with the state of the music industry, live music is the only income these people are having. So I'll pay the $20 to see a band or $100 Million to see BRUCE! This week has been crazy. Working events day and night trying to get new stuff in here and more exposure for the cafe. But I'm getting tired. Late nights, early mornings. Hopefully I do it now and it pays off by the end of this 10 year plan.

Artists to check:

Toby Lightman / Lucy Woodward / Rachel Platten
Last night these three ladies graced our stage for the second time. Their voices really blow me away. Something very soothing and soulful about all of them.

Cage The Elephant
This show is coming up in a couple weeks and they are alternative country type and it just rocks. These guys are really starting to pick up steam in the blogs and press and I'm sure the show is going to sell out in a couple weeks.

The Hold Steady
I have been listening to Massive Nights for a while since I got it on a compilation disc a couple months ago, but after seeing an interview with them down at South By and getting some more urgings from friends I've been listening to the albums the past week or so. 'Chips Ahoy" is a great track about horse racing and drugs. The DJ for the event yesterday said their sound is "if Bruce Springsteen and Thin Lizzy birthed a band". Check it out for serious!

Delta Spirit
Still spreading the Delta Spirit love. Check the last post for more info on these guys. Long day that pounding bass drum really hits hard.

It's marathon weekend and there are Red Sox games, Bruins and Celtics are in the playoffs so the city is alive with tourists and runners. It's annoying because everything is crowded and people walk slow, but I love that the city is alive again. Summer is almost here.

No hot water this morning so it was a cologne shower this morning. Hopefully I'll get some time to run home this afternoon and freshen up. Looking for apts for next year or at least I should be. Looking for a roommate, but it may be time to grab a studio. Probably get more writing and focus on. TV has been running my life. So many great shows on right now. Will be happy when they wrap for the summer. More motivation to get outside and enjoy the sun.

We'll talk soon. I promise.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

People, C'mon

Well it's been a week since South By and I'm still re-living the moments. It was right back to work so I haven't really had a chance to sit back and write about all the bands I saw, but I will, I hope. Work is good. A lot going on as the students wind down for the semester. We are already booking into June which is crazy talk. This week we have the last Executive Session of the semester Natalie Maine's dad and Acapella Friday night. Also the one year celebration of the club with three alum/student groups on Saturday. Steven's going to the KS formal as are a lot of people so it will probably be a pretty quiet weekend. Although after a week of detox after Texas I'm ready to go out again.

Thursday night will probably go to Northeastern's alumni center to grab a drink to celebrate Rebecca's new job (She's coming to Berklee yay!). Then its home to settle in for 3 hours of the end of ER. The end of an ERa. Growing up we had one night a week we could stay up as late as we want and pretty much do whatever we want, within reason. That's when I first saw ER. Carter was just an intern who had never been in an ER and Carol was supposed to die. 15 years later the hospital I grew up with, and which at one point had me wanting to be a doctor, will leave the air for good. (I once even watched a season finale from the Albany Med ER, a girlfriend had put her teeth through her lower lip and needed stitches.) Hopefully they do Michael Crichton and the original writers, and the characters the justice they deserve.

I might be going to New Orleans in June. Berklee pays for 4 Faculty and 4 Staff members to go and volunteer their time and build houses for Habitat for Humanities in a music village down there. I'm applying this week and will hear back the first week in May. Wish me luck.

Another casting call I may attend for fun this weekend, but look for more details on that later.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Back to Boston

South By Southwest was a whirlwind. I'm exhausted and refreshed and excited to get back to work with some great ideas and some great new bands. I'll update tomorrow when I'm fully rested.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

SXSW Day 1

Ok. So I'm a little tired. The worst part was I woke up at 8:59, my free breakfast ended at 9pm. Awful. Yesterday was day one and I personally think it was a great pre-game for the rest of the week. I took it kind of easy. This is who I saw:

Ten Out Of Tenn - Caught a quick two three songs from these guys. I've seen these guys before and they are really great. I'm trying hard not to repeat bands I've seen previously, because it just takes away from why I'm doing this.
Roman Candles - These guys came on at the same British showcase that Ten Out Of Tenn were. It was really awesome and this was the first band of the day that I know I want to get to come play The Red Room. They are out of Nashville and even had a couple Ten Out of Tenners out to sing on a song.
Heartless Bastards - Her voice is just mesmorizing. It's very deep and had I not seen them on David Letterman, I would have thought it was a male lead. These guys know how to rock. They are probably too big for The Red Room, but still a great show.
Janelle Monae - This was a suggestion of a friend and let me tell you it blew me away. This girl can sing and she rocks out. With the soul and swagger of Amy Winehouse and the funk of Outkast (she is friends with these guys and Big Boi is performing tonight), Janelle isn't likely to be the unknown Grammy nominee for long. That's right she was nominated for best new artists and you now that I told her about you, you have to check her out.
Jessica Lea Mayfield - I've had Jessica tabbed on my computer for about a year after I saw a write-up about her on PopCandy so I knew I wanted to get to this show. At 20 years old, Jessica has built up some considerable buzz. While I wasn't blown away at her performance I was definitely impressed.
Angie Mattson - Caught her for a couple songs before Joe Pug. Really interesting. I'm going to spend some more time looking into her.
Joe Pug - Joe was supposed to play The Red Room and for whatever reason didn't really work out. So I knew he was playing and decided to check out a few songs. Really great singer/songwriter with a little country/americana feel. Solidified trying to get him into the room.
Delta Spirit - Okay so I KNOW I said that I wasn't going to see bands that I've seen, but these guys are SOOO good. I mean mindblowing soulful rock. They just put so much into their music and they are the real deal. No doubt in my mind that these guys will see some great press and rewards from this weekend. They played a new song which gets me really excited that they will be going back into the studio after they get back from a European tour.

So that was a really brief recap of day one. I'm actually in a panel about blogging as I type so I'm going to go, but I'll try and include links to all the bands later.


Monday, March 9, 2009

New Feature!

Ok. So I'm getting ready to spend a whirlwind week in Austin, TX next week for the South By Southwest music festival. I won't have my computer with me all the time, but I will be provided live updates over here ==============> on the right side of my blog. I can text what I'm doing or what show I'm at and you can all follow along. Exciting right? Of course it is!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A-Rod, Michael Phelps, and Chris Brown

So it's been a crazy week for these three men. One had a photograph surface of him smoking marijuana, one had a positive steroid test released from 6 years ago, and one allegedly beat is famous girlfriend and then left her on the side of the road. Phelps and Brown have had several sponsors and upcoming performances dropped, Brown has yet to make a comment (but charges have been confirmed), and A-Rod came out and fessed up to the Performance Enhancing Drug use.

Let's start with Phelps. Already with a DUI on his record, this isn't the first time Phelps' partying has gotten him in trouble. This time it was not a run in with the law, but a perhaps jealous or greedy party attendee that decided Phelps fate. Let's be honest, he isn't Bode Miller who has become infamous for his partying, he's a 23 year old who has set world records and won tons of medals for his country. As a result of his success, he has been put up on a pedestal to be a role model for young people. One commentator said that while he has been put in this position it is not necessarily a position he asked to be in. He accepted endorsements and in many ways was a representation of what hard work and determination will get you. So he's celebrating his accomplishments. Did his smoking marijuana that night take away from what he's done? Probably not. One comedian said parents are concerned about what to tell their kids when they ask if they can smoke marijuana like Michael Phelps and her response was "When you win 8 gold medals for your country you can smoke all the marijuana you want?" Marijuana in many states (such as Massachusetts) is slowly becoming decriminalized. I do not think that Michael Phelps career should be over over this. I don't even know if he should have been suspended, but I guess that had to make a statement. Luckily for them, the statement comes at a time when he wouldn't normally be competing for them.

Up next A-Rod (see also A-Roid, A-Hole, A-Fraud, etc). Was I disappointed when I read that A-Rod had tested positive for steroids? A little bit. Was I surprised? Not at all. Baseball is the one sport where I don't think I'd be surprised if there was a list of 104 players who tested negative for steroids. I think A-Rod's smartest move was coming forward and saying, yes I did it. I took Performance Enhancing Drugs, I didn't necessarily know what I was putting in my body, but I knew it would help me compete at a higher level. I can't believe how excited Red Sox nation was about this revelation. I'm sure if A-Rod had ended up on the Red Sox, they wouldn't be so happy about it. Again though the issue is this information was leaked. Someone with a vendetta against A-Rod or maybe the Yankees took it upon themselves to make it known 1/104 positive test results to the world. If they were concerned for the state of baseball they might have chosen to release all the names, but oddly enough they chose only one. Some are calling for the release of the other names (Curt Schilling) while others are probably shaking in their boots. I think that if we keep sweeping this under the rug it's just going to keep going. Perhaps we just put it all there and start with a clean slate. Some people will probably choose to deny it and others might admit it like A-Rod, but to punish A-Rod now is just not fair. After at the time of this testing non of the substances he tested positive for were banned by the MLB. It will be interesting as teams start reporting to Spring Training the end of this week how things progress.

Chris Brown, 20 years old, on the top of the world. Hit singles, Top 40 dominating collaborations, and a pop princess for a girlfriend. Then something went terribly wrong. While there are limited details and tons of speculation this much is known, after leaving a pre-Grammy party Chris Brown and Rihanna got into and argument that quickly escalated. It moved from the car to the park where Brown allegedly attacked Rihanna and left her on the side of the road. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. Is this the end of Chris Brown? No. Is it the end of his clean cut image? Probably. Brown is talented and an assault charge and possibly jail time isn't going to change that. People will forever think differently of him, but I'm sure it isn't the end of Chris Brown. Rihanna will come out with a killer album with Supergirl attitude and rise back to the charts, this isn't the end of her either. Domestic abuse isn't a laughing matter, but the sad part is that millions of people are involved in domestic abuse every single day. They don't have the support that Rihanna has and they don't have the money for attorney's that Chris Brown does.

All of these stories happen to ordinary people everyday. I work at Berklee with a ton of musicians, do people smoke pot? Yup. Do they have multimillion dollar endorsement deals? No, but does that make them any better or worse as people? (Financially is a whole different story.) I go to the gym almost daily, I don't necessarily know people who use performance enhancing drugs, but do they exist for sure. Are they setting records? No, but are they trying to out do the next guy or live up to a public image? And Chris Brown, Ike Turner, Bobby Brown and other celebrity's who let money and power get the best of them, their actions are not justified or acceptable, but let's remember we don't know the whole story. We're just reading all of this through the eyes and ears of 'sources' and tabloids.

Heading home for a couple days this weekend for much needed family time.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

25 Things You Might Not Know About Me.

Ok so, for those of you not on facebook, or not on my friend (you are really missing out), there is a thing going around where you write 25 things about yourself that people may or may not know. Then you include 25 other people and they have to do it. It's like an epidemic and I was bound to catch it, so I felt like I would share all with you. Enjoy!

1.) Music is my life, even though I'm not musical. If I had the time and effort I would learn and instrument, I still might.
2.) Along those lines I have an unnatural and sometimes creepy obsession with Bruce Springsteen. I blame my Aunt and Mike. The first time I heard him I sat outside Fenway Park freshmen year of college. Mike took me to my first show, my aunt was with me on my 21st birthday for my 3rd show and my best friend and I got soaked before my 4th show at Gillette Stadium.
3.) My best friends are like family. I'd do anything for them. Sometimes even if it's detrimental to me.
4.) I lived in Australia and it was some of the best and worst times of my life.
5.) I want a tattoo, but I'm afraid that I'll get one and then I'll be covered.
6.) I'm a Gemini (Some may read bi-polar)
7.) I love to travel and if I was independently wealthy, I would constantly be on the move.
8.) I enjoy cooking and I do it pretty often.
9.) My parents are two of the greatest people I know and sometimes I hope they outlive me.
10.) I will live in NYC again.
11.) It was once a life goal to be on the Real World and I've been to multiple casting calls. When I was in Australia Real World was too and I hung out with them, and bought a couple rounds of drinks before they told me they have an alcohol budget. I bummed a cigarette of Isaac. I did not make it on TV.
12.) I auditioned to be an MTV VJ, then they got rid of music on MTV.
13.) More often than not I work out to really embarrassing pop music.
14.) I've been working on a movie script/TV pilot for years, someday I might just finish it.
15.) I'm really 5 11 and 3/4 but I tell everyone I'm 6'. Sometimes I wish I was taller.
16.) There are very few things I regret in life. Although I regret not trying harder sometimes.
17.) I may or may not have a gambling problem. I once lost a $100 and lied about it. I once spent 2hours driving between different gas stations buying scratch tickets because if I won I refused to go back to the same place twice. I went to the Casino or played poker EVERY night in Australia. I was broke.
18.) I started a blog to share my thoughts with the world. I have a journal to write my thoughts that I will probably never share.
19.) If I'm not drinking Bud or Guinness, it's Jack and Coke or Soco. (Or water, I'm not that bad, anymore)
20.) I'm not a 'typical frat guy' but my Fraternity experiences are very much a part of who I am today.
21.) I wish I were Peter Pan, not because of the tights and weird hat, but because he could fly and never had to grow up, and to be honest growing up sucks.
22.) I think the only time I've ever cried watching a TV was the episode of ER where Mark Greene dies. Devastating.
23.) I hate the thought of teeth. If I hear about someone cracking a tooth or root canals I get the chills. I also have recurring dreams where I'm brushing my teeth or flossing and my teeth fall out one at a time.
24.) I hate cold weather and don't know why I've chosen to stay in the Northeast for so long. I'd rather be hot than cold any day.
25.) I sing in the shower, sometimes at the top of my lungs. I catch myself thinking out loud sometimes. This was way harder than I thought.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sun is back!

The sun is back, but it's still super cold out. Definitely ready for some warm weather. Looking forward to my work trip to Austin, TX in March. I'm going down for the music conference/festival known as South By Southwest. It's going to be awesome. Tons of up and coming bands that I've been wanting to check out, plus some panels/presentations from Quincy Jones and Steven Van Zandt (Miami Steve/Little Steven). This weekend I'm hoping to get tickets to the Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee which I've been wanting to go to since it started and I think this year I'm just going to get tickets and go. It's not until June, but Bruce and the Band are headlining one night and Phish on two nights with a million other bands. Time to buy a tent :)


Monday, February 2, 2009


So because I had no attachment to either team in the Super Bowl this year, I was of course excited that the one and only Bruce Springsteen would be providing the halftime entertainment this year. According to several reports requests for his performance date back almost 30 years. It was only see bands such as The Rolling Stones and Tom Petty 'legitimize' the performance that he agreed to do it. Oh and he has a new album and world tour coming up. It's a different world in the music industry and I wouldn't consider it 'selling out', more making a smart business move. Bruce promised that the show would be like you got stuck on the Jersey Turnpike and circled for two and half hours and only made into his concert for the last 12 minutes. He held his promise. A silhouette of the boss and the Big Man reminiscence (but not quite) of the cover of the Born to Run album started the show and it was right into "10th Avenue Freezeout", the tale of how the E-Street Band came to be. Next a trimmed down "Born to Run". All the time the energy was as if backstage they had been playing for a few hours. The new Working On A Dream was a small bump in the road, but showcased his new stuff, backed by a full choir. Then it was right back to the "Glory Day". 'Speedball' became 'Hail Mary' and the momentum was back. It truly was Boss Time and if they let him go, he probably could have played into overtime, but no it came to an end. From "Is Anybody Alive Out There?" on top of Roy's piano, to his knee slide (into the cameraman) and jumping right out into the crowd, the whole world got a taste of the E Street Experience. Oh did I mention he'll be 60 in September.

Let's back it up a few though. Jennifer Hudson's rendition of the Star Spangled Banner was phenomenal. I don't think people are saying that because she's overcome so much and they wanted her to do so well, but because she actually blew that song out of the water. I saw a survey comparing her to the Whitney Houston rendition from 1991 and she was winning by almost a 50% margin. She is truly a talented vocalist and she may not have had the popular vote on American Idol, but she will be very successful and perhaps our generations Whitney Houston.

The game was pretty unexciting to start, but as it got closer to the end I was really pulling for the Cardinals. That last touchdown was awesome, except I knew that there was way too much time on the clock for the Steelers. I still think the last fumble was a incomplete pass, but I'm not an official. Congrats to the Steelers on a job well done. I heard a report earlier last week that if they won, the city of Pittsburgh was not sure if they would be able to throw them a celebration based on the state of the economy and the budget in Pittsburgh. I hope that they are able to do something at least for the fans.

Overall it was a good night. Can't wait to see Springsteen on tour. Apparently the scalpers were watching the Superbowl too, tickets are already going for between $100 to $1000 above face value. They went onsale 4 hours ago.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Weather

I hate this weather. It's cold and rain and snowy and sleety (if that's a word). It's nasty. I don't know a single person who enjoys this weather. I'm looking forward to warm weather again. It sucks, I don't want to wish time away but seriously enough with winter.

You know how bad it must be if I'm writing about the weather. I usually tend to hold off until I have something meaningful to write about but it was like today was just awful. I didn't want to get out of bed. I didn't want to go to work. I would have been content just hanging on the couch. From the moment the snow turned from snow to rain the day just seemed to go downhill. So many things have been falling into place lately and I just have to strange sense of ying and yang and balance because it seems for everything that seems to fall into place something else somewhere falls apart or gets knocked around.

I guess what I'm looking for is some consistency and some sun. I watch Lost and I see how crazy things are with the time warps and whatever is going on (if you've figured it out, please let me know). And sometimes I wish I could go back in time. Not that I would change anything, but to go back and enjoy something that I took for granted. Maybe be more aware of my surroundings. We are really lucky to be able to look back learn from the past and reminisce about things that you did.

I used to be a yes man. I would say yes to anything, I used to be the good cop, I feel like I used to be fun and I'm not anymore. I'm constantly saying no, or constantly have to be the bad cop and the hard ass and I hate it. I prefer the go with the flow, kick back and relax, take things as they come attitude. Lately I'm so tense and annoyed and short. It's not fun to be the responsible one. I can't possibly go to the gym anymore. Maybe I need yoga or something. Maybe I just need to have a social life. I've been going back to Conor's the past couple weeks and it's awesome. I thought I'd be the creep old guy back at the college bar, but the great thing about NU is that I'm definitely not the oldest guy, and the best thing about Conor's is I'm definitely not the creepiest. I guess I want to go back to being fun me. I don't feel like I'm fun anymore and that sucks.

This past weekend I will say I did go to a Chinese New Years party and had a really great time. I laughed harder than I've laughed in a really long time. It was at Sarah's house and she has an 8x11 photo of Liz and I at a prom on her night stand. Well I don't think it's prominent enough in her room, so I took down the cross over her bed and put up our picture. Before I left, I made sure to point it out and we laughed so hard our stomachs hurt. But then I missed the last train in the city, so there is that balance thing again.

I think while coop was awesome and I had a great experience it kind of messes with your head. Or at least mine. I had this idea that you work your ass off to prove yourself for 6 months, you make some great connections and great friends and then you go back to class. I think it's finally sinking in that there is no going back to class. This is it. I'm in the real world. I've never really done well staying in one place for an extended amount of time and it's getting that time and I'm getting the itch, but now I don't have that freedom I had in school. I have responsibilities and obligations and people that rely on me. Sometimes that really sucks

Also I need boots, because my feet are wet and have been since I got to work. Today sucked.


(Sorry I used suck so many times Mom. Sometimes it's just necessary.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

REVIEW: Ryan Cabrera and Jesse Ruben at The Red Room @ Cafe 939 1/22/09

The first girls arrived at noon and they were also the last to leave. "But Ryan always does load-ins at 2PM". This was a sign that the night was either going to be a disastrous mess of teenage crazed fans or that it was going to be die-hard fans provided the background for a great show. It was definitely the latter.

While most casual fans might know him as the former boyfriend of Ashlee Simpson, Cabrera has tried hard to shake himself of the Simpson clan (including manager-dad Joe) and get back to making catchy pop-rock, which rang true on Thursday night. A mix of old and new, Ryan came out to the stage having cleaned up from his recent longer hair goatee look with just a his guitar and friend/opener Zach Hexum. Zach provided some backing vocals, guitar and sax support, but it was all eyes on Ryan. Hits like "On The Way Down" "True" and "Shine On" were sing-a-longs and most of the crowd knew more than that. The energy was high for a stripped down show and you wouldn't know that this was only the second night of the tour. On a cover of Paul Simon's "Call Me Al" Ryan brought out friend G. Love (of G. Love and Special Sauce) to play some harmonica. After the show, Ryan stayed and signed something and met everyone who wanted to meet him. When I first saw Ryan in 2004 opening for Jewel he did the same thing. In a cutthroat business, it's nice to see an artist who still appreciates and respects the fans.

Jesse Ruben's set kept the audience captivated with his melodic tunes. A Berklee alum and no stranger to the stage at The Red Room, Jesse hit the crowd with humourous chatter and songs "Lack of Armor", "Impossible to Find", and my personal favorite "Advice". If I was a gambling man, (and if you don't know that I am by now you obviously don't know me) I'd say Jesse is going somewhere and you should check out his music on his myspace or catch him on tour.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Barack and Roll

So this past week has been a whirlwind of emotions. Sunday before I left New York City we sat and watched the inauguration concert on the National Mall and there was something about it that just moved me. The performers were all coming out to show their support for Barack Obama. Maybe it's because I'm old enough to vote and appreciate it. Maybe it's because liberal Hollywood knows how to celebrate, or maybe its just because the change deserves celebrating. I can't help but be excited for what is going to happen over the next few years.

I was sitting today watching the first press conference and I can't say I've ever been so interested in politics. It's truly all eyes on Barack. I think now that the celebrations and balls are over it's really going to sink that he is now in charge of our country, all of it. I just hope that people realize that he isn't going to change anything over night. The shit on his plate is huge and all encompassing, from war to economics to equal rights. He is going to have to start at the bottom and work his way up. He signed the order to close Guantanamo Bay. He's working on another economic bailout, but everything is going to take time.

On the actual inauguration day, I think peoples hopes were so high that his speech seemed underwhelming. He had set the bar high with the speech on election day and this time he was more realistic, more serious, and very straightforward saying that it isn't going to be an easy road. He has his visions and goals, but he didn't rally the troops or expect everyone to jump on the bandwagon. Instead he, in my humble opinion, was asking for support but more so patience. He was setting the tone and the map for what is going to be a long 100 days. It took 8 years to bring the country to where we are today and we can't expect that to change overnight. It may take another 8 or so years to rebuild it.

Here's hoping it's up from here.


NYC (Part 2)

Okay. I have a ton to write about, but before I get to the new stuff let's recap the rest of the GREAT evening in NYC. Ok so after a long day of seemingly not accomplishing anything, Jaclyn and I sat down on the couch and started searching for a good Mexican place. Here's the problem, we couldn't make a decision for the life of us. We had it narrowed down to either near the comedy club or near the East Village. We keep looking at MenuPages and Yelp and TimeOut and every restaurant guide there was. Good food bad drinks, great drinks okay food. We kept going back and forth. Then about 4 hours later Emily walks in from the gym and goes how about we try this place. We go "Sure". Get dressed, head out and have a delicious meal. I got the Chili Rellenos which were stuffed chili peppers. Delicious with just the right amount of spice. This was the start of the good luck (although we didn't do too bad waiting at Corner Bistro). We walked into the restaurant and it had at most 12 tables. Almost all of them were full. We told them party of 3 and it was like we were VIP or someone farted, but the restaurant basically cleared out.

We had a couple drinks with dinner and then it was off to R Bar where Jaclyn was supposed to meet her friend Tracy. So if I had to choose, my choice of bar is more low key, sports/college bar, but every once and a while I enjoy a nicer bar. If anyone from Boston is reading, R Bar is very similar to Saint or Gypsy Bar. Normally I would hate this but tonight it was a blast. Again there was no line when we walked in and we stayed for a drink or two and waited to see if Tracy was going to make it. It got closer to the comedy show time so we decided to bail. Turns out Tracy was in line which was at least 50 people deep. Our timing and luck was changing considerable.

Jumped in a cab and headed over to MacDougall. While we had reservations for the comedy show we still wanted to get there relatively early to get a good seat. The early show was still going so we went to the bar upstairs for a couple drinks. The bar upstairs is where all the comics hang out before and after the shows. So we walked in and Ben Bailey of Cash Cab was there hanging and Godfrey of 7-Up commercials and other things. Both of these guys were doing our show as well. One of the guys that was a friend of the comedians was Mike Magee a soccer player who played for the NY Red Bull before switching to LA Galaxy (with Beckham). So I over heard that he was a soccer player and heard people talking about Beckham. When Jaclyn came back from the bathroom I was telling her about him and was like that guy over there is a soccer player. Apparently I wasn't whispering though because he yelled across the room, "You can only talk about me if you know what team I play for." I ordered another round to hide my embarassment and made friends with the bartenders who hooked us up with some sweet seats. Show was starting up so we headed downstairs. Not only did we get a great seat, but we prob had the best seats in the house. Right up front on the right side of the stage. Best part great seats, worst part right up front. Apparently my cream polo sweater screams make fun of me. EVERY comedian except one decided it was pick on whitey night. I went from the Whitest kid in the room, to sweater, to "I bet you were the president of your frat" (I was). The funniest guy of the night was Sherrod Smalls. He really gave it to me and I seemed to be his go to guy when something went really well or really bad. Definitely check him out if you get a chance. It was all in good fun and I liked to play along and I just kept the drinks coming. Show was over we headed back upstairs to the bar and got to chat with the host and Ben briefly. Apparently Gerard Butler (300) was in the crowd too, and he took pictures afterward for people who went out the front exit. Overall it was a really great night. Comedy Cellar never fails me.

We stopped at Mamouns go get some Shawarma and Falafel for a late night snack (recommended by the one and only Barbara Dang) and headed back uptown.

Next day we went to brunch and laid low. I headed out for the 6:30 bus back to Boston. The bus leaves from a random street corner in the city so it's always a little chaotic figuring out what bus we need to get on. A girl behind me was on my bus so we kind of stuck together until we were on the bus. She sat down across from me and goes, "This is going to sound really weird but were you at the Comedy Cellar last night? Did they all call you sweater?" If that isn't a small world story then I don't know what is.

Snow meant the roads were terrible, and a 4 hour 15 minute trip became a 6 hour trip. It was totally worth it though and I cannot wait to get back down to NYC. Maybe this time we'll get our ass out of bed and get SNL tickets.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Why I love NYC (part 1)

Home is where your heart is and there is always a part of me that will be in NY. Some people step off the bus or train in NYC and are immediately overwhelmed. Not me, I step off the bus an am suddenly very calm. I get lost among the tall buildings and on the crowded sidewalks. People talk to themselves, people sing and dance in the subway stations, and naked people spinning trench coats above their heads are about as ‘normal’ as rats or pigeons. All kinds of people take the subway. Homeless people trying to warm up, wealthy people taking their children to the Met or themselves going to the Opera. Socialites dressed to the nines on their way to Meatpacking and cheap college kids going to the Big Easy. You can watch people for hours and see some of the most unique people in the world and everyone seems to fit in. Only in New York.

This trip was no different than usual. My soul had been craving the city for months. The last trip was a couple months before for a Subway Series double-header which was awesome and we did a lot of the touristy things, but I didn’t really get to see any of the people I knew who still lived there. This trip was planned just for that and while I didn’t get to see as many people as I would have liked to, Jaclyn and Emily showed me a great time. I got in Friday night around 9 and heading up to their digs on the Upper East Side. We hung out for a bit and caught up before heading out for a few drinks. We made our way around the corner to The Big Easy. It felt that I was back at freshmen year of college. There was beer everywhere and beer pong in the back. The even had an ice luge and tons of awkward white people dancing. Jaclyn and I did surprisingly well on two games of beer pong, but as usual the last cup was the death of us. There was one older gentleman who stuck out luck a sore thumb. He was clearly by himself and had been wandering around but came back to a stool that apparently he had been using earlier in the night. He very rudely moved our stuff of the chair then moved our pitcher of beer across the table because it was apparently intruding on his personal space. I didn’t know personal space existed in a crowded bar on a Friday night at 2am, but this guy was very put off by us and stomped and huffed and puffed several times to make us aware, like some bull whose pasture we stepped onto. But like I said earlier, I guess this could be construed as normal in NYC. Afterwards it was off to the diner for some gravy fries. There is nothing better than NY diner gravy fries after a couple pitchers of beer. Hands down best late night snack. If only Boston would wake up.

Speaking of waking up. The game plan was to get up at 530am and head down to Rockafeller Plaza to grab stand-by tickets for Saturday Night Live. Two years ago on a whim, Jaclyn and I camped out and were the last two people let in for the season premiere of Dane Cook and the Killers. Although we weren’t super excited to get up and stand in the cold or even for Rosario Dawson or Fleet Foxes, we committed to setting our alarms and doing it for old times sake. I was in charge of getting us up, so I set about a half dozen alarms. Well let’s just say we either had too much to drink Friday or our bodies were just too warm in bed, because 10 minutes before they were going to distribute tickets I woke to realize I had slept through all of my alarms. I looked at the clock thought the chances of getting there and getting tickets were slim to none, rolled over and went back to sleep…until noon.

Fail. So we showered and got ready to go out and about in the city. We swung by NBC just to see if by chance they hadn’t handed out all the tickets. It was super cold out and a long weekend and the holiday tourist season was over in the city so maybe, just maybe. We walked up to the counter and I asked the page if there were any tickets left for SNL. He politely said no and said they had all been handed out earlier that morning. In his mind I’m sure he was shaking his head saying, “Really? Did you think there would be tickets 5 hours after they were handed out? Really? Dumb tourists” From there we swung through Times Square. Normally Jaclyn would avoid Times Square like the plague because it’s like the black hole for locals. Me I personally love Times Square. So we cut through not really sure where we were headed. We saw TKTS and thought maybe we would try to see a matinee. She really wanted to see Spring Awakening which had just sold out, and Chicago discounted was still $70 and she had seen it once before. We were now 0/2 and getting very hungry. I guess the early bird really does get the room.

Jaclyn suggested the Corner Bistro down on the West side for lunch. Cheap delicious burgers and McSorelly’s beer. I was sold so we jumped on the train and made our way down there. We walked in and waited a few minutes before we were seated and were chowing down on a tasty chili burger. This is where our luck started to change. Within about a minute of getting our food there was a line of about 30 people trying to get seats. So we sat chatted and people watched. The one woman next to us had been coming to the Corner Bistro since she was 17 and was now in her late 30s. Louis our little old server had been there since before she had been and he ran a smooth operation. It’s one of those old school joints that only takes cash, doesn’t take reservations, has a total of 7 items menu, and has a real local feel to it. The orders are all still hand written and Louis got people in and out without feeling like he was rushing them.

Now even though we were stuffed, Jaclyn was craving some sweets and I’m always up for cupcakes. We were going to go to Magnolias, just around the corner, but it was a little crowded and there was no place for us to sit and enjoy our cupcakes without freezing. “I’m going to have to shove it my face” – JC. So we decided to brave the weather and hike it cross town to Jaclyn’s favorite spot in the Lower East Side. We walked into this tiny bakery and grabbed two of the last seats in the tiny hole in the wall bakery and enjoyed the delicious cupcakes and warmed up with some coffee.

We walked around a bit more and checked out Jaclyn’s old neighborhood before heading back up town to relax and get ready for the second half of the day. Although we didn’t get SNL tickets we decided to go to a late night comedy show at the Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village. I had been once before and had an awesome time so decided we’d go for a later dinner some drinks and then head to the 12:45 show. What followed was of epic proportions.

To be continued.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The power of television

In a world where Virgin Megastore and Circuit City are closing their doors, it seems the answer of whether or not the CD is a dying technology is just around the corner. No longer can these big box stores afford to stock CD's because they just aren't selling. In 2008 the top selling CD Lil' Wayne's "Tha Carter III" sold 2.88 million albums (June 6 release). In comparison in 2000, NSync's "No Strings Attached" with 2.4 million albums sold IN THEIR DEBUT WEEK.

The power of television in music has changed greatly as well. TRL once seen as the ideal jump off for up and coming artists went filmed its final show in 2008. While MTV has moved away from music VIDEOS, there is still plenty of music within the shows it airs. Shows like the Hills and Real World have soundtracks that have helped to break artists. One show that has done this greatly has been Grey's Anatomy. As music supervisor, Alexandra Patsavas and Chop Shop Music Supervision has perfected the art of pairing images with sounds. Since her days working on The OC, Patsavas has been a divining rod for some of the most talented acts around. Their placement in some of the country's hottest TVs with scores of consumers watching has provided a key portal for these artists to break into the mainstream.

One such band that benefited greatly from television placement is the Fray. In 2002, Isaac Slade and Joe King got together and started performing and writing together. The band filled out with Ben Wysocki on drums and Dave Welsh on guitar. The band first broke into the scene after "Over My Head (Cable Car)" was played on Denver radio station KTCL. The single was later released on their debut album How To Save A Life in the fall of 2005. It was the albums title track however that made its way into the second season of Grey's Anatomy and the fifth season of Scrubs. Even though it was yet to be released as a single, these two appearances resulted in "How To Save A Life" entering the Billboard Hot 100. It was later released as a single and used in the promotion for the third season premiere of Grey's Anatomy.

The Fray's "Look After You" and lastest single "You Found Me" have also been feautured prominently on television and movie soundtracks. "You Found Me" is the debut single from their latest self titled studio effort to be released on February 3, 2009. In preperation for the album's release the band did a small club tour of which I was able to attend the Boston show. (Thanks Stephanie, you rock)

The show took place on Wednesday Jan 14, 2009. It was the first time I had ever been to the Wilbur Theater and I was pleasantly surprised. The show was sold out at 1100 and the floor was standing room and had enough space that I didn't really feel crowded. I found a spot about center audience 20 or so feet back from the stage and settled in. The stage was covered in lamps of all different sizes and shapes and there were even a few chandeliers. It provided a really cool ambiance for the room (which is almost 100 years old). The band came out and went right to it. On the first song Isaac's vocals were a little muddled, but it didn't take long for the sound engineers to straighten that out. They cranked through some of the new songs and a majority of the songs from their debut albums. Hit "Over My Head (Cable Car)" made an early appearance and a few songs later "How To Save A Life" was given an acoustic treatment, and dedicated for a friends birthday. "You Found Me", "Syndicate", and "Say When" were all played of the new album and can be previewed on their Myspace page.

Overall it was a great show and I'm sure will mean success for their new album. Whether that success will mean number 1 on the charts or even a million albums sold? Who really knows, but almost every date on the promotional tour sold out, I"m sure a full blown spring/summer tour will do the same.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

You're not gonna believe this, but Rod Stewart is white!

I'll eventually get around to writing about The Fray show I lost night, which was excellent, but right not it's kind of too cold to think so instead I'm going to regurgitate some great quotes from the one and only Little Steven. Quotes come from an interview in Esquire magazine by Ryan D'Agostino. Enjoy.

Raised on the Jersey Shore, the E Street Band guitarist played Silvio Dante on HBO's Jersey-based The Sopranos.

You gotta have cinnamon in your coffee. Pour it on.

The Super Bowl — they ask us every year, literally for twenty-five years. Since Born in the U.S.A. You can only do it once, I guess. You want to save some things.

Here's the wonderful thing that Bruce Springsteen and David Chase are capable of: Those two guys have the remarkable talent of transporting you to their own time zone, to their own rhythm, and slowing things down. That's an extraordinarily important talent these days, when everything is temporary and disposable and going by at a hundred miles an hour. In the old days, they would have been called wizards, because they control time.

Scandinavia is another planet. They get health care, education, there's no homeless, they barely have a prison system. We joke about how they're overtaxed, but it's the same fucking 50 percent I'm paying.

Art is not a luxury.

I remember when flying was fun. When did we become a Third World country? What day was that?

February 8, 1964, there was not one single rock 'n' roll band in the country. February 9, the Beatles played The Ed Sullivan Show. February 10, everyone had one. In the garage. "Garage rock" is traditional rock 'n' roll. If you think of it as the early Stones, you're fine.

My life began on February 9, 1964.

To have impact in two minutes and thirty seconds — that's very hard to do. It's much easier to write Pink Floyd's The Wall than it is to write "Louie Louie."

The history of rock 'n' roll is the history of America in the twentieth century.

Bruce wasn't gonna get a third shot. His first record did like ten thousand, second one did like twenty thousand, and they were just done with him. And somehow, by sheer willpower, that song got done — four or five months recording one song. Turned out to be worth it. They sent it out without the record company even knowing, and a couple of big rock stations picked up the song, the "Born to Run" song.

People got upset when we'd start playing bigger places. But you can either play sixty nights in the club, or you can play the arena. Hmm, let me think.

I modeled the role on The Sopranos after my real role in life with Bruce. You'd see Silvio have to deliver bad news, Tony Soprano would get totally angry, and guess what? That's part of the job of being the consigliere, or being the best friend in real life. The main job of a producer is telling the artist the song's not good enough yet. You try to be as truthful as you can be without being insulting. And then you get past it. I enjoy doing that.

Every successful person needs to have at least one person in their life who's not afraid of them. That you gotta give Bruce credit for, because it's easy to surround yourself with people who don't know your character flaws and you can pretend to be God.

Nebraska was written and recorded as a demo. He played it for me, and I said to him, I think you should put it out as is. He said, What are you talking about? It's just demos. I said, Because you didn't intend to put it out makes it extraordinarily intimate. Eventually, he agreed and they put it out.

We have no place for greatness in our society anymore. Is there no talent, or is there no infrastructure to support talent?

I remember a kid running into band rehearsal one day, in '68 or so, and saying, You're not gonna believe this, but Rod Stewart is white! We said, Get outta here. We didn't believe him. There was just not that many places you could see pictures of people. There wasn't MTV. And we never heard any white person sing like that. We knew he was black.

Immediately upon working for fifteen years to make it, as soon as we make it, what do I do? I leave, right before the Born in the U.S.A. tour. Everybody bought houses off that tour. I'm in Africa with an eleven-piece that I'm paying for, using my little money to keep a band on the road talking about politics.

I learned everything I know from leaving the E Street Band. And of course, one of the things I learned is, I never should have left.

The Beatles were a band, which we had never seen before. Four guys working together. Brothers. I had no interest in being Elvis Presley. We thought the Beatles were best friends. We thought the Stones were best friends. We bought the illusion, and it's the illusion that matters sometimes. That's what makes art work; that's what makes religion work.

Believe me, your parents would have preferred that you be a criminal — anything more respectable than a rock 'n' roller.

We are all suffering from a terminal time-deficit disorder. What'd you do today? I don't know, but I had no time for it.

I believe that hundreds of years from now, history will be divided into pre-1960s and post-1960s. Questioning things as a regular part of normal life — that didn't exist for my father's generation.

I ran out of money every year for the last thirty years.

Little Richard opens his mouth, and out comes liberation.

In Europe, everybody in the audience has the new record before they come to the show. Why? Because that's the script of the stage production they're about to see and participate in. They come, and they all sing every word of every song. They don't move, they don't go to the bathroom, they don't order hot dogs.

I've had offers through the years to write a book, but I don't feel that I've quite done enough yet. I got some big ideas left.

Interviewed by Ryan D'Agostino, August 12, 2008

Friday, January 9, 2009

"Maybe this year will be better than the last" - Counting Crows "A Long December"

Wow. Where has the time gone? It's 2009. It's been a month since I've last updated which is good, because it means that I've been busy and I've been happy and I've been focused. It's not a bad thing that I'm writing again, don't worry. I've been under the weather this past week and today I woke up with a renewed energy and have been blasting through a ton of stuff at work, but thought I'd take a few minutes to blog.

2008 The Year That Was.
The title might suggest that 2008 was bad and that I want to forget it, but in fact 2008 was a good year. In fact it was a great year, I only hope that 2009 will top it. 2008 marked the end of my college career. I graduated with might not seem like a big deal, but for me it was a great accomplishment (and yes Northeastern is a pre-determined five year plan.) I also got my first real job out of school and not only was it a job, but it was a job that is perfect for me. I get to listen to music for a living. What could be better.

2008 also saw the sale of Deli Plus. It's a weird thing when something you've known your whole life is just gone. I mean it wasn't really a surprise, it's not like I didn't it was for sale, and even when it was 'sold' it didn't sink in. Then I went home and went to grab bologna from Grandma's and it was from Price Chopper. Then for Christmas time we had to go grocery shopping to get all of our snacks. But change is good.

Speaking of change, change became the motto leading up to the Election and 2008 saw the election of the first black president. Barack Obama rose up as a beacon of hope for the sinking ship that is the United States. While he has a huge task in front of him and we may see some immediate change, it will be several years before we see some of the major changes that come with a 'regime' change. Most importantly though he is a symbol of change and that alone should help the morale of this country.

2008 saw my first Bruce Springsteen AND the E-Street Band Concert, the Giants Super Bowl win, the Celtics championship. It saw the price of gas hit $5/gal in some places and then drop to almost $1. It saw the market take a nose dive and the first signs of a long and possible deep recession. Travis Barker and DJ AM survived a plane crash John Mayer came to Berklee and scored some quality time with Jennifer Aniston (and a few other ladies in between). Heroes lost their powers, islands were moved in time, the beginning of the end at Chicago's County General. There were a ton of Big Losers, some Real World situations in Hollywood, and people Survived in Micronesia and Gabon.

As a whole, 2008 was a pretty solid year. There were a lot of changes and at times it was extremely overwhelming. But it was refreshing, and new, and never dull that's for sure. I'm looking forward to 2009. I anticipate that there will be more changes and more bumps in the road, but it's the ride that makes it all worth it. For it's cruising along and hoping those Giants repeat!