Archive for June, 2011

Ladykiller. You’re welcome.

June 30, 2011

Dear Diary,

Do you have any brothers or sisters? I don’t think I’ve ever asked you that. I mean, you seem like an only child buuut it could just be one of those things. You know, where you have a friend and you just assume that they have no family.

Could be like that.

Well I have one brother. His name is Matt and he is just about one of the most talented people you will ever meet. And he’s not talented in a freakish, weirdo sort of way. Like one of those kids who plays Bach cantatas at 4 years old.

Emily Bear. Crazy good at the piano...and crazy small.

He’s just naturally, casually, one of the best musicians I know. He is so versatile and at the same time, dead on his mark ALL the time. We (my parents and I) didn’t know that he had these skills when he was a kid. Sure, he took guitar lessons and listened to The Fugees on loop in his room.

Some sweet jams on this record right here.

But it wasn’t until maybe 2009 that we even knew he could sing! :::cough, cough::: LIKE AN ANGEL!

Oh. What else does he do? Well, mostly he plays the guitar. Now, I know what you’re thinking because you said it last week at pinochle. “Everyone plays the guitar and sings…” But you don’t understand. Matt isn’t just your dime store, regulation guy with a guitar. He’s just the most…he’s…AGH… Di, here. I can’t put it into words. Check it out for yourself.

Ladykiller – The Willow <~~~~ That’s just one of my favorite songs.

But you can also just go to their Reverbnation page and listen to a bunch of them. The whole album isn’t out yet but you’ll get a nice idea.

He also writes and/or co-writes all of the music and has an inSANE ear for harmony. And rhythm! I relate to him on the ear portion of his skills but I also went to school for music which helped me connect a lot of the dots while he definitely did not. He’s 100% authentic. He’s like a feral musician, aside from some guitar technique in middle school.

So he has been playing with his band Ladykiller for maybe the past 2 years. They even recorded a record with Amanda Duncan engineering.

Amanda Duncan and her "baby guitar"

And I had the honor of providing some piano stylings and technical editing to the project.

Di, when I tell you it’s good, I’m not really driving the point home. This album is so ridiculously incredible. It runs the gamut of tastes, spans the crevasse of opinion, unites Head Bangers Ball with Jeff Buckley. As far as lineup, Justin Gallo lends his guitar work and vocals to the pot and Jon Cabrera provides a third voice, along with some of the most melodic basslines you’ll ever hear. All together, they blend into one diesel piece of machinery made of 3-part harmony and rock.

Now Di, I don’t want to hear about your uncle’s polka-style Bon Jovi tribute band. This is NOT the same. If you’re even BRINGING THAT UP TO ME as part of the conversation, you’re not getting the point. These guys are incredible. And (little piece of trivia) Justin played guitar on much of my current record and Jon has been playing bass in my live band for the past 5 months. You gotta keep a tight knit crew, Di. A TIGHT KNIT CREW, I say.

Well, that’s all. I basically just wanted to inform you of the life- altering music you’ve been missing. You’ve been wasting your days on Take That.

Said I waaant you baaack for goood.

Oh, shake it off, Di. I didn’t mean anything by it. Take That was amazing too…a real game changer…

One love,


The Dairy Queen

June 21, 2011

Dearest Di,

Have I ever told you about my fear of dairy?

Irrational? Maybe. Real? Definitely.

Well…ok. I can’t say that I’m exactly aFRAID of it. But it just grosses me out to the point of retreating from the sight of it.

Oh now, Di. You don’t mean to tell me that your fear of Katherine Heigl isn’t irrational…

What was it? She looks “religiously judgmental?”

mmm. I thought so.

Alright, so let me clarify my position. I don’t care much about cheeses; swiss or cheddar and the like.

I’m talking about soft or liquid dairy. Milk, ricotta cheese, ice cream, milkshakes. These are the evils of which I speak. My fear comes not from the dairy itself, but rather, from the potential SPOILage of the dairy that tends to sneak up on you like a high tide or a few extra pounds.

Picture, if you will, a young baby. All of 1 or 2 years of age. His mother brings him to the boardwalk on a hot day. ‘Wow. What a great day for some  ice cream. Some nice vanilla soft serve,” she says aloud to no one. Mommy purchases said ice cream and proceeds to hand said baby a small cone. But only, oh! It’s melting a little too quickly! As the baby smashes it to his face in an attempt to devour all of the sweet deliciousness, the melted ice cream runs down his chin and onto his shirt/pants/shoes. Mom wipes it off but it’s too hot. It already begins to ferment. 2 hours later, mom notices a foul odor emanating from little baby. It’s the GROSS DAIRY that never gets cleaned all the way and ALWAYS stinks.

The end.

Nice story, Di. Right?

Anywho, that’s how I feel. So say what you will, but some things just never change. Death, taxes, and spilled milk smell.

Walking away and then turning quickly back to implement the stink eye,


Miss Lulu and the Teaspoon Shortage

June 13, 2011

Well Hello Diary!

And how are we today?

Excellent? I figured so.

I’ve come to tell you a bit about what’s been going on in my life.

So, as you know, I just released my album, Diary. Yes. It’s been nothing short of heaven. I worked and held onto it for such a long time that it began to feel like a pregnancy. A giant, public, musical pregnancy. But just as the last trimester goes so quickly, so did the coming of the album.

I had some photos taken and was, through a long and unnecessary chain of events, left with just a couple of usable shots.

No, I don’t want to get into it, Di. It’s not worth the verbiage. Just know that while the shots that we had were cool, they were extremely limited in quantity and versatility and we were forced to make some tough choices on the artwork. Also, I felt that they did not ultimately represent what the music inside the package sounded like. [Sidebar: Additionally, there were no less than 7.5 typos inside the original print, including proper names]

I’m sure you can sympathize with that, Di. It’s kind of like the time that your mom forced you to wear that denim jumpsuit to your junior prom. Even though it was totally rockin’, it just didn’t represent the Diary we all know and love. The Di on the INside.

So the print that currently exists of “The Green Year” (that’s the name of the album) will be a limited edition. There are only 1,000 copies in existence so if you are reading this and own one of them, consider yourself one of the chosen few. I decided that it was necessary to regroup and redesign.

Enter Lucia Holm.

This young lady came to my attention via Nicole Lipman of Hey Cole Presents, and then again via Amanda Duncan. We had all been researching photographers and they showed me some of Lucia’s work. Needless to say, I was immediately sold. Her vision, use of color, composition, storytelling. It was all there in stunning photographical glory! I won’t post her images here but I will send you to her flickr.

So a couple of weeks ago,  she took some photos of ME. Firstly, she and sometime assistant/ talented friend Dave Cruse built a GREEN ROOM for me to inhabit.  So there’s that. Diary, I bet you WISH you had a green room. You WISH. Thanks to Dave and Amanda Duncan for lugging some heavy furniture around in 90 degree heat!

We shot in the Jersey Shore Arts Center in Ocean Grove, right near Asbury Park, NJ. This was one of the most comfortable, attentive shoots I’ve ever been a part of. She let me look through the shots here and there and WOWIE! I thought to myself that if the raw photos looked this good, my brain would explode like a balloon full of soda by the time I saw the edits!

Picture THAT one, Di!

Anyway, I could go on for days. Just do yourself a favor and check out Lucia’s work. Hire her for every important event in your life from now until you die.

…Ok. I know. That’s a little dramatic. But truly, support small business artists. Especially the ones that are doing such undeniably amazing work.

You’ll just have to wait until the big reveal to see the finished photos, Di. No peeking. Look for it later this summer.

Ok. I have to go play the Charlie Brown theme song on piano now.

With a fart noise from the mouth,