Saturday, April 30, 2005

Crunko De Mayo!!


Hey Soul Mates,
the Dodgers and their fireworks rocked tonight. So does the hair cut. I had a good time getting the do done. Monica outdid herself. And we had fun when she feathered it for a moment and I did my Travolta '77 impression ("Don't hit my hair!"). I also talked to Chaz Dean about shooting our next round of pix. He's a real pro and has a great eye and feel for so much. We shared thoughts about the direction we are taking and our goals. It could be a really nice collaboration photographically speaking.

The Dodgers... ah. The beloved blue and white socked it to the Rockies. After 4 1/2 innings of a pitchers' duel, which I love, the Dodgers opened up on Colorado and jumped out to a 5-0 lead. After a prolonged top o' the ninth, Yhency Brazoban got the last out and the Dodgers prevailed. The fireworks (for Cinco De Mayo) were very good as usual. That crew at the Stadium really know how to put on a show. Lots of latin/spanish language music, but only half of it was Mexican. But who's counting. They did slow it down a bit with that beautiful ballad from Motorcycle Diaries. Bravo.

Have a peaceful Sunday. Don't forget, Mother's Day is a week away.
Love, Power, Peace

Ahh, The Weekend

Hey Soul Mates,
it's been a long week. Still more ups than downs. The big ups are all of our new friends on MySpace and on the music scene. Saw good shows from the Piper Downs and Get Licious. All our new additions on MySpace are helping us spread the love. Thanks a bunch, cuzzins.

I finally got some knee advice from my brother Nate. The Ace knee brace bandage really helps. I'm trying to upload a picture of us in our bowling mode. Post-Injury. Not an action shot, but about as unglamorous as you'll ever see us. Ha Ha. We look like some alternate universe cast of Big Lebowski.

This afternoon, I'm off to get the haircut. Gotta pamper myself sometimes. I've been going to the same gal for about a year now. So, if you like the way my hair looks, I give Monica all the credit. If you don't it's probably because I did something to it afterwards. She's at Chaz Dean's studio in Hollywood. Chaz's group of stylists does a lot celebrity styling for award shows, TV, etc. You never know who might be there when you go (including me).

Darn, still can't get the dashboard to accept this bowling picture. Wait... There we go!!!! Check us out in all of our relaxed, yet banged up parts glory. Doug has already told me "no more bowling for you." I guess everyone wants to see me jumping around on stage next Saturday.



After the hair cut it's directly off to Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers are hosting the Rockies and after the game it's Cinco De Mayo Fireworks. Can't wait till we get a chance to perform the National Anthem at a game.
Time to eat something.

Love, Power, Peace

Thursday, April 28, 2005

A Quick Note

Hey Soul Mates,
Last night we went to watch the Dodgers lose to the D'Backs. It was another sellout for , but nothing for the win column.

Looks like Adam Marsland will be able to join us for a show in June. That will give us that much more time to fine tune the set with his accompaniment. We are planning on adding a few new songs to the set the next couple of shows. Which is exciting for everyone.

The knee is still a little tricky after the "bowling incident" last Friday. Phwew. I'm so used to walking, jogging and the cross country running that it's a bit off-putting. I probably won't be jumping around too much next week, but I'll do my best for you.


All for now. And Constantine was robbed.
Love, Power, Peace

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Tuesday Night Round Up

Hey Soul Mates,
we're just back from Monroe's in Beverly Hills to check out Get Licious. They are a pretty funky group. We'll be appearing with them in 2 upcoming shows. The scene was a lot of fun. Lots of pretty people and poorly dressed pretty people and oddly dressed pretty people. Matt from Get Licious and I had traded e-mails about our bill at the GIG on May 7, so it was cool to get to meet him. They are not so different from ourselves in their pursuit of greater success. Really refreshing.

Last night, we went to the Gig to see our old friends the Piper Downs and they played a hellacious set. They sounded really tight and the vocals were upfront in the mix. Nice to hear their 3 part harmonies for the first time in a couple of shows.

[Don't forget to mark your calendars for May 7. It's RHS @ 8:30, followed by Get Licious @ 10:30. We have complimentary tickets and/or you can e-mail me to be on the guest list and get in for FREE. The cover is $10, but we are glad to pass the savings on to you. That means we are playing the show for free. So if you are in town, show your love. Drop me a line, then hustle down to the show!]

Love, Power, Peace

Friday, April 22, 2005

Bowling For Soul

Hey Soul Mates,
what does the band do on a night when their shows been cancelled? When the going gets tough, the tough go bowling! We had a mini-Birthday celebration for Molly at Jillian's on Citywalk and we bowled a couple of games. Doug is quite good (he has his own shoes and bowling ball!). We all wound up with injuries, though. I hurt my knee early on and had to quit midway through the second game. Bryan injured a thumb and Doug strained an elbow, I think. But we had lots of fun, blowing off steam.

We are very sorry that tonight's show was called off. But, we received the comp tickets for the next performance at the Gig on May 7th. It's a Saturday. Mark your calendars and drop me a line if you want FREE tickets or to be on the Guest List.
Have a great weekend.

Love, Power, Peace

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Show Cancellation

Hey Soul Mates,
due to uncontrollable circumstances, our show at the Joint for this Friday April 22 has been cancelled. A celebrity has booked the venue for a private party and thus we will not be able to entertain you this weekend. But don't despair. I got on the horn and have us lined up for some really fun shows in May/June. Mark your calendar now: our next show will be 8 PM Saturday May 7 at the Gig. And due to the short notice, the show will be FREE for all of our fans. Just drop by the website, or drop me a line and I'll get you on the guest list.
We apologize for the inconvenience, we are all disappointed. Thanks for hangin' tough.
Love, Power, Peace

Monday, April 18, 2005

A Little Chaos

Hey Soul Mates,
oh my. Oh My!
We had our first rehearsal tonight with Adam Marsland (of Adam Marsland's Chaos Band) on keyboards. He's really a superlative player. Very professional and he came prepared to play. I've known Adam for 6 or 7
years now and have played with him at jam sessions, but never "when it counted." Now, we are ready. Everyone had a good time and we made real progress in a short period of time. Adam will be performing with us on Friday, as you probably know. We worked on some of our better known material with him: Excommunication, Fall Out. And we had a real blast. We are also worked on a surprise cover song for you. It's gonna be cool.
If you were planning on skipping this show, don't! It's gonna be hot. If tonight's rehearsal was any indication of what we can expect, y'all are in for a treat.
Gotta put noggin to pillow.
Love, Power, Peace.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

I Love L.A.

Hey Soul Mates,
I'm home from the Dodger game where beat up the Padres 8-3. Another sellout crowd at Chavez. As a result of not having tickets prior to arriving, we wound up with pricey seats in the loge. Being on the third base side gave us a great view of the playing field. I might have to rethink my wish to have season's seats on the top deck.

During the game, I wound up on Dodgervision twice. I went from zero for a lifetime to two times in one night. The second time came during the post game celebration 'cause I was holding up my seat cushion. Man, I love that team. Using the binoculars, I saw Rodney & Holly Robinson Peete, Wayne Gretzky and the kids from American Idol in the stands, too. The best part of a Dodger game? Hearing Randy Newman's acerbic love song to our fair town, "I Love L.A." That means the home town won.

Have a relaxing Sunday. We are rehearsing tomorrow with Adam Marsland for our show on Friday.

Love, Power, Peace.

Front Row

Hey Soul Mates,
after talking to my Dad last night about the Jackson 5 concert we attended, I decided to do some research and try to get more information. I knew that it was held in "theatre in the round" but had a hard time remembering the year, date and name of the locale. Well, I found this (from the J5-collector).



This would be the front page of the show's program (which I don't think I ever had). Ah, the wonders of the internet. Just ask my friend, Molly! The Jackson 5 World Tour took them all over the place in '74. In late summer, they came to the Front Row theatre. And they had just introduced Dancing Machine and the "robot" dance. I think only my brother and Dad will care, but I'm sharing anyway. The night before we went to the show, my Dad had taken a group of kids from the neighborhood projects and he scoped out the venue. So when we took us the next night, he knew where the brothers would make their entrances and got us on the aisle that Michael would use. As a result, I got to shake Michael's hand and if you don't think that's a big deal to me, you've never met me. Thanks, Dad!

Love, Power, Peace... and Dancin', Dancin', Dancin'!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Friday Night Lite

Hey Soul Mates,
just got through with a solid 40 minutes of practicing. Gotta be ready for Sunday's rehearsal.
I had the Dodger game on earlier and the home team is sporting Brooklyn uniforms to honor Jackie Robinson. So, I called my Dad to tell him. He was born and raised in New York and he got a kick out of it. We talked about the 3 NY teams (Yankees, Giants and Dodgers) from his youth. Dad told me he would watch Jackie and the Bums on TV at the local barber shop. And how, in the '70's, he met and interviewed Roger Kahn (author of the Dodger history "Boys of Summer") for radio. Then conversation turned to music and our upcoming show at the Joint. Dad and I then talked about the first concert he ever took me to: The Jackson 5. You may recall an earlier blog when I mentioned it. But it was fun talking to Dad about that show and what an impression it made on me. And boy, can my Dad tell a story. Too cool. Dad, I got my fingers crossed for that TV movie (he auditioned earlier today for a show with Raven Symone).
Gotta get back to practice. Whew.

Love, Power, Peace.

April 15, 1947 Jackie Robinson Day

Hey Soul Mates,
today marks the anniversary of Jackie Robinson's major league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Jackie was a true pioneer and the social impact of his work cannot be overstated.

In 1947, he became the first black player in baseball's modern history (after 1900). Robinson had to endure death threats, racial taunts and separate but unequal treatment: sometimes by his own teammates. But by the end of the season, the Dodgers' new first baseman was the first ever Rookie of the Year. Two years later he was named NL MVP. He proved himself through his spirited play and sportsmanship. He had to. The first black pro in baseball couldn't be like Gary Sheffield, Albert Belle or Sammy Sosa; prone to outbursts, diarrhea of the mouth or boasting. And that's not to say that he was acquiescent. Jackie Robinson proved to white America that blacks could be worthy of holding an equal job at equal pay with equal treatment. After all, baseball is America's pastime and he was playing the game right. Jackie was followed by Cleveland's Larry Doby, then many others. Consider that it took the Red Sox another 15 years to sign their first black ball player. Jackie opened a door for black athletes, but he also opened a larger one for minorities in all aspects of society.


How well respected is Robinson in the sport: in 1997 his number (42) was retired by the entire league.

I suggest that Jackie Robinson Day should be a national holiday. A day that we reflect upon the worth of all Americans, the contributions that Jackie made and his legacy. Without Robinson, our nation would be a crueler, less accepting place. There's still work to do, but Jackie set the tone. Along with pioneers like Duke Ellington, Langston Hughes, Nat Cole and Martin Luther King, Jackie Robinson made it possible for America at-large to accept blacks as human beings to be treated with dignity and without prejudice. Even though he died while I was a child, I'm proud to call Jackie a hero. Without the him and the people I just mentioned, there's no way Doug and I get to perform on the same stage with Bryan in front of our beautiful, diverse audience.

God bless you, Jackie Robinson.
Love, Power, Peace

Thursday, April 14, 2005

New Shoes (Plug)

Hey Soul Mates,
those of you who know me, know that I'm on my feets a lot. That means ya gotta have good shoes. In prep for my trip overseas last year, I broke down and bought a pair of Lexington Ave Timberlands. And boy, they were comfortable and looked good! OK, if anyone from Timberland is out there, your shoes rock. Tonight, I got another pair, this time brown, for a slightly more casual look. Nothing like a discontinued shoe. 'Cuz it's cheaper.

Now, the trick is I can't really sport these shoes on stage, but I'd take a Timberland endorsement any day. If you guys want to sponsor us, I'd be up for it. This is a plug. It's silly, but hey, everybody has to wear shoes.

Love, Power, Peace

...To The Ballgame

Hey Soul Mates,
lots going on since last I wrote. The band is doing well. We are looking forward to our rehearsals with Adam Marsland. He's a good friend of ours and a heck of a musician. Adam will be joining us on stage for a handful of songs at our next show. One of the numbers will be a cover... So watch out! In fact, the cover song is one that I've always thought of performing. And when I say always, I mean always. The evites for the event have gone out. If you feel you were left off, write me and I'll get you on the list. It's a challenge keeping up with the mailing lists.

Tuesday was opening day at Dodger Stadium. (I try not to use possessives to describe something that I don't own, but it's hard with sports) We put the hurt on the Giants in the bottom of the ninth. What an exciting game. Good for Milt Bradley to be the hero. The pregame was interesting too. There was a B-2 stealth bomber flyover; the Navy Seals did a spectacular jump; and American Idol Kim Locke sang the National Anthem with ease. The rock group Lifehouse played a fairly thankless set before that out in centerfield, but the applause was polite. The highlight of the pregame was Dodger legend, Duke Snider who threw out the ceremonial first pitch. This is the 50th anniversary of the Dodgers' first World Series victory. The weather was picture perfect and it made for a relaxing day at Chavez Ravine.

Love, Power, Peace

Friday, April 08, 2005

On Fire, Cuzzin!

Hey Soul Mates,
Rush Hour Soul was in full effect last night... and so were our fans. First, thanks to everyone who made it out to see the show. And extra thanks if you brought a friend. We had a lot of first-timers. That's always a blast. And the feedback was really great to hear. The turnout for the whole night was good, I'm sure the Gig was pleased. All the good looking girls and boys come out to see RHS!

As the curtain rose, Doug played his kick ass drum intro to A Talent For Loving. The crowd was into it from the get-go. We played a mostly uptempo set, only slowing down for Down By Love and Love Someone at the end. Bryan really wailed on those solos, cuzzin. Did you like the shades? Bryan also lead the handclapping on Fall Out when I had to tend to a technical glitch with my bass. And Doug, can't say enough about the man keeping the time. Love you, dog. I'm so proud of the band, not because we accomplished anything great, but because we love what we do: entertaining you.

Here's the set list:
A Talent For Loving
Excommunication
Down By Love
Fall Out
Saffron Dancer
Hold On, I'm Comin'
Sucka
Love Someone

Yeah, it was a short set, but HI-NRG.

Right now, I'm kicking back with some tea and putting together some of the photos from last night. We are looking forward to our next show on Friday April 22. Keyboardist extraordinaire, Adam Marsland will be performing on a few numbers including a new cover we hope will knock your socks off. We're also planning on adding one more new song to the set for the month.

Keep it tuned here for the latest!
Love, Power, Peace

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Excitement Is Building

Hey Soul Mates,
crucial show tonight. All of them are important, but this one represents a big challenge and step for us. We have our first reviewer due and we know that our industry contacts are coming back. Plus the lineup is pretty good. We got to sho improve, cuzzins!

I've spent the day mentally preparing and gathering things together. Picked out the clothes in advance. That's always fun. Took a couple of walks around the neighborhood. Nice breeze on the block.

If you are coming to the show, be prepared to move and look good. We are doing lots of dance numbers.

Hope that you will be there with us in body or spirit. Thanks to your love RHS is on the move.

Love, Power, Peace!

p.s. Happy Birthday, Mom!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Take Me Out To...

Hey Soul Mates, it's baseball season once again!
Check out our new bubblegum cards on our bio page at rushhoursoul.com. They took a little while to design. Hope you enjoy them. I've always wanted to appear on bubblegum cards. When I was a kid I made them from cardboard and put myself on all my favorite teams in just about every major sport.

I'm also gearing up for another season of Rotisserie baseball. I've been in a league for 12 non-consecutive years (took one year off in 1999). Finished dead last the past 2 seasons in a row. But we've changed the franchise name from the Nowhere Men to Norman Conquest and we're poised to contend.

Last night, we went to see Ed Harcourt at Hotel Cafe. Thanks for getting us in, Bryan. The Hotel Cafe is a tiny, tiny venue. Helped that Ed was pretty much to himself on stage. He's an interesting bloke. Reminds me a bit of my pal, Will. Hobbit-like and very British. And extra-talented. I first saw Ed at the El Rey back in '02. Kind of
discovered his music by accident when I was still DJing at Sam Goody. He's kind of a gentler Tom Waits and a very creative pianist.

Less than 48 hours until our next show...

Love, Power, Peace

Monday, April 04, 2005

Confidence Is High

Hey Soul Mates,
we had a really good, productive rehearsal yesterday afternoon. Even tho' the time change made me a little woozy. The set for our show had been determined on Friday, so we went in knowing what we'd be playing for you on Thursday. And the set is a barn-burner. It is slammin! You won't want to skip this one. Our slot is only 30 minutes, and since we have a confirmed concert reviewer coming, we wanted to put on a most spectacular act. The songs are mainly uptempo and dance numbers, so come prepared to move! We had a lot of fun putting together this show and rehearsing it.

For our next show, later this month we'll have a special guest performer and we will announce that at the Gig this week. You don't want to miss a minute of Rush Hour Soul. Come and get it!
Have a great week, we'll see you Thurs.
Love, Power, Peace

Friday, April 01, 2005

Pick O' The Week

Hey Soul Mates,
be sure to check out this week's LA Weekly. They always list the "Picks Of The Week" for upcoming club dates and concerts. Our show next Thursday is one of them. There is a nice write-up of our co-headliners and good friends Pillow of Wrongness (who asked us on the bill). If you look closely enough, you'll find that we got 3 mentions throughout the paper. The best advertising.
Click the Title above and check out the preview. Who knows? Maybe next time, they'll be writing about RHS!
That's the goal.

Love, Power, Peace
and watch out for the April Fools...

Il Papa

Hey Soul Mates,
I'm not Catholic, though I went to a Jesuit college. I had never given much credence to the Papacy. Never attended Mass. But, I must say, one of the biggest thrills of '04 for me was seeing the Pope in person at St. Peter's Cathedral in Italy. John Paul II is so close to the end it seems. I do have a lot more respect for him now. The mass I attended was pretty special and it had the atmosphere of a rock concert. The Pope is held in very high esteem by his followers; that was fervor! When the Pope entered the Cathedral, the room became electric: a swirl of awe and the clicks of a thousand cameras. I nearly got a good picture of him as he rolled past, no thanks to the arm-in-the-way.


On the dais, he spoke in a fairly clear voice and mentioned Psalm 61 (which had been part of his larger Sunday Mass teaching). His blessing washed over the crowd and everyone, including myself, was moved. It was a truly extraordinary experience seeing the Pope beneath Michelangelo's illuminated altar. He was only there for 6 minutes or so, but the brevity only adds to the inspiration of the occasion.


In preparing for my trip to the Vatican I did a little research. John Paul II, in his pre-papacy life, was active in the Polish underground during the second world war. He was an actor and playwright, too. That was new information for me. I don't always agree with organized religious thought, but I do appreciate this Pope as a human being and as one who has strived for humanity's good. I just read that John Paul is in a coma after heart failure. He won't be around much longer; thought it was best to recognize now. I've heard his possible replacement may be a Nigerian, Austrian or Honduran bishop or cardinal. That will be an interesting process to follow. The next time in Rome, I'll be seeing a new Pope. Seeing the current one, however, was something else!

God Bless you, JP2.

Love, Power, Peace to you all.


Photos of Pope John Paul II by Me, 2004.