Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 In Review/Happy New Year 2008!

This was 12 months of trials and tribulations. Although for the first 10 months it was heavy on the trial. Nevertheless, I had some great vacation time; reached milestones; recorded an album and made some major personal breakthroughs.

Some highlights...
Voting for and attending the Grammy Awards.
Having my Dad visit from ATL.
Recording my debut LP, A Talent For Loving.
Vacationing in Spain. Taking in a concert at the Palau de la Musica, Barcelona; Dali's Teatro-Museo; quiet nights in Girona; and sangria in Seville.
My high school reunion in Jacksonville.
My Grandmother's birthday party/family gathering in Vero Beach in Oct.
Visiting friends in Charlotte, NC.
Christmas and singing in the chancel choir.
Getting my CDs pressed.

I believe that 2008 will be filled with more joy and wondrous times for us all.
Celebrate and revel in the day.

Peace & Disco Beats

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Premier Review of A Talent For Loving

Hey All,
check out my first review for my debut. I can't wait for the rest of you to hear the LP. It will be available via
CD Baby by week's end.

In unrelated news, I won my fantasy football league championship. My team, The Lake Effect, overtook the La Costa Longhorns 121-95 by virtue of Larry Fitzgerald's amazing 171 yard receiving day and San Diego's shut down of the Raiders. Yahoo. I finished the season 12-3. My first win in any fantasy league.

And the Browns won. Now, I'm waiting for the Colts to "help" the Brownies make the playoffs.

Have a great New Year's Eve!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Boxing Day Perfect For Verbal Sparring

Saw my first new movie of the Christmas season. And it was a doozy. Denzel Washington's The Great Debaters, a fictionalized account of the historic Miley College debate team of 1935. The story is entirely inspiring. Mr. Washington shines on-screen as the coach and behind the camera in his directorial debut. Nice to see him pull off a great role without a gun in his hands; although, he is impressive in American Gangster. The supporting cast (including Forest Whitaker) were stellar, especially Denzel Whitaker's (not related to Forest) performance as the "Dougie Howser" of the team. It brought back memories of debating in the high school and perhaps that helped me appreciate the competition sequences. I'd have to say though that anyone should be able to get behind a movie that is the Hoosiers of Forensics, with depression-era civil rights and workers' rights subplots thrown in for good measure. Here's hoping that a film like this finds a large audience and maybe some Oscars for better measure.

Peace & Disco Beats

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Xmas 2007


I hope that the day was restful, joyful and filled with love.
Peace On Earth & Disco Beats To All People

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Coming On The UPS Truck!

I'm waiting, waiting, waiting for the big brown delivery truck to drop of1035 copies of A Talent For Loving. Ha ha. Fortunately, I wasn't needed at the studio today. So, I've been getting chores done around the house, preparing initial packages to go out, listening to Christmas music. Right now, I've got the utterly sublime John Rutter Christmas Album playing. But here's something cool: Disc Makers, my manufacturer offers digital downloads through their website DigStation. So, if you just have to have my new album for your computer or MP3 player NOW! you can get it. Just click the link below!

DigStation - Indie Music Downloads

This icon will take you instantly to my page on DigStation.com.

Back to waiting. And the vacuum. Ah, the life of a pop star.

Peace & Disco Beats, Good Will To All

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Top 10 LPs of 2007

Here it is. My year-end round up of the best long-playing platters of 2007.

10. White Stripes - Icky Thump
9. Duran Duran - Duran Duran's Red Carpet Massacre
8. M.I.A. -
Kala
7. Kanye West -
Graduation
6. Orson - Culture Vultures
5. Fall Out Boy - Infinity On High
4.
Mike Farris - Salvation In Lights
3. Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full
2. Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
1. Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare

Although it was nearly a coin toss between the Monkeys and Wino for the top spot. McCartney's LP was his strongest set in 20 years. Mike Farris' disc is a Stax-flavored gospel tour-de-force. The rest were nearly interchangeable. Although the most surprising enrty is Fall Out Boy. I didn't think I would like them in a million years. Biggest disappointments, well... the Duran disc suffers on the Timberland/Timberlake tracks and Prince's Planet Earth doesn't even make my top 10.

And here's a bonus. My favorite single tracks of 2007!

10. Justice -
D.A.N.C.E.
9. Calvin Harris - Acceptable in the 80's
8. Kanye West -
Flashing Lights
7. Paul McCartney - Gratitude
6. Pipettes - Pull Shapes
5. Orson -
Ain't No Party
4 Amy Winehouse - Tears Dry On Their Own
3 (tie). John Doe - Pressing On/White Stripes - Icky Thump
2. Mark Ronson feat. Amy Winehouse - Valerie
1. Arctic Monkeys - Fluorescent Adolescent

Click a song title to hear the track and/or see video courtesy of YouTube. This should have been the Arctic Monkeys' year but, here in the States, they stiffed. I was particularly pissed that they got zero Grammy nods. Still they are my choice to top both of these lists. Fluorescent Adolescent is simply one of the finest guitar band pop songs since Wonderwall. They got stiff competition from Ronson's cover of the Zuton's Valerie. Featuring the ubiquitous Winehouse it, Valerie is another track in heavy rotation on my iPod. Wino is a f***ing mess, but she can sing a song. I can remember seeing Orson perform Ain't No Party back in 2004 down in Hermosa. John Doe's riveting cover of Dylan's Pressing On is the best moment on the monumental soundtrack to I'm Not There. Honorable mention: M.I.A. - Paper Planes; Common - The People; The Fratellis - Chelsea Dagger; Kat McPhee - Love Story; Locksley - Why Not Me?

Albums I'm anticipating for 2008?
ABC's Traffic
Michael Jackson's new CD
Norman Kelsey's A Talent For Loving. Of course!

Have a great weekend all!
Peace & Disco Beats

Thursday, December 13, 2007

HollyWood Christmas

Last night, we hosted. Tonight, we are destined for Chaz Dean's Christmas Spectacular at his studio down in Hollywood. I was there yesterday getting my hair cut. Ah, for the first time in nearly a year, I had my hair styled by Monica, my girl. No more barbers for me for a while. Ha ha.

Anyway, I'm all dandied up, just drying off a bit more before leaving the house. It's freezing outside.

I'm very excited because the Grammy Ballot arrived today. People, I'm part of that vanguard trying to inject some modern taste into the votes. I must admit though, Paul McCartney will be getting the nod in a few categories. But this year, it's all about Amy Winehouse. No, no, no. She is the artist to be reckoned with this year. Forget her current death wish, check out her album Back To Black. Nominated in all 4 of the marquee categories, 10th Feb could be the night of her life if she lives to see it. For a bonus, check out her guest vocal Valerie on Mark Ronson's Version. Definitely the most talked about and popular musician of the year. Stay gold, Pony Girl. Stay gold.

Biggest Grammy disappointment: no noms for Arctic Monkeys. Boo!

I'll be posting my top 10 CDs of 2007 this week, so stay tuned.

I'm out of here. See you in Hollywood!

Peace & Disco Beats

Rocket 88 Has Hit The Highway

Hey Soul Mates,
I heard on the radio yesterday that Ike Turner had passed away. I had just gotten my ticketing info for the Grammy Awards, where I met Mr. Turner last year. All decked out in a rhinestone studded suit. Always a showman. Seeing him in person was a trip. So it was an odd coincidence for me. Ike won a Grammy in the best Trad Blues category and he made a charged acceptance speech as I recall.

Ike became an infamous villain in the very powerful Tina Turner story (she is amazing; whom he did discover), but his contribution to the start of Rock & Roll shouldn't be understated. Along with the likes of Big Mama Thornton, Chuck Berry, the Ink Spots and Louis Jordan, he was a musical pioneer. His playing is immortalized on the side Rocket 88 that many consider the first true Rock & Roll record. Deservedly so, Ike & Tina are in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Very much a case of judge the music, not the man. Because, in the end who can do the latter. The music has always endured.

Just some thoughts.

In my own music news, the CDs are pressed. Now waiting for shipment. I'm also excited about a new development overseas. There's a chance that an independent label (and its artists) will be involved with the tour. I'll keep you all posted. In the meantime, soak up all the Christmas spirit you can. I know I am, I started singing with the church choir to keep up my chops and make some joyful noises.

Peace & Disco Beats

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A Special Christmas Message From Me (On MySpace)

Welllllll,
feeling filled with the Christmas spirit, I decided to make my first attempt at a holiday recording. Done simply here on the hard drive, like an old 4 track, I put down a verse & chorus of the traditional carol, Last Month of the Year. I've been listening to the rerelease of the Staple Singers' CD of the same title and was inspired to do it (oh, those harmonies!!), just to put my voice on wax! I also added a bunch of 1960 reverb to it. And a little Christmas message to all of you. To hear it go to my myspace page and enjoy! Oh, what musicians can do with an hour's spare time.

Peace& Disco Beats

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Christmastime Is Here Again

So, I'd been getting further in the mood for the holidays by listening to all of the Beatles' Christmas records done for their fan club. They were annual giveaways that the Fab Four recorded from '63-'69. Lots of fun.

Anyway, today, we went to a wedding down in the OC at the Crystal Cathedral (Congrats to Sheryl and Patrick Kershaw, two of my oldest fans & friends). I'd only seen the place on TV as part of the "Hour Of Power." The place is a riot. It was a beautiful ceremony on a proscenium decked out for the church's Christmas show; a huge 3D Bethlehem complete with night sky, rock formations and fortifications. Righteous choice of venue, Patrick!

On a whim, after the ceremony, I decided to check on ticket availability for the extravaganza billed as the
Glory Of Christmas. It did not disappoint. Simply put, it was the Biggest Budgeted, Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Wild stuff. Not only was it an action packed nativity story, there were a cast of dozens, including flying angels, and real live animals in the show. Real camels, sheep and horses, horses, horses. Lots of singing (the soloist on Some Children See Him blew me away), lots of great carols and plenty of interpretive dance. I'm sure some would call it ostentatious, but we was thrilled by it. If you live in the SoCal area and have an affinity for Yuletide activities, check it out.

Time for bed. Got to get up early to go to the Farmers' Market. Get a Christmas tree. Plus the Browns are on at 1 PM.

Peace & Disco Beats

Dizney Land Pix

As promised here are a few choice holiday snaps from our visit to Disneyland this week.
Me and Frozone, two cool cats. Separated at birth?


The formatting for my blog has gone goofy! No pun intended. Anyway. It was a fun day. I love the action shot of Donald Duck. I like Donald, because when he gets bent out of shape about the little stuff, it reminds me not to do the same. The Exit Stage Left is from Roger Rabbit. And I had to get a photo in front of the Candy Cane "N" at California Adventure.

Happy Holidays!
Peace On Earth