Friday, October 29, 2004

Date Set For Debut

Hey Soul Mates,
we have a date set for our debut. The gracious Russell Wiener of Pillow Of Wrongness has signed us on for the bill at the GIG, Hollywood for 8:30 PM Weds. 1 Dec. Mark your calendars.
Time for Rush Hour Soul!

This should be a fun show on a fun night. There will be Free Tickets distributed to members of the fan club, so make sure you have signed up. After those tickets have been claimed, the remaining Free Tickets will be distributed at random. So contact me, if you want to see the show!
How often is there a FREE night anywhere in Hollywood anymore. Don't miss this opportunity.

We are very excited and know that the scene will take notice of our opening show.
Be there with us!
Love, Power, Peace.

And if you get a chance this weekend, go see "Ray." Tremendous performance by Jamie Foxx and a slew of great actors; and you get to hear that music coming outta huge speakers. Breathtaking. Heartbreaking. Earthshaking.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Note To Self.

Always. Always. Always.
Know the words to your song before you go on national TV. It's bad enough that Ashlee Simpson was exposed as a fraud for singing to a track on SNL, but then she couldn't even recover and sing the song at all. Worst, she blamed her hired band who smirked after she "hoe-downed" off the stage. May this be a watershed moment and mark the decline of this blight on American Culture.

Love, Power, Peace.
And to quote Roger Daltrey, once again, "Gimme a bum note and a bead of sweat."

Greatest Simpsons in American history (descending order):
Astronaut Alan Simpson
Animated star Bart Simpson
Atlanta Braves announcer Joe Simpson
Animated couple Marge & Homer Simpson
American Congressman from Idaho, Mike Simpson
Animated, not bad, just drawn that way, Jessica Simpson
Animated octogenarian Grandpa Simpson
All-American, acquitted murder suspect O.J. Simpson
and last and definitely least ...
Abomination and musical aberration Ashlee Simpson

Sunday, October 24, 2004

End Of A Sunday

Hey Soul Mates,
it was a beautiful Sunday here in L.A. Actually got to watch the Browns on TV at home and they almost(!) beat the Eagles (Rick, I wouldn't brag about Philly's ability to stop the run tomorrow). I had to tape the second half and wouldn't you know it, as I was rewinding the tape, I saw the last play of the game. I still had to watch the tape. It was an exciting game and the Browns looked good.

Last night, went to Taix Lounge in Silver Lake to see my man, Adam Marsland and his Chaos band. They just came off tour. Sounds like they had a good run across country and the band was pretty tight, despite multiple cases of bronchitis in the group. I was glad to hear Adam has been encouraging people to vote this year.

I will be doing my part, maybe at a polling place near you. I'll be volunteering to work at my local poll in some capacity. This year everyone has to be a part of the process, even if it is just voting. It can't be stressed enough how important it is for each of us to exercise our Constitutional Right to vote. I have several acquaintances who are not naturalized citizens and they are anxious that their friends who have the power, use that power. We are making a selection that effects the planet, people. That "think globally" isn't horsecrap. Some folks like to think that we aren't accountable to other countries and that they can't hold us accountable. Well, the only difference is that we have a choice as to who leads the global dialogue (or monologue). One of my oldest friends is on the other side of the political fence from me and our zeal for our chosen side is vigorous, but on this we agree: VOTE. V.O.T.E. Dick Cheney says "Vote or Die;" Puffy says "Vote or Die;" Well, mine is "Vote or shut up." Dissent is alright. Apathy is so 20th Century.

Old Chicago ward healers said "Vote early and often." I say, "Vote on time and often remind your friends to vote." Will it be four more years or four more months? America, it's on you. I will not tell anyone who they should vote for. But if you want to know whom I support (from the local candidates to the top of the ticket), e-mail me and I'll share that with you.

Love, Power, Peace.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Souvenirs & Premieres

Hey Soul Mates, many things have been finalized today.

1)We are moving on our souvenir order, so in a day or two you'll be able to order from our website. Initially, there will be 3 designs of Rush Hour Soul Tees and a number of pin designs. Keychains and baseball caps will have to come a little further down the road.

2) Our world premiere party is set for Weds. Nov. 3... that's right. The day after the election. Let's simply hope someone is actually elected outright this time. Anyway, if you were directly involved in the production of the video, you should have received an e-mail invitation tonight. If you were in the video, but didn't get an e-mail: I probably don't have your address. So hit me back with your e-addy.

And as if things weren't busy enough in my life, I think I am going to undertake the NaNoWriMo challenge and write a 175 page novel during the month of November. A separate blog will be created for it. For those of you who care. As long as I end up on Oprah's Book List all will be crackin'.

Love, Power, Peace

Monday, October 18, 2004

Designing Man

Hey All,
been busy since last I wrote. Just finished work on the first wave of the souvenirs (tees & pins) for Rush Hour Soul. Check out the website and visit the shop for a sneak peak. The shirts and pins should be available by the first or second week of November. Represent! Baseball caps will probably be done by December. All in time for the holidays. Please e-mail me if you have any other merch suggestions.

Also, we will be having our video premiere party at a secret location on Universal Citywalk. If you were cast and crew, your invite will be arriving shortly. There will be a lucky few Soul Mates who will also be invited to the premiere. This weekend, I saw the first edit of the video and it's pretty wild. Hope you are gonna like it.

Gotta jet.
Love, Power, Peace

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Life of a Musician #1

Hey Soul Mates,
There are definitely some cool small moments in the life of a musician. Being a songwriter (and your own publisher) you can actually make a few pennies from airplay and song placement in film and TV. I'm a member of BMI and get semi-annual reports on our airplay. Today, I learned that our song Bad Penny Blues was featured in PBS' "Red, White & Blues" TV programming. You may recall that last year was the Blues Centenary and PBS did a whole bunch of 2 hour films on the blues. And yours truly had a song involved. I am not sure in what capacity the song was used, although I suspect it's real background music and it may have been used in ads or bumpers for local PBS outlets. Anyway, if any of you saw said program let me know. When your song gets played over 1,300 times somebody had to hear it. The report also noted that the song was used by TBS/Superstation a couple of times. Anyway, I thought I'd share that cool bit of news with you.

Last night I was at the Joint for The Reason (Waddy Wachtel's all-star shindig). The evening features a who's who of session players and they run through very famous covers, most of which they performed with the original artists. Of course, our producer Richard B. was there. Always a pleasure to see him outside of the studio. Last night was very cool, because former Beach Boy & current Stones backup singer Blondie Chaplin performed with the group. His voice is great; the highlight of the set being his rendition of "Sail On, Sailor." More than that he's a nice person. Very pleasant. Gotta ask him how he keeps his voice in shape. This is such a great town to see live music. I encourage all of you to support your local music scene wherever you live.

Finally, Thursday, I'll see the rough cut of our music video! All for now.

Love, Power, Peace

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Session Update #4

Hey Soul Mates,
just got back with Bryan and Dennis from Smartso. We watched a few innings of the Dodger game together before they took off. Poor Doug is home with a cold. Get well soon, Dogg.

The sessions were very productive today. We cleaned up vocal mistakes and added some nice harmonies to Excommunication, Fall Out & Saffron Dancer. Tried a couple of ideas for Excommunication that may wind up in the final mix. Dennis doubled one of his vocal parts on the end of Saffron. I added a harmony to that song, too. After that, we listened to Majestic Rejection and discussed arrangement ideas. I will work on some keyboard and piano parts to sweeten the track. Then we'll add all of the vocals. Richard was also suggesting that we record a cover. Hmmm... I have to think of something good that you all would be jazzed to hear us do.

Richard, we found out, worked with Santana as an engineer/mixer on an album in the 80's. See my previous blog for my thoughts on Santana.
Have a great Saturday. Go Dodgers. Go Rush Hour Soul.

Love, Power, Peace

Sunday, October 03, 2004


Last night, my quest to see all the living Rock Hall inductees continued. It was Santana's turn at the Greek Theatre. Carlos Santana is such a singular guitarist, possibly the most amazing, save Jimi Hendrix (He is Prince's main guitar influence). Only Santana could end the show on a vamp of 'Trane's "Love Supreme." His 10 piece band was brilliant and combined samba, rock and hip hop fluidly. The set highlights were "Evil Ways" and more modern hits "Maria, Maria" & "Smooth." Santana, after 40 years, is still a positive force for music and peace.

By the way, my count is up to 24 Rock Hall acts.

Love, Power, Peace

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Sessions Update #3

Hey Soul Mates,
back to music news. We will be returning to the studio on 9 Oct. to lay down more vocals and mix tracks. The sessions have been great so far. We are looking forward to sharing the tunes with you.

As you can tell, we haven't had our video premiere yet. That's coming. Editing is completed and Commondeer is waiting for our final version of "Excommunication." The premiere will probably occur at the end of October and the premiere show for Rush Hour Soul will be the first week of November. Keep your fingers crossed.

Details to follow.
Love, Power, Peace

Friday, October 01, 2004

Dodgers Win! Dodgers Win!

" !!!"
That's about the extent of the shouting I can do today. I have thwarted any attempt to record vocals this weekend by going to last night's dramatic game at Chavez Ravine. Out of the (literally) hundreds of baseball games I've attended this was the most exciting and had the most on the line. Walking into the stadium, I said, "Self, we want the Dodgers to win, but we also want to see a great game, don't we Preciousssssss?" And we got a pitchers' duel, on a crisp September evening, between Birthday Boy Jose "Lima Time" Lima and former Rookie of the Year Jason Jennings of Colorado.

The game was tied 1-1 going into the top of the 10th. After an exciting swap of runs in that inning the Dodgers, the Dodgers came up with a chance to control the division in the bottom of the 12th. With 2 outs (and almost all of the subs and pitchers used, making the prospects of extra-extra innings daunting), Alex Cora was hit by a pitch. That brought up lite hitting backup catcher David Ross, who hit a walk off homer that bounced off the top of the left field fence. I've never yelled that loud at a sporting event. Never seen a stadium go that wild. Never seen a team so elated. Jose Lima came screaming out of the dugout to greet Cora at home plate and Ross was mobbed by the whole team. Ross had to make 2 curtain calls for the hometown crowd. Lima stayed on the field whipping the crowd into further frenzy while Randy Newman's "I Love L.A." blared over the PA.

After years of watching, frankly, shitty teams in Cleveland and fade-away lineups in L.A., it was a dream to see my home team win a truly meaningful game. With one more win against the Giants this weekend, the Dodgers win the NL West pennant. I'm sure that when I'm a cranky old man in 2054, this will be the game that I tell everyone: I was there. Yes, the Tribe are my first love, but I have been a fan of the Azul since I was a kid going with my Granddad to Dodgertown for spring training. As a child, I got to meet Tommy Lasorda, Ron Cey, Steve Garvey, Fernando, Sandy Koufax and recently I met Brooklyn legend Don Newcombe. But my appreciation for the Dodgers comes from my Dad, who grew up in New York while they were there. Here's a legacy, Vin Scully who did the play-by-play for the Dodgers in '50s, STILL does the play-by-play for L.A. 50 years later!!

Go Dodgers. Hail David Ross. I love L.A.

Love, Power, Peace