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Showing posts from 2008

Christmas Round Up

My Christmastime was marvelous. I hope yours was too. I'm extending mine. As I type, I'm listening to Dylan Thomas reading his poem "A Child's Christmas In Wales." It is simply one of my favorite works by anyone. I'm still going to memorize it someday. I'll let you know when I'm ready to recite it. The week was alternately wet and frigid in Los Angeles. Perfect weather for doing a lot of eating. We went to the Huntington and the Norton-Simon museum. Christmas Eve church service was very moving and the candlelight ending was poignant. It was nice having Mom in town for the Yuletide. The Monday Night Living Nativity was fun, even if we were frozen in place. A special note of gratitude to the couple who brought corporate cocoa to us. I'm sure we had the church's most irreverent cast of characters. I'd post pictures, but I'm afraid the rest of the congregation might "tsk, tsk" us for the next 12 months. With Mom around and the

Top 10's For 2008

Hey Soul Mates, I know, I've been a little lax in getting my year end Top 10's posted. It's been a busy month: working the Christmas Tree lot, work in general. Festivities. My GRAMMY ballot arrived today, so that's on tap. Went to see Zappa Plays Zappa last Friday at the Roxy. That was an amazing 3 hour tribute to the genius of Frank Zappa led by his son Dweezil and Zappa alum, Ray White. I was going to list the 10 best things I'd heard all year so I could include some non-2008 releases, like Springsteen's Magic (which would have taken the #2 LP slot and the #2 single slot for Girls In Their Summer Clothes ) and David Ruffin's Unreleased Album from 1970 (#4 LP of the year). I'd also thought about marking the 30th anniversaries of the Stones Some Girls (crucial to my musical development) and Chic's Le Freak (still one of my top 5 singles of all time). But I'm omitting them and sticking to my usual format. So here we go, just in time for a J

Give Peace A Chance

This morning I delivered the homily for chapel at church for the Wesley School. Our theme this month is "peace." So I decided to split time for two poets. John Lennon and Maya Angelou. I was very pleased that several of the 4th graders knew Lennon's lyrics when I quizzed them. I.e. who said "Give peace a chance" or "All you need is love?" A couple of the girls were very quick tell us it was John Lennon. Turns out they had done book reports on him and the Beatles. Today is the 28th Anniversary of John's assassination. What a pity he is gone. I can remember the following day, Tuesday morning, waking up to Strawberry Fields Forever on the radio. My 6th grade teachers (in their early 30s) were devastated. We spent the day talking about him and listening to his records. John's music and the lessons of his life are as important as ever. As I clean the house, I have the Imagine album playing. Mr. Lennon means a lot to me. I've made two pilgrim

GRAMMY Nominations Concert Review

Let me start with this: it was simply fun to be in the house and know that something was on the line.  Even though my GRAMMY dreams are deferred for another day, we had a swell time at the Nominations Concert at L.A. Live. It's a prime place for concerts and the Grammy shows are fun because I get to see many different performances. Foo Fighters ferocious take on You're So Vain , Mariah's Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) , and the duet between B.B. King and John Mayer on Let The Good Times Roll were the highlights for me. Plus, Mariah looked great as Mrs. Claus. Frankly, all the artists did their thing, except for the vocally anemic co-host Taylor Swift. I was surprised they didn't let LL Cool J break out a classic hip hop number. But then, I'm not sure what rap songs are in the Grammy Hall of Fame. John Mayer's post-show concert was entertaining. He performed solo and ran through his hits ( Waiting On The World To Change, Wonderland ) and tasteful covers (

Tomorrow Night Never Knows

Happy December. Christmastime is here again. Ain't been 'round since you know when. I'm getting very excited about tomorrow night: GRAMMY Nominations will be announced. I will be in attendance at the Nokia Live for the event. It's not clear how many categories (other than the 4 marquees) will be announced. May be that the majority of the nominations will be released on Thursday morning. Regardless, it should be a fun night. Gotta look sharp. Anything can happen in Los Angeles. I might meet Paris and become her latest, newest BFF.  There will be plenty of performances for the show. John Mayer is doing a whole concert. Morris Day and the Time are playing the after-party. I'm looking forward to BB King and Mariah . The show airs live on CBS at 9 PM, EST. Check your local listings.  I'm believing that there will fantastic news to share with you on Thursday. No matter what, I've felt blessed through the whole process. My dog agrees with me. Or maybe it's

Thankfulness '08 Version

It's Thanksgiving. Time to take stock of what I'm thankful for this year. Although I tell God all the time that I'm thankful for everything everyday. But the emphasis this year is on the opportunities I've had to serve my church and community. I've had a blast assisting with morning chapel on Mondays. Leading Bible study has been cool and enlightening. Going to the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission on a monthly basis has made me even more grateful that I earn enough to keep a roof over my head and food on the table. I'm also thankful for my family: Patty, Callie, Renee, Mom & Dad, Nathan and Herb, Gmom, Nil & Uma. I'm appreciative of my church and musical families. Thanks for your love and support this year and every year. Friends and fans around the globe, I've got a lot of love for you too. In one week, the GRAMMY nominations will be announced. I'll be at the Nokia theatre for the live concert and TV program, believing. Believing. Thank

The Boss's Latest Is Free

New music has arrived on the interwebs. Fans of Bruce, or Obama for that matter, need to check out Working On A Dream . This was a song that Springsteen debuted while touring in support of Obama's presidential campaign. It's free on iTunes this week. I'm awaiting the whole new album from the Boss since it sounds like a true sequel to 2007's Magic, which featured the E Street Band in all its glory. Bruce and Co. will be the halftime entertainment at the Superbowl in January. Maybe he'll perform at the GRAMMY awards the following week. No doubt Springsteen will be in DC for the inauguration. Yours truly will watch two of those three events from home. Other fresh cuts I'm digging right now include Keane's very 80's The Lovers Are Losing and the return of Q-Tip with Gettin' Up . I'm still getting my Motown education on with the Temptations. I'm hoping to check out their show with the Four Tops at the Gibson on Friday. Happy Thanksgiving Week

Temptations

On the Temptations. Part 1: Thanks, Vanity Fair . This month's issue of the magazine features an (all-too brief) oral history of Motown Records. It was fascinating to read the first person accounts of the early years of Hitsville and Berry Gordy's successes. The vintage pics and current photos by Annie Leibowitz of the surviving Motown roster are wonderful. The article reminded me how much I adore the records that came out of Detroit's hit factory. Many of the songs had gotten so overplayed on "oldies" radio, that I had forgotten how amazing the singles were on their own merit. As a youngster, I really enjoyed Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and of course, the Jackson 5. In later years, I gravitated toward the grittier sound of James Brown and the Stax label because their records felt fresher to my ears. The real rediscovery was my love of the Temptations. I met the Temptations at the Charlotte airport coming home for Christmas as a freshman in college. I s

Barack And The Family Stone

My fellow Americans, I've found the perfect soundtrack for this morning: Sly & The Family Stone's Greatest Hits . Jubilant, slightly defiant and entirely energizing. Though these songs are 40 years old, they sum up the moment perfectly. Hope overflows from these tracks and Sly's multi- culti pop family. Here's a sample of their wonderful songs spinning on my iPod : Everyday People Stand! Everybody Is A Star Sing A Simple Song You Can Make It If You Try I Want To Take You Higher Let's get it together and keep it together, America. No matter our color, sex, religious belief or economic status. We all still speak English; democracy is alive. Sly speaks to us from the pregnant past to the funky future we are embracing. We are all Everyday People in a victorious new day! We've got to live together. You can make it if you try. And everybody is a star, or at least they can be now. America rejoice. It took a lot of faith, hope and unity to get us to this mome

Not Morgan Freeman, But An Actual Black President

Wow. Barack's speech has given me more hope for America's future than any I've ever heard. Seeing President-Elect Obama with Joe Biden is beyond moving. We have a real blended family taking over on Pennsylvania Avenue. Finally, we're witnessing the American Dream. Obama is the perfect face for our country. Truly a world citizen. Barack's address to Chicago and the nation was smooth and firm. Easily the most amazing speech I've heard in my life. It really felt like watching a movie with a charismatic thespian (like Mr. Freeman) playing the President. America is once again a land of opportunity for all. One of the New York Times editorials stated that the American Civil War ended tonight. There will still be struggles, but we can see that the tide has changed. A new generation has spoken and we're seeing a bold, new America unfold. Looking at the previous 43 Presidents, now I get to see a face that looks like mine. Now, there is a President with an equally

#44... Your New President

History. Rarely have I ever felt a positive part of American History before. But tonight is different. Barack Obama has blasted through the toughest glass ceiling. We got the news from Jon Stewart, who said "At 11:00 PM, Barack Obama is the President-Elect." This is too exciting for words. I had a chance to talk to my Father twice on this historic occasion. My Dad who knows first hand the civil rights struggles that made this night possible. Thanks, Dad. I can't wait to talk to him tomorrow to get his further perspective. Of course, I can't wait to discuss with my Mom, too. God bless you, President-Elect Obama. I wanted to be Commander-in-Chief as a kid, but always thought it would be impossible as a "non-white" person. The mantra of "you can grow up to be anything in America" never rang true until tonight. As a student of history, I couldn't be more excited. We'll get a woman into the White House soon enough, but for tonight let's ke

Barack Like Me

VOTE! The most patriotic thing we can do as Americans right now is to VOTE! You all know that I'm supporting Barack Obama. He's had my endorsement for months. And Fred Armisen needs the work. I'm looking forward to watching the returns tonight. May I remind you again? VOTE! Time for me to get myself to the polls. Peace and God Bless America

GRAMMY Update and a Different Madonna

Only one week to go with nomination balloting for the 51st GRAMMY Awards. Thanks for all of the prayers and positive feedback! I've been reaching out to as many folks as possible to make them aware of my entries. It is a challenge being an independent artist, but heck McCartney is independent, too. Ah, the competition. Ha ha. One of the coolest aspects of the balloting is being listed alongside legends ( Macca , Al Green, Springsteen), peers (Gnarls Barkley, Raphael Saadiq , Robin Thicke ) and folks I just plain know and like (Supergrass, Fleet Foxes). Balloting ends on Nov. 5. Again thanks to all of the Grammy voters who are considering my entries for nomination. Monday, I had an afternoon off to visit the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. They have a gorgeous Raphael, the 500 year old Madonna and Child with Book . As some of you know, I'm a huge fan of Raphael's. His colors are so vivid and his faces are spellbinding. I picked up a cool Taschen book on his work to lear

8th Wonder! One More Grammy Entry From "A Talent For Loving"

Hey y'all. A discovery today: the title track from my CD, A Talent For Loving, is an official Grammy entry in the Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance category. Quite a surprise to find myself in that company, but I am not complaining. That brings the total entries for the 51st Grammy Awards up to 8. The other previously announced entries are: Record of the Year ( Everything My Heart Desires ) Song of the Year ( Everything My Heart Desires ) Album of the Year Best New Artist Best Male Pop Vocal Performance ( Everyone's Ingenue ) Best Pop Vocal Album Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance ( Everything My Heart Desires ) and now Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance ( A Talent For Loving ) Reviewers and fans alike have raved that my CD has something for everyone. Apparently NARAS, the Grammy's parent Association, feels the same way. I am very honored and blessed by God. I'm also pleased, because I will be attending the The GRAMMY Nomination Concert Live at the Nokia

Shindig! Digs Me

Wow, thanks for the outpouring of prayers and support for my Grammy bid. I'm simply thrilled that the Grammy leadership placed my work among that of so many of my heroes and peers in seven categories. Here's hoping enough voting members are able to check out my record before the November 5 deadline. There's something else important happening of an electoral nature that week. My music is a perfect tonic for the times, methinks. Celebratory, ya dig? Here's the latest print review from the UK based Shindig! Magazine: "(Kelsey) has totally reinvented himself as a soul man! When I first saw him perform in this milieu at IPO Liverpool 2006, I was duly impressed; the man was Prince, Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson rolled into one! Kelsey is the consummate showman who gives it his all... Put on the CD, point the laser to track four, grab a loved one, and prepare yourself for a romantic evening as you dance to 'Everything My Heart Desires.'" - David Bash,

Norman Kelsey: Official Grammy Entrant

Yo relatives, here's more neat music news. The official entries have been announced for the 51st Grammy Awards and I have secured seven. These are not "nominations," yet. There are several steps involved to becoming a Grammy winner. In order they are: - Submissions for Grammy Entry. Approved by a select panel. - Grammy Entries for Grammy Nomination. Voted by Grammy Members. - Grammy Nominations for Grammy Awards. Voted by Grammy Members. - Grammy Award! The awesome experience everyone sees on TV, as I have since I was a kid. So, I've cleared the first step. Which is really cool. My work (all from the album, A Talent For Loving ) has been honored with placement in the following categories: Record of the Year ( Everything My Heart Desires ) Song of the Year ( Everything My Heart Desires ) Album of the Year Best New Artist Best Male Pop Vocal Performance ( Everyone's Ingenue ) Best Pop Vocal Album Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance ( Everything My H

Everyone's Eli Stone

(Updated at 12:15 PM PST, Oct. 15) Thanks for the congratulations sent last night after the airing of the season premier of ABC's Eli Stone . My song, Everyone's Ingenue appeared six minutes into the episode in a scene between Eli and his brother Nate. Something about those brothers named Nate. If you missed it there will be plenty of opportunities to review. Go to the Eli Stone website to watch it on demand. Overnight Nielsen ratings suggest that viewership for last night's show was around 10 million people . That's a lot of exposure and I'm thankful for it. This weekend, I had a really nice mini vacation to Vero Beach, FL to see family members and to celebrate my grandmother's 93 birthday. It was a truly relaxing time. Found time to stroll the shore like in my old high school days. The ocean swimming Saturday was brilliant, but the sea was churning the last two days we were there. And let me tell you, Old Bay is the key ingredient for making some stupen

Eli's Coming

Here's big music news from the world of Norman Kelsey. My song Everyone's Ingenue will be heard on the season premiere of ABC's Eli Stone . The episode airs in one week, on Tuesday, Oct. 14 at 9 PM PST. Check your local listings. I have no idea what the extent or the context of the song will be, so it shall be a surprise for us all. Eli Stone tells the story of a young, visionary lawyer who may be a prophet or may just suffer from an aneurysm. It stars Trainspotting's Jonny Lee Miller and the show is known for its use of popular music. In fact, singer George Michael's songs featured heavily in Eli Stone's first season. So tune in and turn it up! Of course, you can purchase your own digital copy of Everyone's Ingenue from iTunes , Amazon, etc. Or order the entire CD (hard copy) from CDBaby . In local music musings, my music will be heard tonight on the internet talk-radio show Broad Topics . This is cool news, too. This program, hosted by four funny la

Citywalk AstroVision And You

Quick heads-up: My video for A Talent For Loving has been added to the rotation of the videos playing on the Astrovision on Universal CityWalk. It was very exciting to get a call from a friend who was at the food court last night. When was the last time that happened?

So Long, Butch Cassidy

Sad news today from Hollywoodland . Paul Newman passed away. He was born in Cleveland, like myself and was the first celebrity that I understood was from my hometown. Newman's Sporting Goods was still open when I was very little. He attended the same high school as my mother (albeit a generation or 2 ahead) and I always thought that was a big deal. My favorite movie of his is Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid . In fact, I'd reckon it's one of the 20 best films of all time. How cool was Butch? Way cool. I'm not well versed in Newman's classic films (pre-1968), but I'd like to give a shout to his performances in Hudsucker Proxy , Road To Perdition and especially the greatest movie ever about hockey, Slap Shot . Can I get a witness? But go back to Butch Cassidy and he and Redford make the prototypical action-movie buddy team, complete with witty banter and sterling chemistry. I can remember the earliest occasions of seeing Newman's Own salad dressing

LOVE and Fleet Foxes

Hey y'all. I had a double dose of super-quality entertainment this week. On Monday night, I went to see Cirque Du Soleil's LOVE , featuring the music of the Beatles. It was spectacular. I had the soundtrack, but it was simply listening to remixes without the mind-bending visuals that the Cirque's performers provide. The whole event was a highlight, from the instrumentals played as an overture with which my friend Mikey and I sang along. Within the show, though, I thought they hit their stride with the pieces that accompanied Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite/I Want You (She's So Heavy), Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and Come Together . I don't think it's a coincidence that those are some of John's most visually stimulating compositions. Mr. Kite/I Want You featured the most terrifying, gravity defying high stage trick I've ever seen and samples of Helter Skelter's vocals. Lucy featured some awesome aerial ballet to go along with a bit of sensory

Pride

My fellow Americans, I've been around the world and I've met wonderful people everywhere. I've seen amazing and eye-popping sights. Experienced an array of cultures. Tasted exotic foods and sampled delicious delicacies. But, I'm still proud to be an American. I present exhibit A: Peace and Fife and Drums p.s. Happy Birthday, Dad!

Sugary Beverage, Mr. Bond?

Here it is a snippet of Jack White's kick-butt theme song for Quantum of Solace . It appeared yesterday in the new ad for Coke Zero. That mean guitar and the horns mesh nicely. This may make two Bonds and two theme songs in a row worthy of the title. I can't wait. Casino Royale was brilliant, as was Chris Cornell's You Know My Name . Peace & Disco Beats. Shaken, not stirred.

Another Voice From The Retro Club

Artists are clearly tapping into tried and true styles from yesteryear. I raved about Fleet Foxes in my previous blog. Well, now I offer up a new exhibit: Nicole Atkins. If Mama Cass and Roy Orbison had a love child, she's it. Imagine that genetic combo backed by the Pretenders. The songs on her record Neptune City are all over the place, but she's got an operatic vocal quality that is as every bit mesmerizing as Amy Winehouse's blues snarl. Difference? Seems like Nicole's having fun with her noir-ish tunes. Plus it's nice to hear an American voice singing with gusto, not burpling like a vocodered teen queen (my own word, burpling). Check out Ms. Atkins on le video: Maybe Tonight Neptune City (original version) I expect her to make a decent run at Best New Artist (along with Fleet Foxes) at the Grammys. Hope her label makes the push. Her record came out last October, making it eligible for this year's awards. It's quickly joining my favorites of the pas

Music For The New School Year/Reasonable Challenges

This is a two part blog. It contains today's thoughts and a blog I didn't finish from a week ago. Let's start with the present. I've been discovering lots of music the past few days. After discussing the track All Summer Long with my brother Nate, I picked up the new Kid Rock. I'm still wary of his raps (a little coarse for my taste, now), but his rock & roll moments are super. Then there's Jimmy Needham's Not Without Love . Jimmy is a Christian artist who reminds me of Elliot Yamin and Orson, for those who can dig that. I'm still listening to Bruce's Magic in heavy rotation, along with the recent Blind Boys of Alabama release. In "catalog," I found Elton John's Honky Chateau , featuring Honky Cat and Rocket Man . It is a really solid set of songs. As for the most amazing thing I've heard this week? I've discovered the joys of Fleet Foxes . Their self-titled debut is a pastoral, choral masterwork. It evokes memories

Jacko at 50: Off The Wall

Happy Birthday to the King of Pop! Billie Jean and I Want You Back rate among the greatest and most important musical moments in our pop cultural history. Time to celebrate the man who gifted us. Hard to believe that Michael Jackson, who's music is eternally youthful, is turning 50 today. It's another half-century for another one of my favorite artists. Prince hit 50 back in June. So today, I will be spinning Michael's greatest album on my iPod . That's right: Off The Wall . Over the years, people have come to realize that Thriller is Michael's Sgt. Pepper and OTW is his Revolver . I've spoken to many peers who agree that it is OTW that remains his creative high water mark. Not that Thriller is coasting, but OTW is simply more fun to listen and dance to. Plus, OTW was the first "soundtrack" for a road-trip for me, when my Dad, Nathan and I trekked to Pasadena for the Superbowl in a camper. And that was the 8-Track of Off The Wall , by the w

Photo Fabulous! More CityRock Photographs

Here are 15 favorite shots from last night's performance on the Universal Citywalk. Some repeat and new thanks are in order. Again, a big hand for the folks running the event (Heidi, Jeff, Silvana, Gene, Marcus; thank you). Also a shout out to Gilbert Cadena who also took some amazing pix posted to his myspace. Thanks to Lupe who runs the Norman Kelsey fan page on MySpace. All photos in this blog were taken by Patty. Brilliant work as usual. There are 49 pix on myspace from the show. These however are higher quality, suitable for printing. Featured are yours truly and my Merry Company (Larry, Bryan and Jennifer). I love y'all. Thanks for bringing your "A" game to the stage. You look mahvelous, too. Peace & Disco Beats

CityRock Live [Show Recap]

Wow. What a great show last night and a huge turnout on the Universal Citywalk. It began hot, hot, hot. But as the temps cooled, the stage heated up. Thanks to everyone who made the show happen last night. The folks on CityWalk and 102.7 KIIS-FM are to be applauded for putting on such a grooving event. Special thanks go to all the fans and all of the passersby on CityWalk who gave the band and me such great energy to put on a rollicking show. But the gang I really have to thank are my band: Larry & Bryan. You all have given so much to get the music across in an amazing way... More on that in a moment. This was one of the larger crowds I've ever played to. There were plenty of people in the courtyard where the stage was set up, and more in the balcony of the food court and the patio of the Hard Rock Cafe (where some folks could enjoy their adult beverages during the set). Our performance was beamed to the Astrovision above the stage, I've seen a few stills, so I got lots o

Lost Boy Going For Gold

Like many of you, I'm following the Olympics. 3 channels of HD sports I wouldn't otherwise watch. Including gymnastics. But I'm right there with our team, cheering for all of them. Here's one that I'll be rooting for especially. Heard about Lopez Lomong ? He's one of the "Lost Boys of Sudan." As a youth he escaped a prison camp and lived in a Kenyan refugee camp for 10 years. Now he's an American citizen and running the 1500m. That's incredible, to coin a phrase. Check out Lopez's story on the official Olympic site. USA! USA!

Step Into Africa

Last night, we had the opportunity to visit Holman United Methodist Church in South Central to check out World Vision's exhibit "Step Into Africa." It was an incredibly moving experience. World Vision has authentically recreated the home lives of 4 children living in AIDS affected villages and towns in Africa. You walk through the exhibit and, with the help of an iPod , hear narration and the child's voice telling their story. My guide was Mathabo , an 11 year old girl from Lesotho. The display is interactive, with sets, props and lots of photographs of the kids. By the time I got through Mathabo's story, I was in tears. It's alternately heartbreaking and inspiring. One set is a small chapel and inside were dozens of pictures of the children that World Vision is reaching out to in their mission. All of them were angelic. Of course, I had to choose one to sponsor. His name is Stewart. He is 7 and lives in Uganda. His birthday is the day after mine, it was th

I Met The Walrus And New Music

Check out this Oscar nominated short I Met The Walrus . It's the voices young interviewer and Beatle John in Toronto during the famous bed-in melded with some outta sight animation. Be sure to "watch in higher quality." (Thanks for the link, Bry) What have I been listening to lately? Last night, I picked up a copy of the new CD by Blind Boys of Alabama Down in New Orleans . A fantastic gospel record made in the Big Easy with the help of Allen Toussaint and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. My dad took me to see the PHJB in Louisiana back in '81. Mom took me to see them around the same time in my hometown of Columbus at the time. I've always loved their performances and they are the perfect complement to the Blind Boys harmonies. The Blind Boys last few albums were actually a bit too adventurous at times. This one's that good old-time religion. Down By The Riverside is a favorite and the cd's finale I'll Fly Away is rousing. Oh, for you, hip to t

Fais Photo

Here are some choice snapshots from my performance at Fais Do-Do on 8.8.08. All taken by Patty Tokahuta. See more pictures from the show at Myspace . Peace & New Wave Beats

Shut Your Mouth! I'm Just Talking 'Bout Isaac

Sad news in the music world, Isaac Hayes passed this afternoon. Most younger people know him as the voice of Chef on the infamous cartoon South Park . But he was an Oscar and Grammy winning performer who brought us the Theme From "Shaft" and a song I perform with some regularity, Hold On, I'm Comin ' . Many folks don't know that he and his songwriting partner Dave Porter were responsible for many hits on Stax records in the '60s, including Soul Man and I Thank You for Sam & Dave. This was a seriously talented dude, who was also an inductee in the Rock Hall. Mr. Hayes was only 65. Today was an exciting day for me. This morning, I was invited to perform the lectern duties (including the invocation and offertory) at church. It was kind of nerve-wracking, but thankfully, God got me through it with minimal missteps. It's wonderful and humbling to be involved and to serve that way. I hope that I'll be blessed with the opportunity again. Anyway, I

Do Si Fais Do-Do [Show Recap]

It was a wild night down at the Fais Do-Do. My first show in L.A. proper. My first solo performance in L.A. or the States, for that matter. And it was fantastic from my point of view. Thanks to everyone who made the trip on a Friday night with high gas prices and a cover at the door. Sunshine funk makes good counter-programming for those who can wait to see the Olympics on their DVR. Ha ha. A special thanks to everyone who bought my CD at the show. Hope you are bopping to it now. It was great to see a lot of familiar faces (Jen Tafolla , Paul Brown, Amee Brown) and some I hadn't seen in a year (Gabe Gianola , Lisa Golden, Bart Gold, TV's Star Hansen). Decades almost in some cases (Craig Hall). Many of you brought new people to see the show. You rock. Like Homecoming, this year's International Pop Overthrow was chock full of friends: the Piper Downs played last night; Lisa Mychols from Nushu was in the house; Theresa Cowles , who sang on my album, was representing the

In One Week

Hey all, it's almost time for my American solo debut. The show is at Cafe Fais Do-Do in Los Angeles (W. Adams & La Brea). The set is presented by International Pop Overthrow. Fans aged 18 and up are welcome to attend. Since this is also my CD premiere party, the first 30 fans who buy my CD will receive a FREE A TALENT FOR LOVING poster! Hope to see you there. It's gonna be a beautiful night!

Think Fast, Steely Dan

A few nights ago, I finally got to see Steely Dan in concert at the minty fresh Nokia Theater across the street from Staples Center. First off, the venue is pristine. The sound is the best in town and they boast two hi-def screens that flank the stage. Not that the Dan are much to look at, but they are such fantastic performers, I got a kick out of seeing them "up close." Don Fagen channels Ray Charles by way of Transylvania. A vampiric soul man? Darn tootin '. And Walter Becker? He's like a Gerry Anderson Super-Marionette . His head and arms seemed to move independently as his body remained planted in place. But those guitar solos! Walter killed on FM . Steely Dan do come across well on stage. Don is a hoot and Walter does a deadpan that Dan Aykroyd's Elwood Blues could only dream of. As for the set. It wasn't chock full of greatest hits. They did pull out their pop hits Hey Nineteen and Peg; but the show was mainly a gift to their albums' fans. T

Happy Birthday, Han Solo

Today is Harrison Ford's 66 th birthday. Mr. Ford holds a dear place in my movie-going memory. Yes, I saw the new Indiana Jones movie after coming back from the UK. It was alright, but basically a pastiche of the original. The two big characters Harrison created rank among the most influential and coolest in my reckoning. No one has come close to Han Solo's effortless hipness nor Dr. Jones' wry heroism. From 1977 to 1985, I went out of my way to see every movie starring Harrison Ford that I could. That meant many viewings of the western/Yiddish comedy the Frisco Kid as well as the innovative Blade Runner . I used to wait with baited breath for the opening of a new Harrison Ford movie. Mom used to take me straight from school on a Friday afternoon to see an Indiana Jones or Star Wars film the day it opened. Of course, my favorite memory was going to an advance screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark in Cleveland. I passed up going to the big end of the year party for the 6

Magic

My 500th blog. Thanks for stopping by! Late last night I discovered that there is one more great Summer album. Bruce Springsteen's Magic . There are records that immediately evoke a place and time for me. I thought I might not find another Summer set. Music has gone so far down hill in general. There are some good singles, but few entire albums that hit the mark. Magic was released last October to much fanfare and debuted at Number 1. The lead single Radio Nowhere wasn't a killer, even though it was a freebie on iTunes . So I didn't pay any more attention to the record. Combine that with the fact that Bruce was pretty well snubbed by the Grammys in the major categories. Then around Christmas, I heard Bruce's second single The Girls In Their Summer Clothes . Now that it is the dog days, TGITSC is magnificent. The true test was listening to the CD in my car with the windows rolled down on a warm July night as I ran some evening errands. Brilliant. Shimmering. It&#

Summer Breeze Makes Me Feel Fine

Lately, I have been having plenty of trouble with MySpace . I can barely log on without the site crashing my computer. Or without spyware leeching through the pages. I hope that if any of you are visiting me via MySpace that you are not encountering these problems. It's been very frustrating as you might imagine. Anyway, you should still be able to check out the song samples and leave comments there. It might take me a while to respond, but that's why. Right now, I'm listening to Handel's Water Music . Nice and relaxing. I'm hopeful that the worst of the Summer heat is done. There's a cool wind refreshing NoHo . Between the high temps and food poisoning last week, I was done right in. Thanks again to everyone for their prayers and well-wishing. Tonight, I attended a nice function at church. Dining on grilled hot dogs and crock pot chili. After dinner al fresco, a bunch of us watched August Rush . A very nicely done fable about an orphan who is a musical pr

Pizened!

Hey all, just checking in here on the blog. It's been a long hot Summer for the first two weeks of it. I've been really out of sorts. Got a nasty case of food poisoning on Tuesday that has lingered up to the present. No fun at all. Nothing like several hours in the ER getting an IV. And a return visit might be in store. Interest seems to be building in my upcoming gigs which helps lighten the mood. But seriously, watch what you order when you're dining out. Hope your 4 th of July was safe and fun. I did get to see a dozen fireworks last night. Peace & Health

Happy Sunday & The Most Important American Movie of 2008

Hey All, today was a wonderful (although very warm) day. Our charity variety show at the Noho First United Methodist Church was a grand success. Literally. We raised our goal in donations for the Red Bird Mission in Kentucky. The program itself was a success and showcased all kinds of talent. I personally, performed I'm In The Mood For Love . It was the first time I'd played a song by myself on piano for an audience since a 4 th grade talent show at Berwick El. in Columbus, OH. It went over well; everyone who remembered the song as a contemporary hit made sure to tell me so. Ain't they sweet? Playing the song was a lot of fun. There are plenty of standards from that era that I'm going to learn. Nothing like having a new party piece. I also did a bit with the MC Hart Bakely (played by comic/writer Phil Mottaz ). I certainly enjoyed the entire fake radio show. Thanks to everybody who attended and donated. After all the Sunday activities at church, several of us wen