Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's been a few weeks since my last post and I think I promised that the next one would be the shortest ever. Let's just say that it was so short that it was invisible to the human eye! -mostly because I don't think this is going to be a short post...OK, I know it's not going to be. :P

Last Monday Sam Sparro sang a few songs downtown at an evening called Mustache Mondays. It's an alternative night at a space called La Cita on Hill between 3rd & 4th Streets. A wild, musical performance art piece is presented each week at around midnight. It's usually one of those performances that is equal parts ghastly and extraordinary! It's always a blast & usually brings me back to my 20s in New York City. When my friend Darryl posted that Sam was performing, I was in. I've always been a fan of Sam, who I've met a few times before. Darryl and I spent some time with him at the Sunset Junction in Silverlake a few years back and I met him once before that when he worked at Aroma Cafe in Studio City. I'd learned about him through a producer who did a remix for me years ago named Jesse Rogg. Jesse produced Sam's first album, the one that the hit, "Black & Gold", is on.

I was intrigued to see how the venue was going to accommodate Sam's performance. I've seen Sam, who is also a DJ, in smaller venues but this one sort of defies description. Sam was announced at midnight sharp and a larger than usual crowd quickly gathered around the dance floor. Jesse played tracks from his laptop and Sam sang his face off as usual. SOUND, however, was less than desirable. OK, it was a mess. At one point Sam's mic shorted out completely and the MC for the evening handed her/his mic to Sam mid-song. Sam was a terrific sport and his drunken fans didn't seem to care much that they couldn't actually hear him. It was Sam Sparro. -At Mustache Mondays. All was as it should be in the LA alternative music scene!

Lately, I've been pondering P!NK. I've had the pleasure of meeting her and visiting Australia to see her sold out tour through one of my best friends, Leo, who co-choreographed and danced on the tour. -And I would like to make the point that I met her once for a few moments at the tour's kick-off party where Leo introduced me to her. The next time I saw her, several months later in Australia, she greeted me warmly, remembering my name from our brief meeting before. That's how present this talented woman is. Shortly thereafter, I was blown away by her Funhouse Tour performance. As you may have heard, she sounds better live than on her albums & she is so in the moment, so personal in her performance that you feel like you're hanging out with her, having drinks together in some hole-in-the-wall dive bar. Her connected communication as an artist is a quality I search out but seldom see in popular music.

...But I digress. Today, a client came for her singing lesson, and she asked if we could work on a P!NK song. P!NK songs are great for voice lessons because they are well written & the vocal range is both high and low, a good stretch for most singers. I have songbooks from her last two albums and use them frequently.

We'd been working on "Sober", but my client asked if we could look at "Dear Mr. President", a song from her album, I'm Not Dead Yet. As we were going through the song it occurred to me that P!NK's songwriting has heavy roots in folk music. When you think of songs like "Dear Mr. President", "Stupid Girls", "I've Got Money Now" and many others, you notice that her songs oftentimes express her political & social views on the current state of affairs on this planet. If it's possible, I gained even more respect for her work in that moment.

Lastly, I wanted to share with you my experience this past Saturday when Darryl Stephens and I coordinated an informal 1st reading of our film script with original music. It was as thrilling for me as it was terrifying! We invited around 20 of our talented friends to come and help us read through the script. We played skeletally produced versions of the songs for the film as they occur in the script. As I've mentioned D and I have been working on the script regularly for a little over a year & I'd started to lose objectivity on how the project was going. -So, we purposely invited a variety of friends from different walks of life to get as many points of view for feedback as possible. Chris D'Arienzo, the talented writer of the script for the 80s rock broadway musical Rock Of Ages, read the lead character of Coyote, a 40 year old rockstar who finds himself in the middle of a comeback tour, with just the right touch of humor and bravado. A bunch of LA's most talented, working tour dancers read roles uncanny resembling their own lives...some roles written with them in mind. We BBQd, had cocktails and made a party out of it. The feedback was insightful and D and I will now dig into a rewrite, not too major but substantial. I'm also going to focus on getting the music more fully produced, with demo singers, real guitars, drums, etc. Then the hard part begins. -Getting it produced!

In other news, Skyline released a video for their single, "Not The Only One". Check it out. It's really wonderful.

Also, check out the SIZZLE REEL of a brilliantly talented production designer named Kyle Kannenberg. Perhaps you can hire this uber-talented designer before he becomes so famous that we won't be able to afford him anymore. Kyle has graciously agreed to art direct the 3rd annual Open Artists With Open Arms benefit. How lucky are we?

Long blog... Again... My sis-in-law informed me that blogs are supposed to be short. Rats. I'll do better next time. Promise. :P

Sunday, March 7, 2010


My talented friend Clifford Morts has written a play that's going up next month at the NoHo Arts Center called Praying Small. Clifford is starring in the play and the artistic director of NoHo Arts Center, James Mellon, is directing.

Clifford got me hired to do the music for the play & his concept is that there will be music throughout, not unlike a film score. I've got a LOT of work to do.

Anyway, here is my first crack of one of the covers he asked for, "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen, a song I've been covering for a couple of years. I'm planning on adding an acoustic guitar and a few other elements, but it's coming out how I'd hoped. The song is an emotional roller coaster and I want to capture that. In some other versions I've heard, the lyrics are almost an afterthought. -But the lyrics of this song are among the best ever written. I recorded this yesterday and I wept on more than one occasion throughout the day.

This morning as I listen and reflect, this song is the perfect soundtrack for my own life in art. The challenge can bring you to your knees, but you just keep on singin...

GO TO www.kylepuccia.com to hear Hallelujah 1.1. I'm taking this song down tonight. So if you want to hear it again you'll have to come to PRAYING SMALL. XO Kyle

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I just got back from a fantastic show down the street from my pad at a dive bar called Skinny's in NoHo. The band I went to see is called Diana Gone Wrong & Diana, the lead singer of the band, is my singing client, songwriting partner and the dearest of friends. Diana has a rich, powerful voice which far exceeds the needs of her band, a loud & energetic punk-pop tour de force. In fact, her voice can barely be heard over the raucous band which, as her singing teacher, always makes me a little angry. I get this aching urge to push the sound guy off his haughty perch to pull the band volume down and feature Diana's fantastic vocals and insightful lyrics! -But honestly, no one else really seems to care if the sound is shitty or the lyrics don't come through. -Because what DOES come through with an effortless vengeance is Diana's brilliant songwriting & a stage presence that an entertainment lawyer who was scouting the band tonight aptly referred to as "star power".

She speaks to heart of her generation like nobody else in pop music at present. Her song "In The Life of Me" is an anthem to every young girl who feels different, out of place, unloved & undervalued. A song that I helped Diana write premiered tonight called "I'm Not Moving" & it has become my new favorite. Of course, I'm totally biased! Her bass player and drummer are super talented & uber bad ass, but the new addition of a second guitarist tonight gave the group more body and presence. You SHOULD check out her music on ITUNES and/or her MYSPACE PAGE for a more personal look at DGW! I will keep you posted with info on future shows.

Tomorrow night I'm going to a reading of a play written and directed by my friend Clif Morts at the NoHo Arts Center called "From The East to The West". It plays Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday nights this week. Clif is a brilliant actor and playwright & The NoHo Arts Center has a reliable, high standard of quality. Thus, I'm sure it is well worth seeing.

Lastly, I'll mention two recorded works. First I'll quickly say that Massive Attack's new album, Heligoland is pretty awesome. It's dark, sad & sparcely opulent...a great album to listen to when you're in a mood, which I, myself, have been this week. ;) Lastly, I've noticed more than a few Facebook updates & tweets trashing "We Are The World 25". Personally, I enjoyed the outrageous variety of artists, from P!NK to Streisand, L'il Wayne to Mary J. Blige, Miley Cyrus to Justin Bieber...but I love ALL music styles, even bad ones! Notably, what most impresses me about this project is that it was ACCOMPLISHED! All those artists gathered in one place, at one time to donate their time and talent to HAITI relief. And that's all I have to say about THAT! :P

Oh wait, one more thing. My client and friend Carmen Perez's dance single was #1 in New Jersey this week. Any city that spawns Bon Jovi is OK by me! Check out the single, "Overload", and more of Carmen's music HERE! I co-wrote "Overload" with her & producer Ellis Miah and I coached her vocals. Have a beautiful week.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Catherine Feeny, Travis Terry, Mary Poppins, Skyine & Chris Cornell spotting!

OK, it's simply one of those weeks that makes me super happy to live in this amazing city full of beautiful, talented artists!

Because I've just come from CATHERINE FEENY'S show at the Hotel Cafe, I'll start there. If you haven't checked her out, you MUST. Vocally, she's stunning and her songwriting is unbeatable. A few years ago her song "Mr Blue", was placed in a film called Running With Scissors in a climactic montage which garnered her some mainstream success. Since then, she's lived in England, toured all over Europe, and now she's back in the states and residing in Portland. Lucky for us, she does a show for us here in LA every few months. I even got a little shout out tonight as her "old vocal coach", because I'm so loud that she couldn't help but hear me in the audience! :P In my humble opinion, the most special thing about Catherine Feeny is her stunning communication with an audience. Do yourself a favor, visit herwebsite and check out her songs. You won't be sorry!

Tuesday night was my dear friend Travis Terry's cabaret at MBar. Travis is a singularly special artist. When I met him in a musical artists workshop almost a decade ago, Travis was terrified of singing! But out of his own glorious stubbornness & tenacity, little by little he began to conquer his fear. Tuesday night was nothing short of a proclamation. Travis is officially a seasoned musical artist. He packed the house and gave a wonderful performance full of personal stories, intimate moments, and a creative mix of songs from many genres in a beautiful, rich baritone. We are all very proud of him.

Wednesday night, I got together with some good friends to see the National Tour of Mary Poppins. One of my very best friends from college, Fran Curry, is a "star dresser" on the tour. I probably wouldn't have gone if it wasn't for her involvement, but I must say I'm glad I went. Aside from delightful familiar childhood tunes, a brilliant set & some spectacular magical stage tricks, it was the SINGING that really impressed me. Because I don't go to the opera and most of my friends & clients are singers of popular music, I don't get to hear classically trained, operatic singers that often. It made up for the conventional acting which always seems to disappoint me when I go to traditional musical theatre productions. Some day we'll get both and hopefully, I'll be involved in those productions!

This afternoon Skyline came over for a music rehearsal to get ready for a performance they have this Monday @ 9PM at Jamie Foxx's "Foxx Hole" at the Conga Room, downtown. They've been together a year and a half now. I've been music directing them for about a year. I'm proud to say they've made AMAZING strides and they sound wonderful. The harmonies are tighter and more consistent, the blend is lush and balanced, and each of them has developed their own unique style and tone as a soloist. Here is a LINK to "ALL BRAND NEW", an a cappella piece, and an acoustic version of "MAN ON THE MOON". Ellis Miah and I are going to start writing a killer retro-uptempo tune for them within the next few weeks. I'm excited about that fierceness!

-So much more, but enough is enough! -Some brilliant new singing clients, a gorgeous country song demoed, a fantastic meeting with a music publisher (great guy & fellow new york Italian), more good work with Darryl on the movie musical and other stuff. I can't believe the work-week is over. Thankfully, I enjoy working on Saturday and Sunday too.

OH! The most exciting moment of the week...CHRIS CORNELL was hanging out backstage after Mary Poppins with his wife and kids! When Fran nonchalantly pointed out that he was feet away, a pretty much lost my shit...inside, of course, because I'm far too cool to be star-struck! (not really) :P Let's just say that if I was hard pressed to choose a hero, it would have to be Chris Cornell. Cute kiddies too! Here's a LINK to a soundcheck of his cover of Michael Jackson's Billie Jean which he rocked WAY before that dude on American Idol. ENJOY!

Have a brilliant week-end. :P KP

PS: Here's a cute picture of Kelly King getting her hair Diana Ross-ed OUT before the Pop Goes The World benefit concert on 11.11.09. Check out her very well done video for "working girl" which is conquering the Billboard Charts as we speak. Nighty night.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

-Been a great week for songwriting. Ellis Miah (his pooch Roscoe above), Seth Van Paulus and I are working on a country song for a stunning 16 year old Native-American girl. She is the new Patsy Cline with an iconic, rich, classic voice well beyond her years. The song is being written on top of a sweet and brilliant guitar motif that Seth came into the session with. I also started creating a new song with Guy B and Leo Moctezuma. -A good one too. I hope we finish it.

Darryl Stephens and I are constantly working on our original soundtrack for a movie we've written. I can't wait for the first reading. I'm excited to hear how it reads. The potential for this project is SCARY. The songs are fun. We're kinda giddy about it.

I don't talk about it much but I'm also a vocal coach. It's beyond rewarding on a regular basis. I work with some pretty extraordinary artists. I ALSO music direct. Hello Mr. Hyphenate! Tonight I had a productive rehearsal with a boy band I M.D. called Skyline (in photo below). We are back to work after a short hiatus. The group has gotten their business together, they're working with new management & now they're putting together an EP that they can shop to labels. It's a matter of time for them. They are talented, good guys.

I have a bunch of other projects rolling around in my head that I've got to put down on paper. I've got a little creative bottle-neck happening. It's time for a plan of action. I'm obsessed with finishing what I start & I've got a TON of writing and producing to do for various projects. But I'm getting it done... sometimes I just have to relax and not get wound up about it.

I finished editing my "Pop Goes The World" Performance but I haven't figured out how to add video here yet, but a link I CAN do. This video was my first experience with editing in Final Cut Pro. I'm in LOVE! -Kicks IMovie's ass. :P To get things done as an independent artists, you've gotta be a one man band. Producer, editor, promoter, booker, publicist, etc. Look ma, I'm a video editor. :P


Have a great week!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Slow and steady...and stubborn...wins the race

I'll keep it super short this week. I'm working tenaciously on a bunch of projects. Weirdest thing to me about being an independent artist is...no deadlines. So I'm plugging away at:

-My songwriting demo
-Editing my Pop Goes The World performance
-Fleshing out the website
-Working on music for a play I'm covering a few songs and creating underscoring for
-The album, the album, THE ALBUM!
-Working on music production for "Coyote Roadkill" with D.
-Writing for and developing some promising artists...

...and currently enjoying some red wine and chilling out for a moment while I contemplate and plan for the next few days.

This week's GREAT news is that Carmen Perez's new dance single, "Overload", which was co-written by myself, Carmen & Ellis Miah entered the Billboard charts. Carmen deserves ALL the success and I pray her single goes straight to the top! Feel free to check it out on ITunes.

Favorite tracks for the week are the ones I'm working on for the play I'm providing music for, Praying Small, written by the BRILLIANT Clif Morts. It will be playing at the Noho Arts Center soon. I'll keep you posted.

God Give Me Strength by Burt Bacharach & Elvis Costello & Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. Both songs are masterpieces & I am humbled as I try to create my own versions of each song.

Have a brilliant week & if you live in LA, stay dry!

Monday, January 11, 2010

House painted, week in progress & this weeks top tracks!

GOAL: Keep it short and sweet this week!

First off, for those of you who don't know me and/or live in LA, this is my cozy & humble abode. I just painted it which was a four month extravaganza that I thought would take two weeks tops. But it's pretty near done and I can move on to bigger and better thangs. And that is that. Scene. :P

2010 is feeling good so far. I've got a bunch of projects cooking, one of my best pals on the planet, LEO, is home from the P!NK tour, I've been contacted for a couple interesting producing/recording projects & I'm back to eating well (also LESS!), exercising & chilling on the booze (I love the word booze, don't you?)...YES. I'm feeling great.

Tonight, I'm tackling Final Cut Pro. I'm slightly intimidated but I've always got performance video to edit & iMovie just ain't cutting it, especially when lip synch is involved. I might break down and get a six pack at the corner bodega before the night is out. -So much for drinking less booze in 2010. :P

The other big project is the album...another overwhelming, huge-ass project. I had an amazing phone meeting with Rich Overton, a brilliant music manager/PR/hustler I'm going to be working with this year. We discussed the differences between doing an LP and a full-length album. I was leaning towards LP (less than 10 songs) for financial and time reasons. Time and money: the two greatest excuses on the planet for artists! Can I get a witness?!

Well, apparently an album (10 plus tracks) is given more attention than an LP (less than 10) by magazines, reviewers, etc. Currently, I've got 8 tracks for the album, which would make it an LP. -So we discussed alternatives for adding 2 more tracks. I could (and probably will) add 2 tracks with minimal production (AKA me & a piano), but the challenge will be to create a cohesiveness between these piano songs and the rest of the album. In short, I'll figure it out. Deadline to finish album? April 1. In the meantime, I've gotta find some genius up-and-coming producers to do remixes for my dance single, "Missing You". Any suggestions?

Short and sweet...right.

I thought I'd share my track favorites for the week. For links to hear the songs go to www.kylepuccia.com. Have a beautiful, productive week. :P KP

Mary J Blige: Kitchen: This song is fun and clever. Songs this clever are NOT easy to write. Quintessential Mary. One of my all-time favorite voices in popular music.

Robin Thicke: Sex Therapy: No description needed.

Alicia Keys: Empire State Of Mind (Part II) Broken Down: Much better than the radio version in my opinion. A nostalgic love letter to New York.

Monday, January 4, 2010

1st Monday, New Year, Great Music!

Happy New Year!

I'm gonna go ahead and say I'm really happy we're in a new year. 2009 was a good one for me, but through the face of adversity. -And we artists face enough daily adversity without the addition of global economic adversity & the adversity of human rights inequality...to name a few.

But I've found that artists are generally a stubborn and tenacious lot, so my friends and I put it into turbo boost to make '09 work as a SEED PLANTING year. I'm going to list my 3 favorite '09 highlights for two reasons. 1. As a wise, past teacher often said, "throw bouquets on your past victories" & 2. In hopes that it will inspire YOU to look at all that was good in '09 so we can travel together into '10 with lighter, more victorious hearts.

1. Pop Goes The World! My friends Guy, Kevin, Brad & I mounted the biggest show that I've ever been a part of in Hollywood at the Avalon. This benefit concert for LIFEWORKS featured major pop stars such as JoJo & Blake Lewis and was an amazing production!

2. My beautiful & talented client, Carmen Perez, hit number 10 on the pop UK charts with "Emergency", a song that was co-written by myself, Carmen Perez, Ellis Miah and
J & Sweet (Jennifer Lopez's "Love Don't Cost A Thing").

3. Long time friend and artist Darryl Stephens and I have written a feature film with original pop/rock music!

I also had the honor of working with dozens of brilliant artists writing songs, developing voices & inspiring confidence. This daily achievement reaches beyond any monetary success that I will achieve in this lifetime!

This year will bring a new album, a new single, a new manager. All in the works.

My postulates are:

My music is placed in film and on TV, my dance single goes top 10 on the Billboard charts & my video is #1 on Logo's click list. My music will be nationally reviewed and appreciated.

I am offered and accept a publishing deal as a songwriter with a substantial advance & earn at least 3 major placements with a major artist/major label. My income as a songwriter is my bread & butter. I continue to write songs to add to my catalogue, develop a system of organization/identification and produce them at a very high, sellable quality. I work with Kara DioGuardi, Linda Perry, Butch Walker & P!NK as a songwriter.

My income as a performer is greater than the investment I put into it. I will put together and perform a show of cover songs which sells out MBar in which I sing and play piano for myself. I will be payed to perform at at least 4 Pride festivals. I will perform CD release parties in LA and NYC.

My career as a voice teacher/vocal coach will at least double, if not triple in clientele & income. I will do a series of podcasts focusing on specific areas and techniques of singing. I will record and create warm-up CDs for the male and female voice which I will sell online and at various stores. I will be hired as celebrity vocal coach/judge for a major or cable TV reality talent competition.

This year's Open Artists show will feature MAJOR artists such as P!NK, Mary J., Sam Sparro, etc., will be brimming with major celebrities/VIPS & will yield at least a 10K profit for Lifeworks. I will perform at peak health and energy with new, exciting material. Production will be smooth, organized and the energy will remain positive, light and fun.

I will work on the set of a major motion picture as vocal coach, music director, and/or vocal arranger.

I will be offered & accept a paying tour as music director for a pop band/group.

I will maintain this blog on a weekly basis. :)

My income will be at least double.

I am in a position to buy my first house.

I am the happiest, busiest & healthiest I've ever been.

I fearlessly move forward with purpose.

I inspire others to go after and achieve THEIR dreams.

I will leave you with a LINK to this fun home video shot by amazing friend and business partner Phoebe Carter & featuring my super-model pit-bull Bella Puccia of my rendition of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen.

What is your 2010 game plan??

Yours in music, Kyle