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.