Dec 22, 2015

The Dream - I Am Sam

I've been very lucky to meet and encounter some very interesting people along my paths. When that person is someone of the musical variety, it is like getting an extra bonus. At a previous point in my life, I met The Dream, otherwise known as Terius Nash, and we were able to connect over a discovered shared love for the great Sam Cooke. I was in charge of the music at my job and he noticed I was singing along quietly and skipping through various songs and letting certain others play out (you don't forward past Al Green or Bill Withers, I don't care who you are). Sam Cooke is one of those artists I knew nothing about until one day I suddenly realized I had grown up listening to and loving completely all of his music without knowing a thing about the artist behind them.

Anyway, this is a lot of explanation leading up to what happened. The Dream was playing pool (yes, we had a pool table at my job) and I brought him a coffee and he noticed I was humming along to the stereo system at work. Without saying anything he handed me one headphone connected to an ipod and pressed play. I heard a beautiful, sweet voice singing a cover of my beloved "A Change is Gonna Come". Enchanted, I asked who the singer was and he smiled and kept on playing his game of pool. It turns out what I had been fortunate to preview was a collection of songs he had just recorded, covers of Sam Cooke classics. I begged him to let me listen to everything and he said "Nope, that stuff is for posthumous release". I laughed at first because that is an outrageous reason not the play your music for someone, but then said it was a shame. The world has such a yearning for beautiful music, it would be a loss not to share it. I don't know if that impacted his decision (likely not) but I am so very excited and pleased to share it now...

This made me really happy. I love every one of these songs and hearing them again, like this... just brings all the good things bubbling to the surface.

Oct 20, 2015

Dan Henig

Randomly scrolling through facebook, saw a video link... seemed innocent enough. Guy with a guitar (cute guy!) seated in some sort of coffee house. And then he starts to sing... and I vaguely know the lyrics. Wait I totally know this soulful gorgeous moving song- holy hell he is singing a slowed down meaningful version of Lil Jon's Get Low. Mind blown.

NSFW - lyrics.
You were warned.

After I stopped laughing and cracking up watching the guy in the very back react, I realized the reason the song choice impacted me as much as it did, was because he has raw talent. He is captivating to listen to. Like a Dave Matthews or John Mayer type except rougher. There's grit in his vocals and I kind of want to pull his hair and sweat on him. Sorry that was graphic-ish but dare you to listen and not feel something.

So who is this guy?
I did some searching, found a ton of gorgeous covers and a few original songs and am on a rabbit hole journey to listen to everything. I would love to see him live. I might even do that goofy "I duet with youtube songs" thing so I can sing along with him. The future is wide open.

Now, if you know anything about me, you can guess which video on his YouTube caught my eye first...and the one I will probably duet to in my bedroom. Because. Hallelujah. (You have no idea why? oh. Here).

and which one I had to click just because (ELVIS)

Check him out:
He's got it all -Facebook and Twitter and YouTube and SoundCloud

p.s. I did that goofy duet thing and had to add it.

Feb 20, 2015

All Day Sucker - Denim Days

I've written about All Day Sucker before...when I first discovered them and their album The Big Pretend but this time it's even more personal and exciting. Not only have they released another album called Denim Days, but this time I got to help.

Ladies and gentleman, that is my behind on the album cover

Image result for all day sucker denim days
Sorry Mom.   Sort of.   Not really.
This was a bucket list type of thing for me. Not only do I love these guys and their families so much, but I appreciate that they allowed me to full fill a dream I didn't even know I had- to be on an album cover. AND they printed it in vinyl. Yes, I have a vinyl copy ordered and on the way WITH MY BEHIND ON THE COVER!

You can also read all about the band and this album and look at more picture and read the lyrics behind the album and much more.All Day Sucker - Denim Days

I took the liberty of inserting the album notes here as well- because it's worth reading and hearing all the behind the scenes stuff.
Album Notes
*Download the Album Art and lyrics here -

Meet All Day Sucker, the band Hollywood grew up with.

They are not famous but many of their fans are. Some of your favorite artists, celebrities and tastemakers have All Day Sucker on their iPods because, as BPM Magazine noted, “they are inextricably linked to all things Hollywood”. If you want to know the best a city has to offer, ask a local.

"Since high school we’ve always had a great following.” Jordan Summers (Keyboards/ Songwriter) explains. “A lot of those same people found success and became famous. Our music was part of the soundtrack to their lives”. Morty Coyle (Singer/Songwriter)
contends, "Hollywood is a hard place to be from because, for the most part, you’ve got nowhere to go. When you grow up here, you don’t have any preconceived notion of what it’s supposed to be like. It just is how it is."
A little time traveling might be in order to fully grasp how fully entrenched Coyle and Summers have been in the musical culture of Los Angeles. Trends came and went, but the classic pop band the two formed in high school, which evolved into The iMPOSTERS, had a timeless quality that made them a fixture on Sunset Strip for over a decade. You name it; they played it, or had a residency there: Roxy, Whisky A Go Go, Roxbury, Peanuts, Sunset Social Club, Opium Den and The Viper Room, where they did a two year Sunday night residency in the mid-'90s.
It’s impossible to convey the six degrees of Kevin Bacon-ness and Zelig-esque history of All Day Sucker without gratuitous name dropping and a flow chart. They gave The Wallflowers their first gig at Gazzari’s. Smuggled in an underage Maroon 5 to open for them at the Viper Room and were bombarded by special guests like Adam Duritz, Stephen Stills, Jon Brion, Gibby Haynes, Tommy Stinson (The Replacements), Richard Butler (Psychedelic Furs} Benmont Tench (The Heartbreakers) among many others during their tenure at the club. They helped transform Canter’s Kibitz Room into a Tuesday night Mecca where Slash, Lenny Kravitz, Dave Navarro,
The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Black Crowes, Rage Against The Machine, Tonic, The Pointer Sisters, Rick James and countless others came to jam and still do.
"Jordan and I had been making albums and playing as All Day Sucker with different musicians for several years after The iMPOSTERS disbanded” Morty explains. "Like Steely Dan, we were the main songwriters and constants of ADS. Our old friend Jay Gore (Mindi Aibar, Hilary Duff, Lauryn Hill, Michael McDonald) had played guitar with us on and off through it all and for years we all knew we wanted to capture the sound of the rhythm section and amazing vocals of bassist Dan Rothchild (Heart, Beck, Fiona Apple, Shakira) and drummer David Goodstein (Daniel Powter, Jackson Browne, Ricky Martin) . We had all been playing together for years both on Tuesdays at The Kibitz with The F.O.C.K.R.s collective and as Men Without Sex, our party cover band. Dan, David and Jay are beyond pedigreed musicians so I figured if I was the worst guy up there we'd be alright".
"Through no fault of our own we all have really grown into a band." Summers jokes. "There’s 5 guy’s DNA in this baby”.
Rothchild is also the producer on All Day Sucker’s new album “Denim Days”. He produced Better Than Ezra’s 1995 platinum selling debut “Deluxe”.
Inspired by real life events, Denim Days is brimming with heady, street-smart yet refreshingly sweet, sophisticated melodic rock. What gives their instantly memorable hooks a soulful resonance are sharp musicianship and a grounded lyrical sense that illuminates mature, authentic feelings.
"What started out as a record about domestic bliss became whatever this is. The winds changed and so did the direction of some of the songs" Morty explained. But the witty and
musically eclectic band mask their cynicism and despair in a sugar-coating of melodic pop and neo-classic rock.
"The song "No Hard Feelings” started as a love song to my ex, confides Morty, and ended up being a rather tidy encapsulation of our relationship and what would remain after".
According to Coyle, "The title track "Denim Days” is about our core unit's uniquely, long-lasting friendships. Maybe it's due to Jordan and me both being born and bred Los Angelenos but it became increasingly noticeable that many other transient visitors and newer residents didn't have the support system of friends that went back decades that we're fortunate to still have.
"Quality Problems" is a quirky piece of pop perfection "about love and the prevention of”, Morty wryly teases.
The aptly named tune, "The Single" grows from a lonely telephone ring into a sad but soaring, cinematic ballad. “That's an interesting one because at first it was a reminiscing about how I assume so many other fellas felt about the grind of bachelorhood. However as I found myself single halfway through making the record it became something of a mantra to guide my progress through the choppy seas of willing loneliness”.

The celeb quotient was high on All Day Sucker’s 2004 self-titled debut, which was produced by Evan Frankfort (Pete Yorn, The Wallflowers, Liz Phair) and Warren Huart (Aerosmith, The Fray, Better Than Ezra, Matisyahu) and featured such notable guest performers as Susanna Hoffs (Bangles), Stan Frazier (Sugar Ray) and Monique Powell (Save Ferris), and actor/musician Esai Morales. Their creative growth is vividly evident in songs like “Heavy Weather,” with its dynamic sonics, and the clever self-awareness of “Worst Case Scenario.” “It takes three or four concerts for our songs to find themselves live, yet ‘Heavy Weather’ has always gone over well,” Summers says. “It’s something of an epic for us.”
“Worst Case Scenario" is a song of perspective, pretty much like our version of Steely Dan’s ‘Hey 19’, Coyle notes. “There’s always a moment when you realize that you can’t stand on one side of a fence anymore. It’s like being a college grad and telling your high school’s latest graduating class how cool you were back then. You have to realize that you’re outside that fence. This song describes how you make peace with being on the other side.
For “Get High" we wanted Susanna Hoffs from the Bangles to sing harmonies on it, but she wouldn’t because she didn’t want her kids to know she was singing a song called ‘Get High.’ So she chose to sing on ‘Rub It In’ instead.”
Following up their Self Titled debut album produced by Evan Frankfort (Wallflowers, Pete Yorn) and Warren Huart (The Fray, Aerosmith) is The Big Pretend. Part adoring valentine, part cleverly biting commentary on their hometown, All Day Sucker’s second release is a full length bona fide concept album written by Coyle and Summers that shows their pride in L.A. even as it pokes fun at the occasional ridiculousness and idiosyncrasies of a city where everyone has some connection to the film industry. Produced by Noah Shain (Orson, As Tall As Lions, Dead Sarah) and released on the duo’s label Trademark Entertainment/big WOW music, the set is an inspired twist on the sounds of the classic rock era reinvented for modern ears. Slices of “home” include “Santa Ana,” a song that uses those infamously hot, fire friendly winds as a metaphor for that moment in a relationship when you just want the fighting to stop and you might even pray to a saint to keep the peace; “Nobody Somewhere,” about people’s ambitions turned illusions when they go from being a big fish in a small pond into the primordial soup of L.A. where there are only small fish trying to survive; and “Beverly Park,” All Day Sucker’s “Strawberry Fields”/”Penny Lane” moment, a bittersweet lament about a famous amusement park they fondly remember from childhood, which is now the site of the Beverly Center.
The duo backed singer/songwriter Jordan Zevon (son of the late rocker Warren Zevon) on his critically acclaimed debut album Insides Out. Summers co-wrote, co-produced and played keyboards and Coyle appeared on backing vocals and co-wrote several tracks. One of these songs, “Home,” a touching love song to Warren, won Best Song in the pop category and Grand Prize Overall in the prestigious U.S.A. Songwriting Awards
Summers and Jordan Zevon do several shows around the country every year for the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. Warren Zevon died of mesothelioma, a form of cancer that is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos; Jordan is now an international spokesperson for the disease.
All Day Sucker has also licensed their songs to many feature films and TV shows, including CBS’ “The Crazy Ones”, “Swingtown,” ABC’s “Happy Endings” “Making The Band,” and “The Dating Experiment,” , MTV’s “Laguna Beach,” “The Hills,” “Breaking Bonaduce,” “Carmen & Dave: Till Death Do Us Part,” “Road Rules,” “The Real World,” “Road Rules/Real World Challenge,” HBO’s “The Immortals,” Disney’s “Z Games” and the feature films “Spent” (Regent Entertainment) and “Matters of Consequence” (Best Picture/New Orleans Film Festival).
Blessed with great songs, sharp chops, a cunning attitude and a mature sense of self, All Day Sucker is ready to venture into the seen-it-all music scene and emerge as a fresh, clever and unique musical presence. “Jordan and I have never been completely starry-eyed about this as there always has been a certain level of understanding of what we were doing,” Coyle says. “Now we realize that it’s as much a folly for a 30-year-old to sing about hating his parents, as it is for a 16-year-old to explain what’s it’s like to live in the real world. At a certain point in your creative life you have to speak with your own voice. All Day Sucker has enabled us to find our voice.”

Download the album artwork and lyrics here: