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San Diego Best Acoustic - SD Music Award Nomination

August 2nd, 2010

san diego music awards bannerLast week I found out that I was nominated for Best Acoustic in the San Diego Music Awards. What an honor. What can you do to help? VOTE! Just click here and vote vote vote! Once per computer…maybe try your iPhone…Blackberry? :) Each one helps.
Thanks and see you soon,

Upcoming Shows and TV

July 1st, 2010

Tomorrow morning (Fri, 02July) sometime between 9 and 9:30 am, we’ll be playing a pair of songs on channel 6 supporting their San Diego Living segment.  This is all part of the shows we’re doing to promote the Staring at the Sun compilation CD.  See the flier below.  I hope you can tune in.

Then, on the 11th we’re at Lestat’s and the 21st we’ll be at U31

Thanks to everyone who made it out to see the show at The Casbah on Sunday.  It was a tremendous success with several segments on live radio.  We’ll have some terrific photos to show soon from that one, as the esteemed Martin Haeusler was on hand to take photos of the show.


Show coming up at Casbah

June 18th, 2010

casbah show

Some new recordings coming soon - preview here

October 21st, 2009

Hi all,
it’s been a while. We’ve been in the studio working on some new things. Nothing is finished, but we have a few pictures and a few tracks played live in the studio.
We recorded at Big Fish. I can’t quite remember where it is…somewhere up the 5N near Encinitas, but DEEP in the hills. Awesome place. We worked with terrific engineer Ben Moore and the tremendous producer Bart Mendoza.

A video from our recording session.  This is the first of three.  If you like it, please go to youTube and leave a comment/rating.  Thanks!

NPMT - Day 2

August 11th, 2009

A few more pics from the NPMT.
Here are a few of Steve Poltz with his band, The Rugburns. Steve is such a talented artist, and more prolific than I had remembered. He’s been at it for a long time…since ‘92 by his account, but I met him in ‘92 and it sure seemed that he’d been at it for a few years by then :)
His site is here:

These guys are incredibly energetic, and played tons of songs I remembered well…but no Gold’s Gym Guy…c’mon Steve, I know you could hear me yelling that out!

North Park Sign

The Rugburns

The Rugburns

The Rugburns

Here’s a pic from the songwriting panel, featuring: Jack Tempchin (The Eagles, Tom Waits, etc), Steve Poltz, Scott Russo (Unwritten Law) and Quino (Big Mountain). These guys spoke candidly about what it’s been like writing songs for a living and the ups and downs of the writing cycle. Each played a song or two, mostly new material, and talked about how they found inspiration. Amazing.

Songwriting Panel

Jack Tempchin talked about his penchant for three- or four-chord songs. He reminded me of other songwriters I’ve seen who approach the guitar as not much more than a vehicle for getting the song out, rather than something that needs to be practiced for all hours of the day.

Steve Poltz showed us his mastery of finger-style playing for a couple songs and more than established his ranking among the best in the business. He says he gets up early nearly every day and plays/writes. He called his songs gifts that he’s happy to receive. I get a feeling that beneath his humbleness, he’s an incredibly hard worker.

Scott Russo (Unwritten Law) was late for another engagement, and so played a new song and left early, but before he did, he talked a bit about growing up playing Green Day on the guitar and played a few riffs from them.  He said, something like, good artists borrow, GREAT artists steal.  He makes a good point about using your influences to your benefit.

Quino (Big Mountain) played his classical guitar and talked about the success of their song, Baby I Love Your Way.  He spent quite a bit of time in Hawaii and told stories about the scene there and how it influenced his music.

Buddy Akai

The Presidents of the United States

NPMT - The North Park Music Thing…Day 1…A Few Pics

August 9th, 2009

Here are a few pics from the NPMT. It was a great day of music; San Diego felt more like Austin than southern California. The day was full of music-related seminars covering topics from music marketing to booking shows at the local venues. Great stuff. The highlight biz stuff, for me, was the interview will bass-playing legend, the incredibly humble, Nathan East. He told lots of stories about what it was like to play bass for so many different talented writers, ranging from Dolly Parton to Michael Jackson.
Check out the youTube video of him below. Great, great man.

Here are a few pics from some of the acts I caught along the way:

North Park Sign

Bart Mendoza with Wendy

Lindsay White Tunes Up

Republic of Letters

Gregory Page

Cathry Beeks

Michael Tiernan

Shows in NYC and more

August 5th, 2009

Last weekend, Allen and I went to NYC to play a couple shows in Manhattan. The first was at the 169 Bar, deep in the East Village.  A bit ago, and episode of Flight of the Concords was taped there, and they’re quite proud of that :)
169 Bar

The place is just south of Chinatown and everywhere we looked we saw Chinese writing.  Great spot.  Here’s a pic of me and Allen from the street and a couple from inside the show.

Out in front of The 169 Bar


Another Live Shot

A Couple Friends

From the 169, it was on to the Doublecross Lounge, a private spot somewhere closer to mid-town. Here are a few pics from the after-show show

Manny & Allen

The Lounge

Robbie and Allen working on a Hendrix cover

NBC Last Weekend and…Upcoming Show(s) in NYC

July 24th, 2009

So, we did a really cool spot last weekend on NBC news here in San Diego (KUSI).  It was a lot of fun.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find my voice that early in the morning, but we made the best of it.  Anthony played his ancient stand-up bass and really filled out the low end.  Allen and I were both playing new guitars.  Good times.
I was so nervous giving the interview that I started to space on Anthony’s name…haha.  Sorry, bro :)

Here’s a link to their site for the video:

Here’s the flier for our NYC show.

It’s DEEEEP on the lower east side…like WAY lower :) Get down there and check this place out. It’s really cool. They filmed a Flight of the Concords episode there. Sweet! We’re getting excited about a trip east. Stay tuned for a possible surprise show later that same night.
Thanks to Michelle M for the awesome flier design.

NYC flier for bar 169

thanks for listening,

Message of the day…no, YEAR - must listen!

July 17th, 2009

There are so many hilarious parts of this…just classic…but the best has to be the end where she (and she’ll remain unnamed) says, “call me”… :D

Some of the CD designs…

July 5th, 2009

Here’s a collection of some of the art we (michelle mellem and I ) worked on during our design of the entire CD package.  I hope you enjoy them.

Some of the CD cover ideas

Some of the CD cover ideas

New shows, new music, and good stuff coming along…

June 18th, 2009

Live, full-band show: June is here and we’ve got only one show this month, at The Bitter End.  18June at 9pm.
WE HAVE NEW MUSIC :)  Good stuff that we’re happy with.  Don’t miss it!
If you’re on the mailing list, you’ve already received a download link.  Sign up now and find out what you’re missing (how [...]

More live pics from recent shows

May 8th, 2009

so, I busted out the old old PlaySkool play-n-sing toy that I’ve had seemingly for ever. It makes for some interesting pictures. These are from our early show at Canes in Mission Beach. Thanks to everyone who made it out at 7:15 pm!
I’ve got a solo show this week at The Bare [...]

Live shows this past week…

April 27th, 2009

So much live music.  Here’s a quick recap…Last thursday, played a fun first show downtown at The Bitter End.  Thanks to everyone who made it out for that show.  As a first full-band show we were working into the arrangements we’d been working on in practice and getting more comfortable with it all.
By the Saturday [...]

Full-band rock show Thursday, 11 pm

April 23rd, 2009

Our first full-band show.
Come check it out…the musicians are amazing and the songs have never sounded better.
be good,

Show last night at Dublin Square

April 8th, 2009

Astra Kelly throws a Monday night acoustic show at Dublin Square in the Gaslamp district of San Diego. She invites local indie artists and plays their tracks on the radio to promote the show. She interviews the headliner and plays excerpts of that interview the Saturday after the Monday night show.
It’s a good [...]

HAHAHA! Google’s at it again…

April 1st, 2009

Check this link. Hilarious. l Every April 1st they come up with something…
Happy April Fool’s day.
google Page

Some shows, and radio play upcoming…

April 1st, 2009

Please see the LIVE page for a few upcoming shows in April.  I’ve got a couple acoustic, and three full-band shows.  One is even all-ages.
Practices have been going well.  I’m trying to keep my jumping around to a minimum…can’t scare the drummer before the first show
If you have a chance this weekend, check [...]

Listen Local Acoustic Alliance Show at Brick by Brick

March 9th, 2009

Cathryn Beeks, with Listen Local puts on a show now and again called the Acoustic Alliance.  It works like this; a set of four players take the stage and play any three songs they want, in the round.  So the first person goes, then the next and the next, until everyone has played one song, [...]

Booking shows for April/May

March 6th, 2009

Live shows are coming soon.  The band is together.  The musicians are amazing.  Take a look at some of their pages.  And here’s Allen on guitar, doing his thing.

Next week, I’m off to Rome, then Paris and Budapest.  A two-weeker.  Recharge a bit.  I’ll revisit the hostel in Budapest where I wrote Growing Old (see [...]

Check out this guy…Obadiah Parker’s The Elihu Project:

February 9th, 2009

He’s a guy named Mat Weddle.  He seems like a really cool guy.  I’m watching his second video now (below).
He’s come up with an amazing idea, but first…how did I find out about this guy.  Well, a while ago he recorded a terrific cover of the song Hey Ya.  I stumbled upon it [...]

New Videos up - How to play ‘Stay’, Acoustic

February 7th, 2009

Here’s the video.  Check it out.  Let me know what you think.  I’ll be doing lots of these coming up.  Requests?
I put up some guitar TAB on a new page.  It’s under music > tab.  Find it here

NAMM Show 2009

January 24th, 2009

So, there’s this MASSIVE music show in Anaheim, right next to Disney Land. It’s four days long, but you’d have to have a death wish to stay for that long. There’s a ton to see, but like anything else, too much of a good thing is still too much
So I went up [...]

New Kanye West album and 3 feet of snow…in Utah

December 29th, 2008

I’m here in Utah, on my way to Wyoming for some skiing in Jackson Hole. The snow has been amazing. Spent a night in Brian Head, UT. It snowed three feet and it took 3+ hours to drive up the ten-mile access road to the ski lodge at 1am. Unbelievable
On the [...]

Publicists! at The Casbah

December 12th, 2008

Caught an early-night show at the Casbah last night for Publicists!  Great stuff.  I had a guy (not from Publicists) about a month ago hand me his business card and say, “we’re the best power-trio in San Diego.”  Quite a statement especially given the number of talented musicians here in SD. Hmm.  Well, I never [...]

Check out the store…Holiday specials on their way…only for mailing list members.

December 12th, 2008

Check out the deals available on the ‘store‘ page.  In a couple days, there will be deals on CD’s, shirts and some in-studio live acoustic tracks.  These will be available only to friends on the mailing list, so subscribe now and we’ll get you all the info you need to download the new tracks!!
If you [...]

Went to see the Uglysuit at the Casbah - Amazing

December 8th, 2008

The Uglysuit. What a tremendous live show those guys put on. It was an incredible performance. These guys released my favorite CD this year with their label debut.
About 12 of us went to The Casbah last night to see these guys, but I had only purchased 10 on line, due to ordering [...]

Coldplay takes a lick from Joe Satriani? REALLY?

December 5th, 2008
That is definitely worth a read.
It seems that Joe Satriani is taking Coldplay to court over copyright infringement.  He’s saying that his song “If I could Fly” contains a guitar rif that Coldplay ripped off in their song “Viva La Vida”.  Really?
Go to the site above and listen to the songs.  Same? Different?  Really, I [...]

NPR Article on the Many new Faces of Music Promotion

December 2nd, 2008

Take a look at this really interesting article on the NPR site.  It also links to a couple audio samples which are quite good by the artist Dallas Green.
Check this guy out.  Great stuff.

It says today that he’s had 20,000 plays.  Wow!  Can that be real?
I hope you enjoy.

A Couple Acoustic Songs at LeStat’s

November 19th, 2008

I dropped by to play a couple of acoustic songs at Lestats last night.  It’s a terrific open mic, every Monday night.  The sign-up process is a bit tricky, but it’s part of the charm.  Here’s Lestat’s link…
Interestingly, the stage is named after a long-time journeyman songwriter, Gregory Page.  It’s terrific to see him [...]

Earbuds…$5000? Check these out…

November 15th, 2008

Get your bling-bling going with THESE! I bet my stuff would sound spectacular blasted through some of these sweet, diamond-encrusted earbuds. They’re from a Belgian designer, Casa Gi. They have 118 diamonds.
Should be on everyone’s MUST-HAVE list…on my way to get mine.


Stamping the envelopes…this is exciting stuff

November 5th, 2008

Getting ready to send out hundreds of CDs this Friday. These are mostly for review or TV/movie placement. So, I’ll be up in LA hand-writing labels and licking stamps….any volunteers??

CDs in M-Theory and Off the Record

November 5th, 2008

Today, Erin was able to get CDs placed in M-theory and Off the Record in Hillcrest. These are two terrific independent record stores and I recommend regularly stopping by there whenever you have some spare time. It’s a great way to find some new music when you’re in need. There’s still something [...]

Why is the fourth track the best one…or is it?

November 3rd, 2008

There’s this idea, I think Jack Black mentioned it in the movie, High Fidelity, about the fourth song on a record being a very important song; maybe it’s THE most important song.  Maybe it’s the BEST song!  Hmm.  This was something that I’d never heard of before entering the music business.  I can remember getting [...]

Cassettes and radio and punk and skate ramps and stuff

October 31st, 2008

So, as I sift through long lists of email contacts, working out the ins and outs of getting a few reviews and some indy radio play with my new record, I started thinking about the older days. Way back. Anyone remember staying up WAY too late because that was when the local [...]

The Shore has a new record out

October 29th, 2008

One of my favorite bands, The Shore just put out a new record. Just giving it a listen now…check out their web page for more info. I really recommend their 2005 release.


October 22nd, 2008

I always did think tape was the BEST anyway.

Great Nikka Costa video

October 19th, 2008

When I recorded ‘Without a Bridge’, I had the honor to play with some terrific musicians. One of them was the bass player, Shawn Davis. Well, he’s doing great things playing bass with Nikka Costa. Here’s a video of her on Lenno a few days ago. Shawn is on the far [...]

News: CD mailing starts next week…shirts arive next week…

October 14th, 2008

Ok, first. Keane fans…they have a new record: Perfect Symmetry It’s definitely a departure. Not even sure just yet, but listening now…I’m using
Check that site if you haven’t yet. It’s a different way to listen to and buy music.
Ok, most of the items are in place to start sending [...]

Blog entry by Robert

October 9th, 2008

When I was traveling around the world writing this record, I met a great guy, Robert, in Hanoi. He is now embarking on his own sojurn and was nice enough to leave this post…check it out.  His travels are nearly always worth following, as he tends to find the more obscure adventures.
Here we are in [...]

Along with the new CDs…SHIRTS!

October 2nd, 2008

These are jus a few of the designs we’re choosing from.  Let me know what you think!

They’re HERE!!!!

October 2nd, 2008

The CDs were delivered today.  Artwork looks awesome, even the CD itself, with the picture of the green suitcase, has a cool vibe.  I couldn’t bring myself to open the wrapper on one; it has been a long time coming and now that I have them, it just doesn’t even feel real.
So, the first few [...]

T-Shirts coming soon…check the design process…

September 29th, 2008

So, a local company,collarFree has done some work on my new T-shirt design. Looks damn sweet. We’re still working on the colors, but they should be here soon, along with the TANK shirts (in the right-side bar…just scroll down).

Well, didn’t end up playing this past Friday, but the event was terrific.
The CDs are [...]

Show - this Friday

September 24th, 2008

I’m playing a cool event at Collar Free. They make t-shirts and do it in an innovative way. Check it out…

Getting back on

September 22nd, 2008

So, a while ago, during the writing/production stage of the new record, ‘Without a Bridge’, I put a few things up on This is a site where the fans vote songs up/down in pairs and eventually, depending on relative ratings, songs move up/down the charts. Well, I had a couple in the [...]

This week, getting ready for a small show…

September 18th, 2008

So, it’s been a good week. The CD’s are being born as I type…all those little discs, just waiting to take their first breath. I’ve heard a lot of you have been waiting for them. I want to announce that if you made a digital download, I’ll automatically contact you and get [...]

CD’s on order…October delivery date

September 10th, 2008

So, that’s that. Months of work and finally the project is in the hands of the replication house. I’m using Groove House. They do audiophile-quality duplication work, so I’m excited to hear the result.
I’m working on a few marketing ideas and some give-aways to come. Also working on some live shows…who [...]

New Video

August 27th, 2008

Today, I posted a brief interview video (on the video page) with David Furlin. Dave won a local Emmy for his contribution to San Diego’s Newsscene coverage of the local fires. Dave came by with a massive camera and equally-impressive tripod and we went back and forth with a few questions and thoughts [...]

Sunday…Finally got it all done. :)

August 24th, 2008

Ok, I guess I jumped the gun on Friday. So, it’s Sunday, and I think I’ve got all the php (read, hell) code figured out. It seems to be working well. The music is up for download, the mailing list works (well, we’ll see, anyway) and the content is as good as I can make [...]

Up and running

August 22nd, 2008

Today marks the day of the official launch of and the digital release of the new album Without a Bridge.

Take a look around…kick the digital tires…listen to some music, there are lots of pictures around.
Also new is the player in the side bar now that will play a ’song of the week’. This [...]

Song notes up

August 11th, 2008

Well, I finally put up a bit about the songs on the upcoming album. I will certainly fill this page out a bit more, but I thought this would be a good starting point. Use the “music” link up top to get there. Let me know what you think.