Saturday, October 31, 2009

My Former Band Cataloged in The Chicago Music Scene Book

My Vaudeville-meets-rock band Huge Hart gets a little ink in November with the release of The Chicago Music Scene by Dean Milano. They're doing book signings, concerts and stuff back in the Old Country pegged to the book's Nov. 7 release date.

Another of my bands, The ODD, was invited to be part of the You Weren't There documentary covering Chicago's punk scene, except I'm a moron and never got around to sending the filmmakers archival video of the band.

To honor the film's completion, there's going to be a reunion concert November 24 at Chicago's Portage Theater with musicians I used to play clubs with who called themselves Tutu and the Pirates. Lead singer's stage name: Lil' Richie Speck.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

John Mayer, Sherlock Holmes + North Carolina

I did my first video interviews recently. With normal interviews, I blather at length and go off on tangents. Verboten for video interviews. I learned: Don't interrupt the Talent and don't ask questions that can be answered with a "yes" or a "no." Instead, nod your head a lot. The videos, about robots and John Mayer got posted on in September.

I also delivered my first college "lecture," which was tons of fun, at Otis College of Art and Design.

I finished the first go-round on a 16-song musical I'm calling "Fairfax."

And I got on a plane for the first time since 1999 and flew cross country to North Carolina for my mom's birthday.

My lovely sisters were there and I got to bang out a few tunes on the piano at the gi-normous solar-heated house on a hill owned by go-getter couple Candy and Shawn. My mom's friend, a brilliant mathemetician from Argentina named Norberto Kerzman, put me up for a couple of nights. Happy to report he makes a POWERFUL cup of coffee.

Meanwhile, Wired Magazine called me to do a piece on Sherlock Holmes with a fast turn-around so I spent the flight to and fro using one of those tiny little overhead lights as I pored over Arthur Conan Doyle's The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Vol. 1.

I made it through September intact. I don't know if "echinacea" is a bogus placebo or not, but I took a bottle East and survived all that stale airline air, so that's my ambiguous health tip for the day.