Top Ten Christmas Songs That Rock

December 25th, 2010

It's presumably little surprise that I love Christmas songs. Not, like, all Christmas songs. Christmas songs with a backbeat. Christmas songs that rock.

You, Dear Reader, may recall that it all began in the passenger seat of my brother's Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser station wagon, nog in the belly, weed on the brain (sorry, mom), WYSP on the radio, and mind-blowing luminarium along the culdesac streets.

In fact, it may well have been rocking' Christmas music that got me through those years. Those experiences (Band Aid's "Do They Know ...

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Home For Christmas

December 24th, 2010

Thus far, parenthood is riddled with cliches: chubby cheeks, bare bottoms, wide eyes -- the whole thing.

Unlike other things stretched to the point of stereotype, though, the scale and scope of these new feelings are so huge, this new love so massive and revelatory at every turn, that its very triteness is completely superfluous.

Especially Christmas, that most-commodified, angst-ridden celebration of all.

You, Dear Reader, may recall my tragic history with the holiday. It was, for logical, reasonable and defensible reason (I'm sure) ...

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“A Holiday Benefit, Vol. 4” Release A Colossal Success

December 20th, 2010

It's taken nearly all weekend to recover from Thursday night's "A Holiday Benefit, Vol. 4" release party.

Yes, I was over-served. Accordingly (perhaps), the entire event is a bit of a blur. And while there's video (of the finale, anyway, see below) to help piece it together, I'd rather not watch; I prefer my sepia-toned memories.

I know that one minute, Roger Clark and I were pacing around Rockwood Music Hall nervously wondering if anyone would show up.

The next, I'm excuse me-ing my way through the packed venue towards the ...

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“A Holiday Benefit, Vol. 4” Silent Auction Is Open!

December 16th, 2010

Tonight (December 16th) we celebrate the release of "A Holiday Benefit, Vol. 4," our annual "A Holiday Benefit" for 826NYC, at Rockwood Music Hall.

Chris Abad, Bryan Dunn, Casey Shea, Charlotte Sometimes, Dave Pittener, Kelli Rae Powell, Rachel Platten, Wes Hutchinson, Zach & Sarah and I will rock your holiday socks off with a hosting assist from NY1's Roger Clark and comedian Negin Farsad.

As in years past, we've whipped together a terrific collection of silent auction items. But don't sweat it if you're unable to attend the show. ...

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“Christmas All Over Again” Video Premiere

December 7th, 2010

For me, it was always crucial that "A Holiday Benefit" be more than just a compilation album. "A Very Special Christmas" (one of our original inspirations) did that well enough; we wanted to do more.

It was Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas" that set the bar. Phil Collins, George Michael, Bono, Simon LeBon, Sting and Ultravox in one room!?! Yup, on November 29, 1984. I was thirteen-years-old. And as I sat there in my skinny, piano tie staring at The MTV, I wanted in on the laughter, the tomfoolery, and the cool.

Twenty-three ...

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“A Holiday Benefit, Vol. 4” Track List & Album Art Revealed

November 29th, 2010

Last month, a dozen New York City singer/songwriters gathered in Brooklyn get their holiday cheer on early. The group's recording of Tom Petty's "Christmas All Over Again" will kicks off "A Holiday Benefit, Vol. 4," a thirteen-track charity compilation benefiting 826NYC.

Since its inception in 2007, in "A Holiday Benefit" has raised over $10,000 for the nonprofit organization's support of students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills.

Two weeks ago, five-year-old Otis Leimbach created an inspired album cover ...

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“A Holiday Benefit, Vol. 4” Drops December 16

November 1st, 2010

Last Sunday afternoon, a dozen New York City's finest and kindest musicians gathered at Galuminum Foil Studios in Brooklyn to record our fourth "A Holiday Benefit" group single. This year, the group tackled Tom Petty's "Christmas All Over Again."

"A Holiday Benefit, Vol. 4,", the fourth installment of our annual charity compilation CD, features brand-new holiday recordings from Chris Abad, Clyde, Bryan Dunn, Wes Hutchinson, Casey Shea, Charlotte Sometimes, Rachel Platten, Dave Pittenger, Kelli Rae Powell, Benjamin Wagner, Zach & Sarah, ...

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Merry Christmas, Baby

December 21st, 2009

I saw Oasis perform at Radio City Music Hall in May, 2000. Truth is, I was there to see openers Travis, but the Gallagher Bros. guitar assault was impressive and infectious. That night, after the show, I unwittingly cribbed a song title from Noel. "Live Forever" was released years later as the second track on "Love & Other Indoor Games."

"Love" was released in 2004 amidst what one ex (a description of whom made the liner notes, natch) called my "Lothario Phase." In retrospect, I was fairly lost, playing numerous rock shows a week and ...

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“A Holiday Benefit, Vol. 3” Release Party Is Tonight!

December 16th, 2009

Twelve hours from now, "A Holiday Benefit, Vol. 3" will be in full swing at Pianos! Which is a good thing; I don't think I have the energy to do yesterday over.

I tucked all sorts of small tasks into my already busy day at The MTV: gathering 826NYC materials, a final email to all of the performers, lyric sheets for our big finale ("Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You," what else?).

At 7:45, I raced straight from work to Sirius Radio headquarters there across from Radio City Music Hall. I spent about fifteen minutes on air with ...

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“A Holiday Benefit, Vol. 3” Silent Auction Is Open

December 14th, 2009

It's all coming together!

Tonight, I'm calling into Ralphie Aversa's syndicated "Ralphie Aversa Radio Show" to talk "A Holiday Benefit, Vol. 3."

Tomorrow, Chris Abad and I are dropping by Sirius Radio to talk some more before crossing the East River for rehearsal with Tony Maceli et all.

And Wednesday night at Pianos we officially release "A Holiday Benefit, Vol. 3," our annual "A Holiday Benefit" for 826NYC. Chris Abad, Misty Boyce, Chris Cubeta, Bryan Dunn, Emily Easterly, Martin Rivas, Ruby Rivers, Bess Rogers, Casey Shea, ...

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