Baby Brain

May 31st, 2011

I'm 38,000 feet over Albuquerque, New Mexico, when the newborn in 8B begins crying. I can hear it all -- including the woman behind me whining and sighing to her husband -- despite my noise canceling headphones.

A baby's shriek is a difficult sound, to be sure. Still, all I can think is, 'Lighten up lady; you were a baby once too.'

Shriek or not, the sight (and sound) of a baby is enough to tear at my heartstrings.

I left Maggie and Abbi at 7:06 am. I won't return until roughly the same time next Tuesday, June 7th -- Maggie's first ...

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Tuesday In The Park With Maggie

May 11th, 2011

It was a cinematic, spring afternoon.  

The sky was unwaveringly blue, shot through with bleached-lemon sunlight, all framed by the piercing, green canopy of a long-slumbering Central Park.  A cool breeze blew from the northwest, scattering pollen like snowflakes on a blanket of fresh grass.

In the middle of it all, my eleven-month-old daughter walked, twirled, stumbled, collapsed, sat and giggled. She studied each blade of grass, each fallen leaf like it was her first.

Because it was.

Abbi and I'd returned from our first, brief ...

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What We Talk About

January 17th, 2011

My buddy Rick recently hipped me to his blog, Past His Prime In NYC. Like me, Rick moved to Manhattan in his early twenties. And like me, Rick is married, and a dad. And like me, his blog often explores the discrepancy between what was and what is.

His most recent post, "You Won't Believe This Story," recalls his Barry Levinson-hued, "Diner"-like youth. "Those were great days," he writes, "full of laughter and excitement. Each of us hoping to live out and then share a truly classic tale. Any yarn that began with "You won’t believe ...

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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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“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” 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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Benjamin Wagner’s “Forever Young” Teaser Trailer Premieres

September 21st, 2010

It's arguable that I have no business covering Bob Dylan not once but twice on my new album (which borrows a title from Mr. Zimmerman as well), "Forever Young."

As Abbi and I counted down to Maggie's birth, though, all I could wish for her was, well, everything. And no song that I'm aware of better captures sentiment than "Forever Young."

"May you have a strong foundation when the winds of changes shift," Dylan sings to his brand-new son, Jakob, "May your heart always be joyful and may your song always be sung."

My new album (due ...

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All The Small Things

August 3rd, 2010

"It's time," Abbie said.

I tiptoed into the bedroom, and squinted through the darkness until my eyes adjusted. Maggie came into focus just a few feet before me, motionless in her bassinet.

She was swaddled like a papoose, her lips curled into a heart-shape.

I slid my right hand beneath her back, my left beneath her head, and whispered into her ear, "Maggie..."

Her brow furled. Her legs curled. She yawned. I gently removed the swaddle blanket as her eyes flickered open, and scanned the space beyond my forehead.

A tiny, blue ...

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Meeting Maggie

June 13th, 2010

The East River isn't really a river at all, but a tidal strait between Manhattan and Long Island that, because of tides, appears to flow like one.

New York Presbyterian Hospital soars like a great, white sail over the East River. This great, granite sheet spans several blocks of Midtown East, swallowing the FDR highway whole. Looking southeast, the river below races just below, fast past Roosevelt Island and the Queensboro Bridge beyond. From inside, it's as if one is floating above the city itself, rolling along in the waves, to and fro ...

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