Showing posts from June, 2013

Photos: Character Man Last Night.

Jim Brochu with the great character men he adores and praises. I took this photo during the rehearsal.

 On the way there, Jim was thinking intently about the night.

Remember our ol' pal, Jeramiah Peay? Also known as "Jim's rock," as his stage manager, they meet before the show.

The Metropolitan Room was jammed.

Jim shows the photo of himself in his white suit along with his dad and Joan Crawford and her two sons.

Meeting An Old Pal.

Had lunch with a dear out of town acquaintance today -- a hideous veggie wrap. The lunch, not the friend.

In his own life, he felt completely pointless and he felt very much alone. He had no direction in his work and wasn't doing what he really wanted to be doing, but because he was running out of money, he was going from job to job.

Since that describes pretty much everyone I know, we just used to the time to be in each other's presence.

At one point, I told him that I've had to just reduce my life down to what keeps me alive -- and that is making music, following my diet and staying completely in the moment, not in some future, even though I enjoy fantasizing about it. I know it won't make me any happier than sitting here with my friend for a short 45 minutes -- and then, he's off to who knows where.

At our meeting, the main topic of conversation was all the bad news and frustrations. But what really happened in that little cafe was two old friends reconnected o…

Jamming with Nicholas.

In prepping for my next assault in the recording studio, I came across this young man over at Mark Janas' house. They were playing some ridiculously complex piece of classical music and I just sat there kind of stunned. When it was over, we got to talk and I found out Nicholas is new in town, and that he's not just a classical musician, but is also a very soulful improviser. So, I invited him over to see if we could click on any of the songs. There was one I had in mind, especially, a song about an addict, called "The Craving."
And how do you not love that smile?

Lori Tan Chinn poses with Playbill.

Anyone who is a fan of great comedic movie scenes knows the "YOU EAT COOKIE!" scene from the movie "Mickey Blue Eyes" starring Hugh Grant. The uncredited actress in that scene is the great Broadway performer Lori Tan Chinn. Jim and I met her at the Polish Tea Room for lunch where he gave her a pre-Broadway Playbill of the musical "Lovely Ladies, Kind Gentlemen."

She told me the story behind the scene: Actually, I read somewhere on some Comedy Hall of Fame, the scene made the list of memorable performances. Hugh Grant and producer went on every talk show with that clip - it was the only contained comic portion of the film that showed something funny. They never mentioned my name, although Conan O'Brian, Jay Leno, and some other hosts suggested he & I do a "buddy movie" together. And to think, they never wanted me in the first place - they were looking for a very old Chinese lady, but after I thought I had lost the role, discovered that m…

Manhattan Bonus Round Video Diary: May 2013, Pt. 2

See all the rest of the fun, including a brand new recording of "Rescue," live in the studio.

One WTC and Firehouse.

Now, I've discovered that the sun hits the firehouse, in June, right about 6:50 AM.

Manhattan Bonus Round Diary: May 2013 Pt. 1

As we take our "almost 2 seconds at a time" tour of Steve and Jim's, we find a great singer, Marilyn Maye, singing better than she's ever sung in her life -- and taking New York by storm. Steve and Jim sing for a fundraiser, take their daily walks, plus choir on Sunday and all good things.

PHOTOS: WTC Sunrise New York. June 13, 2013

This morning, just before sunrise, I looked out and saw that the sky was overcast. Which means blue and blue and black. Then I noticed that the glass buildings were radiating a pink color, as if lit from below.

As the sun rose, it made the whole sky lighter. This is about 5:30:

Look how the curve of the WTC picks up the pink all the way to the top. It's kind of breathtaking in person because the pink is radiant, not flat as in the photo.

PHOTO: WTC Sunrise, New York. June 12, 2013.

The new WTC's first June 12th sunrise.

Photo: World Trade Center at Night from 10th Avenue.

When you look at the World Trade Center, up center on the horizon, it is very bright even though they haven't finished building it. Those are construction work lights that they put on every floor. So, it lights up the sky like a torch. This is looking down 10th avenue.

The Return of the Gay Lunts.

I'm here to confirm the rumor that Jim Brochu and Steve Schalchlin will play the leading roles in a short film called "The Pact" written by Megan Stein. It will be for the same short themed film festival competition that I was involved in last November.

More info as it becomes available.

PIC: The Honeymooners at Sardi's.

Each time I go into Sardi's and see this arrangement, I am transported back to another time.

Incorporating "disease" into your life.

I don't actually spend that much blogtime
Or real life time talking about my ailments
So all this attention to my virus lately
And the side effects
Feels a bit weird

But it wasn't a publicity stunt
I didn't seek them
They found me
And I'm glad they did

I'm glad you did

Anyway, just for the record:
A blog post about ailments

People read the article and ask
"How do you do it?"
Meaning the pills, the shots,
The diet, the pain, the side effects
And the pills for the side effects

The answer is you incorporate it
You live as if you were born this way
And that everyone is this way
You just incorporate it
And move on

I'm always thinking, through the day,
Two or three steps ahead
Will there be water?
Are we going to eat?
What do I need to bring?

But since music is the biggest part
Of my therapy
My mind is mostly on fixing that rhyme
Cutting that verse
Plus subtle key changes
I've been doing sneaky key changes lately

And when my mind is on my key changes

Tales From the Bonus Round: A Reader Responds.

By Bonus Round Reader, BRBN

In response to AIDS in NY: The First Five Years

I hope that this work of being an inside reporter
is as useful to the planet as it is altruistic.
the awareness factor is important;
but the dumbing down of the youth
is perhaps the more scary proposition.

in my 57 years I myself have contracted many of the
nuisance STD - the ones that don't outright kill you but shorten your happiness factor.
and I paid attention and knew how and where and why.
When in fact - what did I care at that time? I was getting some -
I was plain lucky.

One evening after a month long small time courtship with a gal from the Police Station Radio Room
where I had been dispatching my way thru College -
the two of us turned out to have the same 3 day weekend off.
I invited her to go with me to NYC for a long weekend getaway for some fun and shows and food
and a room and some casual hotness to see how well all things went together.

on the way into town while crossing over from Hackens…

New Recordings Update.

My dream of sailing into a studio, recording the album in one quick swoop, was a bit of a pipe dream, but also not unsuccessful. In fact, I got one recording that is a total keeper.

Not that there was anything really wrong with the performances, but I'm still feeling out the territory. Someone suggested I start a Kickstarter to get this thing done, but you need a real budget for that. Since I don't know what I'm creating, I can't deliver a budget.

The more I listen to the songs, the more see how I can do it better. So, my second session went better because I had rehearsed. I also, however, brought in some newer material. Stuff newly written, or almost finished, just to hear them out loud and see how they might feel. And though I mostly like what's there, I can do it better. Not by over-rehearsing, but by making sure they're solid in my mind, in terms of structure and flow.

Several friends have offered to sponsor an hour, so that will make it easier.

If the goa…

Manhattan Skyline: Two Red Doors beneath One WTC.

I think I'm going to have to start a calendar of some sort. Maybe I can sell it to pay for the recording sessions.

AIDS In New York: The First Five Years.

The stunning New-York Historical Society Museum's AIDS new exhibit opening today called "AIDS In New York: The First Five Years" caught me completely off guard. I wasn't prepared for the flood of emotions that poured into me as I visited a history I both am, and am not, a part of. During those years, I didn't live in New York. In fact, I was mostly in a car, a van or on a plane playing backwater clubs in a cover/show band, renting studio time here and there for midnight recording session, learning my chops as a musician and getting laid and partying, as musicians do.
This world was mostly a straight world, so I get the news of AIDS second hand. A rumor of a "gay cancer." A rumor that it might be a virus. A rumor that no one knew how it was transmitted. A rumor that it was a punishment purposefully sent by God. 
I have this memory of actually being in New York for a few days during that time, and picking up some paper suggesting that this new disease wa…