Friday, March 11, 2011

The Mommyheads

One of the very best bands most people have never heard of is The Mommyheads. Originally from Brooklyn, they've been around since 1989, with a ten year hiatus from 1997 through 2007. They combine intelligent pop, rock, quirkiness, melodic flights of fancy, and superb musicianship into something really special. Some lazy journalists and music fans compare them to XTC or The Band or The Beatles, but to me they are their own unique presence.

I've been lucky enough to be friends with them since 1990, and on March 18th, 2011 they released their first album of all brand new material in 15 years, called "Delicate Friction". Then in 2012, they followed it up with the critically acclaimed prog-rockish "Vulnerable Boy". It was my pleasure to volunteer my video editing services to help them promote their resurgence into the public eye. Since late in 2010 I've completed seven videos for them, which are found below. My friend Doug Miller co-directed the first one. If you like what you see and hear, please check them out and consider buying their entire catalog of seven albums. There's even a career retrospective that was released last year called "Finest Specimens."

The first five are available in HD if you click through to youtube to view them, which I highly recommend.

Here's the link to their entire youtube channel, which also contains many live videos from their triumphant tours of Northern Europe since 2010. They are a fantastic live band, as well as being really nice guys too.

Stairway To Stardom

My friend Doug Miller and I have gained some favorable notoriety for being the people behind the preservation and promotion of a legendary Manhattan public access television "talent" showcase that aired from 1979 through 1992 called "Stairway To Stardom."

If you like reality shows, you can't get any more painfully real than this. Amateur singers, dancers, comedians, and even a magician or two found their way on the air, thanks to the stringent auditioning litmus test of the show's host, and occasional crooner Frank Masi.

In 2006, there was quite a flurry of activity surrounding the show, as it made its first appearance on youtube. Jennifer Sharpe, a radio producer/reporter and collector of cultural ephemera, interviewed me for an NPR story. At the same time, Doug and I co-hosted a screening of clips from the show at the now defunct Monkeytown in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The screening also featured live performances from two of the show's original alumni. A reporter from The Village Voice attended the show, interviewed me over the phone shortly after and wrote an article about it.

Do yourselves a favor and check out some of this stuff. Even if I wasn't one of the people behind its resurgence, I'd still go crazy over the amazement that most certainly awaits you.

Here's the youtube channel I recently set up and uploaded dozens of clips to.

And in case you need some further evidence to egg you on, here are a few of the most popular clips.



I Hate Love

A friend of mine, and fine Irish songwriter named Peter Fitzpatrick recently started a blog in which he invited bands and musicians to unveil demo tapes from their past that had never been heard before entitled "Want To Hear My New Demotape?"

In the olden days of the late '80s/early '90s I made tons and tons of recordings, usually only finishing the ones I thought were worth the effort. Every now and then I'd write a song, make a quick demo and then come to my senses and not share it with anyone, ever. When Peter started his blog, it jogged my memory of one of my least proud moments in musical history. I scrounged around and found my recording of a song called "I Hate Love" and sent it to Peter, along with the sordid tale behind its creation.

Enjoy, if possible.

The story behind "I Hate Love"

7 year Mitch

Having still been slightly traumatized from the last live show I had ever done seven years earlier, I had pretty much given up the idea of coming out of retirement. But for some reason, last year I decided that I needed to prove to myself that I could play live again and improve on my last sketchy effort.

I managed to book three different NYC gigs. Each one was a slightly better performance than the last, but each also had a slightly smaller audience. Nonetheless, I was happy I did them because it got me to practice my strumming and singing skills, and learn to play a bunch of songs I had written in the time off. Plus, it was kind of fun too.

Here are samples from my first two performances. I wasn't allowed to videotape the third one.

The first is a new song about a guy who somehow ends up in his own tribute band. It will all be explained if you listen to my intro. (Not to make excuses, but it should be noted that just in time for this first gig in 7 years, I developed a fever of 101 the day before, and had no soundcheck. Hence . . .)

This next one should be somewhat more familiar.

More new songs = more new gigs. So first, more new songs . . .

The Reel Me

I've made my living by working in the editing (film/video) field since the late 1980's and have been an editor since 1991. Just like an unfortunately high percentage of people these days are finding, work can sometimes be hard to come by. I'm a freelancer, which just adds to the potential peril.

Here's a link to a bunch of the editing work I've done over the years, as well as my resume.

Just sayin' . . .



In late 2008 I released my last album entitled GAME SHOW TEETH. I'm very proud of it, and especially happy that so many people have enjoyed it. It got a bunch of lovely reviews, and a nice bit of airplay on internet radio.

If you've happened upon this page through my site, then you already know that there is a whole site devoted entirely to the album, which can be accessed below. Feel free to pay it a visit.

Although my means of making a living has been as a video editor, I had never considered making a music video for any of my hundred or so recorded songs until GAME SHOW TEETH. The opening track, "This Is a Song" pretty much screamed out for one, and when I had an idea I thought was appropriate for the meta-ness of the song, I made my first music video. I even attempted a form of half-assed animation for the first time too. You can find the video on the web site, but I also posted it on youtube.

Much to my bemusement and surprise, in late January of 2010 I suddenly received a bunch of emails indicating that comments had been left on the youtube video. They led me to discover that former American Idol winner David Cook had posted a link to the video on his twitter page. Apparently he writes his own songs and tweeted "So, on occasion, I'm asked how I go about writing. This video explains it adequately." Up until that point my video had been on youtube for one full year and had been viewed about 700 times. In less than 24 hours after David linked to it, my video received close to 7000 more views, as well as about 50 very positive comments, mostly from 12-15 year old girls. It was very amusing and flattering. If only I could have received the attention and admiration of 12-15 year old girls when I was 12-15 years old, but I digress . . .

Here I Is!

So the other day I took a look at my web site and realized that it had been over two years since I updated anything. My apologies if you were wondering if I was still amongst the living, or amongst the caring whether or not you knew if I was.

I'm fine. I've been busy, and then again, not so busy. All is well. New music and music videos and live performances and a comic memoir have been started, completed, or are currently underway.

This blog is meant to replace the page formerly known as KNOW on my site.

Thanks for following along. I promise to keep in touch much more often from now on.