Category Archives: Travel

A fine way to spend a weekend

 

A Block Party Day with Chillin and Grillin!

A Block Party Day with Chillin and Grillin!

So the Poochamungas rocked the weekend away.  First we headed out to Frankfort on Saturday for “Chillin and Grillin for a Cure“.  The event is to raise money in efforts to defeat cystic fibrosis.  This is our second time playing the event and we brought a full band this time around (last year a three piece).  Well we had a good time, worked a new song into the set, played Train Rolls on twice at my daughters request and folks seemed to really dig the music.  In events like this not a lot of folks are dancing up by the band.  Kids are in the jumpy, riding scooters, bikes and big wheels, getting face painted and visiting the firetruck (they got a Tower Ladder this year).  But kids kept visiting the driveway we we’re playing and lot’s of heads boppin in the crowd is a good sign.  We took care of all public service announcements and even got to introduce the contestants in the rib competition (Alton rocked the organ intro!)  The folks that organize this do an amazing job.  Erin and Jim Burns along with their family, friends and  neighbors really make this a great event. I hope we raised lots of money and I hope they invite us again next year!

Poochamungas at Wonder Works in Oak Park, IL

Poochamungas at Wonder Works in Oak Park, IL

Next we headed over to Oak Park on Sunday as part of the Parties for Pillars series.  We are one of many fundraising events that they are hosting this month. Wonder Works Children’s Museum in Oak Park hosted our concert and what a fun space they have.  Lots of interactive exhibits for your kids to have fun and learn at the same time (double win!)  Well we had a really fun and interactive set.  The energy of the crowd was great and everyone had a good time.  After the show people attendees got to use the museums facilities for another hour. Way cool.  We also sold 4 CD’s and split the profit with Pillars.  Some might laugh but 4 CD sales at a show is pretty good.  10 is amazing but 4 is good indeed!  Many thanks to Michelle Halm for inviting us to play and to the Pillars organization and Wonder Works Children’s Museum.  We had a great time! Thanks for having us!

Advertisements

Photos and Summer Gig Schedule

Pooch head stars

Today we not only have a rehearsal we also have to take photos for the upcoming CD release.  Not my favorite thing to do but necessary to promote the materials.  I have hired a professional photographer instead of the usual DIY photos we usually use.  So today he’s gonna take pics during rehearsal and then after as well.  I hope to get some good stuff given he’s taking photos of me… But I digress.  The big day is only 3 months away and lots to do before the “Official Release.”  No worries.

pooch summer schedule 13'

We have six great shows this summer.  Make sure you come on out and enjoy one of our live gigs.   We venture out of state a couple of times as well.  Like us on Facebook and keep up with our travels and gigs.

I know that girl and music we’ve been listening too since kindiefest…

Cover of American Profile. Diane Guthrie photo.

Cover of American Profile. Diane Guthrie photo.

Anyone who reads this blog know of my trials and successes as a kindie musician.  To promote my next CD I have taken the next step of hiring the services of Publicist Elizabeth Waldman Frasier of Waldmania (very excited.)  So imagine my surprise when I see my daughter has garnered the photo in American Profile (a national publication) in an article titled Jiggle Jam by Carol Crupper.   Sure it’s an article about Jim Cosgrove, Dan Zanes, Frances England and the Okee Dokee Brothers but there on the front page is my daughter singing along with Jim! (she’s the tall redhead)  Now Jim is a great guy, friend and Jiggle Jam is a festival worth making the trip to if you get the chance.  Really the best family festival I have ever been to… Twice!  But I’m thinking maybe I hire my daughter to do the PR?  After all she just made the cover of a national publication…

It’s been three weeks since I attended Kindiefest and we have been working our way thru all the music we received while in attendance (By we I mean my two kids and I.)   A few CD’s have been really separating themselves from the rest.  First is The Hipwaders – Golden State.

One of our new Fav's!

One of our new Fav’s!

The hit on Kids Place Live (KPL) was a groovy cool sounding Hey Josie.   But The Ramble (been stuck in my head for a week in a good way) is my favorite.  If you like California surf guitar licks with a driving backbeat this CD is for you.  Next is Johnny Bregar – My Neighborhood.  I define this as American Music.  Rock, Blues, Country and all cool.  We

Rocking CD with flavors of blues, country and all cool.

Rocking CD with flavors of blues, country and all cool.

were big fans of Polly’s Rain Dance  (played on KPL) and  the whole CD is just a continuation of great sounding music.  To call this kiddie music or label these CD’s as just for children is a disservice.  As we in Poochamungas land like to say.  Good Music Knows No Age.   The third CD which is not a “kids” CD (the band closed kindiefest.)  is David Wax Museum – Knock Knock Get up.  It’s defined as Mexo-Americana but WOW!  To try to categorize the music limits what this album really is.  While you can hear the Mexican and Americana influences the music is it’s own definition and it totally blew me away.

Amazing music.

Amazing music.

The title song is amazing as is the rest of this wonderful music.  There is a very deep musical pool on this CD and I suggest you jump on in.   I shall be voting for them come Grammy Time (The other two artists CD’s released in 11′ and 12′ so no voting for them.)  I still have a few more CD’s to listen and will report as I do.  But these will all be in rotation for weeks to come.

Pre-Kindiefest – Day 1- 2013

IMG_20130425_083320

Flying in on a beautiful NYC morning

My feet are finally feeling better.  Another whirlwind weekend in Brooklyn, NY will do that to them.  Walking to and from the hotel to venue (.6 miles) and talking to people while standing and more standing and talking and listening and standing and eating and standing.  Long day on the feet will do that to you.  But while you’re having fun you tend not to notice.  And fun I had!

Early morning transportation

Early morning transportation

Day one had nothing to do with the Kindiefest event except for checking in.  It started with me waking up at 4am to catch my 6:45am flight.  I grabbed a cab and off to O’Hare Airport.  After a quick, no frills, flight where we waited an extra ten minutes on the runway because of the sequester we headed off to NYC.  We then arrived ten minutes earlier than scheduled.  Moving fast were we.  I must say that air travel wise it was the easiest I have ever flown and I checked a bag both ways. (La Guardia Sunday night was 10 minutes from curb to gate, checked bag included!)  Upon arriving I called my friend and fellow Northeastern Illinois Alum Jennifer Tuttle (amazing actress and now college professor) who picked me up then off her place in Astoria.  I then met her husband Kip and we discussed making a Poochamungas video as he is a professional film director, editor, etc.  Very cool guy.  I am looking to working with him sometime this summer (as long as the planets align and our schedules allow).

Great guys in great hats who make great music and me!

Great guys in great hats who make great music and me!

Recording at KPL

Recording at KPL

IMG_20130425_190325

Steve Songs, Kenny Curtis and Dean Jones.

We then had a great lunch at a Queens diner and then she dropped me at my hotel.  I had enough time to clean up, change my shoes, hook up with Jeff Bogle (Out With The Kids) and Dave (Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl) Loftin and take a subway to Manhattan  and Sirius/XM headquarters.  We were invited to the live taping of a future show involving many of my favorite kindie bands doing songs of other Kindie Bands.  (Mindy Thomas had an inspired idea for  show and talks about it here ).   I also handed out the first copies of the Poochamungas new CD Block Party!    In the building was a who’s who of kindie artists.  Recess Monkey, Lunch Money, Tim and the Space Cadets, Mista Cookie Jar, Charlie Hope, Sugar Free All Stars, The Pop-UpsDog on Fleas, Steve Songs, Okee Dokee Brothers, The Not-Its and Brady Rymer.  I had a great time and even got to sing backup on the big number at the end (Thanks Mindy!)  I’ll  be sure to report here when the show airs on Kids Place Live.

NFL Draft day as well!

NFL Draft day as well!

After the show I joined Jeff and Dave for a dinner in Manhattan. I had no idea I was within a block of the NFL Draft headquarters as we walked by Radio City Music Hall on our way to meet the McHatton Clan along with Morgan Taylor.  The plan as outlined by the adventurous and technologically advanced Jeff Bogle was to have our paths intersect as we walked toward each other in NYC and the find a suitable eating place as well.  Well part A of the plan worked really well as Jeff and the McHattons did a great job of locating each other (technology is awesome).  Plan B took a bit longer but we finally did find a suitable place to eat for party of 10 as Mista Cookie Jar and the lovely Jenna joined us as well.  While the meal was OK it was great to talk with everyone at the table.  Lots of laughs and good conversation. Morgan explained to me the origin of Gustafer Yellowgold which was very cool ( My sons first concert other than Poochamungas was Gustafer. He’s a fan! You should check out The Underbirds as well.) Then it was back to the Subway and then bed somewhere around 1am after a very long but informational and enjoyable day.  Day two was only 9 hours away!

Kindiefest preview

Sitting in the airport recovering from Kindiefest. Will be writing a full summary this week.  Late nights, panels, great music and many laughs.  And I managed to learn a thing or two…

Studio time, solo acoustic and Kindiefest

Recording again!

Recording again!

What can I say?  It’s crunch time. We are headed into the studio today, Sunday to finish up Block Party and there is a deadline looming overhead.  I want a finished product to take Kindiefest.  All of the heavy lifting has been done.  The songs are recorded.  Now we need to add vocals, guitars, sax, etc.  The parts that make the song sing! (funny no?)  We have 6 songs completed  and 6 to finish.  Hoping all goes smoothly but things never do.  Then when we finish we need to mix and master it. Most important is to do it right.  While the CD won’t be released till Mid Summer I would like to have preview copies for people at the conference. But only if it’s right.   So Alton, Pete, John and Frank shall be working to finish the CD.  That is the goal we shall see if we can get there. There is excitement in the air!

Circus Circus" Kids Carnival & Charity Bake Sale

“Circus Circus” Kids Carnival & Charity Bake Sale

I shall be performing at the “Circus Circus” – Kids Carnival & Charity Bake Sale.  Entry is free and all money raised is going to Share Our Strength’s “No Kid Hungry” campaign.  I shall be performing solo acoustic at 10am and 11:30am.   There will be lots to do with performances by Super Stolie, Mary Macaroni, and storytellers as well.  Check out the link above for more info and be sure to come on out for a good cause Saturday, April 13 from 10am till 3pm.

April 25th-28th.  BAM

April 25th-28th. BAM

Kindiefest.    A  wonderful event with really great people and lots of information to learn.  You get out of it what you put in.  People are enthusiastic, nice and occasionally you might learn a thing or two from a panel talk.  Best of all it’s a chance to meet old friends, make new ones and connect with a whole group of people who understand what kindie music is.   On the down side it is not cheap to go to New York and to take the time away from famil  requires a loving wife  (Thank you dear).   So it takes a little doing to go.  But is it worth it?  Well I am promoting a new CD (hopefully finished before I go) and the people who hire and promote what I do are going to be there.  Plus the chance to hear some great bands, talk to fellow professionals and attend  panels talking about how to better do what we do.  So  I think so.   But only time will tell and a lot of that is up to me.  Now excuse me I gotta go finish an Album!

Dissapointment, PR, and my son turns 3!

kindiefestIn the last blog I talked about applying for gigs and accepting it isn’t personal. Every year there is a kids music conference in Brooklyn, NY called Kindiefest.  Kindiefest hosts a Saturday night showcase for up and coming bands… Well once again the Kindiefest has chosen the artists to perform at their showcase and once again the Poochamungas have failed to make the bill.  We were not chosen to play at the conference.  While I figured we wouldn’t I am still disappointed.  Here’s the thing.  I know it’s not personal.  But I have been to two previous Kindiefests.  I have promoted it even in the year I couldn’t go.  People have a face to go along with the Poochamungas name and most importantly my music and show are ready.  It took a lot of doing to get to the point where we are actually ready and not just thinking we are.    Some of the improvements to my show and CD are a direct result of talks with the people running Kindiefest.  They have been a great resource and for that I am grateful.   So this year when I applied by creating a  new profile on Reverbnation (it was free) I was hopeful.  The thing is, I probably know a bunch of Artists feeling exactly like I am right now.   But once again I realize IT’S NOT PERSONAL. The people who run the event have to sift thru hundreds of applications and I am one of many who are disappointed.  That’s the way life works.  Get over it and move on to the next gig application.  So congrats to those who got a slot.  Have a great show and see you at Kindiefest.Pooch head stars

Public Relations.  That’s the word I ponder much these day.  I’m looking at hiring a publicist for the next CD.  I feel it’s worthy.  I would like more people hear it and play more gigs as well.  Right now I do everything for the band.   Write, produce, book gigs, schedule rehearsals, and do all the publicity (posters, internet, this blog, etc).  Well there are only so many hours in the day.  I still have a job, wife and two kids so I am reaching out for help but help costs money.  Is the investment in a Publicist worth the end result? Some people swear by them and others aren’t so sure.  I have been fortunate to talk to some knowledgeable people and have to make a decision. Soon.  I’ll let you know.

son

Best guy in the world

My son turned 3 today.  He keeps growing taller and smarter everyday.  His speech has leaped forward and he sees everything. He’s had a lot of influence on my music along with his sister.   Plus one of his favorite things to say is “Dada. Let’s Jam.”  He’s my drummer/keyboards/guitarist and lead singer at the same time.  Totally awesome.  Happy Birthday son I love you.