Friday, December 3, 2010

A Reasoned Case for Arriving Late at Your Holiday Party to See Saturday's Big Show

1. Show's at 9. You can probably still get there at 10:30, which is a pretty standard arrival time for a party in New York. They'll still have latkes, though applesauce is questionable.

2. This one''s gonna be really really good. This ain't no disco. 9 piece Rock n roll band and horn section. We only only do it once in a blue moon and playing brand new songs for you regulars. And we even rehearsed!

3. All thanks to you, we just won NYC Deli Magazine Artist of the Month. Check it:

4. Mercury Lounge Saturday Night Headline is always a very big deal. We don't want to go back to playing strip clubs in Jersey.

Holiday Explosion with the Danny Ross Orchestra
Saturday December 4, 9pm Sharp
@ Mercury Lounge, 217 Houston at Essex St./ F Train to 2nd Ave

I was never on the Debate Team, but I have to admit that these points would destroy in the Contemporaneous category. Thanks again folks and Happy Holidays.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Saturday 9pm @ Mercury Lounge // Last Day of Deli Vote (And it's Tight!)

Hey folks,

How are you? Okay, here's the scoop. Last week I told you we were nominated for Deli Magazine's NYC Artist of the Month. You came forward with a record 600 votes, and made a certain someone feel very thankful for the holidays (Mainly this guy). However, with the vote ending at midnight tonight, I discovered our greatest competitor is a Danish Major Label pop star and has her Scandinavian cohorts fighting to the bloody death D2: Mighty Ducks style. If my name isn't Gordon Bombay, for one day only please...

Vote Danny Ross at home/ on your phone/ share on FB:

And then to celebrate our impending gazillion point victory, the full band and horns will be headlining our biggest show yet, debuting brand new songs Saturday night 9pm at NYC's legendary Mercury Lounge. Nice and early too, so you can still hit your boss's Holiday Party and pretend to have a good time. Thanks again gang, shoot me an email when you vote and catch me up on the haps. And find all the details on our FB Event Page

Danny Ross and Band Headlining Mercury Lounge
Saturday December 4, 9pm Sharp
@ Mercury Lounge, 217 Houston at Essex St. (F Train to 2nd Ave.)
*This show will likely sell out. Please be safe and buy tickets now at our Shmancy Ticketmaster Page

- D

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

30 Seconds to Hook a Brother Up Before Turkey Day

Hey folks,

Wrapping up your work-week already? Thanksgiving is freaking nice. Hate to email so close in succession, but we're nominated for Deli Magazine's Artist of the Month. It's a pretty big deal so please take 30 seconds and...

Vote for Danny Ross at

We're in 2nd place right now. We're gonna win this damn thing, so please spread it around and help out. You can't vote more than once on an IP address, but you can vote from your phone if it's giving you trouble. Let's do this, uhhh! And while we're here, you might want to snag tickets to...

Holiday Explosion with the Danny Ross Orchestra!
Saturday December 4, 9pm Sharp / Facebook Event Page
@ Mercury Lounge, 217 Houston at Essex St. (F Train to 2nd Ave.)

...our huge headlining Mercury show before they sell out next Saturday night with the 9-piece band and horns. Thanks as always gang. Have a light, healthy weekend filled with vegetables and quiche.

- D

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ah, Holiday Explosion!! - Mercury Lounge Saturday Dec 4, 9pm

Hey folks,

How are you? It's been about a month since our last encounter. Since then, Team Coco triumphantly returned, the Dems lost the House to former cast members of the Real World, and I lost my only chance at becoming a princess. Damn it William, that ring was made for my delicate fingers.

But as we approach pie-eating season (pecan / pumpkin lovers holler at me), we all know it's time for the 1st Annual Holiday Explosion with the Danny Ross Orchestra! Live from Mercury Lounge, expect live reindeer, film and television's Bob Newhart with the meaning of Christmas spirit, the world-famous human dreidel, and a Kwanzaa spiritual sung by Lady Black Mambazo. Thanks folks, it's a huge show for us headlining Mercury once again and we need you more than ever to support these absurd rock n roll pipe dreams. Despite some technical difficulty, here's the official Facebook Event Page.

Holiday Explosion with the Danny Ross Orchestra - Live at Mercury Lounge!

Saturday December 4, 9pm Sharp
@ Mercury Lounge, 217 Houston at Essex St. (F Train to 2nd Ave.)
*This show will likely sell out. Please be safe and buy tickets now

And now for your entertainment, Bristol Palin and The Situation discuss abstinence.

- D

Thursday, October 21, 2010

CMJ = Charismatic. Masculine. Jewish. // Thursday 7pm @ Rockwood (and Friday!)

Hey folks,

"Rent is too damn high" - so here's a friendly reminder that the band will be playing our first shows ever at the prestigious CMJ Music Marathon, and they free! Thursday is the big official party with the full band, but if you can't make it try our acoustic showcase on Friday. Here are all the deets, and please take a millisecond to click "Share" at the top of our Nifty Facebook Event Page.

Danny Ross CMJ Showcase Official Party (Full Band)
Thursday October 21, 7pm sharp
@ Rockwood Music Hall (Stage 1), 196 Allen St at Houston

Danny Ross CMJ Showcase (Acoustic)
Friday October 22, 9:30pm sharp
@ The Living Room (upstairs) - 158 Ludlow St at Stanton

Thanks gang, and here's a cat eating a banana.

- D

Thursday, October 14, 2010

MTV // Live at The CMJ Music Festival - 10/21 Rockwood (Party!), 10/22 Living Room

Hey folks,

How are you? Well, I suppose things are going pretty well if you're a Jets fan (it's only been 40 years) and/or a Chilean miner, probably not so hot if you're a Democrat and/or Mark Zuckerberg. At least he can buy happiness, and maybe finally get himself a girlfriend.

Good news here! We've been selected to play the 2010 CMJ Music Marathon. Thursday is the big gig at Rockwood, but if you can't swing it try our acoustic showcase on Friday, both free. Much like the SXSW Festival we played in Austin, CMJ features the best upcoming bands from around the world taking over Lower East Side venues as industry bloodsuckers salivate in their footsteps (Just kidding industry friends, but seriously, get us a sneaker endorsement).

Danny Ross and Band Official CMJ Showcase Party
Thursday October 21, 7pm sharp
@ Rockwood Music Hall (Stage 1), 196 Allen St at Houston

Danny Ross Acoustic CMJ Showcase
Friday October 22, 9:30pm sharp
@ The Living Room (upstairs) - 158 Ludlow St at Stanton

Oh, and "Forgive Me Love" was featured on this week's MTV"s Teen Mom (Click to 22:49). I always said this was baby-making music. And check out our radio debut today on WNYU's Jingle Jangle Morning Show (Click halfway through for full interview). Later gang!

- D
Danny Ross
"Gorgeous...Immaculately arranged...I hope this album becomes a breakaway hit." - CMJ
Have you heard One Way? Stream the entire album now and pay what you want at
or at the Danny Ross iTunes Store

Friday, September 24, 2010

Info for Saturday @ Mercury Lounge; New Press!

Hey folks,

How are you? If you still haven't made up your mind about coming out to Saturday's big show with our famous 9-piece band and horn section, perhaps Katy Perry's 'bust' on Seasame Street or these UN Protesters will steer you clear of the city night and lead you to the warm shelter of friends, booze and rock n roll. Ah, New York...

If you bought tickets online, please don't forget to shout "DANNY ROSS!" at the door - the elderly woman is hard of hearing, poor thing. And today is the last chance to buy tickets online, I can't make any guarantees about getting in tomorrow so be safe and head now to our shmancy page at Ticketmaster.

Danny Ross and Band Headlining Mercury Lounge

Saturday September 25th - 11pm Sharp (on the dot!)
With alt-country stars The Ramblers at 12
@ 217 East Houston Street at Essex
Facebook Event Page

And, as many of you know, we just started a Gangsta Street Team, let me know if you want in. For example, I could use some help collecting emails at the show tomorrow from some attractive co-eds. (By my lawyers request, that was not innuendo. This an Equal Opportunity position) Thanks and here's some new press!
  • "Ross' ambitious masterstroke One Way is a collection of gorgeous compositions…and set Ross on a path that led him from the St. Mark’s Church to the Living Room to SXSW to Rockwood Music Hall to Pianos, where he was granted a residency… And on Saturday night, he headlines a show at NYC’s prestigious Mercury Lounge, by a long shot the biggest one. Ross is now fully drenched in music accolades ..." - Read Kurt Orzeck's Feature now at The Bad Penny.

  • "After listening to the complexities of One Way, the vibrant imagery, the grand story arc...Ross has an impressive encyclopedic knowledge and appreciation fueling his writing. Perhaps that is the reason he was able to successfully take on such a monumental project on his first attempt." - Read Allen Foster's Feature now (p18) in Songwriter's Monthly

- D

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Aww Yeah. Headlining NYC's Mercury Lounge Sat 9/25, 11pm

Hey folks,

Well, it's the one we've all been waiting for (and I'm not talking about the Jets season apparently, or Lady Gaga's meat dress): It's a headlining Saturday night slot at NYC's legendary Mercury Lounge! Joined by a 9-piece Band and Horn Section with brand new songs, it's by far the biggest show we've ever played. I mean, damn.

If you remember it took 9 long months to get a lousy Tuesday slot there, but in a miraculous call to action you sold out the dang place. Now, once again, like a bad Eminem song, we've got one shot to prove we're headliners. You've trudged through 100 gigs (and cat tv gameshow) over the last few years to lead us here. Ladies and Gents, once again I'm asking for your help. Let's show em that Bowery Ballroom is next and ratchet up 100 rsvps on the handsome facebook page, or it's back to bar mitzvahs on Staten Island.

Danny Ross and Band Literally Destroying The Mercury Lounge
Saturday September 25th - 11:00pm Sharp
With our besties, alt-country stars The Ramblers at 12
@ 217 East Houston Street at Essex
** This show will likely sell out, please be safe and buy tickets now at the, gulp, Official Danny Ross Ticketmaster Page**

And tell you what, bring 3 friends I'll buy you a whiskey - that's the kind of guy I am. And check out this new review of us in American Songwriter Magazine in newsstands now: "Ross’ sophomore effort One Way, with its particular mix of horn-driven rave-ups sprinkled with steel-driven country ballads showcases ambitious arrangements, eclectic songwriting and overall technical mastery." Adios muchachos!

- D

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Me and Max on Animal Planet, 7pm Saturday

Hey folks,

Soo if I didn't tell you about this already, my cat Max is a rockstar, but now he and I will be bonafide celebrities as we make our cable TV debut on the series premiere of Pet-O-Rama, a new game-show by the creators of Pop-Up Video. Check out the trailer here, and see the episode live this Saturday 8/28 7pm on Animal Planet as me and my best friend Maxwell Silver Hammer compete against some vicious kitten-mittens. Set those DVRs...

Oh and I also have this music thing happening too. Some things to look out for in the fall:
  • Headlining Mercury Lounge Saturday September 25, 11pm with our friends The Ramblers. Our biggest show probably ever, you know you made it big when you're on ticketmaster
  • Playing NYC's legendary CMJ Music Festival for the first time in October
  • Booking a Northeast Fall Tour in Boston, DC and Philly. Never done this before(!) so hit me up if you live there
And lots of other crap -- summering in Tel Aviv, my brosef Jared getting engaged -- but we'll catch up after Labor Day over lobster rolls. Enjoy the summer before global warming decides to go on hiatus again (make up your damn mind!) and catch you later gator.

- D

Monday, July 26, 2010

It's Boss Time. "Jersey Shore" Tuesday 9pm @ Pianos - Summer Finale

Hey folks,

Oh hell. It's the moment we've all been waiting for. The senate passed a climate change bill? Well, no. Figured out exactly what went down in Inception? Yeah me neither. Ace of Base reunion tour? You're thinking of that Lady Gaga song, but you knock on wood right now for those Swedish godsends to return.

What time is it? It's Boss Time, son. Featured in Deli Mag NYC, the Danny Ross Pianos Residency makes its last stop Tuesday night on E Street for a Jersey Shore themed night full of hot abs, saltwater taffy and a whole lot of Bruce, along with our original rock n roll repertoire. It's the band's last gig of the summer so don't miss a second of it you beautiful man. Dressing up is encouraged, cause I'll be looking like this.

Danny Ross and Band Pianos Residency Finale: Jersey Shore
Tuesday July 27 - 9pm sharp
@ Pianos, 158 Ludlow St at Stanton/ F Train to 2nd Ave
With friends Sasha Papernik at 7pm and Luke Wesley at 8pm
Facebook Event Page

Note the time change to 9pm - we start Brucing 9 on the dot so don't be a late Snookie. And remember, bring 3 friends and I'll buy you a whiskey. Further jokes about garbage dumps, the New York Giants and decrepit casino-towns to be expected. See ya at the situation...

- D

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Residency You Reckon? "Nashville Skyline" - Tues 8pm @ Pianos

Why howdy folks,

Sure is nice to share another post with y'all. I reckon you weren't too heated by this putrid humidity. Then again, you liberal yanks are used to a bunch of hot air. Zing! Featured in Deli Mag NYC, our 5-piece combo is swinging by the big city to provide you with the highest quality entertainment this Tuesday night at 8pm for our Pianos Residency. With a "Nashville Skyline" theme, covers of Bob Dylan and Steve Earle, and my newest set of chaps, why, it's sure to be better than a monkey at the rodeo.

Danny Ross and Band July Residency Night 2 @ Pianos
Tuesday July 20 - 8pm sharp
@ Pianos, 158 Ludlow St at Stanton/ F Train to 2nd Ave
With our friends The Lesser Ghost at 7pm
Facebook Event Page

And remember....
1) Bring 3 friends and I'll buy you a whiskey 2) Come to all 3 shows and you'll get the official DR Groupie Package with a free Bar Mitzvah Shirt, the new album One Way and a personalized love note 3) Our big finale next Tuesday July 27 is "Jersey Shore" with covers of Bruce, so tan up and start hitting the gym bro. See ya at the hootenanny.

- D

Monday, June 14, 2010

6/15 Tuesday Musings - Born in the USA, Marissa Tomei, Israel Sendoff at Rockwood, Crazy Heart, Hoo-ha!

Umbrellas work better than ponchos...

Hey folks, here are a few thoughts this week:

- I saw "Memphis" won best musical, which I thought was a major bummer because the second act was as good as....well, it was bad. Very, very bad. Any mass commercial statement about rock n roll is bound to not be very rock n roll. That's the problem when the establishment embraces a rebellious movement. Didn't say "Fela!" yet, but I'm sure it's badass.

- Playing with famed cellist Ward Ward Williams for a special piano-string set Wednesday night for the monthly series "Songwriter's Beat" with Val Ghent. It's great to revisit those One Way string arrangements I wrote over 2 years ago, which I rarely get to do. 8:30 Wed @ Cornelia Street Cafe. Facebook Event Page

- Upstairs in an unsuspecting building in Alphabet City, I discovered through my buddy Steve Alleyne a state-of-the-art recording studio called Flux Studios (check out their client list), which was hosting a live recorded concert series featuring some friends last Tuesday, Casey Shea and Wes Hutchinson. Their rooftop was hella cool.

- Friday night at Bar 4 in Park Slope, home to the singer-songwriters collective Local Correspondents, we all covered each other. We did this maneuver back when I hosted the series "A Case of the Mondays with Danny Ross" in 2009. But this time around I covered Debbie Miller's "Tippy Toe," which was a dead serious folk interpretation to contrast Debbie's witty and humorous commentary on pursuing a relationship. (I need to start filming these things)

- Finally got around to seeing "Crazy Heart," which I thought was crazy good. I assumed Jeff Bridges' performance would be great, but that the movie, helmed by a first-time actor turned director, wouldn't be memorable. I was wrong. For a movie about music, it had a very quiet undertone that allowed you to pick up on the character's subtle flaws. After 2 hours, you can't help but want to spend more time with this guy and hear more of his songs, which were all great btw (Damn you T Bone Burnett!). Nice job Collin Farrell playing a country superstar btw.

- My neck hurts from staring at the screen all day, and then wearing a backpack everywhere else. I need more ergonomic-friendly devices in my life.

- Still in the grips of my 700 page Bruce Springsteen biography. Something I'm remembering from studying him is to sing every song, play every show, live every moment like your life depends on it. Of course that's hard to do when you have a comfortable dayjob, come from a comfortable background, and you're life literally doesn't depend on it. Finding that urgency is hard with a safety net, but I'm determined to do it.

- I had been avoiding "Born in the USA," because it was the point where Bruce went from young, hip rockstar with romantic visions of America and rock n roll (ie "Born to Run") to the world's favorite working class hero gone synth-crazy in the Reagan era. I think my fears were justified by this video or this video. However, whether addressing hometown nostalgia or the average American joe, the songs are just so damn good. Absolutely lovin it.

- Also loving the song "Guitar Town" by Steve Earle. The lyrics are a grand slam. Check it out.

- Went with Dani to the premiere of the new movie "Cyrus" at BAM. With Marissa Tomei (lookin goooood), John C Reilly and the directors the Duplass brothers. I hadn't seen any of their "mumblecore"movies, "The Puffy Chair" and "Baghead," but I fell in love with this one. Again a quiet, realistic, hilarious vision of a relationship between a man, a woman, and her son. The acting was great, go see it.

- I spent Saturday afternoon in Propect Heights with my British friend Ste watching the World Cup game. They closed down Vanderbilt Street and had a street fair with a giant inflatable television. Great game, and hilarious hearing people making discriminatory remarks about King George. Way to bring back some good old fashioned American Revolution humor.

- Hoo-ha. Was also fortunate enough to attend Shakespeare in the Park premiere Saturday night, featuring Al Pacino in "The Merchant of Venice." The show was insanely good and the acting was instense. The characters were obviously anti-semetic, but we had a large discussion on whether or not Shakespeare and the play itself is anti-semetic. I argued no and point to this article. Anyone know more about this? Also Chevy Chase was there, being hammy and hilarious, like he is in the way underrated show "Community." I would like to read more Shakespeare, but it's so hard to pursue these intellectual extra-curricular activities when you're pushing a career.

- Here's a great show I'm going to Sunday night after Father's Day celebrations hosted by Jimmy Lloyd, famous for his television show on songwriters. Come join me at the Highline.

- I'm preparing for my Birthright trip to Israel next week. I'll be blogging the whole thing, but help me celebrate for a big farewell show Friday night 11 at Rockwood. My friend Mira Stroika will strike up the mood by joining the band with her beautiful singing and accordian playing. Facebook Event Page

Monday, June 7, 2010

6/7 Weekend Roundup

Here are a few thoughts from the weekend:

- Watched "West Side Story" for the first time. Thought everything about it was amazing - I expected the music and dancing to be great but was surprised how killing the directing and cinematography was. However I don't buy how quickly Maria forgives Tony for killing her brother - I mean what the hell? She didn't care at all. She's a terrible sister.

- Thanks to everyone for selling out our first show at Mercury Lounge! There were 100 people there. Hopefully this leads to bigger and better shows. Playing Rockwood next Friday 6/18 11pm.

- Caught friends Dan Hodapp and Ben Mauk as part of the group Reverse 5 give a hilarious improv show Saturday night. Then ran to see "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" at the Public Theatre. It was a retelling of Andrew Jackson's life through shitty emo music. Hilarious, go see it before it closes.

- Mexican brunch, how do you do it?

- Caught a performance of Twelfth Night and forced myself to pay close attention through the 2 hours. It made me realize how hard it is for me normally to sit still. Can I blame the digital age?

- Got heavy into Paul Simon this week - "Ryhthm of the Saints" and "Paul Simon." That guy manages to be poetic, earnest, musical and unique in everything he does. I'm jealous. Really enjoyed the first Antony and the Johnsons album. His vibrato voice stands out so much, but I was finally able to appreciate the songwriting and production. Also listened to more live Bruce albums, trying to study his stage techniques. The guy's rediculous.

- Music nerds: Having trouble understanding the need for species counterpoint exercises. So many rules, can't I just write harmonies by ear?

- We saw a lifesize Winnie the Pooh costume at a yardsale. I truly regret not getting it.

- Aziz Ansari is the man. Matt Damon is cooler than he's given credit for.

- My friend John took me to a Catholic Mass at St. Paul's Cathedral on the Upper West Side. Beautiful place and beautiful service.

- I'm heading to Israel for Birthright in 2 weeks. In case you were wondering, I am indeed a member of the ancient Cohenim tribe, aka direct decsendent of Moses brother, Aaron and perhaps... Jesus? Booya.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

5/27 Thursday Thespian

Here's a weekly roundup and some arbitrary thoughts:

- Rehearsed for the big show at Mercury on Tuesday June 1st with the guys. So psyched to whip out the electric on an unsuspecting crowd. I suppose now you're suspecting.

- Played a Cornell Music Showcase @ The Living Room Tuesday night with cellist Ward Williams and guitarist Carl Basler. So nice to hear those string arrangements written over 2 years ago. The other wonderful Cornellian musicians included: Jennie Grauer, Cheryl Engelhardt, The Crooners. Followed by delicious burritos at San Loco (Didn't end up well for some in our party).

- Updated my One-Page with a short bio and quotes

- Enjoyed shows this week by Shwa @ Mercury Lounge, Casey Shea @ Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2 (which is awesome), Wakey Wakey @ Bowery Ballroom, Misty Boyce, Chris Cubeta & The Liars Club @The Living Room, Sarah Renfro & Maz @ Spike Hill

- Saw the movie "The Invention of Lying" with Ricky Gervais. Thought the concept was creative and could have been a really moving, thought-provoking piece, but ended up saccharine crap. Had real potential though.

- If you're in the Park Slope area, we had an amazing culinary evening at the new Thistle Hill on 7th/16th preceded by ridiculous drinks at Beer Table next door. Go to those places.

- In my continuing quest to listen to my ipod alphabetical by album, absorbed the Magnetic Fields "I" and Yo La Tengo's "I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass." I really enjoy the Fields' use of pop melodies with classical instrumentation and Stephen Merit's witty lyrics and deep baritone voice. Though at times the effect can be too much. Can't say enough good things about Yo La Tengo, also don't know how to describe them at all. Pretty amazing record.

- What the hell oil spill. I feel like Obama's not doing enough somehow.

- I guess nobody cares who won American Idol this year.

- Does Bret Michaels really deserve all this new attention? And the SATC movie looks God awful. Why ladies are you buying advanced tix to this with your girlfriends?

- Speaking of not caring, I find myself indifferent about these Facebook privacy issues. Is that really naive?

- News commentators: Just because NYC got the Super Bowl doesn't mean the Jets will be in it. Newsflash, it's been 40 years. Ouch, that stings. Oh and this: "Yeah Bon Jovi is playing like 18 shows at the new Giants Stadium. It's like christening something with a Coors Light" - Carl

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

5/19 Wednesday Whispers

Here are a few thoughts this week...

- Was reading Beck's lyrics for Modern Guilt from the album insert, and they're beautifully dark and poetic. But played up against the electronic feel of the music, I feel some of that abstract darkness is lost to his musical eccentricities. Funny thing putting words and music together...

- Also spent time listening to Dylan's "Bringing It All Back Home" and Radiohead's "In Rainbows" and random find, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's "Howl' And in my quest to listen to all my music alphabetical by album, I listened to U2's "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" which I found surprisingly musically engaging but often lyrically hackneyed.

- If anyone caught Andy Samberg's musical-number video on last week's SNL, it was priceless. Otherwise I thought Tom Petty was disappointing and the episode was generally lousy. I also (apparently alone on this) thought that Bowersox' version of "Maybe I'm Amazed" last night was crappy. Am I a curmudgeon?

- I don't watch Lost, heard it was great but that it all leads to nothing. Is it true??

- Arlen Spector is 80. Was it really worth all the trouble of switching parties to run again and then lose anyway? Move to Florida.

- My thoughts on today's political climate: "Ain't no party like my nanna's tea party." - Flight of the Conchords

- This is really interesting.

- Is BP purposefully trying to look terrible?

- Thanks to those who came out to Bar4 last week, fun show. After 9 months of trying, hello Mercury Lounge!! - June 1st ....And fun hanging for Arthur's birthday at Mission Delores, heading back Saturday to say goodbye to Kailin. By the way, Minneapolis is really cold.

- Gig Report: Thursday night checking Casey Shea @ Rockwood at 8, Shwa @ Mecury at 9, Wakey Wakey @ Bowery Ballroom at 10. Friday night Quintus @ Rockwood at midnight.

- Note to self: Keep better track of where I am in Prospect Park so I don't get lost all the time.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

5/12/10 Wedenesday Wistfulness

Couple of thoughts pop in my head this week:

- Why does May feel like March? I'm cold.

- What the hell Oil Spill?

- Parliamentary elections are confusing.

- Judge Kagan seems like a safe bet. But is this a generation of living too cautiously to get ahead? Maybe I should stop writing a blog then.

- For some reason late 60s/ early 70s classic guitar rock is only now making its way into my life. Led Zeppelin's "Houses of the Holy," The Who's "Who's Next," Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon." Maybe its because I know what it take to make a record now, or maybe because I can call myself a guitar player for the first time, but this is genius stuff.

- TV Shows I'm currently addicted to: 30 Rock, Community (most underrated), Parks & Recreation (2nd most underrated), Modern Family, Classic Albums (VH1 Classic), American Experience (PBS), Always Sunny In Phillly repeats, Betty White SNL, the last 2 episodes of Family Guy

- Finished a bio on Duke Ellington. Interesting how you can be engrossed in reading about someone's music without really hearing any of it. Starting a Springsteen bio now, I have his whole discography.

- Music Nerds: Learning species counterpoint is hard. So are Bach's piano inventions.

- Caught excellent shows by two very good friends at The Living Room this week. Amy Regan and Debbie Miller. Also congrats Matt Robbins on an awesome concert to conclude your piano master at Manhattan School of Music.

- * Danny's Final Thought*

I finally got around to seeing the Coen Brothers movie "A Serious Man." I heard there was some controversy in the Jewish community about its depiction of Jews. There were even some arguments in my own extended family. I tended to stay away from the movie initially because they have a reputation of not being very respectful of their own Jewish upbringing - I of course don't know them personally, and I don't exactly go to synagogue as often as one should, so I found no reason to judge, and I saw it. And I thought it was great.

I felt the heart of the movie was not about Judaism at all, but rather about the lockstep precision, the rut, we can fall into as a daily routine develops. How easy it is to become soulless without even knowing it as we try to reach our daily goals, and time perpetually moves forward. This is what Dark Side of The Moon addresses directly and some of the themes of my new material. The idea of doing nothing, of staying stagnant, is the worst offense there is.

I've been finding lately that the way to stay most in the moment, to really feel things, is to get out of my own head, my predispositions and routines, and be keenly aware of my surroundings. To accept that I'm not in control, and accept the contrasts and consonances around me as beautiful, using my environment to shape me and move me forward. Of course, this is the hardest work, but the most fulfilling. This is what, in my opinion, makes a person serious.

How that relates to the Jewish people is another question entirely, and perhaps this is what the Coen brothers were trying to address (And perhaps why many Jews were up in arms) Either way, these were good questions and it's a good movie.

On that note, stay out of trouble and catch you next week - D

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesday Musings...

- Saw This Is It last night and it blew me away. Realized I had forgotten just how wonderful MJ was in his prime and how much I loved him when I was a kid. Though I don't blame myself for thinking of him as a weirdo since 1993...

- Learned that the millions of sounds around us enter into our bodies through the ear as one compressed sound WAV, and are then reconstructed through the brain as individual sounds. Awesome.

- Read this weirdly fascinating interview about Stephen Hawking and aliens:

- Going to a Daily Show taping today..but have to wait for 3 hours in line, sucky. What should I ask Jon? Something about Judaism...

- Then catching Gogol Bordello's Eastern European slavic punk at Brooklyn Bowl. Afraid the sound might be too boomy there again, but willing to give it another shot, esp cause their Blue Ribbon food is off the hook.

- Also what is this nonsense?? Loved Malcolm X's autobiography if you've ever read it.

- And check this out politcos... "When read the statement that "if blacks would only try harder, they could be just as well off as whites," 73 percent of the movement's supporters agreed, while only 33 percent of people who disapproved of the Tea Party agreed. Asked if blacks should work their way up "without special favors," as the Irish, Italians, and other groups did, 88 percent of supporters agreed, compared to 56 percent of opponents. The study revealed that Tea Party enthusiasts were also more likely to have negative opinions of Latinos and immigrants."

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Quick Weekend Roundup 4/26 - Elvis Costello, Living Room Gig, Hey Brooklyn, Weird Plane Incidents, Transformational Life Events

- Friday Night caught the incomparable Elvis Costello with his Bluegrass Band The Sugar Canes playing tracks from his new record with T Bone Burnett. Was amazed at how carefully they arranged some of the older tunes for the bluegrass sound, especially "Everyday I Write The Book." Catch clips from that show at Was my first time at United Palace Theatre uptown and it was gorgeous

- Went to that show with my friend Tony, who had a brilliant idea. He and some friends that took the train to the very top and walked the island of Manhattan down Broadway all the way to Battery City Park over 8 hours, watching the neighborhoods change. And then celebrated by drinking beers on the Staten Island Ferry. Pretty awesome.

- Made some big developments on a music video this weekend. Everything is hush hush for now, but something potentially huge in the works. And dropped my record One Way off at indie store Other Music, where it's now for sale. Oh and I'm featured in the podcast Hey Brooklyn!

- Played a great show at The Living Room Saturday night at 9 with the 6-piece band after our friends Quintus. In fact, they joined us for a cover of The Beatles "And Your Bird Can Sing" Not sure how it happened, but I channeled a Baptist minister at one point. Thanks everyone for being a killin audience! We wrapped up the night at our friend Adam's dance party - it's been awhile since I danced to hip-hop like that. Let's just say I spilled many people's drinks, including my own.

- Some Transformational Life Events occurred: My brother got a new job, Dani's mother got a new job and is moving to California, Dani's brother Ross visited and will likely move to NYC for business school.

- Some Weird Plane Incidents occured: A friend's plane was literally struck by lightning, and my brother's plane had an emergency landing because the stewardess smelled smoke. Something in the air this weekend I guess...

Upcoming this week: Gogol Bordello at Brooklyn Bowl, Daily Show taping, Housewarming Party.

Damn, it's busy! What did YOU do this weekend of note, and what's up this week? I'll try to join you. Let us know!

- D

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Danny by Danny Ross (DXDR) Part 4 of 5: Twenty-Eight Bands Later

Hey folks, this is my 5 part recollection of our trip to the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, TX from March 16-21. Part 4 deals exclusively with the rad bands I caught while I was down there.

I made a list below of the artists I caught at the festival along with their MySpace links and a brief description of their show if I can remember. With the exception of one or two, all these artists are still very much on the downlow. I was so busy seeing bands that I had some connection with (mostly from NYC) over the 5 days, I never had a chance to see some of the bigger or even medium-sized acts. After all, something like 3,000 bands were playing. Plus those lines were too long anyway.

Here's your chance to hear 'em before they're huge...

o Shwa

A great vocalist and songwriter with good humor (NYC Scenester Friend)

o Midddle Distance Runner

o Wakey! Wakey!

You probably know them from "One Tree Hill" by now, a lyrically engaging piano-led indie act with a great live show. (NYC Scenester Friend)

o Casey Shea

Combines loose-limbed classic rock sound using a dozen guys onstage with unque brand of songwriting. (NYC Scenester Friend)

o Shayna Zaid & The Catch

Really dynamic and engaging singer with interesting instrumentation.

o Christina Courtin

Caught her with a string quartet at a church. Amazing vocalist and beautiful music. Her guitarist/ boyfriend Ryan Scott also played in my Austin group.

o Baby Monster

Electronic Indie Pop based in LA. Danny Sternbaum was the guitar player in my high school band, Broken Sound. We hung for the first time in eight years, I watched him trade in his axe for synths. Great sound.

o Jennings

Mary Jennings is a R&B Tinged Piano pop. (NYC Scenester Friend)

o Emanuel and The Fear

Eccentric and engaging singer with a large band full of interesting orchestral arrangements.Caught him acoustic for this set.

o The Shake

o Deadbeat Darling

o Black Taxi

Think hard rock with hints of pop and eccentric instrumentation. I'll call it Bushwick Rock. Awesome theatrical frontman and live show. They literally blew the fuse of the venue.

o The Defibulators

Old school country, bluegrass music with an updated sound. Catchy tunes, charasmatic singer, gotta love it. Featuring Freddy Epps on drums and Mike Riddleberger on drums, who also played in our Austin band.

o Shotgun Party

Three person bluegrass group with excellent singing and great, funny lyrics. Check out this video:

o The Woes

A huge group with a huge country/ bluegrass/ sometime klezmer sound. Awesome.

o Whqles

Caught these guys in someone's backyard shed. A freak duo on synths and drums, really fun.

o T Bird & The Breaks

Loved these guys - mixed old school hip hop with Stax soul in a new way. Tight as hell, and real catchy. Austin based, they're already pretty huge, I'm assuming they'll blow up further.

o Dinosaur Feathers

o Pearl & The Beard

Brooklyn-based trio with catchy tunes, interesting lyrics and instrumentation.

o Warren Charles

o Spring Standards

Great 3 piece pop group with virtuousic players and engaging live show. Heather Robb sang "Forgive Me Love" with me in Austin.

o Jukebox the Ghost

A breaking Philly/ DC act, we had a chance to open for them in Austin. Excellent piano-oriented pop.

o Speak

o Doublethink

Great hard-rock. They smashed their instruments on stage Who style. Well done.

o Hightide Blues

Southern fried rock.

o Natalie Gelman

Great singer/songwriter, always touring so look out.

o Ionia

Hard hard rock. Featuring Freddy again on bass.

o Pretty Good Dance Moves

Electronic Indie Pop - already blowing up, don't miss em. (NYC Scenester Friend)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Danny by Danny Ross (DXDR) Part 3 of 5: Three Gigs, a Couch Drum Kit and Beatles Ukulele

Hey folks, this is my 5 part recollection of our trip to the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, TX from March 16-21. Part 3 deals exclusively with our performances and the events that led up to them...

In the video posted in Part 2 last week you got to see some live footage. To quickly explain what went down, after the 3 gigs were booked down in Austin (many thanks to Richard Zack from the Wink Winks for that, and also for taking down my equipment!), I decided to make it official and book the flight. Soon I got in touch with my boy Sandeep and boom, had a sweet place to crash and access to an SUV.

But how would I also fly down and house 4 band members? Couldn't afford it, not this year. The solution was to hire NYC musicians already heading to SXSW with other bands. Meet Mike Riddleberger on Drums..
And here's Freddy Epps on bass (left) and Ryan Scott on guitar.
Mike's an amazing drummer and singer for bands like the pop-infused Quintus and the country swinging Defibulators. Freddy also kicks it with the defibs, and then crushes it with hard-rock outfit Ionia. In fact, Freddy and I met over 6 years ago, interning together at jazz label Verve Records. Ryan has also played with Quintus but has a great gig with an amazing singer on Nonesuch Records, Christina Courtin, who happens to also be his girlfriend.

The first day in Austin, amongst the thousands of shows going on, my friends and I stumbled upon a Beatles Tribute band, The Eggmen, along with Roger Greenawalt, the famous Beatles Ukulele player based here in Brooklyn, doing Beatles songs with singer/songwriters including Ben Kweller. I told them who I was, and naturally they asked me to sing a few tunes. Next thing I know I've sung 5. Nice.

That night I played an acoustic show with Ryan at The Belmont. And I made a little fan!

At these festivals, all of our time is carefully plotted out because there's so much going on. So I was lucky to find a 3 hour slot in Austin when the whole band could rehearse. (We had rehearsed once before in NYC) I had called a studio down there a week before to reserve the space. We all managed to shlep out to this place on Thursday afternoon in the middle of nowhere to an old industrial yard. Knock on the door, no answer. Call the guy's cell, no answer. Knock next door and find out his home number, no answer. After 30 calls, I realized we were screwed.

Stranded in East Austin, we came up with the idea to rehearse at Sandeep's apt. We had amps for piano, guitar and bass -- and Mike would have to mime drums on the couch. Sadly, I don't have a picture of this.

But one thing that made an impression on me. At the end of the rehearsal, I asked "Which song at this point are you most afraid of screwing up?" To which Ryan responded, "Afraid? There's nothing to be afraid of." Oh yeah, this is rock n roll -- nice to have some perspective.

Next we played the Sneak Attack/ Playing In Traffic Records Showcase at Clive Bar. We were lucky enough to have Heather Robb from the awesome band, The Spring Standards join us to sing "Forgive me Love."

And lastly, that night at 11 we played to a packed outdoor stage at Shakespeare's Pub. The monitor on stage was totally effed, so I decided to just be a maniac- tossing my keyboard offstage in the process. I felt like Pete Townshend for just a minute. Crazy, crazy, sweaty show.

Overall, I learned a lot about performance while I was down there. Particularly, that you don't need an audience hanging onto your every word in order to feel like you're succeeding. It's enough to just be there, play well, and be real.

And that's all for now folks. Stay tuned next week for all the rad bands I saw. Lata!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Danny by Danny Ross (DXDR) Part 2 of 5: The Official Movie

Hey folks, this is my 5 part recollection of our trip to the South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival in Austin, TX from March 16-21. I'll talk about the shows I played, the dozens of bands I saw perform (and can recommend while it's still early), and the hilarious people I met in Austin.

Part 2 features a film shot and edited by my good friend Sandeep Ayyappan. It's an interesting collage of live show performances with the band, an acoustic show, a rehearsal and an impromptu visit to a Beatles Ukulele concert (they wouldn't let me leave!). Altogether, it's an excellent summation of the types of shows a singer/songwriter can play, and hopefully gives some insight into the process. Hope you dig folks - and please do comment below with your thoughts, and maybe your favorite Beatles song.

Danny Ross Does SXSW: Part 1

Danny Ross Does SXSW: Part 2:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Danny by Danny Ross (DXDR) Part 1 of 5: Yummy Tacos

Hey folks, this is my 5 part recollection of our trip to the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, TX from March 16-21. I'll talk about the shows I played, the dozens of bands I saw perform and can recommend to you to check out while it's still early, and the hilarious people I met in Austin. But part 1 deals exclusively with food...

So the week before I left I read this amazing article in the NY Times about breakfast tacos in Austin. This gave me a list of taco places that were essential to visit. And at the top of that list was Torchy's.

Now as I don't eat red meat or pork, this presented somewhat of a problem for me. Being this is Texas and all. Not knowing what to expect, I ordered the following 2 items at $4 each:

- Baja Shrimp
"Hand battered shrimp fried with cooked cabbage slaw, topped with pickled onions & jalapenos, queso fresco, cilantro and a lime wedge. Served on tortilla of choice and our creamy chipotle sauce."

- Brushfire
"Jamaican jerk chicken, grilled jalapenos, mango, Sour cream, and cilantro served on a flour tortilla with our Diablo sauce."

It was awesome! Especially the Brushfire. I gulped it down with a famous Jarrito's Mandarin soda. Oh and here's my friend Sandeep.

Funny enough, Sandeep checked out my apartment in NYC on Craigs List about 2 years ago and we've been friends since (though he didn't take the apartment). He moved down to Austin soon after that doing finance, but just quit his job to travel the country and write a book on energy. Straight out of Yale, he's a pretty brilliant dude and definitely hilarious when you get to know him. And he was nice (or stupid?) enough to let me crash with him at his place on South Congress. More on that in a post to come. Oh, and here's Janessa.

What an awesome name! Janessa lives down the hall from Sandeep and they've developed a Jerry and Kramer pop-in type vibe. She's a sweetheart from Utah, working to help people with eating disorders. Janessa was also nice enough to let me crash with her for 2 nights. Also more on that to come.

But in the meantime, I woke up the next morning to the much-discussed breakfast taco! From a place called Taco Deli (also on my hit list), here's what I had:

Migas Royale
Eggs topped with queso, monterrey, jack cheese, avocado and pico de gallo, Mexican mashed potatoes and refried black beans.

Now a thing in Austin (which I really don't understand) is trailers. There are food trailers parked all over the city serving all kinds of food. The best one I ate at was Izzo's. I had a grilled talapia taco with all kinds of crap on it. This time with a Jarrito's Tamarind soda. It was amazing...

And lastly, just before one of my concerts I decided I needed to have a little something. Nothing too heavy, obviously. But soon I discovered that Austin's famous Iron Works BBQ was just next door and I couldn't resist. There were signed pics of all kinds of celebrities - Obama, George W, etc - and a line out the door. However before long I was eating a delcious BBQ Chicken Platter with potato salad and baked beans. Needless to say, I felt a bit bloated on stage. But worth it!

There were other places I ate, like a Korean BBQ Taco trailer, but above were the ones really worth mentioning. Hope this gets you hungry, and see you in Part 2!

- Danny