GIGS: More Billy Joel tribute shows pour vous, with Joe Trainor and friends! 7/25 in Smyrna, 10/24/15 in Wilmington, 1/23/16 in Middletown DE

by Ji11

Hot Breakfast! loves Billy Joel. There, we said it.

"What? You do? Aw, thanks guys. I love you too." SHUT UP HE COULD TOTALLY BE THINKING THAT.

“What? You do? Aw, thanks guys. I love you too.” SHUT UP HE COULD TOTALLY BE THINKING THAT.

So when our buddy Joe Trainor said he wanted to get the gang back together – the one who performed a tribute to Billy Joel a few years ago – we jumped at the opportunity to play this music again. Then we panicked, because we haven’t really been practicing our saxophones for, oh, a couple of years.

But no matter. We are back in shape and completely psyched to perform The Music of Billy Joel at the Smyrna Opera House in Smyrna, Delaware on Saturday, July 25th at 8:00. And that’s just the beginning of it. See, when we create these tribute shows, it seems silly to only play them once because we work so hard to make the show great. So this time around we were sure to book the show in a few places spread out over several months, which lets us bring this great show to many people in many places; and best of all, we get to play these songs that bring us so much joy.

This isn’t a Hot Breakfast! gig, nor is it a Joe Trainor Trio show. It’s sort of a merging of the two bands, bringing Matt, Jill, Joe, and JT3 drummer Jeff Dement together with guitarist Chuck Kuzminski, bassist Allen Trainor, singer & percussionist Kerry Kristine McElrone, and special guest guitarist/harmonica player Stephen Manocchio. Matt & Jill will be singing and playing saxophone, guitar, percussion, melodica, and whatever else they can find.

We love this music. It’s our youth. Billy Joel’s songs inspired both of us to make music. Jill considers Billy Joel to be her first vocal teacher, and I consider him a master of songwriting, someone I still turn to for inspiration (and help) while writing my own music. But in addition to it being our youth, his music is also very much our now; and we’re so thrilled to be a part of this show.


  • Saturday July 25, 2015 at the Smyrna Opera House, Smyrna, DE. (Tix available here!)
  • Saturday October 24, 2015 at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts (a special fund raiser for City Theatre Company!). (Tix available here.)
  • Saturday January 23, 2016 Saturday, April 23 at the Everett Theater in Middletown DE. (Ticket info available soon!)

Look, we know the odds are slim that Billy’s gonna show up to any of these shows and join us for “The Thing About Boats” and “It Only Takes Two to Rock.” But don’t you think you should be there, y’know, just in case? We sure do. (He’s not coming. But it’s gonna be an awesome show, and we’re gonna rock it just for you.)

An Innocent Dork (or two),
The Suburban Legend (Matt) and Ji11 (Barbara)

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Quickie Gig: May 20, 7pm; Wilmo Wednesday at World Cafe Live at the Queen

by Ji11

The last few weeks have been nuttycrazy with us traveling to Virginia, Northern NJ, Salt Lake City, and Austin for private engagements (that sounds dirty). However, our trip to Austin this week got cut short and we’re headed home now, just in time to jump on the bill for this week’s Wilmo Wednesday at World Cafe Live at the Queen!

Admission is free, and you’ll get to hear a bunch of performers do different kinds of stuff: music, stand up comedy, storytelling, poetry, anything goes!

This isn’t an open mic; the acts have been hand-picked by the lovelies at Gable Music Ventures. We’re excited to hear our pals Melissa Bernard and Brian Turner, as well everyone else on the bill.

Here’s the info! Again, admission is free, but you might wanna reserve a table and buy a snack. Support the local business, yo.

Maybe we’ll see you there?

Rock on,

Road-weary Ji11

WHO: A bunch of performers, of which we are one
WHEN: Wednesday, May 20, 7pm
WHERE: World Cafe Live at the Queen, 500 N. Market St., Wilmington DE
TICKETS: Not necessary! It’s free!

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GIG: Sat May 9, 8PM: Mother’s Day Eve at Kennett Flash with Todd Chappelle and Em McKeever!

by Ji11
I searched  for "musical mothers day" and this was the first image. I'm goin' with it!

I searched for “musical mothers day” and this was the first image. I’m goin’ with it!

It’s time for our annual funny songs show with Todd Chappelle and a rotating magical third person at The Kennett Flash! But who will it be in the rotating spot? Read on. (Or look in the subject line of this post. Whatever.)

Is there a better way to celebrate Mothers’ Day Eve than being entertained by a collection of funny, dorky, and super-talented musicians? (Probably.) I mean, let’s face it: Your mother does not want to go to some overpriced, undercooked, rushed, crowded Mother’s Day brunch. Instead, show her that she raised you to be a creative, outside-the-box thinker! Take yer sainted mother (and the rest of the family!) to The Kennett Flash on the night before Mother’s Day for one great show! You already know us, and you surely know Todd Chappelle, but have you met Em McKeever, an amazing singer/songwriter with mad guitar skills? We’re thrilled to share a stage with these folks for what promises to be a diverse and slappy-hilarious night of music and comedy.

Come! Come!  The show will be not entirely squeaky clean… but I’m pretty sure you can handle it. You’ve watched TV after 9pm. Plus, we’ve got some new material for you, too! Yeee-haw!

PLEASE NOTE: This show is not going to be particularly mother-centric; we’re simply suggesting it as a wonderful Mother’s Day Eve activity. But not to worry — while we love our moms as much as you love yours, no one’s gonna sing about, like, uteruses* and stuff.

As per the usual, the venue doors open at 7:00 and the show starts at 8 PM. Tickets are cheaper online, so swing over to and get them while they’re hot!

Don’t forget to BYOB!! We’re definitely funnier when you’re tipsy. (So are you… not gonna lie.)


WHO: Todd Chappelle, Em McKeever, and Hot Breakfast! trade sets for a night of comedy music pour vous
WHEN: Saturday, May 9, 2015. The doors open up at 7pm, and the show begins promptly at 8pm!
WHERE: The Kennett Flash– 102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square, PA 19348 484-732-8295.
TICKETS: Tickets can be purchased online for $16, or for $20 at the door. Cheaper than a crummy Mother’s Day Brunch, and a lot funnier, too. You sit at tables, so ifyou have a large party and want a good view, get there early to stake out a spot.
PARKING: There’s plenty of parking, and there’s a garage close by too. So easy!
FOOD: The Kennett Flash serves light fare– sammiches, snacks, drinks. It’s also a BYOB establishment, so they charge a corkage and a glass fee. There are about a zillion wonderful places to get dinner in Kennett Square, so if you’re looking for a bigger meal, get into town early.

Hope to see you there– it’s going to be a really fun (and funny!) night!

We’ll see you soon!


* uteri?

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GIG: Friday, April 3rd, 9 PM: Doc Watson’s (Exton, PA) with Glim Dropper & WaveRadio

by Matt

There are few words that bring more joy to us than “Glim Dropper” and “WaveRadio,” and yes, we’re aware one of those isn’t really a word.

But "jentacular" is, oddly enough. Look it up. It's pertinent.

But “jentacular” is, oddly enough. Look it up. It’s pertinent.


That’s because Glim Dropper and WaveRadio are two of Hot Breakfast’s favorite bands in the entire universe. And we are delighted to share the stage with both of ’em at Doc Watson’s in Exton, PA on Friday, April 3rd. It’s gonna rock and rock hard, my friends, because despite the incredibly diverse musical offerings you’ll receive, we are all cut from the same cloth – the cloth of SOLID ENTERTAINMENT. (Okay, so I’m not great with metaphors.)

Glim Dropper is a duo like no other. With a deft combination of technology, incredible songwriting, and even more incredible musical acumen, they make a mighty rock and roll sound, a blend of modern alternative and good ol’ classic rock n’ roll. When they were a trio, they recorded Heartsick Phenomenon, one of the finest albums released in 2014; now that they’re a duo, bassist/guitarist/keyboardist/singer Dan Kauffman and drummer/keyboardist/guitarist Rob Schnell are putting on stunningly inventive and incredibly fun live shows.

And then there’s WaveRadio, an amazing experimental trio who can, and do, play every style of music this side of Ziggy Stardust. You want blistering hard rock? They got it. You want sparse, introspective reggae-pop? It’s yours. You want amazing vocals and some of the best guitar-keyboard interplay you’ve ever heard? Done, son. All this and the occasional Doors and Radiohead cover.

And then, of course, there’s us. We’ll kick this night off at 9:00 PM — but get there much, much earlier; you’ll want a table and some of Doc Watson’s magical wings and short-rib poutine, not to mention a Hot Sherlock Holmes (which sounds very, very dirty, doesn’t it?). This is our first gig back on the east coast after several shows at South by Southwest, so we are rarin’ to go, as they say down in Texas*. Plus, we’ve played with each of these bands, but this’ll be our first time as a threesome. And if that sounds naughty to you, well, imagine how it sounds to us. We cannot wait.

Pictured, L to R: Awesomeness, Magnificence, Rock God, Superhero, We're Not Worthy.

Pictured, L to R: Awesomeness, Magnificence, Rock God, Superhero, We’re Not Worthy.

Matt (The Suburban Legend)


WHO: HOT BREAKFAST!, Glim Dropper, and WaveRadio at Doc Watson’s
WHERE: Doc Watson’s Public House and Restaurant, 150 North Pottstown Pike, Exton, PA 19341
WHEN: Friday, April 3rd. We kick it off at 9:00 or so.
AGES: All ages.
FOOD: HOLY CRAP, check out the menu. It looks magical. And be prepared to drink. They have those.
COVER: $8.
TICKET LINK: There ain’t none, fancypants. Just pay at the door like a normal person.

* Nobody actually says this in Texas, which I learned after a lot of uncomfortable stares.

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GIGS: SXSW 2015 – March 18, 29, 21 & 22, Austin TX!

by Ji11


It’s that time of year again, when thousands of innovators descend upon Austin, Texas to share ideas through film, music, panel discussions, hands-on demonstrations, technology, visual art… all in hopes of changing the world and making it a better, safer, smarter, more creative place for everyone. We played here last year and were asked back by the venue, and our fearless promoter used those kudos as a springboard and booked us a bunch more shows for the week. Yee-haw!

We’re playing three shows with the possibility of adding a fourth, so keep your eyes on our Google Calendar for the most up to date info on our shows.

Each show we’re playing features a gazillion bands, but in the interest of saving space, we’re gonna use this blog entry to tell you when/where we’re playing, and if you wanna know who else is on the bill, click that gig’s ‘Details’ link on our Google Calendar and you’ll see it all there.

I’m gonna cut to the chase since it’s after 5am. So here are the…


Show #1: Wednesday, 3/18, 8pm, Love Goat

WHEN: Wednesday, March 18, 8pm sharp.
WHAT: We play a 40-minute set in the downstairs bar!
WHERE: Love Goat (2716 Guadalupe St in Austin), which is a fantastic two-story/two-stage bar near the UT Austin campus and away from (but still convenient to) the #SXSW hustle and bustle.
COST: No cover charge
FOOD/DRINKS?: It’s a bar, so yeah… plus they’re ridiculously cheap drinks. Food is pizza and/or Asian food that they’ll order/bring in from neighboring businesses for you. (They’ve basically outsourced their kitchen.)
PARKING: Street parking. Do NOT park in any parking lot or you WILL get towed.

Show #2: Thursday 3/19, 3pm, Love Goat (again)

WHEN: Thursday, March 19, 3pm sharp.
WHAT: We play a 30-minute set, but this time we’re on the roofdeck!
WHERE: Love Goat (2716 Guadalupe St in Austin), which is a fantastic two-story/two-stage bar near the UT Austin campus and away from (but still convenient to) the #SXSW hustle and bustle.
COST: No cover charge
FOOD/DRINKS?: It’s a bar, so yeah… plus they’re ridiculously cheap drinks. Food is pizza and/or Asian food that they’ll order/bring in from neighboring businesses for you. (They’ve basically outsourced their kitchen.)
PARKING: Street parking. Do NOT park in any parking lot or you WILL get towed.

Show #3: Saturday 3/21, 6pm, 219 West

WHEN: Saturday, March 21, 6pm sharp!
WHAT: We play as part of a 4-act songwriters circle on the downstairs/indoor stage, just like last year. It runs from 6pm – 8pm; each act gets 4-5 songs each in a round-robin style. We dig this format!
WHERE: 219 West (612 W. 6th Street in Austin), which is a more upscale, beautiful two-story/two-stage bar near right in the heart of SXSW.
COST: TBD; please buy food and drinks!
FOOD/DRINKS?: It’s a bar and grill with really wonderful, creative drinks and gastropub/foodie food.
PARKING: Street parking. Do NOT park in any parking lot or you WILL get towed.

POSSIBLE UNCONFIRMED Show #4: 3/22, Time TBD, Love Goat

WHAT: We play a ??-minute set.
WHERE: Love Goat (2716 Guadalupe St in Austin), which is a fantastic two-story/two-stage bar near the UT Austin campus and away from (but still convenient to) the #SXSW hustle and bustle.
COST: No cover charge
FOOD/DRINKS?: It’s a bar, so yeah… plus they’re ridiculously cheap drinks. Food is pizza and/or Asian food that they’ll order/bring in from neighboring businesses for you. (They’ve basically outsourced their kitchen.)
PARKING: Street parking. Do NOT park in any parking lot or you WILL get towed.

And that’s the news! We’ll keep you posted about show #4. Until then, we really hope to see you at one of these other performances. We are amped. :)

Your pal in dork rock,


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by Matt

It’s that time again…that magical time of year you love and dread at the same time!

No, not McRib Week. Geez. Are McRibs still even a thing? (Yes, apparently.)

We’re talking about the WSTW Hometown Heroes HOMEY AWARDS! The first round of nominations have been announced – and we need your vote!

Okay, look, we know asking you to help us get an award is a little…awkward. But we’ve had a busy, productive, and intense year bringing dork-rock to the masses, and we just think it would be super-cool to find ourselves among the Top Five nominees for any of the categories. Getting on the ballot is by popular vote, so that’s where you come in… you vote, and if enough people vote for us, we get on the ballot. Once we’re on the ballot, then the Homey Awards Committee chooses the winners. (The Awards Committee is made up of DJs from Philadelphia, Delaware, NJ, and MD; music industry people, members of The Recording Academy (the GRAMMY people), venue owners, promoters, past winners; people whose opinions we trust.) The Homey Awards are neat because they’re really not just a popularity contest.

Also awkward: adorable baby giraffes.

Things work a little differently this year: instead of sending in an email to cast your vote, you fill out an online survey. It’s so easy, you guys. Simply:

  1. Click here.
  2. Read about the voting process, and click the big yellow Click Here to Vote Now! button.
  3. Make your selections! (Only one ballot per person.)
  4. All fields are required fields.  “But guys! What if I don’t know who to pick?” Well, you can either Google the candidates in each category, or you could choose the band that sounds like they’d be nicest people, or, you can just copy Jill’s answers. (NOTE: These are just Jill’s choices, not an official HB! endorsement.)

This year, your favorite acoustic dork-rock power duo (that’s us) is eligible in the following categories, and we’d be thrilled if you chose us for these. The ones in red are the ones we care about the most, quite honestly:

  • Category 3: Song of the Year: “Too Many Choices:”
  • Category 4: Best Band, Group or Duo
  • Category 8: Best Lead Singer of a Band: Jill Knapp
  • Category 14: Best Songwriter: Matt Casarino
  • Category 15: Best Producer: Ritchie Rubini (he produces all our stuff!)
  • Category 16: Best Pop Song: “Going Your Way”
  • Category 18: Best Alternative Song: “Too Many Choices:
  • Category 24: Best Live Act
  • Category 25: Best Concert: Angela Sheik w/Hot Breakfast! & Jasimne Tate at Melodies Cafe -or- Joe Trainor Trio’s 7th Anniversary Show

We’re not gonna lie – there are some amazing artists on the lists of nominees this year– many are our friends. We’re only nominated in a third of the categories, and it’s gonna be a longshot to make it to the Top Five in any one of ’em, seeing as how we’re up against some of our very favorite performers and songwriters.

But are those guys showing you sleeping baby otters? NO THEY ARE NOT.

But are those artists showing you sleeping baby otters? NO THEY ARE NOT.

So give it some thought. Really – take your time (not too much time – you only have until February 4). And if you want to listen to our songs again, just to make sure you’re’ doing the right thing, no problem: here they are!


Again, you have until February 4th, so we definitely recommend you look at the lists and listen to the artists, so you can make some informed decisions. After all, you aren’t voting for something trivial, like the U.S. Presidency or whatever – this is important. Of course, we’d love you to vote for us, but we really want you to choose honestly.

In fact, we're offering these baby platypuses in exchange for your "honest" vote.

Which is why we’re offering this baby platypus photo in exchange for your “honest” vote.

As always, we thank our fans, friends, and family for an incredible 2014. Whether or not we secure any nominations, we’ve had amazing experiences, played wonderful spaces, met incredible and super-friendly musicians, and got to perform for all you Cool Little Brothers and Sisters. Collecting awards really isn’t our reason for doing this.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t like winning. So tell you what – you make with the voting, we’ll make with the dork-rocking, and with our combined synergy we shall reign together over this universe with the heat of a thousand suns.

Or, we’ll just wear you down with adorable animal photos. Whichever.

Seriously, we can do this all night.

Seriously, we can do this all night.

Ah, America.

The Suburban Legend (Matt) and Ji11

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GIG: Friday January 30, 8PM: Melodies Cafe in Ardmore with Danielle & Jennifer and Wave Radio!

by Ji11
Three decades of musicians are playing this night. You're guaranteed to catch at least one reference!

Three decades of musicians are playing this night. You’re guaranteed to catch at least one reference!

We love, love, LOVE getting to play at Melodies Cafe (formerly Milkboy Coffee) in Ardmore. It’s such a treat. Everyone who works there is so dang good at what they do, from the booking and the sound, all the way over to the food and the coffee. We get pretty spoiled as a performer there.

The layout of the room is great too– every seat is good, and it really helps us connect with the audience. We can play anything there and it’ll work… big bombastic songs, funny stuff, quiet little things too… it all just works in that space! What a joy!

It also doesn’t hurt that the food is really good, and they don’t make fun of me for drinking decaf.

Anyway, enough about that… let’s talk about the music!

Kicking the night off will be the sister duo, Danielle and Jennifer. We have been hearing a huge buzz about these two ladies for a few years now. They have a huge and loyal following, plus they have a strong theatrical background which we certainly relate to. :) They released a video for their song Radical Love last year, which is so much fun and freakin’ catchy, but it might have been the fact that they covered an Alice Cooper tune that made us know we had to share a stage with them. We are going to resist the urge of calling them cute, because that’s gotta make them crazy. Yes, sure, they’re adorable, but SCREW THAT… what’s most important is that they’re good musicians, wonderful performers, and solid songwriters. What they look like is totally irrelevant. (But if they were goofy lookin’, we never wouldn’t have booked them.) Anyway, when Melodies Cafe asked us who we wanted on our bill, we said “Danielle and Jennifer, please!” and Melodies said, “Hell yes! Let’s make it happen!” And that’s exactly what we did.

We’ll be playing second, giving you a nice blend of new material, goofy stuff, sincere stuff, thunderous songs, tiny songs, and everything in between. We’ve also got a surprise up our sleeve…

In the third and final slot of the evening (read: the loud slot), Melodies asked if we were cool with sharing a stage with Wave Radio since their lead singer/guitarist Colin McGetrick played there recently and tore the place up. We said “Yes please!” and added those dreamy guys to the bill. We love them so much; their atmospheric pop is absolutely FLAWLESSLY executed. I am consistently blown away with these guys every time I hear them. Colin’s voice is just killer; Chris Cotter’s drumming is so tasteful, and perfectly complements the song without ever overplaying, even when he’s playing the hell out of his kit. James McLaughlin plays keys, and makes what he does look so easy… but it’s nearly impossible. He’s basically playing two instruments at once, simultaneously being half the rhythm section as he holds down the bass, while playing a combo lead and rhythm/filler instrument with his other hand. I honestly don’t know how he does it. They’re a trio that sounds like a quintet. We just love them. Doesn’t hurt that they’re also pretty hunky.

It’s gonna be a pretty good lookin’ night, gotta say.

We’ll see you then!

Your pal,



WHO/WHAT: Danielle & Jennifer, HOT BREAKFAST!, and WaveRadio join forces to ROCK YOUR CAFFEINATED FACES OFF
WHERE: Melodies Cafe, 2 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA, 19003
WHEN: Friday, January 30th. Music starts at 8pm sharp. Each band gets a 45/50-ish minute set.
AGES: All ages!
FOOD: Great food and coffee. You may also BYOB!
PARKING: Plenty of it in the lot next door or across the street; also lots of street parking. It’s also SEPTA-friendly!
COVER: $10 in advance, $12 at the door.
FACEBOOK EVENT: Blecch. Facebook. :)

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GIG: Comedy-Music Night, Milton Theatre, Saturday, January 24, 8 PM

by Matt

Considering we are internationally known as Delaware’s Premier Acoustic Dork-Rock Power Duo, we don’t get to the lower half of our home state very often.

Sure, we’ve done some rocking in Clayton and some face-melting in Lewes, and we’d do it again in a heartbeat. But we admit we tend to gravitate toward the north end of our small-but-we-make-up-for-it-with-good-technique state, especially since it butts (huh huh) right up against Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

But we still love our brethren and sistren to the south. So when our brotha-from-anotha-(or possibly the same)-motha Todd Chappelle asked if we would join him for a comedy-music show at the Milton Theatre in lovely Milton, Delaware, we jumped for joy. Then we took some Advil and went straight to bed, because really, we should not be jumping at this age.

This is what we get for expressing joy.

This is what we get for expressing joy.

But I’m burying the lede. The point is this: Hot Breakfast! is joining forces with Todd Chappelle and Nancy Huebner as the Premier Centre for the Arts presents one fantastic night of comedy and music at the Milton Theatre on Saturday, January 24.

You know this already, but Todd’s a comedy songwriter in the vein of Tom Lehrer, Weird Al Yankovic, and Mark Russell. That’s a mighty fine vein, but his style is all his own. We just love this guy – not only is he one of our favorite performers, he’s one of our favorite people. He gets around, too; he’s performed at the New York Funny Songs Festival, the Philadelphia Funny Songs Festival, and the Chicago Comedy Rock Festival. You might know his Homey Award-winning parody tune “I’m From Delaware,” but did you know he won another Homey Award last year for collaborating with a couple of dorks?

This is what happens when we get together. WE WIN SHIT.

This is what happens when we get together. WE WIN SHIT.

Piano-playing singer-songwriter Nancy Huebner draws her inspiration from folk, vaudeville, pop, and showtunes, but like Chappelle, she puts her influences in a blender until they create something unique and original. We love how she combines clever lyrics with eclectic melodies and styles, creating music that’s always thoughtful, whether the song is hilarious, heartbreaking, or somewhere in the middle. We cannot wait to join forces with the lovely Ms. Huebner in our quest to entertain you.

So come laugh with (and at) us at the Milton Theatre. We’ve may have had our differences1 with you in the past, Kent and Sussex Counties, but we cannot stay away for long. Maybe it’s your beaches, your world-famous breweries and ironic hotels, your temporary housing of R. Crumb, or your sadly defunct pan-fried muskrat, but we could never quit you.2


What: Premier Centre of the Arts Presents: A Night of Comedy Music at Milton Theatre
Who: Hot Breakfast!, Todd Chappelle, and Nancy Huebner.
When: Saturday, January 24. 8 pm.
Where: The Milton Theatre, 110 Union Street, Milton, DE 19968 (link goes to Google Maps)
Tickets: $15. You can get ’em online by clicking here. (Clicking. What can’t it do?)
Food & Drink: There might be snacky-food, but you’ll wanna eat dinner before you arrive.
Parking: Plenty.
Facebook Event: You kids and your Facebook. Oy.

Again – come join us, and together we shall end the bitter North-South Delaware feud that has claimed dozens of side-eyes and middle fingers.

Yours and yours alone,
The Suburban Legend (Matt)

– – – – –

1 Confession time. A dozen years ago, my BFF and I nabbed a sweet gig at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington, Delaware several years ago. We were part of a jazz ensemble put together by Joe Trainor for a Bob Newhart concert. We played a couple standards, then we played Newhart on with the theme to The Bob Newhart Show. Later, we played him off to the theme to his 80s show, Newhart. Anyway, an hour before the show, we were backstage, heading out for some fresh air, when Bob’s manager stopped us.
“Hey guys, I have a question for you.”
“Sure thing, sir.”
“Who do you make fun of around here?”
We were puzzled. “Huh? You mean, like…Steve?”
“No, I mean, is there a city or state that Delaware likes to pick on? Like, say, New Jersey?”
“No, if anything, they pick on us,” my friend offered. “But you know who we really like to make fun of?”
We said it together: “
Lower Delaware.”
“Lower Delaware?” the manager repeated.
Suddenly, a small, energetic man appeared behind the door.
Lower Delaware?” the incredulous man asked. “There’s a lower Delaware?”
“There sure is, Mr. Newhart.”
“And you’re sure they make fun of lower Delaware in Wilmington?”
“We’ve never been more sure of anything.”
“Well, all right then. Southern Delaware it is.”
“No no – ‘lower.’ It’s gotta be ‘lower.'” So we’re clear: at this moment, my friend and I were explaining to Bob Newhart
how to deliver his joke.
“Ah. Well, thank you, gentlemen. If the joke bombs, I’ll know who to blame. What are your names?”
“Joe Trainor.”

Nah, I’m just kidding about that last line. We gave him our real names. We had no fear – we knew. And sure enough, he slayed ’em with the “lower Delaware” jokes he told. Bob didn’t turn around and give us a wink or anything (at that point, we were sitting behind him on the bandstand), but that’s okay. As I said – we knew.

Anyway…I’m really sorry about that, Lower Delaware. You deserve better than “Recipient of Cheap Shot” at a Bob Newhart concert. He didn’t really mean it, either. But man, can that guy tell a joke. When those pilots from Lower Delaware had a really difficult time landing their plane, because they found the runway really short, but also quite wide? Damn near busted a gut on that one…

2 I’m sad the Wagon Wheel is defunct because it was an institution, and because my grandmother’s wonderful boyfriend Harry enjoys the occasional pan-fried muskrat. But I just made the mistake of viewing a few photos of said muskrats as they’re being prepared for the pan. They make the dog-head-spider creature from John Carpenter’s The Thing look like Chick-fil-A. I’m pretty sure I’m vegan now.

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STUDIO DOCUMENTARY: January 17 & 18: The Dead Milkmen + Hot Breakfast! = Shaking Through

by Ji11
Behind Joe's head! That's no moon... that's a space stati... Wait. It's actually a giant boob.  (photo by Kyle Cassidy.)

Look! Behind Joe’s head! That’s no moon… that’s a space stati–   wait. No, it’s actually a giant boob.
Photo by Kyle Cassidy.)

A few weeks ago, our pal Rodney emailed me and asked me to put some vocals down on a new song of theirs called “Prisoner’s Cinema.” He said that The Dead Milkmen were going to be recording this song as a part of Weathervane Music’s  Shaking Through documentary series. These “Shaking Through” documentaries are really fascinating to watch, because you see amazingly talented musicians, engineers and producers working together to record a song at Weathervane’s gorgeous Miner Street Recording Studios. The whole thing just unfolds in front of you, and it’s just inspiring to see how other people work.

Rodney sent me a ruff of the track and told me where my vocals should go, but he didn’t write out any actual parts for me. I asked him if he had something specific in mind for me to sing or did he want me to come up with something, so he said (I paraphrase), “Make it yours! Have fun with it! We want this section to be something totally different than the rest of the song, hence female vocals. It’s kinda Irish-y in feel. Go for it!”

So I wrote this chorus-breakdown thing (using his lyrics and their chord changes) with a sorta Irish-sounding melody, and then arranged some lush double-tracked block harmonies, which pretty much nails the whole “something totally different than the rest of the song” requirement. (I love writing and recording layers of harmonies more than you could possibly know, so it was fun. Choir geek and all.)

I sent them a proof-of-concept quick-and-dirty thing just to make sure I was headed in the right direction and Rodney dug it. I recorded another cleaned-up version and all four guys unanimously loved it, so, woot!

I honestly thought that was the end of it. Like, I initially assumed that I was going to make studio-quality .wavs here at Knappshack Studios and email them to the guys to have them plunk into their ProTools session at Weathervane… I just naturally assumed I wouldn’t be part of the video, because nobody’s interested in me particularly… they want The Milkmen, and that’s totally reasonable. But Rodney assured me that they wanted me along for the videoshoot and to record it live, so YAY!

In the beginning, there wasn’t really anything for Matt to do, but once the guys rehearsed the song more, they agreed it made sense to have an acoustic guitar filling things out a bit… so yay, the gang’s all here!

So… we’re headed into the studio with The Dead Milkmen this weekend. I’m really, really excited! The Dead Milkmen are musical heroes of mine, and it’s crazy to think that almost 30 years after I first listened to their music I’m going to be collaborating with them in one of the best studios in Philadelphia as part of a documentary series about musical creativity and collaboration. PINCH ME!

I’m not going to explain the whole Weathervane and Shaking Through ethos here… you can visit their websites and get the story yourselves. (And if you’re looking for a wonderful charity to support, Weathervane is VERY worthy of your dollars.) But in a nutshell, “Shaking Through is a non-profit, community-produced documentary series about the vision and process of recording music.” (That’s a quote from the Shaking Through website.) So at the end of this weekend, we’ll have a new song recorded and mixed, and the whole process will be captured on video as well. There will also be enough footage collected so the Shaking Through people can put together a lush documentary about how the song was recorded. There’ll be interviews, chats with band members, footage of everyone actually playing and cutting tracks, and thoughts from the engineers, producers, and executive producers, too. But what’s EVEN COOLER is that while the cameras are rolling this weekend, you can actually watch the live stream! So anytime this weekend you can click a link and peek in and see how we’re doing in the studio. It’s not a performance– we’ll be working– but you’ll get to be a fly on the wall.

There will also be a chat window, so if you want to say hello, if you have questions for anyone in the studio (band members, engineers, producers, pizza guy, etc.) just type your question in! You can also chat with other people watching, too. It’s a very interactive, collaborative experience. You are absolutely encouraged to interact via the chat window while you’re watching, so please do!

For the musicians in the audience, a still-even-cooler-cooler-cooler byproduct of this Shaking Through session (in addition to the documentary and the finished song) will be the individual tracks of the songs for you to grab! So if anyone is interested in remixing or rearranging the song, they can take the parts we recorded, dump them into your favorite audio-manipulation-tool, and make a new song out of our ingredients. The Shaking Through website has a place for you to upload your new mixes so we can all hear them and collaborate further. It’s such an exciting time to be a musician.

Bottom line: Weathervane is remarkable, and Shaking Through is really something special. Weathervane’s people are thought leaders in the music industry, and we are absolutely honored that we get to be in a room with these folks and learn from them. We’re so grateful to The Dead Milkmen for their generosity in letting us be a part of this recording and experience. We can learn from this. “We can make famous friends, or we can make our friends famous.”

Musicians, there are so many opportunities for growth, sharing, and interacting out there, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Music isn’t a competition. It’s a connection. Let’s do this.


Ji11 & the Suburban Legend
(aka Jill & Matt)


WHO: The Dead Milkmen, with Hot Breakfast! tagging along and helping a bit
WHAT: Recording a new Milkmen song, “Prisoner’s Cinema,” as part of Weathervane Music Collective’s Shaking Through documentary series. You’ll get to watch the recording and mixing live, and also interact with everyone via the chat window once you fire up YouTube
WHERE: We’ll be in Philly. You’ll be watching it streaming live via YouTube via these links: Saturday’s Link. Sunday’s Link.
WHEN: Saturday, January 17, from 11am – 8pm, and more studio goodness on Sunday, January 18 from 10:30 – 6pm.
TICKETS: There are no tickets! You just fire up your browser (or your phone’s YouTube app) and watch!
FACEBOOK EVENT: Here ya go. (Note: We’re not mentioned on the Facebook invite. It’s The Dead Milkmen’s song, not ours. We are merely guests.)

Learn more about Shaking Through:
Become a member of the Weathervane Music Non-Profit:


Hey all!
We’ve been given permission to post the schedule for how the weekend is going to play out, who is recording what and when, etc.
This schedule is only a guideline and may very well change a bit on the fly. Ya gotta be flexible in the studio, ya know. :)

For studio nerds: Here’s a link to the TRACK LISTING SPREADSHEET so you can see what instruments are on what tracks. Follow along at home! This will be used both days.



Video Crew, band members, Executive Producers, recording crew will all arrive at the studio.

11:15 – 11:45: Pre-Session Meeting
Brian, Gabe, Jason and Karen, Matt Schimelfenig will talk about the schedule for the weekend. Light Fare – bagels, coffee, juice, etc.

11:45 – 1:45: Set-up
The band will set up their instruments and Engineer Matt Schimelfenig will set up all drums, bass, scratch guitar, keyboard and scratch vocal mic’s and set levels in preparation for recording the basic track.

1:45 – 2:30: Record Basic Track
The band will record the “basic track” of the song (scratch track). At this stage we prioritize getting a solid drum and bass take of the song, although sometimes the other scratch tracks will also contain “keeper” elements, as well.

2:30 – 3:30: Record Joe’s Guitars
Set-up Joe’s guitar amps in the live room. Re-record Joe’s scratch guitar, along with any additional electric guitar tracks by Joe. (We may switch Joe and Rodney’s times.)

3:30 – 4:00: Rodney’s keys
Set-up Rodney’s keyboards in the live room. Record a “double track” of Rodney’s basic keyboard take. Depending on how well the basic is performed, this track will either replace or serve as a double of the basic keyboard. (Note: We may switch Joe and Rodney’s times.)

4:00 – 5:00: LUNCH
TBD. All crew, production staff, band and Executive Producers will break to EAT.

Sunset @ 5:02 PM

5:00 – 5:45: Record Matt’s Guitars
Set up and record Matt Casarino’s (from Hot Breakfast!) acoustic guitar onto the the final basic track.

5:45 – 6:45: Jill’s Vocals
Record Jill Knapp’s (from Hot Breakfast!) vocals, harmonies, etc.

6:45 – 7:30: Bells + any odd overdubs
Record bells, percussion, oddball samples or effects. This will complete the recording of any instrumental parts for the song.

7:30 – 8:30 Rodney’s Vocals
Record Rodney’s final vocals. We’ll replace Rodney’s scratch vocal from earlier in the day. Rodney will run through the song 3 to 5 times, from which we will compile a final vocal track. This will complete the final tracking for the recording.




10:00am – 2:00pm: Interview
The video crew will interview the members of the band downstairs in the “black box”. (Note: at this time of year, the Black Box room is *cold*. Dress warmly!!!) This will likely include interviews with one person at a time, though there might be some sections of the interview that will include everyone in the band. The interview supplies the story / basic dialog arc for the episode which are edited together with the footage from Day 1.

12:00am – 2:30pm: “Quiet” Mixing
Engineer Matt Schimelfenig will begin mixing the song from Day 1. Because the Black Box room is beneath the studio’s control room, the general volume for mixing earlier in the day will be on the quiet side, so as to not disturb the interview that is happening below.

2:00pm: Hot Breakfast! arrives

2:30pm – 4:30pm: “Loud” Mixing
With the interviews completed downstairs, Matt will now work with any of the louder elements of mixing, which may include “re-amping” (ie. sending recorded elements from the day before through guitar amplifiers in the live room), or simply listening to the mix at louder volumes in order to put the finishing touches on the mix for presentation at the listening party.

4:30pm – 6:00pm: Wrap Party
All artists, video crew, production crew and Executive producers are invited to hear the final recording. We’re also inviting artists, crew and donors from previous and upcoming sessions this month to meet and celebrate the completion of another Shaking Through recording.

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CANCELED: December 27, 7pm, World Cafe Live PHILADELPHIA. Another singer/songwriter showcase! Woot!

by Ji11


It might seem like we’re playing a lot of singer/songwriter showcases lately, but that’s only because we’ve got two in a row on the ol’ calendar. We’re pretty excited about them!

Singer/songwriter showcases get a bad rap. All too often they’re led by shoegazey, self-important 23 year olds who play slow three-chord chunkers with lyrics about breakups. We could see why you’d think that’s a total snoozefest. But singer/songwriter showcases aren’t snoozefests when HOT BREAKFAST! is on the bill! No siree!

NEWSFLASH: Singer/songwriters don’t have to be snoozey.

This might be a photo of other singer songwriter showcase audiences...  BUT NOT OURS.

This might be a photo of other singer songwriter showcase audiences… BUT NOT OURS.

We’re looking forward to playing different songs at this Philly singer/songwriter show than we played at The Queen. We have so many neat songs that we don’t get to play often (the “deep cuts!”), so we’re gonna milk this for all it’s worth!

The format of this evening is exactly opposite that of the showcase at The Queen. Here, each artist gets a 40-minute set. Boom. No round-robin stuff, no small sets… it’s pretty traditional. Don’t get us wrong– we love the format of The Queen’s showcase; it really keeps the night moving. But this format in Philly definitely has its upsides, too: you can really get some good momentum in your set and take the audience on a ride over 40 minutes!

We will be playing different songs in Philly than we are playing in Wilmington, so if you come to both shows (which we’d love!), you won’t be getting many dupes. We’ll also probably play more upbeat, deep cuts in Philly, since World Cafe Live in Philly is less of a listening-room atmosphere. We’ll have to make ourselves heard… though I don’t think anyone has ever had a problem hearing us. :)

IMPORTANT: When you come to the show, please, please be sure to tell the venue that you’re there to see us. You need to mention the band by name, otherwise we don’t get paid. It’s one of those things… and we appreciate you helping us out! </holycrap important font>

Okeedoke– without any further schpiel, here are the…


What: The HYPE Philly presents a Singer Songwriter Showcase!
Who: Hot Breakfast!, of course! Also on the bill are Jill Jacobs, Melissa Clampffer, Dana K Fiero, Emily Mineo, and Maggie Lefczik. It’s an all-female-fronted night!
When: Saturday, December 27. SHOW STARTS at 7PM! Our set starts around 10:00pm give or take.
Where: World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, 3025 Walnut St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104.
Tickets: $10! Cheap! And you can get them right here at the World Cafe Philly website.
Food & Drink: They have it! Pretty fancy and delicious stuff, too. Make sure you get a reservation for a table… a ticket doesn’t guarantee you a table!
Parking: Tons of street parking is available, and there are also garages nearby. Consult your friend Google Maps.
Facebook Event: Here you go!

We hope to see you there! We won’t let you snooze!

Your pal in dork rock,


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GIG: Singer/Songwriter Showcase, World Cafe Live at the Queen, Dec 19, 7:00pm (early!)

by Ji11

Gable Music Ventures runs a monthly showcase which invites singer/songwriters to play their tunes to a quieter crowd. This event used to be called “THE SIX,” and then they changed it to the much less apocalyptic-sounding “Gable Music Singer Songwriter Showcase.” It’s a much more soothing name, isn’t it? “THE SIX” sounds like the poster should have exploding oil tankers and turkey vultures and mushroom clouds and hazmat suits and heirloom seeds and stuff, doesn’t it?



Matt played this event back in October 2013, and we asked Gable if they’d be willing to let Hot Breakfast take the stage. They seemed hesitant, and we completely understand why… the Singer Songwriter Showcase is a quieter event, and doesn’t really lend itself to stage dives or “Mr. Roboto.” (Jill used to run a songwriter coffeehouse back in 2003-2005 called Knappuccino’s, so she knows how hard it is to find the right kind of musician to play the event.) We promised the Gables that if given the chance, we would keep things sincere…besides, it’s not very often we get to play our introspective stuff, as opposed to songs about pants), so it’ll be a treat for us.

Welp, it finally happened… Gable must have run out of people to ask, because guess who’s playing the Singer Songwriter Showcase in December? US, BABY.

We actually have a lot of sincere, non-dorky songs but rarely get a chance to play them… so we’re really looking forward to picking six songs and presenting them to you. If you have any requests, leave them in the comments below. We’re having a pretty hard time deciding, especially because we have so many new songs to choose from too!

The format is pretty neat. There are six artists, and they each get two 15-minute sets. This prevents 1/6 of the audience from walking out after their favorite band is done playing, and we certainly appreciate that. :) Six artists playing a total of 30 minutes each equals a long night, so the show starts at 7pm. Be there on time, kids– they run a tight ship!

OK, enough jibberjabber… here are the details.


What: The Gable Singer Songwriter Showcase: Shaddap and listen to the music… this isn’t the night to yap.
Who: Hot Breakfast!, of course! Also on the bill are C. Lynne Smith, D. Corridori, Kenny Ferrier (if you came to see Angela Sheik at Melodies Cafe in October, you’ve heard him before!), Kevin McCove (we love him!), and Sarah Koon.
When: Friday, December 19. SHOW STARTS at 7PM!
Where: World Cafe Live at the Queen, 500 N Market St, Wilmington DE.
Tickets: $10! Cheap! And you can get them right here at the WCL@Q website. (We don’t have any for sale.)
Food & Drink: They have it! Pretty fancy and delicious stuff, too. Make sure you get a reservation for a table… a ticket doesn’t guarantee you a table!
Parking: There’s a parking garage right next door at between King and Market. So handy!
Facebook Event: Here you go!

We hope to see you there!

Your pal in dork rock,


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GIG: Friday Oct 10, 8:00pm, Extreme Pizza, Wilmington DE

by Ji11

October is Benefit Concert season for us! It does a soul good to donate time, talent, and energy to good causes.

Last weekend we had the honor of singing and playing in City Theater Company’s amazing fund-raising Beatles Tribute at The Queen. The place was packed, and playing over 40 Beatles tunes with 17 singers, a horn section, a string quartet, and a sitar player was absolutely mind-blowing for us.

Tonight and tomorrow we’re playing our usual Philly Primary Stages gig, but this month’s proceeds benefit its parent organization, The Philadelphia Dramatists Center (The PDC).

And this weekend, we have the honor of playing a benefit show for a very important organization: MECA Music Heals. From their website: “MECA Music Heals was founded by Peggy Carroll-Henry and Kevin Henry to unite musicians together to empower abused children in their quest for healing and justice.” If you don’t know the Henrys, they’re the power-couple also known as Minerva, who are known throughout the land for their emotionally-driven rock. And best of all, they’ll be on the bill with us and Tyler McClure this Friday night at Extreme Pizza.


We’re going to keep the night short and sweet, with each band getting a 30-ish minute set, and we should be wrapped by 10PM. If you, like us, are planning on seeing Corey Osby’s James Brown tribute at The Queen, have no fear, as he’ll be taking the stage around 10pm, so you shouldn’t miss very much of his show at all. It’ll be one hell of a night! And who says there’s nothing going on in Wilmington?

WHO: Tyler McClure, HOT BREAKFAST! and Minerva (in that order, yo)
WHEN: Friday, October 10, 2014, 8:00 – 10:00pm
WHERE: Extreme Pizza: 201 N. Market Street, Wilmington DE
WHY: To benefit MECA Music Cares
TICKETS/COVER: Free admission, but some portion of your food bill will benefit MECA. If you’d like to make an extra donation while you’re there, it would be appreciated!
FOOD: The place is called Extreme Pizza. Do we have to spell everything out for you? Come on people.
PARKING: The usual; they have street parking which will be free after 6pm, and there’s always the trusty Queen lot on 5th between King and Market.

Hope to see you there!

Your pal,


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