GIG: Saturday May 6th 7PM House Concert in Folcroft PA — You’re invited!

by Matt

If you wish to attend, or want more information, send an email to raysings@gmail.com.

If you’ve never been to a house concert before, it really is one of the coolest ways to experience live music; we love them. House concerts are a warm, fun, inviting environment, often with snacks, and always with a small but friendly (yet not overwhelming) group of music-loving people… and a great view! House concerts enable the performers to play songs they don’t normally get to play, and to tell stories behind the songs if the moment feels right. Think of it like chamber music for the 21st century indie music scene!

Or, just think of it as people making music for you in a house. That works too. :)

Ray Naylor himself will play a set before we take the stage. We love his music – he’s a huge fan of Phil Ochs, and it shows – but his original compositions are pure Ray. We think he’s actually in the dorky realm too, with humorous, insightful, clever, and well-crafted songs that will have you chuckling. It’s going to be a wonderful night of great music, laughter, and snackages.

Prepare to snicker.

To attend, send Ray an email at:
raysings@gmail.com.
Let him know you’re interested in the May 6th show with Hot Breakfast! He’ll send you an email with of all the necessary information.

But do it quickly – seating is extremely limited, and is filling up fast. Don’t be afraid to come by yourself. It’s not awkward, we promise. And don’t worry, you don’t need to bring food. ;-)

If you can’t attend in person, Ray will probably stream it live online, too. Keep your eyes here for the link to watch it online!

DEETS

WHO: Hot Breakfast! and Ray Naylor play a house concert!
WHEN: Saturday, May 6th, 2017. Doors open at 6:45, music starts at 7:00 sharp!
WHERE: This wonderful space in Ray’s house that he remodeled just for house concerts and video shoots! It’s in Folcroft, PA, which is a very cute neighborhood that’s somewhat close-ish to the Philly Airport.
FOOD: Ray and his wonderful wife provide all of the food and libations (finger foods and snacky things), so you just have to show up! You don’t need to bring anything.
TICKETS: To attend, email Ray at raysings@yahoo.com and let him know how many seats you want. He’ll email you back with all of the details (e.g., his address, where to park, directions, details, etc.) The suggested donation is $15, and all money goes to the performers. (We thank you for your support!)
PARKING: Plenty of safe parking.
FACEBOOK EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/1851924908406555/
STREAMING LINK: Don’t know yet. We won’t have the URL until we’re closer to showtime. Keep your eyes peeled here.

Please come. You can’t go wrong. If you’ve never attended a house concert, this one is a great one to start with. You’ll be hooked!

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SUPPORTING GIGS: March 11th with Noelle Picara, and March 31st with Mark Thousands

by Ji11

We love being Hot Breakfast!, Delaware’s premier acoustic dork-rock power duo. We love playing our songs, and we love our stage act, and we’re very lucky that we get to do what we do. Lately we’ve been getting to scratch a slightly different itch, by doing “support work” (also known as “utility playing”) where we are hired to bulk up other bands when they want a fuller sound in their live shows.

You’ve probably seen us do this utility work when we add guitars and backing vocals to the normally guitarless Joe Trainor Trio, or when we play 47 different instruments in various tribute shows (Billy Joel, Queen, Pink Floyd, Genesis, etc.) Just last week, our heroes Glim Dropper asked us to bulk up their numbers at the Homey Awards so they could play some David Bowie tunes to close out the night, and we jumped on that! They told us the songs, and the first time we played through them was on that stage in front of the audience… and it was A RUSH.

Some people get a rush by skydiving, skiing, or white-water rafting… but my kind of excitement is when professional musicians ask me to learn a song and then we play it live with next to no rehearsal. You rely on your talent (which you’re born with), your skills (which you hone over years of practicing and performing), and by opening a communication channel in your brain/heart which lets other musicians (who also know this unspoken and super-subtle language of musicians) communicate by feeling. Opening this communication channel is a very intimate thing– you’re letting people (people you admire, at that!) see your very core: they can see your skills and abilities, but also your shortcomings… where you were late on an entrance, where you were a touch sharp on a phrase. You’re very vulnerable there… but that’s also part of the rush because you need confidence to let people in. But hoo lordy though… when everyone’s plugged in, you’re part of this Borg-like collective… feeling who is leading a particular section, looking at each other to know who is going to take a solo, intuiting how we’re going to end this song that fades out on the album but we didn’t rehearse it… and sticking the landing.   That is the ultimate rush for me, and it’s also the ultimate honor– because performing that kind of feat (hopefully) looks easy, but it’s like mountainclimbing with a buddy. You have to trust them entirely, because up there you do NOT have time for guessing or missed turns. So when a pro asks me to work with them on that type of project, it’s a HUGE honor, because it means they trust me and they believe in my skills, and they know that I’ll have their back just like they’ll have mine. It’s a beautiful thing.

In 2016, we have a bunch of supporting/utility shows and we are VERY excited about them! We actually have two in the month of March. The first supporting show is with Noelle Picara on 3/11, and the second is with Mark Thousands on 3/31. These are two musicians I respect very, very deeply. Noelle has a Masters Degree in music, and Mark has millions of worldwide touring miles under his wheels with his various bands.

Is she flying or floating? YES.

Is she flying or floating? YES.

On Friday, March 11th at 7pm, Noelle Picara is having a record release show for her album “My Own Frankenstein” which is coming out on vinyl only. How cool is that? To commemorate it, she’s putting together a really interesting and exciting show (plus it’s also one of her only shows in Wilmington in 2016, so this is the time to see her if you’re in Delaware). If you missed any of Noelle’s shows in the last two years, or if you want a rerun, you can get all of the highlights at this one show: songs from the 2014 performance of Tori Amos’ Little Earthquakes, fun 80s covers from our sweeeet collaboration at the kickass Cooldog House Concert in December 2015, and new songs from Noelle’s original show “Alone With All of You: A Valentine’s Alternative.” In addition to us, Noelle’s band will also be augmented by Rachel Schain singing, Christina von Duyke on violin and voice, Sheila Hershey on cello and voice, Wes Morton on drums, and Sam Nobles on bass.

DEETS #1:

WHO: Noelle Picara and a bunch of people augmenting her band!
WHAT: Noelle’s vinyl release show for her song “My Own Frankenstein.” She will have two opening bands and a rotating door of musicians to support her chameleon-like music!
WHEN: FRIDAY, March 11th. The show starts at 7:00 with two opening bands, and Noelle is scheduled to start playing at 8:15ish.
WHERE: World Cafe Live at the Queen, 500 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE.
TICKETS: Tickets are $10. Buy them online here, or at the door at the Queen.
PARKING: There’s a parking lot on 5th, between King Street and Market, for $5. Best deal in town. Safe, comfortable, clean, guarded lot. FOOD: They’ve got a full kitchen and bar at The Queen, so come hungry and thirsty!
FACEBOOK EVENT: Sure, if you’re into that sort of thing. Here it is!
 
 

Let us pray...

Let us pray…

Our second utility show of March will be at The Bellefonte Cafe on Thursday, March 31st at 8PM*, and we’ll be supporting the jaw-droppingly captivating Mark Thousands. If you’ve never experienced Mark Thousands, we’re hoping you’ll come to this show and have your doors blown off. When you first see Mark, you see this very tall, lean man with ridiculously awesome hair and many, many, many intricate tattoos. Sometimes, caehand and finger and neck tattoos can sometimes be nature’s way of saying “Do not touch,” but in Mark’s case, it’s the symbol for “I have beautiful stories and grand secrets to tell you if you’ll kindly listen.” His guitar skills are satiny smooth (I LOVE his alternate tunings!), and his voice is this seamless instrument that likely spans three octaves with no break. His pitch is dead-on. He takes his music so seriously, and every single note and phrase is hand-polished until it glistens and gleams burning a hole in your retina. I don’t normally get super-jazzed about mostly slow, cerebral, confessional singer/songwriter guitar songs… at a Mark Thousands performance, I hang on every. single. word. He’s astoundingly wonderful. And what’s cool? He asked me and Matt to support him as he pays tribute to one of his biggest heroes: David Bowie. We’ll be doing some interesting and unusual arrangements of a few Bowie songs– songs you know, and songs you may not. I promise they will be captivating.

DEETS #2:

WHO: Mark Thousands and the spirit of The Thin White Duke.
WHAT: This is Mark’s show 100%. We’re just adding voices and guitar and keys to a few of the David Bowie songs he’s including in his set.
*WHEN:
THURSDAY, March 31st. The show starts promptly at 8:00. (Normally shows start at 7pm at Bellefonte, so Mark’s 8pm start time may change. It also may not… it ain’t my show, and it’s not my venue. :) Either way, stay tuned, or just double-check here before you leave the house. I promise to keep this updated.)
WHERE: Bellefonte Cafe, 804 Brandywine Boulevard, Wilmington, DE. 19809
TICKETS: This is a free show, but musicians get paid when patrons stuff the tip jars. If you’re attending the show, think about how much you’d spend on a ticket and consider tipping in that ballpark.
PARKING: There is plenty of free street parking in the neighborhood.
FOOD: They’ve got a full kitchen and bar at Bellefonte, so come hungry and thirsty! If it’s been a while since you’ve been to Bellefonte, it’s under new owners, and they still have many things off Donna’s old menu, but the food comes out MUCH faster. :)
FACEBOOK EVENT: Allrighty, if you must. :) Here it is!

We hope to see you at these shows! We promise they’ll be nothing short of wonderful.

Your pal,

Ji11

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Our 2nd CD Release show: 12/5 near Dover/Smyrna, DE: Cooldog Concerts – with NOELLE PICARA!

by Ji11
Noelle Picara + Hot Breakfast! = HOT PICARA! or Noelle Breakfast?  Either way... WAY SEXY.

Noelle Picara + Hot Breakfast! = HOT PICARA! or Noelle Breakfast? Either way… WAY SEXY.

If you weren’t able to attend our CD release show at the Blue Ball Barn this past weekend, or maybe you want to hear those songs again with those same people– we have our SECOND and FINAL album release show — and this one is happening on 12/5 in Clayton, DE. Clayton is kinda near Smyrna and Dover. It’s smack in the middle of our small state, and it’s the perfect place for us to have our second record release show for “The Big Reveal.”

This is in his HOUSE. Seriously.  (And you thought you were cool because you had an XBOX 360.)

This is in his HOUSE. Seriously. (And you thought you were cool because you had an XBOX 360.)

If you’re from New Castle County, you might think, “Clayton? Why would I drive all the way to Clayton?” Well, because Clayton is home to a unique and exciting concert series that’s been going on for almost 15 years, called Cooldog House Concerts. What is it? I’m really oversimplifying here, but essentially: There’s a professional sound guy named Paul who basically turned his house into a performance venue. Really. We’re not kidding. It’s AMAZING. Like, it has a gorgeous stage (with a curtain!), 12=foot ceilings, venue seating, and a world-class sound system, fancy lighting, and everything! In his HOUSE. (I know! Amazing, right??)

Cooldog is like an underground phenomenon, and he attracts musicians and bands from all around the WORLD to play at his place– it is famous for being comfortable, intimate, and FUN, and the best way to experience live music. It’s also a great way to meet fellow music fans as well as mingle with the musicians themselves. There’s even a pre-show pot-luck if you wanna eat with us before the music begins.

We can’t give the exact address since it is some guy’s home, but when you buy your ticket, the precise address will be emailed to you along with your ticket. It adds to the mystery. It’s like a music speakeasy!

We are sharing the bill with no other than Noelle Picara and her outstanding band, and we’re going to make it an 80s-themed night! So in addition to our bands’ own original music, we’ll each be adding a ton of 80s covers in there. So put on your best parachute pants and we’ll do this together. (Will Jill dress as Annie Lennox or David Bowie? Hmmmmm…)

It is an HONOR to be asked to play at this venue, and we are thrilled to offer a second opportunity to everyone to dig our CD release show! Because there’s even a possibility Glim Dropper will make an appearance to bulk up our band again, too!

Will it be a carbon-copy, song-for-song, of our CD release show? Absolutely not, and that’s why if you went to the Blue Ball Barn show you should also come to this one. But if you missed that show, you will still get to hear us in a rare, bulked-up format. We’ll have three backing singers so we’ll be doing “Going Your Way,” and bring a hanky because we’ll also be doing “Ten More Years.”

Have we mentioned how cool it is to get to play here? This same stage that has been graced by some pretty huge names? WHEEEE! We’re excited! Come share the experience with us!

DEETS:
WHO: Hot Breakfast! and Noelle Picara (with her full band), plus added bonuses of Penny Carmack and Rachel Schain adding some rockin’ vocals to both our set and Noelle’s too!
WHAT: It’s an 80s-themed night! Noelle will play a blistering set with her full band, and so will Hot Breakfast! as they release their new CD “The Big Reveal” to our lower-Delaware pals. When either band does covers, they’ll be 80s covers, babyyyyy!
WHEN: Saturday, December 5th, 2015. Doors open at 6:30 with a pot-luck dinner. Bring a snack or dessert to share. Really. (If you have special dietary needs, bring what you know you can eat.) You should eat dinner before going to the show, though.
WHERE: At Paul The Sound Guy’s House, somewhere in Clayton, DE. (Clayton is near Dover/Smyrna.) His exact address will be e-mailed to you once you buy your ticket(s).
TICKETS: Tickets are $15 ($10 for ages 10-18 and also for active military) and MUST be pre-purchased. If you decide to bring a pal or two at the last minute, that’s cool… but at least one of you needed to RSVP in advance. (Otherwise how would you know where to drive to?) Get your tickets HERE.
PARKING: There’s plenty of parking at his house.
FOOD: Pot-luck dinner. Bring what you can eat, and eat what other people bring, too. More details about the food will be emailed to you.
FACEBOOK EVENT:Tadaa! http://www.facebook.com/events/559771770838647/
I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS BECAUSE THIS IS A SLIGHTLY UNUSUAL KIND OF SHOW: No problem! Here’s the Cooldog Concerts FAQ. They know best.
We really hope to see you there. This is a pretty big deal, and we’re so excited for the opportunity!

Your pal,

Jill

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CD RELEASE SHOW for our new album: THE BIG REVEAL! Saturday Nov 14, 8PM (doors at 7)

by Ji11

LADIES AND GERMS, THE TIME HAS COME. You’ve been oh so patient… and now we can REVEAL… this album that was in the works for 18 months, and that we are absolutely head-over-heels in love with: The Big Reveal. It’s time to CELEBRATE as we unleash this new album with a blowout show at The Blue Ball Barn at Alapocas Run State Park in Wilmington, DE.

Artwork by Nathan Hardoin and Joe del Tufo. You're seeing it here first, kids.

Artwork by Nathan Hardoin and Joe del Tufo. You’re seeing the album artwork here first, kids!

We will be joined by Glim Dropper in this special concert event. After the awesome Glim Dropper opens the show, they’ll back us on several tunes, including brand-new songs from our new full-length album The Big Reveal! Other guests include Joe Trainor and Kevin Niemi (from The Joe Trainor Trio), Joe Testa Noelle Picara (from Noelle Picara’s band), the fabulous Penny Carmack, Rachel Schain, Rodney Anonymous (!!!), Todd Chappelle, and more. (Don’t worry – we’ll be playing lots as an acoustic duo as well. It’s what we do.)

The doors open at 7pm so you can grab a beverage and some great post-dinner finger food from Bachetti Bros., and then the music starts at 8pm sharp! You’ll also be first in line to purchase The Big Reveal, the new album produced by Ritchie Rubini. The Big Reveal is loaded with original and highly eclectic rock n’ roll, a mix of styles from 70s “Mellow Gold,” analog synths of the 80s, blistering punk rock, and even rockabilly– all infused with that unmistakable Hot Breakfast! dorkiness you know and love. Guests on the album include Jake and the Stiffs, Angela Sheik, Cooke Harvey from The Splashing Pearls, and many more.

Don’t miss this unique and incredibly fun night of music at one of Wilmington’s true treasures – The Blue Ball Barn, a historic museum at the new Alapocas Run State Park in Wilmington, Delaware. It’s a really cool space; you’ll dig it.

DEETS:

  • WHAT: Our long-awaited CD release party for our new album The Big Reveal
  • WHEN: Saturday November 14th. Doors open at 7pm, music starts promptly at 8pm
  • WHO: Hot Breakfast! Glim Dropper, and pals!
  • WHERE: The Blue Ball Barn at Alapocas State Park: 1914 W Park Dr, Wilmington, Delaware 19803. (You’ve seen this place from Concord Pike about 1000 times and always wondered what it was. Now you’ll know!)
  • CLICK THIS! It will help you find the place.

    CLICK THIS! It will help you find the place.

  • PARKING: Free parking in their lot.
  • FOOD/DRINKS: Please eat dinner BEFORE you show up. We won’t have dinner for you, merely snacks, because what’s a party without snacks? These are catered finger-food simple snacks (cheese & crackers, fancy fruit, little delicious desserty things) but this is a gig in a museum, not a wedding in a restaurant. :-) There will NOT be any substantial food for sale. Snackages are included in the price of your ticket and will be mostly available pre-show — from 7-8pm or until we run out. :-)  Simple, non-boozy beverages (Water, iced tea, lemonade) are also included in the cost of your ticket. Beer and wine (only), soda, and bottles of foo-foo water will be available for (cash-only) donation.
  • KID FRIENDLY?  This event is not geared for kids, and we won’t be watching our language… but with that said, we don’t really drop many F-bombs anyway. Maybe 4th grade and up? You know your kid best, not us. As long as they won’t be distracting, go for it. :)
  • TICKETS: http://hotbreakfast.brownpapertickets.com  They are $20 each online, and will be $25 at the door if it’s not sold out. If you’re buying at the door, we will have the ability to take plastic. (The bar will be cash only, however.)
  • CDs: All of our recordings will be available at this show. 39 Summers and The Big Reveal are $10 each; our 2012 “HOT BREAKFAST!” EP (which includes “An Idiot for Christmas” will be available for $5. We can take plastic.
  • Facebook Event: http://www.facebook.com/events/1019265348115096

That’s all the news!

We are SO EXCITED to share this music with you. We worked on it for 18 months, and we think it’s worth the wait. We hope you’ll agree. :)

See you soon!

Your pals,

Jill & Matt

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GIG: Saturday Nov. 7th: HOT BREAKFAST! and the Joe Trainor Trio at the Smyrna Opera House

by Ji11

It was over five years ago when the Joe Trainor Trio had a show at the Tin Angel in Philadelphia and they needed an opener. Matt and I had just settled on the name “HOT BREAKFAST!” even though we’d been collaborating for years, that night in July of 2010 was our first official show as Hot Breakfast!, and we packed the place.

So we have a pretty long history of playing with JT3 as HB!, but we’ve collaborated with Joe (individually and as a duo) even as far back as 2003.
Hot Breakfast! and longtime pals The Joe Trainor Trio bring a high-energy show to the Smyrna Opera House. Both will be playing their own original songs, with Hot Breakfast’s signature “acoustic dork-rock” sound which highlights Matt Casarino’s award-winning, clever and amusing songs and Jill Knapp’s award-winning vocals. Hot Breakfast! also won “Best Live Act” of 2014, and you’ll see why at this show.

Joe Trainor Trio, another group of award-winning musicians, bring their signature sound of piano-based rock that also features their prog influences as well.

This show will be a treat for both music nerds and people just looking to hear some high-energy (and occasionally funny!) songs from two fantastic bands.

At the end of the night, there may be a special treat where they join forces to form a supergroup: Joe Trainor Breakfast? Hot Trainor? We’ll let you all decide.

See you there!

Info and tix: https://www.facebook.com/events/490307241147613/

image

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GIG: Friday Oct. 30th, The Trocadero, with The Dead Milkmen (yes, I really typed that.)

by Ji11

The Dead Milkmen are very kind to us. Earlier this year we recorded a song with them called The Prisoners Cinema and a Shaking Through documentary was made of the two-day recording session. We played with them at Slim’s in San Francisco in April, and then opened for them at Crash Bang Boom in Philadelphia (which was the most crowded and most fun show we’ve ever played EVER). And on October 30th, The Dead Milkmen are playing a show at The Trocadero, and we’ll be playing with them. It’s true, our name isn’t on the marquee, but it’s because we’re kinda part of the Milkmen in a way. I believe Dean called us “The Dead Milkmen Ladies Auxiliary.” We’re OK with that.

DEETS:
WHO: The Dead Milkmen joined onstage by HOT BREAKFAST! for a song or two
WHEN: Friday October 30, 2015. Doors open at 7, music starts at 8pm. Two opening bands: Fight Fuck or Dance, and Ego Likeness
WHERE: The Trocadero, 1003 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA.
TICKETS: $22 – $25, available here: https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/948091?utm_medium=bks

Come dance with us until it’s time for us to play, and then cheer us on as we play with our punk heroes!

Your pal,

Jill

Recording

Recording “The Prisoners Cinema” with The Dead Milkmen at Miner Street Studios in Philadelphia; January 2015, for Weathervane Music’s “Shaking Through” documentary series.

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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.

DATES:

  • 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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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

DEETS:

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?”
“Who?”
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.

Love,

Ji11 & the Suburban Legend
(aka Jill & Matt)

DEETS:

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: http://weathervanemusic.org/shakingthrough
Become a member of the Weathervane Music Non-Profit: http://weathervanemusic.org/membership


UPDATE!

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.

DAY 1: SATURDAY JANUARY 17.

YOUTUBE LINK FOR PEOPLE TO WATCH TODAY’S LIVESTREAM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQdhxhchg0c

11:00am: CREW CALL / BAND CALL
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.

8:30pm: FINISH DAY ONE.


DAY TWO: SUNDAY JANUARY 18, 2015.

YOUTUBE LINK FOR PEOPLE TO WATCH TODAY’S LIVESTREAM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvgKHFItRIs

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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BLOG: Super-secret thing…

by Ji11

Wow. It’s been a long time since I’ve used this as a blog. But hey! Carpe diem and stuff!

So, I have a confession.
It always made me crazy when artists would coyly say “Oooh, we’re involved in this super-secret project, but we toootally can’t talk about it.”

I always rolled my eyes a little at those updates. “Oh REALLY? You really can’t talk about it? Riiiiight. Way to build false buzz and intrigue just to get some clicks and Likes.”

Welp, guess what? We are now THAT BAND. We are *actually involved* in a super-secret project that, seriously, no lie, no false anything, we’re genuinely not allowed to talk about. There are lawyers and stuff involved (in a good way)! All I can tell you is that it involves my musical heroes The Dead Milkmen, and I’m so excited that I just can’t hide it and I’m about to lose control and I think it’s pretty darn spiffy. 16-year-old me is DYING and running around the house screaming, and 43 year old me is also DYING and running around the house screaming. :) Seriously, I am beyond honored and unspeakably excited about this project, and I cannot wait until I’m allowed to share it with you all.

These are the gentlemen from The Dead Milkmen. They're not talking about it either.

They’re not talking about it either.

So, to all those artists I rolled my eyes at, I owe you an apology. I’m sorry that I doubted you. I now get it. There are some things you’re really not allowed to talk about. And yeah, they really are exciting. :)

xoxo,

Ji11

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