Hot Breakfast! at DRAGON CON 2016

by Matt

This. Is. Happening.
 

Watch out, nerds – these dorks are comin’ to town.

Hot Breakfast! has been selected to be a House Band at Dragon Con 2016 in Atlanta, GA over Labor Day Weekend. And we could not be more psyched to bring our brand of dork-rock to Dragon Con! We’ve got sets on September 2, 3, and 4 – keep readin’ for the when & where!

You probably know all about Dragon Con – it’s one of the hippest Conventions around, a celebration of pop culture, sci-fi & fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music – pretty much all the things that make life fun. For the 30 years they’ve been around they’ve pulled an amazing selection of guests and entertainers. They have incredible panels, fantastic sessions & programs, and, of course, hundreds of people in incredible costumes. You really should check out the Dragon Con link above to get the full experience, but here’s a very small sampling of some of the Special Guests who will be in attendance in 2016:

  • Sam J. Jones and Melody Anderson – Flash! and Dale! from the 1980 movie Flash Gordon – one of our absolute favorites!
  • Kari Byron – from Mythbusters!
  • Gillian Anderson – from the freakin’ X Files!
  • Lloyd Kaufman and the Troma Team – from TROMA! We love Troma. Matt’s Troma movie and memorabilia collection is a little concerning.
  • Joey Fatone – Matt’s favorite N’SYNC guy! (Second favorite for Jill. Because Justin. She’s not made of wood, guys.)
  • Derek Yaniger (one of our f’real favorite artists)
  • William Shatner (some show from the 60s about stars or something)
  • Alan Tudyk from Rogue One and Firefly / Serenity!  Gaaaah!!! (BROWNCOATS 4 LYFE!)

And holy crap, just so much more. Some incredible authors, artists, actors, performers, and all-around great people will be there.

 

Star Trunk? Start Rex? We’ll come up with it.

We’ve got three sets scheduled:

  • Friday, September 2 at 2:30pm at AmericasMart Concourse Stage II
  • Saturday, September 3 at 5:30pm at Hyatt Concourse Stage I
  • Sunday, September 4 at 1:00pm at Hyatt Concourse Stage I

You can bet we’ll be hanging around the Con the rest of the time, checking out the crazy scene, taking pics, photobombing, and hopefully meeting some of our pop-culture heroes. (If not, no big whoop. We don’t wanna be pushy. We just wanna ROCK. And, y’know, meet Flash & Dale. How amazing would it be to do our version of “Flash!” FOR FRIGGIN’ FLASH AND DALE?!? EeeeeeeEEEEeeee!!!)

Now, this isn’t one of those gigs where you can just pay to see us. You buy a ticket for the entire Con. We’re only one facet of the entertainment here – besides concerts, there are parades, screenings, lectures, panel discussions, autograph sessions, Q&A sessions, and tons of great activities. It’s like a carnival, down to the thousands of Con-goers in cosplay.

So if you’re one of the thousands of people who go to Dragon Con, please look us up – we’d LOVE to see you there! We are gonna be dork-rockin’ with all the dork – and all the rock – we possess inside. As we do.

We have to give a shout-out to the mighty Megan Jean and the Klay Family Band for steering us toward Dragon Con in the first place. We had the good fortune to open for Megan Jean & KFB a couple of years ago, and they strongly recommended we send Dragon Con an application. We applied this year, and – holy crap! We’re in! (A wacky misunderstanding almost scuttled us, but that’s a story for another time.) So thank you, Megan Jean & the KFB! We cannot wait to hear your new album.

DEETS:

WHO: Hot Breakfast! at Dragon Con 2016!

WHEN: Friday, September 2 at 1:30pm (AmericasMart Concourse, Stage II); Saturday, September 3 at 5:30pm (Hyatt Concourse, Stage I); Sunday, September 4 at 1:00PM (Hyatt Concourse, Stage I)

WHERE: Dragon Con is held in a series of participating hotels in Downtown Atlanta. It’s best to check their website for more detailed information.

TICKETS: As of this writing, memberships – your way in to the Con – are still available! Here’s the application page.

PARKING: The lots get filled up REAL quick. If you’re going, shuttles are recommended.

FOOD: Oh, there’s food. Vendors are everywhere.

FACEBOOK EVENT: Here’s the Dragon Con Facebook Page, if you wanna Follow ’em.

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Hot Breakfast! at Dragon Con. This…this is gonna be fun.

All the love,
Matt (The Suburban Legend) & Ji11 (Jilleven)

 

 

 

Oh, of course. Third Star from the Trek.

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GIG: Saturday, July 30: White Horse Winery, Hammonton, NJ

by Matt

How does an elegantly aging dork-rock duo celebrate its birthday?

Good guess, but no.

Good guess, but no.

By ROCKING THE EFF OUT, that’s how!

Of course, when you’re performing in the White Horse Winery, one of the coolest, most beautiful wine-tasting venues on the east coast, you have to moderate your rocking a little. So don’t expect us to just rock out – we’ll be mixing in some gentler stuff as well. In other words, at times we’ll be…”popping out.” Or maybe “folking out.” Hey, both of those sound a little dirty, amirite?

But they're not! They're not!

But they’re not! They’re not!

Hot Breakfast - Tin Angel for Wesbite - smallThe important thing is this: all the way back in the summer of 2010, we got a very important offer to play a gig in Philadelphia. We had been performing together for a little while, but we were just “Jill Knapp & Matt Casarino.” But now that we had the chance to open for our forever-pals the Joe Trainor Trio at the mighty Tin Angel in Philly, we knew we could no longer just be “Jill…I want to say, Clap?” and “Matt Catta…Carsa…just Matt.” We needed a name. Like…a ROCK n’ ROLL NAME. Something that told the audience they were in for a rare treat. Something that let the crowd know they were about to have their faces melted off – and they were gonna like it. It wasn’t gonna be easy, but it had to be done. Choosing a band name is a lengthy, complex process.                                                                              
“Can we be called ‘Hot Breakfast?'” Jill asked.                                     
“Yeah, why not,” I replied.                                  

This famous (?) photo of us was taken at that gig, on July 30th, 2010, when we joined the Trio to perform Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” – a song we continue to break out with those fellas every now and then. So there you have it – as of July 30th, 2016, Hot Breakfast! is officially six years old. Not bad, huh?

To put it mildly, a whole lot has changed since then. But we are still here, still dorky, and still ready to drop whatever we’re doing for the chance to melt some faces.

So come on over to the beautiful White Horse Winery! It’s a new tasting venue that’s hosting live music every weekend – you’ll love it! Once you visit, you’ll never wanna leave. The place opens at noon, and we’ll commence the rocking around 3:00 and play until 6:00. And while you’re there, please wish us a happy birthday. (But please, for the love of Nathon Fillion, don’t sing “Happy Birthday” to us. We’ll handle the singing.)

DEETS:

WHO: Hot Breakfast!, that’s who!

WHEN: Saturday, July 30th, 3 to 6 pm. (They open at noon, so get there nice and early. Just…eat first.)

WHERE: The White Horse Winery. 106 Hall Street, Hammonton, NJ 08037. There are good directions and a map on their site.

TICKETS: Free, baby! (I mean…it’s a winery. You’re expected to taste and purchase some wine. But there’s no fee at the door.) 

PARKING: Seems to be plentiful.

FOOD: NOTHING SUBSTANTIAL. Eat before you arrive. (Many wineries are fine with your bringing cold food in, but I’m not sure this is the case.) Seriously – you’re gonna want to have a glass or two of wine, so please make sure you’ve got a full belly.

FACEBOOK EVENT: Here’s the Facebook Event Link, if ya need one.

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There you have it. Great wine, great tunes, and a Happy Birthday. Please come on over to New Jersey and toast our six years of Hot Breakfasting!

Ready for First Grade,
Matt (The Suburban Legend)

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GIGS: May 20th & 21st: Hot Breakfast! is opening for The Dead Milkmen’s birthday bash at Bar XIII in Wilmington!

by Ji11

PINCH US! Yes, this is really happening– we are really opening up for The Dead Milkmen at their birthday bash on May 20th and 21st at Bar XIII Delaware! It’s quite possible Rodney and Dean wanted to watch us dorks get beat up for their birthday entertainment (or maybe they just wanted to use our house as a green room), but either way, we’re more than OK with (pretty much) whatever happens that night. (Just not in the face, OK?)
Seriously… thank you so much gentlemen for the opportunity! We’ll try not to embarrass you. :) <3

Posted by Hot Breakfast on Tuesday, March 22, 2016

* * * DEETS:* * *

  • WHO: Your pals Hot Breakfast! are opening for punk legends The Dead Milkmen for their birthday bash! Also on the bill is Philly’s oldest punk band Decontrol!
  • WHAT: The Dead Milkmen celebrate both Rodney and Dean’s birthdays with two blowout shows on May 20th and 21st!
  • WHEN: May 20th and 21st, 2016. Doors open at 8pm. Music starts at 9pm sharp with Hot Breakfast! The event ends at 1am sharp.
  • TICKETS: 21+ with ID. $20. Buy your tickets NOW because they will sell out fast, and they won’t be available at the door. Get them here through Ticketfly. (Sorry, we won’t have comps.)
  • WHERE: Bar XIII (formerly Mojo 13, but you should see what they’ve done with the place!) 1706 Philadelphia Pike, Wilmington, DE
  • PARKING: Free parking is available at the venue and the adjacent Dog Groomers’ parking lot with additional overflow parking after 10pm at the Mexican restaurant next door. If you live in Philly, they are arranging a shuttle for $10 that leaves from 4th & Bainbridge at 6pm. More info behind the ticket link.
  • FOOD: The Plum Pit Food Truck will be there both nights, so bring yer dollars and an appetite, because they are TASTY! Bar XIII, as you may deduce from the venue name, has lots of drinks. :)
  • It's The Dead Milkmen's birthday bash!

    It’s The Dead Milkmen’s birthday bash!

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    We’re heading back to SXSW, kids! (Deets TBA.)

    by Ji11

    sxsw-music-logo-2016

    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 for the past two years were asked back. Yee-haw! We’re famous!

    We’re still waiting on the specifics re: when and where we’re playing, but keep your eyes peeled on this very post (we’ll be updating this entry), and as we learn more, we’ll keep you in the loop.


    So that’s the news for now, which we realize isn’t really news other than “Wheee! We’re going, and we know it’s official because we’ve been given plane tickets.” So we promise to keep you posted… stay tuned! Until then, we really hope to see you at one of these other performances we have dotting our calendar.

    Your pal in dork rock,

    Ji11

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

    by Ji11

    image

    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…

    DEETS:

    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
    SXSW WRISTBAND NEEDED? Nope!
    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
    SXSW WRISTBAND NEEDED? Nope!
    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!
    SXSW WRISTBAND NEEDED? Nope!
    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


    WHEN: Sunday, March 22, TIME TBD, IF IT’S EVEN HAPPENING AT ALL.
    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
    SXSW WRISTBAND NEEDED? Nope!
    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,

    Ji11

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    VOTE for HOT BREAKFAST! in the HOMEY AWARDS!

    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.

    Love,
    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,

    Ji11

    DEETS:

    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.
    TICKET LINK: http://www.melodiescafe.com/event/760937-wave-radio-hot-breakfast-ardmore/
    FACEBOOK EVENT: Blecch. Facebook. :)

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

    by Ji11

    WE ARE NOT PLAYING TONIGHT AT THIS SHOW– WE HAVE THE PLAGUE. THE OTHER ARTISTS ARE STILL PERFORMING!

    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…

    …DEETS:

    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,

    Ji11

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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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    GIG: Friday July 11, 7pm: Portland OR with The Industrial Jazz Group

    by Ji11

    It was on a high school band trip in 1986 when a high school junior named Andrew Durkin found out Jill Knapp could sorta carry a tune. A musical partnership was born that year and never stopped.

    Andrew and Jill were in a zillion bands together in high school, college, and beyond… in NJ, in Los Angeles, and even in Portland. No matter how far apart they lived from each other, they still found ways to collaborate across the miles.

    In 2000, Andrew created a small jazz combo who eventually called themselves The Industrial Jazz Group. When they needed a singer, Andrew called on Jill despite them living several states away. Over the next few years The Industrial Jazz Group grew in size from a quintet to a septet, to a nonet (9 pieces) to a dectet (10 pieces), and eventually all the way to a a 17-piece monstrosity. They toured extensively around the US and Europe, and their music even served as as bumper music for various NPR segments and shows. Critics almost universally loved them (except for one stabby New York Times review, but hey, even bad press is good press, right?) Neat!

    What, you never saw a jazz singer dressed as a bee before? (Hague Jazz Festival 2007)

    What, you never saw a jazz singer dressed as a bee before? (Hague Jazz Festival 2007)


    In 2007 The Industrial Jazz Group played at The Hague Jazz Festival in The Netherlands, as well as at the world-famous Bimhuis in Amsterdam. From the Amsterdam show, the band got a magnificent live recording which ultimately became their 2008 release “LEEF” (which loosely translates to “Live” in Dutch).

    Andrew took a hiatus from The Industrial Jazz Group so he could focus on writing a book (which comes out this November!), and coincidentally during that time, Hot Breakfast! gained lots of momentum… so Jill never stopped performing. It’s very different to front a big band dressed as a bee than it is to be one-half of an acoustic dork-rock power duo… but it’s an absolute joy either way.

    These days, the center of Jill’s musical universe is undoubtedly Hot Breakfast!, but it sure feels nice to play with The Industrial Jazz Group when the rare opportunity arises… it’s like seeing old, dear friends and picking up where you left off as if no time has passed at all.

    ANYWAY. All of that history is to tell you that this Friday is a dream come true for Jill: A joint gig of the two bands that are the great loves of her life. It’s happening in one of her favorite cities: Portland, Oregon, which has been the new home of The IJG since about 2006.

    The show is taking place in a multi-purpose coffeehouse space in Portland called Tabor Space. The place has events ranging from yoga to children’s music classes to touring rock bands and fancy coffee tastings. It’s so very Portland. What’s not to love?

    If you’re a regular reader of this website, there’s a good chance you’re located on the east coast… so we really don’t expect you to show up to this show. But if you know anyone in Oregon who is looking for a somewhat family-friendly musical experience this weekend, send them our way.

    DEETS:
    WHO: Hot Breakfast and The Industrial Jazz Group!
    WHERE: Tabor Space, 5441 SE Belmont St, Portland, Oregon 97215
    WHEN: Friday, July 11, 2014. Doors open at 7:00. Hot Breakfast plays at 7:30sharp; IJG plays at 8:30. We have to be out of the building by 10pm, so it’ll be an early night.
    COVER: $10-$15, sliding scale.
    FOOD: I don’t think there’s food, but there will likely be coffee. It is Portland, after all.
    FACEBOOK EVENT: Here ya go! http://www.facebook.com/events/867466406600726/

    This is gonna be one hell of a show. We can’t wait.

    Your pal,

    Ji11

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