The Making of 39 Summers

by Matt

It all started with a friendly email sent around Halloween of 2012.

“Hi guys, hope all is well,” it read. “Wondering if you two would be interested in doing some BGVs for a local talent.”

The email was from Ray Gagliardino, the owner of Studio 825 in Wilmington, Delaware. After we figured out that BGV probably meant “background vocals” (a process that took roughly a half hour), we agreed – especially after learning the “local talent” was our buddy Brene Wilson, an amazing singer-songwriter we met years ago.

“Great!” he replied. “As a kickback I would like to record three of your originals here.”

Studio 825 was well-known to each of us, mostly because the Joe Trainor Trio recorded Twelve Stories, their latest (kick-ass) album, there. Jill and I went in separately to contribute to that Joe Trainor Trio album; Jill sang, I played sax. And we were both wowed by both the capabilities of the studio and Ray’s relaxed but focused approach to producing. It had been a year or two since we’d been in a studio (Jill records and tours with The Industrial Jazz Group), but we immediately fell in love with the glory and romance of working in Ray’s studio in particular. Both of us love the process of recording, of building music, and making music in Ray’s studio filled us with excitement.

And we knew that it was time to record an album.

Brene Wilson, Jill, Ray Gagliardino, and Matt can totally see you right now.

Brene Wilson, Jill, Ray Gagliardino, and Matt can totally see you right now.

It’s not like we hadn’t recorded as Hot Breakfast stuff before – we recorded and mixed our self-titled EP over the spring and summer at Knappshack Studios (i.e., Jill’s living room). With a simple Tascam interface, Cubase 6, a few half-decent mics and cables, and a willingness to take chances and make a lot of mistakes, we came up with six recordings we were relatively happy with (turns out, a few people agreed). Most of the songs on our EP were strictly acoustic, but “It Only Takes Two to Rock” was filled with drums, electric guitars, basses, overdubbed vocals, and surprise percussion. Building that song was a pleasure, and it filled us with the desire to record more tracks with a hard-edged, rock sound – just the way we’ve been hearing them in our heads.

It only takes Jill to Rock!

It only takes Jill to rock!

Now, even though Hot Breakfast! is an acoustic duo, we like to think we’re a full-on punk/hard-rock/pop band. Sure, we perform with one guitar and two voices, but we hear electric guitars, drums, basses, keyboards, a backing chorus – the works. (We should probably seek help.) And we really wanted our first album to capture that feeling that only existed in our minds, that encompassing, joyful caterwaul we sacrificed somewhat when we decided to perform as an acoustic duo.
 
Basically, we wanted to rock.
 
Now, when he made his offer, Ray believed we wanted to record as an acoustic duo. Full-band recordings take a lot more time and planning, and for a studio, time is money. His offer was generous, but he hadn’t intended on being quite that generous. So when we went in to sing on Brene’s songs (which are awesome, by the way – he’s one of our favorites), we told Ray that yes, we absolutely want to record at his studio, but we want to pay his regular rate, because we wanted five songs – three with a full band.
 
A few looks at our schedules, a very kind agreement on rates, and a handshake or two later, and we were on the calendar to record at Studio 825.

* * * * *

Hot Breakfast! is, and will always be, Jill + Matt. Jill takes the lead vocals, I take background vocals and play guitar. But while we both play a few different instruments and can pull off some impressive tricks on our home studio (with a few overdubs and many, many takes), we knew we needed some fabulous guest musicians to really make many of the tracks come alive. Fortunately, we knew right where to go.
 
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – Delaware is currently the home to an incredibly talented and welcoming community of musicians. The folks making original music around these parts aren’t just some of our favorite musicians – they’re some of our favorite people. We help each other out, we support each other, we look at each other as peers, not rivals. So when it came time to find musicians to join us in the studio, we didn’t have to look far.
 
For “Defender” – a song I wrote back in the 90s, when people were just learning to walk upright, the choices were easy: Joe Testa on guitar, Kevin Niemi on bass, and Jeff Dement on drums. No question. Kevin and Jeff are, of course, the rhythm section of The Joe Trainor Trio, and you won’t find musicians who rock harder. Joe Testa, who has been one of my best friends for many years, is simply one of the best rock guitarists in the area – a monster player with amazing versatility.
 
We took a different approach for “39 Summers” and “Act Surprised,” mostly for scheduling reasons – we needed a drummer who could record in the morning, leaving us the rest of the day to work on guitar, piano, and vocal tracks. Enter Ritchie Rubini, a Delaware legend who played with some massively popular and successful local bands, including The Caulfields, Matt Sevier, and Angela Sheik. Ritchie is a wonderful drummer and producer (more on that later) and, much to our delight, agreed to play drums on the songs.

We don’t know what’s going on in this video either.

There were two tunes we decided to record at Studio 825 – “Gravity” and “Hole in Your Pants” – with only our voices and my guitar. So there it was – five songs, two Hot Breakfast!ians, and a whole lot of backing talent. It was time to go to work.

We got to Ray’s studio the morning of November 26, 2012. By early afternoon, Ritchie had recorded the drums and percussion for “39 Summers” and “Act Surprised,” and man, did they sound sweet. After hearing each song only a couple times, Ritchie nailed the feel we were after – his drumming is both technically brilliant and filled with personality. We loved working with him, and were thrilled with the result. We added some guitar and vocal tracks and called it a (really great) day.

The next night, Jeff came in with his kit, and we knocked out the drums for “Defender.” Jeff just killed it – his style was perfectly suited to the Pixies-like feel we were after. Our only regret is that the song didn’t have more drums, actually. And the next day, when Kevin knocked out his bass parts on all three songs, we were even more excited – Ray captured the sound beautifully, and Kevin attacked each song with his signature playful, thoughtful, hard-rocking style.

A deceptively calm photo of Kevin Niemi (right after this, he ate a groundhog and made love to an amp).

A deceptively calm photo of Kevin Niemi (right after this, he ate a groundhog and made love to an amp).

The next night, it was Joe Testa’s turn to lay down some electric guitar tracks. Here’s where I was nervous, because in my home recordings I was never able to capture a really strong electric guitar sound – it would take hours of futzing before I got close. But Ray and Joe are two men who know what they’re doing – between Joe’s custom amp and Ray’s skill as an engineer, we had no problem finding great sounds, from clean R&B grooves to super-heavy distortion. There was a lot of tracking to get done, as we had to record lead, rhythm and solo tracks on three songs, but by the end of the night we were incredibly satisfied with Joe’s playing (not a surprise there) and the sounds we captured. Everything was feeling just right – the songs were coming together quickly, and sounding even better than we’d hoped.
 
The next day was trickier. I was trying to record the lead for “Defender,” but I couldn’t keep my electric guitar in tune. I tried playing it on Ray’s sweeeet Les Paul, but the results were similar – certain notes kept going sharp. Finally, Ray diagnosed the issue: I was so used to playing my acoustic, which requires a heavier touch, that I was pushing too hard and bending the strings – not necessarily an issue for rhythm tracks, but fatal for the naked arpeggios of “Defender.” I was frustrated and discouraged, but Ray had a solution: play the part on your acoustic, he suggested, and we’ll use studio t’chnology1 to make it sound like an electric. It worked, and after Jill laid down a rockin’ vocal, we had a song in the bank.
 
Over the next few days – right up until a couple days before Christmas – the others started to fill out as well. We were giddy – these songs were sounding good, even better than we hoped. We started to wonder if we should be doing more than five songs at Studio 825.

* * * * *

I had written “We Are Not Cool” in November, but we were never sure what to do with it. It was a fun little pop-punk song, but it felt unfinished somehow. But there was something there, something alive. We considered taking it to the studio, but we didn’t have a clue how to approach it.

“Maybe we should hire Ritchie as a producer?” Jill suggested.

Ritchie is the only man who rocks this hard while sporting a sweater vest and glasses.

Ritchie is the only man who rocks this hard while sporting a sweater vest and glasses.

Now, Ritchie is well-regarded as an exceptional producer. We’d heard some of the work he did with Angela Sheik and von Grey, and it is marvelous. And we loved the few hours we spent with him in the studio – his energy and humor are infectious. But we had never worked with a producer before. We liked the idea of being in charge, of having the final say, and we weren’t sure we wanted to give that up. But, as Jill pointed out, if at any step of the way we didn’t like the way things were going, we could always either cancel the session or just not include the song on the album. I finally agreed.
 
We recorded an acoustic demo of “We Are Not Cool” and sent it to Ritchie and Ray. A couple days later, we got a call from Ritchie – he wanted to meet with us to discuss the song and what to do with it. Again, we were nervous. This was uncharted territory, especially for me.
 
But one visit with Ritchie erased all doubts. Not only did his ideas suit us and our dork-rock aesthetic, but he came up with little touches that we never would have imagined on our own. Also, as we said before, we really liked the guy, and had a feeling working with him would be a rewarding experience.

Here's Ritchie doing some awesome old-school magic at the end of Dave Duncan's guitar solo in "Underground."

Here’s Ritchie doing some awesome old-school magic at the end of Dave Duncan’s guitar solo in “Underground.”

We got to the studio early and Ritchie immediately got to work on his drum track. Once he had it sounding the way he wanted it, we started layering – acoustic guitar tracks, then electric. Ray laid down the bass, and holy hell, is he one mother of a bass player.
 
By the early afternoon, the track was already sounding great. But it wasn’t until Ritchie had Jill record backing vocals in the chorus and laid down a keyboard lick that the song really came together. By that evening, we had a rockin’ tune that we loved, one that encapsulated Ritchie’s adventurous, quirky spirit and our signature dorkiness. So there it was – our relationship with Ritchie resulted in both a great track and a joyful experience.
 
So a month later, when I wrote a song called “Underground” and played it for Jill (while she and I were 1700 miles apart – sometimes I love living in the future), we knew what to do – we gave Ritchie a call. Another meeting, another demo, another fantastic, unforgettable day in the studio, and we had a track we loved – one that had the giddy 60s garage-rock sound we both love, and lots of fun little touches. A couple weeks later, a couple days before Easter, we went back to the studio and had Dave Duncan, a fantastic local guitarist, cut an offbeat, whimsical, rockin’ guitar solo. A few more tweaks and “Underground,” the final track recorded on 39 Summers, came to life.

We can’t say this enough – we love working with Ritchie Rubini – he’s everything a dork-rock band could ever want in a producer. We’ve got a feeling this won’t be our last time.

* * * * *

We ended up recording seven tracks at Studio 825. But there are twelve tracks on the album, and the other five were recorded on my laptop at Knappshack Studios, also known as Jill’s Living Room.
 
As I mentioned before, I’ve been home-recording for years, even before we made our EP and “An Idiot for Christmas” single. I made cassettes with a 4-track studio in the 80s and early 90s, and I recorded two CDs (2007’s Songs for the Earthbound and 2010’s All This Life2) with Cubase, inexpensive but powerful recording software installed on my laptop.

We don't have a lot of pics of us recording at home, so here's Ron Jeremy in a white robe playing the harmonica.

We don’t have a lot of pics of us recording at home, so here’s Ron Jeremy in a white robe playing the harmonica.

When you record at home, you’re constantly in the studio. You can record, tinker, mix, remix at any time of the day or night – you don’t have to worry about keeping our engineer from having a nice dinner. We love the freedom of recording at late hours, making different sounds, playing and experimenting, knowing we can always try another take, another patch. But the downside is that we don’t have the equipment nor the proper sound-proofed space that most great studios provide (not to mention the expertise of a great engineer like Ray). If we wanted our home recordings to stand up next to the tracks from Ray’s, we were going to need a little help.
 
Enter our secret weapon: Stephen Manocchio, the Sound Engineer at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington, Delaware. Not only is Stephen a great engineer in his own right, but he’s a good friend who made us a very kind offer to record in his own personal studio. That timing didn’t work out, so Stephen did something wonderful for us – he loaned us some of his excellent, studio-quality microphones, which helped us capture clean, crisp vocals and acoustic guitar tracks. We still lacked soundproofing, but we decided it wasn’t the worst thing in the world if the occasional songbird made a cameo.
 
We won’t bore you with the details of recording and mixing the “homemade” tracks. It involved a lot of recording and re-recording, countless hours of late-night, down-to-the-wire mixing, and tons of second-guessing. But we kept our minds open and an adventurous spirit. On one track, “Maybe You Saw it Too,” we sampled MIDI drums and sounds for countless, fruitless hours until we decided to give up – only to have a revelation during a car ride that gave us the sound we were looking for. We scrapped a fully-recorded, full-band rock version of “Run” because it felt too processed and re-recorded an acoustic version live in one take – all it needed was a bit of percussion and an awesome guitar solo, and Chuck Kuzminski (of CKuz Guitars in Middletown, Delaware) provided that a few days later. On yet another – “It Only Takes Two to Rock” – we decided to keep the version on our EP after some subtle re-mixing and not-so-subtle enhancements.

Okay, so we guess we did bore you with a few details. Sorry about that. The important part of all this is that we had yet another secret weapon in Eamon Loftus, the genius who mastered the entire album – the studio tracks and the homemade tracks. His tireless work and expertise gave the album some coherence. He was able to smooth out the dynamic differences among all the songs, adjusting volume and EQ to find common ground between the loudest rock cuts and the softest acoustic songs.

After a lot of back and forth (which was actually a pleasure – Eamon’s as funny as he is talented), we had it: 39 Summers. The first full-length, original album from Hot Breakfast!. There’s not really enough room here to thank everyone who helped make it possible (hell, there’s barely enough room on the internet), but we did our best on the CD jacket.

Speaking of the CD jacket, we have to give shout-outs to two men who helped make the CD look great – photographer Joe del Tufo and designer George Murphy. Joe’s been taking amazing live concert shots in Delaware and Philadelphia for years – including some of us – and agreed to take cover shots for us. We’ll tell you all about that experience in a different post, but wow, what a day that was. He also designed the cover and gave it a sweet little Easter egg (hint: there is a witness). And George, who also happens to play guitar in one of our favorite bands, gathered all the photos & files we sent him and came up with a layout for the CD case that blew our expectations away – and he did it in a very short time on top of a huge workload. Thank you, George and Joe, for making us look cool.

And since you’ve made it this far in this blog post, we want to thank you too. So here’s “39 Summers,” the first song on the CD, for your streaming pleasure. We hope you enjoy it.

Much Love and Dork Rock,
Matt (the Suburban Legend)

Everybody smile on the count of three!

Everybody smile on the count of three!


1That’s not a typo, but an attempt to write the way Jack Black speaks. (NSFW language)
2Currently ranked #661,835 in sales. In your FACE, #661,836!

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Eight Million Thank-Yous

by Matt
'The Rhino Crows at Dawn.' © 2013 Hot Breakfast. All Rights Reserved. Patent Pending.

‘The Rhino Crows at Dawn.’ © 2013 Hot Breakfast. All Rights Reserved. Patent Pending.

You guys are amazing. Seriously.

A little while ago, we asked for your help to get Hot Breakfast! nominated for the Seventh Annual 93.7 WSTW HOMEY AWARDS. The Awards are sponsored by Hometown Heroes, that wonderful show hosted by Mark C. Rogers that features music and in-studio performances by local artists. The first round of voting determined the final nominees in each category.

Thanks to all of our fans, our friends, and those who love and support local music, your pals Hot Breakfast! have been officially nominated for THREE Homey Awards!

  • EP of the Year (“Hot Breakfast!”)
  • Best Lead Singer (Jill “Breakfast!” Knapp)
  • Best Live Band

And not only that, but many of our favorite artists, from The Joe Trainor Trio to The Honey Badgers to Glim Dropper and many, many more have been nominated as well! You can check out the whole list by clicking here (yes, it’s a Facebook page, but you don’t have to be logged in to Facebook to see it, even though let’s face it, you probably are).

We are honored and delighted to be in such a crowd. The Delaware music scene is as vibrant and vital as ever, and it’s a thrill to be a part of it all.

The Awards Ceremony will be at World Cafe Live at the Queen on Friday, March 8, 2013. The Homeys have their own band of voters for this one, so we’re not asking you to do a thing – except to sit back, relax, and be proud for supporting local musicians and artists.

We’ve got great shows coming up, a full-length CD in production, and all kinds of great plans in the works. And none of it means a thing without you.

We cannot thank you enough. But that doesn’t mean we won’t try. We even wrote you a song.

Love,
Matt & Jill

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GIG: Saturday January 19th 8:30PM: Mojo Main

by Ji11
Yes, we know our name isn't on this flyer. YET.

Yes, we know our name isn’t on this flyer. YET.

MY GOOD PEOPLE:
WE PROMISED YOU WORLD DOMINATION WAS IMMINENT, AND THE DAY IT IS HAPPENING IS JANUARY 19th 2013.

How do we know?
Because our name is about to be added to a flyer along with the phrase “Pabst Blue Ribbon Presents.”

WE HAVE ARRIVED.

How did this “arriving” happen?

A few days after we signed the paperwork to play at the Delaware Friends of Folk coffeehouse, we received an email from TriState Indie asking us if we wanted to be part of an AMAZING bill at Mojo Main on the same evening as the coffeehouse. We gracefully declined because a contract is a contract, and we asked them to keep us in mind for the next time. They said they would.

We just learned today that this month’s coffeehouse at Delaware Friends of Folk had to be postponed, so we asked the Tri State Indie folks if they still needed a an acoustic dork-rock power duo. They said “Heck yeah!” so we said “Woot!” and there you have it. (Once again, Amanda Palmer’s advice rings true: “Always ask; you never know.”)

We’ll be playing an abbreviated set, but we still need you to come out and show Tri-State Indie that we’re a band worth loving.

Here’s the scoop!

DEETS:


EVENT NAME: PBR Presents: Tric Town January: Tri State Indie Pre Music Awards Showcase at Mojo Main
WHO: Hot Breakfast!, Revolution I Love You, Moon Children, Mean Lady, Universal Funk Order. Aaaaaaand a listening party for Spinto Band’s new album!
WHEN: Saturday, January 19th. Hot Breakfast kicks the night off at 8:50PM and plays until 9:15PM. (We know the Facebook event and the flyer say 9PM. We’re playing before that. Trust us.)
WHERE: Mojo Main, 270 E Main St, Newark, Delaware 19711
PARKING: They have a private lot. If it’s full, park on the street. No biggie.
FOOD: They have bar and cajun food at Mojo Main. It is tasty. Lots of drink specials, too!
TICKETS: $6. Buy them at the door, or here.
FACEBOOK EVENT LINK: Here ya go!

So just when you thought you’d be missing us this weekend… have no fear. There’s plenty of Hot Breakfast! to go around.

See you there?

Your pal,

Ji11

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Radio Spot: 1/16 and 1/19: In-Studio Guests on Y-Not Radio!

by Matt

HEY! Wanna hear your favorite acoustic punk-dork-rock-power-duo perform live on the radio and chatter about all things dork? Well, now you can!

We are this week’s featured band on Y-Not Radio’s local music spotlight– how cool is that? This afternoon we headed out to their West Philly studio to chat with the mighty Josh T. Landow about how our new album is coming along, the virtues of Fig Newtons, and a little band history, too… and we even performed a few songs live for their sweet studio audience. It was a blast.

The show will debut this Wednesday, January 16 at 11am and later at 10pm and will replay on Saturday, January 19 at 8pm.

Since we were representin’ our fine state of Delaware, we were asked to curate a hand-picked playlist of some of our favorite music from our favorite Delaware bands (OK, one’s from Baltimore, but we met them at the Wilmo Rock Circus so we’ll let it slide). A teaser: When you tune in, you’ll be one of the first people on the earth to hear a track from Angela Sheik’s upcoming album, and you’ll also hear some great cuts from Brene Wilson, The Joe Trainor Trio, The Keefs, Rachel Schain, The Way Home, Me and This Army, Todd Chappelle, and Mean Lady. Woot!

How did we land such a sweeeeeeet gig?

Because we’re freakin’ Delaware’s premier acoustic punk-dork-rock power duo. That’s how.     (OK, really now.)

Because we were lucky enough to meet some big-wigs from the station (Josh T. Landow and Joey O) through our friend Rodney Anonymous. Among Mr. Anonymous’ many accomplishments and hobbies, Rodney also hosts a monthly industrial show on Y-Not Radio called Rodney Anonymous Tells You How To Live. A great conversation with Josh and Joey, a CD exchange, and an email or two later, and Hot Breakfast! is on the air telling the world about the vibrant music scene in Delaware! Ka-pow!

So… thanks, Rodney– we owe ya!

RADIO SHOW DEETS:

WHAT: Hot Breakfast! is the in-studio guest on Y-Not Radio‘s local music spotlight
WHO: Hot Breakfast! with host Josh T. Landow (and you’ll hear songs from our favorite locals, too!)
WHEN: Wednesday, 1/16 at 11:00AM and 10:00PM, and again on Saturday, 1/19 at 8PM
WHERE: Tune in online at ynotradio.net — the future of radio is riding on the backs of screaming electrons, baby!

Let us know what you think of the show!

Your pals,

Suburban Legend and Ji11
a.k.a. Matt and Jill

PPS: WORLD DOMINATION IS CLOSER THAN EVER, PEOPLE.

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GIG: MilkBoy Coffee (Ardmore, PA), Saturday January 12, 8PM

by Matt
It's getting dorky in here.

It’s getting dorky in here.

We hope all of our fans, friends, family, and Cool Little Brothers n’ Sisters across the land had a wonderful New Year’s celebration. We certainly did – after booty-shaking to DJ Donna’s fantastic spins at Bellefonte Cafe, we hooked up with some great friends for drinks, foods, and very silly card games. We sincerely hope that 2013 treats you guys as well as 2012 treated us.

In fact, we’re hoping to help kick-start the year for ya with our first gig of the 2013, and it’s a doozy – we’re performing at MilkBoy Coffee in Ardmore, Pennsylvania on Saturday, January 12th at 8:00. (Eeeeeee!) We’re really excited about this – we’ve been wanting to play at MilkBoy for quite a while, for it is super-cool, and rather prestigious, really. They’ve got wonderful food (they serve breakfast until 9 pm – that’s our kinda joint) and even wonderfuller coffee, and it’s just a great, laid-back, funky place to be. It’s also a BYOB establishment, and if you check out their website (link in the next paragraph) they’ll give you the scoop.

So if you’re in the Wilmington/Philly area and don’t mind spending time in swanky swanky Ardmore, come and help us ring in the new year, dork-rock style! The show starts at 8:00. There’s an $8 to $10 cover charge, but don’t worry – we’ll make sure we’re worth it. Plus, it won’t just be us! Keep an eye out here and on the MilkBoy website to see what other fabulous bands will be rockin’ yer socks on the 12th.

Hot coffee. Hot food. Hot Breakfast!

It’s gonna be a Hot New Year, yo.

Love,
The Suburban Legend

ps: There’s a train station right next door to Milkboy Coffee, so if you’re a public transit type person, this is pretty dang easy.

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GIG: Wilmo Rock Circus: Saturday Nov 24th, ALL FARKING EVENING

by Ji11

Who’s got four thumbs and will be ROCKING YOUR FACES OFF at the Wilmo Rock Circus 2012? Only Delaware’s PREMIER acoustic dork-rock power duo, that’s who!

(Uh, that’s us.)

Tickets are on sale now folks, and there’s no better place to enjoy a 20+ course ALL ROCK BUFFET than the Wilmo Rock Circus. It’s all the rock you can eat for $15, and we’ll be playing several sets throughout the evening because the Wilmo Rock Circus’ dork-rock needs are HIGH, and we live to serve.

All ages, all awesome. Get yer tickets! Get ’em while they’re hot!

This is a really cool pop-up festival that is reinforcing Wilmington’s status as a great and supportive indie-music town. All bands (up & coming bands and bigger regional bands like Lovebettie) get 30-minute sets, so in just a few hours you can get a sampling of the east coast’s rockin’est offerings; and with two stages pumping at once, you always have a choice around who you go hear. SWEET!

Because of our status as Delaware’s PREMIER acoustic dork-rock power duo (and, OK, probably because we don’t take up much space), our 30-minute set will be split up into three 10-minute groupings and also simulcast throughout the Queen (really!) for MAXIMUM BREAKFAST SATURATION.

If you’re a Facebook-type person, you might wanna take a moment to:
[] “Like” the Wilmo Rock Circus page so you can get learn more about the bands that are playing, and
[] RSVP to the event so you can see what other cool kids are coming. Maybe you can coordinate outfits!

 

We’ll see you there!

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Post-gig depression…

by Ji11

Hey all–

We are just beside ourselves from how amazing this weekend was. Between the Joe Trainor Trio CD release party at World Cafe Live at the Queen on Friday night to the super-secret show in Arden last night… seriously, we’re having some serious post-gig depression here. Both shows were packed to the gills, the crowds were so enthusiastic and giving us TONS of energy back… it’s times like these that make us so, so, so grateful that we get to do what we do.

A billion thank-yous to everyone who supported all of the amazing events of this weekend, in body and spirit. We really felt the love and are so incredibly appreciative. I don’t have the vocabulary to describe how we’re feeling; but the words “extreme gratitude,” “humbled,” and “rocktastic” are coming to mind.

The incredible Joe del Tufo took photos from last night’s super-secret show in Arden, where we opened for Kate Miller-Heidke. (The super-secret show is no longer super-secret– though it was a private, invite-only concert and not open to the public at all.) Kate is currently touring with Ben Folds Five, and she also toured with Ben back when he was touring solo, too… and Kate and Ben Folds Five are playing a their big Philly show tonight at the Tower Theater– we’ll see you there!

Here are links to the photos:

If you’re the Facebook type, you can use this link: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151274055090992.518754.585955991&type=3

If you’re an anti-Facebookite, you can use these links below to view all of the photos from the evening (as opposed to the smaller subset that are on Facebook above):
Here are the Hot Breakfast shots: http://www.studiomlive.com/artists/hotbreakfast1012/index.htm
And here are the Kate shots: http://www.studiomlive.com/artists/katemillerarden1012/

OK, more sleep now.

Thanks again, everyone. :)

Your pal,

Ji11

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GIG: Friday, October 5, Joe Trainor Trio CD Release Party at the Queen

by Matt

As our Cool Little Brothers and Sisters know, we’re big, big fans of our friends the Joe Trainor Trio. We played some of our first gigs with the hard-rockin’ piano-based trio, and to this day we seldom pass up a chance to see ’em play live.

But it’s not just about music. Joe Trainor, Kevin Niemi, and Jeff Dement happen to be three of our favorite people. We dine with ’em, we play with ’em, we hang and talk and laugh with ’em, and sometimes we’re even fortunate enough to make music with ’em.

Because we like them so much, you might wonder if we’re overhyping their music. You can rest assured this is not the case. The Joe Trainor Trio BRINGS IT, yo. They rock and they rock hard, but they bring melody, great lyrics, and incredible musicianship to their rock. One listen and you’ll be hooked.

This is why we’re proud to be opening for their CD release party on Friday, October 5th at World Cafe Live at the Queen on 5th and Market Street, Wilmington, DE, at 8:00. This’ll be your first chance to hear the new JT3 album, Twelve Stories, in its entirety and purchase your copy.

But before that happens – HOT BREAKFAST! will be rocking the house!! (Hey, it ain’t all about Trainor. I mean, they’re good and all, but c’mon.) We love playing at the Queen (we’re there a lot this fall!), and we can’t wait to melt some faces before Joe and the boys take the stage.

So be sure to be there by 8:00 to hear Hot Breakfast! Actually, we really recommend getting there early – say, 7:00 – and ordering some food. Particularly the eggplant fries, because Holy Cow, the eggplant fries.

Reservations are strongly recommended for this show. You can order your tickets online by clicking here, or you can call the Queen at (302) 994-1400.

The Joe Trainor Trio and Hot Breakfast! – melting faces together since…well…for quite a while now.

Love n’ ice cream sandwiches,
The Suburban Legend (AKA Matt) and Ji11

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GIG: October 6th: Top secret show that we can’t advertise…

by Ji11

Yes yes, we blogged about this top-secret gig before, but I’m really excited about it, so I needed to talk about it more… and also bring the new folks up to speed in case they haven’t scrolled back far enough in the blog to hear the story.

So, we’re in this quandary.

We’ve been asked to open up for one of our favorite artists ever… and this artist is pretty dang famous.
But this is, contractually, a 100% non-advertised gig for the artist we’re opening for, and therefore, us as well.

So we’re not allowed to tell you about it.

And we were only given a few tickets for it since it’s a semi-private affair.
I mean, it’s being held at a public place, but you can only buy tickets if you know about the show.

But we’re not allowed to tell you about the show because it’s private.

BUT WE REALLY WANT TO TELL YOU ABOUT IT because it is such a GIANT HONOR to open for this artist!

Yes, we are intentionally being ambiguous about this artist’s gender. And we’re not being entire truthful by using the word “artist” because that sort of implies that it is only one person. But you get the idea.

We were given a very small number of tickets to sell for this show, and they were all offered to our most loyal Cool Little Brothers and immediately snatched up. So it’s kinda silly us even typing up this blog post here, but we wanted you to know that we’re just really so excited and honored to be playing this gig. So, if you’re in the know, make sure you’re there on time… 8PM. We’ll see you there.

Your pal,

Ji11

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GIG: Saturday, Sep. 29, 7 PM: Rod Kim’s Birthday Celebration at the Queen

by Matt

One of the best things about being Hot Breakfast! is that we get to meet and play with wonderful people.

From here to Arizona, we’ve met so many great musicians, some famous, most just happy to have a gig or two and money to make a homemade album. We’re proud to count Rod Kim among our talented new friends.

So we were thrilled when Rod asked us to join him at his birthday celebration! It starts at 7:00 on Saturday, September 29 at World Cafe Live at the Queen on 5th and Market Streets in Wilmington.

We’re not sure exactly when we’ll play, but we’ll be trading acoustic sets along with our good friend Rachel Schain and songwriter Jake Wilder Chapman. And then, Rod Kim and Vince Cirino will rock the house, followed by headliner Katie Dill, who happens to be half of the awesome trip-hop chillwave duo Mean Lady.

Those of you who’ve been to the Queen know it’s a great venue – the food’s wonderful, the bar’s bountiful, and the stage is great. We’re always happy to play there, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity to join some incredibly talented friends while we make new ones. Tickets are only $5, but reservations (for the eating of the food!) are recommended.

So please come on out and join us in wishing Rod Kim a rockin’ birthday! We’ll be the acoustic dork-rock power duo in awe of the awesomeness surrounding us.

With love,
Matt (The Suburban Legend)

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Gigs: Sep. 23 at Fergie’s Pub (Philly), Sep. 24 at Delaware History Museum (Wilmington)

by Matt

Hey there, Cool Little Brothers and Sisters!

We’ve got a couple open-to-the-public gigs coming up this weekend, and we wanted to let you know all about ’em.

First, on Sunday, September 23rd, we’ll be playing at Fergie’s Pub in Philadelphia. But before you read on, please note that this is no ordinary gig: unless you’re a die-hard theater geek/playwright stalker, this might not be the gig for you. Just being honest. We will be background music.

Here’s the deal: this is a fundraiser for the PDC and will feature live music by Hot Breakfast! and other artists, a silent auction, drinks, complimentary finger foods, guest bartenders, and most importantly…a chance to enjoy a Q & A with Nicky Silver, fresh off from a Broadway run of his hit play “The Lyons.”

The PDC is Philly’s premiere organization for new play development, so it makes sense that Nicky, originally from the Philadelphia area, should return for a visit!

In addition to “The Lyons”, Nicky Silver has written great plays like “The Food Chain”, “Pterodactyls”, “The Eros Trilogy”, “Fat Men in Skirts”, and many others. His awards include the Oppenheimer, Helen Hayes Award, and the Kesselring. He has also been nominated for other awards including the Outer Critic’s Circle, Drama Desk, and Drama-Logue Award.

To buy tickets online, please click here.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!!

On Monday, September 24, your favorite acoustic dork-rock power duo from Delaware will open up an evening of great music to celebrate Wilmington! We play at the Arts TastIN’ at the Delaware History Museum (505 Market Street) at 6:30. We’re only playing for 20 minutes or so, but there are lots of neat acts that follow us, including our friend Jessica Graae and the cast of City Theater Company’s upcoming musical Bat Boy. Tickets are only $5.

Stay tuned, friends. We’ve got some great stuff coming up on the horizon.

Yours in ROCK,
Matt (The Suburban Legend)

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Gig: Sat September 1st, 11:15am, at the Arden Fair!

by Ji11

OK, I admit it, I’ve been attending Burning Man pretty much every year since 2004; I really love it. Last year (2011) was Matt’s first time and he loved it too, especially when we got to play a nice set at The Lost Penguin on Burn Day. It was incredible!

One thing we don’t like about attending Burning Man each year is missing the Arden Fair, which is a wonderful music/arts festival in Arden, DE that always coincides with Burning Man week. But since we’re staying home this year, we didn’t have to turn down the Arden Fair people when we were asked to play. Yaaay!

We asked for an early slot because we have a wedding to attend (and play a song for!) later that afternoon, so come visit us when we play from 11:15-11:45am.

Anyway, the nice folks who run the event have set up a helpful website with all the pertinent info, so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here. Instead, I’ll just be lazy and point you to the source of the best info: The Arden Fair website. Please take a moment to read it– they’re asking everyone to use the shuttle bus instead of parking in Arden.

As of right now, the weather looks like it will be absolutely gorgeous.

We hope to see you there!

Your pal,

Ji11

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