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.
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.
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!
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.
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.