Episode 54: No need for therapy, Donnie.

This week’s guest is me. Catching you up on some recent hilarity. Rawk.

[audio  https://whatbringsustogether.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/episode-54.mp3%5D

Episode 53: Kris Hayes (Nightmare River Band, Candy Hearts)

I met Kris Hayes six years ago when our bands were playing a show together in New Hope, Pennsylvania. I was instantly impressed with his playing and guitar tones. We hit it off pretty quickly because he is a sun machine and when our band announced that we were going to cover a few Misfits songs, Kris asked if he could sing one with us and we’ve been friends ever since. He’s a great guy and an extremely knowledgeable musician with such a genuine love for punk rock, its awe inspiring. I’m sure this will not be his last time on the podcast. Dig it.

[audio  https://whatbringsustogether.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/episode-53-chris-hayes.mp3%5D

My Musical Disconnect-by Michael Marsicano

Michael Marsicano is an illustrator and frequent guest on our podcast. This is a post he wrote a few days ago about his current relationship with music. Check our his work at http://mmillo.com/


There was a time in my life that was completely immersed in music.  I listened to songs repeatedly – zeroing in on individual instruments.   I relentlessly played guitar and jammed at open mics.  Concerts were a common and deeply-appreciated event.  Always on the hunt for new and fresh music – I feverishly collected tapes, albums, cds and dvds.  But over the past decade this enthusiasm has considerably waned.  Music in general, which once took up a sizable portion of my time and attention, has receded into a much smaller part of my soul.  The filter that aggregates my personal soundtrack has become significantly tighter causing many universally-adored new artists to sound lack-luster to me.   And while the rest of the world frolics through the pulsing garden of today’s newest musicians, I can be found apathetically reclining under the dense shade of my old standbys and their satellite contemporaries.

I’m well-aware that most people will identify this as an aging hipster longing for a time when music had a certain “purity” but I think that my musical apathy is more of a by-product of the passage of time.

As I steadily (yet gracefully, might I add) age, my life also grows more complex.  Music, for most people is a kind of atmospheric mirror which we employ to evoke or heighten a moment.  There is the album you put on when you go to the beach.  There is a song you listen to when you are joyously wallowing in a breakup.  There’s that one artist you only listen to during that first hint of autumn.  When I was living in a simpler time, the music I was discovering amplified the euphoria of possibility.  Each note seemed to be a metaphor for the rolling horizon of my life.

When I was twenty I personally discovered James Brown Live At The Apollo II – a double cd that fundamentally changed the trajectory of my musical tastes.  And I was absolutely dumbfounded by the cool indifference it met from my father, a deep lover of black music.  To me – this new album illuminated a part of me that had been lying dormant for twenty years.  To my father – it was just an album that he heard twenty years earlier.  Perhaps this is the very reason why it’s all the more difficult for new music to hook me so deeply today.  Music was life because life was a party.  And nowadays the party is followed by an early morning rise.

I suppose this is what maturity looks like.  No longer fascinated by the amplification of Me, my ego has descended to a more manageable altitude and I have accepted the fact that everything new eventually becomes old.  For years, music was mostly a proxy for “the good times”.  I was never really a serious player so I don’t feel any sorrow at the fact that music resonates within my soul at a much lower frequency.  Despite the forlorn nature of these statements, I’ve actually found my diminished obsession with music comforting.  Instead, I’ve spent these past several years turning my undivided attention towards creating imagery and storytelling.  And despite the consistent vacillating between self-consciousness and confidence that most working artists endure, the boost in output has been a personal and professional godsend.

Trading up one obsession for another – nowadays I spend most of my work time voraciously taking in podcasts.  Whether it is ruminations on economic theory or a couple of comedians making dick jokes, I can’t get enough of the chatter. You would think that with my extensive trove of mp4’s I could easily find a soundtrack for whatever is on the drawing table.

Episode 52-Alia Akkam

I have known Alia Akkam since I was about 12 years old. However, I’ve only known Alia Akkam for about two years. We went to high school together and never said much to each other. Not for any reason. Just because sometimes, that’s what happens. About two years ago when I started writing the WBUT blog, she got in touch with me. We have been friends ever since. She is a food and beverage writer, but her talents go way beyond that. She is an alarmingly talented writer and it was great to finally get her on the podcast. This is a good one.


[audio  https://whatbringsustogether.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/episode-52-alia-akkam.mp3%5D

Episode 51: The Fourth Annual Bronx Pipe Smoking Society’s Small Game Dinner

This past Saturday, I had the privilege of being invited to the Fourth Annual Bronx Pipe Smoking Society Small Game Dinner. It is an annual event that is put on by our friend, Baron Ambrosia. This is a black tie affair and a very special and unique event. Being able to sample different types of animal protein cooked by incredible local chefs is definitely a huge part of it. But the people who attend and the conversations that you end up having are extraordinary. I had the privilege that night of dining with and then interviewing Grandmaster Melle Mel. That in and of itself is incredible. This is a night that I wish more of you could see and attend. The bringing together of trappers, chefs, food and beverage writers, musicians and all different types of people. Like the borough it is housed in, its a melting pot of lots of great things and it was great to be a part of it. I hope you dig it.

[audio  https://whatbringsustogether.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/episode-51-small-game-dinner.mp3%5D