Monday, March 15, 2010

The Week In Review. . .

  1. Tuesday 3/9 - The Pig 'n' Whistle on 2nd Ave
  2. Wednesday 3/10 - Social Bar & Lounge 7-10
  3. Wednesday 3/10 - Arctica Open Mic (Hosted) 10-1
  4. Thursday 3/11 - The National Underground 8-10
  5. Thursday 3/11 - The Pig 'n' Whistle on 3rd Ave 10-1
  6. Friday 3/12 - Longhorns Saloon & BBQ 10-1
  7. Saturday 3/13 - The Pig 'n' Whistle on 2nd Ave
  8. Sunday 3/14 - Arctica
That's eight gigs in six days. I'm not sure I can remember the last time I was this tired. Patrick and I really kept the pedal to the metal the entire week. Every minute was worth it. 8 of the most fun gigs we've ever played, at least in my opinion.

Come out and see us. Have a great week and a happy St Paddy's Day. The madness resumes Thursday night.

Peace Love and Vocal Harmonies


Monday, March 1, 2010


As with many Sundays over the last ten months, Pat and I played Arctica tonight. It was a totally good time. I'd say it was one of our tightest performances of the last couple of weeks. Felt great especially after two impromptu nights off.

Some of what we played. . .
  • Blue Oyster Cult - Don't Fear The Reaper. Start to finish. How did this happen? Well, I mentioned that I was sweating a bit and that the best reasons to be sweating were at the gym, on stage, or in bed. Pat said "or if you have a fever". I said "I've got a fever". You can likely fill in the rest.
  • The Turn - Christiana, Holding Your Breath, Tell You Twice, You Can't Make Me Let Go, I'll Take It From Here, Stormy, When You're Gone (sounded great), Brooklyn (working title, still needs a definite chorus) and our newest song which is currently going by the name Snakes. Sick.
  • Them Crooked Vultures - No One Loves Me And Neither Do I. This has got to be one of our happiest additions to the set list. Having this up our sleeve, whoo.
  • Queens of the Stone Age - Make It Wit' 'Chu. Mother effing awesome.
  • Led Zeppelin - The Ocean. Doesn't get much better than that.
  • At the outset of the evening there was a table of gentlemen, named Roland, Roger, Raul and Simon. They requested the following songs. .
  • Incubus - Drive
  • The Killers - When You Were Young
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers - Scar Tissue
Then we treated them to Everlong which after thirteen years, everyone still loves including us.

Sweet time. It was great to break out so many of our new songs. Come catch a show, we'll show you what's up.

Peace Love and Vocal Harmonies


Sunday, February 28, 2010

St Baldrick's

Patrick and I will be performing at 11AM tomorrow at Molloy College in Rockville Centre.

Yes, you read right that says 11AM. The event is called St Baldrick's day. In March of every year, right around St Patrick's day this organization gathers people who shave their heads and take donations to be sent to various organizations fighting children's cancer. This will be the second year in a row that we take part (last year, Ogy shaved his head for the event) and I'm very much looking forward to seeing everyone.

There is likely to be video from the event and if you guys want to swing by the St Baldrick's website and take a look around I heavily encourage you to do so.

Hope everyone is enjoying the hockey. See y'all at Arctica later.

Peace Love and Vocal Harmonies


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Fuel, Drive, Inspiration, all that

The number of different people that tell me they hear music in their head, and are "inspired on a daily basis" and "can't wait to get to a studio where they can make something happen" is staggering. The amount of talent floating around creating different music of all different genres is overwhelming.

On Wednesday night before Patrick and I played at The National Underground, we were preceded by a seven piece (maybe more, I don't even know) acoustic ensemble featuring a saxophone, a 12 string guitar, everybody singing different harmonies, and a gentleman playing some brand of percussion or other. They were so tight, and clearly so dedicated, and so in it together.

Seeing bands, or groups of musicians/artists/whathaveyou that have such a passion for composition and performance make me smile. People who clearly have a great time performing together and creating something that wouldn't otherwise have existed inspire me and us in ways that I can barely describe.

The world is a growing community of musicians. Sweet. Let's all make sweet musical love. I'll bring the bubbly.

Peace Love and Vocal Harmonies


Friday, February 26, 2010

What a day. . .

Sometimes people ask us questions at gigs like, "what do you guys do all day?"

What better a way to answer than Thursday 2/25, perhaps the busiest day we've had since The Turn has been together.

3PM - Rehearsal at 125 Rivington (@ Essex) on the Lower East Side. The same place we've been rehearsing every week (sometimes twice a week) for the last year. In fact, February marks the one year anniversary of Pat and I playing with Brian and Chris, so next time you see them wish them a happy anniversary. We played until roughly 5:30 at which point Pat and I went back to my car, grabbed our acoustic guitars and walked in the slush, sleet, rain and mushy garbage over to Whole Foods to grab a snack before our gig at The Red Lion. [As an aside, I recently discovered two brand new pairs of waterproof Timberland sneakers at my father's house. This would have been a great day to test them out, but I only thought of it after the first time I was ankle deep in New York City slush. Joke's on me, I suppose.]

We took a cab from Whole Foods, in which I sat in a puddle of whatever had been left from our previous occupant, leaving not only my socks but also the left ass cheek of my jeans soaking wet. Super comfortable. Rock and roll, the show must go on.

7PM - Gig at The Red Lion. The snow didn't keep 100% of people at home, and we had a great time. The crowd was equally as enthusiastic and it was totally awesome. The snow started to pick up as we were playing, and Ogy left at 8:30 to catch the train up to The Pig 'n' Whistle on 3rd Ave to set up for our next gig. Some Bud Light and a couple of shots of Jameson later, 9:30 hit, we played You Can't Make Me Let Go for a fresh batch of Australian crowd members (Aussie Aussie Aussie!) unplugged our guitars, shook some hands, got in a cab and took off for the third leg of our day tour.

9:55PM - The Pig 'n' Whistle on 3rd Ave. Our home away from home. Patrick and I walked in, put our jackets down, took out our guitars, plugged in and it was show time again. I looked over at him and mentioned that there was something strangely familiar about all this.

When all was said and done, it was a totally crazy day but truly the most fun we've had all year. Non-stop rock, twelve straight hours of guitar, a couple more beers and a lot of snow.

Anyone that was at MSG hanging with Mr Mayer, I hope you guys all had fun and I appreciate all of your text messages. We'll see you soon.

Peace Love and Vocal Harmonies

Monday, February 22, 2010

Beige Dildo

Last night at O'Brien's in Times Square, we decided to take requests of another kind. Pat encouraged the crowd to shout out inanimate objects and told them we would make songs up, effectively free-styling except instead of rapping, it was a rock song.

We provided the open forum, I suppose you could predict what was coming. The first suggestion was for a song about a beige dildo. I told the gentleman I would prefer it was chartreuse, but all the same I'd be happy to sing him a song.

I asked his name and he told us it was Richard. Pat and I both chuckled and sang the song to him. I might reprise it for any of you that come out and request it, but it will have to be accompanied by a shot of Jameson.

Anyhow, details later unfolded that the young English lad who had made the request just turned 21 recently and was in New York visiting until this coming Tuesday. During our first break he came and shook our hands and told us we'd never believe his name.

"You told us already, it's Richard right?"
"Richard, indeed" he replied, "Richard Manlove. That is, Dick Man Love. McLovin ain't got shit on me."

You can't make this shit up.

Peace Love and Vocal Harmonies

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Them Crooked Vultures

We're going to see Them Crooked Vultures on Monday night at Roseland Ballroom. We being me, Patrick McDermott, Jake Rake and Ogy. First of all, for those of you not familiar, Them Crooked Vultures are a rock band consisting of Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Rockstar Extraordinaire) and John Paul Jones (aforementioned genius, of Led Zeppelin). I'm psyched. Beyond psyched actually, since I haven't been to a large scale production since we saw Kings of Leon in September.
  • The fact that John Paul Jones is 64 years old and couldn't get enough rock and roll is inspiring beyond my ability to verbalize.
  • These three guys in one band seems like it shouldn't be allowed. It's like being able to see the dealer's card in black jack before you bet. And wouldn't we all love that?
  • It seems likely that if this show is as impressive as I'm expecting it to be, I'll have to find a damn good reason why not to go see Muse at MSG in March since that stands to be comparably (though differently) awesome.
Just check this out, and you'll know what I'm saying.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Why I Love.

My mother died 13 years ago today. Shortly thereafter I began playing the guitar. . . a lot. I love and miss my mother more than words could possibly convey and I won't even try. The fact is, all the guitar playing and singing I've done over the last thirteen years (and will continue to do for the rest of my life) make it much clearer than anything I could say myself. I miss her every day, and think about her every time I reach for a guitar and sit behind a microphone and look each and every one of you in the eyes. I'm filled with the love and inspiration that she provided me over the course of the 11 years she was in my life.

Every day since she died, I've been out in search of a way to feel better about the fact that she's gone. To be perfectly honest, it's pretty fucked. I'm not gonna sugarcoat it and pretend like it's a peachy situation. It's not. But it is what it is. This, for better or for worse, is the hand I was dealt. What makes me feel better is hanging with Patrick McDermott and every single one of you unbelievably amazing people that come to hang out while we play songs and rock the fucking shit out of it.

I couldn't think of a single other thing that I'd rather be doing with my life than making music, performing and hanging out with people we love that love us back. It's a blast every night, and as much as I miss my mom every second the fact that I've had such a unique opportunity to build a new family through music is gratifying in ways that I can barely understand on my own.

Since the minute I picked up a guitar for the first time I knew instinctively what to do with it. I never doubted it for one second, and all along I've had one of you there with me to remind and encourage me.

The number of people I would have to list to say thank you properly is overwhelming. What I want to say to all of you reading this, and each and every person I've ever met and spent time with is that I love you for giving me the opportunity to sing to you and continue to lead the only life I could possibly imagine leading. As enormous a void as you might think losing your mother would leave, I'm comforted and inspired on a daily basis by the fact that there are so many enthusiastic, energetic, loving people who believe in The Turn and what we're doing.

I miss my mother and I love her dearly. She was an amazing person and I'm so glad I got to know her for as long as I did.

I guess what I'm really trying to say is that I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world and you are all a reason for that. I wouldn't change anything about my life.

Peace Love and Vocal Harmonies

Your friend and brother in arms,

Brian Ripps

Monday, February 1, 2010

Tonight's Lineup. . .

I definitely sang Toxic at Arctica tonight. And Forgot About Dre. Then I came home, drank some coffee and commenced my nightly YouTube surfing. It was a relatively slow night of video viewing because I was editing a bunch of our videos from the last couple of weeks which you can see here:
Cool and fairly random tonight. Dream sweet, or have a good morning.

Peace Love and Vocal Harmonies

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Showtime. . .

There's nothing better than getting ready to go to a gig. Except maybe playing the gig.

We'll be on Long Island tonight at KJ Farrell's in Bellmore with the band. There will be video, so keep your eyes peeled.

We'll see y'all later on. More to follow. Should be a kick ass week.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Seriously. . .

I was just thinking.

"You don't look for an hour and then just quit. You get your ass out there and find that fuckin' dog."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The National Underground

What a kick ass time. I love all you guys so much for coming out and rocking with us. My neck is absolutely killing me, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

We'll be back there a few times over the next couple of months and we would love to have each and every one of you (and more) come out, have a drink and sing a bunch of songs. My personal favorites of last night:

  • Bad Romance. Caught a bunch of people doing the Gaga dance. She'd have been very proud.
  • No One Knows. Probably one of our best deliveries of this song yet. Pat and I were locked in even more than we usually are. The guitar interlude was about as rewarding as anything I've done in my musical life to this point.
  • Pat sang World Hold On by Bob Sinclair and Blackstreet's No Diggity. My god that boy has got soul.
As far as what you may have heard by The Turn:
  • Christiana
  • Silhouettes
  • I'll Take It From Here
  • May Day
  • Wil'in (Unreleased, first live performance, totally awesome)
  • I Believe (Unreleased, first live performance, also totally awesome. Except the name, that's probably gonna change)
  • You Can't Make Me Let Go (Unreleased, but you can catch it on YouTube)
  • Tell You Twice (Unreleased)
  • Sound Of Me Breathing (Unreleased)
  • Over Now (Unreleased)
  • Holding Your Breath (Unreleased)
Heavy on some new material! Awesome night. If anyone has any pictures or video feel free to upload and tag.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Just past seven. . .

The sun is coming up. Or, the sun is appearing. I'm watching Muse - Supermassive Black Hole live from Wembley Stadium 2007. They are so fucking awesome. Depending on what Pat and I have going on in March, we might try and catch them at Madison Square Garden but it is a Friday night, so who knows.

Luckily, Them Crooked Vultures are coming through on a Monday, we'll be at Roseland that night.

Anyway. It was an awesome weekend. Friday night we were at Elysian Cafe in Hoboken, NJ for the first time in 2010. It was great to be back, that place rules. We've been playing there since we first started going to Hoboken in July of 2008 and it's one of our favorite places to go.

Tonight's gig was just about as awesome despite a late start time owing to the illustrious National Football League. Both Pat and I sang Eminem songs (Lose Yourself and Forgot About Dre, respectively), there was perhaps the first ever complete rendition of Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone", and Pat enthusiastically belted Bob Sinclair's "World Hold On". I love it when he does that.

In order of appearance, The Turn:
  • Something In The Air
  • Already Home
  • Tell You Twice
  • Silhouettes
  • Christiana (w/ Paparazzi interlude)
  • Holding Your Breath
  • You Can't Make Me Let Go
  • I'll Take It From Here
Then we went home.

Tomorrow night at The National Underground is gonna be a kick ass time. We're gonna break out a bunch of new songs and I'm feeling ready to cut loose.

Rambling. . .

  • I heard The Grateful Dead's Touch of Grey on 101.9RXP earlier tonight. They call themselves "The Rock of New York". Regardless of how I may feel about The Grateful Dead (indifferent, apathetic), I do feel comfortable saying that they are not really a rock band.
  • I also heard The Who's Long Live Rock while flipping through the stations. I'd call this a rock and roll song for sure, but I think it sucks. I'm at the point in my life now that my father was at ten years ago when I was listening to The Who a lot. I frankly don't care if I ever hear another song by The Who. And really, who the fuck at the NFL thinks it's a good idea for them to be performing at the Super Bowl? I vote Lady Gaga.
  • Joe Perry (of Aerosmith) is historically underrated. Cryin', Tell Me What It Takes To Let You Go and Crazy are pop songs which all feature creative, uncommon and unpredictable chord changes. Cheers to that.
  • This song is unreal. Fuckin' Radiohead.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Just a quick one. .

Man oh man. . . Here's what I'm thinking.
  • The Taco Bell "Drive Thru Diet". Results not typical. No shit.
  • Eleven days since the earthquake in Haiti, a 21 year old man was rescued from the wreckage. According to CBS, he survived by drinking his own urine. Incidentally, this is not the first time I've heard of this as a survival method. Aron Ralston not only drank his own urine to save his life, he cut off his right arm after getting trapped under a boulder climbing mountains by himself.
  • According to Rolling Stone, John Mayer has a $20 million dollar watch collection. You know, even for a pretty serious John Mayer fan that seems like something that could just as easily been kept to himself.
After tonight's gig in Hoboken we're going to post a bunch of video from this past week. Check it out.

Peace Love and Vocal Harmonies


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Moved To Write. . .

It's all about feel, isn't it.

I think it is. Being moved to write something, whatever it is. . a song, a "tweet", a blog post. Whatever it is, it's really all the same.

So I've been reading a bit, listening to some music, watching some videos and find myself with a rare few minutes to sit and write some shit down. As I've been known to do in the past, this will be a bulleted blog post, more like a series of tweets (I, along with the rest of this generation has been poisoned by social networking media). But whatever. Here's what I've been thinking an awful lot about.

  • Death. A lot. More than usual, too. It seems like every time I'm in the car by myself I consider what might happen if I were to lose control, or worse if someone else were to lose control causing my car to spin out of control and over the side of a bridge. Usually the 59th Street bridge, but I'm not discriminating. I suspect any bridge would do. I guess I was already in this mindset and then I rediscovered "The '59 Sound" by The Gaslight Anthem which is a song rather indiscreetly about death. It's fucked up. Or, rather it is what it is. The outcome however. . I end up thinking a lot about what I do on a daily basis and making sure that whatever it is, is something satisfying, fulfilling and worthwhile.
  • I remember in the Lethal Weapon movies, Mel Gibson claimed to sleep with a gun under his pillow. Same thing in "I, Robot" with Will Smith. You find out that in fact they both did, at least in the movie. I guess that's something to be said by cops, detectives and other special agents (army, navy, marines, etc) that are in a position to be wielding firearms. I sleep with my guitar.
  • I've become pretty enamored of the "#nowplaying" topic on Twitter. Seeing as I'm either listening to, viewing, or hearing a song in my head every minute I'm awake, it seems apropos. I just put on "Lost" by Coldplay from Viva La Vida. That's a strong record. Not a rock record, but a strong record all the same.
  • When people ask me or Pat how to classify our music I've often been moved to compare us to many different bands, usually our biggest influences that people would be familiar with. It's not really indie rock, or alternative rock. It's really more like rock rock. I think if it were listed on MySpace it would say "Rock/Pop/Rock". Nothing wrong with that. Who doesn't like pop.
  • #nowplaying OneRepublic - Goodbye Apathy. A gem on their Dreaming Out Loud record.
  • I watched Inglorious Basterds for the second time last night. It definitely was better the second time around. It's fucking amazing when a movie can do that and truly outdo itself with the second viewing. Seems reasonable to assume that it might be even better the third time through.
  • #nowplaying Kings of Leon - Use Somebody. For a change. Speaking of replay value, my god.
  • James Morrison is a seriously talented dude. The first time I heard "The Pieces Don't Fit Anymore" I was in a hotel in Venice watching MTV Europe. The two videos I caught while watching were the aforementioned James Morrison, and "I Still Remember" by Bloc Party (sweet band). Needless to say my return from Venice resulted in the purchase of both of those records. Undiscovered and A Weekend In The City respectively have seen an awful lot of play over the last three years.
  • What's actually playing now, or properly #nowplaying Kings of Leon - Sex On Fire, but the song that just occurred to me, and will likely follow is "Dig" by Incubus. Light Grenades kicked so much ass. It was particularly fortunate that they put that record out because I thought "A Crow Left Of The Murder" was awful, save for the single. But even that was a little bit ridiculous and self indulgent on their part. Nothing personal, cuz I love Incubus, but I'm not always so in love with political statements of any sort. I don't begrudge people their right to voice them, I just can't promise that I'll always be listening.
  • People are so obsessed with time travel and the possibility of achieving these great ends by defying the laws of physics and other sciences. Make a really good fucking mix tape/cd/playlist and close your eyes. That will take care of all the time travel you need. If you're aching to be taken back, you can make it happen.
  • I started playing guitar when I was 11. I don't remember exactly when I realized that singing was probably a good activity to incorporate with that. I'm glad I did though. I don't think anything makes me as happy as singing does. Don't get me wrong, playing guitar is a kick ass time and something I relish every second of. Singing is kind of different though. . I don't even think I can explain why well enough to do it justice. Having the opportunity to sing on a daily basis has kept me out of a straight jacket.
  • #nowplaying The Airborne Toxic Event - Sometime Around Midnight, also the sound of my washing machine. I've recently gotten into doing laundry. Not that I wasn't wearing clean clothes before, but I decided that I could bite the bullet and do it myself since I have a washer/dryer in my apartment instead of running down the block to the laundromat. Whatever. The real hard part is folding clothes and I don't do that anyway so I'll save the $12.27.
  • I'm heavily inspired by people who do what they want.
  • I heard the entirety of Radiohead's "In Rainbows" on Thanksgiving of 2008 for the first time. I bet I've listened to it and its components an uncountable number of times since then.
  • I wrote a new song the other day. It was one of the ones that instead of having to work hard at it, edit, revise, rework, restructure, rethink just sort of flew out in a forty minute purge. I'm not sure what it's going to be called yet, but I played it for Pat and the guys at rehearsal today and we'll start to bring it to life more on Friday. Here's the lyrics:
They're just words,
But it kills me when you smile.
If you wanna know, it happens all the time.
And I say "never say never" and this might just take forever,
But it's not half as often as I'd like.

They're just ideas,
But they seemed great at the time.
And I'd rather end up wrong than never know.
Of course everyone knows better, they say "this will kill you if you let it",
But I'd never make light of letting go.

This could be the last time
You'll never know if it's the end
If I see you in the next life,
Let's do this again.

I'm the worst.
But I've known it all the while.
And I'd like to think I'm gonna be okay.
My head is clearly overflowing, but you'd have no way of knowing.
And there's nothing that I can do or say.

This could be the last time
You'll never know if it's the end
If I see you in the next life,
Let's do this again.

Let's do this again some time.