Saturday, March 28, 2015

How They Won Their War: The Grip Weeds

The Grip Weeds 
"How I Won The War" 
coming April 7th via Jem Records

"We like to mix it up in Jersey and The Grip Weeds are a great example. A touch of John Lennon, a bit of The Byrds, a dash of The Kinks, pinch of The Who, and a dollop of more muscular Zombies and you get something quite original actually. And quite cool." 
-Steven Van Zandt (Sirius XM, Bruce Springsteen, Sopranos)

"...Slightly trippy sonic land mines that are simultaneously catchy  as hell and slightly dangerous." 
- John M. Borack, Goldmine Magazine

Yep The Beatles influenced band are reunited and feeling groovy with a new CD, you go Grip Weeds!
The Beatles are remembered as purveyors of peace, but their existence as a creative unit ended in acrimony in April of 1970. On April 7, 2015, one of the greatest Beatles-influenced bands to come down the pike will celebrate their reunification with the release of their new album "How I Won The War".

"Our sound isn't overtly Beatle-y but an observant listener can hear the connection," says Kurt Reil, drummer/vocalist for The Grip Weeds. "Our approach to song craft and the idea of using the recording studio as an instrument are both heavily influenced by The Beatles and George Martin."

In his capacity as producer at The Grip Weeds' legendary House Of Vibes Studio, Reil has worked with luminaries such as Mark Lindsay and Paul Simon collaborators Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Platinum selling Captiol Records artists The Smithereens recorded their two highly regarded Beatles projects ("Meet The Smithereens!", "B-Sides The Beatles") with Kurt Reil producing at the HOV. The Smithereens sessions also featured a performance by drummer Andy White, best known for playing on The Beatles "Love Me Do".

According to Reil, The Grip Weeds' connection to The Beatles goes all the way back to the band's origins.

"We named our band after a character John Lennon played in the film adaptation of 'How I Won The War'," Reil said. "As it happens, we went through an internal war during the making of the record that nearly split us up, so the title of the movie seemed apt for our new album as well."

The Beatles dissolved into a myriad of lawsuits and thinly veiled insults delivered via solo albums. It would be years before the wounds between John, Paul, George and Ringo would come close to healing. By the time the former band mates were on speaking terms again, John Lennon's life was obscenely cut short.

"The Beatles never got to write a reconciliation album," Reil said. "Who knows what kind of music they would have made if they came back together."

Although it's impossible to compare a band with a loyal international cult following such as The Grip Weeds to a behemoth such as The Beatles, the troubles that dogged the four lads from Liverpool are universal.
                                                           Preview: How I Won The War                                              

"The Beatles lived in each other's pockets but The Grip Weeds go way beyond that," Reil said. "Our lead guitarist Kristin Pinell is my wife; my brother Rick plays guitar and shares lead vocals with me."

The family dynamic within The Grip Weeds has been a double edged sword. Sometimes the familial ties have acted as a safety net, while at other times the band has been nearly impaled by them.

"Keeping a band together on any level is incredibly difficult," Reil said. "The fact that 3/4 of The Grip Weeds are related has at times helped us weather some rocky terrain. The B-side to that is when an argument erupts during a rehearsal or recording session it follows you home, thus intensifying an already volatile situation."

Reil is quick to point out that the Grip Weeds have never had trouble making music together, even when the pressures of running a band and studio have taken their toll.

"It's the peripheral aspects of making music that have sparked most of our troubles," Reil said.

Adding to the pressures of the group/family dynamic was the departure of Grip Weeds bassist Michael Kelly.

"When MK left, we considered breaking up the band, but family ties are strong and we also felt there was more for us to to do musically." Reil said.

Enter bass player extraordinaire Dave DeSantis, a veteran of New Jersey music scene.

"What Dave did for The Grip Weeds is similar to what Billy Preston did for The Beatles," Reil said. "As George Harrison said in relation to Billy Preston, when you have company around you tend to be less bitchy. Dave's easy going demeanor put everyone at ease, and his musicianship inspired everyone in the band."

The new Grip Weeds album "How I Won The War" features 17 tracks that chart the behind the scenes turmoil and eventual triumph of the recording sessions. Included on the album is a radical take on The Beatles' "The Inner Light".

While The Beatles didn't actually play on the original recording, The Grip Weeds veered away from a classical Indian Raga treatment for their version, instead re-imagining the song in a Rock context. Oddly, the band hadn't considered including the song on "How I Won The War" until Marty Scott from Jem Records - the band's new label - connected the dots.

"Marty pointed out that we had Private Grip Weed on the cover with an 'inner light' coming out of his chest," Reil said. "He was emphatic that we had to include it on the album."

The cover art for "How I Won The War" is an homage to John Lennon's portrayal of Private Grip Weed. "The message you draw from it could be that John Lennon is now a ball of light, a spirit," Reil said, "but you could also conclude that how you truly win a war is with love."

Instead of just covering a Beatles song, The Grip Weeds folded "The Inner Light" into the album's narrative. For a collection of songs about conflict, "The Inner Light" is the perfect summation of what the band had gone through and learned from their struggle. It's how they won their war.

"How I Won The War" by The Grip Weeds will be released by Jem Records on April 7th. It is available now for Pre Order from Amazon and iTunes with a pre-sale for fan club members beginning March 24th.


Friday, March 27, 2015

Snuggle Up With Ryan Reynolds

Come Hither It's Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds wants to seduce you as Deadpool.
He shared a photo of himself dressed as the anti-hero he originally played in X-Men Origins: Wolverine on Twitter this past Friday. 
The image is a parody of the 1972 nude centerfold Burt Reynolds did for Cosmopolitan.
Along with the photo he also Tweeted "No bears were harmed in the making of this photo, though many bears were likely turned on."
The Deadpool movie is out February 12, 2016.
Tweet, tweet, tweet with Ryan at:

Thursday, March 26, 2015

John Cena Goes All The Way In "Trainwreck," Almost

John Cena: I'm Almost All The Way Naked
WWE & Total Divas supporting player, John Cena won't be flashing his junk in the upcoming movie Trainwreck with the hilarious Amy Schumer.

Nope, as he extrapolated to Jimmy Kimmel Live: “I have a ‘big part’ because of the costume department, I was gifted a stunt penis.”

Wow! Now is that a gift that keeps on giving???

John plays Steven a self-obsessed hook-up for Amy's character whose unique version of bedroom talk is to sexualize his accomplishments at the gym while doing the deed.

There are many reasons Mr. Cena is a hunk other than the obvious. He is a very caring, thoughtful person who gives back and helps people.

One of my favorite things is how open he is about having a gay brother and the support he shows him and others in the community.

Nikki Bella is one lucky woman!

Trainwreck directed by comedy genius Judd Apatow will be released on July 17. I love Amy and I love John, I am so there! Check out the trailer below, it's hilarious! 

John Cena  on Twitter:

Trainwreck on IMDB:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dudley Saunders - "Zero Out"

Dudley Saunders
Photo: Dean Carpenter
Dudley is back with his fourth video from IN THESE BOXES, Zero Out, here is a message from the artist::

Here is the fourth lyric video from IN THESE BOXES.  This is actually the beginning of the piece.  So, in a more perfect world, it would have been the first video I uploaded, not the fourth.  But life is messy. Art is messier. 

​Here's the text that opens the performance:
"When I was 19, I moved from Kentucky to New York’s East Village.  And I began to see something on the street I didn’t understand.

I’d see boxes, full of the contents of someone’s entire life, stuffed in the garbage cans of tenement apartment buildings.  Boxes full of things, like a twenty year collection of playbills, black leather harnesses and unframed paintings, posters, clothes still on their hangers, handwritten letters and spiral notebooks and bills and the odd objects that could only be someone's mementos.  All of it, stuffed into the garbage.  I saw this over and over again.

                                                                       Zero Out

Then years passed.  And in the summer of 1991, my two ex-lovers died within three months of each.  And this was bad, of course, but it was something else that had my attention. 

I realized that all the people who had witnessed our lives together were also dead.  These were the Plague Years, and my life had just become extinct.

And I finally understood about those boxes in the garbage: people had died of AIDS, their families had abandoned them, and their friends were all dead.  The objects I still owned were the only evidence that we had existed.  I alone knew the stories inside them.  And I wanted to reach back through time, into that garbage, into those boxes, and save the objects and find a way to tease out their missing stories.  To keep them from disappearing.

Get more Dudley at:

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Caleb Johnson Is On The Loose!

Mustang Johnson


Caleb Johnson is on the loose his video for the single "Fighting Gravity" drops today, not to mention he has teamed up with Do, read on Johnson fans, read on...!

Season 13 American Idol Winner CALEB JOHNSON has partnered with Yahoo Music for the exclusive premiere of his first official music video  “Fighting Gravity,” which can be viewed here:  beginning today Tuesday, March 24: 

This poignant piece was inspired by a real life experience and conceptualized by Caleb, along with Mark Staubach (American Authors, Travie McCoy, Dirty Heads) who also directed the video. Caleb explains:  The video was inspired by a personal experience I had this past year while visiting a family whose son had a rare but terminal form of pediatric cancer.  Using “Fighting Gravity” as the musical backdrop, I wanted to create an emotional connection and raise awareness of a disease that tragically affects so many families.  I hope people will be inspired to lend support to people they know that are going through similar experiences.”

”Fighting Gravity,” co-written by Caleb, Brian Howes & Lenny Skolnik, is the first official video release from his TESTIFY album.  The album features 10 tracks produced by Howard Benson (Bon Jovi, My Chemical Romance, Gavin DeGraw) with Caleb backed by the furious playing of Jane’s Addictionbassist Chris Chaney, former Nine Inch Nails/Guns N’ Roses drummer Josh Freese, and guitarist Phil X (Rob Zombie and Tommy Lee).

In addition, Caleb is joining forces with the organization, for its “Patient Playbooks” campaign in conjunction with the release of “Fighting Gravity.”  “Patient Playbooks encourages young people to make activity books for children in hospitals to brighten their stay.  To sign up and download a playbook template, visit 

Caleb will perform “Fighting Gravity” at the Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, April 11 as well as at the 2015 National Memorial Day Parade in DC on Monday, May 25.  Johnson will also perform a hometown show on Saturday, May 2nd at Harrah’s Casino in Cherokee, North Carolina.  Caleb is planning a string of tour dates throughout the Southeast during the month of May.  A full list of tour dates to be announced soon at

 TESTIFY is now available on iTunes: 

Testify on iTunes: 
Fighting Gravity on iTunes: 
Testify on Spotify: 
Fighting Gravity on Spotify: 
Testify Available Now Teaser on YT: 
CALEB SOCIALS/SITES: makes the world suck less. One of the largest global orgs for young people and social change, our 3.5 million members tackle campaigns that impact every cause, from poverty to violence to the environment to literally everything else. Any cause, anytime, anywhere. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Faye, Connie, My Sister, My Daughter

Connie Britton: I'm Faye!
We go together like Connie Britton & Faye Resnick, huh? 

Yes, it's true Connie Britton & Ryan Murphy are reuniting, and it feels so good. 

Connie as you American Horror Story fans know was in it's virgin season: Murder House, the current star of Nashville will portray Faye Resnick, who Camille Grammer notoriously described as: "The morally corrupt Faye Resnick," on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Britton will get her moral corruption on the freshman season of Murphy's American Crime Story: The People v O.J. Simpson.

As you may recall, Resnick was OJ's slain wife Nicole Brown Simpson's friend. 

OJ was acquitted - and the killer has never been found...go figure.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

"Love, Hope & Tyranny" With Lucia Comnes

Lucia Comnes - Fiddling Around
Lucia Comnes "Love, Hope & Tyranny" 
Album from the fiddler / singer / songwriter coming  April 15th  

Atmospheric roots music crossing the genres of 
Americana, Folk, Celtic, Bluegrass, Rock & Alternative.

Lucia's voice is "singular... embedded with soul and spirit." 
- San Francisco Chronicle

Recently I had the pleasure of chatting with the talented Lucia Comnes about her upcoming album Love, Hope & Tyranny. I have heard it and it is quite a musical accomplishment. So huddle up to your computer and stay for a bit and get to know this one of a kind artist.

MS: You got back from Italy recently, correct?

LC: Yeah, just last night.

MS: Jet lagged?

LC: You know it's not so bad. It's basically one long day because you gain nine hours. I got home in the evening and then I went to bed, coming back, it's not so bad. Some people have a hard time with it, but I'm doing pretty good (laughs).

MS: Good. So Love, Hope & Tyranny is your fourth album?

LC: In terms of full albums it's really my third. I put an EP out a couple of years ago, which is not a full album, it's just a three song EP.

MS: Wow! That's awfully slight, even for an EP.

LC: (laughs) I know, I had to do something. Things sometimes take longer than you want them to. Like this is the album I had hoped would have come out at that time a couple of years ago. But with fundraising and getting everything where you wanted it to be, sometimes it just takes more time.

MS: Your music fits so many categories to me, you hear varying styles in every song when you listen to it. For example I hear rock, country and pop all in one of your compositions.

LC: Absolutely! If you look at the references I use from other artists and other songs on this album it's a pretty wide range of styles. I definitely don't try to fit into a box and it would probably help me if I did more so. But that's just not what I'm passionate about.

MS: I have a music background, but your music process is so eclectic I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around how it works.Especially in your song No Hiding Place, please explain it to me.
LC: Yeah, yeah. Well you know it's interesting because I don't go about the creative process with a final end product in mind. I have an inspiration and an idea, I start working and collaborate with another musician sometimes. Obviously you have some control over what the end product is...but sometimes you're like "Wow! I didn't plan on it sounding like this, but it does and that really works." With that particular song it was a co-write, I had been covering a Gillian Welch song, Rock of Ages which is a song that she and David Rawlings wrote. The lyrics were taken from old American Appalachian Spirituals. I loved the grooves on that song, but I didn't want to cover a song on my album, I wanted an original song. Their original song was a slow song, with my band we made a kind of upbeat rockin' version of it. I was inspired by what they had done by going back to old Appalachian Spirituals. I did a lot of research, mainly online of the lyrics to those spirituals. We wanted to make the song sound like it was coming from and older time rather than just writing lyrics. So I did a lot of research on old lyrics, put a lot of lyrics that I liked it was like a collage. I took a lyric here and a put it there and another lyric from somewhere else...and came up with a new story. At the same time I was working with the co-producer Gawain Matthews and he is a guitarist we had the groove and we knew we wanted to have the same melodic feel. A little bluesy, pentatonic, it's open it doesn't have a defined common major or minor third which is something I really love! We added so many layers that it kind of developed into this Louisiana kind of swamp groove. That is the kind of thing that makes me excited when I am working in the studio.

MS: Wow!

LC: Every song is different. Take the next song, the second track Burning Eden. It's something that I wrote completely on my own, I was off on a song writing retreat by myself on a island and writing. I wrote the lyrics and the chorus to that and brought it to the studio and we recorded it as you hear it. Every song is totally different.

MS: You also have a big imagination and the imagery in your songs is very strong.

LC: Thank you.

MS: One thing that is a big part of your work is environmental causes.

LC: If I had to point to one big source of inspiration, I'm inspired when I am in nature. Taking long walks in the mountains on the beach, being in the silence, but hearing the sounds of nature. I'm just as passionate about nature and the wilderness as I am about playing music. In my opinion Global Warming is the issue of my generation. I address it a lot in my music, so if you are not an artist and you are not addressing Global Warming, it's like: "Hello? Where are you?"

Go Lucia! at: