June 2004 Newsletter

Summer Solstice 2004
A Mostly Monthly E-Newsletter by and about GrooveLily

Valerie Vigoda: vocals/violin
Brendan Milburn: keys/vocals
Gene Lewin: drums/vocals

G r o o v e L i l y E – N e w s # 2 8

Happy Summer, All GrooveLilliputians!

This month has been jam-packed. In addition to our “Back Issue Series” launch, a lovely group of shows in the northeast/midwest (including another fun co-bill with our Australian friends FRUiT), lots of writing and re-arranging of songs (including Val’s first-ever use of a guitar pick on her Viper)…RIPFest #4, the film festival for which Brendan and Valerie wrote the music and lyrics for a 10-minute movie musical, was a rip-roaring success, with an extra screening added on June 7 to accommodate demand. Excerpts on our website coming soon! http://www.rawimpressions.org/RIPFest/ripfest_main.html
It was a new and wondrous pleasure to attend the show, get dressed up and not have to do anything except watch the films. No unloading the van, no setting up gear. It made us a little fidgety. We do hope that more moviemaking will be in our future…but meanwhile, back to our regularly scheduled summer.

Followup from last month: We had a terrific show at the Ark in Ann Arbor, MI on May 25! Thank you so much to the nearly 200 people who came out to see us – we were delighted to see such a crowd there. Though our showcase was a great success, we are still looking for the perfect GrooveLily booking agent. Any good leads are welcome.

1. Back Issue Series CDs Are HERE (& You Can Still Save On 4-Packs!)
2. Next Theatre Piece In The Works
3. GrooveLily Duo (MinimaLily): Don’t Panic! Gene Is Staying!
4. *Cross-Country Summer Duo Tour Takes Shape: Help Fill In Dates*
5. Radio Paradise: The QMR In Action Once Again
6. Upcoming GrooveLily Shows: April And Beyond
7. Choice Lyric Of The Month
8. What We’re Listening To

1. Back Issue Series CDs Are HERE (& You Can Still Save On 4-Packs!)

Our first four “Back Issue Series” CDs are officially released this month, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of “Inhabit My Heart,” Val’s solo CD that started the band.

Thank you so much to everyone who pre-ordered these 4 CDs. You should have them all in hand by now. And a HUGE special thanks to our intrepid, tireless shipping department, otherwise known as Petal Pushers Meg and Jim. They have been briskly and efficiently shipping out all GrooveLily orders since last October, and we appreciate it more than we can say.

We are grateful to the fine folks at Oasis CD Duplication; once again they’ve come through with flying colors, delivering our CD projects not only on time and correctly, but EARLY. We’re so happy with them, we’ve added them to our links page. http://www.groovelily.com/index2.html?links

There’s a nice discount available on the whole collection of 4 “Back Issue” CDs – not as cheap as the pre-orders, but still a substantial savings:

**Buy all 4 for only $50.00** (either online or at GrooveLily shows)!

We are hard at work on the liner notes, and scanning lots of photos and scrapbook stuff…ah, nostalgia!…the first batch of material should be up online very soon. (Each CD comes with a special associated URL.)

As we mentioned last time: collectors will definitely need to own these additions to the Compleat GrooveLily…and for recent converts, these older albums offer revealing glimpses into the band’s convoluted past. Join us as we look back on our journey thus far, and enjoy!

Back Issue Series:
1994 – “Inhabit My Heart”
1996/1997 – “Jungle & Sky/GrooveLily Sampler”
1998 – “Brendan and the Extenuating Circumstances”
2000 – “Little Light”


2. Next Theatre Piece In The Works

We are writing writing writing…the next GrooveLily theatre piece! This will be a non-holiday show (for those of you who are new to our list, our first theatre piece was “Striking 12: The GrooveLily Holiday Show,” a cross between a concert and a play which is now an annual tradition – this year we’ll be doing it in Palo Alto, CA at TheatreWorks during the upcoming holiday season).

We’ve got an outline and several songs already written for the new show. The 3 of us in the band are collaborating on the piece, and we’re extremely excited about it. It’s autobiographical, based primarily on our experiences with that bane of our 2001-2002 existence, the GrooveLily RV. The working title is “Wheelhouse,” and we hope to have the writing completed by the end of 2004.

Look for sneak previews of songs from “Wheelhouse,” the RV show, in upcoming GrooveLily concerts starting this summer!

3. GrooveLily Duo (MinimaLily): Don’t Panic! Gene Is Staying!

The GrooveLily Duo (MinimaLily) is the extremely portable, “unplugged” (yet electric) scout version of our band. Sometimes (like this summer) for selected trips, we leave Gene happily at home in NYC while Brendan and Val troll the wilderness for new GrooveLily listeners, playing in smaller/more acoustic venues where drums are difficult. It’s like a recon mission, and a fun way for us to be able to play up-close, intimate concerts.

This does NOT mean that the trio is breaking up, or anything alarming. We are full speed ahead, and the duo is simply an adjunct to what we do as a band. We bring photos of Gene with us and prop them wistfully on the dashboard…and while there are some GrooveLily songs that we don’t do as a duo, there are also some songs that work best in the MinimaLily setting. We bring you our music in a variety of flavors; enjoy them all.

4. *Cross-Country Summer Duo Tour Takes Shape: Help Fill In Dates*

This is working! We are delighted and thrilled that our listeners are becoming empowered, not only to seek out and enjoy the music they like, but also to bring this music to their friends, families and communities. Several GrooveLily listeners have already stepped forward to organize, book and/or host concerts featuring Brendan & Val this summer…and many more have contacted us with venue suggestions and leads. This is exactly the kind of grassroots support that makes the Quality Music Revolution grow!

Here is our current itinerary – if your area is on or near our route and you’d like to help bring us there, please get in touch.

(212) 696-7992, booking@groovelily.com


July 10: Soronson House Concert, Owings Mills, MD
July 11: Lancaster, PA (full band)
July 12-15: SEEKING GIGS between Lancaster, PA and Dallas, TX (exact route tbd)
July 16: Art From The Heart House Concert, Richardson, TX
July 17-18: Tentative House Concert, Kerrville, TX -but still SEEKING GIGS around Kerrville/Austin in case this falls through
July 19: Paramount Theatre, Abilene, TX
July 20-23: SEEKING GIGS between Abilene, TX and San Diego, CA
July 24: Acoustic Music San Diego, San Diego, CA
July 25: Genghis Cohen, Los Angeles, CA
July 26-27: SEEKING GIGS not terribly far from LA
August 3: SEEKING GIG not terribly far from LA
August 4: Genghis Cohen, Los Angeles, CA
August 5: Gordon Biersch, San Jose, CA
August 6: SEEKING GIG, San Francisco area (it’s also Brendan’s birthday!)
August 7: Halflab House Concert, Santa Clara, CA
August 8-11: SEEKING GIGS in Northern CA/OR/WA (Sacramento-Seattle)
August 13: Avalon Music & Arts Festival, Paw Paw, WV (full band)
August 15-19: SEEKING GIGS in WA, ID, MT
August 20-21: 2 Concerts, Salt Lake City, UT
August 22-27: SEEKING GIGS between UT and NY, probable Ontario route
August 28: Outdoor Festival, Binghamton, NY (full band)

5. Radio Paradise: The QMR In Action Once Again

A big thankyou to Petal Pusher Marcia S. for spearheading GL’s appearance on Radio Paradise, one of our favorite Internet radio stations. Marcia has tirelessly uploaded, publicized, monitored, and rounded up voters for our music over the past weeks, and has exerted an amazing amount of Petal Pusher power. Due in large part to her efforts (and to the efforts of many other loyal PPs!), we have gone from consideration at the Listener Review Channel to being added as a regular artist on Radio Paradise. Hurrah!


6. Upcoming GrooveLily Shows: April And Beyond

Check out the gigs page.

7. Choice Lyric Of The Month

We don’t usually quote somebody’s entire lyric, but we are so taken with Peter Eldridge that we couldn’t help ourselves…

“Caught Me On A Good Day”
by Peter Eldridge, from “Fool No More” (2001)

Is it something in the water
Or some strange chemical floating through the air
But I awoke this morning
Without a single care
I’m calm and so contented
Yet I’m passionate and I am strong
Finally slaughtered the bitter joker
Who’s been yammering on and on and on
Today I finally cut the crap out –
I’m speaking my mind
And all I’ve got to say to that is
‘Bout time, ’bout time, ’bout time

To hell with self-improvement
I am laughing in the face of every fear
Gone the preoccupation
With the sanctity of my damn career

Chorus: Guess you caught me on a good day
Let’s leave well enough alone
Could you walk me through this good day
‘Cause I don’t get what’s going on
All I know is it’s a good day
Stay close and hold on
Come on, let’s make the best of it
Come on, let’s make the best of it

Long gone the uptight white guy
Today I’m every other hipper color instead
And all my worries and rejections
Are home crawling under my bed
Oh, today I’m cured, today I’m cruising
Not just spinning my wheels
Not living every day
In the hopes of that big deal, big deal, big deal

Today I know the deeper meaning
I have settled the score with my past
There’s just one thing I wonder
Just how long is all this supposed to last

Repeat chorus

So now these crow’s feet line my eyes
The gentle birth of my demise
Gone is youth’s sweet dumb disguise
Grasping to be immortalized – ah

I talked with God this morning
We’re having lunch today
He seemed real friendly on the phone but
He’s worried I might get in his way
I guess it’s a good day
One hell of a good day…

8. What We’re Listening To

Peter Eldridge
“Fool No More” (2001)

WE LOVE PETER ELDRIDGE!!!! Val and Brendan went to a concert called “Alternative Torch” at Symphony Space in NYC last week, which featured several singer/songwriters who cross genres between rock and theatre (something we’re very interested in, you may be aware)!. A very cool group called New Voices Collective produced the show – and to us, the standout of the evening was Peter Eldridge. We are inspired and amazed by his irresistible, lush music, and have been listening to his CD nonstop in the van.

Peter’s live performance was fantastic: his sweet, powerful, agile voice (which you may know from the group “New York Voices”), combined with sinuous piano chops and rock-solid drumming (on a cardboard box for one song), made for a one-man tour de force that really floored us.

But then we took home his CD, and our respect for his music ratcheted up another notch; as Gene put it, “Fool No More” fulfills the promise of Steely Dan. Beautiful arrangements, very real yet hopeful and uplifting songwriting…imagine Bruce Hornsby crossed with Adam Guettel (composer/lyricist of “Floyd Collins,” which reminds us a little of this). It has that sound we think of as “American,” by which we mean there’s a little bit of Copland in there, a little bit of Pat Metheny…the open, soaring type of songs we love the best. (For example, “Postcards and Messages,” track 2.)

Co-produced with Ben Wittman, and featuring a host of fantastic musicians (including Duke Levine, who graced our “Little Light” album), this CD has shot up into all 3 of our Top Ten lists.


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