Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Alright, I know I know. It has been a long time since I last updated and I apologize for those of you that have been visiting.
Well the news of the month is that we will be performing the first act of the rock opera as part of a benefit concert for Christopher Joyce on Saturday, May 22 at Old Franklin Schoolhouse, 491 Middlesex Ave.,in Metuchen, NJ. Chris had to be hospitalized for blod clots all over his body, including his brain. All the proceeds will be going to help pay for his extreme medical bills. We are headling the bill and will be going on at 10 PM. However, we are sharing the evening with some amazing bands, one of which is my friend Lisa's band called Sunburst Carrier.
The bad news is that we will only be doing the first act of the rock opera due to time constraints. My apologies, but if we did the whole thing I would be leaving there with my PA around 2 AM. However, for those of you who want to see the rock opera again in full, do not fear! I am looking into the George St. Playhouse again for sometime this Summer.
Also, we will be raffling off a guitar at the May 22nd show that will be hand collaged by me and signed on the back by all the band members. And yes, I will post pictures of it when it is finished.
I know I have said this before and, well, not delivered. However, now that the rock opera is over and our search for a bassist is STILLLLLLL going on, I will start work on an acoustic project within the next few weeks. Yep, it's time. FINNNNALLLLLY. I will want to do a few shows/open mics of the new material before I put it on record, so if there is a last minute solo gig, I'll let you know.
And now, a few words about....art? The amazing writer Paddy Chayefsky is quoted as saying the following: "Artists don't talk about art. Artists talk about work. If I have anything to say to young writers, it's stop thinking of writing as art. Think of it as work." That is the best thing I have ever heard about trying to live a life within music. Chris and I went to MOMA to see the amazing work of the photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. I even had the chance to see a photo he took of my hero Albert Camus. Damn near freaked when I saw it there on the wall. Bresson had enough technique to allow his creative force to kick into gear and then he just went for it! His photographs were stunning and full of life. Very inspiring. I also got to see a few Mark Rothko paintings from early on in his career and a beautiful Agnes Martin work. All of the pieces reminding me to keep my eyes on the prize, to work harder ad harder, and to never settle.
At the same time at MOMA, they had an exhibit of a performance artist whom I will not even mention. In my younger days, I most likely would have been shocked. A few years ago, I may have laughed. Now I was just bored and angry at the work. I do not believe that any of the work shocked anyone, not in this age of instant access porn. What power does the nude body have to anyone over the age of 18 anymore? Really? What were the themes this woman was trying to state? Rape is bad. War is bad. People in relationships don't really talk to each other. Women are treated horribly. Death and life are constantly next to each other in our existence. Life basically sucks. Live nude people look kinda silly standing in a museum. We all die. We can't get a refund for the money we paid to get into MOMA.
My aunt Lois taught me that if you want to be in "the arts", you have to work very hard and be the best you can at your technique and then the expression of whatever it is you set out to do: act, paint, compose, whatever. Performance art has always angered me because it gets funding NOT because it has any craft, but because someone had the nads and used car salesman on meth con artist ability to sell their IDEA! If someone wants to get together with a friend, strip naked and slam into walls for an hour to show how we continually hurt and ignore each other, fine. But please don't get PAID for this behavior! Give the money to those who actually CARE about the CRAFT! Summation: the "art world" is 10,000 times more full of liars and thieves than the music and movie business.
I still love Beckett, a true producer of great work. Here is an amazing performace of one of my favorite pieces by him, Ohio Impromptu.
I have been blessed in life by being surrounded by amazingly honest and creative people, those who have set the bar high for me. I do not understand "art". I understand stories. Perhaps the best way to close is with a quote from Agnes Martin: “When I think of art I think of beauty. Beauty is the mystery of life. It is not in the eye it is in the mind. In our minds there is awareness of perfection.”
Forget the knives and nude people and skeletons. Go for beauty, even if it is melancholy. But go for beauty.
March 1, 2010
Since today is my LEGAL birthday (my actual birthday is not on the calendar this year, nor next), I feel the desire to finally put up a post as to state what has happened over the past year and what the road ahead looks like.
To begin, the past year had many summations, conclusions, answers and revelations. That sounds horribly melodramatic, but it really isn't. Last year at this time, I was in the middle of figuring out how to complete the video part of the rock opera, not to mention the concept of debuting it. Since then, it had its rather cool debut at The George St Playhouse, I had an improv class/performance with Padma Lakshmi as a fellow student, and played Bing-fest as well as other shows in New York and New Jersey.
While the rock opera was a creative highpoint on just about every level, being asked to be part of the wedding service of my dear friends Scott and Chris was an emotional zenith. Music is beautiful, but to be part of my friend's marriage was (quite literally) humbling and made me really re-think things. While I may never be sure what I gave them, I shall always be grateful for what they gave me for allowing me to be part of their wedding.
Speaking of the rock opera, yes, that was the culmination of years of work. It was started a few months after Steve died and was somehow completed just after my aunt died. I am amazed I was able to even pick up a guitar after those traumas, much less do all the work I did. The debut was the most intense experience I have ever been through. Looking through the footage, I can see that it really was a turning point for me on several levels.
The project was only able to be completed due to the beautiful people I have in my life: the Tribe, Chris on video, Josie on lights, the people at the George St Playhouse, etc. However, I remember the end of the show the most, when I got to meet many of the people that came. It was beautiful. Ilana and Katie coming all the was from DC, others coming from NYC, the crowd ranging in age from 13 to over 50, and so on. The actors from the rock opera at the debut proud of the time they donated to help it come to life. I truly felt blessed. I am not sure if one can ask for any more than that when one places their soul on the floor of a stage and sweating like a lawn sprinkler.
Last year seemed like the arrival point from all my years of doing music with vocals. It was the maturation of what I started with "sacred" and was beautiful. For all these years it was an uphill battle of trying to get it right. With this project, it all locked into place. An amazing feeling to say the least.
But more important, what about the road ahead? We have not been able to play out overly much because we do not have a full time bassist yet. We are having auditions in two weeks so hopefully someone will follow through. For the record, my soul is driven into a cynical at the people who answer craigslist ads claiming to be musicians. Absolutely horrible...
Any good news? Oh, HECK YEAH! But, I will wait to let everyone know in about a week or two. No, there is no major record deal or something like that, BUT there is some rather amazing news about Mike Kovacs and the Post-Modern Tribe and the road ahead.
So, to all of you who came out to see the shows, who helped in any way with getting this music out to the world and keeping it alive, to all of you who helped make me smile and allowed me to scream in rage when everything seemed to be falling apart at the seams, and to those who simply said they would stay and DID, I extend to you my deepest gratitude for making the past year of my life possible. I achieved an artistic goal I had always dreamed of, but I am old enough now to know that I never ever could have done it alone. Period. It is because of the love and support I have been blessed with that I got there and I thank you all for that. I am saying it here in case you forgot or thought I had done the same.
May you all be blessed with much peace, joy, health and love this coming year. And always remember that if you like any of the work I produce, you have had a hand in it. If you don't....well, I'll take 110% of the blame.
Please check back soon for more news.
With deepest music and Gratitude,
December 31, 2009
All right, it has been a long time since I have posted an update, and I apologize for those of you who have been coming here looking for some words from me. My reasons for the past few weeks can be summed up as a financial tsunami with my car suddenly dying and having to swiftly get a new one. While I got a good deal on an excellent used car, it just descimated my savings and paying off the rock opera. The running around between auto shops and the DMV means I have had no time and if I had a spare moment, I was burnt out from the stress.
It is the end of the year and time for my summation of the past year. I am tempted to go back in the archives and read what I wrote last year at this time but I won't. Basically the last half of this year has been the "after" section to the "before" of the past several. (Don't worry, I don't have the audacity or ego to do a HUGE "Decade in summation" like I see going on all around me.)
I started the end of last year on the edge of mixing the rock opera and still within the year of my aunt's death. I had a belief that the project WOULD get done, but I had no idea of what it would take to get to the finish line. Then again, I must state here that I had no idea what "the finish line" was!
The cost of the mix of the rock opera was exactly double of what I had budgeted. I was there for 98% of the mix and can state that it was worth every cent. However, with such a budgetary implosion, I was left on sandy financial ground. It sounded so amazing that there was no choice but to go to the last step.
Sorry. No more minutiae.
We debuted the rock opera a one of the top 5 theatres in New Jersey and, to me, it was a wathershed. With the amazing help from Chris on video, Josie creating the lights and the perfrct Mark Keane on bass, it all came together. Someone who was at the debut, a performer whom I deeply respect, said, "When you did 'St. Valentine' I realized why I do music." Absolutely humbling.
Right after that (literally the day after) I helped my beloved friends Scott and Chris get married, the morning after the band van got totalled, I took a second level comedy improv class and wound up with Padma Lakshmi touching my hand, in the middle of the class, played the Mike Benham festival "Bingfest", drove like hell back to NJ to see my amazing friend Mike get married to his amazing wife Sherri, finish the improv class, and....
And now I am here. It has been one hell of a ride.
I can say that this year, other than having a few more gigs, I am not wanting for action. I saw my beloved Eileen graduate and gave her my hat and buried two people I knew very well. The celebration of live and the introspection of death were both covered, though I very well could have very well done without the latter.
Many people have left my life and a few have entered. I cherish those who have chosen to stay. The losses have finally humbled me to embrace that deep appreciation. Eileen looked priceless in her graduation gown and my worn pork pie hat, a vision that was so beautiful that I doubt I will ever forget it.
What the New Year will bring, I do not know. Music, yes, there will be more music, more original music. And I thank each one of you who have come to the shows and bought the CD's for your presence and support. Know I do not take anything you have given me for granted.
It is nearing midnight and this year is coming to an end. When I started this decade I was single and trying to finish up "The Growing Stone". Steve, Chris Zadravec, Adam Sadowski, Dave and Tishana Kaden Sawh were in the Post-Modern Tribe. Steve passed away and everyone else in the band has moved on. Regardless, the music stays on with new players and new songs. As any composer will tell you, the music is greater than the writer.
On a sort of side note, the songwriter Vic Chestnutt died on Christmas Day from an overdose of pills. I will admit that he was somewhat unknown to me until an interview he did a few weeks ago. He spoke on plain terms of life and of his prior suicide attempts. You could tell from his voice that he was a man who had looked into the abyss of mortality straight on. After hearing him speak, I was hooked and was going to look more into him in the New Year. Now...he is gone. If there is a lesson to be learned from his story, perhaps it is to love everyone you care about with everything you have. Within that, there are no regrets in the final summation.
So, to all of you who read this, may you be blessed with a New Year full of much peace, hope, music, and joy. Stay tuned here for more developments in the weeks ahead. I assure you, there will be some suprises.
With Deepest Music and Gratitude,
November 7, 2009
Well, as you can see, I have not been updating the blog very much in the past weeks. To those of you that visited looking for news, I apologize.
Today is the three year anniversary of the death of my beloved friend and musical war verteran Steve Hajdu-Nemeth.
I am not sure if I have anything left to add to what I have said before about him. Over the past year I have listened to him sing on "Cryptic", "Splinter", "Hymn" and "Crescendo" and realize how amazing he was to who I am as a composer, not to mention a person. As a band mate, he was always there before me helping with gear and set up and the last guy leaving as I managed to fit the last guitar into the back seat of the car. He never asked for the spotlight which made giving him center stage an absolute joy.
For the record, I do not believe that one ever gets over the loss of someone so close. You simply figure out some way around the huge hole they left in your life. After a few Long Island Iced Teas or a Zeppelin song coming on the radio, the sorrow emerges and consumes the soul and, yes, I still cry over him not being here. He was a friend, a comrade in arms. This life in music is full of lies, egos, and betrayals. He was rock soild and honest to his dying breath. Goddamned it....I really miss him.
I am going to do my best to have a MySpace page set up for the band If Dawrwin Played Drums, the band that I played bass in for about a year and that was his main venue of public artistic expression until it splintered into the metal band Judge Drain. Please stay in touch with this blog for updates.
The Tribe STILLLLLLLLLLLLLL has no bass player. The Tumulty's shows are quite cool and the new cover of Kashmir we did last week was rather amazing. If anybody out there knows anyone who plays bass who would want to paly with the Tribe (male, female, multi-gender, whatever!) please let me know!
Clove cigarettes are now illegal to be imported into the US. Grain alcohol is still available and fully automatic assault rifles are good to go, however.
To everyone who visits the site waiting for an update, I thank you. I hope the updates will be better and more frequent. I hope to start recording some solo guitar pieces soon as all the guitars have been to the tech and are ready to regain their voice.
My love goes with you all.
August 23, 2009
The fury of work and projects has finally ebbed!!!!
For the past two weeks I have been taking level 201 improv comedy class at UCB in New York City. When I first enetered the class, it became VERY apparent as to how fried my brains were after the debut of the rock opera! When I took the 101 session of the class in January my brain was in a much more intense state. This time, it was a slug on NyQuil. By the end of the session, I felt some neurons begin to fire and no longer felt like phantom limb in class. The teacher, Ari Voukydis, was absolutely amazing as a teacher and improviser. If I had a rough teacher, I would have dropped the class after day two because I simply could not handle the pressure. Personally, he brought out the best in everyone.
Also, for those who have cable, Padma Lakshmi was in the class as a student. Yes, THAT Padma Lakshmi: model, actress, author, and host of Top Chef. For the record, she is a very nice person, though she and I did not seem to get along for some reason. The graduation performance went well and my deep thanks for those of you who schlepped out in the ran on Saturday to come see me at the performance.
The raw video of the rock opera will arrive on Thursday. I saw a few minutes of it. Since I loathe pictures of myself, I can only state that everybody else looked great. It will not be released commercially as there were some technical problems with the audio, but I will put something out on youtube as soon as possible. My stomach gets a bit queasy when I go near my Mac. I spent WAY too much time video editing the past few months. I think that once I get a few good nights of sleep I will be able to go and start working on the project.
Mark Keane, the amazing bassist who performed the rock opera, is leaving for his homeland of Ireland which means we are in need of a new bassist. If anybody knows of someone they think would like to be the bassist for the Tribe, please let me know ASAP.
Tumulty's show this Friday. Going to be an acoustic show one way or the other. I will most likely pull a bunch of solo acoustic songs out of the attic and perform them. I want to do a new cover song or two. Should be pretty cool.
Finally, my deepest thanks to all of you who came out to the debut of the rock opera, the people at Bingstock, and those who came to the comedy show. This August was a moment of accomplishment and change. In terms of guitar-pop-rock music, to me the rock opera is the best and most complete work I have done. Other than booking places to perform the rock opera, creatively the road is the most open it has ever been.
Thanks for stopping by the blog. I hope to see you soon.
What can I say. The debut of the rock opera, After the Valentines, was amazing!!!!
Thank you so much to all of you who showed up to the George St. Playhouse in New Brunswick on Friday for the debut. While I am thanking people, please allow me to thank Mark, Julia, Mark (Keane), Liz, Christine, Josie, and Shottie for making the gig look and sound great. Also Genevive and Chris (and all the help) from the Playhouse for making the debut run smoothly.
I am still recuperating from the show and the day after where I spoke at the wedding of Scott and Christine Kuchinsky. A few hours later, while the band van was parked in front of the house, someone totaled it. Squiffy......
There are still a few copies of the libretto and the double CD available, so if you want to buy one, just let me know.
I am off to sleep. Again, bless all of you who came to the show. It was a beautiful thing.
Gratefully and Exhausted,
July 17, 2009
Tomorrow will be the first large-scale tech run-through at Aarius Studios. I have to do a lot of prep work tonight to make sure everything runs smoothly tomorrow. We did a real basic run through last Friday and it was really cool to see the images splashed up on the wall while we were playing. There was a reggae club downstairs where the bass was so loud it almost knocked the projector off the stand.
Looking forward to getting back the artwork for the booklets. My thanks to all the radio stations who have been really cool about playing selections. Sorry there isn't much more, but I've got to get back to the Mac and get things ready for tomorrow!
June 22, 2009
Alright, so I am excited.
After the Valentines is being debuted at one of the premiere theaters in New Jersey, the George Street Playhouse, on July 31. This project is by far the most all-encompassing and complete work I have ever done. It basically completes the circle that I started way back with sacred (my first cd, where the two songs sacred and Dirty Katie had video projected behind me during performances).
So, things are going to be mythically busy until approximately twelve hours after the last chord is struck that night. The following afternoon, I have the deep honor of presiding over the wedding of two beloved friends. But fear not, I'll be checking the site and updating this blog as my snail-mail letter writing has ground to a complete halt.
All right, more to follow.
May 3, 2009
How Mike has post-modern joy in New York City during swine flu season:
April 19, 2009
The following is an amazing documentary about the somewhat contemporary music business. If any of you out there are in a band
and/or write, please watch the following.
April 6, 2009
Lots going on this week. Much to the joy of Mike Kolber, Julia and I have finally starting rehearsing the entire piece called
"Standing Guard." It was originally written as a dance piece for Kathryn Onder.
Also, there are two new songs with vocals and cello that are being hammered out.
ooooooh, yes. There is now a new, and might I say official, Mike Kovacs and
the Post-Modern Tribe myspace page. The facebook one will be up shortly.
It's going to be a crazy week with all the holidays. But if you can, please come out and see us this Friday, Good Friday
evening, at Bar Saints and Sinners in Hoboken. Yes, I know there is irony there, Bar Saints and Sinners on the day of the
remembrance of the crucifixion of Jesus. But what are you gonna do? Isn't that just rock and roll, brothers and sisters?
Stay posted about the end of the month Tumulty's gig.
If I don't post again before then, hope everybody has a great Judeo-Christian holiday spectacular.
March 17, 2009
The rock opera After the Valentines has been mixed and mastered. The video part is being edited as of this writing, and will
be for the next couple of weeks. The Tribe will be performing as usual at Tumulty's at the end of this month, and just today
we were booked to play on April 10 at Bar Saints and Sinners in Hoboken.
Also, if anybody is interested in purchasing any signed copies of my artwork, please let me know via e-mail
(firstname.lastname@example.org). For some examples of my art, click here.
just some of my show flyers. More examples will be up within the next week or so.
Sorry I can't talk more, but I have to go back to video editing.
February 11, 2009
All rock opera songs are mixed. Update to follow very soon.
Keep posting on that guestbook! It will be gone soon. If you want us to keep it, let us know.
January 21, 2009
Good news. We finally started the first phase of the mix of the rock opera today. Because I still used digital tape and not
Pro Tools, the tracks have to be transferred into the computer. I am happy to announce that after an initial scare due to
some tape problems, all songs have been loaded in and will be ready to be mixed starting next week.
Some more good news is that we will be debuting a brand-new blues song at the next Tumulty's gig at the end of the month. It
has been custom made to fit the awesome voice of Liz Edwards.
I suppose many of you are expecting some sort of commentary about the inauguration. Well, I was home and I watched it and
thought that Aretha Franklin's hat did cross party lines. As someone who holds an economics degree from Rutgers, I can say
that the road ahead is going to be one hell of a ride, no matter which party had gotten in. This is a time of change, plain
and simple. Let us all hold true to our beliefs and do our best to help as many people as we can upon the journey.
Please come out to the Tumulty's show on the 30th. It should be a good one.
Be good to each other, and thank you for all your support.
January 15, 2009
Ok. The good news and the bad news.
The bad news is: we are having problems with the master tapes. It seems that there is some bizarre mechanical problem with
the machines used for the mix, and the machines used for the recording. I will know as of next Wednesday if I have to record
half of the rock opera all over again. We had the same problem with Reaching for the Brass Ring, but this time it seems way
more serious. After the last cd, the machines at Mexico City studios were serviced by professionals. Much to nobody's
surprise, this seems to have done nothing to alleviate the problem.
The good news is the recording is done and I have completed my first-ever group comedy improv class via the Upright Citizens
Bridgade Theatre in New York City.
For those of you who have some strange desire to see me clothed, doing such things, please visit the following link. Note
however, that I only introduce the group in clip number one, have a sketch at 3:00 in clip number two, and have a sketch at
the beginning of clip number three.
It was a wild week, starting off from point zero and having to be taught something from the ground up.
Ok. If you think improv is easy, please follow the following link to the masters of the game. Robin Williams and Whose Line is it Anyway.
Update about the cd will appear next week, guaranteed.
January 1, 2009
The entire Post-Modern Tribe wishes you a truly most-podern gnu year.
Thank you, we love you!
In early youth, as we contemplate our coming life, we are like children in a theatre before the curtain is raised, sitting
there in high spirits and eagerly waiting for the play to begin. It is a blessing that we do not know what is really going to
December 31, 2008
So here it is, the end of another Julian calendar, causing a moment or twelve of reflection upon the events of the past 365
I could get into severe detail of the past year....
2008 started out with the impening death of my beloved Aunt followed immediately by my flying out there to say a final
farewell. Watching Lois go was heatbreaking. Bless my friends in California for giving me a moment of laughter amidst the
darkness. Ten days after that, on the day of the video shoot, she died. There was no room to stop and mourn as things had to
be put in place for the NACA Convention in St. Louis. (For the record, the NACA is an absolute ripoff for any independent
musician. It was a waste of time and money and I regret ever being involved with that organization.) Then came the recording
of the basic tracks for the rock opera, then Dave left the band. Basically, him leaving was the what snapped a part of me.
Everything from the past months had been building and I just broke. To those of you who have never tried to find a bassist
but would like to simulate the experience, walk barefoot on a pile of tacks then place your feet firmly into a bucket of
grapefruit juice. I am amazed at the amount of unintelligent, untalented and horribly rude people there are out there who
claim to be a musician.
It was a very bad time. To be honest, I did not want to complete the rock opera. What was the point of putting all of the
time and money into a project that would never be performed again? And, to be honest, I stopped believing in the music.
The Summer was a point of re-birth. I began to feel again, slowly rising above the surface. Money was tight, but I made do.
Another absolute lie was the OS National Band Search Competition. Everything I hate about the music business rolling back
into frame. To be fair, the people in charge were not bad people and we did not lose any money, but the contest was an
absolute joke. The Post-Modern Tribe was amazing and in the end it didn't matter. Who won the "competition"? Well, it is
still going on. Go to www.originalsessions.com to find out more. Playing in NYC, something I vowed I would never do again,
became kinda fun. To be honest, some of those nights are mythical in how great they were. In the middle of my depression, I
began to see people coming out to the shows that I had not seen in a while and it made me feel good again. Friendships can
have that amazing effect of healing the soul at times like that. Dave Cohen, Corey Eilhardt, Johanne Savoie and the entire
Mike Kolber Army made the gigs high points full of stories and I consder them all a blesisng.
By the end of the Summer, I remember sitting at the recording console and listening to the tapes of the rock opera for the
first time in months. I was listening to "Pull You Into Me" and realized that the music was good, damn good and it needed to
be finished. Thanks to Pete Vajtay engineering the tracks and also believing in the music, it got done. For the record, he
saved the day.
Liz entering the band gave it a shot of life, make no mistake about it. She has a lot of energy and a great voice and
believes in the music. Speaking of changes, we have finally found a replacement, Michael Benham. Great guy, funny and
talented. It is strange to have had so much change in the Tribe in one year, but the results are great and I am not going to
Going to Buenos Aires with Chris was great and very needed. The country, food, and people are great and I would recommend it
Sitting here typing on the edge of 2008, I am tired and cannot wait to have the year end. I have had a few realizations this
year, one of which s the futility of fame. My Aunt won two Emmy awards and was on Broadway, but she did not make the year end
obits of the New York Times or even People magazine. When I spoke at the Actor's Studio this past year (which was an absolute
honor), I saw people who were involved passionately with the craft of acting. But it is a lie to think that they, or any
other artist, does not want some sort of recognition. Lois deserved better. Period. The unfairness of life at times is soul
Next year will be a year of change one way or the other. The band is strong and the music even stronger. It could very well
be the year of the Post-Modern Tribe. The website is going to be radically changed with the arrival of the rock opera.
Some people have come into my life, others have asked me to leave, others have simply left. The silence is the hardest.
But the ones that returned, the ones that came into my life willingly, not to mention the ones that stayed, have been an
May those of you who stayed, those of you who cared and supported us through the past year know that you have my deepest
I hope the next year to be 100 times better than this.
With deepest Gratitude and Music,
P.S. And a sincere note of graditude to Rick and everybody at Tumulty's for making it the home of the Post-Modern Tribe.
December 14, 2008
I've added a new story (click here to read it). It was supposed to
be up several months ago, but I happened to find it again today.
All right, it's not really a Christmas story. But perhaps it is a story that could make one reflect on what one has before it
is gone. And at this time of year, perhaps that is a good thing.
We are one cello track and one vocal track away from the completion of the rock opera. So close, yet so far.