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This week we have indie band/married couple Anne Williamnson and Brandon Walters of MY NAME IS YOU. We talk about gear, required music lessons that kept them playing as kids, and the completely dizzying immigration system they were (finally) able to navigate. Check out their music (and instagram feed) Here:



Hey Friends, 
       This week in the SharkBrain Labs is David Hodges, songwriter and producer and founding member of Evanescence who has worked with numerous talented luminaries including Celine Dion, Jason Mraz, Christina Perri, and of course, Jake Newton. Boom. 
We talked for so long and had such a good conversation at that, it became necessary to cut this into a two parter (Kill Bill style). In this first half we discuss origins, what got him into music and more specifically the craft of songwriting, dropping out of college, being consumed by the muse, and of course 90's Christian Rock.  Dig on this. Part Two comes out next week.

and be sure to check out David on the inter webs: 

Quit Your Job and Do What You Love.   

Hey Everybody, 
         So the Oscar season came and went, and yet I find myself empty handed again. No reward for my wishing and hoping. No reward for my thinking I should start writing that script. I was not given a lifetime achievement for my perceived potential. What a bummer. Oh well.  What's on Hulu? Do we still have those cheese pretzel combos or did we eat them all? Right? Time to get off our duffs and call our bluffs (see what I did there? I'm a songwriter, I can DO that). Now I know there is the viewpoint that Hollywood is vapid with short attention spans, and that we only care about that which is immediately in front of us, like liberal elitist goldfish. But get off of my cloud, imaginary guy who said that. This show follows my brain down the rabbit hole to find out what it is to validate your work, to seize the opportunity to call yourself a full fledged artist. It also explores what it is to claim artistry, and to take the leap into the unknown. I talk to a friend and compatriot Jesse Thomas about taking the huge leap into depending on your art to keep you fed and clothed. It's worth the risk ladies and gentlemen. it certainly is. 

Be sure to check out Jesse's Tour dates at her website
as well as Marvel's Agents of Shield wherein I shoot at people with impunity. 
check out a clip of it here:


Hello All!
 How goes it? This week’s mania hasn’t settled down and I’m stealing time to write you this highly pressurized tidy email. It’s funny when you schedule yourself within an inch of your life what your brain decides to focus on. For some reason when I have more responsibilities I worry less. Is that a thing? Is this just a fluke? Maybe I’ve got a massive breakdown right around the corner but for now I feel great. Not in a rested, “let’s go get waffles!” kind of way, but in a “1/2 way through a marathon and I just got over shin splints” kind of a way. My Brain has to prioritize and it can’t let itself get cannibalistic. Good for me I guess. 


In this week’s episode of SharkBrain I talk once more about the myth of the ordained artist. It’s something that’s been building up within me for a while, and I apologize if I keep on going down some of the same roads. But I guess it bears repeating if I keep thinking about it. The crux of the whole thing really is that it’s ok to be a blue collar artist.  Now what do I mean by that? I’ll tell you. 


Many times when when artists are written about or interviewed, they get portrayed by the writer (or worse, the artist THEMSELVES!) as these indelible forces of nature, floating on a golden cloud in favor of the Muse, songs and novels spewing forth from their pens. They need merely open their mouths and manna comes spewing forth 

in double album form, fully real

ized. The gods just smiled upon them and they farted out the poetry of our age. How Lucky we are to know them. 


Well I call shenanigans. This process merely takes the egalitarian nature away from the people trying to find their creative voices and puts it in this secret society of the accomplished. It’s creative hoarding. And It’s damaging. So how can we change it? 


Well for one thing we as artists in positions of accomplishment or power can stop with the “chosen one” syndrome. Yeah, sometimes art comes easy. You were at the right place and the right time holding a pen. But guess what? That same spirit that came to you comes to all of us. And it can leave as fast as it comes. So let’s not leave out the parts about us banging our heads against the wall. Let’s remember to tell people how we sat down in the chair to write/paint/rehearse/practice when we DIDN’T WANT TO. That it’s work, great work, rewarding work (sometimes), but all the same, a job. If we demystify creativity we become less precious about it when the road is bumpy, and in the end our unique voice shines clearer. 


ok. end of rant. 


This week on the show we’ve got musical renaissance man Bill Meyers. In his career as a session player and arranger he’s had the opportunity to work with Madonna, Lou Rawls, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Justin Timberlake, Destiny’s Child, Brian McKnight, Holy Crap the list goes on. We talk about the ever changing face of music, about avoiding the pitfalls of rock and roll, and a crazy story about Frank Sinatra. Dig in, this is a good one. 



Good Lord People. Don't have pipes break in your house. It's garbage. 
This week we have Singer/Songwriter Joel Eckels on the show. We talk about 
growing up a Navy kid, finding music as an escape, and touring till the wheels fall off. 
Get this episode, and check out Joel's Pledge music page  HERE

I also got the opportunity to work with Photographer Jeff Newton (No relation) on a series he's put together on coffee culture and the music and people surrounding it. The tune I play is a new one from the record I'm currently trying to wring out of my subconscious called, "All For You". Click on the screen shot to be taken to itSee Jake Newton on Americano Mondays HERE


Good Evening.Morning.Gracious.Gravy-


          The Olympics are in full swing and all I can think of are sports that I otherwise don’t know exist. Now I’m not typically a sports guy by ANY means. As a matter of fact They bore me to tears and get my bile roiling. But the Olympics guys. I’m a sucker for the pomp and circumstance. For the personal stories. For the shattering of records. “Ahh The triumph of human grit and determination!”, he mused from the couch. 


I think I’m going to go off Social media for a while this week. I’ll keep a journal for when I emerge again to the cloud to report my findings. My sneaking suspicion is that I’ll be far more of a balanced and fulfilled person, at least I hope I will be. I just can’t take anymore of this curated image management social media seems to bring out it all of us. It always leaves me feeling like my life should feel better than it does. I am the fatted calf meant for veal when I’m on social media. So I’m going to give it up for a bit. 


That’s not to say that I’m not going to be an email hound for brief (BRIEF I SAY!) moments throughout the day. Just in case anybody really needs me. THERE IS A LINE PEOPLE!


This week on the show we have Matt Sucich, a great singer-songwriter from out of Queens. We talk about day jobs, finding the guitar in college, and our mutual love for Red Wing Boots. Get it! 


You can check Matt's music at these places: 

I got a piano off of craigslist. I have had it tuned. I am opening my mind back up again. More songs are coming, slowly over the hill, I can just see the tops of their heads. I’m coaxing them from the ether. I’ll keep you guys apprised to how it’s all going. 


Be Well, 



Good Morning/Evening/Night, 


         What a punch to the gut. I loved Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s work. I’d go drop 14 bucks to see anything he was in. Such a discerning eye and open nerve. He brought such pathos, such angst. I remember a few years ago while on tour in Hershey, Pennsylvania  a few of us went to see Before the Devil Knows Your Dead at a tiny art-house movie theater roughly the size of a mall bathroom. What he brought to his role in that movie unsettled me, just as he always unsettled me. He made the awkward, tense, virile, prosaic, and despotic parts that we all share into crystalline moments to be studied. His work made us feel the weight of the absurdities of our modern life, to give credence to the flaws and sleek grace in equal measure. Fearless. I wanted to be more like him. 


I had no idea about his struggle with drugs. I’ve been lucky enough to avoid heroin and other serious pitfalls, but I haven’t been a complete stranger to addiction. I’m not going to sit and proselytize about the dangers of our choices and drugs. I don’t pretend to know anything about being strung-out on opiates. I have however at times wanted to die, or at least not feel anything anymore. Like something in my brain’s chemistry had ripped off my eyelids and torn open my chest and all I could do was burn and let everything collide through my me until I found a way to numb. I can sympathize with the need to turn the volume down. 


We ask so much of ourselves as artists. We take the most sensitive people in the whole of existence, carefully hone them into the most intricate of instruments with years of study and training, then set the wolves of industry upon them. You have to have the mental fortitude of Job to withstand the atrocities of success. I’ve only known a few people who’ve navigated it to some success, and they are my touchstones. 


This week on the podcast we have singer/songwriter/former screenwriter Joshua Radin.  I’ve known Josh for a few years now and it was good to sit down at (not a bar) and talk at length about his whirlwind entrance into the music industry, floundering broke in New York City, and the power of timing to help your success. This is the first of my mobile interviews I’ve done with the zoom h4n and I had a bit of technical difficulties with it, i.e. lost the first 20 minutes of the interview. So while kicking myself on the ride back from his place i struggled to remember and write down the things we covered that didn’t make the recording. I’ll go through them in the intro. Suffice it to say, I think I’m going to run that mobile recorder through its’ paces a few more times before I use it again. 


Back to the other thing for a second. 


we are here for such a very short period of time. I know it hurts, I know it feels like too much. But let’s not risk making our lives even shorter, or by that same token, missing it completely by means of escape. 



Aly Tadros is a Texan by way of New York City. She'd been playing for years, but had a moment nearly a year ago that threw her headlong into going pro. I had a great talk with Aly about family, addiction, facing disappointment, and what it means to be her own brand of artist in the 21st century climate. She's a great person, talented musician, and an easy conversationalist. check out our in-depth conversation here: 

And of course be sure to check Aly's music and blog here: