A Year in the Rearview


I recently realized that I haven't written or posted anything here in over a year, despite how much has happened in that time - I shall do my best to remedy that now, in as few words yet as much detail as possible.

¡paLABra! was honored to be a part of Milwaukee Record's Public Domain video series, filmed in the Back Room at Colectivo, releasing our take on possibly the oldest piece in the Cuban songbook, El Son de la Ma Teodora. We also performed at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin's annual awards dinner, featuring our newly elected governor and lieutenant governor.

Speaking of the Back Room, fellow LAB member Nathan Kilen and I performed there back in April, backing Peter Mulvey for the release of his new album, There is Another World. A few months later, I found myself there yet again to sit in with Gina Barrington and her band Rose of the West, performing an old favorite we hadn't played together in probably seven years.

Lyric Advisory Board had a relatively light year, especially after the craziness of releasing our album The Great American Novelty in 2018, but we still managed to get in some shows with friends like Faux Fiction, Long Mama, and The Fainting Room. We are hitting/have hit all the customary tribute shows at Linneman's, including Kneel to Neil and Nod to Bob (where Jeff and I will also be playing with the great Heidi Spencer), and have a few tricks up our sleeves for the New Year, as well.

This summer The Hatchets finally released their long awaited album, The Uncounted Blue Jillions, on which I had the rare pleasure to play nothing but a ton of bass. We played some great shows, got some great press, and Justin's face popped up on a few billboards around the city. Somewhat related, in late summer my dear old friend Margaret and I finally started recording our first true Pezzettino collaboration together, despite having played together in various capacities for something like a decade - the results are absolutely stunning, and should be out in early-mid 2020.

I just recently turned in the last of the music for the new season of Wisconsin Foodie, and sold some music to some exciting upcoming feature-length documentaries. I was honored to receive an award for Best Score - International Short Documentary from the Hollywood North Film Awards for my work on Andrew Gralton and Tia Richardson's "Sherman Park Rising" - the film was also screened at the Beloit International Film Festival, and continues to make rounds on the festival circuit.

Finally, and perhaps most personally importantly, in March I realized a life-long dream to become a PADI certified scuba diver, receiving my open water certification at the Jacques Cousteau Underwater Reserve in Guadeloupe. Since then I have spent the better part of the year diving shipwrecks in and around Door County, in between playing guitar for sunset tours and mid-day sails. Next season I will be a full crew member for several boats, and in addition to providing a soundtrack for a day on the water, will also be accumulating sea time and dive hours - to what end, I have yet to determine, but all roads lead somewhere.

I hope it doesn't take another year for me to remember to reach out, but just in case, thanks to anyone (besides Eastern European bots) who actually reads this, and please feel free to get in touch if you have any needs or questions before next winter ... until then, stay warm, stay safe, and take care of each other.