I’m really excited to announce that my new EP Blindsight 2020 is out right now! It’s a 5-song collection of studio tracks that I recorded over the last few years and it features a lot of songwriting and production that I’m really proud of.
In fact, that’s why I decided to release the EP in the first place. I was really happy with my arrangements on the songs “I’m Just Here for the Swag” and “Somewhere Else,” the pandemic-inspired Beach Boys sendup of “Catching Rays on the Fire Escape” captured 2020 really well, and I really like of “Booze Women, and Movies” and “I’m as Broke as Kansas” both for what they say and how they say it.
It’s my first studio release since A/B came out just over 4 years ago, in November 2016. In 2018 I recorded the live concert album Rob P. Rocks a Jazz Club which had a lot of new songs on it, but since I was focusing on getting them in shape for the live album I didn’t do as much studio recording. My goal for 2021 is to get back in the studio so I wanted to motivate myself to push ahead with new music and not “save” these favorite songs for a later release. Without these gems to fall back on I’m hoping to force myself to innovate!
Or maybe realize the pandemic has killed my artistic drive. We’ll see! [shrugging emoji]
It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update, mostly because there hasn’t been much to update you on. Things have been slow with all live shows in NYC still shut down, no cruise gigs to promote or report back on, and travel still being something we non-essential people really shouldn’t be doing so even if I did want to accept a show in a place where shows were showing. I’m still doing Cover Tuesdays every Tuesday at 8:15 pm NYC time, but hopefully you already knew about that.
The news about effective Covid-19 vaccines has been encouraging but unless something is done to support live music and comedy venues there won’t be many shows for the vaccinated crowds to attend. Two notable comedy venues in NYC have already closed permanently during the pandemic: The Creek & The Cave and the UCB Theater. Without help more may follow. (If you’d like to help independent venues or want to know more about the issue, check out Save Our Stages and the National Independent Venue Association. And here’s an article from September specifically about the frustrations comedy clubs in NY are facing.
These eight-plus months since the shutdowns began has been the longest I’ve gone without doing regular live performances. I’d love to make a prediction about what the future will be but would they be predictions or wishful thinking? I’d like to think that I will get back to performing regularly, hosting a show here in NYC, performing at clubs and theaters throughout the country, doing some shows in other countries like I have in the past, and yes, even getting back on a cruise ship. With Covid numbers spiking before the arrival of any kind of vaccine, all of those wished for things feel at best six to eight months away.
In the meantime there is still music, which is more easily shared in the absence of live venues. Cover Tuesdays have been fun, and I will be releasing a five song studio EP before the end of the year. It will contain some of my favorite songs from the past couple of years, from the early pandemic “Catching Rays on the Fire Escape” to the song “Somewhere Else” featured in the video I did with Victor Varnado. When I get the official release date I’ll make the official announcement, hopefully mid-December!
I hope you’re faring well wherever you are in the world. Stay safe and be excellent to each other!
Cover Tuesdays will be going strong throughout Pandemic Summer 2020! Every Tuesday at 8:15 pm NYC time (5:15 Pacific, 15 minutes after midnight GMT) I’ll be playing a fun set of stoopit covers live on my twitch channel! You can watch it on any twitch app or in the handy window below! Send in requests and suggestions via my twitter, instagram, or other ways if you know where to find me. Join us, it’s super fun!
It started with a joke about my neighbors hearing me play Monkees songs in my apartment during quarantine and a suggestion (or dare) to put it online. After using that show to troubleshoot my streaming setup I decided to do another show of cover songs the following week. Now, eight weeks later Cover Tuesday is my favorite night of the week!
With some wild suggestions and an enthusiastic crowd in the comments section I’ve done an hour of tunes every Tuesday. Here are some of my faves so far that either turned out well or failed in epic fashion!
And join us every Tuesday night on my twitch channel at 8:15 pm NYC time (5:15 PDT, 0015 GMT) for more fun sets of stoopit covers!
Freak on a Leash by Korn
Suggested by fellow comedy musician Pat Wise, this 90s hard rock song was not something that translated well to an acoustic guitar, but that makes it perfect for Cover Tuesday. I made a valiant attempt.
Eastbound and Down by Jerry Reed
This song was my choice and even though I didn’t have a banjo player I think it worked out well on one guitar. Instead of the extended finger picking jam in the middle of the song I used the time to talk about the song and the “Westbound and Down” version that shows up earlier in the film.
Anything You Want by The Muppets
You can’t combine The Muppets with one of the Flight of the Conchords and expect me NOT to cover it!
Hardware Store by Weird Al
Another challenging request, this one from comedian Jon Hudson. I had to slow it down a few bpm to get all the words out, but it was a fun one to try.
Rock the Bells by LL Cool J
My first attempt at old-school hip hop, from LL Cool J’s classic album Radio!
Bright Future in Sales by Fountains of Wayne
Great song on a great album, and with comedy and music clubs closed at the moment, I may need to hope I have a bright future in sales.
Songs from 1960s
Songs from 1970s
Songs from 1980s
Songs from 1990s
Song stats current as of May 19, 2020. Songs from 2000s=13%, songs from 2010s=11%, All other decades 2% or less.
To support musicians who can no longer tour and play live shows due to the Covid19 pandemic, the website bandcamp is waiving their revenue share for sales on the first Fridays of the next three months. That means the full price of what you pay for the music goes directly to the artist, in this case, me! All 6 of my studio albums and my full-length live concert album are available on bandcamp, including remastered versions of my first two albums from way back in the 90s!
Bandcamp is already one of the most equitable platforms for independent musicians thanks to their reasonable revenue splits and their site allowing fans to add a few bucks to the price if they want to throw some extra support to the artists. On the first Fridays of the next three months (Friday, May 1; Friday June 5, and Friday July 3) they’re basically running all of their artists merch tables for free!
So if you want to add some of my music to your collection, including some out of print and rare tracks that aren’t available on any of the streaming services, do it on one of these first Fridays and help out this silly idiot whose income used to come from performing to large groups (eep), playing at conventions (gasp), and working on cruise ships (smack my dang forehead)!
I’m excited to be performing at First Night Morris in Morristown, NJ on New Year’s Eve! I’ll be doing a family-friendly 45-minute set at 9:45 and repeated at 10:45, which gives you the flexibility to see some of the other fine performers and activities at the biggest First Night celebration in New Jersey!
My performance venue is the Hyatt Regency right in downtown Morristown, and the show will be in the Regency room, right off the main lobby. Earlier in the Regency room, at 7:15 and 8:15, is the very funny comedian Andy Pitz, with whom I’ve worked many times over the years and is an absolutely hilarious pro. Come check us both out! And fireworks! And food! And activities!
This will be my first First Night in quite a while; as a matter of fact one of my first paid gigs was at a First Night in my hometown of Waukegan, IL back when I was a senior in college and just getting started in comedy. Egads, that was a while ago!
But enough about the past, on the 31st we’ll be celebrating the future. Come join us!
Our site is now encrypted with an SSL certificate (notice the little lock icon in the address bar) and we’re celebrating our grand opening with a sale and an opening week coupon good for another 20% off! Plus, this is the only place online where the new USB Digital Box set is available!
Also available are limited quantities of Rob’s out-of-print back catalog titles like American Cheese, with classics like Yuppie Camper, He’s Got Coke, and the first audio-only version of Pachelbel, and Don’t Crowd the Plow, Rob’s first CD released all the way back in 1995, with tunes like The Harley Song, I Just Wanna Be Friends, Econobox, and more.
And since we’ll be fulfilling all of the orders right here from Rob P HQ you can even request signed copies of your order! Just put your request in the “Order Notes” on the checkout page and Rob will sign it before we ship it!
Sale prices are good through Nov. 30, 2019, and if you order before Nov. 9 you can use the coupon code 1st1shere to get 20% off your entire order! Introductory shipping prices are a low flat rate of $3 for US addresses and $7 flat rate for shipping outside the US through Nov. 30, 2019 so order today!
It’s hard to believe my monthly show at Q.E.D. is about to celebrate its 5 year anniversary! We launched as Don’t Feed the Musicians!, a title I coughed up when putting the first show together, and I renamed the show The Odd Rock Comedy Hour in 2017. That’s 60 installments of comedy, music, variety, video and more! And I only missed one show!
To celebrate we’re… well, just gonna keep doing our thing. Our November show will be Saturday, Nov. 16 at 7:30 and we’ll kick out the jams like we always do. Q.E.D. however, is celebrating their 5 year anniversary (we started the month they opened!) on Nov 4. at 7pm! I’ll be there telling a joke first told at the Odd Rock, along with tons of other comedians, writers, storytellers and more who have performed at Q.E.D. over the years.
Check out the gallery to see some of the people who’ve Oddly Rocked with us over the years!
A few years ago I took some time off to write a musical—a fully-fledged, 2-act, 20-song musical—and this year, after a really fun and productive read-through, a theater company in the Tampa, FL area has expressed interest in putting it on their 2020 schedule! I’m beyond excited for what the future of this musical will be, and even at this early-middle stage the project already has an interesting history.
It started with a sketch I wrote for my 2001 album Keep Your Jazz Hand Strong in which a shady boyband manager (played by the wonderfully talented Michael Bernard) informs a member of one of his boybands that he’d been traded. The boyband-as-baseball team premise included talk of cutting payroll, a farm system of up-and-coming younger bands, and a career arc for performers similar to the career spans of athletes. In the sketch I chose Tampa as the location for the young band because at the time Orlando seemed to be where the major league boybands were coming from (Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, O-Town). Tampa felt like the right market for a feeder team. Plus it’s an inherently funny-sounding name. “Tampa.”
For years the idea of expanding the sketch into a film script rolled around in the back of my head. The idea of a veteran performer forced to take a big step back in his career plus the hilarious shadiness of a boyband manager unabashedly treating pop music like one big grift were waiting to be explored and played with. I thought it could be a really fun movie with lots of music, like the Blues Brothers or Tapeheads. But a movie with a lot of music is—duh—a musical! So I decided to just do that.
After submitting to several festivals and theater companies—and not hearing back from most of them—I began to pursue other projects and career paths. I wasn’t completely discouraged though, I still believed it was a really solid script with good music that would make for a fun show. The project wasn’t lost, it was just hibernating. The work that went into it would still be worth it if and when the time came for it to hit the stage.
And that time might be next year, in 2020, and the place will be, oddly enough, Tampa, Florida! And the way my musical that is set in Tampa found it’s way to a theater company in Tampa is a bit of a story in itself.
My older sister moved to the Tampa area about two years ago and just this past year started playing oboe in a few local bands and orchestra pits (we’re a musical family :P). While playing in the pit for Ragtime she told the musical director about my musical; the fact that it was set in Tampa (and that he was familiar with my Pachelbel Rant) intrigued him enough to take a look at the script.
My sister suggested we try a read through should I visit the Tampa area, and that read through happened just this past Monday at the offices of Not Your Normal Entertainment. Joseph Scarbrough, the head of NYNE, brought together a lovely group of actors who brought life to the script while I played demos of the songs from my laptop. The jokes landed, the story flowed, and hearing people who live and work in Tampa react to the song “What’s in Tampa?” was a double bonus!
I am thrilled by the opportunity to debut this project on the stage. I’ll update here and on my social media, and follow NYNE on social media too, they do amazing work!
We finally pulled the trigger and pushed our site redesign live! There are still some bugs to work out, some of our “load more posts” buttons don’t seem to be working, but a lot of the new pages are here and ready to go. And if you’re looking for an older post that you can’t find, fear not! It’s sill in our database, we just need to get all the links and buttons pointing to the right things.
Give us a few days to get things running smoothly, and after that if there are posts or things you’re looking for that you can’t find or access, let us know and we’ll do our best to track it down.
To celebrate the release of the newly-remastered American Cheese, my studio album from 1998, all of my albums will be only $8 over at bandcamp! And yes, that includes my brand new live album Rob P. Rocks a Jazz Club! The offer is for a limited time so act quickly!
American Cheese is my second studio album and the first one I produced and recorded in my own studio, which at the time was anchored by an ADAT tape machine synched to a Mac Classic computer running 16 channels of MIDI instruments. Though it’s a little rough around the edges I think the songwriting and arranging holds up, and it will always have a special place in my heart because it’s the first big project I produced and recorded on my own, which started me on a wonderful artistic journey of producing and arranging music.
And now, for the first time EVAH! it’s available on something other than the original CD you had to buy from me in person or through my website. It’s over at bandcamp, a very artist-friendly music site, and for a mere $8 you can download the album in any format you want, from mp3 or m4a to fancy audiophile formats like Flac, Apple lossless, or something called “Ogg Vorbis” (that’s a Ferengi name, isn’t it?)
Also newly available on bandcamp—and also only 8 bucks—are the full versions of Living it Down and Songs From The Second Floor! Up until today I only had a couple of tracks of each on bandcamp but now you can get the complete albums!
That’s a lot of comedy music, and if you buy it you’re not only supporting me as an artist and getting some great music for your collection, you’re ensuring that you’ll always be able to hear your tunes whenever you like. Streaming services will come and go, streaming agreements and licensing will change, and heck, American Cheese and Don’t Crowd the Plow (also remastered) aren’t even available on any streaming service so bandcamp is the only way to get ’em!
So take advantage of this sale and tell your comedy music-loving friends!
My new live album, Rob P. Rocks A Jazz Club, recorded in front of a packed house in a beautiful venue in Brooklyn, NY, will be hitting e-tailers and streaming services on Tuesday, January 22, 2019!
Working on this album was really fun and rewarding, from the energy of the live show to the process of fine tuning the audio in post production, I really enjoyed digging in and working to capture and convey the energy and fun of the live show. There are 21 tracks and 15 songs, 12 of which are making their album debut. The three that overlap from my last studio album A/B include 2 “deep tracks” that didn’t get much attention at the time but grew into being staples of my live show.
I’m really happy with the variety of the songs too, from the spoken word/storytelling of the opening track “Devil Dealing” to a couple of tunes that feature musical compositions that I’m really proud of. There are pop tunes, country tunes, and some funky R&Bish tunes, including an old school rap breakdown in the song “I’m Just Here For The Swag” that I was sure I was going to blow live and have to play twice, but I spit it cleanly!
I’ll update this post with purchasing and streaming links as they become available. Can’t wait for you to hear it!
Update: Jan 11, 2019
Pre-orders JUST WENT LIVE!! If you pre-order on iTunes you’ll be able to download the track “Driving With Grandpa” right away, and will get the whole album on the release day Tuesday, Jan. 22.
Why pre-order? It’s a big help to me in promoting the album because all of the sales from the pre-sale period get reported on the day of the release, so it can help boost the album ranking, which helps more people find it. And you’ll be able to enjoy a brand new funny song while you wait!