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New Year’s Eve in New Year’s Jersey!

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!

Rob Paravonian at First Night Morris
Dec 31, 9:45 and 10:45
Hyatt Regency, Regency Room
3 Speedwell Ave., Morristown, NJ 07960

New Online Shop!

Announcing the brand new RobPRocks.com Online Shop!

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!

5 Years at Q.E.D.!

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!

Dramatic Development!

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.

Me and my sister Debra, whose drive made the read through happen!

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!

Me with the wonderful actors who participated in the read through, and Joe Scarbrough of NYNE (back row, far right)

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!

New Site Design!

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.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the new site!

$8 Album Sale at Bandcamp!

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!

My most recent studio albums are also $8 for a limited time, Keep Your Jazz Hand Strong from 2013 and A/B from 2016.

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!

Pre-orders are LIVE! Release: January 22!!

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!

Rockin’ Hill Valley!

Back in Time—Lost Hits of the 80s Vol. 2 is out! The charity album is a collection of 15 tunes from contemporary artists that were created to sound like they’re from that wonderful decade of the 80s, with all proceeds going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research.

Back in Time—Lost Hits of the 80s Vol. 2 hit the digital shelves yesterday and it is name your price! All of artists donated their songs, time, and talent to the project to maximize the benefit for the MJFF. The result is an amazing collection of songs with influences that run the spectrum of 80s music. You’ll hear strains of The Police, The Alarm, The Cars, Madness, Depeche Mode, and many others in the 15 tracks assembled here.

Give it a listen and grab yourself a copy. You’ll be getting some fun tunes and and you’ll be helping a great cause!

BackinTime_OneSheet

Got Some Dope New Promo Shots!

Thanks to the very talented Jon Taylor I have some great new press and promo shots to share! We did some charactery portraits, some actory portraits, and some shots with the guitar and I love ’em all!

I’m sure my fellow performers know how tricky it can be to get a good headshot or promo shot—one that captures your personality and conveys something about your work. I think Jon really captured some great moments and looks. Look for the new pics in a new show flyer, poster, or real estate bench ad soon!

Thank you Jon Taylor Photo!

Music Fest Season Starts When WE Say it Does!

If you love music but not the idea of standing outside all day with sweaty idiots, then we’ve got the place for you! New York’s hottest new music festival is Spring Festerella, presented by the Odd Rock Comedy Hour!

It’s only 85 minutes, a measly $10 ($7 if you buy advance tickets here with the code ORCHVIP), and it’s in Astoria so you can go home afterward and not sleep in a tent! It’s compact, streamlined, and filled with more awesome-per-dollar than any other music festival your bloggersnob friends have told you about.

Don’t believe me? Check out these acts:

  • The Reformed Whores They’ve been on IFC, SiriusXM, opened for Les Claypool and the Reverend Horton Heat, and have rocked the Edinburgh Fringe!
  • Carla Ulbrich A comedy songwriter and professional smart aleck who’s been played on the Dr. Demento Show, SiriusXM, and NPR!
  • Charles McBee a hilarious standup comedian who has appeared on Gotham Comedy Live!
  • Tim Ellis comedian/musician whose album and webseries Casual Pimpin’ are packed with hilarity and smooth grooves!
  • Shane Morrison comedic songwriter who has been featured in the New York Funny Songs Festival!
  • Hosted by Rob Paravonian, me, and I’ve also done stuff and been on things!

So there you have it. April 21st, 2018, is the official start of your summer festival season! Come on out and party with us!

Celebrate St. Pat’s w/ the >SHAM< Rock Comedy Hour!

When your monthly variety show falls on St. Patrick’s Day you gotta do something special, but instead of appropriating (and/or mocking) Irish culture we’ll be celebrating fake bands in The Sham Rock Comedy Hour!

That’s right! We’ll be celebrating all of your favorite sham bands from movies and TV! I’ll be covering some of the best examples of real music from fake bands, and we’ll also have a fake band trivia game (prize to be determined but it’ll probably be dope). Plus comedian Boris Khaykin, the dope and dirty rhymes of LaDynasty, and more!

So get yer butts down to the March edition of The Odd Sham Rock Comedy Hour! Advance tickets are only $7 when you buy at QED’s website with the code “ORCHVIP”

© Paravonian