The first song from my non-comedy music album project is out! Start Over Again is now available on all the streaming platforms! Here it is on Spotify! And Apple Music! And something called Amazon!
My inspiration for the project is early 80s post-punk, like Echo & the Bunneymen, Psychedelic Furs and others, mixed with some early 2000s rock revival, and I think this first track reflects more of the post-punk vibe. The full album will be released this fall and I’m planning on it having 10 originals and one cover (which I think will be a really fun surprise).
It took a while to decide which song would be the advance single and I think this one captures the mood and attitude of the album with a solid arrangement and a (hopefully) memorable hook. And the title “Start over Again” and the theme of starting over is the perfect subject for a song introducing a project that’s a pretty big departure from what I usually do.
“Why the departure?” you may ask? In a word: 2020. The pandemic shut down all of my comedy performances, the social upheaval and contentious election cycle really kept me out of the mindset of doing my usual brand of intelligently silly comedy, and the only thing that kept me going creatively was music. My weekly cover show Cover Tuesday was a welcome escape from everything that was going on, and learning and playing 12-14 new songs a week sharpened my ear so much that when I decided to do this project I was off and running at unexpectedly fast clip.
I really like it and I hope you do too, and I can’t wait for you to hear the rest of the album!
After a loooong hiatus—thank you Covid-19—my comedy music variety show will be returning LIVE to the QED stage (or back yard, weather permitting) and I couldn’t be more excited!
I also couldn’t be more grateful to Kambri and Q.E.D. for the hard work and determination they put in to get through the absolute hardest year+ I’ve witnessed in my entertainment career. We all went a little crazy I think, and I hope you’re as ready as I am to experience live entertainment again!
Q.E.D. will be very safe: audience members and all performers and staff are required to be vaccinated and tickets will be sold through the Eventbrite service to facilitate contact tracing should there ever be an issue (get your advance tix for our return show here).
I’m putting the lineup together for the first show now, already confirmed is the very funny comedian Christina Walkinshaw, who was booked on our March 2020 show waaay back when.
There’s a weird and very annoying question people have asked me after shows. I’ll have just performed from 10-45 minutes—playing comedy songs of mine that are well-known, new, or somewhere in between, singing said songs and playing guitar—and people will ask “do you ever write any real songs?”
THEY’RE ALL REAL! I’m playing them! Can you hear them? The air molecules are vibrating and moving your eardrums! They’re real!
But I get it: they mean non-comedy songs. They don’t mean any offense by implying by contrast that comedy songs aren’t real They’re only unwittingly negating my entire life’s work!
Well post-pandemic life is gonna be a lot easier because I’ll be able to just say “yes” and point them to the new non-comedy album of 100% real songs I will be releasing this year under the name The Green L.E.D.s.
Why the name? To differentiate it from my comedy music stuff!
Don’t like it? Come on, it’s better than “Childish Gambino!”
I’ve been enjoying working on it and I’m really happy with the way the songs are shaping up. I’ve been inspired by early 80s post-punk and some Aughts rock but those were just the starting points and I’m going to wait until it’s done before I characterize it more. It‘s been hugely helpful for my mental state to have a creative outlet. Writing comedy during the pandemic has been really difficult for me because there were no live shows to test out the material, and with a global pandemic, a nationwide reckoning on systemic racism, and a dangerously contentious election year (that didn’t end at the election), I haven’t been super inspired to be funny. So what does a comedian/songwriter do when he doesn’t feel funny?
I guess he writes some “real” songs 😜
Look for the first single in July and the full album this fall!
That’s right, an actual telethon! I’m going to be doing the biggest fun set of stoopit covers yet! And after 48 episodes and over 600 covers I’ll even do songs I’ve covered before! I’ll do songs I can’t believe I haven’t covered before! I will have special guests covering stoopit songs (hopefully)! And it will all be to raise money for Food Bank NYC, an organization that provides meals to those in need in New York.
I’ve set the ambitious goal of raising $500 and we will hit it even if I have to play all night! (Please don’t make me play all night!) Every dollar donated helps provide 5 meals to people struggling with food insecurity and we’re going to help Food Bank of NYC with the 80 million free meals they provide annually!
I’ll have a special campaign page set up through Food Bank NYC’s website so all donations will be handled by and go straight to them. We’ll C U Next/This(?) Tuesday!
Cover Tuesday 1-Year Anniversary Telethon!
Tuesday, March 16
Pre-show 7:30 pm NYC time (4:30 Pacific, 2330 UTC)
Showtime 8:15 pm NYC time (5:15 Pacific, 0015 UTC)
Please donate if you are able, and join us for the live show on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 8:15 pm EST at twitch.tv/RobPRocks!
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.