Burned down (8.25.14)

My neighborhood bar burned down tonight. Complete shocker. It’s been a staple in this part of New Haven CT for a long time. I’ve met a bunch of good folks there, made friends there, chased girls there, had dinner with my parents there after college graduation day (2010), even rang in my birthday at midnight alone one year (well, the bartender and I, anyway). So many memories and some blurry ones too (ah… the many a drunken night). It’s like a chapter of my life forcefully closing. I can’t live in the past, but I will wax nostalgic for a moment. Damn, Delaney’s is gone. Keeping the folks that worked there and the people who had an apartment upstairs in my thoughts tonight as they all face an uphill challenge.

Stella Blues (8.18.14)

I’ve become quite the last minute, go-to-for-an-opener guy lately. It’s cool, I don’t mind. I’m all about taking every (almost every, you dirty birdie) opportunity I can these days. I have a “I’ll play as much as I can for as many people as I can until it kills me” mentality these days. So with that in mind, I thought last night was pretty good. These are the tunes I played:

Stella Blues (204 Crown St., New Haven CT) 8.18.14 - solo

Push and Pull
Old Broken Ladder
I Think I Like It Better
Troubled Times
Century
Tired
These Pills
Not Sad To See You Leave
Seventy Letters
Old Town

As an added treat, here’s some partial video of Seventy Letters that someone took on their phone. http://youtu.be/ng0jHqPgruk

-SA

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Never Ending Books (8.16.14)

Never Ending Books - 810 State St., New Haven CT - 8.16.14

Triple bill with Meredith Rose and Aaron Staniulis also performing.

This was a duo show with my awesome sauce friend and musician, Aaron Staniulis. I played some percussion in his set, and he played bass and sang harmony on mine. A really fun night. These are the songs we did:

Old Broken Ladder
Suicide War
Troubled Times
Push and Pull
Not Sad To See You Leave
New York City Bound
Seventy Letters
Tired
Old Town

I’ve been working on feeling comfortable doing the solo thing as of late, so playing as a duo was a real treat. I hope it continues and a full band grows once again. In the meantime, I’ll do what I can with whomever will do it with me. Thanks y’all!

With lots & lots & lots of love,

-SA

The Outer Space (8.14.14)

This was a last minute show, booked 2 days before. I played solo. I kept my expectations really low that anyone would actually show up. No one showed up. There were a few folks there, in the bar area, that stayed for a few. Other than that, I played for the bartender, the soundman, and a plethora of empty tables & chairs. I’m not popular. I have very little pull. Still, I worked and played my ass off and I’ll keep fucking doing it until either I or something breaks. Never give in.

Push and Pull
Troubled Times
Old Broken Ladder
I Think I Like It Better
Charlie and Mildred’s Dream
Not Sad To See You Leave
Seventy Letters
Metro
Tired
I Can’t Wait To Let You Down
Old Town

I’m like Cinderella’s ‘Gypsy Road…’ “I keep on pushin’ ‘cause it feels alright.”

-SA

This is the new video for New York City Bound. I hope you dig. Filmed by Ian Applegate for NHV Music. Enjoy!

Brownstock (8.9.14)

I’m lucky to play music, but I’ve also worked hard to do so. Hours upon hours of practice, rehearsal, learning, etc. It’s not like it just landed in my lap and I instantly knew what to do. I worked for it.

As a result, I meet people, do cool things, play near events, like I did today: Brownstock - a benefit for the Tony Brown Foundation. Great folks doing great work.

Played a solo show there today. This is what I did:

Push and Pull
Old Broken Ladder
Troubled Times
Everything Is Wrong
Seventy Letters
If I Needed Someone (The Beatles cover)
I Can’t Wait To Let You Down
New York City Bound
#41 (Dave Matthews Band cover)
Old Town

I love you!

-SA

I Ain’t Pretty… and other stuff, like set list from tonight (8.7.14)

I ain’t pretty. I’m not cute and bubbly. I ain’t young… anymore (but I’m not exactly “old” either). I don’t do game shows. I don’t feel comfortable where I am. But, goddammit… nobody is ever going to tell me that I didn’t try hard enough. That’s why I travel by myself to do a show 2+ hours away, for little to no money in the hopes of selling at least ONE CD and getting ONE person on the mailing list, getting home at 3, 4 o’clock in the morning, sleeping for 3-4 hours, getting up to work a day job to support all this, and then do it all again the next day. You can call me crazy. I call it hard work. Tonight was a good night. If you came thanks. To the fellas that played with me tonight, I can’t thank y’all enough. Here’s what we did:

The 11th St. Bar - New York City NY - 8.7.14 - full band show with John Jackson (mandolin, vocals), Gerry Giaimo (electric guitar, vocals), Aaron Staniulis (bass, vocals), Keith Robinson (drums), and myself (vocals, acoustic guitar).

Tired
Push and Pull
Troubled Times
Old Broken Ladder
These Pills
I Can’t Wait To Let You Down
Metro
Tear Stained Eye (Son Volt cover)
Suicide War
Century
Seventy Letters
New York City Bound
Old Town

p.s. We didn’t do The Beatles cover.

-SA

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I Played Some Songs Today (8.5.14)

The Midway Cafe - Boston MA - 8.5.14 - solo show

Old Broken Ladder
Push and Pull
Troubled Times
Suicide War
I Can’t Wait To Let You Down
Seventy Letters
Everything Is Wrong
Tear Stained Eye (Son Volt cover)
Old Town

That was a lot of fun!

-SA

Some reflections on the day. (8.4.14)

Kind of a shitty, generic title. Forgive me. It’s late and I think my creative juices have gone to bed before I did.

Some reflections on the day…

I think we need a new social network. “The ‘Book” has become dull, dreary place, loaded with ads, and severe stipulations on how you can use it. To be honest, I don’t like the whole social network thing anymore. I feel it’s rendered us disconnected with our supposed “connected-ness.” Perhaps that’s one for the philosophers to hash out. But back to my original point, I don’t like my online gathering place filled with ads, rules, and restrictions. I mean, Zuckerberg does realize this is the internet right?

Something I battle with on a daily basis, is whether or not to express myself politically. Many times, I stop and think, “Am I going to lose a fan?” “Will I alienate folks too much?” “Is there going to be a long, drawn out online ‘discussion’ afterward, taking me away (should I entertain it) from my musical duties of the day (writing, practicing)?” Well, let me put all those worries aside for a moment and just say this: Your Congress - the House, specifically - just left for vacation. Before doing so, they chose not to address immigration, unemployment extensions, the looming student loan debt crisis, funding for a jobs bill, and infrastructure bill, and I’m sure a host of other import things. No, instead, they chose to sue the president and fund Israel with more aid (to buy weapons). I’m a proud liberal, but let me be clear when I say this: Even if the tides were turned (a Republican president and a Democrat majority in the House), and the same thing happened, I would say that it is complete insanity.

Lastly, for my thoughts of the day, I’m thankful to be able to make music. I think about this every day. It’s an emotional rollercoaster on a daily basis, but I never quit. It’s an emotional roller coaster for sure, but at the end of the day, my hair is wind blown, my heart is racing, it scares the crap out of me, then gets me really high, and I yell out, “Let’s do it again!”

Goodnight.

-Love, SA

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Hello, is this thing on? (8.2.14)

'Seventy letters worth of words are in my head. I wish I could say the things that you had only read.'

My relentless promising and lack of deliverance for writing blogs - something I’ve been severely itching to do - has become a nuisance to me. So here is my first attempt at rectifying it.

Much has changed and much has stayed the same. As always, no matter what little or big successes I have - if any at all - I keep the faith alive and still plug away.

With that in mind, I’ll be making some announcements soon. But before I do, I think it’s about time to organize my thoughts in order to share some of them with you. This seems like a much safer place to do so. Much safer than those “social networks.”

I’ll be back soon!

Cheers!

-SA

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But, do you have a plan? (3.4.13)

An interesting question came up the other night while having a conversation with my girlfriend about “the future.”

She asked, “And what about the music… Do you have a plan? What’s the plan?”

I can’t remember my response verbatim, but let me share the essence of my answer with you. I trust you won’t laugh. ;-)

Ever since I was a little kid, and I mean like 2 years old kid, I’ve loved music. My earliest memories are from when I listened to The Partridge Family and Shaun Cassidy records, the ones with the silver and black Atlantic logo in the center of the vinyl disc. I thought every record that had that silver and black was a Partridge Family or Shaun Cassidy record (another story). Apparently those songs from Shaun and Keith got me through my operations at Newington Children’s Hospital when I was a toddler. I couldn’t remember a song now if my life depended on it, but I honestly remember loving the music.

I’ll spare you the details of my formative years, but let’s just say that as a kid, I got a healthy dose of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and Kenny Rogers from my dad, opera and show tunes from my mom, and Journey, Def Leppard and The Go-Go’s from my sister. Then sprinkle in some Motley Crue, Metallica, Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers in my teens… Well, it’s enough to make your head spin.

Suffice it to say, I love music. I would even go so far as to quote my friend Gerry, who once told me, “I didn’t choose music, it chose me.” Yeah… I think that’s about right.

Through school, jobs, relationships, a college education, and economic downturns, I’ve been playing music with the intent for it to one day sustain me on both an artistic and financial level. Artistic, so far so good. Still working on the financial thing.

Which brings us to the relevance of the initial question… “Do you have a plan?” The answer is yes. The plan is to never stop.

Look, I realized long ago, that this is a rough path. I never dreamed of multi-millionaire stardom (maybe I should’ve aimed higher?). I just wanted to be happy with what I was doing, artistically. If I could somehow translate that into putting food on the table and keeping a roof over my head, then I’ve succeeded. Realistic, grounded, attainable goals. I don’t need the magazine covers, the sold out arenas, the induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, or the fancy cars. Again, if I am happy with what I am creating, and who I am creating with, and I can make a few bucks along the way, that’s great.

But one does need goals and plans… Fortunately, I have both!

I plan on keeping on with creating my art until I meet the goal of being able to do this for a living… to at least be making what I make at my day job now, and to one day have making music (making records, touring, co-writing) be the thing that I focus on 8, 9, 10 plus hours a day. Again, I don’t need the fancy cars, luxury hotels, or private jets.

I am happiest when I am making music - touring and meeting wonderful folks throughout the country sharing laughs, emotions, hopes and fears together. You see, these things are worth more to me than any material thing on the planet.

So yes, I have a big, giant, encompassing goal that involves a bunch of other little goals. It all revolves around music.

That little two year old that discovered music and loved it? Still here.

Do what makes you happy, right?

-SA

So, I’m on my way to Asbury Park NJ… (Originally posted 05.14.08)

I don’t know what possessed me to think of this old blog post, but I thought about it, searched for it, found it, read it, and it’s still relevant. More new stuff later.

-SA

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May 14, 2008

So, I’m on my way to Asbury Park NJ about a week ago. The previous days’ rain storms have passed, it’s sunny outside, and I’m reflecting on where I am in my life. A 3 hour trip to from New Haven CT to Asbury Park NJ may be a hassle to some, while others may see playing a show in another state as a really cool thing. I fall somewhere in the middle. I’m ecstatic to be proactive with my music, which often requires me to trek from town to town, often far from the comfort of my familiar surroundings. I know that many people don’t have that opportunity. On the flip side, the cost of gas is well, you know, outrageous. Traveling/touring almost always incurs a monetary loss. And if I’m playing a free show and I don’t sell CDs, it gets expensive.

So I have these two diametrically opposite feelings to contend with… luck and loss… on levels that aren’t even mentioned above. I’m pacing back & forth, over & over again in my head. Meanwhile, the drive is simply fulfilling the luck… or the loss.

I’m driving over the Tappan Zee, crossing into New Jersey and what comes on the radio?

"The screen door slams
Mary’s dress sways
Like a vision she dances across the porch
As the radio plays
Roy Orbison singing for the lonely
Hey thats me and I want you only
Don’t turn me home again
I just cant face myself alone again”

And I am alone on I-87, but Bruce is on the radio keeping my company. A pioneer, perhaps, of the Asbury Park music scene, his song is on the radio and I think to myself “It’s going to be a good day on the Jersey Shore.”

And I can’t stop. I can’t ever stop. Music is my Mary. She is dancing in front of me, appealing to me… teasing me… I am always working for her, wanting to be closer to her. If were to stop, I wouldn’t be able to face myself. Through all the “what ifs,” “are you ever going to settle downs,” “you’re not making any money, why are you doing this,” and other indications of disapproval, I can’t stop staring at her… desiring her. She gives me purpose.

I continue driving. Bruce made 3 albums on a major label before he had any “big” success. He kept driving too.

I arrive at my destination. Guitar in hand, the weight of cables, a microphone, a notebook, pens and other items in my bag weighing on my back, I walk into the cafe with the hope of affecting somebody with my art today. It’s completely egocentric. I yearn for approval. I’m kind of a shy person, and music is my initiation to conversation. I set up my things, and begin to play.

It’s a far cry from a sold-out show, as there are only 4 people in the cafe on this particular Saturday afternoon. It’s too late for lunch and too early for dinner, and to “middle of the day” for coffee I guess. But I meet the approval of the folks there, including the guys that are playing after me. It relieves the tension of performing in front of a small audience.

I hang out for a while, listening to the sounds of Sean Cox. He’s got some great songs, and we share the same work ethic. That is, to travel far from home for a chance of sharing our art for 30 minutes is completely worth it.

I’m driving back home, surrounded by some tranquil spots on the Garden State Parkway. Once again, I’m alone with my thoughts, wondering if what I just did will have any impact on my career. I think in some way it will, even if I can’t see it now.

This whole trip is indeed, a Thunder Road.

"Well I got this guitar
And I learned how to make it talk
And my cars out back
If you’re ready to take that long walk
From your front porch to my front seat
The doors open but the ride it ain’t free”

So come with me Mary… Music… I’m ready to go, even if the journey isn’t free. It’s already cost me more than money… friends, relationships, family… But I still have to do it.

"On the wind, so Mary climb in
It’s a town full of losers
And Im pulling out of here to win.”

And that’s a big reason why I have to do what I do. I grew up in a town that was reclusive and yielded to the safeties of the status quo. I never wanted a part of that. I’ve always wanted to be something bigger than where I came from. In some ways, I feel I’ve succeeded because I left. But I still feel like I’m in the process of leaving.

Still driving on the Garden State Parkway, almost at the I-87 exit. And you won’t believe what comes onto the radio again: “Thunder Road.”

And I’m still driving…

-Seth

Lights, Camera, Sweat… (1.19.13)

This past Tuesday, Gerry and I joined John Philips-Sandy (one of the organizers for Downtown Rocks for Newtown - http://www.facebook.com/downtownrocksfornewtown) on our local ABC affiliate, WTNH 8 on the CT Style show, hosted by Teresa LaBarbera. As a guy that wants to see this benefit event succeed, and as I guy that loves performing, I jumped at the opportunity to help.

There is something different about Television however. It’s a tremendous medium. While playing the song, I realized that I was under a powerful microscope. To that knowledge, I frantically thought to myself, “Did I get enough rest? My voice isn’t warmed up! Am I doing a good job? Does this outfit look ridiculous? Is this song appropriate? Concentrate on the moment, Seth!”

Begin the sweating…

Taping for television is far different from live performance, at least for me anyway. If I mess up, there are no conversations taking place in the background, no clanking bottles, no seconds on the clock to publicly point out that I messed up, have a laugh, and move on. Nope. This is a do or don’t situation.

Continue sweating…

About halfway through the song, I listened to the last thing I mentioned above: “Concentrate on the moment, Seth.” After all, this is a song about recognizing a ‘Troubled Time’ and letting oneself be in the moment and breathe.

Guitar solo comes (thanks Gerry) and I have a moment to relax, to breathe, to ‘get in’ the moment. Things are getting better.

So this is a rare admission of nervousness to you. And man, was I nervous. Funny how the song ended up coming in handy in the whole 3 minute plus performance.

Check out the performance below. But before you do (or even after), be sure to get your tickets for Downtown Rocks for Newtown. Tickets are available here: http://www.ticketfly.com/event/206063

Stage 8 Presents: Dowtown Rocks for Newtown

Newsletter 1.9.13

Hello friends!

I sent out a newsletter. Rather than reformatting it for the blog, just click on this link to open it up as a webpage.

Hope you’re doing well! More “real” blogging to come…

Much love,

-Seth Adam

Happy 2013 friends!

In case you didn’t see my “Happy New Year” wishes on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else…

Just want to wish you all a Happy New Year! I hope 2013 is absolutely fantastic for you!

I usually post a “year in review” type of thing, and I still might get around to that… soon.

For now, enjoy what the clean slate brings. Make it happen!

-Seth