Ryan Star’s Breathe


I’ve blogged in the past about how few artists are creating art that references the housing crisis – and that’s still the case – but a musician I love has just released a video that shows another current crisis – unemployment.

I was at a private VIP event with Ryan Star last December – I was there shooting, and dropped a piece of equipment during the space between two songs, and so of course everyone in the very small room had to turn to see who the dork was who was making noise during his set! Well Ryan made the most of it, and made a joke at my expense and then dedicated the next song to me, and it was this song, Breathe, and it was the first time I’d heard it, and I fell instantly in love.

Real love, truly madly deeply. It’s a great song! And the video is moving. It’s so moving it debuted on CNN this week – way to go Ryan!

Watch the video!

On iTunes, Lately…

Lovehammers released their latest single today on iTunes – it’s the first single off their upcoming CD, Heavy Crown. It’s been so long since we’ve had new Lovehammers’ music, I’m very very happy to have something new from them!

And Ryan Star released his long awaited EP, Last Train Home, earlier this month – you can hear a snippet of one of my favorite of his songs, Right Now, during commercials for the new NBC show, The Philanthropist. The full EP is only $3.99 on iTunes and features four songs and two videos.

And finally, I’m linking to Tamar Kaprelian‘s A New Day, just because it’s been my favorite song this summer and she deserves more exposure, so pass it on!

Lovehammers' Guns on iTunesRyan Star's Last Train Home on iTunesTamar Kaprelian's A New Day on iTunes

PS: Happy birthday and happy traveling to my brother Michael today!

ETA on 7/7/2009: Guess this should be PSS maybe? But Dino from the Lovehammers posted on RockBandLounge.com over the weekend about the single… http://www.rockbandlounge.com/forum/topic.asp?whichpage=1&topic_id=11274

Ryan Star | Sophie @ 103.7’s Green Christmas

Ryan Star // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Last night I got to attend Sophie @ 103.7’s Green Christmas – an acoustic event in San Diego, benefitting the San Diego Oceans Foundation. Ryan Star played a VIP event before the main concert, and as far as I’m concerned, it was the highlight of the night! He sounded fabulous! Maybe I’ve just been missing him, since this is his first gig in San Diego in over two years, but I really think he’s better than ever. And with a new album on the way, it meant we got to hear all new material – with only one song from the previous CD – my old favorite, Back Of Your Car. He played up on the third floor in the Fireside Lounge – so it was a very intimate concert. I felt really privileged getting to see such a special show.

The headliner was Alanis Morissette, and Buckcherry, O.A.R., Justin Nozuka, and SafetySuit were also on the bill – so it was a great show! And it took place at my new favorite venue, Anthology on India Street, downtown. They have the best sound system I’ve ever experienced. I was there for soundcheck and the sound of one guitar being tuned, was so magnificent, if was heartbreaking. Even in the bathrooms the sound quality is that good. The owners have evidently sunk a lot of money into that system, and wow is it ever worth it!

I’ve seen Alanis in concert twice before – she’s definitely one of my favorite artists – and her voice sounded better last night as well. I think it was a combination of a magic night, and a really really great venue.

I’ll have a slideshow of images to post later this week – but for now let the image above serve as a teaser…

Ryan Star at the House of Blues in San Diego

The best thing about last night? Ryan’s voice after about the third song. Before that point it was the same voice I heard on Rock Star – but a few songs in, he got looser and fuller and the way he played with the tempo felt less studied and more inspired. We got to see a lot of him this summer, but it was all one song at a time – there’s just something about seeing a full set – the minutes just add up to something entirely different – and great!

So Ryan comes out and the start is fairly low key, and he does the first three or so songs with the keys, then he gets his guitar and that’s when the show got good as far as I’m concerned. I think it’s great how Ryan can fill the stage all by himself, and create a sound that *sounds* bigger than just one guy onstage with one instrument – but if it is only one instrument I’m always going to prefer guitar to keyboards! But my big wish would be to see him with a full band – one of his friends kept pimping the big show in NYC – the homecoming show – and if there’s going to be a full band there it might be worth flying for!

There were times when Ryan would use his feet to pound the floor – an improvised drum! I loved that! Another time he forgot he was tethered to the mic stand and he came out in front and then had to sing doubly loud to make up for it – but he went for it!

As for the songs – I loved them. He played a new song “11:59” and the lyrics go over familiar ground – but Ryan’s spin on a familiar theme is so devoid of cliché, you really believe him. I think he’s gifted lyrically – but it’s the music itself that really gets me. (But I want to hear it with a full band… I know, be happy with what you get, but I really really want to hear it with a full band!)

After the show we went to Stingaree, a nightclub a few blocks away from the HOB – one of Ryan’s friends was a regular on ROCKBAND.COM during Rock Star, and so invited us to join them. It’s an interesting club with a great rooftop bar, but unfortunately it was raining hard, we didn’t spend much time up there – but I would like to go back on a clear night!

Ryan Star backstage at Rock Star: Supernova // Photo: Cheryl SpeltsAt one point I made a comment to Ryan about “shooting him” the next time he’s in San Diego or Southern California, and he nodded affirmatively, then he leaned in and half-whispered, “Don’t you mean shoe me?” – which make me laugh. It’s a running joke on ROCKBAND.COM that Ryan has big feet, and well, you know what that means. It totally cracked me up that he not only knew all about it, but he was also okay with it and saw the humor in it. ‘Cause every reference is always made with much affection, I’m sure!

For more reviews of Ryan Star in San Diego, go to:
Or go to the ROCKBAND.COM Ryan Star Lounge!

Backstage at Rock Star: Supernova

On Sunday, August 13, 2006 I shot a photo essay backstage at Rock Star: Supernova and it’s huge, but I think it’s definitely worth viewing. You may even learn something! I spent about two hours backstage before the show started, and it was a lot of fun!

Here are a few of the images, the rest can be seen at

To see the rest of my photo essay, go to: http://rockband.com/news/rock-star-backstage/

If you have any questions about what you see in the images, ask them here and I’ll do my best to answer.