Deano's Pick of the Month...
Boothby Graffoe Boothby is the greatest surreal comedian on the planet and, just incidentally, one of the greatest songwriters. I first saw him perform while we were both appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where he enjoys a devoted following.. His songs are so achingly good, that If he weren’t such a master at standup, he’d be renown for his songwriting alone. ‘Poor Umbrella Head Boy’ (aka Wot Italian?) is just one of 16 outstanding tracks off his debut album 'Wot Italian?’ [E.V.A.]. (Don't miss 'Bungee Girl', another absolute gem.) It shouldn't make any sense, but it does, managing to be simultaneously odd, infectious, sad and lovable. What’s special about Boothby’s songwriting is his ability to infuse heartfelt pathos into hysterically funny and bizarre scenarios. His stuff is on par with Randy Newman’s best tragic-comic work. UPDATE: Boothby's got a new album out: 'Songs for Dogs Funerals'. It's amazing! (Plus I'm thrilled to be singing background vocals on it and playing piano on a few tracks.) Go to Boothby's website now and order this fantastic CD! Go ahead, hurry up! You'll thank me later! ;-)
Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre They are socks. They are puppets. They have really, really high voices. And they come from Scotland. They opened for me in Glasgow at the Mitchell Theatre, last summer. Don't miss 'em because they're really funny. Check out their myspace page http://www.myspace.com/scottishfalsetto and all their great YouTube videos: ScottishFalsettoSockPuppetTheatre-YouTube.
Kenny Young and the Eggplants Here's a worthy indie band from Brooklyn. They've been called a deeply eccentric pop band (The Guardian), and a wonderful weird band (The Scotsman). It's fun, quirky altpoprock and definitely worth a listen. In the spirit of They Might Be Giants. They even have a song called, "Earl the Squirrel". Check 'em out!
http://www.brianhouston.com/ Excellent singer/songwriter from Belfast. Original, engaging songs sung with honesty and feeling. Come hear Brian Houston provide support at my upcoming gigs in Dublin, July 7-Draoicht and Belfast, July 8 - Empire Music Hall. (see GIG section for itinerary).
http://www.janetaylor.co.uk/ Venue Magazine wrote, 'Sultry smokey melodies and a razor sharp lyrical bite.' Classy songs, beautifully sung. Come hear Jane Taylor provide support at my upcoming gigs in Durham, Wolverhampton, London and Banbury. (see GIG section for itinerary).
ConcernedSingles.com Since 1984, Concerned Singles has brought together socially conscious, progressive singles who care about social justice, race and gender equity, the environment, and personal growth. Seems like an interesting group and worthwhile site and the folks that run it are fans of my music, so, if you're looking for that special someone, check 'em out.
TonyJamesRadio.com Tony is a cool UK radio DJ that supports indie artists such as yours truly. He even held a Dean Friedman week a while back. Check out his website and on-air shows including his Goldmine Radio Show..
SomebodysMusic.com Here's a cool indie music website sent to me by multimedia entrepreneur, musician, photographer, John Milton. It contains a fine selection of musical styles by assorted indie artists and newcomers, well worth listening to. Check out the soothing meditative sounds of John's 'Mother Earth' CD. Good stuff. John is also responsible for the cool 'Squirrels in the Attic' badges from the last tour. Support Indie Music!
Chris Marksbury Chris is a rare hybrid, a photographer/musician with an uncanny sense of how to frame an idea or an image, in film or song, to make you see it in a new way. If you'd like to see an example of Chris' fine photography check out the black and white photo I used for the upcoming Summer Tour 2004 poster in the GIG section. He shot it at the Paramus Picture Show gig I did in April. I think it's a real cool photo (even if it is me;-)). And if you'd like to hear some cool music visit Chris' website at www.chrismarksbury.com .
Caught in the Net If you seek a welcome lyrical respite from your hectic day, you'd do well to pay a visit to this haven for online poetry. Liverpool poet and educator, Jim Bennett, edits this poetry site and accompanying e-zine which is sure to provide a much needed alternative perspective or simple reflection which can alleviate, inspire, amuse and delight when you need it the most. Pay a visit and spend a few moments viewing this confusing place from a fresh perspective. If you sign up for the e-zine you'll appreciate the refreshing change from all the rest of the email clogging up your inbox. Good stuff.
Matt Beck Matt is a worldclass musician, and mensch (good guy) who did most of the guitar work on my 'Songs for Grownups' album and some great dobro on 'The Treehouse Journals'. He plays in Lisa Loeb's band and is currently touring with a promising little band, you may have heard of, known as 'Matchbox 20'.
Robert Grossman Robert is the amazing illustrator responsible for the hilarious clay sculpture on my 'Well, Well', Said the Rocking Chair' cover. His award winning work has graced the pages of Rolling Stone, Time, Newsweek, NY Times and more. Wonderful stuff.
Bette Sussman Bette played keyboards with me on one of my first UK tours. A stunning pianist, she now records and tours the world with the likes of Whitney Houston and Bette Midler. A worldclass musician and a terrific lady. Check out her site and any time you get a chance to hear her play, do it.
Francis Dunnery Francis is a one-of-a-kind songwriter/performer/instrumentalist/recording artist... that is when he isn't training horses or delving into astrology or psychology or any number of his zillion interests. A brilliant instrumentalist, he's toured and recorded with the likes of Santana, Lauren Hill and Robert Plant, was the frontman for the hit UK band, It Bites, but it's the sheer passion and earnestness of his songwriting and performing which sets him apart. That same passion led him to create the artist-friendly independent record label, Aquarian Nation. Francis performs on both sides of the pond, these days, so be sure and catch him next time he's playing in your neck of the woods.
Chris Difford You may be familiar with Chris as a member of the legendary rock band Squeeze. But, personally, it's his most recent solo offering, 'I Didn't Get Where I Am', produced by the aforementioned, Francis Dunnery, on the Aquarian Nation label, which I fell in love with on first listen. Evocative, mature, playful and meaningful lyrics in a beautifully produced, hypnotic, musical setting. If you go to the Aquarian Nation website and order it, right now, you'll be glad you did.
Gordon Haskell Gordon is a musician's musician with an authentic voice and style that moves anyone that hears it. He's played with everyone from Hendrix to King Crinsom, but was reintroduced to the mainstream, last year, when his beautiful song 'How Wonderful You Are' became most requested track and a massive hit on BBC Radio 2. A rare gentleman in this wacky business. Visit his site and check out the rest of his extremely classy catalogue.
AdamSaul-Bloch.com I get to hear a lot of fine Indie music in my travels. Every once in a while a CD comes along which stands out, somehow, from the rest. Adam's CD was one of those. He's got a distinctive, individual style - lyrically and vocally - which is really appealing. The production is top-notch, with a refreshing subtlety that draws you into every track. There's good music here. Spend some time exploring his website (nice site design, by the way) and you'll be pleased you did. Catch one of his gigs, too, if he happens to be in your area!
News2020.com Informative news site with the latest updates on the destructive, inane and hypocritical war on cannabis. Find out how your government is wasting your tax dollars, increasing crime and turning hardworking citizens into criminals simply due to ignorance, prejudice, bureaucracy and greed and an unwillingness to face the failure of their own ill-conceived policies.
PROBERT is cool new website that has been set up for music events campaigning for positive environmental and social change.
A hub of facts and fun, Probert.biz is gathering live and recorded music, festival and gig footage, short films, artwork, and much more. Check it out!
AveryAnt.com Avery Ant is not just any ordinary ant. He's an itchy hipster, political pundit, and seriously PO’d ant, whose 60 second animated rants provide some of the most astute and rib-tickling insight into current events and the sorry state of the universe, in the media today. Spawned from the twisted brain of animator Mike Erskine-Kellie, Avery Ant says all the terrible, but true, politically incorrect things we think but dare not utter. Avery utters and them some. Sign up for his weekly rants and brighten your otherwise mundane day with his provocative words of wisdom.
WelcomePortsmouth.co.uk What's not to like about the UK's only island city? Check out Dave Timms' informative website chock-full-o' info about the Portsmouth area. Where else can you visit the HMS Victory, Nelson's flagship in the battle of Trafalgar 1805, the oldest commissioned warship in the world? Not Grimsby, that's for sure! ;-)
Silverberg Opticians Based in Liverpool, and founded in 1956 by Harold Silverberg, father of the present director, Ian Silverberg, the store provides expert eyecare products and services. Their website offers all sorts of cool eyecare products and accessories from the latest shades to high fashion watches and other cool stuff.
Bedbug Eddie Bedbug Eddie is a five guys from New Jersey playing playing classic to contemporary rock at clubs and events throughout NJ and PA. My vote for the coolest band logo/mascot/whatever you wanna call him.
Paisley Wheelchair Experience The Paisley Wheelchair Experience are an adorably kitsch, cabaret big-band fronted by lady-loving crooner, Lord Freddie Valentine (a sort of Englebert Humperdinck meets Alvin Stardust). The PWE present over an 1hr of top-drawer cabaret as if the 70’s never ended. They're about to record their version of 'Lucky Stars'. Meanwhile, check out my interview in the interview section of this site. An experience!
Hoogie Beast Cool band. Cool website. Cool tracks. Check 'em out.
Andy Patterson Contemporary Scottish Singer/Songwriter performing thoughtful, evocative, poetic songs accompanied by very tasty guitar playing. Very much worth listening to. Look out for him at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, this year.
MrBrian and the Boppets Brian's a fun children's entertainer that's developed quite a following with the little tykes down in Florida. If you're local, check out his site for birthday parties and school programs. Fun stuff.
Pop Culture Madness A curious, entertaining site that explores popular music - the good, the bad and the ugly. Look for 'Lucky Stars' listed as one of the worst pop songs of all time.
Andy Hodgson Andy is a talented DJ and TV presenter currently hosting Bid-Up.TV on Sky Digital. He's had me in as a guest on numerous interviews that always prove entertaining.
Bart Kalita Bart's a photographer with a keen eye for atmosphere and setting. Check out his evocative photos of Scotland, family and friends.
Kerry Prep PreppyGrams In need of a singing telegram delivered by a tenor in a gorilla suit? Check out Kerry's PreppyGram singing telegram website. Startle your friends at the next babyshower, wedding or barmitzvah.
Mark Hughes Mark is a talented singer-songwriter, who writes heartfelt songs with a strong spiritual underpinning. He's enjoyed some popular success and acclaim with his award winning, 'The Angel Song'. Worth a good listen to.
Charles Sweeney Charles is an able webdesigner. If you want to sell your house online or get directions to the London Aquarium, click on Charles page.
Howard Kilik Howard K. is a consummate musical pro - a talented composer, arranger, music director, producer and them some. He served as production coordinator on 'The Treehouse Journals' and taught me how to use Sonar. Check out samples of his cool, eclectic compositions on his site.
Adam Dorfman Home Page Adam is a singer/songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia who's also buddies with the Radio Theory band. Good acoustic guitar contemporary folk artist. Support independent music and take a listen to his music.
Alon's Home Page Alon Hirsch is a programmer from South Africa involved in all sorts of software design. He's got a neat site with some fun animated bits and lives with two Toy Pom's, although I can't really say I know what those are.
Andrea and Paul's Home Page This is a one page site posted by Andrea and Paul Smith from Cambridge. If you have an interest in go, ginkgo trees, vegetarian food, hedgehogs, jigsaws, shogi, Zhang Yimou, cycads, sumo, Belgian beer, John Irving, Green & Black's chocolate, the Fast Show, Jarvis Cocker, nutritional yeast, John Hegley, Mandarin Chinese, botanic gardens, Chinese chess, and, oh yes, Dean Friedman drop them a line. They also helped organize the Cambridge Junior Chess & Go Club.
Andrew Funk Home Page Andrew is Assistant News Operations Manager for FOX5
Atlanta, WAGA-TV and also 'Ham' Radio nut in his spare time. I'm sure he's good at his job, but with a name like Andrew Funk he would have made a great bass player (I'm sure he hears that all the time.)
BARENAKED LADIES Canadian band signed to WEA who did a live cover version of my tune McDonald's Girl (off my third album Rumpled Romeo) which became a local hit on Toronto radio station CFNY. If they'd only included McDonald's Girl on one of their albums they might have had a hit record in the US by now. Go figure. [NOTE: A few months after posting this, Barenaked Ladies had their first #1 single in the US entitled "One Week". It's hysterical!.] Lead singer , Steve Page, sings background vocals on my new album. That's him singing along on Hob-Nobbin', Ayambayayahu and Hey, Hey, Hillary.
BARENAKED LADIES - UNOFFICIAL Another well done BNL site including lots of RealAudio and MP3's including their McDonald's Girl cover version.
The BLENDERS These four guys from Minneapolis, MN form a vocal group that does extremely cool contemporary acappella-based music. They're signed to Universal/MCA records and, GET THIS, this past summer they released a cover version of my song McDonald's Girl as their latest single, which soared to #1 in Norway (of all places!). Their singing is terrific and their version of McDonald's Girl sounds great! Run down to your local record store and buy it.
BobboStaronWebSite - Talented songwriter. His song titles are all intriguing and from a tour of his website his stuff sounds pretty cool. With album titles as diverse as 'Mary Sightings' and 'Bar Mitzvah' he's either a brilliant humorist or very deranged - or both. The site's still in progress and I'd love to hear some RealAudio or MP3 clips but why not support indy music and check 'm out.
Boon A nicely done and comprehensive fan site dedicated to the Central TV series 'Boon' for which I contributed soundtrack music for series 2-7. The site contains info on each episode plus an interview with me about the music and some audio clips of dialogue and a few themes from the show. Informative and fun visit for 'Boon' fans.
Brian's Barenaked Ladies Site Another nicely animated listener site features a RealAudio clip of the Barenaked Ladies singing my song McDonald's Girl. Funny stuff.
Charlie O'Reilly's Home Page Charlie is an interesting guy from Rutherford, NJ who loves baseball, exploring caves and traveling all over the US. He lists 'Ariel' in his top 500 singles list and has a directory of the 48 contiguous states in the US.
Cheese the ex Band Member This UK band gets the prize for the most original story behind their band's name, a result of one of their band members, Cheese, moving to Tunbridge Wells to become a pig farmer. His departure inspired the bands next name - Cheese the ex Band Member. How can you not sneak a peak?
Crabsticks Site of a friendly football club based in Gateshead/Newcastle Northeast England. They're always looking for extra players so if you feel like kicking a ball around a soccer field some brisk morning drop them a line. Did you know there was another football club in the south that used to sing 'Lucky Stars' as a crowd cheer at every game. No kidding!
Dave's World Friendly home page belonging to Dublin based, sound designer/audio engineer, Dave Nolan. Interesting stuff.
DENISE MARSA Denise is the mystery lady who sang so beautifully on Lucky Stars and was never properly credited on the single by my idiot first label. Denise has one of the best voices in the business and is also a gifted songwriter and cool person. She lives in LA and has just completed a terrific new album of her own material. Check out her newly released album SELF on Key Records. It's a passionate album and deserves your support.
fifteenminutes UK radio presenter Bill Overton just launched this new online celebrity e-zine. For the next few weeks you'll be able to read my reactions to the top 10 singles at the time 'Lucky Stars' was climbing the charts. Funny stuff.
GARY SCHWARTZ Drummer/Percussionist, chesswiz and good buddy who plays with the fabulous Blue Rays and with me on those rare occassions when I get it together to book a gig in the US. Extremely hairy. All around good natured mensch.
Gimble in the Wabe Here's another version of McDonald's Girl covered by a 16 piece a cappella singing group from the University of Michigan. They're really good and the song sounds great. Once you get on their home page, scroll down and click on the 'Check out the groovin' sounds of Gimble on your computer.' link.
Greg Johnson Home Page Greg is a US Air Force flight navigator turned programmer doing computer support for NASA who's really into music. He and his wife Vicki live in Hunstville, Alabama and open their home to foster kids in need of a place to stay.
Hanson Textiles This fourth generation family firm, is now in its centenary year. They produce a wide range of exclusively designed printed textiles, for towels, aprons, table cloths, napkins, place mats, oven gloves and tea cosies etc..., for all sorts of promotional needs. Interesting, curious stuff.
JOHN YOUNG - Top gun Keyboardist/Composer, based in the UK, who's played with supergroup Asia, the MTV house band, John Wetton and Bonnie Tyler, among others, currently touring and recording with his band Oblivious. Described by friends as where Yes and Toto would be today. Excellent musicianship. Check them out if they're in your neighborhood. Support Independent music.
Judy Caplan Ginsburgh Judy is an award winning singer/songwriter that performs and records Jewish Childrens music. Based in Louisiana, she's also founder and director of Jewish Entertainment Resources. Highly acclaimed and she does a nifty little cover of my song In My Sukkah.
Laidler Associates - Derek Coulson works at this interesting European company which does safety checks on all kinds of machinery to make sure it's in compliance with safety legislation - CE marking, PUWER, Health & Safety etc. I wish I'd known him when I built my first Laser Harp for the Eureka! Children's Museum.
The Lollies Fun, appealing and talented 4 piece girl-band out of the UK with stylish website and cool tunes like 'I Found Myself at the Supermarket' and '(Be My) Bad Boyfriend'. Check out their MP3's and try to catch one of their UK gigs.
Modern Dance Magazine Journalist Dave W Hughes writes for this cool monthly music magazine site. He even wrote a neat review of Songs for Grownups and the reissues of Rumpled Romeo and the first two albums on CD. Interesting reading.
MYCAL MILLER Friend and fellow nonconformist, writer, film producer; wrote and produced the british cult horror film classic, I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle, and had the good sense, or lack thereof, to hire me to compose the soundtrack to the film including the memorable title track She Runs on Blood Not Gasoline.
NearlyFamous.com Well done and interesting website 'committed to talent' featuring almost knows and barely break through acts and talented artists that for a zillion reasons fall outside of the mainstream industry spotlight. (like me.) They reproduced a copy of my Napster rant. Support indy music. Check 'em out.
netthistv.com Slick, professional and fun entertainment website filled with music, comedy, animations and chat. Lotsa graphics, audio and video. Supporter, Rob Steiner, hosts an online Music Coffee House. High speed modem helps. Worth a visit.
Paleday Hardworking indy band from the UK with a cool site including a neat Flash intro. Their bio describes them as an '...8-piece pop band of terrifyingly catchy hooks, astoundingly beautiful harmonies, stunningly poignant lyrics and a dazzling array of talent. Or to put it another way, they make you smile. And then cry. And
then smile again.' Cool stuff. Pay a visit.
PartyDirectory.com This slick looking site is the work of New Jersey native, Dave Maskin, a longtime supporter. If you're throwing any kind of party - wedding, Bar Mitzvah, graduation, orgy - check out this useful resource. They also now offer free websites for all solo musicians and bands. Dave also has a dj site: DJDave.com.
Pizmon Web Site Pizmon is the name of a Jewish A Cappella vocal group from New York City associated with Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. They perform a colorful mix of Jewish music including a cover of my own silly Hebrew School song 'Haman, Hey Man'.
rpcreations.com Raymond A. Paulin is the very cool and talented sculptor/artisan who fabricated the fiberglass and steel components of my Music Atrium Instruments (Cool Stuff For Kids) which have been featured in leading Children's Museums and Theme Parks around the world including Disney, Universal Studios and the Eureka! Children's Museum in Halifax, UK. Check out his other very cool creations. If you happen to need a fiberglass Moose for a golf course Ray is the guy to call. Cool Stuff!
Sammy's Home Page Sammy is a poet, sports fan and techy for the International Paper Co. in Iowa. His site has an interesting collection of links including lyrics to 'Ariel' and a cute audio clip of a Warner's Bros. cartoon.
Serenity Cove This lovely poetry and lyrics site was put together by Samantha Louisa and includes work by herself and others. There's also a cool animation of a waving Union Jack. Have a nice visit.
Tangible Technology This is techno-wizard Eddie Ciletti's business/home page. Eddie is a very unique and funny guy based in St. Paul Minnesota who knows pretty much everything about audio/video gear and systems. He writes columns for Mix and is a great info resource for multimedia. AKA Eddie Audio and Dogboy, he can do an alarmingly good imitation of a barking dog. His site is chock full of neat stuff.
Tom Robinson Excellent website by and about this renown singer/songwriter/multimedia guy. I met Tom when we both appeared on the TV show 'Never Mind the Buzzcocks'. Fascinating guy, fascinating stuff. Worth a visit.
Tom Tuerff Productions Tom runs a Clio winning freelance creative services company, specializing in TV and radio commercials, infomercials and print advertising. Impressive credits. If you need a commercial check him out.
TONY LEVIN Bass player and Chapman Stick master extraordinaire who played on my first two albums as well as the albums of lots of famous musicians whose names you all know.
Visimation My old buddy and roommate, Brett Newman, sent this site in. His company develops productivity tools and support services for the graphics program, Visio. Brett always kept his part of the house extremely neat and tidy (except for the fucking cats) so I have no doubt that Visimation products are precise and finely honed support tools. No kidding, if you use Visio, check out Visimation.
Weird Al This is the official 'Weird Al' Yankovic site. It's very comprehensive and contains all sorts of 'Weird Al' goodies and info. I've enjoyed 'Weird Al's funny song parodies for years and my son, Sam, and his buddy, Kiril, are huge 'Weird Al' fans and walk around reciting his lyrics all the time. Turns out Al used to play my records when he was a DJ in college radio. We saw him perform in Poughkeepsie Halloween night. Great show, Al! Stay weird!
NOTE: If you'd like to have your site added to this list simply send me an email with your URL, a brief description of your site and add a link back to the Dean Friedman site http://deanfriedman.com .
Questions, comments, and suggestions to Dean