Googie’s: The Best Word Since “Balderdash.”

Hi, Copedopes!

There aren’t too many venues that know how to strike a perfect balance between “loungey singer/songwriter den” and “rock club.”  Googie’s (say it out loud – amazing, no?) is the exception.  I had the honor of playing in a singer/songwriter circle there back in January and completely fell in love with the aquarium-blue walls, the intimate cabaret tables, and the sunken couches that made me feel like my butt was on a cotton cloud.

Butt.  On a cotton cloud.

Something about Googie’s makes me feel like I’ve been transported back to 1975 in one of Stewie Griffin’s umpteen time machines .  It probably has something to do with their white baby grand piano, which makes me feel like I’m Elton John.  This is not a good thing.  I start believing that I can pull off his oversized glittery sunglasses, forgetting that I just don’t have the right cheekbones for them.

Well, I guess I can pull them off.  Like, pull them off my face and destroy them.

I digress.

The point is, we are very excited to play a free show at the comfiest, retro-iest joint in town on Sunday, April 17.  My good friend Emily Hulslander, who I’ve been musically running around with since my Boston days, will be opening for us with a solo set at 8:30, and then we’ll hit the stage with a scaled-down drum kit (chiiiiilll, yo) at 9:30.

We’ll have some brand-new tunes for you, including this one, which I wrote on Tuesday night:

In other news, we sent out our first newsletter ever-ever-ever this week and were floored by your positive feedback.  We’ve decided to send out another newsletter next month, and probably another one after that.  I hear this is how the New York Times got started.

Thank you so much for reading, and thank you so, so, so, so much for your support.  We can’t believe how far we’ve come in such a short period of time, and every time you come to our shows, you help us take one baby step closer to WORLD DOMINATION MWAHAHA making our dreams come true.

Love,
Stephie (& the P’s)

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5 Reasons to Sign Our Mailing List

I have been dutifully collecting signatures on my mailing list since I started playing shows in September 2009 and have never sent out a single newsletter.

UNTIL NOW.  Because I actually have stuff to tell everyone about.

Here are five reasons why you — yes, you! — should sign our mailing list.

5.  You will get a list of all of our shows for the near future delivered straight to your inbox so you can put them on your calendar!
4.  You will get a charming, irreverent summary of what’s been going on with us recently so you won’t be like, wait, Stephie started a band?  And it’s called Stephie Coplan & the Pedestrians?  WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN??
3.  If you hate it (gasp) you can easily unsubscribe – why not give it a try?
2.  Some newsletters will contain cool goodies like free MP3s and secret videos that will only be available to you, dear reader!
1.   It will give you something to read when you are bored at work.

Do I know how to make a top-5 list or what?!  Anyway, here’s the form:

Happy reading!

Meet the Band/Contest!

Good morning, campers!

We have some great news over here in Stephie Headquarters: our line-up is complete!

Finding musicians to play with isn’t hard.  Finding good musicians…is.  It’s a little like dating – everyone “knows a guy” that you should try out.  Oh, you’re looking for a drummer?  My cousin’s friend’s roommate is a drummer! But there’s always a caveat.  He’s 15!  He’s 65!  He lives in Bogota!  He’s on tour!  He has three kids!  He has a 60-hour-a-week job!  He’s already in 17 bands!  He hates Ben Folds!  He only plays African-disco-Latin-funk fusion!

We ended up finding our band in the most unlikely place.  Craigslist.  That’s right – the deepest, darkest, sketchiest corner of the Internet.  But was I afraid?  No!  (Yes.)

I had used Craigslist to find my apartment, my keyboard, my camera, and some other useful and/or necessary items.  I had never used it to find humans.  Amazingly, no one in the band is a pedophile, “personal masseuse,” BDSM fiend, Nigerian princess, or drug trafficker.  I think.

Okay, so here we go.  On bass, we have:

JOHN “ABEAR” HEBERT

John is from Lafayette, Lousiana and has the accent to prove it.  In addition to laying down some sick bass lines, John is also a fantastic jazz pianist, guitarist, singer (you should hear him do Rick Astley karaoke), and tap dancer.  He has a robust musical/children’s theater background and makes amazing faces that rival John Mayer’s when he plays on stage.  His secret weapon is the big muff (“when the big muff hits ’em, it’s over,” he famously once said) and he has matching green shoes.  He has seen every YouTube clip on the Internet and is producing an awesome series on chord tones, which you can check out here. When he’s not playing bass, which is never, he enjoys coming up with names for our band.  If you meet John in person, don’t forget to grab a business card because they are really cool (actual, usable bass picks with his information on them.)  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention: he’s a marketing genius.  We will miss him when he’s at Victor Wooten’s bass camp from March 29-April 3.

On drums, we have:

SHANE CONSIDINE

Shane is originally from the Boston area, so we talk a lot about why neither of us lives there anymore.  He learned how to play drums from his dad, who must be awesome, because Shane is awesome.  He’s lived in New York City for four years and has played with Emily & the Marauders and Nikki Sorrentino (who I think is Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino’s cousin?  I’m not sure how I know that but I’m pretty sure I read that somewhere.  Maybe Shane told me.  I don’t know.)  Like John, Shane also enjoys coming up with band names.  His best one to date has been Stephie & the Co-Pilots – get it?  Like Coplan?  Co-plan, Co-pil…never mind.  He has a cat named Professor Peanut Butter and he’s a health freak and highly recommends that you drink coconut water if you’re dehydrated.  If you follow Shane on Twitter (@ShanecConsidine), you will notice that #icing is a trending topic.  I have not yet iced him, but I plan to.  When he’s least expecting it.  The most important thing to know about Shane is that he has met Taylor Swift.  He said she wears too much makeup.

We played our first show as a trio on Sunday night at Banjo Jim’s.  It was a last-minute show so we didn’t have any time to promote it and we were not expecting anyone to come.  How wrong we were!  We somehow packed the place shoulder-to-shoulder with complete strangers.  If you are one of those strangers and you are reading this, 1)thank you so much for checking us out, 2) you should have stuck around after we were done playing because the band after us was really good, and 3) and please come to our next show on May 7 at Maxwell’s, which will be even better because we will have the entire month of April to practice!  Also, it is HelloRadio‘s CD release and they are super-duper.

All right.  Th-th-th-that’s all folks.  One last thing: please help us think of a cool band name!  Stephie Coplan & the _______’s?  Stephie & the _____’s?  Stephie’s _______ of ________?  If we pick your idea, you will get a free copy of our EP, coming out late this summer! Conversely, if you suggest “Stephie Folds Five,” we will charge you extra for our EP.

xoxo,
Stephie

Happy Monday!

Last week at an open mic, a friend of mine covered “I Don’t Like Mondays” by The Boomtown Rats. It’s a great song, but do you guys know how twisted it is? Do you even know? Lead singer Bob Geldof wrote it about 16-year-old Brenda Ann Wilson, who went on a shooting spree in 1979 and told reporters, “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day.” Yikes!

Anyway, shooting spree aside, I decided to try my hand at immortalizing the worst day of the week in song, too.  What’s that saying about keeping your friends close, but your enemies closer?

My usual material is typically a) catchy, b) quirky, and c) exactly 4 minutes long.   This song is a departure from my signature style, as it is a) even catchier, b) even quirkier, and c) a glacial 4 minutes and 15 seconds.

There is no doubt in my mind that in time–like maybe by the end of the video–you will grow to hate this song.  It is so disgustingly, sickeningly poppy that at first, I wondered if a Debbie Downer like me could even do it justice.  (I am constantly asked by friends if everything is okay.   Yes.  That’s just what my face looks like.) But don’t be deceived!  The song sounds cheerful but much like everything that comes out my mouth, it is actually one big complaint.  Or, to put it in a slightly more uplifting light: it is a love letter to my own clumsiness, ineptitude, and general misfortune.  (Actually, it’s a love letter to a person.  A fictional person.  Or someone else’s person.  Whatever.)

Anyway, I hope it brings you a little sunshine on this otherwise historically joyless day.    Happy Monday, and if you’re anything like me, try not to spill your coffee or forget your headphones.

Flattered in Hoboken

It finally happened, you guys – one of my YouTube videos has gone viral!!!!

Well, “viral” by Hoboken standards.  352 hits in two days is pretty good for a city that’s only one square mile, right?

So here’s the story behind this song, for the twelve of you who actually read this thing: I initially got the idea for a song called “Heartbroken in Hoboken” pretty much the day I moved here, but every time I sat down to write it, it ended up sounding like “The Final Countdown” by Europe.  Not exactly the vibe I was going for, although that song is spectacular, right?  The other problem was that I wasn’t heartbroken, and I’ve always had a hard time writing songs that aren’t somehow rooted in truth.

Anyway, fast-forward: I went through a very, very, very minor break-up a few weeks ago, which was exactly the kick in the pants I needed to finally write the song.  I had actually told the guy that I had an idea for a song called “Heartbroken in Hoboken” but hadn’t felt heartbroken yet and was finding it hard to come up with lyrics for it – so maybe he thought he was doing me a favor?  (Thank you!)  For the sake of full disclosure:

  • the guy is not from Hoboken, nor is anyone I’ve dated
  • I’ve never been to that bakery, although it does exist – it’s called Antique Bakery, which is a gross and confusing name but I’ve heard the bread is, how you say, excellent
  • I don’t think anyone who works there is named Mr. Jacobs – it’s an Italian bakery

On Thursday night after work, I passed by the bakery on my way home and thought, hmm, writing about a bakery could be fun…but then when I sat down at the piano, it turned into “Heartbroken in Hoboken.”

So there you have it – the backstory of my first mostly-fictional song ever, which went way better than I expected.  A few local Hoboken blogs picked it up, including The Hoboken Journal, which called it “very Ben Folds/Fountains of Waynes-esque” (I fell over) and TheBokenOnline, where it currently has a rating of 9.6 from 15 votes, which is basically half the population of Hoboken.  And Hoboken411 has contacted me about producing a music video for it, which we’ll be shooting in the next few weeks.

Thank you all so much for listening and for your kind words.  Writing makes me so happy, and it feels good to know that my songs are making other people happy, too.

Lucky Night

Last night, I played sort of a last-minute gig with Latin singer/songwriter Deivito at a tavern in Jersey City called Lucky 7 and had a total blast.  Usually people at bars find me kind of obnoxious because – ugh, there are so many lyrics – but these people handled me and my logorrheic stage banter like champs.  Check out this clip:

I love everything about this video – the fact that I am cloaked in an unsettling Halloweenish light; the fact that it sounds like I am playing through a handheld radio; the fact that I look like a teenage owl.  But mostly, I love that a complete stranger is singing along and knows all the words.  As far as I’m concerned: I have arrived.

Thanks for a great night, Jersey City – you rock.

Big News and Thank You!

In the immortal words of Professor Farnsworth: “Good news, everyone!”

I have found an absolutely freakin’ brilliant producer who totally gets me (and loves Ben Folds as much as I do) and we are both very excited to officially begin working on my debut album!  It’s a 6-song EP — not a full-length album — but there is still a ton of work involved and it will probably be at least two more months before I even set foot in a studio.  Now if only my bass player would get back from Lousiana so we can start demo-ing…

In the immortal words of me:  “Thank you!”

Seriously, you guys.  I just got back from my solo show at the Sidewalk Cafe and all I can say is, wow.  Wow, wow, wow.  I hadn’t even been sure if I was going to do this show because I’ve been sick with a face-eating sinus infection, so I had barely promoted it and wasn’t expecting much of a turn-out.

Gee wiz.  How’s this for a turn-out: someone came all the way from Baltimore to catch the show.  Oh my god.  And if that wasn’t enough, a complete stranger drew a totally adorable doodle of me on a slip of paper and threw it in my tip jar.  How lucky can one girl get?

So that’s really all I have to say.  A thousand, kajillion, bajillion thank yous from the deepest, drippiest parts of my sinuses, which is where I keep all my feelings.  Unfortunately, tonight’s show was the last one for awhile because I’m holing up to record the album.  In the meantime, what I will miss most about performing is the reminder that I have the greatest friends and supporters in the world.