A Review of Iron Heart by Manic Pixi 

I finally took an hour to take off my blinders to recognize that my amazing drummer, Marshall Biever, is actually an even better guitarist for another band called Manic Pixi. Until now, I have ignored this fact for my own selfish reasons and due to being honest-to-God busy.. 

A week ago Manic Pixi released their second album, Iron Heart, and only when the link was *right* in front of my face did I bother to click. Oh, the regret. I could have been a fan for YEARS. The album is ridiculously cohesive…

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Let's Have a War on X-mas! 

I love Christmas (or as I shall henceforth call it, "X-mas"). The peppermint flavors, the snow, the presents, the lights, and the warm fuzzy feelings. It is a brief flicker of fantasy in an otherwise varied but normal year.   But I can't get behind two months of X-mas. Not when I haven't had my Thanksgiving yet (or as I shall henceforth call it, Thxgiving). Everything needs its proper time and place, and when a holiday starts encroaching upon another holiday, we need to take a stand.   Look, it's not…

Want to Know What I Think? (Warning: Political) 

Decade by decade, our definition of happiness evolves. Our image of liberty changes. And people are discovering how far they can go in the pursuit of happiness.

For some, happiness is having a job and providing for their families. For others, it means being acknowledged. Heard. Listened to.

This Fourth of July, I was angry. It's hard to celebrate the hard-fought freedom of our independence when our country is so divided. Our beautiful Constitution, like the Bible, is held aloft, glorified. Some take it…

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Cliches You Need to Stop Using Now 

It happens to the best of us. We’re writing the next great song, and Oops! A cliche slips out. One of these things happens next:


A) We don’t notice it.


B) We think, “Well, it sounds good, so I’ll keep it.”


C) We notice it, then forget to change it/get used to it the way it is.


D) Actually fix it.


Most of us are probably  guilty of A through C. But it’s never too late!


Now, you may be asking, “How do I know if something is cliche?”

  • Have you heard it done before?

  • Could…

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What Needs Does your Music Fill? 

Whether we admit it or not, music exists to serve a need. We may write for ourselves, but if we want strangers to listen, we must address that need. No one needs to hear you croon about your latest breakup, but maybe someone with a broken heart needs to hear his own feelings through music.


Why do you listen to music?

  • To relax

  • To fall asleep

  • To wake up

  • To study/work to

  • To party

  • To dance

  • To feel

  • To…

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"No, I'm not pregnant" 

I have always had a belly. Since my pre-teen years, what little fat I had was collected in my middle. As I got older, it got more prominent. Regardless of diet and exercise (even when I was going to the gym 4 times a week), my middle was always the largest part of me. People I knew would say, "You know, if you worked on your tummy you'd be really hot." People I didn't know would ask, "Are you pregnant?" or, my favorite, "When are you due?"

I never saw anyone on TV or in movies that had my shape. Even in…Read more

America the Beautiful 

I recently shared on Facebook an interview of George Takei and praised him for speaking about his experience in the American internment camps during WWII. I mentioned that my Grandmother Mistuye was interned, along with her family, but she never spoke of it. In fact, in her attempt to assimilate, she stopped speaking Japanese and, as far as I know, forgot how.

Imagine things went differently, that the language had been passed down and I could speak more than a few survival phrases. I think of the connections…Read more

Huckabee's words, "twisted" but not 

I'm kind of tired of people misinterpreting Mike Huckabee's comments. Women can't control their libidos and need the help of Uncle Sugar. Awful! Right? Except he somehow managed to say that that's what DEMOCRATS believe. He doesn't believe that at all(!), but you should be angry and insulted that Democrats think that. It's easy to take these words out of context. After all, I'm pretty sure this is what conservatives ACTUALLY believe. It's pretty ballsy of him to claim this is a liberal opinion. Projection…Read more

Why Talent Isn't Enough 

Taylor is a killer vocalist. He’s always been a natural and never had to practice much. He doesn’t need to warm up, just shows up, belts, then goes partying with his friends. He’s done shows buzzed or hungover more than once.


Dan’s dream is to be a recording artist. He practices every day. He’s not particularly musical, and he’s rather shy, but he works hard and doesn’t leave the house much.


Luke is a likeable guy and a decent drummer, though not the best. He practices when he can. He lives in L.A. and…

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BlogTalkRadio's live podcast interview with Patrick O'Heffernan (edited) on Music Friday discussing Robin Yukiko's songwriting, her grandmother's internment, and life with a new baby. If you'd like to hear the other band's interview as well, click for the full show.