Friday, June 20, 2008


A New Guitar, a Record, & Pizza.

Hello, folks. I hope you're all doing well. It's been awhile. Sorry for that. Anyway, let's get right to it. Here is MY SECOND 'BROOKLYN ORIGINAL' COLUMN!

About a month ago, I played my final show at The Baggot Inn. It's closed for good. Now, the Baggot Inn is the place that got me performing live again after many many years. My friend Kierstin Gray... a great songwriter and performer... started to do the open mic there on Monday nights. Inspired by her, I soon started doing it, too. That summer, we did the open mic almost every Monday night... from May till September... coercing our friends to do it, as well! (I think eventually everyone I knew at the time who played an instrument or sang got up on that stage at the open mic! Good shit. Hi, Ken!)

I tell ya, they were some of the best Monday nights of my life! Music, friends, booze, bitches, FUN! The Baggot's also the place that pretty much birthed the Motherjumpers; my former band. Little by little the fellas that would soon be known collectively as "The MJs" started sharing that open mic stage, eventually leading to me splitting my solo acoustic shows into half me alone, half me and them. Lotsa history in that place for me over the past 5 years... lotsa memories. I'm saddened to see it go. Such is life.

That night, after my gig (featuring a last-minute on-stage "reunion" of 4/5s of The MJs, and a special vocal appearance by Kierstin- if ya missed it, you should be sorry!) my guitar case fell over, snapping the neck of my acoustic guitar. Yikes! I closed the case and tried to deny it happened, choosing to focus on the nice night I was having with my friends saying farewell to the joint... and stealing beer mirrors for souvenirs. Anyway, this was the third neck-break for that guitar. All three breaks in the same spot. Balls. Last time, after the second snap, my guitar-guy who fixed it said it may not be fixable again. Not having another thousand bucks for a new guitar, which would also take who knows how long to find, I started to make a list in my head of people whose acoustic guitar I could borrow for my upcoming shows and recording. The list was short. What was I gonna do?!

Well, my brother Michael, aka Manzo, offered to put a new guitar on his credit card for me, and I could pay him back. Nice! Thanks, Manzo! (Let's not get into why I couldn't use my own credit card. Oof! Do the words "over the limit" mean anything to you guys? I'm sure lots of you... well, all two that are reading this... could relate.) So, we set out a week later in search of a new guitar. Landing at Guitar Center in Brooklyn, I found a really nice sounding Epiphone jumbo-body acoustic. It was a real steal at three hundred and fifty bucks, too! Sure, it's no substitute for my Gibson, but it sounds surprisingly great for a guitar in that price range, and it will do for now as I search and save up money for my dream gee-tar. So that's that.

As far as my record goes...

...we are still rehearsing for it. I hate rehearsing. I'm inpatient!
Me, Rich, and Manzo will be the basic band for five of the songs. Me, Rich, and Mr. Mike Rodainsky (formerly of Dead Air and Left Of Jupiter, as well as being the bassist at my birthday gig at Bar 4 back in February... if you were there you know he rocks!) will be the basic band for four songs, and the others will have me on bass... and even some drums. Jon Carrai is gonna supply some horns and keyboards.

Rich (who is going to engineer the record) and I have discussed different sounds for different songs. The mood and sound of each song will change according to the song. How fun! Rich's been boning up his studio with new equipment and we're gonna do some experimenting. I'm really looking forward to it! We seem to be on the same page as far as how to get things done, being up to trying stuff out, exploring... and that's a plus. New techniques will be utilized, and I'm sure this stuff's gonna sound great! I'm pretty excited to get it going (we start the second week of June). This will be the first time since nugget's second demo tape (circa 1995) where I'll be recording on analog tape (not counting two songs I did in late 1997 at Electric Plant Studios). I like analog tape.

It's also gonna be the first time I'll be playing any kind of lead guitar on stuff I'll be releasing for mass consumption! It's either gonna be really cool... or really shitty! Haha. But I'm looking forward to giving it a shot and seeing what happens. I think I'll do okay. We got 16 tracks to work with, and any limitations we face I'm sure will yield a crop of problem-solving ideas that may enhance the recording as a whole; "the Mother of invention" and all that, y'know? It's those little things, those mistakes and limitations and explorations, that give any record it's charm. It's rock'n'roll. Not sure when it'll all be done, how I'll release it, etc., etc., but when I know, you'll know.

And lastly, I have a new job.

Whereas I'd love to be able to play music professionally... or devote 100% of my time to it... not being in a band has kind of taken the wind out of my sails as far as being in the mindframe I was in the last few years with The MJs. Then, I was in a situation that I thought (and hoped) could go somewhere. It didn't. It's harder to get into that mode again being a solo act and all. It's limiting, and therefore I feel limited as far as what I can achieve right now. Maybe when my CD's done I'll feel differently, but right now my focus is on getting the recording under way, making the best album I could, playing some shows, and then taking things as they come once the record's done. My goals seem to be short-term right now, with opportunity to grow. Maybe that's how I should have been thinking the last few years. Who knows?
I will always be rockin' and I will always be making music one way or another. That's for fuckin' sure. That hasn't become a second priority at all, making music. Instead it has become a solace... a passion, even. Maybe before, when I felt it was "work". Because I was in the band and spent a lot of my time and efforts trying to secure some level of "success" with/for the group, I fear I may have missed out on some of the fun. Don't get me wrong, I had a lot of fun (when it was fun), but I think I was more focused on "making it"... good or bad. I don't regret anything I've done before... I did my best, and I think I did pretty damned good... but it drained me. Now I'm playing alone, I don't have any CD to push or show I need tons of people to come to, so I'm just gonna make music and enjoy it. We'll see what happens after that.

Oh yeah, my new job. Sorry.

I am going to work for my cousins, who've just bought a pizzeria/restaurant in Woodbridge, New Jersey. Managing a pizza joint on Jersey! Can you get any more guinea than that?!? Ha! So I've left my gig at the Blue Note (it was a cool year working in the Village at that world-renown spot; meeting interesting people, meeting and getting to talk to great jazz musicians like Ron Carter! or Larry Carlton, getting to know all the folks on West 3rd and it's surrounding blocks). It was a no-place job, though. I felt like a true waste being there; wasting my time and energy doing something a monkey could do. Hey, I did it, it was good for a year, but I've been looking for an excuse (ie; some good money!) to make myself leave.

Next thing I know, a few months ago I get a call from my cousin Audrey. Her husband and her brother-in-law are buying this pizza place and while discussing someone to come be a manager for them, my name comes up. "Why?", was the first thing that came out of my mouth when she told me this. I mean, I have no experience managing a restaurant! But she explained to me that they want someone they can trust, they want someone who gets along with people and is friendly (really, I am... don't believe those rumors stating otherwise, you dick!), and someone smart. Throw in handsome and ya got me! Well, they got me anyway, handsome or not.

After a few days to think about it, I said yes.

It's not ideally what I wanna be doing, but I think it may be a good opportunity for me... mostly because I'm in alotta credit card debt and they're gonna pay me well! Ha! But seriously, as well as the good pay, the hours are good, I'll be working for and with family, Woodbridge is like 25 minutes from my house, and I'll get all the pizza I want! Fat bastard! Plus, I'll be a boss! Not a bad deal. (I always thought it'd be cool to have my own pizzeria! I've thought and talked about it here and there over the years, and now I'll get to learn about it from the inside! This one wont be mine, but I'll get to see if it's something that'd interest me. Think about it: "TL's Rock'N'Roll Pizzeria"! Has a nice ring to it, no?) I'm even looking forward to the responsibility. It'll be a nice change of pace after the semi-retarded position I've had for the last year. AND, I can still freelance because I'll have weekends and nights off. Niiiice.

New guitar, new job, soon a new record. Not bad, not bad.


And well, yes folks, that's what they call "a wrap". I hope you've enjoyed my sometimes-informative, sometimes-boring ramblings. I thank both of you for reading, and I encourage you to share your thoughts on the B.O. bulletin board as well as check out the other great Brooklyn folk featured on the B.O. page. Feel free to drop me a line at Topless pictures are welcomed.

This is me promising you it wont be another 4 months till the next column.

Smile up.


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Sunday, March 30, 2008


Wanna hear and see Brooklyn's best guiatrist, possibly ever?! Well then, do yourself a favor and check out Rob Mastianni's You Tube channel, and catch him live solo or with Next Tribe whenever you can!


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At his blog, run! Plus give a read to the poetry Marco attaches to each piece. Quite fascinating reads.


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From Seth Kushner:

Months after The Brooklynites media blitz, we've been mentioned on Bloomberg's list of Brooklyn books.

Check it out-

Also, I was interviewed by Charlie Pellett, host of "Bloomberg New York". Listen to me weighing in on Brooklyn's cache, the Atlantic Yards and Marty Markowitz's possible run for mayor on Monday between 7-8PM ET.

Bloomberg Radio can be heard on XM channel 129 or SIRIUS channel 130, on plain, old radio In New York City, tune to 1130 on the AM dial, or on


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Black Water Rising has an extremely cool new T-Shirt out. Check their My Space to order yours! Also available BWR ringtones! Rock n' Roll!


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Thursday, March 27, 2008


511 Greenwich Street @ Spring St.

NY, New York 10013
Cost:$10 suggested donation/$5 minimum
Description:“TAKE BACK NEW YORK” – Queen V presents a special charity event to give something back to those in our city who are in need. Proceeds will be donated to Axis of Justice – the non-profit organization formed by Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Serj Tankian of System of a Down – and Picture the Homeless to benefit the homeless in NYC. There will be a suggested $5 minimum donation at the door.


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Friday, March 21, 2008


Postmortem Remains Magazine has released its 7th issue, and Brooklyn Original's interview with "The Brooklynites" Anthony Lasala and Seth Kushner has been included in it! Check it out for free as a PDF download or buy the print version at their Lulu shop!

I want to thank the folks at PMR for the pickup and also for the great layout! Thanks!


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Tuesday, March 18, 2008


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Sunday, March 16, 2008


Ladies and Gentlemen, Brooklyn Original Proudly Presents a new column by Brooklyn musician/artist Tommy Lombardozzi...

"Harmony guitars can come in at that part, right over the bass break down. Then the percussion, with a strong tambourine, can lead the drums in... right before a three-part harmony vocal bit joins in for the last verse. Ooo, ooo! ...then maybe I can get a violin player to do a call-and-response with the vocal melody... or a trumpet! Yeah! Good idea! But hmmmm... which bass player should I use for this? Michael? Mike? Joe? Maybe I'll just do it myself. Fun! Now, how can we get the drums to sound "dirty"? Hmmm... ?"

These are the kindsa things that run through my head at night as I lie in bed waiting for sleep. These are the things that keep me awake, excitedly anticipating all the possible possibilities, all the musical avenues I can explore! It annoys me sometimes, the fact that I can't sleep because I'm thinking about music. I lie there in bed, wondering and planning, and my leg shakes like a lunatic. Sometimes I am forced to get up and strum a few chords on a guitar just to get it out... so I can try and fall asleep like a normal human being. This is what I do.

Hi everyone. If ya don't know me, my name is Tommy. Mr. Lombardozzi if ya nasty! I've been invited by Marilyn and Sal, the foremother and forefather of Brooklyn Original, to do a column for this budding blog-site. What a treat! Initially I wasn't sure it'd be a good idea. I mean, what do I have to say about being a musician and artist that no other musician and artist can say?! Plus, I feel sorta douchey talking about my stuff! But after some thought, I figured I could talk about this stuff more easily if I was to intersperse it with some asinine anecdotes, bawdy language, tawdry tales, maniacal musings, random rants, and just a touch of nonsensical noodling. In short, this column will be very "TL"! It may not always be informative and it may not always be introspective, but I will try my Belushi best* to make it entertaining!

So, here's what I've been up to of late:

I have started rehearsal for my upcoming album. I've been playing once a week with misters Michael Lombardozzi (bass) and Richard Martin (drums) as the core band (this will be augmented on the actual record by other musician friends of mine who I am looking forward to playing with and having play on my CD, including Jon Carrai). For the very few rehearsals we've had so far (three!), things sound great! Still messy, but great. The seeds are planted and this tree of rock will be strong!

Rich and Michael are really taking things to the next level. We are working together to make the songs exceptional, I feel, putting our heads together to take my songs and ideas to places I may not have taken them, but still making sure to keep the spirit and the mood or "feel" of my material in tact. It's pretty exciting for me. Another great bass player, Mike Rodainsky, will be the featured player on four tracks as well (if you were at my 31st birthday party/show, you'd have seen Mike rock it the fuck up on my tunes. Good stuff! You can find his My Space page on my top Friends' under the name LONG HOPE KNIFE. Check it out.)

Though it's in its earliest phases, we (Rich and I) are already discussing the production of the album; what approach to take for specific songs... HOW to record them, or how to achieve desired moods and sounds with the technology at hand. Rich will be the engineer, and we will be recording on tape. Analog, baby! It's been years since I've recorded on tape, and I am excited to explore it's possibilities... AND its limitations! (Necessity is the mother of invention and all that shit, y'know?) Its gonna be a pretty raw, homemade affair... and I'm sure it's gonna rock fuckin’ socks!

I had a long list of songs to choose from. Plus, during the planning, I started writing new ones that I wanted to feature... stuff that got me excited and didn't sound like anything I'd written in the last 5 years or so (recently I started playing electric guitar again for the first time in YEARS, so new things came out of that, new ideas). It was a tough time narrowing down a list of 10-12 songs I would definitely be recording for this project. Even now I'm still not 100% about what I've chosen. But, what helped me whittle the list down was the idea that I wanted the songs to best represent ME and my "style" of music. They're a bit more personal, and I've omitted the ones that may fall into any specific musical "genre". The ones that were left were the ones I felt best represented me and my current state of mind. I put aside many songs that I felt were strong in order to do this The ones I've picked I think are ALSO strong, don't get me wrong... but the "chosen few" are more scary in a way; more risky for me, more personal, and more straight-forward/less poetic. I'm looking forward to getting to the end result. I'll keep ya’s posted...

In other TL news, I have been asked by an old friend to contribute a piece of artwork for a March of Dimes silent auction. I'm gonna be doing an original painting for the auction. Pretty cool. Not sure if you're familiar with the MOD, but it's a great organization that helps kids. Not sure when the silent auction will be, details are just coming in, but when I know, YOU'LL know! I promise. I was pretty flattered that she asked me to do this.... shit, I'm pretty flattered when anyone shows ANY interest in my artwork! I jumped at the chance, even if just to show my appreciation to her for her enjoyment and respect for my work. Hopefully it'll pull in some bucks for the charity, too! That'd make me happy. I like that I can lend my talents for good causes... be it something like this, or, to play for a charity show or at money-raising event. I can honestly and sincerely say that when I can do something like that, it REALLY makes me appreciate any talents I do have. It makes it all worthwhile, like I'm actually DOING something good and not so self-fulfilling.

And that's the thing with creative endeavors; you do them because you HAVE to, and because (for the most part) they make you feel good. Or, they help you to express yourself or say something that you may not be able to say normally. So really, they're self-fulfilling. I SHOULD be happy just playing to myself in my house, or just doing drawings that no one will ever see. Right? But no. When I do something like write a new song or paint a new painting, I want to share it! Though I have (hopefully) satisfied myself with my work, at that point I wanna share it with others. I want others to enjoy it, too! If they don't, it wont tarnish MY enjoyment of it, or my satisfaction with a job well done, but, it feels nice to know that I've created something that someone else can enjoy so much that they even make it their own. When someone feels that way say about a song I wrote, at that point it goes beyond selfish self-satisfaction and becomes something that I share with that individual. A bond, maybe? Who knows! But, it's a nice feeling.

That's why I am always stressing the fact that we should be supporting each other! More than we do! I know I don't go out to as many friends’ shows as I'd like, or as I used to. Either I'm broke, or lazy, or just don't wanna go alone... but I really feel that this whole internet thing can be a great tool to SHARE. It's so easy to post a bulletin touting a friend's band or site or art, or, send an e-mail to a friend saying "Hey, check out my friend's page, I think you'd like them!" Chances are, if a friend is going that lil' bit out of their way to recommend someone for your enjoyment, you WILL like 'em! Get others involved who may not be "in the know"... or at least TRY to. What harm can it do? And, ya just might turn people on to something new! We all win!!!

And that's the main reason why I love this Brooklyn Original page. I really respect and appreciate what Sal and Marilyn are trying to do, and I support the fuck out of it! I like this idea of a "creative community", and I'm really glad they asked me to be a part of it. Thanks, guys! I hope I do ya's proud!

Now, if Sal would only put my art and music page up on the B.O. My Space page's top friends!!! Get to it, Sal! Haha.

Well folks, I'm done for now, but I shall return. Consider this first post an introduction to my future columns. Write and lemme know your thoughts, or drop the B.O. kids a line and let 'em know what you'd like to see/hear/have answered, etc. I'm taking requests...

Smile up.

*"Belushi best": a term I made up to describe when you go above and beyond, in a maniacal manner, to ensure top fun!


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Sunday, March 9, 2008


Marilyn has reset up a shop for her paintings. These are magnificent oil portrait paintings at totally affordable prices, you should check them out for great pieces like this:

Here's the shop address:


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This is so awesome, I had to post it here:

For more fantastic work check his blog:


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Anticipating the new TL column here at BO? Well, it's coming up very soon, but till then please get to his my space to check out some new art from Mr. Lombardozzi himself! Check his pics, in the March 2008 folder!


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Thursday, February 28, 2008


From Frank-Oh!:

Hello children.

Your Pal Frank-Oh will be doing a stand up set at the Brokerage Comedy Club on Bellmore NY next Wednesday March 5th at 8pm.

Its 10 dollars to get in with a 2 drink minimum.

You need to call and make reservations and tell them that you are coming to see me Frank Petitto, cause if you say Frank Oh or Kareem Uvweet they wont know what the hell you are talking about. The number is 516-785-8655.

The address is 2797 Merrick Rd.

Hope to see you there.


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Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Ron Scalzo is one busy man... He's a DJ, a sound engineer, a teacher, a musician, and the head of his own record label, Bald Freak Music! Pretty industrious in our book! Brooklyn Original had the opportunity to interview this enterprising native to find out how he came up in the music industry, what motivates him, how he sees his label progressing, and a whole lot more.

Ladies and Gents, welcome Ron Scalzo into the Brooklyn Original house!

Let’s start with your background, tell us about your own personal musical history. What are some your musical influences and experiences prior to Q*Ball?

I grew up in a household where classic rock was constantly blaring. My parents are baby boomers & were very young when I was born, so I grew up on The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Chicago, Led Zeppelin, & Pink Floyd, among many others. My Dad would put on some Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass or Billy Joel's "Zanzibar", and I would run around like a lunatic as a kid during the horn solos & the jams. I was also fascinated by my Dad's album covers - Deep Purple's "Burn," Edgar Winter Group's "They Only Come Out At Night," etc.

I started taking piano lessons at 7, drum lessons at 13 - got into electronic & industrial music (Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Ministry) towards the end of high school, and started a band called Secret Army that became fairly popular about a decade ago. That band was kind of a primitive ancestor of Q*Ball and a lot of the music I make today.

How did these influences, coupled with your musical history and experience come to create the sound and mission of Q*Ball?

When I was in my early 20s, I bought into the whole collaborative effort of a "band" - Secret Army and another band I joined right out of college (Jersey rock act The Substance) were flourishing, but didn't sail for the typical reasons - unreliable band mates, bad business decisions, bad luck. I chose to go it alone, and as an electronic musician, my writing was based on vintage synth sounds, sampling, loops, and a somewhat tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. At this point, I was into a whole hodgepodge of stuff - everything from Mr. Bungle to U2 to Soul Coughing to The Prodigy. Q*Ball arose from that - and with the welcome help of Bumblefoot as both a producer and a guitarist, I was ready to rock.

How has the sound of Q*Ball changed since 2002’s Q*Ball in Space till now?

I've gotten older & wiser as a human being, and I'd like to think that it's been reflected in my music - the two albums that followed my debut were a bit more serious, a bit more complex, and relied more on guitars & live instrumentation than the usual 'keys-and-loops' formula. "Fortune Favors The Bald" was heavily influenced by a severe shift in my romantic life, and "This Is Serious Business" is reflective of my more recent commitment to my business, my music, and to love and to the future.

The music of your other band, Return to Earth, is quite different than Q*Ball’s. Compare your experience in both bands as well as the influences, if any, of one on the other.

Return To Earth is my somewhat-cautious re-entry into the "band" dynamic. The opportunity to work with Chris Pennie, who I met from my days in The Substance, was too good to pass up - and it turns out he's as prolific a songwriter as he is behind his drum kit. The challenge, of course, is that he's currently providing the backbeat for Coheed and Cambria, but we were lucky to put together an amazing collection of hard rock tunes before their recent tour. RTE is strictly hard rock - what I'd like to think as an under-the-radar refreshing alternative to the mainstream schlock you've been hearing on the radio nowadays - Nickelback, Finger Eleven, Linkin Park, etc. We were even luckier to have Bumblefoot mix & master the album, and I'm proud to say it's as good, if not better, than anything I've contributed to musically, to date.

Besides being an accomplished musician, you head up the Indie label Bald Freak Music. What made you want to start your own label? And what are some of the biggest challenges facing an Indie label today?

I started the label in late '05 in response to all the screwballs who had let me down or made me empty promises when it came to helping promote Q*Ball to the masses. I've found that the industry is built largely on smoke & mirrors, and sometimes I wonder why I want to be part of such a shallow, misguided industry to begin with. But I love music and I believe in my music & all the music made by the bands on my little label, and I want to help them in any way I can. The challenge, of course, is that we don't have the manpower or the budgets to compete with the majors, or even the big indies, so keep our expectations low, our heads down, and we live in our own little bubble, doing the best we can to promote our acts. Everyone's eating up this American Idol bullshit nowadays - I just want to put out good music & make some new fans.

Tell us about the business of side of things of BFM. What is the process of starting a business like this, what does it take to stay afloat in the market, and where do you see the label a few years down the line?

Business is business. Phone calls, e-mails, updating web pages, printing up one-sheets, stickers, t-shirts. The way you start up is you sit down & do it. And you keep working hard at it for as long as you can - that doesn't mean it will succeed or fail based on this hard work, but we're doing the best we can. I prefer to keep goals small - put out quality recordings, secure licensing deals for my acts, book a few shows here & there. I haven't put all my eggs in the proverbial basket with Bald Freak - I do engineering work in the industry, I DJ, I teach a class at Brooklyn College. The label is a labor of love, but it's not my only labor nor my only love. If things stay the way they are a few years down the road, then we'll keep plugging along. And if things get better, then that's just gravy.

The bands on your Bald Freak Music label constantly draw rave reviews. Tell us about these bands, how do you go about your selection process, what drew you to these particular bands, and what tips would you have for an up and coming band who is looking to get their product out there?

Outside of my two projects, Q*Ball & Return To Earth, there's Bumblefoot, better known these days for his participation in Guns N Roses. What a lot of people don't realize is that Bumblefoot has a rabid following of his own, with 7 albums under his belt, and hordes of guitar geeks & metal fans at his feet. I was lucky enough to have Bumblefoot volunteer his catalog, past & present, to the label - it's another in a long line of unique, non-contractual, trust-based ventures that we've forged upon since he started helping me out with the Q*Ball albums years ago.

Swashbuckle & Black Pig are bands I've discovered thru friends. The Pigs are part of the same Brooklyn music scene that I grew up in high school - all those bands that we played with at L'Amour, The Crazy Country Club, Live at 315, etc. Joe from Black Pig & I went to elementary school together - he played trumpet in the band, I played trombone. Nerds. Swashbuckle are metal pirates from Jersey that don't take themselves too seriously, but still manage to make some blistering thrash in spite of that. The appeal is not for everyone, but those who dig it, dig it with fervor. And that's all we can ask for.

It's hard for me to pick up new acts unless they're local, committed, and willing to play anywhere. Most artists expect you to make them rock stars within a year - I'm here to tell all y'all that in today's ass-backwards day-and-age, instant success is non-existent. You've got to be willing to put in the time & the energy for a number of years if you want to make music your life, and even then it's no guarantee.

You are a born and bred Brooklynite, and were featured in the recently released book The Brooklynites. How did feel to be part of that project?

The authors of the book are old friends of mine, so it felt good to share in the success of having their book published, and in being one of the many subjects, along with the likes of Steve Buscemi, Paul Auster, & Sufjan Stevens. If you're from Brooklyn, you can't deny the nostalgia that a book like "The Brooklynites" stirs inside you. At the time of my photo shoot/interview for the book, I was living in Jersey City. Now I'm back in Brooklyn. I try not to blame the book.

You recently came back to Brooklyn to set up shop. How did growing up a Brooklyn native affect you and your music? And how do you think the return to the borough affects you and products now?

The good news about being back in Brooklyn is that I'm in a place that finally allows me to function more effectively as a musician & a business. I have a big room to spin records, fiddle around on my keyboards, produce, do mailings. It's a sanctuary I've never had before, having lived in one-bedroom apartments most of my adult life. It's tough to be prolific when your keyboards are in your living room. I'm not much of a studio guy - studios typically mean broken equipment, stolen gear, and wasted money. So having my own space to do what I need to do is a blessing. And it'll force me to do what I need to be doing - making & promoting music.

Growing up here gave me that competitive edge that a lot of the same clowns I grew up with had - I've seen a lot of good bands that were comprised of guys from that same Brooklyn scene come and go - Burlap To Cashmere, Naked Mary, Dead Air. I went to school with guys in Candiria, I served pizza to the guys in Type O Negative. You didn't take that for granted when you were trying to achieve the same goals that those bands were - getting a big following, playing bigger venues, getting noticed.

What’s next for Ron Scalzo?

Probably an English Muffin. Then a nap. After that, who knows. I've been DJing a lot lately - I enjoy putting on headphones & zoning out to other people's tunes for 4-5 hours. I'm a tremendous music geek, so I'm always looking to discover new acts in my (rare) spare time. I'll be working on some new musical projects of my own, and promoting new albums from Bumblefoot & Swashbuckle. I'm back in Brooklyn, the dust has cleared from the relocation, and I'm getting married later this year. Look for me in Hawaii in early October.

Finally, I see that Lobot is part of your street team. Where does he find the time, and are you afraid of repercussions from his boss, should he find out about his employee’s use of company time to promote BFM?

Lobot's been fairly committal to the cause, especially after Lando dumped him for the Rebel cause & moonlighting with Nien Numb at the Cantina. If Lobot bails, we can always recruit Porkins or Biggs Darklighter. Oh wait, they're dead. Maybe Wedge, then.

We thank Ron Scalzo for the interview. For more on Bald Freak Music please click this sentence!

All pictures from the Bald Freak website. From the top: Q*Ball, Return to Earth, Bumblefoot, Black Pig, and Swashbuckle.


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POST 100!


Just wanted to make an exclusive Post #100 here at Brooklyn Original, and once again thank all of you who have supported our little project here so far. We hope you've enjoyed reading about some of your fellow Brooklyn Originals in our first 100 posts, and we hope you enjoy the next 100 as well, and so on. We're definitely gonna offer some interesting new content to go along with the interviews, news, and info you've been coming back for. We're working on adding at least 3 new columns, one of which I can tell you about right now...

Brooklyn Original will be shortly bringing you a new column by musician/artist/BO pal Tommy Lombardozzi! This will be a continuous chronicle of a Brooklyn solo artist and his journeys. If you know Tommy, you know you're in for quite a fun read, and if you don't you're in for a treat! So a big welcome to Tommy to the project; look for his first column soon!

Thanks again folks!



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Sunday, February 24, 2008


Marilyn has been interviewed by the ultra hip international fashion and lifestyle online magazine Flash Film! This one hell of a spread, with tons of pics of her work and a great interview to boot! Please check it out, and a huge congrats to her for it!
Click the Flash Film banner to get to the interview!


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Spacebeard will be part of a charity talent show at the world famous Hard Rock Cafe! It's 5 bucks for a good cause, Musicians On Call, so you should be there!


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Performances, requests, and more! Check him out!


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This something I've thought about since the inception of Brooklyn Original, and have had numerous conversations about, but haven't posted about till now. And that is the exception to the rule about who we consider a Brooklyn Original, other than those born and raised here of course.

If you came here when you were a young pup and were raised here, then I think we can make an exception. If you've put in basically your whole life here then you're a BO in my book.

Since we've promoted people like Marco DiLeonardo, born in Brooklyn but raised in Queens, then I think we can go the other way too. You have to meet one of those two criteria though for us to post about you.

*However, each case will be unique and we'll have to judge each one individually.

Moving forward I just wanted to have a clarification of this. Cool?


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Saturday, February 23, 2008



I just want to give a big CONGRATS to Sal for lettering his first Robin book (#171)! I know this means a lot to him because he has been a fan of Robin since he was a wee child. I guess it is time to bust out the green briefs for Halloween this year, Sal.


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Issue 6 of this awesome Brooklyn magazine is now available at PM R issue 6ix has a ton of great reviews, interviews, commentaries, poems, and other original writings. And the cover has this gorgeous piece on it:

To purchase a printed copy or to download a free one please check out their Lulu shop here:


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Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I'm on a roll! Good to get up these pics finally, lots of fun was had that night.

Photography by Sal Cipriano, Marilyn Patrizio, and Lou Mazzella.


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From December's show:

Photography by Lora Tusa.


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Monday, February 18, 2008



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Sunday, February 17, 2008


After more than a month of talking about it, I have finally fully transcribed and edited Brooklyn Original’s interview with Anthony LaSala and Seth Kushner, the authors of The Brooklynites. I want to thank the guys for giving us a fantastically in depth interview, and more importantly their patience while I got this together. I’d also like to thank Anthony Patrizio for his recording of the interview.

For those that don’t know by now, The Brooklynites is a gorgeous photo essay book wonderfully written by Anthony LaSala, writer and Senior Editor for Photo District News, and photographed by acclaimed freelance photographer and self professed pop culture addict, Seth Kushner, about the various people of Brooklyn, more specifically the true Brooklynites. In this interview, Seth and Anthony talk about their experiences working on the project, their favorite moments, and try to get to the bottom of what it truly is to be a Brooklynite.

So let’s get to it, from Bay Ridge’s Café Café…

Brooklyn Original proudly presents The Brooklynites!

Let’s start at the beginning, guys, how did you two get together on this project?

Anthony- I’ve known Seth since high school, that’s about 12-13 years or so now. We both went to Abraham Lincoln High School on Ocean Pkwy. There was an amazing photography program there, probably the best in the country as far as high school goes, maybe even college. We met there and stayed friends through the years. We always talked about doing a project together, with myself doing the writing and Seth doing the photography, but we could never settle on a subject. Finally one day I approached Seth and said "Why don’t we try and do something on Brooklyn, we grew up here, we’re both from here, we still live here, and it holds a special place in our hearts." So we decided to run with that. We first thought we’d just focus on neighborhoods we grew up in, with some of the local characters that we always wanted to talk to, but never had a reason to. We started with that, and then people started to introduce us to other folks, and we started going to different neighborhoods. The first shoot was the 18th Ave feast; you want to talk about that?

Seth- Yeah. We had this notion we’d go to this feast that we had been going to as kids separately, and it’s a very visual thing. The streets are lined with lights and decorations, there are booths, and trucks, and zeppoles, and scantily clad girls, and big muscle guys who are looking at the scantily clad girls, and guys with their noses pushed to one side. It’s a visual feast really. So we thought we’d just go take some pictures, and talk to some people. We didn’t think it would be hard. We thought it would be this really easy thing, and it would just come natural, but I think talking to strangers isn’t something that comes natural to either one of us. That first night out we had a lot of problems. No one trusted us. I think the older people thought we were two young idiots causing trouble who didn’t know what we were doing, and the young people thought we were two old pervs who were taking pictures of them to talk to them. We got a few pictures of the night, but mostly it was definitely an overwhelming failure. We left dejected. The analogy I keep making was we were at the school dance, and no girls would dance with us; we just stood up against the walls with our hands in our pockets all night. We did try though, but we didn’t have the formula down. We realized we had to get this recipe down on how to approach people. We realized later how to do that. Part of it is you have to be completely sincere. For people have to trust you, you have to be that. And part of it is having pictures to show people, having an example of what we’re talking about. People have trouble previsualizng the concept, so we needed to have some examples. So after doing some shoots, we put together a little scrap book. So we’d go out, and have this little book, and say “Hey, we’re doing this thing, here’s what it looks like, we’re going to publish it, can you be in it?” That really made all the difference. We went back to the feast the following year and did a lot better. A lot of the pictures are in the book actually.

A- We also decided about ten shoots in, or so, that we were going to start setting up shoots. Calling people before hand instead of randomly roaming the streets of Brooklyn looking for people to photograph and interview, and that made a big difference as well.

A big drawing point to the book for me is that you're both from Brooklyn. Did being from Brooklyn help draw your subjects into the project?

A- Yeah, definitely. I think if were just two guys from Idaho who were taking advantage of Brooklyn being popular, then people would’ve definitely turned us away a lot more. But being from Brooklyn, and knowing the neighborhoods, the stories, and the places helped immensely. We knew so many places we wanted to go and explore. There was so many great places that we grew up going to, like L&B Spumoni Gardens, Totonno’s, and the Brooklyn Museum; places where we wanted to get in there, and meet the people behind them. It really helped knowing these places instead of having to do the research and find out about them.

S- I think also because we’re from here, and lived here our whole lives we have this network of friends and family who are also from here. So we’re really entrenched into everything Brooklyn. Literally there’s this chain of people, it’s all this six degrees of Kevin Bacon kind of deal. So again coming from somewhere else we wouldn’t have had all these connections.

I sometimes feel that I could infinitely explore Brooklyn. What did you find about Brooklyn that you didn’t know?

A- It was endless. There was so many times that Seth and I were driving down a block in the middle of God-knows-where, and we'd say “Have you ever been down?” “No.” “Have you ever even heard of this place?” “No.” It was great. And that happened over and over and over again.

S- Like the Broken Angel building which got some notoriety from the Dave Chappelle film Block Party. We were just going to interview Danny Simmons, the art gallery owner, and walking down his block we could see a few blocks away, over the brownstones, was this bizarre structure peaking out into the sky. You have to sort of be in just the right spot to see it. So we wandered over, and it ended up being this fascinating place. It’s actually gone now; the city took it apart after all these years. Do you know about this?

No, please tell us…

S- There’s this guy, Arthur Woods, who bought this old building about 25 years ago, and he’s kind of this mad inventor type. He once had this dream about what the building should look like. It was going to have all these spires, and a fountain, and a statue of a whale. He spent all these years trying to create the vision he saw in his dream. I don’t even know how to describe it.

A- I always describe as looking like a Tim Burton creation, just diagonal, and crooked, with so many different types of angles to it, towering into the sky. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen. That was one of those days that we couldn’t believe what we were seeing. It was just an incredible experience to be able to talk to him about that.

Speaking of experiences, but getting more personal, how did the collaborative process work between you two?

S- Well, I mean, we did almost everything together. The book is a real 50/50 endeavor. Even if you look at it now it’s really not a photo book. It’s literally half writing, half photos. And the actual process, picking a subject, even that was a discussion… We had a two man committee to see if someone was legitimate, we had to really consider someone a real Brooklynite. There were certain people even if they moved here a year ago there was something about their aesthetic that said to us if they were a Brooklynite or not. Some people didn’t pass the mustard for us; we just thought that it was some guy from Ohio that moved here just because they thought Brooklyn was cool. We didn’t want those people. That was the first part. The actual sessions would start with an interview, which loosened them up for the photo shoot. During the interview I would just listen, occasionally interject, and set up the equipment. During the actual shoot, Anthony, who works at the Photo magazine, and I, would collaborate to conceptualize the shoot. During the shoot he was like my assistant, he would hold the lights, kind of like my Human Sicilian Light Stand, I called him.

Everyone laughs.

S- And then I’d get the film back, and while I was looking through the film, he would transcribe the interview, and we’d go through the pictures together, and decide which ones we wanted use. It was collaborative every step of the way. We worked well together.

What were the expectations for this project?

A- In the beginning, we really didn’t even start out with expectations we just wanted to work on something meaningful to the both of us. As it progressed we sort of assumed it might end up being a book. I work in the photo business, so I’ve seen a lot of photography books, and I felt like we could definitely do something creative and accomplished, and we had never seen anything about the people of Brooklyn. There are plenty of books about the old Brooklyn landscape and the buildings and things like that, but never really about the people of Brooklyn talking about growing up here. I think as it went along we saw it as a book.

S- We did not start ambitiously at all. We didn’t dream big in the beginning. We weren’t going after celebrities. It was just the barber down the street, the hardware guy; it was going to be what the authentic Brooklynite was. It wasn’t till maybe eight or nine months in that we realized that we could get could get some people of note, like authors and actors, and mix them in and not make it about them, but in the grand quilt of Brooklyn they were some of the stitches. And also at first we weren’t going to cover the whole place. It was too tough a road to hoe. It’s oft putting in a way; it’s a big place, but somewhere a long the way we said, “If we’re going to do this right we have to try to cover every neighborhood.” It took us 3 years. We thought it would take us a year. It was long term project, and there is nothing else that I can think of that I could ever work on that could hold my interest like this.

When did Powerhouse Books get involved?

A- They were basically the first publisher we took the project to. Because of where I work I know all of these publishers, and we know that Powerhouse does a lot New York centric publications. We went over there and showed them the project, they immediately loved it, and they said they’d be interested in doing it. We took it to two other places after that to kind of just get a sense of what other offers we would get. We just felt after seeing those other two places that Powerhouse would do the best job of putting it together and promoting it. We were very lucky because so many photographers and writers go around, and it takes years to get interest in a project. They did a great job, we had a good relationship with them, and we’re really happy with the way things turned out.

Did they offer any editorial advice?

S- They were pretty good, they really didn’t interfere much. We went in about a year and a half in, and they said, “We love this, but come back when you’re done.” They didn’t want to tell us when to finish, or when they want to put it out, just come back when we feel we’re done. They never said we want more of this or more of that, more celebrities, they just let us do the project the way we wanted to do, to their credit. They could’ve pushed us in all different directions honestly, but I guess they trusted in our vision.

Did the end result meet what you expected from it?

S- We kept pushing for more pages, so we eventually got more pages than I think they wanted to give us. We worked with over 300 subjects, and about 200 made it into the book. The process of omitting was just painful, because every person we had to pull out we had a good experience with. It was hard to find things to pull. That was the only regret that we didn’t get all 300 in.

A- Other than that we loved it. Yeah. Everything was up to what we expected. It ended up being a beautiful book.

Getting a little general, what was the most fun part of the project?

A- There were so many fun parts of the project. I think it was meeting some of the people that we always wanted to meet. Like, I grew up going to Totonno’s Pizzeria in Coney Island, which was always my favorite place besides L&B’s, and getting to meet the woman that always served me, always made my pizza, who always had a frown on her face, and I was always scared of; actually talking to her about her family, and the whole process of them owning that building since the turn of the century was unbelievable. Going to the Brooklyn Museum on the day it was closed, and them taking us around the entire place through the halls and empty rooms was incredible. Meeting some of the celebrities was thrilling, we can’t lie about that. Meeting Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, Spike Lee, and Rosie Perez, and all those people was really, really cool. Getting to sit down and talk to them was fascinating. Meeting some of the authors, for me as a writer, like Jonathan Lethem and Paul Auster was wonderful.

S- Don’t forget about the free porterhouse at Peter Luger’s!

A- Yes! And eating all the free food was on top of everything! We always went in thinking that we might get something good out of some of the restaurant shoots, and we were never disappointed.

Did you approach interviewing the celebrities any differently than the average person?

A- I think we approached it in basically the same way. I don’t think we wanted to differentiate between the two, because the average person was just as important if not more important than the celebrities to us in the book. There were a couple of different things, but basically it was the same 10-15 questions because we wanted to get to the heart of what it was to be a Brooklynite. We didn’t want to differentiate or hold people in higher esteem in any way.

S- From my perspective, the celebrities do so many interviews where it’s just promoting their latest films, that I think they were just really happy talking about something that was real. Talking about something about growing in this place, and why it’s special. Even like John Turturro, who seemingly didn’t have a lot of time, spent a lot of time with us talking in his backyard. He seemed to really enjoy talking about his childhood.

What was one of your favorite interviews?

S- Terence Winter was one of the best interviews. He’s one of the producers and writers of The Sopranos. What was fascinating about this guy, and he gave us his whole life story, was that he went from going to Grady Vocational School, where kids go to be a mechanic, to winning multiple Emmys now. The path he took to do that was fascinating. The story is a total Brooklyn story. He’s a real Brooklyn kid who scammed his way into Hollywood. The short version is that he went to Hollywood and acted as his own agent. He’d call the studios on behalf of himself, deliver the scripts as his own messenger, and literally made this thing happen with what I call Brooklyn Chutzpah. Even now that he’s in the upper echelon, he’s still just a Brooklyn guy.

Ok, so the book is all about the Brooklynites and their stories, but what’s your Brooklyn story?

S- I think an interesting thing is that we both ended up with women who are not from here, and we both had to get our significant others to move here from somewhere else. We had to sell this place, and you know what? It really wasn’t that hard. And their both happy Brooklynites now, and they’re both in the book! That’s kind of a cool thing, but it’s not much of a story though, sorry! Part of it is, and it’s not a Brooklyn story really either, is that I’ve sort of become a tour guide. My wife is from Minnesota, and every once in a while a family member comes to visit, and I gotta think of the selling points of this place, so I always buy pizza for whoever’s here. I try to give them a different pizza experience every time, but um, I’m not doing well, I’m spinning my wheels! What do you got?

A- I don’t know, I’m trying to think. I travel a lot, and I love the fact that no matter where I am, I could be in the middle of nowhere, and I know I’m going to run into someone from Brooklyn. I was in St. Thomas about 5 years ago, taking pictures out by myself, basically lost, I didn’t know where I was, somewhere in the middle of the island, it felt like it was a shady area, I was kind of getting a little nervous, and I went into this place to buy film. The guy that owned the place was from Brooklyn, and he immediately knew I was from Brooklyn. I didn’t even say anything! He could smell the Brooklyn on me!

Everyone laughes.

A- Which was great, he was from Bensonhurst, he grew up like 15 blocks away from me. The guy basically opened a film deli in the middle of St. Thomas, and we talked for like an hour about Brooklyn and what was going on there, and how much he missed it. It’s incredible.

S- I think Brooklyn has a lot of small town neighborhoods, so for me growing up here I didn’t really know the world much outside my own area. I lived in Sheepshead Bay, and I knew a few other places. Through my teens years I got to know other parts a little bit, and you sort of realize it’s a bigger place than you think. But now that I’ve seen more of the world it’s gone back to being smaller in a way. I kind of discovered a lot of it with Anthony through the project. It was like sight seeing in a way. It was interesting sociologically. I guess the point is that you grow up in a place you think you know, and then you realize that you don’t, but it’s never too late to get there. Now I feel like I could be a cab driver! It’s like a small town, but there’s always something new to discover.

Being from Brooklyn myself, and meeting as many people from here as I have, I’ve always felt like we’ve shared a common bond other than geography. Do you think there is a universal mind to being from Brooklyn?

S- I think there is, there’s a couple of things. Everyone we talked to, minus maybe one or two, has a love for the place. And the people that were somewhat negative still had a love for it, even their complaints weren’t real. People just want to be cranky. Everyone had this unyielding love and pride to where they’re from. I don’t think you get that everywhere, at least not in the same way. And there’s a certain kind of toughness, it’s like a strength. No one’s wussy here, even the people who are can beat up wussies from other towns!

Everyone laughs.

A- I think everyone that’s from here thinks that they’re one step ahead of anyone else from anywhere else. I think it was the artist, Kenan Juska, that told us in the book how he was going away to California for awhile, and he was really nervous, he was a kid, but his uncle came over and told him, “You have nothing to worry about, you’re from Brooklyn, you’re already three steps ahead of everyone else.” I think that’s the truth. I think everyone from here feels that way. Wherever you go, you feel like you have an edge, like you have an ace up your sleeve when you’re from Brooklyn. From growing up on the streets, and knowing all the people here, you feel like you have somewhat of an advantage and you take it with you wherever you go. I think everyone would agree with that.

S- There’s no other place that has the mystique of Brooklyn. All over the world people know about Brooklyn. Kids in Japan wear Brooklyn T-Shirts. There’s definitely some kind of reason for that. I don’t think we discovered the answer really, other than the fact there’s something going on here that’s just different. If you look at the people of note that come from here, there’s more of them from here than probably anywhere in the world. There’s definitely something going on here, and I think that’s interesting to people all over the world.

What has been the reaction to the book?

S- I think everyone has been really kind. We really haven’t had any negative press. We were really conscious when we were working on and editing the book not to neglect any particular neighborhoods, and to make sure we had a good cross section of people in terms of race, religions, and careers. We felt there was a certain level of snarkiness we had to prepare for among the blogosphere that were going to pick at anything we do, which we got from an article on the Gothamist about a year before the book came out that had talkbacks that had people complaining about which neighborhoods we did and didn’t have. But honestly, aside from that, since the actual book came out it’s been overwhelmingly positive I’m happy to say.

A- And we were mentioned in the NY Times as one of the top NY books to buy for the holidays. We were really pleasantly surprised.

So what is next for you guys?

A- We don’t know yet. Honestly, we’ve been talking about it a lot. We have a few ideas that hopefully we’ll be working on together, and few that we’ll work on separately. There are ideas we got from the book that we might try out. We’re not quite sure yet is basically the short answer. There will be something else though, we really enjoyed working together, and felt like it was a big success. I think we’re going to try it again, and see where it goes from there. Or we may just talk about it for ten years and never do anything.

Then you could do a book based on that!

S- And no one’s gonna care!

Everyone laughs.

Well, thank you, guys! You’ve done Brooklyn proud!

To purchase The Brooklynites go to one of these places: Amazon Barnes and Noble Deep Discount

Photo of Anthony and Seth by Sal Cipriano, all photography thereafter by Seth Kushner from The Brooklynites.


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As a precursor to the Brooklynites interview that I'm posting sometime in the next few hours, here's a link to photographer Seth Kushner's new blog. Go give it a check:


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Marilyn's website for Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! has gone live! Congrats to her on another wonderful project completed for Random House. Please give it a check and show all the children in your lives!


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Tuesday, February 12, 2008


New art at Marco DiLeonardo's blog. Go, feast:


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It's a Friday Night Main Event and your'e invited! Yes, this Friday night comedian Frank Oh! makes a return engagement @ the Wicked Monk. If you missed the hysterics of last month's show, you need to be at this one! Guarenteed good times!

Frank Oh! @ the Wicked Monk in Bay Ridge Brooklyn, this FRIDAY night at 8pm.

8415 5th Avenue, Bay Ridge

Five dollars to get in.

Be there, Brutha.


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Monday, February 11, 2008


Photographer and coauthor of The Brooklynites, Seth Kushner, has put up a new website which features scores of his fantastic work. Please go check it out! And finally, look for The Brooklynites interview with Seth and Anthony LaSala in the next week!


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Saturday, February 9, 2008



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Starting this Monday you will be able to view 8 of Christian's Jazz paintings at Brooklyn College's art gallery. These are very lively works that I've admired for awhile and look forward to seeing in person. Here are the details from Christian:

The opening is this Monday the 11th from 4-6pm. But it will on display for the rest of the month. I am the featured artist and will be showing 8 of my Jazz Series paintings. The Art Gallery is at Brooklyn College. You can take the 2 or 5 train to Flatbush Ave, which is the last stop towards Brooklyn. Go to the Jefferson-Williams Lounge on the 4th floor of the Brooklyn College Student Center, which is located on East 27th Street and Campus Road Brooklyn, NY 11210.

For more on Christian Fattorusso's artwork check out his My Space.


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Monday, February 4, 2008


From Tommy Lombardozzi's Rock n' Roll Birthday Bash Saturday night:


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Saturday, February 2, 2008


Come celebrate the birthday of a rocking rolling Brooklyn Original, Tommy Lombardozzi, tonight at Bar 4 on 444 7th Ave, Park Slope, Brooklyn! Show starts at 8:30pm!


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Sunday, January 27, 2008


Here's a couple of things to do while you wait for more Brooklyn Original original content, check out your host's other sites!

First off, my cohort and inspiration, Marilyn Patrizio. Here's her blog and her website and her shop. In these spots be prepared for a cuteness onslaught as well as some paintings that are so rich and beautiful you will cry.

And here's my website/blog, which I've reworked to start the new year. On it you'll find info on all my comic book journeys and my take on all sorts of things.

Enjoy them both!


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While I continue to get the latest batch of interviews together, which has taken a little longer than expected, here's some info on Frank-Oh! Petitto's next stand up gig.

From Frank:

Friday......yes FRIDAY February 15th, 8pm at the Wicked Monk in Brooklyn.You have NO excuse not to be there. Come spend the day after Valentines Day with me, Your Pal Frank-Oh and friends. I promise you ALL NEW material and a good time. BE THERE!!!!!


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Sunday, January 20, 2008



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