Spin.com’s Ron Hart reviews Pearl Harbor 2020, and WOW, nearly speechless at being included in such great company as The Who, John Lennon, Teena Marie, Fleetwood Mac, L7, LOUIS ARMSTRONG, and OMG, Richard Pryor! I cannot thank Mr. Hart enough for even considering this record for review!
Now I have to go buy and listen to ALL of these!!!
The only issue I have with this review is that he fails to mention the band (!) Angela Babin, Lori Bingel, and Derek Dragotis, without whose unique contributions, and two years of gigging and recording, as well as all the other contributors who played their parts, this album would never have been made. So thanks to all of you!!!
HUGE thanks to John Gentile for making such an unusual choice to premiere mine and Mike Shapiro’s tender and vulnerable video for PH 2020s (Something having to do with…) Spring” on a punk site!! Super grateful!!!
Ride the infinite merry-go-round or find balance on the seesaw? The mourning dove carries the dandelion seed - the wish for love, and peace, which ignites the match, its own spark. To take the leap of an innocent fool who must trust the unknown, a faith obscured in the shadows of the past, by following the Divine feminine, the intuition, into the pureness of your own heart.
You can love someone to infinity, but it will never be enough to make them love themselves. You can only show them by example…
This may be the only pure, innocent love song I have ever recorded! A story that in real life didn't exactly end well, but with the help of the brilliant animator Mike Shapiro (@shapimation) I feel together we captured the essence of a journey through the challenges of our past lives to a place where difficulties are resolved, oppositions are bridged, and ghosts are banished. And at the end is the lotus flower, which grows from the mud to fulfill the promise of its beauty; the Ace of Cups in the tarot, the beginning, the seed, of pure unconditional love.
A song written very early in my songwriting and recording life, this was recorded onto 4-track cassette and then the stereo cassette mix was mastered by my genius collaborative partner Brett Thorngren. Recorded sometime between 1993-1994, I remember that Jonathan Doyle played the echo guitar, and I did the rest...
So much thanks to you all for following all this mess!
My interview with Mike Watt @The Watt from Pedro
Mike Watt, legendary (widely considered “one of the greatest bassists on the planet.” CMJ New Music) bass player and co-founder of the Minutemen, also of Big Walnuts Yonder, and 10 year player with the Stooges, has been producing his podcast for a while, and it’s a great one!
He not only allowed me to muse freely on this past year’s transformation, but encouraged it! The interview is sandwiched between a lot of great music, and I am honored that he has given me the opportunity to speak with him not once, but twice! All of his shows are a great listen, so please go and listen to this one, and subscribe! Thanks Mike!!!
I want to thank Marc Shea at Performance Anxiety profusely, for allowing the spotlight to shine on my new Aquamarine Records signee, Jamal Hassan aka Kid Anansi. This is really more Jamal’s interview than mine, and will give you an idea of how funny and brilliant he is! I am proud to have him on the label! Oh, and I talk about pearl harbor 2020 as well…
LIVE UK INTERVIEW TUES 3/23
Coming up this Tuesday the 23rd I will be doing a live interview with John McQuaid of UK station Cofton Radio - if you're up at 4:50 PM EDT (or 20:50 UK) and feel like tuning in, here's the link: https://www.coftonradio.co.uk/ I couldn't get the live stream to work on my computer, but that's probably because I have 10,000 files and browser windows open (only a slight exxageration...)
I must admit, this review truly blew me away - and came at the exact right time for me, as I had just come through dealing with a month long series of bureaucratic, legal, and personal nightmares! Dave Cantrell’s eloquent and extremely generous review of ph 2020 showed me that he GOT IT. Of course, being reviewed at once with a singer-songwriter I had not yet heard of, (but felt instant kinship with due to our apparently mutual love of the ellipse) I had to listen to her record twice, once without, and once with lyrics in front of me, before posting about this review. Arrica Rose and the …’s “Technicolour Blue” contains amazing lyrics, as in “Oh Jennifer’s “You wear indifference like a silver spoon…How quietly you can break your own heart.” But I have to say that her brilliant mind-meld (link in the review) of “Once in a Lullaby (Over the Rainbow For What It’s Worth Ohio)” is definitely my favorite. It perfectly describes how I feel about where we are now: a combination of hope with an understanding of our responsibility to work toward achieving the potential of that promise…
But I still can’t figure out who Sandy is?
This is the interview that was originally meant to be live, but due to technical difficulties (seriously now!) just went up. I really want to thank Finn Miller of Finn’s Revolution and WUSB Radio for his great support of the music on pearl harbor 2020, and well as his kind patience with my ramblings. No idea how he edited it all down, because it could not have been easy! Check it out here if you dare: https://audioboom.com/.../7814899-alpha-cat-s-elizabeth...
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one... Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts." Albert Einstein
Hey Everyone, My interview with Andrew Daly of Vinyl Writer Music is now online! Vinyl Writer Music is dedicated to providing passionate music journalism by music addicts, for music addicts featuring countless interviews with artists and key individuals in the music industry, as well as many interesting and unique guest columns. Go dig in!
Upon further convo with Andrew, I discovered that he is a fellow Aquarian! A quote from him - when I asked him if he had a “hard” deadline - since it was a written interview.)
“The best part of founding my own website, is I make the deadlines lol. I'd rather it be awesome than quick… I try and be very in depth. If you're willing to give me your time, the least I can do is give your work my full attention. I also want the readers to have a full and clear picture of the artists, so they can really get a hold on your work. At the end of the day, if I am not showcasing the artists, then it’s merely self-serving. I just can't do that.”
Me: A perfect Aquarian answer!
2020 (and into 2021) Much More Than Honorable Mentions
Some of the songs that got me through last year…
Tom Petty: Something Could Happen
Another of Tom Petty’s timely messages from the beyond. Warren Fu’s truly visionary video beautifully illustrates that we CAN throw away our pasts, and still the things of value will come back - even our hearts! An especially hopeful ending to the year that was largely a nightmare. Like the end of the Matrix, I can now see that the future is wide open…
Bittersweet Symphony: The Verve
This popped up on my Youtube feed after the murderous insurrection… which didn’t kill my hope, but definitely gave me pause. Yes, I can change my mold - And if I could do it, so can you. Plus - Richard Ashcroft was born on September 11. You can’t make this shit up!
Katy Perry: Daisies
This song came into my awareness at a time when I was super stressed and overwhelmed, trying to get my shit done, being blocked at seemingly every turn, and fighting the urge to just give up. So when I need to be inspired to keep going, I listen to this…
(And of course there was that fireworks display as she sang “Firework” at the Inauguration party!)
Christine and The Queens: People I’ve Been Sad
This came out in May, and yes, a lot of us were sad by then…
Justin Bieber: At Least For Now
Of course written before the pandemic, but Justin is a Pisces, so psychic! A song that at least I needed to listen to in 2020 - A LOT.
FEBRUARY 20, 2021
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR. AND KAMALA HARRIS
The 46TH President of the United States and the FIRST WOMAN to hold the office of the Vice President!!!
For the first time since I left my mother’s house, I am proud to be American…
From the 46th President’s inauguration speech:
“In this winter of peril and significant possibility, I know speaking of unity can seem a foolish fantasy these days- I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real. But I also know, they are not new. It’s been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we all are created equal, and the harsh, ugly, reality: that racism, nativism, fear, demonization, have long torn us apart. The battle is perennial, and victory is never assured, through Civil War, the great depression, World war, 9/11, through struggle sacrifice and setbacks, our better angels have always prevailed. In each of these moments enough of us, a new purpose has come together to carry all of us forward.
And we can do that now, history, faith, and reason show the way; the way of unity. We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbors. We can treat each other with dignity and respect. We can join forces; stop the shouting and lower the temperature. For without unity there is no peace, only bitterness and fury. No progress, only exhausting outrage, no nation, only a state of chaos. This is our historic moment of crisis. And challenge and unity is the path forward. And we must meet this moment as the UNITED States of America. If we do that, I guarantee you we will not fail. We have never, ever, ever, ever failed in America, when we’ve acted TOGETHER.
And so today, at this time, in this place, let’s start afresh. All of us. Let’s begin to listen to one another again. Hear one another, see one another, show respect to one another. Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire - destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for war. And we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.
My fellow Americans we have to be different than this. America has to be better than this. And I believe America is so much better than this.... and today we mark the swearing in of the FIRST WOMAN IN AMERICAN HISTORY elected to national office, Vice President Kamala Harris! Don’t tell me things can’t change!
… to all those who did not support us let me say this: hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart. And if you still disagree so be it. That’s democracy. That’s America. The right to dissent peaceably... and I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did! Saint Augustine said that a people was a multitude: defined by the common objects of their love. What are the common objects we Americans love that define us? As Americans I think we know: opportunity, security, liberty, dignity, respect, honor and yes, the truth. We must end this Civil War that pits red against blue, world versus urban, conservative versus liberal, we can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts. If we show a little tolerance and humility. And if we’re willing to stand in the other person’s shoes. As my mother always says: just for a moment, stand in their shoes.
Because here’s the thing about life. There’s no accounting for what fate will deal you. There are some days when you need a hand, while other days we are called to lend a hand. That’s how it has to be. That’s what we do for one another. And if we are this way, our country can be stronger, more prosperous, more ready for the future. And we can still disagree. My fellow Americans in the work ahead of us, we’re gonna need each other. We need all our strength to persevere, through this dark winter... we will get through this together, together!
...We all understand the world is watching… So here’s my message to those beyond our borders. America has been tested and we’ve come out stronger for it. We will repair our alliances, and engage with the world once again. not to meet yesterday‘s challenges but today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. And we’ll lead not merely by the example of our power but by the power of our example! We will be a strong and trusted partner For peace, progress, and security. For all those lost in this past year to the pandemic… we’ll honor them by becoming the people in the nation we know we can and should be. The question: will we master this rare and difficult hour where we meet our obligation to pass along a new and better world to our children?
… (from the poem) “American Anthem” there’s one verse that stands out, at least for me - “the work and prayers of century have brought us to this day, what shall be our legacy what will our children say? Let me know in my heart when my days are through. America, America, I gave my best to you. Let’s add, let’s us add our own work and prayers to the unfolding story of our great nation. If we do this, then when our days are through our children and our children’s children will say of us: they gave their best, they did their duty, they healed a broken land.” - The 46th President of the United States: Joseph R. Biden Jr.
He might as well have been reading from the Aquarius rulebook. Finally equality can begin to be realized, for THE FIRST TIME in this country, (which I have long been accustomed to calling the United States of Hypocrisy - for A LOT of reasons) FOR REAL THIS TIME!!!
JANUARY 18, 2021
Today is Pedro’s official birthday. Made up like today’s MLK Day, as Dr. King’s actual birthday was January 15. Pedro’s birthday was made up for an entirely different reason: because he spent a year on the streets of NYC before he found his way to the shelter where I found him. A year old, likely to be euthanized because of it, with his jaw wired from having been hit by a car, and a respiratory disease. So having gone looking for a kitten, instead there was Pedro, damaged just like me. And when they put us in the “getting acquainted” room and I got him in my arms, he instantly head butted me. And it’s a corny quote of a cheesy line, but he had me at hello. I couldn’t take him home for weeks because he had to be fully recovered first, so I would walk over to the east side every few days to visit him - that’s how in love I was! The day I took him home, a little over a month after my first stay in the nuthouse for suicidal depression, it was the happiest day I had had in a LONG time. And while my family disapproved of my getting a cat, thinking it was too much for me to handle, my doctors saw it as a good sign: a commitment to living.
Now when I think about the fact that he came onto this planet just as I was in LA trying to make a record - even as I was falling apart, I can’t help but think that he came here for me! His beautiful soul knowing I was going to need him. BADLY. And he was one of thse few who helped keep me alive when that was the last thing I thought I wanted. He brought me joy. He brought me the closest thing to peace that was possible during those years. And he gave me comfort and love. And he helped see me to the place of healing I’ve finally found. I thank the universe every day for him!
So this little video is from a day that had been more than usually stressful. When my friend William called and I told him about my day, he said “well you seem pretty Zen now?” And I sent him this photo and said, “with this cat in my lap, purring, staring into my eyes with love and adoration, how could I NOT be Zen?”
So Happy Birthday Pedro! Thanks for 13 years of companionship and love. You saw me through the darkest years of my life, and you mean the world to me!
(Full disclosure: the purring is actually Fiona. I recorded her yesterday Am when SHE was in my lap, because I really wanted the full effect with this Pedro pic)
DECEMBER 16, 2020
Brett Thorngren’s totally new master of “Something of Value” from our upcoming release: pearl harbor 2020, is track #5 (my lucky number!) on the winter edition of Relix magazine’s CD sampler and Spotify playlist! Please check it out, and share if you are so inclined.
Spotify playlist: https://bit.ly/RelixPlaylistDEC20
DECEMBER 5, 2020
pearl harbor 2020 will be available for pre-order from now until February 16, 2021, at the discounted price of 11 bucks for either digital downloads or CD, which includes an instant download of Brett Thorngren's new master of the title song! And if you order the CD, which has new and original artwork and lyrics for the original 13 songs, you will receive the digital version for free, and lyrics for the two new/old songs as well!
AUGUST 29, 2020
From illustrator3music.com: New York City emerging recording artist Alpha Cat unveils the visual for the compelling single “Thatched Roof Glass House”
JUNE 27, 2020
Alpha Cat Live at Vox Pop, Brooklyn, NY July 21, 2005 is now set to premiere on Tuesday, June 30 on PopMatters.com with a new accompanying interview with E. Track will be available on this website at midnight July 1. All proceeds for sales will be split equally between the Boris J. Henson Foundation and Bring Change to Mind, two mental health initiatives dedicated to helping destigmatize the seeking of, and access to mental health care for all…
Due to the coronavirus pandemic putting many people out of work, and needing stimulus and comfort while they are in quarantine, I am selling the entire album of Thatched Roof Glass House for 50 cents, while an individual track goes for 10 cents. There is now an option to pay what you want if you are able..
New Album: Thatched Roof Glass House
"(Elizabeth McCullough of Alpha Cat has produced) the stunning Thatched Roof Glass House, with musical co-conspirators Fred Smith from Television as co-producer (on Black Hole), guitarist Doug Pettibone from the Lucinda Williams and John Mayer orbit, Reggie McBride (Stevie Wonder, Elton John) on bass and Jason Harrison Smith on drums, who has laid down the rhythmic foundation for such musical luminaries as Albert Lee, Kelly Sweet and Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson. The musical results speak for themselves. The NYC punk-pop aesthetic shines through with attention and detail. The music is both poppy and underground performance art at the same time. It is also done with the confidence and shine of a woman who has lived life and faced hard times emotionally and physically. Young girls in the same musical fields usually have to manufacture such emotional musical content. Alpha Cat just opens her mouth and it pours (out) with an authority 23-year olds do not have the life experience to muster.."
THATCHED ROOF GLASS HOUSE
As a songwriter, I seem to have always been writing letters to my future self. Almost as a rule, each song that I have written doesn’t reveal it’s entire (?) meaning to me until sometimes years later, or upon hearing a listener’s perspective that I hadn’t thought of before they shared it. And of this song itself, even though I wrote it years ago, I didn’t truly understand the full meaning of the title until my decision to put this album out. I thought that Thatched Roof Glass House, which just came to me from the ether, by the way, was a catchy phrase, but I didn’t understand that the roof was thatched because it was in fact, archaic!
So I can’t help but believe that the extraordinary situation in which we, as a global community, are now living is in fact the direct result of a large portion of humanity failing to love, respect and honor each other and our planet. We are all guilty of projecting our own faults onto others, rather than looking at ourselves. And I shouldn’t have to say it, but people who live in glass houses should unequivocally not throw stones...”
CREDITS: Written & arranged by Elizabeth McCullough / Produced by Elizabeth McCullough / Vocals & Acoustic Guitar: Elizabeth McCullough / Electric Guitar: Doug Pettibone / Bass Guitar: Reggie McBride / Drums: Jason Harrison Smith / Co-Producers: Jason Harrison Smith and Jon Mattox / Engineered by Jon Mattox / Recorded at Bright Orange Studios, Reseda, CA / Mixed and Mastered by Brett (Cosmo) Thorngren