Facts, some silly, with numerous celebrity sightings and name-dropping:
Grew up in Canarsie, Brooklyn. Remember that Frank Zappa song?
Started playing guitar when I was 8, thanks to my older brother and sister.
Bought a 1967 mustang guitar for $75 from my best friend’s brother when I was 13. It was painted with white latex house paint. I still have it. It’s still covered with that awful paint.
Studied vocals with Dr. Kenn Gartner. Studied Mozart with Professor Neil Zaslaw.
Took a class called “Critical Thinking” with Carl Sagan when I was in college. There were only 20 students and we sat around a big table continually amazed by the dumb luck that got us into that class. I’ve kept all my marked-up papers.
Took a road trip with the brilliant composer David Borden and his son, Gabe, to see Lori Anderson in D.C., back when my college boyfriend worked for her. David taught me a lot about Edgar Cayce.
Had brunch at Philip Glass’ house (courtesy of David Borden), and Suzanne Vega showed up. I was so nervous I knocked over a huge batch of folding chairs. I said incredibly stupid things to Suzanne Vega. I met Philip’s parrots.
Opened for Radiohead at the Hog Pit, where they performed a secret show. (And oddly enough my producer, Eugene Lavenue, opened for them at CBGBs before they hit it big.)
Majored in English, but my grammar has sadly deserted me. I still want to write a novel, preferably in the dystopian young adult genre. Really.
I read a lot. Two of my favorite authors are Alice Munro and Ursula LeGuin.
I’ve played lots of nyc venues that went bust – CBGB’s, Brownies, and many other east village dive bars.
Opening for Lloyd Cole at Mercury Lounge was a thrill. I’m a huge fan.
My travels include Indonesia, Tonga, Fiji, and Peru, among other places. I’ve longed to go to Easter Island ever since I was 9 years old and read the book “Earth’s Hidden Mysteries.” I still have that book. I stole it from the library.
Favorite concerts: Elliott Smith at The Beacon, Guided by Voices at Warsaw, Badly Drawn Boy on the EMI rooftop. And Barry White. Women were throwing bras at him. I got to go back stage and he called me babe AND kissed my cheek. Wow.
Art makes me happy. I’m lucky to count Neil Goldberg as a friend.
Thank you Josh Gilbert for having me sing Trouble on your amazing film, AKA Tommy Chong. And thank you for forcing me to go to the Toronto Film Festival so I could have the time of my life.
I’m indebted to Eugene Lavenue, John Sharkey and Francis Tabone for being incredible musicians and hanging out with me. Also indebted to Alexander Perls, vocal producer & songwriter extraordinaire. Many thanks to Dana Locatell and Phil Blum for their drum tracks. And super big thanks to Scott Schafer for directing my video and gifting me a photo shoot.
I have great friends who always came to my shows and filled the room. You know who you are. Bigs hugs!
Mark Kirby wrote a nice piece about my music here on Music Dish.
MTV Undressed; Moet Champagne commercials.
AKA Tommy Chong, directed by Josh Gilbert and featuring Tommy Chong. Song: Trouble, by Cat Stevens, produced by Danny Lapidus and featuring Oz Noy
Anarchy TV, directed by Jonathan Blank and starring the Zappa kids. Song: Evol
Dog’s Life, directed by John Knapich. Song: Suburban
International Songwriting Competition , 2nd Place, Star
John Lennon Songwriting Contest, Finalist, Great Beyond
Just Plain Folks, 2nd Place, Star; 4th Place, Album “Karen Ires”
BillBoard Songwriting Contest, Honorable Mention, Star, One Closed Eye, Hotel Room, Faithless
DISCOGRAPHY & COMPILATIONS
Just A Little Bit, Robert M. & Alexander Perls
Revolving Doors, Ronski Speed & Alexander Perls
Desperate Religion, ATB & Alexander Perls
Spinning, Bobina & Alexander Perls
Fall to Pieces, DJ Spoke & Alexander Perls
Can’t Miss a Day, Lost Knowledge & Alexander Perls
Hotel Room Video, 2003, directed by F. Scott Schafer
Karen Ires, CD, 2003, produced by Eugene Lavenue
Boston NEMO Compilation CD, Star
MP3.com Best Alternative Rock on the Net Compilation CD, One Closed Eye
Digital Heroin Compilation CD, Evrylsthwy
Deep South II, Compilation CD , Out of Sound (PETS)
Arlene Grocery, Making a Scene Compilation CD, Evol (PETS)