Thursday, September 29, 2016

Houston, we have a BAND!

It happened. Somehow in between the happenstance of recording our last album and double parenthood, we had become lost (happily) inside the baby tunnel, and our music took up a smaller and smaller chunk of our lives. At first we didn't notice it, with all the sleepless nights and sweet smiling babies, until maybe a year ago when our daughter turned two and our son four. There was something missing in our lives. Sure we sang songs together, around the house, to our children, in the car, in the shower... but it wasn't filling that gap.

So Tony and I began to play acoustic shows together, just little gigs to get our feet wet, and boy did it feel good. We started to get that old feeling again after every show, that feeling of wholeness, that feeling of being complete. We knew we were onto something, and the memories came back. The feeling of playing in a band, to hear all the aspects of music that were on our albums. So when we were asked to open the show for MommyTonk this last weekend, it was like a calling- or maybe time to make a few calls.

We started with Wall of Tom's original drummer, Kerim Imes. We love this guy, he is part of our musical family and when he said he would love to come up from LA to Santa Barbara and play again, it was like our heartbeat was back.

The next call was to a cool gal I had met at a skateboard class last year that both our boys were taking. She had been playing a Uke and we struck up a conversation. We clicked immediately when she told me she was actually a Cellist, but had been so stuck in motherhood (she has four boys!) that her musical life had fallen to the side. Louisa Wood is my new best friend with a foul mouth and a heart of gold, she adds that moody, magical quality of sound that Wall of Tom is known for and we are so happy to have her aboard.

When it came to rounding out our rhythm section we had to divert from our original bassist who was booked for that weekend. We were referred to Brent Harding, who is totally kick ass upright bassist and a super swell fella to boot. Band complete,  we were ready to practice and play the show! 

And that we did! It felt divine and sounded amazing, to put it into one word (as one friendly fan did) 'Wizzard'! We weren't sure what the heck she meant, but we think it was a good thing! And that was how it all begins, Houston, We have a BAND!! More shows to come, as soon as these wonderful musicians learn our catalog of music. Wall of Tom is back in action!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Booze, Cursing and Motherhood

I have to say, being a mommy is one of the nuttiest full time, never catch a fucking break, tough job. It's an up all night, not because you are throwing a great party but because your kid can't stop pukeing kind of job. A get up earlier than rock n' roll possible, to make interesting lunches that you know your kids are not going to eat but some parent at your homegrown co-op may be looking, so you are trying real hard to fool someone. Because you have lived an entirely different type of life for so long that you think you may keel over at 3pm as you are shuttling the kids from school to karate to ballet and the vision of your former self doesn't quite live up to the haggard vision in the rear view mirror who is of course flipping you off but somehow, still smiling right back at you.

This is me, times twenty.

I don't talk much about the struggles of motherhood because, well, so many others do it so much better. I really fly by the seat of my pants on a daily basis and to most straight edge parents, I am doing many, many, many things the wrong way- so I mostly keep to myself when it comes to parenting advice.

Actually, the funniest thing is, I like my kids, a lot- maybe too much because I think they are the raddest little humans I have ever met and enjoy their company better than most adults. We like the same music, laugh at the same jokes, and we love each other unconditionally, even when one of us is being an asshole. After living a life so solopsized on myself, drinking, breathing and bleeding for my Art for 15 years in LA's music business fast lane, I have been able to enjoy this semi-slower (who am I kidding, it's faster and we all know it) mommyland world so much more. Sure, I'm unconventional, my kids stay up late and we have family jam nights on a regular basis, I curse like a proud sailor and both my kids know I'm not stopping anytime soon. I've yelled at them when I am at the end of my patience rope that I 'used to be cool' and they have collapsed into giggles because they still think I'm neat but I'm sure that will change once they become teenagers and realize I need to grow up a bit too.

So speaking of cursing and parenthood, there are a couple cool Mommas coming into town on September 25th, who really know how to say- or sing exactly what all us mothers are thinking on a daily basis. MOMMY TONK is comprised of two amazing ladies who have proven to all of us that you CAN have a family and a thriving stage career, all the while laughing your ass off.

MOMMY TONK is a musical comedy duo based in Los Angeles. Shannon Noel & Stacie Burrows blend their ability to harmonize and curse perfectly in a honky-tonk style. Often called the "Tenacious D for moms," these two ladies rock the house with their irreverent stand up comedy, heart felt storytelling and the prettiest, filthiest music you ever did hear. The ladies are often backed by The Assless Chaps - a fiddle-based variety trio performing American roots music in a country and bluegrass style. MOMMY TONK has performed in LA, Austin, Chicago, Louisville, and Nashville including: The Boston Comedy Festival, The Comedy Store, The Unicorn NYC, Stagecoach Country Music Festival, The House of Blues, and Zanies. MOMMY TONK is not safe for work, children, or basically anyone who has any standards.

I am happy to report that these lovely ladies are playing right here in Santa Barbara at the Center Stage Theatre and myself and my band Wall of Tom is opening the show for them. It's one night only and it's not to be missed- tickets will go fast so buy them early because I plan on yelling this news from the top of the SB courthouse for all to hear. 

Get your babysitter lined up, grab your girlfriends or make it date night because Dad's need a break and are gonna love it too. I hope to see you all there- remember parenting is hard, laughing is totally necessary, especially since people kinda freak out when they see us crying all the time.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Waking up in the Past

My name is Helen. I lived sometime in the mid 1800’s, born into a somewhat wealthy family; given my surroundings of Victorian grandiose furniture along with heavily adorned and embroidered clothing. I have a young brother Peter, who I completely adore and spoil- and we seem to have a very spirited father, who likes to make jokes around our large, long, wooden dining table. As I turn my gaze to my mother, my heart freezes in fear as she catches my eyes meeting hers, and they narrow to cast a look of total disgust as she straitens her spine, making me feel very small.
My journey skips forward, to my five-year-old self, spinning in a field of lavender, laughing to the sky at the freedom of dance- the pure joy of youth. Again, I move forward to my teenage self, painting a picture in a grand drawing room. I feel the endorphins speed through my body as my mother enters the room- “You are no good.” She says wickedly as she stops to stare at my artwork. My heart spills out around me as I paint harder through my tears. Again I seem to float into the future, it is a dark time, not as clear as the rest, but I see visions of a dead man who must be my father. And there, my mother is making it clear that there is no more time to waste, I must marry to save the family fortune. I am dying inside as I skip to an even darker future- my own death, to where I wished, and wished and wished some more that I could have followed my dreams. I had a hatred and anger inside my soul that was palpable, seeping into my veins as everything slowly went dark.
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

Now, I am truly awake and laying within the ancient Himalayan Salt Cave on a sunny Sunday morning in Santa Barbara. My name is not Helen, not now at least, but my heart is still racing at the meditative journey my mind and body have just been on. I have just awoken from my very first group past life regression and for someone who walked into this dark magical cave a doubtful skeptic, I will walk out a believer… but just give me a minute, while I process this incredible experience.
There has been much written about regression into a past life, and the way Salt advertised this special class was: Under a light hypnosis, you will be guided to another time and place. A past life realm that will shed light and awareness on your existence, and allow the freedom to design your life from desire, rather than from unconscious habits or fears. Sounds about right? But there is so much more about opening up your unconscious and discovering things that may be blocking your happiness and future in this life. 

Our facilitator into this incredible regression is Lisa Veit, an internationally known Intuitive Life Coach, Speaker, Regression Therapist, Owner of “Be You Come Alive”, Mother, and Creator of The Art of Embodiment Meditation CD. She says her life experiences triggered an epic spiritual inquiry within, and an insatiable study of the human potential. Lisa has explored in great depth the many facets of life, energy, and consciousness. She exudes warmth and is committed to empowering people to discover their unique capacities, and to assist all of those that choose it, to come alive at their greatest capacity. Lisa lectures nationally and currently lives with her family in Santa Barbara, California.
Open your Mind, Open your Eyes
The fact that Lisa was able to hypnotize a large group of people, three of whom were first timers like me, is hard to believe but alas, I am living proof. Is it true that I am a wonderful storyteller and that my mind is filled with characters that I bring to life in my novels? Of course. But is it also true that I have given everything up for my music, for my art- to chase my seemingly impossible dreams throughout my life, no matter the pain or obstacles? Absolutely. In this lifetime, I have chosen to be the joyful artist I always wanted to be and will continue to be… no matter what my name is.
Unlock your past two Sunday’s a month at the Salt Caves on State in Santa Barbara. (740 State Street) 805-963-7255 or for a private class contact Lisa directly at:

*As seen in the Santa Barbara Sentinel Page 15

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Grow this!

Every year I go garden crazy. Filling my raised beds with tomatoes, peppers, corn, kale, arugula, strawberries, sweet peas and more kale. Living in this day of reduce, reuse, and recycle I thought I would get a bit crafty when I ran out of room in my tiny urban garden. 

Using an old keg from Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company, I created the perfect super greens salad bowl. 
Cutting it down was probably the hardest part of this project but thankfully we have contractor friends that made this easy! 

I planted Swiss Chard and Bibb lettuce together with lots of good Santa Barbara magic dirt and organic soil, placed it in a sunny location in my garden and viola! It's growing like a weed!

Fun, easy and super cool! I hope everyone enjoys my green project. Happy planting! 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Time to Rock

It's show time!!! Come on down to Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company's singer/songwriter night in the Funk Zone this Wednesday 3/16 at 7:30pm to hear some original tunes from T&T! We will do our best to keep our stage banter clean, but we can't make any promises when Tommie's on the microphone. ‪#‎walloftom‬ ‪#‎tommiesgotapottymouth‬

Monday, March 7, 2016

Amplify your Life


Summer Camp. The words alone evoke a feeling of freedom, exhilaration, happiness and excitement. When I was young, (Jeeze, did I just say that?) the thought of going to camp each summer meant meeting new friends, sharing adventures together and finding new activities that I enjoyed, without the worry of my over-protective parents showing up at any moment. The summer camps I used to enjoy were mostly sort of a wilderness thing, with a few fun activities in between, with my favorite part being the evening campfire sing-along.  In hindsight, I think that is the only thing I really remember and it reiterated how much music and song made my heart happy.
If someone would have told me there was a summer camp for girls that was based on music… learning and instrument, creating a band, writing songs, making buttons and band T-shirts, performance training, music history, along with activities like swimming, climbing, exploring, movie nights and self defense classes; all set in the majestic mountains of Ojai at a private campus just outside of town- I would have said- sign me up! Sadly back then, a camp like this did not exist for myself, but thankfully today it does, for my daughter.
Girls Rock is one of Santa Barbara’s newest treasures for our community of blossoming girls and for the last few years, has become one of fastest growing non-profits with not only a huge gamete of year long after school music, photography and journalism programs for girls of all ages, but now for it’s second year- the Amplify Sleep-Away Summer Camp program, that was so wildly popular and successful last year for just two weeks, has now been extended to four weeks from July 4th to July 30th and registration is NOW OPEN!
I met Executive Director Jen Baron two years ago, just after Girls Rock Santa Barbara was created, fell in love with the inspiring program and in awe of all that Jen does for her cause. Based after the original Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls out of Portland, Oregon, Jen was inspired to bring her love of music to the girls of SB and in the past few years GRSB has exploded in it’s programs and popularity.  With their motto to empower girls* through music, promoting an environment that fosters self-confidence, creativity, and teamwork, it’s an amazing program that I can feel the electricity and positive energy radiate from Jen’s warm heart, when she talks candidly about it.

For those about to rock, We salute you
“We challenge gender stereotypes, encourage collaboration and tolerance among peers, and provide a comfortable space for girls of all backgrounds to express themselves. Through music lessons, workshops, group activities, and performance, girls learn skills that help guide them throughout their lives.” Jen explains the program as a whole but goes on to say that the Amplify Sleep Away Camp is all that and more. “It’s life changing… for the girls and our amazing group of teachers. This safe environment we created gave the girls so much more than learning an instrument- it was a blossoming of self confidence that could be visibly seen in each girl at the end of the week and the one comment that we got over and over as feedback last year was that it only lasted a week and they wanted more! So this year instead of girls only being able to attend one week, they can sign up for all four weeks if they like.” Jen continued, “I was amazed by the interest we had last year, with girls not just from Santa Barbara and Los Angeles but girls who flew in from all over the country. I realize that we have created something that no one has and it makes me so excited for this year’s camp to begin. I’ve been forever changed by this powerful experience- the girls are truly amazing.” If Jen’s enthusiasm doesn’t get you, then one look at the girl’s faces will. With a whole new spin this year, Jen has added a Photography and Journalism Sleep Away Camp that will coexist and overlap into the Amplify program, offering a first hand view to all the future media masters of America, getting their articles and photos published in publications like the Independent and the Sentinel.  
Last year, with the help of giving sponsors like the Santa Barbara Bowl, Nashville’s C.M.A. and, the Girls rock program was able to raise over 14 financial aid scholarships for girls from all walks of life, creating lasting memories to those that normally, could not afford to attend.  “This was the game changer. To watch some of the girls that came from foster care, be able to bond in a very safe environment, creating a family experience- they may never had felt before. The girls form an undeniable bond when they form a band. Creating music together, writing a song, making t-shirts. It’s a full journey for them.” 

Dream until your dream comes true
Girls Rock Amplify Camp is held in the mountains of Ojai, California, at the gorgeous campus for Ojai Valley High School, which boasts one of the best views in Santa Barbara County. The girls have access to all instruments their little hearts desire, have private, air-conditioned residence halls, a private pool, a movie theater for evening films, and delicious meals provided (vegan, vegetarian, lactose free, they offer it all). Dormitories are supervised by dorm "parents” and campers will typically share a dorm room with one other girl. Each day they will have music lessons (as they typically have chosen their instrument before they begin camp,) band practice- where they will work at playing as an ensemble and writing a song, daily workshops- on fun topics like screen printing and Beatboxing, along with lunchtime performances by female fronted bands with a personal Q and A after each show- it is a wonder the girls can sleep at night for all the excitement of the day to follow. Their final day is Showcase time, where each band performs their original song live at the amphitheater for family, friends and fans.
I have to tell you that when I learned about this camp, it made me yearn for my youth (just a bit) and made me wish I could have attended a camp like this. It was about then, when I pondered this aloud to Jen Baron, she smiled wickedly and said that I could attend too. This year for the first time, GRSB is offering a Ladies Rock Sleepaway Weekend, to kick off the Amplify Summer Series. From July 1-3rd, for any gal ages 18+ with no musical experience necessary- you too can enjoy a mini version of the weeklong activities, crammed into one wild rock n’ roll weekend.
Ding, Ding, Ding! Am I playing your tune? If so, I could not urge you more to explore Girls Rock Santa Barbara, as this article only scratches the surface to such an all around inspiring, year round program. For more information check out the website at: or call them directly at: 805-861-8128

Thursday, February 25, 2016


There is magic everywhere... Go out and find it!  #adventure