Thanks to the Academy - and Mrs. Jane Pease. . .

I was recently chatting with an old friend, each of us reflecting on the good fortune that we have often enjoyed - as well lamenting some of life’s near-misses. This conversation got me thinking back to this past winter’s awards season - the Golden Globes, Oscars, Grammys, TONYs and so on.

Naturally, the winners thank their collaborators (directors, writers, producers, fellow actors/musicians), the folks in their “personal operations” (agents, accountants, PR, etc.), moms, dads, spouses & kids. It’s at this time of year that I always think back to perhaps my favorite acceptance speech - one delivered by Tom Hanks for his performance in “Philadelphia” - where Mr. Hanks harkened all the way back to his high school drama teacher, Rawley Farnsworth.

Which got me to thinking. . . .

Mrs. Jane Pease was my 7th grade English teacher at East Junior High School in Tiffin, Ohio. She was a tough ol’ broad (don't worry - that's how she described herself). In her role as teacher, she was clearly determined (by hook or crook) to impart knowledge AND wisdom onto her students. I recall one spring day - seated in the back of her classroom as I steadily lost interest and got particularly rambunctious. Mrs. Pease had her fill of my disruptions and rightfully called me out, insisting that I focus on the task at hand.

 Mrs. Jane Pease and her nemesis.

Mrs. Jane Pease and her nemesis.

My retort: "C'mon - really? English is my native tongue. I've been speaking it for over 10 years now. Why dedicate an entire period to it five-days a week? It’s a waste of my time! I've got it, already!".

Stoically, she replied: "Mr. Muñoz - in this life you have thoughts, ideas, wants and needs. Am I correct?”.

"You are correct, Mrs. Pease".

“Yes - off course, Mr. Muñoz. And you wish for these thoughts, ideas, wants and needs to be understood by others. Am I correct?".

"You are correct, Mrs. Pease".

"Language - young man - is the means by which we communicate. Language is the primary tool available to us to express ourselves. . .to be understood by others. So it is in YOUR best interest to make the most of this opportunity. . .so that you might be understood. . .and so you that you might understand others".

Opportunity? Huh? School - aside from the chance to see my friends - had often seemed a burden. But she was defining school as an opportunity! Ding! She rung the bell in my head and put me on the path toward knowledge. . .understanding. . .learning. From then on, I knew that I had to find the best teachers (within the school’s walls and beyond) and get from them all I could. It was on me. This is MY job. This changed my life.

Now, granted - no one is handing me a gold statuette - but it’s never a bad time to say “thanks”.

So - many, many thanks to Mrs. Jane Pease.

Is there someone that put you on the right track? Be sure to let them know.

Welcoming Crush+Lovely

It’s a bit tough for me to concisely describe C+L. They’re not strictly a Creative Shop. . .nor are they exactly a Digital Agency. And while they are partly those things, there’s a bit more to it. They create their own groovy digital products and content but also work with Fortune 100 companies, global nonprofits, leading arts organizations, startups, ad agencies and digital visionaries. Shoot - even a former U.S. President is among their clients.

No matter the client or project, these folks take a unique approach to developing marketing campaigns and the associated creative work. . .while also giving a good deal of consideration up-front to choosing those campaigns that are a proper fit for them, their philosophy and their approach.

Even better (for me, especially) - co-founders Matt Blanchard and Nathan Heleine are musicians. This presents a unique opportunity to operate on a deeper creative level while delivering top-notch production to their clients.

My contributions to their projects are often modest. . .but it’s always fun and satisfying. So. . .whether the session calls for voice-over recording, foley work, music mixing, sound-design or all of the above - time spent with the C+L crew is an opportunity to do good, challenging work. . .while having good a time doing it.

A hearty welcome to all of the talented folks at Crush & Lovely! 

Keep an eye on this page. In upcoming posts, I’ll detail some highlights from past C+L projects. . .as well as on-going & new projects for 2016.

When it was 2015, it was a very good year. . .

I am a maker of music. . .I am a veteran of both Madison Avenue and Digital Publishing. . .I am a conspirator with and enabler of others in their making of music.  I am also a collaborator - using the power of music and sound to draw the full significance and meaning from clients' moving images. But what I am not is a blogger or social-media titan. 

Read More

Sandy Two Years On

We're two years on from Hurricane Sandy and the devastation along coastal NJ, NYC, LI & CT. While much has been done, much still remains.

Here is Dinny Keg's beautiful & poignant "Sandy" - 

And from the The New York Times, an excellent video explaining the ongoing efforts to repair the infrastructure of the city that never sleeps - LINK.

Singer/songwriter Dinny Keg (aka Dennis Keague) is a native of County Meath, Ireland - but has called Long Island's Garden City home for more than 20 years. He has recorded on both sides of the Atlantic in legendary studios ranging from Sun Studios in Memphis to LA's Sunset Sound to London's Abbey Road. His music, too, has played on both sides of the Atlantic - on stations ranging from WFUV to the BBC. You can see Dinny play live - solo & with his band - in & around NYC.

Merry Christmas from GMM!

 Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from Glen Muñoz Music!

It's been an amazing 2013 (a year that FLEW by). Lots of exciting events have come to pass over the last 12 months. . .and that is in no small part due to the support of the fantastically talented songwriters & musicians that have graced the studio as well as YOU - the fans of the music.

We'd like to say "thanks" for your support by sharing with you a track from the 2005 release "Xmas '05" featuring Tobias Gebb on drums, Jeff Bernfeld & Andy Speilman on guitars, Sloan Marshall on keyboards & yours truly holding down vocals, percussion & bass.

You can stream it below or download the full CD-quality song here.

If you're diggin' on that, be sure to check out the entire "Xmas '05" album (CDs are available from CDBaby and downloads are on iTunes & Amazon) as well as "Christmas Sessions from NYC" (again, CDs are also available at CDBaby and downloads are on iTunes & Amazon).

 Christmas Sessions from NYC

Christmas Sessions from NYC

When you purchase music from either/both albums, you'll not only be giving the gift of music, but you'll be doing a second good deed - since all net proceeds go to charity.

Again - thanks for all the love & support! Here's hoping you have a very merry Christmas & a peaceful & prosperous 2014!

The Madness (and Joy) of Fighting the Good Fight with Pearl Jam

It was shear madness on Pearl Jam's part - to protest the choke-hold that Ticketmaster had on touring bands by playing non-Ticketmaster venues in the summer of 1996. In NYC, that meant no Garden, no Brendan Byrne, no Beacon, no Yankee or Shea Stadium, no Giants Stadium.  . . .the list went on & on. 

 The poster for Pearl Jam's shows at Randall's Island, NYC. September 28 & 29, 1996

The poster for Pearl Jam's shows at Randall's Island, NYC. September 28 & 29, 1996

So where does that leave a top-tier touring band that wants to play New York City? At Downing Stadium on Randall's Island - a small plot of land (technically part of the Borough of Manhattan) in the East River. To get there from Manhattan, one had to travel across the Tri-Boro Bridge and, once paying your toll, quickly take the 1st exit off (otherwise, you'd quickly find yourself in Queens or The Bronx). 

Your $27.50 got you into the show. Being that it was general admission, your sharp-elbows and tolerance for pain got you a good seat (or - rather - a good position for standing). After opening sets from The Fastbacks & the then-unknown Ben Harper, it was on to the main event! Eddie Vedder kicked off the show announcing. . .

"We’re going to try something a little bit different tonight.  I’m anticipating the songs to be played better tonight then they ever have been played, and maybe, I just have this feeling there’s going to be more songs tonight then we’ve ever played.  OK having said that relax, it’s all about your ears, the air around you, enjoy yourself."

After a fairly mellow start, songs 2, 3, 4 & 5 of the set were "Go", "Spin The Black Circle", "Hail Hail" & "Animal " - which successfully threw the sea of arms, legs, hair, flannel & Doc Martins into a mad frenzy. From our POV roughly 30 yards from the stage, we could see security guards removing a steady stream unconscious fans from the crowd.

It wasn't long before Eddie was stopping the show. . . .often in mid-song. . . .admonishing the crowd. . .asking the mosh-pit (20-25 yards in front of us) to settle down (a kid had recently been crushed to death at Nirvana show in Germany and PJ was not looking for a repeat). The band would eventually fire back up. . .the sea of humanity pushed & swayed. . .and the mosh-pit would eventually get out of control again. Again, Ed would stop the show and let everyone know that if people were getting hurt, the band wouldn't be party to that and they'd end the show. . . .but if everyone could be cool & respectful of the people next to them, they'd play all night.

After nearly 3 hours of rockin', singin', dancin', howlin', thrashin'. . . .and at times fending for our lives (no joke). . . .we were toast. . . .but the band played on (at this point, they'd run through their catalogue & were pulling out cover-songs). Whew! Pearl Jam was still dishing it out but we could take no more - so we managed our way out of the crowd and through the stadium's exit while the band turned out an inspired version of "Baba O'Riley".

The next day, we woke up to find ourselves to be battered & bruised. We could hardly move. . .let alone speak. But the balm that soothed our aches & pains was the satisfaction in knowing that we - with Pearl Jam - fought the good fight that night. 

This Tuesday, I'll be at Philly's Wells Fargo Center with my brother Bob (with whom I attended the Randall's Island show), his wife Tory and my buddy David. On Tuesday, we'll be in Bob's employer's private box - with plenty of room to move about. We'll enjoy complimentary food & drinks - as well hot & cold running water. It'll be 17 years and a million miles removed from that show in September 1996. . . .but who knows. . . .perhaps I'll get a chance to slip down to the floor for a few songs, scream my lungs out, bang up against my fellow PJ-fans and maybe (just maybe!) relive a brief moment from that unforgettable day on Randall's Island.

Thanks, Pearl Jam! See you Tuesday.


Dinny Keg's "Sandy"

Dinny Keg at Due South Studios during the recording sessions for "Sandy".

We've been working away at Due South Studios with Dinny Keague and a stellar line-up of musicians (Toby Gebb - drums, Darren Lipper - bass, Roy Dunlap - piano & organ, Marco Viccaro - guitar), putting the finishing touches on Dinny's song, "Sandy" (named after the hurricane/super-storm that devastated NYC and the surrounding coastal areas).

The inspiration & chords came to Dinny on that very night - the night that the storm approached the tri-state – as he and his family braced for its arrival. Nearly one year since he put pen to paper, we're proud to share this song with you. 

The song & the production are perfect for music-sync. . . .so if you know of any folks producing a retrospective for the year anniversary, please drop us a line.

To hear "Sandy", simply press the orange "play" button below - and please click the social media buttons below to help spread the word.



Singer/songwriter Dinny Keg (aka Dennis Keague) is a native of County Meath, Ireland - but has called Long Island's Garden City home for more than 20 years. He has recorded on both sides of the Atlantic in legendary studios ranging from Sun Studios in Memphis to LA's Sunset Sound to London's Abbey Road. His music, too, has played on both sides of the Atlantic - on stations ranging from WFUV to the BBC. You can see Dinny play live - solo & with his band - in & around NYC.

"Dark Side of The Moon": Rock's #1 Selling Album

The remaining members of Pink Floyd (David GilmourNick MasonRoger Waters & Richard Wrightconvened and began sharing song ideas for their 8th studio album in late 1971 and early 1972 at Decca Record's West Hampstead Studios in Broadhurst Gardens, London - and then at a warehouse owned by The Stones at 47 Bermondsey Street, South London. 

In this pre-Internet age, they were able to test-drive their material before its release without fear that it would end up on YouTube - so Floyd knocked the album into shape over several months of road work. The first full-length performance was at the Guildhall in Portsmouth, England, on January 21st, 1972, after which almost the entire year was spent with the band performing it live, interspersed with visits to Abbey Road studios from May onwards to work on tracking/finishing individual songs.

Released on May 1, 1973, the 43-minute long "Dark Side of The Moon" went on to sell 50 millions albums worldwide and remained on the Top 100 chart until this date in 1988 - a remarkable 741 weeks!

Roger Waters said in 2003 that "Dark Side" was "An expression of political, philosophical, humanitarian empathy that was desperate to get out." He said it was about "all the pressures and difficulties and questions that crop up in one's life and create anxiety, and the potential you have to solve them or choose the path that you?re going to walk.". . .which explains why it's required listening for most college freshmen.

The most phenomenal recording in rock & roll history: The Dark Side of the Moon. The Floyd's 1973 masterpiece remained on bestseller charts for nearly 14 years, and its enduring importance is honored here by all four members of Pink Floyd and key personnel (engineer Alan Parsons, mixing supervisor Chris Thomas, sleeve designer Storm Thorgerson, and others) who played essential roles in the landmark album's creation.

Happy Birthday, Thom Yorke!

In '92, I was spending my nights playing in places like The Lonestar Roadhouse with the band Red River Sidney & The Wang Rocks or I was hitting open mic nights at joints like The Bitter End & The Sidewalk Cafe. I spent my days - as best I could - staying awake, hoping to sound relevant and collecting a measly paycheck as a little grunt at a massive NY ad agency.  

Times were booming for ad agencies in the 90's (not that my bank account knew it). Lots of money was changing hands and lots of middle & senior execs were partying like it was still the 80's. Hell - some of the original 3-martini-lunch Mad Men that started my agency were still hanging around and were (more or less) in charge (over-seeing operations from up on a floor in our midtown skyscraper that I never had a reason to visit). 

That year's Christmas Party was - as one would expect - debaucherous. Take too many under-paid, over-worked 20-somethings - provide them with hours of open-bar and not enough food. . . .the most career-minded & prudish of future female ad-executives let button #2 on her blouse - then #3 - then #4 - come un-done. . .all sorts of drugs appeared on VPs' office desks (and no one batted an eye or closed a door), a year's worth of sexual-tension between otherwise happily-married coworkers (married to someone else, that is) comes to a head in the kitchen pantry. . .oh, the stories. But if you worked in the city in the early 90's, I'm not telling you anything new.

Our clients (we had one in just about every major category) gave all kinds of ridiculous goodies - which the sr. execs raffled out to the drones (of which I was one). Miraculously, my name was drawn for a $1,000 gift certificate from our airline client. Holy crap! That was damn near a paycheck! (Did I mention that we were under-paid?)

That gift certificate got me and my girlfriend at the time from JFK to Ocho Rios on a 747, to Negril on a bus and into a beach-front property for 3 nights (we'd figure out the next 4 nights once we got there).  It wasn't long before we met a super-cool couple on the beach that were also from NYC - he was a graphic designer and she did A&R for Capitol Records. We had a blast with these guys and - naturally - we spent a good amount of time talking music. 

About a week after our return to the city, I received a package at work from Capitol's offices in NYC. Inside was a CD from an unknown band called Radiohead (the name of the album was "Pablo Honey") as well as a promotional t-shirt for the band. The note inside read "From what you told me, I think these guys would be right up your alley. They're having a hard time of it here in the States so far - but I LOVE THESE GUYS! I think they have what it takes to be HUGE!"

I popped on the CD. BOOOM! Mind blown. I've been a Radiohead lover ever since. 

Thanks, Allison! You were right. They've done pretty well for themselves.

Oh - and happy birthday to Thomas Edward Yorke (born today in 1968).