Archives For Irving Plaza

There was a buzz around Irving Plaza last Sunday night and for a couple of reasons. First, Quinn XCII was preparing to headline his first of two sold-out shows at the venue. Second, the rumor-mill was swirling that there would be a special guest in attendance: Bill and Hillary Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea.

Quinn, who of course was well-aware of both situations when I sat with him in his dressing room prior to the show, seemed excited but not fazed.

“It just gives me so much more confidence I think, as an artist, and it reflects I think when you see the show,” the Michigan-bred emcee, nee Mikael Temrowski, responded when I asked about the audience’s reaction to his tour so far. He noted that the crowd sings along for most of the set, including the finale of “Straightjacket.” “I’m super-blessed to be in the position that I am and the shows have been going great.”

Quinn is in the desirable position of being able to practice what he preaches; while his album deals with his vulnerabilities and relationships, his stage-name is derived from an acronym he created – and that wasn’t always something he felt comfortable sharing. Temrowski attributed the phrase to a professor he had at Michigan State until his tour’s opening night in Detroit, when he revealed that it was all his doing.

“It just stands for ‘quit unless your instincts are never neglected,’ and I think I wanted to tie in the professor because it was more of like a likely story but I was nervous to tell people that it was my mantra,” he explained. “I just urge people to pursue (your passion) because life I think is just way too short to let other people follow their dreams and see them succeed when you kind of regret it inside.”

That message is allowing Quinn to resonate with an ever-growing audience. And on Sunday night, there was surely at least one person in the crowd that appreciated the artist using his platform to spread positivity.

Just because I waited until Friday, it doesn’t mean there are not five things I’m thankful for from last weekend.

– I not only returned to my yoga practice but then ran 6 miles outside. Yoga has been great to not only improve my pliability but also refocus my mind. Some would pick between the class or the run, others would opt for neither because it’s Saturday morning; I choose both because I’m thankful for the physical ability I have to take part in them – that’s something I don’t take for granted.

– My closet can now fully close for the first time since I moved to my new apartment. In addition to carving out time to clean it out and then actually following through, I’m thankful that I was able to donate a large bag to Goodwill.

– Syracuse lost at Duke on Saturday but I’m still thankful that I was able to watch the game at the local SU watch bar, Beer Authority, with my buddy Ryan. We grabbed a few more drinks afterwards before I met up with a colleague in town, Barbi Jo. Always nice to see friends!

– Speaking of Saturday night – a quick shout-out to Delta and the airline’s 48 hour cancellation policy. While looking up flights to Las Vegas for the first weekend of the college basketball tournament (another story for a different time), I accidentally booked a flight to Vegas. Whoops!

– On Sunday I ended up at Irving Plaza to see Quinn XCII live. I interviewed Quinn before the show, got to see my friend Matt who works for his label and then was introduced to Two Dollar Steve. Yes, he gave me a $2 bill. More on him here.

By the way, Steve wasn’t at the show alone. He brought along his friend to the VIP area where we were standing… Chelsea Clinton.

Andy Grammer had a pretty fantastic 2017. The “Honey, I’m Good” singer welcomed a baby daughter, Louisiana, with wife Aijia in July. Then in December, Grammer released his third studio album, “The Good Parts.”

Just before the year wrapped, Grammer’s personal and professional world collided when Louisiana took in her first show: Dad’s performance at the halftime of the Orange Bowl in Miami.

“We put the little headphones on her,” Grammer described to me the following night, backstage at Hard Rock Café in Times Square. The singer, who was raised near New York City in Chester, performed in Times Square as a part of the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop.

“It was cool man! Its like, ‘Aw man, I’ve been playing shows forever. But this is the first show that I’m playing with my daughter here.’ But it was great, it’s amazing.”

Despite the frigid temperatures, Grammer was in a very upbeat mood. He told me that in addition to parenting duties, he’s excited to tour behind and promote the LP in the New Year.

“It’s a personal album,” Grammer explained. “It’s my favorite of what I’ve done so far so, to get to go out and play these songs every night has been so, so sweet.”

“The Good Parts Tour” kicks off March 14 in San Francisco and wraps up on April 15 in Philadelphia at the venerable TLA. The previous night, Grammer will headline New York’s Irving Plaza.

Yes, I have been taking what seems to be a lot of time off lately. Maybe I’m the only one who feels like it’s a lot because I can’t remember a stretch in my career when I went so many consecutive weeks without working a full one. But the perfect storm of my “American Music Awards” trip followed by Thanksgiving and combined with 10 vacation days created a rather unusual situation for me.

Hey, use ‘em or lose ‘em right? And I’m not in the business of losing… certainly not to the extent of two weeks’ worth of vacation.


So last weekend was another of the long variety, but what I found interesting about it is that I ended up at the studio every single day. On Friday I met colleagues in midtown before joining them at Kelsea Ballerini’s Irving Plaza show. I had to buy Syracuse/UConn tickets from the Madison Square Garden box office on Saturday, so eventually I went upstairs to use the restroom and check something on my computer.

Then on Sunday I was asked by our sister station NASH FM 94.7 if I could fill-in from 3-7 pm. Sure!


I had a lot of fun over the four hours and to be honest, didn’t realize how much I would enjoy the music. That Luke Bryan sings a catchy tune.

Then Monday I was back at the studio before heading downstairs to watch my Syracuse Orange lose… again… this time to former arch rival UConn.


Some other weekend highlights: family made their now annual trip to the city. I took them to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring The Rockettes. The show, as usual, was fantastic.

We followed up our trip to Radio City Music Hall with a trek up to my neighborhood for grab dinner at Carmine’s – the first time I had visited that particular location. The carbs were both plentiful and delicious.


Sunday night after my show on NASH FM I brought the fam to Snack Taverna in the West Village. I wanted them to experience what a typical New York City dining experience is like: dim lighting, close tables, small and large plates you order for everyone to share.

I enjoyed it but I don’t think that will be making the family’s annual itinerary. It was a rather unusual experience for them… and not the kind that leaves you with 10 vacation days to burn before the end of the year.