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Regular contributor ("Carson City Limits" and other content) for Random Lengths (circulation 56,000) in San Pedro, CA, 2001-present. Manga reviewer: LA Alternative (circulation 150,000), 2005-2006. Some manga reviews also ran in NY Press around this time. Entertainment reporting: Music Connection (circulation 75,000), 1983-1906. Travel writing: Oakland Tribune (1998) and Life After 50 (2006). Other bylines: Goldmine, Star Hits, Los Angeles Reader, Los Angeles Times, Long Beach Press Telegram, Blade, BAM, Daily Breeze, LA Weekly. Specializations include community news reporting, writing reviews (book, theater, concert, film, music), copywriting, resumes, editing, travel writing, publicity, screenwriting, lecturing, and content development. Education: B. A. Theater Arts, UCLA. Post-grad work, Education, Chapman University.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

COFFEEHOUSE MARTINI MAKES TRIBUTE TO MOM

Carol Martini, queen of the Southern California coffeehouse scene, is readying an independent tribute CD to her late mother, following up her acclaimed The Rose in the Boxcar, an indy CD released in 2005 as a tribute to her late father. That CD was named one of “OC’s Best of the Best” by the Orange County Register in December 2005. Both of Martini’s parents died of Alzheimer’s, her father, Ron, in 2003 and her mother, Dorothy, in 2007.

“Both times we thought they were going to come home but they never came home,” Martini says, and the dramatic effect on her life inspired her to make the music featured on her latest CDs. She informs us that she’s in the final stages on her CD for her mother, preparing the cover artwork. It's tentatively titled Petals of the Red Magnolia. She’s hoping it will be ready for release by July.

Her previous indy recordings are now rare collectors’ items, including Piece by Piece, Modern Loneliness, and The Story So Far, which she’s spotted being offered for $28 on eBay. Her first appearance was on Co-Op, a compilation made up mostly of Los Angeles and Orange County musical artists in the late eighties.

Her style has changed since those early recordings. At the time her songs tended towards beautiful—and beautifully commercial—love songs that could have been big hits had they been released on a major label. She still occasionally performs those older songs like “Wishing Well” or “Build a Bridge to My Heart,” but her current style leans more towards humorous and topical songs like “Surfer Chick,” a song that often gets her audience looking up from their laptops and singing along at South Bay and OC coffeehouses.

“Surfer Chick” is one of several “Chick” songs in her current repertoire, the others being “Skateboarding Chick,” “Skydiving Chick,” and “Biker Chick.” Of her change in style, she explains, “There are a million love songs out there, I wanted to write something different, something people would want to hear.”

Why “Chick” songs? She answers, “It’s not derogatory, I’m a chick—adventurous, a strong woman, that’s what it means to me.”

She plays what may be called the “It’s a Grind” circuit, appearing fairly regularly at branches of that coffeehouse chain in Long Beach, Lakewood, Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, and elsewhere. She’s also seen frequently at the Coffee Cartel in Redondo Beach, the Library Coffeehouse in Long Beach, and on various Borders and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf stages. Here are some of her upcoming shows:

Friday, June 11, Peet’s Coffee in Seal Beach, (562)640-6377
Saturday, June 12, Borders in La Habra, (562)691-8969
Saturday, June 19, Coffee Cartel in Redondo Beach, (310)316-6554
Saturday, June 26, Peet’s Coffee in Pasadena, (626)795-7413

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