chris opperman

Composer and pianist Christopher D. Opperman was born November 20, 1978, in New York City. He was raised in Clifton, NJ, and schooled at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. He currently lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Chris Opperman worked together with Mike Keneally on the "Dancing" album, and more recently, he helped Mike with the orchestration of "The Universe Will Provide".
May 2004, Chris Opperman took part in the orchestrations & performances of Steve Vai's "The Aching Hunger" in Holland.

website: http://www.oppymusic.com

August 2011, Chris Opperman took part in the Zappanale festival in Bad Doberan, Germany.

Chris Opperman in concert at Zappanale
picture by Burkhard Schempp
One of the items that was shows at the Yellow Shark Expo at Zappanale #23 in 2012 was a painting that Chris Opperman had made. Picture of the painting at the expo by Mick Zeuner.

 

 

discography

1 chris opperman: oppy music vol.1: purple, crayon
    (1998, cd, usa, purple cow records pcr 001) - produced by mike keneally

 

mike keneally & beer for dolphins: dancing (8)
    (2000, 2cd, usa, exowax records) - feat.chris opperman

2 chris opperman: klavierstücke
    (2000, cd, usa, purple cow records pcr 003) - produced by chris opperman and mike keneally

  project/object: the dream of the dog
    (2002, cd, usa, private release) - improvised music, using familiar zappa chords & vamps

3 chris opperman: concepts of non-linear time
    (2004, cd, usa, purple cow records pcr  004) - feat. mike keneally and marc ziegenhagen

 

keneally - metropole orkest: the universe will provide
    (2004, cd, usa, favored nations fn2400-2)

 

keneally - metropole orkest: parallel universe
    (2004, cd, usa, exowax recordings ex2407-1) = a companion cd to "the universe will provide"

  steve vai: real illusions - reflections
    (2005, cd, usa, favored nations)

  kat parsons: no will power
    (2005, cd, usa, cleopatra records) - feat. chris opperman
 
  kelda: detour
    (2005, cd, usa, ??) - feat. chris opperman
 
4 chris opperman: beyond the foggy highway
    (2005, cd, usa, purple cow records pcr 005) - feat. mike keneally

 

mike keneally: wine and pickles
    (2008, cd, usa, exowax)

5 chris opperman: the lionheart
    (2010, cd, usa, purple cow records pcr 006) - feat. mike keneally

opperman_lionheart.jpg (34982 bytes)

  various artists: zappanale #22
    (2011, cd-promo, ger, arf society) - incl. various artists playing frank zappa compositions

zappanale22_samplercd.jpg (7720 bytes)

  chris opperman: aphrodite nights
    (2011, download, -, -)

opperman_aphrodite.jpg (17771 bytes)

  various artists: zappanale #22 - retrospectacular
    (2011, cd, ger, arf society) - incl. various artists playing frank zappa compositions

zappanale22.jpg (12469 bytes)

     

 

concerts

 

 

random notes

2011 07 -- a short chat with Chris Opperman

Chris Opperman worked with Mike Keneally (orchestrating Mike's "The Universe Will Provide") and with Steve Vai (orchestrating and taking part in the performance of "The Aching Hunger"), but you might also know him from his impressive solo albums.
As Chris will be performing at Zappanale, I thought the time was right to ask him some questions.

UniMuta :  Hi Chris, last year your released "The Lionheart" (I'm listening to it right now!). It's a beautiful album, and you've obviously spent a lot of time on the sound, on the instrumentation. When you're composing a piece, do you already have the different instruments in your head? How does it work?

Chris Opperman : In the case of The Lionheart, a lot of the arrangements were based on the sound of that specific ensemble because we had been playing the tunes live for years.  However, I would often consider things like, "It might be nice to have Jen Kuhn play a solo here," or "When Frank Macchia takes his solo, why don't we have the drums burst into double-time for some extra excitement?"  A lot of those kinds of ideas were worked out in rehearsal or at shows.  When composing some of the larger works, like "The Porpentine," I would usually write the next section on the piano, program it into Finale, and then paint all around it.  Then sometimes things are totally accidental.  There are a couple of instances where someone made a mistake in the session and engineer Neil Citron and I decided to keep the mistake and then I'd edit the score accordingly.

UniMuta : Again, you've surrounded yourself with an impressive batch of musicians. How did you / do you find them?

Chris Opperman : At this point, musicians are generally referred to me and I have a pretty large roster of people to call on.  There have been some isolated incidences where someone has let me down, but thankfully those occurrences are few and far between.

UniMuta : I really like "The Lionheart". It's a very versatile album. It has a lot of suprises, and I haven't even mentioned 'The Porpentine' yet, the magnum opus. It completely absorbed me.

Chris Opperman : That's fantastic! I'm so happy you've enjoyed it so much!

UniMuta : I was pleasantly suprised to find out that you dedicated 'The Porpentine' to the great Neil Gaiman. I have his "Black Orchid" somewhere, and "Mr.Punch". Two projects that he did with Dave McKean. Tell me a bit about your fascination with graphic novels. Who has impressed you lately?

Chris Opperman : "Black Orchid" is very cool, but I haven't read "Mr. Punch" yet.  When I was a teenager, my two jobs were working the door at a comic book show and selling comic books for another dealer at various other shows including the Chicago Comic-Con, so comic books have always been a part of my life.  Well, you can't go wrong with Fables by Bill Willingham and (mainly) Mark Buckingham.  106 issues in and the series is still going strong.  Mark Waid's Irredeemable I found interesting, and Mike Carey's The Unwritten is truly unique.  Almost all the comics I buy are from Vertigo, except for Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo which is published by Dark Horse.  But my list of comics that I read is pretty short.

UniMuta : And then, of course, there's Zappanale. Will you be performing? Solo, or as a guest? What can we expect? (and what do you expect from the festival?)

Chris Opperman : You can expect a lot of surprises!  I will be performing a set with Project/Object and Bobby Martin and we'll be playing a combination of original pieces and music by Frank Zappa and others.  I don't want to give away much more than that!  What do I expect from the festival?  I expect to see some amazing performances, meet some interesting people, and enjoying a wild celebration of the music and the man Frank Zappa.

UniMuta : I'm looking forward to it. Thanks for your time & see you soon!

Chris Opperman will be performing at Zappanale on Sunday, August 21, 2011 !!
Better be there.

 

 

 



Chris Opperman Mailing List 


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - November 10th, 2003]

Episode # 13: Good News! Goth is Dead.

Contents:

25th Birthday Bash!

As scary as it is, I will be turning 25 in a couple of weeks, and to celebrate the Acoustic Playhouse is hosting a huge party/concert for me on my birthday and they let me fill up the roster with all my friends and favorite musicians from around town.  It's going to be an extremely entertaining and fun show and we'll also be celebrating the 5-year anniversary of the release of my first album, Oppy Music, Vol. I, so we're going to be playing some stuff we haven't played in a long time as well as a bunch of new and made-up stuff.  Here's the line-up for the show!

Chris Opperman Birthday Bash - Thursday, November 20th

Brian McGinty - 8:00 - 8:20 pm
Brent Locke  - 8:20 - 8:40 pm
Zach Sinick - 8:40 - 9:00 pm
Special Opps - 9:00 - 11:00 pm
Kat Parsons  - 11:00 - 11:20 pm
Telepathy  - 11:30 pm - closing

Tempest/Acoustic Playhouse
7232 Santa Monica Blvd.
W. Hollywood, CA - 18+ - $6 cover

    The band line-up for Special Opps in this concert is going to be myself on piano and vocals, Todd Lieberman on guitar and vocals, Jen Kuhn on electric cello, Isaac Slape on electric bass, and Kahlil Sabbagh on the drums. Shazam!  Also, Kat Parsons will be sitting in with us for one of her songs towards the end of our set.  She has a really drop-jaw amazing voice and I'm really looking forward to playing music with her and seeing her play as well.  She has a new song she just wrote called "How About We See Other People and You Don't" that is surely going to wind up on the radio someday.  Anyway, if you haven't seen  Special Opps play yet, now's the time to come check us out!  The show is going to be something really special, and then when Telepathy hits the stage, it'll be time to booze up and riot and see one of the most entertaining bands out there in LA.  Good vibes, great music, cool people, I'll see you there.  It's going to be a blast and a half.

*    The Universe Will Provide Update

    Mike Keneally and I spent a heavenly week in Holland in September recording "The Universe Will Provide," an original work for electric guitar & 50-piece orchestra composed by Mike and orchestrated by Mike and myself, with the Metropole Orchestra.  Wow.  Talk about amazing musical experiences.  The orchestra played the music with even more passion during the recording sessions than they did in the live performance in Amsterdam last June and the record is really something very special.  I believe that it's going to come out next Spring, so I'll obviously let you know when it does, but this is very special music.  Extra props to Co de Kloet, the man who made this all happen, as well as Scott Chatfield, Pieter van Hoogdalem, Jurjen Hempel, and the Metropole Orchestra.  I can't wait until this record comes out.  It's amazing and I'm really very proud to have played such an important role in its creation.  I listen to it and I can't even believe how good it is.  It's amazing.  Seriously.

*    Concepts of Non-linear Time Update

    Well, Scott Chatfield and I mastered my third studio album, Concepts of Non-linear Time, late last summer and I was hoping to get it out right away, but now I'm in the artwork phase and I still don't have any idea what we're going to do for a cover (although I'm thinking that the record will have a spring theme since Klavierstucke had a fall theme), or who's going to make it, or even exactly what label is going to release it.  So until I solve those problems the record isn't going to come out.  I'm hoping to get it all together in time for Spring, though.  Sorry this stuff takes me so long, what can I say? I'm a perfectionist.  A cover's a pretty darn important thing, too, albums have to have good covers.  I'm getting pretty close to just attempting to paint one myself, but I think I've decided that I want it to have a photo similar to the Klavierstucke cover, but shot in the spring with a really pretty blonde girl sitting on the opposite side of the park bench that I sat on in the Klavierstucke cover wearing a really pretty dress.  I really like that idea because what can I say?  I really like pretty blonde girls. 

*     Suggested Listening
Here are some CD's I listened to last week that I really enjoyed a lot:

    The World's Tiniest Guitar *is* Playing a Song Just for You!

From Sunday's NY Times:

November 9, 2003
ATOMIC SCALES
Striking Notes of Progress on the World's Tiniest Guitar
By GEORGE JOHNSON

It was weird enough when NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory recently came across a black hole, 250 million light years away, humming a bass note 57 octaves below middle C. Now scientists have found an accompanist to hold up the treble end.

Cornell University physicists reported last week that they had used a laser beam to pluck the strings of an invisibly tiny silicon guitar just 10 millionths of a meter long. Each string of the instrument is about 50 nanometers (or billionths of a meter) wide - 100 atoms thick. Human hearing tops out at tones that vibrate at about 20,000 cycles per second. The high-pitched sound of the nanoguitar twanged forth at 40 million cycles per second, putting it 17 octaves above what human ears take for music.

Using the same kind of technology that etches the tiny wires and components onto computer chips, the researchers at Cornell's NanoScale Science and Technology Facility have also constructed a nanodrum from a crisscross diamond mesh and a nanoxylophone with tiny diamond bars.

These "nanomechanical resonant systems" demonstrate human dexterity pushed to the extreme, an attempt to revolutionize manufacturing and medicine (though perhaps not music) with artifacts as tiny and efficient as the atoms that compose the universe.

Practical applications aside, making nanothings is the ultramodern equivalent of building a ship in a bottle or carving the Lord's Prayer on a grain of rice - a feat surpassed this summer when a husband and wife team working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology inscribed the New Testament in 24-karat gold typeface on a silicon chip five millimeters (less than one-fifth of an inch) square. Each letter was the size of a single bacterium.

The micro-Bible is enormous compared with the nanoguitar, each string of which is thousands of times thinner than a single human hair, so small that it begs the question of what one means by a "thing." Scientists can say with some confidence that a single atom does not qualify, consisting, as it does, mostly of empty space, a vast nothing separating a dense nuclear core and a shimmering periphery of electrons. Even an atom's substance - if it can be called that - is elusive, the particles hovering in a quantum state where position and momentum can be described only in terms of probability.

Put trillions of atoms together and you get something solid like a real guitar, a chunk of matter you can hold in your hands. The nanoguitar, impossibly tiny as it seems, also exhibits some of the dependable properties associated with thinginess: you can pluck it and it plays. But it hovers near the brink, at a poorly understood threshold where quantum effects begin to dominate.

When the National Nanotechnology Initiative, formed in 2001 to encourage research in this new science, used a tiny carbon needle to spell out its Web address (www.nano.gov) in letters just seven nanometers wide, it pushed even deeper into the in-between world, sometimes called the mesoscale, the murkiest of scientific frontiers.

People have, of course, been manipulating atoms all along, but only in what Ralph C. Merkle, a professor at Georgia Institute of Technology and nanotech enthusiast, called "great thundering statistical herds." Manufacturing today, he has written is "like trying to make things out of Lego blocks with boxing gloves on your hands. Yes, you can push the Lego blocks into great heaps and pile them up, but you can't really snap them together the way you'd like."

If nanomanufacturing comes of age, something as tiny as a nanodrum or nanoharp might be mass-produced for use as extremely sensitive detectors for ultra high-frequency waves. Scientists have recently demonstrated infinitesimal nanotube thermometers and nanobalances capable of weighing a single virus. All this may foreshadow a day when doctors use nanocapsules to carry medicines, a few molecules at a time, to precise locations in the body, and nanorobots to crawl through the bloodstream and repair cells. 

In the meantime this all makes for good science fiction. Last year Michael Crichton published a thriller, "Prey," in which scientists develop a swarm of flying nanobots that can flock to a distant location and form a giant camera, beaming images back to the human masters. The vermin escape, of course, and being not only invisible but also artificially intelligent and very fecund, they threaten to multiply beyond control.

This is much scarier than resurrected Jurassic dinosaurs, and some scientists are already considering how to ensure that the danger never becomes real. In his newest book, "Our Final Hour: A Scientist's Warning," published earlier this year, Dr. Martin Rees, Britain's Astronomer Royal, includes berserk nanorobots among the technological threats to the future of mankind.

Other scientists think nanotech may be the savior. In addition to being very tiny, cylindrical molecules of carbon, called nanotubes, are far stronger than steel. In September, Los Alamos National Laboratory sponsored a conference on how nanotubes might be used someday to build a "space elevator" 60,000 miles high. Cheaper than firing rockets, this could provide the first great leap off the planet. With nanobots nipping at their heels, a few brave souls could escape and explore the solar system and experience first hand the music of the spheres.

 

Okay, I'm outta here, music is the best.  Visit oppymusic.com.  See you on the 20th.

Peace,

-- Chris Opperman


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - November 26th, 2003]

Episode # 14: Pardon THIS, you Turkey!

Contents:
*     Links of Interest
*     Birthday Bash Aftermath/New MP3's!
*     Upcoming Performances
*     Thank You List 2003
*     Speaking of Turkeys

 Links of Interest
    * http://www.ihigh.com/0,1773,2_4__82445,00.html <-- Tiffiny Whitney's review of Josh Groban's "Closer" album (which I believe is pronounced closer as in closer to you, not closer as in the last song of a show even though that's how I keep pronouncing it in my head).
    * http://www.oppymusic.com <-- Official Chris Opperman website.  
    * http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&uid=UIDMISS70311261631552048&sql=B8avsa9qgl23a <-- My All-Music Guide entry by Sean Westergaard.  The All-Music Guide is only the single best music website out there for those of you who have never checked it out before.  And I'm not just saying that because they gave Klavierstucke 4 1/2 stars, although it does demonstrate that they have exceptionally good taste.  My personal favorite review is the review of Joe Mac & Eman's "One Too Many: Live from New York" album.  Joe Mac, for those of you who aren't up on your boy bands, is Joey MacIntyre from the New Kids on the Block.

Birthday Bash Aftermath/New MP3's!

    First and foremost, I'd like to thank everyone for all of the birthday wishes that got sent my way last week, as well as everyone who came out to my birthday party.  What a fun night of music that was!  Definitely the best birthday I've had since moving to LA in 2000.  The audience was fantastic and all of the musicians and acts involved did a great job.  Let's face it, there was a whole lotta music going on.  Hooray.  So thank you so much, everyone, for making that party such a huge success.

    This weekend I'll be working on putting together a couple MP3's from the show for our friends across the rest of the US and overseas who were unable to attend the concert.  The first will be a group improvisation we did called "Sad Teenager Wars" that was pretty inspiring.  Extra props to Jen Kuhn on electric cello for that piece since she was the one who set the tone of it.  The second MP3 will be the song that Kat Parsons sang with us, "To Return to You," which was also composed by Kat.  That came out even better than I imagined it would.  The recording quality is pretty mediocre unfortunately, but I honestly feel that the performance of that song was so exciting and vibrant that it transcends any issues with the actual audio.

    Anyway, if you check the downloads section of oppymusic.com on Monday, the new MP3's should be up.  

Upcoming Performances

    California Fire Victims Benefit Concert

    For those of you still in town this Sunday, this concert will be featuring solo performances by a lot of people whose first names mostly begin with either a "C" or an "A."

    Chris Scott, Cleo Antonelli, Adam Lopez, Angela C. Stone, Steven Lomas, Adam Austin, Devin Wallace, and myself.

    Tempest/Acoustic Playhouse
    Sunday, Nov. 30th - Starting at 9 pm
    7323 Santa Monica Blvd. 
    W. Hollywood, CA - 18+ - $3 cover

    I'm not really sure why the cover is only $3, but I'm not in charge of making those decisions.  You're probably free to give more money if you want to.  All proceeds are going to The Fire Victims Relief Fund.  Anyway, I figured this was the least I could do for all the poor people who lost their homes in the CA fires, so that's what I'm doing.  I'm not sure how many songs I'm playing, but I'll probably at least play "T. Williams," "Melodious Monk," and something else.  Maybe I'll even play "Idaho Potato" since it's kinda appopriate, but that would mean that I would have to sing, so I'm going to go with probably not.

    Special Opps

    The Cat Club
    ** Next Tuesday! ** December 2nd - Starting at 10:20 pm 
    8911 Sunset Blvd.
    W. Hollywood, CA - 18+ - $7/$5 with this e-mail

    If we get 20 people out to this show, they'll review my band in some local music magazines.  I think it might even be Music Connection, but I don't remember.  I'll have to ask the promoter.  Anyway, this will be the last Special Opps show of the year so although it'll be a relatively short set for us (40 minutes), it would still be really sweet if some or all of you could make it out.  We're going to power trio it up with Jen Kuhn on electric cello, Kahlil Sabbagh on drums, and myself on piano.  We might invite some friends to come play as well.  Who knows?

    The last time I was at the Cat Club, I asked some random girl if she'd ever ridden on the "Highway to Hell."  She said no.  So guys, take it from me, that pick-up line does *not* work.  Just FYI.

 Thank You List 2003

    Since I'm not sure if I'm going to send out another update this year, I wanted to make sure I gave props to everyone who helped make my 24th year as awesome as it was.  This list is presented in alphabetical order and if I somehow forgot to include you although you feel like I really should have, please accept my sincerest apologies.

    First, I would like to thank my parents, sister and family.  Then I would like to thank Cleo Antonelli, Aaron Arntz, Bryan Beller, Nancy Braun, Michael & Lisa Canaan, Scott Chatfield, Johnny Choi, Co de Kloet, Kevin Dooley, Evan Francis, Clark Freeman, Dann Friedman, James Green, Jurjen Hempel, Kyle Kirkland, everyone at Jo Ann Kane Music Services (esp. Bonnie), Mike Keneally, Clint Kenney, Blair Kluberton, Gabi Kochlani, Jen Kuhn, Brent & AnnaDee Locke, Brian McGinty, Sheena Metal, everyone involved with the Metropole Orchestra, Melinda Mondrala, everyone at NPS Radio Holland, Kat Parsons, Michael Petersen, Kahlil Sabbagh, Zach Sinick, Isaac Slape, Todd Lieberman, Mike Sammis, Anthony Saragueta, Nicki Scott, Tanya Smith, Cosette Trombino, everyone at Universal Music Publishing Group that I didn't thank already, Steve Vai, Pieter van Hoogdalem, J Warner (who came up with "Special Opps"), Wendy Wilson, and all the rest of my friends for a truly kick-ass year.  Phew.  Try saying that all in one breath...or not.

Speaking of Turkeys

     I had to go into work early this morning to help my boss out.  So I went to get a bottle of water and walked past the living room, which is usually blasting MTV 24/7.  However, this morning, maybe just because it was early, there was this TV preacher screaming on the top of his lungs that all the other TV preacher "fools" just want more money and that they aren't really preaching the Gospel.  However, this turkey was going to deliver the "buck-naked Gospel," which I thought was an utterly bizarre adjective to use.  Then he asked for an "Amen!" and he *got* it!  Everyone started screaming in the aisles! 

    Then the turkey got serious and he exclaimed, "I am going to tell you the truth!  FORRRRNICAAAAATIOOOON!  FORNICATION IS WRONG!  IT IS BAD!  IT IS EVIL!  IT IS A SIN!" and all these people in the audience were grinning and agreeing and shouting after every exclamation!  Then he started ranting about the perils of gay marriage (which I obviously think should be legal), but by then I had gotten my water and knew I didn't want to hear any more of that jive.  All I could think about the people in the audience was, "They let these people vote?"

    Anyway, in closing, I would like to say that I hope that each and every one of you manages to get it on during this festive Holiday weekend.  There is *nothing* wrong about it.  Just make sure you do it right.  Happy Thanksgiving!  

-- Chris Opperman


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - 2003/12/04]

Episode # 15: The Mother of Invention (Decomposing Composer)

Contents:
*     Quick Links
*     Upcoming Performances
*     The Mother of Invention (Decomposing Composer)

Quick Links
    *     My official website:  http://www.oppymusic.com 
    *     My All-Music Guide Entry:  http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&uid=UIDMISS70311261631552048&sql=B8avsa9qgl23a 
    *     My CD Baby page (where you can order my music): http://www.cdbaby.com/opperman

Upcoming Performances

With Special Opps
    Tempest/Acoustic Playhouse
    Saturday, December 20th - Starting at 11 pm
    7323 Santa Monica Blvd. 
    W. Hollywood, CA - 18+ - $6 cover

    This will definitely be our last show of the year!  Featuring at least Kahlil Sabbagh on drums, Isaac Slape on electric and upright bass, and myself on piano, although we may have other special guests as well.  This could be the last show for awhile, so it would be awesome to see you there.  Write it down in your calendar now!  Also, hello and thank you to everyone who was at the Cat Club show on Tuesday and who signed up for the mailing list.

With Steve Vai/Metropole Orchestra
    De Oosterpoort (In-/Output series)
    Saturday, May 22nd, 2004 - Starting at 8:15 pm
    Trompsingel 27
    9724 DA Gronigen
    The Netherlands
   
Tel: +31-50-3680368
    Tickets: € 30,- ( service charge not included)
     www.de-oosterpoort.nl

    Paradiso
    Sunday, May 23rd & Monday, May 24th, 2004 - Starting at 8:30 pm
    Weteringschans 6/8
    1017 SG Amsterdam
    The Netherlands
   
Tel: +31-20-6264521
    Tickets: € 20,- ( service charge & membership not included)
    www.paradiso.nl

    So the reason why the Dec. 20th show might be the last Special Opps show for awhile is because I'll be busy, busy, busy assisting Steve with the orchestrations for his premiere orchestral work "The Aching Hunger" as well as performing all the score preparation/music copyist duties, just like I did for Mike Keneally with his orchestral work "The Universe Will Provide" this year.  Steve also honored me greatly by asking me to be the pianist for the concerts.  There's obviously so much I could say about how I feel about all of this but right now the most intelligible thing I can think of to say is "Wow," so I'm going to go with that.  Wow.

 The Mother of Invention (Decomposing Composer)

    Today, December 4th, 2003, marks the 10th anniversary of the death of the man whose music inspired me to become a composer, Mr. Frank Zappa.  A long time ago I decided that the best way for me to pay tribute to Frank and his memory would be to become a composer myself and go out and play my own music with my own band and do something to keep music exciting, fresh and new.  In that regard, so far I feel like I am doing a fairly satisfactory job.

    Anyway, I realized the other day that there are a lot of you reading this who might not know exactly who Frank Zappa was or why his contributions to the world of music are so important.  Since there are numerous sources where one could quickly and accurately learn about his life and political views ("The Real Frank Zappa Book," Frank's autobiography, would be an excellent starting point), today I'm going to concentrate on the music by picking out some of my favorite Zappa albums (out of the 60 released in his lifetime) and talking about them.  Hopefully this will inspire you to go out and pick up a Frank Zappa record for your own collection.  

    #1 Freak Out! (1966) - This was the first album from Frank Zappa's first major-label band, The Mothers of Invention (the "of Invention" was added at the insistence of MGM).  Produced by Tom Wilson (who was also responsible for producing groundbreaking albums by Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, and the Velvet Underground in the late 60's), this record was a first in many ways: It was the first full double-album in rock, the first concept album (exploring the Freak scene in Los Angeles in the mid-60's), and according to the Rolling Stone Guide to Alternative Music, it was the first "alternative" rock record.  Wow.  Features "Hungry Freaks, Daddy," "Who Are the Brain Police?" and "The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet," which could be considered the world's very first rave.

    #7 Hot Rats (1969) - Six albums and three years later saw Frank releasing his second album sans The Mothers of Invention (the first being #3 "Lumpy Gravy").  One of the albums that comes closest to being all instrumental, the only vocal tune is a tune sung by his old high school friend Captain Beefheart, "Willie the Pimp."  This is a very beautiful record.  "Peaches en Regalia" is so happy and exciting and it has probably one of the greatest bass lines in rock history.  Anyone that plays the bass would do well to learn the bass line to this song (performed by Shuggie Otis).  "Son of Mr. Green Genes" really displays Frank's arranging abilities.  It really makes me smile.  Out of all the records in this list, I imagine that most of you would probably like this one the best, especially since it's free of any Zappa's more satirical/scatalogical work.  Everyone should go out and buy this record today.  You'll be so glad you did.  I'll definitely be spinning it today myself (if I can find it in my apartment).

    #10 Chunga's Revenge (1970) - This is one of the Zappa albums that I listened to the most growing up and I still listen to it pretty often today.  I love this record.  Most Zappa fans would definitely not pick this as one of their favorites, but I think it's underrated.  It starts off with "Transylvania Boogie" which I must have listened to at least 600 times.  It's just so freaking cool.  "Would You Go All the Way?" is really hilarious.  I don't want to spoil the punchline for you, but I think my friends and I all just about had a cow at the right moment in this song.  I listened to "Rudy Wants to Buy Yez a Drink" about a million times as well.  This is a fun record to sing along to and it's nowhere near as offensive as the Flo & Eddie version of The Mothers was about to get on the Fillmore East: Live 1971 album.  At the end of that tour, a deranged fan shoved Frank off the stage because he thought Frank was making eyes at his girlfirend.  Frank fell into the orchestra pit and broke his neck.  That's why the pitch of his voice suddenly dropped a major 3rd.  A week before this, they were playing and someone threw a roman candle and set the place on fire.  Deep Purple saw the fire in the distance and was inspired to write "Smoke on the Water."

    #15 The Grand Wazoo (1973) - While Frank was recovering from his injuries, he turned his attention almost entirely to his composing and arranging skills.  This is a really fun record as well.  This record features a chamber jazz orchestra as opposed to a compact rock unit (probably since Frank didn't have to worry about spending his money on tour support since he was still wheelchair-bound at this point).  "Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus" has a lot of very cool brass parts and it's really funny too.  "Eat that Question" is great as well.  This album was conceived the same time as "Waka/Jawaka," which has a song on it called "It Might Just be a One-Shot Deal" that features Zappa's only country-rock guitar solo in probably the most unlikely place in the song.  It also features some sick trumpet playing from Sal Marquez.  "Hot Rats," "Waka/Jawaka," and "The Grand Wazoo" are all available in a box set called "Threesome No. 2" released by RykoDisc last year.

    #16 Overnite Sensation (1973) - Allmusic.com says "Love it or hate it, Overnite Sensation was a watershed album for Frank Zappa, the point where his post-60's aesthetic was truly established; it became his first gold album, and most of these songs became staples of his live shows for years to come."  Featuring the extraordinarily sexually explicit (and sexy) "Dinah-Moe Humm" sung in Frank's new low voice, it also feaures one of his best satirical songs to date, "I'm the Slime" and some very tight instrumental playing on "Fifty/Fifty," "Zomby Woof," and "Montana," which features uncredited back-up vocals by Tina Turner and the Ikettes. 

    Lather (1973 - 1977) - This album, now available in a 3-CD set close to the way the album was originally conceived, was delivered as a 4-LP set to Warner Bros. as a way to get Frank out of his record contract with them.  Instead of releasing it the way it was, Warner split it up into genre-specific pieces.  It's much more fun to listen to in it's original form, hearing Frank jump from hard rock to classical in a split second or less.  There are SO many highlights on this album that I'm not even going to bother listing them all.  But the whole thing is fantastic and it concentrates more on the arrangements and compositions than Frank's satirical lyrics (although such songs as "Broken Hearts are for Assholes" are also included).

    #24 Sheik Yerbouti (1979) - One of Frank's most infamous (and most popular) albums, Frank earned his first Grammy nomination for "Best Male Vocal Performance" on "Dancin' Fool," a satire about disco.  He also earned a lawsuit for his song "Jewish Princess," which he refused to apologize for because he insisted that "such creatures do exist."  He responded on his next album, Joe's Garage, by writing a song called "Catholic Girls" to give everyone an equal opportunity to squirm.  Sheik Yerbouti could very well be Frank Zappa's funniest album.  It's also the most hard-rock Zappa album.  "Bobby Brown Goes Down," a song about gay S&M, was a #1 single in Europe.  And just in case you forgot that Frank Zappa's guitar prowess is legendary, side 4 of Sheik Yerbouti ends with "Yo' Mama" which is, well, you just need to hear it to believe it.  It's intense, to say the least.

    #26/27 Joe's Garage, Acts I, II, and III (1979) - A musical about a government that makes music illegal, this album is really amazing.  It also features "Watermelon in Easter Hay," Frank's best guitar composition.  I can't tell you how many times I listened to that solo following along with my Zappa Guitar Book.  It's so beautiful.  The marimbas, the chimes, the guitar tones, the drums, wow, wow, wow.  This also features some of Frank's most hilarious songs although by the time the 3rd act rolls around it concentrates mostly on lengthy guitar solos.

    #28 - 30 Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar Box (1980) - Frank shuts up and plays his guitar.  'Nuff said.

    #33 Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch (1982) - Frank scored his biggest hit with this record, the single "Valley Girl" recorded with his then 14-year-old daughter Moon Unit.  It introduced the entire world to the concept of the Valley girl and to such phrases as "Gag me with a spoon," and "bag your face."  "Drowning With" is easily Frank's most difficult rock instrumental composition, but easily one of his most beautiful as well.  "Envelopes" is really amazing and it segues into "Teenage Prostitute," a song that blends hard rock with opera music and features some extremely sick guitar work from Steve Vai.

    #42 Jazz from Hell (1986) - Ladies and gentlemen, introducing Frank's true love, the Synclavier.  The Synclavier was like the Mercedes-Benz of sequencers (Frank used to say that lots of rock artist took their millions and stuck it up their nose, but he took his and stuck it in his ear) and Frank was more than a little excited about the possibilites that this machine could bring about.  Finally, thanks to the computer, he could hear his music the way he heard it in his head performed with 100% accuracy.  After London critics complained about the lack of "human element" on this record, Frank released "London Symphony Orchestra, Vol. 2" which was riddled with wrong notes and mistakes and said, "Here's your human element."  Frank won his first (and only, in his lifetime) Grammy for this album, for Best Rock Instrumental Composition for the song "Jazz from Hell."  Frank was shocked considering that was the most dissonant, out there piece on the album.  This is a very bizarre record in general, but I love it.

    #53 The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life (1991) - One of three albums culled from the 15-piece 1988 "Broadway the Hard Way" tour (the other two being "Broadway the Hard Way" and "Make a Jazz Noise Here"), this album features, of all things, off-the-wall covers of songs such as Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" (in which the entire horn section doubles the original guitar solo), Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze," Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love," and the "Theme from Bonanza."  It also features big band arrangements of some of Frank's classic songs such as "Who Needs the Peace Corps?" "Andy," and "Inca Roads."  The playing on this album is so ridiculously tight that I can't even believe that it's actually live.  This tour also introduced the world to guitarist Mike Keneally.  The guitar solo on "Zomby Woof" is so good that it makes me freak out every time I listen to it.  This was the best live ensemble Frank Zappa managed to pull together, and is easily one of the best live outfits of all time.  The '88 band knew how to play upwards of 300 songs and they played them with an enormous amount of skill and finesse.  I can't even tell you how amazing that band was.  Wowie zowie, for sure.

    #57 You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 6 (1992) - Disc 1 of this two-disc set is dedicated to live renditions of all of Frank's songs about sex.  Disc 2 is dedicated to more instrumental affairs and is one of my favorite Zappa albums to listen to.  "Thirteen" is of particular interest since it features electric violinist L. Shankar and introduced a 15-year-old me to a world of polymetric time since Frank explains how to count in 13 at the beginning of the song.  Other highlights include "The Illinois Enema Bandit," "Crew Slut," and "Black Napkins."

    #59 The Yellow Shark (1993) - Released only a month before Frank Zappa passed away from prostate cancer, the album is culled from the 1992 live performances of Frank's classical works by the Ensemble Moderne.  This is an essential release.  The Ensemble Moderne was the only classical ensemble to play Frank's music with the kind of accuracy and "eyebrows" that Frank was looking for.  Every song on this album is a highlight, but I especially love "Outrage at Valdez," "The Girl in the Magnesium Dress," "Ruth is Sleeping," "Food Gathering in Post-Industrial America, 1992," "Welcome to the United States," and "G-Spot Tornado."  There are a million and five things to love about this record.

    #60 Civilization: Phaze III (1994) - The first album to come out after Frank's death, this was the last album he completed before he died.  99% recorded with the Synclavier (it also includes some improvisations with the Ensemble Modern), this piece features dialogue recorded for his first solo album, "Lumpy Gravy," interspersed with new recordings from 1991.  10 years later and I'm still in awe every time I listen to this record.  It's a very creepy album to listen to because it just reeks of impending doom and you can almost feel Frank fading away.  If you go to zappa.com today you can read the liner notes and listen to the very last song on Frank Zappa's very last album, "Waffenspiel."  It's interesting that Frank chose this as his final composition, since he sort-of returns to his roots with it.  Frank was inspired to be a composer in his teenage years by Edgard Varese's piece "Ionization" for 15 percussionists.  "Waffenspiel" is very much a percussion piece since it features mostly gunfire, chirping birds, and barking dogs.  The absence of "music" from this piece makes it extremely chilling and the liner notes about the crop-dusting plane coming and spraying toxic substances on the audience is especially creepy now.  Overall, this is definitely Frank Zappa's master work, wrapping up some of the themes he began with "Freak Out!" and is a fitting end to Frank's prolific career as a composer. 

    I'd better get to work now.  Hope to see you all on the 20th.

-- Christopher


From: Chris Opperman
Sent: Sunday, February 01, 2004
Subject: [Chris Opperman] "No Memories, Please" Pre-order Announcement!

Hi!

I'm happy to announce that we are now accepting pre-orders for my third studio album, "No Memories, Please."  Produced mostly by myself and Mike Keneally, the album is comprised of duets recorded during the sessions for "Klavierstücke" and features Rachel Arellano on vocals, Robert Thomspon on violin, Ben Adams on vibraphone, Marc Ziegenhagen on mini-moog, and Mike Keneally on acoustic and electric guitar, bass guitar, vocals, and piano.  It's a really beautiful album and I'm very proud of it.  Hopefully you will be too.

To pre-order, simply visit this page: http://www.onesheet.com/chrisopperman.html.  The price is $15, plus $2.50 for domestic shipping and $5.00 for overseas shipping.  I will be happily signing the first 250 pre-orders.  I'm counting on being able to sell out of the pre-orders in order to pay the manufacturing costs for the album, so I would appreciate it greatly if you would order one and tell your friends to do the same!  Our target release date is Tuesday, April 20th.  If you have any problems ordering, please do not hesitate to e-mail me @ chris@madphat.com.

After I get this album out, I will be finishing up a live compliation of some of the cool performances we've captured over the last two years that will feature various incarnations of Chris Opperman & Friends as well as some solo material and material from Special Opps for release this summer.  We're hoping to make enough money from these two releases to fund the recording of the "Special Opps" studio album, which will hopefully be released in the first quarter of 2005.

In the meantime, I'm still working, working, working on the Vai orchestrations and getting ready for the Holland performances this May.  For those of you who have been waiting for another L.A. performance, the "No Memories, Please" CD release party has been tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, April 21st at The Mint in Los Angeles.  More information will be posted when available.

For a complete track listing and more info regarding "No Memories, Please," there is a rough draft discography entry that you can check out @ http://www.oppymusic.com/nomemories.html.  From that page you can also download two of the songs from the album for free: "Kamp Keneally" and "Cynthia H."

Thank you so much for all your support!  Music *is* the best.

Chris Opperman
Present-day Composer


From: Chris Opperman
Sent: Saturday, February 21, 2004
Subject: Chris Opperman @ The Cat Club This Tuesday!

Hey everyone!

Quick update to let you know that I will be playing a solo set at The Cat Club on Sunset (8911 Sunset Blvd., W. Hollywood, CA, on Tuesday starting at 8:20.  The cover is $5 with this e-mail and I hope to see you there!  You can tell me what you think about my beard. 

Also, I'd like to thank everyone who has pre-ordered "No Memories, Please."  The response has been really terrific.  However, I'm not quite at where I need to be to be able to afford to manufacture the CD's, so if you've been waiting to pre-order, now would be an excellent time!  Or if you do not yet have "Oppy Music I" or "Klavierstucke," now would also be an excellent time to pick those up and complete your collection!

You can order the CD's here: http://www.onesheet.com/chrisopperman.html.

Thank you so much and music is the best.

-- Chris Opperman


From: Chris Opperman
Sent: Monday, March 22, 2004
Subject: [Chris Opperman] Greetings from the Oppycave.

Greetings from the Oppycave.

Hello, my friends, fans, and family,

I'm about to take some No-Doz and wash it down with some Mountain Dew so Tom Trapp and I can finish up the parts for the stuff that needs to go out to Holland tomorrow.  So while I'm doing that, I figured it'd be a good time to let Tom say hello to all you fine people, so here he is:

Oh crap, Tom just put Vanessa Carlton on the CD player...uh oh...that can't be good. <crack>:

"When you hear the Dew can crack...  Trouble is brewing.  Chris drinks a strange amount of Mountain Dew.  He drinks more Dew than an old lady do.  Copius.  You are all apparently already interested in Chris' personal life, because you're all a bunch of old ladies and you're on the mailing list - so allow me to be the harbinger of a strange bit of information.  He's Dew-o-sexual.  Late at night, when he thinks I'm sleeping, I've got one eye open.  Let me tell you folks, it's not a pretty sight.  

I don't want to humiliate a guy on his own mailing list and whatnot.

I did hear bits of Chris' new album.  You should purchase that album.  It has Keneally, another wonderful old lady.  The cost is negligible compared to the other ways you waste money.  Just steal some cash out of your father's wallet or knock an old lady down and take hers.  You're heavier than an old lady, aren't you?

So far, since I've been in LA this trip, I've seen Chris help 2 old ladies cross the street, buy 2 boxes of Girl Scout cookies, drink 2 glasses of wine, get 2 lap dances, and put 2 items into other people's shopping carts.  That was just on the way back from the airport!  The old lady thing was a fib.

The Vai work is well.  The concert will be well.  Vai is swell.  This concert will bust your nancy-asses wide open."

-T

Hi, I'm back!  Wow, it's hard to think straight when you're high on Mountain Dew and Vanessa Carlton's drummer is laying down some of the illest drum tracks you've ever heard.  Anyway, I figure that you're all wondering where the heck I've been the last couple months, so I'm about to give you the low-down. 

Steve was nice enough to fly my friend Tom Trapp out here and put him on salary to help me finish up the massive amount of work that needs to be done to get these orchestrations and parts out to Holland in a timely fashion.  We just finished formatting the parts for a piece called "Ballerina" which is the first one that I finished and let me tell you, it was a really nice feeling to *finally* be able to put the world "Complete" in a cell on my "Vai/Metropole Orkest - The Aching Hunger Movement Status Log" Excel spreadsheet.  I'm really proud of the job that I did orchestrating that piece.  Steve gave me free reign with it and I really think I came up with something special.  We've got to finish a couple other movements tonight that we got approvals from Steve on and we're still waiting for him to call us back on a couple other movements (I told him to call us as soon as he wakes up...he's been working really hard as well and his sleep schedule's even weirder than mine).  However, I want to get as much stuff out tomorrow as possible.

I'm really looking forward to the day when I'll be able to look at my "Movement Status Log" and see the word "Complete" all the way down the line.  Co de Kloet was nice enough to have mercy on our souls and give us an extra two weeks, so apparently that day is going to be Monday, April 5th.  Of course, that's two less weeks that I get to go to the gym and practice up.  However, the music has to get done and it has to be right and that's it.  The end.

For those of you wondering about the status of the impending release of "No Memories, Please," I've decided to postpone the actual CD release party until June when I come back from Holland so I can allocate all of my "spare" time to practicing and working out until then.  However, Rich Pike is busy getting the packaging finished so I can send puffy little packages to all of you who were kind enough to pre-order the album by April 20th, which is the actual release date. 

Oh!  Here's a thing: I managed to find enough time while growing a beard and drinking 42 servings of Mountain Dew a week to lay down a couple piano/trumpet tracks for Kat Parsons's new album "No Will Power" which will be coming out soon.  The fact that I was willing to pick up the trumpet again and play it on her album should tell you everything you need to know about how amazingly special that girl's music is to me and how wonderfully talented she is.  The sessions were really fun and her producer Paul Maylone is more than capable.  It's going to be a really great record and her songs make me smile, so you should go to www.katparsons.com and pre-order her album if you are so obliged.

Oh, and props to the following people who have been very cool and supportive of me in this endeavor: Co de Kloet and everyone at NPS Radio Holland, The Metropole Orkest, Steve Vai, Tom Trapp, Amie Margoles, Kat Parsons, Charlotte Towne, Tanya Smith, Mike Keneally, Bryan Beller, Tiffiny Whitney, Cosette Trombino, Nicki Scott, my bosses at Universal, Usagi Yojimbo, my parents, family, and friends, and Stacy's mom.

Okay, Vanessa Carlton's seen "Twilight" and that means that it's time to get back to work.  Peace.  Music is the best.

-- Oppy


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - May 27th, 2004] - Episode #19: Did Somebody Mention Bees?!

Contents:

 

Steve Vai's "The Aching Hunger" a Major Success!

    I'm still totally hyped up from the concerts with Steve Vai and the Metropole Orchestra in Holland this past weekend.  What an unbelievable experience that was.  I'll be writing an essay soon about my experiences with photos and everything, but I'm really still way too close to it to say anything but "Wow."  3,000 people saw me play my ass off on the piano this weekend and listened to the orchestrations that Tom Trapp and I did.  Countless more people will hear it when it's broadcast on NPS Radio Holland this September and eventually released.  That's incredible.  The orchestra played great, I played mostly great, the audiences went completely insane (if we hadn't gone out and played "Kill the Guy With the Ball" again at the end of the first Paradiso show, I swear they would have rioted), and Steve was utterly inspired with every note that came out of his fingertips.  There were so many great things about what transpired.  Wow.  Hopefully we will be doing this again next year.

    Extra special thanks to Steve Vai, Co de Kloet, Marja Quak, Els le Febre, Dick Bakker & the Metropole Orchestra, Bryan Beller, Tom Trapp, and everyone else involved with making these concerts happen.  Wow.  We did it.

    P.S. If you ever decide to turn off your electricity before you go on a long trip, please remember to at least leave your fridge turned on.  Just FYI.

 

"Concepts of Non-linear Time" Update

     I know this could be confusing to some of you (especially those of you who are new), but after some thinking, we decided to change the name of my new album back to "Concepts of Non-linear Time" which was the original title.  So if you put in a pre-order for "No Memories, Please" already, don't be confused, it is the same album as "Concepts of Non-linear Time."  Barring any additional unforseen delays, Rich Pike and I will be getting together this weekend to put together the artwork for the album and we are pretty darn determined to finally get the CD's to your mailboxes by the beginning of July.  I'm not going to announce another release date until I actually have the CD's in my hands, but that's the plan, Stan.  If you haven't pre-ordered yet, you can still get in on the signed/numbered copies, by going here:

http://www.onesheet.com/chrisopperman.html

    Thank you so much in advance for your pre-order.  If you'd rather wait until the CD has actually been released, I totally understand and I apologize for the delay.  I really wanted to get it out before I went to Holland, but these kinds of things have a way of happening when they're meant to.

 

"The Universe Will Provide" Update

    While I was in Holland this month, the NPS Output/Favored Nations label was officially launched with a press-only pre-release of Mike Keneally's "The Universe Will Provide" featuring Keneally and the Metropole Orchestra, composed by Mike Keneally and featuring orchestrations by Mike and myself.  I was late for the party because I was practicing "The Murder - Prologue" although I eventually did go because my fingers started to hurt and I was hungry and I figured there'd be free food (There was. Yay!).  I missed the part where Mike thanked me, but that's okay because "practicing is much more important than having smoke blown up your ass" as Mike so eloquently put it.  Ha ha, I love that guy.  Here's the info on the album from www.moosemart.com:

    Mike Keneally's first foray into orchestral composition, The Universe Will Provide is Mike's stunningly beautiful imaginary collaboration with himself at age eight. Commissioned by NPS Output and recorded during a sunny, dreamlike week in Holland, TUWP features the talents of the 52-piece Metropole Orchestra supporting Mike on guitar and keyboards. You have never heard any music like The Universe Will Provide.

    And that is very true.  There really hasn't ever been music that has sounded like this before.  I'm really extremely proud to have had played such an important role in making something like this happen.  It is a truly remarkable album and the packaging is really beautiful.  I loved everything about this project, from start to finish.  It's a shining example of what can happen in the world when everything goes right.  It's perfect.

    The album will be released in the Benelux countries in June and released in the rest of the world in August.

 

"Discovering America" Fall '04 Oppy Solo Piano Tour

    So if you want to be a musician mostly full-time, you've gotta sell records, and if you want to sell records, you've gotta go on tour.  So that is what I am going to do.   Starting in September I'm going to embark on a 2+ month mostly solo piano tour of the continental United States to promote my catalog.  Also, while I'm out, I'm going to interview people that I meet (one or two from each state) for a book called "Discovering America" that I hope will be an accurate, bi-partisan portrait of the American people leading up to the 2004 Election.  The interviewees will all be anonymous and listed only by their age, location, and occupation (ex. "Schoolteacher - 47 - West Virginia").  This will be coupled with a collection of selected improvisations from the concerts as a soundtrack for the book. 

    More information on this will be posted as it becomes available.  However, if anyone has any ideas of venues that I should play (all ages venues with in-tune pianos preferred), promotion ideas, places that I should see while I'm driving around the country, places to crash, or anything else, please do not hesitate to e-mail OppyTour04@aol.com.  Thanks!

       

Upcoming Performances/Events

    NoneRadio
    Monday, May 31st, 2004
    Live broadcast airs 9 pm PST
    www.noneradio.com

    I will be returning to NoneRadio this Monday as a guest host along with Philip Bynoe who was Steve Vai's bass player during the late 90's.  Jamming will likely ensue.

Other Performances

    The Kat Parsons Experience
    Saturday, June 5th - 9 pm
    The Hotel Cafe
    1628 1/2 N. Cahuenga Blvd.
    Hollywood, CA

    Bodacious singer/songstress extraordinaire Kat Parsons will be playing a big, bad show with her bombastically bitchin' band just because I like words that start with the letter "B."  Seriously, if you haven't yet seen Kat live, you need to go and have the Kat Parsons experience.  I think she must have a third lung hidden somewhere and I love all her songs, especially "Better than Cheesecake," a song she wrote for her grandmother, because the song title starts with a B.  See www.katparsons.com for more information.  Okay, sing with me: "Bee bee bee bee beeeeeeeeeeee." 


    Human Life Index
    Tuesday, June 8th - 8:30 pm
    The Knitting Factory - Main Stage
    7021 Hollywood Blvd.
    Hollywood, CA 90028

    Human Life Index, an extremely cool middle-eastern rock band led by my friend Ali Shayesteh on guitars, bouzouki, saz, and oud.  Special Opps veteran Jen Kuhn also plays electric cello with them.  At this very special concert, they will be having two cello players, so Ali has kindly asked me to do some orchestration work for the two cellists, which I will happily do.  They also have a cool new vocalist named Amanda Albertoni that's supposed to be pretty stunning.  I'm really looking forward to seeing them in their new expanded line-up.  See www.humanlifeindex.com for more information.


    Mike's Ba'rock
    Friday, June 11th - 10 pm
    Black Box NorrlandsOperan
    Operaplan 9, Umea, Sweden 
    Info: +46 (0) 90-15 43 47
    Email: biljetter@vbrn.se

    In addition to performing with London Baroque, Ensemble Ambrosius, Jaan Wessman, Schroeder, and Napoleon Murphy Brock as part of the Umea International Chamber Music Festival, Mike Keneally will be premiering two brand-new original compositions (which I will be orchestrating with him) currently called "Madge" for septet and "Crumb" for septet and female soprano.  I believe that this will be the first time that any of Mike's "classical" works are performed without him and that should make for a very interesting experience.  Boo-yah.  That's another B word.  AND speaking of people whose initials are comprised only of the letter "B":


    Bryan Beller Live Band Debut Performance
    Thursday, June 24th - 10:30 pm - $10
    The Baked Potato
    3787 Cahuenga Blvd.
    North Hollywood, CA 91604
    (818) 980-1615

    Bassboy Bryan Beller, who appeared with Vai and myself as the guest bass player for "The Aching Hunger" will be having his first ever performance of his own music from his album "View," which I did the music copying work for.  The band is going to be Rick Musallam on guitar, Griff Peters on guitar, Mike Keneally on guitar and keyboards, Joe Travers on drums, Bryan Beller on Bass, Keyboards, and Vocals, and Wes Wehmiller on bass (presumably when Bryan isn't playing bass).  I've played with all of those guys before (except Griff) and they're all ridiculously good musicians.  This should be a great show.

    Okay, it's time for a pina colada and milk.  See you in the pool.

    Music is the best.

    Chris Opperman 


It looks like Chris Opperman's newsletter had some trouble finding my mailbox. As Chris said: "It turns out that a couple of the major mail sites (AOL, Hotmail, etc.) thought that my madphat.com e-mails were spam and they weren't getting to their intended recipients.  However, I called AOL and talked to them and I think I've solved the problem"

[Addendum: In addition to the Special Opps show on July 16th, I'll be playing a mostly solo set on Saturday, July 10th @ 6 pm @ The Space on 2020 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90404 as part of TJ Moore's Los Angeles Art Gallery Debut.  Also performing will be Co-Pilot, Candybox Violence, Hijack the Disco, Andy Mitton, Dan Rocket, and Arden Kaywin.  The show is being sponsored by the Sight Unseen Theatre Group and is an RSVP-only reception (with hors d'oeuvres & an open bar from 6 - 9!).  Cover is $10.]

[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Monday, June 28th, 2004]

Episode #20: Episode 20

Quick & Easy:

* The release date for my third solo album, Concepts of Non-linear Time (which was very briefly known as No Memories, Please), has been set for Tuesday, July 20th provided nothing goes wrong at DiscMakers (http://www.discmakers.com/)!  Finally!  Still time left to pre-order a signed copy!  www.onesheet.com/chrisopperman.html  Thank you so, so much to everyone who has already pre-ordered.  The response has been fantastic.

* On Friday, July 16th, my band Special Opps will be headlining the CD release party for Concepts of Non-linear Time along with live performance newbie Cosette Trombino (8:00), the sweet & sexy (or is that sexy & sweet?) Nikki Katt (8:30) (whom I will also be sitting in with), bodacious Brent Locke (9:15), and the eclectic Zach Sinick (10:00) at Room 5 Lounge @ 143 N. La Brea (between Beverly and 1st Street), Los Angeles, CA 90036.  Special Opps starts at 11 and we will be having Mike Keneally (http://www.keneally.com/) as a special guest on guitar and Talia Mays from The Golden Ratio (http://www.g-ratio.com/) as a guest vocalist.  The show is also being professionally recorded and videotaped, AND OppyList members get in for the discounted rate of $5!  So you really should do your darndest to make this gig.  Seriously.  You'll be sad if you miss it. And it's all ages.  I might even play Idaho Potato, but don't hold your breath.

* In Late July/August, we will be compiling my 4th album and 1st live album, tentatively called Made-up Songs: Live in Los Angeles containing songs culled from my LA performances over the last three years.  Special guests include the criminally underrated Andre LaFosse (http://www.altruistmusic.com/) on guitar, the more-appreciated-but-not-appreciated-enough  Mike Keneally (http://www.keneally.com/) on guitar, Kat Parsons (http://www.katparsons.com/) on vocals, and more!  Also includes performances by Chris Opperman & Friends and Special Opps.  I guarantee you something from the July 16th gig will be included on this compilation.  Between us, I'm hoping to get a completely outrageous full-band version of Kamp Keneally as well as lots of other musically mind-blowing things.

* Last-minute/Secret Shows List: In order to build a solid fan base, you have to play all the time.  However, if you play all the time, then you wind up always playing shows for 5 people because you've oversaturated your market.  SO I've decided that I'm only going to promote the bigger shows (like the 7/16 show) and do several last-minute and/or secret shows to introduce new people into the music.  That having been said, I would hate to exclude anyone who wants to know every single time I'm playing!  So if you would like to be on my secondary list for last-minute shows, simply e-mail MrOppy@aol.com and let me know.  Thanks for your extra interest!

* Opulent Music Services: I've started a new division of my corporation, Mad Phat Enterprises, Inc., called Opulent Music Services which includes engraving/music copying, orchestration, arranging, and production services.  Therefore, should you need any of those services, please don't hesitate to let me know.  I am also interested in licensing out my compositions/recordings for use in film & television, so if there's a specific composition you would like to use for your project, e-mail me and we can work out a deal for that as well.  I'm doing music full-time now so I need all the help I can get!

* The Official Oppy Music Website v. 3.1 is coming!  It's going to be a fairly massive update and I think the website will be a whole lot more fun and content-rich then.  I'm looking forward to it.  Check out http://www.oppymusic.com/ if you haven't already.

Okay, that's all I have to report right now!  Thank you all so much for your support.  Music is the best.  Hopefully I'll see a lot of you on the 16th!

Love always,

-- Chris Opperman


From: Chris Opperman
Sent:
Monday, August 23, 2004
Subject: [Chris Opperman] Special Opps Tuesday Night

Hey everyone!

Just a quick reminder that my band SPECIAL OPPS will be taking the stage Tuesday night @ 9 pm.  Andre LaFosse and Kat Parsons will be guesting with us and it's going to be a great show.  Hope to see you all there!

Special Opps @ Level One
6311 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90048
21+, $7 ($5 for mailing list subscribers)
With Nikki Katt (8:00), Libbie Schrader (10:00) & The Astra Heights (11:00)

Music is the best.

Chris Opperman


From: Chris Opperman
Sent:
September 7, 2004
Subject: [Chris Opperman Mailing List - Tuesday, September 7th, 2004]

Episode #23: Praying for Rain

Brought to you by www.oppymusic.com

To order go to www.oppymusic.com/order.html or www.cdbaby.com/opperman
or call toll-free 1-877-MAD-PHAT (for ordering purposes only, please).

* Steve Vai's "The Aching Hunger" Broadcasting TOMORROW (9/8)!

* Special Opps: Live @ Level One on DVD

* oppymusic.com 4.0!

* Shankar & Gingger World Tour

* September/October Concert Dates/4fm Radio Specials

* Chris Opperman Presents @ Level One

* RadioKeneally

 

* Steve Vai's "The Aching Hunger" Broadcasting TOMORROW (9/8)!

The first part of Steve Vai's "The Aching Hunger" (composed by Steve Vai for the Metropole Orkest including myself on piano and Bryan Beller on bass guitar) makes it's broadcast debut tomorrow, Sept. 8th, on 4fm Radio, The Netherlands.  You can listen to a webcast of the concert by going here: http://portal.omroep.nl/radio/mplayer4.  All broadcasts are 22:30 - 24:00 Dutch time, which translates to 4:30 - 6:00 pm EST, 1:30 - 3:00 pm PST.  This will be the first in a series of radio specials that will also feature specials on Mike Keneally, Terry Bozzio, and myself.  All shows are included in the calendar below.

 

* Special Opps: Live @ Level One DVD

To make a long story short: The Level One show last Tuesday rocked so hard and the video came out looking and sounding so great that Johnny D. has successfully talked me into just releasing the entire hour-long concert on DVD, so that is what we'll be working on next.  Pre-ordering information will be available in the next e-mail update (price will likely be $20 plus shipping), but here is the set list:

1.  Johannah (C. Opperman/A. LaFosse/J. Kuhn/I. Slape/K. Dooley)
2.  Haasis (C. Opperman)
3.  Beware of the Random Factor (C. Opperman)
4.  Miles Behind (C. Opperman)
5.  Electric Jihad (A. LaFosse/C. Opperman/K. Dooley/I. Slape)
6.  Sophia's Dream (C. Opperman)
7.  Kamp Keneally (C. Opperman/M. Keneally)
8.  Tanya's Song (C. Opperman)
9.  Someone to Watch Over Me (G. & I. Gershwin)/To Return to You (K. Parsons)

The band that night was myself on piano, Andre LaFosse on electric guitar, Jen Kuhn on electric cello, Isaac Slape on bass guitar, and Kevin Dooley on drums with special guest Kat Parsons on vocals.  Bonus tracks will include uncompressed versions of the three videos Johnny D. and I made from the 7/16 show for No Drinks for Libbie, an alternate version of To Return to You featuring Kat Parsons, and White Willow featuring Mike Keneally

This will be my first official live release and I'm pretty excited that it's going to be something I can be proud of.  MAJOR props to Johnny D. and Steve Laub (the latter of which drove up from San Diego just to videotape the show) without whom this would not be possible, everyone in Special Opps esp. Andre who came and played the gig without even the benefit of a rehearsal.  Thanks also to Kat Parsons, Sebastian A. Bach, Nikki Katt, Libbie Schrader, The Astra Heights, Tanya & Brian Smith, Gabi Kochlani, Mike Grey & everyone at Level One.  What a happy surprise.

We're aiming for a Thanksgiving release.  This release will (probably) replace the "Made-up Songs" live compilation, at least in the short term.

 

* oppymusic.com 4.0!

We just finished the 4th major upgrade of http://www.oppymusic.com/!  Why not go check it out for yourself?  It still needs some tweaking on my part, but it's up there.   

 

* Shankar & Gingger World Tour

Over the past summer, I've been rehearsing with world music superstars Shankar & Gingger to be their right hand music man on their upcoming world tour beginning with some U.S. dates this fall (including a performance at the World Peace Music Awards in San Francisco with such legendary musicians as Lionel Ritchie, Gloria Gaynor, Hootie & The Blowfish, Jon Secada, Peter Yarrow & more. All proceeds will go to Orphans of War and Terrorism

Their latest album, "Celestial Body" on Mondo Melodia has been added to the playlists of over 1,000 U.S. radio stations in its 6th week of release.  S&G were prominently featured on the soundtrack to "The Passion of the Christ" (coincidentally, Shankar also appears on Peter Gabriel's soundtrack for "The Last Temptation of Christ").  Their last album, "One in a Million," featured special guests Phil Collins, Steve & Mike Porcaro (Toto), David Paich, Guy Allison, Tony Levin, Mike Porcaro, Steve Vai, and Steve Lukather. 

Shankar himself boasts an impressive list of credits, having invented the 10-string stereophonic double violin, a unique instrument that features the entire range of the string orchestra.  He has also worked as a composer, arranger, producer, singer, violinist and performer with artists and bands like Frank Zappa (which is how I became aware of him), Peter Gabriel, Shakti, Phil Collins, Trilok Gurtu, Talking Heads, Van Morrison, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, The Pretenders, and many others. 

We've been having a lot of fun in rehearsal and the shows are going to be amazing. 

 

* September/October Concert Dates/4fm Radio Specials

Steve Vai - Metropole Orkest
Wednesday, Sept. 8th (1:30 - 3:00 pm PST, 4:30 - 6:00 pm EST)
THE ACHING HUNGER, PART ONE - www.4fm.nl
You can finally hear it!  The world broadcast premiere of Steve Vai's "The Aching Hunger," composed by Steve Vai, orchestrated mainly by Steve, myself, and Tom Trapp, featuring Steve on electric guitar, myself on piano, and Bryan Beller on bass with the Metropole Orchestra as performed in Holland this May.  Sponsored by 4fm.  You can listen to the live broadcast by clicking here: http://portal.omroep.nl/radio/mplayer4

Steve Vai - Metropole Orkest
Friday, Sept. 10th (1:30 - 3:00 pm PST, 4:30 - 6:00 pm EST)
THE ACHING HUNGER, VAI INTERVIEW - www.4fm.nl
Spotlight on Steve Vai: Vai & De Kloet discuss "The Aching Hunger." You can listen to the live broadcast by clicking here: http://portal.omroep.nl/radio/mplayer4

Steve Vai - Metropole Orkest
Wednesday, Sept. 15th (1:30 - 3:00 pm PST, 4:30 - 6:00 pm EST)
THE ACHING HUNGER, PART TWO - www.f4m.nl
Second part of "The Aching Hunger." You can listen to the live broadcast by clicking here: http://portal.omroep.nl/radio/mplayer4

Shankar & Gingger
Saturday, Sept. 18th & Sunday, Sept. 19th
BOSTON, MA - The Regent Theatre
7 Medford St., Arlington MA 02474
Showtime: 7.30 pm. Reserved seats: $50, $100, and $150 VIP
(VIP Ticket includes premium seating and dinner at the Bombay Classic Restaurant)

Shankar & Gingger
Saturday, Sept. 25th
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - World Peace Music Awards

Special Opps
Wednesday, Sept. 29th
SAN DIEGO, CA - Lestat's
Special Opps's San Diego Debut!

Shankar & Gingger
Saturday, Oct. 2nd
AUSTIN, TX - Roundrock Performing Arts Center

Shankar & Gingger
Sunday, Oct. 3rd
ALBANY, NY - Egg Center For The Performing Arts
Empire State Plaza
Showtime: 7.00 pm. Tickets $24 - call (518) 473-1845

S
hankar & Gingger
Sunday, Oct. 10th
PAINTED BRIDE, PA - Venue TBA

Mike Keneally - Metropole Orkest
Monday, Oct. 11th (1:30 - 3:00 pm PST, 4:30 - 6:00 pm EST)
THE UNIVERSE WILL PROVIDE - www.4fm.nl
Mike Keneally & Creative Catalyst Co de Kloet discuss "The Universe Will Provide," the orchestra piece for electric guitar and 50-piece orchestra composed by Mike Keneally and orchestrated by Mike Keneally and Chris Opperman which was recently released worldwide by Favored Nations Entertainment/NPS Output. You can listen to the live broadcast by clicking here: http://portal.omroep.nl/radio/mplayer4


Shankar & Gingger
Saturday, Oct. 16th
DUKE UNIVERSITY, NC - Page Auditorium

Chris Opperman
Friday, Oct. 22nd (1:30 - 3:00 pm PST, 4:30 - 6:00 pm EST)
SPOTLIGHT on CHRIS OPPERMAN - www.4fm.nl
Creative Catalyst Co de Kloet & I discuss and play Oppy Music, including an exclusive version of "Miles Behind" only available on this show.  This is an excellent program which provides a great overview of my career thus far. You can listen to the live broadcast by clicking here: http://portal.omroep.nl/radio/mplayer4 and the entire show will be available soon as a download from www.oppymusic.com.

Shankar & Gingger
Friday, Oct. 22nd
PORTLAND, OR - First Congregational Church

Shankar & Gingger
Sunday, Oct. 24th
SOUTH BAY, CA - Campbell Heritage Theater, Bay Area Performing Arts Center

Shankar & Gingger
Sunday, Oct. 31st
WASHINGTON, DC - George Washington University Listener Auditorium

 

* Chris Opperman Presents @ Level One

As if that weren't enough, I'm currently booking Tuesday nights at Level One in Los Angeles.  It's an ultra-swank 200-person nightclub, great for showcasing your band or just putting on a kick ass show.  If you're interested (or you know anyone who is interested) in playing there, please e-mail me. 

 

* RadioKeneally

www.RadioKeneally.com - All Mike Keneally Music, All the Time

Requestable playlist also has several Oppy tracks featuring Mike Keneally including "Ain't Got No Beef" from "Oppy Music, Vol. I," and all the movements of the "California, 2000" suite from "Concepts of Non-linear Time."

Okay, time for bed.

-- Chris Opperman


From: Chris Opperman
Sent:
October 9, 2004
Subject: [Chris Opperman Mailing List - Saturday, Oct. 9th, 2004]

Brought to you by www.oppymusic.com.

To order go to www.oppymusic.com/order.html or www.cdbaby.com/opperman  or call toll-free 1-877-MAD-PHAT (for ordering purposes only, please).

Hi! I need to make this real quick because my friend Charlotte will be here any minute to take me to the airport. So!

* 1
The Keneally/Metropole Orkest album "The Universe Will Provide" that I did the orchestrations for (along with Keneally) has been getting rave reviews!  The latest is a review in Guitar Player magazine that you can find at www.guitarplayer.com by searching for "Keneally."

Anyway, Co de Kloet and our friends at NPS Radio Holland will be running a special on The Universe Will Provide this Monday, Oct. 11th starting at 2:00 PST (5:00 EST) that you can listen to at www.4fm.nl.  The Oppy special is on October 22nd, but I will send you another reminder before then.

* 2
The next concert with Special Opps is going to be rather, well, special.  It's going to be @ Level One in Los Angeles and it is going to feature opening sets by Andre LaFosse, Jen Kuhn's band Triple Helix, Kelda (on whose record I just played), and then Special Opps will be presenting a piece called "A Very Space Opera" as a Halloween special.  I'm still working out all the details, but please mark Tuesday, October 26th on your calendar.  This will be my last Level One show as a booking agent, because I tried it and realized that it's really not for me.

* 3
Remaining Fall '04 Shankar & Gingger US Tour Dates are
:

March, 2005 will see us touring in Japan, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Colombo, India & more! I'll keep you posted as the dates come in.

Okay, gotta shove a bunch of stuff in a suitcase and get to Charlotte's car. Bye!

-- Chris Opperman


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Tuesday, Oct. 19th, 2004]
Episode #26: VERY Space Opera

Brought to you by www.oppymusic.com.

To order go to www.oppymusic.com/order.html or www.cdbaby.com/opperman

or call toll-free 1-877-MAD-PHAT (for ordering purposes only, please).

* NPS Radio Holland Oppy Music Special Now On-line!

* "A Very Space Opera" Next Tuesday (10/26)

* Go Shank Yourself

-------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

* NPS Radio Holland Oppy Music Special Now On-line!

This Friday, NPS Radio Holland will be broadcasting an hour-long special interview between creative catalyst Co de Kloet and myself where we discuss my musical upbringing in Clifton, New Jersey and at Berklee College of Music, Oppy Music I, Chris Opperman & The Random Factor, Klavierstucke, Mike Keneally's The Universe Will Provide, Steve Vai's The Aching Hunger, Concepts of Non-linear Time, Chris Opperman & Friends, Special Opps, Made-up Songs, and Kat Parsons, among other things.  It also features a performance of "Miles Behind" that will stay unique to this radio special and a sneak preview of "Sad Teenager Wars" and "To Return to You" from the Made-up Songs live compilation which will be coming your way [hopefully] before Christmas.  It's really a very, very cool show.

ALSO, thanks to a special arrangement between myself and NPS Radio Holland, the entire show can be downloaded from oppymusic.com by following this link! 

http://www.oppymusic.com/sounds/NPSSpecial.mp3

So as thanks for this present to you all, Co de Kloet would appreciate it very much if you could e-mail 4fm@nps.nl and tell them how much you enjoyed the broadcast and that you would like to hear more of me on NPS Radio Holland.  That would be supremely helpful so that they can continue to bring my music to the fine people of the Netherlands.  Thank you very, very much!!! 

* "A Very Space Opera" Next Tuesday! (10/26)

Next Tuesday we will be doing something completely different @ Level One (6311 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048)!  After opening sets by Andre LaFosse (8:00), Jen Kuhn's band Triple Helix (8:30), and Kelda (9:00), Special Opps (with special guests Arden Kaywin, a seriously trained opera singer who is now a stunning pop singer/songwriter, and Talia Mays who is what Bjork would be if Bjork were an improvising R&B soulstress) will be making a one-time performance of "A Very Space Opera," a special one-time Halloween musical event based on my music.  "A Very Space Opera," told through music, chronicles the events that lead up to the demise of Captain Columbus and his crew on Mars and how it affects those who love him at home.  This will all be followed by a 70's/80's dance party.  Woo hoo!

The concert is also going to be a fundraiser for The Sight Unseen Theatre Group, whose play "The Graves of San Andreas" opened to rave reviews last year (I saw it and it was fantastic) and who is currently putting on a production called "Monster" about Frankenstein that is also very cool.  For more information about their productions, please go to www.sightunseentheatre.com.

* No More Shankar

You know the saying about how if you don't have anything nice to say that you're better off not saying anything at all?  I quit Shankar & Gingger's band and that's all I have to say about that.  However, I do want to apologize to all of you who were excited to finally get a chance to see me perform, especially to my friends in D.C..  Hopefully I'll get a chance to get out to the right coast sometime soon.

Music is the best!

-- Chris Opperman


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Monday, November 15th, 2004]
Episode #27: Welcome to the Purple States of America 

Brought to you by www.oppymusic.com.
To order go to www.oppymusic.com/order.html or www.cdbaby.com/opperman
or call toll-free 1-877-MAD-PHAT (for ordering purposes only, please).

I know that a lot of you were probably expecting me to say something before the election, but I was really sick that week (I'm better now, thanks).  Anyway, now that the election is over there's a lot of talk about blue states and red states.  Well, I propose that we end all of this partisanship and all work together as the Purple States of America for a better and brighter future.  I hope that didn't come out as cheesy as I just imagined it did.  Um, anyway, let's get on with it, shall we?

* 26th Birthday Party Next Saturday 11/20 @ Room 5!

* Oppy Music on Sale Through Christmas!

* Bootleg Club, Vol. I: Made-Up Songs

* Bootleg Club, Vol. II: Special Opps: Live @ Level One DVD

* Changes at Purple Cow Records

* Thank You List 2004

 

26th Birthday Party Next Saturday 11/20 @ Room 5!

It's hard to believe that another year has come and gone, but what a year it was!  Once again, we'll be celebrating my birthday with a concert.  So come on down THIS SATURDAY, November 20th as we celebrate @ Room 5 (143 N. La Brea, 2nd Floor) with opening sets by Leenore (8:30), Nikki Katt (9:15), Ben Weinthraub (10:00), and myself (10:30). 

I will be doing a mostly solo piano set for the first two-thirds of the concert for those of you who have been fiending to see a live performance of compositions like "Sharel's Lullabye II," and "T. Williams," among other things and then for the end of the program a scaled-down version of Special Opps is going to take the stage for a few songs for those of you who enjoy the rock stuff more.  They actually have a decent piano @ Room 5 so it'll be excellent for those of you who have been wanting to see me perform on a real piano.  The cover is $5 with a print-out of this mailing list entry and I believe it's all ages (you just can't sit at the bar if you're under 21).  Anyway, I hope to see you there.

Oppy Music on Sale Through Christmas!

What would I like for my birthday?  I'm so glad you asked that question.  I would actually really like to sell some extra CD's!  So I have put the entire catalog on sale for the special sale price of $30 (plus shipping), which includes Oppy Music I, Klavierstucke, and Concepts of Non-linear Time, so it's basically buy 2 and get 1 free. 

Here is the link to order!  They make great stocking stuffers!  (You will need to copy this entire link into your browser...if you need any help, just e-mail me).

http://www.madphat.com/cgi-bin/sc/order.cgi?storeid=*1eb18c95ca0023947870e496d99f6fba0b&dbname=products&itemnum=876&function=add

 Made-Up Songs

Speaking of stocking stuffers, I now have enough material for the live compilation that I'm working on called "Made-up Songs." Scott Chatfield and I are going to master it in early December at Chatfield Manor.  Once the master is complete, the music will be immediately available either by pay-for-download from oppymusic.com for $15 (including an Acrobat document of the artwork) or for $25 (plus shipping) I will burn it myself and draw a unique sketch for you on the back of the CD booklet.  Here are some of the tracks that will (probably) be included on the compilation:

Now, I will let you know up front that the recording quality of some of the songs is better than some of the other songs, hence the "bootleg" clause.  These are live tracks recorded throughout Los Angeles/San Diego and I have been at the mercy of whomever was working sound that night to get these songs recorded, so I am grateful to have an aural document of this stuff at all.  There are only a couple of moments that offend me, but Scott Chatfield and I are going to do the absolute best we can to clean those moments up.

That having been said, this is going to be a very cool record featuring music ACTUALLY PERFORMED LIVE by REAL MUSICIANS AND SINGERS with NO OVERDUBS.  And why is everyone so surprised that Ashlee Simpson was busted for lip synching?  They've ALL been doing it for YEARS.  That's why they're ENTERTAINERS and not MUSICIANS.

Bootleg Club, Vol. II: Special Opps: Live @ Level One DVD

Johnny D. and I have finished editing 8 of the 9 songs that will appear in the main feature of the Special Opps live DVD that we're working on!  The DVD will include the ENTIRE August 24th Special Opps concert @ Level One as well as a ton of bonus features and videos.  You will enjoy it immensely and this will be coming your way in Spring, 2005.  Boo-yah.  Track list:

  1. Johannah Intro

  2. Haasis

  3. Beware of the Random Factor

  4. Miles Behind

  5. Electric Jihad

  6. Sophia's Dream

  7. Kamp Keneally

  8. Tanya's Song

  9. Someone to Watch Over Me/To Return to You

Musicians: Chris Opperman (piano), Andre LaFosse (guitar), Jen Kuhn (electric cello), Isaac Slape (bass guitar), Kevin Dooley (drums), featuring special guest Kat Parsons on vocals.  Recorded & videotaped live @ Level One on August 24th, 2004 by John Digilio and Steve Laub.  There will be a discounted price for those of you who were actually at that concert!

Changes at Purple Cow Records

I am proud to announce that my record label, Purple Cow Records is no longer a one-man operation.  John Digilio (Johnny D.) is now Director of Video/DVD Production responsible for the production/editing aspects of all of our video projects, including the forthcoming DVD Bootleg club and the videos you can see @ oppymusic.com.  We've been working together for almost six months now and I can't even begin to tell you how great he is to work with.  I am extremely fortunate to have him on my team.

The second major change is the addition of Gabi Kochlani as Licensing Coordinator for both Purple Cow Records and its music publishing arm Phantom Moo Music.  She's going to be the point person for the campaign we're launching to get my songs placed into film and television.  Since I have 100% ownership of all my masters and copyrights, she is able to negotiate both the master and the copyright on a most favored nations basis.  Hopefully this will generate the kind of income that I need to properly record the new compositions I have been working on over the past couple years.

I, of course, am still the President, and the time has come to turn this into a profitable enterprise.  So if anybody has any ideas, please, let me know.

Thank You List 2004

 Well, another year of my life has come and gone and that means that it's time for another thank you list!  Presented in alphabetical order, I would like to thank everyone who made my 25th year the best year for my music ever (and profuse apologies to anyone who feels they should have been included on this list but wasn't. I assure you that it's just because I'm feeling sleepy right now):

First I would like to thank my parents, my sister, and the rest of my family.  Then I would like to thank Cleo Antonelli, The Astra Heights, Arthur Barrow, Dick Bakker & The Metropole Orkest, Bryan Beller, Nancy Braun, Michael Canaan, Scott Chatfield, Johnny Choi, Scott Colomby, Co de Kloet and everyone at NPS Radio (plus Will & Bert), Kevin Dooley, Jason Feinberg, Clark Freeman and everyone at the Sight Unseen Theatre Group, David Gaziel, Jeff Gray, Mike Grey and everyone at Level One, Mara Hitner, Ping Hu, Emily Hudson, Zakir Hussein, everyone at Jo Ann Kane Music Services, The Josh Green Band, Nikki Katt, Arden Kaywin, Mike Keneally, Clint Kenney, Blair Kluberton, Gabi Kochlani, Jen Kuhn, Andre LaFosse, Steve Laub, everyone at Lestat's, Abraham Libbos, Todd Lieberman, Manders, Paul Maylone, Talia Mays, Marnie McFair, Heday Mercury, Bret Merrit, Sheena Metal, Becky Meyer, Melinda Mondrala, Kelly Mullis, Kelda Nelson, Kat Parsons, Richard Pike, Blair Rogue, everyone at Room 5, Ali S, Anthony Saragueta, Libbie Schrader, Nicki Scott, Zach Sinick, Kahlil Sabbagh, Mike Sammis, Ruta Sepetys, Shankar & Gingger, Motti Shulman, Isaac Slape, Tanya Smith, Brian Smith, Ted Strain, Monica Temperly, Tenley, Charlotte Towne, Tom Trapp, Cosette Trombino, everyone at UMG Accounting, everyone at Universal Music Publishing Group, J Warner, Sean Westergaard, Tiffiny Whitney, Steve & Pia Vai, Ben Weinthraub, Wendy Wilson, all the temp agencies and casting agencies I worked with this summer, all my Holland peeps and the rest of my friends from around the world.  I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW MUCH MUSIC I GOT DONE THIS YEAR!  Phew!

And that's a wrap.  I'm going to sleep now.  Music is the best.

-- Chris Opperman


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Monday, December 6th, 2004]
Episode #28: Here's to Your Rainy Day!

Brought to you by www.oppymusic.com.
To order go to
www.oppymusic.com/order.html or www.cdbaby.com/opperman
or call toll-free 1-877-MAD-PHAT (for ordering purposes only, please).

Well, yesterday we had a nice rainy Sunday afternoon.  Johnny D. and I shot some interview footage of myself here at Oppy Central yesterday morning, followed by a lovely in-depth interview with Kat Parsons at her place for the forthcoming Special Opps: Live @ Level One DVD.  She even performed a brand new song for us called "I'll Make You Happy," which, well, made us happy.  Okay!  The exciting news! 

* Andre LaFosse/Jettson/Chris Opperman show TOMORROW NIGHT!
* *** Album #4 - Made-up Songs - STREET DATE 12/21! ***
* Oppy Music Still on Sale!

 

* Andre LaFosse/Jettson/Chris Opperman show TOMORROW NIGHT!

This Tuesday, December 7th, will be my last show of the year @ Level One (6311 Wilshire).  Andre LaFosse will be opening @ 9:00, followed by Jettson @ 9:30 after which I will be doing a short solo set.  It'll be a really fun night and I hope to see you there.

* Album #4 - Made-up Songs - STREET DATE 12/21!

Thanks to a new program at DiscMakers that lets me custom create up to 500 CD's with a 2-business day turnaround, I'm extremely pleased to announce that my fourth album (and first live album) will be in your mailboxes by Christmas Day!  Pre-orders will begin Monday after Scott Chatfield and I finish mastering the album.  The purchase price is $20 (which includes FREE Priority Mail shipping in the Continental U.S.!  Overseas customers, please e-mail me and we'll figure out how much Global Priority Shipping costs to get to your country) and all orders will be shipped on Saturday, December 18th

I put together a "final" track listing this weekend and listened to it and that got me very excited about it!  It's also the longest album I've ever done, with 19 brand-new songs!  I think it will all fit on one CD, but I might have to lose a song if it doesn't.

 

* Oppy Music on Sale Through Christmas!

My entire (current) catalog is still on sale for the special sale price of $30 (plus shipping), which includes Oppy Music I, Klavierstucke, and Concepts of Non-linear Time, so it's basically buy 2 and get 1 free. 

Here is the link to order!  They make great stocking stuffers!  (You will need to copy this entire link into your browser...if you need any help, just e-mail me or call 1-877-MAD-PHAT).

http://www.madphat.com/cgi-bin/sc/order.cgi?storeid=*1eb18c95ca0023947870e496d99f6fba0b&dbname=products&itemnum=876&function=add

That's all for now!  Music is the best.

Chris Opperman


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Monday, December 20th, 2004]
Episode #30: War on Science

 * "Beyond the Foggy Highway: Live 2002-2004" Pre-Ordering Information

So last weekend I went down to Chatfield Manor to master the album formerly known as "Made-up Songs" (Yes, I know that changing album titles at the last minute is starting to become an Oppy tradition) and had a truly wonderful time.  Scott Chatfield and I were able to clean-up the bulk of the audio issues concerning the original recordings (I was lucky to have these shows recorded at all) and we were able to get them sounding really good from a sonic standpoint.  Once Keneally arrived on the scene, we started making some edits and we built all the segues between songs.  I don't want to ruin any of the surprises, but the album came out about 500% better than I ever imagined it would. 

So in the interest of presenting you with a better product, we've decided to take a few weeks and listen to the album as is and make notes of any additional cuts or changes we want to make and make them.  Also, I have come to the conclusion that it would be a grevious disservice to you, the musicians who all played or sang at their very best for these shows, and most of all to the music itself to do the artwork and packaging in a half-assed way so I've delayed the release of the album until March so I can do that stuff properly.

That having been said, I have now opened up pre-orders on the album which you can order by cutting and pasting this entire link into your browser.  The price of the album is $15 plus $2.50 domestic shipping, $5 overseas shipping:

http://www.madphat.com/cgi-bin/sc/order.cgi?storeid=*12a9f9be09930c689740aa&dbname=products&itemnum=3432&function=add

I would really appreciate your pre-order because manufacturing is expensive.  I'd also like to thank everyone who wanted to get this album in their hands before Christmas for your patience and let you know that in the end it'll be worth the wait.  It's really quite special.
 

* Vai/Metropole Repeat Broadcast - Wednesday, December 22nd

The second Vai/Metropole bonus show on NPS Radio Holland is this Wednesday, December 22nd @ 10:55 pm Dutch time (4:55 pm East Coast time, 1:55 pm West Coast time).  This will be featuring the final version of Steve's new guitar ballad "Lotus Feet" which will be included on his forthcoming studio album "Real Illusions" due out in February.  The rest of the Vai/Metropole music is due out in 2006. 

Also, I'm proud to say that my orchestration of Vai's classic guitar ballad "For the Love of God" was the second most-requested song for the repeat broadcasts @ NPS, second only to "Lotus Feet."  That made me really happy because I honestly feel that my orchestration of that piece is the single greatest thing I've ever done in my entire musical life.  Period. 

Anyway, here is the link to the radio broadcast: http://portal.omroep.nl/radio/mplayer4

The main NPS/NPS Output site is http://www.4fm.nl/.
 

* "The Universe Will Provide" chosen as one of the "Best of 2004" by the All-Music Guide

"The Universe Will Provide," the orchestra album featuring Mike Keneally and The Metropole Orkest which was composed by MK and orchestrated by MK and myself was chosen as one of the "Best of 2004" by the All-Music Guide along with Bjork's "Medulla" album, Nellie McKay's "Get Away from Me," Modest Mouse's "Good News for People Who Love Bad News," Brian Wilson's "SMiLE," and Kanye West's "The College Dropout."  For the complete list, go to http://www.allmusic.com/.

Also, the latest issue of "Guitar Player" featuring Allison Robertson of The Donnas on the cover has a feature article on Keneally, who gives me some very nice props in his interview.
 

* Oppy Music Still on Sale!

My entire (current) catalog is still on sale for the special sale price of $30 (plus shipping), which includes Oppy Music I, Klavierstucke, and Concepts of Non-linear Time, so it's basically buy 2 and get 1 free. 

Here is the link to order!  They make great stocking stuffers!  (You will need to copy this entire link into your browser...if you need any help, just e-mail me or call 1-877-MAD-PHAT).
http://www.madphat.com/cgi-bin/sc/order.cgi?storeid=*1eb18c95ca0023947870e496d99f6fba0b&dbname=products&itemnum=876&function=add

That's all for now!  Thank you so much for all of your support.  I hope that all of you and all of your families have a wonderful holiday season.  See you next year.

-- Chris Opperman


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Tuesday, January 4th, 2005]
Episode #30: O, Stamp Collector

Happy New Year!  A very wise man once told me that you've gotta spend money to make money, so as I write this, I am printing out a ton of full-color flyers on nice paper to hopefully secure some college gigs around the country this year and get some press.  Since I plan on sending out literally thousands of these things, if anyone has some old 34 cent (or even 25 cent!) stamps that they don't want/need anymore and you would like to donate them to the cause, shoot me an e-mail!  That would be sweet.  I will cheerfully make a large painting for anyone who sends me over 1,000 stamps (of substantial denomination).  Now for the news!

 

* Special Opps Live NEXT TUESDAY 1/11 @ Level One in Los Angeles

* Steve Vai's "Real Illusions" to be released Tuesday, February 22nd

* "Where is Green Snails?" on NPS 4fm Radio Holland This Sunday

* "Ain't Got No Beef" II?

* Oppy Music Still on Sale!

 

* Special Opps Live NEXT TUESDAY 1/11 @ Level One in Los Angeles

The power trio version of Special Opps will be rocking the hiz-ouse at our favorite haunt, Level One, at 6311 Wilshire Blvd. near Crescent Heights.  We will be going on at 8:45 following the Republican Party event they are having there, followed by Jettson.  What's Jettson like?  Well, to me they recall Bob Dylan's "Desire" ensemble in the late 70's that featured Emmylou Harris on vocals and since "Desire" is my favorite Bob Dylan album ("Hurricane" and "Joey" are such perfect songs), this is a band that I'm excited to see again.  It's going to be a great show.

 

* Steve Vai's "Real Illusions" to be released Tuesday, February 22nd

Steve Vai's first studio album in over 5 years, "Real Illusions," will be released by Sony/Epic on Tuesday, February 22nd.  Steve's been working hard on this album since the very first day I went to his house to discuss "The Aching Hunger" project and I'm very excited that this music is finally going to be available to the public at large.  I really think this is his greatest album yet, even better than 1990's "Passion & Warfare."  Over the next several weeks, Steve will be releasing stories about each of the songs on the album that you can check out if you go to www.vai.com.  Anyway, I'm extra excited about it because the song "Lotus Feet" features yours truly on piano as well as The Metropole Orkest! 

If you told me when I was 15 years old that I was going to grow up and play with Steve Vai and wind up being the piano player on a classic Vai guitar ballad, I would have laughed in your face.  I'm a lucky guy.

 

* "Where is Green Snails?" on NPS 4fm Radio Holland This Sunday!

Creative Catalyst Co de Kloet of Holland will be broadcasting all 9 minutes of "Where is Green Snails?" from Concepts of Non-linear Time on his radio show this Sunday evening followed by both the Flex-Able and solo piano versions of Steve Vai's "Salamanders in the Sun."  Co often plays my music on the air, for which I am very grateful.  If you would like to listen to his show, you can tune in on-line from the following link:

http://portal.omroep.nl/radio/mplayer4

Co's show is every Sunday starting at 1:30 pm West Coast time, 4:30 pm East Coast time.  See www.4fm.nl for more details.

 

* "Ain't Got No Beef" II?

This apparent reinactment of the mayhem that transipred on Oppy Music I's "Ain't Got No Beef" was sent to me by Dave of New Lebanon, Ohio:

"Ain't got no french fries - time for a sequel?"

Police Say Man Rages Over French Fries
1 hour, 45 minutes ago Strange News - AP

DuBOIS, Pa. - A Burger King customer berated the employees and nearly hit one of them with his truck after the clerk at the drive-thru window told him they were out of french fries, police said.

Gregg Luttman, 22, made an obscene gesture at the drive-thru clerk on New Year's Day, then walked into the restaurant and cursed at the staff, Sandy Township police Sgt. Rod Fairman said.

When he returned to his pickup truck, he saw restaurant workers taking down his license number and put the vehicle in reverse, nearly hitting one of them, Fairman said.

After being stopped on a highway a short distance away, Luttman scuffled with police and kicked out the back window of a police car, Fairman said.

Luttman was charged with assault, reckless endangerment and other offenses. He was freed Monday on $2,500 bail.

 

* Oppy Music Still on Sale!

My entire (current) catalog is still on sale for the special sale price of $30 (plus shipping), which includes Oppy Music I, Klavierstucke, and Concepts of Non-linear Time, so it's basically buy 2 and get 1 free. 

Here is the link to order! If you can't get it to work, just go to www.oppymusic.com and follow the link there.

http://www.madphat.com/cgi-bin/sc/order.cgi?storeid=*1eb18c95ca0023947870e496d99f6fba0b&dbname=products&itemnum=876&function=add

That's all for now!  Music is the best.

-- Chris Opperman

 


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Tuesday, January 25th, 2005]
Episode #30: Real Illusions
Brought to you by www.oppymusic.com.

 

* Chris Opperman Presents @ Level One - Feb. 1st & 15th

SPECIAL OPPS will be performing on Tuesday, February 1st in our first full band show in months!  I've been working the new line-up (Andre LaFosse (guitar)/Jen Kuhn (electric cello)/Daren Burns (electric bass)/David Gaziel (drums) and myself) extra hard for this show and it's going to be great! 

SPECIAL OPPS goes on at 8:30, followed by the Andre Comeau Band (from the original "Real World"), and a solo performance by Andre LaFosse at 10:30.  There will also be drink specials! 

$5/21+.  Level One is located at 6311 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles. 

Feb. 15th's line-up is Jen Kuhn's ensemble Triple Helix, opera-expatriate-turned-singer/songwriter Arden Kaywin (who played my wife in "A Very Space Opera"), and everyone's favorite country-rock ensemble Jettson.

 

* New Videos Now On-line!

Two new videos from my 26th birthday party at Room 5 last Novemeber compiled by myself and Johnny D featuring Clark Freeman on drums, Jen Kuhn on the electric cello and Talia Mays on vocals!  Enjoy!

Music is the best.

-- Chris Opperman


Chris Opperman Mailing List - Tuesday, January 25th, 2005
Episode #31: Goodbye, Wes

* SPECIAL OPPS Tomorrow (Tuesday) Night @ Level One

* Pre-order Steve Vai's "Real Illusions: Reflections" - Due Out 2/22

* R.I.P. Wes Wehmiller (1971 - 2005)

 

* SPECIAL OPPS Tomorrow (Tuesday) Night @ Level One

As a reminder, SPECIAL OPPS will be performing tomorrow night in our first full band show in months!  We'll be playing almost all of the songs that will eventually be on the SPECIAL OPPS studio album starting at 8:30, followed by the Andre Comeau Band (from the original "Real World"), and a solo performance by Andre LaFosse at 10:30.  There will also be drink specials!   

$5/21+.  Level One is located at 6311 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles. 

 

* Pre-order Steve Vai's "Real Illusions: Reflections" - Due Out 2/22

On February 22, 2005 Epic Records/RED INK will release Steve Vai’s first new solo album in nearly five years, Real Illusions: Reflections, which features eleven highly anticipated tracks by Vai. The first volume of a three part “concept trilogy” features the legendary guitar virtuoso in fine form.

As Steve himself describes it, “Real Illusions: Reflections is the first part of a multi-layered menagerie of vignettes based on the amplified mental exaggerations of a truth-seeking madman who sees the world... oh never mind.”

Following an incredible year in 2004 — one that saw his latest DVD Live at the Astoria in London certified platinum in the U.S.; receiving his eighth Grammy nomination; playing guitar on the monumentally successful Halo 2 game soundtrack launched by Microsoft; performing with Dave Matthews at the Grammy event honoring Carlos Santana; and playing a very well received set at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival in Dallas — 2005 looks to be equally as highlight filled.

Pre-orders now available at www.vai.com and www.SteveVaiMusic.com.  I appear playing piano on track 7, the new Vai gutiar ballad "Lotus Feet."

 

* R.I.P. Wes Wehmiller (1971 - 2005)

Yesterday morning my friend, bassist Wes Wehmiller, passed away.  He was one of those people that you never saw quite often enough but whenever you did you were always happy that they were around.  He went to Berklee at the same time as Joe Travers and Bryan Beller and I met him through Joe on the '99 Duran Duran tour.  In 2002, himself and Joe played on some demo recordings that I produced for Katrina Parker that were really fun.  We had an especially good time putting together the bass part on her jazzy 5/4 song.  After that we lost touch for awhile until we both wound up playing in different bands on the night of T.J. Moore's art gallery opening.  I was blown away by how great he played in his hard rock ensemble that night.  Most recently, I watched him perform with Mike Keneally at the Belly-Up Tavern in San Diego where I watched him and Travers push Mike's guitar playing almost over the edge with excitement.  He was so happy to have finally gotten the chance to play with Keneally.  That was a really wonderful night and now I'm extra-glad that I made the ardous rush-hour drive down to San Diego that night for that concert.

My heart especially goes out to his family, to Joe, and to Bryan for their irreplaceable loss.  I'm sad that he's gone and that we didn't get more chances to play music together.  However, I consider myself very fortunate to have gotten to know such a fantastically musical man.  He will be missed. 

-- Chris Opperman


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Saturday, February 19th, 2005]

Episode #32: Of Guitar Heroes & Singer/Songwriters

 

Steve Vai's "Real Illusions: Reflections" OUT TODAY!!!

Steve Vai's first studio album of all-new material in over 5 years, "Real Illusions: Reflections" hits stores today!  The album also features one live track, "Lotus Feet" which was composed by Vai, orchestrated by David Kole, and performed by The Metropole Orkest with special guests Bryan Beller on bass and myself on piano.  I honestly believe that it's Steve's most solid album yet, even better than 1990's groundbreaking Passion & Warfare album and even better than 1996's "Fire Garden."  For more information check out www.vai.com, and for more information specifically about "Lotus Feet" and about the Metropole concerts last year, check out this link:

http://www.vai.com/realillusions/07lotusfeet.html

 

Album #4: "Beyond the Foggy Highway" to be Limited Edition ONLY

That's right, you heard right, my fourth album and first live album will be a limited edition only available to those who pre-order the album.  All proceeds from your pre-order will be going to fund the SPECIAL OPPS studio sessions happening this Spring/Summer.  Scott Chatfield and I will be making the final edits to the live album in the next couple weeks and they will all be shipped in early March!  If you would like to pre-order the album, simply visit www.oppymusic.com and go for it!  Also, I've decided to continue the 3 for $30 deal for those of you who would like to purchase my prior works. 

 

* *** SPECIAL OPPS Studio Sessions Begin April, 2005 ***

I've been waiting over 2 years to bring SPECIAL OPPS into the studio to make an album and FINALLY everything seems to be falling into place for it to happen.  It will be my first ROCK album in 7 years and I can't wait to get going on it already.  I want it to show off everything that I've learned about making albums, about arranging and orchestration, and about playing the piano since I debuted in 1998.

I want it to have the raw, angry, muscular energy of a REAL punk rock band, the spontaneity and wisdom of a small jazz ensemble, and the finesse and beauty of a well-trained classical ensemble.  Most of all, I want it to be a classic album, one that will still sound fresh, vibrant, and essential twenty years from now and I will settle for nothing less than complete achievement of my goal.  I have to make this album and I want it to be one of the greatest things I ever do.  Period.

The time is now.  Let's rock.

 

-- Chris Opperman


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Monday, March 7th, 2005]
Episode #33: March Madness!

 

* SPECIAL OPPS Tuesday Night @ Level One!

Chris Opperman Presents @ Level One
TOMORROW, March 8th
Level One
6311 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA - 21+, $5

Andre LaFosse - 8:15
Brent Locke & the Loaded - 9:00
Jettson - 9:45
SPECIAL OPPS - 10:30
Warren Charles - 11:30

Well, I for one am really excited about this evening of music!  Echoplex freak Andre LaFosse will be performing with THREE Echoplexes simultaneously for the first time ever as he prepares for his New York 5.1 live performance later this month.  Brent Locke finally makes a return to performing with his band The Loaded and I'm especially excited to hear the song "The Pressure" again because it's a cool song.  Jettson's country-rock hybrid is sounding hotter than ever thanks to the addition of a new drummer.

Then it'll be my band SPECIAL OPPS and we'll be performing your favorites as well as a new piece called "The Real McCoy" which is a tribute to one of the great modern pianists, McCoy Tyner. 

Also, there will be drink specials including $3 beers and $5 Jack Daniel's shots (although there are sodas and water available for those of you who don't drink).  And why not try the Level One Burger while you're there?  It's burgeriffic.

* Upcoming Performances

Chris Opperman Solo
Santa Monica College Resource Fair
Thursday, March 17th - 11:15 am
Sponsored by the Associated Students of Santa Monica College

Chris Opperman Presents @ Level One
Tuesday, March 22nd

Acts TBA, a couple slots still available, e-mail if interested.  Actually, Level One wants to expand my night into a weekly thing, so if you know of any great bands that need to showcase or perform, please let me know.

Chris Opperman Solo Piano Recital
Los Angeles Music Awards
Thursday, March 31st - 8:00 pm - $10
The Monsoon
1212 3rd St. Promenade
Santa Monica, 90401
310.576.9996

Well, I will finally be doing a solo piano recital on a nice baby grand for those of you who have been waiting years for such an occassion!  I will be wearing a suit and a tie, and I will be performing everyone's favorite pieces from "Klavierstucke" including a bunch of pieces I've never performed live before. 

* Steve Vai's "Real Illusions: Reflections" #147 on the Billboard Top 200

Steve Vai's first studio album of all-new material in over 5 years, "Real Illusions: Reflections" hit stores a couple weeks ago and is now #147 on the Billboard charts!  I haven't played on a Billboard-charting album since Keneally's 2000 album "Dancing," and I'm excited to have played on an album that's cracked the Top 150.  The album is also the 5th best selling album via the Internet and the 15th biggest Independent album.  Awesome.  Steve is currently on tour, so you should go to www.vai.com and check out his show with his new band The Breed.

* Album #4: "Beyond the Foggy Highway" Completed!

Scott Chatfield and I got together after a Keneally show in Carlsbad Saturday afternoon and made the final edits to "Beyond the Foggy Highway."  It's now 15 - 17% better that we took the time to make those edits (we made it about 4 minutes shorter) and we're real excited about it.  Release date has been set for Tuesday, April 19th.  Album #5, a studio album with my band SPECIAL OPPS will be underway starting in April.

* Other Noteworthy News

Kat Parsons' album "No Will Power," which features my trumpet playing on the song "Mistakes," hits stores March 29th at which point it will be available for purchase direct from oppymusic.com.  She will be having FOUR CD release parties in NYC (March 24th), Washington, DC (March 25th), April 10th (Los Angeles), and April 30th (Chicago).

SPECIAL OPPS guitarist Andre LaFosse to perform in New York City with 5, count 'em, FIVE Echoplexes.  Check out www.altruistmusic.com for more details.

Kelda's album "Detour," which features my piano playing on the song "Stop the Rain" has been released (www.kelda.net) and she will be having her CD release party in LA on April 12th.  I will be performing "Stop the Rain" with her ensemble that night.  It's a wonderful album.

Mike Keneally (www.keneally.com) and Steve Vai (www.vai.com) are currently on tour, check out their respective sites for tour dates.

Okay, that's enough.  Music is the best!

-- Chris Opperman


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Monday, March 21st, 2005]

Episode #34: Swing into Spring!

* SPECIAL OPPS Tomorrow (Tuesday) Night @ Level One!
* Album #4: "Beyond the Foggy Highway" Completed!
* SPECIAL OPPS: Live @ Level One DVD Editing Completed!
* ** SPECIAL OPPS Studio Sessions Begin Saturday, April 23rd **

* SPECIAL OPPS Tomorrow Night @ Level One!

Chris Opperman Presents @ Level One
TOMORROW
, March 22nd
6311 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA - 21+, $5

Thank you so much to everyone who came out a couple of weeks ago!  It was the most successful Oppy Night yet and I really appreciate it a lot.  The good news is that starting in May we'll be going weekly and then starting in June I will be doing 3-4 nights a week at Level One booking only great music and developing the venue into one of the most artist-friendly places to play in LA.  It's going to be wonderful.  I'm also compiling a seperate mailing list for my Level One events, so if you'd like to be on that one as well, simply respond to this e-mail and I'll add you.

This week, we have my cellist's ensemble, Triple Helix, performing followed by what will be a wild performance by SPECIAL OPPS featuring myself on piano, Jeffrey Gray on guitar, Jen Kuhn on cello, Daren Burns on bass, David Gaziel on drums, Clark Freeman on percussion, and a special appearance by vocalist Talia Mays.  We will be playing a couple new songs including The Real McCoy which was debuted at the last show and an improvisation called A Fire in the Street is Not Like a Fire in the Heart

After that will be my favorite country-rock ensemble Jettson (who just seems to be getting better with every performance) and then The Academy of Chess & Checkers will close us out.
 

* Album #4: "Beyond the Foggy Highway" Completed!

My first live album has been mastered by Scott Chatfield and is ready to go!  Release date is still set for Tuesday, April 19th!  Pre-order now at www.oppymusic.com.  
 

* SPECIAL OPPS: Live @ Level One DVD Editing Completed!

Last week, Johnny D. and I made the final edits to the Special Opps DVD!  It's a wonderful affair, containing footage of the entire August 24th show as well as over an hour-and-a-half of bonus footage including interviews and "The Room 5 Collection," which contains 5 songs from my Room 5 performances last year.  Now we're entering the artwork/authoring phase which will be done by Jason Feinberg.  That having been said, we decided as a record company to shelve it until the SPECIAL OPPS studio album comes out this fall, since that's the project that we want to focus on.
 

* SPECIAL OPPS Studio Sessions Begin Saturday, April 23rd

There were lots of days where I thought that this would never be possible, but SPECIAL OPPS will be going into the studio on Saturday, April 23rd & Sunday, April 24th to lay down basic tracks for an actual studio rock album!!!  We will be recording at The Mothership and Neil Citron will be engineering.  I will be sitting in the producer's chair and everyone's going to be playing their collective asses off.  Should be quite the experience (finally!).

As a side note, we will not be accepting pre-orders on the studio album until the master is completed and we have entered the artwork phase because we've had some problems with that in the past and I don't feel comfortable holding people's money for such a long period of time.  However, those of you who would like to help can help by simply pre-ordering the live album or ordering my back catalog, which is available on my website for $30!  That would really help a lot.

Okay, back to practicing!  Thank you!

-- Chris Opperman


[Chris Opperman Presents] April Show Dates

Hello!  I will be doing lots of playing this month with SPECIAL OPPS and various other ensembles, so here is the schedule!  Also, I'm very honored and proud to mention that I recently won the 2005 Unanimous Choice Award for Best Keyboardist/Pianist by the LA Music Awards for my work both live and in the studio.  The official award ceremony is in November at the Henry Fonda Theatre but they had a nomination party at B.B. King's @ Universal CityWalk where they announced that I had won.  Pretty awesome. 

SPECIAL OPPS
THIS TUESDAY, April 5th @ 9 pm - Level One Supper Club - 6311 Wilshire Blvd. (Wilshire/Crescent Heights) 21+/$7

Tuesday Night Musical Mayhem continues this Tuesday with performances by Andre LaFosse (7:30), The Real D'Coy (8:00), SPECIAL OPPS (9:00), Jettson (10:00), The Jeau James Band (11:00), and The Academy of Chess & Checkers (11:45).
At this show I will be continuing my current obsession with the drums, including TWO full drummers.  Our line-up will be: Chris Opperman (piano, trumpet), Andre LaFosse (electric guitar), Jen Kuhn (electric cello), Daren Burns (bass guitar), David Gaziel (drums), Clark Freeman (drums), and Talia Mays as special guest vocalist.  It's rained at 5 of my last 7 shows, so odds are that it won't be raining this Tuesday.

Kelda "Detour" CD Release Party
NEXT Tuesday, April 12th - The Mint - 6010 West Pico Blvd. - Los Angeles, CA 90035
LA indie darling Kelda will be celebrating the release of her FIRST full-length album, "Detour," at The Mint.  I will be sitting in on the song "Stop the Rain," which I also played on the album.  Later that night will be sets from two of my other favorite local songwriters, Mara and Nikki Katt the latter of which I will also be sitting in with for the tune "Indifference" in which I get to play fun minor 9 and maj7 arpeggios, which I always enjoy. 

SPECIAL OPPS SPECIAL PERFORMANCE
The Tuesday after that! April 19th - 10 pm - Level One Supper Club - 6311 Wilshire Blvd. (Wilshire/Crescent Heights) 21+/$7
My goal for this show is to perform all of the songs that will appear on the SPECIAL OPPS studio album in order for our last show before we go into The Mothership to start laying down tracks.  The ensemble will be Chris Opperman (piano/vocals), Andre LaFosse (electric guitar), Jen Kuhn (electric cello), Daren Burns (bass guitar), David Gaziel (drums).

Cleocella - SPECIAL OPPS - Friday, April 29th - Time TBA - The Viper Room Main Stage
Cleocella is the birthday music festival for LA promoter Cleo Antonelli which will feature over 50 artists on 2 stages and SPECIAL OPPS has been selected to be one of the main attractions, so we will be performing 4 songs on the main stage at this festival.  Time slot TBD but obviously since we're playing one of LA's most famous ROCK clubs, we will be selecting some of our most HARD ROCKING songs to play at this event.  Yup, we're gonna rock, rock, rock, 'til the broad daylight.

And that's all for now!

-- Chris Opperman


[Chris Opperman Presents] Trial By Fire
2005/04/18

Hello!

I just wanted to remind everyone that my band SPECIAL OPPS will be playing tomorrow night.  It's an almost brand-new line-up of musicians who I'm real excited to play with and they are:

Chris Opperman (piano, trumpet)
Frank Macchia (flute, clarinet, tenor saxophone)
Chris Spilsbury (electric guitar)
Daren Burns (electric bass)
Clark Freeman (drums)
Craig Bunch (drums)

We'll be playing a longer set than usual (starting at 9) and debuting some new material.  I will also be playing a mini-solo set with such works as "T. Williams," "Sharel's Lullabye II," and more!  For those of you concerned that cellist Jen Kuhn's name isn't listed above, you needn't worry.  She's still in the band and she'll be on the studio album.  She just can't make it out this Tuesday.

Anyway, I would love so much to see you there.  The last few shows have been REALLY musical and fun and I'm pretty excited about what the future will bring.  Level One is located at 6311 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles and we'll be playing in between sets by Dark Numbers and The Real D'Coy.

To my friends in NY and NJ, I know you've been feeling pretty neglected lately, but currently we have something SUPER special in the works just for you this summer.  I'm just waiting for confirmation from the venues before I announce it, but it's going to be great!

As far as Beyond the Foggy Highway, my first live album (and fourth total), Scott Chatfield and I have one round of edits left to do and local LA artist T.J. Moore is currently working on a painting for the cover that I know is going to be really great.  Also, each pre-ordered album will come signed with a sketch drawn on it by yours truly, so if you haven't pre-ordered yours yet, go to www.oppymusic.com and check it out!

Okay, that's enough!  Music is the best!

-- Chris Opperman


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Tuesday, May 3rd, 2005]

Episode #37: The Heart of Gold

 * SPECIAL OPPS TONIGHT @ Level One!

* Oppy in New York (or How To Get a Taylor Ham Sandwich...the Hard Way)!

* ** SPECIAL OPPS Studio Sessions [Finally] Begin This Friday! **

 

* SPECIAL OPPS TONIGHT @ Level One!

Tonight we have a very special show for you at Level One.  First up will be my ensemble SPECIAL OPPS at 8:00 (little earlier than usual) featuring myself on piano, Chris Spilsbury on gutiar, Frank Macchia on flute, clarinet, and tenor saxophone, Daren Burns on electric bass, and Craig Bunch on drums.  Our successful "Trial By Fire" show two weeks ago as well as our set-the-stage-on-fire 2-song set @ The Viper Room last Friday have emboldened us and we look forward to leaving the stage a smoldering mess for my friends Brent Locke & The Loaded who will be taking the stage at 9 pm.  Following that act will be my favorite local country-rock ensemble Jettson at 10 and The Academy of Chess & Checkers at 11 pm.  Happy hour lasts until 8, so come early and enjoy 2 for 1 appetizers and drink specials, and there will also be drink specials while the music is happening!  So forget about American Idol and come down and check out some live music!

 

* Oppy in New York (or How To Get a Taylor Ham Sandwich...the Hard Way)!

I'm really excited to announce that legendary touring Zappa cover band Project/Object has been signed on to do a huge "Oppy in New York" show on Saturday, July 9th!  We're currently booking the venue but it will likely take place at The Bitter End or The Lion's Den and will feature Project/Object playing the music of Chris Opperman (with myself on piano).  The set will begin with a solo performance by yours truly and then a 90-minute full rock band concert which will feature some brand new compositions as well as performances of arrangements of a couple Steve Vai and Mike Keneally tunes orchestrated by yours truly.  It's been 4 years since I've set foot in New York and visited my friends in Clifton, NJ, so this is our way of making it up to you!  After the show, I'll be at Six Brothers eating a taylor ham sandwich.

Check out Project/Object's website at http://www.projectobject.com/.  The line-up for the 7/9 NY show will be myself on piano, Andre' Cholmondeley on guitar, Robbie "The Seahag" Mangano on impossible guitar, Eric Svalgard on keyboards, Dave Jonsen on bass, and Glenn Leonard on drums.

 

Extra-special thanks to Dr. Dot for the idea.

 

* ** SPECIAL OPPS Studio Sessions [Finally] Begin This Friday! **

Our sessions last month were postponed a couple weeks due to circumstances beyond our control, but starting this Friday we will FINALLY begin recording the Special Opps studio album @ The Mothership in the Hollywood Hills with Neil Citron engineering.  This album's going to require several sessions but we're shooting to have the album complete by the end of July.  Wish us luck!

Okay, I must shower now!  Enjoy your day.

-- Chris Opperman


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Tuesday, May 5th, 2005]

Special Opps Studio Sessions begin tonight @ The Mothership!

Hello.  I hope you don't mind the second e-mail this week.  I'm just so excited that we're FINALLY going in the studio tonight to begin sessions on an album I've been dreaming about for my entire adult life that I can't even sleep.  I tried and I even made sure I had tonight completely open so I could be home resting up for this weekend but my mind is just racing with daydreams about what the music is going to sound like and production ideas and logistics on top of everything else that I normally think about.

We had our "dress rehearsal" last night at drummer Craig Bunch's house in Sierra Madre and it was a really wonderful, creative evening.  We really got into the songs in a way that we just haven't before adding in orchestration ideas and tweaking the arrangements for maximum emotional impact.  This latest incarnation of Special Opps is an ensemble that knows that it's not enough to just play their parts accurately, that it needs to go *beyond* accuracy, that it needs to have a raw blazing fire to it in some spots and a gentle morning mist in others, as well as everything else in between.

My sincerest hope is to craft an album that is going to delight the living daylights out of everyone who is a fan of this music, especially those who have supported me for so long.  I also hope that it's going to be a giant fist in the face of the doubters and the naysayers I've met along the way.  Maybe that's wrong of me, but I don't care.

And what's the album going to be about? 

It's partially about war and peace, anger, dating in Los Angeles, lust, the 21st century, hope, caring, longing, wondering about the world, smiling, sadness, Ray Bradbury, red states and blue states, being true to one's self, self-doubt, getting back on your bicycle after taking a spill, forgiveness, failure, death, friendship, cryptic messages in fortune cookies, being great, F. Scott Fitzgerald, daydreams of fatherhood, being imperfect, passion, victory, and God. 

But mostly it's about true love, real life, and wonderful music.  Sweet, sweet music.

Music is the best.  I hope you all have a beautiful day.  I'm going to try to go back to sleep now.

-- Christopher


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Monday, May 16th, 2005]
Episode #38: Third Eye Opp

Chris Opperman Presents The Rock Gallery 
Every Tuesday Night (including this one) @ Level One!
6311 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA - 21+, $7
Happy Hour from 5 - 8 pm, Special Opps goes on at 9 pm!

In this episode:

 

* Oppy Takes Manhattan Saturday, July 9th @ The Lion's Den

It's official!  Somehow Andre' Cholmondeley of Project/Object and I managed to convince the management at The Lion's Den in New York City to give us an 80-minute set on a Saturday night even though I've never played a concert of my own music in New York before!  Since this is the first performance of my music on the East Coast in over 5 years and I will be backed up by several members of the ridiculously amazing Frank Zappa cover band Project/Object, you KNOW this isn't a show that you're going to want to miss!  In addition to my own music we will also be performing pieces by Steve Vai and Mike Keneally.

Tickets are $10 and can be ordered on-line at http://www.cegmusic.musictoday.com/LionsDen/calendar.aspx

Also, I know that there's a whole lot of you 973 peeps out there so if you could do me a huge favor and send me e-mails of every single promotion idea you have or come up with between now and then please let me know.  Obviously The Lion's Den is putting a lot of faith in the power of this music and I want to make sure that we don't let them down. 

Special thanks once again to Dr. Dot for the idea and for giving one of my CD's to Mr. Charlie Watts of THE ROLLING STONES last week after his massage!!!  She's curious to get his review and so am I.  Check out her website at www.drdot.com.

 

* SPECIAL OPPS Studio Session Update

Well, last weekend's studio sessions went SO WELL I can't even being to tell you how excited I am to be FINALLY making a brand new studio rock album.  So far I'd estimate that things are coming out about 2,000% better than even *I* imagined that they would.  I was a little concerned about the strange method engineer Neil Citron and I came up with to make this record happen but it turned out to give us an extraordinary flexibility as well as the ability to explore exotic sounds and take every section of every piece to it's logical extreme. 

In a nutshell, it sounds like what Special Opps would sound like if everyone in the band had at least three arms and two heads.  But I'm going to let Clark Freeman, who stopped in Sunday afternoon to reprise the role he played in "A Very Space Opera" last October tell you about it:

"I've known Chris for, what some people might call, a while.  His frenzied energy and wandering focus is summed up by most people who know him as an integral part of his powerhouse of musical ability.  I was lucky enough to
be asked into the studio this past week to record some tracks on his upcoming album, and Opperman opened up an entirely new door into his universe.

Recording at Steve's Vai's studio, I walked into a world that Chris has obviously dreamt of for a while, and probably lost plenty of sleep over.  His focus is nothing less than razor sharp, knowing exactly what notes he wants to hear
from his musicians as well as what kind of sound he wants to get from his engineer.  He never loses, however, his ability to throw an obstacle in for a performer, to keep everything fresh:

"I just want you to scream for a while. . . ."

His assembled crew for Special Opps, some of the most exciting musicians I have seen in a while, and his engineer Neil Citron (who is a god in a man's suit) are putting together an album that should shock, amaze, and teach it's listeners for quite a while to come.  I don't know about you, but I would get pretty damn excited. . . ."

-- Clark Freeman, May 12th, 2005

Thank you, Clark!  Well, we have several sessions to go before this album will be complete including basic tracks for the remaining three songs (the first song, the last song, and one that's going to go somewhere in the middle), a piano overdub session that will take place hopefully soon, and Jen Kuhn's cello overdub session when she gets back from Japan in June.  Boy is she ever going to be surprised!

For the record, the musicians who participated in the first sessions for the album were Craig Bunch on drums and percussion, Daren Burns on electric and fretless bass, Chris Spilsbury on electric guitar, Frank Macchia on flute, clarinet, and tenor saxophone.  Clark Freeman played the part of Lieutenant Commander Harris and I played the part of Captain Columbus and performed my basic tracks on the KORG Triton Extreme 88-key workstation keyboard.

Eternal thanks are due to Steve Vai for letting us use The Mothership while he's away on tour.  Without his (and Neil's) tremendous generosity, this album would not have been possible.

 

* "Beyond the Foggy Highway" Update

Just so you know, I haven't forgotten about finishing the live album!!!  Scott Chatfield and I will be getting together to do the third (and final!) round of edits for the album in the next couple weeks and local LA artist T.J. Moore is currently working on a beautiful painting for the cover.  We will get this out to you as soon as possible, I promise.

Johnny D. and I have also not forgotten about the live DVD.  We decided as a record company that it would be best to wait until after the release of the Special Opps studio album to release the DVD so we could focus our current promotion efforts on the LA shows, the upcoming NY show, the back catalog, and the Special Opps studio album.  We also have a few other DVD projects in the works which we will announce after we catch up to ourselves.  All things in due time!

 

* Kelda De-Tour Dates

My friend Kelda is currently on tour promoting her new album "Detour" on which I performed the track "Stop the Rain."  The album is available directly from www.kelda.net or www.cdbaby.com and if you live in any of these areas, you should strongly consider checking her out!

New York ~ the bitter end, tuesday, may 17th, 8pm sharp, 147 Bleecker St. (greenwich village), $5 cover
Boston, MA ~ borders, wednesday, may 18th, 5pm sharp, Rt. 9-300 Boylston St. (chestnut hill), free/all ages
Providence, RI ~ tazza, wednesday, may 18th , 9pm sharp, 250 Westminster St., $3 cover
Philadelphia, PA ~ the fire, thursday, may 19th, 9:30pm sharp, 412 W. Girard Ave., $6 cover
Washington, D.C. ~ staccato, friday, may 20th, 9pm sharp, 2006 18th St. NW, $5 cover
Williamsport, PA ~ coffee & tea room, saturday, may 21st, 8-10pm, 217 W. Fourth St., free/all ages

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print!  See ya!

-- Chris Opperman
 


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Tuesday, May 31st, 2005]
Episode #40: The Last Level One Show

In this episode:

Well, I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!  I spent mine working almost non-stop around the clock on a variety of projects that all need to get finished in the very near future so I can check them off my spreadsheet and attack the next wave of things that are coming in.  So, here's the update:

 

* The Last Level One Show (TONIGHT! Tuesday, May 31st @ 10pm) 

I know this is bad timing considering that Music Connection just released a very nice interview with me about my Level One nights (it's in the issue with Trent Reznor on the cover), but my last Level One show will be TONIGHT (6/1/05) with The Academy of Chess & Checkers at 8:00 pm, Jettson at 9:00 pm (I love them so much), and SPECIAL OPPS at 10 pm.  This will be followed by a dance party. 

Since it's going to be our last show for a while, it would really mean a lot to me if a lot of you would come out.  I know it's pretty short notice but I would really like to go out with a bang so please make it if you can.  If not, we'll be back eventually once I get everything else finished.  I just have way too much stuff going on right now to do a weekly right and I also want to start developing new music ideas I have for what will eventually become album #6.

 

* oppymusic.com 4.1 Update Coming This Week!

One of the things that we've been hard at work on is cleaning up the oppymusic.com site and getting it ready for the launch of our Internet Marketing Campaign on June 13th.  It's going to be a fairly massive update, cleaning up all the things that needed cleaning up and making everything perfect.  It will also have additional photos, a studio blog of the Special Opps sessions, and lots more cool stuff.

 

* Last Chance for the 3 for $30 Deal!

Thanks so much to everyone who has bought the current catalog this year!  Just FYI, when the oppymusic.com 4.1 update gets finished, the 3 for $30 deal will be gone and the CD's will revert back to their regular prices.  So if you've been sitting on the fence, this is your last chance to pick up the catalog at a discounted price!  Simply go to www.oppymusic.com to order, or shoot me an e-mail and we can do it that way if you prefer. 

 

* "Beyond the Foggy Highway" Update

As I said in my last e-mail update, I certainly haven't forgotten about the live album!  Scott Chatfield and I will be performing the final round of edits and making the CD master this Saturday, June 4th at Chatfield Manor in Leucadia, CA. T.J. Moore is working, working, working on the cover painting and we're going to do the artwork/layout design immediately afterwards.  That having been said, the official release date has been set for Tuesday, July 5th, so I'll have them just in time for the New York show!

 

* SPECIAL OPPS Studio Session Update #2

This Saturday, Clark (the drummer), Neil (the engineer), Johnny D. (the videographer), Kat (the singer), and myself (the composer) went into The Mothership to work on the last song for the Special Opps studio album, "Idaho Potato." 

Everyone did a wonderful job working on the song and I'm excited about finishing it when we get the piano overdub session going and Jen comes home from Japan to cut her cello part.  It's a really beautiful, meloncholy song and I really hope you enjoy it.  Neil Citron is going to overdub some dobro on it as well and I have a couple ideas on how to make the ridiculously difficult piano parts that bookend the piece even more ridiculous. 

You can check out some photos from that session at my MySpace profile at http://www.myspace.com/chrisopperman.

 

* Oppy in NY Tickets Still On Sale!

We're all getting more and more excited about the impending New York show this July!  I want to say thank you to everyone who is planning on traveling long distances to attend this show.  I'm really flattered that you think so much of my music that you're making a huge road trip out of it and I just want you to know that I'm going to personally make sure that it's worth every ounce of effort it takes for you to get there.  We're going to kick all your monster truckin' asses back to where you came from by the end of the show...but in a very musical way.

You can order your ticket on-line here: http://www.cegmusic.musictoday.com/LionsDen/calendar.aspx

Okay, back to work!  Music is the best.

-- Chris Opperman


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Monday, June 27th, 2005]

Episode #41: Oppy Takes Manhattan
Order now at http://www.oppymusic.com/.

 

Oppy @ The Lion's Den in NYC, Saturday, July 9th @ 9:30 PM

Opperman will be making his debut New York City performance in front of over 100 of his biggest fans on July 9th with the debut of the East Coast version of his band SPECIAL OPPS featuring several members of legendary Frank Zappa cover band Project/Object as well as a graduate from Paul Green's School of Rock (http://www.schoolofrock.com/).  They will be performing a long set consisting of fan favorites from all of Opperman's albums including the upcoming SPECIAL OPPS studio album as well as selected compositions by two of Opperman's mentors, Steve Vai and Mike Keneally.

The band will feature Chris Opperman on piano, Andre' Cholmondeley on electric guitar, Jeff Paitchell (from Opperman's hometown of Clifton, NJ) on guitar, Jordan "J-Ro" Shapiro on keyboards, Dave Johnsen on bass guitar, and 19 year-old phenom Eric Slick on drums. 

"I realize that some of you have been waiting 7 years for this concert and that some of you are traveling long distances and planning your vacations around this event.  I just want you to know that the band and myself are just as excited about this concert and this music as you are and that we are going to have one hell of a music party.  It is an honor and a privilege to finally be able to bring this music home and we will all be playing like we've never played before.  Get ready to have a great time!"

To order your tickets, go to http://www.cegmusic.musictoday.com/LionsDen/calendar.aspx.  The show is 18+ and tickets are $10 each. 

 

"Beyond the Foggy Highway" Preview on MySpace

Last week, mastering engineer Scott Chatfield burned the final master for Opperman's fourth album, "Beyond the Foggy Highway."  Also, local LA artist T.J. Moore completed two paintings for the artwork.  Once the graphic design phase is completed and the mechanical licenses are signed, the album will be sent to the manufacturing plant and will be showing up in your mailboxes!  Currently, there is an exclusive preview up on MySpace.com at www.myspace.com/chrisopperman which features 4 of the compositions on the album.  At 65 minutes, it clocks in as Opperman's longest effort to date and includes 17 songs which feature all of his Los Angeles ensembles from 2002-2004.

The album can be pre-ordered from http://www.oppymusic.com/.  All pre-orders will be individually signed and numbered and will include a unique one-of-a-kind sketch on the CD face by Chris Opperman.

 

Belgian Review of "Concepts of Non-linear Time"
by Peter Van Laarhoven of Vosselaar, Belgium for United Mutations

"Concepts of Non-linear Time" is Chris Opperman's latest album.  Or as the liner notes say: "This album is dedicated to everyone who has player or performed my music in the past, present and future."

This is one great album.  It's contemporary, modern music, combining very fine compositions with superb playing.  If you are familiar with Opperman's previous albums, you will probably be glad to hear that the grand piano still is the main instrument on this album.  Chris' playing is astonishing.  Just listen to "The Saddle Ranch" where he (and Mike Keneally) will take you for a rodeo ride, using various rhythmic and melodic elements.  Beautiful.

My favourite tracks are "The Walls are Coming Down" and "Dora's Aura," both featuring excellent vibraphone work by Ben Adams.  Mini-Moog fans on the other hand (and who isn't one) will be glad to hear that Marc Ziegenhagen is also present.  He does some rather psychedlic things on "Reviving Aeris."  Highly recommended.


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Monday, July 25th, 2005]

Episode #42: With a Little Help From My Friends
Order now at www.oppymusic.com!

New York Recap

Opperman's debut concert in New York City was a great success!  The band, which featured Opperman as well as Andre' Cholmondeley on electric guitar and vocals, Jeff Paitchell (from Opperman's hometown of Clifton, NJ) on electric guitar, Jordan "J-Ro" Shapiro on keyboards, Dave Johnsen on electric bass, and 18 year-old maniac Eric Slick on the drums, played the music with so much passion and fire that the excited audience couldn't help but love every second of it! 

They performed some of Opperman's most difficult music, including The 22nd Overture and The Park Bench Canal, as well as other compositions from all of Opperman's albums.  They also did a particularly smoking rendition of Tanya's Song (dedicated to Tanya Smith) and improvised a piece called Bender Dr., dedicated to a street in Clifton, NJ where Chris hung out a lot during his time off from college.  They also ended the concert with an exciting cover of Frank Zappa's composition Chunga's Revenge.  Baritone saxophonist C.J. DeAngelus (who has been playing Opperman's music since 1997) made a special guest appearance as did Dr. Dot on vocals (she was the one who suggested that Chris hire legendary Zappa cover band Project/Object to back him up for his NYC appearance).

Chris would like to thank all of the following people without whom the evening wouldn't have been nearly as successful: Andre' Cholmondeley, C.J. DeAngelus, Dr. Dot, Hugh Gilmartin @ Korg, Dave Johnsen, Kelda, Mike Keneally, Louis Lagonik, Daniel, Denise & Sarah Opperman, Kelvin Ortega, The Paitchell Family, the cast of Repo, Jordan Shapiro, Eric Slick, The Smith Family, The Thelin Family, John Von Achen, and Erin Woodward.

For those of you who would like to read more about the show, Chris has posted a blog entry at www.oppymusic.com about it.  Also, his sister //Sarah took some pictures which you can see at http://so.bitless.net/fotos/20050709_oppynyc/.  The drummer's mom wrote a blog entry of her own which you can see here: http://inherownwrite.blogspot.com/2005/07/chris-opperman-and-eric-slick-at-lions.html and finally, Dr. Dot wrote her own blog entry which you can read at www.myspace.com/drdot.  Whew!

The show was also videotaped and tape-recorded and snippets will be posted to www.oppymusic.com sometime soon.  Stay tuned for future tour dates!

 

Beyond the Foggy Highway Release Date Set for Tuesday, August 30th!

The artwork for Opperman's first live album, "Beyond the Foggy Highway," has been completed and will be sent off to the manufacturing plant this week.  The album will be officially released by Purple Cow Records on Tuesday, August 30th although those of you who pre-ordered the album will hopefully get yours a little early.  If you haven't pre-ordered the album yet, there is still time and all pre-orders will be autographed and will include a personalized sketch on the CD face by Chris Opperman.  Here is the ordering link:

http://www.madphat.com/cgi-bin/sc/order.cgi?storeid=*108b9149c9069a607f10&dbname=products&itemnum=3432&function=add

The live album features solo performances, duets with guitarist Andre LaFosse, and full band performances after the birth of Special Opps.  The musicians who appear on the album are Andre LaFosse on guitar, Jen Kuhn on electric cello, Isaac Slape on bass guitar, Kevin Dooley on drums, Kahlil Sabbagh on drums and vibraphone, Dann Friedman on tenor saxophone, Todd Carey on guitar, and Kat Parsons makes a special appearance singing her composition "To Return to You."

 

SPECIAL OPPS Studio Session Update

On Saturday, Special Opps cellist Jen Kuhn entered the studio to begin tracking her cello parts for the Special Opps studio album.  The session was produced by Opperman and engineered by Neil Citron at The Mothership Studios in Los Angeles.  You can read more about the session at www.oppymusic.com.

 

That's all for now!  Music is the best and more news will be coming soon.


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Monday, September 26th, 2005]

Episode #44: Inside the Porpentine
Order now
at www.oppymusic.com!

* "Beyond the Foggy Highway" to be (finally) released in October!

Yes!  The mechanical license issues in regards to "Someone to Watch Over Me" have been worked out and provided that NOTHING ELSE goes wrong between now and the time the CD's ACTUALLY arrive at my doorstep all of you wonderful people who pre-ordered the album and have been waiting will finally get your copies.  Whew!  If you haven't pre-ordered yours yet, now would be an excellent time!  Just go to www.oppymusic.com and do it!

Now if I could just get the studio album finished, we'd be in really good shape.  

* What I Have Been Doing

I realize I've been keeping a low profile lately, but I've just taken to keeping to myself, I suppose.  However, I have been real busy working on the new Keneally orchestrations for the Peter Tiehus/Metropole Orkest album which have been coming out nicely.  

I also did a transcription project for a group called TaTu which Interscope needed turned around in a big hurry, so I turned it around in a big hurry. 

And what else?  I'm working on a brand new piece called "The Porpentine" that I'm VERY proud of so far.  I played it for my friend Whitney who really loved it.  She has good taste, so it must be good. 

Although everyone's been asking me, I don't have any intentions of playing another show anytime soon.  I guess my answer is that I'll PROBABLY play a show on my birthday (Sunday, November 20th) to keep with tradition. 

However, Project/Object leader Andre' Cholmondeley and I are currently planning some kind-of Northeast tour to happen next May with at least Andre' and Jeff Paitchell on guitar and Eric Slick on drums.  They're all so determined to do it that I suspect they'd just as soon go without me if they had to! 

Of course the big question there is whether or not the Special Opps studio album will be finished in time for the tour and the answer is probably not unless some kind-of miracle happens.  Even if we got the album recorded and mixed in time there's still the question of the mastering session, the costs of getting the packaging together, and then manufacturing costs.  Then again, I do live in Hollywood, and miracles do happen here. 

Okay, that's everything I have to say.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY MOM and my friend MARA (the singer/songwriter, not the Buddhist devil) today and I sincerely hope that everyone has a wonderful Fall season.

Music is the best.

-- Chris Opperman

P.S. I literally just got this e-mail from cellist Jen Kuhn:

"I'm going to be guest starring on Boston Legal this Tuesday, September 27th on ABC at 10pm.  I play a mute cellist who must "speak" her testimony by playing the cello on the witness stand. Boston Legal is a law show that stars William Shatner, Candice Bergen, and James Spader.  Heather Locklear and Rupert Everett will also be guest starring in this episode.  Please watch/tape/tivo!!!!!!!!!"


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Tuesday, October 25th, 2005]

Episode #45: "Beyond the Foggy Highway" SHIPPING NOW!
Order now at www.oppymusic.com!

Preview new tracks and read Opperman's blog at www.myspace.com/chrisopperman.
Opperman's music is available on iTunes and other digital music services.
Chris Opperman plays KORG keyboards and uses Finale music notation software.

 

* Beyond the Foggy Highway SHIPPING NOW!

Hello!  This is just a brief note to let you all know that I spent my weekend drawing pictures and signing CD's for all of you cool people who pre-ordered the live album!  The CD's came on Friday and I'm VERY pleased with how it all came out.  It's a very cool album and features the immense musicianship of Andre LaFosse, Jen Kuhn, Isaac Slape, Kevin Dooley, Kahlil Sabbagh, Dann Friedman, Todd Carey, and singer/songwriter Kat Parsons.  We will be doing some features on oppymusic.com on the album in the coming months and if you would like to write a fan review for the website, we will post your review!

If you'd still like to get your "pre-order" in, you have about a week left before I stop signing them, so you can either e-mail me here or order on-line at oppymusic.com and I'll take care of you.

I hope that you're all doing well and that everyone's families are safe with all the wacky weather and what-not. 

Also, Special Opps WILL be performing on Sunday, November 20th, which is my birthday, at a location yet to be announced.  With the live album finally out and everything, we'll have lots to celebrate. 

Everybody booze up and riot for the Lord.

-- Chris Opperman


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Friday, November 11th, 2005]
Episode #46: Thank God it´s Friday!

So the most important thing that I have to say, which is only going to mean something to about 10% of you since most of you don´t live anywhere near Los Angeles, is that I will be turning 27 on Sunday, November 20th and that we will be having a HUGE party at Rusty´s Surf Ranch on the Santa Monica Pier (236 Santa Monica Pier to be exact) to celebrate the end of my 26th year. Good riddance, says I!  Special Opps West Coast will be performing a 90-minute set and my intentions for the show are to a. play a lot of piano and keyboard solos, b. debut some new material, and c. make up a bunch of material on the spot.  After the show, I plan on laughing a lot and getting fairly sloshed, and I sincerely hope that you will join me.  Doors open at 7:30 and downbeat is at 8:30 sharp!  There´s no opening act so I really mean it!  Don´t be late!

If you can´t make the show but you´d still like to do something nice for my birthday, then please order an album or download a couple of your favorite compositions of mine from iTunes so I can raise some money to try to finish my studio album next year.  I would really appreciate it.  And if you´re broke and lonely and don´t have anyone to love you except for a slimy frog and your laptop, then just go to my MySpace page (www.myspace.com/chrisopperman) and listen.  Cool?  Cool.

NPS Radio Holland to Feature Opperman´s Music Sunday, November 13th

This Sunday, creative catalyst Co de Kloet will be featuring my music on his radio show!  He will be playing selections from my new album "Beyond the Foggy Highway" as well as selections from "The Universe Will Provide," which is the Keneally/Metropole Orkest album that I orchestrated with Keneally in 2003.  The show begins at approx. 23oo hours Dutch time which translates to 5 pm Eastern Time and 2 pm Pacific Time and you can listen on-line at www.4fm.nl.  Co plays my music regularly on his show as well as a cornucopia of other fantastic musicians, so it´s definitely worth checking out any time.

Jeff Buckley Tribute Concert - Thursday, November 17th

For those of you who didn´t see the ad in the LA Weekly, next Thursday I will be performing at the 4th Annual Jeff Buckley Birthday Tribute Concert.  For those of you who don´t know who Jeff Buckley is, I´m not even going to tell you anything about him except that you ought to stop reading this and go buy his "Grace" album.  I will be performing several songs that evening with a variety of people and I´ve been given the honor of being featured on the last song before the big finale.  Don´t worry, I´m not going to sing!!!

Thank You List 2005

All of the time I spent smiling or laughing this year was time that I spent with all of these people whom I love so much (presented in alphabetical order):

My parents, my grandfather, and my sister, Cleo Antonelli, Carla Bley & the Lost Chords, Cedar Boschan, Craig Bunch, Daren Burns, Michael Canaan, William Caruso, Chris Cargill, Scott Chatfield, Andre´ Cholmondeley, Neil Citron, Tim Clark, C.J. DeAngelus, John Digilio, Cassidy Freeman, Clark Freeman, Becki Gallagher, Jeff "Pesci" Gray, Bernie Gudvi, Mara Hitner, Ping Hu, Jeau James, Dave Johnsen, Arden Kaywin, Mike Keneally, Stephanie Kelley, Julie Kenol, Gabi Kochlani, Jen Kuhn, Andre LaFosse, Louis Lagonik, Joanne Lerch-Sloneem, Lynise Levine, Brooke Lyons, Frank Macchia, Talia Mays, Suzie Mickelwait, Andy Mitton, Melinda Mondrala, T.J. Moore, Cyndhi Mora, Whitney Morris, Kelda Nelson, Kelvin Ortega, Jeff Paitchell, Blake Paulson, Sam Roberts, Nell Rutledge, Anthony Sarageuta, Jonathan Schwartz, Jordan "J-Ro" Shapiro, Zach Sinick, Eric Slick, Tanya Smith, Chris Spilsbury, Cosette Trombino, Zachary Walman, Sean Westergaard, Tiffiny Whitney, Brooke Wilkes, Steve Vai, and John Von Achen who told Steve Vai on my 21st birthday in 1999 in Boston that he really enjoyed Steve´s new album "The Comfort Zone."

And last, but not least, I´d like to thank you for your interest in my music.

-- Chris Opperman


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Monday, December 5th, 2005]

Episode #47: Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful?

Order now at www.oppymusic.com!
Preview new tracks and read Opperman's blog at www.myspace.com/chrisopperman.
Opperman's music is available on
iTunes and other digital music services.

Chris Opperman plays KORG keyboards and uses Finale music notation software.

 

* Oppy Music Holiday Sale

Hey there!  We are having a sale on all my CD's this month in celebration of the holidays.  You can get any 2 for $20, any 3 for $30 or all 4 for $40!  No shipping charge in the continental U.S.!  They makes great stocking stuffers.  You can access the sale here:

http://www.onesheet.com/chrisopperman.html

If you have any trouble ordering, or any questions, feel free to e-mail me!  This sale will last until January 2nd, 2006, and we recommend that you order by the 17th to get them in time for Christmas.

 

* DVD Bootleg Club, Vol. I: Special Opps Live @ Level One 8/24/04

Johnny D. and I finished putting together the first entry in our DVD Bootleg Club of the 8/24/04 show at Level One in Los Angeles.  This was Andre LaFosse's first performance with the band as the electric guitarist and also features Jen Kuhn on electric cello, Isaac Slape on electric bass, and Kevin Dooley on the drums.  Special guest Kat Parsons appears on her song "To Return to You."  The DVD will also contain all of the short-form videos that appeared on oppymusic.com throughout the second half of 2004 and early 2005 which also features Todd Carey (formerly Lieberman) on guitar and Mike Keneally on guitar and keyboards.  We were hoping to get this out before Christmas, and we still might, but we're cutting it very close so we're not accepting any pre-orders until I actually have the DVD's in my hand.  We have a couple other volumes of the series planned for 2006, and I sincerely hope that you enjoy them!

 

* Reviews of Foggy Highway and the 11/20/05 Concert!

Volkmar Mantei of Germany's Ragazzi progressive rock magazine wrote a nice review of both Concepts of Non-linear Time and Beyond the Foggy Highway which you can check out here:

http://www.ragazzi-music.de/opperman05.html

Also, Tiffiny Kaye Whitney wrote an EXTREMELY flattering article of our most recent show here:

http://www.lasplash.com/Entertainment/Special_Opps_Rocks_Santa_Monica_Pier.php

The photos were taken by the lovely and talented Cassidy Freeman.

 

* New New Music Music Music

I realize that I haven't been performing very often lately, and that's mostly because I've been doing a whole lot of writing.  Currently, I'm working on the last piece for the studio album (tentatively titled "The Sorcerer's Apprentice") called The Porpentine.  We debuted the first several movements of it at the 11/20/05 show and we also recorded the intro to it at The Mothership a couple of weeks ago.  It's going to be quite the epic, probably clocking in at around 15-20 minutes, and I really think it's the greatest thing I've ever written.  I'm currently orchestrating it for full orchestra and that has been my musical obsession for the last two months.  I was really proud of Special Opps for performing a huge chunk of it a couple weeks ago, because it is ridiculously difficult (we spent almost all of our rehearsal time just on that one piece).

I've also started writing songs for the album that's going to come after the one that I'm currently working on.  I'll be pretty jazzed when the day finally comes that I can make records as quickly as I can write them, but in the meantime, I'll just keep augmenting my catalog.  The two latest editions are two rock songs, complete with lyrics.  The first is called "That You Didn't Say Yesterday" that I think rocks pretty hard, and the second one is a humorous look at dating in Los Angeles called "Brenda, You're a Coward."  The challenge on that album for me is going to be writing all songs with lyrics instead of only instrumentals, although I plan on finally recording "Music for the Coronation of the Royalty King" for it.

Every once in awhile, my dad or Tanya will ask me when I plan on recording "Tanya's Song" and the answer is someday.  I realize that there are two other volumes in the Oppy Music trilogy that I haven't recorded yet and although changes will obviously need to be made to them to update them to the 21st century, I haven't forgotten. 

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and music is the best!  2006 is going to be a big year.

-- Chris


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Sunday, December 11th, 2005]

Episode #48: "Lotus Feet" Nominated for a GRAMMY!

Oppy Music on Sale for the Holidays! www.onesheet.com/chrisopperman.html
Preview new tracks and read Opperman's blog at www.myspace.com/chrisopperman.
Opperman's music is available on
iTunes and other digital music services.
Chris Opperman plays
KORG keyboards and uses Finale music notation software.

* "Lotus Feet" Nominated for a GRAMMY!

* Solo Piano Recital Wednesday Night

 

* "Lotus Feet" Nominated for a GRAMMY!

Okay, I realize that it hasn't even been a week since my last mailing list update, but I hope you'll excuse the intrusion for this very special announcement.

The composition "Lotus Feet" on Steve Vai's "Real Illusions: Reflections" album which was released this year was a live performance featuring Steve Vai & the Metropole Orkest with special guests Chris Opperman on piano and Bryan Beller on bass as performed in Holland in 2004.  Anyway, the exciting news is the track has been nominated by the GRAMMYS for "Best Rock Instrumental Performance!" 

It's the first time that a track that I played on has been nominated for a GRAMMY and that's pretty exciting.  I sure hope Steve wins this time.  Leading the nominations this year are the lovely Miss Mariah Carey and the horrifically overrated Kanye Whatever. 

* Solo Piano Recital Wednesday Night

Also, for those of you who are interested, I booked a last minute show at Masquer's Cabaret because I owed the booker a show.  So, if you are the type of Oppy fan who wishes I would just wear a nice suit and play the piano for an hour at a reasonably quiet and respectful venue, this is the gig for you.  It's Wednesday night, I go on a little before 8:30 and it's at 8334 West 3rd St., West Hollywood, CA.  Cover is $7 and I believe it's all ages but you may want to double check.

Happy holidays!

-- Chris


February 3, 2006, from Glenn Holmes:

CHRIS OPPERMAN PERFORMS ON GRAMMY-NOMINATED RECORDING

Musical Virtuoso Opperman Is Guest Artist on Instrumental Song From Legendary Guitarist Steve Vai

Award-winning composer/pianist Chris Opperman has a lot to be smiling about these days. Recently, Opperman appeared on "Lotus Feet," an instrumental song on Real Illusions: Reflections, the newest album from multiple-Grammy winner Steve Vai. 

Composed by Vai and performed by Vai with Holland's Metropole Orkest, featuring Chris Opperman on piano, "Lotus Feet" has been nominated in the Best Rock Instrumental Performance category of the Grammy Awards, airing worldwide on February 8, 2006. 

Opperman's musical ability first came to Vai's attention through Opperman's critically acclaimed 2001 solo piano album, Klavierstucke. Vai commented, "These days it's rare to hear a person squeeze the most out of the performance potential of a non-electronic instrument. On this album, Chris explores harmony, melody and virtuosity on the piano with lofty and magnificent insight."

In 2003, Mike Keneally, who gained fame performing with Frank Zappa, was commissioned by Co de Kloet of NPS Radio Holland to compose a piece for full orchestra to be performed by the Metropole Orkest. Keneally tapped Opperman to be his co-orchestrator, and the collaboration resulted in the album The Universe Will Provide, named one of the Best Albums of 2004 by the Internet's All-Music Guide, a definitive music resource used widely within the industry. 

In a similar commission, Opperman was hired by Vai to orchestrate some of Vai's music, including "For the Love of God," a Vai signature song. Vai also hired Opperman as a guest artist on acoustic piano for the 2004 live-performance recordings of this material, which included "Lotus Feet." This resulted in the version on Vai's album that is now nominated for a Grammy. 

In addition to his work with Vai and Keneally, Opperman has just released his fourth album, Beyond the Foggy Highway, on his Purple Cow Records label. Beyond the Foggy Highway is a collection of live tracks from Opperman's 2002-2004 Los Angeles-area performances. "Opperman's playing is fantastic," raves the All-Music Guide, "and really shows that Chris Opperman is not only a great player and composer, but a fine improviser and a talented bandleader as well."

Opperman's other three albums include 1998's rock album Oppy Music, Vol. I: Purple, Crayon, a popular favorite on college radio stations. The album was produced by Mike Keneally, who noted that "Opperman's music occupies a hitherto unexplored region between rock, jazz, and contemporary classical music." 

Exploring the more classical aspects of his music, Opperman followed up with his solo classical album of acoustic piano music, Klavierstucke. In 2004, Opperman released a collection of duets, Concepts of Non-linear Time, which features collaborations with Cirque du Soleil violinist Robert Thompson, Mike Keneally and others. 

Opperman is currently working on his fifth release, a studio rock album. His future plans also include a fall 2006 tour with his band Special Opps, which will feature members of the acclaimed Zappa cover band Project/Object.

Opperman's music is available for purchase from several online retailers including iTunes, cdbaby.com, amazon.com, and from his Website, oppymusic.com. On February 8, 2006, the Grammy Awards international broadcast airs on CBS affiliates nationwide.


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Friday, February 24th, 2006]

Episode #49: The Unset Trip/Gigs Galore

Preview new tracks and read Opperman's blog at www.myspace.com/chrisopperman.
Opperman's music is available on
iTunes and other digital music services.
Chris Opperman plays
KORG keyboards and uses Finale music notation software.

Well, it's 4:30 in the morning and I'm taking a quick break from working on the 7th movement of "The Porpentine" which is called "The Brightly Shining Sea" to briefly update you all on everything.

So Steve Vai's "Lotus Feet" didn't win for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, but I had an excellent time at the Grammy's and today in my mailbox (courtesy of my friend Alyson) I received a copy of a full-page newspaper article from the Clifton Journal (the newspaper from my hometown) which appeared on the front of the "Arts & Entertainment" section about my music and about the Grammy's.

The story was also picked up by several on-line progressive rock sites, and I would like to quickly thank Laurel Fishman and Jason Feinberg who really helped me get the word out.

Now, some live dates:

2006/03/01 Warren Cuccurullo @ The Viper Room - 11:30 pm

Guitarist Warren Cuccurullo, formerly of Frank Zappa's band (Joe's Garage-era), Missing Persons, and Duran Duran will be performing on March 1st with his ImAgiNEoRKeStRa which will also include former Zappa bandmates including superstar drummer Terry Bozzio (!), Peter Wolf, and a host of other people including myself.  The set list needs to remain a surprise, but it's going to be a very fun (and very bizarre) show!

2006/03/04 OppyArt @ The Bohemian Shindig - 8pm - 1am

The first ever gallery featuring my artwork will be at the sophomore installment of the Acoustic Playhouse's Bohemian Shindig.  I will be displaying a few of my paintings and drawings at this event alongside some of my favorite local painters including T.J. Moore (who painted the cover of "Beyond the Foggy Highway") and Lisa Bloodgood.

2006/03/29 SPECIAL OPPS LIVE: Knitting Factory - Alterknit Lounge - 9pm

It's been a while since we performed, but that's mostly because I've been in the shed working on a lot of new music which we will be debuting at this show, including "That You Didn't Say Yesterday," selections from "The Porpentine," and a new song about how much fun it isn't to try to date girls in Los Angeles called "Brenda, You're a Coward."  It's going to be a really good time and it would mean a lot to me personally to see you there.

Okay, I can't stand being away from "The Brightly Shining Sea" anymore.  So it's back to the piano with me.  Music is the best.

-- Chris Opperman


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Friday, March 23, 2006]  

SPECIAL OPPS Live - Wednesday Night @ 9 pm - Knitting Factory LA!

SPECIAL OPPS: WEST COAST EDITION

LIVE @ THE KNITTING FACTORY ALTERKNIT LOUNGE

THIS COMING WEDNESDAY NIGHT!

(March 29th - 9 pm / all ages - $8)

2006/03/29 Special Opps - concert 'the knitting factory', hollywood, la, ca, usa

featuring

They will be performing a variety of Opperman´s compositions from the past, present, and future including several movements of "The Porpentine," an epic work (scaled down from full orchestra to rock ensemble) that Opperman has been working on for the last six months.

FREE poster of Opperman´s painting "EnnEmmEss" with admission!

Music Connection will be at the show to review it, and we will be videotaping it for possible future release.  So we all hope that you can come down and be a part of the music and the fun!

The Knitting Factory is located at 7721 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood, CA. 

www.oppymusic.com

www.myspace.com/chrisopperman

Music is the best.


2006/05/02

SPECIAL OPPS Live Tonight @ 3rd Street

Hey everyone!

Sorry for the really short notice on this, but I didn't have a confirmation for this gig until yesterday and I didn't want to promote a gig I wasn't 100% sure we were playing, but we are playing it and hope you can make it!

SPECIAL OPPS
L.A. Music Awards Showcase

Tonight (May 2nd, 2006) - 8 pm

The Monsoon Cafe
1212 3rd St Promenade 
Santa Monica, CA 90401-1308

I plan on playing a lot of piano since they have a grand piano there.  It'll be real fun.

Also, the current issue of Music Connection has a very flattering review of our last Knitting Factory show that you should check out.  I'll be sending out a more formal update soon.  Hope you're all doing well.  Music is the best.

Chris Opperman


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Monday, June 12th, 2006]

Episode #52: The Brightly Shining Sea

Preview new tracks and read Opperman's blog at www.myspace.com/chrisopperman.
Opperman's music is available on iTunes and other digital music services.
Chris Opperman plays KORG keyboards and uses Finale music notation software.

SPECIAL OPPS Video Preview on YouTube

On May 22nd, I went back into the studio at Universal Music Publishing Group to cut the first round of piano overdubs for the Special Opps studio album.  Mike Fennel engineered the session, which was really fun for me, and my friend Sean Kinney videotaped the proceedings.  Over Memorial Day weekend, my friend Johnny D. and I put together a video for those of you who would like a preview of the music to come:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhkzVGNlgKg

Tonight I'll be headed back to The Mothership Studios with Neil Citron who will be plugging the piano parts in with the rest of the main tracks.  On July 3rd, I'll be hitting UMPG again for the second round of piano overdubs as well as performing "Haasis," which is the absurdly difficult solo piano piece that begins the album.  At that point, the album will be over 50% complete! 

 

"The Porpentine" Edging Towards Completion

Speaking of completing things, I am about 85% finished with the composition phase of "The Porpentine" which is the composition that will end the studio album.  The first 5 movements are all complete and orchestrated, and the ending is complete and orchestrated.  There are a couple movements that I've been having to wrestle with, but I have given myself the beginning of October as a deadline for completion, which would be about 1 year after I began work on the piece.  Although we've been performing sections of it live as a 6 piece, the composition is for full orchestra plus rock ensemble and has 12 distinct movements, which are:

  1. Behind a World of Curtains

  2. Journey Through the Snow and the Early Twilight

  3. Thessaly Calls Down the Moon

  4. Breakfast in the Forest of Tweeners

  5. My Little Judas/The Black Guard

  6. The Citadel of the Cuckoo

  7. Playing the Game of You

  8. The Brightly Shining Sea

  9. Waiting for the Moon to Rise

  10. The Breaking of the Heirogram

  11. Morpheus Unmakes the Land

  12. Flight of the Cuckoo/The Dorothy Option

The piece will be about 20 minutes long when finished and will no doubt be the greatest thing I have ever written in my life, mostly because I've been working so hard on it for so long.  Recording it is going to be quite the adventure!

"The Universe Will Provide" and "Freak Out! 40th Anniversary Celebration" on NPS Radio Holland

There are two specials coming up on NPS Radio Holland you should look out for!  The first is a broadcast of a live performance of "The Universe Will Provide," composed by Mike Keneally and orchestrated by Mike Keneally and myself, from earlier in the year.  That will take place on Monday, June 26th @ 3 pm Pacific Time and 6 pm Eastern Time, and you can listen live on WebRadio @ http://omroep.nl/nps/output/4fm.html.  The second one is a special radio documentary that Co de Kloet is putting together to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the release of the "Freak Out!" album, which was the first release by Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention, and is widely accepted as the first true "alternative rock" album.  It was also the first double-LP in the world of rock as well as the first "concept album."  In fact, this was one of the albums that inspired Sir Paul McCartney to do "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."  I have been working with Co to interview some of the people who worked on the album and who were around at the time, including Carl Franzoni and Roy Estrada.  Some info (in Dutch) is below:

VEERTIG JAAR FREAK OUT!

Het is veertig jaar geleden dat de eerste dubbel-elpee in de geschiedenis van de popmuziek uitkwam: Freak Out....de debuut plaat van The Mothers Of Invention. Een voor die tijd, en wellicht nog steeds, bizar, schokkend, onvoorspelbaar en muzikaal innovatief ensemble rond Frank Zappa, die daarmee in één keer zijn naam als de Dali van de popmuziek vestigde. Vanuit de jarenlange traditie die de NPS opbouwde waar het de muziek van Zappa betreft, staat Co de Kloet de hele maand juli op zondagavond stil bij de 40e verjaardag van deze unieke plaat. De zeldzame mono versie is het uitgangspunt: naast relevante muziek uit de periode vlak voor de release van Freak Out (juli 1966), de stereo versie van toen en de vele remasters die FZ zelf uitbracht, zijn er gesprekken met "oorgetuigen", waaronder Frits Boer, Pamela Zarubica (alias Suzy Creamcheese), Jimmy Carl Black, Roy Estrada en Carl Franzoni.

It can happen here, op Radio 4FM!

Een programma van Co de Kloet, met medewerking van Chris Opperman, Marc Broer en Menno Kalmann.

 

Hosting "Don't Call Us Tori"

As if all of that weren't enough, I have been hosting the "Don't Call Us Tori" showcases @ Karma Coffeehouse (1644 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028) for the past couple of months and have been having a wonderful time.  "Don't Call Us Tori" was founded by Shannon Hurley (who is a very talented songwriter in her own right) and Steve Leavitt.  They put all the shows together which are broadcast live at nextbighit.com and I will be hosting this month's showcase on  June 24th.  I'm really excited to see Jamie & Chris Cargill from Riddle the Sphinx whom I have heard before, and I'm also excited to hear the artist's I haven't heard before!  Shannon & Steve always do a great job of finding very talented female artists for their showcases:

08:00 Jamie Blythe  www.myspace.com/jamieblythemusic
08:45 Chris Gargill   www.riddlethesphinx.com
09:30 Michele Jusko   www.myspace.com/michelejusko
10:15 Jaime Wyatt   www.jaimewyatt.com

Best of all, it's free!

 

Okay, enough is enough!  Back to bed with me.  I hope you all have a wonderful week and music is the best.

--  Chris Opperman


Hello,

Just wanted to let you know that my band SPECIAL OPPS will be performing LIVE @ The Palmer Room next Tuesday the 25th (a week from today) with a special 75-minute set from 8:00 - 9:15.  The band will feature myself, special guest Scheila Gonzalez (recently back from the Zappa Plays Zappa tour) on soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones, plus my regular rhythm section of Chris Spilsbury on guitar, Daren Burns on bass, and Craig Bunch on drums.

We will be performing some new selections including a couple jams I composed specifically for this show.  There will also be some surprises and other special guests.  The show is being filmed for the pilot episode of IndieAppeal with Shannon B. along with the other artists performing that evening, but we're going to be the first band for the first show, and I think that's pretty cool.

SPECIAL OPPS - Tuesday, July 25th @ 8 pm - 21+/$10 cover
The Palmer Room (behind Cucina Paradiso)
3387 Motor Avenue (at Woodbine)
Los Angeles, CA 90034
USA

I really hope to see you there!  The next announcement will have DVD pre-ordering information for the first entry in our "DVD Bootleg Club," plus how you can order the poster of my "EnnEmmEss" painting.

Music is the best!

-- Chris Opperman


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Monday, June 12th, 2006]

Episode #53: Special Opps: Live @ Level One DVD Pre-sale!

You can preview new tracks, pre-order the Special Opps DVD, and read Opperman's blog at www.myspace.com/chrisopperman.
Opperman's music is available on iTunes and other digital music services.
Chris Opperman plays KORG keyboards and uses Finale music notation software.
Oppy will be sitting in with Kelda this Tuesday, Sept. 26th @ 8 pm @ Hotel Cafe.
Oppy will be hosting "Don't Call Us Tori" this Saturday, Sept. 30th @ 8 pm @ Karma Coffeehouse.

* SPECIAL OPPS: Live @ Level One "Bootleg" DVD

Hello!  Last night, I changed the video on my [MySpace] profile to a special preview of the first entry in our "Chris Opperman DVD Bootleg Series."

The first volume contains the entire August 24th, 2004 concert featuring myself on piano, Andre LaFosse on electric guitar, Jen Kuhn on electric cello, Isaac Slape on electric bass, and Kevin Dooley on the drums.  My friend Kat Parsons also appears on the DVD singing her beautiful song "To Return to You."

Also included on the DVD are hi-res versions of all the short form videos Johnny D. and I uploaded to my website throughout 2004 and 2005 which were recorded mostly at Room 5 and other places.  It also has the "Bender Dr." video from the July, 2005 New York City show.  The musicians featured in the bonus videos include everyone mentioned above plus Mike Keneally, Todd Carey, Andre' Cholmondeley, Jeff Paitchell, Eric Slick, Clark Freeman, Dave Johnsen, and Jordan Shapiro.  The video was shot by Johnny D. and Steve Laub, except the "Bender Dr." video which was shot by Jeff Paitchell's father.

It's a really fun DVD and the proceeds are going to go towards the recording sessions for the Special Opps studio album (w/"The Porpentine"), so I would really appreciate it if you ordered yourself one! 
As an added incentive, the price for the pre-ordered copies will be only $10 (plus shipping).  Once the DVD is released, the price will be increased to $12.50 (plus shipping).

Track list (8/24/04 show): Johannah / Haasis / Beware of the Random Factor / Miles Behind / Electric Jihad / Sophia's Dream / Kamp Keneally / Tanya's Song / To Return to You 
Bonus videos: White Willow (my personal favorite) / To Return to You / No Drinks for Libbie / Miles Behind / Parcelona / Bender Dr.

You can order the DVD (and all my CD's) direct through my MySpace page which is www.myspace.com/chrisopperman. And if you have any trouble ordering, please write me back and I'll help!

Thanks so much and music is the best!

-- Chris

Also, if you're around Tuesday night, you should come to The Hotel Cafe to see my friend Kelda perform @ 8 pm sharp.  I will be sitting in on her composition "Stop the Rain" (available on iTunes) which sounded quite breezy and natural in rehearsal today.  Antonio Carlos Jobim would be proud.


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - 2007 04 26: live at the baked potato]  

Good morning, everyone!

Just writing to let you know that I will be performing Sunday night solo and with my band Special Opps!  The band's been working overtime to make sure everything is super-tight and a great and hilarious time will be had by all.  Hope to see you there!

An Evening with Chris Opperman and Special Opps
THE BAKED POTATO
THIS Sunday, April 29th - Starting at 9pm
3787 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Studio City, CA 91604
$10 cover

The solo set will consist of pieces from 2001's "Klavierstucke" album as well as one of the new works I composed for "The Trojan Women" performances in NYC earlier this month.

The full band set will consist of pieces from all of my albums, including "The Lionheart," which we are currently mixing.

Did I mention that it's going to ROCK?  ^_^

In music we trust,

Chris Opperman


[Chris Opperman Mailing List - Monday, March 26th, 2007] 
Episode #54: The Trojan Women - Live in NYC - April 11-15

Opperman's music is available on iTunes and other digital music services.
www.myspace.com/chrisopperman

Hello, everyone. It's been awhile and I hope that you are well.  I will be performing several concerts in NYC in the second week of April featuring over a half-hour's worth of brand new material I've written over the last several weeks for Pace University's production of the classic Greek tragedy "The Trojan Women" by Euripides.  Although it's not exactly the feel-good play of the millenium, I've come up with some very beautifully sad melodies for the occasion and hope to get the opportunity to share them with you.

THE TROJAN WOMEN 
By Euripides

Directed by R. D. Woertendyke 
featuring original music by Chris Opperman 

A biting indictment of war, this Greek classic tracks the fate of it´s most innocent victims, the women and children of Troy, at the hands of their Greek conquerors.

APRIL 11 - 15 
Wed. to Sat. at 8:00; and Sat. & Sun. at 2:00 
The Schimmel Center for the Arts 
Spruce St. between Gold St. & Park Row, NYC. 
Tickets are $8 for students, $12 for adults.  For reservations, call 212-346-1954.

Also, for those of you wondering when I'll be performing in Los Angeles again:

AN EVENING WITH CHRIS OPPERMAN AND SPECIAL OPPS

SUNDAY, APRIL 29 
Doors open @ 7, show starts @ 9. Cover is $10.
The Baked Potato 
3787 Cahuenga Blvd West. 
Studio City, CA 91604 

The first set will feature performances of my solo classical works as well as selected works by Erik Satie and Nobuo Uematsu, among others.

The second set will be a mainly instrumental rock performance by my band Special Opps, with extra guests.  You won't want to miss it!  :D

 

In music we trust,

-- Christopher


2007 11 07

[Chris Opperman] Chris Opperman Birthday Bash - November 20th - Room 5

Good morning, everyone!

Just writing to let you know about the big concert coming up on my birthday!  We're doing a video shoot for it and it would really be great to have a lot of people, so I sincerely hope you can make it! 

Chris Opperman Birthday Bash
SPECIAL OPPS w/Special Guest Mara
ROOM 5
Tuesday, November 20th
Music starts @ 8, we go on @ 9
LONG SET - FULL BAND
143 N. La Brea, 2nd Floor - Los Angeles, CA 90036
$8 cover
featuring the debut performance of The Kentucky Years as well as performances by Kelda, Chris Cargill from Riddle the Sphinx, Shannon Hurley, and more!

-- Chris


2007 11 19

[Chris Opperman] Birthday Bash Tomorrow Night @ Room 5!

It's tomorrow night!  All the cool kids are going to be there...and don't you want to be a cool kid?

Chris Opperman Birthday Bash
SPECIAL OPPS w/Special Guest Mara
ROOM 5
Tuesday, November 20th
Music starts @ 8, we go on @ 9:30
LONG SET - FULL BAND
143 N. La Brea, 2nd Floor - Los Angeles, CA 90036
$8 cover
featuring the debut performance of The Kentucky Years as well as performances by Kelda, Chris Cargill from Riddle the Sphinx,
Shannon Hurley, and more!


2008 03 10

from: Chris Opperman
subject: The Lionheart to be Released May 27th!

Hello, everyone!

This e-mail is to let you know that my fifth album, The Lionheart, will finally be released on May 27th, 2008!  You can pre-order it at www.chrisopperman.net through PayPal for $10 including domestic shipping to the United States ($15 for international orders).

Now, if that's not reason enough to pre-order, here are 10 other reasons!

  1. It features "The Porpentine," a 12-movement, 16-minute piece for full orchestra plus rhythm section that has been my primary compositional focus for nearly two years and is an encapsulation of everything I've learned over the last ten years about composing, arranging, and producing. 

  2. It contains beautifully recorded, well-produced, and thoroughly arranged versions of road-tested compositions including "Beware of the Random Factor," "Miles Behind," "Gen-Ebulous," "Telepathy on Mars?," "White Willow," and "Johannah."

  3. It also contains two new solo piano pieces: "Haasis" and "Knight of Winter's Day."

  4. Mike Keneally's beastly double-guitar solo on "White Willow" will blow your mind.

  5. It features the awesome musicianship of Grammy-nominated saxophonist Frank Macchia, Chris Spilsbury, Jen Kuhn, Daren Burns, Craig Bunch, Alma Carlsen, Joe Verderese, Cornelia Pesendorfer, Elizabeth Dotson-Westphalen, Clark Freeman, Neil Citron, and many, many more.

  6. It features artwork by my favorite comic book artist, multiple Eisner-award winner (it's like the Grammys for comic books) Mark Buckingham, renowned for his work on Fables, The Sandman, Miracleman, and more.

  7. It features award-winning singer/songwriter Kat Parsons' beautiful voice on "Idaho Potato," which is the only vocal piece on the album (and the only love song with words that I've ever written).

  8. There is a special pre-ordering price of only $10 ($15 international) including shipping because I want so much for everyone to have one and because I believe that the artwork and liner notes are an essential part of the album.  Therefore, I'm charging the same price for the physical product that it would cost for you to get it on iTunes.

  9. After all the years of hard work I put into making this album, it would mean a lot to me personally to have a lot of pre-orders.

  10. If you buy five copies of the album (or one copy each of all 5 of my albums), I will send you a signed, bound copy of the full orchestra score for "The Porpentine" (nearly 70 11"x17" pages) FOR FREE.

So please consider visiting www.chrisopperman.net and pre-ordering your copy today.  Thanks!

Chris Opperman


2008 04 13

from: Chris Opperman
subject: Lionheart News - Plus Performance May 8th @ the Derby!

"I believe that as a composer, Chris is a truly brilliant presence in Amercian music, and that he has made and continues to make priceless contributions to modern musical literature.  His solo piano album "Klavierstücke" is a classic collection which has moved many listeners.  His erudition and creativity as an orchestrator have been of immense value to me, and his enthusiasm and love for music is absolutely infectious." - master musician Mike Keneally

The news!

Firstly, thank you so much to everyone who has pre-ordered The Lionheart so far.  We've gotten pre-orders from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Japan, Brazil, and Denmark so far and it excites me beyond measure to know that people all over the world are interested in my compositions.  Very cool.  Thank you.  And if you haven't pre-ordered yet, there's still time!  Please do as I'm still only half-way to my goal w/the pre-sale!  www.chrisopperman.net

Secondly, I had a lovely afternoon with NPS Radio 6 Holland's Creative Catalyst Co de Kloet a few weeks ago.  Co is putting together a one-hour radio documentary about my music (specifically the making of The Lionheart) which will culminate in the world broadcast premiere of "The Porpentine" which is the 12-movement piece for full orchestra plus rhythm section which concludes the album.  He also has some other amazing ideas that I hope come to fruition.  So stay tuned!

Thirdly, I will be performing on Thursday, May 8th @ The Derby (4500 Los Feliz Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90027) opening for my friend Beth Jean (www.myspace.com/bethjean) who is having her CD release party there that night.  I haven't decided if I'm going to play solo or invite a few friends, but I will be performing some new pieces including "Helenesque" which I wrote for "The Trojan Women" last year as well as some of the music that I'm currently writing for my sister's wedding.

Lastly (but certainly not leastly), I need to give a big shout-out to Scott Chatfield who really helped me out getting the website back up.  Oppymusic.com is still down for now, but will be back soon.  In the meantime, you can always check me out at www.myspace.com/chrisopperman which has a blog that I update pretty regularly.  Subscribe, won't you?

I would also like to give a shout-out to Hiroshi Ota who was kind enough to draw some kanji symbols for Mark Buckingham and I to use in the liner notes of The Lionheart and for helping spread the word about this music in Japan (http://www.mf.ccnw.ne.jp/openup/keneally.html). 

Oh!  And a shout-out to Vienna's own Cornelia Pesendorfer who did an amazing job with the oboe parts for "The Porpentine" as well as my dear friend Neil Citron who started mixing the final version of "Miles Behind" Friday night, which sounds very beautiful.  Jen Kuhn's effortlessly melodic and searching cello solo gets me on that every time.

And that's it! Hope everyone's well and music is the best!

Chris Opperman 


 2008 05 08

FINAL Los Angeles-area Performance Tonight!

Hello!

Tonight is it!  It will be my last performance in Los Angeles before I move back to New Jersey this summer.  Some come on down if you can!  I will be doing a solo set @ 8 pm and then my friend Beth Jean will be performing with her band for her CD release party for "Powder & Paint."  It will be an excellent time and I hope to see you there!

The Derby
4500 Los Feliz Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027-2006

If you head north on Western it will turn into Los Feliz Blvd.  Hang right on the turn and you'll run right into the Derby.

Alternatively, you can take Hollywood to Hillhurst and head north.

Hope to see you tonight! 8:00 sharp! :)

-- Chris


 

 

 

 


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