The New Emperor Of Comedy

By on Oct 16, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Without knowing it, I’ve been calling comedian, Jay Grove, the wrong name for, well, about five years. That’s when I first met the brawny funny man from Rochester, when he was a semi-regular act that came on my radio show to tell jokes and promote various comedy shows he was working on throughout the state. “Jay” was always funny, cutting and sarcastic with an edge to him that made you slightly nervous but always entertained. But, lo-and-be-hold, Jay Grove, I recently discovered, was simply a stage name. Jay is actually 44 year old Joshua Guptel, and he’s finally got a comedy club of his own to run, one free of favoritism, he says, focused solely on the science behind presenting quality comedy to a region already soaked in laughs. Soundcheck caught up with Mr. Guptel as he prepares to open Curlies Comedy Club at the end of the month at 12 Union Street in...

Went Down Swingin’

By on Oct 9, 2017 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Sorrow has won the day. And you can’t tell me it hasn’t. I’m filled with dread on this first Monday of October, simmering in a low-based depression for both the dead and the survivors of yet another terrorizing mass shooting, this time in Las Vegas at a country music festival. I can’t get out from under the misery. It’s getting harder, it seems, each week, to replenish my sympathies, though. Every ten days or so, I’m out in the front yard raising the American flag back up from half mast after a period of mourning. Then, a couple weeks later, there I am again, barefooted, dropping the stars and stripes to middle pole. Can’t keep track of the losses. The moment you start to focus on the lost souls in Texas drowned out by Harvey, some other motherless storm named Maria or Irma steals our compassions and breaks the backs of Puerto Ricans, Floridians and anybody else that got in the...

By on Sep 28, 2017 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Ten years ago, my world changed. First, though, my heart broke because radio god, Howard Stern, was leaving the regular air waves for something called Sirius satellite radio. Mornings without Howard seemed unimaginable, a step backwards in life, hollow. Love him or hate him. He’s the Ali, Jordan and Gene Simmons of talk radio. The best in his game. Satellite radio sounded sketchy to me, though. I didn’t know much about home computers, let alone something you needed to rig up in your vehicle in order to get your daily dose of hilarity by the King and his crew. Unwilling to let go of Stern, I bought a satellite radio, paid the plan, and a tech at Best Buy wired my 97′ Honda Accord. Without missing a beat, Howard came out of the gate hot, and a decade later hasn’t let up on the gas, albeit working a much leaner schedule. Must be nice. After four hours of being...

Bonded Through the Music

By on Sep 18, 2017 in Blog |

Growing up, my brother, Mike, was mad about his music. He’d lock himself downstairs in the basement of our home for hours cranking Jackson Browne, Leo Sayer and a whole lot of James Taylor. We didn’t communicate much in those days, him a senior in high school, me, eight years younger, just a knot of nerves with nothing to say. But telepathy entered in through the music, and I grew as he grew because the music he played downstairs, because well, he didn’t hold back on the volume. Seemingly always there, before school and after, cutting through the gloom and good times in our home, the music Mike played reached me in ways that still influences me today. The simple beats, the heavy thinking wordplay, the triumphant hero leveled by a life less given. These songs filled me with a kind of beautiful sorrow that I wanted to drink in, feeding me in ways that didn’t require a textbook or...

The Year Without a Summer

By on Sep 13, 2017 in Uncategorized |

You could ask me in a flyby conversation how many home runs former third baseman of the Boston Red Sox, Butch Hobson, hit in 1979 and I would tell you 28 jacks without blinking or googling it. Ask me the song list on Bob Dylan’s “Desire” record as I’m biting in a burrito, and I’ll rattle off “Hurricane” to “Sara” and sing you a line from “Oh Sister” before I swallow back a single black bean. But ask me anything outside sports and music, and I mean anything, like, history, and I am doomed, a stuttering mess of nothingness. That’s why when Ashland musician, Paul Hubert, was telling me in the WKXL studio recently about a new song he wrote and was about to perform with his friend, The Chicken Man, called “40 Bushels,” I was flabbergasted to hear the tale about the “Year Without a Summer” in...