Concert Review: Abby Payne - Nate & Kate - Cyber Cafe West - Binghamton, NY - Feb 14, 2009

This is something I may do from time to time, when an event strikes me in a such away that it inspires my sharing it.

Tonight I decided to head on over to the Cyber Cafe West in Binghamton, NY. There were two groups on the bill, Nate And Kate, who I was familiar with, and Abby Payne, with whom I was not. They were both absolutely wonderful.

Nate And Kate started the evening with their sometimes joyous, sometimes melancholy, but always passionate folk-inspired songs which kept the audience captivated and entertained. It was a rare treat to watch and listen to two people so devoted to their art and audience.

Beyond their perfectly crafted originals, including their chug-chugging, whistle howling, steam billowing train song "Freight Train Play That Song", an additional highlight was their simply delivered cover of The Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody" and the truly beautiful cover of "A Kiss At The End Of The Rainbow", originally performed by the fictitious duo Mitch and Mickey in the Christopher Guest satire "A Mighty Wind". I almost started chanting "Mickey!, Mickey!, Mitch!, Mitch!", but I didn't want to be THAT guy (Those who have seen the movie will understand. Those who haven't absolutely must).

All in all they are a completely original and refreshing sound and should be checked out by anyone who enjoys REALLY good music at www.myspace.com/nateandkatemusic or www.nateandkatemusic.com/
Their CD "Fame By Frame" is available at cdbaby.com/cd/natekate

Next up was Abby Payne and her band from New York City. What an absolute pleasure it was to bump into such an oxygen-infusing, jaw dropping songwriter and singer. Her sound is a brilliant blend of Powerpop and Piano Rock that basically renders you unable to stop tapping your foot and bopping your head.

The set was opened with the hard-hitting "Bad One" from her latest album "In A Pretty Box", available at cdbaby.com/cd/abbypayne. That set the tone for the rest of the night, which was filled with some of the catchiest, most well-written music I've had the pleasure to come across in a long time.

Featuring the rock solid and tone-warping bassist Chris Anderson, tight, funky and pocket drummer Kenny Shaw, steady-fingered and soundscape-weaving keyboardist Jacob Pleakis, and of course the boldly sweet vocals and imaginative piano stylings of Abby Payne herself, the band was absolutely perfect.

In terms of covers, it didn't hurt that they played songs by three of my biggest musical influences of all time, Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U", Ben Folds' "You Don't Know Me", and Tori Amos' "Precious Things". It was almost as if I had selected the songs I wanted to hear and they played them. What wonderful taste in music!

I left the cafe tonight feeling more inspired than ever to immerse myself in my music, and I thank them all for that.

It's amazing what you can come across when you're bored on Valentine's Day and decide to get out of the house. I'll be sure to continue following these two groups.

Musician contact/website info:

Nate And Kate:



Abby Payne:




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Making It - By Corey Coleman


The Greatest Valentine I've Ever Received

So here it is. February 14, 2009.

Honestly, I've never cared much about Valentine's Day at all (or any other holiday for that matter). I guess it has a lot to do with the arbitrary nature of them all.

Today, however, I finally got something other than M&M's and Hallmark cards out of Valentine's Day.

I received a phone call from the woman who was "my Valentine" for three February 14th's prior to (and not including) this one. After the conversation I realized that she was perhaps more my Valentine this year than ever.

It started with the obligatory "How do you do's" and a few of my trademark sighs, groans, and unsatisfied yawns (I'm sort of cranky most of the time. It's something I'm working on). I, embarrassedly, informed her that I had just started a new job for minimum wage at a gas station (you know, like a 16 year old with no work experience. Really demeaning, but somewhat necessary), and was dreading it. The silence that followed was deafening.

"You did what?!" she eventually exclaimed.

I explained, cerebrialy, that it was the first step toward getting back on my feet financially, so I could eventually lay down the necessary infrastructure to pursue music.

"What is wrong with you? You head out on your own to find happiness and fulfillment with music, and instead you soak in your own depression and self pity and seek stability over fulfillment?"

I hadn't expected her to react like that.

She continued....

"I gave up having you next to me every night so you could be happy, and a month later you've done nothing to justify that sacrifice."

Sounds harsh, I know, but she knows me well. I'm not really very capable of maintaining interest and a sense of responsibility toward anything or anyone other than music, and she knows that. She also knows that when I focus on anything else, everything suffers.

I'm now in a position where I don't have to worry about stability because, as she put it......
"The only stable thing you have is your talent, so use it!"

So I'm going to do just that. I'm going to focus on what I need to do to be successful.

-If I have to take my refund check and purchase music equipment that will allow me to make money with music, despite owing people, I will, regardless of who it offends.

-If I need to go to some far away place for a week to pursue an opportunity for ME, I'm going to, regardless of what the majority opinion happens to be.

-If I decide to drive to a city and sleep in my car for a few nights in order to play my music in front of people, I'm going to, regardless of how crazy everyone might think I've become.

In short, I'm going to focus on music, I'm going to earn my living solely from music, and I'm going to marginalize the influence of anyone in my life who may disagree with me. If I give myself a backup plan I will be less likely to force myself to succeed. If I have no other options the sense of urgency will increase and I will be forced to either succeed or starve.

This line of thinking is something my aforementioned Valentine calls "Corey Coleman Style". The way I used to look at the world before I started pretending I was something I am not.

Devil may care, looking the world square in the face, and daring everyone to attempt to dissuade me from my goals.

She turned my head around, as only someone who knows you as well as they know themselves can, and it was the greatest valentine I've ever received.

I know it all sounds irrational, sounds arrogant, sounds unsafe, sounds unstable, and I really honestly don't care, because again......

"The only stable thing you have is your talent, so use it!"

And that goes for YOU too!

Happy Valentine's Day!

- Corey


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Making It - By Corey Coleman


Open Couches And Small Town Bands

So this evening (morning), whatever it is, I have a lot on my mind.

I just returned from a very successful session with a couple of band mates. After the music began to wind down we ended up on the topic of goals.

You see, I'm in a very strange spot in my life right now. Were it not for financial limitations, I could basically go anywhere and do anything I like. That's a new feeling for me.

I'm sort of feeling like a scientist working on a genome project, desperately trying to piece everything together correctly, and avoiding making mistakes that could potentially stand in the way of completing the code.

Part of me wants to just go somewhere where there's a coffeehouse on every corner, and a singer on every stage, every night of the week. Someplace like Portland or Asheville or Austin. Why shouldn't I? In reality, I probably could find a way to make it work. Whether it be living in my car, which I might be willing to do (believe it or not), or depending on the kindness of sympathetic futon owners.

That's what I'm struggling with right now. I almost want to just put out a bulletin everywhere I can stating the following:

"Hi, I'm Corey Coleman. I hope you enjoy my music. If you happen to live in a town or city with a pretty decent music scene, I'd like to visit. I'd also love it if you might consider letting me stay in your spare bedroom or on your living room floor for a few days/weeks until I figure something else out. I don't have any money or job prospects yet, but I'll do the dishes, cook the meals, sing you pretty songs and feed the cat!"

Now that's a lot to ask, but you never know, the universe has a strange way of making things happen.

Anyway, back to the band...

Going into the session, I was basically in the state of mind mentioned above. In reality, I still am. I'd love to travel the world, meet new people, and carve out a life for myself somewhere more receptive to creative types.

We started talking about our short range goals and I was asked if I would be willing to commit to staying here in Binghamton, NY for 6 months (and not explore my options elsewhere) to see if we could get the band to a more successful place.

Now this band is GREAT. Like really good, and filled with really great people, but I'm still having this nagging feeling that I might be selling myself short yet again.

If I stay here, I'll have to secure some type of employment (of which there seems to be none available thus far), get enough money for a security deposit together, sign a lease, buy furniture etc etc etc..... Basically I would have to lay down some type of roots here.

But I don't have to.

I'm not sure what to do at all.

Anyway.... any open couches in Portland?............


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Making It - By Corey Coleman


The Small Stuff

At the time of my last post I was on my way to teaching a guitar lesson with an old student of mine.

I was worried I would hate having to schlep around town, house to house, just to make a meager amount of money. I was wrong.

I actually found that I sort of liked not having to keep a physical studio maintained and be constantly inviting random people into my living quarters.

This was a personal victory for me, albeit an admittedly small one. I had spent the day before dreading the idea of leaving the comfort of a home studio, but I decided to do it anyway. I needed the money after all....

This tiny, little baby victory led me to a number of additional ideas and thoughts that would not have occurred had I not stepped out of my comfort zone.

For instance:

...how many guitar instructors do I know of who travel to students houses? None. Therefore I have a unique selling point when it comes to advertising for students.

See? It's that easy!

If I hadn't tried, that would not have occurred to me.

Now I'm off to craigslist and other such sites to see if I can scrounge up some more students, who will undoubtedly lead me to more ideas and opportunities, provided I'm paying attention.


What have you done recently, or what could you do soon that might lead to a new outlook and new opportunities to better yourself?

Share your thoughts below!


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Making It - By Corey Coleman


On My Way To A Guitar Lesson


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Making It - By Corey Coleman

Who The Hell Is Corey Coleman?

So it's 4:01 AM on Thursday, February 5th..... 2009

I'm 25, soon to be 26 in April.

I know, I know, 26 isn't very old at all right?

But what if you had been repeatedly told by everyone you knew from the age of 11 or so that you were a prodigy, and destined for unbelievable fame and fortune?

15 years later you're sitting in your brother's spare bedroom, homeless, jobless, penniless and confused.

You look back on five or so failed long term relationships representing different epochs of your adult life, scratching your head, wondering why you allowed yourself to drift through life with nothing but a few dreams and a facade of self-identification determined by whichever girl you happened to be living with at the time. All of them wonderful, none of them as wonderful as the harmonies swirling around in your head, keeping you awake every night as you're trying to get to sleep before making the morning drive to the warehouse, office building, big box store or garage.

How could this be the fate of a "child prodigy"?

What happened to all those years in between getting that chill you still remember feeling after hearing that sobbing, screaming, euphoric first note of Jimi Hendrix's solo on "Machine Gun" and driving a '95 Buick four hours to the nearest friendly couch owner after having life as you know it ripped out from under you yet again?

26 feels old right now.

Maybe it's just the failure to make anything of myself that feels old. That's probably it.

Either way, I have two options:

1. Find a safe job in Binghamton, NY (where I currently am), save up for a place, get a few students if I have the time, and call it a life. As Thom York of Radiohead puts it "Nice Dream". At least while it lasted, but it's time to be a big boy now. Right?

2. Say no to the mindset of failure and self-fulfilling negative prophecies and find new and creative ways to MAKE this monkey on my back called music start working for me, and hopefully others along the way.

I'm shooting for the second option.

This will be a journal of the events that lead me to wherever I'm ultimately going, and hopefully a forum for others to share their experiences, encourage each other and exchange ideas.


I'm Corey Coleman, and I'm a professional musician.
It's time I started acting like one

Corey - Carthage Park


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Making It - By Corey Coleman