December 31, 2002
Well, I don't know whether this article qualifies as news for most of us, but I do want to offer Mark Lennon a huge congratulations for his bravery with what had to have been a very difficult step, going public with the most private of matters.  Way to go, Mark!

If you'd like to offer your support in a forum where Mark will definitely see it, please do so here.

Happy New Year everybody!!!!!


December 27, 2002
I've posted Radio Drente's excellent "Christmas With Venice" special, hosted by our friend Rene Steenbergen.  Also, because I conducted the Venice interview for this show myself, and I still have all the raw elements here on my computer from when I sent them to Rene, I've decided to include those for you as well, so you can hear all the original soundbites (many of which were either shortened or deleted to fit into the two hour show), and also so you can get a sense of how a special like this is put together.  All of that is over here.

In other news, Venice will appear on December 31st, on Radio Gelderland, from 13.00 until 14.00 (which here in Los Angeles, Pacific Standard Time, is 4am the previous night).  You can tune in over the internet by clicking here.


December 24, 2002

On December 31st, Venice will perform one song on the Dutch lottery television program, "Staatsloterijshow."  I don't know what time they'll be performing, but I have been told that the show airs between 20.00 and 24.05.

And once again, don't forget to tune in to Rene Steenbergen's two hour "Christmas With Venice" radio special tomorrow, from 12pm to 2pm (Holland time) on Radio Drenthe.  Details below.

Have a great Christmas, everyone!


December 15, 2002

On Wednesday, December 25, otherwise known as First Christmas Day (Eerste Kerstdag), from 12:00pm to 2:00pm Holland time (which, in Pacific Standard Time here in America, is 3:00am - 5:00am), Holland radio station
Radio Drenthe will air a brand new radio special, "Christmas With Venice," hosted by our friend Rene Steenbergen, and featuring a new holiday-themed interview with the band and some brand-new never-before-heard Christmas music recordings.  American fans who have no need for sleep can listen in through the station's internet stream, accessible at the link above.  Here's the band's promo for the show.

In other news, I just added three news cartoons from master artist Steven Radice.  One is here, one is a holiday-themed version of the Tour Dates picture, and the last is a very funny comic strip, which can be found at the bottom of the Table of Contents page.  Brilliant work as always, Steven!


December 7, 2002

Mark Lennon has asked me to post the following:

Happy Holidays Everybody,

Greetings from me, Mark Lennon.  Just dropping you a little note to let you know again about my Christmas CD “Mark Lennon: Christmas in the Groove.”

This is a compilation of 10 standard Christmas favorites, plus 2 original Christmas songs ("Everyday With You is Christmas" and "Hold Out ‘Til Christmas"), written by myself and my friend, Steve Deutsch.

All the vocals and background vocals are done by myself, even though sometimes it sounds like I brought in some extra singers, BUT I SWEAR,… I DIDN’T!  This CD will be a great addition to anyone’s Christmas album collection because I feel it’s really different than any other.  With this CD, you’re able to groove to every song because I’ve kind of added a funky R&B feel to it.

Oh yeah, wait ‘til you hear the last song “Auld Lang Syne.”  It’s perfect for any New Year’s party!

I’ve received many letters from people telling me that they’ve been playing this CD well into the month of June.  Thank you everybody.  This truly inspires me in the creation of my new solo album, “Dance or Cry,’ coming in the future.

Order now, because this CD makes a wonderful early Christmas present and is great for playing at holiday parties and tree trimming parties.  It’s a terrific stocking stuffer as well.

To order, send $20.00 (this includes shipping and handling), check or money order, to: Mark Lennon Xmas, P.O. Box 2038, Venice, CA  90294, or go to http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/marklennon and order there.

May everybody be blessed with the most beautiful holidays this 2002! Peace and Love,
                              Mark Lennon

P.S. If you could please forward this to your friends and family, I'd really appreciate it!

Audio clips of this album can be found here.


December 5, 2002

Sony will release a special edition of "Welcome To the Rest of Your Life" in Holland that will include a bonus CD containing four tracks that can also be found on the "Christmas With Venice" album: "What Child Is This," "Away In A Manger," "The First Noel" and "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."  In other words, there's nothing new here, but it's still a nice package for those of you maintaining complete collections.

In other news, San Diego, California radio station KPRI gave Venice's new album a rave review, which is unusual considering that none of the station's listeners can purchase a copy without attending a show or having it imported.  But I suppose any positive attention is good towards building the hype and making Sony realize that there is a market for a U.S. release.  Anyway, you can listen to that review over here.  Better do it quickly, it looks like newer reviews are about to push this one off of the page.



December 4, 2002

I've added the Q&A session from the third annual concert cruise, recorded a couple of weeks ago.  
It's over here.


November 15, 2002
Now that the Venice cruise has departed, I can let you in on a little secret.  Attendees will all be receiving a free t-shirt designed by our very own Steven Radice.  And the picture looks just like this:

I hope all the attendees are having the time of your lives, and I can't wait to read all your stories and see all your pictures on Venice Talk and on the Community Mailing List when you return!


November 10, 2002
Look for Venice's new album, "Welcome To the Rest of Your Life," to be released shortly in Italy, Belgium and Scandinavia.  More countries will follow.



November 2, 2002

A bit of personal news.  Yesterday, November 1, at 3:30am, I became a Dad again.  My daughter, Kaitlyn Arielle Levitz, was born, with a height of 21 inches, and a weight of 9 pounds, 2 ounces.  Here are a few pictures.  As you can see, my three-year-old son Jonathan is pretty excited about getting a new sister.  Could life possibly be any better?

Thanks to everyone who's sent their warm congratulations via e-mail, posting on Venice Talk, and on the mailing list.  I haven't had a spare minute to reply to any of them, but I have read them and I appreciate them all.

In news far more appropriate to a site devoted to a band, Venice has scheduled their LA Christmas shows.  Check the Tour Dates page for details.


October 23, 2002
Venice has had to cancel a showcase they were to have given this Saturday for Radio Gelderland.  The official reason is "voice problems, due to a much too busy schedule."  Best wishes to the guys for a speedy recovery!



October 21, 2002

On October 9th, Venice Central ran a story about how Douwe Egberts and Radio 538 were sponsoring a contest, where the winner would receive a Venice concert in their home, office or school.  The winner of this contest was Rob van den Akker, and on the 17th of this month, Venice performed at the fire station where Rob works.  You can see a quick video about that show
over here.  I recommend the Quicktime version.  Its video quality looks the best to me.


October 20, 2002

This coming Friday, October 25th, Radio 2 will broadcast Venice's 70's Celebration concert, which was recorded on October 11th.  The one hour show will begin at approx. 9:00pm in Holland, which means about noon here in California.  Internet cybercast can be accessed
here.  The setlist is as follows:  "Carry On," "Peaceful Easy Feeling," "Guinnevere" (with lead vocals by Pat), "Woodstock," "Desperado," "Already Gone," "I Want You Back," "Welcome To the Rest of Your Life" and "Think Again."  Then, an hour later, after the house band has played their set, Venice comes back out and joins the others for "Let It Be."  Should be a fun listen!


October 19, 2002

Tomorrow, October 20, 2002, Venice will perform live on Dutch National Radio 3, between 15.00 and 17.00.  (Subtract 9 hours for Pacific Standard Time.)  You can listen via the internet
over here.


October 16, 2002

Added a hilarious new Steven Radice cartoon,
over here.


October 13, 2002


October 12, 2002

Ladies and gentlemen, the Venicebabes are mad as hell, and they're not gonna be down anymore!  See what I mean,
over here.


October 11, 2002

Correction, Venice's in-store performance at Warenhuis Vanderveen will take place, not tomorrow, but next Saturday, October 19.  Sorry for the misinformation.



October 10, 2002

This Saturday, October 12, at 2:00pm, Venice will do an in-store performance in the CD department of
Warenhuis Vanderveen in Assen.  (It's apparently on the first floor, between the toy shop and the restaurant.)  Thanks to Rene Steenbergen for the info!


October 9, 2002

Douwe Egberts and Radio 538 are sponsoring a contest, where the winner will receive a Venice concert in their home, office or school.  
Details and entry forms are here.  Note, this is open to residents of the Netherlands only.  Russ Paris need not apply.


October 8, 2002

The second single from the new album will be the title track, "Welcome To the Rest of Your Life," and it will hit stores in Holland on October 21.  Venice will perform this song tonight on the Dutch television program, "The Barend and Van Dorp Show."



October 2, 2002
Go here, press play.  That's all I'm gonna tell you.  Thanks to Susan for the heads-up.


September 27, 2002
My friend Joke Vroegop asked me to share the following with all of you:

Dear Matt,

Would you please be so kind to tell all Dutch Venice fans about the exhibition of very beautiful VENICE photos in my gallery?

The woman who made all these beautiful photos is Harma van der Kolk, and her photos are in exhibition from October 3 until November 10.

The address of the gallery is:
't Kommissiehuys
Kommisjewei 1
9217 RL NIJEGA (and that's in Holland)

On the internet you can find us at www.kommissiehuys.nl

BTW, Erika Levitz's seababies are also available in my gallery.

*Joey*

So there you go.  Go check out Harma's pictures of Venice, and while you're there, be sure and purchase a baby mermaid figurine handcrafted by my lovely wife.


September 22, 2002
Venice has added a show to their tour.  October 27, at Het Arsenaal in Vlissingen.  See the
Tour Dates page for more details.


September 21, 2002 - Update

Steven Radice has drawn two new illustrations:  
"For A Kiss" and "Welcome To the Rest of Your Life."  My brother Aaron got a little creative with his shadow work on the second one.  Too cool.  Thanks to both.


September 21, 2002

Venice will perform a show in the discotheque Locomotion in Zoetermeer on October 11th.  This will not be a normal Venice set, because it's the closing ceremony of
Radio 2's "Seventies Week."  So Venice will be performing nothing but 70's songs.  (Not just Eagles and CSN, the way Radio 2's webpage says, but a large selection of 70s music, mostly pulled from the Pine Mountain Logs reserves.)  This show will be broadcast live over the internet, so worldwide fans can listen in.  More information is here, but if you can't read Dutch, I recommend keeping an eye on Venice Talk, where I'm certain that helpful Dutch fans will fill in the details of exact showtime, etc.


September 18, 2002

Looks like that Hoorn concert will be on the 10th after all.  Printed tickets that say "October 20" will be honored.  All dates are now posted on the Tour Dates page.



September 16, 2002

Okay, I've now spent close to 15 hours barely moving from this spot, but it's all worth it, because V.V.T.G. 2002 has now officially been integrated into Venice Central, adding almost two hours of additional Lennon commentary to this webpage.  A good chunk of it is on the
"Welcome To the Rest of Your Life" audio clips page.  Click on the top spinning box first, and then once that ends, go down and, one at a time, click on every box that you see.  As for the rest of the new entries, you're going to have to find them on your own.  Though I can tell you that 75% of them are on the audio and video clips pages.  Happy hunting!

"What is V.V.T.G.?" I hear some of you thinking.  (That's how plugged in I am after 15 hours.  I can hear your thoughts through my computer, days before you actually think it.)  Well, click here for an explanation.

Thanks to everyone who sent the Holland venue information I requested.  I'll get those posted as soon as we figure out a possible miscommunication between the promoter, the ticket agency, and the band.  (The show in Hoorn might be on the 10th, or it might be on the 20th.  Out here on this side of the world, we're just not really sure.  I'll let you know as soon as I get a definitive answer, which should be soon.)

In the meantime, I must sleep.  I'll talk to you again in a month, when I wake up.


September 13, 2002

The tour dates for Venice's upcoming Holland tour are now official.  If someone could please e-mail me these venues' addresses, phone numbers, and webpage URLs, I would greatly appreciate it!

Wednesday, October 9 - Eindhoven-Effenaar
Thursday, October 10 - Hoorn-Manifesto
Sunday, October 13 - Utrecht-Tivoli
Tuesday, October 15 - Groningen-Oosterpoort (klz)
Wednesday, October 16 - Tilburg-013
Saturday, October 19 - Leeuwarden-Stadsschouwburg De Harmonie
Monday, October 21 - Amsterdam-Paradiso
Tuesday, October 22 - Rotterdam-Nighttown
Wednesday, October 23 - Enschede-Vrijhof
Friday, October 25 - Geleen-Hanehof



September 11, 2002

Mark Lennon has donated a song that he recorded on his own, "I Will Always Remember Katrina."  The composition, along with Mark's deeply personal story behind it, can be found
here.

In other news, VVTG is coming...  Uh, again...  So, you know, just, uh, go about your business and we'll be with you shortly....................


September 9, 2002 - Update

Venice's new album, "Welcome To the Rest of Your Life," debuted on the
Holland album charts this week at #14!  Congratulations, guys!


September 9, 2002

A couple of new things today.  Spoonido (Steven Radice) drew up a great drawing for "Sweet Aloha."  That's over
here.  We've also got a couple of new audio clips of fan covers: "When I Get Over You" from 3 Men & A Box, and "The Man You Think I Am" from Marius Suiker's band, Just Us.  Those are both here.

By the way, I haven't mentioned it before, but Spoon sends me his pictures against a white background, and my brother Aaron takes that, puts it against the blue, and adds drop-shadow.  So I just wanted to give him a quick shout-out for doing that.  "HEY!  AARON!!!!!"  There, I shouted it out.


September 6, 2002

Okay, nothing is ever 100% official and post-able until after I've gotten verification directly from the band, so I can't say on record yet that this is true...  but...  I have it on very good authority that Venice will be performing at De Harmonie in Leeuwarden on October 19th.

Thanks, Joey, for the heads-up and the scan.


September 5, 2002

I've been getting a lot of e-mail from Americans wanting to know who they can order Venice's new album from over the internet.  So I've started a thread on this subject at Venice Talk, and many helpful fans are providing the answers.  Check that out
here.  And if you know of any others, please add them to the list.


September 3, 2002

Venice's brand new album, "Welcome To the Rest of Your Life," is released today in Holland, Belgium, Germany, and over the internet.  The band will be selling it at all of their upcoming U.S. shows, but be sure and get your copy early, because they're likely to become sold out very quickly.

To celebrate the album's release, I've made a few changes to Venice Central's look.  First, all of the webpage's headers (several hundred in total) are now graphically based, with a look inspired by the album cover's font and color scheme.  The jpgs are a little slow to load the first time you view them, but don't worry, after that they'll exist in your browser's cache, and with all subsequent visits, the pages will load instantaneously.

Next, I've completely redone the Lyrics Pages, so that now each song exists by itself, and instead of being organized alphabetically, they're all arranged by album.  I've also added the lyrics to all of the new songs.

The Audio Clips and Discography Page and the Video Clips Page both have a new layout.

But the very best addition is the one that didn't come from me.  I asked Steven Radice (a.k.a. Spoonido, which is his handle on Venice Talk) to create pictures for each of the site's main areas, and I think he did an incredible job.  You can see his work at the top of the following pages:  Audio Clips and Discography, FAQ, Links, Lyrics, Community Mailing Lists, News, "Oh Yeah, Oh Well," Articles and Reviews, Tour Dates, and Video Clips.  I've invited him to make more for the Lyrics Pages, with drawings inspired by various songs.  I hope he'll take me up on that, so that over the next few years, I can continually post them as he sends them to me.  If you like what you see, please let him know on the Venice Talk forum.

I've dropped the Pictures pages.  It hadn't been updated in years, and you can now post your own pictures at Venice Talk in a dedicated "Fan Photos" area.  I plan to replace this section with something far more exciting in the coming months, so stay tuned...  (If you'd like to download the pictures that used to make up this section before they're deleted permanently from the server, head here and go for it.  You've got about a week.)

Another addition you can look forward to in the near future is a new batch of VVTG entries, covering all the songs on the new album, and everything that's been added to Venice Central since our last VVTG interview session.  I hope to get that up sometime in the next few weeks.

Finally, speaking of Venice Talk, I'd like to thank everybody for making it an overwhelming success.  Especially Kipp, Mark, Michael and Pat Lennon, who's presence and participation on the boards has created a rare and wonderful opportunity for artists and fans to intermingle.


September 1, 2002

Yesterday, Free Record Shop, one of the biggest CD chains in Holland, jumped the gun and started selling Venice's new album four days early.  So if you live near to one, you might want to rush over there and get yourself a copy.  Otherwise, you'll have to wait until Tuesday like everybody else.

In the meantime, here's a nice ad from the chain.  Note the prominent placement:



August 30, 2002
Sony's new official Venice site, Venice Vibes, is now open to the public.  Check it out at
venicevibes.com.

And since they've revealed the cover of the new album, I guess that means I can too.  Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the rest of your life:


August 13, 2002
ZYX Records has released a poor quality Venice concert DVD, and the band has asked me to pass along their request that you not support it, because it's not merely a "cool bootleg," it was done against the band's specific orders, which makes its release not just immoral, but illegal.

Kipp and Michael both stated their positions very clearly on the Venice Talk forum lastnight.  You can read those posts on the second page of the thread, right over here.


August 12, 2002

Last Friday, Michael Lennon did a groggy, early morning phone interview with Radio 2.  You can listen to it
here.

As is announced in the interview, Venice's new single "Think Again" is Radio 2's "Paradeplaat," which means that it will be played once per show (about four or five times a day) for a week.  You can listen to the station by heading to their webpage and clicking on the dog's head in the circles.  (You'll see what I mean when you get there.)


August 6, 2002
In next week's Mega Top 100 charts in Holland, Venice's single "Think Again" debuts at #65.  Onwards and upwards!


July 28, 2002
We've added a new section to Venice Central.  This is our Venice Talk forum, which was created by Randy Chase with minimal guidance from myself.  We intend this forum to be a place where fellow fans of Venice from around the world, and members of the band, can share.  Share show reviews, Venice stories and opinions, and much more.  You can discuss a movie you just saw, an album you just heard, even post your favorite recipe!  Any random subject you feel like talking about is not only allowed, it's encouraged!

For our Dutch fans, we've built a Dutch area which contains all of the same topical categories as the English-language area.

Some of you may be used to participating on the Yahoogroups Community Mailing List.  We do not intend for this forum to replace that list.  Lists have their purpose and their fans.  They do, however, have some disadvantages, and do not work for everyone.  What follows is a list of the differences between an online forum and an email listserver.


1. On Venice Talk, all discussion topics are organized by category, and neatly arranged, with each topic followed by all its replies.  This makes it very easy for you to read the topics that interest you and skip the ones that don't.  We have one forum for just show reviews.  Another just to talk about the new album.  Email lists flood everyone with ALL the topics on ALL of the subjects, which for many leads to some frustration because of the number of mails that they have little interest in.  Some people use threaded email programs, but even then, conversations will not always follow thread titles.

2. Email comes when *it* wants to.  You're pretty much at the mercy of your mail service, and the ebb and flow of the list members' verbosity.  Venice Talk is there for when *you* want it.  Have a question or some free time?  Go to the forum.  Too busy?  Don't.  You won't get the constant mails flooding in.  The forum is there when you want it to be.

3. On Venice Talk, off-topic discussions take place in designated off-topic areas.  Conversing on a variety of interesting subjects is a normal occurance when a group of people gather to talk, but it can be frustrating to those who aren't interested in the current topic, especially when the signal/noise ratio becomes way too great, or when you're busy and another mail about an election, politics, or the Super Bowl comes into your inbox.  In a forum, we separate the off-topic and encourage people to post there.  You can engage in off-topic discussions or not.  And you aren't bothering the people who are only interested in Venice content, if you do so.

4. On Venice Talk, you can ignore users.  Is there a member whose posts really annoy you?  Put them on your ignore list, and their contributions will never appear visible to you again.

5. Venice Talk has moderators who have the responsibility of keeping threads on topic, moving incorrectly placed threads, and handling posts that violate forum policy.  We can also make sure users follow forum guidelines.  No more spam.  We will not allow flame wars.  Yes, email list servers have moderators too, but they're less effective because once mail has been sent, it cannot be edited or deleted.

6. With email, if you make a really embarassing typo, send off a scathing reply that you instantly regret, accidently address your love letter or bootleg request to the entire list, or just make a technical error, there's no way to fix it.  On Venice Talk, you can delete or edit your own post at any time.

7. Venice Talk contains a database of answers.  As the threads and posts accumulate, we will have a valuable database.  Unless you save all your mail, most mail just pops into your mailbox and then it's deleted (or else you have a huge inbox!).  Here, the data will all stay on our server permanently.  We can even make certain threads stick to the top so that they're very noticeable.  With email, if a thread doesn't interest you, it gets deleted.  Later on, perhaps you'll find you need the same question answered, so you ask the question again.  On a forum, the answers are all there.  You can even search for the answers if it's been asked before, or find all the postings on a certain topic by searching for a keyword.  Yes, Yahoogroups keeps a complete archive of all posts, but they're organized numerically, and not by threaded subject, and with well over 18,000 entries to sort through without any keyword search function, good luck finding what you're looking for.

8. Venice Talk features email notification.  Want to know when something occurs or when someone answers any thread?  No problem.  Just subscribe and the forum will email you.  Handy if you are interested in only one or two things.

9. Venice Talk allows you the option of temporary or part time use.  You can come on to the forum for answers without subscribing to anything.  You won't get a lot of mails per day when you only had one question, as you would on an email list.  You can register and ask your question, and subscribe to your own thread, then go away and wait for the replies.  Much more convenient.  However, you're certainly not discouraged from staying on the forum all day long with a browser window open.  :)

10. Venice Talk contains polls.  Anyone can set up polls in the forum to ask questions and see the results of the voting.

11. On Venice Talk, no "Out of Office" automatic replies!

12. The spreading of internet worms and virus by email is not an issue on Venice Talk.

13. On Venice Talk, you can choose to post with your e-mail address hidden.  This function tends to encourage greater participation from band members.

14. Venice Talk allows linking to images.  You can link to pictures that are hosted on the internet to your posts.  You can link to smilies or whatever helps.

15. Venice Talk allows you to use HTML and other formatting code, without regard for the email browser.  You can add real smilies, make your letters red or bold or whatever.  There is code for quoting and more.  Learning to use the code is simple and there are online aids in every post you make.


On the flipside, the two main advantages to the Community Mailing List are convenience and immediacy.  All posts come to you instead of you having to go to it.  And posts that you need to see right away, like "Switch on your radio, Venice is being interviewed right now!" are better conveyed through an e-mail system than through a board that you might not check until it's several days too late.


Venice Talk is new and a work in progress.  We will see what forums and organization we need.  We can change, add or subtract any forums we want.  Feel free to make recommendations to us on the forum!

Mostly, we want to personally thank those that contribute to Venice Talk with questions and answers.  It is the main point of the forum, and we appreciate everyone's involvement!

And now, without further ado...  Venice Talk.

(After you've registered, and then confirmed your registration via e-mail, be sure and check out the "Forum Feedback" section for some instructions on some of the page's tricks!)


July 27, 2002
Here's the CD artwork for the new single:



July 24, 2002

Dolf van Stijgeren would like everyone to know that his website, Venice Station, has been updated with new pictures from Venice's recent show at Patronaat, Haarlem.  You can check that out
over here.


July 23, 2002

Just added an audio clip of Kipp, Mark, Michael and Pat Lennon singing backup on an album track from Gary Stiers.  That's over
here, just underneath the John Vester samples.  Thanks to Mike Pasqua for providing the CD!


July 18, 2002
This same webpage has added this morning's acoustic performances of "Blue Paint," "Sweet Aloha" and "Most of Us."  All the recordings posted there are incredible quality, and they're the full songs, and they represent about half of the upcoming album.  But I have to stress that they are not the new album.  These were all recorded and mixed live and in real time, when the band was tired and not at their peak, with equipment that is not studio quality, and without a producer enhancing the sound.  None of these tracks come close to the album versions, where it took over a month to perfect every little detail.  So please remember that these files are a preview of the main attraction, and not a replacement for it.


July 17, 2002

The webpage I linked to on Monday has been updated with more live radio performances of the new Venice songs "Tides," "Think Again" and "Most of Us," along with an interview with Kipp and Michael.  Once again, that page (not a part of Venice Central) is
here.


July 15, 2002

If you missed Venice on National Radio 1 this morning, here's your chance to hear three songs from the new album, "Father Time," "Not Myself" (with new lyrics!) and the title track, "Welcome To the Rest of Your Life."  You can download these live radio performances
over here, underneath pictures of Saturday night's show at the Podium Hardenberg.


July 13, 2002
I got a couple more radio appearances.  I've incorporated them into yesterday's entry so that the timeline doesn't go back and forth.


July 12, 2002
I've been getting some info about upcoming Venice radio appearances for next week in Holland, through the Yahoogroups list and also from private e-mails.  Since I'm not in Holland, I can't confirm any of them.  But I can pass along the rumors, with no guarantee that they're right, and we can all hope for the best.  All of these radio stations stream over the internet, so you don't have to be in Holland to listen in.

Monday, July 15, sometime between 1:00pm and 2:00pm (that's 4:00am to 5:00am Pacific Standard Time, for the Los Angeles fans), the single will be played on Radio 3.  You can listen by going here and clicking on the "On/Off" switch in the left corner.

Also on Monday, July 15, Venice will be guests on Radio Tour De France on National Radio 1, hosted by Twee Metre Sessies' Jan Dowe Kroeske.  The rumor is that they'll perform four live acoustic songs, at 2:30pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm and 5:30pm.  (Which is 5:30am, 6:30am, 7:30am and 8:30am PST.)  Odds are they'll play the new single, "Think Again," sometime in there as well, along with intermittent interviews.  Webpage is here.  To listen, find where it says "Luister Radio 1 Live," and select either "Real" (for Real Audio) or "WMP" (for Windows Media Player).

Wednesday, July 17, Venice will perform live on Radio 3, at the same time the single was first played there on Monday, between 1:00pm and 2:00pm (4:00am to 5:00am PST).

Thursday, July 18, they'll be on the “Evers Staat Op” show with DJ Edwin Evers, on Radio 538, between 6:00am and 9:00am.  (That's between 9:00pm and midnight Wednesday night, PST.)  Apparently at the Podium show, Herman Potgieter anounced that this appearance will take place at around 8:15am (which is 11:15pm Wednesday night PST).  That webpage is here.  If you have Windows Media Player installed, here's a video stream, and here's an audio stream.  (The video is cool, but your sound quality will be much better if you go with audio only.  Run a test right now and listen for yourself.)

When I hear of more, I'll post 'em.


July 11, 2002
Venice's new album, "Welcome To the Rest of Your Life," will be released in Holland and Belgium on September 2nd.  The first single is "Think Again," which is currently going out to radio stations in those countries, and will hit stores on August 5th.  When I get word on release dates in other countries, I will of course post them immediately.


July 7, 2002

Hey, so Venice Central turns four years old today.  But enough about me.  What's new with you?


June 30, 2002
Added Dutch band Ebon, performing Venice's song, "The Family Tree."  Check that out on the
Fan Covers Page.


June 23, 2002

This just in from Michael Lennon, who will be staying in the Bahamas for the next couple of weeks to assist with the mixing and mastering of the new album:

Hey everybody,

Kipp and Pat left for home today.  Kind of a sad day for me, but I'm excited to finish up soon.  Lots of work ahead, with little time to do it.  Sony has proven their commitment once again by allowing us to add two days to the existing budget in order to take some stress off of finishing in time.  Still, it will be quite a task.  I challenge anyone to make a better record than this in 38 days..........Okay, Beatles excluded.

Yesterday was the last day of vocals.  We did 'Think Again.'  What a great way to finish!  It is a MONSTER!  All that's left is my guitar, piano and percussion overdubs.

Had a chance to talk with Mutt Lange for a brief moment.  He's one of the greatest producers in the world....AC/DC, Cars, Foreigner, Bryan Adams, Def Leppard. They're finishing Shania's new album here, or at least doing overdubs.

Anyway, tell the fans we said Hi, and we are so excited to hear them sing these new songs back to us.

Gotta go get some sun on my last day off.  Cheers!

Michael - Venice

Accompanying the letter were some photos and one new movie, all of which, of course, have been added to the Bahamas Page.


June 18, 2002

Hey, we're back!  After a few days offline due to a accounting error at domain registration, Venice Central makes its triumphant return.

Unfortunately, my e-mail account is tied to this server, so if you've sent me any e-mail since last Friday, it's very likely to float lost in cyberspace forever.  So please re-send.

We now return to our regularly scheduled program, already in progress.  Kipp Lennon wrote to me to announce that Sony has decided to release Venice's new album on the Columbia label. This is fantastic news, since this legendary label is home to such greats as Aerosmith, Tony Bennett, David Bowie, Mariah Carey, Miles Davis, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Lauryn Hill, Billy Joel, John Mellencamp, Will Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, James Taylor and Roger Waters. Pretty good company, I'd say.

Kipp wrote on Sunday: "I just did my lead vocal on "Precious Stone" this morning. I only have two leads left... 'Father Time' and 'Welcome To The Rest Of Your Life.' Mark's got three left, I think. Things are sounding great and we're all pretty excited, but we barely have time to appreciate what it is we're actually doing. We have so much to do in such a limited amount of time that we just forge on after each performance with only just enough time to say 'Sounds good' and move on."

If all goes well, Kipp will return home as early as Thursday of this week. I don't know the schedules for the others, except that Michael will remain for two weeks longer than everyone else to assist with the mixing and mastering.

Finally, two new pictures have been added to the Bahamas Page.


June 13, 2002
One new movie added today, to the Bahamas Page.


June 11, 2002

Some new pictures posted today, over on the
Bahamas Page.

I also got a bit of insight into what to expect with the next album.  I asked Michael Lennon what effect producer Terry Manning and the full professional studio are having on the songs, and in what way the album will sound different than it might have, had they done it the same way as the last two releases.  Michael's answer:  "It's much bigger and more powerful.  There's only so much that you can get out of a demo studio in a garage.  We are all very happy with the amount of punch in the recordings."  And he adds, "It's also nice not to have to be in charge of the technical side of things, other than voicing an opinion on sounds, etc."


June 10, 2002
This just in from Michael Lennon:

We did our first vocal last night.  Kipp sang "One Word."  Earlier in the day, I played bass on "Sweet Aloha."  Today we will be doing background vocals on "One Word" and "Sweet Aloha."  Mark will be singing lead on "Sweet Aloha," and later tonight I will do some electric guitar overdubs.

Sony's Head of Public Relations is here with Jan Willem (also from Sony) and a journalist, Ron, from Holland's biggest paper called Telegraph.  I think they are doing a feature story on us for a SepteI played bass on "Sweet Aloha."  Today, we will be doing background vocals on "One Word" and "Sweet Aloha."  Mark wimber issue, which will coincide with release of the Album......Yippeeee!

Talk soon,
Michael


June 9, 2002
Many new Bahamas pictures (with people in them this time!) and a few new movies were added today.  But rather than continue to post everything onto the News Page, I've built them their own little area.  From now on, updates will be made there, with notification posted here.  Check it out.  In the future, you can access this new section from the main page, in the center box underneath the table of contents.


June 6, 2002
Update from the front lines...

Michael Lennon writes:  "Sunday, we had our first day off.  We took a taxi that had no reverse into town, and spent the day at the world famous Atlantis Hotel.  Jamie was able to join us.  Alexis Sklarevski (bass) arrived Monday and Chris Horvath (keys) arrived Tuesday, and are now here through Saturday the 8th of June.  Jamie left on Monday and all drum tracks have been completed."

Michael also sent a few more pictures he's taken of the area where Venice is staying and working.  A shame the scenery is so bleak and bland, huh?  (Those pictures can now be found here.)


June 5, 2002
The band has sent some new photos from the Bahamas.  (Those pictures can now be found here.)


June 3, 2002
According to Kipp Lennon, the recording of the new album is coming along really well.  They've been working on drums, bass and guitars.  No vocals yet.  Kipp and Mark are spending their days helping with the creative decisions (arrangements, performances, working on art ideas, etc.) and snorkeling.  Jamie Wallum left today.  Alexis Sklarevski comes in tonight, and Chris Horvath arrives tomorrow.

I can finally confirm that Venice will definitely be performing at Bospop in July, and will probably do two or three other shows in the Netherlands in the one week that they're over there.  The real touring will be in the fall, after the album is released.


May 29, 2002
Click here to download a quick MP3 message from the guys in the Bahamas.  And here are some images from the studio.  (Those pictures can now be found here.)


May 25, 2002
Day #2 in the studio was reportedly very productive, with Matt Laug finishing his part on "Not Myself," "Tides" and "Most of Us."  He's still hard at work through the weekend before he returns home on Monday.  Bassist Mark Harris arrives tomorrow.


May 23, 2002
Kipp, Mark and Michael Lennon, and Matt Laug, have all landed safely in the Bahamas and began work on the new album today.  (Pat had a few things to take care of out here, and will join his bandmates tomorrow.)  Today was mostly spent setting up and soundchecking, but they did manage to lay down the drum track for "Precious Stone."  And they're off.....

In John Vester news, his new webpage is up and running.  Check that out at johnvester.com.


May 19, 2002
John Vester's second album, "Half A World Away," has just been released.  Venice's Michael Lennon co-produced the album with John, and members of the Venice family perform on every track.  Check out an album preview over here.

Also, be sure and check out 13-year-old Alexander Coe performing "The Man You Think I Am" at a school concert.  Good stuff.  That's over here.

Finally, as unlikely as this sounds, Mark Lennon wants everybody to know that he's currently singing backup on Ozzy Osbourne's reissue of "Blizzard of Oz" (he says he does "the high parts that the drummer used to sing"), and that he also sings on next month's live release, "Ozzy Osbourne - Live At the Budokan."  I have no doubt that all you Venice fans were planning to pick those two up anyway, but now you know there'll be a Lennony surprise waiting for you as well.


May 8, 2002
Venice has selected the producer of their next album.  His name is Terry Manning, and his bio is here.  Of particular note is 18 years producing ZZ Top, and working as an engineer on "Led Zeppelin III."  Recent albums he's produced include Lenny Kravitz, John Popper and Al Green.  Venice will begin recording with him on May 20th, at Compass Point Studios, in the Bahamas.  That webpage is here.  They should be out there for four to six weeks, and then Michael will stay on for mastering for another two.  The album is scheduled for release in August.

Assuming everything is finished on time, Venice plans to spend two weeks in mid-July touring Holland.  As soon as the tour is confirmed and I have the dates, I will post them.

In other news, even as we speak, Venice and PML keyboardist Chris Horvath is attending the birth of his first child.  So he's going to have to miss tomorrow night's Belly Up show.  Sitting in for him on keyboards, however, will be James Raymond of CPR.  So that oughtta be pretty cool.  And hey, congratulations, Chris!  Welcome to the Daddy Club.


April 22, 2002
Venice drummer Jamie Wallum and ex-Tories lead singer Steve Bertrand have a new project together, a 7-song CD entitled "Joyride."  I've heard it and it's really good.  It can only be purchased through the internet, at stevebertrand.com.  This site also offers audio clips.


April 18, 2002
Got a nice piece of news from Kipp Lennon.  I'll let the man speak for himself:

So excited!  I just got a call today from the Laker offices.  A week from tonight, Venice will be singing the National Anthem at the Laker game.  It's a playoff game against the Portland Trailblazers, and the joint should be jumpin'.

So that's Thursday, April 25, probably around 7:25ish.  I have no idea whether the song will be televised, but check out the broadcast just in case.


March 30, 2002
Added to the Fan Covers Page today, Sânman & Sikke, performing "The Family Tree."


March 25, 2002
Sony has unveiled a sneak preview of their new Venice website, "Venice Vibes."  There isn't much there yet, but you can sign up for their new mailing list, and treat yourself to the hookline of Venice's brand new song, "Sweet Aloha."  Check it out over here!


March 21, 2002
Here's the weekend schedule for the music acts performing at the Whole Earth Festival.  Further details are posted on the Tour Dates page.

Saturday, April 20, 2002
11am-11:35am - ADAAWE
11:40am-12:10pm - American IndianTraditional drummers/Dancers - Opening Ceremony
12:15pm-12:25pm - Opening Welcome by Hosts & Whole Foods Market
12:45pm-1:30pm - Quetzal
1:40pm-1:50pm - Keynote Speaker
2:00pm-2:20pm - Shannon Curfman & Kenny Wayne Shepherd
2:40pm-3:40pm -
Venice
4:00pm-4:10pm - Special Guest solo performance - Lili Haydn
4:10pm-5:45pm - Michael Franti & Spearhead

Sunday, April 21, 2002
11am-11:30am - John Tesh
11:30am-11:35am - Opening Welcome by Hosts & Whole Foods Market
11:35am-11:40am - America The Beautiful performed by Inara George
(Lowell George's daughter of Little Feat fame)
12:00pm-12:50pm - Walela
1:05pm-1:50pm - Ziroq
1:50pm-2:05pm - Keynote Speaker - Jean-Michel Cousteau
2:25pm-3:20pm - Richard Thompson
3:40pm-4:30pm - Hassan Hakmoun
4:50pm-6:15pm - Michelle Shocked


March 12, 2002

I was asked to pass along the following press release for the festival that Venice will be performing at on April 20th:

WHOLE EARTH FESTIVAL 2002
CELEBRATES MOTHER EARTH

Two-days of World Music and Environmental Actions
Sponsored by Whole Foods Market

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature,
he finds it attached to the rest of the world”
…John Muir

“Protect Our Home, Protect Our Future” is the theme of this year’s Whole Earth Festival, set April 20-21st, for the San Fernando Valley’s Lake Balboa.  Through a range of activities, speakers, and an eclectic World Music Festival, the celebration promises to offer Earth-saving ideas easily achieved at home that have a positive effect on our future.  The weekend event is free and welcomes all ages.

This year, LA’s most prominent environmental organizations have galvanized to present pro-active ideas and activities to help improve the environment, while savoring the sounds of a live World Music Festival.  Over 200 booths representing various environmental, community-based and governmental organizations, expert speakers, including Andy Lipkis of TreePeople and Tim Carmichael of Coalition for Clean Air, workshops, hands-on activities, the Whole Earth Marketplace with the Whole Foods Market Food Fest, healthy living workshops, tree-plantings, and clean-up activities are planned.

The Whole Earth Festival will encourage participants to do at least five things in their lives to help improve the environment.  These “action items” include: Sign Up For “Green Power”; Choose Organic Foods; Use Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs; Drive Cleaner, Fuel Efficient Vehicles; Join An Environmental Group.  States Elizabeth Carovillano, Whole Foods Market Marketing Director for the Southern Pacific Region, “People are searching for realistic ways to make a difference and these five action points present opportunities to have an actual, positive impact on our environment.”

A diverse mix of World Music will be featured from headliners Richard Thompson, Michelle Shocked, Michael Franti and Spearhead.  The two day music festival also includes John Tesh, Peter Alsop, Venice, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Shannon Curfman, Walela featuring Rita Coolidge, Quetzal, Ziroq, special guest Lili Haydn and others.  Celebrity guests and environmental supporters attending include Esai Morales, Amy Smart, Wendie Malick and Max Gail.

Ed Begley Jr., well known for his environmental activism as well as his acting career, stated that "The theme for this year's Earth Day is 'protect our home, protect our future,' and there is nothing more important that we can do to achieve that, in terms of energy security, than to get ourselves off of dependence on foreign oil by making a real commitment to true alternatives like wind, solar, hydrogen and others. These are the energy sources of the 21st century and we need to develop them now."

The festival will feature separate eco-villages including:

Children’s Earth Village
Celebrity storytelling, puppet shows, face painting, acoustic sing-a-longs, inter-active science exhibits.

Children’s Earth Costume Parade and Contest set for Sunday April 21st at 2:00 pm.

Eco Dome Workshop Center
Authors, celebrities and speakers will address themes of environmental sustainability, health and spirituality.

Eco Tech Village
Exhibits and products focusing on renewable and alternative energy and environmentally superior technologies.  Toyota will demonstrate their new hybrid gas-electric car.

Whole Earth Marketplace
Over 100 exhibits with environmentally oriented goods and services and handcrafted works.  The Whole Foods Open Air Market and Whole Foods Market Food Fest will offer organic and wholesome products, food and drinks.

Healthy Living Village
Healing arts and holistic products and services.

Supporting organizations include title sponsor Whole Foods Market, Earth Day LA and the International Earth Day Network, The Environmental Media Association, Earth Communications Office, Environmental Education Services, Global Green USA, World Trust Foundation, Coalition for Clean Air, Sierra Club Angeles Chapter, TreePeople, Heal the Bay, Natural Resources Defense Council and sponsors LA Weekly, Whole Life Times, KPCC, LA Department of Water and Power, Toyota, Ford Think, Odwalla, Cascadian Farm, and Muir Glen Organic.  Whole Earth Productions, the lead event producer, is a new Los Angeles-based non-profit production company formed in the fall of 2001 to produce events that address environmental and social justice concerns.  The event is produced in association with Jacalyn Kane Productions.

Lake Balboa is located in the San Fernando Valley, 6300 Balboa Blvd. (101 Fwy, Balboa Exit).

For additional information, please visit our Website at www.wholeearthfestival.net, or telephone our hotline at (310) 455-3977.



March 9, 2002
You can now listen to Venice's full set from the Pinkpop Festival, recorded on June 12th, 2000.  Setlist is as follows: If I Were You, World Upon My Back, End of the World, Man You Think I Am, Baby's Calling, The Family Tree, Circus In Town, One Quiet Day, Feelin' Alright.  Check it out here.  Thanks to Herman van Empel for the tip!


March 2, 2001
John Bruil has created executable and screen saver versions of the Venice flash animation.  The screen saver works on IBM only (sorry Mac users) and contains four different musical montages, so it doesn't get too tedious.  The executable is perfect to e-mail to your friends and spread the sound of Venice.  (Just make sure you send it with a signed letter that addresses your friends by name and assures them that it is not a virus.)

To download: IBM users, right-click and select "Save Target As..."  Mac users, click and hold.

Download Executable

Download Screen Saver

To install or execute, make sure you've taken note of what folder you downloaded to.  Head to that folder and double-click on the file.

In other news, in case you haven't noticed, the site's color, fonts and text size have all changed.  I think it's more aesthetically pleasing this way.  And as I'm sure you know, I'm all about pleasing those aesthetics!  (Or was that pleasing the asthmatics?  I always get those confused.)

And as an off-topic footnote, my wife Erika is pregnant again!  Baby #2 is on its way!  WOOHOO!!!


February 21, 2002
Venice fan Susanne Burke has contributed a nice recording of herself performing Venice's "Rivers Never Run."  Be sure and check that out
here.

Details for Venice's Fan Cruise 2002 have now been posted over here.

And some of you may have noticed a new flash animation starting off the webpage.  I thought it might be nice for casual surfers to be immediately greeted with Venice's music, so their very first impression will be what the band sounds like.  John Bruil put together the animation, as I stood over him, cracking my whip and screaming in his ear, "IT'S STILL NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!!!!"  John, thanks for doing a fantastic job, and for not retaliating with violence.


February 20, 2002
I've added a new section to the Audio Clips area, showcasing fans who record their own versions of Venice songs.  First up is the group Bonaparte, who offers great renditions of "If I Were You" and "The Road To Where You Are," both sung in Dutch.  You can find those
here.

If you'd like to contribute your own recordings to this section, all I need from you are MP3s and a picture.  Please contact me privately at matt@venicecentral.com.  But send a letter first.  Please don't just send large files without making sure I'm ready for them.  Thanks!


February 15, 2002
A slight correction to Monday's announcement: Venice will complete and deliver the new album to Sony in May, but it will more likely see release in June.

Here are some photos from Monday night's signing.  The man in the brown suit is Sony representative Marcel Albers, and the man with the mustache is their attorney, Lindsay Feldman.



February 11, 2002 - (6:50pm) MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT!
All went well, so here we go!

At exactly 6:48pm PST tonight, Monday, February 11, 2002, pen hit paper, contracts were signed, and Venice has officially joined the Sony family.

Thus ends a fierce bidding war that began in December 2000, when Venice amicably parted ways with both Vanguard Records in America, and ZYX Records overseas.

Venice's multi-album contract with Sony Records will provide worldwide distribution of not just Venice's upcoming new studio album, but also of "Garage Demos 1 & 2" and "Christmas With Venice," which up until now have been self-releases available only at shows and through mail order.

As for the forthcoming studio album, the goal is to release it in May in parts of Europe, and then platform it out to the rest of the world in waves.  But U.S. fans won't have to worry about having it imported, because the band will make it concurrently available via mail order and at their shows, and will also be looking into the possibility of having some Los Angeles stores carry it.  Those locations will be posted here at Venice Central when the information is available.

Once the album is finished, there will be extensive touring, concentrating on the regions where the album has been released.  June and July are already filling up with European Summer Festival dates, and afterwards, they will most likely sign on as an opening act for some bigger headliners.

With a major label behind them, this means huge things for Venice.  Music videos, EPKs, DVDs, and the kind of marketing and promotional push that their previous labels were unable to give them.

Sony will also be creating their own Venice webpage, which is great news, because it means that Venice will have an increased presence on the worldwide web.  And hey, where is it written that only one site can carry the "official" label?  The band will continue to endorse Venice Central and participate when appropriate, and there's no reason why we can't all work together to accomplish our shared goals.  To me, the idea of competing webpages is silly and defeats the purpose, so let me say here and now that Sony is welcome to utilize any and all material housed on this site, and if they'd like my assistance for any part of their campaigns, they'll have my full support.

The times, they are a-changin'.  Our best-kept secret is ending.  Get ready, people, for very soon, the whole world's gonna know…….


February 10, 2002
The third annual Venice concert cruise has been confirmed for November 15-18, 2002.  Info will be posted as soon as I have it.  But in the meantime, you can make an initial reservation by sending an e-mail to
belairtrav@aol.com.

Check back here Monday night.  If all goes well, I should have a very exciting announcement to make.


January 25, 2002
Okay, a month and a half has passed, I guess it's time to pop in and say hello.

Hello!

There hasn't been too much to report.  The occasional addition to the Venice Members Singing Backup On Other Artists' Albums page and the few new cover songs added to the Bootlegs page haven't really warranted news entries.

I can point you to something cool.  Carly Simon's official webpage has created a medley of many different bands covering Simon's song, "You're So Vain," and Venice's version (used with permission from this page) is featured.  To check that out, go here, click on "You're So Vain" on the top menu, then scroll down just a little bit to where you see "Medley of You're So Vain cover versions."

Also, I spoke to Kipp Lennon this week about the new album.  They've written some more new songs which we'll be hearing live soon.  They haven't begun recording the album yet, but they are putting down some demos which they're going to use to try to attract a top producer (Michael wants to concentrate on his playing on this one).  Kipp says that this time, instead of trying to record songs that they can duplicate live to the note, they just want to make a great album.  So if that means bringing in an orchestra or a horn section or sound effects, so be it.  He says they're also striving to draw on more of their influences this time, and not just The Eagles, Crosby, Stills & Nash, etc.  So expect to hear a wider range of styles in the songwriting as well.  The goal is to have this out by Summer.  It should be worth the wait.