SKYROCKET! the feature film

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

SKYROCKET! the cookbook

We've got, like, 5 songs in the slow cooker to finish learning. ZZTop, the Pretenders, Ted Nugent, Head East. Yum-O. Now that Darin's George Harrison tribute is over (it was incredible and we'll post some links to aud/vid when ready) and now that we're done skiing and all those other fun things we were busy with in January, it's time to get back to business as usual. South by Southwest is going to swallow us alive in a couple of weeks. Darin, Cory, Rusty Bouchet and Kyle will all be busy showcasing with different artists, while Trish....goes skiing.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

our weekend in photos....

welcome to the skyrocket lounge.
mike and darin

mike and trish soundcheck at continental club

english and crusham backstage in houston

hotchkiss chilling out.

johnny crashes in hotel...

houston, we have a problem...

darin behind the wheel...

soundcheck on sunday.

rocker, kyle crusham.

the wedding goers on sunday night.... they danced for hours!!!!

i thought this star of david was awesome!

Monday, July 21, 2008


Well, sort of Hollywood. We're playing a big party in Newport Beach in September, courtesy of Jeremy Skiver. We're trying to pick up a Friday gig in Solana Beach at the Belly Up Tavern, so if you know anyone there, put in a good word for us....

And on October 22 we'll be in New York, helping to raise money for Madison Square Park.

Madison Square Park, by the way, is home to the world-famous Shake Shack. That's what I'm most excited about visiting. The lines at the Shake Shack are always long, so now they have the Shack Cam -- you can log on and see how long the lines are before you head down there.

I heart New York.

Skyrocket performs at the champagne and barbecue gala hosted by Hill Country, a mid-town Texas barbecue and live-music haven in the flatiron district on East 26th Street. The party will start in the restaurant at 6:30 and go on until at least 11 p.m. Stay tuned for how to get tickets and support the park. We cannot wait to see you there.

Did I say how much I hearted New York?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

FOR THE LAST TIME, IT WAS THE SEVENTIES: an apologia for open marriage

OK. Has anyone else been watching Swingtown on CBS, and does anyone else relate to the teenager riding off on her bike in the rain? I could probably crank out some teleplays for this show if the writer's strike lapses back in. I'll keep you all posted.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sex, the City, and the Girl in the Band - by Trish

Last Friday night we were sitting around the table in our green room, a borrowed office at the top floor of a museum. The topic on the table, so to speak, was The 'Yeah-So-What' Posturing Of Guys Who Admit To Having Watched Sex And The City. (For the record, Mike used to DVR the series when it was on HBO.)

I waited til Father's Day to go see the movie, so I wouldn't have to wait in line, and I'm pretty sure I'm the only one in the band who's seen it. I think I liked it for weird reasons. I teared up at weird parts and laughed at not-funny moments. I think the guys would like it for the same reasons I did, though, and they'd probably notice the same parts. There's this one scene, for instance, where Carrie, who's a writer for a living, admits to checking out library books just to smell the pages. I've been doing that since I was six, and only my best friend (who's also a writer) and my mom know this about me. OK, and maybe a couple of ex-boyfriends.

Anyway, that's what I liked about the film -- that someone paid attention to the little details that establish and cement creative friendships. Shared stupid trivia, shared disasters, triage and cleanup. Shared absurdity and alienation. Shared connection and fleeting glory. Shared mediocrity, shared contempt for mediocrity. Shared bathrooms.

The scene that put a lump in my throat was when Samantha, possibly my favorite character because she's so buoyantly self-serving, brings in breakfast on a tray. She feeds the heartsick Carrie some yogurt and winks her trademark 'that's my bad girl' wink. Shared dares to keep on going because who you are is the whole point of what happens to you.

If you're lucky enough to have a friendship like that, then you come pretty close to knowing what it's like to be in a band. Me likey.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Mike Belile Misses First Gig! - by Darin

Our bassist Mike Belile's seven-year continuous streak was broken last weekend on the 7th of June 2008. Up to then, as noted previously, he had played every show we've ever done. It's always been a subject of light humor with us, but unfortunately the circumstances aren't. Mike lost his dad over the weekend and the two were very close. I knew his dad and he was an extremely talented, warm and generous man. I'll miss him as well.

Cory Glaeser, our multi-talented go-to guy, filled in for Mike and kicked ass. Admittedly, it wasn't perfect. There were bum notes, which will be good news for Mike. That's right, Big Guy, you still have your job!

Friday, May 23, 2008


Here's what we're working on in rehearsals.

GOODY TWO SHOES - not as easy as it sounds apparently
HUNGRY HEART - with Darin even happier than Bruce Springsteen
ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG which may never see the light of day after May 31

Plus the COUNTRY GOLD EXPLOSION which is classified.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Man With Perfect Attendance (And Hair) - by Darin

SKYROCKET has been around for seven years now, with changing lineups and sub players throughout. Out of the 140-plus shows we've played, only one member has taken the stage for every single one. His name? Mike Belile.

Our first appearances ever were on September 9th and 10th of 2001. If the following morning's historic events were really the wrath of God as some maintain, it was because of us. We were awful. Back then it was just Paul and Kyle on guitar, me on drums and Mike on bass. We had no front man - I sang from behind the kit and Paul sang too. Still, everyone at Hole In The Wall that first night got the jist and had fun. But it was clear we needed a lift, so we called in the best front man in town, Benjamin Hotchkiss. Instantly we had more focus, charisma and vocal strength, and a new name, K-Tel Hit Machine. What more did we need?

Johnny Goudie would answer that question for us after coming to Hole In The Wall. He immediately declared us his favorite band in Austin and asked to join (read Johnny's side of the story here). Eventually we said yes, and he debuted with us at Antone's in February 2002. [For those keeping score at home, Ben has missed two gigs and Johnny three or four, the rest of us zero] My sister Trish was there that night and was knocked out.

By the end of '03 we were cult favorites in the punk scene around town, which meant we weren't getting paid much. We got our first money gig in the form of a corporate Christmas party. That meant we needed more material...and a girl singer. So we brought Trish in and it worked right away. We became not just a band, but a force of nature.

Since then several of us have missed a few shows. I sat out most of 2005 to do an acting job and was replaced by Tripp Wiggins and Nina Singh. Johnny and Kyle have missed the most for touring and recording projects, and even Paul missed a couple of gigs last year, so our de facto eighth member Cory Glaeser has been on hand for over two years to fill all of those slots.

But Mike Belile, the Cal Ripkin of bass players, has never missed a gig. Mainly it's because he's afraid we'd replace him permanently. Not a chance. Where are we gonna find another guy with hair like his? I saw him the other day drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic's. His hair was perfect.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

How I became a Huffington Post Blogger -- by Darin

In 2005, I a went to a party in New York thrown by the Creative Coalition, an association of entertainers, artists and political activists geared towards enlightening young people on vital socio-political issues. While I was there I met political commentator Arianna Huffington. Starstruck, I gushed to her what an admirer I was of her intellect, her courage and her sense of humor (not to mention she's a drop-dead knockout and cameras don't do her justice, but I digress). She told me that she had just started a new online blog called The Huffington Post and that they were looking for bloggers and I was welcome to blog about whatever I fancied. Nervously I took her up on the offer, wondering what the hell I was gonna write about and who the hell would care. Both questions were answered very quickly. Three years on, The Huffington Post is ranked the #1 most authoritative blog in the US (out of some 5 million), with a huge stable of contributors. Here's a link to all my posts.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

How I Got My Voice Back

People who've been following my career as Trish Murphy for a while, or even as Trish and Darin back in the day, might already know that singing has never come easily for me. Somebody somewhere out there has sat through a performance when I was so hoarse I could hardly get through the show, or even showed up only to find that I couldn't sing at all and had to cancel (this only happened once, in 1999 at the Mucky Duck in Houston, and I was still there to sign CDs and have a CD-release "party.") Those days are pretty much over, except for November and April bouts with allergy-driven pharyngitis, and if you were in Houston last weekend you heard it for yourself.

I have Skyrocket to thank, though, for a lot of my rehab.

From the time I was a tiny kid I've had kind of a rasp to my voice, and by the eighth grade things got pretty dire. I'd go to a slumber party and be mute the next day. Singing was limited to about one hour's worth, and after that forget it. Finally I was diagnosed with vocal nodules, which are basically hard callouses that form on your vocal chords and cut off some of the air that needs to pass through them to make a clear sound. Surgery followed in 10th grade, and months of speech therapy to correct some of the habits I'd developed in the attempt to make my voice audible -- to push sound out through those two tense, worn-out little reeds of muscle.

I didn't know then that it would take a lifetime, really, for my voice to heal. Nobody knows what causes the musculature to tense up in your throat, tongue, jaw, neck and head, but that's what happens when you're using an impaired voice. "Raising my pitch" to eliminate "tongue tension" became a daily practice in therapy, and it seemed so stupid and annoying to hear the fake, babyish pitch I had to use instead of my 'real' one, which was low and throaty and pressed down on my pipes in a way I could feel. The new voice was surprisingly free of effort, heady and relaxed, but I thought I sounded like a dork. I never got the hang of it.

My range was limited to maybe an octave by that time. I limped through high school in choir and theater, faking it as a second soprano and praying I wouldn't poop out when I got cast as Babe in "The Pajama Game." I can't even count how many speech tournaments I bombed when my voice would buckle under the pressure in final rounds. Sometimes we'd win anyway, but I never felt good about it. It seemed like whenever the stakes were high, my voice would always give me away.

Fast forward to the Trish Murphy years, when major-label showcases, South by Southwest, and the relentless grind of sleep deprivation and industry scrutiny caught up with me from time to time. By then I'd regained some of my footing and earned some confidence, but the high-stakes climate of career decisions and competition would still take its toll. I'd have nightmares where I would need to scream but no sound would come out. Or someone in the dream would make me fly into a hoarse, impotent rage.

By the time I joined Skyrocket, in 2004, I was ready for things to get easier. I'd just put out a new record that I'd financed and then promoted independently, including radio and European tours, and the stress of it was getting to me. I had also begun to realize, the hard way, that not speaking up for yourself to command what you need, want and deserve in life (or in a career) isn't a good thing. Eventually as I started to reverse that habit, the weirdest thing happened. The stakes somehow didn't seem so high any more. I started to relax. And my voice came back.

A few weeks ago my mom was in the audience and saw Skyrocket rip out a full-tilt version of "Crazy on You," complete with the little acoustic-guitar intro. She couldn't believe I actually sang it. I don't have one of those golden throats, but what I do have is hard-won, and I hope the sound that comes out is honest. The material doesn't matter to me. My own songs are written as a confession, and the singing is an afterthought although the melody is usually scrupulous. Singing other people's songs is strangely liberating. The stakes are lower. And I probably need the relief.

Matthew Mahon took that picture of my tonsils.