Category Archives: Music

Lost Axis and Editing Progress


When I first started Popp Over America, I was certain I was going to be doing the TV show and the tour as a solo act. But in the words of the greek philosopher Heraclitus, “The only thing that is constant is change.” My friend of many years Shaugn O’Donnell joined me for my birthday show back in May at Shrine and we had such a good time we decided to become an acoustic duo. We have played more than a few gigs under the moniker Popp Over America, but after our last show out in Stony Brook at the Velvet Lounge, that name didn’t feel right. We are a unit now so we needed a new name.

After a volley of emails between Tylor Durand (graphic artist and former bandmate), Shaugn, and myself, we settled on the name Lost Axis. Tylor whipped up seemingly infinite renditions of graphic ideas and after a bucket of us whining and Tylor refining, we arrived at the above logo. Some will say it’s too metal. Some will say it’s too punk. We say good.

Pilot Editing Progress:
I am still working diligently on logging the footage for the pilot episode. Uladzimir Taukachou, the cinematographer for the pilot shoot, has been helping me greatly by syncing all the cameras and sound.  At this point I don’t think I can fit all of what I want to keep into just one episode. I will know more as I move along in the process but this is an epic task. There is a story to tell and I don’t want to leave out any important detail. I hope to have some clips up soon. Stay tuned!


Video – Popp Over America Inaugural Show @ Shrine!

So the journey has begun. I have been working on Popp Over America since October of last year. Back then, I thought this would be a solo trip, but as life would have it, things change. I’ve realized the musical expedition is one that is better off with a bandmate.

I have been practicing with my old friend Shaugn O’Donnell on a collection of songs I have written over the years. Popp Over America is now no longer a solo endeavor, but a band. Having earned his doctorate in musical theory, Shaugn is a literal musical genius. He is often flown around the country to lecture on Pink Floyd or the Grateful Dead. But Shaugn has never been tied by the bonds of the musical egghead scene. He has a working class ethic that I also share, and when we rehearse, we grind it out old school. There are no breaks. We play until we can’t play anymore.

Shaugn and I both started at City College of New York on practically the same day 13 years ago. He as a Theory Professor, and me as a tech for the Sonic Arts Center. He was reserved at first, and the joke goes that he didn’t talk to me for the first two years of our employment. But after prolonged exposure to each other, we became friends. We both shared the turmoil of divorces but more importantly, a love of live music and guitar led us to meandering multi-hour conversations. We would later form a band with renaissance man Tylor Durand on drums, Shaugn on guitar, and me playing the bass, called Plasma in the Ukraine. The life of the band would be short as I could not stomach being a bass player – the job did not match the cut of my jib.

Fast-forward two years later and we are sharing the stage again. Shaugn sticks to the guitar and leaves the vocal shenanigans and songwriting to me. We are sort of the Jay and Silent Bob or perhaps the Penn and Teller of the acoustic rock scene. Music is meant to be shared and I am lucky to get to do just that with one of the best friends of a lifetime.

Our first gig at the famous Shrine in Harlem, NYC (as seen in the video above) was a barn burner. We were well practiced and had a great crowd to cheer us on for this first outing. As you can tell, I couldn’t be happier. A big thanks to everybody that attended the show. Your presence means more than you will ever know…

So sláinte to Shaugn O’Donnell, now an irreplaceable half of the musical duo that is Popp Over America.

Pictures by: Evil Kel, Heather Laurel, and Jenny Mavronas



Legs of Cement – New Song!

Click here for the new Popp Over America song: “Legs of Cement”

I’m a punk rocker that’s it. The title “singer-songwriter” doesn’t fit me but I find it the best way to describe what I am doing with Popp Over America – a guy playing an acoustic guitar and singing. This song represents the direction of the album I am recording that will be released in conjunction with the completion of the trailer in August. Fast, gravelly, and unpolished. No, I don’t Auto-Tune.

This song was inspired after Jenny told me about an incident where she fell going up the stairs in a subway station and people just walked around her as she was on the ground.

You may recognize the riff as it is the tune used in the Kickstarter video.

Legs of Cement
Did I stammer
Get me a jackhammer
I’ll try to explain
As you try to not understand

Needless pins
Stab into my shins
Please don’t ask
No, I don’t want your reprimand

Cruel slippery eels
Poisoning my sea
Distilled one by one
Into potent cruelty
I’m dying in this wool
Every watt of energy spent
Won’t somebody take
These legs of cement

Stairs to the sky
Makes me question why
Did M.C. Escher
Help out with the design?

A tumble then a fall
A whimper then a call
Ignored by masses
Cattle trotting by

Jenny Subway rectangle

So where’s the music?

Joe Popp at SHRINE. Photo credit Stacey Salter Moore
Joe Popp at SHRINE. Photo credit Stacey Salter Moore

I am doing Popp Over America as a 48 state non-stop tour as a singer-songwriter, and even though I have played hundreds of solo shows, I have never released a solo acoustic album! To remedy this glowing problem, I will be recording and mixing an album of songs that I will play on the tour and release them as they are finished.

The first song is a tune I wrote earlier this year called “I Don’t Hate It Here.” The song is about how living in NYC wears on my soul, but just when I think my brain is going to explode, I am reminded by some small event how lucky I am to reside in such an amazing place.

The song is available on the Popp Over America Bandcamp page. You can “name your price” to download it (yes, even zero cents!) with all contributions going towards production costs of the show.

Click here to get “I Don’t Hate It Here”