For My Fans: Sneaky Release of my New CD! Shhhh....
January 29, 2020
Hey fans! Don't tell the press and radio yet, but I just got a pile of copies of my new CD and you can get one before the radio or press knows about it... just go here:
or find it on itunes and Apple Music:
10 tracks of all humorous songs. We had a lot of fun making this thing and I hope you love it!
CD is at the duplication plant!
January 22, 2020
The new CD, The LOUD album, is at the duplication plant!
It's 10 tracks, all humorous songs. 6 parodies, 4 originals, recorded mostly in Nashville in the studio with the very talented and funny Steve Goodie at the board (engineering and contributing guitars, drums, bass, even some vocals here and there).
It's tons of fun and I think you're gonna love it!
Here's what's coming:
Things That I Trust More Than You
At the Dollar Store
You Are the Salt (doowop sendup or "pastiche")
Stupefied By Maladies Defying Diagnosis (parody)
Fat Elvis (parody)
Take Me Out to the Overpriced Ballgame (parody)
Now and Later (parody)
Stuck at 13 (parody)
You Can't Sit Down in a Stormtrooper Costume
Gluten-Free Diet (parody)
guitar tutorial: How to play "Please Do Something Stupid"
January 20, 2020
By request, I've created a video tutorial on how to play one of my most popular and enduring songs, "Please DO Something Stupid.'
The video is also a great primer for learning jazz chords!
New holiday song!
On December 18, 2019
It's the Most Fattening Time of the Year! You know what I mean, and that's my new song parody,.
it's up on bandcamp for streaming or purchase right here:
New Song: The Peloton Song
December 08, 2019
ICYMI, there's been a big flap about the Peloton exercise bike commercial.
This already-fit looking woman gets an exercise bike for Christmas from her hubby.
And, well, some people think the blowback about the commercial is much ado about nothing.
Maybe it is. But this much I know: there are certain things you never buy as a gift unless your'e 100% certain the person wanted it.
Like acne medication. Or a vacuum cleaner. OR exercise gear.
Anyhow, here's the song I wrote about it!
Article on Music as a Healthy Distraction from Chronic Illness
October 29, 2019
A terrific article written by one of my guitar students on the power of music to distract from chronic illness/ chronic pain.
On October 22, 2019
Just had a great session with the immensely talented Bob Malone, who added keys to 4 songs.
We now have so much great talent on the recording, we have a problem- there's too much music happening on some of the songs! and all of it is great. I had to explain the phrase "embarrassment of riches" to my producer (He knew we had too much great stuff- he'd just never heard that turn of phrase).
So, we're gonna turn up the fiddle here and down there, more telecaster here, less there, banjo, 2nd guitar, dobro, keyboards, a veritable soup of amazing players all playing tasty stuff, but we have to make some choices.
I still don't have a release date set, because after making 7 of these things, I've learned everything takes longer and costs twice as much as you expected. I only needed to have one time where I held a CD release concert with no CDs on hand to learn my lesson!
Meanwhile, while you're waiting, here's a goofy video of an intentionally depressing birthday song:
And the latest guitar "how to" guitar video ("Hey There Delilah," a great first fingerpicking song):
More News on the Upcoming CD
September 10, 2019
Looks like we're adding even more amazing talent to the upcoming CD!
On keyboards: We're getting my amazing (and fun) friend Bob Malone for 3-4 songs. Bob travels the world both as a solo act and as a member of John Fogerty's band. Back before he was so famous, we used to gig and even write songs together (remember "We Don't Need a Walmart?").
On telecaster: Erik Halbig, who I know from 20+ years ago (we used to teach together at the National Guitar Workshop), will be spicing things up with some hot country picking' on 4 songs. He produced 2 songs for me in 1998 ("What If Your Girlfriend Was Gone" - twang version and "Boy Wonder" wall of sound version). Erik plays with all the big country acts- Ty Herndon, Sugarland, you name it. Like Bob, he is really in demand but he's on board for this project!
On dobro: Rob Ickes, a longtime friend of my producer (Bob Harris), is a Grammy winner and 13-time Dobro Player of the year (International Bluegrass Music Association).
On fiddle: Another award-winning world-class player Andy Leftwich who Bob Harris knows and works with.
On 2nd guitar and other miscellaneous stuff: Bob Harris, producer, engineer and sideman to the stars (longtime sideman for Vassar Clements).
This thing is already sounding great and these players are just going to take it up to new heights. I feel so fortunate to have these players working on my project! You won't believe your ears!
Carla's YouTube Guitar Tutorials: The F-Word Song
On September 09, 2019
The latest guitar tutorial is up!
Learn how to play my most-requested song "If I Had the Copyright" (The F word song)!
You, too, can be politely asked to never come back to a venue again with that filthy mouth (or you can use the bleeper- instructions provided).
Carla's Guitar Tutorials: House of the Rising Sun How-To
On September 03, 2019
I've just posted a YouTube lesson on how to play the classic song "House of the Rising Sun."
If you've ever wanted to learn this, give it a shot!
I'm in the studio working on a new CD!
On August 18, 2019
I'm excited to announce that I'm about halfway done with a new CD!
It's my 8th CD and my first studio recording since Totally Average Woman (late 2015) - and I'm really happy with how it's going.
I'm doing half the songs in Nashville with the ridiculously talented Steve Goodie (who is also very funny), and the other half in New Jersey with the equally talented Bob Harris.
I'm recording the country stuff in New Jersey and the rock stuff in Nashville. Because logic.
I think you're gonna love it.
Stay tuned for the latest!
Carla's YouTube Guitar Tutorials: How to Get a Pick Out of a Guitar
On July 15, 2019
Dadgummit! My pick fell into my guitar again!
Learn how to quickly and easily retrieve that pick without breaking the guitar open.
I've been using this secret for years!
USA Song Contest Finalist
On February 08, 2019
Just got word that my song "Totally Average Woman" was chosen as a Finalist in the USA Song Competition (in the Novelty category).
The contest is done- the song will not advance further, but this is a huge contest, with thousands of entries, so being a Finalist is indeed an honor. Congratulations and thank you to my co-writers, Joe Giacoio and Steve Goodie.
New Live CD is here!
On January 12, 2019
This just in- and I do mean *just* in:
A brand new CD, Live from FuMPfest, is here!
Recorded entirely at FuMPfest (FuMP = Funny Music Project, check 'em out if you're unfamiliar : www.thefump.com ), it's a mix of standup comedy and funny songs.
I had pretty bad hayfever at that time, which seemed to make me funnier. Too congested to be nervous perhaps?
It's a mix of previously recorded songs and totally new stuff, and if you enjoy live recordings and/or haven't been able to make it to a live concert of mine, this is a great chance to make up that missed experience, flaws and all (this has not been "fixed" in the studio. All we did in the studio was cut it up into separate tracks, so it's wouldn't be one long recording).
Get a copy at www.carlaulbrich.bandcamp.com
Madam Opus Compilation CD of All Funny Women
January 03, 2019
I'm excited to be included on the compilation CD project "Madam Opus," which features all women doing all funny songs.
Here's my contribution to the project:
This album features songs by The Doubleclicks, Jessica Delfino, Carla Ulbrich, Reformed Whores, Meri Amber, and many more, including Lauren Mayer's song "The Sexual Harassment Prevention Song," the video for which has been viewed over 3 million times, and Carrie Dahlby's parody "Don't Talk About Size" which came in at #21 on Dr. Demento's year-end Funny 25 countdown of the most requested songs of the year.
Winner, Winfield Song Contest (Humorous Category)
On September 19, 2016
We're going' to Winfield!
The Walnut Valley Festival (in Kansas) has been on my bucket list for a long time, and we had already decided to go when I learned that my song "Gotta Start Smokin' " was selected as one of the 2 winners for the Humorous category of the song contest there (You didn't think I'd win the prize in the "love songs" category, did you?).
I'll be playing that song (don't blink! You'll miss me!) Thursday morning (Sept. 15), as will the other Thursday winners (there is a set of winners playing on Thursday and a different set of song contest winners playing on Saturday- same contest, 2 winners in each category).
#5 artist, #6 song, and #9 album for March 2016!
On April 02, 2016
Folk radio was very good to us in March!
I was the #5 artist, with the #6 song ("Totally Average Woman," a blues spoof & the title track from the CD) and the #9 album ("Totally Average Woman").
More on the March Folk DJ chart:
Interview with Ron Olesko on SingOut!
On March 24, 2016
Had a great time visiting Ron Olesko on March 5 in the studio of WFDU.
He has written a very nice blog post about our visit, complete with a stream of the interview, in case you missed it.
"Joe's Ex-Girlfriends" chosen as Finalist in International Song Contest (winners TBA)
On March 18, 2016
"Joe's Ex-Girlfriends" (a.k.a. "track 1" on the new CD) has moved up from "semi-finalist" to "finalist" in the comedy category of the Internationa; Song Contest.
Here's the list of finalists (you can listen to every single song here!):
Logan Award for Excellence in Comedy Music!
On March 06, 2016
"Carla Ulbrich, a Somerset, New Jersey-based comical singer-songwriter, was recently chosen as the winner of the 2016 Logan Award for Outstanding Parody Song for “Cheek To Cheek.” Set to the tune of Irving Berlin’s song of the same name, this “Cheek To Cheek” is a witty commentary on cosmetic improvements (plastic surgery, botox and steroid injections) and appears on Totally Average Woman, Ulbrich’s newly released album of all humorous material."
"Mostly Folk" Episode 156 with host Artie Martello
On March 05, 2016
Artie Martello and I talk about life, hospitals, Ernie and Bert, and my new CD on Episode 156 of "Mostly Folk."
Official Radio Release of "Totally Average Woman"
On March 01, 2016
It's March 1, the official radio release date of "Totally Average Woman!"
Many of friends and crowdfunders- and a handful of DJs- already have copies of the CD.
It's time to let the rest of the world know about it!
What kind of CD is this?
Totally Average Woman has 5 funny original songs, 7 silly parodies and a ridiculous bonus track. Need tips on choosing a beverage? Traveling to China? Getting away from someone who won't stop talking? Why, this CD is practically a public service announcement!. Without all that boring useful info.
Produced by Bob Malone and Steve Goodie, the album features the talents of Amy Engelhardt (The Bobs), Bob Malone (John Fogerty), Tim LeFebvre (Derek Trucks), Mike Baird (Journey, Hall and Oates, Donna Summer), Bob DeMarco (“Ellen,” “CSI,” “Extra”), and Chris Trujillo (Toto, South Park). The genres bend to fit the topic or (for parodies) to match the original song; folk, blues, swing and pop-rock (the common thread is humor).
Above Average Reviews!
“Enter the delightfully twisted musical mind of Carla Ulbrich through her new CD, Totally Average Woman. Ha! I detect nothing average about Carla’s high IQ songs. Her sharp, well-tuned humor inspires a melody of chuckles, guffaws, oh’s, ah’s, aha’s, or oh no’s, and you might hold your belly-laugh until your stomach becomes flat.” - Mara Noelle, KVMR-FM
"Perhaps the northeast's funniest interpreter of human foibles has given us another gift. “Aunt Flow Rag" rendered me helpless with laughter... May this review be an unofficial declaration of Carla's status as way above average?" - Richard Cuccaro, Acoustic Live!
"The wonderful thing about Carla's songs is that many of them portray truth about relationships, living, eating, etc. Fantastic!" - Jon Stein, Hootenanny Cafe, WTBQ
links links links:
Preview the entire CD here: http://www.carlaulbrich.bandcamp.com
Airplay Direct – available March 1, 2016 http://www.airplaydirect.com/music/CarlaUlbrich/
FCC Warnings: There are a few “naughty” words (track 1, 2) but they have all been bleeped and there are naughty words in Mandarin Chinese (track 5) that are not bleeped.
Totally Average Track List:
1) Joe’s Ex-Girlfriends 2:08 (mid-tempo garage rock) Thanks, ladies, for lowering the bar! After all of you, Joe doesn’t even notice I’m clinically insane. FCC: one bleeped word (at 1:28)
2) Gotta Start Smokin’ 2:26 (mid-tempo 20s style swing) Smokers are rewarded with work breaks ("smokers' rights") while the non-smokers are stuck inside with no work break, picking up the slack. FCC: 2 bleeped words (at 1:44, 1:48)
3) Man Pants 1:06 (fast swing, parody of “American Bandstand”) Guys, we don’t need to see your underwear. You look silly. Pull up your pants. Some cities have passed “pants laws.”
4) If You’re Going to China 3:31 (mid-tempo Beatles- style acoustic rock) Short skit intro. Planning a kung fu trip to China, Joe was given 80 pages of advice, but didn’t have time to read it. I put it in song form. FCC: Swear words in actual Mandarin Chinese (background vocals) (1:23, 1:30, 1:44, 2:07, 2:15, 2:29)
5) Totally Average Woman 3:25 (slow blues shuffle) Blues guys are always singing about how mean or how fantastic their woman is. What about the average woman?
6) Cheek to Cheek 3:18 (uptempo jazz, parody of “Cheek to Cheek”) Liposuction, botox, lip injections- people are actually getting the fat sucked out of their behinds and injected into their faces.
7) Aunt Flow Rag 1:36 (uptempo swing) One woman’s PMS makes us all suffer.
8) Dr Pepper 1:18 (midtempo 70s pop, parody of “Be a Pepper”) At a conference lunch, the only thing to drink was Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper. Think I’ll just stay thirsty.
9) Ragnarok 2:05 (mid-tempo pop rock, parody of “Fraggle Rock”) skit + song about the Norse version of the apocalypse, featuring a “civilian” thrust into the world of gamers.
10) Break Away 2:46 (fast pop rock, parody of “Break Away”). Everything I think but can’t say when trapped by someone who won’t stop talking.
11) Needless Dissection 3:17 (slow 70’s ballad, parody of “Rainbow Connection”). A (gentle) diatribe on classroom animal dissection: traumatizing children and causing species extinction.Frogs populations around the world are in serious decline.
12) Swamp Thing 2:53 (slow 60s rock, parody of “Wild Thing”) There are too many unsung heroes in the comic book world- literally. As in they don’t have their own song.
13) Before Autotune 0:27 (many tempos, modern) Commentary on the overuse of pitch correction and other “studio magic” in the music industry.
International Song Competition Semi-Finalist (Winners TBA)
On February 29, 2016
"Joe's Ex-Girlfriends" is a Semi-finalist in the International Song competition.
Finalists will be announced within a couple of weeks, and winners will be announced once the judging process is completed.
USA Song Competition: Finalist, Comedy/ Novelty Category
On February 11, 2016
This just in:
"Joe's Ex-Girlfriends" (the song, not the gals) won "finalist" in the 2015 USA Song Competition (Novelty/ Comedy Category).
I, of course, won Joe.
#5 for the year on the Dr. Demento Show!
On December 26, 2015
My parody "Dr Pepper" was #5 for the year on the Dr. Demento Show. (Rankings are based on listener requests, so thank you to those who requested my song!).
Live with host Jon Grayson on WMSC (syndicated!)
On December 15, 2015
Listen here for a playback of a live interview with me and host Jon Grayson on "Music Monday," WMSC
CD Reviewed in "Acoustic Live!"
December 01, 2015
Read "Acoustic Live!" online here:
CD is up on Amazon, iTunes, more
On November 06, 2015
That "Totally Average Woman" is really getting around...
Find the new CD here:
- iTunes (review it, preview it, buy it, put it on your wish list!)
- Amazon (review it, preview it, buy it, put it on your wish list!)
- bandcamp (these orders actually come to me, and I ship them, so if you want a signed CD, go here)
- Southern Fried Filk (mail order/ at filk conventions)
- Dodeka Records (mail order/ at filk conventions)
- 150 other places: "Totally Average Woman" will show up on Shazam, Rhapsody and 150+ digital services (if it hasn't already).
New Music Video: Dr Pepper
On November 03, 2015
A while back, I was at a conference and the only thing to drink at lunch was Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper. I just stared at the can, considering just going thirsty instead. Dr Pepper already has 23 flavors to begin with- now my tongue also has to process Diet, Cherry and Vanilla? And my kidneys- what are they going to make of this concoction? That's where the song was born. And now we have a video.
"Dr Pepper" features Tom Rockwell (mastermind of The Funny Music Project), Joe Giacoio (my other half!), and my spontaneously-recruited neighbors Todd, Olivia and Logan. And 24 cans of soda.
First Official Review of the CD is in!
November 01, 2015
Ulbrich is one lady who put a smile on this critic’s face without taking off her go-go boots. (Yeah, yeah, but look at the cover art, OK?) This reporter has said it before, but it bears repeating: Carla Ulbrich shouldn’t be taken any less seriously than other gals with guitars. Truth is Ulbrich is dead serious . . . about putting a smile on your face
Flashback: Carla on 7-Second Delay Jan 7, 2009
On October 06, 2015
Someone mentioned the very fun show "7-Second Delay" with host Andy Breckman (very funny songwriter and producer of the fabulous TV show "Monk"). I had the pleasure of appearing on that show a while back. I just looked it up on line and it's still there in the archives!
For your listening pleasure (scroll down to Jan. 7, 2009):
On October 04, 2015
The crowdfunder for the new CD was such a success that I set a "stretch goal" to fund making a music video.
And here it is!
"Joe's Ex Girlfriends"
The New CD is here!
September 29, 2015
The new CD is here!Have a listen!!! (or go get a copy!):
"Totally Average Woman" is my 6th CD, made with lots of help:
- incredibly talented producers Bob Malone (he also produced my 3rd CD, "Sick Humor" and Steve Goodie.
- a batch of fantastic musicians (including Bob and Steve)
- fabulous photographer Rick Stockwell
- super duper graphic artist Jake Thomas
- my crowdfunder supporters! Yeah!
All funny songs- 5 originals, 7 parodies, and one ridiculous bonus track.
I do believe this is my best project yet and I can't wait for you to hear it! We had a lot of fun recording this, and I think it shows.
In another week or so, it'll be out on itunes and all those other digital outlets, at which time I will release the totally above average music video we made for the first track, "Joe's Ex-Girlfriends." YEAH!
Dr. Demento airs interview with me, actual size
On September 26, 2015
This past weekend, Dr. Demento aired the interview we recorded with him when we were in California a couple weeks ago.
"We" being me, and the duo "actual size" (Steve Goodie and Andy Corwin). We split a bumch of shows together, and Steve was a most frightening Klingon (in the best way) for "Duet with a Klingon" and an equally convincing dork on "Ragnarok." I enjoyed harmonizing on some of their songs as well.
Dr. Demento was once aired on many stations 9I think 200+) in his heyday (70s-80s). He has never stopped doing the show, but it is now only available via internet (http://www.drdemento.com).
NPR features the F-word (If I Had the Copyright) Song on Weekend Edition
On September 19, 2015
Imagine my surprise!
I wake up and see texts from several friends telling me my song was featured on NPR's Weekend Edition today, as part of a segment about the F Word.
I sent them this song over 10 years ago, and I guess they've kept it in their back pocket since then, because they used a very old version (the one with sound effects instead of bleeps). Anyway, Yay!
Here's a link in case you want to have a listen to the story:
Keepin' It Clean
On September 11, 2015
hey hey! nice article!
I'm so serious about being funny...
CD News, California tour with actual size
On August 20, 2015
As of yesterday, hundreds of copies of the CD "Totally Average Woman" are on the way to my house!
Which means, for those of you who have pre-ordered, it will be on the way to YOUR house anon (that's fancy talk for "any day now").
I've got a mile-long to-do list, but August was slow in terms of gigs and guitar students, so I took some work as a background actor (a.k.a. "extra," a.k.a. human scenery) for some TV shows to keep the cash flowing so I could pay the bills and have some money to get help with my 2nd (and possibly 2rd) music videos for this CD. You might see me in the background on The Affair, Billions (doesn't come out 'til next year), Orange Is the New Black, Blue Bloods. Or more likely, you won't see me.
Working as an extra makes for long days standing around in high heels and a stick-on bra (and a dress...)- well, it makes me even more grateful to be doing what I do most of the time for a living: singing ridiculous songs. If you're looking for some work where you get paid very little, are frequently bored, have to stand in the heat and pretend it's cold out or stand in the cold and pretend to be warm, usually in uncomfortable shoes- check it out (the extra thing, not the funny song thing)! I'm getting my 15 minutes of fame, 1/2 a second at a time. So, only about 1790 more 12-hour shoots and I'll achieve my 15 minutes of fame.
Speaking of ridiculous, really looking forward to sharing the bill with fun music duo actual size (Steve Goodie and Andy Corwin) for several shows in California. Steve, you may know, was co-producer on this new CD of mine, and also lent his vocal and instrumental and even writing talents to several tracks. Hopefully he will reprise his role as Dork #1 for the song "Ragnarok" live in concert. I *will* have copies of the new CD with me! Can't wait for you to hear it!
#1 on Dr. Demento!
On July 25, 2015
Well look at that! The CD is not even out yet, but the preview track, "Dr Pepper" was the #1 most requested song on Dr. Demento last week, and #5 this week. Thanks to folks who requested it! Here's the link if you'd like to request it again for next week!
HOW TO BE IN MY NEW MUSIC VIDEO!!
On May 15, 2015
HEY! Want to be in my "man pants" music video?
Send a picture a short video of yourself wearing horrible pants gone wrong, meaning worn wayyy too low, with underwear showing.
Or wayyy too high. Or plaid, or bell-bottomed with the "keep on truckin'" pose.
You can be walking, attempting to scurry away, or just standing there looking goofy, as long as your pants are inappropriately high or low (and you're wearing underwear) or otherwise remarkable. And you don't have to be a man. You can be a woman, or a kid. Or anyone or anything wearing pants.
I will be taking pictures and video at fumpfest as well, so if you're coming to that, bring your kooky pants!
Your reward? A credit in the music video (and being part of something ridiculous).
Send your "pants" photo/ short video (and how you wish to be credited if your pants are included in the video) to: email@example.com
Indiegogo Campaign a Huge Success!
On April 07, 2015
Wow! The Indiegogo Comedy Music CD Pre-Sale has been a huge success!
We met the goal!
We met the stretch goal
We met the 2nd stretch goal!
Thank you so much, everybody!
This means there will be an even dozen fully-produced songs (with backing band) on the CD, and my first-ever real music video!
Because this campaign was fully funded, it is eligible for "InDemand" (extending the campaign, in a limited capacity).
It's too late to get your name in the liner notes or to get a "You Are Awesome" video, but you can still pre-order CDs postage-free (or a download) or buy a house concert.
What will I do with more funds? I have a really fun idea for a video "commercial" for the CD, and I have just the guy to help me pull it off. There's also the excellent option of making another music video. There is definitely more than one song that lends itself to a funny video on this CD.
Thanks again, friends, for making it possible to make a fabulously fun CD, and for all your words of support and encouragement.
New Comedy Music CD Pre-Sale Now Happening!
On March 05, 2015
It's happening! The new comedy CD is coming!
Got a great band, great producer, and some really fun songs (if I do say so myself).
Totally Average Woman
Thank You Joe's Ex-Girlfriends
Goin' To China
Gotta Start Smokin'... and more (still making decisions on which songs will make the final cut).
Pre-order a copy, or buy some handwritten lyrics, or a guitar lesson- check out the page!
Carla Ulbrich and Amy Engelhardt Exclusive Interview
February 15, 2015
We sat down with award-winning journalist Brynne Whitney to talk about our upcoming online show...
How did you two meet?
CU: It was either when she sang backup for me on my Sick Humor album (check out "oooooooh pants!" on "the colon")... or through the tin foil hat society.
AE: YES! And am pretty sure it was through Bob Malone, who worked on both of our albums and who’s now John Fogerty’s keyboard wizard. And me singing “oooh, pants” is also the bonus track on Sick Humor!
What would you tell Amy about New Jersey that she may not already know, having grown up there?
CU: 1) New Jersey is not a normal place. All the pressure cooker vibe of New York City without the perks. Other than that, it's great.
2) You can get dairy-free coconut milk ice cream on the pier in Asbury Park. Oh. and Asbury Park is no longer a war zone. It's been gentrified.
AE: Haight-Asbury? I dunno. I think I’d just cry if I went back. Especially if the tea cup ride and the Tilt-a-Whirl are gone.
What's your favorite thing about doing Live, Streaming shows?
CU: People who tune in who otherwise would never see me live (because they are in Germany or some other place I've never played)
AE: Agreed. I also like the talkback aspect – the chatroom interaction.
What's your least favorite thing about doing Live, Streaming shows?
CU: Lighting! can't seem to get that right.
AE: The fact that people still don’t get 1) how great they are and 2) how inexpensive they are – they don’t have to get up from their own couch and still don’t tune in? CRAZY!
Where was your oddest gig?
CU: I was going to say playing the nudist festival, but I did that 4 times. Or maybe the time I played for a wedding, and it was just me, the couple and the preacher. But I think it was the boat launching party where the boat couldn't be launched because they didn't realize a wooden boat had to be launched in salt water so that the wood would swell & the the seams would shut. So we all stood around the boat as it sat on the trailer in the yard, me leading sea shanties.
AE: A million years ago, when I was Christmas caroling in Los Angeles professionally (yes, singers do that!), a friend and I did a duo gig for 90 minutes on a trolley car shuttling people from a private parking lot to a swanky party. But the party was in a house in a cul-de-sac and the trolley took 20 minutes to turn around. I think we sang for a total of five minutes and tried not to laugh.
What was your favorite subject in high school?
CU: Suntanning! Then band. Then PE. (Can you believe my parents are both PhDs?)
AE: History (preferably Egyptian/Greek/Roman) and languages. (I know, I know – the Geek Alarm is deafening.)
Black, cream or sugar?
CU: Coffee is not my cup of tea.
AE: REGULAH. (Only an East Coast homie will get that.) But with Splenda.
Bikinis or briefs?
CU: Wait what- are you asking whether I wear men's underwear?
AE: That answer is not free.
What's the newest song will you play in the show?
CU: I haven't decided yet. I may not have written it yet. I'll probably play "Totally Average Woman" (kinda new), and maybe "Stupefied By Maladies Defying Diagnosis" (more new), or possibly "Thank You, Joe's Ex-Girlfriends" (even more new). I think I've only played that once publicly.
AE: Likely “The Dogz,” which is an “answer song” to the question posed a few years back, “Who Let the Dogs Out?”
Automatic or stick shift?
CU: Automatic in New Jersey and NY City, stick everywhere else. I haven't found a car that does both yet.
AE: Automatic. I don’t have time to shift, baby.
Where is this double-bill online concert taking place?
CU: For us, in my dining room, most likely. Because that’s where the piano is. For everyone watching, just about anywhere on the planet-wherever you can get a connection to the internet!
Sun., Feb. 22, 8pm Eastern https://www.concertwindow.com/carlau
About an hour, pay what you like, make comments/ requests in the chat room.
Coming in 2015: New CD and Monthly Online Concerts
January 09, 2015
Happy New Year!
I know, I'm a little late with that. But my Christmas tree is still up, so it's all relative.
I dipped a toe into the "streaming concert world" in December, putting on a double bill with humorous songwriter and friend Todd Chappelle. We had a great time. It was a little informal, but kept a great pace and we definitely had synergy.
So I'm gonna put on a series of these, to introduce you all to some more of my funny friends who you maybe haven't heard.
- Comedy Rapper and brain of The FuMP (Funny Music Project) Devo Spice
- Incredibly talented Singer and fabulous songwriter Amy Engelhardt
- Really funny guitar comic/ funny songwriter Rob Paravonian
- Smart and funny (and handsome and adorable) Joe Giacoio
I have a few others that are not confirmed yet, but I know you will love.
Every concert will be pay what you want, tip if you like.
I heard a rumor somewhere that I might have been in the studio working on a track yesterday for a possible new CD. Could this be true? It's been 6 years since I released a CD. Maybe if Star Wars can finally release episode 7, Carla can create and release CD #6. Keep watching this tabloid for more news...
Look For Me in Sharknado 2!
On July 31, 2014
I hope you're having plenty of laughs and fun this summer. And I certainly hope you've avoided getting caught up in a Sharknado.
What?! OK there's no such thing as a sharknado, unless you count the movie "Sharknado," from the SyFy network (My Dad, an atmospheric physicist for 40+ years, finds the idea of a sharknado endlessly amusing.) It was released last year and was a surprise hit, so they made a sequel (Sharknado 2). Joe and I are background actors in it! Our "acting" mostly consisted of pretending it was a nice summer day when in fact it was 28 degrees and breezy with flurries in February.
On July 25, 2014
This post is for all you Colbert Report fans. A couple weeks ago Stephen did a threatdown: all-bear edition, and demanded that Weird Al write a parody called "Manburger in Bearadise." Well, Al is a little busy, having just hit #1 on Billboard for the first time in his career. So I wrote the song. I got to sing a chorus to Stephen himself when I attended the Colbert Report taping last week.
Here's the song (please share with your Colbert-watching friends!).
You can also hear/ buy the song here:
July 16, 2014
Cross something off my bucket list!
I've wanted to be a background actor ("extra") for a long time.
Not as a career, just to do it. I signed up for it over 10 years ago in Florida. I got one phone call.
I called them back 20 minutes later but they had already filled all the slots by then. Lesson: If you're waiting for phone calls about work, keep your phone on, ringer on, and by your side at all times. I never got another call from them. Well i tried again this year, only out of New York (lots more work in NYC!) and kept my phone handy.
I got to be a background actor in The Newsroom (HBO, Jeff Daniels, Sam Waterston). During filming break, Sam sat down RIGHT next to me! AAAAAAAGGGHHH! Awesome. Huge Law and Order fan. I spoke not a word, just basked in his amazingness. Extras aren't supposed to talk to "the talent." We're really mostly moving scenery.
Days being an extra are very long, like 10-12 hours. Thanks to actors' unions, they feed us (even us non-union people). But that doesn't stop them from having us wear fall clothing and coats when it's 84 degrees and sunny.
If you have HBO and want to play "where's Waldo," I'm a pedestrian in a light tan coat on the sidewalk going the opposite direction from Sam, across the street from Julliard (Why did the extra cross the road 14 times? To get paid). In another scene, I'm walking down the stairs inside Julliard on the left part of the screen.
The Power of Laughter - article on Bowflex Insider
On September 16, 2013
New article on "the Power of Laughter" published on Bowflex Insider (I'm the author):
World Positive Thinkers blogtalkradio Interview
On September 10, 2013
A new interview with hosts Pam Lontos and Mr. Positive, talking health, humor, and overcoming adversity.
Don't Bring the Kids (May Newsletter)
On May 16, 2013
Don't bring the kids! Except for this Sat.
Greetings friends, fans, Klingons, spammers and the IRS- Hope all is well with you. Well maybe not so much the spammers.
Speaking of spam I recently migrated all of your e mail addresses into this program that's connected to my website. This may mean that this message ended up in your spam filter. In which case... you're not reading this right now. Hmm. Well that was a pointless thing to mention.
As you know, my songs and jokes are usually clean (as long as you don't mind a little poop humor) but I cannot control what happens when other acts are on the stage. Since there are 49 *other* funny songwriters in NYC on May 31, and I was part of this event last year, I strongly suggest you do NOT bring the kids. Unless you can afford a lot of therapy later. Don't mind swear words and a little grossing out? See ya there.
I can safely invite people of all ages and sensibilities to the show in Nutley NJ, which will be fun. The other performers on the bill are the folks who introduced me to the NJ/ NY folk music scene in the late 90s. So they get either the credit or the blame for me ending up in New Jersey. And for encouraging me in my pursuit of actually performing my ridiculous songs instead of just the "ose" I used to write ("ose" as in "ose, ose and morose").
One more thing- I started a playlist on youtube: "funny medical songs." If you think of any good ones I missed let me know and I'll add them. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLG1JxoMLv7xDn7Cctn0aTrsKKXL0JaFpn
Benefits of Laughter (April News)
On April 02, 2013
Did you ever wonder why, given the same diagnosis, some people thrive and others don't? Learn about the traits of a survivor at a Free Show this Wed. in Wayne, NJ: "Laughter is the Best Medicine." See calendar page for details.
I recently went back to Clemson (my hometown) for a short visit. Saw the whole family, including Dad (he lives in a health care facility now; he has Alzheimer's, but he still knows who everybody is, and he is fun to visit, always happen to see me. The nurses love him, and no one seems to mind if he is wearing 2 pairs of pants, mismatched shoes, or 4 shirts. They do try to stop him from showering 4 times a day, though. You have to pick your battles...). While I was in Clemson, I also cleaned out the attic (Mom is selling the house and moving) and I found my beloved bottlecap collection ! O joy!
The downside of this hometown visit is that while I was gone, Joe (my husband), ended up in the hospital with blood clots in his lungs (pulmonary embolisms)- and I wasn't home to take care of him - or the dog. I got home the next day. He was in the hospital for 4 days, and was quite the jokester with the nurses. They were attaching his electrodes (heart monitor) and he jerked around, pretending he was getting electrocuted. Nearly gave the nurses a heart attack, but they got a good laugh out of it. He apologized for scaring them more than he meant to, but they were laughing and said "Laughter is the Best Medicine!" (Funny, I'm doing a show this Wednesday with exactly that title.)
I was visiting him when they announced he was going to be released. Well you know how long it takes from saying you'll be released to actually being released (hours!). Luckily, it was bingo day! They bring cards around and the announcer is on the hospital's closed circuit TV calling the numbers. I won 15 times. I think there were only 2 of us in the whole building playing- 3 if you count the announcer. The prizes are all plastic things like backscratchers and bag clips, and they all say "St Peter's University hospital" on them... well, it's not the prize, it's the thrill of victory.
We were about to leave when we spotted the food cart in the hall. He stayed for dinner, if that gives you any idea what an awful cook I am. Once he was done with his cheeseburger (yeah that's what they serve in the cardio unit!) he came home to a very happy dog. He is doing fine and has a great doctor.
I'm a muppet! I'm a muppet! I've always wanted to be a muppet!
The multitalented Luke Ski put together a spoof of the muppet show for the opening of the Marscon science fiction and funny music convention. If you're a fan of the muppet show, or comedy music, or better yet, both, you will really enjoy this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLGsgi_L0os
Acoustic Guitar Project
On March 15, 2013
I was invited to take part in the Acoustic Guitar Project, where each musician in one of 4 cities - in this case New York, but I guess they stretched New York out a bit to include Central Jersey- gets one week to write a song using only the guitar and Zoom unit that's being passed around. Once your week is up, you choose the next musician who gets the guitar and the assignment, should they choose to accept it, to write and record a song in a week on that guitar. I passed the guitar off to Arlon Bennett.
My contribution was "Totally Average Woman." I had actually already started that song before I got the guitar, but in the rules that was allowed, as long as it wasn't completely finished before getting the guitar. I wrote another song from start to finish that week on that guitar, about blowing my nose constantly, but I'm saving that one for just the right audience. Under the Acoustic Guitar Project agreement, I cannot re-release this song myself for a year, but you can hear it streaming here: http://www.theacousticguitarproject.com/artist/carla-ulbrich/
Greetings, my far-above-average friends!
On February 18, 2013
Totally Average Woman. That's the name of the song I just contributed to The Acoustic Guitar Project. I feel so ordinary now that I'm not living in a van. I'm married, doing dishes, cooking, paying homeowners' Association fees, walking the dog. I figured if some guy were to write a blues song about me, it would come out like this: http://www.theacousticguitarproject.com/artist/carla-ulbrich/
The Acoustic Guitar Project is happening in several cities. Each artist gets the guitar for a week, and has to write and record the song in a week. Then they decide who gets the guitar next. "Totally Average Woman" was a song I had started already but hadn't finished. I did write another song during the week on the guitar, but it was about blowing my nose, and it just seemed too gross to submit to the project. Not too gross for you guys, though. I'll be sure and play it at every show.
A little news tidbit courtesy of Kathy Criscola. For some reason this what-is-wrong-with-you news story about a man randomly giving people wedgies made her think of me:
And a new review of the book from a Crohn's/ IBS website called - get this- The Great Bowel Movement. http://thegreatbowelmovement.org/book-review-how-can-you-not-laugh-at-a-time-like-this/
Book reviewed on "The Great Bowel Movement" website
Posted by Amanda Kasper - On January 28, 2013
I LOVE this name of this blog! :D
"Four hours ago, I sat down with the book “How can you NOT Laugh at a Time Like This: Reclaim Your Health with Humor, Creativity and Grit” written by Carla Ulbrich. The book was recommended to me in the middle of July, and I of course promptly ordered it on Amazon, however, it sat on bookshelf until this morning. I can’t explain what led me to this book, amongst the 27 others in line waiting to be read, but looking back, I feel like it may have been fate. Because, you see, this book was exactly what I needed at this moment in time."
read more: http://thegreatbowelmovement.org/book-review-how-can-you-not-laugh-at-a-time-like-this/
"How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This?" published in Thailand
On January 10, 2013
Just got the word that "How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This?" has been published in Thailand.
I wrote an extensively researched paper on Thailand (what I remember? It was formerly called Siam, and they have more than 18 kinds of bananas!) in 3rd grade. Foreshadowing or premonition?
Guest Appearance on Fill in the Blank
On January 08, 2013
In case you missed it, here is my (and Joe and Easy's) short but silly appearance on my pal Grant Baciocco's "Fill In The Blank" radio show on January 6, where I'm playing the the flight attendant who taped a drunk passenger to his seat. http://www.saturdaymorningmedia.com/media/pitn/PeopleInTheNews005.mp3
It's Always New Year's Somewhere
On January 07, 2013
It's been a week. How are those resolutions going? Going well, I hope. But if not..
Here's a thought: Do over!
Chinese New Year is February 10.
New year in many South Asian calendars falls April 13-15.
Jewish New Year is in the fall. So... to paraphrase what my Grandfather would say when he wanted a beer ("It's 5 o'clock somewhere!" ... actually now that I think of it, he said "it's noon somewhere"- but I digress...), my friends, "It's always New Year's somewhere!"
You can always start over.
(In case you're wondering, my resolution is to watch fewer crime shows and more cheesy movies. So far, pretty good. Thank you, Hallmark channel).
Another approach? You could just stop making resolutions and instead create a "good things jar." Here's a nice idea that's been circulating around a lot this week:Take a clean, empty mason jar (or spaghetti sauce jar). Every day you write on a slip of paper something good that happened that day- something that made you smile or laugh, or that you are proud of. Put the slip of paper in the jar. At the end of the year, you get to enjoy those wonderful things all over again.
New! Karaoke version of the F word song
On January 06, 2013
By request, I have recorded and made available a karaoke version of the F word song ("If I Had the Copyright.")
It's just the guitar. the bleeps (or lack of bleeps) and all the other words are up to you. Maybe eventually I'll do a whole "carla-oke" album, but for now, you can get an mp3 copy of this one song right here for $1.09.
recap of First Night in Morristown
January 04, 2013
Nice recap of Morristown's First Night (new year's eve) event:
What Is Laughter?
On January 03, 2013
I'm featured in the new book, "What is Laughter?"- a nice compilation of many people's thoughts on that simple but profound question. Compiled by Lexie Brockway Potamkin http://t.co/vmhF7apF
Joe tricks me into being the Klingon
On January 02, 2013
New Video (live): After 10 years of playing the Klingon in my "Duet with a Klingon," Joe tricks *me* into being the Klingon in concert. http://t.co/SJXFtV7R