October rules!

So, the rest of October is going to be awesome. Between Halloween parties and general Fall weather happiness, I’ve got some exciting performances lined up.

First, on Saturday the 17th, the Toll Collectors will be playing three sets of music at Finnegans in Hoboken. We basically picked a bunch of our favorite songs (i.e.  not your “average” cover band songs) and mixed in some of our favorite Toll Collectors originals. We had such a blast the last time we did this and so stoked to do it again. Also, we just love Finnegans. Eoin (the owner), a musician himself, is a big supporter of the Hoboken music scene and has become a good friend of the band.

Next up, I start my residency at Maxwells in Hoboken on the 20th. I am so incredibly honored that Maxwells is supporting my development as an artist in this way. My focus will be on exploring jazz standards and old favorites. I’ve got some really amazing musicians working with me on this project so I am delighted to get started! These showcases will be free admission!

I just figured out what you're doing for Halloween this year! Come out to Maxwells it's going to be SO GOOD.

A photo posted by Christina Alessi (@christinaalessi) on

Finally, we close out October with a good, old-fashioned wild Halloween party at Maxwells. The Toll Collectors will be doing a full set of Cyndi Lauper songs and you better believe I will be in costume. Our friends Big Wake and Josh Klein & The Legends will be joining us as The Police and Phish respectively. There will be prizes! Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

Stay tuned, because November has shaped up to be full of awesome!


One of my obsessions this year is Audible.com.
I love reading but don’t often have time to sit down and really read. Audiobooks allow me to experience the books I want to read while I’m in the car, working around the house, making dinner, knitting, etc.

Over the past several months, I’ve enjoyed to A Girl on the Train, an audio-course on Existentialism, and the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I also keep The Secret available if I need a boost in my positive thinking. I’m about to start Joyce Carol Oates’ memoir The Lost Landscape.

I’d love to hear any other recommendations you have. I tend to gravitate toward mysteries and memoirs.

I’m back again! For the like 12th time.

The last post made me giggle. It was over a year ago. I’ve been up to a lot.
Making LOTS of music with my band, The Toll Collectors. This band was basically born out of the collaborations I was doing with Jon and Josh in the previous posts… of 2+ years ago. We’ve gone through a few incarnations but we have finally locked in with this amazing lineup. We are exactly like Voltron. Exactly.

(Photo by Jeff Crespi 2015)
I have never been more thrilled from a musical standpoint. I have the most wonderful group of people who play music with me. We have the best time together and it shows. So many people have commented on the happy vibe we give out in both performances and pictures. It’s authentic. Just music and laughing. And lots of terrible jokes.
In addition to that band, I’ve begun singing some fancy jazz standards at a few places in Hoboken and Jersey City. It’s something I’ve always wanted to try and now I am hooked. Stay tuned for more on that.
I finally have hit the right frequency with music. I have found a beautifully supportive and inspiring music community in Hoboken. Over the past couple of years I have formed invaluable friendships and connections. I’m so thankful to have finally found my tribe.
Come out and see us at Maxwells in Hoboken on Saturday 8/8!!

SATURDEE with our friend @bernandbrights at #maxwellsnj!! #hobokenmusic #njmusic #njbands #christinaalessi #thetollcollectors

A photo posted by Christina Alessi (@christinaalessi) on

Is this thing on?

It’s been over a year. Wow.

Well, I’ve been busy. Momming. Musicing. Working. Knitting. Eating.

Momming. My kid just turned two. I had heard of the parental time warp but it is no joke. The tiny, (perpetually screaming) little turkey that I posted about in 2012 has become a person – with strong opinions, a love of cows and singing, and a pretty clear sense of humor. I’m not going to go on and on, but he is awesome.

Musicing. I have been doing a LOT of solo shows. I also started singing with a band called Secret Islands. I am so excited about this. I haven’t felt this musically inspired in a very long time. Many gigs coming up with them starting next month.

Working. Boring.

Knitting. Knitting keeps me from murdering people. It is the single most relaxing activity on the planet. I unfortunately have not done much other artsy crafty stuff. I need to get on that. And stop watching so much stupid television.

Eating. The eating has prompted me to start a new health program. I don’t want to call it a “diet”. I also don’t want to call it a “journey” because I find that term incredibly aggravating. Basically, purchasing and finishing a large bag of Cheetos last Saturday alerted me that it is perhaps time to start eating like an adult. Cheetos (as delicious as they are…) pretty much indicate that your eating habits have hit rock bottom. Cheetos are the crystal meth of recreational snack foods. I also may or may not have gotten some late night drive-thru fries after a gig a few days before that. But let’s not dwell on it.

I started the 21 Day Fix yesterday. I actually started to clean up my act on Monday but I didn’t officially get the package until Wednesday night. Basically it teaches you portion control and comes with exercise DVDs. I will admit that I found the whole thing a little silly when I first heard about it, but I’m noticing already that this is forcing me to make better choices. For instance, yesterday I ate a banana. I have probably eaten 10 bananas in my life. Sadly, that is not much of an exaggeration.

So I figure I’ll kind of chronicle this experience over here. I know a lot of people can relate to re-vamping their eating and exercise habits. It certainly can be a pretty big challenge so maybe we can help each other. High fives and such.

Also if you’ve missed me… you can follow me on Instagram. I post on there pretty much daily.

More words coming soon. Looking forward to it. Yay.

Northern Soul

We had such a great time at Northern Soul on Saturday that we’re gonna do it again on Thursday.

Josh, Jon and I are joining forces again smack in the middle of our friends Mike Ferraro and Big Wake.

Also, check out my ReverbNation page for songs, videos and show updates. Woot.

January’s happiness project (Update)

My January Happiness Project was mostly successful.

Go to sleep earlier. For the most part, I have been making sure I am at least IN bed at a reasonable time. I will read or watch one of my programs before bed. Some decaf tea.

Exercise better. There was definitely some room for improvement here. I got in some jogging sessions but could have worked in more. Last week I took the baby step of doing a mile a day – walking or jogging. Crawling. Skipping. Whatever. Mostly walking though.

Toss, Restore, Organize. This is kind of a ‘tip of the iceberg’ situation but I did manage to offload a lot of stuff. Some of my friends with tiny babies (or babies on the way) inherited a bunch. I sold clothes on eBay (which is totally thrilling.) I didn’t really organize. Or restore. But I have some ideas. Does that count? No. Not really.

Tackle a Nagging Task. I felt the most successful with this one because there have been several annoying things that I have been putting off. Insurance stuff (baarrrrf), oil change (boorrrrring), doctor appointments (cringe). Most exciting of all, of course, was getting new eyeglasses. Two pairs.

Act More Energetic. Eh. I drag my tired butt out of bed every day and deal with it. That’s just life. I didn’t really get this one.

I mean… ALL of this stuff is a work in progress. It’s not like I should stop doing these things. (Right?) So all in all, I feel that January was successful in terms of these goals. I also feel like keeping my focus to these few things was really helpful.