some of the places we've played, 1991 - 1998:
Borders - Marlton, NJ
Bond Street Cafe - New York, NY
Bryn Mawr University - Bryn Mawr, PA
Cafe Lion (Trenton State College) - Ewing, NJ
Cheap Thrills Records - New Brunswick, NJ
Chestnut Cabaret - Philadelphia, PA
City Gardens - Trenton, NJ
Club 14 - Trenton, NJ
Club Easy Street - Hopewell, NJ
Connections Cafe - Clifton, NJ
Fast Lane - Asbury Park, NJ
General Quarters (Mercer Country Airport) - Ewing, NJ
Good Times Rocks - Florence, NJ
Live Tonight! - Hoboken, NJ
Lovesexy - Hoboken, NJ
Nottingham Fire House - Hamilton Twp., NJ
Princeton Arts Center - Princeton, NJ
The Rat (Trenton State College), NJ
Rutgers University - New Brunswick, NJ
Septemberfest - Veteran's Park, Hamilton Twp., NJ
Stockton State College - Pomona, NJ
Stevie T's - Trenton, NJ
T-Birds Cafe - Asbury Park, NJ
Tir na Nog - Trenton, NJ
Under Acme - New York, NY

some of the bands we've performed with:
Audio Enema
The Bouncing Souls
Navalistic Death
Jungle Creeps
Melting Hopefuls
Carl Hendrix Trio
The Barleycorns
The Wayouts
A Girl Named Stupid
Sheep's Clothing
Mind Troupe
Last Chance
Noise Museum
The Baker Boys
The Mommyheads
Slow Children Playing
The Lucksmiths
Clock Strikes Thirteen

radio appearances we've made:
WHTG 106.3 FM - Long Branch, NJ
WMWM 91.7 FM - Salem, MA
WPRB 103.3 FM - Princeton, NJ
WTSR 91.3 FM - Trenton, NJ

fun cuppa joe facts:
Besides playing in cuppa joe together during the nineties, Doug and Steve also published the zine Science Geek, with Doug handling writing and editing, and Steve designing and illustrating. Early issues focused on music and Doug's experiences as a new teacher, while later issues were published (like "The Short Rains" album) cross-continentally and focused on Doug's Peace Corps experiences in Africa. Doug sent typewritten pages from Kenya to Steve in America, who then laid out and distributed the zine.
Download all five issues of Science Geek in .pdf format.

Doug moved from New Jersey to Wisconsin in 2005, and the majority of Tunnel Trees was recorded in his house in Madison in 2010. Later that year, he flew back to New Jersey for a recording session where Steve added the drum and percussion parts for the album in his house. Doug soon moved back to his home state in 2011, and the final album was mixed and mastered at Steve's house during the course of the year.

The song "Something New" is actually about itself. Doug used the melody in two songs that only made it to demo form in the nineties - "Follow What You Do" and "Konichi-Wa". When he began playing with the tune again, the lyrics wound up describing the song's evolution into "Something New".

"Forty" was written in celebration of Dromedary Records owner Al Crisafulli's fortieth birthday. Steve and Doug recorded a video performance of the song, which was shown as a surprise during Al's birthday party. The band later recorded a studio version of the song, syncing it to the original video.

After a performance at The Fast Lane in Asbury Park, a passerby threw an M-80 at the band as they were loading their instruments into their vehicles. One of Doug's guitars was stolen in the confusion.

When Rick first joined the band, he was 16 - too young to even be "employed" by a bar as a performer. When he mistakenly gave his age to the staff at Stevie T's in Trenton, he was restricted from entering. Steve and Doug ran a cable to him, and he played bass for the entire show - his first performance with the band - from an alcove outside the bar's front entrance. Patrons entering the bar were confused as they passed one of the band members on their walk from the parking lot to the front door.

Rick played almost every one of his shows with the band barefoot.

In addition to their formal shows, cuppa joe performed at various private parties, at a frat party (just one, though), and at several Larkin and Diszler family events. They also played outside at a park for Steve's college graduation party in 1992, and Doug, Rick, Diz and Steve comandeered (with permission, of course) the band's instruments for a few tunes at Doug's 1998 Green Bay, Wisconsin wedding.

The owl/finger illustration included on the inside of the Nurture CD insert was used on the front of the band's only t-shirt in the 90's. It was printed in dark green (using soy based inks) on an unbleached, cream-colored shirt background. Some unsold shirts still sit in storage.

Doug and Steve once played various Atari 2600 games for two hours, recording their performance directly onto videotape. The band then projected the footage on a large screen behind them at their Stockton State College show.

Doug broke a string on the first song of their WPRB live on-air performance, which was scheduled to last fifteen minutes. Not having a backup guitar, the station had to play several promos and a pre-recorded song to cover while Doug changed replaced the broken string.

The band played Trenton State College's annual Radiothon several years in a row. The weekend-long event features bands performing all days, for the benefit of local Trenton-area charities. All of the performances by the 20+ bands are aired live on the college's radio station, WTSR. Doug and his former bandmate, Steve Playo, were co-organizers of the event the first year cuppa joe played, in 1992.

One of cuppa joe's first performances was at an outdoor festival in a Mercer Country park. The band showed up without asking permission to perform, but were allowed to stay because, quoting a park representative, "no one seems to mind you too much".

The band once performed at Cheap Thrills, a record store in New Brunswick. The store remained almost completely devoid of customers for the entire performance.

Another show took place in the lounge of an airport.

cuppa joe was asked to perform a semi-acoustic show at Borders in 1995. Despite the show's inherently low volume, the band was repeatedly asked to "play quieter" by the store's staff throughout the show.

Tir na Nog (translation: "Land of Eternal Youth"), the Irish bar in Trenton where the band often performed, is name-dropped in the lyrics to "Long Walk".

After graduating college in 1993, Doug began teaching high school Chemistry at his own high school - Steinert High School in Hamilton Twp., New Jersey. When Rick joined the band in 1995, he was still a student at Steinert, and the band played a few shows at the nearby Nottingham Fire House where the audience was composed of Doug's students - who were also Rick's classmates.

The T-Birds Cafe show, and the split 7" with The Steinbecks - both mentioned by the band in radio interviews - never materialized.

Steve purchased a Super-8 camera in 1995 and filmed footage for a "Simple Enough" video, featuring the band stationed in trees in Doug and Rick's parents' house, but the video was never completed. UPDATE! The video has finally been completed - you can check it out on our Videos page.

Claude, Doug's stalker and the subject of the song "Stalked by Claude", was present in the audience at the Tir na Nog show when the covers of "Sister Madly" and "Smoking Her Wings" (eventually released on "Following Lights into the Forest") were recorded.

Doug was once called up on stage at a Crowded House show in New Jersey. He played guitar and sang with the band on the song "Sister Madly". Not coincidentally, cuppa joe often covered the Crowded House songs "Sister Madly" and "Something So Strong" during their shows.
Read the reaction of another audience member (fourth paragraph down).