Meet the Team at CultureSonar
Al Cattabiani publishes CultureSonar and has always worked in and around the arts. His companies have generally focused on music, indie/foreign film, documentaries and holistic living. Over the years, he has released well over 1,000 titles, including many Oscar, Grammy and Emmy winners. Although playing guitar has never been his Day Job, quite rightly, he’s been gigging steadily for years — and is an avid fan.
Cindy Grogan is a longtime freelance writer, having worked in a ton of different industries, writing a ton of different things. Her background in radio is a natural fit for her love of music – anything from the Beatles to Hank Williams, Sr. to Prokofiev. A rabid consumer of pop culture and politics, Cindy finds the smartass tendencies that once got her grounded now serve her well in Facebook arguments. Oh, and she also loves cats.
David Stewart writes a lot of stuff, mostly songs. If you’re a fan of alt/indie country, you may have heard some of them — or if you’ve ever squinted your ears really, really hard listening to the background music of shows like True Blood. Given that the paychecks for this do not tend towards the exorbitant, it’s nice that David has actually won real American cash money by remembering useless information on both Jeopardy and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.
Emmy Potter is a Midwestern-born, New York City-based actor, writer, producer, Anglophile, guacamole-enthusiast, and devoted Kansas City Royals fan. She owns two sonic screwdrivers, has read Harry Potter more times than she can count, and can quote Jaws and Jurassic Park with 100% accuracy. When she’s not flexing her nerd muscles, she’s most likely writing about film, TV, comedy, and/or theatre for a number of online publications/websites or riding her bicycle around the tri-state area like the Spielberg film child-protagonist she always aspired to be. Twitter: @emmylanepotter
Larry Sapadin lives over in Boomertown, where Culture and Politics converge. He studied filmmaking but ended up an entertainment lawyer and has been working in film distribution for about 20 years. Before that, he was a leader in the creation of the ITVS, which funds documentaries for public TV.
Stephen Harty hangs around at the busy intersection of culture, commerce and politics. He’s led some of the country’s most creative ad agencies, worked in both federal and city governments and is currently a trustee of a liberal arts college. He makes his living as a consultant and lecturer.
Alexis Rhiannon is a freelance writer and comedian who grew up in Portland, Oregon, and is now located in New York City. Her interests include long-form improv, bar trivia, pop culture conspiracies, and someday cleaning her apartment. On Instagram, she follows multiple restaurants she’s never been to and dogs she’s never met, and feels pretty good about her choices. Twitter: @mindtheclam
Cate Harty is cappuccino aficionado, die hard Francophile, amateur pianist, news junkie and fancier of felines. Cate earned her chops on Madison Avenue as an advertising Account Director and Strategic Planner for some of the world’s most iconic brands. Now a freelance writer, she is currently studying pop culture gemology and is pleased to put her finely honed skills to work identifying the shiniest bits to bring to CultureSonar.
Resa Alboher is one of the founding editors of St. Petersburg Review, on the editorial board of Springhouse Journal, back in LA and in culture shock after a few decades living and travelling in Russia and is currently writing fiction and nonfiction about this Russian adventure and about other adventures as well. Twitter: @resochka
Peter Jesperson hails from Minneapolis and has been a music fanatic all his life. Started in the music business in 1972, distributing British rock weekly The New Musical Express. Managed record store Oar Folkjokeopus for the next decade. Co-founded Twin/Tone Records in 1977. Discovered, and signed The Replacements, co-producing their first four albums, managing them through 1986. He has also been a radio and club disc jockey. Peter moved to Los Angeles in 1995 and joined New West Records in 1999 where he is now VP of Production & Catalog.
Ken Goldstein has served as CEO of SHOP.COM, Executive Vice President & Managing Director of Disney Online, and VP / Executive Publisher of Broderbund Software. He currently advises start-ups and established companies on brands, creative talent, e-commerce, and digital media strategy. Ken is on the boards of Thrift Books Global and Good Men Media. He publishes the business blog CorporateIntel.us and his first book, This Is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness, was published in 2013 by The Story Plant. His second book, Endless Encores, was published by The Story Plant in 2015.
Mick Perry has been a video producer and editor for over 20 years, but in his heart (and mind) he’s a farmer, chef and woodworker. After graduating from art school, Mick decided that the whole starving-artist thing wasn’t nearly as cool as it seemed (mostly because Mick likes to eat), so he started a search for another industry that accepts insane people. He found it in entertainment, where Mick is considered to be nearly normal.
Don Klees has spent many years in the video business. This continues to enrich his life in many ways, chief among them being able to tell people he watches television for a living. An avid consumer of pop – and sometimes not-so-popular – culture, his spare time is devoted to putting his film production degree to use on a documentary about the old-time radio cult-classic Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar.
Andrea White is a freelance writer and former TV news producer with a few too many obsessions. These include, but are not limited to: sports, travel, period pieces, movies & TV, news & politics, and anything British. She may technically be a millennial, but has been told she has an “old soul.”
Ken Hymes is a writer and recording artist living in Richmond VA. He’s been gigging and making albums more or less under the radar for three decades. Latest output is the neo-swing album Inside Voice, available in the usual places. If you have an old copy of the original Night of the Living Dead, you may have heard his music for the parody film Night of the Living Bread.
Ian Brennan is a Grammy-winning music producer (Tinariwen, Zomba Prison Project, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott) and the author of four books including his latest, How Music Dies (or Lives): Field-recording and the battle for democracy in the arts.
Mark Grenier has taught acting and improv classes for over a decade. An actor, improviser, writer, and filmmaker, he eats red meat, texts while he walks, and once faked his own death in the Catskill Mountains. Twitter: @marksgrenier
Sarah Beauchamp is a writer, editor, and redheaded stepchild living in Brooklyn. She writes about entertainment and pop culture for Vanity Fair, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and Nylon. Interests include murder documentaries, the Kardashians, Kristen Stewart’s current relationship, the emotional well being of Jojo The Bachelorette, eating carbs, and never leaving the house. Twitter: @freelanceginger
John Lorenz spent a career in the TV distribution world doing program licensing and production for broadcast and home media. His parallel musical highway is bestrewn with Farfisa organs, DX synths, violins, Telecasters, and accordions.
Robert Burke Warren is a writer, performer, and musician. He’s traveled the world as a bass player, played the lead in the West End musical Buddy: the Buddy Holly Story, and had his songs performed by Rosanne Cash, the Roots, and rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson. His writing is widely available online, and his debut novel Perfectly Broken is available now.
Donald Cohen is a long-time organizer for social justice who is always on the hunt for great music. An early Dead-head he’s moved on to exploring today’s new music (from folk to indie to blues to whatever Alabama Shakes and Lake Street Dive do) – a decade he thinks is the best era in music since before disco. In his spare time he is helping to develop the Autism Creatives Collective, a community of talented creative writers, artists and musicians on the austistic spectrum who support each other in their creative endeavors. During the day, he runs a non-profit think tank called In the Public Interest. His opinion pieces and articles have appeared in the New York Times, Reuters, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Daily News, The New Republic, and other online and print outlets.
Mark Ricotta is a writer, idea architect, and enthusiast of fine music, from Bruce to Brahms. He has written for the Illinois Entertainer and the former Rockford Area Music Magazine. He spent much of his career as an advertising copywriter and marketing strategist, and now, as a recovering cancer patient with myriad medical conditions, he gets tremendous joy from connecting to his readers by sharing personal experiences related to music that have inspired, influenced and animated him in his lifetime.. .and still do.
Shane Nicholson is an editor, writer and designer plying his trade in the mid-size weekly newspaper market these days. Occasionally he gets to write about fun things like music and arts, but typically it’s corrupt government officials or mundane city business. He used to play guitar at a bar near you but now holds his shows only for the birds on his patio.
Maitland McDonagh is a longtime writer and editor with credits ranging from Film Comment to TVGuide.com and is the founder of 120 Days Books, a small press dedicated to republishing vintage gay erotic novels. Her interests range from classical ballet to zombies and she firmly believes that there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure. Twitter: @maitlandm
Carol Steinel is an itinerant comic, actress, musician, writer, and construction contractor who successfully salvaged her own soul despite her attempts to have it all. She was inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame as one of the guitarists for the Neo Boys almost completely by accident, and currently resides in one of the least anarchic states in the Union. Twitter: @CSteinel
Michael Rays is a guitar gadfly, author, tennis nut, amateur psychoanalyst, wannabe statistician and the world’s first rocksolographer. He searches for interesting guitar and music topics lying in plain sight, and he searches for food the same way. He lives in Billings, Montana, where he runs an advertising agency. Twitter: @michaelraysgo
Jeffrey Peisch is on the back stretch of a 30+ year career in the music, TV and home video industries, with stints at MTV, USA Today, Sony Music, and Time Life. A recent empty-nester, he’s started playing piano after a long layoff, and is pretty comfortable playing “Killing Me Softly,” “Que Sera Sera” and “Fly Me to the Moon.”
John Visconti is a lifelong music and movies aficionado with wide-ranging tastes. He’s also the go-to guy when his friends have trivia questions they can’t answer regarding pop culture. You’ll likely run into him in his home state of Connecticut at craft beer/bistro venues or various-sized concert halls. Check out his blog, John V’s Eclectic Avenue.
Colin Eldred-Cohen is the publisher of FishAndCherries.com. He is also putting his writing talents to use working on his first novel (that he hopes will be a best seller, made into an Oscar-winning movie and a line of happy meal toys) and his filmmaking skills to use in a webseries called Ronin’s Rants.
Colm Clark is a freelance writer, musician and composer (a.k.a. Crush Limbo) whose music has appeared in TV and film and whose songs have been sung on New York theater stages. Despite all this (if posts to social media are any indication), his proudest recent accomplishment was getting a backyard fire started with wet logs. Twitter: @malstranger
Brooke Nalle is the founder of sleepy on hudson – a pediatric sleep consultancy. She grew up in a family that thrived on culture from Sunday trips to see weird super-off-off-Broadway plays (so far off, they were in Washington DC), countless excursions to see the collection at the National Gallery of Art where her mother was a docent, to the latest and greatest music with her father (her mother doesn’t like noise). She studied Art History and briefly pursued a career in archeology.
Rosemary Harris has worked in public television, home video and direct marketing but her all-time favorite job was as a bookstore manager in Brooklyn New York. She is the author of the Agatha and Anthony-nominated Dirty Business mystery series, past president of Sisters in Crime New England and Mystery Writers of America, New York. Her latest book is The Bitches of Brooklyn, about which she knows a thing or two.
Elizabeth Rose’s 1-woman musical comedy, “Relative Pitch,” was produced by NY’s Cherry Lane Theatre. She sang the national anthem opening a METS game, toured with “Beatlemania,” has been a blues guitar slinger here and abroad and has written songs for tv and film. Her cd “Sleep Naked” has received international air play. “Yo Miz,” her teaching memoir, is a triple award-winner. Despite this, she still craves inordinate amounts of attention which explains why her quarter horse, Sophie, is given to prodigious yawning.
Evan Gelb is a (relatively recent) Duke University graduate currently working as an assistant in scripted television development in Los Angeles. Aside from being a living embodiment of the fact that one cannot watch too much TV, he’s also obsessed with film, music, technology and DUKE BASKETBALL. He’s done nothing particular of note, but hopes to change that in the future.
Celey Schumer is an actress, comedian, and writer. Her degrees in physics (Middlebury College) and structural engineering (University of Washington) look very impressive while they collect dust. She is disturbingly good at Friends trivia, and she was definitely not eating chocolate as she wrote this. Twitter: @CeleySchumer
Julie Schneyer is a freelance writer and editor who used to be a trade magazine editor and a newspaper staffer. She has written about contract furnishings, facility management, lighting design and now, television. She loves good writing, the Sunday New York Times, getting wrapped up in great TV shows, the beach, sunsets, and skiing.
Allison Hadar is both a dabbler and a devotee of the arts, lending her heart and mind to several projects including a photography book (PRIME), a short film (How Was Your Day?) and a lifestyle blog for women over 40 (www.theprimebook.wordpress.com). She’s a native New Yorker, a mom and a dog person.
Kat Choe is an actor, writer, singer, Anglophile, Francophile, and a native New Yorker passionate about preserving good pizza. A lover of all things geeky, knitting, and a good bottle of Cerasuollo di Vittoria (sometimes all at the same time), she can quote Star Wars and various animated films at the drop of a hat. Kat can be found in the stacks of a library, having a nerdfest with a group of chums, on a food adventure, or running after shiny objects. Twitter: @Kchoester
Catherine Wing is a comedy performer and writer, born and raised in New York City. You can see her perform with her musical improv team, Goats, on Tuesday nights at the Magnet Theater. She also beams onstage with Redshirts, the only all-women Star Trek: The Next Generation inspired musical improv comedy team in the known universe. She lives with at least a dozen puppets. Twitter & Instagram: @CatherineKWing
Erica L. Moffett is a writer who also works as Managing Director at Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. When she is not writing or working in the office, she can be found swimming, or running or reading or going out to soak up the cultural life in NYC where she is based. She just published her first children’s book, Erica from America: Swimming from Europe to Africa, and additional writings and essays of hers can be found at her blog, www.ericafromamerica.com or look for her on Twitter @ericalmoffett.
Jim Allen‘s night job is fronting country band The Ramblin’ Kind, rock band Lazy Lions, and working as a solo singer/songwriter. His day job is writing about other people’s music. He has contributed to NPR, Billboard, RollingStone.com, and many more, and written liner notes for reissues of everyone from OMD to Bob Seger, but his proudest achievement is crafting a completely acceptable egg cream armed only with milk, Bosco, and a SodaStream seltzer maker.
John Troup is a longtime Nashvillian and lifelong Southerner who is fascinated by pop culture, history, rock and roll, jump, jazz, and the blues. He loves stories and storytellers as well as individuals with volatile and mercurial personalities. Twitter: @jstroup63
Holden McNeely writes and performs in a sketch comedy group called Murderfist in New York City, and he assures you that they’re as crude and vulgar as they sound. When he’s not on stage covered in fake blood for cheep laughs, he’s singing in his band The Cowmen, screaming at a microphone on the weekly podcast The Round Table of Gentlemen, or streaming video games on Twitch with his girlfriend Lexe. He’d like to send a shout out to his fan club the Holdenators. HOLDENATORS HOOOOOOOO! Website: holdenmcneely.com Twitter: @holdenators Twitch: holdenatorsho
Ovidiu Boar is a passionate music fan and writer looking to turn this hobby into a living. His tastes cover multiple genres such as rock, pop, hip-hop, soul, funk or metal, and he’s always open to new artists. He also doesn’t like referring to himself in the third person. You can go over to his blog at https://tangledupinmusic.com and tell him why his opinions are wrong. Or you can follow him on Twitter at @BoarOvidiu.
Brian Steele is a writer living in Los Angeles. He’s written and produced boatloads of comedy content for companies such as Funny Or Die, My Damn Channel, FreMantleMedia, Comic-Con HQ and TruTV. His byline has appeared on IFC.com, Splitsider, and The Interrobang. You can check out his work at HoltandSteele.com.
Jeff Finkle is a freelance writer and pop culture nut, living in NYC, who once wrote an article on the eternal search for the ultimate sub sandwich and has a strong passion for good and bad-but-still-good movies, TV, music and comedy. By day, he is a content manager for an advertising industry site and by night he can be found complaining about the Mets, catching up on DVR’d shows with his wife and retrieving tennis balls from under the couch while his dog impatiently waits. But, not necessarily in that order. Twitter: @JahFinkle
Tim Braine has had a long career as the executive producer of an eclectic collection of TV shows including sports, animated comedy, celebrity gossip, wildlife adventure, and the history of technology. Whether this variety is due to a wide range of talents or a lack of focus hard to say, but he’s probably best described as a “generalist.” He is currently working on a non profit venture to assist the New York City subway system, but still has enough time to march up and down the Hudson River listening to public radio programs, which is how a generalist entertains himself.
Steven Casale is a writer, poet and wine consultant who isn’t as stuffy as all of those descriptors might imply. He frequently falls into bouts of wanderlust and likes to discover hidden cultural details. He is based in Brooklyn, NY (like many other people these days). Twitter: @stvncasale
Pamela Booker is an interdisciplinary writer and educator whose performance and academic writings explore social change, popular culture, race and identity. Recent enthusiasms are served-up as “savory conversations” on a range of urban green/sustainability topics. From time to time, she fantasizes on what life could be like for Scandal’s Olivia Pope farming in Vermont. Follow her monthly with the arrival of the new moon at greens4squares.com and on Twitter: @Pamelabookerpb
Laura Rebecca is writer, teacher, and tattooed bunny wrangler originally from NY and currently living in LA. She teaches yoga, drinks coffee and offers productivity tips and journals for sale on @thescriberyco. You can follow her there and on her personal twitter @dojogrl.
Lynn Ann Kister is a self described Jill of all Trades with a facile fluidity that ranges from dementia care training to small tree pruning, with a dash of cooking thrown in. She enjoys writing & meditating & would like to be doing more of both. She can belt out some jazz & blues & is an old time cow punk at heart. She lives in Seattle & is currently working on a poetry book & a book about a dead guy. You can follow her blog at lynnannkister.tumblr.com. Twitter: @sixcedars
Ellen Fagan is a forever New Yorker, long-time Greenwich Village resident and vintage Duke University graduate with hippie-esque leanings. The best description of Ellen was given to her by a sardonic lawyer during the voir dire of one of her myriad Jury Duty stints: “…housewife, mom, voracious reader, freelance writer, copy editor, jewelry designer and frequent cyber-sleuth.”
Rose Maura Lorre is an American writer currently living in Montreal, Canada. Her byline has appeared in The New York Times, Saveur, Esquire, Vulture, Dwell, Maxim, Salon, and many more. In past lives, she’s also worked as a restaurant critic, JV volleyball coach and trivia master, as well as a tour guide at her alma mater, Duke University. Her spirit animal is bourbon. Twitter: @
Kimber Myers handles business development between tech startups and media companies by day and writes film and TV reviews for The Playlist by night. Her earliest memory was watching The Wizard of Oz after falling down the stairs, and both her clumsiness and cinephilia have followed her into adulthood. Twitter: @