Under The Influence: Elvis Costello


I’ve been invited to do something really cool. Being the lyrical and songwritery nerd that I am, I get to do a deep dive and spend time submerged in the works of one of the more prolific songwriters of our time: Elvis Costell0

He’s not just Diana Krall’s husband, oh no no no! He’s got a LOT of his own things to say about love, America, and politics himself. With his signature sardonic, sarcastic, dry, charming, and sometimes whimsical style, there’s….a LOT to unpack. Come see how his voice echoes in the stylings of the next generation of writers!

Tickets tend to go quickly for this so grab them fast!

Mark Governor’s “Under the Influence” series continues, honoring Elvis Costello. Mark joins co-host Alexis Harte, Emily Zisman, Claudia Russell, Bruce Kaplan and special guests performing Elvis’ songs alongside their own original material that he inspired.

Under The Influence of…takes place every 1st Thursday and features a different line-up of artists paying tribute to the great songwriters and musicians of our time.

New Mythologies is Born!!

New Mythologies is my third collection of songs released together as siblings.

You’ll hear the resemblance in the questions that connect them. You can read the stories about each song in the “liner notes” that I’ve crafted for each one. While I haven’t printed any physical CDs for this album, I didn’t skimp on this wee nostalgic detail. I may print a run of vinyl if there is enough demand for them.

Please feel free to take your time with these songs and stories and share them with those who you think may enjoy this kind of thing. Every share, listen, and download helps.

As always, thanks for listening and reading. I could not do this without you.

See you out in the wide world soon, I hope.

<3 EmZis

My Interview with Casson on KXSF Radio

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of catching up with, chatting with, and playing some of my songs for my friend Casson at KXSF Radio.

Casson and I have known each other for a number of years when I used to play at Cresta’s 2211 club in San Francisco. She was holding down the bar for the whole place as Marty Atkinson and I would entertain the locals for a few hours about once a month. Casson always brought the tip jar around and made everyone feel right at home.

One of HER new creative homes is as a DJ at our own Community Radio Station, and she continues to make ME feel right at home, wherever I find her.

During the show, I was given the opportunity to talk about my upcoming EP Release: New Mythologies. She asks me some pretty deep questions about my philosophy behind songwriting, creative expression, and we even connect a bit over our love of acting.

Have a listen to the recording up top and make sure to get your tickets for the release show Next Friday 2/17 at the Firehouse Arts Center!

EP Release Performance: New Mythologies

70s psychedelia meets jaws

I’m so very excited to be in the month of February. I’ve been planning and planning and scheming and dreaming and writing and writing and writing all for this event.

If you don’t have any plans for Valentine’s day or Galentine’s day, please come to this. It would make my year.

I will be performing my newest songs as well as telling stories that welcome you into the inner workings of my creative brain. This means I’ll be playing some old favorites that hopefully leave you with some new ways to hear them.

I’ll be joined by two of my brothers in song, Joe Kyle Jr. and Scott Foster.

The show will be at the beautiful Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton Ca. on Feb 17th. Pleasanton has a wonderful downtown area with yummy places to eat and quaint places to drink, so make a whole night of it!

Have a look at the Facebook Event here, buy your tickets here, and PLEASE tell all of your friends.

I can’t wait to see you there.

<3 EmZis

Songwriter Showcase 1/26!

Maddy and Me this Thursdee

Folks! Madeline Tasquin and I have been circling each other musically and in proximity for years. So I decided to make the first move and invite her to join me for the Songwriter Showcase.

I’m so excited to be able to share a stage and share some stories with her and with you all.

“Canadian-Californian songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Madeline Tasquin is a well-rounded performer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who has extensive experience touring locally, regionally and internationally both as a solo artist and bandleader. she has collaborated or recorded with an impressive list of acts including Tea Leaf Green, Fantastic Negrito, Panic is Perfect, Beats Antique and Whiskerman, and internationally with Les Gars d’en Bas in France and Furia in Belgium.”

I also know that Maddy has been an integral part of the local Fleetwood Mac Cover Band, Fleetwood Macrame.

So do yourselves all a favor and plan to join us on Thursday 2/26 for some sweet songs and story-sharing.

New Year New Showcase!

Featuring Teacher Barb Music!

I’m so excited to continue the Songwriter Showcase at Blush! Wine Bar in the Castro in 2023.

My first guest is Barb Murphy! I’ve featured Barb before and am so happy to have her back. Her songs are delightfully singable and she always leaves me feeling like I have been following through with my gratitude journal for a solid few months straight.

Life is sweet with a little Teacher Barb! Come practice self-care and gratitude with us!

Thursday, 1-12 from 7-10pm

At Blush! Wine Bar!

A Post on Medium About Middle Aging

When I was a pre-teen, my parents both had their “OVER THE HILL” birthdays. At that time, this meant that they were 40 years old and officially middle-aged. Seriously, mylar balloons and everything.

At that time, they had moved into their second house with their three children and together were operating a private optometry practice in town.

I’ll be 42 in three days. At this time, I have a halfway-inhabited studio apartment in Potrero Hill. I have a part-time job in a warehouse/art space and the rest of the time I’m performing my songs for people in bay area bars, trying to convince people that my experience is still relevant.

I do not say this from a place of sadness or self-pity. It is strictly a fact. If you were to ask me how I feel about it, given the current state of the economy and how artists (female, single, middle-aged artists) are valued in society, I’d tell you (and MEAN it), that I’m solidly still growing and feeling appropriately successful, all things considering. But I’m beginning to become acutely aware that society no longer sees me and my experience in this space as relevant.

But you don’t have to read about it here. Have the auto reader on Medium read it to you while you multitask! I know you are, we ALL are bitch! That’s why we are surviving!! GET IT!!


Love you!!!



Don’t Miss This Powerhouse!!

Kim Lembo is a Bay Area blues singer, songwriter and producer. After recording 4 albums in the 90’s and early 2000’s with indie label Blue Wave Records, as well as French labels Sky Ranch and Blues Tone, (subsidies of Virgin Records), she set off for the Bay Area and established herself as a West Coast talent.

They said it best:

Blues Revue magazine: “She possesses the kind of harnessed electricity that would blow the doors down in a packed Blues joint on a Saturday night.

Living Blues magazine: “With careful phrasing and a gritty edge, Kim Lembo is a force to be reckoned with.”

This Thursday, Dec 8th at Blush Wine Bar from 7-20pm, I’ll be trading songs with Kim. I’m stoked and hope you will make some time to join us.