Hey man, it’s Java Jel

javalava-backI’ve been strumming and busking for as long as I can remember.  When I am not hanging with my fabulous family or playing music, I could be working on a book instead or something.

I am glad you stopped in – please enjoy my journey and all the embedded tunes here on the site.

Stay tuned for more updates as things progress.  There is almost always an album or gig in the works – stop back soon to learn more.

Peace –


Chat GPT

This song, written to the tune of Let It Be, is a satirical take on the use of artificial intelligence tools in the field of journalism. The lyrics describe the all-too-common scenario of journalists using GPT, a powerful language model developed by OpenAI, to meet tight deadlines and produce content quickly.

The catchy melody and upbeat tempo of the original tune make this song an enjoyable listen, despite its somewhat bleak subject matter. The lyrics are cleverly written, with a mix of humor and cynicism that perfectly captures the mood of the song. Lines like “When the truth is cloudy there is still a trite expediency / Corrections run tomorrow, GPT” highlight the pitfalls of relying on technology to do the work of human journalists.

Overall, this song is a thought-provoking commentary on the intersection of journalism and technology, and the potential consequences of relying too heavily on AI tools. It’s a catchy tune that will leave listeners humming along while also making them think about the role of technology in the future of journalism.

ChatGPT – 5/5/2023

The song “GPT” is a satirical take on the use of large language models (LLMs) in the workplace. The song’s lyrics describe the speaker’s reliance on GPT to help them meet deadlines, even though they know that GPT’s answers are often inaccurate or incomplete. The song also touches on the ethical implications of using LLMs, as the speaker acknowledges that they are contributing to the spread of misinformation by using GPT to generate content.

The song is written to the tune of The Beatles’ “Let It Be,” which adds a sense of irony to the lyrics. The Beatles’ song is a message of hope and resilience, while “GPT” is a song about the speaker’s own anxiety and insecurity. The song’s juxtaposition of these two themes highlights the tension between the promise of LLMs and the potential dangers of their misuse.

Overall, “GPT” is a well-written and thought-provoking song that raises important questions about the use of LLMs in the workplace. The song is a reminder that we should be careful about how we use these powerful tools, as they can be used to both good and bad ends.

Bard – 5/5/2023

Kerouac Shack Expeditioni

I know I should use the word expedition, but expeditioni sounds more impressive. Here are the shacks that I had never seen that inspired one of my signature songs, Kerouac Shack. I visited the weekend after Labor Day 2022, when I embarked upon a demanding hike through the dunes of the Cape. I kept my distance because the shacks are still inhabited by artists even though they have no running water or power. It was a beautiful trip!

The song Kerouac Shack traces its roots to when my friend Ian Donnis told me about a story on the news wire about a preservation effort to protect historic beach shacks in Cape Cod. The shacks were originally for fisherman, life guards and Coast Guardsman on the Cape but were also inhabited by On the Road writer Jack Kerouac and other artists. I remember I had my guitar and my friend Ian was working at the Associated Press in Providence on the late night shift. I visited the newsroom at 11 p.m. and took out the guitar in a corner of the room and came up with the basic feel of the song by using a 6/8 time signature and open chords and letting the low E string ring out. The result was Kerouac Shack, a pretty simple song but one that has the drive and feel of a big fan of Beatnik poetry, which I was and still am.  A lot of people I knew over the years remember the chant KEROUAC SHACK KEROUAC SHACK. The song inspired a video project in 1988 with Daniela Hinsch and a cast of some of my close pals at the time. I lost touch with Daniela but I just saw her on IMDB and she’s a professional film editor. Bob Plotkin also posted the Kerouac Shack video as an early example of internet video back in 2000 or so. Thanks Bob.

Rock on!

Happy April Fool’s Day

I am happy to report I have struck a licensing deal for Java Oreos. I am rich! For more sweet stuff check out my new album Java Jems…below!

Meanwhile here is an amusing musical thought from Maya G. What if the Beatles in a parallel universe were called the Eatles and sang only about food? Example: Pastrami in the Sky with Diamonds. Thanks for the chuckle, Maya.

Java Jems

New album drop!

Coffee & Cigs
Pie A la Mode
Goal Oriented
Heart Is Stronger
No Gluten
Least I Remembered
Guy WIth A Tie
Working For The Man
Long Haul

Songs by Java Jel
Pie a La Mode by Java Jel and Aku Riff Tardiff

Steve Java Gelsi: Vocals, guitar, keys, mandolin
Kol Marshall: Drums and bass
Jonah Gelsi: Drums on Guy with a Tie and Coffee & Cigarettes
Dominic Cordisco: Guitar on Driving and Bloomfield
Joe Kelly: Bass on Least I Remembered
Maya Gelsi, Zoe Gelsi, Jonah Gelsi: Vocals on Heart is Stronger

Recorded at an old roller rink in Mount Vernon.
Produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Kol Marshal. 

The Ripe

Well, since we’re all home bound during this Covid-19 madness, I finally have a bit of time to share some stuff from my archives. Interesting enough, two of the tunes on here celebrate HOME life. We had the vision thing, no?

More is coming include my first all new recording since Javalicious in 2009 or so. Long overdue! Java Gems will be released here soon and hopefully on Spotify or something if I can figure it out.

Onward and upward!

The Ripe – play it here!

Home I Love
I Love My Home
Miss Ya Much
Morning in America
Motor Maxine
Mushrooms and Flowers
Put Your Foot Down
Suburban Blahs
Take Me Away in a Basket

Songwriting Credits:

Robert McMullen wrote “Take me Away in a Basket” and “I Love My Home” and lyrics to “Mushroom and Flowers” and “Suburban Blahs”. Aku wrote “DFT”, which was originally recorded as a punk tune by his band PIPE in Santa Cruz. Java Jel wrote “Home I Love”, “Strawberries”, “Miss Ya Touch” and “Morning in America”.   But everyone had input into the songs. “Put Your Foot Down” is an adapted cover of an artist called N’Jagga from the Philly area in the 1990s. 

Liner Notes: The Ripe Selected Tunes 1992-98 

Java Jel, Aku Tardiff and Robert McMullen

Here’s Java Jel on vocals and guitar, Aku Tardiff on bass and vocals and Robert McMullen on drums and  vocals. We called ourselves The Ripe as a three-piece band in Jacksonville, Fla. in 1991-92 and also at reunion gig in NYC in 1998.

Bob Plokin joined us on violin in the studio in NYC in 1998 and played on “I Love My Home” and “Home I Love” quite nicely.  At the time the other guys said, what? A violin? But they agreed to give it a try. The result was great. Of course I gave Bob no direction whatsoever and only one take do everything. First thought best thought, as Paul McCartney says. Best not to overthink things sometimes. You did great Bob and if we ever record again, I will at least tell you what key it’s in.

Overall, it was always easy and fun playing with these guys and some of these tunes came out great. They’re all favorites but “Strawberries” always ranks near the top. 

We recorded the tunes in a variety of spots: a home studio in Jacksonville in 1992 and live at the Murray Hill Theater in Jacksonville in early 1992 or 1993 or so for a farewell gig that stirred up a big crowd. We made some studio recordings in 1998 when Robert and Aku visited me in NYC when I lived in the West Village with my new spouse, Jennifer May

The last song, “Take Me Away in a Basket” was recorded at Robert’s house in Avondale, Jacksonville. It’s one of my favorite sessions ever because Robert played the drums so gently we were able to just use an acoustic guitar with no amp.

“Motor Maxine”, is kind of a bonus track. Aku and I wrote it on one of my trips to California and I recorded it with drummer Gary Strauss and bass player Jesse Krakow at the Stolen Moments Studio in  Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. in 2000 or so. Kol Marshall produced that tune.

Thanks again to Aku for supplying the photo of The Ripe when we played live at The Baggot Inn in New York City in 1998. 

Thanks also to Paul Ruest of Argot Network who deftly wrangled a variety of mediums including tunes on a video tape, some DAT recordings from the studio and cassette recordings to put together this digital master. Rock on!

— Steve Gelsi, Montclair N.J., March 25, 2020

Upper Middle Class White Boy

Here’s an email I got from a guy that came to see me 30 years ago at The Rat in Boston and got one of my home made mix tapes I was selling. He really liked the song UMCWB — Upper Middle Class White Boy

I recorded it in November, 1988 in Astoria, Queens with Kol Marshall as part of the Java’s Jesus Jam EP project that included my stronger songs written during 85-87. It was my first studio recording ever.

The song did get played on once-hip alternative FM station WFNX-Boston at least twice from what I remember. But with no record label or publicity machine behind it, it didn’t make it into regular rotation. It’s a good song. Anyway, I’m really grateful for Tim to write below and share his Java story which now stretches into a new generation of caffeinated pop fans. 

Upper Middle Class White Boy

Hi Java Jel!

My 15 year old son recently found my copy of “Java’s Jesus Jam” deep in a box where I keep music. 

He showed me the tape that I purchased from one night at the Rathskeller circa ’89. See pictures attached.  My good friend Lorie & I used to take in your show.  Had a blast…

I found your webpage and thought to drop you a note…we liked your music!  The lyrics to both Upper Middle Class White Boy & Kerouac Shack came right back to me. 

My 15 year old (drummer) has his (garage) band working on UMCWB.  
Thanks for the music.  

Java Jel Lives On!

Best Regards,

Joe Gelsi – Germany 1945

Here’s my dad jamming in Germany with a mandolin he found during his time there in World War II.  Dad and mom always supported my music and paid for piano, guitar and mandolin lessons over the years.

My dad played mandolin all his life, including a trio with Frank LoPinto on guitar and Jack Mace on bass in Dobbs Ferry, NY, and the NY Mandolin Orchestra. He also studied at the famed Mandolin School in Rhode Island and rubbed shoulders with mandolin great David Grissom.

Thanks Dad!