Will Turpin’s power pop shines on “The Lighthouse,” “SATC”‘s Berger grabs some eggs

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It’s probably best that Collective Soul bassist Will Turpin‘s new solo EP, “The Lighthouse” is only available in audio form. Otherwise, the five instantly addictive tracks on the project (the EP hit iTunes Tuesday) would likely require a doctor’s prescription. Playing piano and singing lead vocals, Turpin will debut tunes from “The Lighthouse” Thursday night at Drinkshop Live at the downtown W on Ivan Allen Boulevard. “It’s just one of those innate feelings that you have,” explains the life-long Beatles fan on how you go about writing a catchy melodic pop song. “When I was taking piano lessons at eight years old, my earliest music teachers kept telling me to quit using my ear. Their goal was to teach me to read music in a traditional way. But after I learned a piece of music, I was always using my ear to modify things. If it feels good to me, that’s a good starting place for how a listener might respond to something I write. I’m all about melody. Somebody asked me the other day on a TV show what ‘The Lighthouse’ sounds like and I said, ‘mega sweet, power pop candy.'” Turpin laughs and adds: “I’m not really good at describing music. But I don’t think that my style on this EP is something that most people would be able to predict. Hopefully, that’s a good thing!”

Collective Soul fans may not know that 20 years ago when lead singer Ed Roland talked his little brother Dean Roland and pal Turpin into helping him form the future Grammy-winning act, the pianist had a bit of a learning curve. Explains Turpin: “The piano was my first instrument and I’ve always written songs on it. I didn’t own a bass. I had never even tried to play bass. But we were all friends who went to high school together. The chemistry was there.”

With Collective Soul guitarist Joel Kosche issuing a great solo album, “Fight Years” earlier this year and the Roland brothers exploring multiple side projects this fall, Turpin decided this was the perfect time to power up “The Lighthouse.” “A lot of this was straight up scheduling,” he explains. “I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. Once Collective Soul gets rolling, it’s tough to change gears. But when we sat down and decided this would be a time we’d take to do some other things, I realized it was now or never.” Tonight’s Drinkshop gig will feature the pianist and singer in a trio setting with some special guest appearances. “There are always a few nerves involved,” Turpin says. “But I don’t think it’s much different than when I play with Collective Soul. After so many years, I’ve realized I can only do my thing. I just hope people will like it.”

SPOTTED!

“Office Space” and “Sex and the City” actor Ron Livingston (who played Carrie’s beau Jack Berger who memorably broke up with her via a Post It) and actress wife Rosemarie DeWitt ordering up some cage-free eggs and gluten-free pancakes on the Radial Cafe patio. . . “Southland” actor Tom Everett Scott having drinks at Ormsby’s on Howell Mill Road.

SCARY SUGAR

Personally, we checked out as a Food Network viewer around the time “Semi-Homemade” host Sandra Lee first took a pair of kitchen shears, liberated a bag of processed food, dumped it in a bowl and called it cooking. Sturdier souls who appreciate the subtleties of “Cupcake Wars,” however, may want to tune in this Sunday night at 9 when Atlanta’s own Highland Bakery sugar artist Karen Portaleo competes on the seasonal sequel, “Halloween Wars.” For the uninitiated, Portaleo is an amazingly talented artist who not only spins sugar but great stories about her Food Network TV adventures as well when regulars drop in at the Highland Bakery. Be advised: White Zombie heavy metal guitarist and “House of a 1,000 Corpses” slasher film director Rob Zombie will serve as a “Halloween Wars” judge on this week’s prophetically titled episode, “Zombies vs. Vampires.”

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