Thursday, July 27, 2017

My Birthday Menu.

I had a birthday this week! And here's what I did for it. I ate a lot. I love eating my favorite foods on my birthday -- a tradition that began in Edinburgh when I was pregnant with Graham. We snacked on our favorites all day long. This year, I enjoyed the company of my parents for breakfast, my band for lunch, and my kids and parents for dinner.

Breakfast: North End Cafe
Vegetarian Omelet, Home fries, Biscuit. Decaf Coffee.

Treatyoself: Starbucks Free Birthday Drink!
Venti Half-Caff Iced Soy Mocha. I'm sure I wrote that all in the wrong order.

Then I had a band rehearsal at Scott's house, followed by lunch with the band.

Lunch: Ramsi's Cafe on the World
Prosecco, Chips 'n' Queso, Fried Brie, Spinach Salad

Treatyouself: Graeter's Ice Cream
Graham took me out for a treat. We shared a Brownie Sundae made with Cookie Dough ice cream.

Dinner: Simply Thai
Pad Thai Tofu, add vegetables, Spice Level Zero.

Then I went to Aaron Bibelhauser's house for another rehearsal and a wee dram of Woodford Reserve. 

It was a good day!!!

Monday, July 24, 2017

An apparently simple career boost.

I've spent the last few years feeling largely irrelevant and unloved in the local music community -- not at all a cry for help, just a feeling -- and what do you know, all it took was a new photo of me with Elvis Costello to get 5 gig offers, 3 media requests about my new record, and 1 super-cool radio opportunity all within 3 hours of me posting a photo of Elvis grinning next to me on the ol' Facebook. I'm not saying it's all because of Elvis, but it can't just be coincidence, right?

I don't know, maybe if I post another photo of me with someone super-cool, more exciting career-related things will open up. Anyone really good at Photoshop? I kid, I kid.

I'm so excited about MY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW and also my CD RELEASE PARTY!! It's Friday in Louisville at Headliners, and I'm so, so, so ready to play this music out with my band. We are also doing Live Lunch on Friday -- sharing the bill with Alex Wright, so should be good fun.

Also, I found this on my dad's car when it was parked outside my house for a few days. Very interest-specific religious targeting, wouldn't you say? I mean, a Scotland flag and a horse riding to freedom???

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Return of Elvis Costello [in my life]

I just LOVE a good rock and roll show, especially a band that knows how to integrate a real piano player. That Steve Nieve is magical, and I got a verrrrrrrrrrrry close-up seat to watch him play last night in Kettering, Ohio, at the Fraze Pavilion. It was such a good night -- well worth the awful traffic in Cincinnati.

I try to be cool about this and not go on about it, especially because I value Elvis Costello as an artist and mentor -- particularly his wisdom when it comes to balancing musician-life with motherhood. He was the first person to tell me (aside from my husband) there was absolutely nothing wrong with hiring a babysitter just so I could play the piano -- that even though at that moment it meant the babysitter earns more than I do, that it feeds my creative soul, which is more valuable than any career I'd have.

We caught up on his tour bus yesterday for about 45 minutes. He'd graciously left backstage passes for me and my guitarist/bassist/friend Dennis and his lovely wife Nancy after I let him know that we had tickets to the show. He made me a cup of tea -- I still can't believe I accepted because he was at work and had a show to do, but he offered multiple times and a cuppa did sound relaxing. We talked about our mums, our kids, our travels. He gave me an LP, signed it "Congratulations" after I told him that I had another baby since I last saw him -- and he spelled my name correctly without even having to ask. Why isn't everyone in the music business so genuine?

Also, I gave him my new record (and signed it, ha!), and I told him that track 4 "The Jester" was inspired by Steve Nieve, which then made me really nervous and I am hoping that Steve likes the song even just a little. It's been a while since I wrote it, so I'm not sure how it comes across -- but it's meant in love and is about meeting my keyboard hero.

So if you're reading this, Steve, please let me buy you a glass of wine in Paris someday. Also, I loved that shirt you wore and your shoe game is on-point. But you already know that.

Please come to my Headliners  CD Release party!! Friday, July 28. Doors at 7. Opener at 8. I play at 9 or 9:15. Full band. $10. Email me if you want to venmo/paypal/square me money to pre-order your tickets and maybe can even save you a seat. We are planning on having lots more chairs than usual, so don't let your old idea of the venue scare you away -- i like to sit at Headliners, myself :) If you can't come, could you please share the event??? I'm starting to freak out and have those nightmares that the room will be empty. Eek.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

3 Things I'm Digging this week.

Last time I did 5 things I was loving, but I'm not that creative today. Also, 5 Things is the name of a really great podcast that is, get this, going to be on of my 3 Things today, so let's try not to get confused.

1. Five Things. 

It's a podcast! It's from Louisville! It's from TARA. Tara is a wonderful person and a wonderful interviewer, and I've been digging her podcast. She interviews all kinds of people for this, but I've got to plug the one with Dennis Ledford. He has been playing guitar and bass for me for a few years now, but he's been around the Louisville music scene for a loooooooong time. He's the real deal -- killer musician and great human being. He's got a story for everything, and I enjoyed his interview tremendously.

2. Amazon Echo.

We have had our Echo for about two years now, I think? My dad got one first, and we referred to it as his robot. Now my kids are growing up with it -- we have an Echo and 3 dots around the house. They function as everything from a white noise machine ("Alexa, play 'The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald' on repeat.") to a joke-teller. Graham's stand-up routine consists of Alexa jokes. I like to ask it about the weather because that means I don't have to look at my phone and then be distracted by phone-nonsense.

fMy Kroger finally got this, and it comes with same-day timeslots, meaning I think I'm over the Instacart. Instacart was good, but their substitutions were a little pricey or wrong. Anyway, you can finally order groceries online, go pick them up and have someone deliver them straight into your vehicle. (I am excited to pull up into my Kroger with the wagon or my cargo bike!) Has anyone out there successfully gotten them to use paper or reusable bags? The amount of plastic is absurd, and I still like a good stroll through the market. But + Clicklist is NICE and saves so much brainspace.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Backstage at my business!

Running a business while being primary caregiver for two small children is HARD. I knew that prior to my album release (um, HELLO, why else did it take so long to finish???), but, goodness, all the stuff that goes into actually promoting and getting this thing out the door in any sort of smart, business-like manner, is nigh-on impossible without help. Last week in a mental breakdown as I had printed shipping labels, return address labels (that's a thing in America), ordered envelopes, and packaged CDs, signed CDs for those who ordered signed CDs, and agonized over customs forms, well, then I had a wee breakdown over how exactly I would actually get to the Post Office to spend an hour while I had the babies attached to me. A neighbor came over to play with the kids, my amazing husband took a box of sealed envelopes out of my hands and over to the post office, while I hand-delivered CDs to people in my neighborhood.

What I've learned (and had somehow forgotten since the last time I did this) is that the wee little shipping & handling fee in NO WAY actually covers the materials and postage -- particularly not once you include time.

But I don't care because I've shipped out the first round of orders for people who ordered the actual CD.

If you ordered a handwritten lyrics, I have not yet done those for you ... email me which song you'd like? Or if you'd like me to calligraphy "Don't Stop Believin'" instead, that's cool too, I guess. I'm going to the art supply shop to buy some nice paper and fancy pens because I do love beautiful writing supplies.

If you ordered a cover-song recorded on the musical saw (yes, that was an option, and I cannot WAIT to get going on those orders because they are amazing), that's not finished yet, but my plan is to tackle those in August.

For now, I'm focused on Headliners on July 28. There will be seating available -- so many of you have told me you don't love Headliners because you don't want to stand around all night. You shouldn't have to, as we are requesting additional chairs be put out. If you like to mill about, like I do, you'll still be welcome to. I'm getting nervous about filling that room, so would you all please please please consider coming to the show? Doors at 7, music at 8, and I play second. I'm working on an exact time because I know you don't want the babysitter to get any more money than necessary.

This Headliners show is a BIG DEAL though. I'm rehearsing the band, having a few special guests (#Bibelhauser), and Alex Wright is also releasing his new album that night. Basically, we are really, really, really hoping to fill that room -- like 250-people worth of room-fill. Could you help us get there??? I often tell people about shows, but I rarely beg. So today, I'm asking you: please come to that show! I'll have my new album there, as well as some cool merch I'm working on. I've got some pre-sale tickets available at my house ... cash or venmo or paypal or check or card or whatever you like :)

I'm also doing a giveaway. If you got this far along in the blog, you're eligible for a pair of tickets! I'll pick a random winner from anyone who comments on either on my blog or on my Facebook music page -- you can comment anything. An emoji. A Pirate joke. The book you're reading. The next vacation you're planning. A link to your "Things that Make me Happy" Pinterest page (mine really does make me happy). A picture of your puppy. The name of your favorite castle. Whatever, I really don't care -- just hashtag it #headliners728 and i'll know you're interested in a pair of free tickets!

I'll choose the winner at random on Friday, July 14.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

5 Things I'm digging right now.

1. Any book with the word "Paris" in the title. Seriously, it should be its own genre. I'd like to write in that genre. One year I'm going to "summer in France" (I have always wanted to use the word "summer" as a verb), and I'm going to write one of these light-hearted rom-com novels. I once read that if the book you want to read doesn't exist, you should write it. I'm pretty sure I've exhausted this particular genre, so maybe time to write some more.

2. Dryer balls.  It took me a zillion years to jump on this wagon, even though I stopped using fabric softener ages ago. As a compromise to the rest of my household, who prefer the fabric softener sheets, I ordered these little balls. They just live in the dryer, and they somehow make it seem like I've used one of those little sheets of carcinogens, except it's non-toxic.

3. Better Without Booze. It's an instagram page, with a website to follow, created by my friend and favorite blogger, Joy Manning. I have not quit drinking, but ever since my first pregnancy, I've asked bartenders to "make me something fun, but non-alcoholic." They've always enjoyed the task, and it's nice to see a whole feed devoted to beautiful mocktails. I still love a good whisky or G&T or glass of prosecco (bubbly has been my thing in recent years), but I rarely drink these days. I don't get enough sleep as it is with these babies, and we all know how alcohol keeps you up at night.

4. Planner Pad. I like this day-planner as a good way to make sense of the variety of projects I've got on my To Do list. It categorizes your tasks and funnels it through a priority list, beginning with everything for the week, to everything for the day, to specific times, which is extremely helpful for a visual-oriented self-employed person who gets overwhelmed easily and who also has, like, zero time.

5. DryBar. I've only been once, but I foresee this being the new TreatYoSelf of choice. I don't like to straighten my hair because I want to encourage the natural curls (you know how angry I get when Anne Hathaway gets a blowout in The Princess Diaries to signify that she is now a refined princess because natural curls do NOT EQUATE TO INSANITY), but I still like playing dress-up from time to time. And, though I may not like the back story, I do feel like a movie star after a blowout, apparently. Or a princess. Can you imagine that Kate Middleton probably has an in-house blowout person?? (Or is it in-palace?)

Also : I'm mostly funded on my pre-order campaign -- 99%. if you want to order my new album on CD or just as a download or buy something else from my cooooooool store.
Louisville, I'm playing an acoustic show July 7 at Goodwood Brewery with Steve Cooley. And I'm also playing July 28 at Headliners with a full band and lots of special guests! I have some tickets in hand and you can paypal or venmo or whatever $$ to me to buy them without the extra ticket fee that buying them online will charge you. They are $10 each.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Me on not-decaf and some yoga thoughts.

HEY IT'S MONDAY, AND THAT DEFINITELY WASN'T DECAF!! Also, I went to yoga this morning, and did about 75% of what the teacher requested we do. I can't do 100% because of my weird back-issues ever since my first pregnancy, and also because I am stubborn and even in yoga, YOU CAN'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO! No, but seriously, it was a lovely yoga class.

The only part I can't stand is when you get off your mat in the beginning and go introduce yourself to a stranger. That gives me insane anxiety. For some reason it's only when I'm in the studio, mat rolled out and getting in the zone. Introductions before or after, small-talk while putting my shoes in a cubby or rolling up my mat -- that's fine, and I actually like the community aspect of the yoga studio. I've made lots of new friends. But I really dislike making a new friend while I'm trying to get in the no-one-is-touching-me-for-75-minutes mood. Because that's my favorite thing about yoga: being alone for an hour. No one is grabbing my nipples or telling me they are hungry. It's pretty much magic.

My PledgeMusic campaign is going really well. I'm planning on closing the project in a few days and mailing out all the pre-orders next week (assuming I hit my 100% goal!), so if you'd like to receive your copy of my new CD this week instead of having to wait until Headliners on July 28, then please get your pledge in today. Seriously -- it's a huge relief to get the production-funding out of the way, particularly on an indie-artist who does EVERYTHING herself. The other benefit to pledging -- even if it's just a download because you sold your CD collection to Better Days last summer -- is that you get to see behind-the-scenes updates on how an indie-artist like me does it. This morning I posted a behind-the-scenes video of me packing and going to radio interview.

Last week's alone time was a visit to the DryBar Louisville, where my friend Carrie talked me into getting a blowout on a random rainy Friday afternoon. We sipped champagne (BYOB), niblled croissants, and again -- no one grabbed our nipples or asked for a snack. It was fab.

My Birthday Menu.

I had a birthday this week! And here's what I did for it. I ate a lot. I love eating my favorite foods on my birthday -- a tradition tha...