Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Neato videos. Health Care. Princesses.

Current mood: angry
Category: Goals, Plans, Hopes
What I really miss this time of year is a good syllabus. Does anyone have one out there? I'm looking for a specially-designed course that includes British History. It should be the cool stuff like Kings and Queens and beheadings and Holy Grails, not boring stuff like Industrial Revolution or the Family Tree of Hemophilia Carrier Queen Victoria. (Did anyone else out there have to do genetic trees of the royal family in high school biology class?)

I've been "reading" a lot of books lately. "Reading" because they are all audiobooks. I can't seem to sit still long enough to read a chapter, which is weird to me because I'm used to salling through a novel a week. Instead, I go on walks to the grocery store with my earbuds in.

I'm sure I probably snubbed you in the Highlands at some point this week. Please know it's because I'm completely engrossed in a book about Queen Elizabeth and her Rival, Mary Queen of Scots. I didn't see you by the avocados because I was worried about Mary's neck and Elizabeth's throne.

I'm also infuriated with my health insurance, as probably most of you are. My annual exam is, apparently, "not covered," nor are the random lab tests they do in a standard checkup. If I get one more bill from a doctor I've never met, I'm going to scream.

So how am I going to cope with this? My new goal is to somehow get an EU passport.

Do i have to marry someone to make that happen? How far back does your ancestry have to go to apply for a passport from some other country? I've got great-grandparents from Ireland, Russia/Poland, maybe Switzerland, as far as I know. Can anyone work on this for me? I'm ready to move to Sweden, just so I can go to the chiropractor.

Is Prince William still engaged? Maybe i can snag him while I'm over there.

Although, I think read somewhere that he has to marry a Protestant, and I am a half-jew/half-Catholic with no Protestant blood in me. Maybe when we meet and he wants to marry me (so I can get my back adjusted AND carry at sceptre), he can just start his own religion -- the Church of England V2.0™.

I hope that doesn't lead to my getting beheaded. But even if I do, at least I'll be able to hold my neck high on the execution block because I will have good posture from all those free chiropractor visits.


*****




Fun videos from Phoenix Hill on August 21 ... me with Seven Mary Three and an accordion (maybe that's why my back hurts!

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Fall is the real New Year. New things. 7M3. Radio.

Current mood: adored
Category: Goals, Plans, Hopes
It smells like fall here in Louisville. Oddly, it's smelled that way for several weeks now. I do love fall, but I feel mildly cheated out of the disgustingly hot summer. My tomatoes are not happy, but my zinnias are out of control.

Even though I've been out of school for almost ten years, I still run on the academic calendar. September always feels like the start of a new year. Maybe the Jews have it right, celebrating Rosh Hashanah in the fall. Fall is a much better time to take stock and start new projects. It's just too cold and depressing to do that in January. Who has motivation for anything when both the temperature and your bank accounts are in the negative? September, with it's perfect weather, fresh smells, garlic and gourds at the farmers' markets, is the time to begin anew.

I am SO excited about the Europe tour. I'm actually considering staying on an extra week, hopping over to the continent after the 19 days in England/Scotland. So, my friends in Amsterdam, Germany, Belgium, and beyond, let's put on some shows. A private house concert? I'm yours!

Other interesting notes:

My new record, West 28th Street is officially going to national radio on September 8, with an official "Add Date." Listen to your local college, independent, or public radio station -- whichever station plays my type of music (in Louisville, it's WFPK), the AdultAlbumAlternative AAA/Americana format -- and consider requesting my music. (Dad, not you! No family member requests, please.)
The AAA single is "Something Bad," and the Americana single is "One More Last Kiss," the duet with Shannon Lawson.
If you hear it on your station, please let me know! I still get giddy when I hear news like that.

****

Last night was a fun show with Peter Searcy and Jim Bianco at the Monkey Wrench. Jim brought along a friend, Garrison Starr, who rocks. That was a total surprise. She and I played a show together at Phoenix Hill about three years ago, my FIRST CD release party. I love how small the music industry is.

I played my Chanukah yodeling dreidel song, and a very nice man came up to me afterwards to talk about that song. He said that his wife told him I had written it, but that he knew better. "It's an old folk song," he said. I told him that, no, I had actually written it, but thatnks for the compliments, but I'm not sure that he believed me. He kept saying it was an old folk song.
Weird! I guess it's some bizarre sort of compliment.

***

The boys from Seven Mary Three all returned to Louisville for a great show at Phoenix Hill on Thursday. I sat in on accordion for a couple of songs with them. I love their spirit and vibe and energy and all that weird hippie-stuff that is hard to name without sounding weird. They're just generally good people -- all of them, even that wacky tour manager -- and I love to see a group of smart, beautiful, talented people, doing what they love. It makes me remember why I do what I do. Good music with good people, like I always say.

****

New things I've done lately:
-Held a baby alligator!
-Eaten my first cheese grits!
-Done a radio interview in the UK!
-Spent $427.50 in postage at the post office mailing CD's to radio (buy my record so i can break even!!)
-Learned how to yodel Swiss style, not just Western Yodel
-Gotten attacked by a housecat. Seriously, a HOUSECAT! (separate blog to follow)
-Played Mendelssohn's "Theme from a Midsummer Night's dream," on the accordion at a wedding.

****
Off to yodel, cheers!

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I’ve Got the Beat.

Current mood: chill
I had no idea I had so many loyal readers. Thanks for the messages asking me to blog again. I've been introspective the last couple of weeks, which you'd think would make me blog more. But every time I sat down to write something, I kept thinking of all the things on my huge To-Do-For-Europe list.

I took a mental vacation the past few days, as I've been housesitting for a friend. A very good friend. One who trusts me with his hot tub AND his drum kit.

It's weird, but after leaving this last band (dotn) gig, I feel like I got out of a bad relationship -- one that I had no idea was bad while I was in it. The kind that leaves you emotionally drained and thinking about everything. You know, the kind where your friend surprises you on some bad TV Talk show, telling you how you need to extricate yourself from the situation immediately. And, of course, I'm compassionate and still worry and think about them all, far too often.

The FABULOUS thing about being all grown-up is that I am at an age where I understand that compassion can only go so far. It's nice to sit back and relax from afar, and know that there's nothing I can or should or even want to do. "Don't think twice, it's all right." Yay, for perspective!

Anyway, I'm always doing adventurous and exciting things because nothing else satisfies me. And this week: THE DRUMS!!!!!

There's a piano at Air Devils Inn because I can't play the drums. It's a long story, but it has to do with my dad working there when I was a kid. I would visit him and I always insisted on playing the drum kit of whatever band left them there the night before. Not having any idea how to play the drums, I wasn't exactly making mellifluous tones. So the owner brought in a piano, which I played all the time, and which is still up at Air Devils. I don't think it's been tuned since 1991, but I like to think of it as my piano.

I've also been convinced since then that I can't play the drums.

Thanks to the mild encouragement of the next-door neighbor (who may now be regretting his compliments, seeing as I have drummed daily all weekend long), I taught myself some KILLER beats this week.

Back in June, Paul Culligan graciously instructed me in the ways of the kick-on-one and snare-on-three ... but this weekend, I took it to levels above and beyond. I spent the last 30 minutes with The Beatles on my iPod, playing along with my earbuds cranked. I'm not sure I've got the silly-drummer-face down yet, but, hey, I'm a novice.

I can't wait until the next time we have one of those free-for-all music nights, where we trade instruments. I'm gonna freak them all out and take over the beat.

Okay, so I'm not really that great at all, but MAN is it fun!!!

What's with me lately? Shooting guns? Playing drums? It's like I've got internal anger to express or something. Hee hee. No, really, folks, I'm fine and dandy.

Now ... off to the hot tub.

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Fixing things and gardening.

Wee Angus running through Dages Paint! Have y'all ever flipped a house before? I am sort of doing that, except that it's a renta...