Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holiday fun at the Rud

Current mood: animated
Category: Music
Ray Rizzo is not only a brilliant musician, but I think he's psychic too. When I heard he would be in town and putting on a hootenanny at the beloved Rudyard Kipling on Boxing Day, I said, "Wow, that sounds fun. I want to play." And then my phone rang, and it was Ray, asking me to play.

I was expecting to play a solo set. Then my BFF, Peter Searcy, showed up to play bass. And we sweet-talked SeƱor Rizzo into playing drums with us, and BAM! There was a band.

I'm a spoiled artist. The first time I EVER played in a band with drums was only about six year ago, and I was a mere keyboard player in someone else's band. But the drummer: Ray Rizzo. Can you imagine that being your first experience with drums? I knew he was a great player, but I didn't get it at the time just how good he is.

On Saturday when we played at the Rud, he hadn't heard my tunes at all, but he nailed every one. My songs are not exactly user-friendly. I like a tempo change or a time signature surprise or mixing soul-verses with rockabilly-choruses. But Ray didn't miss a beat. He and Peter were locked-down in the moment, a kick-ass impromptu rhythm section.

It's funny (and ultimately a bad idea), but I really love keeping a revolving door of musicians in my "band." I'll probably never have an actual line-up that never changes. I like the thrill of the surprise and the excitement of playing with totally different players. That's probably from my jazz-training, and it's probably not healthy for a folkie-rockie-countrie-singer. Oh well, I like spontaneity. Does this mean I fear commitment? Hmmmmmm ..... maybe I've become a real musician, after all....

Anyway, thanks, Ray and Peter. It was fun playing with you.

Oooh ooh! Almost forgot to tell you about this kick-ass a capella girl group I heard. The Sandpaper Dolls. The music on their myspace page doesn't seem to be the 3-part harmony make-you-cry-and-melt-in-your-seat that I heard from their live show, but I hear they're working on a record. Go out and hear them live if you get a chance. It was absolutely mesmerizing.

And.... the 5th Annual Townes Van Zandt Tribute show is once again on New Year's Day.
The Monkey Wrench
1025 Barrett Ave
NO COVER (yes, it's free)
doors at 8:00 music around 8:30
at least 30 artists performing Townes Van Zandt songs
me, tim krekel, ron whitehead, paul k, alanna fugate, scott mertz, mickey clark, kathleen hoye ... should be a good time.

I'll be your frazzled hostess, running around, making sure everyone knows when to play.


p.s. happy birthday, to my utility player: Steve Cooley.

Read more:

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Observations and Teeth and Dreidels

Current mood: jolly
Category: Life
Things I have noticed since I turned 30 this year:

Apparently, I have entered a new age bracket to online advertisers. The men who used to appear in that advertising box when I logged into MySpace have aged considerably. I no longer see that cute 20-something indie-rocker who is so obviously laughing at our clever iChat conversation. Instead, I see a button-down shirt guy who probably has dental insurance.

Secondly, I now find dental insurance incredibly attractive.

Thirdly, I went to the dentist last week and discovered that one of my teeth has a dying nerve, as if I had been hit. All signs point to that one day when my 140-pound Great Dane mix hit his extremely large head in my face as we were canoodling.

Lastly, perhaps I should stop canoodling with my dog.

Merry Holidays to you all!


Edit: Just for the record, after a few emails I've received, I must state that I have been to the dentist religiously twice a year since my teeth came in. I just have to pay for it myself. But I haven't had a cavity since middle school, so I guess I'm due for some dental work.

Some Chanukah cheer for you in "Dreidel's Day Out"

Read more:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Prairie Home Weekend

Current mood: hyper
Category: Jobs, Work, Careers
My twitter account is now open for all to follow. I kept it private for a while, so I could pretend like I needed my privacy. I really don't.

I wiggled a lot on my sleep last night. It wasn't tossing and turning because I wasn't stressed or upset. It was definitely more childlike wiggling in anticipation for the weekend's events.

It is absurdly cold in Louisville this morning. 1 degree. One degree. Fahrenheit. (Note to self: book Australia next January.) I can't find any winter hats in my house, and I lost my Sherlock Holmes hat when I was out hanging posters around Thanksgiving. (Louisvillians, if you find a Sherlock Holmes hat, it is mine; please return. And yes, Mom, I lost another hat. At least I'm consistent.) This morning, I was resigned to wearing a wide-brimmed baby blue Easter-esque hat that may have prevented some small percentage of heat escaping through my head. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

After warming up my trusty Volvo (why don't i have a remote start?!?!) and being thankful that Swedes understand the need for a seat warmer, I drove directly to Lynn's Paradise Cafe and had breakfast at the counter. Truly, what I wanted this morning was Challah French Toast from the Noshville and a cheery chat with my favorite Counter Queen, but Nashville is 174 miles out of the way. Lynn's sufficed.

I love dining alone. I also love treating myself with fancy breakfast on special days like this one. Really, I want a fancy coffee drink too, but I don't drink caffeine. Even a Chai would leave me with another sleepless night. Tonight, I need my beauty sleep.

I'm just about to head to a rehearsal with Shannon and Danny for A Prairie Home Companion. Then we're all heading to the Palace Theatre where we will join Garrison and the gang for a tech rehearsal for tomorrow's live broadcast.

I'll be tweeting from backstage. Blogging will be more difficult. If you're into Facebook, I"ll be around via my trusty iPhone.

Maybe Garrison will have a winter hat I can borrow.

Read more:

Monday, December 8, 2008

Seasonally affected.

Current mood: embarrassed
Category: Life
Wow, when I don't blog for a while, I have too many things to say.

I will sum up the past couple of weeks. The theme has been: escape. I hate winter. It's cold, it's dark, and people are generally less cheerful. I've had SO much business stuff to do -- rehearsing, recording, releasing the Saw CD, planning future tours, going through piles of receipts -- and I haven't felt like socializing. So between battling my email, QuickBooks and DreamWeaver, I've been doing a escape-oriented things to maintain my sanity.

First, I've been playing a lot of piano. Bach, mostly. I love playing jazz, and pop, and rock, and writing my own songs, but sometimes the freedom of arrangements and songwriting just hurts my brain. That is why I love playing Bach. It's like practicing your scales, but much prettier. It's why I always liked math homework: there's a correct answer, and you know when you're wrong. I don't have any math books sitting around, but I've got loads of classical music. Crank that metronome and repeat. My mind just drifts away and stops worrying about the to-do list. It's awesome.

Secondly, I went to the movies a lot. I don't normally go to the movies, but I was again looking for a reason to relax and not think. And the best movie I found for not using a single brain cell? Twilight. It was wonderfully awful.

Which brings me to:

Thirdly, I read all four Twilight books. Four books in five days. Two thousand three hundred and seventy nine pages.

I can't believe I'm admitting this on my blog. I am obviously completely seasonally affected.

They weren't even good. The only vampire book I'd ever read before was Bram Stoker's Dracula. I skipped over the Anne Rice phase completely in high school. But for some reason, I just had to know what was happening with Bella and Edward.

Ugh, I can't wait until spring.

I feel better admitting that though. Anyone else out there fall for it too? Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?

What's wrong with me?

I feel like I should finish The Brothers Karamazov now to make up for my shameful reading list.

Read more: