Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy hogmanay and such.

Ah, resolutions. I've never been a fan of them and never really make them. I always sort of vaguely attempt to, come January, be better at my tax filing system, do more meal planning, and get to Europe more often. Actually writing things down and declaring them just seems like setting myself up for disappointment.

So don't look for resolutions from me.

Rather than make up resolutions, here's a video I made of Hogmanay in Edinburgh, set to Auld Lang Syne on the musical saw.

And here's a free download of the tune if you need to freak people out at your New Year's Eve party:

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Pressure of New Year's Eve. And some live music events!

I don't like New Year's Eve. Too much pressure, amateur night, etc, etc, of course, but also because all it signifies is a 2-3 month stretch of dismal weather, dark nights, and cold. Awful, bone-tingling cold. Rosh Hashanah is a much better-placed New Year, when crisp school supplies are on sale and new school years begin. And, of course, as a musician, New Year's Eve has generally meant a looooooooong gig.
A snowman mocha for your viewing pleasure.

I haven't worked New Year's Eve in a few years, however, and I'm kind of loving it. Besides, midnight is a tough goal for the childed, especially the childed whose child is a bad sleeper. I am tempted to put on the Netflix anytime-you-choose countdown to midnight intended to fool children and just go to bed at 9pm myself.

I don't want to go to any of the fabulous concerts around town (though the lineups are very tempting). I'm much more interested in the New Year's Day brunch invites than the NYE cocktail parties. And yet ... I am going out this year. Not for a long while, as babysitters are hard to come by on NYE, but enough to put on some sequins and have a fancy cocktail with a wonderful friend whom I don't see often enough.

I think, however, I shall pretend that it is just a fun Wednesday, rather than a special event celebrating the turnover of the clocks. January is a depressing place.

FYI, I'm teaching three music classes this week: 
Wednesday, Dec 31: 10:30am at Mama's Hip
Friday, Jan 2: 10:30am at Mama's Hip
Saturday, Jan 3: 10:30am at Mama's Hip

They are all drop-in classes; no signup required. $10/family.

And if you want to hear me sing non-kid-music:
Wednesday, Jan 7: 7:00-9:00 at Great Flood Brewing Co (all ages, even kids, free, doors at 4p)

Friday, Jan 9: 8:00pm Brigid Kaelin Band plays at the New Vintage (the old Uncle Pleasant's) doors earlier, as my band starts at 8:00!  $10 or $5student tickets. Appalatin and Alex Wright are headlining.
My band is awesome and features: Peter Searcy, Steve Cooley, +Dan Canon , and Donnie Arbuckle.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Sigh. Motherhood, having it all, and not making it onto the show ad.

I took a little break from the ol' blog last week, as you may have noticed. Mostly, I was trapped in a car driving through Oklahoma and Texas, neither of which has any business being so LONG. I mean, if the Carolinas had the decency to break up, then Texas of all states should be kind and divide itself already. But anyway ...

I'm playing a show in January - a full band show at the New Vintage in Louisville. Alex Wright, savior of my  sanity (when it comes to music business, anyway) asked me to join the bill and, knowing that I prefer the early time slot, asked if I wanted to play first. YES, I do! Then the New Vintage created this Facebook event, which is awesome because every event requires a Facebook presence, but they didn't include me on the nice graphic that says who is playing -- perhaps because I'm maybe considered "just the opener," perhaps because they just forgot, or the graphic had too much text already ... or maybe because of all the other reasons I fear.

The fab poster made my the promoter ...
I made the cut on this one! :)
At first I wasn't bothered by that at all, and Alex was awesome enough to immediately add my name to the Event name and apologize, even though he didn't make the even or the graphic.

The more I think about it, as with anything, I'm growing bothered by it. Not bothered at anyone in particular, but just sort of shocked that -- well, I knew that having a child was bad for my career, but has it been so bad that I don't even register on the radar as someone who might draw a crowd anymore??? I mean, I've sold, like, four thousand records, and been on A Prairie Home Companion, and played with Elvis Costello three times, and used to be a l'il darling of WFPK (I know, I know, "used to be") ... and, well, it appears that the last few years of pregnancy and raising a kiddo has, yup, hurt my career.

Not surprising. Not shocking. Not bitter -- just contemplative and sad. Women, by now, know that we cannot actually "have it all," etc etc. And I'm not complaining about not being the star that I once was. I guess I'm just kind of sad about having this proof of what I suspected all along.

I was talking to Steve Cooley just yesterday about how I need a new record. Not for my career (although that is obviously true considering the impetus for the this blog), but for my soul. I need a product. I need something physical -- some evidence that the last ten years of my life, my heart and soul, my efforts as an artist, have not been, well, for naught. Any kind of small business owner/ artist (for they are the same thing) knows that you must stay in the spotlight to keep your business alive. But as an artist, I need something out there, whether it's in the spotlight or not, to justify what I've done with my life.

I know, rather than blogging my heart out so you remember my name, I should be in the studio recording. But do you know how difficult it is to get musicians in one place at the same time ... at the same time that there is someone available to set up a mic and push record ... at the same time that there is someone available to watch my kid? Believe me, I've been trying for years. Guys in my band ... are you reading this? Do you have any time this week? Can we just go for it?

Here's a video from last January's show at the New Vintage with my full band. Check out +Dan Canon on the back up vocals and guitar.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My quest to become Big Brigid.

We always rent our house out and go to Lubbock, Texas, to visit family for the holidays. This year we made a detour and drove directly to Austin, Texas, to visit my BFF and her three-week-old baby (and her husband and her 4-year-old too, of course ... but let's be ). If you read my blog, you know that the new baby is named Brigid -- still mindblowing to me. 

Of course even a new baby couldn't stop us from first rolling into Torchy's Tacos and Kerbey Lane for some of that Kerbey queso (queso blanco with a scoop of guacamole) and delivering lunch to Lyzz and her fam as we took over her brand new house. 

Speaking of gorging on Tex-mex... After some confusion about which Brigid was which (totally new to me!!), someone referred to me as "Big Brigid." Now you may think that as a 36-year-old woman, I would not enjoy being called "Big" anything. You would be wrong.

I have decided to completely embrace the moniker ... In fact, I doubled my taco order at breakfast the next morning and decided to even have a Coke for lunch and M&Ms for snack. It's on, people. I shall enjoy every minute of growing into my new nickname.

Here are some fun photos at a fire station. Auntie Lyzz is actually Lieutenant Lyzz, so the wee boy got to see some pretty cool fire engines during our visit:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Mazel Tonk video! Happy Hanukkah, y'all.

I have a couple amazing former students who volunteered as tributes and made a video for everyone's favorite interfaith hanukkah country song: Mazel Tonk!

Enjoy. It makes me laugh. Dreidel goes line-dancing!! Can't. Take. It.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Playing catchup: Gift Guide, Cloth Napkins, and Potty Training Updates.

I was so pleased with myself for pulling off that YouTube video at the last minute yesterday. And now I'm just a discombobulated mess of To Do Lists. And To Blog Lists. It's clear that I cannot get my act together enough to pull off the fancy Toddler Gift Guide blog that I was working on  ... or the Cloth Napkin Tutorial blog that I was working on ... or the Story of How My Red Accordion Was Misplaced or Pawned or Give Away by a Friend and then the Subject was Basically Ignored Every Time I Asked About It blog that I was working on ... or the Updates on my Kid's Potty Training blog that I was working on...

That brings me to today's blog: merely a List. Not a Listacle because, let's face it, I clearly can't even get my act together enough to pull that off.

Louisville-made Child Baby Carriers

These are SO cute. I wish I hadn't bought a wee Boba back on the wee Boy's 2nd birthday. Love all the fabrics and designs and just so so ridiculous. Amber Wait from Worth the Wait Alterations (she also, like, hems trousers and stuff!) makes them. I know she sold a bunch a the Mama's Hip craft fair this weekend, but check out her Facebook page if you are still looking for a gift for a kiddo who likes dolls. The carriers are $25. Bargain.

Louisville-made puppets

Another local mom, Sarah Walther, makes these adorable felt puppets for only around $6. My wee boy bought the puppy one at a local art fair, and we play with it often.Check out her Etsy shop here.

Lots of other local gift guides, but let's remember: I can't get my act together to complete any list. So you're going to have to settle for TWO suggestions.

Cloth Napkin tutorial:
For months I've been meaning to put together a simple cloth napkin tutorial for you. Instead, just have a photo of some of the cute napkins I've made for our collection.

Other things to discuss:
The Wee Boy is still a grownup when it comes to the potty. In fact his daycare has even stopped putting pullups on him at nap. No, he still hasn't slept through the night (though we have had a few nights of only waking 1-2x lately, which is miraculous), but he has probably pooped in more restaurants than you have. It's underwear-central at our house.

Now if I play my cards right, I might, just MIGHT, have a fun new video for you for Hanukkah tomorrow. I've also got to read 13 more books to complete my Goodread Challenge by the end of the year. And drive 1000 miles on Thursday. And get the house ready for the holiday renters. Egads.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Saw gigs and a little Christmas carol on the Musical Saw (video)

I played an event at Craft Gallery on South 4th Street in Louisville last weekend, where Scott Scarboro curated an exhibit based on the idea of the saw as a canvas (it's very cool -- go see it, and get your holiday shopping done whilre you're there). Not surprisingl it was entirely a saw gig. It was a fun evening, filled with me basically doing karaoke on the saw and also giving saw lessons to random people coming through the gallery. 

Now I've taught piano lessons for, like, twenty years, but I always refuse to teach saw lessons. It's not a magician-giving-away-her-secrets thing that keeps me from teaching saw. It's that it's really difficult for most people to even manage a squeak on the thing. When someone tries it and they can't make a sound, there's very little I can do to help them. I can tell you how to hold it, how to make the S-curve, and approximately where to bow on the steel, but I cannot help you with the "feel." 

Basically, it's a lot trickier than it looks.

But feel free to give it a try. I play Stanley saws, and my favorite is the 26". When I'm abroad I settle for the 22" Stanley Fat Max because it's the longest I've ever been able to find (I only ever travel with a carry-on, and you can't carry-on a saw.) 

Anyway, for your holiday pleasure, here's a little video I shot yesterday of me and the Great Steve Cooley playing "O Holy Night" on the banjo and saw. I always loved this melody, and when you're playing saw, it's all about the melody (not the bass -- sorry, couldn't resist).

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Importance of Platinum Status. And also, of Togetherness.

Ahh, champagne before take-off!
Here is how spoiled I have become. My husband just found out that he doesn't have to travel for work the rest of the year. I am sad about this because he was only three trips away from platinum status on Delta. I mean, obviously I am happy I get to see David every single day for the rest of the year. But but but...

Seriously, though, platinum status means a huge chance of upgrades. And upgrades for David mean upgrades for companion travelers ... which would be me. So basically I'm mildly bummed about a potential upgrade for a trip sometime next year that isn't even planned yet.

But, people! Have you ever flown first class international? Here's a funny little travelogue from my very first UK tour, when Peter Searcy and I got upgraded on our transatlantic flight.

I swear I'm super super excited to have my husband all to myself the rest of the year though. He's traveled a gazillion days this year, and I always miss him madly (except that first night when I stretch out like a starfish in the bed). Also, apparently on his work trips, he eats sushi every Monday night, so I suppose I can support him in continuing that tradition. Provided, of course, that he gets behind my Monday night tradition of emptying the dishwasher ...

Anyway, if you don't hear from me in a while, it's because I'm snuggled up beside my sweetheart sipping mulled cider and singing Christmas carols.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

More hilarious things the wee boy has said. Also, cookies.

Some of my friends have kept glorious leather-bound journals full of letters to their children while they were in the womb, actual printed photographs (not just hopefully stored on The Cloud), and a long list of hilarious things their kiddos have said. I am not so organized, so I am using this blog for that purpose.
Today I bring you some hilarious things the Wee Boy has said lately. He just turned two.

Nov. 9, 2014
"I love you so much, mommy. I need you to stay here, so I can cuddle with your armpit."

Nov.11, 2014
Doctor (in super baby-talk voice): I'm going to listen to your heart. Do you know where your heart is?
Wee Boy: (blank stare)
Doctor: (points to the boy's knee) Is this your heart?
Wee Boy: No, silly, that's my patella.
Nov 19, 2014
Wee Boy: Oh, mommy, you're sick. Your voice is very bad. You need a hot toddy. 

Dec 3, 2014
By the way, come to this show tonight! This little cutie
will be there. It's free. And I'm bringing cookies. Wear
your ugly sweaters if you like:)
"I'm sick." (Fake cough, fake cough) "I'm too sick to go to preschool. I have to stay in my Spider-man pajamas all day. Without socks. I will not wear socks. I'm too sick to wear socks." (Fake cough fake cough)

Also, in general, he is really into fake snoring, which, if you know me, I think is the world's most hilarious thing even when it's not my wee boy doing it. But when it is ... oh my goodness, it slays me!

My belly hurts because i just baked 75 amazing chocolate chip cookies, all of which I'm bringing to my free show tonight at Great Flood Brewing Company. Come hear me sing with my good friends Dan Canon and Steve Cooley.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A wee lass named Brigid!

Here's a picture of my little one. It's not a
newborn baby, but I don't think it's nice to
post pics of other people's babies online.
I'm having one of those days where nothing goes right, and everything is frustrating. But I'm alive and healthy, and I know lots of people aren't. Perspective is important, but then again, sometimes it's just okay to have a grumpy day.

One thing is keeping me smiling, however, and that is the knowledge that there is a little girl in Austin, Texas, who was born on Sunday to two of my favorite people in the entire world. And her name is Brigid. Can you believe that? This brand new, beautiful baby girl is named Brigid. She will have a life of spelling her name out for everyone she meets, but she will also never have to be known as Brigid D. Because there can be only one! I am still in shock, mind-blown, can't fathom, etc, etc. I get to meet this beautiful little lass in less than three weeks, and I can't get to Austin soon enough.

In the spirit of love and all that's good, I wrote this song for my own little baby, and now I give it to you (for free, if you want to download it). It's an unmastered demo, but will eventually be on the new full-length album.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Our Rose Apple Pie

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! We didn't have any plans, and then all of a sudden we were invited to my uncle's house. It was a super low-key holiday, and I loved it. My husband was even home for 10 days in a row, which is fantastic, since we are that annoying type of couple who prefers to be completely attached and together all the time. (Seriously, he's the only person who never gets sick of me. Besides the Wee Boy, who prefers to be on my lap at all times.)

Business first: Louisvillians, get out your iphones now and ask Siri to remind you to go to Great Flood Brewing Company (by the Douglass Loop) this Wednesday around 6:30. I'm singing there from 7-9 with my good friends Dan Canon and Steve Cooley. It's also doubling as my annual Chrismakkuh party, where I make cookies. Cookies and craft beer and Cooley and Canon and Kaelin ... sounds alliteratively delicious, yes? See you there. It's all-ages, and it's free.

Cooking second: LOOK AT THIS APPLE PIE THAT DAVID AND I MADE! Seriously, we were inspired by Pinterest, but ended up doing a combination of a few designs we saw on the internet.


1. Make pie crust. (Google a recipe).
2. Slice apples thinly, leaving the peels on them. Red apples will suggest a red rose, so using a variety of pinks to reds could be very cool.
3. Toss them in apple pie spices and a little lemon juice.
4. Arrange them like the first picture, but go around and around and around.
5. Use super-thin slices for the center.
6. My first layer was too short, so I added a second layer, less carefully, supplementing the "petals" with extra apple slices.
6. Bake at 350 for an hour.

It's beautiful. It tastes delicious. But, you know, I think I prefer apple pies that have a top layer of crust on them. The rose design is impressive, but it's hard to cut slices of it.