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It’s been a long time since I wrote my 1st song – “me, Steve and the Bear”. I was 14 and had a visceral, heart-trobbing, tear-jerking, knee-knocking crush on Terry McKenna (i.e.- Bear). I plunked it out on the piano & recorded it on my boombox. I might still have the tape? It was amateur and awesome. It was full of so much sappy sauce that you got stuck in it. I remember singing it a bizillion times (to myself – never played it for anyone else) – and not being able to get it out of my head. I knew it was juvenille but I loved it so it was good. It said exactly what I thought about him. Big, bold ideas of love – like a mylar boquet … delivered with a PopTart.
Cut to today. I have written so many songs that I think I’ve forgotten how to meet the songwriting challenge with utter incompetance. With complete novice. With ridiculously rambuncious enthusiasm and lack of coolness concern. I’ve started and thrown away and judged so many of my own creations that I seem to be forgetting the ground zero of creativity — HAVE FUN WITH IT!!!! Love it! Enjoy the fact that I can do it! That I want to do it! Then, record it. Badly. With contagious enthusiasm! With the ego of a kindergartener! Look what I did!!!!
I’m gonna try it. I’ll let you know how it goes. I might even video a selfie of me playing it (probably not – since I have no idea how to post a video selfie). I’m going to pretend it’s my first song. It’s gonna be good.
In the mean time, this is a video of me ‘n Dirty Mercy practicing another song … I wrote it. Both of them. Look at what I did!!!!
It’s been almost a year now since we lost our cherished, cynical, ridiculously smart and perfectly tart double bass player, Sanderson Poe. He was a musician’s musician – a rebel through and through. A man that knew his mind and was not afraid to say it. He was also one of the sweetest, most dear people I have ever had the good fortune to work with. Loyal and musically adventurous, he added spice to our Dirty Mercy. He wanted the band to be called Rusty Tears. Sanderson. I still miss him badly. I think of him so often and with much love. We still haven’t added a new bass player to the mix. I feel like we all think he’s on vacation .. but, he’s not. Sure would love to hug him again.
Missing you, Sando Kalrizian!
May you have time to hug, connect, laugh with and make wonderful music with the people you love!!!
Cheers and all good to you!
Who likes change? Not me. At least not to my computer/phone/fax/twisty-turny-button filled things that are supposed to work better and quicker and smarter (and do, but only after you have spent 26 hours re-learning how to make them work!!!).
I just got a new device. A new work computer. It has taken me an obscenely long time to figure out how to print a Word doc on this new, very quick and stealthy PC. Even longer to find where the fonts are hidden. I don’t like the changes to my Word. I am a #7 newbie and I’m not super fond of Window’s changing my little clicky thingies up top. I’m not even sure I like this big, bright, white screen. I may be a Luddite in FaceBook disguise. In another life, I was probably one of those pain in the butt people that wanted to keep Mass in Latin.
But, in the whole of life, I don’t mind change. It just takes me a little bit of crankiness to get used to it. In fact, I’m a HUGE change/ paradigm shift/ new pair of goggles type of gal when all is said and done. Here are my top 5 favorite types of change:
1) Trees – I like when the trees change from empty ~ Tim Burton-esque – to little globs of buds aching to get out – then rustling, shady, even flowering, bursts of jubilant green – to yellow and orange and purple and golds and then back to empty. It feels honest and real. And, every year, the tree grows taller. It’s constant and consistent, reminding us that even when everything seems dead, there is the possibility of a change coming.
2) Sheets – I absolutely love to climb into fresh new sheets just out of the dryer, with a fresh new pair of jammies. Delight! Even better when I’ve just had my toes done and my legs are shaved. That is a good way to go to sleep. All clean and buffed on sweet 600 thread count cotton!!! It is one of the simplest kinds of change and I swear, changing sheets changes dreams and then personal commitments and then lives. A sales clerk at Dillard’s just told me that the amount of money that you spend to make your bed/bedroom comfortable, it exactly how much you care for yourself. He’s a sage. I bought 8 new pillows. I convinced myself that I am caring for myself even though they were all on sale.
3) Guitar Strings – I find it kind of hard to change guitar strings. It’s not quick and I usually end up poking myself with one of the super sharp clipped ends. PLUS, I’m never certain that I’m doing it right although I’ve done it 50 x’s or more (the same goes for jumping a car – I just do not feel like I know what I’m doing!). But, no matter how uncomfortable it is to do, my guitar just simply sounds better. And when my guitar sounds great, I’m more inspired to be creative.
4) Hair Color – I’m not even sure I need to explain this one. It is magical. Even my wrinkles seem less visible. Anyone that can make a person feel more beautiful whether it’s by doing hair, or just giving a kind complement is straight from heaven. People that make you feel beautiful are angels in skin suits.
5) Re-potting Plants – Every time I re-pot a plant it reminds me that every single one of us gets root bound. It’s hard not to stay stagnant in circumstances that are too tight. You stop growing … lose some of your luster … maybe even die back. Sometimes I feel like I’m going to have to fling myself over and crack my pot out from under myself (messy, sharp, dirty and potentially dangerous to me – the plant) just so that I can keep expanding to my full growth capability. And, sometimes I just need someone to notice that I’m looking peaked and might need a little help getting out of my old pot and into better soil. I would like to thank the last 6 people that have helped me into better soil – who have noticed that I need a change and helped remind me that change is possible : Laurie Lambert, Patty Sughrue, Jes Fyall, Christina Winch, Sam Winch, Laura Mancini and Suzie Pollard.
All I really needed was someone to remind me. Who has reminded you?
As of August, 8th, my small, hometown, Appleton WI., will be hosting a 4 day music fest with over 100 artists/bands and more than 30 venues. It is a HUGE undertaking and I am anticipating that it will create the same energy, band romances, and inspiration that the original SXSW did for me. Yep. I was there. Waaaaay back when. I was much cooler then … but nowhere near as good. heh.
Back before anyone knew SouthXSouthWest, my band, Crazy Cat George, took a trip to Austin, TX to be a part of the new fangled SXSW expo. We went because we all needed to get out of LA for a few days and because Jody had a connection to a house on a river in New Bramfels, TX and because I knew a guy that moved from LA to Austin and he was playing with his band The Sharecroppers.
It was one of those accidental decisions that turned out to be life changing and really got our fires burning for the possibilities that were outside of our LA fishbowl and for other great music we had never heard of before. In fact, it gave us inspiration and made us ready to make an impact. It’s where we met our most influential music industry contact. It helped us get on our feet and record our 1st album. It got us out and touring to support our album. It gave us the courage to work with other bands and musicians to make everyone’s music take root.
Now-a-days, I can barely stand the crazy crowds at SXSW but I am entirely grateful for the fantastic festival. For the opportunities it offers independent artists, music lovers, movie makers, techies and fun people worldwide. It is worth the thousands of people that descend on the city of Austin and turn my little world upside down, for so many reasons, but mainly because music, singing, dancing and making rockin’ memories are the best things in my life. I can’t wait to be a part of this new music festival in my hometown. I think it’s awesome and takes great courage and huge cajones. Cory Chisel is my new music hero. I hope I get to see him when I’m home. Shoot! I hope he gets to see ME!!!
The area around Appleton, WI / the Fox Cities is gorgeous and full of fun, smart and WONDERFUL people. I am confident that this will be the 1st of a long, fantastic series of summer music for Central Wisconsin.
I’m ready for it. Bring it on, Mile of Music!!!!