Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My little dog, Guinness

Current mood: guilty
I really miss my dog, Guinness. He's not dead, at least I don't think so. He's over at George's house. George is my brother (adopted), a 125-pound Chocolate Lab. George is Guinness's uncle and also his best friend.

I've been on-the-road a lot over the last year, as you may have noticed. And George is kind enough to let Guinness sleepover while I'm gone. My parents spoil him rotten and fat, and they are so so so very good to him. When I come back in town, I collect Guinness and he comes back to my house with me.

But over the past couple of months, whenever I've brought Guinness home, he just seems depressed. He lays around all day, doesn't get excited when I come home, doesn't want to go on a walk, and sometimes goes on a hunger strike. I think the hunger strike is because he gets boring dry dog food at my house, and my parents get him take-out from the Bambi Bar.

He's been at my parents' house for several weeks now.

I have almost taken him home many times over the past few weeks, but I just know he doesn't like it at my house as much. My roommates don't seem to care for him all that much, and he gets into trouble from them a lot. He doesn't have a good doggie-friend over here. He likes it at my parents' house better. This makes me rather sad. I miss him. I feel like a bad bad doggie mommy.

My parents are great for watching him and being supportive of my traveling career. I'd take him on the road with me, but he weighs 150 pounds.

Whenever I feel guilty about dumping him on my parents, I remind myself that EmmyLou Harris dumped her infant child on her parents so she could go on the road with Gram Parsons.

But still, I miss my puppy.

Read more: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=19356498&blogId=387597615#ixzz0tZZh9000

My little dog, Guinness

Current mood: guilty
I really miss my dog, Guinness. He's not dead, at least I don't think so. He's over at George's house. George is my brother (adopted), a 125-pound Chocolate Lab. George is Guinness's uncle and also his best friend.

I've been on-the-road a lot over the last year, as you may have noticed. And George is kind enough to let Guinness sleepover while I'm gone. My parents spoil him rotten and fat, and they are so so so very good to him. When I come back in town, I collect Guinness and he comes back to my house with me.

But over the past couple of months, whenever I've brought Guinness home, he just seems depressed. He lays around all day, doesn't get excited when I come home, doesn't want to go on a walk, and sometimes goes on a hunger strike. I think the hunger strike is because he gets boring dry dog food at my house, and my parents get him take-out from the Bambi Bar.

He's been at my parents' house for several weeks now.

I have almost taken him home many times over the past few weeks, but I just know he doesn't like it at my house as much. My roommates don't seem to care for him all that much, and he gets into trouble from them a lot. He doesn't have a good doggie-friend over here. He likes it at my parents' house better. This makes me rather sad. I miss him. I feel like a bad bad doggie mommy.

My parents are great for watching him and being supportive of my traveling career. I'd take him on the road with me, but he weighs 150 pounds.

Whenever I feel guilty about dumping him on my parents, I remind myself that EmmyLou Harris dumped her infant child on her parents so she could go on the road with Gram Parsons.

But still, I miss my puppy.

Read more: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=19356498&blogId=387597615#ixzz0tZZh9000

Flashy clothes and salsa music

Current mood: adventurous
Category: Parties and Nightlife
I went to Nashville on Friday to play one gig with Danny Salazar, a fantastic singer/songwriter who writes mostly in Spanish. It was good practice for my ears, both musically and linguistically. I studied Spanish for thirteen (13) years, and taught ESL at a school in the Lower East Side in New York City. But I've been learning French for the past few years, so my Spanish vocabulary is lacking and confused. I can understand everything people are saying, but when it comes time to word retrieval, I am at a loss.

Anyway, we played at an elementary school as part of the Roots Music Education program, and afterwards, I went to visit Megan at Noshville (Hi, Megan!). Danny joined me at the counter, and I was explaining my absolutely love for sitting at the counter. (I'll do a separate blog entry on counters). He was telling me about another gig I should play with him the following day, a birthday party for Manuel, the designer. Manuel designed the Sgt. Pepper suits, Johnny Cash's man-in-black, and Porter Wagoner's flashy Nudie suits. He's old, but he's a charmer. So i decided to stay in Nashville another day and play the party.

But then, out of the blue, who walks into the Noshville and sits at the counter? Manuel! So I did something I've never done before, and sent him a birthday treat from across the counter. Megan dug up a candle, stuck it in a Black & White cookie, and delivered the surprise.

The next day was wild fun up at Manuel's Mountain. The man has a stage on his property, and there was beautiful country music all day long, like Rosie Flores, and many others. Danny Salazar was the hit of the party though with his Latin dance grooves (and that hot chick accordion player!).
Margaritas were a-flowin', and people were a'dancin'.

Good times.
Here is a sideways picture of us because no matter how many times I rotate it, it continues to be sideways, and I am tired of trying to fix it. Just cock your head a little to the left.
Manuel and Brigid

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Enjoy yourself. It’s later than you think. (Utah & beyond)

Enjoy yourself. It’s later than you think. (Utah & beyond)
Current mood: inspired
Category: Music
If you know me at all, you know I love a good adventure. I rarely say "No" to an interesting invitation, unless I'm out of the country or am throwing up. I am not one of those people who asks, "Who's going to be there?" before I decide to attend the party. By the way, several of you readers ask that question all the time, and it drives me crazy. Who's going to be there? I am. And I think I am fun.

So last week, Travis Meeks invited me to Utah to make some music with him and a few other musicians, and I accepted without much thought.

I'd never met him before, and honestly, I had never listened to Days of the New. I remember when they hit it big in the late 90's, when all I was doing was homework in college. Some NYU friends asked if I knew this band from Louisville that was on MTV all the time. I didn't. I assumed they were some Christian metal band because the name sounded Christian, and they were on tour with Metallica.

Anyway, Louisville is a small town, and word spread quickly that I was going out to Utah. Several people warned me because they had heard that Travis was, shall we say, "difficult."

Let me say this publicly, then, to those who messaged me about it and asked.
I had an amazing time, and I absolutely love Travis's music. He's a very intense person, but I really enjoyed his company. He's smart and thoughtful and was very kind. He is also misunderstood, a term that I don't use lightly.

As for his music, i thought it was beautiful. Lyrically, I'm not really into angst, but I can excuse it from him because he comes by it honestly. He believes everything he writes wholeheartedly, and sarcasm does not exist. It's sad in a lot of ways. But he was an incredibly good and gracious host, and I appreciated the depth of his talents. Talent almost seems too trite of a word for it. The music is his soul, and it's all he knows.

It got me to thinking a lot about my own music and why I write.

I like to have a little fun with my music. I know that life is hard and times are rough and we're small creatures in a vast universe and blah blah and Philosophy-101 all that stuff, but I prefer not to dwell on it. And I am fortunate to be able to take a deep breath and laugh about it. So I write and perform to entertain -- to tell a story and treat people to a great show. Entertainment. And if you happen to notice that I am actually a really really good piano player while you're laughing at my yodeling, then that's cool too. But to me, i just want to write songs and perform them while you have a good time. Maybe to get your mind off of a few horrors.

I don't know that one style of music -- beautiful, honest angst vs lighthearted storytelling -- is any better than another. They serve their purpose. I wouldn't want to write dirges. I'm happy that I have the ability to shrug off the hard parts of life and enjoy myself.

There's a place for Pink Floyd and there's a place for Cole Porter. It just depends on my mood, I suppose.

Anyway, that's my pontificating. Now for some fun little bulleted points.
- My allergies went away completely in Utah; said allergies have returned ten-fold in Louisville.
- My new record will be released in Louisville May 13, in a limited-run.
- CD Release Party will be Sunday, May 18, all ages, at St. Francis on Bardstown Road @ 4:00 in the afternoon
- I'm playing accordion tomorrow in Nashville with a rockin' Colombian songwriter. Yee haw.
- Al Moreschi is a brilliant graphic designer/art director.
- Stacy Thomas makes my eyes look pretty in pictures.
- Peter Searcy is my BFF.
- I get to see Megan at the Noshville on Friday, yay.
- My dad went to Waterfront Wednesday AND Phoenix Hill with me tonight, so he's pretty cool too.
- My mom is going to be really annoyed that she is out of town and missed the debauchery.
- I'm sleepy, goodnight.

Read more: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=19356498&blogId=384326887#ixzz0tZZNlPGa

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A New Day at the Circus

A new day at the circus.
Current mood: rejuvenated
Category: Life
Ok first of all : apologies for typos and laziness with paragraphs. I'm blogging from my iPhone.

I ran off to Utah unexpectedly. To join the circus. Or an art rock band, whichever you prefer.

Not much detail to report yet. Sorry if I seem mysterious and vague.

Just thinking a lot about how so many people are misjudged by their actions. Actions are actions, but we can never comprehend the causes or reasons for them. We just see results and make assumptions. I guess everyone likes a good story or gossip.

Anyway more on that later.

There is glorious music surrounding me. Creation. Arranging. It's inspiring. It's not even really bothering me that everyone else smokes.

And the best thing is that my allergies completely disappear in the mountains. Fresh air. Deep breaths (except in the smoky room). Snow mountains. And more instruments than I've ever seen in one house.

Details later. For now, I'm really enjoying the general.

Read more: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=19356498&blogId=381132511#ixzz0tZZ76MWA

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Recaps, great shows, and taxes

Recaps, great shows, and taxes
Category: Life
Yes, I know I was supposed to hang out with you at some point over the last week, either in Louisville or Nashville. Instead of doing whatever it was I was supposed to be doing (playing accordion on your record, having brunch, checking out your friend’s new band, going for a walk, hitting a haberdashery, or calling you back), I was .... doing my taxes.

For 9 months out of the year, i LOVE being self-employed. But from January until April 15, I become angry about self-employment tax, irritated that the city of Louisville wants another 2.2%, confused as to why I am both the same as my LLC, and yet I still owe an additional $175 because my LLC is a separate entity. (Please don’t try to explain it. I will argue. I will yell. I might cry.)

Anyway, I’ve been stuck in Louisville all weekend doing taxes. But I wanted to do a quick recap of my adventures.

Nashville last weekend: It was David’s birthday. David is my Nashville roommate, and an old friend from high school. We had a delicious dinner at Mirror -- lots of tapas, including an indescribable grilled brie mini-sandwich.

I also played at the Five Spot in East Nashville with a wonderfully talented singer/songwriter, Chris Volpe. He reminds me of Townes Van Zandt, but has a sweet sweet voice. Anyway, I played accordion and musical saw for him. Chris’s friend, Charles Theodore, heard us rockin’, and I ended up playing accordion with him as well. The two of them are out on tour right now -- perhaps in your town. Check out their tour schedule, and go to their shows. I won’t be with them -- not this time, but give me time, give me time... Nothing i love more than traveling the country, playing good music with good people.

Also on the bill that night was a deliciously groovy singer, Danny Salazar, who sang mostly in Spanish but spoke to everyone in the room. I actually understood pretty much all of the lyrics. Of course, when I tried to have a conversation in Spanish with him later that night, all i could remember was, "Hace muchos aƱos que hablo espanol." So annoying. Anyway, he had a button accordion player with him. Love it when there are multiple accordions in the house.

Oh! And Bluegrass Mondays with Steve Cooley are back at the new-and-improved Gerstle’s in Louisville. I played some saw and got a little yodeling practice in this week. I forgot how good it feels to yodel and not be worried about waking your roommates. (Rachel, Jess, you wouldn’t believe it, but people APPLAUDED when I yodeled! They didn’t slam the door once!)

I am almost finished with my taxes and will return to the world soon.

I have about four million things to do. I love it when I’m busy, but I’m really really sorry I haven’t called you back yet.

Louisville, Kentucky t-shirts for Those Who Drift Away.

MY SECOND RUN OF T-SHIRTS HAS ARRIVED! If you ordered one at my CD release show, I'll get it to you ASAP. Wayne & April, I haven...