Friday, July 30, 2010

Interview with Indie-Rock Legend Peter Searcy

I like to embarrass my good friend Peter Searcy when we are on the road together (and apparently in today's blog). He's just so freakin' humble about his music roots. It's funny when some guy comes up to me while we're on tour together and says, "Hey, do you think it'd be cool if I asked Peter for an autograph? I can't believe that's really the Squirrel Bait guy." Peter never brings up the fact that he was in a bunch of seminal indie-rock bands, but there's always some music nerd in the crowd who sits there completely in awe of Mr. Searcy.

Anyway, Peter is playing tonight at Gerstle's in Louisville. His set starts at 10:30 (he promised), but Amanda Lucas will be playing before him, I'm guessing at 9:00ish. In honor of tonight's gig, I interviewed Peter.

You're something of a legend in the Louisville music scene. What are some of your favorite Louisville bands of yore? The Babylon Dance Band is one of my favorites from back in ye olden days. Love Jones never seems to have an off night and they’re some of my best friends. Rob Pennington ( Endpoint, By the Grace of God, Minnow ) has been right on point with all of his endeavors. Screaming John always drops my jaw.

If you could put together a backup band to play with you at Gerstle's tonight, made up of any musician ever living or dead, who would it be? Well, I have the band I want for my show at Gerstles. So here’s my fantasy line up. John Bonham on drums, Matthew Sweet on bass, Ben Folds on keys, Mike Campbell on guitar. This is all subject to change. Bonham is a pretty busy guy with his regular gig with Michael Jackson. Yeah, I know. I thought that was a pretty odd combo myself.

Rumor has it you've been working on a new album. Does this mean you're going to be playing out more? The rumors are true. I have a new CD ready to go. The mastering process has taken a bit. I’m so fired up about the direction and songs. I would love to play more live shows. I miss touring.

Do you like to cook? What's your specialty?
I do like to cook. I like to take care of people when they’re in my home. I have been working on my tofu dishes. My wife is a vegetarian. When I cook it’s easier for me to bend to her dietary needs the her to mine. I can rock a stir fry and make a badass taco salad.

What is your favorite kind of fancy coffee drink? Give me a cup of 100% Kona coffee with some real cream. If you really want to make me smile throw in a glass of 2% organic milk and some chocolate chip pancakes from North End Café.

What kind of movies do you like? I like 70 films like Nashville and Marathon Man. I love Show Girls. I love zombie films.

What are you reading right now? Or have you finished anything recently that you really enjoyed? I just finished The Passage. It’s a vampire book that has a lot in common with Cormic McCarthy’s The Road. Also just finished Andre Agassi’s Bio, Open. Also just finished the latest Sookie Stackhouse novel.

What a fun, sensitive, rockin' dude, right?

Oh yeah, and I'm playing in his band tonight. See you at Gerstle's Place on Frankfort Avenue. $7 cover. 21+.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thoughts on the new EarX-tacy

It's been almost a week since earX-tacy re-opened in its new location, and everyone I've talked to about it approves whole-heartedly of the new store. Personally, I love it because it's a leisurely walk from my house, as opposed to the old store that was just far enough to break a sweat. I'm a prissy girl who doesn't like to break a sweat, so the Douglass Loop location suits me just fine.

I've only been in once since last Friday, when the walls were still bare, and John Timmons's office was a fishbowl open to all the customers. My dad and I tapped on the glass during our visit, but John was busy in his plastic castle, on the phone and generally working hard. By now the fishbowl is probably covered in old show posters, Mr. Timmons's business antics kept private, and earX-tacy is likely looking more and more like the fun, unique, quirky record store that we remember. Most folks I've talked to seem to love the new location, which is surprising for a city that doesn't always respond well to change.

For those of you who haven't been in yet, consider stopping by this weekend. Before you go, however, visit www.earx-tacy.com and print out the 25%-off-any-one-item coupon posted on their homepage.

Now let's discuss the Douglass Loop, which is just about the most perfect little neighborhood commercial block in Louisville. I mean, it's got just about everything you need in a city, making it like it's very own little village. Heine Brothers, Graeters, Horton's, Naturally Hortons, Dundee Tavern, Breadworks, Dundee Candy Shop, Cafe LouLou, Fat Jimmy's, the Blossom Shop, a few nice little antique shops, Kinko's (gotta make those show fliers!), and I even secretly like Tuesday Morning, though I kind of miss the Italian Oven...

All the Loop needs now is a good wine store and for Lynn's Paradise Cafe to take over Twig and Leaf. That's always been my secret dream for the Twig, since those tater tots started to disappoint me once I was out of high school.

Anyway, earX-tacy makes a lovely addition to an already nice part of town. It's one-stop shopping for things I like. Except for that wine store ... can someone get on that please?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm back! Hullabalou finished ... back to life.

I'm back! Yes, I owe you a phone call, an email reply, a drink, and my new week's resolution is to get to that. I had no idea how much HullabaLOU would take out of me, and I totally understand now why big stars have "people." I would have gone mad on Saturday if FWT, Allison, and Tara, hadn't stepped up and played the roles of Road Manager, Intern, and Attorney, so absolutely perfectly. Thank you thank you for dealing with logistics, so I could actually think about music on Saturday morning.

HullabaLOU was a blast. I honestly was not expecting it to run so smoothly, but clearly someone on staff has put on a big festival before. Most of all, I loved how attentive to the environment and local economies they tried to be. The stages weren't solar-powered or anything, but there were recycling and compost bins everywhere, and the trash bins said "LANDFILL" in bold letters, just to give everyone pause before tossing anything in them. Also, the food area in the infield was mostly local restaurants. It wasn't the most vegetarian-friendly selection, but there were at least a few options for the veggie-minded, at least more than I usually find at events like that.

Thanks to my awesome band: Steve Cooley, Peter Searcy, and Cary Shields (filling in for the quickly-recovering Scott Lankford), who were total professionals and played great.

Thanks especially to the amazing crowd who showed up to hear me, despite my early time-slot. I wasn't expecting even close to that many folks there during my set, but it was packed, and everyone was listening, dancing, even singing along.

I took some video all day long, and I'm going to work on editing it now. A little behind-the-scenes look at all that HullabaLOU.

Friday, July 23, 2010

What to wear, what to wear.

What does one wear to an outdoor music festival in 100-degree weather with 78%-humidity? That is why sundresses were invented. Because I'm not a guy, and I can't just rip my shirt off and wander around in my underwear, I plan on bringing several sundresses. I'm betting I'll wear them all.

When you're rockin' out on-stage -- even if you're not doing choreographed Madonna dances -- you get stupid sweaty. Clearly, I'll need separate dresses for load-in, soundcheck, the show, then hanging out after the show. So, I'm off to go shopping. I wonder if that's tax deductible? Doubt it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quit hatin'.

I recently saw a friend I hadn't seen in a while, and the first thing he said to me was, "You sold out. You're playing HullabaLOU." He's not the first person to suggest that. Now, I am not one to hold back my temper -- this red hair is natural, after all, -- so I probably lashed back at him a bit more than was called for (and I'm sorry for that). But still, I get so tired of people in this town acting like haters when something big happens here. You don't have to like the bands on the bill, and you definitely don't have to go, but you also don't have to be mean about it.

This festival is a big deal, whether you care for any of the bands or not. It's cool that it's happening in Louisville, and it'll be good for the city. I admit straight up that outdoor summer music festivals in the heat of the summer are not my favorite thing ever. The thought of camping at Bonnaroo turns me off more than you can imagine, despite all the great music.

I think it's wonderful what JK has done with Forecastle, growing it from a gathering in Tyler Park to the indie-rock mecca it seems to have become. It's also great, and it's great for Louisville. So HullabaLOU has a gazillion more dollars of operating budget than Forecastle had its first year. And a totally different target demographic. So what? The idea that the two festivals are anathema to each other is just silly. Maybe I'm just a little hippie who wants everyone to get along, but I don't see why we need to create hate when it's unnecessary.

Quit hatin', folks. I think it's fantabulous that the producers of HullabaLOU have offers spots on the stage to so many Louisville-bred artists, whether they are huge or still growing. In fact, I'd probably have fired off an angry missive if they held a big festival in Kentucky and didn't include any homegrowns. Also, I'm very aware that Kenny Chesney is selling out the show on Saturday, not me, but, as Michael Young so astutely said on-air last Sunday, (paraphrased) a lot of locals will get the opportunity to sing in front of thousands of music-lovers who have never seen them -- or heard of them -- before. I think it's a good thing for this town, whether you're going or not. Judging by the amount of Couchsurfing requests I've gotten for this weekend from so many out-of-towners who are coming in for the festival, it looks like it's going to be a great thing for the local economy, not just for Churchill Downs.

And just for the record, I wrote a blog similar to this one long before the producers approached me about playing it, so you can't say I only feel this way because I'm on the bill.

Now ... back to puppies and rainbows and unicorns ... it's a glorious day outside ... and I think I might go buy something nice for myself for birthday week!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What are they trying to sell you?

A lot of people complain about targeted advertising on various social media sites, but I kind of enjoy it. It's better than all those spam "buy viagra" emails. I mean, clearly those spammers could have taken a bit more time to learn about their target demographic (not me). Sure, it's creepy how much they know about me, but it makes me laugh.

This morning on Facebook, they are trying to sell me a Masonic Ring and a Landon Donovan poster (I want both). Also, they suggest I contact some of the 30-year-old single men they know, which I suppose is better than them trying to hook me up with 30-year-old married men. The genius advertisers also think I might like to become a fan of Lagavulin (which, in truth, I am, but not officially because I feel some bizarre loyalty to Laphroaig). Toying with my emotional susceptibility to grad school, Facebook is intimating that I might try an online Masters in Music from Boston University, which I suppose would be slightly more impressive than the University of Phoenix.

But they are also offering me a coupon to Bob Evans, which might be the least vegetarian-friendly restaurant in town. Why do I find this so annoying? I mean, I want to let them know their little spider-robots are working somewhat improperly, and they should maybe start reading my blog to target my ads a little bit better.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Contests galore.

So the HullabaLOU ticket contest is over, and I know some of you are disappointed. I'm one of those people who never wins anything, believe it or not, except for the occasional fruit basket or cake at a Catholic picnic, so I'm never really that bummed out when I inevitably don't win a contest.

If you're a contest addict, however, I wanted to let you know about some other ones going on. The Whiskey Bent Valley Boys are giving away ONE ticket to FRIDAY's HullabaLOU. It's not a reserved seat, and it's not on the day I'm playing, but it's still a free ticket. Check out their Facebook page for more info -- just type whiskey bent valley into the search.

Also, Kenny Chesney is giving away HullabaLOU tix for Saturday 7/24. Details are on his Facebook page.


If you'd rather just maybe win a free CD, they check out Kyle Meredith's blog. He hosts this dandy little program called "The Weekly Feed" every week on approximately a bajillion radio stations, and he's giving away a fancy 25th anniversary R.E.M. cd on his blog. http://www.theweeklyfeed.org/2010/07/13/win-it-r-e-m-fables-of-the-recontruction-25th-anniversary-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-169 Apparently he has 3 cd's to give away, and as of now, only 3 people have entered the contest. I'm no mathematician, but I'd say your chances would be pretty high if you stopped by his blog and posted a comment.

I liked the week of highly visible readers though. I know you're out there reading most of the time, but it was nice to see your pretty smiles this week.

It's a busy week for me: BIRTHDAY WEEK!!! And I'm so busy with rehearsals and shows, there can't possible be any time for a surprise party. Oh well.

Friday, July 16, 2010

And the winner is...

... Wendy Davies. Thanks to all who entered, and I hope you'll come out to a show sometime or at least keep reading the ol' blog.

Congratulations, Wendy!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Last chance to win HullabaLOU tix.

I don't have much interesting to say today. But I wanted to go ahead and blog, so I can give you all just one more chance to win tickets the Reserved Seats to HullabaLOU for Saturday, July 24. I'll be drawing the names from a hat tomorrow sometime, and I'll post the winner's name on the blog. Remember that if you win, there is no pressure to come see me play ... absolutely no pressure ... I mean it ... well, maybe a little ... I know there's a lot of time between my set and Kenny Chesney's, but still ...

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the show. I'm also trying to figure out the other bands I'm going to try to catch that day, if I get time between radio interviews and other various media events. I definitely want to see Ben Folds, who is apparently soundchecking right before me. Maybe we'll become BFFs, who knows... of course, Relic is playing about the same time as Ben Folds, and they are always a good show. I'm thinking next I'll catch Joan Osborne, then Al Green, and Huey Lewis. But then there's Ricky Skaggs ... and Steppenwolf... ah, the music. I hope I have an air conditioned dressing room or something. I should really work on a better rider.

That's all for the day ... who are YOU looking forward to seeing at HullabaLOU?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Other Dog is a Dinosaur.

I'm dogsitting. Bailey is a super cute dog. She is cute in the literal sense, as in she is wee. I am not a tiny dog person. Bailey, however, is adorable and sweet and doesn't bounce off the walls or bite like most tiny dogs I've met. Still, when I take her on walks, I suddenly understand those bumper stickers that read, "My Other Car is a Harley." I somehow feel the need to tell every Big Dog Owner that we pass -- especially when Bailey is flipping out with the innate need to attack the big dogs ... why do little dogs do that?? it's an Napoleon thing, I guess -- that "My Other Dog is a Great Dane."

I must say, however, that it's much more pleasant to clean up Bailey's doody (or is it "doodie?") than it was to clean up the Great Dane's poo (I can spell "poo"). She can also pull on the leash all she wants, but she won't knock me off my barstool. It's also kind of fun to wear her as a hat, as she fits most perfectly upon my head. I also like having Bailey around because she makes me feel normal. I know I won't be running off to Amsterdam this weekend at the last minute, or staying at the pool for eight hours, or going to an all-day music festival. It's kind of nice to have that excuse, "Sorry, I've got to let the dog out." Even though she's just a little dog...

***

Yes, despite the fact that most of my blogs have nothing to do with HullabaLOU (and often nothing to do with music at all), each commenter on my blog still gets a chance to win a pair of Reserved Seats at HullabaLOU for Saturday, July 24. Does that answer your question?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Doomsday thoughts and new adventures.

Every so often one of those big news stories hits that makes you wonder why you were fretting like mad over a misplaced cell phone or a even a business deal. Clearly, some things are much more important than others. In general, I think we all understand that most of what we do doesn't really matter. I'm not talking about a metaphysical we-are-just-a-blink-of-any-eye level, but on the level taught to us in fairy tales, songs, movies, and poetry: that it's family, friends, and love, that are truly important. For some reason, however, most of us (including me) continue to spend our days worrying about all the rest.

During the World Cup game on Sunday, my friend Danny asked me something about the game (I think it was about that Spanish dude's hair), but I hadn't been paying attention. My thoughts had been focused on the giant methane bubble that might explode and kill us all. Random, right? And certainly not worth thinking about because there's absolutely nothing I can do about it if it has indeed burst. But there I was, so annoyed that that the referee was clearly rooting for Spain, that I zoned out and tried to figure out what was going on in Washington, D.C. at that moment. Had the world leaders been called to a secret room? Was President Obama going to have to get on TV to give one of those only-in-the-movies addresses to the nation? Or had he already been replaced by a lookalike (think the movie Dave and was hiding safely in the bunkers with a bunch of Nobel winners? And, more importantly, had they already called in Will Smith to action?

Anyway, it's been bugging me, this whole end of days thing, but at the same time, I'm pretty happy with all that I've done. I've definitely got more plans, but it's not like I've been sitting around on my ass playing World of Warcraft all my life.

It was also nice to wake up this morning and read that the whole giant methane bubble extinction news story has supposedly been debunked, at least that's what they're telling us, hee hee...

Still, it reminded me about a series of blogs I did two years ago on my birthday.** Each day of my birthday week, I did something I'd never done before and blogged about it. I think it might be time for a repeat of that series ... so look for it next week ... maybe.

** The original blogs are up on my MySpace page, but I've imported them to the Blogger account. The comments aren't up yet ... apparently there are too many of them to copy and paste -- too many characters. Where are all my loyal MySpace readers these days, by the way?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fun gig and too much ice cream.

Most of the time, the life of a musician is not as glamorous as you might imagine, especially for the independent one. Imagine being your own office manager, human resources manager, marketing department, IT department, administrative assistant, sales rep, product developer, accountant, etc, etc. BUT ... then there are the times when you actually get to go to the gigs, and then you just get to stand up on stage and sing and play and dance and yodel. Most of the time, it's also okay to have a bourbon while you're on stage (although, not too many, or all that effort from being your own salesteam is a big FAIL).

Last weekend, I played a private party that was such a ridiculous little affair that it's hard to believe it was work. I'll skip all the part about setting up the PA and all that boring stuff and tell you that, yes, the part when I played music was fun. I played some of my own songs. I played along with two of my favorite people and musicians, Shannon Lawson, and also Peter Searcy, on their songs. This, That, and the Other was there getting the crowd going, and even ol' Barry from Love Jones jumped up on stage. The music was fun.

When I play private events like this, I'm always amazed at the creativity of the party planners. Not only was there a swimming pool at this party, but the pool had a 40-foot sliding board that winds down through a landscaped jungle. As you might imagine what happens at the party with several open bars, 4 bands, a hot night in July, and a swimming pool, there was definitely some sliding board action.

The food was beautifully catered, but the absolute best part of all was: the Graeter's Ice Cream cart that was parked just past the stage all night. You're hot, you're thirsty, and there are at least six different flavors of individually packed yumminess in arm's-reach. FWT ate seven (7) cartons of ice cream. I had two and a half (but countless bites of cake). It was such a fun night, I almost forgot I was at work.

I like gigs like that ... gigs that are more than just a night at a regular music venue. I like gigs in bizarre places, like that time I played a Public Library with the Muckrakers, or the Ryder Cup Soiree at Churchill Downs, that had a Hall of Bourbon, or the Islay Whisky Festival with its sweeping views of Northern Ireland and random Swiss passers-by. I guess I have an inflated sense of adventure.

Next gig: Churchill Downs infield on Saturday, July 24. I think most of you know about that one.

Ooooh, by the way, my CDs are now IN-STOCK at earX-tacy once again, so please go patronize your local music store, Louisvillians, whether not you plan on buying one of my albums.

Friday, July 9, 2010

TV Show and a new song

Thanks for all the music suggestions yesterday ... it's always nice to hear what folks are enjoying.

About six months ago, I did an interview for public television here in Kentucky for a show called "Louisville Life," and the super smart producer turned it into a pretty cool segment. It's re-airing this week, and since I forgot to tell everyone about it the first time (I'm really not the publicist I should be, clearly), then here I am telling you now. This week's airdates are:
Friday, July 9 at 5:30/4:30 pm CT on KET2
Saturday, July 10 at 7:00/6:00 pm CT on KET
Sunday, July 11 at 10:00/9:00 am CT on KET
Sunday, July 11 at 12:00/11:00 am CT on KET2
Monday, July 12 at 7:30/6:30 am CT on KET2

I must admit, I'm still getting used to being on the other side of the interview chair. I mentioned a few days ago that I don't like TV all that much, which is weird for someone who used to be a TV Producer. A few of you messaged me to ask "where did you work," and I'm sorry I haven't replied to you yet. Thought I'd just answer that here.

During and after college, when I lived in New York City, I worked for CBS News. I began life there as an intern, doing classic intern things, like learning the difference between a cappuccino and a latte, and how to collate. I also happened to have an awesome boss who let me go out on interviews for her. So my basic first-job training was in journalism and how to interview a subject. (My first interview was with Susan Lucci and my second was with Colin Powell.) After switching from news to documentaries, I did longer interviews, usually for the show A&E Biography or History Channel programming.

Thus, it's still very weird when someone sits me down and asks me those very same questions I'm used asking. It's even weirder to see an edited version of them with a nice frame and storyline.

Anyway, that's all got me thinking that I really have no good excuse for not posting more video blogs. I've taken hours and hours of footage, and I've given you nothing in a year. That is just silly. So look out for some new video blogs, long overdue, from my UK trip and various other antics.

Here's a quick video of a new song. It was shot at the Derby Museum Grand Re-Opening in April, just about a minute after the mandolin player from the band on-stage before me dug a mic stand into the finish of my beautiful Gibson, then conveniently disappeared before the end of my set. Not that I'm still angry about that or anything ... anyway, apologies for the crowd noise, but I thought y'all might like to see a new song. It's called "The Kentucky Waltz." Yes, I know there's already a song called that, but I wrote a new one.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

What are you listening to?

People ask me all the time what I'm listening to. I used to be able to come up with new albums that were rocking my world or blowing my mind or whatever, but lately, I have no answer.

Here's a weird insight into life on the road: we don't usually listen to music. I know that's not a blanket statement for all rock tours, but most of the people I play with agree that we'd rather listen to talk radio on the road. But somehow, between my fall 2008 UK tour and my Spring 2010 tour, I've been listening pretty much solely to talk radio. The "This American Life" App on my phone has become the most sacred tool of the road, up there with the GPS, and an extra set of guitar strings. When you're playing shows at least every day, it's nice to just not think about music, even though music is what you love. I can't listen to music without analyzing chord progressions, -- probably like an English professor has trouble just enjoying a good novel and not analyzing -- so it's nice to just hear Ira Glass talking to a 5th grader, I guess.

Anyway, that brings me to recent developments. Forecastle is this weekend, and I have no idea who most of the bands are. I mean, the bigger ones I've heard of, but that's still less than half. Kyle Meredith's Facebook statuses confuse me tremendously, and I sometimes think he's making these bands up just to see who will go along with it.

So what I ask of you, my friends who are looking to enter the HullabaLOU ticket contest but don't have any cutesy comments to make, what have I missed? What great new records are out there? And why would I like them?

Enlighten me.

Oooh, also, earX-tacy will once again be in possession of my CDs by this weekend, for those of you locals who are looking to buy them. I had not re-stocked in a while for business reasons, but earX-tacy is on its feet again, it seems. I hear they're moving to the new store next week. Exciting!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

HullabaLOU Ticket Giveaway on my blog.

As promised, I will be giving away 2 Reserved-Seats to the HullabaLOU Festival at Churchill Downs (for Saturday, July 24) to one lucky blog-reader. This is extra-special because even I don't get Reserved Seats to the shows, and it took a lot of effort to not just keep these tickets for myself. But no, I follow the rules, and I am supposed to give away the tickets to a lucky fan. Since I don't have any other concerts before HullabaLOU, I've decided to give them away on the blog.

Other bands playing HullabaLOU on Sat July 24 include: Kenny Chesney, Ben Folds, Al Green, Huey Lewis & the News, Joan Osborne, Government Mule, Sara Evans, Jason Aldean, Ricky Skaggs, and one of my favorite local bluegrass acts, Relic. It'll be a great day, plus it'll be my Birthday Eve.

Here are the rules:

1) You will receive ONE entry per person, per blog I post, beginning July 7, 2010, and running through midnight Eastern time on July 15, 2010. You get an entry by commenting on my blog. It's that simple. You may make that comment on http://BrigidKaelin.blogspot.com OR on my Facebook Pages (my blog is automatically imported to Facebook each day), either my personal page: www.facebook.com/brigidkaelin or my FAN page www.facebook.com/brigidkaelinmusic. Those are the only three versions of my blog from which I will accept comments as entries (not MySpace). If you comment as "Anonymous," you don't get an entry, unless you leave your name and contact info in the comment box.
2) The winner's name will be pulled from a nice cowboy hat -- you know how I love hats -- on Friday, July 16, 2010.
3) You must be able to use the tickets yourself in order to win. The tickets will be at Will Call at Churchill Downs under your name, and you must present photo ID to get in.
4) The tickets are for Saturday, July 24, 2010, the day that I'm playing.
5) If you win, it would be nice if you came to my stage to hear me play, but I suppose that isn't technically a rule.
6) Anyone is eligible to win, even friends and family. There are a lot of Kaelins out there, so don't be mad if I draw a relative out of the hat. I promise to be completely honest about this. (Otherwise, wouldn't I have just kept these tickets for myself??)

Great, so all you have to do is comment on this blog for one entry, and comment on any and all blogs up until July 15, 2010, for multiple entries to win, but you only get one chance per blog entry. I might even try to blog about music and not just rants and raves about bad television and tomato-eating squirrels.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dallas. Yes, the show.

**As promised, I will be giving away 2 Reserved-Seat tickets to see my band play at HullabaLOU. Check my blog daily for more details on how to enter and various rules (there are always rules). **

I don't love TV, which is funny for someone who was a TV Producer in a former life. I have crappy cable, and I'm so rarely home that I just emotionally afford to get addicted to any of the popular/good television shows these days. I watched the first two seasons of LOST several years ago, but I had to forget that I cared about any of the characters. It was just too painful to not be able to keep up to date. (Please don't tell me how it ends ... someday I'll catch up on DVD. That's what long rides in the tour van are for.)

Anyway, those modern shows that I have watched, I've seen totally on DVD, both because I'm never around to make the appointment television and because I don't have good cable. But recently, my Netflix cue sent me Disc One: Season One of .... "Dallas."

I don't remember how FWT and I ended up putting "Dallas" on the cue, but I'm sure we thought it would be funny to watch the show. That is, until we discovered that there are, like, thirteen seasons of programming. Thirteen. We realized we didn't think the Summer of Dallas was such a good idea.

We've only watched the first disc, but I kind of love it. Why? Not because of the glorious feathery hair or the over-dramatic acting, although that is a bonus. I love it because every episode wraps itself up by the end of the hour. If they re-made it today, each little storyline would carry on the entire season, rendering it totally confusing if you missed a week. The surprise is how television has changed ... and that I keep expecting a cliffhanger (I mean, didn't "Dallas" have the most talked-about cliffhanger in television history???). But it's completely satisfying, and I go to sleep chuckling and Crazy Lucy and Goofy Ray and Sweet Pamela, wondering what drama they'll get themselves into next week.

Anyway, it probably won't be the Summer of Dallas, but it's been a nice diversion.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Are seeds really that bad?


My favorite food is watermelon. I don't like eating watermelon slices, but if you chopped up watermelon cubes or balls and dumped them in a giant bowl, I could eat a whole melon in one afternoon, seeds and all. Which brings me to today's blog: why is it so hard to find a watermelon with seeds these days?

I don't get it. Seeds in watermelon never bothered me. Usually, I just chew them up and eat them too, but sometimes it's fun to spit them in your yard and see how many plants you get next year from your little spitting contest. For those folks who don't like watermelon seeds, is it really that much of a pain to spit them out or eat around them? Am I really the only one who likes the seeds? To the point that demand for seedless watermelons far outweighs my need for real fruit?

[Interesting digression: I am very pro-seedless grapes, but that's because grape seeds are tiny and stubborn and taste bitter.]

Anyway, I can't wait for the watermelon blossoms in my garden to produce. It's always been the trickiest plant to grow, at least for me, because so much depends on the weather. I'm hoping for a good crop, complete with seeds that I shall spit out into the garden, just to ensure that seeded watermelon don't become extinct.

And speaking of funny things to do to watermelon, here's a photo I took when I went to Japan a few years ago. Over there they grow square watermelons that fit in your refrigerator without wasted space. This one cost 15000 yen, about $150.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

July is for Music.

Happy Canada Day! And happy July! I love July, mostly because it's my birthday month, but also because everyone seems to always be in a good mood. People are always coming and going on vacations, tomatoes start to ripen (and we all know how a solid tomato sandwich can cheer folks up), flowers are in bloom everywhere, and the days are long,, beautiful, and sunny. It's a good month.

I've got a fun show coming up this month too, for those of you that haven't heard. I'm playing at the HullabaLOU Festival at Churchill Downs on Saturday July 24th. This is exciting for many reasons. The lineup is HUGE, so even if you hate mainstream country, there's Al Green and Ben Folds to rock your world. Then of course there's Dave Matthews and Bon Jovi. And if you're more into old-timey or bluegrass, there's Loretta Lynn, Sam Bush, and the Avett Brothers. I don't like that the Louisville Haters Society (there IS one of these, I swear) has come out bashing the lineup. If you can't find at least two bands you like on the bill, then I think you must just be too emo.

Anyway, the stage I'm playing on includes Ben Folds and Joan Osborne and Government Mule. I'm hoping that Ben Folds might let me play his piano. I truly hate hauling my keyboard. You'd think that playing a big festival like this, I'd be to the point in my career where someone else would be hauling my equipment ... woe is me:)

Next weekend brings another great music festival to Louisville: Forecastle. Good ol' JK McKnight has done a hell of a job working his tiny festival in Tyler Park -- I was at the first one years ago -- and turning it into one of the best festivals in the nation, probably in the world. Loads of great bands there, including Spoon and the Smashing Pumpkins and Cake and The Drive-By Truckers. I'm not cool enough to have heard of all of the Forecastle bands, but there are a slew of terrific Louisville musicians playing.

Anyway ... I babble.

Part of what I intended to say is that part of the promotional package for HullabaLOU includes 2 fancy-seat tickets for Saturday, July 24th. Stay tuned to this blog in the coming weeks to find details on how to win them.

I'm off to enjoy July!

Oversharing, overasking, and Benyaro music.

This house-renovation thing has been all-emcompassing, and boredom has set in. I've been using miter saws, measuring baseboards, estimat...