There are a few things in NYC that i would have liked to have been a part of while they were still around. Seeing Les Paul play at the Iridium, Seeing RENT while it was still on Broadway, Going to Blll's Gay Nineties before it closed - and of course getting to watch a show at CBGB's.
Some of these opportunities will never again be possible; but thanks to the good folks at Icelandic Glacial I was able to see a show at the John Varvatos gallery at 315 Bowery - the old location of CBGB's. John and his team did an amazing job of preserving what was left of the old club, even adding several items that are in keeping with the feel and flavor of the birthplace of punk music.
Already a huge Paul Weller fan, it just so happened that he was putting on a private show last Thursday night, and I jumped at the chance to be able to see Paul in such an intimate setting.
New York is one of those funny places. There's over 8 million people here, but it is really just like any other town. People run in close circles, and it's very likely to bump into people anyplace, anytime.
I was happy to run into Matt Pinfield at the show - as we hadn't seen each other in over a year. As soon as I saw him, I knew it was going to be a good night. And it was...
Thanks to the super swanky tickets Icelandic Glacial gave me for the show, my escort and I were able to watch the show from the sidestage with all of the VIP's. For a brief moment, I felt like one, too.
John Varvatos was a gracious host, and made everyone feel like they were his most important guest. I might not wear men's clothing, but I will be sure to patron his brand in the event that I find myself buying a gifts of that nature in the future.
But on to the show… Paul Weller, a.k.a. - the Modfather, put on an amazing show. I was busy fanning out and shaking my groove thing, so my video of the show (captured on my iPhone) is shaky at best. The audio, however, showcases the amazingness of the new tracks on Paul's newest release. Feel free to listen to the following clip below of Paul's newest single, "Dangerous Age."
Even though he put on performances the following two nights at the Best Buy Theater, I knew I was part of seeing something special. And even though the show was a perfect length, I couldn't help but feel sad that it was over.
Either way, I got to see a legend. Feel like part of a community. Meet a famous clothing designer. See a show at the old CBGB's. And order sushi from an iPhone app - timing it to be delivered within five minutes of arriving home from the show.
I’m sitting at my desk, in my apartment on the Upper West Side, and feeling humble. Feeling grateful. Wanting to say thank you to every single person who has come into my life… yet, somehow thank you just isn’t enough.
Life is funny. If we are courageous enough to survive it long enough, we begin to see the beauty in everything. At least that’s how I’ve been feeling lately. :)
Perhaps the reason this is so special to me is that it took me a really long time to come to terms with the fact that I am an artist. I didn't need to wait for validation from some industry, company, group, individual (or otherwise) to "grant" me the title of artist; I just needed to claim it - make it mine.
The last few days, I have been thinking quite a bit about this handsome guy...
I first met Earl when he showed up at my channel on Ustream back in late 2007 as the world's first handicapable lifecaster.
He is also: one of the wisest individuals that I've ever known (virtually, or IRL), an adult with Cerebral Palsy, confined to a wheelchair, and probably the best example of someone who COULD be frustrated with his body, but instead chooses to embrace his idiosyncrasies and utilize them to inspire others - like me.
People always say to me, "Wow. Lifecasting must have been hard." Yeah. It was.
The Internetz can be a mean and cruel place. It possesses something tempting to certain people: the ability to lash out against things (that have no real bearing with where the anger came from in the first place) and it's relatively anonymous. Put those together, and it's an instant recipe for potential hecklers and nay-sayers.
Earl knows how difficult life (and lifecasting) can be - and he has the unique perspective of dealing with a physical challenge while doing it. And you know what? He has handled the whole thing with style, grace and a smile on his face.
As I deal with overcoming some of my own physical challenges, it's become painfully obvious that I am completely invested in the concept that my body will continue to operate perfectly.
Retrospectively, I'm not sure that mindset has served me very well, as it has allowed me to:
push forward when my body tells me to sleep say hello to a friend when my vocal chords need rest deprive my body of nutrients because I am forgetful or temporarily out of cash etc.
These things are all fine and dandy for some people, without repercussions. But, I've never really been one of those people to get away with anything. It's some strange cosmic-karma that I have to deal with.
You can hear both parts (of a two part) of a podcast interview Earl gave here and here.
Earl - the coming weeks for me might be incredibly difficult. But I wanted to let you know that you are not only an inspiration to many - right now you are 'THE inspiration" to me.
Thank you for reminding me that I am more than my body - I am my contribution.
Thank you also for the inspiration, and the wisdom that we do not always need to seek inspiration but rather, sometimes inspiration finds us.
Independent musician and lifecaster Jody Gnant, who has been broadcasting her life 24/7 on the Internet at www.jodygnant.com since July of last year, has been confirmed as a panelist at Podcamp NYC, to be held Friday and Saturday, April 25 and 26, at Brooklyn Polytechnic University.
Podcamp NYC, billed as “an ‘unconference’ focused on educating participants on how to use, implement and share any/all new media tools including, podcasts, videocasts, blogs, Second Life, Facebook, and YouTube,” is free to attend, and a perfect match for Jody, who’s built a broad fan base on the Internet and is at the forefront of a group of indie musicians who are using social networking to further their music careers.
"The cool thing about Podcamp is that it encourages the sharing of information among individuals,” Jody says. “There is no ‘competition.’ We're all braving Cyberspace together, and we know it."
Jody had already planned to attend Podcamp on behalf of one her sponsors, Web site www.moguling.com, when she was asked to join the “Promoting Music with Podcasting” panel. She sees this opportunity as a way to conitnue building a bridge between music and technology. "The tech industry is a lot like the music industry,” she says. “We're all rock stars at heart - and the Internet is the open road. It's really quite the same thing, perhaps without all the drugs."
Jody will join a panel that includes cyber-publicist Ariel Hyatt of Podsafe Digital Music Campaigns, Dan Herman of freeform Internet radio station Radio Crystal Blue, and Well-Rounded Radio host/producer Charles McEnerney. Jody plans to discuss, among other things, how musicians can utilize the Internet and various social media outlets to bring their music to an audience, as well as how to market and sustain themselves without the aid of a traditional record label. "Anything is possible now for an independent artist,” Jody says. “The Internet and new technologies have removed all of the boundaries that previously existed, and an artist's success in today's climate is directly tied to their willingness to embrace New Media."
The “Promoting Music with Podcasting” panel is scheduled to take place on Friday, April 25, at 2 p.m. For additional details on Podcamp NYC, visit www.podcampnyc.org.
In a swift cyberspace coup, independent singer-songwriter, lifecaster, and "Bohemian Geek Soul" artist Jody Gnant corralled hundreds of voters and earned more than 1,500 star ratings for her photo in the last 24 hours of a casting call contest on rapper Ice Cube's new social networking and video site, UVNTV (www.uvntv.com).
The Web site, which Ice Cube recently launched with his longtime collaborator, DJ Pooh, utilizes Microsoft's new Silverlight technology to deliver media in real-time, and is being touted as "the world's first real-time, online television network." Channels include Snoop Dogg's Snoopadelic TV and Ice Cube's Hip-Hop 24/7 TV. UVNTV's channels incorporate Dolby surround sound and DVD-quality resolution for live streaming video. The site also serves as a broadband social network for fans and burgeoning artists – members join for free and can post profiles, share ideas, and audition for shows.
It was the "Hollywood audition" casting call contest that first brought Jody Gnant's attention to the site. Contestants were to submit head shots, and winners would be selected by the number of Internet votes they received. Jody clicked on a news link, saw the Web site and contest, and signed up on March 31 -- the day before the Casting Call contest ended. Jody has been broadcasting her life 24/7, live on the Internet at www.jodygnant.com, since July 31, 2007. She'd built a broad fan base and social network during that time, and felt she could win the contest in a day. "I said to myself, 'The person in the lead only has 150 votes. I can get that in one day from the visitors on the stream.' It was the first real time we put the group we affectionately call, 'The Legion' to work on a specific all-or-nothing-project," Jody says. " But it was awesome."
She quickly launched "Operation Cluster Vote" with her fans, campaigning for votes on her live stream at Ustream.com, on MySpace, Twitter, and any other means necessary by a quickly-assembled "virtual street team." And it worked, garnering her enough votes to win the Casting Call contest – which had been going on for months – in one day.
It also grabbed the attention of UVNTV, who were baffled at the staggering number of votes she got so quickly, and asked her to explain her methods. "I've gained a ton of insight into virtual media, social networking and monetization over the last eight months of lifecasting -- and I've been living and breathing the music business since I was a kid," Jody says.
Once they realized how Jody had brought so many votes to UVNTV, the founders were excited. "[We're] glad that there are people who get sticky viral Internet marketing and use it to make accomplishments," DJ Pooh says.
Jody's excited at the prospects of working with UVNTV as well, and continuing to demonstrate her belief that "none of us are as powerful as all of us."
"The Legion definitely won this contest. I could not have won it alone. When people ask me, 'How is your life different because of the lifecast?', I have a tangible example now," Jody says. "This is an example of how all of us, together, made a difference in something."
Fans of Jody Gnant can catch her on the news Monday, March 31, when ABC 15 in Phoenix airs a segment on the Bohemian Geek Soul singer at 10 p.m. MST. The news crew shot footage of Jody and her band at rehearsal, and filmed an exclusive interview. Tune in locally, or visit www.abc15.com. Fans outside Phoenix might also be able to catch the news on ABC 15's stream.
The fast-action fury of Jackie Chan and Jet Li. A geriatric rock chorale. Whirlwind Wall Street romances. The “Bohemian Geek Soul” music of independent musician Jody Gnant.
Some things just go exceptionally well together – like movies and music. That’s one reason Phoenix singer-songwriter Jody Gnant has been asked to perform at the 2008 Phoenix Film Festival. The innovative artist is one of eight Valley music acts – including the Instant Classics, What Laura Says Thinks and Feels, and Black Carl -- who’ll perform inside a 10,000 square-foot party tent over the first three nights of the festival. The highlighted films at this year’s Phoenix Film festival include The Forbidden Kingdom (starring Jackie Chan and Jet Li), Young at Heart (the Sundance sensation about a fictional senior citizens chorus group), and the Wall Street romance Falling for Grace. And for Phoenix Film Festival President and Co-founder Chris Lamont, Gnant’s performance is among the musical highlights.
“Music is a huge part of making film work as an art form, and we want to use the festival opportunity to bring the biggest and brightest local music acts to the biggest and brightest independent filmmakers in the country,” Lamont says. “Jody Gnant is one of the bright stars in the Arizona music sky. We’re really excited to have her here.”
Gnant’s performance at the Phoenix Film Festival comes on the heels of a six-month buzz blitz following the release of her second record, Pivot, an album Village Voice Media praised for its “bluesy, funk-inflected material.” Gnant’s decision to open her life up to cyberspace via her 24/7 lifecast at www.jodygnant.tv has also landed her on the front page of news.com and The L.A. Times, along with national stories in The London Times, NPR, and a slew of other media outlets. Most recently, Gnant appeared on an episode of MTV’s Made as a performance coach for a self-conscious tomboy who wanted to sing onstage, and hit the streets of Austin for the South-By-Southwest music festival as a correspondent for Web site moguling.com. On March 30, the week of her performance at Phoenix Film Festival, Gnant will appear on ABC-15 News in Phoenix. Check www.abc15.com for information.
Jody Gnant performs live at the Phoenix Film Festival from 7 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, followed by The Instant Classics from 8 p.m. to midnight. Admission is free. Visit www.phxfilm.com or www.jodygnant.com for more information.
Let’s talk fashion – specifically, music festival fashions. Now, I used to wear stuff in high school like giant, baggy, tie-dyed MC Hammer-esque pants, red Reeboks, and hot pink headbands -- so obviously, I’m no fashion expert. But every time I come to Austin for SxSW, I notice various trends that simply baffle me.
For example, why do so many guys wear girls’ jeans? I have heard that this is part of the “emo” fashion trend -- “emo” being a style of music where guys basically scream and whine over spiraling, repetitive guitar riffs about how some girl screwed them over. It’s a very un-macho genre of music. So I guess wearing girls’ jeans would fit with that whole shtick, but seriously, guys – your uh, “junk” doesn’t look very good crammed into denim so tight it looks painted on. How on Earth are you supposed to “adjust” yourselves? And your butts virtually disappear.
Here is an example of the “emo jean” thing:
I know the photo looks small, but it’s actually to scale (just kidding).
The afro was a big trend last year, and has made a kinky return this year. Everywhere I look, there are guys who look like a Chia pet exploded on top of their heads. The “band guy” look here still seems to be: big afro, scruffy stubble, and glasses. I blame trendsetter Jack Osbourne:
By the way, Jack Osbourne has lost a ton of weight and cut his hair since the above photo was taken. He looks awesome. So next year, I expect the ‘fro boys to look more like Justin Timberlake – I mean, Jack Osbourne:
The women’s fashion rage seems to be short skirts with knee-high, heeled boots. I hate this look only because I cannot pull it off without twisting my ankle, falling in a ditch, and exposing my uh, intimate apparel. I don’t do heels at all, unlike Jody, who’s been wearing them pretty much the whole time we’ve been here together (albeit without the short skirts – it’s freakin’ windy here at night, and lots of people are lying in the streets bemoaning how much they drank by Saturday night. They’re likely to look up from the gutter and see more than stars).
One thing I did see today that totally rocked my world was this guy with killer dreads, who was hanging around the Austin Convention Center:
Yes, they are real, and they actually hang down to his ankles. If Crystal Gayle ever dreadlocked her hair, it would prolly look something like this dude’s ‘do.
I’m interested to see what trends people are sporting at SxSW next year. By then, I should have my dreadlocked ‘fro, emo jeans, and knee-high boots all ready to go. I gotta stay a step behind, you know. Now I gotta go dig my tie-dyed parachute pants out of my luggage.
Just returned from a fantastic vacation with Jody Gnant in Amsterdam. After seven days of fun and (most recently) almost 20 hours of globe traversing, I’ve come to some realizations. Now, a good professional writer will tell you that the grit of any story is in the details. But a good professor of psychology will tell you that “brevity is the soul of genius.” I will attempt to give both grit andgenius in the blog entry that follows, but can promise neither in my current, frazzled state-of-mind. So let’s start with my realizations about some clichés:
“There’s no place like home.”
That is certainly true. But just because a place is like no other place, that doesn’t particularly mean it’s better than any other place. Amsterdam is an amazing city for many, many reasons. People seem to focus on those “tourist attractions” in the ‘Dam that stem from the city’s more lenient legal system about certain things, but there’s so much more to the city than that.
Art and music lovers, in particular, are drawn to the city, because it’s a mecca of international creative expression. On one corner, there might be a Parisian busker playing “Red, Red Wine” on an upright bass. On another corner, there might be a Dutch portrait artist with a small studio set up. Another corner might play host to an Indonesian flute player who’s placed her tip jar in front of her very cute dog.
And then there are the museums: Rijksmuseum, Rembrandt House, the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum – plus tons of shopping, restaurants, canal cruises, etc. So yeah – there’s no place like home, but there’s no place like Amsterdam, either. My goal is get Jody some gigs in Amsterdam and other places in Europe, because I’ve found that by and large, the audience for pop music (and singer-songwriters in particular) is much larger there, and people actively seek out new music.
When Jody gave one of her CDs to the clerk at one of the clothing stores on Nieuwdijk, the clerk and her friends looked genuinely interested in the music and happy to have a free CD. And not a single one of them mispronounced Jody’s last name. Jody’s heritage comes from European countries and she was happy to be “in ze fatherland” in Germany.
The fact that Jody tends to sleep all day and be up all night in the states makes me think that she’s just perpetually on European time. And I think Europe is a much better breakout market for Jody’s criminally underheard music than the U.S., where the market is flooded with so much blasé crap and consumers are sheep-herded and spoon-fed mediocrity.
“Home is where the heart is.”
Yep. It’s also where the bills, the jobs, and the everyday worries we go on vacation to escape are. Jody and I both needed this vacation for various reasons, and I would argue that while “home is where the heart is,” you can make anywhere you are “home,” and keep your heart with you. Jody and I made ourselves at home there. I think she was a bit taken aback by the Dutch’s lack of talkativeness – it’s not that they’re rude at all; they’re just not super-friendly and they seem to pay more attention to duty than dallying. But Jody took them equally aback with the random acts of kindness that are so intrinsic to her nature. On the outbound flight, we had a layover at O’Hare, where we met a poor young woman who had lost her wallet and been stuck at the airport all day, trying to figure out a way to rent a car or take a bus to her grandma’s house, with no money or ID. Upon hearing this, Jody didn’t hesitate to find out how much bus fare would cost and give it to the girl. In Amsterdam, Jody gave a girl on the street a whole cup of French fries because she didn’t like the mayo that was slathered all over them. She went out of her way to try to find somebody at Central Station who could use her bus ticket because she was done with it. She gave our friends on the train ride from Dusseldorf to Amsterdam a CD for each of them. She gave a police officer at the Philadelphia airport a bunch of hand and toe warmers.
And we made new friends. I got to meet Andrew from tradingnothing.com, who was just a great guy and so much fun to hang out with. The stuffed monkey he brought with him provided the most entertaining dinner I’ve ever had – the staff at the Italian restaurant where we ate, Peppino, fell in love with the monkey and ultimately traded Andrew a bottle of Chianti and four shots of Italian whiskey for the pillowed primate. We also met a Dutch-Irishman named Duncan at the train station in Dusseldorf (he actually helped to prevent us from getting on the wrong train), and got to spend all day Thursday with him as well. We had breakfast, we took a brief boat cruise, we went to the Anne Frank House, we walked around the park behind the Rijksmuseum, we had dinner, and we took lots of pictures.
So yeah. It was like home. Maybe even a little better.
“You can’t take it with you.”
Oh yes, you can (unless it’s liquid in a container that’s more than three ounces in your carry-on luggage). We bought plenty of stuff and took it with us. Jody bought some killer clothes at this place called Punky Fashion, and I had the joy of watching her try on outfits for almost two hours (no, I’m not being sarcastic; it really was a joy). I also bought a couple of things there. Dusseldorf had great shopping, too – that’s where I bought three pairs of shoes. I got two funky pairs of Converse high-tops (one’s a glittery blue paisley pattern, the other pair has skulls on them) and the ugliest Crocs I’ve ever seen. The color is a splatter-pattern mix of puse and dark blue, and there are Spiderman and robot buttons on them. They are sooo ugly. I love them. I figure if I’m gonna buy shoes in Dusseldorf, they should be striking enough – for better or worse – to be a catalyst of conversation back home (i.e., “What the hell are you wearing on your feet?) As soon as someone asks me that, they’ll get a great story about a day in Dusseldorf.
“You can never go home again.”
My interpretation of this cliché is two-fold. On one hand, I see the truth in that statement as an abstract expression. So many people think of “home” as a sedentary place, a bricks-and-mortar (or drywall-and-chicken-wire) building where they put all their stuff and sleep at night. But if one views “home” in an abstract sense, as in feeling at home and having a sense of comfort and safety, then “home” is not a stationary, concrete thing. It is a feeling, a state of being, and therefore, it is transitory and mutable. So you can’t really go “home again” if “home” is always changing.
But alas, I live in the literal world, and not only can I go home again, but I kinda had to come home again. If I had my druthers (and more money), I’d still be in Europe. There’s another popular saying: people need a vacation after their vacations. I’m so down for that, but it ain’t gonna happen. In less than two weeks, I fly to Austin, Texas to begin coverage of the SxSW music festival. Hopefully, Jody will be with me, and there will be more blogs to come – faster this time, too, since we won’t have to hunt down Internet cafes.
That’s it for now. Not quite brief, and not quite genius. But verbosity is the soul of early morning jetlag.
(Check out the fantastic photos Jody took on our trip here).
One of the great maxims of American culture is “you can be whatever you want to be.” For years, the MTV show Made has been capturing the process of people from various walks of life who want to become something else – whether it’s a nerdy high school guy’s journey to becoming a hot freestyle rapper or a tomboy’s quest to become a beauty queen. Such was the goal of Arizona native Kelly, who decided she wanted to change her image to become a pageant queen and learn how to perform her own songs. She received assistance from beauty queen coach Jacqueline Brady on how to style her hair and apply makeup, and also received some vocal and performance coaching from independent music artist Jody Gnant.
Gnant provided Kelly with a base education on the craft of songwriting, but felt it was important to help Kelly compose and perform one of her own songs. She also taught Kelly stage presence, and added more style to her wardrobe by letting Kelly choose some outfits from Pathway Clothing, one of Gnant’s sponsors.
You can watch Gnant coach Kelly on her path to becoming a performer and pageant queen on Saturday, February 16, when the Madeepisode “Pageant Queen” airs on MTV. There will be four back-to-back episodes airing that day, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit www.mtv.com for local listings.
Don’t miss the chance to catch Jody Gnant’s MTV debut!
Hey Gnant fans -- check out NPR's Weekend America program on Saturday, January 26, for an in-depth story on Jody Gnant and her lifecast. The story will run almost nine minutes, and will include interviews with Jody and some of her friends and fans, as well as some music from Jody's latest album, Pivot.
Stations and air times differ by region/state, but you can find a list of stations and air times here. If you miss the live radio segment, you should be able to catch it online here, after it airs.
Reporter Rene Gutel put this story together, on the heels of a widely-heard shorter NPR segment she did on Jody, which aired Thursday, January 24. You can stream that segment here.
Be sure to tune in tomorrow! There's nothing better on the radio right now anyway. :)
I just got this letter from Kempion (a regular on our stream at jodygnant.tv) and I wanted to share it with you immediately. Thanks for "getting it" Kempion. Keep on rocking the free world (and parts of Canada!)
How “Independent” Can An Independent Artist Be?
By Matt - a.k.a. Kempion
Jody Gnant, singer/songwriter and independent recording artist, is the best example of what it means to be an independent artist. Jody Gnant is a pioneer in a network of tangled chaos, yet she brings it all together seamlessly in a marketing model of her own design.
While capturing every moment of her life on her lifecast, Jody has assembled a legion of supporters. Her supporters come from all around the world and from all walks of life. They give their support to what they know is a worthy cause: Jody Gnant and her music.
As Jody says, “none of us are as powerful as all of us.”
In the roughly six months Jody has been broadcasting her life, Jody has brought together an eclectic group of people whose skills support what Jody is trying to accomplish – which is nothing short of changing the recording industry, if not the entire world. Programmers, script writers, graphic designers, web designers, computer and network specialists -- as well as fellow musicians -- routinely lend a helping hand to Ms. Gnant and her projects.
Jody Gnant is very much an independent artist and a capable woman in her own right, but the power on the Internet has added a dimension to Jody Gnant’s career which no one could have imagined at the outset... that is except, of course, for Jody. With the influx of new ideas, new friends with skills, and a broadening fan base, Jody Gnant is realizing her dreams one day at a time.
The Internet has also given Jody more avenues to reach out to supporters and to sponsors. Recently, Jody has acquired several sponsorships, including Pathway Clothing (http://www.pathwayusa.com), Zipfizz (http://www.zipfizz.com) and Averatec (http://www.averatec.com) to name a few – with others considering their sponsorship of Jody Gnant and her music. These sponsors came onboard with Jody as a result of her being accessible via the Internet.
Most importantly, Jody’s business model has created a fan base: The Legion. Hundreds, if not thousands in number, The Legion drives Jody, keeping her on track and motivated. The Legion is the catch here. Where do they come from? They come from everywhere. Who are they? They are you and me, us... We are Legion... and we are growing.
As The Legion grows and gains strength worldwide, and its voice is heard by business and industry, Jody’s passion – her music – will get out for the world to hear. This kind of marketing strategy has never been attempted before, and certainly nothing of the scale of The Legion has ever gained a head of steam. What will happen in the end, we can only speculate, but we do know it’s working because Jody is selling CDs to fans in far-flung places.
With cross-cultural appeal which ignores all borders and walls, how can Jody Gnant go wrong? She has already succeeded in proving her strategy works. Now, it’s just a matter of who is willing to take the plunge with Jody. We know The Legion stands ready to inundate potential sponsors. We know embedded advertising works. Will the world-wide business community step up and share in the rewards?
US Airways did an awesome job at reaccomodating us, and helping us to avoid the nasty weather Philadelphia was having.
Our flight was comfortable (I slept - a LOT) and by the time we got here I felt completely adjusted to European time.
Amsterdam is a beautiful, historic city built amongst canals. The people here are lovely, and care not at all what I am up to - which is fine with me. :)
We've mostly been on foot since we've arrived...
But people here get around a lot by bicycle; there's no snow, and the weather is perfect for a good ride.
Being in za muthaland has been an awesome, life changing experience. And, since Niki and I have been known to have a little fun together, we're also reveling in the levity of the adventure.
We're staying in a hotel just outside the City Center, which is allowing us a look at the less "touristy" areas (which I appreciate) and also the opportunity to sleep quietly when our heads finally crash into our pillows at night. (Sleeeeeeep is good.)
We've been doing lots of window-shopping-trying-stuff-on-typical-girly-stuff, so today we're headed to the Anne Frank Museum.
There's been talk of going to Germany tomorrow, an experience I hadn't really anticipated getting to have on this trip, and the excitement is culminating by the moment.
As most of you know, the Super Bowl will be in Phoenix this year, and it brings more than a hundred high-profile parties with it. Over the course of the weekend, everybody from 50 Cent and Paris Hilton to John Travolta and Hugh Heffner will be in town, and I for one will be getting almost no sleep. Starting Thursday, I’ll be hitting the hottest hip-hop parties in town – a merriment marathon that’ll kick my happy ass until Sunday afternoon. I’ll be covering performances by Diddy, Snoop Dogg, and Ludacris for the Phoenix New TimesSuper Bowl blog, and I’m thrilled to be teaming up with Jody Gnant on Thursday night for “Super Thursday” at Axis/Radius.
Diddy, we're doin' your party.
The two blocks surrounding the Scottsdale venue will be closed for outdoor music performances. Diddywill be there, performing for an hour and a half. Next and Valley rapper Pokafasewill also be performing. Inside the club, Nick Lachey and NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson will be hosting the Super Skins Celebrity Golf Classic Tournament. Confirmed guests include Michael Jordan,Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Charles Barkley,Justin Timberlake, Carson Daly, Jerry Rice, Carmen Electra,Lance Armstrong, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
And Jody and I will be there – on the red carpet, up near the front of the stage, in the VIP area. And she’s going to be recording and co-hosting video clips of the event on her Ustream for use in the Phoenix New Times Super Bowl blog. You never know who we’ll run into. Super Thursday is January 31. Be sure to hit up www.jodygnant.tv and www.phoenixnewtimes.com/superbowlfor the scoop.
Gutterkitty and Gnant on the red carpet? Now, that’s entertainment.
Hello blog readers! Thanks for stopping by and resting your eyes here for a moment. Before I commence babbling, I'd like to thank Jody Gnant for introducing me to moguling.com, sure to be the baddest mamma jamma ever, especially now that we're all up in it. [Insert green-smiley-face-with-purple-tongue-hanging-out emoticon here].
By way of introduction, my handle is Gutterkitty, and my real name is Niki D'Andrea. I'm the music editor at Phoenix New Times, a division of Village Voice Media, which makes me both revered and reviled. My musical tastes run the gamut, from classic rock and punk to hip-hop and classical. The only music I have a hard time listening to is extremely experimental, avant garde stuff. I have a coworker who listens to what I call "anarchy jazz," and it often sounds like (for lack of a better metaphor), geese getting sodomized by elephants.
I am not PC. This gets me into trouble sometimes, but it gets me into FUN more often. I am always out and about, whether hobnobbing with hip-hop moguls like Ludacris or hanging with Jody Gnant at crazy company parties. Jody and I will be taking a road trip to Los Angeles this weekend, so I'll be sure to blog from there. Instead of Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, it'll be like Fun & Loving in Los Angeles -- no imaginary bats flying at our vehicle, just good friends, good tunes, and good times (but if there ARE bats, I'll take a picture).
That's it for now. I've got a story on Super Bowl parties to finish. See you again in cyberspace soon.
"Privacy and security are those things you give up when you show the world what makes you extraordinary." -- Margaret Cho
There are so many cool things happening lately, and I'm really excited to have a blog that's actually easy to use (that won't get haxored) so that the memories don't get forgotten in the whirling dervish that is now my life.
One of the cool features of Moguling is that it allows me to add contributors to my blog (which is good because it means that ya'll won't have to wait for me to update.) And I am so proud and extremely grateful to introduce:
With Mason Reed from www.thisismason.com Friday, December 28th, 2007The Brickhouse Theatre Our Annual "Why Wait for New Year's Eve?" Party - 7:00 pm 1 East Jackson Street, Phoenix AZ 85004 Price: $10.00
PodCamp is a free “unconference” focused on new media. I’m assuming your next question is what’s an “unconference”. Well, among the many hard to explain things in this world, this may not be the hardest, but it’s ranks up there in my book.
Here’s how podcamp.org explains it:
“The characteristics of all successful communities: broadly shared, accessible set of opportunities, a shared sense of responsibility for the success of the common enterprise, and a genuine sense of belonging.” - Former President Bill Clinton, TED2007
PodCamp is a FREE BarCamp-style community UnConference for podcasters and listeners, bloggers and readers, and anyone interested in New Media. It was held for the first time from September 8-10 in Boston, Massachusetts and is now spreading across the world.
You do NOT need to be a podcaster to attend a PodCamp. If you’re interested in podcasting or blogging, if if you’re a podsafe musician (or want to be), or just someone curious about podcasting and new media, then please join us — and bring a friend or colleague.PodCamp AZ is just starting to take shape and desperately needs your help. If you are interested in helping out in any way, please contact us at email@example.com, or stop by the PodCamp AZ page on podcamp.org and throw your name in the rung. We’d love to hear from you and get your thoughts, ideas and suggestions for how we, as a community, can make PodCamp AZ an amazing event.
There are 7 rules which govern what may or may not be called a PodCamp. If your planned event meets all 7, you can call it a PodCamp.
1. All attendees must be treated equally. Everyone is a rockstar.
2. All content created must be released under a Creative Commons license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ 3. All attendees must be allowed to participate. (subject to limitations of physical space, of course) 4. All sessions and events must be free of charge to attend. 5. All sessions must obey the Law of 2 Feet - if you’re not getting what you want out of the session, you can and should walk out and do something else. It’s not like you have to get your money’s worth! 6. The event must be new-media focused - blogging, podcasting, video on the net. 7. The financials of a PodCamp must be fully disclosed in an open ledger, except for any donor/sponsor who wishes to remain anonymous.
Now, as far as PodCamp AZ is concerned, we’re just getting things started and really need everyone’s help. Please join the mailing list, the Google Group or the Wiki. You can shoot us an email, add us as your Twitter friend or even make a donation. The success of PodCamp solely depends on you! Together, we can all make PodCamp AZ a rockin’ success!
Greetings from the land of Saguaro Cacti and John Wayne epic films.
My name is Jody Gnant and I’m a performing and recording artist based out of Phoenix, Arizona.
Coincidentally, I have an album coming out, entitled “Pivot”, on September 14th – and I’m using Sprint to promote it.
Right now – at this very moment – you can see I’m lifecasting my entire life on the Internet 24/7 to promote the release of the CD. (Pivot)
We have a winner here for both “Pivot” products with the connection of home phone, cell phone, interwebs, and cable, coupled with a first in Internet marketing – with lifecasting making YouTube look old skool.
We’ve already got press in “Veja” Magazine (South America’s version of “Time”) and I am meeting with a producer from ABC’s 20/20 this evening.
Also, we’ve got a slide and music going in 4,000 movie theaters across the country as part of the pre-show entertainment. In this setting, there is opportunity for Sprint to have logo recognition to a minimum of 4,000,000 movie-goers a week in addition to the Internet and traditional media.
Check it out on my website at www.jodygnant.com or at the channel site www.jodygnant.tv
The chat room is actually quite fun – feel free to say hi.
Last but not least, please also check out the music from the upcoming release, “Pivot” at www.myspace.com/jodygnant
I really feel this is an excellent opportunity and look forward to the possibility of working together.
Please contact me on my Sprint cellular at 602-573-7788 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I really appreciate your time.
Jody Gnant www.jodygnant.com
+ Start with a dash of Phoenix. Add Bohemian Geek Soul. Enjoy Shamelessly. + + Check out my lifecast 24/7 at www.jodygnant.tv
All I can say is that it just kind of clicked for me when I was reading one of those juicy Hollywood magazines (I know, I know) and Renee Zellweger was quoted as saying (with regards to weight loss), "It's just math."
And it is.
I'm not sure why that never really hit me until that moment, but I'm sure grateful for that simple explanation towards eating.
Now granted, math was never my favorite subject. But sometimes, I think we need people to break things down simply, in order for us to see past the complicated explanations we've fabricated for ourselves.
Anyhoo... From there, I discovered a really cool program downloadable on the internet that helps track the "math" portion of losing weight.
It worked - and I liked it so much that I'm gonna share it with anyone that is interested.
This website is not paying me.
I'm not an "affiliate" member.
Just a fan.
There's even a free 14 day trial version to see if you like it. (We like free.)
I've been thinking a lot about choices lately, and how they affect the course of our lives, for better or worse.
Somebody really close to me said once, "You can do anything you want in life - you just can't do everything."
So true. So true.
And my internet buddy Chris Brogan said in his Twitter today, "The enemy of the great is the good. What are we doing right now to sacrifice the great?"
Something I had heard before... Phrased differently.
The concept being that life is good.
When life is good, there's risk involved with possibly sacrificing it for what we imagine to be great; because we know how grateful we are for what we currently have.
So many people say things like, "the grass is always greener" or "you don't know what you have, until it's gone."
And it scares me.
Then I think of my friend Ian MacDonald who says, "What would you do if you weren't afraid?"
Afraid to sacrifice the good for the great...
So this Independence Day, I'd like to show graditude to the men and women who made it possible for me to live a good life; and say thank you to the people that taught me that it's ok to go after a great one.
Because in not choosing, we are still making a choice.
And it's better to try and fail, than to never try at all.
There's been a lot going on, and I've tried to update my jodygnant.com website as often as possible, but it's becoming pretty clear to me that the content on my website and the content on my blog are going to be a little different.
My apologies for the huge gap of time in between blogposts.
I'm gonna try to use this as more of an interactive place for my personal stuff...
From I 10 or Loop101: Merge to Loop202 Take the Priest Dr exit 6 to Center Pkwy Go South on N Priest Dr Turn left at W Rio Salado Pkwy Turn right at W 1st St Turn right at S Farmers Ave 26 S FARMER AVE TEMPE, AZ 85281
From University Dr: North on Farmer Ave. Drive North for ¼ mile N.W. CORNER OF FARMER & 1st ST. 26 S FARMER AVE TEMPE, AZ 85281
And that is - not to be afraid to be on the top in a human pyramid.
Seems small, but there's a sticking-your-neck-out-there metaphor in there somewhere. The truth of it is, I never would have done it if Scotty hadn't double-dog dared me to. So thanks, Scotty. Anything IS possible.
Clarke Rigsby is an amazing man. You can tell he "gets it".
We recorded at his stellar studio yesterday, and (insert flogging here) I forgot my camera. Thee hee. Ummm, sorry.
Luckily we did get some beautiful tracks, and so if I had to choose one or the other (pictures vs. tracks), we ended up with the better of the two.
Kris Hill played some great guitar, and I even got to play Clarke's world-class piano. It's hard to explain, but one can just develop a bond with certain pianos.
I suppose the same could be said for the instrument of choice in any profession, but I don't actually own a "studio" piano, and so it's nice to be able to visit one every once in a while.
MY piano was the piano my grandparents bought for my mother and her sister when they were little girls - which, actually was much to my mother's chagrin. You see, there was this new technology and device called television, and my mom very much wanted one of those instead...
But, being prudent people, my grandparents thought that a piano would be a better investment. So they paid $12.00 a month for it, for something like ten years.
At some point, my mother white-washed it, and it's seen enough wear and tear that it doesn't hold a tune anymore.
But my grandparents were right. It was a better investment - and it changed my life.
It hardly seems fair to just skip over that, only to mention our future really-fun plans.
Did I mention that we've got some really fun plans for the future?
Wednesday, we're heading into Tempest Recording to record guitar overdubs, and my piano tracks. Clarke Rigsby is also supposed to have this amazing Hammond organ so who know what kind of trouble we'll find ourselves getting into?
We had a great week putting together trax for our Toronto visit with Brendan, and the good folks at Metal Works Studios.
Kyle has said that he's gonna make it out for the session. It's gonna be cool to hang out with Brendan and Kyle together. It'll be a complete hack*, so to speak.
1.) Short name used for "hacky sack" 2.) The goal achieved when every player within a "hack circle" kicks the hacky sack at least once without letting it touch the ground.
Los Angeles has been very good to me. Below is a picture of what I see every morning - very inspiring.
It seemed like a good idea to start bringing in some video fun, so I taped a special message for you. Incidentally, I'm standing on top of a railroad tie, and holding the camera myself. Taking that into account, here is my self-video-portrait debut:
When I was a little girl, we moved from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to sunny Phoenix, Arizona. Our green Pontiac stationwagon drove us to Phoenix (well, actually my Mom drove, but whatever) and we settled in as a family.
At the time, there was a brand new start-up airline forming called America West Airlines. I remember because there was this girl in their television ads that would stand up and sing, "R-E-S-P-E-C-T", as part of their ad campaign.
It was mesmorizing. I loved her. She represented all that was good in life - singing and transporation. Looking back, it's amazing how influential those early years are.
My first plane flight was on America West, and by the course of fate, we've flown together ever since.
US Airways and America West merged in 2005, and now US Airways flies to over more than 200 destinations worldwide.
As an artist, there are a lot of things that, sometimes, just get put on the back burner; things like health & dental insurance, direct deposit, stability, and freedom of travel.
I kinda like health insurance, and believe it or not, I like going to the dentist. Even though mailbox money is preferable, I like direct deposits, too.
So prior to the US Airways merger, I became a team member of the airline. It's been a fun adventure, and I always say that my life only gotten better since I began working for the company.
This week, US Airways placed a link to my website on the internal employee website giving me an, "Atta girl!"
They've also recently had me start doing company on-hold messages, so when you call US Airways, many times it is my voice asking you to consider Philadelphia, or Barbados, for your next vacation. I don't do all of the messages, but there are quite a few with my voice on the system. (The next time your making a call to US Airways, keep an ear out for me...)
Coming from an airline of 30,000 plus employee's, it really goes to show that both as an airline, and as an employer, US Airways ROCKS!
The last couple of weeks have been spent in the studio working on pre-production for Pivot. And, I'm happy to announce that Richard Feldman has agreed to produce the album!!!
For those of you that are fans of my previous release, Treasure Quest, you might recognize Richard's name in the credits (a lot.)
There are some people in life that "are the bar." You know, when you look at a decision, or a person, or whatever, and you find yourself comparing it to other previously awesome events in your life? Richard Feldman is one of those people to me.
He was so influential in showing me what I could do vocally, and towards understanding who I was as a songwriter. He helped shape who I am as an artist today, and for that I am eternally grateful.
(self portrait of Richard and me)
Oh, and because if it happened to me, I would be shouting it from the rooftops, please allow me to do a minor amount of soap-boxing for Richard...
Maybe it’s because he invited me to compose a song to be included in his next film, “Donna on Demand.” (Sweet!)
Or, perhaps it’s because he has an even larger collection of “stuff” than my mother does. (Those of you that know my mother also know that defeating her “stuff-collector” title is not a small accomplishment.)
Last Thursday, I got the distinct pleasure of being around for the One Red Paperclip trade with Kyle MacDonald and Corbin Bernsen. It was the second time meeting Corbin, and this time we were on his turf at the Public Media Works offices in Los Angeles.
Kyle’s girlfriend Dom was in Hollywood, too.
And, I think 4 people makes it a party.
By the way, The Corbin Bernsen KISS Snow Globe Army is real and currently recruiting new members.
To join, you MUST send Corbin Bernsen a snow globe at the following address:
Your proof of membership will be sent back to you in the mail, so make sure to include the address to which you want your membership credentials sent.
Speaking of snow globes, and stuff-collectors, and Corbin Bernsen, and my mother… She became one of the first members of TCBKISSSGA
She sent Corbin a very cool custom snow globe, with one red paperclip and
picture of the Hollywood sign on one side, and a photo of the KISS snow globe on the other. If you want to see how genuinely excited Corbin was to receive his snow globes, watch the video below.
Corbin has over 6,000 snow globes. That’s impressive.
To my mother: Thanks for teaching me that it’s not about being a packrat –
Last weekend was one of the more amazing weekends of my life. I think it’s because there were so many good vibes that we were all just kind of basking in them. You might even say… it was a good vibe vortex.
Before I left Phoenix, I was thinking about practicing for the 20/20 interview that was going to take place the day after I got back from Fargo. Someone said to me, “Don’t worry, maybe there will be a piano in the lobby of the hotel.” My reply was a mocking, “Sure - knowing the hotels I normally stay at, there’s no reason why there wouldn’t be a piano in the lobby of the hotel in FARGO .”
And that was that.
Kyle and I flew out on US Airways to Minneapolis, and were upgraded to first class. That kind of set the tone for the rest of the trip.
That, and I learned how to hula hoop at Hooters. But that comes later in the story.
Aww, heck, I've already mentioned it. Here it is...
Justin at Dollar Rent a Car kept the store open an hour after closing (on a Saturday night, no less) just so that we could get our car and make the drive to Fargo, ND. That was really cool Justin, so thanks.
In the wee hours of Sunday morning, we drove four hours in a rented red Subaru to the Radisson Hotel in downtown Fargo.
Low and behold what was in the lobby waiting for me?
Turns out it was only in the lobby for Mother’s Day weekend. (Of course, why didn’t I think of that?) It also turns out that the Radisson in Fargo IS one of the nicest hotels I have ever stayed in. They had the sleep number beds. I think I need one of those…
After a few hours rest early Sunday, we headed downstairs to the now infamous lobby to meet the ever-infamous Alice Cooper and his peeps.
Kristine, who plays Mistress Kitty on Nights with Alice Cooper, was there and we hit it off right away. She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s going to have a Bohemian Geek Soul singer sleeping on her New York City floor very soon! ;)
Calico Cooper was also there. It turns out that she’s Alice Cooper’s daughter, and a Hollywood actress and a fabulous dancer in his show. She’s really amazing, and so go out and rent anything you possibly can, starring Calico Cooper.
We all boarded a Hummer stretch limo heading towards Alice , North Dakota where Alice Cooper was to receive the key to the city. Alice, ND is about 50 miles from Fargo.
On our way into the city we noticed this…
It was my first time for a police escort (well my first positive police escort, anyway.)
The scene from Alice was awesome, and I was in the unique position of getting to see what it is like from the inside of a limo when people are on the outside chanting.
That was actually refreshing, because usually, I’m the crazed one practically getting run over, standing on the outside of the vehicle and holding some sort of crazy sign.
Everyone in Alice was wearing a T-shirt that read, “What happens in Alice – with Alice – stays in Alice .” Yeah, baby!
The 50 miles back to hotel certainly went by quickly.
Later in the evening, the Alice Cooper Crew was meeting at a Chinese restaurant for a multi-birthday celebration. And there I was, going through a Chinese buffet line with Alice Cooper, Calico Cooper, Kyle MacDonald, Mistress Kitty and Shep Gordon. That doesn’t happen everyday…
Speaking of Shep Gordon, he has managed Alice Cooper for over 40 years on a handshake deal. That is awesome and commendable. I wish more of the world worked like that…
Later that evening, the Alice Cooper tour bus was taken hostage by a burgeoning artist.
Monday morning, Kyle, Shep, Kristine and I had a little breakfast, and headed over to The Box 101.9 Studio. The Box Rocks!
It was a media frenzy. But, everyone else was acting cool, so I figured it was in my best interest to do so, too.
Kyle and Alice taped an interview for Nights with Alice Cooper. Kristine (Miss Kitty) and I made a guest appearance. Miss Kitty is on the show all of the time, but for me it was a pretty big deal. It’s also not everyday that I sing a cappella about Alice Cooper stalking one of my friends. But, yes, that happened as well.
It was that morning at the station that I got to meet all of the cool folks from ABC’s 20/20. They were in Fargo covering the Alice Cooper / One Red Paperclip connection.
From left to right:
ABC Correspondent Don Dahler, BoGeSo artist Jody Gnant, One Red Paperclip's Kyle MacDonald, Alice Cooper, ABC Producer Jeff Diamond, and Nights with Alice Cooper's Mistriss Kitty (Kristine).
We ventured over to the Fargo Celebrity Walk of Fame where Alice was immortalized in cement.
There were mayors. There were speeches. It was awesome.
Back at the hotel we had a few minutes to get our composure back before heading down to the Alice Cooper concert, and dinner backstage with the crew.
The show opened up with Vindictus, a self proclaimed Viking Rock band. I never knew I was a fan of Viking Rock, but now I know better.
For those of you in bands out there: You know when you’re on stage playing a show, and you’re thinking to yourself, “What is the sound/light guy doing anyway?”
Let this de-mystify everything.
What happened over the next few hours completely changed my outlook on music.
Alice Cooper totally opened up his tour to us for two days. He was gracious - he was kind – and most of all he was nice, nice, nice. Never in a million years was I prepared for the awesomeness that was about to take place.
When Alice takes the stage, there’s No More Mr. Nice Guy. Seriously.
It was an amazing transformation, and one I won’t soon forget. The man is a master.
Then there was the moment we had been waiting for all weekend; the moment when Kyle MacDonald was elevated to pop icon status.
That kind of says it all, huh? To Alice Cooper:
Thanks for being one of the coolest individuals I have ever met. Thanks for being the kind of guy that works with the same posse for decades. Thanks for being positive, while still showing that a little freakiness is fun. Thanks for believing in One Red Paperclip.
Fuji TV from Japan came by my studio today to film a segment on the story that is One Red Paperclip. Kyle MacDonald mentioned that, when he was in Japan, he saw a re-enactment of the trades with look-alike actors. (I totally want to know what my look-alike looks like - it's eating me up inside.)
New York City has so much happening on so little land. Kyle and Dom are in Tokyo right now... From what I understand, Tokyo is like 20 times the intensity of New York City. At least when it comes to neon lights, and such. But, Tokyo doesn't have the Yankees, or the Mets. I betcha they don't have the Onion, either.
Divine was selling a popular publication called The Onion on 42nd Street and Broadway.
We've been trying to convince Leslie to move to the other side of the duplex. Now, being friends and all, I wouldn't want to force her to do anything. But, technically, she did sign up for free rent on the other side of the duplex.
It would be nice to avoid doing anything crazy, but I can't promise
Leslie was already planning on coming up to the studio in Toronto - although now, if she visits, and Kyle visits, there will be four One Red Paperclip traders in the same room together. (Brendan and I will be there recording together, of course.)
It’ll be kind of like a mini-reunion. We’ll have to shoot some funny footage for everyone to see. This is gonna be fun.
There's nothing like a good fish fry, and good friends, coming together to enjoy a summer night.
And so, you are cordially invited to come to the Pointe South Mountain on Thursday night, June 30th to enjoy both.
Alden and I will be doing our last gig for a while, and so it is a prime opportunity to come out, hear some songs you love, and hang out with friends. We play from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Latitude 30.
7777 South Pointe Parkway, Phoenix, Arizona 85044.
Located just a few degrees off Baseline Road, just west of I-10
Directions: I-10 east to Baseline Drive Exit Baseline and travel west to South Pointe Parkway Left on South Pointe Parkway
We're recording the show for posterity. So if you wanna be famous, sit close to the microphones. ;)
New York is a funny place, though. It has a reputation for being cold and heartless, but every time I go, I find it to be just the opposite. Everybody that I encountered during this trip was so wonderful and welcoming.
It was also the second time I lost my purse in New York City, only to have it returned to me by one of the many wonderful New Yorkers that live there.
The first time, many years ago, I left my purse in the back of cab, only to realize it as the car was pulling away. I was not staying anywhere, per say. (Actually, I was sleeping on the floor of a bookstore in Brooklyn, but that’s another story.)
And even without an address, the next passenger of the cab took an entire day out of their life to track me down - and I got my purse back.
Again, it’s the most fabulous city – with genuinely wonderful people.
But, about the new album… The songs are all written and the recording will again, be really diverse. People keep telling me that I need to pick one genre and stick to it, but I’m a little more musically scattered than that. Any of you that own Treasure Quest know that, and hopefully appreciate the album for that.
We’re still trying to get a polka on the record. After all, it wouldn’t be true to my Wisconsin roots if we didn’t find room for one of those. But none of the songs have a polka part, as of yet.
There is however, more of a southwestern influence, and it’s coming out quite nicely. We’re also going to cut a few Spanish versions of some of the songs - though it’s doubtful that both the English version and the Spanish version will be on the same album.
Please let me know your thoughts – both on the polka and the Spanish/English versions of the music.
Do you ever feel the world is spinning out of control, and the only thing to do is hold on for the ride? (Because if you let go, then the *%#@ will really hit the fan.)
Sometimes, it makes you ill and sometimes it makes you all happy and good-vibey...
That's how I feel today.
Recording this new album is a journey, for sure. Not only am I learning as an artist, musician and songwriter, but I'm learning about who I am as a human being.
These little epiphanies aren't laid out on the record, I'm not wearing these revelations on my sleeve - but the emotion is there. It's in the songs, and on the recordings.
I received many emails from around the country this week, telling me to keep doin' what I'm doin'. Those are the best. What's more amazing is that some of these people are musicians themselves, and list me as an artistic influence on their websites.
That blows my mind - there are people out there that are inspired by me.
And that, in turn, inspires me.
So that's my mission for the week - and that's my challenge to you; to find those hidden opportunities where we can inspire people.
It doesn't cost anything, and it makes all the difference in the world.
First Friday was so cool. We played indoors, as the rain would've have made playing outside difficult - to say the least.
It was warm, cozy and intimate. So many friendly faces were in the audience, and it was nice to be able to say, "Happy New Year" to you all.
Special thanks to Jason Wiedman for sitting in with us on a couple of tunes... He plays a mean percussion, and hopefully he'll come back and jam with us again.
Mike Mattingly also kept time for a few songs. His harmonies really add a special flavor to the music. Yum-yum.
We played our newest tune, "Black and Tan" for the crowd, and to our enjoyment, everyone loved it. We hope to have a version of it to post on the website very soon. Until then, come out to a live show to hear the songs being released on PIVOT, and let us know what you think.