i am sitting on the starboard
of your only way
back home


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Saturday, April 28, 2007

One down, four to go.

Is it the coffee? The music? Katie's shirt?
I kind of have 4 gigs today, as my beloved cohorts at Genuine Joe's keep pointing out. I am trying not to think about it, so as not to get tired. As you can see below, it's not working. I had a fun set on the front deck at Genuine Joe's, Aaron is having a fabulous birthday, Katie has a fabulous outfit, we grabbed some Huevos Mexicanos next door for fuel...yes. Life is good. I'm hanging out at the Joe's until my next set, and then it's off to Copa Bar for the Film Festival showcase.
Caffeine! Stat!

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Aaron...he's a heck of a guy. I got to Austin a year ago and I was lost and looking for gigs. Playing open mics every night of the week, looking for a home. I chanced upon a rare Friday night open mic at Genuine Joe's, and after I played this dude named Aaron comes up to me and says, "Hey, I want to book you." Really, you just can't say no to that. So we've had quite a few good times at the Joe's -- it's where I met Katie Lessley and Scott & Henry from Primitive Noise and Amanda Pearcy who are all just great people and great musicians. It's where I plunk down with my laptop for hours and Aaron lets me. Aaron was the guy who made Jana Susana Banana Rama happen!

And now, he is leaving us for that big law school in the north country...Denton. Aaron's going to be a big shot lawyer from UNT and that's good because knowing me...I'll probably need one somewhere down the line, heheh.

In celebration of all those fun times, I give you...Aaronstock. Do not miss.

Hosted by RockYouPhotos.com

Thanks, Aaron!

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Go Figure.

My horoscope in The Onion this week:

Your future as a songwriter ends almost before it begins when you find that someone has already compared the depth, power, and beauty of their love to an ocean.



Thursday, April 26, 2007

Captured Moments

My buddy Melissa Mullins was rockin' it at Austin Java this past Tuesday. I was being a laptop fiend earlier in the night and had it along...and realized I hadn't really tested the video camera out in a live music situation before.

THEN I got lucky and Melissa busted out a great acapella version of her "Do Nothing Artist." It all worked out into media-joy. Have fun. :) (Yes, that's me and my lame little "yay!" in the beginning. I get excited).

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Earth Day 2007 - Solar Stage! Republic Square Park (Austin)

Thanks for the photo, Jamie!

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Austin Woman's Film, Music, and Literary Festival Info

So I have the honor and pleasure of playing at this awesome festival this week...film...music...words...all made/created/put together by women. I met P.O.W. (Poet on Watch), who is running the whole shebang, last week and she is on fire. It's great to meet people so involved in art and community! Makes you wanna go do the same.

So, there's a whole plethora of things to do involving this festival, and a little something for everyone. I'll be around...soaking it all in and playing a few songs (that's what I do). Here's my schedule...but the WHOLE schedule in all it's glory with ticket prices for film passes and everything else is available at the Festival Web Site. Click it. Click. Click. Good.

Thursday, April 26th
Lobby Showcase at the Carver Theater
7 - 10 PM
1165 Angelina - Austin, TX (map)

Friday, April 27th
Opening Film Night
7 - 10 PM
Carver Theater
1165 Angelina - Austin, TX (map)

Sunday, April 29th
Afterparty at the Longbranch Inn
10 PM - 2 AM
1133 E 11th St Austin, TX (map)

Thems the haps so far...please do try and come support the fabulous artists that make this world tick. Because if the world didn't tick...we'd all be in trouble.

Happy Sunday...

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Perfect Albums No. 2

Kathleen Edwards: Back to Me

Oh those shifty Canadians. They sit up there all Northern-like in their giant country full of maple leaves and snow. Sometimes we State-siders forget that many of the beloved artists we just kind of claim are from across the border. Joni Mitchell. Neil Young. Jim Carrey. Classics, all. Not surprisingly, then...there's an excellent new crop of baby Canucks with songwriting chops and a point to make.

It's hard for me to choose between Kathleen's first album, Failer, and this one. My buddy Ben and I discovered her after seeing her play a song on David Letterman back when we were sophomores in college. I lived in a closet then, and we'd huddle in it and watch late night TV. The official dorm term for it was "Apartment B Building N-102," but it was a closet. I digress.

We saw Kathleen play a song (I'm not even sure I remember which one) and we got on Amazon.com right then and ordered Failer. It's got many a gem on it...and I appreciated that. We went on with our lives, we worked a Kathleen cover into our live show, life went on. After a while Back to Me was delivered to us via the great the Great White North and I said..."hey."

What else can you say? It's gritty, it's sweet, it's not annoying in any way whatsoever. (Sadly, in this day and age, criteria for a good album has to include "Not Annoying.") Kathleen's got a voice that takes a bit to get into...it's rough, it's a tad nasal, and sometimes you wonder what note she was going for. That's the brilliance. You get the impression that recording the CD was a big, inspired jam-fest. Not in that 18-minute-solo-Grateful-Dead sort of way (but hey, don't knock it)...but in that unpolished, earthy sort of way.

The album begins with one of my favorite tracks, "In State." It's a prison song. It's probably a metaphor. Even if it's not...prison songs are great. It's raw, it's rocking, it's full of life. It also contains that crunchy and prominent guitar sound that is so desperately needed these days. (See previous Jana Rant for an explanation).

Good stuff abounds, one of my favorites being a happy little ditty with the required unhappy-type lyrics..."Summerlong." "There are some things I can hardly say; you got me feeling a brand new way. Please don't let this be summerlong." (Yeah, it's all one word. Ask Webster, I don't know).

Kathleen's Talent: I know in my last Perfect Album review I waxed poetic about the glories of a fully themed and executed album. Kathleen has a similar skill, though she manages to nip and tuck it all into ONE SONG. Those Canadians were always good with brevity (Case in point: only TWO colors required for the very recognizable national flag...America needs three. I know). "Copied Keys" is another good one...about how walking into someone's pre-existing life and trying to plug in doesn't...usually...work. Ow. It begins with a nice little acoustic guitar line, and then comes in the slide...a mournful, wailing yet complacent kind of tone.

"This is not my town and it will never be. This is our apartment filled with your things. This is your life, I get copied keys."

And the drums start rocking and the slide guitar moans and a chorus of "ahs" brings it all home with some sort of desperate crescendo. And then what happens? You guessed it. ANOTHER KICK BUTT GUITAR SOLO. Bring it.

She's on her way to being the next folk-rock troubadour, Canadian and otherwise. Pick up Failer and Back to Me before the next one comes out...and then you won't be so playing catch up. I do what I can for you, dear readers.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

A good footing.

This weekend at the artist market some fabulous ladies were doing henna tattoos for a mere $7. It's always dangerous when you have tip money sitting right there in your guitar case, just waiting to be turned right around and contributed back to the economy. I am quite enamoured with the design...I've never had henna done before. I recommend it for a little foot-lift.

Today Dawn and I brunched at Magnolia Cafe before trying to find parking at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Apparently, when the flowers are blooming, EVERYONE goes to the Wildflower Center. Needless to say, we're going back some other week. We did jet over to the Austin Fine Arts Festival to see Terri Hendrix and her fabulous band. The weather was perfect, the art was expensive, and the music was grand! This town is cool. Very cool.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Exhausted. Tornados.

Tonight was my 4th night of playing this week, out of 5 (one more gig tomorrow). Sunday I rest. I'm not complaining. In fact, I don't think I've ever had a busier gig week...it's really, really a blessing. If you had anything at all ever to do with it, from coming to a show to reading this blog to building my trusty Martin guitar, thanks. :) I'm so totally not fishing for a Martin custom model one day, haha.

On Sunday Dawn is going to show me some of her favorite Austin sights...complete with a trip to Veggie Heaven, communing with nature at the Wildflower Center, and seeing Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines play at the Austin Fine Arts Festival. That pretty much sounds like the perfect day! My fingers will appreciate the rest. Don't expect me to be pushing any buttons if we encounter an elevator or an ATM, Dawn. Ow.

Also, there is a tornado warning tonight. I've never really lived in a place where they were an issue. Bring on the danger! Grr!

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Airport Greetings

I'm typing this in the Dallas airport, sipping coffee from a fast food chain I refuse to admit to patronizing (hey, Seattle' s Best was closed) and admiring the knotty grey carpet around gate 8. Or gate A6. Whatever...this is airport 2 of 3 for the day. Good times. I enjoyed a lovely weekend home in New Mexico and now it's back to work with 4 gigs this week. When will I find time to unpack? Probably never. That's ok.

I've always loved flying, even with all the hassle of boarding and middle seats and the decision of whether to ask for that cup of airplane coffee knowing full well it will result in a trip to either a nasty lavatory or a nasty airport bathroom. (Sorry, but it's true). Something about sitting in a hunk of metal with 130 other strangers all with the same purpose -- hurtling themselves toward somewhere else -- is nice.

Give me the choice, however, and I will drive. Give me a week and I'll get to your house in a car with lots of gas station food wrappers in the back seat and a road map on the passenger's side floor. Yes, I could get there in 6 hours on a plane, but someone else does the driving for Delta. Too much is missed that way, even if the coffee is good.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2007

I Need a Haircut

Every weekend (well, most of them...) I play at the Downtown Artists' Market on 6th Street at Mother Egan's Irish Pub. A lot of really awesome painters, potters, crafters, jewelry designers, and other cool people set up shop for the day. I get to stare at all their wares for a few hours each weekend while people watching and singing. It's a really awesome way to spend a Saturday...so if you're in Austin, check us out! This month I play from 2 PM - 4:30 PM on April 14, 21, and 28th. (I've got this weekend off, sorry kids!)

Haircut donations gladly accepted!

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Sunday, April 1, 2007

Poetry in Austin and Love all Over

My friend Dawn just blogged about me over on her new blog: Poetry in Austin.

Now, Dawn says really nice things on her blog, but the admiration is mutual -- I love her poetry because she uses these fantastic lyrical phrases and beats, and one time when I told her one of her poems made me visualize a Frida Kahlo painting, she did not freak out and run the other way. Those are the kinds of people I enjoy being around.

Also, as you can tell...Dawn is WAY involved in Austin's poetry community. She proves daily that sometimes all you need to do to inspire others and perhaps take a little inspiration back home with you...is to show up. Simple, eh?

We hang out at La Tazza Fresca, which is a great little close-to-UT-campus venue that sold me a most excellent coconut latte once. I've played some good venues with bad coffee and some bad venues with good coffee but it's always nice when a place succeeds on both levels. The true draw of the Friday night poetry and music open mic is the glorious array of good stuff. Just GOOD. Dawn reads, Kathleen Romana reads, Thom the World Poet astounds me with his free-flow every time.

I say if you take a new word away with you after seeing wordsmiths do their thing -- it doesn't have to be a fancy word, just a new one...you've had a good day.

Thanks for the words, Dawn!

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