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


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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Road To New Mexico: Truly My Perfect World

Here's Susan Gibson and I late at night on KUNM radio in Albuquerque...Susan's song "A Perfect World" pretty much sums up our week of late nights and good times...and lots of driving.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

One Year Anniversary

Last year, round abouts now.

This past Memorial Day weekend marks my one year anniversary of moving to Austin. I moved a bunch of boxes up 3 flights of stairs into a studio apartment (thanks to Mom and Dad...it did not take me 16 days to move -- we got it all up in about a day and 254 gallons of water) and said, "Well...now what?"

It's been a good year. I won't say it's been all puppies and roses, but it hasn't been....wolverines and thorns either. (Based on those last couple of poetic attempts, maybe I should give up this songwriting thing entirely. Hm!) I have met some awesome, awesome people. Played some really cool places. Enjoyed life. Missed my home, but found out that's ok. Oddly, one year to the day, I found myself back on the road between Albuquerque and Austin. Strange how things work out....

This past weekend. See a trend? Fitting, I suppose.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Withdrawal Symptoms

Well, it was a heckuva trip. Eight days, seven performances, many many friends...I can't say enough. Tonight back in Austin it feels a little funny because I don't have the best seat in the house for a Susan Gibson show for the first time in a week. What a priviledge to be able to work with a modern day poet philosopher, to share a bit of my history with her, to expose my hometown to an artist that can claim friends and roots in so many towns. Thanks for the chance, Susan.

We got to sleep after our Socorro gig at about 4:30 AM Sunday...we left Albuquerque at around 11 AM, drove to Amarillo and then to Ft. Worth where my car was resting safely in Susan's friends' driveway (thanks, guys!). We parted ways on I-35, and I did my best to stay awake. A half hour nap in Temple kept my eyes propped open, and a stop at the the Czech Stop (did I mention there's no "r" in Pochop and that the "h" is silent?) at exit 353 for a poppyseed kolache and a Doubleshot provided needed sustenance at 3:30 AM.
What's next? Something will pop up, I'm sure. It won't be long, New Mexico...you're hard to stay away from. Even if you don't represent with the Czech people like you should!

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Day 7: Somewhere Between Datil and Socorro...

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Day 7: Not-So-Large Array?

We had a day to kill before we had to be in Socorro at the Capitol Bar, so Susan and I decided we wanted a photo op at the Very Large Array, one of (or "THE," perhaps) largest radio observatory in the world. We kind of had this vision of the movie Contact, with fields of radio antennae...and how cool would it be to sing a song to the universe?

It's about an hour and a quarter to Socorro and another hour out to the VLA...the vistas were in fine form and the sky was popping with blue between dark rain clouds. When we got there, we realized it that easy highway viewing really didn't give us the Jodie Foster-esque experience we expected...but we found a suitable dish anyway.

The Capitol Bar gig was quite fun and now we're headed back to Amarillo/Ft. Worth/Austin...

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Day 6: Turtle Mountain Brewery

Thanks so much for coming!!! We had an absolute blast.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Yes, the "h" is silent.

We are not pirates. No "arrrrrrr!"

I have a weird last name. Actually, it's just Czech. Czech as in...how everyone says "cheCK" with no issue. Because of its heritage, the rule about the hard "ch" sound applies to the pronunciation. The "h" is silent...it's like Po-cop.

But it is still an unusual last name, and sometimes things get confused and sometimes an extra, oh..."R" gets thrown in. As I was told, "It's doubly hard to throw in an extra R when there's no R to begin with, Jana." Point. I digress.

J had to run reconnaissance on the rogue R on Tuesday night, and oh he did document it well. He also does a fabulous job of making sure my name is spelled right, because at gigs and such, I'm lucky if I can handle details like remembering my guitar. It's nice to have J around to handle last minute name-spelling details.

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At the Frontier...

So, being a New Mexico kid -- and formerly a UNM student, I spent many an hour at the famous Frontier Restaurant. They're open 24 hours and are directly across from campus, so it was always the spot for late night studying. Their claim to fame are their buttery cinnamon rolls and their fluffy, pillow-like tortillas. I mean really, those tortillas are like little puffs of heaven.

After the Ralli's show we meandered over there and stood in line, waited for a flashing green light, and bellied up to the order counter. My cousin bought my burrito. I have a nice cousin.

The walls and ceilings at the Frontier are a tourist attraction unto themselves...John Wayne's face appears in some format in just about every room (usually a painting), and the last room (this place is a block long I swear) is plastered in Native American blankets. I'm pretty sure if you poked one of these blankets about 45 years worth of dust would poof out, but they're neat to look at.

It's always a pleasure, Frontier.


Day 5: In the "Green Room"

Sometimes...you walk into a venue not knowing what is happening other than you will be onstage playing a show at some point during the night. Outside of that fact, anything could happen...like maybe perhaps stashing your stuff in the kitchen before you play. We were feeling a bit punchy last evening!

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We Love the Tribune :)

J.A. Montalbano, who wrote such a fabulous article for us in the Tribune last week, is in the middle of a really cool experiment -- seeing if he can keep his car parked in the garage for a week and get around ABQ using alternate forms of transportation. He's keeping track through daily stories in the Trib, but we totally got the scoop on Wednesday. Props, my friend. Major props.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Day Four: Filming TribVid

We stopped by the Albuquerque Tribune yesterday to film a piece for TribVid. We met the mastermind and camera guru Amedeo and he had us rolling in mere moments. They even have a Sky Cam, which is the coolest term for a any sort of camera gear you have. In my personal case, it would be...generic point-and-shoot Panasonic? Hold it above your head...instant sky cam!

Susan and J were standing in the back making faces the whole time. Thanks, guys. I love you too. hehhehheh.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Day Three: Santa Fe Brewing Company

We had a great time at the Santa Fe Brewing Company tonight! Good people were all over, and it was a thrill meeting everyone. My highlight was our email list raffle -- we had a Groobees CD to give away, so I held the list (proper braced stance and keeping my hair out of the line of fire) while Susan threw some gum at it to see where it would stick. Whoever's name the gum stuck to won the CD...except the gum wouldn't stay put, so we ended up covering the gum with mustard for a more obvious marking.

I don't think Susan put the gum back in her mouth. I don't think.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Day Two: KUNM Radio Show

Susan Gibson and Jana Pochop...live. Late. Literally!

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Late late late nite.

Last night we headed over to KUNM's studios to do a couple of songs each and talk about the fun times coming up with Glenda on her awesome freeform radio show. KUNM has...the CD/vinyl collection I hope to but could never ever afford to have. It's amazing.

Look out for some video/audio love later today...

It's on to Santa Fe tonight!! Come with, have a beer.

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We made it.

Helloooo New Mexico. I think this should be Susan's new business card.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

"I forgot my hairbrush. I will not leave town without a hairbrush."

I am not hardcore. Susan is hardcore. She had a gig in Amarillo on Friday night, whereupon at 2 AM she started driving to Dallas, stopped for a nap along the way, got stuck in traffic on the highway, diverted around "the long way" for an extra two hours, met up with us slackers (who were at the WRONG HOLIDAY INN BECAUSE THERE ARE 52 MILLION OF THEM IN THE DALLAS/FORT WORTH AREA hahaha), got to her Wildflower Festival gig in time, played an hour set, we packed our 2 cars into one car, dropped off my car in Fort Worth, and hit the road and drove BACK TO AMARILLO last night/this morning. After Susan had left Amarillo less than 24 hours before. Dude.

J and I had a good drive up from Austin to the Wildflower Festival. Man were there some wild flowers. We saw at least three Chrysanthemum keggers between the parking lot and the gate, and there was about to be a good old brawl between the tiger lilies and the hydrangeas. We did find time to mooch some wifi at the (wrong) Holiday Inn and film the below video blog. J set up his office on the hood of the car. We (heart) technology.

The set was great, I was a zen master at tailigating Susan through DFW traffic (Mantra: "Change Lanes As One"), and Amarillo was...well, it was far, but not as far as Albuquerque. That's the destination for today. Sweet, sweet chile you are only hours away!

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Road Diary: Day One

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Packed? Psssssh.

"Let's just pretend we packed and send text messages instead."


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Friday, May 18, 2007

Road Tribbin'

My hometown paper, The Albuquerque Tribune, has an article about...er, me...in today's paper! I had a fabulous chat with J.A. Montalbano earlier this week (we share similar tastes in singer-songwriters -- anyone who is a Kris Delmhorst fan is a friend of mine) and here it is.

Singer rises from Austin crowd

"Makes me want fajitas real bad..."

Without these awesome journalists in the world, no one would ever know anything. Like where we're playing, or perhaps where the bears are in Rio Rancho. Thanks, J.A.!

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

I got Fixed...

Is it ok that I am chuckling at myself for that post headline?

Anyway I am proud and thrilled to say our first bit o' press for the New Mexico shows has appeared on one of my favorite online hangouts...Duke City Fix. I mean, you can take a girl out of the Burque (or a girl can pack all her possessions in a Hyundai and drive with her knees up against the steering wheel all the way to Austin), but you can't take the Burque out of the girl. This blog has been my lifeline back home into local politics, UNM happenings, and all the hip new restaurants I need to hit up next week.

Anyway, Edith Grove is their fab music writer, and she says nice things. Thanks, Edith!

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Campfire Concentration

Head on over to the Irie Bean on Wednesday nights for Campfire Songs!
You too can get your photo taken with a creepy orb floating above your head.
(Thanks for the photo, Melissa!)

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Monday, May 14, 2007

A good song for the Week.

Deep in your blood or a voice in your head
on a dark lonesome highway that finds you instead
So certain it knows you, you can't turn away
something or someone has found you today...
Genius or Jesus - maybe he's seen us
But who would believe us, I can't really say
Whatever the Calling, the stumbling and falling
We follow it knowing there's no other way
- "The Calling"

Mary Chapin CarpenterThe Calling

Thanks to everyone who is a part of this big wheel of life.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mom's Day

Well, I couldn't spend Mother's Day with my mum (hi, Mom!) in New Mexico, so I went to a concert instead. As mom would tell you...my life is full of burdens, hehheh. The good news is I get to see her in a week when Susan and I roll into the 505, so it's all good. I'll bring her a present then, I promise.

Today it was Love on the Lawn with Shelley King, Carolyn Wonderland, Susan Gibson, and Ginger Leigh. It pretty much was awesome. Lots of moms and kids, lots of front yardness, lots of good stories, and lots of songwriters. Four of them. Good times.

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Friday, May 11, 2007


I just started writing reviews for Indie-Music.com, a great site that supports independent musicians and is chock full of resources and inspiration. I decided that since I spend a great deal of time writing, I might as well branch out and write things for publications other than Jpo Press Ltd. (as I like to call it, hehheh). It's great because I get to hear music I may not have heard otherwise, and I get to try and put together a coherent thought about it. Oh my. Maybe one day I'll even review a CD that earns the most awesome adjective ever: "spangly." One can only hope.

Check out my featured review of Travis Dow's new one here.

In other news...Tori Amos' new CD is a concept album and a half. It's brilliantly executed and smarter than most anything on the "new release" shelves from the major labels these days. Support the literate ones, kids.

But the cover still kind of creeps me out.

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Monday, May 7, 2007

Get me on the ROAD.

I love traveling. To be specific, I love driving. I like the fact that I can

a) decide to go somewhere
b) and get there myself.

The trip from Austin to Albuquerque is 12 hours, and it's a great chance to see the Texas hill country fade to West Texas fields and oil well grasshoppers, which fades to New Mexican dirt and tumbleweeds, which then turns into the piney forests of the Rocky Mountains that Albuquerque is tucked behind.

Flying is neat, but I'm not so much a fan of the waiting around, the herding, the peanuts, and then fact that someone else gets to drive. Also, they don't sell Bingles at the airport. The Onion writes about Red Velvet Bingles:

Remember the urban legend about the ritzy hotel's $500 recipe for Red Velvet Cake, and how one crafty woman risked litigation by publishing the ingredients for everyone to copy? Well, here's the trickle-down: four-for-a-dollar Creme Filled Red Velvet Bingles. The name alone is thoroughly delightful, though the snack itself resembles Twinkies soaked in blood.

Scariest-sounding ingredient: "Colored with pigments of annato."

Worth the price? Disturbing reddish color aside, these are actually pretty good: moist and sweet, with just the right amount of "creme." Snap them up before the lawsuits ensue.

God bless America.

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Saturday, May 5, 2007

Feeling Gruene

I had the awesome opportunity to play a couple of songs at Gruene Hall this past weekend (yes, I am just now getting caught up on last week...it's that kind of week again). Audrey Auld Mezera is in town for a couple of weeks or so, and I had the chance to sell merch for her at her Threadgill's show thanks to a mutual friend putting us in touch. Audrey was kind enough to let me play a couple, and use her stellar band. That's Darcie Deaville on fiddle and Scott Martin on dobro. I'm pretty much in love with any and all dobro players. Yeah, that's the same Gruene Hall ("GREEN" to you non-German/Texans) that had the Patty Grffin gig in January. It's always a good time. Thanks to Audrey for the photo, too! She's totally on it. Check out her impressive discography and pick up one or 10. Then head down to Gruene on a Sunday afternoon and have a beer. You never know who will show up.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Bienvenidos al Nuevo Mexico!

Ah the homeland. I grew up in the Land of Enchantment, and while I appreciate the many things Austin has to offer, I miss the mountains, the chile, and many many New Mexicans. And those stellar yellow license plates that are so easy to spot. Anyway, I am quite stoked to be spending a week in the Albuquerque area playing some gigs. Some gigs that involve Susan Gibson, who is a songwriter genius and pretty much rocks the socks off of most people/places/things (read: NOUNS) that write songs. (In case trees write songs, or if perhaps the city of Dublin, Ohio wrote a song...I wanted to make sure the accolades were all encompassing).

We met on a cold, rainy day (or more likely, hot and sunny) at UNM, when I was still a political science/public relations/undecided major taking Music Appreciation 141. Susan was the special guest in our class that day, kind of like..."see, I don't teach just dead classical composers" proof that our professor was cool. (She was a cool prof, actually).

And I said, "Whoa."

And that was pretty much it. Well, there's more...but you'll have to come to a gig to find out the rest. Check out the calendar page for all the haps, kids...and I'll see you soon.

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