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


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Monday, December 31, 2007

The Year That Was.

Oh everybody's doing it, so I guess I will, too. All the blogs I read are doing their "best of" posts of 2007, and I have officially, as of January 1st (TOMORROW!) been blogging for a year, so I have a whole 12 months to pick from. What a year it's been. I guess it'll also serve as a little "2007 Year in Review" because life looks considerably different now except the whole point hasn't really changed at all. Let's make that make sense:


My first post was...well, a first post. Then I saw Patty Griffin at Gruene Hall and it was a good sign of the fun year ahead.


I launched the re-design of jpo.com which is what you're looking at now. Yes, before there was NO BLOG ON THE FRONT PAGE! Gasp! Now it would seem weird to have anything different.

Still a little slow at blogging.


Jana Susana Banana Rama happened, and it was my first time playing with Susan Gibson and it was SO COOL. Plus, I got to meet Jana Losey and Melanie Peters (who of course, added the Jana and the Rama to the Susana and the...I guess that makes me the Banana. Hrm.) Jana L. is releasing a new album called "Blocks" and you should probably own it.

Rama. Susana. Jana. Banana?

My first SXSW left me in a dizzying realization that Austin pretty much rocks. I saw a bunch of killer music, and interestingly enough a little band I like to call porterdavis (well, actually...that's what they like to call themselves) with some dude named Dan in it who I had never met before. And I didn't meet him then, either, haha. Shy Jana.


I played at the Austin Women's Film, Music, and Literary Festival -- met a LOT of cool people and gigged a bunch in one weekend. Great times.


My blog exploded thanks to a week of touring around New Mexico with Susan and hanging out with business partner Josh, who logged and filmed and took notes the whole time. The video blog (vlog) became a fixture. I like having business partners who know things. Well, just one, because he knows it all.

Getting to NM

Susan is a trooper

Late Nite Radio

Santa Fe Gig

Filmed for TribVid at the ABQ Tribune

Got Paid in Potatoes?

The curse of the Czech name

Hanging out at the Very Large Array

My One Year Anniversary



I was very coy about starting to study at Red Leaf School of Music because I didn't know how things would work out with this aforementioned Dan guy from porterdavis, so I just said "things are happening." I'm a little silly sometimes.


My Independence Day was spent waxing poetic about the influence Mary Chapin Carpenter has had on me.

FINALLY I speak about Folk Music Grad School.

And FINALLY I introduced you to Business Partner Josh, even though he was still The Mysterious J at the time.


My little opus about Terri Hendrix is one of my favorite posts.

Dan and I started our Hemingway Book Club. We're on our 5th book now, I think.

Oh, and Dan and I decided to make a record.


The Artist Market, which I have been playing with for over a year now, got a little rained on at the Pecan Street Festival. So did my pants.

I got a flat tire.


Three Words: Life's A Song.

Day One

Day Two


The 2nd Annual JP Project went off without a hitch. More shows in New Mexico with Susan Gibson. Lovely.

Now it's December and you're reading this post. Are you exhausted yet? I'm not. My point is...I did not have a clue most of this stuff was going to happen. In January I knew I was taking steps to build a business with Josh and start working toward the path of being a self-supporting singer/songwriter/entrepreneur/freelancer. That happened...but 2 tours to New Mexico with one of my very favorite songwriters ever, folk music grad school, a producer for my EP, and lots of new people and mentors in my life were pretty much all...surprises.

All I can say is, chart your path with purpose and then let your chart get re-written as you go, but keep the purpose. That makes things go smoothly, I think.

2008 is going to be fun. Thanks for hanging in there! Have a SAFE and HAPPY New Year, kids!

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

More borrowing of gear.

I have to say thanks to my buddy Scott, a guitarist, songwriter, producer, and gear guru for the use of his condenser mic for this EP. All I know is that he told me to set all the switches to the right, so when I was setting it up I hummed a little tune I like to call..."To the Right!" (That's not political folks, not on this blog).

So...Thanks, Scott! You're a gem. Not even one of the lame gems, like topaz. You're a diamond, or maybe a ruby if you like red. :)

Check out Scott and his band Primitive Noise here...they're recording a new album, too. I think they're ahead...cuz I just made this a race, hehheh.

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Because I Can

I am blogging this from my front porch from my iPod Touch. It seems to
be working. It has to be 65 degrees out. Lovely.


http://www.janapochop.com <---- Music and Blog o' Wonderment at Life.

"We had heroes once, and we will again...why shouldn't we?"
- Mary Chapin Carpenter

Saturday, December 29, 2007

New Toy.

While the neighbors are on vacation, I got permission to borrow their banjo. Little do they know, they might never get it back, hehheh. What a sweet tone! No "Dueling Banjos" stereotypes here...just plain fun. I've been playing "New Mexico Boy" repeatedly with some banjo embellishments. Addictive.

You had better believe we're putting banjo on the new record.

EP 2 gets a dobro, haha.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Best Albums of '07, Yo.

Well, I'd like to think I'm frugal. Except when it comes to gear and CDs. I figure it's all professional development, right? I am a firm believer that to make good music you have to listen to it. Songwriting, for most, does not occur in a vacuum. Hence...I buy music. Here's what I discovered this year that I like a lot.

Patty Griffin - Children Running Through (Buy it)

I started off the year with a Patty show at Gruene Hall, where she debuted a lot of these tunes. It was freezing inside Gruene Hall; we all wore winter jackets and hats and gloves. The place was packed. The music was awesome. Then, in March Josh and I saw Patty play at Waterloo Records and I got to meet her. I think I said something lame, but it was PATTY. This album is just as amazing as all of her others...none of them are alike, so you can't even pick a favorite. That's what great about Ms. Griffin. Also, this video captures what this whole "thing" of music and writing and performing is about, I think.

Adrienne Young - Room to Grow (Buy It)

I still don't know a whole lot about Adrienne, I just know that I have 3 of her albums and they are all sublime. Slightly traditional, but still current and relevant. So relevant, in fact, that partial proceeds from this CD will go to a seed fund to "which will provide non-genetically modified seeds and support for urban and community gardens throughout the United States and Canada." Heck yeah. Josh and I aim to do the same when we are a full-fledged record label...give a bunch of it back. Cheers to Adrienne because that's a cool way to do it.

Terri Hendrix - The Spiritual Kind (Buy It)

ARE WE SURPRISED? No. But this album has seriously been spinning on the 'pod since June, and it's not old yet. It's nice to see Terri on other people's "best of" lists, too. It's like rooting for the hometown team, here around Austin.
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand (Buy It)

I was suspicious. Random collaborations like this can either rock or fail miserably. This one rocks. Both of them have very haunting voices in different ways, and you can tell both artists are stepping outside the box for this record. That makes them the best kind of artist, I think...do what they do well and then switch it up...and STILL do it well.

Mary Chapin Carpenter - The Calling (Buy It)

Not Surprised No. 2. What can I say? It's Chapin. She's smart. She's poetic. She is one of America's best working songwriters. I'll stand up to that statement in a Nerf ball war any day. "On With the Song," written for the Dixie Chicks, is awesome. No one else uses "jingoistic" and "camel jockey" in a song and gets away with it. The title track, "The Calling," rings especially true at this point in my life, too. Score.

The Weepies - Say I Am You (Buy It)

Dan introduced me to these two and this record is a class act all the way through. It's sweet but not sappy, bold but not offensive, and they recorded it all themselves in a house in California. Home grown records, kids. Buy them.

Tori Amos - American Doll Posse (Buy It)

I was late to jump on the Tori bandwagon because she gets stereotyped and stuck in a box a lot, which is ironic because her music is anything but boxed. This album has the interesting twist of being sung from the perspective of different women/characters...of course all of them are ultimately Tori embodying these different personalities. That must have been a cool way to write. I listened to "Bouncing Off Clouds" 45 times straight through when I first got this record, I think.
John Jennings - More Noise From Nowhere (Buy It)

JJ is pretty much my guitar guru and he writes great songs, too. When he's not touring with Mary Chapin, he finds time to produce a lot as well and write and record his own albums. He plays just about every instrument on them, too. A definite inspiration and guide for what we are going to do with EP No. 1 this year.

Josh Ritter - The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter (Buy It)

Dan and I saw Josh play in November, and the show was transcendent. Few people put as much joy into their live performance that Josh does. And this record is chock full of lines that make me wish I had written them. Plus I'm a history nerd, so it's even better.

Looking forward to in '08:

Susan Gibson...is putting out a new one! Hurrah! This calls for a Red Bull.

Shedaisy...is about due, too. I have a love for intelligently crafted country-pop. And there's not a lot of country-pop that can call itself intelligent these days. I have said it before and I will say it again; Kristyn Osborn is one of Nashville's best writers.

Kathleen Edwards - this one is supposed to be coming fairly soon. Kathleen's first two records made my "Perfect Albums" list...I'm sure No. 3 will be just as good.

EP No. 1 - Oh yeah, that thing I'm working on. :) ProTools is ready to go and I am recording quick demos to give us something to listen to and work on. We have more songs than we need...which is a RELIEF and a good position to be in for this type of thing.

But I'll keep on writing because I'll keep on listening.

What were YOUR top albums of 2007?

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Thursday, December 27, 2007


Yeah. So I'm back from Albuquerque, and after sleeping off a really bad headache (must. drink. more. water.), I am settling back in. Trying to pick up old habits and start new ones. Vacations are great but the back-to-routine thing is sometimes a pain.

Feeling very trepidatious about how the year will shape up. Just good nerves, I guess. Lots has to fall into place all the while I have to remain on top of scheduling, practice, and learning. And laundry. Laundry is always good. Luckily, I scored some tools to help me along.

If this journal doesn't scream "JANA NEEDS TO WRITE IN THIS!" I don't know what does. Yay for Zia suns! Thanks, Mary. You rock.

I'll be going to New York next month, for a long overdue visit with my good friends Steph and Joaquin. Steph and I pretty much grew up together, though she was a few grades ahead and always the wiser one. She helped me navigate high school and college and lots of other things. That's why it's appropriate that she gave me a NYC compass, so I can navigate the place! Very excited.

I'm back and ready to blog...brang it!

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Christmas Eve

Obligatory "Yes, I am in New Mexico" photos below.

Luther knows he rules.

Mom made poppyseed kolaches. WOOHOO!

The weather is beautiful and wintery...can't beat a snow-covered Sandia peak.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Thank you, technology.

My usual meeting style.

Yesterday was face-to-face breakfast meeting time with Josh, or what I like to call "The 2nd Annual Sol Bourn Records Christmas Party," haha. We had a 2007 wrap up meeting by phone earlier this month, but not surprisingly the shape of 2008 has already changed within the last couple of weeks, so we were excitedly thinking ahead as well as reflecting over our bagels and fruit. As Josh said, it's cool to think that in 6 months we'll have an official business, and Sol Bourn will have LLC written after it, or whatever it will be (can you tell one of the things on our docket is researching this whole thing?)

I was just thinking it is amazing that this even works on a logistical level. Twenty years ago we'd have to plan our long distance, across-state-lines meetings to a certain time and make sure we were both around our landlines to answer them. Documents would have to be snail mailed instead of saved as PDFs or emailed. We'd have about 45,000 fewer contacts than we do because we've met a lot of cool people through the wonders of social networking on the internet. It probably wouldn't work to be in different cities without all of these awesome tools at our fingertips. Now we Twitter and Jott and blog and upload documents to Zoho and check our Google calendars. Pretty amazing.

But really, nothing beats an in-person chat...with all of the technology around us, it only facilitates the real life stuff, never replaces. That's a good thing. It'll keep Sol Bourn in business for years to come.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Airport. Music.

Sitting in the Austin airport again...same weird carpet color as always. I’m here 3 hours early, partly because I’ve been hearing airport horror stories (I guess it is a holiday, hm?) and partly because I got out of work early and am close to the airport. In all actuality the line was short and I have getting through security down to a science. By the time I am up to the front of the line my belt is off, my shoes are off, my jewelry is tucked away, my laptop is out of its bag, and my boarding pass is in hand. I suppose I look like a weirdo basically re-dressing myself in the middle of the airport once I am through, but after having the contents of my bags spewed out by a security “associate” a few times, I prefer to think ahead.

Why do I love Austin? As I am putting my belt back on amidst the locals and the visitors, I hear music on the other side of the gift shop. Who do I see but a couple of Austin’s fine singer-songwriters on one of the airport’s stages. Ginger Leigh and Carolyn Wonderland were keeping us traveling savages calm with their tunes. Only in Austin, fer reals.

On to holidays in New Mexico!

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Thursday, December 20, 2007


Yesterday I had a very enlightening guitar lesson. We talked about our feet.

No, I don't plan on becoming the world's best toe guitarist (that sounds kind of cool, though...I bet someone already does it on Youtube. Yep, there it is).

Kevin the Guitar Prof is very knowledgeable about the practice of feldenkrais, and the thought of using the natural movement and flow of the whole body to play your instrument well. It makes sense. Many of us spend our days hunched over our guitars or our computers or our steering wheels. We are trained as a society to hunch and fold into ourselves. When you are conscious of this, you can start to adjust your posture and body position to make your movements, whether it is simple like reaching behind you or something like playing a Bbdim7 chord, more fluid and therefore...do them with less effort. It's not a way to cheat, it's a way to maximize the movement our skeletons have. Yay bones!

So where do we start? The feet. Some days I have good posture and they are flat on the floor, some days one foot rests on top of the other or one is kind of skewing off to the side. A firm foundation and a connection to the ground gives you confidence and the ability to move with the music, instead of have to balance awkwardly in spite of it. There is energy in the ground and it's best to be in contact with it as much as possible.

Not like this. Bad Jana.

I am not very aware, and I am slouching right now as I type this. I will correct my spine and in 5 minutes I will be slouching again. Perhaps guitar lessons will finally correct my posture.

Just now, in my Mom's brain, the clouds parted and angels started singing. All those music lessons as a kid might actually lead to me having correct posture. Hallelujah.

Feet on floor.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Building the Scaffold: Nerd Post

I got up at 4:30 AM this morning to take my friends to the airport. They were very apologetic, but I told them the timing was great because Dan and I have been locked in an ongoing discussion about how to up our productivity. Turns out he's as nerdy as Josh and I are about lifehacks and GTD and all of that good stuff. Personal development is not for pansies, folks. There's lots of good info out there but the challenge is to wade through it all and come out the other side with a toolkit useful to your own needs and goals.

One of those needs and goals for both Dan and I is getting up earlier. We can't really cram much more into our days on the tail end...I work a full time job and then spend a bunch of time at Red Leaf, or I practice, or write, or go grocery shopping. I'd like MORE time to practice and write, and the golden hour for that is the morning. Steve Pavilina, a very interesting dude to say the least and someone who Josh and I discovered a couple of years ago when we were still interning, has several articles about getting up early and accomplishing more by 9 AM than many people get done in an 8 hour workday. It sounds swell. I was doing it for a while, writing every morning, and then fell off the wagon. Time to get back on. (Well, after Christmas vacation, hm?)

What do you DO when you're up that early? Other than writing blog posts like this one...we think scaffolding is essential to maintaining our individual visions and framing our day. Pavlina has a whole article explaining it in detail, but the jist is spending some time focusing on long term goals. "Why am I here? Why am I up at 5 AM? Why am I spending all this time playing the Em pentatonic scale?" Little things are just that...little things that can bog you down and close off your Big Picture Vision if you let them. "I'm totally skipping G major scales today. They're just scales." Not cool. The better frame for that, achieved when you have the big picture in mind, is "The more I increase my knowledge of music theory, the more tools I have at my disposal as a musician, which will make me a better songwriter." It's great.

So, I've had my coffee (Pavlina would be unhappy about that...caffeine is on the list to deal with later)...and I'm typing, and I'm feeling a little groggy but I think I can ramp up my energy level once I get used to this.

On through the grog!

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar 2007

So I'm not sure why...but last year at the 2006 Armadillo Christmas Bazaar was the first time I had seen Terri and Lloyd play since moving to Austin...and it had been a few years since I had seen them previous to that. I think they were touring a lot, and I was poor so I didn't go to a lot of shows (and now I'm still poor but I go to shows anyway...booyah! Priorities = straightened out). Point being I was blown away at that show and have clearly seen The Hendrix and The Maines play quite a bit in 2007.

Yes. Yes that is a cowboy seemingly upchucking an armadillo on that backdrop. This is all about "keep Austin weird," after all.

Fittingly, I topped it all off with their performance at the Armadillo Bazaar once again. It was excellent, the company was grand (I actually KNOW people in town now!), and the chair was padded. Life is sweet.

I think I got some pretty ok photos. Check out the Flickr gallery for the whole shebang. Merry Armadillos to you all!

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Year End Recap No. 2: All Over the Map

Well, all over New Mexico and Central Texas, I guess. I managed to hold down a day job or 2 this year and tour NM twice AND hit up all the major cities in Texas. My mechanic noted the mass amount of miles on my car. Good little car. The worst thing I had was a flat tire and a dead battery.

Check out this Google Map! It's a little interactive recap of all the miles driven and gigs played. If you click each little marker, a photo or video pops up. Entertaining, right? (You might need to drag the map around to center it, forewarning).

View Larger Map

On the map: Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, San Marcos, Port Aransas, Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Socorro, Red River, and Taos.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Morning Observations

I had a thought last week and Professor Dan and I have been trying it out...so far, so good. We both lead kind of crazy busy lives, each with completely different obligations and commitments and yet a lot of the same time management issues -- namely finding time to be creative and write.

I was getting up reeeally early for a while, and writing for an hour. This worked out well, as I got 2-3 "keeper" songs out of the whole process, which when factored into my usual yearly output of songs...is really great. It upped my stats, so to speak. Then I went to New Mexico to play shows and then I had a birthday and then it was Thanksgiving and then I had a lot of gigs...so I was a tired little monkey with no respect for the early hours of the morning.

I am getting back to that place but am not entirely on board with 5:30 AM yet, so in the meantime...Dan and I have started our "morning observations." We're still reading a lot of Hemingway (currently making our way through the Complete Short Stories Of collection), and Ernest is so good at details, and simple, clear description without going on for pages and miles. Every morning we try to observe the nuances of what we do...if most of you all are like me, your morning routines don't vary much. That makes it more challenging to pick out the differences of each day and make note of them and appreciate them.

Dan's all about his coffee. Some mornings it tastes better than others. Dan makes Folger's interesting. My parents would be pleased.

I'm all about this flock of birds I see on the telephone wires every morning. How long will they be there? Will they trickle away or just all of the sudden one day be gone? Why do some huddle in a clump and what's the deal with the lone birds on the end? Are they grumpy? Are they waiting?

Who knows how long we'll continue, but I look forward to it every day. Maybe we'll switch it up to evening some time, but there's enough in the morning to keep me going for a while.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Perfect Albums :: Imogen Heap - Speak For Yourself

I think I have mentioned Imogen on my blog before, but I am now getting around to letting you in on a little non-secret: Imogen Heap is flippin' fantastic. I was first introduced through the song "Let Go" by her duo Frou Frou, which was featured on one of those ABCBSMSNBC network shows I never watched in college, but my roommate had the song and I liked it. I think that's how that went down.

Anyway, her voice grabbed me; I happened upon Speak For Yourself and bought it and was floored. So I read some more about Miss Heap, expecting my elevated opinions to be dashed when I found out she was a product of 8 producers, 35 co-writers, and was discovered on British Idol or something (did I mention she's British? That makes her even cooler). But NO! Imogen WRITES her own music, PLAYS her own music, and PRODUCES her own music. Be still my do-it-yourself heart. She probably grows her own coffee beans and roasts them to perfection, too. (That's just me speculating, though).

Here's Imogen on Letterman performing "Goodnight and Go" with her "band":

I'll admit...I'm not really sure what type of genre you'd put Imogen in...maybe a electronica-singer-songwriter-pop-rock one. Close enough. She uses the power of various instruments and gadgets like Macs and looping stations and synthesizers and keyboards...and creates orchestras on stage. I saw her live last year here in Austin, and it was pretty impressive. She's got a grand piano fitted with a keyboard that has each key wired to a particular light in the piano body (did I mention this thing is made of clear plexi-glass?) so the whole piano lights up accordingly when she plays. Dang. I'm just happy when a string doesn't break.

Anyway, this is all superflous to the album itself. Speak for Yourself holds its own. Tracks like "Headlock" and "The Walk" start off all mellow-like and lull you until she smacks you with some synth-y beat that somehow matches your pulse and enhances it. Imogen's music has the good quality of ingraining itself and impacting you on a purely rhythmic basis. Her lyrics are dang cool...but it took me a long time to even pay attention to them because I was so distracted by the sonic landscapes she creates. What this woman does with a keyboard and her voice is amazing. Check the video for Headlock:

Excellent example of the smackdown on the chorus, just when you thought you had the vibe of the song figured out. Good writing lessons, all.

Roight. So now I'm going to 'ave a cuppa tea and recommend that you take a gander at Imogen's vLog...yes, a video blog...about building her studio for her new album. It's up at ImogenHeap.co.uk. Fun times, perfect record.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Things to Chew On

Yes, that's me as a wee one. Thank goodness my hair grew in. I was bald for a long time as a small child. It added to my cuteness...or something.

It's been a bit since my last blog! I spent Monday organizing my living space. Well, I started to, and I got a lot done, but my living space requires 2 days of organization, I think. Hence my CDs are still piled in stacks that mean nothing. They were in a meaningful order at some point...like maybe my sophomore year of college. There were the Texas artists and the Boston artists and the Nashville artists and the lame pop CDs I won't admit to owning and the Mary Chapin shelf (yes, I have a whole shelf of Chapin). Then I moved a few more times and bought a lot more CDs and...they're in piles.

My favorite quote from the movie High Fidelity is this one:

Dick: I guess it looks as if you're reorganizing your records. What is this though? Chronological?

Rob: No...

Dick: Not alphabetical...

Rob: Nope...

Dick: What?

Rob: Autobiographical.

Dick: No way.

For about a week I thought that every album I ever buy from here on out should just be downloaded, so that when I move I won't have to deal with cases and scratched discs. Except I LOVE a shelf full of musical possibilities in various colors and fonts in front of me. The aural library, as it were. You don't get that happy vibe clicking file names in iTunes.

So this week, new to the collection..."Raising Sand" by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant and "Mothership" - the new Zeppelin compilation. If those guys do decide to tour again, I am so dropping a chunk of change for that show. Totally worth it.

In the meantime...back to chewing on my mad organization skillz.

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Saturday, December 8, 2007

2 Soon 2 Say 2 Late

Over at Red Leaf School of Music, we're working hard to document the awesome things the students are learning and doing...so check out our Youtube channel for videos from July's Red Leaf Rocks concert. Video from last week's show is coming soon, too!

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Friday, December 7, 2007

Congrats, Mary Chapin!

I had a weird inkling today, when I remembered that the Grammy nominations were out. So after a good hour of trying to get to Grammy.com (I guess everyone wanted the nomination haps)...I finally cruise over to the "Folk " category and what do I see under "Best Contemporary Folk Album" but...

"The Calling." Pretty much...yes. I remember back in the day (like 1995) when Mary Chapin Carpenter rocked the Grammy's with "Stones in the Road" in the country category and even got nominated for Album of the Year (I think it was that...or Record of the Year, one of the two...she was up against Bob Dylan is all I recall and that impressed me).

It's awesome and amazing that 13 years later, she's making great art and still getting recognized for it. I feel like she's more at home in the Folk category than she ever was in the Country vein, but that's just evolution.

Stiff competition, too -- Steve Earle and Patty Griffin among them. It was a good music year. I sense a "best of" blog post coming on.

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Year End Recap No. 1: All Googly-eyed

It's nice to sum up the year that was, usually. (Unless you had a really bad year, then you should probably just up the egg nog consumption this season...and spike it). But you know me, and I like lists...and I think 2007 was pretty dang fun. Hence, a mini-series of postings about the year. (No worries, not THAT kind of mini-series. Not the kind that inevitably stars that girl that played Laura Ingalls Wilder on Little House on the Prairie, or perhaps David Hasselhoff).

Let's begin with some Google Analytics. Google tells me how people get to my blog. Most search terms are pretty standard like "jana pochop" and "jana" and "pochop". (Shocking, I know). Also, just to reiterate...if you just got here...THE "H" IS SILENT. But I digress.

Some search terms were a little out of the ordinary. I will link to appropriate posts when possible.

taji iraq - my friend Zoey phoned her friend Kenny in the military while I was playing at the Artist Market. He's stationed in Taji. Long distance, much?

jana of the dragon - as far as I can tell, having gigged at the ABQ venue called The Blue Dragon makes me "jana of the dragon." Rawr!

photo of red velvet bingles - Sorry, but I couldn't find any pictures either. I might have to break down and buy some just to take a photo. Then I'd have a monopoly on Red Velvet Bingles snack cake photos.

zia sun tattoo - I have one, yes I do.

"i roll like a cholo" - This one confused me until I realized my college roommate Beth left a comment with this phrase. Beth's such a linguist.

bugs bunny albuquerque t-shirt - same post. Someone must have been shopping for a t-shirt.

giant super balls - my birthday present from Katie. It still entertains me to no end.

how to be a goog singer - when you type in a search term, it helps to spell correctly. Except this post is all about running scales singing "goog" as part of the Roger Love method, which WILL improve your singing. I hope this person took heed.

making desk out of file cabinets and plank - Call me the Home Depot of songwriter blogs.

music song susan vegan my way - you know what, I have no clue.

schlotzskys t-shirt designs - I would assume they have a sandwich on them. Just a hunch.

who is the best singer-songwriter pie chart - I love this one! Sadly, I don't yet have a blog post relating this very scientific information. I've kind of been sitting on it for a while, waiting for the appropriate time to release this news. Without further adieu:

(a very scientific study (c) 2007)

* ok kids, I am JUST KIDDING. The thought of quantifying songwriters in pie chart form only made me want a slab of rhubarb a la mode. Also did I mention I am just kidding?

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Vault: Maybe My Mind Will Change

What have we here? It's a video made back in '06 (aught-six?) right after I graduated from skoo'. Josh was a partner in a production company called Spinning Hat, and I was their test project. I had a song. They had cameras. It was fun! The video has kind of been floating around for a while, but Josh dusted off his archives and here it is. It stars my good friend Jamie, who is the flustered waitress. Josh makes a cameo, too. 10 points to whoever picks him out!

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Monday, December 3, 2007

Rock the Tomato. I'm almost on "break."

What's that? That's...actual...PRACTICING? Oh my. I amped it up and put the fingers on "red alert" for Red Leaf Rocks this week...which occurs on Thursday night at the Rockin' Tomato here in South Austin. Twice a year Red Leaf School of Music showcases the students that study there. I study there. I will be playing a solo song, and...

I'll also be playing with my good buddy Emily, who is the other half of our women's songwriter group. (Dan's an honorary member, but his voice doesn't go high enough for him to be fully inducted). We've been working on "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman and "Diamond in the Rough" by Shawn Colvin...I love both of those tunes so it's been a pleasant few months. Check out this video of Shawn...we've been using it as our guide. Someone filmed this sucker in 1988, and I bet no one ever DREAMED that 20 (twenty! two-oh!) years later, it would be streaming on The Interwebs.

I must say there is much afoot (afeet?) in Jana Land...I will post about it in bits to draw it out and keep you in agonizing suspense. Or perhaps you're just eating oatmeal in front of your computer, about to click over to CNN.com. Whatever floats your boat.

I will say...Red Leaf Rocks is my last show of the year and I will now concentrate even more on Folk Music Grad Skoo' and MAKIN' A RECORD. Sweet. Carry on, and get thee to the Rockin' Tomato on Thursday! 7:05 PM!

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Remember November?

I drove around a LOT.

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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Cheatham Street: Songwriters' Class of '87

On Thursday night I headed down to San Marcos, TX to Cheatham Street Warehouse -- a legendary Texas venue where people like George Strait and Stevie Ray Vaughn got their starts. It's also where an astoundingly diverse and talented group of open mic-ers from 1987 re-converged on Thursday to swap songs and celebrate their beginnings. So who were these '87ers? A rundown:

Terri Hendrix: You read this blog. You know Terri. She was great. Lloyd Maines jammed with everyone in the circle, too.

Note: we had awesome seats behind Terri and Lloyd, and since it was in the round...every photo I took contains the head of either Terri or Lloyd...sometimes both. :)

Bruce Robison
: When he's not performing all over the country himself, his songs are being cut by the likes of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, George Strait, and the Dixie Chicks. Not too shabby.

Bruce Robison...and Terri's hair.

James McMurtry
: He has fabulous words and stories in his songs. Why, here's one now.

John Arthur Martinez
: He was on the show Nashville Star, and has a fabulous voice and a traditional sound.

John Arthur and Hal...and Lloyd's head.

Todd Snider: He lives in Nashville now, and had the crowd in stitches with his great storytelling as well as his awesome songs. Yay!

Hal Ketchum: I listened to Hal on the radio back in the 90's when I was first getting into country music..."Small Town Saturday Night" -- great song. I never knew he was from around here. His voice is perfect.

Everyone kind of joined in on other people's stuff when they felt like it...Terri played a couple of mean harmonica solos, Lloyd played a new baritone Tacoma guitar and it sounded excellent. Kent Finlay, who owns Cheatham, presided over the circle and played his great tunes as well. He must be extremely proud to have fostered so many accomplished writers. He's always kind to me when I head down to San Marcos to the open mic. Kent is one of a kind!

So...I'm hoping we don't have to wait 20 years for another reunion, but this one did quite all right by me. A birthday, a short New Mexico tour, a successful JP Project No. 2...it's a good way to end the month.

Happy December, y'all!

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