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


follow janapochop at http://twitter.com

follow supermerchgirl at http://twitter.com


Subscribe in a reader

Jana Pochop
Jana Pochop
Promote Your Page Too

Join My Community at MyBloglog!
Add to Technorati Favorites
podsafe music network

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ban the Bunny Hop


When I was home this weekend my mom recalled a little about growing up in a rural area in South Dakota. I think we got on the topic because I was talking about Gruene Hall and the awesome Texas dancehall tradition, and of course it makes sense that these dancehalls exist wherever a large number of Germans or Czechs or other Europeans settled in the Mighty Midwest.

See, I know a few things about Germans and Czechs, because I descend from both. While this probably leads me to some inner confliction because one half of my ancestry invaded the other half during World War II, overall it's a jovial combo. Things I know:

- we like beer.
- we like to party.

So there were a few of these dancehalls around the towns where my parents grew up, and apparently there was a room dug out of the dirt under one of these dancehalls where meals could be prepped and served. Mom said that when people were really rockin' upstairs, the floorboards would be creaking and dirt would be falling everywhere. So much, in fact...that they actually outlawed the Bunny Hop at one of these halls.

Criminal! But it cracks me up. How does one enforce no Bunny Hopping? Dang.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Go Take a Hike.

One thing I never took much advantage of as a kid was the proximity of the Sandia Mountains and their foothills to my house. A five minute drive will put you at the base of the foothills, complete with many a trail and cacti to run into. (Ouch).

Also complete with many a gorgeous view. I hit the trail, found a rock and sat on it, and made sure all was operating as it should in the city of Albuquerque and beyond. The view stretched past the Rio Grande Valley and out to Mt. Taylor and the volcano cones. The weather was perfect.

Yes, I needed a hoodie. And some coffee. I'm a bourgeoisie hiker, ok?

How high? VERY.

More favorite things: road and blue sky.

Labels: ,

Monday, May 26, 2008

a happy little thing

Wowsers. This summer is going to be fun. Along with hopes and plans (knock on wood) that the EP will be done by August, I found out this week I'll be opening for Terri Hendrix at Threadgill's in Austin on August 16th! Mark that sucker in yo' calendar!

Color me EXCITED!!!
(Color me in the Albuquerque Sunport, too.)

Labels: , , ,

Things I Like In New Mexico: Sopaipillas

Kids, maybe I just have not found the right place in Austin, but I don't think a good sopaipilla exists there. Hence, when I come to Albuquerque, I have to have a sopaipilla and honey fix from Los Cuates. This fine New Mexican establishment makes sopaipillas as big as your head.

For those not yet initiated, they're basically fried dough, put in oil so hot it causes the dough to puff when cooking (we sometimes call them "sofa pillows" because of their fluffiness). They are delivered to your table with your meal, and the "correct" process for eating them is to poke a little hole in the sopaipilla and drizzle honey throughout. It's not generally a dessert...usually you eat it with your meal. The dough and honey do a good job of sopping up some of the residual heat from your green or red chile. (I have seen horrible crimes against sopaipillas that involved stuffing them with ice cream and covering them with powdered sugar...that's not cool. Simple is best).

In fact, I got curious and checked on Wikipedia...here is what it says about why I can't find a good one just anywhere:

"Thought to have originated in Albuquerque in the late 18th century, sopaipillas are served in nearly every New Mexican-style restaurant, and have spread into other areas where New Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine is served. They are less common in restaurants specializing in other genres of Mexican food such as even in neighboring Arizona and Utah, and are practically unknown in Mexico itself."

Interesting. Lesson: if you are passing through, stop and have one with your green or red chile. In the meantime, if any Austinites know of a good place for sopaipillas around town, let me know. If it passes the test your next one's on me.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Vitamin D

I brought my camera, and I took some cool photos hiking in the foothills of the Sandia mountains today...but I neglected to bring the cable that will allow me to put those photos on my computer. Hence, fascinating accounts of hiking escapades (or not) will not be available until I am back in Austin.

Until then, I give you a shot from mum's camera...Luther the tabby basking in the sun. My kind of activity.

Labels: ,

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I want a banjo.

This song makes me want to buy a banjo. I almost snagged one off Craigslist but it didn't work out. If you have a banjo in your attic let me know!

Also, Abigail Washburn is awesome. She has lived in China and is also steeped in Appalachian folk music...and somehow the two combine into...Appalachinese? Something like that. Go read her bio, it's impressive.

Labels: , ,

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hello New Mexico!

Dallas airport:
Bored of the guy next to me talking about rearranging his office while on his cell phone.

I'm in New Mexico for the weekend catching up on some people and some things, as well as enjoying the sub-60 degree weather and the rainclouds swooping in over the valley. The difference between desert rain and Central Texas rain is that when it rains in Albuquerque, it actually breaks the heat...and it gets chilly. In Austin I am still astounded that after a good long rain that it's just as hot as it was before the storm. That's weird.

I'll take pictures, I promise.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Settling and Nicknames

All moved, love the new place. I hung stuff on the walls, which makes me feel at home. I'm not one to leave a box unpacked for weeks or months. If it doesn't need unpacking, I might not need to own it.

I got one of those email survery forwards yesterday, where you state your preference for things like sun vs. rain, chocolate vs. vanilla, and beach vs. mountains...essential things like that. One of the questions was "Do you have any nicknames?" I've never had them, really. Jana Banana was about it. Since working at Red Leaf, though, I have acquired a few more. I started to list:

dilated poples
po chi minh (new as of yesterday...thanks, Geno!)

I'm starting to think about album artwork and such. Weird process. I am saving photos and color schemes and other artwork I like. Something will come from somewhere and make itself obvious, no doubt.

Now for some coffee to make itself obvious in my cup!

Labels: , ,

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Moving Tracks o' the Week

Last Saturday afternoon I was busy making a couple of mix CDs for packing, to get my box mojo going. Some people might view this as counterproductive, but who wants to pack in silence? I dug around on my hard drive with all my mp3s from college, and mixed a few new things. A partial list of the singles of the week, all recommended if you need new tunes.

- The Weepies - Antarctica. Off their new CD Hideaway...I don't know what it's about but who else has a song with the hook, "Antarctica - my only living relative"? Who? (Bonus: it's streaming down at the bottom of the page on their player! Sweet!)

- John Mayer - Clarity. Everyone cringes a little when they admit they like Mayer, then they move on with their lives and enjoy.

- Jail Burned Down - The Great Divide. For the gospel portion/"hail Mary I found a box that fits" moments.

- American Baby - Dave Matthews. This track is just hip. If I produced a record I'd want to have something on it sound like this.

- Lights of Santa Fe - Eliza Gilkyson. One of the few New Mexico songs I've heard that references specific things but doesn't sound too..."local" if that makes sense.

- Right Hand Man - Joan Osborne. Rock. And. Roll.

- Fifth of July - Eddie From Ohio. I have a gig on July 5th. :)


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Little bumps in the road.

This week can probably be over now. Aside from moving, which went well but is stressful for anyone just because of all the little stuff that has to get handled...a family member was very sick so I was dealing with that and today...my crowning achievement...I scraped another car pulling into a parking space. Some guy's nice white truck now has a scrape on the front bumper thanks to me. No dent, and not a huge scrape, so it could have been worse. My car made out pretty well so I'm not worried about that. I hope my insurance doesn't go up. Blah.

I choose to share this because after a rather necessary freak out considering my stress level this week, I am now enjoying a spring-like evening on the patio of my favorite coffeehouse. There are bigger fish to fry in the world besides scrapes on bumpers, and I figure after putting 48,000 miles on my car so far...if this is the first "casualty," I'm doing ok.

I had this weird sequence of seemingly "bad" events during a particular stressful time in college, too. Drama begats drama, making our brains more stressed and opening us up for more haphazard mistakes and mishaps.

I guess my point is to make sure you check in, breathe deep, check the long range picture, and don't let the drama win.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lessons Learned While Moving

Estimate how much stuff you own. Multiply it by 3. That is how much stuff you really own.

Estimate the number of boxes you will need to carry all the stuff you own. Multiply by 28. That is how many boxes you will need.

Estimate the amount of time it will take you to get said boxes from one place to another. Multiply by 5. Take lots of water breaks. Employ good friends who make the whole thing a lot easier. Thank them profusely.

THANK YOU Dan, Jen, Geno, Katie, Amanda, Mela, Suz, Keli, Kathy, Jim, Abby, and the rest of my peeps! My goodness you rock.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Photographic Friends

(Um, I'm moving this week. I think I mentioned that. So I am using Blogger's fancy new post scheduling. So shockingly...I wrote this post DAYS ago, and then I decided to save it, and age it...like fine wine).

My friend Machelle is one of the biggest music lovers I know and also happens to be a kick butt photographer. Oddly, we met when I worked for the county and not at a show. We bonded over broken fax machines and highlighters but now we hang out at concerts. It's grand!

Machelle was on hand to document the Blue Dog Rescue Benefit last weekend. Check out her photo galleries at her Myspace page and read her blog...it's all good, I say!

Janapo: Dog Whisperer.

Terri and me...while I am still single-handedly holding onto both dogs. Skillz, people.

Machelle was cool because she brought me a veggie burger, and she even brought me WET NAPS because she knew I had touched about 7,452 dogs that day. This is a photo of me being elated about that. Machelle said, "Tell them someone just handed you $100 bill instead." I don't know what's cooler, wet naps or $100.

Ok, $100.

(All three of these photos are copyright 2008 Machelle Dunlop all rights).

Labels: ,

Monday, May 12, 2008

Running to Stand Still - U2

Amanda, Emily, and I covering U2's "Running to Stand Still" at the Red Leaf show. We make our audience practice patience...the solo doesn't come until about 3:30 in, but Emily and I trade some tasty licks so check it out. The Telecaster should get out of the house more.

Thanks to Brent for his awesome filming and editing job!

Labels: , ,

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mum's Day and Birthday, Mum!

My mom lucked out this year, as she does sometimes, and her birthday is on Mother's Day. Double the fun! I bought two cards, wrote things in two cards, addressed two cards, and I am going to mail them. Soon. Tonight. (Sorry, Mom, they'll be late. I learned that from you!)

Things I love about my mom:

- she crochets awesome afghans while watching UNM Lobo basketball games. Multi-tasking is a skill.

- she bakes pumpkin cake for me when I bug her about it.

- either she cares about all the music stuff I yammer on about or she fakes it really well for my benefit. (No, she cares).

- she survived years of handling the statement, "Jana is SO quiet!" She would always contest that statement.

- she is surviving years of handling the statement, "So what is Jana actually DOING in Austin?" It's nice to have someone stick up for you on the homefront.

- she's a kickbutt crossword puzzler.

- she likes to wear nice shoes in public. She will change her shoes to go to Target.

- in one phone call she can answer my question about why gas prices are going up so high and what I should do about the stain in my shirt.

- one time, in college, my 5 roommates and I started noticing a weird smell in our kitchen, which bothered us quite a bit...but we couldn't locate the source. We cleaned the sink and checked the fridge to no avail. So mom came over and we asked her what to do about it and she took one sniff and said, "rotting potato." Sure enough, there were some potatoes in a bag on top of the fridge we had forgotten all about. We were impressed. We are pretty sure she has super smell powers.

Clearly, she is awesome. Thanks, my Mum!


Friday, May 9, 2008

Hanging out with a Simpsons Character

Lloyd Maines, as I hope you all know by now, is a Texas music legend. Lloyd's produced and/or played on so many records that he doesn't even count them anymore. I asked. He doesn't. His steady gig for the past ten years or so has been touring with Terri Hendrix, and it's a lovely combination. He's also a swell guy to talk to, especially if you are into playing guitar and making records, which is pretty much all I'm interested in, haha.

So last weekend at their show, Lloyd announced he had just appeared on The Simpsons...which really, means you are "It" in regards to American culture. There is no better finger on the pulse of the mish-mash of America than The Simpsons, and I will stand by that argument any day.

The episode "Papa Don't Leech" features a song sung by the Dixie Chicks (in which Lloyd's daughter, Natalie, is the lead singer, of course)...and who do we see doing the best version of a cartoon jam ever but Lloyd himself. Actually, I just noticed he's playing keyboard and not pedal steel. Is it too hard to animate pedal steel, people?! (Look hard, it goes fast...telltale mustache).

Check out the full episode here on Hulu.com.

That photo up there is copyright 2008 Machelle Dunlop all rights. Word.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, May 8, 2008

How's that moving thing workin' for ya?

So far I have run out of boxes and had a battle with styrofoam peanuts. The styrofoam won. But then I posted an "I'm out of boxes" gripe on Myspace and one of my Austin buds, who just happened to have moved herself, offered her stash of boxes. Then another dug around in her shed for some more. SWEETNESS.

I am taken care of in all kinds of ways every day. Thanks, my people!


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Blonde on Blue

My shirt says, "A city built on rock and roll would be structually unsound." My shirt cracks me up.

"Blonde on Blue" from the Red Leaf Rocks show April 5, 2008.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Blue Dog Rescue Benefit

Jana Sandwich! Susan and Terri share the love.

Whoa. My head did almost explode at the amount of coolness at this show, except it was all nice coolness so really...it was what they call "chill." (Yeah, I'm a nerd. Whatevs.)

I stole Dan's sunglasses. I think I look creepy.

Blue Dog Rescue
...check them out. They foster dogs and find them homes when otherwise...these guys would not find homes and then sad things happen. Blue Dog packs the Gingerman Pub a couple of times a year with good music, beer, and LOTS of puppies to raise awareness and funds. Insane amounts of puppies all over. So fun!

Graham Wilkinson was playing when I got there...great tunes and I am positive Business Partner Josh is eyeing Graham's dreads with much respect right now. (Keep 'em growing, J!)

Sally Allen played next and had great songs and great tone coming out of her guitar. Very glad to be introduced to her music.

Lloyd = Simpsons character. Really. Read on.

Then it was Terri and Lloyd time. What can I say? Always so much joy. And Terri has an awesome new Gibson guitar; it made me drool a little bit. Luckily, this was a dog benefit and half the attendees were drooling...I fit right in. (By the way...Lloyd has been immortalized as a character in a Simpsons episode. That's how cool he is. More on that soon).


Susan was on next and I dogsat her kids for her while she played, so this is pretty much the only decent shot I got of her set. And that's ok. Both of these sweeties are former Blue Dogs.

Dan jamz.

Simon and his harp skillz.

porterdavis finished off the night with a great set and I think everyone went home with tails happily wagging. No fleas, either. Good day. Like I said earlier, I couldn't have designed a better line up myself. Bring on the next one, and talk me out of wanting a puppy!

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, May 5, 2008

Chop Wood, Carry Water

The next phase of folk music grad school begins this week. Almost a year ago (next month, actually), I started a curriculum at Red Leaf with Dan to up my musicianship levels. In some respects it seems like 5 years ago and in some it seems like last week. But anyway...there's a Zen saying:

"Before Enlightenment chop wood carry water, after Enlightenment, chop wood carry water."

The point is no matter where you are in your development, little things matter. How attentive you are to your tasks each day. What you take from seemingly mundane things that are actually propelling your learning. Being present and appreciating the process. These are the keys to longevity.

I feel like I have spent the past year arranging and re-arranging my schedule in the efforts to get it to a place where my wood chopping and water carrying can focus the most on my musical growth. Working at Red Leaf and the flexibility that offers seems to be the ticket.

Today at 8 AM (feels luxurious compared to my government job 7:30 start time!) I will meet with Dan and we will begin a course of morning studies including writing, singing, theory, and guitar. Every morning, every day. Not that I haven't been learning and doing all these things a bunch this past year...but it's time to ramp it up.

Phase II of Folk Music graduate school really means, as Dan says, that tomorrow we will chop MUCH wood and carry MUCH water.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Perros de Mayo EXCITEMENT

Guess where I'll be on Sunday? Seeing Susan, Terri & Lloyd, and porterdavis. It's like this weird alignment of stars and moons and "who would Jana like to see play today?" And it doesn't even involve any venue-hopping! I like to save gas when I can, you know. It's also a benefit for Blue Dog Rescue, which is about as cool as you can get. Come benefit with us.

By now as you can tell, I'm pretty much a Photoshop pro.

Labels: , ,

Friday, May 2, 2008

Another round of: Best Tip Ever

Very fun songswap at the Hideout this week with Amanda Pearcy, Rachel Lynn, and Beth Lee. We all fit on the stage pretty much and no one fell off the edge. (I chose an "inside" seat for a reason, hehheh!)

Ron Baker and his awesome camera were there and he even got all four of us in the shot with our tip from a nice couple who bought us all brownies. We sat and stared at those brownies for half the gig, and then I think one got traded for beer, one got taken home, I shared half of mine, and Ron got one because he takes great photos. It worked out. It was a dang good brownie, too.

Both photos by Ron Baker -- see more of Ron's photos here!

Labels: , ,