Words can’t really describe so I made a vlog. What a time in Nashville! Thanks to Heidi and MCC and gin.

A few links! The Spotify link for steaming will go live on June 23rd, too.

Amazon Music will also have it on 6/23.

And you can always pre-order it straight from me on Bandcamp!

iTunes Music

Google Play

Lightning is Coming

30 May
2017

It’s time! I’ve been working on this for a while, and inside I have been CHOMPING AT THE BIT (why the horse metaphor? I don’t know) to get this in everyone’s ears because I am incredibly proud of this.

Daniel Barrett, producer in arms, is at the helm on this one again and there are some other very cool people involved in this whole process but guess what? Since we have a month ’til this comes out I’m going to tell you all about everything…slowly. Hehhehheh.

For now, you can pre-order it like a champ at Bandcamp.com. More pre-order options coming soon if you’re an Apple Music or iTunes fan.

Hey Hey L.A.

23 May
2017

I’ve been back for…well, a while now…but my L.A. trip was fantastic, and here’s the video to prove it.

That was from a Tuesday night at Kulak’s Woodshed. Thanks to Toni Koch and Jimmy Yamagishi for getting me on the line up! This is a new, thus far unrecorded song.

I played a gig on a deck in Topanga Canyon (thanks Michele!) one morning…

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I played a gig in a bookstore with Captain America looking on:

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And I did a fun hour on L.A. Talk Radio (that’s host with the most Carl Percival) for The Creative Muse Hour hosted by Toni Koch and Carl!

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Havilah Rand and I spent a fun day in Huntington Beach (Hi Carol!) before we played a house concert together, and I snapped a shot of the sunset. It really looks like that out there, you guys. I can see why California inspires all the things. Well, not ALL of them but a dang great deal of them. It’s too pretty.

That #huntingtonbeach #sunset tonight 🙏🎆

Oh yeah, and I walked a hole through my flip flop in Hollywood Blvd. (to be fair, the shoe was pretty old) and found Amy Poehler’s star. One step closer to our combined Netflix show, “Here Comes the Po Po.” Don’t doubt me, now.

This one was fun to encounter. #hollywood

I will be back, Los Angeles.

California Bound

21 Apr
2017

Super excited to head to the Best Coast and play some shows, do some workshops, and soak up that songwriter sunshine that seems to be so plentiful in Los Angeles!


A big huge thanks to Toni Koch of The Creative Muse Hour and TK Promo, and her partner in crime, Carl Percival…they’re promoting, wrangling, and hosting all of this, and keeping this Albuquerque kid in line whilst in the City of Angels.

Here’s how this went down. Taylor Swift was playing a show in Houston the night before the Super Bowl. You could not buy tickets. You had to win tickets, either through a sweepstakes (er, Swiftstakes) or by having the TS Team find you on social media because you’re a raging Swift fan and give you a pass to the show. This may shock you, but while I might be a Swiftie, I’m not a social media power Swifter. I knew that wasn’t going to work and my fortune with sweepstakes is historically low.

Time to take matters into my own hands. Aside from Taylor, the other big player in this show was AT&T/DirectTV…the sponsor of the whole thing. Since Melinda Ann and I had successully vlogged a T-Swift show before, I thought I’d reach out to AT&T corporate and see if we could go as…you know…vloggers. The most charming email I could write was sent to several people at AT&T (and I can spin a charming e-missive, you know).

Eric from AT&T answered, and he said he’d try to work it out. 2 weeks later, after I had given up and was deciding I should spend Super Bowl Saturday doing…nothing…Eric came through with 2 passes. NOT ONLY two tickets to the show, but we also got to get all VIP Party with it. It was so fun I had to split it into 2 vlogs. Here we go:

The moral of the story here…well, I’ve been saying it’s “Just Ask.” I’d like to think the asterisk on this (so, it’d actually be more like “Just Ask*”) is to offer something, and have the goods to back up the offer of usefulness. I’m glad I didn’t have to tell Eric I was a vlogger and then not have any vlogs to show for it. I was a year into the process and by then I had quite the backlog.

I don’t know if Eric dug the vlog aspect, or the email, or if he is just a really nice dude (we know he is!), but it was necessary in my mind to accompany The Ask with The Offer. Something to think about going forward…and if any of you guys want something seemingly out of reach…try to be useful and then just go for it.

Thanks to Eric and AT&T and DirectTV and TAYLOR SWIFT and her people because…a heck of a good time was had. Let’s do this again? Yes? Yes.

You guys. Saturday was one of the coolest moments I’ve had as a music fan…ever. As I constantly say, I am working on a vlog (or 2!) about all this, but here are some photos from Taylor Swift’s ONLY show of 2017 and also…a special fan party she hosted for some fortunate folks, including Melinda Ann and me.  Grateful doesn’t even scratch the surface here.

I gotta give a huge shoutout to Eric at AT&T, who replied to my email which basically said “PLEEEEEEEASE” and not only got us into the show, but the fan party as well.  Beyond.  Just beyond.

The Fan Party

Not knowing what to expect, we wandered into this wonderland of awesomeness with mouths hanging open…mostly at the TS Donut Wall (TM), but the open bar and the overall glamour didn’t hurt, either.  There were makeovers happening, custom t-shirts being printed, food everywhere, and plenty of nice people to make us feel at home.

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The Show

Like, dang…if this was Taylor’s only show this year. But YAY! We were there! But Taylor, really…you take time for you and you MAKE THAT NEW ALBUM.

Please.

Thanks. Also your show was fantastic. Thanks again for letting our sparkly wristbands up front.

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Put your hands up 😊 #supersaturdaynight @_plma_ @_plma_ @att


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Vlogs coming soon, I promise.

Long live TS.

A Year of Vlogging

1 Feb
2017

Last January I decided fairly on the spot that I was going to start making weekly vlogs. I didn’t make a “do it for a year” mandate for myself, but once I got halfway through I kinda made that self-decision that I’d keep going until January 2017. We’re there. It’s been a wild and fun trip!

First, some stats (as of vlog No. 44 in New Orleans):

Total minutes of vlog: 239.42 = 3.99 hours
Most popular vlog: No. 40 Taylor Swift Edition…434 views
Second place popular: No. 41 MCC Comes to Town…220 views
Longest vlog – Also T-Swift No. 40, thanks to concert footage I couldn’t bear to cut: 12:48

So basically, I made a 4 hour long movie about myself this year.  (Great?!) You never know what you’re going to document in a year’s time when you set out on something new in the very stereotypical “start something new” month of January, but fortunately for me this year has had some incredible twists and turns. Of course as I am hardwired to do, I thought I’d share some of the stuff I’ve learned in my year as a vlogger

Just Do It.

The vlogger who inspired me to “just start” was none other than Casey Neistat, the biggest Youtuber and all around swell guy. I still watch his vlogs and learn from him every time. I got to meet Casey 3 months into the year when he spoke at a Samsung event during SXSW, which looking back is kind of an incredible stroke of luck to meet “The Muse” when you’re 3 months into a new thing. That was some brain fuel, for sure. (Here’s that vlog, if you want it).

with Casey Neistat

Make A Mini-Series

I got to GO TO EUROPE (!!) with Kiya Heartwood, and I managed to keep up a pretty good vlog schedule.  We were gone for about 13 days, and I managed to make 6 vlogs throughout the trip (Nos. 30-35), much more than my usual once a week average up until then.  When in Rome, or London…or, I am mixing my metaphors here. The glory of a vlog is if something REMARKABLY interesting is happening (like one’s first time in the UK), you wanna document it. One thing I regret: I have gotten fairly brave at using my camera but I was in Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant Maze in London which was such a highlight but I was too nervous to really film much. They were so attentive I felt like filming would be a no no. That’s ok.  I can still taste the braised short ribs when I think real hard.

Share With Your Subjects

I had two Mary Chapin Carpenter focused vlogs this year – one for her new album release and my history with her music (No. 18) and one about driving around 2 states to see her play in November (No. 41). Both a joy to make.  Because Twitter is sometimes a great equalizer, I tweeted links to both and MCC graciously shared them. That makes a vlogger feel good (and it really ups your views, but who’s counting).

Keep the Gear Handy

This is not really about a vlog, though I never would have had this fun little social media success without the weekly vlogging. I’m a Karlie Kloss fan…computer science nerd, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and oh yeah, supermodel. I got a Like a Kloss shirt to support her Kode with Karlie charity, and it came in a cool box, and I decided to make video about the shirt unpacking itself. (SOMETIMES I HAVE TOO MUCH COFFEE OK). I tweeted it to Karlie, and she retweeted it to her followers (she has a few more than me, like 2.44 million more).  That tweet got 500+ likes and over 100 retweets.  This is by far the most attention anything I’ve made has gotten. What did it get me? Satisfaction and not much else…so far.  But as I’ve learned, in the game of making stuff, it’s a marathon and not a sprint. And always have your camera out when the inspiration strikes.

So after a full year and 44 vlogs…I’m not done. I have a pretty big exciting trip to make this weekend that is actually happening BECAUSE of a vlog (insert deflective vagueries here…don’t worry, I’ll vlog about it…rhymes with Sailor Rift). I have slowed down, though. I find that while Casey managed to make his day to day life fairly interesting because he lives in NYC and flies drones all over, I don’t have that kind of wherewithal (yet).

The good thing is there’s often a thought of “what can I vlog this week?” and it actually makes me get out and do more, or at least reframe my thoughts on what I’m doing.  Everything is a potential subject, if you frame it well.

If you have watched a few or a lot, I thank you profusely for hanging in with me. Here’s to 2017 and the Vlog.

Just a little catch up in vlog world…

and a TRIP TO NEW ORLEANS! What a city.

Here’s the deal with me, and I know I’ve been over this several times and in several forms. In my formative teenage years I became a folkie. I appreciate a great songwriter. I’ve seen and see quite a few of them, and I count many of them as my friends.  There’s a vibrant and wonderful live music scene in this town/state I live in, and that’s pretty dang awesome. Lots of local and regional acts of amazing talent and virtuosity in bars and listening rooms every single night of the week.

However…however. I’m coming into my own as a “big show” junkie. I found that out this year and I think I embraced it…so much so that I plan on amping it up even more in 2017 if possible. There’s nothing like the feeling that being at a concert with thousands of other excited people brings. This sounds weird coming from me because I generally structure my days with priority number 1 being “avoid people in person at all costs,” but I had a few concert experiences this year that brought me out of my intro-shell. Most of them involved pop music. Most of them involved singing very loudly. Most of them involved me stalking down an iconic song to hear it live. For instance:

Vanessa Carlton: The Mucky Duck

“You know I’d walk 1000 miles if I could just see you.” That song was on repeat in my college years, and it was cool to hear in an intimate room like The Mucky Duck. Vanessa put on a great show all around.

Carly Rae Jepsen: ACL Moody Theater
“Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me maybe.” One of THE iconic hits of mid-2000’s pop. Everyone knows this song. They may hate it, but they know it. Luckily Carly Rae has plenty of fans who love it, and we all sang along at the top of our lungs. Super fun. (The Vlog)

Ellie Goulding

Ellie Goulding: Cedar Park Center
This show is where mine eyes were opened to the glory live pop hath wrought.  Ellie is perhaps at the part of the mountain of her career where she’s pretty dang near all the way up to the top except she’s got more to climb and no one’s really sure how high the mountain is.  I’ve followed her on social media all year and the woman never stops playing shows across, almost literally, all the continents.  It’s incredible.  She has earned every hit and every accolade. As with my album review, Ellie’s show is one hit after another.  High energy, and still very accessible.  She broke it down with a few acoustic guitar tunes, played some drums, and danced her ass off.  I left a much bigger fan than I was when I walked in, which is really what you want out of a live performance. (The Vlog)

Maya Rudolph

Maya Rudolph and Princess: Paramount
One of my comedy heroines has a Prince cover band, and they were scheduled to play the Moontower Comedy Festival…in what turned out to be the week that Prince passed away (stop it, 2016). I would have them the pass of all passes if they canceled, but they did not. Maya and her partner Gretchen Lieberum gave an incredible tribute to a room full of bummed out people, which ended in everyone rushing the stage, dancing and singing loudly. A lesson in music and grief, and how they work together. (Same Vlog as above!)

Mary Chapin Carpenter - Austin, TX

Mary Chapin Carpenter: All Over
One of the more recent excursions so I don’t need to rehash a TON, but…as the aforementioned Vanessa Carlton song says, I will travel 1000 miles just to see Mary Chapin play. She’s a true pro, because I have seen her play solo, I have seen trio shows, I have seen full band shows, I have seen her swap songs with Shawn Colvin…whatever the tour set up, there are always new songs and different arrangements and she does a Q&A (I am the one that asks MCC what books she’s reading), and I ALWAYS leave feeling a little more able to conquer the world than before. It’s joyful and meditative at a Mary Chapin show. I hope whoever reads this finds their artist that does that for them, and while I would LOVE to think it’s MCC for EVERYONE!!!!…I know you guys all have your people. Seek them out. (The Vlog)

Taylor Swift Formula 1 Austin, TX

Taylor Swift: F1 Circuit of the Americas
It was not just a concert, but a full on mind-blowing experience. I love Taylor’s music, and since I am kind of spoiled with seeing people I really like pretty close up, I was a little wary of how this whole thing was going to go down. As you can watch in the vlog, we had a whole day to get where we needed to be, and we landed some prime standing spots close to the stage. It was an incredible, immersive experience where I sang louder and with more joy than I can remember, well…ever. Taylor is a boss of a writer, performer, and business person and it all came together with 80,000 people at Circuit of the Americas. 10/10 Would Do Again.

Whatever it is I seek at these shows, I intend to find more of it in 2017. A shared collective joy is part of it. An illumination either into the artist’s craft, or their ability to connect with me among hundreds or thousands of others, or just leaving feeling surprised at what I felt. I love that feeling. The “Whoa” factor. More of it, please.

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