Release Week

24 Jul
2014

I feel like I have “released” this EP 402,029 times already, but July 15th was the date and I played a couple of shows last week to celebrate.

My friends Anna Harris and Katie Lessley joined me at Superfly Records in San Marcos for a set. Playing in a real record store is about as inspirational as you can get, and we had ourselves a grand time. Then I hustled myself on out of there before I blew my rent money on new albums.


Anna and some sweet violin at Superfly’s


Katie sangin’ a song we wrote!

Another neat thing, at the house concert this weekend…my friends James and Sandy surprised me with LIFESIZED ALBUM ARTWORK. A giant mouth with legs that SWING! And a canvas version of the EP cover. Amazing. These WILL be showing up in things, so watch for them. I am in awe of these folks’ talent and patience…because that mouth has a lot of lines in it!

(Thanks to Spring and Kelly for these photos cuz I stole ‘em).

iTunes and Rad Stuff

24 Jul
2014

Ok, we’re finally up on iTunes…here is the link if you like to download musics on lovely Apple devices with little to no effort on your part.

The cool news is this little record is currently (as of this typing) #59 on the iTunes singer-songwriter chart. This means at least one person has purchased it on iTunes, haha. No really, that’s kinda neat. I’ve never charted anything except chord charts and pie graphs in college.

With that said, I haven’t done a List of Rad Stuff in a while. So why don’t we?

Good Read
The Weird, Scary, and Ingenious Brain of Maria Bamford. – Maria is my favorite comedian, bar none. She’s brilliant. She’s charming, smart, and makes you uncomfortable…all the things comedy should be. I saw her perform live once and my stomach hurt the next day from laughing so hard. Read this.

Good Listen
Johnnyswim. This is the best new band I’ve heard since…a while. A married duo, to boot. They are adorable. They folk it up like it’s their job, but with plenty of soul mixed in. This song Diamonds is the one that hooked me. Look at that strum!

Good Look

I got to go see Georgia O’Keeffe’s Museum again in Santa Fe because it is one of my Top Ten Places On the Planet. They do a really good job of rotating exhibits there, so I’ve never seen the same batch of paintings twice. The fact that I can walk right up to this painting and see the brush strokes on the canvas blows my mind.



Good Pledge

I love me some Lucy Kaplanksy. She was the FIRST folk singer I ever saw live in the flesh. I was in high school. She plays guitar like she’s on fire. It caused a revelation. She’s doing a Kickstarter project with Richard Shindell and they’ve blown past their goal of $40,000. Why? Because it’s going to be fantastic.

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Release Day!

15 Jul
2014

Happy Release Day! I feel like I have released this EP several times already, but this is the real official everywhere release day. You can download or purchase a hard copy CD at http://janapochop.bandcamp.com! It should be up on iTunes soon – I told them this was the day, anyway. I’m not sure how much iTunes listens. We shall see – but…SOON!

I’m working on some real video ideas for these songs, but in the meantime, here’s a Youtube stream of Middle of My Chest should you want to…you know…send it to everyone you know!

Good Musical Moments

30 Jun
2014

I’m supposed to be packing for a real honest to goodness vacation I am taking this week to see a bunch of my family and see my awesome niece, Cathy, get married to a cool dude named Matt.  In Wisconsin.  After I fly to Albuquerque and collect my mom.  And then we drive to Minnesota to get my sister.  And THEN Wisconsin.  I haven’t family road tripped or been to the Midwest in eons.  BRING IT.

So instead of packing I’m reading old blog posts and remembering that I have had some amazing musical experiences over the years.  I consider myself fortunate to have seen and met some of my favorites…so why not recap?  That’s why I run this personal scrapbook of a blog anyway.

No order, just as they pop up in my brain, dates might be wrong…and these are non-work related concerts. I could write a book about all the cool stuff I’ve seen working with the people I work with…a different day.

Tori Amos
- Albuquerque 2005…my friend Laura was wearing a Tori shirt so some tour manager type dude gave us front row seats. It was amazing.

- SXSW 2009…my friend Elizabeth had given me a wristband for SXSW that year and we went to La Zona Rosa to see Tori debut tracks from The Beekeeper. Perez Hilton introduced her…weird.

Imogen Heap
- Austin 2006…Imogen played La Zona Rosa. I went by myself and the show BLEW MY MIND. I went again a year or two later and got to meet her outside her tour bus. So lovely, so British. She signed my iPhone case (it’s all I had) and it promptly rubbed off in a week.

Mary Chapin Carpenter
- I’ve seen MCC a lot. I’ve seen her play in Santa Fe, Denver, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Austin among others. I met her last fall. It was one of the best days ever. Her music has made me travel and I am forever grateful. The photo above is of MCC and Shawn Colvin at Mountain Winery in Saratoga, CA.

Indigo Girls
- Kerrville Folk Festival 2009. I had a backstage pass and I used it when the Indigo Girls were playing. Terri Hendrix played a couple of songs with them and she introduced me to Amy Ray. I said nothing of importance because I couldn’t think, but I remember Amy was eating a peanut butter sandwich before playing. Superfood of folk?

SHeDAISY
- I still maintain these girls put out some of the smartest country pop of the 2000′s. They just haven’t recorded in a while…I hope they do again soon. I met them at a casino in Ruidoso, NM in 2005, because casinos in New Mexico get the touring acts for some reason.

Lady Gaga
- I’ve seen her stadium show twice over the years, and then I got to see Gaga close up at SXSW this year. Amazing. Roasting on a spit and all.

Kathleen Edwards
- One of my favorite writers period. My friend Ben and I went to see her in Santa Fe in 2004 or so when we were in college, in some bar. I don’t even remember where. We had seen her on Letterman the year before and were hooked. I haven’t had the chance to see her since but she’s put out some of my all time favorite albums.



Rose Cousins

- Folk Alliance 2011. The cool thing about the Folk Alliance gatherings is you see people from all over play acoustic sets in hotel rooms for 3 days. Rose has always been a favorite but she doesn’t make it to Texas much, so I followed her around (from a distance, non-creepily) at Folk Alliance. Gold.

Haim
Haim was about to blow up when I saw them at SXSW 2013 in a bar on 4th street. I was right in front of the stage and Este knocked her mic stand onto my head. Totally rock and roll.

Doing this list makes me want to buy tickets to more shows…I’ll be adding Fleetwood Mac to this list later this year. So excited!

Here’s a track from the new EP up on the Youtubes, because that’s how we all listen to music and stuff these days.

I just posted my new bio, too. Susan Gibson so kindly and brilliantly wrote it. I’ve written probably…8 people’s bios in the past year and could NOT stand writing my own. It’s too hard. Probably a good exercise for everyone to attempt to do as a growth technique, but quite frankly I needed it for my one sheet pronto. Gibson delivered. Read it here.

Hot

24 Jun
2014

Y’all, I got to write a song with one of my favorites, Terri Hendrix, last week.  She’s part of a songwriting group called Real Women Real Songs, and they write a song a week, which is awesome.  Terri asked me to come over and help out with the topic called “Hot.”  There’s really no hot reference in here but I think it’s IN there.  You know, floating around.  Enjoy!

Round Up of Rad Stuff

15 Jun
2014


I took this in Ganado, TX.

These days, our lives are one big stream of links and memes to look at, and while I have many cool things I want to share with friends, sometimes social media is (oddly) not the place to do it. Engagement, click-throughs, algorithms, post counts…things that make links on Facebook either unseen or ignored. Sigh.

I’ve decided to do a weekly (or so) round up of things I like, am working on, reading, whatever. All the cool bloggers do it and I desperately want to be in the cool bloggers club. (Fast forward to 10 years from now when some kid walks up to me and says, “So you remember when blogging was cool?” Ouch).

Carry On.

Projects I am Invested In.

- My friend Bill Small is doing a Kickstarter for his brand new record and my Social Thinkery is on the case. Why? Because Bill is amazing as a writer, musician, and human. He’s a Mystiquero, too, and you can’t but help love a Mystiquero. Consider getting in on this one.

- My OTHER friend (I have 2) D.C. Bloom is on the tail end of his Kickstarter campaign for his new record, “The Rest is Commentary.” I had a great time helping him film his video. He wins for cutest dog cameo ever, just see. Also, he’s one of the wittiest writers I know, and it transfers to his songwriting with ease. Get a Zeffy Bobblehead before they’re being sold on Ebay for $5000.

Good Reads.

I read a LOT of articles, y’all. I try to read books but I half-finish most of them. Articles are easy to get through on a car ride or in a bout of insomnia. Good ones this week:

- Miss American Dream: How Britney Spears went to Vegas and became a feminist role model. No, really. – I have a weird fascination with Las Vegas, and we all know I love pop music. This article is well-written on both fronts, addressing Vegas entertainment history and letting us in on a little Britney.

- How the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Came to Dominate 90′s Culture - I am key demographic fodder for this article…the TMNT came out when I was in grade school and I still pride myself on my original action figure collection of all 4 turtles. Leonardo was my favorite for a long time but then I decided the rebellious moody nature of Raphael was more my jam.

Awesome Music.

The Best of You: Susan Gibson - another thing that hits close to home. Susan recorded a great track and all proceeds from the download of this (you can stream or download for free but you can also pay what you want) go to a cancer charity. Last week we donated about $600 to Cancer Care Services of Fort Worth. Susan will pick a new recipient while we grow the donation pot again. Go listen and give.

I am realizing “release dates” are a little bit weird in this digital music world. Back in the day, an album had a release date (always a Tuesday for some sales tracking reason) and as a music fiend, Tuesdays were big days. You’d hope the ghetto Hastings in your neighborhood got the memo and stocked the new Tori Amos that was shipping across the country that weekend to arrive by…TUESDAY. And you bought it and took it home when everyone else did on TUESDAY.

Doing a Kickstarter, however…means the really amazing folks who made my record possible get it first. They’re a big part of my online and in person community, too – so my backers have received their downloads and I spent all weekend signing CDs and addressing envelopes. I’m still not done, because someone’s great idea to have a Trilogy (oh, that’s me) means triple the CDs to sign. I think I’ve autographed about 500 albums this weekend. My hand hurts. I’ve enjoyed every minute, though. Nothing makes you more grateful for each and every supporter than hand-writing their address thinking about them as you do it.


Except, so these magic 161 people have it, but then when do you REALLY “put out the record”? Some would say to just get it over with and put it on sale, but I need to go to the post office first so the Kickstarts get it ahead of time.

In the meantime, YOU CAN NOW PRE-ORDER Throats Are Quarries from the online store (link at the top or right here) and you’ll get it June 17th (and a track to download right now!).

The official release date is July 15, 2014!!!

Why July? I need time to send this sucker out for reviews. I’ve gotten a few in already and I’ll share those in the next post. Let’s just say I’m thrilled one said, “By the time the chorus kicks in, the track has turned into a full on fist puncher, and you’ll be wondering why you haven’t heard of her before and how you got by without her music this far.” (From Crossradar.com). I think that same thing every day, people.

ANYWAY…this is how I have decided to do it. Kickstarters receive it SOON. Pre-order receive it pretty soon. The world gets it in July.


Us, a long time ago.

Guys, I just gotta gush. Emily Shirley is my friend, sometimes musical co-conspirator, and for all 3 of my EPs she’s been the graphic designer. She really knocked it out of the park on Throats Are Quarries, though. The disc alone makes me wanna dance at a rave in Paris at 3 AM, or something.

Check out Em’s music and give her some props.

Ugh. I hate to be typing this, but here is a link to an Indie Go Go fundraiser for John Jennings who is fighting metastatic kidney cancer. You can read all the details at the site but he has had surgeries and is canceling his touring with Mary Chapin Carpenter this summer and his other projects. That’s tough. Having been through the mass canceling of gigs when Susan broke her arm, it is frightening to say the least when you are self-employed like that.

If you know me you’ve probably heard me talk about JJ. He was my very first guitar hero. I spent hours and hours learning transcribed solos of his from Mary Chapin records when I was in high school. I bought a Martin Backpacker because JJ had one (I still have it…he signed it).

I’ve had the good fortune to run into him several times over the years, and even when I pop up in the oddest places like San Francisco or Folk Alliance in Memphis (where we were both conference attendees), he is the nicest and stops for a chat. Here’s a link to his bio if you want it…he’s worked with the likes of Mary Chapin, the Indigo Girls, Lyle Lovett, and John Gorka to name a few. His musicianship is bar none and his qualities as a great human being surpass everything.

Give what you can and share this link. Chances are he’s had his hand in at least one album or show over the years that has affected your life. Give back!

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