Fault Lines

24 Jul
2017

New song…post-apocalyptic party folk.

July & the Heat

20 Jul
2017

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Busy summer over here! It’s 102 today…we’ve all just accepted it as Central Texas residents, but it doesn’t mean I don’t yearn for Canada EVERY SINGLE DAY. I chose Canada because it seems far enough away not to get a heatwave but what do I know. Anyway, in the meantime, a photo-log (PHLOG!):

Played a wedding, it was not 1000 degrees, it didn't rain, and I did not ruin the most important day of the Bride's life so I feel like that was a success! #nerds

I played a wedding and there were no incidents with Melissa McCarthy crashing it with 9 puppies. Other than no puppies, it was super fun. Happy Day Lauren and Luke!

Spirit is Ageless

I spent the 4th of July at Luckenbach and got to accompany Tina Wilkins for her “Ageless” choir. FLASH MOB. Super fun! Super hot. But more fun. (Photo by Dave Hensley).

Maybe the Cumberland Gap just swallows you whole. @jasonisbell was fantastic tonight. 🙌

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit rocked ACL Live. Pure rock and brilliant songwriting.

Spent the week as a mentor for #realliferealmusic songwriter camp with @susangibsonmusic and @kyle_real_life. 10 girls in treatment who have faced things I can't fathom surviving. They wrote songs about their lives and recorded them. Today they play them

I helped teach songwriting camp for a bunch of teenage girls who have had some real STUFF happen in their lives. It was an incredible week and I learned about 1000x’s more than I bet we taught. Overcoming adversity…some of us have no idea what others around us have to deal with. These girls have dealt with it all. They wrote beautiful songs.

Thanks #sanangelo! I needed a rain shower and some lovely people today and you delivered. Thanks to @bsimpson80 for sharing his gig!

I played a gig an San Angelo with my buddy Bob Simpson, and then I hit an armadillo on the way home. That was after this glorious rain/sunset photo, though.

The internet is swell because my friends can come over and we can play a gig and I don't have to load out gear. Thanks @humsongs! You were great! : @beagleage

Heather Miller came over for a Concert Window and we made music on the internet. I realized I really own no chairs, so we sat on the bed.

When Texas gets all Texas you deal with it in popsicles. #homeslippershang

Popsicles at Emily’s house because SUMMER.

Testing out the #folkrap track on this boom box for legit-ness and it sounds AWESOME. New single coming soon!

I’m in the studio with Mark Addison working on the folk rap and this is the only way I wanna listen to folk rap now…on a badass old boombox. Mark has all kinds of fancy speakers but…these. Money & Heart and some other things coming soon!

Coming up soon is a very special trip for a very special run of Musical Tourism…but more about that later. I’m off to find another Popsicle.

Lightning Is Here

23 Jun
2017

Lightning Album Art

It’s out! Happy June 23rd…my only hope is that Taylor Swift drops her new single that she hasn’t talked about but we all know is coming on the same day. Anything? No? Ok. ANYWAY…

I am so proud of this song, and welcome to the age of 2017 where I am making singles so I can release stuff more than once every 4 years. This particular track was born at Rubicon Studio in South Austin, where my main producer dude and brother of another, Daniel Barrett, had me sit in a chair, play the guitar part on acoustic, play the guitar part on electric, and had me sing it. I then had to go to a meeting or something, and we parted ways.

Next thing I know he sends over a track with some killer beats and that SWEET bass line you hear.

NEXT thing I know Dan says “I think cello,” and Brian Standefer puts this incredibly lovely cello on top that really just makes the song what it is.

NEXT thing I know I’m meeting Emily Shirley at Rubicon where Dan gets the most lovely harmony parts laid out and Emily just nails every line.

Next thing we send it over to Mark Hallman at Congress House Studio for a good master (which makes it sound all good and stuff).

Next thing I know Dave Hensley has graciously allowed the use of his lightning photo for the album artwork because it is called, get this, “Lightning.”

NEXT THING YOU KNOW…it’s in your earholes, I hope. Here is every link I have for Lightning access. You can stream it, you can buy it (that’d be awesome!), you can share it (that’d be awesome x’s 10)…overall, please listen. It was made with love by some really great people that I love.

Available to Buy:

Direct download: http://janapochop.bandcamp.com

iTunes/Apple Music: http://bit.ly/jpo-lightning

Amazon: http://bit.ly/jpolightning

Google Play: http://bit.ly/googlelightning

Streaming on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/3YV99IqnUm5nxse4ffk06f

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

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.

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