More random shots from Huntington Beach. Typical tourist? Yes I am.

Pacific Ocean

Patio flower gazing…


Some houses in Santa Monica near McCabe’s Guitar Shop.

Santa Monica

We just saw the sign, not L.A.

Los Angeles

AND A PELICAN! He knows how to make tourists feed him.


I LOVE THIS STATE. I’ve had some super fun trips to the Bay Area but never spent any time in SoCal, so when a good friend said Susan and Elizabeth should play in Huntington Beach, that sounded like a great idea. I would move here, but I’d need a job and all I’d really want to do would be to hang out in hip coffee shops and wait for cast members to Glee to walk in so I could stare at them from behind my latte.

We’re staying and playing in Huntington Beach, but yesterday we took a field trip to Santa Monica to McCabe’s Guitar Shop. Stringed instruments everywhere. Amazing inventory and variety. I played a $5000 Eric Clapton model guitar which pretty much made my day.

Eric Clapton Martin

These are our digs – a loft provided by our generous host (Thanks, Tom!). I’m trying to figure out if I can fashion the same kind of chandelier at home but with old GoGurt tubes and birthday candles.

Huntington Beach

Here’s what I look like when I’m playing every Mary Chapin Carpenter song I know and Elizabeth is helping me remember all the words. This might have been “Why Walk When You Can Fly.”


The ladies played a killer show last night and there is one more tonight! Good times. Thanks to all the folks at the Huntington Beach Art Center.


Tomorrow we fly back and I will go about trying to build a palm tree in the apartment complex yard. Wish me luck, or just send me some frequent flier miles so I can visit again.

I made a couple of jaunts to see some great people this week, reminding me that every songwriter and musician needs to fill the well with new music and live shows. Keeps us on our toes.

Tift Merrit

I went up to Dallas to see some friends and to see Tift Merritt live. Tift has been in my list of tops for a while and I have never seen her live, nor had I been to the Kessler Theater. Both were excellent – the show and the venue. I probably looked like a weirdo at the merch table because SusanG! and I had just spent some time pricing and ordering new SusanG! t-shirts, and I had been feeling up cotton/poly blend for a week every time I saw something that looked soft. I did feel…and I did buy.

Suzanne Vega

Thursday night we went to see Suzanne Vega, who is like…one of the folk mothers of folk. I had never seen her live, and she played the Paramount Stateside in Austin. She really REALLY knows how to command a stage. Yes, she did do “Tom’s Diner” (doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo), and yes, it was great.


Friday night rounded it out with a great Susan and Elizabeth duo show. They are great musicians of course, but live together they also get hilarious. It’s fun to see!

New resolution: see at least one “out of my norm” show a month. I wonder when Lady Gaga will come back through?

Because I want an owl timer here, that’s why.

I’ve been blogging less due to the fortunate circumstance of getting some ducks in a row regarding some new ventures 2013 has brought my way.

The first is my new consulting service called Social Thinkery. (The Facebook Page is here!) You can read the website but basically, I like talking about social media, touring, and booking for independent musicians. I could just talk to myself about it, but that gets old. I decided to make it official and talk to others about it. Sometimes it’s just good to bounce ideas off someone, or have a plan and a person to be accountable to for the work that needs to be done. This is what folks can find at the Thinkery, which I think sounds British, which therefore makes it fancy.

Bugle Boy

I’ve also signed on to book for the Bugle Boy in La Grange, TX, a little over an hour from Austin and one of the best listening rooms in the country. Some fine folks run that place and I am honored that I was asked to help out. Booking a venue is a whole other beast from booking an artist and routing a tour. For one thing, there is no routing because buildings don’t move. I like that. It’s been a joy to research artists and go through lists of past performers there. It’s the perfect job for a folk music junkie!

There’s more good stuff on the horizon which I will talk about later…like in an hour…when the owl hoots.

Lady Gaga Ball

We did it again, and Gaga did it again. SG and I went to see our 2nd Gaga show and the Lady managed to make it just as cool as the first one.

Last time we dressed up, and this time we just slummed it, which was fine because I’ve been too busy to think about something crazy to wear. The weird thing was…we were kind of spectacles last time and on this tour, I think we saw way more people dressing up and we definitely saw some spectacles. I saw a hotdog, lots of Gaga incarnations, lot of costumes that lit up, and lots of metallic plastic. It was awesome just wandering around the Toyota Center and gawking.


Our seats were so high there was no one behind us, but we were to the right of the stage and if you spit with the right projection and windspeed, it might have landed on the stage. (I did not spit on the stage). The view was good and I enjoyed not having anyone behind us to talk or distract me from my pop ecstasy.


There was a weird story line about Mother G.O.A.T. (Government Owned Alien Territory) and a weird floating head which at some point Gaga vanquished by pointing at it (pop super powers?), but the stage and set itself was stunning. A giant castle that moved in an out, Gaga emerged the first time on a horse (made of people), a wardrobe section that spun around and recollected some great tour costumes from years past (the Kermit dress!), Gaga as motorcycle riding around, the dancers popping out of a giant alien um…birth canal…oh! And there was a MEAT COUCH along with the meat dress.

Each song was a spectacle and required a costume change, but none of it dragged. The energy was non-stop. Gaga peppered her banter with things to make us feel empowered and proactive, which should really happen at more pop shows. Think how well adjusted the kids would be if they heard that a lot. I’m serious…one can argue she’s weird or frivolous, but her Little Monsters head home feeling good about the world and themselves no matter what they look like or where they came from, and that’s an important thing.

I’d go again…next time we’re dressing up. No meat dress for me, though. Maybe zucchini.

Born This Way Ball - Lady Gaga