It’s time for some Ask Jana. I took me awhile to compile these because I had to get the ringing of 4500 screaming teenage girls out of my head from the Demi Lovato show. What song is on repeat on my iPod? That Little Mix song. IT’S SO CATCHY. Ok, on to your questions, and I think you kindly for asking them!
Sharon: Dear Jana…my neighbor will not stop playing Justin Bieber cds. I wish they would play Justin Timberlake but it is JB all the time. the only JB i play is Jackson Browne.. what do i do.. i am going crazy.
This is indeed a horrifying circumstance. As much as I love pop music, there are certain artists I cannot get into as a rule…Bieber and Selena Gomez are at the top of the list. The best thing you can do is blast Jackson Browne back through the walls and make it some sort of weird Browne vs. Bieber (sounds like a civil rights court case from 1954) standoff. This might not endear you to your neighbors, though. Second option: noise canceling headphones. Totally worth it.
Amanda: Dear Jana, I want to go somewhere warm with my little family for a week. How can I make this happen with my super tight budget?
As a wimpy Southwestern-raised kid, I can’t imagine what living through a whole Northern winter is like. I mean, I lived in South Dakota until I was 4 and the snow was higher than I was tall, but I mostly remember my mom making me cheese sandwiches (the only thing I ate for about a year) and letting me watch Sesame Street when it was frigid outside. Anyway, what I do know about Amanda is that she is a fabulous musician, and we have the fortunate circumstances of sometimes being able to pay for things by singing. Maybe we need to find you a gig in Florida or Austin that pays for your trip, and BOOM. It’s zero sum but it’s not going to break the bank. My other thought is getting a large cardboard box, painting a beach scene on the inside, and installing a heat lamp over it. Sit in it for no longer than 1 hour at a time before the claustrophobia sets in. This is only to be used in worst case scenario circumstances.
Dezi asks: Dear Jana! Will my flight finally make it to Texas next month?
Dezi…I hope this was not written from seat 13B of a commercial airliner circling around but never landing in Texas, because that seems like it would be frustrating. I would suggest booking a flight on a legitimate airline to make sure your flight makes it. Avoid airlines with names like: Mouthwest, Slamerican, Brontier, and Hellta. These seem like legit choices but they are not.
Brenda asks: Dear Jana – which beverage do you feel supports maximum achievement throughout the day? And as a bonus, which snack food goes best with that beverage?
Oh man this is easy for me…coffee. I drink a lot of it. I have tried to give up sugary soda type things and while I still imbibe on a Diet Coke every so often, I do not allow myself to buy them to keep at home and when traveling I always look for decent iced tea first. But I digress…some say coffee is bad for you. I say everything is probably bad for you, but coffee, when taken black, has no calories, no aspartame, and makes me happy to be awake. Best thing with coffee? Oddly…a banana with peanut butter. You will never stop if you have that.
Sharon asks: Do you have to worry about Fracking in the southwest or is it just another curse word?
It is both! I will say…there is a disturbing amount of earthquakes in the Fort Worth area here in Texas. This article says there were 17 in January 2014 alone. That’s…not natural. It’s probably because of fracking. If Austin gets one I’m moving.
Laurie: Jana, an armadillo and a horny toad walk into a bar…….please expound.
Well…this is a trick question because I can tell you for a fact the armadillo would never make it across the road in the first place to walk into the bar. They are the inevitable road kill.
Matt: If you could eliminate any human body part what would you choose?
I’m kind of literally attached to most of my parts, I figure they serve some purpose. I’m really fond of toenails because I stub mine all the time. I digress…and I can’t pick because I’m scared I am like an ecosystem where if I took something out everything would suffer in some weird chain reaction.
Josh asks: Dear Jana, would you marry me? Not will you, I’m still kind of on the fence and I want to gauge your answer first. I have a steady job and love green chili.
This is a very practical proposal, and I wish all proposals would include a pledge for green chile. I am flattered, but I am also still learning that Single Ladies dance from the Beyonce video so I need to conquer that first.
Sharon asks: Dear Jana… what is your favorite Dylan song? would you consider a cover version?
Is this cliche to answer…Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright? Because that is a great song. I don’t know about covering it…lots of folk people cover Dylan and I’m working really hard to learn this 4 chord Ellie Goulding song right now, haha.
Bill asks: Can you recommend a good mail order source for green chile?
BEST QUESTION AWARD. Bill, Chile Addict is right down the road from where I grew up and they have the largest selection of stuff and a catalog to boot. El Pinto is a great source for their brand of salsa and sauces. (One time the owner of El Pinto came to a gig in Albuquerque and brought me a BOX OF SALSA. I am forever a fan). Anyway…Chile Addict will get you everything from frozen, roasted chile to green chile hot chocolate. Yum.
Michael asks: When are we going to see/hear some more JanAnna down on the South side of Houston?
Great question! I haven’t had a working car for a while and it’s really put a damper on mobility. Anna is working on some awesome projects that I will call TOP SECRET and I’m getting the EP all wrapped up. Short answer? We need to book something.
Don asks: Dear Jana: Why is USA Network cancelling Psych? Why?
As someone who has to watch TV on Hulu and therefore only consistently watch Glee and Scandal…I do not know. Maybe they’re just tricking you, and they’ll be like…”We’re canceling Psych. PSYCH!”
RawfeyL: Do you think art and social activism combined have the ability to impact civil rights? Or is the Artist and their Art just recording the events? In other words; Do you think art has the ability to create the spark of desire within the audience to go out and change the world?
Great question. I think art has played a role in the past, and I really can only speak a little from the music perspective. We had Guthrie as the “Dustbowl Troubadour” in the 30’s and then of course, people like Dylan and the anti-war protest movement in the 60’s. I think they did play some part in joining people together, except perhaps art was not the catalyst of the movement, but a supportive rallying tool? WHAT I DO THINK…is that art and popular culture in terms of civil rights lead the way in showing the populace as a whole that the oppressed group is made up of real human beings. African American musicians in the 50’s and 60’s and 70’s absolutely played a part in breaking down stereotypes. Powerful women rose up in pop culture before politics. Ellen is the most popular talk show host ever and everyone knows she’s gay. Connecting this acceptance in pop culture to a larger picture is ideally next. Arizona is apparently not on board with that but whatever. I don’t think I answered your question very well but everyone should leave a comment and expound upon this please.
Don asks: Dear Jana: Who was/is your favorite president?
Well…I am a great admirer of Lincoln because most people are and he was undoubtedly a great President. I have a soft spot in my heart for President Kennedy because his presidency and assassination captured by interest at a young age and made me into the American history nerd / conspiracy theorist that I am.
Yes, I have been to THAT SPOT in Dallas.
Jon asks: What’s your fave Sixties song?
I really love San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair). I’m not sure why, other than I love San Francisco.
Camille asks: Jana, when do we get to hear your new recordings?
We are close! Dan will wrap up mixing in early March, and then we have to master them. Kickstarter backers like your lovely self will most likely get a download in late March, with hard copies to follow in April!
Bonny asks: Jana, can you dance like the Gogo’s?
No, and I should never ever ever try!
Chad asks: What was that place we ate where the dessert was so good we ordered a second? What was the dessert? And can we please go there again during SXSW this year?
I believe that was at 24 Diner. Was it bread pudding? It had to be bread pudding. We must hunt it down. I had a pork belly sandwich which is maybe the richest thing I have ever consumed, aside from those back-to-back desserts. SXSW 2014 Culinary Tour of Austin by Chad and Jana (TM) is on!
It is also a rule that Chad and I eat pancakes during SXSW.
Ryan asks: Sunrise, sunset. Which and why?
I’ve seen a lot of sunsets that make me go “WOW,” usually in New Mexico. I see sunrises less, and while I fancy myself someone who rises to greet the day, usually the day greets me and I reply with a grunt before I have coffee.
Dave asks: Why is my Internet connection so slow?
Are you Netflixing a lot? Because internet providers are slowing you down if you stream a lot. Because net neutrality is a hot button issue.
Jean: Jana, where is your favorite vacation spot and why?
Jean, I don’t know that really I have “vacationed” in a long time. I have taken time away in places where I have said, “I will not check my email for 42 minutes” and sometimes that works, sometimes not. That being said, I am itching to go see my friends in New York City. I hope that happens soon.
Me and times Square must be reunited.