Archive for January, 2006

Proof: cats on leashes

Saturday, January 28th, 2006
Bonnie walking on a leash
Bonnie walking on a leash,
originally uploaded by Kate O’.

I’m sure there are those of you who wanted nothing more than photographic evidence of cats on leashes. Well, here you have it. Bonnie is enjoying herself immensely in this photo, and now Baby Clyde is out here nosing around, too. :-)

I’m outdoors and warmer than I was inside

Saturday, January 28th, 2006

How wrong is that?

But at least I’m warm. I’m sitting on the front steps and I can just barely pick up the wireless signal from the back of the house. Cool.

And Karsten is walking Barbra on a leash. Double cool.

Miscellany

Saturday, January 28th, 2006

Karsten is hard at work putting the finishing touches on the verse melodies for “My Evil Twin.” I feel like I should be working, too, but instead I’ve been messing around on LiveJournal.

I might do some baking today. It would be a good excuse to have the oven on and hover near it, basking in its warmth. We’re going to a dinner party tonight and it would be nice to be able to bring a dessert along. The hostess says the menu includes a Chinese broccoli dish and a squash soup — so what should I bring for dessert?

Also, could I possibly be more excited about getting together with and tomorrow? I don’t think I could.

OK, wanna see a cute kitty? You know you do.

With friends like these, who needs heat?

Saturday, January 28th, 2006

Dropped off five CDs at the post office this morning to be mailed all over the place for various projects. I’ve noticed that many of these songs we’re pitching are for projects that are scheduled to be recorded in the February-March timeframe, so we may be hearing nothing for weeks and then, possibly, several things at once. Here’s hoping.

Was sitting at my desk in my winter coat, warming my feet by the space heater, trying to concentrate on doing something productive when called to say she was going out for coffee. Yay! We met at Fido and had a nice, long discussion about writing, religion, and what handfuls we both are for our respective partners, and then whisked off to Target for girly clearance-browsing. Whee!

Then I had to dash back home to pick up Karsten so we could go meet and S for pizza at Mafiaoza’s. That was a blast, especially when she and S debated whether 3 12″ or 2 18″ pizzas would actually yield more pie — and actually went through the geometrical calculations to determine that, yes, the 2 18″ pizzas offer substantially more edible area. Wow. Was I ever relieved to know that!

We had a great time telling scary cold weather stories, scary car stories, and scary dog attack stories until they realized they had to go home and feed their own dogs or risk canine cannibalism.

And now I’m tucked into bed with a heated pillow at my neck and my hot laptop on my, well, laptop, basking in the snug warmth of two comforters and a nearby space heater. I may even get some songwriting done this evening. Hurray for heat!

Unsolicited response to “Unsolicited Commentary” in Music Row

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

Today’s @Music Row e-newsletter included a section dubbed “Unsolicited Commentary” with an essay by one Patrick Shivers. Mr. Shivers laments the cross-pollination of country and other genres. Well, here. I’ll let you read his lament in his own words, with the intro from the newsletter.


Unsolicited Commentary—Narrating The Story Of Our Lives
Editor’s Note: This commentary came unsolicited. It is a familiar theme, but written with passion and sincerity. I asked its writer, Patrick Shivers, for some brief information about himself, and he wrote back with the introduction shown below. I’ve never met this person, nor heard his music, but felt a quiet honesty in the rhythm of his words, perhaps you will too…DMR

Patrick Shivers: I’m a small town country boy from deep in the heart of southwest Georgia. I have lived on a peanut and cotton farm my entire life. After earning a college degree in Political Science and a minor in Speech Communication in May 2005, I moved back home and resumed work on the farm until the cotton was all harvested in December. I just recently moved to Chattanooga to pursue a Masters of Public Administration. My county is the second poorest county in the state of Georgia (our education system ranks among the worse in the state) and my collegiate achievements were all pursued so I could someday return home and help pull my county out of the immense poverty that engulfs it. My pride in who I am and where I come from is rivaled by none and that is why country music is also my life’s passion. Country music isn’t just something to help pass the time while I’m driving, its songs about my lifestyle and where I come from. It’s about farm kids and football games; small towns and pickup trucks. Country music is as much a part of me as life itself. I came to Tennessee in hopes that I could influence country music to return to where its heart is. I am a singer/songwriter, and I may or may not ever make it to the big time, but I moved 500 miles from home to this state (where I know no one) solely on the possibility that I may get the chance to influence this thing—country music—I’m so passionate about.

The State of Country Music
Patrick Shivers
Country music came from a simpler time, and it is life’s simplicity that is reflected in its songs of old. Hank once traversed this country with not much more than a guitar and a road map singing songs about heartbreaks and honkytonks. His songs struck a chord with everyone that heard them. It didn’t matter if you were so lonesome you could cry or if you had finally seen the light, you could relate to Hank and his songs. He may have been one of the biggest legends to walk the earth, but he was also just a simple man singing simple songs narrating the story of our lives. Country music has traveled far from that lost highway and those forgotten days. Somewhere in search for success we put aside the simple songs of a ramblin’ man, and began listening for the next “badonkadonk.” Today songwriters, publicists, and record companies all work together like spokes on a wagon wheel to roll out carefully molded artists that sing songs full of pop-marketed catch phrases. Big stars from outside the genre like Elton John and Jon Bon Jovi are even cashing in on the country jackpot. Yes sir, country has turned into big business. Why the Hag wouldn’t even have a chance on today’s radio. How could a prison-hardened, chicken pickin’, songwriting man like him ever compete with a mass marketed super group like Rascal Flatts? Everyday on country radio the hard rock songs of the Muzik Mafia quickly drown out the twin fiddles and steel guitars and we’re listening to the sound of money instead of the beating of the American heart. When did being country stop being a requirement for the performers and the songs they sing on country radio? Loretta Lynn crawled out of a coal mine into country stardom and Dolly Parton came down from the mountain top singing her way into Nashville. Today’s country music stars are American Idol contestants and “Hick-Hop” artists. There is little left of what country use to be. Its simplicity has been lost to the bright lights and the big show. Country Music, you don’t have to chase that dollar, you’ve got fans waiting here at home.

Bravo, Mr. Shivers. While I don’t agree with you, you spoke your mind well, and I applaud your right and ability to do so.

Now it’s my turn.

I’m a suburban-raised girl with an urban soul, and yet I, too, was raised on country music. At least, that’s part of the story. As a child, I listened to the radio and to records constantly, and was as influenced by Glenn Miller as by Steve Miller, and am now as much a fan of Dar Williams as Hank Williams. There’s so much to love about all forms of music, and all the forms have so much to say. Country is and has always been the place for straightforward, no-holds-barred directness, and it’s a sign of the changing times that we can be straightforward about so many more subjects within the confines of country music nowadays.

And although music is and long has been a business like many others, it’s not just about money. I was at the MuzikMafia show at the Mercy Lounge on Tuesday evening, and you can’t tell me these guys are in it just for the money. They’re chasing the love of music, unfettered by the restrictions of traditional instrumentation and chord progressions. Our rock-loving American hearts beat, too, Mr. Shivers; they’re just open to trying out new rhythms.

I hope you’ll agree, there’s room in this country for all of us.

Germantown — my neighborhood!

Thursday, January 26th, 2006
Germantown
Germantown,
originally uploaded by StudioMobile.

I was surfing Nashville pics on flickr and came across this one. I’ve been thinking about taking a picture just like this one but I don’t have the equipment or the skill to do anything that would have turned out remotely this well. So my public thanks goes out to StudioMobile for capturing my dream shot for me.

This is my ‘hood, and I love it so. :-)

MuzikMafia show kicked ass!

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006
MuzikMafia show at Mercy Lounge
MuzikMafia show at Mercy Lounge,
originally uploaded by Kate O’.

I know this picture is grainy and blurry and all, but it was the best I could do under the low lighting with my little Treo 650. This is the very beginning of the evening, around 10 or 10:30 PM (they were scheduled to start at 9, but whatever), and yeah, it looks really tame.

But really, the show kicked ass! Depending on how you look at it, it was either something like 20 micro-concerts or just 1 kick-ass concert party.

We stayed until nearly 2 AM, when everyone’s singing voices were clearly shot. But in that time, we heard John Rich, Jon Nicholson, James Otto, Shannon Lawson, Mista D, Bobby Pinson, the Trailer Choir, Chance, and some young guy with a promising but untrained voice John Rich had just met in a bar off Broadway a few nights before. And a bunch of others. And we met a TON of writers and musicians who were mostly very cool.

The best thing about it was how, when someone took the stage, several of the other performers stayed to back them. And someone who played mostly bluegrass, for example, ended up backing a rapper. Or a soul singer backing a country punk band.

They lived up to their “music without prejudice” motto, that’s for sure.

I will definitely be going back for more.

After all, you can never really leave, right?

Heat update / energy audit

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

The energy audit people were clearly overwhelmed in a “where do we begin” type of way. Yikes. But they came back with useful info and will be providing a full written report in a week or so.

Meanwhile, we’ve been sitting around wrapped in comforters and/or coats. We escaped to the Frist Center to see the Murano glass exhibit (it was gorgeous!) for a while this afternoon, but we’ve come back and have broken down — we’re running the furnace for an hour or so. We’re such wimps.

All the news that’s not really all that exciting

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

House is still cold. Gas guy just came and said yep, this is how it is.

Energy audit people come tomorrow. We’re getting our smelling salts ready. For them.

The songwriting corner of my brain is a bit too chilled to function properly, but I’ve been working our MySpace profile like crazy.

Last night we enjoyed warm environs and tasty pizza chez and . Thanks, you two!

Tonight, it’s the MuzikMafia at the Mercy Lounge. As Shannon Lawson says, “Haow haow!” :-)

Back to writing.

No wonder poor people need so much help with utilities this year

Sunday, January 22nd, 2006

I swear I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. After nearly having a heart attack when I received a SIX HUNDRED DOLLAR gas bill last month, I was fearing the worst when I opened this past month’s gas bill. But we’d had the furnace inspected and the guy said the venting hose had been loose, so our heat was making our attic nice and toasty. So I figured this month’s was going to be high, but maybe a little less than $600. But it was OMG NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS!?!

I know our house is poorly insulated and all that, but this is freakin’ ridiculous. We just can’t afford this. I’m going to end up sitting around with the heat off, wrapped up in blankets. Off it goes.

Love me, love my userpic

Friday, January 20th, 2006

I love this new icon! Joe Hendricks made it for me and Karsten out of pictures he took in our living room at about 1:30 AM last night / this morning. Well, technically, he made the full-sized one intended for our MySpace profile, and I had to scale it waaaay down to make this LJ icon. (40 KB max file size! How’s anyone supposed to do anything fun within those constraints?) Joe rocks. Local folk, if you ever need photos for ANYthing — promo pics, wedding pics, whatever — I cannot recommend Joe highly enough.

Earlier last night, we went with Joe to see Kristen Cothron at Sambuca in The Gulch — she’d hired Joe to take some performance photos of her, so we got to watch him work, which was fun. (This is one he took of her at a previous shoot, and I just LOVE that picture.) Kristen has an amazingly cool sound, like 2 parts Norah Jones, 1 part Rachel Yamagata, 1 part Aimee Mann, and 1 part something entirely new.

Tonight it’s good clean fun with and ! Looking forward to it major big time.

Business cards!

Wednesday, January 18th, 2006

I just ordered business cards. I love business cards. Whee!

Writing like a madwoman!

Wednesday, January 18th, 2006

I’m sick, apparently, or at least that’s what my body seems to think. My brain wants to go outside and play in the snow, but without my body, it would probably be a bad idea.

And yes, I said snow! Can you believe it? We had 60+ degree weather on Monday and there’s snow on the ground today. Weeeeeird.

I spent almost the entire day yesterday writing — easiest thing to do since I was a sickie — and am pretty psyched about getting to do this all the time. Karsten also gave me a CD of some random melody ideas (something he does once in a while) and I already came up with lyric concepts for two of them. Rawk!

Black Cherry is running around the house screaming for Karsten, who is out doing a grocery run. We had no yogurt in the house for breakfast! But at least there was coffee. Much coffee. Can you tell? ;-)

Back to writing!

Nosey in Nashvegas

Thursday, January 5th, 2006

I love this story about why it’s important to remember that you never know who you’re dealing with.

Saw some people who were obviously famous today at Baja Fresh judging by the way people all throughout the restaurant were trying too hard to act nonchalant and appear as if they weren’t looking in their direction every two seconds. But for the life of me, I could not figure out who they were. They looked very much like aging hippie rockstars, but I see lots of people around here who look like that. :-) My coworker didn’t know them, either. Oh well.