Archive for the ‘Out & About’ Category

Has a star ever proposed to you from the stage of the Ryman?

Monday, May 11th, 2009

It’s never happened to me. But that’s exactly what happened to Lucas.

At Sunday night’s “Unwigged and Unplugged” show, featuring Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest, the following brand-new things occurred:

* I was handed a live mic and allowed to address the artists on stage.

* My name was spoken aloud from that hallowed stage (twice, actually…)


* I was proposed to from said stage.

Let me interrupt to say: Lucas and I met at a party a few weeks ago, and we had a long talk about music, social media, and the digital economy (what a kickin’ party, right?). So when, from my balcony seat, I saw him and another friend, Yvonne, in the second row being handed a live mic to ask the performers a question, I was excited about his fun opportunity to interact with Guest, McKean, and Shearer.

It went well — he asked about who would play them in a J.J. Abrams prequel of Spinal Tap, and they ran with it.

Guest responded first by saying, obviously, Nigel should be played by comedian Martin Lawrence. Shearer, apparently unaware that Dwayne Johnson stopped going by this name a while back, said Nigel would be better suited being played by The Rock. Seth Green got thrown into the equation by McKean.

But then when McKean asked Lucas to marry him in a quick aside, I about collapsed. There’s more to the story: here’s the rest.

John Irving at the Ryman Auditorium

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

“Suppression is very American. … If you don’t like abortion, don’t
have one. … Why should it matter to straight couples if gay couples
get married?” - John Irving, Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, November 8,

Sex and the City opening night / Girls Night Out

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Sex and the City opening night / Girls Night Out

Originally uploaded by Kate O’

This is madness — the line to get into the theater itself wraps around the lobby — and this is only Franklin, Tennessee. Can’t imagine what things are like in Manhattan tonight. Yikes!

Emo! Emo! Emo!

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

I can hardly believe it, but I saw Emo Philips live last night.

No way. Way.
No way! Way!

And yeah, so obviously, here’s where I reveal myself as the nerd fangirl I grew up as. ‘Cause I mean, seriously, how many other teenaged girls did you know who were into twisted absurdist silliness? I bet they, like me, were all mathletes too. Right? Yeah. I rest my case.

It’s true, though, and if I may reflect for a moment: my friend Walter introduced me to Emo Philips’ “E=MO2” album when we were in grade school, I think, and Emo’s material became a staple of our mutual friends’ vocabulary for years to come. I cannot overemphasize how both formative and refreshing that material was for me, since I had had no other exposure to such offbeat humor, and I loved it.

Twenty-some years later, I finally got to see him perform live at Zanies Comedy Showplace here in Nashville, and it was indeed worth waiting for. The man is a freakin’ comedy genius. His character is so well developed and his material so carefully written that you eventually just start taking his bizarre affectations in stride — in other words, his writing is so good that if he didn’t act like a mental case on stage, his comedy might seem too polished to be funny. (Which is probably why most of the people I’ve met later in life who’ve found out I was an Emo Philips fan have reacted with surprise — their only familiarity with him were quotes they’d read online, and although the jokes hold up, they’re just not the same without that spastic, tortured delivery.) Taken as a package, though, his work is pure gold.

Anyway, back to my being a fangirl: we hung around after the show to buy CDs and get Emo’s autograph, and — why not? — take a picture, too. So check it:

Emo, me, and Karsten


Wondering what to do for Valentine’s Day? (In the Nashville area, that is)

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

I bet there are a lot of posts out there that offer suggestions for how to spend your chilly February 14th, and ordinarily mine would be “stay snuggled up in bed” but since my mom is going to be in town, I needed something a little better suited to mixed company. So here’s my suggestion:

Valentine Celebration

Matraca Berg - Suzy Bogguss - Raul Malo - Gretchen Peters
with Orchestra Nashville - Paul Gambill, conductor

Grace Chapel
in Leiper’s Fork

We’re actually going to the Friday night show, and I’m sure it’ll be amazing. Gretchen, as I’ve mentioned once or twice before, lives in our neighborhood and is a fantastic songwriter. Matraca Berg is, well, only one of my songwriting heros, and Suzy Bogguss and Raul Malo are wonderful singers and songwriters whom I respect and admire very much.

And what’s even more wonderful is this: the publicist for the show has offered a 15% discount for folks using the promo code ‘honeybowtie’. Seems he saw my link posted a few weeks ago and wanted to reassure me that it would indeed be “something good to do.”

I told my mom, and she’s excited. Karsten and I can’t wait.

And I hope to see you there, too!

Thanks, Josh Ritter, for getting me ready for Monday

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

Monday is the anniversary of my dad’s death, again. It was a reflective time for me last year and it’s looking like it will be the same this year.

I can tell because last night we went to see Josh Ritter (whom Jae has been talking about for years but I’m just catching up). There was a song he played with lyrics that said “tell me I got here at the right time” and it was bittersweet and melancholy and painted a picture of loving someone through illness, and it got me thinking about the process of caring for my dad while he was sick and the acceptance I had to come to about the possibility that in one of my trips back to Nashville, I would not be there when he died. And that’s basically how it worked out in the end — Karsten and I had just made it back to Chicago that evening and decided not to go by my parents’ house until the next morning since it was already pretty late. And my dad died that night.

Sometimes the loss hurts more because I know I could have seen him alive one more time, but more often I know I was there at the right times all the previous times.

Anyway, it’s funny how once you’re reminded of something difficult, you can see connections in the loosest ways. So all through the rest of Josh Ritter’s set, I was primed to reflect on all kinds of loss, but especially my dad. And then he played “Kathleen,” which is one of the few songs of his I knew before last night, and I like it but it’s a tough one for me, because it so heavily references the Irish standard “I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen” and that’s one of the songs my dad used to sing when he was a nightclub performer and is the source of my name. Of course, Ritter’s song goes off in a different direction, but I think if you carry the connection over and think about his song in the context of its heritage, it makes his song even more intriguing. The Irish song is a plea to that song’s Kathleen to hold out hope in the narrator, to recognize that he sees she is unhappy and that he can once again bring her the happiness that she has lost. The Ritter song is a plea to its Kathleen to place some hope in the narrator, to recognize that he appreciates her and can see her clearly and can make her happy even if it’s just for one night. Each song is a kind of begging, but from nearly opposite ends of the lifecycle of a relationship — and, you could even say, nearly opposite ends of life itself.

Anyway, I thought about that while he was playing the song, but I was also just washed away in grief every time I heard the line “I’ll be the one to drive you home, Kathleen.”

And yet I walked away from the show feeling hopeful, and creatively inspired. I think there’s another post about that I need to write, because there are other factors at work there, but I definitely took away ideas from listening to Ritter’s brutal and beautiful honesty, and I intend to use them.

Joe plays while Rhonda & her dad dance

Saturday, October 6th, 2007

Joe plays while Rhonda & her dad dance

Originally uploaded by Kate O’

A Nashville songwriter twist on the father-daughter dance when the groom plays and sings the music. Truly a beautiful experience.

Not that I’d want to be a staff writer, but still…

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

After a lovely dinner at Rosario’s (I mean it! it was good, despite what that mean old Chris Chamberlain would have you believe), we decided to drop in to Edgehill Studios Cafe across the street to see who was playing. It was two guys who sounded pretty good so we stuck around, but we couldn’t determine what their names were — there didn’t seem to be a schedule posted anywhere. (We also spotted Karen Keely from 95.5 The Wolf hangin’ out with a “Cutie Wolf” t-shirt on.)

Anyway, one of the writers announced a song called “Makes Me Wanna Pray” by saying it was on hold with Martina McBride (and I couldn’t help but think of Lindsay). The song wasn’t bad, but I was more interested in how much he sounds like Collin Raye.

Both writers were enjoyable, but Collin Raye Guy got me curious so I looked him up. His name is Jared Johnson and it turns out he’s with Big Loud Shirt. Staff songwriter at Craig Wiseman’s company? Now that’s a gig to have. I’m betting that “Pray” song gets cut, and I’m even betting it’s a single, and heck, why not, I’ll even bet that it charts. People seem to love sad songs that make them feel all holy.

Technorati lets you claim a blog, but what about claiming a blogger?

Friday, June 15th, 2007

CeeElCee and girls
CeeElCee and girls,
originally uploaded by lesley s.

Doesn’t this totally look like I’m saying “mine, all mine”? After all, we’re talking about BadBad-mf’in-Ivy and Ginger-f’in’-SNAPs here, people - I don’t know why CeeElCee wasn’t fighting me for them. He must have known he was no match for my mad girl-claiming skillz.

Come to think of it, I may have tried to fight with CeeElCee one other time last night. I don’t remember why, but I kind of remember saying that he and my inner fag could take it outside, but CeeElCee wisely deferred, admitting he’d have his ass handed to him. I really don’t want to fight CeeElCee - I adore the guy! - but I’m thinking maybe he just brings out the scrappy in me.

Because I’m too worn out to repeat myself

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

I just posted on Nashville Metroblogging about our dramatic storm experience at Pride today. Check it out!

One small year and some tiny kittens

Sunday, November 5th, 2006

Well, here it is: the day I’ve been dreading. It’s been one year since my dad died. I thought I would have a lot to say about that, but I find myself oddly quiet on the subject. The only thing I’ll say is what I wrote in an email to my sister this morning:

I still miss Dad very much, of course, but I’m also amazed at how much healing happens in the course of one year. Then again, I’m equally amazed at how much still hurts after a whole year has passed. It’s almost like time and healing can be measured in two different dimensions, on two different scales, with one exceeding my expectations and one falling so very short. Or whatever. I guess that’s why it’s easier just to say “life is funny.” ;)

Shawn Colvin already summed it up for me, anyway, with this song:

One Small Year
by Shawn Colvin

One small year
It’s been an eternity
It’s taken all of me to get here
Through this one small year

The hands of time
They pushed my down the street
They swept me of my feet to this place
And I don’t know my face

Now all through the night I can pretend
The morning will make me whole again
Then every day I can begin
To wait for the night again

One more tune
That will never be done
It’s just another one for the moon
For the days in the ruin

Just today I woke up feeling fine
Like the world was mine
I was clean
And it was a dream

Where out of the blue came you and me
The Wizard of Oz had set us free
You let me float you to your feet
Just like you believed in me
It’s like you believed in

One small year
I wonder where I’ve gone
It shouldn’t seem so long or so weird
And I was always here

It’s just one small year

Race for the Cure, Nashville, November 2006Yesterday, the Race for the Cure came through our neighborhood, and I stood outside with a cup of coffee and watched them, thinking of my dad, and how he lost his race. But it was encouraging to see how many people turned out to help raise money for the cause, so maybe someday cancer will be a thing of the past.

Speaking of raising money for good causes, last night, we went to two fundraisers. The first was for the Nashville Humane Association: Anipalooza. Heh. We went to the one last year, too, and I’m sorry to say that this year’s wasn’t as good as last year’s. Last year they had doggie speed dating, which was just about the cutest thing ever, but that was gone this year for whatever reason. The music in the main tent was also too loud, meaning you could barely hear someone shouting next to you, and you sure weren’t going to casually mix and mingle and get to know new people.

Karsten and kittens at Nashville Humane AssociationOn the plus side, there were kittens inside the shelter, which just about makes up for any shortcoming in event planning. Just like last year, Karsten was in one of the cat rooms playing with kittens most of the time we were there, and drew a crowd watching him get the kittens all excited. You should have seen these kittens crawling all over Karsten. I took pictures but they only hint at the stinging cuteness of it all.

After that, we went to back to our neighborhood for the “Heart and Soul” benefit at Werthan Lofts, for the American Heart Association. The contrast was stunning: someone there must be a professional event planner or something. They gave out wine glasses to each attendee, along with maps of the building showing the lofts that were open for the event. And then they had signs up on the hallway walls and balloons marking the entrance of each open unit to help people find their way through the somewhat confusing layout of the building. Plenty of volunteers, plenty of wine, plenty of cool people, and plenty of music ensured that it was a great party. A lot of folks were there from the Germantown neighborhood, too, which was fun.

My two favorite men in the worldA Vietnamese coworker of Karsten’s used to say: so much good, so much bad. I think of that a lot, and I consider it a victory when the bad doesn’t overshadow the good. Right now, as much as it still hurts to miss my dad, I know the good in my life — like loving and being loved so deeply by someone as wonderful as Karsten, and having a job I enjoy, and being part of a community of great people, and living in a home we have the ability to enjoy and improve, and having good friends, not to mention that I was lucky enough to have had a dad as wonderful as he was — all that good is as bright as sunlight and nothing can overshadow it. And I guess that should be enough to get me through another small year.

Balloon release! Art event at Image Distillery (at the Shell station)

Monday, March 13th, 2006

Balloon release! Art event at Image Distillery (at the Shell station)
Balloon release! Art event at Image Distillery (at the Shell station),
originally uploaded by Kate O’.

Thanks to for encouraging me to take a picture at this art event the other night. It gave me something to post in Metroblogging Nashville, and I’ve been a neglectful blogger over the past 10 days.

But anyway, this was a way cool fun night of art happenings.

Celebrity sightings: What famous people have you seen?

Tuesday, December 28th, 2004

Went out to Noshville for lunch with coworkers J & K and my Boss. Much talk of the celebrities they’ve spotted there in previous visits; my hopes were up for at least a minor sighting. But no. I must be the celebrity anti-magnet or something.

In Chicago, I saw Studs Terkel in the Treasure Island grocery store, and I used to see Dennis Rodman at various nightclubs on a near-weekly basis.

In San Jose and the Bay Area in general, I never spotted anyone famous.

In all my visits to L.A. during the time I lived in San Jose (I used to go there as often as every few weeks), I never spotted anyone famous.

In Portland, I never saw anyone famous. (Karsten did: he was out with at some trendy bar and she spotted Courtney Taylor from the Dandy Warhols at the next table.)

In my year and a half in Nashville, I’ve seen John Hiatt picking up his luggage at the airport, Johnny Knoxville at Baja Fresh, and John Rich at On The Rocks. But that’s all.

What about the rest of you? What famous people have you randomly spotted out of context, just sipping coffee somewhere or buying dog food?

Out & About: Rob Wolf

Wednesday, July 28th, 2004

K&K out at Commodore Lounge to see Rob Wolf play. That guy is a fantastic performer! If you ever have the chance to see and hear him, don’t miss it.

Out & About: Writers’ Night hosted by Don Ellis

Tuesday, July 13th, 2004

Writers’ Night hosted by Don Ellis
[Don Ellis is a great guy and very entertaining host. We highly recommend his writers' nights if only so you can hear him do a spot-on impersonation of Neil Diamond, Tom Jones, Kenny Rogers, or Lee Greenwood.]
Cocktails Bar & Grill
[Cocktails is the lower level of Anthony's Showplace, which is a little strange. Only in Nashvegas do some of the hottest songwriters on the radio play a live show at a bar attached to a strip joint.]
408 George L. Davis Blvd. (Charlotte Ave. & I-40)
One block from NES downtown.
Phone number is 256-1130
8:00 to 10:00 PM No cover & free parking

This week’s lineup:

  • Andy Childs: In the last couple years, has been the lead singer for Warner Brothers’ Recording artists Sixwire, also recorded a solo album on RCA. A great singer songwriter.
  • Clint Daniels: This Universal South Recording artist has a big future ahead of him. See him up close and personal with his great original music. Has already penned hit songs like “Broken Heartsville” for Joe Nichols.
  • Greg Holland: This former Asylum Recording artist has been busy writing new songs for his future project. Hear him debut some of those songs. [We've heard Greg play. He's great. Not to be missed.]

Out & About: Margarita Monday

Monday, July 12th, 2004

K&K were seen schmoozing at Margarita Monday sponsored by PLA Media on 16th Ave.

Out & About: Open Door seminar

Saturday, June 26th, 2004

Open Door seminar at Hobo Joe’s

Out & About: Writers’ Night hosted by Don Ellis

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2004

K&K at Don Ellis’ writers night. Saw Michael Peterson play.

Out & About: ASCAP Writers Series

Monday, June 21st, 2004

ASCAP Writers Series

Out & About: Dani Carroll @ Bluebird

Friday, June 11th, 2004

K&K out to see Dani Carroll at the Bluebird Cafe with Reese Wilson and friends. Fantastic show!

Out & About: With songwriters from Chicago

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2004

K&K have lunch with Bob Osgood and Sam Cornett, two songwriters visiting from Chicago.

We met them at a meeting of the Chicago chapter of NSAI before we moved to Nashville. These guys are the greatest. We have every confidence that they have big things in store for them.

Out & About: Writers’ Night hosted by Don Ellis

Tuesday, June 1st, 2004

K&K out at Don Ellis’ writers night at Cocktails Bar & Grill.

Out & About: Writers’ Night hosted by Don Ellis with Dani Carroll

Tuesday, May 25th, 2004

K&K at Don Ellis’ writers night at Cocktails Bar & Grill. Saw Dani Carroll play again — we used to see her a lot at the Broken Spoke. Talked with her for a while afterwards, and she mentioned an upcoming show at the Bluebird. We’ll be there for sure!

Out & About: Writers’ Night hosted by Don Ellis

Tuesday, May 18th, 2004

K&K at Don Ellis’ writers night at Graham Central Station.

Out & About: Coffee talk with Joe Hendricks

Friday, April 30th, 2004

K&K met up with Joe Hendricks for coffee tonight at Fido to talk songwriting and networking in the music business. Joe is a wonderful performer and looks like he’s headed for great things.