Browsing Archives for February 2008

The Library Arrives

February 29th, 2008

Our library has arrived.

I was at first, somewhat mystified.

Evidently, I overlooked the small box at the end of the order form that said…complete library.

Though everything seems to be in very good order, with plenty of nooks and whatnots, and bins and cubbies, and higglyjoints and sputknacks…it seems that it did not have any…


I sprang into action!

Searching for the perfect book, the exact right one, to bless this humble library. The perfect book to first grace the shelves. To set the tone. To determine the character of this space for all time memorial!

I knew exactly where to go. A book of immense wisdom…unerring moral fiber. A book that nurtured me as I grew and taught me right from wrong. A book… actually many books…assembled into a flawless, seamless, whole. Where I still look for guidance and support and courage and fortitude. And I am never disappointed.

Nancy Drew

Of course.

This is my favorite cover.

Now that I have the sacred texts in place, I can move onto the lesser titles.

Secret Songs Chapter Two

February 28th, 2008

Two years ago, I began a long and winding process of making a new record. I recorded the CD in Kansas City with dear friend and master musician, Steve Phillips, whose Celtic Rock band The Elders totally rocks the house!

Before Steve was the scorching lead guitar player for The Elders, he was the scorching lead guitar player for The Rainmakers. Anyone remember that band? They had a few hits back in the late 80′s. Anyone remember the 80′s? It was a strange time period in US history known mostly for the height of women’s bangs and the vertically striped shirt dresses with wide cinch belts worn by men and women alike. Oh…and stirrup pants.

I had to record this CD with Steve, because not only is he a scorching guitar player, he also plays just about every other instrument known to man. This allowed me the flexibility of having the sound of a band on my record without all the troublesome drugs, alcohol and unwashed greasy hair of an actual band. Although, Steve and I did occasionally partake of the illicit narcotic known as almond croissant from Napoleon’s Bakery, we did not inhale. Okay, I inhaled, but Steve did not.

Over the course of about nine months, I drove to K.C. every two weeks and worked on the new CD. It was so fun and such a wonderful break for me to get away and do something musical. I was lucky enough to talk a few old songwriting buddies to sing and/or play on the record as well. Forrest Whitlow and David Hakan both appear on the new record, as well as a chorus of impromptu writers from the area on the tune “Happy Birthday Me.”

After many deletes and overdubs, and places where Steve carefully pieced together the vocals of Celine Dion on top of my guitar playing so that my vocals could at least sound good in a few spots, we finished the CD. I brought the master recording home and tenderly placed it on a dusty shelf in a dark closet for the ripening process.

And there it sat, waiting for me to get my act together, create a cover and get it duplicated. Except that we had started to build a house. And I was kind of distracted by that project. And then I lost the very necessary element of MOMENTUM. And then I felt stupid that I had put it off for so long. And then I started doubting. And then I got distracted again. And then stupid. And then doubt. And then distracted. Stupid, doubt, distracted, stupid, doubt, distracted. This is basically the pattern for my entire life. In fact – maybe I should change the name of this blog to STUPID… DOUBT… DISTRACTED… But with the record it was a wee bit harder.

First there was Steve, who knew about the record and who wondered if I was ever going to maybe actually finish it. Then there were the other songwriters who were on the record and who thought they at least should get a copy for their trouble. And then there were a few people who I had promised copies of this record to, years ago when I first started thinking about making one. So a few weeks ago I took another crucial step towards the completion of this record.

I contacted a graphic designer named David Gnojek. Mr. Gnojek (Guh Noy Yak) is related to me by marriage two or three times removed. It is like he is married to the daughter of the sister of the Country Doctor making him my “nephew in law”, but since I am far too young to have nephews that could be old enough to be professional graphic designers, something is clearly messed up. ANYWAY – Dave is one of those extremely talented, nice, humble, kind, VEGAN, decent people who for some reason I can’t explain, makes me feel like poking their eyes out. It is one thing to be nice and good and VEGAN. But it is a whole other thing to be nice, good, vegan, AND TALENTED!!! However, if I poked his eyes out he would not have been able to design my CD cover, and I really needed him to do that. You can go visit his design blog here. Live it up now Dave – eyes being poked out soon.

Dave did a beautiful job designing this record. But as with most things that I am involved in, I actually did most of the work. Well – I had all the GOOD ideas. Okay, okay – I sent him a few photos, which he put together and created some really cool fonts and made it look right and somehow captured the spirit of this record without EVEN listening to it! How’s that for magic? How easy will that be to do once you don’t have any eyeballs Dave? Will you be so Mister Magic then Dave? Don’t think so…

So if you are actually still reading this post of giddy insanity, you can go and listen to my new record at CD Baby. MY NEW RECORD!!! WOOHOO!!! MY NEW RECORD!!!

I have a NEW RECORD!!! DID I TELL YOU THAT I HAVE A NEW RECORD!!! HOLY FREAKIN’ FREAK BALLS I HAVE A NEW RECORD!!! It is making me a little giddy and kind of feel like my blood is full of fizzy Seven-Up with maybe a few ounces of gin too.

“Future Folk Star of the Universe”

P.S. For those of you who are interested in the record, but would prefer to download MP3′s, that option will hopefully be available in a few days.  I will be sure to let you know.  

Secret Songs Chapter One

February 26th, 2008

While in college. I made the unfortunate mistake of learning how to play the guitar. It really could not be helped. I was a resident assistant in a fine arts dorm, it was the nineties, and you had three choices. Dye your hair black and go goth, hole up in the studio and draw, or you could carry around a guitar case.

This was an easy choice for me. I found the whole goth thing deeply disturbing, I can’t draw to save my life, so I went with the guitar. And strangely, it took. I mean I actually learned how to play. Not like a real guitar player…like John Mayer… or some other real guitar player, but I did learn. I learned how to play chords and how to finger pick and how to do a few scales. I mostly learned by sitting around with other guitar players and learning one little trick at a time. Slowly, I started to play whole songs, familiar songs, songs I knew. I wasn’t really playing them – but I was figuring out the chords and trying to do interesting things in between the chords. Then I started writing my own songs.

I know – I know – UGH! Is there anything worse than someone writing their own songs? But I had no intention of ever playing these tunes for anyone else. They were my little secret. I played them when I was completely alone, very quietly, in hushed tones. I don’t remember any of those early songs but I am sure they were pure crap. They were full of angst and gut tearing stupidity. I remember one of them was called “Jesus is Bigger” and the first line went like this… “Jesus is bigger than state policy… Jesus is bigger than my boss and my job.”


That was a very serious song!

I had a boyfriend back then who was a musician. He played the cello and also the guitar and he wrote songs all the time. He was kind of flashy about it. He actually made other people, including me, listen to his songs. He was a huge Bob Dylan fan so his songs usually sounded like Dylan tunes. They all had six billion verses and I usually dozed off before the end, snapping to wakefulness as I head the last strum. I did not even play my songs for the boyfriend… at first…then I got stupidly emboldened by his flaunting his songs all over the place, so I played a few for him. My songs were better than his, only because they were SHORTER! This sad fact eventually led to our break up. Not really – actually he dumped me for a much better songwriter and the two of them got married and formed a band that got signed to a real label and everything. She did have an incredible voice. I think they might have made it, if he had let her be the star, but he was just not the kind of guy that could do that, last I heard – the band had broken up.

Anyway – I started writing and singing and eventually made the ridiculous decision to make my own record. That is what you say if you are in the biz. You say “make a record”. You do not say “make a CD”. No one “makes a CD”. You make a record. So I made a record. One of the songs on the record was called “Whatever Happened to Nancy Drew” which was a song about guess…no, guess…can you guess?.. Yeah – it was about Nancy Drew and whatever happened to her… Because I love Nancy… very much… she is my hero. So I named this record “Famous Girl Detective” and then I had to shoot a cover for it.

To shoot the cover, I decided that I would pose as Nancy on a case. I bought some really cute vintage outfits and convinced my sister to take some pictures of me in these outfits doing some typical Nancy Drew things… you know, like sleuthing. I basically had to drag April by her hair to get her to take these photos. I don’t know why she was so resistant other than the fact that she is just a general pain in the butt, but once we got going, we had a good time. Or at least, I had a good time. As you can see from the pictures.

Here is Nancy chasing down some hard core criminals.
Elegant and graceful even when in a hurry!

Here is Nancy creeping on stone in vintage plaid.

Here is Nancy hunting… for fossils?

Oh dear! Nancy is either crying or laughing.
But Nancy was so serious and so dedicated!
How can she be laughing when there are people to save
and bad guys to catch?!?

Oh thank goodness! A change of outfits and she is back on track! But she does seem a bit confused. It would appear she does not know which way to go.

What? Belly laugh with penny loafers and magnifying glass?

Nancy! Pull yourself together!

This is a bit more Martha Stewart than Nancy Drew.

And this one is pure Rechelle. A much younger, skinnier, vintage version, but me none the less. I love Nancy Drew, but I could never rise to her lofty heights. Just not serious enough.