Sunday, December 12, 2010
The Challenge: 1 carry-on bag for a 2-week trip to L.A. and N.Y.C. (from highs in the 70s to lows in the 20s).
2 black tank tops
1 flannel PJ bottoms
2 thin cardigan sweaters
1 wool peacoat
1 large silk scarf (Thanks, Maura!)
2 longsleeve shirts
4 pair socks
5 pair undies
1 silk slip
1 wool tights
1 black t-shirt (which i never wore)
1 wool hat
1 pair lined leather gloves
1 pair cowboy boots
1 pair tennis shoes
1 pair high heels
1 box of 20 CDs (in sleeves, not jewel cases)
1 makeup bag
2 pair jeans
1 pair red corduroys
1 handheld tape recorder (for ideas)
1 phone charger
1 camera cable
I wore the boots, cords, a tank, both cardigans, peacoat, and scarf on the plane, which turned out to be awesome because I was warm and had plenty of pillow action happening.
When I do this again, I will leave out 1 pair of jeans, 1 longsleeve shirt, and the tshirt. Done and done.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
1) Your Brain on Gadgets suggests it takes 3 days to detox from constant email-phone-berry-gadget checking, discusses the brain chemistry behind that behavior, and explains that all this stimulation could be robbing us of a more deeply fulfilling and meaningful life.
2) A film of poet/singer Tanya Davis' piece called "How to Be Alone" (sent to me by my good friend and resolute Merch Master, Christine. Thank you, Christine!) (note to the knitters out there... How did she make that bedspread?? Those must have been the longest circular needles known to man!)
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
You can hear us perform the song live at a FREE show this Tuesday, July 27th at Momo's in Austin, TX.
Co-writing seems to produce so much more than the sum of it's parts. It was like having twice as much horsepower. Having to communicate ideas to someone else during the songwriting process, as opposed to just thinking them or writing them down, made the process much more conscious - brought it into the light.
We would notice and appreciate things that the other person hadn't even realized she'd done.
Piano is Anna's main instrument and there is a nice full-sounding upright at the House of Songs. In the beginning, Anna played a few chords, I sang a couple of lines and then we filled in the rest together. It was thrilling to breathe life into the song, which could never have been written any other way.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
That's why I write everything down. Otherwise, it all just floats away. Maybe it stems from past vices (that's why they call it high school, right?) and constantly trying to lasso the last little drop out of every day, maybe missing the moments altogether.
This weekend, I get to write it all down with a Danish princess! (part of that sentence may not be true) Singer/songwriter/destiny-manifestor Troy Campbell turned his own existing relationships with Danish artists into an incredible opportunity for other Austin artists. The House of Songs is his collaboration with Danish songwriting guilds that brings Danish artists to Austin for a week of co-writing with local musicians.
My first songwriting session is this weekend, on Saturday. I'm excited to see how it goes... Trying not to have expectations, which usually turn out to be wrong, and nervous because I haven't finished a song in what feels like forever... But, in true form, I can't remember when.
Diversion: And why have I not finished a song in so long? There are lots of song pieces floating around in my heart and head, but I have been keeping so conveniently busy with gigs, finishing the new album, keeping up with webstuff and the Joneses, etc... If I am here on earth to write songs, sing them, and seek transcendent musical moments with other people, what the hell else am I really doing?
I have had three overriding concepts appear throughout my life. They're sketched in triangles through years of journals, over 30 books filled with my life in scribbles of various size, color, and direction across the pages. Music - God - Yoga. It also sometimes looks like Music - Prayer - Movement, or Music - Meditation - Dance. The Music never changes. It's my own personal trifecta. Whenever I stray from it, my life begins to fall apart.
Why so afraid to say what must be said?
I can't wait to see what comes flooding out when I am forced to break the dam.
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Except that I go through a stick of it every week or so and was starting to see it add up on my belly. So, I set out to find a substitute, wary that one could never be found.
Luckily, it didn't take me long because Wheatsville is awesome and the people who work there should win gold medals every day. If there were Erin's Choice Awards, everyone at Wheatsville would get one... and another one would go to...
I only had to try one other (totally disgusting) spread before going to Wheatsville and getting a recommendation for Earth Balance. I think her exact words were "I never thought I would find a butter substitute."
Queue "Earth Angel". Can you hear that tear of gratitude rolling down my cheek?
In completely unrelated news (if I may climb on my pedestal-topping high horse for a sec), when did the word "integral" start being pronounced "in-trick-al"??
Why did nobody run this by me for approval?
I do not approve, no more than I approve of saying "nu-cu-lar" instead of "nu-cle-ar". Just because George Bush set a bad precedent here does not make it okay.
Friday, July 02, 2010
a couple of extracts from my very short-lived foray into scrapbooking:
Amelia's round-the-world route and her passport:
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Once we sign off on the latest masters (which Brian, Maura, and I are listening through AT THIS MOMENT - they sound freaking awesome and I am psyched to share them with you SOON, dear readers!) the songs will then get assigned their final sequence on the CD, Renee Fernandez will do her amazing design thang, and then we'll be off to duplication.
Did you see the movie "Cyrus" with John C. Reilly, Marissa Tomei, and Jonah Hill? There's a great line when one of the guys passes a demo CD to the other and disclaims that it's not finished yet because it hasn't been mastered. And we laugh. Because that seems to be how it goes.
When people ask me when the release date for the new album is, I tell them "May 1, 2010." And we laugh. Because it's June.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Becoming better-kept at ROAR (starring the amazing Rory McNeil):
and ending the night with a set at Momo's, followed by Susanna Choffel (with the genius of Eddy Hobizal on keys):
Sunday, June 13, 2010
2 Years In - What I Learned My First Two Years in the Music Business*
I am a recovering Project Management consultant/cubicle monkey for non-profit , government, and Fortune 500 businesses and have been indie in the music business for (drumroll) two years. I have a lot to learn, but sure as hell know a lot more than when I started. So, here it is:
1. If God says yes, don't listen to people who tell you no. Even if that person is you. (Or, as DJ Kevin Connor once told me, "Don't let the fuckers get you down.")
2. ... but don't lash out at them, either. Don't act impulsively on bitterness, anger, or hurt feelings. You'll regret it.
3. Don't read about yourself. Just do your thing authentically and let the "scene" determine for itself where you fit into it.
4. Find your people and build a team around trust and communication. Don't rush or be delusional.
4.a. Don't delegate too soon, but don't be a control freak either.
5. Fight inertia. Unless you are a celebutante, you have to create your own career momentum from nothing, but once it's going, it starts to move on its own. (There's a careful balance between #3 and #5.)
6. Know your boundaries and protect them like a lioness (time, health, relationships, etc).
7. Constantly define and refine your vision of success. Most artists I know unconsciously do this anyway, so then just make it conscious. Write it down.
8. Morning pages work. (reference to The Artist's Way)
9. Ask for what you need.
10. Say thank you and write it down.
11. Understand that ANY path you choose will make you want to cry at some point, so cry. Then get back to work.
12. Use systems for record-keeping, finances, prioritizing work/emails/etc. that work for you and can grow with your business.
13. Remind yourself that THESE are the days you'll look back on saying, "Those were the days."
14. Trust your gut
15. Get a lawyer
16. Live small. You don't need all that crap if your heart is full.
*I wrote this last summer (2009) and forgot about it... Can't believe I've been working this fulltime musician status for three years!!
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Here's an attempt at the song order:
I got to sing at Room 5, which is a wonderful Hollywood listening room. Thanks to Emile for letting me borrow his beautiful Martin guitar:
Back in the day when the Room 5 building was the Swanee Inn, Nat Cole played there, too. His bright spirit resonates all over:
And, lastly, the weather here is reeeeally mild. I was all ready for summer down in Austin and this trip has me back in long sleeves again. But, I'm not really complaining:
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Trainer Christine Tusa - VERY gifted in repetitive stress & postural diagnosis/improvement, core training, pain management and prevention, etc. She calls it "pre-hab" and she blows my mind about my body every time I work with her.
ROAR Salon - Rory McNeil (color) and Janet St. James (style) save me from myself on a regular basis. Rory does the best color in town and Janet just moved from NYC where she styled a very impressive list of clients, but wanted a slower life pace, so now she's here! Seriously awesome talent at ROAR.
Graphic Designer Dave McClinton - Dave is a branding genius and is not afraid to tell it like it is. His crisp design aesthetic is the same way. We're working on a new erinivey.com design and I will (of course) let you know as soon as it launches.
Stylist Erica Gray - Erica flew in from NYC to style the very first "Live at The Long Center" performance in 2008. Since then, she has thankfully relocated to Austin and I use every excuse to work with her hair/makeup amazingness.
Graphic Designer Renee Fernandez - Renee is a true design artist. She makes all those posters that people take down from bulletin boards to frame in their living rooms.
Got a recommendation?
Who do YOU love?
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
How was L.A.?
My manager (Brian Conway) and I went out to Los Angeles to work with Emile Kelman (part of T-Bone Burnett's award-winning production team... think "Oh Brother Where Art Thou," Willie Nelson, Gregg Allman, Cassandra Wilson, Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, etc.). We brought all the recordings that The Finest Kind and I (drums, bass, keys, and vocals) made over a day and a half in November in the beautiful East Austin Recording studio (owned by producer Stephen Doster and engineer James Stevens).
Through Brian's fearless "the-worst-they-can-say-is-no" ingenuity, Emile agreed to arrange and mix the album, though outside his normal role. He would maximize our recordings by polishing up the sound while maintaining the raw integrity of the original performances. We like his style.
From February 15th to March 1st, we were in Emile's Beverly Hills studio (The Night Kitchen) every day and into the night. The work required a lot of intense listening, which is a lot more tiring than it appears. It was amazing to watch and hear Emile work. I grew to really trust his ears and his taste, so things moved faster once I got out of his way. It was a great lesson. Like a vision quest, we hibernated in the studio for weeks with a visionary teacher, coming out of it with music that sounds better than I could ever have imagined. Emile took our recorded performances and made them worthy of being played over and over and over on your favorite stereo.
What happens next?
The basic flow of making an album goes like this:
We're between steps 3 and 4 right now. Emile suggested that we not listen to any of the mixes for 2 weeks after our sessions in L.A. Then, we'll revisit the songs once our palates have cleared. We'll make sure they sound like we want them to and move on from there to the mastering phase. We'll have mastering engineer Gavin Lurssen put the finishing polish on the album before we duplicate it and release it to you! Of course, we'll also be working with the incredible Renee Fernandez of Decoder Ring Design on the package design and liner notes in the coming weeks.
When can I buy the new album?
NOW! You can pre-order the new album and enjoy all sort of extra goodies while supporting the effort to finish the CD and get it released into the world. We're shooting for a June/July national release, but anyone who pre-orders will get it a month early (among other things)! Go pick out your pre-order package and tell your art-loving friends!!!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Monday, February 08, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
i'm making a new record (with The Finest Kind organ trio) inspired by the spirit of the Kaleidoscope Project!
we're also playing regularly at The Ghost Room (which is a beautiful venue run by folks who know and love good music; great vibe, incredible sound system).
come see us!