pale beneath the blue

Road stories and more from singer/songwriter, pale beneath the blue.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Days 10 and 11

So, I don't even know what happened to Day 10. The time flew by as we had to pick up our "new" used car. Very exciting. So, exciting that I totally forgot to practice. The good thing is that I really missed my keyboard.

For Day 11, I still only got to spend about 40 minutes practicing, but I had some interesting ideas about how to use some of the new sounds with old songs. I learned how to add one of the sounds in with the piano so I can play them both at the same time. Probably not very practical, but I at least learned something.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Day 9

I just spent an hour and a half on the keyboard trying to learn how to create a rhythm pattern or change the tempo of a preset rhythm. I certainly haven't mastered it but am making progress. Oh, and I finally found the EXIT button. I don't know how I missed that the first few days of playing, but I'm thrilled to finally find it.

Been teaching James' son, Alex, Paul McCartney's "Blackbird" on the guitar. In case you don't know, I hate finger-picking. I've been trying to force myself to learn it and really understand tablature (guitar sheet music), but I don't know how far I'll get. It's not my thing. What is my thing is rocking out on electric with the distortion pedal. Only few of you have seen that thus far, but I'm hoping that it will happen more often in the new year.

I'm heading to Viper Room Cincy tonite to see my friends Beau Alquizola and Whitney Barricklow. I don't get to just go watch other people perform often enough.
Until tomorrow,

Monday, December 26, 2005

Day 8

So, I spent some time with my new toy today. Just like any new relationship, I'm still trying to figure out what happens when I push each individual button. Personally, I think I'm playing better than ever and my ideas are endless. But I'm struggling with recording my ideas. (That's the sequencer part of it.) Usually, I press a button, record what I want and then press stop when I'm finished and it asks if I want to save it or not. I could even play it back and decide if it was good enough. Now I have to do something with a shift key and F2 or something to clear the temporary memory and then F8 to execute, except it doesn't actually work that way because something changed since they printed the manual. Unlike the computer, there's no back button so I can't get back to where I was if I went somewhere I didn't plan on going--like when you type in instead of . I think we've all made that mistake at least once.

At any rate, I'm slowly figuring it out, but I'm just hoping that it doesn't hinder my creative process. I've even thought that I would hook-up the old keyboard just to get notes down and saved and then I could go back and work on them more on the new keyboard with the sounds that I want to use. It's quite a pain, so I guess I'm hoping that I catch on soon.

Watched Zoolander tonite--it was one of my Christmas presents. Oh my, Lenny Kravitz is a handsome man. And I never noticed that Vince Vaughn is one of Derek's brothers who works in the coal mine. He doesn't even have one line. Great hair though.

Hope you all are enjoying some time off,

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Day 7

Did everyone have a good Christmas? I did. It was great to see the family and have lunch with my 94 year old grandma who is still in good health. Did anyone get anything good?

Well, I got some great presents...a new scarf, a new sweater that I had been wanting, lots of gift cards. But most exciting was that I got to sit down at the new keyboard, hook it up, and start to figure out all the cool features. I got through the first 30 sounds and even recorded a little something. I think that the sequencer part of the X7 is going to be much more involved than the Kurzweil. But I'll figure out a way that will work best for me. It will just take some time. I heard lots of possibilities. I can't wait to really get writing.

More tomorrow,

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Days 5 and 6

Well, things are a little hectic with the holidays, but James and I were able to get the firewire interface hooked up yesterday. That was about it as far as music goes--there was some shopping and working and watching of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, though I didn't even see the whole thing. Then I made my homemade cinnamon rolls. This is the only time of the year that I transform into Suzie Homemaker.

As for today, I've got a real piano to play at my mom's house. That's quite a treat. Mom asked if I could play O Holy Night on the guitar. I think that I worked it out last year, but I never actually played it for anyone--guess I'll go practice.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Day 4--Merry Christmas to Me

So, I didn't practice today, though I should have since I had a gig this evening. Anyway, I'm trying to do a little somthing everyday to improve so today, I went to Sam Ash and bought a new keyboard!!!! Can't really afford it, but have been needing one for a while (those of you who've heard my other one freak out can understand.) I haven't even opened it yet, but I'm really looking forward to it, especially since one of the inputs on my Kurzweil (it's almost 12 years old now) died at my gig tonite. I think it was jealous of the new Roland X7.
I also picked up a little something to do some home recording with. That will probably take a little while to get up and running, but I'll get to it asap. Merry Christmas to me, Merry Christmas to me...

Thanks to Kaldi's, Eric Falstrom, and everyone who came out. What a fun time. Just sad we didn't really go caroling--next year for sure.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Day 3

Yea! I practiced this morning. Well, I practiced piano...some Karen Carpenter and a little Mr. Grinch for fun. I've been working on Merry Christmas, Darling for years now and with all it's Bm7 and D9 and Am7/G chords, every year I struggle through it. If you don't know what that means, don't feel bad--I'm not certain that I ever get it right.

Tonite I went to a caroling party and realized that I have managed to forget all the words to all the traditional songs we sang as kids. I also realized that I really don't love Christmas carols and the reason that we only sing the first verse is because the next 5 use words that are no longer used in the English language (i.e. upsort?)

Anyway, it certainly felt a little more like Christmas, but I think that once you grow up and have to spend money and wrap things, and cook and clean and run all over the place, a little of the magic is lost. Tomorrow, we'll try to spend some time enjoying the holiday.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Day 2

Didn't accomplish as much as I had hoped today. But I did work on the solo (and I don't ever solo) to the Green Day song and practiced some Rhett Miller (Old 97's). Hoping that I'll get to sit at the keyboard tomorrow, but it's going to be tough with all the holiday hoopla. The good thing is, that I don't like admitting to the world that I'm not accomplishing what I set out to do. Hopefully, it will keep me in check.


Monday, December 19, 2005

On the Wagon...

So, today, I broke out the guitar and learned the chords to Green Day's "When I Come Around." I didn't want to challenge myself too awfully much on my first day. I also worked a Liz Phair song, off Whitechocolatespaceegg that I want to spend some more time with soon. I've got this Phantom Planet song that I want to learn for Thursdays show at Kaldi's. Hmmm, I just have to find it somewhere...

Lions, Witches, and Wardrobes

Here's my recent review of the Chronicles of Narnia film at I'm trying to write something every week for them while also keep up with my duties as singer/songwriter. I think that I'm failing miserably at both so I'll be starting a new series here. I'll be keeping you up-to-date with my new years resolution to write, practice, and find some new band members.

Since it takes 21 days to start a new habit, I want to get started as quickly as possible...
Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Ron Jeremy in my inbox--What!?

Just got this email:

Bands needed for RON JEREMY's "Rockstar Players Ball"
Sunday January 29th Hi Fi Concert Club
Hi Fi Concert Club and Hardcore Marketing, Inc. are looking for bands to play the “ROCKSTAR PLAYERS BALL" hosted by non other than 'The Hedgehog' himself RON JEREMY!
RON JEREMY, arguably the most noted and well known male adult superstar, will be on hand at the Hi Fi Concert Club hosting the first ever Rockstar Players Ball. RON JEREMY will be introducing select bands and also doing stand up. That's right, RJ himself will be on-stage doing a comedic routine while bands are setting up and tearing down.

Also during the evening there will be KY Wrestling and a Wet T Shirt Contest.
This show will sell out and their are only a limited quantity of tickets available for pre sale.
All participating bands will be included in all print and radio advertisements. Flyers will be available for bands to promote and HM, Inc. street team will also be utilizing these items to promote.
If you are interested please email BOTH: and

Would love to do this because it would be so "surreal."

We Interrupt This Program to Bring You a Severe Weather Alert...

We're getting an inch of snow. Can you believe that the news folks feel the need to make such a big deal about it? These people would be fired if they worked in Minnesota or even Cleveland. What is their problem--it's just snow.

Anyway, it is freezing and I'm stuck at home today anyway, so I guess I'll try to book some shows and work on some piano basics. I'm really wanting to improve my skills and try some new things in my writing and live show for the new year. I've got lots of interesting things in mind and can't wait to work through them and see if they are as cool as they sound in my head.

Enjoy the weather and I hope that you all get some time this season to just lie around the house and do whatever you enjoy. We need that sometimes.


Monday, December 12, 2005

Whirlwind Weekend of Shows and Rude Cops

It's been crazy, I think I counted that I sang a total of 7 hours from Friday to Sunday. Happy to have the opportunities but a little tired, no less.

The Christmas party on Saturday night was a blast. I had very deep discussions with Dale Johnson and Luke Pace (The Terrors) and enjoyed some great live music from the Minni-Thins, The Newbees, and The Terrors. It was fun to have Jimmy King behind the kit that night before he jetted off to go play a show with his cover band. And Jeans and I held down the rest of it. It was a little rough getting started and then, the power went off. That was entertaining. Thought we might have to play a very quiet and short acoustic guitar set, but someone figured it out and got things up and running.

So, maybe I was a little tired and in hurry and frustrated that neither myself nor Alycia can carry much, but I accidently left my van out front at Borders (Deerfield) a little longer than usual so I could get paid (aka free mocha latte) and came out to find a Sherriff's car behind mine. He didn't have his lights on, so I figured that I should probably leave since I needed to get to work anyway. But as I'm getting in my car I hear, "Ma'am, come back here," over the bullhorn. Are you kidding me? Have I committed some sort of criminal offense? I was asked for my license which I said was in the car. I was told to get it. Now, I'm still on one crutch, mind you, and when I took him my license I was told, "You can go have a seat. This will be a minute." I explained to him that we had been loading music equipment and that I was in a hurry to get to work. "I'll make this as quick as I can." He finally did get out of his car to bring me my license and my ticket for being parked in a prohibited area. Gee thanks, Mister. But I wasn't parked, I was loading--"This isn't up for discussion. Just call the number on the front, here to pay the fine or show up in court on this day." Oh, thank you, Sir, for protecting our suburb from evil gimpy musicians who can't load their equipment from the parking lot. My family and friends will be fine without Christmas presents again this year, because we have each other. God bless us, Everyone! Grrr.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Snow Emergency FREE Publicity

When I was naming the new Christmas EP, I never thought about what might happen if we actually had a big snow storm. It's been amusing to see the words "Snow Emergency" all over the television. We haven't even had that much snow, but I do know that it took James over 2 hours to get home from work.

Hope that all of you are safe and warm on this messy night. See you on tv in the morning since all the schools have cancelled--xoxo,

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Billbored Music Awards

Are you kidding me? Why do we need all these lame awards shows to tell the people who are already making millions of dollars that they are so great? Then let's put LL Cool J in charge because the kids all know him...then we'll have really crappy sound for all the live bands except for Green Day...and we'll play the Gorillaz song until everyone is completely burned out on it. Sounds great. Yeah, let's tune in.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

thanks for fighting the ice

A big thanks to my new best friend Tim Jones who brought all, well maybe not all, but some of his friends out to Kofenya last night. We weren't sure how the roads were going to be, but got there fine. Then I almost fell down as soon as I got out of the van. Of course, it was the one night when I didn't have my second crutch (though I don't know that it mattered.)

I had a pleasant evening playing in Oxford with Willie Lempert sitting in on the drums. I'm still in shock that he just jumped in and followed without knowing half of the songs. Hopefully we will see more of him. And I hope that Patrice and Jeans start feeling better and can get back to normal life soon.

See you on tv--much love,

Saturday, December 03, 2005


I've been slacking on my blogging, I know, but the team and I have been working really hard to get the music to the people. Hope you are all enjoying it. We've been very fortunate to be getting some great local press as well as radio folks who are willing to have us on. I had the good fortune of finally meeting Rev Cool from WYSO last night. I used to listen to him when I lived in Dayton so it was a pleasure to finally get to do the show. The Rev was having a bit of a rough day and I was rushed and got there barely on time so it was probably one of the more interesting radio experiences I've had. If you've never done it, being on the air live is somewhat know there are people out there but you can't see them (television is worse, but I'll talk about that later). The whole evening was a blur, but I remember at one point thinking, "what in the heck are we talking about?" Both of us were just rambling about, I don't even know what. I do remember talking a little about his step daughter whose car was crushed when a semi fell on it. She somehow escaped without a scratch. Then we were trying to figure out if that made her lucky or unlucky. I guess she was interviewed on the Today Show and the Morning Show and apparently she threw up before the Today Show appearance so that was the better one. I'm just glad she was okay.

I did find out that Rev Cool loves Japanese Pop. He played Puffy Amiyumi as we discussed how 6 year old boys love the band. I think that between the cd and live performance we played everything from the disc and more. That was the longest in-studio interview I've ever had. I guess I'm working up to be on Acoustic Cafe or some NPR program...hmmm I better go brush up on my catty come back skills.