pale beneath the blue

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

Monday, January 30, 2006

Is the Internet in jeopardy?

I got this from my friend Andy Valeri in Dayton, OH. I wanted to pass it along so that you can at least be informed. If you have any other information regarding this issue, please feel free to post a comment or email me.


Telecommunications companies like AT&T and Verizon are lobbying Congress for the right to control where you go on the Internet, how fast you get there, and how much you pay for the service. To see what some brazen telecom execs had to say, and to send them a message about how you feel about the Internet, go to:

Please forward this message to friends and family. If we generate heat at this stage in the debate, it could really pay off as telecom legislation works its way through Congress.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Thank you Columbus, OH!

We had a blast in Columbus last night with three amazing bands--Langus, Rayburn, and Ryan Smith and The Agency. The crowd was stoked, the music was thumping, we had some friends there, and made some new ones. Of course, Trice and I had to make our traditional Taco Bell run in between sets and had some interesting conversations including urinating outside at hippie festivals, and someone thought I said "lap dance" instead of "Lactaid" and well, you can imagine the rest of the evening.

A huge thanks to Ryan, Alex/Felix, Mr. Inappropriate, and everyone who was there, for a great night.
Love you all,

Friday, January 27, 2006

It's the little things...

I woke up this morning, still in and out, not ready to get out of bed, when a thought came into my mind. I grabbed my journal and started writing the chorus to a song. Then I had an idea for an opening line. In about 8-10 minutes I had an entire song. I love when that happens. The interesting thing is that I've been really frustrated all week and couldn't figure out why or where it came from. There's someone in my life that I've had no desire to talk for about 5 days. I knew I wasn't mad at him really, just no real desire to say anything to him at all, nor really anyone else, but some of you have been able to pull me into conversations.

So, I thought I was done with the song and then some more things were coming so I wrote it all down and realized that the last time I spoke with him, he cut me off mid-sentence. That was it. Forget it, I'm done. It wasn't even a big deal, but he does this all the time. He's not really listening to me--his mind wanders and so it doesn't matter what I'm saying. If he has a thought that seems important at the time, he speaks. And because he wasn't listening, he doesn't even realize that he's doing it. Meanwhile, I feel extremely unimportant. Normally, I'd probably just give him a hard time and go on, but with the leg not healing, the keyboard driving me crazy, being broke and not leaving the house to work, I was beginning to lose my mind.

What is more sad, I think, is that I can totally talk about him in a public forum because he will never read this. He knows this blog exists but doesn't care to surf over to see what I'm up to. He's never even seen . Again, he knows it's there. Is that bad? Or just expected after we've known each other for 9 years?


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Roland Tech Support and Bob Guiney

I finally did it. I broke down and called the stupid tech support folks from Roland about the keyboard. I was ready to take the thing back because though it has some really cool features, there were a lot of things I couldn't figure out, like how to record and save a song. Shouldn't be that hard and why put a sequencer in something if you can't save what you record? Well, come to find out, it's a little wierd, but it's possible and I'm sure will become easier with time. At least I hope so.

I also did (musician code for "recorded") a guitar track for "Riding Through Indiana in a Pontiac" today. I wasn't in the mood to sing though so that was it. But I'm thinking it needs piano on it too. Then this evening, I headed down to the Poison Room to hand out some flyers for Tuesdays show. I love that place. Fortunately the smoke wasn't bad so I could hang out for a while. I finally got to see Buckra after years of waving to them at music conferences around the country. After that was Bob Guiney aka Bachelor Bob from "The Bachelor." I, of course, never watched him on the show but have run across him on Oprah, The View and other such things. He's cute and cuddly looking in real life too. The music is what you'd expect--kinda Matchbox 20 or any other random band that you sing along to on your FM dial. I was sorta hoping it would be a train wreck--just to make me feel better about myself--but it was pretty descent. He's got a nice voice for what he was doing, surprisingly high for a man, but it works.

He or someone from the club ordered a bunch of LaRosa's pizzas. I don't know if it was a ploy to get folks to stick around, but it didn't work and they have massive amounts of pizza to contend with. I just enjoyed watching "Anchorman" on all the TVs while watching a band. Watching Jack Black punt the dog off the bridge made me chuckle. I needed that.

Until tomorrow--

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Still practicing and with Patrice, too

Yep, I sat down in front of the keyboard last night, while everyone else in the house was cackling at American Idol, I was doing part to not suck this weekend. And, work on some new things, too. So, that was yesterday, at least. Today, I was sitting at the keyboard trying to figure out the sequencer and try to understand it better when I got the phone call. I was suddenly on family duty. No emergency really, but someone needed help that only I could give them. I hate having to be responsible. But I got up and drove 66 miles so I wouldn't get blamed for the rest of my life. Then I went to visit my dad. Then I went to my mom's house and mooched food from her. Then I went to a Mary Kay party at Patrice's, and at 11p, we got to run over some new songs. Finally. Hopefully, we'll have a couple new things for you this weekend in Columbus, and more coming soon.

Love to all,

Monday, January 23, 2006

Shows, Caffeine stupor and more

The weekend was chuck full of good shows to be at and I was fortunate enough to spend time with some great folks in Eaton and Cincinnati. Friday was an interesting show since it was my first with the new keyboard. A little disappointing because I've practiced, but there were so many tunes (brand new, old, covers) that I couldn't remember anything. Thank you to Tim Jones and Mark Bell for bringing out their friends to be with Patrice and I.

Saturday was lovely. The worst part of being a performer is that you are always performing and don't get to see your friends' shows anymore. So, I was thrilled that Tod Weidner (shrug) came out to Rohs Street to share the evening with me. A good time was had by all.

So, Sunday I had planned to do a lot of things but was exhausted from drinking coffee late Friday night ( it was very tasty) and then not getting any sleep. I was going to record a little jingle I made up at 4a Saturday, but couldn't get the recording stuff to work right. I ended up making dinner instead--that doesn't happen very often.

What did you do this weekend?

Friday, January 20, 2006

Oops! The days are flying by

I have actually been practicing. I even learned two new covers on piano. I've just also been writing this week. You can find a review of the Shrug disc, "Whole Hog for the Macho Jesus" and also an interview with Shrug frontman, Tod Weidner, at . That was lots of fun, but hard work. Not used to cranking something out that quickly.

So, tonite is my first show with the new keyboard. I'm a little concerned since I've been really frustrated with the sequencer aspect (that's how you record and make drum loops and such) and I'm considering exchanging it. I need to hurry and decide and it took me 2 weeks to decide on a refrigerator and then I chickened out and didn't buy it. I'm not good with decisions and especially not quick decisions.

At any rate, I've got some new things planned and looking forward to being out and about, though I'll be missing some great shows tonite. The Star Killers are playing, Backseat Virtue, and a bunch of others. Can't wait until tomorrow's show with Tod Weidner at Rohs Street. I hope that some folks come out. If you've never seen him, you will not be disappointed. He's an amazing talent.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I must admit.../ Sam Ash and Practicing

Yea, so I didn't practice yesterday, but instead I interviewed Tod Weidner of Shrug. He's one of my favorite songwriters. Hopefully, the review of their new disc will be up on tomorrow. I'll keep you posted.

Today was a new day though. I finished a course on before I even got out of bed this morning. I worked on writing the Shrug article. Then I went to Sam Ash to get a case for my keyboard and my salesman, Jon Rohs, was busy so I sat down in the keyboard room and practiced. I actually made some progress on the new song so I worked on it more when I got home. Still struggling with the chorus. But then I started practicing for this weekend's shows. Then I got interrupted, but when I got back at it, I played lots of guitar songs. Nearly everything I know. It feels good to just play sometimes. Looking forward to being out again this weekend and I can't wait to see you all.

Much love,

ps--Blame Ray Bigelow for the snow. He was playing Snow Emergency yesterday to get the snow to come.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Colts lose/24 Season Premier

Interesting day. I took a nice long walk, something I haven't done since sometime in November. It felt good to be out and feel the sun shining on my three layers of clothing making me very, very warm. I enjoyed it anyway.

I did take some time to work at the piano today and then worked on my lyrics after watching the last 14 minutes of the Colts/Steelers game, which was painful. I'm a Steelers fan, but was rooting for the Colts since my doctor is in Indy--I feel like I have some sort of bond with them. Plus, I don't know if they've ever even been to the Super Bowl. At least Manning was able to get through the entire game without losing any body parts. They'll be back next year.

If you didn't know, I'm a huge fan of the tv show 24. I've been looking forward to the premier for several weeks now. So, we had a little 24 Viewing Party at the condo with some popcorn and goodies. We sat on the floor on blankets so we could also eat and before I knew it, 2 hours had passed. Great stuff. Thanks again, Keifer and I'm looking forward to the next two hours tomorrow night. Just sad that President Palmer is no longer with us. I wanted to vote for him in the last election.

Well, hope everyone is having a great long weekend.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Learn Rock Guitar

It's amazing, but after you've been playing guitar for about 6 years or so, you can get through a beginners "Learn Rock Guitar" book in one evening. I guess it's good to know that I've learned a few things over the years. The question is now, should I get the next level book to make sure I didn't miss anything, or just move on the level I'm actually in? They could be one in the same which would be a bit disappointing. Hmmmm, what to do.

I did work on my lyrics some more too, but I didn't really get anywhere. I'm really stressed out about the leg right now so I feel like I'm not accomplishing much of anything. I have to totally immerse myself in something to forget about it. I did do some crutch-assisted tap dancing today. That was fun. Oh, and I posted new x-rays today at .

Much love,

Friday, January 13, 2006

Home Studio

I was supposed to leave the house around 11a today to run errands and get things done. Instead, I got in the shower a little after 1p. I started messing with an all vocal version of "Unrelenting." I don't think it would ever work necessarily, but it was interesting to try. I'm still trying to figure out the software I have and that was half the problem. The rest of the time I was just attempting different things to see what worked and what didn't. I also did background vocals for "indie kid." Let's just say, I haven't figured out the effects or the volume, but I can at least get something recorded.

I'm hoping to sit down tomorrow and rewrite the lyrics I've been working on...just make another pass and see if something comes together a little better. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but I always know when it's not right yet. I'm having issues with the chorus still. And the prechorus. I'll keep you posted.

Have a great weekend--see a show,

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Studio Today

Spent most of the day at with Erwin Musper and Knob Overlord, Adam Pleiman. Fortunately I didn't have to do much except make decisions, Ryan Child got to make all the noise. Pretty fun. We added cello to:

White Wedding

I'm tired and am still dealing with my new song. I'm hoping to rewrite the chorus tomorrow and see if that will fix it.
Must sleep,

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

All Music, All Day

So, the day began with me being afraid to go to the basement. What I didn't explain yesterday is that I wrote these really cool lyrics, but I couldn't find any music to go with them. I went to bed tired and frustrated and then couldn't sleep because I wanted to finish the song. But this morning, I wasn't in any hurry to try it, because I didn't want to fail. So, instead, I spent the first 2 1/2 hours of my day playing cover songs (just in case I want to cross over to the dark side sometime.) Then I took a shower and went to the keyboard. Fortunately, the first thing I really tried was closer. Next, I refined my chord structure and voila--a new song. I think. I still have to come up with lyrics for the prechorus section, but other than that, it's not bad.

Personally, I'm just thrilled that I had an idea all by myself, at least lyrically. And if it sounds too Postal Service on the keys, then I can switch it to guitar and sound like any number of female acoustic acts. Eventually, I'll play it out and we'll see what everyone thinks.

I did take a little break to work on booking, write some reviews for, and make homemade chocolate chip cookies. But the rest of the day was all practicing and figuring out what we're doing in the studio tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Dictionary Jubilation

So, I've been a little frustrated that I've been spending time practicing but not really writing anything new. I listened to the new Shrug disc, Whole Hog for the Macho Jesus, for just a few minutes today and felt compelled to sit down with the dictionary. Songwriter, Tod Weidner, is one of the most eloquent folks I've ever run across and he makes it sound sooooo effortless. I feel as if I've been trying too hard.

I put it off and put it off and then decided, literally, to get out my dictionary. Besides, Dale Johnson used the word indignant the other day, describing me, and I wasn't exactly positive that I knew what he meant. I've got one of those Thumb-ease Pocket Dictionaries from eons ago that I refuse to give up. As soon as I opened it, it was like a whole new world opened up. Kind of like Dorothy dreaming in Technicolor instead of the plain old black and white she was used to. I had forgotten how much I was missing. Words are to me as paint is to what?

I've been extremely busy with shows, booking, promoting, learning the keyboard, practicing guitar and everything else that needs done, that I had lost sight of my first love. We've decided to see each other on a regular basis and if that works, we'll exchange keys.

What's your first love?

Monday, January 09, 2006

I don't know if I really did it...

I'm not positive that I formed the habit of pricticing over the past 21 days so I'm still working it. So, for all of you who are on crappy diets and forcing yourself to grow and change, I did force myself to play guitar today. I didn't feel like it. I got some not-so-great news at the doctor and was feeling a bit sorry for myself all day. But if you can do it, so can I. Thanks for your inspiration.

So, if you believe in prayer at all, now would be a good time to get practiced up. Please pray that my leg heal quickly so I don't lose another year having surgery.

Thanks and I'll post the X-rays tomorrow if they look okay.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Days 20 and 21

Saturday I spent about 45 minutes trying to work on the song from the previous day. My mom kept calling and interrupting and I wasn't getting anywhere anyway so I gave up. Very frustrating.

Sunday, I went to church and put away the Christmas stuff that's been sitting in odd places for the past week. Cleaned out the basement a little as well as the garage. The only musical thing I did was tune Alycia's guitar, or maybe that was yesterday. Tomorrow I'm going to the doctor in Indianapolis. I wasn't supposed to go until Feb. 1, but my physical therapist would like me to go. I haven't been really making much progress with my leg either so I should probably go see what's going on.

I'll let you know. Have a great Monday!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Day 19

I'm almost there...just 2 more days to change my habits. I did take some time off so it might actually take a little longer. Anyway, today I looked for a job. I could use some extra cash to help pay for some things so, why not? Well, because I'm still on crutches and I have no skills. I found out really quickly that I don't have a lot of options. Until I get off the crutches, I don't think that even Wendy's would hire me.

So, after all the depression I decided to work on some music. I started a piano piece that was pretty cool but I didn't like the melody I was working with. Then I was trying to just practice. I totally forgot how to play "Little Secrets." Geesh, like I haven't played that song a million times. So, then I started working on something else, and then decided to write some lyrics. But then when I tried to play what I had just written and sing what I had just written, it didn't go together at all. How does that work?

Then James and I went to the mall. I don't know how I manage to lump all of the depressing things into one day, but I really needed to look for a bra. Let's just say, nothing is ever easy with me. I don't know how it can be so difficult--it's not like I need some sort of hydrolic lift to keep them up, you know?

Just feel better about you now,

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Day 18

I actually did a lot today. I practiced on the keyboard for a while, played guitar several times and then when James got off work, we recorded "Quicksand" and "Indie Kid." We'll see if I can get the system to work on my own tomorrow. If I can, there might be some real podcasting in the future. Just don't hold your breath...

Also, I reviewed Daft Punk's, "Human After All" for . You can read it here.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Day 17

So, I woke up extra late--like musician late--today and then I had to go to the dentist. I try to accomplish things in my car now so I usually try to take some CDs that I'm supposed to review or have someone to call or something. I forgot the discs so I called producer Blake. I hadn't talked to him in forever so we accomplished some things but I still hadn't had time to sit down and practice. James and I went to Texas Roadhouse with Patrice and Danny, and though it was great to hang with them, eating with the cellist does not constitute practice either. It was after midnight when I got home and I finally got on the bike to get a little exercise. I was watching a "Home Improvement" rerun when I decided that maybe I could go to the basement to play a little. It's now after 2a. I was down there over an hour and worked on several things and maybe started a song that I can finish. Just need to find some words and it will be done. Lots of cool things on this keyboard, it's just the recording. I either have to figure that out, or bring the dumb thing up to the loft and record onto the computer. Or I could get firewire on my laptop...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Day 15 and 16

Since I had taken Saturday and Sunday off to surf, there didn't seem to be much point in doing anything yesterday either. I spent the day getting things done around the house, and visiting with James' parents. Happy to see my pillow.

Today, I learned The Shins song, "Kissing the Lipless" which I will not ever perform publicly, but it was fun to learn anyway. I also practiced for an hour or so on the guitar, playing some covers and messing around with some of my stuff too. I realized today that I have to get my voice back in shape since I'm heading back to the Bamboo Room to finish the record in just 12 days. Eeeek! Need to get cracking...

Day 12, 13, 14

I spent some time on Friday going through the “WhiteChocolateSpaceEgg” disc by Liz Phair playing all the songs on the acoustic. Most of them were pretty easy 2-3 chord songs and then there were a few that I had absolutely no idea where to begin. “Uncle Alverez” is one of my favorite tracks and I don’t know what she’s doing there. But “Johnny Feelgood,” “Polyester Bride,” and others are fun to play and keep me having to stay focused for longer than any of my songs. Later, I played “Tranquil Rush” along with some prerecorded rhythms on the new keyboard. Found some interesting guiro/hi-hat kind of things that I think will work for a live set without a drummer.

Today, I’m with James and Alycia and we’re heading to
Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, OH with two of the top ranked flow-riders in the country. I’m hoping they can give me some pointers.

Jan. 1--Happy New Year! We're exhausted and coughing from all the chlorine, but having a great time. I'm finally doing barrelrolls consistently. Got one 360 and haven't done another. But I'm really tired and can barely lift my arms anymore. I'm kind of shocked that I can still walk. James and Alycia are doing well and Matt and Owen have been very encouraging. I think I finally convinced James to help me put together a surf video for Kon Tiki Girl. Hopefully, we can get something up in the next weeks.