Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Capella @ The FARWest Music Conference

Just got back from a magnificent weekend in Sacramento at the FARWest folk music conference. It had threatened to be a disaster. I was super sick last week, my voice was nearly gone, none of my musicians were free to accompany me, and I was scheduled to perform six 30 minute showcases for presenters, radio people, managers, folk music press, professional musicians over Friday and Saturday. AAAAAH!

I got up at 4am on Friday morning and flew up alone, only to find that Southwest had mislaid my bag. So I strolled into my first showcase and told the audience: "OK, you got me ... I am naked up here ... no musicians, no instruments, no push-up bra, not even a pitch pipe to tell me what key I am in ..."

And you know what? It was amazing! I sang the songs, snapped my fingers, got them to join me, danced, told funny stories, cracked jokes, and for when a musician would normally do a solo, I'd say, "OK, just imagine a gorgeous Brazilian playing these beautiful chords here ..." while I'd hum the melody or scat, dance, and continue snapping.

People genuinely loved it. One woman pulled me aside and said, "I saw you yesterday performing a cappella and I thought to myself, 'How am I so mesmerized when she is up there all by herself?' " Another new Friend who sent me a MySpace hello said, "Although I only heard a couple of your songs in your showcase, because I arrived right at the end, I've become fanantical about your presentation and music."

The rest of the weekend was brilliant too. SO many lovely talented people, all connected by music ... great performances, workshops, networking opportunities, excellent food, and I had a ball with the two women I shared a room with who I had never met before! Stayed up super late both nights and came home a combination of exhausted and renewed.

It was a watershed for me: to know deep down that, ultimately, I can stand on my own.

My three favorite guys that I always see at these conferences are The Buccaneers: a male threesome from Alberta, Canada, who are SO funny and talented. We spent much of the weekend hanging out and howling with laughter.

Life is good and I am grateful!

Monday, November 13, 2006


Everyone was bugging me about MySpace. But since the notion of having ANOTHER web-y thing to worry about filled me with dread, I made sulking, unenthusiastic steps toward it. My son uploaded my basic page in July and it languished for four months. Emails from people wanting to be added as "friends" (what did THAT mean?) piled up unanswered (Sorry!).

Finally, Andre Manga practically yelled at me by phone to get on the MySpace bandwagon. So I did. And now I am a hopeless junkie, checking my page 50 times a day, sending gushy messages and comments to my heroes, all excited when someone new or familiar stops by.

Why is it so different from email? Because it is visual, easy, there's real music involved, and we all share a common basic template. Because it's all about appreciating and helping one another, making connections, networking, and it's actually fun. Maybe I'll hire someone to clean the apartment ...!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Equapoise follow-up

At the same stairs, an hour later, the same producer told me he had watched the DVD of our Pier show, saying "It's extraordinary, amazing, great sound, beautifully presented. You are one your Way!" Meanwhile, another regular had me read a Yogananda quote about abundance ... to clear my mind of all thoughts of lack, clear out the restlessness so I can hear the answers to my questions. Big Gratitude!


Three mornings a week, I trudge up and down Santa Monica's 4th Street stairs (189 of them) along with a colorful cast of regulars. Like a coffee shop crowd, we shoot the breeze, talk politics, review new movies, share stories. One film producer, who is one part Hollywood, two parts Zen, told me about Equapoise. Equapoise is about being centered, mindful, aware of life's Flow. It is the art of coaxing things to go one's way without forcing ... like that story of the sun and wind's competition to get a man to take of his coat. The man tightens his grip at the wind's fierce blowing, but aaaah, takes it off as the sun warms the day.

Equapoise. Great idea. And I SO don't have it today. If anyone knows how to find some, please let me know...!