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Cover letters and more new music

When we last saw our heroine (that’s me), she discussed new music and promised more. It’s coming, promise.

This is my procrastination break from applying for jobs. Cause you know, work. And cause you know, cover letter.

Cover letters are the bane of almost everyone’s existence. When I was part of a hiring team, I read them and sympathized. Now that I’m on the other end, I find I can either churn them out like a pro or I get frustrated and start writing mock letters. That I end up changing slightly and sending. Hmmmmmmm

But I digress. Cover letters. I’ve looked at numerous sites that have examples. I’ve done my best to highlight my experience and general awesomeness. I’ve had lots of feedback from amazing folks on my resume. On the last cover letter, I seriously wrote:

“I’m hard working, dedicated, smart as heck, a team player, and a fast learner.” We’ll see if I get any nibbles….

Now on to the music!

*The Moth & The Flame: I adore the heck out of this band and am trying to decide if I want to road trip to Detroit to see them next week. Oh who am I kidding? They are awesome and I’d be silly to not go! Here’s the second single from their album.

*Moderat: dooooooooooooods. Check out “Reminder” and then wait impatiently with me for their album “III” which comes out in April.

*Charles Bradley: When a blues/soul singer covers a Black Sabbath tune, I have to sit up and take notice. When a blues/soul singer does an amazing cover of a Black Sabbath tune, I have to share the awesomeness with the world. Enjoy!

*White Denim: I’m totally doing a happy dance around my home office about the new forthcoming album “Stiff”. This is me right now:


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New music and the joys of snow shoveling

School was canceled on Tuesday for my kids because of snow. I like snow days because I can spend time snuggling with my kids watching movies but I also love shoveling the driveway.

Now before you start calling me names, hear me out.

I am a regular at the gym. Five mornings a week you’ll find me there either on the elliptical or in the pool getting some hard core exercise. But there is something to be said for productive workouts. I get frustrated with my workouts to nowhere. The joy of being productive and burning calories makes me happiest. Which is why I love tasks like chopping wood or shoveling the driveway after a good snow. I know how to do it right – the snow we had Tuesday was very wet and heavy so I took regular breaks to rest and hydrate. All told it took me almost 2 hours and I burned over 1500 calories. That’s what I call productive!


Plus, I get to see beauty when I’m out there.

Speaking of productive, I’ve been keeping myself busy. Slowing cleaning/emptying the home office for a paint job and reorganization. Working on my voice over demo has also kept me busy. I’ve done a few voice overs already so yay gigs!

It’s also time to start planning the spring garden. Every year I have such high goals and never manage to follow through. I’m going to keep it simple this year – tomatoes and peppers I think. I’ve not had any luck with anything else. Plus you can’t go wrong with those two – oh the possibilities!

While those listed above have kept me busy, I’ve also been enjoying a lot of new music. It’s a long list so I’m going to break it down into two posts.

Oh, and the Grammys? Yeah, I watched some of it. It was mostly uninspiring and bored me, so I watched Return of the Jedi and caught highlights the next day. Kendrick Lamar was awesome, as were Andra Day, Tori Kelly and James Bay. I felt bad for Adele but as she said, “S&%t happens”….

Now on to the music!

*Dorothy: Who is this band and where have they been all my life??? What the what the what? Love!!!!

*DMAs: I’ve been a fan for a while. With their new album coming out next week, I knew it was time to spotlight one of the songs. “In the Moment” is gorgeous and highlights what makes this band stellar.

*Mass Gothic: I gotta be honest, it’s a rare SubPop band that I don’t love. Mass Gothic highlights how sometimes walking away from a project is the best choice you can make. Noel Heroux walked away from his band Hooray for Earth and found himself again. I’m so glad he did. Mass Gothic’s self titled album released February 6. Give a listen to the focus track and let yourself fall in love.

*Trixie Whitley: OMG Trixie Whitley. I first heard her when she was with Black Dub with Daniel Lanois, a project that blew me away and I couldn’t understand why they didn’t get more notice. Sometimes it happens (sad!) but I’ll be gosh darned if I let her incredible talent slide by again. Just listen and you’ll learn why I want the world to hear her.

*Lettuce: A recent discovery for me, here’s the second single from their delicious album “Crush”. Funk, blues, rock….dudes, listen and love.

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I went to LA and came home inspired

That’s what happened when I went to Los Angeles last week. I was inspired by the incredible people I met at the California Copyright Conference dinner and panel. Their passion and enthusiasm was contagious and I came home even more fired up to get the Fair Play Fair Pay Act passed in Congress. I’ve been told the video will be released soon(ish) – as soon as it is I’ll post links here.

I managed to steal time with friends while I was in town as well. I stayed with my dear friends CA and EK. Stopped in at a local AAA station. Had lunch with David Sloane (check out his band Feral Vinca), and coffee with another friend. And on my last day stole time for breakfast with Roze.

I didn’t see any Los Angeles “things”. No Hollywood sign. No Walk of Fame. No Chinatown. Instead I saw people I care about and that’s a lot more important to me than doing the tourist thing.

I’ve had a few folks ask me how the CCC Panel went. I think it was fabulous. I felt like all of our stories were heard and respected. I feel like those who attended walked out fired up, ready to help with the #IRespectMusic cause.

One woman asked me how to be brave and I didn’t know how to answer. I babbled a bit but it mostly comes down to just doing it. When my father died (1997, age 58 of an aneurysm), my mother told me people told her over and over how strong she was. My mother told me she didn’t have a choice. She saw that fork in the road – she could lay in bed, pull the blankets over her head, tell the world to F off, and slowly die. Or she could honor my father and their marriage and keep going. She chose to keep going.

Did I know what I was in for when I co-wrote the letter to Representative Goodlatte with Blake? Nope.
Did I understand the ramifications of the Huffington Post article? Nope.
Was I prepared for where I am now – unemployed and unable to work in my chosen field? Nope.
Would I do it all again? Fuck yes. Without a doubt.

I’m just one person fighting this battle. Everyone is needed. Sign the petition. Call your Congressional representative. Let’s get this bill passed.


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Time For Radio to Play Fair

I love music. I was lucky enough to grow up in Cleveland during the time that WMMS ruled the airwaves. Their promotion of new and upcoming acts, and their support of the local music scene, set an example for me to follow when I started working in radio.

It was my honor to use my position at WJCU/The Heights to help launch musicians such as Mumford & Sons, Bastille, American Authors, Hozier and Walk the Moon.

‪In October 2015, I co-wrote a letter with Blake Morgan, a musician and founder of the ‘I Respect Music’ campaign, to Representative Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to express our support for H.R. 1733, the Fair Play, Fair Pay Act. That letter and the Huffington Post article about it have helped bring focus to the plight of unpaid musicians in radio.

In short, terrestrial radio stations don’t pay recording artists a performance royalty. They never have. The United States is the only democratic country that doesn’t. In fact, there are very few countries in the world that don’t pay royalties to musicians when their music is played on AM/FM radio. Some of the other countries? Iran, North Korea, Rwanda, and China.

‪While radio stations reap the revenue from broadcasting a recording artist’s work, the life of a ‘starving artist’ is no joke. For every mega-millionaire pop star out there, there’s an army of struggling musicians, pursuing a dream while trying to make ends meet. The life of a touring band isn’t easy. They spend months on the road. Their vans are usually held together with duct tape and prayers – breaking down, missing a gig and missing out on the revenue of merchandise sales is the stuff of nightmares.

These recording artists scrape together money for food and gas on the road, sleep at rest stops, wash up in the bathroom, and spend time away from their families while they pursue a dream.

We had a three-member band visit the station a few months ago. When they arrived, only two members came in. I asked about the other band member and they told me she was feeling pretty sick and they were going to take her to urgent care after the interview. I offered to let them skip the interview, but they were determined to go forward.

That night at their concert I found out she had been diagnosed with walking pneumonia. But there she was on stage, performing her heart out. They couldn’t cancel the show. And she couldn’t give a performance that wasn’t 100 percent even though she knew it would delay healing.

‪I’ve helped bands load their equipment and run cable for them. I’ve worked their merchandise tables. I’ve run them to the store because they needed the basics. I’ve washed their laundry for them. I’ve fed them. And even one or two have slept on my couch because I couldn’t imagine them sleeping in their tour van another night.

I’ve seen firsthand how hard these musicians work day in and day out. They are no different from any other American, deserving of fair compensation for the service they provide. Without the constant flow of new music from up and coming artists, radio stations would not have a product to offer their listeners, and the music world would be a lesser place.

I find it unfathomable that terrestrial radio thinks it is entitled to profit from the work of others without offering them a slice of the pie. This is why I support the Fair Play, Fair Pay Act.

I love music, but I don’t love what’s happening to musicians. It’s time for radio stations to play fair and support these hard working American artists. It’s time for music fans everywhere to speak up and demand that radio does the right thing.

*Note: This piece first appeared in the Music Technology Policy blog.

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New music and a trip to LA

It was beautiful outside this morning. Instead of going to the gym I decided to go for a walk. I saw that it was in the mid 20’s but I’m a big gal with lots of padding so it won’t be bad right? Ha! Next time I’ll just go to the gym, promise!

Next week I’ll be taking a journey to a land many dream of – Los Angeles. I’ve never been, believe it or not! I’ve been to San Diego and San Francisco but L.A. never happened until now. I’m participating in a panel about the #IRespectMusic campaign for the California Copyright Conference. (More information here.) It’s a whirlwind trip (in on Monday, leave Wednesday) but I’m packing it full of visits with friends.

Some of you know that our dog was attacked by a pit bull just over a week ago. The vet saw him for a check up yesterday and he’s doing a lot better. He’s partially blind in his left eye and that will probably not change. Part of his iris fused to the lens of his eye as well so we’ll have to keep an eye out for glaucoma eventually. He looks totally ratchet though. Partially shaved where he was bitten (around his left eye and his neck). I’m trying to figure out the best way to groom him. Shave all over? Or just a close cut until his fur evens out a bit? I don’t think he’s ready to see his regular groomer though, he’s still mega skittish right now. Poor fella.

As I was preparing this week’s new music round up, it seemed to be all females. Which was fine with me! Go go girl rockers! But then word reached my ears that a musician I LOVE (mega mega love) has a new album coming out and the single has been released. So we’ll start with him then move on to the ladies. 🙂

*Matt Andersen is his name, folks. This blues genius hails from Canada. I fell in love after hearing his last album “Weightless“. Then I saw him live in concert in Cleveland and at the NonCommvention in Philadelphia. Trust me, friends, Matt is a real deal. Give a listen to the first single “Let’s Get Back”.

*Basia Bulat is a talented musician with a butterscotch voice I love. She’s got a gorgeous range that she knows how to highlight in her work. Jim James (from My Morning Jacket) produced. Doods!

Listen to “Infamous” from her forthcoming album “Good Advice” and fall in love…..

*Have you heard of Chairlift? Let Momma K clue you in. I love bands that take risks in the studio. These two brilliant folks must have a blast making music together. Give “Romeo” a listen and then romp out to get their newest album “Moth”.

*A few years ago I had the opportunity to go to a Songwriter’s Retreat in Tulum, Mexico. While there I met some incredible musicians. One of those was a woman I’d been a fan of for a while – Anya Marina. Words cannot describe what it was like to sit on the beach, drinking Mexican beer, listening to the artists create fabulous music together. Anya’s enthusiasm, spirit, and talent blew me away. She’s come out with a new album, Paper Plane. Check out the single “Gimme Resurrection”. Love!!

*Wild Belle is the last band for this week. Their new album “Dreamland” comes out in April. I don’t want to wait but will have to make due listening to the single “Throw Down Your Guns”.

*As I was typing, an email came announcing a new song from my dearest Anderson East! If you can see him on tour, DO EEEEET! He’s incredible. And his album “Delilah” is my go-to listen in the car.

Anyway, here’s his newest offering from the compilation album “Southern Family” (read about the album here).

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