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Looking back

As I’m wrapping up my 7th month of major life change, I’m doing a little bit of reflection on where I am now. What I find interesting is that there are still people (acquaintances of mine on social media) who don’t know the whole story behind the letter I co-wrote with Blake Morgan and subsequent Huffington Post article and guest appearance on Live with Robin Morgan. If you’re one of those folks, click the links and give it a gander.

I am continuing to fight for artist’s rights. Whether it’s in Washington DC, Los Angeles, or my hometown, I will keep talking, writing, and posting about it.

I have been unable to find work in radio since I terminated the contract with the station I worked with. I’ve been told I’m blacklisted from radio by some. I’ve been told I’m not by others. I have no way of knowing which is the truth – and acknowledge that perhaps both are. It’s ok though. I’m working (retail) and have an incredible new project about to launch within the month. More about that when we’re ready to launch.

All in all I’m happy. The lack of AC in my house bothers me but that’s it. My family is doing well, bills are being paid, food is on the table, the pets are making our lives full of joy, snuggles, and laughs. Ok, and periodic hair pulling out but mostly good stuff. My tomatoes are starting to ripen on the vine, which means delicious food we grew ourselves. I’m back on the vegan wagon and back to losing weight. It’s been 8 months since I quit smoking. I’m still able to laugh at myself and enjoy the simple things – the stars at night, thunderstorms rolling through, and an ice cold glass of water. I am blessed. Blessed enough to run out and buy a cheap ass pool for me and the kids to cool off in. There was almost nothing left (not surprising) so we got an adorable little turtle pool and we sat around it with our feet in. It was delightful.

I’m doubly blessed because I don’t have to listen to new music if I don’t want to. I get to choose what I listen to and when. That means I’ve been able to catch up on my favorite podcasts. If I don’t like what I’m listening to I grab a book and sit in silence for a while. After 14 years of non-stop music listening, it’s so refreshing to choose when I listen instead of that constant NEED to listen.

The bonus is that I get to talk about music that’s really exciting me!

*Josiah & The Bonnevilles: Their new EP “Cold Blood” is out now. Not.A.Fucking.Bad.Song.On.It. For reals. I love this EP. I love their sound. My favorite song from the EP is “Long Gone”. Love!!

*Butch Walker: This guy. OMG this guy. He’s incredible, talented, has great buzz but is for some damn reason still under the radar. Let’s change that, ok?

*Bishop Briggs: I could go on and on about her. About how she’s opening for Coldplay this summer. About the very art-y video. About her incredible voice and talent. But instead I’ll let you watch her video for “River”.

*Woodes: I just have three words. Thank You Australia.

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It’s not the heat. It’s the *&($**(%$*( heat.

Welcome to summer in NE Ohio! We’ve had some warm days here and it’s been decidedly un-fun. The kids and I have gone majorly nocturnal. Not going to bed until around 2am and waking up around 10 – 11 am. It’s the only way to handle the weather without air conditioning. It has cooled off a bit, thank goodness. Storms rolled through this weekend (beautiful thunderstorms!) and helped.

Alright, we can discuss the pink elephant – yes, the RNC is this week in my beloved Cleveland. No, I won’t be anywhere near it. I have no desire to go close. The closest I will be is Wednesday night when my dear friends with the band Hollis Brown are in town at the Grog Shop. (So much love for Hollis Brown – they are incredible. New album “3 Shots” is a keeper and seeing them live is stellar!)

But I digress. No Cleveland for me this week. Please don’t burn my city down, folks. I love it.

Garden is doing well. Lots of baby tomatoes on the tomato plants. I think my peppers and eggplant are dead though.

As for Pokemon GO, yes, we play. Yes, it’s fun. Yes, I love that it’s getting my kids outside and active. Yes, we are safe when we play.

I did start the new retail gig last week. It’s…..a job. Not a forever job but it’s helping me mentally and financially. That’s a win/win in my book.

I spent time last week listening to a lot of new music and you are going to LOVE what I’ve got for you this week!

*Tyler Boone: His new EP “True Experience” came out on Friday. I love musicians that show depth of talent and Tyler definitely does. Each song on the EP has a beautiful and unique sound. Definitely one to check out! Here’s the first single, “Don’t Let Me Down”:

*Cobi: Sometimes one listen is all you need to be hooked. Listen to this song and tell me you don’t want to know more and hear more.

*Lissie: I fucking love this woman. I have loved her for years. I love her talent, her passion, her sound. She seems like a hard working woman who just wants to make great music and rock the fuck out. Maybe, just maybe, the rest of the world will notice her this time around.

*Descendants: Punk is alive and well. Here is your proof. I’m all over this band, their new album “Hypercaffium Spazzinate” and this song.

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Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

(Quote from The Princess Bride)

It’s been mega busy. Started a new part time job last week (retail). This means a little less free time, more planning on my part, and a weight off my shoulders financially. I’m still doing consulting as well but it’s great to have steady income coming in.

Garden is bad. It’s been so dry and I’ve been horrid about remembering to water the plants. I don’t think the eggplant or peppers will make it. They are just not happy.

My allergies are horrendous. They just kicked in yesterday. We went to Detroit to see friends and I was fine. Got home and seriously – we got off the highway and I started sneezing. It’s been 18 hours and the Allegra is wearing off – I know enough to know I need to take it at night before bed because my allergies are worse after dark. Now is the time to invest in Puffs – I’m going to be going through a ton!

I haven’t been going to many concerts this year but I have hit a few. LaureLive was INCREDIBLE. Stellar line up and all the performances were inspiring! Plus I had time to sit and visit with lots of friends. I do hope it returns next year.

A week ago I went to see Lee DeWyze and Anna Rose in Port Clinton, OH. Confession – I have never been to the Islands of Lake Erie. Cedar Point, IMHO, doesn’t count. This was my first trip into that area. I was really impressed and definitely want to go back (Kelly’s Island is on my bucket list – I’ve always wanted to see the glacial grooves!)

Look at them!!
Look at those sexy glacial grooves!!!!

Anyway, the concert. Both artists are friends of mine so it was wonderful to see them perform and visit with both after their sets (Anna opened for Lee). I finally had a chance to listen to Lee’s new album “Oil & Water”. He let me hear a few of the tracks when the album was in production so it was awesome to hear the finished product. He’s pretty awesome. But I’m biased, I admit it.

Here’s the first single from the album – “Stone”:

Anna has a new album out and I love it – and her. She’s a total rocker chick with no qualms about rocking the fuck out. Love.Her!!! New EP “Strays in the Cut” just came out – here’s “Under My Skin”:

But wait, there’s more!! More new music, that is.

*Freddy & Francine: I’m still on a few radio email lists (which I love!). I don’t inhale new music like I did when it was my job but I do listen to new music a few times a week. My friend, Jeff Appleton, runs Marathon Entertainment. His site one of the places I go to listen to new music. He never disappoints. Prime example is Freddy & Francine. I first of heard of them via his website, then watched their video for the NPR Tiny Desk contest. Booyah! Here they are with “If You Want Me”:

*I’ve talked about JD Eicher before but I’ve gotta plug him again – new album (The Middle Distance) = lots of awesome new songs. He’s local(ish) and I’ve had the chance to see him perform live a few times. His energy, passion, and musical brilliance are phenomenal. Give the title track from the new album a gander:

P.S. Yes, I watched the Cavs win – I think almost everyone in NE Ohio did. I don’t like basketball but I did that night. It was beautiful. The Lake Erie Monsters winning the Calder Cup excited the heck out of me as well. Yay Cleveland teams!

P.S.S. I will be nowhere near downtown CLE for the RNC. Nowhere. It’s gonna be crazy.

P.S.S.S. I know you don’t read my blog to discuss anything political – but we need more great music right now. My country’s heart is hurting. Here’s my new musical happy place:

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