Musings about music, writing, Portland, my new house, my travels, my family, politics, whatever.....

Monday, September 25, 2006

Americana and No Depression

Got back from the Americana Music Association conference in Nashville on Saturday night. It was interesting, I saw some great music and got to hang out with Jim Olsen (from Signature Sounds). Also had sushi with Jenn Adams (formerly of Missoula). I wasn't thrilled by the southern-ness of everything, ie guys my age calling me ma'am, men holding the door for me all the time and trying to help me out of cars. Nor am I too into southern barbecue. But the weather was nice and it was quite interesting to get a better sense of the whole Americana scene, which clearly had a different vibe than the folk/acoustic-pop/singer-songwriter scene (not that that is one thing).

Between the showcases and the AMA awards show at the Ryman, I saw Rosanne Cash, John Leventhal, Dave Alvin, Darrell Scott, Abigail Washburn, Casey Driessen, Sam Bush, Buddy Miller, Alejandro Escovedo, Rodney Crowell, Mindy Smith, Tres Chicas, Elvis Costello (!), Jeffrey Foucault, Chris Smither, Kim Richey, RobinElla, James McMurtry, Marty Stuart and other people I'm probably forgetting right now.

I also got tons of free music magazines in my swag bag. And I saw Grant Alden, one of the co-editors of No Depression, speak on a panel. I read some of the magazines (Performing Songwriter, Harp, American Songwriter, etc) and realized that No Depression really is the best music magazine, by far. Even if they don't include some of the less Americana-ish stuff that I like, the writing is just so much better that it's always worth reading.... So I resolved to renew my subscription, and also realized there were some back issues with articles about people I'd seen this week. When I got home I rummaged through the recycling, the same pile that had been out in the rain (and still not gone out because I missed garbage day, being away). There indeed were the issues I wanted. So I saved all my back issues of No Depression and was once again grateful for my tendency to hold on to things (OK, I'm still usually not, but this time....).

I'm glad to be back in Portland, where it is once again sunny and warm this week. Had a great time yesterday at Willa's 4th birthday party on Sauvie Island at The Pumpkin Patch. Looking forward to seeing Devon Sproule tomorrow for the first time, and the big Dirty Martini shows this weekend.

Oh, and I just saw that air travel restrictions are relaxed. So now you can bring a bottle of water on with you. Of course this happens the day after I get back, after I dehydrated myself because I wasn't allowed to bring water on board....

Friday, September 15, 2006

Birthday pictures and fall weather

So rather than posting them all here, here is a link to the lovely pictures that Briel took on my birthday. It was a nice, very low-key evening, to follow a very low-key day. 31 seems promising so far...

And on that day, fall came to Portland. Up until then, it had been hot and sunny for months, I don't even remember when it last rained. On Wednesday afternoon it got dark and cloudy, but still dry. Then yesterday it rained and rained. Which felt good and right, long overdue. This is Portland, after all. So today I got out my warmer clothes (OK, not yet put away after moving, anyway) and a jacket. I'm sure I'll miss the sun soon, but for now, it's good to close the windows and drink tea.

The only problem was that I had this box taped shut labeled "magazines." It had been in my basement for a year, unopened. So I decided that I should just recycle it all, not get sentimental about my old music magazines. So I left the box outside near the trash. It rained. Then I opened it to put the magazines in a proper place for recycling, and realized it also contained my high school yearbook, some vintage travel books, and a copy of a totally out-of-print book that my grandfather co-wrote with Margaret Mead in the 60s. Brilliant. Anyway, at least I saved those things, and they weren't too wet.

Tonight I am off to see Jim Brunberg open for Kelly Joe Phelps at the Aladdin, and talk to Mike Meyer about a new Americana radio show I'm going to help him with (on KMHD).

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Another birthday and more cute pictures....

So I'm having a mellow birthday so far, got some lovely phone calls. Willa did a masterful job of singing Happy Birthday, and Rebecca sang me a song from her pasture with her cows. Jonah called from Cairo, my dad sent a present from Germany. Makes me happy to hear from everyone, far and near.

More importantly though, here are some pictures of Willa and I from yesterday. :) Taken by me, except the last one with me in it, by Briel, with her spiffy new lense....

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A picture from Cairo in February

So, when I left Cairo last February, I left my new digital camera in my cousin Jonah's car on the way to the airport. I realized this about 5 minutes into the airport, but he was long gone. Here is one of the pictures that was sitting in my camera for 6 months. It's from the last night I was in Cairo. Me and Makaylah at the Thai restaurant. Of course she's much bigger now (see below)...

Don't forget to leave some comments while you're here.... I love to get comments!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Settling in

So I've now been in my new house since Monday, and it's really growing on me. Hooking up my stereo, getting a few new plants, and hanging some pictures helped. I still have to unpack the books and CDs (which is really the bulk of what I own), but I'm getting pretty cozy here. And Emma Lou seems to like it, she especially enjoys the many windows.

I have an Oregonian newspaper box outside my house, on the corner, and it's kind of funny to watch people pull over and get their paper (of course not thinking anyone is watching them).

My garden is bursting with tomatoes and string beans. I highly recommend moving to a place with an already-producing vegetable garden. Too bad I hate tomatoes, though. But the lettuce and carrots should be up shortly, and the lavender and rosemary are lovely.

Living on a corner with no trees feels a little exposed, but I don't mind the traffic so far and the light is great. It just feels like an alive neighborhood, people going by on their bikes, etc.

Last night I had a lovely Andew Calhoun show at Mississippi Studios. Nice to see him, though not as nice to have to stay there until almost 1:30am for the late show. But I got to work with Heather, who it's hard to imagine feeling cranky towards, no matter how tired I get. Especially when she feeds me chocolate chip Rice Krispie treats. :)

My big excitement for today was finding out that I get to promote a co-bill in Missoula for two of my most beloved Portland artists, Raina Rose and Myshkin's Ruby Warblers. And I get to go with them! I haven't been to Missoula in over a year, so it'll be fun to go and fun to bring some beautiful music with me. The date is October 28th, for anyone who wants to come. It'll be up on the Shining City web site tomorrow. See link at right. :)