October 2009
Pen and Brush

My friend Ronnie had her New York Debut last night in the village. (Ronnie did the piece featured on the back of "The Works.")


This one is one of my all-time faves. It's called "Attention" and is a series of nurses with the old fashioned white coats and hats.


4 choice ones...


On the way there we noticed the art on the pavement.

we call this one, "bandit bunny"


this is "derelict ducky"


here, sexy VESPA


Anyway, "Pen and Brush" is a great little gallery that exclusively exhibits work by women.


This particular exhibit was called "Home is where the ART is." There were a lot of textile pieces.

Sonja Weber Gilkey and her granddaughter in front of 2nd prize, "Les Ames En Route."


 ($45,000) woweeee.


I liked this little section of a beautiful batik piece by Lenore Fiore Mills


And this mosaic cello!


We met this other really lovely artist named Debra Friedkin. She made this piece called "Pulp SciFi" out of driftwood. We were enthralled. The wood is reaching up to engulf the spaceship. There are even one-eyed aliens in the cresh of the piece. The moon and stars figure in the background.


Debra and Ronnie, Debra actually IS a retired nurse.

the one-eyed aliens.


Of course we were starving after all the attention. So we headed off to "Whole Foods." What a nightmare. There's actually a guy working full time there walking around with a red flag to tell you where the end of the endless line is.


Even the subway was crazy. Must be Halloween. Batman was rapping with a full band!!


Although, he really didn't have the moves....

Anyway, I think Ronnie's piece rocked the whole house. I hear she's working on a new one with guy's in suits. Kinda like "Mad Men." I'm telling you all right now. Get your bids IN. She's got the GOODS.

Fleamarket Friends

Well I got to hang out for a couple more days in Paris before coming back to this dreadful rain and dreariness.


Lunch on Sunday began at a tiny restaurant that only has 14 seats. Oysters, foie gras, a nice Riesling. Pourquoi pas?


Then Jonas got back to work mixing Nolwenn's record, and the rest of us went to generate ideas at the fleamarket. Nothing more entertaining than Clignancourt on a Sunday afternoon.


Teitur bought an ashtray so he could smoke as often as he liked without dirtying the environs.


Too bad they didn't have actual Martinis there. Some of the shop owners were passing bottles back and forth... but we were sober.


Annika found a little porcelain Dodo...


I fell in love with this camel, but wasn't sure how I'd get him through customs...

Isn't there something in the Bible about getting a camel through the eye of a needle?


We saw superman


Tin Tin


and some really creepy dolls


Teitur's next girlfriend?


Jonas carried on with his colleagues, back at the studio

The devil of the midrange.


Homer of the high end.



Naysayer in CHAINS.


Oh, Paris....

More to come....

The Paris Accords 2

When I'm in Paris I walk EVERYWHERE. I don't even know how far I end up going. Probably ridiculous mileage. My shoes always need refurbishing when I get home. But there is just no place more beautiful to wander.

Today I happened upon a knitting store. What are the odds?

And then these ladies on the Mayor's building of the 11th arondissement caught my eye.


Of course seeing the Louvre again is always mind boggling. It has its own arc de triomphe.

And everywhere, surprises.


the first day, just sitting in the cafe across from the conference, all of a sudden, they were making a movie.


That night, I almost got into the hot new show.... But the line was too long. 


We took a quick break to seek out my favorite eyeglass store, Francis Klein. And on the way there, Jean found a pair, no kidding, of Christian Louboutin clickety clack shoes. ok they were used, but they were just sitting on a windowsill. @#$%^&!!!?


Her sweetheart, David, wasn't quite sure what the big deal was.


Francis Klein was divine


I, of course, fell in love with the purple.

And then of course back to the meat of the matter.

The discussion kept coming back to how to implement some kind of levy on the ISP's that would help to remunerate the 'creators.' and '‘content providers' for this new digital world. Would the public agree to some monthly fee in return for access to whatever, whenever?


In the end we all had to agree that it might be the only way to get SOMETHING for the things that people are happily taking for free. (and for granted!)


There was much heady talk about the actual origin of copyright, and the outdated notions it holds. The difference between moral rights and the rights of authorship...


There were lawyers, medical patent people, internet people, publishers, journalists...


Eddie Schwartz was here helping with the artist's side of things. (He wrote, "Hit me with your Best Shot!"


Hank Shocklee (public enemy) was on my panel, and we got into a friendly debate about sampling....

Later we all went to hear him mix at a cute little parisian club.


Peter Jenner (Pink Floyd, Billy Bragg) had lots of smart saucy things to say.

My old pals from college were part of the conference.


Dean Schram (film producer, "Darfur NOW," literary agent, lawyer) and Ann Chaitovitz (copyright lawyer, rebel) on the front lines

It of course remains to be seen how new digital revenue will be collected and distributed and how we will be able to make a living out of this fraction of what record sales, book sales, newspapers, moviesÂ…. used to bring. But this is our reality, so we have to figure it out.


It was really helpful to have a dialogue and hear all the sides of the story.


My beef continues to be educating people about OUR reality. We, the creators of "content." The reality of rent, groceries. Just making a living doing what we are on this earth to do.


And my hope is that whatever document we finally draft is not naive about the general public's willingness to pay for what is now free.

The Paris Accords

This is Sacre Coeur from my hotel window.


I am here in Paris to participate in the "Paris Accords." Kind of a heady way to say, "people let's talk about the future of copyright." The really hopeful part is that so many people have come together here to be a part of the dialogue. There are filmmakers, internet peeps, publishers, gizmo geeks... lots of lawyers, and a few songwriters. And the conversation is heated, animated, but at least so far everyone seems to be listening. (The REAL meaty part starts today.)


For my part, I'm trying to represent how much harder it is to make a living now that music is for all intents and purposes, free. When people moan about the price of a CD I just want to jump off a bridge. I am here to put a face on the 'middle class' musician. God help us all!


Meanwhile, Paris.

How do they get the trees so perfect?


Why a windmill?


Sacre Coeur last night.


More soon.

DREAMS for thought

Last night I dreamed of a nightmare gig. As I got my things together backstage, the promoter came in and said I was not allowed to use words. NO LYRICS. As a slight concession, she allowed that one song during the set could contain a few... no more.


The first act of the evening went on. A pale lovely blonde with a swan lake tutu and red satin toe shoes. She played the piano from the side, reaching over the edge and mugging to the audience. She was using words. Then she slithered up and over the edge of the piano, into the body of the strings which then became pliant, like a trampoline. She started performing tricks and flips while she plucked the piano strings from inside.


I looked at the program. I was scheduled last. I hate going last. I ran through some kind of set list in my head that would be interesting enough musically without any words...maybe the piano part for "love is more thicker than forget" maybe the guitar part from "paris." "In the Gloaming?"


This dream bled into one where I was sure I was writing a hit song. Usually I just can't bring myself to get up and turn on the light to write it down, or find the m-audio machine.


I must have done it in my sleep. When I woke up, there it was, my hit song - a little unintelligible mumble into my digital recorder that, for once, I had left by the bed. All I can make out is "it's up to you, are you finished yet? you have such a lovely rainbow, such a lovely rainbow."


Maybe the promoter had a point.


No Net Below

I came across some old photos, salvaging my dying laptop today.


When I made "Back in the Circus" I really went all out into the whole carny girl circus character. I had always wanted to go to trapeze school. So I did. And my beloved Linda Hanson came and took pictures. It's such an enduring metaphor for me - the trapeze. And rarely in real life do we GET a net below.


It's that October itch...I guess these are the net-less days of the swings between catches.


What's next, how to push forward, not repeat, and yet not fall.


There is a great physical exhaustion that I miss from my dancing days. The two days on the trapeze back in '04 brought that back. You just keep throwing your body right back at things, and luckily your brain catches up later when it's too late to be afraid. Maybe that's why I still love the road.


Maybe that's why I still leap and THEN I look!


Bob Clearmountain, JB, Maiysha, Mr. Bonzai, Scott Jacoby, Duncan Sheik, Kevin Killen


I got to be on a fancy pants panel about the music industry and what it's done to us all. They paired three artists with their long-time collaborators/producers. Each pair did a little sound montage as photos of us flashed by again and again.


ok so that part was like being deer caught in headlights, but the discussion was really great. We were asked about failure, about the state of the business, but mostly about producing music and records which is really what makes us ALL tick. I loved seeing my old pal Kevin Killen.


Kevin!! and Mr. Bonzai,  the moderator.


Of course, my two favorite Bobs were there. Bob Ludwig and Bob Clearmountain.


After it was over, we were on our way to grab a bite, and the ever brilliant and scintillating Juan Patino joined us. Well, it was kismet indeed... after grabbing a few snacks at a nearby bodega

(these three had my heart at "Hola") they told me they were 'the last of the Mohicans!'


we proceeded to Juan's studio to produce a little jingly hit for JC PENNEY.


of course we stopped for photo ops along the way. I mean, it did say "Juan."

terribly unwilling subject, too


Anyway, what a track, what a future we have. Too much fun, not enough jingle bells, I feel like the girl in Chorus Line once again. "Oh god, I hope i get it, I hope I get it, how many people does he need, how many boys how many girls..."


take two, this time more smile...


almost there....


that's the one, baby. 

Love me Still

I came across this photo in a messy pile at my mom's new apartment. I was afraid it might get tossed in her endless futile effort to "get organized." So I slipped it in my bag and photographed it before I myself have a chance to lose it.


My brothers look wise and feisty. I look scared, like I am about to cry. All puffy cheeks and merging freckles.


While I was at SQUAM I had the incredible luxury of a photo session with Denise Andrade. For me it was more about hanging out in the woods with my pixie sprite pals, and horsing around. But, Denise, sneaky one, captured a joy and ease that day. When i look back, and see early photos, remember my fear and confusion, and brittle, driven, frenzy, and then come to these gorgeous moments, I realize I have finally, blessedly grown fully into my skin.



I talked about it a little in the "Live in New York DVD." Finally not giving a crap about what people think.... how that is so hard-earned, especially given the 'mean girl' climate of civilization. Especially given seventh grade's treacherous terrain.



I saw Drew Barrymore the other day, talking about her new movie "Whip It" and how she WANTS to make those movies that families can grow from. She WANTS to talk about mothers and daughters. She WANTS to be a positive empowering FORCE. More and more, I feel like we have to be more bawdy with our energy, more generous with our LOVE. Why the hell hold back. Life's too fucking SHORT.


This note on my discussion board had me in the most grateful of tears. THANK YOU BEAUTIFUL AUNTIE!!:


"My sister and I brought her 2 teenaged daughters to One Longfellow Square last night. Just incredible. An honor to be there and what a joy it is for me to watch my nieces totally captivated and thoroughly enjoying Jonatha. A night none of us will ever forget.

Jonatha represents to these 2 girls what Joni Mitchell did to their mother and me when we were their ages in the 70s. Deeply meaningful music we knew every word to, that shaped our musical tastes, and became the soundtrack to our lives.

That the 4 of us now share a love for Jonatha's music is a gift. Thanks for that and a great evening (love the new stuff too!)"


I have this necklace that reminds me every day. Nina GORGEOUS Bagley made it. (Yup, she was at SQUAM too) And it says, simply, "Begin." What are we waiting for??

Spread LOVE.

knitting season

I am taking the day off to eat chocolate and knit. One of my lovely songbirds from Squam sent me the most decadent care package, complete with ballerina tulle scarf, wildflowers from her field wanderings,


and the most excellent chocolate goodies. There was a Mary Oliver poem, a beautiful bracelet, crispie hippy coffee beans, the list goes on. Thank you beautiful bird!


So here is the knitting update. I finished my decadent alpaca scarf from the wool I got at "KNIT OR DYE" in Brattleboro. I though I'd share the pictures of the very alpaca that contributed to it. I do think that's the cutest idea ever - putting their little faces on the tags. It's totally why I bought the whole bunch, I couldn't choose between Machu and Illa and Runa and Kusi!!!


could they be any cuter??


Come on now, chocolate vanilla swirl?? I'll take two.


the whole gaggle of alpaca.


And finally, the scarf!!


I also fished the aforementioned shrug disaster out of the black bag of despair - trash... (see Knit or Dye journal and Rachel's sage advice..) and lo and behold, redeeemed it, resurrected it. exorcised it into..... a lovely cozy warm COWL. And my whole day brightened. no waste, no want, and more warmth for the impending chill.

The hell shrug. God, it was only a seam away, and I almost just trashed it.


And now if I can just finish my turtleneck. Yup, it will have sleeves someday soon. I just need another hit of chocolate.

hmmm, maybe HOT chocolate and more TOAST!! 


 I seem to acquire things as I travel. Sometimes people bring me gifts,


(lovely orange knitted purse, thank you Mary Jo)


ruby slippers, thank you Mark?


books, thank you Aimsel!


chocolate, butterfly pants, thank you H and Elizabeth! I even got a stuffed elephant once!


And then of course there is the serendipity of walking around a new town, killing time before sound check. Sometimes it's just great conversations with the locals. But sometimes there are treasures. The problem is, getting them home and then figuring out where to put everything. Just when I thought I was organized, the road trumps it every time. I almost bought a whole collection of weird aprons from the 50's yesterday. Some of them had names embroidered on the front plackets. "Muriel, Hattie, Annabel" Precious, but somehow I tore myself away. What would I do with eleven aprons?


I think I will be shoveling out for a few days here!


Meanwhile, thank you all for coming out. Times are hard, and it means a lot to me that you still make the effort when things are uncertain.


I had a delirious few days post Sweden.... played the beautiful Wilmington Grand Opera House.


they have pretty rigid policies. But what a lovely house. Awesome photos of the show byJoe del Tufo HERE


The next morning bright and early I participated in my first official 'groundbreaking' ceremony. Yup. they're building/renovating a new "WORLD CAFE LIVE" in downtown Wilmington, and it's going to be gorgeous. The "Queen" hasn't been touched since 1958 or so, ;) but a bunch of money peeps, politicians, and the ever innovative world cafe brains have committed to resurrecting this beauty.


Beautiful photos of the ceremony (Joe del Tufo, again) HERE

Can't wait to play there!


Portland Saturday was so lovely. It was a dark and stormy night, and sure enough (another first) right as I was singing "in the stench of rolling thunder, of motor trucks and vans" from 'Madonna on the Curb,' a huge thunder clap let loose. I was humbled, and impressed with the timing. esp. as I had just been talking about the "rapture" like lighting of the backstage potty.


On to Ellsworth.

where did they get THAT picture??


So many friends and family came. Thank you all. I even got more WOOL from my favorite Blue Hill Knitting pals (STRING THEORY)


Karen and Tanis dye their own wool and the colors schemes are just exquisite!!!!!!


Ok, so I have to reorganize my cupboards, re-prioritize my closets, but I wouldn't change a thing!!

New Hampshire, Malmo, NYC


So my last two shows at Tupelo were wicked pissah fun. Elizabeth and Boom Boom and Forrest came down from SQUAM land.

Forrest, JB, Elizabeth, queen of SQUAM


Derek and Kyle came down from LA land


Then I whirled off to Sweden, via Brussels, via Copenhagen to play a little, sing a little on Ms. Nolwenn Leroy's INCREDIBLE new record. Teitur Lassen has been concocting the most gorgeous mix of intimate, quirky, romantic, expansive beguiling arrangements and musicians. It was inspiring to step inside this little world in Malmo and feel this record finally finding its voice and home.


His longtime pal and engineer/mixer Jonas was brilliant at the helm...

Jonas, Teitur, JB


It was Nolwenn's birthday while we were there, and the boys put streamers everywhere, Teitur made traditional buns and hot chocolate, and Annika rocked up the most amazing dinners!



Birthday Nolwenn/Alice!!


 Nolwenn's new Swedish birthday clogs!!


The most incredible quartet of string players came the first day. They played on one of the songs I wrote, and had us all waltzing around in tears. Lush, romantic.... oh my.


The second day, we tried some clustery background vocals. Jury's still out on that idea!!


During one break we realized that we had a red head a blond and a brunette, and that we actually were CHARLIE's aka TEITUR and JONAS'S ANGELS.

Maybe we have a future as singing, cooking, dancing spies.


It broke my heart to leave. Although I've got some killer gigs this week. Delaware tonight, Amagansett, NY, Portland, ME and Ellsworth, ME!! yeeehaw.


Bon courage Nolwenn and Teitur. Bonne Anniversaire.

 Bye Bye.