April 2010
the ARK floats on through the stormy seas

I always get a little confessional at the ARK. Maybe I say too much, but it's like playing in my living room for old dear friends. Happened again last night. Somehow I started remembering all my very favorite songs that make me cry, faux pas in France, drinking and smoking in college so I could sound more like Bonnie Raitt. Thank you all for coming along down crazy lane! But it's safe there, it's family. I've been playing the ARK since my very early days with Jennifer, and it's still top ten. So thank you ALL.



(early days at the ark!!)




Got to visit with another old pal this morning, Martin Bandyke!! At Ann Arbor Radio, 107 one.


I had my morning voice on for sure, so "All You gotta do is Touch me" had a rough and tumble vibe!! But there's comfort in things that you can count on. And Martin is one of them. Thanks also to John Bonmarito for the lovely introduction last night and continued support year after year.

John, JB, Martin


In other news?? Any minute now, our little dance single "HERE WE GO" will be up for sale on I-tunes. Now, if every one on all our lists.... facebook, myspace... you know the deal... actually bought a little itty bitty 99 cent download, y'all would be helping a very righteous cause.... let's call it Jonatha Brooke's next record. 'Nuff said?


And finally, I found more of my all time crazy fave chocolate at, you guessed it - Zingerman's (after my Turkey Reuben) The artisan is Claudio Corallo. and it is just simply sublime. It ain't cheap so you have to savor it... but woweeee, it's fierce and coarse and makes me so happy.Thank you Zingerman's!


On to Kent. Bring the family.


I'm not kidding. I am a chocolate, red wine and coffee snob. I am a pain in the ass about these things. But I have paid my dues by trial and disappointment, hopes dashed again and again. I make no claims to be other than exacting...


Hence, when Jenny at the Arco station said, "Oh no, really, ya gotta go check out the new cafe... the owner's a friend of mine..." I was skeptical, very.


But, I kid you not. "Flying Saucers" yup, on Pico, is the BOMB. The cappucino is sublime. smooth, integrated, they used WHOLE milk, (god bless) and took great pains to make it just to my specs. They have one of those old fashioned Italian machines where you actually do pull the shot through....The croissants and the scones were delicate and oh so fresh. Ryan and Ryan, you make LA good.


They also have an amazing photography exhibit going on. Jens Lucking is his name. I am in love with his images. I clicked a few just to remember them, but want to encourage the PURCHASE of art.... so go see them, and have a cappucino if you're in the neighborhood. And tell Ryan and Ryan I sent you!


Well, next stop, the T2 show at Universal City Walk Theme Park. My stepdaughter is in the show. So we braved a Saturday crowd to find the Theatre and see the Connors battle the robots. Awesome. (you might also have seen Lily on CSI or in that really funny TARGET commercial for ZIRCAM!)


On the way out, we heard a songbird, a real chick singer songwriter rocking the promenade. I mean that is no easy gig, and she was kicking up the jams. Chelsea Williams is her name. LOVE when that happens.



Not far from the cappucino place, there happened to be a vintage crazy trade show.... people walking around in 30's and 40's garb, tattoos peeking out from every seam...even Dita Von Teese was there. I was scowled at when I tried to take a couple pix of some wild hats, so let imagination serve. They even had ballroom dancing lessons outside on the patio. I think I traumatized a young boy when I started adding deep dramatic lunges and scissor kicks to our Tango. Only in LA.


On the road again later this week. Come on DOWN.

my flowers Grow Green

The smell of the lilac always gets me first. How can something so intoxicating even exist?


Then it's the outrageous colors. Oranges, purples and yellow all in a row. "So pretty to see..." Woody would have loved it!!


I think this Tulip was named for Princess Irene. Maybe she was a red head.


This looks more like Tulip JAIL.


"peeping so shy..."


and the stairs to the next surprise...


i love new york. 

Fashion, slowing down, favorites.

It's always hard to slow down. Find a home pace. Luckily I was already hooked on my book  "Let the Great World Spin" - so I've almost finished. In between I'm attacking this jacket/cardigan I've been fighting for months now. Seed Stitch. (knitters, you know what i mean) It's really pretty but I have had enough. One more sleeve and a collar...


And of course, there's my beloved mandolin, and my baritone guitar to pick me up.


In other news, the fashion was fabulous today on the streets of New York. There was a mad hatter lady:

A pink panted dachsund walker:


And a strapping guy named Paddy who was very happy to pose in front of the DKNY nymphs. He said, "You're sure you don't want some more, now? I'll do it for free!" And all his pals started egging him on. Priceless:


I did stop by the knitting store to get some advice for my finally finished "Nanette Lepore Peplum Cardigan"

The consensus was "DON"T STEAM IT!" ok.


Vera is the latest knitter/teacher afficionado. She said, "Fantastish" when she saw my behemoth. Nice. She had all the right stuff, camels, coffee and a dizzing zebra concoction she was trying to make sense of for a lost knitter.


And John the amazing concierge was there. He's the most prolific of all. Finished a baby blanket yesterday, on to a cashmere nursing shawl for his sister today...


Oh my, life is back to normal.

PANTS ON THE GROUND, Bucks on my feet.

On the flight to Philly from Denver, I sat next to a 13 year old boy from the Jersey shore. He'd never heard of the "Stone Pony" or Asbury Park. He knew all about Jack Johnson and American Idol.


"You've never heard of 'pants on the ground?'" He was incredulous. "Even Brett Favre did it."


He wanted to know how famous I was. If I ever forgot the words on stage. Whether I wore what I was wearing on the plane on stage. Whether I could just be a really huge star if I really wanted to. Why didn't I go out for American Idol?


I asked him how 7th grade was. Whether there were still those cliquey, icky girls. He said, yeah, they won't even be seen at school unless they're wearing Abercrombie and Fitch. And the boys are all about Polo. He showed me a cool little video of him snowboarding, a little jump, a little  air... he'd just been in Steamboat Springs, Colorado for spring break.

I showed him my brand new bucks from.... POLO. How 'bout that, I said. Stylin' like seventh grade.


It was such a great look through a lovely different set of eyes. I didn't get his picture, but he wanted to be sure my next song was about him. Eric. Thanks for passing the time.

pants on the ground! bucks on my feet.


p.s. Why was the "pants on the ground" guy too old? How 'bout Susan Boyle? (currently one the best selling artists in the world! along with Sade, who has to be close to 50...ummmm) And how old is Simon Cowell?? Who says talent is exclusively 23 years old?? Just Sayin'

From Rejection Notes to Pulitzer

The New York Times called him Mr. Cinderella!


It's a story that makes my day. Paul Harding wrote a beautiful book that all the 'players' rejected. Only a small independent publisher, and a small dedicated bunch of independent booksellers championed this work they loved.


 Apparently a lot of the rejection letters asked where the car chases were. They claimed no one wanted to read a contemplative slow moving "quiet" book. Well, I thought, what about "Gilead" by Marilynne Robinson? I was moved, riveted, in love with that book, and it was no "Die Hard Again, and Again!" And I do believe it sold very, very well.


Sure enough later in the article (after the mention of the Guggenheim fellowship Paul has now received) it says Paul Harding studied with Robinson at the Iowa Writers Workshop.


She says, " One of the problems I have is making my students believe that they can write something that satisfies their definition of good, and they don't have to calculate the market...Now that I have the Paul anecdote, they will believe me more." As if she were not proof enough?


Well, anyway, more rejoicing. I do believe that the second you try to chase your sense of the market, you've lost your soul, and you will also lose whatever it is that makes you unique.


So what is your definition of good? For me it's when something I'm working on brings on the tears. That's usually a sure sign that I'm on to something. Whether it's tears for the beauty of the chord progression, the twist in the harmonic shifts, or tears for the wrench a lyric will give my heart, that's still the reason that I sing.


I can't wait to read "Tinkers."

Arizona, dry hot lovely.

On the road again. I forgot how dry, magnetized, deep, this part of the country is. I always feel heavier, in a good way. Somehow rooted and attached to the earth.


Due to the beauties and vagaries of priceline,  Paul and I ended up at a golf resort!! Wish I loved golf....I had wanted to take some dumb shots of me putting, driving, ya know, kicking back, at least tooling around in a golf cart. But it just wasn't cool. And they didn't have the cute madras shorts in my size.


So I walked around and gawped at the cacti.


Last night, so good to be playing again.... the Rialto was great. A perfect, DEVOTED crowd, and one of the best sounding rooms I've ever been lucky enough to play. Every nuance was audible, from the house and the stage.


And the fab Rialto team rocked me up with my own pretty pony.


Security was tight too. Especially since they got this new attack dog, Rosco!


He guarded the couch backstage like a pit bull.


One guy came by at the end and bought a CD. Not sure if he'd even been at the show. But he told me he'd gotten the WHO their big record deal, blah blah blah "you're a star" blah blah blah. Ok. he was wicked drunk,  and had only four teeth, so I was just trying to be polite. Eddie boy, yeah, that was it.


And then he said, clear as can be "So, are you in a committed, monogamous relationship?"

"Ah, I get it.... Absolutely."

BAM, he was out the door. Security had to pry the beer from his hand.


This morning, we crashed the NICE resort up the hill. They have a Starbucks. And there was a BRINKS convention there. We tried to get the t-shirts, but some burly guys caught us. Then when we wanted to see the inside of the BRINKS trucks they brought for demonstrations,  they didn't think that was one bit funny.


So I had to settle for a picture with the picture of the BRINKS team.


Paul and I will drive miles and miles to find organic fruits and vegetables. So this morning we went on a mission. JACKPOT! Sunshine farmer's market.

Radishes for days.


WE found GOD too.


Helped me get over the backstage door last night!

 On to Scottsdale/Phoenix. Loaded for BEAR!

crazy spring


EVERYONE is out and about here in New York. I mean, have we ever had such perfect few days? It really did feel like a holiday weekend. But...ever confounding... the boy/men who wear their pants down below their bums. I'm not sure why this fad has persevered. There are even billboards criticizing the inanity and danger of the trend. (Apparently recently some fan of the saggy pants shot a coupla guys, but then tripped and fell when his pants dropped down and stranded him sneaking down the fire escape. DEAD.)


I'm so tired of climbing subway stairs behind someone's sweaty UNDERPANTS. When will this stop?


But there were cuter lighter things happening on the streets. A gorgeous red-headed bunny and her sis.


A dad taking his girls to lunch. Fashionistas in training for sure.


And my favorite, squirmy girls on the bus.

That one in the middle really had my number.


Then, since someone here answered the smelly tree question last fall:

I thought you could tell me why these new spring blossoms that are suddenly everywhere seem to be more smelly than usual, and this is NOT that baby spitup smell like the gingko trees. This is more, ummm, dead body, trash stank. Answers welcomed.

Pretty, but Yucky.


Happy Passover/Easter/Smelly tree season

The Indignities of growing up

I rescued a bunch of pictures from my mom's cluttered files when I was in Boston last week. Some I hadn't seen, luckily since they were taken. Seeing them now, I wonder why somebody couldn't have intervened and begged my parents to get me a real haircut??


This first one isn't so bad. Just a little six year old in London finding her way.


But then, there's this one:

I honestly don't know anyone who would wear this color, even when every other thing in the closet is dirty. And the hair?? The INDIGNITY. I think this was the year I first went to summer camp. With my black Converse high tops and tree climbing passion.... all the other kids called me Mason, (Mason Reese was all over the tv that year hocking canned 'smorgasbord') I was constantly mistaken for a boy, and, given my name, it didn't take much.


Looks like my hair still hadn't seen real scissors by this shot either. Maybe they just figured,  "let her be, she's a wild one?" And my teeth are just way too big for my head.


Of course at some point there are the self inflicted indignities...I think this is some time during college. Bright red lips, and just a lotta HAIR

Kind of a reverse mullett? I believe this was at the point I was in a top forty band called "The Transformers." Need I say more?


Finally, the one that just cracks me up. Into the self consciousness of the pose. What the hell? Who took this shot? Where was I? I just don't know. But there are a few years there where I wanted so badly to be cute, and photographed, and cool. And there just is no such thing. Now, thank god, I am happily resigned to dorkdom. I am thrilled when pictures come out great. I am humbled by the triple chin from below shots. I am patient with the thousands of grimacing into the microphone shots. And ever grateful that the singing is way more important than the hair.

(eyebrows gone wild)