2018 Recap: October Part Dos

29 Dec

This is how October made me feel. I slept, but much of it was on planes or for four hours at a time. All of it was fun, though.

After going viral (she casually mentions, gripping her phone), I hopped a plane several times (I flew to Phoenix twice in one day thanks to wind shears) to Palm Springs for SongWriter Camp with 30 other really nice songwriters and some amazing mentors. Pam Sheyne and Richard Harris were our fearless leaders.

See, earlier in the Year of Funk, I figured I should really do some professional development by way of writing, and that pop songwriting, while a thing I love, was not something I had been immersed in aside from copious amounts of listening / reading from afar. I don’t know any hit pop songwriters in Austin, so I went to California to find them. This workshop delivered in spades, as they brought in mentor after mentor with cool tracks to their name and lots of experience. We dissected songs that I loved and heard all the time, but hadn’t really known what was exactly going on with them to make them “Hits.” We broke off into groups of 3 and co-wrote 2 songs in 2 days, which made all our brains hurt but was super fun. Being around people who didn’t stare blankly at me when I mentioned how awesome Dua Lipa is was refreshing. I made a lot of new friends in four days which is not too shabby for this introvert.

Then I hopped a plane home-NOPE. I flew to Dallas, because you will find that a recurring theme of this blog is that I had to see Mary Chapin Carpenter. The Colorado/Idaho trip was a magical reason to leave Texas in the summer, the DC trip was a pilgrimage, and of COURSE if MCC comes within 5 hours of my home I’m going to go so there I went. Kelly and Leanne swooped me up from the airport, we went to a wonderful show at The Majestic in Dallas on Friday night, slept in the worst Days Inn on I-35, and had to be up early to get to Austin for MCC doing a taping of Overheard with Evan Smith at KLRU. Like…peak PBS style. My nerd self was beyond happy.

I asked a question during the Q&A, during which my hands went numb while waiting in line. You can see the whole taped episode here and you can see the Q&A right here, numb hands and all. One more MCC show in Austin and my Musical Tourism year was closed out with a roar…a beautiful roar.  Also it seemed like I ran into everyone I know in Austin in the lobby of the Paramount which was really fun. My people have good taste.

The other Big Thing that happened was I met with Dan Barrett in his NEW STUDIO. Dan, a great lesson in not being attached to the One Thing longer than it serves you, had closed down his Rubicon Studio and spent some time waiting on the right thing to come along. He found a beautiful spot in South Austin, and we met there to talk NEW ALBUM.

My songs diverge into a couple of categories, and it becomes fairly clear when sifting through that I have onetwothreescream songs, and then I have songs that are more fit for a songwriter record. A more acoustic record. A folk record? That kind of record. That’s the kind of record I’m going to make with Dan. We talked BIG DREAMS. We talked logistics. We talked about the joy of us two hanging out together making stuff. Our track record with this is good.

I feel ready. Throughout this whole year of wandering, I wrote a lot. I have about 40 songs to go through as options for this album (and for new onetwothreescream tracks, too!). That’s a pretty awesome feeling, and a nice realization to come to after feeling some moments of absolute slog throughout the year. I am armed with inspiration and good examples and options, which is about the best place you can be in when you want to make an album.

So I’ll be on this porch a lot come February and March, and I’m excited to share that whole process, too.

We’re not done with the year yet, though!

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