Friday, January 21, 2011

End o' Week Musings

What a great week!

As you recall, I checked out early from my blog because I was headed to the NAMM show in Anahiem. NAMM is a huge music trade show that provides you with an opportunity to see the newest products and instruments, network with people in the music business, talk to dealers and vendors and meet stars. It's also a great place to people watch.

Friday I was on the move, searching for interesting business stories. I found two companies very interesting- Couch, which specializes in using repurposed materials for its guitar straps and other items, and Crescent, which makes and sells beginner instruments. Watch for my stories in the coming weeks.

Saturday I caught the performance by Bones West, a trombone-based orchestra. They were very good- it was interesting to hear how much they could do too.

Sunday I attended a screening of "The Wrecking Crew," a documentary about sessions players on the West Coast during the '60s through the early '80s. I was amazed at how many albums they performed on- the Beach Boys, Nancy Sinatra, the Monkees, the Byrds, Sonny and Cher and on and on and on. It is a terrific film for music fans and musicians and I can't wait for it to come to the theaters.

During my time at NAMM, I caught up with my friend Mike Davis. He plays bass for Halford and Dramarama and was signing autographs at the EBS booth. I also met Jerry Miller, guitarist for Moby Grape. I heard him play a few tunes and he's still very good.

You can read more about NAMM and see some great photos in the February issue of

Monday, I was off from work and spent my time with my friends Carin and Tom. We lunched, did a few tasks around their place, relaxed, went out for dinner and soaked in the hot tub with drinks and cigars. I slept quite well that night!

Tuesday I had rehearsal with Danse Macabre/Ad Hoc Consort, my Elizabethan group. I will be playing percussion and dancing with them tomorrow at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood for a special "Lord of the Rings" event. For more information, visit and look at the bottom of the page. You will also find all the specifics on the upcoming Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale, where I will be during April and May. But don't go just to see me and my fellow entertainers, go for the turkey legs, the cool shopping and an adventure to remember!

This week I interviewed Jessica Kubanzsky, who is directing Tennessee Williams' "Camino Real" at The Theatre @ Boston Court in Pasadena, and Jenny Powers, who is starring as Veronica Franco in "Dangerous Beauty" at the Pasadena Playhouse. Both shows sound very interesting, you might want to check them out and mark your calendar.

If you like art, the L.A. Pottery Show is coming to the Pasadena Convention Center next month. It features mostly collectible pieces, some 100 years old or more. There will also be work by contemporary artists. I spoke with dealer Richard Jones, who said that pottery is a good investment because you can begin collecting with a fairly inexpensive piece that will gain value with age, plus the items are pretty and functional.

Tonight I am going to the Empty House Party for the Pasadena Showcase for the Arts. Joined by my editor, podmate and my friend Ben McGinty, I will peruse the residence selected for splendor this year and speak with designers about their plans for each space. There will also be samples of some of the food they will offer in the cafe, along with a few other treats. It will make for a different Friday night.

I have quite a few choices for the coming week... what to do... what to do... well, you know if there's an adventure, that's where I'll be!

In rotation this week: Otis Taylor, Terrible Things, HorrorPops and Orange Sky.

Photos we got 'em: A couple cute animal photos from the Web, plus photos of me with Mike Davis and Jerry Miller compliments of one of my favorite photogs, Terry Miller.

Thought o' the week: Don't get overwhelmed. NAMM itself is a major undertaking and paired with my usual hectic schedule, I could be on things-to-do overload, but I have a few tricks to keep the stress at bay.

First, I write EVERYTHING on one calendar. This includes meeting a friend for lunch to interview appointments, as well as possible events I might like to attend. To me, if it's not on my calendar- it doesn't exist. This helps me keep my schedule in check so I don't overbook myself or miss something important. Just having this little organization takes away a lot of stress.

I also make sure to have some time for myself each day. Usually it's when I workout and take my walk. During this "quiet" time, I can listen to music or the sounds of my neighborhood. Exercise helps me turn off my brain from work and worry for a while, which we all need, plus it is MY time.

I have some wonderful friends who I can call and talk to about anything that stresses me. This "lifeline" is very important, as it is good to know you have someone supportive and caring in your life. Of course, I reciprocate. I even keep a bottle of white wine in my kitchen for one of my friends when she's having a bad day and she knows it will be delivered to her with a warm ear with one phone call.

One of the most important things I do is keep organized. There is a place for everything and everything is in its place. I never have to spend precious time in the morning looking for my keys and I usually have a good idea of what I'm going to wear each day. If I have to dress for something important or special, I usually try on the outfit (with jewelry) I plan to wear a few days ahead and - if all is well - I hang it outside of my closet, so it's ready for me.

I think that's enough to get you thinking. Just a few tweaks and you can go from stress to smooth sailing... What is overwhelming for you? Take a deep breath and think how you can be proactive-- and happy!

Keep on rockin'

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