Leslie Nuss

 
 

Blog

Moana

 

So, today is the party for my father in law's 80th birthday. I'm home cleaning so I made Fred put on the soundtrack for Moana so I could whistle (or sing) while I work. And, like clockwork, here comes the alert on my laptop to write today's blog post-beat you to it! I say.

Anyway, I love this music. The music, lyrics, performances, all stellar. But, taking a break because blog comes first.

I'm going to try my hand at some ceramics, and I'm thinking, "What the f*ck am I thinking?" because, yeah, so much time, but my friend Nancy does it, and she's a great hang I type as I drink out of a mug she lent me so I could show my husband the color of the glaze, because he's building this wood workshop for himself and wants some tile. (I thought he'd want to make it, but he just told me that I could make it, then he told me some things I could make in the ceramics studio--namely incense holders) I want to make bowls. I kind of thought, why try a million things, and why not just concentrate on one thing-bowls and get good at that. Though, to be completely honest, this mug is awesome to hold. It's a wabi sabi thing, I'll add a photo here.

So, you can see in this photo the residue of the green slime my daughter made and...well, left on this table. I thought it was cool at the time, a green for her lego constructions, but then it dried and hardened, and stained this table. Luckily, the table is a "work table" according to my husband, and therefore not precious. The top came from an old bakery in Gary, IN. Then, you can see the label maker, as I try in vain to sort and label her legos. Just looking at all of those tiny pieces sends me into fits of anxiety. I want to scream, "They need to be organized!!!!!!!!!!!!" But, if that's what I think, then that becomes another project for me, as no one else seems to care. 

So, back to the blog. 

Luckily, my husband's going to run out of money for his new woodshop and be forced to leave it empty for a few months, while he saves up to buy new equipment, which means I'll essentially have a sound stage to make music videos! My daughter got me to buy a green screen a few months ago (a large piece of green fabric) so I'm going to be working on ideas for videos, as I was told last week by someone in the industry that I'll need a video for every song on these eps (that's up to 16--some songs aren't quite gelling yet, but if all goes to plan, then 16). So now, I've got blog post Fridays and Social Media Mondays. This week I did some posts and edited some live footage from my show in December (up on youtube). Wait! I'll find the links:

https://youtu.be/DzCKh2CQW3U this is for "The Subway" which will be on the LA eps.

https://youtu.be/ZGIfi0Fs7Es this is for "Bell Tolls" which will be on the Chicago eps.

glad I checked, as I forgot to make Bell Tolls public.

So, now I need to work on learning a bit more about iMovie and lightroom for video editing. I'm starting to gather ideas, but then I had a 1/2 panic, because I realized that I'll need to make my clothes for every shoot, since I'm only wearing clothes I make. I had been starting garments and then not finishing them, but I just finished an unconstructed jacket yesterday, and am almost done with a vest. Then it's a coat, a sort of turtle neck-ish long-sleeved top...then the costumes. The house might get a little dusty in the next few months. Oh well.

On days like today, I often take this opportunity to do the cleaning that I never get around to, which subsequently then takes me all day. Then, by the time the party starts, I'm ready to relax. We're having a piano player, a local guy who seems to have played with everyone, who goes by the name Waz. He's kind of amazing and can just sit and play all night. 

Moana is a great movie, and I really loved the Grandmother coming back as a Sting Ray because I've been telling my daughter forever that my mother came back as a male cardinal. She really loved them and loved to "feed the birds" which became a duty for her. So, now my daughter will say something like, "Hey Mom! I saw Cardinal when I was X" of "I saw your mom!" which is nice because she doesn't really have any conscious memories of my mom, even though she lived in our house for 9 months on hospice. But, they were together.

If I look, I see the marks on the white walls, so I better not look too hard. Ok, deep breath.

Tomorrow is a studio day, to pick over the lyrics/lines and to have Nic play some guitar tracks. Then Josh has to go back to work so we're going to have to figure out how to finish up. I've been listening to a cd of his rough mixes in the car and I've been loving it. Videos. For every song. The industry guy told me I need 3 outfit/scene changes for every video. 16 x 3 = 48. 48 outfits? Well, I better make stuff I can wear places besides a video shoot. But, I'm sure it will snowball, well, at least I hope it will snowball once I really get started. 

I've had to stop typing as I take in the idea of making 48 costumes. Well, I have some stuff shot already, so let's say, 44 more. 

The industry guy told me that people will want to know what makes me tick. Like any clock, getting wound up and having something to do. I always have something to do. Problems to solve. 

on a last note, I sent in a request to Sony for use of two Beatles lines in a song. I'm curious to see what they say, having read the Lana Del Rey/Radiohead "Creep" story. I can easily change the lines, is my point of view, especially since the song is in development. What I don't want/need is stress or another headache or a battle. But, I'd love to use/sing the lines, because it's like loving The Beatles. As my dad used to say, "We'll see."

have a great week, if you have snow around you-get out in it!

xo

Leslie

 

progress is progress

 

In the studio

So, I’m in the studio today, Thursday, and we’re discussing the idea of internships.

And reviewing a vocal.

Can’t fight the vibe.

It’s all vibe.

I’m a big John Waite fan and trying to get the vocal right on a song I named after his amazing song, “Isn’t it Time” is a fun challenge. It’s the one song I’ve never performed live and have only sung a few times, so there was no muscle memory to guide me, but thankfully Josh is a patient guy who wants to get it right.

Getting exactly what I want after such a long time is an unbelievably good feeling. Someone else might have said, years ago, “I’m stoked,” which I always thought was a funny term.

Now Josh is on facebook trying to show me a photo of a friend who had some pet squirrels. I had no idea you could search someone’s photos like he was. I’m such a luddite. That’s because I just showed him a photo of a cat hugging a squirrel that goes in through a dog door to hang with the cat. This is all because there is now a cat in the studio. She’s incredibly beautiful and makes me want to add a cat to our menagerie.

I let Josh sift through my vocal. Once in a while I say, yea/nay but mostly I let him do his job.

It’s shocking to me that we are getting to the mix/master stage here. WTF. Now I need some music videos, and I need some concepts because it’s sort of a no brainer to shoot outside, but the weather is not great.

This song is a little country inflected. Josh just said it sounds too good. (and whaaaaat’s wrong with that?) but we are going for “cool” so I’m typing and letting him figure that out. And it has a hint of “dock of the bay” (at least in my mind)

You’d think I’d learn something about ProTools here, but no. It goes by. It’s like listening to Japanese, you keep thinking you’ll just “get” it, but no.
Pat Sansone played on this, it’s just guitar, shaker at this point. I’m laughing because now Josh says the Wurlitzer is too pretty so he’s got that muted. Whatever. I did my job. Whew.

Last night on the drive home from the studio, I listened to his mix of “I’m a Writer” not to be confused with Ainjel’s LA version which I think we will call simply, “Writer.” “I’m a Writer” is exactly what I wanted when I started working on this project which is:

1.  Songs that people will want to listen to more than once, because when I proposed making a full-length recording to my band Specx, the guitarist wanted us to make a very low-fi home recording, which I didn’t want to do. I specifically didn’t want to waste any more of my good songs. Now, you might think that writing a song is easy, and sure, I have bits floating around in my head all the time, but getting it all to come together, that is, having the right lyrics and the right melody is not always something that just magically happens in 20 minutes despite what you might read other songwriters say. For instance, this song, “Isn’t it Time” was, ok, maybe initially written in a flurry of white hot emotion, but then I thought about f*ing with it to see if I could make it better. So that part, taking it from 80% to maybe 90% or above is where the sweat comes in. You have to play around with the melody, the lyrics, the structure and be prepared to let it all go, only to come back to it. And that takes a certain amount of experience and confidence and knowledge. So, you judge for yourself. When you hear it.

Ok, that was a bit of an aside

2.  I told Kyle Paas in New York that I wanted to make music that women wanted to take their clothes off to.(I do not say this to Josh, but I have said it to Ainjel. I mean, no one has ever told me that they’ve had sex to one of my (previously released) songs. And, more sex, more good sex, more positive sex in the world is a good thing, and maybe even a public service. And I wanted to have some songs where the woman listener feels good about herself, good and empowered. Now, not all of these songs fit #2. But you can certainly put some of the songs on repeat, like “I’m a Writer” And that feels so super good. I’m no Barry White, but Barry White is the man. His voice is incomparable. And he provides a valuable service-that of bringing people together.

I don’t think I really had any other goals. But I mean, a sub-goal is for me to, of course, sound good. For the vocal to sound really good. And for that, I need to be super comfortable. And I prefer privacy. I’m like the girl in the story The Crane Maiden by Miyoko Matsutani. If I tell you that I need privacy to sing and then you don’t give it to me, that is going to be a problem.

 

We are moving on. I just told Josh this is going to be SO GOOD and he said, “Yeah, I think it’s going to be alright.” So modest. I feel so lucky. What an improbability, here I am!

 

Now we’re working on “Anybody Out There” one of the songs I wrote while I was in Specx (and recorded). Josh sped it up, and likes the tempo better now. He said if I had written this in the 90’s this song would have gotten me a record deal. Aww! (thanks, Josh). But we’ll start over and rerecord. He’s getting such good vocals out of me, and new guitars and what-have-you. But basically we’re listening, making comments, and he’s going to send me this faster version. There’s one melody run that reminds me of Everything But The Girl, a band I really loved. (it’s about 2 or 3 notes, not anything anyone would notice, I don’t think…) Ok, this song is just a typical female singer/songwriter song. Why fight it? But, no one else could have written it. I mean, it’s about motherhood, my past music career, something I admired about my Great Aunt, my son/daughter, old times, reconnecting, being positive. Update: josh just said it needs some serious “Groove Management.”

 

It seems easy to write a blog post from the studio. I can just report on what’s happening, and just joked that I’ll have to keep booking studio time so I can get my blog post done.

 

So much winning.

 

Ok, we’re not done. We are going to stop working on a song called “Love Can Fix” because it isn’t right and we’d have to start all over and…so I pulled up another song I wrote called “Dorian Gray.” Josh told me to go home and listen to the album So by Peter Gabriel. So was what he was going for when he did “I’m a Writer” So that’s great, because So is an album I really love.

 

Josh just told me he has done some work mixing Lupe Fiasco.

 

Ok, it’s Friday and the kids have off due to “weather” which means that while I had wanted to add to this  post, I’m going to post it as is. Have a great weekend, xo Leslie

 

Singing, in the mud

 

Went into the studio this week. Always a bit petrifying, having to rely on my voice, something that is not entirely under my control, meaning that I need to try to disregard or transcend the factors that might impact its quality, like illness, emotions, energy, stress, etc. The flu is going around and so there's that. Then, not being a vegan, and maybe eating some dairy, then there's the possibility of cloud in my voice, then there is the fight or flight of being excited and nervous at the same time. Plus, it's time and money in the studio and aware that I don't want to waste anyone's time. 

Then, it's such a relief/surprise to hear it played back and then, the "wow" moment, where I am amazed that it sounds good. Those moments of beauty, of lightness and delicateness and not just singing the melody, but something that goes beyond that. Then, trying to double the lead vocal, trying to duplicate it exactly, and then it starts all over. The mimic part, one can (headphone) on and one off, so I can hear the lead vocal and hear myself. And there it is. Telling a story through sound, setting a mood. Maybe having a map and maybe just having a destination in mind. Then harmonies. 

Then, needing to crash for a day, just being a bit exhausted from the physical demands of singing, the long drive, the existential "why am I doing this again?" whole aspect, the other people who are crucial to this project, steering the ship. Oh, and have fun, too! haha.

Then Ainjel sends me rough mixes and it's a big wow. She asked for and got some NYC Subway sounds to incorporate into a track, very fun. She is making me sound so good, I feel like it's almost a slight of hand, a magic trick, except that I did sing those tracks, I did write those songs, I did seek and find and here we are. 

Wouldn't it be nice to be heard? I doubt my ability to do more than make an amazing product. Sales-not my forté. And I am aware I don't have a big budget for promotion. And my mom always said, "It just takes one song." Do I have that one song and if so, which one is it? As my father would say, "We shall see." 

Kids off school, snow, sledding, shoveling off the frozen pond for ice skating, sledding into the brambles and ripping our coats (worth it), sleep overs, laundry, immer laundry, dog sitting, dog has anxiety after encounter with coyote and therefore a bit of high maintenance, my daughter just asked me to wear one unicorn and one rainbow earring so I do, then I tell her I forgot to give her something for Christmas, and she opens a glass rainbow ornament I got at the Welcome Home store in Nashville and she runs off to hang it on the tree. Her sleepover friend got her to watch the first Harry Potter movie, so now maybe we will read the series, but good luck getting her off her iPod touch. 

Working on getting a band together to play my next gig in March. Have not played out with a band since Specx, so should be interesting/fun, of course. 

alright, need to do some other things, this was a warm up, thanks! have a great week. xo Leslie

 

Fasting, Memoir, HNY!

 

So, today’s the day to do the blog. Here I am. Showing up even though I have only an idea of what to write. Ok first, I hope the holidays have treated you well. They can be stressful, but there is a lot of joy, too and that’s good.

 

I kinda sorta took a break from Instagram, so I didn’t post, but I took a picture of a gift I received (a first) because I hadn’t gotten a new sewing machine since I was a freshman in High School and I was a bit astounded. Been a bit busy, but might get the courage to try it today, as I have some time, both kids are occupied, It’s a coverlock machine, which is a kind of a serger and they can be very hard to thread and get the tension right, so requires fiddling and patience.

 

Today I announced that fasting is my Christmas present to myself. I’m on day 4, will end it on NYE, and maybe now the ketones are kicking in. I’d been sorta weighed down and even though I seemed cheery enough on the outside, I wasn’t cheery enough on the inside.

 

It takes 3 days of fasting (in my opinions) for the wheels to start turning. The first two-three are a challenge, you have to commit, you have to fight off the urge to eat for a variety of reasons and you need to get through some discomfort as your cravings ease up/disappear. There is the tiredness, too. The first extended fast I did, I did as a purist. Water and water only. Now I take some vitamins at night, and have some coffee, but strictly speaking, it’s not a “true” fast.

 

I’m giving my body a rest from digestion and seeing if it will do some repair work on my knee, which hurts. It’s a new hurt, and I don’t really want it to stick around if I can help it. Might need to get back to yoga or some exercise, but I’ve been kind of loving not exercising/running/swimming/biking one or more that I’ve done consistently since I was in Jr. High. It was hard at first, to not exercise. Part of my identity seemed askew. I was always a “runner,” and if I wasn’t now a “runner,” then who was I?

 

(Who am I?)

(Who are you? Are you nobody? Then I'm nobody, too)  

 

So. Maybe I already mentioned my New Year’s Resolution? I didn’t always make one, as I do a big thing on my birthday in February, but maybe for the past 4-5 years I’ve had one. It’s been some version of “Use it up/Use it or lose it” and while I still have things to give away, I’ve been really Using things up. So this year I morphed the resolution into “No Backlog” which for me means getting those tasks done that are on my mind. The photos and albums. The familial stuff I don’t really want. The papers to organize.

 

 It’s not really a big deal to organize my paperwork, especially my songwriting, because I usually come up with something new, but if there are really horrible lyrics, I could probably purge them. And, I have written a few poems here and there and it would be nice to compile them. I love poetry even though I don’t read it often. My mother used to recite a few Emily Dickenson poems and she was such a big fan that it was hard not to get a bit enthusiastic with her. She was passionate about the one that begins, “Will there ever be a morning, Is there such a thing as day”

Ok, I remembered that wrong: it’s actually:

Will there really be a "Morning"?
Is there such a thing as "Day"?
Could I see it from the mountains
If I were as tall as they?

Has it feet like Water lilies?
Has it feathers like a Bird?
Is it brought from famous countries
Of which I have never heard?

Oh some Scholar! Oh some Sailor!
Oh some Wise Men from the skies!
Please to tell a little Pilgrim
Where the place called "Morning" lies! 

 --Emily Dickinson

 

I went to see the exhibit of some of her papers and work at the Morgan Library in Manhattan. I really liked her pressed flower book, because it showed her visual arrangements and many of the pages were beautiful for their layout and script. Beautiful script is not something that is usually practiced these days, but it can be lovely to get lost in.

 

So anyway, just having a small folio of my poems for my own sake would be nice. I illustrated one when I was in the 3rd grade and my teacher send it off somewhere and I got to attend the Illinois Young Authors Convention as a result. I don’t remember much about it, though there is a picture somewhere and I think I’m wearing an outfit I bought with my own money from K-Mart (I delivered the Park Forest Star newspaper twice a week starting in the 2nd grade). The dress is polyester.

 

I have a certificate somewhere and there was a book with all the authors’s pictures and biographies, but eventually, I got rid of it and only saved my page. I think I say I like my hamster. (I distinctly remember not having a clue what to write and my teacher had to help me.)

 

My father was angry at me for what he perceived to be my lateness in getting ready for the convention, which I think had some workshops and a ceremony where the authors were presented with their certificates, though I think it was held on a Sunday and I would have delivered the newspaper first and then hurried to get ready, and his admonishments made the drive to Decatur (I think it was there) less than optimal. I was never supposed to fuss about my clothing or seem to care about it in any way, though of course I did!

It bothered him to no end that when I was younger, my Great Aunt Ethel had given me a doll I named Karen and sent along matching clothing for the doll and me. The clothing was, to my young eyes, magnificent as she made just about every dress in a different style, with fun kid-centric fabric and colorful buttons. So, who wouldn't be tempted to change outfits multiple times a day? Periodically, until I was about 7, she would send a package and there would be something new for Karen and me. I suppose it wasn't fair that she didn't send my brothers hand made clothing, but I assumed it was because sewing dresses was easier and never having married, she never had a chance to make clothing for men or boys. 

__________________

Well, this is great, because I have been thinking of writing a memoir about my dad, mostly, being inspired anew by one I’m reading now, “The Only Girl in the World” by Maude Julien. My story is not as horrifying as hers is (or I hope not) but I would like to exhume the ghosts and let them rest.

 

I’ve strugged with this memoir for many years, and have a cache of over 40 typed letters he sent me over the years, though there were more. The first two he handed me when I was about 9 have vanished along with others that were ripped to shreds in frustration, but my first idea was to simply publish the letters and be done with it. At the time, 2002? I let a few literary friends read them,  but the way to go seems to be to start blogging. So, here I am!

 

I thought I’d begin with his death, in 2006. And then go forwards and backwards as the story unfolds. I have no idea how this will sound/turn out, but I’m sure I’ll learn something along the way. (I already learned something by relating that Young Authors story).

Sometime shortly after the convention, someone my father knew was visiting our house and my father gave him my certificate to laminate, which upset me. He never gave it back to me and I assumed it was lost, but after he died I found it hidden at the bottom of his dresser drawer.

 

Happy New Year! Here’s to a great 2018!! Love, Leslie

 

December really needs two more weeks

 

Right? Or Thanksgiving needs to be two weeks earlier. Really, I'm ok, all's well, but the kids are off school, and that's something to manage. Maybe.

Went into the studio on Monday and Tuesday, worked with Josh, went really well. I brought him a strand of purple lights for his live room-they really do make a difference and we started tackling the vocals. He had a cool idea for "Hey Lisa" and now my vocal sounds like a gothic chorus. I love a gothic chorus, some of my favorite singing memories are with my high school choir, our "singing olympian" Europe tour and assembling in Cathedrals to sing a few songs impromptu. I still remember the reverb/echo. So, that was great.

I played the rough mixes for my friend who is 70+ and she thought the two songs were really meditative and something she could picture playing in the background. Good feedback. I thought I had the artwork concept to go with these two eps, but might think about it a bit more, or just think about it and get it good and solid in my mind. 

She and I were on a small road trip to a fabric store in MI for cashmere and mohair. I found a purple mohair, seems like it's kind of old, so soft. I have no idea what I'd do with it and didn't buy it, but that doesn't mean I won't the next time I'm there. Josh said I should make some vegan bags, so I got some wool/linen to give it a try. Obviously, my problem is 24 hours in a day and 2 hands. And getting so many ideas and then of course things breaking, like my serger did last week. But it's fixed now, wasn't that hard to do, just order a part and then fiddle with it. 

She told me she thought I was a genius, which a person doesn't hear too often (one other person called me that, who said I was a genius belt designer) which (even though I filed it away) I just sort of glossed over...but we did talk about the #MeToo and what really bothers me...being that when you listen to the radio, you mostly hear songs sung by men with lyrics written by men reflecting men's experiences and viewpoints. And what happens to our collective unconscious when we absorb that? Bugs me incessantly. 

Today I made chocolate/walnut meringues. They are kind of amazing but of course not good for you at all. Superfine sugar, egg whites, cocoa, etc. But I love to make them because I get to lick the bowl, and because I love to watch the transformation of the egg white to this thick (delicious) goo. They are the bottom layer of an amazing dessert, topped with a snowball of coconut ice cream rolled in coconut, then chocolate and raspberry sauce on top. My daughter asked for whipping cream on the top of that. Hmmm. I said, well, if we're going to add whipping cream, then we really need to add a maraschino cherry. (then we can all slink off into a corner). 

My husband's family has a traditional Christmas night dinner which is kind of cool because you know what to expect, you don't have to freak out if you are hosting (which we are) and (hopefully) the dinner becomes something more than the food. I like tradition and I like presentation and I like fancy, so it's all good. There is also the white elephant gift, of drawing numbers and selecting from a pile of silly wrapped gifts, which sometimes are things from the giver's home and sometimes something bought, but since I've given away so much stuff this year, I just might have to buy something (I just thought of this, and might need to duck into Target tomorrow. AGGGH!) But, usually, it's no problem to find something to give away. 

I'm drinking a gin & tonic as I write this-it's sort of my drink, and that makes it easier to drone on and on. My husband has been ordering wine by the case, but I recently realized that I prefer a G&T to wine. And it's because my mom and my Aunt would have them when we were kids and would spend a few weeks at the Jersey shore. Ocean City, and sometimes Cape May. I loved Ocean City and the Boardwalk and everything about it. I just had mine in a Don Ho class from the Polynesian Palace in Waikiki Hawaii. 

I need to make one more batch of meringues, my daughter just threw a barbie shoe at me, better get going. I hope you are well and good and having a great week.

xo

Leslie

 

I am going to cheat a little bit

 

Ok, so Peter Gabriel is a cool dude. Maybe not 100%, because who knows, but he did do two really super cool duets. Yesterday I listened to the one with Kate Bush- "Don't Give Up" and now I'm listening to the one with Laurie Anderson, "Excellent Birds."

I would love to do a duet and have been toying with the idea. There's one song that hasn't been recorded yet for the eps that will make up Album #6 and a duet would fit nicely. But to be honest, I have to curtail my songwriting for a few weeks as the holidays are upon us and Mrs. Claus finds herself a little bit busy.

That being said, the "cheating" is that I'm going to post my year-end holiday letter that goes in the cards I send out. If you read my blog or follow me on instagram or fb or twitter, then some you know, but there are a lot of people on my list who don't do social media.

It feels so self-indulgent to write this letter, add photos to the back, make a card, etc. but then some people really like to receive it (they tell me!) So WTF. Today will be the letter. Maybe next week I'll post the photos (or not) who knows. One step at a time. 

Have a great week! Life always gives you another chance. xo Leslie

____________________________

Hi and Happy Holidays 2017. It’s now December, and the photo is done. What a year this has been, right? I find myself getting worked up over twitter, deleting the app from my phone, then checking it anyway from my computer….may these trying times lead to the light!

 

Well, the year started off with new recordings at the studio where I made my 4th cd (Round 3) with pals of Pete Remm’s—Scott Pazera, Nic Byrd, Kevan Watson and Specx’s keyboardist Andrew Bray…so I thought, cool! (but left after 2 months-not working out)

 

We had a scheduled trip to our fav spot, Holbox, Mexico which was of course very lovely. Every time we return, things seem to be a little bit more fancy, but it’s still quite rustic with dirt roads, and the blue sky and calm water are heaven!

 

Manhattan in March-after seeing the Donald Judd house in SoHo, I decided to radically alter my relationship with my possessions, meaning –get rid of a lot! After cleaning up after my parents and my Aunt, I’m determined to not do the same to Ruby. This whole year I’ve been organizing, cleaning out, stress cleaning, re-evaluating and so on. It feels liberating as I work to only keep what is essential to me (still a lot-don’t worry!) And last week I began to feel like the chaos was finally being tamed. “Clean House, Clean Mind” is a phrase I first heard in yoga at UIUC! I think Fred is thrilled because when I met him, his philosophy was that people “shouldn’t have stuff” (just a big empty house!) Ruby says organizing is my “natural habitat.” Ha!

 

Then, I got to open up for Willie Nile at the Memorial Opera House, accompanied by bassist Scott Pazera. We had a great time, and even got the enthusiastic crowd to clap along. This year there were a few gigs at the Valparaiso Farmer’s Market and at the Hunt & Gather Market in Crown Point, too. I even got my own PA so now I could play just about anywhere!

 

Harry was in a video shoot for Opportunity Enterprises’s 50th Anniversary, but then went through a lot this year. He had surgery on his right foot to cut tendons to help him walk better, then the seizures came back for quite a while, which prompted a 3 day EEG and an MRI and a call for surgery to sever his corpus callosum (for now we are putting that on hold.) We thought about the ketogenic diet (which is mostly fat) but it would be very very stressful and fingers crossed-right now his seizures are infrequent enough that I would consider him to be doing “great,” but just read several posts on fb by parents whose kids have had the surgery and whose kids are now seizure free. It’s a tough call!

 

Summer started with a quick trip for three of us to Yosemite and SF. Harry was not up to the task of hiking so he stayed at home with his lovely caregiver, Sarah. Ruby was obsessed with “Free Climbing” so we checked out the face of “El Cap.” It’s slick! Once back, Ruby enthusiastically started with the French Horn but had to give it up during the school year to focus on her studies. She was also extremely fortunate to go to sleep away camp for 2 weeks at Interlochen in MI. She loved it!

 

Fred has been on a tear- “The Box” (house) was featured on a prominent Architecture website, richly deserved. He’s in a good spot, one employee, and in the past month has decided to add a stand-alone wood workshop next to our house. It’s being worked on right now and should be ready to use by late February. He’ll be able to make more tables and furniture and use up his stockpile of slabs. Yea!

 

In August, I got to drive to Nashville and work with producer Josh Shapera and multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone (of Wilco). Nashville is such a cool place—loved it.. Josh had been battling an auto immune disease for years and shortly after the trip he had to slow to a crawl while he awaited a donor liver. It seemed to be touch and go for a while, and there was much at stake, mainly a lovely wife and two small children. But then a MIRACLE happened and he got a liver! And he is on the mend!! And we are going to go back into the studio again!!! Music brings a lot of people together, and making music is a joy.

 

Fred also got our barn re-sided and it looks pretty amazing, just in time to host 4 weddings…and one where I was the officiant! Teenage sweethearts, then apart for years, then back together for years before getting married. Lovely to be a part of…

 

Ruby started middle school and has adapted pretty well. School is “not her jam” but she told me she wants to be a fashion designer, which is incentive for me to work with her and get her started. She did make her Halloween costume J And she wanted me to let you all know that she got her ears pierced! She was very brave.

 

Sometime in there, Fred turned into an Eclipse chaser and he and I went to Jackson, WY where we were astounded by the beauty and force of nature. It’s quite something to be completely wowed by the cosmos. And we were!

 

Then, in September, the clean out intensified when I decided to only wear clothes that I’ve made/make.  That cut down my wardrobe in a hurry! There is some “cheating” but enough for me to wear…which prompted me to make some items to sell at a very cool local store called Society -wool wraps, ephemera and pins, belts, cosmetic bags, lotion/bath scrub…to start.  

 

All I would like to say about the #MeToo movement is that I’m glad women are speaking up and out. Long overdue. Let the women lead! Our culture will be richer when women’s voices and talents are heard and fully appreciated.

 

Then, it was off to LA where I got to work with my first ever female producer, Ainjel Emme. She has a super cool studio in East Hollywood and has been a breeze to work with. She’s finishing the tracks started in NYC—very close to done, and she got the keyboardist with Father John Misty (Jon Titterington) to play on some tracks, to boot! These projects have expanded, cost more and taken me to places I didn’t know I’d be going but I’m extremely grateful for these wonderful people and the experiences…

 

Ruby wants to add that Mr. B is now 7. He and Macy are still lovely and “pampered” (as Fred says) and Macy is scratching the pillow under my feet as I type this (v. annoying habit), she still manages to run under the garage door every time I try to close it, and their bark is still horrendously loud but we love them!

 

As I look back over the photos, I have to say it has been a fantastic year. When I’m down in the dumps, I tend to forget that, but that’s why you have to be a “big picture” kind of person, right? Despite all the swirl of crazy in the world, life is pretty good. Thank you for being a part of our lives. We wish you the very best for 2018. Xoxoxo.

 

awww, quick quick quick

 

Gig tonight, finally made this t-shirt that I've had ready to do for quite some time, will post a photo on instagram, kinda busy right now.

Gig is at the Makers' Market called Hunt & Gather, 8:30pm at the Crown Point Fairgrounds and I was told it's a party atmosphere, so that means-let's rock! And I realized that if people knew my songs, I could be up there playing the shittiest guitar and no one would care. So, everyone should learn my songs! haha.

My studio has been a complete disaster for several years, since I had moved and moved it and never got it how I wanted it, but that is ending and super exciting/freeing up some energy. I think that's why I did the t-shirt, plus, I realized I have this gig...perfect timing.

December seems to rush by in a blur. I was busy making things for the store called Society that is carrying my stuff. Then, I realized-I have a gig! need to practice. Every New Year's I have a resolution or phrase and a few years ago it was Use It Up, then maybe it was Use It Or Lose It and then Use It Up again and now it's going to be NO MORE BACKLOG. Wow, doesn't that sound great? I already wrote it out and have it hanging up. This means that the photos will go in the albums, the projects will get completed, the space will get cleared. I don't actually expect it to happen automatically, but it's something that I am chipping away at daily. 

The eps with Ainjel are still being tweaked, some more/new drums/percussion being added, more keyboards ala Jon who plays with Father John Misty (cool!) and Ainjel is going to add some bass and background vox. Can't wait to get that project knocked out/off my list. I do realize that if I didn't come up with these projects, they wouldn't need to get finished, but here we are. 

While I'd love to write more, I really need to get ready for my show and take my t-shirts to the local t-shirt printing place so I can run them through their heat-set machine. They are super nice/super cool guys Rusthead is their shop and I love hanging out with them and seeing what they are working on. 

Well-keep your head up and keep on keepin' on!

Leslie

 

oh. this needs a title

 

so maybe now isn't the best time to start a blog. I mean, I'm kind of busy and all over the place. Should I design something? And if so, what. A handbag? A belt? (yes). Should I write a song? (yes) Should I play on the piano and see what happens? (yes) Should I finish the eps I've started? (yes) Should I perform my domestic duties? (yes) Should I practice for my show next week? (yes) And get an outfit together? (yes)

And then write a weekly blog, too? Hmmm. 

The other day, I got up to about 1,000 words on this to be my first official blog post, but it was dark. I thought it was dark, about my views of gender relations and I thought I didn't want to be that dark.

Then, I got terribly ill-a stomach bug from eating avocados-my body doesn't love them, and had to really slow down for 2 days. I had to lay down and I always think-oh no. Cancer. Or Lyme disease. And I think, can I get better? My daughter really comforted me. She put on warm socks, got me her blankets, a stuffed animal, put an ice pack on my head, took my temperature, got me water and wiped my nose because I started to cry because I hate being sick. And she hugged me. I know she will be good mommy now. She was so proud of herself in a nice, happy way. 

Then yesterday, stomach thing gone, but gravity was really strong. I would do one thing then have to lay down. It must be what chronic fatigue feels like. I felt so guilty, but no one seemed to mind. Thankfully my son has an after school caregiver and I was able to lay down. But I still finished a song. And did laundry. 

Now, today I'm much better. But I definitely don't want to be dark. I thought of just publishing the VM song idea I did today, so people could get an idea of what I do. But, since I had the phone on my lap, it's hard to hear. 

IN other, great and fantastic news, I heard from my producer, Josh. He is doing soooooo much better. It is a miracle and he totally makes the case for signing up to be an organ donor. He is someone truly worthy and his life makes other people happy. (I'm thinking about his family, specifically). We think we will be back in the studio in January. He wanted to start in a few weeks...but I really want him to recoup as much as possible first. Plus, the holidays are crazy. No way, no work.

So, this is this week's blog post. Still not really long enough-I did read that the idea post is about 1600 words. Here's something I made for myself awhile ago. I think it worked! xo have a great week! xo Leslie

 

Ok, I was just warming up

 

So, I think I want to be done with talking about cleaning for a while. It was a good warm up, to get me into the groove of writing on a regular basis, and thought I have a shit-ton of things (left) to write about how I feel about cleaning, I think I'm actually ready to write a "real" blog post. Woah. I put on a Spotify playlist of Women in Rock, am staring at my barbie of Empress Joan Jett and am going to charge on.

I'm sort of lazy so I'd like to write it in one go, but maybe I'll write it and then publish it on Friday, like I'm scheduled to do. 

I recently found the cd that accompanies my first solo show in 1991. It's so bad. The songs are mostly terrible, only one made it onto Heliotrope, (Dream Car--which everyone did tell me would be a hit :) but man, people were just so kind to actually listen! 

Ok, so I'm just saying that, my previous blog posts were mostly terrible also. And, fingers crossed, they won't be going forward. 

Much love!

Leslie

 

Cassette Tapes

 

So. I'm listening to phone messages that I've saved on cassette tape. They are mostly from 1998-1999 but I think I have some outside that time frame. It's fun to listen to people from then-my mom, my landlord, club bookers, someone from a record label, someone from disc makers telling me how much he liked my 1st cd, magazines calling because they used an accessory in a shoot, friends of course-some telling me they left me 3 messages--who does that nowadays? Fred hears a bit and starts to laugh. Usually I used old cassette tapes, so some play out to music from that era.

I have so many cassette tapes. A box of melody ideas, old practice tapes, live tapes of shows, etc. It's hard to commit to listening to them, because they require active listening and I'm such a multi-tasker. 

the state of the eps-not much happening but I got a new vocal mix for the song "When I Wake" which sounds great. I'm sure the release will be in 2018. 

I hope you had a great holiday and are relaxing this weekend. Ours was pretty fun, my stuff turned out great. But my son wasn't quite with it so I took him to the ER yesterday for some testing. The blood work turned out fine, and that's good but I sort of wish it turned up something we could fix. 

Going to get out for a run. Hopefully I'll have more to say next week.

xo

 

 

 

Late. hmm

 

Well, last Friday was a busy day. I had to clean the house so my husband could show it to potential clients (and get the job!) and then I had to clean our guest house and then I was exhausted. 

My son had not been doing well for a few weeks. He has epilepsy and was "seizury" and it might have been from giving him tylenol-because I just found out that tylenol can do weird things when it's being digested and so that was a major damper on my spirits. But, I'm trying different things/amino acids and such and he seems to be improving, so I'm cautiously optimistic that he'll return to his old normal. We had gone to the neurologist who seemed rather unconcerned about his deteriorated state, which was a drag. It's hard to treat a child who is non-verbal, that's for sure. But, whatever. Information abounds and all is not lost. 

So what is on my mind? Not much, haha. In a holding pattern for my recordings, but still going to the piano and trying new ideas and working on new songs. I'm grateful to be in a quiet house for the moment. What's weird is that even though I love love love music, i actually love love love silence. So I am cherishing this silence, which still has the humming of the refrigerator and the tick of the clock and whatever buzzing is in my ears. 

I volunteered to make three things for Thanksgiving. A sweet potato pie (a Mark Bittman recipe) a jello dish with an Asian flair (my sis-in-law is hosting and has assigned Asian-themed dishes) and then I asked her if she was going to have a special cocktail and she texted me one, but the two stores I went to didn't have exactly what the recipe called for, so I'm going to see if I can make some substitutions. It called for Cognac, so I got a bottle of D'usse, which when I got home, I thought I'll just put an N over the D and then cover up the e. Hahaha. N'usse or maybe keep the e. 

Time seems to fly these last 6 weeks of the year. Mrs. Claus must get busy-she usually gives the kids some custom made something (because Santa doesn't sew! duh) and I find it sort of adorable that my 11 year old is sure that Santa is going to give her a phone (MOM-all the kids have one!) Well, she did have an old phone, but got it wet. I let her sign me up for music.ly and she wants to make videos on it. 

I'm playing a gig Dec. 8th at the Hunt & Gather again. Maybe in the Spring I'll have a booth there, too. I brought 4 wool wraps to the organizer's store last Sunday and she sold 2 the same day. So I made some more and made some pins and brought them there this week. I posted a few photos on my instagram account...

Well, I hope you have a great holiday. Don't eat too much, but eat a lot, because it's tradition!

xo

 

Early

 

so, this week I'm going to be early, because I'm in LA and awake and going to the studio in an hour and when I get home on Thursday, I'm sure I'll be pretty busy on Friday.

So, it's great to be here/be back. I'm so thrilled to be working with Ainjel-her studio is gorgeous and has a great vibe and we are doing well. I always worry about my voice. I'm no opera singer, and yet, it "is" my instrument and as such needs to be babied, cared for, used. When I got on the plane yesterday, I felt a slight something in my throat and that's a worry. Who wants to book days into the studio to not perform well? But, then I got over it and we started working and I think I did 3 songs. I resang When I Wake, Swing for the Stars, worked on a little of Glory Days (we had done that last time) and then...she suggested I resing Shook Me...which was done, I thought. But then, yesterday, it got better. What a relief! So exciting! 

We will try to work on Subway today, and then I'd really like to work on Building's Move, though that might need to be put on a 3rd ep. (I mean 3rd of this series-I have those two other eps that I'm working on with Josh). So, that's 5 eps. 

It's cooler in LA than a few weeks ago-got a bit chilly last night and of course since I'm only wearing the clothes I make...will have to improvise. I might need to cheat and wear a long sleeved uniqlo shirt under another shirt today. 

It's such a complete luxury to be able to sit in bed and not worry that...someone will interrupt me, like a family member or animal. I've been up for hours but still will probably have to hustle to get to the studio because I'm on such a slow burn right now. 

Did I mention that I downloaded 17 hours of Voice Memos that I'd been storing on my phone? I use Voice Memos like I used to use portable cassette players-to record song ideas. Some of those 17 hours have full songs from band practice, but...wow. Got to get this sh*t out the door! 

alright. time to get ready. have a great day!

 

good news

 

So, super excited here. The producer who has taken over the "Chicago Tracks" got his liver transplant (for auto-immune disorder) and now recuperating at home. Big Yea. So glad. So, this means that eps 3 and 4 will get done sometime in the winter/spring of 2018. 

And eps 1 and 2 will probably be done around the same time. Who knows. What weights off my shoulders. Then...I can think about recording the next ones. 

I've been also working on the fashion line, which is cool. First, I'm trying to use up my supplies-which are considerable...I have fabric, leather, metal, paint, etc. Fits in with the Marie Kondo-ing of my life. For some reason I think empty will be better, more peaceful.

Not so much to say today. 

xo

 

 

songwriting

 

so, something that really bugs me is the lack of respect women artists get in the music industry besides those in certain genres, mostly pop. It's bugged me for a very long time, and my angst was validated by a recent article in the New York Times where the author listened to the top 150 albums by women and wrote an article that basically reaffirmed what I've long thought: that we are not heard, marginalized, harassed until we drop out, denied entry, etc. 

There are losers all around here when we are denied a say in the popular culture that is music. I think of all the men who helped me, making my records, playing in my bands-they lose too. The listeners lose out, the culture loses out. Equality loses out. It's been a hard battle, vying for relevancy in a field that is so hostile to women. When I was young, I wanted to be The Beatles! They were so cool, and I realized there weren't that many women who got the same respect/attention/etc. 

I have not even been able to read another article also in the New York Times that was about songwriters-because, while they featured 3, they were all men. No women. No doubt those male songwriters are great. But....there are no women who could join that group? 

++++++++++++++++++++++++

There have been so many articles recently about harassment and for me, what bothers me the most, is that when you are harassed, you realize how hard the deck is stacked against you. You realize that no matter how smart you are, how hard you work, how talented you are, how many long and hard battles you've already fought to get where you are, you will only be viewed as a sexual object, only worthy for men's amusement, for the gatekeepers to use and cast aside (unless they let you through). It is demoralizing and debilitating and misogynistic on a level that shouldn't be. I agree with the assertion that harassment is about humiliating the victim and that it is about having power over another. Then throw in some narcissism, entitlement and patriarchy for a fuller picture. 

When I listen to the radio, what I hear is a lot of mediocre male voices. When a female voice is heard (I'm talking about genres other than pop) her voice is just so exceptional, it's an A+. And that definitely sends the wrong message out into the world. I'm actually tired of hearing about life from the male perspective. Cool songs, sure, but...time for some changes. 

And I realize that probably only a few people will hear my music. And I do it anyway. I'll play the chili cookoffs-I think no one is listening, but...people are.

++++++++++++++++++

Apparently making and wearing only your own clothes is going to become a thing. A friend just told me of another one who started doing this in 2016. (I knew of another women who did it a few years ago and blogged about it). I got out a pair of lasts (the form you need to make shoes) with heels-not ready to make some shoes yet but really want to because I got a pair of dead stock heels a few weeks ago. I need to make some more clothes to wear now that the weather is turning but I'm ok. Most of the stuff I've made in the past is a little bit on the weird side, so it's sort of timeless. So far the only desire I have is for some long sleeved t-shirts and I've worn a few I didn't make because I'm cold. 

I visited the Donald Judd house in SoHo a few months ago and was struck by how little was in this preserved residence. It was mostly art. For me, the struggle is getting the things to the right place/people. Recycle/trash/donate/give to a friend/sell/keep. Everything I get rid of, though, feels like a bonus. 

ok, I'm going to end here. It is a beautiful day and the fall colors are really lovely. xo

 

I'm late.

 

Right. So I'm writing on Fridays, but this past Friday I had to drive my son to Indianapolis for a Dr's appointment. It takes 8 hours to make the round trip, then you get back and blah blah blah. "Don't go to a surgeon if you don't want surgery," is how I'd characterize that day. We need to explore some more options before I will let them go into his skull. (Auto-type just put "soul" for skull and that's probably true, too)

This time, I didn't tear up, but then I had just spent 3 days in LA recording vocals. It was so nice to be there and work with my first female producer! Her live room had a super cool vibe-walls were painted black (why does that seem to be a novelty?) She could write the guide on "vibe" 

Got to stay with a friend, too, and check out her super beautiful and very cool apartment. She has impeccable taste. Every object was something I wanted to look at. I want to be her when I grow up!

I want to say something, as there has been a lot of talk around #MeToo. Speaking from experience, sexual harassment is never fun. Neither is sexual assault. Flirting is fun. The ends do not justify the means. The pain is real.

So, anyway, I've been listening to The Cars. So good. It still sounds so good. Now I have a dedicated music space, so, I need to set myself up to finish more songs. 

And in fashion news, still pushing on all fronts. For me, songwriting is theoretical, and fashion/accessory design is more scientific. I started teaching my daughter about sewing/making/designing and...I realized...I actually know a lot! Teaching was never something I thought I could do/would be good at, even though I come from line of women who did. It really is about being extremely patient. 

However...I did think about teaching a songwriting class. That, I thought would be fun. 

Ok, time to get back to work. I hope you are having a great day!

Leslie

 

Where was I?

 

So, it's incredible what has happened in this world since last week. I'm glad things are finally starting to come to light and maybe, just maybe women will. Women will-be seen and taken seriously. Maybe that's it. I still don't think we are taken seriously. 

I just tore my art studio apart this morning and set up a nice music corner for myself. Finally I got a PA system so now I could do solo shows anywhere. I got out "The Complete Leslie Nuss" a notebook I made years ago with all of the songs from my releases plus other ones and am going to run through them. There are about 20 that I could probably play at any given time without much practice, but there are others that would need a review. 

My friend Mike Shimshack got excited about the idea of doing an acoustic recording so I'm thinking about that, too. Do I need another project? Probably not, but I have the songs and why not? It's really a matter of scheduling and well of course finance..but I feel compelled to get this stuff out there. I'll probably try my hand at fb or google live after I catch my breath.

LA bound, looking forward to working with Ainjel, my first female producer. Found a place to stay on Heliotrope St, didn't know the street until I booked-could not believe it! And I guess Uber will cart me around town. 

Last week's wedding went really well-the couple ended up getting married in the barn as it was raining and it was a nice, casual ceremony. They had been together as teenagers, but her mom didn't like him so she was whisked off to Nebraska! and they were reunited 14 years later. So, the marriage was a real union. They all wore converse black for the guys and baby blue/mint green for the ladies. 

Since I moved my art studio around, on the other side of this music space--it looks like a cyclone hit. Sometimes I feel like I'm living the book, "Who Moved My Cheese" or whatever it was called. But, this way you do end up reviewing your possessions and can more easily discard what doesn't serve you.

Next Friday I have to take my kid to the Dr. to review the results of an MRI-not sure how I will post, but fingers crossed I will. I do like having a routine-every Friday, I put something down. I should have some exciting news about how the recording sessions went. 

Keep your head up! Slow and steady is better than crash and burn.

xo

Leslie

 

Friday. Blog.

 

So. Rainy day. Wearing my clothes. The top from the cover of AHSS, pants I made for a show (but wore jeans instead) and the cowboy boots I made as a student at FIT (by request). 

I had a brainwave this morning to make a video of the song "She Has Gone to Heaven" that is on AHSS. Many people probably have not heard it who might own the cd because it's 2 minutes out past the last song which is called "Love Song." SHGTH is about my Great Aunt and it's something I like to play at shows to honor those who have come and gone before us. 

Anyway, I'm trying to update to a new phone-super excited as the new one has a better camera! Then = better videos and pictures! And, in keeping with my "Marie Kondo-ing" I think I will erase all the photos on the phone (they are on my laptop) and start over. I had like 5,000 photos. Who needs that many?

Tomorrow I marry Jason and Melinda. We practiced last night and it should be a fun wedding. I told her, "It can't be a snooty wedding if you are wearing camo (her dress is apparently white camo). So. I read through some wedding vows online, "cut and paste" and then personalize. Hopefully, the rain will cease, otherwise, it's either in the rain or in the barn. Either way would be cool. 

I'm going to start making my own jewelry. I am excited to melt down some old chains and try something new. I have some ideas, but it's just getting the time to make the wax. 

The state of the world is. And, for me, when I venture to have those conversations about my desires by explaining how my past experiences shape my requests, I find that I am taken care of. If I explain to people why I don't want guns on my property--even gun-loving people understand. I'm not ready to type out the whole story, but close. 

I hope you are doing well and thank you for reading. I have a show outside next Saturday, October 14th at the Farmer's Market in Valparaiso. 11-1 I believe. It's free and there are tables and benches to sit on. 

love,

Leslie

 

 

woah. Here I am again

 

So, I used my phone to remind me to do this. I feel like Kristin Wiig in the Target skit-"It's a Match!" I fear I will begin to set alarms for everything. But so far, just a few. 

I was contacted by a female engineer this weekend whose parents live by the shore (Lake Mi). Maybe I could record something here in my barn and she could engineer. Sounds kind of cool. Why not start a new project, hahahahaha.No, but the other one is going. Illustrator/graphic designer. Check. Trip booked to finish 4 songs. Check. Inching toward buying my own PA so I could do solo gigs, house concerts, etc. Check. 

The Marie Kondo thing is a bit messy. Luckily, I'm not worrying about it today. When you want to purge/organize, you need to pull a lot of things out and my studio does look like a cyclone hit it. My dogs are freaked because their path to the door is now a labyrinth.  For some reason Mr. B (dog) is guarding/protecting something I spray painted outside. He is guarding it. These dogs have trained themselves. I'm unpacking and things are going in several directions-use, give, sell. Then I'm pulling in supplies from my shed so I can see/use them more easily. A few years ago I bought a tremendous amount of supplies from a woman who made backpacks, etc. for Patagonia's "Made in USA" products. She could make anything! Amazement. 

I got to see Brent Shuttleworth and The Push Stars this week at Shuba's in Chicago. What a great show! I didn't know TBS, but the producer of my LESLIE NUSS cd (who now manages Brent) said that Chris Trapper is a genius songwriter. There were some really really good songs-the Irish Drinking song? Loved it and a few others. The crowd sang along and was super enthusiastic-Chicago crowds are really awesome....so all good. 

Brent and Mike got to stay with us and now want to put together a songwriter in the round in our barn. He thinks I should do  songwriter's retreat as well. We certainly could house a bunch of people tucked here and there all over the property. 

I don't want to take the time to go to an estate sale today but I might. It's a drive, but there were some cool things in the pictures. I don't need more stuff, sigh, but...."We shall see" as my brother ominously used to say. 

Back to it, 

as always, thanks for reading!

Leslie

yeah, ok, once again: follow me on instagram or twitter, or fb. If you have room. It gets a little dizzying at times. "These people!" xo

 

Blog Started, officially.

 

 

 

Delays and Changes

 

So. luckily a few people in the music biz have told me to keep the faith and that delays are inevitable and it's not really that hard to do, but it does require constantly refiguring out a game plan. The goal is still to finish the music, but the how changes. The why or why not is there and sometimes is a factor.

What I'm trying to say is that the "Chicago" tracks are on hold now, after spending some really wonderful days in Nashville working with Pat Sansone from Wilco and producer Josh Shapera. Josh has an auto immune thing going on and needs time to rest. He's an incredible producer and our only lament was that we hadn't met before the "Chicago" tracks began, but what can you do. 

And then there's twitter, which I've been spending too much time on, though it has sharpened my focus and fed my head. I really resonate with the phrase No fks left. To give. It's powerful. What I'm saying here is that since Chicago is on hold, I decided to go back to finish the "New York" tracks with a female producer. It was shocking how easy it was to find one! And she seems really cool. And even the hub was getting it when I read a message from her. He said, "She's working twice as hard..." (not as Josh, Josh works like a maniac.) But she's on it. So wow. 

My other challenges are to only wear clothes I've made.....from here on out? Who knows. But I've been making my own clothing since high school and often it just sits in my closet. Today I'm wearing the dress from the cover of my 3rd cd with a slip underneath. It grew out of a desire for a closet cleanse. And another challenge that I've given myself which is to start a very small clothing collection for Spring 2018. 4 pieces and maybe 2 bags. I think that's doable and not too nuts. 

Then of course there is album artwork (barely started) but it's all eps so basically I'm looking at 4 eps. 

Show tonight in Crown Point. I was going to do a Facebook live, but I don't know if it will work due to wifi/4G concerns. 

In other non-type of news there are flowers and weeds everywhere around me and I'm trying my hand at making beautiful arrangements. Sometimes the weeds make the best additions. 

xo

 

The state of the state

 

Updating my website, thought I'd write a blog post, too.