Golden Dawn Arkestra

The only fight me and my friend, let’s call her Holly in case she doesn’t want to be named, have ever been in was over music. Let’s just say she’s a little country and I’m more rock and roll.

After what seemed like 10 hours I politely ask if maybe we could listen to something other than the Turnpike Troubadours, and she agreed.

I put on Golden Dawn Arkestra, and my ears were instantly grateful and happy.

“You know,” Holly says after less than one song, “It’s sad a band like this will never make it.”

“Excuse me?” Certainly I had heard her wrong. “They have an entire horn section. Multiple drummers. The most talented musicians in the ‘live music capital of the world’ play in this band.”

“Right,” Holly continues, “but it’s not Texas country, that’s whats popular. Only those musicians make money… I’m just saying it’s sad, I mean, they sound talented, but will never be as popular as country music.”

And this is where I lose my shit…

“I don’t think they want to be as popular as country. They aren’t country. They are musical geniuses, all in their own right. Let’s just start with Matt Hubbard,”

“Oh, is he Ray Wylie’s son?” Holly ask.

“No. He’s not. His dad invented the crash test dummy and his father’s face is the mold of the crash test dummy which was on the cover of a George Harrison album, so technically his dad is on a Beatles cover.

Matt is one of the most talented musicians I have ever heard. He plays keyboard and horn and runs… what’s that country dude’s name… oh yeah, Willie Nelson, he runs Luck studios for Willie. He’s also married to Willie’s granddaughter Martha and they have a child together.

Now, moving on, Brad Houser, you know he and Matt record with Edie Brickell, so clearly they aren’t talented,” I say sarcastically and roll my eyes.

“Then you have John Speice IV, drummer for Grupo Fantasma, and Brownout… Grupo Fantasma has won a grammy, and Alex Marrero, also in Golden Dawn is the frontman for Brownout. Ozzy Osbourne said on the radio that ‘that dude sounds better than I ever did!’

I haven’t even mentioned the amazing creators of the band yet, Greg Rhodes, Laura Scarborough, and frontman Topaz McGarrigle, whose concept was mythical and magical and undeniably funky, soulful and just delicious.

“Um… John Branch has opened for Sting. So… yeah, no talent there. 

And then there are the other amazing members,  Josh Perdue, who most members claim is the most talented, Robb Kidd, who I cannot possibly keep up with all his gigs, Zumbi… to see that guy play a horn…”

I drifted off knowing I had made my point and Holly just nodded up and down. Well, I’d either made my point or she was sick of listening to my argument…

“I’m not saying John Fullbright and The Turnpike Troubadours aren’t fabulous, but don’t you ever try to tell me Golden Dawn isn’t the shit.”

And with that, the one and only argument ended.

If you have the luxury of being in Austin, you can check them out tomorrow, June 17th, at the Solstice Festival in Pan Am Park. 

The Louie Chronicles 

After laughing with a good friend over a recent post, she suggested I start “The Louie Chronicles” or… tales from the perspective of my purse. 

I thought it was a brilliant idea because my purse always gets better treatment then I do. 

Mind you I drop it and leave it to fend for itself… but some nice, usually lad, picks it up and cares for it. 

So here begins… The Louie Chronicles. I’m dedicating this first tale to the lady who gave me the idea, and without further ado… here is the story of the Lipstick Knife Incident, as told by my purse…

It was a chilly February evening. I was minding my own business enjoying the comfort of the floor in my owners apartment when my owner and her very thin blond friend bounded out of the bedroom talking about some boy in a band and swooped me up. 

I was no stranger to my owner and her friends talking about bands.  Music and boys seemed to the topic of most conversations, with occasional references to food or work of some sort. 

I was thrown in the back seat and the blond mentioned something about not eating in awhile.

They stopped and I was whisk out of the backseat and dropped on the floor of some restaurant. 

The girls laughed and ate and made some commitment to each other to “be Totally and fully crazy” no more bullshit, no more walking a fine line… They had made a line in the sand and crossed it. They drove over the line at 100 miles per hour. 

Frankly this conversation scared me as a purse. I’d already been left on the streets of San Francisco and a not so shabby hotel bar in Aspen.  You should have seen the other purses there… little did I know, in a few short years I’d end up on Skid Row. That’s no place for a Louie, I can assure you of that. 

Back to the night at hand… the girls apparently picked at their dinner because before I knew it a box full of French fries had been non chalantly thrown in me. 

Like I had room for that. I may be big, but that doesn’t mean I want to carry every item that could have ever been called for on Let’s Make a Deal either. 

After a short ride in the car more things were thrown in me. I heard the skinny one ask if she could put HER PURSE AND COAT IN ME. I’m a purse for the love of all things holy, not a bellboy. And it’s not like I wasn’t already at capacity. 

We arrived at some place my owner frequents for loud music and after I was rummaged through looking for the poor over used wallet, I was thrown on the floor as My Owner and The Thin One started to dance. 

What seemed like, and I’m sure were, hours later I was being torn through and my guest purse was violently taken out and gone through. After watching that, I decided I didn’t have it as bad as I thought. 

The thin one pulled out what I thought was lipstick… and attacked the one who had been singing. Even as a purse I gasped out loud. 

Instead of helping the singer, My Owner started laughing hysterically. 

To be fair, the singer seemed to be taking it in good stride. He was wearing the thin one’s coat and even took the to go box out of me and started eating the French fries and talking and laughing with blondie and my owner. They seemed to be getting along fine. 

And thanks to that singer taking the to go box out of me and the blond carrying her own purse, I could finally breathe again. 

ATX{e}ness Part 1

What a crazy week. Jeez. I decided to go to Austin on Sunday and see some friends and interview for a job {freelance writing} and some crazy stuff happened. Like… Got back together with an ex, which, is usually a bad decision, and it was. I told him this clearly wasn’t going to work and I was going to drop him off at his friends, after I checked into my hotel. Which was Hotel 11 on east 11th. I love the east side and east Austin, and this quaint little hotel, with only 11 rooms is precious and in a great location.

So, I go to check in, and the now ex follows me inside. The sweet girl at the desk, Taylor, was asking me how many key’s I needed and I said, just one. It’s just me staying here, and don’t you DARE give a key to this guy, he is NOT with me and certainly NOT allowed up to my room.

This pissed my ex off, so he grabs my keys and goes and jumps in my car and leaves. I am speechless, but when I regain my composure I looked at Taylor and said, Um… did that actually just happen? That’s MY car. She looked at me and out the door, and stammered, “Oh my gosh, are you okay?”

I assured her I was fine, that I at least had my purse with me, and I was going to deal with that later. I shook my head, finished checking in, and went upstairs and took a nap. I figured when I woke up my car would be back.

When I woke up, the car was still missing and I was pissed.

But, I wasn’t about to let that ruin my night, so I  got a cab and went to Cboy’s to hear Charlie  Jones, who happens to be my birthday twin, and his band play. It was fun. They are great. I chated with my friends after they played and cabbed it home. Still no car. Hmmm… I call the ex.

I ask him to please return my car. He refuses. I say, “Um, do you think you can just take my car and not bring it back? I need my car, I like, use it for things.” He told me he would NOT return my car and I told him I would be calling the police, which I did, like, 30 times.

Finally the police show up at my hotel and I get the ex on the phone. Ex is still saying how I won’t call the police and I say, “That’s funny, here, why don’t you talk to them,” and handed the phone to one of the officers. The officer explained to my ex that he needed to bring the car back immediately.

Finally. For JC and all things that are holy, we were getting somewhere.

He dropped the car off 6 blocks away, threw the keys in it, and the police took me there and I got to retrieve it.

Tell me that is not fucked up. That is fucked up.

I’ll tell you about the rest of my week in Austin later. I’m late for twerking and must go for now.

Stay safe out there y’all!

Drama for your Mama.

Or whoever. It’s been non stop drama the past few weeks, and I don’t even like drama. So… Drama… be gone! I’m extremely behind on posting, so please bare with me. The good stories are coming soon.

Let me recap the past two weeks… Quit job to pursue my passion which involves writing and opening a studio in a gym. Yes, my own little place for yoga and Twerking and POUND classes and even kids classes. It’s going to be so wonderful, and I am so excited for the opportunity that Shawna Gibson offered me. I’m taking it and running with it. The new Brick Gym will be opening soon, and I cannot wait to see you there!

After quitting my job I decided to spend as much time as possible with one of my best friends who live{ed} in Austin until last week. I was coming home from visiting and was in a wreck. It was a pretty bad wreck and my {then} fiance said he was on his way to get me. Three hours later I called to find out he had changed his mind, but forgot to mention that to me. We broke up right then and there.

That weekend was Utopiafest and I just knew Jamie and I were going to have a great time with all the members of “The Family” that were going. And it was a great weekend, with a major setback. I was slipped drugs. Yes, that means someone gave me drugs I did NOT want to take. However, the festival took care of me better than I could have ever imagined. The head of the festival Aaron Brown, and the entire security team were beyond incredible. I am so grateful for all that they did.

The night of the wreck I met a boy. He ask for my number and I said I was engaged and he could friend me on Facebook, which he did. We started talking and really hit it off. He is an amazing guy and it’s fun looking forward to my phone going off and lighting up when I see it’s him. He’s definitely a bright spot in the midst of all the crazy.

Can’t wait to share more of all these stories with you, it’s just going to take awhile to get it all typed out. Thanks for reading and liking and sharing. Y’all go out there and have a kick ass day.

Blue Sparrow Updates

Whew! It’s hard to believe I posted my first post on April 1st of this year. What a crazy ride it’s already been! I was so honored to be asked by FW Weekly to write a blog for them after Eric Griffey had seen just two of my post. He probably deeply regrets that decision now! To see my latest blog post with the FW Weekly, click here. And thank you so much Eric for putting up with me!

I had a gorgeous logo designed by Marcie Finney Designs, who is also the owner of Mustard Seed Jewelry, which I am also happy to offer on my blog.

And having said that… Josh over at Made In Fort Worth is working diligently at giving The Blue Sparrow Blog a make over, and very soon it will be very easy to purchase Mustard Seed Jewelry from this site!

And finally… the last member of the team came on today. Kristen Ballard with FWemedia. I am so looking forward to working with her. Please, please PLEASE do me a solid and sign up to receive my blog via email. Simply get on your computer {it won’t work from your phone} and sign up to follow my blog via email. This not only helps me, but it will help you be pre-registered for giveaways, and who doesn’t love FREE, yes I said FREE stuff. You still have time to sign up for tomorrow’s giveaway.

#doitnow #pleaseandthankyou

 

Wendy Colonna, Austin, and Music, and John Branch too.

I guess if I am going to say anything about Austin and music, I must first mention John Branch. I met John Branch in high school. He was in a band called Spiritual Hum, and it contained my first real life band crush, lead singer Rob Honeycutt. John, being the nice guy that he was and is, let me go on, and on, and on, about how cute I thought Rob was. He would just nod along noting every once in a while that I was not alone, that every girl had a crush on Rob.

Anyway, that was, in like… 1993. John has moved on from Spiritual Hum and now plays for so many bands I cannot keep up. He is a master. And, he is still my friend. I love seeing him play whenever I can. Golden Dawn Arkestra {GDA} is my favorite that he is in {that I know of. Like I said, I can’t keep up with him these days. The other day I was on the old Book of Face and saw he was playing with Leon Bridges…}. Anyway, Golden Dawn is amazing, and if you love to dance, you should check out a show. They are collectively, I dare say, the most talented group of musicians playing together in Austin. I could go on and on, and will… Later.

Because I have known John for so many years I have been fortunate enough to meet and hear some of Austin’s finest musicians. Their talent blows me a way. By meeting and getting know this talented group, I found out about The Austin Daze, and Russ Hartman. Russ needed help transcribing interviews and I jumped at the chance. Through Russ I met and was exposed to more talent, which is how I came across Wendy Colonna, a singer songwriter from Lake Charles, LA, who now lives in Austin.

I had first heard Wendy’s name back in 2012 when I did a sprint triathlon in Austin. I was with my friends Haley and Emily, and I was about to puke. Emily nudged my arm and said, hey, that guy looks like your type. I turned around to see a tall, tattooed, pretty-boy with a man bun, in overalls and noted that he was my type, and ran off to puke.  I heard over the loudspeaker something about local celebrity Wendy Colonna about to enter the water and how Austin had just recently celebrated Wendy Colonna Day that April. And then I puked more. Then it was my turn to get in the water.

We finished the triathlon {barely} and loaded up and went home. Emily and Haley were talking about how much better they had done than in previous years, and I noted I did much worse and was happy I didn’t drown.

We made it back to Fort Worth and I was meeting friends and my then husband at Fred’s, where ironically,  John’s band Mudphonic was playing {Mudphonic consist of John Branch, Alex Marrero, Topaz McGarrigle, and Greg Rhodes, all in GDA as well. Talented group I tell you}.  Anyway, so I am telling John I was in Austin at the Danskin Tri, and he asked me if I knew Chad Pope. “Nope.” I replied. “Oh, I thought you might, he’s from Fort Worth too,” John said. And that was that.

Life is funny… and it turns out Chad Pope was the tattooed boy in overalls behind me at the Danskin. He was there to support his then girlfriend, Wendy Colonna.

In 2014, when I started helping Russ at The Austin Daze, I ask if I could interview her, and I did. It ended up being a series of emails back and forth as we could never seem to be in Austin at the same time. I had done my research and knew her songs from her most recent album Nectar, and that they were being played in Starbucks. I also knew that she had written a song for a little known brand Coca Cola, and you can watch that video here.

What I didn’t know, is that when I actually was able to meet Wendy two more years later, I felt like I was meeting a part of me. I felt like she was my new best friend. I liked her instantly, and fell in love with her music. I have a feeling I am not alone in thinking this. She connects with you on an intimate level with her music. It’s strong. Powerful. Moving. Relatable. She is a powerhouse. An amazing singer songwriter and storyteller. On my recent trip to Colorado {more on that later} Wendy played on a loop for several hours as Jamie and I sang along. You can click here to hear her album.

I will keep you posted on when she will be back in Fort Worth. She usually plays at the Live Oak when she is in town, but she most recently played an intimate show at my house, and we have discussed doing more of these types of shows in Fort Worth, as they are some of Wendy’s favorites, and mine now too.

Do yourself a favor, and listen. Just start with ‘Dirty Things’ and listen through ‘Mother Forgive Us’ and then you can leave a comment here thanking me.

You’re Welcome.

Hanging out with a little band called The Cure

I have loved music since I was a little girl and use to belt out Kenny Rogers and Kenny Loggins. My grandmother loved Crystal Gayle, and wanted me to be a country and western singer when I grew up. Well… I do love to sing. And I love to perform. Unfortunately, my kids cover their ears when I sing ‘Happy Birthday’, vocally blessed, I was not. If I was, I would definitely be just as big as The Cure. In my head. Anyway…

Like many, The Cure defined my teen years. Riddled with teen agnst, like many of my generation, Robert Smith was an idol. So when a group of my friends heard they were coming to town this May, we jumped on board to get tickets. We knew the concert was going to be great, but we had no idea what the night had in store for us.

After partaking generously before and at the concert, we made our first adult decision when we decided to walk across the street to the W Hotel and get a room. That decision, was possibly the best one I have made, like, EVER.

Shortly after walking in, checking in, and making our way to the bar, Roger O’Donnell walked in, followed by Simon Gallup and Jason Cooper. Everyone started applauding, including myself, who happened to be standing at the bar. Roger O’Donnell walked up to get a drink, and people started asking him if they could take selfies with him. He was right next to me, and I didn’t have my phone. I ask him if he was ‘the real’ Roger O’Donnell, or just someone that looked like him. He laughed, and we started talking. I proceeded to tell him what a big deal I was, and that he would probably want to take pictures of me on his phone instead of the other way around. He laughed again but played along. Then security rushed over to send him to a private table. My friends Robyn, Claudia, Kristina and Maria were taking pictures with Simon and Jason about the same time.

Here I am using Roger’s phone to take our picture.

And here are some more fun ones.

Security told everyone picture time was over, and to let the band sit down and relax. As they were about to separate us from the band, Simon ask a couple of my friends to sit down. We were all permitted at the table, and the next few hours were some of the best of my life. Drinking and chilling out with The Cure. They were amazing {duh} but we were shocked how cool they were to the five of us. We talked until the bar closed down.

At the end of the evening when we were retreating to our rooms, and riding up in the elevator with Simon, we discovered our room was right next door to theirs. We spent the next couple of hours going between rooms and pinching ourselves over and over. Finally, at 4 am, they said, in their amazing english accents, “Girls, seriously, we’ve got to go to bed.” To which I replied, “Oh, I’m sorry, I thought y’all were the rockstars, my bad.” And Roger smiles and says, “Yes, but we’re old rockstars darling. Kisses and hugs goodnight.” And with that, we retreated to our room. Hashtag, best night ever.

 

Vanilla Ice and I are super tight.

I know this will come as a shock… but, I’m slightly dramatic. I was in theater in high school and prided myself on being a ‘drama queen.’ Some time after college I realized drama was not as fun as it was as a teen. I loved acting, and then when the ‘Real World’ came out, being on that show was a life time goal. First season in New York? You mean, Eric, Julie, Becky, Norman, Heather, Andre and Kevin? And no, I did not have to google that. My dream was shattered when I turned 28, as they would no longer cast anyone over 27. So basically I failed at life. I guess that is still a bit dramatic…

That being said, I have a thing for all things celebrity. It doesn’t matter if you are the local news anchor or Meryl Streep, I will have the same amount of excitement if I see you. Mainly because I feel I know you. I mean, I’ve read US Weekly for years now, so I feel like we are all friends. I’ve seen you carrying your groceries… ‘Stars are just like Us!’ We both put gas in our cars! Even though I see you on TV! That’s just crazy!!

One time in the Las Vegas airport, I ran down a group of ‘Bachelorette’ contestants just to say, “Aren’t y’all on the Bachelorette? I’m from Fort Worth, aren’t like, a bunch of y’all from Dallas?” I might have been drinking on the plane. Maybe. Turns out they were. And they were going to a ‘Bachelorette’ reunion. I think I said something like, ‘Neat, have fun. Guess I’ll go find my bag.’ Or something really cool like that.

I went up to Meg Ryan while she was eating dinner in New York. I know, I know… I was that person. But, we were having an argument at my table as to if it was actually her or not. Half the table thought it was, so naturally I had to find out. And, knowing how much celebrities, especially real ones, hate to be approached, especially when they are eating dinner with their high-school-age son… So I walked over and simply said, “I am so sorry to bother you, but I was just hoping you could settle an argument my table is having. Some of us thought you might be Meg Ryan, but I said, no, that woman is way too young to be her.” She busted out one of those Meg Ryan smiles {slightly different these days thanks to facial fillers} and we talked for a bit, she introduced me to her son and thanked me for the compliment, ask me about my trip… she was really nice. Flattery does get you everywhere.

So, about Vanilla Ice… My whole family was flying to Montana for vacation. It was 2004, and as we boarded the plane in DFW, I noticed someone was in my seat. My then husband was in front of me and was politely telling Ice he was in my seat. Turns out he was supposed to be on the aisle seat across from me. We sit down, my ex having no clue who he had just spoken to, and I quietly lean over and say… “Um, that is Mr. Ice. Mr. Vanilla Ice.” The ex is all, ‘Um, no it’s not’ and we go back and forth. I, naturally, start looking at his tattoos and writing them down so I can  verify when we get off the plane because said ex did not want me ’embarrassing myself’ by simply asking Mr. Ice a question. Finally, Vanilla falls asleep, AND BONUS, he was reading his mail. Awesome. I basically try a Matrix move balancing myself on my seat and air planking over his seat to see who it was addressed too. It totally said Robbie Van Winkle! Robbie too, not Robert. At this point I am slightly excited and lose my balance, almost slamming my head into Mr. Ice’s private parts. He never woke up. We never spoke. But when we were all getting off the airplane a bunch of guys started humming his big hit. And he turned around and gave a ‘wus up’ nod. {The nod also indicated that, much like when I tell someone I sell propane, and they say, ‘and propane accessories?’ Mr. Ice, looked like this was not the first time someone had busted out singing his one hit to him. Ice, I get you. I know how you feel man.} So that’s my Vanilla Ice story. I know, anticlimactic. Welcome to my life! What can I tell you, I’m a drama queen.