friday music spotlight: robert glasper

robert glasper by joey l.
[image: joey l. for npr]

i first heard of robert glasper because he’s part of my sister’s larger circle of musician friends. he’s got an amazing album, double booked out, and has done some really outstanding arranging and producing on some of my sister’s recordings, but until recently that’s all i’d heard. [sometimes i live under a rock, ha.]

listening to rap with robert glasper by patrick jarenwattananon for npr is a really great sit-down & listen through some standout moments in rap & hip hop history with 2 guys who have loved the genre for years, exploring both of their takes on what each song has meant. take a break & enjoy.

san jose jazz festival

driving up the 101 to san jose

this past weekend, i joined my sister in san jose for the san jose jazz festival, where she was performing with gerald clayton, alan hampton & kendrick scott. i drove up on a friday, arriving in the evening to see a much bigger festival than i imagined. there were 8 stages around town during the day, and 13 clubs participating in jazz crawls at night, blocked streets and people walking everywhere.

gretchen played at the repertory theater on saturday in the 2pm slot. it has been really fun watching my sister’s career develop, but there’s something special about being out of town at a festival where you can hear people talking about her all around you. it’s an odd feeling, it makes you want to say HEY EVERYONE you’re talking about my sister! after an oddly-public sound check [weird decision on the part of the venue], they started in on a set mostly of tunes from in a dream, interspersed with favorite brazillian and traditional standards. i’m not a music reviewer, so i’ll leave it at this: she rocked it!

gretchen parlato and gerald clayton at san jose jazz fest 2010

gretchen parlato and alan hampton at the san jose jazz fest 2010

they played to a packed house, though some people rotated in & out to see other acts. the lights were low and my camera has a tough time with stage lights like this. i heeded the no flash photography sign, and really had to work around a shoulder to get a picture of kendrick.

kendrick scott at the san jose jazz fest 2010

after the show there was a standing ovation! it was exciting! then people went out to buy the CDs she brought, and she sold out of everything she brought. then they lined up to say hi and get them signed. this was really fun to watch.

gretchen parlato selling and signing CDs at san jose jazz fest 2010

once all the festival action subsided for the day, we took our well-deserved jacuzzi break, and gretchen prepared to meet some of the sponsors. most of the band picked up tacos at our new favorite place and we all watched some well deserved wind-down tv.

in the morning we got up early to make it out for breakfast before getting to the airport on time. we chose a cute crepe place in pacifica called high tide. our smoked salmon & cream cheese followed by banana & nutella crepes were amazing! after all the dropping off was complete, i took a spin through paso robles wine country on the way home. shady lanes & oak trees!

adelaida road in paso robles, california

fourth of july 2010 wrap-up

to celebrate the fourth of july this year, i put on one of a few outlandish red, white & blue combos and put together some food to grill at a friend’s house. i am so used to my arsenal of funny clothes that i didn’t bother with a full-body shot, but i did take a self-portrait at some point during the day. my red pants are represented by reflections on the white walls.

fourth of july portrait

after obligatory grilling, we headed over to machine project for their 2nd annual porch of july spectacular. i mean, look at these ladies, who wouldn’t want to sing folk songs of american history with them?

porch of july singers
[image: machine project]

we sang all manner of folk songs happy and sad. it’s amazing to think about how many years we have been singing about injustice, slavery, war, and crimes against nature with so much hope for change. to be singing the same songs so many years later and see so little evidence of progress is discouraging. i suppose evolution happens too slowly to observe, in any case. we did a lot of new [to me] favorites, like tree of the valley, oh healing river, and rare bog, rattlin bog, and revisited ones i grew up with, like the answer is blowin in the wind, when the saints go marching in, and this land is your land. i can muster up some spirit for some of them, but man, when they mention “the gulf stream waters” as part of the america we get to revere and share, my friend and i stopped in our tracks. hippie kid moment: um, america, what ARE you doing to this great land, anyway?

2nd annual porch of july singalong

laura steenberge took a few breaks to mention how awesome and powerful it is to sing heartily with other people, and i totally agree. it was really fun to belt out songs about protest and fellowship with my friends & neighbors.

fireworks in echo park 2010

after that, we took a quick walk down to echo park lake where the usual suspects were lighting fireworks. my main worry in all this is about the ducks, but it looks like they manage to take refuge on the island. then we headed home to where kitty kazoo was hiding from the perceived warfare under the covers of our bed [motor & ray are relatively unphased by fireworks].

coworking at fetch creative

today is a whole new story. i have taken a desk in a co-working arrangement at fetch creative with some other awesome designers, and today was our first day working together. i am already so excited about this decision, because while i love working at home on my own, if i can get a chance to work in a group space with talented, driven, like-minded people, i’m thrilled. i’ll be writing more about this in the coming weeks, but for today it was great to pull up a chair, get away from my ordinary distractions and take in-person chat breaks instead of facebook or twitter breaks. a big yes to co-working!

ok go and the changing face of the music industry

i was catching up with one of my favorite podcasts this week, planet money and was happy to hear they were interviewing damian kulash jr. of ok go about his recent op-ed contribution to the new york times “whose tube?” in this article he recounts the story of how the band created and distributed their video for here it goes again without label approval through, which went viral and essentially gained them a much more loyal and active following they’d ever had before. the band assumed to continue this tradition, and you’d think their label, EMI, would have said “sure, do it all again!” but alas, many aspects of the music industry continue to be short sighted about change. instead, in a misguided attempt to protect their assets, they blocked third-party users from the ability to embed videos—the very thing that allows them to go viral—so ok go decided it was time to rethink the relationship.

certainly not the first public departure from a label, but a pretty notable effort was when radiohead decided to release in rainbows on their site on a pay-what-you-wish basis. it went from fascinating experiment to great success, summed up by a quote from rolling stone story the future according to radiohead: According to comScore, a “significant percentage” of the 1.2 million visitors to Radiohead’s Web site in October downloaded the album, and while comScore claims only two out of five downloaders paid anything at all, the payers averaged $6 per album — which, factoring in the freeloaders, works out to about $2.26 per album, more than Radiohead would have made in a traditional label deal. And that’s just downloads: Released on January 1st, the CD version debuted at Number One in the U.S. and Britain. and it’s not just the super-famous, npr recently profiled pomplamoose, who has had surprising success by covering highly-searched song titles on youtube to drive links to their channel where listeners invariably check out their original tracks and buy them, building a model from the ground up on a shoestring budget [<a href="check out their cover of beyoncé’s single ladies]. it has made me start to speculate that perhaps a new model where successful bands become the new patrons of startup bands in which they see great potential and who are of like mind, philosophy and approach. and for those just starting out, the landscape is ripe with opportunity to combine and utilize all the free social media tools that promote, distribute and create community around your art.

i’m curious to see where ok go goes with this, but like most of their guerilla publicity, i think they’re hitting all the right channels and moving forward confidently into a model that works best for them. and they get to take millions of adoring fans with them.

beyond design

everyone has played one of these games, and seeing them in live action is totally hilarious! from

diy projects

the craft zine blog posted a how-to on these little mini terrariums in upcycled lightbulbs and jars. what a great use of cute containers!

sewing 101: how to make a shower curtain from i think this project is a really cool way to make a washable, colorful shower curtain from fabric you really like.


[image: kana76]
try this: sweet and smoky broiled grapefruit from i love grapefruits and i think this sounds delicious. maybe a good way to prep fruit for savory sauces as well. great idea!

sharing a great standby recipe that i love from, these szechuan sesame noodles are spicy, nutty and tangy. i’ve been making them for years with buckwheat soba noodles.


pour mom a drink from is an interesting sounding cocktail recipe using elderflower liquor. i love the flower garnish, perhaps my mom will have hers with nasturtiums.

in honor of tax day, this cocktail for tax night: the tax night relief is a fun idea, from

it’s helpful to become familiar with wine lingo by heather stober fleming for is a good reference for defining all the common terms in wine tasting and character. always good to refresh your knowledge, which helps you pick out more nuance next time you taste.


my sister has been nominated for singer of the year by the jazz journalists association! additionally, my client gerald clayton has been nominated for up & coming artist of the year. very exciting, and they’re in excellent company. can’t wait to find out how they place on june 14!

event calendar: april 12 – 18, 2010

kicking off this cool-weather week with a mix of music, poetry and networking, otherwise the work schedule is pretty slammin!

here’s what i’ll be doing:

monday, april 12, 7pm tablacentric launch party at machine project. robin sukhadia returns to machine and opens his residency performing with walter kitundu, followed by a launch party and reading for indivisible: south asian american poetry anthology. i heard a reading selection on sunday, there is some truly outstanding work in this anthology, i’m interested to hear more, and always in awe of robin and walter. and it’s FREE!

tuesday, april 13, 7:30-9am LA area chamber referral breakfast roundtable [click on events from the home page]. joining up with my bi-monthly chamber breakfast to see what april has in store for us. if you’re curious about the LA area chamber, the referral breakfast is open to all members, and i can bring you in as a guest if you’d like to check it out.

wednesday, april 14, 7:15am LA area chamber small business breakfast roundtable [click on events from the home page]. i will be giving the opening presentation about my business to the small business roundtable breakfast group. if you’re curious about the LA area chamber, the breakfast is open to members who are also small business owners, but you can be my guest and check it out. early!

wednesday, april 14, 5:30-8pm april LA biznik happy hour at jerry’s famous! there’s still room to join in on LA’s longest-running biznik mixer. do your taxes already, and meet our april co-host, kelly harrington of career max group. click here to join biznik, joining is also FREE!

saturday, april 17, 10am-12pm i’m checking out a fellow biznik’s event, social media referrals strategy seminar with trevor eisenman. FREE! please rsvp on the biznik site. click here to join biznik, joining is also FREE!

saturday, april 17, 6pm wine tasting & a night of music at saint rocke, featuring chilean wines and my favorite chilean rock star, pilar diaz! and it’s FREE!

beyond design


[photo: gregory han]
this weekend was off the charts with tweets and posts about everyone trying out their new ipads. i don’t have one and i’m probably not getting one anytime soon, but i thought i’d shout out to my friends gregory han and emily ho over at who “>reviewed the epicurious app for the ipad for and it sounds like a winner! i also use my laptop in the kitchen and i love the epicurious site, so i’m glad they’re adapting to new technology.

for my music clients, i thought i’d point to this quick review of forscore for the ipad on


[photo: lisa hubbard]
with spring foods coming into season, i’ve been trying some different cauliflower recipes out. one on the list to try this week are these cauliflower steaks with cauliflower puree, which are a whole new way to prepare cauliflower, for me anyway. i think this cross-section cut is gorgeous!


while browsing the wine articles at i found this cute profile of top 5 critter wines, meaning that they all have animals featured on the label. a funny idea on first look, but this is a fun look at 5 affordable table wines that all have pretty nice labels too [the little penguin is my favorite] along with suggested food pairings for each. i love a one-stop resource like this, especially when trying new wine is involved!

if you’re not into making cork boards or trivets or stamps or birdhouses with your old wine corks, whole foods is now recycling wine corks. for those of you who want to recycle, collect them & drop them off!


i thought i’d add this in, since so many of us have thought about work in various ways from different perspectives, here’s dan pink’s 6 favorite books about work. i have to admit, he had me at studs terkel, i can’t wait to read that one!

event calendar: april 5 – 11, 2010

this week i have my whole family in town, because my sister gretchen parlato is performing at catalina jazz club!

here’s what i’ll be doing:

monday, april 5, 7pm gretchen parlato at catalina jazz club, starts at 8pm, with julian shore, alan hampton & kendrick scott. $15. come see my very talented sister perform tunes from her multiple-award-winning album!

tuesday, april 6, 5:30-8pm LA eastside mixed-up mixer through, this month in eagle rock at the black boar. as of today, the rsvp list is full, but if you’ve always wanted to join biznik, come out and get to know us. it’s FREE and a great way to promote your business.

wednesday, april 7, 7pm gretchen parlato at the loft at UCSD with julian shore, alan hampton & mark guiliana. featuring a post-performance conversation with the artist, $16 regular / $5 student.

gerald clayton

gerald clayton two-shade CD digipak

big congratulations to my client & friend gerald clayton who has recently been picked up by emarcy records! gerald is an amazingly talented musician and i have been honored and proud to work with him on two-shade. check out tracks on his web site, and if you’re in new york, check his news page to see where he’s playing!