Jill "xtingu" Knapp

Traveling musician. Singer. Road warrior in bursts. Dork. Easy to spot. Gauche eyeshadow fan. Unreasonably happy.

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It's 1:39am on September 22 East Coast time. Forgive my unmade face, undone hair, and overexcited NJ accent... but I just invented what's basically a 3-D salty/sweet cronchy version of Fun Dip. This is what inventors look like.

I am not proud of this. I am SO proud of this. It is gross and delicious and I am also not proud. But proud. But not proud. Yep.

I was originally gonna lock with post so only my OPW people could see this, which is why I didn't care that I recorded this video au naturale, sans makeup et sans le coiff, et plus de drooooop. But I also don't give a shit. This is whatcha look like at 47 and eating marshmallow fluff snax. 

Enjoy. 

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9/22 '18 44 Comments
You are so cute. My favorite part is the sounds when eating off the spoon. Perfection. Props to the cameraman, as well!
Karen Kuhl 9/22 '18
Thanky! I haven't been this excited in a while. :)
The best part: you don't have to get greasy hands from touching the popcorn!
Sean M Puckett 9/22 '18
Exactly! I hate greasy/sticky hands. This definitely addresses that. Plus sweet/salty! Crunchy/squishy! It's a treat of treats!
Jebus, I adore you. This is not news, merely a reminder.
Matt Lichtenwalner 9/22 '18edited
Nnndaaaaaw. :)
I can't stop watching this.

Oh! and I'm totally with you about the popcorn snobbery! This is what I pop corn in:
https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/vintage-50s-dominion-popcorn-popper-mint-in?platform=hootsuite
Anne Mollo 9/22 '18
Oh my lordy! Look how amazing that is! Look at the box! I wanna display that box! I bet that makes deeeeeelicious popcorn. I am drooling!
Srsly, popcorn on the stove or GFTO. It's what's for lunch on Saturdays.

Though if you use corn oil instead of canola (we use canola because CANADA, FUCK YEAH), then isn't that like seething popcorn in its mother's milk?
Michele Grant 9/22 '18
Microwave popcorn is an abomination.

I use peanut oil because it's what was on the shelf in the pantry. I would use whatever we had because I'm not picky enough to have a preference. As long as I'm not cooking it in olive oil, I'll consider it a win.

There's an indie movie theater in Wilmington that makes their popcorn with coconut oil and it is SO GOOD. It has this barely-perceptible hint of beach that I really liked. I would try that, but I don't seem to be one of those people who buy jars and jars of coconut oil and use it for everything.
I avoid peanuts, peanut butter, peanut oil, etc., when I can because I developed a weird sensitivity to peanuts after Elliot was born. (I'd eat a PB&J sandwich and get an itch along my ribcage an hour later. A friend said, "Oh, that's what my kiddo does when he has wheat, and it turns out he's got a wheat allergy." -lightbulb-) I think it's backed off, but allergies are weird and can go from zero to anaphylactic shock without warning, so I don't like to tempt fate. I miss peanuts, though!
Michele Grant 9/23 '18
Do you do other nuts/nut butters? Would almond butter satisfy the urge without causing a reaction? I don't blame you for avoiding it all out of caution.

Matt would be heartbroken to say goodbye to peanuts, but I don't think I'd mind either way. I'm kinda meh.
I apologize, but I just _cannot_ read that first sentence without snickering. I'm 12.
Hhuhhhhuhhhuhuh....
I'm kind of "meh" about other nut butters, and they tend to be spendy, anyway. I do usually keep almonds on hand, though, for nibbles, and they don't seem to cause a problem. (Peanuts aren't actually nuts, botanically, so a peanut issue shouldn't sort of automatically mean there's a tree nut issue as well.)
Michele Grant 9/24 '18
I tend to use mostly canola with a dollop of coconut oil. Even the refined stuff that doesn't taste coconutty gives the popped corn a nicer.... niceness.
Anne Mollo 9/23 '18
I'm gonna try that. Nom!
I also giggled over "CANADA, FUCK YEAH."
I fucking love this video.
I made it hoping you would like it. :)
Can we also talk about popcorn and Junior Mints? Because if that's not a thing for you, maybe it should be. Ticks many of the same boxes as popcorn fluff pops, but ADDS chocolate AND peppermint. See? See?
Sean M Puckett 9/22 '18
I NEED THIS IN MY MOUF!
Pop Dip? I'm a kettle corn aficionado, so I get the sweet/salty appeal. Now can we talk about the Cracker Jack/Fiddle Faddle/Crunch n' Munch desperate lack of peanut equity?
Ray Conrad 9/23 '18
I love Cracker Jack and will always prefer that not-too-thick-with-sugar style. I also love the molasses-tastic peanuts at the bottom of the box/bag.

Crunch and Munch, and to a slightly lesser extent Fiddle Faddle, while both tasty, are a bit too crunchy and sugary for my sad teefs.

I like that Cracker Jack still tastes like popcorn. Mmmmmm...
OM NOM NOM!!!! it's kinda like a rice krispy treat, but with popcorn instead of puffed rice! i would go for that so hard...
Jenn A 9/23 '18
Dooood, it's really reeeeeeeally good.
So, I was wondering what, exactly, is IN Fluff. In the process of finding out I stumbled upon this, because Internet.

"Marshmallow creme is also a traditional confection in Arabic cuisine, where it is commonly referred to as soapwort meringue (natef).[8] The original recipe is based on soapwort (roots of Saponaria officinalis)[9] or roots of the marshmallow plant, but modern commercial varieties are nearly identical to marshmallow creme. It was mentioned in a tenth-century Arabic cookbook, Kitab al-Ṭabīḫ (the book of dishes) by Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq."

Your snack has LEGS. Think about it! The melding of ancient Arabic and Indigenous Peoples of the Americas culture!
Anne Mollo 9/24 '18
Damn!
Agreed. Of course, now I'm also picturing a marshmallow tree (I know it's a plant, but go with me on this) which is exactly as you're picturing it. Like we could pluck marshmallows as if it was an apple tree.
Marshmallow treat, marshmallow tree. So close.
Anne Mollo 9/24 '18
OK, that's pretty great!
Thanks!
I love this! I sat for a very long time trying to think up a new Siverstein-esque text to go with this awesome picture... and failed. "So the little boy took the marshmallows and sold them to the Keebler Elves so they could make Krispie treats. And the tree was sticky." Yeah no.
Anne Mollo 9/25 '18
Awww! Yeah. There's a reason why Shel Silverstein was so awesome. :)
<<The melding of ancient Arabic and Indigenous Peoples of the Americas culture!>>

That's um, totally what I was thinking when I invented the snack! Yeah! Yeah!

(Nope. I just like cramming food in my face.)
Can we name it Popshmallow Pop?
Marsh Corn.
Anne Mollo 9/24 '18
I love how many disparate and delightful conversations this has spawned. Well done, chica.
Totally planned that. Yep. Allllll myyyyyy doingggg. :)
I love watching you get excited about the little things.
xoxo
Yes. This. A lot.
Dude. If you ate this, you would see it's actually a huuuuuge thing! Small thing, huge flavah. It's so damn good. OH GOD I'm gonna go make some right now.
Sounds like you just came up with the marketing slogan.
 

This article by Lili Loofbourau on Slate sums up my feelings of sadness, helplessness, futility, and we're-fucked-ism. 

Enjoy!  Yay!  This is fun!


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7/1 '18 2 Comments
those videos are glorious!!!
Jenn A 7/1 '18
If you want soul food cooking videos, I got some soul food cooking videos for you: http://phillyjaycooking.com/
 

Up until a few months ago, I hadn't seen my natural hair color since high school.  I decided to just stop coloring my hair and take advantage of the "shadow root" trend. Once the sides got long enough, I got it cut so it was cropped super-short all over except the fooge on the top/front of my head, which I need.  I let it grow and grow, and soon I had what looked like all nondescript brownish-blah hair with frosted tips (with surprisingly little gray, but who cares)... but I didn't feel funky at all. I missed feeling funky.

So I went to the local, indie, mom-n-pop beauty supply shoppe near my house so I could to restock up on mah hair stuff, and $3.50 later, I had everything I needed to go back to Jillish.  I kinda dug the two-tone hair, but I just didn't have my mojo.  So... TADAAAA, I'm back to all-platinum again. (And with a better color result and less breakage than I get at the salon, thankyouverymuch.)

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Once again, I am sick.

It's so weird. There were years where I wasn't getting sick, and now I'm getting sick all the time, it seems. Maybe it's because I'm around more people since I'm at Penn all the time... I dunno. But MAN, this cold is extra awful.

Started with a sore throat, and now it's sore ears, a meaty lung cough of death where I'm coughing up a ton of yellow disgustingness... my lungs rattle and it's just gross. My ears are killing me. I hate it. 

I've been living on tea and Progresso soup since Sunday, which is the right thing to do, I suppose. 

I need to get better ASAP because I have an ITIL Foundation class to teach at Penn from Monday to Thursday of this coming week. 

Today is the first day I've gotten out of bed since Sunday. I feel like I've turned a corner, but I still have noooo voice. I hate having no voice, but I figure Matt likes the peace and quiet... tee hee.

Lindsay Harris-Friel had gotten us all tickets to see Steven Page and the Art of Time Ensemble on Tuesday night, but I was too sick to go, and she was too busy to go. We had those tickets since August-- we both so desperately wanted to attend... but the universe had alternate plans for us.

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In other news, The Eagles won the Super Bowl for the first time. I normally don't care about sportsball, but you can't deny it was a really great game. My mom emailed me to ask if we went to the game, but I don't think she realized that the game was played in Minneapolis and not in PA, and that the cheapest tickets were $4500. So no, we didn't go. :) I don't understand why Eagles fans celebrate my destroying the city... this is why we can't have nice things. 

[Pause]

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OK, I can't put off breaking this bad news any longer. I hate making small talk when there's a bomb to drop, so here it is:

We are very, very sad to hear that Matt's Uncle Greg (Betsy's older brother) died suddenly today. He was just diagnosed with lung cancer, so he had just started chemo. Sometimes chemo can cause pneumonia (who knew?) which he wound up catching... and then he had a stroke last night. His wife Elizabeth said it looked pretty grim, and she had hoped he wouldn't wake up... and he didn't. We just got the news this afternoon (Feb 7th) that he died at 4:30. It's absolutely heartbreaking. Greg was so amazing. We'll be flying out to California for the services next week. Greg worked at Boeing for most of his life as an engineer plus he had a lot of hobbies, one of which was birdwatching. He led tours for birdwatchers to see species that are native to the California coastline, and even led school groups through California's conservation areas. He took us on a private tour one time when Matt and I were in that neck of the woods as I taught in Irvine, CA. Something tells me that we will definitely see a bird or two at Greg's burial. 

It makes me sad that my parents will never get a chance to meet Greg; they really would have liked him.

But I am grateful to have had a lot of time with him recently, especially considering how far away he and Elizabeth live. We got to sing for his wedding, they came out for Grandmom's funeral, and they even flew out for Steve and Betsy's 50th Anniversary Party. They were well-traveled and well-loved, and I suppose that's all you can ask for, right?

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Also, just to lighten the mood a bit (and apropos of nothing) you probably didn't know that you needed a video of a bunny-jumping competition. So here ya go. 

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Anyway, I want to write more, but the cold medicine is kicking in and I'm feeling derpy. So... I'm off to bed.

Good night!

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I am so sorry. Glad you got to know him.
You especially would have freakin' LOVED him. Funny as hell, super-duper-ridiculously smart, dry humor (but not always), always using his body, insanely curious. Lots in common, you two. :)
Oh, I'm so sorry about Greg. And sorry you are sick!

On a lighter note, I sent the bunny jumping video to my daughter Nina, who will LOVE IT.

I am so with you on the hair color thing. I'm struggling right now. Still growing out the last of the "gray" from the play--which is now just white. I've grown out the bleachiness once before, went back to my normal color (there's proof of that in one of my storytelling videos). I eventually went shrieking back to my hairdresser because I couldn't stand it anymore. This time, I'm trying to grow my hair longer and have no idea what to do about the color, since I'm growing it so I can audition for a play I'd really like to be in this fall--and I have a feeling my short bleachy look wouldn't get me the part--but I don't know how long I can stand having Bad Hair. It's driving me batshit.
Anne Mollo 2/8 '18
I know the batshit-caused-by-hair very well.

How long can you grow your hair out before you scream ASDFGYUFGYHGYUJFGH and chop it all off again? You and I have similarly-short hair styles, and whenever I say "This time I'll grow it out!" I skip maybe two of my regular cutting times and I am so miserable that when I finally get it cut I get it cut REALLY short as if to compensate or atone to the short-hair gods for my foolish whims.

I sometimes wish it was more acceptable for white women to wear wigs in daily life. As for your role, wigs can look awesome on stage, so hopefully your director can look past your short hair and plop a wig on you. What part are you auditioning for? I love living my theater life vicariously through you. :)

(And thank you re: Greg and my plague. Xo.)
oh, i am so sorry. i'm sorry about Greg, i'm sorry you feel like crap, i'm sorry you missed your concert. but happy about your hair (although i'm sure on you it looked super-cool and you're being really critical :P). feel better, and miss you.
Jenn A 2/8 '18
"although i'm sure on you it looked super-cool and you're being really critical :P"

Written like someone who knows her well. :)
Thank you all around, m'dear. I hate being a whiner, but these are worthy whines.

Miss you too. :) <3
I didn't know Greg, but I'm sorry to hear that he's gone. Sounds like a good dude.

"They were well-traveled and well-loved, and I suppose that's all you can ask for, right?"

I sure as hell hope so.
You sir, are two for two, and then some. :-)
*lerv*
I'm so sorry for your loss. Greg sounds awesome.
Kate Haney 2/12 '18
 

I have a few things to talk about, but it's 2am (now 5:30am) and I'm now too tired... so I'm just going to leave videos of two songs from the Sunnyvale / Hot Breakfast!  house concert that happened in August in north Jersey.  (Huge thanks to Anthony Stramaglia for shooting and posting these!)

This first song ("A Thing to Get Through") is brand-new, and this recording was not only the song's very first "public" performance, it was also perhaps maybe only the 5th or 6th time we'd actually played/sung it straight through... Matt and I had learned it quite literally the night before.  It was a safe and friendly crowd, so I wasn't worried about making a mistake; I was more worried about crying in the middle of the song. (You can hear me start to get choked up a few times; you can just hear things tighten up and me make slight vocal adjustments to compensate.  Or maybe you don't hear it since I didn't use a mic, and/or maube you're not that anal about vocal mechanisms. Whatevz.  Anyway, getting choked up is normal and often happens when you lose a friend and you sing a song about the loss to a room full of people who loved him.)  Andrew (the songwriter and piano player) was Paul's (the friend who died) best friend, and they were VERY tight, and kept up their friendship via email since they lived on opposite coasts (Paul in north Jersey and Andrew lived in Portland, OR).  They are both gifted writers, and I secretly pray those letters/emails get published some day.  Heavy philosophy, social criticism, music analysis and theory, knowing thyself, etc.  

Anyway, the lyrics are below the video.


Below that is Video #2 for an old song ("The Job Song" a.k.a. "Get a Real Job") by our old band The Evelyn Situation. This song was written in 1992 for two women's voices and piano and guitar as an evil polka, and has been re-arranged over the years for 2 voices/one kazoo/two guitars/piano; then for one vocalist (me!) plus a 17 piece big band (the Industrial Jazz Group), all the way to this current stripped-down version of one voice, one piano (below).  The video for The Job Song is below the first one, and the lyrics (which are wonderfully clever) are below it.  (and yes, I was super-enunciatey. I didn't have a mic and I wanted to make sure everyone understood the words. I'd rather err on the side of over-pronouncey than mumbly. I hate when I can't understand a singer.)

A Thing to Get Through - - words and music by Andrew Durkin. (For Paul.)

Flying in to Jersey 
With the winter on my mind
I got angry at a stewardess 
Who was trying to be kind
My past was up ahead, and my future far behind
mm-mmm, mm-mmm, mm-mmm

If you had a fortune
Would you have been who you wanted to be
If you had a lifetime
Would you have used it to finally get free
If you had a second chance
Could you do now what you didn’t do
Or was life just a thing to get through

Some came from the beginning 
And some came from the end
Some I hadn’t seen forever
And some I might never see again
Help me, Jesus—is this anyway to treat a friend
mm-mmm, mm-mmm, mm-mmm

If you had a fortune
Would you have been who you wanted to be
If you had a lifetime
Would you have used it to finally get free
If you had a second chance
Could you do now what you didn’t do
Or was life just a thing to get through

Maybe you are laughing
From your attic in the sky
Maybe you’re that piece of clay
That finally learned to fly
Do you think we’ll ever know
What happens when we die
mm-mmm, mm-mmm, mm-mmm


The Job Song (words and music by Andrew Durkin)

This guy with horns said, "There's a cure for your financial state: don't do the thing you love, cause good things come to those who hate. I'm a powerful man, and though I think you're a slob, if you will flatter me, I'll get you a real job."

"Give up your dreams," he said, "Yes, that's the way to have it all. Look at your cousin Neil: he's young, he's rich (he's going bald). He may be dead in a decade or two, but he drives a porsche, and yes, you can drive one, too. Why don't you get a real job?"

Having just finished school, I'd never met his type before. "You're very kind," I said, "And yes, you're right, I'm very poor. But I don't see how your scheme could help me, And so I wonder if you might not tell me more. Why should I get a real job?"

"Well, don't you want to be like the people on TV? So bored and jaded and doing something that you have always hated? Just give in! How could it be a sin? The big machine must keep on rolling on... Why don't you get a real job?

For I have here in store each numbered casket for your generation: I've been waiting with anticipation! Truth, you'll find, is on the dotted line, so be a good sport. That's what life is for!"

Anyway. 

I have to tell y'all about the new consulting gig and Matt's music directing a show and me thinking about joining a christmas carol troupe for this holiday season to make a few bucks singing in malls, but that'll have to wait until the next post of One Post Wonder.

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10/8 '17 11 Comments
Wow. I remember the job song. Hearing it in a slow, mournful incarnation is very affecting.
Thomas Boutell 10/8 '17
I agree! And I could even stand to hear it slowed down further, a soft studio version with just the voice and piano.
Anne Mollo 10/8 '17
Thanks so much for giving a listen!

I'll suggest that to Andrew and see what he says... we're always up for trying new stuff.
No! I just meant, "Wow this song is so awesome I could imagine loving it in any style, from polka to sappy studio ballad."
Anne Mollo 10/12 '17
Thank you, thank you!
It blows my mind that you remember a song from a band I was in before I knew you. It blows my mind because I can't believe there was ever a time when I didn't know you.

Though, next year will be the year where I will have officially spent more time alivewithh you in my sphere than without. That's pretty fucking cool. I owe it all to Jeremy being pushy and They Might Be Giants.
Ah, their Horse With No Name era! Fun fact: their recent albums... Which are numerous, because of the influence of Jonathan Coulton's work ethic... Are all excellent.
Thomas Boutell 10/12 '17
Yeah, I love me some TMBG still. I love how they've grown with the times, taken advantage of the technology, and still stay screamingly relevant (to me, anyway). I bought Jeremy their Fan Club membership and he's been known to occasionally share the fruits. SO GOOD!
I remember the Job song too! I used to put it on mixes.
Eeeeeeeeee!!
“A Thing to Get Through” - I experienced solid frisson with full hair follicle involvement. Thank you for sharing that, and for, you know, bearing the existential burden required to sing that in the first place.
Robert Bryan 10/8 '17
Aw, thanks for listening. :)

I've been revisiting some other videos from that night, and there's one where I damn near lose my shit every time the chorus comes around. Full-on voice crack... but it just sounds like I'm a shitty singer as opposed to someone feeling feels. Oh well. I don't really care... the only people who can see those videos are people who know.

If I think about music too much my brain explodes from wonder.

 

My friend Anthony Stramaglia (whom I wonder if Thomas Boutell and Jeremy Moskowitz know from the classic computing shows they've gone to?) attended this weekend's house concert, and was kind enough to tape all of the songs.  I am SO grateful to him for doing so, because in all of my prepping for the show, I totally forgot to set up something to record the happenings. Anthony is a life-saver and an all-around awesome guy-- he used to run a local BBS back in the day. (Epsilon Process in the hoouuuuussse!)

So this morning he sent out a link to the second Sunnyvale song of the evening; this one is called "The Enemy."  This song is an old Evelyn Situation song, and we retooled it for one voice, as opposed to the three voices that sang it back in the day.  We dropped the key a step because in the old days Danielle (top voice) sang the melody on the choruses, and now that I'm covering all the parts essentially, we had to drop the key so I could sing the choruses that lay a little higher, as well as the verses (which I always sang because they, like my balls, hung low).  (so classy.)

This song was always my favorite Evelyn Situation song. It was written from the perspective of a person who was left behind as their significant other decided she was leaving the "cold cold northeast."  (In case you're wondering: Yes, Jeremy knows the song was inspired by him, though he wasn't interviewed before the song was written or anything. Durk just sorta imagined that this is how someone in Jeremy's position might feel.)

Once again, I tried to be extra-dictionny with the words so you could catch them all.  In the event you can't, here's a link to the lyrics.  (Click "Lyrics" from the cutting-edge 1996 FRAMES web technology, and then choose "The Enemy."  (Huge apologies to Tom, whom I can hear cringing from over here! lulz))

If you want to hear what the song sounded like in its original Evelyn Situation format, click here.  Cue college-age Jill.  Good lord, how I loved that band like it was my only true, true love.  And daaamn, how I love how the voices end the song with Danielle resolving to the 7th of all places, because why the hell not.

God damn, I love music.

ps: I wrote this while getting my iron infusion today. It went well. I can already feel the difference. Tomorrow I will be really cooking with gas. I go for a second infusion next week because MOAR MOAR MOAR.

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8/15 '17 5 Comments
I love all of this. Especially that you are getting infüzd. I love your voice and your good health.
Thanks! Eeee!

Also: This magical spelling pleases me. :-)
Frames don't really matter, good user experience matters OH MY GOD I CLICKED A BACK LINK AND THE FRAMES ARE FRAMING THE FRAMES FRAMECEPTION it's fine
Thomas Boutell 8/15 '17
Hahahaha!

I figure the band was from the 90s, so should the web-t'knology. Written in Notepad, like someone intended. (?)
Jill "xtingu" Knapp 8/16 '17edited
GORGEOUS song! And you sound amazing, I love hearing before-I-met-her Jill. :)
Jenn A 8/18 '17
 

Yes, I know you all know this. But just in case: 

Please, PLEASE!! PROTECT YOUR EYES DURING THE SOLAR ECLIPSE.  Everyone knows how to make a pinhole camera, but some people erroneously believe that you look at the sun through the hole in the paper. NO NO NO.  You look wherever your pinhole camera is projecting the image onto. 

Or, you need to get some ISO-certified eclipse-viewing glasses. But PLEASE don't look directly at the eclipse.  "But I can look at the regular daytime for a second, so why can't I look directly at an eclipse?" BECAUSE YOU CAN'T, OK?

House Concert in NJ with Sunnyvale and Hot Breakfast!

In other news, we were up in NJ at my folks' place on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday this weekend, because Hot Breakfast!, along with Sunnyvale, co-billed on a house concert in north Jersey at my brother's house. ("Sunnyvale" is our new bi-coastal musical project which includes me, Matt, and my pre-Matt lifelong musical collaborator Andrew Durkin. We play Andrew's compositions-- some are retooled versions of old Evelyn Situation tunes, and some are brandy-new compositions.) Andrew lives in Portland (OR) but was out east taking care of some family stuff, so we decided to try to play a show while he was out east. We also used this house concert as a way to honor Paul's memory. After Paul's memorial service in January, we all vowed to stay in touch... so we called everyone together to hear these Sunnyvale tunes which were all songs inspired by Paul's passing, or songs on which Paul had some input while Andrew wrote them, or songs that Paul had played on back in The Evelyn Situation days.  Hello, house concert!  It was attended by my and Andrew's and my brother's overlapping high school friends; some I hadn't seen in eons. 

Here's a video of the first Sunnyvale tune of the night, called "Blood and Bone." It's my favorite of our Sunnyvale new tunes. I sing a bit more "legit" (meaning "treat these songs more like an art song rather than a pop song." Or, more precisely, find someplace in between art-song and pop-song) with Sunnyvale songs as opposed to the "always huge voice, all the time, always with a knowing wink" with Hot Breakfast.  It's sincere. Since I was mic-less for this, I really tried to focus on my diction because I wanted everyone to catch every word. I might have over-done it... I was nervous as hell, mostly because I wasn't able to get through a lot of these songs in rehearsal because I kept crying. (Plus, many of these songs are brandy-new and I've only sung them once before. Or never.)

I fucking LOVE this song so much; it's in 6/4 which just gives it this hypnotizing droney feel... but then I love how the piano part and the vocal intertwine with his majestic right-hand thing with the vocal's wordless "ooohs."  And then the bridge goes into a quicker 4/4 time as it talks about remembering how it feels like to be a child on the family vacation, and just *being.*  [1]

OK, so now here's the video of the first Sunnyvale tune of the night, called "Blood and Bone." It's my favorite of our new tunes. (Music starts around 1:10. Feel free to forward through my thank-yous and the backstory.)

Lizzie

What else. Lizzie rehearsals continue to go well. The girl playing Lizzie hasn't been at the last few rehearsals because she was wrapping up another play, and then she caught the plague, poor thing. But the other cast members have been doing good work, and Lizzie will plug right in, no doubt.​​​​​​​

Iron Time!

In other news, tomorrow (Tuesday) is my first-of-two iron infusions. I cannot wait... hook me UP!  And then Wednesday we leave for California to visit Patty and to see one of Matt's plays at the Little Fish Theater in San Pedro/Los Angeles... and then we fly home during the eclipse. Wooooot!  We'll be home late on the 21st.

So that's the latest!

If you've emailed me (Shelle Klein Houser ​​​​​, Lindsay Harris-Friel ​​​​​​, Thomas Boutell ​​​​​​), I know I owe you a reply. I'll reply soon, I promise. 

Xoxo!

Jill-o

 _____________

[1] How the hell did I get so lucky to get to sing the songs that Andrew writes? It was just right-place-right-time -- If Andrew wasn't on my bus on that band trip in 1986, he never would have heard me sing, and he never would have asked to work together. And then none of the Area Code (201) / Brooklyn Ferry/ Evelyn Situation/ Jay's Booming Hat / Industrial Jazz Group bands ever would have happened. Which then means that I wouldn't have had the musical taste and experience that makes me me... which means I wouldn't have been the right fit to sing Matt's music in either the "Matt needs backing vocals for his solo record(s)" to "holy crap, playing as a duo is fun, let's do this more" days, up to and through to the Casarino Royale and now to the present Hot Breakfast! days. And now I get to make music with these two absolutely It's all right-place-right-time... and once again, I am the luckiest girl in the world. THANK YOU, UNIVERSE.

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8/14 '17 6 Comments
Right place, right time, right Jill.
Thomas Boutell 8/15 '17
We are all products of our experiences. I'm so lucky to have had the experiences that paved the way for other experiences, which pave the way for other experiences. It all starts with surrounding yourself with people who inspire you. (Hello, Philadel.)
Make sure that's ISO certified, not NASA certified (apparently some products are claiming the latter, nonexistent honor). My cousin's husband is the Chief Medical Officer at NASA, and he's been all over FB reminding people that NASA does not certify (or even endorse) products.
Kate Haney 8/16 '17
Indeedy! Mine are ISO-blessed... at $4/pair with a minimum order of 25, so I'll share them with people on the plane. But there are lots of bogus, cheap specs out there that have "NASA" or pictures of galaxies all over them, which means nada, but people are buying them up like crazy. I'm very worried about the eyeball damage.
Also, I am in love with your cousin's husband because he has the coolest job on the planet (and probably on other planets!).
It is a very cool job. He's a bit of a schmuck, but he suits my cousin fine.
Kate Haney 8/20 '17
 

OK.  We're recording tonight, and while Matt is recording some guitars and keys, I sat back and played with my phone and let the Internet happen.

I'm not sure how it happened, but I wound up on YouTube, and a video popped up in my "Hey, this video might appeal to you" List... which is always interesting because I told Google and YouTube that I didn't want it keeping track of my YouTube video watching history or my search history... so I'm not sure what it bases its suggestions on.  But either way, it suggested this quickie compilation of the dance numbers from a movie I'd never heard of (The Rich Man's Frug?) that Bob Fosse choreographed.  So I watched it.

AND GOOD GOD, this very well may be one of the top 20 most amazing things my eyeballs have EVER seen, and I've seen some cool shit.  This here is a miracle and the pinnacle of what humans can accomplish.

Behold:

RIGHT!??!?!

WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL WAS THAT?!? OK, yeah, it was from Sweet Charity. But other than that, WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT??

(And am I the only one who was looking for Jenn Rice in that video?)


So I then read the comments, and miraculously, many were positive, and not the usual mouth-breathing lose-all-faith-in-humanity comments. Many people kept talking about "Emma" Something-or-Other and "Maybe" and even mentioning Beyonce, I didn't know what any of that meant, but enough people were talking about these things as if some person named Emma had a song called Maybe and that the video was inspired by the Fosse thing.

I'm a curious chick, so I entered those words into YouTube's search bar and I was expecting to be taken to some Arianna Grande bullshit (not that I could pick an Arianna Grande out of a lineup)... but the next thing I know I was watching a video that looked like it was directly ripped off/inspired by the Fosse thing indeed, and the lead singer looked like a 10-years-older Baby Spice maybe... and hey what do you know, that's exactly who/what this is. And HOLY SHIT, what is this song?! It has... genuinely interesting and challenging chord progressions! A really interesting melody! Damn fine production! It isn't auto-tuned to hell! It was created with genuine fucks given! 

Apparently this song "Maybe" by Emma "Please Don't Call Me Baby Spice Anymore" Bunton was a hit 10+ years ago, but I guess I stopped listening to Top 40 radio long before that so it never made it into my ears even once.

Hot damn, I love this little song!

And the video is cute, too.  It ain't no Fosse, but the nod is appreciated. If you're gonna steal an idea, steal from a great one, I guess.

Anyway, that's all I have to report.

Enjoy.

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11/27 '16 1 Comment
Loved the Bob Fosse video!
Karen Kuhl 12/1 '16
 

I've decided that when I die, my headstone should make mention of the fact that I could sing pretty okay, and that I really like socks. 

Matt bought me a pair of new socks the other day called "Heat Holders." I think I may have heard them advertised on the radio, but maybe not. But either way, Matt bought them for me and SWEET HOLY GOD LORDT ABOVE THESE SOCKS ARE THE MOST MAGICAL THINGS I HAVE EVER PUT ON MY FEET ALL CAPS. I have incredibly sexy cankles that swell up, and by 3pm pretty much every pair of socks that I own are digging into my shins and then they roll down an inch, and then they dig in there, and they roll down an inch, and by 6:30pm my lower legs look like a hand grenade. Very sexy. But these socks are big enough where they don't dig into my legs, but they don't fall down either. 

The inside of these socks are like brushed soft yarn... like long yarn... I don't know how to describe it, but it's like having your foot engulfed in the virgin baby hair of Scandinavian angels. And if your feet sweat, somehow these socks keep your feet reaaaaaaallly warm, but never damp. They are pretty much the perfect thing. I have the feeling they weren't made to be worn with shoes/boots, but maybe just worn as slippers around the house maybe... they're really thick. But I threw on a pair of boots over them today and when I took my first step I squeeeeeed audibly and started making up songs in dumb voices about how I was walking on magical clouds. So put these effers on your holiday gift list, and ask for nothing else, because no gift you get will be better than these. I got the fuschia/cerise striped ones. They make me stupidly happy.

What else is going on...

If you haven't watched John Oliver's final 2016 clip of Last Week Tonight, it is very much worth the 25 minute investment. If your 2016 has sucked as much as everyone else's has, then you will especially like the final five minutes of it. 

What else is going on...

I have pretty big and not very funny confession to make, but I will make that confession in a friends-locked post because it's not for public consumption... so if you're not logged into LJ or if you don't have an account on OPW, you're outta luck.

What else is going on...

Matt and I have been recording a Christmas EP, and so far we've got four songs done out of the five. The song titles so far are "Everyone's a Child When it Snows," which is not particularly "Hot Breakfasty" in that it's not funny or dorky, but quite sweet and a touch precious even... but we're OK with it. Next is "Don't Get Me Anything," which is an upbeat fun thing which parrots my anti-noun stance on gift giving... and please for the love of God, no more gifts for my damn inner child... I'm forty-fucking-five and I don't need toys. Up next is "Christmas is for Believers," which is also not particularly funny, but has Matt's clever wordplay and also a very honest, even-handed and kind way of approaching what could be a controversial topic: non-Christians who celebrate Christmas. The song we recorded tonight is called "Clean Blank Slate" which starts off saying something like "It's January 1st and everything magically resets and all the bullshit that was going on last year just disappears," and then the rest of the song is saying, "Yeah, wouldn't it be nice if it was like that, but it isn't." When we were recording the backing vocals, we got the idea of burying a subliminal message in there... so we added some lyrics waaaay low down in the mix, and I'm really proud of what we did and how it came out. We have one song left to record called "The Holiday Shift" which has a similar feel to our 2013 hit "An Idiot for Christmas", and is about a person who has to work on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day for the sales, and how they feel about it. (Spoiler: You might think it's a horrible thing, but our hero actually likes the extra hours and overtime pay, and is happy to have an excuse not to hang with his family.) We're releasing this new Christmas EP on December 17th at a show at World Café Live at the Queen at our "Hot Breakfast! & Friends Present: A Very Dorky Christmas." It should be super-fun!


Allrighty, that's all I got for now. Tune in soon, true-believers, to an LJ post near you for my big ol' secret confession. 

xo!

x-posted from xtingu.livejournal.com/

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11/24 '16 6 Comments
The new ep sounds like my kinda thing.
Thomas Boutell 11/24 '16
I think you'll like it... especially once I point out the seekrit Easter eggs in "Clean Blank Slate." :-)
I am excited. Ted will also be excited. Having worked on holidays for many years, I am particularly excited, and my heart is warmed.
Lindsay Harris Friel 11/24 '16edited
Yaaaaaay! I like Friel-sibling excitement. :)
Christmas doesn't excite me, but I love socks and I love you!
Two outta three? I'll take it!

Love you right back, babycakes. :)