Sly and the Family Stone

Space Cowboy

I knew it would happen – I was cruising through all this music because I knew at some point my ears would say “no.”  And it happened.   And then I turned into a space cadet, which is what happens when I go into phase 2 of my writing process.  And then I went into writing mode and spit about 3 songs.  So I’ve been chipping away at The List since then.  I’m not giving up though – the goal still stands.  I just need to get a move on is all.  I can do this. (She says to convince herself if no one else)

(If any of you are just joining us, I’m in the process of listening to 100 albums before my birthday.  You can start here.)

Onward —
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david bowie

She’s a Total Blam-Blam…and other revelations

For those of you following along at home, I’m in the process of educating myself in the realm of rad rad music by listening to the Top 100 Albums of all time by mid-September.

Already, this is more music than I’ve listened to in probably the last 5 years put together.  I’ve realized that I really don’t ever just sit down and listen to a whole album.  Or very rarely.  So this has been really fun.  Some days I just have to walk away because I feel like my brain/ears/heart will explode.

Secretly I’m curious to see if doing this project will change my own songwriting process.  Part of the reason I think I don’t sound like anyone in particular is that I never listened to anyone before. I really just write what I hear in my head.  We’ll see if this changes that.

After the first post I was all caught up, so now I’m actually writing these while I’m listening to them, which is way more entertaining.  For me, at least.

Onward…

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kat downs

My Music Education Project

Truth:  Even though I’ve been a musician my whole life, I don’t listen to a lot of music.  Never have. Mostly because I always have music playing in my head, so sometimes I really can’t because it sounds like two radios playing at once.  Yuck.

In school, I was trained in Classical music.  The history of it, where it came from, how it evolved, branched out, church vs. secular and all that… but I never studied rock music.  Or really any modern music outside of the “played-by-a-symphony” area.  Mainly because I never planned on being a rock musician.  Funny how that worked out.  (Now I know why I felt like I never quite fit in.  Haha – retrospect is awesome. )

So, recently I decided that I wanted to educate myself since this is my career and all, so I poked around online and from several different places put together a list of the 100 “greatest albums of all time” that I want to listen to before my birthday – which is September 17th, by the way.  Gifts are always welcome.  🙂

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Kat Downs

Starting from Scratch

If there is one thing I have learned that I constantly need in my life, it’s perspective. For some reason, when anything becomes even remotely challenging that’s the FIRST thing that goes. Every time.

This is why I enjoy teaching private music lessons.

Seems unrelated, I know. Just stick with me.

I had the joy of starting a brand new flute student a few months ago. I love this. You both sit on the floor cross legged and open your flute cases. You tell the new student the names of the different parts of the flute. You ask the student to put the instrument together the way they think it should be put together and then play it for you. It’s this great cozy bonding moment. One of my favorites ever.

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Sit Kitty Sit

How to Play to an Empty Room

It happens more often than you might think.  Especially when you’re playing in a brand new city.  Maybe they didn’t book a local band, or maybe they cancelled at the last second.  Maybe you’re playing on a Monday, or the venue down the street has a huge sold out show.  Or maybe you only got the gig about a day ago. Or the venue forgot you were coming, or…or…or…

At times during an interview, or when I’m chatting with someone I’ll get the question “what’s your one piece of advice for musicians just starting out?”

It’s a legit question.  Typically I’ve spouted some kind of “do it because you love it” or “just don’t quit” type comments, which are kind of lame pieces of advice, but now I finally feel like I have a legit answer. What’s my piece of advice for musicians starting out?

“Learn how to play to an empty room”
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Mike Thompson

An Interview with Mike Thompson of Sit Kitty Sit

I believe there is no way you can ever really know someone all the way. They will always do something you didn’t expect, say something you never saw coming, make a choice that shocks you. Well, eventually they will.

Now, I feel like I know this guy. But in most interviews we get these days people tend to ask same-ish questions. When did you start playing drums? How did you develop your sound? Who are your musical heroes?

But for me, who you ARE shapes the art you make even more than who you listen to. So I decided to interview my Musical-Soul-Mate myself and let him shock me. And he did. Enjoy.

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