Sunday, March 28, 2010

An Acoustic Evening with Leo Kottke

Someone told us that there are only 3 people in the world who can make a 12-string guitar REALLY sing... and all 3 of those people are Leo Kottke. 

There are apparently a lot of people who agree.  The Keswick Theatre was sold out last night for a concert with Leo Kottke and Los Lobos.  Almost every seat was full before the "opening act".  A rarity!

We were in the first row - right hand side - close enough to watch Mr. Kottke's hands.  There were no finger picks - no thumb pick - just the glorious sound of that beautiful Taylor 12-string that seemed to produce itself magically and with almost no effort at all.

In the 1980's, Mr. Kottke (no... we aren't on a first name basis yet.  Besides he's 3 years older than I am.  It's a "respect" thing.) suffered from tendonitis and nerve damage cause by his aggressive picking style, so... he changed it.  He changed the position of his right hand and began using the flesh of his fingers and his fingernails instead of the finger picks. 

I was able to take my eyes off the stage twice (and that took great discipline) to look around at the crowd.  The audience was mesmerized! 

I'm not sure how long Mr. Kottke played - maybe an hour.  I only know it wasn't long enough.  I could have listened and watched all night. 

We took a couple of pictures, but we didn't even think about the camera until he put down his 12-string for a 6-string. 

AND... he was funny, which surprised me for some reason.  He told an anecdote about being chosen to be "the cover" for a magazine, so when he showed up for the photo shoot, he saw Doc Watson and Chet Atkins.  They had been told the same thing.  I don't know if they ever got around to pictures, but we heard about what a great time the three of them had playing together.  And then he played something that sounded SO much like Doc Watson - except on a 12-string.  Just amazing!  Oh!  And we all got a chuckle when he told us that the magazine was "In Flight"

At the end of the evening, I felt privileged to be there - to see Leo Kottke in person - to experience the wonder of his music - to watch his genius.

There truly are only 3 people in the world who can REALLY make a 12-string guitar sing - and they are ALL Leo Kottke.

The Same Acoustic Evening with Los Lobos

After hearing the amazing Leo Kottke open, we could hardly wait for Los Lobos.  Everyone I talked to told me that we would be blown away by the band.

We weren't.

At least not at first.  Don't get me wrong.  Individually, the members of Los Lobos are all jaw-droppers.  I mean... who wouldn't love David Hidalgo???  Really!  Guitar? Voice?  I'm a fan - for life!

Cesar Rosas was missing due to a family emergency.  Although I've never seen them before in concert, I'm sure that Cesar was greatly missed!  The audience shouted several requests for songs that Los Lobos couldn't play because Cesar was the lead singer on those songs. 

And Steve Rubin???  The man of many instruments.  We were close enough to FEEL the vibration from that baritone sax!  Fantastic! 

Maybe it was because the set was acoustic (which is usually my favorite) - maybe it was because Cesar Rosas wasn't there - maybe I was just "off" - but I was not blown away most of the evening. 

I looked behind me and saw 2 women in one row nodding their heads to the music and smiling - no one else in that row was moving.  Behind those women, a man appeared to be sleeping.  And yes, I know the difference between "feeling" the music with your eyes closed - and sleeping.  Usually "feeling the music" is not done with your head back and your mouth open.  (Just my opinion.)

There was some chair dancing in the crowd, but not much.  At one point David promised to play some songs so that people could dance.  A couple in the row opposite me got up and headed toward the wall to dance.  (You know about wall dancers, right?  The people who just can't sit still and get chased over by the wall so that they don't get in anyone's way.)  I LOVE the wall dancers - as long as they are wall dancers and not "stand-in-front-of-me" dancers!  If I could be one... I would!

So anyway... Great!  But the next 3 songs were undanceable (yes, that's a new word), so the couple went back to their seats. 

About the time I was wondering when it would be over, Los Lobos broke out the electric guitars and the place started to rock.  You could feel the crowd come alive for the last 3 songs.  It was at that point that I totally understood why people love Los Lobos and why the Keswick was sold out!

And why... the next time Los Lobos is in town, I'll be there!

Set List...

Monday, March 15, 2010

5 Reasons to Re-Organize Your Shop

  1. You can't find anything
  2. Although it seemed like a good idea at the time, the organization of the shop just doesn't seem to be working
  3. No one else can find anything
  4. There aren't enough sections for all the "stuff"
  5. You just don't like the way it feels
Or... all of the above.

We're in the process of rearranging TheEarringLady shop on Etsy.  At the moment, I think we have almost 90 pairs of earrings there.  I did have them organized by color - kind of.  Because there weren't enough sections for all the colors, we had one big section named "Earthtones".  That covered browns, greens, rusts, beiges, and on and on and on.  Not good.

Then it occurred to me that when I used to go looking for earrings, most of the time, I wasn't looking for a specific color, I was just looking for earrings that I liked - or I was looking for a "feel" - like "light" or "Boho" or "dressy".

But... we can't organize the shop by "feel" because what we think is dressy, you might not and so on. 

SO... at the moment, we've tried to organize it for the most part by materials - like Gemstones, where I'd find Boho) or Crystals, where I might look for dressy earrings - Glass, for all the pretty or unusual glass that doesn't fit into any other category - that kind of thing.

I also realized that we had some sterling silver earwires and some silver plated earwires.  That means people really have to read to know what they're getting.  I didn't like that either, so.... no more silver plated earwires on anything but the $4 pearl earrings and I think we'll change those too, even if it means we have to raise the price a $1 or $1.50.  We'd like to be able to state in the Shop Announcement (Welcome area) that all earwires are either sterling silver, copper, or gold-filled - makes it so much easier for everyone.

We are also changing the look of the shop somewhat.  It feels just too scattered to us now.  We're thinking of being more consistent with the backgrounds - lose the bright colored backgrounds - maybe take more close-up pictures, etc. 

I love the pictures that Michael took with the flowers.  But I also like the ones on the stones. Maybe we could do both - or combine them.

OH!  And we changed the shipping policy.  There was a slight extra charge to ship a 2nd pair of earrings. Now the 2nd (and 3rd and 4th and... ) pair ships free. 

ANYWAY... we'd love your help - your opinions - what you like - what you don't like. 

Thanks in advance!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I do...

... or... I did.

I made 5 pairs of earrings for a wedding. I mean really... how much fun was THAT???

The picture really doesn't do them justice, but they were sooooo pretty - faceted crystal briolettes, wrapped in silver and topped with a white pearl.  Bridesmaid perfect!

One of our favorite customers has titled me the "Dangle Diva" and I LOVE it!  We've been selling quite a few dangles - lots of different gemstones - mostly wrapped in silver - a couple wrapped in copper. 


I love making the way they look - love the gemstones - love making them. 

They could be used to make earrings and a matching pendant - charms for a bracelet - or whatever you can imagine they could be. 

Stop by and take a look!  They are definitely fun!

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