Sunday, March 30, 2008

House Concerts Rule!! :)

Oh boy!!! I had so much fun this weekend singing at two House Concerts Saturday and Sunday evening!!! What a great way to get to sing to a whole group of appreciative music lovers!! It was soooo much fun!!! I am dead tired, but flying from this newfound love of singing in an upclose, personal intimate setting! I feel like I made a bunch of new friends. Gene and I have sung to crowds of a half a million in Denver, 6,000 in Minneapolis, 4, 000 in LA - but this is completely different. We are able to "connect" on a deeper level - and WOW!! is it ever wonderful.

Well, my feet are swollen from all of my jumping around, so I am hitting the hay - last night, after our performance, I went to sleep and had "flying" dreams (my favorite of all dreams) - I woke up so "at peace" - I know I am finally listening to my heart.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I Need Stardust Tonight!!

I am sooooo tired and am running on pure adrenalin. My feet hurt, my voice hurts, my back hurts, and I need to unwind. Fortunately, I have the perfect solution. I am going to fill up the bathtub with HOT water and lavender bubbles that I am borrowing from the kid's bath stash, am lighting several nice candles, setting the the cd player on the counter, and will play "Stardust" til every ounce of stress has left my body and flown out the window :) Aaaaahhhhh..... I'm relaxing already! :)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Performance Week - Not One About Stardust?

This week is gonna be nuts - GREAT nuts - but nuts, nonetheless. The funny thing is, very little of it has to do with Stardust.

Sunday, (Happy Easter, by the way) we'll be singing at an Easter service using a lot of original music that we have composed over the years for church services (another topic altogether), Monday, one of the local news stations is doing a story on us, Tuesday eve we are performing at a cool event called Acoustic Roundtable III in a "writers -in-the-round" setting with a group of 22 other writers, Wednesday we're getting the piano tuned :). Thursday we are off, (I mean, not performing - we still have a business to run in every one of the daytime hours), Friday night, we are singing for a private event, Saturday morning we are singing at the National Anthem tryouts for the College World Series (we sang for the CWS last year, but everyone goes through the audition process every year - we are in the finalists - it's really a fun process!) Saturday night we have a House Concert, and then again on Sunday night, another House Concert.

Stardust is a lullaby album. Yet only one of these events is solely about Stardust (the interview - they are writing about the "i-Parenting Media Award" we won). But every one of these events has to do with survival in the music world - versatility, flexibility, exposure, a real passion and love for what you do, and a willingness to put in the mega hours necessary to be successful. And a very supportive and loving spouse and child who adore their insane mother and love seeing her happy. :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I Won, I Won, I Won!!!

Songwriters need inspiration. I need to be moved enough by something - could be anything - to write a song about it. A change of scenery, change of season, a great - or rotten - day, a gorgeous autumn night, a date with my hubby, reading a sad story in the paper - you name it. The other day my hubby went to the store and took my son with him, and I had the house ALL to myself for a few hours - first time in in what had seemed like years - I wrote a song. Of course, after a few hours, I started to miss them, so the song that came out of it was aptly titled "Lonely". When I went to London, I was so inspired by the different surroundings and the rich history, I wrote a handful of songs as soon as I got back - one was even about a ghost, called "Ghost in London"

So you just don't know how happy I am to report that I won an incredible two night stay in Catanzarro Italy!! I can already hear the new songs singing in my head :) The beautiful Cherrye from owns a Bed and Breakfast in Catanzaro, Italy and I am the lucky recipient of the prize!! Just the pictures alone are inspirational - check it out on her blogspot! Thanks to Cherrye, and the 5 Minutes for Mom Ultimate Blog Party for such a great event! I'll be posting soon on all the new friends I met this past week - in the meantime, I'm off to change the strings on my mandolin :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Musician- Pt. 3

I have been MIA for a few days here, I know... I have 2 reasons - Ultimate Blog Party - I've met some great new friends hopping around blogs - I only got through about 150 ot of over 1000, but I will get to them hopefully soon. The other reason is, Part 3 - of my serties, A Day in the Life of a Musician - performing!

At the end of the month, we have several performances lined up. I'll talk about one of them. We're doing a "House Concert" - literally, a concert in someone's home. House concerts are the COOLEST - we are able to be up close and personal with people who are there just to discover new music - in this case, my and my brother'smusic. Music that has been written from our heart and soul. And the attendees get to know us beyond just the songs - they hear the stories behind the songs, they get to know us and talk to us and have a glass of wine with us - it is very down to earth - the way I like it - no smoke and mirrors, just the raw music played on acoustic guitar and piano. We'll be throwing in a harmonica and a penny whistle too.

So for the past week, we've been , picking out the material we want to perform at the House Concert, writing some new songs, and coming up with new ways to "deliver" the music live - outside the studio!! All sorts of new harmonies and arrangements - it's a lot of work - but this is why I got in to the music biz in the first place - The MUSIC. The SONG.

I'll keep you posted on our performances, and by the way, if you are ever interested in hosting a House Concert for any of your favorite travelling singer/songwriter musicians, it is a LOT of fun, and you will definitely become the coolest party thrower on your block :) Leave a comment and I'll send you info.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

A friend of mine told me today that she saw her poster up in a grocery store this week - I said, "For what?" - knowing she had never robbed a bank nor was she wanted by the FBI, I was surprised when she casually replied, "I had become somewhat of a poster child for colon cancer." What? I didn't even know she had gone through this! I said, "Sister of mine!!" She said, "Did you have colon cancer too?" I said no - but I lost my colon about 8 years ago (and I can't find it anywhere...) so this is a subject very near and dear to me.

Three months after my son was born, I had a bad reaction to an "antibacterial" that killed off all the bacteria - the bad AND the good, and shut down my colon. I was hospitalized for nearly 6 weeks, nearly died a few times, and had to have my entire colon removed. I don't even have a semi colon... (oh, and the jokes keep comin' :) !!)

But - thanks to my heroes - my medical team - I pulled through, had a reconstructive "J-pouch" where, over 3 surgeries, a portion of the the small intestine is reshaped to take over some of the duties and function as a large intestine. I have had absolutely no problems with this since the surgery, I'm not on any drugs or steroids - the only foods I can't eat are raw broccoli raw cauliflower and stuff with super high fiber or roughage. Well, I CAN eat them, but it's pretty hard to digest.

Why am I sharing this with you? Because March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. My friend had just gotten one of those test kits and sent it in. Just because. She hadn't been sick, but because her doc recommended that she ought to get one since she was 51, she said what the heck. A month later, she got her results, and immediately contacted her doctor. She had her colonoscopy, and they spotted a "Pollup" - a mass - she had it removed and it was cancerous. But, because it was detected early, she didn't have to go through chemo or radiation.

We got word not too long ago, that another friend of ours had just died of colon cancer - a young friend, the picture of health. But it was never even discovered, til it was too late. Colon cancer is very treatable if detected early. Please - do something good for yourself - get a colonoscopy. And if you're uncomfortable talking about it, you can borrow my dumb jokes :)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Welcome Gals to the Ultimate Blog Party at Cher's!

Hi gals!!!

Welcome to the Ultimate Blog Party!!! I am Cher Klosner Lane! I am so glad you are here!!

I’m a mom, a musician, and co-founder of Audible Chocolate Productions and co-creator of our Stardust 2-disc lullaby CD! My music and business partner is my brother Gene Klosner, and my sweet hubby is Emmy Award-winning “The Simpsons” Assistant Director and animator, Ben Lane. Ben has put together some fun animated shorts for all of us here and has come up with some cool downloadable party favors (bookmarks) and games for us to play – I love “Stardust Swap” and “Melodibox” (Gene is a champ at "Stardust Swap" - my brother Joe likes "Sheep" ) but I’ll warn ya, you’ll be hooked!! My 7-year-old son loves the “Dream Easel” and he can print off all of his beautiful creations!

Ben and I both work from home. Ben and our son, "Boo" love to work and play together – Boo has done some animation work with Ben as well! Here is their first collaboration, “Smooky Ghost Story.” Music is a big part of our house too so I’ve put up a song, “Little Sir Echo” from our Stardust CD that features Boo and I singing a duet.

One of my favorite stories/poems growing up was "Wynken, Blynken and Nod" by Eugene Field. When it came time to record the CD, I toyed with the idea of putting music to the words, but decided against it, because I was so limited on time before going into the studio. I told my Mom I wasn't going to do Wynken, Blynken and Nod, and she said "You HAVE to have Wynken!!" I said "Mom,...umm... I haven't written it yet." She said, "I don't care! You HAVE to have Wynken." Umm..okay...Mom!! :) I am so glad she pushed me -here it is:

Who likes treats? We do!!! Here is my family’s favorite recipe of all time, “Sugar Cream Pie” – it’s super easy and especially great for holidays, but Ben likes this sweet treat year around.

So come on in, hang out, play some games, download party favors, check out our site, listen to soundclips of our lullaby music, leave a comment and party with us!!! Make yourself at home and have fun while you’re here - it’s so nice to meet you!!!

Cher :)

PS Gifts...Hmmm... in the order of what I'd like first :)

1) INTL - # 11 - My Bella Vita

2) #58 - Go Workout Mom

3) #36 Marketing for Entrepreneurs

4) #21 - Foot Revitalize

5) #70 - Chocolatista

6) #92 - Lonely Pearls

7) #79 -Goat Mik Soap

8) #82 - Pillowcasegram

9) #54 -

10) #130 Starbucks Gift card

A Day in the Life of a Musician Pt 2 - Songwriting

Yesterday, I started " A Day in the Life of a Musician" and since no two days are ever alike, today I'm going to talk about the songwriting process.

This morning I woke up around 5:30a.m., with a song idea in my head. I didn't turn on the light because I didn't want to wake up hubby so I tiptoed through the room and instead, managed to trip over a laundry basket that I thought was a few feet away from me. Oh. That is the OTHER laundry basket... I fell flat on my face with a loud thud and a nice much for not waking up hubby.

So I have this song idea in my head. First thing I do is grab my tape recorder - which is always handy - and hum it in to the machine. If my guitar isn't around, I just say, "Here is a song idea, here's the 1 - 3 - 5 - of the key it's in (so I know the key, chord and harmony notes, if it's a minor key, major key, etc.) what time signature it is, (4/4, 6/8, 3/4, etc.) - this is all the "frame work" of the song that I just automatically make note of, so when I go back to it later on, I have a reference. Then I hum what is in my head. People ask which comes first for me, the melody or the song? For me it is usually melody with syllable "sounds" - I know what sounds I want to go with those particular notes - what vowel and consonant sounds. I remember reading when Paul McCartney wrote "Yesterday" he had the melody and the "sounds" of "Ham and eggs," which later translated to "Yes-ter-day" - this is the same process.

Okay, time to wake up son :) I'll continue this tomorrow! By the way, the song I'm working on is a bluesy song - syllable sounds, ah uh the woo, i ooo whu Ite.... :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Musician...

I am a musician. When people ask me "But what's your REAL job?" I repeat, "I am a musician." I make a living at making music. Many people think being a musician means going to gigs and playing music. But the truth is, a successful working musician needs to be flexible and wear many hats. Some of my hats include composer, producer, performing artist, songwriter, recording artist, arranger, engineer, publisher, musician, publicist, booking agent, saleswoman, distributor, accounts manager, bill collector, and the list goes on. Throw into the mix, wife, mom, businessowner. No two days are ever the same. It goes without saying, you need to be good at what you do - a little talent and a LOT of hard work go a long way. But most important, you need to be business smart. When a teen says they want to go into music, I tell them to go to a school where you can get a degree not only in music, but where you can also minor or double major in the business of music. It's a whole different animal.

Once someone learns the business of music, they are armed with knowledge of the ins and outs of the music biz...and will have a better understanding of what it will really take to succeed as a working musician. And just as no two days are the same, no two MUSICIANS' days are the here is a look into this musician's day today...

Woke up, got my son up as my hubby cooked breakfast. Looked through son's school bag, to see if there was anything due today... :) Hubby took son to school, and I went to the computer. I checked e-mails, then the day began. I booked a few concerts, confirmed some dates at a winery, sent off some CD's for magazine reviews and an order, ran fliers to a few pre-schools, delivered CD's for a fundraiser and also discussed storyboard ideas for an upcoming animation project using our music, wrote a check out to the milkman, contacted a PR firm that I am going to be using, and filled out a few contracts for two companies that want to license our music. After I pick up my son from school, we are going to go eat wings and listen to a blues singer that I will be performing with later this month.

At the end of the day, I will smooch my husband, and be thankful that I do what I love for a living.