Podcasting with Words and Music: What Not to Do

I’ve done a few Anchor podcasts, where they convert your blog post to a spoken word. But I wanted to try using my voice, both with words and music. Especially since in the last 50/90 challenge (write 50 songs in 90 days), I’d done a couple of Laurie Anderson type spoken word songs. I don’t know, somewhere in my wild imagination, I thought that might make a fun podcast. A little spoken, a little singing, a little music…

So I discovered, after going through the whole WordPress podcasting course, and uploading my first podcast to Spotify, that I can only mix spoken word and music on Spotify if I use select Spotify music – not my own. So this will not be uploaded to Spotify unless I go through the distribution channels for uploading my own music (stay tuned). I’ve done that before through a distribution channel, but I wanted to create a channel where both would be in the same place.

Apparently, according to Spotify’s takedown notice, a song is a song and a podcast is a podcast and the two can only meet if you use *their* select songs. I can hear a song forming in my head right now…

Anyway, here’s the “Candy Apple Red” Introduction to my podcast I’d planned as a “kick off” for “Kickin’ it with DJ Kat.”

If I Don’t Tell the Story, Who Will?

Reading the novel Lucy by the Sea (Elizabeth Strout) in the author’s very autobiographical style stirs up all kinds of memories and ideas, not only in my experience with Covid, which was so different from the main character’s (and author’s?) and probably from so many New Yorkers, that I’m driven to write bits and pieces of something that may or may not make it into a book.

One piece sitting on one of my hard drives is called “If I Don’t Tell the Story, Who Will?” Perhaps, it’s on a backup drive because I can’t find it on my newest computer. So I decided to write this new piece:

If I Don’t Tell the Story, Who Will?

The last time I “spoke” to my father was actually through email. I’d posted a photo on Facebook of him (with camera, next to Joe) with Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio, the one he had given me and said I had permission to post on my website even in a book as requested by somebody writing about Marilyn Monroe. Well, he asked me to take it down from Facebook. For some reason, it was a problem for my half sister, the one who was his daughter, not my other half sister, who was my mother’s daughter.

It brought back those heartbreaking memories of when I was a kid and had first heard that my dad was not my dad, that he was Sherry’s dad and I had a different dad. My grandmother (my mother’s mother) had given me a letter and photos, but my mother insisted I give them back, that they would “hurt” my step dad, who I called dad.

So to have my real father so many years later, the one I had searched for and found and met and was doing everything I could to create a relationship with, ask that I take down that photo was just too much! I deleted Facebook for the last time and never communicated with him again.

A year later, I sent him a Christmas card because I didn’t want to part that way but he died the next year and I don’t even know if he got the Christmas card as he was in an assisted living facility before his death. I only discovered my dad was dead when my aunt (my uncle’s widow) saw it on Facebook and told me at the same time that the rest of the world found out. This is why I hate Facebook.

Writing as Therapy

Writing used to be therapeutic for me. I processed a lot of stuff during that time of discovery by writing and blogging. And did I need to do that back then! You’d think I’d be finished by now. But every once in a while, some old feelings are stirred up and become too draining to write them in a book. It’s no longer therapeutic. Besides, I told that story in Myths of the Fatherless (the “cleaned-up” version, I might add… what if I told the whole story…) And that’s the idea behind “If I Don’t Tell the Story, Who Will?”

Even my wip, She’s Not That Good, is giving me migraines during the editing process. My editor kindly suggests I stop the project. But I’m feeling a bit stubborn and want to finish it. But will I have the stamina? Perhaps, one chapter at a time.

Music as Healer

Instead, I find music more soothing. It keeps me anchored in the present, instead of the past. It conquers the past. it’s like my brain has been rewired from writing to music and can’t really turn back. And if it’s true that you should “put your ass where your heart wants to be,” well, that is certainly where my heart is.

One Night in Vegas, Version 2 (#50/90) Finale #Elvis

Another version of “One Night in Vegas” for 50/90 2022 – this one with spoken alternatives onstage and backstage. This captures one night in Vegas at the last Elvis Festival at the Las Vegas Hilton, which was the original International Hotel.

We got a backstage tour of the stage, dressing room, and the Elvis suite in the Penthouse, along with meeting Memphis Mafia Jerry Schilling and Jose Esposito. The evening was capped off by an Elvis artist performance, complete with the Sweet Inspirations and the Stamps.

This is my tribute to that night.

Fantasy Studios: A Piece of My Berkeley Days (#music #producer)

So when I was living in the San Francisco Bay Area, at one point I was freelancing as a production editor at McGraw Hill Publishers in Berkeley, who were leasing a suite from Fantasy Studios, at least they were in the same building so I’m assuming that’s how it worked.

The three things I loved about that:

  1. Working for a publisher
  2. The sunset views of the Golden Gate Bridge where we stopped what we were doing every night to take a breathtaking look
  3. Fantasy Records (we would sometimes see big names arriving in limos)

Well, I hadn’t thought about any of this in quite a while until I was listening the other night to  KCSM, a San Francisco Bay Area Jazz station on the internet (my favorite Jazz station), and she mentioned Fantasy Records, the home to many, many jazz artists, not to mention bands like Creedence Clearwater Revival, etc). And she mentioned one of the artists had recorded a particular song at Fantasy Records. It’s now gone, but the memories live on.

Who knew all these years later I’d be a published author and creating/producing my own music?

Sunset Behind the Golden Gate Bridge

Fantasy Records Lobby

Memorial Day Elvis #Remix #SiriusXM

So I’m listening to the Elvis station on SiriusXM in the car yesterday and while “Clean Up Your Own Backyard” is playing, I’m thinking how dated the production is and how I’d love to hear it updated. Then, the next track comes on and it’s a remix version of that song by Chromeo for their “Memorial Day Remix” show. It absolutely blew me away! I love remixes!! Not only for listening but for producing.

Kitten Loves Logic Pro, Too! (#music #production #logicpro #ableton #push2

Well, you saw our new kitten being totally fascinated by Push2 in Ableton Live in this video, but now it looks like he loves Logic Pro, too. Even he can’t decide which one to use – lol!

Mastering with BandLab (#music #production)

Pete (Studio Live Today YouTube Channel) has been doing a series on BandLab, an online music creation tool and community. Today’s video was about the free Mastering that BandLab offers.

So I decided to check it out by signing up and doing a comparison with the unmastered version “Golden Hour,” I wrote about here vs the mastered version below.

Unmastered Version:

Mastered with BandLab:

I think BandLab improved it – it’s not perfection, but it’s better. Well, it’s louder, anyway. But it’s got me thinking about what else I need to do to my music to get it to perfection.