The "My 3 Things" FAQ

My 3 Things is my monthly jam about ... you guessed it ... 3 things that I am up to.  It's a collection of songs, ideas, books, etc., that totally light me up.

Usually the 3 things include (but are not limited to): 

  • Something I'm listening to
  • Something that's rocking my world 
  • Something I'm thinking about 

They could also be:

  • Something I'm reading
  • Something I saw
  • Someplace I went

It's ever changing -- My 3 Things.  That's why it behooves you to be on the My 3 Things list.  Sign up below by scrolling to the very bottom of the page.

Pretty simple.  Pretty sweet.

3 Things - April Twenty Fifteen

1: Listening:  “We Belong Together” by Rickie Lee Jones

Lie on your floor and crank this song real loud.  That’s what I did.  I lost my self and soul for a few minutes.  Been years since I’d heard those iconic piano chords that open the song, and that incredible first line, "Say this was no game of chicken you were aiming your best friend. That you wear like a switchblade on a chain around your neck I think you picked this up in Mexico from your dad.”  Quintessential Rickie — the mood, the strange lyrics, the drama.   When the song finished, I got up, walked over to my guitar, picked it up, hit the re-play button on YouTube, and played along to this song, over and over. 

Gregory Pepper

It is a very tricky thing to introduce you to Gregory Pepper.  In fact, it was so intimidating that for awhile I put it off.  Finally, I stopped being such a baby and decided to ship this interview with Pepper because by now he's probably thinking: "WTF, Schutt?!  What ever happened to that interview you asked me to do??" 

Here goes ...

Who is Gregory Pepper?  

He is a man of many nicknames: Peps, Pep Pep, Pepper, GP.   

He is a man of many bands and band names: Gregory Pepper and His Problems, Common Grackle, Big Huge Truck (to name only a few). 

He comes from the Royal City of Guelph, Ontario.  Guelph (pronounced "gwelf") is the best little gem of an Ontario town.  I lived there for seven years.  I call it the "Austin, Texas of Canada."  

One question to rule them all

I just finished a re-read of the book  The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan.

This book dares you to define your #1 priority (in one area of life) and then do that “ONE Thing” for as much of the day as you possibly can.  

How do you define your #1 priority?  By asking yourself “What’s the ONE thing I can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”  

As a musician, I struggle with this question every day, all day long.  What IS my one thing? There are so many of them.  What’s my ONE thing for today? (Do I practice scales? Learn a new piece?  Review something I already know?  Do I transcribe something?  Will any of this really make a difference in the long run?)  

Solitude

What does it mean to you? For most musicians, solitude is an old friend. We spend hours and hours "in the shed" practicing, alone with our selves, our instruments, our dreams, and our limits.

To me, solitude means uninterrupted stretches of time (long or short) to read, write, compose, play guitar, meditate, think, draw, or work on a project that might or might not have a deadline or point.

In an increasingly noisy world, solitude is rare and valuable. Accordingly, the "things" that come from spending time in solitude can be rare and valuable too - a flash of insight, a distillation of thought, a connection of ideas, an acceptance of what is. 

I've been reading the literature of solitude over the past few months. Here are two of my favorite books on the subject. 

"A Woman in the Polar Night" by Christiane Ritter 

"How To Be Alone" by Sara Maitland 

How do you experience solitude? Do you deliberately create time for it? When you have it, do you luxuriate in it or does it make you uneasy? Where is your favorite place to "practice" solitude? Outdoors? A certain room in your house? 

House concerts and radical vulnerability

I hosted a house concert on January 29th. Maybe you saw it on my tour page?  You were invited … Did you come?  Were you there?  Were you the one that brought the director from Spain with you?  Were you the one who came from a meeting with an NFL-er?  Or were you the one who brought your saxophone and absolutely killed us with your snakey, gorgeous, breathy lines?  Maybe you were the one sitting in a chair basking in the glow of the candles and the surprise puppet show?

Yeah … that’s it.  That was you!  You!  You get it!  

You came because you’re starting to figure out how I operate, something I like to call “radical vulnerability.”  That’s the thing I am working on.  Thank you, Sonya, for getting radically vulnerable with me -- both at the Redstack show in December and at the house concert last week.  Thank you for getting radically vulnerable with your writing and reviewing the house concert. I’ll see you at the next one -- from the stage, singing, winging-it, shoulder to shoulder.  Hell yes!

Write 2 songs a month?

Hell Yes!

how awesome is this awesome?

how awesome is this awesome?

This year ... that's my plan, that's my jam. 
2015 -- The year of consistent awesomeness.

I'll be posting new tunes here and on my Soundcloud (where there is already a lot of goodness going on).

This means I am writing ...

No Matter What. 

Through thick, through thin: foot surgery, travel, Mom's cancer stirs up trouble, RedStack blows up and becomes the hottest new band in NYC, lots of other things I cannot even fathom right now, etc.

Gulp!  Here we go ...

What are you saying HELL YES to?  Let me know, down below.

(Awesome image courtesy of the Bringing Awesome Back blog.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions of questions

Another image from my journal.  Read the journal FAQ here.

I like this description of music as a series of questions of questions of questions ... It somehow seemed right to me when I read it.  The quotation came from the book The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan. 

What are you reading?  Do capture any thoughts, lines, words when you read them?  If so, how?  What's your way of keeping these shards of words and phrases?  Tell me.  Tell me more.

Want to sing with me Thursday night?

'cause I want you to sing with me ... at the REDSTACK gig, Thursday, December 11 at 9:30pm sharp! at Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 3.

I've got a little song in mind I want to arrange for two or three or fifty voices.  But I am only one little person and Jules doesn't know the song (yet) and still that would only be two little people.

So if you are coming to the gig and you want to sing with me, send me an email assistant.kateschutt@gmail.com

And if you're not coming to the gig and you want to sing with me, send me an email.

And if you want to come to the gig and sing with me but you forgot to get a ticket or didn't have the internet or 10$ to get a ticket and it's now sold out, send me an email. 

How sweet it is to be loved by you.  It's true.
XO,
Kate

A little hand-made, collaged, show poster goodness, by yours truly

Best thing I've done all week v1

The best thing I've done all week is play drums and guitar along with the album "Coltrane Plays the Blues."  The first two tunes "Blues for Elvin" and "Blues for Bechet" have totally lit me up!!! I am playing along with them multiple times a day!  Seriously!  It is like some kind of musical crack. 

Rick Considine, my drum teacher, told me to play along with that first track and once again I understand why he is the man and why I travel to Bushwick and sit in a tiny, dimly lit, freezing cold, grungy little practice closet to study with him.   Thanks, Rick.  Seriously.  Thank you for once again blowing my mind.

What makes playing along with these two tunes so great?

  • Because playing along with real music is the next best thing to playing real music.  Ha!  What I mean is, it is the next best thing to playing a gig with your heroes ... and I love playing gigs and love playing gigs with my heroes even more.
  • Because the tempos of these songs are MY JAM.  These slow tempos speak to my soul.  I get so pumped to find music that exists in this slow, spacious land of time.  Ben Webster plays a lot at this tempo and he is one of my touchstones.  Gillian Welch plays at this tempo.  Damn.  So much good and soulful music at these slow tempos. It is a kind of soul food for my ears.  Delicious.  Sweet.  Lingering. 

Check out the entire Coltrane album here.  And you tell me -- What was the best thing you did all week?


How are you creating community?

The awesome gals at Kind Aesthetic wrote this great little wrap-up about a house concert I had in my apartment in NYC last summer. 

In the post, they write about how the night CREATED community.  How it made community and connection happen.  The night was full of great people, all of whom I wanted to introduce to each other.  Sure the music was great (especially because I was playing with the King of Newfoundland gypsy jazz guitar, Mr. Duane Andrews and the King of the Beaches in Toronto, the bluesman, Mr. Paul Reddick), sure the vibe was killing, but the best part of all ... getting all of my cool peeps together in one room and seeing what happened!

Here is what happened: Boom!  Ideas flying back and forth!  Sparks!  Collaborations!  Laughs!  New friendships!  New workout partners!  Hilarious, revealing convos!  I think there was even a late night trek to the 55 Bar to see Julian play??  (Can someone who was there confirm?)

How do you make community happen?  Talk to me.