Christmas Letter 2010

This year we are going to attempt to start a new Christmas tradition: the Christmas blog post. As I write this, the snow is streaming down outside and the lovely Jakki is busy gluing things to other things for our entries in an Unfortunate Holiday Sweater contest. Without further ado, here's what we did in 2010: After much review of Facebook and Twitter, it appears that 2010 started off with head colds for everyone, and braces for Jakki's teeth. The early part of the year contained much internet browsing and watching of TV. Such is life in the Inland Northwest in the first quarter.
After thawing out, March came along and brought a fabulous gig for the band I'm with: [Fairmount Chase](!/pages/Fairmount-Chase/198724234772). St. Patrick's Day tends to bring out our most loyal and hardcore fans. Fortunately, the more they drink, the better we sound.
As temperatures began to rise, camping became possible and we scooted up to [Farragut State Park]( along Lake Pend Oreille to celebrate Jakki's birthday. In attendance were our friends Chuck and Leann and some of her family. After raining on the way up, the weather cooperated until we left.
In July, Lake Sullivan in the extreme northeast corner of Washington became our camping destination. Bocephus (our Dodge truck) got a new canopy and was able to keep our gear dry despite rainy weather.
To celebrate our anniversary in August, we returned to Packwood, Mt. Rainier and [Mount St. Helens](; the site of our wedding five years prior. We found the tree we were married in front of in the [Ohanapecosh]( camp ground (not surprising, since that tree is probably 700 years old).
The last part of the summer was punctuated with two quick gigs for the band, one outdoors at a neighborhood block party in North Spokane, and one at O'Doherty's; a staple in Fairmount Chase's venue menu.
In early fall, we took a trip over to Seattle to visit Grandma Flo, Bob & Linda, Jim & Phyllis and Kelsey, and take in a Seahawks game at Quest Field with our friends Chuck & Leann. The family visit was wonderful, but the performance of the Seahawks left a lot to be desired (they lost 41-7 to the NY Giants). We also managed to see some old friends: Charlotte, and His Holiness Gary (the padre who presided over our wedding), and Georgie & Roger and their son Brian.
During fall, after much excitement with broken garage door springs, Jakki and I managed to get two new garage doors installed on the house. This was fortunate, as the first snowfall of the season set an all-time record for the area in November. Which, of course, brought out the Snow Robots.
This year has been heavily dosed with visits with family and friends, completely lacking in stays in the hospital, and fueled with music and good cheer-- and we couldn't be happier. May the holiday season bring you and yours peace and happiness in the coming year! -Much Love, Kelly & Jakki (and Tigger & Cleo)
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Good Show But I'm Getting Old

My band, Fairmount Chase, played a benefit gig last night. We rented a room in a local tavern downtown and had some bins for the local food bank. Lots of work people and friends of band the band showed up. We played three sets and had dancers a-plenty. At the end of the night, we had to tear everything down and load it all out. A five-piece band has a lot of gear! Driving home, my feet were killing me. Today, I feel like I have been run over. And we still had to unload our stuff into our practice space in the basement of the VFW. It's a lot of fun to play with these guys, and we draw fun and engaging crowds, but I wish we could hire some roadies. I suppose gigging in the future will be a lot easier: a band will just use the transporter (a la Star Trek) to beam there gear to the venue and back. Hopefully I will live that long.

Unfortunately, Jakki had to work, and my parents had a dancing engagement, so I don't have any photos of the gig to the post. I'm thinking that I might need to ask Santa for a video camera, so I can begin building up a video library of the band to put on youtube for potential venue owners to look at.

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Back In The Saddle Again

Last night I played with a band for the first time in several years. It was lots of fun, and they are an easy-going bunch. My playing is still pretty rusty, but I was surprised I could keep up on songs I didn't think I knew very well. It will be hard work to get back in shape for regular playing, but I'm looking forward to it-- revisiting a large portion of my life is worth it to me. The band is called [Fairmount Chase]( and hopefully we'll be playing out in Spokane soon. Now I'm off to ice down my fingers again...
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Mom's Rock

While searching for more on Beattallica (link from Kevin Bryant), I stumbled across a new music festival:
Mamapalooza! The self-proclaimed festival for mom's that rock.

Apparently there is a whole Mom Rock Band movement that I, just now, am hearing about. This is waaay cool! Such artist include:

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Losses = Increase In Sales

Wow, the RIAA has become almost as bad as SCO. Check out this recent article that was posted to Slashdot here. To paraphrase drastically: the RIAA says that sales are down 10% because of piracy and Soundscan (the Neilson ratings of music sales) says sales are up nearly 10%. They are both right, sort of. RIAA counts a "sale" as a unit shipped to a store, Soundscan counts a "sale" as a comsumer buying a unit from the store. To borrow the author's great simple example: If I own a record store and Q4 2003 I ordered 1000 Brittany Spears CDs and I sold 700 of them. Then in Q1 2004, I sold 770 CDs but I only ordered 930 from the supplier. Q1 vs. Q4 shows an increase from 700 to 770 units that I sold to customers, but according to the way the RIAA measures things, my "sales" would be down to 930 from 1000. Why is this? The author did ask this question, which was neatly evaded by the RIAA spokesperson. Basically, I think it's because the RIAA wants to say that sales are down because of piracy and filesharing, thus justifying it's protection-racket of sending people letters that basically say "send us money and we won't sue you". See, that Econ you took in college does come in handy!
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Louie Louie

Today's interesting factoid:
"In August 1983, a marathon celebrating the song "Louie, Louie" was held at KFJC Radio in Los Altos Hills, California. For 63 hours, the station played every known version of the song. At the time of the marathon, there were over 800 documented recordings of the tune. Since that point in time, the number of known recordings has at least doubled, with the last count somewhere around the 1,600 range."
More such useless info can be found at In particular, I found Frank Zappa's love/hate relationship with the tune quite interesting. A good time-waster for a rainy Wednesday (at least here in Arkansas). If you still haven't slaked your thirst for useless music trivia, head on over to for some more. For example: Shock Rocker, Alice Cooper was once elected Homecoming Queen for the University Of Houston. Go figure!
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North Mississippi Allstars

Last night, Clay and I went to the North Mississippi Allstars show at the bar where he is the GM. The show was pretty well attended (this was the second night). After a somewhat rickety first set, the show was great (with earplugs). They played lots of tunes off of 51 Phantom and Shake Hands With Shorty. The crowd was behind them (those that weren't too stoned to know where they were) and ultimately it was a great performance. They didn't play too much off of their new album, Polaris, which I haven't really gotten into yet. If they play in your area, I'd recommend going-- they are some very talented young guys!
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Joe Bonamassa

In music news, Bayly, Emily and I went to see Joe Bonamassa last night at the Sticky Fingerz Chicken Shack in the River Market. It was a helluva show! He's a master of his instrument and has a great backing band as well. He's only 25, but man, what a shredder! We bought his latest album at the show and he signed it for me afterwards. Very cool guy! Now I'm impatient for my blueshawk to get here so I can dust off the chops.
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