November 19, 2009

Cooking with Comedy

Julia Child did not become a world famous chef by simply cooking. She did not discover rich recipes by throwing items haphazardly into a pot of water. Rather, in order to create food, she had first to consume it. She spent a large portion of her life sampling the delicacies of various cuisines in order to extend her well-fed palette into the reaches of cultivated variety. Only then could she decipher the complexities of flavor, the aromas of wine, the textures of flour or the nuance of spice. She learned by consuming, by taking in the work of those who had gone before her. She observed with her senses the impact of what was delicious and that which was distasteful. She gained perspective and formed opinions; she earned herself a point of view. She let herself absorb the best ingredients of understanding to then wring the knowledge out of herself like so many sponges used to clean her counter tops. From this, people around the world learned and too became cooks. We can learn from anyone, allowing us their insights into a given field of interest. I make a mean french toast and am known by some for my homemade burritos. But my chosen field of interest is comedy. Humor. Play. I love observing the cooks of comedy. The best comedians induce a feeling in the pit of your stomach not unlike the hunger pangs endured when the waiter passes your table with a simmering chef's special and you've yet to be served. Hunger reaches its peak just before the first bite, and then is gone. But unlike that emptiness of hunger, the comedian offers up a fullness in your stomach. It's rare one can elicit from me a belly laugh, and when it happens it sustains. It is not replaced minutes later with discomfort and the regret of over-indulging. You can never have too much fun. Thus I enjoy consuming what other comedians have dished out; and when I discover something, be it life-changing or simply a wonderful moment, I want to share. No matter how big or small, popular or occult, successful or fleeting, they all are ingredients making up the collective consciousness of comedy.
So may I present to you perhaps the Julia Child and Betty Crocker of humor.
Or at least two morsels of an incredible treat.

November 18, 2009

we're baaaaack!

Not only are we back to the blog, but we're back from our first tour - an incredibly successful one at that! No we are not millionaires yet, but we had SO much fun traveling around the country singing for all sorts of lovely people...high school kids, moms & dads, old teachers and friends, complete strangers, water taxi drivers, magicians, hippies, horses (seriously), dogs (seriously), record label execs, Studio360 audiences, XM/Sirius audiences, NPR audiences, BBC audiences, gas station name it. We came, we sang, we conquered!

Big, big thanks to EVERYONE who came out to support us in whatever city we hit up in our rented mini-vans. Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Santa Rosa, NYC, Kentucky, Virginia, D.C., Nashville and as always LA - you all freakin rock. Thank you for making this tour an amazing experience for us all. We are proud of the music we make, but without all of you we'd REALLY be on the streets.

Hampton Inns across America - thank god for you. You really pulled weight on this one. Many comfy nights to remember. Listen up everyone, this place has yummy free breakfast and free internet (unlike some other hotels which shall not be named), not to mention it was also the hotel that smelled the least of old cigarettes. No hot tub, but we love you anyways. Please sponsor us!!

Avis - thank you for providing us with about 10 mini-vans of different sizes, colors and origins, and for charging us obscene amounts of money to drop them off in a different place than we started. While we would've saved more money without you, we would've been backpacking through the rainy northwestern wilderness & cow covered corn fields of Kentucky. Thank you for a safe, accident free ride. And for sometimes being red so we got speeding tickets.

American Airlines - boy oh boy. While you upped our mileage points bigtime & got us around the country relatively quickly, you have some lessons to learn. First of all, stop charging people to check bags & start offering complimentary alcohol. Also, turn down the volume on the safety video - we all know how to fasten our seatbelts. Smoother landings would be appreciated, as would fewer computer malfunctions, and more editions of SkyMall. Thank you for breaking Chris' pedal board, for re-routing us to Boston, and for all the comfy separated middle seats. Jet Blue is totally kicking your ass. GET IT TOGETHER!!! Ok, ok I'm being a little harsh - thank you for at least keeping us alive & for the free breakfast buffet & hotel (though you only had to give that to us because you messed up).

Cracker Barrel - You are really sweet but we shouldn't see each other any more. Two meals with you in 24 hours was a little much. We need some space. P.S. Cornbread stuffing is not a vegetable. P.P.S. Thanks for the awesome candy & toys though.

Kentucky - you really made our Halloween a memorable one (at least the parts we can remember). Good times in downtown Maysville!!

Thank you for the $3 cocktails and late night fried food (and for that second grilled cheese we ordered but didn't stick around for). Big thanks to the Watts Family for their generosity & for sharing their beautiful home with us. We had some fun with the ghosts in the attic.

Katharine Hoye - what a great roomie.

Our manager Hugo & his accomplice Haylisha - you are both ninjas. We love you. I'll have the world know that these two people are the most kickass managers & booking agents in the KNOWN UNIVERSE. We apologize on behalf of all the "challenged" front desk people that you had to deal with for two months.

Well, that was the brief summary of our tour & all the people we met along the way. After the New Year, things will get crazy and we'll do it all over again. Much love! xo jess

November 2, 2009

Mayslick, KY

we're in a gigantic beautiful haunted farm/mansion in Mayslick, Kentucky. (May's Lick?)
it's awesome. you can see for miles in every direction. "town" is like 15 miles away. it get's so quiet here, it freaks me out. Simon and Laurie (our homestays) are benevolent and hilarious, and they feed us into food comas every night.

the local folks shared with us a loud and tipsy halloween at a bar called "the Bank", then on to a late night diner where delicious hangover-prevention food was like 3 bucks a pop.

i hope we come here for a week every year. if they'll put up with us.