Recent Goings-On

I haven’t blogged lately: I’ve been really, really busy, okay? Just a quick update on some recent stuff so you’ll know I haven’t been slacking off:

The new album is still in the mix/master hopper with Jeff Abercrombie. I’ve always been an instant gratification guy, so working with professionals who put more emphasis on “quality” and “taking time to do it right” rankles me a bit, but I believe it will be worth the wait when it comes. Probably it would be done faster if I weren’t texting Jeff every ten minutes to ask, “Is it done yet?” Hopefully, more news soon.

As part of the overall tuneup of this website, I have been updating the notes on my older music in light of the NGSS and Common Core standards. It’s slow and tedious, but necessary if we are to make the site fully searchable by subject and grade level. And no, that’s not done yet either.

The AAAS just accepted my proposal to present my research (eeeeeee!!!!) on the benefits of educational music (mine, mine!!!) on kids’ science vocabulary and content knowledge. I’ll be going to their annual Pacific regional conference in June to present my findings. Spoiler alert: we now have hard data showing the music really works.

I was just told that I’ve been named as a… what’s the right word? Pre-nominee? Brainstorm fallout? I have been named as a potential something-or-other in three categories (best song, performer, and composer) for the 2014 Pegasus awards; I am thrilled and humbled to see my name in the company of so many whose work has delighted and inspired me. If you consider yourself a filker or a fan of filk music, or if you just want to know what filk music is, you should check out their site. Formal voting is not open yet, but there are links to the work of many of my favorite filk musicians.

I am continuing development of the six-week songwriting workshop. Writing music with kids as an artist in residence is way, way too much fun and I could happily do it full-time if I didn’t have other responsibilities. At some point, we need to get a songbook of kids’ work going on this site.

Last weekend, I was a guest of the Marcon convention in Columbus, Ohio. My goodness, what fun. Highlights included:
-I did two shows, one for grownups and one for kids. This allowed me to really focus on songs and stories just for little people in the second show. Both were a lot of fun.
-Shared an autograph table with two very funny young actors who played zombies on a television show I don’t like. I probably would have liked the show better if they had been given more lines; all they got to say on the show was, “Raaaaargh…” I tell you, it’s amazing how much emoting a good actor can do with no arms and only half a face.
-Had dinner with an extraordinary writer and performer who has agreed to let me cover some of her work. She asked me to make one commitment, but it’s something I really should be doing anyway; more on that later.
-Had a delightful sit-down with two of my favorite performers; like me, they are in the middle of multiple projects right now but we laid some groundwork for what might turn into one or more collaborative musical projects a few years down the road.
-While in Columbus, I was invited to judge the Ohio state science fair at OSU on Saturday morning. Great mother of invention, the kids did some extraordinary work. With all the terrible things we hear about teenagers, why don’t we get more coverage of the truly awesome things they do?

Oy, gotta go. Three writing workshops this morning in Hollywood, show this evening in Ojai. Be good, be safe, be happy.