‘Sup?

My name is Liz. I need direction. I overuse commas. My house is a mess, my hair needs a trim and I have no marketable skills: It’s fun here, you’ll see!

Got a question, comment, proposal of marriage? Great! Email me at liz@theproductivecough.com

Contact Me, Folks!

Got a question, comment, proposal of marriage? Great! Email me at liz@theproductivecough.com

Show Your Love

September 23rd, 2009

You’ll Believe Me

Louis, my excellent brother, has created a new masterpiece. It’s called You’ll Believe Me. Harmonically was heavily inspired by the Beach Boys and Chopin. Give it a listen- I know you’ll be blown away.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

I’m simultaneous guilty of both overwhelming pride and mind-altering jealousy. BRAVO, Louie!

June 2nd, 2009

A Tuesday Morning Video

GUYS! Normally I would have something super clever to write, but I can’t think of anything that tops this video, so here it is:

May 29th, 2009

For my brother

Louis! Remember how hard we used to laugh at this!??!

MELONHEAD!

April 23rd, 2009

Monday Night’s Gig (Part II)

As promised, today I will explain to you what’s happening here:

Technically, they are my brother Louie, and Vikram Devasthali. But on Monday night, they were known as the Volvo Mafia: “Bringing you music with Swedish style efficiently since time immemorial.”

The Volvo Mafia took the stage after Commando Strike Force and did three hip-hop tunes of their own composition, and one killer cover of Sonny Rollins’ Tenor Madness. I’m not posting all four songs, because I don’t want to drive you away. But I would like to show you two of them if that’s alright. It is? Okay, great.

The first is about Mario Kart:

The other is a Louis Cole classic and is entitled I Will Make You Mine (it features a surprise guest performance by Adam Bravo!):

And that concludes my coverage of something that happened like four days ago. Tomorrow: Adventures in mini-blinds!

April 22nd, 2009

Monday Night’s Gig (Part I)

**For some reason, audio uploads are being glitchy…I am working on fixing the problem

Now that the heat has subsided, I am able to share with you some audio and video from the show my brother put on Monday Night at 2nd Street Jazz in Little Tokyo. When he asked me to sing a couple tunes with him for the first set, I was really flattered. Aside from being an excellent drummer, and a musical innovator, Louie is a very talented composer. But if you didn’t know that already, you haven’t been spending nearly enough time reading this blog.

So, Commando Strike Force (the name my brother gave us seconds before he stepped up to the mic) did three tunes, all of which Louie had written. The first was entitled Big Green Suitcase, and featured a smaller ensemble consisting of Adam Bravo on piano, Louis on drums, and Hans Bernhard on bass. But before we did that, we needed to sound check. “Dude. Sing something,” my brother commanded. I gave him one of my signature blank stares. “Just do Mary Had a Little Lamb. Whatever,” he said. You can hear that went by clicking here:

2nd Street Sound Check

Then the rest of Commando Strike Force got involved. It was Richard Sears on piano, Hans Berhard on bass, Louis on drums, Doug Mosher on clarinet, Sam Gendel on bass clarinet, Vikram Devasthali on trombone, Jon Hansen on tuba and Adam Bravo on harp.

Our second tune was Ghost Story, which has some seriously funny, slightly cryptic lyrics:

Ghost Story 4/20/09

The last tune was something that Louie wrote just last week. It’s entitled Swing and, if you are a music dork like I am, you will probably love it. I have a video of it here. Disclaimer: The quality isn’t very good because it was on a tiny handheld camera in the very dim lighting that 2nd Street Jazz is known for. Also, the video is all weird and stretched out. But you can see my brother standing right behind me, smiling, which is the reason I’m posting the visuals here- I love when Louie is happy.

(Please click the “HQ” icon on the bottom of the video there so you can see it in somewhat better quality)

(Also, don’t make fun of me.)

But that was only the first set. Be sure to tune in tomorrow when I will be explaining THIS:

April 16th, 2009

Love Love Love

A few years ago, my uncle Clint (yes, the fellow who lives in Afghanistan) wrote and recorded this little ditty under the name Mike Moth. It’s a shame that he isn’t more famous. The song is called “Love Love Love.” Try to resist dancing:

March 6th, 2009

“Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Cryin'” (Dr. John)

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of “About Me” questionnaire-type chain messages on Facebook. The idea is to answer a series of “quirky” questions about yourself and then send them to as many friends as possible so they can read what you wrote, and also participate themselves.

Most of the time, I don’t care to check these posts out. Call me inconsiderate, but if I want to know what your first kiss was like, I will ask you.

ANYway. The other day my friend Avaryl sent me one of these chain letters. The concept was to put your iPod or music player on shuffle, and answer each question with the title of the song playing. For each new question, you were to push the ‘Next’ button to get the answer. Regardless of how ridiculous the answer was, you had to write it down.

So I did it. And I had a lot of fun. So much fun, that I’m doing it again, right now, HERE, on this website! I hope you enjoy how ridiculous this will be. (If you feel like playing along, leave your answers in the comments section- I’d love to read ’em!)

*******************************************************

IF SOMEONE ASKS ‘ARE YOU OKAY’ YOU SAY?
“Big Green Suitcase” (Louis Cole) Wanna hear that? Here it is:

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
“Air A Danser” (Penguin Cafe Orchestra)

WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
“Too Close For Comfort” (Patti Austin) … Hey, now.

HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
“Boogie On Reggae Woman” (Stevie Wonder) … Well, it is Friday…

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?
“Better” (Bennett Paster)

WHAT’S YOUR MOTTO?
“Turn It Out” (Soulive)… That sounds like a pretty good motto, except for that I don’t know what it means.

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
“Do You Miss New York” (Dave Frishberg) … My friends don’t know me very well.

WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
“Steak Jacket” (Bedrock)

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
“Adios Nonino” (Astor Piazzolla)

WHAT IS 2 + 2?
“One in Seven” (Soulive) …Math was never my strong suit.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
“Night and Day” (Sondre Lerche)

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
“Takin’ A Chance On Love” (Randy Porter) …Aww, that makes me sound like a Rob Reiner movie…

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
“Some Other Time” (Bennett Paster) … I always was cryptic…

WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
“Hot Dogs Are 99 Cents” (Louis Cole) ...It’s a tremendous compliment. Check it out:

WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
“Jitterbug Boy” (Tom Waits)

WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
“In The Colysseum” (Tom Waits) … I like Tom to be present at all major life events.

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
“Gangster Tripping” (Fatboy Slim) … It’s like cow tipping, but a lot more dangerous.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR?
“Thank God For That” (Yes, Virginia)

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
“Love” (Rosie)

WHAT DO YOU WANT RIGHT NOW?
“Be Still” (Randy Porter)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS
“I Gotta Be Your Man” (Randy Newman)

WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS?
“Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Cryin'” (Dr. John)

February 20th, 2009

Schizomusiphrenia

This morning on my drive in to work, my attempts to educate myself on the nation’s economic situation were once again thwarted by a seemingly endless commercial for bath fixtures so, I switched off the news station and turned on my iPod. I put the thing on shuffle when I drive so that I don’t crash into anyone while I’m looking for a song. But, I still have to skip through handfuls of songs at a time, because I am realizing two things about the music I own:

1) I am getting bored with most of it
2) I only like specific parts in a lot of songs

Problem #1 is pretty common, and easily solved: Cough up a few bucks for some new music and revisit the old stuff in a few months. But problem #2 indicates that I may be ill. I have dozens of songs that I will never fully play from start to finish. I’ll listen to a desired section, and then skip forward. Not only does this drive passengers in my car crazy, but it makes me feel guilty for being so disrespectful of the musicians. I’m clearly not well. I think I have…

Schizomusiphrenia.

I can’t help it! Maybe I just want to listen to the melody, and not a long saxaphone solo (sorry Chris Potter). Or maybe it’s that some songs go on for far too long. In fact, I’ve set my iPod to start Tony Williams’ Allah Be Praised at 3:51 so that I can skip right to the cool organ part that I like. Often, part of a song might make me uncomfortable- for instance any time there is sing-talking, or that weird circus part of Spinning Wheel by Blood, Sweat & Tears. If you ever ride in my car, I’m warning you- do not get attached to anything coming out of the stereo because it could be over at any second.

Then there’s the reverse: I will listen to an entire four minute song just to hear literally five (5) eighth notes that happen at two minutes thirty seconds. And I will listen to those eighth notes 4oo times in a row before I allow the song to play to the end. Or I’ll listen to the last forty seconds of Fauré’s Libera Me 16 times in a row. To me, this is the more fun of the two symptoms of Schizomusiphrenia, but anyone riding with me wants to hurl themselves on the freeway after hearing the same piano solo 840 time.

Pray for my passengers. I can’t help myself, and they are the unfortunate victims of my condition.

December 8th, 2008

Last One, I Swear

Here’s Louie’s arrangement of the jazz classic “It Don’t Mean a Thing.” It perfectly shows why he is my favorite person in the universe. It features our dad on trumpet and trombone (and cough).

December 5th, 2008

Louis Is A Senior!

My dear, sweet, tall brother, Louis turned 22 yesterday. And to celebrate, USC’s Thornton School of Music held their jazz program’s Honors Combo recital. Unfortunately, because I work all the time, I couldn’t be there (please don’t judge me). But, Good Ol’ Reliable Father brought his mp3 recorder, and sent me a tune. It’s entitled “When Was the Last Time.” Louis wrote the music and lyrics, and played drums. It features Cassie Peterson on Vocals, Adam Bravo on piano, Hans Bernhard on bass, and Sam Gendel and Doug Mosher on horns. I was really impressed– It’s a great tune.

**Please note that you may want to turn your volume up a bit as the sound is not very loud.