A to J - According to Jette

Long John & Arias
Febuary 10th 2007

So—I’ve moved from Shepherdstown, WV to New York, NY to Washington, DC in three months…  I’m nearly ready to put my suitcases in storage.  (Except for my fabulous little weekender bag—it & my passport sit next to my bed.  Along with Coffee Pot

—who has become such an integral, endorphin-inducing part of my existence that I’ve deleted the preceding article ‘the’ and capitalized the ‘C’ and ‘P’—thus, effectively anthropomorphizing the beneficiary of my addiction—

because I’ve realized that morning is less detrimental to my mental health if I can extend an arm from beneath the covers to trusted C.P., flick the switch, and watch the elixir brew.  All from the warmth & safety of my cocoon. 
Happy sighs…)

I realized the other day that, in 2.5 years, I’ve not lived anywhere longer than 2.5 months…  Thus the ‘settling down’ experiment begins.  To be—or not to be—a Washingtonian…

Friday Morning Anecdote
December 8th 2006

Rubi's Beauty Shop...

My hair grows super-fast (i.e., two+ inches a month), so too-frequent trips to my regular stylist are very pricey, and--now that I'm committing to life as an independent DC city dweller--I cannot afford to zip back and forth to Manhattan...just for a haircut. So, last night, at 2AM, I grabbed the scissors, said to myself 'You're a smart girl--examine the angles at which your hair has been cut and--duplicate.' And I went to it.


Thus, this morning, as I am rolling my I'll-be-on-the-road-for-a-month suitcase down the streets of what is undiplomatically known as the hispanic ghetto, I spy
--with my right eye--
Rubi's Beauty Shop.
And I think... Why not?

Why not, indeed: My hair grows so quickly, Rubi could shave it (which surely I could prevent--I mean, I would notice the razor and know something was dreadfully amiss), and I'd be--optimistically--pixie-cute in one month. (Error in my logic: It's winter on the East Coast. If Rubi shaved my head...) Whatnot. I walk in. Rubi--the nice lady in the skull cap--says 'Digame!' And, because now is not the time for Lost in Translation, I reply--in English--'I cut my hair last night.' Rubi looks personally insulted (she can't see my hair--it's pulled back in a no-one-will-know knot), points to a chair, and hands me to a lady with whom I share a common fluency in Spanglish. Said lady is lovely, less offended than Rubi, and gently chides me: 'No no no. You cannot pretend to be a stylist. It is very difficult to be a stylist. We go to school...' And I think, 'Nope, I can't; yes, it is; and yep, you do.' (All valid points I should have discussed with myself last night before playing with the scissors)

Long story short: For $20, Rubi's fantastic assistant fixes my mess, tells me I'm once again pretty, up-sells me a product or two, and I
--and my station wagon suitcase--go rolling down the ghetto.
To appreciative catcalls of 'Aye Mamacita!'

Thanks, Rubi & Crew :)

Bourbon Pecan Pie, Smashed Potatoes, Liquor, and A Symphony for Dessert
November 23rd 2006

The holidays come; they go. I eat pie (a lot of pie), drink whatever
finds its way into my glass (whatnot, whatnot), enjoy watching someone beat potatoes
(The innate & thinly veiled brute in me eyes the cook, the vegetable, and
the mallet while gleefully murmuring 'Yes, yes--beat, smash, demolish, squelch...!!')
and, amidst the gastronomic mayhem, I write music.

Oh--wait & digress a week: The New World Symphony.
Suffice it to say that Holmes and I have agreed that our music
('Proximity' in particular) should always be played with a symphony. All
this time, we've thought we needed to hire a cellist; but no--we really
just needed a full string section.
Wryly: But of course.

Never in my life have I dreamed in small steps
--I fall up and down the stairs.

DC9 Debut Show
November 1st 2006

Happy Halloween!
October 30th marked our debut performance at DC's DC9 (a venue beloved by—dare I say—all DC music fans). We had a fabulous turn-out—the place was pretty well packed on a Monday night :) Aphrodizia and Mossyrock joined us—they were both absolutely wonderful. I respectfully swooned to Aphrodizia's sweeping beauty, and I danced (and danced and laughed and danced) along to Mossyrock's clever, upbeat, ultra-catchy tunes. What a fun & lovely way in which to rejoin the performing world. Holmie and I have a billion and five ideas for the next show.

I Am Rarely Speechless.
October 12th 2006

Could it be...? I believe eternities have passed, dynasties have risen and imploded (yes, yes—it's a little known, made-up fact that when you inbreed, you implode; when you outbreed, you explode, so
(I'm reading a book on the history of the british monarchy—this is from where my nonsense derives) surely dynasties implode?)),
hours and weeks and months and—ahem—it will be 2 years, but quite frankly it's been 24—have graciously untangled themselves into a singularly determined plot line, and now
—Cheshire Grins & melodramatic nonsensicals aside—
In the Deep is to be released in January 2007. I was given the news today. I'm so... Happy.

Sunday's Soliloquy
September 17th 2006:

Hello, hello…  So, Holmes & I are up—late—completing the myriad tasks on our To-Do NOW list.  It’s quite funny—Holmes is downstairs in his office, and I’m upstairs at my office / bar-in-the-kitchen; we are communicating via email because I have a habit of sidetracking us.  I can be such a chatterbox!

But—on the side of progress—we just finished our Raves interview.  Very fun!  Holmes declared that we—universally—are ‘all sexy motherfuckers…’.  To which I can only solemnly nod my head in agreement: Indeed, darling. 


So much has happened in the past three months…!  We’ve an album and a beautiful/boxing/chocolate & tea-swilling/fashionable/brilliant manager with an expansive rolodex.  The band is solidly together, (I love the Boys—inherently rotten & noble—and I am of the emphatic belief that they love me—because I respectfully appreciate their collective Badness).  Performance dates are popping up like truffles at the Chocolate Barr; cashmere weather has debuted its iconic return —hot dark chocolate in hand. 

Life’s delicious.
Add cinnamon, a sliver of chili pepper, and a heaping spoonful of fresh whipped cream.



We Met; We Are (+ Several Extra Sentences)
Sept 1st 2006:

I met Holmes Ives in a small Maryland town, early January 2005. He was spinning at a party thrown by my good friend, Derrick Miller. Derrick introduced me to Holmes by pointing to me and remarking: You need to meet her. Every time she sings, I cry.

Holmes, both pervasively amused and interested in adding to his collection of divas, gave me his card: Call me.

Two weeks later, I called. Holmes didn't remember who I was. (So much for lasting impressions)
I clumsily reintroduced myself: Hello, my voice drives Derrick Miller to tears.
Ah yes.
Memory jogged.
Laughter ensued. We met in DC at Holmes's studio. I was two hours late; Holmes was politely unimpressed. I was nervous and apologetic, and I didn't immediately laugh at his tension-breaking enema joke.

We were off to a wonderfully awkward beginning. So we quickly segued to music. Holmes played me the barest sketch of a track, opened the door to the vocal booth, wickedly threatened to lock me inside
--he'd obviously not yet forgiven my tardiness or my wide-eyed 'I beg your pardon?' response to his enema anecdote--
and told me to: Make something up.

I hadn't recorded in years and gave an impressive and oh-so-professional response: But...
I don't know how...

When I realized he was serious, I anxiously wrote some lyrics on several scrap sheets of paper (which I still have), named them 'Darker Than You', and sang.
We did one take.
Holmes was pleased by everything. Except the sounds of the scrap papers being shuffled around next to the mic as I tried to decide which verse went where while recording the song.

Ahem. Holmes remarked that he was going to have to painstakingly remove the frantic 'What do I sing next???' paper scuffles: You should go home. This will take a while.

It took days.
And nights.
And a week
Went by.

I sat in my cubicle in West Virginia's capitol building (on the House side) and attempted to avoid my work as a research analyst by reading the online editions of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Onion. Meanwhile, Holmes diligently composed the music to 'Darker Than You'.

The first draft was played for me at the end of January. I loved it. Three months later, my contract with the House was completed & my days as a cubicled Onion reader were blessedly finished. After we recorded our second & third songs,'Vexed' and 'E~', Holmes and I decided to write an album together. We shook hands, swore to maintain a platonic relationship, and spent the next year trying to choose both a moniker and band mates.

Matt Lewis (The Viking) came aboard first. He was tipsy-happy on Guinness when I asked him if he would consider joining our there-to-fore nameless band; thus, his judgment was impaired and he said Yes.

Matt then introduced us to Danny Tait. (Still no band name) And I learned that Holmes (raunchy gentleman) + Danny (raunchier gentleman) = two formidable, endearingly crass masterminds.
('Say it behind my back or when I'm unconscious' remains my band mantra)

Rex & Scott were introduced to the rest of us via Holmes. And thus--even though our band still didn't have a name--we had six players. (Try doing anything with six people--the logistics are exhausting)

Ultimately, Holmes & I spent a year deliberating monikers--only to throw up our hands and agree to combine our names. For the record: We attempted to be creative with the punctuation that separates 'Jette' from 'Ives', but everyone--fans, business advisors, and computer systems--consistently insisted upon placing a hyphen instead of a period between our names.

So, there you have it.
There we are had: Jette-Ives.