"I will not make any more boring art"

Posted by natalydawn | Jan 21, 2014

Flipping through some hoighty toighty fashion magazine, I came across this John Baldessari quote and just stared at it for a while. Maybe my vacuous state of mind - sitting in a hair salon with nothing to do - made room for his words. Whatever the reason was, I’ve never really latched onto a quote like this before. Now not a day goes by that I don’t think of it.

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For the last several years I’ve been tired of the “VideoSong” format. I’ve found them boring to watch and especially boring to edit. They served their purpose with Pomplamoose, but it’s been time for something new for a while. I just didn’t know what that was.

I still don’t know what it is. But I do know that I want to make lots of videos that are not boring, and that I can’t spend tons of time or dough on any one video that I make. I need to work fast - not just to make a living, but more importantly to not dwell on the same project for too long.

It’s so easy to make boring art - especially when you can just let it pile up on your YouTube channel. You get stuck in a rut and just keep doing it because it’s how you’ve always done it. Switching things up is risky and difficult. People might not like it. It might end up being a waste of time. And you’ll probably make a bunch of shitty stuff before you end up with something you’re ok with sharing.

The good news is, my productivity has increased drastically since I started making a living on Patreon. Consequently, the matter of how to NOT make boring art has become a more pressing issue. I don’t want to just keep putting out stuff that’s in my comfort zone. So I’ve cleaned up my studio and started spending my days in there. I’ve invested in plugins and moved all of my recording over to Ableton. I’m also taking dance lessons. I don’t know how that last bit is going to pan out, but I like that I don’t have to be a great dancer or even a good dancer to edit something that’s entertaining.

All that to say I really enjoyed making this video, and I feel like it’s a good new direction for me. That does not mean that I’ve found my “new sound”, or that I’ll only make dance videos. But I’ve learned a lot in the last couple months, and it feels good to be trying new things.

Speaking of which, I’ll be getting an electric guitar as soon as I hit my 2k goal on Patreon! It’s going to be a Nelson, made by hand by my friend Bobby Nelson. He makes really great guitars. In fact, Jack has used his Nelson guitar exclusively on his own and Pomplamoose’s albums. If you feel like helping Bobby keep make amazing guitars, he’s doing an Indiegogo right now, and I know that he would really appreciate the support.

Thank you, and here’s to less boring art.

How to Make Savory French Crepes

Posted by natalydawn | Dec 18, 2013

The Video

The Story

Hello and welcome to episode TWO of Dawn Be That Way, featuring guest star (and cousin) Evie MacRunnel with whom I will be making SAVORY FRENCH CREPES!!!

Evie and I were super close friends growing up. She even came to visit me when my parents and I moved to France in ‘96. That is where we both discovered the amazingness of French pastries and crepes.

They’re fun to make, and for practical reasons better than pancakes, because you can do them in advance and they don’t lose any of their pizzaz. Seriously, left over crepes are the best. Even cold. Just put a little Nutella on that bitch and you got gold.

So here’s how you make them and a list of ingredients taken from The Pancake Handbook. If you don’t own this cookbook, you need to. It’s got everything a breakfast-lover could ever want in it.

The Ingredients

…for the batter

3 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup medium-bodied beer

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup buckwheat flour

2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

…for toppings

3 eggs lightly scrambled (but not cooked)

1 cup gruyère cheese, grated

1 pack of bacon

Stonewall Kitchen Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam for garnish

Day One

Make the batter. Combine all the wet ingredients in a blender. Blend until super smooth. Add the dry ingredients. Blend until smooth. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Booya.

Day Two

Wake up. It won’t feel good, but you have crepes to look forward to, so make an effort.

Start by heating up a pan for BACON because you’ll feel better when you smell that cooking.

Get the batter out of the fridge and whip out your handy-dandy crepe pan. Personally, I’m in love with this one - been using it for years - but any ol’ non-stick pan will suffice. I just find that a crepe pan simplifies the dreaded flipping process.

Oil your crepe pan and wait for it to get hot.

While you wait, get started on the bacon.

Also, I suggest putting the plates you’ll be eating on into the oven at a low temperature so that the food stays hot while you eat it.

Now that your crepe pan is hot, ladle batter onto the pan and quickly rotate the pan until the surface area is covered with a thin layer of batter. Wait a minute till the edges have browned and you can free them up with a spatula.

Flip the crepe. Ruin the crepe. Flip another crepe. Ruin that one. Call your mom for emotional support. Flip another crepe. Eventually it will work and you will have made your very first beautiful crepe.

Let it cook for another minute on this side and then put it on a plate. When you’ve made a few crepes (or all of them), put one of them back onto the pan and add toppings!

You’ll want to turn the heat down a little at this point, as you want the ingredients inside the crepe to warm up, but you don’t want to burn the crepe. Drizzle some of the uncooked egg onto the crepe, top it with some cheese and bacon, fold the crepe over, and wait a minute for everything to warm up.

Take one of your hot plates out of the oven and slide the finished crepe onto the plate. Top with a dollop of garlic-onion jam and enjoy your delicious savory French crêpe with eggs, gruyère and bacon!

If there are leftover crepes and no one is looking, have one with Nutella and bacon. Then go back to bed because that was the best part of your life.

The Christmas Ballad

Posted by natalydawn | Dec 10, 2013

Nothing messes with my head like the holidays. I know that’s a weird thing to say, but it’s not just the nostalgia. I can deal with nostalgia. If it were just watching old Christmas videos and contemplating the ornaments on my tree, that would be great.

But it’s not! You see, the thing is, recently I’ve noticed that Christmas makes me a little bit crazy. I think it has something to do with constantly being pulled by different extremes. Instead of the good and the bad, you’re faced with the magnificent and the horrible on a daily basis. Granted, there’s the nostalgia - all of the memories of people and places you cherish and miss - but there’s also the daunting matter of what’s to come. There are the songs that you sing at the top of your lungs when you’re by yourself, and then there are the ones that make you want to drive into a lake. There’s family, and then (uh-oh, she’s gonna say it!) there’s family.

I found myself writing a Christmas song about love, because that’s what I want the holidays to be about. I wish that every time the Christmas crazies started to set in I could just snap out of it and remember to love people. Or maybe, more importantly, to just focus on the people I love. It’s easy to lose yourself in the month of December, so when your tears turn to laughter and back into tears again, remember to anchor yourself to the ones you love, and to cookies and eggnog lattes (the chemical equivalent of a brain hug).

New Pomplamoose Mashup - 2Pac + Royals + Beck

Posted by natalydawn | Nov 5, 2013

And we’re back.

It’s weird to spend so many months in the studio and not release anything. We’ve been working on a new Pomplamoose album for a while now, and most of our fans don’t even know we’re still a band!

For the record, we are still a band. And if you enjoy Pomplamoose, 2014 will be a bountiful year for you. (At least that’s what my fortune said last night. Which was weird, because I was eating pizza.)

Right now, we’re in the process of planning a UK, European and Nationwide tour following the release of our album and a buttload of videos in the Spring of 2014.

ALSO, just for the record, we’re playing in Seattle at the end of the week with a full orchestra, children’s choir AND Imogen Heap. So come join us for that if you can.

Thanks for being our fans. Seriously, you guys are the best and we know it.

New Music Video for “Leslie”

Posted by natalydawn | Oct 15, 2013

Ah! So much has happened since my last post. One of my awesome fans adopted Bradley the dog. I flew to Boulder to play a show with Frightened Rabbit on the amazing radio show ETown, which is run by Nick and Helen Forster. These lovely folks accompanied me live and interviewed me along with Frightened Rabbit, whose music is awesome and you should watch ALL OF IT.

When you’re done with that, please check out the music video that was just released this week and was directed by my cousin, Eric Kallevig. (He’s a pro. But don’t take MY word on it…)

Bradley the dog needs a home

Posted by natalydawn | Aug 10, 2013

Hey there everybody,

I’ve been debating whether or not to adopt this wonderful animal for the last week. He’s a fantastic pitbull mix (possibly some lab in there), with the most wonderfully chill temperament.

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Bradley is five months old and learns very quickly. He would be an excellent companion or family dog, because he loves dogs and people but doesn’t force himself on either. He’s not neutered yet, which is amazing because he’s so well behaved. None of that jumping all over the place, destroying furniture, chewing on shoes, or peeing on things like most puppies do. He’s a very special animal and he needs a home as soon as possible.

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As much as I have dreamt of taking him in, my current living situation doesn’t permit it, so I’m reaching out to you guys to see if anyone is in need of an excellent animal. He’s currently in Orange County, being looked after by the wonderful folks who found him, but they can’t keep him for much longer. He’ll be going to a shelter soon if no one adopts him, and I would hate for that to happen because he’s such a well-mannered, happy boy.

If anyone is interested, please contact me with the subject line “Interested in adopting Bradley” (natalydawnmusic@gmail.com)

Here are some videos of him! If you don’t instantly love this animal, there’s something wrong with you.

Don Risotto + Tabbouleh = My Summer Romance

Posted by natalydawn | Jul 16, 2013

How did I not post these sooner??? Totally slacking on the blog front. My apologies.

First off, a cover of The Cure’s “Lovesong” with my main man, Don Risotto.

And if that’s not enough to satiate your appetite, here’s a video of me making my favorite summer salad!

My mom always called it Tabbouleh Salad, but I think it’s technically a Couscous Salad. Either way, it’s an awesome recipe and you should try it, if you have 30 minutes to make something delicious!

Tabbouleh/Couscous Salad Recipe 

(Makes 6 to 8 servings)

1 cup bulgur/couscous

1 can (about 8 oz) water chestnuts, drained and chopped; or 1 cup peeled, chopped fresh jicama

1/2 cup minced green onions (including tops)

1/2 cup chopped carrot

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

1/2 cup olive oil (I accidentally put a whole cup in when I was making it. Thus the “too much olive oil comment and slightly soupy texture.)

2/3 cup lemon juice

Salt to taste

2 medium-size firm, ripe tomatoes, cored OR yummy 1/2 cup chopped “snack tomatoes”

Fresh mint sprigs for fancy garnish

NOTE: I recommend making it a couple hours ahead of time, covering it and refrigerating it. It’s best served cold.

Enjoy!

Also, many thanks to:

- Oliver’s Market: http://www.oliversmarket.com

- Olloclip - this video was shot on an iphone with an olloclip lens! http://www.olloclip.com

Blind Cat

Posted by natalydawn | Jul 9, 2013

I’ll be posting more vlogs like this one in the future. Not necessarily focused on cats. I like to think of myself more as a “musician” than an animal vlogger. But who knows what my future has in store for me!

It’s lovely to be home again and focusing on writing, making videos and staying in touch with fans. That’s basically what I’ll be doing for the next several months. Thanks to everyone who’s made this incredible life of mine possible!

Home again home again jiggitty jig

Posted by natalydawn | Jun 4, 2013

IT’S SO GOOD TO BE HOME!!!!

Europe was incredible, don’t get me wrong. Those of you who follow me on instagram can attest to the quality of food I was enjoying. And the shows! Such great energy. Such great people. So many unexpected gifts from incredible fans who made me feel so welcome. And I really enjoyed touring with Lord Huron as well. They were a lovely bunch of gentlemen, and I never got tired of hearing them play live.

I thought about getting a tattoo to commemorate the experience, but nothing good came to mind. A tattoo always seems like the best idea at the time, but then you think about it for two more seconds and realize that it isn’t.

I think the best tattoos are the ones that remind you of something. Something that you regularly forget. Like what day to take the trash out. Or in my case, our family shortbread recipe. Now THAT’S something that I would proudly have engraved into my skin for all to see. Preferably somewhere nice and fleshy so that I could watch it expand with time.

But back to the tour. Have I ever mentioned that I’m the luckiest person alive? Because I am so so incredibly blessed to do what I do, and to have the fans that I have, and the friends that I have, and the family that I have.

In all seriousness, if I were ever to get a tattoo (don’t freak out, mom) it would be about gratitude. And no, I would not get the Chinese, or Sanskrit or Hebrew character for gratitude. I don’t speak any of those languages. It would probably be an image of something I’m grateful for. Like croissants. Or democracy.

What’s next on the docket? What comes after a nationwide and European tour, you might be asking yourself??? Well, thanks for asking! I’m glad you did, because I haven’t had a minute to think about it so far.

(One minute later…)

Ok, so here’s the plan: get over my sinus infection (thanks, airplane.) Cook lots of delicious food. Exercise*. Spend time with Jack. Spend time with friends. Write and record lots of demos (feel free to visit my Patreon page if you’re interested in hearing them!) Edit a couple more videos. Bask in the sunshine. Play a few festivals. Enjoy life.

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