Sharing projects from late December and looking forward to 2020

Happy New Year, friends!

I’d meant to be in touch with you before the end of December, but then so many late-breaking creative projects kept popping up and I didn’t want to leave any of them out. So it made sense to wait a few more days. But now that it’s January and most (most) of everything is finally ready for you to enjoy, here’s links to some of the cool stuff that I’ve been up to recently:

My Best of 2019 mix

Some years I write about each individual song on my annual Best of mix, and some years I don’t--this year I did. You can read my blog post about the selection of songs I chose to represent my 2019 listening habits, or you can just listen to the mix itself. The track listing is at the top of the post along with an embedded Mixcloud player so that you can stream the songs right there in your browser, but there’s also links where you can click out to listen to it via Spotify or Apple Music. And of course if you’d prefer an old-fashioned burned CD, I’m happy to oblige; just let me know where to send it and I’ll put one in the mail for you. I hope you enjoy the tunes and maybe find some new-to-you artists to dig into further. (And, as a reminder, I have every year’s Best of mix, going all the way back to 2004, archived on the Mixes tab of Queen of Peaches. Click through to explore the collection if there’s any installments you missed along the way or any old faves you’d like to revisit!)

Unquiet Things guest post

One of my favorite bloggers, S. Elizabeth, the frou frou fantôme herself, put out a call a few months ago for guest contributors to her open-ended “Ten Things” series. (It truly is exactly what it sounds like--folks make a list of ten anythings and then write about them.) I immediately responded to say that I’d love to be included, and she slotted me in for the December post. The resulting piece is called “10 Things That Keep My Spirits Up As Winter Darkness Descends,” and it’s my ode to all the weird and wonderful stuff that helps me combat the seasonal depression that always afflicts me in the cold days of January and February.

My new podcast, “I’ll Follow You”

Oh lawd, she’s gone and done it! Friends, it’s true—I too have started a podcast. It’s called “I’ll Follow You,” and it should be findable/streamable anywhere you like to get your podcasts (including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or my profile). I recorded a short solo trailer to kick the whole thing off, and then there’s the first full-length episode, which is my conversation with English professor (and my good pal) Casey Andrews about our favorite films of the 2010s. I’m really looking forward to putting more episodes together for you very soon!

I hardly ever get tagged in Facebook memes, but a friend from my high school theater days recently tagged me in one meant for actors, musicians, and dancers. The idea was to post one photo of yourself performing every day for 10 days. I decided to play along and had a lot of fun with it. It was an extremely validating reminder that not only have I had the great good fortune to play a lot of super cool gigs over the years but also that...I’m in this for life. I’ve been getting up in front of crowds for basically as long as I can remember, so there’s no reason to believe I’m going to stop anytime soon. Because I love you all, and because I know a bunch of you aren’t on Facebook (that’s why I started this newsletter in the first place, right?!), I’m going to dump the photos and captions into a Google Doc so that you can see everything here.

And speaking of performing, we finally come to the one thing that’s not quite ready yet but is imminent: the new Felus Cremins Band album!

Brian and I spent a good chunk of our time off between Christmas and New Year’s Day recording a handful of new songs in our home studio. Most of the tunes are almost exactly a year old, written for playing at our Los Angeles debut at the Sherry Theater on January 4, 2019. The remainder were written much more recently. The album is going to be called American Romantic Music and will be available to download at our Bandcamp page very soon. (We'll have physical copies for sale too, don't worry!) You'll be among the first to know when it's finally ready to share.

These are weird and complicated times we’re living through. I hope you’re finding the medicine in it for your own life. For me, it’s been, yes, some grand gestures like making a new album and launching a podcast. But mostly I find that smaller choices actually carry the most weight right now--focusing on daily pleasures and joys, and making the effort to forge moments of connection with strangers in the city as well as my friends and loved ones. Just yesterday at work, as two of my coworkers were looking particularly hunched over and exhausted sitting in front of their computers, I invited them both to take a moment to come look at the particularly vivid sunset from the window in my cubicle.

Come look, my friends. Come look.