652 square feet

“I did not go outside yesterday.” – Counting Crows, “Millers Angels”

652 square feet.

That’s the size of my apartment.

It’s not big. If you stand at the right place in the apartment, you can see just about every part of it.

Normally, I’m all about my small space. I don’t need a whole lot more than this (although I will freely admit to collecting too much stuff and I could do with spending some time purging some of it). It doesn’t require a ton of effort to do a good solid cleaning. It’s a perfectly fine little apartment.

And right now, it’s pretty much the world I’m stuck in.

Today, I am not doing well with what is happening in the world. Today, I’m sad. I miss my family. I miss my friends. I miss going to see live music.

And I feel really alone.

Logically, I know I am not. This weekend, I’ve talked to my brother, sister, and nephew, traded text messages and emails with my Dad and stepmom, texted with friends…And tomorrow, I’ll wake up and sit at my table and work, and conference call with co-workers, and give the big presentation I’m supposed to give. I will, indeed, be connected with people.

But right now, this 652 square feet of space feels incredibly small and isolated. And emotionally, I feel cut off from everything.

I’m a worrier by nature, and trust me when I tell you that I’ve worried about this mess every way possible. I worry about people I love getting sick. About how we’re all going to survive this.  I sent my brother cases of instant mac and cheese and beef jerky because I’m afraid he isn’t stocked up. I’m worried about his job, my sister’s job, my job, my friends’ jobs, my Dad and stepmom, my musician friends and how they are going to make it through this, all of the music venues I visit, my 401(k), and yes, whether or not I’m going to have enough toilet paper and toothpaste (I know, shut up, I know).

For the first time since he was born, I’m going to miss my nephew’s birthday. He’s going to be 6. That is crushing me.

Today, I read a news article about a guy who is living on an Italian island by himself. It made me incredibly sad. I think the article was meant to convey hope, but it did the opposite. I can’t imagine a life like this. I’m a mess after a week.

Being online has seemed like a necessity to connect with people, watch online music shows, and generally feel some sort of lifeline to the world…but at the same time,  the amount of doom, gloom, and scary shit is overwhelming. (This coming from the human that often watches “Friends” before going to bed so that she can end her day on a happy note.)

The thought of being stuck in my 652 square feet for 3 and 4 months terrifies me.

There has to be some hope somewhere, right?

Spring Mix time…not talking about salad, gang

Hey, hi, how ya been?

Sorry, I’ve been MIA for a while. No excuses, really. Just haven’t felt like writing. I promise I’ll be better.

For now, though, I’m going to cut to the chase. I’m here to deliver the Spring Mix.

Not gonna lie, folks, I’m REALLY loving this one. It’s long…close to 50 songs! There’s something on this one for everyone… And that run of the first 15 songs? It’s my favorite thing I’ve done in awhile.

I had a lot to say about these songs, so here are the ridiculously long liner notes. Sorry, not sorry?

And because I’m COMPLETELY on top of things – don’t let the Mix fool you – you should see the Spotify playlist below. The Apple playlist refuses to embed, but you can get to it with that link…

Happy almost spring…Hope you find something new to love!



A helpful Spotify tip to avoid totally messing up your Discover Weekly and 2020 Wrapped

The other day, a sorority sister from college – hey Denise, love you! – who shares a love of music sent me a text with a dilemma. She is a masseuse and a fitness instructor, so she plays a lot of music for sessions and classes that she wouldn’t ordinarily listen to.

The problem is, it was completely jacking up her Spotify Discover Weekly playlists, giving her recommendations that weren’t quite in the genre that she enjoys.

There was also a recent news story about folks complaining that their 2019 Spotify Wrapped end-of-year results were a mess because they were listening to meditation or sleep music at night, making their “top tracks” or “top artists” something that they wouldn’t really qualify that way.

So, Denise wanted to know if I knew of a way that she could avoid that from happening.

Confession: I did not. But I’m a really good Googler. And I figured I’d share what I found here because it’s actually super helpful.

Turns out, there’s a way that you can help reduce the likelihood that workout music, sleep music, meditation music, whatever, will influence your Discover Weekly, New Releases, and Wrapped 2020.

It’s called “Private Session.” It takes a little bit of manual work on your part, but if you want to influence your Spotify algorithm, this is the best way I can figure out to keep the integrity of your recommendations to what you want.

How to enable a Private Session on Spotify

So here’s how you do it…

Before you turn on your workout class playlist, your sleep music, or whatever it is you want to listen to in private, take these steps.

Desktop Spotify app

Click the dropdown arrow next to your username in the upper right hand corner of the app and select Private Session.

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Mobile Spotify app

Click on the gear icon for Settings in the upper right hand corner.

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From the menu, choose Social.

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Locate Private Session at the top and use the slider to turn on the Private Session. It will display as green when the Private Session is on.

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Don’t forget to turn the Private Session off

The important thing to remember is to turn the Private Session off when you’re done so that your regular listening can be counted toward your algorithm.

Happy Spotify-ing, kids.

Happy New Year, Happy New Krissie Mix

Hey, gang. Happy New Year. Look at me…January 5 and already making my first post of the year!

In all seriousness, I had hoped to do this post on New Year’s Day, but I got sidelined by a pretty wicked cold/virus thing. Bummer of a way to start the New Year, but I figure it’s gotta be like rain on your wedding day, right…if you start the week out sick, your year can only go uphill, right? After a week being down, I’m feeling mostly like a human…

…and I finished the Winter Mix! This one came together pretty easily…although there were probably about 15 songs that I dropped from it to keep it a reasonable length. Lots of good music has come out in the past few months… New music from Mighty Oaks, Future Thieves, Fort Frances, Mondo Cozmo, Emerson Hart…so many. Bodes well for 2020, methinks.

The Spotify version is embedded below, and the Apple Music playlist is here.

READ THE LINER NOTES: Warning: I had a LOT to say about these songs, so the notes are a little much. You’ll get all up inside my brain…

As always, if you dig something you hear, please support the artist and buy some of their music, merch, or a ticket to a show. And of course, if you have thoughts that you just can’t keep in about any of the music, I always love to hear people’s reactions. Comment below or shoot me a message on the socials – @jrzygyrl just about everywhere.

“What’s your show count?”

I cannot believe that we’re only a handful of weeks away from 2020. This year has gone by so quickly – at least until the last few weeks.

I more shows, concerts, musical events – whatever you want to call them – than most people. I can’t say I go to “a lot” because I know people who go to way more than I do. It’s all relative, I guess.

Noah Gundersen
Noah Gundersen at the Grey Eagle in Asheville, NC. October 25, 2019.

But the number of shows I’ve been to in recent weeks had slowed to a trickle. And the rest of the year isn’t looking extremely active. Not that there aren’t shows I can go to. There are plenty. It’s just that my specific concert calendar is a bit sparse at the moment. It happens, but it’s always painful when it does. I just had a TWO-WEEK stretch of no shows. For someone who typically averages 2 – 3 a week, nothing for two weeks feels like a piece of me is dying inside.

‘Round about this time of year, I always start getting lots of questions. “What’s your show count?”

This year, I’m sad to report, the number is LOW. 75 so far.

And I MIGHT get to 80 before the end of the year. Might.

I know, I know. Not really a problem of epic proportions – I’m lucky that I have the resources to do something I love as often as I do. It’s just after hitting 86 in 2018 and 119 in 2017, 80 feels glacial.

Lest I sound full of complaininess – there were some EPIC events this year, and some still to come. Like seeing Matt McCloskey live for the first time in Austin. And the upcoming Quiet Hounds show at The Evening Muse. Music in 6 states, plus a cruise ship in the Caribbean.

Josh Matt Krissie

Favorite musical moments of 2019, Take 1: 2019 included a pit stop in Austin to see one of my favorite all-time songwriters, Matt McCloskey (middle). Thanks to my buddy Josh (left) for insisting that we take this picture.

I’m going to need to step it up in 2020, gang. Keep me honest.

Let me know your show count in the comments!