Embrace Your Storm

So, this is the 3rd week since surgery for colon cancer, which took me by surprise. I’m again encouraging anyone over 45 to please get a FIT or Cologuard test, or schedule your colonoscopy. My surgery looks to have gotten all the cancer. I’m told chemo would only help my particular situation by 2%, so the Oncologist is not recommending it. I will likely sign up for a clinical trial I am reading 25 pages about. They do blood tests. If they find you have the marker in your DNA, they suggest chemo. If there is no marker, they monitor you and keep doing blood tests for 3 years.

This has all been. SO. EXHAUSTING. Any burst of activity makes me so tired.

I wake up and still give myself blood thinner shots in the abdomen. The surgery pain has lasted longer than I had anticipated, but is finally now starting to lessen. I can go on short drives if I hold my guts over speed bumps. I have lost 20 pounds and most of my appetite.

Right now I’m trying to focus more on healing, than “what if it comes back?”

I have had amazing love and support from friends. A benefit and variety show will happen 3/11 at Somewhere Bar. Silent auction items include Treefort Tickets, merch from Old Idaho Penitentiary, Boise Brewing. A 1930 vintage MARTIN GUITAR from my friend Eric Paul! Tickets to Sawtooth Valley Gathering, donations of photography, books, music performances, art by Zella Bardsley, Michelle Bass, and more things keep coming in every day. The funds will go into my HSA to pay for bills and any upcoming treatments.

The good stuff, is I’ve found out how many of my friends and their families have endured and survived similar situations. Many friends have had a worse diagnosis than I have, and they remain strong and healthy years later. This is encouraging.

Ready for a statistic? Approximately 39.5% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes. This really sobering, and made me want to do some aggressive research on how to help myself get better long-term. I am listing some things I have learned about, for others who might need ideas.

I have been sent a barrage of alternative treatments and therapies. I am open to both western and eastern medicine. I am taking a daily polypore hydrosol combo made by the amazing author/herbalist Darcy Williamson from Maven’s Haven, an amazing and magical place with workshops and retreats along the Salmon River in Lucille, Idaho outside of Riggins. Can’t recommend this place enough. She is brilliant, and has a heart of gold.

A medical friend suggests a low-dose 81mg of aspirin. There’s a study that states the use of aspirin for 6 years or longer with a 19% decreased risk of colorectal cancer and a 15% decreased risk of any type of gastrointestinal cancer. My doctors haven’t suggested any after-surgery approaches yet, this may be worth a try.

Some other friends swear by Fermented Wheat Germ Extract. It looks to be anti-tumor, anti-viral, anti-everything bad. Friends are actually rounding up lab materials so I can make this at home if I can figure it out. Avemar is a commercial version of this product, which is much more affordable to make yourself.

Other friends have said they had great results with Biontology, and several have recommended I go to Tijuana to be cured at Oasis of Hope. I think this is better for higher stages of cancer, and someone with lots of money to spare. I don’t think they take U.S. insurance. I really want to go to Tijuana, but mostly for some cheap beer and tacos.

Sometimes I just get tired of talking about cancer, and wallowing in my overwhelm.

So today, I had a refreshing break, doing a podcast and interview with my new friend Jonathan Nadeau. He’s accepted my Gaelynn Lea film “Violin Scratches” into his Tournadeau Film Fest. His business slogan and podcast is, “Embrace Your Storm.”

While I deliberate the severity of the cancer I’ve been through, I find out that Jonathan had lost his sight at the age of 14 in a car accident. He is positive, successful, and wildly creative and passionate. It has given me perspective.

Please listen to my interview with Jonathon here, at my SHE LIKES TO GO SLOW PODCAST.

World Cancer Awareness Day

*Spoiler alert. If you don’t want to read about my recent cancer experience, I’ll take you to the end message right now. If you’re 45 or older, please get your colonoscopy or at least home detection kit right away.

Colon cancer is the 4th leading cause of death, and one of the most preventable if caught early. I get it, I wanted nothing to do with the primitive “prep” process I’ve heard about. I’d requested a home kit from my doc in January, but never received it. Randomly, a kit came in the mail a couple months ago, so I sent it in.

At one point, my old dog came up to me, stopped, and scanned my body. She rarely makes eye contact, but after scanning me, she looked me right in the eyes and stared. It was like she was saying, “Ma, something ain’t right.”

The test results came back positive for finding something. I told my doc about it, and he said “Who ordered the test?” I thought they had, but turns out my insurance company had randomly mailed one out.

Being end of the year and a turnover of deductible on the way, my friend shared a free room in Hawaii so I went, and then scheduled a dreaded colonoscopy the first week of January.

The prep is brutal, I’m not gonna lie. 2-3 days of your life are spent emptying the contents of your gut with no mercy, and plenty of pain. I know this is why most people don’t get colonoscopies, which leads to the high statistics. I keep questioning why it’s so primitive, why we can’t do imaging to screen people when they’re going to do that anyway? The home test kits are an easy and painless way to get started for screening.

After my procedure and waiting for my friend to return, I woke up and asked the assistant, “Did it go okay?” Her response was, “What’s your favorite hospital?”

It’s where my shock and anxiety went crazy. Still coming out of being under, we were being told to get a CT Scan across the street ASAP to see if the cancer had spread. I told my friend, “Wait, I have cancer?! I don’t feel like I have cancer!” No pain. No symptoms.

I was so rummy and in shock, we went to the hospital across the street and a person told us to go to the E.R. part for imaging. We’d been given no instructions on where to go, which had me in the wrong building using out-of-network doctors. If I had only been clear-headed, I might have avoided this decision. My poor friend was in shock as well, I’d thought we’d do this thing and grab lunch, instead of seeing if my brand new cancer had spread or not. CT Scans came back without showing a visual spread. I was connected with a surgeon immediately, who said he would have to remove 3 feet of my guts.

My stress level was indescribable, especially the first week of waiting. I continued to do my radio show, talk about concerts and contests, and between every sentence I’d say, I’d hear in my head, “I have cancer.” Here’s the thing about that. When you hear “You have cancer,” that’s how it all starts for every person who survives it or not. Priorities were suddenly very obvious and rearranged. You don’t care about money, image, superfluous things. You care about NOT having cancer. Period.

The things people said to me :

You should get a second opinion.

I guess you won’t be riding your motorcycle anytime soon.

What stage is it?

This is the beginning of the biggest fight of your life.

You’ll be fine.

A friend reminded me that “We never get out of this life alive,” and that being grateful is what keeps her positive through checks and appointments for remission.

I also heard amazing success stories from friends and their families. People with 6 feet or all of their guts removed, brave survivors working around these challenges and living for years.

The hardest part of this has been the fear. Is this it? Am I going down? Did I do everything I wanted to do? I had a dream that some people were trying to put me in a purple body bag, and I could see them through it. I read that fear and excitement are closely related, so I tried to psyche myself into being excited about the surgery. The next hard part has been being solo. I keep hearing in my head, “No one is going to come and save you.”

That’s thankfully not been completely true.

I had surgery 1/26. They removed one foot instead of 3 feet of my guts. The hospital was chaos. A guy wheeling me around said he walks 5-15 miles per day, and they are so under-staffed from Covid that the remaining people are working so much overtime that their immune systems are shot, giving most of them Covid. The heart monitor in my room wasn’t working, so they wanted to move me. Anxiety had made my BP and pulse over the moon. When moved to my new room, my first “soft” food was a ham and cheese sandwich on toast? I think they made a mistake, I certainly paid for that later. People came in to give me a shot, then another person tried to give me the same shot 10 minutes later. I could hear a person wheezing a long, Covid cough down the hall. The surgeon wanted me to stay 3 days, but I knew I was not healing there. On the 2nd day, the surgeon put his weight on my biggest incision and looked at me. It was like a wild west standoff. I knew he was testing me. I looked him straight in the eye and didn’t blink or make a noise. He said, “You are really tough. Most people flinch when I do that. I’m sending you home today.” Did it hurt? Hell yeah. Was I going home? Hell yeah.

Friends have been amazing. I’ve been set up with this bland food I need to eat for weeks. Friends have dropped off Tylenol, Gatorade, coloring books, lotion. Smart Water and Path Water are keeping me going. I have a gift card that will help me get groceries, as I can’t drive any time soon. I am most grateful that I can work from home as I go through this healing process. The doctors want me away from Covid for as long as I can be. Supposed to be 6 weeks of healing. I sneezed the other day and thought I had turned myself inside out, it was really painful.

Getting up is the most painful part of the day. I use a cane to help me out of bed, then have to catch my breath. Clean the fridge? Catch my breath. I have to give myself daily blood thinner shots in my abdomen. I just have to suck it up and do it. There’s no one here holding my hand. While this would be much easier to get through with a companion, I am thankful for so many friends who just check in, or just chat about stuff. Covid has made the experience much more lonely. People drop things off and I watch them drive away as I’m being extra cautious.

My gut is a symphony of disagreement. I picture it like a bunch of construction workers on I84 and The Flying Y. The traffic report would be something like, “Having some slow-downs in the construction area, as traffic is re-routed from the removal of the Fred exit. (Naming my removed cancer “Fred”). Traffic will be stop-and-go for a few weeks until construction is finalized. Proceed with caution, and only eat soft, bland foods.”

Here’s the biggest thing I’ve learned. Everyone else’s story isn’t your story. This is your life, your path, your experience. All we know to do is to share with others our own experience. We may or may not need the chemo, colostomy bags, radiation that others talk about. There may be other treatments available that weren’t available to other people. Things are always changing. Positivity is necessary to just get through the process.

My follow-up appointment is next Tuesday, where I will learn if they got everything, or if it had spread to the lymph nodes. If so, chemo would be the next step. Obviously hoping for the best, and thankful for all the friends holding me up. I just want to have friends over for a fire in my back yard while we sip cold beers together. Soon.

Putting things into perspective, a friend of mine had to say goodbye to their friend Lani Forbes yesterday. Lani was a successful local author, wife, and mom of 3 children. She had stage 4 endocrine cancer, and had been to several specialists. When she was pregnant, a nurse noticed she could not use the left side of her tongue. Loni did not make it, and as I went through her Facebook page I saw what a phenomenal woman she was. Here is her family’s GoFundMe page, which will help the children.

Perspective.

I don’t know how cancer picks its victims, but I do know that early detection is priceless in avoiding many unhappy endings. My random home test could have possibly saved my life. Side note-if not, please make sure we play a weekend of sessions I’ve remixed as my last wish, whether this gets me or something else while I’m working here 🙂

I’m encouraging you to get a home test, FIT test, Cologuard at the very least. Around $40 or covered by your insurance. Get a colonoscopy done. If it’s clean, you avoid that for another 10 years.If not, you’re alive and get tested more often. Give extra love and compassion to those you know with cancer, and especially to those you know supporting their friends and family with cancer.

Finally, a friend of mine has started a GoFundMe for my own expenses related to my own adventure. Do not feel obligated to donate. Here is the link, https://www.gofundme.com/create/mfa?redirect=/withdraw/help-rochelle-meet-her-medical-deductible/

You can avoid fees by a Venmo donation to roxxboise@gmail.com.

If it’s between me, or investing in a kit, please invest in yourself! Much love to friends, family, and coworkers for getting me through this. Much respect to all medical and emergency workers being overworked and underappreciated during Covid. Thanks for following my journey.

Have questions or comments? Email me.

EILEN JEWELL

First things first, countless times I’ve heard people tell their friends about this artist. They say, “You’ve gotta check out this AILEN Jewell.” Or heard during Treefort, “EILEEN Jewell has a great new album!” She would likely never correct you herself, but just so we’re all on the same page, it’s pronounced “EE-len.” Rhymes with “how ya feelin’?”

Eilen kindly accepted an invitation for an interview and session during our noon hour. You’ll want to catch the show this Sunday Night, Charlie Sutton is the opening act for this show at The Olympic Venue on Main Street. This is the bar just above Mulligan’s.

We had a great visit, and she did a couple of songs for us. This is “Rich Man’s World.”

Boise is spoiled to have artists like Eilen play in town, between spots on the world tour they are planning. She’s playing Portland and Seattle this weekend before returning for the Boise show.

During our chat, Eilen said she really likes Ray LaMontagne for modern music, and Lana Del Rey. She says friends tease her for being late to the party. I asked her if there was a location in her history of touring that pleasantly surprised her. She said it was Sweden, because it is beautiful and spread out like Idaho.

Here’s one of the songs from her latest album, “Gypsy.”

If you need a comfort song, close your eyes and listen to this. I asked for a holiday song we could share next month. We will have enough now that we can do an “Eilen Christmas” Lunch in the Library! This is a beautiful classic song covered by many, including Roy Orbison. It was written by Willie Nelson.


Have questions or comments? Email me.

The Hu session remixes and film updates

Sometimes I forget that I get to do cool things. If I had to pick some of the coolest things from 2021, this is top 5. I mix all the sessions for 2 of our stations 94.9 The River and 100.3 The X. The X hadn’t had a session in 2 years because of Covid. I was so excited to hear that we were getting a session with the Mongolian Throat singers, “The Hu!”

I want you to know how magical it is to do remixes. With a session like this, I mix it live and then I go home and remix by isolating the tracks and putting certain EQ and effects on each channel and making them stereo, and then sync them to video. Hearing individual channels brings out all of the harmonics and crazy throat singing this band is doing, the full session doesn’t really do it justice. Many sounds are coming from each vocalist, it is very goosebump-worthy. On this next song about one minute in, they make their cellos sound like horses!

The Hu made my year, what a great session. They used a translator for the interview, and were all very kind. The instruments were all pieces of art, the cellos had horses heads on them and it was all unlike anything we’d ever seen. The mouth harp player sometimes played flute with his teeth more than his mouth. I could have listened to them all day.

FILM STUFF

There’s a yearly film competition for My Rode Reel. I will forever swear by Rode microphones for anything to do with film. Many of their mics have a 10 year warranty. Anyway, they do a yearly 3 minute short film fest. My entry this year is based on my last 2 interviews at work. This time I excluded my questions, which were fairly controversial. This film only shows the answers. It’s called “What Was the Question?” Feel free to vote if you want to. Features the amazing Mary Lambert who was here for Boise Pride, and also Orchestra Gold from Mali, Africa, who played at Treefort Music Fest. At the end of the Orchestra Gold question, I needed time to try not to cry. Both of these interviews were on the weekend with no staff or audience, so I felt a little more safe to ask non-traditional questions. One of my favorite things is to ask musicians about non-musical things.

My Rode Reel - "What Was the Question?" (Rochelle Smith)

Please watch and vote HERE!

“Violin Scratches” is in yet another film fest after 2 years on the film circuit. It will be at India’s “We Care” disability film festival. I am so excited to see this film there, as Gaelynn Lea continues to rock the world AND BROADWAY and is currently making music for MacBeth! Nothing from this amazing woman surprises me anymore! I was so lucky to interview her at Treefort and make this film.

BOISE SHORT FILM FEST

Locally, I’m really honored to be a part of Colossal Film Fest in Boise November 7th.

Colossal Logo_cutout.png

I LOVE this local film fest! They have been so supportive to include me in their local all-star cast of filmmakers. My stuff is usually pretty low-budget, and this movie “Firedance,” was literally recorded mostly inside of my VW van when people were most afraid of Covid. I love poi and fire poi. The biggest thing I got our of this evening was that I had watched a breathtaking fire performance from one of the artists. I asked if I could list her name. What I had just watched was amazing. She said, “probably not, because my parents had expected so much more from me.” Yet, what I’d seen was unbelievable. Please buy tickets to Colossal Cinematic Showcase HERE. It’s really fun and supportive of local short film folk. You can get a red carpet photo, grab some popcorn, then meet at Mad Swede for beers!

The featured filmmakers of the November 7, 2021 Colossal Cinematic Showcase are:

Steven Zunich- “Unter”

Rochelle Smith- “Firedance”

Heather Horner- “Affective”

Elizabeth Findley- “The Task of Reconstruction”

Hutt Wigley- “Max Helm: Curse of the Relic”

Timothy David Orme- “Grip”

Cary Judd-  “Give Me”

Tom Sanford- “Going Back”

Brandon Freeman and Christina Lane Hawkins- “El Matamoscas”

Andrew Ellis- “Mentor the Drone”

Nichole Stull and Brian Morgan- “Girl From the South”

Jordan Gore-“Lethal Jack”

Film Updates

The success of my short film “Pink Feather,” has been amazing. It has won several awards, and been accepted in festivals worldwide. Any time I get any amount of extra money, I enter into another festival. This film’s message is one I’d like to see spread far and wide. Festivals can cost between $20 and $60 to enter, and only some of them will choose your film. If you’re reading and would like to help, please venmo @roxxboise. Every penny goes into film festival entry fees!

A recent acceptance includes a festival in Singapore, they are waiting to send official announcement news.

This movie was filmed mostly at “Somewhere” bar in Garden City, formerly The Ranch Club. The owners were gracious to give us early entry, and we were lucky to film before the old signage had come down. This building is rumored to have some huge Idaho history, having been a brothel and gambling house at one point in possibly Homedale. Gambling was legal there, but when it was outlawed, people took this building apart piece by piece and moved it to Garden City, where gambling was legal there a few more years. Some filming happened on Chinden, where just down the road Roger Miller wrote a song about a sign he saw : “Trailers for sale or rent. Rooms to let 50 cents.”

The Ranch Club also makes an appearance in Clint Eastwood’s film, “Bronco Billy.” This corner of Orchard/Chinden is still a mix of old and new traffic, with both new cars and horse trailers driving by. The name is different, but the pony remains.

These historical connections, and the message of acceptance, helped the Idaho Film Commission to sponsor a small grant for my film. The best part is that “Pink Feather” will also be archived into the BSU’s Albertsons Library for future generations to see!

The movie setting is 80’s-meets-now, where some redneck ranchers are in town for a cattle convention and look for a drink when the day is done. They wander into a bar that is LGBTQ+, adventures, disagreements, and finally acceptance all take place. This movie had been a thought in my brain for months. Once I finished the screenplay, I invited friends to help, and recruited friends that are new to me to help with this no-budget passion project. The support has been incredible. I love using real people vs actors. I let people play with their lines, and everyone offered up great ideas on set. Even though many of our actors are drag performers who had very late shows the night before, (Karma Rose, Coco Freeo, Maliha Gemini, Sid D’Licious, Mikey Likesit), everyone arrived early on Sunday mornings to film before the bar opened. My friend Jeff agreed to take an extremely challenging acting part. He has been in 2 of my western movies for 13 Stories, “Revolve” and “House of Helen.” I’d met Theresa Palmgren at a LezBe Kings drag performance shoot at the old prison and asked if she’d help me with this film idea. I have lots of ideas and no professional camera or new computer. She agreed and got some amazing shots. Editor Lynzsea Sky Williams made all the magic happen, hire this genius from Orphan Hilll Studios. Behind the scenes, friends helped with release forms, snacks, lighting, slate, sound, and photos. I am so proud of this cast and crew, my largest short film endeavor to date.

Boise State University will be showing “Pink Feather” for free, this Monday, October 11th. Please join us upstairs in the SUB, in The Berquist room at 6pm. We’ll have snacks, show the film, and then have a panel with myself and 3 of the actors for a Q&A afterwards. This is the film’s 4th showing in Boise. Please come and support local actors and film!

MY RODE REEL

I’ve entered a short film into a yearly competition, “My Rode Reel.” I have entered every year for several years. If you talk to me at all about gear, I will tell you how Rode microphones are my mic of choice for film. Their warranties are unmatched, often coming with an up to 10 year guarantee. I’ve had them happily repair an 8 year old mic without cost. This film competition is open to worldwide entries, films must be under 3 minutes long.

My film is called, “What Was the Question?” With permission from a couple of recent band interviews I did, I made a film of 2 very passionate answers.The film features singer/songwriter Mary Lambert, and the group Orchestra Gold from Mali, Africa.

HERE is the link to watch the film, and please vote if you like it!

Orchestra Gold at Treefort Music Festival

Erich and Mariam made time to stop in to visit with us in the Blue Moon Listener Lounge. I was really excited hear some psychedelic music from Mali, and learn about their projects.

Miriam teaches online African dance classes. Learn more HERE.

Orchestra Gold would love to return, and bring some drumming and dance classes to Boise! We’re hoping we can help them make that happen.

It’s really fun that they encourage remixes and offer a membership to do that with. Info on The Vault, HERE.

Their full band has 7 members, and Erich mentioned he had an adrenaline crash after playing their show the night before. Their songs have so much energy!

Watch our full interview with song remixes below. We talk about music, cultural appropriation, Islam, and dancing. They were so kind and appreciative.

Japanese Breakfast at Treefort Music Fest

There were some great things happening at Storyfort, including a book reading and signing from Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast.

A small crowd gathered on the lawn to hear her speak. She talked about her Korean-American heritage, and read a passage from her book, “Crying in H Mart.”

This NY Times bestseller is soon to be made into a movie by MGM Orion. What a year for Michelle! We were so lucky she was a part of Treefort Music Fest.

She is really excited about the recent music she contributed for the video game, “Sable.” She says this is one of her favorite songs she has ever written.

During the Q&A portion of her appearance at Storyfort, she joked about being older than she looks because she is Asian. She listed a few favorite food books, including one on gastronomical tours, books by author Anthony Bourdain, and “The Vegetarian,” by Han Kang.

Brooklyn Vegan posted some fashion photos, where Michelle is modeling for Tom Petty Official merchandise. Check it out HERE.

On the Main Stage with her band, Michelle often smiled and danced. She played a giant gong in the center of the stage. Earlier at Storyfort, she joked about their bass player leaving them to be in a more famous band. She said that band had fired him, and he was their bass player once again.

Sorry for the late-ish post, as we were waiting for photo approval. All photos by Rochelle Smith, and approved by Tenatoms Management.

We can’t wait for Japanese Breakfast to return!

Have questions or comments? Email me.

Smokey Brights at Treefort Music Fest

Day 2 of Treefort started with a lovely book reading/signing from Michelle Zauner at Storyfort. She spoke of her Korean heritage, and upcoming movie for her book “Crying in H Mart.” She has so may projects going on, including doing music for the video game “Sable,” which was just released today!

This husband and wife duo gave us a great daytime set at The Record Exchange. It has been so long since we’ve hand an in-store performance there, and so great to have this Seattle group be a part of Treefort Music Fest.

This is a new song that they will have out next month!

The Record Exchange is like family, it felt so good to see live music on their stage again. Much love to the new owners/employees who will keep their vision and culture alive in Boise!

You can catch Smokey Brights again at El Korah on Saturday, and The Hideout on Sunday. They are a great band I encourage you to check out! Learn more about them here.

Have questions or comments? Email me.

Lake Street Dive at Treefort

LAKE STREET DIVE AT TREEFORT

In the press room, I head people talking about Lake Street DRIVE, and Michael FranTAY. I loved that they were excited about their music, but the mispronunciations made me grin.

I started Day 1 of Treefort with Storyfort, and a workshop on Activism during Covid. There were some amazing stories of perseverance and privilege.

Most people were masked at the Main Stage Venue.

I saw a few other groups, but was really excited to see Lake Street DIVE. We’ve had them in studio before.

Rachel Price somehow only gets better. They played an amazing set at Treefort Main Stage, including extra songs at the end, and a couple of covers. Sorry for the lens flare, but their version of Bonnie Raitt’s “Nick of Tme” was SO good!

Today, Treefort brings us a book reading from Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast. They will be on the Main Stage tonight.

I caught mantis puppet/neighbor Bitsy dancing under the moonlight. Excuse the drunk people swearing behind me. I tried to stand in the right place, it looks like some sort of animation. LOVE the puppets from Colossal Collective! (NSFW)

Seattle band Smokey Brights today at 3pm.

Mary Lambert Interview and Session

There was so much to do in Boise last weekend! Art in the Park was happening in Julia Davis Park, and Boise Pride Festival was happening at Cecil D. Andrus and all over town! Mary Lambert was a performer on the main stage Saturday, and we scheduled a rare Sunday interview and performance with her at my work.

I thought it would be fun to do something different this time. I’d heard she used to be a bartender, and asked if she might make a cocktail for us. I didn’t realize she’d stopped drinking a couple of months ago, and she asked if she could make a Mocktail instead! I told her that sounded great, and started gathering supplies for her Spicy Basil Mojito. It was fun and hilarious, once Mary realized she was using the wrong end of the muddler! See for yourself in the video below.

Mary arrived with partner Wyatt from Massachusetts, who is also a non-drinker. Wyatt is a super-smart college professor, who was on Jeopardy last year. Mary tells us Wyatt’s scholarly background includes English, Grammar, Rhetoric, and Composition, and that they are both Bi-Polar. Wyatt credits this book and podcast in helping them make the changes away from alcohol, and being a choice that doesn’t mean having to attend Alcoholics Anonymous. To learn more about their journey away from alcohol, check out “The Naked Mind” podcast HERE.

While muddling the basil for the Mojito, Mary Lambert told us she was born with no sense of smell. It’s called “Anosmia.” She says, “These are just pretty little leaves.” She says she also can’t taste the difference between different kinds of soda. Mary mentioned that she had quit smoking 2 years ago, after smoking for 15 years.

Mary told us about various projects she’s involved in, including “The Manic Episodes” podcast with partner Wyatt. It is both serious and fun. Find it HERE.

During the winter, Mary had fun voicing a character for “Arlo the Alligator Boy.” This is an animated musical and series you can find on Netflix. It’s really fun to watch her character Bertie, and I love this song she did for the show!

She is also doing a bit of life coaching/teaching in her Everybody Is a Babe workshop. She explores body positive ideas, self esteem, sharing feelings, and even some dancing. You can do Zoom meeting either live, or when you have time. There is a live Friday dance Zoom. The workshops are 4 weeks long, and the next one starts October 4th. Sign up HERE!

It was great spending Sunday morning with Mary Lambert. She is brilliant, and full of smiles. My friend Jenn Snyder loaned her fancy keyboard, and my friend Theresa Palmgren offered to film. When our visit was done, Mary mentioned she was off to see her Grandma, who lives in Nampa. She says she is the 5th “Mary” in her family, and they all like to sing. Mary’s Grandma went to Boise Pride to watch her perform! Mary said they would likely sing lots of church hymns and rounds when she went to visit.

I was grateful for Mary’s visit, and it’s so refreshing to have a guest so genuine, hilarious, and easy to connect with. She gets real, talking about emotional healing, and super fired-up talking about Texas! It was such a fun experience, and we can’t wait to have her back. Maybe when she’s done writing her book, we can talk about it.

To hear the full podcast including her views on Texas, find my podcast “She Likes To Go SlowHERE.

Here, you’ll find the full interview/music performance remixes on YouTube.

I know it’s not Christmas yet, but I’ll leave you with this treasure I found. Love these adorable nerds!

Have questions or comments? Email me.

Live Music Schedule

Recent feature on KTVB Channel 7

My friends Jenn Snyder and Meghan Watters recently played a benefit concert for a friend who had unexpectedly lost her brother. The concert helped with funeral and medical expenses. KTVB was there doing a story on the importance of music.

Here are some future upcoming shows, including a couple of rare solo shows!

LIVE MUSIC SCHEDULE

(I’m so lucky to play Art in the Park twice! I’ll be joining Jenn Snyder 3:30-4:30 9/11, then stay on stage to join my friends Blaze and Kelly at 5 pm.)


Sat Sep 11 2021
3:30p

Art in the Park
Boise, ID
With JENN SNYDER
Age Limit: All Ages   Tickets: FREE
Details: Jenn Snyder and Rochelle Smith playing Art in the Park, 3:30-4:30 pm!

Sat Sep 11 2021
5:00p

Art in the Park
Boise, ID
With BLAZE AND KELLY
Age Limit: All Ages   Tickets: FREE
Details: Blaze and Kelly with Meghan Watters and Rochelle Smith, 5-6 pm!

Wed Sep 15 2021
6:00p

Lucky Fins Seafood Grill -…
Boise, ID
With ELIZABETH FINDLEY
Age Limit: All Ages   Tickets: FREE
Details: Elizabeth Findley and Rochelle Smith live at Lucky Fins Boise, 6-9 pm!


Fri Oct 1 2021
4:30p

Boise Consumer Co-Op
Boise, ID
Age Limit: All Ages   Tickets: FREE
Details: Celebrate FIRST FRIDAY with great deals, and live music from Rochelle Smith 4:30-7:30 pm!

13 Stories-Revolve

The Old Idaho Penitentiary has a film fest on stories of their past prisoners. It’s called “13 Stories.” Right now I’m working on “House of Helen,” about bordello owner Helen Hall.

The fun fact about this film is that it ties in with my last film, “Revolve.” Both of these movies feature some very good friends of mine, including Jenn Snyder, Jamie Borge, and Jeff Schoedler.

Feel free to catch up on the story by watching my short film “Revolve,” on the Amazon Link HERE.

Eilen Jewell


It had been well over a year since our last session. We all laughed as we were beginners again at everything. What side of the TV does the USB plug into? Did someone ask Eric for a graphic? Where's Tim's music stand? There were 2 times that I pretty much closed my eyes and pushed a button on the mixer to get where I needed to go. We could go live on Facebook, but with no audio. We were all very rusty, but couldn't ask for a better person to start our year of sessions.

Our winners were so excited to get together and have amazing lunch from Piehole Pizza! They gave us a great vegan pizza and 3 others, I was so excited to see my favorite potato bacon.

As we got ready to go live, Eilen mentioned that it was "great to live life again."

During Covid, Eilen said she did a little writing, but no full songs yet. She is just happy to have a healthy family. Before the session, she mentioned being nervous as daughter Mavis is off to her first summer camp!

Eilen spoke of the loss of a great Idaho songwriter, Pinto Bennett. I used to watch him play when Lock, Stock, and Barrel was on Emerald. Eilen and Jason had produced Pinto's last album, "The Last Saturday Night." When asked about the loss of Pinto, Eilen said, "The world just got a little less interesting."

When the session was done, listeners mingled ate pizza, shared hugs and stuck around. Our friend Carrie noted that people never stuck around as they have to get back to work. Eilen said, "There was a time when I thought this would never happen." We couldn't agree more, and no one knows if we're past this or just between quarantines. We hope you can hear some great outdoor music this summer, including weekend shows with Eilen at Kin.

Have questions or comments? Email me.

Pink Feather Film debuts

A couple of months ago we did a thing. Several friends old and new, gathered to help my screenplay come to life!

Most of my films have been documentaries with few people involved. As time goes on, I’m trying to grow my film game. Pink Feather involved new equipment, lights, and nearly 16 people in actors and crew. We are all learning as we go. I was blessed with professional video and editing techs, a friend to do sound so I could direct, even people helping with makeup. A few friends and I spent hours adding the finishing touches of local music.

In the last week, Pink Feather has been shown to over 200 people, at some huge fundraising events. It was great to have most of the cast see their hard work, and especially to see the crowd reactions and see what parts they thought were funny.

It was such an honor to have the support of Idaho Film Commission in sponsoring part of our sound costs. It was, however, a small portion of budget on this important film. I’m really hoping to get this message out into the world by entering several film festivals. Those costs can be $20-$90 per festival, with no guarantee of acceptance.

I’m working on a couple of other possible Boise showings. People have asked how they can help. Covid shutdowns cut about 1/3 of my income, then I had to go and break my shoulder. There are many creative ideas in my head, but I need some things to make them all happen.

If you feel like donating to my film projects, my Venmo information is below. Funds will be used for film festival submissions, education, and small equipment purchases. These are all passion projects, and please know that your donations are incredibly appreciated! Thank you so much to those who have already supported my dreams.

Violin Scratches featured in Agenda Magazine

2 big things happened today. First, “Violin Scratches” was accepted into its second film festival in India.

Cd sticker

This New Delhi festival is the first that I paid to have pro subtitles added to the film, and the first ever disability festival it has been accepted to. I am SO excited for it to finally have this exposure, as Gaelynn has been so dedicated to her disability survey and upcoming book. It is so exciting to at least imagine this film showing around the world. I wish I could see it in person.

Part deux.

I was out tonight with friends, and got a notice that “my article” was ready. I answered some questions about a month ago and figured nothing had become of it.

AGENDA Fashion and Lifestyle magazine printed my entire interview! Please take time to read it HERE. I am so honored and grateful.

The “Pink Feather” film, which is my baby, is in post-production. I hope to have it out to festivals in a few weeks. After that will be another local western film featuring a female prisoner from the Old Idaho State Penitentiary. “House of Helen” features a brothel owner who was imprisoned for serving a minor.

After that, I am circling back around to documentaries. Hope to have a couple of surprises by the end of the year! Thanks for following along.

Shankar Vedantam Interview

This scientist and author has been writing and podcasting about “The Hidden Brain,” for years. Shankar Vedantam’s new book is called, “Useful Delusions.” Learn about the power of both positive and negative thinking, in this intriguing interview that is well worth your time.

LP Interview

I’m going to start backing up a few work blogs on this site. Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with our friend and amazing talent, LP.

If you’re not familiar with LP, look into this brilliant person’s success. LP has written songs for Cher, Rhianna, Backstreet Boys, Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, and many other’s. If you get to see a live LP concert, you will witness a charisma like you’ve never seen. With global fans, LP sells out shows worldwide. At Bumbershoot, I watched fans throw ukuleles onto the stage.

We have been lucky to have LP in our Blue Moon Listener Lounge in the past. With a voice like a songbird, LP quickly had us all captivated.

It was so nice to catch up again with this Zoom interview. Within this, you’ll hear a brand new track.  You will get to meet  Orson, the dog, and you’ll hear discussions on gender identity, and the upcoming new album.  I love the realness of LP. Sometimes the discussion is flirty, sometimes funny, sometimes serious, always genuine. Note to folks viewing at work, this is UNCENSORED and full of colorful swears. Hope you enjoy it! ~ Rochelle

Have questions or comments? Email me.

Artemis “Women In Action” Film Festival

Update : I’m so grateful that “Violin Scratches” was chosen as a documentary winner in this festival!

This is the 6th year for this unique and wonderful film festival from Santa Monica, California.This 2021 virtual festival has a focus on female creators, filmmakers and heroes.

For less than $30, you can enjoy over 35 hours of contest. Where else can you support female-driven films for just over $1 an hour?

It’s such an honor that my film “Violin Scratches,” featuring Gaelynn Lea, is featured in this festival. This short has won some awards, is touring the film circuit, and has been shown in Idaho, California, Oregon, Texas, New Jersey, Florida, and India.

Gaelynn is a true hero! She is still working on her upcoming book. Please help show your support her through her Patreon page, and check out her weekly Sunday Sessions on Facebook!

I hope you will consider checking out the Artemis “Women in Action” Film Festival! Learn more, and purchase your pass at this website.