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.
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.
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.
“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.
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”
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.
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.
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