Sunday, August 11, 2013

Come on down!!!

Ah, that magical time of summer where I am actually excited to see school supplies.  I'm weird like that though.  I like the fresh new start, goal setting, new faces, brand new supplies that comes with a new school year.  There's also a big part of me that clings to each moment of summer as it fades away.

I'm pretty stoked that August is off to a great start.  I traveled to the mountains of California for the Kozak family reunion.
This didn't even look real in real life!  Ah...kayaking on Big Bear Lake.  So fun...and SO SUNNY.  Life lesson - when in the mountains, you're closer to the sun.  Wear more sunscreen than you normally do or you'll have mangled shoulders like me or full fledged lobster status like Johnny and Tony.  Aloe is your friend!!!

The reunion was great because it gave a chance to get to know A LOT of people that may be at the wedding.  I would HIGHLY recommend attending a reunion or something before a wedding - it's made me super excited to see HIS side of the family too!!

After the reunion, Johnny, Tony, and I stuck around to get into more shenanigans.  The three of us made a great team.  First, after leaving their aunt's house at 4am to bring their dad and another aunt to the airport, we picked up our rental car.  I have crazy incredible luck with rental cars - this time from Fox Rental car.  For less that I would have paid at another place for a 2 door something or other, I got THIS:

mmmm...Ford Fusion!  Satellite radio, review mirror defrosters, TONS of space inside and in the trunk.  Plus, what a cool color - eggplant!  This could be a contender for my next car, I loved driving this car!  Plus, I thought the company was cool too - Fox Rental car gets a thumbs up from me and probably my business again soon!

We took the car to THE PRICE IS RIGHT!!!!  BUCKET LIST!  I've always dreamed of going to the show.  We got in line around 5:30am (uff da!) and espressoed ourselves up for a LONG day.  The process is quite long, there are many steps to becoming and audience member, but with good company it passes quickly.  We left our phones in the car so we wouldn't have to wait to pick them up - all electronics are collected so there are no pictures in the studio or looking up of answers.  They interview EVERY PERSON in the 320 person audience.  EVERY PERSON.  They want to make sure they're going to have a contestant that's excited and entertaining.  All three of us had a lot of fun chatting it up with the producer during the interview and with the people around us.  One of the steps before going in was the picture in front of a green screen.  We had no idea what the background would be, but when we saw this, we thought it was hilarious so we purchased a print:

hmmm...that Anthony guy looks a lot like my future brother in law, Tony

The air date for the episode is November 13th.  I wish I could see it beforehand...I'm pretty sure I look like a blathering idiot most of the time, but I guess that's the point.  We were right on the aisle, high fiving everyone who came down.  We jumped up and down and yelled out numbers until I almost lost my voice.  It was hard to keep up the energy on 4-5 hours of sleep for the entire show, but I'm sure we looked pretty excited regardless.  I won't say any more, just that you need to watch the show on November 13th.  It's a Wednesday.  Mark it on the calendar or set a reminder on your phone, it'll be worth it!!!

How was the show?  Oh, I'll just have to wait and see!!

We didn't make it to Conan, but it was worth it.  Now I have fulfilled my childhood dream of seeing a taping of The Price is Right.  FORTY YEARS of coming on down.  I would HIGHLY recommend the experience - it was so much fun!!  

One of the cousins met up with us at our hotel and cabbed it to the Hollywood Bowl where we saw Phish.  My 14th show, Tony's 3rd, and who knows what number for Johnny and cousin Joe.  We had our own little box and we danced and jumped and had a great time - surprising ourselves at how much energy we STILL had.  CK5 made use of the iconic architecture.  Wow...I am hooked for life and this show solidified my new found phan status.  I mean look:
Option 1: go with the normal light show which has reached legendary status
Option 2: Supplement legendary light show with highlighting the architecture of the famous Hollywood bowl.  Mind. Blown.

I'm still in disbelief over such a great trip.  Johnny and I had so much fun with Tony, when we went to our separate terminals to go home, we kept thinking we were still a trio, looking over our shoulder to see if we needed to wait for him.  Johnny will be going out to see more Phish shows (of course) with Tony in a few weeks.  It's so cool to see siblings become good friends as they become adults.  I couldn't be more excited to be joining such a great family.

Well, from 50+ Kozaks to John's dad-brother-2 aunts-a couple of cousins to the Johnny-Karen-Tony trio, to SOLO!  I'll be playing a SOLO show at The Acadia this Friday when i like you and Johnny are out of town.  I have a lot of surprises in store and am excited to share new material with you.  I play late (12ish?), but come down early as the WHOLE show is going to be fantastic.

I'll leave you with an oldie but goodie before I get ready for John (and the pop-off camper)'s return from The Big Wu family reunion (where I played THREE sets with THREE very different bands in more than THREE different styles until THREE THIRTY in the morning on Thursday...more on that some other time though).  OH and Happy Gnome tonight too!  Be there!!

How's this for a throwback!

You'd make a face like this too if you realized you signed on to play a show BY YOURSELF!!  
Circa 2006 - Stevens Point, WI

Please come to my solo show on Friday.  Please please pretty please.  Acadia - West Bank, Minneapolis.  I will play cool things on my violin and hug everyone.  Please.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I'm a little teapot short and stout!!!

The last weekend of June!  Wow! So far a great summer, except for the crazy storm on Friday, but overall pretty cool!  My mom lost 3 trees...maybe 4.  The tree doctor is checking it out, fingers crossed for #4.  She was very VERY lucky, but anytime a tree loses its footing is sad to me.  I know it's a circle of life, but I literally hug trees.  I love trees!!

Ok, done with sad things and on to happy!  One of John's sisters (my future sister-in-law!) graduated high school this year!!  I remember my senior year, graduation, open house....such exciting and yet uncertain times, yet I wouldn't trade that feeling for the world.

As a violin/viola teacher, I get invited to a lot of open houses.  I have yet to be able to attend any!!  My students do a fantastic job of planning their open houses when I'm out of town or playing!  Someday...

***Spoiler alert...I'm going to talk about graduation gifts.  Jennifer, it IS safe for you to read further.

My friend's mom was also a teacher and went to MANY open houses.  She had a really great plan of giving graduates handmade clay pots.  Mine has collected change and small trinkets for the past few years.  Since I received that gift, I wondered, what would my "Olsen Pot" be?  My friends and brother were so excited knowing it was coming.  The closest I've come to something has been an electric tea kettle.  Just like my precious Jet Boil, you can cook so many things in it without the inherent fire risks that a Jet Boil in a dorm may cause.

So friends with lots of teenage friends and family you have a go-to graduation gift for these individuals?  Something special, perhaps useful?  Comment and let me know what you think!!  I'm standing behind my electric tea kettle for now, those things are awesome!!!


Tomorrow night is Johnny and my turn to play at Turtles with Jason Dixon!  This is such a fun show because we all take turns trading songs in a very relaxed atmosphere.  Plus, he always makes us great posters for Facebook.  Here's ours for this time around:

Saturday will be my first of a few summer gigs with award winning songwriter, Jerry Vandiver!  If you haven't seen the promo video, be sure to check it out on last week's post.  If I could link it, I would!!

Sunday FUNDAY!  We don't have the i like you. Happy Gnome gig this week, but The Big Adventure will be joining our good friends Black Market Brass at the Nomad in Minneapolis.  FREE SHOW!  9pm!!  Come dance!!

Happy Summer, everyone!  Take it easy on all that graduation cake!

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Ah, that magical time of the year: Festival, or "Festi" season.  This week I'm not going to talk about gigs for the week because really all I have on the docket is Project Earth.  I'm pretty stoked to be heading down to the beautiful Harmony Park to play music.  I'll be a special guest with "Smokin' Joe" Joe Scarpellino as well as some very special acoustic style jams with i like you later Saturday night.  If you're heading down (or "heading home" as they say), come find me!  However, if you haven't heard of Harmony Park, Wookiefoot, or much about that last paragraph, it's cool.

SO!  Being Festi season and all and with this weekend being my first of the year 2013, I wanted to share some of my favorite festi or camping hacks.  I've seen many more via pinterest and whatnot, but here are some I like and would LOVE if you'd comment with your own.

FIRST of all...packing
At Harmony Park, you park your car and then have to walk in to find your campsite for the weekend.  Portability is key.  I have observed people with Radio Flyer wagons (genius!) and other such wheeled thingies, but here is what I do when I'm there solo.  When Johnny's with me, we pull out all the stops with a camp stove, screen tent, a pop-off camper, and sometimes portable air conditioner and shower.  It sounds luxurious and it is by Harmony Park standards, but in real life, it's pretty interesting!  No matter if I'm solo or duo, my cooler on wheels is great.  It's a little big for just me by myself this weekend, but hey, it makes great campsite seating too!!  Especially if it's going to be hot, I freeze a gallon jug of water to keep it my food cold and I can drink the water as it melts.  Not as soggy and very useful!  I also freeze any meat that will be used the 2nd day and by day 2 it'll likely be thawing and good to go by dinnertime.  I haven't decided if I'm bringing it this weekend, I like to try to keep it healthy and not only eat vendor food, but it may be a dry good weekend this time around.

Get it in there!!!!
While in college, I had the opportunity to study abroad for the summer.  I picked up this awesome REI backpacking backpack for that adventure, thinking the wheely suitcases you usually see would be awful on the cobblestones of the old cities.  Fast forward 8 years (WHAAAA???!?!?!? THAT WAS EIGHT YEARS AGO?!?) and this pack is still just right. 

When flying solo, I get to use the little tent I bought back in 2009 when I had just started playing music.  My little REI half-dome has been many places - just big enough for me and my fiddle.  The bonus is that it is small enough to fit in my backpack alongside my sleeping pad.  I have seen a camping hack where they use those colored padded floor tiles used for kids rooms.  Good idea!

This weekend, I'll only be there 1 day if that.  With John out of town for work this past week, I kind of want to make the trip back, but since i like you has a late set, perhaps I'll stay.  We'll see.  All excuses aside, here I've packed my pjs (since that's all I'll really need) in the flap pocket.  I roll EVERYTHING whenever I travel.  It saves so much space and when you're going humid places like a music festival, laying stuff out in your tent will steam the wrinkles out.  Besides, have you ever been to a festival?  I think wrinkles are the last thing on people's minds!  Not pictured is the side pockets - If staying longer, there are spots on the side to put more clothes.

I actually don't have a sleeping bag that I can find.  I know there's probably a bunch at my mom's house, but they're pretty bulky.  I usually bring a thin fleecy blanket and a quilt made by my high school friend, Naomi.  The quilt I put down, sometimes doubled and it gives extra padding.  The fleecy blanket gives just enough blankety goodness when its a hot summer night.  Again, rolled, the fleece fits in one of those side pockets.

Bonus!  I managed to cram the quilt into the bag as well!!  DONE!  Backpack now contains all shelter, bedding, and clothing needs.  There isn't any swimming options so no swimsuit, but I would recommend a microfiber towel and a plastic bag in case you pack up with it still wet.  Toothbrush and stuff will go in the pocket on the very top - accessible but separate.

 I can't take credit for the solar lights.  Someone in the God Johnson crew had these last year - they're a MUST if you want to save people from tripping over your tent lines or if you want to be able to see when getting into your tent way late.  Yeah, I know true festi people go to sleep after the sun come back UP, it's ok.

I would be lost without my Jetboil!!!!  I asked at REI for the easiest way to make coffee when camping.  Coffee + Karen = happy fiddler.  I LOVE this contraption, shown in assembly order.  The orange thingy folds out and the fuel snaps in to be stabilized.  The metal piece screws on the fuel and with the turn of a nob and the flick of a lighter, you have a cooking element!  You put water in the canister and it boils SO FAST even when you watch it.  You'd be amazed at what you can make with this and water.  Coffee with the Starbucks VIA things, oatmeal and cream of wheat (a favorite breakfast of mine), pasta, ramen, anything you make with water!  John and I will do the Velveeta shells and cheese because you just make the shells and dump in the sauce, the possibilities are endless!!

I did lose the cover for it and another piece that I don't usually use :-(   However, it still can be used as a REALLY BIG coffee mug which is a necessity some festi days!

HEY!  It has a handle!!  You know how they say if it fits, it ships?  If it has a handle it sips!!

It is also pertinent to have proper beverage attire.  A koozie can let you express yourself and keep track of what's yours.  I need to personalize mine, but I'm kind of biased....this one is really cute!!

When it comes to camping and festivals, I do love some time to relax.  I would HIGHLY recommend a hammock!!  Everyone in i like you has an ENO one that is so great!!!  They are so easy to put up - all with carabiners.  I have a double + so it's big enough for 2 with some room to spare.  I've used it and John took it to summer camp, but we have yet to use it together!!  I hope to change that in 2013!  Check out all the band member's hammocks!!  This was from Plunderfest last year :-)

I have other upcoming things too - 6/27 with my sweetheart Johnny Kozak as our duo, "The Twin Cities" with Jason Dixon at Turtles in Shakopee.  Come see us sing together!!

Then on June 29th...ONE WEEK FROM NOW I get to make my debut with Jerry Vandiver as the fiddle player with the One Match Band!

Cool video, eh?  Jerry gets to MN next week from Nashville and I'll be rehearsing all these songs I've been listening to and working on by myself.  Time to get my country fiddling on!

6/30 with The Big Adventure at the Nomad with our good friends Black Market Brass!!!  I'll sing for you!

i like you. wil be playing Park Rapids on the 4th of July and the Gnome on the 7th.  OK, it's getting late - I have to get out to the Cabooze to go see Arthur with Hyentyte!!  bye!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

When the cat's away...

Wow!  What a crazy start to my summer!  In addition to having a BLAST out of town with i like you + Scotty on drums, I've had some very exciting things happen.

Next year, I will no longer be Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion's music teacher.  It was an incredibly tough decision to make :-(  I kept thinking of those kiddos and awesome staff I won't see every day now.  However, I WILL be there 2 days a week as their ORCHESTRA TEACHER!!!  I'll get to see the 4th and 5th grade orchestra students as well as the FUTURE orchestra students.  I am excited to be a different part of the school community...a part that I've trained in and extensively studied!!  I also get to go to Sonnesyn, Noble, and Meadow Lake and I have to say, I'm stoked!

To say this weekend was celebratory would be pretty true.  In the band van and also as I played, I kept thinking about how my experience in many types of music will allow me to teach well rounded students.  I love my performing life and I'll be able to give the skills needed for the opportunity to hundreds of kids a year.  Woah!

Well, the band van AND trailer did awesome this weekend.  It is so nice to all ride together and be a part of all the funny happenings, music discussions, etc.  Plus, if not for the band van and trailer, we wouldn't have had a chance to witness this solution to the scraping trailer hitch:

...why must I make such awkward noises SO CLOSE to the microphone of the camera?

Coming up next!  Lots of rehearsals this week which is awesome!  On Saturday, I'll be playing a double header - one at St. Paul Summer Beer Fest and one on the Cabooze-Joint patio as the pre-show for Katey Bellville, The Boys N the Barrels and The Big Wu!!  However, Johnny is out of town for work...which leaves ME MYSELF AND I in charge of all this.  Uff da!

The plan?  Eldon Hagen will be joining us for the Joint/Cabooze show and I'll be needing to sing my little heart out more than normal at both.  Of course I'll have my amazingly talented future father in law on dobro, Joe Sheehan of i like you. is going to hold down the bass stuff, and who knows who else may join us!  Both shows should be super fun if not for the music, but for seeing how I handle leading a band.  Please come cheer me on for moral support!!!!!!

OH!  Plus it's Happy Gnome week!  I love telling people about this wonderful magical place and how relaxing it is to play there every 1st and 3rd Sunday.  Come on out, rain or shine, it's always a good time!!!

I'll have to likely learn a bluegrass standard to sing.  Any suggestions?!?!  If you come out to one of the shows and I pick your tune, come see me for a prize!'s probably going to be handmade and awesome :-)

See you this weekend!
- K

I ALMOST FORGOT!!!!!  Humdinger AND The Regulars!  debut albums are now available at all local Down in the Valley stores!!  A HUGE thank you to them for putting our work in ALL locations and just being super nice to work with.  Go pick up your CD today!!  Remember, The Regulars' album is in limited quantity AND all of the proceeds from Humdinger go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  What a deal!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Last time...I PROMISE!!

Oh goodness...I've done it again!  Here I am posting way more than a week after my last post.  I did some thinking while I was on the sandy, beautiful beaches of Emerald Isle, NC and realized that I'm an adult.  No excuses.  Life just happens and I hope you all are ok with it!

I was so lucky to get to see my college roommate get married on the BEACH!  The combination of sun, sand, ocean, great friends, and chiropractic adjustments made for an amazing recharge session before powering through the last few days until summer vacation.  Thank you Jacci and Kyle for inviting me to be a part of your day....and thank you for meeting so many great friends along the way....who just so happen to be chiropractors too....and then move to beautiful North Carolina.   Really, I can't get over how wonderful the whole experience was.  I can't wait to see you two and Jessie + family in MN in October!  Let's have another wedding! ;-)

Wow, since that beautiful vacation, I've come back rejuvenated and ready to tackle the end of the school year at Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion.  The kiddos are certainly excited for summer and it's rubbing off on me!  Just 2 days left!  WOW!!!

Also, since that trip I've had a chance to jump on stage with The Burbillies at the 331 to play some crazy 80s bluegrass style.  What a blast!  Friday I had off from gigs, but I got to see my future sister in law graduate.  It was fun cheering her on!  The rest of the weekend was full as usual, on Saturday I had the first of many voice lessons which is going to be so helpful over the summer and beyond.  After that, I went to set up and soundcheck with The Big Adventure and then off to the Nicollet with i like you.  The Nicollet was a cool space, check it out sometime! I hope to play there again soon.  The next stop was the Heart of the Beast Theater to raise money for an amazing organization called Secondhand Hounds.  It is a dog rescue organization that saved the lives of over 1,000 furry friends in the last year.  Definitely worth a party!!!!  I really hope we were successful in their fundraising efforts and BE SURE to check them out!

OK!  Coming up...first the 5th grade farewell AND the last day of school.  Such a bittersweet time of year, but I'm looking forward to summer deep down ;-)  I will be starting off the summer with a great run of shows.  On Thursday, June 6th, I get to play at one of my FAVORITE local venues: The Cabooze!  The line up includes Kind Country, i like you., and Useful Jenkins.  There may be some surprises as well, so come on out and celebrate VERANO!  The next day, we head up to play the Reef in Duluth.  After the Reef, we head to Hayward, WI to play at the Park Theater!  I LOVED playing there last time so if you're anywhere near Hayward, come on out!

I have to admit, it's pretty cool when your students ask "Srta. Krueger, what are you doing with your summer vacation?" and answering "well, I'm kicking it off with a nice Northern loop mini-tour."  Definitely stoked for all the other great things in store for this summer!  Stay in touch!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


I just realized how misleading that probably looks coming from a musician. No I did not record a record, I just broke a personal record of gigs per day. Last weekend was a BLAST! Friday night John and I spent some good old-fashioned quality time together and we went out to Ichiban to celebrate his birthday. So happy I'm engaged to someone who also loves sushi! We celebrated then because of the crazy new few days. Saturday I played a wedding gig and then at my favorite Twin Cities venue, The Cabooze! Bonus: because it was Johnny's birthday, he jumped up with i like you and WOWed the audience with some great guitar work. Plus he had a super awesome Back to the Future hat. Super pumped that Srta. Fahey, a teacher friend of mine, made it out with some friends as well. Carnage and Heatbox were amazing to watch - I was curious how i like you would do opening for 2 hip hop acts, but the night was a HUGE success. I danced waay too late into the night!

 Photo by Helium Dolphin. GO LIKE HIS facebook PAGE!! HE ROCKS!!
Best "Lasso the Moon" ever - Johnny + Arthur = Johnther....

 Sunday I played 2 church services, booked it to Pickle Park to play a duo set with my sweetheart as The Twin Cities, ate some foods, then played with The Minnesota Bluegrass Band. It was a benefit show a friend was throwing and so many people were there. I really super duper hope that it was successful! I had to jet over to the Happy Gnome then too for our Sunday show. I'm counting the 2 services as one show (like 2 sets), but then the benefit as 2 (2 different bands, one at 1pm, the other at 5pm), and then the Happy Gnome. That makes FOUR!!! I've done 2, sometimes 3...but NOW FOUR!?!?! It was awesome. It was stressful going from St. Paul to Fridley to St. Paul with limited time, but I loved it.

I hope they didn't forget, but a few of us picked up groupons for a rave-glowstick-5K at Valley Fair.  My pace still isn't what I want it to be (of course I did 4 mi instead of 3.1), but I'm hoping the race will kick me into high gear.  After that, head to Mayslacks for Sunshine's birthday....GERMAN SPARKLE PARTY!!!!!!!  Super excited to be all silly!  Lots of sparkles, lots of glitter, and I'll try to revive the little teensy bit of German I still know after filling my brain with more Spanish.  COME TO NORTHEAST!!  I KNOW you're looking for an excuse to wear sequins!

And then on to my favorite rural concert venue....THE LARVAE LOUNGE, aka "THE BARN!!!"


Yes.  The Barn gets bold print AND all caps.  It's that amazing.
Comment and whatnot if you have any questions.

I'm out!!  2nd grade concert, "Lo Mejor de Segundo grado" tomorrow!!!!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Last time slacking!!!

Oh no...I missed last week!!!
I would beg forgiveness but then again, it was my FINAL week of my 1st semester of grad school. I have 9 credits under my belt.  Holy moly!!!

This is Moly.  Not sure if this sample is indeed "holy"

The week was very productive and so I'm ok with that.  Last weekend I played 4 shows in 2 days.  First off was i like you at my FAVORITE local venue, The Cabooze.  It was seriously the most fun I've ever had playing, the energy everybody was throwing around was HUGE!!  Right after I was done playing, I jetted over to Brady's Brewhouse in New Richmond, WI and played another fantastic show.  On Sunday, it was Happy Gnome day!!  I LOVE Happy Gnome days!  Better than an epic normal HG night, this time one of my former violin students came!!!  It was so cool to see her again now that she's off in college and grown up and stuff.  So cool!  After the HG, I ran over to the Turf Club with plenty of time to spare to join up with the Minnesota Bluegrass Band.  We had a lovely guest bass player and Eldon joining us on banjo.  I think this being my 4th show in 2 days with 3 different bands, I THOUGHT I was at the end of my creative output and felt every solo was crap.  The recording was a different story, I didn't even recognize myself! Apparently my "bad days" have surpassed my "good days" of 2 years ago.  Sweet!

So all of last weekend's shenanigans went down while I feverishly put together a pretty bomb presentation on New Grass music.  Prezi is a godsend, so if you ever need to present something, check it out! yo!  Finals week went off without a hitch, I'm feverishly refreshing my academics page hoping to see my grades.  Deja Vu...  Well anyways, if you want to check out my super cool Prezi on New Grass music complete with a bunch of cool videos, go HERE!

Let's see if this works:

So this weekend, I didn't need to play ANYTHING!  Crazy!  I did get to see my good friends of The Boys N The Barrels have an incredible CD release show at the Cabooze.  There were so many old friends there that I haven't seen in forever, so many hugs were given!  I did have an opportunity to play afterwards with The Burbillies, but let's be serious, I'm getting old!  I can't do late nights like THAT anymore and haven't for awhile.  Well, I hope they had a great time.

So on to this week.  I may be joining some friends at the Mosaic Cafe tonight to play some tunes, but I owe my sweetheart some quality time after putting up with my schedule this semester so we'll see.  Next week is busy though!  A couple rehearsals, a breakfast gig with my rockin' 4th graders, Fiesta Fun Fair (school carnival), then on to the weekend.  My sweetheart's birthday is Saturday so that will be fun, I'm playing a wedding in the afternoon where I arranged ALL the music for string quartet.  Lots of great tunes, but it has been a lot of hard work.  Luckily the songs can now be added to our repertoire, so if you ever want to hire a string quartet to play Towers by Bon Iver, I'm your girl!  That evening, I'll be doing a set at the Cabooze with i like you. to open up for Heatbox.  We're on first so come out early!  Then on May 5th, I have a church gig where I'll get to play some classical violin (woot!!).  The Minnesota Bluegrass Band will be playing at Pickle Park for a very worthy benefit put on by a friend of ours.  The whole day should be fantastic and it goes from 12-7, but I think we play around 4.  I'll make an additional post when I know more info, it would definitely be worth checking out!!  Following the benefit gig, again it will be Happy Gnome week!  Yay!

It has taken me WAY too long to write this post.  I better update my calendar because if I keep it up, it will take all afternoon!

- K

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Apologies, bachelorettes, and the underground

NOOOOO!!!!!!!  I didn't get to post last week!  I blame lots of projects for grad school, lingering sickness, and the weather.  If you're not familiar with what's going on in Minnesota right now, don't ask.

Every year, I look back and marvel that on April 10, 2009, I played my first show with One Fast Move...  The Hat Trick was such a weird venue to play just starting off, but it was great getting my start in my home town of St. Paul.  SO MUCH has changed since then!!  I can't imagine my life without gigs, 1/4" cables, soundchecks, and always pushing yourself to learn more.  My first solos were either roots or arpeggios, now I'm working on stuff that is so much more intense and experimenting with pedals and such.  Thanks SO MUCH to everyone involved in this journey from day one and beyond today, you know who you are.  FOUR YEARS excited to see what year #5 will bring!!

Game-changer, right here!!!

Well, HAD I posted last week, I probably would have reminded everyone that 4/7 we returned to the Happy Gnome.  We had a great show, a great crowd, and look forward to doing it all again next week.  4/21!  Come on down!!!

Last night, I actually got to go out with some great dear friends of mine.  My college roommate is getting married in May, so thanks to the amazing planning of her twin sister, we surprised her with a great night out and about in Minneapolis.  She was such a good sport when we had her called up on stage to sit on a piano at the Shout House.  It was SOOO great running into an old high school friend there too!!

She was a natural!!  Look at all those guys serenading her!!!

Tonight, i like you is playing at Club Underground for their grand re-opening.  We'll be rocking out with DJ Gabe and Duenday.  I am VERY interested to see what this place looks like now, I've played there a few times and it definitely is underground, situated underneath the Spring Street Tavern in Northeast.  I kind of liked its "Party in the basement" vibe, yet its lack of Point beer, Topperstix, and walkability from my domicile reminds me that we're not in anymore.  I think the music starts around 10, we play around 12.

On Monday, I get to rock out with my awesome undergrad viola student for the McNally Smith choir concert.  Every "Soul Medley" needs at least 2 violas.  Can't wait to be blown away by the singing!!

I get to have Friday off for wedding-ish things, but Saturday 4/20, I'll be playing the violin!!  i like you is playing at the Cabooze with Medicine for the People and Dustin Thomas.  I LOVE playing at the Cabooze and what great acts to be playing there with!!!  Depending on when we play, I may hop in my car afterwards and head to Brady's Brewpub in New Richmond, WI to play with The Big Adventure.  The wonderful Lehi Hoehn (also UWSP alumni!!), will be filling in on fiddle.  Therefore, if I make it there, be prepared for double fiddles!!!!

As I said above, 4/21 is Happy Gnome night!  Come over and bring all your gnomies ;-)  Music starts around 7!

I think I took care of that and 1 day early for this week.  I'm also 6 days late for last week, but who's counting besides me!!!

CHALLENGE!!!  I have ONE follower and I'm wondering if this is worth it.  If you read this to the end of this SUPER long post, leave a comment!  Follow me!  Leave some love!!

Monday, April 1, 2013

April showers!!

Woah, it's April!?  Cool!  The sun, melting snow, and warmer temperatures are very welcome in Minnesota.  I'm hoping this means coats can get put away for the year...but then again, this is Minnesota so we should probably keep them handy until late May.

This is the last day of my spring break and so far I've mostly spent it working a presentation on Buddy Holly.  It's been kind of depressing.  WHY did you charter that flight?!?!  WHY did Roger Peterson fly on his day off?!  WHY didn't the airport warn them of the conditions?!?  WHY couldn't they let someone who knew how to fly in such conditions take the flight!??!  Clearly I get way too involved in research.  I am happy I did this project though because I feel very inspired by Buddy Holly's short career.  Here was someone who didn't conform to norms: a rock and roll star with thick glasses, an interest and appreciation of music of the African American despite growing up in ultra-segregated West Texas, and who didn't give up when things didn't go smoothly.  His family was supportive of his rock and roll interests - band practices often took place in their living room with a drum set seeming like part of the furniture.  Mrs. Holley (the actual spelling of his name) fostered his appreciation of other types of music and would sing along with Ray Charles records.  After late night gigs, she'd stay up and make Buddy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, calling it their "jam session."  He really was just a kid...and right now I'm 7 years older than he was when the plane went down.  It's inspiring and daunting really.  Well, just a presentation tomorrow and then on to the next project!

Spring break gave me a chance to get stuff done, but not as much as I would have liked.  Of course, this is when I happened to get sick.  This made me incredibly frustrated!!  Poor Johnny had to put up with this...I felt like the grumpy cat.
photo compliments of my photoshop-genius fiance

The only gig I really had was the Minnesota Bluegrass Band at Whiskey Junction.  Big thank you to everyone who came out and especially everyone on stage that put up with grumpy-cat-Krueger!

Things are starting to pick up this week once again!  Friday I've been asked to sit in with Useful Jenkins at the Nomad in Minneapolis!  The show starts around 9 or 9:30 with May North, UJ is second and the night ends with Horseshoes and from STEVENS POINT, WISCONSIN!!!!  SP represent!!  If you're on the St. Paul side of town Friday, head to the Wild Tymes to check out a super band put together just for fun!  My sweetheart, Johnny Kozak will be singing along with good friends from Luke Warm and the Cool Hands and more.  I hear they're doing "St. James Infirmary" which makes me SUPER jealous!  Wild Tymes is a cool place - go see them because I can't!

Saturday, I'll be at McNally Smith College of Music all day assisting and participating in Strings Fest!  Workshops will be presented by Matt Turner (cello), Brian Wicklund - fiddle extraordinaire, and my teacher, Randy Sabien.  This will be so much fun!  8:30-3:30, comment or email me for more info!!  While this is going on, again my sweetheart will be further east, this time in River Falls, WI for the River Falls Roots and Bluegrass Festival.  He'll be competing as a flatpicker and also in the songwriting competition.  It kills me that I can't be there to sing and play with him, so if you are not a string player and are interested in cheering him on and seeing Pert' Near Sandstone, head on out!  i like you is also playing that night, but I think it may be a private party so no details on that.  Hush hush!  Just wait until Sunday....

Where my gnomies at!?!?!
i like you. RETURNS to The Happy Gnome on Sunday, April 7th!!!  A great venue, amazing food, and all in good old St. Paul!!  We play around 7, but come early to grab a table!  We typically play here once a month, but we've had some time off so I hope everyone is as excited as we are to be back!  Free show!!!!  I can't wait to be back!!

I think that's all!!  One more shout out to Stevens Point - Teresa W. was the first to subscribe to my blog!!  She's been a huge supporter of all kinds of music for ages, she used to call in to chat on Thursday mornings when I was a DJ at WWSP and then I had a chance to play at her church and meet her very musical husband as well.  Wow, sometimes it seems long ago and sometimes it seems like yesterday.  Thanks for still keeping in touch after all these years, Teresa!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring break!! f;laskdjf aeouaerlkejgal!!!!!!!

I'm officially on Spring Break!!!!

Pretty stoked about that...except for the fact that my body decided this would be a great time to be sick.  UGH!!!  My to-do list for break seems longer and longer with each cough :-(

The show must go on though.  I currently should be jamming with my friends from The Big Adventure, but I'm taking this time to rest and down as much tea and honey as I can handle in the hopes I can chime in on my harmony parts tonight.  If you're not afraid of the plague and want to see this, I hope to see you there!!

...sorry, I had issues finding it via Blogger.  Bad Blogger!!!

On to this week!!  Pretty stoked to be playing with my sweetheart, my future father in law, and all the other incredibly talented musicians of The Minnesota Bluegrass Band!  We'll be at Whiskey Junction - GREAT parking, INCREDIBLE soup.....geez, I need soup NOW!  FREE SHOW, we play 9-12ish....I love Spring Break!!

The Minnesota Bluegrass Band at Whiskey Junction 

901 Cedar Ave  Minneapolis, MN 55404

Music 9-12, FREE SHOW!!!

Besides tonight and Wednesday, that's all I have.  Spring break indeed!!!!  Of course, I'm down for any surprise shows that may come my way but if not, make sure you come out one of these nights, it'd be great to see you and not need to run home to sleep :-)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

This just in!!!

I almost forgot!!!

Sunday March 24th - Nomad World Pub

The Big Adventure and Black Market Brass
Music at 10pm
See you there!!  Celebrate my spring break with me!!!

That is all.  Now come out to see the Burbillies tonight! ;-)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

And we're back!!!!

It feels so good to be back with my sister and brothers of i like you.  After a month off, we came back together for our first ever show at the Bryant Lake Bowl.  It was fun and a bit challenging to have a theater show for our first show back, but it was so great to get out in front of an audience.  Friday we hit the road towards Wakefield, Michigan and the Mountaintop Music Festival.  The roads were AWFUL on the way up so car #2 (which I was in) didn't make it up there until the last 3 songs of Useful Jenkins set.  I would have loved to have caught more, but thanks to my first 5 hour energy drink (hahaha!  Thanks Joe and Mo!), I grabbed my fiddle for a late night jam with the guys from Horseshoes and Hand Grenades.  Stevens Point represent!!!!!!!

On Saturday morning, we hit the slopes!  I had never been snowboarding, but with free rentals and free lift passes for performers, I just had to give it a try!  Arthur and his lady were fantastic teachers!!  I loved it!  Who knew I could (very slowly, only riding the back edge) shred!  Definitely used muscles I've never used before, so I'm a little sore!  We played at the bottom of the hill and while we did have access via road, but the end of the day, I actually would have considered boarding down the hill with my violin - in its case of course!!  Well...I have a very hard case, so falling may have been extremely painful.  Glad I didn't make that life choice.  Our show was fun!  Lots of skiers and snowboarders partying down at the saloon, some remembered us from last year when we played on the patio due to the extremely warm weather.  Again, VERY good to be back :-)

Upcoming events for the week of March 18th!!!!!!

I'm very excited to be joining The Burbillies for their set of bluegrass style butt-rock.  I had to look that up...and yes, that actually is a genre!  Lots of familiar covers, some familiar faces, and a whole bunch of silliness.  These guys are a bunch of fun - you should come out!  I'm already planning my costume...yes costume.  The show is at Cause Spirits and Sound Bar in Uptown and the ridiculousness starts happening at 9pm.....FREE SHOW!!!

On Friday 3/22, i like you. will be playing tunes while you sip tap beer from local brewery and awesome music scene supporters Harriet Brewing.  If you haven't seen this space, you're missing out!  Couches as well as tables offer you a spot to enjoy the fruits of the brewmaster's labor while surrounded by colorful art and are serenaded by music most days of the week.  Come early, seating is limited - food truck will be Potter's Pasties (yum!).  Music at 8, cover is $5 but oh so worth it!!

Coming up next week....Spring Break staycation for Srta. Krueger
3/27 - Minnesota Bluegrass Band at Whiskey Junction
and perhaps some more...TBA!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

4 times is the charm!

Well, this isn't going so well is it?  In the past year I've posted in my blog 4 times.  FOUR


Let's do better now, shall we?

After much debate trying to figure out what my blog should be about I think I decided.  Just in case you're interested, here's a look at the failed ideas:

First time home owner and all the shenanigans
Just about life (zzzzzzzzz)
Tips for pinching pennies


OK, a lot of people ask "when are you playing?  WHERE are you playing!?!  If I had known, I would have BEEN there!!!"  How about a blog that lists my gigs and whatnot??!!?!?  What do you think?!?!  Now I have no excuses - THE BLOG will be a great place to go find this information regardless if you're on facebook, twitter, email, whatever.  I think you can even subscribe and it may tell you when this is updated.  Who knows!

And so, without further ado, I give you "The List."

7pm Thursday and Friday and 2pm Sunday
Out on a Limb Presents:

I'm so excited to share this with everyone! I am playing The Candyman AND Sluggworth.  I'm pretty stoked - I even get a tap solo!!  I LOVE tapping and all types of dance.  Out on a Limb is such a cool organization and I am so lucky to be a part of it.  Check out more about them at:

My RSI kiddos came today as a field trip.  I don't have the full regalia on, you'll have to come to the show to see what I REALLY look like:

The Big Adventure!
After a little teeny break, we're at it again with TWO shows this weekend.  One in Minneapolis and one in Saint Paul to keep everyone happy.  You can get our CD there too!

Friday at The Acadia 
329 Cedar Avenue 
Minneapolis, MN 55454
Phone: 612-874-8702

MPLS Habit

with Geoffrey Fischbein, Brienne Harthun, Big Adventure,Cait Leary and Zach Grusznski, Those Damn Horses

We're on at 11, but come early to hear these other great acts!  They're great!!

Saturday at Wild Tymes on the Palace Stage

33 7th Pl. W, Saint Paul, MN 55102
(651) 224-8181 

Doors open all day – as early as 11AM – come early
8:00PM Ben Rat
9:15PM The Big Adventure
10:30PM Armstrong Clawhammer
11:45PM Armstrong Clawhammer
12:45AM Dragich & The Trainwreck

Hope to see you at any (or all) of these shows!!  If you're interested in seeing when I play, subscribe!!

- K