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Monthly Update

July 1, 2011

As a child, I used to think When I grow up I'm going to do exactly what I want to do, all the time! I've been searching for that luxury ever since, to no avail. I'm sure it's the same for everyone else; whether you're self-employed or work for someone else, you spend most of your time doing what you have to do, not what you want to do. And it seems like within that context, one thing just leads to another.

D'roo

D'roo

This month, for instance, began with our 14-year-old Portuguese Water Dog D'roo managing to eat her way into some coffee, which is poisonous to dogs. That brought on sudden vestibular disease and terrible nystagmus (her eyes were bouncing all over the place). No stairs for this girl. Even walking was difficult, so while Pat was at work, I carried D'roo outside as necessary. Woke up one morning with excruciating shoulder pain and a right arm that was virtually useless. Which meant I couldn't keep up with all the planting I'd done and had to let my vegetables die, which toasted my food budget.

The shoulder got so bad that I needed an MRI, of course at the beginning of my insurance year, which meant meeting my Very High Deductible. The MRI showed a torn muscle, with severe tendinitis from my shoulder to my elbow. Which meant I had to cancel three sessions and a rehearsal, find an extra hour a day for physical therapy, and work in follow-ups with specialists. Which meant more cancellations, which meant I'm further behind, which meant I can't do most of the things I'd planned to do in the few off days I have between now and when I head to Europe in September.

Good gosh! Who knew being grownup, let alone getting old, was going to be so much fun?! I have to admit, I hate hitting the age where every doctor I see begins their discussions with "Well, at your age...". My age?! I still get shocked every time I look in the mirror, because I expect a 25-year-old to be staring back at me.

Foster

Foster

But there were bright spots. All our neighbors had deep carpets of 13-year cicadas covering their yards – our cicadas were blissfully sparse. I told Pat it was probably all the smelly flowers I'd planted to keep critters and insects away from my now-dead vegetable patch.

Then Foster (our other PWD) stopped eating. Literally. Given that she normally Hoovers her way through anything and everything even vaguely edible, we were concerned. Especially when she didn't lose weight.

After three days of this, I followed her around for a morning, and discovered why the cicadas weren't more prevalent – Foster was eating them! Yum, crunchy.... Probably taste like chicken. Ech.

Of course, she then came down with a terrific stomach-ache, which meant she had to be coddled as well. There I was, the one-armed chef, making soft rice with chicken stock for one dog, calling our neighbor Steve for help with the other, and just about out of my mind.

Frankly, taking time out to write this update is a relief.

<grin>

Janis, Emmy, & Madeleine at Clearwater

Janis, Emmy, & Madeleine at Clearwater

Janis & Pete Seeger at Clearwater (photo by John Claeys)

Janis & Pete Seeger at Clearwater
(photo by John Claeys)

Janis & Pete Seeger at Clearwater (photo by John Claeys)

Janis & Pete Seeger at Clearwater
(photo by John Claeys)

Janis & Kris Noyes at Coffee Works

Janis & Kris Noyes at Coffee Works

Janis & Clouded Leopard

Janis & Clouded Leopard

The month wasn't all drama, though. Don Henry surprised me by showing up at a Pearl Foundation living room concert. Had a great time with Billy Bragg and Pete Seeger at the Clearwater Festival, then doubled the fun at Coffee Works in Voorhees NJ, a truly intimate two-show night. We held a fund-raiser for the Nashville Zoo, and hosted three clouded leopards for an evening – yes, that's no plush toy on me but the real deal!

And now, I get to announce a very fun thing - the Christmas In August sale! As always, prices will drop radically, and thanks to a few fans who've donated unopened out of print DVD's and CD's, we can offer four copies of the CD-Works set and, for the first time, a DVD-Works set – both with FREE worldwide shipping! *

There are two new exciting items as well:
Remember: Live 1977 Recorded at Japan's Osaka Festival Hall and Australia's Sydney Opera House, this two-CD set was only released in those territories, and went completely out of print in 1983. The masters were lost for years, but Janis came into possession of ¼" safety copies last year. Released earlier this year in Japan only to coincide with Janis' tour there, we have completely re-mastered and re-created the artwork for this website-only release!! The CD set is packaged in ecologically correct cardboard by Oasis CD, designed as closely to the Japanese original vinyl set as possible.

Greetings by Janis: In conjunction with Vocal Greetings, we are laying in 50 recordable cards which can be personalized with a 15-second greeting by me! I did one for Pat's birthday and it worked great, but I will warn you that the 15 seconds is just long enough to say "This is Janis Ian wishing happy birthday to Pat from me!" and then sing a couple of lines from "Happy Birthday to you." The card can be played over and over again; you can even replace the batteries. For more information, go here:

We'll be offering these during the sale, and then again closer to the real winter holiday season. And yes, you can store them until then.

Frankly, with the addition of the DMG material and these new items, I'm running out of storage space in my "merch room", my goal this year is to move the merchandise!

To avoid the usual "midnight which night?!" confusion, the sale will start at 9 pm Central Standard Time on July 29 and run until 9 pm CST August 13. Items will begin shipping August 1 and 2. Please join the mailing list, if you haven't already done so, to get a friendly reminder.

I think that's it – hope everyone is doing well and enjoying this great summer weather.

We are reading: Who has time to read?!

We are listening to: My friend Janey Street's CD, The Street Less Travelled. Her "Santa Ana Winds" is one of the most beautiful songs ever written.

Best,

Janis Ian

Janis

* To receive a reminder about the sale, please sign up for our email list.

Hot News
  • The Singer & The Song & Stars both nominated for 2015 Audie Awards!

    Two projects very dear to Janis' heart have both been nominated for prestigous Audie Awards! The audiobook for Miriam Therese Winter's The Singer & The Song, as well as the audiobook for the Stars anthology of science fiction songs based on songs by Janis, have both been honored with nominations.

  • And now, on to the tour!

    As you can see on the right, I'll be touring with Tom Paxton - and doing some solo shows - a lot this spring!

  • Thank you one and all!

    By any light, the newly-annual sale was a huge success - over $20,000 net for the Pearl Foundation! 

[more hot news]

Tour Dates

click on any date for full information
click again to close that date

All tour dates updated on February 16, 2015

  • Sun Mar 1 Tribute to Gene Shay

    First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

    First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia

    Philadelphia, PA

    Visit the venue's website

    This tribute to long-time supporter and friend Gene Shay marks his 80th birthday, and his retirement from radio (after 50 years!). Gene, along with Ed Sciaky, broke "Society's Child" in Philly - in fact, their radio show was the first out-of-town press Janis ever did! Join Janis, Tom Paxton, Kim and Reggie Harris, and a couple of very special guest stars for this singular event!

  • Wed Mar 4 w/ Tom Paxton

    South Orange Performing Arts Center, South Orange, NJ

    South Orange Performing Arts Center

    South Orange, NJ

    Phone: 973-313-2787

    Visit the venue's website

    Tom Paxton was at Janis' very first public show, at New York's famed Village Gate. Janis was just 13 years old. She received a standing ovation but since she was nervous and already headed back to her seat, she had no idea it was happening. (She also hadn't attended enough concerts to know that you were supposed to take an encore!) Tom, along with Lou Gossett Jr and a couple of other performers, urged her to "Go back, kid! Go back!"

    The show these two old friends put on, with the able assistance of multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Robin Bullock, is living proof that "The sum is greater than the parts." In addition to singing old favorites like "Ramblin' Boy" and "At 17", they sing one another's songs, add harmony and instrumentals, and share the stage for what feels like far too short a time.

    Don't miss this once in a lifetime opportunity!

  • Thur Mar 5 w/ Tom Paxton

    Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown, NY

    Tarrytown Music Hall

    Tarrytown, NY

    Phone: 877-840-0457

    Visit the venue's website

    Tom Paxton was at Janis' very first public show, at New York's famed Village Gate. Janis was just 13 years old. She received a standing ovation but since she was nervous and already headed back to her seat, she had no idea it was happening. (She also hadn't attended enough concerts to know that you were supposed to take an encore!) Tom, along with Lou Gossett Jr and a couple of other performers, urged her to "Go back, kid! Go back!"

    The show these two old friends put on, with the able assistance of multi-instrumentalistextraordinaire Robin Bullock, is living proof that "The sum is greater than the parts." In addition to singing old favorites like "Ramblin' Boy" and "At 17", they sing one another's songs, add harmony and instrumentals, and share the stage for far too short a time.

    Don't miss it!

  • Fri Mar 6 w/ Tom Paxton - Two Shows!

    The City Winery, New York, NY

    The City Winery

    New York, NY

    Phone: 212-608-0555 X 714

    Visit the venue's website

    Two shows! 7:00PM and 10:00PM. Finally, Janis and Tom in New York! This is a great venue, great sound, great performers. Tom Paxton was at Janis' very first public show; Janis was just 13 years old. She took the stage with Tom, Lou Gossett Jr., Phil Ochs, Eric Anderson, and other folk singers to get a standing ovation and two encores.

    The show these two old friends put on, with the able assistance of multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Robin Bullock, is living proof that "the sum is greater than the parts". They'll each be doing a solo set, so you'll still get to hear songs like "At 17", but they'll also be singing on one another's songs, harmonizing, playing backup, and kidding around. Don't miss it!

  • Sat Mar 7 w/ Tom Paxton

    Patchogue Theatre, Patchogue, NY

    Patchogue Theatre

    Patchogue, NY

    Phone: (631) 207-1313

    Visit the venue's website

    Tom Paxton was at Janis' very first public show, at New York's famed Village Gate. Janis was just 13 years old. She received a standing ovation but since she was nervous and already headed back to her seat, she had no idea it was happening. (She also hadn't attended enough concerts to know that you were supposed to take an encore!) Tom, along with Lou Gossett Jr, Phil Ochs, and a few other performers, urged her to "Go back, kid - go back!"

    The show these two dear friends put on, with the able assistance of multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Robin Bullock, is living proof that "the sum is greater than the parts." In addition to singing old favorites like "Ramblin' Boy" and "At 17", they sing on each others' songs, add harmonies and instrumentals, and share the stage for what feels like far too short a time.

    Don't miss this once in a lifetime opportunity!

  • Sun Mar 8 w/ Tom Paxton

    Marasco Performing Arts Center, Monroe Township, NJ

    Marasco Performing Arts Center

    Monroe Township, NJ

    Phone: (732) 521-4400

    Visit the venue's website

    Tom Paxton was at Janis' very first public show, at New York's famed Village Gate. Janis was just 13 years old. She received a standing ovation but since she was nervous and already headed back to her seat, she had no idea it was happening. (She also hadn't attended enough concerts to know that you were supposed to take an encore!) Tom, along with Lou Gossett Jr and a couple of other performers, urged her to "Go back, kid! Go back!"

    The show these two old friends put on, with the able assistance of multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Robin Bullock, is living proof that "The sum is greater than the parts." In addition to singing old favorites like "Ramblin' Boy" and "At 17", they sing one another's songs, add harmony and instrumentals, and share the stage for far too short a time.

    Don't miss it!

  • Wed Mar 17 w/ Tom Paxton

    The Dakota, Minneapolis, MN

    The Dakota

    Minneapolis, MN

    Phone: (612) 332-5299

    Visit the venue's website

    Tom Paxton was at Janis' very first public show, at New York's famed Village Gate. Janis was just 13 years old. She received a standing ovation but since she was nervous and already headed back to her seat, she had no idea it was happening. (She also hadn't attended enough concerts to know that you were supposed to take an encore!) Tom, along with Lou Gossett Jr and a couple of other performers, urged her to "Go back, kid! Go back!"

    The show these two old friends put on, with the able assistance of multi-instrumentalistextraordinaire Robin Bullock, is living proof that "The sum is greater than the parts." In addition to singing old favorites like "Ramblin' Boy" and "At 17", they sing one another's songs, add harmony and instrumentals, and share the stage for far too short a time.

    Don't miss it!

  • Thur Mar 19 w/ Tom Paxton

    The Dakota, Minneapolis, MN

    The Dakota

    Minneapolis, MN

    Phone: (612) 332-5299

    Visit the venue's website

    Tom Paxton was at Janis' very first public show, at New York's famed Village Gate. Janis was just 13 years old. She received a standing ovation but since she was nervous and already headed back to her seat, she had no idea it was happening. (She also hadn't attended enough concerts to know that you were supposed to take an encore!) Tom, along with Lou Gossett Jr and a couple of other performers, urged her to "Go back, kid! Go back!"

    The show these two old friends put on, with the able assistance of multi-instrumentalistextraordinaire Robin Bullock, is living proof that "The sum is greater than the parts." In addition to singing old favorites like "Ramblin' Boy" and "At 17", they sing one another's songs, add harmony and instrumentals, and share the stage for far too short a time.

    Don't miss it!

  • Fri Mar 20 w/ Tom Paxton

    Stoughton Opera House, Stoughton, WI

    Stoughton Opera House

    Stoughton, WI

    Phone: 608-877-4400

    Visit the venue's website

    Janis and Tom bring their hugely successful UK tour back home! With the additional support of master instrumentalist Robin Bullock, this is an evening not to be missed. 

  • Sat Mar 21 w/ Tom Paxton

    Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL

    Old Town School of Folk Music

    Chicago, IL

    Phone: 883-728-6000

    Visit the venue's website

    Janis and Tom bring their hugely successful UK tour back home! With the additional support of master instrumentalist Robin Bullock, this is an evening not to be missed. 

[full tour dates list]

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