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Loeb Lover a site for Lisa Loeb fans FAQs (frequently-asked questions)

Category: Main -> Lisa Loeb answers you all here!

Question

Answer

Where does Lisa gets her inspiration?

Drinking coffee. That's a really general question. I get my inspiration from my own experiences. Sometimes melodies inspire. Sometimes the music I create inspires the lyrics. A certain melody will make me think of a certain story.

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I was wondering what are the biggest challenges you've faced along the way to getting where you are today?

My biggest challenge is people saying no constantly and trying to limit me creatively and trying to limit me, not only in the record making but also in the presentation of it. People saying no creatively. I think that's the biggest one. I don't usually listen, but sometimes it takes a lot of extra energy with the fight.

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Lisa, on your album "Tails" the name is scratched out. Why is that? Is tails a reference to your pet cats?

Tails has many layers of meaning. Originally the idea was a drawing of a cat chasing it's tail and I imagined it in my mind with the title "Tails" but it was too complicated to draw. The next best thing was a drawing of a cat's face and I like the contrast of having a cat

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Are you getting in a groove now with your new band?

Yes. I just played our first tour in Japan a few weeks ago and it went really well. There's really only one addition, Matt Beck and he plays every instrument and sings. Also Dweezil Zappa was a guest on this tour. I'm sorry if my answers are abbreviated, but that's the nature of the chat. If you want more information you can go to LisaLoeb.com and get more information starting tomorrow.

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SLR says: Lisa, I wanted to ask you about "My Muse" from your last record "Firecracker." It should have been the single! Were you satisfied with the way that song turned out or do you wish you

I think you're talking about my song, "This." And those were added into the recording to make the groovy loungy sound. I was excited to try out this new presentation of the song.

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Lisa, when and where will the "Cake and Pie" tour begin and when will we get to hear about the dates for the concert?

It already began, but the dates are not yet available. There are also one-off performances in March. Friday March 1st at Tower Records in the new Sherman Oaks Galleria, we'll be playing music and making a pie. In Dallas in the outdoor festival Sunday March 3rd. More details at LisaLoeb.com

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What

My favorite pie is cherry pie without a lot of gelatinous material inside. My favorite cake is banana cake with banana icing similar to the one Sarah Lee used to make.

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What do you think about the state of pop music right now, and how do you think "Cake and Pie" will fare in its surroundings?

I think that, I hope and it seems like, there's a slow return of real music being played by real people. If this is true, I think "Cake and Pie" will do really well with your help.

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Was Ethan Hawke a driving force in your pre-pop publicity

I think his name and his role as director of my first video "Stay" was a driving force in my publicity. People are always interested when a well known actor works with a musician.

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What was inspiration for "Rose-Colored Times"?

It was inspired by the story in "Paper Moon," a movie directed by Peter Bogdanovich. In the movie, a young girl's mother dies and she's trying to figure out who her father is. The song is told from the girl's point of view. Coincidentally, it was made in a summer home of the lead actress Tatum O'Neal.

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To Lisa: From T.J. in N.Y. You worked with Dweezil in this album. Did you found it difficult to work with someone you're dating?

I didn't find it difficult because we work together very well creatively. It's easy and fun to write and record songs together. We have a similar sense of what we think sounds good and our working relationship came way before dating.

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Lisa, what are your thoughts on mainstream pop music? Would you ever consider going Britney?

Yeah, of course. Let me go get my belly shirt, my choreographer and cut my age in half. (laughs)

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Lisa what

That's a complicated question. There's so many categories in life. I crocheted a blanket with pom-poms for my friend

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What did you think of Viscount studio in Rhode island when you did your first demo?

It was so exciting! Every time we drive into Providence, I point it out to my friends. All the studios I've worked in and all the people I've worked with have contributed to my experience as a musician.

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What is your favorite song you ever wrote?

I like "Jake."

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I appreciate the fact that you use mature chords in your writing. Do have a background in jazz guitar?

I have studied jazz guitar and classical piano. Especially when I went to college because there were so many great musicians there that would challenge each other. I got in the habit of trying to write interesting harmonic chord progressions and when I use simple chords, being aware they are simple for a reason.

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Hiya Lisa. How did you ever come up with that name "Cake and Pie." Did you come up with it or someone else?

I came up with it. Like most of my album covers, an image appears to me in my head. It sounds mystical, but it's like trying to remember something you need to buy at the grocery store. I had a lot of songs that had cake and pie in it that are not on the album. I like the different interpretations. I like both cake and pie when I'm offered them. To have both cake AND pie. The AND is the most important part of the title.

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Why did you wait so long to release a new album?

I like the different interpretations. I like both cake and pie when I'm offered them. To have both cake AND pie. The AND is the most important part of the title.
The waiting was not my choice. I was ready to put out an album in 2000 but since the record company was going through changes, I had to wait until they were ready.

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Has there ever been a time when you have regretted becoming popular and why?

First of all, nice name. Second, right now my level of popularity doesn't hinder my existence in any way. I just feel I have a respectable level of success and I don't need to get another job. When someone comes up to me and say hello, it's like when my brother's and sister introduce me to friends at parties. I don't mean brothers and sisters in a hippy way. I have brothers and a sister and when I was growing up I was always around a lot of people.

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At the House of Blues Chicago, you gave suggestion to a peanut butter obsession. Still?

Oh! I still love peanut butter. For breakfast I had dry smoked salmon and tortilla with peanut butter and jelly. Tortillas have a lot of fiber and peanut butter and jelly just taste so damn good!

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Are you a fluffernutter person?

No. It makes me kind of nauseous.

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Lisa, are you still pursuing acting?

At the moment, I'm only concentrating on music with my album coming out tomorrow. Hopefully in the future there will be more acting.

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What will you be doing tomorrow as the CD drops?

Tomorrow I will be speaking to high school students about songwriting on a NARAS panel. I think we'll be having champagne at my house later... without the high school students.

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How long have you been writing books?

I've been writing books for a long long time. My first book was about hygiene in the middle ages and how it relates to the plumbing system of the 20th century.

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I haven't seen you in a long time. Do you still have the trademark (at least in my opinion) glasses?

Yes. I still have bad vision and so I still have the glasses

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Who are some of the biggest influences on your life?

I am influenced by the teachers at the school I attended growing up in Dallas. I had an art teacher who also taught science named Mrs. Crume in 3rd grade. She taught us the power of scientific observation and how to appreciate opera and music and paper mache. I had an English teacher named Ms. Boruff who taught us how to write journals to learn to express our own opinions and our own points of view. I had a teacher named Dr. Hill who taught me about Spanish literature and poetry and imagery and the power of words. I had a number of great teachers. I had a guitar teacher who taught me theory and some jazz, but in the end said that the main thing that matters is what it sounded like, not all of the technical stuff. I am inspired by Bill Cosby and the way he tells a story and relates to the audience. I am inspired by my family and my friends. So much inspiration around.

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Often when artists have such a long time between albums, the next one is usually out quicker. Seeing as we haven

I do have a lot of songs that are not on the new album. I don't have a finished song with Jill Sobule yet, although Dweezil Zappa and I started writing with her a while ago, I do have a lot songs that I'd like people to hear. We'll see what happens. I don

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How tall are you Lisa?

II am 5'2" tall. Oh yeah, I just remembered that a doctor recently told me that I'm actually 5'2" and 1/2"!.

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Would you ever consider recording a song in Spanish?

I should start working on a song in Spanish. I'd like to record in the Banda style with tuba, horns, etc. and drums, but no guitars or bass.

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Will you be coming to perform in Australia soon?! It is my dream to see you in concert! PS can I meet you too?

I would love to come to Australia, but I don't have any specific tour plans yet. If I am there to do an in-store, or if I come out to meet some fans after the show, then I bet we'll meet.

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There are a ton of rumors about a digital (CD) release of "The Purple Tape."Can you substantiate or give us an update?

Nice name, "Fried Eggs." I have plans to release a CD version of "The Purple Tape." Originally we were going to release it on the website before Cake and Pie came out, but the scheduling was always so unclear surrounding the release date of the album. Now we plan to release the cd later in the year or early next year. We've already reworked the artwork to fit CD packaging. Thanks so much for your concern. I appreciate all of the listening that you've done to "The Purple Tape," and I hope to replace your worn out cassettes sooner than later.

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What are your favorite albums at the moment?

My favorite albums right now include the newer Travis album, Ben Folds, and music by Mexican Banda groups. I still like old albums by bands like Queen, Led Zeppelin, Bowie, the Police, Rickie Lee Jones, and more.

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When can we expect to see a music video for "Someone You Should Know"? Is there any chance you might post it on your site?

I just got back from NYC where I did a music video for "Someone You Should Know." It's sort of an homage to the "Stay" video in that it's a one take video also. It takes place on the streets of NYC. I don't know if it worked yet, since I haven't seen the footage, but I have a good feeling about it. This video is a bit more humorous (slightly) and covers more ground (literally). I don't know if we'll post it on the site. We'll see...

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Of the musical videos you have created, which one is your personal favorite and why?

I like the "I Do" video because it is very stylized, and it looks like the
Firecracker album artwork. I thought that Phil Harder did an awesome job recreating the feeling of the artwork. Also, I think that the one take"Stay" video was a really strong artistic statement. At the time it was veryoriginal and because it was a one take video, I think that the audience wasable to make a real connection with the subject of the video (me..)

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If you could go back in time and meet and musician that has died and jam with them, who would it be ???

I I'd love to meet Dweezil's dad, Frank.

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Who in the singer songwriter in the buissness do you look up to as an artist?

I look up to Rickie Lee Jones, Tom Waits, & Elvis Costello among many others.

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Why isnt "Someone You Should Know" being played on the radio or mtv? Is this your intent or is this just another example of how record companies suck? Also, what do you think of Courtney Love and her current battle with the industry?

"Someone You Should Know" isn't being played on the radio because at the
moment, the record company isn't marketing the song towards top 40 radio.
They are slowly promoting the album to a format of radio called AAA- which plays songs less often, and usually more interesting songs than top 40- it's a less commercially driven format of radio. Radio stations rarely play a song on the radio because they feel like it. There are a lot of people
involved in promotion who go to the stations after being paid by the record
companies. It's all in a big plan, so I'm told. The song isn't on MTV because it would be rare for MTV to play a video unless it is already a hit song. I don't really know a lot about Courtney Love's battles.

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I hear you speak Japanese almost fluently. I was just wondering where you picked it up?

I wish I spoke Japanese that well. I've been learning on Pimsleur's language
tapes, 30 minute tapes that teach you how to speak. It's very challenging
and fun, and I'd like to take proper Japanese lessons some time soon.

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In your E online interview you said that you wrote more from your hearts instead of your pocketbooks. I understand what you mean, but I am curious to know which songs, on any of the albums have been the hardest to write, or have come out of 'notebook' writing purely by mistake.

I write when I feel inspired. That can happen when I sit down to write, or
by accident, when I am driving or walking to my car from the grocery store.
I never try to write a "hit song," but I really like it when the audience
reacts positively to a song and they make it into a "hit song." I don't know
which songs are easy and hard. I think that it's all relative.

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For a moment you had the Tori Amos community all abuzz about your involvement on her latest album "Strange Little Girls". It was even rumoured that you were providing guest vocals on Tori's reworking of 'Heart of Gold'. What ever came of this collaboration with Tori Amos: was it scheduled and never materialized, was it recorded but not used in her album, all was it just a bunch of rumours?

II think that the Tori Amos collaboration was all rumors. I used the same drummer as Tori on some of the tracks of my album- a guy named Matt Chamberlain, but I've never spoken with Tori about collaboration. I did buy her album when it came out, and I would like to collaborate with her in the future. I think that she's a very deep artist who expresses herself very strongly, melodically, and plays incredibly well with great emotion.

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Why don't you allow audio recordings of your shows?

I pay a lot of attention to the sonic quality of the music that I release. I'd like to make sure that you'd hear a good recording. I'm sure that there will be some live recordings available some time.

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In your song "Furious Rose, "The lyrics are "bring me wild plums, wild plums and agrimony. I bet you don't even know what that means, no." Well you

Wild Plums and Agrimony are flowers. In the song I reference a Victorian dictionary of flowers, which explains that different flowers represent different things. Wild Plums represent independence, and Agrimony represents thankfulness and gratitude. In the song, Freud misdiagnoses Rose as a hysterical woman. Rose is a misunderstood individual, so she is begging for these flowers, obvious symbols of the qualities that she possesses, but qualities that are ignored by the doctor. Rose is a subtle and emotionally substantial person, but she's being pigeonholed as a crazy person. She needs something to represent these traits for her, since Freud can't see them in her. He talks down to her and doesn't take her seriously, and she's frustrated. That's why she says, "I bet you don't even know what that means." A man as smart as Freud should know the symbolic meaning of something as simple as a flower, but inside, she knows that he's ignorant in some ways- his eyes are not open, even though he acts as if he can analyze her.

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I love listening to you and Duncan Sheik. You guys are some of my favorite artists. Do you ever keep touch with him since college life?

Every once in a while we run into each other. We've even played a few concerts together.

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How do you feel you have grown as an artist since "Tails" was first released

II feel more comfortable working with more people instead of doing
everything myself, something that has helped me open my eyes to many
different ways of writing and playing.

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What do you look for in a man?

Someone with a good heart and a good sense of humor, among other things.

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Are most of your songs based on experiences in your life?

My songs are not usually autobiographical, but I do draw from the experiences in my life. Does that make sense?

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It seems every time you are on a nationally televised late night show, the host always plays up your "innocent image." I recall how Jay Leno commented on your hat and attire after her last release. How do you feel about this?

Well, it's always interesting to hear about what kind of image people have of me, sort of. I don't think that the word "innocent" totally sums up my image (by any stretch of the imagination-although I don't sit around and think about my image, ever). The image is only his perception of his first impression of me when he sees me (or what one of the writers on the shows tell the hosts, magnified by the fact that its easier to keep repeating what they hear or read instead of forming their own impression). I think that if he got to know me, he'd know that the "innocence" that he perceives is only a very small part of a whole person.

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I just got your new album and discovered that most of the songs are almost three years old. Is it satisfying to release songs that you wrote such a long time ago? How many new unreleased songs do you have right now? (how many of them are studio-recorded, how many are just demos?)

It is really satisfying to put out the songs that were recorded for this
album, an album that comes after my album Firecracker. Even three years
later I feel really close to the songs, and I'm excited to play them for you
live on tour. I do have lots of other songs that have been recorded- I hope
that you'll be able to hear them in the future.

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I have all the Japanese import versions of your CDs. I also have US versions of Tails & Firecracker on cassette. Besides the extra tracks that come on the Japanese versions I've noticed slight differences on US tape versions. For example the tape version of Garden of Delights has a voice in the background that says "curtains" after you sing curtains in the main vocals. This doesn't happen on the CD version. Were the recordings that were intended for CD mastered differently than those that were intended for tape? Also, why do the Japanese albums have the extra tracks? By the way, Joe is a great Bass player. He's one of the best and most creative I've heard.

Hmm. I had no idea that there were differences in the tape and CD versions.
That is not intentional in any way, but I'll have to check that out. The reason that we add extra tracks to the Japanese versions of the albums is that in Japan it is less expensive to buy imported records (from the United
States.) To make the local versions of the albums worth the extra money that people have to pay, the company asks us to add one or two extra tracks, and they also include Japanese translations of the songs in the album artwork. I also think that Joe is a great bass player!

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I was curious about the use of computers in pre and post production. If you use a computer.

Computers are used all the time in production. Some of my album was recorded on the Pro-Tools system, some of the songs were edited on the same system. The songs are sequenced on computers, mastered onto computers, and many of the songs are saved on computer hard-drives.

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Will it be 3 years before the 4th CD is due?

It better not be. I was also frustrated that the album didn't come out sooner. I was basically finished recording the album in 1999, but the record company was going through a lot of changes over the last few years, and my album got caught up. My original label, Geffen, was bought by Interscope records (coincidentally, a label that I was considering when I signed my record deal.) Then the head of Interscope took a job at Warner Brothers. Finally a guy named Ron Fair came over to the company to be the head of A&M Records (one of the labels owned by Interscope Records.) Ron Fair was the executive at RCA records that put my song "Stay" on the Reality Bites soundtrack, and we had experienced great success together. It was also cool that I was able to work with Ron because he's a producer and arranger and knows a lot about music. I switched to A&M and Ron
lead us to the record making finish line. Finally the album is out! I hope
to put another record out in less time next time, but unfortunately there are
a number of variables involved over which I have no control.

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Do you get recognized a lot by people?

I get recognized fairly often, but it doesn't seem to interfere with my life. It's more like being at a party with a number of acquaintances

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What are your thoughts on mainstream pop music, any favourites?

Mainstream pop music is a little too pop for me right now. I prefer real music being played by real people. More emphasis on the song first and then the dance and choreography. (I actually like the dancing, but I'd like the music and songs to live up to the dancing.) I do like costumes though.

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At what time of day are you most prolific at writing songs?

About an hour after I drink coffee, about 11:00am, and also at night

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I have heard Taylor's get warped necks quite easily. Have you had any issues with your guitars and the intonation going out of whack?

I've never had any problems with my Taylors getting warped necks. Sometimes when I travel I have to readjust the guitars that I play, but that's common. Sometimes the humidity or the dryness or the cold or heat changes the guitar.

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Ever been offered a contract to advertise glasses?

Surprisingly, I haven't.

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Have you any plans to do some more acting?

I would love to do more acting. Maybe after the promotions and touring for Cake and Pie have slowed down I'll be able to do more.

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How has your Jewish faith tradition affected your music, if at all?

Although I think that there are many people who think things through from every angle, I associate this trait with Jewish culture. Some people say that it's due to the tradition of studying the Torah from every angle- the process of study as a spiritual/religious practice. The practice of analyzing things thinking and overthinking, this contributes to my songwriting style. I'm not sure if it's faith as much as a trait that is associated with the Jewish emphasis on learning and questioning (again, I'm sure that other people, not just Jews also emphasize the same things.)

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What is your favorite movie and TV show?

Favorite movie-Spinal Tap, Office Space, Ordinary People, Mary Poppins, and more. Favorite TV shows- CSI (Miami and original Crispy), Law & Order Criminal Intent, Bernie Mac show, Molto Mario, Oprah Winfrey, Pee Wee's Playhouse, this list could go on and on, Big Brother 3, American Idol, etc.

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How do you feel about other artists covering your tunes?

That's super cool. I know that there are a few covers out there and I love to hear them. The Jammer Lisa Loeb tributes have been exciting to hear each year for my birthday. Betty Buckley (a famous Broadway singer, and also the mother from Eight is Enough) did a cover of "Falling In Love" which was really amazing. It taught me a great deal about how to tell a story when you are singing the song. Her performance made me realize that there was a different way to sing the song in a way that the story comes across even better.

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What was your inspiration for "She's Falling Apart?"

This song was based on an experience of one of the songwriters with whom I wrote the song. He had someone close to him who had a daughter with Anorexia. The people in the family had a really hard time dealing with it, and sometimes not at all. It shows how sometimes the family has blinders on, and they can't really deal with the issues and bad situations in their own homes. It reminds us to deal with things instead of ignoring them. The song shows us that even if we pretend everything is okay, when it's not, then it's actually not okay, and the person with the problem or illness is suffering, and because the rest of the family can't deal, they are suffering also.

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Hurricane moves me in a way that no other song has been able to. I was wondering if I could get inside your head about writing the song... what do these words symbolize for you?

"Hurricane" is a song about a woman who is sort of crazy- (it's not an antifeminist song, it could be a man). At the beginning of the song, a guy is warning me about this crazy woman he's met, "she's a hurricane." This is a woman who will trick you- she'll act like she's helping to heal you, but she'll hurt you. He also warns me not to speak to her- "Don't look for holidays, don't look, just run away"- don't look for the easy way out. Deal with your grief by yourself-"Go suffocate, and choke your own cry, go where the water seeps from the pink sky" Where it's beautiful, and dramatic, and kind of sad. But then the quiet part of the song comes in, and it's the hurricane woman speaking, "I'm a light headed wonder, don't you see my mind slow down?" She's trying to lure me in with sweet talk, but the singer (usually me) rebels and tells her no, "I will heal my own heart up, you are hurting." (I added that part about her hurting because often times people act really badly or deceivingly because they themselves have been hurt.) It's really a story song that reminds us not to look for some easy way out
when we are dealing with strong emotional pain. Often it takes patience, time, and some reflection to get us through the hard times instead of trying to rely on others in an unhealthy way. (Speaking to friends is okay.)

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I was wondering how extensive your Hello Kitty collection is.

My Hello Kitty collection is ever growing. From watches to T-shirts, leg warmers, backpacks, purses, mirrors, chopsticks, bowls, sauce pans, rice steamer, toaster, waffle maker, hats, gloves, scarves, candy, stuffed animal dolls, stereos, cell phone holders, and more.

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I just wanted to say I am a HUGE fan and i was recently so disappointed when I found out I could not go to your show because I am not 21...this is really unfair...Why do you play at these places?

I am unhappy too. I always ask to play shows that are all ages, because I, too was underage (a long time ago) and loved to go to shows. Sometimes the clubs that are offered by the promoters just don't have all ages policy. Sometimes I am able to change the circumstances, and other times I'm not. I am sorry, and I'll keep trying for the all ages shows.

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What's the story behind an early photo of you in front of a "cartoon-ish background" with a TV on a small table to your right with you wearing a red dress with two flowers on it? I haven't seen any other photos similar to this one so I was just curious if there was a story behind it!

This is a photo that Mark Seliger took for an Us Magazine spread. Looking back on it I remember that there was a polaroid that he took that I wish we could have used instead. I was wearing a white tank top and brown polyester cheerleader mini-skirt- popular in 1995, and now again, and I think that I was bare footed, and I had large curlers in my hair, and my makeup on, and a frying pan. My barefoot, pregnant (not really), in the kitchen shot.

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Lisa, I'm dying to know about your inspiration for Kickstart. Is it a 'break up' song? or a 'let's take the next step' song?

I think that you've hit the nail on the head. Gary Burr (my co-writer) and I decided to write that song about how you feel when you want to go to the next step, but if you don't, you might have to breakup. That odd time when you feel as if you already have a regular good commitment, but you need more.

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Have any of your songs been inspired by particular literary works, and if so which ones? And who is your favorite American author?

It's hard to say which literary works have influenced me in particular, but the books that I've read throughout my life, as well as the visual art, and even the explanations of how people make their art have influenced my songwriting. Shakespeare, Allende, Salinger, Borges, Dr. Seuss- people who express themselves through words. These people are inspiring.

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I have always loved your song "Jake"! Whenever I go through a bad break up or a guy I'm going out with turns out to be a jerk, I just go to my piano and play Jake, but when I sing it, I substitute "Jake" with the name of the guy I hate! It's very therapeutic, anyway, I wanted to ask if you could tell the story of Jake and what inspired you to write the song!???

Jake was a song that came out of the inside of my brain. The first phrase of the song came up in my head, "I'm going as far as I can go, away from you, Jake, and the hole you've sunk me into," and I then did some free writing to finish the story. I just wrote without a guitar or any instrument- I wasn't necessarily expecting to write a song at the time, but the story turned into a song.

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Everyday I see more and more schools dismissing their performing arts departments or lowering their budgets. How do you feel about music in schools and about how music effects kids growing up in society today?

Of course I think that music is an integral part of a child's life. Music helps some kids express themselves. Music can keep you company- playing it, writing it, listening to it. Musical expression is part of human culture and we should do what we can to keep it in the schools, just like sports/athletics, dance, art. It would be really stressful to go through the whole school day with only academic classes and no classes that allow and encourage kids to use the other parts of their brains.

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Will you marry me?

As in, will I act as some sort of official at your wedding?

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So what was the first concert you ever went to without your mom and dad. And how'd you pay for it?

The first concert I ever went to without my mom and dad was the Police, Ghost in the Machine tour. My friend Margaret's mom took us. I think that my parents paid for it. I can't remember the first concert that I went to
without any parents. Hmm.

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When you were starting out, did a lot of people discourage you about your music? If so, how did you overcome it and did you feel any pressure to change the way you dress or did the record company encourage you not to wear glasses?

The reason I started out, after I initially started writing songs, was because people were encouraging about my music. I started writing songs with lyrics when I was 14 after I learned to play guitar(I'd written piano "compositions" since I was 7 or 8). When I went to acting school in London for a summer during high school, I had borrowed an acoustic guitar from one of the British student teachers, and I'd play songs in my dorm room. Some of the other students used to come into my room to listen to me play. They would ask for tapes of my music, and they'd make requests. Because of their encouragement and support, I started to value my own songwriting more. This continued in college. I had such an incredible support system made of friends, family, other musicians, people that I didn't know in our audiences in college, that music seemed like a good thing to do. Luckily, when there was someone who wasn't kind, or didn't get it, there were always many other people there to give me a positive word. Sometimes I became discouraged when dealing with trying to get a record deal- frustrations with the combination of music and business are frustrating to me and other musicians at all levels of success, it's common- but my brothers and sister were always there to tell me to keep moving forward. After I did get a record deal, I was never encouraged to change the way I dressed, including my glasses. In fact, as we know, glasses became my signature (which I always thought was funny)-even though I was wearing them because I had and still have bad eyesight. The one thing that I started hearing in the late 90's was to stop wearing so many turtle necks because it wasn't sexy enough. ha! I still wear them all of the time.

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Where the idea came from to combine two of my favorite things: You and Hello Kitty??

I have always loved Hello Kitty since she came to the United States in 1976. My friend Adrienne and I used to "compete" to see who could get the most Hello Kitty items. At the time we mostly had stationary and pens and erasers. I think that Kitty is cute, but always seems to be thinking of something. Also, I love the fact that making coffee, checking my watch, or even taking things out of my purse are more fun because of Kitty. I have a Hello Kitty collection that includes the watch, coffeemaker, purses, leg warmers, mirrors, candy, and more. I like looking at that cute Kitty whose image appears on things that could otherwise be very mundane. - Not to say that my album is mundane. I just think that she's cool, and if you like her, there's a chance that you might like my album. I've always liked cats, and she gives a sense of humor to the cover. I think that I've won the Hello Kitty collection competition now!

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II've always loved your "mod" sense of style. You seem to draw on the 50's designs. I wanted to know something: who are your favorite Hollywood actor/actress from the old movie classics? Also, in your video "Let's Forget About It," there is a scene in it when you are throwing a pillowcase and feathers are falling everywhere. This scene reminds me of a similar scene in "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Did this movie scene inspire the similar scene in your music video?

You are right, I am inspired by the humor, sexiness, but not raunchiness of the 50' s and 60's design. Like everyone, I love Audrey Hepburn, but I also love the regular women of the day who wore fake eyelashes and hairdo's. We were inspired by "Breakfast at Tiffany's" in the video. I also love flight attendants' outfits from the same era. Uniforms are cool.

This brings me to another point about clothes. On the road and on TV and in photo shoots, I've been wearing tunic dresses in a variety of colors and fabrics- brown tweed, pink corduroy, blue jean, as well as a few other Sonny & Cher inspired outfits. These are clothes that I designed with DeLui, a designer duo in Los Angeles. This is my touring uniform, if you will. Clothes that are easy to travel with, that are my favorite colors, that make my life fun and interesting. I was inspired by the colors of Baskin Robbins and the style of 50's/60's uniform. I hope you enjoy them as I pass by your town.

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Your pink refrigerator is awesome! What brand is it? Where can we get one?

My fridge is a Kitchen Aid side by side. I bought a white fridge and had it custom painted at an appliance painter in Los Angeles- you could probably find someone to do it. I brought in a pink mug, and the painters matched the color (more or less.) Then I bought some stainless steel handles separately from Kitchen Aid to put on the fridge. The appliance painters can't paint all of the surfaces- like the inside of the ice maker...This smooth surfaced, side by side is one of the only fridges that the white model is exactly like the stainless- this makes it easy to take the handles off and make them easy to clean and more retro looking.

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Lisa, I'm dying to know about your inspiration for Kickstart. Is it a 'break up' song? or a 'let's take the next step' song?

I think that you've hit the nail on the head. Gary Burr (my co-writer) and I decided to write that song about how you feel when you want to go to the next step, but if you don't, you might have to breakup. That odd time when you feel as if you already have a regular good commitment, but you need more.

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Have any of your songs been inspired by particular literary works, and if so which ones? And who is your favorite American author?

It's hard to say which literary works have influenced me in particular, but the books that I've read throughout my life, as well as the visual art, and even the explanations of how people make their art have influenced my songwriting. Shakespeare, Allende, Salinger, Borges, Dr. Seuss- people who express themselves through words. These people are inspiring.

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All my life I've wanted to become a singer. You are my favorite female singer and I was wondering if you could give a few tips on how to get started. How did you get started?

This is a very big question with a long answer. I should give you just a few tips. I got started by loving music, and being intrigued about writing songs. I was a dj on radio and at parties in high school. I learned about opera at age 8, and listened to the Beatles, Beethoven, and Queen ever since I was a little girl. I was hooked on FM radio in the 70's, and stopped listening to the new music on the radio from about 1984 until 1994. I learned how to play the piano, and a great deal about music theory, started performing in plays at school when I was a little girl (along with all of my classmates.) I started playing guitar when I was 14, and then writing music. Worked on my singing voice with many teachers until I found the one I still work with today. Became interested in the business of music. Met people in the business and blah, blah, blah.
Figure out what you like to do and what you do well, and if other people like to hear what you are doing. Make music. Record music. Play live. Make contacts in the business world. Make sure you always do something you feel strongly about. It is a difficult business in which to succeed. This way, if you are not successful all of the time, at least you will love what you do

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How old were you when you got your first guitar, what was it like and do you still have it?

I was 14 when I got my first guitar, a Yamaha acoustic, and my sister still has it. It was a very basic model.

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Who is the David you refer to in the song "this"?

David is one of my closest friends. I've known him since I was a young
teenager. We did plays together in high school, and even went to prom together. We went to college together and then moved to NYC at the same time. "I told David I won't die" is a literal reference to the way I was feeling at the time- sometimes really depressed, but that, don't worry, I wouldn't let anything drastic happen to me. Many years ago when I wrote the song, I played music to help me get through depression, and to express myself, and work through difficult feelings. Also, it was almost like something I repeated- a mantra?- to remind myself to get through the day. Like in "Snow Day," "You're not too tired for this life, and it's not gonna matter if you fall down twice."

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Cake and Pie is helping me get through one of the most difficult chapters in my life. Especially the first track, "The Way It Really Is". Do you get a lot of response to your music in this regard?

One of the reasons that I like to play music and write songs is due to comments like yours. Every once in a while I wonder why I do this- I could do something that is more problem solving type of job. Then I realize that songs can be problem solvers, or at least comforters. Sometimes I go see my friends play, and I am so moved by their music (Judith Owen, most recently), I find myself thinking, "If I can move someone else a small portion of how much she's moved me, then I do have some kind of worthy job."

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What is your favorite Hello Kitty accessory?

Right now it's my watch. I love looking down to see the really heavy silver man's watch with the pink face and Hello Kitty staring at me from 12. A dream come true.

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So, what's the prescription on those bad boys? Are we talking legally blind? Would you know a loved one past 5 feet? Does squinting really help myopics or is it just an endearing way to tell us sighted people you have no idea what we're showing you?

Squinting does help to a certain extent. Also, making a tiny triangle- 1mm x 1mm with your fingers and looking through it also helps (seriously). My prescription is -4.75 +0.50 x 8 in my right eye, and -5.75 + 0.50 x 24 in my left..

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Have you read either of Ethan Hawke's books? If so, what did you think?

I have read Ethan's books. I have to say that they are both very well written, but the most recent one is my favorite. I went to Ethan's book reading in Woodstock, N.Y. while Dweezil and I were visiting Dweezil's sister there.

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What were you like when you were younger (childhood,
highschool)?

I was a good student- I liked learning, a hard worker- always doing lots of extracurriculars- ballet, jazz dance, tap dance- musical theater, school plays, independent movies, DJ on high school radio and at parties, member of a cover band, wrote music. I also had fun going to parties and concerts with my friends, having and going to lots of slumber parties. I had some very close friends, and many other people that I knew well, since I went to the same school for eleven years- we all got to know each other very well. I loved Spanish class, writing music, drama. I didn't like gym very much even though we had to do every sport possible- it's funny, because now I love going to the gym. I was President of the Student Council senior year, and a lot of my friends were also in Student Council, but I think that we liked making little films, interviewing bands coming to town, and listening to music more than student government.

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Why did you cover Mariya Takeuchi?

The song is very unusual for me, but I covered this Japanese artist's music because I was asked to be involved in the project. I loved the idea of being included on a Japanese project, as Japan has always been a really wonderful place to tour, and my Japanese fans are special to me. I hope that they like it.

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When you write songs, do you come up with the music first or the lyrics? Do you have an issue you'd like to touch on when you write the lyrics, or do the words kind of write themselves?

This is a complicated question. I write in many different manners. Often I make up a little guitar lick or a chord progression that I like, and start to sing a melody over it. The melody turns into words-randomly, it seems, sometimes- music suggests words. Then I have to figure out what these words are a part of- how could the words tell a larger story. Sometimes I come up with a phrase with a melody- like, "the time between meeting and finally leaving is sometimes called falling in love." Then I write a story and music to support the first idea. Sometimes I want to write about a specific subject, and I do writing exercises without music. I just start writing for 10-15 minutes at a time without really thinking too much. It always changes. At a certain point, I have to sit down and finish the song that was originally based on some moment of inspiration. That's the part that I call the homework stage. (I should stop calling it that, as sometimes it makes me dread that final stage. )

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For years I've been dying to know what "Or you can dream of the frog legs sittin' in the church in the glass in the sand where my footsteps" from Dance with the Angels means? Is there anything behind the verse?

This is a really odd phrase of the song, which I've sometimes felt
uncomfortable about. It comes from the image of this ivy growing on the side of a church in Providence, RI, where I went to Brown University. To me it looked like webbed feet-frog-ish? When I was writing the song in college I used this imagery. Looking back, the words are kind of mysterious (?) and not altogether exactly what I meant to say. I think it was meant to sound evil- kind of an either/or situation with the phrase that follows, "or you can dream of the angels in the air, don't you see me?" I like the music of the song, and people request it (I've even played at two different weddings, requested for the "dance with the angels" and love themes, not the odd part in the middle.) The rest of the song I feel much more comfortable with. It's a song that begins with pleading- "please love me- you want to dance with the angels? Well then see me as an angel, and you can be with me." By the end it flip flops and tells the object of affection that he can also learn a lot in this relationship- "Under my wings, you'll learn to fly."

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Cake and Pie is helping me get through one of the most difficult chapters in my life. Especially the first track, "The Way It Really Is". Do you get a lot of response to your music in this regard?

One of the reasons that I like to play music and write songs is due to comments like yours. Every once in a while I wonder why I do this- I could do something that is more problem solving type of job. Then I realize that songs can be problem solvers, or at least comforters. Sometimes I go see my friends play, and I am so moved by their music (Judith Owen, most recently), I find myself thinking, "If I can move someone else a small portion of how much she's moved me, then I do have some kind of worthy job."

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Why have you forsaken ice cream, friend to both cake and pie? Perhaps you can address this in a new album!

My stomach doesn't like ice cream as much as I do. I do eat a lot of tofutti cuties.

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I am getting ready to attend college myself, and I was wondering what your college experience was like. How did it affect you, musically speaking or otherwise?

I loved college- I went to Brown University. For me, a liberal arts college was important because I came into contact with so many kinds of people with all kinds of interests. These people were very supportive of creativity, and my creative pursuits in particular. I was able to experiment with songwriting, recording, playing live, and building an audience. Also, at the time, I took a music studio class for two years in which the students played music for each other. We listened and then critiqued the songs as well as the recordings. This process made for a very challenging music writing climate- I think it made me and the other students aware of all of the ways in which we could try to be better songwriters.

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Just wanted to know why you chose to join forces with Hello
Kitty? I'm a big Hello Kitty Fan and a big Fan of yours, and it's a great thing when two of your favourite things come together. Could you let me know what makes Hello Kitty special for you?

I joined forces with Hello Kitty because I love Hello Kitty. I've been collecting Hello Kitty since I was 8 years old. I love cute things, and not only is the image of Hello Kitty cute and slightly edgy, the items that the Sanrio company licenses to make (purses, stickers, pens and pencils, dishware) are also really cute.

The Sanrio company heard that I liked Hello Kitty and had contacted me to see if I would participate in interviews about Hello Kitty. This was around the time that Cake & Pie came out. I was very happy to dothe interviews, since as I said, I love Hello Kitty. For me it was the equivalent of loving candy and going to the Willie Wonka Factory. You know?

When it became evident that I was going to have to make a new album package for the release of my album on the new label, Artemis. I wasn't happy, but I knew that this was the best solution for me. I wanted the songs from Cake & Pie to be heard, Artemis felt the same way, and the only way to keep them out there was to repackage- this was for the retailers, not some scheme to trick the fans, by the way...

I had a flash in my mind- I could use the image of Hello Kitty wearing my glasses and say "Hello Lisa" - a play on the cute character. I asked the Sanrio company and they agreed. The only thing was that I needed to also include my face on the cover. So, I designed a basic image, which was completed in a cool way by an artist at Sanrio, and I used the Cake & Pie album cover.

I figured that if you like Hello Kitty, you'd get the cover, and if you didn't know Hello Kitty then you'd like it anyway. So, that's the reason.

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Do you feel like the Internet has helped your career in any way? If so, how?

When I was growing up, my friends and I belonged to the Police fan club, sort of in a tongue in cheek way and sort of seriously at the same time. We got informational booklets/fanzine, buttons- they called them badges in the UK, addresses of other fans so that we could be penpals with other people, and photos of the band. That was really cool! I think that the Internet does this- fan clubs are really interactive. I get to know who's out there, and they get to know me too. Much faster than mail.

Also, the information is spread more quickly and efficiently on the
Internet. That helps a lot. We are always learning how to make it all work better too.

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Lisa, when creating the new "Hello Lisa" CD why did you decide to not carry over "Kick Start," "Too Fast Driving," "She's Falling Apart," and "We Could Still Belong Together" from the "Cake AND Pie" CD? How did you pick which songs to ditch?

This was a tough choice. Since I liked all of the songs equally, I asked the record company which songs they might need to market the album- which songs did they want to use as possible singles. Since we already had a video for "Someone You Should Know" and some people knew this song from it's light radio play, we left it on the album. The record company wanted "You Don't Know Me," "The Way it Really Is," "Underdog," "Someone," "Everyday," and "Bring Me Up." This left me only a couple of songs. I went with songs that I felt were part of the original concept of the album- "Drops Me Down" and "Payback". I had to put three new songs on the album, so we remixed "What Am I Supposed to Say"- a song that I wanted to put on Cake & Pie, but the A&R man didn't really like it- I included it twice on the album. I thought the acoustic version with all of the harmonies was cool. The other two songs were songs that I had written during the making of Cake & Pie, but we couldn't put so many songs on Cake & Pie.

I didn't really want to change the album at all, but that wasn't a
choice, so I had to leave some off by default, not by proactive choice. In the end, I'm happy that this was an opportunity to put a few more songs out. We have so many left, too! .

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One of my favourite songs of all time is 'Waiting for Wednesday'. I was wondering, what does the song really mean? And is Wednesday your favourite day?

The song "Waiting for Wednesday" is about a girl waiting for her period to see if she's pregnant. She's in a not so good relationship, but thinks that she might be pregnant. She's waiting to find out to tell her boyfriend, but by the end of the song, she decides that she'll leave him either way, since she doesn't want to be a victim of his bad behavior.

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How do you drink your coffee? Or are you a tea person?

I am a coffee person. I like it a little less sweet than melted coffee ice cream. Super strong coffee with two sugars and some 2% milk. At Starbucks I usually get a tall coffee filled up half way. I add two sugars and milk to make it light-ish. I'm not really a tea person, although I keep trying and I have the tea collection to show for the effort..

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What are your top five albums of all time, or the top five albums you have been listening to lately?

I've been listening to Duncan Sheik's new album, Judith Owen (check out her website), Queen The Game, Travis The Man Who, and Dvorak's New World Symphony (the symphony is going to be playing this in concert in the Spring at two special shows that my brother Ben is conducting. I'll play some of my songs with the orchestra in the second half of the show.)

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My now husband proposed to me at your November 2000 show at Largo, it was so romantic. He popped the big question before you came out. I was just curious if you knew of any other proposals happening at your shows.

That's so cool! I don't know about any other proposals. anyone?

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How do you feel about audience members recording your
concerts? I know some artists are fine with this and encourage it, while others strongly discourage it.

I don't love people recording my concerts- especially if they are going to sell my music. Sometimes they aren't the best performances to listen to over and over again- that's just the nature of a live show, you have to be there for the whole experience.

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Do you generally prefer calming music between tour stops, faster music, or maybe no music at all? And how often do you listen to your own albums?

I don't listen to my own albums very often, unless I'm referencing one while learning an old song, or working on a song with a band member. I got an iPod, so I like listening to my albums on shuffle. This results in a banjo song by Earl Scruggs, a rock song by ACDC, a children's song from Free to Be You and Me about knowing that it's all right to cry, a song by Duncan Sheik, Led Zeppelin, Queen, a relaxing Senegalese
54444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444z90 sorry, my cat just walked on my computer- a relaxing song by Baba Maal. szzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzza Cat walked on the keyboard again. I like talk radio and watching DVDs on my computer also.

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I went to one of your shows a couple years ago and you played a song that you said was a cover of something an old friend of yours wrote... it'sbeen bugging me ever since. Well, I mean, I went out and looked all over for it because it made me smile in that rainy-day kind of way. the song was called "I'm drunk and I won't remember" or something like that, and I want a copy of it. Help!

You are talking about a song called "Drunk and I Won't Remember". This is a song that my friend Dan Seiden wrote. I do play it at shows sometimes. I also played it in an episode of a short lived hour long drama called "Cupid." Someday I hope to record a proper version of the song.

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Three simple words for you : Christina or Britney?

Christina- she can sing her ass off!

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by Jonesy
I am curious as to Lisa's musical equipment set up...

-What make and model of guitars does she use/own?
-What amplification does she use?
-I am even curious as to what strings and picks she uses.

answer by PinkSky
Lisa's acoustic guitar is a custom made Taylor 512-C and she uses Ernie Ball strings:
http://www.acguitar.com/issues/ag116/gear116.html
As electric guitar she often used that beautiful sounding (and looking) Gibson Les Paul Junior Double Cut in the early days, played over a Marshall stack. On newer footage she uses a MusicMan Albert Lee model and Peavey amps.

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A Little fact- I began writing the song "Stay"

A Little fact- I began writing the song "Stay" when I heard that Daryl Hall was looking for songs for his solo record. I was trying to write something kind of Motown-y. Seriously. Then half-way through writing the song, I found out he didn't need any more songs. Oh well, I finished it anyway, writing about an arguement that my boyfriend Juan and I were having. I told Daryl Hall this story. He was surprised, and said, too bad he didn't know about it at the time. Later he came to see me play here in London a few years ago. Cool.

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LISA PLEASE TELL ME YOUR SKIN REGIMEN!

You can check out Carolyn Ash's website: http://www.carolynashskincare.com/.

She gives me my facials, and has been teaching me about my skin for the last 15 years +. It's not only about the products, but also about what you eat, sleeping, working out, sunscreen, how you wash your hair (!! keep shampoo off your face), and most of all, your genes!
I use mostly YonKa- a gentle liquid cleanser, a non-alcohol toner, daytime moisterizer/45 sunscreen made by Elta- can be purchased at the dermatologist, at night I use a heavier cream. I use a gel exfoliant at least once a week, and sometimes more, and I use a mud mask at least once a week and sometimes more. Since I have dry skin, I use moisturizer first, then mud, then keep the mud moist for a full 15 minutes. A trick I learned to do that is to put a thin layer of tissues over the moist mud, and then spray toner periodically to keep the tissues damp. It makes you look like a mummy.
Check out Carolyn's webiste, and you

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I am doing a journal at School all about you and I would really like some info on your family, such as brothers/sisters names and what they do and your parents too. Also do you have any pets

Answer by Tea Smith

Lisa has 2 brothers and 1 sister.

Ben Loeb - older brother and conductor (www.benloeb.com)
Lisa
Phillip (not sure if its LL or L) - audio engineer
Debbie - dance artist (www.debbieloeb.com)

Lisa's parents are Gail and Peter Loeb and Peter is a doctor.

Lisa has two cats called Chinchy Morty and The Baby Jackson.

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A friend of mine bought a Taylor guitar recently that he been regularly using at his acoustic gigs (2-3x / week - 3 full sets).

It sounds great but it doesn't stay in tune, and he constantly has to tinker with it. Do you ever have problems with yours staying in tune, especially when you go back and forth between indoor and outdoor venues?

hey there! Lisa here. I always have my guitars "set up" after I buy them. Take your guitar to a music store or a place that specializes in fixing guitars, and ask them to take a look at it. It's probably nothing major, but all guitars usually need a little adjustment to make the action more even or to help the guitar better stay in tune. You can often get a less expensive guitar to sound and play pretty well if you get it set up. Good luck with it. Oh, and take it in every once in a while if you find the strings buzzing, or slipping out of tune, or even if the action gets too high or low.

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