New Slang

201: Suzanne Santo

September 24, 2021 Season 6 Episode 201
201: Suzanne Santo
New Slang
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New Slang
201: Suzanne Santo
Sep 24, 2021 Season 6 Episode 201

On Episode 201, I'm joined by singer-songwriter Suzanne Santo, who last month (August 27) released the dark and mesmerizing album Yard Sale. During this episode, we talk about the emotional depth and weight within Yard Sale, touring with Hozier, writing on the road, mental health, and our favorite TV series of recent memory.

This episode's presenting partner is Desert Door Texas Sotol, The Blue Light Live, and Charlie Stout Photography.

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Show Notes Transcript

On Episode 201, I'm joined by singer-songwriter Suzanne Santo, who last month (August 27) released the dark and mesmerizing album Yard Sale. During this episode, we talk about the emotional depth and weight within Yard Sale, touring with Hozier, writing on the road, mental health, and our favorite TV series of recent memory.

This episode's presenting partner is Desert Door Texas Sotol, The Blue Light Live, and Charlie Stout Photography.

New Slang Patreon
New Slang Twitter
New Slang Instagram
New Slang Facebook
New Slang Merch Store
The Neon Eon Podcast
The Neon Eon Merch Store

*Pre-Order The Lubbock Way, the debut book by Thomas Mooney, here.

Support the Show.

Thomas Mooney  0:01  
Hey y'all welcome back to Newsline. I'm so glad to have y'all closing down the week listening in. On music journalist Thomas Mooney and this go around I'm joined by singer songwriter Suzanne Santo. Susanne released a new album a few short weeks ago called the yard sale. I just fell in love with the sound that she cultivated on this record. It's dark, and it's mysterious. And there's these gorgeous undertones throughout the album. This is going to be maybe a strange comparison or analogy, but bear with me a second. Growing up. Did y'all ever do those scratch boards in art class, basically, you'd color a piece of paper with a vibrant array of crayons, and then you'd paint it black or color over it with black, then you would carve or scratch away and you would make a scene or something out of it. I know that we did that a whole bunch as a kid. I always loved how you'd have these bright colors shine and shimmering through that darkness. That's really how I kind of feel about this album. There's this dark brooding canvas and then there's these swirls of bold and sharp guitars and violin and Suzanne's vocals, which her vocals. I know that plenty of vocalists they're shooting to harness that emotional charge within the lyrics of a song. But with her there's something different. It's actually goes one level deeper. And I think it's because her vocals while they are crystal clear and they're warm. There's these hints of fragility, you feel like she could break at a moment's notice. And I guess that's what you would call vulnerability. At any rate, it creates this focus that just kind of mutes the outside world. yard sale has really been one of my favorite albums cover this year. In particular a song like mercy or idiot or Island. They've been songs that I've constantly returned to over and over. On this episode, we talked about yard sell that emotional depth within the songs running on the road with Hozier this past year, and we close out with some conversation about some of our favorite television series. Today's presenting partner is our pals over at Desert door, Texas SOTL. If you've been listening to new slang for really any amount of time, you'll know that desert door is one of my all time favorite premium, high quality spirits. If you haven't, or aren't sure what exactly a soul is. I'm going to let you in on a little secret that's going to up the game on your liquor cabinet. For starters, the best reference point that I can point you to is to think about a tequila or Mezcal. Do you feel that Western desert that Texas ruggedness? Okay, Soto is like that, but a little bit more refined, smooth and fragrant. It intrigues the palate, and offers these hints of Anila and citrus, there's an earthiness that often sends me right back to my Trans Pecos some far west Texas roots. There's plenty to love about desert door. For me, it all starts right there. A close second is just how versatile desert door really is. You can go for highbrow and experiment with concocting a variety of cocktails that call for muddling fresh fruit sprigs of time sticks of cinnamon, it's perfect for that world. If you're a little bit more down home, if you've just rolled up the sleeves of your denim wrangler button up, it's perfect for that as well. If you're just designing something that's short and sweet, it hits the mark every time does adore is genuine and authentically West Texan. It's inherently West Texas. They harvest Soto plants out in the wild and are knowledgeable conservationists at heart. That's obviously something incredibly important to me. They shine a light on what makes West Texas special and unique and worth preserving and keeping it safe from exploitation. Right now, you can find desert door all over Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, and there's budding numbers in places like New Mexico, Arizona, California and Georgia. Best thing you can do is to check out desert to find where desert door is locally. Again, that's desert Alright, if this is your first time listening, be sure to subscribe. If you're listening on Apple podcasts, leave one of those five star reviews. Go check out the merch store. There's plenty of cool new slang stuff available shot glasses and coffee mugs and T shirts and magnets and stickers. That's also where you can pre order my debut book. It's called the loving way. It's just me self publishing, so it's going to be in limited supply. As the title alludes. It's about a short period within the Lubbock music scene. It stories and its thoughts about some of your favorite bands who have come out of this Lubbock scene within the last few years. All the links that I just mentioned will be in the show notes for easy access. Okay, let's get on to it. Here is Suzanne Santa. Yeah, well,

I guess like obviously the natural spot for this to start off with is that you released the new record just this last fall. Friday, August 27. It's called yard sale. I feel like we got to start out with just an easy slow pitch for you here. What's like been like the best thing you've found at a yard. So is there anything on the list or you go man, I found like this incredible. You know, I don't know, whatever. at a yard sale?

Suzanne Santo  5:20  
at a yard sale, a real yard sale? Oh, yeah. Okay, when you think for a second? Mmm hmm. Well, you know, it's, it's tough because some yards like I have this thing in Texas called roundtop. As I'm sure you know, that isn't quite a yard sale, as it's a Convention of, you know, vendors and stuff, but it feels like yard sale. And I since I moved here, I got a bunch of great stuff there. But growing up, I would just like, I'd go crazy with my grandma every week. But like, I'm thinking like, but like back then it was like little trinkets and things as a kid that I just obsess over, you know, like a tea cup or something, or, you know, all cheap jewelry. I kind of like that stuff. But I'm trying to think of like, like a specific come to mind. I mean, in my last apartment, in Los Angeles, I pretty much got most of my kitchen, were from the yard sale down the street, that have one every month, and these houses would all get together. And I pretty much inherited like a butcher's block and all these pots and pans from like someone that lived 10 doors down for me. And I always found that really interesting. Like, I had all their hand me downs from my kitchen. And I didn't have to go buy stuff that like it was just really convenient for me. Think I get from them. I mean, I got so many books from the that this specific yard sale on my old street. I mean, I got this book called The Four fish. And it's about the four remaining. Basically how we've ruined the planet. And, you know, like the North Atlantic salmon that you buy the same Atlantic salmon as it was 30 years ago, and I happen to love fishing. So I found this to be a real jewel of a discovery at this yard. But yeah, I know that's pretty nonspecific. But that's that's about, you know, I didn't find an heirloom I found practical, you know, necessities for life, which is kind of what my albums about,

Thomas Mooney  7:37  
but Right. Well, that's like, there's something just really, like, great about a great yard. So but there's also something super funny about about it too, because like you're just kind of going through someone else's stuff. Like that. And and there's that this weird, like understanding that. Like, maybe like it's one of those, like, you're slightly offended when you're having a garage sale and someone comes up, looks through it, and then doesn't buy anything. And you're like, Hey, guys, come on. Yeah. Listen, you damn fool. Yeah, those are important. Yeah, exactly. Or you go to those garage sales where they have everything overpriced, because it is still so important to them. And you're like, guys, like, they

Suzanne Santo  8:25  
don't really want to get rid of it.

Thomas Mooney  8:27  
Exactly. You know, it's, it's that thing. Whenever as a kid, I remember we'd have a garage sale every once in a while. And it would basically it'd be like, that tug of war between my parents as far as you know, my dad just bringing more stuff out the house, and then my mom like finding stuff and being like, no, no, this isn't for sale, actually. And like putting it back in the house. And it's just that constant going back and forth. Because, yeah, you know, my mom, natural pet rat, pack, pack rat. And then like my dad just kind of being you know, I've not used this in a week, so it needs to go.

Suzanne Santo  9:03  
No, that's, that's a real thing. That's so funny. That dynamic between people that cohabitate is like, some people just never get rid of things. Or some people get rid of everything. And you're like, I was using that, you know, like that whole thing. But I live alone, so I'm covered.

Thomas Mooney  9:24  
Here, yeah, yeah, it's a that's it's such an interesting thing about like, I guess, like, as far as you're naming this record yard, so I've been thinking about that for a minute. As far as you know, in a lot of ways, it's the it's very, very similar to that whole, you know, going through someone's personal items. And as far as like when we listen to records and then of course, on your end as far as like, what's the Essentials What do I need to keep and what do I need to let go of? I find like that title to be obviously just so apt for for records in general, but, you know, specifically with this record, it's it's you No, you named it properly as well, I guess I'm getting to

Suzanne Santo  10:04  
you, thanks so much for saying that, you know, this is one of the, you know, I just, I got the name, like right away. And I was like, that's it. I didn't waver. I didn't think of others. That was called. And I that was, I mean, obviously, that's a luxury, because sometimes you vacillate on this stuff and can kind of go bonkers. But I'm really grateful that like, you know, I kind of I'm such a believer in the, the Muse and the channel and all the stuff that comes through, like, not being mine entirely, or even remotely sometimes. Because it's the words and music and ideas just come in, and you're like, Man, this is somebody else. I don't know where that came from. And so yeah, yard sale, it was just like, boom, that's what it's called. Alright, let's do the other stuff that involves releasing a record, you know, it's really interesting.

Thomas Mooney  11:01  
Yeah, one of the one of the things I've really found interesting, about, about this collection of songs is, you know, a lot of them started out on the road, or you you worked out, worked on them out while on tour. And, you know, a lot of times a lot of artists, they, they find it very, very hectic or overwhelming to be riding or creating on the road, they may like, you know, get those ideas or something from, from seeing things through the, through the van window, or what have you. But, you know, like, it seems like a lot of these these songs for you. They, you were able to, like work on, on songs and work on like, getting material while out on tour, has that been something that like, has just come naturally for you? Or? Or is that something that you've kind of just had to work on to to be able to find a place to carve out time while you know, traveling and touring?

Suzanne Santo  12:03  
No, I mean, I've never been good at writing and transit. And, oddly, you know, when I was playing and Hozier his band, it was such a neat transformative experience, but also, like, really painful, you know, to be in this, like, top level, huge stages. But then, like, feeling this devastation over leaving my own music and being like, Man, I really, you know, sort of look at, you know, you don't really recognize something unless you step away. So I was thinking that playing in Hozier, his band had, you know, had its ups and downs. You know, it was amazing to be on these huge stages, but it was also really hard for me to step away from my own music, and, you know, eventually, it became an absolute necessity to write because it was like, it was like, haunting me. And so, I would write everywhere, at backstage and hotel rooms. When I had just a little time when I had a day off, I just dedicate, and, and really chip away at, at the record. And, you know, I didn't used to be like that I used to be kind of precious about it, like, only right at home, you know, where doors closed and like, light a candle, you know. But this was, this was, um, it was like survival or something like it. And I'm really grateful for it. Because I needed to make this record, I need to always make music and that's of my own, and I love things other people, but I know where my greatest strengths lie, and it's not being I learned a lot. And I'm really grateful that you know, the muse or whatever you want to call it. Made sure I didn't let myself down.

Thomas Mooney  14:12  
Right? Yeah, like that's, it's such a, that's something I guess I've not really ever thought about when it comes to, you know, you any musician really, who joins a big major act that I think maybe like maybe we're we don't talk about how, for the most part, like all these people, they they have their own solo material, or they've been working on something that's a side project or they write their own stuff, or there's something that they're doing that they're wanting to put out on their own as well. And, you know, maybe that there has to be some kind of, you know, something that happens, coming to terms or coming to like, you know, how do I keep doing what I want to do, but then also you know, be in this great band that is, you know, obviously successful and like, you know, it's I guess there's also those, that aspect of, of, you know, the outside looking in, everyone thinks that's the, the form of success is like you're in this giant touring band, right. But maybe like, also at the same time you're going, I also want to, you know, I can't necessarily give up my own thing that I'm wanting to do at the same time.

Suzanne Santo  15:32  
Yeah, I mean, and like, to be clear, it was an incredible experience, like, I am so grateful, that was like, it was life changing to be in that band. And I became a better musician, and, you know, listener, and boss for my own project. But, you know, I wasn't covetous or anything like that, like, I was truly happy for my friend, and his success, and I still am. But it was, like, you know, it's like, I was just wearing somebody else's clothes, and they didn't fit, right. And that, like, I just missed my own clothes. And, and it was really, you know, an honest, you know, feeling and a necessity for me to have to go back to my own music. And, you know, the thing is, though, some people that's, that's their lifestyle, that's their goal is to be that, and that's great. Like, I don't, I don't hate on that, you know, to be in other people's bands, and to be a hired gun. And like, I'm a guitar player, I'm a keyboard player, I'm a drummer, like, great. I, you know, I need people like that. But, you know, oddly to the people that play in my band, our producer, engineer, singer, songwriter, and like very talented people, and I'm so aware that they're going to leave one day as they should. And so like, my time with them is so much more precious, because I know that they're going to need to do their own thing. And I support that, like, I want them to, so I know that there's the expiration date on our on our dynamic at some point, you know, when they need to do their thing, and I have to bring in, you know, other players. So it's, it's a really, you know, I have so much respect for them. And I always did, but even more after I had that experience, you know, being somebody hired gun myself.

Thomas Mooney  17:23  
Yeah, that's like a, obviously, like a great take on that. Because, you know, I guess like, you know, whereas as you're putting it, wearing someone else's clothes for a second maybe gives you perspective on on, you know, the how you can be a better, you know, bandleader and a better bandmate and all those other little things that maybe sometimes we don't necessarily think about when you're the, you know, the lead singer in a in a band or something like that. This episode is, in part brought to you by Charlie stout photography, Charlie stout has long been a great buddy of mine. And for as long as I've known him, he's always had a good eye, a good eye for ideas for lines and a song. And notably, an eye for what makes a great photograph. Yes, we're gonna roll with that tried and true cliche about a great photographer, having a good eye. But it's cliche for a reason, more often than not means it's true. Right now, I want y'all to head on over to Charlie To get an idea of what I'm talking about. While you're at it, go give him a follow on Instagram and Twitter at Troy stout. Right now he has about 50 photographs for sale on Charlie With a vast majority of those being landscapes and sky shots of West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, the American Southwest, if you will, a lot of cacti and clouds, windmills and open roads, sunsets and stardust. He captures a lot of what I love about West Texas and these dry arid climates. That's mainly that vast emptiness that can really make you feel small, the depth and the way and the intensity, it's all in there. Right now he's doing a special on his prints. Each week, he releases a new photo. And for one week only that photograph is at a special introductory rate. For just $25 You'll get an eight and a half by 11. That's just about half off the regular price. For 75. You can get a 13 by 19. And for 110. You can get a 17 by 22. After the week they go back to regular prices, which are still an absolute steal if you ask me. Also just a pro tip, keep a watchful eye out on his Twitter. He's consistently posting one offs, errors and randoms on there that are for sale that are in the flash sale variety. Again, that is at Charlie stout for Twitter and Instagram. Head on over to Charlie Grab a signed print, buy a record, get yourself some major sell and some nature shots. Alright, let's get back to the episode. Like, we've kind of talked about, you've been right, you are writing a bunch of this record out on the road. Is there like anywhere specifically that you you felt like, you know, it did the best, like the the, the, the atmosphere, the the place, the ambience of a spot was just like, oh, I need to go back there and try and find more more songs. Is there any place specifically that sticks out?

Suzanne Santo  20:35  
No, I mean, yes, I mean, I can remember a lot of these places where the song started. And, but I was like, you know, I don't think it's the place as much as it's the state of mind and the, you know, spiritual temperament, you know, I'm there. And you could do that anywhere. But I, you know, I guess sometimes the place reflects the song to the, my song fall for that, that I wrote in Ireland, I, you know, it was in the middle of like a rigorous rehearsal schedule, we secretly rehearse from like, you know, 10 or 11, in the morning, till the evening, in the basement of this club called the academy in Dublin. And, you know, the things probably, like 400 years old, and like, we'd be in the basement, and you come out and it's nighttime. And you know, and I love that, by the way, I'm not complaining, I was just, I had a lot of work to do. And then one day, we got a call that we had, like, four days off, and I was like, Oh, my God, I'm going to go see Ireland, and do some songwriting. And I rented a car and I drove to the coast of the area called Connemara, which is, like, looks like another planet, it's so beautiful. I've really never seen anything like it before. And I rented an Airbnb on a third generation sheep farm. And like, basically, the ad, the address was latitude and longitude coordinates. And, you know, I'm not gonna lie, like, I don't know, if you're familiar with any sort of mysticism of, like, Fairy, folklore or Fe. And, you know, they talk about this energy in the lands in, you know, in, in places, like Ireland, I mean, specifically, and you could feel it, like you can feel this demand or command of respect for where you are, and it was not lost on me. And I was by myself, so I was a little scared in this little cabin that was lit by, like, warmed by a fire. So I had to, like, you know, keep feeding the fire if I wanted to stay warm. And I really, I was so like, primed for creativity. And, and this is the song developed out of my frustration with the continuation of picking up my fucking cell phone, and looking at social media, and getting mad and sad or depressed, or like self conscious, and like, this rabbit hole effect on my psyche, and my, like, cold bucket of water revelation of what was happening, and I was like, like, You dummy, look where you are. And you're looking on Instagram right now. Like, get off your phone. And I wrote this on fall for that, on that premise of like, you know, I'm falling for it. I'm really messing up my time. I'm not using my time. Well, not using my spirit well, by this bullshit. And so I guess, you know, the place offered me that experience, you know, because I was I've never been anywhere like that. I'd never really made that kind of like, Alright, I'm going to rent this car and drive on the left side of the road, which was scary. I had like, one moment where I was like, Oh, like that could have gone south. really badly. But I just made it. But I guess, I guess in that respect to answer your question, that place gave me that song in that you know, and that experience.

Thomas Mooney  24:14  
Yeah, that's the I think like, we all kind of want to do that. Just like hey, can I go rent like a cabin on like, you know, the on an on one of these edges of the world kind of places and then just kind of like get lost and what's its maybe like that reminder or maybe the the in both a good way in a bad way that like even you on the in a place that's you know, magical that you're wanting to get lost in there is that temptation of the phone or the frustration I sometimes feel is like the reason why we end up by picking up her phone anyways, but maybe like the good side of it is that you know, if if you treat it properly, you can you know, put the phone on mute and walk away from it and go and like, discover something that's, that's natural, and, you know, just intake all the raw beauty of the place.

Suzanne Santo  25:12  
I mean, I, I'm with you on that. But I think that like, this is an epidemic in our brains. I mean, a lot of people, I myself, I've had times, I'm pretty good handle on it now, but like, aren't really capable of doing that. I mean, it's like losing a limb, you know, or an identity or, you know, like to say, hey, go sit with yourself or take a walk in nature, it like, sadly, is a really tall ask for some people. And, you know, I'm really aware of how, how sad that is. And, you know, at the same time, it's like, the hand that feeds me is the hand that you know starves me, it's like, I also need it for my career, I can't not use it. So it's a really strange to exist now. And like, you have to be your own police with it.

Thomas Mooney  26:03  
Yeah, it's the I can't remember exactly where I heard heard this app. But you know, what, the differences between us in any of the other primates, throughout history has been that, I guess like their their example was like when the chimpanzee picks up a stick, and uses that stick to like, get ants out of ant hole, and then eat the ants. Like, it's still a chimpanzee chimpanzee holding a stick, even though he's using it as a tool for like humans, literally anything you pick up, and you just, like, get a little bit familiar or comfortable with, it becomes like an extension of your hand. And that's the way humans think of it. And that's everything from a hammer to a cell phone to like, that's why when you leave the house, you're like, oh, did I forget my keys in my wallet? And like, it becomes an extension of you. Right? And that's, it's both like, you know, amazing. And then it's also very, kind of a daunting task to, you know, sever that limb whenever it's necessary.

Suzanne Santo  27:09  
Well, the thing about this limb is, it's a real altering, it's not a tool. I mean, it's like another life. Like, you know, it's a machine, it's, it's not, it's not a natural vehicle for expression. You know, it's, it's really interesting. And, you know, now, especially with our obsession with politics, and the news, and, you know, every day, you're inundated with something horrifying, but it's so consistent, that it's changing, I think, our empathy or sympathy, our self worth, or self awareness. And it's really awesome. Also our ability to contain, you know, like, I found that the, the extension of the phone, if you will, on our person facilitates a real, like, watch me bleed culture, you know, like, rather than, like, when you have a problem, figure out how to fix the problem, you just go announced the problem, and then get this like, echo chamber of validation for your problem, but there's no solving it, you know, like, and half the time, it's like, really annoying shit. You're like, Oh, my God, like, I can't believe you said that publicly, you should have kept that to yourself. There's far worse power in the world.

Thomas Mooney  28:45  
It's definitely up the ante on tribalism. You know, and that the echo chamber is, it's one of those words like, you know, you're in an echo chamber, and you're trying to explain it to, especially, you know, I'm from Texas, and of course, I'm trying to explain, you know, to my grandparents or my grandmother, like, you know, Facebook is is not healthy for you, because you're just like subscribing to these things that are feeding you all this stuff. And that's why you're miserable right now. That's why you're angry because you feel like this is the only thing that's happening in this world right now. And you know, it's not like there's there's also good things happening but you know, you're stuck in this never ending loop of like, what you they're feeding you what you what you like, basically right or that you react to?

Suzanne Santo  29:39  
Yeah, it's Yeah, go ahead. Really scary. It's I think it's like a collective narcissism just growing and growing. It frightens me. It's also made me aware that like, my inner circles really small, you know, and And I'm grateful for that. Like, I've realized that, you know, privacy and intimacy specifically, are so valuable. And, you know, intimacy is earned in a lot of ways, you know, and I really re calibrated and restructured the way I express myself, for the most part, in the last year or so, because I realized, like, if I had an opinion, and I like, hopped on the, you know, fury train that everybody's been on, and I said something on my social media, it would always come back with so much force, whether it was agreed upon or not, and in ways that like, were exhausting, I think were time consuming in ways that were really wasteful. And as I retreated into, you know, my own life outside of my cell phone, and, and the way my, you know, public images expressed, and just, you know, enjoyed the smaller moments in life, I'm so much happier. You know, like, I don't need to tell, you know, how I'm feeling right now. Like if I need to, and it's, you know, pertinent to a subject at hand, or, or my music, I feel like, that's cool. But at the end of the day, like, I do better, you know, talking to my mom, or my friends or my therapist, or myself, when I have something to work out, and then, you know, go from there.

Thomas Mooney  31:34  
Yeah, well, I guess like, obviously, you know, you're a seasoned musician. You've clearly we're probably we're around the same age, we've come up in this age of social media, but how do you apply it to, like, you know, a young songwriter who is coming up right now, who is kind of, I feel like a lot of young songwriters a lot, a lot of young bands, they can, you know, do the whole thing where they're comparing themselves to the Joneses. Right? And what do you think about that, as far as you know, do you think it's harder, more difficult to be like a young songwriter who's also have than having to maybe deal with the the images of social media?

Suzanne Santo  32:21  
Oh, yeah. Well, I mean, art is so hard in general, like, it's not like, you know, screenwriters, filmmakers? You know, show runners like that stuff is like dying before our eyes. It's like, you know, it's, there's so much content that you don't even know what's happening. You like remember when, like, everyone knew about a new TV show, and like everyone knew, like, you know, Smallville on the web. You're like, Oh, my God, everybody's watching Smallville, like, weekly, you have to wait for it. And there's a different kind of anticipation. And now it's just like, everything's so accessible that, and like, I mean, like Lightspeed that, you know, and PSMF, like, eternal optimist, and I'm not bitter, but I am aware that the landscape is really untenable. However, I think that what whatever, like, wherever we're headed, with the way that art is portrayed, you know, monetized and all that released. At the end of the day, I think, like, maybe this is wishful thinking, but that will sort of boomerang back to a place of great necessity for for genuine work for truth, not what's trending, not the BPMs that everyone wants to hear. You know, because it's like, we've already done the most outrageous shit, right? We've already seen the most gratuitous sexual content hurt at all. But at the end of the day, when someone is expressing that, that God energy, that truth, through music, or through through a book, or through a podcast, even, I do find it to be so pertinent. And I personally am craving it. And I'd hope that there's more people out there that feel the same way. And but it's not like, you're probably not going to get rich. Take it from me. It is a long road. But you know, when you can find your value richness, which I feel so wealthy in that department, the there's stuff I'm not sure about, but I you know, it'll be great to see it unravel. You know, I'm not, I'm very open to it. But I learned a long time ago. And I'm still learning now that waiting for a thing to happen is is usually going to put you in a weird headspace probably get disappointed. And, you know, like, putting your attention and excitement into into things that are worthy of that rather than this like external happenstance of like stardom or something or wealth, you know, you just like, like I just put out this record that I'm so proud of it, I really I think it's so beautiful. I hope people love it. I'm like, that's the best I can do. And I can have these experiences where I talk to you about it, tell you how excited I am. And I hope it does. Well, I hope it makes its way around the globe. But I don't you know what I mean? Like, I can only go so far. And the other stuff is outside of my control. And that's where I have to, like, keep my head on straight. Because, you know, I've released a lot of records, I'm 36. And I feel great, I still feel hot, you know, I can like enjoy my life. But I also am not going to be like putting some sort of, like, time clock on it in a way that feels terrifying. Because I've had that I had that in my 20s I was like, oh god, you're almost 30 And you haven't quote unquote, made it and like, that's a really scary thing to do to yourself. It's a really scary place to put your your head. And I've had so many loving people come into my life to help me realign that in a in a way that like how I can serve myself the best and serve others the best I can and waiting for this, like lightning bolt is not healthy, doesn't mean I'm not super motivated, and an overachiever. And you know, wanting to make the best music I can possibly make that's different. The other stuff though, is really hard for any singer songwriter that's coming up right now or any writer or any creative, you are up against technology, you are up against the fractured brains of a society that like you know, can't hold their attention for for very long. And there's these like, you know, few and far between. Of like, you know, purists not that you need to be a purist, but it's hard.

Thomas Mooney  37:18  
Right? This episode of new slang is brought to you by the blue light live here in Lubbock, Texas. Blue light has long been the heart and soul of the Lubbock singer songwriter scene, and has been a home away from home for some Texas Americana, country and Rock and roll's finest over the years. Talk with 99.9% of the songwriters who have come out of Lubbock and the Panhandle at large over the past 20 years. And they'll point to just how integral and necessary the blue light is. with live music and touring slowly but surely coming back spots like the blue light are getting back to their usual ways as well. That means music every night of the week. Do you want to see that schedule? Well, I've got a few options for you. One, go to their socials and give them a follow that is at blue light live on Twitter, at the blue light live on Instagram. And of course, by just searching the blue light live on Facebook, they're consistently posting that week's lineup of shows, as well as those heavy hitters that ought to be on your calendar that are coming up on the horizon. To check out blue light as well. There they have the full schedule, the cover chargers time, any of those specials that may be happening while they're go check out their merch page. They have a wide range of hats, koozies, hoodies, sweaters, beanies, jackets, and so much more. You can of course get all of your merch needs. When you go see your favorite band, take the stage at blue light, just ask the bartender and they will get you all set. Speaking of which, that's another great way of seeing who's playing there. Just go to the blue light. It's at 1806 Buddy Holly Avenue here in Lubbock, Texas. And of course, again, that is blue light I'll throw a link into the show notes to maybe I'll see you there. Okay, let's get back to the show. I hope that makes sense. No, no, I think like that's, that's something that a lot of people struggle with. Is this. Well, I guess like what I kind of relate it to is this idea of like, this idea of who you are going to be in the future that we kind of all have, like this idea of when you first want to be whatever you're going to be and usually, you know, around 18 or 19. You think of like, Oh, I'm going to be this, you know, an artist, I'm going to be a writer or a journalist or whatever. And then like, you think it's just going to happen or you tell yourself it's going to just happen one day and you know There's, there's something very much to obviously, you know, hopefully trying to manifest your dreams or whatever. But a lot of times, what I've learned is, you know, sometimes you just have to jump in, and like, it's not going to be perfect that first time you do it. And you know, it's all a work in progress, you know, if if just, for example, just this podcast, like, when I first started this podcast, I didn't know how to podcast, you know, any of this stuff behind it. And of course, I've gotten better equipment and hopefully gotten better with it, and found like, oh, this actually, you know, you make mistakes along the way. And that's what, what any of this stuff is, you know, is because if you, if you don't do that, a lot of times you don't, you're not ever going to accomplish whatever that dream is, or whatever that goal was, you know, whatever you wrote down on that to do list.

Suzanne Santo  40:56  
It's, yeah, good thing is, though, it's like, you know, like, say, use the news journalism as an example, like, yeah, you could be one of the best, you know, reporters on an on a, an event or an issue or a subject, but then you're up against the media company you work for, or, you know, what I mean, like, there's all like, or, as a musician, like you are privy, you are, you know, tethered to a label that wants you to be just this, or, you know, so I think, you know, this, the, the way through is this singular individual, like, there is no map, you know, you you can have some ideas of your sense of direction, but mapless, you know, because it's changing so quickly. That's why podcasts are so incredible, is like, they're just real conversations, I get more inspired by listening to stuff, like a podcast than anything, you know, because obviously, I don't know, go out on a limb here, and we can't trust anything on the news. So personally, never know what's real. And I always find myself disoriented and depressed when I really give my energy to that. So you know, in terms of dreams, there is like, you have got to have the fight in you, if you want to do anything, like, in the creative arts, you know, and I, and I salute you, I see you, you know,

Thomas Mooney  42:24  
yeah, it's, it's, I think you can get let down very, very easily if, if you're just looking at, you know, the number of streams or the number of downloads or whatever, it's very, obviously, it's very, very easy to just decide to quit. But, you know, that the perseverance is part of the process, you know, of trying to, you know, not necessarily, I don't know, if I want to go into that hole, you have to struggle to make great art thing, but, you know, it's part it's part of maybe becoming a better artist, not necessarily what your art is about the content, but it makes you a better at achieving it or getting to that place of, of doing it. So, yeah, I wanted to go back to the to some of the songs on the record, because I just kind of felt like, when the record was sent over, I would go and listen to some of the songs on repeat. And the one that I felt like I just kept on returning to is the song mercy. That song right there. I don't know. Like, it's something with like, the, the tones that you've captured, the, the way your voice, like captures is very emotional release in it. And then of course, like the content of that song, I just, I just really, I don't know, it's one of those ones that I just kept on going back to. Do you remember, like, where the, I guess? Like the, the seed of that song came from?

Suzanne Santo  43:54  
Yeah, yeah. First of all, thank you, I really appreciate that. Man, this one, there's sort of like this interesting barometer for like, is this a good song or not? Or like, and I and that I'll have like a physical reaction to it when I'm writing it. And this one was just like, I was overcome with emotion. When I wrote this. I wrote it nearly a night and I finished it the next day, but I was like crying and having these recollections of things I experienced as a kid where I grew up in Parma, Ohio, which was a really interesting place and you know, I lived there until I was 13. And then my family moved to like this kind of like middle class suburb that was nicer and you know, I was in a whole nother area of energy but part of me is really blue collar and you know, I saw a lot i i love my childhood. I mean, I I was just like, running around with no shoes on all summer climbing trees like, you know, making labyrinth. I tried to make a putt putt course once So that was fun. But you know, I, but I also was like surrounded by like, you know, like the neighbors, you know, alcoholic, this neighbor has Alzheimer's and shows up at our door and it's really sad and, and she's looking for her daughter and her daughter's right behind her, but her daughter's not very kind to her doesn't have understand, you know, the grace that you would need to care for this person. You know, the man of the street was a bad person. And he, we had a bunch of stray cats in our neighborhood. And he put out milk with antifreeze and ended up killing one of it was like a neighborhood cat, it was our neighbor's cat, but he was everybody's cat. And you know, just just like really fucked up stuff like that, and, you know, sex offenders and stuff and like, but you get a sense for this darkness, you get a sense for kindness, you get a sense for goodness, and like, I just, it just hit me like a ton of bricks. And I don't even know where that song came from. It just came from that sitting thinking about how I grew up, and how it's shaped who I am now. And I think, I think a lot of people can relate to that. And astrology is such a beautiful thing like, that we don't really get to have so much when we're stuck on our cell phones, like, actual life experience, you know, out in the wild, you know, having great joy or getting your heart broken, or, you know, get putting your feet in the dirt, you know, like being alive in the world. And, you know, for around the same age, like when we were kids, we were doing all those things we didn't really know we had some video games, like we had Nintendo and Sega. But, you know, like our lives consisted of if you're, if you watch a TV show, you had to wait for it to come on. You know, when it was scheduled. You had to pry reprioritize differently, you have to entertain yourself. You had to learn, you know, you have to fall down. And I guess that's where that song comes from.

Thomas Mooney  46:56  
Yeah, that there's there's very, okay, so that whole thing, like you have to wait, and like, be ready to see your TV show that you're really wanting to watch thing. You know, I remember as a kid, you know, just being obsessed with like Power Rangers, and my mom would record for me because I wasn't at a school yet. Whenever it would come on, we wouldn't be able to get to the house in time. So she record for me on like, these VHS is and I remember being like just feeling betrayed one day when I go to like, watch some reruns and she had recorded over it. Some days of our lives. And that was just last night. And yeah, so if you're like listening right now, and you're you got your little bingo card of like, just 90s things. You know, you probably got, you know, Days of Our Lives VHS recording Yeah, power.

Suzanne Santo  47:53  
Or, or when you were like anticipating recording it and you couldn't wait to go home and like something got messed up and it didn't record. Yeah. And it's like just the most devastating. Oh, I'm in TiVo. Oh my god.

Thomas Mooney  48:06  
Yeah, I remember. Yeah, that's it. It was kind of one of those mind blowing things of like, wait, wait, what is this now? Okay. Well,

Suzanne Santo  48:13  
you could fast forward commercials No way.

Thomas Mooney  48:15  
Exactly. You are you you mentioned I wanted to go back to this in just a brief little thing here. But you mentioned like, the last time like when society just had these, like, everyone tuned in. I felt like last was that way. Did you ever watch?

Suzanne Santo  48:30  
Oh my god. You know, it's funny, I watched last but also like later, and there was this time in my early 20s where I was going to Blockbuster in Venice Beach. And I think I would know, I drive but I would ride my bike sometimes too. And I would get the last on DVD. And like, you know, and you have a couple days to watch it before they start charging you so I would binge the shit out of it. But this is a true story. I never actually finished it. So I actually don't know what happens. I just know that everyone's like, it's awful. You're so disappointed. It's devastating. Like literally that's all I know. Is that like everyone's mad. Yeah.

Thomas Mooney  49:13  
For me, like I think the ending was okay, I'm not like angry at it anymore. But it's, it's it is one of those where I remember watching season one and just like missing a couple episodes and just being like, well, I guess I'm not watching anymore until like, you know, it was a couple years later whenever I kind of did the whole similar thing of having to you know, binge watch the DVDs of season one and season two and just gotta playing catch up but

Suzanne Santo  49:41  
you got Netflix in the mail like an actual DVD.

Thomas Mooney  49:45  
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. But and then like with with Netflix. Now, they may I bet you feel the same way. As far as like any of these streaming apps. Do you do you feel like the fatigue of or like the have just being overwhelmed by choices. Yes.

Suzanne Santo  50:02  
Yes. It's it's like it horrifies me. I feel like, well, I've gotten better at having a plan. So you don't just scroll and scroll and scroll. I'm like, and I don't really watch that much TV, and my boyfriend and I just love to watch 30 Rock and deep before bed, you know, just like the crown jewels of comedy, and the office. But for the most part, when there's something new, I kind of feel like a wounded animal, like, not sure. Like, I want to keep my distance, but I want to check it out. But I'm not sure. I don't want to get hurt again. I approached with great caution, making sure I don't get stuck in a situation I don't want to be in. Like, oh man, I put in 20 minutes and it was just terrible. So I've waited until I actually started like doing like research on shows before I scroll and being like, Oh, I like this writer or I like this director or I you know, I'm into, you know, fantasy and druids so I'm gonna watch this show. But I feel really Yeah, I feel really fucked up about it.

Thomas Mooney  51:19  
I always love the the suggestion that comes from a friend and then there was like the first like four episodes or once you get past those it's like well that's you know, some granite right there right your stuff and you're just telling me like half the show is just kind of slow but then it gets good. You know? Like you're not really doing a great sales job on here.

Suzanne Santo  51:41  
Right? Right. But also people that know you that are like oh my god, you're gonna like you are gonna love this every once in a while the right

Thomas Mooney  51:51  
yeah. The I feel like the last show I got just obsessed with was true detective. And oh, yeah, that was just one of those ones where it felt like I was doing more reading and more you know obsessing on the outside of True Detective as far as like, you know, the the influences and the inspirations behind these people and like their all the all the philosophy attached to it. That's what I absolutely loved was diving into that first season, especially but yeah,

Suzanne Santo  52:25  
well, you know, sidebar. I don't know if you know this, but my boyfriend that's his show, like he created that. Oh, see, I

Thomas Mooney  52:31  
know that. No, yeah, he

Suzanne Santo  52:33  
mixes a lot of okay, well,

Thomas Mooney  52:35  
yeah. Well, he didn't know that. But

Suzanne Santo  52:40  
that's so awesome. Well, but it's true. I mean, he is a mastermind and, but like True Detective, literally reshaped television. Yeah. Like no one put movie stars and TV shows like when Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey did season one. Like, that was like a defining moment in TV. And, you know, just this style of like, kind of Shakespearean character building like, just You're so you're so invested in these people? Is really is really something I'm so proud of him like, He's incredible. Yeah,

Thomas Mooney  53:15  
well, that's obviously telling me now, I'm the biggest fucking fan like, you know. Yeah, it did change television in that way. And, you know, it's, if more than anything, I think like, a lot of great our I know, like, they, they've talked about this with the Coen Brothers, it's like, you have to give the audience the benefit of the doubt that they can connect those dots. And, you know, you don't have to spoon feed everybody, everything all the time and shows like True Detective. And like, I remember the wire being like, incredible. As far as back and watching. I love those, those shows that you can that, you know, the the creative hand, who's doing it is is giving you the the art the the audience, you know, you're smart, too, and you can figure out what's going on and not be all the time.

Suzanne Santo  54:14  
Well, and I think that spoon feeding speaks to this, like, fractured attention span of how we've been evolved and how we've been reshaped. And like, you know, True Detective. I think HBO I'm not sure what other networks, there's not many that do weekly episodic, like, they just give you a whole here's 10 episodes of the season. And you know, before you know it, you've watched 20 other shows and when season two comes out, and you could give a shit. You know, I think there's something to be said about the quality and the quantity and the way that we are exposed or or, you know, invited to watch something and, you know, be entertained, but like at the same time, the just binging is I mean, like anything that you would binge? It's probably not very good for you, you know? Yeah. So, I mean, I, a lot of it like just in terms of value and value systems like, like, I'm so glad people still buy vinyl. Like, it's a lot. I find that like releasing the vinyl I have for yard sale. I bought it. I paid for it two months ago, and it won't be available until November, which is a pain in the ass. But there's something about like, Oh, you have to wait for it. Yeah, you know,

Thomas Mooney  55:36  
it's very much the, you know, you're relating it to being a kid. And you, you know, you feel the dirt on your hands. You know, you felt something when you're building that putt putt golf course. There's something very, very just physical about a record and putting it on and making it a moment. And you know, the art is bigger, and all that stuff, I think makes you know that that's the connective tissue in your brain as far as making memories attached to songs. In a lot of cases.

Suzanne Santo  56:09  
Yeah, I mean, I'm with you there. Like, I still like, there's not much music these days. Well, no, that's not true. It's not like the volume of say like 90s grunge rock or 90s Hip Hop, like that brings you back. You know? You're like, it's so specific. You know, the car, the radio station, drive to school, all that stuff. But yeah, I mean, I guess, I guess these days, just for myself, like in terms of music, the stuff that gives me that feeling. It's few and far between. So I listened to a lot of the same stuff.

Thomas Mooney  56:52  
Yeah, it's like, I very much understand it as, you know, just a person. Of course, with me being a journalist I, you know, I'm, I feel like I'm getting always overwhelmed by, hey, listen to this record, listen to this record, hey, listen to this record. And then of course, you kind of attach, you have to approach it more like a job, which I'm not complaining about listening to new music all the time. But what I've tried to explain to friends about about records now that it feels like is that once a record released, like you almost have to kind of give it up because you're working on the next thing already. That's gonna be out next week. And, you know, it's it's interesting to see what ends up falling back in your rotation. And, you know, some things that I've super super loved. You know, they end up like, I'm six months later going, Oh, I completely forgot this was out now. And I'm, there's something that's very sad about that. But you know, as you said, the things that you kind of go back to the few and far between, they stick around for a reason. Yeah.

Suzanne Santo  58:04  
Yeah. And I think that's good, you know, tailored, everybody's different. We all have different things that we need that make us tick. And you know, I don't have the bandwidth to love everything

Thomas Mooney  58:23  
exactly, yeah. You know, I'm super bad at ever ending these so I'm just gonna say you know, like, it's been wonderful talking with you this afternoon. And like, why would it sometime again?

Suzanne Santo  58:39  
Yeah, I love that. Well, give her a round you want to come to the show

Thomas Mooney  58:48  
Alright, that is it. For this one. Be sure to check out Suzanne Santos yard sell. Go check out our presenting partners over at desert or the blue light live in Charlestown photography. Be sure to go visit the merch store, buy a book or a t shirt or two. And yeah, I'll see y'all next week for more episodes.

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