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american_high_host: Our guest this week is Kaytee, the singer-songwriter from "American High" on PBS. So send in your questions! Check out the American High Web site at!....listen to Kaytee's music, make a face in the interactive yearbook, speak out on the message boards and more! Keep sending in your questions for Kaytee....about songwriting, life, etc! We'll get started in just a couple of minutes, so keep your questions coming! Let's get started!

Kaytee: Hi, it's Kaytee! How is everyone? By the way, if you have interest in a CD, go to my website and sign the guest book.

wishingiwasspider: how did you get into writing songs?

Kaytee: I really picked up the guitar and from there, I just started crreating my own things. It rolled into this place I am now, where I'm writing more seriously. And have found that I have a passion for it.

neo_arc: How do you keep from cramming too many ideas into one song?

Kaytee: I'm not very smart? :) I don't know. I try not to think about too much when I'm writing. I just let it come out. Whatever I'm feeling at that moment tends to come out. It's pretty raw emotion, since a lot of my best songs come in just thinking about something and writing it at that time. When it's raw emotion, you try not to overanalyze. You try to write really what's just down in there.

ray_2jcj: Whats your favorite song youve ever writren and why

Kaytee: There's a few.The first one that comes to mind is "Paris," which I don't think I sing on the show. I sang it at my gig that I played that you saw tonight on the show. And I like that song because it's got a groovy feel and it's ... fun to sing. It never really gets boring to me. I think it encompasses a lot of what I want my music to be. It's ironic. And funny in a way, It's about love, and i like it. I also like, "The Town's Not For Me," which I think was on tonight, and is on the American High site right now. I like it because it came after .... it has sentimental value. It came ... it was a different song. I felt I was getting to a higher step from where I was before, and that was exciting. It still is, and I like to sing it.

liamking22: Where do you find your inspiration to continue music?

Kaytee: What a hard question!!!!! Especially now that I'm in this writer's block. I feel bad. Like I don't know how to answer that question, because I don't know. Somehow it just finds me and I sit down and write a song and it surprises me. And I just keep writing from there.

rmdog5: what advise do you have for those getting ready to try to make it in the music buiss.

Kaytee: I'm not IN the music business, so any advice you can offer me would be nice!

chewy1kev: Did you get any other coffie house sessions besides the one on tonights show?

Kaytee: Not recently. But I haven't been looking for them, really. I've been trying to write lately, which is a tough process lately. I've been going through a block. Once I start rolling on the writing again, and trying to get the CD out...I'm definitely going to look for more gigs. Try to play some more.

Aalyara: I have found your singing comparison to Tori Amos, Ani DiFranco, and Maggie Estep. How do you feel about those singers and how do you feel when people compare you to them?

Kaytee: Tori Amos? I've never heard anyone say that before. I don't play piano nor sound like her. Not that that's bad! She's cool! I really like her lyrics..I don't really listen to Ani ever. And Ani DiFranco is the one I get the most. I never have. It's not that I don't like her, just that I don't get into her. I can sort-of see a comparison. Sort-of in the guitar playing style. Not lyrical. She strums hard and is aggressive in her guitar playing. But I don't see much else. Of course, I don't really listen to her .....

steids03: I read somewhere that you may have a cd coming out. Do you have any idea when that will be available?

Kaytee: Actually, you can go to my website and sign the guest book. I'm going to put one out myself. The website is

kt12212: has americin high been a great eperience for you?

hahersh: Kaytee, You mentioned that you didn't want to change, do you feel like you have changed?

Kaytee: Yeah. It was fun playing with the camera for a year. Hanging out with people who were interested in you who you were interested in. The producers, etc. And the crew. It was really fun. Noticing a progression and being excited about ... I have a box of tapes in my room from this year. I look at them occasionally and think about what it will be like to look at them in 10 or 15 or 30 years. So that's a really neat thing.

american_high_host: Do you keep a journal?

Kaytee: I have on and off. I do now. I used to keep one and didn't last year b/c I was doing all the video diaries. I did again this year.

narncy526: what was the worst thing about American High?

Kaytee: I wouldn't say this is the worst, but definitely the hardest thing was that was really really hard for me that was the one thing I didn't really want to talk about, but it was a big thing that was going on. I remember the day they asked me to talk about it. It was a big part of my life. But it was really hard. I was very vulnerable. So that was just hard.

chewy1kev: Do you think that the TV show showed you accuratly?

Kaytee: Yeah. I think that what I was last year and definitely shows a growth. The way I look at the beginning and the end ... it shows a progression and a growth. Which is what I had last year. You can't look at one episode and think that it shows me more than another. They all represent who I was and you have to take them as a whole.

idiotking2002: Kaytee, has your position on marriage/relationships changed at all?

Kaytee: LOL! That's so funny! Yeah, it has. Only in the way that I'm less confident about how stupid it is. I still t hink that the whole high school relationship thing ...It wasn't for me. I don't regret not being a part of it. I just didn't fit in with that way of dealing with love and relationships. But what do I know about marriage? Someday I'll say something funny ... and then I want THAT etched on my tombstone.

bennyphanichkul: What's you're favorite oatmeal flavor?

Kaytee: My friend, Rachel, makes this great oatmeal. Plain Quaker oatmeal. But she puts a whole lot of brown sugar in it. And it's soooooo good.

bennyphanichkul: What are you doing now? Where are you?

Kaytee: Yesterday, I finished high school. I'm going to do a little bit of traveling this summer. Taking a train trip out west. I'm going off to school in Claremont, California next year.

Johnno1011: this might sound like a kinda dorky question but... what are some of your favorite guitar chords :) ? i really like the sound u get sometimes but they never film your hands.

Kaytee: I like jazz chords. In a kind of aggressive guitar-style. I like minor chords, but jazz minor. I can't describe the shape I use on a keyboard. I also like major 7th chords a lot. I've been playing around with open tunings lately which is a lot of fun because you can build your own sound and chords, etc.

perseo1441: Who are your musical influences?

Kaytee: Let's see ...Definitely Joni Mitchell. Tom Waits has been a big inspiration lately. Bob Dylan. Jazz singers. That's as of right now.

wesleyelvis: what kind of guitar do you use? Do you play electric too?

Kaytee:I do play electric, though less often. I have a Epiphone. It's a Les Paul model. Which I play when I play a jazz band or jazz music. Usually I play my Martin. I have a J30 Marton acoustic guitar which I love to death. His name is Jas and he's big and beautiful and wonderful.

Johnno1011: im a starting songwriter, how do you overcome the difficulty in transition between an initial idea for a song and expanding it to an entire piece of music?

Kaytee: That's tough. Or a poem, where I have a concept and then expand on the concept and write it into a piece of work. The piece of work develops out of itself. Songwriting comes to me ... I'll get the tune or a lyric in my head.I don't quite ..... writing a song for me isn't like writing a short story. It grows out of the song. The concept grows out of this strange melody or strange lyric in my head.

babz_16033: Is someone typing for you, Kaytee?

Kaytee: Yeah, do you think I could type this fast?

patiff: If you had a choice of these three decades which one you live in and why: 60's, the 70's or the 80's

Kaytee: Probably the 60's. It's probably pretty cool to be in ... a time when you know that "the times they are a-changin'" I go between that and the 70's. But probably the 60's ... as scary and strange as it must have been, I actually thought it was a really really positive thing. Really unique. It made me proud of the show that it provoked those kind of discussions. People weren't just watching it as Survivor.

prp134: kaytee what did u think of the town meeting u were in today at the WTTW station?

Kaytee: Not mind-numbing. It's important and provokes thought. Proud to be a part of it.

patiff: Are you still in contact with you "co-colaborators" of American High

Kaytee: I talk to my crew all the time. Molly and Nick. I'm definitely in contact with them. Oh yeah. I'll be in California right near them next year, so that will be fun.

brababy01: Do you spend time with the students on American High?

Kaytee: They shared a big part of my life, and they're the coolest people ever. You know, I spend time ..... I wasn't ever friends with Ally or Kiwi or anything. That's just not the way it worked. Since we weren't all put together in a situation or whatever. But from my friends who were on the show ... most have gone off to college. So I haven't seen them as much, but yeah, I still talk to them. Hmmmm. If I think of anything, I'll tell you later. But nothing offhand, I'm sorry!

druidguy7: Kaytee, has anyone weird started talking to you on the streets since being on TV?

Kaytee: No. Not really. Being recognized is strange in itself, but I haven't been freaked out or scared. They wrote on a message board that they were me. Weird!

bennyphanichkul: Are you a vegetarian?

Kaytee: I love meat. I'm sorry, but I do. I didn't think about that.

indigoartemis: Kaytee I have visited your web page, will you eventually include some poetry?

Kaytee: I'm not writing as much poetry lately. I'm working on a short story/novella right now. If I start writing more poetry and people are interested, perhaps! That's a good idea. Thanks.

patiff: In the trailer in next weeks episode we see a trip to China.... How was it?

Kaytee: Soooo great! It's not even ... I don't remember the episode ... they didn't include a lot of .... I wish they had included the trip to the Great Wall. It was a really great .... the first time out of the country, which is really exciting. It was a lot of fun, to say the least. Amazing.

american_high_host: We're here chatting with Kaytee from American High on PBS! Keep sending in your questions.....

brew_bird: When you go out west, sit on the edge of the grand canyon and write us a song!

Kaytee: I'll try. :) Did not anyone see my drummers on the show? Those are my drummers!

american_high_host: Why?

bennyphanichkul: Do you need a drummer? I would love to play drums for you.

patiff: Who do you think is scarier to teen girls now a days, Kate Moss or Britney Spears?

Kaytee: Kate Moss dated Johnny Depp. By FAR, Brittney Spears. By FAR! Being scary as a representation of what the general public wants in music. What people will buy into. Pop music is pop music and that's fine. But when it seems like the whole world is listening to it and accepting it and saying that this is all they want out of music .... that's a little scary.

paganinny: Tonight on the show, in the bit about recording in a studio, they said that you avoided music at first. Being a young singer-songwriter myself, I'm interested to hear about what changed in your attitude. Could you explain about that?

Kaytee: It was scary at first. Trying to figure out what I wanted to do in music, if I could "make it". What my role was in the music business. I think just a lot of encouragement really really helped me, people saying that they liked my stuff, encouraging me to play and sing them songs. From that, these things fed off of each other ... and my own passion for singing and performing and playing and writing.

bbraemer1: Will us Chicagoans be able to see you live before you're off to school

Kaytee: If I have any upcoming gigs ...Check my website

Kaytee: Any gigs I'll have will be posted up there. As of now, I don't have anything, but we'll see in the summertime.

pressedrat83: what are your favorite tom waits and bob dylan songs?

Kaytee: I'm so happy! "Lay, Lady, Lay" OOOH, good question! "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" "Just Like A Woman" Oh, and that song on free wheelin .... "Talking World War II Blues" "Diamonds on my Windshield" "Grapefruit Moon" and "I Don't Want To Grow Up" To name a few! Very important question!

cookanera: Another dumb question....Can you describe the buzz you get in performing live? What do you like (love) about the experience?

Kaytee: That first episode you saw was really great because I remember feeling really buzzed and charged. Great question. The adrenaline would not die! You know. I can't explain it, but it was just a great feeling. Sometimes when I perform, I'll sing and do my performance ... and afterwards I feel sort-of drained and kind-of sad. It depends. Either I'm really charged and the adrenaline doesn't go away or I crash and get really mellow and depressed. Sometimes I get in a little bit of a mood.

crackerjackgrl16: i'm a local punk crazy birl, and you're cracker jack song really inspired me. where could i go to get some more of your lyrics?

Kaytee: Oh, I've got lyrics at my website!!!!! And you can see gigs as well as sign the guest book for future CDs. :)

dso201: So have the boys been hounding you day and night since the show started, looking for dates?

Kaytee: NO! I don't know what's going on. Who are these boys? Nope. You know, I look back at when I was saying that ... I don't really know what I was talking about. I should really look into the context. But if someone asked me.... it depends on what.

violetjules: Have you found an answer to your question, "Am I different, or do I just think I'm different?" I often ask myself that.

Kaytee: But ..... I guess all I can say about that is that I have something to offer that's unique. I think that I have more confidence in myself. It doesn't matter so much anymore.

malcolmdunforth: In your profile, you said you wanted to "move to France, open a bookstore and be an old maid". Any changes to your plans?

Kaytee: Nooooooooo. Someday, that will ... hopefully I'll be in Paris in a little bookstore. When I'm old. That will be nice. Whether I'm different?

miskeda8: who's your favorite boy band?? Come on.... you have one.

Kaytee:That's funny. I really don't have an answer to that ... I really don't know. Menudo!

brew_bird: What are you studying at college in the Fall?

Kaytee: English and World Literature. Before you ask me about music ...but I feel that I don't have to study it in college. I want to pursue being a singer/songwriter, so I'll do something I'm interested in and give myself something to write about.

skidkicker: what are some of your favorite tv shows?

Kaytee: Of course, The Simpsons. I like the old Behind The Musics. The newer ones .... eh.

idiotking2002: Did you hand percussionist have a LARGE crush on you?

Kaytee: Nooooooo!!!!!!!!! No. Rich is a very cool kid. No. I'm pretty sure, no. He's an amazing percussionist.

tandia_peekay: Have you ever had voice lessons?

Kaytee: No. Not like classical lessons. I used to sing musical theatre when I was younger, but I never had classical voice training.

mango_girl3467: Are you and Scott still good friends?

Kaytee: Yeah. Sure.

firstthingthatcametomind: Have you traveled before, other than to China?

Kaytee: Not really. Not very much.+y with the orchestra for spring break. Before China, no. I hadn't done much traveling. That was the first time I was out of the country. I did a lot of traveling around the US this year.

bennyphanichkul: Will you marry me, Kaytee?

Kaytee: I'm not 18 yet, I can't legally get married. I'm sorry. Sean Fanning, if you're out there ... there's my marriage proposal!

yesteryeartomorrow: To Kaytee: Bob Dylan wrote: "let me forget about today unitll tomorrow" in Mr. Tamborine Man; most people seem to have adapted such an escapist mentality. What do you think it takes to fill the void, so people can face reality and avoid this enfatuation with oblivion?

Kaytee: LOL! What I try to do for myself .. it's a cliche ... but to try to live each day at a time. Open your eyes to what's going on around you. But to try at least to open your eyes and be aware of what's going on around you day by day. It's cliche, but it's true. I'm not totally a believer that you can live in the world that you're in. That's a good question!!!

american_high_host: We're chatting with Kaytee from American High on PBS. Keep sending in your great questions!

gemsing: whos ur fave simpsons character?

Kaytee: Hands down .... I've given it a lot of thought. I like granpa simpson. He's soooo great!!!!!!! He's like Homer. But older.

bennyphanichkul: Are there any unique slang words you use?

Kaytee: I'm going to tell you something really stupid, which I don't think is really a slang word because it's very Archie Comic Book, I say "psshaa" a lot, but people make fun of me a lot for it.

american_high_host: What's your favorite book?

Kaytee: Oh, that's an incredibly difficult question. I'll answer with some books I really like. I recently read a book called "Door Wide Open. Letters between Jack Kerouac and Joyce Johnson. And I recently read "High Fidelity" which is an amazing book for a musical snob. And I like a lot of Hemingway and a lot of beat authors. One thing I liked about High Fidelity a lot is that I'm obsessed with making mixed tapes.

skidkicker: what would be your top five songs to listen to on a monday morning? (i kinda ripped off the question from the movie high fidelity)

Kaytee: Oh, that's so hard! Top 5? Anything by G Love. (and the Special Sauce0 I Can't Wait To Meet You - Macy Gray, Ice Cream Man - Tom Wait I Paid My Money - Ben Folds

blueberrycute: would you marry grandpa simpson

Kaytee: No, no, no. He's a little old for me.

goddamntheyrealltaken: seen any good concerts lately?

Kaytee: I've seen a few jazz concerts that I really liked. Obscure jazz guys. But no concerts lately. But this summer, I'm going to see Lyle Lovett, which I'm really excited about.

violetjules: Where do you get all the great clothes you wore on the show? I loved the white wool sweater you wore in the beginning episodes!

Kaytee: I got that from Jinx in Evanston. A lot of different stores. If you really want to know ... a lot of Gap mixed with vintage store stuff.

miskeda8: Where you a fan of Saved By The Bell? If so, who was your favorite character?

Kaytee: I never watched it as a kid. I know it was a staple in elementary school, but I never watched it.

patiff: Who scares you more Eminem or Marilyn Manson?

Kaytee: Hard question. Marilyn Manson. I don't know why.

gleasel: are you a cat or a dog person?

Kaytee: I'm a dog person. We used to have 5 dogs in my house. I've always been. And I'm allergic to cats.

prp134: how do u feel about this whole issue with napster?

Kaytee: I loove Napster. I love it. I got great music. If I wanted to buy a CD or heard of some artist, I used to buy a lot of CDs from having Napster. Then I got kicked off. It was a very hard day when I got kicked off of Napster. A very hard day.

gleasel: would you ever wear skimpy outfits if it would sell your cd's?

Kaytee: No! I'm all into comfort, baby. I'm not into skimp.

Aalyara: you're about to leap into adulthood, how scared are you?

Kaytee: I'm very excited. I finished high school yesterday. It's really strange being ... I don't know. I was driving in my car. It's really strange and unique being at a place in your life where you don't know what can happen. It's a little sad and a little scary and that's natural because you don't know what can happen. But it's mostly very exciting. And life will be good.

american_high_host: Keep sending in your questions for Kaytee, from American High on PBS. And check out the American High Web site at!

liamking22: Favorite Movies?

Kaytee: My favorite movie that I've never got another feeling from a movie ... I see it at least once a month ... is Manhattan. I just love it. I can't explain why. I love anything with Audrey Hepburn in it. I really like Apocalypse Now. When I saw it, I was taking American Studies, and I loved it. I loved it. I also saw "A Perfect Candidate," which I really liked as well.

violetjules: What's the silliest thing that makes you happy?

Kaytee: That's such a sweet question! It's a random thing. Every once in a while, my friend David and I have to go to "high tea" in the city. It's very very decadent. A bunch of old women and business men and debutante girls are there. We sit around and fingers sandwiches and we chat and listen to the harpist and eat our pastries. And it always feels very over the top and silly. But we literally - if we don't do it for a couple of months - we literally go crazy. It's a nice drive down Lakeshore Drive. It makes me very very happy every time we do it.

dso201: Do you think the particular breed of fame one gets from a show like this is helpful or harmful when you're trying to become a real artist on your own merit?

Kaytee: Interesting question. Hmmmmm. You know? I don't know yet. It's too soon to answer. Sometimes I think it's helpful. I have a response now and know that I sort-of can maybe make a career for myself out of this music thing. But sometimes I think that I'm going to get stereotyped. A lot of my songs that people have seen are songs that I'm not going to keep around for that long. They're premature. I'll grow out of it and make new music. I'm sometimes scared that people will request a certain song. But I don't know yet! We'll see what happens!

american_high_host: That's a great note to end on!! Thanks so much for joining us Kaytee.....

Kaytee: Thanks a lot.Those were really great questions. Some really hard ones! You guys didn't mind challenging me. If you want a CD, check out Thank you!

american_high_host: Thanks Kaytee! And thanks everyone for your great questions. Come back next Wednesday at 11 pm ET for another American High chat, with Shanna and Abby... And remember to watch American High every Wednesday at 10 pm ET on PBS! 2 episodes back-to-back. Listen to Kaytee's music and check out other cool features on the American High Web site at Thanks everyone. Goodnight!