Thursday, May 30, 2013

Random Observation

I went to a comedy club Tuesday night to see my friend Jenn Schaal perform. Before the show, the club shows a montage of life in the Twin Cities of Minnesota: various city skyscapes, musicians, clips from comedy shows, random non-Minnesota related movie clips - all to the sound track of Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" because, well, because of course. Oh, hey, welcome to Minnesota! Did you know Prince is from here??? OMG, can you believe it???? And he STILL lives here!

But that's not the point of this post.

Naturally, I tuned out for a second because, as much as I love Prince, I get so sick of Minnesota name dropping him ALL The Time. Then the first note of the screeching guitar solo begins and my heart fluttered and I got all excited because I thought, for just a second, they were about to play "Cover Girl" by New Kids on the Block - because the song starts with the exact same guitar solo screech. For reals. A lot went through my thoughts in that second, like:

Huh, this is so cool and random.
I am so excited to hear this song right now!
Still, very weird and I'm not getting the connection.

Finally landing on, oh, wait....this is "Let's Go Crazy". Yep. That makes much more sense.

I would post both songs to show you proof, but Prince is very anti-internet and so there is nothing I could post that wouldn't be pulled right away.

But I can post New Kids on the Block's "Cover Girl". You're welcome.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Live Letters

I've been meaning to write a recap of this show all weekend, but it's a holiday weekend and I've been out running around enjoying the not nice weather with friends. I went to Memory Lanes Block Party Saturday night to catch Southside Desire:

Then we headed to the Turf Club for the Erik Hess benefit show.

Bomba De Luz (who I played with at Live Letters) performed downstairs in the Clown Lounge...

...and we caught The Goondas upstairs.

It was a super fun night. So many friends were there.

Deanna and me.

Yesterday we grilled out with dear friends. AND 89.3 The Current debuted my new song "Blind" on The Local Show. Super exciting! Please, please, please request it so they play it again!

And today I am finally at home, resting. I refuse to do anything of effort today. I am going to lounge. I'm not even going to put my contacts in. Glasses all day. This is a big deal for me.

But back to the point of this post: Live Letters. 

Live Letters: An Evening With Friends is a house show that I was asked to play. The idea is that a host band - in this case Bethany Larson and the Bee's Knees - invites some of their songwriter friends to perform. The host band plays a set and then the rest of the performers join them and play songs in a round robin style.

I'd been wanting to do one of these shows for a while and was so honored when Bethany Larson and the Bee's Knees asked me to play. I adore this band and love playing with them.

The other songwriters in attendance were Reina Del Cid, Dan Israel, and Lydia Hoglund (of the aforementioned Bomba De Luz).

The Bee's Knees performed a great set and then we joined her and she did a quick interview session with all of us that was super fun and then Reina Del Cid kicked off the round robin song set with 3 songs of her own. We each did a 3 song set and then another interview section followed by one more song each.

Here's me performing "Blind" of the new EP Intermission (out a week from Tuesday! Get it here!)

It was such an amazing room to perform in. First of all this loft is super cool. The sound system they have is really good. And the audience was awesome. Super attentive. We all kept saying how great it was to play to people who are actually listening. Most of the time we all play in noisy bars.

Live Letters Set List 5/23/13

  • A Story
  • Cohabitate
  • Blind
  • Adore

So what else is going on? Well, like I said, the new EP, Intermission, comes out on June 4th. We are celebrating its release with a series of shows at the 331 Club. I'm only making 100 physical copies of this album and these shows are the first place you can get them. So if you want one, you better come down! But, yes, it will be available as a digital download.

Monday, May 20, 2013

To The Deepest Part Of The Human Heart

I feel like it's been ages since I've last written here. I think there was snow on the ground. Today is a balmy 80 and it hasn't stopped raining in what feels like forever. But we have leaves on the trees and the grass is green and that certainly helps things.

I've been to block parties. Seen a lot of shows. Had crazy long days at work. Lost 8 pounds. Gained back 4. Got new glasses. Hugged Dan Bern and Kristin Hersh. Finished an EP and have a stack full of discs ready to be let out into the world. I've lost a drummer and found a new one. Allie Brosh has come back from the brink with a great new post on Hyperbole and a Half. I've bought a few new albums. Season 4 of Community ended in a most unfabulous way. Then it was renewed for a 5th season. I took Robbie to his first outdoor summer festival. He met people and dogs of all shapes and sizes and was just the best boy I could have ever hoped for. I saw Star Trek Into Darkness. It was awesome.

But today I had to take a vacation day from work because things are just not right. With me. With my life. I wasn't ready to focus on things I have to focus on. I needed to be alone. To do what I want. To let my brain wander where it wants to. Even if that means all I've done is two loads of laundry and taken the dog to PetSmart. I just needed to be with me today.

So I'm dealing with some of that right now. And I'm dealing with some other things. Or I'm trying to because, really, I have no idea how to deal with these things. It feels like I'm just constantly getting through things. Just gotta get through this and then it will get better. Okay. Now just this and then it will get goes on and on.

I went out alone yesterday. To the movies and to a show. I sat by myself in the very back row of the theater. A woman came up to me looking for a place to sit. She asked "Are you alone?".


"Well, you're not really alone," she responded.

And me in my grumpy state just sighed heavily and leaned my body in the opposite direction, sinking deeper into my chair, waiting for the movie to start so I could focus on something for a little while.

Then, through the magic of Twitter, I was put on the guest list for Kristin Hersh's show last night. Her album Hips and Makers was the first "cool" album I ever owned. I was a teenager just discovering the genre of chick with acoustic guitar screaming their innermost feelings into a microphone and this album was so raw, I didn't know what to think. She really just put it all out there. I was inspired.

And so when I bemoaned on Twitter that I didn't have the money to spend on her show last night and I was bummed, she put me on the list. I know she's been diagnosed bipolar and has had a ton of mental health issues. I felt like a strange connection that I'm sure was completely one-sided. But seeing her show last night was exactly what I needed yesterday. And when I thanked her afterwards for putting me on the list, she was so warm and kind. And when another person who has supported my music so kindly was there and bought me a beer, I felt like maybe the woman in the theater was right. I'm not really alone. No matter what. And maybe I need to let more people in. And maybe putting it all out there is a good thing.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Suddenly having a moment where I start to feel super small and different and out of touch with everyone due to some probably insignificant thing that just happened.

Honestly, I feel this way most days. Social situations are murder on my self-esteem. And that’s social situations in all forms. From parties to rock shows to the office. I get super nervous and constantly feel like people are watching me and judging me. My outfit, my movement, my body, my hair, the way I talk, my laugh, what my face does when I say things. It’s awful.

It’s become an issue at jobs in the past. I’ve been labeled as “unengaged”. It doesn’t matter that I do my job and I do it well. Since I’m not overly social, since I sit at my desk with headphones in my ears, I must not really be doing anything.

I am a horrible conversationalist. I never know what to say. About anything. I have plenty of things I want to say, but it never comes out right. I begin to stutter. I forget the point I’m trying to make. And since that is usually what happens, I choose to sit quietly. And I think this weirds people out.  I get so panicked in most conversations that I begin to think way in advance about what my response should be, thus I end up not hearing the rest of what the other person is saying and making everything so much worse.

I really dislike small talk. As soon as I’m stuck in an elevator with a stranger and they bring up the fucking weather or the fact that it’s Friday or Monday…I want to scream. Is there a reason we must speak to each other in that situation?

I have a huge fear of being excluded. I am extremely paranoid about it. So much so that I end up putting myself in a position to be excluded because I come off so weird and guarded.

Having these issues and trying to make something of myself within the music community is a near impossible task as the constant need to network and promote myself just goes against every fiber of my being.

And, let me just say, that I don’t dislike talking to people. I want to talk to people. I want to be the life of the party. I want to sit and have cool, engaging conversations with people. I want to be close to people. I want people to want me to be there. I recently wrote a whole song about it titled “Introvert”. It goes:

I want to the outspoken one

The one everybody waits for

So the party can get started

And I enter in an outfit

That everyone will notice

For all the right reasons

I want to talk in a loud volume

And say all the right things

About all the right subject

And even if I don’t know

What it is I’m talking about

I want everyone to want to hear what I’m saying

But I’m an introvert

I’ll be over here

Blending into the background

Hoping you stay far away from me

I want to dance

Like no one is watching

In a crowded room

Cuz I think I just might be

A pretty good dancer

And I’m dying to bust my move

But I’m an introvert

I’ll be over here

Bleeding into the background

Hoping you stay far away from me

And I can get to that point with people after a while…but it’s a really really really long while. I recall back in high school realizing it took me at least a year to feel comfortable enough with someone to hang out with them one on one. Just to sit with someone else at a table and not panic because I didn’t know what to say.

And these days, people don’t really have time for that.

That’s why I love social media. Because I can sit back and carefully craft every word – stutter free – from behind a screen where no one can see what my face is doing. But it also brings out this terror because then you go out in public and you see someone from Twitter or wherever that you “know” and tweet with or whatever and you fear they’ve formed this opinion of you based on your social media conversations and you know you can never be that person in person so you panic and you hide.

But I can be social. I have good days. I went to an event the other night. Alone. Found some people I knew. Chatted with them. Felt good about it. Went up to some other people a little later, buckled. Couldn’t talk. It’s such a crap shoot.

And so incredibly frustrating.

I’m sure there are (prescription) drugs I could take that would loosen me up a bit. And maybe I should. I know alcohol helps ; )

I’m just really tired of not being asked to join the party.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

New Song: "Blind"! New Album: Intermission!

I made another record! It's an EP. 5 songs. It's coming out June 4th. I'm super excited. We did it all lo-fi, recording to 4 track.

The songs are mostly inspired by the loss of my dog Murray back in 2011. Not that they are all songs about my dog, just that that particular event brought forth a slew of disarray that has just finally begun to come to end this past month. The songs deal with grieving, remembering, and moving on.

"Blind" is the first single and you can listen to it below:

I'm hand writing all of the CD package artwork. My friend, Tracy, designed the artwork for the actual disc (she's done the art for all of my albums). I'm only pressing 100 copies - so this will be limited edition. If you want an actual disc, you have to come to a show and get one....starting during my 331 Club residency beginning June 4th and continuing every Tuesday in June!

The songs will be available for download, too.

Thanks for listening!