Monday, September 30, 2013

Lyric Of The Day

I put in my Cloud Cult mix for my commute in this morning. I should really just listen to them every morning. Such positivity in every song. It's an instant good mood.

This song struck me particularly...as it always does. And I think the whole song needs to be the Lyric of the Day:

"today is a good day to flex the muscles of the weary
a miracle is a miracle even when it's ordinary
we will walk on the water even though it seems scary
if someone will show us the way

i shook hands with the man who honestly thinks he's
the grandson of Jesus with the penchant for pinches
he served us communion of cola and twinkies
guess everyone has their own view

he stood on his soap box and told us a parable
of a man with eyeglasses so small they're unwearable
and the moral of the story is it all looks terrible
depending on what you look through, what you look through

he said "do unto yourself as you do unto your neighbour
it's not an eye for an eye it's a favor for a favor
and it's okay if this world had a billion saviors
'cause there's so many things to be saved

take my words with a boulder of salt
or blame it on your devil
always the scapegoats fault
we all point fingers when it comes to a halt
can somebody show us the way, show us the way..."

-from "The Story of the Grandson of Jesus" by Cloud Cult







Saturday, September 28, 2013

Kitty Cat Klub And Super Fun Music Week

Busy week!

But such a fun week.

I was calling this week Super Fun Music Week because I was attending 3 shows by artists I highly enjoy and also playing one of my own.

I talked about the Scout Niblett show on Sunday night already. It kicked things off in a very good way.

My show at the Kitty Cat Klub was on Wednesday night. We were joined by Taj Raj and The White Whales.

 Taj Raj

The White Whales

I really enjoyed myself both onstage and off. I need to play with both of these bands more. I've played a few shows now with The White Whales, but this was our first time sharing the bill with Taj Raj.

I'm really really loving playing with my band. I know I probably say that it a lot. But it's true. They are so much fun to share the stage with. I'm so grateful that they play songs with me.


Setlist for Kitty Cat Klub 9/27/13

  • Where's the Fire?
  • Float
  • Blind
  • Lens
  • The Party
  • Good
  • Beg, Borrow, or Steal
  • Flavor
  • Salt
  • Introvert


Super Fun Music Week continued on Thursday with Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Who knew, but the MIA has one of the best music venues in town. A fabulous room with excellent lighting, a great stage, and amazing sound. I was super impressed. And the Velvet Lapelles were charming and great as always. They played for over 90 minutes so we got to hear nearly all of the songs, which made me happy.

Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles

Then last night was the Caroline Smith Half About Being a Woman record release show at First Avenue. Caroline has completely left behind her folksy girl vibe and fully embraced an R & B sound reminiscent of TLC's Crazy, Sexy, Cool. It's a major departure but she pulls it off.

I also hadn't been to First Ave in a while so it was nice to be back

Caroline Smith (don't you love all of my grainy cell phone Instagram'd concert pics?)

So now what???

I think the rest of the week will be spent at home, decompressing after a very crazy week. Which is fine. It's good to decompress.

Next Wednesday the band and I are playing a set at Harriet Brewing in Minneapolis. 9pm sharp. We play for 2 HOURS. So, yep, we will be playing all of the songs. So come out and hear us as a full band, some solo stuff, some duo stuff, old songs, new songs, and everything in between.



Wednesday, September 25, 2013

On Haircuts, Facebook, The Office, and Pearl Jam

(This is going to be incoherent and rambling and all over the place. Just a warning.)

I got a haircut last night. From Great Clips. You see, I don't really care about hair. I don't to be bothered with a fussy 'do requiring tons of upkeep and product. I am a wash and go kinda gal. Because of that, I could no longer justify spending $50 on a haircut. I can never afford that nor is it something I want to spend money on. So about 2 months ago I went to Great Clips because fuck it. It's cheap. How much damage could they do?

I got my most favorite haircut ever. LOVED IT. I was thrilled.

The problem, though, with Great Clips is that it is entirely a crapshoot who will be doing your hair when you walk in. The next time I went to get a trim, I got a new person. But she also nailed the cut. She almost made it better. Once again, I was thrilled. I had a haircut I liked that would just require minimal trimming trips to a cheap salon.

I went back in last night to get another trim. Just my bangs cut and to clean up the back a bit. NOTHING ELSE.

She chopped 3 inches off of my already short hair. I don't even know how it happened. I told her trim the bangs and clean up the back. The next thing I know, I have a completely different hairstyle.

I was livid.

Once again, I am not someone who really cares about her hair. I want to look nice, but I'm not going to put all of my energy into that. And I know hair grows back and I am totally cool with waiting for that to happen.

But not this time. Because she changed the style. The style I loved. And I don't know if I will ever get it back.              

Yeah, yeah, #firstworldproblems and all that. But I'm mad. Someone with my round face does not need this round hairstyle. Ugh. So upset. It's gonna be a long month before this grows out and I can get it fixed.

I miss you tendrils...


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A friend of mine posted an article on Facebook about the annoyances of Facebook posts and what types of posts are annoying and what you should say and shouldn't and holy shit who the fuck cares? It's a free social media website that you use to talk about what's going on with you and things you find interesting. If you don't like what someone posts, don't bother with it.

Why are people so weird about this?

As a musician who has to promote herself, it makes me feel like such an asshole - for lots of reasons. I suddenly feel like people see me post something related to what I do and roll their eyes and groan and say "god she is so annoying".

But what bothers me the most is that the people I am friends with on Facebook I consider to be friends. They have different levels of friendship. Either they are good friends I hang out with on a daily basis or maybe old friends from high school. Or co-worker friends. Or family. Or friendly musician folk who do they same self-promotion in their feeds. Either way, I don't see the difference in posting something on Facebook along the lines of "Hey! I got a new job! Yay me!" or "I just recorded this new song!" These are things going on in my life. Either I can post about it on Facebook, or when I see you in person, I can tell you then, which I will. But if it bothers you so much to see a sentence about it on Facebook, how do you think I'm going to feel the next time we are together chatting about our lives? What is the difference? I don't see one.

If everyone stopped posting on Facebook all of the things people bitch about, Facebook wouldn't exist. And if that's how you want it, then maybe you shouldn't be on Facebook.

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I've been watching the original UK version of The Office. It's good, obviously. I watched bits of it before but never finished the whole thing. But I'm just fascinated by Martin Freeman. I'm so obsessed with Sherlock and him as John Watson that it's hard to see him as Tim on The Office. But Tim also shares so many of Watson's characteristics - though I don't think that was intentional. I think that's just Martin Freeman coming through. It's also jarring because I am so use to Jim from the US The Office that I can't help compare. I kind of like Jim more. Also, they really made Jim look like Tim. Same haircut and outfit.




Also the UK one is so crude and really rude to women on a whole other level that I find it takes me out of things quite a bit. Michael Scott is terrible with women and says terrible things, too. But on the UK version, it comes from everywhere that I'm not sure if it's supposed to be a joke anymore. And the women do nothing back - whereas Pam and Angela would totally put someone in their place - or at the very least looked mad about it. It's just weird.

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This morning I heard the new Pearl Jam single for the first time. It gave me a great case of the sads, and not in a good way. It sounds like a song Diane Warren would have written for Keith Urban. What have they done? Why are they doing this? I don't understand. It's just awful. And not even in a oh, they are an aging rock band losing their edge kind of way. It's just a completely different sound and doesn't make any sense for them to go this way. It makes even less sense than Eddie Vedder's ukulele solo album - which I LOVED.

I'm not even going to post a video of it because it makes me so sad. You'll have to go find it for yourselves.



Monday, September 23, 2013

Scout Niblett at Icehouse

I completely fell in love with Scout Niblett last night. She is amazing. I just haven't heard music like that in a long time. And it's not that there is anything insanely innovative about it. It's just good. And raw. And powerful.


She is a tiny little thing - which just seems to be the norm for female musicians. Always shocking to hear these big sounds on records and then you go see them in person and they are 5 feet tall. (At 5'9", I am a giant in the female musician world.) But she rocked it. That's such a lame way to say things, but I really can't think of any other descriptor.

Her guitar playing can sometimes come across as repetitive. She has certain things she does and repeats, but really, it's just her sound. It's never boring.

She didn't do much moving around and she barely spoke. She said two things: 1) Half way through the set, she asked if there were any questions, then giggled as they were asked. 2) At the end she announced they have merch.

But still there was so much energy and power coming from the stage...I have to say awesome things about her band because they were, in fact, awesome. She was accompanied by a lead guitarist and a drummer and her drummer...wow. I don't know what he does to make the drums sound that way but...wow. I think he just hits them really really hard. They are probably my favorite part of the new album  It's Up to Emma. I was sitting kind of behind him due to how he was positioned on station and I just kept watching him play. I love drums/percussion and I just find them fascinating because I just do not have anywhere near the ability to play them.


Her sound is reminiscent of early PJ Harvey and 90s grunge...it's fantastic. Nobody is making music like that anymore - and if you do come across someone who is, it's usually such an obvious throwback it just sounds dated. But she keeps it fresh.

Really, she's awesome. Go get It's Up to Emma.



Friday, September 20, 2013

Let Go Of Your Weather Balloon

Been feeling a little melancholy these past couple of days. I could probably blame it on this sudden change in weather. And I will as I am generally pretty happy these days. More so than I have been in a long time. So that's nice. It's been raining on and off this week and it hasn't done that in a while, so I'm sure that's all it is.

But I've been thinking back on such random things like past pieces of clothing that I owned and miss and wish I still possessed. So silly to long for clothing of days gone by, but I liked those clothes.

I've been having dreams upon dreams upon dreams lately, too. Every night just massive amounts of one dream to the next - and they are never all that interesting. Just random happenings filled with random people that I haven't spoken to in a long time. I'm sure that's adding to the melancholy.

I also haven't seen (or spoken) to my dad in a while and that just heaps on the guilt. I finally got a hold of him last night and sat on the phone for about 5 minutes, neither of us with anything to say. But he's difficult to chat with on the phone, so that's nothing new.

But, overall, things are on the up side lately and that makes everything a little easier.

I'm looking forward to a fun week next week filled with live music nearly every night, including a show of my own on Wednesday.

Busy times ahead over the next couple of months. This weekend I'll look to relax before the craziness begins.

For now, I'll leave you with this song. It's another one of those songs that, beyond just being a beautiful song, completely bowls me over. Like, I can't do anything while it plays. I don't know why or what makes it so different than other beautiful songs. But it just has that thing.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Things I Love Right Now

This post is entirely inspired by my purchase yesterday of this...

1. Scout Niblett's It's Up to Emma
Holy shit this album is amazing. It's like Rid of Me era PJ Harvey come back to life. Raw, grungy electric guitar, pounding drums, brutally honest vocals, sparse arrangements. Just...wow.



2. Cooler Weather
September is the best month. This morning I got up and put on a pair of leggings and my tall boots to go to the grocery store and there was a slight chill in the air and...it's the best. And it's still nice and warm in the afternoons and everything is still green. The best.

3. Lorde "Royals"
Yeah. Totally digging this song.



4. Katy Perry "Roar" & Miley Cyrus "We Can't Stop"
These, too. Sometimes pop music is just what you want.





5. My New Couch
We were without a couch for nearly a year. Don't ever live that way.

6. Robbie's Art
We took Robbie to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts Dog Days. They opened up the courtyard to dogs and had activities and Robbie painted this. He's so talented. I'm so proud.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Go Go Go

This past long Labor Day weekend felt like constant movement. Busy busy busy. But really, it wasn't. I just get worn down from social activity so quickly that even having a few obligations over a weekend can feel like I never stopped doing.

But it was a good weekend. A fun weekend. It was a three day weekend. And it felt like a whole week. Starting off the weekend last Friday by going to see a few of my friend's bands play and being out until 2:15am after working all day really made that day feel like an entire weekend had already passed. I woke up Saturday morning certain it was already Sunday.

The show I went to on Friday was super fun. A nice little reunion of people I hadn't seen in a while plus excellent music.

Catbath was one of the bands that I saw. Bass player is Kristin who is also in Middlepicker who I know I have mentioned on this site before. They were fantastic. Triple vocals, harmonies, all set to punkish yet melodic music. Really just excellent. This was my first time seeing them (and I think just their second show) and I'm excited to see them again soon.

 Catbath.

Next up were the Rank Strangers - one of my all-time favorites. When they play, you should go.

Rank Strangers.

And last but not least was Spacecamp. They never play and they should because they are really good. Super fun and catchy songs. 

Spacecamp.
 
Saturday was filled with errands. My husband took the hardest one, which was getting up early to take the car in for an oil change. We both then took the dog to the groomers. He's so handsome. He was in desperate need of a bath, though.





And then I finally got to go spend my birthday gift card to Electric Fetus. I'd been waiting for a whole week. It was driving me crazy. I was so behind on music purchases for the year, I was starting to get anxious about it. One of the perks of being a musician is that you get a lot of music from the bands you play with. So I always have new music to listen to. And that's awesome. But there are still national bands I listen to or am curious about and those are the ones I was after. Honestly, I really dislike buying a lot of music in bulk because it's hard to focus and really get into an album. But, I just had to buy everything that day. Or everything I could. They didn't have a couple of the things I really wanted. Like Scout Niblett's It's Up to Emma or the EP by Lorde (with the song "Royals". Love it). And I also forgot that the new Volcano Choir album doesn't come out until today and I didn't save money for it on the gift card, so I guess I'll be waiting a while to get that one.

Top row from the left: Joanna Newsom: The Milk Eyed Mender, Phosphorescent: Muchacho, Dark Dark Dark, Wild Go.
Bottom row form the left: John Grant: Pale Green Ghosts, Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampires of the City, Beach House: Bloom, Veronica Falls: Waiting for Something to Happen.


That's what I bought. Up there. I spent Saturday night listening to them in my music room. Mainly just doing a quick skim of them to see if any of them really jumped out at me. Right now the only ones that really grabbed my attention are the Phosphorescent and Dark Dark Dark albums. The Dark Dark Dark album is an older release of theirs that I had been wanting to get. I've really fallen in love with that band. I'm sure I'll have more to say about these in the future.

I also couldn't resist snapping this picture while I was at Electric Fetus. It's still just so weird:


Then Sunday we went back to the fair! I had said I wasn't going to go again after a long, hot day back on the first day of the fair...but I couldn't resist. I really wanted another cheese on a stick.
 
It's basically a corn dog, except there is cheese inside instead of meat.

And we had to see the goats.






And the cows. One mooed at me twice. We basically had a conversation.





And the, as always, the fair completely kicks my ass. Luckily, while out shopping on Saturday, I found Season 3 of the original Beverly Hills, 90210, so that kept me occupied and on the couch for the rest of the long weekend.

Except for last night.

Last night I had a show at the Amsterdam Bar opening for Reina del Cid during their ongoing Monday night residency.

Reina del Cid.

I was pretty much expecting an empty bar. With it being the Monday night of a holiday weekend, I knew most people would be pretty burnt out. But there was a good crowd in attendance, so that was a nice surprise. Shawn and I played a duo set so we go to do some songs we hadn't done in a while, which is always fun. I even pulled out "The Paul Simon Song" per request of Tony, our sound man. It's been at least a year - most likely longer - since I had played it. Shockingly, I remember it. Might have to break that one out again sometime.

Setlist for the Amsterdam Bar on 9/2/13

  • Blind
  • Adore
  • The Party
  • Can't Even Tell
  • A Story
  • Old Fashioned Hat (Anais Mitchell cover. I played it solo)
  • Easy to Blame
  • Flavor
  • Beg, Borrow, or Steal
  • Salt
  • The Paul Simon Song (solo)
So, yeah. Busy, filling weekend. Short work week ahead. Good times.