Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Flying Solo

I've been going out alone a lot lately. It's been an interesting experiment in my social abilities. I am a HUGE introvert, incredibly shy, and a terrible conversationalist. It was not too long ago when the thought of going out alone would give me a panic attack. What will people think? What will I do? Just stand there? By myself? What if somebody sees me???

But with my still somewhat recent in the grand scheme of things adventures into music playing land, I've been wanting to go out more. I want to support the bands I've befriended and play with. I want to support the venues that let me play on their stages. I want to check out bands I've been hearing about. And when those events happen on a Monday night at 11pm, it's really hard to find people who want to come along with you. I also don't like to make a big show about making plans to go with other people because then I am fully committed. I like doing it on a whim. That way if I change my mind at the last minute, I'm not letting anyone down. I'm only held to my own desires.

So, I've been venturing out to shows by myself lately and, as I said above, it's been interesting. Some are easier than others. Some I know I will run into people I know well and can hang out with once I get there. Other times though, it's a crapshoot (is that one word or two?). I go. I get a beer. I sit at the bar or find a table or place to stand, and I just hang out. My iPhone has been an incredible aid in these adventures in solitude. I can always flip through Twitter when I find eye contact is something I want to make with no one. It's a balance because, though I go out alone and assume I will see someone I know and can chat with, often times I don't want to see anyone. Because then I have to talk. And then I freeze and look like an idiot. But I really do want to see people. But I just never know what to say when I do. I suppose 'hello, how are you?' works well.

It's also interesting to actually notice how many other people are going out alone, too. It's quite a large number, really. And they all do the same thing. They find a place to plant, grab a drink, pull out their phones, and occasionally talk to other people as they pass by. Sometimes us loners even talk to each other.

I've found being forced to feel totally exposed being out by myself - which is weird because you're alone so you're less of a racket and people probably really don't notice you as much - has made me feel a lot more comfortable with myself. I can stand here and watch this band and bop along or sing along all by myself and that's okay. It could also be an age thing, too. The older someone gets, the less they care what other people think of them. Maybe I'm finally hitting that mark.

This is all not to say that I don't enjoy the company of others and prefer to go out alone. Believe me, that is not the case. I've just been surprised that I've been able to do it at all without totally running from the room for fear of looking like a weirdo.

I guess I just think it's good to step outside of your comfort zone every once in a while and see what you can handle. Each time I head out the door to go see a show by myself, it gets a little easier. I'm learning how to talk to people and that's probably a good thing.

Monday, November 25, 2013

For Your Viewing And Listening Pleasure

Two of my favorite musicians, Haley Bonar and Tristen, released new music videos this week.

Great videos. Great songs.

Enjoy!



Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Nomad Minneseries Night #3

First I have to give a big shout out to The Nomad for a wonderful month. They treat their bands well. The staff was awesome. It's a fun place to play.

And though the weather on the final night of our Minneseries made for a quiet night, I still had a great time.

The lineup was excellent. All three bands killed it.

There was...

The Broken Bicycles:


We Became Actors:



And - what are my new local band crush - Strange Relations:


We debuted our new back-up singers, Colleen and Laura. So much fun to have them onstage with us. I think it went really well. They are such pros with the harmonies.

Now we are going to take a couple months and work on those new songs so we can start making a new album. So excited to get to work on these!

Thanks for a great 2013 and thanks again to The Nomad for helping us close out our year in a great way!


Setlist for The Nomad 11/21/13

  • Where's the Fire
  • Float
  • Introvert
  • Salt
  • I Wanna Know* (first time played!)
  • Lens*
  • Yesterdays*
  • Beg, Borrow, or Steal*
  • Blue Whale*

* - with Laura and Colleen


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dream Log #14

I sleep with a pillow wrapped around my ears to make it as silent as possible when I sleep. I've come to the conclusion that I've now Pavlov dogged my way to thinking pillow over my head means sleep. I cannot sleep unless I do this. 

Onto my dream...

I don't remember the whole set up of the dream. Just that I was in water. A pool. With a woman. And she kept trying to get me to do different tricks in the water and I was getting tired. And then she told me to do the thing where you play dead in the water by floating lifeless on your stomach. So I did. But I started to sink to the bottom and could not move. It was like those dreams where you try to scream but nothing comes out. I was paralyzed at the bottom, floating lifeless. And then suddenly I couldn't breathe. I started to feel like I was suffocating.

Then I woke up. And I'm pretty sure the pillow that was over my ears had found its way over my mouth and nose as I had rolled on my back in my sleep.

I think I was actually suffocating.

So creepy.

There was an additional dream I had last night where a bruise on my abdomen peeled off of my stomach without me touching it and fell into the bathroom sink. It looked like a piece of steak. The bruised side looked like a cooked filet of meat and the underside looked like the inside. The part of my stomach that it fell from looked perfectly fine, with just an outline scar of where it was.

It didn't hurt. But I was scared and panicky, but too embarrassed to tell anyone.

It was disgusting.

And also creepy.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My Favorite Albums From Last Year That I Didn't Get Into Until This Year

As with every year, there are albums either I don't buy or I buy too late to really fully appreciate and dive into before writing my Favorite Albums of the Year post. Then I feel bad because I end up really loving these albums, sometimes way more than the albums that make the list. So I'm dedicating this post to the albums of last year that are easily favorites but did not make my Top 10, not because I don't like them as much, but because I didn't have them in time. Most of these could have easily booted out other albums.

This post will probably happen again next year as there are still about 15 albums on my list that I want to buy and I am running out of time. Stupid money.

So, presented in alphabetical order, I give you my Favorite Albums of 2012 That Arrived Too Late But Would Totally Be in My Top Ten Now.

Beach House: Bloom
I've totally ignored this band until about 2 or 3 months ago when I heard a song of theirs on the radio while driving to work (the power of radio play is still so very important). I thought it was amazing and put them on my must get list. I decided to go with their most recent release first, which is Bloom.

I've got a thing for songs with driving beats and slight, distorted feedback going on a continuous loop for a while and this album is full of that. Excellent musical intros and outros abound - yet it is easily digestible. There is still a poppiness to it. A great album for just putting on and not thinking about anything for a while.

Top 3 Tracks: "Wishes", "Irene", "Myth"

Dark Dark Dark: Who Needs Who
Where has this band been all my life? I guess they've been right in front of me as they are from the Twin Cities. Once again, I heard them do an in studio performance on 89.3 The Current and it stuck with me. I was at a record store, saw their name, and grabbed this album. LOVE IT. Excellent lyrics. Excellent music. Excellent voice. Somewhat throwback, somewhat modern, piano driven music. Trumpets galore. I know I must have said at some point how much I love trumpets.


 Top 3 Tracks: "How It Went Down", "It's a Secret", "Patsy Cline"


Prissy Clerks: Bruise or Be Bruised
If I remember correctly, this album came out the day after I put up my Favorite Albums of 2012 post. I'm really going to try to hold out a few more weeks before posting my list for this year because I love this album. Super fun. Super catchy. Musically and lyrically fantastic. Power pop distortion fuzzed out candy sweet drive really fast with the windows down type of fantastic.

 Top 3 Tracks: "No Sir", "Stay Glad", "Blast-Off Girls"


Southside Desire: Songs to Love and Die To
I don't know how this album missed the list from last year. I don't know if it's because I had it on vinyl and hadn't yet transferred it to the computer so when I was looking at my options, it just wasn't there or what happened, but I love this album. Old school girl group for the modern age. Songs about heartbreak with a modern twist.

Top 3 Tracks: "Keepsake", "When I Was Your Queen", "The Ballad of a Flickering Flame"

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Happy Anniversary, Robbie!

Today we're celebrating Robbie's First Day. Since he was a rescue dog and no one knows his actual birthday, we celebrate his First Day  - meaning the day that he came home with us.

 On our way home on his First Day.

He and I had a rough go at first. He was very shy and I had expectations that he would love me full heartedly from the start. It took a few months...but we got there.


He's a truly wonderful dog. He's so good and sweet. He tries so hard to do everything the right way.


 I'm so happy he's a part of our lives.


 He's my favorite little guy.



Happy Anniversary, Robbie!


Friday, November 15, 2013

The Nomad Minneseries Night #2

So much fun last night!

Everyone was awesome. It was my first time seeing Cjell Cruze and I really enjoyed them. Rank Strangers were fantastic as always, and Space Camp were their usual charming selves.

 Cjell Cruze.

 Rank Strangers.

 Space Camp.

And I feel great today. Last week I could barely keep my head up the next day. But today I'm good. Sure, I'm a little sleepy, but no more so than I am on any other day, really.

We've got one more night of our mini-Minneseries at The Nomad. Next week we'll bring with us Strange Relations, We Became Actors, and The Broken Bicycles.

And maybe some additional gals singing with us on stage....



Setlist for The Nomad 11/14/13
  • Lens
  • Where's the Fire
  • Float
  • Salt
  • Good
  • The Party
  • Yesterday
  • Beg, Borrow, or Steal
  • Introvert
  • Adore

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mazzy Star at Mill City Nights 11/12/13



I spent a lot of time listening to Mazzy Star as a teenager. Alone. With just candles lit. Feeling oh, so deep. I was reminded last night, as the familiar pluckings of "Into Dust" began that it was one of the first songs I made an effort to learn on the guitar. I'd forgotten what an impact they had on me as a teenager and how much I did really like them.

There was no photography or video allowed during the show - not that that stopped people. Which is why my lone photo is of my ticket stub. As soon as the lights dropped, cell phones went up to secretly record what was - for the longest time - just a pre-recorded track and a strange visual circling on the curtain behind the stage. Really, this went on for a long time. A little too long. The crowd immediately hushed when the lights went out, but after 5 minutes of nothing, people got antsy and chatter began.

But eventually Hope and the gang stepped out on stage. The stage was decorated with candlelight and next to Hope's mic stand was tall shelf-candle holder thing with lit candles placed throughout, a very full glass of red wine, and her tambourine hanging from it. There was also - what I first thought was - a small music stand next to her mic stand. But as she got up to the mic, she raised it so it was eye level with her, thus completely blocking her face for anyone who was to the left of the stage (including me). Turns out it was an iPad that she used to control the inbetween live song snippets that played. It was distracting. (I have to say, it's pretty ballsy to request no photos,videos, please turn cell phones off and then perform with an iPad blocking your face.)

After 16 years between albums, it would have been easy for them to come out and play completely new material, throw "Fade Into You" in for the encore and be done with it. But they really didn't shy away from the oldies. Including "Fade Into You" and the previously mentioned "Into Dust" we got "Halah", "Ride It On", "She Hangs Brightly", and "Blue Flower".

It was a good show. An interesting one. I was greatly appreciative of the attentiveness of the crowd. With such quiet songs, it would have been easy for talkers to drown them out and cause a disruption.

It was also my first time at Mill City Nights. My first takeaway was: Levels. Lots of levels. It needs some grit - to get used up some more. It felt very brand new. But overall, it's a good venue. My husband and I both commented that it felt like a movie set. And with the opener Psychic Ills rolling threw a Jesus and Mary Chain influenced set (that I really enjoyed), he brought up The Crow comparisons right away.

It was like 1994 all over again.


Monday, November 11, 2013

The Nomad Minneseries Night #1

This post is only 4 days late ; )

But I have excuses. Friday, post-show, I was unbelievably tired. Usually I do alright the day after a show when I have to work. But I just did not sleep at all Thursday night. Then Friday, I was in bed at 9:45 and slept until 11:30 the next day. 14 hours! I haven't done that in years. Saturday consisted of errands and raking and vocal practice with my new backing singers and then out to the 331 Club for the Bethany Larson and the Bee's Knees/Taj Raj show.

Then there was Sunday.

Now, I didn't drink a ton Saturday night. I drank a normal amount of beer. Nothing at all excessive. But holy shit, I was sick the next day. On the couch from 9am til 9pm (when I went to bed) and throwing up. I'm pretty sure it was due to something wrong I consumed at some point the day before. My husband was in the same boat, though he managed to power through. My problem is once I throw up once, it's all over. I can't stop.

Anyway...there's your TMI for the day.

As for last Thursday...

It was the first night of our residency or "Minneseries" at The Nomad. We were joined by Landspeeder, Weights & Measures, and Dolfish. It was a quiet night, but fun as usual. The Nomad staff was awesome. It's fun doing these residencies because you really get to know the people behind the scenes of these establishments.



Setlist for The Nomad 11/7/13
  • Lens
  • Where's the Fire
  • Float
  • Blind
  • Good
  • The Party
  • Yesterday
  • Salt
  • Adore
We'll be back this Thursday with Rank Strangers, Space Camp, and Cjell Cruze. So excited! See you there! 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Daylight Savings

It's Daylight Savings today. That one day a year you wake up and look at the clock and remember it's actually an hour earlier and so you go back to bed. It all seems so silly and it's also depressing knowing that when I drive home from work tomorrow it will be dark. Where is this daylight we are saving? It will be gone for now and for the next few months.

Sigh.

Still sick but not terrible - except first thing in the morning when I feel like death. But by the time I've brushed my teeth and said good morning I start to feel okay. I've got a cough, though. Coughs are gross. Now I am the gross person with the gross cough. I don't like to be that person.

Whine.

I just spent the last 20 minutes sucked into a YouTube chain of Janelle Monae videos. Got to get that album.



Groove.

I've got to get a lot of albums. My list of new music to buy is ever growing. I swear there is a new album every day I want to pick up. It doesn't help that I live in a state overflowing with amazing music of its own that I barely have time to look into the Janelle Monae's of the world. But, really, that's a good thing. It's good to be surrounded by good music.

I've set up my own musical game plan for the winter months. These shows at The Nomad will be the last for us for a while. We will take the winter and work on new songs, tweek some old ones, and hopefully start recording the new ones sometime around March. We'll probably start playing shows around that time, too. Really excited to really start tackling these new songs and new arrangements. We've got some new people joining us in the group, too.

Excited.

Very excited.