Saturday, March 28, 2015

These Days

Oh, these days what is even I don't know.

It's been nuts. NUTS. One of those moments in life when it seems everything is happening all at once and my brain can't even brain anymore because it's so filled with a million things to remember. I constantly find myself standing in the middle of a room with my hands on my head wondering what I was just about to do. Or staring at a computer not having opted to do anything on it...just staring at it thinking there must be something I should be doing.

It's been so busy that I haven't even been able to write about how my Kickstarter was successful!!! I honestly can't believe it. Going into it, I was certain I wouldn't make it. I just didn't think it would be possible for a million different reasons. But there was still a little part of me that thought it might be - I mean, if there wasn't, I never would have done it in the first place. I'm just so thrilled and extremely humbled and grateful by and for the support. It blows my mind. Unreal.

So now I have a long list of things to do and tasks to complete leading up the album release on June 13th. I just dropped off the album to be mastered today. My husband is finishing up the album artwork. I've got the release show venue booked and one other band locked in - still waiting to confirm the other one. While I wait for the album to be finished, I have to get all of the Kickstarter reward items in order, including readying a bonus EP for a certain tier of backers. It's very busy times. And that's just the music stuff.

All of this is coinciding with a very busy time at the day job. So many projects all due right now. I feel like I'm constantly just treading water. But, it will get better. And, it's nice to be busy. Busy is good. But I totally don't mind that I'm just chilling out at home right now with nothing on the agenda either : )

For now, I am going to relax with Netflix. X-Files and Season 4 of Arrested Development. Both of which I've seen before. Because that's how I do television.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Sofar Sounds And All The Rest

I had such a wonderful weekend. I was coming off a fun show at Harriet Brewing. I had taken Friday off of work just to rest my brain and regroup. I did nothing Friday night but watch shows on Netflix. Saturday I headed out to a really great show at the Amsterdam Bar and Sunday, I played a show and caught one of my childhood heroes playing a show, as well.

Last week I was asked to play a set for Sofar Sounds. Sofar Sounds is a global community of music lovers who host house shows all around the world. They are based in London, but have hubs everywhere, including Minneapolis. I've always wanted to play one of these sessions and was thrilled to be asked.

But I also had tickets to see one of my favorites, Juliana Hatfield, at the Turf Club.

But, I couldn't pass up the Sofar gig. It was just too cool.

And it was cool. And FUN.


It was my first house show - well, I guess my first CD release show was held at my house - but this was my first house show that I did not throw for myself. It was me and two other bands (Warehouse Eyes and Jessica Manning). Shawn joined me on lead guitar. We got to play 4 songs. Sofar videos two of them and then they put the better one up on their site and social medias and all that fun stuff.

The house was full. I had no idea what to expect. I invited people (Kickstarter backers - these are the perks of backing a Kickstarter!), but Sofar Sounds has their own community of people who come to these house shows. And they come there to listen to music. It was a thrill to perform and have people just sitting there, watching and listening, quietly. That doesn't happen at bars.

The Sofar Sounds crew was awesome, as was our homeowner host and his super cute dog, Suzy.


 We became fast friends.

I had such a good time. Thank you to everyone who put this together and who attended.




  Set list for Sofar Sounds 3/8/15
  • The Reminder
  • Daughter (first time played live!)
  • A Story
  • Safety Mode

After the show, I managed to make it over to the Turf Club to catch the end of the Juliana Hatfield Three's set. On this tour, they are playing the entire Become What You Are album. I got there for the last song from the album. I walked in and she was performing "I Got No Idols" and I felt like I walked into an episode of My So Called Life. There is a particular episode - the BEST episode - where everyone goes to see Buffalo Tom. But the strange part is that no one gets there on time and those who are there aren't paying attention. It's weird. But, I felt like Angela Chase walking into that club last night. Oh, hey, cool - it's just Juliana Hatfield up there. No biggie.

But it was a biggie. And what I caught was awesome. I'm glad I decided to still stop in.



As for the rest of the weekend...

Saturday night, Zoo Animal performed their first show in over a year. This band is so crazy good. You just have to go see them. I'm so glad they're back.



Fort Wilson Riot opened and they also put on a crazy good set.


It was just an excellent show all around  - and early. The whole thing was over before 10pm. Which means I got to head home and watch...

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Even though I binge watched the whole thing (13 episodes) in under a day, I'm still unsure what I think about it. I enjoyed it. There were things about it I really liked, moments I really liked, times I laughed out loud. But I also found parts annoying and I question whether I found it funny at all. Sort of the same way I feel about New Girl. I think I just grow to like the characters so much that I just enjoy checking in with them.

I guess I'd recommend it. It's short. It's cute. It's very positive and really easy to watch.

Today I am tired. I guess that's totally my fault for picking Sunday night as the one night I really go out over the weekend. I'm supposed to go out tonight and tomorrow, too...

The Kickstarter for the new album is still going. We're down to 10 days left and only 56% funded. SO NERVOUS. If you feel like pre-ordering the new album, that would be AMAZING.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1330333284/niki-becker-reactor-new-album

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Harriet Brewing 3/5/15

Full band show! O my goodness I love full band shows. And this was the FULL band. Everybody was  there. Look!


It was another longer set for us. We played two 45 minute sets. It was a good crowd. It was a good night. It's a fun location and I look forward to playing there again someday.

The delightful Katy Vernon also performed later that evening. I'll be playing with her again April 15th - this time solo - at The Aster Cafe.

Set list for Harriet Brewing 3/5/15

Set 1
Car
Lens
Where's the Fire (we're changing the name of this to Running)
Here
Blind
Float
The Reminder
Good to Know
On Fridays

Set 2
Minnesota
I Wanna Know
Reactor
Beg, Borrow, or Steal
When You Were Mine (Prince cover)
Introvert
Safety Mode
For the Time Being
Yesterday





Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Nicollet 2/27/15

My head has been spinning these past few weeks. So much going on. I have been telling myself to write this since Saturday and other things keep happening. I don't even know what those things are. Just things.

But I played my first solo show in a long time last Friday night at The Nicollet. The Nicollet is a coffee shop, but it also serves beer and wine so it's the BEST coffee shop. Ben Miller (of The Federales) and Elizabeth Ghandour also played sets. Lovely people. Lovely songs.

As always, when playing solo, it's fun to break out whatever I feel like playing. But it's also dangerous because sometimes there's a reason I don't play certain things anymore and I forget why that is. Or I just haven't played something in so long that I don't realize I  maybe don't know it as well as I used to. Or I decide to play something I've never played in front of people before and those are always interesting moments.

I was ridiculously nervous before I went on, too. More nervous than I've been in a long time. So nervous that my neck got all blotchy and red and that had stopped happening to me before I played. Playing solo is an experience.


Set list for The Nicollet 2/27/15

  • Cohabitate
  • The Reminder
  • Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie (Joanna Newsom cover)
  • Oh, Sun
  • Good
  • No Words
  • Adore
  • On Fridays (first time played!)
  • A Story 
  • Safety Mode
  • For the Time Being
My next show is this Thursday, March 5th at Harriet Brewing with Katy Vernon. I will have my entire band along (all SIX of us!). Should be a lot of fun. We go on at 7pm sharp!

And, we're still looking for backers on Kickstarter for our new album! Please give what you can. We cannot make this album without you! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1330333284/niki-becker-reactor-new-album