So...it's snowing tonight. It's been snowing since 4am last night. And I've got a guilt trip going because I had to cancel tonight's show at The Living Room. I was really looking forward to it. End of the year blow out. But alas..the Blizzard of 2000 has hit and incapacitated my band. Jagoda is stuck in the Bronx, his car under a pile of snow (although I suspect that really he's ordered a big pizza, rented a ton of movies from Blockbuster and he's really just tired and warm in his apartment with his kitties, holed up and happy). James Mastro, of the band The Health & Happiness Show and owner of my favorite guitar store, The Guitar Bar in Hoboken, NJ, is stuck somewhere in Suburbia. I believe him, though. And John Abbey is lying on a beach somewhere in Florida. My truck, although powerful and nasty enough to brave the elements, is stuck under a snowdrift, and Kal is sick with the flu, so it would be up to me to get out the shovel and you know, there are times when being a girl is nice. I can use/abuse that tonight. So, I apologize for backing out of this show, but I hope y'all understand. I DID once play in a Hurricane. At 6pm on a Tuesday at the Living Room and actually brought people in, so I think they owe me a mulligan.
I was looking forward to playing a new song tonight. It might tow the Cheese line, but it's my first attempt at a Holiday song, so I was proud. Maybe I can still play it at the Lounge on January 18th. Is that too late for a Blue Christmas song?
I'll be drinking in the New Year with my best friends in Jersey City, remembering that last year I was in a rented Winnebago with 6 friends, travelling through New Mexico, staying this night in Taos, drinking margaritas and eating way too many chile rellenos. It's been quite a year for me. My forthcoming album, which I'm now calling "Fable", is done being recorded. We'll be mixing and mastering it in January. It should be out and for sale by March, 2001. And already, I'm planning the next one, writing new songs, listening to a lot of Tom Waites.
Happy New Year everyone. Stay safe. Get a designated driver. And come out to see the band in January!!!!
(a picture of my niece, Alexine, 9 months old)
Ded 6, 2000 - Happy Holidays
Ho Ho Ho....
Just returned from Northampton, Massachussetts, where I played at Fire & Water for the first time. What a great venue! Very cozy and intimate. Can't wait to go back! I was also up there shooting a short film, "Nature Boy", for my good good friend Mark Van Wye Mr. Gad
My college newspaper, The Amherst College Student, did an article on me coming back to the area to perform for the first time. It's a bit embarrassing, but why not share with y'all. A bit scattered and unfocused, but nice nonetheless, the writer updated a play I was in, "Miss Julie", to "Ms. Julie" (Strindberg would be horrified I fear) and mis-called the circle of women songwriters I meet with regularly Urban News (we're Urban Muse, actually, but that's ok). How scary to see that she went back to get quotes from old professors. Ugh.
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season, whatever holiday you celebrate. Thanks for being so supportive of me over the past year.
Nov 13, 2000 - Road Trip....
Just back from my first real venture outside Jersey/NYC area performing my tunes. Well, you could say that my International Tour really started in June when I debuted in Cantho, Vietnam in the Mekong Delta with a live karaoke band, playing my songs "Cows" and "Idle Hands" to Vietnamese college students, a few Aussies, and my drunk brother. But really. Jagoda with his djembe and tambourines and shakers and dumbek and I with my acoustic guitar and chorus pedal headed upstate to Oneonta, NY to play at the Autumn Cafe on Saturday. Free food. Free beer. We got paid. People were attentive and friendly and we had a great time hanging with Amy Abdou and Troy (who rocked out before us) and Wayne Carrington (who booked us and borrowed my guitar to play his own tunes late in the night when it was just a few of us still drinking Duval "Doooo-val" beer...Wayne rocks). Then onto Albany where we played at the Lionheart on Sunday night. New friends Johnny Miles and Fred Gillen opened with a set of their acoustic bliss. And then Jagoda and me. And then our hostess, the Mayoress of Albany herself, Amy Abdou with her band, who rocked out until after 1 in the morning. Amy's my new lifestyle hero. A business owner. A homeowner. Her own band. Her own label. A diva. A generous, fun, great indiegal. We had a blast.
Things I learned on my first "tour":
1. EZ Pass is key.
2. Never turn down fried dough as a breakfast option when staying with the Foti's.
3. If you wear glitter, you will find it on your clothes and hair for weeks.
4. Bring your own mic.
6. There are musicians out there who have dayjobs they love.
7. Never "let" a woman beat you at pool.
8. Dunkin Donuts at 2am is ALWAYS a bad bad bad idea.
9. An a capella sound check will hush the crowd.
Can't wait for the next one!
Nov 8, 2000 - November 8th--The Day After
A Republican President.
A Republican Congress.
A 50/50 Senate w/ Cheney (a Republican) to sway the vote Republican.
Does anyone see an X-Files episode in the Florida situation?
And while I'm ranting, and prematurely grieving any advances in gay rights, womens' rights, grieving the soon-to-be-shredded Roe v. Wade, grieving Arts Funding (well, I've been at that for a while), grieving social, economic advances ... and holding my breath for more old white conservative men who just don't speak my language, who's in with me on my personal jet to Amsterdam? Canada? Anyplace but here?
Maybe we'll get another Woody Guthrie out of this. Light at the end of the tunnel.
Nov 2, 2000 - Indie Indie Everywhere...
Happy November. Although is the coming of November ever happy? October being so filled with color and light. November being filled with -- what? Grey and cold. We need to find another description in our memorylandscapes for this month. I guess there's always pilgrims and turkeys.
And the NYC MARATHON on Sunday, November 5th. There's an event! If any of you haven't, I highly recommend going out to cheer the runners on. I'm not talking about just going out to see the top runners who will zip by you in less than 2 hours. I'm talking about the woman running her first marathon who might stumble by you and cross the finish line at 5 hours. Or the couple in their 70's running hand-in-hand, hoping to make it under 6 hours. Or the hundreds of people running to raise money for the Leukemia Society or any other philanthropical mission. Those are the ones that need your support at that 21 mile marker. Bring a snickers bar. Or some hard candy. And a sign that says, "Pain is temporary. Pride is forever." Last year it was me who was running for the first time. And when I raced (or shuffled, really) by the guy holding that exact sign at 18 miles (I will remember him forever) I burst into tears. It might have been sheer exhaustion. But I don't mind seeming the geek and saying it was the crowd and their support cheering me on that got me through that day, one of the best days of my life so far!!! I'll be back out there next year. This year, I have been too busy in the studio to train. But I'll be cheering my friends: Lee Traxlor, Christian Parks, Briana, Matt from Hoboken...HAVE A GREAT RUN!
And while you're cheering, come to my neck of the woods this weekend and cheer on the indie bands who've travelled to play the INDEPENDENT MUSIC FESTIVAL in Hoboken, NJ. I'm playing w/ fellow Indiegrrl Jenny Bruce (what a voice!) on Friday, Nov. 3rd at the LIQUID LOUNGE.
One last note. And this may be my first official rant. It's cool to do your own thing and be as cantankerous as you'd like your on-stage persona to be. Hell, Courtney Love makes a living at it. But if you're involved in a community, any kind of community, that is specifically designed to be about supporting each other's efforts in a certain cause, be it independent music, or women in music, or leaf collectors for that matter, then remember that IT'S RUDE TO DISS YOUR FELLOW COMMUNITY MEMBERS. I'm speaking specifically about a certain to-be-kept-nameless songwriter/singer in the NYC indie world who should be ashamed of herself. She posts messages promoting her shows on e-group lists, which are designed to exchange information and be a support network for those of us out there just trying to express something. Yet her website journal pages are all about negatively bashing her community of NYC singersongwriters. You'd better be the best to say that everyone else sucks. I mean, it's fine to have an opinion. But negativity won't get anyone anywhere except a good karmic kick in the ass.
Oct 24, 2000 - Subway Series Madness
Happy Halloween! Remember the days when our mother's (or father's) made our costumes rather than simply ordering on-line Goofy outfits from the Disney store? We'd go through the trunk of material scraps and create entire pageants of characters: gypsies, trolls, ghosts, animals. I always loved being a witch and putting fake warts and moles on my face. Go figure.
I spent the past weekend in Vermont with friends and had the first whiff of chilly nights with chimney fires and the smell of fir trees and forests. Didn't have time last winter to snowboard, which is one of my top 10 favorite things in life (it might even make the top 5, right behind Kal's pasta sauce, which takes all day to make. For the holidays I'll post the recipe, so check back in December). But this year I swear I will catch big air. Or at least some air. And this year I will stick the landing instead of wiping out on my ass and having every 14 year old boy laugh at me attempting to look "rad". Gnarly.
Music news: Lots of people have been downloading my music off the mp3 site. Somehow I've made it onto a NYC pop Top 100 chart. Don't know how, but thanks to all of you who are listening!
Also, check out www.rsu.edu which is the online location of KRSE Tulsa, OK (91.3 FM). Dave Butler, the host of InnerVision, will be playing some of my tunes on his station. This whole internet indie community is just amazing!
John, Jagoda and I are still working on the CD, tentatively titled "Restless" (one of the songs, the state of my mind). We're 80% finished and really excited about it, but it's turning out to be so much more than I expected so I'm putting off the release date a bit. December or January. I'll keep y'all informed. In the meantime, check my mp3 for updated uploads of new tunes.
Go Yankees. Vote Vote Vote. Gore. Nadar. Whatever. Just not for Bush. Please not for Bush. Remember, the Supreme Court is in danger of more Scalia-types, and Bush has said in his wonderful broken English that he'd make the court more conservative. And if Bush wins, I'll see y'all in Amsterdam.
Sept 25, 2000 - September 2000
Hello! Welcome to my brand-spankin'-new web page. I plan to use this page as a rant, rave, news, journal-ish space--generally to keep in touch with everyone. If there's a lot going on, you'll see it; if not, you might see bad 7th grade poetry or maybe a love letter or two. Feel free to shout back comments and critiques by dropping me an email!!
New stuff: Today I just heard from Holly Figueroa that I'm now a performing member of the Indiegrrl network, joining loads of fabulously talented grrl singer-songwriter-musicians across the land. Keep informed on what's going on there by clicking my IG link on OuterSpeace! Also, I'm so happy to receive "Songwriter Magazine"'s Lyric Award for my song "Cows". Right now, I'm in the studio recording my latest CD, being produced by the fabulous John Abbey. We've got it about halfway recorded and I'm hoping to have it finished by December, just in time for the holiday rush! You can order preview copies of a few songs on my mp3 site.
I've been able to see some great performers this month. Jenny Bruce, Jo Davidson, Amy Fairchild, Jen Chapin, Morgan Taylor, Debby Schwartz and Michal the Girl. All have left me happy to be a party of the lowereastside scene.
The leaves are changing at my dog run in Hoboken, NJ (yes, I admit, I'm bridgeandtunnel) and the air is smelling of Autumn. October is my favorite month in the Northeast and I'm looking forward to a few weekends getting out of the city into the foliage. Maybe the Catskills. Maybe Vermont. Fall reminds me of new school clothes and piles of leaves my father used to rake and watching the golden leaves trickle down a mountain stream. It reminds me of new friends and new beginnings. The end of the humidity and the bad summer action movies. I wish my apartment had a fireplace...or I had a log cabin in the woods somewhere...ah to be a bit more financially comfortable! Someday...
A friend led me to this quote from the poet Rumi. "He who finds love beneath hurt and grief disappears into emptiness with a thousand new disguises."
Thanks for stopping by and come back soon.