2009 | Chantilly

getting to the end of the line

i've been listening in-depth to mixes for the past hour. my lovely bff chris g. has finally come through with his end, and danielle gave me another copy of hers last week- since true to form, i lost them months ago. it's a lot of comparing, and deciding which style fits which song. in the end, i'm so glad i waited, and have something to choose from. i have no idea if i'll ever be able to make an album again... why not do it right and have TWO people mix it?

i've pretty much decided that if i ever DO make another album, i'd like to do at least the vocal tracking by myself at home. there's something about a studio that just makes it hard to get in character/ bring out that intimate performance. there's a lot of moments where i cringe because i didn't sing a note quite right, or played a guitar part half-assedly. there's a lot that's not perfect about it. but there's also a lot that's fucking right about it, too.

it's often hard for me to listen to myself sing/ play guitar/ etc. but even so, i think the record has the potential to be fantastic. i just hope people will want to listen to it :/
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september tours, etc.

i have a great habit of posting about things that happened like, a month ago. well it's a melancholy day, and i've got some good caffeine in me, so no time like the present to make a new entry...

i played SHOWS, guys. i took some rad pictures, and i like to make stories out of them. so here is one: tracy and i spent a few rambling days doing some cool things in upstage ny/ western pennsylvania recently. i met tracy when she was fresh off the boat (or, plane) from colorado a few months ago. in that time, she's quickly established herself in the ny songwriter community, and has even hooked up tour dates with the trachtenburg slideshow players. i was psyched when she agreed to share some dates that i set up too!

on the way to clinton, ny:
writing on albums

this is the last batch of hand made demo thingies that i'm putting some finishing touches on in the car. in case you didn't know, i cut cereal boxes, stapled the pieces together, and drew on each and every one with colored sharpies. it took a really fucking long time to do all that. i'm really psyched to not have to write on cardboard anymore every time i play a show.

i made like, 200 of them altogether. i can proudly say i'm almost "sold out" by now, although a lot of it was due to playing lots of shows outside of nyc this year. i hope to be able to continue to do so once the real album comes out, and hopefully it will have an even better reception! (mastering is finally scheduled, more on that at a later date.) also note: a lot of these same demo songs will be on the "real" album, but they will be bigger, better, badder versions :)

this is the crazy-ass place we played at in clinton. it was pure love. we just played all day because we got there in the afternoon, and people were trickling in and out the whole time.
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..i pretty much hate all photos of me performing, but this one is kind of okay... showing off the colorful surroundings, complimented by our colorful outfits.
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tracy is hilarity + sex on a stick. go listen to her "bartender song" on myspace. you won't be sorry.
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checkin the internetz.
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also performing that night was my dear friend from new york jenn friedman, who had been on tour for the past three weeks. she was joined by another brooklynite athena reich, and her act was a screaming riot. go to her cd release @ sidewalk on october 10!
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most of athena's pictures came out really funny, because she makes so many facial gestures as she performs and talks to the audience. this one is cute.
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woke up to the sound of trees rustling against each other outside the window of our overnight host's house.
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and we were all treated to a breakfast feast. actually, we didn't pay for food the whole trip... someone was always offering us meals!
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... on the road again. we stopped at an amazing farmer's market on the way to jamestown, ny to get some fresh fruits and veggies. probably the only time we DID pay for food, and i only spent about $2 :) in the next picture down, you'll find tracy teaching me the sweet, sweet joys of eating sweet, sweet corn in the raw.
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okay. it gets a little boring here. because i forgot to keep taking pictures for the next couple days :-/ so the story ends, sorta?

in short: people in jamestown are totally cool, and you can buy a fucking house there for $40,000. also, there's a lot of crazy auctions where you can buy musical instruments and other riff-raff items for stupid cheap. frank and jeff are especially awesome.

meadville, pa is not exactly a cultural mecca, but people will come out to see you when prompted. unfortunately, we were an hour late for our gig due to car trouble, so we missed a lot of the crowd :( i'm a disorganized hot mess most of the time, so left my guitar tuner here. but supposedly the owner of the cafe we played at will be sending it back to me in a few days.

i do have a few photos of the last show at eclectic etceteras:

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yep, it was pretty empty. so we played outside to attract a crowd. but unfortunately there was a home football game that day, so the whole town was there. miraculously though, during the last moments of my set, an amazing couple showed up and bought SIX of my tote bags, cds, and got a bunch of tracy's stuff too!

i was really in love with this brown slip and should've just gotten it. i've been thinking about it ever since...
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so that be my tour diary. in conclusion, i'll just leave you with a picture of this:

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for sale pretty soon!
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we've got a lot to talk about

i've been hoarding all the pictures i've been taking of my adventures lately, and i've been up to a lot. like my screen printing adventures, for example... i've got merch now! bet you didn't know that. and not just any merch, but merch that i designed and screened myself! now, i really don't consider myself a visual artist in any way, so this is a real accomplishment. i just strolled my fine butt down to abc no rio on the lower east side, and they showed me what do do.

interesting character

screening

ink

screening

tote bags, tote bags, tote bags
oh my


fun, right? i've been taking them to shows, but haven't put them online yet. that's next on the list.

show updates soon!
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i am so smart. i am so smart. s - m - r - t

i was getting off a bus yesterday. a bus ride that was supposed to take 3.5 hours, and took 7. a bus ride in which the bus driver almost rode head-on into traffic, got lost multiple times, kept going through the "cash" lane for tolls instead of the e-z pass lane, and got stopped by the cops- having to give his license and registration to be checked out. we were also in queens at one point, which is mighty interesting, since greyhound bus routes don't go through queens. ever. at the end of the ride, he was giving his sincere apologies to me, the last person off the bus. i got distracted and forgot to adjust my grip on the case. i stepped off the bus and the case slipped like butter from my hands to the pavement. this was the resulting travesty.


damage part 1

damage part 2

damage part 3


more on that later. i'm rushing it to the guitar hospital today.


and i had planned to post an update on chicago this week. maybe i still will.
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tours, etc.

i know, i know. i'm a sucky blogger. once-per-month updates?! shame on me. but i've been twittering a bunch. i find that it's much easier to commit to one simple, short thought rather than a long, drawn-out post. i used to love making blogs. who knows, maybe it's the progressively shorter attention span of the collective conscious of the internet that's infecting me. either way, a few thoughts:



i had a swell time at all the shows i played last month. all the people i met were fantastic. many of them instantly felt like friends, and i hope i can keep in touch...

last month marked my first time renting a car, ever. or... not exactly true, since we had one in austin. it was my first time doing it myself, start to finish. i got the best rate on priceline.com. boarded the nj transit bus to the airport. took shuttles and airtrains until i reached the avis counter, confirmation number in hand. then sat in my economy driver's seat, nervous. could i do this again? be a driver? FUCK YES, I COULD. alright then, we're off!

but trouble struck: google had given me the most fucked up directions that could ever be. since google had never done me wrong before, i had no inclination to check them before i left the house. i first suspected something was askew when they had me get off on a dinky little townie road, that passed many a dunkin' donuts and burger king along the way. i KNEW it was askew when i saw that they wanted me to stay on it ALL the way to the venue. i started panicking- around me, all this nature and beauty... i couldn't even enjoy it since i was so freaked out!

called the club. told them i might be late. "uhhh whatever. just get here when you can." alrighty- guess they didn't care. well I CARED dammit. chantilly only shows up fashionably late, not last call late.

thankfully, i did get there in time. radio bean reminds me a lot of brooklyn. both in decor and attitude. it's the kind of place where the creatives in town come to see and be seen. but it's also where people really do like art and listening to new music. so i felt right at home.

the next day, i drove onto a ferry to get from vermont to new york. crazy. it was the quickest way to go from state to state. immediately after the ferry, i almost ran out of gas, got lost, and was this close to being late to the next gig at cyber cafe west. oh and, i did all this while driving through a torrential rainstorm with the power of the depths of hell. i'm full of win sometimes. here is my rented car.
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views from the ferry
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i met some really great people at langdon street cafe a few days later, with fellow songster friend jenn friedman. but not before jenn and i discovered the joys of being turned away from our car rental reservation for having a debit card, instead of a credit card. it cost us in blood, sweat, and tears, but after spending some time trying to track down a company who would take a debit card, we got there... and it was well worth it!

rest area in central vt
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montpelier is the kind of sleepy new england town you've always dreamed about. you can see the mountains right from main st. the town folk are kind and courteous. hence, i took a buttload of pictures.
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jenn
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someone from the audience took this picture of me with their camera phone, and texted it to my email as i was still playing! i can't wait to go back!
langdon street



to change the subject completely, the make music new york festival was fun this year. mainly because i got to play with gunfight!, a band i met when i set up the bushwick open studios music fest last year. not only is their music great, but they are super-nice guys, and they live right near me! check them out!


other random thoughts:

i made this little promotional banner, trying to win free ad space on a website. it's cute, but i can't figure out what else to use it for:
room




my songs are taking for-fucking-ever to get mixed. but i can't really complain, since it's a friend doing me a solid. and he's doing a really awesome job by delivering just what i asked for, while adding his own interesting bits. and i'm totally grateful to him, and everyone else who's donated their time to this record. i don't mean to be a nit-picker. but still, it feels like i'm pregnant with a baby that's about 10 months overdue.



and i'm on a break this month, i think. i love traveling. i love meeting cool new people. i love birthing new creative things like songs and recordings. i love an audience that is willing to listen to my self-deprecating banter, chirps, vocal swoops and swirlies, giggles, and attempts at guitar playing.

but there are things that i don't love so much, sometimes. top-secret info from the man behind the curtain- independent musicians in the internet age need to do all jobs for themselves: booking agent, tour manager, press/ pr, graphic designer, researcher, administrative support, and more. while also being a creative force to be reckoned with, excellent performer, and all-around great gal/ guy. and paying the rent every once in awhile is kinda important, too. being everything takes a toll. i'll leave it at that.
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mixes

i met up with my friend chris gilroy today. he's doing some mixes for my album, and taking it in a different direction than danielle did. it's very spacious and dreamy with more effects (for the songs i've heard so far.) not that i didn't love the job that danielle did (pretty/ clean/ pop-y), but it's just a luxury to be able to have two different people mix for you. this way, you can see what style fits which song more. a mix 'n match album! ha.

i admit, it's a little hard to digest chris's stuff after being used to danielle's versions for so long. but he's doing just what i asked of him. i really don't want my work to sound sparkling clean. since my songs and arrangements are pretty straightforward, i wanted a little more edge in the post-production. some "ear candy," as chris puts it. from the preliminary listen i liked where he was coming from, but some of the effects are a little overdone. all in all though, it's refreshing and scary to hear the change. i'll need to give them a couple more spins. i might end up going with chris's mixes exclusively if we can find just the right balance...

the next step, which i've been putting off forever, is to find a competent yet affordable mastering engineer. i've got some suggestions to look into.

and dear discmakers- can you discount the eco wallets already? but before i order them, not after 'kay? that would just be cruel. you've run specials on everything else. it'd be great thaaaanks.



show updatez: i was in portland last weekend. maine not oregon, that is. i played at a slainte wine bar. it was cool. sort of dead for a saturday night, but hey. it happens. the owner, ian, was really nice. before that, i was in providence at as220- a place i've ALWAYS wanted to play at. it changed a lot since the last time i was there. still, it exceeded my expectations and i was happy to be there :)

tomorrow i'm going to dc to do sounds of hope for the second time. the weekend after that i'm playing at the cool, a house concert series, and i'm SO excited about it.

now must do email blasts and pack and burn cd's and get together travel for tomorrow.


so, signing off. really excited about the mixes :P
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haha. i wore plaid flannel today. and chucks... aaand maybe rolled up the hem of my jeans so as to expose my slouchy socks. also, i opted for glasses rather than contacts. i felt like the emo-est emo kid ever to walk the earth.

yeah, i admit... i had a tiny emo phase, okay? long ago. but i looked at myself in the mirror, and it reminded me that i think i should start/ be in a rock and roll band. or even a riot grrrl band. even though i don't own an elextric guitar...

but such petty things don't concern me. i was drunk as fuck at some party recently, and a piebald song i used to listen to started playing. let me tell you, i played some sick drunk air guitar.

my new rock look + air guitar skillz = i think i should be in a rock band. the end.

next step... bedford avenue haircut!

documentation of said "look":
flannel chan



current song that's been playing in my head like a trazillion times... try to guess by the lyrics-


check my coat in and i paid the dolla
sidekick rrrings, what's up HOLLA
txt the address i'll see you LATA
BABY COME DOWN

COME DOWN COME DOWN COME DOWN
RUN DOWN RUN DOWN RUN DOWN
RUN MAKE A RUN MAKE A RUN MAKE A RUN MAKE A RUN MAKE A RUN MAKE A RUN DOWN

DUN-DA-DA-DUN-DA-DA-DUN-DA-DA-DUN-DUN...
(etc.)
BEAT GOES ON


(hint. it's mia/ come around.)
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