Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Time is Hear Ye!

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love light gleams...

Like I've waxed on about before, music has played a large role in my life this year. It soothes, awakens, enlightens, enthralls, makes clear what is swirly and dark. It has been a gift in my sobriety, a wish I had that has somehow come to be. 

This year, the gift culminates with my first Christmas album with my friend Joe, Christmas Time is Hear Ye! We cover our old and new favorites, from the crooning standards like I'll Be Home for Christmas, to the unconventional carol Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis.

Click here to view the album, or listen via the player below. May your holidays be filled with love and light!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

'Tis the Season!

With my birthday so close to Christmas, my family didn't really develop any holiday-centric traditions. Sometimes we give our gifts on Christmas Eve, sometimes we spend the morning playing board games and drinking my father's awful coffee, sometimes we buck Christmas all together and celebrate the Solstice. Every year is special, every year is lovely, but there hasn't been one intentional through line that ties one year to the next.

What I have is an accidental tradition. Very much on a whim one year, my friend Richard and I posed as George and Martha from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? for a Christmas card. Since then, we've recreated scenes as celebrities, iconic duos, and even "ourselves," to wish our friends and families happy holidays. It's frivolous fun, something we look forward to and start preparing for months ahead.

After seven years, this is probably, solidly a tradition. And I didn't realize it until this very moment, but this year, we appropriately chose The Seven Year Itch as our inspiration! Any ideas on who we should portray next year?

George and Martha, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – 2006

Harper and Prior, Angels in America – 2007

 Holly and "Fred," Breakfast at Tiffany's – 2008

"Ourselves" – 2009

Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe – 2010 

 Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick – 2011

 The Girl and Richard, The Seven Year Itch – 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

10,000 Hours

Music video shoot for a Seattle artist. 

"Ten thousand hours felt like ten thousand hands.
Ten thousand hands, they carry me." – Macklemore

Since making space in my heart and mind earlier this year, incredible things have come to pass. I am relearning language, articulating truths and feeling out honesty. I've explored my own backyard and found beautiful new corners of my city and state. I've learned hard lessons. And most delightful of all, music has bloomed, billowed, exploded. 

How band practice usually starts. 

From helping out at a music video shoot (see above), to crafting a song out some lyrics that came to my head while carrying coffee back to my apartment (I've learned that the voice memo app on iPhones is perfect for capturing words when you don't have a pen and paper), music has suddenly become a very important part of my life. I put the intention out that I wanted more rhythm and joy, and people started knocking on my door. I sang my favorite song at a house party, I recorded some vocal tracks for a friend from high school, I'm slated to record a demo with my bandmate in January. Sometimes it makes my head spin. 

Recording in my childhood bedroom. 

Music has also given me something to hone and practice, to wildly make mistakes and learn from them. As I've written before, I struggle with perfectionism and living within other people's definitions of success. As I log my 10,000 hours, there are rough moments, raw realizations, the potential for me to get hard on myself because I didn't get it right the first time. But those cracks give the light a chance to shine through, and I am grateful for every moment I get to spend making music and mistakes.