For the fans

I have two friends who are two completely different types of music lovers.

Eric, a rabid concert-goer, regularly attends a musical performance at least once or twice a week. He’ll buy tickets to a show because a certain artist was the soundtrack to his high school years. He’ll buy tickets to see a an artist of whose songs he’s only heard one of. He’ll buy tickets to a show because someone once told him the singer reminded them of Billy Idol. Not only will he go himself, but he almost always brings a friend or two. He’s the kind of fan I wish I had stadiums full of.

Bobby is a bit more particular about his live shows. In the past 5 years I’ve known him, he’s seen four artists perform live: The Pogues, Rush, Prince and Robert Plant. He will be seeing Rush again this year. He may even be leaving the state to do so. That’s the thing about Bobby; when he likes a live performer, he will go out of his way to see them when he can. He’s also a connoisseur of vinyl. His idea of a perfect weekend is spending time with his family and digging through local record stores for black gold. His record collection is meticulously catalogued and he knows the intrinsic and monetary value of each and every piece. He’s the kind of fan I wish I had stadiums full of. He’s also the kind of fan I hope keeps me and my songs alive way after I’m gone and dust.

So, as a music lover: on a scale of Eric to Bobby. Where to I stand between them?
This is a question that has been chewing at me lately.

When I was in college, studying to be an actress of the Broadway stage, one of our most notoriously critical and beastly professors told us on the first day “You MUST read the Arts and Leisure section of the New York Times every week! If you don’t, that means you don’t care and you don’t want this badly enough.” Of course, all of us babies shaking in our 18 year old skins were thinking “Shit dude, I came all the way to New York from (enter name of your tiny midwestern or west coast village here), you don’t think I WANT this?”

But his words are heavy with reverb and stuck on some fucked up looping track. If I’m not going to see a show a week, If I’m not spending my days and night scouring record stores or online music blogs, do I really want this? How big of a music fan am I and, is it big enough?

When it comes to buying concert tickets, I’m pretty slow on the draw. I need to know
1) It’s a group or artist that I will be entranced by. I need to know that THEY know their shit and they’ve thought of bringing a journey to their performance.
2) The sound doesn’t suck. There have been too many shows where I sit back and think to myself “What are they saying? I can’t hear a word. When will this thing be over so I can curl up in a ball and cry?” Seriously, I might have REALLY liked Kate Nash!
3) I want to be them. (Eric hates when I say this. But I need something to aspire to . Aspiration is fueled by inspiration.)

So, I guess I have a pretty good idea of the kind of fan I am. I know what I like. I know what I could live without.

I also guess that, in defining what kind of fan I am, I’m also defining the type of performer I want to be. I want my fans to love me for the same reasons I love my musical inspirations. Not that I necessarily need my fans to want to BE me. But I do want to be inspiring TO my fans. I want them to leave my shows saying to themselves “That was awesome, I can’t wait to see her again!” or “I can’t wait till her album is released on vinyl!”

So, thank you Eric and Bobby, for being my music fan barometers. You both keep me humble with your passion and knowledge of music of all kinds.

If I may, I’d like to introduce you to my newest musical romance, Joe McGuinness. If you like Tom Waits and have a penchant for the blues (like I do) you’re going to love this.

I can’t wait to see him live.

Finding hope and an audience.

I’ve got that unsettled feeling again. The kind of “unsettled” that makes me want to get a tattoo. Or hit the road to a new city and get a tattoo when I get there.

I think I need to get in my car and drive all over the the face of the States playing my music for people. I think they want to hear it. I think there are people out there who will really need to hear my songs. In the same way I needed to hear Ani and Ben, Even though I didn’t know it until I heard them. I feel like I need to find those people who need my music. Because, while there are some of them here, that can only mean that there are more of them “out there.”

I need to start making myself more available to them. I need to go to them and not keep expecting that my audience will always know how to find me. I hope they choose to hear me. I hope they like what they hear long enough to stay and strike up a conversation with me afterwards.

I’ve been writing like a screaming banshee and I hope it sticks. I hope these chicken scratch scripts adhere to themselves in a singable way. I hope someone concurs with them. I hope I shatter someone like I’ve been shattered.

It’s the best kind of shattered and I don’t think I can explain it. The kind of inexplicable feeling that is so personal people write songs about it in order to bring a sense of definition to the experience. Like meditation or having an orgasm. I hope I can help someone become shattered. It’s a beautiful wreck of a feeling. I hope everyone feels this shattered at least once in their lives.

I’ve been shattered twice. And I hope that’s not all.

Rock the Twins Benefit Concert for Boobs. Yes Boobs.

Rock The Twins!  Rock them I Tell You!!!

Come Join Ryan and me at the beautiful new headquarters of Clif Bar & Company on Thursday, May 5th.

The shindig starts at 6pm and the fun doesn’t simmer down untill about 11pm.

Expect music, dancing, food and bevvies, silent auction etc. There may even be some drunk people to laugh at (Me included).

Bring some cash to throw at the fine women who will be climbing to the top of Mount Shasta to raise awareness about Breast Cancer Prevention.

the Deets:
where: CLIF BAR headquarters
1451 66th street
Emeryville CA 94608

When: Thursday, May 5th at 6pm
Why: Because breast cancer kills Boobs! We MUST STOP IT!!!

Love ya!

Ben Kweller and my existential crisis.

I recently went to a house concert in San Francisco. I wasn’t familiar with the headliner, but I enjoy seeing music in this more intimate setting. There’s something refreshingly adult feeling about sitting in a stranger’s living room with other adults and listening to someone entertain us minus the fourth wall. For one fleeting hour, the artist becomes accessible.

There is some magic about this situation that humanizes the performer to a level where audience and artist are equals. Yes, one is doing more of the “talking,” but the audience enhances the experience by participating and actively listening.

I’ve been to three house concerts so far. I admit, some have been more engaging than others. But I inevitably end up falling head over heals for the performer every time.
Ben Kweller was no exception.

In fact, I think I may have a new muse.

Up until this past week, my main songwriting barometer has always been Ani DiFranco. Ever since I first purchased Little Plastic Castle and sat transfixed in Central Park, Manhattan until the cd had been rotated three times consecutively and my musical mind was shattered, she’s been my siren.

I found myself feeling that same shattered feeling when I listened to Ben perform in the little Victorian on Futon Street and I absolutely HAD to tell him. And, we were standing on the same carpet. I figured that this thin, polyester commonality gave me SOME license. That and the wine.

So I did. I think I even gave him a copy of my CD (Naked Day Alone). How embarrassing and uncharacteristically forward of me. But he was so gracious. He even gave me a huge hug. I was so freaked out that I don’t think I noticed the hug until later in the evening. But I remember leaving with the thought “THAT is the kind of performer I want to be.” I want to be human.

This brings me to my existential crisis over Ani. I’ve never wanted to meet her. Her impeccable use of the poetic language is so embedded in the DNA of my womanhood and I think, on countless occasions, she’s even saved my life. But I would never be able to tell her that. Or, maybe with enough whiskey in my gut, I could tell her. But I don’t think I would walk away with the same freaked out but equal feeling that I did with Ben.

Then again, I wouldn’t know. I’ve never been on the same floor with Ani. I’ve been in countless rooms with her. But never on the same level. And that may also be my fault.

In any case, two days after the house concert, I walked out of an Ani DiFranco concert 3 songs into her set. One of my best friends tried to comfort me by saying that this is a natural part of the process. “We are supposed to out-grow our gods. If we are ever to move forward with our artistic expression, we must move past and make better that from which we came.” Okay, maybe he didn’t say that last part. But it was implied.

April 2nd LIVE at the Starry Plough & Chance’s End at the Forage SF Night Market

Hey thar! 

One of my closest friends, Mike Bond of the Bottleneck Cafe FCC Free Radio, is having a birthday!

To celebrate, he’s having a shindig at the Starry Plough in Berkeley. There’s going to be music from myself, the likes of Keith Mitchell, Cara Wick and Bigelow’s Treehouse!

Swing by and wish Mike a happy birthday!

Saturday, April 2 · 8:00pm – 11:00pm

The Starry Plough Pub
3101 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA

Doors 8pm, Show @ 9pm

$7 cover, 21 and up only please!

Also! Ryan and I had such a blast Playing for the dinner guests of the Forage SF Valentine’s Day Dinners and I think they liked us. They’ve asked us to return to play at the SF Underground Night Market! While I can’t be there, Ryan WILL be and I highly reccommend the event.

Here are the deets:
Saturday March 26th
11am-4pm: Drinks, Hot Food, Mellow music
6pm-2am: Drinks, Hot Food, DJ’s, Projected MediaWhere: PublicWorksSF
161 Erie St. (b/t Mission/14th st.)
San Francisco

Love ya!

February gigs

Hey folks!

Mark your calendars for either (or both) of the next two upcoming performances.

This Saturday, February 12th:

At the Actual Cafe in Oakland:

6334 San Pablo Avenue • Oakland, CA 94608

no cover- all ages

I’ll be sharing the stage with Steffy Sue Steffy Sue

Then on February 26th:  Take a trip down to Half Moon Bay and see me and Ryan perform at the Wine Bar:

270 Capistrano Rd
Ste 22
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
$5 cover
21 & up
Hope to see you very soon!

Actual Cafe, KMVT 15 and Resolutions

Hey folks!

Hope your New Years Eve was spent unwisely and all in one place. Or all over the place.

I spent mine at a Primus concert, followed by the Dresden Dolls then joining Ryan onstage to play our own way into the new year.  Not a bad way to get started, methinks?

As a tribute to my muses of music, I’m going to resolve to do more of what I’ve been doing already.  Much Much More.

Hopefully I’ll write a couple of new tunes in the process.

SO! To rev up in 2011;

January 9th, at the Actual Cafe:

The Songwriters Collective:

I’ll be sharing the stage with two of my favortie Bay Area Songwriters, Wendy Beckerman and Cara Wick

6334 San Pablo Ave

Oakland CA, 94608

We’ll be going from 4-6pm so bring some cash for eats and drinks (and CDs!)

On January 14th, I’ll be heading on down to Mountain View to the KMVT 15 studio for a taping of King’s Connection: An interesting look at music and local personalities.

For information about Mountain View Community television, click below!

We go on at 9:30pm.  Tune in if you’re in the area!

Beyond these giggeties, I’ll be looking into performing at some of the amazing house concerts in the area and beyond.   Hopefully someone will open their home to me.  Ryan and I will also be looking into doing a small tour sometime soon. 

keep your eyes peeled for more gigs!


This Sunday in Half Moon Bay

The Wine Bar

in Pillar Point Harbor presents

New Music Event, every 3rd Sunday of the month


Acoustic Round Robin series

Featuring 3 great musicians from around the Bay Area sharing the spotlight

This coming Sunday, December 19th features:

All women’s Singer/Songwriter Showcase


Emily Zisman– Oakland,  CA

Essence– San Francisco, CA

Nomi Harper– Pacifica, CA

The Wine Bar

Harbor Village Mall- 270 Capistrano Rd., #22

Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

5$ cover

At the Half Moon Bay Wine Bar

I’m really excited about this gig.
I’ll be sharing the stage in a round robin with two other local Singer/songwriters:
Nomi Harper:
from Pacifica CA and one other yet to be determined.

I’ve been to the venue and it has really great sound. I’ve also hear dthis songwriter’s event is a balst.

The event will take place Sunday, December 19th from 7:00pm-9:00pm at the Half Moon Bay Wine Bar

There is a $5 cover for the evening.
Come on down to the ocean and have a galss of wine with me.

I’ll play really purrty like for ya.