November 16, 2017
I can’t believe it’s already almost Thanksgiving.
It’s hard enough to believe it’s already Thursday this week.
photo by Master Key
Looking back (which is perhaps obligatory at this point), I was struggling through survival, getting the debut album mastered and straightening out all that needed to be done for publishing (3 covers and 5 originals, including 3 cowrites) throughout this year. I am Ever Grateful for the support of several friends and family who helped me reach these milestones (including surviving), and I had to do a lot of research on my own to educate myself, as well. It can be a lonely road as a solo indie artist, but you are not alone as long as you reach out and are willing to put in the work.
I must give props to a few organizations & individuals who have been especially helpful to me this year: Soundgirls, Play Like a Girl, Balanced Breakfast, and the wonderful Cheryl B. Engelhardt and Suz Paulinski. No matter your gender identification (or even non-identification), check them out if you are also an indie musician making your way in the wilderness of the music industry right now.
A week later, on October 29th, DJ Julie Slater premiered the song “Attachments” on her show on 88.5 FM, “Out On a Limb”, and my band and I premiered the full album live later that night at the Grand Star Jazz Club (Thank You, DJ Julie Slater, my band, and openers Matisse Marie & Dante Lee and Master Key! What an amazing day that was!)
Last week, Buzzbands.LA also premiered the song “Grandmother Tongue” on their weekly IndieFM show alongside so many other great indie artists bubbling up in Los Angeles (such an honor! Thank you, Buzzbands.LA!).
Now, I can finally confirm that the cds are in production and the vinyl will be soon, as well (available to order on Bandcamp now, cds shipping out in early December, vinyl in March-ish). I wish it could have all been ready at the same time, but sometimes we have to take baby steps (most importantly, baby steps forward).
For any folks who are sticking around Thanksgiving weekend, I’ll also be playing a semi-acoustic set at A Little Indie Night Music at the UnUrban Coffee House on Saturday night, November 25th. Hosted by RockIt Writer, the night also features Silver Twins, Jennifer Zhang, and Diana Rein. Come hang and have a coffee to sober up after that food coma.
It’s been quite a year with its ups and downs, and I’m going to cherish every moment that’s left of it.
If I don’t see you or have a chance to talk with you before the end of the year, Happy Holidays! Thank you so much for coming along with me on this journey.
As a gift, please enjoy this new wave/goth/post-punk playlist I made just for you (okay, I admit, it’s regifted. It’s the White Elephant in the room, dressed in black while everyone else is dressed in holiday cheer. Grab your chance at the piano and sing along):
April 18, 2017
Omg! Two months just FLEW by!! Things are moving! If you aren’t following on social media yet (buttons above), I’ve leaked *two* songs from my debut album, “Desdemona Resurrect”. I encourage you to hit “Like” and turn on Get Notifications (under “Following”) on the Facebook Bandpage so you don’t miss any future updates (such as the album presale date to be announced soon)! #FOMO, yo!
On International Women’s Day on March 8th, I leaked the song “Dream Child”. It was composed, played and sung by me and beautifully coproduced with Eric Berdon. Hope you like it!
Boz Boorer, producer and cowriter for half of my album, was also featured in a great article in Premier Guitar recently (click on the photo below for the article)!
And… I listened to my *first ever vinyl reference acetates* from Lodge Mastering in NYC (mastered by Emily Lazar, assisted by Chris Allgood — pinch me!) on Facebook Live! In the process, I also previewed/leaked a track that Boz and I worked on called “Grandmother Tongue”, inspired by my grandmother’s immigration experience leaving China and making her way in a strange new land, never to return.
Songs about real life and dreams, about starting over, birth and rebirth.
Happy April, everyone!
February 18, 2017
So much has happened since the beginning of the year, I barely know where to start! I have to give huge Thanks to Soundgirls for providing some amazing opportunities to continue participating in the world of music and expanding my perspective on how many avenues there are for women in audio.
Since it’s a day of torrential rain, what would be more perfect than revisiting this year’s NAMM Convention in Los Angeles/Anaheim? Different from the AES convention (which I attended for the first time last year) where the focus is purely on technology, NAMM is where musical inspiration meets industry, retail, performance, technology, further training, and an opportunity to hear perspectives from successful models in all aspects of the music business. From touring to studio design acoustics to women gaining a foothold behind the scenes, I felt so much more focused in what I wanted to get from this year’s NAMM convention. The first time I went (two years ago), I had no friends with me and no plan for what to see. This time, my fellow Soundgirls helped me look ahead and plan for what panels I wanted to attend. Since I am at this very moment still a recording artist preparing to release an album, I felt obligated to go to the industry-related panels, but I caught as many technology-related panels as I could, sometimes hopping between sessions at the same time. I’m sure a lot of people feel this way at NAMM. We wish we could clone ourselves to see Everything. I was still a bit overwhelmed in the exhibition halls, but my experience with the Mix With the Masters seminar last year definitely raised my understanding of the best in technology for recording and producing music. I understood better what all the equipment around me was as I ran through the exhibit halls and I did my best to demo products, put on headphones, and bang on all the instruments I came across! Maybe next year, I’ll get a chance to try on the virtual reality headsets. I still think they look silly (but hey, 5.1 surround sound and beyond is the future).
To top it off, it was amazing to go to the Women’s International Music Network’s 5th Annual She Rocks Awards at NAMM, where Soundgirls cofounder Karrie Keyes, Shirley Manson, Ronnie Spector, and Lita Ford were among the honorees. To be in a woman-centered environment in the music industry where we are focused on our skills and artistry, supporting one another, and not on gaining/competing for the attention of men is simply the way it should be. Props to all the men who came in support of their female counterparts in the industry!
Speaking of woman-centered spaces, participating with Soundgirls in Anna Bulbrook’s 2nd annual GIRLSCHOOL festival totally blew my mind. I gained a huge amount of respect for my more experienced Soundgirls and those of us who are veterans of the industry. It was awesome to relearn how to properly coil and also lay out cable (I’d better keep practicing or else I’ll forget), understanding backline and what plugs into where, and watching load-ins, soundchecks, performances, and load-outs. The mental focus to keep straight what patches to where from one band to the next just floored me. These are people who really know their shit and I was so humbled to assist. Unfortunately I don’t make great coffee like Wesley on Roadies. But I’ll glady coil cable for/with these amazing soundwomen again any day!
December 7, 2014
“Ode to Cat and Fiddle”
Warm Christmas lights
The dim incandescent
as you call over across the
neon palm trees.
Tomorrow I will be hungover,
My liver not over
you leaving me as your lover
Lost on mulled wine,
musing on memories
renewed in my mind
The times I wished you were
And what next?
Who will see me as their
I’ll be used to drifting alone
Then another tide will sweep
me over again.
I feel myself sober up
the chatty room cooling off,
Wash my hands again watching
the blue vase with white chrysanthemums.
It’s better than my second home
I’m often here alone
Sometimes even shunned.
Any moment a new beau can scoot over,
I just look down.
So many rooms like this, near and far.
None are like this one here, This *Star*
On the dimly lit boulevard.
None out there like this,
Not near nor far,
like the Cat and Fiddle
on Sunset Boulevard.
by Surely Lorraine
December 7, 2014