Open Mic Smite, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! This has been my first thanksgiving ever in the states. My day consisted of having tea and cake for breakfast whilst watching the parade in New York on TV, then heading out to my step-aunt’s house for dinner, which was so good, and I say *tut tut* to anyone who says that American food isn’t good, ‘cos it’s GOOD.

Apart from food and giving thanks, a lot has been going on in my world! Firstly, I DID do the open mic night in NYC, and I SMOTE IT. Well, I mean, yeah, I did well, I thought. But there’s a whole lot more to the story, so I’ll start at the start.

So, last Thursday I headed into Manhattan all on my lonesome, to meet up with friends. I met with lovely Haley, who was dressed incredibly. I didn’t take any photos of her, godamnit, ‘cos she had to go to California the next day and so we really didn’t have much time together. But we went out to see Moomaw and Gravid Wives play, in Zebulon, in Brooklyn. That was fun, and plus, I got to see Miwa Gemini play with her band, and she was super, I really loved her music, and had a nice chat with her the night after, so hopefully will meet up with her next time I’m in NYC.

Anyway, so the next day, I headed into Manhattan from Brooklyn, to go to this open mic place. Actually, I had in mind to go to two nights, ‘cos these two that were on looked like they were quite close to eachother. Alas my grasp of geography in new york isn’t the tightest (?) and, no, 20 blocks is not a short walking distance. So, having checked out both venues the day before, I decided to just head to the closest one, which also seemed to be the friendliest, called ‘Lovin’ Life Learning Center’ (darn American spelling of centre).

So, I get there, and find that it is actually a youth learning centre. So, like, the average age was about 19. There were people also my age, and people twice my age, both performing and just being audience members, but most people were about 19. And they were all SO NICE. It was a big area, and when I sat down, before it all got started, 3 different people came up to chat to me, like, just to be nice. It was odd, cos all the kids were also quite ‘cool’, like, they weren’t nerdy at all, but they were also really open and lovely and friendly, it had such a nice vibe to it.

When I arrived I put my name down for the event, obviously. And they said I could only sing two songs, so that was a shame. But I was number 6 on the list, and damn near everyone that went on before me played 2 songs each (some played guitar, some sang a cappella, some sang to recorded music), so the lady that was organising it came up to me and asked if I could just do the one song, and maybe another later if there was time. I knew I wouldn’t stick around till the end, so I was a bit dissapointed with that, but hey, whatche gonna do. So i said yes, that was fine. Naturally.

Sooooo, my time comes and my “name” is called, that is to say, the presenter is like “See-ara, our next singer is See-ara, come on up”, and then she made some reference to Ciara, the hip hop singer who freakin’ ruined the pronunciation of my name for all time. Anyway, the presenter was nice, so I didn’t correct her, and just got up and did mah thing. Soooo, my uke was hooked up to an amp, and I had a microphone, and I sang ‘White Fluffy Clouds’ and riiiiight where there’s the change in the song, the electricity goes ‘Sha-ZAM’, or whatever noise is heard when electricity cuts out. Then everyone was like ‘keep going’, so I paused and kinda laughed and be-ed awkward, and then started singing again from the start of the change, and sang my little/big heart out, and actually really enjoyed myself, cos singing without a mic is a lot of fun, cos you don’t have to worry about volume being too high, you can just WAIL. I had a WAIL of a time, as it were. (see what I did there? Sharp as a rock.)

So yeaaaah, that was my open-mic experience, first ever! I was proud of myself, and shall certainly make a habit of going to open-mic nights, such a good way to perform frequently and improve constantly. Afterwards I went back out to Brooklyn to see my friends play again, and then headed back to JERSEEEY the day after. A great deal of fun was had by all, but mainly me.

And so, when I got back to my dad’s house, he informed me that he got talking to a fellow court videographer who also has a radio show once a month. So he spoke to this guy about ME and my quest, and the music dude gave him lots of good advice. The nicest thing to come of that was my dad saying to me ‘I’m starting to see things from your point of view now, and think you’re doing the right thing by really going for this, ‘cos I think you can actually make money from it’, or something to that effect. But the video guy also said ‘she needs to get something on a cd. Tell her to make something and send it to me, if I like it, I’ll play it’.

I’ve been wanting to record something for ages, and produce it myself, but can’t on my computer, but my dad has a mac, and I have a mic, and so over the next few days I’m gonna do a few lo-fi recordings. I’m excited about it. So, I’ll have those up and ready to show to people in about a week. And this will make it easier to get gigs also, as I can put up to date songs on my myspace.
Other happenings include meeting lots of other musicians, getting a show in Barcelona for when I’m back, and and and…just things moving along beautifully, generally! I’m excited! And overwhelmed, but mainly excited! Not that anything big and concrete has happened, but I feel that things are moving far more quickly right now, which is cool, cos just a week ago I was feeling down about thing moving slowly. Woo!

That is all, I believe.
HAPPY T-GGGGGG!!!!!!

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Today…

…I discovered that it’s very hard, if not impossible, to nod your head whilst saying no. You know, in a jokey trying to confuse someone and be humourous way. It’s hard! You can nod, but your head kinda tilts, as if it wants to shake instead of nod. Try it, but try it with someone, try the ‘ole no-ey nod-ey trick, and see if your head doesn’t want to turn and shake a little.

Also, tomorrow I’m going into Manhattan, from my Dad’s house in New Jersey. I’m meeting my friend Haley there, well, in Brooklyn rather. Haley’s beautiful, she looks like a doll. And she photographs incredibly. When I told Rosa I was meeting up with her she said, and I quote, “be prepared to have her looking amazing next to you in photos. Better bring your A game!”
’tis both funny and true. Depending on how good my hair looks tomorrow, I may not let myself be caught in a photo with Haley. But I’ll take photos of them, and put them here, for all the world to admire.

We shall meet for dinner, and then head to see Moomaw and Gravid Wives play, in Zebulon, Broooooklyn. Those are the guys I did some travelling with when I left Oakland. Anyway, they’ve driven across the states, and what with them being so close I figured I’d go into The City to see them. And to take photos of Haley.

Since I’ll be in the city, I’m gonna also go to an open mic night on Friday. Ooooh. I think I will anyway, unless I chicken out. I hope I don’t chicken out. I WON’T chicken out. I can’t. Not after my last blog post. So yeah, one COULD say that I’ve got a gig on Friday night in Manhattan. That’d be a lie though. But I COULD say that I’ll be playing music in Manhattan on Friday night. There ye go. Can’t dispute that. Sweet.

That is all.

Maudlin and lonely

Last night I felt quite tearful and lonely.

Forelorness

I’m not entirely sure why.
I guess it’s a lot of things, none of them being particularly bad on its own, but all amounting to my feeling overwhelmed, lonely, and feeling a bit sorry for myself, all in all.
I’ve been feeling slightly sad ever since leaving Barcelona. For the most part I’ve been enjoying myself so much, and it’s all been up and down. But some sadness seemed to linger througout. ANd I think what it is is that I’m currently travelling around, without having anywhere to return to. I have both of parent’s houses (Hi Mam! Hi Dad!), and my home is always with them, but I have no base, no one place where I have a life set up, so I guess it all makes me feel lonely. Barcelona is no longer my home, even though I have so many friends there. But my heart isn’t there, and nor is my best friend who just moved back to Ireland (Hi Hermanita!)
So, realising that that is why I feel sad, and that it’s okay and normal to feel sad, made me feel better.

Another thing which made me sad was music. But, in a good way.
During this month of travel (it was exactly a month that I was travelling around, living out of one bag), I felt so many ups and downs, so many emotions, to the point where I felt that I was in a lot of pain many times, and in those moments, I could turn to music. I also experienced a lot of music whilst travelling, and I came to know that I can’t be around music for too long, whilst not taking part in it. In the past I’ve been capable of putting off doing shows, putting off performing in front of people, putting off practice, all of that being driven by fear, I suppose. But I can’t do it anymore, it affects me too much, too detrimentally. And that’s a good thing. And yet I’ve still not broken the habit of putting things off. While I was in Montreal, I could have planned ahead just a little better and arranged a show, even at an open mic night. But I didn’t, ‘cos I was feeling maudlin. But now it’s been about 2 or 3 weeks since I last performed, and it has affected me. It turns out that I don’t just play music to play music, I play music to express myself. And it’s hard. I get so nervous on stage. But it also takes me to another level, a place where everything is just GOOD, no matter what else is going on in my life. Performing just takes me to a place of realising that all is GOOD.

Anyway, all of this is good. Pain is good, when you take the time to figure out where it’s coming from.
So now I’m going to commit to looking for gigs wherever I go, and playing and practicing music, and just keeping it always at the forefront of things, as the one thing in my life that really makes me feel like me.

I’m happy again today.
The End.

Hey again Burlington Airport, how’ve you been?

So, I find myself at Burlington Airport again. This time I have arrived from Seattle, via JFK, and haven’t slept in what feels like days, but is actually only one night. I feel relatively human. I will take the greyhound back up to Montreal in about 15 minutes. That means crossing the damn border again, which means getting off the bus and answering stupid questions about what my travel plans are, in a way that’s supposed to be relaxed and chatty, but is really a mine-field of the customs officers, as they lay their tricky and seemingly safe questions, to catch careless possible illegal immigrants, of which there haven’t been any, not yet. Nope, everyone has safely been able to get back on the bus each of the three times I’ve crossed the Canadian-American border. It’s still a pain in the ass though. Especially since you’re asked to take EVERYTHING off the bus, and also, one of the times, people damn well took other people’s seats! Like, okay, you don’t leave anything on your seat, so it’s easy to get confused, but this one time there was a full on game of musical chairs.

But that’s all beside the point.
What is the point?
I don’t know, I’m just tired and want to whinge. Perhaps.

Soon I will do a proper update, cos I have been having a rollercoaster of a time travelling. Music has been played, wine has been drunk in large quantities, new places have been visited, hearts have been broken and remended, money has been spent and re-earned, hot-tubs have been enjoyed in limited quantities, and new friends have been made. And I think I’ve discovered my new home. But it’s not where I thought it would be. But that will be in the next update. I just wanted to write SOMETHING to breathe fresh life into my blog, and so that people could witness and verify my existence which is ALLLL that matters.

Ta-ra for now, I leave you with a video done a couple of months ago while I was in the pyrenees, shot by my dad, the pro, Terry Carruthers.