As many of you know, my upcoming record Lights Out tackles the idea of loss in many forms: loss of life, loss of love, loss of friendship, etc. My mother's death afew months ago has been the most traumatic loss of my life to date, but it is already shaping me in important ways. Through the process of writing about grief, I'm discovering all the ways I can personally use loss as a tool for growth and resilience. I'm also hoping to foster a greater disucssion about how society/humanity could evolve by sharing, acknowleding, and relating to each other's personal stories about loss and trauma. We all try so hard to normalize and be "fine." What if we stopped doing that so much?
I recently started a project called "A Lens of Loss" on my writing blog. I hope you will consider it a companion piece to my new record, as both collections are processing the very same experiences. Just like the music, I hope the entries are healing or thought-provoking. I'm also eager to hear your stories too, so don't hesitate to drop me a line.
We're finishing up the brand new music video for Surrogate (first single of the new record) and we have a tiny bit of room for more footage. If you'd like to be in a music video all about sisters, now's your chance. Better hurry! Submissions can be sent (or dropboxed) to the email address below. We want footage of sisters who love each other doing pretty much anything! Dancing, shopping, singing, hugging, laughing, crying - anything goes! Tell your sisters, daughters, aunts, nieces and help spread the word to anyone who may be interested! We will accept both old home video footage and new smart phone footage...we just ask that you turn your phone/camera horizontally.
Exciting news peeps! I was recently selected as Honorable Mention for Telluride Bluegrass Festival's Troubadour songwriting contest! Obvi it would have been great to go compete as a finalist in front of bajillions of people, but I'm cool with this too. There are so many amazing songwriters out there, and I'm happy that someone out there cared enough about my music to think it was honorable and mentiony. From now on I expect you all to call me Your Honor. You understand.
You guys! I would be THRILLED if you helped me kick off my birthday week by coming out to this show. My exceptionally talented friend Caroline Spence will be in town promoting her new album Spades and Roses (which is crazy stupid good btw). We'll be sharing a show at the new Java Joe's in Old Town. The FB invite is here, you can buy tix at the door, or you can visit Java Joe's website to find out how to reserve tix. See you soon!
Here's a sample of a song that was written for the explicit purpose of processing some very personal feelings about a very specific experience. Probably not a song I'll ever play out because the verses are too specific to be relatable, but I think everyone can relate to the chorus. We all have to go through life figuring out how to let go of pain and anger. Sometimes it feels better to just throw up a white flag and peace out on a situation that doesn't feel right. Other times it feels more worthwhile to stick around and see what can be salvaged. Either way, you just gotta go with your gut.
1. Right this way ma'am to the finish line
I was never in your lane, you were never in mine
Do what you gotta do
Girl go get that win
Did you do it the right way?
Honey let's not pretend
sometimes you must choose to lose
with a shrug and a grin
2. Come with me friend to the starting line
You know I got your back, I hope you still got mine
Do what we gotta do to begin again
I won't fight for a prize
But I'll fight for a friend
This one's pretty self-explanatory. A little love letter to my wife for being just the absolute best thing a person could ever come home to.
Ain’t nothing new today
Ain’t nothing profound to say
Nothing of consequence achieved
Nothing that I lost was retrieved
But I came home to you
And you came home to me
That’s more than a lot of folks can say
There’s something to being with you
At the end of a nothing kinda day
Ain’t nothing crossed off the list
Ain’t nothing worth my unclenched fist
Nothing made work more than a check
Nothing made my head less of a wreck
My former partner and bandmate recently had an article come out for her solo record, and I objectively observed how 6 jam-packed years of shared experiences with her was so easily whittled down to a few sentences. It didn't make me feel sad as much as it made me feel so distant from a place I was once neck-deep in. I started thinking about how that kind of stuff happens over and over again in our lifetimes. How stories we're so immersed in become tiny little footnotes. How each skin we shed is full of so many experiences that are just left to die in order to grow new skin. So much gets left out in order to make room for more. Who's the real author? Are we writers or our own destiny, is it fate, God, a mix? That's sort of what I'm alluding to with the whole "dot above the i" thing.
When the novel becomes a chapter
When the chapter becomes a line
When the story you’ve been chasing after
Becomes once upon a time
Tear it up and let it fly
Tell it to somebody in the sky
Punctured and punctuated by
The dot above the i
When a friendship becomes a footnote
When a hug becomes parentheses
When the story you thought you wrote
Becomes whose words were these
Friends, please join me on April 14th for my first night at the new Java Joe's in Old Town. I'll be previewing some new songs from my upcoming record, and my friend and talented songwriter Jean Mann is on tour from Seattle and will be opening the show! Come out and support live music, local businesses, and touring artists all in one shot! www.javajoessd.com
A simple little self-reflective song that speaks to the unrealistic expectations we put on ourselves. Sorry, only audio for this one!
If I wore all the bells
If I blew all the whistles
If I drew the parallels
If I called my officials
Would you want me? Would you want me?
If I cashed a bigger check
If I cooked a better dinner
If I slept more or less
If I went to bed a winner
Would you want me? Would you want me?
If I lost all the weight
If I started medication
If I stopped to meditate
If I understood creation
Would you want me? Would you want me?
This one is kind of about how you (or people consoling you) try to rationalize and stay positive in grief. I try to tell myself to feel better because a lot people have it a lot worse. For example, I often think "don't be too sad about all that debt; some people don't even have a credit card" or "don't be too sad you had a shitty relationship with your mom as an adult; at least you had a good childhood and a lot of people don't even get that." Problem is, sometimes this makes you feel worse. It's like adding a thick layer of guilt to a grief sandwich. Soooo, I've been feeling some of the depression more now since the initial shock has worn off. I know (I hope) I'll climb out of that but it can be more comfortable and comforting to hang out with the familiar/negative stuff than exert the energy required to find the positive. Depression contradicts with all the things we learn about trying to be a good, virtuous person, so I leaned on some imagery about Justice, Prudence, Courage, etc. to try and illustrate how they don't quite matter or even make a whole lot of sense in my current reality. Grief/loss is a pretty prevalent theme in my songwriting, but it's just extra raw right now. Hence the crying.
1. I’ve got nothing left I can balance on
That lady with the blindfold is gone
Her scale and her sword have nothing more to say
It was just us then, it’s just me now
Where’s the justice in time running out
I’m trying to transcend but it sinks further in every day
So I keep company with well-known cons
I’m confident they’re my confidants
And the pros won’t speak to me
They are prone to secrecy
And I don’t know if I’ll ever get through it
Cause I’ve been the only one swearing them to it
2. There’s no wisdom now, no prudence here
If I’m reckless or cautious, I really don’t care
This snake and this mirror just slithered nearer to prey
I don’t feel courage and I’m not in control
I can’t produce faith and I won’t be consoled
And I’m losing all hope that I’ll ever know better todays