Spoke a little about Deep Cry, and my upcoming album, Quarrel, on Break Thru Radio’s podcast Music Digest (click on image above for link). It was such a pleasure being on the show. It was also really hard discussing the story behind Deep Cry and the album… Give it a listen, as hosts JLM and BRYAN B shared some awesome music by artists new to me! Thanks again for having me Music Digest!
My band (Telenovela Star) is playing a show this Friday, and I must admit that I’m a little nervous. Nervous, because it’s been a year since we’ve played out in front of anyone. The feeling kind of reminds me of when I performed for the first time.
It was for a Carnival event that my elementary school put on. I was like six or seven, and I was competing in the Calypso Competition. I remember staying up late the night before practicing with my dad. He wrote the lyrics and the melody. I remember thinking that it was a really cool song. I had dance moves. I even had back-up singers, awesome. Most of all, I had my dad singing to me. I’d look him in the eyes, while he sang the song to me. That was the best part.
When it was my turn to sing, I was completely terrified. I was so afraid. When I got on stage, I totally froze up and couldn’t remember the song that I lived and breathed for months. Honestly, maybe a shot would have calmed me down.
Anyway, DJ Mojo is responsible for my band’s end of hibernation. Our last show for ’08 was in celebration of his birthday. And we’re doing it again, this Friday. We’re playing July 3rd at 11:00pm at the Delancey. If you’re in the city, come celebrate and see me freak out!
Two Saturdays ago, I met up with the other members of my band, Telenovela Star, for the first practice in a long time. We went through our songs, which surprisingly wasn’t that bad considering it’s been like 6 months of not playing our set.
We played some new songs and some not so, but in the sense that it’s taking on new directions. I’m talking about Death By Meteorite (DBM) that’s off of our full length, Love, Lust, Sci-Fi & Monsters (LLSM).
The genesis of DBM began like any of our songs, out of a long and quite possibly frustrating day at work (you know what I’m talking about), and then coming to practice, and some douche played with and may have broken or stolen our equipment. So, we quite possibly spent a good half an hour venting, calling around to find out who messed with our shit, and then finally we channeled all of this stress and DBM was born. At which point, of course, we’re smiling because for the time being, we’ve forgotten about all of the ills inside and outside.
The first DBM recording was a total raw draft that was recorded on cassette tape. Feeling the vibe from that first draft, Maggie went home and started playing her acoustic. From there, she wrote the lyrics for DBM. I don’t know what made her decide to record what she was working on, but I’m so glad that she did.
Awesome was the first thing out of my mouth, when she shared the home-recording with Hanna and me. She did all of the recording for the DBM version on LLS&M by herself! Even the whistling, the effing whistling.
It was around the time when we were finishing up with the LLS&M album. So, we were so excited about including DBM on the album. It was the perfect ending piece.
After LLS&M came out, we hoped to come back to DBM with the whole band. And we so did last Saturday. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this song. Listening to it is like witnessing the sun about to set, you’re cruising down a road, and all you feel is this summer breeze. Maggie said it: DBM is very visual. You get the feeling of going across the country.
A couple of months ago, I met up with the other members of my band, just to hang-out and play some songs. We’ve been on a hiatus from playing out and practicing, since we’re practically broke and looking for employment and better lives (the real, on-going telenovela). This has been a really difficult year for so many, not just us. So good riddance 2008.
Anyway, we’ve been needing some sort of release for some time now, and meeting up just to play, not our set or unfinished songs, just to play loudly like we didn’t give a shit anymore, and feel the frustrations, the beast, bleed out. This release felt like the best sort of cure for the thwart that’s been illing, suffocating us for some time now.
Of course I was late on the day, which sucked, because it takes forever to set a kit that’s not your own up, especially when it’s a piece of shit kit. If anything this is a good metaphor for life: never set-up or play anybody else’s piece of shit kit.
Anyway, Maggie was fooling around on the keyboards, and Hanna on her bass. I quickly tried to set the mouse trap of a kit up. It was my worst set-up time ever: half an hour! After doing a three week residency at the Delancey earlier this year, I could set-up in like 5 minutes, 10 tops. Well, that was mostly nervous adrenaline, mixed with shots of Red Bull.
We were just messing around, spur of the moment playing, and then we started talking about this metal band that shared the studio space next door to our old studio, and how awesome we thought their musical arrangements were (lately we’ve been getting into metal). Maggie started talking about how she wanted to write a grave song, and of course that just started it all. Hanna started jokingly singing about loving a lover from the grave, while Maggie was playing on the keys, a blues progression to match Hanna’s bass and vocals. I came in with a slow blues beat, and it went straight to hell after that. We were so excited. We had to play it again, and this time record it. We were hooked on what we had made, it felt so good. It honestly felt like a drug rushing through my veins.
We couldn’t get the melody out of our heads, even after our session at the studio ended. We kept humming this sketch, it was like a nursery rhyme. We just kept singing it over and over again, all through the streets of Manhattan’s Port Authority, laughing when one of us added a scandalous line to the lyrics.
I raced home hoping Hanna had emailed us the short recording of the song. I remember I couldn’t sleep that night, and for once it was for a positive reason. I kept giggling like a kid about our night, and the song. Ha! my poor lover, she puts up with so much. Luckily, she didn’t kick me out the bed that night.
Anyway, we never had a chance to meet again before the holidays to flesh the song out, but Hanna did this incredible just keyboard version of it at home.
The name of the song is Carcass of Pleasure, our attempt at a metal song, well the lyrics are metal, but the melody is more blues, pop maybe? You decide.
After listening to Carcass, I suggest listening to Something In the Middle (see previous post) right away (on loud speakers, and dance around in front of a mirror, I do it all the time in just my underwear, and a broom as my microphone), since they sound so good together.
Enjoy, and as Yo! Majesty says, Never be afraid… Let the music set you free!
My band uploaded a new song on our myspace page. It’s called Something In the Middle.
I can’t remember the details which lead to Something In the Middle. Maybe it was a day when one of us was so beaten down, that we just spilled all of our guts out. Because that’s what we do when we’re together, we spill everything out, everything that is trying to kill us. We sing louder, play harder, speak in tongues. We joke that our band practices are really therapy sessions.
Anyway, Something In the Middleis probably one of our most political songs (other than our very visible presence as women playing rock music) on our line-up.
Oh wait, it’s coming back to me now, how it all began. I was talking about the issues surrounding gay rights, and Hanna (bass player and vocalist), or maybe it was Maggie (lead guitarist and vocalist), made a scathing remark which lead to a beat, to a riff, to a refrain…
The recording is homemade, live at our studio. It’s not as polished as our previous recordings, but I’m digging the rawness. We used this really handy recorder that fits right in your pocket, Olympus LS10.
I read (out loud) two Sundays ago on WHFR, which was really exciting. I haven’t read aloud…for years.
It reminded me about how important it is to hear the words you’re speaking, the importance of pronouncing your voice, the completely unstable voice.
I met some really uplifting artists at WHFR. It was like an arts commune that ranged from reading excerpts from novels and poetry manuscripts, playing live music, comedy, improv… It was an apartment full of breath, full of buds ready to flourish in this time of uncertainty, a room filled with togetherness.
I read 8 of my poems, and played a couple songs off my band’s full length (Love, Lust, Sci-fi & Monsters), and our self-titled EP (Telenovela Star).