Saturday, May 28, 2011

Friday, May 12, 2006

better than a sharp stick in the eye

We went into the studio Wednesday night and emerged with five songs from which to choose for our demo.

Generally, I DREAD the recording process. I hate the pressure of having to be perfect. I hate hearing precisely where and how much and how often I sing entirely wrong notes. I guess playing any instrument is equal parts physical and mental, and probably emotional too. I've always found my voice to be a rather unpredictable instrument. No matter how much I practice, I can't always depend 100% on what will come out of my mouth. Sometimes that's bad, sometimes good. I love hearing what I/we sound like, though, and it's handy to have a demo.

We did between 2-4 takes of each one; it wasn't too incredibly painful. God, the recording process is SO much easier with an experienced sound person. And laid back doesn't hurt either. I am ridiculously lucky to have access to this situation. What's more, Bob (friend and recording engineer extraordinaire) offered to do this for us; I didn't even have to beg. It took us less than three hours to record the songs, and then there were several hours of listening and commenting and mixing and cleaning up.

In general, the songs sound great. Our voices blend very well and there is so much potential there considering we've only be singing together for a few months. There is at least one mishap in each song, but the question is: does it matter? Onward.

We're going to post a few on MySpace soon. Stay tuned!

Monday, May 08, 2006

li'l roadie

born to the breed
Tessa, 4/8/06

I just love this photo. It was taken a month ago at our friends' very cool art gallery. I opened up for Steve's band. It was a fun, low-pressure gig.

Friday, May 05, 2006


Rehearsal wasn't incredibly productive today, but we did a fair amount of strategizing. There are a couple of open mic nights that we might try to do, and Alex and Mary both have upcoming shows in which we could appear as guests.

The most exciting news is that we have some studio time set up for next week. The plan is to record a 4-song demo and use that to get gigs. Hooray!

Also, while we're waiting for Mary to construct our website, she is going to set up a Birth of Venus page on MySpace. We recorded a song that doesn't sound too bad, so we can put that up there along with our photo likeness and voila. We're out there. [UPDATE: Here it is!!]

I'm really itching to work out some new stuff, and also to write something. We'll focus on the old stuff for next week's recording and then I've got to get a few charts written out so we'll have fresh material.

Friday, April 28, 2006

making love to the camera

IMG_0640Last night we had a little (translate: long, laborious, amateur) photo shoot in the hopes of getting an image or two for a Birth of Venus website.
IMG_0639Now. I hate being photographed. This is probably evident. It is a deep-seated phobia. It's not even that I think I'm bad-looking, but when a camera is pointed at me I just become someone else. Not myself. Completely unnatural.

These are some of the better shots. Although I don't think I could possibly feel more vulnerable and self-conscious about the whole thing, I would like your opinion. Which of these shots do you like? Or not?
Birth of Venus Mosaic

Go here to view the whole set. Comments welcome!
(In case you're wondering, I'm the bighead with the glasses...)

Monday, April 24, 2006

could I be more absent?

Yes, I'm still alive. (If anyone is still checking in here...)

Haven't written anything whole and/or complete in awhile. Tessa has been quite the nightowl lately so I've been feeling sluggish and grumpy. There are moms out there who have overcome, so I know there's a way, but I just get so mired in childcare and housework that I can't get anything fun or creative accomplished. Sigh...

Birth of Venus skipped a week of rehearsal because we were all (!) sick. I was worried that we'd lose momentum and everyone would be like ah ferget it, but no...we met last week like long lost friends. Alex said "My quality of life was seriously lower last week because we didn't meet." Aww! Love those gals.

I've been making Spring greeting cards. Behold:

spring cards

Saturday, April 08, 2006

state of affairs

Monday night I had my gig with Birth of Venus. It went pretty well, considering the (small) amount of time we spent on Sentimental Gentleman. We got together earlier in the day to go over it with the band and I wasn't feeling solid about it, but it all came together rather nicely in performance. I had trouble finding a good place in the mix and wasn't as strong as I wanted to be, but I chalked it up to a combo of technical difficulties and performance anxiety. Historically, I struggle with both. I need to find some kind of guru for that.

Tonight I am playing a one-hour set at an art gallery. The gallery will be filled with friends and others who appreciate folk music, which is what I do, so theoretically it will be a safe place to practice not being nervous. I am trying to fill my mind with the positive, glowing things people say about me and my songs, instead of the scathing, critical loop I typically have playing in my head when I'm onstage. We'll see how that goes.

In other news, I mentioned a while back that I submitted an article to an online magazine. This month's edition of said mag is online and evidently my piece was not chosen for publication. Yay! My first official rejection! Truly glad that's out of the way. The piece that was chosen is totally stunning and far superior to mine. I am left to ponder: how can I develop my style? what can I write about that will reveal my particular strengths? is it even topic-related? Good writers can write about anything. I find myself in this discouraging position of learning about good writing through a process of elimination. ("Well, that wasn't good enough...") I'm excited to get on to the next submission but I'm struggling with lack of inspiration. I know I can't let this stop me. I need to alter my approach to writing, I think. I believe I have the's just a matter of guiding and shaping it.

I'm constantly torn between writing purely for the sake of writing and writing for someone else's approval. And by someone else's approval, I mean an editor, an audience, any reader other than me. Both have rewards. I have experienced the rewards of personal, journal-style writing for many years. Now I wish to reap other rewards. Rewards that come from hard work and resourcefulness. Rewards that will sustain me fianancially, not just spiritually.

The thing to do is start the next submission. Whether I'm inspired or not.