Saturday, January 31, 2009

Song 31!!!!! Oh my star spangled kittens!

Oh the end is near, nay, not near, but nigh!

Last song. Wow. Earlier in the month someone said "At the end you'll have 31 songs" and that statement hurt my head. But I have 31 songs!

This is song 31! The End of the Line.

<a href="">01/31/09 - End of the Line by Vermillion Lies</a>


it's the end, it's the end of the line
it's the end, oh i've done my time
it's the end, it's the end of the line
for me

i've worked hard and i've worked late
i let everything else fall off my plate
i tried so long to make things right
it's the end of the line tonight

it's the end, it's the end of the line
it's the end, oh i've done my time
it's the end, it's the end of the line
for me

sorry for the promises i couldn't keep
sorry but i got in too deep
you know i love you, you know i'm true
but it's the end of the line for you too

it's the end, it's the end of the line
it's the end, oh i've done my time
it's the end, it's the end of the line
for me

it brought me joy and it brought me pain
and i may never do it again
it brought me happiness, it brought me sorrow
i'll wake up a free woman tomorrow

it's the end, it's the end of the line
it's the end, oh i've done my time
it's the end, it's the end of the line
for me


I've got a surprise tomorrow! Come back!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Song 30 - One More Request (by request!)

<a href="">01/30/09 - One More Request (by request) by Vermillion Lies</a>

Still sick and my lungs are affected so I don't have much air for my voice. It isn't sexy raspy, it's more like a 13 year old boy in a room full of supermodels.


one more glass of wine before i sleep
one more song for you before i slip into the deep
even though i'm tired
and even though i'm weak
i will do what i said
you can count on me

one more request before i go
there's someone out there who really wants to know
what does it mean
to say a song isn't finished?
where does it go
when you reject it?

maybe there's a heaven for songs
maybe that's where missing socks go too
maybe we'll find them all someday
mismatched socks and songs out of tune

one more glass of wine before i sleep
one more song for you before i slip into the deep
even though i'm tired
and even though i'm weak
i will do what i said
you can count on me

Bonus Track - my boyfriend gives me a hard time over yesterday's "song"

Bonus track - not a song!

This is a recording of my boyfriend, Myles Boisen, giving me a hard time at breakfast.

<a href="">01/30/09 - NOT A SONG YET - Bonus track by Vermillion Lies</a>

So...I've been pretty private about my romantic life so far, except when I posted a blog about possibly breaking up with my boyfriend. We didn't break up. I love him to pieces, and he loves me into smaller pieces, then I love him back into a sand like consistency, then he loves me to a fine goes on forever like this.

I think that perhaps my reticence is due to my perception that being a single "rockstar" is more appealing to the masses than being an unavailable one.

What? No that is definitely not the reason, the real reason is that this summer we decided that one of us Vermillion Sisters needs to date Justin Timberlake. For the sake of the band. Since sister Zoe is mostly gay-ish it falls to me, sister Kim, to "take one for the team," as it were (or if you will...)

So even though I am telling you about my boyfriend, I need you to work with me on this and if you see Justin Timberlake do NOT - under any circumstances - tell him that I already have a boyfriend. It would RUIN my career.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Song 29 - I lost my voice!

<a href="">01/29/09 - Harriet (written with Twitter) by Vermillion Lies</a>

Today I asked followers on Twitter to each write a line to a song. I got about 30 replies that didn't go together at all. I took a few words from each twitter response.

Unfortunately my voice is almost gone because I am sick. I need to save my voice for my show in two days so here is the music with no words....yet!

Or maybe it's just a sing-a-long!


fairly certain joy was
sitting on water
more my friend
my brain over your house
luring wolves behind the strings
if i'm covered in this snow
that was awake
from flickering light
tell me you feel
the unluckiest
axe is falling
when will you drive
until my love may fade
all i really wouldn't wear
pile round me
envy, as long
like angles
her name rang in my head

Song 28 - Absinthe

<a href="">01/28/09 - Absinthe (with Helen Keller's Ukulele) by Vermillion Lies</a>

I'm playing an absinthe party on Saturday in San Francisco. I wanted to write a song about absinthe for the occasion. My friend Rita (Helen Keller's Ukulele) wrote a song about Absinthe that I really like. I decided to add my own verses to her choruses to see what happened. In the tradition of old jazz and blues I recycled one song into another.

Check out Helen Keller's Ukulele here:


absinthe makes my heart grow greener
absinthe makes my heart grow mean
and when you're gone I drink as much as I want
until the fairy puts the squeeze on me

you can buy yourself a bottle
you can pour yourself a shot
you can set your life on fire
and lose everything you got

down a darkened alley
on that lonely street
you can find that wicked fairy
where there's no one else to meet

absinthe makes my heart grow greener
absinthe makes my heart grow mean
and when you're gone I drink as much as I want
until the fairy puts the squeeze on me

she'll tell you the sweetest stories
she'll take you by the hand
and when she's through, doin what she wants to you
it'll be a miracle if you can stand

you left me for a chorus girl
then you left me for a choir boy
I left you for a dark green bottle
and its brought me so much joy

absinthe makes my heart grow greener
absinthe makes my heart grow mean
and when you're gone I drink as much as I want
until the fairy puts the squeeze on me


Last night I fell under a deep pile sleep which just ambushed me after a glass of wine. I woke covered in sweat in the middle of the night - that moment when the fever breaks. My throat is raw and achy, but I think I have the demons beat. I dreamed of being swept to sea...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Giant update - 666 times!

The Thirty-One project was listened to 666 times in the last 24 hours. Yikes! I wish these last songs had been a little...punchier?

I'm a feature now on the bandcamp website!

Anyway: I wrote a song by request for twin fans who turned 17 today (the 27th.) It's hard to be a sister, sharing everything, birthdays even. Zoe and I don't look alike but people still confuse us all the time. One time, in Vegas, Zoe looked across the table at me and said (in all sincerity) "Hey Zoe, I was thinking....." We all just stopped, and I said, "Did you just call me you?"

Las Vegas does strange things to the brain.

Here is the twin song

<a href="">01/27/09 - Not My Sister's Keeper (written by request) by Vermillion Lies</a>


Yesterday I wrote wrote three songs in a row to play catch up with myself. I fell behind after birthday/show/visitor madness. Writing three songs in an hour was very interesting.

<a href="">01/26/09 - Three in a row by Vermillion Lies</a>

<a href="">01/25/09 - Hallway by Vermillion Lies</a>

<a href="">01/24/09 - Chocolate (written by request) by Vermillion Lies</a>


So far one of my favorite songs of the series is this funky piece of dance love written for Fred Frith:

<a href="">01/17/09 - Put on the Suit and Dance (with Myles Boisen)****! by Vermillion Lies</a>


But really you should just head over to and listen to them all. I marked my favorites with stars.


I will write more in the morning.

So much lovely love.

p.s. This project is making my brain more musical. It's amazing!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

No song - just words

Up! I'm still up! 3:38 a.m. This project is wreaking havoc on my sleep. I didn't even get to record today due to hardware mishaps. It is probably the lack of song posting today that is keeping me up now. I like to keep my word.

And my work.

Earlier tonight I put on a cd of my friend Rita's music while my friend flipped through a graphic novel from my book shelf.

"This is my friend Rita singing," I said, "and that book was written by my friend Gabe."

And I thought how great that was that I have many hundreds of friend's cds and books by friends and a house filled with art - and really great art - by friends! Yay!

Recently I was having a fractured three person discussion (with different people, at different times, about the same topic) about overcompensating. Some people say they "LOVE" this or that and it's just because they want people to say that to them. Some people take care of other people above and beyond the call of decency or friendship because they themselves just want to be cared for.

I wondered what it is I overcompensate for. The only thing I really do "too much" of consistently is create. And I realized that yes, I want everyone to create.

My favorite thing about the Thirty-One song project is that it is inspiring other people to make things, do things.

My songs are not great, this is all the crap I have to slog through to get to the good stuff. These songs are all ideas that I am learning a lot from but nothing spectacular is coming out - except for the entire project itself. And the projects that others are now starting because they are inspired by this.

It's all a process. None of it is perfect - not even the songs that end up on an album. Things change - especially something like a song which is played so often it can evolve audibly over a short time. It's almost a shame to record songs at all because that just captures them in time - like a photograph cannot represent the actual physical presence of a person. And some people say that being photographed can steal your soul....

Best not think that way when I have songs to record tomorrow.

Best not think at all at 4 a.m.

To bed go I.



Thursday, January 15, 2009

Song Fifteen - Like Strangers do

<a href="">01/15/09 - Like Strangers Do by Vermillion Lies</a>

I really like the concept of this song, but it needs a lot of work for me to be happy with it. I would change the musical structure completely and the lyrics need rewriting but the beginnings of a story are there.

At breakfast I was thinking about the purity of a burgeoning friendship. There is a trust and love that exists only in the beginning of the relationship which fades over time (often to be replaced by a deeper love and trust - same, same, but different.) And I have felt that I can know someone completely in the first day or days but that knowledge somehow gets clouded by our interaction and the longer I know them the less I know. Which is an entirely different song. Wow! Look at me!

But today's song is about those times in my life when I have had a complete stranger say the exact right thing. Sometimes someone just shakes you down - in a spiritual sense - and gets all your loose change out of you.

Loose change.....(alternate song title?... nah.)

I'm also having a hard day today besides the song project. I'm rubbing everything the wrong way -- and it's reciprocal.

"I am a pretty impossible lady to be with." (That's a lyric from the last song that made me cry - Tire Swing by Kimya Dawson)


I met him while I was crossing the street
in a foreign language he called to me
he told me all about my life
he knew it all in that first night

Nobody knows me
like strangers do

A woman sitting in the park
holding her hands up in the dark
she took one look at me
and told me all about my dreams

Nobody knows me
like strangers do

Have you ever met somebody
who took one look at you
and todl you a hundred thousand things
all of them were true

Nobody knows you
like strangers do

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Song Fourteen - Elizabeth

<a href="">01/14/09 - Elizabeth by Vermillion Lies</a>

I wrote so many little pieces of songs today that just didn't quite gel. There are so many bad songs waiting inside me to jump out when I'm not watching.

Finally this worked. Originally the track had different lyrics. I think it sounds kind of early nineties.

I'm really sick of songs. I'm almost halfway. It's almost my birthday.

This song is one minute long and has 49 words and seven vocal tracks. Whee!


Elizabeth, where are you going
with those flowers in your hair?


Elizabeth, why aren't you sleeping?
Is it a dream or a nightmare?


Elizabeth, if I was your lover
would you tell your secrets to me?



Creative downtime is so important. I tend to be quite prolific but sometimes there isn't a song. Basking in the time in between bouts of inspiration is vital to the process. Being forced (by myself!) to write even though I feel nothing is getting harder and harder. Each day I have faith that a song will appear but each day I am coming up against a greater blank - a giant white wall with no handholds to help climb and no colors to paint with. I scream into a void.

OHHHH...I think to myself....THIS is why people are saying I am brave.

I never thought of it as brave, I just did it because it sounded interesting. It got a little harder, and then harder, and now I am realizing just how deep I got myself.

If I had known before hand how much time/energy/creativity would be required, I would not have chosen to do this now. I don't have time for this!

But I did it like I do everything else - head first, no parachute, out the plane, off the cliff, whatever. I never learn and I would never do it another way.

Great but....I'd like a parachute now. Or maybe just some wings. Yeah.

Ok your homework assignment is to dream up some wings for me - maybe if we all concentrate on it these last few days before my birthday, I will wake up on Sunday morning and finally be able to fly.

Yours in music,

Kim Vermillion Boekbinder - the first, the last, the only.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Song Twelve - despite the fever

<a href="">01/12/09 - Cookies and Absinthe by Vermillion Lies</a>

Back to something simple. Just guitar and one voice. This is about two of my dear friends.

Also I have a fever. Bleh....

He was smarter than a cookie
and warmer than her warmest pair of pants
She was the best soup in the kitchen
and a fly by night romance
They kissed once on the rooftop
and six more time on the stairs
They're kissing every day now
and neither of them is going anywhere

Sometimes it happens that way
Sometimes one night turns into every day
Sometimes you stumble on the love of your life
it just feels right

He was an incurable gypsy
he'd never be tied down
She was a curious curiosity
always wandering around
They met while they were both
looking the other way
And now they wander the world
hand in hand every day

Sometimes it happens like that
Sometimes the head just fits the hat
Sometimes you stumble on the love of your life
it just feels right

He lived in a squat in Holland
once owned by the government
She didn't live much of anywhere
she didn't like the concept of rent
Now they have a nice double decker
bus out in the woods
You can stop by for some cookies or some absinthe
if you're in the neighborhood

Sometimes you don't have to think
Sometimes it happens over a drink
Sometimes you stumble on the love of your life
it just feels right


And thank you to those who have used my paypal donation button. I am breathing a little easier now. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Take Kim Vermillion out to dinner

I make money by touring. I make a very small amount of money which leaves me just enough for rent, food and a tiny bit of fun. I am not complaining. I have chosen this. This is the cost of the dream. There is hard hard work, little sleep, nights in strange houses, long drives, sister fights, missing lovers, loading gear in the rain, all for almost no money.

But that is why not everyone is a musician or artist, because yes, the dream is amazing and when it works it is the best thing ever, but the cost is so very high and many people have things like houses, cars, families that need more support than a musician's pay can give.

I overheard a conversation at a reunion show - an old band got together a decade after splitting up, the saxophone player looked at the drummer and said, "I'm so envious of how you have managed to live your life around music. How do you do it?" The drummer grinned a little and said, "I married a lady with a trust fund." (I happen to know he loves her very much - he didn't marry her for money, it just allowed him to devote his life to music. And he still teaches and works hard.)

It's not a secret. You struggle. All your life. The starving artist, it isn't just a romantic idea. I know a few people who do music for a living, most of them do so by recording or teaching - or both. The occasional gig comes along and there is always the glimmer of a dream that a band will "make it."

Tending bar, waiting tables, teaching little kids, playing weddings: my friends do what they can to make ends meet. Usually when I'm not on tour I do graphic design. It's ok, I like it enough but it's hard to pick up jobs when I'm home. And right now I just don't have time.

Well, I got myself into it. And I will keep going no matter what. And I won't starve. But if you feel so inclined to donate to my project, that would be great!

Because I have about $100 left to my name. Because I'm a crazy artist. Because it would be like buying the CD, or the box set, or taking me out to dinner.

And you know you want to take me out to dinner.


And if you don't have money, just say hi! I love you all.

Song Ten - Sugar House Lullaby

<a href="">01/10/09 - Sugar House Lullaby (written by request) by Vermillion Lies</a>

We're in the double digits now! Song ten. I like to work at night these days so the songs are later and later. I wanted to hang out with friends tonight but it was that or finish the song and I chose the song. I feel like a bad friend. And a little sorry for myself because I never get to see those people because I'm always hunched over a computer with some crazy new project. My only consolation is that most of my favorite famous artists must have been total jerks to their friends. Apparently my goal is to be a jerk.....

Many friends are pregnant or having babies. It's strange. I feel so disconnected from that world of families and babies. This song was by request for a woman who just had a baby. The song is not quite what was requested but Marie is one of the baby's middle names and it snuck its way into the song.

The image of the Sugar House came from a conversation about maple syrup I had with a friend - a sugar house is basically a maple syrup distillery.

The photograph came from a google image search and will be replaced when I make or get unique art. (


you live in a sugar house
it's been boarded up for years
you sleep in an expensive bed
it's made of lily pads and spiderwebs

and in your dreams
when i can't sleep
you sing me lullabies
from the deep

the flies are dancing on the wall
they left their shadows there for you
the winter soon will come again
you can watch the icicles

and in your dreams
when you can't sleep
i'll sing you lullabies
from the deep

my sweet marie
you came for me
i'll write you lullabies
of the deep

and in our dreams
when we can't sleep
we're singing lullabies
from the deep


guitar. banjo. voice. piano horn. girl so tired she cannot focus her eyes.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Song nine - Legion of the Hungry

<a href="">01/09/09 - Legion of the Hungry (written by request) by Vermillion Lies</a>

I am so full of pie. I made dinner and pie. And the pie, which was apple, was also very delicious with a great crust and gooey pecan sugary buttery wonderfulness is now sitting in my stomach kabitzing with the mushroom risotto. Oh, I forgot to tell you: I can cook too!

Today's song was written by request, he said "put a ghost in it, see what happens." So this is what happened.

If you want to suggest a song topic then forward a ticket confirmation to me at vermillionlies (at) Tickets here: Ticket for Jan 22nd show in SF.

Still playing with the Concertmate-380, the backing track is the "Horror" setting, I added bass, and other effects. The lyrics are intentionally surreal and reference a few inside jokes and moments among friends.

I like song nine. Not that I would perform it or keep working on it, but it surprised me and that's always a good thing.

This project is forcing me to really stretch myself in uncomfortable ways that are yielding amazing elements of my songwriting. Having recording ability is especially gratifying as it allows me to sculpt the sound even more.

I imagine I'll get back to just guitar or piano but for now I'm enjoying the exploration of digital sound and mixing.

Another interesting thing about this project is just thinking about what exactly makes a song. This is what wikipedia says:

"A song is a musical composition. In the classical tradition, songs contain vocal parts that are performed,'sung,' and feature words (lyrics), commonly accompanied by musical instruments (exceptions would be a cappella songs). The words of songs are typically of a poetic, rhyming nature, although they may be religious verses or free prose. The words are the lyrics."

What makes it a good song is entirely different. Good means different things to different people though and sometimes context means everything. 01/08/09 - Let's Sing! for example: good in context, but if listened to on it's own without reference it might just seem pointless. (And maybe it does anyway.)

Did I mention the pie? My whole house smells like pie now. I would eat more pie if there was any more room in my pie stomach. Maybe if I do more yoga I can stretch out my pie stomach and fit more in.

Also, the kitten was given a little kitten bed by a friend of kittens in Boston. The bed arrived in a box with lots of cat toys and a red velvet dress which was presumably for my sister and I to share. The kitten got his own bed - he doesn't have to share, mostly because my other cat is the size of a 15 pound trout and too big and trout-ish to fit into a tiny red kitten bed. Anyway...the kitten is all curled up in the kitten bed, which is set at a jaunty angle on the couch, and between the pie smell and the kitten cuteness and the trout cat I simply cannot concentrate on my songwriting.

This is hard people!

And yes, I still ask myself every day why I signed myself up for this, I have a band which consumes all my energy (booking, promoting, touring, rehearsing, ordering merch, corresponding with everybody on the planet, handing out flyers, riding around SF on my bicycle to put up posters...) and then I have two art shows in February to get ready for, and I like to do yoga every day which takes 2-3 hours out of my day, and I have a boyfriend who wishes I didn't have to spend so much time on the computer recording songs, and sometimes I do have to sleep.

But I know why I signed up for this: because I am crazy. I have a lot of creative energy and not enough outlets.

My soul is too big for my body, I spill out all over the place. If I don't give myself room to spill over I get very very....dark. Which isn't really very me, because I sing songs about giant squid eating all your cheese and I love kittens.

Also I need to make sure my pie intake is at a high enough level because without pie life sucks. Really....what did they do before pie? They lived in caves and ate rocks. Life was hard and unpleasant, that's why everyone died. Too bad really because pie was just around the historical corner, but I guess it means more for me.

Oh and here are the words to the song, also referred to as "lyrics"

I am the ghost of a giant squid
I'm going to your house to swim
I'm going to eat all of your cheese slices
And your dog

I am the ghost of a giant raccoon
I'm going to get hungry soon
I'm going to eat all of your watercolors
of unicorns

I am the ghost of a giant ghost
I'm going to use you for a host
I'm going to make you eat all of your own crayons
and your own fingers

We are the legion of the hungry ghosts
We are the legion of the hungry ghosts
We are the legion of the
We are the legion of the
We are the legion of the



To make sure you know when songs are posted you should sign up for the Vermillion Lies Twitter it is really the only thing I am sure to post on since it is fast and I don't always have time to post and cross post on all the various sites and blogs (facebook, myspace, blogger....)

And you can access the songs, the series, the unique artwork (of which there will be more soon) by going directly to: Vermillion Lies BandCamp

Oh and if you like my project, please tell your friends. Love K!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Musicians make me nervous

Tonight I got to play two of my songs at Cafe Revolution in the middle of a loose set by some of San Francisco's best. Rupa (Rupa and the April Fishes,) Ara Anderson, and Aaron Kierbel were among them. They did some of Rupa's songs and mostly just played together in the very small, very loud, very crowded bar. They sounded great.

When I got up to play I was nervous and shaky - these are real musicians, I'm just a faker with a voice and a guitar, I can hit a few notes but I don't know how to play along.

The vocal mic was too quiet but I played pretty well on Rupa's sweet Gretsch while Aaron drummed - he'll be with us on January 22nd. When I sat down again my friend Kate rolled her eyes and asked why I was nervous as people came up to get flyers from me and tell me I sounded great, "What do you have to be nervous about?" She asked.

Vermillion Lies is such a "thing," such a solid show that we have worked on and perfected. We have practiced and played those songs so many times they almost play themselves. The thing that keeps me present onstage is the audience - the interaction, the energy. Having my sister onstage is a comfort too.

When I play solo I carry the show myself - even if there are other musicians there I am the one that is "entertaining." And my songs are not as practiced or polished. Even if I'm playing a Vermillion Lies song it still feels different to be on my own up there.

I want to play solo more, want to explore the language of music in new ways.

I want to go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras and play and play and play.

Now I'm dreaming......

I want tomorrow's song to be amazing.

This is the number eight! And seven! And six!

<a href="">01/08/09 - Let's sing! by Vermillion Lies</a>

I did actually spend a significant amount of time working on a song - or rather on getting to a song, which I never got to. This is what I got to. Not quite a song, just a sonic logo really. But I think it counts.

To make sure you know when songs are posted you should sign up for the Vermillion Lies Twitter it is really the only thing I am sure to post on since it is fast and I don't always have time to post and cross post on all the various sites and blogs (facebook, myspace, blogger....)

Once again: Vermillion Lies Twitter

And you can access the songs, the series, the unique artwork (of which there will be more soon) by going directly to: Vermillion Lies BandCamp


<a href="">01/07/09 - All That I Have by Vermillion Lies</a>


<a href="">01/06/09 - Hell's Diner (written by request) by Vermillion Lies</a>

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Song Five - Not in Love

<a href="">01/05/09 - Not in Love by Vermillion Lies</a>

My heart is broken today
I don't know why it shattered this way
Sometimes I just break up with the world

And everything looks dreary
and everything tastes bitter
and everything sounds horrendous
and I'm not even hungover
I'm just not in love with the world

My head is filled today
With all the bad news from yesterday
I read the paper, what a mistake

And everything looks bleak
and everything tastes bland
and everything sounds weak
and I don't think I can stand it
I'm not in love with the world

My eyes are filling up
With all tears of broken trust
I had such faith in today

And everything looks dark
and everything tastes old
and everything sounds out of tune
and everything is so cold
I'm just not in love with the world

I want to be in love with the world
I want to be in love with the world
I want to be in love with the world
I want to be in love with the world
I want to be in love with the world


Well I'm never sure what to think when the song is done, I'm learning to just trust and post. This seems to be a favorite and I'm so glad I stuck with it. The idea came from joking around one morning when I complained that my coffee tasted really bitter and everything felt off. "I'm just not in love with the world today."

Today's song is about one third written, it seems to work best when I write in the morning but than take a break and get on with my day - recording and posting at night. It means the east coast has to wait until tomorrow, but them's the breaks kids.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Today's song will be late

Today I woke at 10, had a quick breakfast and started writing. I'm getting more critical - this is bad. I need to just write and record. But I want them to be good!

I struggle with myself. I want the songs to keep getting better, but without more time with each song they cannot be. There is no time to make the lyrics perfect, work out a better chord structure, add a second bridge (or a first!) Songs take time and this project is about just letting go and letting the songs spring up, half formed and flower briefly before they fade away.

I want this to be a big epic amazing thing that spreads around the world and gets people writing and making art. I want my songs to be genius.

I also want a life! Yesterday I spent six hours on a 42 second song. Mostly I was just learning the software and I like the song but the lyrics are a little sloppy and it's only 42 seconds long.

Today I needed to clean my house and rehearse with my band - remember Vermillion Lies, we have a big exciting show coming up and I want you all there! Right now another band is rehearsing in my recording room (I live in a big warehouse where other bands occasionally rehearse) so I can't record.

Mark Growden is the one rehearsing with his band - he's great! He just wandered back into my art studio and told me he loved my Thirty-One project. Woo-hoo! People are hearing about it.....yay...go go go!

And someone else posted a BLOG, I really like his writing so read on down past the part about me.

Somehow the time just slips away and the end of the day has arrived empty handed asking where the daily song is. It's only day five. And I'm glad I'm doing it but a hundred times a day I wonder why I thought I would have time, patience, energy, money, ego enough.

Let it all go, keep your chin down, your heart up, and write!


I love the art that people are creating for my songs and even if you have not kept up with every one, you can just send in art for the ones that really inspire you to make something. And even if the art is not directly inspired by my songs - let's all share!

Song four of Thirty-One

Finally I have multi-track recording capabilities which means I spent most of my day learning how to record. I wonder where the time goes....

My life is being swallowed by this project. It just takes so long. Writing a song a day is one thing but recording and posting....

I'm going to keep going.

These lyrics just sprang up on their own after I recorded the glockenspiel tracks. First came:

"If I were a little bell
that rang when you were by my side
then I'd be ringing all the time
all the time"
<a href="">01/04/09 - Mockingbird by Vermillion Lies</a>

And I thought it was kind of romantic but really needy and obsessive as well. And honestly I don't want anyone around all the time no matter how much I love them. Not even my kitten!

If I were a little bell
that rang when you were by my side
then I'd be ringing all the time
all the time

If I were a mockingbird
that sang when you were by my side
then I'd be singing all the time
all the time

But I'm just a little me
and I don't want you next to me
all the time


I wish I'd been paying more attention to the lyrics, that last line really should be:

But I'm just a little me
and I don't want you BY MY SIDE
all the time

maybe I'll fix it ....

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Song Three - Mannequin

<a href="">01/03/09 - Mannequin by Vermillion Lies</a>


Today was hard, I was in my art studio with the accordion and I started to sing a little bit about an old mannequin, then a girl called "miss mannequin" commented on my blog and I thought I would just go for it.

But I really didn't like it and the accordion is hard to play and I wanted to write a new song but ran out of time.

My voice is.....ugh, and I messed up a chord but I was so sick of recording and my lovely supportive boyfriend had already waited hours for me to finish so we could go out.

Video of me being ridiculous and having a mini meltdown while recording, because it's pretty funny and I want you all to know that this is a process.

Love! K

p.s. some lovely folks have bought tickets and are sending in ideas for me to write songs about so if you want a custom song then buy a ticket to our January 22nd show in SF, forward the confirmation email to vermillionlies (at) and tell me what to write about. I can't choose them all, but I will choose at least 10 of them! The first song of Thirty-One was by request.

Buy tickets here:

That photo is by Myles Boisen - he is amazing!

mannequin oh mannequin
you're just like me
but perfectly proportioned
oh mannequin

mannequin oh mannequin
I'm just like you
but a little more human
oh mannequin

You're always poised
i'm always a mess
my clothes are torn
you're always well dressed

you stand in your window
and look down on me
my world may be dirty
but at least i'm free

mannequin oh mannequin
you're just like me
but perfectly proportioned
oh mannequin

mannequin oh mannequin
I'm just like you
but a little more human
oh mannequin

your smile is gleaming
my smile is a frown
as i look on perfection
and feel let down

you're made of plastic
and I'm made of meat
you may be perfect
but at least i'm unique

mannequin oh mannequin
you're just like me
but perfectly proportioned
oh mannequin

mannequin oh mannequin
I'm just like you
but a little more human
oh mannequin

Friday, January 2, 2009

Thirty-One: Song two

<a href="">01/02/09 - Bicycle by Vermillion Lies</a>

There is card is on my piano with a nude redhead on a bicycle, I bought it a while ago and have been waiting for the right moment to give it to my sister who is bicycle crazy. While playing around with chords and words this image worked it's way into my songwriting.



Who are you
riding your bicycle
past my house?

Who are you
are you going to see
somebody else?

Girl on a bicycle
you're simply irresistible
like a little piece of heaven
on wheels

Oh I think you're pretty
and you look
so smart

You rode your way
right into
my heart

Girl on a bicycle
you're simply irresistible
like a little piece of heaven
on wheels


If I got a bicycle, painted it blue
would you ride a little slower
so I could keep up with you

If I got a bicycle, painted it red
we could ride off in the sunset
while the neighborhood said

Girls on bicycles
they're simply irresistible
like mermaids or angels
on wheels



I'll do an original piece of art for it tonight.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Song One - Underwater

<a href="">01/01/09 - Underwater by Vermillion Lies</a>

Download the track:


New Year's Eve at Fred Frith's house. I listened to people tell stories of synchronicity in their lives. Then we talked about the antarctic film "Encounters at the End of the World" by Werner Herzog, featuring Henry Kaiser who I had just met three nights previous. Henry Kaiser is (among many things) a scuba diver in Antarctica and his images of dives are very beautiful. The divers call their underwater world "The Cathedral" because the ice forms beautiful arches and the light comes from above as though through stained glass.

Carla Kihlstedt and I talked about the freedom of creativity that comes from letting go and setting a goal like 31 songs in 31 days. She told me about Suzan-Lori Parks's yearlong play cycle, "365 Days/ 365 Plays." Wow!

This morning I went through the emails suggesting song topics, I found one that suggested a piano, a red head, Antarctica, and a giant squid.


It's about an octopus, not a squid, but there is a piano, a red head, and lots of ice.

At breakfast the lyrics started to form, like ice. I jotted down ideas and couldn't wait to get home to my crooked old out of tune piano.

Recording proved more difficult than I anticipated. Garage band was too noisy with my laptop microphone so I set up the video camera which meant I couldn't do multiple tracks. I was incredibly frustrated and feeling overwhelmed and stupid for having set up this goal. Writing a song a day is one thing, but recording it myself and posting it and all that...! Ugh!

I loved the song and then I hated it. I really wanted to record the piano and voice separately because this is a hard key for me to sing. I recorded it three times and then just decided it had to be good enough because I don't have all day.

At the party I also talked to Michael Mellender, founder of ICS. In brief:

• The Immersion Composition Society is an organization for songwriters and composers who think too much - an extreme musical subculture specializing in speed-songwriting games, secret listening parties, and songwriter 'lodges'. The ICS was created to provide support and assistance to "talented basket cases and unmotivated visionaries" everywhere. Various reaching attempts to describe the Society have yielded things like:

• "those guys that try to write 20 songs in one day".

• "Fight Club for musicians"

• "Tortured Genius Anonymous" ~and~

• "an international hermetic mystery cult...with a Myspace page!"

More on ICS here:

Michael was interested in my project and agreed to collaborate with me at some point this month. He also invited me to be part of ICS at one of their lodge meetings. The Lodges are tight knit and hard to get into and I was honored to be considered for invitation.

Michael plays percussion in Sleepytime Gorilla Museum (one of my favorite bands) and also plays trumpet and probably eight million other instruments as well. one is done, posted. I did it. Day one.

Trailer for Encounters at the End of the World: