Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Color of the Sunrise

A friend of mine recently asked why I sometimes do not respond to her emotionally charged and urgent emails. I explained that sometimes, many times, I just start thinking about what to say and then keep thinking and follow each thought on to the next thought and the inner conversation splits and wanders and then simultaneous but divergent paths suddenly cross and meld into each other and basically I just get locked inside my own head.

Like a princess locked in a tower of solitude, not knowing that she's even locked in. Needing to be rescued but thinking everything is fine. Thinking. Thinking. Thinking.



Another friend was exasperated because I have been so quiet as of late. I tried to counter that I hadn't been quiet, and the truth is that to me I have not been quiet. I just forget that the conversations in my head do not always (and these days rarely) make it out into the world at large.

But so many people have been confused about what I am doing with my life that I realized I haven't been forthcoming at all about the fact that I have been confused about what I am doing with my life.

Things are changing. I'm moving on. Zoe is making a solo album and focusing on the promotion and touring with that (it sounds great.) The band is taking a vacation from itself. My living situation in Oakland is coming to an end.

I've been unmoored of late. A little adrift. Not sure what is next for me. Clearly I will continue to make art and music, but I wasn't sure how to do it on my own.

About performing solo I feel abject terror. Shaking, nausea, curl up in a ball and never come out, terror. The past four and a half years I have devoted myself entirely to Vermillion Lies. Every waking second has been consumed with the creation, promotion, joy and pain of this band. And for whatever reason I haven't felt that what I have for my solo career is good enough to promote.

SO...I bought myself a new guitar, some new pedals, set a strict regimen of practice everyday. I am writing new songs, learning more about music, arranging, crafting. I play at open mics and in coffee shops and living rooms to get over my fear.

And you know what? I really really love what I'm doing now. My songs are flowing in a really great way and I'm actually excited to share what I have inside me.

I even have some concrete plans:

I'm doing a one week west coast tour with Mark Growden. Come out and see what I'm doing, and if you want to help promote you can download a poster here:

8/8 Chico
8/10 Eugene
8/13 Portland
8/15 Nevada City

I'm recording a little bit in August with a very wonderful producer named Sean Slade (Dresden Dolls, Pixies, Radiohead - seriously Google him.) I have two shows on the East Coast in August:

8/21 Brooklyn
8/23 Boston

And then I plan to spend three months in Berlin developing my songs further so that I can come back with a set of finished pieces to record with Sean in December or January.

Why Berlin? Because it is amazing, cheap, and inspiring. There is music and art everywhere in Berlin and I need a culture of creativity. I also plan to tour a little bit in Europe which will be easier from a Berlin base.

But before all of this I have a show in Oakland on Saturday at 8pm PST with my good friends: Corpus Callosum. The show will be webcast here (I play at 9:15 PST - but don't miss Corpus Callosum)

I feel overwhelming gratitude for my life and friends and loves. Thank you for keeping up with me, for following our band, my sister, my art, my octo-shirts, and my new solo music. I'm going to be blogging more, sharing new songs and the recording process and asking for input and guidance along the way.

And my hair is the color of the sunrise:

Or perhaps a little like a Pheonix rising....

Saturday, July 11, 2009

On the Seventh Day - Evolution in Berlin

Today my coat is torn, luckily I live just above the Sewing Cafe where I can apparently get coffee and rent a sewing machine or serger for €6 an hour. Can Berlin possibly get any better? Well, I could really use a washing machine. I had to take a shower with my clothes last night to get the laundry done. Damn this indoor smoking thing, that is a serious mark against Berlin.

But I didn't come here to be negative!

Last night:

Lots of riding in the rain, apparently Berlin has got itself a Monsoon season. Nice.

Dinner with a sweet Swede who may be my new Berlin flatmate.

Stopped at Strychnin Gallery to ogle their latest scrumptious show and say hello to Cookie and Graham(I am not making up names.)

I need to submit my art to them. Yes. Yes, I do.

Then I was tired and cold so I rode home but an encounter with the ever entertaining Scream Club had me ready to go out to a party for graduates from a fashion program that just had their final exhibition today. So out we went to find a really cool bar that was an old industrial space with a disco ceiling and lots of attractive, well dressed people grooving on the beats.

I generally feel socially awkward and out of place at parties (especially those filled with attractive, well dressed hipsters) but I danced like no one was watching (which is my constant style of dancing*) and then lounged around with Cindy Wonderful inside a massive boiler/gas tank type of thing which had been converted into a secret couch/room.

Dancing is so life affirming.

* Zoe says my physical comedy is the best she's ever seen. If you catch me in the right mood I may show you my moves.

Today's website: Bacteria as Art

"These images are patterns that bacteria form when grown in a petri dish. While the colors and shading are artistic additions, the image templates are actual colonies of tens of billions of these microorganisms. The colony structures form as adaptive responses to laboratory-imposed stresses that mimic hostile environments faced in nature."

Today's song: mmmm can't decide, how about two of my own from my 31 songs in 31 days project?

<a href="">01/23/09 - Riding in the Rain (written by request - with Handsome Chuck) by Vermillion Lies</a>

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

Today's quote: "We are a process, and an unfolding." -George Elliot

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pull the pin - Berlin, Day Six

Sometimes I just have to cry. Life just pours out of my eyes. I flew across the world to be in a wonderful city but I can barely get myself out of bed. That is the truth.

And I am also having a good time. So there.

There are things happening right now, which I cannot presently disclose, that are breaking my poor little heart. It's ok.

I am ok. Just sad. And feeling as though this endless stream of tears is washing me clean, getting me ready for the next step which I am VERY excited to make.

Today's Website:

The Katrina portraits are especially wonderful. I have a hard time with Katrina portraits as many of them seem to just be hanging on the coattails of hyperbole in order to make a powerful image. But these images are beautiful and honest as they are from someone who lived there. Photos of his mother, lost home, drowned life.

Today's Song: All the Night Without Love - Elvis Perkins

Today's Quote:

"Whatever it is that pulls the pin, that hurls you past the boundaries of your own life into a brief and total beauty, even for a moment, it is enough." - Jeanette Winterson

p.s. I'm looking for apartments.......

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Today in Berlin

First off, my father is fine, healing well after his heart attack.

I am still shocked but getting better everyday. I have a new appreciation of grief and its effect/affect.

Also: I am in Berlin! Which I love finding myself in. Today maybe the Botanical Gardens. Read my book on the grass. Picnic by myself. Dance tonight. First write blog.

Off to a good start and I haven't left the bed.

Today I have some favorites to share with you sweet readers.

Today's favorite website:

Today's favorite song: "we are gods we are wolves" Le Loup

Today's favorite quote:

"..learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed.”

David Foster Wallace