Monday, November 23, 2009

The Fire and The Flame

On the way to my show last night a man on the tram said "Du bist das Feuer und die Flamme."

"You are the fire and the flame."

The show was very early for Berlin and there was hardly anybody there at 8, but when I started at 8:30 the room magically filled, and by my second set at 9:30 the room was full, and quiet, and great. It was such a good show. I was confident, flowing, ready. The emotional arc of the show was complete: from the vintage ukulele covers, to the happy Kim songs, to the saddest of the sad Kim songs, with an anecdote about my father's heart attack and a friend's attempted suicide.

"We're going to be sad for a few minutes," I said, "But we'll come back up. I just want you to follow me." And we went. And I didn't feel like I needed to apologize for not only playing happy, fun, sing-a-longs. Sometimes I feel like people only want the fun happy songs, but that is monotonous. I've been really (REALLY) sad these few months and my music shows it, but I am always and will always be the silly, irreverent, surreal, creative force that wrote songs like "The Organ Donor's March" and "The Astronomer." And I will always be the honest, somber, melancholic girl who wrote "The Day We Met" and "Bad Man." I've got a full palette and I intend to use all the colors - the best shows are created from the full range. I'm learning how, or relearning, or always learning. Yes.

All in all, a wonderful last Berlin concert. I am so very ready to go back to SF and show what I have created here, and to add more instruments and see what happens there. I am genuinely excited about my music, my show, my future. And I feel very fortunate to have so many listeners and supporters. It is moving along, gaining ground. Slow, little steps.

I love Berlin, it is a very special city, and I look forward to returning, for a day, or forever. I have no plans now beyond the making of my music. But I am sure that that path will lead me back here.

Now I will spend the rest of the day finishing my art piece for Strychnin Gallery.


Get your tickets for the SF shows: Brown Paper Tickets Shows are Dec. 8th, Dec. 15th, and Dec. 22nd.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Packing Circles

This morning I was having coffee with the lovely Saudia Young when I noticed a fantastic looking lady walk in wearing a really fantastic altered pin-striped suit jacket with lots of buttons and flourishes. The woman approached and handed me a flier for her show, so I handed her a flier for my show.

"I already have one of yours," she said,"Actually I'm going to come to your show. Actually I was going to contact you. And here you are."

We talked about her show - duo contact juggling, and I told her I liked her coat. She told me her coat had been a Burning Man costume. Something sort of went click inside of me. I asked her if she would like to perform a piece at my show on Sunday to promote her upcoming show.

As she talked and moved and as I admired her clothes I felt more things clicking inside of me. She gave me her website and email, told me she makes clothes, and said she would be happy to perform on Sunday.

The clicking started to form a picture - like a dolphin! I went home and looked at her websites. The clothes are wonderful, I have such a crush on a few of the jackets. I'll have to find a way to buy one. So beautiful.

And then I watched the video of her and her partner.

And then the clicks made pictures made a scene:

Two years ago I was at Burning Man, watching a shadow puppet show under a tree made of steel, when I saw a couple I could only describe as impossibly beautiful. They were both women, wearing androgynous, anachronistic, hand altered clothing. After the puppet show one of these beautiful women arose and walked to the stage where she took out three glass balls and began to contact juggle (think David Bowie: Labyrinth: HOT!) I was completely transfixed by the performance, the performer, the event.

This was the woman in the coffee shop this morning. Across the world, across the room, across the table. All across the universe. Her name is Frix.

Things like this happen. The other day while at an art opening at Strychnin Gallery here in Berlin I recognized the subject of a painting as my friend Carrie, and then the painter as my friend Ben. I haven't seen them in years, we don't really keep up. And here we were, in the same gallery. Click, click, click.

All the clicking, and thinking, and then the forming of a circle. When something comes round again in your life, we say that things come full circle. And I think of the art of Origami, which has been discovered to be a secret of circles. To make a shape you figure out how many circles fit inside of it. Then you fold up the circles and the shape arises. From one sheet of unbroken paper, you get details and definition, and folds, and beauty. And I think of all the circles that appear in my life, superimposing a pattern on the background chaos, and how, with this pattern, my life folds and unfolds, and folds again, into a constantly changing shape that moves with me as I wander and gather more circles, more patterns.

And then my thoughts went way into outer space. And I want to write more about that. And I will. Later.

Now go look at beautiful art by someone in one of my circles:

The Clothing Website

The Performance Website


And also find out about Origami and circle packing.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pull That Pony

There I am, pulling the horse. Maybe 3 years old, Oma (grandmother) just looking at me like I'm crazy. I don't even know where I am going, but damn it! We are going to go there NOW!

I still feel like I'm pulling the horse, a look of fierce determination on my little face.

Why do I not ride the horse?

No idea.

And no idea what 'the horse' would be in my life at the moment.

But I'm pulling for all I'm worth.

2.7 weeks left in Berlin and lots of work to do still. I can't believe it's almost over. I never want to go. But I also want to get on with things too....just not quite yet.

Today I recorded a song, had a brainstorming session with my mother, and am now poised to launch an email about my album fundraiser/pre-order.

You can find out about it here:

And sign up for my email list so I can send you this fancy email and you can then forward it to frienemies.

Music Player web

Monday, November 9, 2009

It's only bad if you think about it.

I am so tired. I hardly did anything today - physically that is. I spent the entire day hunched over my laptop coding something I will tell you all about very soon - tomorrowish.

I also went out a little bit today to hand out fliers for my next Berlin show and I helped build a wall to divide a living city.

What I mean to say is that I took part in an art project in which 33,000 people stood along the line of the wall and blocked streets and sidewalks, many holding candles. I had no idea this was going on, I just stumbled across it with my mother and since we are the type of people who do not need our arms twisted in order to stand around in the middle of the street belligerently blocking traffic, we were all in.

The street was only blocked for a few minutes as people milled about with beers and soggy umbrellas. Then suddenly the "wall" opened and cars started to stream through while we all cheered at the newfound freedom.

It was powerful to see, we were having fun but the statement was clear.

We still build walls. We build walls that keep people in, or out. We restrict movement. We tell people it is for their own safety. We do it without a sense of irony.

I asked my East German roommate what it was like to live behind the wall when he was younger. Was it hard?

"It was not terrible everyday." he said, "It was just life. It was only bad if you thought about doing anything."

So what, dear friends, do we do about this?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Goat Sized Hole Needs to be Filled

Word of the day: Audacity

*Insolent boldness, especially when imprudent or unconventional
*Fearless, intrepid daring

My mother is here. My hair is pink. Last night I owned my stage for the first time in a long time.

Also last night people kept handing me money for my album pre-order/fundraiser because kickstarter is in bed with amazon payments who do not accept worldwide payment methods. Some people have been able to donate but many have not because they lack a visa or mastercard.

MAJOR FAILURE. Might scrap kickstarter completely and migrate over to a paypal based system. In which case everyone who donated so far would have to re-donate (your cards have not been charged.)

Reasons for migration:

A.) Residents of the UK, EU, and everywhere else in the world would not be LEFT OUT.

2.) Indefinite time line. I'm not a "hard seller" I don't want to send 8 emails, and 65 tweets a day, and go door to door to try to sell my product. I'll do my work, and maybe I should push it more, but I think at this point trying to get another $17,000 in 20 days is perhaps a tad overly optimistic.

Reasons to not migrate:

1.) Kickstarter is a neat idea and the impending end date and threat of receiving no funds may urge people to donate sooner.

b.) If I choose to migrate I could lose some people who change their minds, or just forget or whatnot.

3.) The link to my kickstarter page has already been seeded across the internet and I risk confusing the hell out of people - including myself.

But seriously the non worldwide payments thing....kind of a deal breaker. I am not super famous, but I do have friends and fans all over this lovely planet and leaving them out of the loop seems lame. Lame. Lame. Like a racehorse with a broken leg. You know what happens then?

So weigh in here. What do you think I should do?

And does anyone out there want to intern 4-6 hours a week on this with me?



Friday, November 6, 2009

The Animal of Doubt

My mother is almost here. She is in the air right now, gliding as gracefully as ever, when she lands she will roll over to my house, then we will roll together to my show tonight. I've been practicing so much my voice is raw.

I've been getting a lot done but still feel like I am slacking. Probably because my fundraiser is floundering and no amount of other work is going to fix that, actually I'm not sure what will. Somehow I am still optimistic. Oh yeah......because I am an optimist. Sometimes people think that optimists are happy people. That is sometimes true, but also optimists have their feelings crushed under the cold, hard, spiky, awful wheels of reality. Basically every day.

You think we would learn. We being me. The duality of my singular nature.

This is really rambly,

I love this video!

This video is for the Music of Susie Asado who lives here in Berlin and I have an impending coffee date with. She has a show tomorrow - if you live in Berlin you should go see it - with Kat Frankie. I can't go as I will be singing a duet with Jim Avignon somewhere else.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

What is she building in there?

I thought I might write a little blog about what I do with my days in Berlin.

I drink a lot of coffee. I cook soup.

I make postcards to sell at the Sunday market - it helps me to have money to do things like buy coffee and food.

I practice Ukulele alone, and with other people for upcoming shows.

I do graphic design jobs for money (useful for the aforementioned reasons.)

I work on art for Strychnin Gallery in Berlin - they carry one of my pieces already, you can visit it if you are here.

I ride my bicycle four miles out to the recording studio to work on songs. The studio belongs to Elyas Khan of Nervous Cabaret who will be touring with Amanda Palmer this month. Elyas and his wife Melissa took me in and let me live in their house and use their studio. If you see them on the tour give them love. Tell them Kim sent you. They are really nice. Also the band fucking rocks.

I play guitar and sing and work out arrangements for songs.

I write.

I drink a lot of water.

I walk up and down eight flights of stairs.

Sometimes I record with other people, like Jim Avignon, whose new album just came out - I am on it. Track 9!

I play shows.

I meet people and we hang out and talk about life, art, music.

I do interviews and photo shoots.

I tweet.

I see live music.

I have Skype meetings with Sean Slade, my album producer. Sean is really really nice, and excited about my music. He is wonderful.

I do webcasts

I make videos!

Another video is in the works.

There is more. I do a lot. But I wanted you to know what I do since I am asking you to support me and you may be curious about what I do and how I live.

Oh yeah....I dream:

Last night I dreamt I was fighting an evil force that was trying to destroy the world. A truck full of wolves crashed into a group of cyclists on a crazy elevated skyway. I was walking through swamps and working so hard to save everything. In the end the world had to be destroyed so we could all start over again. I was wearing overalls.

Pre-Order my album for as little as $5. Help me make my art!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The vague, yet unmistakable, feeling that I am doing everything wrong.

I can be thrown into a spiral of doubt by just about anything. Looking into the mirror at my tired face spirals into me being ugly, into being ugly on the inside for even worrying about being ugly on the outside, spirals into being untalented as well, into having nothing to offer the world, into I'm doing everything wrong.

And then you may find me all dressed and ready to go -- coat, scarves, hat, boots -- lying prone on the floor, staring at the ceiling and muttering about failure.

"But everything was going so well," you say, "just moments ago you were singing about the snow and all ready to go out for hot chocolate and art."

Yes, it was all going so well, and then I started listening to myself again. I should not listen to my own opinion of myself, it's really terrible.

I am a happy person: singing, clapping, skipping down the street in my bright red wool cape that makes me look like little red riding hood.

I am a brave person: I smile at strangers, ask drug dealers for directions, walk into blind alleys looking for underground concerts in the middle of the night.

I am a sad person: haunted constantly by my inability to affect or even comprehend the atrocities that are perpetrated on this planet.

I am a depressed person: thinking about myself in endless, deepening spirals of doubt and pain. And then nothing.

I am a person: conflicted, afflicted, affected, defected, detected, defeated, seated here on a couch in Berlin, thinking this piece of writing too solipsistic to be of interest to anyone else, and too banal to be of interest to me.

Thinking I may post it on the internet anyway just because I am the type of person that will ask a drug dealer for directions, and skip and sing, and cry on the floor, all at the same time.


This was written after receiving 6 comments and several emails about my blog.

I certainly did not mean to sound whiney or overly sad. While I do often succumb to depression at this time of year I wrote this blog to communicate rather the momentary spirals of doubt which afflict me. My thought was that since most people go through the same doubts someone mind find solace in my words.

I wasn't fishing for compliments or to be told to stop whining and "do" something. I just wanted to get over myself out loud - as it were.

And then I played music.

And now I'm going to the opera.

p.s. Thank you for loving me back!