Archive for July, 2011

My mother died 4 months after my second son was born.  The last time I had  a coherent conversation with her was on the phone in my hospital room, letting her know she had a second grandson.  The woman I spoke with after that was no longer in touch with reality. When the time came,  my nearly newborn son and I flew across the country to sit with my dying mother for ten days in a nursing home. There I watched her fade  from this world while  my son become more aware.  It was the powerful balance of life and death unfolding before me, and I tried to attend to the needs of each.    This song is about that time.

I performed it at my CD release party and it was hard singing something so personal in front of a large crowd of friends who were having a good time.  Still, I would like to share it here.

 

Oh the tender time has come

The moment soft and open

Now the ebb and now the flow

Once the weight, but now the fulcrum

Oh the tender time is done

It is the mystery that we’ve been given

Soft then harsh, soft then gone

Our bodies pull to the rhythm

Oh the tender time has come

Cocoon and butterfly

Here for the first time and the last time

Take my hand before you fly

And we are birthing the soul from the body

And we are birthing the child from the mother

And we are birthing the soul from the body

And we are birthing the mother from the child

And we are birthing the soul from the body

And we are birthing the child from the mother

And we are birthing the soul from the body

And we are birthing the mother from the child

The mother from the child

 

 

Dead Girls Don’t Say No was the name of the first band I was in that  included real, live, non-imaginary people.  We were an all girl punk band and we met exactly once at the guitarist’s house where, rather than practice, we took promo pictures.  I never saw the developed pictures or the drummer again, and eventually the band became a duo, just the guitarist and me. Ultimately we had more photo sessions than performances; actually we never performed for an audience, but Holly Rection (yes that was her stage name) gave good face and we went with what worked.

 There’s nothing more exciting or frustrating than that moment when your band decides promo pictures are needed.  You will most likely do the old favorites that scream “amateur”, such as the band in front of a brick wall (it’s so gritty) and the band in a desolate area where no one looks at the camera (it’s so existential), and you will inevitably come to realize that some band members are less photogenic than others and that rock star sneer that looks so cool in the bathroom mirror actually makes you look like you’ve smelled something bad.

 I’ve gone through my share of photo shoots and hated each one a bit more than the last, always holding on to that glimmer of hope that just once the camera will capture my true essence and the resulting picture will make me look sexy, cool, talented, mysterious, thin, and just recently added to my list of photo musts, young.  That said here are some of the memorable promo pictures of my musical career. You can pick me out because I’m always on the right side of the picture. Weird, huh?

Fiction – Playing obscure prog rock covers in sports bars in Delaware seemed like a good idea at the time, as did this picture perfect shot of us hanging out in a desolate area where I refuse to look at the camera because I’m an existential loner.  I love the fact that our drummer looks like he’s back in prehistoric times and about to invent parididdles.   Had you asked him, he would probably have told you that he did in fact invent paradiddles.  He was jus that kind of guy.

The Lactators – The year was 2002 and we were one of the first all-mom punk bands on the all-mommy band scene. (There really was an all-mom band scene.  Google it if you don’t believe me!)  I love this picture – three moms dressed up as Kiss in front of a refrigerator.  Definitely one of my favorite promo pictures ever.

 

Candy From Strangers

Candy From Strangers – We were a glam-pop-punk band trying to tap into the Blondie “Parallel Lines” vibe, but none of us look particularly comfortable.  This picture made me consider getting my eyebrows professionally waxed and shaped.

The Little Things

The Little Things – Karen and I still play music together and we happen to be playing at The Brainwash Café this Saturday, July 23rd 2011. (Am I slick or what? Look at me getting the plugs in there while still serving up interesting content, eh? )  By the time these photos were taken I had decided the best thing to do was cover as much of my face as possible and smile.  If only I’d thought about covering up my roots as well. 

 

 

Demolicious – When I turned 40 I decided it was time to become the pop starlet I always dreamed of being.  I took the stage name of Demolicious (later to become Demolicious Wonder, thanks to Second Life) and before I created any new music, I decided to take promo pictures, coming full circle on my view of when you need promo pictures.  Oddly enough, I was always hesitant to use these photos. Why?  They look too good.  They look like me, but cuter, cooler and perhaps younger.  It felt like false advertising, but it also goes to prove what the right photographer with the right lighting, make-up and a bit of Photoshop can do.

Now I think I might be in need of some new promo pics to capture the spirit of my latest music.  Not sure what that spirit looks like – weird, sexy, cool, frazzled, mature, cute, disheveled, enigmatic, freak,  mommy, musician?

I often find I get the most work accomplished by setting out to do a task and, in avoidance of it,  I end up doing another task I have put off.  For instance, I seem to have written and recorded a lot of music because I really needed to clean my house.   Even  back when I was in college I found the best time for working on a long, involved term paper was when I was sitting in a lecture on another subject.   In short, if you put me in a situation that requires me to do activity A, I will inevitably find a way to do activity B.
 

 And so now I have finished my CD and I have a long list of plans designed to promote it.  This in and of itself is a slippery slope, because Rational Me keeps telling myself, “You’ve reached your goal.  Anything that happens after this is icing on the cake. But recognize that it’s an angel food cake – very light, a bit bland and probably no icing.”  But Fanciful Me says “You go, girl! Who knows what could happen.  Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars!” (Fanciful Me is hoping to receive a cease and desist from Casey Kasem because any publicity is good publicity).

 In addition to promoting my CD, I’ve got lots of practicing to do for my CD release show (I’m playing not just my solo stuff, but also a set with The Little Things and then again with Falling Pauli), and I’m also doing some shows in Second Life on July 18th and a large festival on July 24th.  The Second Life shows require a whole different set of material and performance style.  After adding it all up, I need to practice 90 minutes of music at a shot to stay on top of the game until the 24th.   Suddenly my music is becoming . . . work with commitments and responsibilities. I feel the push and I start to feel pushed away.  It’s almost like Newton’s third law of motion played out emotionally. 

 So naturally all I want to do now is play with my kids and keep the house tidy.  Not just serviceable tidy,   we’re talking reorganizing closets and cupboards, updating my towels and sheets to match the new colors of my freshly painted bedroom and bathroom,  washing my car and cleaning out the inside with a vacuum and cloth.  Who knows, maybe I’ll even make an angel food cake with a light glaze, and eat it too.

Mmmmmm, cake!