Archive for February, 2012

My youngest wakes up crying for a certain kind of breakfast food I don’t have in the house. For reasons still unknown to me, I agree to run out to the store to appease his craving. I throw on some sweatpants and my winter jacket and head out to the local store that is not as safe as its name implies (you’d better check the dates on the organic yogurt, if you know what I’m saying).

As soon as I start-up my husband’s car, the mp3 player comes to life and “There is a Light That Never Goes Out” blasts forth from the stereo, throwing me back in time a good 25 years. And then, like a character from a Philip K. Dick novel, my timeline is scrambled. I am both a middle-aged woman driving down the pleasant, suburban street on which she lives on a crisp Monday morning, and I am also an awkward, discontent teenager, shut up in her room listening to records, dreaming of a future she knows will never materialize.

“It’s okay,” I want to tell my tell my teenage self. “Things turn out nothing like you planned, but it turns out fine. By the way, can I pick up anything for you at the grocery store while I’m out?” My teenage self gives me the silent treatment as usual.

There’s no one else out here except for a teenage boy walking to the bus stop; his dyed black hair provides no contrast to his black hoodie and his black t-shirt.

“And if a ten ton truck crashes into us, to die by your side, well the pleasure the privilege is mine,” croons Morrissey.

For just a moment I fight the urge to pull over to the Emo boy and say, “Hey, want a ride?”

Wednesday night found me on the other side of the Bay Bridge on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland where I discovered a cozy little dive called The Stork Club.  It’s true, I had booked a show at a venue sight unseen and I was thrilled to find a nice large room with a working video projector, a pull down screen at the back of the stage, and a very accomodating sound person who upon seeing my set up suggested I check out Amy X. Neuberg, Polly Moller and Joan La Barbara.   Although a lot of my friends couldn’t make it out that night, it still turned out to be a great evening.  My set went off really well, Snow Angel did not dissappoint, Ziva Hadar was effortlessly amazing, and Silent Motif had us all dancing to their other-worldly beats.

Snow Angel


Silent Motif

You can still catch me live online this weekend.  I’ll be broadcasting into the virtual world of Second Life twice tomorrow (Sunday 2/25), once at 1 pm PST at The Notes Shack Pub,  and then in the evening at 9:30 pm PST as part of the Metaverse Music Expo. Signing up for Second Life is free, but if you want nice shoes, it will cost you!

Having spent most of January trying to shake off a nasty eye infection, I have found my way to February feeling and looking mostly normal. These past few weeks have been a string of happy collisions with some extraordinarily talented people. I often feel my universe expands and contracts in a cyclical fashion. For a while I will feel like I am working in a vacuum, completely isolated and then suddenly it all explodes, just like the big bang, and I am propelled into new space.   And in that moment  I realize that I’m part of something much larger, the amazing and eclectic San Francisco Bay Area music scene.

The lineup of artists playing with me at The Stork Club next Wednesday, February 22, exemplifies the variety of talent you can find in the Bay Area.  In addition to my synth pop loops, there will be indie pop music played by the very talented Gabby La La and her new band, Snow Angel.  Gabby La La is a multi-instrumentalist who has shared a stage with the likes of Les Claypool.  I admire both her music and her fashion sense; she achieves in real life what I can only aspire to in avatar form in Second Life.  Her new project, Snow Angel, is wonderfully melodic with dreamy harmonies.

Following Gabby La La will be Silent Motif, an ambient electronica trio lead by Robert Keller.  I have seen them perform online and it was mesmerizing.  Each band member was decked out in a glowing shirt, giving them an otherworldly presence that was reinforced by music that created alien soundscapes ranging from ethereal to cacophonous to (not quite) dance music and then back again.
 Watch Silent Motif’s online performance 

Ending the evening is Ziva Hadar, whose soulful pop reminds me a great deal of Nora Jones. Ziva, whose music combines several genres including pop, jazz and blues, has been creating a buzz in the Bay Area music scene for the past year or so.  She’s just released an EP, Just Another Night.

Finally, I recently had the honor of sitting in on a rehearsal with Debora Iyall and her band.  Best known as the lead singer of Romeo Void, Ms. Iyall has just released an EP, Singing Until Sunrise.  Having grown up in the golden age of MTV, I vividly remember watching the videos of “Never Say Never” and “A Girl in Trouble”.  Her lyrics and presence always seemed far more powerful and subversive than many of the mainstream female artists who claimed to be just that.

The songs on Singing Until Sunrise and Stay Strong, her full length CD released in 2010, have a much different energy than her work with Romeo Void, but the lyrics are still powerful and rich with imagery.   She is playing with Storm Large at The Red Devil Lounge tomorrow evening.