School, Website, and oh yeah… THE GRAMMYS

I have been swamped lately. When I have not been writing out the Circle of Fifths or memorising ProTools shortcuts for school, my husband and I have been revamping my website. The new site is not live yet, but it is going to be very different and I am very excited about it.

Another event that has me nearly exploding with excitement: I will be attending the 54th Grammy Awards this Sunday.

I have mentioned it on all my other social media, but have neglected to post about it here. I will be sure to post a wrap-up upon my return. I may have a scoop about what happens during the commercial breaks, or perhaps an anecdote about running into someone I admire.

If you want live coverage from an insider’s perspective, follow me on twitter.

SOPA, Censorship, Musicians, and Music Blogs

In my Survey of the Music Industry class we mostly focus on the basics of how the music industry works. We have covered copyright and publishing, and how the money flows from labels to the artist and from consumers to the artists and labels. It has been very interesting and I have learned a ton.

We also spend time on current events in digital music news. SOPA comes up regularly and I did not really get a good grasp on its consequences until I read an article today on that was posted by the EFF (The Electronic Frontier Foundation.)

It is not a short article, but one that I feel is very important for musicians and fans of music to read.

Let me sum up why: Legal action was taken against a music blog which “leaked” new songs by artists. The source of the leaks? The artists and labels themselves. Excited to promote a new song and create some buzz, the folks who owned all the rights gave the music to the blog. The domain was seized, was shut down, and was accused of  taking part in criminal copyright infringement.

No, actually they were not infringing upon copyright… and a lot took place to cover this up.

Be careful out there folks.

This is why SOPA is a bad, bad thing. Shooting first, and asking questions later only leads to trouble.

Here is the article to which I refer

Inspiration: When I Least Expected It

Wednesday evening and all day Thursday, I reprised my career as a photojournalist and did some free-lance photography for a friend. We covered an event called “Fall for the Book” which mostly took place at George Mason University in Northern Virginia. After getting the necessary shots of the authors, I was able to relax and listen to what they had to say, and I was very inspired by two authors in particular. One was a poet named Natasha Trethewey, whose historical poems have the perfect balance between the beautiful and the unsightly. She took me to the edge of discomfort then wrapped me in beautiful descriptions of paintings and journals and her own memories. Hearing her read her own words was very moving.

The second author to inspire me was Alma Katsu. I knew within 5 minutes of her talk that I was going to purchase her book “The Taker” ~ its Gothic, dark nature being right up my alley. But also, she spoke of the writing process and her words really struck a chord with me. She said that in the end, the novel one writes is really the novelist’s own story. It is the thing deep down that the author is ashamed of, or afraid will be exposed. She said that until the author figures this out and embraces it, he or she will keep writing the same book until that story is expressed in an honest, fully-disclosed way.

I talked about this with my friend Grace between shoots. I wondered what my “story” was. We talked about songs and films that move us in ways that seem to affect no one else in the same way. What was it about these particular pieces that move me so much?

On the way home, Arcade Fire came up on shuffle. I thought of the song “Wake Up” and quickly found and played this song. This is definitely one of those songs that affect me. Every time I listen to this anthem of lost childhood, I sing it at the top of my lungs, half shouting, to the point where I am so choked up that I can no longer produce notes.

“Wake Up” by Arcade Fire

Somethin’ filled up
my heart with nothin’,
someone told me not to cry.

But now that I’m older,
my heart’s colder,
and I can see that it’s a lie.

Children wake up,
hold your mistake up,
before they turn the summer into dust.

If the children don’t grow up,
our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up.
We’re just a million little gods causin’ rain storms turnin’ every good thing to

I guess we’ll just have to adjust.

With my lightnin’ bolts a glowin’
I can see where I am goin’ to be
when the reaper he reaches and touches my hand.

With my lightnin’ bolts a glowin’
I can see where I am goin’
With my lightnin’ bolts a glowin’
I can see where I am, go-go, where I am

You’d better look out below

And then I knew my story. I knew what I needed to get out of me. I wrote for a very long time last night. A stream of consciousness that spilled out onto six pages of my notebook, and it is still not all out. With Alma Katsu’s words still fresh in my ears, I was mindful of how, as soon as I got close to the really difficult stuff, I would drift back into safe territory. I think I am onto something here. It might be painful, but I do not think I will be able to rest until I can express myself clearly – until my story has been given the attention it deserves.

Go Go Go

Thanks so the new feature on facebook, I learned that two years ago yesterday I was “go go go.” Well that makes sense as I was planning a wedding, but it made me think about how much I have done and how much things have changed in the last few years.

In the last three years I:

  • Quit my job (a career I had for 13 years)
  • Moved across the country
  • Planned a wedding
  • Got married
  • Threw a killer Halloween party (including making serious paper mache decorations like mounted elf heads, and a troll foot umbrella stand)
  • Started volunteering at my local nature center
  • Organized and put out a Holiday Compilation album for charity
  • Helped plan a Yule Ball
  • Suffered through my Mother’s death
  • Concurrently recorded TWO CDs (in a span of about six months)
  • Played the LARGEST show of my life (in front of several hundred people)
  • Went on tour – Ohio down to Texas up to Chicago and back down to Ohio with many stops in between
  • Completed NaNoWriMo (aka National Novel Writing Month) Which means I wrote a 50,000 word novella in the month of November
  • Moved again (this time East instead of North)
  • Went on a mini-tour from Virginia down to Florida and back
  • Decided to go back to school for Audio Production and am 1/2 way through my first quarter now

Am I missing anything?

Wow. That is a lot of stuff accomplished. Go me! Go go go!