KSU radio interview, my love for the Neil Labute and the New Moon soundtrack, daily Radiohead fix 

I had a really awesome time at KSU Owl Radio on Story with Amie Flanagan. It was kind of weird to be back on campus at KSU but not as a student. I actually parked in visitor parking, which made me feel odd. Or maybe "old" is a better word. Haha. Either way, I had a lot of fun on the show. We talked about Unsent Letters, my old bands, Painted and playwriting, how I hate it when people spell my name with an "h", other random things. I played "Cyclone" and "You Told Me" on air. Amie is a lot of fun, so everyone listen to her show! It comes on Mondays and Wednesdays at 10:00 am. She asked me if I wanted to come back sometime soon, so be on the lookout for that! Also, hopefully, I'll have a copy of the interview that I can put up here as a podcast file so you guys can listen if you didn't catch it yesterday.

Also, over the weekend, I went and saw This is How it Goes, a play by Neil Labute from Coup de Theatre Atlanta. It's a shame I waited until closing night to go see this play because I would have definitely recommended that everyone go check it out! It was just an excellent play. First of all, Neil Labute may be one of my favorite playwrights (The Shape of Things, Reasons to be Pretty). His plays are controversial, filled with unique structures and narratives, well constructed, and extremely thought-provoking. His characters are just so real and often extremely messed up. I really liked This is How it Goes for all of these reasons, but I think Coup de Theatre did an excellent job staging the brilliantly-written play. It was just well directed, well cast, well acted, well done. So good job, Coup de Theatre! This was the first show I've seen from them, and I'll definitely be checking out more as you all should, too. (PLUS, Radiohead playing at the beginning and/or end of a play or movie is always a great idea.)

Alright, I don't care what you Twilight-haters have to say, the Twilight Saga: New Moon soundtrack is out, and it is awesome. Highlights for me inclue Thom Yorke's mysterious "Hearing Damage," Lykke Li's poignant "Possibiliy", the sincere track, "Satellite Heart" by Anya Marina, "I Belong to You (New Moon Remix)" by Muse (which was also awesome on The Resistance, but I really like the remix), "Roslyn" by Bon Iver and St. Vincent whose voices blend perfectly together, and of course "Slow Life" by Grizzly Bear featuring Victoria Legrand (from Beach House). I was lucky enough to see Grizzly Bear and Beach House here in Atlanta a few weeks ago, and during Grizzly Bear's set, Victoria Legrand came back onstage to do "Slow Life" with them, which was an incredibly moving performance. So, there you go. We all know that the Twilight books are not going to be taught in literature classes in colleges or anything, and we all know Kristen Stewart is maybe the worst actress ever, but you just can't hate on a movie with that good of a soundtrack, people! (Even though it's not out yet.) (The Twilight books/movies are a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, though, I must admit and I'm very excited that this movie will combine my love for vampire books AND obscure indie bands. Who would have thought it?)

I've decided I should start posting more videos and photos in my blogs/on my website to make it more entertaining. I've had this song stuck in my head ever since they played it before This is How it Goes the other night. (Good choice, once again, Coup de Theatre!) So here is the "Song of the Day" I suppose.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0NHCyVqFOc

Upcoming events - CD release show, KSU Radio interview, etc. 

First of all, I've had to push back the release of my debut solo album, Unsent Letters, but only by two weeks. And now, it coincides with the CD release show, too! So I have a lot of cool things coming up:

-Monday, October 26th - 10:00 AM - KSU Radio - I will be on Amie Flanagan's show on KSU Owl Radio, talking about my upcoming CD release and playing a few tunes. So tune in! You can listen at http://ksuradio.com

-Saturday, October 31st - Atlanta Pride - Planning on going out to Atlanta Pride during the day at Piedmont Park and being a "street musician" (street musician? park musician? pride musician?). I'll also be giving out some free sampler CDs so stop by and see me if you're there!

-Tuesday, December 15th - Album release - I will be releasing Unsent Letters, my first solo album, on my website. It will be 7 dollars, and you can either download it on the website or order a physical copy. It's only 5 dollars for people on my mailing list, though, so sign up for my mailing list at http://saracrawford.net

-Friday, December 18th - 11:00 PM - CD release show at Smith's Olde Bar in the Atlanta Room - 8 dollars - 21+ - I'll be playing a solo/acoustic set and selling copies of my CD! You also get the special price of 5 dollars if you buy a copy at the CD release show. 5 bucks! What a bargain!

Hope to see all of you at the show!

Poetry news, music news, Scent of Autumn mixy  Podcast

Lots of things going on right now!

First of all, Virgogray Press will be publishing my poetry chapbook, Coiled and Swallowed, in the summer or fall of 2010! I just found out about this last week, and I'm pretty stoked. They have some really great chapbooks so check them out!

Secondly, I'm hard at work on Unsent Letters (my album), and I will be releasing that here on December 1st. It will be available for download, or you can order a physical copy. I should be playing some sort of CD release show around that time, too. I'm not sure where that will be yet, but I will keep you posted.

Also, Novo Luna is no longer playing shows. We've all sort of gone our separate ways musically, I suppose. I will always be grateful for the time I spent singing with those guys, though, and I will never forget the songs! I really learned a lot singing with them, and I definitely had a blast. I definitely plan to support all of them in their future artistic projects as well.

In other news, my new unnamed musical project is quickly picking up speed. We have Michael Tillman on guitar/vocals, myself on keys/vocals, and now, Kyle Weisse on violin. We've jammed out with a couple of drummers, and we're still putting together the entire ensemble, but stay tuned! We should be out playing shows within the next few months. The first couple of shows may be just me, Michael, and Kyle, but we're planning on getting out there soon.

AND it's that time of year again! Autumn. Every autumn, I made a mix CD called "The Scent of Autumn." It's usually a mix of songs that feel nostalgic, songs you can drive around and feel reflective to, and songs that I happen to be particularly into that year. So here is this year's scent of autumn mixy!

Scent of Autumn
1. Under the Milky Way - The Church
2. Before it All Ends - Kent
3. Special Needs - Placebo
4. Heart of Chambers - Beach House
5. Possibly Maybe - Bjork
6. When No One Calls (It Will Be Alright) -  Starflyer 59
7. That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore - The Smiths
8. Master of None - Beach House
9. Soldier On - The Temper Trap
10. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) - The Arcade Fire
11. Bubble - Red House Painters
12. Shiva - The Antlers
13. Cheerleader - Grizzly Bear
14. No Surprises - String Quartet

So, in honor of the Scent of Autumn, and in light of my poetry news, I'll leave you with a poem from Coiled and Swallowed and a song from my Scent of Autumn mixy - 2009 edition.


Cement Steps

a poem by Sara Crawford

Sometimes I wish you would take me back
to that scene
where little girls jump on cement steps
and young men wear sunglasses,
blowing the smoke from their
personally-rolled cigarettes,
watching it swirl away
into the strategically placed trees,
and the wind blows
wrinkled, old pages
from the woman’s notebook.
She struggles to pick them up,
scared to lose the moments she preserved
before she picked up her cup of green tea
to take a sip.

I miss being light enough
to be scared of a breeze,
bracing myself on something
that’s weighed down,
occasionally letting go,
out of curious anxiety.

/
  1. Beach House - Heart of Chambers

A mixy for the decade: Songs that define me from 2000 - 2009 

Today was one of the first days that it actually felt like autumn, and autumn is such a time of nostalgia and reflection, at least for me. I thought it’d be nice to do a reflective post about music I have loved over the past decade.

There was this note floating around on Facebook where you were supposed to name ten albums that you loved, one for each year of this decade (2000-2009). I really enjoyed reading my friends’ various choices. And then one night, Michael and I were sitting at Highlands, and we decided it would be fun to take this concept and make a mixy (“mixy” is my word for mix CD…incase you couldn’t figure that out) with one song from each album. But not just one song that you loved, but one song that defined the whole year for you, who you were, what you were doing, etc.

I had so much fun that I though I would write about my mixy. (Note: I did this not based on what albums came out that year, but what I was listening to. When I was a teenager, I wasn’t as up to date on what albums were coming out as I am now, and sometimes I wouldn’t find out about an album until a year or two after it came out.)

1. 2000 - “Indie Queen” by Marvelous 3 from HEY! Album (1998) – This song was my anthem. I was completely OBSESSED with Marvelous 3 from the ages of…I’d say 13 to 17. (And even now, at 24, I love to pop in HEY! Album, turn it up all the way, and dance around like an idiot.) In 2000, I was 14 for half of the year, 15 for the other half. I think every 15-year-old needs an anthem, a song that makes he or she go “THIS IS MY SONG! IT WAS WRITTEN SPECIFICALLY FOR ME! AND NO ONE ELSE GETS IT!” This was completely that for me. And even though Butch Walker was probably singing about something WAY different than a slightly artistic/dorky/eccentric 15-year-old suburban white girl, I will forever think he’s singing to me when he says, “How do you feel about that? How do you like it when they touch your face and turn the page and make you feel like a waste of space?”

2. 2001 - “Maybe Someday” by The Cure from Bloodflowers (2000) – I remember when I was in 10th grade, I had this really cool English teacher who wore all black and often mentioned bands like The Cure and The Smiths that I had heard of but had never really listened to, aside from “Asleep” by The Smiths, which was mentioned in my favorite book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. One day, I was I watching MTV (back when they played music), taping some music videos on my VCR, and a commercial came on for The Cure’s new album, Bloodflowers. They played a snippet of “Maybe Someday” on the commercial. I kept rewinding the tape to watch it over and over, until I could get someone to take me to Media Play to grab a copy. I was completely in awe when I listened to it. The album sounded like who I was that year, 16, overly emotional, learning about love and loss for the first time (really), finding my place…I was in love. This is one of those albums that I always go back to, time and time again, and it always makes me feel like I’m 16, discovering it for the first time. And yet, each time I listen to it, it has something new to tell me.

3. 2002 - “In Repair” by Our Lady Peace from
Spiritual Machines (2001) – So, I was 16 and 17 in 2002 and starting to feel a little upset that certain people I had crushes on (or…crazy obsessions with, either way) thought I was way too intense and emotional. I took refuge in CCT, a theatre group that was beginning to become like a family to me, and my friendship with Amanda. The two of us would just drive around endlessly in my Malibu. One day, we were driving, and she showed me this album, Spiritual Machines. I remember all of the countless times I drove down Sewell Mill Road to West Side Story rehearsals, blasting this album, with my windows rolled down. Just as my friendship with Amanda and my various experiences with CCT made me feel like it was okay to be who I was, intense and emotional and all, this album made me feel exactly the same way. It’s the kind of album that takes you somewhere, that tells a story. And Raine Maida has such an unconventional, unique voice. It really grabbed me. This album was a mix of great songwriting, passion, and solid’ rock music with a unique twist. I can still go back to it, particularly this track, “In Repair,” and it always makes me feel better.

4. 2003 – “Kevlar Soul” by Kent from Hagnesta Hill (2000) – I discovered Kent at Music Midtown in 1999 when my friend Kyndal and I were walking around, and they played “If You Were Here.” Kyndal grabbed me and said, “Wait! I know this song!” and we stuck around to listen to them. It turned out, they were actually awesome. I bought Isola, their first English album. Then, randomly, in 2003, I searched online to see what they were up to and I discovered they had made another English album. I ordered it immediately, and as soon as I played it, I was completely giddy. I listened to this album over and over and over, completely obsessed over it. This song in particular sticks out in my head, though, because I remember driving around with Kayesha in Atlanta, listening to it, happy I could share this obscure Swedish band with someone, and we’d sing together, “I have time on my side/Making diamonds of coal/She put a hole, through my kevlar soul.”

5. 2004 – “The World is Full of Crashing Bores” by Morrissey from You Are the Quarry (2004) My knowledge of Morrissey consisted of listening to “Asleep” by The Smiths because it was mentioned in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and the couple of times I had heard their self-titled album in Adam’s car, but I never paid much attention. When You Are the Quarry came out, though, Adam bought a copy, and he was listening to it when Kayesha and I were in the car. I remember when “I Have Forgiven Jesus” came on, I could hardly breathe. I rushed out and got a copy the next day. I listened to this album over and over and over, every single song. This is the album that started the Morrissey obsession, particularly this song, which became another one of my anthems. Because even when I was having super emotional, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, “no one understands me” days, Morrissey was always there for me, singing “This world, I am afraid is designed for crashing bores/I am not one, I am not one, you don’t understand, you don’t understand/And yet you can take me in your arms and love me, love me.” This is one of the reasons I have a Morrissey tattoo with the lyrics, “Don’t forget the songs that made you cry/And the songs that saved your life.” And I will never, ever forget the first moment I fell in love with You Are the Quarry.

6. 2005 – “Wake Up” by Arcade Fire from Funeral (2004)– 2005 was sort of a tough year for me, full of transitions. I was having a seriously hard time adjusting to the changes that life was bringing. Nothing else better summed this up than Funeral, particularly “Wake Up.” Even now, I get a little choked up every time I hear vocalist Win Butler sing, “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 rust./I guess we'll just have to adjust.” (And oh my God, now it’s in the Where the Wild Things Are trailer and I seriously almost cry every time I see it. Nostalgia and childhood and one of my favorite childhood books AND this song? It’s too much!) (But in a good way!)

7. 2006 – “Dragonfly” by My Brightest Diamond from Bring Me the Workhorse (2006) – 2006 was probably one of the best years of my life. I turned 21, had amazing times hanging out with some completely amazing people. And when two of my old friends from high school died, I realized how important it was to let people know that you appreciate them. I reconnected with my old high school friends because of this, and out of tragedy, we all grew closer. Some amazing things happened to me that year though. I started taking my English major classes at KSU, including classes with my favorite professors, I was in a really great writing group, I started a new, amazing relationship, and I started writing Painted towards the end of the year. This song, for me, really represents that whole year. My friend, Lauryn, showed me this album, and that was another I-can’t-breathe-this-is-so-good moment. Between Shara Worden’s completely breathtakingly flawless voice and the interesting almost orchestral music underneath her, I was almost in shock. I played Bring Me the Workhorse nonstop. And this song is very symbolic for me. It’s a song about recognizing the risks involved in loving and doing it anyway. It’s song about being “afraid of flying” but doing it anyway.

8. 2007 – “Bodysnatchers” by Radiohead from In Rainbows (2007) – OHMYGODRADIOHEAD. Okay, first of all, I had been waiting for a new Radiohead album for what seemed like forever. And soon, they announced that they were essentially giving it away for free on their website. I think I paid 5 bucks (better than nothing!) and this was another album that I was completely in love with from the moment that I listened to it. At first, I would have told you that “Bodysnatchers” was fun but not my favorite track on the album, but after a few listens, I became completely obsessed. I remember one night just sitting in my room writing almost an essay in my journal on how In Rainbows was an album that took you on a “personal journey” (which led to Darcie’s obsession with that phrase in my short play “The Economist”), and I think this track “Bodysnatchers,” is the track where I realized that it was, indeed, a personal journey. It’s the moment where the song completely changes and takes you somewhere you had no idea you were going, when Thom York sings “Has the light gone out for you?/Because the light's gone for me.” And then somehow, it builds and builds and builds and spits you right back out where you were. OH THE BRILLIANCE! This is also relevant to 2007 because basically the entire year of 2007 was centered around Painted. I started working on the play late 2006, and I continued working on it, revising and editing, having a small reading in February(ish), having my formal staged reading in June, and of course producing the play in late September/early October. (God, I can’t believe that was two years ago.) Painted was very much a personal journey for me, and right when the play was over, In Rainbows came out. It all felt very symbolic. One personal journey to another. Theatre to music and then somehow back to theatre and back to music and literature and it’s all just one huge cycle of art and life and love and “personal journeys” for me.

9. 2008 – “Open Book” by Ed Harcourt from
Strangers (2005) – 2008 was a difficult year for me for many reasons. I graduated from college in May, it was a time of huge transitions, a lot of my really close friends had moved across the country or were in the process of moving, lots of relationship drama. One of the things that really got me through this year was my discovery of Ed Harcourt, particularly this album, Strangers. Another “personal journey” album, I remember driving around listening to the haunting piano and heartbreaking vocals/lyrics on this track, “Open Book,” over and over. And I sang along with him, “As children make their way to class/I sit and raise another glass/Cause you don’t dwell much on the past when it keeps haunting you…Well my life keeps on spinnin’/It’s this drunken procession/I can’t learn my lessons.” In feeling heartbroken, nostalgic, and grief, the only thing that makes me feel better is a song that expresses all of those things and makes me realize that even though I’m immersed in all of those emotions, so is someone else. And Ed Harcourt gets it, which makes me feel connected to him, and then it turns out, we’re not isolated. We’re all connected through art and the human experience. It’s like “The Waste Land.”

10. 2009 – “40 Day Dream” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros from Up from Below (2009) – On a much happier note, 2009 has been a much happier year, and that’s why I picked this song/album for 2009. First of all, I love the album because the whole thing is like a dream, a story. It’s completely crazy. Parts of it will make you think you’re in the 1960s, parts of it will make you feel the way a really good shoegaze album makes you feel, parts of it will make you think you’re in a Western, parts of it will make you think you might be listening to a less cult-y version of the Polyphonic Spree. And while there have been a lot of albums that I feel in love with in 2009, I remember popping in Up from Below, and “40 Day Dream” came on, and within seconds, I was grinning from cheek to cheek. I love that giddy feeling you get the first time you listen to a really great CD that you know is going to make you happy for a very long time, and that’s how I felt the very first time I listened to this song. “I been sleepin for 60 days and/Nobody better pinch me/Bitch I swear I’ll go crazy/She got jumper cable lips/She got sunset on her breath now/I inhaled just a little bit /Now I got no fear of death.”

So, there are my ten albums/songs that define me from 2000 to 2009. How about you? What are your's?

Muuuuuussssiiiic! 

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Novo Luna show at Cool Beans on Saturday! We definitely all had a lot of fun playing :)

A lot of stuff going on for me musically right now!

First of all, I'm hard at work at my solo/acoustic album, Unsent Letters, which will be available for download on the website and/or to order physical copies on December 1, 2009. I'm taking my sweet time with it, really. I'm really excited about it, though, because I've had all of these songs just sort of floating around for four or five years, and I've done some simple acoustic demos, but it will be really good to get the best of these songs (in my opinion) all on one cohesive CD. 

In addition to my solo work, I'm continuing to play shows with Novo Luna, and we are also working on an EP, which should be released sometime soon. And, I've started up a new project with Michael Tillman. We're trying to bring a shoegaze/post-rock/alternative band to the Atlanta music scene, i.e. Sigur Ros, Slowdive, Smashing Pumpkins, Stars, Broken Social Scene, Hammock, etc. We've written several songs, and we're currently looking for a drummer. (And we'll be looking for a bass player shortly after that.) If you'd like to hear a sample, I've got three songs that we've written together on my website at the New Music Project page. (Also, if you know any drummers and/or bass players who are into that sort of music, send them my way!)

And I have a few upcomming shows as well:
  • September 24th - 10:00 pm - Solo show at Smith's Olde Bar in the Atlanta Room - Atlanta, GA - 5 dollars - 21+
  • October 10th - 7:30 pm - Novo Luna show at Cool Beans - Atlanta, GA - FREE - all ages
Other than that, I've been floating around town trying to check out new Open Mic nights so I can meet some new musicians, hear some new songs, share my songs. You know, lovely, exciting, musical nights of sharing and awesomeness. Haha. And of course, I like to promote other people's art on this website, so if you have any shows coming up in the metro Atlanta area or have any tracks I can post on here and share with people, let me know! And here are a few albums that I've been obsessing over lately. You should definitely check them out!
What have you been listening to?

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