Viewing: Random - View all posts

Thank you for the support with the new backing band! And with life, in general. :-) 

Sara Crawford and the Cult Following...and the ZomB Nation...5.20.10 Smith's Olde Bar - photo by Kyndal Foshee

Hey everyone!!

First of all, thank you SOOO much for all of the awesome support for the first two shows with my new backing band, the Cult Following. Both the show at Lenny's last weekend and the show last night at Smith's Olde Bar in the Atlanta Room were definitely successful, and we all had a blast!! I am so grateful to have so many people in my life who are so supportive of new and local music. I try really hard to thank everyone individually for coming to the show, but there is always so much going on at shows that sometimes I miss people. And I'm really sorry for that! I never do it intentionally. So if you're at one of my shows, make sure you come say hi to me if I don't say hi to you! I'm not trying to ignore anyone. I just get REALLY distracted by everything that I have to do at shows, and sometimes I need people to be like "HEY! SARA! I'M HERE!" for me to notice them. Haha. I'm slow, what can I say? Anyway, though, I just want to say thank you so, so, so much to all of you who take the time to make it out to my shows. I appreciate that more than any of you will ever know. It's not easy to be a local original musician sometimes, and we definitely need all of the support we can get. So thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. One day I will make cookies for all of you! (Haha. And special thanks to the ZomB Nation. ZOM-BIES! ZOM-BIES! ZOM-BIES!)

I put photos up from both shows on the photos/videos page for those of you who want to check those out. (Photos taken by the awesome Kyndal Foshee.) Also, there are three tracks from the Smith's show (courtesy of Z-Man!) on my music page if you want to check those out! And there will be a couple of videos up in the near future as well so stay tuned for that. Also, if you haven't gotten a chance to see us, we will be be playing another show at Cool Beans in the Marietta Square, Saturday, May 29th at 9:00 pm. This show is FREE, all ages, and Goodland and Strangelove will be playing as well! Music starts at 7:00 so get there early, drink some coffee, and have a fun night :-)

I have a lot going on lately! I recently got some news about some upcoming poetry publications! My poem "Coffee Roaster" will be in the fall issue of Aries, the literary journal from Texas Wesleyan University, and my poems "For Frank" and "Visiting" will be in the fall issue of Illogical Muse. This is very exciting to me, especially with my first ever book of poems, Coiled and Swallowed, coming out on September 7, 2010 from Virgogray Press. I'm also thinking about doing some sort of poetry night event at Cool Beans or somewhere for my book release. Have the first half of the evening be "open mic" with various poets reading their work, and then I'd read some of my poems from the book and have copies available. And also, I'd encourage all of my awesome poet friends to bring their books, too.

In other news, I was listening to this Wayne Dyer tape the other day, and he was talking about how one day, he received two letters from two different readers talking about one of his books. The first guy was just going on and on about how great it was and how it saved his life. The second guy told him it was the worst book he ever read and he wanted his money back. So he mailed the positive letter to the negative guy and the negative letter to the positive guy and just wrote them both back with, "You might be right." I really loved that story. Because other people's opinions are just other people's opinions. That's definitely something you should be fully aware of as an artist. I'm faced with harsh criticism and rejection quite often, but I'm also showered with compliments and have quite a bit of artistic success. It's completely subjective.

I've been told that sometimes I "beat my readers over the head" with my message, but I just think it's so important! And it's worth repeating. Create art, express yourself! And support other artists! Or even just support other people in their endeavors. Even for non-artists, I just think it's really, really important to believe in yourself. I think it's important to not let your music die inside of you. Everyone is here for a reason. You all have some gift, some talent, something to offer to the world. So find it and do it! That's really all I'm trying to say. I just want to encourage people to live the lives that they've always wanted to live, ecourage people to be kind to each other, encourage people to be happy. It's a message of love. And I'll say it over and over and over again and use 18,000 exclamation points because I'm just so passionate about love and life and happiness and art!!!! And if other people have a different opinion, well, that's just their opinion. They own that, not me. And often, criticism/judgments have far more to do with the person criticizing that the person receiving the criticism. That's a good thing to remember, too.

I feel like I'm just at a point in my life where I'm really growing spiritually, and I'm really figuring things out. It's a constant journey, and obviously, there's still a lot I don't know, there are still many mistakes that I've made along the way. But I try to own up to my mistakes and learn from them. Even negative situations, feelings, thoughts, etc. have within them something you can learn. Every situation offers personal growth if only you can see it! And I guess I'm just really excited about my own journey and the growth that I've been experiencing. I've gone through a lot so far this year, with the ending of a very long relationship, shifting of artistic projects, getting ready to begin grad school, and I feel like it's caused this huge shift in my perception, in the way I think about things. And once again, I am SO grateful for all of the people around me who encourage that growth, people who support me and love me no matter what crazy mistakes I make. I can never tell you how much I appreciate you. And I think that's worth repeating myself over and over again! Because I love you guys. Everyone who is reading this. I love you!

Now, here, listen to some Tom Petty!

We're bloggin' and I hope you like bloggin' too... 

Hedwig logo by Melanie Rivera

Well, ladies and gentleman (whether you like it or not), I've been cast as Yitzhak in my absolute favorite play ever, Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I'm so, so, SO excited. I have such a history with this play! When they did the play in 2003 at Actor's Express a couple of my friends and I were the official groupies for the show. I think we saw it like 30 times. We'd dress up and make signs and virtually be a part of the show. I've always absolutely loved this play and the film. John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask are totally brilliant. (Especially Stephen Trask! I love the music!) I could talk forever about the show, but I won't....right now...

I also booked another gig at Smith's Olde Bar in the Atlanta Room recently! I'll be playing there Thursday, May 20th. Hopefully with my new backing band! So far, the backing band consists of Geoff Goodwin on bass (of Novo Luna, Night Eve, Goodland, 18,000 other bands that have played around Atlanta - haha) and Brian Teague on drums (check out his solo stuff, Eat the Sun - it's badass), and we're adding Adrian Rhetts on lead guitar (Novo Luna, The Dali Standard). I'm really, really excited! These guys are all really solid musicians but laid back and fun to be around and play music with. So far, it's been really fun, and I love adding a fuller sound to my songs!

Speaking of awesome, I've realized lately how many friends I have that are creating incredible art, whether it's visual, theatre, music, film, literature, etc. I know I sound like a broken record with that, but it really makes me happy! So stay tuned. I plan on doing more promoting other people's art in the near future, in any way that I can!

Looking forward to an awesome weekend! Tonight, it's off to the con for Rocky Horror! Tomorrow, show hopping at Smith's Olde Bar and the Five Spot! And Sunday, Easter with my awesome family followed by practice with the groovy backing band. Plus, it has returned to FLIP FLOP WEATHER.

Life is good, people.

Can't sleep - why I had to cancel the show. 

Well, I had to cancel my Smith's show tonight.

I have endometriosis, which has pretty much given me hell over the past three or so years. So, last night I started having severe pelvic and abdominal pain. I didn’t get much sleep at all. And I woke up this morning throwing up because I was in so much pain. I couldn’t even stand up for longer than two minutes, I could barely move. So of course there was no way I was going to get through a 45-minute set in that condition. I assumed I had a ruptured ovarian cyst because last time I had pain this severe, it was due to ovarian cysts and this was so much worse. I went to the doctor, though, and the ultrasound was normal. She said it was probably just my endometriosis acting up, but she didn’t seem to have any solutions. I’m already on the Depo shot, which is supposed to help the condition, and it has. But in my experience, after being on the shot for about a year, I start having pain again. Last time that happened, I just went off of the shot for a few months, went back on, and that seemed to help. But now the pain is back and it’s so much more severe than it’s ever been. I’m going to another doctor on Monday or Tuesday that has more of a specialty in endometriosis. She’ll probably suggest going on a stronger shot (basically medically induced menopause) or surgery.

So I came home, took some low-dose pain medication, and some old nausea medicine we had lying around, and I passed out around 7. And now I’m awake and I can’t go back to sleep. As long as I stay lying or sitting down with the heating pad, the pain is at least tolerable enough to where I’m not crying or throwing up.

It’s just frustrating because there really is no cure for endometriosis, and any treatment that you do is only effective for around one to five years, depending on what it is. So I’m essentially going to have to deal with this for the rest of my life, and it doesn’t matter how much I exercise or how healthy I am. And I get the feeling that some doctors don’t believe that I'm in pain (even though my file clearly says I have endometriosis, which causes severe pain at times) and they just think I’m some young person trying to get pain medication. But it’s not just in my head. I’d never cancel a show if I was in any way, shape, or form capable of playing it.

I realize this is pretty “personal” stuff to be posting on the internet, but I guess I just wanted to explain why I had to cancel the show. And besides, my life is basically an open book. I put so much of myself in my songs, poems, and plays, which automatically makes you open, honest, and vulnerable. But I’ve always been really honest and open with anyone who cares to know about me. Sometimes it freaks people out, but I can’t be any different than who I am.

I guess it’s like that saying, “when it rains, it pours.” I’ve been going through so much emotional pain lately, and now there’s physical pain on top of that. But I have faith that things will turn around, that I’ll come out of it stronger and happier than I’ve ever been. And I have so much loving support from those around me. I was so touched by all of the messages I received today and how much my family was there for me. I can’t express my gratitude for all of the wonderful people that I have in my life.

I’m still scheduled to play a set next Friday, the 26th, opening for Wade in the Rhythm, one of my favorite local bands, at the new venue in Little Five Points, Hearth Atlanta. I’m really excited about that one. It will be my make-up show. Hehe. I’ll post more details about it. I’m just going to take it easy this week, go to the second doctor, do a lot of lying around with my heating pad, taking pain medication, and resting up. And hopefully, I’ll be in much better shape for the show on the 26th.

Just wanted to say thank you all so much for all of the support, prayers, thoughts, wishes, positive comments, etc. It really means a lot to me, and I’m so blessed to have so many loving people in my life.

Something to be gained 

Symphony of Light by Florian Kehrer

I decided to actually write a somewhat personal blog. It's not something I do often, but sometimes I feel like sharing more than my art.

So. I was watching the episode of Oprah where Ellen was on, and she was talking about how after she came out on her show, she didn't work for three years. And she was depressed and going through a difficult time, but then she said that's when you really do your soul searching and kind of figure out who you are. It was really kind of inspirational for me, because I feel like that's where I am right now. And Ellen seems like such a genuinely loving and happy person now (I absolutely love her show), and I don't think she would be if she hadn't had that difficult time. (Yes, I am aware that this is a celebrity on television that I don't know. But I really think her happiness and love for people is sincere. You'd have to be pretty...ridiculous to fake that for so many years.)

Anyway. So here I am, coming out of a three and half year long relationship (off and on, but still), and I'm having to kind of start all over. I'm at a point where I have to do a lot of soul searching, myself, and sort of rebuild myself. I think I'm doing well so far. I started seeing a spiritual counselor. I've only seen her once, but so far it is really helping. She pointed out things that I wasn't even aware of about myself, and she's really helping me to figure out ways to get rid of the things that aren't working for me. Along those lines, I've been reading helpful spiritual books (first The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and now The Proof by James Twyman - my counselor let me borrow her autographed copy!), I've been practicing meditation and affirmations, and I've been doing my best to try to completely accept my emotions and thoughts, who I am, and what I'm going through right now. I know it's all an important part of my journey. Also, I've been keeping up with exercising, walking more outside now that it's slowly but surely getting warmer, hanging out with lots of supportive and loving friends and family, keeping myself incredibly busy with playwriting, music, and work, going to support other artists, etc. I'm still going through an extremely difficult time. Some moments, I feel like screaming. And there's a lot of anger and sadness and hurt. But I think this time, I am at least able to appreciate those things because I know they're teaching me something.

What I'm saying is, I know now that I am important and that I have a purpose. We all are. You are important. You're here for a reason. I'm here for a reason. And maybe I don't quite know it yet. I really hope that my purpose is to be someone's Billy Corgan, someone's Morrissey, someone's Radiohead, someone's Stephen Chbosky, someone's Sarah Ruhl. The songs that save someone else's life. To give someone else a moment of pure artistic magic, like so many artists have done for me.

I guess I wanted to share that for those of you who may be going through difficult times. It's important to keep in mind that there is always something to be gained in a situation. There's always something to be learned, an opportunity for growth. And I hope you won't forget that. I hope I won't forget it, either.

Random thoughts - Music, theatre, and awesomeness 

Photo by Oberonia Photography

I thought I'd just write a random blog.

Blog. Isn't that word funny? Say it twenty times. It's kind of funny, isn't it?

I'm listening to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros at the moment, and it's making me feel rather optimistic, I must say. There has been a lot of great music that I've been listening to lately. I promise I will have my music sharing podcast ready by next week. So, I was watching an abbreviated version of American Idol the other day (abbreviated as in recorded on the DVR and fast fowarded through most of it). I don't really know why. All that show is is a glorified karaoke contest. And then even when there's someone on there that I actually like (it does happen Bo Bice) when they get off the show and make an album, they make them sing these really shitty pop songs, which of course they didn't write. Why can't we have American Open Mic Night? Where we get original artists on there to do their original songs? I guess no one would watch that. People don't want to hear new music. But that can't be totally true, can it? They play new music on the radio. They used to play new music on MTV back when they actually played music videos. So let's get some new original music on American Idol. Let's have American Open Mic Night! (Yeah, that will still probably never happen.)

There are a lot of live shows that I'm excited about. Recently, I got to see Laura Veirs at the Star Bar. She and her backing band (the Hall of Flames) played a really killer set. I still think the Star Bar is a weird venue for her, though, and I would have liked to see her at Eddie's Attic or somewhere like that. There's always tons of trendy people just being loud and obnoxious in the Star Bar. Usually the bands are so loud there, though, that it doesn't really matter. And people who want to listen to the music can, and people who want to be loud and obnoxious can, and it works out for everyone! Laura Veirs, though, had a more mellow set than any other band I've ever seen there, and at times it was hard to listen. I swear, there was this girl standing behind me who did not stop talking the entire set! It would have been hillarious if I weren't trying to listen to Laura Veirs. It was getting ridiculous. The viola player (Alex Guy) would be in the middle of a really amazing part, and the girl behind me would just be rambling on..."You know, I played violin in high school, and I was really bad! I just never practiced, you know? I was like the 15th chair! They had 14 chairs on stage and they shoved me off stage halfway in the curtain! It was awful! I just didn't care about it, though. And then it wasn't until later that I was like 'Oh, man, I really should have practiced!'" Meanwhile, we're all thinking, "Hey, why don't you shut up so we can listen to someone who can play?" It was still a really great show though, and I'm really loving her new album, July Flame. I almost bought it on vinyl when I was at the show, but it was 20 bucks, and I was broke. (I don't really know what I was expecting...hehe.)

I have this new obsession with listening to vinyl records. It feels like a much more tangible music listening experience than listening to songs on an MP3 player or even a CD. My vinyl collection so far is pretty tiny, but I just added Siamese Dream by the Smashing Pumpkins and Teen Dream by Beach House to it. One of my old favorites and one of my new favorites. Speaking of Beach House, I'm so incredibly in love with Teen Dream. If you haven't listened to it, I recommend doing that!

(But I'm foreshadowing my music sharing podcast now!)

In other news, I got to see The Tales of Edgar Allan Poe at The Center for Puppetry Arts last weekend. I hadn't seen a show there since I was a kid, and I had never been to their museum. They have so many cool things in there! Pieces from The Labyrinth and all of these Jim Henson puppets and Fraggle Rock stuff and other really interesting puppets. I feel like CGI kind of killed the art of the puppet, at least in movies. Anyway, I really loved how they wove all of the Edgar Allan Poe stories together, all of the interesting musical instruments that the musical accompanist was playing, and of course the actual puppets themselves. The puppets and the set were very innovative and creepy. And seeing a number of Poe's stories back to back like that reminds you of how disturbing they all are. But the whole show was very well done. I definitely plan on going to see another show there sometime soon.

Tomorrow is a good day for me both in terms of theatre and music. During the day, I'm having my first read-through of Community Service, the play that I'm working on for the Horizon Theatre Apprentice Company. So this year's apprentices will get to see it for the first time tomorrow. I really hope they like it! It's a completely ridiculous comedy filled with art made out of PBR cans (P-B-Art if you will), gender neutral pronouns, Jeopardy! questions, and slightly gay rednecks. Anyway, after that, I'm heading over to the Gwinnett Center to see Muse and the Silversun Pickups with my little brother, who got tickets for Christmas, and is taking me! (Because he rocks. Read his music blog.) Then on Sunday, we're doing a Long Absent Friends photoshoot with Alisha Gaspard, who if you'll recall took all of the badass Painted cast photos (and the photo above!). So, this weekend is looking pretty exciting for me, in spite of it being the LONGEST WINTER EVER.

In other news, I have found that there are some people out there who are always going to do whatever they can to bring you down. This is something that a lot of people I care about have been having issues with lately, something I've been having issues with lately. And I'm not just talking about in the artistic community, either. This applies to life in general. I'd just like to say, though, than nine times out of ten, these people are just really insecure and unhappy with their own lives, and the only way they know to try to be happy is to make other people unhappy. Or instead of outwardly projecting how insecure they are, they outwardly project condescending arrogance and act like they're better than other people. I'm trying really hard not to be judgmental, here. I don't think most of these people are consciously aware of what they're doing. But I think it's important to just try to do the best you can for who you are and not worry about other people who appear to be unsupportive or negative towards you. For every unsupportive bitchy person I have in my life, there are at least ten other people who are supportive and understand that I'm doing the best I can with what I've got. Just some food for thought. I guess the moral of this story is "Some people are bitches, but don't let them get you down." (Didn't I say that at one of my shows recently? I feel like that's becoming a slogan. Haha.)

But February is almost over, spring is almost here! and there are so many awesome things to be excited about right now. There's Girl Scout cookies, Beach House shows, people around me getting married and having babies and being very excited about the new stages in their lives, hillarious theatre, pool games, cheap beer, Bad Cat calendars, crafty glittery projects, Rocky Horror, old books, Radiohead, live music, dancing, being goofy, crying for no reason, life. There are so many wonderful people doing wonderful things all around me, so much to laugh about and dance around to and learn from and love.

(Yes, I'm being a hippy. It's okay, though, because I still take showers and have a job. :-p)

Various updates!  

One Day by Carmen Lamarium

Here's what's going on with me lately:

  • Unsent Letters promotion - First of all, thanks so much to everyone for being so supportive of me and this album. I have sold more CDs than I ever could have imagined, and everyone has been awesome about helping me get it out there. The CD is now up on iTunes and! I am also on Last FM, and I'm working hard on getting my music on (Thanks to everyone who sent e-mails to them by the way! It really made a difference as they're actually paying attention, now!) Also, I have sent copies of the CD out to several college radio stations, including the Georgia Music Show on Album 88, which comes on Wednesdays from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. So all of you Atlantans (Atlantians? Atlantans? I don't know...people who live in Atlanta!) tune into that, call up the station (404-413-9727), and request one of my tunes!
  • New music, photos, and videos up on the website! - I put up a bunch of free new songs on my music page! There's a live version of "Wait" from open mic night at Ragamuffin, a Slowdive cover that I did, an acoustic version of a Long Absent Friends song, an old Ruby song, and an old Novo Luna song! You can download them for free, here. Also, my friend Amanda (aka Carmen Lamarium) put up a couple of videos on YouTube from my CD release show at Smith's. I've put those on my photos/videos page, or you can go to YouTube. Here's a link for me playing my acoustic version of "Bridge" (actually a Novo Luna song), and here's "Rainwater." Also, I put up some new Long Absent Friends pictures on my photos/videos page, so check that out!
  • Upcoming play production, Community Service - My one act play, Community Service (working title), will be staged and performed by the Horizon Theatre Apprentice Company this May! Recently, I got to see this year's Apprentice Company in the 2010 Joint Stock Project, and I have to say, I was very impressed! I'm looking forward to working with these actors and the wonderful people at Horizon Theatre again. :-) More details to come about this show!
  • Upcoming music shows:
    Long Absent Friends will be playing at Lenny's with Goodland (featuring Geoff Goodwin and Chase Adkinson, who I played with in Novo Luna) - Tuesday, February 2nd. The show starts at 9:00 pm, it's 21+, and the cover is 6 bucks. I hope to see you all there!
    - I will have another solo show at Smith's Olde Bar (in the Atlanta Room) on Friday, March 19th at 10:00 pm, so mark your calendars! Let's pack the place out again like we did in December! That was such a blast.
  • Send me your events! I'll be updating my "events" blog for February pretty soon, so if you have any upcoming plays, music shows, poetry/literature events, visual arts events, dance events, etc., please send them my way! You can e-mail them to me at (I'll also put them on my Atlanta Bohemians group on Facebook.) And I will try to make it out if I can! I absolutely love supporting local, new, and independent artists, and I love being exposed to new and interesting works. There is so much going on, and Atlanta has such a thriving artistic scene. I'm so excited to be a part of it! (I know I've said all of that before, but I'm just so excited, I have to repeat myself!)
  • All of my links in one place: A bunch of people have asked me recently for various links to my various pages around the web, so here you go!
    - Sara Crawford on Myspace
    - Sara Crawford on Facebook
    - Sara Crawford on Last FM
    - Sara Crawford EPK on Sonicbids
    - Sara Crawford on iTunes
    - Sara Crawford on Amazon
    - Long Absent Friends on Myspace
    - Long Absent Friends on Facebook
Thanks again to everyone! I have absolutely the most supportive and awesome friends/fans, and I'm finally at a place in my life where I feel like I'm really getting my art out there and people are appreciating it. I definitely would not be in that place without all of you. So to everyone who actually takes the time to listen to my music, read my writing, come to my shows, come see my plays, or even read my blog on my website, I am extremely grateful. (I know, I've said all of this before, too, but you really can't say things like that enough, I don't think.) So, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for supporting me and my artistic projects. :-) :-)

I will leave you with a live version of "Wait" from the open mic night I recently played at Ragamuffin. Enjoy!

Random thoughts - why I'm not a music critic, Horizon Theatre rocks, other ramblings about art 

For the Love of Music by pa gillet on flickr

I feel like updating a totally random blog. (Because that's really what I should be doing right now...But I seem to be the queen of procrastinating by distracting myself with totally useless activities on the internet. "OH! I need to take this 'Which Literary Movement Are You?' Quiz on Facebook!")

I'm currently listening to The Killers. Say what you want, but I love The Killers. This is why no one can call me a music snob. Because, sure, I may listen to totally obscure bands who no one has ever heard of (except maybe their roommates when they're playing really loud in the apartment), but I also love The Killers, Michael Jackson, Lady Antebellum, and Hanson. Yes, Hanson. I said it! Those kids were like 13 when they first came out, and they all played instruments and wrote their own songs, which is more than you can say for most of the Disney-channel teen pop stars of today. And you know, in an mmm-bop, it really is all gone, people.

I have some super exciting things coming up that I'm, well, excited about. Playing a benefit show for Haiti with Long Absent Friends, my upcoming poetry book, upcoming play production. (The Apprentice Company at Horizon Theatre will be performing one of my plays in May.) (I'd tell you more about the play, but it's still in development...*cough*.) (That's the procrastinating playwright's way of saying "I'm still writing it.") Anyway, I'm really excited to be working with Horizon again. They're just a really great theatre company with great people. The building feels a little bit like home to me. Ever since my time in the Young Playwrights Festival in the summer of 2008, I've felt really comfortable there, like I can just write and express myself as an artist and grow and develop. The workshops I've been through there, whether it was at the YPF or during my time as a playwriting apprentice last year, have been the most helpful workshops ever. No one was snooty or pretentious, but they told me how it was. I heart Horizon Theatre. They're supportive of new works and local playwrights, and they just put on really great plays.

You know, on a totally different subject, I had a lot of fun during my time being an album reviewer for Have You Heard and Atlanta Guardian, and I learned a lot, but I don't think being a critic is for me. Ultimately, I feel like all art has value (yes, even Rebecca Martin's album that I totally trashed on Have You Heard). Because while I might fall asleep when listening to Rebecca Martin, someone else somewhere could pop that CD in and be in tears, thinking it's the most beautiful thing they've ever heard. All art is subjective, all art has value, and I don't really think that there's much value in comparing art. For example, how can you compare Bob Dylan to Radiohead and say which one is "better"? Sure, there are some technical standards in any art form. But does being able to play the guitar better than any other person make you a better artist? There are some paintings that I've seen where you could tell the artist was extremely talented, but they didn't make me feel anything. There was no emotion in them. And I was watching American Idol the other night (I don't know why!) and I was thinking a lot of my absolute favorite singers would be crucified if they went on that show as unknown musicians (Billy Corgan, Thom Yorke, Bob Dylan, Victoria Legrand, etc.). Every person is approaching art from a different perspective, every one values art for different reasons. It's completely subjective. So, yes, the blank canvas that someone just hung on the wall and called it "emptiness" is art, I think. You might not get anything out of it. Maybe it didn't even take any talent to create. But it's still art because it's the meaningful expression of something. So, basically what I'm saying is screw the critics. Sure, it can be fun to read reviews. Sometimes it's even fun to write them. But I think I'd rather focus on the positive aspects of a piece of art and try to get something out of the art that I come across. (I'm not saying criticism isn't valid or other people shouldn't be picky about their art, but I'm just saying. It's not for me. And everyone, artists, critics, and audience members alike, should always keep in mind that all art is subjective and opinions are simply just opinions.)

I feel like I rant about that a lot. I guess it just bothers me when people make fun of other people for liking certain things, like The Killers or Twilight. Sure, Twilight is not a great classic work of literature, but it makes a lot of people happy to read it. So, basically, I'm sick of people who have this "I'm better than you because the art that I read/watch/observe/listen to is better and more intelligent that the art that you read/watch/observe/listen to." No, it's not. There is no quantifyable to way to argue that War and Peace is better than Twilight, even if most scholars would agree that it is. Basically, I think people should just let other people be happy and stop bitching about it. That's really what I'm tired of, I guess. Bitching. (And when I say bitching I don't mean "poking fun at" or "being sarcastic.") I'm not even saying that I don't bitch about things (because I certainly do), but I guess I just wish that people on a whole would be more positive about things, maybe myself included, or at least that's what I'm trying to do.

I'm not preaching or anything like that. I'm simply just rambling. Writing down my thoughts. I mean, I don't really know anymore than anyone else does.

Recently, my parents got me a record player for Christmas. My record collection is somewhat limited at the moment. (Probably due to the fact that I didn't have a record player before.) It consists of a Lou Reed record I bought for 3 dollars in Canada, two David Bowie records, The Boggles LIVE at the Star Bar in 2000, and two Beatles records that aren't technically mine (but I've been trying to get them back to their owner for a while and she seems to have forgotten about does that make them mine? Or am I just holding them? Either way.) So, I've been listening to a record every night. It's sort of my bedtime ritual. I'll sit down, put a record on, and write in my journal. I'm quickly running out of records to listen to, though, so I'll soon have to dip into my parents' extensive collection. I've decided I'm just going to listen to all of them, even though I know some of them I probably won't like. It's good to give new things a shot, though.

The new Beach House album (which...isn't...technically out yet) is absolutely amazing. I can't stop listening to it. It's in my car, it's in my room, it's on my iTunes work playlist. It's just...incredible. I'm completely in love with it. I can't even explain to you why. Maybe that's why I can't be a CD reviewer, because I feel like words don't do music justice. Sometimes I just want to write a play where a character walks on stage and just plays a really amazing album and just sits in a chair and makes the audience listen to it. Somehow, I think I'd have a hard time getting a theatre to pick that one up, though. Haha.

Songs that were playing while I wrote this:
1. Read My Mind - The Killers
2. Rhinoceros - Smashing Pumpkins
3. Real Love - Beach House
4. Hail Mary - Pomplamoose
5. Phonytown - Rogue Wave
6. Like Treasure - Editors
7. Better Times - Beach House
8. One Love - Bob Marley


Atlanta Pride Parade 2009, Picture from Creative Loafing

Well, I had loads of fun at Pride on Sunday. (Originally, I planned to make it out on Saturday and play guitar for a little bit, but it was all cold and instead, I went Sunday for the parade.) I did end up giving out all of the sampler CDs that I made. Some people seemed pretty excited that I was just giving out my music to random people. Taking self-promotion to the streets, I called it. (Oh, and if you happened to get one of my CDs and that led you to this website, drop me a comment!)

Anyway, one of my favorite things about Pride is seeing parents supporting their gay daughters or sons, seeing churches that don't condemn people for their sexual orientation, seeing politicians who actually support the LGBT community. I just love seeing all of the acceptance, open love, and support.

I suppose the main reason that I go to Pride every year is because I don't see gender when I look at people. In fact, I don't really even believe in gender. I think there should be a word for that. Gender-free maybe? (Although I've only heard one other person use that. So maybe I should give this person credit? Though I'm not sure she coined the phrase? I'll get back to you on that. Haha.)  Sure, there is biology. There is such a thing as biological sex. But sex (like ethnicity) does not define anything about a person. I'm not saying everyone is completely alike, and there are no differences. But I think the main differences are individual and not based on biological sex, ethnicity, etc. It's a whole slew of things, really. Background, culture, family, genetics. Gender is a social construct. (So is race, really.) And when I look at a person, I don't want to see a black person, a white person, a man, a woman, I just want to see the person and get to know s/he for who s/he is, regardless of that person's sex, race, or biology. I realize that this is sometimes impossible, based on the way we as humans feel the need to classify and label things in our minds. Even our language is very "gendered." There is no gender-neutral pronoun, which makes us further have to put everyone in these strict categories. "Boy" or "girl." "He" or "she." I have some friends who use gender-neutral pronouns like "ze," "zir," "zirself," etc. I think that's an excellent idea, really. Maybe I'll start trying that.

And with that belief, I think that love happens without regard to sex, race, or biology, too. When I see a homosexual couple, I don't really even think to myself "oh, it's a gay couple." It's more like "Oh, it's a couple. Two people." I don't even necessarily like labels like "gay," "straight," "bisexual," etc., though I do understand why they might be necessary for some people. But basically, what I'm trying to say is, I go to Pride because I am proud to be gender-free.

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?

Website launch 

Hey, everyone! Thanks for checking out my website!

On this blog, I'll be talking about random things, albums I think you should check out, plays and concerts to go see (if you live around Atlanta), films that I like, how I feel about neosporin (okay, maybe not that), whatever! I'm all about promoting artistic projects and not just my own. Obviously, if you're trying to be successful as any sort of artist, you have to get all of your work out there, which is something this website is helping me do, but I would also like to be able to recommend other artists to check out. Musicians, poets, filmmakers, painters, actors, directors, writers, you name it. I just love art. Of all kinds.

So. Check out my calendar/links page for a list of recommended upcoming events and links to arts-related websites that I love, check out my poetry site to read the poem of the week, and stop back here at the blog to listen to the song of the day!

Thank you SO much for supporting new and upcoming artists!!

And here you have it. The song of the day! Bon Iver - "Blood Bank." I recently saw this show at Variety Playhouse, and it was amazing. The best show I have seen in a very long time. So enjoy! (This video isn't an "official" video for this song, but I thought it was cool.)