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Taking an indefinite break from music 



It seems like every time I go out these days, I run into someone who asks me when I'm going to play another gig. This is probably because I have always been in bands, always gigged a lot, especially during 2010, 2011, and most of 2012. I even booked a last minute gig this weekend. I ended up having to cancel the gig. The logical reasons were that I just had too much stuff to do this weekend--including some freelance work--and I was just overly stressed. But I think, also, it was more than that.

It felt as though I had already closed that chapter of my life: the Atlanta musician chapter. And I realized that I just couldn't play anymore shows. At least, not right now. And when I thought about the show I just played at the Drunken Unicorn, it felt kind of like me saying goodbye. Goodbye to the Atlanta music scene. Goodbye to Pocket the Moon, to Novo Luna, to Long Absent Friends, to the Cult Following, to Ruby, even to Population 2. Goodbye to Katrina, Ben, and Riley. Goodbye to "rage against the ex-boyfriend" songs and "you broke my heart" songs and unrequited love songs and the occasional "we can transcend all of this shit through art" songs. Goodbye to the empty shows I played at the Earl. Goodbye to the Atlanta music critics who wouldn't bother reviewing our album. Goodbye to the beer at band practice and the jamming out when it's storming outside and "why weren't we recording that i hope someone remembers that was so awesome!!!" and me singing songs about skeletons in the closet because I couldn't think of any other lyrics. Goodbye to the bandmates I dated and the ones I didn't date and the ones who wanted to date me but didn't and the ones I wanted to date but didn't. Goodbye to doing shots of lemon juice and cayenne pepper and carrying around a dry erase board so I wouldn't have to talk when I was trying to get my voice back before the gig. Goodbye to everyone who told me my songs sounded the same. Goodbye to the cheers from friends when I held that long note on "August" or sang "And I will not be denied and doomed..." Goodbye to looking at the ceiling, thinking of David or Brandon, before singing "Too Late" or "For Brandon." Goodbye to Smith's Olde Bar, to the Star Bar, to the Earl, to Wonderroot, to Mulligans!, to the BeAtlanta house parties, to the Drunken Unicorn. Goodbye to white girls covering Eminem. Goodbye to condescending bloggers. Goodbye to the dancing guy who always held up his arms and yelled "BA BA BA BA" every time we played "Victoria." Goodbye to drunken guitarists falling over during guitar solos and going on with it anyway at jam parties. Goodbye to the countless other musicians I played with--the ones who inspired me, the ones who made me rock out, the ones who made me ask if that song was about oral sex, the ones who gave me headaches, the ones who made me dance, the ones who made me cry, the ones who made me sing along. Goodbye to driving downtown to the show.

And on one hand, I was really sad about it. Because it felt like Atlanta wore me down. It felt like I was giving up because no one cared about all of my sad songs anymore. It felt like I was giving up on something that had always been a huge dream of mine. I felt like I had thrown in the towel, like I had been defeated.

But then I thought some more about it, and it really isn't that I gave up. Music has always been a huge part of my life, but writing is an even bigger part of my life. I have been filling journals since i was 7 or 8. (I'm on journal #90 right now, and I've only been numbering them since I was about 12 or 13.) I have been writing stories and plays and poems since a very young age, too. I used to write plays and have the neighbors perform them in our driveway when I was only 8 or 9. And even in my songwriting, I always felt that above all, I was a story teller. And now here I am having just completed my MFA in Creative Writing, having just published my play, The Snow Globe, and with my young adult novel, The Muses, completed, which is--I think--the best thing I have ever written and I feel that I'm really, really close to getting a literary agent. I have always tried to do it all--music, writing, school, work. At times, I have focused more on one or two of these things than the others, but I have always been a person who is involved in multiple projects. I feel I really need to shift my focus, though, and put everything I can into writing--into getting this novel out there for the world to see. Into getting my plays on stage again. Into getting my poems published. And this is why I've decided to take an indefinite break from music.

This doesn't mean that I won't ever write songs if I feel inspired or that I won't ever pick up a guitar at parties or jam with friends. This doesn't even mean I won't play open mic night at MacCrackens every now and then when I feel like bumming out the bar. (I mean, it is right down the streeet from me...) This doesn't mean that I won't post covers on YouTube sometimes if I feel like it. And you know, someday, I really want to be in another band, make another album, play more shows. I really, really do. And I'm certain that I will do these things again someday. But now is not the time for that, and it's not where my energy is. And I've been fighting that, but I think it's just time to accept it and not feel guilty about it anymore.

It's ironic, though, because a large percentage of The Muses is about music. Would I have been able to write this novel if I weren't obsessed with music--listening to it 24/7, always scouring the internet trying to hear the latest releases from new bands or going back to old records I'll always be in love with? Would I have been able to write this novel if I hadn't had all of those experiences as a musician in Atlanta? In all of those bands, as a solo performer? No, I definitely wouldn't have been able to write this novel, at least not the way that it turned out. And I think one of the reasons that it will (hopefully) speak to people is because my passion for music is coursing through the novel on every single page. At least... that's what I hope.

But as I am pressing the pause button on this aspect of my life, I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you to all of those people who have played music with me over the last 10 years. Thank you to everyone who has come to see any of my shows, to anyone who ever listened to my albums, to anyone who ever watched my videos on YouTube or listened to my music on iTunes or Spotify or Last FM, to anyone who ever played my CD in a bar or a coffee shop, to anyone who ever put my music in a film, to anyone who ever booked me at a gig, to anyone who ever invited me to a jam party, to other musicians who played shows with me and inspired me with their music, to the bloggers who were nice and the bloggers who weren't, to the critics, to the pretentious indie snobs, to the hipsters, to the real music lovers, to the people who just learned how to play guitar to get laid, to the techno geeks, to the rock n' rollers, to the angry metalheads, to the really nice metalheads, to the Christian rockers, to the country folk songwriters, to the experimental noisemakers, to the college and internet radio stations, to all of you. 

My favorites from 2011 - part 1 

Well, it's that time of year when obsessive dorks like me start making lists. This is great for people like me who obsessively document everything. I journal every day, I make silly lists (10 things I'm grateful for today, books I've read this year, shows I've played this year, etc.) on my computer. I have tons of notebooks filled with other things that don't exactly fit into either category. Okay, I know what you're thinking. "Wow, Sara, that sounds very OCD of you!" but considering how completely laid back I am in every other aspect of my life, I'm quite accepting of this one aspect of obsessive behavior.

So most of the music blogs out there are making "best of 2011" lists, but I don't like the word "best" because it implies that there is an objective way to determine which albums are better than others, and as I always say, all art is subjective. (I should get that tattooed. That's become my battle cry.) So, instead, I'm going to share with you 5 albums that I fell in love with in 2011, my 5 favorite shows that I went to in 2011, 3 albums I fell in love with in 2011 (that weren't actually released in 2011), and 3 local Atlanta albums I fell in love with in 2011. And if you really don't care about all of that, just skip down to the fun YouTube videos so you can listen for yourself!

2011 was an odd sort of year. At this time last year, I thought that there were going to be tons of releases from some of my favorite artists that I would absolutely love. Radiohead, Bjork, Lykke Li, Devotchka, Bon Iver, etc. For the most part, though, most of these releases left me with that "meh" feeling, which is definitely not what I was expecting from these artists.

One of the great things about 2011, though, was how involved I got to be in the Atlanta music scene. I played around 25 Atlanta shows with Pocket the Moon, and I made it out to around 20 (mostly local) shows in addition to that. Seeing and playing all of these shows allowed me to see some really great bands, both local and touring, and I also got the opportunity to meet some really cool people. As much as I often bitch about certain aspects of the Atlanta music scene (*cough*hipsters*cough*), there is a lot to appreciate about it also. This past year, I have met so many incredibly talented musicians who are (*gasp*) ALSO supportive of OTHER musicians!!

Everything that Geoff and I have gotten to do as Pocket the Moon--release an album, go on tour, play some really great shows, make a music video, get voted "Best New Music Act" and "Best Folk Act" in Creative Loafing--would NOT have been possible without all of our friends and supporters. I cannot say thank you enough to all of you for that.

Anyway. Onward. Let's see the lists!

I'm going to save my "5 albums I Fell In Love With in 2011" list and my "5 favorite shows I went to in 2011" list for next time. But here's the first half of my obsessive list making!

3 albums I Fell in Love With in 2011 (that weren't actually released in 2011)

I think it's important to include these sorts of albums in these kinds of lists, especially with music the way that it is today. There is SO MUCH indie music out there to be discovered that sometimes you won't find out about an album until way after it is released. There is no shame in this! While you won't typically see most indie music bloggers actually admitting that there was an album they didn't know about until a year later, I'm not a "typical" indie music blogger. (In fact, I'm not a typical anything blogger. I just write whatever the hell I feel like writing whenever I feel like writing it.)

Anyway, I wanted to write about these three albums because even though they were released before 2011, to me, they were very much 2011 albums because that is when I obsessed over them.






Angus and Julia Stone - Down the Way (2010)

I actually loved this album more than most of the albums on my main favorites from 2011 list. While the atmospheric track "Hold On," the haunting "For You," the catchy "Big Jet Plane," and folksy "And The Boys" are definitely my favorite tracks on this album, there really isn't a track that I dislike. These songs are full of soul, passion, emotion. The lyrics are deep and meaningful, the vocals of Angus and Julia really blend well together, the arrangements and the melodies are superb. The whole album is a winner.








The Naked and Famous - Passive Me, Aggressive You (2010)

This upbeat and catchy album reminds me of everything that I love about bands like MGMT, Foster the People, Moonlight Bride. Not that The Naked and Famous necessarily sounds like those bands, but they have some of the same elements. This track, "Young Blood" is my favorite. Some of the vocals remind me a little of M83, too, which is probably another reason I love it.






James Vincent McMorrow - Early in the Morning (2010)

This folksy and soulful solo artist reminds me a lot of Bon Iver or Edward Sharpe. His songs are very catchy and yet full of meaning. There are a lot of great and almost haunting harmonies on this album. It's perfect for rainy days like today. You should definitely have a listen if you haven't heard him before.



3 Local Atlanta Albums That I Fell In Love With in 2011

(aside from self-titled by Pocket the Moon...)
(kidding, kidding)
(no but seriously, listen to our album.)





Places - The Future

Tracks like "Dark Fear, "No More Lies," and "At Least It's A Beautiful Day" are great examples of why I love this dreamy, nostalgic album. It reminds me a little bit of Wild Nothing meets Slowdive (and comparing a local band to Slowdive is something I never thought I'd do). Definitely check them out. You can hear the whole album at the Bandcamp page and pay what you want.

Places on Bandcamp
Places on Facebook







Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun - W I L D F I R E

When this album came out in May, I think it spent a good month on repeat in my CD player (or at least a few weeks...I don't have a great concept of time). This album may as easily have been on my main list of favorite albums from 2011, but they just happen to be local so they go here! "Old Monster," "We Were Wild," and "With My Good Eye" are definitely my favorite tracks. (They remind me a lot of Metric.) I also think this band is definitely an inspiration for all of us Atlanta musicians. (Plus, they donated a free album to my raffle for the Red Cross benefit show I organized at Kavarna earlier this year so kudos to them!)








Molly Parden - Time is Medicine

Ever since I saw her set at Drunken Unicorn this June when she played at our CD release show, I have been a big fan of her's. She's one of those genuine folk singers that I love because her songs are very honest. My favorite tracks from this album are the title tract and "A Song For My Mother."


So check out these artists, go see their shows (if they're local!), buy their music, be supportive!

And stay tuned for part 2 of my favorites from 2011. :)

A poetry project - Driving Downtown to The Show 



Atlanta by jkelley1 on deviantart

As many of you know, I've always been one of those artists who must be doing multiple things at once. Writing plays, writing songs, playing music, sometimes acting, writing screenplays, sometimes film making, writing poems, decoupaging tables...there's really nothing I won't at least try when it comes to art. I've decided lately, though, to kind of put everything on the back burner and focus on music, specifically Pocket the Moon. I spend most of my time promoting, booking, writing music, practicing, recording, etc. (Well, Geoff's really doing most of the work on recordings. I just show up and play/sing. He's the one who makes it sound badass.)

I am still doing my grad school program, though. I'm pursuing my MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Playwriting. And while I'm sort of taking a break from writing plays specifically to really concentrate on Pocket the Moon, I am still working on poetry for my poetry writing workshop.

My professor in this class, though, wanted us to come up with these incredibly elaborate procedures. We are basically writing enough poems over the course of the semester to have a chapbook of poems at the end, and he wanted us to come up with "rules" that decide the content, length, and writing schedule. He also wanted us to come up with a title for our books.

I decided that since I am focusing so much on music right now, not just my own music, but also being a part of the Atlanta music scene that my procedure (and my book title) would incorporate this theme.

Here’s my procedure:

Writing schedule: Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, I will write a poem after band practice.

Content: I will look up the bands on the bill of a certain music venue, and in my poem I will have to use one of those band names in the first five lines of my poem. (Tuesdays - The Earl, Thursdays - Star Bar, Sundays - Drunken Unicorn - because those are probably my favorite venues.)

Length: When I sit down to write, I will put my iPod on shuffle. Whatever song plays, I will look up the lines of lyrics and that is how many lines my poem will be. If it is an instrumental song, the length will determine my line count. (i.e. a song that’s 4:57 would be 57 lines in 4 stanzas.)

Title: Driving Downtown to the Show


This is obviously not how I usually write poems. I might start with a particular form in mind or even a writing prompt, but never something as elaborate as this. But so far, I am really loving the work that is coming out of it. And having to write three poems a week after coming out of a period where I haven’t written any poems for at least two years was definitely a challenge at first. But now, I’m right back into the swing of things.

These are some of the band names I’ve used so far:
Hip to Death
Wild Nothing
How I Became the Bomb
Dead Rabbits
Quiet Life
The Future of Airports

Another reason I'm loving this project is because it further reinforces the idea that all of the artistic projects I am involved in are connected. I can never just be a poet, playwright, musician. I am always all of the above. My poetry is greatly influenced by music, my music is greatly influenced by theatre, my plays are greatly influenced by poetry, it's all connected!

I’ll leave you with one of the poems I’ve written for this project. The band name I had to use that day was Siberia My Sweet (which is also one of my favorite local bands ironically.)


Frozen Tundra

Last August, when the salty, suffocating air
nearly strangled us

as we crept through the Deep South
you took my hand and said,

"Let's travel to Siberia, my sweet
and become one with the frozen tundra.

We can become snowmen with
little black hats, and at least we'll

know that we'll never melt away,
our hands frozen together

in miles of ice and snow." You smiled
at me and kissed my cheek.

I untangled my fingers from yours
and kissed the night air of the Deep South.


Music I fell in love with in 2010... 

Alright, I know everyone is all listed out by now with all of the "Best of 2010" lists floating around. Also, I thought about it, and for me it's really hard to "rank" music. How can I compare one album to a completely different album? It's like saying "Which is the better fruit? Bananas or oranges?" Neither one can objectively be "better" although we may each have different favorites. So I thought instead of doing a countdown, I would just tell you about some of the albums that I fell in love with this year.

Beach House - Teen Dream



Teen Dream on Amazon.com

Beach House's website
 
Beach House on myspace

Of course, I have to mention this album. How could I not? Especially after I saw them live twice this year. (Ironically, neither show was in Atlanta. The first one was in Asheville, NC in late April. I drove up there to see them when their Atlanta show was sold out. The second time I saw them was in Athens at the 40 Watt.)

The first time I listened to this album all the way through, it was like magic. I completely fell in love with Victoria Legrand and her captivating vocal melodies, especially paired with Alex Scally's guitar, which weaves together with the organ so beautifully. This album took me somewhere, every time.




Arcade Fire - The Suburbs



The Suburbs on Amazon

Arcade Fire's website

Arcade Fire on myspace

I've been a huge fan of Arcade Fire ever since Funeral came out in 2005. I was a little obsessed with Funeral and Neon Bible, actually. So I was really excited about their 2010 release. But when I listened to the first few times, I was a little disappointed. It wasn't what I expected it to be. It didn't make me feel the way that those first two albums did, especially Funeral with it's longing and joy and childhood nostalgia. 

And then one day, I just sat down and listened to the whole thing, and I had a moment. I got it. It captures that suburban-9-to-5-sitting-in-traffic-this-is-almost-like-being-in-jail-but-we-don't-notice-because-we're-too-busy-drinking-lattes-and-playing-on-our-iphones feeling extremely well. But it still slightly irritates me because Arcade Fire doesn't have to punch the clock or work 9 to 5 day jobs. They get to play music for a living. I'm sure at one point, they understood the frustration, living in the sprawl, feeling trapped, but I feel like this album is really coming from an outside perspective. I still have mixed feelings about it in that regard. Nonetheless, I've come to absolutely love the music. Especially this song, which I've definitely listened to non-stop, on repeat, for at least a day or two.






Blonde Redhead - Penny Sparkle



Penny Sparkle on Amazon

Blonde Redhead's website

Blonde Redhead on myspace

This is an album I haven't seen mentioned a lot on the various best of 2010 lists, and I really don't know why. This album is amazing! The airy vocals and dreamy guitars will send you into another world as well. They remind me of Slowdive meets the Cocteau Twins. If you like shoegaze or dreamy music, you should definitely check out this band. I am really hoping they make it to Atlanta sometime soon so that I can catch them live.



UNKLE - Where Did the Night Fall



Where Did the Night Fall on Amazon

UNKLE's website

UNKLE on myspace

This is another album I haven't seen mentioned much, which I also think is weird. I became completely obsessed with this album when I was in Mexico. I've been a fan of UNKLE for a while, but it was really listening to this album that made me pay attention. I especially love the tracks that UNKLE does with The Black Angels (there's one on this album and one on the Twilight Saga: Eclipse soundtrack, which is actually a great soundtrack.)

Check it out!




Dark Dark Dark - Bright Bright Bright



Bright Bright Bright on Amazon

Dark Dark Dark's website

Dark Dark Dark on myspace

If you like Regina Spektor or My Brightest Diamond, you must listen to Dark Dark Dark.  This EP goes from eerie to nostalgic to passionate to elated to longing all within the span of six songs. After I saw the band live at The Five Spot in October, I was hooked. Their live show was amazing as well. They had an incredible presence. (And who doesn't love accordions?)



So there we have it. Five releases that I absolutely fell in love with in 2010.

Releases I'm excited to hear in 2011 so far? Well, PJ Harvey, Lykke Li, Devotchka, and Adele are all supposed to have albums coming out in 2011. I have a good feeling about this upcoming year. :-)

I'm in a new band...sort of - news with the 2011 tour - thank you for making 2010 amazing! 



Photo by Belenen


I can’t believe 2010 is almost over! I mean, seriously?

The Cult Following is no longer around (at least not in the form that it was). Adrian Rhetts and Brian Teague are no longer playing with us full-time. There's no hard feelings and I have nothing but respect for both of them as people and as musicians. And please check out Eat the Sun, Brian's electronic project, which I’ve always been a huge fan of, and Electric Duane, who Adrian is now playing guitar with. (Electric Duane also features Matt Bradshaw and Monica Nicole - two of my friends and incredible musicians as well.) So you never know when they’ll make a musical appearance, but for the moment, bass player, Geoff Goodwin, and I are re-booting the project.

We’ve decided to form a two-person band using both my songs and songs that Geoff has written. We’re currently working on recording and expect to release a CD in early 2011. I’m really excited about where it’s going! This band will feature Geoff on drums, guitar, bass, bells, trumpet, piano, and I’ll be playing guitar, piano, maybe even a little bass myself! You can definitely look for some of the Cult Following favorites like “Tangled,” “Hipster Haircut,” and “August” on the upcoming release, and I’m sure Geoff and I will continue to play some of the tunes from Unsent Letters at the shows.

To see a preview of the new arrangements and where the music is going, you can come out to Smith’s Olde Bar - The Atlanta Room on Saturday, December 4th. We’ll be playing at 10:00 pm. This show will also feature other special guests such as Kyle Weisse (from Long Absent Friends) on violin. You definitely don’t want to miss it! It’s going to be completely different than any of the shows I’ve played so far this year, and with all of the focus on recordings, it’s likely to be my last show for a while. Also, we'll be playing with Sarah Mac Band and 1880's Dance Party!

Also, things are speeding along in full force on my Kickstarter page where I am raising money to go on tour in June 2011. So far, I have reached 60% of my goal! There are still 32 days left to donate so please check it out and donate what you can to help! (Every dollar counts!) If I don’t reach my goal by December 31st, I won’t receive any of the funds that I’ve raised on there so far, so please help me to reach my goal so I can make this dream a reality and share my music with the country! I had originally planned to make this an acoustic tour, but now it looks like it may be including “the whole band” (AKA Geoff). This is very exciting because now I can try to book the more indie music oriented venues as opposed to just acoustic coffee shop type places. Also, throw the little bro, Kevin Crawford, into the mix, and who knows what kind of shenanigans will ensue. Video blogs from the road, perhaps? A documentary about trying to make it as an indie band? Who knows? So many possibilities!

Sara Crawford Acoustic Tour June 2011 on Kickstarter - click here to donate!

Lastly, I just wanted to say thank you so much to everyone for making my 2010 so amazing. Thank you to The Cult Following for being the most fun band I’ve ever played with. Thank you to all of the booking people at the various venues for giving me the opportunity to play. I’ve played so many incredible places this year! MINT Gallery, Drunken Unicorn, Smith’s, Lenny’s, Red Light Cafe, Five Spot, Grant Park Summer Shade Festival, the Beatlanta house, Cool Beans...oh, and let’s not forget that tequila bar in Mexico...and playing two songs totally counts as a “show.” :-p Thanks to everyone who has come out to the shows and shown support. Thanks to everyone who has supported me by buying a copy of my CD or my poetry book. Thanks to everyone who has donated to my tour fund on Kickstarter. Thanks to all of the amazing musicians who I have had the opportunity to play with this year - Wade in the Rhythm, Callers, Lady Lazarus, Before the Solstice, CMAC... just to name a few. (And if you haven’t heard those bands, check them out! They’re well worth it.) Thank you to everyone who voted me Best Songwriter in Creative Loafing's Best of Atlanta issue! Thank you all so much for everything you do. You don’t know how much it really means to me.

Check back later this week for an events posting and restarting of the Poem of the Week!

Thanks for reading!

NEW songs, Leapfrog on TV, upcoming shows, upcoming poetry book release! 



Origin by Manami

I have a lot going on recently, so I thought I'd post a blog about it :-)

Recently, I got the opportunity to play an acoustic set with Be Atlanta. First of all, these guys are freaking awesome. They're doing all of the things I love(d) about groups like Have You Heard, Atlanta Guardian, and 4th Ward Heroes, promoting local music. They host local music shows, they promote local bands, they're constantly posting videos, songs, show listings, etc. Even at their shows, in between sets, they play a playlist of local music. Definitely check out their website - http://beatlanta.com - And check out their shows, too. They have another show tomorrow - Friday, August 27th - with Before the Solstice and Capibara.

They posted a blog about the acoustic show I played the other night, and they even included a couple of videos of some new songs I've been working on:




This one is called "Don't Try So Hard." (Ironically, I was trying way too hard to remember the whole song. It's that new, people!)



And here's "Rooftops." It's about my experience in Mexico.

In other news, my band and I have been trucking along, working on a new EP that we're hoping to release in October. The EP will feature the songs, "You Told Me," "Irresponsible," "Tangled," and the crowd favorite, "Hipster Haircut." Have I also mentioned that my band is ridiculously awesome? These guys amaze me every day with their versitility and talent. I have so much fun practicing with them, and I can't wait for our next show!!

Speaking of shows, I have a few coming up:
  • Acoustic set at the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival - Saturday, August 28th - 12:30 - Historic Bandstand Stage - FREE - All ages - I will be playing an acoustic set this Saturday at 12:30. I am so, so, SO excited to be playing the same event as so many incredible Atlanta musicians! (Like Wade in the Rhythm, The Goldest, and Lindsay Apple to name a few!) I will be hanging out all day after my set checking out the music, so come out to this FREE festival and enjoy some great bands!
  • Sara Crawford and the Cult Following at Smith's Olde Bar - Atlanta Room - Friday, September 3rd - 9:00 PM - $8 - 21+ - My band and I will be returning to one of my favorite venues, Smith's Olde Bar, to rock your face off. Come check it out!
  • Sara Crawford and the Cult Following at MINT Gallery - Friday, September 24th - 10:00 PM - $4 - All ages - This is part of the Rock Science Revival music series! A lot of great bands have been playing these shows recently, and I'm really excited to be joining them!
In other non-music happenings, I recently got some very exciting news about Leapfrog, the short film that I wrote, directed by Michael Tillman. On September 4th at 1:00 AM and September 5th at midnight, Leapfrog will air with some other short films created by Atlanta filmmakers on the show, Atlanta Shorts. The show airs on PBA 30, Atlanta's PBS station. So make sure you tune in for that!

Also, my chapbook of poems, Coiled and Swallowed, will be released through Virgogray Press on September 7th. I will be having a poetry book release night at Cool Beans in the Marietta Square. The date is TBA, but it will be in mid-September! The first half of the evening will be a poetry open mic night, and then I will read a few poems from the book and have copies available for people to purchase. So all of you poets out there, definitely come and join us for this! Read a few poems, bring copies of your books, and we'll have a night celebrating poetry!

Once again, I just want to say thank you all so much for your continued support of my artistic projects! I hope you will all also continue to support other local and independent artists in Atlanta and all around the world. Trust me, we all need your support! (And I will be posting a blog soon with my September artistic event recommendations, so send me those if you have any you'd like me to include!)

And now I'm off to the Star Bar for an awesome FREE night of music brought to you by 4th Ward Heroes and Mixtape Atlanta featuring Tyler Lyle, Little Horn, and Richard Sherfey!

More from Mexico, my upcoming events, and a night of poetry you shouldn't miss 



Photo by me from Guanajuato, Mexico

Hey everyone. I'm still in Mexico! Coming into the last week here. I can't believe it! I will be happy to come home to Atlanta, but sad to leave San Miguel. It's really beautiful here. And I'm definitely changing and growing. As a writer, as a person. I'm finding myself. Finding myself on the rooftops and the terraces with the mountains on the horizon, among the mariachi bands in the Jardin of San Miguel, in the silence of the Catholic churches, in the cleansing waters of the hot springs, climbing the pyramids, in the dancers on the streets of Guanajuato, in my Form and Idea class where our final project involves plaster elbows, listening to the other students read their work, in late night chats at the hostel - drinking wine on the terrace, in the workshops of my playwriting class, in the margaritas at La Cucaracha, on the buses to excursions riding through the rural parts of Mexico, in the markets where a language I don't know buzzes all around me...This has truly been an amazing experience. I've met so many incredible people, so many talented poets, playwrights, screenwriters, non-fiction, and fiction writers. I've learned so much about writing, about art, about another culture, about myself. And I'm incredibly grateful for that.

Well, I'm definitely going to be jumping right back into my crazy busy life when I get home, and I'm really excited about that! I have a lot of exciting upcoming events:
  • Wednesday, August 4th - solo/acoustic show at Actor's Express - A night of theatre and music! - Working Title Playwrights presents Essential Shorts - new short plays written by WTP affiliates presented in concert readings - as part of Essential Theatre's Festival of Plays! I will be playing an acoustic set after the show. See both for just a five dollar donation! The show starts at 7:30 pm - 887 W Marietta St NW # J107, Atlanta, GA 30318
     
  • Sunday, August 22nd - solo/acoustic show - Be Atlanta's Acoustic Sundays - 10:00 pm - FREE - all ages - 197 Howell Dr. SE, Atlanta, GA
     
  • Saturday, August 28th - solo/acoustic show - Grant Park Summer Shade Festival - Historic Bandstand stage - 12:30 pm
     
  • Friday, September 3rd - Sara Crawford and the Cult Following - Smith's Olde Bar - The Atlanta Room - 9:00 pm - $8 - 21+
     
  • Tuesday, September 7th - Release of my chapbook of poems, Coiled and Swallowed, through Virgogray Press

So that's what's going on with me. I hope all of you back in Atlanta are having a great summer full of good times and wonderful art of all kinds! :-)

And I thought I'd pass this onto you, from Kyle McCord (who was featured in my Poem of the Week back in September). For those of you in Atlanta, you should definitely check it out!

Sunday, July 25th come hear Dream Horse Press authors Kyle McCord and Keith Montesano read from their recently released books. They will be joined by special guest Kara Candito. The event will be at 6:00 p.m. at Beep Beep Gallery at 696 Charles Allen Drive, Atlanta. The event is part of the DHP First Book Tour, with readings in seventeen different locations across fourteen states. For any questions about times or directions, contact: kfmccord@gmail.com, or find us on Facebook.

Kyle McCord's book, Galley of the Beloved in Torment, was the winner of the 2008 Orphic Prize. He’s received awards or grants from the Academy of American Poets, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Iowa Poetry Society. He has work forthcoming or published from Boston Review, Cimarron Review, Columbia: a Journal of Art and Literature, Cream City Review, Gulf Coast, Volt and elsewhere. He currently lives and teaches in Des Moines, Iowa.

Keith Montesano’s, Ghost Lights, was published this year by Dream Horse Press. Other poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Hayden’s Ferry Review, American Literary Review, Third Coast, River Styx, Crab Orchard Review, Sonora Review, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere. He currently lives with his wife in New York, where he is a PhD Candidate in English and Creative Writing at Binghamton University.

Kara Candito is the author of Taste of Cherry (University of Nebraska Press), winner of the 2008 Prairie Schooner Book Prize. Her poems and reviews have appeared or will appear in such journals as Blackbird, AGNI, Prairie Schooner, The Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, Sycamore Review, Nimrod, Contrary Magazine, The Rumpus, Best New Poets 2007, Diode, New South, and The Florida Review. She has received awards for her poetry, including an Academy of American Poets Prize and scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.


So there you go. Make sure you check that out! It should be a great event.

I hope all is well back in the USA.

June/July events! 



Summer - Oil on canvas - by Bisat from DeviantArt

It's summertime! Oh, how I love Georgia summers. :-)

So, if you are a new reader to my blog/website, here's the story. A few years ago, I started a Facebook group called Atlanta Bohemians, a group for any and all kinds of artists in the Atlanta metro area to promote their events, post about auditions/calls for entries, or where art supporters can find information about independent and local musicians, actors, playwrights, screenwriters, film makers, painters, sculptors, poets, authors, and any other kind of artist you can think of. I started sending out monthly lists of different artistic events around the city, and I got a great response.

When I started this website, I thought I would move those lists over to my blog. Because I wanted the website to not only be about me promoting my own artistic projects, but I also wanted to promote and support other local and/or independent artists. I try to do that in other ways too, sharing poetry that I like in my "Poem of the Week," posting photography and art pieces from independent artists on my blog entries, posting music sharing podcasts where I share independent music, etc. I just love art so much. And I think there is nothing more powerful than going to that show where the band plays a song that reaches out to you or going to a play that just completely speaks to you or hearing a poem that just sucks you in or staring at a painting and being incredibly overwhelmed by the complex beauty in life. Art is a reflection of life, art helps us appreciate life, the good, the bad, everything becomes beautiful. I know nothing has helped me more in my own life to really be in the moment, to have real spiritual experiences, to really feel a universal love for everyone and everything than a perfect piece of art at the perfect time. And actually, you don't have to sit in the audience of a hugely popular Broadway musical or go see paintings by artists who have been dead for centuries or turn on the radio to find this art. It's everywhere. It's all around you. And there are tons of living, breathing artists who are writing songs, painting paintings, taking photographs, writing screenplays, making films, performing spoken word, etc. in spite of their 9 to 5 day jobs or their waitressing jobs or their bartending jobs or their low-paying non-profit jobs. And these artists truly inspire me. Working at places like The Georgia Ballet or Horizon Theatre and seeing these people work 60 hours a week for very little pay just because they love art. And if I can inspire one person to go out there and see an original, new play or see a local, unknown band or see an art exhibit from a living Atlanta artist or see an independent film made by a local filmmaker, then it's completely worth it to me.

SO! With that in mind, here are a bunch of awesome things you can do in June and July to support the local artists! And of course, if I have forgotten anything, please leave a comment.

Visual Arts




June 5th - 27th - Young Blood Gallery - "Interior/Posterior" with 6 women artists Megan Kimber, Merrilee Challis, Daisy Winfrey, Chrystal Chan, Jennifer Davis & Lesley Reppeteaux



June 12th - July 4th - Beep Beep Gallery - "The Big Bang" a solo exhibit of new work by Matt Relkin



Friday, June 18th - ASI Gallery - works by Laura Rubio - Opening reception June 18 , 2010 - 7 - 9:30pm - Free admission - Exhibition will run from June 18 - July 18, 2010



July 9th - September 19th - Atlanta Contemporary Art Center - Amy Myers: Feminine Space

Friday, July 16th - Art Party. 30+ artists showing. No theme. Its an art show that morphs into a party with Bands & DJs. Free drinks, $10 donation. 21+. More artists are always welcome. Visit www.dooGallery.com for more information.



Music


Saturday, June 19th - Five Spot - Wade in the Rhythm, Cloudeater, Dan Marshall Project with special guests including Dre-Money - 21+ - 9PM - Advanced Tickets: 7$

Saturday, June 26th - Star Bar - Howlies - Coathangers - Balkans - Mermaids - 21+ - 8$ - 9 PM

Thursday, July 1st - Star Bar - FREE THURSDAY SHOW! - Abby GoGo - Carnivores - Grenadines - 21+ - FREE - 9PM

Wednesday, July 7th - Smith's Olde Bar - James David Carter- Glen Pridgen Band - Brandon Perry - 21+ - 8PM

Saturday, July 10th - Wonderroot - Littlefoot, Cloudmouth, Revo - 9PM

Saturday, July 17th - Star Bar - The Selmanaires - with special guest, Adron - 21+ - 8$ - 9PM



Theatre



Tuesday, June 15th - WORKING TITLE PLAYWRIGHTS Presents Theroun D'arcy Patterson's SEMBLANCES - Staged Reading - Academy Theatre 119 Center St., Avondale Estates, Ga. - 7:30 PM - FREE to WTP members / $5 suggested donation all others at door.

June 12th and 13th - Harvest 2010 The Backyard Plays - Onion Man Productions - A new collection of nine 10-Minute plays by local playwrights!

June 11th - June 27th - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum - Atlanta Lyric Theatre

June 9th - June 27th
- Reasons to be pretty by Neil LaBute - Pinch n' Ouch Theatre 

July 7th - August 7th - 12th Annual Essential Play Festival - Featuring three plays, Qualities of Starlight by Gabriel Jason Dean, directed by Peter Hardy, Darker Face of the Earth by Rita Dove, directed by Betty Hart, Sally and Glen at the Palace by Peter Hardy, directed by Ellen McQueen



Call for Entries/Submissions

Seeking bands and artists! Children's Restoration Network is trying to break the Guinness World Record for the longest concert by multiple artists at the Red Rabbit in Johns Creek. They are still looking for bands and artists who want to participate, people who want to volunteer to be witnesses, and just people who want to come out and enjoy it all. It will take place from July 10th - July 24th. Learn more at www.worldslongestconcert.com or email Richie Tyre at richie@childrn.org.



Other

Java Monkey Speaks - Open Mic Poetry - Every Sunday at 8:00 pm - Java Monkey coffee shop - Decatur

Friday, July 2nd
- DODEKAPUS PRESENTS: CARNIVAL FUNDRAISER FOR LIVING WALLS - A carnival themed event with games, prizes, food, booze, bands, kiddi pools, a kissing booth, tarot booth, giant twister, screenprinting on site, and much much more - 5:00 PM



There you go, guys. Lots of awesome events to make your summer fun :-)

And I'll leave you with a poem. It's sort of my ode to summers in Georgia.


Georgia June Outside of a Coffee Shop

by Sara Crawford


Thursday night in Georgia June,
outside sitting,
sipping on hot coffee,
with a splash of hazelnut.
Everyone around me sweats bullets, slurping
on smoothies and iced lattes.
To me, the night air is a warm
blanket covered
in stars and fireflies that twinkle
through the sheets.

My bones are growing as we all rotate
through space, but I don’t feel
any older
than the teenager sitting next to me,
her bare feet propped on the chair
in front of her,
toenails painted neon green, her flip-flops (practically made
of straw) are scattered
lazily on the ground beside her.
She laughs, and I laugh with her as if
I am a part of the conversation,
peering at her feet from behind
my magazine.

A couple exits the coffee shop,
opening the door
behind me.
The air conditioning escapes
from inside, whispers to my skin.
Goosebumps rising, I shiver.
The door closes.
I sigh with relief and wrap myself
up in the night, sinking into
Georgia June.



A music blog 

I'd like to share these awesome songs with you.

(My events blog is coming soon!)


"Lately" by The Helio Sequence (this song kind of makes me cry)





"Bright Bright Bright" by Dark Dark Dark (I'm in love with her voice)






"Postcards from Italy" by Beirut






"Midnight Radio" from Hedwig and the Angry Inch (written by Stephen Trask) (this is my favorite song in the whole show)

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!