Viewing: Unsent Letters - View all posts

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!

Help me get my music out there! 



Photo by Vina55a on Flickr

First of all, I just want to say thank you to everyone who reads this! I am completely blessed to have the most supportive people in my life, and I'm grateful for that every day. I've had a few people mention lately that they want to help me get my music out there, so I thought I'd let you know what you can do if you want to help. :-)

Recently, WRAS 88.5 FM in Atlanta (Album 88 - Georgia State University's student-run radio) has been playing tracks from Unsent Letters on the Georgia Music Show. The CD was then moved to Mighty Aphrodite, the female vocalists show on Thursday nights from 10:00 pm to midnight. So be sure to listen to the show and check it out!

If you'd like to help me get on the radio more, you can call up the following radio stations (all of which have a copy of my CD) and request my music!

* WRAS 88.5 Atlanta, GA - Georgia State University - 404-413-9727
* WUOG 90.5 Athens, GA - University of Georgia - 706-542-4567
* WVVS 90.9 Valdosta, GA - Valdosta State University - 229 -333-5661
* KSU Owl Radio (online) - http://ksuradio.com/ - Kennesaw State University - 678-797-2665
* WKNC 88.1 Raleigh, NC - NC State University - 919-860-0881
* KLSU 91.1 Baton Rouge, LA - Louisiana State University - 225-578-5578
* FAU Owl Radio (online) - http://owlradio.fau.edu/ - Florida Atlantic University - 561 - 297-2842
* WEGL 91.1 Auburn University, AL - Auburn University - 334-844-9345
* WTUL 91.5 New Orleans, LA -Tulane University- 504.865.5885
* WUTS 91.3 Sewanee, TN - University of the South - 931-598-1112

Also, if you use Last FM, be sure to add me to your library. Sara Crawford on Last FM. If you don't use Last FM, you should really check it out! It's a personalized online radio, and it's helped me find loads of new bands and artists that I really, really love. Definitely worth checking out!

Other ways you can help:
  • Go to my listing on Amazon and reviewing my album (good review, bad review, however you felt about it! No press is bad press, or whatever they say. Haha.)
  • Rate my album on iTunes
  • Help me get on Pandora by writing an e-mail to suggest-music@pandora.com saying "I'd like to suggest that you add Sara Crawford to your music library." (My submission to Pandora is still pending review.)
  • Help me get more fans on Facebook - Just go to my Facebook page and click "Suggest to Friends"
Once again, I just want to say thank you for how awesome and supportive you all are. :-) It really makes me happy to be in a community of artists and people who all support each other.

Stay tuned! My next blog post will include a music sharing podcast because there is SO MUCH great music I've been listening to lately, and I really, really need to share it with everyone!!!

Unsent Letters  



Unsent Letters album cover
Photography by Belenen
Cover design by Adrian Rhetts


Well, I'm releasing my album, Unsent Letters, and people have been asking me questions about it lately, so I thought that I'd write a little blog about it. My friend, Amanda, came up with a list of questions as well that sort of summed up all of the questions I've been getting lately. So, here they are.

How long did Unsent letters take, from start to finish? Well, that's sort of a complicated answer because some of these songs were written four or five years ago. So from that perspective, the album took four or five years! Heh. I've had the idea to make a solo album for years, but I kept thinking I needed backing musicians or to pay for time in a studio. I could never find the right musicians to help me with something like this, and I've somehow managed to always be pretty much broke. (Us English majors/artist types aren't so good with money.) I decided earlier this year (probably in March or April) that I should just go ahead and do whatever it takes to make the solo album happen. So what if I didn't have loads of money for studio time? I'd just figure out how to produce and record the album myself. I've been writing songs, really, since I was about 14, and I just decided it was time to get some of these songs down in a cohesive, tangible unit. I didn't start actively working on recording the album until probably August, so I guess the recording process took about four months, give or take. Of course, I also have a job, so I wasn't able to work on it every day.

Is there a message behind the album? Yes. I think every track on Unsent Letters is about the expression of an emotion right there in the moment. Most of them are love songs in one way or another. I think the underlying message though throughout the whole album is to just be true to yourself and true to what you feel. I tried to say that, I think, by creating an album that was really raw and honest. Each of these tracks are very in the the moment, and they're all very me. I'm a big fan of "writing what you know." When I'm singing these songs, I pour all of my emotions, my experiences, and myself into the songs, and I hope that someone somewhere will have the same experience that I have when I listen to Radiohead, the Smashing Pumpkins, or Morrissey. That "OH MY GOD! S/HE KNOWS! S/HE JUST **KNOWS**!!!!"

What was the most difficult part of making Unsent Letters? The actual recording process was difficult. I don't have much experience in that area. So I would spend hours fixing tiny little things or figuring out how to do things that a more experienced audio engineer would have been able to fly right through. Ultimately, I decided that even if I haven't gone to school to be an audio engineer or a producer or anything, I still know what sounds good and what doesn't . If there's one thing I do have experience in, it's listening to music. I know that an actual audio engineer would probably be able to find many flaws with the album, but in the end, I got the sound that I wanted, and I think that people who like my songs will enjoy it.

Are you planning other albums for the future? Definitely. I'll always write music. My next album might take me a few years, just because I'm the kind of person who likes to constantly be involved in many artistic projects. I'm always going to be doing something, rather it's writing music with other people, writing music by myself, writing plays, writing fiction or poetry, etc. My next big projects on the horizon are Long Absent Friends (the new band I'm singing/playing piano with), the publication of my poetry book (Coiled and Swallowed), and hopefully at some point in 2010, I'd like to get The Spins, a play that I wrote, on stage. But there will definitely be more albums from me in the future!

Do you have a favorite track on the album? That's really hard to say, because I have sort of a relationship with each song on the album, especially the older songs. I've been through so much with these songs, really. They've evolved and grown, and they're all just such a huge part of me. I think my favorite songs in terms of the album are "Cyclone" and "Wait," though. I wrote both of these songs around the same time, and they sort of feel like they fit together. I kind of think of "Wait" as sort of the sequel to "Cyclone" in a lot of ways. In terms of performance, though, my favorite song to sing is "Denied and Doomed." It's sort of like my anthem. A song about refusing to let go of people.

Can you explain the meaning behind the name "Unsent Letters"? The album name comes from the track, "Unsent Letters." I wrote that song like sort of a story. This person is just writing these letters to this other person, completely on the outside. I sort of used the song to write my own unsent letters. At the time that I wrote the song, I was singing about very specific people that I had strong emotions for that I just couldn't communicate for whatever reason. I decided to name the album that because in a way, each of these songs is like an unsent letter to someone, stashed away in my closet.


Once again, Unsent Letters, my debut solo CD, will be available here on the website, tomorrow, December 15th! It will be $5.00 for a digital copy (mp3s), $7.00 for a physical copy to be mailed to you. Also, I am playing a CD release show this Friday, December 18th at 11:00 at Smith's Olde Bar in the Atlanta Room. I will be selling copies at the show for just $5.00! I'd love to see everyone there!

Unsent Letters will be available for purchase here!

Holidays, Atlanta events, good times. 



Reticent by Gareth Botha


Well, December is upon us and there is a lot going on!

First of all, I have several announcements/upcoming events:
  • UNSENT LETTERS CD release - December 15th - On December 15th, I will release my debut album! It will be available here on the website for digital download for 5 dollars or you can order a physical copy for 7 dollars.
     
  • Unsent Letters CD release show at Smith's Olde Bar in the Atlanta Room - Friday, December 18th - 11:00 pm - 8 dollars - 21+ - Come out to Smith's Olde Bar where I will be playing a set and selling my CD (for just 5 dollars!). Come shoot some pool, drink some beer, and hear some music! I would absolutely love to see all of you there!
     
  • New Facebook Page - I have a new artist page on Facebook. So if you are on Facebook, be sure to become a fan for all of the updates, and suggest me to your friends!
     
  • Long Absent Friends shows - I am in a new band called Long Absent Friends, and we are playing our first shows ever coming up! We will be playing on December 27th at 10:00 pm at Smith's Olde Bar in the Atlanta Room and January 8th at 8:30 pm at Red Light Cafe. Come check it out! Especially if you are a fan of the Smashing Pumkins, Stars, Arcade Fire, and/or Broken Social Scene.
     
  • New links - Check out my links page for a couple of new things. For example, my brother, Kevin, has a new music blog which is pretty sweet.

THEATRE

December is a time for theatres to do Holiday shows! Actually, for a lot of theatres in Atlanta, a great portion of their ticket sales comes from these shows. (See this interesting article from Access Atlanta.) So make theatre part of your Holiday traditions!

Some of my favorites:
  • Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker - December 11 - 27 - Nutcracker has always been a Holiday tradition for me, and I absolutely love this production. (And not just because I played a toy soldier in it when I was 12! Haha.) Combine the beautiful dancing with the gorgeous costumes and set and the imaginative coreography...not to mention Tchaikovsky's classic and beautiful score...and it's really hard to go wrong.
     
  • A Christmas Carol - The Alliance Theatre - Nov 27 - Dec 24 - What is Christmas without a little Dickens? Alliance has always done an excellent job of staging this Holiday classic, and it's really just a fun show.

     
  • Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris - Horizon Theatre - Nov 27- Jan 3 - I have a personal relationship with this hillarious holiday show about an out-of-work 30-something writer who takes a job as an elf at Macy's. Last year, when I was working as an apprentice at Horizon, I did my crew/volunteer hours on this show, and I ran the spotlight. Even though I saw the show literally 30 something times, it was still funny. So check it out!
For more Holiday show listings, check out Access Atlanta or Atlanta Performs.


STAGED READINGS

  • Turning Pastoral by Matthew Katis - Saturday, December 12th - 7:00 pm - Kennesaw State University - FREE - Come out to this staged reading of CMU grad student, Matthew Katis's, new play. 
     
  • Working Title Playwrights presents The Scrapbook: A Modern Christmas Carol by Raymond Fast - Monday, December 14th - 7:30 pm - Academy Theatre - "You can't buy happiness. Nice thought - until you're money's gone. Since Gary's heart attack, he and wife Micki have lost their business, home, and savings. Now Gary thinks their kids and grandkids would be happier not traveling across country to visit them for Christmas. Can the memories awakened by a scrapbook remind Gary that love has no price tag, needs no trappings, and is worth more than anything money can buy?"
Come help these playwrights develop their new works! Your feedback is the most important thing for playwrights!


MUSIC

Three shows that I'm hoping to catch!

Well, that's it for me. If there are any December events that you'd like to mention, be sure to leave a comment here on the blog so that all of my readers can hear about it. :-)

Stay tunes for my Top 10 Albums of 2009. I'm thinking of doing this in a podcast as opposed to a blog so I can actually play some tracks for you. :-)


ART sharing - New play project - photo shoot with Belenen 


Suspension by Kelly McKernan
Watercolor and String
2009


I thought it'd be a good idea to start adding images that I like (art, photography, etc.) to my blog entries. It's another way to share art AND it makes my blogs more interesting/entertaining :-) Kelly McKernan is a local artist. I really love her work, and the above piece of her's is one of my favorites. Plus, she's designing the album cover for Unsent Letters (which I'm really excited about) so check out her website.

My website/blog is about a lot more than just promoting my art. I want to share other people's art with everyone, too, especially artists who are new, independent, local, etc. Artists of all mediums! Visual artists, musicians, filmmakers, poets, authors, playwrights, theatre groups, all of it. There is just so much great art out there, and a lot of it goes unnoticed sadly. I want to do my part to change that. Even if I just get 5 or 10 people to check out a new band, I think it's worth it. Because every day, I am immensely inspired, touched, motivated by great music, stories, images, art. I was just born to share, experience, and create art.

Speaking of art sharing, I have a new idea.

The Audio Play Project: I've had a thing for audio books lately. And one day I was thinking about how they should really do more audio book versions of plays. The best way to experience a play, obviously, is to see one. But I think hearing a play would be the next best thing. Almost like a recording of a staged reading, in a way. So. My idea is next year (2010) to record one full-length or longer one-act play a month and put it up in audio book/mp3 format for people to download on my website. Obviously, they wouldn't all be my plays. I'd probably have the first one and maybe the last one be mine, and in between it would be works by other local and/or unknown playwrights. I think it would be a good thing, though. New/unknown playwrights get exposure, the actors get voice over experience, and people get to hear new works! I think putting it in an mp3 format and making it free and available on the internet will give people who don't necessarily go see a lot of theatre the opportunity to experience new plays as well, and then maybe if they liked it, they'd get out there and see new works, too!

What do you guys think? Is this something you'd like to see in the future?

In other news, earlier this week I had a photo shoot with Belenen. I needed some new photos/portraits for my website, my various music press kits, and I wanted to put a photo of me somewhere on Unsent Letters (even though Kelly McKernan is designing the cover. I thought I could put it on the inside sleeve.) Typically, I'm ridiculously awkward in photos, but I thought these turned out great!! I couldn't be happier! Belenen just has a way of really capturing people the way that they are, and taking photos that are so bright, full of color, full of live! I feel like I look like myself in these. If that makes sense.

You can check out some of Belenen's photos on her Flickr page, here.

Here are some of the photos from the shoot. For the rest, check out my Photos/Videos page.



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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope to see all of you at the show!

Poetry news, music news, Scent of Autumn mixy  

Lots of things going on right now!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Cement Steps

a poem by Sara Crawford

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

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