I had my going away party Tuesday. It’s a relatively good-case scenario that that happened at all. I mean, it could have been cancelled, or we could have been forced to play Sunday even though there was a hurricane and no public transportation. Thankfully, Frank saved the day and we got to play the night before I left.
Drama still happened, though. My bass player lives in one of the cities in Jersey that was insanely flooded. I texted him during the hurricane to see if his house was affected, and he said it wasn’t. Whew!
But his town kept being shown on the news with more and more water, and by Monday afternoon I realized I hadn’t heard back from him for anything, text or email. I tried calling, texting, emailing just to make sure he was there, but nothing.
The best explanation I could come up with was that he had no electricity and no way to charge his phone, and couldn’t get ahold of me. My best hope was that he would remember that we were at the Delancey and what time and show up.
I still hadn’t heard from him on the way to the show, and he wasn’t there when my other bandmates arrived. I told everyone we might have to play without him.
Frank had only booked three bands for the rescheduled show, so we were on a “relaxed” schedule, meaning there was no imperative to run remotely on time since we had more time than we needed.
I don’t know exactly when we started, but about 15 minutes before, the bass player arrived. I was talking to both my other bandmates and they looked at whoever walked in the door and made a face like they were super happy to see them, and I was trying to finish my sentence but then I turned and saw that it was Shelly, and we were all happy.
Turns out I was exactly right. He’d had no electricity, no way to charge his phone, and had been flooded in ’til that morning. His house and car weren’t affected, but he was stuck in his building. And just made it to work for the first time that day. And work also had no power. So he’d had no way to contact us or get our messages. But he showed up. Rock win.
I ran around and told everyone there that the bass player was there, and shortly after the really cool band before us with the tranny singer and the violinist finished and we set up.
Our set was really really fierce. Oh, I had this tshirt from Paris that just said “fan” on it in neon letters, and so between two of the early songs I put it on and then threw it into the audience. I think my friend Carly got it. But yeah we were awesome, everyone was happy and having a great time. It wasn’t as many people as it would have been if it had been Sunday, but it was still a good amount of people and a lively audience. Oh, and the guitar player brought his own crowd so WIN, after the last full band show where I was the only person who brought an audience even though I thought we’d agreed to split it so we came up short and didn’t get paid.
The surprise cover song, which I don’t think I revealed to anyone outside the band, was “All Hail Me” by Veruca Salt, my current favorite band. I tried to get someone to video it for YouTube but it just didn’t happen. Here’s the actual video, though:
Creepiest thing about this video is how they have the kids lip-synching along to the lyrics. Who does that?
A lot of Veruca Salt songs are more guitar songs than vocal songs, and this more or less falls among them. The only vocally “interesting” parts are Nina’s ornamentations and harmonies. I did the Nina parts that didn’t interfere with singing the melody. Yes, that included me belting a high F out of the blue, twice, including the first note of the song. That was not easy, even for me. I had to practice that. But once I got the hang of it I nailed it every time. But the rest of the song, the melody, it took some doing to make myself sing that straightforwardly in that awkwardly high tessitura for belting. But I got the hang of that too.
Yao drew pictures of me!! She’s a sketch artist. Look what she did!!
The beers all came with a free tequila shot. I normally have a no-shot policy but it was like my special day and people kept giving me theirs, so I said after the show but then the show was over and there was a long line of people waiting to hug me and give me shots, so I got wayyy drunker than usual. But I was pulling an all-nighter anyways ’cause I had to pack so no harm no foul.
Thanks x1000000 to everyone who came!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OK! We have achieved postponement! This is great!
The show will be Tuesday night at The Delancey (downstairs). Not sure yet if we have the 7:30 or 8:30 slot (I requested later), but I’ll let you know.
I am so glad Frank was able to work his magic and find something for us- something before I leave Wednesday morning.
I am also glad my bandmates are team players and were willing to cancel their plans and do this on Tuesday.
I am so glad that so far it seems most of my friends and fans are still willing to come out and play.
If the weather calms down and the trains are running, Otto’s might decide to open. If that’s the case, my bandmates and I MAY go down and do a practice set. I suspect it won’t be the whole band, just whoever’s available. I won’t put it on the calendar but I’ll announce it on Twitter and Facebook if we end up doing it.
Otherwise, I cannot wait to see you all Tuesday. It is going to be a killer show.
Just wanted to put a note here that it’s finally official, and my big going away party gig is postponed. As New Yorkers know, this is less because of the storm and more because of public transportation being halted. Frank is rebooking it at the Delancey either Monday or Tuesday. I’m checking with my bandmates which day is better. If you have a preference, enter your vote now.
I should be able to tell you tomorrow for sure!
Tuesday was my first earthquake!! I was so excited!!
I was in my apartment and I sorta feel like the floor and the walls were shaking. I was wondering if it was just me, like I was crazy dizzy or something, but I have a ton of necklaces hung up on a rack and they were swaying back and forth, so I knew it was an actual Thing and not just in my head.
So my thought process was like, “Uh… is this an earthquake? …nah!… well… let’s see how long it lasts, aren’t earthquakes supposed to last for like 30 seconds?” It lasted like 10 seconds. “OK so it couldn’t’ve been an earthquake, it must have been something in the building… Well, maybe, or like a far off explosion or something?” I had the news on anyways so I looked at the TV for a minute to see if it said anything, and it was just more footage of Libyans shooting guns in the air. So I’m like, “No… if it was a big earthquake they’d’ve said something by now. Let’s see… construction? I didn’t hear anything… Whiskey’s bouncing around but a little kitten couldn’t’ve hit the wall hard enough to shake it for that long… It’s gotta be some sort of construction on the building.” I was just leaving to go to my neighborhood cafe, so I looked around as I walked outside. There were a lot of men in vests who looked like they were pruning the trees in the park and they were all standing around talking to each other, so I thought maybe they had felled a big tree and that shook the ground. I didn’t see any better explanation so I walked on minding my own business.
Until right before I crossed the street to the cafe, a crazy Spanish guy came up to me like, “Miss! Miss! Excuse me, Miss!” and I was in a good mood and he didn’t sound creepy (crazy and creepy are different) so I responded and he was like, “I heard we just had an earthquake!!!” LOL, I guess he just wanted to tell somebody!! I usually hate crazy people on the street but this time I was like, “Wow, thanks for telling me, I thought I was going crazy!”
When I walked into the cafe it had apparently just come on CNN and the whole cafe was deadly silent and staring at the TV, so I burst in with, “That was my first earthquake!!!!!!” Somebody laughed but I immediately felt bad in case like thousands of people had died or something. But they hadn’t. I bet they felt it real good at the cafe, with all those glasses and wine bottles to rattle around.
Anyways, I was so excited to have finally experienced my first earthquake, and very glad it was so mild.
Now there is this freaking hurricane. I’m not in an evacuation zone. I totally wouldn’t even care EXCEPT it’s on the night of my going away party. And this was gonna be like the biggest show of the year. EVERYBODY was going to be there, we’d practiced REALLY hard, learned a new song just for this gig. And that’s the night the hurricane is supposed to hit. Even if the show is on, probably 10% of the people who were going to come will actually make it. That’s bad enough. Then I found out that if we have so much as a tropical storm, my drummer will not be able to leave work. See, he works at LaGuardia for the Port Authority, and he told me ages ago that if there’s a snowstorm he has to be at work, so we can’t count on him on snow days. But I did not know that applied to floods as well.
I do NOT want to do my BIG GOING AWAY SHOW without a drummer. I already refused to do it without a guitar player (avoiding me playing guitar myself), no way in hell it’s happening without a drummer. There are big gigs and small gigs. The small ones I’m totally happy improvising and throwing together whoever is available. For the big ones, the ones that the most people are coming to and where we need to make the best impression, like my CD release party, we need the whole fucking band. I do not want people, especially people who are hearing us live for the first time, to associate me and my music with an unplugged, singer-songwriter sound.
There is a very good chance that the subways will be shut down starting Saturday afternoon.
What’s driving me crazy is the fucking media. I understand that they blow everything out of proportion because that’s how they get ratings and sell papers. But in this case I really need an accurate idea of what’s going on and what the chances are of what happening so I can make a plan. Like, yeah, of course the news is going crazy about forced evacuations and public transportation shut-downs, because that’s exciting and it gets us all worked up and watching the news more. I get it. But I really can’t afford for myself, my bandmates, their bosses, or my fans to get excited over this for no reason.
After hours of waffling over what to do and back-and-forth with my bandmates, I finally called Frank to voice my concerns. As I expected, he had a “The show must go on” attitude. If the show ends up being cancelled (Otto’s is in forced evacuation zone 2, which means even if it’s just a category 2 hurricane they will be evacuated), he’ll rebook it elsewhere ASAP, and I know he can do it. I added that I would like him to find a back-up plan for us for Monday or Tuesday in case our drummer can’t make it, and he said he’d look into it.
When Danny at the rehearsal studio first pointed out that the hurricane was supposed to come the day of our gig, I was upset because I thought that meant no one would come. I once played a birthday gig at Otto’s during the biggest Nor’easter of the year, and hardly anyone came because of the rain. But now I’m more worried that we’ll do our “big show” with no drummer. I’d rather 10 people hear us play with the whole band than 50 people hear us play acoustic. Especially since so many of our sets have been stripped down that I have plenty of fans who have never heard the whole band live. I want them to hear the music as it’s supposed to sound one time before I leave.
As it stands right now, we are on for Sunday. If it gets rained out, the show will be rescheduled, hopefully for Monday or Tuesday (as I’m moving Wednesday). If the show goes on but the drummer can’t come, hopefully we will have a booking for Monday or Tuesday and that will be the official going away party. If that’s the case, whoever can make it will play Sunday as a stripped-down set, as a warm-up gig for the big party. If we can’t get a full band gig in before I leave, I’d prefer not to play Sunday at all, as I want to avoid that being the going away party and leaving people with a watered-down version of our music in their ears.
So right now we are still planning on Sunday, but holding Monday and Tuesday nights in case of emergency. So hopefully see you Sunday? But stay tuned, I’ll post updates!
I’m almost moving!
Sunday, August 28 is my going away party. I am playing with my whole freaking band! Chris Baum is our new guitar player. His background is classical, which I like in a colleague.
This is gonna be a really great show. We rehearsed last night and it went really well. I can’t believe we actually have 2 rehearsals for this gig! I don’t think that’s happened since the CD release party, and that was when nobody knew the music. (You’d think they’d’ve known it after recording it, but no…)
This is the best line-up of my band yet, I’m not hesitant to say.
Here’s what we have in store:
*our fullest sound yet. Not only do we have the whole quartet, but I’m going to be jumping in on acoustic for a few songs, which is the first time I’ve done that when we weren’t missing someone.
*a full hour set. Usually at Otto’s we end up doing a 45 minute slot, which is like 30 minutes of music. But this time we have the whole hour (eg, 45 minutes of music), so we can play pretty much the whole album.
*our first cover song as a band. I’ve done covers in solo sets, but never with my band. I’m not gonna tell you what it is, but hint: it involves me belting high F’s. And they are not an easy reach in the context.
*I’ll be giving out free copies of my old demo CD to anyone who buys a copy of Toyshop. As I mentioned in my goodie bag post, it includes both original versions of some of the songs on the album, some songs that didn’t make it on, and some classical stuff.
*Danny’s Devil’s Blues are playing after us, and they are very good. I think my fans will like them. I might even forgive them for swiping our time slot. (we got bumped to an earlier set than we had originally booked.)
*the usual Otto’s attractions: tiki drinks, pin-up girl wallpaper, and an authentic NYC punk rock experience that’s hard to find these days.
The date is Sunday, August 28. Party starts at 8, we play 8:30. Come early because I’m expecting a great crowd, and it’s early enough in the night that things won’t be running crazy late like they can at rock clubs.
Otto’s Shrunken Head, 538 E 14th St, New York NY. Between aves A & B. 21+, free admission.
Photo by Valkyrie
This one’s for my good fans and supporters!
As you know, I’m moving in a few weeks. So, I’ve been going through stuff and coming across stuff I don’t know what to do with.
So I decided to make a grab bag!
Warning: quantities are limited!!!
First 7 fans to donate $25 ($30 for non-US) or more to my “album debt pay-off” fund will receive a package with the following:
1. An 8 x 10 of my current headshot:
2. An 8×10 of my headshot from when I lived in Boston (I think I got them in 2001 or 2002), seen here:
3. A copy of “Demo-licious,” the demo CD I made for tour- not professionally printed, just burned on a computer with handwritten track lists on the case, containing original demo versions of some of the songs on the album, some songs that didn’t make the album, and some classical stuff (7 tracks)
4. A Christmas card, made out to you, with a picture of me in my Florence Foster Jenkins angel costume.
5. A sheet of 8 Amanda White stickers
All pics can be autographed and/or personalized.
The most limited quantity is my old headshot, of which so far I’ve come across 7 copies. If I find more, I’ll have more goodie bags available. If I run out, I might be able to find something to substitute.
So if you are interested, drop me a line to reserve your package, and then I’ll tell you where to PayPal money and get your address. That way there won’t be any problem with people ordering and then I run out and can’t fulfill the orders. First come first serve!!!
And as you probably know, all proceeds go to pay off my bank loan for the album Toyshop, which came out in 2009 but I’m still paying it off. If you don’t have it yet, it can be ordered from CDBaby or directly from me, or you can get it online for only $1.
I’ll go into this at a later time, but I’m going to move out of town in the foreseeable future. So last Sunday was my last day in my church choir.
When I was fired from my last church job I was determined to find something that was more musically satisfying. I had been very frustrated with the musicianship at SJITV (I lolled when perusing old blog posts to look up that one and saw I called it “musical blueballs”) and wanted a better conductor at the very least. So I subbed around a bit– St. Bart’s, Grace (actually I think St. Bart’s was my first sub gig in NY, for the Vierne Mass, but I sang alto just for the money and then said never again), and asked around a lot– at an audition I ran into a pianist I knew, I asked if he knew anyone hiring, he mentioned that Holy Apostles was hiring an alto but he’d give me David Hurd’s email address anyways. I was like YES because David Hurd is totally famous and I totally knew who he was and I totally wanted to sing in his choir. I knew he would be a better conductor, I’d get to sing some cool original music (he’s mostly famous for being a composer), and I’d be able to tell my old conductor “Oh yeah good thing you fired me because you didn’t like my voice ’cause I’m singing in David Hurd’s choir now, bite me.” OK I never actually told him that but I did tell other members of that choir when I got the perm job, and told them to be sure to either tell him or loudly mention it in his presence.
Anyways, yeah I emailed him and informed him of my availability, and he told me he’d let me know if a subbing opportunity came up, and shortly one did, and it turned into a pretty long-term subbing position as the soprano I was replacing ended up being out for over a month due to a family emergency. And the next summer, a position did open up and I was invited to audition for it, and I did and was hired on the spot, and I’ve been there ever since. It’s not an easy gig– it’s musically challenging, longer hours than most, and not a very social choir (usually your church choir colleagues become your best friends), but it was demanding and musically rewarding and that’s what I wanted.
So I was a long-term sub there for half a year, and perm there for 3 years. Last Sunday was my last day. It’s a long story, and I’ll go into it later, not now, but I’m going to move. Later, later, I’ll tell you later. So I told David the Sunday before the last choir service of the year, when it looked like the move was more and more a sure thing, that I wouldn’t be returning the next year. He was very sorry to see me go and said very very nice things and offered to recommend me to all these people, which was actually quite touching because he’s the kind of director who doesn’t dole out compliments unless they are functional (“the sopranos sounded very nice; basses, try to sound more like that”)– I mean I spent my first semester as a perm there thinking he didn’t like my singing because he never assigned me a solo and never said anything encouraging, and then when he finally did give me a solo halfway through the year I said as much, “I’m so relieved, I thought you didn’t like me!” and he said “Quite the contrary!” It was news to me!
So anyways, my last day of church. There was no announcement that I was leaving, neither to the congregation nor to the choir. It was Pentecost and we had a lot of music to do. (Including one of David’s pieces and also “Dum Complerentur” by Victoria which I had never done and fell in lust with the first time we read it). There was no party or drinks after church. Actually, the last time a choir member left we’d gone out after church, but it had been my suggestion.
But here’s the thing: it was a weirdly fitting service. It sort of summarized my church choir career. We started off with a plainsong introit that brought be right back to my days at St. John’s in the Village– it was the kind of piece we did every day there. I even said that during break, “This takes me back to the choir I was fired from, we did these chants every Sunday!” OK, then during the service, the sermon had this big chunk of it that was about the priest’s visit to The American Cathedral! Where I used to sing in Paris! Weird… I was like to the girl next to me all whispering “I used to sing there!!” Also because of Pentecost the Lord’s Prayer was “Say it in your own language” like it always was at the American Cathedral, so I said it in French even though it’s not my native language, just to show off. Then the closing hymn was There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit in this Place, which we sang so many times at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston that I had it basically memorized. So all my past church gigs were represented, except St. Mark’s Glen Ellyn. No, there was no psalm tune to which we could have sung “My dog has fleas; my dog has lots of fleas.” That would have done it. But we were doing like Simplified Anglican Chant or something. I forget.
So I said bye to people after, some who knew I was leaving, some who hadn’t known. The end. Sorry to leave it because it was a good situation for me. But I guess after a few more years we would have been recycling the same music and I would have started feeling understimulated.
One of the altos from the choir called me out of the blue a Monday ago and asked if I could sub with the Gregg Smith singers singing Rachmaninov’s Vespers. So I said yes. (After checking about the rehearsal schedule and pay rate.) I knew the piece was famous but had never done it, and I like to do the famous pieces, you know? It’s part of my artistic development.
Actually I’ve done the “Ave Maria” in 1 or more church choirs but never the rest or anything else in Russian ever besides a few stabs at learning Stravinsky’s Nightingale. (It’s a daunting role, it takes more than a few stabs.) So this is kinda my first time singing in Russian. I figured out Cyrillic! Yayyyyyy!!!! I still have to think about it but I can slowly read it. Actually the scores we have are transliterated in a very helpful way, but I started picking it up anyways. It’s what I do– I’m in love with linguistics.
The choir is really good. Like, they’re really good. It’s pressure. Plus they didn’t really like my timbre at first, but I think I’ve managed to get to an approximation of what they want. What can I say, I’m a Zerbinetta used to mimicking boy’s choirs, not a big dark Russian soprano who still has to sing straight tone.
So, this piece is hard!!! There’s so much piano! The dynamic, not the instrument! It’s all piano! And a capella! There’s a few loud moments but then you gotta decrescendo really fast. And to make things worst <sic>, the director never lets us breathe anywhere. And they’re all like “That’s the style!” So I’m singing straight tone, in my passaggio like the whole time, pianissimo, altering my voice, stagger breathing in a choir that’s not necessarily big enough to stagger breathe when you’re on like 9 parts. AGHHH!!! It gets uncomfortable at times.
Besides that, it’s kinda cool. There are parts of the music that I totally love, and parts that don’t do anything for me at all. But I’d say the good parts and the chance to learn this masterpiece are worth the effort. I mean, it’s the kind of piece where you say “Rachmaninov’s Vespers” and people have a little orgasm. So although I don’t love it as much as those people, I really appreciate the chance to fully experience it.
Performance is part of some sort of church service, today at 4pm at St. Peter’s on 54th and Lex. I know it’s late notice, but would be nice to see some of you there!
I’ve been busy. I was in jury duty for like 3 weeks! Felony murder. See, this is what happens when you live in NY. They have a good helping of serious crime, and they need a lot of jurors for the trials.
It was really interesting and really boring at the same time. The case was a gang assault/kidnapping/robbery/homicide charge that happened just a couple blocks from my apartment. I was an alternate juror, so they kicked us out when it was time to deliberate, so I don’t know what the verdict was! It was pretty educational. The legal process is ridiculously inefficient. Geez. They probably could have told us everything we needed to know in 3 days, not 3 weeks. Somebody has to come up with a new way to do this.
For some scheduling reason we had Friday the 13th off, and it just so happens that the weekend before, my friend Ko called me up on an urgent matter. Ko is a friend of mine that I’ve sung a lot with- we’ve done duets in Opera on Tap, and we did the Harrisburg Pagliacci together (although in different casts). So he knows me well as an artist. Awhile back, Ko moved to Michigan, to take a job in oboe repair in Ann Arbor. He started up a branch of Opera on Tap there. I hadn’t seen him since he moved, so when he came up on my caller ID I knew it was a musical emergency. I specialize in musical emergencies.
So, he had put together this fundraising concert, which was doubling as a video promo shoot for some gigs he’s trying to get for a little opera ensemble he started. Unfortunately, Michigan is not NY as far as an abundant crop of singers, and a string of soprano cancellations left him screwed. He’d already arranged video, photographer, a venue, and invited audience members, so canceling was not really an option. So he asked if I could fly out on Friday for the performance that Saturday afternoon. Since it JUST so happened I had that Friday off, I said yes!
Then I called my parents. They live in Chicago, and they recently bought a camper. They had taken it out for the first time the week before, also to Michigan– a lot closer to Chicago than Ann Arbor, but their plan was to take it out a little bit further each time. So I asked if they’d like to meet me in Ann Arbor and come to the show, and they said yes! I hadn’t seen my parents in a year and a half (since my Midwest tour) so that was a lucky stroke.
Oh, he also needed a mezzo, so I gave him a couple names and he ended up hiring my friend Marcella from Opera Language Circle. (OLC’ers get each other gigs all the time, so yet another benefit you’re missing out on if you’re not coming!) He had originally booked a coloratura and a lyric, so I guess he decided if he was gonna fly someone in anyways, he might as well round things out a little better with a mezzo instead of the lyric.
The rep: he asked me to sing Frasquita’s/chorus parts on Toreador and Habanera, to sing La ci darem la mano with him, and also All I ask of You with him, and the Barcarolle and/or the Flower Duet with Marcella. Marcella said just the Barcarolle, and now that I think of it I’m not sure why since we’ve sung the Flower Duet before to much success. But I guess it’s a lot of words to re-memorize when you’re doing this at the last minute. Barcarolle is really just a few lines of text. Even though I realized in the process of memorizing it that I’d never actually done it from memory before. I think I’ve sung it, but only last-minute on-book kind of stuff.
He also asked me to sing O mio babbino caro, which I’ve never done. It seemed silly to learn something like that from scratch when I know so many other crowd-pleasers. So I offered Queen of the Night instead. Sure, I could have done Musetta or Glitter, but what the hey. Let’s go nuts. I knew the audience would like it. And I could use the practice, as I haven’t touched it since I was over in Germany, and it’s the kind of thing that (for me at least) you need to keep up.
The concert was at this amazing mansion in Ypsilanti. The owners were super mega cool! I slept there overnight. It was such a treat! I’d never be able to afford a hotel room as nice as that guest room! I love how being an opera singer, while mostly involving some level of poverty, also affords very quick tastes of vast luxury.
Marcella was planning on wearing a black gown, so I wore a black short dress, to designate myself as the soubrette. For which I guess Queen of the Night doesn’t really fit, but somehow when I watched the video it didn’t distract- I think because I had a lot of arm movement, and I have really big biceps, so I still managed to look tough.
Oh, also- Ko asked us to sing the background “oo’s” for the baritone key Nessun Dorma. I realized as I was arranging my music binder that this meant I was singing in every single piece. I was the only singer in every number, what with the 3 duets, backup on everyone else’s solo, and no backups on my solo.
The concert went really well! It was a little informal thing, just for Opera on Tap donors in the area. And my parents and brother. There was wonderful wine and cheese and desserts, and we sang little 3-song mini-sets interspersed with little intermissions. It was a bit awkward, as the audience always seemed confused why each set was over so fast, and we singers were not ready for a break- I was always wanting to keep going, or hurry up and get started on the next set. I think the idea was that it was a 2-hour party and the music would be interspersed, since some people would come early and some late- but since me and Marcella had to leave early to catch our flight back to NY, we didn’t have as much dallying time as they’d originally planned.
But the people really loved it, and I thought every single number went really well, which you can’t always say after such a rush job of a concert.
Without further ado, videos!
My Queen of the Night. For a live take, I’m happy with how it came out. It’s a hard song!! And yes, this puts me squarely into the camp of Coloraturas Who Do Weird Things With Their Mouths When They Sing Coloratura. So what, I’m in good company. Watch it and tell me it doesn’t work.
Here’s my duet with Marcella:
Our timbres are just so different, but I guess that’s how a duet works.
Me and Ko as Zerlina and Don Giovanni. We’re so cute! Here’s where the soubrette dress pays off.
I love the Toreador Song. I get goosebumps! I am sexy tambourine girl.
Here’s my friend Marcella in the Habanera:
I want to point out how many words we have to memorize just to sing back-up. I hadn’t done Carmen in a long time and it was an effort.
Here is a special treat! I never sing musical theater, because I am a snob. It felt nice, though.
Hope you guys like the videos! Apparently we are available for hire, so, you know.
So it’s Thursday morning right now, which means tomorrow, Friday, is my birthday! So far it’s a great one- I got a tattoo and a bass, and a party coming up.
Maybe you’re not asking yourself “What can I get Amanda for her birthday,” but you know, you could be? Honest answer though: No presents!! I live in a tiny Manhattan apartment and I have no room for any more stuff.
But you could grant a birthday wish or two for me!
Here’s what I really want!!
1. If you haven’t bought the album yet, do!!! It’s available for pay-what-you-will on Bandcamp, or hard copies available from me. You can get the download for as little as $1, so you know, no excuses!
2. Share me with your friends! Think if you know any music-loving friends who might like what I do, and drop them an email. You can tell them it’s a birthday favor for me if you want. Send a link to one of my songs or music videos. You don’t have to buy anything, they don’t have to buy anything- just spread the musical love around! All the songs are individually linkable on the bandcamp site, and the two big music videos are Toyshop, whose shortish-link is http://youtu.be/YyYzVKijgkw and A Carol, whose shortish-link is http://youtu.be/Ps_B5oxr-NE. I think an individual note to one or two people can do a lot.
3. Put the word out on your Twitter or Facebook. Just say something like “Happy birthday to Amanda White, she’s selling her album for $1 to get out of debt, buy it here!” Optionally include details about how hott and talented I am. :p
Lastly, my birthday present to you: I’ve set the download of the live acoustic version of Kelli’s Getting Vaginal Rejuvination (which is the only version that exists so far, though if we ever make another produced album I’d love to get it on there) to FREE on bandcamp. Temporary setting, so go and get it!
So that’s all, if you’d like to be super nice and awesome to me that’s what you can do, but even if you don’t do any of that, it’s still nice that you love me enough to take the time to read my blog. So, thanks!
Just wanted to update people on things and stuff.
Last night we played a show at Otto’s. Finding a new guitar player has been on the back burner for me, so I ended up just playing myself on acoustic. I don’t love it, because I like things to be really hard rock, and it just isn’t the same with an acoustic guitar instead of an electric lead. Plus, I’m not a fabulous guitarist, so I have to practice, get my callouses back, and concentrate on not fucking up, when I’d rather concentrate on singing and the interpreting the lyrics. But I admit it is kinda fun to bust out an instrument and play in front of an audience. There’s a whole other level of rhythm and control apart from what you get as a vocalist.
My bass player, Eddie Anthony, got picked up by the band after us, as their bass player didn’t show up or was stuck in traffic or something. Sounded like he was doing a great job! Sweet! Maybe he made another $4. In addition to the $4 he made playing with us. And the one free beer.
Big news: I got my first tattoo! Sort of a birthday present to myself, and sort of a Mother’s Day present to my mom. She has a magnolia on her shoulder, to represent the South, where she’s from and where her family has lived for literally centuries. (They came over some time in the 1600’s.) So, I got a magnolia crossed with a shamrock. (No, my dad doesn’t have a shamrock tattoo. My dad would never, ever, ever get a tattoo. He is probably mad at me for getting one. I haven’t told him, but I assume my mom has.)
I guess the reason I never had a tattoo before was because when I was in college, which is when people start getting tattoos, I lived in Massachusetts, and tattooing was at that time illegal in Massachusetts. And I didn’t have a car to get to New Hampshire. And then by the time they legalized it, it was almost more special not to have one than to have one. Plus, the only design I wanted as I got older would have looked best on my back somewhere, and I didn’t want to do that because I didn’t want something that showed when I wore formal wear, which is something opera singers have to do quite a bit. (I like being a rock star, but one that cleans up nice.) Anyways this idea came to me suddenly around a month ago, and it was so clear to me that I wanted it and I wanted it now- even being my age with no tattoos, and one of the only people I know without any, I didn’t have a moment’s hesitation, and haven’t had a moment’s regret.
So I guess it’s sort of a tribute to both parents, because my mom’s the one with the magnolia tattoo, and my dad’s the one who says us kids are “half Irish, half Southern.” But also, it a pretty tattoo, that looks good on me, flatters my stomach, and is meaningful and less of a cliche than just getting a shamrock or something.
Oh, and yes it hurt. But the annoying thing was since it was right by my abs, I had to be careful not to breathe to sharply, talk to exuberantly, laugh, or cringe further than my face.
That was one of my birthday presents to myself. Here’s the other one:
I’ve always wanted a bass, as long as I’ve been playing rock music. Just never had the opportunity/money to buy one. Like, if I were going to get something, it should be an electric guitar. (My parents have a used electric guitar at their house to give me, but I haven’t been there in so long I haven’t had a chance to get it!) But I was talking to one of my bass players, Shelly, and I forget who brought it up first, but he mentioned he was selling some of his old stuff, and might have an inexpensive bass I could buy off him cheap to learn on. I told him not to bring it next time I saw him because money was on the tight side and it would be better if I waited, but he brought it “just to show it to me” and as soon as I saw it I just had to have it right then, so I bought it off him anyways. I’m so excited! I wouldn’t let myself play with it ’til after the gig last night (cuz I was supposed to be practicing guitar), so now that that’s over I’ve been fiddling with it. Found some bass tabs online, tuned it to drop-D and have been picking away at “Killing in the Name.” Well, I’m not quite up to playing it in tempo but I’m getting there!
A Heineken commercial the other day got me into my latest obsession. Asteroids Galaxy Tour are FABulous! Why did it take a fucking beer commercial for me to ever hear them? It was one of those TV moments- THAT I’ve had before- where I hear something that catches my ear and drop everything and run to the TV to see who is playing, then immediately buy their album.
(This is obviously a long form version of the commercial, but as I only ever saw it that once on TV, I don’t remember which short version I saw.)
This is still my favorite song by them, but they are far from one-hit-wonders in my book.
Sometimes I fantasize about the kind of music I could write if I had a brass section.
The last post I made was about going to grad school to get a degree in something besides music. I completely forgot the point, which was to plug my album again. See, I’m selling my album cheap to get out of debt- and now I’m going to have student loans on top of what I already had. I guess I’ll have to make a new post to pitch the album with that slant. But meanwhile, if you’re reading this, uh, buy my album?
Friday is my birthday. Yayyy! Meanwhile I have taken a few days off of physical labor and training to let my tattoo heal, and try to concentrate on my writing a bit. Hope it’s productive!