Kat's thoughts: Thursday, January 3, 2013

To Censor or Not to Censor

        So this is a public site, a band page. A page where I write as some sort of odd-representative of our band. I was thinking about what the purpose of this blog actually is, and I'm not really that sure, I guess. I like to think that it will be somewhat helpful and informative, but isn't that what the rest of the webpage should be? I also think that. So, instead of telling you something about our band right now, I'm just going to tell you my thoughts. I'm much better at doing that than embedding video (as evidenced by the last post!)

        So, if you had the luxury I did, then you watched DeVotchKa melodiously and rhythmically rock the hell out of the Beartooth stage; in fact, they rocked so hard that we fell out of 2012 into this one. And, if you were me, then in some magical alternate universe (that I still have a hard time finding to be reality) then you got to grace the same stage an hour beforehand! Crazy stuff. I'm not trying to be immodest here, but I've always read that journaling is a good way to deal with emotions, so I guess I'm just getting out my excitement. 

       It just strikes me so much right now, how important it is to never give up on your dreams. In fact, never give up on what you like to do, even if you haven't formulated a dream. I specify because, if you had asked me five years ago if I ever thought that I'd be rapping onstage with three incredibly driven and talented musicians by my side on a New Years Eve at the Beartooth, I would've laughed harder than a creepy clown. I didn't even think I would ever be in a band at that point. I know some very fine young musicians, and very few of them are aware yet how to articulate their musical goals or put them into action. Does that stop them from making fine music? HELL NO! So that's what I mean; we're driven to do what we want, even if we don't necessarily know that we want it. I never thought I wanted to be a musician, I just knew that I always had to make music, so I did. 

    I awoke this New Year's Day with a terrible, horrible, no good cold. I queried a friend as to whether he had any resolutions and he told me he didn't do stuff like that. As I asked around, that seemed to be the consensus. People seemed to feel worse to resolve and abandon than to resolve at all. So all this got me thinking: they're probably right. Out of the eight resolutions that I resolve to do every year (as follows)

 

  • Floss
  • Do Sit ups and push ups
  • Run at least 5 days (not every, that is unrealistic)
  • Eat whole grains, fruits, and veggies
  • Sleep
  • Stretch
  • Look at the sky, regardless of the hour
  • Play a piano, even if it is a brief encounter

 

I will probably only nail the first and the last: I will floss more, and I always play a piano. All the others require a great lifestyle change, at least to some degree. But wait, before I go on, can I note the irony of resolution #3? Seriously, Kat? That parenthetical reference is HILARIOUS! Who was I kidding?!? ONE DAY is unrealistic at this point. I've been terrible...

   Anyway, the majority of them are very small things, but small things that I will, everyday, consistently forget to do. And it's not because they're unpleasant, either. I would love to look at the sky and eat good food and stretch my body, but apparently they are not the things that are of the utmost love and importance to me. So I guess what I'm saying is, rather than try and change what I value, I should appreciate the things that I do value and that I do with great consistency. 

So, my resolutions are now:

*eat green things and whole grains when you crave them, and be thankful that is often

*Always sing, keep always playing piano

*Sleep, but if you're more driven to create than sleep, then CREATE! and relish in the delights of caffeine the following day

*Just let your truck continue to be broken; you'll be stuck riding your bike, but won't lose money on gas and you won't have to feel obliged to run, 'cause biking is a kickass workout!

*Maybe unrealistic. But still try to look at the sky, regardless of the hour. I'll never be able to leave this resolution behind.

 

All in all, it's late and I'm tired and sick, but amped and stoked on the fact that I feel equally as lucky to be alive as I am fascinated and confused by what this whole existence thing is about. Anyway, my message to you tonight is, for this year, resolve to continue doing the things you love to do; the things that you already do everyday because you enjoy them and they bring you simple, but great, joy. A happy new year to all, and don't forget to floss.

 

And I couldn't complete this without a sincere thank you to all who came out and supported what may have been our most high-profile gig, ever. It was a blast, thanks to you all. And also, thanks to Chris G. (from Hawaii, if you ever read this) for sharing your feelings. I would never brush anyone off, but it's hard to both explain and receive being that moved by music in words. But I'm thankful, regardless, and I truly know what you mean. I'm so, so, so honored that we brought you there. Though you mentioned that it may have been "the perfect storm," I hope that, even sans storm elements, we can bring you there over and over again. Good luck in the World Cup.

Well, time for bed, it's nearly 3am...Sweet Super Saturated Dreams, Peace!

 

Kat's thoughts: Thursday, October 25,2012

VIDEODROME

       Ok, that was an incendiary title in order to get you to read this posting. But, for real, by popular demand: I HAVE VIDEOS! I will put them in actual embedded form on the media page, as soon as I figure out how to use this electrified box you call a "computer." Until then, enjoy the frenzy, joy, and madness that is home-recorded, live show action!!! And be ready for more: we've been writing like mad and have a ton of new stuff for y'all. We'll see you in Homer on the 9th and 10th of Nov and then with IOTA and Pretty Birds That Kill the following weekend (the 16th and 17th, respectively.) Can't wait to get you up and dancing. As Carlyle would say (yell) C'MON!!!  Shoot, sadly I can't even make them highlit. Ok, must learn HTML and other, just plain simple computing! Copy and paste, anyone? Back on it as soon as I have a word with Bandvista...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KsESRm0WoU&feature=related

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dilUKf2hYas&feature=relmfu

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=_46vy_5lTYY&feature=endscreen

 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VG-LjyXo5FY

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NfFMbY3Ffc

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=dnpbbpLASOE&NR=1

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkPZJayxbuI

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_3N7g7aa70&feature=relmfu

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBhfBbi11bI&feature=relmfu

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3tbM8P1Zbc&feature=relmfu

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0sHxx-30YU&feature=related

 

 

 

 

Kat's thoughts: Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Running For Warmth/The Sound of Nothing

            So, as I type I’m sitting here (with fingerless wool mittens on) at a picnic table at a campground in the Blue Mountains (along the historic Oregon Trail route.) It is 7:48am and I just got done a nice long run/walk/run. Let me repeat myself: it’s freaking 7:48am (thank you, macbook clock.) WTF? Pretty strange for being the morning after I first drank beer on the trip (and pretty much 22oz of beer, which is a lot for me, after not drinking for a while.) It was some totally delicious imperial stout that Theresa’s friend, Josh, brewed; perhaps a bit too sweet for the rest of the gang (though they liked it, just couldn’t drink too much ‘cause of the richness while I, on the other hand, got down on that delicious brew.) It was one of those nights where you drink while sitting around a campfire and simultaneously blowing on the fire to keep it stirring as the logs burn down to coals; you can never tell if you’re drunk or just hyperventilating. Well, after the fire died, I figured that out quickly by writing a bunch of bad poetry and drunken letters that I realized, in hindsight this morning at six a.m., I will probably never send. See, this is how they drunk-dialed in the old days. No, I’m exaggerating, I wasn’t like shit-faced, but I definitely had a good buzz going on, whether from the beer or the fire breathing… But wait, I didn’t come on here to talk about beer. I came on here to talk about why I am up so early.

            Anyway, I went to bed prepared: ski socks, thermal undies, tank top, sweatshirt, mittens (full), and a snow hat (and with my sweatshirt hood UP), all zippered up in my sleeping bag and, STILL, I awoke so frozen I couldn’t go back to bed. I have no phone, no watch, and absolutely no concept of time beyond the two ideas of night and day (and I’m not sure at all as to what hours they correlate, after leaving the summer sun of AK.) I got up, thinking it was a reasonable time and kind of puttered around: read informational signs about the Oregon Trail, drank water, walked to the river, and brushed my teeth (don’t worry, I didn’t use river water…no beaver fever, please.) Regardless of how much I moved around, I COULD NOT GET WARM! So, I pared down the gear and went for a run in the direction of heat. We’re camping in this canyon (where the river cuts through) and I just headed up and out, into the sun. I don’t know what road it was, but I just ran north on some spur road that indicated “45 miles to Ukiah” and paralleled the river. After about ten minutes, a road cut off to the East, and up a hill into the sunshine. I ran it as long as I could, until I got too tired.

Then I just walked.

The bear walked over the mountain, the bear walked over the mountain, the bear walked over the mountain, and what do you think she saw?

She saw another mountain, she saw another mountain, she saw another mountain, and what do you think she did?

The bear walked over the mountain…

So I walked.

            I finally stopped for a second at the top of the first hill (they rolled up and up and up) and listened: I heard a chorus of different birds, the wind, a cow, and… nothing. It was so nice. I always forget how rarely we get to hear nothing but the sound of the natural world. It’s funny, I’m a musician and I talk all the time –I’m constantly surrounded by sound- but I tire of it. Even at home, there is a water heater somewhat near to my bedroom and, even though it is so faint, I sometimes sleep with earplugs in so I don’t have to hear its creaks and clicks and moans. Sometimes I just sit and do work with earplugs in, ‘cause I don’t want to hear anything. I get so sick of noise.  Too much sound all the time. But the sound of nature is different; I never weary of that. Perhaps I would if I were engrossed in it all the time; I’m sure there’s some farmer out there being like, “F@ck You, ROOSTER,” every morning, but for me –right now- it’s a different story. I haven’t heard the beautiful sound of nothing in so long and that is SO SAD. I live in Alaska, the land supposedly far from highways and box stores, paparazzi and bullshit; a land that is wild and free and, yet, I don’t hear nature. Ok, go back a second, I know what you are thinking, and you’re right: I don’t live in Alaska, I live in ANCHORAGE, a city near to Alaska: land of the wild and free, and I don’t ever get out of it because I’m a bicycle commuter. That is my choice, and one that simultaneously nurtures and destroys me. It nurtures me greatly within in-city commuting. The only problem is that I don’t have enough time to get out of the city and back to it in time for work/school/other work/band by bicycle. So I’m just stuck. The first moment that I even had enough time to get out of it at all (by automobile, for time’s sake, because I had to be back) was with Jake, right after I got done the semester. It was so awesome. I awoke that Saturday morning to Jake in my room with  a smile on his face and the request to go gold panning. We never made it panning that trip, but we did make it out to Trapper Creek where I stood next to the marsh, listening to the pintail ducks splash around in the water and felt the warmth of the Interior spring winds on my body and sunshine on my face. But that’s the first –and last- day in nature I can easily remember since last summertime. I realize that there’s some bias to my melodrama; school started in September, and I’ve been very busy with that, and it is tougher to get outside in winter than it is in summer, but those are all cheap qualifiers. I love nature and I’ve been excluding it from my life. Whether intentionally, or just through blatant neglect (from being busy), it needs to change. I can’t exist peacefully unless I exist at least partially in nature.

            But all this is emotional fodder, and you probably lost interest a run-on paragraph ago… What I really wanted to say was that this traveling, this time away from my daily routine and the constant noise of my everyday life (although we’re still playing a lot, we’re moving and seeing new things everyday) has allowed me to finally reflect. It’s been the first time in months that I’ve done so, and it’s crazy how much I’ve let life overtake me, rule the day, and meter my ability to understand my own emotions.

All winter I heard the sound of everything, and thought of nothing.

Now, here in this place, I hear nothing and think of everything.

I feel very lucky to be in the sound of nothing; it’s a peaceful place for reflection.

 

 

 

 

Kat's thoughts: Backlogged from Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Time Travel

            So, have any of you out there watched the early 90’s Nickelodeon show Pete and Pete?  If so, do you remember the episode where little Pete time travels on Daylight Savings? Well, we got to do a little time travel ourselves, but ours was from international van traveling.  So, as we crossed the border from Alaska to Canada we traveled into the future an hour. That should be pretty exciting, but I anticipated that modern technology would dampen the celebration; you see, my bandmates (like most well-adapted humans) have cellular telephones. While these are handy little devices, they have the one pitfall of completely destroying the thrill of time travel, the fatal flaw otherwise known as “synching.” Now, if you’re unfamiliar, synching is the act of automatically updating the phone’s time to reflect the time zone. You think you’ve jumped into the future, but suddenly, you’re in the present again. I know what you’re thinking, “Kat, but the new time, if anything, should reflect that you’ve jumped into the future, can’t you see?” But I argue that, if you don’t keep some remnant of the old reality (ie: time that it used to be in what used to be reality) then you don’t have anything to compare it to. I know, now you’re thinking, “But why not just keep your phone and also carry a watch?” All I have to say is: a WATCH? Are you serious? Hello, 1984, come on back and join us in the 21st century. That’s just unreasonable.

But all of this is a useless discussion (btw, Michael Howard says “Hi” to everyone reading) because this time, cellular phones didn’t destroy the time-traveling experience, but actually enhanced it! In our case, it turns out that one phone synched while another did not. The non-synching phone served us as the veritable “watch,” emphasizing the disparity in the situation. Then, when we forgot which phone had synched (and apparently couldn’t find the other phone or something, who knows) we couldn’t remember what time it really was at all. So, erring on the side of safety, we assumed that it was an hour later than it was on the one phone we had. Turns out that we found out today that (assuming, as the saying goes…) we were wrong, and that the phone on which we were basing our reality was indeed correct and, therefore, we had catapulted ourselves into the future even further, which (upon realization) catapulted us back into the past once more. 

Confused? Me too! Ooops, I just woke up Carlyle with my quantum cellular physics discussion. Sorry, man.

Now, back to the matter at hand. So, in addition to having the whole phone time travel, we experienced a slight rupture in the time-space continuum due to the lack of date closure. So “date closure” may not be something you equate with time travel, either, so let me explain: I do NOT mean sealing the deal at the end of a hot date, but rather feeling that Tuesday has ended and Wednesday has begun. Normal humans experience date closure through sleeping: go to bed Tuesday night and wake up Wednesday morning. Insomnolent humans experience it from changes in daylight: stay up all Tuesday night and, when there’s finally light again, it must be sometime on Wednesday. Now, for us (traveling from the Arctic regions to lower latitudes fairly quickly) there is this giant vortex in the time space continuum that lends no date closure. We departed from Anchorage (61 degrees latitude north of the equator- thanks, Boot and the Taproot for keeping that embedded in my mind) and we traveled in southbound to Prince George (embed) in under 48 hours of straight driving. Not only did we drop in latitude to locations with less total daylight, but came down after being in a place where daylight was increasing incredibly rapidly. Then, we neglected to sleep regular nights through it all. What resulted was complete disorientation. Rest assured (HA! funny to use that saying there, huh?) we have had some good sleep now; we slept about nine hours last night under the stars. Actually, the last thing I saw before sleep was an awesome shooting star. Woke up to a rest stop full of cars, but the sun was shining. And I feel like I’ve finally settled into my new reality, too.

Yeah, life is pretty good- and the time traveling ain’t bad, either.

 

 

 

Kat's thoughts: June 4, 2012

       I've spent a lot of time thinking about thanking: thanking all of you, that is. Well, this morning I awoke early after a school related dream (eh? during summer?? WTF?) and decided it was time to finally to put those feelings down on the page. There were so many integral people who made all of my current existence possible, and here are most, if not all -I apologize if I have left you off the list- of them. Inevitably though, if I have spaced you and you helped us, then you are most likely a friend and can give me as much trouble as you want about it. I will gladly write you a poem of thanks. So, for these thank you poems, I've followed the metric model of a Haiku (a 5-7-5 syllabic breakdown), but broken from the traditional mold of using natural subjects. Instead, I've gone with the theme of gratitude, so have nerdily themed them Thank-kus. 

For more information on Haikus, check out this site: <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/251787/haiku>

 I encourage you all to write some of your own, too. Well, here they are, alphabetized in a way that made sense to my brain:

----------------------------------------------------------- Let the Thank-kus begin--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Oh, and in case I didn't say it yet, THANKS AGAIN!

 

Alex Cruver

An inspiration;

I trust your feedback so much

True man of music

 

Alice’s Champagne Palace- Homer, AK

Chandeliers and glitz

Pulse of life as people dance

And delicious food!

 

Annual Studio Party

The end of the world:

I came and danced and sang hard

Shared apocalypse

 

Arcady Futerman

You fought the fever

And came out to hear us play

Even though you lost

 

(We hope you’re feeling better!!!)

 

BANDMATES: to T, C, and M

Some magic occurred

You can’t know the magnitude

Cannot be measured

 

Bennett

You dealt with guitars,

Keys and cellos and fiddles-

Even the kickdrum!

 

Bernadette (KYUR- ABC Channel 13)

Ebullience? Check!

Lights and cameras? Check, check!

The action begins…

 

Boot

You got us rolling

And, for that, we’re indebted

Ready for lessons?

 

Bret Conner

A man of vision

T-shirts never felt so good

We wear you daily

 

Brett Linder

You are Brother Love

And you make bodies happy

Glad you liked the show

 

Camera Crew, UAA Show (Ryan Syverton, Matt Underbakke, Alex Troutman)

T’was totally cool

That you wanted to film us

Can’t wait to watch it!

 

Carly Garay

She found our vision

Before she opened her eyes

Ethereal times

 

Cedar Cussins

YOU ARE MY IDOL!

Teach me everything you know

Renaissance woman

 

Chad Reynvaan

I heard your music

Ooops, I fainted once again

The King of the Drums

 

Charlie Earnshaw

Swirling music shots

Dizzying and full of joy

Thanks for the photos

 

Cillian Barratochi

Medium of wood

Grown into a living heart

Now supports our beat

 

Corwyn Wilkey

Your trumpet of gold

Immortalized on album

And live in the hall

 

Daniel Firmin

Your home is so nice

You let me play your guitar

Pluck in a hammock

 

Danielle Severson

In the balcony

You made our music gorgeous

Let’s do it again

 

David Harper

Loved to see the news;

What a lovely read it was

Thanks for sharing us!

 

Dawnell Smith

OutNorth sounds so good

We are thankful for your space

And jungle sounds, too!

 

Emily Kurn

We secretly plot

We want to kidnap your voice

Your songs ring so clear

 

Eric Bleicher

You don’t need to work

Just bang on our drums all day

It sounds so AWESOME

 

Evan Phillips

Always in flannel

You help us give ourselves space

Hearts melt from your songs

 

Eve Van Dommelen

You squeeze those bellows

And wild go the fellows

And all the girls, too

 

Flight Crew

You fly through the air

And through all of our hearts

That night was a DREAM!

 

J.J. Tranquilla

We’ve kidnapped your snare

And taken it on our tour

Wish you were here, too

 

Jack Keane

You tolerate much

In-and-out and in again

Stairways full of keys

 

Jacob Wilson

Lil’ bro all dressed up

Fine Confederate soldier

Fighting through your songs

 

Jacqueline Shafer

From jazz to choir

Your melodies like a bird

Music together

 

James Dommek (aka JR)

Carlyle ripped it

On your totally sweet kit

Thank you for sharing

 

James Glaves

You mixed the album

Then you attacked the release

Then you played the drums!!!

 

Jeremy Wetherell

Always good to see

You on the other side there

Kickin’ those basslines

 

Jeri Kopet

Only gal I know

Who can truly curse in style

Want to read more soon…

 

Jess Johnson and Nathan Michalski

KICKSTARTER Genies!

We’d go OutNorth anytime

Pushin’ for a white Russian

 

Jessi Marena Nelsen

Diggin’ your style

So proactive in the arts

Seward is lucky

 

John Damberg (and the UAA Music Department)

Thanks for allowing

My band to use percussion

Sweet, sweet timpani

 

Kasha Palmer

You drew in our book

And it was magnificent

We heart your DEERBEAR!

 

KBBI- Homer Public Broadcasting (AM 890)

Glad to have been on

It was truly a pleasure

Riding the airwaves

 

Keegan

A whiskey and coke

Is the best way to listen

To the Sugar Strings

 

Ken Sease

“I played once in Nome

You would not believe this chick…”

DUDE! Just engineer!

 

Kenny Siebels

Glad you brought the light

And that you made sense of me

As I was frenzied

 

Kevin Worrell

All smiles, sweet voice

You played the chimes in my mind

You own those bells, man!

 

Kharacters

Wild nights, always

The CD release was fun

Late-nights full of song

 

 Kickstarter supporters

We would not be here

If you all had not helped us

Producers of dreams

 

Loren Dixon-KNBA (90.3 FM)

Love to hear you talk

And see you in the station

Interview delight

 

Lucy Peckham

An artist of sound

Painting a picture in air

You breathe the music

 

Mark Ward

For you and Lolo

Thanks for sharing your music

Happy sailing, friends

 

Matt Sullivan

Your words mean a lot

To equal music spazzes

Let’s go headbanging

 

 Michael Howard

Your songs amaze me

Attitude so positive

You bring the world near

 

Morning Edition- KTUU (NBC Channel 2)

Six in the morning

Was a pleasure on TV

Sleepy kids on film

 

Otto Nelson

Closet singer, eh?

Hiding behind your guitar

A jack-of-all-trades

 

Our Families

You raised us quite well

Or at least we think you did

We hope you do, too

 

Our Families (Sentimental Remix)

We owe you so much

Now we begin to pay back

All through the music

 

Our Friends

Unmeasurable:

That’s the value of your love

And we love you, too

 

OutNorth

To the ticket man

I can’t remember your name

But glad for your help!

 

Rebecca File and KSKA (91.1 FM-Yo yo, Ephy, too!)

We love your station

And our favorite Frenzy

Musical siblings

 

Resurrect Art Café- Seward, AK

The loft sounds perfect

And gives us vitamin D

Sun-starved Alaskans

 

Shara Dorris

We love your support

Octopus Ink is so rad-

So much fine art there!

 

Steven Bacon and Kendra Kinsey

In your harmony

You told us that “Life is Good”

And you were darned right

 

Sunrise Inn, Cooper Landing

Oh, your piano…

We love to play at your bar

Love the Chippendale dancing

 

Taproot

The south to the North

Music and community

Great introductions

 

Ted Kim

Thirty hours in

Your art resides in our dreams

Stuff of fantasy

 

Tikka Ballas

Crazy, singing gal

Your spunk is insidious

Love your smiling face!

 

Tony from Seward

As Jessi’s good friend

You let us stay in your place

Post beer drinking: BRAVE

 

Ty Spaulding

My neck is so sore

From watching you dance out there

Tears of joy roll down

 

UAA Music Dept and Fine Arts Bldg

I spend too much time

In your practice rooms and halls

Our band enjoyed them

 

 

Kat's thoughts: May 21, 2012

 

Summer 2012 Tour Video Blog!!!

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/A0sHxx-30YU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

 

Kat’s thoughts: May 20, 2012

           So it’s been a hell of a wild ride over the past month. We’ve gotten a lot of press lately, and it’s all been great. It began with Matt Sullivan’s blogged review of our debut album, Harmonic Toast and continued with David Harper’s amazing article in the Anchorage Daily News and Jeri Kopet’s interview for the Anchorage Press (for the links, check out the "Tour and News" section of the website); we recently chatted with fantastic radio personality Loren Dixon from KNBA and had the pleasure of joining the airwaves on KBBI in Homer, and my boyfriend said he even saw one of our stickers on a “No Loitering” sign in Fairview. Needless to say, it’s awesome, but it’s also been a great learning experience.

            I don’t know if you all got to read David’s article in print; not only was it a great read, but it was beautiful. There was this gorgeous spread: the whole front page of Play was graced with Carly Garay’s awesome band photo of us. It’s crazy and humbling all at once to see something that cool in print and realize that you’re a part of what it’s all about. It’s a pretty neat story, actually, how that photo came to be; we had been working with Ted Kim for our CD cover art and we began daydreaming about cool photography. Immediately our mind turned to Carly: she’s super-talented, incredibly creative, and super chill. I think it may have been one of the first things that we could easily agree on as a band (the other was Ted Kim’s art, come to think of it.) Usually there’s an eight-step, highly emotional process of decision-making held over dinner at Pho Lena.

Well, when we pursued Carly (we wooed her with dinner, roses, puppies, and long walks on the beach) we found that both our parties were pretty busy and that there was really only one day that we could do the photo. Now, I can’t say that our photographic experience was nearly as dramatic as facebook’s “HEY Anchorage, We’re Taking a Photo!” (https://www.facebook.com/groups/201243173310616/) (wherein Jack Tobin wrangled like a hundred odd musicians or so in ONE PLACE at ONE TIME) or Jackie Schafer and the Standard Deviations’ shot (where Kerry Tasker had four jazz musicians  -on a tight timeframe- dodging traffic on Fourth Ave. for an epic shot with the old theater in the background with just enough time for one picture which turned out great, by the way (http://www.facebook.com/StandardDeviations), but our experience was equally as perfect and epic.

We had all these ideas and, as we were driving around, Carly was like, “Hang on a minute, I know the perfect spot. It has an amazing couch.” All of a sudden we were whisked into this adorable little artsy house downtown where two nice gentlemen were spinning records. The two dudes were Carly’s old roommates and the house was as cool as could be: it was super colorful, with mosaic doors, and even a stained-glass window; and she was right: it had the most perfect couch. Well, Carly was right on in her vision, the photos turned out gorgeously, and I think it’s a testament to Carly’s personality, the fact that two of her ex-roommates let her cruise in, unannounced, with four strangers and commandeer their living room and move a bunch or stuff around (and, yes, I think we changed outfits like twice in their bathroom.) It really shows how awesome she is. We couldn’t be more grateful for her artistic prowess, her vision, and her willingness to take on the job (of herding cats) for a photo.

Anyway, the long and short of it was that we had a dear friend take our photo and then, due to our overwhelm at everything that we had to do and all the stuff we were working on, when that awesome spread came out with David’s article, we realized that we forgot to attach the photo credit. The realization was instantaneous as we read the article and we felt horrible at our mistake. I recognize that we’re amateurs who love to make music (and are doing alright at that, I think) but, as far as the business side of things, we’re totally fresh. We’re starting to get better at it, but we’re not perfect. And, as cheesy as it is, it’s better to acknowledge that you made an error than ignore it. 

So, anyway, I want to say a simultaneous “thank you” and “your awesome” to Carly: your work is so fantastic and we’re so grateful for everything you’ve done. Though we missed the opportunity in the ADN to share with readers the credit that you deserve, we’ve got it from here on out. I never thought about how much (when you do get a public portrayal in the press –whew, alliteration) you come to have a “face” that people recognize. Carly, you’ve given us a beautiful “face” and we can’t wait to share it with the rest of the country. Finally, for those of you who are in the Anchorage area over the month of May, you should totally head over to Crush Wine Bistro and check out Carly’s exhibit. While you won’t find our picture there, you’ll get to climb into another pocket of her artistic brain and explore incredible, new visual territory.  Personally, I can’t wait to see even more when I get back. Keep on creating, Carly; the world is so lucky for it (as are we!) 

 

 

ARE YOU SERIOUS, BANDVISTA?!?- April 10, 2012

I'm writing you a simple poem 

Since BandVista deleted my post

I should have known better and highlighted my text

Protecting myself from deletion by the host

But it's just a fluke, it won't happen again ----(to be sure)

Because -if it does- I'll tell you the truth:

This computer's going to be slammed on the floor

So all of that info that I'd crafted to prose

Is now in the ether. Where? Nobody knows.

And nobody will because it's gone for good

A will no longer steel, just old rotten wood

I just can't rewrite it, though I lust for its return

All that cool stuff I said, to share it, I yearn

But it will just wait for another fine day

When my soul isn't broken. For now I'll just say

Goodnight and good luck, and always press "save"

For you never can be sure how your laptop will behave...

 

Bathing and Blogging- Jan 7th 2012

     Ok, it's true, it's true: not only do we blog, but we bathe, too! Hooray! I promise not to submerge my computer (as there are still eight days left of recording and I wouldn't want to leave the band hanging.) Well, I stayed up until 6am last night after having an instantaneous burst of energy wherein I wrote and garageband recorded a new tune.

       I promised my bandmates that I'd sleep tonight, so I will leave you with one quick update: Day two was AWESOME! I remember, a couple years back, going to see Drum and Bugle Corps with my dad (if you're as clueless as I was, here's what that's all about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hF_fNaZvw8o or watch the 6 minute informational video on this site: http://www.dci.org/about/) Anyway, when I went with my dad I was so stoked by each group as they performed. I was stunned by the very first group; these were musicians hauling ass across a field while simultaneously playing brass instruments and throwing things to one another. Awesome. My dad just looked at me and shook his head, "You ain't seen nothin' yet, kiddo. Just you wait." Those words came again today when I expressed my exasperation about the way that our tune "Big Lee" was taking shape. Thankfully both Ken and Evan, awesome and respectful as they are, didn't call me kiddo, but the ethos was the same. And I believe them, too; it's like our songs are taking the shape that we've always wanted, but just didn't have enough hands to do onstage. Layers of impeccably bowed strings, thick and luscious harmonies, and mellotron- yes, mellotron- are all getting laid down in an epic adventure of sound. I literally had to hold one hand behind my back to keep from going hog wild with the mellotron.  I'm starting to realize more and more that the hardest thing about music is not coming up with new ideas, but balancing them in a way that allows the balance of  both diversity in sound and tasteful space. There's just so many ideas and options and I want them all everywhere! Luckily, aside from being concerned with my sleep patterns, my bandmates are great at keeping me in check with orchestration. Thank goodness. Anyway, it was a blast of a day and I'm so stoked for eight more. I highly recommend a)becoming a musician so you can b)record an album. It's so fun. Best work I've ever done. Can't wait till we get to the drums!

     Well, I better get to the bath and my bed; I promised no manic songwriting sessions tonight!

  

 Headphones and Heartbeats- Jan 6th 2012

     I'm sitting here at Twisted Penguin watching and listening to Miriah and Theresa play the string section to "Torn and Battered," typing between sections and feeling nothing but the pounding of my heartbeat as I sit on the floor, trying to stay quiet after drinking caffeine earlier today.  But seriously, I think it's pounding harder than normal- not from the coffee but from the fact that I'm in love with my bandmates. It's true; I can't deny it. I know I'm in a relationship and all, but Alex will just have to understand; he's going to have to share. I just feel so lucky to be surrounded by so many fantastic and driven musician friends. I seriously don't know how to handle this whole situation. It's the first day of our ten day stint of recording and it's been a mix of excited apprehension, overwhelm, and straight joy. Anyway, I just wanted to update you all and let you know that we're in the studio, the mayhem has begun and I'll keep updating you as things come along throughout the sessions. Thanks for tuning in (no musical pun intended.)

 

 Test Test- do you read me? Ground control to Major Tom: where do you buy your shirts?

 NEWBIES - Jan 4th 2012

       Good afternoon, world (or at least bandmates, good friends, and family members), this is Kat from the Super Saturated Sugar Strings with the first ever S4 BLOGPOST! So this is actually my third try because I have accidentally deleted the first two attempts as I switched pages sans saving (let that be a lesson to you all- SAVE, SAVE, SAVE!) But, as english 101 teachers everywhere rally at my continued perseverance, I must say that it has been a great exercise in philosophical thought. With every deleted post I wonder: was my last approach good? What do S4 listeners want to read about, anyway? Why are we even doing this blog? Well, I can only answer the third of those questions conclusively, so here we go:

     As anyone who has every tried to make a living with her passion knows, not only must she be driven, but she must be competitive and marketable, too. So, during a band meeting the other day, it was decided that -like other great artists out there- we, too, must find a means to share information about the offstage portion of our trade (information on when, where, and why you should come hear us play; what cool new stuff we're trying; and when new records will be out [SOON!])  So, we did some extensive research and have found a great artistic model on Twitter: ASHTON KUTCHER. We will let his philosophical insights guide us to a higher level of thinking, which we will then share with you in this blog. Ok, that was a lie, and a cheap slam (since he did apologize publicly after his gaffe.) Really, I have no problem with Mr. Kutcher at all, though it is a good lesson to think about (THINK BEFORE YOU POST!) That said, since I elected myself to the position of "S4 Bloggeresquer," if you take any offense to anything you read here, please let me know during a set-break (until I figure out how to enable comments...? Yikes. Could be a while...??)  I swear that isn't a ploy to get you to shows- I'd rather draw you with music- I'm just terrible with this interface. Anyway, we're always open to input, feedback, etc. But I digress. I'm sure all of you readers out there are thinking, "enough with the blabber, Kat, when you are you going to tell us about the newbies (of the blog title) -what about them? 

      Well, to the main point of my post: NEWBIES! No, no, sorry folks, there will be no miniature Sugar Babies (as delicious as they are- remember those candies? I heard that Sugar Daddies lasted for seven years in the stomach...Ok. I just searched it and couldn't find anything except for someone selling some on E-bay and and blog about "escort lovers." Probably just an old wives' tale.) So, no one is preggers, but there is still a ton of new stuff going on with the Sugar Strings. 

     To begin, HAPPY NEW YEAR! What a fantastic and fresh NEWBIE! This year is going to an awesome year for the Sugar Strings with our years anniversary, a new album and an awesome tour! We hope that it's an awesome new year for you, too, and we will try our best to make it even better with great new tunes and fun music for dancing!

       Right now we are three -yes, three- days away from heading into Twisted Penguin Studios here in Anchorage for ten days of creative musical madness. For some time now, we've been putting our heads together with Ken Sease and Evan Phillips to find the best way to capture our love of playing music with one another and put it onto an album so we can share it with you and your home stereo. The time has come, and we're all super excited to get in the studio and work with all kinds of cool things that we've been dreaming up that we might not necessarily be able to do in all live shows, but that we think would sound super cool (two octave beer bottle orchestra, anyone? Thank to all of my beer drinking friends for the components!) I listened to some of Carlyle's scratch tracks as I wrote this and was blown away. I'm so excited to share our sound with all of you, especially my family (thanks for always playing cool music for me and supporting my spastic desire to make noise; you rock. I CAN'T WAIT to send you an album!) Ok, ok; digressing again. Yes, there is going to be some bad-ass sounds coming out of Spenard over the next couple of weeks. 

     Another new development in the world of the Sugar Strings is our SUMMER TOUR 2012! Last Friday, over enough coffee to wake all of Brooklyn before 1pm on a Saturday, we began planning our tour of the western edges of the continental U.S. Right now, it looks as if we'll be headed through WA, NorCal, CO, UT, MT, and possibly the fringes of some other states. If you know a cool town in which to play, drop us a line; we'd love to come visit. We're just in the very early stages of planning right now, but I will be updating you all on here as to our whereabouts and when-abouts.  Well, I had better be off, I've got to go make a list of 80's songs to sing and play casio pad for, so I'm signing off.

 Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you'll follow the blog- not in the sense of clicking some button, but really just checking in to see what we're doing and tell us how you are doing as well (in the meantime, send us an email from the main page!) I really hope you enjoy the ramblings of this Sugar String and I'll write more soon. In the meantime, enjoy listening to good music from near and afar and we can't wait to play for you soon again! 

 Love, 

the S4


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