AHHH-Knee

[There is no picture here because during live music all other possibilities fade away]

I know, don’t burn yourself out, right? It’s been a year, and now two posts in one day? One hour really.  But I didn’t get to explain exactly why I am awake at 530 am, hair on fire (not to be confused with the Morrissey song), writing to you.

I saw Ani last night. Yes, again.  Listen, they are my little pieces of paper, Ill do with them as I wish. I was amazingly inspired and eternally grateful (as always) to bear witness to someone sharing their passion, bringing joy, in flow, or whatever you want to call it. And all the while being exceptionally gracious to rowdy fans demanding their own personalized concert experience.

A decade or so of tiny decisions brought me there. The most recent – getting tickets for this show super early while working at the venue. This happened concurrently with one of the most miserable and difficult semesters of my career. Good seats were, by far, the BEST thing to come out of that job.

I was so grateful, not only for the experience, but also that I too am a musician. That I was inspired by so many amazingly passionate artists to pick up a guitar and write my own songs. I was so overwhelmed, I scrawled a nearly-incoherent thank you on a copy of our EP, and hucked it onto the stage between the show and encore.  ME…the reluctant lion….the anti-self-promoter.  But I thought, maybe, one of my little songs will make her laugh -a humble offering for all I have received.

Welp, I almost failed gym once for refusing to play softball (take that Urban Dictionary!). I’m not even good at Frisbee. Sadly, my lefty curve defied me and buried the CD under the protruding angles of the monitor’s backside. sigh. I suppose it’s possible a crew member will pack the gift up, and it will eventually get to its intended target. In the event it winds up in the hands of the school maintenance crew…Craig, Steve I hope you enjoy it. I miss you guys.

Oh, and Ani, THANK YOU. For you. For everything. Namaste.

 

CD Release Party Announced!

Moosejaw Muldoon will be celebrating the release of their EP Local Honey on Saturday October 27, 2012 at Cool Beans Coffee House in Toms River.  The band will be playing songs from the album, and other crowd favorites, and the CD will be available for sale.

This event is absolutely FREE!

Don’t miss the pre-halloween festivities! Come in costume!!!!!

Broken. Open.

Meditation Garden at Omega Institute

The Omega institute is a magical place. My tent nestled beside a lake, in the upstate New York woods, I made my way with trepidation to the the first day of class. I was about to learn Performance, as a path to Presence.

I was nervously early, and was greeted warmly upon entering. However, until more people arrived, I made my way to the perimeter of the room, and picked a book off the library shelves.  I sat aloof in the corner, gathering  information.

Five days later I had 14 new best friends, and I had performed in my first ever theatrical musical, in front of a substantial audience.  Looking back, it seems so surreal. I performed a vulnerable piece, one I had written, without the security blanket of my guitar.  The next day, as I was leaving, a woman stopped me and asked if I’d ever considered writing for theater.  Seriously? No, I responded,  I hadn’t. EVER. She gave me her card.

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Ain’t it the truth?

So another highlight of Bamboozle was meeting one of my Jersey Band Heroes….again.  Dramarama put on a great show, and John Easdale walked up and down the aisles after the show, engaging with the fans.  He even stopped for several photos, including one with 2/3 of Moosejaw Muldoon. Gracious does not even begin to describe his demeanor.

Moosejaw Muldoon with John Easdale

I first met John Easdale at Surf Stock, when Matt Pinfield was still at 106.3 (WHTG), and 106.3 was still a real radio station. He was leaning against the bar at the Surf Club, and I still wasn’t quite old enough to drink.  After bestowing some awkward, yet devoted praise upon him, he charismatically played down the compliment.  I followed with “Well, you’re a better guitarist than I am”.  He replied,  ”Then you aren’t practicing enough”.

Turns out, he was right. Within a few years, I could play and sing just about any Dramarama song.  I thought of that while we were talking, and resolved to put at least one cover in our set.  Perhaps meeting him again was a reminder that I needed right now, poised on the cusp of major changes in all areas of my life.  Living is to keep practicing. Who’s to say it ain’t takin me too far?

By the by, the spirit of  WHTG lives on at Altrok.com, and as an HD2 stream on WBJB 90.5 Brookdale Public Radio.  Universe save the radio.

 

photo by Jen Wolny

 

Utterly Bamboozled.

Bamboozle Logo

I’m still tired.  I thought we took it fairly easy, showing up around 4, staying until the fireworks.  Of course the foot, train, and car traffic added some time to our commutes.  Overall, it wasn’t the most amazing festival I’ve ever attended, but it was well handled, a boon for Asbury, and there was some great live music. Oh, and it was on the beach in my favorite NJ city. Can’t beat that.  If I had to summarize, I’d say:

  • Go see the Foo Fighters live. Seriously worth the entire ticket price. The most mindblowingly amazing two hours of the festival.
  • Festivals inspire great cover choices:  the Foo’s paid tribute to Pink Floyd and Tom Petty, Brand New did Nine Inch Nails, the Gaslight Anthem covered Teenage Wasteland… and those were just my personal favorites.
  • I’m all for DIY, but a show is not a kid with a laptop. Dramarama, the Foo Fighters, Bon Jovi, Brand New, and the Gaslight Anthem all proved live rock is not dead – and they all appeared to be having a blast playing.
  • Local Bands have more heart: Dramarama, the Gaslight Anthem, and Bon Jovi all talked about Asbury, and how great it was to see it re-emerge as the soul of NJ.

Until next show, we return you our regular programming.  Check the vids on YouTube-all the cool kids capture and post their memories these days.

 

Tribes

The summer sun got up early, and so did I.  I should still be asleep, after a late night train ride home from Bamboozle.  I can’t say I was in it for the music last night, but it was totally worth hanging out on the beach with old friends, getting free swag, and taking in the spectacle.

I’m more excited about seeing the Foo Fighters tonight. And of course, spending a beautiful day on the beach.  Something about a music festival draws me in, even when it doesn’t really reflect my musical tastes.  I enjoy watching the way music brings people together.  Whether or not I personally was entranced by Skrillex, it was fascinating to watch a crowd that was totally into what he does, the same way I will be at the Afghan Whigs reunion show in Asbury this fall.  The same way I’ve been at so many shows in my life, part of a tribe, a community of some kind, brought together for a common purpose.

I am sure I will have more to say about that after the entire festival. And I’m sure Ill have more to say about being a part of this community, although we seem, upon first reflection, to be fairly different.  Maybe that’s all part of the magic.

Rock (Rock)

I’m still kind of speechless. Speechless in the way that whenever you try to explain how unbelievably significant something is, it comes out in jumbled cliched phrases of amazement.   ”Wow. That totally rocked ” is a total undersell, but its the best my stunted words can muster.

I’m talking about Amy Ray, the punk influenced Indigo Girl, who I lost track of for a hot sec, and who just played Asbury Park in support of her new album, Lung of Love.  With Kaia Wilson opening the show, it was not something to be missed, and so there was a highly anticipated ‘band bonding field trip’ to the show.

Turns out, rocker Ray is still utilizing Kaia and the other two members of the Butchies as her road band, a fact which made me exclaim “SHUT UP” loudly as Allison Martlew walked past me and onto the stage. She smiled. *I blushed.*  If you want to know what it sounds like, the MVP CD carries the energy of the live show.  I’ve been listening to it on repeat, from every device that I own, for weeks now.

This show was groundbreaking for me, the same way it was at Gaby and Mo’s in Austin eleven years ago watching them cover Tom Petty’s “Refugee”. Something broke open – again. It reminded me 1. The ability to rock is not age-defined  2. The benefits of doing what you love cannot be overstated, and 3. This needs to be a part of my life’s work. somehow. someway. HAS TO. 

 By the time they played “Put it out for Good” I was ablaze with possibility, tranced out to several of my girlrock heroines and believing there was nowhere anyone in the jampacked Saint would rather be at that moment.   If they’re playing your town and you miss rock n’ roll, there is nowhere else you should be either.

 photo by wfuv (Laura Fedele) 

And never the twain shall meet…

Files for personalities

Photo adapted from chiotsrun

It may seem like things have been quiet around here, but nothing could be farther from the truth.  I’ve been keeping very busy, learning and growing, and continuing to find my place in this world.  Part of me has been yearning to share all of the things on my mind, but every time I’ve tried, my fingers and brain have stuttered and frozen.  Perhaps I can start with a story.

A colleague of mine recently shared some solicited constructive criticism regarding my dedication to my profession.  He intimated that I was a little too excited to take in some local live music rather than continuing to network with peers after spending several ten hour days with them at a professional conference.  I then realized that academia and I are not as compatible as I had previously thought.

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Manic Creativity

Ferris Wheel at Seaside Heights

It must be something in the air, or maybe it’s the moon. I’ve been crazy creative lately. Stay up all night an work on something, take a nap, and then continue working, kind of creative. Until you aren’t sure if the sun is rising or setting, because you’ve been so completley absorbed.

First, there was the website overhaul, then a video for colleagues competing for a grant.  It’s not even one of my own projects.  I’ve always enjoyed the rush of deadlines, but  I have to wonder why I was so happy pulling  together this project for them, when I can’t seem to muster the same enthusiasm for my own job.  Perhaps because part of it was about creating original music and audio engineering?  Perhaps because I’m just completely burned out at work.  Either way, I think an answer is crucial as I work on my career reinvention.

Whatever is spurring this manic creativity, I hope it sticks around for awhile. It’s not exactly balanced, but it makes me feel truly alive.

Watch the video on my YouTube Channel: Mercy Garden Project

And if you’d like, Vote for  “Louise Wooton’s Idea”  from Gardens for Good on Facebook or the Nature’s Path website.  You can vote once per day until September 30th.

A less laborious weekend

Labor Day was founded to pay tribute to American workers, and celebrate our economic and social prosperity.  Over the years, the holiday seems to have evolved into a celebration of doing anything fun that doesn’t involve being at work.  Summer is ending, kids are going back to school, it’s getting dark earlier – all of these things seem to justify beaches and bbqs and various other avenues of “fun fun fun” untill the sunset takes the weekend away. Or something.

Maybe it is the blessing of not sustaining storm damage from Irene, or maybe I’ve been thinking way too much about my impending reinvention, but I really want to have a low-key, fun weekend.  I don’t want to have to plan, or worry about much of anything.  I want to wake up, and decide what I might want to do, as it happens.

 Pretty radical, right? I’m WILD.

So I’ve started my spontaneous fun weekend by making one really interesting decision.  I have a show at the Sand Witch on the Asbury Park Boardwalk on Sunday (6pm, if you’d like to join me).  The band hasn’t practiced much lately, and I have decided I am going to do the show solo. It just feels right.  In fact, it feels like I should make more of my decisions based on that type of metric.

Listening....

I just do what the voices tell me.

Hope to see you there! But if something else comes up, I hope it is a blast!