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Friday, July 30, 2010

Bigmouth Strikes Again

Speaking of bigmouths! I seriously have NO IDEA what was happening in this picture, but it always makes me laugh.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cemetry Gates

Taken at one of the many cemeteries in Colma, CA.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Never Had No One Ever

Photo by my dear friend Hillary Wright Hildebrand

Friday, July 16, 2010

I Know It's Over

<a href="">I Know It's Over by smithsproject</a>


Dear Mr. Lynch,
It means the world to know that you've listened to my music! Thank you for giving a mere nobody a moment of your time. If you ever need an all-vocal soundtrack, I'm your gal.

Thank you again for years of inspiration!

I'm dedicating today's song to David Lynch and Julee Cruise as a thank you for years and years of inspiration. Eraserhead was the first "experimental" film I watched as a young teen and it had such a huge impact on me. I didn't have cable TV growing up, plus I'm the daughter of a minister, so there wasn't a whole lot of experimental influences in my environment. His movies have such stunning visuals, raw emotions and quirky sense of humor. The way he combines beauty with fear is genius. I used Julee Cruise as my musical inspiration for this song since it already seemed to want to be a 50's ballad of sorts. Pairing wispy vocals with the dark lyrics seemed like a very Lynch-y thing to do anyway.

Mr. Lynch, where ever you are, I thank you. You absolutely blew my mind and changed the way I think about music, art, movies- even the way I decorate my house. In fact, the room I'm sitting in (total mess- no picture!!) has black and white striped carpet and red walls.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Frankly, Mr. Shankly

I know several of you were waiting for my take on this one. I literally just finished it TODAY!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Queen Is Dead

This song was previously posted a few months back from my performances with the Hooligans, but it officially marks the beginning of the next album: The Queen Is Dead!

I'm about halfway through the project now. I recently went back and listened to some of my earlier songs I can't believe how much I have grown musically in the past 6 months. Having to constantly push myself to try new ideas and arrangements is really taking me into new territory. There are times when I think, "What on earth will I do for THIS song?!?!" and I'll have several mini panic attacks while the song rattles around in my head for a few weeks. It's a delicate balance to do justice to the original songs while still making my versions stand on their own as good songs. At some point, the "Ah ha! Moment" happens and the piece quickly takes shape with each idea building off the previous layer of vocals.

Before this project, I had no idea I was capable of this. I'm able to reproduce the arrangements I hear in my head pretty accurately without a single instrument being played. I've been practicing my beatboxing and coming up with new ways to record vocals. I'm incorporating more pitch-shift (down an octave) into the songs, which really opens up the sound field to get more of a fullness that would otherwise require me to hire a whole choir. The Smiths are helping me discover what my voice is capable of and who I am as a musician. In many ways, this project is quite literally changing my life- and you're watching it happen in real time.

So when you're wondering what the next song will sound like, just know that I'm wondering the very same thing.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Meat Is Murder

(Last song on the album!)

This song is for the lovely ladies at my two favorite vegan blogs!
Quarry Girl:
Have Cake, Will Travel:

And also for my cat, Marzipan. AKA Marzi, Steven Pantrick Marzissey, Marzi Davis Eyes, Thrillerpan, etc.

Pimpin' Pan


Wait, was there confusion as to why I dedicated Meat is Murder to my cat? I'm not trying to say people regularly eat house cats! I'm just saying animals in general are cute and nice and we should be nice to 'em. (Except sharks. Maybe.)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Recording Session with Jose Maldonado

photo by Josh Cadwising

Interlude by blackpiano

Jose Maldonado (singer of The Sweet and Tender Hooligans) has been one of my great supporters from the very beginning. I can't thank him enough for all the encouragement and opportunities he have given me through radio play and inviting me to take part in the Sweet and Tender Hooligans Shows last May on Morrissey's birthday. Months ago, we decided to do a cover of Interlude by Morrissey and Siouxie. I put the backing track together ahead of time and then recorded Jose at the Indie 103.1 studio in LA after we did the Breakfast With The Smiths radio show. Here it is!

I also did an impromptu recording of Jose playing his guitar and singing whatever songs came to mind. I took them home and added my vocals to them a few weeks ago. I think they came out great as well!

Lovelife by blackpiano

Speedway by blackpiano

Ask by blackpiano

Friday, July 2, 2010

Barbarism Begins At Home

You will notice there is something missing from my version. There is not one single "WUUUHH!" in the entire piece. My boyfriend kept saying, "YOU GOTTA DO THE WUUHS!" And then he would snicker.

But no. It's called "creative license," people. And for the record, I also do not hump rocks or play bongos for cows. (I'm sorry, Morrissey. There are just some things that should remain special, just for you.)

If you must, consider this your chance to do some karaoke and add in all the woops and wuuuhs you like.

Speaking of COWS...
Here's a Friday funny for you. Check out the comic How Soon Is Cow, by Theo Radomski. Thank you to Lyndsie (one of my new listeners!) for sending it to me.

Here's Theo's site: Hastily Put Together