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Work In Progress. 

I have a hard time letting life, myself be a work in progress. It is why I write songs, beginnings, middles and ends in three to five minutes. Get in, get to the point, get out.

I have used music my whole life for company, companionship, comfort, to get through fantastic loss, mental, spiritual, physically brutal trauma. I have also learned how to let music transmute all of that into something useful to me.

Healing.

​​​​I moved to Northern California twenty four years ago, with a sleeping bag, a small suit case and three hundred dollars, after dropping out of Emerson College. I met my husband Matt when I was twenty two at the school we both still work at. I quit drinking at 25 and recorded my first EP at 30. These were all game changers, victories for me. 

In all things that mean anything to me I do my best.

I have actively sought a career in music for much of my adult life, though honestly, with the exception of the love of writing, creating and recording the music I have no idea why. Let's say that I find the life style unappealing.  I hate most bars, I don't  go to a festival unless I am backstage. I don't like most hotel rooms, or road food. I need sleep. I don't care about someones last gig, or their upcoming one, how many tickets they sold, or who they are opening up for, and I don't expect anyone else to give a fuck about mine. I am not a fan of the hustle or the pride in music culture to live in hustle.

I find it relieving to say all that out loud.

This is a wierd way to feel right now, as I have written and recorded the best record of my life. I think I will or at least could have real commercial success this time around and from where I sit right now I could care less. 

Maybe this is what letting go of something i've yearned for looks like. Maybe this is what ego crucifixtion feels like in 2018. Maybe take it or leave it is the gateway state of mind I have been waiting for and a path to follow from here. Maybe I was supposed to become a shrink.

Maybe this wasn't even my dream. Maybe music is just another part of my tool kit. Maybe music was Grace's way of giving me therapy without paying for it- wait, I take that back- I have spent at least a downpayment on a house making music.  Maybe being a professional artist was never the point.

I may not care about fame or the highlife, but I do care about music. I care about art.  Maybe that is enough information right now. Maybe something really cool is being tailor made for me. Maybe staying true to yourself no matter what the path is what I am doing. Maybe i'll make my money back and break even. Maybe i'll become self supporting through my music. Maybe I won't. Right now it feels good not to care either way.  Work in progress.

On an animated note. If you live in the Bay Area for long enough, life connects you, as it has me through varying syncroncities and circumstances, with folks who are connected with some of the larger chocolate factories. (Skywalker, Twitter, Google etc.) This weekend for me, I got through the gates of Pixar to see a friends and family viewing of The Incredibles 2. It was one of the few times I wished I had a kid whose mind would be blown by the life sized lego Buzz Lighyear and Woody, but I got over it fast and decided to grab Woody's package.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May Peace Be With You 

Fame is a pressure cooking bunch of garbage and one of the most toxic addictions of all, having nothing to do with happiness, balance, or loving life. It’s a collective vampire that drains beautiful spirits to the point of hanging from ropes on the backs of doors in fancy rooms. Alone. Always alone.

The most creatively inclined, hilarious, loving, living folks I know also live with some degree of anxiety, depression, and addiction who need to stay grounded in a few close relationships, creativity, and day to day tasks to stay safe, connected, sane, alive. Making your gifts about money and notoriety means there is a backslide on the way. Always. What goes up comes down. Always. We are not meant stay in orbit.

We are not our worldly accomplishments, our money, other peoples ideas of us. Mr. Bourdain, Mr. Williams, Mr. Cornell, Ms. Spade and everyone else we lose every single day to this worlds ignorance I am sorry. So fucking sorry. May we all see ourselves clearly in your reflections.

Bowled Over By Beauty 

A choice is made every moment I am awake. To see, acknowledge, feel, allow, touch, smell, arrange, eat, play with, or  ignore, resist, scoff at, compare myself to, and destroy it.  I am referring to the beauty of this world. A beauty I cannot- I will not live without.

Flowers, art, song, salad, smiles, books, eyes, friendship, service, community, simplicity, calm, bark, stone, water, swing sets, picnics, beaches, hilarity, witnessing people evolve right before my eyes every single day. 

 

Today I am bold over by beauty. It's all I can see. Painted pink toe nails in the dirt, the city garden I share with an ecclectic mix of Mexican, Japanese, African American, Honduran, and German neighbors. The two little girls living in a one room studio with thier father, in the large plantation style house next to us, who after three years of living here, now come down and garden with us. They need to know they are apart of the beauty, that they deserve beauty, that they are the beauty, the eyes, the art, the bloom, the evolution. 

I see the fat, happy, city rat climbing the Magnolia tree, the two turtle doves who live in the towering palm trees, the matted down beds made by the family of deer, who sleep in my front yard everynight, the brown squirrels, the resident humming bird, the worms under the rocks nourishing this garden oasis, nourishing us all in the middle of a bustling city block, on this tiny patch of glowing light on this wacky, and painfully beautiful planet.

 There is light everywhere to be acknowledged, adored, appreciated, smiled at, given back to, replenished.​​​​​​​ My choice right now is to see it, write about it and say thank you. Thank you for all this beauty.

Most Graces Aren't Flashy 

If my path in music has taught me anything it is perseverance, though the most common practice of perseverance has been the practice of patience. The reward of patience, and redefintion hasn't been the large check, a spread in the major papers, or the unprecidented deal with a lable that won't put me in a half million dollars of debt. It brought a few more degrees of patience. Most Graces aren't flashy, most go unnoticed in a mad world like this one, but some are like getting into a warm bed after surviving a crash landing, with the realization that all that was actually shattered  was your self pity, self seeking, and selfish motives- as excrutiation as it is relieving. 

Sting once said that music is it's own reward. He's right, but he was also a successful millionaire many times over when he said it. Harder to stomach wisdom coming from rich kings, but i'll take it. Yes, it was another week of practicing patience, getting rest, re evaluating, uncertainty of how, who, when, I will release my record, and ask myself A-FUCKIN-GAIN what the highest good actually is? What is right for my marriage? What is right for my health? What is right for the songs? What is the highest service to others? and to get peaceful with what answers come from truely asking these questions.

Standing my ground mostly with myself during times of persevering- patience -building has been the battle. At times pushing and pulling in the wrong directions, giving power to the self serving expections of myself and others, boarding ships I had no business being on in the name of pioneering with agendas that rocketed me out of orbit into depletion, loneliness, dead ends, defeat, surrender, and the eventual courage to hit the eject button. Abort mission! Abort mission!!

When my expectations of where I thought i'd be came crash landing ..again,  and I was brought to my knees..again, with the necessity to redefine what success is for ME at this very moment. The definition is fluid, the list growing smaller, but more essential, the consequences of straying off it more acute, at times devestating-the rewards of honoring it quieter, clearer, strengthening, empowering. I have learned to create under severe constraint. This has made me a better artist and at times a better human being.This path is a meditation. At times a relentless pain in my heart and ass, but one that demands I keep it simple, allowing something as basic as breathing to lead the way.

The truth is I have no idea what to do next other than to wait while my manager knocks on big music industry doors for me. She believes in me. She believes in my work. She worked with Prince.  It's possible that Grace had a hand in this.  For now it's back to patient perseverance.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grace Indeed 

To start off and perhaps state the obvious a singers main instrument is made of two tiny little rubber band like chords in the throat. My poor vocal chords began the week before my first record celebration for Windows surrounded by infection that a round of antibiotics and a week off of work hadn't yet killed. I was panicking, but a small fraction- like 8% was trusting I could pull it off. 

The RSVP's were in. A big fancy house booked. Food, wine, babysitters, band hired, download cards and cd's ready to go. I rehearsed through the sore throat and low energy all week. I went to work and panicked more. My trust at about 3% now, but 3% was still something to work with.

I picked up my best friend Beth, who flew in from Boston for the show to support me. Just seeing her made the Grace-o-meter go up to 25%. We stopped for Kombucha, Coconut water, protein, and more throat losenges before heading back to my city cottage to chill and TRY not to talk though we hadn't been in the same room together for over 2 years. 

 

 

I awoke Saturday morning with a wretched sore throat, total depletion, and a heavy dose of anxiety. How was I going to pull this off tonight? Do I call my fairy god doctor Skylar for a vitamin B rock star shot in the ass? I decided to stay in my cave with the covers over my head and listen to native flute music in the dark.

 

 

 

 

My husband and bass player Matt went out and got more honey, lemon and zinc. He took Beth for a hike while I slept and freaked out. Matt picked up, packed up and set up every single thing we needed for the event, which was two cars full of PA equipement, and all our instruments. By the time he set off to set up I felt like I was on drugs about to have a bad trip, but I still had a little voice in my head telling me WE were going to pull this off. Duh Aim, you are not in this alone, which brought me up to 13% trust. 

 

                      

An hour and a half before I needed to get in the car Beth made me do yoga, put on pre-show music, and jump around my house. I took a shower and put my face on bringing me to 45% trust. I got a text from the head of music relations at YouTube telling me she was coming to the show which jacked me to 68%.

I drove to the gig and entered a beautiful home on the water. Pam, Jeri and Matt already there and setting up in the large yet intimate space. Our house host Lisa made us welcome and comfortable to make her space our own for the next 6 hours. We sound checked, which was the first time I actually sang all day to see if I had a voice that didn't sound lika a 6 year old with swollen glands. I knew I had enough voice to get me through the set. 72%.

As I escaped for the remaining time to a big sunny room upstairs I listened to the guests arrive. I ate apples. I listened to Pam and Jeri do a short set and felt overwhelmingly grateful they were on this journey with me. I listened for curator of Inside Lands House Concert Series and friend Drew Pearce to announce my name.  I walked into a reality I wasn't sure I could trust would come that morning. I landed in my place behind a mic and a piano, with my band at my side and a room full of loving listeners and I sang, which brought me to 92%.  ​​​​​​​

 

                 

                      Jeri Jones and Pam Delgado                           

 

 Jeri and covering Accordingly by Chris Whitley

To top off my evening my a now twenty year old friend Myles, who we have watched grow since he was five  came on his own accord to support us, which brought me to a full 100%. Grace indeed.

                      Myles

                             Happy Band

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graces of the Week. There is Light On The Surface 

Keep it simple. Step into the next right movement. Plant your feet on the ground with out shoes as much as possible. Spend time watching bugs, butterflies and birds.

Eat or drink green stuff a few times day.

Bring more of yourself to the world than you may feel comfortable with, because when you do it allows people to know you and be more of themselves too.

Wear color often. Colors deep as caverns.

Move things around your home often so the energy of your own sanctuary doesn't stagnate.

Watch the light on the surface.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look at everyone with out exception as if they are 5. Remember that the entire spectrum of people you see during the day all have deep challenges they walk through.

 Remember that when people are being horrible they are usually in fear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Me age 5)

 

Sing. it helps calm you down like hanging out with animals, like getting paid.  If you don't feel like you know  what the next phase of your life is going to look like, look down at your feet and remember that all you need to do is take the next right step.

 

Ask out loud even if no one is around for some help.

Say it now. Help.

Now trust it will come because it ALWAYS does when you ask.

Say thank you when it does.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop for a minute, look out the window and ask yourself what were the graces of the week?