Thursday, April 28, 2011

Stand for Something

Art is something that creates itself. It forces itself into being. Through our souls. Through our hands. Our eyes. Our ears. Our breath.

Since is is birthed out of intention, we, as artists, need to have a passionate and larger intention. This path is not for everyone - I do think that real artists are actually called to pursue this path. And it frequently doesnt lead to fame, or even sustainability for that matter.

But that doesn't matter. We dont make art to live. We live to make art. It is in our very essence. Our very existence. I speak with seasoned musicians that tell me they would much rather have done something else, but they couldnt. This was what they had to do. And I can relate. (Though I wouldnt trade this for anything in the world - save maybe world peace and global compassionate consciousness).

We all need to stand for something. And artists even moreso.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Northside Last Night

There is something about the Northside.

I'm not sure what it is, but there is something there. I've always liked the club, from the first time i walked through the door almost a decade ago.

Its dark, intimate atmosphere and narrow space carries a spark. Something in the air.

Perhaps it's the Luigis that struggles in. That delicious dough and marinara.

Perhaps it's the ghosts.

They hold the refrains from the thousands of songs sung there. They hold the residue of the hundreds of artists' dreams and creations. They dance in the silence. They sing in the hum of the lights and in the pauses in conversation.

Or maybe I just project these feelings on the room.

Maybe I just want a space in Akron where there is some magical aspect. Some little place that is my own personal Greenwich Village.

Whatever it is, once my feet touch the stage, Im transported to the peace of comfort, yet inspiration. Even on those nights where 7 of us are in that room.

My Northside nights are a space where anything goes. Old songs not sung in years may be dusted off. New songs may be sung for the first time. Any song might be altered or re imagined. And of course, any cover that might inspire me in the moment might arise.

Last night, I opened with Coming Home, which i havent played in years. It was a song I sang for my dad's funeral, and always reminds me of him, though it's not about him. The version was special, and felt quite inspiring as it was leaving my mouth and fingertips. A full version of If was rolled out too. Affinity made an appearance as well. The Traveller made its second venture out ever. I really like this tune. It's potential grows everyday.

About an hour in, Cameron joined me, rocking the beat box. And the goal is always to make Cam laugh at some point & bust up the beat boxing. It's an inside joke i think. But it's fun!

Shortly after that, Courtney joined us for Mountainside, Must Be & Home. Home is always awesome. One of the most fun songs to sing, even though I had no hand in writing it.

 The night drew to a close with a magnificent Life that included a full fledged dance-a-thon in front of the stage. Possibly even a dance off between Cameron and Sarah. Then, it medlied into Kieshka, and I ran around the building. 

But it was the encore that really got some response. I only like to do covers that I feel I have an attachment to and that I can bring something to. Covers that lots of folks have done, or that have a "quintessential" version, I like to steer clear of as much as possible. But I'd had Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" on my mind this week. So it asked if I would sing it. And i did. It was magical. By far the best version I'd ever done of the song. Lots of passion. The room grew totally silent, and I could actually see goosebumps developing on everyone! What a feeling.

Maybe it'll ask to be sung again sometime.

Until next time!