Friday, June 14, 2013

Maybe Guitars Should Be Sold With a Strap On, And a Strap-On

Being a woman is hard! Hide your nipples and your tampons. Fight cravings. Deal with PMS. Carry babies. Etc. Granted there have been great feminists who have opened doors, shattered windows, broken through glass ceilings, and then after they finished working out their PMSing, they made great strides for us women. But when are the feminists going to focus on the Women’s Rights Movement part about Women Musician Equality? There are a few places I like to avoid because they are not kind to, um, my kind, women; Church, dark alleys, construction sites (Sometimes. Sometimes I need the pick me up), and music stores. More times than I could count, whenever I walk in to a Guitar Center, or Sam Ash, or what have you, the sales guy (always a guy) asks: “Are you shopping for your boyfriend?” Uh, I don’t have a boyfriend. I don’t need a man. Independent woman! Then I break into Beyoncé’s Single Ladies dance routine. Lately, I find it better to disguise as a man when I go buy strings or drool over over-priced guitars. Exaggeration? Maybe, but dude’s clothes are way more comfortable and muffin top friendly. Do I fool them? Never. My hips don’t lie either, Shakira. To be honest, there have been those times when the sales guy isn’t so much trying to sell, but he is trying to school me on the gear. I don’t hold it against him that he doesn’t know I worked for a music store for many years (probably the only woman in a blah blah mile radius), but as a musician, he should know that I know the difference in electric guitar pickups. On my latest visit to the music store that will remain nameless, mostly because I don’t remember which one it was, I was perusing the songbooks section, and came across a book titled “How to succeed as a Female Guitarist. (The Essential Guide for Working in a Male-Dominated Industry)” As a female and a guitarist, I was upset and offended, but I not by the author. No. She meant well. I was mostly upset and offended that this book had to be written and published at all. Where’s the “How to…for Male Guitarist” book? When has there ever been a woman on a top guitarists list? When can woman jam out with man without man feeling superior and taking the lead? When will I be able to afford my dream telecaster? Does this sweater make me look fat? Why am I wearing a sweater in June? Why can’t I just get paid for listening to music? How many calories in eaten up resentment? It is true the ratio of female to male musicians is just under the ratio of female to male magicians, but why does female to male musician still come second to male? Why can’t it just be about skill? And what is the measure of skill anyway? Fast solos? Knowledge of chords? There are plenty of women that I can list who are better than a lot of the men out there. If I sound like a disgruntled musician, who happens to be a woman, it is because I am hungry, and probably PMSing. What’s today’s date? If you don’t want things to get messy, here are the demands: Leave us alone. Stop treating us like bass players. Recognize the talent. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. And look away when we eat. Just. Just look away.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Why I'm Not Awesome Like Annie Clark, or How Third Eye Blind Ruined My Life

This is Annie Clark...

This is Annie Clark on drugs... wait, she doesn't do drugs, and this isn't a PSA blog.

She's gorgeous, isn't she? What did her momma eat?! I do not know. And unfortunately for me, neither did my mom. Le sigh.

Née Annie Erin Clark, she is best known to people with good taste in music as St. Vincent. Musical genius. Guitar goddess. Coolest person this side of the Mississippi. ('This side' is of course determined by what side of the Mississippi she finds herself at any given moment.) Obsessed much? Me? Peut-être. But to you I ask, how could I not be? Go to Youtube, or iTunes, or Amazon, or drive to your nearest record store (good luck finding one) and get yourself familiar with the awesomeness that is St. Vincent. Go ahead. I'll wait here.


Are you back? Do you now understand why I'm obsessed? You love her, you say? You are her number one fan now? Ok, you are taking this too far. Back off! I saw her first! I will get my shank, and show it to you. You will be impressed. I made it myself. Might've gotten carried away with the BeDazzler, but it's pretty.

Anyway, yes. Annie is cooler than the other side of the pillow that has been resting on a bed of ice, in a room with no heater, and the window was left open, and it's winter. Naturally, I find myself asking myself, and the universe, and my mom, "Why am I not as cool as Annie?" I got no answers. I told myself to go fuck myself. The universe ignored me. And my mom said "Que dijiste?"
I decided then to let it go and pursue an easier question "Where did my life go wrong that I am not awesome at music'ing like Annie?" (Never mind if that makes sense and/or is grammatically correct).

I did a little research*, and was able to compare our musical paths. (Now she is only, like 2 years older than I am. Like only two. Like, I mean...Ok, I've reached my "like" quota.)

Age 5
-Annie receives a toy guitar.
-I receive a toy accordion. (Womp womp) My brother got the little toy guitar. I told my parents I wanted an instrument. Something with keys would be cool. I was expecting a keyboard, or a muthafuckin piano. I get the accordion. Le muthafuckin sigh. No worries. It's still a music instrument, I told myself.

Family influence
-Annie's uncle is like this amazing brilliant Jazz guitarist. (Ah, I used 'like' again). The man is so good, it is insane! (Google Tuck Andress)
-My dad was in a band before he got married. So, before I was around. He, of course, sold all his gear before I was born. Le sigh.

Music education
-Annie is a trained musician. She went to college for 3 years then dropped out, but I'm pretty sure that was only because she was better than what they taught there.
-I took violin lessons in elementary school. Taught myself guitar by ear and books.

-Annie got her first guitar at 12. And started learning songs by Neil Young and Jethro Tull.
-I started using my dad's guitar at age 12 (yeah, I didn't get my own) and started leaning songs by Third Eye Blind. Le major sigh!

WHERE DID MY LIFE GO WRONG?! As you can see by the information I have just presented, it was clearly the part about learning Third Eye Blind songs. Those assholes are the only reason why I am not playing Coachella and Bonnaroo and Sasquatch later this year. When I am dying in my deathbed, or deathfuton (let's face it, times are tough and unpredictable for us struggling foo's), and I am asked if I regret anything, it will be learning Jumper on guitar and not something cooler.

In conclusion, what happened to Third Eye Blind anyway? Are they still making music? If so, I need to warn any twelve year olds who may be wanting to learn the ways of the guitar using their music. Then I am gonna need their fan mail address and write them a letter asking for an apology.

*Watched a lot of youtube videos. A lot of them!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It Takes Two To Make A Thing Go Right.

Favorite Duos.

Fred Armisen & Carrie Brownstein

Emily Haines & Jimmy Shaw

Amy Poehler & Tina Fey

Leslie Knope & Ann Perkins

Ethan Hawke & Julie Delpy

Annie Clark & her Harmony Bobkat guitar


& Microphone


& Ears

Peanut Butter & Jelly


& Everything in the world!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Boooooo, Ghosts. Boooooo!

What is the deal with these ghosts, eh? I mean, why is it that when we hear of places being haunted it is always ghosts scaring people to death. Look at every movie ever made (Casper being the only exception. I bet that wimp never got laid). Just what in the world do ghosts have to be so angry about? They died? Big whoop. Why be an asshole? Why? Let’s look at the advantages of being a ghost, shall we. We shall. Okay, first off, um you can fly and teleport travel everywhere. That right there is like the biggest deal sealer for me. And what do you do, ghosts? You waste it. You stay in the same lame ass, old ass house where you died, or lived. Lame! If you need more proof than that that being a ghost is cooler and better than being a human, um how about this? You don’t have a physical body, therefore, you do not feel physical pain. No cramps, no toothaches, no migraines, no ‘just got kicked in the balls’, none of that stuff. Still need more? Okay, okay. I’m pretty sure since you don’t have a physical body, and ghosts don’t usually travel in packs (it’s a lonely life for ghosts) you don’t need to and wouldn’t date, be in relationships, be married, or any of that mess. That means no emotional pain. No drah-mah! Let’s recap, flying/teleporting? Yes. No physical pain? Yes. No emotional drama pain? Um, yes please. Oh and also since you have no body and nobody you don’t even have to stress over your appearance. I mean what more can ghosts ask for?

Now, if and when I’m a ghost (because if I remember correctly, we all get to be ghosts when we have unfinished business, and with all the time I spend YouTubing and just sitting around reading and listening to music, I will no doubt have lots of unfinished business) I would be using my ghost powers for good. I would be like a ghost superhero (if there already is a ghost superhero, do not tell me about it, and go back to reading your comics, nerd. Ha) I would use my flying and teleporting abilities to travel the world. Because, let’s face, that will probably be the only way I’m gonna get to see the pyramids of Egypt. I am the 99%. I mean, who would wanna stay in the same old ass house and haunt people in the future who have nothing to do with you? Get a life, ghosts!
Isn’t haunting just so exhausting anyway? Like, my therapist, astrologist, and spirit guide (don’t judge me, they aren’t really real anyway) all agree that all those bad, negative feelings are really just bad for you. It’s best to bury the hatchet while one still physically can. Let bygones be bygones (what else can they be? Bacon?) And leave all grudges behind. Just be nice. You don’t have to be Casper, but be a nice ghost. So, I wouldn’t get back at my enemies. They would’ve all died before me anyway. And I would not haunt poor innocent people, because I have “ghost issues”. No. I would, however, prank the hell out of loved ones I left behind. Hahaha! Oh man, I’d prank them so hard! Haha!! I would tell you what those pranks would be like, but if you are a loved one of mine, and you are reading this, I do not want to ruin it for you.
Also, the only haunting* I would do would be inside a rugby or soccer locker room and Ryan Gosling’s bathroom.

In conclusion, ghosts, if you are reading this, just calm down, relax, take up ghost yoga and stop being so angry and scary and asshole-y, ghosts.

That is all.

*Lurking around. It isn’t weird if you are a ghost.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

More BFFs and Baby's Daddies

Yet another installment of people who should love me as much as I love them.
This is I believe the fourth one. I lost track. But remember this one, this other one, and this one also.

Come on ladies, let's hang out and watch Bridesmaids together.

Laura Marling

Annie Erin Clark


Come on dudes! Let's do this.

Ewan McGregor

Joseph Gordon Levitt

This Guy (I dunno who this guy is, but I want him. Ha!)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Things that have made me cry today...

*Disclaimer: (Before my family starts to worry or something) 2011 has been a pretty freaking cool year. I have had a lot to be thankful for. Here's hoping next year is even better.*

I have been totally bumming it today, watching daytime, eating things that I will regret tomorrow, marinating in my own juices (you are all welcome for that one), etc. etc. No Black Friday shopping for this gal. This broke gals. But that's ok. From the looks of it, being broke has saved my life today....or possibly the lives of others. I can be ninja crazy sometimes.
All this tv watching has been a little emotional, to be quite honest. So I turned off the tv, and decided to spend the rest of the night you tubing music videos and/or porn, and listening to music so loudly that my neighbors will wanna get invited to this gangsta's party. But before I get on that, here's some of the things I have cried over, and I swear I'm not even pms'ing...I think. Where's my calendar?

Things that made me cry today:

- The assholes at the local news show surprised a nurse with the early holiday visit of her Soldier husband. What asses?!

- The one commercial where the dude in the army gets a book with a recorded reading by his kid (don't remember if it's a boy or girl. That's not important)

- The burn victim on Dr. Drew.

- Maury's DNA results show. So many daddies, so little time.

- Multiple universes!!

- Re-watched Queen of the Damned and realizing I have the soundtrack and am still kinda really into it. Ugh. Tricky and Korn are on that, you guys. (Full Disclosure, I have two Korn cds. Double ugh!)

- Re-watched before Sunset. Need I say more?

- The commercial where the bubbles are talking and are friends and one of them pops and the other one is all "nooooooo" and crying and then pops. It always gets me. Such a metaphor for life.

- Jillian Renynolds is still on tv.

- The preview for one of those CW shows came on where all the people are gorgeous and then I contemplated where my life went wrong, and then remembered the multiple universes and how maybe in one of them I'm on a CW show. Then I remembered that I remembered the theory of multiple universes, and got all existential again.

- The commercial with happy women, dressed stunning while eating chocolate.

- The people pepper sprayed in that one Walmart probably didn't get their Xbox.

No, TV has not been kind to me today. This is why I stay away from it most of the time. And, as I tell myself every night between my nightly prayers (aka jam sessions)why I don't need to upgrade to something flat and big, and cable-y.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Signs of a Music Addiction

I have always been in love with music, but I am pretty sure that as the years progress that love became an obsession and then a full blown addiction. And I’m completely okay with that. It is an addiction that keeps growing and shows no signs of slowing down, let alone stopping.
In case, you, reader, are wondering if you may also suffer from this but are not very sure, here are some of the signs…

- Have considered selling furniture/appliances to go on a shopping spree at Amoeba.

- Making a pros and cons list on giving up eating so you can use money for groceries at Amoeba instead.

- Forego shopping for things you need (like clothes, and shoes, etc) because one of your favorite artists is going on tour…again…for the third time…in the same year.

- Overdosing every night on E*

- Doctor? What doctor? I’ll just listen to this “Feel Better” playlist on shuffle and I will get better.

- Can only give and receive advice in the form of song lyrics.

- Have music playing at least 21 hours a day. (I prefer KCRW on my radio while I sleep, until the 3am news)

- 90 percent of your wardrobe is band t-shirts.

- Tattooing your body with band logos.

- Your time spent youtube-ing live music performances/music videos > your time watching online porn.

- Will never not refer to your “awesomeness” as jelly and/or milkshake.

- Have a different song assigned as a different type of ringtone for every notification and every contact on your phone.

- Wait until the good part of said ringtone to come on before answering your phone. If you lose the call, they will leave a voice mail and then you hear THAT song.

- Tune boring/gossipy/whiny people out by singing a song to yourself.

- Name your unborn children after your favorite songs.

- Hear a song. Like it. Learn to play it. Repeat.

Etc. etc. etc.

If this sounds like you or someone you know, we should totally hang out and probably get married.

Also, I would like to thank my enablers/dealers: Sophia, Kathy, Ariel, Jason, my bro, and everyone at KCRW. I have put you all in my will and/or saving a kidney for you.

*E = Esthero, Ellie Goulding, Elizabeth Powell, Elisabeth Maurus, Emily Haines, etc. etc.