Friday, December 4, 2009

Experiment- an ode of hypocrisy and LGBT marriage

Here's a solo version of "Experiment".

A couple slick samples of TSAN live at Vic's on 11.21.09

A clip of us playing "Still Stuck" at Vic's. Thanks to Bob!

And "Pig Roast"!

Not so Scary Clips of TSAN live at Oldfield's on High on Halloween!

Here's a clip of us playing "Scrooge". Thanks a bunch to Brenda for the footage!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Super-colorful Poster for November 21st Show at Vic's

Be there or be square (or be not in Columbus, Ohio- in which case you may or may not be square, but coming to the show is not a determining factor).

What are those brown chunks floating in the gravy sauce?

I wrote this song about 8 years ago when I was not a vegetarian. It humors me. It usually humors others, too. I hope it humors you.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Is something still cheesy if it’s done with full awareness of the cheese-factor?

Oldfield's on High is a bar with that regularly hosts live music in the OSU campus area. We were invited by Pinebox and Jester Jack Band to do a show with them on Halloween night. We went on first around 10:30pm and played a 45 minute set. The sound system was pretty darn good and the guy running it was quite nice. There was a super-nice woman named Brenda who was taking video of all the acts. I had the chance to talk with her later... definitely an awesome person. I'll post her footage when she gets a chance to upload it.
Backstage while Pinebox set up, I got a chance to talk with Greg from Jester Jack Band. Greg just joined their band a month ago as the bassist. A few years back, we was part of Willie Phoenix’s band. We bonded over the stickers on my guitar case. Yeah, cheesy as it is, I do put stickers all over my guitar case. Where the heck else should I put these cool stickers? I mean, I’ll only put a select few on my car. Is something still cheesy if it’s done with full awareness of the cheese-factor?
<-----Kyle from Pinebox.
Pinebox did a great set. They create an awesome, chill environment. We all swapped CDs. Adam digs our song, “They Grow It.” (Thanks, Adam!) Kyle took photos while we played, so I tried to take some good ones of them to return the favor. (Thanks, Kyle!) We’re looking forward to our show with Pinebox on Nov. 21st at Vic’s.

Adam ---> from Pinebox. Adam and I have matching shirts.
Rich and I stayed for a good chunk of Jester Jack Band’s set. They are a jam band. They did a really good cover of a Pink Floyd song (yeah, I know them well enough to know it was Pink Floyd, but not well enough to name the ultra-popular song that was covered). Jack’s voice is good and his guitar playing is excellent. The drummer was solid. Really, the bassist, Greg, was amazing especially as he’s only been with them for one month.
<-----Logan from Pinebox.
So that's that. I was jazzed b/c my phone said 1:30am when Rich and I left the

Unfortunately, time changed that night, so it was 2:30am. So it goes.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Spooky Eye-ball Clown OR Cute Bumble Bee???

Why hello! We'll be at Oldfield's on High on Halloween night!! I'm trying to decide if I should be a spooky eye-ball clown or a cute bumble bee. I guess it will depend on my mood that night. Halloween is definitely my favorite holiday. Good times to be had. Oh yes.

WHAT: Show featuring Pinebox, Jester Jack, and TSAN!
DATE: Saturday, October 31st
WHERE: Oldfield's On High
2590 N High St
Columbus, OH 43202
WHO: Anyone and everyone over 21


Friday, October 2, 2009

RECAP: 2 Shows- GOBS of ROCK.

On Saturday, September 12th, we did a show at the Treehouse. It was Electric Grandmother's 100th show AND Hotel Eden's last resident show in Columbus. It was also a home OSU game... an evening game! It was decided that OSU football home games kill the music scene. Luckily, there were some non-football folks ready to rock. Pinebox started the show around 10PM. Very cool electro groove going on with neat visuals... We went on after them. We had a bit of a hang-up with a lack of steady electricity. So Rich's laptop was acting up. And sooo... we had to cut a couple songs from our set to be courteous to the other performers.

<------Proof Electric Grandmother then took the stage. They do sitcom-core: rocking songs mocking and celebrating sitcoms from the 80's and 90's. Pete writes/ sings the songs... Mary Alice puts together and operates the slide show to go with them. The combo is super-fun, silly, and high-energy. Happy 100th show!!

Hotel Eden finished the night with his last set in Columbus as a resident. He's heading to San Fran. I was jazzed to get to see him live. Great electro-pop music with a DJ twist. Super-cool.

On Friday, September 18th, we did a show at Victorian's Midnight Cafe (Vic's) with my friend Kevin Milner. Kevin traveled from Dayton to join us. Due to 315's awesomely confusing construction and detours, he made a rock-and-roll entrance just in time to hop on stage. Kevin started a bit after 9PM and did an hour+ set. He does heart-felt folk music. It was wonderful to hear him play again. He even did a Kimya Dawson cover. :) As an added bonus, we got to meet his fiance and brother. Very cool people.

That's Kevin Milner---->

Rich and I did an hour and half set. We played our usually set-list plus "Mourning Time" (a new song). I think it was well-received. It was great to play for some folks that hadn't heard us live before. Great, attentive audience. Good vibe. We'll be at Vic's again on November 21st. It's a great place to play... very cozy... great sound... full bar... good coffee... tables and bar stools... nice set-up for sure.

Thanks to Katie and Bob for taking pictures... you can check them out on our flickr page:

Friday, September 11, 2009


A couple weeks ago, Rich and I met with Alexandra Kelley from Columbus Underground. We had a great chat. She was very interested in why we market our band, Team Smile and Nod, as "lesbian-fronted". I was jazzed to be asked that question.

Here's a snippet from the article about our CD, Look Both Ways Before You Die:
"With 20 tracks, it blasts through themes of homophobia, vegetarianism, and consumerism like a smoking chunk of political dynamite. Some of her lyrics make hardcore statements and others teem with dark humor, but all are designed to provoke discussion."


Go here to read more:


Thursday, September 10, 2009

September 12th: Team Smile and Nod, Pinebox, Electric Grandmother, and Hotel Eden at the Treehouse!

If you are in Columbus, do come by the Treehouse this Saturday. It's a pretty sweet line-up of electro bands. It also happens to be Electric Grandmother's 100th show AND Hotel Eden's last show in Columbus before he moves to San Francisco. Pinebox puts on a sweet show with a video background (so does EG). Point being... this should be very fun.

In summary, I've been reading a wonderful book called cunt- a declaration of independence by Inga Muscio. I recommend it to everyone. In the world. It is mind-blowing. Often it gives words to thoughts I've had and didn't know how to verbalize. I should have read it years ago when Katie recommended it to me. Don't make the same mistake as I did. Read it now! Cue: Reading Rainbow theme music...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bug Bites, Photo Shoots, Practice- Damn It.

A summary of current happenings and thoughts:

*I have 3 bug bites on my forehead right now. And they itch.

*I need to sing more. Here's the cycle that has developed: Team Smile and Nod has a show about once a month. For a couple weeks after the show, I don't feel like singing that much. So I don't... that much. THEN, once we start practicing for the next show, I realize, wow- my voice needs some work. SO THEN, I must sing a LOT before the next show so my voice is strong again. This is the cycle. If I made myself practice more every week, I wouldn't need to cram near shows. Must. Work. On. This.

*Last Sunday night, we had a photo shoot with Kellie Manier. I believe there will be some super-cool photos. Why do I have such confidence? 2 reasons: 1)Kellie 2)A four foot inflatable red dino... with drum sticks. We will be taking some more photos tomorrow... HOPEFULLY, I'll post some soon.

*In summary of this summary, if you look down and see an extremely creepy bug in the carpet by your desk, don't forget about the cacao nibs that were snacked on in the dark a couple nights ago while playing a hidden picture game.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wholly Craft and Crafty Thoughts...

It's been a while since I've blogged. I feel this odd sense of failure when I don't blog ultra regularly. AHHH... self-imposed guilt is awesome, eh? Thanks, Dad!

Soooo, I've been thinking about a handful of things lately. Here is a list in no particular order:

1. It would be nice to be me and Katie's cat, Murmur. Seriously. She is so loved. And she sleeps so much. And she's so soft and furry. Basically, I want to sleep all day. Bliss.

2. Why do people think I'm a guy? I wish they didn't. 'Cuz I'm not. Damn it.

3. I'd like to do something for Columbus Metro Libraries ( The funding cuts they are dealing with are so messed up. It makes me very, very angry. Very angry, indeed. I'd like to turn that anger into action. Some ideas are brewin'...

4. I think depression is inherited.

5. We've got a show at Wholly Craft in August. I'm pretty excited for it. The outside of the shop is pink. Need I say more?

In summary, at some point it might make sense. But then again, it might not.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

YOU haven't HEARD the new Josh Groban CD???

One holiday season (my favorite time of year, by the way… give our song "Scrooge" a listen), Katie and I were at my dad’s house hanging out (for lack of a better word). His sister was there, also hanging out. We decided to put on some music. My aunt asks us "Have you heard the new Josh Groban CD?" Katie and I look at each other, smiling. We politely say, "No, we have not." My aunt looks at us as if we are crazy, seriously crazy and out-of-the-know. Uber un-hip. So un-hip that I had to use the word uber. To help prove how un-hip I am.

In conclusion, maybe it was a great CD. I don’t know, I wouldn’t know. And really, I don’t expect her to know what kind of music we dig. But why would she think our musical tastes would line-up to hers? Further, I know that she had heard some of my band’s music. Would you really think the woman who writes the songs for Team Smile and Nod would be a big Josh Groban fan? I am not dissing my aunt’s choice in music. Also, I am not dissing Josh Groban here. Seriously, he has found his market. He does what he does very well. Let’s just say that Team Smile and Nod and Josh Groban have VERY different markets. Katie and I often reminisce about that moment. Wonderful.

In summary, my cat loves catnip… especially fresh catnip. Guess what plant did not come back this year? Poor cat. We must plant some more catnip.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Chewing Nails Turns Philosophical

I've chewed my nails since I was a kid. Sometimes I really wish I could stop. I'm better than I used to be... I mean, I'm conscience of it, so I can purposely tell myself not to bite my nails in public. But then, when I'm alone (or with Katie)... gnaw gnaw gnaw... then scrape scrape scrape (to even out the nail like sandpaper). My mom chewed her nails. Then, one day, she decided she wanted to stop. So she had her nails "done". It worked. It was her "reward" to herself for stopping. My guess is that the plastic just wasn't as satisfying. Alas, I will not be having my nails "done". Nope. Wow, that would look funny on me. Maybe not. Maybe it would look awesome. French manicure, perhaps. I mean, really, how do I know I’d look funny? Am I limiting myself due to personalized stereotypes about myself to myself? Whoa. I think I am. But also, I know I will not be having my nails “done”.

Yeah, that’s right.

In summary, Noam Chomsky is brilliant. Why don't the brilliant people rule the world? Seriously. I think world leaders should be subject to IQ tests before they are allowed to claw themselves to the top. AND compassion tests. Damn it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Teaching You to Teach YOU Guitar- LESSON 3: MORE Accessories

Here is the third part of a little series called: Teaching You to Teach YOU Guitar. Throughout this series, I'll share little tips about how to pick a guitar, what accessories to purchase, how to read tabs, how to tune your guitar, how to change guitar strings... the basics. The idea is to empower the watcher with a few tips to get you strumming. I'll share my personal approach to playing and learning guitar. AND, hopefully, I will not bore you to tears (although, I make no promises). The third video goes through the final accessories that you will need to play guitar.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Paper PUZZLE Party with Team Smile and Nod!

DATE: July 11, 2009
PLACE: Victorian's Midnight Cafe- 251 W. 5th Avenue (at Neil), Columbus, OH 43201
COST: $5 suggested cover

When is the last time you sat down with an awesome cup of coffee and challenged yourself with paper puzzles... crosswords, word searches, sudoku?

Have you ever had live music provide the atmosphere for your paper puzzling?

On July 11th at 8PM, Team Smile and Nod will provide the musical backdrop to your puzzling pursuits... heck, they're even going to provide the puzzles!

Join us for a puzzling time!

For info about the band, please visit:
For info about Victorian's Midnight Cafe, please visit:

Friday, June 19, 2009

"If You Stop"- Rehearsing for PRIDE!

Team Smile and Nod rehearse "If You Stop" to prepare for their performance at Columbus PRIDE Festival (6/20/9 at 1:45PM). You get an inside glimpse to how very silly they are. Very silly, indeed.

WIN some Team Smile and Nod SWAG!

I decided to prove how easy and fun it is to enter the QUEERICS Gay GIVEAWAY! All you do is answer one of these questions:

*Which queer artist melts your heart, and why?
*What band or musician do you most wish was queer?
*If you were to create the ultimate queer 4-piece band, which musicians would you choose? Why?
*Which queer artist have you been listening to for the longest? How'd you discover them?*What's the most awesome thing you've ever heard a musician say about his or her sexuality?
*What would be on YOUR Pride month mixtape?

THEN, post your answer on your blog, myspace blog, facebook... where ever you can post content. FINALLY, send a link to your entry to QUEERICS@GMAIL.COM.

Please follow the link to QUEERICS to get prize details... but really, it's that easy. 11 people will win!

So here's my entry that will not be entered to win:

*Which queer artist have you been listening to for the longest? How'd you discover them?

Ani Difranco. I found out about her from one of my good friends in high school who happens to be Ani’s second cousin… So I was a mega-fan through high school. I even used a quote from her song “As Is” for my graduation speech! Rah ha ha!! Her music definitely aided my coming out process. And, of course, she is one of my hugest musical influences. And now, for a semi-off-subject story: Take a trip with me to the summer of 1999… I had tickets to see Ani… her “F-Word” tour with Maceo Parker… she had just released “Up Up Up Up Up Up”. I was set-up to go with a group of friends. Before the show, my friend (who is Ani’s second cousin) told me that her dad wanted to give me his backstage pass since I’m such a big fan. WHOO! And so, I gave my unused tickets to my parents (Cool, huh? They totally wanted to go!). Side note: Columbus (Ohio) had just passed a law that allows women to go topless. It was an outdoor concert, so my parents were hanging out with the topless Ani fans! So after the show, we went backstage. Ani was super-cool and chill. She even asked me, “What do you want to do?” I said, “Play music.” She said, “Play and play and play and sing and sing and sing and you’ll make it.” And so… I suppose that I also answered the question: Which queer artist melts your heart, and why?

Friday, June 12, 2009


To celebrate, QUEERICS, Team Smile and Nod, and Elizabeth Gearhart have joined forces to bring you a super-fun give-way!

Queer alternative music
Want to win a Team Smile and Nod CD??? A glow-in-the-dark tee? Buttons? Stickers? A custom small watercolor painting by Elizabeth Gearhart!?! You have until 11:59 pm PST on June 28 to enter! Follow the link to learn how to enter:

While you're there, check out the QUEERICS website. It is a wonderful resource for those of us looking for LGBT musicians, bands, and songs. FURTHER, the creator of the site, Chesh, is flippin' fun and hilarious. Check out the QUEERICS blog so you can see what I mean:

11 people will win! Why not you??? Enter! Tell you friends to enter! It will be fun for everyone to read how everyone answers the question(s)!

PRIDE time and place changes!!!

Hello! Team Smile and Nod will now be performing at 1:45PM instead of 2PM on Saturday, June 20th! Also, we will be on the FREEDOM Stage instead of the 'Gayzebo' Stage. Here's an updated flyer:

Check out for details about the festival... there are TONS of performers and activities going on that weekend... SERIOUSLY, it will rock.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Truth and Fact

Hey there~
Here is an acoustic version of a song we're working on. We'll be doing an upbeat, electronic version of it at Columbus PRIDE Festival (it's hard to picture, I know, but it works). I consider this a lesbian love song... It tells the story of how my partner helped me heal through a horrific experience and re-learn who I am. I hope you like it.
Take care and cause ruckus,

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sweet-ASS Columbus PRIDE 2009 flyer, eh?

The flyer was created by Jesse Smith... he also did the art on our CD... Thank you to Jesse!!!

LESSON 2: Accessories (Teaching You to Teach YOU Guitar)

Here I go into some of the accessories that you will need for playing guitar. Here's the list:

1. Guitar Case
2. Capo
3. Tuner OR Pitch Pipe
4. Picks
5. Strap
6. Spare Strings
(7. String Winder... I forgot this in the video... they are cheap and very very helpful)

PART 2 (this will be covered next time)
8. Chord Book
9. Humidifier

Friday, May 22, 2009

Columbus PRIDE Festival

Hello!! Soooo... we are super-jazzed to share that we will be performing at Columbus PRIDE Festival on June 20th! Here's the details:

WHERE? Goodale Park (120 W Goodale Blvd., Columbus, OH 43201) on the "Gayzebo" Stage!
COST? Donation (You can get a wrist band for $10 that gets you in both days from their website)

This years PRIDE Festival is a 2 day event! We will be performing at the "Gayzebo" at 2 pm on Saturday (day 2). There will be tons of performers... check out the website for more info:

4 Bands/ Musicians To Share...

Sooo... I've been checking out music blogs... There are really some great ones out there. It's amazing how I can find some great new music just by checking out the first page of posts. Here's today's findings:

1. The Henry Clap People (found on My Old Kentucky Blog)- just real good
2. Lissy Trullie (found on Muzzle of Bees)- makes me think of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
3. Bowerbirds (found on Obscure Sounds)- great folkie feel
4. Bishop Allen (found on I Guess I'm Floating)- this one is my fav new find...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Teaching You to Teach YOU Guitar

Here is the first part of a little series called: Teaching You to Teach YOU Guitar. Throughout this series, I'll share little tips about how to pick a guitar, what accessories to purchase, how to read tabulature, how to tune your guitar, how to change guitar strings... the basics. The idea is to empower the watcher with a few tips to get them strumming. I'll share my personal approach to playing and learning guitar. AND, hopefully, I will not bore you to tears (although, I make no promises).

The first video describes how to pick a guitar. 'Cuz really, you can't play one if you don't have one. My method is quite logical, as you can see.

Friday, May 15, 2009

social network junkie:

Why hello~

I just learned something really neat... There is this site called (that's the url)... If you join it AND are into Twitter, you can "blip" songs through Twitter. You can blip songs on other sites, too, but I'm not on those sites and don't know anything about them (can you believe it?). Anyways, the point is, it's a great, simple way to share what you are listening to. The sad thing is that, currently, you can not blip about Team Smile and Nod... but I hope to change this. Oh yes. Oh... I should explain what "bliping" is... basically, through, you search for a song or artist... then you click "blip" for the song you want to talk about... then you write a little something about the song (why you dig it, your emotional response to it, it's dance-ability, whateva')... then you click "send" to tweet it... THEN it shows up on twitter with what you wrote AND the url to hear it. SOOO... whoever reads your tweet can instantly hear the song and see what they think... it's a way to start a conversation about it or at least give props to the music you love. AND, of course, you set up a "DJ" page at to be able to do all this... and you can make friends and all that like every site. Here's my page: If you join, please friend me.

In summary, I have become a social network junkie. But I guess that was the goal. I guess. For a double summary, here's a funny pic of me with my friend Randy. I always wanted to shave my head down to the skin, so here's what I look like with no hair at all. Oh, this was years ago... like... umm... maybe 7? Yup...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Songs Posted...

So fun... I just discovered how to embed an "iLike" player on this blog. Sweeeet. Now you can hear some tunes right from this page. AND you can download "Still Stuck" for free. That's right, free download, baby. Rah ha ha!

Ummm... I guess that's all I have to say right now.

In summary, I've gotta get a shower.

Friday, May 8, 2009

6 Bands I JUST Learned About

1. Julie Doiron (3hive)
2. Rosi Golan (digital citrus)
3. Armen Firman (obscure sound)
4. Starlight Mints (you aint no picasso)
5. The Bobby McGee's (wears the trousers)
6. Animal Collective (gorilla vs. bear)

*The blog where I heard and read about them is in (parenthesis).

I look forward to checking them all out... more, that is. Whoooo!

In summary, here's a picture of our cat:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

3 Thangs: TwoGroove Blog Interview, Pat Radio, & Monday's Show

Sooo... Here is Rich setting up at our show on Monday (5/4/9) at the Treehouse. As you can see, there were many stickers on the wall. Also, as you can see below, there is a tree in the middle of the listening room at the Treehouse. Not just a clever name. The show was good... got to hear Super Desserts... they were great. Jeremy Jay had a solid performance as well. We met a couple guys in a band called: The Language Our Fathers Forgot. They were super-nice guys. That is pretty much the summary of the night. My week has been bizzare. I have been quite tired. Yup.

Our song,
"They Grow It", was played on Pat Radio a couple weeks ago. It was very nice... Pat plugged our Treehouse gig, too. Give his podcast a listen here:

We were featured on the blog TwoGroove. They interviewed us. Here's a link if you'd like to read it:

In summary, my enthusiasm is low due to tired-ness. My apologies.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Guest blogger on Out Lesbian!

Why hello!~
I am now a guest blogger on the Out Lesbian Network... You can read my first post here: I explain why it's important to me to be an OUT musician. Sorry I neglected THIS blog! Ahhh... alas, the main thing goin' on w/ our music at this moment is that we're preparing for our show with Jeremy Jay on Monday. It will be a GREAT show. Super Desserts will be performing as well... and gee... they're SUPER! I am TOTALLY jazzed. WHOOOO!

In summary, Katie and I need to clean our gutters. RAR.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Team Smile and Nod on YouTube...

Sooo... we did it! We joined YouTube AND posted some videos! There are a couple videos from COMFEST last year... which happened to be our 3rd show eva'. So yeah, our shows are different now... more fun electronics to work with... i.e. Rich got a MacBook, so that opened a lot of options for us... we use the MacBook connected to a midi keyboard/controller and Korg Kaoss Pad... which gives us lots of options for manipulating the electronics. At COMFEST, we did the show with 2 mics, 2 guitars, 1 guitar pedal, and 1 JamMan (which is this super-awesome looper/sampler pedal where we can store the electronic components to a songs for playback... it's simple, but effective when toting our entire set-up would be silly).

Here's a link to our channel where you can see a few more videos:
I did a couple solo cover songs... I plan to do more. It feels weird videotaping myself alone in a room, but, oh well. I'll try to get some footage of me and Rich rehearsing, too. Please leave a comment, if it's nice ;)

In summary, the tulips are blooming and that is great. Next year, Katie and I plan to plant a bunch of tulips in the backyard in rainbow colors. It will be awesome... Like, a clump of each color in rainbow order... eh?!?! Thoughts like this make us feel soooo very gay. Whoo!

Friday, April 17, 2009


Sooo... I decided to try an audio blog. It's about songwriting... kind of. FYI, I realize that I am not cool. In fact, knowing this releases me from the pressure to BE cool. Further, the layer of music on the "audioblog" essentially PROVES that I am not cool... at all. Lemme know what you think... if you wanna.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Curve Magazine... and us in it... whoo!

Soooo... today I must toot our horn (wha?) and share that we are in Curve Magazine this month of April. Curve Magazine is "the nation’s best-selling lesbian magazine." They printed a nice blurb about our CD and a little pic of us. So very nice!! Here's what they say:

"It's hard to resist something billed as "lesbian-fronted electro anti-folk," isn't it? The interesting combination of politically charged vocals with danceable electronic beats offered up by the duo Kara Sherman and Rich Ratvasky works particularly well on clubby cuts like "Still Stuck," and humorous diatribes like "Consumer Whore."
Curve Magazine, April 2009

Sooo... thank you to Curve Magazine and Margaret Coble (music editor that made this happen AND a super nice person).

In summary, I can't wait for the tulips to bloom! I need some bright, happy flower action!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Pants... Shopping... Sadness

So... the other night I went shopping. Not something I like to do. Not something I do often (except for food). I needed pants. Badly. My current pair was hurting my belly. Badly. So... I went to a store... that sells pants. The employee to customer ratio was about 4:1. Point being, it was not busy, at all. Which is a good thing 'cuz it was beautiful outside. AND, I like to avoid people. Unless I'm in performance mode. But that's another story... So I tried to find some pants in the clearance section... and of course, there's a woman shopping nearby. She starts heading my direction and says, "Can I get by, big guy?" Okay... so I have a hard time speaking when people refer to me by the wrong gender. I'm a woman, with boobs. Obvious boobs. And my face looks like a woman's face. And yes, my hair IS short, but come on now!!! Plenty of women have short hair at this point AND mine isn't even buzzed right now! So I just laughed. Luckily, I didn't feel the anger I sometimes feel. That came later... so I kept shopping... wasn't going to let her destroy my mission. So THEN, she says "Hey, do you like this coat?" I didn't know she was talking to me. "Hey, this coat is a good deal! Do you like it?" I turned... and in my very-much-female voice said, "Uh, no, I have a coat." To which she replies, "We live in Ohio, you need more than one coat." And I say, "I'm fine, thanks." Okay, so I start to realize that she's an insane extrovert type... So I find a pair of pants and go to the dressing room. And THERE she is!! Sitting, waiting for her daughter. I try on the pants... look around a bit more... go to the checkout line... and THERE she is AGAIN! Classic. I flippin' hate shopping.

In summary, Katie keeps me sane. I would likely be dead without her. No joking. No exaggeration. Seriously. I consider it a happy statement.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

SHOUT OUT! Nicole J. Georges!

Nicole J. Georges is an author of zines, an illustrator, has a great personal blog:, and another great blog that is a humorous advice column She has published two volumes of an anthology of her zine, Invincible Summer. She is currently working on a graphic novel. Here is her main website:

Okay, now that you know who she is/ what she does, I must say something: SHE ROCKS. Seriously. I'll say it again, SHE ROCKS. Katie (my partner) and I love Invincible Summer. It is honest, well-written, funny, totally cute (illustrations), fun to read, thought provoking, and fabulous. Point being... it rocks. She's got some super-cute stuff for sale here: OR you can buy her books (Invincible Summer) at Amazon.

Nicole J. Georges kindly listened to our CD... Here's what she said:
"Team Smile and Nod play catchy latin-spiced electronica-folk that is 50% Ani DiFranco, 50% Miami Sound Machine, and 150% Political."

It made me smile. After reading that, I went to YouTube and watched this: DUDE! Check out the keytair!!! Flippin' awesome. So hey, thank you to Nicole J. Georges. Check her out. You will thank me.

In summary, the rhythm is gonna get you.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Compilation of Thoughts...

So yeah, I try to have a focus, but today focus is a no-go. Here's what I have been thinking about: the movie MILK, the website, our new song "If You Stop", what our band goals should be, our band's biography, my girl- Katie- and her awesomeness, our cat and her cuteness, hyphens and ellipsis and my over-use of them, reviews, press, shows, headaches, coffee, water, hunger, lack of motivation, lack of time, social media and it's usefulness (uselessness?), should I join Facebook, the POWERPUFF GIRLS MOVIE!, the movie ADAM AND STEVE (gawd, I love it), how we need new band pics, depression, family, G-PA and his leg surgery, my dad and his back surgery, siblings, gardening, tulips, crocus, roma tomatoes, small paychecks, expensive groceries and bills, happiness (what is it... exactly?)... So yeah, maybe tomorrow I'll be able to focus on one topic... perhaps elaborate a bit. Maybe not. Maybe not until next week. Procrastination: I am the master.

In summary, Joni Mitchell's album BLUE is amazing. Love it. Love it. Love it. My parents had the record... I grew up listening to it in my bedroom... singing along. Just got it from the library the other day... still amazing. Still love it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Anneli Rufus- author of amazing books...

Anneli Rufus is one of my very favorite authors. Her books are incredibly thought provoking, captivating, and beautifully written. They give validation to natural feelings. For instance, The Farewell Chronicles [How We Really Respond to Death], discusses the natural feelings we go through when dealing with death... beyond sorrow. It challenges the way we have been programmed to think we must mourn. It gives the reader a new outlook to death and grieving. Her novel, Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto, analyzes the public view of the loner personality. Anyone who considers themselves a loner should read this book. Anyone who does not consider themselves a loner should read this book. It dissects the way loners are treated and misrepresented in society. And so much more. Anneli Rufus has a new book that I am excited to read... it's called Stuck: Why We Can't (or Won't) Move On. Check out her website to learn about it and her many other books:

Anneli Rufus listened to our CD... here's what she had to say:

Over irresistibly bouncy beats, a sexy/smoky voice sagely ponders the big questions - reminding us, sometimes subtly and sometimes quite specifically, that someday you and I and everyone will breathe our last. If dreams had soundtracks -- that is, the compelling kind of dream that keeps you thinking long after you arise -- Team Smile and Nod should be in the running to provide them.

It actually made me teary-eyed to read. She is one of those brilliant people that I just respect so much... I have learned so much about myself by reading her books... So insightful. And, of course, the topics of her books are things I love to think about and analyze. So, yeah, please check her out... buy her books... at least read them... our public library (Columbus, OH) has them... we actually read them from the library first, but my partner and I love them so much that we had to buy them to re-read and reference.

In summary, read her books (see... I'm so passionate about her books that I couldn't think of a silly summary!)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

QUEERICS- a super-fun website

Sooo... there is a super-cool website called Queerics. It is a collection of songs that have queer (LGBT) lyrics. Each week, it is updated with new songs. There is also a "Gay Guide" on the site which is informative AND humorous. Check it out here: You will notice 3 Team Smile and Nod songs were posted on 3/14/09!! WHOO! Also, we're mentioned in the "Gay guide". Further, the awesome Queerics web-author says some super-kind stuff about us on the Queerics blog: <> So, here's a big thank you to Queerics! And a toast! Cheers! Oh, I also want to mention that the site is really fun 'cuz you can submit songs that you think should be posted. Now, you must have proof that they are indeed full of super-queer lyrics. Not a guess. Proof, baby, proof. So yeah, check out the site... it's really fun... and there are some great artists on there that I hadn't heard of... sooo... whoo!

In summary, some tea is good hot, some tea is good cold, and some tea just isn't good at all.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Songwriting Simplicity...

Hi there~

Sooo... I have been contemplating songwriting style lately. I've become obsessed with it (mentally). Thinking about the difference between songwriting and poetry and just words hanging out on a page... Reading gobs of articles about songwriting... Listening to music in a different way... Thinking about the POINT of songwriting... What is it? Really? Is it capturing my personal experiences and sharing them? Or should I take the approach of taking my experiences, finding the feelings they evoke, capturing the feelings with words... making it something more people can relate to...? I mean, it's got be about the listener. Right? Or is it just about the listeners who happen to relate to my personal experiences? Does it water-down the passion when it's more universal? Can there be a hybrid? I think that is the goal... A song that embodies the passion and emotion of the personal and conveys it in a way that more people can relate... I dunno. See... contemplation.

And have all the great songs already been written? I've felt like that... often. I mean, damn, there are so many geniuses out there... so many beautiful, poetic, universal songs... so many raw, wonderful, personal songs... What is the point? Of course, I could go there with anything. But really, what is the point? I've often told myself that the point is to give people a voice. Give listeners something they feel connected to... give people strength... knowing their not alone. That's why I'm so out with so many issues... I mean, shit, I never hear songs about vegetarianism... and there are sooooo few songs that are obviously about lesbian relationships or that deal with homophobia directly. And yes, I know those are not going to be accepted by the masses... but they are not for the masses. And yes, the feel GREAT to play on a personal level... but I also want vegetarians and liberals and lesbians and the LGBT community to feel represented. There are sooooo many heterocentric songs about wives and husbands and traditional values. And there is nothing wrong with that... But, we need the voice! The point is not to exclude. At all. I feel balanced in that my music partner (Rich) is a hetero man with an awesome, supportive wife and a super-cool kid. And he is into collaborating on, composing, recording and working on these songs. And, of course, playing them live. And I know that in many ways he is an awesome exception. But his friends are also open and into our tunes and come out to our shows... and you know, that gives me hope. There are so many awesome straight allies out there. There are soooo many open-minded, interesting people. Yeah, hope...

Wow... a rant. I guess what it comes down to is balance. Probably a hybrid is in order... songs with feeling and heart and more inclusive? Yet not betraying my social-political values and drive... ooo... it must be possible. I'm trying... oh yeah.

*In summary, 1/2 a pot of coffee does not always elevate the mood.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Indie-Music Review

Hello! I am jazzed to say that has posted a very kind review of Look Both Ways Before You Die. Here's a link:
My fav line? "The retro dance vibe of this record is upbeat and feel-good, which provides a tongue-in-cheek backdrop for vocalist, Sherman, to sweetly croon her often-scathing thoughts." THANK YOU, Beeb Ashcroft! You got it! See... this is one of the things that humors me most... to have upbeat (happy) music with raw/sad lyrics (i.e. "Kill Myself to Death". It cracks me up. So, yeah, it feels good to be understood... by someone I do not know.

Anyways, so today was full of phone calls made... messages left... emails sent...emails received... I feel sooooo damn ROCK AND ROLL.

*In summary, I love dal (Indian-style lentil) soup.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

First Aid Kit... the band

So, yesterday I was more ambitious than accomplished... I did get my part of our new song recorded, but it got complicated. I added geetar first, then vocals, then I doubled the vocals, then uke, then I made a vocal mouth sound track, then I added clapping... After editing it into usable tracks, I didn't have time for the other song. Anyways, I'm excited to work with Rich tomorrow on the song... it's called "If You Stop". And it's ridiculously catchy. And dance-invoking.

I did manage to start learning a song by the band, First Aid Kit. They are a duo of Swedish sisters, and they are awesome. I'm learning their song called "You're Not Coming Home Tonight". It is fabulous. The song, that is. I believe it will be my first YouTube cover song video ... which makes me nervous. I tried a couple takes on Rich's video camera, but I think I need to learn the song a bit better. I also recorded a cover of Dar Williams' song, "Are You Out There?" Perhaps next week I'll post some vids. I'll have to learn how. I'm entering uncharted territory... for me, that is.

*In summary, our cat was lying in our bathroom sink and got toothpaste on her. Eww.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Recording new (old) songs...

So, today I will be recording the vocals, geetar, and uke to 2 songs... one brand new... called "If You Stop"... and one older one... called "Can You Feel It". I just realized that without the ellipse... I don't know if I could write. Well, I suppose that's an exaggeration, I could probably still write. I digress... So, I'm pretty jazzed about recording because I borrowed Rich's new mic and it rocks. It's an audio-technica AT2050... and it sounds amazing.

*In summary, post-it notes are ridiculously overpriced.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

FOCUS... a blog should have focus?

So, I decided that every blog must have a point. SOME kind of point. So, I decided that the point of this blog would be:
1) To share Team Smile and Nod updates and happenings...
2) To share song and CD progress...
3) To share inspiring CDS and books...

Eh? How 'bouts that? FOCUS.

*In summary, I like cats (especially when they are napping and wheezing in the background while I write).

Monday, March 2, 2009

Jeffrey of comics...

Jeffrey Brown, author of many graphic novels and comics, is also a super nice guy. He gave our CD, Look Both Ways Before You Die, a listen and drew this comic for us. Wow. Whoa. Dude. He's so freakin' nice. Please buy and read his comics. They are amazing. Start with "Clumsy: A Novel". If you dig cats, start with "Cat Getting Out of a Bag". It will melt your heart. In a good way. Here's a link to his website: You can buy his books at Amazon, also.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Breaking the Blog Seal...

Hello. I'm Kara. I'm 1/2 of the band Team Smile and Nod. The wordy half. Being wordy, I've decided to give blogging a go. So here I go... into the wild world of blogging...
Now I've written words before... stories... "sudo" blogs if you will... on myspace and such... but never with the intention of regularly writing. So I guess that's the difference... making it a regular thing.

So, I have some worries... concerns...uncertainties… So, I guess I will write them as questions, and answer them myself:

1.) What will I blog about? Answer: I don't really know. I guess what I'm up to. What I'm thinking? But then, I may bore you. But then, I may not. I guess we'll find out.

2.) Why will I blog? Answer: I don't totally know. I dig the blogs with a purpose... music blogs, feminist blogs... blogs written by interesting people (I’ll put them in my “blogroll”… see, I’m catching on). Will I seem interesting? Is that the point? I guess the reason is to show who the person is who writes the lyrics in our band. Yeah. I'll go with that. Maybe I'll shed some light on our music. Yeah. Maybe.

3.) Will I be able to do this regularly? Answer: I don’t know. I will try.

4.) Who will read my blog? Answer: I don’t know. People, I guess.

In summary (I like summaries), I will try this out. I hope it works out well for all of us. Including you. And me.

P.S. My cat is one of my best friends. And I don't consider this a sad or pathetic thing.