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.