Friday, July 24, 2009

Faking It Till It's Real

I got through practice last night with a few scrapes, but overall it was good. Looking back, I have come a long way since that fateful night in March when I decided to be rocker mom along with being soccer mom.

What an education it's been.

I open my little notebook of lyrics to the song so I have the words just in case. 21 songs is lot to memorize. Some songs I think I have pretty much committed to memory, but the whole performing thing makes my brain freeze or something.

We did a quick run-through of all the songs and they took about an hour and a half without me bantering between songs.

I was just plain worn out afterwards.

Hey, *news flash* - singing is a lot of work.

As for our playlist...

21 songs do seem like a lot. We might can a song or two.

What's so funny is out the window. R thinks Big Me should go, too. I really like Big Me. I'm not sure why he doesn't want our rendition, other than maybe he expects me to sound a certain way?

Hit me with your best shot is wobbly. I love rock n roll is good most of the time, but is it consistent enough to perform?

Next Thursday is our last practice before the real thing next week.

If I can continue my good-bandmate behavior
If I can practice my lyrics and not flub What I like about you
If I can quell my nerves
If I can get sleep and stay healthy
If I can remember this is all just for fun
If I can remember to ask Heavenly Father for help

then we are good to go.

We need us some swagger. Who cares if we are not like a "professional" band? I think we sound pretty darn good.

Teen bands who don't have as much polish as some act like they are going to be the next Rolling Stones. My husband says, well, you're not a teen band.

Yeah, but we can still take notes from them. Even if we have to fake it till it's real.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Real Me

I spent last week at girls' camp for our church, as one of the leaders in our young women (12-18 yrs of age) program. I had a lot of fun, but sometimes, I had a hard time just really letting my hair down.

We exchanged embarassing moments one night, and I was just mortified to say some of the things I said. I have no problem getting up and performing songs in front of strangers, but talking about embarassing things with a group of girls was like going to the dentist.

My fellow leaders at girls' camp seemed bewildered when I invited them to my August first concert. They can't believe I actually perform with a rock band.

One of them said, "You are very brave."

I suppose this takes some courage and a bit of insanity.

If they actually show up, I think I will give them the biggest shock of their life.

Do I need an extroverted personality in real life to make it as a singer-performer for a local band?

Do I break out of my real self to take on a certain performing persona? And will it spill over into "real life"? Or will it be the other way around?

When I was a college student, I was the social butterfly, and that was a rip, but kind of tiresome. When I met my now-husband, I was a senior, and I think I finally settled a little, and that was the foundation for our relationship. No longer the "life of the party" at every moment, but just real, honest-to-goodness this-is-me, take-it-for-what-it's-worth.

Two weeks to go!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Girls Like Us

I have been steeping myself in music biographies and songwriting books lately.

When I drop off my oldest at weekly art class, and my other two want to browse Barnes and Noble, I take advantage with a pile of free books.

I am beginning to write poems in a steno notebook that I hope will turn into songs someday.

I've also been checking out lots of books from the library.

Recently finished Girls Like Us which is about three female singers from the 70's: Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon and Carole King. Fascinating time in music history.

They were successful, sure, but I find their cavalier attitude about sex sad. They thought they had the freedom to just start and stop relationships, but ultimately I would think that it would get old and empty pretty fast. I have been married 17 years and it hasn't gotten old. Sure, we have to work at keeping the flame alive, but it's wonderful to have a stable relationship with a great guy.

I told my mother-in-law that I am shocked how pervasive drug use was then, and she said, it's really worse now. Maybe more accepted, even.

I must be living in a bubble, because I don't see this. And then I realized that growing up in hard-drinking, hard-smoking Philippines is so different now that I live in my Utah neighborhood.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Great Pretenders

Had a two-hour "pretend" performance at practice last night. Was starving when I got there, but singing made me forget. (I can't eat before I sing, or I have a hard time singing)

It's coming together, though awkward pretending that there really is an audience. I wish now I hadn't said some of my jokey banter, I might have to be circumspect the next little while so that they don't get stale with my band mates.

I wonder if very many people will come to our August first performance billed for "family and friends". Whoever shows up, I'll give it my best.

L rocked to "Rocking in the Free World" which made me wonder aloud if they really needed a lead singer. L said he plays guitar better when he doesn't have to sing. D said, if we didn't need a lead singer, we wouldn't have advertised for one. Turns out his son-in-law was their last singer, and he is invited to our upcoming concert. A little nerve-wracking for me; I hope we impress him.

We will see how this concert goes, and then we'll regroup and consider other venues.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


They'll probably fire me
over commments I made
in the heat of the moment.

I practice my songs,
but something feels wrong.
Here I am waiting for the fall.

I love singing
and performing.
But this band thing
sometimes is too much.

Like a minefield
I can dodge most
but I'm sure I'll hit
something eventually.

It's more work
than I counted on
to sing with four others.

I'm glad I joined
if only to say I could do it
but at what price?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Four Weeks To Go

Last night, I realized, wow, these guys are really going out on a limb for me.

So I have been singing with them for about three months now. My voice is improving, and I am putting more expression into my songs. But occasionally I have to sneak a look at prompts and lyrics from my little purple book. I know the lyrics on a lot of songs, but for some reason, when I don't have them handy, my brain freezes.

Am I really cut up for this job?

Yes! Must think yes!

My band has performed before with the former lead singer, but they seem very nervous about our August first performance. I feel like I have much to prove, but I gotta think positive. At the very least, I want to have fun and make it fun for our audience.

Four weeks to go!

Almost had a blow-up about song choices. I told the group by email I don't want to perform certain songs because of the message. B disagreed and it became this argument about censoring songs. He said, they are just silly songs, the message doesn't really matter.

I didn't debate further, but for the record, I don't feel right about singing songs that are out-of-character. To me songs reflect who I am, and when the message is out of sync, I don't feel good at all. To B's credit, he was very polite about disagreeing with me, and I really appreciate that.

E-mail is my Waterloo.

Note to self: do not push send unless you absolutely are sure you will not regret it in the morning!!

I gave the band my songlist suggestion last night. The songs in question were not listed, but no one put up a fuss. My hope is that we have enough songs we agree on that the other songs will be a moot point.

For now, peace reigns.