What an eventful and event - filled week! Sorry to be a day late in writing. Honestly, the weather in Austin has been pretty crappy the last few days and has made me rather lethargic, but also with a burst of creative energy! Thus the blog taking a day longer. Anyhoo, it feels very good to update you all today as the temperature slowly climbs back into the 50's. Amy and I had our debut as Bathtub Moon on my birthday at the Carousel Lounge. Thanks so much to everyone who came out. If you missed it, here's a video:
Also on my birthday, I started my new coffee shop job at Easy Tiger. What a great restaurant! For so long I have worked at food service establishments thinking "I could run this so much better...." This place totally has it down and their products are excellent - sausages, pastrami and corned beef cured in house, delicious baguettes and home made bread, and the best espresso machine I have ever worked with! I think I may actually finally learn how to make latte art!
I also think I finally figured out my purpose for the next half year - recording my new (and first full length) album "The Giantness of Little Things." Have spent the last month finalizing the track list and starting to vision arrangements, themes, etc. Met with my friend Bruce last Wednesday, and he agreed to engineer the record. We came up with a preliminary timeline, budget and was super helpful in referring me to some local musicians who could be helpful to the project. It feels like the right time to get back into the studio and I am really excited about the concept for this album. Have already started work on the kickstarter video, and hope to lay down some initial tracks in January! Very Exciting
This weather finds me painting. Something I haven't done in quite some time I realize. Went to the art supply store and dropped $60 on canvas, acrylics and paintbrushes. I don't regret a dime of it. Am slated to move into my new room in less than two weeks. After 5 months of homelessness, I finally feel ready to nest.
Sunday officially marked my one- month anniversary in AUSTIN! Hard to believe. Had 3 shows this week, including my debut show at The Butterfly Bar. My first stage appearance (outside of Open Mics) however, was at the Lou Reed Tribute night. A lot of great musicians totally rocked out to all the classics. Made some new friends, and hung out with the lead singer of Fastball! (Remember them from the 90's?) Took a chance and went to a ukelele event at the Sahara Lounge - several performers did Uke covers of 80's new wave bands, including the Talking Heads, The Misfits, Elvis Costello and the Ramones. Very well done and a super cool venue. I also found some more Trinity on the wall! Another sign from the universe :)
The show at the Butterfly bar went well too. Is a theater and they have a happy hour where musicians set up as patrons get ready to see the show. Great cocktails and had some friends come out to see me. Also at long last bought an amp for my electric guitar, Bessie! An early birthday present to myself - picked up a sweet Orange 30 watt with effects and it sounds AWESOME! Can't wait to play with it more. Also had my first day, filling out paperwork for my new job at Easy Tiger cafe and beer garden where I will be slingin' coffee. The establishment seems really solid - they cure all their own meat and make their own bread, sausages, saurkraut, etc. Am planning to wear my tiger dress to my first official day of work tomorrow.
Been connecting with more singer-songwriters, both friends from Kerrville and new friends - went to some songwriter circles last night and tonight as well. Had a prompt to write a song about a painting in your home. Since I am currently homeless (or home-full, depending on how you want to look at it) I wrote about not having walls - "I have no walls in my house anymore, to punch through with a fist or to hang a picture..." Look forward to working it out more once I move into my new place! (More on this coming next week.....)
Until then, Bon Nuit Mon Amis!
One of the things I really enjoy about Austin is all of the murals, hand-painted store fronts, bright colors and street art everywhere. Reminds me a lot of Kenya.
Another busy and eventful week... Am starting to feel like my grace period is coming to a close, and am finding myself wanting to settle into a job and a place to live with a room all of my own for which I pay rent (Hard to believe I haven't had a lease since June!) Unfortunately, am finding that making money as a musician is ironically harder than in other cities. I guess the economics of the music business are the same as any other - when there is more supply than demand, the cost of services are lower. Am nowhere near giving up hope, people definitely are able to make it work, but am realizing that I will need to get a job as I begin to establish myself in this new market. Things are definitely starting to pick up - have been practicing with Amy and finally decided on a name for our band: Bathtub Moon. Am also excited to announce that I have not 1, 2, or 3, but FOUR shows booked this week! Have been going to lots of open mics, but these will be my first official gigs. Have also been booking some house shows with Amy, which are often quite lucrative and a lot of fun :)
The rain and "cold front" we've been having here for the last few days (feels like fall in New England) has made me feel a bit lethargic and home - bodied. Been using the time indoors to continue to look for work, apartments, and booking. Lots of lists of things to do and things to learn more about. Have also been practicing for the Lou Reed Tribute Night (tomorrow! will be singing "Perfect Day" and "I've Got a Reason"), as well as working out parts for some of my songs. I did, however manage to leave the house to take a trip over to the public library around the corner named after George Washington Carver (my arch nemesis as a lady with a nut allergy) Was a pretty nice spot though, inside and out. Appeared to be a historically African American Library, with lots of signed pictures of prominent African Americans on the walls, and books about Black history and culture.
I also discovered the COOLEST GROCERY STORE EVER!!! Pictured below. Fiesta is a super cheap international food store that has all kinds of crazy fruits and veggies. Got some cactus (Nopalis) and have been making my own breakfast tacos with eggs and avocado hot sauce. Yumm....
Tune in next week for Week 4 - my one month anniversary!!! XOXO Katie
It's pretty hard to believe that I've only been in Austin for 2 weeks... Been keeping busy continuing to settle in, do chores, discover new things and new people, as well as old. Have been very excited and happy about continuing my musical love affair with my dear friend Amy Love who I met at Kerrville a few years ago. We are slowly figuring out how we want to make sweet music together, and think we found our niche as a 1920's/30's throw back band with some originals sprinkled in. Came up with the name "Moonshine Kingdom" initially, however I fear this may be close to the movie. Have been having fun texting random ideas back and forth.
We went out busking on halloween - her a flapper and me an ironic singing mime. Didn't make much money, but had a grand old time.
After our busking adventures, we met up with my friend Alex at the White Horse - a popular hipster honky tonk bar in East Austin. There, the Dead Music Capitol band had congregated and was brewing a giant parade, complete with brass band and giant puppets. As we marched through the historically black and latino neighborhood, I couldn't help but feel a bit uncomfortable. East Austin has been gentrifying for quite some time now, and I felt very aware of this as we: mostly Caucasian from presumably middle to upper middle class backgrounds with college educations, marched through the street being watched by mostly families of color, as if to announce "Hi, we're here to take over, but have some candy!!" Obviously, the parade was designed to bring joy, fun, and entertainment to the community, and I think it was very successful in that aim. So many contradictions - is inspiring to think about how we can "integrate" communities, rather than "gentrify" them.