Music Mondays: Carolaoke Song #15

I'm not sure if it’s because of all the ridiculousness that is our American politics currently, the world's general angsty vibe and energy or if it was just my own moodiness (probably all of it) but last week I really felt the need to be quiet and hide. As I've said before, I have to be in a different place entirely to sing and make noise and I could not get to that place to save my life last week.

It reminds me of when my mom would come into my room when I was little and I’d be drawing in my closet (sliding doors closed) completely silent, pretending I was invisible. I wouldn’t answer her or make a peep when she was calling my name standing right outside the closet door all the while seeing her feet from the light crack of the sliding door. I wasn’t trying to be naughty per se, I just didn’t want to be found. She’d walk through the house calling my name and I would only pop out when she’d get super panicked and terrified because she thought I had been abducted or something. Oh, she used to get so pissed. I'm sorry, Mom. I’m sure if you ask my sister, I did this to her too. Sorry, Cindy. I can’t explain it. I really can’t. It was nothing personal about or to anyone, I just liked not being found unless I wanted to be found. I absolutely LOVED being left alone and it hasn’t really changed in my adult life, I'm sad to say. At any rate, that’s what happened to last week’s Carolaoke Collection Song #15. I was hiding in my closet making dioramas, painting and exercising my right to remain completely silent.

But this week, I feel much better and I am ready to be loud again. This tune was introduced to me by my friend Mark Miskelly who I was doing Capitola Shows with a while back. When we would practice, we’d take a break and listen to different kinds of music to get motivated and this is a song that he brought to my attention and now has become one of my guilty pleasures to sing. My musical taste is all over the board and I don’t care what that says about me. So here is my scratch track version of Selena Gomez & The Scene’s “Love You Like A Love Song” for song #15. Please enjoy and thank you for stopping by!

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Music Mondays: Carolaoke Song #14

Unfortunately, I come with no stories for today's Carolaoke offering. Some days are just like that, I guess. I've been in my head A LOT lately and sometimes the inability to form words or coherent sentences can be a side effect of head time. But it is Music Monday so please enjoy my scratch track version of Gwen Stefani/No Doubt's "Bathwater" and I hope to be back to my old wordy self soon. Please keep well.

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Studio Closeup #14

Today’s studio update is another look into the past. As usual, I have several new pieces in various stages of completion but still not ready to be called “done”.

So today upon the recent discovery that I have some of the artwork that was lost in the 2018's flood but still exists on film, today’s offering combines a story of music AND visual art.

Many of you may or may not know that I was in a band. Full of animators. The band’s name was Sweet Jelly. In the 10 years we were together we recorded an album, played a stage at Summerfest and wrote over 70 songs together. The scratch track for “Wanda The Great” was recorded October 6, 2000 which is what we consider the beginning of Sweet Jelly's songwriting process and start of the band and this is what Aaron Johnson and I captured that night. The name for the band came later and is another story all together.

I've included the original scratch track version and the final album version here of “Wanda The Great” to experience the journey of where it came from and where it went.

When I wrote the lyrics for this tune, I definitely was inspired by Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner” and the story she weaves. And I’ve always loved the circus. I remember realizing at the time of writing this tune we had just moved right into the circus capital of the world while reading the plaque in downtown Mazomanie, WI:

“The Ringling brothers — Alf, Al, Charles, John and Otto — performed their first vaudeville- style show in Mazomanie in 1882 and two years later had a traveling circus with a wagon and a rented horse.

By 1900, the brothers had one of the largest traveling shows in the country and began buying other circuses, including, in, 1907, the Barnum and Bailey Circus. The Ringlings moved the winter quarters from Baraboo to Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 1918 and then in 1924 to Sarasota, Florida. Irvin Feld, a music and entertainment promoter, purchased the circus in 1967.”

(Article source)

Had no idea about ANY of this before moving here. But I did always have a thing for the circus! At the beginning of the final album version of Wanda The Great, there’s a circus record playing. That is my circus record as a kid recorded for the song and yes I still have it. I’ve been told many times it came from a circus train toy that my uncle gave me when I was a toddler. The train itself made noise too that apparently drove my parents nuts as that’s the only toy I played with for quite a while. And I’ve always woken up super early or never slept at all so I’m sure that was super fun for them.

Back to Wanda. Besides having every animal imaginable under one tent and tons of color, circuses are also kinda creepy which is another reason why I like them. Enter Wanda. What if a crazy old bird from the old time circus days came up and talked to me while I’m somewhere in public having a snack? (pre-COVID-19) Twenty eight year old Carol says, yeah, let’s write about this. And “Wanda The Great” was born.

Today’s post is of the diptych I painted in tandem with writing the lyrics to this song. It’s cool to see the piece again even though it brings up a lot of feelings I’d rather not deal with, but I realize that’s been a lifelong issue with me so here I am sharing.

Please enjoy this bittersweet look into the past. And keep well everyone.

"Wanda The Great" original scratch track 10-6-2000

Art for the song "Wanda The Great" 2001

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Music Mondays: Carolaoke Song #13

Today's song pick is Bonnie Raitt's, "Guilty". The lyrics really hit home with me, I sadly have to admit. I'll leave it there with a reminder for everyone to vote tomorrow if you haven't already. I will be attending in person in a full hazmat suit. Because of all the shenanigans going on right now, I need to do it in person so I know there isn't going to be any fuckery with my vote. My trust does not come easy.

Please enjoy my scratch track version of Bonnie Raitt's, "Guilty" and thank you for stopping by.

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Music Mondays: Carolaoke Song #12

Today's scratch track cover is of icon Joni Mitchell's, "Big Yellow Taxi". I really love the fact that she is both a musician/singer and visual artist. For me personally, this gives me less of a "jack of all trades master of none" feeling and more of a "it is completely possible to be both".

When I make visual art, I am in a headspace and feeling of calm and silence. With singing or performing, I have go to a completely different place; one that involves confidence, self esteem and a much higher vibrational energy. And that place is not as easy for me to get to or more importantly, let go of once I'm there which tends to leave me crazed and manic even though I love it and love doing it. This song project has helped me study and wrangle these feelings and accept that this is how I operate. It's hard not to want to drink myself silly after I've had the euphoric sensation of being alive and existing in the extreme present with singing and performing. Drinking alcohol has that same effect on me which is why I think I sometimes seek it out to continue that "good feeling" and not have to endure the extreme letdown that comes with doing live forms of art. At least I'm in a place now where I can recognize this trigger and develop new, perhaps healthier, coping habits with the extreme ups and downs of the creative personality.

Please enjoy my scratch track Carolaoke version of Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" for today's musical offering.

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