Monday, October 06, 2008

Music at a Distance



I have to tell you how bad it sucks to have your bandmate so far away. I can't tell you how many times I see gigs that Lorraine and I could play and think, "If only we lived in the same town, we could do this club and that club..." There are so many clubs here, but our "band" is scattered and everyone is working on their own albums, etc., it's hard to get them all here, or me to Minneapolis.


(Here we are with the girls at ConVergence)

Every time I sing I think of Fablo. She's really the entertainer out of the two of us. She doesn't need an instrument to entertain thousands...or a few in a pub. (The later is FAR scarier for Me!) She taught me so much about "winning the crowd". Tonight I went to an audition and one of the guys knew Stephen Merritt! It was a small world moment! I got to brag about Lorraine and Chris for a few minutes and all we had done. It made me so proud.

(I made that dress for her without measuring and it fit perfectly)

Looking back on the last 4 years, I can't believe all we were able to accomplish. We were independently practicing the music for our CD before we met. Then going in blind, we opened for Garrison Keillor. (That was Lorraine's deal, I just sang. She set up everything.)



I remember how I would plan a show and Lorraine would say,

"We don't need dry ice and explosives Malena, it's a PUB!"

I always make everything into a big production. It was amazing when she said,


"You don't have to look gorgeous, just sing and they will love you"

This concept was foreign to me, being in the Hollywood scene.
Here in LA, everything comes down to how young and skinny you are. Being a well known musician doesn't have a lot to do with pure talent out here. I love LA and it is a part of me, but it is also nice to know there are places in the world where people go to listen to music, just for the fun of it. I really like Minneapolis. After all, PRINCE is from there. Talk about uninhibited creativity! Love it!


Here's Lojo, Dev and I at the recording studio. A director friend of Miles' listens to Lojo's "I'll tell me ma" so much he wrote a short story about it. We really did a great job for our first album. Then we did the Hidden Variable Album after that. Sometimes it takes a while of stepping back from,
"What are we doing next?!"
to see what we've already done is worth while. I am a perfectionist to the death when it comes to music. Lorraine helps me to have fun with it. I am very thankful for that!!!!


So, in a perfect world, Lorraine and I would gig together a LOT more. We just live so far apart and as the years go by our schedules get tighter and tighter. All I can say is, I sure miss it and I'm sure we'll get to do our thing again somehow.

I miss you all!


The M in LaM

61 Comments:

At 8:48 AM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

Actually it would be so nice to have a new CD from you girls.
When is this hidden variable thing finally coming out? (or is it out and I zonked out completely?).

 
At 8:54 AM , Blogger Marjorie said...

Hi Malena,
nice to hear from you. I loved 'Mirror Mirror' and as Nathalie says, it would be great to have another CD. Or, y'know, a eurpopean tour...

 
At 9:37 AM , Blogger Jess said...

Hi Malena! I'm only just getting acquainted with the music, and it's beautiful work. Your voices compliment each other so well. I hope you get to play together again sometime soon. :)

 
At 9:37 AM , Blogger gaypet said...

Thank you for the great pictures, Malena! You have a very positive tone and just made my day. I love reading Hamlet but I was getting bogged down.

Thanks!

And, yes, more music please. Come visit us. ;)

 
At 9:53 AM , Blogger Erin Underwood said...

Malena, what a great post. Wah! I love you guys. You make me wish I had a band and a bandmate!

You made that dress? Without measuring? I'm impressed. You have some wicked good eye-balling skils. That's amazing.

 
At 10:24 AM , Blogger ivenotime said...

Great pics and so nice to hear from you Malena - hope all is going great for you in LA land. That dress you made Lorraine is so pretty, and an amazing fit - without measuring, quite cool.

Lorraine, hope you get to do more than clean up after Dog today, poor thing..

 
At 10:33 AM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Apparently I have a special guest blogger today....

The next cd coming is the Paul and Lorraine one, which we are slowly getting together....

 
At 1:50 PM , Blogger pantagruel said...

What is this strange 'not having to look gorgeous' thing of which you speak, Earthling?

*scratches head*

 
At 3:26 PM , Blogger Dragonsally said...

Yes - new cd's coming sounds a fine thing.

great post Malena, its lovely when you pop in.

 
At 5:05 PM , Blogger AletaMay said...

Hi Malena!

Great photos!

This reminds me that I should make a shopping trip to your online store!

 
At 5:55 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

I wondered about that too Val, hee-hee, very mysterious....

 
At 6:56 PM , Blogger Bulfinch's Aglaia said...

A Malena sighting! How lovely! And the pictures, as always, are so fun and funny and smile-inspiring. Thank you! And to you beautiful people, I've forgotten how to even try to look gorgeous. I don't even know if I own a dress anymore. Being a teacher, trust me, i know that nobody is noticing! :-)

 
At 7:05 PM , Blogger gaypet said...

I heard a band this morning on The Current and thought of you Q. You probably know them but they are new to me. They are called Battlefield Band and are on Last FM. The track I heard was "The Devil's Courtship" and I don't see that track for free but there are plenty of others up to listen too that don't need to be purchased.

 
At 7:08 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

We think you look just fine!!!!! And looks are WAY overrated. And not what is important. Anyone can look "Perfect" with pro makeup, style and clothes, it's talent that counts and brains, and you've got both as a teacher!

We are all beautiful. Tho I must say, after a day of dog, uh, you know what, I am not FEELING pretty.

Kitty has the computer virus and we are curled at Spookyhaus with SUV

 
At 7:09 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

And oh! We are going to try and post MOVIES tomorrow of Fosters and Bengals!

 
At 7:11 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Oh, hi Gayle, LOVE the Battlefield Band! For many years now.

 
At 7:20 PM , Blogger gaypet said...

I hope you are having a good night. Even with all of the sick!

 
At 7:21 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

I just brought her ice cream, and we have a fire....

 
At 7:24 PM , Blogger Bulfinch's Aglaia said...

Oh, that reminds me -- maybe I missed it in earlier comments, but what is happening with the Fosters? Or is that a painful question?

 
At 7:29 PM , Blogger gaypet said...

Ooh! Ice cream and a fire? Very nice! What flavor? Of ice cream?

 
At 7:34 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Yes you did miss it!!!!!! They have found a home!!! A wonderful women wants them, and is the perfect home, they go in a couple weeks, I am doing a blog on them tomorrow morning with pics and movie, if we can figure out HOW to you tube...

She had a drumstick, but only ate half, and just mentioned that the other half is in the wrapper here by the fire.

Sick people!!!

 
At 7:40 PM , Blogger gaypet said...

Hungry now. Get well soon Ms Kitty!

Off to the kitchen to find what I can cook up. :)

 
At 9:43 PM , Blogger ariandalen said...

"At a distance, the world is blue and green
And the snow capped mountains, white."
...
"Fod is watching us, at a distance."

CX

I just could not resist.

Wow! Two blogs in one day from Ms. Marvelous! Nice to hear from you. :) Don't go too long without sleep, though, or you'll start hallucinating, then life would be far more stranger than usual.

I picked up some "arm warmers" at the grocery store today. They are black. They have skulls and crossbones down the outside of the arm on them. I have yet to see if they actually fit me.

Thanks to Phiala and her wonderful crocheted Cthulot and Candrake, I now have another idea for a Night Garden piece, just not written. I had thought of needle felting some Cthulots, but I think I have an even better idea now. MWAHAHAHA
CX

And sometime I need to get back to a poem I started almost two weeks ago. And look up a hymn, and "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love," because I can't shake the darn first lines. ::grumble, grumble, grumble::

Sweet dreams, Fiends.

 
At 10:08 PM , Blogger Chantrelle said...

Love the pictures!!

I had an amazing rolfing session today where he really focused on my messed up wrists and they feel so dramatically different. So now I'm off to a ridiculously hot bath and sleep.

 
At 11:01 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Sweet dreams to you also, Fiends...

Can't wait to see more Night Gardens....And glad the rolfing helped CHantrelle. Adriandalen, I love your evil laughter.

Val, do tell us about the show...

 
At 12:57 AM , Blogger Malena said...

ok, wow. Where do I begin to reply.
Great news about the Kitties! Although I know you will miss them. Well, they are bengals, maybe you won't...very often. :)

Second on the order of business_
My Mom was a school teacher and if I didn't choose the 2 strangest professions, (singing and acting) that's what I would have been. A Kindergarten teacher. A high school teacher would rock too. I LOVE kids.

And yes, damn it! Looks don't mean crap and it's LOVE and talent and kindness all the way. All my fancypants photos are a LIE! Lorraine knows how I'm a barefaced granola muncher disguised as a "sexy person". haaaa That makes me laugh jut writing it. I think I will do a bad french accent now.

The Hidden Variable is on the way. The latest version of the CD I heard had two instrumental tracks added. It really was amazing...the instruments and the trippy sounds. And I'm there singing the blues away. Check the myspace site HERE . Hope I did that right.

Singing does make me feel better. It's the one thing I always do no matter where I am.

 
At 1:00 AM , Blogger Malena said...

ok, I am really tired. I can't even make a link!
www.myspace.com/thehiddenvariable

It's the best place to get updates until we all redo our websites. All of us, The Hidden Variable, and Lorraine and I are all updating out sites. (Why wouldn't we, we always do everything at the same time, even if we have no idea. Right Val...website girl!)

 
At 1:35 AM , Anonymous jacquib said...

It’s nice to hear from Malena in the www.lorraineamalena.blogspot.com And fantastic photo’s. I love the photo’s. I’ve always believed “gorgeousness” is a state of mind, but here, it’s also been captured on film.

Thank you Pantagruel. I reckon it would have been awesome watching you sketch. Obviously the people in the room found you more interesting, as they should.

Thanks to you too Jess, I always learn something from you. And thanks to everyone else too. I’m not so much daunted anymore, as I am inspired.

I don’t really think I’m that lame, some days I actually think I’m quite clever! I just like to channel Foghorn Leghorn, he was one of my favourite cartoon characters when I was a kid. One of my favourites was “Ah say, that boy is as sharp as a billiard ball”.

FabulousLorraine, every time you mention Fosters, I have to get my mind over beer. I keep thinking you’re giving away beer, not Bengals!!

You’ve got to watch this computer virus, just when you think you’re over it, it can come back and whack you a double whammy

 
At 1:37 AM , Blogger pantagruel said...

Show is done, and I am back in my office at Saltmine U; 21 hours after I got up yesterday. (Office was only 3.5 miles from the show; house is 51 miles. This buys me 3 extra hours of sleep.)


I so wish you all could've been there. The show was so awesome, dudes! I got there in plenty of time, got in line, and saw a guy with a Scary Trousers shirt handing out Neverwear stickers, in distinct contrast to the Barnes & Noble folk who were too busy being too sexy for this gig. I asked Sticker Man if he got those from Kitty, and then it was like, 'Oh, you know Kitty, Quiche and Malena! You are One of Us!' Had a lovely chat with Sticker Man, aka Ethan; spotted Red and said hello.

I got given a card to write my question for Boss on, which perhaps was a mistake, as I was feeling punchy, and wrote something very close to 'Dear Boss, would you please just look at my Going Wodwo painting so I can finally get some sleep and stop worrying? Love, me.' Not, uh, my best or most diplomatic moment ever.

We heard the first part of Chapter 7, conveniently ending on a cliffhanger (I thought there might've been a riot when he stopped reading); saw Coraline bits; and then there was a Q&A, in which my question, unsurprisingly, was not answered. No mention of you, Quiche. And then we heard "Blueberry Girl," and got to see a printer's dummy of matchprints of the book waved about briefly.

Sat in the third row aisle, and managed to do these two sketches of Boss, in near-complete darkness. Also tried to do one of Red, but she kept hiding her face; and Harper-Collins woman's on that page, too. They are not exact likenesses, but for not being able to see what I was doing, I think I can live with them.

Ethan invited me to come hang out with him and Red and... Sarah? We ate food and talked politics and had beer. I now have an 'I Believe' shirt, which I will probably be wearing in a few hours as my change of clothes...

Best part, though, was a few minutes ago, when I got an email from Boss that read: "It's lovely. Stop worrying.'

I can sleep now.

 
At 1:44 AM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

Go to bed then.
I quite like the drawings (first one in particular)

Good wishes and virtual organic chicken soup to the poor virused.

 
At 1:45 AM , Blogger pantagruel said...

Kitty, how did you come down with the virus?! Ack! Get better soon, okay? And we must talk about shirts, Ethan says…

Okay, now I'm going to lay down on my office floor for the next few hours. Hurrah.

 
At 2:14 AM , Blogger Dragonsally said...

I love the drawings Pantagruel. It sounds like you had a wonderful show.

Hey guess what Fiends. Jacquib and I have discovered we live about 15 kilometers apart. We're practically neighbors. We'll need our own Melb chapter of the Fiends shirts.

 
At 2:17 AM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

wOOt! Wondrous news. Have a fiends get together and a drink for us!

 
At 2:24 AM , Anonymous jacquib said...

Sally, I just read your email, that is soooo amazing. Must be something in the water out this way!!

 
At 2:44 AM , Anonymous jacquib said...

Hey Spacedlaw,

Are you bettr now? Did the ginger schnapps work? It probably doesn't matter weather it did or not, I bet it made you feel better ;)

 
At 6:15 AM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

It did, thanks. The cold is still there but kept at bay...

 
At 6:48 AM , Blogger Jess said...

Lorrraine - yes, how about night garden things? I still have a pile-o-things waiting anxiously in Backupland for their turn in the spotlight. Would you like me to send them to you, or do you want to wait till you've launched the new site?

Cool field report, Val, and lovely sketches too. Seems like everyone (well, okay, not everyone) has had a chance to attend a reading now except me, sigh. I have to do one on Friday, but frankly I'd rather go hear Neil read than go and listen to myself stammer through two poems. Argh. :P I don't like doing readings.

 
At 7:11 AM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

I'm still working on the teleportation device, but I'm beginning to think that a co-location device might be better.

Why travel from place to place instantly when you can be two places at once?

 
At 7:22 AM , Blogger Jess said...

Depends. Can you can get the prototype working by Friday?

 
At 7:26 AM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

Once I finish the time machine I can have it for you last Monday.

 
At 7:37 AM , Blogger Jess said...

I'm already there! \o/

 
At 7:49 AM , Blogger pantagruel said...

Jacqui and Sally -- funny how that works, isn't it? Definitely have your own Fiendish party!

Dan, are you once again in the land of the living?

Jess -- I know what you mean about hating to do readings. I was a ball of nerves every time I had to go read my work, too, but it was a firm requirement in my writing program. Not like it takes much to make me a ball of nerves about my own work, mind. (Stop laughing, Quiche! :) ) I can face injuries, accidents, deaths, love, and other catastrophes calmly; but ask me to put my work out there… ugh. I do it in spite of the horrible anxiety and sleeplessness and nausea that goes with it -- but still, ugh.

What will you be reading?

Oh, and on the Backupland stuff for the Night Garden -- if you could send them over to me so I can include them in the new site, that'd be awesome. Dunno if Quiche will want them posted now, but I know I'll need them soonish.

 
At 8:06 AM , Blogger Jess said...

Can do! I'll pull those together for you now. Email text okay? I can do separate .rtf file attachments if you'd rather.

I think I mostly get nervous because I haven't done many of them. The one reading I did in grad school (thank Fod they weren't a requirement, though maybe they ought to have been) was an unmitigated disaster: it was mainly a captive audience of surly freshman who'd been lured there by promises of Extra Credit. The faculty didn't even show. My life flashed before my eyes-- twice. Et cetera. :D

I'm always impressed by people who love to perform. How can they do it? I mean-- get up there in front of people and their staring eyes? And endure the staring?? Gaah.

 
At 8:42 AM , Blogger pantagruel said...

Jess, email me, we'll sort it out. ;)

I think readings should be required in writing programs -- they were in both my undergrad and grad ones, and although I hated it at the time, I'm very glad they made me. I'm by no means a natural performer, but after about the fiftieth time I had to get up to the mike and read my work, it got easier. When you can read erotic poems with your mother in the audience, it's all downhill from there.

 
At 8:45 AM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Morning Fiends!!!!!!

I ove t that I get to wake up tot he late nighters, our Melbourne (apparently a Fiends MAGNET!) and all the early risers!

Danguy, keep working! We need this ablity! Ywo places at once!

Val, nice scetches, glad you had a good time and see? I told you he would like it!

Malena, very fun, thanks for stopping by for a guest blog! And yes, I will kind of miss them, but mostly I am glad that they are going to their right home!

Jess, do send the night gardens to Val. I am REALLY sorry that I got overwelmed and stopped posting them, in the blog at night, as they are all truly wonderful.

(feeling a little streched these days, with me on this one?)

I will have ponder and we will see how quickly this website comes together. It would be up but Val and Dan are messing around with, lves, kids colds art readings jobs....

Hmmph. You'd think working as unpaid minions would take priority!!!!!

Good luck on the reading Jess, remember, most people cannot CONCIEVE of getting up on stage and oding something, the idea is beyond them, truly. They will like what you do, the more you do it, the more you know that...

 
At 8:56 AM , Blogger pantagruel said...

Ha! I spit coffee! Last night I wrote back, 'Now I must prepare myself for Quiche telling me she told me so...' Heh. ;)

The website is under way, sketching out comps. Well, not at the moment. At the moment I'm marveling at just how astonishingly hard my office floor was, and drinking the coffee I sent my minion out for.

 
At 9:07 AM , Blogger Jess said...

I say thank Fod I've only got to get through two poems, and that only one of them is mine! :D I'll warm up with the one which isn't mine, so they won't start hurling rotten guavas right away.

You're a busy lady, Lorraine, and you've done a marvellous job of getting everyone's poems some limelight in spite of the whelm! You take good care of us. :)

Just emailed, Val! Dude, you need a futon in there or something.

 
At 9:33 AM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Jess, remember, to be a king, do as a king. If ou believe you rock and have confidence, the audience will. Never apoligise on stage...I've seen SO many people get up and be like "Oh, uh hope you like this, it's not very good..."

Set that up!

Val, you so need an office COUCH!

And I did tell you so!

Kitty and I are trying to catch up enough to do these pics and vid....May be night before it happens....

 
At 9:42 AM , Blogger gaypet said...

Jess, I don't know if this helps but try to remember that most people who go to see any performance really WANT to like what you do and generally will. Being in front of students who don't want to be there or belligerent drunks can be difficult but that is probably not what you are facing this time. An audience, in general, is happy to enjoy your performance and you are surely harder on yourself than they will be.

 
At 9:44 AM , Blogger EmilyLady said...

I did wonder where you had gone, Malena ...

I understand perfectly what you mean about playing in front of a few folks in a pub, as opposed to performing for a huge crowd. I've always been more at ease performing before a faceless lake of strangers than for my mother and brothers.

Hoping you come back and blog some more!

~Emily

 
At 1:00 PM , Blogger ariandalen said...

I like the sketches, Val!

Break a leg at your reading, Jess. Have you thought about creating a persona just for readings? Just a thought. :)

 
At 1:21 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Cat is working on photos now....

 
At 1:24 PM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

Jess, I've read my stuff to hostile crowds (my fellow high school students) and tamed the beasts so why should you fear people who want to love what you do?
Just go for it and the rest will follow.

 
At 1:37 PM , Blogger Jess said...

So I read Ariandalen's advice up there about creating a persona for readings, and then Lorraine's about Cat working on the photos, and for just a *second* I felt very, very worried. :D

Thanks, everybody. :) I always get wound up before things like this, y'know. I'll be fine once I'm up there. At least until that one person goes, "Can you speak up?" (I was behind a mic the last time that happened, too...)

 
At 1:43 PM , Blogger pantagruel said...

Jess, you're welcome, don't even worry about it. I know from wound up…

And thanks to everyone who liked the sketches. ;)

I so need an office couch. I would be napping on it, right now.

I hope the photos and video of the Bengals is not too fraught with peril…

 
At 3:38 PM , Anonymous jacquib said...

Pantagruel, I thought your sketches were amazing, as well as the story. I’m glad to hear the devil in you was rewarded ;)

Jess, you probably already know this, but people fear public speaking more than they fear death. At least they did a few years ago.

There are a few issues involved the first one is about your content. Have you put enough work into it and do you think it’s good? How well do you know it? If the answers to these questions are positive, then you will deliver it well to the audience.

The second one is about presentation. Before you go on, rehearse what you’re going to say, many times. Think about speaking up and speaking clearly. Try and have fun and smile, although, don’t try and smile if you’re feeling miserable. People can tell. Rehearse the whole thing in your mind and do reruns of everyone giving you that standing ovation at the end!!

Lastly, is the audience really going to throw rotten guavas at you or more likely, throw you to the wolves? Maybe, sometimes, depends on who your audience is. Are you going to die from that? No, but then you’re not as afraid of that as you are of public speaking, right? (just kidding).

For my money, I reckon you’d be awesome and I’m sorry I can’t see you. Pretending you’re someone else is also good, especially someone you admire. But you probably already know all this.

If you’re getting this after, I bet you rocked!

 
At 4:52 PM , Blogger Phiala said...

Lovely photos; thank you Malena!

Teaching intro biology to uninterested college students pretty much cured any last bits of public speaking anxiety that I had. I'm NOT sure if that would extend to reading fiction or poetry that I'd written, but talking about science? No problem!

 
At 4:58 PM , Blogger Dragonsally said...

Dan, can you get this time and transportation machine happening? It would be so cool to all be in one place for Halloween.
Jess, I bet you blow their little sockies off

 
At 5:00 PM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

Whenever it's finally finished, I will try to bring it back in time.

Unfortunately, current research suggests that a time machine will never be able to travel farther back in time than the moment when it was first created.

The movie "Primer" is a good demonstration of this, actually. I heartily recommend it.

 
At 9:25 PM , Blogger AletaMay said...

Really great sketches Val!

 
At 9:39 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

We will create for you Jess...(Cue SKullcrusher Mountain)

Dan, are you SURE in can't go back further than when it was created? Perhaps you might go back to work on the strechy time? I sure do need it tonight...

 

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