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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Norcal is my kind of california.. the Songsalive! road trip April 2005

I just got back from San Francisco and surrounds. I had a blast. I took my favorite warriorgirls for a trek sponsored by Songsalive! Holly Light (terrific vocalist and songwriter from New Jersey now Long Beach), Dina Gathe (L.A native who rocks, and we are producing her record right now), her trusty PK on percussion and fabo friend, and Toni Koch, my right hand gal. We car-convoyed 6.5 hours up the coast on Friday night and landed in Berkeley for a Rose Street House Concert that was purely magnificent, intimate and warm. Irina Rivkin is a consummate artist, spoken word and beat box artist who has mastered the RC20 loop station (that i also have). She sings acappella with 2 microphones into it and loops her voice and noises (mouth percussion). It's terrific. Lila Nelson was a guest artist who is a true storyteller and sucked me in on songs that talked of her growing up. James Hurley played, plus Steven Andrew Kacsmar, and our girls from L.A... and then me, being my quirky self on the 63 key keyboard then jumping to the old upright in the corner for Temperamental Angel madness. What a night. Berkeley is a college town, and that bring great night life, cafes, restaurants and creativity. We were a stone's throw from the main street and coffee in the morning at Peets was all about watching people's dogs, and watching gorgeous bohemian people, hang out on the street corner shooting the breeze. There ares some pretty fancy bohemians up there. This one guy was like a Calvin Klein model look-alike, sitting there all blond and pretty at the bus stop. I looked over, smiled. He looked back, smiled. Twinkle in his eye. I looked back again, blushed. He looked to the ground, and spat this huge lurgy on the footpath.. oooh grose. It took us 1.5 hours to drive up to Sacramento on Saturday afternoon. Sac-town is pretty special... they have these drive throughs called McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, you know the high class variety. What they DO have that tickled my fancy is the Fifth String. A gorgeous, quaint guitar shop turned night time music venue that seats about 50 and is SO perfect for an intimate Songsalive! showcase. We had an awesome night and I'm so glad I finally got up to our first U.S chapter outside L.A. Late night Sat we hit Berkeley again for some delicious cheesy pizza and beer at 1am in the morning. You know, normal tour stuff. Toni and I crept into San Francisco over the Bay bridge (so beautiful at night with all the lights) and the breeze was crisp yet a hint of spring. The fog was heavy over the harbour but I loved the magic. We weaved in and out of suburbs and hilly streets lined with multicolored houses of every rainbow hue, before landing at Steven and Frannie's house at 2am. sleeep. Sunday rising and shining to a great coffee and vegan fingerfood delivered by Frannie (it's her art form ;) apart from her pink Neon car that's totally decked out with kitch exquisite icons and decorations).. i was ready for our last weekend's event. We conducted our first large SF Songsalive! workshop and sat in the round amonst 15 songwriters sharing their new songs. Then Jaci Rae and I spoke about marketing ideas in getting your songs out there. It was a GREAT day. Holly, Dina, PK, Toni and I were reluctant to leave San Francisco. We spent the afternoon lounging and dining at the Cliffhouse restaurant which overlooks the beach with 180 degree views. I didn't want to leave. But 6pm cam rolling in and it was Sunday night.. so we trekked over the Bay bridge and down the 580 and 5 freeways, through the fault line, back to la la land. I don't know if it was the Chevron coffee, or the fact that we all made ourselves laugh and laugh on the way home, but we got back in record time, only 5.5 hours. WHAT A TRIP! I'm blessed to be involved in Songsalive! and to see us grow to far off destinations that i dream of travelling to. Seeing it come alive in San Francisco (their showcases are apparently fantastic and now the workshops are kicking off), Sacramento (fabulous group of songwriters and diehard Songsalive! fans) and now Berkeley with Irina's house concerts... is just.. well brings me to tears with joy. Ahh. it's like delivering a baby without the pain! ;) more at Signing off for now, Welcome to a brave new world Gilli

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