i'm taking my time, doing fine in the autumn breeze, no time to sleep, places to be, but all with ease. taking it all in, it's no sin that i can be free 'cause it's just me, my voice, my stories and these ivory keys. We made it to mASS-achu-setts on Saturday evening. Or, Mmmm, Asss, Achu, setts. Or Massa, Chew Sets. Or MassAcchewy. He he. It's late as i'm writing this. Can you tell? It's a GREAT state. I love the green freeways. The Java Room in Chelmsford MassAchhhh is quiet an oxymoron, in a wonderful way. Typical cafe with cakes, tea and coffee, sidled with a gorgeous grand piano, cabaret style tip jar and a full bar with cocktails. I didn't know if I wanted a cosmopolitan martini sitting on the internet, or a cup of tea as i sang my songs to a quaint crowd. Quaint, I guess, is the operative word. Slightly blank, was the response we got from the crowd, apart from a few little hand pats, which is, I think, a polite way to say "lack of loud clapping and stomping, hooting and hollering. I say this only to those that weren't in our little party of 5, which included myself, Melissa, Christie Leigh, her sister Silvia and friend Bernie. We all were the life of the party, especially sweety Silvia who sang all the notes with us as we sang, albeit higher and in a different octave to us. She was adorable though! he he. But the rest of the crowd were rather mute, except of course during our songs when they picked up their conversations as if we weren't here. Funny how entertainment is perceived. It's either seen as background music for loud conversations, or you totally focus. Nothing in between really. Christie let us sit in on her regular gig, actually, and it was really quite nice. I am spoiling the fun with the above paragraph. In truth, we had a blast, and a welcome introduction to this very pretty state. We choofed off to Boston (40 mins) after the gig, in the pitch black of night but with lots of vigor in our lungs, as we sang songs about every exit on the way down. I think I've already mentioned this, but Melissa is a walking musical. If i mention something like "hey take this exit 241 up here", she sings it "hey.....you must take (higher octave) 2.4.1 (low) up (high) here..." long vibrato. Ha ha. It's funny. So funny, i'm catching it. So I think the rest of the tour should be sung, no more talking. Makes things way more interesting, at least in the car. We arrived in the South End and found (no way, that is so, like, amazing) a parking space. It's like worth $45,000 a year for a parking space in this neighborhood. I know. We went to an open house and they told me, so I know it's true. Really, it is. But we found a spot for the blue warriormobile. Chris Marston, our host for the sleeping part of our boston trip, met us on the corner and walked us in. He's also our Boston Songsalive! coordinator AND an attorney who runs his own law firm. My favorite part about his place is his two dogs, tiki and bailey, the most adorable pint sized muppets you would ever meet. Bailey is like this chocolate crackle, or a curly fudge cake, that is the size of one, on four legs and curly hair (mini poodle) with eyes that are deeper than some human souls. He's so cute, and so light. Absolutely adorable. Tiki is a mutt of black and white variety that's about the size of a fat cat (bigger than bailey) and prefers to jump all over you, lick every part of you, and doesn't know what 'no' means when it comes to more demanded affection. I love these dogs. Chris has the most important asset in his living room, a baby grand, AND it's midi and connected to Digital Performer on his Mac. Once click of the mouse and he can record a whole album in his living room. It's really great. House concert anyone? Chris Marston and I stooping, Boston style. Sunday morning came late. I didn't want to get out of bed. But a green tea soy latte begged me to release the sheets. We took bailey and tiki for a walk through the boston south end streets, and all the dogs sniffed each others butts and socialized, (as you do on a sunday), while us adults ordered our favorite drinks and stooped on a boston Brownstown stair (as you do on a sunday). Stooping is an essential and popular Boston weekend pastime. You grab a drink, and a newspaper, and preferably a cute dog to attract visitors, usually of the opposite sex variety, and you sit on someone else's stair case, in the sun, amongst a crowd, and, well, stoop. Just hang. Just gotta watch those steps with old sticky gum... Sunday afternoon we began what will be a new ongoing tradition, the Songsalive! Songwriting critique workshop at All Asia in Cambridge (Mass Ave). 2pm start, and we had a bunch of songwriters ready to share their song for some feedback from all of us. It was a great afternoon of song sharing. More deets for future ones www.songsalive.org/boston. Then Melissa, myself and Christie Leigh jumped up each in turn, respectively, and sang some songs. More fans turned out, the beers got heavier and chinese food wafted from the kitchen. A nice afternoon of song, and the red sox were even playing (mute thank god) on the bar's tv. I was starving, as we all were, so Chris directed us to the best thai place in town, or so he says, on Mass Ave opposite Berklee College. It was delicious.
Got dark quick. Autumn is more prevalent up here. We jumped on the subway downtown upon Christie Leigh's (below) invitation to sit in on her open mic at 6B on Beacon Street, Boston. Sat with my wine and thoughts of the universe. Kicked back, sang a few on the mic (and guitar... i had a blister after the first verse!).. i'm a piano player goddamit!, and my energy subsided. But it's been nice. We subwayed it back to Mass Ave, and hopped in the car. Oh me god... we need a parking spot. My friend Rick said, talk to Josephine the Boston parking goddess. And so I did. I called my love on the phone and he said there is one, small but a good fit. We got back, and oh my god there was a parking spot. The ONLY parking spot in the whole 1 mile radius, and NO parking meter. Free, for all day. That is so amazing. I feel so connected to the flow, to the universe, so in alignment. EVERYTHING we have done so far on this tour has been an easy flow, and just coming to us, in easy ways. It's quite a miracle to actually see that in action. To witness when one is connected, or in alignment, and so is everything around us. The leaves are falling and the wind is crisp but the sun is shining. Today, our third and last day in Bostonia, land of smart fashions, little mutts and big trees, was a day of walking the streets. Had a good visit with Peter Spellman over at Berklee, then down the Charles River to the city, the Commons, up Newbury Street, Some seafood at the famous Slip Jacks (including, naturally, their clam chowder), then Boylston and back to the South End for a visit to the crew over at Sonicbids. We walked 4 hours today. Good stuff! Life is not worth living if you can't "feel", and I mean, really feeeeel your environment. If that means consuming the local papers, or food of the area, or walking the streets, or meeting all of the people, and/or all of the above. I love going to each city and doing all of the above. I digest the local papers, i eat the local food (and wine/beer), I want to smell, see, taste the culture and streets and talk to its people. Boston is a city, similar to Rome Italy, where I feel I can walk all day and not be bored. I love this city. We hopped into our ever accumulating car at around 4 and headed down the I-90 towards Hartford and then onto New York. Time to kick back in New Jersey for a spell before we go mad in Manhattan (I can't wait!) It was an easy drive, and we were faster than expected. All through MA and CT we were the only car on the roads. Wide open spaces and free roads, with lovely views. It seems very posh to live in Connecticut. I can imagine someone saying (naisly with lower pucker old new england accent), "oh yieeesss. I live in Connecticut. I wear tiger tooth smoking jackets, corduroy and suede trousers, and a beret, and smoke cigars looking at my yacht in the bay. How do you do." Everything is so.... pristine, almost like a postcard. Montclair NJ, apart from central office for the Musicians Atlas, is another quaint posh suburb outside New York, and we arrived just in time for a bowl of rice and to hop into bed. Before I get under the sheets, I sit and write to you. I have to say, LA seems too far away. I'm in a contemplative mood. Working on a new song with a hook that goes like this.... Separated from my true joy of music, song and story when not in that guise, mischief arises. I pretend to be big, strong and feisty But really I'm just a troubadour lady I can wear diamond necklaces and long dresses, Walk down the aisle in high hells And I can act tormented in all black leather But really I'm just a troubadour lady. Something deeply important I need to say. I feel very much in alignment. This is a new feeling, away from productions, events, entrepreneurship of running organizations, I'm tapping into my inner creativity. Bits of songs are busting out to be written, and I'm looking forward to feeling my spirit in New York on Wednesday. Here's a poem I wrote in New York 2 years ago. I re-read it tonight and re-opened my emotional vortex. New York will be good for me, my soul, and my creative juices. Tinkling the ivories in New York makes me wanna be a cabaret star, Broadway star, billy joel singing uptown girl, a jazz singer, a rock star or all of it. Goodnight!
new york midnight express. Now is What. chaos. on the street in my head on the tv in the room. i stand innocent. it swims around me. i live the silent movie. bam...fast furious fire strong midnight express. sleeping in the bronx, smelling deep history race, creed, industrialized waste, toxic to my system, messy, grimy, how do people live like this? ..fixing for a taste of home, not going to come so easy feeling queasy. new york, new york, giant jungle people fight to stay alive dyin' inside but hungry like tigers fast and furious they push whoosh goes the train like hunter and hunted, subway speed and kids doing tricks street side. do they know what's going on in the south? nothing comes out of this boy's mouth but "yeah, wanna buy my pet lizard got no disease" the dis-ease of our nation is seen on these streets exemplified thrice fold. now what? i am alone in my thought on this how do i make it clear without inciting fear. while tears wash away in the floods of new orleans. where do we all go from here? fear is the one thing stopping.it.all. i contemplate while i wait for my pizza slice filled with cheese, grease and my god it's delicious, down in alphabet city, with the sleaze and cuban restaurants with melodic guitars and voices and drums and beer and wine bars and young girls with tats and black berets and striped socks. sleeping on the street. she sleeps. or dribbles not sure. i eat. i look around and find i'm in hell how ironic as i am in love with it all. it drives my creative muse and i refuse to be of it but in it in any case. alive and kicking i also am with it,loving it performing in it, feeling it. now what? i find the keyboard and feel the ivories at c-note, a dive bar that eases my mood. i drink cheap beer. magic of lower east side. new york city has me by the hook, line and sinker and i'm not fine with what i see, the black concrete playgrounds, and a city losing time. no time, all the time, every time people fast, forward in your face. ..and hard truck sounds and taxi cabs that don't stop when you put your hand up high and say "stop" i am crossing this god damn street. "stop" with the cockroaches and the grit on my glass of water. "stop" with the urine down on the L line people live with this going to work and back and they don't see this simple fact, they live in tunnels on the way from here to there tunnels under the roads, the labyrinth of codes. "stop" the chatter inside my head of fear and 9/11 and clubs that don't pay or leave it ambiguous like they don't know what an artist needs. what does an artist need? the feeling of connection... whispering my thoughts ....do they know, ...do they know what is really going on? are we all so centrifugal to our own moment our own journey? was this book really created for me? "go" with my heart, my pulse, the instinct to be alive, and enjoy this fast journey, the ploy, the entrancing feeling of living on the edge and feeling history,.. on 42nd street. where i stayed last year in 5 star hell and finally, finally performed on broadway with a python at that. new york city town hall. i have done it. now what? how does it feel? what's real to my heart my ambition to know ....to know i have grabbed what i wanted to do in '92, as i rollerbladed through these steamy streets with Backstage mag in my hands and dreams in my heart, and naivety in my lungs and all i felt was fun and cold and hot and all the stuff that makes an artist alive, wanting, yearning, begging for a stage to be heard. living on adrenalin and hard dreams, ambitions to fruition i want to be heard.. new york city. do you hear me? do you feel me? do you want me? BUT i have done it. already. i have made it real and lived broadway and succeeded for whatever that success means? what does it really mean? this constant fire in my belly that says more more more NOW WHAT? i turn to the burbs big houses, large windows fancy mercedes SUVs and i sit here on the couch wondering. now what? while... an old lady dies in a hospital and i'm left holding my friend's baby so calm and soft she smiles with the innocence of mother nature she calms my mind. the innocence of children reminds me that i must look at life through a child's eyes at all times to survive my own ambition. now what? NOW. Now is WHAT. i breathe in i submerge to dreamland to breathe some more and feel the blue sky beating it's heat reminding me of life and love and california and passion surging, coursing through me . i live an extraordinary life. give me another slice. gilli moon . september 10. 2005. manhattan.