Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Songbird

Right as Rain

I don’t know if you guys know this about me, but when I am not working, parenting, wasting time on Facebook, watching “Housewives” on Bravo, or writing this blog, I write songs.

I picked up a guitar for the first time late in life – my late 20’s and have been playing less than 10 years. But in that time, I finally figured out a way to channel my love and passion for music.

When I did my first open mic and did some Indigo Girls and Jewel covers, I was astounded when I received a standing ovation. Never mind that 20 of the 30 people there were my friends and had all been drinking heavily that day.

The feedback I got was. “Well, you don’t play guitar that well, but you sure can sing.” Which was nice to hear because in High School I tried out for “Grease” and didn’t even get into the Chorus.

And so I sang. In cover bands, in bars and sometimes at private parties.

But covers are not very fulfilling – not for me anyway.

This is a song I wrote earlier this year mourning the loss of someone I loved very dearly. It’s called “Right as Rain.” It’s not finished – I have some work to do with my friends, Guitarist Buddy Speir and Producer, Scott Spelbring. There will be a lot more instrumentation on it. Right now it’s fairly stark – you hear my voice and guitar and not much else. Oh, you also hear the click-track (the little tambourine) which helps keep the song tight and on beat.

Would you give it a listen and provide some feedback?

[audio http://masalachica.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/right-as-rain-vox-comp.mp3

XOXO,
Kiran








Yesterdays

This is a personal question. Feel free to answer in your own mind with as much honesty as you care to.

Have you ever loved someone in your youth and seen that love end? A love where maybe you knew in your heart, maybe in a place where even YOU couldn’t face it, that you loved the person just a teeny bit (ok, A LOT) more than they would or COULD ever love you? Is it possible that they assured you that your misgivings or concerns were crazy and to stop being so insecure? That everything would be “ok”? Then they would do something nice which would give you hope and give your doubts a breather.

But your instincts were right and things didn’t end up “ok.” What if it took you a long time to recover from that to heal? And what if you had to see that person after they admitted the truth to you – that those feelings that you were ignoring (telling them to shut up, shut up, shut up) were … right?

Ok, friend. I can call you that now, right? Because you have come this far with me. Now go one step further with me. What if you had to continually see that person? Maybe because you worked with them (which would be bad because its always risky to date someone at work) or had the same close group of friends (umawkward)?

And that is why I wrote this song: “Yesterdays.”

Not all the songs I write are about me, but I went through something like this in my twenties and did remember how painful it felt at the time. Years later, I saw the person who had broken my heart so glibly. I don’t know what it was, perhaps the lack of closure? Of respect? They brought all of those memories back in a bittersweet rush of recollection. Just like it was Yesterday.

Get it? Good.

I remember hearing that Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray on “One Tree Hillwere married for a short period – I don’t know – a few months? Something less than a year. And then they divorced and they had to see each other every single freaking day while they had to be professional and do lots of scenes together. I think maybe even some romantic scenes.

WTF? Eff that shit. I couldn’t do it. In my last post I told you about how John and I almost ended our marriage and as the official separation got closer I couldn’t walk five feet without having to blow my nose and tell everyone who asked that my red eyes were from allergies.

“Hello! It’s just allergies people!”

Of course nobody believed me because I was also sobbing at the time.

I did this song in the studio a while ago but just had it mixed and mastered. I hope that you enjoy it.

If you haven’t seen the hyperlinks – click here –> YESTERDAYS. If you could listen to it while reading along with the lyrics, I’d love to hear if the point came across.

Yesterdays were all we had, yesterdays weren’t all that bad
Yesterday seems so  – far away
You stumbled and I caught your fall, and yesterday it seemed so small
But yesterdays –  come to an end

And you said you’d remember me, but now I’m just small company
Yesterday when all I had was you.
And you said we would be ok, but now we go our separate ways
Yesterdays; Oh Yesterdays

Was it all some big disguise? You won’t look me in the eyes
Walk around like strangers by and by
Was it all a big excuse, you’ll dismiss as petty youth
Yesterdays passed us right by
Yesterdays go by; Yesterdays go by

Yesterdays when we were bad, yesterdays we were never sad
Those yesterdays seem so  – far away
I stumbled and you let me fall, and yesterday it seemed so small
Yesterdays –  they always end

And you said you’d remember me, but now I’m just small company
Yesterday when all I had was you.
And you said we would be ok, but now we go our separate ways
Yesterdays; Oh Yesterdays

Was it all some big disguise? You won’t look me in the eyes
Walk around like strangers by and by
Was it all a big excuse, you’ll dismiss as petty youth
Yesterdays passed us right by
Yesterdays do fly

You might not think I remember – I remember
Days gone, years past, no matter what these feelings last
Frozen in my mind
Frozen for all time

Was it all some big disguise? You won’t look me in the eyes
Walk around like strangers by and by
Was it all a big excuse, you’ll dismiss as petty youth
Yesterdays passed us right by
Yesterdays do fly
Yesterday flew by
Yesterdays go by (Repeat I don’t know – like a lot)

I’d love to get your feedback before I go in the studio to record and finish up some other stuff. Thank you friends. You rock. And I hope you think the song does too. If you like this post (reshare the post link) or the song (reshare the reverbnation link on Facebook) I appreciate your support and love as I get back into writing, singing, laughing and living again.

All my love,

Kiran








Get Me Some Man Pants, FAST.

A little over a decade ago, I bought a guitar so I wouldn’t do recreational drugs. When I realized that I wouldn’t just learn through osmosis, I decided to pick it up and teach myself some songs. Mostly Indigo Girls, Patty Griffin and some Dar Williams – you know, the really “bitchin” stuff.

Well, let me be clear about one thing. I use the term “learn” loosely. If by saying learn, I mean that I could actually hold the guitar in my hands and make sounds to accompany my voice, then we are both on the same page. I was no Jimi Hendrix. Or even Taylor Swift for that matter with the 8 open chords I knew how to play at the time.

During one of the indie performances I went to see, a young woman named Kris Delmhorst played, opening for Dar Williams. (I say these names assuming you do not follow Indie folk artists like me. If you do, ROCK on. Totally bitchin!)

I fell in lurve. (This is what I call love when I develop non-sexual crushes on really cool women).

So now I am in “lurve” with Kris Delmhorst. I would drag my friends to go see her at all her shows in the Northern Virginia area. I would be near tears like I was at a Bon Jovi concert, while my friends would be trying not to fall asleep.

I brought my friend Deana, a pretty solid fashionista, to one of the shows. While she was impressed with Kris’s singing, she was not impressed by Kris’s fashion sense and as what she called them, her “man pants.”

Some people just don’t get true “lurve.”

Anyway, fast forward a few years later. Kris is back in town playing at a Washington DC venue called the Birchmere. My boyfriend at the time, John (now my husband – he was okay with this whole “lurve” thing) came with me. We had some beers and split a pizza and I was pumped to say the least. Kris ended her set, and another artist took the stage.

As we turned to leave, we walked out through the concert hall’s gift shop. And that is when the stars aligned (or didn’t) and my heart just crashed in my chest.

There was my true lurve. Standing right in front of me in her awesome man pants.

“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my GOD?” I said to John through clenched teeth. “What do I do!?”

“I don’t know. Go ask her for her autograph?” He asked dubiously.

As if it was just that simple.

“No I need to have her sign a CD!” I was frantic now. What if she left? What if my true lurve walked away?

I looked at John.

“Go buy a CD! Hurry!”

“But we have one in the car,” said John. Why does he always try to sabotage me?

“GO GET A CD NOW!” I said in my best Linda Blair voice. I am fairly sure John thought my head was going to start spinning, so he hurried off to get the CD.

I tried to play it cool, idly looking through a bunch of other CDs from other musicians, leaving pools of sweat from my palms all over the poor artists’ heart and souls and CD covers.

I was a mess. A hot one, because my palms were so sweaty.

John came back with the CD and we casually (?!!!) walked over to get her autograph. She was talking in her totally chill manner to a couple, with her hands in the back pocket of her man pants. I was enamored.

Her pants were just as unflattering in person as on her CD.

So cool.

And then she was done. She smiled at us and reached out to shake our hands, reaching also for the CD to sign it.

GO TIME.

Like Eminem says, “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo.”

Oh, shit.

So there I went. Seizing that opportunity, yo.

“Oh my god, I just wanted to let you know that I am such a fan of yours and I saw you open for Dar and then I went to Iota and Jamming Java a few times, and oh my god, I just want to let you know that you are one of the reasons I picked up guitar and I just love you, even your pants and if you ever, ever need a back up singer, you see – i am a singer too – and I can do backup vocals for you and we would be great together – it would be magical.”

I looked at John. He seemed bemused. To his credit, he did not blush or deny that he was with me, though he seemed to be  few feet further behind me.

I don’t think I let her get a word in edgewise as she tried to collect herself. She probably wanted to know where I got my pants from.

But I wasn’t done.

I reached into the pocket of my own non-man pants and pulled out my business card.

Yes, people. I used to have a singing business card.

She reached over as I threw it in her hand – she really had no other choice as I crammed it into her non-suspecting hands.

“SoAnywaysJustCallMeorEmailMeandMaybeWeCanJam (did I say that?)TogetherIfYouAreBackInTOwn.OhGreattoMeetYou.BYE”

And I ran out of the store so fast. I couldn’t believe it.

I actually spoke to Kris Delmhorst.

I turned to John (who did NOT look embarrassed at all) and said, “Well, how do you think that went?”

“What do you mean? Kiran, you gave her your card. How do you THINK it went?”

Oh. Was that kind of weird? Was I NOT supposed to do that?

Hmmm.

Here is my card that I gave her.

Suffice to say, she NEVER did call.

Here is a performance of one of my favorite songs. Man pants or not, I still lurve her. Listen and you will know why.

“But sometimes I take your picture and I turn it to the wall
You are still a cliff and babe, I still know how to fall.”
– Kris Delmhorst, “Broken White Line”

I wonder if she still keeps my card with her and turns it to the wall. I guess I will never know.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8FLepRWcRI

P.S. John has been asking me for years to write this post. It is one of his favorite moments of mine where I look like an asshole. 








Lie in Our Graves

You might wonder why I am writing a song about graves on what is actually my birthday. Give me a second, and I promise I’ll get there. I like to take, as Patty Griffin says, “The Long Ride Home.”

The Amphitheater – 12 freaking bucks! And no I did NOT go. Duh.

The Storytellers

I have a problem.

Well, to be fair, I have many, but right now I want to speak specifically towards one. I think it would be unfair to burden you with more since this might even be the first time you are visiting my blog.

I like to let the crazy out slowly. Gradually.

So, the problem du jour is my spending problem. I like the color of money. But apparently not enough to save lots of it in our bank accounts. I also don’t feel a need to stare at piles of it on the floor. Instead I make sure our credit cards get a frequent workout and find lots of creative ways to spend that green stuff.

Which I think is a talent.

Add to cart, enter coupon code, enter payment info, submit, confirm order and take it from the top! Its a great cardio burning workout and you can break a real sweat.

John is not happy about this and does not appreciate my credit card assisted cardio.

If he sees me in a new shirt, he will kind of narrow his eyes and ask, while trying to sound very lighthearted (doesn’t work), “Oh, nice shirt babe.”

Don’t think I don’t know where you are going with this, babe.

“Have you had that for a while?” he asks. “Or is it new?”

And this all really annoys me. Irks me. Why doesn’t he trust me? I know how to spend money. But he won’t understand that the shirt was on sale and the color does amazing things for my skin tone. Plus he also doesn’t realize that on top of everything, the shirt goes awesome with the new necklace I bought with it.

You know the shirt to go with the necklace. Or the necklace to go with the shirt.

It’s kind of the whole, chicken before the egg thing.

So in my confusion, and knowing full well that he knows the truth, I do what any smart wife would do.

I lie.

“Oh this old thing?” I say, which is absolutely true if you think that old is at least a week old. It’s all relative. After all, there are some insects for whom that would equate to centuries!

“No it’s been sitting in my closet forever.” (Forever = whole week).

“Oh, I’ve never seen you wear that,” he says, suspiciously.

“That’s because you don’t pay attention, honey.” See how I turned that around? That takes skill.

“Well it looks nice,” he says, walking away still watching me out of the corner of his eyes. Probably to make sure I don’t buy anything while he walks from one room to the next.

Snort, yeah, good luck with that, John (I’ve got Amazon one click set up on my iPhone)

In all seriousness, I am getting a handle on this need to spend. I don’t think of it as a problem with spending as much as a desire to be really prepared in the event of an emergency disaster.

Because you can NEVER have too many Ann Taylor cardigans when a natural disaster happens.

Anyway, another thing I actually do save our money for is annual family pictures. Every year, John and I get a family session done with our family friends, Julie Monticello and Emily Hellmuth. Julie and Emily are an amazingly talented sister team. They are bubbly, relaxed, amazingly easy to work. Most importantly they have gob loads of talent.

They have a way of capturing a fairly non-camera friendly family and transforming us into the most photogenic versions of ourselves. No spinach in our teeth, no lazy eyes and no studio posing, which we are honestly just terrible at. Like, Chandler Bing terrible.

Julie. She has 6 kids. 6 KIDS.

Heartsong

Do you ever feel like your day just kind of ran away from you? I sit here and it’s 11 PM. I know I should be in bed, because I know the trouble I have when my kids get up. I want to stay curled up under the covers and no amount of coffee can make me move from out and under the lovely, comfortable, soft and downy warmth of my bed which all make me want to ….

snore.

Sorry – that’s about how easy it is to pass back out in the mornings, so excuse me while I get some coffee.

It’s just…

Well, I feel like whether you are a working mother or a stay at home one (I will include daddies in this too, because I know plenty who fulfill both roles), by the time everything (and I mean EVERYTHING, as if I really did sweep every last bit of rice off the floor) is done and the kids are FINALLY in bed, I feel a little like…

“Ok what the HELL just happened?”

Because the day is done. Finito. Pretty much gone. And while I had some great highs in my work day (maybe some lows) and some amazing moments with my kids (or not), I just feel like, when the heck do you get to do the things that YOU need to do. NOT the laundry. Not the bills. Not even time on the phone with family.

I mean the things that make you more balanced as individuals – you know – journaling, exercising, writing, playing music. Just examples, please don’t throw a rock at my head because I left off basket-making or pottery or anything. Those are very noteworthy as well.

Everybody has a heartsong. So how do you find yours? Or recognize that maybe it has gone someplace to hide with the sentiment, “hey she is not ready for me now with all this crazy stuff going on, but she will be ready by the time the kids are both in school” so you can put it in the drafty part of your closet right next to the old BCBG dress you refuse to donate because you JUST KNOW you will fit into it again.

Someday.

Are you delaying singing that heartsong or maybe just saying goodbye to your dream?

Are you maybe, just a teensy bit scared? Of not being successful? Of risks? Of what people might think?

Still a mother.
Still a professional.
Still a wife.

But also…

Still a dreamer.

I have friends who have found their “heartsong.” It’s the ability to take what they have passion for in their hearts and make it integral part of their lives in some way, a way that it is woven in that it cannot be denied or perhaps made into less of a priority. For them, fulfilling these heartsongs has allowed them to live to new potentials they would never have known. Yes – they were mothers, but beyond mothers, they are also artists and needed a push in finding that song.

I think that I want these moments because right now my heart is kind of “skipping” in terms of playing the song. Its got a lot of static and it just sounds like a really crappy recording, probably similar to the recordings I used to tape off of Z100’s top 5 at night on my radio/cassette player.

I can hear it, but because maybe its singing a few different tunes, I haven’t found my “song” yet.

Is that crazy? Do you believe that you have a heartsong that you were meant to pursue? Something that always brings you back to a dream that you feel is unfulfilled.

Now listen here. If you tell me your heart always wanted to be Eva Longoria, I know that this will be a LIE because she only rose in popularity in the last six years. It needs to be a legit heartsong. A yearning, really. A yearning to pursue something which you have captured and mastered in your dreams in a way that you are comforted by the thought, and saddened by its absence in life.

For friends who I have who have taken that leap of faith, I must say that I applaud you. You are braver than me, and definitely more talented than I will ever be in the areas you found your heartsongs.

You make me want to be brave and own up to my own dreams.

And do you think that maybe if we listened a little harder to that song, and muted all of the other crap in our lives while also paying less attention to all of the areas that we are weak or make excuses for – that we are denying ourselves and our families a better life?

Just because YOU would ultimately be happier.

The journey to find your heartsong is a tough one. Sometimes realizing you have not achieved it makes it hard for your heart to sing anything, even happy Christmas songs. But you are brave and you can do this. Maybe in 2012 we can all listen a little bit HARDER and sing a little bit LOUDER.

It’s not easy. Hard things never are. That’s what makes them hard.

But soooo worth it.

I may not know my heartsong yet, but I can sing a bra off a drunk girl in a crowded bar. (True story, I HAVE done this). So I think its important that I really give this whole thing a try.

Don’t you think you should too?

Dig deep. Don’t tell me resolutions. Tell me your dreams. What have you always wanted to do? What made you stop? Could you, WOULD you – if you knew that it was an option?

If you could, but you won’t, why not? Are you scared?

Please don’t stop dreaming sisters and misters. You are brave. You CAN do it. I will try with you and I guarantee that if we do – we will sing this song in really kick ass harmony together. Like a “Feed the World” meets “USA for Africa” kind of harmony.

Sing your heart out. Just don’t let you heart ever stop singing. Even if right now, it may only be a whisper.

Kiran