Best Last Minute Gift-Accordion Babes Pin-up Calendar/CD! & Auction Winners

Are you stumped for the perfect gift? Are you ready to give up because youve missed posting that holiday gift? Wait! It’s all OK, because you are actually still ahead of the game for New Years!! Your friends and family will forgive all transgressions just for finding them the most unforgettable gift Ever!… the 2014 Accordion Babes Pin-up Calendar and CD!

Time to shout out winners for the silent jewelry auction to benefit Typhoon Haiyan victims: Margriet Schnabel for the Moss Memories earrings, and  JAK for – the 1920 Holiday Ball– Marcasite/pearl earrings. Yay! Contact me soon as possible so I can get your funds to CARE. Thank you for bidding & to Andrew Thornton for the idea. I will be dedicating other jewelry in my shop to continue raising money past the holidays.

Speaking of holidays, it’s that time of year again! Time to remind you that if you are stumped for the perfect gift, or if you’ve missed holiday posting deadlines, it’s OK, because you are still ahead of the game for New Years!!  Your friends and family will forgive all transgressions just for finding them the best, most unforgettable gift Ever!… the 2014 Accordion Babes Pin-up Calendar!

2014Accordion BabesCVR-sml

I’m pretty sure that this is the ONLY calendar on the planet that features 12 accordion-toting femmes~ real musicians, who front bands, write music and tour~ all while demonstrating in genres and countries worldwide, that accordions are officially COOL again! Ha! Imagine that! Producer Renee de la Prade seriously jumped the pond this year by including accordionistas as far away as Canada ;), Norway, and France. 

Happily, the calendar comes with music! a 12 song CD featuring a tune from each musician in the calendar. And after 6 years of doing this- from posing, to sponsoring, assembling, distributing, and promoting with other accordionistas- I can attest (promise!) that this years musical compilation is the best yet. Seriously! Music ranges from rock, to jazz, pop, zydeco, cabaret and more surprises that will beckon your ear with every note. Unbelievably, this calendar/CD bundle of Joy is a mere $15, plus $5 Priority shipping (US only). Please order yours here: You will be supporting the arts and paying my heating bill at the same time 😉 

Here is my first photo submission that got rejected for being too artistic. 😉

Tara Linda 2014 AccBabes 6_10-med

And I am thrilled to say that I’m up-to-date shipping out my orders!! This is me, with more clothes on, mailing them from the road, in a tiny, cold town somewhere in the wild west. 

Mailing Calendars-CO

You can’t tell, but the building is about 20 x 20ft big. Wait, can you believe it?! Near the middle of nowhere in the wild west, they limit parking to 10 minutes? Shocking!

You can also find my music on CDBaby, I-tunes, and digitally nearly everywhere you look. Thank you, so much, for supporting a world with music. xox!

Artists’ Crush: Band- Local Natives

Dream & Real: Band Local Natives voted the “Hardest Working band of 2013.” Hmmm, how many hundreds of shows does that take? Shows and miles! Love their vocals.

Voted the hardest working band in 2013, LOCAL NATIVES from LA. I’m lovin’ their sweet, melded, harmonic vocals ~ dreamy but tres Real.  And a joy to watch live. Their official vids are a bit indie, cloudy, grainy. I like the one below for its spontaneity, like they put it all together from the road. Which I guess is how it is when you are ‘the hardest working band on the planet for a year.’ 😉

“The group, which hails from Los Angeles, played a total of 188 shows throughout the year, traveling a total of almost 192,500 miles (309,799 kilometres) to get from gig to gig.” Contact Music

and Live:

Artist's OrangeCrush

In the Studio: Music and Movie Dubs

I’m back in the studio now, writing new music- for others, and dubbing voices for my first Indian film- Kiss!

I’m back to writing and recording in the studio now- for others. The current project has me writing songs entirely out of character, which is kind of fun. I’m writing the songs in a different genre as well; alt-country. So it feels a bit like acting, each song is a small play with its own storyline and characters. Tribute songs- very human. To sum up a life, a legend in one song. Can’t say more now, but I’ll be in this mindset of other people’s live for a while, until it’s all finished, sometime in October.

Amped

Speaking of acting, er movies, I got my very first voice dubbing opportunity this summer for an Indian film and it’s just out! Wheeee!  It’s a hip little number, a romantic comedy called Kiss, with actors Adivi Sesh and Priya Banerjee.  It just hit the theaters here in SF area, though I think it was released in India in July.  Sesh, also the director, filmed parts of it here in San Francisco. It opened this week in San Jose. Check it out!

A Lil’ Texas Tour- 1000 Miles of Road

Touring Texas: 1000 miles is just a lil’ Texas tour. Here are a few of the inspiring (and less than inspiring) things about being on the road.

Yes, in a state that is 268,820 sq miles (696,241 km²), driving 1000 miles is considered a ‘stone’s throw’ of a distance.  This is my 3rd time playing/touring with jazz band the Charles Hearn Quintet, and its awesome every time. Of course, like with any tour, it’s not all roses.

Great Things about Going on Tour to Play your Music out of Town:

The Regional Cuisine: TX-tiniTacos and a “Texas Margarita” with limes and olives.

txShrimpI fell in love with this place in San Antonio: Dry Dock. Oysters, shrimp, fried catfish, hushpuppies.

hou-bbqClassic Texas BBQ!

More inspiration: The Environment-

texas skies1929Aaah…those big Texas skies

Tough things about Touring Texas:

texasStateTexas is big.

6 cities of shows means we spend lots of time driving.  From the Rio Grande Valley- Harlingen, McAllen, Weslaco, Brownsville, up to the central part of the state- San Antonio, Austin…  This is why it’s only a “lil’ Texas tour”  Ha! You may cover 1000 miles, but you miss most of the state!  And so maybe next year we’ll take on new TX cities. Expand our horizons a bit.

Another tough thing about Texas- It’s just a lil’ on the hot side. 105-107f most days. Not much AC at soundcheck and load-in before each show.  It took awhile to adjust to the outdoor stages. You either melt or fry…

breakfast misunderstanding

Cool things about this Texas tour:

Tx tour-2013

The venues. The audiences! (We were happy to see full houses each night!) The musicians. It’s always hard work to roll into town, cram in a bunch o’ rehearsals and hit the road for lots of shows in a short span of time, but this group keeps it fun. I learn lots from this jazz band, the Charles Hearn Quintet, and love ’em all 😉 !!

A major awesome thing for me- visiting the DJ’s and radio stations who have been spinning Torch and Sass! (pics coming soon…)

Things that Inspire me After Tour:

My ukulele!

BandTL9102414_orig-med

The baritone is a perfect instrument on the road, like a tenor guitar. As awesome as a band is, solo is sweet too. I find myself swinging 180d to the simplest renditions of my songs when coming off the road. Now learning new 1930’s tunes with it!  And the last big inspiration of this tour…

Saxman Charles Hearn in situ:

chasStudio
An awesome band leader, producer, songwriter, musician, and all around great friend: this is Charles chillin’ in his über productive musical habitat. He & this space have made me happy hungry to get back to recording in my own space again.  Which is exactly what I’ve been up to since coming home.

That, and playing tortilla western shows locally since back in Cali. Traveling and performing like this always awakens new Muses, from jazz stages to the deserts of the southwest, again. A creative wind is coming on…

Last inspiration since coming home:

cuc

My garden! It grew! Someone must have watered it!  I now have salad stuff, squash, tomatoes…   Good thing: I’ve gone vegetarian since all that TX BBQ 😉

Retro Jazz: Singer Mildred Bailey and Pearls

When I write new music for a project, whether for my own CDs or someone else’s, or a video, there are usually two seemingly opposite creative things going on. First, once a song or idea ‘takes’, I become obsessively focused with it; the concept, the genre, the instruments, the writer, the frontmen- exploring everything around “it”. All of this led to my discovery of the “First Queen of Swing” songstress Mildred Bailey.

A friend asked recently, “what’s up with the pearls in your shop? I never thought you a pearl person.”  True, I used to only make pearl jewelry for my working friends- simple and classic. But singing retro jazz has changed that: I love to layer pearl chokers with longer necklaces, and now make pieces- similar to what I wear on stage- for a new “Onstage and After Hours collection.” Actually, there are specific musical influences that make these more retro than modern…  😉

pearlCollage

When I write new music for a project, whether for my own CDs or someone elses, or for a video- there are usually two seemingly opposite creative things going on. First, once a song or idea ‘takes’, I become obsessively focused with it; the concept, the genre, the instruments, the writer, the frontmen- exploring everything about “it”. Second, I always keep a lazy ear open to hear what others on a similar track, are doing/ or might have done, with a similar Muse; it could be 2012 or 1912; a rapper or a legendary composer. These sparks all go into the mix  of writing a song several ways, until one ‘catches’.  The final version is usually something that self selects; usually by the next morning, when I wake up mindlessly humming one version. Ha! That is my litmus test, if even I can’t get a hook out of my head. 😉

For my latest CD, Torch and Sass, when I was exploring “retro” jazz, my vinyl collection scattered across the floor was only the first springboard of discovery.  Then came visits to my favorite music and record stores to talk to experts. I would say “I’m listening to X, and I want to discover more.” I love to see my friends go into overdrive to inspire others, pulling music from bins, spinning turntables, talking story on their favorite artists, songs, labels, with those very cool little known tidbits of info in between. Ah… this fading art!  I mean, Wikipedia is good and all, but nothing beats a listening tour back through time, with pictures, and luxuriously long liner notes from album covers.  (*Sigh*.)  JC at Downhome records is my favorite contact for this, and Dave at Dave’s record shop, Emeryville.

So, this kind of musical sleuthing led me to vocalist Mildred Bailey; somewhere between looking for ukulele jazz, blues driven jazz, and 1930’s composers for Louis Armstrong- Mildred Bailey’s name popped up.

Mildred+BaileyMed

Mildred Bailey from the Pacific Coast, called “First Lady of Swing”,  was said to be one of the very first woman singers in jazz, the first to sing with emerging big bands (Paul Whiteman, Eddie Lang, Benny Goodman), AND is said to have been a primary influence for the young Sarah Vaughan. Here is an early tune of Mildred’s, 1931.

Mildred was also the first female musician to get a guaranteed pay in the business, less than half the male musicians of the day, but significant considering. Being one of the first- the road was tough as her biographical notes hint at- Mildred called the “Queen of Swing”, had a versatile voice, and was established quickly with the big-band orchestras of the day. But as the sound of big band grew, so did the preference for women singers who fit a certain look and profile.  Though radio made her popular, and her voice was gorgeous, big-band leaders favored more petite female singers.  Sadly, this, and health issues, affected her career.  A song from the peak of her career in swing- Darn that Dream:

Mildred’s lilt, range, fine, bright tones, and her emotive delivery- that morphs with every song- inspired my singing for Torch and Sass. My voice is a low alto, and many in the lower registers have to work harder to get clear tones in the higher registers; so these women are definitely role models for me.

Mildred’s alleged taste in furs and jewelry, inspired this pearl jewelry collection in my Etsy store.  (And grandma’s Majorca pearls.)  I was never into pearls before, but these “vintage” pearls of the past seemed a great way to celebrate Mildred’s beautiful voice and contribution toward establishing women in jazz.

Use code pearls20 to get 20% off anything with pearls-until May 31st.

pearl2 Collage

Fresh Alchemy- Why Each Show is Different

…This is the scary cool fun of it all. There really is that slow motion point in the very beginning of a show, that terrifying second when you walk out, look out at an audience, and know that you have absolutely no control over the next 90 minutes. Despite all the prep work or a full house. HA!

We just had our biggest show of the year, (so far ;)), last week at world premier Yoshi’s jazz club.  And a great turn out (Thank you friends for celebrating Spring with us. And dancing…!!).

yoshi's 2013 collage

I always welcome a mental break after these; all the extra energy leading up; getting music ready, planning a live act, promoting, stressing (what if no one shows?!)- and then, going with whatever happens on stage that day.

This is the scary cool fun of it all. There really is that slow motion point in the very beginning of a show, that terrifying second when you walk out, look out at an audience, and know that you have absolutely no control over the next 90 minutes. Despite all the prep work or a full house.  HA!

Band

organism of six

apex display onstage-

your mood, your skills, chemistry

of today, could be alchemy    Who knows

how your heart will settle    behind drums, your

fingers on strings, wind moving over reeds, tapping

or muting sweet a trumpet   All inspiring a voice to follow

or Lead    Who knows?

¨¨¨°º©©º°¨¨¨¨¨¨°º©©º°¨¨¨¨¨¨¨°º©©º°¨¨¨¨¨¨    Tara Linda

This is what makes each show so different from the last.  We feel it as both as musicians and performers. Last week’s show felt more raw, and all the more special for it. We tried new things. And though we may attempt to prepare for everything, the uncertainty plus the freshness of each second = spontaneity. Thankfully, I haven’t had to sing my songs 1000’s of times. Yet 😉  But even if they weren’t fresh, I think I would have to make up new words each show. Or change up the rhythms, something! I couldn’t go through motions, not with something I love so much.

Next up: writing/recording new music for clients. Mentally, even that wants a break. Must fight the inertia…studio calls!  Poetry and Music Muses…hover closer…!

This is actually a cool ad: how we never see ourselves as others see us.  Just Beautiful.

napowrimo

Day 1: 30 Days-30 Poems NaPoWriMo & Jazz Month too!

April already?! The month to celebrate both Poetry & Jazz, they say. Here begins another wonderful challenge NaPoWriMo- 30 poems in 30 days. I’m happy to reconnect to a daily writing/posting habit again this year. I think I’ve been running about 17 poems/month in past years, with daily posting being my greatest challenge. So this year, I aim to do better; to post more often, shorter, and more immediate, less worked over bits. Because that is what it’s about, yes?- quantity and NOT perfection; leaving the critic in the dust.

April already?!  The month to celebrate both Poetry & Jazz, they say.  Awesome Possum!! 😉

On the jazz front- I  just finished a jazz and blues course at the JazzSchool, Berkeley- an intensive taught by musicians of the Montclair Women’s Big Band. Amazing teachers & inspiration from an all female crew of instructors!  How cool was that! It was a serious intensive, packed with classes for improv, ensemble, vocals, all instruments, and performance- with a culminating concert last Friday night. Whew!  Rewarding and exhausting both. I posted a whole photo album on FB here.  These are some of my favorite pics.

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jazz 2013

For poetry, I’m happy to reconnect to a daily writing/posting habit again this year. I think I’ve been running about 17 poems/month in past years, with daily posting being my greatest challenge.  So this year, I aim to do better; to post more often, shorter, and more immediate, less worked over bits. Because that is what it’s about, yes?- quantity and NOT perfection; leaving the critic in the dust. Just writing. Just poetry!  It’s posting from the road that’s tough for me…

I’m on Twitter now!  @TaraLindaMusic , & hope to use that as a tool for nano writing.

I will post a page of prompts soon- but so far, I’ve begun to warm up with my own 52/365 poem prompt, and I’ll be starting with prompts from life, the NaPoWriMo site, and the Sunday Whirl.  Post your prompts here so I can discover more!  Poets- leave your links so that I can drop by and enjoy your Muses too.

Poem 1:  Perpetual

Just words, she says
a stretch of meaning scrawled
across the sidewalk, over a curb
under a street, faint calls to an
underworld, to deviants, or raccoons
whoever trembles first.

What was lost in March is found
in April, curbside, nestled deep because nothing
dies when shared perpetually, he says- twirling
circles, eddies, gyres around us, out and back into
all those places a train might scour before midnight.

Change the Absconder, rolling and heaving,
winds past poppies and dandelions on its way to create
something better: era, master, poet, fuse-
syllabic truths growing straighter than weeds-
 

She calls to him
Just words, to die for.

Prompt: Wordle 100