Charmin Ulltra, JC Cassis and Krystal Something-Something at Street Smart at Sugarland, 9.26.10 Photo: Eddie Pardovani

This past Sunday marked my triumphant return to Sugarland’s monthly show, Street Smart, after being away in August for Burning Man. Unfortunately, the organization of the show sort of unraveled at the last minute, but BacKspace and I pulled it together and kept the crowd entertained. I made some great new fans and had a great time performing as always. Shout out to the lovely Paul Irvine, who manages Sugarland and is the best tech person a performer could have.

I also FINALLY picked up a zebra print corset and silver sequin boots, so get ready for some fierce stage looks in the future!

There was an actual double rainbow hitting the ground where Burning Man was, but from where I was, I could only see a single one. Still, magic!
Our humble abode for Burning Man, affectionately named the "Moon Unit."
In the background you'll see there was an enormous game of Tetris going on 🙂

So finally, after 14 months of waiting, I got to go to Burning Man, and it was so awesome!!! I highly recommend that everyone on earth go at least once before they die. And if I had known better, I might not have even waited a year, because it turns out you can totally go with about a week’s notice, if not less.

I camped with the Bassyx Camp, a DJ group from San Francisco. They were awesome and it was so much fun. I met so many great people at Burning Man and had so many great conversations. Everyone is in such a friendly, open mindset and it makes for an amazing social environment in which to just relax and enjoy yourself for a week. The weather/survival aspects were surprisingly easy to deal with, and for the first three days we didn’t even have any white-outs or dust storms. For the last three days, though, it was crazy dusty. But still, it was a lot of fun, and being in a white-out, especially at night, was really cool!

I played a show at Burning Man, and it was awesome. When I first heard that I could do it, I wanted to schedule a bunch of shows and perform as much as possible, but when I got there, I realized I was really glad to do only one show, because it’s way more fun to have no set schedule and be able to do whatever you want there the whole time. I performed at Center Camp, which was great because there was a huge audience there. A hand drummer performed right before my set, so I asked him to stay up and play on my songs, and that was really cool. I made a bunch of new fans and I only wish I’d brought CDs to give them. Oh well, next year!

I know I’ve been a bit absent on here recently, and it’s because two thirds of the summer had sped by without me even noticing it when I realized that if I didn’t make enjoying the summer a priority immediately, it was going to be fall in about five minutes. So I went to the beach. Over and over again. And it was absolutely the right thing to do.

Live entertainment for the 'hole' family. Do they ever proofread signs??

Besides just lying around in the sun, though, I’ve actually gotten some important music things done. I’ve done some great shows this summer, written some new songs (finally! Thank god!), put out the Everybody’s Crazy in New York music video and gag reel, and recorded vocals for and written with singer/songwriter/producer Zach Adam, who’s had plenty of success in Israel and is really starting to make a name for himself here in the US. Very exciting stuff! It’s so great to be actual friends and collaborators with someone so talented and accomplished who has his own studio and can really produce and push the songs out there. I really hope big and good things come from that collaboration, but either way, I’m really enjoying working with him, and that’s the most important thing.

Zach Adam setting up the vocal booth for me

I’ve gotten into the mindset recently that it really is true that enjoying the journey is more important than getting to the destination, so I’ve been really reveling in the journey as of late. The destination is still super important, and I will get there, but until then, I’ll be journeying it up, and having a great time making friends and making art along the way. I just have to balance this enjoying life and taking things slowly with consistently getting important things done and I’ll be all set. I am finally getting a little tired of being so relaxed, though, so after my trip to Burning Man in a few days, I really want to buckle down and get going again. New music, new videos, and most of all, way more muscle put in to promoting my stuff! Gotta build that fanbase up somethin’ fierce!!

So last Monday I did my Make Music New York mini-tour of Brooklyn, hitting the insufferably hot Vox Pop at 1pm and the somehow less hot outdoor setup at Bread Stuy at 4pm. It was such a hot day that I decided to forgo wearing my usual wig, thinking that it would only make me pour sweat even more, to the point where it would be dangerous to be using electrical equipment. Somehow, though, I feel like I sweated more without a wig while performing at Vox Pop than I ever could have in Hell with a wig on. It was gross. Funny and ridiculous, but really gross, too. Also, I learned that a sleepy coffee shop at 1pm is not the most suitable place for me to perform my music. I just wanted to be part of Make Music New York, and I did get some new fans out of it, which is always the most important thing, but I think next year, if I can’t get a nighttime slot in an appropriate venue, I’m just gonna skip it.

The show at Bread Stuy was hilarious because it was at a simple DJ setup outside, so I was literally standing behind a table with a PA set up on it, just standing and singing my songs. People on the street generally seemed to enjoy it, except for this one old lady who came by and seemed to be unpleasantly surprised that there was loud music playing right next to her apartment. She was like “What’s going on here? When are you stopping?” Then she watched me disapprovingly for my next two songs. SO awkward. But again, I did make some new fans and sold a CD, so it was worth it.

I’m excited for my show tonight at Sugarland at 10:30pm, (221 North 9th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn), because that show always goes great and has a great audience that loves what I do. Also, bacKspace and Comandante Zero will be playing the show with me, so it’s gonna be a really solid lineup. After that I don’t really have any solid shows booked, although there are some things floating around in the ether for July and August, and I may well be performing at Burning Man in Nevada, which would be awesome. But without a lot of shows, I’m going to focus on online promotion and networking with industry contacts to write and sing with/for more people and try to get my songs licensed. I need to start making some real money and stronger contacts with this and really get things moving towards where I want them to be. Wish me luck and send me ideas!

This past weekend was quite a whirlwind of activity, since I was working on Figment all weekend. Check out the video above to see some footage of Figments past.

I performed on the Point Stage on Sunday and it was so much fun! Did another outdoor, one-hour set, which was taxing but paid off because I really delighted a bunch of the people who were watching me, and luckily I finished my set before the rain rolled in. Then I got on a ferry back to Manhattan full of Burning Man folk who played music and danced the whole way back. Can’t wait to go to Burning Man for the first time this year! I think it will be really amazing.

We also got 25,000 people out to Figment this year, which is almost DOUBLE what we got last year, so that is incredible. As much as I totally despise organizing shows, I will probably work on Figment again next year, because it’s a lot of fun! Hope to see you there in 2011!