JC Cassis performs at The Trash Bar 9.15.10

Last Wednesday was show two of the Week of Too Many Shows, a one-hour set at The Trash Bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Man, does this place live up to its name! But it’s such a great dive/punk rock bar. I love it. For this show, I had two special guests: JJ Japanime, and Dan Freeman of Comandante Zero with 0H10 M1ke performing their song, Wake Up in New York, which is one of my absolute favorites of theirs. I played synth and did backing vocals on that song, which is always fun to do. “Icedick” KILLED again, which is great, and the whole audience was standing up and dancing with me the whole time, which made it so much fun to perform. Yay!

JC Cassis and JJ Japanime perform at The Trash Bar 9.15.10

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!

Ok, I don’t even know where the first half of June went. Let me try to sum it up:

June 1: I had my show for Rudin Management outside on Park Avenue. It was a beautiful, hot day, and I did a one-hour set. It was both a lot of fun and an exercise in extreme stamina. By the end of it, my shirt was soaked through with sweat under my corset. Charming. That’s keepin’ it real!

June 2-present: I have been helping to organize the Pop Music Stage at Figment (www.figmentproject.org) as well as a benefit concert and dinner to help out Team Buhara, a Ugandan education and healthcare outreach NGO. God, do I hate organizing shows!!! No more after this.

June 11-13: FIGMENT! God help us all.

June 8: I went up to Spence to have dinner with my former flute teacher, and while we were sitting outside eating at Jackson Hole, a group of Spence girls approached me and said “Sorry to interrupt! We know you’re having dinner, but would you mind taking a picture with us?” And then they took my picture with them! So cute! It’s so funny to me how anytime I go near Spence, the girls recognize me and talk to me like I was just there yesterday. I love being recognized and having people get excited about seeing me when I’m just out and about, so that is always awesome. It’s also the only time that ever happens so far, LOL.

June 10: Awesomely, Comandante Zero has asked me to be the “knob girl” for their upcoming performance this Saturday at 5pm on the Colonel’s Stage at Figment on Governors Island. This means I get to press buttons that play samples and loops during their live set. I also get a sample solo and I get to play the keyboard part on my one of my FAVORITE songs of theirs, “Wake Up in New York” LIVE ON STAGE WITH THEM. I love it! So awesome! I rehearsed for 3 hours today in an indie Brooklyn band. I’m so not hipster enough for that, and yet it’s something I’m doing and loving. Really looking forward to that show!

Once this totally ridiculous weekend is over, I gotta get back to booking mad gigs for the next few months, since I don’t really have anything nailed down yet after June. Yikes!

5/14 was a crazy, crazy, super awesome day for me. I started it off with the first in-person rehearsal with my amazing backup dancers from bacKspace, which was soooooo fun! They showed me the dance they had put together for “Dance Dance Dance” and it was so fierce and sassy and adorable I was like jumping up and down and giggling.

My fantastic new backup dancers, Charmin Ulltra and Krystal Something-Something!!!

Then we all worked on it together and grabbed lunch before I had to RUN back to Manhattan to make it to a sound check with Mimi Imfurst, since I would be singing Ace of Base’s “The Sign” with her later that night at The F Word party at Rebel. We did soundcheck with the live band, which was amazing, then Mimi, Meagan Gilliland and I all stood in the service entrance of Rebel together, harmonizing on “The Sign” many times over until it was solid. That’s also where I met Michael Formika Jones, the fabulous nightlife promoter who puts on The F Word, and we all talked about how hard it is to throw a good party in NYC because of all the stupid anti-fun laws there are in this city and all the hardships and bullying the clubs face. It’s really sad, because New York should be THE nightlife capital of the world and it’s not going to happen until we stop turning our precious and awesome clubs into shopping malls and condos and parking lots! ARGH!

Anyway, then I ran home to get dressed for my opening set at Santos Party House, ran down to Santos, did my sound check, put my makeup on by candlelight, did my show, sang backup for Comandante Zero’s show, watched Soulfege’s show, then went out for dinner in Chinatown, where I almost collapsed from exhaustion. Then I picked myself up and ran up to Rebel, where I arrived super early and fell asleep on the couch waiting for Mimi to get there. As my good friends know, I always take a “disco nap” in the middle of the night at the party, then get up and finish the rest of the party, then go to bed for real. So I got to Rebel at like midnight, dozed off till 12:30, then woke up to people laughing and photographing me sleeping on the couch. Classic. Finally, it was time to go meet Mimi in the dressing room, which was one of the most fun moments of the night, because I got in there and within seconds it was PACKED with me and like ten drag queens and a couple photographers, and then bacKspace showed up looking amazing and we all hung out in there for a while, and then it was time to go on stage! Mimi brought wigs and dresses for us so that when we went up there, it was like three Mimi’s all singing together. So awesome.

The show went great, and it was SO INCREDIBLY AWESOME to look out across the audience and see a packed dance floor with so many of my new nightlife pals, including bacKspace, dancing and singing along with us! AAAAAAAAAAH I want to do/have that all the time!!!

Later, I was down on the dancefloor, not particularly paying attention to what was going on, when apparently Formika decided to get the band to play a well-known rock song that he could sing along to. Before I knew what was happening, Mimi turned to me and said “They’re going to play a song and you’re going to sing it. Now get up there!” When Mimi tells me to sing, I generally obey, hahaha. It’s a good thing I did, because they chose to play “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns n’ Roses, one of my fave rock songs to sing and which is in a perfect key for me to be able to hit all the notes in a really impressive way. The trouble is, I don’t know the words that well. So I got up there, and Formika’s like “Do you know Sweet Child?” and I was like, “Gimme a second, I think so!” and even though usually I can’t remember lyrics in moments like those, suddenly I remembered all the lyrics in the right order, and I was like, “I know it. Let’s do it!” Then the band started to play it, and I just let loose and tore it up from start to finish, even dropping down to my knees and dancing with the mic stand the way Axl Rose does. The crowd loved it and it was quite a fantastic moment.

Then I finally dragged my butt outside the club, where I met Chandilier Period, the tallest drag queen ever, and finally it was time to go home and collapse. Magic!