Women Who Rock Flyer

This past Thursday I organized and played in Women Who Rock, a show to benefit Empire State Pride Agenda through Drinking for a Change, my friend Peter Dunn’s organization which raises money for LGBT causes through hosting bar nights in NYC. Man, do I hate organizing shows, but luckily this one turned out great.

After a flurry of emails and months of stressing about it, Peter and I put together an evening of music hosted by my friend, soon-to-be theatrical/burlesque star Lady Killer, DJ’ed by DJ Ahomii, and featuring performances by Jené, Charlene Kaye, Anna Haas and me. As is the case with all show biz endeavors, everything seemed to be in a shambles one hour before the show was scheduled to start, but by 9:20 or so we had opened the doors, and our fantastic crowd was pouring in as the dance pop tunes blared over the sound system. Jené started things off with a bang with a short set that included a bit of a strip tease and some fierce belting, then Charlene Kaye kept it rockin’ with her fabulous band, then Anna Haas brought it home with her soulful belt and a wonderful cover of “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson at the end of her set, during which Charlene and I picked up our mics and spontaneously joined in on the background vocals while getting the whole crowd dancing and singing along. That was a great moment!

Finally, it was my turn to take the stage. I was initially a bit sad that my backup dancers weren’t able to do this gig with me, but once I got there and was reminded of how teeny-tiny the stage is, I realized it was all for the best since there would have been no space for them to dance. Everything happens for a reason!

This show went so well. The crowd was perfect, they loved my stuff, and I had plenty of funny things to say in between songs. I remember at one point saying, because it was an LGBT charity fund raiser and most of the crowd was gay, “Listen. I LOVE gay people. One time I was at a gay guy’s birthday party and it was just me and a bunch of gay guys, and I kid you not, we ACTUALLY ended the party by spontaneously singing “Seasons of Love” from RENT, complete with all the proper harmonies, riffing and backup vocals. You know that would never happen at a straight party, and it was amazing. So, if you guys ever get tired of being gay, just, you know, take a breath and keep going, because you’re doing the right thing. Don’t stop being gay!” Everyone laughed a lot at that. At another point, after singing a few songs, I was so out of breath and sweaty and exhausted from the last few days of running myself into the ground, that I just sat down and was sort of laughing uncontrollably at the whole situation, and said, through laughs, “I feel like an old, overweight drag queen who’s trying to prove she’s still got it. I am so exhausted, hahahahha,” and I did that thing where performers feel out a moment with the audience and get them to the point where they have to spontaneously erupt into applause, which was just what happened. It was SO funny and awesome and I don’t know if anyone caught it on tape, but if they did, you can bet it will be on this blog pretty soon.

About halfway into the set, people started to really get up and dance to all my songs and it was so fun to get down on the dance floor and jump around and sing with them. They really got into “Everybody’s Crazy in New York” as always, and at the end of the set, people were clamoring to sign my email list, and I sold some CDs, so it was quite a fantastic evening.

If someone else will do all the legwork next time, we should do it again! 🙂

Here are some pictures from my 3/27/10 show at Drom in NYC for Art for Progress’ Clash of the Artists. To see more photos, become my fan on facebook. All photos by DJ Ahomii!

JC Cassis, AFP Clash of the Artists, Drom, NYC, 3.27.10. Photo credit: DJ Ahomii
JC Cassis, AFP Clash of the Artists, Drom, NYC, 3.27.10. Photo credit: DJ Ahomii
JC Cassis, AFP Clash of the Artists, Drom, NYC, 3.27.10. Photo credit: DJ Ahomii
JC Cassis, AFP Clash of the Artists, Drom, NYC, 3.27.10. Photo credit: DJ Ahomii

I'm workin' it with others a lot these days!

Forgot to put this in my update below. The other thing that’s been keeping me busy recently is collaborations, collaborations and more collaborations! Like these:

1. Last night I laid down vocals for two Hepnova songs, and they’re pretty awesome. Hepnova is my two friends Lee-Sean and Nick, and you can check out their stuff at hepnova.bandcamp.com. They’ll be replacing the lead vocals on their songs “Again Tonight” and “You’re For Me” with my vocals very soon. It’s always a ton of fun recording vocals with Lee-Sean in his lower Manhattan studio, which is where the Can’t Stop (Remix) video was filmed:

He also posted a bunch of silly self-portraits I took during the session on facebook, so if you’re not already my friend on facebook, friend me at facebook.com/jccassis so you can see them.

2. At a music networking event last week, I ran into producer Alex Morelli, for whom I sang on a demo last year, and whom I hadn’t seen in a year! He and I will be working on some songs of his very soon.

3. I got a request through a new YouTube friend to record some vocals and help write on an awesome dance song they’re working on, so I gotta lay those down and send them off asap.

4. Got a ton of remixes coming down the pike as soon as the people who are working on them finish…

5. I have found a DJ to add to my live shows, which I think will up the energy so much and allow me to keep the music going while I talk between songs. She is awesome and her name is DJ Ahomii. The way we met is the randomest story ever and I love it. I was performing at the Bandshell in Central Park in November. She walked by during my set with a very cute French bulldog. I petted the bulldog. She took a picture. Then she randomly found me on facebook two months later and showed me the picture. I talked to her and she said she was a DJ. I asked if she wanted to be my DJ, she said yes, and we’ll be rehearsing together soon to start doing shows together as early as April 25th! I think this is going to be such a huge help. With a DJ, my show will be way better which will make me more proactive about booking more shows, as well as make me more marketable to people booking shows, especially in clubs and at dance parties. It will also make it easier and more fun to tour since I can play small dance-centric bars and clubs anywhere if I come in with a DJ. She also loves the same music and songs I do and has a flair for crazy fashion on stage and is super nice. I think this collaboration is going to be a lot of fun for the two of us.

YAY!