Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Microphone

My microphone is broken and I can't fix it.

This is how I feel right now:

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Mute Button



The best way I could describe this summer it seemed like a series of lost people and a lot of going back and forth.

This summer was good, but I was pretty bored. I felt uninspired, suffocated and creatively malnourished. It felt like there was a lot of keeping appearances, maintaining social quota and just a type of quiet estrangement.

I remember being up north a couple times, being surrounded by a tremendous amount of nature and beauty but feeling so muted and kind of lonely. I suppose because I didn't feel accomplished this summer I didn't enjoy 'my down' time as much and the company was often transfused.

 I don't really feel content unless I'm working or creating something and I have a good companion, friend or otherwise, that is supportive, a listener but responsive and most of all laughs a lot. Oh how I love a solid sense of humour. I didn't feel like I had that quite configured like I usually do, and this summer was a test of my patience.

WHY WAS THIS SUMMER SO NOT FUNNY?

I felt like I had pressed the mute button on my life and I was just watching things motion through.

Do not do this.

Tonight I tear apart my closet, purging lots of stuff, but mostly clothes, shoes, cosmetics and personal collateral therein. I think it's imperative to do this more frequent than we do. Wouldn't it be brilliant if we could do that with personal problems? Just sweep them up in a big bag and send them to Goodwill to be taken apart and distributed amongst society.

A girl can dream.

I'm tracking vocals this week, trying to make a decision on a song that has two good but different direction it could go in. I chose one, but I think I made the wrong choice. I have to rectify that. Changing the name from "Dreamgirl Whatever" to "Girl Who Got Away" means I have to come up with a new logo, something I'm happy and comfortable with. For now I'm keeping my eye on the prize, and am already having a much more productive fall than I did this summer.

Lots of decisions to be made, hurray for intuition otherwise I'd never decide on anything.

 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Oh dear.


I haven't written a song all summer. There are four guitars an two keyboards surrounding me right now.

None of the keyboards are plugged in.
All of the guitars are out of tune, a busted bridge, a trem gone wrong...

Oh dear.

I kind of always think that every song will be the last song I ever write. I'm not sure if that's a good or terrible mentality to take with writing. I just always figured years ago when I started, that one day I'd just stop, and become an accountant or professional plant waterier, or something like that.

I can't say for sure that it won't occur one day, but I probably should start writing again because I like writing. Writing is good.

Producing is fun too. Performing I've always been really exhausted by. In a perfect world I'd have my own rehearsal space show up on my own, cell phone off, a big mug of tea and I could write and write. And then bring my band in and play and play.

That's how this started. In a friends basement when I was 14, playing songs over and over, taking intermittent trips to the convenience store for candy and then bubble tea. It was simple. Play, sugar, laugh, play, sugar. We'd get so tired and sugar high we'd be lying on the floor playing bass and guitar, our tongues blue from some Slurpee. It was awesome.  How I'd love to have that again. But it hasn't happen.

Adults in bands replace candy with cigarettes, bubble tea with booze and fatigue with naps. I haven't found how to really have fun yet with live music. I'd really love my own rehearsal space to be loud and free.

In the city, it just seems like everyone is just playing over everyone else.
And it's hard to get a clear note out down here.

 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Get Out Of Your Own Way


I spent the evening over at Adrian Ellis' studio going over one of the new Late July tracks (as pictured above, yay for monitors!).

It felt good to focus on a song that we've been having a back and forth with for some time. As I was sitting there going through the tracks, figuring out what goes where, MORE BASS, LESS VIOLIN, MORE CELLO, ALL THE EPIC SOUND! I realized that I was able to finally move on this track because all I really care about is making music I like. It's easy to get shelved in your own head stressed about how good anything you do is and how other people will interpret it. But sometimes, as someone said to me today...

It takes courage to get out of your own way.

So as I listened to the song more as What am I going to find cool? I remember that ultimately satisfying feeling when you finish a track or a record and you listen through and you go YES, I got that idea out of my head, materialized it and put it in the real world! HURRAY FOR ALL! 

I don't wake up in the morning expecting people to embrace me and tell me wonderful things (it never happens ANYWAY) and neither do I finish a track and post it expecting good things. More often than not, outside of my wonderfully supportive friends, I don't hear a lot of feedback, and if I balanced my creative endeavours on that, I wouldn't have ever finished anything first place. 

No one wants to wait for a slow clap.

After our session we had a long chat about The Wilhelm Scream which I knew nothing about but have likely heard 1000's of times in my life and now I secretly want to put it in one of my songs. It had nothing to do with anything, but at least, now I feel educated on the subject.

As I sit here, I'm listening to the new Girl Who Got Away mixes. Facebook made the switch and Dreamgirl Whatever is no more. Girl Who Got Away lives!

Finally, here's a little banner I made based on a St. Vincent tweet I saw earlier:




Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Little Notes


Little notes.

Working on new music. Two projects. Late July and Dreamgirl Whatever.

This time last year I was about to release three different records for two different musical endeavours. I felt sensitive to how people able to delineate between one writer, voicing two different projects.

It was uncool.
It was confusing.
It was self-aggrandizing.
But really, it just was.

After much back and forth, I decided it doesn't really matter. If you have to over think things to the point where you don't enjoy them anymore, then nothing matters once the spirit of which you started the project is gone. You can get it back, but you'll have to pare away the rules that people, good natured and otherwise, try to impart on you.

It's not easy cutting ties, but if you are the product of your environment, whether that be physical, social, artistic or otherwise - then you really need to take a step back to consider who and what you're being influenced by, and more over if it's conducive to your well being.

The good news is I emerge from this summer, slightly wiser, mildly happier and with more direction than I had when I went into this summer.

BUT WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN MISS SIMONE?

It's all good news.

The great Adrian Ellis and I are meeting tomorrow to go over some songs we've been mucking about with. This will be for a smaller EP release of 2 - 3 songs. I think the influence for this will be spooky warrior princess with a bitter sweet panache. That's what it sounds like so far, and I dig it. Even cooler, is that Adrian is releasing his own record in the next couple months. I've been privileged to the tracks and I really adore them. Something unique and inspiring, I can't wait for its release. Can anyone say, SIBLING RECORDS?

The boy across the sea, Nico Vetter and I have been battling a second record for Dreamgirl Whatever, and I have to say it's sounds really good. It's been a great collaboration and while we can't quite see the finish line for this EP it's there. I have been really unhappy with the name of the project and have worked on a new title for awhile, one I have become quite content with and will announce soon...

There's more to report, so stay tuned. I was all blither blather of posting on a blog, BLOGSHAMING and all that OMG YOU HAVE A BLOG? EW! GROSS! GNAR! But really you guys, Ew.

Summer may be over but Late July lives, and Dreamgirl Whatever... gets more specific.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

They change you and they leave you forever.


You know those people you meet that you'll never understand and therefore never forget; they strike like lightning. They leave an unforgettable mark on you, and impression and a feeling you can't get rid of- and then they are gone. or you are gone. or the whole ground you stood on, is gone so to speak, and you can't go back.

You walk away slowly from each other on a street, walking backwards not sure what to say before one of you finally turns around and you scream in your head WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT. You can't say goodbye, you can never say goodbye to these people, but you can't carry on with them like nothing ever happened. So you don't speak. Why? Because then it'd really be over. So from lightning they become ghosts and from ghosts they become a fictitious memory. And it's all weird, it's always all weird with you, with them, with us, all the time.

It happens. Whether you want to analogize it to be lightning or some other comparison of a bold quick connection it's all the same. I've seen people wounded for years by these moments, these people that changed their physical chemistry redefined how they felt about things, then got stuck when no suitable or greater replacement made itself available.

You have to work for happiness, they say. Happiness is not stagnation.

The problem remains, you don't know what to call those people, or if to acknowledge they still exist in the same world as you. Perhaps on parallel earths, universes neighbouring each other, you wave at the moon, they wave at the other side of the moon and so forth and so on. But in reality you probably walk the same streets, look up at the same sky, and wonder if you're listening to the exact same song at the exact same time. Weird stuff, that makes you just that much weirder - et cetera.

It's all messed up. You felt so at home with that lightning so quickly that you forgot what you were dealing with. There's no label for those type of people, there's no safe spot to put them in the scheme of your life. They just exist in the crevasses of your brain, and you hope that time will wash it away or that the clouds will bring it all back to you, that the lightning would come find you.

You can wait in that same place, at the same time but the same things will never happen. The universe doesn't work that way. And at some point, at some time you recognize that for all the great impact and feelings this person provoked in you, they were just lightning, and lightning doesn't last.

We can't compartmentalize our lives. I've learnt this, or tried to, over and over again.

Some people are lightning in our lives.
They strike,
They change you
The leave you forever
But chances are,
You changed them too.

 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Where I have been and other things you pick up off the ground.


Once a religious blogger, now, not so much, a couple people have been asking "Sup." followed with "Late July" and random 90's hip hop catch phrases like "Dope" "Fly" and "Da bomb"

I'll fill you in.

Last year around this time I launched a new project called Dreamgirl Whatever (throw the W up in the air when you say it and you'll probably get the full effect I was going for).  Yes it's me, but teaming up with different folk, particularly of the German kind, doing happycore music.  It's much like sadcore, dreadful lyrics, weeping stories, but with up tempo fun stuff of goodness.

So I've been focusing on that. 

Is Late July dead?

No.

Is this blog dead?
Sort of.

I love writing and riffing and throwing things off the top of my head, much like I'm doing right now. In fact I miss it very much.

But I can't seem to get around the complications that what I put 'out there' (to you, the world, the universe, and beyond) tends to implode and come at me. Misinterpretations about what I'm saying, who I'm talking about and more over what it says about me. 

"You're blog makes you seem like..." da da da da da.. something unsightly uncool un-whatever drama ridden drivel blah blah fuckity blah. (NOTE: Unwhatever isn't a word but fuckity should be). Really what people are telling me is: WE DON'T LIKE WHO YOU REALLY ARE, WE ONLY REALLY LIKED THE IDEA OF YOU SO PLEASE - DON'T RUIN THAT, THAT ONE GOOD IDEA WE HAD OF YOU, FOR ME OR FOR TIMMY.

Poor Timmy.

What's that saying is, life goes on and then you slip on a banana peel and pass away? Is that a saying yet? It should be.

Late July isn't dead, it's kind of in a gentle slumber on a summers day under the tree with butterflies dancing in the air while you eat cotton candy and funnel cake.

We'll get back to it, don't worry. I'll be Dreamgirl-ing it for awhile. As I have been, I should be...

Outside of the music stuff I keep busy with MORE MUSIC by listening to music that isn't my own. Follow me on RDIO and HypeM and you'll get a pretty good idea that I have pretty specific tastes in music and you'll likely like some of it or lick some of it.

 Don't lick your computer.

I spend a lot of time taking photos. Sometimes I'm being hired to model or act for campaigns and other artists music videos, other times, I'm just on a big adventure, bringing the cool to school - metaphorically of course (Core body temperature is stable at 97.3F)  Follow me on Instagram where I just triumphantly surpassed the 1000 follower mark and have been rocking the fisheye and macro lens.

Finally I'm on Vine (Late July), and yes people, it's true, Will Sasso the official Vine super star, follows me, and you know we're tight like that.

Lately I look like this:

Lately I listen to this: 




Lately I smell like this:

CAKE.

That should answer everything for now.
Cheerio!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Flying babies wielding weapons! What's not to celebrate? VOTE!


Love A Heart - I'm being sold



This Valentine's I am being auctioned off for charity.  Love A Heart is tonight (check out the Facebook invite here)

Where? The Hideout Toronto
When? After 8pm
Why? To raise money for the Heart & Stroke foundation
Who? Me and a bunch of other lovely ladies & gentleman
What? The highest bidder and I will go for dinner at Spirit Lounge and a also an artistic glass making class. I never thought I'd learn how to make artistic glass, but guess what, mystery date and I are totally going to do that, and hopefully not injure ourselves in the process.

So the question everyone is asking me.. how much will I be bought for?

How much will I be bought for?
  
pollcode.com free polls 


My Last Valentine's Day


I haven't celebrated a 'proper' (albeit coupled) Valentine's in sometime. I almost did, two years ago. FUNNY STORY ABOUT THAT. I posted the above post to said boy, requesting to see him but he wasn't really feeling it. But lucky for me I had made dinner plans with a now former lady friend, who spent the whole evening complaining about her recent ex boyfriend, who has now become one of my trusted and respected friend. Afterword I saw said aforementioned boy and watched a very upsetting documentary about the future of the world and global warming and went home and likely wrote a sad song about it, as one does if she is me. So that pretty much sums up my normal Valentine's day experience to in the past, 5 years now.

The holiday however does not get lost on me. I like to surprise family and friends with silly gifts, and of course indulge in the best cupcakes I can find (aka OMG Baked Goods). Oh, and take my pup to the pet store to buy a new toy or bone of his choosing and then watching him be awesome.

Someone made a comment to me that maybe I was one of those girls who felt I needed a boyfriend to be complete. I think people sometimes confuse desperation for just having something that you want, and more over someone that you want. If this has been said to you, and you aren't the type of person to hop date to date endlessly.... don't fret. IT'S OKAY to want a HAPPY HEALTHY NORMAL COMMUNICATIVE COMFORTABLE relationship with someone you trust and that doesn't make you feel like a burden. IT'S TOTALLY OKAY. And you know what, you'll totally find it. You will. I know you. Your sitting there thinking of all the awful people you've dated, who've made you feel bad, sad, empty, angry, hurt, alone and generally nauseated. Things change. They do. People evolve, more over you evolve, until you get to that point were evolution aligns you with other evolved individual and you will have a son named Darwin, and draw pictures of birds. DON'T WORRY. It will happen. Just be ready for it in the most ready of ready ways.

We are all forever work in progress. That's life. If you aren't happy enough with yourself right now, you better start to be, because tomorrow you'll be a slightly different person and the day after that and the day after that. But only every so slightly. They say people who date a lot are just people who don't love themselves, and I can see that, but I think the same goes for people who don't invest themselves emotionally at all, they don't love themselves either. Not enough group hugs as a kid or something. Either way you can only be as ready as you can ever be, for the forthcoming fortune heading your way. No one looks at a cheque for 30 million dollars and goes "I'm not ready, take it away, I'll wait to win the lottery another day" HOWEVER people do this with relationships, and that is how the phrase "the girl (guy) who got away" has come to exist in our society.

THIS. IS. NOT. CRAZY. TALK.

We're all ready for things at different points in our lives. The only time I have thought "Damn, I wish I had a boyfriend" was because some creeps said some creepo thing to me and I wished I had a boyfriend to be all manly man and go "STEP OFF," rip off his shirt like the hulk and go all Ryan Atwood on them, you know, in a metaphorical TV sitcom drama way. Except I hate confrontation so I'd rather just assume that happened then having to witness or think about it.

It's VALENTINE'S DAY, you guys! Flying babies wielding weapons! What's not to celebrate?

Galentine's Day


On Sunday I organized my first ever Galentine's Day party. 

NO. It is not a party for single girls to feel better about Valentine's Day.  It's a fictitious holiday created on the show Parks & Recreation for women of all marital denominations. Women celebrating women, and just being silly, wearing bright colors, giving each other silly gifts and just generally enjoying the great company of friends. Fellow attendee (the gal holding the heart above) Megan explains on her blog.

And now for my favorite Valentine's day song.

Enjoy lovers.

   

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Some of My Favorite Instagrammers: Ladies Edition

It's no secret that I do not lurve my social media.  Here are some of my favorite people to follow on Instagram.

@Melsays

My ginger sister from another mister, is the host of BRBR, but she also has her own kick ass blog where she posts the best in new music as well as her wicked cool style and outfits gallor. (I spent an afternoon literally going through everything in Mel's closet, she's got amazing taste in accessories, shoes and clothes).  She travels a lot, interviews great bands, goes surfing, kicks it with her boy in Parkdale, and generally lives a pretty cool life.

@Aroiland


Amy is a model out of Los Angeles, California. Fashion forward, never dull, she could be on a ride at Disney or at a high fashion photoshoot throwing shade at the camera. She's always interested and there is never a dull moment in her life.



@ErinAskewed

Erin has a great eye for photography, a cute dog and I can never be sure what coast she's on. Snowboarding in Collingwood or surfing down the coast of Cali, her photos are always a breath of freshair in my feed.

@Apay00

Bouncing around from TO/NYC/VAN Anne is 'the IT guy' who leads a pretty colorful life. In TO chilling with her adorable dog, in NYC with her uber talented guy, or just anything in between. I like her feed it's colorful and always interesting.

@xCannedx

A girl and her chihuahua. An artist. Hilarity and prettiness ensue.



Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Dreaded Toronto Female Blogger... and other major points to dispel

Three Major Points To Dispel About This Blog



I share what I write, because in the words of Ann Sexton "The joy that isn't shared dies young". Some people are introverts, and I am not. I love (positive) interaction and more good has come from sharing my writing than bad.

I am a musician, and I have been since I sat down and sung "Betterman" by Pearl Jam with my brother when I was 13 years old. To those that say I'm not much of a musician, I've likely put out about 5 more records than most, regardless if you think they are good, I am proud of all my music and will continue to put out music accordingly.

The photos of me are exactly that, photos of me. I don't think I'm a super model, or the next kitschy thing. I'm average looking. I have mediocre aka "mall" fashion sense. I post the photos because it's nice to be able to look back, watching how I change through the years, alongside my words and whatever is happening. It's like an open digital journal.

Social media is not my soap box to say how great I am, it's my way to connect with people that I would not know about or have the chance to without it. I've meet a tremendous amount of people through SM, and without it I can honestly say my life would be very, very different. People won't want to connect with you if you are the creepy girl lurking in the bushes.

My dog is not my blog, but he's a hell of dog. I believe in rescuing dogs and I believe treating animals well. How anyone could have a problem with that is above and beyond my realm of intellectual computing.

I live in Toronto, but love southern California all the time. It's true. I love spending time on Woodbine Beach in Toronto just as much as I do strolling down my childhood stomping ground in Del Mar or Cardiff beach. American, Canadian - the water is still blue and the sun still shines. There's nothing not to love.

---



I started this blog in April 2010 when I released my first record "Side Swept"  It was supposed to be just something I did to document the music process, writing, recording and the general trials and tribulations of being a female songstress in Canada.

Somewhere around that time, and I can't recall why, I decided that I would blog everyday for a year. And I did.

That kind of pushed it to whatever goes. I challenged myself as a writer and a lot people got to know me as the average human being I am.

To create some sort of distance between my writing and my personal life, I wrote loosely, vaguely, and in generality.  This was not just to protect my privacy in some weird way, but also to keep things open ended, as songwriters do, so other people can relate to the content.

After a year of blogging, I kept going and somewhere after the release of "Hospital Quiet" things got a little shifty.  My blog readership is around 200 views a day, which isn't much but it's usually more or less the same people, the same IP's and the same RSS feed subscribers tuning in. With a fairly vocal network, it would become apparent who was reading my blog, some people taking it personally or just taking it the wrong way. All sorts of people started to chime in and 'judge' me accordingly.  What was once fun and creative became very stressful and unpleasant.

It had started as a simple music blog and then turned into a whole slew of things. But some people's feelings got hurt. Room mates, boyfriends, friends, you name it. It became personal without much deliberate intent.  I felt I couldn't write about one thing, without offending someone else, that usually had nothing to do with the thing I was writing about it the first place. I was blogging everyday just to write, and I guess the stuff came out that made people feel insecure about where they stood with me or question my motives.

(There's a great misconception with me that I'm sneaky but I'm the worst person in the world with secrets. I'm like a mood ring, even if I'm not saying anything my body language tells everything. It's wildly annoying at times.)

After December 2011 I couldn't blog anymore. I tried to keep up and do a couple posts but I felt like a bit of a head case. More so the accusation that I wasn't a musician anymore, but just a 'writer' or *gasp* worse, the dreaded Toronto female blogger.

The dreaded Toronto female blogger is a social media myth and a bit of a joke. They are bloggers who are seen as incapable of intelligent writing skills with little inclination for career objectives outside of getting paid to write for sponsors and getting 'free stuff'.  I have met many Toronto bloggers and I can say that most of these DTFB's are girls who work hard, and learn the digital world at an expedited rate because they are so willing to put themselves out their and get response. They evolve much more than those hiding in the digital shadows scowling, DMing the world away. Woah are we.

I've kept this blog clean of paid and sponsored endorsements and I don't respond to the comment section either. I don't think there's anything wrong with it, it's just this is a personal blog, my digital space and for lack of better words 'brand'. I am tired of being scared to post on my own blog because of 'digital' bullies, or offending some one's feelings who the blog context isn't even about!

In 2012 I very much took a back seat to all things social, I was there but I wasn't really as involved with interacting and writing. I wanted to focus on my music and redirecting energy elsewhere which looking back, was a really good idea.

I put out three records last year, more of which I'll discuss later. I listened to all sorts of advice, good and bad, about what I should do with Late July and other projects.  At the end of the day how I feel is more important than how I'm perceived by other people. I don't know why that's such a hard point to hold on to, but it is, and will be rammed into my brain by the universe over and over again in so many different situations I can't compete with.

So there.

Just wanted to get that out there, for those who have been asking. I make no promises on what I'm doing next. I'm more keen to talk about things once they've been done, then rather give a prelude to something that is yet to occur.

And so forth and so on.
Etc.