Thursday, June 26, 2014

Determination!


 
  "Life is one crazy roller coaster"...this is part of the conversation that me and my child hood best friend Chelsea had as we made our way up the hill to Spicer yesterday. We were so excited to be spending our day at the lake and ready to enjoy some much needed relaxation! As we started our drive up the hill I knew we had SO much to catch up on so I said "Ok, we need to start from the beginning..."Hi, my name is Angel. What's your name?" She replied with lots of laughter "I'm Chelsea" (We both are always full of giggles when we spend time together, it's something I love about our friendship and always have.) "Chelsea it is wonderful to meet you, please tell me about your life and your most recent goals and dreams." We both couldn't speak for a couple minutes because we were laughing too hard about how ridiculous we were being...

  She then proceeded to tell me about how she is trying to get into grad school...in Washington!! I have always loved the idea of moving to Washington. I've heard so many wonderful things and I've seen so many beautiful pictures of the Seattle area. I was automatically on board with this idea even though it meant she was leaving me. She talked about her passions of health and the past year how she has been studying to get into a program that in the end fell through for her. We talked about how things we want to work don't always work out because there is something bigger in store for us and how it's hard to remember that in times of frustration. She told me that she should be getting a call any day now with the news and that she was nervous and a little worried about the  call. I've known Chelsea for a long time and when that girl is passionate about something she puts her entire heart into it and then some. I had no doubt the phone call she would receive would be a positive one. 


Before we knew it we had made our way to the lake and we both were so blown away by its beauty. We already live in a beautiful area but to only drive 45-50min to a lake surrounded by trees and gorgeous blue water. We both just couldn't get over it. As we walked down closer to the water Chelsea points out an island and says "Before we leave today we have to swim out to that spot." I laughed and told her she was nuts! "That has to be at least 8-9 pools put together. AT LEAST!!!" She continued to stay confident in her decision and to tell me how we are tough and we could do it. (A piece of me was dying inside knowing the water alone would be freezing, not to mention I'm not an Olympic swimmer! Haha)


  We get in our swimsuits and I start making it into the water before her...lots of screaming, a few cuss words and oh my gosh, oh my gosh it's freakin cold! We both couldn't stop laughing. We new what we were doing was absolutely crazy! Chels finally decided to make her way in the water and her reaction was hysterical. I thought I was being dramatic and she would conquer the water with a little more ease. I was wrong. The girl who came up with the crazy idea could barely get in the water and continued to scream bloody murder the entire time. I told her to hurry up and put her shoulders under the water so they could adjust to the temp. If I got myself in the water I sure as heck wasn't gonna back out now.
 

  Eventually Chels got as comfortable as possible in the water and we decided to start swimming. I knew this wasn't going to be an easy task for me because I'm not in the best of shape and I often get short of breath. The first part of the swim was difficult but by far the easiest. We talked and laughed and I would yell out ridiculous jokes like "It's like I'm surviving the Titanic!" (I know, I'm ridiculous and quite dramatic at times) haha! As we approached the rocks Chels and I are started squealing with excitement. We grabbed hands and pushed against the rocks together and I can't even begin to tell you the amount of joy that accomplishment gave me. We pushed ourselves so hard and we were determined to conquer our goal and quite honestly we kicked ass! We sat up on the rocks and gave each other a huge hug and congrats! We were stoked! We sat for a bit in the water to rest before we made our way back to other side. We enjoyed the beauty around us and constantly commented on how beautiful of a moment this was for us and thankful we were able to experience it together. 


We started our journey back and right away I could feel how exhausted my arms and legs were. I felt like I had weights tied to me and I had to stop and float for a couple minutes far more often to catch my breath and try not to hyperventilate. Thankful for Chelsea's patience in those times. She is an awesome coach and encourager. We started to get so close to the rocks and my leg started cramping up. Like those awful cramps I sometimes get in the middle of the night. I thought, great this would happen. Chelsea was completely selfless and as I floated on my back she rubbed out the cramp and then we decided to push through and hurry to the rocks. After we made it Chelsea gets out and is freezing. I forgot to mention the wind wasn't on our side what so ever on our way back. I look up and all I can see is chels hugging this huge rock to get warmth. I'm telling you...this adventure was too much. Sooo many laughs.

We make our way up to the towels. I dodge a snake thankfully and we start to take some pictures of our success! Pointing to the island that we just swam to and conquered! At this point we can't stop expressing our gratefulness of such a beautiful day and fun adventure! In the middle of me taking a photograph of Chels she gets a phone call. Where we were located there was basically no cell service at all, it was so random. We were in the middle of nowhere...oh, did I mention the number that was calling was a Washington number?! I handed her the phone and immediately pulled out my phone and hit record... 

(I realize that the photos do not do us justice. I know it doesn't look very far away, but I promise it was) haha!
 
  I knew this news was going to be life changing and I wanted to capture that moment for her.  She started crying happy tears and when she gets off the phone we both start screaming, she is jumping up and down on a rock absolutely ecstatic. She was accepted into Grad School and I was the lucky friend that got to be by her side while she watched part of her dreams come true..I won't ever forget this day. 

  This life is a beautiful roller coaster ride. Sometimes it's scary, sometimes it's fun and sometimes it makes you sick to your stomach. But if you stay determined to reach your goals and keep shining through it all, the good, bad and the ugly, you will make it! Keep pushing through! It's worth it! 


 
❤Angel

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Grandpa ❤

  Whenever I have fallen in life, you were there to catch me. When my own father wasn't there to be a father, you stepped in. You showed me what true strength, honor and courage was from day one. You encouraged me to follow my dreams (whatever they may be) and you were ALWAYS on the sidelines being my biggest fan. You showed me the support and unconditional love that a lot of people don't receive and though most times I feel like my time with you was cut short you gave me enough love to fill a lifetime and for that I am forever grateful. I strive to be more and more like you each day and wish to make you proud! My sweet Grandpa, you are dearly missed. Thank you for choosing me. Happy Fathers Day in Heaven. 

(Not to mention you gave thee very best hugs and had the sweetest smile) 
 
♥ Angel

Friday, May 30, 2014

Music Friday - Local Artist {Nicholas Lefler}

  Happy Music Friday! Today is bittersweet for me. It is my the last feature on the local artist project! The past couple months have been a blast working and getting to know so many wonderful people! I have worked really hard to keep this going the month of May and I am proud of myself that I accomplished my goal! I don't think I realized what a big task it would be but every ounce of energy was worth it! So if you stuck around and read each Friday blog this month then THANK YOU!

  I am really happy to have Nicholas Lefler as my final post. I feel that his music adds a different variety then the others I have posted and I am happy to have his talent on the blog! When Nick started playing this song I immediately wanted to start dancing. It is so fun and upbeat!  One thing I admire about Nick is his passion for his music. He puts a lot of energy into his work and it shows so much! Check out the song out below...
 

Meet Nicholas Lefler:

  
What bands are currently inspiring you and your music?
Well I rarely listen to music other than my own creations unless I am having writers block or need inspiration, but recently I've been enjoying lots of random stuff like Blackmill, Miguel, Empire Of The Sun and Leonard Cohen.
 
 
What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment thus far in the music world?
To be honest, being able to support myself and my daughter doing what I love. And sharing my passion with the world. We live in a world that shuts down dreams. A dream is energy. If you never stop the momentum of that energy, it will never fail you. For 20 years now I have kept momentum. I guess I'm proud of not giving up.
 
 
 
What is the main topic of yours songs?
Emotions. Most of my songs are improvised and I will literally
look out into my audience and read what they want, and that is what I will play.
 
 
Where can people find your music?
www.nicholaslefler.com  Free streaming. Plus I give away free music all the time. 

What do the moments look like right before your about to perform?
Depends... typically, I'm just totally natural, ready to do what I do...but sometimes, everything is
different... like someone in the audience startles me... and I get nervous, excited and I feel like a teenager again. I love that feeling.
 
 
 
What instruments do you play?
Guitar, Drum Set, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals, Percussion... etc... I started to learn multiple instruments
once I became a sound engineer. It was much easier to learn every instrument rather than seek out 
musicians. And much cheaper to make records if you could do everything yourself.
 
 
What are your fondest musical memories?
In 2005, I was in Arizona touring with my band Alma and a man came to me on a set break and told
me he had seen us 6 months before when he was fired from his job and cheated on by his wife.
He said he was going to kill himself that night. He told me, our show changed his life and since
then his life had been totally different. He got a better job and was seeing a beautiful girl.

Is there any funny/awkward situations between you and fans that really stick out to you?
I've had to deal with stalkers, but mostly fans are the most beautiful thing an artist could
ever wish for. 
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Dream and Imagine and try new things to fulfill your passions. That is a life well lived. I dare
 
I will still be featuring artist as I discover more but this is the end of the Local Musician Project! I hope you all have enjoyed following along with these post and more importantly I hope you have discovered some new music and musicians to follow! We all appreciate the support so much!

-Angel

Friday, May 23, 2014

Music Friday - Local Artist {The Experimentalist}

  Last week I was floored at the response of my blog! It's so exciting to be sharing such a big part of my heart with you all and to get good feedback is a huge plus! I had doubled the traffick from the very first music post, which blew me away! I am so thankful that you guys are enjoying this music project and you've been coming back every Friday to get to know a new musician! I can't say Thank You enough! 

  I have SO many good things to share about today's music feature that I don't even know where to begin. First off, I first discovered "The Experimentalist" when I moved back to California. I moved into a little duplex with a friend of mine and the first night she warned me..."Just so you know, we live next to a musician so it might be kinda loud sometimes." I will be honest and say my first thoughts were "great, someone is gonna be playing awful music and keeping me up at night" thankfully I couldn't have been more wrong! I was introduced to his music my second night and happily stayed awake to listen to him play his keyboard. I started to attend some of his local gigs and quickly realized he is incredibly talented! 

  This guy has so much dedication, passion and joy in his music! I've never met someone who could just create a beautiful song with amazing lyrics in under 10 minutes and I'll tell you a secret, he usually has the entire story/music video planned out in his head in that time as well. I'm telling you, this guys got skills and if you don't believe me just watch the video below.


 
My favorite thing about this video is that it's in his home, playing on his vintage organ. Seriously such a a treat to be able to capture him in such an intimate setting. I hope you guys enjoyed it and make sure to read the interview below and check out a collection of photos I've captured of The Experimentalist....
 What is the story behind your name “The Experimentalist”?
I had to come up with a band name for a social website some years ago and I thought,”Everything I do is just an experiment.” And boom, there it was. I also wanted to give my future fans a brain workout every time they said my name.


What bands are currently inspiring you and your music?
I’ve been listening a lot to this awesome band called Bo Dollis & the Wild Magnolias and a whole lot of Enya. It‘s my balance of mediation and dancing.

What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment thus far in the music world?
I feel my biggest accomplishment has been mixing and mastering my latest album. The whole mastering process was quite the feat.

What instruments do you play?
Piano, a pinch of guitar, a drop of bongo, and I play a mean mega phone.

What was your very first instrument you learned to play?
Piano. My parents bought my brother and I baby, baby grand when we were little. Haven’t stopped playing since.

Have you been in any competitions?
I’ve never been really huge on competing musically besides scholarship auditions in college. The last one I did was on a website called indaba where the challenge was to make the best John Legend remix. I was humbled to find that my remix made it amongst the top 10 out of hundreds of independent producers worldwide. I cherished that moment and have been working twice as hard ever since.

What are your fondest musical memories?
So I have three. One is playing my music a few years ago and watching my papa who was in his eighties dance nonstop around the living room like he was james brown’s daddy. Two is running to the piano room everyday after college courses to play music for hours. Three would be when I played my first show with albums to sell in 2008 at.

What has your experience been like so far working in the music industry and living out your dream?
It has been a wonderful experience. It’s been really cool seeing my dreams intertwine and grow with the norms of my life. I do hope that the dreams gain weight and take up even more space!

What are your songs about?
Well I’ve written a lot about love, heartbreaks, and those kind of themes over the years, but I’d say over the past four to five years I’ve been inventing quite new ones. Themes that capture a lot of the mysteries of my life, the galaxy, and complete stories based on small books I’ve been writing. It’s exciting, and I can’t wait to share it with the world very soon.
 
 
Where can people find your music?
You can find my music on itunes, amazon, spotify,cdbaby,and on youtube. Just type in “The Experimentalist” and my album “Romanticism and I”.

What do the moments look like right before your about to perform?
I’m usually bouncing around with some kind of rhythm in my head while I’m hooking up my gear. I usually am pumping with energy and excited. I also like to connect with the early birds who are just as excited as me.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Yes… I have a black cat named LoLo and she is awesome!
 
 
 


 
Make sure to like his page on Facebook!
 
I hope you all have a great weekend!
-Angel

Friday, May 16, 2014

Muisc Friday - Local Artist Feature {The Little Fuller Band}

  It’s Fridayyyy! This week has been an incredibly long one. I am still recovering from a yucky head cold but I wasn’t going to miss sharing this awesome band with you today! I am so thankful to Grover for telling me about The Little Fuller Band. This style of music is my absolute favorite and they were such a joy to get to know. I haven’t had an opportunity to attend one of their shows live yet but after recording their video for this project I knew I needed to ASAP! I purchased their album the moment I got home from working with them and I have been listening to it every day. I hope you enjoy getting to know a little about them and make sure to check out their music on iTunes!

Meet "The Little Fuller Band'
 
 
Check out an acoustic video here and an interview with them below...

 
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band. Tim McCaffrey – Guitar
Kelly Jane – Lead Vocals
Clayton Smock – Mandolin
Charlie Williams - Bass
 
 

What is the story behind your band name?
We just really needed a name. We had played our first couple shows under names we knew weren't going to stick. We had a show coming up that we thought was a little more important than the first few and we just wanted to settle on something. Tim was the first one to say it. Almost in exasperation “We could be named anything... hell, we could be The Little Fuller Band” We all loved it because it didn't mean anything.




How did you form The Little Fuller Band and how long has it been?
The original four members started playing music together in the summer of 2011. It was Clayton, Tim, Charlie and Kevin. It was about a year later that Kelly joined the band and not long after that we lost Kevin... To a pack of wild dogs.

What do you think sets you apart from any other artist or bands?
People always mention our chemistry with one another. We have a really good time together and we all collectively have an energy that makes people want to have a good time with us. That and our sound. Even though we only have a few instruments we create a pretty unique sound that's kind of hard to compare to anyone else.




For those who haven’t heard your music yet, what can they expect from the tracks you put out?
It's hard to describe. Imagine asking a parent to describe to a stranger what to expect from their child. It's the most beautiful thing in the world and you're going to love it.

Where can we find your music?
Lots of places online. Preferably on Amazon or iTunes, but you can also hear us for free on Spotify, Soundcloud, Youtube and Reverbnation.




What bands are currently inspiring you and your music?
I think this question more than any other would vary from person to person in the band. To name a very select few: The Wood Brothers, The Grateful Dead, Woody Guthrie, Blind Willie McTell, Paul Simon, Hank Williams The Band, Devil Makes Three, Nikki Bluhm, and of course The Goodluck Thrift Store Outfit.

What do the moments look like right before your about to perform?
We all handle our nerves in different ways before shows. The one thing that we all have in common before we go on are group hugs and whiskey.




What has your experience been like so far working in the music industry and living out your dream?
Pretty Hectic. We all have full time jobs and busy lives outside of music. Then we have a very full time, very DIY band with a lot of time dedicated to practice, shows, writing, recording, booking, touring, graphic design, merchandising, marketing, promotion and everything else you would expect a full time band to have to do. There's no doubt though, we are loving every minute of it.



What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
Being from such a small town has been a real challenge. Especially in the earliest days. We're a few hours away from the closest city so it was a real challenge getting our music heard and getting shows in bigger areas. We overcame it just by not letting it get the best of us. Sometimes it was a three hour drive to a show that hardly paid and no one showed up. We just dealt with it and pushed on. Luckily those shows are getting fewer and farther between.





Is there any funny/awkward situations between you and fans that really stick out to you?
We've been known to have a pretty rambunctious crowd. There's at least one funny/awkward moment per show, sometimes dozens. Kelly particularly loves it when drunk people grab her microphone. We can't think of one situation that really sticks out though.
 
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks to everyone who has supported us. And thank you for the interview. If you've come this far please check out our website for our upcoming tour dates and come check us out at a show someday! LittleFullerBand.com

Thanks for checking out this feature! Have a great weekend!
-Angel

Friday, May 9, 2014

Music Friday - Local Artist Feature {Grover Anderson}

Last week I announced my "Local Artist Feature" music project and it was a bigger success then I could have ever imagined. Not only did I hear so much excitement from my readers about the project and video but my little blog that gets maybe 40 readers a post reached over 100!!! I know for most bloggers that is nothing but to me it means so much! You better believe I squealed and did a little dance in my seat! Thank you all for the views and more importantly (if your reading this) thank you for returning to get to know another local musician! 
 
I am so excited to introduce you to another artist who I have personally known since I was 15 years old! Grover has been working on music since I have known him and throughout that time I have been able to see him grow so much! A couple months ago when I thought up the project I knew right away that he was somebody I had to feature!  He lives in the Bay Area now but grew up in Murphys and is around frequently for different gigs. 
 
Meet Grover:    
 

 
 
What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment thus far in the music world?
This falls somewhere between a "music world accomplishment" and a "personal life" accomplishment, but I am very proud of the tour I went on in Winter of 2014.  I've been telling myself I need to do something big for a long time but always found excuses not to.  Taking that step was huge for me, and the forward momentum it created within myself is something that makes me regret not doing it sooner.  I don't really judge progress by accomplishments; every success is another baby step on the path. 

 
 
Who writes the songs and what is the main topic of yours songs?
With two exceptions, I've written every song I've released on an album. ("Moonshine" & "Pick Up Your Horn" are collaborations.)  I do have a small circle that I run stuff by from time to time (for example: my dad sometimes makes suggestions in regard to song structure.)  The topic of my songs tends to be relationships, but I'm a little hesitant to word it that way because not all of my songs are love songs or sad songs.  I mostly write about the impact a relationship can have on another's life.  For example, "Philip Marshall Cates" is a song about a man tearing apart his family because he fears he will never live up to the legacy of the generation before him, and the deleterious effect it then has on his son.
 
 
Where can people find your music?
Out in the world at live shows!  All the writing and recording I do is in service of the performance.  But, since that's not an option for everyone, the music is also available through digital distributors like iTunes and my website, http://groveranderson.com.

What do the moments look like right before your about to perform?
Pretty much like all the other moments in my life.  I've been accused of being a bit of a letdown in that I don't really have a lot of nervous energy pre-show. People expect some rush to happen, but that doesn't really hit me until I start playing.

 

Is there any funny/awkward situations between you and fans that really stick out to you?
For the longest time I had awkward conversations regarding my song "Boulder". People who were familiar with the city would ask me about it, and I would dejectedly admit I'd never been there before. Fortunately I was able to rectify that this year.

 
What has your experience been like so far working in the music industry and living out your dream?
It's been exceedingly difficult and exceedingly rewarding.  I've learned some lessons that help:
  1. Nobody is going to work harder for you than you.
  2. The best way to get something done is to stop talking about it and do it.
  3. The most successful artists I've met are unpretentious and unselfish; follow their lead.
Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
I keep a list of all my gigs at groveranderson.com/shows. You should come to one because I guarantee you'll leave feeling better than you did when you arrived.  Music is a celebration of life, and I never leave that energy out of my performances.

 
What instruments do you use? What was your very first instrument you learned to play?
I use, almost exclusively, the acoustic guitar I was given for my 15th birthday.  I have other, fancier and more expensive guitars that I'll occasionally use, but I really love the sound and feel of my black Samick acoustic.  The first instrument I learned to play was piano, when I was in elementary school.  I'm so grateful that I learned piano before guitar; I'm not particularly good at it, but it helps me immensely with theory and visualization. (It's also very fun to write songs on.)
 
Have you been in any competitions?
When I lived in Santa Barbara my band entered a county-wide battle of the bands.  We placed second, which was a disappointment because the first prize was playing a big-name music festival in the area, but I learned a lot.  When I first started out I wanted to pursue everything and kick down every door, but I soon realized that there are some avenues I'm well-suited for, and some I'm not.  I'm not a "battle of the bands" kind of artist; my music and performance style isn't made for that environment. Would I like to someday win such a competition? Yes, of course! But I'm not going to do it by playing "Moonshine" :)

 
What are your fondest musical memories?
When I was a kid, my dad brought home a professional PA system with two microphones a CD player (a very big deal to a kid in the early 1990s).  Most Saturday mornings I woke up to him blasting some album or another through the house (Hotel California stands out prominently.)  I'd come down, grab a microphone, and sing along at the top of my lungs through the speakers. I'm sure I sounded terrible, but it was so much fun, and was undoubtedly vital to my continued love of music.

More recently—being at Rick Moore's house to record the chorus at the end of "Grindstone."  Having a bunch of friends standing around a microphone to simultaneously contribute to something that started as just a little idea in my notebook was a magical experience. 
 
What bands are currently inspiring you and your music?
it's probably safe to say the bands that inspire you most are the ones that you are around the most, so first I'd have to give a lot of credit to Jimbo Scott, The Hot Dark, and other band/artists that I'm friends with. I'm just diving headfirst back into writing, and while I've been staying true to my singer/songwriter style, I've been trying to pull in influences of bands from other genres that I enjoy like Vampire Weekend, Gardens & Villa, Kanye West & Haim. I'm always seeking out Americana bands too though, and lately have been loving stuff from Ranger, The Oh Hellos, Jamestown Revival and The Apache Relay.
 
Is there anything else you would like to add?
The gratitude and appreciation I feel towards those who support my pursuit of music in any way is impossible to convey via words, but I hope people know that my thanks run deep.

 
I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little about Grover and his music! You should head on over to iTunes and purchase his album because its ridiculously good!  My favorites on his new album The Optimist are "Dancing" & "Little Spoon" Go check it out and make sure to like his Facebook Profile HERE to stay up to date with his music! 
 
Have a great weekend everyone!
-Angel