This edition of Boss Ladies is brought to you by member Lizabeth Yandel, who reviews Dixie Maxwell's new single, “Uncharted Territory.”
In just the first descending notes of Dixie Maxwell’s newest single, “Uncharted Territory,” as they dance down over a dreamy organ sustain, her thirst for life is made palpable. A San Diego native, Maxwell has been playing and writing music since the early age of 15, when she first taught herself to play guitar. Since then she has utilized her seasoned songwriting skills to co-write a number of tunes, one of which, a rock banger called “Monster,” became the title track for the Lionsgate film Killer Holiday. Focusing more recently on her own heartfelt songs, Maxwell’s undeniable talent and unmistakable voice have been streaming on all platforms, one single at a time, since 2014.
A power ballad in its own right, “Uncharted Territory” speaks to one of the most compelling and familiar aspects of the human experience: the unquenchable thirst for freedom. Maxwell’s words paint a clear picture of a young woman preparing for a grand adventure, but they also speak to a truth in all of us.
She eases us in to start—a lone guitar, then the opening lyrics:
I can’t predict what it’s gonna feel like
If I get lost it’s okay
The only thing I’m really looking for is me
This all sets the stage for a slow, powerful build into the chorus, starting with the part-confession-part-declaration: “I crave to live a life that has no bounds.” Melancholy guitar licks from Veronica May, the atmospheric drums of Paige Miller and tastefully simple bass line of Rick Nash, all fold in around Maxwell’s sweet-yet-sultry vocals and carry us through the rest of this personal, yet so relatable song.
Produced and recorded by San Diego’s own Jeff Berkley, the production is flawless—balanced and clean without detracting at all from the track’s raw energy. Even the overall production tone speaks to the song’s spirit and helps to paint the picture of standing on a precipice, unsure of but ready for life.
Maxwell, currently on tour in Australia, remarks on how natural the process was of creating the track. “There were no huge challenges. It all came together so effortlessly.” The idea for the song came to her, as Maxwell explains, “after quitting [her] job of 10 years and deciding to embark on some travels in an old camper van.” It speaks to the uncertainty of life and the excitement and beauty one can find in that uncertainty. “It really embodies me the most out of anything else I’ve released so far,” says Maxwell.
“Uncharted Territory,” released on May 27, 2019 is available for you on all platforms and is one in a series of singles Maxwell has put out over the past few years. Keep your ears open for more singles from Dixie Maxwell in the near future, not to mention a music video for “Uncharted Territory” once she returns from her Australia tour.
Meet the Writer: Lizabeth Yandel
Our Lady Brain blog writers work on a volunteer basis in support of their fellow members. If you enjoyed this article, please consider checking out Lizabeth's creative projects.
Lady Brain Fest is less than a month away, and our members are currently a full court press of promotion! First up was an interview this morning with Lady Brain organizer Lindsay White along with a performance by Chris Avetta and her band (featuring Lady Brain member Jules Stewart) on KUSI's Good Morning San Diego. Tickets are now available from all performing members and also available online - all pre-sale money will go directly toward supporting the artist of your choice! Catch Chris Avetta at Lady Brain Fest playing in the round with Rosy Dawn at 4pm! Speaking of Rosy Dawn, she will also be featured on KUSI this month - tune in on June 30 to watch!
Thanks to Bart Mendoza at Local Umbrella Media for covering our upcoming Lady Brain Fest on July 7 at Heritage Ranch in Encinitas, sponsored in partnership with Listen Local Radio!
Read the full article here! Don't forget to grab your tickets from a performing member or online - all pre-sale $ goes directly to our artists!
It's June! Allow us to tune you in to some of the coolest shows and events happening around town this month featuring our Lady Brain members!
Every Sunday - Mary Bee's Finding Harmony
This travel docu-series follows singer and host Mary Bee on the adventure of a lifetime across Europe as she makes friends with and sings with artists in different countries. The series focuses on the love of music and friendships grown during collaboration. More info
Saturday, June 1 - Art Around Adams
Many of our members will be performing as a part of this two mile art and music walk throughout the communities of Normal Heights and Kensington. The free festival is scheduled from 12-8pm, with performances happening at various venues and stages. More info
Saturday, June 8 - Steph Johnson and Voices of Our City Choir at Laurel House Concert Series
Join Steph Johnson, Voices of Our City Choir, and special guest Eve Selis from 7-10pm at this private concert series in Oceanside. $25 Tickets. More info
Monday, June 10 - Julia Sage and The Bad Hombres at Bar Pink
Bar Pink Mondaze happen every second Monday of the month! This week, Tequila Corralejo presents Julia Sage and The Bad Hombres. Industry night with Corralejo drink specials and giveaways by the band at the end of the performance. No cover, 9:30pm. (PS- check out their brand new single!) More info
Saturday, June 15 - Voxy at Nate's Garden Grill
Voxy will perform a free, kid-friendly brunch show from 12-2pm! Go support City Farmer's Nursery either before or after the show and get your urban farmer on. More info
Saturday, June 15 - Calamity at Old Poway Park
Calamity is on this year's Sam Hinton Folk Festival lineup! The free festival starts at 11am, and you can catch their set at 1pm. More info
Sunday, June 16 - Lindsay White duo at Idyllwild Songwriters Festival
Idyllwild has earned the distinction of becoming one of the 100 Best Small Art Towns in America, and they are now the home Southern California's newest annual songwriters festival. The entire event runs from June 13-16, but you can watch Lindsay White and Jules Stewart take the stage on Sunday at 7pm. More info
Thursday, June 20 - Lady Brain Presents at Fair Trade Decor
Our next community gathering is going to be one for the books! Karina Frost has curated an awesome lineup (Ren Daversa and The Wicked Cool, Calamity, Trish Naval, and The Banduvloons) for your listening pleasure. She has also dedicated 15% of the proceeds from the door to Madre Assunta shelter in Tijuana. The venue is a really cool boutique in Coronado that is keeping its doors open after hours to welcome us into their space. Your attendance supports local business, local artists, and most importantly, our sisters in need. More info
Find more info about these and other member happenings over at our Calendar page!
Thanks to all who came out to support last night's community gathering in Barrio Logan at La Galeria Michel featuring Corina Rose Collective, The Slow Kill, Gaby Aparicio, Becca Jay Band, and The Banduvloons. Special thanks to Corina for organizing the showcase and to all our volunteers/supporters for helping out! If you want to learn more about our monthly gatherings, make sure to sign up for our mailing list! Make sure to mark your calendars for 6/20 at Fair Trade Decor in Coronado, as well as our first annual Lady Brain Fest on 7/7 at Heritage Ranch in Encinitas!
5/8/2019 2 Comments
This edition of Boss Ladies is brought to you by member Heather Miller Janiga, who reviews poet Lizzie Wann's new book The Hospice Bubble & Other Devastating Affirmations.
Good poetry doesn’t require that the reader understand the mechanics involved behind the careful creation of each stanza. Good poetry will trap you within the confines of a moment you never lived, but that comes alive inside you so much so that you can see, feel, smell and even taste it. It will teleport you to another time and place, where the painful anguish, joy, frustration, and ecstasy lifts off the page and becomes your momentary reality, each thoughtfully chosen word a vital breath, a palpable heartbeat. Lizzie Wann’s new collection of
poetry entitled The Hospice Bubble & Other Devastating Affirmations is a perfect example of this. The only difference is that Wann is not merely a “good” poet, she is an exceptional one.
Wann’s book is divided into five segments: The Hospice Bubble, Death, Depression, Writing and Love.
In The Hospice Bubble collection of poems, the reader is guided through a painful journey of the looming loss of a beloved father and the heartache and numbness hurricane that violently/gently swirls you toward the impending doom that awaits. We are flashbacked to the delicate memories of a little girl riding passenger side in her father’s 18-wheeler while Willie Nelson croons through the radio, “chocolate chip waffles for breakfast a noon on Sundays,” and the belly dipping excitement of being tossed in the air by strong endearing arms before the burden of sickness settled in to weaken the body. In tandem with the sadness, these joyful memories make the impending loss even more unbearable. Wann careens us through hospital bedsides, mortuaries, hospice care, the “lift team” and the unavoidable decline with blunt grace.
Tender moments of acceptance arise, such as in “Bequeathments,” where a father, perceptive to a tapered timeline, gathers his daughters to bequeath them his most treasured possessions. This moment, so precisely relatable to anyone who has lost a beloved in a similar long sick way, is mournfully sweet:
one afternoon, as winter sunlight waned
Dad asked me to bring a box from his room
small tv tray in front of him
he slowly began relieving the box of its contents
rings, dog tags, a smaller box with papers
a couple bibles, ID cards
In the Depression segment, the pro-longed discontentment that settles like concrete spreading heavy gloom throughout the body manifests through pensive prose that ruminates like an empty echo through the soul. One example of this is the poem “Bone Song,” which quakes with deep, resonating pain:
there is an ache
bottom of my throat
base of the neck
that is a sad song
there is a tremble
in my chest
that is the difference
In Love, the reader is taken on roller coaster dips of longing, finding/loving, and the sting of unrequited affections. “Sins and Miracles” spirals into the chaotically intoxicating grip of Las Vegas, while at the same time touching upon the lack of something expected that never came to be, the coming together of hearts and bodies:
I am wearing Las Vegas home
white cotton steeped in beer,
sweat, residue of bed sheets,
memories of cigarettes whose
ghostly smoke still found ways
into these fibers
that now surround
my own sins and miracles
it was in Las Vegas
where we finally did not touch,
exchanged no compliments,
did not accept our anger
Above is merely a small sampling of Lizzie Wann’s recent poetic masterpiece. Once you pull back the cover and delve gently into the first poem, you will find it difficult to lay to rest. It entangles you in a web of melancholy beauty warbled through elegiac rhythms and beats, dips and highs, loss and reckoning. It will consume you for a spell, and while captive within these poetic trammels, relish every moment of the high-voltage life it pumps through your veins. Although, as the title suggests, devastating pangs lay in wait throughout her prose, the true,
unrefined beauty of Lizzie Wann’s poetry is anodyne to the human soul.
Find The Hospice Bubble & Other Devastating Affirmations:
Thanks to everyone who came out to support Lady Brain Present's inaugural community gathering featuring music from Jean Mann and Lindsay White! It was a lovely day and we felt so lucky to share it with you. Our next community gathering takes place May 11 at La Galeria Michel, and will showcase music from Lady Brain members Corina Rose Collective, Gaby Aparicio trio, The Banduvloons, Becca Jay trio, and Lizabeth Yandel. More info/RSVP here..
Mayyyyy we interest you in some local music/art happenings around town featuring our very own Lady Brain members?
Tuesday, May 7 - Jessica Lerner at Soda Bar
Hosted by The Local Music, this Soda Bar lineup features Lady Brain member Jessica Lerner, as well as womxn-fronted bands Retra and Wargirl. $5 Cover, 8:30pm. More info/tix here.
Friday, May 10 - Ren Daversa at Porters at the Pyramid
Ren Daversa will be performing a free, solo acoustic set of originals from her album Saltwater to support William Dorsett's Solo Art Show at Porters at the Pyramid in Miramar. Half of all art sales will go to Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego.
Saturday, May 11 - Lindsay White at Poway Library
North County friends, join Lindsay White for this free songwriter showcase from 2-3pm at Poway Library.
Saturday, May 11 - SDCCU North Park Festival of Arts
This unique and vibrant neighborhood festival brings out over 40,000 people from all over San Diego County to celebrate and enjoy live music, art, crafts, delicious food and some of San Diego’s top Craft Beers.
-Julia Sage and The Bad Hombres: 3pm, Grim Ave Stage
-Miki Vale: 4pm, Main Stage
Saturday, May 11 - Lady Brain Presents: Pre Mother's Day Celebration of Womxn
Our next community gathering is a pre-Mother's Day special, celebrating ALL Womxn! Join us at La Galeria Michel in Barrio Logan for music from Lizabeth Yandel (solo), Gaby Aparicio (trio), Becca Jay (trio) ft. Paige Miller, The Banduvloons ft. Karina Frost and KC Deichler), and Corina Rose Collective. $10 Donation goest directly to artists. Other instructions: BYOB and wear bright colors to help us celebrate Womxn! More info.
Sunday, May 12 - Lizzie Wann at Spacebar Cafe & Wine Bistro Presents
Lizzie Wann will be the featured reader at the 2nd Sunday-Jihmye Poetry Open Mic at Spacebar Cafe & Wine Bistro in La Mesa. The open mic event runs from 3-5:30pm. Poets are allotted 7 minutes, musicians 2 songs or 10 minutes on the mic.
Saturday, May 25 - Tori Roze and the Hot Mess at Riviera Supper Club
Head to La Mesa's Riviera Supper Club to enjoy dinner, drinks, and a free, all ages, full band show from Tori Roze and the Hot Mess, playing 9pm-12am.
This edition of Boss Ladies is brought to you by member Unison Colthurst, who reviews Ren Daversa's debut album Saltwater.
In her debut solo album, Ren Daversa has unleashed a decade of songwriting craft and music studies into a refreshing musical getaway. With catchy melodies and playful guitar riffs, there is an undeniable buoyancy to Saltwater that will lift your mood with every track.
Currently Ren lives in San Diego, but she grew up on a small island on the East Coast. The ocean has always been a big part of her life, and with the first track, “Oceans of You,” Ren combines her love of the ocean with her love for singing and songwriting. This track greets the listener with waves of pop vocal harmonies that gently wash over the melody, achieving automatic earworm status.
Ren is no stranger to the recording studio, and even though she admits finding herself in complete control for the first time was both totally exciting and overwhelming, the finished product is well worth it. This project started out as a four song EP recorded at Grey Brick Recording Studio in Lemon Grove with engineer extraordinaire, Peter Duff, but it kept growing until a full album was born. Take the third track, “Cut and Dried.” Ren wrote this piece for a songwriting challenge. It was originally a simple acoustic song, but every time she played it, she heard it with a full band and strings. Once in the studio, she experimented with sounds and gave the song the breathing room it needed to change and morph. This song is now one that Ren is most proud of, and her best songwriting effort to date.
With the sixth track “Firelight,” Ren is able to transport us to the magical beach bonfire with her picturesque lyrics. She urges the listener to feel that magic through her descending counter melodies and layers of vocal harmonies, then artfully pulls back to just her voice with a beautiful stripped down finale.
Rounding out the album, Ren finishes with a humorous self-portrait entitled “Type A,” featuring her signature peppermint vocals and catchy lyrics that you’ll be singing all day. (Once you get “Oceans of You” out of your head, that is).
Ren shows no signs of slowing down. She is in the throws of promoting this album, playing with her band Wicked Cool, and currently working on a four-song EP set for release after the summer. “I am going for a more stripped down acoustic and vocal sound," she says. “But the one thing I have learned about recording is to stay open-minded and not get too attached to the parts. It is always important to have a game plan when you go into the studio to record, but I really try to just follow where the music leads me.”
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