Thanks to all who attended our first meetup/check-in of the year! While we're keeping our programming chill in 2021 while we are still on pandemic/vaccine standby and doing our best to honor everyone's capacities, we feel it's important to create a recurring space for virtual check-ins and support. Here's a brief recap of what's going on with some of our members, as well as an update on our first ever Lady Brain Lift Up!
Lady Brain Lift Up Winner:
Congrats to Amy Day, who was chosen randomly (using this fun wheel) as the winner of our first ever Lady Brain Lift Up, which we implemented as a way to continue our mission of supporting members and the community during this time when we are unable to gather physically. Members can accept or direct this gift however they choose! Amy selected We All We Got SD mutual aid, which offers radical community care and food justice support (in solidarity, not charity) to neighbors across Kumeyaay land/San Diego. Click here to read more about this all-volunteer grassroots mutual aid and follow their Instagram to learn more about volunteering, donating, and other ways to get involved. If you'd like to be an ongoing part of the Lady Brain Lift Up, please consider becoming a Lady Brain Lover!
Lizzie Wann recited a beautiful new poem and talked about the next episode of her talk show LifeBeat: Conversations with Purposeful Womxn on Twitch, which will focus on education and feature guests Poppy Fitch, Delia Arancibia, and Charlita Shelton. Tune in today at 6pm on www.twitch.tv/puna_press_live
Ramona Ault is working with Lady Brain member Carissa Renner of The Bold Vocal on keeping her voice strong during the pandemic.
Cathryn Beeks just became a homeowner (!) and continues to hold down the Listen Local Radio fort with weekly virtual song sharing circles, The Game, and her awesome radio show (as well as continuing her role as Lady Brain podcast host).
Julia Sage has been working on some new music with bandmate Matthew Stratchota. Check out her new song “The Fog in My Brain.”
Christina Bernard has also been working on new music with new collaborators. Can’t wait to hear it, and in the meantime you can check out past releases here.
Miki Vale is coming back online after taking a rest and social media break. She shared news of her goal to complete 45 hikes by her 45th birthday. You can also check out Soul Kiss Theater, a space Miki created to uplift and support queer Black womxn through arts, culture, and storytelling.
Mary Bee also put virtual performances on pause for a hot minute to focus on health and recording new music. She told us about this cool service called Musiversal where you can schedule virtual recording sessions with all kinds of instrumentalists and producers, etc. Check it out!
Lindsay White has released a flurry of new singles that speak to issues like love in a pandemic, infertility issues, being hopeful in hopeless situations, and navigating stubborn relationships. She’s also excited to be working with visual creators like Chad Cavanaugh and Shy The Artist on single artwork.
Unison Colthurst is revamping her Songwriter Book Club into a cool new podcast. The next Book Club will be on Sunday, February 28 at 1:30pm, and the book selection is On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. Feel free to message Unison if you’d like to participate!
Amy Day is writing a whole-ass musical about the murder of an Irish Protestant landlord at the height of Ireland’s Great Famine. It’s called The Strokestown Musical and you can follow along here!
If you're a local woman or gender-marginalized creative interested in learning about the Lady Brain Collective membership, please visit our About, FAQ and Join pages to read more! If you're interested in supporting and contributing to our community, please consider becoming a Lady Brain Lover!
Thanks to everyone who participated and shared a song for our virtual book club takeover of the San Diego Songwriters Club. We're still getting used to this whole online gathering business, and this was a hard pivot to make because we were so excited to be in a room with our friends book club talking about this book. But, it was still lovely to check out beautiful songs from members of both groups (particularly from one of our newest members Danielle Angeloni!) and we are so proud of LBC member and book club organizer Unison Colthurst for doing amazing things with the community she leads! We're looking forward to scheduling another book club takeover when the coast is clear for being in a room together!
We love a good takeover! Cross-collaborating with our friends in the creative community is where it's at. On Sunday, April 19 from 1:30-4pm, Lady Brain Collective will be featured (along with book club members) at the San Diego Songwriter's Book Club series, which is organized and hosted by collective member Unison Colthurst.
What is a songwriter's book club, you might ask? Well, it's like a regular book club, only members take inspiration from the pages of each selected book (or titles, or cover, or pictures, or whatever they feel like) and create brand new songs. Then everyone comes together to discuss the book and share their songs. It's quite magical.
This series has been running for several years, but recently, gracious host and fearless leader Unison has opened up these showcases for our non-songwriting friends and music/book-lovers to attend for a small donation of $5-10. Optional potluck too!
The selected title for this event is The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls by Mona Eltahawy. Featured Lady Brain Collective performers will be Danielle Angeloni, Unison Colthurst, Rebekkah Darling, Michele Palmer, Amy Day, Lindsay White and more! If you would like to perform and/or attend, please stay RSVP to Unison for address/info.
In this edition of Boss Ladies (a review column written by members for members), Unison Colthurst shares her Trouble: A Calamity Adventure, the latest project from the Calamity gang.
I have fallen in love with Calamity! Do yourself a favor and listen to their newest release Trouble: A Calamity Adventure radio play. I just sat in my driveway for 10 extra minutes instead of going into my house, not because I was avoiding the two sticky toddlers that were waiting behind the front door, but because I had to hear how these ladies were getting in and out of their own sticky situations. Calamity has taken a unique approach with this release, weaving five news songs into a half-hour modern radio program. With the surge in popularity of podcasts, radio programs are enjoying a renaissance, and these ladies are riding that radio wave with Trouble.
Trouble: A Calamity Adventure will be available on all streaming platforms in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you hear it here first!
In Trouble, you really get a sense of each band member's personality, humor, and of course, their musical talent all through a girls road trip through the desert. Written by the witty and entertaining percussionist Catherine Barnes, the story's language and imagination (look out for the zombie trash panda!) makes me want to join them on this road trip--well, until it goes horribly wrong. Take a listen to find out what I mean. No spoilers here!
The songs are a testament to why Calamity has been nominated for this year's San Diego Music Awards in the Best County or Americana Album category. Right out of the gate, their cover of Gillian Welch and David Rawling's song “Caleb Meyer" hits you with low velvety solo voices paired with tight three and four-part harmonies, and the soaring fiddle phrases of Patric Petrie, all backed by the band's trademark acoustic instrumentation. The third song, “Crazy Eyes,” co-written by Cathryn Beeks (ukulele/vocals) and Nisha Catron (guitar/vocals), flirts between tango and rock and roll while maintaining tight harmonies and moving the storyline along . The title track, “Trouble,” which features Roni Lee on slide guitar, is a musical version of watching our fab five stroll off into sunrise with the desert surrounding them, probably in slow motion, while drinking tequila.
In Trouble, Calamity sure lives up to their name, and I can’t wait to hear the next part of the adventure. It's clear that bandmates Beeks, Catron, Barnes, Petrie, Marcia Claire (bass), and narrator Claudia Russell had a blast making this at Foxtail Studios in Escondido, and the fun is infectious. Look for upcoming performances (now featuring Lady Brain member Jules Stewart on drums!) on their calendar, and be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram. I know that I’ll be checking out Calamity at one of the fun shows they have lined up soon.
Even though there was no official Lady Brain Presents community gathering this month, some of us decided to gather together at Bad Ass Coffee in Rancho Penasquitos to support Lady Brain Collective member and open mic co-host Naiomi. It was awesome and inspiring to be in a room with so many creative people expressing themselves in so many different ways. We'll definitely be back!
Thank you to members who attended yesterday's workshop on DIY publicity! Shout out to Amy Day for hosting us at her house. It was great to see some first-timers in the mix and also to welcome several types of creators. This month, we talked about DIY Publicity. Lindsay White shared some tips and tricks for securing media placements when you don't have a budget to hire a publicist. Afterward, we opened the discussion up to the group about best practices for promotion. It was helpful to hear so many different ideas and perspectives. Lots of great info!
8/31/2019 0 Comments
August Workshop Recap - Special Guest Kelsea Rae Little, GoFundMe Media Director
Thanks to all who attended our August meet-up! Shout out to Jessica Lerner for hosting us and setting up a lovely mimosa station! This month's special guest was Kelsea Rae Little, Media Director at GoFundMe and host of True Stories of Good People podcast. Kelsea fielded our questions about crowdfunding and shared her story of how she got involved with GoFundMe, as well as severals stories of some of the everyday heroes who have used the platform to do good work in the world. There was not a dry eye in the room!
We know, we know, we say it every month, but July's meet-up was SO GOOD! Maybe it was because we were riding the wave of a successful inaugural Lady Brain Fest. Maybe it was the full house, the artsy space, or the nachos. It was definitely the inspiring and collaborative presentations from our host Astra Kelly, Carissa Schroeder, and Sandi King - all Lady Brain members, talented creatives, and compassionate entrepreneurs.
Carissa kicked things off with a chill mindful vocal meditation/warm up. It was exactly what we needed on a Monday night to center and connect with ourselves and each other.
Next, Sandi talked about her new venture, Backseat Booking. No matter the tour route or style of music, Sandi is a wealth of information when it comes to touring. She can help indie artists book entire tours, or give them the tools they need to successfully plan their own routes.
Astra of soulsong.life rounded out the evening with a songwriting workshop demo that resulted in some pretty special goosebump moments - once we found the right melody (thanks, Jessica Lerner) and hook, magic energy was swirling all around the room. Looking forward to next month's meetup!
6/9/2019 0 Comments
June Workshop Recap - Guest Speaker Jennifer Borba Von Stauffenberg from Olive Creative Strategies
Thanks to Unison Colthurst for hosting the June member meet-up! This workshop was an awesome overview of publicity strategies, shared by our guest Jennifer Borba Von Stauffenberg, President of Olive Creative Strategies. She gave us so much great information on topics such as identifying your overall brand and purpose, the best ways to go about contacting the press for media opportunities, and not being afraid to ask for help. A special shout out also goes to Chuck Lapinsky, who attended the meeting and featured Lady Brain Presents in his recent blog! Thanks to all who attended - see you next month!
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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