Thursday, September 24, 2009

Set Lists and Self Censorship; or, reasons why I need to chill out in general.

I’ve started planning out what I’m doing for my show on October 2nd. It’s strange because I’m purposefully trying to do songs that Gin Circus didn’t touch. I don’t think anyone would care if I crossed some of them over, but it helps me mentally to separate them. I’m trying to give myself about 30 minutes worth of songs which means I need to find two more songs to plug into the set list.

I’m opening the show with a cover of “Don’t Tell Mama” from Cabaret. I found an awesome karaoke backing track, which is a blessing since I’m sure any backing track I could’ve made from scratch wouldn’t do it justice. I’m doing choreography with two of the Dooryard girls, as I’ve mentioned, so I think if there’s a dance routine and it’s a real show it’s not cheating to use karaoke. Performance art, damnit!

I made a decision to include “Color Scientist Strikes Again” in my set list even though it could be argued that it’s a Gin Circus song. It has a larger label on it, though: it’s the only song I’ve ever messed up on live. I’m very meticulous about how I sing songs and anyway it’s pretty elementary that I should know the lyrics to my own songs. But at the first show, due to nerves, gesturing, getting locked into Alex’s look of concentration, and a few other things, I messed up part of that song. I don’t know if anyone noticed but I did and it’s haunted me since. Since I messed it up on the stage at Geno’s I feel it’s fair to give myself a chance to finally sing it correctly on the same stage. Alex will apparently be at the show so maybe if I’m a brave and iron-nerved little girl I can jump down into the audience and pretend to splash paint at him again like I did originally when I messed my lyrics up. It’s never a bad thing to get involved with an audience anyway, so why not pretend to paint everyone? It’s fun to pretend—I’m normally only a color photo scientist (as evidenced below by the picture I took of Marie Stella at Picnic with a fisheye camera and film that got messed up during processing):


I’ve found that I have a lot of songs that I’m too afraid to perform live or release to the general public because of the lyrics. I had a discussion with someone today who knows me and appreciates my music and he told me that he feels I censor myself too much and that it hurts what I’m doing musically. I completely agree with that and I’ve heard it from a few other people. Case in point is a song called “You Can’t Touch My Brother.” This song makes me nervous to perform it live for a few reason: 1)People might think I have a brother and infer things. I only have a half sister and although she’s married, having a brother-in-law is not a brother although he does feel like family ten years into their marriage; 2)The chorus is “and I bet they wouldn’t understand why I want to stay in your bed/she is not as loving as I am/no, she cant touch my brother/but I can.” That by itself sounds creepy to me because of the incest connotation. It is not, however, about incest and the idea of people thinking I’m writing about incest irks me. It’s about having an intimate experience with someone you’re close friends with and once you get into the experience you realize that they feel like family to you and you feel it’s wrong but you’re confused by the closeness of the friendship so there ends up being conflicted feelings about how to reconcile the experience with the friendship; 3)It’s based on a real experience and since I’m still friends with the guy and he knows the song is about him I’d rather not make him uncomfortable by performing it live if I don’t have to.

But, at the same time, it’s a strong song musically and it’s a shame I censor myself with it. Maybe one day I’ll get over my (largely groundless) fears about people judging my lyrics and perform the song. I mean, there are stranger things they can judge me for…my hobby of taking photographs of myself looking dead, for example. Yep, that’s still going strong:


I made apple crisp today with some apples Alex had given me from an apple picking trip he took (I haven’t been apple picking in ages….I should do that this fall). It turned out well. I think that, in general, things feel pretty good. I’m building friendships (in some cases building old ones up again) and I made people’s days by giving them apple crisp and, in one case, surprising my friend by telling her that I’d bought two tickets for the two of us to go to a concert in November. I feel happy, but I’m still worried. I guess if I don’t have something to worry about my mind explodes or something. I’ll address that problem later, though. For now, I must study German and read about newswriting.


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