Monday, December 22, 2014

artists and addicts may you rejoice.

Degenerate? Nah. Cliche? Neh.

If you fall into one of my two FAVORITE types of people: Artist or Addict, this post is for you! If you've been struggling with your self-worth, your obsessive thinking, your bad decision-making:: If you've been wondering how you're going to deal with societal pressure; the norm of what is "right and good, what is, in full, NORMAL" to most -- then........... carry on with your struggle.


I only have a few things that I can say to you to make you feel better. And that is, I appreciate you! I don't think you should go get a 9-5 job. Don't do it. Fuck that. I won't do it, why should you? Continue to be hard-headed, strong willed, emotive, vocal, outspoken. Go ahead and make bad decisions until you make some good ones. Live your crazy LIFE! I support that. More importantly, I find it very interesting.

I was thinking on the nightly walk with the dogs in my hood:: My favorite people are artists, musicians, or recovering addicts.

They seem to be the ones that can talk openly, discuss their feelings with truth, know what's inside and reach for it : most importantly: express it with some fluency.

Artists draw from their emotions and feeling to create art: DUH. What do recovering addicts have to offer?

A LOT. They have had to 1. realize that there are heavy emotions there instead of mask them with drugs & alc 2. get to the pit of the craphole and dig it out. 3. Talk to someone about it the malaise and get constant feedback about thoughts and actions.

In essence, if you've recovered from the dis-ease that is alcohol or drug abuse, and you've managed to put some clean time together; to get to know yourself: CONGRATULATIONS! You're not only a better person to humanity you are one of my {favorite 2 types} of people.

You are some of the smartest, most kind, sensitive, loving and most gifted people. Yeah sometimes you spout some program crap instead of talk with your heart. Sometimes you are overly "programmed", yes you have baggage:: but you are wonderful.

Is it SO OBVIOUS that I'm giving myself a pep talk here?

I'm NOT! I'm OK, You - OK.

This love is for you. Yes I am in recovery. I am an artist, so I know what the hell I'm talking about. I LOVE YOUR Pizzazz, your Panache!

And now you know.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Self portrait number 7 of 10 :: and a venture into an artists life

I am in a nice and serene mood! I'm also very tired. I'm noting my progress/state of mind since the last self portrait. 

I am reading a biography on my favorite favorite painter::: Modigliani. I used to be obsessed with Scheile in undergrad, and Van Gogh. With them in mind I had painted with very thick paint and uneven strokes. I painted with some sexuality, and I like that those painters always were expressive. The thick paint was hard for me to control. 

It's strange to me that I adore portrait artists so much. I don't paint portraits well at all, I prefer life drawing.  Portraits are a huge challange. To get the look right, I don't know - there is no way to fake a portrait, to polish a turd. It is truly a challange. I also struggle with shades of grey and lighting.

I'm happy with tonight's self portrait. It was quick, which I love since I'm tired. It also looks like me. 

I'm in the early life of the Modigliani bio. His family was very rich in the mining business, but they lost everything- they had "sold" their daughters in the form of doweries, and when they could not pay up they lost all their possessions and house to their inlaws! 

I didn't know Modigliani was Jewish, and I didn't realize he was Italian, though he spent most his adult life in Paris. He was also an alcoholic with Tuberculosis and died very young at age 35. 

What a huge body of work he left! His pregnant girlfriend committed suicide upon his death, leaving their 2 yr old daughter behind. No one is sure why she felt compelled to do this. He had several illegitimate children as well. 

I am about ready to go back to art school for a masters. I don't know when and where and I don't know how. I'm hoping its in Paris or Italy! But most likely somewhere I can afford. I'm terrified that I will not measure up. I distinctly remember in art school watching amazing painters paint with what seemed like ease - these were my friends! It's not only the painting technique that is essential (I had none) but the subject matter as well. And drive!! And discipline! I had the desire, that's about it. It was not until I discovered Lithography that I felt I could be more abstract and let the chemicals do some of my work for me. The reduction process helped me make interesting editions. I struggled with the chemistry:/( and I never got the plates to do what I wanted.  It was an adventure. I wish I could share some of those lithos here but they are rolled up. My work when I lived in Mexico was some of the best- go figure. I still take Litho classes at ACC on occasion. 

I found a 5' woodcut that I did - I copied a Modigliani painting, carved the wood, and printed it up at University of Texas .

She's pretty cute this is just a close up. She's rolled up in my office. She might make her debut over the couch. With or without a frame! She's about 8 yrs old now...I have about 3 of them. I printed about 8 at the time.

See! The cockamamie eyes! I am not alone. 

Goodbye Year of the Wooden HORSE ++++ F U!

Chinese New Year is on Thursday, February 19, 2015. It marks the start of the Year of the Wood Sheep in the Chinese zodiac.

This year has been moving so fast. In a way I want it to slow down. But, not really, I like moving fast! I just want to feel better about the rapid changes. 

I've made a lOT of changes. I think they are good for me, but it is hard. It has caused me to grow up a bit, seek humility and community, go inward and try and heal old wounds. That sounds kind of generic. But it's not. I do have some old wounds! Duh, we all do. Some of us are worse off than others. I have stopped judging "how good or bad" I had it growing up. It's time to stop allowing my past to infect my future, even the future that I myself created, when I came up with my own ideas about life. Those old ideas don't serve me anymore. I'm doing this purge by writing. 

It's a "principle's inventory". I am writing the old ideas out that don't serve me. I reflect on how it affects me: self esteem? (always) monetary problems, emotions, personal relationships? And then I reflect on my part, or my contribution to the issue. Was I stuck in selfishness? Was I dishonest, self-seeking, blaming, frightened (always). I read it to someone. That person's name is Mark R. 

My acupuncturist Simel Bey 2 years ago said :: Hold on to your hat. It's the year of the Water Horse. Things will move quickly. I had no idea. 

So I was curious about 2015...

I found this site which was extensive, but had a birth calculator to help you with the elements so you can determine this years' outcome:)

That is the calculator, but this is the original site:

Beware: there is a "luck bar" ! LOL True to form, my worse years were 1-20 yrs. old. THOSE YEARS SUCKED! Especially 1-10.

It's all kind of confusing. My head is going to explode.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The making of Erodica! The record is nearly done, its aftermath continues...!

First of it's going to drive me crazy! Because people will pronounce this title as E-R-O-T-I-C-A, because the T sounds like a D. But it is really pronounced: ERODE-ICA, blending the words "Eroding" with "Erotic"... which had been my life for awhile when I went to NYC for a month this past February to write this record with Raindogg.

Raindogg and I met in Austin. He found my DD Dagger profile on Reverbnation where he was looking for a singer to perform in a musical about his Grandma from Brooklyn, who was black, and a hustler. I was thrilled. I listened to the music that he had made in the past with the lovely Ms. Kassy Key. It was different than my music but there was a common thread and a vintage sound that I liked.

I was so excited about the musical. We met for a meeting about it and I met the other actors and a musician friend of his.

Then we got a show. We played the show. It was fantastic, all Raindogg songs and a couple of DD Dagger ones. I had a blast, his band was really good and they didn't eff around. I was terrified, as usual. I learned the lyrics it took me forever. I hate memorizing lyrics.

I needed an editor. I had just shot a video with my dancers, he edited the video.  Just like that. It was amazing, he was great.

We did a couple of other collaborations and then I got an email. Moving to New York in December. OUT OF THE BLUE>

What about my MUSICAL?? I've been waiting all my life!

...I am going to write part 2 tomorrow. For now, I'm going to lament that I'll never get to sing in this musical, on the bright side::

This great record was written with Raindogg and though it is laced and layered with heartbreak, I am very proud of it.

we're releasing the songs one at a time, as singles. Here is the first single: listen:

xox dd

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

just because just because just because

"Just Because"

Well, well, well,
Just because you think you're so pretty,
And just because your momma thinks you're hot,
Well, just because you think you've got something
That no other girl has got,

You've caused me to spend all my money.
You laughed and called me old Santa Claus.
Well, I'm telling you,
Baby, I'm through with you.
Because, well well, just because.

Elvis: Just Because. I have always loved this song. My first band Deep Sombreros used to cover it. Peter took the country out of it and made it more jump blues. Ian and I took solos. Always fun. 

Just because, just because just because popped into my head while painting. Why? I don't know that shit just happens sometimes. I listened to the lyrics. Do they have something to say to me? 

Just because I went to a knitting circle at 10 am this morning and chatted with all older women who have been around the block and are wise,  and who seem to be very nurturing and sweet: and above all, can show me how to knit like they can knit: reading patterns, isle knitting, expanding my patience to more complex patterns. So rad. It's time. 

Just because I have been looking at myself through a healing lens so that I might be better 

Just because I'm an artist.  Just because I'm an entertainer who doesn't make a lot of money, but who has great ideas and can execute....

Just because my career has simultaneously never been more active and my daydreams never been more still....

Just because: A thing is just a thing not what someone thinks of that thing. BIRDMAN!

Just because this blog got almost 600 hits last month! LOL

Just because the Grant Brothers and I are reuniting for the first time since '2000 to form a new band and that 2nd rehearsal is tomorrow...

Just because this is my 6th self portrait and my internal critique has lessened...

Just because Just because just because 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Self portrait number 5 // the owl hoots. Is it talking to me?

These portraits remain difficult. This is portrait 5. I am so glad I can put paint down on a page but I'm no illustrator, never have been. I actually do better with photos but I'm not allowing these selfies to be photos - the goal is to look at myself; and I can't say my thoughts during this exercise have been a very fun place to hang. Sorry to self! I feel bad about it but what can I do?

Besides looking deep and feeling hard, these days I've been appreciating those that love me and my amazing friends that support me. I do love myself! I work hard at it. Did anyone ever say it would be easy? Thank you for everything.

If you ever saw me on stage and thought I was gliding through life, that the choices I've made were easy, that I get to live out my dreams - wait !! I do get to live out my dreams. I'm not sure what I'm trying to say. 

I'm posting these ugly unfinished portraits for you to see. That's all. It's uncomfortable. But when I'm done? I'm done. When I get over something I really get over it. My heart is forgiving, and I don't stay mad....though it might take awhile. If somehow posting these is helping me process- well I'm just not sure yet. I almost gave up tonight.

There is this owl hooting outside my window as I'm writing. I don't hear them often but it's been here a couple of nights in a row. It's loud! And it's been raining constantly for 2 days.

I hope he is living in the big oak tree at the back of my yard. Maybe he is a reminder of the fleeting nature of things. Or a Note to my wiser self. Maybe he is looking for a mate! I only hear one. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

It takes courage I assure you!

This is my 4th self portrait and this is not getting any easier!! 6 more to go...

I have been trying SO hard lately! I've been doing these ugly portraits it seems almost like torture. I can't make myself look pretty and the eyes are always cock-eyed! 

Another lesson in humility. I'm seeing what I can't do, I've never been able to do well but I understood something tonight:: I love the hard,dark line too much. It flattens everything out, but I love it hell with you Rembrant give me some Matisse. Who's got time for all that subtlety?

Last night I had dinner with the band Vapors of Morphine-- or in other words Morphine! Long story short the sax player is like a big cuddle bear with mad skills and amazing tone. We talked about art ALL of dinner and he told me how to better cure my reeds, and prepare them for playing. He is an amazing guy and next year at Honk! I'm going to visit him and his family. They live in Sommerville.

He asked me questions about my art and told me about his process too. It was a lovely exchange. He's kinda serious but with a goofy, jokey side. Yes I'm at home with famous musicians-- yes!!! More please.

Today I see myself
-trying very hard to learn and overcome the plateau
-attempting to internalize the suggestions that countless friends and family have told me but that I'm tired of hearing
-working through lethargy
-adept at talking about art and very opinionated!
-going out on the town more (but not working, just for fun)

Tomorrow I have 3 shows!!! Yes, it's Halloween and witches I'm booked up! 

I'm sooooo excited! 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Seriously today- who gives a shit!?

Today. Who gives a shit!? I am tired of being tired and unmotivated.

This portrait flew out in about 20 mins, after a beautiful messenger communicae with Fernanda via Sao Paolo. 

She was a comfort and a muse: and discussed her desire to move to Berlin and work for a time. 

F and I met in New York last Feb. via Andre- Andre I met on the Internet through music. He came to Austin and we shot my first solo record cover together, for "Femmie Auteur" in 2009. He shoots incredible black and white photography, and they are both about 10 years younger than me. 

When I was in NY for a month Andre connected us- me and Fernanda. She was there doing a job for 6 months in Branding. I still don't know exactly what she does, but she is a brainiac. 

Andre is right. Her and I are kindred spirits. I am not a brainiac. I am a bohemian. But I love working too: on art and music. I love studying too: music and art. 

Fernanda lifted my spirits talking about coming here for SXSW 2015. She said I could follow her to Berlin. I want to sing Cabaret, I will find a gig. Dreaming is all that it should be. I see about 3 months there, 4 - 6 if I want to learn to speak German.

Prior to the late night chat with Fernanda I was bargaining. I wanted my old boyfriend back. I wanted to move to NY despite the lack of trees. I wanted to play in the difficult Marching Band and I was thinking ¿what if I had a kid.?

Those thoughts flew out the window when the dreams of Fernanda's Berlin flew in. 

And now the old ideas seem - eh - a couple miles away. 

My job is to study music and work on my graphics jobs and not sit on them too long so I can stay in the $$ flow. 

If I can make it here I'll make it anywhere. 

-feeling humbled
-cleaning my house
-eating better today
-less crying than yesterday
-amazing and talented friends
-a long, quiet evening 
-too much facebook
-time for bed

Goodnight dreamers.

There are a whole lot more Andre photos! But I'm going to bed.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Self portrait day 2

This portrait is upsetting. 

It doesn't look a thing like me despite the fact that I watched myself in the mirror while drawing it. 

But that's not why I'm doing this so I have to let that go. I also wanted to stylize it in a cubist fashion and that too was a miss.

Despite this, while I was drawing it, I had dreams of being an expat: 

In Spain where I can use my fluent Spanish, or Brazil or better- Portugal where I can truly live in peace as a bohemian. Berlin! Yes! Italy.

I would do France if the women were friendlier. How dreamy even still!

It will hopefully be - one day soon. Until then, in my face I see tonight:

Unconventional life
Art seeking
Big eyes
Quite a bit of sadness

I don't want to stay away. I just want an adventure. I thought New York might be it but it's too expensive, too crowded, too concrete.

Though the people and music are wonderful, it's likely not for me. Why not be speaking something other than English? 

I'm good at languages and would love to pick up another one. 

Goodnight dreamers, thanks for dreaming.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

10 days of me, just me.

After a tear soaked yoga class tonight, during the meditation, I had an inspired idea. 

I'm going to do 10 self portraits for 10 days. 

Why? I asked myself. Because I want you to look at yourself, for that time, in the mirror, and find what you see. Oy vey!

I know what I feel: empty. The immense loss, a divorce. 

But what do you see? 

In Tonight's portrait I see a young woman, younger than I expected. I see some fearful eyes. I see a slight look away. I don't think I see myself.

I have not done a self portrait in a very very long time. I felt them, after art school, self indulgent I guess. Of course occasionally I would do one. But now I think back the last one was during an immense time of grief: I painted myself crying with a grackle in my hand:: my sister had died. 

That was 10 years ago! I am never over her death, of course,  but my grief today is no longer about her- she is with me always.

Today's portrait is kind of stiff. It doesn't look much like me. But I'm not into censoring myself. So this is the first attempt. 

Oh. I also see an abstract line going through my head. I am split....

...and I think I have a headache now.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

An artist should not fall in love with another artist -marina abramovic

My favorite highlights From Marina's "an artist's life manifesto"

-an artist should avoid falling in love with another artist
-An artist should be erotic
-through the suffering an artist trancends their spirit
-depression is not productive for an artist
-an artist should look deep inside themselves for inspiration
-the artist should give and receive at the same time
-an artist must make time for long periods of solitude
-an artist should not treat his work schedule as a bank employee does
-an artist should have friends who lift their spirits
-an artist has to learn to forgive

After I watched her amazing documentary  The artist is present: 

I cried when her and her performance artist husband reunited after 20 years of silence - to forgive within her MOMA retrospective. They both shed tears and so did I. To watch years of anger melt is an amazing thing. 

To forgive is amazing, and be forgiven a miracle.

I want to write my own manifesto now! Just for fun. No I never beat myself physically with a whip to create art but bear in mind I do that mentally consistently! 

Here is my manifesto:

-an artist should always fall in love with another artist that does art in the same vane as them, but never expect that relationship to last; as that collaboration is certainly temporary.
-an artist should write, stretch, or just putter around the house with tea; but try not jump to the phone or email while still in bed.
-an artist should realize when a creative relationship or collaboration is over and quickly move on to the next.
-an artist should steer clear of family, friends or acquaintances that constantly criticisize their work or talk shit.
-an artist should have a shop dog or cat
-an artist should not fear when work is not present. (S)he should create something for themselves to do; money or no money.
-an artist should recognize when to get training; if necessary.
-an artist should not make art for money or create with that as a goal in mind.
-an artist should not let others manage their repertoire, as they are generally taken advantage of.
-an artist should quiet down and listen for their purpose
-this statement is stupid and incorrect: "those who can't do, teach"

It's not that I do all these things. It's just what I think I should do and what I believe.

It's hard to know my own purpose and make steps to accomplish it. It's hard when you finally do take a step and you are denied (via grant or other contest.) It's acually devastating. 

At 41, I finally was awarded my first art grant. It's a tiny amount of money to do a huge project but it's better than nothing!

I'll post later when we've flushed out the idea, but I can tell you it's ambitious.

I've wanted to create music for dance for awhile. Dancers have choreographed to my music, but the music wasn't specifically written for dance. 

My sister Lauren was a dancer. Though I didn't study dance (she did) we connected on that level. Since she died I've been obsessed with dance and form. 

I don't consider myself a dancer (could use more training!) but I've danced with ease my whole life. For the City of Austin piece it will combine dance, visual art, and music.

We'll see where my new freedom chapter takes me. I have nothing but 3 furballs holding me back. I've sacrificed family for art and that's fine with me for this lifetime.

I've nurtured PLENTY. It's time for nature.

Marina's documentary was inspiring. I wanted to share - art strikes a chord. You should feel Something. In your heart, mind, or body. It should move you. 

If it doesn't, it's forgettable and purposeless. 

Goodnight Art Seekers! 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Music: restoring me to sanity AGAIN. Improv, Todd V Wolfson, MonkeyNest Jamz

I have given up a lot for music. But last night it clearly gave something back to me. I have been UPINDAHEAD way too much lately, and it's been hard to meditate my way out of it. It's been hard to "AA - my way out of it" Yes -- I'm outing myself, finally!

It's been hard to "yoga" my way out of this tough time too: (separation/impending divorce/midlife crisis, just the little things!)

I guess, maybe, because these things are not my purpose in life, they are just part of my life.

Art is my purpose, and I only know that because I never cared (like, in school) about anything but my art class. The art class I finally took as a senior!!! I just meandered for 4 years doing as little as possible prior.

There was that one literature class where we read Shakespeare aloud...that was RAD!

It's all I cared for and I had a nurturing art teacher that year (finally) that gave me some love, attention, and good vibes that I desperately needed to secure a path to the artistic realm. I needed it: I had started to get into a lot of trouble with drugs, boys in school, and I was going to the principles office a lot. That's about what I remember.

Let's just make it up as we go along! 

There is one thing that I see over and over in artists (artistry) that inspires me so much. They live in a space in the world where it's ok to just make it up. Make it up as we go along. It comes out in the music, it comes out in their gigs and art.

Last night, Houser said to me: Oh yeah, I'm playing with Edie Brickell in Dallas (as well as with David Garza) We play early at 8- then Me and Hubbard are going to get in the car and drive immediately to play a gig with Golden Dawn Arkestra at Art Outside: we'll get there right ontime:: at 1am!

I was like, really? Aren't you going to be tired? He said, "It's all in your perspective, really - Isn't it?" Agreed. And, I'm sad I can't be at the Edie show, as she was a huge influence on me in high school. Kristen and I listened to "What I am" and that whole record incessantly...

Thank God I will be playing at Art Outside too, with Minor Mishap, and I will be in the front row cheering on my peeps.

Brad inspires me so much: So does this motley cure of brass below me: Salmon and Hubbard. These guys..............

This jam is what I needed. I needed to be surrounded by like-minded people. I needed the beautiful, made up in the moment artistry. I needed to feel it in the air, and on my lips! I needed to catch notes out of the sky and feel like a part of it.

The way Todd's jams work is someone will throw a tune out there, and we all hop on the bus. You pluck notes out of the air, you find the scale, you find the spaces in which to insert something pretty. Or in my case laugh, or be silly.

At one point I was making up a song on Bruce's Resonator - Todd MADE me. I had prepared no originals, so I put 3 chords together. Behind me, at some point, as I was trying to make up lyrics that sounded stupid to me, but what what I was feeling, it was more serious than I had wanted it to sound...

This girl behind me was shaking trash from a trash can - it was so rigorous, almost in time but not, that I turned around and was like, WTF is that? It was trash!

I laughed out loud, and then the drummer John Bush and I had another laugh about it as we recapped the irony:0

At another point Me, Bruce, and Hubbard got up and acted as a section, plucking out tunes together. Later, Hubbard walked outside with his accordian for a bit to play to the stars.

I nearly followed....

Todd told me to freak out, so I freaked out on the horn making it crazy.

OH! It was much to do about nothing.

Precisely what was inspiring about it.

PHOTOS by Sheridan

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I wish I were Black

I know it's not PC to say that. But walking the dogs through my neighborhood tonight DA EAST SIDE!!! there was a smokin' party going with full on DJ, bright lights, and rap music and people hanging out on the front porch. No white-ies.

The sound system was SO GOOD, the lights very funky, and I loved the rap song they played. I had no idea who it was. I wish I was more versed in new rap/hip hop music.

Something like...."things is on my mind, not be all the time, thinking sometime In MY CITY!" those weren't the words but the chorus was something like that. Very catchy.

Can't I be black instead of Jew? I could blow the soul out of my horn. I could BLOW BETTER! Have a fro, wear bright pink lipstick like Rhianna, wear big gold "ghetto" jewelry...EAAAWWWW I already do that.

I want to play sax for a rapper like that -  something good. Just putting it out there. And please be black if possible.

It reminds me that I missed Pharcyde this year by a pinch, at SXSW. Which has gotten SO HUGE that bands like Pharcyde were playing at a small club on Rainey Street.

Instead, who did I catch? Freaking Asher Roth the most hideous stupid overhyped whitest frattiest sorority induced rap I've ever heard. I hate his music. It an embarrassment to the mainstream.

That's who I caught. I was PISSED! HO well. BTW his show was terrible.

Minor Mishap is leading a procession to Stubbs where De La Soul is playing this halloween and I hope that gives us entry.

That will have to dooooo!

So tonight, on the way to a gig at the Continental Club with my dear Minor Mishap, I will blow the soul out of this white jew's Bari.

It will have to doooooo!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hey how are you? Fine how are you?

Hey what's up? 

Aww nothing I just rode my bike to the grocery store. (Yaaay!) instead of the scooter. I feel like a bad ass! Simple pleasures. That grocery store is whacked. I almost had a kaniption cause I couldn't find the random things I needed. I felt like a complete stoner walking around aimlessly. Of course, it's Sunday night so they're out of everything.   While looking for some witch hazel I got on all fours and started clearing the bottom shelf looking for one last lonely bottle! A guy in a red Shirt (undercover HEB staff) comes by to check me out to make sure I'm not losing it. 

But you can't lose it! Cause sometimes, there are like cute guys around :-/

Speaking of cute guys...I was there to get baking stuff. I'm making cookies tonight. For both my Hubby and my lover! That's sweet of me, right?

....hmmmmmmm how's that going?

......mmmm it's going fine- but I'm like tired all the time - I think I'm depressed. Fri-sat-sun I couldn't barely get off the couch! And I have like a lot of work to do!
I'm pretty zapped all the time. Listen- I made up with McCarthy! He said he's going to mix my record. He a genius! ...and he owes me! So maybe this record will get out soon. In the meantime Marty's going to mix the single so I can go ahead and send it out. Raindogg and I thought we should release them all as singles one at a time, since McCarthy agreed to do them "in his spare time". 

That's a great idea! Nobody releases records anymore. It's so 1998.  

Yo the single is a cool 2:13 seconds! Very Ramones, and also very Blondie. I sing really high on it. Also with a slight British accent. Retarded, I know. I want you to hear it soon, Scams! I gotta run. I'm full of popcorn and coconut water and I want to ride home and get to bed early. Hey have you watched that show Californication?......

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Keeping Austin Weird or Keeping Austin Austin?


It's tough to see my fellow peeps in pain, and I saw one such amazing bass player friend of mine today at a coffee shop. He is going through a major life transition right now. Ejected out of his house that he'd been living in for 15 years due to a mold infestation and the severe deterioration of his health. He was paying next to nothing in rent. Now he's forced to join most of what Austin is today: a terribly rough housing market.

I don't know how we do it. And by that I mean managing our lives while still finding inspiration to make art out of nothing. My friend said, "I'm going on tour tomorrow for three days - to me, that is normal. I've got to feel normal again." LOL this of course means living in a van, eating on the road, sleeping in friends or fan's homes, but travelling, playing music and being with your homies.

The Willie Nelson song "On the Road Again" comes to mind.

It's true we've all manifested our own lives. I don't believe I'm a victim of my circumstances and in addition to that I'm always thinking of ways I can make some cash to get going or doing something.

I currently am invited to tour with friends in Italy this October but I'd be paying my own way- it would be more of a workation - than a tour, but I'd rather travel by playing music, period. It feels better to me.

This trip would/will be amazing and I might do it- but I'd like to manifest a situation where I'm being paid to do just the same. I'm not sure how to do this: but I'm starting with a simple statement:

I believe that taking lessons and practicing my site reading will lend myself to higher paying gigs. I'm nodding, to myself. Yes this is true for me.

The question I've been hearing lately around a lot among artistic and musical circles is this: We are going to get pushed out of this town. That's not an exaggeration, and it's not hysterical - if you want to be an underground artist.

If you want to do architecture or build houses for a living and you happen to play music, you'll be fine. If you want to continue to make the music you like to make and it doesn't happen to be Taylor Swift or the like, you will be eating beans. There is about I would guess a 3% chance you're not going to eat beans.

If Austin wants to keep it's cultural roots and not turn into something that looks like Deep Eddy in Dallas or The Riverwalk in San Antonio, they're going to have to keep coming up with ways to help their artists. I really believe this.

Some ideas: 
-an emergency stipend for rent/bills for WORKING (not slacker) musicians. I'm kind of harsh about this: you should be working as an artist, but I'll let the gatekeepers deal with that.
-An artists co - op of of duplex or condo's. A 90210 for artists of all types. Partially City-Funded (not art businesses I believe there is that going on already)-- See the Canopy.
-That's all I got. I've got to go pick up my animal from Emancipet. He got a ((FFRREEEEE))) surgery from the mobile clinic:: SNIP SNIP. Found him running around like a mashugana on the East Side in front of Arlan's on Airport.

So - see - we fund for animals. If we didn't there would be 1,000,000 more dogs and cats on the streets running wild. More disease, trash, poo-- catch my drift?

Let's start getting real about taking care of ourselves and our communities. If Austin wants to "KEEP AUSTIN WEIRD" it's going to do more than build up the huge establishments on South Lamar, keep air cranes in the downtown sky, and build up condos no one I know can afford.

It's going to have to keep a balance of what's weird and cool in our little community (the creative people - duh) with what's going to bring in $$$.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ladies ladies bitches hos player haters gamers & creative nemesis'

This is dedicated to all the ladies. I love love my ladies. I am one of those l❤️❤️Vvers of all things female, and I personally wouldn't survive with women in my life. My mom, my friends, my grandparents + sister (dead but still vibing). My sister in law, my mother in law, my niece, (not my x-step mom) but I think you get the point::

I need women in my life to guide my thoughts, love me, like my clothes and go shopping with me-- but I have to say::::

We have a mother fucking hard ass time getting along you bitches! 

This is what I mean:::

We're competitive, frightened, egocentric, passive aggressive, downright mean and nasty behind closed doors and sometimes in front of them. I'm so tired of the caddy bullshit that I wrote a song in homage to  one of my haters: Cat Fight. I sing it with some parts anger some parts fear, and I made the band play it in such away that it's not cute and furry- but dark and heavy. It's not cute when two girls hate each other because on the other side of that hate is probably adoration and love. But, the ill will gets in the way and voila- signals crossed.

Creative women have to work hard at it- and by that I mean working together in bands or creative projects. When women work together it's a beautiful thing! It shows in the performance.

For instance I have been made aware by fans when I'm the only female on stage - as if it's something to be proud of, like I must be amazing if the dudes let me play with them. And sometimes I like that too:: being the only femme up there. 

But mostly I'm concerned with players that work at what they do and get along. And don't be boring! I dislike boring people both male and female. 

I'm not sure what I'm saying here.

I know I have female nemesis out there. I know that those nemesis are all creative. I know that I'm either jealous, hurt, or confused by their mixed messages, their hot and cold personalities. I know it has nothing to do with their talents or how talented they are. I love surrounding myself with the best.

All I know is I perceive them to give me bad vibes, and then, over time, in turn, I turn on them as well. I give it back and then : boom - creative nemesis. It varys over time and I've seen it get well and change, and appreciate. But mostly it stays the same for years on end.

It makes me miserable that there's no healing, that I haven't healed, but that's life. 

As I turned the key to my door after another amazing show played downtown, I heard my dogs barking. I thought briefly about my dogs. They don't like everything or everyone either.

But they LOOOOVE me! That is clear.

Practicing Patience::: zzzzzzzz boring.

Last night I went on a late night bike ride. I put on my favorite mash-up Fela Soul it was lovely. I had had a hard day, my emotions have been all over the map.

I've been telling myself that I'm less than, I've been doing a lot of "Compare and Despair" LOL. That says it all. It's not a race, this life. My triggers are my career (music mainly but art too) two very difficult paths.

Which brings me to my thought today about myself. I am very impatient. I'm the one with road rage cause I'm always in a hurry. (For that I work from home and drive as little as possible) I think sitting in traffic is such a waste of time and my brain starts to short circuit....

I also have no patience when it comes to the timeline of my dreams of successes. I want it all now and even if it's coming, it takes so long to get here that it's already not enough. I look at people and wonder how they get their ideas for the amazing things that they do.

I want to do amazing things! I want to be a part of a community of amazing happenings! My fellow creative calls this "FOMO" or Fear of Missing Out. Apparently I'm not alone if there is a new english acronym for it! LOL.

Bike riding last night was WONDERFUL! It's too hot here right now to ride during the day. I focused on focusing on the road.

I had a song idea this morning and I'm just thinking about how to settle into this patience that I desire. In the meantime, I temper my thoughts. I take Chinese Herbs (they work I think!) get acupuncture, and try to be me.

I have another idea: I am going to do a portrait series of wonderful women: They're nudes. I would take commissions, but if you know of an amazing woman artist, musician, activist, or local celeb I'll take suggestions. I have the first model: Datri Bean, my amazing and talented band leader in Minor Mishap. She'll have a rose in her hair, and hold her kitty.

Happy Saturday.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Ask -- and it's Given? The law off attraction

I was feeling so bad today (in a general mental space-way) that I put myself back to sleep! I think I was just exhausted! I spun myself out and luxuriously slept another 30 - 40 mins to ride it out. That was AFTER a meditation.

When I woke up (doggies in bed and all yaay) I still felt a lot of feelings that I couldn't process so I popped on the 'ole Hay House Radio. It's been about a year since I've listened, despite the terribly difficult year I've had.

If you don't know me,  I'm a total new ager. But I do have my limits! I had cast off The "Law of Attraction" a while ago. I have read the book, watched the movies, and listened to the podcasts but I just gave it all up one day.

Well today's the day! The day it has made a modecrum of sense to me. After listening to a non-believer ask a question about his finances Esther guided him into the process of getting him into a headspace whereby he could accept that his thoughts do affect his future, and that his thoughts are blocking him from what he wants.

HE WANTS MONEY! and guess what? so do I! LOL.

But more importantly (to me) I was feeling bad today. Listening to the man's struggles helped me realize that:

- I am sad. All this negativity floating around in my brain coming out in different ways : this person didn't treat me right or this girl has what I want or I don't want her to have what I have!!! ??? What?

Yes. In my brain I not only want MORE I sometimes want you (mostly if I don't jive with you) to have less. Yikes. That is not the me I want me to be.

 - So I'm feeling a little less than. Noted. I cried it out a bit. I let it go as far as it wanted to go and then I did my nasty dishes.

- I realized, while listening to the podcast that I can't jump from 'I don't have shit' - (not true) to I have everything I want and need and the universe is taking care of me in every way.

- I need to generalize my beliefs and desires and get to a place where I can calm down! Then start, sometimes, with what I don't want to get to what I do want.

- This new blogging is about getting out of fear and exposing the inner mind of my artistry and lifestyle.  It's interesting-  to me. It definitely helps me organize the book I want to write! BOOYAH!

The fact that I'm taking the time is one step towards my own manifestation of my desires and dreams. Out of fear and into gear. STOOPID! but true for me.

-I know what I want and I'm doing what I want. It doesn't always go well. I'm scared about the future. I feel like I've given up a lot of what society sees as successful to pursue my artistic dreams and it's painful that I don't view myself as a success sometimes. But sometimes I do!?!

But today wasn't one of those days. I can't tell you if the law of attraction is true, that it works, that I've manifested something major (like a radio hit wha wha)?? I haven't. I don't have anymore this moment than I had in the last one. But, I can get into a general headspace that allows me to be ok with where I am at this moment, and plan for future moments by getting into action. I can start the path to believing that I have mental blocks that are clouding my happiness and potentially hurting my future.

Listen to the podcast and give me your thoughts:: It's an hour, but the guy I'm speaking of is the first 30 mins.

And PLEASE don't be nasty to me if you're going to comment! I can't take it this week.

(listen to the podcast here) You will need to create an account.

Monday, August 18, 2014

When Creatives go Psycho on you:: Democracy People!!!!

This is not new or unique to me!

This happens to me mostly with women!

Another creative meltdown. Another creative loss in my community, and by loss I mean to me.

Out of the blue this week, 6 months later after a performance, a seriously close creative collaborator  sent me a venomous email which I believe to have little or nothing to do with me.

What it said? "You disrespected me" "You don't appreciate my talents" "you are self-centered" (true but not a crime) "you only call when you have drama and I don't want to hear about your crap" (so untrue)...

Maybe this Pistol is having a meltdown maybe they are manic. I know I am. And I can't take it. Blocked! Out. Done and I feel better. It's over.

 I'm kinda numb. I learned a lot from this person, but they aren't well right now. Neither am I.

The last thing said by them was, all on facebook: "You can't take any criticism that's not kissing your ass, can you.." I mean -- what does that even mean? I won't be bullied.  Not by anyone. Man or Woman.

I take criticism all the time - my band gives it. But they don't call me names, try to pick ugly fights or trump up charges that I was mean and nasty and disrespectful. Cause I'm not. And if I am snappy, I apologize asap. I'm not perfect I get fussy and/or frustrated sometimes. Live music is rough. Keeping a band (AND DANCERS??) even tougher. Without a budget??? OY VEY.

I'm always conscientious, though, and when I'm nasty I usually know it because I feel bad. I apologize. For the record I apologized to this one, but they wouldn't have it. BURN BABY BURN! They burned the Bridge.

I've prided myself on being the best bandleader I can be. When I quit something, I don't have to blow it up to pieces. I don't have to, because there is a way to communicate in an honest way that I'm done. I might be angry about it. But I won't be forever.

Here are some ways to communicate you don't want to do a creative project anymore:

1. This has been a learning experience but I don't have time or the mental space for it right now. Best of Luck.

2. I'm sorry I can contribute to this anymore. (you don't need to explain!)

3. Something doesn't feel right to me and I have to trust my instinct on this one.

4. I don't feel comfortable with this krewe.

5. I thought I would be a good fit but I'm not, and I thank you for inviting me to perform.

6. I have to focus on myself and what's best for me. Good Luck!

(If I am angry) 

7. The way you've spoken to me was unacceptable. I don't work like this.  We're not a match. Best of luck.

I don't need to blow shit up or list the crap that I don't like because if they're acting machugana they can't hear it anyway.

This is all fine and understandable. Maybe the project people or the band will be hurt for a bit (maybe I'll be hurt)  but let it go, I have let this stuff go-- and it's getting easier to navigate an angry disagreement.


Not everyone is going to like what you choose to do, say, act out, or perform. But you can't go psycho about it. You can't control other people.

Another more amazing performer will come along that's the right fit - or You (I) We can take a different direction or approach.

Sometimes it's just not meant to be forever. But I'm still happy it happened. I'm also happy it's over.

I feel better now, I feel good and that I did the right thing (for me) and I'm sure they did the thing that THEY know how to do.

velvet dust issue 2

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I'm blogging more-- deal with it!

I was thinking about music and musicians -- again. 

I went to a healer today. He loves working with blocks in creativity and music. And though I'm "in the flow" I have been pretty negative lately. 

Here are my negative notes from the underground::

1. Please get better! You're 40 and still playing at the level that is lower than many elementary children? Practice more and dream less. 

2. If you are awesome, and know you're an amazing player, you're not fun to play with, you can't share the stage and you have an ego problem. Don't get near me!

3. It is hard for me and rough on my ego but my Dagger band: I promise to forever pass the tip jar around during and after the set- we made an extra $69 (yes how lovely) because I insisted on going around the club begging for $ & €. (I did cop out the second half and get Phil's girlfriend to do it but hell- it's the best I could do) Is $69 nickels and dimes? Yes! But that stack of cash is nice to give out to the band so they can go get tacos for breakfast-- and treat their boy/girlfriend.

4.The bar Manager loved my set quote, "that was pretty fucking awesome" so I gave him a cd and asked him to put it on the jukebox. I'm a million years old and I said jukebox! 

5. Instead of shouting out "be sure to tip your bartenders people" which for some reason annoys the shit out of me, I said how are those drinks Y'all?? Yell if you love Firehouse! I'm sure that equally annoying. But this bar DOES do specialty cocktails and they do work so hard on each drink....of which as usual I had zip not even a virgin piña colada. What's wrong with me?

6. It's not uncommon for me to avoid the bar all night long and not drink a single thing. I loath waiting around that bar it feels like a cattle call. 

7. It is true!!! I got off my scooter with sax axe on my back and bag of framed art AND props and the door guy (with a line of people to get in) said hello Ms. Dagger and let me cut on in. I totally felt like a rockstar.

8. Please God I want to tour Catalan again please please after Honk! NYC I will do anything!

9. The healer said I was Brave (in that I faced the music -- lol) in regards to my problems and I believed him.

10. He said genuine love had been given/passed to me and that could I feel it? I couldn't at the time. 

It was a free healing session. It was lovely, but hard work. Healers are very weird and like many therapists some are very whack in their own right. But these guys were really cool- and it's free Wed 6-9 and Sunday 2-5 at Casa De Luz. 

Go check it out. I'm blogging more so I can get my thoughts out and refine them.

Goodnight! 1:37am Sunday night

Ms. Dagger
Next show:: Minor Mishap at the Mohawk Downtown ATX

Saturday, August 16, 2014

If you can do anything else besides music....

I am trying to better myself. I have taken up (again) saxophone lessons with the amazing Austin Guitarist, composer, sax player Shawn Jones. (The Lovely Sparrows) With the focus of (well, everything) but mainly site reading.

As a sax player in the big band Minor Mishap my band leader Datri Bean always has music for the Bari Sax to play. At first I would just ear everything like I do in all my other bands, and learn my part via one of the other 3 or so woodwinds. But, I quickly realized that Bari is always on harmony, rarely on melody. So ear-playing other people's parts did a disservice to MM. I wasn't playing what she wrote. And her parts are amazing, so full of harmonies. I ended up relying on my bandmates to use their spare time to walk me through my part. It was frustrating for me-- though they're SO NICE about it.

Anyways, I've done another article about my fear of site reading when I was sitting in with Hungry March in NYC. I desperately didn't want to look like a fool - they were presenting a new song that rehearsal. So I digress....

The point of this musing is that my teacher and I were discussing his other students who are seniors in high school - they are working on most difficult material for their honors - or all state or whatever it's called! They are studying some really hard stuff.

At any rate, he told me that most of them look to him for guidance about what to study in college. They have been working on this for 4 years! And this is the pinnacle.

What does he say to them?

"If you can be happy doing AnYTHING else besides playing music you should do it."

I totally agree. Because like Shawn I'm driving the same car I have driven for 10 years, I hustle gigs every week, and I often go without so that I can have my days free to create.

This relates to me because fortunately or unfortunately (and I've tried) I don't think I can be happy doing a 9-5, not being free to create. I've tried it. If had the best jobs- they coolest bosses, and some ideal situations.

Just a thought I constantly process. Can I be happy doing anything else?

...Show tonight super awesome band - props, dance and all - at Firehouse Lounge 10 - 12. I'm pretending we're in France - circa Toulouse Lautrec.
DD Dagger photo below: Isaac Soloman: Marfa, TX

Monday, February 24, 2014

NYC (Chelsea) Studio Shoot with savvy photog Ed Verosky // and instructional video on You Tube

Fun, talented, and ambitious NYC based photog Ed Verosky took some time with lil old DD Dagger in his Chelsea photography studio last week.

I met Ed about 4 years ago right before he and his wife made the move to NYC to pursue a full time creative life in the Big Apple.

I could definitely tell a difference in both of us when we reunited for the first time since our last Austin, Texas shoot -- in 2010! We've both improved in style and taste. Ed for his skill and direction -- for me it was precise and very helpful. Lead with your eyes. I needed to hear it! For me: I had more fun, felt more confident, and was more loose and free.

I had a ton of fun. He has a passion for music and musicians (just my luck!) and it is obvious he still, after 20+ years of shooting, likes to have fun and goof around.

See the instructional video he made here: and subscribe to his YouTube Channel! See all the shots Here:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Royalties from Sound Exchange // performance rights // web streams

I did need a boost and I got it! Things are slowing down here for me in the Big Apple! We've written the songs- we're recording them on Sunday. I've met with *most of my peeps and I've visited some art. I've watched dance, been all around town, learned better the subway (I'll forget again...)

But today I needed a boost, as I didn't feel like visiting the museums or walking around a bit aimlessly with no money!

A few good things happened! A collector called me and wants to buy some art when I get get back to often does that happen??

I got $ in the mail from a client and...drumroll....$370 coming from Sound Exchange in streaming Royalties!!

Wooooohoooo! In case you're wondering those are not DD Dagger royalties-- they're from my garage rock band called The Easies. I only did one record with them before I decided to go solo and never "break up" a band again.

The song that gets the most guys is Peach of a Gal. It struck a chord! Thank god for that!

If you listen to Pandora Radio please make a station with DD Dagger or The Easies. It's my mailbox money!! 

I've been praying for rain for years. 

Xoxo Dags


Monday, February 17, 2014

Ghetto jewelry in Brooklyn | crown heights | A train | DD Dagger

!'m Excited I finally got a second to head down (again) to Fulton Street and Nostrand Av. My new Brooklyn gal pal Allison Tray from #tresbelle #salon #beautyonbond has me blogging. But, she also sent me a glowing review of me and #Raindoggs new video #brooklyn #girls. (See attached photo). In it, a girl asked where did she get those handlebars? #Raindogg and I were confused thinking she was talking about my boobs, but no! She was talking about my ghetto earrings! Where DO I get them? I have quite a collection.

I like the earrings BIG especially for live performances I started my collection 2 yrs ago in #neworleans. They were big--- but über heavy too! Today I look for huge yet light earrings. my best finds? Dollar stores! I make it a point to go in and I have found the best ones ~ wild ones .. One random Dollar store in Portland #pdx made me go nuts!

But back to Brooklyn::: I was on my way to #Bushwick heading toward Nostrand and Fulton to get out there...

And I came across a small Mecca of cheap ass jewelry. Big! Light! Cheap! All the best qualities. ...don't pay more than $5...I stopped first in Danice- -- I also bought a $3 pain of leggings:-)

Here they are ladies! What I bought anyway...

Good luck on your search!