Official Blog

Welcome to The Januariez blog! You can find news and other information about the band here! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 6, 2015

New Lineup and Upcoming Show!


Only today did I realize it has been almost a year since I posted anything. My first thought is to feel bad about it, but then, I had to acknowledge that I’ve just been too busy to sit down and really write about what I’ve been doing all this time…

So, yeah, some of you may have heard, and maybe you haven’t, but The Januariez is back together, and with a fresh line-up. No longer a trio, we have morphed into a quintet with 2 guitars, keys, kaoss pads, and all sorts of weird stuff. And what’s even better is that everyone in the band works together, and we’re all friends! So it’s lots of fun, and we’re all very happy about it!

Yes, I’m still playing with the Black Tones, and it’s a blast! I can’t enough of that band! Go like them and all that, so that you can come out and see us! And BUST is still around, but it’s on the back burner. We’ve been talking about when we can get together again. And Bad Shadow, well, it’s taken a back seat as well. Ron and I decided to start doing some renovations to our home instead… Finally, my book is still in its process. The more I write, the more stuff comes up that I need to face. It’s like Pandora’s Box, but it’s good! Just taking its time, and I have time for it. It can take as long as it needs.

But yeah, I want to talk about Januariez some more…
How bout some introductions:

As you know, I am J-kNee, vocalist/guitarist/yarn spinner

Meet Abby Markson, lead guitarist/queen shredder

and Michelle Brayson, keyboardist/vocalist/ master of kaoss

Carl Germain, bassist/sound detective

and Gus Johnson, drummer/maker of coffee

Sorry I don’t have any pictures, but 4/5 of the band suffers from myopia.

If you can’t tell, I’m really excited, not just cause I love everyone in this band, BUT because, Carl and Gus have the same birthday in the same year, yet they were born thousands of miles from each other! AND they are both Geminis. This is significant because in The Black Tones, Eva and Cedric are fraternal twins and they are ALSO Geminis. It gets even weirder. Okay, Giordan from Black Tones is a Leo, and Abby from Januariez is a Leo. Then there’s me, in both bands. And Black Tones have talked about adding Michelle to their line-up! So not only is it all incestuous, but we’re astrologically identical. You can laugh, but we think it’s cool!

So, our first show is April 8 at the Lo-fi, and we're playing with a band called Automotive Steamhorse and I don't know who else right now. We know it’s a Wednesday, so fucking what?! It’s going to be fun! Not sure what time we go on, but we won’t go on first, cause three of us work til 9 that night! We’ll be somewhere in the middle.

Anyway, we’re really looking forward to getting out, seeing all of you, and playing regularly! And we’re stoked to perform all these new songs and revised versions of old songs (which are kinda like playing new songs). It’s gonna KILL!

Until next time! Listen to our music, and come to the show!!!

your palz in the januariez

Friday, March 7, 2014

I have Emerged

Hello all,

Long time, eh? I wish I'd had more to share over the last 6 to 9 months, but it's been nothing but transition. Last time I wrote, I intimated that The Januariez were on indefinite hiatus, and that is still the case, sort of. We don't have any shows scheduled, and we aren't planning on recording anytime soon. That said, Reno and I are still open to future engagements and opportunities, meaning we could be persuaded to play a show or two, but we'd have to play as a duo or find a new bass player. And honestly, since Josh left, we weren't the same band anymore. It just didn't feel right to me, and I think that translated on stage. So that's where we are. 

So yeah, we played our last show in June, but Reno and I have both been busy with other projects. He started playing with a cabaret band called L'Orchestre D'Incroyable. I haven't seen them yet, but I hear they're pretty dope. He's also doing theater gigs at the Centerstage Theater in Federal Way. Check these out when you have the chance!

As for me, I've spent the last 9 months teaching at School of Rock, jamming with people, filling in on occasion, and I even played Glockenspiel on Amy Denio's new album, Prodigal Light!  But what's new is that is that I just joined The Black Tones as lead guitarist. I am soooo stoked! They have been one of my favorite bands since I first saw them with Watch it Sparkle and NightTrain at the Columbia City Theater. We played the Blue Moon a few weeks ago, and tonight, we're playing a show with Letters, The Sun Thieves, Torre, and Victrola at the Skylark in West Seattle! 5 bands for 5 bucks!  We have some other cool stuff lining up this summer, so stayed tuned!

And if that isn't enough, Eva (from the Black Tones), Crystal (from the Crystal Fuzz band) and I have started an all girl band called Saucebox. Eva's on drums, I'm on bass, and Crystal's on guitar. It sounds super cool. Our subject matter ranges from sex to Satan. We plan to be out playing late April/May. Keep an ear up for tunes, photos, and show dates!

And for the finale on the music front, my husband and I have actually begun work on an online performance art project called Bad Shadow. We have talked and talked about this over the years, and now we're doing it! I know this is going to sound totally stupid, but we've written all these songs about our home, our kids, the dog, the cat, etc. They are the campiest songs, but they make us smile, and that's really what it's about, right? So anyway, we'll be filming this summer and plan to release content this coming fall/winter. 

But now... this next thing I'm getting ready to share scares the crap outta me: I started writing a book. Ya'll can shake your heads and laugh or whatever, I could care less. Writing is something I have done my whole life. I even have a degree in creative writing, and I've always felt that my lyrics were the crux of everything I've ever created. I know most people don't read lyrics; they just wanna zone out on the song. So I reached this point where I felt like my heavy content might serve better in a different medium. The story is completely written, but it lacks organization, clarity, and a consistent voice. So, at the moment, I'm editing for all those things. My goal is to have it ready to publish at the end of the year. (I might be pushing myself, maybe Theo Nestor's Writing is My Drink might have something to add!)

See cause I've had this voice in my head nagging me. It's worse than a personal trainer. It tells me to write and not worry, that it it will write itself if I just surrender to the process. So, I agreed. Almost as quickly as I surrendered, I was asked to perform my writing at Folklife this year. Do you know how many times I have applied to perform Folklife over the years? And they would never book my band. I agree to listen to a voice in my head, and this happens! And not only that, but I also have a spoken word gig booked next Tuesday, March 11 at the Chaco Canyon Cafe in West Seattle. I am going to tell stories for 30 minutes. OMG! Preparing this piece has required me to organize my thoughts in a way that lends itself naturally to a larger piece, like a book. A kismet wave. There's a writing session from 6-7pm, followed by my reading and an open mic. 

I'm really excited about all the work I have, and I'm also completely terrified. But this feels right! Playing music with my friends feels right. Working on a project with my husband feels right. Telling my stories feels right. I am more than grateful for these opportunities, and I hope that I am able to share some of these moments to be with you. 

Dates and media will be posted on this page, The Januariez fb page, my blog, twitter, tumblr, sound cloud, etc. I've also created a personal page on Reverbnation, which you can check out-though it's not really anything new. Please check out The Black Tones on FB, and give them a like. And keep and eye out for a Saucebox page and a Bad Shadow page. It's a busy year!

See you tonight!


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Other Way, or What to Do if You Think Your Mate Might be the Anti-Christ

Happy Halloween everyone!

Hope everyone is enjoying the season, even with all the change! This fall has been more intense than most, for me at least. As I wrote in a previous post, The Januariez is on indefinite hiatus. And so I've been using the extra time to experiment. I have a website for J-kNee January now, thanks to Accelerated Web Studios. Hit them up should you need a great site!

Gotta couple other things on the burner, but I gotta see how they turn out before I speak.

However, there is one thing I can speak about right now!

As most of you know, last year I hooked up with Alice Bag, and we played some cool shows together to promote her memoir Violence Girl. As we've gotten to know each other, she has encouraged me to write my own story. My life has been, well, my life, and I don't have any tight adjectives to sum up the richness of my existential train. But it is and has been unbelievable. When I wake up, I find myself awed by the fact that either "I'm alive" or that "I'm not dead". Though these phrases may seem identical, I promise you both carry very discrete values for me.

So I wrote something. Lisa Lunney, who writes for Punk Globe, contacted me last month about writing a Halloween feature for her blog. I accepted and wrote one of the darkest things I could summon. And what I have written provides a glimpse into my religious upbringing and how it has shaped the perspective of who I am now. Which who I am now, is who I have always been, but somehow I became tangled in a telephone cord and misunderstood my own messages.

So here it is... a piece about embracing "hell"!

1369010_568370919877326_270296044_nThe Other Way, or What to Do When Your Mate Might Be the Anti-Christ
Told By J-kNee January of The Januariez
When I first began sleeping with the man who is now my husband, he whimsically asked, “What would you do if I told you I was the Anti-Christ?” I stopped, thought for a second, and laughed, “Well, I guess I’ll just have to go to “hell” with you then!”
This exchange happened years ago, and I can attest that our “hell” together has been most rewarding! You see, the irony for me is and always has been that as a young girl growing up in central Arkansas someone somewhere at any given point in time for no discernible reason at all sought to “save” me. Sure my life sucked when I was a kid, but really, whose didn’t to some extent? I’m not looking for sympathy. Truly, if you don’t experience pain, you probably aren’t a carbon based life form to begin with. Life on earth is not always rainbows and cupcakes, and consider how dull and inane existence would be if that were the case. I didn’t require their “saving”.
Clearly I remember the first endeavor to drive me into the flock. My mom took me to one of those ever infamous back masking sermons of the 1980s. Anyone remember those? The Seventh Day Adventists hosted the one we attended. Check out the link below and listen to the track. Then imagine sitting next to your mom, young and impressionable, as the pastor preaches the explicit damnation of your favorite bands.
That was probably one of the most demoralizing experiences for me! Ever! Music is my life! And to have some imperious adults promise that you were “going to go to hell and would never see your mommy again” if you listened to Led Zeppelin, KISS, The Who, The Eagles, or even ABBA for fuck’s sake was more than traumatizing. The intention wasn’t to “save” me, unless scaring a seven year old girl into submission is some perverse form of salvation.
It took me a few years to override the programming. But sure enough, once I had, some strange pastor guy randomly appeared at my house to talk to ME specifically about accepting Jesus Christ as mypersonal savior, so that I would not “die and go to hell“. I told him that I was ten years old and completely incapable of making such a life-altering decision. In retrospect, I think that guy just wanted to get his fleshy white fingers of judgement on my dark personal bits.
The proselytizing followed me into middle school and junior high. Everyone I knew attended church regularly (Monday, Wednesday, and Sunday), or at the very least, they brandished strong convictions in Christ and feigned their church-going. I hated church. I hated everything about it. As far back as I can remember, church was the most insidious place you could send me. Everyone was so awkward, concealing their hearts and intentions, speaking from a bromidic mind, and ever anxious about hell. So many restrictions. I couldn’t understand why it was so popular. It was full of posturing and deceit, and the music was downright dreadful.
Over the course of secondary school, I think I was “saved” at least five times by five different churches/pastors. Maybe it was three. Nevertheless, my suspicions of the church crystallized into the principles I hold today. And it’s not that I am specifically anti-Christian; I am more anti-authority. I have a good handful of friends who identify as Christian, and that’s their path, their Will, and I respect that. But it is not mine. ‘Cause for me, no sooner were I to submit to an organization that demands the eternal sacrifice of my spiritual Will to some spurious authority, well, in my estimation, my Will would no longer be mine. Then to adhere to the standard classifications and teachings as posited by the church, only the word of “God” matters. Anyone else can go to hell. Assimilation complete.
So there I was. I’ll pass, thank you. I experience no binary existence between light and dark. I only recognize parts of a cycle, one and the same. And I am, have always been, and will always be part of this infinite cycle.
And here I am, Now, with you entering the darkest part of the year-the part of the year that appears to frighten such followers. All the hullaballoo about ghosts and demons and witches really raises the hackles. For me, the things that live in the dark have every right to exist as much as the things that live in the light. As humans, we occupy the entire spectrum. The interplay of light, shadow, and color shape experience and perspective. We are literally blind within the extreme polarities of light and dark, so there is no empirical way for any human to know what is IN the dark OR the light, much less what the dark or the light actually IS! We don’t fucking know! All I see is potential.
So much time is spent glorifying the light, and the darkness gets cursed, labeled as evil, and dragged behind a truck. The darkness should be equally revered. Darkness provides universal balance. The emotional values attached to light and dark are human constructions promulgated by and through socio-religious hegemony, and we have been duped into believing that darkness is, has been, and always will be bad, and consequently, light is, has been, and always will be good. Without darkness, there is no rest. Darkness provides us an opportunity to slow down, turn inward, and observe. In darkness, our personal demons and ghosts and witches or whatever images you contain rise to surface of our awareness, allowing us the opportunity to fully grasp and embrace the very core of our being. Working at a dark level enables us to shine at the light level. You gotta work the soil in order to grow the crops.
I’ve never been afraid of the dark. Surprisingly, I’ve always feared attention, though I sure go out looking for it! I’ve always been self-conscious, because I know how intense I am, and I know I have frightened and intimidated people unwittingly. (Though there has been some intention at times, but that’s another story.) Plus I’m a little weird. From my perspective, the church community’s solution was to badger me into servility, so I would no longer go around grating on Christian sensibilities and offending the general populace of small town Arkansas with my innate eccentricity. Or there was theother way, celebrate my darkness and go to “hell” with my music, my ideas, and my man. And I gotta say, going to “hell” was the best decision I ever made!
Happy Halloween y’all! Give your demon a squeeze! Happy-Halloween

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Summer Bittersweet Stuff

Hi everyone,
Sorry I've not written or posted in a while...the Januariez were really busy up until June, and then, we weren't, and now, we haven't been. It's hard to drive a band when the engine is missing some cylinders, and in our case, there was too much downtime between shows and tours. One of us would go out of town for a while, and we'd go without practice for a month or two. After a while, we lost momentum. Or perhaps it was just me. And in the end, it probably is only me.

So. We have been on hiatus since June. We also took a break from late November to March, and we've had to turn down some awesome shows during those periods. There are only so many shows you can turn down before it begins to affect your trajectory. The last query I received, however, instead of turning down the gig, I asked to play solo, and well, that's what's happening! I have my first solo gig Aug 26 at The Sunset. Doors at 7:30. $6. I'm first.

As far as the future of The Januariez goes, I have no idea if and when we will be playing out again or what that line up will look like. Right now, it's not moving. Everyone's busy with other projects, and I'd rather not force it. So for the time being, I will only be performing my songs solo. What happens along the new path remains to be seen.

With all that said, I am still performing with live bands, and I've spent the summer jamming and playing with different people. Most recently, I started playing with a band called Taxidermy Western. They are kinda like a Johnny Cash meets QOTSA sort of band. Really grimy with strong imagery. It's cool, cause for years I've tried to get lead guitarists to make their guitars sound "like a ghost" on a couple of my songs, and no one ever quite knew what I meant. I stepped into rehearsal with Taxidermy, and they busted out that exact phrase in describing how they wanted something done! Total trip and a good omen! So I'm singing and making eerie noises. It's fun, and I'm doing something different and cool. We played our first show together last Friday at Chop Suey, and there's potential for more. Go like them on FB and reverbnation!

On a different front, I am back to teaching on a larger schedule. I don't know if you remember, but I was hit by a van on my bike almost 2 years ago. I broke/bruised a few ribs, damaged a lot of soft tissue, and re-arranged my entire perspective. I just don't see the world the same way, and I know I am not even the same person. My brain just functions better. I feel sharper. So much so that I signed on to volunteer with Rain City Rock Camp for Girls.

Rain City Rock Camp is hands down the most amazing thing I've ever been a part of. I wish I'd had this camp when I was a kid. Sure it's a rock camp, but they compliment it with self defense, body image workshops, media literacy, and self-empowerment! At my interview, they asked me if I could make an all day training, and I remember thinking, what the hell is going on that requires a full day training? And well, when I realized the camp's mission, it all made sense. Some of these girls have never touched an instrument in their lives, and this camp creates a safe space for young girls to find their power. Absolutely amazing! Note that there is also a ladies rock camp in the fall! Perfect for those who have never played an instrument but have always wanted to!

And then, about the time I joined up with RCRC, the School of Rock announced it was moving only blocks from my house. I've been teaching for years, so I dropped off a resume and cover letter right before they opened. After a couple of follow-ups, I met up with the manager, and less than a week later, I was hired for a songwriting summer camp. Currently I am only a sub, but the place is growing! Looking forward to what's ahead!

That's about it on the music front. The rest of my life has been pretty busy, too, but that kinda goes without saying. It's good to be here!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

And the Beat Goes ON....

Whoa!! Here we are in the middle of a bunch of travel. Tomorrow morning we head to LA for the ASCAP "I Create Music" Expo. I attended a few years back, and it was one of the best experiences I've had in the industry. Looking forward to seeing old friends, new friends, family, and meeting some awesome folks! For the record, we want to personally thank Corbett, Dan, Estebo, Gilman Street, Urban Wolves, Mad Judy, Point of View, Break Anchor, Joe, Erik Anarchy, Linc, Red Room, Patty at the Baby Bar, Catholic Guilt, Ray's Golden Lion, Jeff, Ooooz, JFKFC, The First Losers, Deadeye, Darrell's, Dan, Jack, Half Rushmore, Rocket Surgery, Skyeler, Lullwater and Favors the Bold(yall were outta control!), NWCZ, Darrell, Sherrie, Cody, Ion Storm, Super Desu. Thanks for everything!

Last time I wrote, we were preparing for our tour, which has now reached its final leg. We have played some great shows with some great bands and met some great people. We also played some not so good shows and encountered some not so awesome conditions. But that's okay, cause we got some new songs out of the deal! Tri-Cities will have its very own song! haha! For those who don't know, Hanford is located near Tri-Cities. It is a radioactive dump, and according to the locals, it has produced some radioactive tumbleweeds. In an effort to identify them (if they happen to blow into town) authorities had them painted bright pink. They say if you see a pink tumbleweed, call the government and they will give you $500. There is much more to this story, and it will be told soon!

Anyway, I took some photos and video while we were out. It's not the best quality by any means, but you'll get the gist. No pink tumbleweeds, though.

Catholic Guilt



Rocket Surgery

Mount Shasta

Urban Wolves

Break Anchor

Point of View

Yall know what this is

Weed, California

Erik Anarchy

Erik Anarchy

Mad Judy

I can't find the photos from Eugene and Tri-Cities for some reason. I know they are up on FB and Twitter. sigh.

And finally, here's some rough video from Tri-Cities.

It won't let me link one of our news songs... just go to our youtube page: thejanuariezband

Stay tuned for photos and video while in LA. Can't wait to share!

As soon as we get home, we have a show at The Comet with our Bay Area friends, Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits and Seattle's own Bottlenose Koffins. This show is gonna kill! It's already broken Beau's shoulder, and now City of Industry will have to delay their debut. Check out this here little video from BJE! It will all make sense.

We've been singing this song like mad!

Well, that's it for now! Send us a message if you wanna catch us in LA.

much love!