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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Happy Holidays! Tour Re-cap and Confessions

Well hello everyone! I am finally getting around writing about the last few months, which included the release of our debut full length album, AUTHENTIC (and I am unable to express how exciting this has been), the supporting shows (even more exciting), and all the cool bands, people, and venues we met along the way (by far the best part). Special thanks to all the new folks who joined the mailing list!

So last time we talked, it was October. (That seems light years away from me now…) We were in the building up phase, I guess. (Recording, mixing, and mastering the album feels like last year.) And it was so easy compared to the stress of getting the timing of everything else right. See, I've have never done this before. Ever. 

Sure, I've recorded and released stuff before, but I've never actually planned anything out. In fact, I don't think I've ever truly planned anything. As I'm writing this right now, I have no plan for what I'm going to say. I just go with it…

This album was the most collaborative thing I've ever done. I have to be honest about myself here, but sharing, collaboration, and compromise have never been my strong suits. I prefer to tell people what they should do, simply because I think my way is the best way. I know I have run a lot of people off intentionally and inadvertently. I don't regret any of it; my mistakes are only that. I am what I am, and no one can change that except me. 

That all said, if I don't know how to do something, I will ask for help if there is someone clearly more qualified than me. I know this sounds funny, but it is appallingly true. (I used to try to hide this from people, but I don't think I had anyone fooled.) And what's worse is that I really do want to collaborate. I love the idea of it, but I digress. 

When this band started (and I suppose you could say it started in 2007, since we are playing some of the songs my previous control freak of a project played), these were my songs. I wrote the lyrics, the bass, the melody, the harmony, the guitar, (I have pulled people in to play lead or add a part here or a backing vocal there, but those were all works for hire.) It was a way for me to get a sense of potential collaborators without feeling obliged. 

Over the years, these songs have evolved, but I didn't realize how much they could change by sitting back and letting a drummer play. Every drummer I have ever played with took the music home and studied it before showing up to play. Reno is the total opposite. He listens to what is happening right then, and plays what he feels. It is the most awesome thing ever. These songs are no longer only my songs; they have become Reno's songs. They have become The Januariez songs. 

Right after we recorded, Tony rejoined us. Tony and I have been playing together since 2007. I think his records say 2008 (cause that's when I released the EP for that band), but I distinctly remember playing the Skylark November 2007 with him and his band Mofius backing me up. Seeing Blind was on the bill, too! That was my first show after taking a SEVEN year hiatus to have babies and go to college. Not only had I not been on a stage in 7 years, but I was singing and playing guitar, whereas in the past, I had always played bass and sang backups. 

Mofius never played with me again, but Tony stayed on for the next  two years until it was clear to me that I needed to kill the project and figure out something else. I quit drinking and focused on recording an EP that would not only help me find some solid people to work with, but also might garner a little attention. That was the January 16,91 EP. By the time it was released (June 2011), The Januariez were a four piece band with shows on the calendar. By the time of our first shows, we had become a trio. After our SXSW trip, Josh quit, and I asked Tony to sub for a few shows and step in on the recording. Tony filled in until we found Brian. Brian was with us only long enough to record, whereafter we begged Tony to come back. 

(Part of the deal was that we would help out on Shai Azul projects… I am actually working on lyrics and vocals for one of their songs now! I will share the details when it becomes more detailed. )

So Tony is back, and he has asked to play some songs from the old band. And Reno has requested we play some of those songs, too. But it's crazy, cause they aren't the same songs anymore. And then we've written a good handful of new songs. We already have enough material for another album! And what is so awesome is that the new songs are truly collaborative. There is no planning! They just happen! 

Back to the album...The recording process, the mixing, the mastering, the manufacturing, the artwork, all of that, came together pretty easily. There was no stress. We set reasonable deadlines with lots of flexibility. We hired Blue Shoes Media to help us with PR. And the booking of the out of town shows was relatively painless. The only show that was really difficult to book was our CD release party. It was kind of an anomaly. We wanted to do something different, and well, it was different! Note to self* in booking a CD release, stick with the venue you know! That all said, I'm glad so many of you came out to support us! And I'm super stoked we got to play with The Black Tones and Three For T. Check them out!

We also played a pre-release show in Tacoma at the New Frontier. For some reason, I thought it was on 6th Ave, and I went up and down 6th Ave until Reno told me it was down by the Tacoma Dome. doh! But it was fun! We played with Sources in Code and Sleeper Cell which are made up of Tacoma guys I have known for a long time, some of which share long sordid histories. It was cool, we swapped CDs with Cody Foster Army, we played a fun set, and a ton of friends came out, including my old restaurant pals. 

The rest of our gigs were in towns we're never played. They were our best shows! 


This show kicked ASSS! It felt like we were playing in a basement! All the bands we played with were awesome, and JAmie Stewart from a local radio show Emotional Weather Report broadcasted live. I wish we had photos of all the bands we played with, cause the show was stellar. I have a crapberry, and aside from no memory, the photos wouldn't be worth it. Check all these guys out!  


Ray's Golden Lion is a monument to music! I didn't know what to think when we got there…it's a Mongolian Grill with a bar and a stage. Word is that the likes of Ike and Tina Turner and Frank Sinatra have played here, as well as the Reverend Horton Heat. As of last month, The Januariez have, too. The show was all age, and we played to an enthusiastic crowd and shared the stage with some killer bands! I'm just glad we played before Leona X, cause they killed!


Playing The Cabin was like playing The Poggie Tavern in West Seattle. We didn't start until 10pm, and there were quite a few colorful people in the bar, esp a regular we re-named Sparky. I don't have a picture of him either. The other band, Old Mutt, were a bunch of minors doing these Black Sabbath style songs. They were really good! 


This was the last show for the season. The Black Forest was super cool! We were really stoked for this show because the guys in Bobby Joe Ebola are good pals with my friend Fluke who puts out a fanzine. I love it how small the world is! I wish I had some shots from the show… if someone does, please share! 

So what's next? We will be releasing an exclusive Xmas edition of Authentic, sometime next week (see first few paragraphs). All the songs are backmasked. It is titled: FAKE: What the Songs Really Mean. Or something like that. We haven't really given it a title yet. We'll share the title when it's released next week. In the meantime, gotta figure out what I am really saying. The free album download will be available via bandcamp. 

Also, our SXSW documentary video has been delayed. We had a goal date of the album release with a deadline of March 2013. We intend to have it out by then, but for the moment we don't have a real date. 

And finally we have begun booking our spring tour! (The madness never stops). We will hit the towns we just played and step out a little with dates in SF and LA. SF date will be in March, and the LA date will be in April. We should have more details after the new year. Keep checking our website for details! 

Thanks again for reading! We love you!

PS Keep an ear our for our single "Dying Man" on your local college station or college hour. We've been getting radio play across the nation. If you have the inkling, call and request us!

And one more thing...I am going to be deleting most of the content on my personal profile on FB before the new year. I really need to ditch it. You can find me on Twitter or Google+. 

Have a great holiday!