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

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!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Februariez are Already Here...

The Februariez are Already Here…

And I didn't send out a newsletter for January. Personally, January has always been a busy month: my b-day, taxes, planning for the new year. Historically, it is the doorway to the year, which I have always found intriguing. I like doors. Doors are utilitarian and aesthetic. You can let things in, or lock them out. You can filter what you want, allowing in light and sunshine without the accompanying insects. There is no end of beginning with the doorway, and you cannot close one door without opening another. During the segment of the year between the Winter Solstice and Candlemas, I lay low, working on new music, planning the following year, reflecting on the past year, making decisions, and throwing out the things that no longer serve me. 

So we have some cool stuff to announce!

First of all, we have had some amazing reviews, as well as an interview, this year! 

We've also been receiving quite a bit of internet radio play as well as commercial airplay! We have a couple of more interviews coming up, too! Be sure you follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay posted! 

Thursday February 28, I will be participating in the ASUW's Everybody, Every Body Art Gallery and Fashion Show! It's an annual event that celebrates and promotes healthy body image awareness. I will be performing an intimate 3 part piece titled The Mirror. "This work is an exploration of a reflection of past, present, and future selves and identities. The aggregate of these reflections illustrates my understanding of the nature of refraction at an emotional and social level. We are what we project."  The first part of the piece has never been performed anywhere, and I'm actually kinda scared, cause it is soooo hard to play! ha! Come out and celebrate!

In March, We are heading out in somewhat of a fractured tour. I don't know how many of you know, but I am married with 2 boys. This makes traveling difficult. Granted my kids are now in high school and middle school, it is still hard for me to take time off away from home. The fact that I'm doing ANY of this amazes me. I got pregnant when I was 24, and I had believed at that point, that my life as a musician was over. (Though I never sold my gear, I must have had an inkling…) I took SEVEN years off from playing. I would pick up my acoustic every now and then, and I retained most of my theoretical knowledge, but my chops were gone. After I graduated college and got my kids in school, I searched for a job that would employ my newfound skills, but the only good playing job I could find was writing for an online porn magazine. I made really good money, but I hated my audience. I hated what I was writing about. I hated the objectification. I was so angry about the whole thing, because the doors weren't opening for me the way they had before when I was playing music, and I was promoting something I didn't agree with. A few months later, I was cruising Craigslist for jobs, and I saw a posting for a guitar teacher. I had experience teaching and working with kids in particular. I had years of experience playing, but I was out of practice. I wanted to get involved again, so I emailed with my resume asking if I could volunteer. Instead, they wrote me asking me to teach. I tried to to turn it down, saying how out of practice I was, and again, they insisted. The door had opened, and there I was teaching music with the likes of Laura Viers, Lori Goldston, and Rachel Flotard. What's really funny is that I didn't know who any of these ladies were, except for Lori, cause I had met her back in the early 90s when she worked with Nirvana. What's more is that I learned that Lori and Laura and I shared some close mutual friends. Friends who have nothing to do with music, but who have everything to do with life! 

That was 7.5 years ago. I have been writing, playing, practicing, and teaching ever since! Slowly and deliberately, I keep moving onward and upward. I remember asking Laura how she got where she was, and she told me she took one step at a time, making each goal, each step attainable. I have carried that gem with me ever since. 

I am still setting goals, and I'm still juggling a family, a home, teaching, session work, writing music, the band, and all the business work that goes into running a band. So we're going out on three 4-day excursions beginning March 14th. We are still trying to sort out a few last minute dates for confirmation, but this is what we got! Some doors open on their own time...

March 14- Spokane, WA    The Baby Bar w/ Catholic Guilt
March 15- Tri-Cities, WA   Ray's Golden Lion w/ J.F.K.F.C. and The First Losers
March 16- Shoreline, WA  Darrell's w/Rocket Surgery and Half Rushmore
March 17- Tacoma, WA     NWCZ radio interview 

March 28- Eugene, OR      Black Forest  w/ Lullwater    
March 29- Berkeley, CA    924 Gilman St w/ Cold Feelings, Break Anchor, Mad Judy, Urban Wolves, and Point of View
March 30- Somewhere       tba
March 31-PDX                     Red Room w/Ion Storm, Erik Anarchy, Super Desu, and Fluid Spill

April 17-21- LA  ASCAP EXPO
show tba 

April 22- Seattle                   The Comet w/ Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits and the City of Industry
May 4-    Seattle                   The Skylark w/Animals in Cars and Sources in Code

And some time in between we will be getting that video together. The line up changes kind of put everything behind… but not too far, cause we are already planning our next album! 

We're really looking forward to playing out and seeing you all again! It's been too long! 

Much love!

PS, I have created a personal tumblr page where I have been posting poetry, random photos, and other musings. Check it out!