Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Songwriting

As some of you all know, the band that I'm in..the and band has an annual Christmas Eve Eve concert at Grady's Tavern in Manchester, Ct. (I think this year is the 4th annual) We do some Christmas songs pow punk style but this year Mike Anderson and I decided to write original Christmas songs. Mike left my house one night and 30 minutes later I had a text from him saying he wrote his christmas song. (and it is awesome) I had the chorus of my song half written and I really liked it but that was all I had for weeks.  Then I wrote the first verse but then kicked around ideas for the second verse for what seemed like a month. It took two months of ideas coming to me in the car or while I was vacuuming or doing the dishes. Finally, I had a notebook with arrows and circles and words but it became my song.
This got me thinking about songwriting and what the process is for me. I've heard some people say that if it isn't written in 3 minutes it's no good. But I enjoy the process and I like drawing it out and milking it for all it is worth. That means a lot considering I am the most impatient person. There is something about crafting a song word for word and line by line and putting it together like a puzzle that makes it so fulfilling and when it was finished I felt like I said exactly what I wanted to say.  (On the flip side...I wrote another song in 3 minutes and now I have to go back and learn it.)
Here is a rough demo of the Christmas song. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
http://www.reverbnation.com/lisalawrence?profile_view_source=header_icon_nav

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Do we actually play in venues on tour?

As I'm going through my pictures from tours I realize that I have very few, if any, pictures of me or the band playing on stage in front of people. Most of the pictures and videos are clips of us hanging out in the van or hotels. It's hard to take pictures of yourself while playing onstage. Here are some of my favorite "playing music just for the fun of it while on tour" pics.
That's Travis on the flu tour. We were in Philly and he started playing the guitar in the van while it was parked on the side of the road, waiting for the gig to start. Unfortunately, we were parked near some kind of government building and we were told by a police officer that you can't play music near a government building.
That's Mike on the and band tour practicing in the hotel in Johnson city. Please note the sideways hanging picture in the background. This picture was taken right around the "rock and roll happened" incident (see first post).
That's a picture of me practicing in our hotel in Nashville. I practiced every song I knew. (I actually had to go to my own website to refresh my memory on some of them) It came in handy because the next night I went to see a band but the band canceled and I just happened to have my guitar in the car and I played instead!


Friday, October 19, 2012

glamorous life on the road

Life on the road is glamorous! Full of high class transportation..
And glamorous accommodations!
Not to mentions a greenroom provided for us to get ready for every gig!
This is what I look like when I don't get the bowl of green peanut M&M's I requested in my 30 page rider!





Monday, October 15, 2012

7 things I learned on the road

1. Geography-There is a state between Maine and Massachusetts. That state is New Hampshire and if you don't remember driving through it on your way home maybe you should pull over and take a nap.
2. When you leave New England the states get a lot bigger. Driving from Memphis TN to Johnson City TN in one day for a show is a haul.
3. People in the check out line will be jealous of you when you buy cases of yuengling on a Wednesday morning in West Virginia just because you can.
4. Fast food may be fast but whether or not it is food is debatable. And if you think you are going eat salads on tour you are crazy.
5. Aron can fix anything with a gum wrapper and he likes to be mysterious about it.
6. Ladies-take all the clothes and shoes you are going to bring on tour and cut it in half...then take all those clothes and shoes and cut it in half. Remember, unless you are famous, you will be carrying that stuff.
7. Always have a camera with you because you might just see something like this on the side of the road.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tribute to Norm's, Nashville TN Part 1

I've been very fortunate to have played at so many music venues over the past decade. So many have come and gone but there is one venue in particular that was just a magical place to play and that's Norm's Roadhouse in Nashville, TN. I love that it is called "roadhouse." I'm pretty sure it is the one and only roadhouse I've ever played at. It was really far of the beaten path in a part of Nashville I never knew existed. It was across the street from a farm with 3 donkeys walking around.  Upstairs there was a small restaurant that had the best pizza ever (you will soon learn I love food, if you didn't know that already) and fried jalepenos and the downstairs was the true music venue. The downstairs was a fieldstone foundation basement with a stage straight ahead and the bar to the side. There was a fireplace and a door leading out to a huge field and beyond the field was avery large stream. The reason so much of this blog is in the past tense is because the second I heard about the flood in Nashville I expected the worst and Norm's is now no more.
There was just something special about the venue. It reminded me of a coffeehouse I went to as a child. Everything about it felt like home. I played a few writer's nights there and met some really great people.  We had a night off and went to see a band called Jeremiah and the Red Eyes. Here's a video of us arriving.
video
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For some reason I like to take videos of the stairs at venues. I can't believe I haven't fallen down a flight yet!
video

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I absolutely love the phrase "rock and roll happened." Sadly, I am not the one who came up with it. It was on the and band tour a few years ago after a long day of driving in our tour van to Johnson City, TN that I came back to the hotel room after a late night dip in the pool. Our room
, which the band was sharing, looked like it had been hit by a tornado. All of the pictures were sideways (this was one of those classy hotels where they didn't have to bolt the pictures onto the wall so people don't steal them). I walked in and said "What the hell happened?" like the mother figure that I had become...to which Mike replied "Rock and Roll happened." I tried to be mad but I'm pretty sure I laughed about it. I loved the phrase so much that I hoped to write a huge book called "Rock and Roll Happened" and it would contain my memoirs. I started writing it but it seemed really weird to be looking back and writing memoirs. I felt old. So here is a blog which should contain stories and pictures from the past as well as present day excitement.
In Johnson City, we played at this cute little place called the Acoustic Cafe. Everyone was really friendly and dug our music. This show was after a crazy day in Memphis where someones car was broken into. On the way to Johnson City our van was just barely hanging on. When we pulled into the hotel parking lot it died. It started up the next day.
Pictures of our show: