Hometown glory – JAMS

This past year or so has seen an influx of cool musicians coming into the city. Both touring and local peeps getting their learn on at BIMM or musicians from all across the UK and europe deciding that Brighton, slightly cheaper than London, is the place for them.

I don’t mean that there hasn’t always been sick heads about – there always has been a pretty high level of musicianship…

The motivation level seems to have increased on the whole in the past year. Seems like people are putting down the sessioning of joints and picking up the high vibes.

QM Records keep putting out some strong bills ( personal favourite so far is Lebeaux – CHOPS FOR DAZE )

The Mesmerist hosts some of my fave players ( Vels Trio  who just supported Cory Henry @ Concorde on Halloween) hang about there de temps en temps.

Also, Peter Adam- Hill sets up some pretty sweet ensembles so be sure to check them out when you can – You can head over to my music page to see me sitting in with Pete one night – Alexandra Blue

p.s CORY HENRY @ Concorde 2 was SUCH a good show. He is such a legend and such a nice guy, PLEASE SUPPORT HIM AND HIS APOSTLES to keep it moving and grooving… it’s for the good of the world man!  – musically sound and daaayummmm Concorde sound system still bangssssss tho

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Help me Smash the Fear

Hey yo

My stage fright has come back…. My fright to sing at all in front of anyone actually, is back with a vengeance.

Last friday, I was hanging out with my friend and her boyfriend and his mates. She is from Canada, He is from Barbados as are his friends and one of the guy’s girlfriend’s is Greek.

The only reason their nationalities are important is because I was inspired and a tiny bit jealous at how free they all are. I mean free as in confident, & not fucked up, not particularly self conscious and incredibly cool & light to chat with. Some of them are pretty musical and play guitar and sing etc etc…

My friend pulls out the guitar and starts to sing, in fact, SHE asked US if we would mind if she played for us. WHOAH, GO GIRL. She is super flipping cool and it really is true that Canadians are safe as fucccckkk. ANYWAY

She does her thing and is great, she has a great musical ear and her playing was just perfect. Then one of the guys does the same thing! In my mind I was freaking out in case they asked me to sing and I couldn’t even join in when I knew one of the songs, I was frozen stiff scared.

what the helllllll man, what is wrong with me! (don’t answer that)

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Then the greek goddess puts on Solange…. there was no stopping me! I did not care anymore and we were dancing and singing at the top of our voices trying to lure the others to join us but they would not haha… too busy shooting shit in the kitchen to dance around with these 2 pumped up on girl power girls. She then puts on more rnb bangers and all 3 of us girls were singing at the top of our voices and pretending we were a girlband. (although I think we would smash it in a girlband IRL)

If the music is loud, I WILL sing loud but if I think people are actually listening to me…. I freeze and the anxiety that cripples a lot of my daily life comes along with it’s mate ‘stage fright’

I love my british friends, obviously, but the subtle (or not so in some cases) cynicism and  uptightness is pretty damaging to artistic types….the ones who maybe don’t have the gene that is the ‘self big up’ thing. i.e me

I am guilty of it myself! People with guitars at parties back in the day used to grate on my snobbery and would encourage a certain dickishness to come out in my head. Others who felt the same would conjoin together in some sort of dick off circle, judging & sending bad vibes.

In reality, this person (regardless of their skill or playing ability or even in some cases ability to hear that the guitar is OUT OF TUNE) is sharing something in that moment that is pure and unashamed and pretty beautiful actually.

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This all may sound super obvious to you nice people out there, but I have a proper music snob in my head.

Luckily, over the last few years it has started to soften and I now just think people are beautiful and sweet for wanting to share whatever they are feeling at that moment in time whether it is through music or poetry or drawing or art or whatevs.

You wana share with me your weird and wonderful thoughts then please send them over to me!

So in light of all this waffling on

Here is a video i have been sitting on for a while of my first open mic I ever did with original material

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Both of the original pieces in this vid have moved along to different versions so are a bit null in void BUT it doesn’t matter. This is what they were then and hopefully when I get some up to date confidence in me right here right now you can hear where they travelled to!

Alex and Andrew Parsegian first session JUNE 2015 BK, NYC

Another reason to love Greenhouse Holistic BK

I met this wonderful human being in Yoga class!

Great things will happen!

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Stevie Spesh – Song of the Day!

I woke up this morning- after drinking one glass too many of red last night and perhaps too much food on my solo dinner excursion-  to this gorge song!

my dad had sent me a little message this morning with it in!

So cute, love him so much.

More about my crazy dinner in another post!

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Here I go again on my own…(Hollywood)

Having no distractions or phone or Internet or family or friends or dogs or cats etc etc lead to my creative brain waking up and going into overload!

This is why I love to travel, especially alone.

Lyrics, melodies and observations came flooding out of me. Furiously I scribbled about love, music, life and dreams that I had forgotten all about. Most of the scratch was free writing and wouldn’t make a whole load of sense to anyone. What started as lists and aims ended with damning realizations regarding the cloud I had allowed myself to live under. This cloud is what lead me to this point. I felt the only out was to escape on a plane.

I am obsessed with notepads and little books for this very purpose. Once you start writing, releasing the expression of your soul, all of a sudden you know why you have been feeling this or feeling that. You have to find ways to look in the mirror that doesn’t focus on reflecting.

I had to have many words with myself on that plane journey. The chat went from cursing out my knee jerk escapism to comforting my inner child that was, truthfully, just scared of what was on the other side.

The West side.

Hollywood.

Before that though, Harassment by Airport security!

 

‘This is not your home’ – They literally love saying that.

 

Planet Earth is my home and the last time I checked LA was hangin on in there like the rest of us.

#YogiPost – Let’s start from the top shall we? TED talk woo

Full Moon in Scorpio means going deeper into the depths and May is my month to start Intentionally practising

‪#‎Yogaoffthemat‬ ‪#‎allday

Starting with the ‪#‎Yamas‬, where else?

The Yamas could read as beautiful promises to make to one another.

That would be lovely 🙂

With non- violence (Ahimsa) and truthfulness (Satya) as the first 2 Yamas, the tone is set for the kind of life Yogis aim for.

http://www.breadandyoga.com/newsite/blog/yoga-off-the-mat-yamas-and-niyamas

This week ‪#‎Ahimsa‬
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I found when starting to pay attention to my inner narrative I was quite taken aback. I couldn’t believe I had gone so long without actually taking a moment to analyse the kind of talk I was directing towards myself and others. I have always been quite a deep thinker about the world around me, and it had never dawned on me to analyse the language I use internally.

Turns out, I am pretty mean to me! Which was making me mean towards others and then that was then coming back around to be mean to me about myself being mean to others so as you can see that is way.too.much.

And breathe.

Ahimsa has helped me take more responsibility for the chat and crap that I believe in my head. My sense of compassion is stronger and I love it! After the little word I had with myself I realised what is inside is reflected outside, I am finding it easier to keep my feet on the ground. It really is very nice to be nice, so why not give it a go at every single opportunity you have?

Try to tune into the voice that may have been pushed under by the bully boy coach type voice. Or if you have no idea what I mean. Try to create a new lingo for yourself. Maybe try to pick up one new positive adjective a day, and use it as much as possible, to the point where you may even sound silly and it might turn into a bit of laugh! You never know, you might spread some silliness and before you know it we will all be smiling at each other willy nilly! Dun Dun Dun!!! IMG_2133-MOTION

Really fab article on incorporating Ahimsa to your Asana (Posture – Physical) practise.

http://www.huggermugger.com/blog/2015/practice-ahimsa-mat/

p.s Watch this very interesting TED talk…

Smile!

it is legitimately contagious!

Hometown Glory! Dec 15

So once again here I am innocently scrolling through facebook when I am hit in the face with AMAZINGNESS!

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I introduce to you all, my extremely good friend,

Jai Cove

(I very nearly full named him just then but managed to stop myself – haha. If you want to know his full name, ask him – It is worth the ask, for sure)

He has been hard at work perfecting this gorgeous spiral staircase. I hope when he is rolling in it he will come to my house and pimp out my stairs like this!

https://www.facebook.com/jai.cove/media_set?set=a.10205742694472229.1073741835.1401905109&type=1

Look at the talent behind this, absolute beauty. Jai also makes instruments!

https://www.facebook.com/musicametals

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Another nearest and dearest of mine is also smashing it playing for Experimental band LUO.

https://www.facebook.com/herebeluo

Check some of his youtube vids out too!

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Not to mention all of us world travellers who are slowly coming back for Xmas from our various capades.

Singers, dancers, videographers, musicians… We’re all back!

Song of the day! Countdown to 2015. Don’t look back in Anger, Love.

I managed to sit still long enough today to watch a BBC Alba doc about Amy Winehouse. It saw her perform at some random Irish festival and showed a really cool interview where she spoke extremely freely.

It was amazing to hear her talking about all the greats like Sarah Vaughn, Monk, Ella, Kim Burrell and Carleen Anderson. Amy’s knowledge, sheer curiosity and wonder about music seemed infectious. I would have loved the chance to chill and chat with her. (Obv). She was listing off, literally, all of my faves.

Specifically Amy gushed around Carleen’s version of the Oasis track ‘Don’t look back in Anger’.

I owe Amy an thankyou for reminding me of this bangin cover. At the moment this track carries a heavy significance to lots of feelings.

Especially after such crazy times in 2013/2014.

Carleen really gives this track a different edge, and I LOVE IT. The story is moving and her choices are perfection.

I know lots of people around me have been feeling a bit unhinged the last couple of years, but since being back from NY my peeps vibes have changed! Everyone seems content and chilled after losing their shit for the last 18 months haha.

2015 is going to be the one! Oh YES. Get ready!

So all my loves, Don’t look back in Anger.

You hear me say?

Luis Enrique Rivera Cuyar

6am JetLag life, lessons learnt + little random verse that fell

Long time no speak!

Being extremely wrapped up in NYC Life, I completely disregarded poor little sunsetsoulsister. My musical alter came along (Alexandra Blue) and stole all my attention away!

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Although this means that no writing has been done in the blog sense, I have been writing lyrics and poetry… so all was not lost.

This stay in NY was extremely different from the first time around. Less focus was on fun and playtime ( in the standard sense of drinking and partying)  and most of my time was spent in my room writing lyrics and melodies ( my new kind of playtime 😀 ) or on the subway to jam nights, writing sessions or singing lessons. Harlem was where you could find me most of the time!

I got to play a few shows both supporting established acts as a Background artist and I performed a track I wrote with Namaste Humble at a random gig. What encouraged the most growth was vibin on stage at random jams and seeing what my improvisation chops were saying!

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If any singers or musicians are reading this with an idea of going to NY to pursue music the best bit of advice I could give you as someone who is just finding their way is – Do not be afraid of Craigslist and Jam nights! Speak to everyone and be as open as possible. Also, know your limits and skill level. I went in thinking I was going to be miles behind everyone (I was behind most, obv, but not ALL) but because NY is so big and there are so many ‘scenes’ there is no need to be intimidated. There is always going to be someone behind you in their journey, and help them along just as you would appreciate a peer further on their path giving you a little nod in the right direction.

I did manage to get a couple of trips upstate in (hello winetasting!) , and of course went to some blinding gigs (Derrick Hodge and The Weeknd and loads of local bands) but my highlights have to be attending jam nights like The Lesson @ Arlene’s Grocery and Village Undergrounds jam/open mic on a monday. These are places that really are about nurturing and experimenting with your gift in a safe and fun. Other nights I really wanted to get to but didn’t manage were Tuesday nights @ Zinc and Wednesdays @ Williamsburg music centre. Hear nothing but great things about these 2 nights.

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Halloween I semi experienced, (went out the night before, had my own crazy vibes that ended on a very hungover Halloween official day), I stayed on the couch with my housemate. We talked about life and watched Les Mis haha. The night following Halloween was Subway Management’s Mansion party so I, of course, turnt that place up until the Jello shots turned me down. I dressed as a Peace Warrior, basically I utilised the most prominent part of my wardrobe, camo print and face paint.

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I got to take part in Thanksgiving (which was amazing, and FULL OF FOOD). Previously to that it dawned on me that Firework night in the UK may be my favourite non holiday. I really missed it this year, and was very disappointed there were no fireworks at the supposed British bonfire night celebrations!

in summary. NYC Part 2 was a great success!