Gaelynn Lea’s Learning How to Stay cuts through the fog – album review

Gaelynn Lea’s Learning How to Stay cuts through the fog

It’s the eve of the fall equinox and my self-diagnosed SAD is kicking in. The past week has been all rain and thunder and bluster. More chances to stay inside with the tea kettle and contemplate the cold cruel world. I keep returning to a song, over an over, and it is Gaelynn Lea’s Moment of Bliss.

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Mary Bue Patreon Minneapolis Singer Songwriter

The New Frontier, The Wild West

The New Frontier,
The Wild West

Hello dear music friend,

Last weekend I took a trip out west with my new beau.  It wasn’t super far west,  but a good 9 hours from Minneapolis to Western North Dakota where the landscape changes to plateaus and buttes and miles and grasslands.  Majestic beast roam:  Bison,  Elk, Wild Horse,  and Coyote howls.  The moon switched to new,  and a full day was spent walking to get water from a spring and then walking back to camp.  For some people,  this is their life …

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“I Have Wrestled With The Angel And I Am Stained With Light” – Mary Oliver / April 2018 Newsletter

Good morning, sunshine …

To begin,  a quote by Mary Oliver from a stirring article twitter brought to my awareness via Brian Pickings:

“It is six A.M., and I am working. I am absentminded, reckless, heedless of social obligations, etc. It is as it must be. The tire goes flat, the tooth falls out, there will be a hundred meals without mustard. The poem gets written. I have wrestled with the angel and I am stained with light and I have no shame. Neither do I have guilt. My responsibility is not to the ordinary, or the timely. It does not include mustard, or teeth. It does not extend to the lost button, or the beans in the pot. My loyalty is to the inner vision, whenever and howsoever it may arrive. If I have a meeting with you at three o’clock, rejoice if I am late. Rejoice even more if I do not arrive at all.” – Mary Oliver

 
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Mary Bue Minneapolis Taos

What last year brought … sadness, bliss, beauty

2017 started in Taos, New Mexico and 2018 started there too.  The months in-between were many … mostly midwestern,  and very full.  The times in Taos, though, have been enchanted beyond measure.  Slower.  Like honey and sun setting on high desert mesa. It is a true pleasure and a gift to have spent some time here to bookend a wild ass year.  And don’t get me wrong – Minnesota makes up my bones.  Taos might be some of the electricity in my neurons,  though.  Seattle is the rivers and canals of my blood. 

Pics by Jason Huntzinger

Rewind to February 2016.  It was the week before Valentine’s day.  I was still married.  I woke up and sat in our cluttered sun room / music room / cocktail corner and decided it was time to document my sexual assault experience in a song.  I was assaulted in 2005,  in February,  in Miami, Florida, by my friend’s boss.  It was only a few weeks after i had done a month long Artist in Residence on florida’s gulf coast.  i was 25.  I was so high on life and so excited to create.  And then … I was violated.  I kept that experience close to my vest for 11 years until that frozen February morning in Duluth when I wrote about it in a song. 

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Two weeks into what seems like two years in Taos

I haven’t been in Taos for two weeks just yet – Tuesday eve it will be so – but time moves slow here –  I’ve made it as such.  Imposed solitude.  Turning down invites to chill with the other artists,  to go to a Bob Marley dance party at a gallery,  and right now I could be drinking and watching the Superbowl with some passionate intellectuals … but no,  I am in my casita … blogging … what a DORK!

A quick update on how I am spending my artist residency – the spiral nature of my time thus far.  First – motivation,  enthusiasm,  excitement spiraled to overwhelm,  exhaustion,  lethargy and then back around slowly to productivity,  awe,  creative bliss … Emotions; they are always shifting,  changing like clouds in the sky or waves in the sea.  The thing is,  underneath all of that emotional stormage and weather there’s a clear blue space.  And I work with that.  I try to work with that.

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Quality over Quantity

In 2015 I played 90+ shows.  In the Midwest, on the west coast, in the south.  This is nothing compared to the more seasoned full time musicians,  non-stop touring,  living in their vans & buses,  300+ shows a year.  However for me,  doing my own booking and promoting and holding down rent and some yoga teaching in Duluth at the time — it was quite a lot.  I have so many great memories (and alas,  some not so great!) and especially love the travel aspect and connecting with new and old friends.  This country is incredible and huge and its inhabitants vast and varied.

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How to get your band from Duluth to Nashville to record for two days without killing each other

****** Follow up to this – this band no longer exists!  Apparently we did have some trouble brewing 😉  Awwww band drama.  However I have a great new line up (Zac stayed!).  And these tips are still valid for the touring musician.  😉 ****************

How to get your band from Duluth to Nashville to record for two days without killing each other

I’m embellishing of course! I didn’t exactly TAKE my band against their will! I invited them to come and record four songs with me at an awesome studio in Nashville called Welcome to 1979. In 2014 I won a prize of one free day of recording from their Battle of the Bands thing and wanted to cash in on it! April seemed like a good month to go. Not as risky driving from northern Minnesota and wouldn’t we all like to get away from the mud and muck and end of winter drear?  And isn’t this a dream come true for a lot of musicians???!  Wasn’t too hard to convince them it would be fun.  🙂