I am pleased to announce that my song “Domino” will be featured on MTV’s show AWKWARD, aired on May 7th! Woot woot!
It’s time to tell you all about how SXSW went. I needed a week to get over my sensory overload and process what even happened there. I must say, I was not expecting the sea of people that I vigorously attempted to move through on a day to day basis, both with my body and my car. It was more like a sea of molasses. Sweaty molasses. Add fifty or so pounds of intstrument equiptment and you have a perfect recipe for a breakdown. All that to say, I can now look back and appreciate my experience. Memorable things happened with memorable people.
On the road from Colorado Springs to Austin the most excitement we saw were thousands, perhaps millions of tumble weeds plunging across the highway as if they had somewhere to be. If the wind were any stronger our car would have rolled over. I was sure we were going to die before we made it to Dalhart. Stranded in the middle of the night in some creepy ghost town, murdered by some serial killer. We made it, though. Barely.
My first show was pretty low key. We arrived in Austin at about 8am wednsday morning so we snuck in a little nap before my solo performance at 2pm at Shangri La. Being a hairstylist I have the best seat in town for conjuring up good information. One of my client’s friend lives in Austin and let us bunk in her fancy apartment while she was out. We had our very own workout room, Krueger coffee machine, and the public stairs that accessed the different floors was even rigged to spray a waft of lovely scent in your face as you opened the door. We felt pretty important. We also were able to make a trip to Trader Joe’s nearby, which was my first time ever. The cashier seemed to think I was someone famous because I was playing at SXSW. I let him think I was. Just long enough until he googled me.
Once I got the first show out of the way I felt as though I could fly. I had done it. Played a show outside of my one hundred mile radius of comfort. The next day, Thursday, I was set to play at The Colorado Music Party. I opened up the whole event at 11 am, but I was ok with that. Even being there was an honor. I played what ended up to be my best set of the whole trip. When the sound guy is in a good mood, then I’m in a good mood. I could hear myself loud and clear, which makes all the difference in the world. On that stage I thought to myself, ‘I wrote these songs in my little ole house in my little ole music room that smells like cat pee, and was just tinkering around. Now I am playing these songs for people who came up to me and said, “I have heard a lot about you. Can’t wait to see your set!” “What? You heard about me? Clearly you must have me mixed up with someone else. My hair used to be brown, you know that right?”‘ I mean, that was one couple who said that. Everyone else just commented on how much they liked my civil war looking sailor sweater. Some writer from Elle magazine even took a picture of me in it and said I would be featured in Elle magazine, street style at SXSW. I never heard from her after that so I doubt I will be. It is nice, though, to be acknowledged for my sweater when I travel hundreds of miles to showcase my music. At least my sweater I bought from Forever 21, six years ago, has a chance of making it big.
I have realized before, and this trip just made me realize even more, that this world is filled with such talented people. You could get lost in your thoughts, thinking, who am I? Why even bother? But the best part is, that’s what I was created to do. To share my gifts to the best of my ability and be thankful to God that he gave me one. Do I feel like quitting about once a week? Yes. But that hasn’t stopped me yet. Neither has the fact that my cats seem to think that my keyboard case is their litter box. It’s ok. I don’t mind showing up to venues smelling like ammonia and having to explain the stench to people who want to help carry my load. “Right, it’s cat pee ;)” they say. I just hope they don’t start pooping in it.
Thankfully I had the support of my best friend in the whole world, Jesie, to hold my hand as we barricaded through scary rapper crowds. If we didn’t die on the drive there, we were sure to die here. But scarier than all of that was how many hipsters there were. I’m pretty sure the nationality of Austin is hipster. It would describe the breakdown as 45% rap and hip hop crowd, 45% hipsters, and 10% didn’t fit into any sort of category. I found myself on numerous occasions, thinking, ‘how did that happen?’ as I stared at someone. But you could never stare for too long. No no.
Friday we didn’t have any shows so Jesie and I decided to stay away from the craziness. We worked out that morning since Jesie had a good point. “We have to work out today because these tennis shoes took up a lot of room in my luggage.” Best reason ever. After that we walked around. Beneath our apartment were a series of shops. Like, rich people shops. Overpriced Sushi and such. We got the idea that we should treat ourselves to a massage since our entire bodies were tense from all the commotion. Not wanting to venture out into the city we thought we would choose someplace close, in this little strip mall. I mean, it was OBVIOUSLY a nail salon, but they did massages as well. We walked in, made our appointments and then came back an hour later. They apparently didn’t have two massage rooms so the nice asian lady offered for me to be in the facial room. I thought, can’t be too different. “Ok,” I said. Now, I’m not super picky when it comes to massages, but I have to tell you why I hated this one. The facial chair didn’t have a neck or head pillow thingy majigger, so I had to crank my head the entire time while she did her job on my back. And her job she did. While my neck started to seize up, she finally asked me to turn onto my back. ‘Thank goodness’ I thought. then it happened. She started to massage my neck. The FRONT of my neck. Everything inside of me wanted to scream out, “Stop fondling my vocal chords, you’re tickling me!” But I couldn’t. And even if i did she probably wouldn’t understand me. I have never had the front of my neck massaged and now I know why. It feels gross and makes me angry. Jesie said her lady was so old all she could feel was her boney fingers caressing her back. She ended up charging Jesie for a hot stone massage that she didn’t even want. “I had hot stones rubbed in my butt crack the entire time. It was terrible” We left the nail salon feeling much worse than when we had come in. My neck was stiff and my vocal chords were froggy.
Gabriel Newville was the other wonderful person that accompanied me on this trip. He learned ten of my songs in a matter of three weeks AND played electric guitar as he drummed with his feet AND sang. Come on. He is so talented and added his own touch to my songs that were so much fun to perform together. He and I are starting our own band called ROSEBIRD. I will fill you in more on that later.
Well, beyond that we had two other super fun shows that we played, and were able to catch a set from Kishi Bashi. What more could we have asked for? Well, I would have loved to see Phantogram and Snoop Dog’s performance, but at SXSW, you’re lucky to even make it to your own show.
I could go on about SXSW forever, but I’ll leave it at that. Thanks for reading!
There are some exciting things happening in the month of March!
March 7 – Pikes Peak Center Studio Bee (103.9 Rxp presents) Doors at 5:30. We go on at 7:30.
After that I am going to Texas y’all!
SXSW (unofficial) and Red Gorilla Fest (official showcase)
Schedule as follows:
March 12th Wednesday - Midcoast Takeover (acoustic stage) at 2pm.
Shangri-La - 1016 E. 6TH ST. – AUSTIN, TX
March 13th Thursday - SXSW Colorado Music Party 11:00am-11:40am (Ground Level Stage Area)
The 512 on 6th - 408 E. 6th St. Austin, TX
March 15th Saturday - Red Gorilla Fest (http://www.redgorillamusic.com/schedule/)
The Chuggin’ Monkey at 4pm
During SXSW and Red Gorilla Fest, I will be playing one solo show and two with my band mate Gabriel Newville. We are so excited to share some new songs with you all!
Lately I have been writing and playing shows as a solo act. It has been a long time coming, for me to face my fear of being on stage all on my lonesome. I have discovered I enjoy it immensely and this viseo and song will be a little snippet of what that looks like. The video is set to be done by Jan 23rd. Filmed in my own livingroom by Matt Mead, and recorded by Drew Bartels (232 Studios,) I originally shot this video to advertise for the piano software, True Keys. So, when you see a big screen in the background with the software displayed, that is the reason why. I loved using True Keys as it gave the song a smooth finishing touch that my good ole 2006 Casio Privia would otherwise butcher. Dear Lord, I pray for a new keyboard this year. If I had it my way I would bring a vintage Wurlitzer with me to every show. But since I don’t have a personal Vin Diesel to help me with heavy lifting, I think I’ll have to stick with what I have for now.
I am blessed beyond what I can Imagine. I will inform you more on what the song means and so forth once it comes time, but for now I hope you will come join me and my full band, Hillary Hand & The Roseliers, this Friday evening at Ivywild School for a wonderful benefit concert. We go on at 8pm sharp! We have been working ever so hard on playing together as a newly formed band. I appreciate my fellow friends and band members so much. I also appreciate YOU, for reading this, which means in some way that you have been there for me.
Have a wonderful day and hope to see you soon.
December is such a mix of emotions for me. I find myself frazzled, getting caught up in the rush of all of the holiday hustle that I can hardly enjoy it. One reason I chose not to play any shows this month. Instead, my band and I have been and will be working very hard to prepare for the bundle of shows coming up. I’m excited, not only because I work with such talented and wonderful people, but also because they challenge me and keep me going. All I can say is that I am grateful.
I can’t even think about the New Year until Christmas is over, but just to give you all a heads up, these are our next shows. We hope you can come share in the joy we have in playing music for you all.
Jan 10th @ 8pm – Ivywild (Benefit for Girls on the Run)
Jan 18th @ Zodiac
Jan 26th @ The Meadowlark