Tuesday, February 18, 2014

SXSW and Tons of Live Shows!

WHAT THE WHAT? We're going to SXSW, ya'll! I'm very thrilled to announce that I got a slot at the Invasion of the GoGirls showcase in Austin. A surprise, indeed. I've never even been to Texas (airport doesn't count), so this is exciting to the max! This kind of news really takes the edge off of this long, cold winter we've been having. Here are the deets:

Friday, March 14, 4:30pm
Austin Java, 1206 Parkway (12th/Lamar)

It's an unofficial showcase, so IT'S FREE and open to the public. There are many other talented ladies playing at this showcase, and you can see the full schedule here!

UPDATE: I've landed a second gig at an unofficial showcase for Jivewired!
Thursday, March 13, 3:45pm
Touché, 417 E. Sixth Street

In hometown Chicago news, a couple months ago some friends and I put together a cover band. We play a lot of Pink Floyd so we go by Lunatics on the Grass! Over the last few weeks we have even added a couple original songs. Lovely Liz has given us a monthly spot to play at Lizards Liquid Lounge the first Friday of every month. So you can hear us every month on the regular! Plus, I've just been playing a lot more recently and have a bunch of shows coming up. Here's the list!

Friday, February 21, 8-10pm
Folk You! at the Horseshoe Saloon
A round robin songwriter night also featuring Larry O. Dean, Sam Lipkin, and Dalice Malice

Friday, February 28, 7-all night!
Acoustic Boogaloo at Fullers Pub
This monthly event features all local Chicago acoustic talent

Saturday, March 1, 8pm, $5
Burside & Hooker at The Abbey Pub
I'm subbing some cello and vocals for this great folky blues band

Friday, March 7, 9pm
Rockin' Good Times at Lizards Liquid Lounge
Lunatics on the Grass will rock hits from the 60s til now. There might also be solo sets from myself, Tom Roper, and Simon Buckley later in the night!

Wednesday, March 19, 9pm, $5
at Quenchers with Despicable Feelings
I'll do a solo set, expect lots of dirty rapz

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Great Tour Success! And an updated album...

Summer is over and it was incredible! The Made from Scratch Tour was a huge success. We made a lot of new friends and fans across the US and Canada. And we sang our little hearts out every day through 16 cities. A huge thanks to everyone who came to see us as well as donated to our tour campaign to keep us going. Everyone who gave a little smile or dropped a dollar in my mandolin case or bought a CD-- you're my hero! We did it all with your help!

In other news, I have updated Weirds and Beards with two new songs and totally revamped some other songs! Check out the new clarinet melody on LaSalle and new bass lines, all done by the fabulous Erik Juhl.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Made From Scratch Tour Fundraiser: Now Live!

We've launched our fundraising campaign. Please read about our tour, share the link with everyone you know, and maybe drop us a few dollars to help us out! A donation of only $10 gets you TWO album downloads. C'mon!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Going where? ON TOUR!

It's true! I'm planning a tour again. Just like the summer of 2011, Brynn Mawr and I are going back on the road!

Starting in early August we are going to begin in Chicago, head through Michigan, Canada, and the northeast! We've been working on booking for a the last few weeks and figuring out which cities to hit. In the next week we are going to launch a campaign to raise some money for the tour. If anyone along the route has suggestions for gigs or wants to host us, we'd be eternally grateful. More updates to come!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I Finished RPM 2013!!

Album art by Eric Bird
It happened!! Weirds and Beards was mailed off on February 28th to the RPM headquarters. It was challenging and really fun. Although I feel every song needs some redoing or final touches, it's in enough of a finished state to complete the challenge. Big sigh of relief. Done and dusted. Listen to the whole thing here! A small army of people helped me get this done, and I owe them tons!

Most importantly, the biggest thanks goes to Tom Roper. He recorded every painstaking note with me, played all the guitar solos, then mixed and mastered each song down to the last damn minute. And he told me how good all my songs are, but lets face it, he kinda had to cuz he's a good boyfriend. Couldn't have done it without you, T! Thanks!

The mega-talented artist and graphic designer Eric Bird offered some of his art for my album cover. With very short notice he personalized it, and I think it looks kick ass!

Let me take a minute to describe the songs on this album and give all the proper thanks and credit to everyone involved:

 1: Walls
This song is about traveling. It was inspired particularly by a trip to Israel that was so fun and so sad.

Track info:
Katelyn - vocals, guitar, cello
Tom - guitar solo

2: Dandelion Wine
This amazing song was written by Josh "Rooster" Kanuch of our old band Machinegun Mojo. This is probably one of my most favorite songs ever, so sweet and sad. Josh is a massively talented songwriter, that bastard. Even when I had to leave Mojo and move to Dublin, Dandelion remained a regular song to play. I was always pretty bummed we never got the chance to record it as a band. And the added harmonies from Brynn Mawr really finished off this recording perfectly.

Track info:
Katelyn: vocals, mandolin, cello
Tom: guitar
Brynn Mawr: harmony vocals

3: Upon Her Return
This song was created using the entirety of a poem by my former teacher and current friend Moira Egan. She is in a special tier of friend I like to call "friendtor". It's a friend who's also a mentor, get it? I highly recommend you check out her sexy-smart poetry. You can read To My Muse, upon Her Return here!

Track info:
Katelyn: vocals, guitar, cello
Tom: guitar solo

4: Disappearing Ink
Another poem-song! I borrowed lines from my second favorite poet Jeffrey McDaniel to glue this song together. Read his original poem The Benjamin Franklin of Monogamy here. He's a seriously bad ass poet. We started recording this song how I usually play it solo, and I wasn't happy. It was a total snooze fest with me just chugging away on acoustic guitar. Tom asked me what I wanted it to sound like and I was like, "Two words: Pulp Fiction." I went away to Limerick for a night and when I came back, Tom had completely reworked the song. And he freakin' nailed it. This new version has a real Tarantino feel: a little surfy, a little slinky. Dang, yo. Tom is good.

Track info:
Katelyn: vocals, guitar
Tom: guitar, bass

5: LaSalle 
I wrote this song for Tom after we had been dating for a few months. I played it for him as a Valentine's gift because I'm sensitive (read: broke). He was gearing up to move to Dublin and neither of us really knew where the relationship would go. Luckily, we're still here!

Track info:
Katelyn: vocals, guitar

6: Empty Harbor 
This song is about what I feel when I watch the news. Don't watch the news.

Track info:
Katelyn: vocals, mandolin
Tom: guitar, bass

7: You're Welcome (I Got Jimmy Laid)
Not much to say about this song except it was inspired by the classic country outlaws like David Allan Coe. And, yeah, it is based on a true story. I'm really just the best friend anyone could ask for.

Track info:
Katelyn: vocals, guitar

8: Baby Attack
I wrote this song as a freshman in college. My roommate Amanda and I went to a luxurious dinner at IHOP one night. A rowdy toddler was wreaking havoc on the place and I exclaimed "Watch out, baby attack!" Amanda was like, that's a song right there. We got back and found Mike, a friend upstairs and got him in on it. He wrote the music for it and we recorded it in our dorm room on a crappy computer mic. I always wanted to redo it and this was the best excuse. Mike recorded all his parts in Chicago, and we pieced it all together in Dublin. This was my first time trying a global music collaboration! Please note the outrageously ridiculous drums Tom put on this song too.

Track info:
Katelyn: vocals
Mike Gryka: guitar, bass
Tom: drum sequencing

 9: Drink
This one is written by former Machinegun Mojo member Shawn Habich! We played this at the end of every show, and I really wanted it to conclude the album. Like Dandelion, it's another song we never got to record as a band, and that sucks. But I did what I could. This song took the longest time to record out of all of them, quite an effort. Thanks to Brynn for adding some harmony and also providing much needed vocal coaching!

Track info:
Katelyn: vocals, guitar
Tom: electric guitar, bass, drum sequencing
Brynn Mawr: harmony vocals

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

My First RPM Challenge!

It is already February, which means it is RPM month! RPM is a challenge for musicians to produce a full album in just this one, short month. I am doing it this year! A few days in and I have laid down guide tracks for six songs. These are rough outlines for me to follow when I record the songs for realz.

So far it's been kind of stressful. I've never recorded so much at once, and I am pretty self conscious about the whole thing. You play your songs over and over again and then begin to over-think everything. Maybe that word is dumb... those chords could be funkier....I can't remember how to play guitar..... WHAT AM I DOING?

But I am really determined to do this.

Stay posted for info on each song as I record it.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Summer Might Be Here

According to the calendar, summer is here. But you wouldn't know it. I'm celebrating my first full year of living in Dublin this week in the low-50s drizzle that is an Irish summer. It's been a pretty wild year living in a different country. Here's some stuff that happened, bullet-ed for your reading pleasure:

  • Started grad school and passed all my classes!
  • Traveled everywhere we could: Marrakesh, Berlin, Amsterdam, Malaga, Krakow, Munich, Manchester, there are probably more that I can't remember. Seeing and learning new things makes me really happy. 
  • Oh, yeah, we also went all around Ireland: down to the ring of Kerry, up to Giant's Causeway, over to Donegal, pretty much everywhere. And it rained in all those places too.
  • Began my dissertation to complete my MA in Sexuality Studies. I'm researching drag queens in Ireland, which has been like a dream topic for me. So far I have met some fantastic people, interviewed them for their deepest darkest drag secrets, and watched a lot of RuPaul's Drag Race. It has been so much fun! However, now I have to write the damn paper which is not as fun. 
  • I learned kind of what it's like to be an immigrant, and I have gained the most respect for people who decide to move far from home. For me it hasn't been all that drastic; I'm still in an English speaking country and I can talk to my friends and family back home whenever I want. Yet it still has not been an easy transition. So huge, huge props to the people who move to a place with  a new language, no connections to home, and an uncertain future. You guys are brave and have to take a lot of shit sometimes.
  • We had visitors! My mom, dad, and sister came over at Easter time and it was great fun! We took them all over and my sister and I made fun of everyone and everything like the good old days. Also one of my best friends Stefani came over with her boyfriend. We tried delicious beers, hunted for Bono, and witnessed the insanity of a Dublin St. Paddy's Day!
  • I played some songs! My school had a student open mic that I went to when I could and I also did some open mics in city centre. My school's Music Soc asked me to be on their charity compilation and of course I obliged. My cover of MGMT's Electric Feel went on the album and they apparently sold a few hundred of them which is awesome!
  • The food here kicks ass. Shit is fresh! And really flavorful. I absolutely love the veggies here and the lack of corn syrup/preservatives/trans-fats. Ireland has the best dairy I have ever tasted in my life. Butter, yogurt, ice cream, cheese -- it is all incredible. 
  • Picked up a few Irish sayings like: taking the piss, craic, it'll all be grand, gone tits up, your man there, fair play to ye, having a barney and more!
  • I learned how to drink! Just kidding. I'm still a complete lightweight.
  • Found out that some stereotypes are true. You Irish can really put those pints down. God damn!
  • Discovered that I love living with my boyfriend, Tom. We make a good team. We also have made quite a comfy home together. 
That's all I got for now! Have a great weekend!