#365daysproject #creativitychallenge !

Hello there!  Just writing here in case you are someone who reads my little blog, but you are not on other forms of social media (where I more regularly announce things – i.e. http://facebook.com/jessicaintherainbow or instagram: jessicaintherainbow / twitter: jessinrainbow )

Starting TOMORROW I will be writing a new song everyday, AND sharing it on social media.  I’ve been saying for years that I write “hundreds of songs a year” – but still only releasing one album every 3-4 years.

In light of all the changes in our world lately, I’m feeling very ineffective and small – and I’d like to spread more light, more creativity, more inspiration, more smiles, more deep thoughts, more authenticity… basically whatever weirdness or mellow soothing-ness or just plain whatever comes out of me for the next 365 days, I want to share it.

I want to live in a world where goodhearted people get over their insecurities and fear of doing everything perfectly, and just come together and create communities and talk about feelings and be real people.  Most musicians I know are blocked in one area or another… while I haven’t been blocked as a writer for years (thanks to The Artists’ Way, FAWM.org, and 50/90 in addition to my avid journal-writing obsession), I AM blocked on many of the “shoulds” of the music industry.

So this is me sidestepping any concern with such things, and just sharing myself for a year.  Hope you find it enjoyable, enlightening, encouraging, or some other en- word.  🙂

Here’s the link to my YouTube channel, which will likely be the #1 place I share: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWUrJO6vPyVVCk_VDABUmaw

And here’s a link to my Soundcloud, which will likely be #2: https://soundcloud.com/jessicaintherainbow

Plus I’ll post clips of songs on Facebook and Instagram, and I think my Twitter feed posts updates whenever I release a video – so if you’re following me, you probably can’t miss it.

Hope you’re doing well!  Stay creative 🙂
Jessica

 

 

Tidbits from a busy weekend! (Music video shoot, Tom Waits Tribute night, The Guest List WYCE…)

Hey friends!  Just wanted to write and express gratitude for some really beautiful things I’ve been a part of lately… also, let you know about some fun things in the works!

1) History Lesson music video – we met for our first production meeting on my lucky day, 2/12 (Abraham Lincoln’s bday, my favorite president…well til Obama 🙂 and discussed a whole series of videos for my “dead” album Catalysts.  It’s a totally impractical project as no media outlets that I know of release videos for albums that are many years old, but we decided we didn’t care and wanted to do it anyway.  There will be 3-4 videos in the series, and we decided to start with the easiest, since it’s just me in the shoot (and my bff, nature).  Day 1 of filming took place in October, after us all being too busy through summer, and it was supposed to be a 2-day weekend of filming and then wrap…BUT day 2 was rainy (and it was filmed outdoors).  So we rescheduled 3x and after multiple rain-related cancellations, finally did Day 2 on Saturday.  It was super cold but we did it 🙂  Next up are edits and rough cuts, but it should be released sometime in 2017!  So excited and grateful to work with these super talented people (Rachel Resterhouse, Caleb Kilgore, and Jonathan Clark – thanks for everything, it’s been such a blast so far!)

2) Tom Waits tribute night at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe – so the lovely Megan Dooley, a powerhouse and force of nature in the Michigan music scene, organized an absolutely beautiful, fun, wacky, free-spirited, eclectic event in Kalamazoo for the second year in a row, and I was lucky enough to be part of it this year.  28 musicians filled the Bell’s stage, covering Tom Waits songs all night.  I can’t say enough about the energy in the room, the dancing, the costumes, the camaraderie, it was such a wonderful event. Can’t wait for next year!  Thanks again for having me Megan!  If you didn’t make it out and wish you had, mark your calendars for next year – it’ll be around the same time (near Tom’s birthday on Dec 7th).  And if you’d like to see some pics/video from the night, quite a few people have been posting them in the event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1326503220696060/

3) The Guest List / WYCE 88.1 (Grand Rapids) –   I’ve been so grateful for the many amazing people I’ve met in Grand Rapids the past few years… from everyone at Girls Rock GR to Lamp Light Music Festival to WYCE, the music community is just full of spunk and energy and a cohesive passion for music that blows my mind.  Mostly I stay in the outskirts and wander among trees and by the lake with my journal and ukulele, but only 40 minutes away is this lovely artsy world, which has been like a little home to me, culturally speaking.  So last night was my 3rd time on WYCE this year – and after living so many years in Chicago, feeling isolated much of the time and not knowing how to make connections with media or venues (other than my favorite divey bars/venues with pianos like Gallery Cabaret and The Orphanage, which were like a home away from home for me! so much love to all those wonderful people!!), this has been like a whole new world for me (no Aladdin pun intended :). I’m so grateful to all the people here who reach out and offer opportunities to connect and make it possible to share music (and feelings/thoughts) outside of my circle of friends.  Last night was extra special for me, since I got to choose 12 songs to share and discuss… influences, music I love, and also a few of my originals (including a cloudlight song :).  If you want to listen to Ben and I chat about music and life, and hear some songs I love and why I love them, listen here 🙂 https://www.mixcloud.com/WYCEradio/the-guest-list-december-4th-2016/  Thank you again Ben for having me on your show!  It was so much fun.

4) Brick Nest house show! Tea and pillows and hugs + mini-EP release :  soooo I always joke about how many songs I write a year (it’s up to 300?)  But I preface it by saying, they’re not all good (at all) or they’re just for me (like journalling while singing?  like living in a singer/songwriter classically-infused musical or opera where everything is constantly recitative?)  ANYWAY, I may write fast but I don’t release fast sadly (it’s actually a huge goal of mine since November, to start releasing albums much faster…but that’s another blog post, and somewhat philosophical/political/spiritual).  So my friend Ryan and I decided to host this little event, which is me giving myself a deadline and pushing me to release something.  The album I started recording in June 2015 has been “in the works” with orchestrator/arranger Elisabeth Blair since then, but there’ve been hiccups and mishaps and technical difficulties (w/ DIY approach while I had no home studio, just my brother’s in Minnesota) and we’re both super busy… so I decided to leak piano/vocal versions of the 2 long songs from the album creating a 24 minute EP (2 12-minute songs, in honor of my lucky number 212 lol 🙂  Handmade copies will be available at the show (free/donation) and it’ll also be on my more secret Jessica Fogle bandcamp.  Oh wait I guess it’s not secret now 🙂  I hope to have it up here by the 15th, fingers crossed (+ here’s the event page )

***UPDATE: It was released on Bandcamp on December 20th:
https://jessicaintherainbow.bandcamp.com/album/everythings-true-pt-1,
with beautiful handmade cover art by Cat Jackson! Prints of her artwork, also featured on this site, are available HERE. ***

5) cloudlight update – Bryan and I have both been decompressing and/or working on other projects since Lamp Light, but we’ll get back to work finishing the EP in the new year, and there’ll likely be a March release and house show too.  Stay tuned here: https://www.facebook.com/cloudlightmusic or email cloudlight22 AT gmail.com to join our eventual mailing list.

That’s all for now!  Thanks for reading all this and being curious about my eclectic musical life 🙂 Sooo grateful for all of you.

xoxo
Jessica

 

Ladyfest at the Lakeshore & Lamp Light Music Festival :) (+album news)

Hey everyone!  Just wanted to share thoughts from two huge events I was just lucky enough to be part of.

1) Ladyfest at the Lakeshore – in it’s 1st year, I was part of the planning committee for this new festival.  We brought together 9 acts from around the region, in addition to many emerging songwriters for our open mic.  AND we raised $600+ for our designated charity – Girls Supporting Girls!  It was an incredible labor of love, pics coming soon.  Thanks again to everyone who got involved, volunteered, donated raffle items, and came to the event!  This year was in my current hometown of Grand Haven, Michigan – next year we rotate to Muskegon!

2) Lamp Light Music Festival – my favorite festival on this planet, hands down.  This year I participated as part of a new duo called “cloudlight” (https://soundcloud.com/cloudlightmusic ) – a recording project and collaboration between myself and Bryan Ralph (https://bryanralph.bandcamp.com/ ).  We nearly completed a 4-song EP in the rehearsal process as well, stay tuned for a release party sometime this winter.  In addition to performing, we spent every waking minute from Friday evening through Sunday evening at the fest – hearing some of the most incredible musicians around, filling our souls and hearts with their beauty.  Favorites included May Erlewine, Seth Bernard, Ty Maxon, the Soil & the Sun, The Great Ones, Fiona Dickinson, Rachele Eve, and so many more…

As for current news, I finally have carved out a couple months to devote time to finishing my impending collaboration with Elisabeth Blair – which is an 8 song album called “Everything’s True.”  2 songs on it are pretty unconventional (nearly 12 min long each), and I’ve decided in honor of all the turmoil I’m feeling lately… and many of my friends are feeling… to release an EP featuring the piano/vocal versions of these two tracks by the end of this year.  Stay tuned for that – I may release them sneakily (on my http://jessicafogle.bandcamp.com where my old albums reside ).

Hope everyone is staying warm and comfy and safe, or is exploring the universe and surrounding areas in whatever way makes you feel most alive today.

xoxo Jessica

Summer, flying by!

Heyo!

I’ve had such a whirlwind of a life lately, that it hasn’t occurred to me til just now to write a little update!  Basically, I’ve been exploring some normal everyday things, in addition to co-organizing a music festival for charity (more info to come!), and co-creating in the studio with Bryan Ralph, singer-songwriter extraordinaire (all heart, so much goodness http://www.bryanralph.bandcamp.com )

Squeezed in there, amongst family visits and friends and a new house (still in Grand Haven, Michigan!) was a little writing retreat up north, lots of new songs, and a few stellar shows.

I had the pleasure of sharing a bill with Olivia Mainville & The Aquatic Troupe, and JOE, at the DAAC in Grand Rapids – and it was a beautiful, inspiring, encouraging night of music for all.  I also had my first radio performance!! (88.1 WYCE)  And playing at the Crosshatch Center of Art & Ecology benefit at Short’s Brewing in May was a joy and an honor, among some lovely musicians and bands like Abigail Lapell (Toronto), Cold Country (Chicago), and Seth Bernard (northern MI, Earthwork).  So much talent and such a beautiful cause.  If you are missing hearing about these things and wish you weren’t, please follow me on FB – I do a better job of sending little updates there, including pics!  https://www.facebook.com/jessicaintherainbow/

Otherwise, please stay tuned for continued infrequent updates about my little writers’ life (which includes lovely piano students, fun collaborations, lots of feelings, and getting to know the musical side of this beautiful state 🙂

Love, Jessica

Notes from a mini-tour (of mostly open mics :)

Feeling immense gratitude for my newest approach to meeting new people and playing music.  On April 1st, I set off on a week-long musical adventure of a couple shows but mostly open mics (which informally started on March 30th at Tip Top Deluxe in Grand Rapids – love that place!)  Over 7 days, I traveled to Pittsburgh, Brooklyn/NYC, and back to Michigan through country roads in Pennsylvania and northern “coastal” Ohio (quite lovely!!)

I can’t even begin to articulate some of the ways these experiences are rippling in my current perspective – from witnessing urban areas I barely knew (Pittsburgh, parts of Brooklyn) and some I knew well (Chinatown and the East Village, NYC), to witnessing nature in so many small towns and villages (after $60 in tolls en route to NYC, I decided to take all back roads home … including Punxsutawney, PA 🙂

And I met sooo many great people!  A whole crowd of musicians in Brooklyn whom I loved (regular performers at Pete’s Candy Store – great open mic!), a crew of wonderful talented people at The Acorn in Three Oaks MI including James Neary and Brittany Lee Moffitt, and even crossed paths with a fellow Michigan touring band while checking out Rockwood Music Hall (The Old Adage – check them out!)

I tried to share as much as I could in pictures and moments, without losing my dreamy introverted streak that helps me write – if you’d like to follow that side of me, please visit http://facebook.com/jessicaintherainbow – I stay way more up-to-date there than here.

The whole trip concluded with a peaceful, soothing concert at Loutit Library in my hometown of Grand Haven, MI (with Hunter Zhao on cello!) – for which my lovely bf Bryan took an hour of video on his GoPro – I’ll try to post some of those videos soon (only thing is, I narrated the show – describing my songwriting and background a lot – since they were library patrons and not my regular fans – not sure how that will come off in the video, maybe you’ll find it cute? 🙂

Thanks as always everyone for your support and love and encouragement.  I love living in a world where people can make whatever music they feel called in their hearts to make, and through all this social media, find the audiences who want to listen, however small.  Everyone matters to someone.  I hope you all connect with someone today who matters to you.

Xoxo Jessica

 

 

Michigan love.

Hey all –

Just writing to say that I was invited to be a part of a really awesome benefit in Northern Michigan, as an alum of the INCREDIBLE Hill House residency program via Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology (formerly I.S.L.A.N.D.) – http://www.crosshatch.org/

Save the date – on May 7th, there’ll be over 7 hours of music filling Short’s Brewing in Bellaire MI, featuring all kinds of wonderful Michigan talent (and some alumni are coming from across the country too!).  So grateful to be a part of this – AND to feature the guitar-stylings of Bryan Ralph on many of my songs for the first time.  We’ve split sets before and done a few of his songs together (and some covers), but this will be the first time of him adding guitar parts to my originals. Piano w/ guitar is a folkier sound I can’t normally achieve, despite my love of the genre – so grateful to him for learning almost a dozen songs leading up to it!  (and his playing is beautiful and soulful – if you’ve never heard of him, here’s a link to his music: https://bryanralph.bandcamp.com/ )

Anyway, to my West Michigan friends/fans, if you like road trips up north – the first weekend in May would be a great time to head up to Shorts!  Incredible cause, amazing heartfelt compassionate people making a huge difference up there (and FYI anyone can apply for a residency, they are open in many artistic fields – check it out! http://www.crosshatch.org/artist-residency/ )

All the best 🙂
Jessica

 

 

 

 

 

Whimsical NPR Tiny Desk entry, +Winter/Spring shows and feelings :)

Hello lovely people…

So after a brief phase of wondering what to do next, I’ve emerged with too many ideas… which I’m okay with 🙂

First of all – if you haven’t heard, I whimsically entered the NPR Tiny Desk contest about 3 hours before it closed… this included throwing pillows and furniture around my tiny apartment, assembling gear for my quiet voice, figuring out the best way to frame myself using duct tape and my iPhone, and then almost not getting the video up on YouTube in time :/  But I did it… basically I realized I didn’t want to wait a year just because I wasn’t ready, it seemed silly.  Here’s my entry (it’s a previously unrecorded song – from 10/2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WduOiOK2oPw )

And in my excitement, I filmed a few more things as well and updated my YouTube channel a little… I may try to post more videos in the future, for the die-hard fans who like in-home living-room concerts without having to change out of their slippers.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWUrJO6vPyVVCk_VDABUmaw

Next up, SHOWS!

I have a lot of shows coming up in West Michigan (and my first one ever in NYC! 🙂 (…even though I used to live there, I used to be far too shy about my solo songs to book shows sadly…don’t be like me and drag your feet for a decade, follow your dreams, people!)

Here’s the quick list:

2/28/16  Mentally Distilled Poetry Slam – featured performer/opening act 7pm – Long Road Distillery, Grand Rapids, MI

4/4/16  Avant Garden Open Mic – featured performer 7pm– The Unicorn, 105 Henry St, New York, NY

4/10/16 Loutit Public Library Concert Series – 2pm – 407 Columbus Ave, Grand Haven, MI

6/25/16 Grand Haven Art Festival – 1pm, Community Stage – Grand Haven, MI

6/27/16 Sounds of Summer – 7:30pm, Bolt Park – Grand Haven, MI

There may be more to come on the Lakeshore (West Michigan) and Grand Rapids between now and summer.  The easiest way to hear about things is Facebook – since I use that the most http://www.facebook.com/jessicaintherainbow …but also Instagram @jessicaintherainbow 🙂

Basically I’m super grateful to be connecting with some incredible people these days – all the slam poets organizing the Mentally Distilled Poetry Slam in GR, all the awesome people in Grand Haven growing the music scene here, my talented musician friends who inspire me all the time, all the people I’ve just begun connecting with about a few other cool things not listed here (which I’m really excited about but those events aren’t ready to announce).  More to come in the future!

Thanks for the love everyone 🙂
Jessica

p.s. OH I forgot to talk about the “too many ideas”… basically I’m up to 4 albums I want to work on… well, #1 is underway with orchestrator Elisabeth Blair (“Everything’s True”), #2 is the piano/vocal studio one (“Trees for clouds”) from the cabin residency w/ the now-named Crosshatch (previously ISLAND – love them!), #3 is a possible EP with some mellow guitar collaborations, #4 is a possible EP in a new style for me with …well, it’s a secret cuz I haven’t asked them yet 🙂  I’m hoping too many ideas is better than not enough… but it’s making the reality of time feel really annoying.  I love teaching piano, and I even love adult-ing, but there are just not enough hours in the day these days (not to mention I love spending whole days meandering in books or my mind, allowing thoughts to stay or pass or lead to songs or not… so I am not sure which of these projects will take root, and which ones will become funny to me later… “Hey Jess…remember when you thought you were going to …”)  Did I mention I have 10 unreleased albums from my Chicago days?  Oh well.  Time 🙂

p.s.s. I’ve also been sharing rough songs more frequently on Soundcloud, and even a duet of a cover song done w/ my songwriter bf Bryan Ralph (he’s amazing) – feel free to subscribe or check it out 🙂 http://www.soundcloud.com/jessicaintherainbow