Tour and NEW ALBUM!

Hey friends! Sooo if you haven’t followed my journey on Facebook this weekend, basically I was so inspired after Lamp Light Music Festival and it was like a culmination of inspiration, mixed with some tour dates coming together over the holidays, and it just hit like a flood that I wanted new music on my Bandcamp…

At first I tried to finish/polish some songs I’ve been sitting on for years, but that felt like too much pressure, and it’s November Solo Album Month so I decided to write all new songs for this one 🙂 (in the studio – everything is one take, but I have experience with it from 275 days of improvising songs for my challenge).

Anyway hope you’ll check it out when it releases (hopefully later TODAY! tryin to do all uploading before work) – and I may enhance it in the future, or leave it as a cute lil moment in time where I pushed myself WAY out of my comfort zone.

Also if you live in Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and Bellaire MI, I’ll be there very soon – I hope I get to see you one of those times/places!  xo Jessica

UPCOMING SHOWS:

11/16-17/2017 – Msg for details, Chicago, IL (or visit my sort of joke event page to ask questions or for updates – basic sched: will be at my favorite old haunt Gallery Cabaret -2020 N. Oakley – late night Thurs, i.e. 10:30pm and later, and somewhere very strange on Friday daytime)  https://www.facebook.com/events/1530704300348126

11/21/2017 – Seward in-home show, Minneapolis, MN.  With Hemma and Lauren Anderson of Idle Empress! ❤ Msg for address.  https://www.facebook.com/events/777502559123126/

11/25/2017 – Quarters Rock & Roll Palace, Milwaukee, WI  – w/ Honeymooners, more TBA – https://www.facebook.com/events/829380890574924/

11/26/2017 – The Rainbow Room at Hosmer House, Bellaire, MI – w/ Caroline Barlow  https://www.facebook.com/events/413764439040769/

12/2/2017 – Tom Waits Tribute Show – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, Kalamazoo MI. https://www.facebook.com/events/543669902633899/

12/17/2017 – Holiday Sing-Along Show w/ Jessica in The Rainbow (4th Annual) – Pigeon Hill Brewing Company, Muskegon, MI  5-7pm.

(+SAVE THE DATE! Friday 1/19/2018* – The Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids, MI – Local Showcase #20 – GR meets The Lakeshore – w/ Jes Kramer, Van Lente, cloudlight, & Frankie & Myrrh  https://www.facebook.com/events/137987676926979/  )

JiTR Poster_edited-1

p.s. poster art by my dear friend Ryan Wyrick ❤

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So many things (shows, tour, etc)

Hey friends!

Just wanted to give you a quick heads up of all the things I’ve been sharing about.  Today is Day 263 of my songwriting challenge on YouTube.  I made a pact with myself that for the final 100 days (starting in, gulp, two days), I would share at least a clip of each song on EVERY platform I exist on.  Website, Facebook (personal and private), Instagram, Twitter.  Trying to get myself over my need to be a chameleon.  I work with kids and maybe I internalized a need to have a “works with kids” self, and an “adult” self.  Maybe it’s cuz my old songs used to have swears? I don’t know. It was rare, but it would make sense…

Played a 2.5 hour kids gig last month with the Grand Haven ArtWalk and that’s when I realized I’m mostly all-ages friendly, as a human and in general, and I needed to stop segmenting myself and hiding my experience.  Even my “darker” songs are not that dark according to some folks.  Olivia Mainville followed me at a DAAC show once, and called my songs “wholesome” (saying it was hard to follow that with her vibe, personally I think she’s fun 🙂

Anyway, in other news, I’m playing lots of shows these days… just updated the show list, but as always it’s WAY easier to follow me on FB or Instagram to stay up to date.  I forget this exists because it’s so dang non-interactive and I don’t think about whether anyone is listening or reading this.  But if I copy it and send it as a newsletter?… yes I should do that 🙂  That’s a little better.

Here’s some upcoming shows, hope to see you at one!
(all shows are JiTR, except *=with cloudlight)

11/7/2017 – Joni Mitchell Birthday tribute – One Trick Pony, Grand Rapids MI.  7-10pm  https://www.facebook.com/events/1961616787459512

11/16/2017 – Msg for details, Chicago, IL (or visit my sort of joke event page to ask questions or for updates: https://www.facebook.com/events/1530704300348126 )

11/19-20/2017 – Wisconsin, TBA.

11/21/2017 – Seward in-home show, Minneapolis, MN.  https://www.facebook.com/events/777502559123126/

11/25/2017 – Wisconsin, TBA

11/26/2017 – Northern Michigan, TBA.

12/2/2017 – Tom Waits Tribute Show – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, Kalamazoo MI.

12/2017 – 4th Annual Holiday Sing-Along Show – Muskegon, MI – Date & Venue TBA

1/19/2018* – The Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids, MI – Local Showcase #20 – GR meets The Lakeshore – w/ Jes Kramer, Van Lente, cloudlight, & Frankie & Myrrh

That’s all for now!  Stay tuned for lots of posts coming soon… I hope you’ll follow along.  It’s been a VERY strange journey, learning to be more public with my work.  Not my natural setting, but a reaaaalllly good challenge.  As I sometimes think I’m not a real introvert, more of a wounded extrovert.  If you want to hear more about that, I write about it a lot on Instagram, and some on FB.

All the best!
Jessica

p.s. if you missed it, I now have a way for people to buy my rainbow cloud merch online! Would love to see pics of anyone wearing these 🙂 ❤ https://jessicaintherainbow.bandcamp.com/merch

 

Cute rainbow cloud merch now available worldwide! <3

Hey everyone!

Just wanted to say here, in case you don’t follow me in the usual places (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube)…that in celebration of reaching Day 250 of my Daily Songwriting YouTube Challenge, I decided to FINALLY upload all my merch to Bandcamp for sale worldwide 🙂 ❤

Visit https://jessicaintherainbow.bandcamp.com/merch and check out all my cute stuff! For a short time, with every purchase made, I’ll be giving away digital copies of the Catalysts album from 2014 too.

Love, Jessica

my new band ‘cloudlight’ on Bandcamp’s front page!

cloudlight -Front Cover - ArtHello friends!

Just a quick note to tell you I’ve been in a whirlwind of activity lately… but the most exciting thing to happen to me these days was that my young band ‘cloudlight’ was recently featured OUT OF THE BLUE on Bandcamp.com’s FRONT PAGE!

Including this review:  “Lovely and delicate songs from Michigan band cloudlight, full of angelic vocals and barely-there instrumentation.”

We’re over the moon and blown away, and just sooooo grateful for the sudden influx of listens and attention.  I’m really proud of this little album (EP really, 7 songs).  It releases in 2 days actually!  And you can hear 2 tracks, and pre-order the whole thing HERE: https://cloudlightmusic.bandcamp.com

Please share with anyone you know who likes chill music with dark but sparkly vibes!

I’d also like to say, to anyone sending me good vibes these days, I really am soooooo grateful for all the new and inspiring opportunities lately…from our first official house show (where I performed as both Jessica in The Rainbow, and with my new band ‘cloudlight’), to radio spots, to a benefit for Amnesty International, to performing at The DAAC in Grand Rapids – an all-ages space with a rich history, to being part of a 2-stage festival at Unruly Brewing and being accepted to play at Earthwork Harvest Gathering (Sept 15-17!) for the first time (with ‘cloudlight’), in addition to handing off the festival I co-founded, Ladyfest at the Lakeshore (coming up soon, Sept 30th in Muskegon Michigan!), to a wonderful event organizer based in GR so I can focus on music and managing all of these many projects (not listed: more house shows in the works + another fest, pending gigs, kids’ music, library gigs and tours, camps, my piano & songwriting studio and mentoring opportunities, and more).

Thank you all for being a light in my life.  I hope to continue being one for you as well 🙂 ❤

Jessica

Article on being a ‘creativity activist’!

Hey there!  Just wrote my first article ever 🙂  As suggested by Elizabeth at the Rapidian after hearing me perform, buying my t-shirt, and hearing me call myself a “creativity activist” (she said “that would make a great article!”).  Thanks so much for the encouragement, Elizabeth!  And thanks to everyone at The Rapidian!  If you have writer’s block, or creative blocks of any kind, this is for you:

http://www.therapidian.org/placematters-creativity-activist

Day 100 of A-Song-A-Day!

Well technically it’s Day 103.  But whose counting (j/k, I am).  So here I am, with 103+ songs under my belt since mid-February (more like 150 because some days I write 2 or 3)…and they are sloppy and repetitive and grandiose and small and lovely and quiet as heck and annoying in their sameness perhaps.  I don’t know.  It’s not for me to decide.  This whole experiment is helping me see that all the ways I fear being judged are simply all the ways I judge myself.  And honestly, that kind of judgement is so borrrrrrrring.

So this process is liberating, and useful, and special, and private, and profound, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to blast out of a routine, or break out of their own self-constructed fears.

Step 1 – pick something you want to do, anything.  Like for me, it’s always music, and usually original music, aka songwriting.  That’s my go-to, #1 love.

Step 2 – do it every day for a year. Or 30 days.  Or 90 days.  Or whatever, pick something.

Step 3 – publicly share it, or share about the experience in a blog or something.  Or in an email group.  Or private FB group.  Or with your grandma.

That’s it.  Couldn’t recommend it more.  It is making me – forcing me – to come to terms with my own self-installed delusions.  Usually grown in fear, due to some very forgivable and understandable reason like a trauma (big or small) in my past.  Simple ones we all share, like being made fun of in 6th grade, have been ruling my life into my 30s!  And I suspect will continue to, in alternating ways on alternating days.

And that’s okay.

But I’m glad as heck to be here, to be doing something, saying something, feeling something, sharing something.  I realize how often I want to be forthcoming and vulnerable, and how often I instead shut down, edit, don’t push post, share, send.  And it’s so exhausting, holding back so much in such a way, every day or week.

Letting energy flow is helping me see where I am just living in fantasy (i.e. I love travel but only once in awhile, OR there’s things I say I really want to do but in reality if I really wanted to do them I’d be doing them…far more often… it’s not laziness that holds me back, it’s thinking my path in a particular field needs to look the same as someone else’s, and that if it doesn’t there’s “something wrong with me”).

I hope I can stay this “in touch” after this challenge is over… if not, maybe I’ll just do another one.  That’s an interesting dream – maybe I could be the Bob Ross of Songwriting / Writer’s Block.  I could show you “happy little songs” (or sad) and give you a little inspiration to create.  Or maybe Mister Rogers is a better example.  I don’t know… these are my heroes.  I don’t know if there’s a need for that, and I don’t know what it would look like, but hey, I am learning I’m probably not a travel-around-in-an-RV-9-months-a-year-in-a-successful-band type of musician-as-businesswoman… I love those people and am deeply grateful for them for creating a cool scene, but I think I might be too floaty like a cloud to delude myself into thinking that’s what I wish for, when I really wanna go in parks and forests and make little ukulele songs in my car and share feelings and new songs every day (instead of the same 11-15 songs every night for a whole tour)… I guess I just don’t see a role model for this kind of constant creating + exploring as a songwriter, but if one is out there let me know please 🙂

Okay that was meandering.  Feeling whimsical and dreamy and thought I’d share where I’m really at.

But also here’s some shows!

June 9th – GR – Jamnesty 2017 – Wealthy Theatre Annex 7pm

June 24th – GR – DAAC – 333 Rumsey St 7pm

I had hoped to travel to Madison and Minneapolis this summer, but it’s looking like I’ll probably be saving $$ instead and focusing on local house shows (we just did our first one, in our own home, as “cloudlight” for the ep release AND as JiTR, with 5 other amazing bands/musicians – Fiona Dickinson, Brian Mulder, JOE, Chef Goldblum, Maddie Jackson – and it was an absolutely enchanting experience…stay tuned for more 🙂

Love and hugs xo
Jessica

Become a Patron! (+ my experience writing 365 songs in 365 days, as of day 30…)

Hello!

I hope you’ve had a chance to check out one of my very-raw YouTube videos since I started this 365 songs in 365 days challenge… the writing of them isn’t the hardest part, it’s honestly been keeping up with sharing.  Sometimes it feels like I’m scooping out my guts and putting them into the void, and other times it’s super fun.  Overall I hope it’s entertaining at least, or provides you with the occasional lullaby or stress reliever.  The easiest way to follow is to subscribe on YouTube and the second easiest way may be to follow me on Instagram @jessicaintherainbow or Twitter @jessinrainbow.  Sometimes I keep up on my Facebook page too 🙂 Hope to see you!

The next thing I want to tell you about is a huge step forward for me. The last time I asked for help was in 2014, to finish funding my album. I was about to let the fundraiser run out of time and steam, when someone close to me said “NO! give it one last push and let people know you need help!” And I did, and it worked, and many of you funded that album.

Well now with only 30 days into this YouTube challenge, I’m reminded of what I’ve known for a decade – that I need help, that I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to being a songwriter as a business, that I don’t know how to market or promote myself, other than on the old FB and social media with people I know. And even that is in fits and starts (until lately lol).

So if you like me, and you make a lot of money, and have been wanting more ways to support the arts – please know there are thousands of people just like me on this great website called “Patreon.” Even super famous people are on there, as a way to be fan-powered instead of label-powered.  Here’s a video of what they do.  And here’s my personal Patreon page!

I don’t know if this will amount to anything, and I have no intention of stopping piano teaching, as I love my students. And I will continue to write songs either way. But I would love it if you’d listen to my little “pitch” about how you can help me bring this music out into the world a little faster (and it’s win-win, the more people I know become patrons, the more Patreon promotes me within their site…which could help me find people who need my music in their lives… I believe there must be a niche of sensitive or broken-hearted people out there who need these floaty-cloud piano-vocal songs, otherwise I can’t understand why so many of them keep flooding through me without a traditional writing process…just pressing record and out they come).

Thank you again to anyone who has given me likes or hearts or cheerleading on Facebook or Instagram or via replies to these blog posts – it has been like a little rebirth for me, speaking out in my passionate but long-winded way.  Learning to take risks being myself (outspoken, expressive, friendly even if that’s not super cool), when I used to be too wounded and scared of the world to do so.

xoxo Jessica