Winding Down – 8/11 – 8/30

Posted on September 9, 2013 by

The day after the Girls Rock showcase, there was an all day recording day for camp. A studio donated their time to record all the Girls Rock Band’s songs. It was a really cool way to wrap up the week of camp. All the songs will be put on a comp cd.
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Our last duty of camp week was to assist with our bands while they recorded. We basically were just there for moral support.
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We hit a bit of a snag when we learned that one of the bassists of our band wouldn’t be making it for recording, and the singer was likely not going to arrive either. The girls were a little disappointed but soldiered on, deciding they would all do the vocals together. It’s a huge commitment for Girls Rock families to get the kids there every day for a week, not one that’s easy for everyone involved.
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after giving it a few run throughs…
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their singer, Cookie Monster, showed up. Everyone was elated.
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After she arrived, they blasted through their song in one take, interspersed with lots of funny voices, fart noises, and giggling into the mics.
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after a quick stop home…
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I headed over to a show at Golden Tea House that Mikey played a solo set for with Noun and Modern Hut. Here’s Marissa’s solo project, Noun.
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The following day, my book arrived in the mail. It was the first time I had seen the finished product as a hardcover!
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It was pretty exciting to see.
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The day after rock camp was officially done, my new band had its first full-band practice.
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It was really fun and set a good tone for the band. Here’s our drummer, Grace.
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Cynthia, who is doing all of the songwriting for now.
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Laura, who is really quickly learning to play bass!
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Post-band practice sunset
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Band practice spurred motivation to buy my own “gear.” I was playing on a borrowed guitar and a borrow mini practice amp, and I assumed I would just keep playing on this because I wasn’t picky. But as fun as it was to play, I knew it would be a lot more fun if I had stuff that sounded the way I wanted it to. It would help motivate me to play more and really invest in what I was learning. This came just after being dropped by my new employer at the last minute so I was given a severance that I could spend in a real therapeutic way… haha. I wouldn’t have bought gear otherwise, but sometimes it feels good to be reckless if you have a weird sum of money for no reason. Jen’s bass head needed work, so she proposed we go down to Atomic Music outside of Baltimore/DC to look at equipment. That’s where she had bought her bass head and they would fix it for free. So we made a day trip out of it….starting out with bottomless fries.
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The folks at Atomic have a reputation of being really helpful and not sexist at all when it comes to helping out customers. You would think that should go without saying but it’s surprising how many stories I’ve heard about getting treated like you don’t know anything and getting convinced to buy gear you don’t really like because you’re a woman and you “don’t really know what you’re talking about.”
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I told the guys at the shop that I thought I wanted a telecaster. This was based on going to shows and telling Mikey when I liked the tone of a guitar I heard. He said every time I pointed out a guitar, it had been a telecaster. So the guys at the shop pulled down a bunch of telecasters or similar style guitars, played things on each pickup of each guitar for me so I could hear the differences, and helped me dissect what I did or didn’t like about the sound of each guitar. And from there, we narrowed it down to two guitars, and I ended up choosing an Ibanez Talman. I didn’t expect to buy an Ibanez because I don’t know much about guitar brands and thought I would stick with a Fender to be safe, but I really just liked the sound of the Ibanez best so I went for it. It’s kind of weird looking but I think it is weirdly fitting for me.
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When we got back from our trip, Grace and I had a mini practice and played through the song our band had learned so far, and Mikey stood in on bass.
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A little backyard bonfire that week.
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Shira came up to Philly that week, too!
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That Saturday, the 17th, we met at the Mitten in the morning before heading up to New York.
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I rode up with The Ambulars, since they would be playing a showcase for their record label that night.
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Our first stop was to find some food, so we wandered into a taco shop in Brooklyn.
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Then we headed over to Prospect Park where a lot of folks from the show were having a picnic.
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After the picnic, we headed over to the Silent Barn where the show would be held.
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It was a really cool multi-level art space with different studios and residencies. They also had this big outdoor garden/lot.
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The option to hang out outside is always really nice during sold out shows.
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Sam and Mikey with each other’s records.
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All Dogs from Columbus. Each band only played three songs which was really perfect. For bands I was excited about, it was just enough to feel satisfied, for bands I didn’t know well, it was just few enough to keep me from going outside.
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The Ambulars
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Radiator Hospital
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Back in Philly, the next day, Sam and Mikey played a Big Star cover set together before a screening of the Big Star documentary at The Mitten. It was really pretty!
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The following day, another Heavy Bangs practice, where we learned a second song.

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The West Philly greasy spoon diner, Cedar Park, opened back up that week. It had been destroyed during a demolition gone wrong when the building attached to it burned down last year. Everyone was really sad that this relatively new little community hub was destroyed, so it was exciting for a lot of people when they rebuilt.
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A show at the Great Indoors on the 20th. Perry’s band, Hound.
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Technicolor Teeth from Wisconsin
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The Ambulars. This was their first show in Philly now that they’re all Philly residents. I’m stoked that Jen is living here now.
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That was a really busy week! The following night we hosted an ice cream social at the Wooden Shoe for the event we’re planning, First Time’s The Charm. The idea for the social was for people who don’t have others to play in a band with yet to meet and talk about music and maybe try to find others to play music with. I think it was pretty successful. I’m pretty sure two bands came out of the social!
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and any excuse to eat ice cream is cool by me.
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The following night, also at the Wooden Shoe, there was a book release party and reading for Taryn Hipp’s book that just came out, Heavy Hangs the Head. You should check it out! Here’s Cynthia reading at the event.
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Poliana read next but somehow I missed taking a photo of her. After that was Sarah Rose, Philly’s hardest working zinester.
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and then Taryn, who shared stories from her book. A lot of people in attendance were members of her family and it felt like a really special event for her, which was sweet to be a part of.
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There was also several types of cake…. 😛
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That whole week I was hard at work on a present for my old nanny families. I finally finished and I’m waiting for the final product in the mail. It should come this week.
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One night, on the walk home from doing work in a coffeeshop, Mikey and I stopped by the West Philly Bird Sanctuary, which is a little bird park tucked into a city block.
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That was my last week of summer freedom.
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I started work the following day with this little guy.
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After my first official day of my new nanny gig, Mikey and I went to Bartram’s Garden, a big free outdoor garden in West Philly.
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I found a Paw Paw tree and posed next to it. I grew up in Paw Paw, MI.
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Dinner on the porch that night, using  lot of stuff from our CSA.
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At Sara Baier’s going away karaoke party. For some reason I didn’t take any picture that night, but it was fun. Sara moved to Boston later that week.
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The following night, Daniel was passing through town unexpectedly and Mikey and I had plans to make pizza with Ian and Brad, so we all hung out together. It’s weird and cool that Daniel lives so close now and will just be passing through often.
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Talkin shop about photo editing.
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Dinner by Jen Twigg. Stuffed shells and kale salad. So good!
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and we’ll stop there because this is already so long. Almost caught up with photos! Getting close…..

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