Jam Sessions Used to Be Intimidating
How do you feel about whiskey? Valerie (one of half of the fabulous La Fonda) presented us with mixed drinks and salmon pate. We obsessed over the dope artwork on her walls and one by one out came the guitars until we were sitting a circle of instruments, Instagraming each other and making that "fuck yah" facial expression while we experimented with new lyrics.
WHAT WENT ON IN MY MIND WHILE JAMMING
My voice sounds so good in this room! Is my guitar strumming normally this funky? Are these guys seriously just sitting in silence watching me play...by choice? Am I actually jamming with other musicians and real music is pouring out of our instruments? Ouu that chord sounded nice. I love it when her voice hits that note! Soo good! Are other professional musicians actually telling me they want to sing with me? Are they sick of listening to this song yet? Should I end the song early or keep singing? What the fuck is happening? Is he actually asking for my opinion on this guitar? HummmmmmHummmmmLaalalaaaaaa Do I actually sound like Shakira?
WHEN DID I BECOME GOOD?
For so long, I've been playing alone in my bedroom trying to convince my fingers to make pretty sounds and trying to convince my mind to stop worrying about AM I GOOD ENOUGH TO DO THIS and trying to convince my lonely heart to KEEP PLAYING MUSIC when I desperately want to go play with my friends. I've been telling myself that if I just keep going, I will get somewhere. If I never stop practicing then eventually I have to become good? Right? Logic. I've worried that I'm a delusional dreamer.
But now like a bat out of hell swooping in behind me, change is here. I'm performing on a rooftop. I'm in a jam session. Fans are recognizing me in crowds at festivals. I'm being interviewed for magazines. I write songs in my sleep. What the actual fuck? I still feel like I suck most of the time; so far away from how good I want and need to be, lost and confused on the direction I'm heading in, which steps to take next. I had a dream once where John Mayer and I were hanging out in the kitchen and I asked him "What do I need to do to make this music dream of mine come true?" He repeated his answer again and again: JUST KEEP PLAYING.
SIDE NOTE: The same thing happened when I decided to lose weight three years ago. I started running 10 minutes a day, each NO sugar, squatting 10 times every time I went to the bathroom and that's it. Over time I increased intensities and changed diets but that basic foundation is still there. Just keep moving. Just stop eating poison. Three years later I look in the mirror and I'm like "What the fuck? When did I become a super model? I'm just the beautiful chubby girl. How did this happen all of a sudden?" Like weight loss and enlightenment, training yourself to become a musician is gradual until it's sudden. SLOW STEADY STUBBORN PRACTICE leads to SOLID LIFE CHANGING PROGRESS AND TRANSFORMATION.
LA FONDA: Two badass sisters lead a band of boys. They create funky dreamy indie pop songs, full of color and warm vibes. I first hugged Valerie & Veronica in their practice room in the Old Rainier Brewery in Seattle; the wallpaper was their lyrics, colorful twinkly lights and superheros hung from the ceiling. They immediately taught me how women in the music industry can welcome each other in, build each other up and stand beside each other strong. lafondamusic.com @lafondamusic