Lessons from Annie and touring
It has been a strange month. around this time a month ago we finished shooting for Annie. I had kind of a vague idea in my head as to what I wanted, but no clear outcome? If that makes sense. Myself and Jen from JenBenMedia in Asheville plotted and come up with what you see below. I kind of saw it as a fun, horror flick like take on what I see as my "radio Song". But there is a real edge there. one girl was thinking of her friend that had just recently been nearly beaten to death by her boyfriend. I was thinking of the Kavanaugh trials and of course, a few that have scorned me in pretty grotesque fashion. My man Tom, who is the wonderful victim, was up for all of it and more.
The song is about the famous sharpshooter Annie Oakley, and the infamous phrase, "not afraid to love a man, not afraid to shoot him either". I knew that I did not want to include guns because of all that is happening around the U.S. with school shootings and mass shootings coming in at a regular basis. Underneath the outside layer, is a song of a strong woman who takes care of the problem when she is hurt by someone. I have always wanted to be that person. So, in this video, I did. Quite literally. I thought it would be viewed as a fun, horror flick type video that ultimately helps women feel a boost of....energy? That is what it did for me.
A few months ago in the fall I began working with a very small record label that was going to also work as a sort of manager, to help get me where I would like to be with Polly Panic. This person had several successful businesses and had expertise and ...money...to bring to the table. His favorite song off of the Album is Annie, so he was excited to get the video. I sent it to him and heard nothing back. Then about a week later I heard, "Dont put the label name on that, take it off everything". I thought that was because they had a certain plan for using the video or something. Still nothing for another couple of weeks except occasional one sentence emails directing me not to include the label. Finally i wrote and asked what he thought, and by now I was expecting that he didn't like it. The response was cold. I want nothing to do with that video, its horrible and violent and I am not doing anything to help you with this.
I really wanted to talk about it, see the way he viewed it, and then consider if that is what I wanted people to feel or not...we had such a good time making the video it is hard for me to see it as anything but fun. But I did have a problem with his lack of speaking to me about it, and when he did it was like a door slamming in my face. Anyway, I responded with a statement about support, and it all went to hell from there, I am no longer working with that label.
It gave me a tremendous boost to have someone on my side, as well as financial help and guidance over all. I got a ton more done because I felt....justified? Not the word I am looking for but maybe you can see what I mean. I did learn that I should NEVER send emails when I am upset because things come rushing out in the wrong manner.
Can you use violence in art at this point in our society? Can it be..."fun"? or in this case, I think it was a very dramatic way to address a hurt I have carried a long time...abandonment. Refusal. Rejection. We all have it to some degree or the other. In this video, we win. (sort of)
I am going to re-do the end, not because of the violence, but because I want to get closer to the real story. The struggle with abandonment/rejection and Winning. If only in a video, because in art you can see and do what you can not otherwise. Whether it be murder someone or heal old wounds. Or just get some relief. So stay tuned
My lover (yes the one that was murdered) got me a tenor sax for christmas!! I know its weird...cello rock and tenor sax...but just hold on and wait because i can hear it (if not yet play it)
I also just purchased a new (used) van for touring in the spring and beyond.
It will be quite full, along with a small hitch because it will carry myself, Tom (partner), baby Ash, and whatever drummer I happen to have in the spring. Not sure who is going yet. Shows are being added as we go so keep up to date on This very website!
And as always, Ash is beautiful. Teaches me how to be the good me. Makes me want to be the good me.
Thoughts to leave you with. Should we not take emotions to the extreme with violence in art because of the horror show that is the news?
Can you squeak on a sax without laughing?
Could this baby be any cuter?