Wednesday, December 22, 2010

JAZZ: a few sketches

JAZZ:
a few sketches

Jazz # 1

Steeped in tradition
curved boatneck behind
a large dark womanly groan
with every slide he
attempts to hide and
shield his heart’s light
from an un-understanding
gaggle of tasteless cadets
and yet his intellect and pride
severs not his light
for his stream of joy (from
the music,
like
his sweat)
is
blessed
with the
essence of
one
whose
love
is
greater
than his pain.

















Jazz # 2

…see, they always
look to the left
;
except for a few folks (I’d say fellahs but
I
know at least three ladies who’d ob-
ject)

look in
w
a
r
d

and the groove of the
thing is his
(H
E
R) thing
is the thing is the thing of the

swing.


Even if it don’t got that _________.
Even if it ain’t got that ________.
We can still


___________.

You
listen
ing?










Jazz # 3

the ones I loved the best were the ones who
knew the inner circle of the
blood of life
is covered by and
permeated through
and in and out is the
joy of life

and


ooooh we oooh.
the high priestess calls is
SOUL
and

oooooooooooh weee oooh weee oooh

the Sultan calls it
(whatever he damn well pleases.
He’s the SULTAN.)

I call it divine
and
You call it sublime.

Whatever.


There ain’t no wrong notes in jazz.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Eleven Moments

Eleven Moments
by Erin Muir

Monday, 10:15 pm

I walked in my front door, exhausted from a long day of massage. I’ve picked up some extra hours with various mobile spas because, well, because I’ve been broke. Like (negative) -$27.55 in my bank account for four days broke. I’m hoping it helps me lose weight and get leaner muscle tone. (p.s. Just in case. Mom, I’m fine. Just for a few days there I was waiting on a check… see below.)

Anyway, lo and behold, lucky me, there was a check I’d been waiting for. You know, the kind of check that they “say” is coming on the 10th but somehow never arrives until the 13th or 14th? (“But we mailed it on the 7th. Huh. How could that have happened?” I don’t know but I had the SAME thing happen with my car payment! Strange. I’m suuuure I mailed it in time… hmmm…..)

I had a phone call to return to a night owl friend living in New York City and so I decided to talk and walk to the ATM two blocks from my house. It’s on a major urban thoroughfare between two busy restaurants, so for those of you who know about my mugging a year and a half ago, or two years ago, or whenever that was, please don’t get mad. I felt very safe. There were a LOT of people around and only a few of them wore ski masks. JUST KIDDING. It was fine.

When I got to the ATM and went to deposit the check, the ATM informed me that “Funds associated with this check may be held and will not be made available until December 23rd, 2010.”

“That’s ten days away!” I said out loud.

“What?” said my friend on the phone, who was in the middle of telling me a story.

“Oh, nothing, just my bank,” I said.

“Oh,” she responded, and went on with her story. I decided NOT to deposit the check and return to the bank the next morning at 9:00 am to find out what was the scoop. Could I deposit the check AND make my car payment in a timely manner? If not I would find an alternative plan.

Tuesday, Wee Hours

I was dreaming… I dreamed first about a guy I briefly dated coming with me to witness an event during my childhood. The event was at my Grandmother’s house on her lake property. I was about 4. My old flame took me “here now as an adult” into the dream and held my hand, as we watched the even together, and smiled at me and said, “It’s okay.”

Then I dreamed that I had bought this property and was throwing a party there and all these different friends from all different parts of my life came. The old flame was there, and he was playing hide and seek with me the entire time, although it took me a few times of “finding” him to realize that’s what we were doing.

Then I dreamed about my ex boyfriend Mike. I dreamed that he wanted to pay for my voice lessons. He wrote a check out to my voice teacher for $40. I looked at it and thought, “that’s not enough for even half an hour,” but I didn’t say anything.

Then I dreamed of an event that actually occurred again in my real life. Once Mike and I had owned a Cadillac, yes, that famous old Caddy I love to talk about. It was just so pretty and so… big. It was a 1990 Fleetwood and it was all black with tinted windows. His cousin, who owned it before us, had put a Charm of St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers, so that it hung from the rear view mirror. One morning Mike and I had to go run errands. We got in the car and I was in the driver’s seat. I looked at that charm and I suddenly knew something bad was going to happen. I asked him to drive and he got pissed off because he had to make business calls and why did HE. ALWAYS. HAVE. TO. BE. THE. ONE. TO. DRIVE. Okay, fine. Anyway, we were running our errands and the day just kept growing grayer and grayer, it was probably November or so in Minnesota, a very gray time. At one point I turned from the parking lot of a store at the end of the block (The Loon Grocery on Lyndale and 25th) and took a right heading toward downtown- there was no traffic going in our direction- and then I got into the left hand turn lane and there was oncoming traffic close enough I figured I would wait and not go, and I put on my turn signal, and suddenly, from behind us, our of nowhere, a car careened and swerved to miss us, swerved to miss oncoming traffic but passed right in front of it, and drove right into a tree, the tree slicing the car down the middle. Why they veered left instead of right? A mystery. After that, Mike drove.

Well I dreamed of that near miss…

Tuesday, 8:15 am

I woke up thinking of that St. Christopher charm.

Tuesday, 9:03 am

Shit! I wanted to be at the bank by 9:00 am and I wanted to walk because I like walking and I was supposed to drive over the hill to Fryman Canyon later to meet a friend for a hike at 10:30 and if I walked now I would be too late. Well, maybe not, but I thought, I know me, if I walk I will dilly dally at Trader Joe’s and Starbucks on the way home and it wall get all last minute-y.

So, feeling very silly about it all but determined, I got in my car and drove the two blocks to my bank.

Tuesday, 9:13 am

I was depositing my check, which went through just fine, and the lady, Halin, was saying that sometimes ATMs just do that stuff, announcing that funds will be held, and who knows why. Okay. Suddenly, it grew quiet (in my head) and this high pitched ringing resounded. Then I heard a groan, the kind of deep down under the earth groan you only hear when it is very quiet. I moved my hands to my ears and I heard that loud screeeeeeech, the kind where a car is burning rubber so hot and digging soooo deep into the tar that it is reversing gravity ever so slightly, and then that loud CRASH BANG SMASH SHATTER of a car

DRIVING RIGHT THROUGH THE FRONT GLASS DOORS OF THE BANK.

An Audi drove right into the front entrance of my bank. It appeared to have hit the very tail back of a white truck. A bank employee had been walking in and she was NOT hit but she passed out from the fear and shock of it all. The cops happened to be in traffic right behind the guy, who appeared to be sober and sane but, of course, upset.

A shiver and I was clear.

I walked over to look. We were now all locked in the bank by the Audi, all the bank employees instantly set to pulling the dangling door off its hinges so customer could come and go.

I finished my deposit.

I shimmied between the door frame and the Audi. I tiptoed around the shattered glass and the cops and the guy and walked around the accident into the street (although the lady cop grimaced at me, she did not stop me) and proceeded to my car.

I drove home.

I updated my facebook status.

I went for my hike.

Tuesday, 12:07 pm

Coming back over Laurel Canyon after my hike, I saw a homeless person eating a cupcake, mouth full of frosting, standing on the side of the street. He or she, I couldn’t tell, held a sign. “Homeless. Hungry.” Those are very popular these days. He/ she had chosen the crowd favorite cardboard box with black sharpie design. I reached in my purse, grabbed a dollar, rolled down my window and handed it over.

He looked more like a man, but his or her voice was VERY feminine.

“Thank you,” she said, frosting falling out of her mouth, “Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas. God Bless You.” She waved.

I smiled. “God bless you, too,” I said.

Tuesday, 12:11 pm

Crossing AGAIN the intersection at Crescent Heights and Sunset, turning east onto Sunset from Crescent this time, I saw a lady who appeared to be in her 70s wearing evergreen sweatpants, an evergreen sweatshirt, a Christmas red scarf, a necklace made of jingle bells, and reindeer ears. A guy waiting for the bus noticed her, too.

“Happy Holidays,” he said. She didn’t notice him, or was ignoring him.

“Happy Holidays,” he said, louder. Now it appeared she was ignoring him for SURE. Or she was deaf.

“Hey! Lady! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!” He shouted. He shook his head as she ignored him and walked away. Then he noticed me watching. I shrugged my shoulders and smiled. He shook his head again. He looked away from me and back at traffic, disgusted.

Tuesday, 12:29 pm

I stood in front of the Will and Ariel Durant Public Library. They opened at 12:30 and a group of us stood waiting for them to let us in…

I looked in the reflection through the glass window doors as I heard two men behind me begin speaking to each other.

“And I told him, I told him, I says, baby, we are done. We are breaking up. You are not allowed to sleep in bed with me anymore. If you want to stay here that’s fine but you had better stay on the sofa.” So said the gorgeous Latino fellow wearing a black vest, grey shirt, over the should man purse.

“Yes, you told him,” said an African man with an accent that sounded Senegalese, wearing a green leather jacket. Very ‘Coming to America.’ “But you must have the faith of a mustard seed.”

“Faith is fine, I have faith,” said the other man. “But I need a drink! Where’s the alcohol?”

Tuesday, 1:08 pm

I was running late for my acting class. I had packed too many errands into too short an amount of time. I hate when I do that. I turned from Formosa on to Willoughby, my secret shortcut through West Hollywood, only to face road construction and be redirected into an alley way. As I joined the long path of cars crossing from the alley over Waring Avenue to get on to La Brea, I realized we were in a traffic jam, as all the cars were waiting for something to clear from the road. I craned my neck out the window to see what it was:

A swarm of toddlers had completely stopped all traffic. There were about 20 of them, dressed in their little outfits, wandering around, looking at the great big world around them. Look at the big truck! Oooh!

I have been in traffic jams caused by cars, and cows, and construction.

This was new.

Eventually, their teacher came running out with a little straggler in her arms. She looked like she had had to chase after this one. I wondered why they weren’t on child leashes, you know, those extendy-bands in bright fluorescent colors that connect wrist to wrist, as she ushered them across the street like a mother duck. I would say hen except it was nothing like a Mother Hen and everything like a Mother Duck.

Tuesday, 1:17 pm

I finally turned onto Highland, making my way to my acting class. As I approached Santa Monica Blvd, I looked up and saw a billboard. It featured a picture of Swami Kriyananda and Yogananda Parmahansa, as if the photo had been taking recently (instead of photoshopped, as Yogananda left the planet quite some time ago) of the two of them standing together, looking slightly toward one another and slightly out toward us. I knew who they were because the producer of my record and I used to go to Self Realization center together before recording, and of course, I have read “Autobiography of a Yogi” in India.

The sign read:

The Purpose Of Life Is Bliss.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Still Life With Vintage

*note: the formatting through blogspot is incorrect. Proper formatting HERE:
http://www.facebook.com/notes.php?id=61906934941#!/note.php?note_id=468701569091


Still Life With Vintage

A girl tweaks in the early sun
Busy thoroughfare
Urban playground

A golden frame upon the wall,
Baroque Mouldings

Ceaseless Traffic
A sea of frogs

Green with golden flecks
And a pink design along the hemline,
Vintage Cocktail Dress, circa 1954,
Displayed within

The tweaker swears and
Sputters,
Runs in and out of traffic,
Arms waving face red and raving
Foam at the mouth

I fancy this a modern
Bohemian Styling, mid-century yet
An eclectic blend of
My intellect and my taste

A dangerous man in a red pickup truck
Slows down, turns round the corner,
Drives by once again

I have encouraged my designer
To hang all paintings in
Such a manner
So that the light glints the frame… just so…

56 Degrees
Tweaker girl wears a string bikini top
And dark blue sweat pants
No shoes and blonde hair breaking off

The walls are cream and the
Flooring Parquet

The truck driver shouts an obscenity
Then opens the passenger door

Quiet grace inhabits
Every corner of this apartment

She gets in the truck




Ignorant armies

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ol' 55 - Ol' 90

As I pulled off the freeway this morning I saw a man with a sign: "Homeless. Hungry." So I gave him my $1 and as I handed it to him, I said, "Here you go, brother. Good luck." He said, "Thanks. It's embarrasin' standin' out here." "No it isn't," I said, "we're all in this together." As I drove away one of my favorite songs came on, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKd4yLVARkQ
, and I thought about what I just said and I wanted to go back and take him to yoga with me and give him a hundred bucks, which is the last of what's left in all my bank accounts, but I couldn't because, well, because.... well I just didn't. So I came home to post all my honest red-...faced lack of humanity here, and listened to Tom Waits tell a story about this song and let it inspire me to be here anyway. I had an old caddie once. It was a black 1990 Fleetwood and it had tinted windows and people were always shocked to see this tiny white girl jump out of it when I went anywhere. I got it because my ex boyfriend's cousin needed bail money and I needed a car. And so this song reminds me of so many things, most of all my humanity. And here I am. And I still believe we're all in this together and I still love you. All of you. Me too.

Ol' 55 - Ol' 90

Monday, November 15, 2010

Real Sex Infiltrates Modern American Pop Media! Red lipstick lovers UNITE.

Real Sex Infiltrates Modern American Pop Media! Red lipstick lovers UNITE.

Thank god.I have been SAVED from impending social suicide.



Stuck for hours at the VW service shop, I have been forced to watch the Today show and suffered hyperventilation because of the attack on my nervous system from the stupidity of what is passing for morning news. I know I am a horrible snob but..... and I LIKE the anchors and the crew on the Today show. Like, I would like to have coffee with them. But I don't care if Jessica is flashing a ruby ring a week after Nick announced his engagement. I mean, I am happy for them! Does everyone have to be a snarky bitch on TV? Can't we have some joy and tenderness along WITH the snarky-ness? And it isn't even really funny snarky-ness, it's like this mild version of 8th grade without all the crying (because a show of real emotion would be scary. God forbid anyone feel their feelings....) . My peer group that I hung around with in Sauk Rapids was snarkier and smarter and funnier and sexier than these folks. Just who are we/they trying to please anyway? By trying to appeal to everybody they lose any... anything.... at all.



In short, I feel insulted...



and sad.



But... wait....



Next, still stuck here, I have been forced to watch Access Hollywood and ...



What's this????



....one of my FAVES, Dita Von Teese, is talking about how proud she is to be one of our BEST STRIP TEASE PERFORMERS of modern times. What an AMAZING woman. Ladies and gentleman, Dita, the Le Cirque Girls, modern day burlesquers, Jessica Rabbit, me... we're not bad.... we just live in a community that has had all womanliness and sensuality almost thoroughly suffocated out of it!! DITA IS TEACHING THEM TO STRIP TEASE! Makes me so happy to be alive.



These opinions are TOTALLY mine and in no way are representative of VW and its affiliates. However, VW is ultimately a German company, and I can safely say, having dated a German, they probably approve.



Thank god for real people, real men and real women, and I do include absolutely EVERYONE on these shows that I think are an insult to our modicums of intelligence and ability to choose for ourselves, 'cause ultimately, we all think we're people, right?



And thank god for the striptease. (See more on my blogs from the Le Cirque Rouge days for that information.)



Love ya and your big red lips and your false eyelashes!



mwah!



-International Girl-

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

K-15, me and Bob Dylan

K-15, me and Bob Dylan

from "Poet's Lovely Daughter," inspired by last night's dream:

I dreamed Bob Dylan invited me to play "K-15" for a dinner party. Later the party all received spa-style seaweed wraps.



During the dream I couldn't remember the lyrics to verse two at first, until EVERYONE at the dinner party started it off for me.... It was pretty wild. Then, I went back to give Dylan a massage and we took a nap on the shores of the beach outside his home in Croatia. (!? I don't know. Look. We were both born in Minnesota.) When I got home, the layout of my website had been hacked into and changed by his cohort and now featured cartoon versions of me and Bob playing a Zelda- like video game.





Track 2... http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/poets-lovely-daughter/id336674182







First, I know your secrets

Second, I know you lie to everybody

Oh, now, I shall immortalize you

is that unfair of me?



I see your mouth has my figs in it

I see your hands are empty

I see the fear in your eyes, baby

you’re starin’ right at me



Let’s not bear bones to the world, baby

do you really wanna be my slave

you’re movin’ where you’re not welome

you think I’m so quick to cave

First, I know your secrets

Second, I know you lie to everybody

My famous heart, that’s what you wanted

I shall immortalize you presently



Weren’t you the one who held me all through the night?

Secretly hiding your intent to terrorize

Still just a girl, I learned to hide behind these eyes

Give back my life, dear captor, don’t I have a right

Don’t I have a right… don’t I have a right…

Monday, November 8, 2010

new poem 11.8.10

poetry abounds. here's one i wrote in my head in class today:


empty and clear, a hollow vessel; homeless as a shooting star,

i am... at one with the world. you say

this has meaning and i say, it may,

but don't get caught in the web of your thoughts.

just let it, this love, let it/ open you.

who cares who outdrew whom? just.

be one with that star that is you,

burning through time, falling

deep into this sea,

the blue of my eyes.

love all around you.

<3,

Me

new poem 11.8.10

Woke up feeling Bad अ$$......


So I woke up this morning feeling REAL Bad Ass.

(Alongside deeply poetic, it's my other default state of existence.)

That is, until I tripped and fell over my too-long yoga pants in front of a city bus on Crescent Heights and Sunset....

Paying no mind, I laughed, dusted myself off, waved to the cheering boys in the car behind the bus, and relaxed into a great soundtrack, starting with "Cruel" by CALEXICO (<3 <3 <3) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8t46dvudrp8.

While I was running, Soul Coughing's "Blue Eyed Devil" came on and I had to laugh, because I had just been telling the drummer last night at Cabaret Idol, @Kevin.Widener1 about the time my sensitive pony-tail haired boyfriend had dumped me via mix-tape (CD). That sweet, sensitive, Jeff Buckley, Tori Amos lovin' son of a Preacher Man (AND Woman) has been coming up a lot lately in conversation, and I believe THAT song, Blue Eyed Devil, was the first on the official/ unofficial "You Make Me Hate Myself And Oh By The Way I'm Breaking Up With You" CD. (Well, come on, we were 20, and addicted to love, and we got back together the next weekend anyway before breaking up again and then getting back together and etc.) i was laughing with Kevin last night explaining how I used to have these dramatic relationships and he said in mock surprise: "Yoooooou? No......" Funny how much a person can get to know you when they play drums for you.

Then, about the time that the New Standards version of "Watching the Detectives" came on iPod, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLtNCcMG1Mw , I looked "up" from my run and realized I had no idea where I was. None. Zero. Nunya.

So... lost in the hills.... somewhere.... I started running and soon found myself coming out on Nichols Canyon, which I then took down to Hollywood.

At this point, Cesaria Evora popped up on the playlist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmDLZORG6Cg ~ Carnaval de Sao Vicente~ well, god made me womanly for a reason, and I could not help but swing my hips.... and when I got to the stoplight, I looked over to see this GORGEOUS cutie hunky mcHUNKerson I have seen twice now in his Saab..... he was smiling at me, but smiling at me in that, "Oh, look at that sweet retarded girl" kind of way.... I looked down and realized why.... I had tucked my too-long yoga pants into my socks and was wearing a (I'm not kidding) teddy bear with a heart sweatshirt. (What. I need to do laundry.) Sigh.

And then, as he drove away, I realized that if I had ANY brains, I would have tripped and fell in front of his car, so that as he ran out of his car to see how he could help, I could pull of my sunglasses- just so- and take off my golf cap and undo my ponytail and hopefully not be TOTALLY BRIGHT RED in the face and sweating and panting and he would say, in his cute little horn-rimmed glasses- "Hi. You okay?" And I would smile and say, "Um, maybe.... I think I'd feel better if you took me to get some coffee..."

Well, it didn't happen that way, but instead, one of my all-time rallying songs pushed me on home.... And THIS song.... THIS song folks..... THIS is one of the songs that has, is, and ever will be me. ;-)

And I still feel Bad Ass.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIb6AZdTr-A&ob=av3e

Thursday, November 4, 2010

...the Muirmaid....





Just a typical day coming up from the water...
...the Muirmaid....

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I know I say funny $%^&

I know I say funny $%^&
by Erin Muir on Friday, October 22, 2010 at 11:04am

I was thinking this morning about how people laugh at the things I say, even if I don't mean for them to be funny! I guess I realized that it is in part because, while most people cover up the embarrassments of life, I do so many embarrassing things on a daily basis that I just embrace that part of my life and talk about it with a passion. Like, I was thinking about this one time I was doing a glamour photo shoot and my... bra size... wasn't really big enough for what they wanted. So I used those funny little chicken cutlet looking plastic things to give myself more... cleavage. Well, it was the first time I had ever used them so I didn't really know what I was doing and the left chicken cutlet kept slipping sideways! I hadn't TOLD anyone at the shoot I was using these things, I was just pretending like, yes, these were my breasts, and yeah, everything was fine! But then the photographer said, "Um, there's something wrong with your.... shirt...." and I looked down and my left side was a good INCH lower and sideways compared to my right side! I just laughed. I mean, I was thinking, "well! Outed! I'm not as big as I was pretending to be." I burst out laughing and pulled the chicken cutlets out altogether, throwing them across the studio, making everyone else hoot, holler, laugh. I know it was embarrassing but what the hell? It was funny, too. So I think that I like to embrace my clumsiness, my silliness, and my ability to love myself even through stupid acts of blush-inducing behavior, because, well, we all do that stuff!! Oh, the stories I could tell. ! And DO! XOXOxoxoxoxoOXOXOOX

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

As my sister said, "You so crazy!"

So, I thought I'd foil my own hair. I told myself, "Sure! I've done it many times." (LIE.... I've died my hair many times but the number of times I've foiled in base and highlights = 0.)



Always cavalier, I went ahead and got started, using 2 colors + a paint brush, just like I've seen stylists- and their assistants- do in salons.



Well, somehow, I forgot that



A. they have training, permits, degrees, and CERTIFICATES from the STATE permitting such behavior

B. they're know what doing

C. I don't, in fact, have 8 arms or eyes on the back of my head,

aaaand

D. I'm an idiot.



One box of foil, three boxes of dye, four hours of labor plus one hour bleaching the sink (I splattered,) a healthy dose of panic attack, and quite a lot of @#$%!!!!!, and the results!???!?!



Survey says:



I will never, ever, ever lie to myself again. About hair, anyway. Well, okay, not in the next 3 weeks.



And it looks, uh, chestnut brown.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

अ न्यू दरें Poem

Sparking awake from sleep

I breathe in a line of ancient poetry

and am surprised to discover

I am no longer running from the crumbling tower in my dreams

but am alone in the ring of silence.


What is this force which keeps me

waking, running, sleeping, then waking again?

What is this voice that comes through

In waves and waves and waves?


The crest falls.

Day begins and rest is no more.

I shall put aside, then, these visions,

and tend to the mundane things that

circle the world.

Coffee. Work. Sister. Friend.

And secretly, in stolen moments,

I close my eyes and dream-

Monday, August 23, 2010

A New Champion

A New Champion

An eventful morning during my run at the park: I met a new friend there.

As many of you know, I am friendly with many of the homeless folks who live at the park near my home in Los Angeles. Today there was a new gentleman. I call him "Russell" after Russell Crowe in Gladiator, because at our first meeting, he became a champion!



There is a pathway that weaves around the park at about .8 miles. I run that pathway between 3 and 6 times every day, depending upon my mood and time commitments.At the southern bend of the trail, I first saw Russell. He wore his hair like a Knight, short bangs cut straight across and around, but with slightly longer hair in back. It was dark dark brown with tints of grey, and he wore a full beard. His skin was dark and leathery from the southern California sun. But his eyes were bright, a deep, deep hazel, with a light that shone from behind them.



He saw me looking at him and looked right at me. I smiled a small smile as I ran toward him, the Trumpet Voluntary (The Prince of Denmark's March) played. "Russell" looked right at me, nodded, and nodded at the foe that stood between us (which, for me, I could see was a sprinkler watering the grounds, but who knew what it was for him.) He proceeded to MARCH RIGHT THROUGH THE SPRINKLER as I passed him.



I kept running.



As I curved around the southern bend the second time, his back was to me, but I saw him waiting in his long, dark green trench coat. As I approached him, Jeff Buckley singing in French in my IPod this time around, I saw Russell stiffen. In that way that I KNEW he was seeing some foe between us on the first approach, so I knew he sensed me sensing him as I approached him this time. I felt a fear and a quickening, and kept running.



After all, I don't know this fellow. Most of the homeless folks that live at the park by my house- at least the ones I have given food or talked to- are mentally ill. I don't know Russell yet. I don't know if he would even like me writing about him on FB yet, because, well, I've never asked any of my other folks if they'd mind or not. Anyway....



The third time round, which was to be my final round on this bright morning, he was waiting for me, at the same bend, standing tall and proud as any warrior in victory. He beamed when he saw me. He stood, his eyes in a wide V, rooting deep into the ground, two tree trunks joining in the center of his hero's chest, his hands at his hips in strength and courage. He looked right into my eyes, and I looked right into his. As I do for all people I see, I said a quick prayer for wholeness, healing, and peace. He smiled. I smiled. He nodded his head, a quick bow of recognition and motioned his right hand. "Let her pass."



As for every other moment of his life, i cannot say. But in this moment, he was clear and pure joy.



Amazing.



So, thanks, Russell!



You made my day.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

In Honor of ...

August 21st, 2010

In Honor of Scarlett


It’s been a while since I’ve blogged- I just finished a big ghost writing/ editing project for someone else and it took everything in me, in terms of writing time.

And in the meantime, so much has been happening! I’ve got a video coming out September 16th, I’ve got a novel coming out soon and a slew of great cabaret performances coming up… and meanwhile, life is beautiful here on my little street in my City of Angels! The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, my upstairs neighbor is still doing construction on his kitchen, (three years later, god bless my sweet lug of a Liverpoolian neighbor) and I am IN JOY.

For me, so much of blogging feels very much like I’m writing a letter to a dear, dear friend… and so I want to update you, dear friend, (I suppose, much like Anne Frank’s “Kitty”) but I also have something I want to ruminate about and through in this space.

Today is my niece’s 4th birthday. She is the apple of my eye, and my favorite little bean. And not just because she looks like the blonde baby version of me (ahaha!) (right down to her energy and drama.) (Which has mellowed out in me now that I’m a grown-up…) And I want very much for her to have joy, and peace, and presence, and the ability to be in life on life’s terms… and I want that because I DESPERATELY want her to AVOID the trials and tribulations I put myself and my family through as a teenager and during my early 20s. And… from which I pray every day to stay delivered from…. and with which I offer myself up to help others if they want it….

I know that life happens as it happens, whether we want it to or not, but at least, I am grateful that each generation gets, in some ways, smarter than the last. But we who have read books and history and watched the skies and heard the breeze through the trees… we know that, la plus ça change, la plus c’est la meme chose! Each generation is, in fact, smarter than the last, and each wave of technology brings new trials and new stupidities, and in the end, we are all equaled by nature.

So… what I ant to write about today is possibility in the face of such strange dangers.

I like to be honest about my life experience, my dealings with eating disorders, addiction, depression, and more importantly, my recovery and my growth, because I’m proud of my commitment to health, and because there is nothing to be ashamed about when it comes to the communion of human experience. We all have our issues. And I figure, if I can help even one person have faith in the possibility of health, and the release of suffering, then my life is not in VAIN!

God forbid my life should be in vain, but then again, I’ve already given my-SELF the gift of faith. Because I am LIVING PROOF that LIFE is possible, whether that means self-love, self-esteem, overcoming illness and disease, any of it. All of it. I want to help anyone who asks, as best I can…. whether you’re my homeless friend who hangs out at the Fairfax Library, my songwriting student I’m mentoring, or just some stranger off in some strange corner of the universe, reading this on your laptop…. So. I write this for you, and I write this for me, and I write this for Scarlett, and I write this for all the girls that were in my rehab for eating disorders, depression and suicide- wherever all of you are! I love you, and I hope whether you’re in heaven or on earth, in the earth or on top of the world… I hope you found peace. I hope you find peace. And I know: You Are Peace.

COMMERCIAL BREAK: “As I walk along, I wonder, a-what went wrong with our love, a love that was so strong…” Del Shannon flipped on, randomly, on my iPod, just now. This song was one of my Dad’s favorites growing up. He loved all his “oldies.” And I used to sing this song and a feeling would grow in me that was so deep and sorrowful… ah, drama. Leave it to the Piscean child to hook into the misery of the world and then offer that at the potluck (haha!) (I laugh because I know now, it isn’t real. Someone go back and tell 8 year old me that!)

So what spurned this blog, in addition to my little niecey’s birthday?

This article my mother sent me:

http://www.twincities.com/ci_15759298?source=email&nclick_check=1

She was beautiful, outgoing and too young to die.
That's what friends of Arianna Tatum, 20, said as they gathered on the White Bear Avenue bridge over Interstate 94 in St. Paul on Thursday.
Tatum, of St. Paul, reportedly kicked off her sandals, crawled over a fence on the overpass and leapt onto the eastbound side of the interstate Wednesday afternoon, said Lt. Eric Roeske, Minnesota State Patrol spokesman.
Three or four passing vehicles struck Tatum about 2:25 p.m. Wednesday, the State Patrol said. She died at the scene.
"It's very tragic, very devastating, very unexpected," said Jackie Steele, Tatum's aunt. "Arianna was very well-loved by her family, and whenever she would go through different things, she would call someone and

Family and friends of Arianna Tatum have left balloons, flowers, stuffed animals and notes on the White Bear Avenue overpass where she jumped to her death. (Mara Gottfried | Pioneer Press)
talk. So for her to get to the point when she didn't talk to any of us, I don't know."
Family and friends left stuffed animals, flowers, balloons and notes on the overpass.
"She would do anything for her friends," said Janeen Roy, who met Tatum in ninth grade at Como Park Senior High School. "She was generous, had a big heart and could sing like an angel."
Tatum's mother, who could not be reached for comment, wrote on her Facebook page that she had lost her first-born daughter, "my best friend, my world. If you are hurting TELL SOMEONE & LET THEM HELP."

My mother loves to send me these kinds of emails, and I always respond with emails that say: Prayers sent, and I’m great.

Why? Because I was this girl.

Let’s pray for this girl, and teach everyone we know, all our Ophelias, all our Erins, to take responsibility for telling the truth and giving commitment to joy.

Double lives, man, they’ll kill you. Literally. Okay, so I’m not saying this girl led a double life. I couldn’t presume to know her version of the Ophelia story (I’m referring to that book, “Reviving Ophelia,” that came out around the 90s, in the ebb and tide of other issues I lived through during the 90s, the generation of Grunge, of Kurt and Courtney, of waifs and Sassy, of Lilith Fair… and THAT is a reference to, of course, Hamlet’s Ophelia, who kills herself over the loss of love and support from not only her love, Hamlet, but from her father and her brother….) (and on and on. Lack of belief in herself, no place in the world, no ability to tell the truth of life.)

But I know my version. And I was her then… and so I have a feeling about things, such as I do… that she felt so ashamed of her secrets (and they may have been as grand or as miniscule as any others, but to her, they were obviously overwhelming.) I never met this girl specifically, but I have met her again and again and I pray for the day when THIS tragic ending… ends….

Like I said, I was her. When I was her age… rather, a bit younger…. 20 was, well, like her, at 20 I was in the middle of my fuck-its, but I was still SORT of trying to hold it together, kind of. Old habits die hard. But in high school? I was, on the outside, kind of. … perfect. I mean, I hate to use that word because I’m not trying to say I was. I was soooooo far from. And we all know perfect is an unattainable concept. It’ll keep you distracted and chasing as long as you believe it exists. But I was all those good girl things: first in my class, musically gifted, published in journals for my poetry and short stories at the age of 16, awarded scholarships to every college I applied to… I was lean and healthy (so I PRETENDED) and BLAH BLAH BLAH ON AND ON AND ON. Just call me the Little Miss Goody Two Shoes CLICHÉ, ‘cause I was!

But I was also leading this double life full of dating older men, having eating disorders, and later, other addictions, you know. The whole deal.

And I kept it all to myself. I think I started telling people…. my sister… a trusted girlfriend who kept my secrets for me…. until there were so many secrets I stopped knowing what, if anything, I could talk about, and so I stopped talking….

And then I did the next cliché. I got the fuck-its. Real bad. All this keeping it together. All this pressure. All this “gotta get somewhere” “can’t screw up” “can’t lose my man” “can’t talk about my man” “now there’s two men” “can’t gain weight” “can’t eat” “can’t not eat” “must write great American novel by age 21” “college is really in the way of my fucking novel writing” “can’t eat this package of Fig Newtons and go sing opera here at semi-prestigious but not too prestigious so as to not piss off my peers and family music school” “can’t not eat this package of Fig Newtwons” “oh shit I just went from anorexic to bulimic in a heartbeat” “well there goes my singing career” “can’t be perfect? I’m worthless, might as well die” thoughts just got the better of me.

Thank god for drama, really. Because I have friends and clients who let those thought patterns go on for years and years and years. But I was lucky. I got out and went to massage school and forged my own path. I took the road less taken and got real public about my life so that I could get real healthy. Whew!

Hahahahaha! It only took me ten (or fifteen!) (depending on how far back we want to look) more years, eight therapists, a bad-ass boyfriend who taught me how to have TOO much fun, moving around 27 times back and forth across the globe, a few more dramas in the love department, several trips to India, (just call me Liz Gilbert) (THANK GOD FOR HER!!!!), some health wake up calls, a few embarrassing nights in a bar with a guy I really liked, a teacher who wouldn’t put up with my bullshit, and a deep love for my sister, my niece, and my other niece, a series of profound spiritual/ mystical/ love/ god awakenings… a commitment to meditation, health, sobriety, and love…... And here I am!

Whew! Let’s hope I’m committed to health tomorrow afternoon, too, because, well, double lives are EXHAUSTING.

But what about that Ariana? It’s no coincidence to me that the lead character in one of my plays, based on me, “My Life as a Phone Psychic,” is named Arianna. (Yup, that’s the novel coming out soon.) “Arianna Moore,” from my play, is a pretty obvious nom for Erin Muir. What about our dear friend to the world, Ariana Tatum, only 20 years, loved by all who knew her? All, that is, but for herself? Why couldn’t she have made it, too?

I am so grateful I made it. And I want desperately for her family to know that I almost didn’t. And not just once or twice but many, many times. MANY nights I almost didn’t make it, and you know what? If I hadn’t made it? It would never have been the fault of my mother and father, or my aunts and extended family, or my friends and teachers who loved me. It was no one person’s fault with Ariana (even hers, because she was doing the VERY best she could.) I made it through to the other side,for now and in this moment, because of course, life happens…. But for her family, and for families struggling with the same stories, I want you to know, YOU CAN MAKE IT. And for Ariana’s family, I want you to know, IT WASN’T YOUR FAULT.

But what can we do now?

What we MUST do. We have to try and help the Erins and the Arianas.

WE HAVE TO START TELLING THE TRUTH.

Why did it take me so long to get help, and to believe and trust that help?

Partially, because we do not yet live in a culture that encourages telling “the” “our” “my” “truth.” I grew up in a culture where we- girls, boys, just people in general- were/ are supposed to be successful, and do what we’re supposed to do, and look a certain way, and behave a certain way, and if we have problems, we’re not (STILL!) supposed to have them. Problems are embarrassing. Problems are shoved under the rug. OR then you get to be like me, or like “Girl, Interrupted,” and then you’re the crazy girl.

Guess what? I’m not crazy. Oh, sure, I’m a bit different. I mean, I’m from small town Minnesota, a town full of lovely folks for whom, I’m sure, I’m a bit, “different.” I know I am, because growing up, I was told so. I don’t mind and I don’t blame. And guess what? Everywhere I have gone and everywhere I go, I’m… “different.” Here in Los Angeles, in Dusseldorf, Germany, in Naples, Florida…. even in New York City…. even in San Francisco…. among the weirdoes, the bohemians, the artists, the punks… I’m still different. Because we ALL are. And that’s our BEAUTY. And we’re all the freaking same. And that’s our beauty. You and me! Me and Ariana! Me and Liz Gilbert.

And as for all of that? I’m actually, in my very grateful and humble opinion, very very healthy. I love and respect myself, and when I find out I haven’t been (loving or respecting myself, whether with chocolate or working too much or etc), because I still have my cycles and circles of non-belief, of dis-ease, then I ASAP go back to love and peace and balance. And ask for help.

Intellectually we understand this. But to LIVE and BREATHE this and be okay with it?

That’s next.

To help all the Erins out there, and all the Opehlias, and all the girls I was in rehab with in between college and massage school in my early 20s:

WE HAVE TO START EMBRACING ALL OF LIFE.

Really.

AND THAT MEANS US AND ME AND YOU AND MYSELF AND YOURSELF AND THEM AND THOSE PEOPLE OVER THERE AND ALL OF IT because…. we’re life, too. They’re life, too.

Oh, I go on, and I go on.

And the sad violin plays and suddenly it’s a fiddle and then it’s joyful and then we’re dancing until were laughing and crying all at the same time and life. is.

And that’s it. Life. Is. Life is life is life is. If you’re reading this, you’re one of the eggs that made it. You’ve succeeded. You are.

You are you are you are!

So….

In honor of Ariana Tatum….

Part three of my little “I want to live” manifesto it:

LOSE YOUR FEAR

Not easy to do, but then again, it is, if you keep breathing.

I can only imagine how much harder it must have been for young Ariana than it was for me. To me, our culture seems to have gotten more fear-based while getting even more success-presentation oriented. Womanhood is, in shadows and silks and corners and hints, FINALLY re-beginning to become exalted, but there is so much un-healthy, un-likely- un-truthful presentation of life going on in this universe right now. Expectations will kill ya. Goals are a joke, The world is not safe. Never has been.

As for what is real… or at least here? You know what is? You are. If you are reading this? You’re here and you’re heart is beating and so joy is possible. I vote for THAT candidate.

I don’t know. I really don’t. But I love. I love deeply. And I have learned, and am learning… to feel my feelings, to let them pass through me… not to be swallowed up by fear or lies or masks or problems… to be human and to be proud of it… to embrace my womanhood…. to love men and women for who they are… to be available to healing…. and on. And on. I go on.

And as for Eliot’s mermaids…. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each….and when I pulled back and saw the reflection in the water, one of those mermaids was me… I was calling to my lost heart…. and now, I get the gift of me.

Today, will you please find an Ariana, or an Erin- if it’s you- if it’s your sister- if it’s your homeless friend- and just offer him or her the biggest gift you can- your heart- as a reflection of their heart? All you need to do is send a text message or a little voicemail saying hi. No proselytizing, no preaching… just hi.

That’s what saved me. Hell, honestly, that’s what saves me. I could wax melancholic on life and write sad songs and I will again and I will have hard times and I will survive and I will thrive. I don’t know what love means, but I know what love means. What you can’t get from this blog is that the first time I wrote that, I was also pointing to my head, and the second time, I was pointing to my heart. Soul is. Love is. God/ nature/ divine mother/ my heart/ whatever you wanna call it is fine with me/ deep love from the cosmos… God keeps saying “hi” to me, in any way I can hear it. Sometimes, when I was lost in the idea of drowning in my grief, it was a phone call from my mother, and sometimes it was a note from an old friend… and sometimes, when minding my own business, the “hi” is a magical coincidence like Del Shannon’s song coming on just as I began writing this, and in general, in life, sometimes it’s cancer and sometimes it’s losing a job and sometimes it’s winning the lottery.

God keeps whispering to us. Listen.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Here In Life's Bloom

Here In Life's Bloom

Waves roll in, we learn the language of the sea.
Night sky falls, we learn the language of the stars.

Let me gaze upon you and learn to sing in the language of your dreams.
In your eyes there is a light-

quick!
Find in me your sanctuary as I find in you my heart.





by Erin Elizabeth Muir

Monday, July 12, 2010

LOVELOVELOVE

July, 2010....

http://mim.io/081b4

July, 2010....

HELLO, everyone!

Well, it's high summer by the calendar, one of my favorite times of year! Although it's been a wee bit gloomy here in the City of Angels, I have had so much fun these last few weeks that I have barely had time to notice the foggy marine layer!

First of all, thanks so much to all of you who helped contribute to our video shoot! Your premiums are coming soon.... and I am so grateful to you all! We had an amazing time... and we couldn't have done it without you!

We shot a video for the song "Too Much" on location at El Mirage Dry Lake Bed. I'll be posting updates about the video, which is being edited *right now.* We'll also be announcing an official Video Release soon!

I'd like to thank my amazing cast and crew:
Jacob Sodergren, director
Petra Lansky, cinematographer
Ashley Phillips, producer
Joelle Martinec, choreographer
Eva Woodby, hair and makeup
and Marko Germar, dancer

Oh, just wait 'til you see!

In the meantime, I made a sweet short film about *my* new love:

SUPER LOVE

You can still download the free song from my performance at Genghis Cohen last month... for a few more weeks! until I put up a new song! So check out:

Sometimes I'm a Giant, and Sometimes I'm Invisible

You can also buy tee shirts, tote bags, coffee mugs (very important to me, personally, haha!) and baseball caps featuring artwork from the cover of "Poet's Lovely Daughter."

ERIN MUIR STORE

If you're in southern California, I'll be performing in Hollywood and in Laguna Beach soon.

July 29th, 2010: 8:30 pm: all ages show at the Voodoo Lounge at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip, West Hollywood: $10 or $7 with a can of food for the LA Food Shelf.... with Russ Foreman on guitar!

August 2nd, 2010: 10:00 pm: performing at the Sandpiper in Laguna Beach! Chris Justice goes on at 9:30 pm, I go on at 10:00 pm, and the Nautics (from Oregon) go on at 11:00 pm! 1183 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach.

Thanks again, everyone, for being in my life. I appreciate that- I get to let the beauty of what I love be what I do... thanks to you!

(with regards to Rumi on that quote!)

Please drop a note to say hi. I always love to share with all of you wonderful creative dynamic people in my life!

Erin

www.erinmuir.com

Monday, June 7, 2010

June 2010 Music News

Hello, everyone!

This is Erin Muir! This is your OFFICIAL June, 2010 Newsletter!

This has been a very exciting year for me so far! Performing at Red Gorilla during the SXSW Festival, winning Rockwired's "Best Female Artist of the Year" award, getting to know some really great people while on the road, singing my heart out.... I feel so grateful to live this beautiful life and I feel so honored that each of you are a part of it!

Now.

I have some exciting news!

Since the release of "Poet's Lovely Daughter" last fall, many people have asked me to make a music video. Well, this June, it's happening. I am so thrilled to announce that I have an amazing production team and cast assembled to shoot a fun, sexy, passionate video about taking chances on love for the song "TOO MUCH."

Check out the "Teaser" video:

Too Much Video! The Teaser!

This is where you come in.

We are raising money to make this video the absolute best it can be, and we need your help.

We're offering fun gifts, auctions, and some very special opportunities. Every little bit helps, so check out
The Donation Page for all the info on how to follow, donate, and be a part of this project. We are offering some really fun big prizes, but seriously, every donation, be it ten dollars or a thousand dollars, helps!

We'll soon have more pics, blogs, and video content about the "Making Of" the video so be sure to check back often for updates!

Thanks so much for your support!

Meanwhile, I performed in Los Angeles last weekend with two amazing musicians: Jeremy Weinglass and Russel Foreman. You'll be able to hear and see that performance very soon! In the meantime, to thank you for being a listener, please feel free to download a brand new composition, entitled "Sometimes I'm a Giant, and Sometimes I'm Invisible." It's free!

http://www.4shared.com/audio/IcBRrUZF/04_Sometimes_Im_a_Giant_Someti.html

Finally, if you're in LA this Saturday June 12th, come on down to the Aqua Lounge around 11:30 pm. I'll be performing my interpretation of Darling Nikki by one of my musical icons, Prince! Aqua Lounge is at 424 N Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA, 90210.

Yours truly,

Erin Elizabeth Muir

Friday, May 28, 2010

Love in the time of Cynicism

Love in the time of Cynicism

May 28th, 2010

So, I’m shooting a music video next month for one of the tracks off “Poet’s Lovely Daughter,” called TOO MUCH. It’s the dance-y track, and one of my favorites. (Which is silly, because they’re all like my children. Some are A students and some are baseball players and some are drug addicts and some are preachers and some are sadus and some are bank tellers and some are superstars and they are all each and everyone something unique to me and unto itself!)

I have this wonderful group of people who have come together to make this video happen- all donating their brilliance, expertise, time, talent… a producer, a DP, a director, a co-star/ choreographer…. more keep coming as we near the shoot date, (just one month away!) and we have been creating the narrative and the production plan and the look and the feel and the dance for a project that is taking on a life of its own. It’s no longer “Erin’s music video.” It is now Erin, Emeka, Ashley, Jacob and Petra’s music video. It’s a group of people all coming together to throw themselves into the mix to create a child that has its own life- something greater than the individual. And that’s AMAZING. And a gift.

It is most definitely a low budget affair. I’m fund raising to shoot the video beginning this weekend, and the entire production staff is helping me do this. This is something very rare and unique in this instance, because no one thinks they will make money back from this project. Each person involved in this project could very well be putting his or her time and attention elsewhere for cash or prestige, but they are not. They are donating of their time, sweat, blood, tears, heart, love, soul…. and I believe…. it’s because we ALL have come together for a reason beyond our own devising!

I won’t gush any more about my amazing crew but I would like to share a brief, beautiful story about this project in process.

We’ve been having weekly production meetings. Sometimes these meetings are about budget, sometimes they are location scouting, sometimes everything under the sun and then some. Lately we’ve held these at my house, because my home is pretty much smack dab in the middle of where everyone lives and works!

For one of these meetings, I decided to walk two blocks to the Starbucks near me and pick up some coffee for everyone. I had run out of coffee myself and thought it would be fun to go get one of those big containers of coffee for the group.

So before our meeting, I walked over to Starbucks, and checked in with Phoenix, the barista, and placed my order. Then I walked to one of the side counters (it’s a big Starbucks), the side where people are NOT waiting for their drinks but where, if people place big coffee orders or food orders, that is where they wait.

There was another gentleman standing near me. I could tell he was pretending to look at the pastries in an effort to look at me. I don’t mean to say it was a pick up or that I’m so fascinating or anything like that, but you know, sometimes we do that. We go look at the magazines in the drug store to have an excuse to furtively check out that weird looking lady or that hot guy or that celebrity or whomever. So here was a guy- late 40s, maybe, and he was just FASCINATED by the croissants and banana breads but sneaking glances at me.

As Phoenix filled up my coffee to go container, he said, “So, what have you got going on today?”

“Oh,” I began, “We’re shooting a music video in a month and we’re having a production meeting and I’m just getting coffee for everyone.”

“Oh,” said Phoenix, “Are you the PA? [for those not in the business, PA is a production assistant.]”

“Nope,” I laughed, “I’m the artist.”

“Wow,” piped up the pastry-watching gentleman, “That’s a low budget shoot when the art department is the PA!”

“It’s even lower than that,” I said, “I’m not the art department. I’m the artist. I’m the singer. It’s a video for me!”

Phoenix blushed. I smiled.

“Oh,” said the gentleman, surprised. “That’s nice of you to get coffee.”

“Oh, it’s my honor,” I said, “I have the best crew in the world. I’m an independent artist, and I’m paying for all this… Do you know I have one of the most talented up and coming DPs I’ve ever met? And I have such an amazing director and an amazing producer, and they are all helping me fundraise to shoot this video, and are deferring their OWN salaries until we raise the funds?”

Pastry watcher snorted.

“They probably need the demo reels,” he said.

I looked at him very closely. He had grey hair, and not many wrinkles, and he was attractive. He was wearing shorts and looked like a neighborhood fellow. I wasn’t sure if I had seen him or met him before, but I saw how angry he was in that one small observation. I felt such pity for him. To live with such anger…

“You’re so cynical,” I said, softly, pitying him.

He blinked. His demeanor changed and he grew defensive, just a wee bit, like a boy that just got caught stealing cookies from the cookie jar and is explaining why he really had to do it.

“Well, it’s just that, I’ve been in the business a long time, and I know that it’s all about money. I’ve worked on…” and he started explaining to me “how the business really works.”

“Maybe they do need demo reels,” I said, “But maybe they’re involved because this is a project that is about something greater than the needs of each of us individually. Maybe they’re doing this because they’re passionate, and they want to extend that passion through their love of music and videos and filmmaking. Maybe they want to be a part of something beautiful. Not crass.”

I waited.

Now he was looking at me with a mixture of pity (poor, stupid girl) and awe (who is this girl and what the f*** is she talking about? Could it be?)

“Where are you from?” Phoenix asked.

“Oh, you guys are gonna laugh. I’m from Minnesota.”

They smiled. On the coast, people seem to think that Midwesterners are all naïve and un-informed. I think it’s a bit too easy to get lulled into this idea that the intellect of the west or east coast is superior to, well, anywhere else but the “city in which IIIIIiii live.”

“And I’ve lived here four years and I certainly know what you’re talking about,” I said to the pastry-watcher. “I’ve certainly had many run-ins with sharks.”

“Sharks?” He was confused.

“Everyone in the music industry, according to your opinion of it,” I explained.

He smiled.

“Ah, sharks.”

Then he paused.

“Do you know Holly Cole?” he asked.

“Yeah,” I said, thoughtfully, “I do.” I don’t know much about her but one of my best friends is a HUGE Holly Cole fan.

And then, Mr. Pastry Cynical started going on and on about Holly Cole, and how she was an indie, and how she got started and what her inspirations were…. and he stopped playing Mr. Cynical and suddenly, he was involved, invested, maybe even in love. He started remembering something that, to him, was beautiful. And he shared that with me.

It was time for me to go. He gave me a few album suggestions, for my inspiration, and I gave him a postcard for my upcoming show.

“Always ready for self-promotion,” I said.

“Well, it is LA,” he said. I let that one go. Who the hell am I to constantly preach an anti-cynical world-view?

I smiled.

“Come to my show, if you like,” I said.

“Good luck with the video,” he said. And he meant it.


http://www.erinmuir.com/web/?page_id=216

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wing Young Huie

Wow! The biggest honor- one of my songs, "Heart Given," has been chosen
to take part in this AMAZING SIX MILE PUBLIC GALLERY AND MUSIC
INSTALLATION in Saint Paul, Minnesota, by Wing Young Huie! It begins May
1st... http://www.theuniversityavenueproject.com/

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Santa Fe and South By


SANTA FE AND SOUTH BY


THE DREAM that WAS REALITY:

I awoke in a sensual confusion of snow on the trees and the eaves, white linens wrapped all around me, the heater blasting in my room… I was confused at the snow on the trees. Where was I? Santa Fe… the blizzard on the way up… parched, I needed water. I pushed aside the soft white of the bed and stumbled into the other room of the suite. Water. Water. Here was a bottle of water, half consumed from the night before. What time was it? I consulted my laptop. It said what time it was, something like 8:00 am, but it made no sense to me. I felt it could have been noon or five am or five pm. I looked again and again at the day and time on the top right hand corner of the screening, desperate to figure out some sense of space and time, but nothing made sense.

I went back to bed and watched the snow sit heavy on the branches for a while. A while became a long while and I fell asleep.

I awoke… it felt like hours, maybe even days… I got up to look at the time. 8:30? Now it made less sense. Was it the next day? No… Monday 8:30 am. Monday? It was Monday?

I gave up and went back to bed. I stared at the ceiling, listened to the quiet. Then there were children in the hallway; then there were not.

Some time later I rose. I spoke to someone on the phone, I did yoga. I put on a sweater and went to some art galleries. I went to see the painting, “Love” by Lynden St. Victor. I had no sense of time or place. The snow was melting and it was growing warm. I walked for hours and hours in the old town part of Santa Fe, but kept ending up at my hotel. Finally, I got to a Whole Foods Market and realized I needed something to eat.

The day was confusing, and terribly beautiful.

I got back to my hotel room. I realized I hadn’t watched TV in months and turned it on to see what was happening… and who should be on Larry King but Sean Astin, and then Jesse Ventura, former governor of my home state and father to my good friend, and Michele Bachman, also of Minnesota. I laughed out loud. Doesn’t matter my state of confusion or poetry, I’m always everywhere I go.

A few days passed, and a million years passed.

And the dream ended and I woke up in Austin, TX, just in time for the Red Gorilla Music Festival and the SXSW film and music festival!


AUSTIN:

So, I had never been to Austin before. My friend Josh moved there a year or so ago and he is totally in love with the city. And I see why. Generally great weather, tons of great restaurants and places to go, lots of fun outdoors activities, and…. the people. I mean, really. It was remarkable. Austinites seem… um… happy. Or… um… the word is… friendly. Like… there were hipsters but they could look at something besides their own navels. They were not too cool for school, which is the quality that has always sort of… well, I hate to admit it, but… annoyed me about the hipster element in most cities I’ve lived in. I have never been too cool for school. In fact, I had to learn how to not raise my hand ALL THE TIME in this extended metaphor for city living. And all sorts of people seemed to have all sorts of room for each other. And… yeah. Great people. Amazing.

I stayed with Josh at his fancy resort style apartment village. It was really a lot of fun- Josh is one of my favorite people in the world. We never run out of things to laugh about, or talk about, or dream about. We laughed while working out at the gym. We laughed while eating veggie burgers at the diner. We laughed and laughed and laughed at his two French Bulldog puppies and their love of farting. I mean, I know I’m supposed to be erudite and all that, but there are some things that are just fartastically hilarious. Like Molly and Gigi. They literally woke me from a dead sleep with the incredible odiferous power of their gas.

My very dear friend from childhood, also named Erin, and so called Erin C, flew in on the same day that I went to go meet another buddy of mine, the never ceasing to amaze me Mark. Mark and his band Ruby Isle were playing Wednesday night and rumor had it they were going to be performing Appetite For Destruction in its entirety. Um, one of my favorite albums of all time? Check. One of my favorite performers? Check. Heck yes.

Quick review of Mark’s band. It’s hard not to love them, because, well, each member is so wonderful on his own, and together they rock. But I think they should not cover Appetite. I think they should cover something a little more non sequitor…. because, even though they are not G’N’R and all that, it’s still a little too close. Just my opinion, but I’d love to see Ruby Isle do their own take on something like…. Like…. Like a Prayer, my favorite Madonna Album…. THAT would be something. Or… oh my god. A weird choice could be “Fumbling Toward Ecstasy.” I would actually love to hear Mallman cover Sarah McLachlan. Hm.

Anyway, it was still a fun show, although they only played a few songs from AFD. And for me, that was actually better, because I really wanted to hear their original works as well.

The next day was all about Josh and Erin C and me. We just had a blast bumming around and being lazy. We were really quite the Motley Crew in Minneapolis, but we have not all been together in about five years. I love old friends, though. It’s like we just picked right up as if we had seen each other last Saturday… It was also fun for me because I have really mellowed out as a person. Ahem. I used to be, uh, let’s use the phrase, high strung. That’s the nice way of putting it. And Erin C? She has known me alllll my life. So either she has great compassion for humanity or a heck of a lot of self-hatred because I have not always been positive or pleasant to be around. I’m speaking in hyperbole, sort of. I mean, Erin C DOES have a lot of compassion for people, and she loves me and I love her. She has been an amazing friend to me my whole life long and I am so grateful. It also makes me feel a lot better about myself during times where I’ve really struggled in life, because it makes me think, well, if someone as wonderful as Erin C is still my friend… I’m not so bad!

Seriously, though, I have really mellowed out. I mean, in the past, if the three of us were together, I would have been not just having coffee with them, I also would have been texting, calling, emailing, facebooking, myspacing, hitting on the guy at the table next to us, brokering a deal for my next gig and giving an interview. I would not have been fully present for any of that and I would have felt miserable and stuffed my face with a cookie and then not have eaten dinner because I forsook it for the damned Snickerdoodle.

I know, not so unreasonable what I just said, right? I mean, we all have to multitask and all that, and life is busy and so are we.

But guess what?

This is elementary for many, I’m sure, but for me, it’s HUGE:

I did not multitask. I was completely present to Josh and Erin C and what was occurring at our coffee date. (I did flirt with the guy that ferried us in the golf cart from the parking lot across the street to the coffee shop on the Lake, but that was called for. He was cute.) Later, I gave an interview via the internet, and I updated a few facebook things, and had my meetings, and checked in as an artist to my festival, and met my sound man, and sussed out my venue, and did my business. But nothing was missing, anywhere, in any part of my life. And… I had fun… and… I relaxed… and… so did they. And I didn’t stuff a cookie in my face out of frustration and feeling the lack of joy because I had to WORK SO HARD ALL THE TIME. I just stuffed the cookie in my face because it was freakin’ delicious.

I’m blogging about this, very publicly, because I think my conscious choice last fall to change my lifestyle from “busy” to “lazy” was really important. My life is just as successful or not successful as it has ever been. And I’m certainly not lazy, really, as much as I’m just relaxed. It’s just that I refuse to get all caught up in a tizzy because of my ideas about the way the world does or doesn’t work. I want to enjoy my life while I’m alive, you know? And before, when I was such a workaholic and always multitasking a million things, I wasn’t happy, or relaxed, or even really getting the juice out of the lemon. And the only thing that has really changed is me, my perception. And yet. Everything has changed.


THERE WERE NEVER SUCH DEVOTED SISTERS

So, the next day, my sister flew in from the Midwest. Now, anyone who knows me knows I LOVE my sister. She is my favorite person in the world. Maybe she competes with a few people. But if there were a top ten of favorite people, I was currently about to be with three of them!

Also, anyone who really knows me, knows that my Bettie Page meets Jessica Rabbit demeanor belies a HUGE GOOFBALL NERD HEART. So I got this really brilliant idea that, when we went to pick Laura up from the airport, we should carry balloons and signs welcoming her to Texas.

None of us are from Texas. We are all from Minnesota.

Don’t Mess with Texas? Don’t… uh… Don’t not get a load a Minnesota?

Don’t… be a foe ta Minnesota?

Eeeek.

Don’t misquote-a Minnesota-(n?)

Oh it’s just getting worse. One more.

Don’t bring a ho to Minnesota!?

(‘cause she’ll be underdressed. Damn. It’s cold there!)

Ok. I officially apologize. At least for that last one.

So anyway.

I convinced/ coerced/ cajoled Erin and Josh in to helping me make these big beautiful signs with tagboard form Walgreen’s and ribbons and magic markers and glitter and glue. They read things like:

“LAURA IS THE YELLOW ROSE OF TEXAS!”

(I know.)

“TEXAS IS HOOTIN’ AND HOLLERIN’ OVER LAURA!”

(I know, I know.)

AND I got some really pretty Mylar balloons.

So imagine my sister’s surprise when she came down that escalator to baggage claim after a ten-hour travel day! She actually blushed and the lady in front of her was like, “That’s for you?” Because Erin and Josh and I were cheering and clapping and really truly hootin’ and hollerin’. It was maybe the MOST fun I have ever had at an airport.

And I got to be with three of my all time favorite people in all the world. Sometimes, life is just soooooo sweet.




SMOKEY ROBINSON

So, Smokey gave the opening speech and I saw the interview he gave. I remember when I was little, my mom and dad used to play Smokey records and my brother and I would act out little dramas to go with the songs. My Dad loves loves LOVES Motown, and R&B, and blues and jazz. I often get Smokey (and Percy Sledge, and Diana Ross) stuck in my head. Tracks of my Tears was about the saddest song in the universe to me, and along with Brandy, by Looking Glass, was this song that I just loved to cry over.

Anyway, what struck me most about what he had to say was that he was talking about gratitude. He was talking about how he has been in entertainment for fifty years and every day he hears no, no, no, and every day he keeps finding ways to be an optimist, and to never give up, and to be so thankful for every break he has ever had and continues to get. I really liked what he had to say… because, for my money, it doesn’t matter if a person “makes” it the way they think they are supposed to or not. What matters is giving your all, and being in love, and continuing to grow, and be in gratitude for each moment, shiny or dull. And I loved that he was saying, “be grateful.” And that here was an ICON who still faced rejection every day. I mean. Come on… You just don’t know what the deal is until you’re going through it and even then, you don’t really know. So be grateful and extend that hand of gratitude to the next.

Well, I like that philosophy. It certainly has worked a lot better for me than the method of backstabbing and ladder climbing that I have never been very good at… that method of going about the music business is VERY unattractive and soul killing. In. My. Opinion. I mean, I will admit that I have certainly played those games, sometimes unconsciously, sometimes because I thought I had to, and sometimes just to see what would happen. And you know what? No good could come from any of it, because I knew in my heart what I was doing. I’m not saying you don’t go swimming with the sharks. I’m just saying, I don’t wanna be one of the sharks myself.

And I like gratitude. Even for the seemingly awful things in life. Even the awful tragedies of life bring some healing, some beauty, some growth… if you stick around long enough to see it…. if you don’t shut down before it arrives….



SHARON JONES

Sharon Jones. Dap Kings. I mean. Come on. ‘Nuff said. We all know that girl is outrageous. Let her sing on forever ‘cause she’s truly truly truly outrageous. This feeling’s contagious!




THE STATE OF THE INDUSTRY

The state is disbanding.

Some folks are choosing nostalgia. Others are choosing fear. I am choosing a combination of adventure, lunacy, and Taoism.

No worries. I happen to have my black steed and my silver star right here… I’ll just aim for that big ‘ol full moon and never worry ‘bout the rest.


MY PERFORMANCE:

I was nervous, admittedly, about my performance. It was the first day during the Austin Days that I was not relaxed. I meditated a bit to get myself into a state of presence, but I saw very clearly that my persona as a singer at this particular moment in space and time at this particular set of music festivals was not laconic. I am a passionate, fiery woman… and a passionate, fiery singer! So I COULDN’T be little Miss Zen Princess Erin. I had to reach into that SPANISH LADY ERIN because? She was coming out to sing! Watch out, wild hearts!

THE OUTFIT:
I wore my sister’s Grecian v-neck grayish silver tunic dress, which gathered just below my décolletage. I wore my thigh high pirate boots, but folded them over to the knees, and then I wore a bright red toreador jacket over the whole ensemble. It sounds strange but it worked, somehow. I wore a red feather flower in my hair. I wore my Hand of God bracelet, which is a red string with a clasp on either end connecting to a blue Hand of God. I wore diamond droplet earrings.

THE SET LIST:
Never, Never, Never (Shirley Bassey/ Mina)
Sober (a new song)
Too Much (on piano)
the rest of the tracks I performed also with the sampled tracks from the record:
Black Butterfly
Faith
Heart Given
Poet’s Lovely Daughter
K-15
Shadow and Silt
Super Natural
City Behind the Sky

THE SOUND GUY:

Sean was super cool and a Pisces. I asked him why Austin is such a great city- why the people were so happy. He said, “It’s just such a great place to live, and it has such great music, and it’s the kind of place where you can do music full time and own a house. Why wouldn’t we be happy? Austin’s special.”

Indeed.

THE CLUB:
Was good. The owner was a cool guy. He was really supportive to the performers! He came up to me before AND after and offered me beverages. One thing… it was funny to me… because we were mostly acoustic acts/ broken down acts at this club…. as I was the first three songs of my set, until I added in the full track samples for the end of my set…. the stage was right next to the front door, where people were coming in and out, and so I could hear the heavy rock band, which was playing in the club next door to me, during my entire set. It makes perfect sense that I could hear them since they were about fifteen feet away from me… LOL…. Only I could hear that… later, I watched the video, as Josh taped the performance for me to see/ hear/ learn, and there was no sign in any way that I was singing not only to me accompaniment and tracks, but to a hair band as well.

It almost made sense to me, on stage. My philosophy about performing is: ride the energy as it is, and fall in love with the wave. That’s what I did, hair band and all.

The place was packed and people were streaming in and out. The crowd was amazing. Some of my fans got there early and were super supportive, getting really into it and even dancing during some of it. There is almost nothing more gratifying then people dancing to Supernatural, or to an acoustic piano version of La Vie En Rose. Really. It really means a lot to me when people show support and enjoy the music. It makes me want to give you everything I’ve got plus ten thousand. So, guys, thank you so much for being there! It makes all the difference in the world! And I love you back. And let’s hang out again sometime soon. I’ll bring my guitar.

Friday, March 26, 2010

77777


77777




So, there were so many synchronicities on the road….. but some of them were just downright odd… for example, as soon as I hit Palm Springs and all the way to Tucson, I swear to god, every third car was from Minnesota. It was getting downright freakish. I began to test myself, because I am famous for making magic out of molehills (it’s the Piscean in me, you see, or the me in the Piscean: Rose Colored Glasses.) I started really seeing where the cars were from. I mean, I figured, since I was from Minnesota, I might just notice more often when cars are from there. What if I had grown up in, say, Ohio?

But nope, no cars from Ohio at all!

Illinois?

Hmm…… well, while I was waiting, I started ticking off where the cars actually were from:

California… Arizona… Minnesota. California. California. Minnesota.

Once I crossed into Arizona… Arizona… California… Arizona… Minnesota… Arizona. Minnesota. Arizona. New Mexico. Arizona. New Mexico. Minnesota.

Hmmm…….



SUNDAY, MARCH 14TH:

FROM TUCSON TO SANTA FE

STARRING MY LUCKY NUMBERS 7 AND 11!


Saturday night in Tucson I was up until about 2:30 am. I got back to Joni’s little cabin, nestled in beneath piles of cozy Mexican blankets, and, guarded by her Native American Animal Masks, fell asleep…

For about two hours. I awoke suddenly, just past the witching hour, and had this burning desire to get on to Priceline and book my hotel… Why Pricline? Well, no, they don’t do product placement… I like to try and get 4 and 5 star hotels for super cheap prices…. I’m a Bohemian on a budget with Glamour Girl taste in nice hotels. Trust me, I’ve slept everywhere from park benches to beaches to campsites to sofas to the backseats and frontseats of cars to Le Georges V to the Taj Mahal to castles outside Dresden to…. etc. ad infitum. I like experiences and adventure, even if I’m trying to have neither! I still get them. BUT I discovered that you can go on to Priceline, find the average price for a 4 or 5 star hotel, and then get the deal at half price sometimes if they aren’t sold out… so I like to take my chances. Which is what I did! I ended up booking two nights at the Santa Fe Inn and Spa in, well, duh, Santa Fe… I had been waiting because I wanted to feel guided to stay there, and because I was imagining myself stopping in a few places along the way and you never know who you might meet or where you might end up when you’re on the road.

…I didn’t have a gig in Santa Fe. I was going to see this painting by an artist friend of mine… he’s a friend, sort of. We’ve never actually met. But we are fans of each other’s work, and he painted this painting listening to Poet’s Lovely Daughter. Plus I’d never been to Santa Fe, and I wanted to check out potential venues for my next tour. So!

I tried to get back to sleep but there was no having it. So, I packed up all my items, drove over to Colleena’s Gallery, packed up my gear, left the key in her kitchen, and hit the road.


77777

I had started seeing 7s everywhere, in groups of 2 and 3. I kept seeing “77” on license plates, on signs, streets, exits. And so I decided to get on Highway 77 and head north to New Mexico.

I also began to see all the Minnesota cars again. Arizona, New Mexico, Minnesota. (What the 77 was going on!?)

As the mileage on my car hit 77,007, I passed by a town called “Oracle,” which is a song I wrote for my first and even more obscure album, “Mermaid on Dusty Grounds.” The lyrics are thus:

I walked numb and drunk
to the oracle at Delphi
that I might inhale Pythia's smoke
and gaze into tomorrow

I met a priest who drank
the wine of wisdom
he told me to go home
but instead I stole his cup

and the gods have grown
bored with my possibilities
I can tell by the way my prayers are left
bleeding in the dust

over the entrance to the temple
an inscription reads
Know Thyself

I know my gods
I can smell them on my hands
I kneel at an altar made of rain

but i want to be Athena
babies in my oceanic belly
gods of war sucking at my breast
Oh, Oracle, do not leave me alone with the vanishing smoke
ask of me something I can give
but the Oracle does not ask, it tells
and in this darkness where I stumble
I discover
I do not know the question I want to ask
I had originally written that as a poem either just post or previous to my very first trip to Europe. I can’t remember exactly the timing of it, but I remember sitting in the Kitchen at Keep In Touch, this place I used to work at just after I finished massage school and just before recording that album, and I remember writing in this little travel journal, scribbling those lines…
Anyway, I had to laugh, here on highway 77, because more and more 7s were everywhere. Then I realized it was my Grandmother’s birthday, and her lucky number was 7, and so I called my mom, who confirmed that yes, it was my Grandmother’s birthday.
“She would have been, oh, let’s see. 88!”
I had to laugh… then my mom gave me some bad news.
“Well, your Uncle Bud died.”
That was a sweet pain.
“Oh, no!” I said.
“Yup. He was 98 years old.”
Now, my Uncle Bud was my grandmother’s older brother. He was the last living member of her siblings. My grandmother herself, Grandma Winick is how I knew her in my mind, although her name was Mabel, had died when I was about 12, just before I turned 13, in fact. I remember the night she died, my aunts and I died laying on of hands healing and read from the Book of Psalms. I don’t think it was their intention that I be there, but I was, and although I’ve never told them this, it was my first memory of the experience of energy moving from some source outside of myself and yet within myself and through my hands. It is because of My Grandmother Mabel Winick that I am a singer, a writer, an actress, and a massage therapist/ healer. It is ALL related to experiences I have had with her or because of her… I’m writing a cabaret about that, for my next tour… about the influence of her love of music and movies on my performer life AND my love life. (I’m still looking for my Clark Gable.)
Uncle Bud was a cool guy. I remember sitting next to him at my Aunt Debbie’s wedding a few years ago, and he and my ex boyriend/ drummer and I were having a Heineken and he turned to me, bright shining blue eyes twinkling, and said,
“So! What do you do for entertainment?”
“Well, Mike and I here, we’re in a band!” I said.
His eyes got even bigger and he smiled.
“Oh, yeah? Well, gee! You know, I used to pal around with the Andres Sisters back in the day… they were from the old neighborhood! Oh… you probably don’t know who the Andrews Sisters were…” his smile started to fade a bit.
“Oh, you bet I do,” I said. “’Don’t sit under the apple tree with anybody else but me! Anybody else but me, anybody else but me! No! No! No!”
I started singing that old WWII hit and my Great Uncle Bud chimed right in.
“Well, that’s too bad,” I said now, in 2010, to my mom on the phone. I told her about all of the 7s and she said, “Shouldn’t you be going to Vegas instead of Santa Fe?” We laughed as I passed another car from Minnesota.


FROM AZ TO NM (WITH A DASH OF MN)
I drove north through mountains and the Gila National Forest. I kept waiting for inspiration to stop, but I just kept feeling the urge to keep on ahead! Soon I entered New Mexico, where I saw a sign that read, “The Land of Enchantment.” All along I had been seeing 7s, and I had been seeing reminders of the last guy I dated, which was frustrating, because of course the word is “dated,” i.e., PAST TENSE, and I really didn’t want to think about him, but there was the car he drove, which must be the most popular car on the road, and there was a street sign with his last name on it (seriously) just as my phone started spontaneously, on its own, playing a song that reminds me of him (from the first night we met and the second night we met.) I screamed. “Argh! Erin, really!? Get that out of your mind!” And then I laughed. Because this, I am famous for this. I end things with a guy and then he’s everywhere. It was like that with the first man I fell in love with, and then every time I have felt that powerful “connection,” be it lust or love, if I try to get out, the images are everywhere! I tried to test myself. “Okay, Erin,” I said aloud,
“obsess over Mike.” Mike was one of my best boyfriends, a relationship that lasted 4 years. And there could be a LOT that would remind me of him. We went through music tours together, traveled Europe together, owned about 7 different cars together and lived in about 5 different houses together. We had a lot of adventures together. But I looked and looked and could not see a single Minivan, Vanagon, RV, (!), signs about dinosaurs or Americana music or punk rock, nothing about Tauruses or drummers or Florida. I couldn’t tune into public radio, which he loved, or hear any Rolling Stones or John Hiatt or Robyn Hitchcock or Sade. The only thing I could see that had anything to do with him was all these cars from Minnesota, and now THIS was getting REALLY curious, because an hour or two outside of Albuquerque, I swear to god, every other car was from Minnesota. I guess there must have been a LOT of snowbirds in New Mexico?
Then I forgot all of it as I approached Albuquerque and the gorgeous grey mountains in the horizon. So beautiful!
I thought about stopping, but it was about 6:30 pm, and I thought, naw, let’s get up to Santa Fe, I’ll be there in an hour and I can check in and get dinner and go out and check out the nightlife…
Ha!
Rounding a curve on the 25, I left relative grey late spring for
a blizzard.
Seriously.
Suddenly, halfway between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, there was
a blizzard.
I suddenly could not see more than one car in front of me and we were driving about 20 miles an hour. I thought about how this little Jetta, which I bought in Santa Monica, CA, had probably never seen snow or ice before. I, of course, spent my formative years learning to run on ice, drive in the snow, etc. So I wasn’t worried or scared exactly, except…
It was bad. All of the exit signs were completely covered in snow and I had no idea where I was. Thank god my iphone was working so I could keep track with its GPS and know approximately which exit to take…. we were driving in a tailgate train of cars and trucks, because you just couldn’t see. 20 miles an hour and we were still slipping and sliding and just trying not to flip off the sides of the interstate, which was now only one lane.
So. NO WONDER EVERY OTHER CAR HAD BEEN FROM FREAKIN’ MINNESOTA! The gods of weather and traffic had been trying to give me signs: IF YOU CONTINUE ON THIS PATH YOU WILL BE ENTERING MINNESOTA (at least weather wise.) It’s as if I entered a portal through space and time (well, I did, but that’s another interpretation of the story) and suddenly Minnesota and New Mexico were one. Wild,
Two white knuckled hours later, I followed the train into Santa Fe. We all were going into the city, I guess, although if I had been smart enough to listen to the weather and traffic radio channel, I would have heard that they were closing off the highways and exits in about half an hour. So none of us would have had any choice, anyway!
I used the GPS to get approximate directions to my hotel, but still stopped twice to inquire and get further directions. I was exhausted I had been driving for hours and hours and then in the blizzard and I was having a low blood sugar and the backs of my legs were wobbly and I was getting a searing headache. Finally I pulled into the registration parking area of my hotel. I got out of my car and looked up at the beautiful snowflakes and as they hit my lashes and melted, I thanked god for getting me there safe.
I went into lobby to check in. It was a lovely hotel, run by Native Americans, all Santa Fe themed, of course. The gentleman in line in front of me was telling the concierge that please, please, please. He needed a room. He and his wife and daughter had tried three different hotels, and there were no vacancies!
“We’re sorry sir, but we are fully booked,” she said. He buried his face in his hands. Then I heard him say that they were closing the roads and what was he to do? Oh…. I felt so bad for him, but really thankful I had woken up in the middle of the night, way too early, and booked the room here. I was so thankful I had just gotten on the road and hadn’t stopped, since I was apparently hell bent on getting to Santa Fe to see this painting…
Another concierge came to the front desk.
“Yes, miss, can I help you?” he said. I smiled. I was about to finally get to check into my room, call my mom and tell her I was alive, and eat something.
“Hi! Yes. I’m Erin Muir,” I said, pulling out my drivers license.
He typed at the keyboard of his computer for a moment, then looked up and smiled.
“Welcome to the Hotel Santa Fe Inn and Spa,” he said. “We’ve upgraded your room to a King-Sized Suite.”
I smiled.
I was gonna make it, at least for tonight.
“Thank you,” I said.





MORE TO COME:
CONNECTION AND SPIRITUALITY VIA PAINTING AND SONG
STIGMATA IN THE MORNING
DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS, THERE’S NO GAS IN THE GAS STATIONS IN PECOS,
AND THEN,
AUSTIN, SXSW, RED GORILLA MUSIC, AND ME, SINGING AGAIN…..

Monday, March 15, 2010

The SW Oddysey: of Love and Music and Writing, Part One

Springtime Oddities and Oddyseys…

From Los Angeles to Tucson to Santa Fe…

March 15th, 2010

I slept in this morning. No, really. I awoke beneath a huge white downy comforter in a bed in a Suite at the Hotel Santa Fe and Spa in, well, Santa Fe, with the shades drawn, having barely any idea of the day and date and absolutely no clue about what time it might be. In fact, with daylight savings and time changes and all, I still have no idea what time it really is. And I like that.

I opened the fat wooden blinds to see that the trees were frosted in crystal snow. I look over the parking lot and see my little Jetta from Santa Monica, CA is covered in snow. No wonder I saw so many Minnesota cars on the way from Palm Springs to Arizona to Santa Fe…. the gods of weather and traffic were giving me fair warning that I would be driving in to Minnesota like conditions! Did I pay attention? Kind of… I kept wondering what the heck was up with all these Minnesotans on the road! LOL… Duh.

But I’m getting ahead of the game…






FRIDAY, MARCH 12th, 2010

SUPER EARLY, GIVEN HOW LATE I WAS UP THE NIGHT B4

SEX AND THE CITY

It’s about 8 am and I’m doing yoga, having stayed up until the wee hours packing and watching the final season of Sex and the City on DVD. (I know you won’t believe me, or maybe you will, but I have never seen the final season! I missed watching SATC regularly as a fan when it was on tv, and in these last many years of syndication… now, I know you are probably wondering how a girl like me, a girl of the cosmopolitan/ artsy/ writer/ fashionista/ sensually oriented persuasion could have missed Sex And The City, the holy grail of programming for women in the new millennium. But I assure you. I miss a LOT when it comes to TV, especially years 2001-2008. I was on tour so much, and moving around, and doing so many projects that kept me from the social verve, I just… never got to it. but I am getting it now!)

I’m struck, watching Carrie go to Paris to be with her artist boyfriend, how Carrie I personally really am, or how every woman Carrie really is. I mean, I don’t have the shoe thing. I have the vintage pieces thing. And I don’t smoke and never did. But I definitely have the Big thing and the Aiden thing. I definitely had an international, cosmopolitan boyfriend that swept me off my feet and who got me to go with him across the pond only to feel mislead about the nature of our relationship (guess what? He felt the same way) and get slapped (only not at Georges V but while staying in a castle outside Dresden.) (Nobody go get up in arms about FtG. It was a long time ago and a long story and it was back when my nickname was Spanish Lady If that gives you any idea of the give and take.) But there was no Big to come rescue me. I remember thinking very clearly:
Should I call my Dad? I had five euro in my pocket and nothing else to my name… No. He WOULD fly across the universe to come get me and it wouldn’t be pretty. No, Erin, you got yourself into your own mess, you get yourself out of it.

Nope. No Big, no Aiden, no father, no brother rescued me.

I rescued me.

And then I am struck, actually, at how much I have grown in the last few years, personally. I had no idea what life was all about back then. Oh, I thought I did. But I didn’t. Now, I know that I don’t know. I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know. And that’s actually really beautiful, taken in context of love and faith in the process of life itself.

Anyway. Lofty philosophy and memoirs aside…







FRIDAY MORNING

SLIGHTLY LESS EARLY, NOT YET WORTHY OF PANIC

YOU FIT WHAT INTO YOUR CAR~?!?!?

ALTERNATIVE TITLE:
VOLKSWAGEN OWES ME FOR PRODUCT PLACEMENT

After yoga I pack up my car. One little grey 2003 Jetta which I bought in Santa Monica, and I fit in:

a massage table (you never know when you might pick up a client or run into one of your regulars on the road) (seriously, happens a lot to me)
two sets of massage sheets
my massage bolster
a bag full of massage supplies
some bungee cords
a sleeping bag
my mini Peavey PA system with four track mixer
my Yamaha S30 keyboard
my keyboard stool and brand new pedals
a guitar stand
a mic stand
my seagull acoustic guitar
a huge suitcase packed to the brim with everything from sandals and sundresses to sweaters, leg warmers, long underwear and boots. And a bikini. I always pack a bikini for everywhere I go.
dresses and costume pieces and hair feathers and flowers and falls for my gigs!
leather jackets and my thigh high boots
two yoga mats
a bag full of toiletries and hair stuff, curlers, false eyelashes
another bag full of makeup
my backpack with my laptop, three DVDS (The Gun, the series by Robert Altman, and two “Legends of Jazz” DVDs)
my ipod
my iphone
a new charger for my car that doesn’t work (!)
the books I am reading, a sketch pad, my diary
my lists of things to do, collated into a manila envelope
CDs and merch
Poet’s Lovely Daughter posters
CDs for duplicating promo CDs
my Sony zi6 flip cam
a 20 pack of water
a 12 pack of soda (I know, I know, but it’s a ROAD TRIP!)
a bag of snacks: pretzels, trail mix, mangoes, tea, supplements

WHEW!
And I could still make room for another person, if I wanted.

Who knew that Jetta could fit all of that!!!

I set my intention for a safe journey full of fun, growth, musical success and amazing adventure, and I hit the road…





FRIDAY AFTERNOON

THE CELINE DIARIES…

So, here’s a little guilty secret that I’m coming out with.

I LOVE singing Celine Dion songs. In fact. Just because I write brooding lyrics doesn’t mean I’m relegated only to the lands of Leonard Cohen. I love singing anything emotive, and lemme tell ya. Celine’s got it goin’ on when it comes to that.

My next album, I think, maybe, just maybe, is gonna be a bit more crossover, including some more of my cabaret and classical and jazz passions (don’t ask me how, it’s in the works) but… I see myself as more of a Bette Midler type. Someone who sings lots of songs in lots of genres and yet is always herself. Yup, that’s me. I’m always Erin. There’s no one that sings like me and I sing like no one and I am finally accepting that… so maybe I’ll never be a straight up any kind of singer. So what? I’m having quite the journey in my music career, from my classical beginnings to my rocker chick road trips to my cabaret effusions to my emo indie life to my crossover who knows what the heck is next. One of my friends who is still working for the dinosaurs (major labels, sorry guys, not trying to be mean, but, um, it’s time to evolve. Not that I have a CLUE what that looks like) gets so disturbed by this sort of career path… he can’t believe I don’t just find a genre and stick with it. Maybe I will, if something hits really big. But until then… I think he is underestimating the palate, sophistication and curiosity of music fans and people in general. My god, I have a fan page started by some awesome teenagers in Malaysia. And I have a huge GLBT following in the Midwest. And my hipster NY friends like me, too, even when I sing Carmen and then Kermit the Frog songs in the middle of my very serious hipster joints. And everyone is on line, and everyone is listening to everything from the Pussy Cat Dolls to duets between Luciano Pavarotti and James Brown. So if someone is top 40 pop straight up, that’s great. But Green Day just turned their album into a Broadway Musical and I applaud it and wish to emulate that sort of willingness to cross into all opportunities for expression and sharing music.

So I’m taking the opportunity, from Los Angeles through Palm Springs and all the way to the 8/ 85 bypass of Phoenix (thanks to Anastasia for the tip for avoiding Friday Phoenix Rush Hour traffic!) through Gila Pass to sing, sing, SING! Celine songs at the top of my lungs.

You know what? That woman can SING. Those songs are not easy to sing, with that power and in those ranges. I gotta give it up to that woman. And, you know what?

Sometimes, I too, am frightened, but I’m ready to learn about the Power of Love.

I mean it.

(Sing along, now everybody! “As I look into your eyes… The power of love…”)

(YEAH…. I know you WANT to!!!!! Even you, moody chick with black eyeliner in back. Which, by the way, would have been me. Still is me. HAhahaha.)





FRIDAY EVENING

JONI IS AMAZING

I get into Tucson around 7 or 7:30 pm that evening. I disregard the directions from my iPhone maps and decide to see if I can figure out how to get to her cottage near the University on my own. I can’t.

And so I consult the iPhone map. Boy, am I OFF! I actually went the wrong way every time! Which bugs me because I supposedly pride myself on my excellent sense of direction. Ha!

But finally, I arrive, and Joni, whom I have not yet met, is a friend of my dear friend, the poet, Chris Shillock, and she is a psychotherapy student at the University, but also she is a former actress and singer who lived in Minneapolis and has generously offered to let me stay at her cottage, and she will stay in her friend’s yoga studio across the street. !!!! Such kindness and generosity!!!

And, can I say? She’s WONDERFUL. She makes me the most amazing vegetarian stirfry, brown rice, veggies, mushrooms, veggie protein, tea. And we stay up late talking cabbages and kings, and astrology, and channeling, and human behavior, and music and love and sex and passion and everything I love to talk about and read about and learn about. I see why Chris connected us.

In her dear little cottage she has posters from jazz festivals, and paintings of flowers, and books and books and books and music! Jazz, and French singer songwriters. And she has lots of blankets, very important to cold little me. She has dream catchers and jar after jar of herbs and powders and seasonings. It’s like I’m staying in a Wise Witch’s Alchemical Kitchen. (Well… in another time….) And she has MASKS. NATIVE AMERICAN ANIMAL MASKS.

She tells me she is Native American, herself, Omaha. She introduces me to the animals- Bear, Wolf, Raven, Crazy Hawk. I feel watched over, safe and cozy. And blessed.





SATURDAY, MARCH 13th, 2010

LATE MORNING

RUNNING THROUGH TUCSON

I have slept in. I feel amazing. I get up, throw on my running shoes, and hit the roads of the Sam Hughes neighborhood in Tucson.

Running is a great way to get to know a new city. You get to get out on foot and see a city from a viewpoint of health and wellness, and you learn pretty quickly about safety, air quality, generosity of drivers, and, of course, one of my favorite parts, the flora and fauna.

I give Tucson two thumbs up. It was a lovely run! Apparently there were desert bloomings, but nothing affected me. It was an easy run in regards to breathing, so I know that air quality was probably pretty decent. Of course, I live in Los Angeles, so in general, most cities offer better air quality, more or less…

I loved the smell of sage and oranges. I ran past sweet Southwestern ramblers, peach trees and these strange partridge dove looking birds. I wished my Dad were there with his bird book so he could tell me what they were! I will have to look it up. And everywhere, the lawns were dotted with bright orange and yellow flowers, as even the wildflowers and weeds were springing forth in joy at the sunshine and at spring!

I passed a street called “Forgeous,” and of course instantly converted it, in my mind, to “Gorgeous.” And it was.




FRIDAY AFTERNOON

COLLEENA CANDELABRA

I had arranged with Colleena Hake, owner of the Candelabra Gallery (where I was to perform) to set up my sound system and sound check in her gallery at around 3 pm. There was a gallery walk in Tucson that afternoon that was winding down- and Colleena’s gallery was featuring the artwork of Lisa Kanouse, Tucson native.

In her email, while we were booking the gig and arranging the particulars, Colleena had informed me that I would LOVE Lisa’s work. SHE WAS RIGHT! Paintings of love making and beautiful women in all their glory, with a slight romantic and maybe even gothic bent! And a few other favorites- Dia De Los Muertos style skeletons, featuring a couple on a swing, and the gentleman skeleton, in a Frank the German (my ex) style Tyrolean Hat with Feather is copping a feel on the lady skeleton who wears a flower in her hair. I laughed out loud once I saw that one.

Colleena is a very beautiful, inspirational woman. She runs the gallery, but is also a performance artist, visual artist, healer and yogi. She’s the kind of woman that inspires you to live your passions and encourages everyone around her. You just feel, comfortable, and happy, and… inspired. That’s it. You feel inspired to be yourself around her.

I set up my little stage on a beautiful Persian rug- keyboard, guitar, and ipod. ;-p

And I set off for Maya Quetzal for some nosh before my performance.




SATURDAY EVENING:

THE OUTFIT

I am wearing a one of a kind, made by my friend Susean Morrow skirt. It’s floor length, purple and dark blue, and it wraps around just below my hips and fastens on a diagonal. Beneath it I am wearing my black boots, but no one can see that they are boots. I chose to wear those because they will be warm, and because the heels are super high! (Maybe I do have a little Carrie from SATC going on when it comes to shoes.) (Okay, so for the record, they are Baby Phat boots.) I wear a purple, sleeveless turtle neck that fits to my form and has these gathers along the sternum, between the breasts. My hair is straight and long and raven colored these days, and I wear lots of dark eye makeup and my Hand of God bracelet, and green and gold hoop earrings and matching Amazonian style arm bracelet.

THE SETLIST

I am performing two sets, and I decided that within each set, I would make it progress from acoustic guitar to keyboard to full tracks from the album.

SET ONE:
Never, Never, Never (Shirley Bassey/ Mina’s song, in English and Italian)
Don’t Mind Me (new song)
Sober (new song)
It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green
La Vie En Rose
Too Much (off the record, but on piano)
Black Butterfly (off Poet’s Lovely Daughter)
Faith (PLD)
Heart Given (PLD)
Poet’s Lovely Daughter (PLD)

SET TWO:
The Habañera from Carmen
Things that Are Gone (new song I wrote with Infamous Upstairs Zack)
K-15 (off PLD)
Shadow and Silt (PLD)
Supernatural (PLD)
Dreams (the Stevie song, on acoustic guitar)
City Behind the Sky (PLD)




SATURDAY NIGHT:

HOTEL CONGRESS AND TUCSON

So, after the show, I meet the most amazing crew of Tucsonites. Tucsonians? Tucson denizens. Hm. Anyway.

Adrienne, who works in the music industry, and used to live in LA, sort of takes me under her wing and along with Colleena, and Manuel and a crew of other really cool peeps, we walk along to the place my roommate Linda and my Ladies Who Brunch friend Anastasia said I hAD to go to, the Hotel Congress. We end up talking late of music, of the industry, of Tucson facts and figures, of art and academia, of passion. You know. Erin stuff. Life stuff.



MORE TO COME

For now, I’m off to yoga, and then the Georgia O’Keefe museum, the Pop Gallery, and the Loretto Chapel. In the snow…. I’ll walk! Thank god I’m staying within walking distance of everything! Because despite the fact that I was born and raised in Minnesota…. I do not have a SCRAPER for my windows on my car!!!!!!! hahahahahahhaa!!!! The story of the journey along 77 and 77,000 miles on my car and the blizzard (shall I say bli77ard?) will have to wait for the next installment…. this girl’s off to explore.


;-)


LOVE TO YOU

FOLLOW YOUR BLISS

IT MIGHT LEAD YOU TO TUCSON
OR IT MIGHT LEAD YOU BLIND INTO A BLIZZARD

BUT IT LEADS YOU STRAIGHT INTO YOUR HEART

~Erin~