This month, I want to go to at least one open mic. I’ll start locally and then branch out. One open mic I really want to visit is at Maid Cafe NYC in Chinatown. I think I can comfortably sing some Japanese tunes on my guitar there. ^_^
On Thursday, I practiced some songs on my guitar. I was a bit rusty but once my fingers were in position, they remembered where to move and I got into my groove. I learned three new chords for the song “Ibara no Namida” (Tears of Thorns) by my favorite Japanese band, L’arc~en~Ciel. It’s one of my favorite songs and has been my ringtone since 2012! I was surprised I didn’t learn it sooner. It is easy to play. I was so excited! There are only six chords for the entire song: Am7, D7, C7, C, Fm7, and G.
The main reason for doing open mics this year is to get some exposure for my original work. I really love writing songs. I’ve been writing them since elementary school, but my songs really started to blossom in junior high school, when I was writing a lot of poetry. In the past decade, I’ve especially written songs inspired by stories. Some stories were from my own written work and some were from books I read.
In 2012, I was inspired by, or rather obsessed with, The Hunger Games Trilogy. After reading the books one after the other, I wrote a lot of songs and poems. Two are complete and they will come with me to the open mics I perform in the future. A few months ago, I had a dream that one of them, called “Standing Still”, became a huge hit without my knowledge or without me even releasing it. It was a sign. This song should be shared. I have to re-record the vocals and guitar version I have on my computer, but a snippet will be available to listen to at Shanasaki Music soon. The second song is about the character Cinna. I am very proud of the lyrics. The imagery of fashion design for a revolutionary muse, during the Catching Fire timeline, major influence for the song’s story. The sound of the song has a 90s grunge rock style. I like it a lot.
I think concept albums would be the way to go for me, in terms of recording studio albums. My style of music is everywhere; from a folk song I wrote called “Birdeye”, to a simple techno song I recently made called “Running To”.
For some time, I felt that my songs were boring, or I just didn’t like them very much. Listening to the radio more in recent years, I realized that my music DOES deserve to be heard. “Illusion”, a song I wrote inspired by my urban fantasy vampire novel, started to dwindle in its appeal. When I listened to it again, after avoiding it for months and after my radio revelation, I liked it more and more. I have to re-record the vocals and finish it!
This coming Tuesday, I’ll be performing some kids songs for a sing-along I am doing in my daughter’s preschool class. I’ll most likely follow the same format I used during my summer playground sing-along.
The songs I performed:
- “Hello!” (My original song, about simple salutations in Spanish, French and Japanese
- “The Green Grass Grows” ( A childhood favorite- I used to sing this with my sisters when they were small, watching Barney.)
- “Down by the Bay”
- “On My Rocket Ship” (My original song that my kids love and so do I! I really need to record this!)
I definitely want to do more children’s sing-alongs, especially in my old neighborhoods (Crown Heights/Bed-Stuy and Red Hook). It’s fun and I love doing it! The kids have a good time too. ^_^
Visit Shanasaki Music to listen to my covers of Mad World, Misery Business, and Atticus.