Blog Site for Entertainer Julie C Myers

Welcome to my Blog!!

Hey World, Welcome here!! I would LOVE for this to turn, at least partially, into a forum for those involved in the entertainment business to use this to tell me about your triumphs and trials. ...and for those who are my friends, like to follow me or my career, give me advice, and hopefully be of some support, you are also very welcome!!

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Valentines Day… a response to an interview question Feb 12th

DSC_0069.JPGI’ve been more people’s Valentine than I care to remember!  LOL…   I’ve spent too much of my adult life being single… and while Valentine’s Day dates where a lot of fun in my teens and early twenties… I wasn’t always pleased with the status of my relationships in the years that followed.  For the most part, however, I tried NOT to reevaluate my entire life on that day and just have some fun.

The week leading up to Valentine’s Day for me is a week of reflection.  Reflection on the relationship with that special someone I’ve decided to give my heart to!   I’m an advocate for working hard at your relationships… even beyond the person you might be married to… ALL your relationships.   If married people would work at their relationship with the same zest and zeal that teenagers do, the statistics would be a LOT different on how well marriages do over the years.   I’m by no means an authority on this as I’ve just had my third anniversary.   I am so very pleased about that.  It’s my first marriage and I really want to celebrate.   I was single for a lot more years than I cared to be… for several reasons I think.   It’s not easy being in a relationship with someone when you are on the road so much of the time.  Entertainers have that in common.   Another reason may be that while I advocate working really hard to keep a relationship fresh and vibrant, the guys I used to date may not have measured up in that way.   Many of them were on auto-pilot after a year or so and then, when you are apart because of work, the glue just slowly lets go.   It’s different for me this time.  I married a guy who supports my career and everything I stand for… 100%.  We’ve known each other for 7 years by now and there’s been nary a dull moment…. even when we are apart.  We are VERY much in love… and I know we’d do ANYTHING for each other… and we do!!  I want to celebrate Valentine’s day!!… and go back to the place we were engaged… AGAIN!  I love reliving that moment….  so wonderful.  I can say my life knows a peace that’s been eluding me for most of my life!  Finding your soulmate is an UNFORGETTABLE experience… and I’ve found him and he says the same.   I am gonna be a little naughty on Valentine’s Day…  🙂
Raff and I have had similarly memorable times in St Petersburg Florida, Palm Springs California, Memphis Tennessee, the Island of Djerb Tunisia, and on and on…. but we were engaged in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada….at the most wonderful East Indian Restaurant I’ve ever been to.   It was very private… away from the flash and glitz my life is often bombarded with.   It’s called the East India Company (shameless plug) next to the Convention Centre in Winnipeg.  It’s the biggest baddest freshest tastiest most colourful yummiest place on earth.   The wide variety of flavours and quality of the dishes are unbelievable.  I’ve had him take me back there every Valentine’s Day since.  We were not engaged on Valentine’s Day… but we’ve never been around Winnipeg on our Anniversary so Valentine’s Day is the closest we get and the day we chose to celebrate that.  After that, I think we’ll spend the night at The Hotel Fort Gary (Shameless plug #2).  The Fort Gary is a Canadian National Railway hotel built around the time when the first railway was completed from Coast to Coast.. in Grand and Opulent tradition where you stay in rooms with 12′ ceilings on virtually every floor (it’s not as expensive as you might think!).  It’s a quarried stone structure that, for many years, was the tallest building in Winnipeg.  It’s just a short walk from an eclectic touristy area called “The Forks” where the Assiniboine River flows into the Red.  The Red River used to have paddle wheel boats running up and down well into the USA and is considered the “Mississippi of the North”… flowing in the opposite direction.   A romantic night with the man I love at the Hotel Fort Gary… and amazing Brunch the next morning that ends in a walk about listening to street musicians at the Forks is about perfect for me on Valentine’s Day.   I’m guessing we’ll hang around the various shops for a good part of the afternoon and have a bite at “A Taste of Sri-Lanka”(Shameless plug #3) or one of the other little walk up food vendors there before we head back and decide it’s time to say good bye to the place.    This is what I’d LIKE to do… and the reality is WE WILL… BUT, I’ll be enroute to Canada from Mississippi late on the 14th this year after a show…. so it will all have to wait a day.  This is what love is all about.  We won’t be “mailing it in”.  We’ll wait for each other but we WON’T MISS a celebration of our love.  Not a chance…  Rock On, music lovers…   🙂

Pop, Rock, and Country ~ Blurred lines…

Pop, Rock, and Country ~ Blurred lines…Pop music all sounds so similar to me today… and I suppose it’s for the same reason my parents used to tell me Rock Music all sounded the same to THEM!  It’s the root of the genre that does have a similar beat and timber to it.  While there ARE several songs in the Pop music genre I really like bypeople like Katie Perry and Taylor Swift, most of it is a little too clos

e to EDM (Electronic Dance Music) for my taste. I’ll probably be barred from performing at any of the Casinos of Las Vegas for saying this… but EDM has taken over the world in the clubs
across America because it’s DIRT CHEAP to put on.. a DJ is a one man show… but really, it’s the ‘Walmart’ of music… and I don’t know who really LIKEs the stuff… but even I can dance to it if I’m in the right mood.   As a collective, us musicians NEED to be out there informing the world and our fans that THAT is what EDM is all about for the club owners.   It has it’s legitimate fans and there IS a craft to it… but it’s lacking in real soul.   It’s the CHEAP-OUT version of real music…. and nobody wants to be cheap.   I am told that I’m a Country artist by today’s definition.  I NEVER ever would have been told that 20 years ago.  I’m all Rock N Roll !!… surely!… but Country has lost a lot of it’s Twang and appeals to a much wider demographic these days.    It’s grown up some.   Parts of that genre is what those of us who were Classic Rock fans now listen to… because Classic Rock is just that… I’m told it’s part of ‘History’… and we can’t RECORD new

julie still17

Classic Rock songs.  I beg to differ.  A rose by any other name still smells the same.   Keith Urban of today is as Classic Rock as the Jackson Browne of yesteryear.  The genre’s have changed so much because the Country fans don’t want to admit they like Classic Rock and old Rock fans don’t wanna give the New Contemporary Country a chance.   There’s so much more that crosses over these days.  I agree that there’s still a huge bunch of people subscribing to what I know as “Bro-Country” …and my new Album is aimed pretty much DIRECTLY at that. I’m no fan of the schlock being thrown at us on Country stations from that angle.  I’m as ‘girly’ a girl you’ll ever meet but the endless prattle of songs about getting the girl to go for a ride in your pickup truck and drinking some beer and having your way with her is nauseating.   It’s gonna come to an end though… mark my word.   Women DO want to be girls and everything that goes with it…. but few want to be painted as ‘easy’ and portrayed as brain dead.   I, for one, want to be STRONG.   I want to embrace my physical side AND the artistic me.   I want to be an inspiration to women everywhere that ‘You CAN live your dream’… and ‘You CAN be someone people love to be around’.   Be all you can be… be strong… be fearless!  Rock On, my music lover friends… and give some of the ‘New Country or Country/Rock a chance.  You might find a few nuggets in there you can identify with.  Hope you all like me new Album…  Rock On ~ Fearless Journey .   You tell ME what Genre it belongs to.. …Available Feb 24th 2015… Amazon, iTunes, CDBaby.

Pop, Rock, and Country ~ Blurred lines…

  • Pop music all sounds so similar to me today… and I suppose it’s for the same reason my parents used to tell me Rock Music all sounded the same to THEM!  It’s the root of the genre that does have a similar beat and timber to it.  While there ARE several songs in the Pop music genre I really like bypeople like Katie Perry and Taylor Swift, most of it is a little too clos
    e to EDM (Electronic Dance Music) for my taste. I’ll probably be barred from performing at any of the Casinos of Las Vegas for saying this… but EDM has taken over the world in the clubs
    across America because it’s DIRT CHEAP to put on.. a DJ is a one man show… but really, it’s the ‘Walmart’ of music… and I don’t know who really LIKEs the stuff… but even I can dance to it if I’m in the right mood.   As a collective, us musicians NEED to be out there informing the world and our fans that THAT is what EDM is all about for the club owners.   It has it’s legitimate fans and there IS a craft to it… but it’s lacking in real soul.   It’s the CHEAP-OUT version of real music…. and nobody wants to be cheap.   I am told that I’m a Country artist by today’s definition.  I NEVER ever would have been told that 20 years ago.  I’m all Rock N Roll !!… surely!… but Country has lost a lot of it’s Twang and appeals to a much wider demographic these days.    It’s grown up some.   Parts of that genre is what those of us who were Classic Rock fans now listen to… because Classic Rock is just that… I’m told it’s part of ‘History’… and we can’t RECORD new

    julie still17

    Classic Rock songs.  I beg to differ.  A rose by any other name still smells the same.   Keith Urban of today is as Classic Rock as the Jackson Browne of yesteryear.  The genre’s have changed so much because the Country fans don’t want to admit they like Classic Rock and old Rock fans don’t wanna give the New Contemporary Country a chance.   There’s so much more that crosses over these days.  I agree that there’s still a huge bunch of people subscribing to what I know as “Bro-Country” …and my new Album is aimed pretty much DIRECTLY at that. I’m no fan of the schlock being thrown at us on Country stations from that angle.  I’m as ‘girly’ a girl you’ll ever meet but the endless prattle of songs about getting the girl to go for a ride in your pickup truck and drinking some beer and having your way with her is nauseating.   It’s gonna come to an end though… mark my word.   Women DO want to be girls and everything that goes with it…. but few want to be painted as ‘easy’ and portrayed as brain dead.   I, for one, want to be STRONG.   I want to embrace my physical side AND the artistic me.   I want to be an inspiration to women everywhere that ‘You CAN live your dream’… and ‘You CAN be someone people love to be around’.   Be all you can be… be strong… be fearless!  Rock On, my music lover friends… and give some of the ‘New Country or Country/Rock a chance.  You might find a few nuggets in there you can identify with.  Hope you all like me new Album…  Rock On ~ Fearless Journey .   You tell ME what Genre it belongs to.. …Available Feb 24th 2015… Amazon, iTunes, CDBaby.

Politics as it touches your life…

Dreams Rock Fantasy-119           I may only be an entertainer… but I care about our planet and what we leave behind for the generations to come.   I have several concerns as time marches on.  Having just celebrated a birthday makes me ever more mindful of my responsibilities in that.  I am an American Citizen but live on the Canadian side of the border at present… where I do my best to recycle and care for my environment.   I work out at a gym to take care of myself as well.   I’m thankful to live in a town where the tap water in the entire city is purified by osmosis distillation…all clean and pure.   We are virtually mosquito free because the city has a staff of technicians seeding ecologically friendly larvicide through the entire city and several miles beyond it’s borders.   I am encouraged by what I see as “possible” in this day and age… but am VERY disheartened by some of the things that the quest for power and money are doing to us at the same time.
I am speaking about the large corporations that are, for the most part, not guided by any moral compass what so ever.  Monsanto, Oil Giants, Automakers, Mining companies, and so so many more.   The watchdogs of our Nations are complicit in their work with these people and that has GOT to stop.  Our political systems are failing us miserably in this regard.  Lobbyists are running our political system and THAT, I dare say, needs to be outlawed.   Our government will never have our best interest at heart with the current system.  Somebody tell me how this can be changed.

I have recently been reading posts about cures for cancer.  I’m not certain there is any validity to the claims but people are saying there are cures out there that never see the light of day because “there is no money in it”.  Nay-sayers tell us we are “paranoid schizophrenics” and that “all is well” and “that could never happen”.   I say, “follow the money”.   It is not because of their great desire to help the cause that Large Pharma is one of the larger donors to “The American (and Canadian) Cancer Society”… and that, because of this status, they get to have people on the Board of Directors.   Are there no Ombudsmen of Charitable Organizations that can look into the OPERATIONS of these Organizations and tell the public EXACTLY what’s going on?   I was also recently told about how Hemp Oil virtually INSTANTLY cures Skin Cancer.  I haven’t SEEN it work.. but we don’t even hear the FDA or any other reputable health organization TEST these claims in proper “Double Blind Tests” or put out a “Statement” to put such issues to rest.   I am just skeptical enough to believe these cures exist and that big business does NOT want us to know about them… and would put up HUGE protests if the FDA even CONSIDERED testing these claims… much like their fight to overturn GMO labeling laws in every state that is considering putting that into effect is GOING ON RIGHT NOW.

I’d love for everyone to watch “Who Killed the Electric Car”.  It’s movie about the early 80’s Oldsmobile Electric Car that GM built and then suddenly recalled the ENTIRE fleet, shredding every last one of them (There is one hollow carcass left in the GM museum). THAT, after California saw their efficiency and almost maintenance free operation and passed a law REQUIRING a certain percentage of all cars sold in California to be electrically powered from that time forward.   GM had already put up Fast-Charge stations throughout the state and destroyed them all.  SOMEONE somehow convinced California to reverse their Electric Car Law as well.   It’s an extremely provocative movie… and it’s all true.   They leave you to make your own conclusions.  Apparently British Petroleum tried to buy a substantial interest in Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors recently… and THIS TIME it only resulted in him releasing ALL HIS PATENTS relating to his electric Car Development… his way to ensure the electric car will survive and actually take over and dominate world Auto production in years to come.  I am so happy this man is walking the face of this earth.   I would NOT be one to bet against Mr Musk or one to invest in Oil Stocks because this time we have someone who does what he does because “it’s the right thing to do” and not really that concerned about the money in it.   He has made and lost several fortunes in his short lifetime… and I am one of his biggest cheerleaders.  I hope he is rewarded handsomely for his clear headed view of what mankind needs to sustain our lives on this planet… and beyond.  THAT is the way the system should work… reward those who improve man’s sustainability WHILE improving our standard of living at the same time.    He should be one of  the heros of our day.  I only hope he stays healthy and well and eventually turns his attention to our health care as well.  I have also heard that his association with Mr Bill Gates is resulting in some VERY interesting discussions far beyond the programming and manufacturing of his electric cars.  It’s going to be interesting to watch the world change over the next ten years with people like him in our midst.  Rock on Elon Musk…. Rock On!!

DREAMS – A Rock Fantasy

A new show almost ready to hit the road! EXCITING!!

Roy H Williams writes, “A person capable of creating is happiest when they are creating.   Artists create visual and auditory artifacts that affect our thoughts, moods and attitudes.  Riddle-solvers perform feats of engineering and invention.  Teachers create new understanding in the minds of their students.  Entrepreneurs create businesses that offer us new and different experiences.  Communicators create stories and speeches and ads.  Made in the image of God, humans are creators by nature.   All humans.  Yes, that includes you.   What do you create? What do you change? What effect do you have on the world around you?”

I too am at my happiest during the creative process.  Some love to cook, some build homes, and I like to work at creating such “visual and auditory artifacts” that affect mood and entertain.  There are frustrations when the vision seems impossible or too expensive to complete… but overcoming obstacles is intrinsically part of the creative process that ultimately makes it more enjoyable and satisfying on recall.
My new show “Dreams – A Rock Fantasy” is on it’s way to becoming a reality.  Still working on a few details but we are almost ready to begin rehearsal.  A new concept, a new set, new video accompaniment, and a theatrical approach to presentation make rehearsal a necessity.   It’s been a major investment in time and money… so we have a lot riding on it’s acceptance.  I’m brimming with confidence as I’m counting on people loving it.  This is going to be so much fun!!
Here’s a sneak peek.  The DREAMS show is “Steampunk” Themed.  We’ve spent a few hundred thousand dollars building a new stage set, instruments, and costumes to help transport the audience to this period.  Steampunk is a sub-genre of Science Fiction, an alternative history, and describes an “Alternate Reality” as might be imagined by someone of the late 1800’s on what the future might look like.  Someone of that period has just witnessed the introduction of the Steam powered locomotive and was certain the power of Steam would change the world.  Someday anything would be possible.  Will Smith’s movie Wild Wild West was a Steampunk movie.  It depicted aliens landing in the untamed west and meeting the gun-toteing men of the 19th century.  A quick entry of “Steampunk Images” on Google will give you a clue.   This theme lends it self to wonderful images that we can build on and change over time.  It’s going to be so very much fun.  What I am NOT going to divulge right now is how this relates to the topic of Dreams and what, in our storyline, takes you there.  This is the tricky part and needs all the rehearsal to get it to work out just right.  September 6th and 7th, my new home town friends will be first to see it start to finish.  Home town audiences are always the harshest critics and I am so hoping for their support.  If I get it, I know I am onto a good thing and ready to market it across the country.

My Lesson in Song writing…

DSC_0043_2Voltaire is often quoted as having said it, but he never did.

Beaumarchais was working on the second scene in the first act of The Barber of Seville, when it hit him, “Aujourd’hui ce qui ne vaut pas la peine d’être dit, on le chante.”

“Anything too stupid to be spoken is sung.”  Aaarghhh!

Life is made UP of songs… they make up “The Sound Track of Our Lives” however stupid, or perhaps poignant, or even SMART!  In song writing we never really have to say it all.  We don’t have to tell the whole story.  The best songs leave some of the writing up to the listener… the interpretation and the extrapolation.

Isn’t it funny how the mind makes assumptions based on fragments of information?   Your mind fills in the empty spaces.  But what if there were no empty spaces?  What if the mental bandwidth of your attention was filled with other information?   Fill some of that vacancy with music and you’ve got a song.

Crowd the remaining emptiness with images and actions and you’ve got a movie. Make it participatory and you’ve got a video game, but now we’re on an entirely different lesson…

Getting back on track: song lyrics don’t have to make sense because words that are wrapped in music aren’t held to the same level of scrutiny as words that must stand on their own.

“Every language is made of obstruent and sonorant phonemes with the vowels of the language supplying the musical tones. The letters of the alphabet are not phonemes. The sounds represented by those letters – and certain combinations of letters such as sh, th, ch, ng, – the sounds are the phonemes.”  (I’m not making this stuff up. It is a studied and known science.  I can dig up explanations if you like…)

“Humans are uniquely gifted to attach complex meanings to sound. Some of these sound-messages are the combinations of phonemes we call words, but a complex sound-message without phonemes is called music. Mix phonemes with music and you’ve got a song.”

Words wrapped in music are no longer strictly words, but components of a complexly woven auditory tapestry with additional messages embedded in the pitch, key, tempo, rhythm, interval and contour of the tune. Song lyrics cannot be easily evaluated until they’ve been separated from the music that has swallowed them.

When the music feels happy, we usually think of the song as being happy, even when the lyrics are tragic. When the music is sad, we feel the song is sad even when the lyrics are joyful. When the music is triumphant, we feel the song is triumphant even though its lyrics may describe rejection and defeat.

On September 12, 2001, the day after 9-11, the most-played song in America was Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA. This is a fact. Radio stations across America wanted to lift the mood, remind us of our heritage and defy Osama Bin Laden, so they filled the sky with our favorite anthem to American exceptionalism:

“Born down in a dead man’s town,
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground.
You end up like a dog that’s been beat too much
Till you spend half your life just covering up.
Born in the U.S.A., I was born in the U.S.A….”

Those lyrics get increasingly sad, describing rejection and defeat without redemption, as a returning Viet Nam vet can’t find a job even though he turns to the Veteran’s Administration for assistance. In the end, he winds up working without hope in the shadow of a penitentiary and he blames it all on the fact that he was born in the U.S.A. The End.

Yet we shout the chorus to Born in the USA at the top of our lungs because the triumphant arc of the music and the defiant tone of Springsteen’s voice feel profoundly patriotic and proud, lyrics be damned.

“Music is a language of emotion so powerful that it is capable of contradicting the very words it carries. Control the music and you control the mood of the room. But choose the music for its feel, never for its lyrics.”   Stevie Nicks’ music is no different.  She manages to evoke a rainbow of feelings we are certain have to do with the clarity of her words.  The message to us is clear… but more than likely, it’s the musical arrangement as much as anything.

“Sound is a stunning phenomenon.

Learn how to use it, then choose whom you would like to stun.” …R H Williams

So here’s where I’d like little help.  I’m tempted to give you a lot of back ground and what it is I’m trying to say… the entire context of the song…. but I won’t!  Nope!  You’ll need to come up with your OWN ideas on what this song is all about.  It’s better that way.  Here are the lines of my song…  Only rule is that you have to match the meter…

He’s all Thrift Stores and Junk Food

with reckless abandon,

m’ Heart aches for his touch,

You can’t imagine.

Love’s just a substitute

for mystery and passion…

…and the rest is up to you.  Write me back with your ideas.  You can do it.  I hope by now I have you thinking  that it’s not rocket science as much as coming up with the arrangement is.   We’ll worry about that with the band.  You can tell me what YOUR thoughts on the context of the song is if you like…that’s cool too!  Have fun out there.   JCM

Damn the Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead…

P1010318   The choices in the business at hand are always considered either that of wisdom or folly.   I’ve immersed myself fairly deep in my latest venture… and we’ll see if it turns out wise.

Recording as a Tribute Artist is always a topic of hot debate.   Even to myself, it seems folly unless we can do something meaningful with these songs.  Simply reproducing precisely what is done by the original artist seems dumb.  Just doing a sloppy job of it, also pointless… as in both cases, why wouldn’t a person just try to find an album by the original artist?  I’d love to be able to elevate an old song to some new relevance without disrespecting the original arrangement.   Having someone tell me I achieved THAT would be the ultimate motivator to do more.  These are the instructions to the Mixing and Mastering Engineer.  A tall order when the 1977 Rumours album, the 8th best selling album of all time (Over 40 million copies sold) took a year to produce and probably a million dollars in studio time.

Most of the vocals are “in the can” and we only have a few more bits of saxophone, mandolin, violins and other strings, and pedal steel guitar to add to the tracks.  I didn’t write a single one of these songs… but I still feel like it’s a work of art that I’ve been able to have a hand in.  I’ve tasted working in a big well equipped studio with absolute A-List musicians…. and it’s a really really wonderful flavor.

As Christmas 2012 approaches and I think about the wisdom of my choices, I try to think philosophically  about these things.  From an article I read recently, “A wise person sees both sides of a matter.  The fool sees only one.  The origin of the word “wizard” is wise-ard. It means wise man. Nothing more.

The wise-ards of the Christmas Story followed a star, had an adventure, made a discovery and leaped onto the pages of history. What did they talk about along the way? Who did the cooking? What pressing issues did they leave unattended back home? Did they do anything really big with the rest of their lives? Where, when, and how did each of them pass?

We know only that they followed a star everyone else was content to ignore… that they were nonconformists with strange beliefs who had the courage of their convictions.  They took action. They left home and found the thing they sought.”

This is what gets me out of bed in the morning.  How about you?   Will you run with the big dogs or sit on the porch and bark at the postman?  Talk is cheap, the buzzing of flies.    What are we trying to accomplish?   How will we measure progress-to-goal?   Do I know what needs to happen next?    Which star do you follow?

An encounter with the wise man in the woods is part of every hero’s journey.  Athena was the wise man in the woods for Odysseus. When Obi-Wan was gone, Luke went to Dagobah and Yoda became his wise man. Mr. Miyagi was wise-ard for the Karate Kid. Morpheus for Neo. Galadriel for Frodo.

When you’re in the darkness of the forest – the belly of the whale – look around for the wise-ard who will help you complete your journey. The wise man in the woods exists only to assist the hero on his or her adventure.  I’d love to be that hero….

“As I bow at the waist and back slowly off the page, I pass along these carefully crafted words from heroes who carved their names deeply in the tree of life.”

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a Ride!'”
– Hunter S. Thompson

“If your life’s work can be accomplished in your lifetime, you’re not thinking big enough.”
– Wes Jackson

2013 awaits,

Julie C Myers