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Karen the LairMistress / Blog

Memorizing Songs at my Age

Hello and Happy New Year, LairCronies across the many online forums occupied more or less frequently by my lurking self! Here I am, a busker and folksinger at the age of 50, lamenting the gradual loss of my ability to memorize songs; and wondering if my longtime use of Paxil is having a harmful effect on my songwriting ability. When I was in my teens, I made a habit of memorizing the entire *repertoires* of my favorite folk artists. I can still memorize songs well enough; but it takes me significantly longer to do so at 50 then it did at, say, 14. In particular, I'm having a hell of a time memorizing the lyrics to one of my own, recently-completed songs, "Listen Further Back." Sigh...At any rate, it's high time to be off on an open-mic tour. Over the past summer, I completed several new original songs; and since I got a new digital camera with video functions for Christmas, I look forward to making a few simple new song videos soon. I just have to get out of bed at a decent hour each morning, as well as finding out how the video monetizing function at Youtube works. While I'm here, I want to send out condolences to the family and friends of Phoenix's very own banjo guy, Joe Bethancourt, whose passing in August of last year was only just recently brought to my attention. I got to know him while living and working in Phoenix between December 1989 and April 1991; his down-to-earth nature and brilliant stringed musicianship kicked the collective backsides of most of Phoenix's rather elitist folk music scene, much to my observant enjoyment. Perhaps I'll write more on Joe later; I sort of lost touch with him after moving up to Seattle, though I remained on his email list for quite a while. May he travel on in Peace. Other projects in the works include further marketing of Cafepress merch (should I open an Instagram account? Marketing experts seem to think it's a good idea these days), as well as finishing a couple of song and merch-promotion videos now in production via Photoshop Elements. I also need both funds and a few instrumentalists to help me finish the "Soul Who Dances On" album. Feel free to leave me a message if you know of good Seattle-based instrumentalists and/or fundraisers who could help me with this...

Do You See the Beam of Lamplight: On "Lost Songs"

I'm sure I'm not the only one who's had this happen; but I've lost the lyrics, and in some cases, the tunes, to several of my early songs. Back in college, I wrote several songs the lyrics of which I've lost, including one I wrote for my Mom when she was going through some rough emotional stresses: "Song of the Lightbeam." The only part of this I remember was the first line of the chorus: "Do you see the beam of lamplight, as it streaks in through the pane?" Sadly, there are a few others that went the same way, including "Never You Mind", "Small Wonder, I Say", "For Heaven's Sake", and a few others. Kind of sad, really, even though they weren't all incredibly marvelous songs (I was still sort of in the songwriting learning process at that time). But who knows; one of these days, I might just run into them hidden away in an old college notebook somewhere. There are some other songs for which I wrote the lyrics, but never quite got around to composing (or completing) a melody for them. Fortunately, I've got those typed up in a collection and preserved for songwriting posterity (unless my apartment burns down), just in case a tune comes flashing into my head. I guess they'll just be poems of a sort until then. Meanwhile, right now, I'm working on a couple of brand-new songs simultaneously, including one called "All Your Work to Naught Must Come", my latest contribution to pissing off the Religious Right. I don't know how it happened, but I actually completed four verses just yesterday, and the tune already exists, at least in my head! I must be on a roll, or something. Now, if I can just complete at least one final verse for the other song, "Half a Chance", set to the traditional Irish tune of the song "Snowy-Breasted Pearl." It's been a while since I finished any songwriting; but when I do, I always feel like I wasn't the only one working on the project...

Here in 2014...

Okay, I started off the new year by accidentally opening a new "band member profile" for myself! How do I delete that one? Just one of the many things about this system that I find confusing--probably because I don't spend enough time here.

Among other happenings, I've got a new laptop at long last; and now am busy uploading my old song and photo collections, together with music and photo editing software in compatibility mode. In addition, I'm in the market for portable recording devices (think Zzounds H-4 Zoom) that are better in sound quality than the average digital audio recorder. Overall, I just need to make more money with my online businesses (for example, see The LithicLair: http://www.cafepress.com/lithiclair ). I've also been neglecting a lot of my online activities (including this one), and need to do more musical networking. But first of all...how do I get rid of this new profile I accidentally spawned without meaning to?? I don't need TWO ReverbNation profiles!!

Okay, I Finally Did It...a Crowdfunding Campaign!

Well, the very idea of crowdfunding for a recording project scares the bejeebers out of me; but I finally got sick of being stuck in a rut, with no funds for recording. So, here is a link to my brand-new Gofundme campaign for the new CD: http://www.gofundme.com/1xbp40 . Hope I'm allowed to post this here! So far, no massive donations; but what the heck, I just put the thing out there yesterday! So, if you like the uploads I've got here so far, and would like to see them released with full instrumentation, check out the campaign at the link above, and see if you can toss a buck or two into this online guitar case. Thanks in advance, everyone! :)

Merch Shop for LairMistress

Okay, so I started creating a new merch store at this profile. But I actually have a fairly extensive merch shop at Cafepress, at this link: http://www.cafepress.com/laircraft/6812102 . I've also got original-design stickers and other paper paraphernalia at another Cafepress shop, known as The Lair of Cards: http://www.cafepress.com/cardlair . They've come out pretty nice, if I may say so myself. Now, if I can figure out where else one might upload mp3 files...