Posts Tagged ‘not applicable’

Finding Amanda: An internet love story

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Amanda Palmer and Courtnee Fallon Rex Photographed by Steve Kuhn The Art of Asking Book Tour. Sat, November 22, 2014. First Unitarian Church – Los Angeles

When I was young, I thought I had all the answers. Or at least, I thought I knew the problems, the deeper causes of the things I was seeing in people, that needed answering.

And I thought, since I seemed to be the only one who really *saw* what the problems were, saw them and felt them in my guts and talked about seeing them and feeling them in my guts, I was naturally responsible for fixing them, too.

All of them. Everywhere.

That turned out to be a bit of a problem for me. One I’ve since largely solved in my growth, accepting my role as a healer, an activist, and learning about boundaries.

Back then, I kept wishing I had been born earlier, so I could have been a part of the uprising in the 60’s, when “shit mattered”, when the ambient rage against this profoundly sick world order had a focus and a voice.
Now, I really really miss the 90’s.

I did my best to rebel and find my own way, but internalized a contempt for my own perspective and an intense hate for my sensitivity.

As a tiny girl I had started cussing and spewing sexist racist shit like a motherfucking truck driving military sailor, and I basically hated everyone. I lied about my age (when I was 11 I was 14) and hung out with older boys. I started smoking when I was 9, drinking when I was 10. I stole shit and resold it at school. I experimented with drugs.

In middle school I had found my niche as a leader of a small group of nerdy weirdos. I, like most middles schoolers, was bullied and pushed around, once by a large group in my own front yard.

I was the girl who peed her pants laughing, daily, at lunch. I was the girl who responded to being given flowers by immediately eating them. I was the girl who stayed at school until 6pm hanging out with the uncool teachers because they cared about me and I didn’t want to go home to an empty house and I secretly loved and adored them even though that wasn’t cool and I don’t think I ever told them how much they meant to me and I wish I had now (Thank you Mr. Pericone, Mr. Ebi and Mrs. Wollard).

By the time I was 15 I was so acutely aware that the system was a sham, I was going insane. I saw so clearly the dynamic of perpetrated violence in society, and in my life. I saw the pain hiding in peoples eyes, but I didn’t have the support to find my ground to stand against it. Everywhere I looked what I saw was how we were killing each other, and how I unconsciously contributed to that cycle.

I hated High School, even though I barely attended, and once I went there, I immediately fell deeply into drugs. I’m talking deep. Few know how bad it was. I quickly dropped out to join the workforce with a fast food job, so I could go on USEnet and use my minimum wage to buy Nirvana bootlegs, and more drugs.

I had no direct examples of self-supporting ways to cope with the cruelty of the world, and if I did come across them indirectly, they weren’t cool or appealing anyway because they weren’t ‘powerful’ like domination and violence seemed to be.

Emotionally, I was broken open and rawly empathic, connected with attrition and the damage we inherently do to one another simply by existing, and enraged at my impotence in fixing it. Physically, I was, frankly, killing myself.

I hadn’t lived enough then, well enough, to have the decades of varied experience and intense healing it would turn out I’d need in order to break out of my patriarchal conditioning and trust the instincts I was trying to snuff out. I was going crazy in part because that’s what I believed I was.

A new (digital) hope

In early 1995, in Sacramento California, from a commodore 8088 connected to a shell account with crl.com on a screechy modem with an actual WIRE, my dad showed me how to get on this Internet Relay Chat thing he’d told me about.

CRL’s root .ircrc file had a bunch of dead servers referenced in it, and I’d spent likely not nearly as long as it felt like I had being suicidally-frustrated with trying to figure out how to get the fuck online. Dad swooped in, figured out there was a /server command, and my life thus changed forever.

There were words on a screen attached to real-yet-fantasy humans who, when they weren’t talking about overthrowing governments and anal rape, were telling me I was not alone. That the social system we inherited was fucked and we were going to unfuck it by fucking it. There was a space, suddenly, to tell people what I saw.

There were vulnerable conversations about emotion and loss and pain where the ‘real’, world had been about image and learning how to be an expert on being fake. I’d found people who weren’t afraid to talk about the despair we all felt, through a medium that protected us better than any person had.

That was where, I thought, I found salvation. And for a while, I suppose I did. I wasn’t a sad sack high school nerd druggie statistic everyone fucking picked on, I was a social engineer in the thick of a god damn underground hacker revolution that only some people picked on.

My social life was with criminals on IRC, where I could explore my rage, screw the man, and say whatever the fuck kind of offensive abusive shit I wanted. I spent my time on meth and anything else I could find, listening to The Prodigy, chain smoking reds, fucking around with linux and waiting for the years to cycle to the next DEFCON.

I started maintaining my own web pages, gnashing my teeth about the worlds fuckedupedness (and how it caused me to feel), in 1995. I was one of the first webcams on the internet. I had my own irc channel (#nee). I had fans.

People emailed me often to tell me they’d found my site and how much what I was writing mattered to them. That my words mattered to them. I kept expecting waves of hate. They sent me fan art. They shared their stories. They told me I had saved their lives and that my spews of misery and hopelessness gave them hope. They told me I helped them feel less alone.

The first time someone told me I should write a book of my life I had been alive 15 years. I was a social advocate without really knowing it, a musician without accepting it, a community leader without being responsible for it, a digital artist. A flawed and miserable human being, with an intimate community online that fueled and supported me, nodding, saying; I see what you see, thank you for saying it.

mainhttp://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/main-404x348.jpg 404w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" />

As a musician I had a bit of a business on the original mp3.com in 1999/2000, but had started recording cover songs long before. I went by the name Not Applicable, and I insisted, vehemently, proudly, that my music would always, always be available for free, on my site.

But things change, and so did all that.

The RIAA destroyed mp3.com, and with it, my faith in the world supporting my niche-y emo-enya never-gonna-sell-shit-for-sony music. I went from identifying as an empowered independent artist with a support structure that validated me, from being featured and interviewed by ABC news (and my cam images being used in the original piece as well) regarding the success of the movement I was a part of, to feeling displaced and bullied and utterly rejected, with my dreams in flames at my feet.

With the fall of mp3.com, I also went from being a part of a community of artists and musicians who were, once again, revolutionary, by collaborating worldwide via audio files online, to drifting alone in space. I was always in the top 3 of the ambient electronic charts, and many people sent me remixes of my work and collaborated with me by finding me there, including one of the trance musician idols I’d had at the time, and lots of unknowns who are still unknown.

We were a creative artist economy birthing cross-pollinated artwork existing inside the payback for playback and DAM CD models for making money. It wasn’t going to make us all filthy rich, but it was a god damn fucking internet revolution utopia all the same.

I shrugged it off and didn’t let myself think about losing that community part all that much. I spewed anger at how unfair mp3.com’s demise was, and suddenly focused on the money, the wopping $2700 I’d made in a year, because of course it was just weak and selfish and shitty to want support and connection and love from people.

It had taken such immense courage for me to share my deeply personal and vulnerable music, music that made me cry from being so good and double over in pain for being so raw, music that rose out of me from a dark place I didn’t understand. I kept waiting for the hate to come, especially after I joined the mp3.com community from sharing my songs by DCC sending to friends in my IRC channel.

mp3.com was my taste of vitality as an artist. It was the first place I was confronted with irrefutable proof from strangers that my music was good. It was my bridge, back when I was still the only Courtnee on the internet, and the internet was all the connection with the human race I had that fucking mattered to me. It was a community that I’ve never found a comparable replacement for.

The hate never did come. Perhaps because it never had the chance to. For my efforts, for my courage, I received virtually nothing but waves of acceptance and love, feature after feature on the site praising my work even though I was a screwed up crazy hermit making weird whiney sad music that would never end up on the radio.

Losing that relevance changed me, reconfirmed my doubts in myself. I utterly loathed the music industry, threw up at the thought of playing shows. With mp3.com, I had let myself open up, and feel some hope. The loss of this flow of connection for me was staggering. And because of it I hardened.

I turned to the other revolution I was a part of for comfort and belonging while grieving my artistic self, to find it wasn’t there anymore, either. The geeks, the remaining foothold of my revolutionary home base, are no longer the underdog freedom fighters, and they haven’t been for a very long time. They’re the ruling class in the same system we despised.

It hurts to see your revolution become the system. Maybe even more than it hurts to see the revolution get flat out crushed by it. It’s a fucking betrayal I can only barely wrap my head around, but I feel it in my body. It’s a fucking betrayal I keep seeing over and over again in my life. Seeing the entropy, seeing the fear, seeing how the people who are doing what is most needed in this world are getting fucked and assimilated.

It got under my skin when the powers that be managed to napalm the countryside we were beginning to settle with mp3.com. Feeling like I almost had it, like I was almost valid — and then I closed my eyes and covered my head while the power in the world which already had way more than it needed clubbed me, and when I opened them again everything was different.

I didn’t realize how much I was still hurting. Not until Amanda walked into my office.

I can articulate now, after a lot of processing, and galvanizing our connection a few weeks ago by performing for her and her fans in Los Angeles, I hated Amanda Palmer because she represented for me the person I was who died with mp3.com and the internet as I had known it. Died “because” I didn’t have what Amanda Palmer had — a stream of fanbase supporting her when her conventional link to them [a record label], which I knew would have fucked me, fucked her, too.

She represented who I could be now if I hadn’t divorced from my core and spent years of my life chasing money and stability betraying myself in the tech industry before finding my way back to myself.

She represented for me the damage I did to my soul by choosing to take that path, for going through the motions while shutting down who I really was, for taking the RIAA attacking the home I’d found in mp3.com so unbelievably personally.

She represented the pain in becoming even more isolated and quiet as a musician, my most vulnerable and profound form of art, the paralyzation of being introverted and insecure and losing my foothold.

She represented the reality of only knowing how to be a solo musician making music in the safety of my dark little cave and posting it on the internet.

Healing is a pretty important aspect of being a revolutionary. It’s hard to cheer someone on who breaks through the glass ceiling you’re still concussed from smashing into and weakening for them.

In the rise of the digital music revolution, the unsigned artists of mp3.com got royally fucking fucked. As we grew in closer path alignment over the years, Amanda served as a screen for me to project that disembodied grief.

I had it first. I was there first, I had it, I had the following, I had the waves of love, I had the future, I WAS the future, I was AHEAD, and then I fucking wasn’t. In utter projective emotional simplicity that makes little logical sense, I was an Amanda Palmer before Amanda Palmer.

And then I wasn’t.

In the decade after the blow of mp3.com, and countless other events that knocked my fragile sense of self around back in those days, I am finally beginning to feel and trust in the ripples of reward for the tremendous amount of exertion and surgical accountability it’s taken to come back to where I am ready to step into myself again. Into my seeing, into my caring, into my vulnerability, into the vivid authenticity that steams off of me as a performer and a music maker and a singer, into my talents, and into my contributions.

It’s been a long decade.

Finding that I was still so emotionally fucked up over a website going down a decade before was an embarrassing reality to resign to in order to write this, but it’s just the honest truth of things. The impact to fragile hiding 22 year old me, losing mp3.com and what it represented in my life, at that time and at that point in my delicate career, caused a painful rift between me and myself that has taken a long time to sew back up.

Thank you for helping me heal it, Amanda. Thank you for helping that part of me come back.

Heavy in your arms (updated)

Friday, July 4th, 2014

https://soundcloud.com/soundofnee/im-so-heavy-fatm-cover-in-progress

Originally created by Florence and the Machine

I was a heavy heart to carry
My beloved was weighed down
My arms around his neck
My fingers laced to crown.

I was a heavy heart to carry
My feet dragged across ground
And he took me to the river
Where he slowly let me drown

My love has concrete feet
My love’s an iron ball
Wrapped around your ankles
Over the waterfall

I’m so heavy
Heavy in your arms
I’m so heavy
Heavy in your arms

And was it worth the wait
All this killing time?
Are you strong enough to stand
Protecting both your heart and mine?

Who is the betrayer?
Who’s the killer in the crowd?
The one who creeps in corridors
And doesn’t make a sound

An ode to acrimony

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

https://soundcloud.com/soundofnee/blackasnightsoloeffectsbeta

 

Forever in debt to your priceless advice

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

https://soundcloud.com/soundofnee/covering-nirvana-heart-shaped-box-whim

Heart Shaped Box on a whim. Because fuck it.

Played live with my Harmony G-XT which I am still getting used to.

Sketchbook update

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

First page with color in my tiny sketchbook. It will be full by summer, I’m betting.

Can has accordion? (NSFW)

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

I’ve been itching for an accordion for a couple years – a little one, that suits little me, and doesn’t have too many bass buttons and isn’t too heavy.

Generally, the less complicated, the better, for a musician like I am.

I had a musty Milano at one time, which was a bit too big for me. I sacrificed it for my underwater series with John Cornicello in 2010, which has brought upon many compliments for us (and print sales for him).

Strangely enough, my new accordion also comes from John – A little Hohner, not as musty – which he’s had stashed in his basement and hadn’t dusted off in years. It was brought out today for the shoot we were doing as part of a birthday gift for a client of his.

We shot with it today, as evidenced by the iPhone picture I took of his camera LCD because I could NOT WAIT, and now, it is mine.

Full circle, bitchez. Full circle.

Seriously fuckin stoked.

Thank you John <3

Open Mic Achievement: Unlocked.

Friday, October 18th, 2013

I have finally been to and performed at an open mic. I finally found one that I liked the vibe of, at Scratch Deli, where I am also currently showing my artwork. Saw it last week, tried it this one.

I was definitely off my game, as well as being tired and poorly fed today. I struggled a lot with playing the keyboard in particular and my songs using other instruments are out of practice. That sucked some of the enjoyment out of it for me. I thought about bailing when rehearsing today, it felt so off.

But I played anyway, like the pro’s do, and it wasn’t half bad. Didn’t feel great, but wasn’t terrible and panic inducing like recital situations have been. Never warmed up really, It’s halfway through the third song that I start loosening up and we’re done after 3. I fucked up on every song, but within the scale, and covered it well/recovered smoothly.

The plan is to keep going to open mic’s on a regular basis so as to get to the point eventually where I don’t dislike it. Also met a few people who run the circuit who I hope to run into again.

Video exists. I will decide whether it’s postable after I see it. If so, it will occupy this space within the next few days.

Mixed in Mono

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Before the Tomb and the Womb and Covering Lisa, there was Mixed in Mono.

Mixed in Mono is a primitive recording I made by layering multiple vocals into a single track with Goldwave circa 1996, using the Windows sound recorder.

It was discovering the music of Dead Can Dance during a time in which everything revolved around alternative rock, which I enjoyed but had a hard time integrating with as an artist, that caused something important to click.

After finding them I had a thought – Maybe if I kept at music, I might eventually find a way to express myself through it that felt like something other than a ripoff or just plain whining needy crap.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Learning the Liquid Spear Waltz

Friday, May 10th, 2013

By ear, about 45 minutes in or so, started learning it today on a whim.

I think this will be a really fun song to improvise to vocally once I can play it without squinting and trying so hard. Lord knows I have it memorized deep into the pits of my cavernous bitchy little soul.

I have show ideas brewing, but don’t know what I might do with them yet. I’d like to play for people again soon, though.

https://soundcloud.com/neevita/learning-the-liquid-spear

Watched Donnie Darko for the first time in years. My takeaway was being aware, again, nostalgically, of how taken I was by that movie. I spent months contemplating the meanings and soaked myself in the music and made so much art to that soundtrack. He even reminded me of my last ‘childhood’ ex before transcending into adulthood. Donnie was real to me. I miss being taken like that, geeking out and being unabashedly obsessive and inspired. It just doesn’t seem to happen like that anymore. In that way, I think the drinking really helped.

Too close to see

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Thanks to reviews and interviews from my mp3.com days, and the feedback you’ve given me over the years, I have a pretty good idea how to describe my original music to people who haven’t heard it.

Most of the content of Embodied, though, not so much. How to describe my covers is a task that alludes me.

In preparation of offering Embodied on BandCamp I’d like to request feedback about the show, and at the same time, offer up some music for free streaming.

A selection of the covers I performed are up at http://www.last.fm/music/Courtnee+Papastathis

Stream them. Listen to them. Take them in. And maybe, if you have time, tell me what you think?

http://facebook.com/courtnee
http://facebook.com/neevita
http://twitter.com/neevitadotnet
courtnee@gmail.com
courtnee@neevita.net
courtnee@notapplicable.org

Thank you.

Breaking Bad: R.I.P. XP-30, 2001-2013

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Yesterday, while troubleshooting glitching technology, again, rather than practicing music, again, I came to a place of silence. I stopped hitting buttons and searching google, and sat, and thought.

I had already emailed the event coordinators for Tomb and the Womb and said that due to technical difficulties I would not be singing “Covering Lisa” for their show.

When I made that decision, immediately and in one swift motion, I was reminded all at once of every single one of the countless hours I’ve spent agonizing over unreliable equipment.

How that collection of experience lurking in the shadows of nearly every musical performance I have ever done has limited me, angered me, and frustrated me to the point of wanting to bash my own head inside out.

I remembered having to cancel the first house concert I was invited to because of similar problems. I remembered how often technological music equipment and every step in that direction has conformed me around the limits of the equipment.

I remembered that encountering this is part of the reason I don’t perform often. I remembered that, after years of thinking I was just stupid, hiring a sound engineer had not only failed to alleviate my tech problems, they had added to them and to my anxiety.

I once again got in touch with that deep festering feeling – my growing hatred for technology – remembering how it so easily came to rule my life. How insidiously my bad habits and obliviousness toward its role in my existence remain, having grown up consuming gadgets and socializing on computers, still sucking on tech like a dried shriveled up tit that stopped actually feeding me years ago.

I sat there thinking, playing an internal game of eeny, meeny, miney, moe.

Would it be the new mixer, whose highly reviewed onboard effects – the reason I bought the fucking thing to begin with – every single one of them, make me sound like a fucking diseased hobo barfing into a tin can?

Would it be the everpresent annoyance of my iPhone, which was currently skipping every other fucking letter I typed into a text message and interrupting me 3 times in the 45 seconds it was taking me to type and edit the fucking thing to let me know that, guess what, T-Mobile’s service is a fucking raging puss filled sac of fail and has cut out again? and again? and again? DO YOU WANT TO GO TO YOUR SETTINGS (which won’t let you turn this fucking message off)?

Or would it be my synthesizer, whose MIDI fuckups and inability to keep the default settings has been quietly invading my trust since preparing for Embodied?

I thought about the limits and usefulness of all of these things for at least 20 minutes, as my anger simmered. I thought about each piece of equipment, its monetary value, my relationships to them, my history with them, and I decided which one was the one that I wanted to be complete with.

I then spent the next few minutes silently raising my Roland XP-30 over my head and slamming it into the ground as hard as I could. I used my whole body for every throwdown, whistling it through the air and dropping it full force into the floor.

Each time I watched it hit the ground and react while a surge of energy ran through my body. Once it hit the ground, if it still had any piano keys attached, it went back up for another wide armed slam from over my head. Over, and over, and over.

With each throw I gave myself some time to soak it in all before continuing. I was half flourishing and half emotionless while I systematically destroyed the synthesizer I’ve used for almost exclusively for 10 years.

It felt like breaking out of a cage.

Once plastic stopped sailing away from the synths body when it hit the floor, I started taking a hammer to its fleshless metal skeleton. With each tiny crater my hammer made in the body of my synth I felt new space give way in my life.

I’ve been thinking about that space today, as I’ve searched around for the guilt, for the remorse, for the backlash of deciding to break the living shit out of my gear. I am finding that I have none.

Sure, there is a loss there, and a sadness, among other things, that surrounds it. I know at least one person who is likely upset that they won’t hear that music again. Era’s ending are tough, afterall.

Throughout my musical evolution, I’ve been restrained by these giant hulking heavy spacehog fucking keyboards, the problems they have and the sounds they make.

For 13 years I’ve looped endlessly between the same songs, the same sounds the same feelings, the same rutt, over and over again, barely inching forward with a new song every few years since my mp3.com explosion in 2000.

While identifying with what opportunities they paved for me a lifetime ago while I was discovering them, I’ve also identified with the barriers having them has placed on me and my musical freedom to explore.

I’ve held onto my synths because I identify with them. Because maybe one day years from now I will want to play a show again. Because I was afraid to let them go.

The UI for the XP-30 is horrible for my exploration and creation of new music. There are no sliders, no knobs, no instant gratification for sound editing, no accessible creativity for me like I have with the Junos. It was good to me in how far its default sounds took me, and I did some cool things with it.

However, the instrument had run its course, and the MIDI being nonfunctional was pissing me the fuck off. It was worth about $400 and I had just spent $150 getting a key replaced on it last year. I didn’t want to subject myself to another money pit diagnostic/repair bill.

I could have sold it, sure. But there’s no ritual in that. There’s no art in that. There’s no catharsis in that. There’s no finality in that. There’s no closure in that. And while none of these rationalities came to play while I was annihilating my instrument, I sensed that I needed a cleansing.

One awesome thing about being an unsigned, virtually unknown musician is that I don’t fucking owe anyone anything. I’m not obligated to play the same songs for 40 fucking years to giant arenas. I don’t have crowds of fans who are pressuring me to perform my classics. I’m not swept up in contracts and deadlines and money.

My XP-30 no longer exists, and because of that I will not play my songs from it as they were recorded again. In its demise a symbolism is also unearthed, as well as a new more flexible approach to my music.

I am thinking like a newbie again, feeling excited to experiment. The amount of agony I will endure bashing my head against a wall trying to make my shit work is diminishing. And the effort I am willing to spend searching the same places for the sounds and ease that excite me as a musician is a fraction of what it was before.

Tomorrow, I purge my music gear. Anything that isn’t high quality cabling/basics and doesn’t answer “YES” to all of these is for sale:

1) Do I like how it sounds?
2) Is it easy for me to use and intuitive to troubleshoot?
3) Do I ENJOY playing it?
4) Does it fuel me creatively?

For now, I am enjoying the immense flood of inspiration and creative ideas that are swirling into my consciousness about music, and brainstorming what I may want to trade for new stuff.

If I ever change my mind, I can rent or buy another XP-30 to play the songs I created with it. That inconvenience is worth the sense of satisfaction I got when I finally took that raging bull by its fucking nutsac, and slammed it into the floor. I hadn’t even realized I’d grown to hate that fucking synth.

Sometimes it takes a loss to break an infinite loop. I get the feeling I’m the person in my circle of friends who gets that the most.

Stampede

Monday, February 18th, 2013

I’ve been thinking lately about my decision to, though currently saving for a house, and recently leaving one of my part time jobs, simultaneously agree to increase my office rent by about 75% for the next year in order to add a second room for an art studio.

In some ways, and surely on the paper itself, the decision seems ludicrous. It’ll take all the money I make from my various forms of work to pay my rents and provide basic things for myself, like food and bus fare – and it’s not even for the huge gorgeous mountain view office I REALLY wanted (which was $1410 a month – over twice what my new office is). Still, it’s entirely possible and I am preparing for the reality that I will be eating ramen for months in order to make this change in my life.

And yet, the move seems completely worth it. I have some concerns but they are being overridden by my connection with myself and what I want in my life. This is the right step for me right now – and that dream office I can’t afford seems like a good goal for my future.

In the past when I have had a space to make art, it’s been inconvenient somehow – like a shared space I couldn’t leave my work in, or a cold dirty partially finished basement that made me sneeze. I made the most of these solutions and they were great stepping stones while I learned about myself.

But more of that at this point in my life won’t fuel me and propel me through forward motion like I want. It won’t address the challenges I now face as opposed to the challenges I faced years ago.

To the degree I am currently capable, I have accepted and embodied the reality of my being fundamentally artistic human being. My deepest wish for myself, and my adult-life struggle, has centered around how to truly create an abundant life in which my artistic pursuits are the focus. I need my own space for that.

In the time since I came to this awareness I have yet to meet an artist I consider successful who does not have a dedicated physical space to work. Whether it’s aerial, or visual art, or massage, or writing, a true artist to me is someone who values their work enough to create a space in physical time to pursue it – and made that space their own, as well.

Over the years I’ve nagged at myself that I need a studio and yet have not made one happen. I’ve been waiting to succeed before rewarding myself with the freedom to express and create and experiment. I’ve been waiting to prove to myself that I am worth the same efforts that the successful people around me have seen themselves as being worth. I’ve been waiting for someone else to see the value in me and make it happen. I’ve been waiting to give up, sign my soul and energy away to a social machine that doesn’t speak to my life values in order to afford an art space I wouldn’t have the time or substance left in me to use.

No matter what the story or visual, the constant in my view of my life is that I’ve seen through a perpetual state of deficiency, trying to make space for myself when I felt I didn’t have the resources to take ownership of any. I’ve been doing this (to lesser and lesser degrees) for years and it hasn’t been working. It’s time to set another big suitcase full of baggage down.

With this new office, I will have a place to create, that is not attached to my living space or who I am as a person. This dovetails very well with an emerging perspective of artwork as being something I make, something I produce under the guidance of my Self, which is sometimes an intense and extremely vulnerable expression of that self (I.E., my aerial act), but doesn’t have to ONLY be that kind of art for that purpose.

I want to make art because I saw a cool tutorial on youtube and I want to try a new painting style. I want to make art because it’s cute, or funny, or because I feel like experiencing blue on canvas, or because I want to cover my fists in paint and throw myself against something. I want to make crap. Lots and lots of crap. I want to let myself practice things.

I also want to make art because I have to, because it’s the only way I can create glimpse of what I am experiencing as a human being in this world. I want to make art because I have a new dress that I feel sexy wearing, I want to make art because I discovered a new way to pose my body. I just want to MAKE. ART.

Having this new space supports that vision of myself, and I believe that vision of myself will support me in paying for this new space. Now that I have a second room in which to otherwise be productive, I have the opportunity to be more disciplined in my work, which is an aspect of the success of my mentors I have had a lot of difficulty mimicking in the past.

I can now hold business hours in which I am present, working on art, in addition to offering massages. I can now separate my work from my home life and self care, rather than having half of it jumbled into one big gob of a thing. Now, I can accept walk-in’s and last minute bookings, whereas before I could not manage time effectively enough to offer that to my clients.

Additionally, having this space allows me to expand and collaborate with more people who are doing things in this world that I want to support and be a part of.

Yes, it’s a risk. It’s all a risk, no matter what I choose to do, or if I choose to change nothing. But with this decision, even if I utterly fail, default on my lease, and completely knob the whole thing up – even if the voice in my head that suggests I’m too crappy an artist to have a studio, that even if I have time set aside and a space to create that I won’t ever get any better, that I’m too enslaved by my moods and inspirations to be consistent enough to make this decision work, that the furniture isn’t all going to fit, that I just can’t do it, is right – I will emerge from this choice changed for the better by the experience and I will learn from trusting in myself to handle this challenge of taking more responsibility for my life.

So fuck that tiny little voice. Fuck that I don’t have myself entirely positioned over a safety net. Fuck that I have questions, that I don’t know all the answers, that I’m not certain how this will all pan out. I’m doing it anyway. It’s a no brainer, and whatever happens, I can handle it.

Even if what happens, is wild stampeding success.

Covering Lisa – Underwater

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Really enjoying working with the skeleton of this song, The Host of Seraphim by Dead Can Dance. There are actual lyrics in the original.

I’m currently experimenting with singing through more effects. I enjoy singing like this differently than I enjoy singing cleaner. It’s more natural and satisfying, where as clean singing is often more technical and work related.

This is a live recording of the room with an iPhone.

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Working with the beautiful Taylor acoustic electric guitar that Jonathan Nelson and Aaron Tebrink got me for my 30th birthday. The action is higher than my little painted guitar so it’s taking a little time to get used to. These are the two songs in the guitar ‘set’ I have been working with since yesterday.

Change is gonna come

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

I have apparently developed the ability to transpose a song, by ear, which I’ve heard a few times, into a key that is in my range. This thing FLEW out of me in about a half hour from 0, having heard the original a few times on Pandora and wanting to mess with it (similar to My Way from Embodied which you should buy.)

Paradise: New Sketch

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Dug up an old song I was playing with a long time ago. Video = Original version

Covering Lisa

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

This is becoming more ‘mine’ – I am almost there. I think it will sound a little different every time. This felt really solid and flowing compared to the others. Don’t even bother without good headphones.

At some point, I’ll get through the whole damn thing without a significant issue, but not yet. Listening to myself choke on my own drool at 6:33 is pretty meh – hopefully it’s not as awful for people who are not-me.

I suppose it would help if I actually warmed up.

Covering Lisa

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

Still working out the breathing during the faster singing part. My lungs aren’t so flexible today. I am also playing in unison and do not know the song particularly well yet.

The original piece by Dead Can Dance was an absolute musical epiphany for me. I had never heard anything like it. After only doing things like singing to the radio in cars, she inspired me to really sing.

Embodied Credits

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

http://notapplicable.org

Embodied is a one-woman show illustrating a musical journey which depicts Courtnee’s sense of personality fragmentation in her youth, and the experience of slowly piecing herself together throughout her life to truly become a whole person. Not Applicable’s second live show in 10 years was made possible by Kickstarter, and performed/recorded November 9th and 10th of 2011 at the FRED Wildlife Refuge in Seattle, WA.

Album, Special Edition DVD, and Limited Edition autographed CD available. http://notapplicable.org

http://blog.neevita.net/archives/tag/embodied

My CD’s are here

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Buy them at http://notapplicable.org/

Funny what you forget

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

I recall having about 28,000 profile views and hundreds of streams on each of my songs when I deleted my music Myspace account a few years ago — which I think is pretty notable for a completely self made shut-in artist.

Even earlier, I’d had a notable following through mp3.com and had considered getting on iTunes when it surfaced in the wake of mp3.com’s implosion. At the time, I wanted to remaster and re-record Point of Origin before doing that, and it just never happened.

Then came Pandora, and I was excited to submit my work — only to have them say, we love it, but we won’t take it unless you’re on iTunes! Now, Pandora accepts a fraction of the music that’s submitted to them.

It feels like I missed the boat. There’s a lot more going on in digital music now than there was 10 years ago, and I’m having a hard time imagining how anyone is going to FIND me, let alone be enticed to actually BUY me.

Interestingly, while I’ve been going through this long, tedious process of rebuilding my musical presence online in preparation for having an album to sell, I’ve occasionally wondered why I walked away from it all in the first place.

One name reminded me why I lost interest in trying to find a way: Snocap. Snocap was the company Myspace partnered with to build them up to be more like what mp3.com had been and less like the festering network of drama now affectionately called “social networking”.

After extended hesitation and research, Snocap was where I turned after mp3.com went away. I was never paid a fucking cent they owed me, which had risen to hundreds of dollars before I finally disabled the account to stop people from buying my music from them. I emailed them for over a year, and never received a response.

It was almost as if my fears surrounding record contracts and music labels and being concerned about being exploited or fucked over by the music industry had found a way to penetrate my shell of staying choosy and small and quiet online.

After that, I pretty much stopped trying to make money with my music unless it involved paying me directly from a source I had created, like my website. So fuck you in the cornhole, Snocap. I’ve decided you’re the reason I feel so far behind right now.

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

notapplicable.org is back. Also, a student gifted me eggs from her chickens at aerial class today. Life is good.

Except for that whole “wanting to kill all of you” thing.

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

I just posted a behind the scenes video of Embodied: Rehearsal for “Divergence” to my music blog at http://notapplicable.info/2012/08/embodied-rehearsal-divergence/

New version of “Feeling Good”

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

More-practiced version of “Feeling Good” – Seeing if I can hop genres AND sing something happy. Not satisfied yet, but it’s better than my first tries were.

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

The more I learn about music, the more often I realize that I am drawn to like, two measly scales.