Saturday, December 1, 2012

Baby Came Around to Me...Draft

Mike and I call this BCAM. Here's the draft recorded earlier this year. I wrote this in 2006.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


If you were ever on my myspace, you heard this song. I wrote it in February 2008 about a dude I had yet to travel anywhere fact, we had just broken up! Woo! See, why can't I write music that's inspired by almost nothing anymore? Oh, right, because I'm graduate school and have no time to think about anything but reading, jail, and families, youth, & children.

Grad school is kickin' my butt pretty hard this year so I do not expect to be updating this here blog that often. Also, I'm interning at a juvenile detention center and love every moment of it.


Travelin'...sounding much prettier with the help of my buddy Mike. Thanks Mike!

Me playing guitar to my students in Thailand - December 2010. About as traveled as my music has been!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Draft - Ti Sovsem S Uma Soshyol

I am Russian, yes.

Ti Sovsem S Uma Soshyol (Ты совсем с ума сошёл) means "You've completely lost your mind!" 

It's 3:45am. I am so elated right now. I finished a song. Finally. FINALLY! It's been a long time. A very, very long time. Shout out to Masha for loving this song so much and forcing me to finish it. I'm still debating one line but that's better than spending 2.5 years debating 2 verses and choruses!

I started this in January 2010, I think. I finished today/tonight/just now - September 2012! I wanted to express myself in a language that a certain someone would not understand...but the song took a life of it's own and became a silly piece of music. It's in Russian so if you don't know Russian, you won't be able to appreciate just how absurd the lyrics are (One of the lines "Скажи, Бог, как мне дальше жить?" meaning" Tell me God, what to do!??!"). Google Translate makes it that much more ridiculous but you can try:

Verse 1:
Как-же так, как-же так
Потеряла тебя она
И незнает теперь как одна
Будет спать и жить без тебя?
Как-же ты, как-же ты
Появляешься в её сны?
Улетаешь на другие планеты
А покупаешь ей вкусные конфеты????

Chorus 1:
Ты совсем с ума сошёл!
Ты совсем с ума сошёл!
Ты не хочешь чтоб она жила отлично без тебя! (<----This is the line I'm debating. Got any ideas, Russkiys?)

 Verse 2:
Слушай Коля,
Ты что не понемаеш?
Как ты целуешь и обнимаешь
Откровенно мне скажи
Как ты дальше будешь жить -?
Без её улыбке?
Без её АХА?
И её огромные глаза? -
Смотрят грустно на тебя.
Просят: Почему-же не я??

Chorus 2:
Она совсем с ума сошла!
Она совсем с ума сошла!
И не хочет она жить отлично без тебя!

Verse 3:
Мне мама говорила
И папа мне сказал-
Этот Коля совсем пацан.
Лучше избавится от него
Он такой - ёо маё!
Но он-же мой любимый
Но он мне не звонит.
Скажи, Бог, как мне дальше жить?
Раньше я была такая умная, трезвая, нормальная

 Chorus 3:
Я совсем с ума сошла!
Я совсем с ума сошла!
Я совсем с ума сошла!/ Раньше я была такая умная, трезвая, нормальная.
Я совсем с ума сошла!/ Раньше я была такая умная, трезвая, нормальная.
Я совсем с ума сошла!/ Раньше я была такая умная, трезвая, нормальная.
Я совсем с ума сошла!/ Раньше я была такая умная, трезвая, нормальная.

My email to my buddy Mike, the one person I email/text/anything the second I have any ounce of creativity (probably why I created the blog, to remove the burden off him). Yes I wrote OMG. It's 4 o'clock in the morning, geez.:

"OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I FINISHED A SONG!!!!!!!! It's 3:25am and I"m about to pass the F out but damn yo! I feel accomplished! And it's my Russian song (the first one). This is a song I definitely want to record at your house if for no reason other than that I want to add some harmonies to it. Oh man, I knew it. I woke up today and had a good feeling that I was going to create something!

Hellz yeah!

Ok. Attached is my sound recorder recording and the lyrics with chords. (Can you read Russian?) I love the last line of the 3rd verse...sigh. So ecstatic!" 

Here is the roughest draft of it ever


From Russia, with my awesome nesting doll pillow.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Stranger to My Eyes

A couple of weekends back, I was out and about at a friend's birthday party and made a new friend who knew pretty much nothing about me except that my name was Dasha (you know, pre me changing my name to the Turkish spelling Daşa), I sing, and I recorded a song "Stranger to My Eyes" in 2004 that this person used to have on a playlist. Then my long time friends Irina and Igor both reminisced about this song and how they would play it often. In fact, once I got a text message from Igor (from Alabama) that he was blasting the song in his house and his roommate came down to join in on the chorus. Oh, life is funny. So are my friends.

So here it is in all it's glory. See, I think the beginning sounds like Russian restaurant music but that doesn't mean it's bad, right? Right!

Background story: It was 2004, I was 17 years old. I was sitting in my room, livin' life, when a young man walked into it and said "Hi". Apparently we went to the same secondary school. I thought he had nice eyes. I wrote a song. It's a shame it's not this easy anymore! So many songs would have been written about eyes, lips, soft skin, and beards.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Songs I wrote in Junior High School

The journey continues!

I started to write songs in the 6th grade. Actually I remember asking my dad how to write a song while we were going on a school trip. Oh the yellow school bus. He talked a lot about music (he's a good father. a good musician.) but little did he know that I already wrote my first song called "Slay the Dreamer". I have NO idea where the inspiration for this song came from, but it's probably the coolest song I ever wrote. Sorry I messed up the snaps in the beginning.

This tiny person wrote these songs.
I wrote "Alone" in 6th or 7th grade. It's pretty clear it's influenced by the Backstreet Boys.

I wrote "You Can't Stop Me Now" also sometime in junior high school. Also clearly influenced by the BSB. I should probably write them a letter thanking them for the influence.

6th grade. Pre-braces.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hello, Dolly!

I set some goals and have begun to work on the first one - a Soundcloud page with songs in order of how they were written. This first one was not written by me, but I did sing it everywhere 4th, 5th, and 6th grade. It defines an era of my life.

In the studio actin' a fool.

My dad (who looks like a Hasidic Jew for some reason) was my  manager basically.  His birthday at Astoria restaurant where I worked. 1996...1997...1998 somewhere in those years.

Me in maybe 5th grade with the guy from the Goonies. I didn't know who he was then. I still haven't seen the movie.
Singin' at the Brighton Beach annual summer fair.

Hello Dolly!

Hello Dolly! (People thought I was a boy because I cut my hair short).  4th grade for realz.

In other news, I unearthed sooo many unfinished songs I wrote/tried to write since the year 2000 (that's 12 years of material) that is overwhelming...and kind of hilarious.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Art and Fear (David & Ted)

"Making art is difficult. We leave drawings unfinished and stories unwritten. We do work that does not feel like our own. We repeat ourselves. We stop before we have mastered our materials, or continue on long after their potential is exhausted. Often the work we have not done seems more real in our minds than the pieces we have completed. And so questions arise: How does art get done? Why, often, does it not get done? And what is the nature of the difficulties that stop so many who start?"

That's how David Bayles & Ted Orland open their short book titled "Art & fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking".

According to them I am not quite yet a quitter with my music because I am still trying...occasionally. Well, David & Ted, I'm about to give it a real go!

For the most part I have been uninspired to write music for 4 or so years, but during this time I have actually written a handful of songs. The problem is that when I wrote music/songs as a kid in junior high and a teen in high school, I didn't judge them heavily or at all. I thought it was fantastic that I could write songs, I had a dream that one day I'd perform in Madison Square Garden, and then I got older and it was my way of getting out all that angst. They were good ol' fashioned pop songs influenced by what I listened to for years: Pop - Backstreet Boys specifically.

My songs changed a bit when I picked up the guitar because instead of being free to come up with any melody I wanted, I limited myself to what and how I could strum. Oh, and then I got a little older and wished my songs had more meaning, were more deep, were more than just about love or unlove.

Now, I say, who cares? Most of my songs come from a thought I had, a moment I had, a feeling I had. And for someone who is so accepting of my thoughts and feelings, it seems unfair to judge the words that I put to these thoughts, moments, and feelings! No more!

See, David & Ted did another thing in their book, they listed doubts:

"Making art can feel dangerous and revealing. Making art is dangerous and revealing. Making art precipitates self-doubt, stirring deep waters that lay between what you know you should be, and what you fear you might be. For many people, that alone is enough to prevent their ever getting started at all - and for those who do, trouble isn't long in coming. Doubts, in fact, soon rise in swarms:
I'm not an artist - I'm a phony
I have nothing worth saying
I'm not sure what I'm doing
Other people are better than I am
I'm only a [student/physicist/mother/whatever]
I've never had a real exhibit
No one understands my work
No one likes my work
I'm no good" (p. 13)

I mean, when two dudes simply and explicitly list everything you've ever felt, wouldn't you feel frustrated/empowered/upset/excited? I do.

I am not a quitter. I miss singing. I have a slew of songs. I may be uninspired but things are still happening in the musical corner of my brain.

"The point is that you learn how to make your work by making your work, and a great many pieces you make along the way will never stand out as finished art. The best you can do is make art you care about - and lots of it!" (p. 6)

David & Ted also talk about accepting challenges in order to grow and not quit. It's logical. It's scary.

I have three challenges for myself. Three challenges to accomplish over the next year.

1. Record every song I have ever written (did you know I was in 6th grade when I wrote my first song? It's a funny one.) and put up on Soundcloud or something. Some songs have been recorded in an actual studio, so I may put up the originals (because let's face it, when I was a vocal major in high school singing for 4 class periods a day, I sounded way better and more warmed up than I do now) I can do this by the time I go back for my last year of graduate school in September.

2. Take guitar lessons. If my guitar skills are limiting me, then I have to unlimit them. I have to figure out my money situation first, but this is important and doable.

3. Play a gig. Yes, that was my goal last year but then second semester of school started and it was hard and painful and I was tired all the time. This time, again, I say play a gig by May 2013. I want to do it for myself. I don't need to play Madison Square Garden. But I do need to do what I really miss doing - and that is singing for more than just myself. Who cares if I'm good or not? I mean, I'm not bad.

I'm only writing about it because it'll force me to do it and not get lazy, sit in front of the tv for the next month when I am not working or doing anything...this way I've put it out in the world...and I'm a pretty responsible person.

Well, wish me luck.