rockstar in training: can you feel a brand new day?!

May 16, 2011

Hell yeah, you guys! I got some concrete things done for my Rockstar career this month! After writhing around on the floor moaning, “Woe is me, the tortured artist!” last month, I was able to stock up the energy to really get to work! I joined a couple of professional music industry organizations and made some of my newest songs mine, legally. I played a gig where I inspired a new musician and played a couple of my new songs out for the first time! I even made a little rough demo/sample recording of one of my newest songs called “Cinder Girl,” which will be featured on my upcoming album, “The Awesomest of Them All!”

Words by Pam Newman

I feel like it’s the end of The Wiz! It’s a brand new day, y’all! I’m super excited, and feel like things are finally moving forward at an acceptable pace. I’m dancing in the streets every time I go run errands! The guys at the post office asked me to please stop skipping when I get my mail from the PO box and the manager at the grocery store keeps reminding me that the isles are not a place for re-creating scenes from musicals. There goes my aspiration of spontaneously creating a real-life musical.

A couple of the things that have me feeling like dancing in the streets are that I joined the Black Rock Coalition and joined the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences!
The Black Rock Coalition is an organization I’ve been wanting to join since I attended my first Afro-punk festival back in 2010. I’ve been wearing my BRC pin on my purse since then. It’s about time I paid the dues to actually join. A lot of what goes on with the BRC happens in New York, but I’m still a proud member. I think it’s something rad for me to put on my resume and online bios. Plus, it’s pretty cool to have a sense of community with other black artists. I feel good knowing that there’s a family of people out there– just like the Afro-punk Community– comprised of people of color who are actively creating art in areas the media considers atypical for our skin color. Plus? The logo is bitchin’.

Then there’s the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences! Who the hell is the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences you ask? They’re the people who run the GRAMMYs!!! Yeah, that’s right, I’m a member. I’m a part of the machine & the industry for whatever that’s worth. I think it’s worth quite a bit. Kinda hoity toity, but whatevs, man. I’m “somebody!” Their membership people take their membership procedures really seriously. I don’t qualify to be a voting member yet. You’ve gotta have a certain amount of commercially released tracks with your name on the by-line to get voting status. But I’m a qualified member, alright!

I also registered several of my songs that will be on “The Awesomest of Them All,” with the United States Copyright office. That’s kind of an annoying process… I mean, it’s simple enough, but the web application and all of its legal jargon about what constitutes a song vs what an album is all points itself to being a pain in the ass. It’s not expensive, though. If you are a musician considering releasing an album, I highly recommend getting your work copy-written, because it’s a little comforting. You know that your shit is YOUR shit.

The song I recorded is a rough-like-sandpaper demo excerpt of is called Cinder Girl. It’s definitely my favorite so far and I can’t wait to rock it out fully with a band. All of the songs I’m writing are based somehow on a fairy tale or some kind of story. Cinder Girl’s story is kind of a mashup between Katniss from The Hunger Games and Cinderella. The Cinder Girl is a badass who’s poor as all get out, but is willing to fight her way through poverty to happiness. I suppose in a lot of ways it’s kind of my story too.

Musically, I created the chord progression on the verse that was for a love song. The lyrics to said song were really poignant and poetic to me at the time. Yeah, yeah. I’m trying to avoid writing love songs, because, well… so many songs are written about love. I’ve only written & performed one song about love, and it was a, “Why the fuck are you being such a dick now that we’re broken up”-song I called, “Hideous.” Maybe sometime I’ll post those lyrics somewhere. But right now I think it’s better for me to stretch my creative muscles without writing about people I had crushes on. Plus it’ll be less embarrassing to explain what the songs are about.
You can listen to the preview here:

Keeping it awesome every day
Your Rockstar In Training,
Pam Newman