Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Fresh Spring Gigs!!!

Rick and I have gigs coming up this summer!!!! May 7 at 20Main in Jay, NY, May 27 at Main Street Pub in Philmont, NY, and the Blueberry Festival in Austerlitz, NY on July 31!!! We will be setting up events closer to the shows on Facebook, but this is your heads up notice!!!   Sign up on the new Blog, http://rickandmarilyn.blogspot.com to stay informed!!

Monday, January 11, 2016

These people won't listen to me......

I hear all the time, musicians upset because the audience is not listening to them.

Now, I like to be heard as much as the next person..... but I also think that this is a two way street.

If I am playing a house concert, or a hall, and people have paid to come in and LISTEN, that is what I expect. I expect them to sit and be quiet and listen. In that situation, it is rude to your fellow audience members as well as to the artist to have your phone go off, to talk to your neighbor, to act in a manner that means people will be looking and thinking about YOU instead of the artist. VERY rude.

But musicians have to consider the room. If I am playing in a bar or at a party or at the farmers market, MY JOB is to be the background noise that sets the mood, keeps people having a good time and if I turn out to be an act that draws folks attention, FANTASTIC for me.

However, in that situation, it CLEARLY rests on me to draw the listeners to me. Getting upset, throwing a tantrum because 'They are not listening to me', or letting it bring you down is not helpful. The audience is in the space to socialize or shop, and I am in ADDITION to that. Not the highlight, and I have to adjust to that. *I* have to be that much more entertaining to get people to listen, if that is what I want..... but if no one does, I have to UNDERSTAND, listening is NOT what the CUSTOMERS are here to do.

In other words, the audience is not obligated to pay attention to me. In that situation, it is my job to be so good that some will pay attention, usually for a short time, until they return to what they DID come for..... Socialization, Shopping, Learning, etc....

So, if you find yourself angry at your audience, look first to yourself. Are you compelling enough to draw attention? Is this a situation where you *should* expect that people quietly attend to you? As an artist, I like to think first that I am gifting the audience with my MUSIC, and, since it is a gift, the recipient can do with it what they choose..... as the environment dictates.

So calm down. Do your best. Leave you anger for the house concert or hall or other listening room. Don't think you are going to get a loud bar to listen (but if you do, GREAT!!! you must be very compelling....) Relax....

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Two days after Christmas. It has been a quiet holiday for me. Since my mom passed, my sisters and I do not gather any longer. I do have bunches of  'orphan' friends, and we talk every year about maybe having a dinner together, but it doesn't happen, usually because one or more of us have OBLIGATIONS.  I am not sure if people feel better or worse after they tend to their OBLIGATIONS. I suppose it matters how the obligation goes....

I notice that I do not have many folks around me who are traditional.... Traditional being people with extended families who gather on holidays, eat together, socialize, pass out gifts and go home. Most of my peers are folks who struggle with the way it is SUPPOSED to be, that Hallmark card dream. I also don't know many people who 'live the tradition', who are happy with it either.... many seem to be uncomfortable, and most certainly don't talk of looking forward to a good time at the gathering!! BUT- the thought that those of us who live alternative lifestyles are somehow missing out on something, we are to be pitied somehow, is a pervasive one.

I think that it comes down to expectations. Expectations of how a certain holiday is supposed to play out. Ideas regarding what a successful life contains. Thoughts regarding our worth as humans compared to other humans.


I am happy to be a Creative Person who doesn't fit into the Standard Ideas for a Successful American Life. I am pretty committed to finding my own way through life, although every once in a while I look around and wonder if this is really my chosen direction or a reflection of some inner lacking that I live alone. Then I remember, and then I know. And I don't have to apologize or explain. I LIKE being my own person. I LIKE what that brings me in the way of travel, friendships, musical opportunities, creative pursuits.

I very much look forward to a Happy New Year and much music to create....

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Rick Warren and Marilyn Miller

Wow.

It has been a long time since I have paid any attention to my blog here. Inexcusable.

You may think it is because I haven't been making music. Nope.
You may wonder if I have anything to say. Yeah, I do.
Perhaps I have Just. Not. Blogged.

Yep.

Over the past year, I have been concentrating on a new collaboration with a wonderful guitar player, Rick Warren. We like what we do, and it seems that other people are pretty happy to hear it, too. We have been developing our sound, trying things out at local open mics, playing some benefits and farmers markets, and we have even had a few standard gigs!!!

And now, it seems, we are ready to come out and about and share our music. Loudly. And often.

Watch for us. You will see us at Helsinki on Tuesday nights, Savoias on Wednesday nights and even sometimes Stewart House on Thursday night. We will also start venturing out in the Open Mic world, looking for stages that appreciate our unique mix of original and covers, with Ricks guitar expanding on the story introduced in Marilyn's vocals and giving you sounds to dance to, listen to, let move you......

We would love to come and play for you or have you come and listen to us.... let us know how you want to arrange it!!!