Post-bday-blurbs

I’ll say this a hundred times. It’s pointless turning 29. You’re not 30. You’re not really 20 either. You’re in these inbetween grounds. 28 was good. You could celebrate, as a musician, surviving 27. But 29? Meh! Looking forward to next year, though! 🙂

But I got one of the greatest praises when out for a birthday beer at Kelly’s in Gothenburg, goes without saying after a shopping spree at Bengans 😉
“I’m not a lesbian or anything, but I must say, you are an absolutely gorgeous woman!” Naaaw…

Here are some of my fav pics from thursday gig last week! 🙂 Curtesy of http://fames.se/missnaily/

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Raving review

Right, I forgot, I simply must share this song by song review of the EP! 🙂

http://globalmusiciansfishpond.com/maria-bohm-animalic/

And I’ll tell you what I told Dave who did the review. That the meaning of the songs aren’t guarded in that sense. I do put them out there gradually, and when someone asks I’ll tell ’em. But being an avid music listener myself, I know some want to take their own emotional journey when they hear a piece of music. I know myself, feeling Evanescence’s “Lithium” was the perfect description of addiction/cold turkey got really disappointed when I read the real meaning…

So I’ll tell you, piece by piece as far as you want to. But since Dave gave me such a great review, I sent him, also song by song, the meanings. He loved it. Let me know if you want me to do the same. Because music is for me but also for the listener. And music shouldn’t be hard. You feel or you don’t. And sometimes you need that explanation to get the feel. Tori Amos writing her beautiful songs about her miscarriages really hit home more once I knew her struggles, so I know it’s a fine line to balance.

The psychology of being an artist is still fascinating, though. With the performance this thursday, I really just went all out there. Lorra breasts. Lorra legs (I had me one fine button slit). Lorra humping against the piano. And the photographer met up with us afterwards and said “I know you’re not “buskablyg”, a Swedish expression. You’re not shy about showing body parts or talking about sex or being sexual in general and no, I’m not. As an artist. As someone who has gone through struggles in that department. Simply because I have lived through the difficulties. It either shuts you down or makes you stronger. I truly believe that. And I’ve said to myself: “I’ll be damned if I let these struggles leave me weakened and unable to talk!”. So I’ll talk, laugh, joke. Part of where I, in the review, became that “enigma”…

But I once said: “Well… I’m too innocent for that” and got a laugh out of it… well… As I said, I’ll be damned if bad things leave me unable to talk and laugh. That doesn’t mean all of me is out there. If you please, the “real” me is an animal lover and big ten year old who honestly gets her big sparks from the innocent things we all got our sparks from when we were children. I’m just a big ten-year-old at heart. Especially when it comes to animals. My biggest sources of happiness are by no means the grown up ones. Having lived through hard stuff, the big child in me will always show me the true way to true joy.

So, removing the shame does not mean I’m out there fully. Unusually little, actually. I keep that part of myself, maybe yes, guarded. Humping against the piano, expressing myself through art, does not mean me humping whenever I get the chance to. It only means the removal of shame, not the slightly cynical wall I’ve got up there.

I’m no enigma once you really just talk to me. I think that goes for most people. Wearing your heart on your sleeve does not mean your sleeve hasn’t got a good defence system. Is this blog confusing? Well, then ask me about it. 😉

Thanks Lidköping!

So we’ve done some awesome, as usual. And since my drummer was partly responsible for sound and tech I knew that would be good. Voice carried, musicians did brilliantly, we got to discover some new music and friends and my photographer who lives in Lidköping got to see me live! Photos coming up from Helena, in the meantime enjoy my cleavage from backstage ;D

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Importance of saying no

I don’t think I’ve ever cancelled a gig. There’s a first time for everything.

It just turned out that a previous arranger had forgotten all about the event, and instead of appologizing the arranger was blaming us! “I haven’t talked to you, you haven’t called me”. This simply wasn’t true, I did several, at least three follow ups, with questions and details and definite words like “we confirm this date”. I’ve always had a bit of a phone phobia (shy artists, ey? More common than uncommon) leading me to remember phone calls and what’s been said. And it wasn’t just me. Several musicians joining me for the event tried to get hold of the arranger. “There have been no phone calls to me, I always call back. You can’t have talked to me.”

So we made a common decision. Had there been an inkling of an apology and some commitment to the cause we might have gone through with it (we gave it and the place pretty good publicity). But we needed to make a statement here. We’re not gonna play if you’re not gonna make an effort.

And we’ve done crappy gigs. We’ve done badly paid, we’ve carried a great deal of the weight and we’ve been the soul cause of some of these events even happening. But we’ve never been quite this badly treated. And music is a privvy, for us to some extent but also for the ones we grace with the music. So sometimes, just sometimes, when it goes to extremes, we just have to say no. Hey, I have to say no, personally, too.

So remember. As an artist, yes, there’s gonna be a lorra shit to put up with, but there are limits even here. Say no when it’s gone too far.

New Archetype: Joanna

To understand archetypes, you might have to go a little deeper than light weight entertainement. Just to understand what I’m writing. But simply put: They are extreme versions, emotions, of what you encounter in real life. Made up almost entirely of emotions,  my personal archetypes are the ones I encounter when I go to that other world I’ve talked about, the world where artists flee, and they naturally get names from my view of the world and it’s history and my experiences and so on. It’s a hard concept to grasp, I know, but I also know a lorra my fans are willing.

Joanna is a new one. We’ve got Florence; emotional, neurotic, nurturing. We’ve got Mary, warrior queen speaking for the warrior queen/king in all of us. Sofia, knowledge, cold facts. Sofia literally meaning “knowledge”. And Sarah, ancient wisdome. An archetype hard to channel as I am only 29 this month.

And then we’ve got Joanna. To know Joanna you might need my history. My full name is Maria Johanna Anita Bohm. Johanna is a name picked out of thin air by my parents. They wanted to name me Johanna originally, but as I was born Johnsen, they thought of the reprocussions. I’d be called JoJo. So they went with the old family name Maria, a second name for generations, but never a given name. A royal, biblical and strong name, and I’m happy with it no matter. But not what they wanted from the start.

You might argue that they went with what “others” would think, and that Maria is more symbolic of living up to expectations. But I’m not going that deep. I’m only going as deep as parents. Their hopes and dreams for you. The defintion of perfection. It’s what affects us the most. So to me, Joanna is what is hard to live up to. Our image of perfection. What we are always chasing. Perfection according to the world, but really, in the end, according to our parents.

We chase Joanna. We chase what our parents wanted us to be growing up. It’s what makes it so hard to resist social standards and norms, as long as they are the same as what we were raised with. I’m not blaming only parents here (calm down mom, and dad up there in the afterlife), it just so happens that school and all the other social influences we’ve had often melt together with our parents views. They don’t wanna be left outside, none of us do, and in its duality they conform with eachother. And honestly? It can all be both good and bad. Joanna is not a bad guy. Just a perfect image. Hard to live up to 100%. I made Joanna a person cause she’s easier to see through that way. Some of us learn the hard way, I went through 2 excellent years of therapy to see that what I considered the absolute truth and perfection isn’t necessarily just that. We are all human. And we all chase Joanna, but can’t live up to her all the way. There’s just no way. And we have to learn that through life and hardships and happy times. So Joanna is my new archetype. Expect to see more of her in songs coming your way.

And the male part of me? If I was a boy I’d be called Sebastian. So watch this space… 😉

Shopping

I don’t do a lot of it (I was raised the “cherish-what-you-have” gal, in moderation of course, I get a new pair of jeans when my old favs lose their fit) but I do forget it’s fun landing at home with a lorra bags under your arms. This won’t turn into a shopping blog, I promise, but I’ll have the sporadic opinion here.

As I said, I’m not miss consumer, but fact is, clothes eventually lose fit and colour. Thrift shops are my recommendation, you’ll get something original and it’s better for the environment. The prices aren’t bad either. But I’m after the originality, I’m not performing in this years H&M, music is esthetical expression yes, but not fashion. Sometimes you even find clothes with the tag still on it. Never used, and they might fit you perfectly.

Another creative recommendation is Indiska, and I’m mostly talking the incense section here. It’s cheap, and they sell Lavender and Lemongrass aroma, really boosts your creativity. I know I’m giving you some wicca witchy new age tips here but it’s not religion, it’s just a bit of fact that certain aromas sets off certain areas of brain and mind. The smell of baked bread makes you want to buy the house it’s coming from (old realter trick) and well, lemongrass and lavender gets the creative juices flowing. If you wanna get spiritual, lavender cleanses and wards of evil, but really, biologically the scent creates the desire to create. So my tip for today is get your butt into thrift shops and Indiska, if you’re feeling a bit stuck. If you can and have the means, of course.

Yes, come and watch me, you awesomes!

I feel I need to adress this. I get some: “Is it really OK if I come to this gig/that gig and listen to you?” and I’m so suprised every time. OF COURSE it is!

No, I don’t think you’re a freak or a weirdo. You’re not a weirdo if you come from far away. You’re not a weirdo if you come alone (I’ve felt this myself so I understand, but I remind myself of how happy I feel myself as an artist when it happens). You’re not a weirdo if you haven’t seen me for a long time, you’re not a weirdo if you’ve never met me but wanna come watch anyway. I am honoured and humbled by your precense. In fact, it’s awesome. And I’ll talk to you before, and I’ll talk to you afterwards, and I’ll talk to you inbetween sets. I don’t get nervous by your precense, maybe for my first gigs I did, but this is my job now, you won’t throw me off my game, I promise 😉

Music is not a popularity contest, it’s not me being an opportunist. It’s about delivering something true and pure to your ears and taking YOU to another, hopefully lovely place, for an evening. I’m there for you, not the other way around. Well, a little the other way around. I think you’re supercool (yes, YOU) and you give me energy if anything.

I’ll sum it up nicely. I play for ears. If you’ve got a functioning set, or even one good enough of ’em, I want you to come and listen 😉