There are some gigs that totally suck your soul out like a dementor and then there are others that GIVE YOU LIFE. The hardest thing I’ve come to terms with on this tour is how much I love playing live music with other people. Going into a new place every night all alone has been daunting at times and when I’m low on moral (bc of a long drive or not eating right or venues jippin on $$ or whatever else random challenges have come up), I’ve realized how hard it can be for me to summon up all the energy within just myself and a room of strangers. Sometimes people are there to see me but in all these new places, for the most part, they just happen to be there.
I had no idea what to expect walking into Spinella's in Gresham, OR last night. It is a bar/restaurant/music venue set in an old church on the Main Street of Gresham, OR, but holy shiznit did it turn out to be a saving grace... My CHURCH.
One of the few venues who not only hung the flyer & promo materials I sent them, but also have been playing my music and music videos on their TVs during business hours the past few months to gear up for the show. The staff knew my songs, the owners gave me big hugs, their sound system was AWESOME and they fed me and Tim the most bomb ass Mac n cheese that (I’m convinced) exists on planet earth. After I played, they turned the restaurant into “late night” mode and Karaoke began. Every. Single. Person. There. Sang. Staff & all.
It was hilarious, heart warming & energizing. I felt like I walked into a real life scene in some rom-com set in a small town. Everything about that place felt like family and with all the trials and tribulations of the last few weeks, I realized the thing that gives the most life is just that... The community, and the family, that happens and grows when a bunch of people who so genuinely love music get together and share in that love. So much of my “music industry” discovery this last year has been riddled with big egos and people who know soooo much and/or want to project some illusion of how it “really is” that maybe reaffirms their status in the weird ass boys club of entertainment. I’m not sure if being a part of that club is what it takes to “make it” (whatever that means) but I do know that if it’s a room full of those attitudes, I’m probably not going to have that special gold-glitter-in-my-insides feeling as a performer or audience member, that I have been chasing my whole freakin life. It’s the feeling that I think resonates with most of us and is what gives us purpose and meaning in life as humans.
It's the same feeling that comes during a fireside jam of singing with my boyfriend’s great uncle who plays accordion (and I can not understand a single word he says because his Donegal accent is so thick), the feeling that comes with a group of kids in a theater class getting ready to put on a big show they’ve worked so hard for, that feeling with my best friend when we’re driving down the highway belting out Wilson Phillips, or on a side street busking when a few passerby’s decide to singalong. It happens spontaneously and it happened here again last night when I found myself in a random place with random people who were strangers when I walked in and family when I walked out.
This might be obvious to you but I guess it just really sank in deep for me last night. We need each other and when we participate in music, art or any other activity in life that gives us a chance to bare our souls, we fill up our tank and it becomes easier to find one another. Sometimes I feel guilty for chasing this “dream”, like I’m not offering real value but I do think that despite my deep seated insecurities, these vulnerable and genuine experiences of fun that I find in music are what the world needs.
This is just a big long drawn out mumble to say, thank you Spinella's and all you wonderful, beautiful people in the world who take the risk to be present and a part of growing FUN. Whether it's indulging in the arts, gardening, surfing, writing, whatever it is - thanks for taking the time to absorb in the beauty and share in it with your community and tribe of people.
Long live Spinella’s !!!!!