Violet Clark is the mama of five children, a musician, and a visual artist. After experimenting with a solo album, she joined forces with her hubby, Charles Thompson, and together they created the band Grand Duchy. Of course, we all know Charles as Black Francis/Frank Black of the hugely influential band The Pixies. (more…)
Ages and stages. That’s what psychologists call it, right? Ages 0-1 parents are concerned with the bare necessities: food, mood, and sleep. Ages 2-3 we enter the world of potty training, temper tantrums, and finding that balance of independent play and protecting them from tumbling down the stairs. 4-5 is all about learning letters, numbers, and manners (burping at home is fine, burping at a restaurant is not fine, etc). Then there is daycare, preschool, and starting kindergarten and all the separation anxiety behaviors that get thrown into that mix. All milestones, each with its own set of worry that is so fierce, they may as well include a box of hair color to cover the grays along with pregnancy tests.
As you all know, I have a six year old daughter named Devon. Since she was in my belly, I have called her Devoncakes. No one else calls her this. It’s not a nickname that catches on. But it’s my name for the little girl who made me a mama. She, more than anyone, has motivated me to be a woman who is strong, independent, and confident more often than I’m not, which is pretty much the opposite of me up until parenthood. (more…)
There is a quote by the mother of modern dance, Isadora Duncan, that for me sums up my experience as a band coach at this year’s Girls’ Rock Camp ATL:
You were once wild here. Don’t let them tame you.
It perfectly captures the rock camp experience. The girls are wild, but not in a negative way. They are bold and stubborn like wildflowers, growing wherever and however they please. Untouchable beauties that need the right environment to grow, but then are best left alone to do their own thing and be admired by the rest of us.
From day one, I realized that as a band coach, my role was not to take charge of these girls and conduct my way of playing music or writing songs. Although these girls were new to their instruments, they were not new to themselves. They knew what they liked and didn’t like and surprisingly, they always found a way to agree on their sound. (more…)
During my latest trip to Brooklyn and northern New Jersey, my best friends and I recorded ourselves performing the infamous Top That rap from the classic 80s film Teen Witch. What follows is that rap plus a montage of shenanigans that most people would consider embarrassing. As Ryan said, this is total blackmail material. And it totally would be, if we gave a shit. But we don’t. In fact, we mostly wonder why more people don’t create ridiculous videos in their spare time.
This is our own interpretation of Teen Witch. The idea was to make it more witch, less teen. So don’t expect it to stay true to the script. We are far too lazy for total accuracy. Plus, we were drunk while filming.
Mel Warren G – Melissa, my bestest friend since the age of 15. We met in French class when she was sick with a fever, and I mothered her back to health. Melissa makes me laugh like no one else. We are both proud owners of siamese cats: hers is a total bitch, while mine is just slightly aloof. This is true of our personalities, as well.
EZ Cracker – Ryan, who has been making up skits with me since we were itty bitty and played in a band with me as teens called Trapped and Shadow (we’re totally making a comeback, so get ready…). Ryan and I tend to pretend like we’re in sit-coms ALL THE TIME, much to the annoyance of the rest of the planet. In our minds, our life is a sit-com, a really bad one from the 80s that only we find humorous.
Junkyard Jaimes – Me. I blame my tendency to perform on my mother and her six sisters who use every family occasion as an excuse to sing and dance. They recently performed a dance to the song love lock on my porkchop for my great aunt’s 90th birthday, which had my mom dressed as a sexy pig with a porkchop dangling from her pants.
So, here’s the video. It’s called (un)hip. The reason for the name should be obvious. It’s like E.T., Hairspray, and Footloose all rolled into one epic piece of mind fuckery. You will laugh, wince, and probably be embarrassed for us. We’re ok with that.
Last weekend, I met up with an amazing group of women called ArtMamas Atlanta, and we watched the documentary Who Does She Think She Is? The film profiles the lives of five mothers who are visual and performing artists.
Each woman in the film honestly tells her story of carving out a career as an artist in the throes of motherhood. If the names and faces of these artists are not familiar, their daily rituals are common to us all: the mad rush to get to school or to and from after-school activities; the sounds of a crying baby or injured toddler; slicing vegetables in preparation for dinner. And the personal struggles that can surface in any relationship: partners feeling neglected, teenagers feeling embarrassed, divorce, and paying for bills and groceries on a meager income. Sacrifices abound in these women’s lives, but creativity trumps hardship when you are living with purpose. (more…)
I am not the craftiest of mamas. I have some very crafty friends who have Etsy shops and handmade window treatments in their faux-finished living rooms, and I SO admire their skills. I’m just very lazy in the crafts department. But this morning when I looked at the growing by the second hole in my favorite pair of jeans, I decided to do something about it. I busted out the old sewing box my mom gave me years ago and fished around for a solution. And what did I find? A Led Zeppelin patch I got from the record store I worked in 15 YEARS AGO. Here’s what went through my head at this discovery…
Holy crap, I’m one of those old people with band patches from decades ago!
Would I look totally ridiculous if I sewed this patch on my jeans?
I don’t freaking care if I do look ridiculous. I have to act fast or my favorite jeans will be no more.
And then I looked at that nasty hole in my jeans and said, “I’m about to get crafty on your ass.”
And so I did. It’s not perfect, and if you look at the sewing from inside the jeans, it’s a hot mess. But, I’m proud of myself for being somewhat domestic. I even took a picture of myself with the end result. Notice the urban graffiti background to enhance the rock-n-roll jeans experience. This was taken near the infamous Krog Street tunnel in Atlanta.