Tag Archives: gigs

The big concert! It hath happened.

About a week ago, on Saturday the 21st, my band Thornfield had our big farewell concert and CD release party.

And it was a fantastic night.

We got to the art gallery space where we were having the event around 4pm, so as not to feel rushed about our 7pm kickoff time. Our friend Petras had already set up the music equipment for our rehearsal earlier in the week . . .

. . . so all that remained was setting up chairs, lighting, and our CD table.

Looks! It’s our CDs! Bright Northern Skies . . .

. . . and One for a Lover.

(and our release on itunes approacheth!–I will most definitely update you all when this happens, and then harass everyone I know until we hit platinum. Or something.)

My dad climbed a very tall ladder to hang twinkle lights from the rafters.

Thanks Dad! Alice and I appreciated being able to stay firmly planted on the ground.

Of course, being occupied making music, I wasn’t able to get any shots of the space filled with people (120 or so according to my guesstimation), the incredible appetizers table our friend Shandra put together out of the goodness of her heart (brie? manchego? other awesome cheeses, anyone?), or the amazing variety of friends and family that showed up to support us and throw their money at us (heh heh).

Our friend Petras opened for us, and some time after 8pm, we started our set with the rollicking “The Watchman’s Back.”

My mom did man my camera for me for a while, but (surprise surprise) focused a lot of her shots on . . . well, me.

Gee, Mom.

I’m blushing.

I love this shot of the group–we seem to having a blast!

Hint: we were.

And I’ve noticed that the audience always has a great time if the band is having a great time. So having fun was, so to speak, our bounden duty.

Very cool thing: Eric’s brother John Pazdziora was in town (from Scotland!) with his wife. John has written lyrics to quite a number of our songs, so we were thrilled that he could come to our concert. He also did a gorgeous spoken word piece in the middle of our set.

As far as nerves, after we hit our stride around song #3, they didn’t even come close to haunting me.

It was fun, you guys. Lotsa fun. Which is exactly what I hoped our farewell concert would be. We are definitely rolling out on a high note, emotionally speaking. And ending things with a bash gives so much more closure than kind of fading slowly away, right?


The end of the night found us sweaty but triumphant.

Chairs were rearranged and tables came out for a brunch happening in the space the following day . . .

. . . conversations started winding down, and the venue slowly emptied out.

The twinkle lights came down . . .

. . . we packed up our equipment (which had completely taken over the back room) . . .

. . . and I nixed the whole ‘after party’ thing that was being talked about. Am pregnant. Must to sleep. Now.

Not only was it a great night of music and friendship, but our budget was looking much better than it ever had–we recuperated about 1/3 of our recording costs in a single night! To that I say: yippee-doodle-daddle-day.

(Now let’s just do that two more times, pliz.)

The only thing that could have made the night better is if you all had been there.

Happy Monday to all!

Thornfield CD release concert!

Well guys, after hearing my tales of our band’s first experience recording, I am so, so pleased to say that the hard work is done, and that we are releasing the resulting CD (Bright Northern Skies) and EP (One for a Lover) this Saturday the 21st!

The gig will be such fun–you should all come! Here is a link to the event page on facebook for the location, time, etc. We’re holding it in an art gallery called Autumn Space, and it’s also a kid-friendly space if you want to bring your whole family. Some friends of ours volunteered out of the blue to coordinate free appetizers, and my mouth is already watering just reading through the potential menu they sent over. It’s BYOB, so feel free to bring a bottle of red–and don’t forget to bring some cash to actually purchase our two recordings! We’re selling our CD for $15 and our EP for $5–essentially, 19 tracks of music for $20–that comes out to $1.05 per track if that makes you feel a little looser with your wallet. And to top it off, some other fabulous musician friends are joining us, and they are seriously talented people.

After going into detail about our studio sessions (you can catch up here, here, here and here), you may be wondering what happened after all that. Well, a lot of stuff happened, and it happened fast (hence the lack of blogging on the topic). To meet our deadline (we kind of wanted to have an actual CD to sell at our CD release party, heh heh), we entered into about a 2-week period of what I like to call massive crunch-attack time. Because the description ‘crunch time’ alone doesn’t seem to suffice. This was intense, extremely stressful, and (dare I say it) distinctly not fun. There were tears. There were nightmares. There were nights of restlessness. There were phone conversations galore, texts, chats, and emails flying back and forth and back and forth and back again.

My head is spinning just thinking about it.

In fact, I haven’t been this stressed about anything since moving to Chicago 3 years ago! Nothing went wrong to cause this stress–it was just the necessary big push to meet the deadline, the effort that Eric, Carrie and I had to put into communicating quickly about a million little decisions that we couldn’t be in the same room to make (Google chat saved our butts on a few occasions), the nit-picky back-and-forth of finalizing the mixes with our engineer Rick, getting the song order nailed down, the mastering with the fabulous (and fast) Alan Hackert, the graphic design with the talented Kimberly Applewhite, figuring out the right size for the actual order of CD’s, etc.

So how did I like making an album? In short: the studio part, I loved. The rest of it, I survived.

And I’m so glad it’s done.

(but that doesn’t mean I’m not excited about starting another some day!)

The only big step that remains is getting our stuff on itunes, and I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s available for purchase there.

Now onto the happier part!

I’m so excited about the recordings. When we first started the process, I wasn’t sure how it would go. I had a little fear in the back of my mind that after all our work, I wouldn’t feel proud of the results. Thankfully, that fear has been put to rest–I’m so proud of what we’ve done. I’ve seen these songs go from musical ditties we were toying with, to full-fledged songs that we performed together and perfected, and finally to actual recorded pieces. There are 13 tracks on our CD and 6 tracks on our EP, and each track has a creative story behind it that I know and love. Music to “The Watchman’s Back” (there’s a little sample on our website if you want to listen), for example, was the result of an awesome creative afternoon in my living room that I recall with so much fondness. I remember working out the melody with Eric and Carrie, getting excited about it, then fitting it all together so that we could perform it at our next gig. And now, what started as a small, floundering melody has grown up and filled out and gotten itself recorded for posterity! Sniff sniff.

And speaking of the ‘sniff sniff’ element, there’s also a bittersweet side to our upcoming gig that I’d be remiss to ignore: it’s also a farewell concert, because Thornfield is being put on pause. I’ve alluded to this in the past, but for those of you who haven’t heard the nitty gritty, Carrie and Eric are moving to North Carolina in a few weeks, where Eric will pursue his Masters in Composition at UNCG. We’re not breaking up the band–but the distance is going to make regular gigging a little impractical for the time being.

So anyway, come if you can! If not, stay tuned for the itunes release! Love you guys, and thanks again for following along on this crazy and wonderful journey!


All photographs by the talented Zane Davis.