Tag Archives: the band

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!

How not to take a cool band picture

Hi friends!

So you know how I’m back-up vocals girl for my singer-songwriter friend Carrie?

Well last week she was interviewed by the RedEye–for those of you who aren’t in Chicago, it’s a free daily newspaper published by the Chicago Tribune. It’s more pop-culture oriented than a regular newspaper, and full of eye-grabbing pictures.

In order to supply a photo to the RedEye, after our last gig at CityGrounds we enlisted the help of my friend Sarah to take some band pictures. “Here Sarah, just press this button here,” I said, handing her my camera.

First, we thought we would just kind of sit and smile.

This picture says “We’re nice people, we really are.” And “We’re about to sing Kumbaya.”

NOT a cool band picture. Nope.

“Let’s smile, but not too hard,” I suggested helpfully.

Please take it away, Milfred. I don’t want to look at it anymore.

After a handful of pictures like this were taken, we started despairing. Why can’t we look cool?

“Try looking angry,” someone suggested.

Um . . . okay. That didn’t really work either.

“Let’s take a self-portrait!” I exclaimed, sure that this inspiration would provide the cool band picture we were looking for.


Plus, the tendons and wrinkles on my neck were starting to look a tad monstrous. And do my teeth look slightly rabbity to anyone else?

As the uncool factor in the room reached epic proportions, we began to crack up.

Oooh, we were starting to get warmer.

“Cool” was just around the corner.

Loosened up by laughter, we started goofing off with a pink ribbon and a top hat.

Things finally started working.

Now it just became a matter of: color or black and white?

I tend to think black and white lends a classy timelesness. But what do you all think?

So lessons learned: when taking a band picture, don’t smile and look nice. Don’t try too hard. Do have fun props to play with. Do loosen things up with some laughter. Do enlist a friend who is willing to take a million shots.

Thanks Sarah for some awesome pictures, and for being patient with us when it seemed like there was no hope!

Unfortunately, there was a deadline for submitting these pictures that we weren’t told about until right before it hit. We missed the deadline by about 30 minutes, and the RedEye online article ended up using a slightly less flattering picture (with no Eric in sight) from a live performance. Carrie is looking soulful and musical, which is great–just try not to look at my mug for too long, for the love of mercy.

In conclusion, if you’re in Chicago, join us at our next CityGrounds gig on Saturday April 9th. They have a fruit tart that I can’t wait to dig my fork into again.

Oh, and the music should be pretty great as well.

Over and out!