Thursday, December 9, 2010

the patronus song

as i've mentioned in previous posts, i have a wizard rock band with my friend  jay stolar - together we are lily & james, and boy do we have a lot of fun writing harry potter themed music! 

we've recently become connected with NYDA, the new york chapter of the harry potter alliance, a national not for profit organization that "fights the dark arts in the real world by using parallels from harry potter. we work for human rights, equality, and a better world just as harry and his friends did throughout the books."  the hpa is currently working on the "deathly hallows campaign", which is about fighting (bringing awareness to) 7 different horcruxes (issues) from november 2010 through july 2011.

jay and i have decided to write a song for each horcrux that the hpa tackles.  so far, the issues have been about starvation wages (they've petitioned time warner asking them to switch to fair trade chocolate for all of its harry potter merchandising) and mental health, which they're calling the dementor horcrux.  in harry's world, the only way to fight a dementor (a floating, cloaked figure that sucks all the happiness out of people and places) is with a patronus, an apparition conjured by recalling happy thoughts.  sort of like how peter pan gets people to fly...

i've taken a stab at writing "the patronus song" which i wanted to share with y'all.  this is a first attempt with little editing, but it made my morning writing and singing it in my kitchen! 


when i woke up this morning i was wearing a big fat frown
it must have been me who put it there cuz my boyfriend is out of town
when i woke up this morning didn't want to leave my bed
but sleeping isn't much better with the crazy dreams up inside my head

i better conjure my patronus (woah)
can't let dementors own us (no)
i better conjure my patronus (woah)
can't let dementors suck out my poor soul

my head is filled up with screaming but i'm not sure if it's mine
like fingernails careening down a dirty chalkboard, i feel like crying
i better pick my heart up and fill it with some joy
like playing quidditch or smiling friends or candied apples or bacon made of soy

i better conjure my patronus (woah)
can't let dementors own us (no)
i better conjure my patronus (woah)
can't let dementors suck out my poor soul

a patronus can take the form of talk therapy (it works for a lot of people)
a patronus can take the form of pills (sometimes our body chemicals
need a boost)
a patronus can take the form of a good friend
a patronus can take the form of a good friend
a good friend

some days can be pretty tough
just remember that you're  not alone
a lot of people out there love you
and some of them want to take you home

so let's all conjure a patronus (woah)
can't let dementors own us (no)
we better conjure a patronus (woah)
can't let dementors suck out our poor souls
we better conjure a patronus (woah)
can't let dementors own us (no)
we better conjure a patronus (woah)
can't let dementors suck out our poor
we're not done for
suck out our poor souls

the patronus song

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

give myself away

new song, scratchy track.  i'm picturing soaring strings swooping in at certain points only to abruptly stop and leave us with the palpable space of their absence.  knowmsayn?


i'm still not sure if i have ever really looked at his hands
i'm still not sure if i have a plan
walk out the door and fill the unforgiving minute with a song
we move along into the sifting sand

and so it goes and so it flows
from out of me and back again
speaking in turn it's how we learn
the boundaries between our skin
oh oh there seems to be so much to say
oh oh but i can't give myself away

my puckered skin begins to smooth out after swimming in the creek
my puckered lips weren't met and i'm feeling weak
i walk alone into the living night
thinking when might we get the chance to meet

and so it goes and so it flows
i know the words he knows the song
singing in turn it's how we learn
there's no such thing as being wrong
oh oh there seems to be so much to play
oh oh but i can't give myself away

and so we go
onwards and never talk of it again
calling him a friend
not calling him again
not calling him again
not calling him again

my many minds are tumbling over one another in the dark
my many minds are looking for the start
but i don't mind the looking i don't mind the reaching or the pain
i only gain the wisdom in my heart

and so it goes and so it flows
i can't control the things i know
watching us burn it's how we learn
together we will grow and grow
oh oh if we are heavy let us lay
oh oh if we are heavy let us pray
oh oh if we are heavy let us say
oh oh that we are heavy and it's ok
oh oh there seems to be so much to gain
oh oh but what if i give myself away

give myself away

Thursday, September 16, 2010

goodbye one more time

sometimes you keep saying goodbye to the same person and it just doesn't seem to stick.  been working this one out for a while, it might almost be a song now.  kind of funky, kind of ethereal, kind of funny, kind of sad...

can't wait to hear what this one sounds like with the band :)

goodbye one more time

Saturday, September 11, 2010

we are not allowed (full version)

my friend matt berger is a great songwriter, and he's particularly great at getting a room of people involved in a sing along song.  by getting us to sing a simple riff or clap our hands to a simple rhythm we are immediately engaged in and a part of the song.  and this changes the dynamic in the room - we sit up and start using more senses than just our ears and we laugh and we connect and it's a beautiful thing.  i admire him for this, and am trying to infuse this big of magic in the song i post here.

"we are not allowed" is a newer tune, and one i'm still not sure is totally finished, but i think this version is a step in the right direction.  of course i'll have to try it out on a room of people to see if it really works, but i think the "lah lah lah" section could be good old fashioned sing along fun :)

we are not allowed

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

alan rickman

this summer i spent a lot of time playing, learning, bitching, friending, freaking out, laughing, being uplifted, loving, eating, and drinking - not a lot of time writing songs.  but i have the feeling that now, with my creative well brimming with experience, i'll be able to churn out a few nuggets of inspired ditties.  it's a good time for a harvest.

there was one song that floated around my head this summer and i give it to you here.  i can only take partial credit for this one, as two gentlemen i was working with at the time (nick blaemire and damon daunno) were real collaborators on this little gem.

the recording captures the moment this tune was born.  it was at the bar, as many surprise conceptions begin i'm sure.  close your eyes, sit back, smell that special mix of beer, cigarettes, and cleaning supplies, and you'll be right there with us...

alan rickman

Thursday, June 10, 2010

hagrid is my name and lily!

i have been slacking.  BUT it's because i've been focusing so much on my wizard rock side project!  jay and i had our first gig this past tuesday and oh boy what a delight 'twas :)  our full length album will be released in the coming weeks, but i wanted to post two tunes we've completed mastering.  they are fun.

hagrid is my name


these (and more!) are available for free download (for a limited time!) here:

Saturday, May 29, 2010

tuesday is a saturday

this is a snippet of a song i started writing on tuesday.  sometimes my lyrics are pretty literal.  but yes, it's about how i fee like i'm living in a perpetual saturday these days, meaning i don't have the same time table as most of the working world.  i'm just making things up as i go along, i schedule my own days with projects as they come to me the meaning the days of the week once had for me (when i did work a 9-5) are now totally lost.  and i think that's cool.  also, because i don't wear contacts, i wear sunglasses that go over my glasses.  they're huge and i look like an elderly floridian but i love them.  also they're tinted a little so when i wear them i feel like the world is one of my grandparents' old home movies - and i really wanted to work that into a song somewhere.

tuesday is a saturday

looking at the world through my sepia tinted
over my glasses sunglasses
makes everything look like a home movie from 1960
where everyone is happy
and wearing too much eye makeup and polyester suits
and i feel good

i take a walk and stop to pick up a nice ice cream come
with sprinkles
i give the dude my two bones
and then i'm on my way
i can't be late for my one appointment of the day
to meet you and go for a walk
through the park

tuesday is a saturday
yesterday was a saturday too
every day is a saturday
when i'm with you and we're making up the rules

Monday, May 17, 2010

cabbie landlord

my landlord drives a cab.  he lives in my building and sometimes i see said cab parked in our driveway.  this is a snippet of a song about how whenever i'm out late in the city, it is my dream that i'll flag him down, it'll be his last drive of the night and we'll look knowingly at each other and say "let's go home."

cabbie landlord

it's been a long hard night of drinking in a dive bar way downtown
me and my friends were like "let's do some shots of crown"
we got a little crazy, and things are hazy
i think it's close to three in the morning
and the bar is closing down

out in the misty muggy bright night lights of a city in heat
we open our mouths to laugh and to check each other's wine stained teeth
i feel unstoppable yet heavy
advil is poppable and ready
and i have bagel bites at home for a treat

cabbie landlord, won't you take me home
i don't wanna roam these streets no more
and i'm too poor to pay for my subway fare
cabbie landlord, if i could pick you out of the crowd
i'd hail you down
you know where i live
won't you take me there?

Monday, April 26, 2010

ghost in my bedroom and our lives are narrow

two new half baked tunes here to make up for my utter lack of posting last week.  silly me.

"ghost in my bedroom" is literally about this ghost appeared in my room when i was about 6.  he showed himself again when i was a junior in college, but that's a different story.  the house we lived in, or at least my room, i'm pretty sure was haunted - it was the only bedroom in the house with a door to the outside, and i had a lot of dreams (and waking experiences) involving ghosts, and this one in particular.  i was also always rearranging my furniture in the room, nothing ever felt quite settled to me...anyway, this is the beginning of a song inspired by those memories.

"our lives are narrow" is very much a work in progress.  not sure if i'm going to stick with this melody line, bass line, or even lyrics.  but there's a definite sentiment i'm trying to express and this bit of a song is my first attempt at it.  it's very much a page from my journal and is maybe a little too earnest and literal for my own taste, but i wanted to include it here to remind myself to follow through with the idea that sparked this ditty.

ghost in my bedroom

our lives are narrow

Thursday, April 15, 2010

videos! samuel and we are not allowed

i'm playing a residency at googie's lounge, a little club in the lower east side, this month and i debuted two of my new songs last tuesday, april 13, 2010!  the videos are sort of dark and i sort of screw up, but we all know that's part of my charm :)

we are not allowed

Monday, April 12, 2010


my boyfriend sam has this book called "the songwriter's idea book" that i've been glancing at.  it basically makes use of your meyers-briggs personality type to give you tips on how you work creatively.  pretty interesting stuff.  as i was flipping through, one of the prompts/suggestions given is to write a song around someone's name.  yes, my boyfriend's name is samuel so that was sort of the impetus for this song, but he's not really the roamer that this song makes him out to be.  it just sort of flowed from my penny-pen that way.  again, this one is very scratchy and simple.  be kind!


Thursday, April 1, 2010

i want harry potter back

my friend jay stolar (front man for rock/funk/pop band julius c) and i have recently formed a wizard rock band, and are calling ourselves lily & james.  if you aren't familiar with wizard rock it's a genre of music inspired by the harry potter series.  i'd look it up if i were you, because it's a bigger movement than even i can accept.

we recently played a show at the local 269 in the lower east side and brought down the house.  we were flabbergasted and motivated all at the same time.

we decided we needed to harness this general ridiculousness and share it with y'all.  posted here is a song written from the perspective of someone who has just finished the series and is dealing with that harsh reality.  jay plays the person reading book 7 and i play book 7.  you'll see.

i want harry potter back

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

we are not allowed

this is a scratch of one of the songs i've been working on for the past week.  it's very much in songhood infancy, but as the track is sort of about letting go i figured i'd do just that and post it here, let it incubate for a bit. 

we are not allowed

Monday, March 15, 2010

the scholastic art & writing awards

my former employers asked me to write a song for their annual "chairman's circle" benefit.  to be in the "chairman's circle" you have donated at least $1500 to help run the scholastic art & writing awards.  the ceo of scholastic, dick robinson, was in attendance.  susan sarandon was lurking in the shadows.  my old co-workers were passing out raffle tickets and slurping down free booze.  it was weird.

let me tell you, it's not easy to write a song about a corporation or an awards program for young artists and writers. it's actual work!  i straight up spent three weeks pouring over this two minute ditty, but it ultimately went over well at the event.  dick dug it, although susan was nowhere to be found.

the scholastic art & writing awards

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

70 million

70 Million by Hold Your Horses ! from L'Ogre on Vimeo.

i didn't write this, but i do think it's amazing.  yay for folk pop and art history shaking hands!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

ask kat!

my friend and former boss, kat, asked me to write a theme song for her vlog.

kat helps administer the scholastic art & writing awards, a long running recognition program for young creative types.  she is the hub for a network of over 100 people across the country who are running the awards program on a regional level, and let me tell you that's a lot of people, and people have a lot of questions.  the vlog she's creating is a place where anyone in the network can stay up to date on the logistics of running the program, find out about important dates, get news, etc.  it'll give kat the opportunity to answer basic questions once instead of (literally) 100 times.

with this song, i wanted to capture the positivity, ease, charm, and buoyancy that make up dear dear kat.  i also went to the trouble of giving it some good production qualities with the help of my boyfriend sam who also plays guitar and bass for this track.

ask kat!

Friday, February 26, 2010


i've been working a lot lately on "commissioned" songs - music that others have requested from me to be used for a specific purpose.  it's been a fun challenge and one i'd like to extend to myself from myself.  to work on a new piece of music every week.  and post it here.  admittedly, most of this stuff will be pretty rough considering i'll be using the "voice memo" feature on my ipod or iphone.  but at least it's a record of a creative act, and that's satisfaction enough for me at this point.

so here's the first new song!

i wrote this song for a benefit my friend lindsay is hosting saturday, march 7th called "rock it out: a night to benefit new york's farm animal sanctuaries": for information and tickets click here.  lindsay asked those of us performing to write a song about an animal:

"it could be an animal from your own life (ie. a pet), or it could be a animal whose story moved you as a kid, or just about anything you can come up with - it just has to be about an animal."

i've been reading a lot about karma and past and future lives lately, and about how a human life is supposed to be a a really special and rare thing to attain.  in addition to other physical life forms, you can also apparently be reincarnated as a ghost or a god.  who knows.  but since this was rattling around in my head along with the "write a song" edict, the two ideas found each other and turned into this song.  enjoy!