What if there was a tongue that kept changing colors?

My inbox is a barren page of white, vacant outside of one or two unanswered emails. Close friends will tell you that I can’t stand an unchecked notification on my phone. My compulsive archiving has been a slight issue for the shared modsav and Animal Sounds Productions email accounts, leading to exasperated texts of “Jenni, that email had a PURPOSE!” I save very few things. Inside a shoebox covered in fabric I made in childhood, as a girl scout actually, (yes, I’m giving you that one) I keep a handful of photos and a few cherished artifacts.

While I don’t save my journals, I don’t exactly throw them out. I tend to start new journals in seasons, and they’re rarely a medium manufactured for that purpose. I’ll be looking for a sketch book in my desk and find find a drafted album release schedule for “Unfazed” or a random inspiration list: Bokashi composting, chicken thigh french onion soup, double headed arrows, MC5, Pablo Neruda. I found my most recent journal for $5.00 book at a tiny art supply store in Brooklyn. It was a 30 page white book designed for children designing their own storybook. The cover became a testament to the new travel watercolor set I bought in May, an abusive splattering of colors and brushstrokes. Inside I glued a paint swatch mosaic as I developed a palette for the new house. Quotes from the books I was reading. Random music video ideas. What if there was a tongue that kept changing colors? Journals are where I record brief daily inspirations in loopy experimental writing as a result of new pens. Passing thoughts messily scribbled in magic daughter’s crayons, the only writing utensil nearby. They aren’t profound, or even music related.

Inspiration isn’t alway there, and frequently deadlines won’t wait for a muse to tap me on the shoulder. Over time, I’ve come to recognize the feeling I get when my brain is sparked by something.

If you’re engaged by something, run with it. As you inhabit that place of curiosity your other art will flourish.

October inspiration list 

Currently listening: MASSEDUCTION, St.Vincent 

Produced by Jack Antonoff (Tswift, Lorde)

Favorite track: “Young Lover”

Revisiting:  Domestica by Cursive  (Dem guitar tones tho!)

Favorite Track: trick question

Project: A unicorn costume for June. I can’t wait to raid her halloween candy. If there’s interest I’ll post pics and a tutorial.

Just read: Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

I was sick two weeks ago and read this in one sitting. Anne Tyler is best known for Breathing Lessons. Vinegar Girl is her retelling of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. For anyone who swoons when you hear: “I hate you big dumb combat boots”.

Currently Reading: SALT FAT ACID HEAT by Samin Nosrat. Fun fact: I went to culinary school. I love to cook and I’m passionate about food. Nosrat has recently been hailed as the new Julia Child. This cookbook is unpretentious and charming. I feel like I know Samin. Which means she could come over and cook me dinner, right?

Streaming: Battlestar Galactica. Is Starbuck a cylon?! No. Actually, don’t tell me.

Scents: Lemongrass with lavender. Aromatherapy has been a new part of my self care routine.

Eat this while watching the 1978 Invasion of the Body Snatchers streaming on Hulu. It’s spooky, looks beautiful, and stars a young Donald Sutherland and Jeff Goldblum.

Color: “Hex” from Urban Decay’s Vice lipstick collection. A matte, brown-based red. Wears very well for a deep red that’s not a lip-stain or crayon. There’s not a great link for this, I’ll swatch on insta.

Junk Drawer:

Newspapers.

I’m trying out a trial print subscription to The New York Times. Reading a physical paper has become a comforting ritual. In the magazine section this morning was an article about dinner parties featuring Samin Nosrat again. Be still my heart.

Music releases.

Tape, CD, Vinyl, digital download? Do you buy music at shows or wait until you’re at home? Do you have a preferred format? Do people still buy music or do we just stream it?

Code switching.

How many tribes do you belong to?

have a restful weekend.

xx

jenni may

Vitamins

 

I have a confession to make: I’ve become a compulsive news consumer. It’s always on in my car or I’m refreshing apps on my phone midday. (Small side note, I keep two apps for news. One I consider my top source, and another that provides a different positionally.)

This week has been a difficult one for our nation world.

Lady Liberty’s demons tapped her on the shoulder. I won’t call them past demon’s, because they’re not. They live in the shadows and have latley become more emboldened to walk about.

In my compulsive news checking, I found these demons were stealing my psychic energy.

Making me wring my hands, spin my wheels.

Doctor diagnosed me with activist fatigue.

Now, I’m not saying be less informed. These demons are REAL. You can’t shrug them off or underestimate them. There’s no sand so deep you can burry your head in it.  You’re a citizen of the world. You carry the awesome social responsibility of education and empathy. You are woke.

You are also not alone in this.

Find a community

Wrap yourself up in them. Ears to bend and hands to hold. In a media news frenzy that reports daily hate, these demons can suffocate you.

Find a focus

Pick one thing you care about and give it all your love for awhile. Maybe that means volunteering. Maybe you don’t have time but you have money. Don’t waste a drop of that precious energy going to war on Facebook or Twitter, focus it like a laser beam.

Make some art

Make art that speaks to the wound in your heart. Wash yourself in that pain and release it. Make art about that bright, near blinding, dream for the future. The dream so shiny and hot you don’t want to touch it right now.

Take care of yourself

Sleep a little later.

Take a social media cleanse. Someday I’ll tell you why I don’t have a personal Facebook profile anymore.

Get outside. Someplace beautiful that makes you feel like a small piece of something massive. I went to the beach.

Move your body. Dance, run, bike, play tag with your kid, yoga, whatever.

Feed yourself. Better yet, cook something delicious and invite people over for dinner. This is my favorite Ratatouille recipe. Go pick up a baguette from Fire Island and just trust me.

Put some music on.

Here’s a Sunday playlist to get you started:

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/jennimaytoro/playlist/1g47CsAcAinwyXn0DqShaf

follow on bloglovin’

 

 

 

 

I wonder if it remembers me.

Truth telling.

There are some things that get me every time.

In December I reread Pride and Prejudice

“Do not consider me now as an elegant female intending to plague you, but as a rational creature speaking the truth from her heart.”

Elizabeth Bennet living her 18th century #bestlife.

If Transatlanticism comes on at a party.  

There’s no blame for how our love did slowly fade / and now that it’s gone it’s like it wasn’t there at all 

Suddenly I want champagne out of a paper cup (10 points if you catch that reference) and it’s all west coast rain and clove cigarettes.

When the crowd sings louder than me.

When mod sav did a surprise cover of “99 Red Balloons” I sang less than half the song. Basically, what I mean to say is, nice “99 Red Balloons” cover Bear Tooth first Tap crowd.

That scene in The Life Aquatic When Steve Zissou comes face to face with the Jaguar Shark.

“I wonder if it remembers me.”

I cry like I dropped ice-cream on the ground.

Steve Zissou relentlessly hunts this monstrous creature motivated by revenge and recognition. When his journey ends he weeps. He realizes the effect his obsession has had on those around him.

Something our producer asked us before recording Unwilling Participants was what’s your goal? We refined our vision of what we wanted to communicate to people.

Can you define the purpose behind your art?

Is it a person or feeling? Is it recognition or money? Is it a story or statement?

If you want your art to support you, do you treat it like a business even it it’s not feeding you yet?

If you’re part of a group, is your purpose shared by the people you’re tied to?

If your goal is unclear, it’s going to be tough to know when you’ve reached it.

What’s your jaguar shark?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE BIRDS NEED MY HELP

Last year things changed

spent a lot of time spent twisting my watch forward and back 4 hours

drumming fingers on armrests

listening to captains on overheard speakers

I was a unwilling participant

but

things changed

I was sent an email about the album asking for more back story

dig deeper 

it reminded me of when the guys say we need more update videos

people wanna know

and I’m picking at my cuticles

making excuses

saying David’s so handsome

let him talk about it

but

I was a unwilling participant

and I sent an email with the backstory

spilled my guts

ooey gooey

gory story

and they said, are you sure you wanna talk about it?

and I did.

but my watch was worn out

won’t twist / just shouts

so the guys and me

we made a plan

and I bought a 100 year old house

full of gear

important things like guitars

and

2 toy pianos

more kazoos than is right

a home studio

but I feel the need to write you letters.

let you know how it’s going over here

it’s hot

tell you about the shows

I see / play

the people I meet

life as a transplant / girl in music

daily inspirations

creative process

and some hero(ine) worship

The other day magic daughter woke up concerned and said

“Mom, the birds need your help.”

maybe I’m doing it for them.