June 5, 2017
I think I always made it perfectly clear in my stage banter and songwriting that I am not a Jersey Girl. I was born and raised in the fishy coastal city of New Bedford MA. I was a NJ transplant of many years who tried hard to put her heart where her home was. I tried the Jersey Shore. I ate the hoagies. I looked into buying a house, but just the property taxes alone were the same as rent. I even dyed my hair blonde (for about two minutes before it was blue)! Those two minutes between the peroxide going out and the blue dye going in is as Jersey as I get. I have yammered on about moving for years. At first it was LA. Then it was Portland. Then it was Chicago. Someone put it in my head that to be a successful artist, you need to live in a really expensive saturated artistic city. Maybe it was this guy.
Instead I am moving back to New Bedford Massachusetts. Marian Call, a talented and respected songwriter from Alaska whom I admire, said once on NPR (specifically, to Kai Ryssdal my Marketplace hero) "fish where no one else is fishing". I know A LOT of fishing happens in New Bedford, but I'm talking about metaphorical fishing. It's not a hotspot of funky creative types or where audiences line up to hear the latest beep boops. Honestly though, I don't think Princeton is a hotspot for a music scene either. But I worked hard over the years to cultivate shows and bring in out of town bands. Eventually my monthly showcase Indie Music Night had a built in crowd of lovely people who came out to listen and support the musicians playing for them. Now I'm moving to another city where I hope to build a new thing. And while I don't think there are too many cat loving blue haired ukulele playing songwriters in New Bedford, it is awfully close to Boston where there is a FANTASTIC music scene that I hope to join.
The fact is is that I need space. I need a space to put a table so I can play board games. I need laundry so I can foster kittens and not run out of poop towels. I need a couch so I can sit on something that isn't a cat. I need a toilet I can sit on without worrying if a kitten is going to claw onto my bare leg flesh. I need a bare wall to hang the flatscreen TV that's been sitting in a box on my basement floor for years with a similarly boxed xbox 1 next to it. The music scene in New Bedford isn't anything to write home about (even if that home is IN New Bedford). But I think I can make it all work because of you fabulous people who support me. Whether it's a case of cat food, a monthly donation, or a Patreon pledge, it all leads me to a life where I can focus on creating music and helping animals in need.
LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY HOUSE! Ok, we close in mid-July, but if the deal all goes smoothly like my legs before I go to the beach, it will be A HOUSE TO CALL HOME! It has four bedrooms, two living rooms, a dining room, kitchen, and (most exciting of all) laundry room!!! The ocean is a ten minute walk from my door! Tacos are even closer! Every cat can pick a room! I am hoping beyond hope that the extra room brings peace between Melon and Ni. Ni is constant source of stress on Melon. She hunts and antagonizes the Baller daily. She is increasingly angry, and it trickles down to a lot of redirected aggression between all the cats. Melon gets the brunt of it because she is poor ol' Melon. I have started separating them at night so that I (and Melon) can sleep in peace. More rooms and beds and shelves should alleviate the tension.
KITTEN CAM! I have been teasing y'all about a kitten cam for years with Kickstarter stretch goals and Patreon goals. It was a dream never realized because a kitten cam would either have to set up in my bathroom or my bedroom. Nobody wants to see that on the internet. Or wait, maybe they do? Maybe that's how I can pay the mortgage!? This new house allows me to set up space exclusively for kittens and your YouTube viewing pleasure. A bigger space means bigger capacity to help animals in need. We are exploring options on how to expand, how to finance it, and how to keep music front and center (whenever the cats aren't in the way). If you have any ideas on that, LET ME KNOW.
I NEED YOUR INPUT! What can I do to make my kitten cam special? There are loads of streaming kitten feeds. Should I play music at a given time during the day? Should I put hats on all the kittens? Should we do Kitten Church on Sunday mornings and take kibble communion? Or offer special kitten therapy cam for donors? Maybe I could offer online guitar lessons from the kitten room?
I am so excited to move closer to my family. Being so far from them has made my heart sore, and I am glad to return to the land and quahogs and Portuguese sweet bread. Most importantly, it means that I will have a little more support for my cats when I tour. Melon is the sweetest, but highest maintenance cat in this house. I can't keep taking advantage of my awesome NJ friends and neighbors who care for her when I travel. It's time to take advantage of my kin! This is going to be awkward if my sister Rachel reads this, then she will know why I was so eager for her to move in with us...
But I will be back! NYC, NJ, and PA, I already have dates to come back in September and give you love. In your ears. No, that still sounds bad. Anyways, you will probably see more of me after I've moved than before because you have been my main hub of support all these years. I find it's always easier to book venues when you aren't local because anywhere far away is SO EXOTIC. And New Bedford is SO EXOTIC with its whale skeletons and clam chowder. I should start playing a harpoon or something!
I am so excited to HGTV the shit out of this house when it becomes my house. I have been watching Property Brothers and Fixer Upper for years at the gym, just for this moment! I want it to be the space where I can expand and grow. It's scary to lose my strong foothold in NJ, but exciting to be stepping onto new ground. I might even regain my accent! I can't wait to share my home with animals in need and share my animals with you internet humans. My cats will be home. My heart will be home.