Furiously Happy – The Theme Song

Some of you may or may not be familiar with Jennifer Lawson (The Bloggess) – if you are, you know that she is one amazing lady with two New York Times Best-Belling books to her credit (Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and Furiously Happy) and an amazingly hilarious blog that shares a lot of her struggles with depression and the incredible darkness that we all can fall into when we get captured by it…never letting us forget that depression lies and there is light on its way and that you are worthy of being Furiously Happy.

What does this have to do with music or house shows, you ask?

It’s quite simple, really. Those that make art, take music for example, typically have gone through some pretty tough times. May they be circumstances, events, depression, struggles, anger, being poor, losing love, moving into the more joyous times; finding love, faith, friendship and happiness…even books – all of these things meld together and sometimes, successfully separately, to create art. Some of the best songs in the world, came from utter heartbreak.

My good friend and incredible singer/songwriter and musician Emma Hill, has just come out on the other side of – for lack of a better phrase – a really shitty year. Let me tell you something about this incredible creature – and this may be the typical M.O. for most people that struggle with their own issues – you’d never know that she’s going through anything at all. When she is on tour, she is “on” and ready to perform and that part of her – the dark side – sort of gets pushed down and she has a show to put on and so there’s no time to dwell in the darkness. And she is REALLY successful at it. From her sad times, have come some of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. I admired her music before I actually met her. Then, when I met her, I fell in love with her as a person and we became fast friends. We’ve had long talks and quiet times and lots and lots of fun times. So when she was struggling last year, I decided to send her Jenny’s book, “Furiously Happy”.

Furiously_Happy

If you have not read this book, I highly encourage it. HIGHLY. It’s hilarious and uncomfortable and healing and FABULOUSLY FUNNY!

A few really cool things happened after Emma read this book. 1.) She found someone that makes her Furiously Happy. Her new love, Patrick. 2.) She wrote an incredible song inspired by her new found love and the book that helped her find her way out of the darkness.

At our most recent house show, before the crowd came and it was just our family and her and her musical companion Bryan Daste, she told me she had a surprise for me. She preceded to grab her guitar and her song Furiously Happy stumbled into my life. I was beyond touched and actually started thinking about what this song would mean to Jenny and all the people that have been touched by her writing. I want to share it with you here and hope that you share it with your loved ones and those that mean everything to you and also to those that may be in the darkness, trying to fight their way out.

Music is life. Live it. Love it. Share it with the world.

 

 

Advertisements

House Show Entertaining: Food, Beverages and Disclaimers

We’ve talked about where you’re going to seat everyone – now let’s talk about how you’re going to feed all of these people! And, BEVERAGES! askmeshirt When preparing for your house show, you first need that all important “Yes” from your artist of choice, you’ll agree on a date, you’ll invite your friends and family via social media and word of mouth, then you begin deciding how big of a bash you’re going to throw. We have always viewed these House Shows as a “party”. We usually have mingle time before the show, which typically revolves around a light meal or easy to graze on foods and oodles of beverages. You can just keep it very simple with bowls of chips scattered throughout your house or you can ask people to bring a dish they’d like to share that’s easy to grab and go. Our plan usually revolves around something easily made in large quantities and portable with very little clean up required afterward and we have also gone to the extreme of creating a huge spread. potluck While simpler is better, if you’re good at making something and have a dish that people rave about, by all means – MAKE IT! Just remember, asking for your guests participation in bringing a dish can really save you a lot of stress. The last thing you want to do is man the stove the whole night – take it from me, the “hostess with the mostest”. I have overworked myself at shows so much that it was hard for me to enjoy myself and yes, I regretted it. But then again, I’m a MOM, and MOM’s like to make sure everyone is taken care of to the point of it teetering on the OCD side. I come from a long line of MOM-types…I’ve learned to live with it…so my advice is to keep it simple, easy to grab foods like pizza, eggrolls, chips and salsa, popcorn – shopping at Costco is NOT underrated for these events. partytub_1 Something that we have continuously done over the years is provide a selection of adult beverages and also non-alcoholic beverages for those that are taking the roll of Designated Driver. We will typically have a cooler for beer and a separate cooler for non-alcoholic drinks and a table in our kitchen with spirits so people can make mixed drinks. So many types of beer and spirits get accumulated and we also ask that our guests bring their favorite to share. People are very generous with what they bring and are always willing to share with the group. We do give the disclaimer in our invite that there will be adult beverages consumed, so if children are present, adult language may and most definitely WILL be used throughout the night.

Disclaimer – but very important to remember:

When people drink, they tend to get loud. My suggestion would be to not really have hours and hours of mingle time before the show. We typically let people know they can start showing up 1 hour before show time. The whole point is to enjoy this intimate setting surrounded by friends enjoying some amazingly talented musicians. It’s very important that people pay attention and give the artists the respect they deserve. Drinking can lead to disruptive behavior, so please ensure people remember the reason they are there – they can always really let loose after the show when the night shifts from music to hanging out and partying.

The main thing to remember is that this is an event to showcase music, so be as extravagant as you want or keep it really simple. You’re already guaranteed to have an amazing show with the artist/artists that you love, so planning out what you want to provide your guests and how much participation you’ll need from them is key.

BUT I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH CHAIRS!!!!! – How to set up a house show.

mismatched dining room chairs

All you wanted to do was throw a house show for your friends. Now that your Facebook Event has been set up and you’ve invited everyone on your friends list to come listen to your chosen artist, reality sets in.

HOLY CRAP, I DON’T HAVE ANYWHERE FOR PEOPLE TO SIT!!!!!

Don’t worry, first timer…it’s going to be okay. So what are we looking at really? You invited 100 people? How many actually said they are coming? 20? Alright – just take a big deep breath and lets walk through this together, shall we?

  1. You have a couch, that will seat 3 comfortably, if you tell people they can sit on the arms of the couch, that’s 5. Ok – we need 15 more.
  2. Kitchen table chairs. Most people have 4-6 chairs. Let’s go with 6. Now we’re up to 11 – MORE THAN HALF WAY!! Nicely done!! I’m really impressed how you were able to pull yourself together. Let’s keep going.
  3. Computer desk!!!!! There’s a rolling chair there! AWESOME! We are up to 12 – and you thought you didn’t have any chairs in your house! Why you always jump to conclusions, I’ll never know. Are you ready to get creative? We need 8 more chairs…let’s do this, yo!
  4. Do you have a couple throw pillows on your couch? GREAT! Throw those puppies on the floor! It’ll be perfect…now we need 6.
  5. CAMPING CHAIRS! ooooohhhh yeah…now we’re talking. I have like 4 of those suckers in the basement! This is awesome! Still need 2 more.
  6. The picnic table out back? What? There’s a bench out there, right? BAM!

I can’t believe you were worried about this! Just like Glenda the Good Witch told Dorothy, “You had the power all along, my dear.”

Here are a couple alternatives that I found on Pinterest for those of you that are looking for other ways to pull seating where once there was none:

dbd5ea1d9ddfb561efa8d6bb3d58cc0f
Inner Tubes wrapped with fabric!!!
23121456b6e654ba8b48d87461087b41
Amazing Cushions!!! Just throw on the floor!
3f490bfc0c241e7301f516b8c5f8e675
You can do this indoors OR outdoors! How awesome is that?!