The tour has been so wonderful so far.
Making connections and meeting people, performing in music venues, coffee shops, and on street corners. Sharing food and drink and company with new friends and old.
I've never really been on an adventure like this before, just jumping in the car and going, figuring things out as I go along. So far I've been really fortunate to not have many hiccups, fate has treated me very kindly so far. Except for getting my car towed a few days ago, that wasn't very fantastic, but I was planning for something of that nature to happen at some point, and in the grand scheme of things it could have been much, much worse.
Mostly I'm just so filled with gratitude to the people who have opened their homes and their hearts to me, who have made me feel welcome in these strange cities and shared with me more than I could possibly ask for. Their time, their food, their beds, their stories, their clothes (my wardrobe grows with almost every stop), their echinacea drops and tea (I'm feeling a little under the weather today), their support and love.
I've got a few more days in this beautifully hectic city of Los Angeles, from here I rally forth to Ventura, and then to Monterey.
Lots of pictures and video are trickling in from the shows, and I'll be doing a big post with a bunch of stuff from tour soon, but I wanted to check in and say hello, I miss you lovelies of the internet with wifi is not always readily available and data is limited.
For those that worry and wonder if I'm safe, I promise I'm alive, and very very happy.
The tour has been so wonderful so far.
You are all wonderful and my appreciation for you knows no bounds.
I was worried my incredibly positive experience at Sidepony Express Music Festival last year was going to be an isolated incident and that without a music festival in progress the response was going to be less enthusiastic. I was wrong, and for that I apologize.
You all were so lovely and supportive and welcoming.
I am so glad that I got to be in Bisbee for my first stop of the tour.
I cannot wait to return!
The past few weeks have been filled with learning about what I'm good at, but more importantly what I'm not terribly fantastic at. The Kickstarter has been funded, you guys did your part with an enthusiasm that I am still overwhelmed by, now its my turn to uphold my part of the bargain. Which means lots of detailed, number oriented executive decisions that in the end cost a lot of money. Money that other people gave to me to make things with that they are going to have and keep and use. And while I'd done a lot of the conceptual brainstorming, I hadn't gotten to the nitty gritty planning because in all reality I had no idea if I would even get to do any of this because I wasn't sure the Kickstarter was going to be funded.
So I've gotten an opportunity to learn.
So far I've learned that a font can make or break a design, and that there are way too many fonts to possibly choose from and that if you scroll through enough fonts with your name in the text field you will barely be able to recognize your own name in under a minute. I've also learned that photoshop and I are not friends and most likely will never be friends, perhaps not even frenemies. Ordering in bulk scares the crap out of me, and that was not something I was aware of unit this week, though I think that that is closely tied to my lack of confidence in my design skills; I'd rather have 200 business cards that are accidentally awful than 2,000 business cards that are accidentally awful.
I think the most important lesson I've learned is that when faced with multiple tasks that need to be done on a deadline that don't play to my natural skill set my tendency is to stare at my computer screen hopelessly until I feel like I'm going to explode, bang my head against the wall for awhile, and then I decide to deal with it tomorrow. This is not a tactic I would recommend. Instead perhaps consider reaching out to the people in your life who seem to have a better grasp on these individual tasks, and asking them what strategies they use to complete them or at least if they can point you in the direction of a good place to start. If you ask the right person they might even offer to help you with the task.
I would definitely recommend starting with this tactic instead of staring at your computer screen for a few weeks until you are in a serious time crunch and then remembering that there are other people who exist and know how to do these things. Asking first and stressing later is also much more respectful to the time and energies of those you are reaching out to; setting people up to work on their own schedules and not your panicked last minute one will also make that person more inclined to work with you again in the future. Plus with that task delegated to someone else or with the inquiry submitted you can focus your brain space onto things you're actually good at, like feeling feelings and music stuff, instead of the anxiety of all of the things you should be doing but have no frakking clue how to do.
I wish me from a month ago could see me today. I would totally be down for those precognition superpowers to develop any day now, they'll save me a lot of hassle in the lesson learning department. Until those develop I am working the trial and error system, doing some R&D on life.
I'm quickly learning where my skills lie, what is worth figuring out for myself, and where I need help. The amount of energy I save by not banging my head against a wall is totally worth compensating someone else who is equipped to actually do a good job.
At the end of the day, all I know is I am so grateful to have the opportunity to learn these lessons and to have so many amazing people in my corner whom I can field these questions to. To the white knights who came to my rescue this week despite my inability to get my proverbial shit together, I don't know what I'd do without you.
Also in other news the tour is finally announced and these are the places I'm playing:
Song of the moment:
Hello Lovelies! I hope that 2015 is off to an amazing start for you!
So far mine has been pretty mind blowing.
As of the stroke of midnight on the first my kickstarter is officially funded for not only the initially asked for amount, but for the first reach goal of $2,500.
The Phoenix New Times published a full page editorial on me and my music that went to print on the first as well. Its my first time in print. I'm going to frame it because I'm a dork like that.
The album art for The Siren and the Sailor EP is being finalized and the tracks are being mastered to go to the duplicators.
Bonnie and Ali are editing together the music video to be debuted at my tour kickoff show on the 19th and I cannot wait to see it!
Life is kind of crazy right now in all of the best ways. Things that I had envisioned for "maybe one day when I'm a real musician" are suddenly happening because somewhere along the way I apparently started being a real musician while I wasn't paying attention.
This year is going to be filled with music and travel and excitement, and I'm going to do everything I can to bring you all along for the ride!
Here is a still from The Siren and the Sailor music video that Bonnie just sent me!
I'm so excited to see it!
Song of the moment:
Step 1: Sit down at the laptop with enthusiasm and a time-limit.
Step 2: Decide what you want to write about. It could be anything. It could be about how incredible the Sidepony Express Music Festival in Bisbee was. Or how about a nice Thanksgiving piece. Or perhaps an in depth blog about letting go of the ridiculous notion that there is a predictable path to success as an artist.
Step 3: Write about it. Like a lot.
Step 4: Get self-conscious about your written voice and complete lack of regard for conventional grammar norms and made up words and run on sentences and delete a bunch of what you've written.
Step 5: Say fuck and rewrite basically the same exact thing.
Step 6: Look at the clock and realize that you have to wrap this whole writing thing up in like 10 minutes.
Step 7: Realize you have no clue what the end of this post is even supposed to look like. You have no clue what the end of the day is going to look like, how can you possibly find a good way to end this blog post? Could the metaphorical resonance of a premature ending on a blog post going to impact all of the awesome things happening right now in real life? Am I reading into this way too much? Is this all just a procrastination tactic?
Step 8: Decide not to risk it. Give yourself the creative space to mull things over in your head a little bit and come back to it later when you've thought of something really good. Save to drafts folder.
Step 9: Go live life. Be bombarded with new things to write about. Be thankful for all of the crazy amazing things that are happening. Try to keep up with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter because even if you can't blog all the time you have to at least be connected on the other platforms. Completely forget to think of a cool ending for that blog post.
Step 10: Remember that you haven't updated your blog in awhile. Realize that in the time that has passed your life has changed so much that you kind of have a lot to cover. There is a new car, a new single, a music video shoot, a Kickstarter launch, a tour to announce. Those things need to be covered. But how to start?
Step 11: Return to step 1. Repeat as many times as it takes to finally finish a post.
So many, many things are taking place right now.
I am in complete and total awe.
I went to the Sidepony Express Music Festival in Bisbee in November and it was the catalyst I needed to shift my mindset from "maybe one day" to "why the hell not yesterday?"
The response from the festival goers and the performances by the other artists there was so inspiring that I decided it was time to actively try to get out of my own way. So I did. This is the extremely truncated and mostly chronological version of what has been happening in Korbe Canida land since:
Two weeks after the festival I finally bought a car. I've been without my own vehicle for over a year and a half (my mother is a saint) and I was really limited in how far I could travel for shows because of it. Now I've got a new, reliable car with plenty of space and good gas mileage. A journalist who saw me perform at Sidepony Express reached out and wanted to write an article for local magazine and wanted to know if I had a CD or anything big that she could promote (that article should be printing next month, I'll make sure you all get the memo when its done). I had recorded an acoustic collection with one of my best friends Jared Hacmac just prior to him packing up and moving across the country. The tracks had started to come back from being mixed and even though I only had a few at the time I knew that they were perfect for my first EP, so ready or not I told the journalist that planned to release the EP in January. I paid for the copyright and released The Siren and The Sailor as the title track and single for her to promote in the article. Then a friend in LA invited me out for her birthday in January and offered a place to stay, and I figured that it was a perfect excuse to plan a tour. So I started sending out emails to venues. I met with my wonderful friend Ariel of the band Sister Lip who had planned multiple tours already by herself, and she gave me the rundown on how the whole DIY tour thing works as well as providing me with a list of venues to start with. I needed merch. I randomly met an artist with the skill and style that was completely in line with my dream EP cover. He is currently working on the piece and I am so excited to share it with all of you. Designs for Tshirts and Stickers started popping into my head. I started researching costs for screen printing, cd duplication, and misc merch. I quickly realized I didn't have the capitol to make that happen by the end of January. So I launched a Kickstarter campaign. The Kickstarter campaign is already almost completely funded in less than 4 days ($55 shy as I'm writing this). I'm fine tuning the list of reach goals that I was too afraid to ask for because apparently my confidence in myself hasn't quite reached the confidence that others seem to have in me just yet. My wonderful film-maker friend Bonnie Sowle heard The Siren and The Sailor and asked if she could do the music video for it, so tomorrow morning we are packing up a bunch of nautical themed goodies and headed to Prescott to film all day. Emails have been slowly trickling in from the 150 or so that I sent to venues on the west coast for tour. I've got 9 confirmed shows and counting which I will announce with its own blog post sometime next week. I'm already planning my second tour in my head and the first one hasn't even started yet, depending on how successful the kickstarter is I will be able to concretely confirm a substantially larger tour. I am fielding emails and planning couch surfing spots and corresponding with artists in different cities. I keep meeting people from around the country who after 15 minutes of chatting after shows or at coffee shops have confidently offered places to stay and friends to talk to on my behalf to help organize venues to play.
Life is literally moving so fast I barely have a moment to document it. I promise I'm trying. For my sake if nothing else so I can remember to listen and let go, to do the work and not be attached to a particular outcome, to trust that if I show up and be present and connect with people that I will find myself exactly where I need to be, even if its not where I thought I wanted to be. Stay tuned in. Who knows what will happen between now and next time.
Its here! The single! Its finally here!
Words cannot express how excited I am to finally be able to give this song to all of you! This track means so much to me, its one of the first original recordings that I've really connected with. I am overjoyed that it is ready for public consumption and I cannot wait to hear what all of you think of it!
I owe so much gratitude to the ever amazing Jared Hacmac for engineering, producing, mixing and mastering the recording purely out of the kindness of his heart.
You can download the track by clicking "download" in the player above or head over to https://soundcloud.com/korbe-canida/the-siren-and-the-sailor and download/stream it there!
Hey there Sailor
How about a drink?
What goes best with salt and brine,
that will help me lose my mind?
I’m afraid that I’m about to sink.
Hey there Sailor
That is quite the albatross that you bare.
We could lay our burdens down
and get lost inside this sound
point the compass north
and lose ourselves somewhere.
But you should know that I can’t give my heart to anyone
I lost it long ago to the sea
so don’t drown yourself for siren songs
don’t you waste your love on me.
Hey there Sailor
Don’t you look at me that way.
Your eyes they say too much
and they make me crave your touch
so I’ll be gone before the break of day.
Cause you should know that I can’t give my heart to anyone! I lost it long ago to the sea
so don’t drown yourself for siren songs
don’t you waste your love on me
don’t you waste your love on me
don’t you waste your love on me
Hey there Sailor
would you take me home tonight?
I will rock you like the sea,
sing you the breeze,
just lie to me and tell me its alright
won’t you lie to me and take me home tonight
oh just lie to me and tell me I’m alright.
But you should know that I can’t give my heart to anyone
I lost myself oh so long ago
Now I drown myself in siren songs
cause I’ve nowhere left to go
Now I drown myself in siren songs
and if you didn’t then now you know.
I have absolutely no idea where the hell I'm going in my life right now. I am trying really hard to find the socratic serenity to let go of this delusion I have that I'm in control of my life and embrace that all I think I know is completely subject to change at any time.
I think I want to end up in Portland in the next year. Maybe Seattle. At the very least I know I don't want to live in the desert anymore. I have this idea of leaving in the spring, but the reality is I don't know when I am leaving, or how I am going to afford it. I don't know if I'm going to be going straight to my destination or if I'll travel for a bit beforehand.
Part of me wants to bust my ass and save up through the busy season and move as soon as I have a cushion that can float me long enough to get a serving job and start building my music base from scratch in a new place.
Part of me wants to stay here and wait for my album release. This being for the album that hasn't happened yet. The album that I'm not sure is going to happen the way I thought it was going to happen. So maybe I'll instead stay for my EP release, which is much more attainable and actually in the works right now. But I still have to come up with funds for copyright and duplication and design for that, and I have no idea what that whole process or timeline is looking like yet.
Maybe I should just say screw it and leave as soon as I have my car. Work for a few weeks and save up a couple hundred bucks just for cushion. Quit my job, pack up the belongings that matter and just go. Couch surfing and camping and busking and performing. See the country and meet new people and share my music. Car payment, insurance, phone plan with lots of data, food, and a gym membership for hygienic purposes. Lodging would be the tricky part, but I've got people all over the country that I've been meaning to visit, and when I don't have a couch I can always go car camping. Between paid shows and busking in busier cities I could totally deal with that cost of living, and I wouldn't be tied down to a lease or anything that would keep me stuck in one place.
Clearly I've been putting a lot of thought into that last one. As an anxiety based person I've never been much for unnecessary adventure, but as I'm growing into myself more and more I feel the need to see what I'm really capable of. To be on my own with no one to catch me, to make choices and feel the consequences of my actions and learn from them. To be free, with all of its perks and consequences. Its a romantic and exciting idea. But also reckless and naive. And at the end of it all I'd probably end up broke and back in Phoenix trying to save up enough money to escape the desert. I'm sure I'd be richer as a person for the experience, but I'd be back at square one again and I'm guessing the option of staying with family would be off of the table the second time around. That means a lease, and I'm not sure I'm willing to sign on for being here that long.
All I know is that I know nothing. Well okay, technically not nothing.
The one thing I do know for certain right now is that wherever it is that I end up, I want to be performing. So I'm sticking with that. I'm going to keep writing and singing and riding this incredibly strange ride that is living life as a creative. I'll continue to try to be my unadulterated and unfiltered self and remain open to the possibilities that the universe or whatever you want to call it throws my way. I'll ask for guidance from the powers that be and do my best to listen, even if I'm much better at the asking part than the listening sometimes.
Thanks for reading
Song of the evening:
I've been trying to be more time-conscious. A couple of nights ago I was reading about the things that people engage in that keep us stagnant and in our comfort zones. Food, drink, romantic fixations, movies and social media, all things that are fine in moderation but are often used and abused as security blankets and/or distractions when we are feeling the anxieties that come with change.
I promptly closed the book I was reading, made myself a moscow mule, queued up The Mindy Project to binge watch on Hulu, and began to consume as many calories as humanly possible while engaging in a healthy dose of Facebook stalking on my phone.
Psh. I'm an adult. I can do what I want. I don't have a problem. That book doesn't know me. Stop looking at me that way.
So the next morning (when I rose out of my pretty significant food hangover which I didn't know was a thing but is totally a thing) I really started to consider just how much of my time was dedicated to these escapist activities.
I've discovered that it is obscene how much time I waste on an average no-show day. Like it should be a crime. If my schedule doesn't dictate that I be at a specific place at a specific time for a specific event it is as though that time does not exist to me. At that point I am at the mercy of whimsy and impulse control. Its bad enough that I am the queen of procrastination, even if I have an idea of something I'd like to get done with my window of time there is always something shiny in my peripheral vision that is of higher priority. And boy would I make an excellent poster child for those people who say that social media is destroying this generations attention span and ability to retain information. Hell, simply getting caught up in checking my social media while waiting for response texts takes up, without exaggeration, literally hours of my time. It doesn't matter that I've scrolled through all of the new posts on Facebook like 3 times already, my phone is in my hand, and my thumb manages to find that Facebook app despite it being buried on the third page of a folder on the second page of my phone to deter unintentional use. Clearly that folder strategy is working well for me so far.
And Netflix? Don't even get me started. I don't know where this habit of being "done" with the day when the sun goes down came from, but all productivity seems to halt for me after 7pm, especially if I got some things crossed off of my to-do list that day. Food and drink are usually part of the ritual. Netflix goes on as a reward to myself for another day done and as I relish in my food coma it remains on until its time to boot up in my room on my laptop for me to fall asleep to.
Time management is not my specialty. Obviously. So I decided to make some boundaries for myself.
1. There is no need to watch more than one movie or 3 episodes of any show in one day. Thats enough to unwind and spend time with family, or to fall asleep to on busy days, but not enough to lose the entire evening in.
2. Perhaps drinking should be kept to after 8PM. Having to turn down plans because of the executive decision to start playing with cocktail recipes at 6PM is such a bummer, and shuts down opportunities to go and connect with people and actually, yah know, live life.
3. The phone doesn't need to be within arms reach at all times. If its in hand its a temptation. Phones have this tendency to make noises that can be heard from across the room when texts and calls are received. Thats kind of what makes them phones. Put it down. Be present.
4. Be alone. Its not the worst thing. Its actually kind of awesome. When the TV is off, and the phone is out of hand, and the need to be occupied with the idea of another person is put on the shelf, there is a space to be filled with nothing but you. Space for dancing and singing and playing and exploring what it means to be.
I'm on day two. So far I've rearranged my room, and set up a Keyboard that I stole from my moms storage room. I started playing piano (shocking, I know). I organized my music library and revisited a bunch of old recordings of myself from days long gone. I've gone for two jogs, and started working on some new yoga poses (which is insane because I don't do physical activity). I went through my closet and got rid of some stuff that didn't make me feel fabulous. I made a bunch of phone calls I've been putting off because phone calls are strangely terrifying to me and worked out my schedule for November. I've been eating to give my body fuel to keep going, not to fill the void and shut down.
I keep finding new things to fill the hours. I'm feeling inspired and motivated. I haven't felt this good in a long, long time.
I'll keep you posted!
As always, thank you for reading!
Last week was one of those weeks. Okay maybe its been a couple consecutive weeks, but who is counting? Okay, the answer is Me. I'm totally counting. But its cool because the countdown is over, and its time to get back on the ball as the little inspirational sign I made myself after a few drinks last night clearly states. After a lot of stress and anxiety over things that are in all reality quite out of my control, I've decided to take a nice dose of serenity and do my damnedest to let it go. No more sitting around feeling sorry for myself. No more blaming my guitar for being so damn hard to play instead of actually practicing. No more hoping that maybe if I close my eyes and ignore all of the BBEG's in my life that they will all roll critical misses and slay themselves and I will magically level up without ever having to leave my bed. No more Dungeons and Dragons references that alienate my audience and don't really make sense. No more silly tangents that do nothing but distract me from my core purpose.
It is time to shift the focus. To get specific about what I want, and to really think about why I want it. And then to subsequently start to take action into making it happen. I need to stop looking for inspiration to find its way to me, I want to inspire myself. Its time to start looking at my schedule and remember that it is full of potential. An empty block of time in my afternoon should not be automatically Netflix time because I have nothing else going on (which has totally been the case of late); it should be a springboard into infinite possibilities. Whatever that means. Time to get those emails sent, and that show schedule updated. Time to pick up a paintbrush and go to a spoken word event again. Time to start a new project or learn a new song.
Time to start tackling things on the to-do list.
Time to fill up the blocks in my schedule and the pages in my journal.
Time to get back on the ball.
Its been one of those weeks.
Murphy's Law seems to be in full effect, Mercury is in retrograde, and all of the little things that keep going wrong start to stack up and feel like formidable walls that are closing in. My jaw is just a little bit clenched all the time, my abs held taught with a tension I don't even realize I'm carrying until I remember to take a deep breath, and my face is suffering from a persistent case of RBF (resting-bitch-face). I find myself compulsively checking my phone screen for confirmation that another minute has passed and I still haven't received that email/text/phonecall/facebook-message since the last time I checked all of 60 seconds ago. I'm not even 100% sure what it is I'm anxious about or waiting for but I've got the nagging feeling that I've forgotten something basically all the time.
These high anxiety weeks happen, they go in and out, and they are fewer and farther in between now than they ever have been, but that doesn't make them much easier to deal with. Anxiety has and continues to be one of my biggest struggles. I find myself staring at my computer screen or at my ceiling, paralyzed by all of the things I should be doing (learning a new song, writing a new song, working on my kickstarter, finalizing the song list for my first album, sending that important email, making that important phone call, updating my schedule for the next month, writing that blog post...) and tallying the list of reasons why I can't/shouldn't/dont-want-to do them because it will probably suck/fall-apart/be-stupid-stressful. And then the guilt starts when I cannot manage to make any movement past that overwhelming, paralysis by analysis, fear stage. And then I'm afraid that because of this lack of willpower I will never get anything done ever again, that I will be stuck like this forever being afraid to take a single step for fear of fucking up the whole journey. But then it occurs to me that maybe that whole "being stuck" thing might be preferable to actually doing all of those things that I should do and then everyone hating me and thinking I'm a failure when everything goes wrong because I am an awful terrible human being that can't do anything right ever.
It is irrational. It is destructive. But it happens.
Anxiety spirals are kinda my thing.
So the question is: What can I do about it?
I can make an effort to be more patient with myself. Acknowledge that clearly I'm having difficulty with something and need to dedicate more attention to that struggle. Freaking out on myself doesn't solve anything, it just makes me want to shut down further and delay dealing with the problem. Checking in and giving myself the space to breathe can make all of the difference in how I choose to respond to anxiety.
I can make a point to remember that a big part of the human experience is emotional and on many occasions exceptionally unpleasant, but that there is always something to learn within every exchange. Just because some emotions aren't perceived as positive in the moment doesn't mean that they aren't valuable. If I can live with that awareness I have the opportunity to take something positive from an exchange that otherwise may not have been deemed so. I can trust that even the shitty days are completely necessary so I'll be equipped to handle life further down the line.
I can try to divide my attention more evenly. I don't have to lose myself in whatever it is that I'm focused on. I can remember to eat and also manage to finish writing a song, I can maintain friendships and still have time for me, I can start a book series or a tv show and still manage a semi-socialable existence before its been consumed to completion. By living with a little more balance I can maintain a productive lifestyle without sacrificing my physical and emotional wellbeing.
I can break big things down into smaller parts so they are less intimidating. Launching an entire Kickstarter campaign has been terrifying for me, the idea has seemed so daunting that I've put it off in its entirety for way too long, however committing to completing a little bio blurb thing today is much more attainable, I can deal with the next step tomorrow.
I can make an effort to focus on myself before all else, and not extend myself when it isn't asked of me. I don't have to come up with a plan. I don't need to make sure everyone is having a good time. I don't need to worry about what anyone is doing or when they are doing it or how they are getting home afterwards. And I certainly don't need to feel let down when things don't go according to my plan when nobody asked me to come up with a plan in the first place. I'm the only person that I'm in control of, and as long as I have my bases covered I don't need to assume responsibility for anyone else unless otherwise asked.
So why are you writing about this?
I want to be a little more transparent as a person. I know my music can be highly personal sometimes, and I want people to understand the girl behind the music. I have a tendency to try to seem very put together all of the time, to never let people know when I'm struggling, but the reality is that sometimes (okay lets be honest, a lot of the times) I do struggle because I'm human.
Yes, I struggle regularly with this whole life thing, but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop fighting to be better than myself all the time. I want to hold myself accountable for my creativity. I don't want to be able to hide in myself and my anxieties anymore. I know that I'm not the only person with anxiety, but it can be a very isolating feeling when you're ashamed to talk about it. So I thought that if I created this space to talk about the struggles and fears that I'm encountering on this journey then maybe I'll be able to find courage and support in the community that finds me and maybe if I open the doors and air our the closets that maybe I won't feel so ashamed and shut down about how I'm feeling and maybe I'll get back into a more solid and productive space faster than I normally would on my own. Maybe.
I'm looking forward to getting to know you all and myself a little bit better. I'm not going to pretend like I have a plan here, I'm not sure exactly what my schedule will be or what these posts will be about. All I can say is that I'll make an effort to not bullshit anyone here. This is my blog, its going to be a pretty realistic look at me and who I am and what I think about stuff, and authenticity is what I am going for here.
So thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy it!