It’s been a minute…sorry. I’ve been in the batcave with my bat guitar. Finer is in Round 2 of the battle of birdy’s this Friday October 29th at 8:30sharp! We’ll be off by 9:15pm but Ethan is also helping out our good friends the Post Script at 11pm. It will be a fun night for sure. Also checkout our new song FUN and EASY!
Friday, October 29, 2010
Birdy’s Bar & Grill
Round 2 of Battle of Birdy’s
2131 E. 71st St.
[map of this location]
First off, FINER made it the next round of the battle of birdy’s! We had a great night, met new people and as I was swing my guitar over my head in the air I almost hit Ethan in the face. He matrix styled his way out of it. Thank you Mr. Reeves! So thanks to those who came out and we hope to see more of you in October. Also we’ll be at the Melody Inn next week on the 25th and we have a great night of music before we hit the stage. Glass Halo and The Post Script are two rocking Indianapolis bands who always light it up. Josh Eagle and Harvest City out of Ohio and Purgatory Hill will start off the night. Purgatory hill is getting press on The Onion’s website. Very cool!
Okay, enough promotion… I have had a crazy few weeks. Every once and awhile I leave my lair of songwriting to head out into the real world. Well, I was on the plane coming back from NY and I was lucky enough to sit next to Sandeep from the web sensation The Guild. Check out www.watchtheguild.com. So first off he was very smart and super cool. Second, this show is so funny, I almost died laughing. The premise is about a bunch of online gamers of a World of War craft style game who meet in real life and drama and fun ensues. I lived in LA where everyone is an actor and I hung out with a dungeons and dragons improv group so this show hits very close to home. Everyone is quirky and hysterical and your neighbor is the stunt guy for every random kung fu movie on the back shelves of Blockbuster. So, I got invited to meet the cast at Gen-Con. AWESOME! I could not believe how many people where there and how many new games were being developed and how many guys look good dressed as the Riddler. The Guild had a huge line and I got to cut the line…not cool I know, but I was running to help a friend with a video shoot in Muncie so I had an excuse. The show was created and stars Felicia Day from Dr. Horrible’s sing-along who is way too hot and way too talented. The cast was so friendly. Now, when I meet famous people, I get very amped up and excited so I was running my mouth and talking to everyone around me. I offered to take pictures for several fans waiting in line…their loss as I could hardly keep my hand straight. And offered several antidotes to those who were deciding what to buy. “Oh, get the one that matches your desktop.” Or “Everyone needs three copies of season 1 on DVD!” I was down with the cause… and why shouldn’t I be. The show is funny and I got everyone’s autograph. I now have a personal connection and will tell everyone about the show. I also got Keith Richards autograph when I was a teenager and look how that has helped the Rolling Stones!
Be at the Melody Inn Wednesday August 25th. We go on late around 11:30 or 12 but the whole night will be Incredible!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
3826 N. Illinois St.
[map of this location]
Let’s take care of business first. Finer will be at the Battle of Birdy’s this Friday August 13, 2010 at 10:40pm sharp. Come out and vote for us. It’s going to be a great night
Finer had an imtimate blast this past Saturday at Urban Elements downtown.
Catch us this week on Wednesday at Birdy’s with local favorites the Post Script and national touring band Robbie Hazen. We go on at 10pm. And again on Friday at Monkey’s Tale with Whoa Tiger and Solid Street. We go on at 8pm.
I’ll be back with the blog soon. I’ve been writing songs for our full length.
Here’s link of one of songs from our newest EP being played on college radio.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Birdy’s Bar & Grill
2131 E. 71st St.
Friday, July 30, 2010
The Monkey’s Tale
with Solid Street
925 E. Westfield Blvd.
The grandest of canyons. The world cup is over is, hearts were made and broken and now it’s time to gather round the camp fire and listen to a story from Grandma Stacy. It will cheer the hearts of the losing team and add more joy to the victors. Now I am not even a mother yet, but I have imagined telling my family this story one day in the distant future so humor me and get your s’mores ready.
Back in high school, during a time of light acne, student council races and homecomings, I got to take a break from it all and backpacked with friends out west. We traveled from Colorado to California, kissed the sky while rock climbing and bathed in the rivers as we kayaked. One evening on a night before our big Grand Canyon hike, a few of my friends and I got separated from the group. Coincidentally we were going to a movie about hiking safety and the value of staying in contact with your trip leader. So we were not off to a great start. In a flash we were alone in the woods. 5 teens, 5 flashlights and Bambi. No sooner then you could say Spidey sense were we surrounded by deer. It was like the ultimate set up for a horror movie. Now all we need was Carmen Electra to run by screaming and it would have been the set up for a classic. The deer were intense. They did not blink. A few had horns and the others were equally strong in stature. My friends and I stood there in our soon to be tarnished sandals and waited and waited. It seemed like forever. Were the animals our friends? Were they telling us to get out of their home? Were they insulted by our lack of fashion sense and our neon fleece jackets? I had never felt so frozen but at the same time alive in all my life. But in an instance they were gone and we were back on the hunt for the others. I guess our sandals with socks fashion debacle were forgiven. One friend who always came up with classic lines such as
Ah, the weather is always a treat here in Indianapolis. And by treat I mean keeping you on your toes so you don’t get wet feet. Yesterday, Finer had the pleasure of playing for the Indianapolis Tornados minor league football family kickoff event and it was hot and fun, but hot. The players and staff were so cool, the vendors were all community minded people providing services that benefited the area. The kids had a great day jumping on bouncy castles and working out with the players. I, on the other hand, was melting. Literally, I was vanishing into my guitar. I would be rocking with the crowd singing some Stevie Wonder then step back to let Ethan take a solo and when I returned to the mic only half of me got there, the other half was in a pool of drenched melodies surrounding my feet. It reminded me of another hot day in my life.
There are many important days in your life. None more important than the day you decide to commit yourself to someone for the rest of your life. My wedding was wonderful and epic to say the least. Everyone’s big day is special, mine had an extra hint of special, because it was so hot out that every moment was slowed down by mother nature’s choice of heat and humidity. It gave the photographer an extra chance to take that family picture, it gave my youngest niece the excuse to walk even slower down the aisle and still not throw one pedal as her flower girl duties called for. It gave the band the opportunity to play our ceremony music picks of Coldplay and Incubus at tempos even a turtle couldn’t comprehend. Don’t get me wrong, the band was incredible. We searched out every group in N.Y. and these guys made the evening. But as my brother’s strolled out to
Friday night I went to see MacGruber. Yes, I was one of the ticket holders contributing to the whopping $1.5 million dollar opening night. I really did enjoy it. I enjoyed Will Forte singing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon as he lead The Roots in a rocking romp version of the theme song with his real life mother looking on in a nice combination of horror and admiration. I hope I get to see my future kids just going for it. So as I watched the movie and laughed at prank after homemade prank, I had a nice combination of horror and admiration myself. Admiration for our true fallen heroes that we will be celebrating this weekend and horror for my childhood homemade concoctions that left my family in tears.
For instance, around age 5 my folks put brand new pink carpet in my room which lined up with my teenage brother receiving a hobby car kit. Now I thought, “Why can’t I enjoy being a girly, girl and make a model car on the pink carpet, without any newspaper underneath?” Why can’t I leave a 1 foot black mark in the middle of the carpet that would remain for the next 10 years just to show that I could be a tomboy and pretty? Well, I could and I did. It was a very charming gesture of me to do to my parents.
That same year, I felt it necessary to put my newest drawings on the spanking new wall paper with toothpaste. My artwork was fantastic. White paper with red marker…very daring and now it had a home. At least for a moment because nobody told me that toothpaste was not an adhesive. Oh well, my Mona Lisa would have to stay on the shelf. I didn’t get in too much trouble for this one as someone, I am not naming names, but it starts with a” b” and ends with “rother”, took a sharpie and went from the top of the stairs to the bottom by drawing a straight line down the middle of the wall. It really framed the room and gave our guests something different to look at.
Now, I am not trying to tell you that I was a deviant child, quite the contrary. I was helpful and always trying to please, but sometimes made poor choices with my artistic creativity. So I knew I had to focus my energy elsewhere until I got that sorted out. So I went the helpful route, like loading the dishes in my college kitchen with laundry detergent instead of dish detergent. It was a great incentive to clean the whole room, because the entire floor filled with bubbles up to my shins. The kitchen was Arm and Hammer fresh and so were the looks on my roommates faces.
I believe those misguided days are behind me. I do a great job as band leader making late night tacos after gigs, bringing snacks when the guys are heading to gigs from school with no time for a meal. But as a newly anointed Hoosier, I still catch that old feeling once in while like when I unknowingly told a family from Detroit that I believed that Ron Artest got the shaft and way too much blame for that NBA debacle. I assumed they were from Indy. But hey at least I was telling the truth and there were no suds on the floor.
Finer will be at Birdy’s this Thursday night May 27th @ 10pm. Be there or risk your glue being switched out for toothpaste.
Okay, I will say it. I am a grown woman and I love Batman. I love Batman so much that every piece of gear I own has the logo, the colors or some tie to the Dark Night. My gloves:Batman, my pedal board:Batman, my basement:Batman colors with a yellow Batman Stripper pool…No stripping though; this is sacred ground people. My fake entrance to the bat cave is only for show. So when I had the good fortune to travel to Tunisia with a family friend and Tunisian native, I was caught off guard by my fast and strong connection to Star Wars.
Lying awake in my guest’s home I would listen for the first time to “Night in Tunisia” sung by Ella Fitzgerald. I would marvel at her voice and the haunting melody. It seemed like the night sky sprinkled with stars stood still as I listened to the song on repeat. I got to play guitar with Tunisian jazz legend Fawzi Chekili who was beyond talented, kind and supportive. He told me I was a good songwriter and introduced to me to younger musicians who were also kind and talented but schooled me while playing “The Chicken”. Each time beat one came around I would still be three counts behind. Where was my utility belt when I needed it? Some invisibility spray would have been perfect. But I got to play some original songs and redeemed myself.
The food in Tunisia was so fresh. The people were beautiful and the landscapes breath taking. I brushed my teeth with salt from the Mediterranean sea and drank freshly squeezed date juice. My friends and I drove through the desert and literally the smell of the olive trees knocked me out. Something the Joker would have used if he were battling the bat overseas.
So when we finally got to Matmata and Tatouine I was a bit hazy and unsure of what we would find. All I knew was that George Lucas and company had just finished shooting episode 2 about a week before and I was going to find out all I could about it. We entered Luke’s home…a huge hole in the ground with windows cut out in the sand and walked deeper and deeper into the earth until we met a man who appeared to be a hotel concierge. We were in the ground, in the desert and this was part of a hotel…keys and all behind his head. So I turned into the ultimate tourist. “I’m American! Star Wars! George Lucas!” Nothing fazed the guy. “Gold, silver! I will buy your hotel!” Nothing. His head and shoulders were a bit slumped. Not even my Batman t-shirt could have riddled this situation. And then like a force coming from a tractor beam, the concierge lifted his head slowly and said “I took a picture with Natalie Portman!” and his smile vibrated for weeks. I said “Where is it? Can I see it”. “No” he said. “It is at home on my mantel.” he said. And I knew the force was strong with this one. My love for Batman would remain strong, but that glimmer of hope of happiness was all I needed to see the power of the force…a beautiful girl from Long Island who went to Harvard. Now years later as I stay up late at night watching a New Hope and Princess Amidala’s mother. I think to myself I am a girl from Long Island and I went to Harvard…Really I did for a whole day.
Well, warm weather is creeping her way into our lives here in Indiana and every step is welcome. A few weeks ago I commented on the Midwest fascination with mowing and how it was a call to mother nature that we love springtime. But nothing says I love the sun more than a good old fashioned game of kickball. Now I love all sports. From MMA to the NBA to a late night game of pool. I cried when Serena won her first title and still can see John Starks dunking over MJ as if it were yesterday. I take sport to its most intimate level. I have been known to make buildings of sugar packets, or cities depending on the crowd at a restaurant. If I am with a party of people over 60 years old than I limit myself to one city block. If I am dining with children under the age of 6 than I can go the full borough and make sure City Hall has tooth picks columns and straw walkways. But Kickball trumps all sports. There are no height requirements. Speed is of little importance and most people can catch something that is bigger than their heads. I say most because all of my kickball experiences have been with elementary school aged kids. Back when I was 10, I was a pretty decent player. I could get the ball past the infield and once in while get enough air time that allowed me to get to second base easily. But during my elementary school TEACHING days, my skills jumped to a whole new level. It’s one thing to watch your 5th grade students rule the playground. It’s another to join the 3rd graders team and break the home run record for a single game. Now I know what your thinking. How can a new school teacher be so competitive? Honestly, I was just testing the field at first. You see I am from N.Y. where the schoolyard is made of grass and your classrooms are in one big indoor building. The gymnasiums have pale yellow floors with blue and red lines and the bleachers were made of wood. Los Angeles, were my professional life began is a concrete jungle of education, kickball, monkey bars and tall handball walls. Your classes are in bungalows and you have to walk outside to get to lunch. All of this was lovely to me. To feel the sun every day was just amazing. It made me think that if I really stuck with it, kickball could be my future. Hey it’s the city of angels and if I could just keep my home run streak going I had a chance. So back to my plan of kickball world
domination. Each kid would get up to kick and have a look of either fear or fortune in their eyes. You knew you had to take a few steps back when the student with the short torso with legs the height of a stop sign took the plate. They had all the leverage and none of the visibility so this ball was going anywhere it pleased. You also had to watch out for the tiny kids with hearts of gold who knew if they kicked it just far enough they could get the tie at first base and steal second while the pitcher adjusts his Velcro sneakers. But no one was ready for me, their teacher, cheerleader, encourager…short in size yes, and maybe a few held back kicks as the designated hitter made them think I was not a threat but years of planning a comeback welled up inside of me as I made my way to the plate. “Miss Sta-cy! Miss Sta-cy!” roared both teams. All eyes were on me. What was I going to do? Was I going to take it easy on my class or give them a Serena like performance that would keep them weeping for ages? Well, I think you know the answer. “Strike one! Strike two!” called the umpire. And by umpire I mean the speech teacher. Was the pitcher kidding me? I could easily make that A plus on his spelling test turn into a C minus. “Strike thr… oh my goodness! She got a piece of it!” cried the announcer/school secretary carrying a walking microphone. And off the ball went past the outfield, past the handball court, and stopped only by the chain linked fence. Now in the balls defense we were playing on concrete so I got a lot of extra mileage out of the bounces on the ground. But none the less it was my first home run of the day. I heard shouts of glee and saw a lot of mouths drop in the in field as I crossed home plate with a enough time to tip my hat to the stadium, I mean school yard. But after about 10 uncontested home runs and 3 ruled ties I took one last look at the outfield, high fived the losing team and then walked over to the secretary and took my post as the next games announcer. I knew then that I had done what I had come to California to do: be a world-class athlete inspiring young people to reach for their dreams. That was until the 4th grade teacher we’ll call Mr. Smith broke my record in one inning. There is always next season. Sugar city anyone?
Hats off to all the graduates. FINER will be playing graduation parties this weekend.
Muncie’s Springfest was the real deal. I was lucky enough to see Michael Jackson in his prime with an unknown Sheryl Crow singing back up and James Brown a few months before he died. I saw Bruce Springsteen give an earth shattering and “short” show of 3 and half hours. I have played so many small clubs across the United States, to the tips of Tunisia, that I know when it’s good and Springfest was better. Yes, we have our heroes that leave us speechless, but I think what I found this weekend was a community of musicians, fans and crew being so cool to each other. The official staff at Springfest was so kind. I was actually trying to see if someone would be a jerk to me and no one was. NO ONE. Even as we were running sound for the tremendous band the POST SCRIPT, and I had a run in with an audience member who was criticizing the mix, we ended up hanging out, talking AND he helped us later in the evening with late night jam. And when bigger local bands like the always impressive Midwest Hype finished their set, they came to show their friends support by visiting the smaller stage. Yes, it was awesome, the food, the falafels, oh the falafels. I think And A Pickle fueled Ethan James’ late night jam fantastic on the bass.
But, let us not forget the temperature and the fashion statement of the spring that it brought. BLANKETS! It was so cold that I saw cool cats, not the Twin Cats although they are very cool, in fleece blankets, wool blankets, baby blankets!!?!?!? draped around their bodies like Superman just out for a leisurely stroll in Metropolis. I saw children clinging to their parents’ legs in hopes of another comforter or a croshayed hat. I saw Will the bad ass conga player from Afrodisiacs talk to me with a straight face as he was wrapped in a pink flowered duvet and I saw Colby from Sour Mash and Matt from the Post Script set up a stage in matching blankets as if they were Tony Soprano’s men setting up for a night of debauchery. And now that I’m back home and starting to get feeling back in my fingers I will always be reminded of a weekend of great music and people whenever I look at Ethan’s baby blanket hand made by his grandmother. Now that’s rock and roll.