Welcome back & a bit of a Phoebe Philosophy for the day… :)

Hello everyone!

So I decided to get back into blogging on Tumblr. I left you with the America tour last October (have a read below if you haven’t already!) and I am starting it up again as things are appearing to get very exciting in terms of interest in my music and general PhoebeKatisMusic shenanigans :)

Firstly I would just like to say a HUGE HUGE thank you to everyone who has already taken an interest in what I do and the music I create. It still baffles me that so many of you lovely lot are viewing my videos on Youtube finding me on Facebook and having a listen on Soundcloud . I am so incredibly grateful to each and every one of you, and I know it is said many many times by artists and singers but our fans are the most important thing to us and that can not be expressed any more than right now. 

I strongly believe that as an artist, be that a singer, songwriter, actor, author, painter, poet, it is important to let your audience and fans know why you do what you do and why we want you to enjoy what we do. So here goes. I write music because I want people to be able to relate to the experiences I am capturing and be able to say “that’s exactly how I felt/feel”. Music is a powerful emotional release. Music is the socially acceptable alternative to running around butt-naked. Music is care-free, innocent, beautiful. What I and so many other artists like myself are doing is basically writing out experiences (sometimes our own, sometimes not) and emotions via music and lyrics. Every gig or performance is like having a DMC (deep meaningful conversation) with the audience, and that may be creepy to some of you, but to me it is wonderful. It is what music is all about, and more to the point, what being human is all about.

We spend the majority of our time feeling a certain emotion and in many cases those emotions run away with us; that’s when love, hate, anger, joy, fear, hope and everything else takes a hold of us and makes us do/say stupid yet often truthful things. A lot of the time we like to punch a wall or scream into a pillow when these emotions get the better of us; for me, music and songwriting is my alternative to a punchbag. I let everything out in song. Corny? No. Embarrassing? Not in the slightest. Healing? In every sense of the word. It’s why I and countless others find pleasure in singing our hearts out to Beyonce’s gutsy “I’m not afraid of anything” Sasha Fierce ballads, amongst other fantastic artists. We feel what they feel when they sing. We feel like we’re in their shoes performing that song. We get the same sense of emotional release that is more satisfying and less damaging than a hole in the wall. It’s that power of music that made me want to write. More often than not, I write music because I haven’t yet heard anything that perfectly encapsulates what I am feeling. So what better way to release my emotions than to create a piece of music directly from them. If I can then feel better by performing my songs, I want an audience to feel that too, just like I feel better when I listen to a Beyonce ballad. That’s why I do what I do. So an audience can listen, relate and understand, and if not relate & understand then to enjoy as a form of art, just like a painting, a poem or a piece of drama. 

So that is really all I wanted to say for now. And to set the record straight; I’m not another wannabe popular sensation. I’m not in it for ‘fame’. ‘Fame’ is a concept that comes from people who don’t realise what the intentions behind the ‘famous’ are. True some people do just want to be ‘famous’ and you’re probably thinking “well what makes you so different?”. In answer I would say; ‘Fame’ is just another word for ‘influence’. If I write a song and someone is influenced by it and likes it enough to want to hear it again, then I would be helping them by recording it and putting it somewhere for them to hear it whenever they want (ie. sound cloud or youtube etc). If they show someone else that song and it has the same effect for them then they too would want to hear it whenever they want. If that process is multiplied hundreds and thousands of times over and people want to see, hear and be influenced by more of my music, then brilliant, I will gladly deliver. That is what ‘fame’ is. The process by which someone’s initial idea (in my case, my music) influences a large number of people. Not a mindless game to become the next most talked about person for no real reason. No one wants to be famous. Many people want to influence others and that is where you get your celebrities. Influence through film, TV, books; from actors, authors, journalists, everyone who is considered ‘famous’ are just individuals who believe in something that could influence the way people think, feel & live. 

And what is wrong with that may I ask? The Human race has been doing it for years. Philosophers, historians, scientists are all people who have an idea that they believe would influence those who are interested in it. This has been a bit more of a philosophical first blog about the concept of ‘fame’ and I apologise for that if you were here to simply read a bit about me as a musician. But I’m not here to blab on about myself and my music. I think this is much more fun, so please feel free to comment back, message me, let me know what you think. Of course I welcome those of you who do enjoy my music and I would love to know what it brings to you in terms of what I have been talking about. My future blogs will have the usual what I’m up to next as an artist and what new songs are coming up and new gigs and recordings etc, but that is all me as Phoebe Katis Music and is purely for the benefit of those of you who are interested in what I am up to with my songwriting and performance. The parts of these blogs where I talk about broader topics as I have done today will be from me as Phoebe Katis, or Phoebs (nickname basis is preferable as these conversations/debates are purely light hearted and casual, no world-changing philosophical uprisings intended)

That is all for today! I hope you have enjoyed reading, if you have (or haven’t) then please feel free to let me know - leave a comment, message me, chat box etc. I welcome a discussion but nothing too heated please, this is  PG blog ;) 

All the best

Phoebs

x


Beginning my Tumblr blog again! I hope you enjoy and don’t forget to let me know what you think :) Love to hear from you!

Beginning my Tumblr blog again! I hope you enjoy and don’t forget to let me know what you think :) Love to hear from you!


USA Tour Blog

Day 17 Friday 4th November

Today we set off for the Big Apple at around 8am (never thought we would make it out by then but somehow we managed!) After a couple of stops we were actually in the City at a pretty reasonable time (around 3pm) In the car with Steve, Mike and Miriam we had a very interesting car journey through the city (kudos to Steve who has officially conquered NYC driving - gave me a few heart attacks on the way but nevertheless we got there in one piece!) City was as stunning as it is made out to be. Incredibly busy but what would you expect?! One slight mishap that I have to mention (sorry Steve!) was when a man pushing a trolley sort of device along the side of the road was hit by our wing mirror (honestly not our fault or Steve’s) but was quite funny nonetheless (no serious injury incurred !) 

The original plan being to check out central park went down the pan as it cost around $50 to park for an hour and by the time that could have happened we would have needed to be at the hotel setting up. So instead we met the others at the hotel (OMG) which was stunning. And what was even more cool as we unloaded the two cars?…We were given two suites to the band for $37 each. Well that novelty wore off as the next morning we realised that would actually total around $60 each with some shifty added taxes/valet parking but that is another story!

So we unloaded everything and Charlotte, Mike and I began walking round 6th avenue, Macy’s, Madison Garden and underneath the Empire State building having a nose around. We weren’t able to get up to much of the standard site seeing activities that we would have liked but just to walk through the bustle of the city was fantastic in itself. We headed back to the hotel around 6pm so that we could start getting ready to play at around 7pm. I had yet to see the roof garden and once I was all set I went up to play. Oh. My. Lord. The view was one hundred times more stunning than the photos. The roof opened up to show a full clear view of the lit up Empire State building and in the distance you could see the twin towers’ memorial buildings going up which was also amazing. 

I played for around 45 minutes to a chatty but listening audience who were all up on the roof garden having cocktails and delicious dinners. I met two very nice guys called Matt and Eric, friends of Darren who was running the evening and who had set us up to play and stay. After Paul and the crew had played a few songs we all headed downstairs for dinner which was divine. All on the house/part of the room bill, they supplied us with plenty of alcohol to get us through the next few hours before we could leave and hit Times Square. So after another hour set from Paul and the gang (not sure how much the drink actually affected their playing but from my point of view it was great!) we then headed out to Times Square which was hugely lit up with all the building side screens and broadway shows. Was slightly underwhelming as it wasn’t as hustly bustly as it would have been during the day but it was still a great night out. 

We headed back to the room and becoming more and more tired as we realised we only had around 4 hours sleep before having to get up for the drive to NYC the next day. We all crashed out in our swanky incredibly comfortable beds with a small plan to get up at 6am (3 hours later!) and head down to central park with Mike and Steve. My alarm went off and I went straight back to sleep so that plan failed! However me and Charlotte did manage to make it out the next day…more about that in the next blog! 

It was absolutely incredible to play on the Roof of the Strand Hotel. The photos will never do it justice as being there and seeing the Empire State building so close is totally mesmerizing. I almost couldn’t sing for being so gobsmacked about it all! It was amazing and a brilliant last gig to the tour. 



USA Tour Blog

Day 16 Thursday 3rd November

Well today’s blog will have plenty to talk about as a lot happened today! Firstly as it was the Rutland High School gig tonight, all of us headed down to the school to meet the orchestra who were to play with Paul for a few of his numbers. Genuine high school was very exciting to see, although it wasn’t your typical hollywood set up. Oli and I set off to do some flyering for the event whilst the others rehearsed with the Orchestra (and had pizza for lunch!) We had loads of posters printed (kindly for free from Rutland Staples) and set about asking each shop along the main street in downtown Rutland whether we could display the info in their shop. Most were obliging however I met one lady who said she had no where to put a poster… in a pretty large clothes store with a free window…anyway! We headed back to the school to scoop up the others before going to our frequent cafe on the corner of the main street in downtown Rutland. Whilst some did more flyering, Steve, Miriam, Charlotte and I went back to the house after doing a small shop for Oli’s dinner - Thai chicken curry! 

Got back to the vermont farmhouse, packed as much as possible for an early start tomorrow morning and our epic drive down to New York City. Delicious dinner, I also ran through a few of Paul’s songs in case Charlotte wasn’t feeling up to it tonight as she is still pretty ill. Steve, Oli and Mike then went back to the school to set up for the show whilst the rest of us got ready. Then we had a very interesting journey over to the gig. 

Firstly we didn’t leave until around 6pm (needing to be there at 6.15, the drive taking around half an hour…classic) As we were warily looking at the clock and driving down a particular stretch of highway, blue flashing lights appeared in the rear view mirror and a resounding “Oh no.” went through the car as we had were pulled over by the police. after making it his whole life without a speeding fine, Paul had his first cop experience in the USA. Fantastic. Luckily the officer was really lovely, he asked us how we were doing and for Paul’s ID and registration. Another panic attack as Paul told him how his ID was back at the house and that he was driving a rental car. No problem though the officer pulled up his details electronically and kindly let us off with a warning and no fine. I sheepishly called Oli telling him about our situation but we were off quickly and took it snails pace from there to make it to the venue at around 6.45pm (after getting lost and having to ask a guy at a gas station directions…going well!)

Pulling up outside the school we started to unload the car. I opened the back door and around 5 wine bottles tumbled out and smashed all around my legs. Another great trip from the Dunton! Clearing that away hastily, we finally made it to the school theatre where we were in time for a quick sound check, the place already filled with audience. So the gig tonight was in aid of Vermont Strong, the charity set up to help those affected by the recent Hurricane Irene tragedy. The Rutland High Orchestra played three pieces first, followed by my set. Was one of the best sets yet, a beautiful grand piano on stage was fantastic. Then we had a short interval before Paul began to set up. I was filming at the back of the theatre when Paul beckoned me over and I realised I was opening his set singing ‘Stalker’ and ‘Sirens’. That was the most nerve wracking experience I have ever had on stage…doubling the intro for ‘Sirens’ and singing some very interesting words for parts of the lyrics. I was released off stage and Charlotte sang her remaining numbers which were great. The songs with the orchestra went really well and after the show we all headed back to the bass player’s house. Ben had travelled down from Boston University back to his old school to play. He was incredible and we all wish him the best of luck auditioning for the Boston Symphony Orchestra next week. 

After signing a few CDs and selling quite a lot (yay!) we all rummaged through ever possible space to find a set of car keys before Steve found them thankfully. We then headed over to Ben’s folks’ house which was stunning, next to a waterfall and river. They told us about how the father had literally moved and renovated the barn from another part of town just a few years earlier - it was a beautiful house with two very friendly cats (one with 7 toes!) We ate some delicious home made apple pie and brownies before heading back to the house for our final night. We were all shattered so fell straight into bed for our early start the next morning. 



USA Tour Blog

Day 15 Wednesday 2nd November

Not much to report on for today. Late start (so knackered from the night before). Realising we couldn’t find a gig for tonight on such an impromptu basis, we went into downtown rutland to do a shop for tonights’ dinner courtesy of Lianna (chill con carne hmmm) Treated ourselves to Ben and Jerry’s pud and a lot of alcohol and dancing! Brilliant fun & super excited about the Rutland High school gig tomorrow and NEW YORK on Friday! 


USA Tour Blog

Day 14 Tuesday 1st November

So we got up to hear that the snow storm had led to the restaurant we were supposed to be playing in to close down, so no gig tonight. Feeling pretty down, we decided to drive to the Vermont house to have a day there (or as much of a day as possible). Ended up not leaving until about 3pm after a stop in an internet cafe and gas station, which meant around 6 hours drive leaving us arriving at the Vermont house around 10pm. So not much of a day! Car journey was good fun, bought the new Gotye album (Australian artist) who is incredible and we now have an America Trip song - ‘Somebody that I used to know’. Its amazing! Had a big coldplay session in the car followed by shouting the lyrics to the majority of the Feelings’ first album, was great fun. Charlotte made me a play list in which she decided to put some classic film scores (Harry Potter, Titanic) to which I hasten to add we had to ignore as Steve was driving and what he says goes! Stopped off at a gas station to find an amazing smoothie machine from which I had a strawberry and banana concoction. 

Had dinner at a lovely restaurant as we figured we wouldn’t have enough time to go for a big shop and cook dinner. Very nearly ran out of fuel on the last couple of hours drive home, so much so we stopped at around 3 closed gas stations before finally reaching a 24hr one. Steve had his can of red bull and was literally buzzing all the way home. Slightly delirious we all piled into the Vermont farmhouse and crashed, hoping to find somewhere to gig tomorrow. 


USA Tour Blog

Day 13 Morning 31st October

Today we were up at 6am so that Lianna, Oli and I could take Jenny to Boston for her flight home and have a sight see also. Parked up in a very posh parking venue. Oli got out of the car noticing he had been sitting on chocolate and asked us whether it was on his jeans at all. Exactly where you wouldn’t want it is the description I will give for where he had a prominent chocolate stain! Attempting to cover it with his coat didn’t quite work. We began walking into the city which was beautiful, went to Quency Market where we walked down two isles of food & dessert stands: incredible! Amazing smoothing stand (raspberry and banana hmmm) Also bought some souvenir Boston shorts (‘hot pants’!) which are awesome. Having had my camera dropped a number of times the lens had decided to die out so we ventured into a camera store and found that it would have cost more to send my camera off toe be repaired than it would have done to buy a brand new nikon model that was better quality. So that’s what I did - $112 later I have a beautiful new gadget that I am using constantly to make up for not being able to take photos for the majority of the tour. However I now have $2 in cash left. Hmm…

Walked around the city a bit more, through Boston Common Park and saw a student protest going on. Some very friendly, overweight squirrels which came up to our outstretched hands and would have taken a finger off had we not moved away! I very excitedly spotted a police trooper on horseback and tried to take some photos but he was too far away. As we went back into the park however I saw the horse tied up outside the police vehicle so ran over to take some photos as the others walked a lot slower on behind me. Needless to say the horse was stunning!

Said good bye to Jenny as she went into Boston Logan Airport (very sad) and are now on our way to St.Lawrence Theatre in Portland for our gig tonight. 



USA Tour Blog

Day 12 Sunday 30th October

Chilled day today. Up at a relatively leisurely hour to find we had a power cut in the snow storm last night leaving us with no electricity and consequently no water as that was run by an electric pump (genius). So we made do with lots of bottled water, gas over and a lovely log fire in the totally wooden lake house. Don’t worry, it’s still intact! We managed to bring the tennis table down and play some ping-pong (I surprised myself with some skills!) and had fun swinging in two rather sinister looking (possibly for yoga?!) harnesses that acted like swings from a bannister in the middle of the living room. 

Lianna, Paul and I headed out to to ‘Ugly Moose’ (our local pub ) passing the wire that had fallen down in the middle of the road. There we stocked up on water before heading back to the house. Then a group of us headed out into the town to visit an internet cafe where we picked up dinner & candles for our darkened house. Dinner was delicious, Steve, Lianna and Jenny making bolognese pasta. Plenty of rose & red wine flowed that night and I wrote a new song sitting round the log fire with Steve and Mike helping out on the guitar and bass - very idyllic, really lovely and peaceful. 

Oli, Steve and Mike decided to go out after dinner into town for a drink and the rest of us settled down to some chats in front of the fire. I dozed off and was woken up by my voice shouting at the others, telling them to be quiet. Was very strange, I wasn’t too sure what was going on/whether I was actually awake for a while after that! 

We then had a genius idea, as it was halloween the next day, to freak the boys out when they returned with a little scary stunt. Paul lay on the floor surrounded by four candles, supposedly killed by Charlotte who sat rocking in the rocking chair behind him holding a carving knife shouting “I KILLED THEM ALL” to the terrified boys who arrived at around 11pm. I hung in one of the harnesses behind them which wasn’t fun for the tummy but added to the effect! Steve came in first and was genuinely terrified, so much so that he couldn’t stand to see Charlotte after it as she freaked him out so much. Unfortunately for him she was sleeping in the same room and therefore he couldn’t escape. Hilarious evening, more scarings to come I feel!



USA Tour Blog

Day 11 Saturday 29th October

Up today for a drive to the Johnson Hall, Maine, Vermont. Drive took us through some beautiful scenery where we stopped off a couple of times to take some lovely photos. Had breakfast in a lovely cafe off the side of the road. Drive was very calm in comparison to recent journeys although Charlotte and I figured out my life plan and alter ego on the way to our venue for tonights’ show! All very exciting - more info coming soon! Very proud of Steve for driving so much without any stops!

Got to the venue - beautiful 1890s Opera House come Movie House come shut down theatre needing a renovation but really stunning theatre at the top with a great space where we gigged tonight on the lower floor. Went for a delicious dinner at a lovely lady’s named Denise before a great show. Earned myself $65 through CD sales for shopping tomorrow yay!!! Started snowing heavily  as we left and am now sitting in the services catching as much wi-fi as I can before we move into our ‘lake house’ tonight (hopefully!) and for the next few days. Jenny’s last gig tonight - all very sad and will be an emotional good bye on Monday. 

Got to leave services now - will update on how journey went asap, hopefully we will get to our accommodation tonight otherwise its road side in the snow for us! Yay! Snow is stunning, in late October it’s awesome! Lots and lots of photos. OH! I bought a really really funky hat. Its a multi-coloured bear. And its amazing. Keeping me very warm! Update soon :) Thanks for reading so far. 


USA Tour Blog

Day 10 Friday 28th October

Sugar Bush resort is the destination today. We set off from the Quality Inn needing to cover around 5 hours of driving all the way back to Vermont where we passed the first house by a few miles. With a couple of stops we made it there by 6.30. Quite a subdued car ride surprisingly, although I have now adopted Paul’s “Mad eye” face which is hilarious so that was amusing for a while. Burned some playlists from the laptop, took a bloomin’ age there must be a quicker way round making them all mp3s and then having to find them etc etc ahhh was frustrating! 

As we drove back through Vermont the scenery was stunning. At 3 degrees it was no wonder there was quite a substantial layer of snow on some parts of the countryside. Huge fields and forests gave it a really beautiful wonderland look and we took lots of footage and photos in our car. I also had to subject myself to a forfeit and stick my head out of the window as we were traveling at 80 mph with the icy wind pretty much numbing my face. Was quite amusing for Charlotte. 

We arrived at Sugar Bush Ski Resort, me craving the slopes and Oli making me jealous telling me how he used to live just beneath them. Very very fancy resort, beautiful hotels and lodges, and a weird statue of a an casually sitting at the top of the steps, which I told Charlotte was a real man who had sat there for such a long time he had frozen. She genuinely said “Really?!” Oh Charlotte…

We checked in to our rather swanky pad (photos soon) then headed over to set up and soundcheck. We played for the Vermont Adaptive Ski group, a charity that focuses on making skiing possible for disabled children, and one that Oli had quite a few contacts with. Sound was slightly impossible as we were playing in a very high roofed wooden room so the bass reverberated off the ceiling quite a bit (yes Music tech module of my degree !) I also tried my hand at looking after the ensembles’ sound at the mixing desk, so I’m pretty chuffed I’ve been learning at least part of my degree whilst I’m out here! 

We then had dinner over in the restaurant/bar type building where I found a piano and played it for a bit, accompanying Charlotte and Jenny with singing and a bit of dancing (Charlotte…) Then back to the ‘pads’ for some red wine, log fire and guitar singing round a table. Oh and Mike’s birthday cake. Can’t forget the cake.