Month: January 2014

Featured Artist for January 2014: Geoff Kraly

Featured Artist for January 2014: Geoff Kraly

To start off the new year, I have decided to feature a musical artist every month on my blog. I’m planning to select artists I have some personal connection with: I have either worked for them, collaborated with them, or hope to work/collaborate with them in the future. Also, I’m planning to feature artists who have been at my home and shared a meal with me. I find that having a meal together is a wonderful way to connect with someone outside of playing music with them.

My first featured artist of the year is my dear friend Geoff Kraly. Geoff and I have shared many meals together. Of all the things I’ve cooked for him, I think his favorite is probably my homemade Big Macs and fries.

Geoff has been in NYC since 2003 after graduating from Northwestern University, where he studied both jazz performance and music cognition. Since then he has been actively working as an electric bassist, composer, songwriter/lyricist and producer.

One of the things I respect most about Geoff is his impeccable taste in music and the execution of it. Just this past November, Jacob Sacks and I had Geoff in the recording studio listening and giving suggestions as we recorded our third release which will be coming out this year.

Another amazing thing about Geoff is that the man can write a song! Geoff’s lyrics are so moving, he is always musically interesting, deeply emotional and the songs really get you in the gut. The times that I have sung Geoff’s music, I have had to prepare myself not to crack my voice or start sobbing in the middle of the tune.

Geoff’s most recent work is as the producer and bassist for Ben Scheuer‘s band, The Escapist Papers. He has also co-written a recording with Ben called, Lady Clown. Geoff recently completed producing drummer Vinnie Sperrazza’s forthcoming album.

Geoff’s main and current project is Paris Monster, a collaborative duo with multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Josh Dion. Geoff is co-producer, co-engineer, lyricist, co-writer and performer on bass and modular synthesizers. This duo is electrifying to watch and listen to. Geoff’s powerful and intense lyrics combined with Josh’s melodies and their combined charismatic performance seduces and invites you into a world where you want to stay all night long. You can witness this magical chemistry in NYC where Paris Monster will be doing a residency at the Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 1 on January 17, 24, February 1 and 7 starting at 10:00pm.

You can check out Paris Monster’s latest EP on Sound Cloud and purchase the EP on ITunes. You can also watch their newest video Pride

On a more personal note, outside of his wonderful musicianship, Geoff is an incredibly loyal friend and one of the most sensitive souls I know. Quiet and strong and funny as hell, this is an artist you really should take the time to check out. You can visit his website at: Geoff Kraly or Paris Monster.

Geoff, the next meal will be Big Macs. You are bringing the beer, I hope.

10 Minutes To Get Things Done

10 Minutes To Get Things Done

We are now well on our way into 2014 and I started off nicely with an afternoon of reading J.S. Back Fugues, Book I with many wonderful musicians hosted by my lovely friend, composer and violinist,Dana Lyn. Nothing feels better than playing some Bach but after that wonderful day, I got a stomach bug and was out for a good couple of days. It wasn’t your average 24 hour thing. This bug lingered and never got seriously bad but for about four days I was extremely nauseous all day and night (fun!).

Now school is back in session and everyone is back to work. I was really hoping to hit the ground running with projects and goals and what I ended up with instead was a sluggish start that makes me feel like I’m moving in molasses. After a week of this slow motion business I decided that I needed a plan to start getting things done.

Full disclosure: I am a procrastinator. I am inefficient, slow, scatter brained, and sometimes downright lazy. I’m not proud of this, but there you have it.

So, how does a person like myself get things done? I have discovered that for me, 10 minutes is a magical length of time. What can you do in 10 minutes, you ask? You would think not a lot, but I have discovered that I am the Queen of Efficiency when I am working with only 10 minutes. Add up a few 10 minute sessions and you start to see things really happen.

To give you an example, last Wednesday I decided to really see how much 10 minutes could give me. From 11:00am to 3:00pm I tidied up the foyer, bedroom, living room, and cleaned the sink and toilet and washed a ton of dishes in the kitchen. I also practiced 20 minutes of piano and 20 minutes of singing (that may not seem like a lot but I rarely ever get to practice one instrument let alone two), exercised for 20 minutes, meditated, and also had some leisure time (Facebook, emails, etc…)

Now perhaps for some of you four hours might seem like plenty of time to get this much done but for a person like myself who usually just gets overwhelmed and resigns herself to watching a couple of hours of Netflix and tidying up one room (maybe), I was on fire! The best part of the day was that I didn’t feel overwhelmed by what I felt I had to get done. Every task felt easy because, really, how much can you expect to do in 10 minutes? I wanted to get as much done as I could in 10 minutes but when it was over, it was over and I moved on to another task.

I also tried to get some kind of closure with each task so that I wasn’t leaving a bigger mess. Overall, the experience was so satisfying that now I set the timer whenever I want something done—and then it gets done. I feel no guilt if I don’t get more done and I feel good that I put in my 10 minutes. I plan to continue this little 10 minute project and see how far I can go with it.

This method is certainly not for everyone but for someone like me who tends to get flustered easily by how much there always is to do, I think it’s just right.

Paris_Monster

Paris_Monster

My dear friend, Geoff Kraly co-wrote and performed this awesome tune. This band is called Paris_Monster and they are bad-ass! Check out this Pride

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