05.29.13 : Hello, Old Friend
Hard to believe it’s almost June! Summer in Nashville is in full swing, and I couldn’t be happier to be home after a few months out west in the spring. I hope you’re doing well and having a great year! I’ve got a lot on my mind that I’d love to share, but for now I just wanted to check in, say hello, and let you know about an exciting milestone that Gardening, Not Architecture will be passing this week: making it to the silver screen!
The feature-length indie film “Mutual Friends” has its worldwide premiere this week, and features not one but two Gardening, Not Architecture songs: “Saboteur” and “Buried in the Basement”!
The film premieres this week at the Seattle International Film Festival on May 31st, with another showing on June 1st.
It’s also making its Los Angeles premiere next week at the Dances With Films Festival on June 7th!
In Seattle and want to check it out? Click HERE.
In Los Angeles and want to check it out? Click HERE.
Somewhere else and want to watch the teaser clip? OK, here you go! :)
The adventure continues…
04.28.13 : Life, Happening
Today is my birthday.
I’ve been thinking a lot about patience, this year. Time moves so quickly, and yet the best things seem to take such a long time to develop and reach their full maturity and potential. Sometimes it seems like things are not developing or growing fast enough, so we try to force and push them along. We rush into things that we aren’t ready for, make decisions based on greed and fear, start and end things prematurely because we think we have already discovered our true selves, because we think we know enough about the world and ourselves to make the best decisions, create the best art, form the best relationships.
I have learned the hard way that you can’t force something to turn out the way you envisioned it in your head. I’ve always been strong-willed — dare I say, stubborn — and until recently I always thought I could somehow will my life to go a certain way. The same has always been true for my songs, bands, and art projects: I have the tendency to get ahead of myself, to call something finished in order to meet the expectations I have set for myself in my race against time. But the best things I’ve ever done or made have been the things I didn’t put a time limit on.
It has taken getting older, and actually putting some time behind me, to start seeing the bigger picture come into focus. I’m starting to see the results of life-long experiments, some that have failed and some that have yielded positive results, some that I didn’t even know I was conducting. I can zoom out far enough to see the path behind me, and I see that all of my favorite qualities about my life and myself have taken a really long time to grow their roots and become permanent parts of who I am and what I’m doing with my life. It takes a really, really, really long time to grow and change and become who you truly are.
Patience is the theme this year for Gardening, Not Architecture. I want to make a third album, I want to keep touring, I want to play a million shows; but at the same time, I also want to take the time to fully explore who I am as a songwriter, and what exactly it is that I’m trying to say and do with my music these days, and most importantly: why. There will always be the fear that I’m running out of time, that I’m coming up on some invisible finish line, that the end is near unless I hurry and make it all happen right now — whatever “it” is — before another birthday passes and I “miss my chance” — whatever that means. But I want to make music that is patient, honest, and never forced.
I’ve been in California for three months! It seems like forever, and yet it went by so fast. What an adventure life can be, if you just let it happen! This week I start the drive back to Nashville, and I’ve got a bunch of new song ideas recorded that I can’t wait to get patient with.
12.31.12 : For Auld Lang Syne
Sometimes it’s hard to measure your own progress. After all, your microscope on your own life is zoomed in about a million times closer than anyone else’s — and you can easily go a day, week, month, or year without zooming out at all. You can get lost looking at the atoms and not even realize that you have built a pretty rad house for yourself. Or, at least a sturdy chair. Or maybe just a small but beautiful wooden box.
So today, on the last day of another year of gardening, I’m going to take a minute to zoom out and appreciate the architecture.
2012 G,NA Highlights
January: East coast tour with Dinner And A Suit
April: Music video for “Saboteur” filmed in one 17-hour day in Los Angeles
May: Move to East Nashville!
June: “Saboteur” featured in Season 1, Episode 13 of Jane By Design on ABC Family
July: Music video for “Saboteur” released online
August: Begin booking fall tour with Yardsss!
September: Launch tour fundraiser with release of Double Album Box Set
October: Build new G,NA light show with the help of 44 Designs and leave for east coast tour with Yardsss
November: Release “Amazing Grace” collaboration with Yardsss, and finish east coast tour
December: Start rehearsing with drummer, and book first show of 2013!
If, at any point during any of these past twelve months, you had asked me whether or not I felt like I was making progress with G,NA, or staying busy enough, or achieving enough, I would have quickly answered, “No.”
But now, on the last day of the year, looking back, I can say: “Hey, that’s not so bad for a self-funded, totally DIY music project!”
If you’ve been following along with me more closely over this past year, via this blog or elsewhere online, then you know that it’s been an intensely emotional year for me personally, with epic highs and lows. I’m so grateful that you have stuck with me through it all, and remained positive when I was feeling negative, and shared with me in celebrating all of my small victories.
Take some time today to zoom out, to highlight the things you have accomplished and experienced this past year. Pat yourself on the back and say, “Hey, self, that wasn’t so bad!” Remember that no matter how bad it gets, we are lucky to be alive and have this one chance at this one life. Let’s go into 2013 with more hope, enthusiasm, energy, and love than ever before!
Love always, your friend,
11.28.12 : ‘Tis the season!
Donate $5 or more to WIKIPEDIA in the next month, and I will send you a download code for my first album, “First LP.” Already have the album? Give the download code to someone in need… of G,NA!
Just send the confirmation to sarah [at] gardeningnotarchitecture [dot] com!
11.16.12 : Suggested Listening: Listener
One of my favorite things about going on tour is discovering new music — either by playing with bands at shows, or hearing about new music from people along the way.
The tour I just got home from might prove to be the most bountiful of any tour I’ve done, in terms of amazing music discovered. I’ll be sharing that music here over the next few weeks.
I was introduced to Listener by a band from Indiana called Oceans Over Airplanes (thanks, guys!). We played a show together in Chesterton at The Sound Cellar, and afterwards a bunch of people from the show came to house where we were staying and hung out all night talking music. Someone asked if we’d heard of Listener, and when we said no, they pulled up this video on their phone. I was blown away. Not only is the video beautiful, the song is captivating — Dan Smith‘s style and performance are both unique and honest — and I felt like I was seeing something I had never seen before. This is such a rare feeling that when it hits me, it really makes an impact.
After that night, I admit I got a little obsessed. I did a LOT of research online, joined their email list, watched a ton of videos, streamed their stuff on Bandcamp, watched interviews, and posted online asking if anyone else knew about this band. Very few people said yes. I even found a podcast that the two members of Listener did earlier this year. It’s hilarious, and makes me appreciate the band even more. I watched this music video every other day and played it for everyone we stayed with for the rest of the tour.
My goal is to get Listener to come play a show in Nashville someday, so I can see them live and experience their energy and passion in person. Until then, this video will more than suffice. Enjoy!
Song: “Wooden Heart”
Album: Wooden Heart
P.S. Read the lyrics to this song HERE. Seriously. Do it.