Before Goodbye, The Song

Out today on CDBaby. Soon to be on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon—where the music is.

Out today on CDBaby. Soon to be on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon—wherever music lives. I wrote “Before Goodbye” to go along with my debut novel of the same name. You can get a copy of the song by clicking here. Hope you enjoy! “Before Goodbye” was recorded in Woodstock, NY and produced by the illustrious Kevin Salem.

 

The Fighter

Sydney-based singer/songwriter Dan Schaumann‘s The Fighter begins with an almost languid guitar intro—beautifully played—making the opening of The Fighter sounds more like a lover.

Half a minute into the song the tempo picks up, and just under the minute mark Dan’s voice comes in, delicious Aussie accent and all.

The verses are gorgeous with the tail end of the first sounding like Elliott Smith has stopped by, and the end of the second giving us the on ramp to a chorus that, when it comes, kicks up the energy level of the tune so that you finally hear the song is indeed about a fighter. I love this slow reveal, and I found myself wondering if fighting with this guy would be so bad.




Dan Schaumann comes close to speaking at times, a singing style that I love and prize because it shows the singer is inhabiting his body and not just his head. Stories and passions come from the body and Dan’s style conveys a from-the-gut honesty.

Dan is soon to release his debut album, A Thousand Days Beneath The Sun. Recorded and produced in Brisbane by James North Productions, it consists of thirteen self-penned tracks which predominantly reflect the rapturous, romantic and remorseful emotions experienced while residing in England for 15 months during 2008-2009 – over 16,000 kilometres away from home in Australia.

This song, The Fighter, refers to the state of emotional turmoil brought on by fighting excessively hard to hold onto a past love which has passed the point of salvage. Eventually, even the greatest fighter has to call it a day and move on.

The Fighter

Oh the fighter with his heaven in his heart and his hell to behold 
His desire is to remedy the scar of the flame to her soul 
Oh denier with the heaviness imparted he dreams he could change 
Cruel reminders of the innocence of love vs the means to remain

Persevere 
Through your tears 
Learn your lesson well

Oh the hour, will it speed or will it burn with a laboured old fuse 
Not an answer to the plead, a deafly ear and a reason to lose 
Oh the fighter will he stay or will he stray far away from his means 
All the while through her silence and his tears he will conquer with the thrill of her nightmares

Oh the fighter 
Oh the fighter 
Oh the fighter 
Oh the fighter

Oh the fighter will end it before it’s repaired 
The fighter surrenders and shows that he cares 
The fighter will end it before it’s repaired 
The fighter surrenders and shows that he cares

Dan’s got a great website, click on the photo above to visit. Click on the pic below to go to his fb page.
I’m looking forward to reading Dan’s blog posts about his ghosts and dreams of electricity.
I might even browse his photos of toilets.
Hmm.
Maybe I’ll just keep listening to The Fighter instead.
Good luck with A Thousand Days Beneath The Sun Dan, and  thank you for sharing your music with Sirenstories.
Hope your tour brings you to Asbury Park.

Back to Book Trailers, The Accidental Adventures of India McAllister

My favorite things: music, books, movies. The order varies, but the list explains why I love book trailers.

The trailer for Charlotte Agell‘s middle grade novel The Accidental Adventures of India McAllister is one the best I’ve seen.

One of the things that’s so wonderful about this trailer is how true to the book it is. The trailer captures the essence of The Accidental Adventures of India McAllister. In this case, I read the book first then saw the trailer. My review of the book is below.

India is one of my favorite characters in Middle Grade fiction today. She’s even got her own blog, which is adorable and much more organized than mine. Of course India’s creativity might have something to do with her multitalented creator Charlotte Agell who probably gives India a hand once in a while. Click on India’s pic to visit to her blog.

The Siren behind the music for India’s book trailer is Charlotte’s son, Jon Simmons. The music is perfect; it expresses both India’s sweetness and her quirkiness.

Jon is also part of a pop/rock band based in Boston called The Crosswalk Kings. Look for a post about his music soon on Sirenstories

 

I finished reading The Accidental Adventures of India McAllister on the beach. The pages have a little sand in between them now, and I think that would make India happy.

India loves the outdoors, and author Charlotte Agell has included some beautiful descriptions of inland Maine in this entertaining and moving story about a sweet-natured nine and a half-year old girl who takes her fairly complicated life pretty much in stride. In a world full of little drama queens, I found India’s attitude refreshing.

Besides being an excellent and economical writer, Charlotte Agell is a gifted painter. An adorable watercolor portrait of India and the family pet bird, Beatrice Strawberry graces the cover of the book. I’d like to see Ms. Agell put out a version of India with full-blown watercolors of all the characters and their homes. I want to see paintings of things like “the lilac bush hidden in the fog” that India sees when she can’t sleep early one morning and steps outside to sit on her front porch swing.

Wolfgang, Maine, where the book takes place, is a front porch kind of town and by the time I’d finished the book I wanted to go there. Although there are no watercolors other than the front and back cover and jacket flaps–they feature more great pictures of India with the bird and her dog Tofu, the jacket designers obviously knew a good thing when they saw it–the book is full of sketches: clever drawings of India and things she likes, plus–just as important–things she doesn’t like. The sketches are accompanied by comments that made me laugh out loud.

India has a unique voice. Her backstory is rich. The settings are beautifully rendered. The book is colorful in every sense of the word, as is India’s slightly wacky artist mother.

India was adopted, and we learn she has questions and issues around that, but the book isn’t a big drama. Instead, The Accidental Adventures of India McAllister is a story, told by showing us small wondrous details in what seems like a very real little girl’s life.

I found myself wondering what will happen in India’s future, especially as far as she and her best friend, a boy named Colby, are concerned. Snowstorms in June, whale songs, yearning, and insightful comments fill this book that begs to be part of a series. A sequel won’t enough for those of us who have fallen in love with India McAllister.

I checked out this book as a possible gift for my niece who is India’s age. Unlike India, she’s not an avid reader. I’m pretty sure this perfect book of adventures will change that. I couldn’t put it down myself. It’s sweet and funny, and the way India’s small but complicated family comes together in the end left me with a lump in my throat and a smile on my face.

Confession: I’m a huge fan of Charlotte Agell‘s work. Her picture books are among my favorites, and my son, who is five, feels the same. The paintings that illustrate her books are so beautiful, I’ve been tempted to tear out certain pages and frame them.

My son and I love Charlotte’s book To The Island so much, that I used the text, with only a few alterations, as the lyrics for a song. Below is the super rough version I recorded on my laptop, at home, with my son.

I hope to go into the studio one day and do a better recording, but for now, I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed singing it. The words are so simple, but to me, they’re a metaphor for some of life’s more profound passages.

Listen to the title Track of Jennifer Haase’s New CD!

Did you ever get the feeling that you’ve disappointed so many people, you’ll never be invited anywhere ever again?

That’s the idea behind the upbeat title track of Jennifer Haase‘s brand new folk-pop album No More Invitations.

I’m listening now, and actually, I bet she has an inbox crammed full of invites.

Jennifer Haase, a New York City singer songwriter originally from Nebraska, is a Siren with a “Jewel-Meets-Mary Chapin Carpenter” sound. She was thoughtful enough to include lyrics when she uploaded No More Invitations to the Sirenstories SoundCloud.

Heard you’ve got a chip that’s the size of your head
Sittin’ on your neck speaking for you instead
All the clucking hens at your Aunt’s house for tea
Say you’ve lost some friends in your family tree

There’ll be no more invitations
There’ll be no more invitations

Heard you’ve got a thing for someone else’s man
Word is you’ve been seen leaving notes on his van
All the busy bees at the watering hole
Say they’d like to see that big chip of yours roll

There’ll be no more invitations
There’ll be no more invitations

What’s the matter, baby?
Don’t like sleeping in the bed you made?
Now, baby, better save some cake for your birthday
Can’t have it all, can’t get your way
How dare you be a girl with much to say

Heard you tend to dress so outrageous it’s sad
Seems you’re the distress on the face of your dad
Rumors going ’round you’ve been dropped from the list
Girl, give up the crown ’cause you cease to exist

There’ll be no more invitations
There’ll be no more invitations
There’ll be no more invitations
There’ll be no more invitations

Jennifer Haase — acoustic guitar, vocals
Mike Leslie — bass guitar, vocals
Gary Schreiner — keyboards/string arrangements
Denny McDermott — drums, tamburine, shaker

“Jennifer Haase is a unique and gifted songwriter with the voice of an angel.  I highly recommend her.” — Rosanne Cash

And I issue her an invitation: please send a second song to Sirenstories!

Click on the cover of No More Invitations to learn more about Jennifer Haase and her new CD

Okay, I’m going to stretch out and listen to my brand new copy of No More Invitations now. Try not to envy me too much.

More Music for Film and, Film.

Book trailers are a relatively new art form and the best ones take advantage of both video and audio.

In this trailer for Edie Meidav‘s new novel, Lola California, not only does the video tell a story, but the music does as well. I find both beautiful and haunting.

I also found Edie Meidav‘s articulate description of her book eerie and intriguing. After seeing this trailer, I have to read this book. Do you feel the same way? Is there a book you’ve been compelled to read because of the trailer?

Kevin Salem composed the music for the book trailer, and he wrote additional songs for Lola California as well. Kevin says, “What you find here is the result of three years of procrastination and a couple weeks of cramming which, really, is how music is supposed to be. The music is part soundtrack for the reader, part songs inspired by the text (though I would be loathe to be too ‘on the nose’ about it as Edie’s words speak so eloquently for themselves) and part music inspired by the cultural identity of the novel. That is, we hope that they work together not literally, but like distant cousins who bear a resemblance you can’t quite put your finger on.”

If you click on Kevin Salem‘s picture you’ll be able to hear more gorgeous music for Lola California and read about Kevin’s relationship with Edie Meidav and her novel.

Music for Film Featured on Sirenstories

Hurry is the first piece of music for film featured on Sirenstories! I love movies, and after this week, when I faced the black screen of death on my Mac (and then miraculously survived, along with my laptop!) the next best thing to watching a movie—which I don’t have time to do—is listening to movie music.

I have a lot of soundtracks on my iPod and I’m going to add this piece to one of my playlists. Hopefully it will inspire a happy scene for my WIP, which is, ah, dark to say the least. But hey, all that could change if I listen to Hurry while I write instead of something by Carter Burwell or Philip Glass.

Estonian Siren Ingrid Hagel wrote this bright and beautiful piece, and besides being a composer and performer, Ingrid is a violinist, singer, and arranger. Click on her picture and you’ll wind up at Ingrid Hagel‘s website where you’ll hear more music—another lovely piece that’s very different from Hurry.

Hurry was produced by composers Michele Brustia and Paul Bjoerling from Copenhagen, Denmark.

The composers had this to say about their production talents:

“We use both acoustic and electronic sound sources. We have an extensive range of cutting edge sounds and synthesizers that we love to blend together with real instruments.”

As much as I love deep, dark love stories, romantic comedies are a wonderful mood changer/enhancer. And definitely, listening to Hurry is a great way to start a long weekend.

I hope Michele Brustia and Paul Bjoerling upload more music to the Sirenstories SoundCloud, I’ll be happy to hear it, and share it.