Keep Playin’ Folks <3

23 May

Ray Argyle performed at Tacos Arizas!

7 May

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Stop & Listen LA, as interpreted by an 11-year-old.

6 May

Stop & Listen LA @ Leo’s Taco Truck

28 Apr

Flavia @ Taco Tuesdays 🙂    I ❤ Leo!

Stop & Listen LA @ The NELA Art Gallery Night

27 Apr

So…this was the first show that I had booked for Stop & Listen LA at The Cactus Gallery in Eagle Rock.  It was a lot of fun.  This video was created by Alter Eddie and featured Ken Christianson!  Check it out!

Photo Campaign

26 Apr

This past Saturday, I took test shots for a Photo Campaign I’d like to put together. 🙂  My dear friend, Michael Ngim took these –  there are many more to come. 😉

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Today

8 Apr

It was my first time hooking up my equipment to The Sweets Truck.  Molly – owner & dessert connoisseur has been so kind to let me have practice runs this past month at her truck.  I haven’t exactly been promoting Stop&ListenLA like crazy – just been getting my toes wet as I build the collective, “learn” to network,  and map out what’s to become of this little idea.

I was scrambling to find a a really long extension cord to hook up to the power strip.  I really should simplify my set up.  Since I don’t have a condenser mic, I had to purchase a DI box to provide phantom power to the mic that I do own – that along with my loop station and a 40 pound amp, mic/mic stand –  along with my suitcase filled with flyers, CDs, business cards, guestbook, waterbottle, and other miscellaneous equipment requires quite a bit more effort than just lugging around a guitar on my back.  Oh, and note to self: Always carry around quarters for the meters.

I finally got my equipment up and running.  It’s hard to hear myself because there is a generator on the truck that has for the past few weeks subdued any sound I may have produced.  I had honestly felt like people dropped dollars out of pity for the poor girl they couldn’t even hear.  But TODAY – wasn’t short of amazing.

As a musician – it’s always a good sign when people are quiet and attentive to your work.  But when people continue to talk over you, even worse, fail to acknowledge your mere existence as you stand crooning beside them- you begin to question – what the hell am I doing here?  Why am I doing this?!! Do they think I really suck?  Do I really suck?!! Do I? Do I!??!?!

BUT, I digress, I am only a reminder.  A local musician, nameless to the world.  While most purchased their grub and went on their way – I noticed a man walking along with his headphones on.  I thought he would keep them on while standing beside me waiting for his order but instead he took them off, knelt down beside me and closed his eyes to simply listen.   I was surprised by his reaction and grateful that he could appreciate what I was doing.

I continued to sing and saw an older woman laying on the grass, perch up and watch me.  She was a good 25 feet away – across the street but watched for about 10 minutes before heading towards me.   Honestly….I really thought she was going to in some way tell me to stop.  Since 5 minutes beforehand a lady walked passed crying out “I can’t hear you! There’s really no point in doing what you’re doing!”

BUT instead!  She asked me for a CD – went to her car to grab her checkbook to purchase two and added more to the check to support the organization.  She said she loved my voice and my song selection.  She also said that everyday she prays to God to bless her with something beautiful and unexpected and that today – I had blessed her.  She put a smile on my heart as she walked away.  She and the gentlemen, in their wiser years reminded me why I am doing this.  Because there is beauty in this world, that so many of us fail to recognize. And I think if we did, we would all be in a much happier place.

Most times I find myself Singing to myself….

7 Apr

Month (1)

28 Mar

It’s been a Month. February 23rd marked the beginning of Stop & Listen LA’s pursuit on the streets.  I had first come up with the idea back in October – bemused at how this life might turn out to be.  Normally, I’m not one to share my life’s journey in the most intimate of ways (i.e. blogging, as I am today), but I felt it necessary to document this stage; this small portion in my life where I begin my work, embarking on a challenge that not only makes me happy but hopefully, a few others along the way.

It’s funny to think that this time last year, I still had quite a bit of trouble with self-expression.  Singing & Music – my greatest passion had also been the stem of all my fears.  I had plenty of repressed emotions, stifled opinions, and a growing resentment towards the ones who’ve loved me most.  I had been a closet musician for a better part of the last two years, sneaking out of the house, telling my parents I was hanging out with friends when in fact I was out to Open Mics practicing the songs I wrote in private, singing words and melodies that only I could understand. I was so afraid of what “they” would think of me, afraid of my own beliefs, and afraid that whatever I am or  however I may turn out to be would not be accepted.

But after 6 months of emo time (quarter life crisis – complete) and at the end of my journey to “finding myself”, it became very apparent that it didn’t matter and it should never matter what people think of you (as cliche as it sounds) when you’re on a path to find out what matters most to you.  The very reason why I admire moral courage and think it to be extremely underrated.

To tie it back,  truth was in my youth and my encompassing thoughts that I only spoke in music and songwriting (that, of course, was never shared).  Last Spring, I was finally able to perform my own composition for a live audience.  And as crazy as it seems, that short – 4 minute live performance was probably the most liberating moment in my life thus far.  That evening, I promised myself not to let go of my beliefs, my dreams, and my truth for the sake of pleasing.   It’s what brought me to Leo’s Taco Truck last month, and what brings me here – unveiling vulnerabilities in a blog for all to read.

All I can say, is that I am Excited & Anxious for what’s to come!  Let the Stopping & Listening begin!

-M

Performing @ The Sweets Truck in Pasadena! (www.thesweetstruck.com)