Tag Archive: Evangenitals


by Josephine Johnson

What a month.

crossing the desert

me & the droids

What a year.

What a life.

It’s that time. Because less light. Because reflection. Because gratitude. Because introspection. Because warm hugs. Because friends. Because family. Because the light begins to return. Because holidaze. And I will do my best not to make this one of those cringe-worthy year in review posts tinged with melancholia. Or braggadocio. Mostly, I’m really thankful for all the people I’ve met on the journey this year and thankful for friends and family who keep on with me. Because spirits. Because guidance. Because all this love we have to share. Share it!

Let’s kick this off with a track the guys and I worked on just before Christmas. I’m a sucker for the obscure, weird, uncool and off the beaten path. Pink Floyd’s “On the Turning Away” is one of those underdog songs, well-written with an uplifting, egalitarian message. Piet and Jay liked the track, too, so we hit it, tracked it, and then Piet mixed and made it radio-ready—all in a few short hours. I think the recording captures the friendly, easy ethos typical of our interactions—we don’t get to see each other much these days, and when we do, our company is golden. I think that feeling comes through.

The Guys: sound art cool like that * yo no matter the idea * always got my back

 

Hope you like it:

I’m blessed and lucky to get to write, sing, and perform music with a lot of great folks that I love.

I do. Love. I am.

Lucky. Not only have I gotten to work with some of Humboldt’s finest and kindest musicians (Piet, Dan & Jay!), but also this year I’ve gotten to meet a whole new crew of awesome, talented, and keen players. Like Kosuke Yoshitome.  We played some super fun spots—El Cid, House of Blues, Viper Room, concerts for our housemates, house parties and anywhere we could find/create an audience. I’m grateful for his friendship and encouragement, and I am in awe of his talent and generosity.

Kosuke: dang such a bass boss * all treble clef and four strings * he gets the funk out

Here’s a recording from our May 2014 performance at the El Cid in Los Angeles:

Another highlight of the year was meeting Juli Crockett and the Evangenitals. The Evangenitals. EVANGENITALS! C’mon, try saying “Evangenitals” out loud without smiling. Go on…TRY it! See? Chortles and grins—you can’t without cracking a smile. And the Evangenitals are a win, too, because, well, they already love YOU. They do. And they loved me so much right away  that in February, I got to be part of their video for Turbulent Flow, a song from their 2014 release “Moby Dick“.  A really great crew of people. Juli, Michael, and I are collaborating to record a few songs for my next album project along with Humboldt’s Piet, Jay, and Dan. More on that in the new year. 🙂 Ready for some rad-ness from the Evan (ha ha!) genitals, Evangenitals— shout out to Sofia Garza-Barba who directed. Oh, I’m the pink-tentacled anemone.

Juli Crockett-Feldman:  renaissance lady * million dollar double fists * dang how you slay me

Enjoy!

I can’t forget Modesto and all the good folks I’ve met there this year— music and art, some of the most generous folks in the universe live in that sleepy agricultural town. Here’s an adventure I won’t forget, that 102 degree July afternoon when Anthony Edwards convinced me to ride bikes with him. And it was a beautiful day of searing blue skies riding along almond groves and irrigation canals. But *dang* that sun was oppressive, full on summer heat so heavy you could feel

droids do it digitally

really, we’re getting down

it in your ears, behind your eyes. Melting. Challenging your ability to breathe, pedal, and think. So I put my head down and gave up thinking. Pedal on! Yeah, it was hot….but we made it. A true bonding experience. 🙂 Or more recently when Steve Nelson and I showed up at Cafe Deva to cheer for Modesto’s most beloved singer-songwriter, Patty Davis Castillo. Patty does this arrangement of Amazing Grace that makes me look up and catch my breath every time, a beautiful way to begin Sunday morning. Thank you, my Modesto family, for taking me in and letting me be one of you. Many thanks to Aaron Rowan for booking me at several of his acoustic events this year!

Here’s this great pic from the Anthony’s annual benefit concert at the State theater in Modesto. The people on this stage are wonderful humans, so humbled to be among their friends. I love these folks!!!

Modesto: almonds cattle trains * singing whispers in the rain * comfort finds me there

Anthony Edward's annual fundraiser

Modesto “Bringing Them Home” Fundraiser

 

Well, for goodness sakes, it’s been a lovely year, and I’m so thankful for the love, good people, and great spirits that have managed to find me. I don’t know how to tie this all up in an elegantly incisive way, so I won’t. Just know that I’m aware of all the love and good thoughts you all send my way. I can feel them and I’m grateful for all the encouragement and support. Thank you! We’re really gonna send it in the new year—you ready? I am!!! Let’s do this.

 

Gigs!

Wednesday, October 15, 8p, Bar Lubitsch, West Hollywood, $8 tix

Sunday, October 19, 10:30 am, Sunday Assembly Los AngelesProfessional Musicians Local, 90038

Sunday, October 26, 3:00 pm, Prospect Theater, Modesto

Friday, November 28, 8:00pm, Plough and Stars, San Francisco

Josephine Johnson

Josephine Johnson

 

Well, goodness, it’s been a while since I’ve made a substantive post. You know, something more than ‘hey, I’m playing here, come

madness

madness

see me’ kind of thing. In the past four months, though, it’s all I’ve had time to communicate, but there’s so much more. Mostly, I’ve been living and working my tail off in the big city and taking great aims to do so as kindly and justly as possible. Each day seems a marathon, some peppered with starts and sprints, others completely hung up in the blocks. Sleep each night a welcomed retreat, necessary, sometimes the only reprieve. I’ve lived in Los Angeles nearly 10 months and have scarecely had a moment to reflect on what it’s like for a small-town girl to strike upon the big city all by herself. What it’s like avoiding scams, paying rent, making friends, and surviving SoCal traffic. Each of these could have their own supporting mini-thesis. For reals. But I won’t do that to you…

’bout this instead:

anemone & seahorse

anemone & seahorse

Good stuff comes from Gratitude. And getting up early.

Some of you know, I teach English to second language learners during the day, and I’ve regularly been doing an activity with my

mad docs in da house

mad docs in da house

students (thanks, Alene Webb, for the inspiration). At the end of each class, I ask them to write three things, different every day, they are grateful for and three things they are good at.

Example: I am grateful for cooler temperatures in Los Angeles. I am grateful to be able to write and sing. I am grateful for kind people and friends. I am good at encouraging people. I am good at playing ukulele. I am good at soldiering on.

We speak about these things briefly, and I focus on how being grateful for the wonderful things in life can bring more positivity and self-satisfaction, that positivity—essentially believing in yourself—and goal setting are connected. Many of my students go

more crazy

more crazy

on to study at American colleges, so I like to think this exercise helps train them to have more power over their minds and more power over the outcomes in their lives. It makes them think. It makes them share. And it makes them think about life beyond our classroom.

I am grateful for kind people and friends. This is a biggie. When I came to Los Angeles, I left a community that

direction

direction

had known me for nearly ten years. I have a lot of friends in Humboldt County who genuinely support and believe in me and I cherish that beyond words. Yeah, moving to a new place without a solid network in place—I knew two people when I landed in Los Angeles—was a huge leap, much bigger than I realized. I am so very grateful for all of my Humboldt friends who have been cheering me on from behind the Redwood curtain. I don’t express this often enough, but THANK YOU, NorCal! I feel you rooting

lisa dee & Juli

lisa dee & Juli

for me and it makes my heart glow. Like E.T. and Reese’s Pieces 🙂 Thanks for all the love, I feel it everyday.

I’ve also met some keen folks in Los Angeles, and I’m grateful for my new circle of friends. Like Susann, who makes the best

dancers dancing

dancers dancing

vegetarian-friendly jerk sauces this side of Jamaica. I’ve been helping her with a few Los Angeles farmer’s markets—my fave is the Hollywood market. It’s a blast. And then there’re the Evangenitals and Juli Crocket. For goodness sakes, this crew. I just love ’em. Kind, intelligent, driven, inspired. And nerdy. 🙂 Back in February I got to be part of their Turbulent Flow video. Have you seen it? Check this out—I’m the pink sea anemone.

It’s a hoot, huh? These are super fun people and I’m thankful we all got introduced. Turbulent Flow is a single from the Evangenital’s 2014 release Moby Dick, which is about, you guessed it, that 10th-grade-rite-of-passage novel, Moby Dick. The pics in this post are from the shoot—oh man, so much fun. I could do that every day…

juli, Lisa dee & balloons

juli, lisa dee & balloons

Juli was also the one who told me about Kulak’s in North Hollywood, that folks were super friendly there. And that they film performances with multiple cameras and edit it all together. So I did that, went and played, and had a blast. I’d say the folks at Kulak’s Woodshed are Humboldt-types—Americana-y, indie-arty, hippie-peace-freak-like. Heck, Jeff DeMark, a Humboldt County icon was there in 2006. Check this link and you’ll see him backed by uke duo the Tiny Tims. I went on a Monday, early to get a slot, and took in the kitschy DIY, yet refined, atmosphere. There’s a group of regulars who are part of the backing band, and the first 10 solo artists can work with the band to back them up for the recording. Optional, not mandatory. It works. And it’s pretty fun. Next time, the band and I will get something going on. Below is my video. Good times!

sea horse & anenome

sea horse & anemone

Well, friends, thank you for the love, support, and kind words. I am very grateful to have so many kind people in my life. I am thankful for my friends and family, and I send love and peace to you. Now, go, get out there and do great things, be thankful for them and acknowledge when you do them well. 🙂 DO IT!

fin

Turbulent Flow Fin

the brains Michael & Juli

the brains Michael & Juli

for reals fin big finish

for reals fin big finish

by Josephine Johnson

Susann's Pirate Elixers

Susann’s Pirate Elixers

All that random rockstar ruckus, mayhem, mojo motion last weekend? Hands down, one of the best 48 hours on record. Ever.  For me, anyway, especially given that my weekends are usually more cerebral, computery, outdoors-ical. Or I’m working. Last weekend, though, was a first. But rockstar antics or no, LA remains one hell of an adventure. Every day. Unlike any other—China, Thailand, backpacking got nothing. And I wouldn’t trade this City of Angels for anything right now. Hollywood, Venice, Santa Monica, the Westside, I’m smitten.  AND I’ve shared NOTHING even of the spectacular, warm punch sunsets I’ve ridden my bike through on Venice beach. Or that the sun shines almost everyday.

THE SUN SHINES. EVERY DAY!

*sigh*

This past weekend?

Though much less rock & porn star-y, still wins. Run it down: The Pig ‘n Whistle in Hollywood does open-mic on Tuesday and Wednesday in their back room—it’s sweet, intimate, solo-

Ryder Buck’s avataracoustic friendly.  I did the Wednesday night and landed a Friday 8:30pm opener.(!!!)

But it wasn’t until gig night, Friday, that I got the full picture of the evening. This young man, 23 year old Ryder Buck, a local fave and student at Musician’s Institute, died recently. Early in the morning of October 27, He walked into traffic on the 2 freeway where a car struck him down. He died a few hours later at Huntington Memorial.  The crappiest part? Buck had just been through chemo and beaten cancer. Shitty, huh?

Mike, who books the room, ‘had a hunch’ I’d be a ‘good fit’ to open the night, which was band mates, all their friends and family sharing music and celebrating the young, talented, too short life of Ryder Buck. I played all my spirit songs, you know, the ones about dead people. Emily,

ARTHouse LIVE

ARTHouse LIVE

Edgar, Andrew. All in the house. And then some. I closed the set with Let It All Out. From the audience they asked my name twice. A positive

Billy Stobo

Billy Stobo

sign, I think,  it all went over well.

Then Saturday, Joey invites me to ‘this art thing in Mar Vista’.  He vague-splains, “like there’re musicians, I’m playing a set, and artists, probably paintings, maybe beer, wine…”

Aha! Art, music, booze. I’m there.

The Top Tomato Market. A gallery. Performance venue. A community space across from the post office and smack in the middle of Mar Vista’s Sunday Farmers Market—prime location for local art and music to grow, blossom, unfurl.

And that’s exactly what Katie Boeck intends. Two months ago the business owner formerly occupying the gallery gave Boeck the go ahead to follow her dream,

Katie Boeck

Katie Boeck

Top Tomato Market

Top Tomato Market

provided she can get it to pay for itself. In the two months since, Boeck and co-curator, Mitch Orquiola, have opened two gallery shows (this night being one) and hosted a music relief fundraiser for the Philippines. “We want to create a premiere community art space that caters to a variety of ages and mediums of expression,” says Boeck. In February, Beck and Orquiola plan to introduce their first Buzz Club,  a music-focused night that features “invited musicians along with a few open sign up slots.” Currently, they rent the performance room, with real-deal acoustic tiling and bass traps, to local bands for rehearsal. A music producer teaches kids to make electronic music, and out back there’re benches and picnic tables suited for teaching.  The space is coming together with a music-centric, yet multipurpose, family-friendly sensibility.

Joey Maramba

Joey Maramba

“There’s nothing like this on the block or in this part of town,” says Orquiola, “and I

Mitch Orquiola

Mitch Orquiola

want to be part of creating something special for my community. This has great potential.”

On this night Katie Boeck, Billy Stobo, and Joey Maramba played. Check out these people! You will be inspired.

And then Sunday, I met Julie of the Evangenitals. She’s the brainchild behind the project, and she’s booking a west coast tour.  Their latest release is a bluegrass-tinged concept album revolving around Moby Dick. Yeah, thar she blows, straight outta 10th grade lit. *Erupts Mr. Melville with glee, so smug yet mirthful he!* I got to hear a copy, pre-release, and it’s really,

ARTHouseLive

ARTHouseLive

really good. It has Portland written all over it, a fine synthesis of literature, whimsy, and weird grass (my new genre!). A hit, especially up north.  Best part? They will be coming through Arcata, California, enroute to Portland. Yay! Humboldt. The first week in March, the Evangenitals play the Jambalaya on a Tuesday night. Really, you have to see them to get it, an accessible blend of weird, smart, and smokin’.

Phew, I think that’s it. No porn stars in this one but still one heck of an LA adventure weekend.

Grateful.

WonderTwins

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Top Tomato Market

Top Tomato Market