Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Kids Shows

And check out these two 9 year old cousins Audrey and Elijah rocking "Eye of the Tiger" above! They'll be playing with 11 other kid bands tomorrow at Littlefield in Brooklyn, part of GOWANUS MUSIC CLUB .Good stuff!!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Flavorwire 25 Favorite Albums of 2013

Some creative bands on this list. Proud to be a part of it (we're #15). Check out all of them. Do it, those so many good ones. FLAVORWIRE's 25 FAVORITE ALBUMS OF 2013

"Bitchfork" reviews our album

Yeah, you'd look at this and immediately assume its annoying but its NOT, these kids are hysterical. I would watch their show if it were mainstream. And glad to see they reviewed our album "Run Fast." They're also the first people to discuss the sewn scrappy/cute animal on an animal on the cover and compare it to the music. They nailed it! And they caught our influences. Good job...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Rough time of year, yet there's all that pretty snow outside right now. Holding in one hand the dvd "Hangover 3" and in the other hand I'm looking at a self-help book about time management and confidence building. Should I go for mindless escapism or a fruitful 2 hours of reading that will make my week better?

My truck is by far the worst one parked on this block, tucked between a new BMW and another car the boyfriend said is worth 100k. Can cars really be worth that?  I don't have heat, the power steering fluid leaks out every time I turn the steering wheel too hard to the right, which is everyday I parallel park, which in turn makes me fill it 5 times a week. The back is smashed in, the red tail light cover is missing to leave a bleak white light on the left rear. The defogger on the windshield doesn't work, and the radio station, set at WNYC, can't be turned or it'll never go back. And the volume will either go deafening loud, or whisper quiet with no in between.

The self help book says to take that one negative thought and list 5 positive things to cancel it out. (No, I ended up watching "Hangover 3"). Then use a creative visualization technique - form a vivid mental blueprint in which you are finishing, solving, creating, or doing that thing with ease and success.

Okay, so I can't turn off WNYC and thats not a horrible thing. I listen wearing a warm coat with a hood over my head and 99 cent black gloves that look okay, kind of like skeleton hands. The truck moves at least and gets me to Gowanus where I was teaching a music class back to Williamsburg where I live in a near-micro apartment that has the shower next to the sink in the kitchen. I can back into a pole, then continue to shift into drive without breaking conversation. Is this 5 positive things yet? This might be happily rewarding if I were still in my 20's but I've been living this way for well...a while.

My creative blueprint visualization is working finally as I'm remembering the good things of this year. The successes with my music project especially. In fact we were ON the radio, on that very one station that comes in through those tiny stupid speakers in my truck, and I was able to listen to that prerecorded show one evening while driving. Thats a dream come true.

The problem is not that I work doubles and 7 days a week, its comparing yourself to New Yorkers who have nice new tiles on their kitchen floors. Its all the "stuff" people have thats way better than mine. Deciding to be in the music business through all its different variations is a labor of love, one that will just make ends meet if you work hard enough.  But I visualize myself NOT being priced out of NY daily and you know, sometimes that can drive a person to feel a little crazy. Success is not having to look at every single sale item at CTown, or never even considering the entrees at the restaurants we go to ("tacos are just fine..."). But some of this is just perceived poorness. Or is it?

Bottom line is to watch a bad flick and read the book. Try the 5 positive things and the creative visualization when that movie is over. Putting it into whats relative to your life is the hard part.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013

November Shows

My cat Bones helping me go over bass clef for three dates with Bridget Everett's show "Rock Bottom" at Joes Pub in NYC. Honored to have played in this show written by Bridget, as well as Marc Shaiman, Tony, Grammy, and Emmy winning composer and writer (best known for Hairspray the Musical).

It was a dream of mine to work with Marc and these guys and would do it in a hot second anytime again.

Bridget Everett posters all over town!

The band (Matt Ray, Mike Jackson, Dave Berger, and me) decided to each go as one color. I am purple and kind of looking like a futuristic stewardess. Drinking from my "Pound It" Bridget Everett cup.

 Backstage at Joe's Pub.

My band The Julie Ruin then flew to Olympia Washington to play at the Capitol Theater for the Olympia Film Festival. Hometown of Kathleen and Kathi, my bandmates. Everyone said hi to us on the street. A guy on a bike would yell "loved the show" while speeding by. Small enigmatic town.

Here's Kenny and Carmine having a cigarette with Eli Cruz, our sound engineer and mixer of our album. "Jaws 3D" will be aired there in a couple of days according to the poster in the window. 

Old stickers in the backstage at the Capitol Theater. 

Here we are backstage talking to our soundperson at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin Texas. 

This was the lineup: 
6:50 PM MGMT

Prep in a tent backstage.

Kenny's glockenspeil.

Yep, that's a taco cannon next to Kenny's gear. They shot burritos, tacos, and Twinkies out to the crowd after our set. 

Onstage stretches before we start.

Tonight 9pm on WNYC's Soundcheck!

My band The Julie Ruin will be on Soundcheck tonight so tune in to your radio or listen HERE! Yay!

Apologies for the song mixes early on. It definitely feels live and fuzzy and crazy compared to our album.  We play these 3 songs:

Goodnight Goodbye
Southcoast Plaza
Kids of New York

photo by Sarah Avrin

Friday, October 25, 2013


Here's a little hint about tonight's show at Music Hall of Williamsburg. See you later! The Julie Ruin.

Monday, October 21, 2013


Josh helped me build a pedal board yesterday. Then we stopped at Peter Pan Bakery in Greenpoint. Support this Polish bakery if you are in the area. Its the best donuts, hands down.

More of Josh's pictures HERE.

By artist Emma Maatman for LA Record

The Julie Ruin. I'm the one in the lower left corner. Here's more on illustrator Emma Maatman!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Our Next Show: Music Hall of Williamsburg on OCT 25th!

My band The Julie Ruin will be playing this Friday at Music Hall of Williamsburg, in yep, Brooklyn, where I once slung drinks and watched bands during lulls tipsy topsy. And that was only two years ago. Thrilled to be playing in that beautiful dome-like futuristic ballroom-ish stage area again and hanging with my sound-people friends, especially Josh W. My worlds are combining and its kind of weird.

In August I wrote on this blog about the DC band Priests and woo-hoo, we've asked them to open...and they said "yeah."

Check them out again HERE AT PRIESTS.BANDCAMP and scroll down my blog thingy here to see a video of them playing live.

Monday, October 14, 2013

We're playing the Olympia Film Festival Friday Nov 8th!

Olympia Film Festival! Opening night Swim Little Fish DETAILS HERE 

Its us, The Julie Ruin, plus very special guests Survival Knife and Hot Fruit.

Check out Hot Fruit here. I was glued the whole nine and thirty four.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Kristeen Young tee

Proudly displaying my Kristeen Young shirt. Go see her, listen to her music, buy an album, buy the tee. She is THE REAL DEAL. She really is.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

La Luz

Since my blog's theme is on music and girl empowerment, here's La Luz in Spin Magazine. Listen to the surfy warmth HERE

Monday, October 7, 2013

MOMA - Designing Modern Women 1890-1990

CLICK HERE for the MOMA website 

Designing Modern Women 1890–1990

October 5, 2013–October 1, 2014
Architecture and Design Galleries
Modern design of the twentieth century was profoundly shaped and enhanced by the creativity of women---as muses of modernity and shapers of new ways of living, and as designers, patrons, performers and educators. This installation, drawn entirely from MoMA's collection, celebrates the diversity and vitality of individual artists’ engagement in the modern world, from Loïe Fuller’s pulsating turn-of-the-century performances to April Greiman's 1980s computer-generated graphics, at the vanguard of early digital design. Highlights include the first display of a newly conserved kitchen by Charlotte Perriand with Le Corbusier (1952) from the Unité d'Habitation housing project, furniture and designs by Lilly Reich, Eileen Gray, Eva Zeisel, Ray Eames, Lella Vignelli, and Denise Scott Brown; textiles by Anni Albers and Eszter Haraszty; ceramics by Lucy Rie; a display of 1960s psychedelic concert posters by graphic designer Bonnie Maclean, and a never-before-seen selection of posters and graphic material from the punk era. The gallery's ‘graphics corner’ first explores the changing role and visual imagery of The New Woman through a selection of posters created between 1890 and 1938; in April 2014 the focus will shift to Women at War, an examination of the iconography and varied roles of women in times of conflict, commemorating the centennial of the outbreak of World War I.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

"The World Before Her" Documentary

I highly recommend this documentary which follows two groups of Indian girls ages 15-25. One group is training to become finalists for the Miss India pageant in Bombay, the other group learns to fight and defend in a fundamentalist Hindu girls camp.

You can see on DVD. Or when it airs on PBS or watch it ONLINE HERE.

She Shreds Magazine

SHE SHREDS, a guitar magazine dedicated to female guitarists. I did an interview with them a couple weeks ago, hope to see it in the next issue! Get a subscription and support them if you can. I purchased a subscription for myself and one for my 15 year old student (she loves to play surf and the new issue of surf guitar was a total treat for her).

Friday, October 4, 2013

And a little video we made on the road...

This was in Portland, mostly. The guy in the Guitar Center would not stop noodling.

Henry Rollins on my band The Julie Ruin

Read a nice snippet from Henry Rollins about our show at The Echo in in the LA WEEKLY

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dirtbombs and Ko Melina

Guitarist inspiration of the week for me: Ko Melina. Baritone Fuzz, Bass, and also a DJ. Plays with The Dirtbombs and also Ko & the Knockouts.

Gotta love The Dirtbombs. Read a good review and listen to samples from their new album HERE.

 Ko Melina and The Dirtbombs

"Party Store." The album from The Dirtbombs I can't get enough of. One of my favorite albums currently.

Happy Birthday Hilly

Happy Birthday Hilly Kristal, my boss at CBGB's from 1995-2006. Here he and Sofie ( Louise's daughter when she was 10 months old) are looking over paperwork. I was probably setting up the bar and sticking Pabst in ice someplace at this moment.

Hilly interviewed me when I was a super young kid and applying as a cocktail waitress at CBGB's, which I answered from an ad in the Village Voice. I had only been in NY for a few months at that point and desperately needed money besides the temp job I had. College wasn't even an option for me yet, not until years later. This is the time when the Voice would come out on Wednesday (only paper issues, of course) and us ambitious people would wait in line at Cooper Square in front of the the Voice street box for the secret early Tuesday evening delivery! We'd grab one and flip to the classified, looking quickly for apartments or jobs or whatever and head straight to the nearest payphone, which also had a line. Anyway, thats how I got that job.

Never would I have believed then how much that job would affect my life, or in a million years, how long I would stay there. He allowed us to make schedules that worked for our art or music and was suspicious of anyone who worked there who didn't openly have a bigger plan for themselves. In fact, those folks faded out or were eventually fired.

Yes, I saw thousands of bands in those years. With 4-5 bands per night, I could honestly say I saw thousands of bands per year? Truthfully, no one can digest that much music. And I hate to look back and say I zoned out on a lot of good shows or didn't pay attention to the up and comers. It was like whacking your way through a jungle in Vietnam, all those bands. And audition night? It was almost survival instinct to drown out bands. I bartended all the Sunday Hardcore Matinee shows for the last 5 years too. Thats when I noticed my right ear (the one that faces the stage when I'm behind the bar) has significantly more hearing loss than my left ear. And of course the older we get, the more we do things healthy for ourselves like wearing earplugs. But try telling yourself to wear earplugs when you're in your 20's!

Anyway, I've said this about Hilly before and I'll say it again. He is true punk rock in the way that he is not judgmental, hired and booked on instinct, and created a family out of people of all ages and misfortunes. He'd give total creeps a chance. He encouraged me to be part of the art shows Cb's Gallery and was fully supportive and encouraging about education. I'll never forget how his eyes and face lit up when I told him I applied to transfer to Columbia for Art History...and they miraculously let me in. I told him I couldn't believe it either, did I read this shit right? He was very proud of that and of the other bartender who had just started attending Juilliard in her 30's. He talked about it to strangers! He also reviewed my very first show with my first band The Chickletts (he said something like "well now, that wasn't so bad now was it. Better than the Ramones' first show.") Umm, thats not saying much but I get what he means. We had A LOT of work to do.  After a few years of playing he decided he really loved my drumming. I'll never forget how he told me my improvement and feel behind the kit was so great. I hang on those compliments daily. He was at my wedding. And he gave me more shifts when I was in a divorce. (This was all in one year by the way). I never told him what a soft spoken pillar of strength he was to me and I wish I had, but in the end it would've just embarrassed him to get that kind of praise. But I hope he knows he was a surrogate father figure to me and he deserves all the credit in the world.

Also, I think he'd be tickled at the idea of Alan Rickman playing him in the upcoming movie. I mean, I am!

Lots of love to Hilly Kristal, owner of CBGB's. RIP. Love and miss you.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Tour Pictures - The Julie Ruin with La Sera at The Echo in L.A. on Sep 19

 In action. New shoes.

"Head shot" by Carmine Covelli in front of the avocado house we stayed at.  My hair was perfectly lavender here on the second day of tour. I didn't wash it for over a week and it still faded back to blonde. Damn.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fall Tour 2013! So far....

We played a small private show at Union Pool in Brooklyn before we started the tour. I was pretty nervous.

TBA Festival, part of PICA's art show in Portland. Look, they named a drink after us!

Kathleen took this photo of me at guitar center where we went to buy keyboard stands.

A clip from Spin Magazine where we did a little kareoke. I performed Cheech and Chong. This might be where we all sang "We Got the Beat"!

Wall Street Journal exclusive photo. I cut my own hair the day before.

A balcony view from Tavi of Rookie Magazine's outdoor party in Los Angeles.

Portland screened our name behind us. Nice light show of fuschia, blues, and pinks. Crowd was amazing too with 2,100 people counted.

My first performance on television...! You can watch it here: THE JULIE RUIN on JIMMY FALLON

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The band "Stacey" from Willie Mae Rock Camp with my longtime drum student!

Whoa do they sound great! The drummer, Eva, has been taking drum lessons with me since she was in 5th grade. She is now in 8th grade. Natural loose sticking looks effortless here.

These girls met this week, wrote a song, and performed it yesterday. Bravo!!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Friday, August 9, 2013

New Studio

August project - get all the music teaching materials, the Julie Ruin gear, and a baby grand in this space. Only have a few weeks to make this new large music studio look and sound good. And convince the other bands to keep their areas organized. Dress form for draping, if I attempt to make more clothes for our September tour. All psyched about using black chalkboard paint for the wall area behind it. Who knew chalk was so fun? In the works...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Important Quote from Janelle Monae. Telling all girls...

"When I started my music career, I was a maid. I used to clean houses. My mother was a proud janitor. My stepfather, who raised me like his very own, worked at the post office and my father was a trashman. They all wore uniforms and that’s why I stand here today, in my black and white, and I wear my uniform to honor them.

This is a reminder that I have work to do. I have people to uplift. I have people to inspire. And today, I wear my uniform proudly as a Cover Girl. I want to be clear, young girls, I didn’t have to change who I was to become a Cover Girl. I didn’t have to become perfect because I’ve learned throughout my journey that perfection is the enemy of greatness.

Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable." - Janelle Monáe