Super Saturated by Annabeth McNamara

Our project is blessed with a super-saturation of talented photographers.

I would say we're lucky, but I believe we may merely be a-muse-ing.

Guillermo Ubilla made a storyboard of Larkspur's last show at the Ante Room.

Please enjoy our petite journey by clicking this link

 

Upcoming Larkspur shows:

Sept. 9 - Charlottesville, VA - Fridays after Five @ Sprint Pavilion opening for Chamomile and Whiskey - 5pm - free

Sept. 16 - Norfolk, VA - Art Opening at Cure Coffee 6pm-close w/ Pyrrhic Whim - info here

It's Recording Time by Annabeth McNamara


Hello ginger hearts,

Two years ago, I cut my last record. That album is still out making new friends. It really could snowball to cult classic status in the next decade.

But hopeful fantasies aside, I've been writing new songs and making a new sound that needs honoring. I'm fortunate enough to have some recording times lined up.

In just a couple weeks I'll be creating a single with Hotel Appalachia in my hometown. I met some of these dudes in 6th grade, and it warms my heart that we've circled back around to create some Art together.

This will be an in-studio "live" session to really just capture our current sound with a butterfly net and put it in a jar for you all to see.


I'm also extra-stellarly pleased to announce I'll be joining forces with producer Jake Hull to make my next album, an EP of mostly-new songs.

He lives by the beach, so this album's inevitably going to wind up in the mermaid genre.

Why work with Jake? Well, he's got the right blend of acoustic know-how and modern flair to help me build a sonic ship to launch a thousand seas. 

But surprise surprise, I'll be releasing it under a new monicker:

LARKSPUR

 

Larkspur is a type of flower. Poisonous but pretty.

Larkspur is a type of flower. Poisonous but pretty.

 

After a couple of years of working together, my back-up band and I are ponying-up and becoming a full-fledged band. Please do follow us on instagram: @bandlarkspur.

This leaves my solo career free to keep exploring, while helping me take the girl-band project to the next level. 

To give you an idea of our dynamic, we're like an all-girls Power Rangers squad

Basically, together we kick butt.

Renee Byrd is already a social media mini-tycoon (with 27k+ followers @willfrolicforfood).

Laurel Humiston has an entire DEGREE in music performance. Which leaves me in a perpetual "hats-off" state towards her.

I hope you'll join me in homage by never wearing a hat around her.

JK, she's really accepting of hats. 

Both of these ladies have heaps of common sense in both life and music composition, as well as dozens of other strengths that they bring to the table, which usually leaves me a bit floored that they'd want to pool their powers with me.

That last phrase gives me a nice visual of a fantasy fiction film where three elegant elf-queens have a bird-bath basin in the center of their castle where they literally have a pool of power. Anywhoosle.

Weddings. Vineyards. Bars. Cafes. We're going to wheedle our way into every nook of the local music scene like a microrhizome, until one day the entire place erupts with Larkspur mushrooms. Poisonous, purple, delicious Larkspur fungus that we are.

Also, I want to take the focus off of Me, the little-ego-public-persona, and shine the light directly on Whimsy with a capital double-You. 
 
With this change of name, I want nothing less than to capture the imagination of the masses. And to be honest, my own as well. 

It's still all my songs so far, the ones I unfurl out of my ribcage like awkward, quick-drying wings. 

This new name is about taking away limitations and allowing something more viral to bloom. It's also all just a grand experiment, and I thank you for your patience and encouragement as we all Figure This Out together.

Something quaint is that people often get the impression that I'm ON TOUR when I'm gigging around Virginia. It has long been my goal to play one show per week within a 100 radius of my bed, so I can come home and crash in that sweetest of slumber pods.

I think it's safe to say I have achieved that goal, judging by the June dates listed below.

In July we'll be RECORDING and working our cute boots off to get the best, most-polished versions of our songs. Do stay tuned for ways you can support us in this epic endeavor.

Upcoming shows:

Jun 02    The Farmhouse    Charlottesville, VA
           w/ Jeremy Moore  -- TOMORROW
Jun 08    The Golden Pony Harrisonburg, VA  
            w/ Dr. How and the Reasons + Lillie Lemon  -- Next Weds.
Jun 17    Cristina's Cafe    Strasburg, VA    
Jun 24    Crossroads RVA    Richmond, VA
            w/ Shama Llama and the Ding Dongs

Season of Love by Annabeth McNamara



Dogs, cats, babies, friends, friends' dogs, lovers, down comforters.  

At this point in the cold season, those of us who have survived are those who have succumbed to cuddles.

One can even somewhat snuggle, from a safe distance, with a space heater or wood stove. 

On rare occasion, even the sun makes itself fair game. 

I'm tickled to announce I'll be serenading folks at a public cuddle puddle in just one week.

First, a plug for live music-going.
Part of why I've started making a habit of going out to live music, despite the warring forces of gravity and inertia, is because I NEVER REGRET IT. 

So instead of "Here are a few of my favorite things," sung by blonde Mary Poppins, I present you with, "Here are a few things I never regret:"

-Walking. Anywhere. Anytime. It reliably massages my brain. In the winter, walking the miles between places brings me an inner warmth that few fires can match.

-Eating a salad, or greens in general. Chlorophyl = happiness high. For staying hydrated and warm, I've gotten in the habit of putting seaweed and herbs and greens and whatever else in a bowl with miso and submerging it all in just-boiled water. My very own aquarium. For dinner.

-Meditating. Even 10 minutes can work wonders in taking me from a ten back to zero.

-Reaching out to a friend when I'm distraught. The gals I've got on my speed-dial work like a charm.

-Recording musical ideas on my laptop late at night. It gives me a funny buzz I can't quite recreate other ways, even if it effs with my sleep cycle.

-And yes, going out to hear live music. It's the warmth, the friendship-fortifying conversation, the kooky decor that often shakes me out of my darker doubts.

It's a little thing called community that can restore my faith in humanity.

In these settings, romance is a gazillion times more likely than if I'd stayed at home hum-drumming and ho-humming.

This brings me to my next show.

Image custom-painted for the event by Chicho Lorenzo.

Image custom-painted for the event by Chicho Lorenzo.

Free Love: Valentine's Day Love-In at IX

For those of us in the city of Charlottesville, this is our chance to share the love. I created an evening for us like a hand-crafted Valentine-- thoughtfully, with lots of frills. 

Spend Valentine's evening submerged in art sharing sweet morsels and crafting valentines with the people you like to love.

Wherever you are on the planet reading this, I hope you'll go out despite the cold to experience the ambient ardor of this holiday of love. 

To me, this day is an invitation to celebrate love of all kinds- how do we show it, how do we live it, how to we BE the Love that we ARE as much as possible ???

I have another radio show this week to start things off. And for my Virginia friends, here are some more opportunities to catch my songs.


Upcoming Shows in VA
2/10 LIVE ON THE RADIO - WCNR/106.1 The Corner - 8pm EST
2/14 Charlottesville, VA @ IX Art Park, 7-11:30pm, $5 donation
2/21 Staunton, VA @ Redbeard Brewing Co.
         w/ Sarah Lynna & the Misfit Toys, 7-10pm
2/28 Harrisonburg, VA @ The Golden Pony w/ Jeremaiah Tall

3/10 Richmond, VA @ Crossroads RVA (unconfirmed)
4/16 Charlottesville, VA @ The Ante Room - World Voice Day

-Oh, and one last never-regret: wearing earplugs at said live music events. It's a pacifier for my mind. A soft sweater for my senses.

I'm not getting paid to do so, but I recommend Sweetwater's earplugs for bringing things to a safe decibel while keeping sounds rather clear. They make both folk- and rock-level options.

I feel like a total nerd when I wear them.

Which is why I'd like to start a trend so I can hang with the cool kids again.

Something I learn as I grow older is that if I do manage to stick around on this planet for another batch of decades, it's important that I not damage myself irreparably in some stupid way.

The end.

p.s. The wintry portrait at the top of this blog was snapped by my dear friend Renee Byrd. She is a multi-faceted whirlwind of creativity, whether it's writing or photography or playing back-up in my band.

She is currently planning to make me a fairy-unicorn rainbow raw cake for my birthday which will debut on her blog. Hashtag what true friends are made of.

WAIT. So tell me in the comments below, what are some things YOU never regret ? I love hearing from you always. xxxoo

Folky Fanfare by Annabeth McNamara

Dearly Darlings,

I sit here listening to the cold drip-drip of rain drop down the nose-shaped knob of a tree. I'm surrendering to the season and sinking into the grim acceptance that I don't live in a tropical climate.

Facing the fact that a dream career isn't always dreamy. Yet it gives me a grit of meaning that  gets lost in the humdrum of everyday drudgeries.

Paying the bills. Running the errands. Reworking relationships. All the dull to-do lists awaited me upon my return from touring.

In a way, dancing on the edge of a knife suited me better than running circles round the shallow spoon of my "normal" life.

But still.
I bow to the stillness of not-moving. Catching my breath. 

And while I don't yet have the career of my dreams, I do have collaborators stepping out of the woodwork. A promoter here. A costume designer there. A graphic designer yonder. I guess I'm not the only one with this itch to get good art out there.

So now we're stepping into line. Like colorful patchwork soldiers and princes of peace, aligning to reaffirm a beautiful reality that exists outside of the greater media's hypnotism. Who would have us believe that enemies are necessary. That love is pain. That money is everything.

Deep in our sleep, we're onto them. Deep in our meditations, we remember the Big Love that we Are. Within the blossom of the song something unfolds in and around us and we remember that we have hearts. And they were made for loving, somehow, despite all the reasons not to.

I believe the world doesn't need saving so much as just letting it be the harmony that it is. The woods are whispering with the wind every day a sighing symphony singing "Life."

As an artist, I am moving toward this message of positivity and possibility. Not to fight against a great evil power, but march fearlessly toward the lives of balance and intellect and full creative expression that we were meant to have. As free animals born naked on this blue-green pearl suspended in the dark swirl of the universe.

It's thoughts like these that inspired this little improvised ditty I made with my synth-etic friend Paul Tucker: https://youtu.be/AIgT_0XjLW8
 


It's more of a behind-the-scenes video than a polished presentation. Keep watching a little past the beginning and I start to transport into the forest !

If you speak French and can understand, just know that I was totally riffing and being nonsensical. If and when I make a recording of this song, I will surely wax poetic in my favorite tongue. French.

So I'll be performing this song live with Paul at the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar 12/12 at 9pm here in Charlottesville, VA, backed as usual by my lovely Larkspurs.  


I'll also be singing a few songs at Rapunzel's Coffee and Books' annual Christmas Party Concert 12/19 at 9pm in Lovingston, VA. This is a packed and heart-warming evening not to be missed if you care for C-ville's local music scene.

Whether you can make it live with me or not, I do hope that you will join me in the daily parade into a fantastic future.

Go forth and create and share and support each other in the forward march, my little mammal friends. (Yes, you.)

xxooAnnabeth

p.s. With great fanfare, I'm proud to announce that professionally-pressed physical copies of my album Surprise are available on Bandcamp. Just click here and find the link titled "Buy Now." 
And wouldn't you know it, it's just in time for the holidays ;) 

Day-dreams by Annabeth McNamara

Here's a bit of reflecting on life and performance of late:

The other night at a concert singing back-up, I finally got to sing sans-instrument. Usually I'm saddled behind one of many instruments, plucking and plunking away.

Not this evening, though.

It was just me and the microphone. My arms were free to flow with the melody, my hips free to catch a ride on the drum beat.

 I got to wear myself out under the spotlight like a delicate moth dizzy under the lamp. 

At times, there was no interaction between my mind and my physical body-- my own corporeal sentience entered into relationship with the full sound behind me. The animal of my blood and bones allowed itself to be animated.

 

******************************************

 

I have stopped using affirmations and visualizations so much and have started to just open myself to embrace my life, in all its positives and negatives. To be bigger than the sum of all my successes and failures-- to know the shape of my own soul and rest conscious, letting everything flow within its confines.

To see life's experiences as a fascinating, miraculous mirror, washing up at my feet an endless array of marvels, born of the dance between my own imagination and my subconscious mind.

In this endless process, I am like the rough rock along the coast-line tumbled by each wave life washes over me.

All parts of me caught up in a slow dissolve back into the oneness of the ocean and the infinity of sands.

Each wave unique, but the same intonation as it thrums the coastline: "Love, inhale, love, exhale, love, inhale, love, exhale..."

 

 * * * * * * *

thanks to everyone who watched my music video and shared the love :)

Some of you have mentioned you re-watch it regularly for giggles. Yay!

Poem ofastruggle by Annabeth McNamara

I captured this image of my lovelisome band-mates last weekend sitting down by the river. They are the creators of @FrolicChocolate.

I captured this image of my lovelisome band-mates last weekend sitting down by the river. They are the creators of @FrolicChocolate.

i don't want to pollute anymore.
i don't want to hurt my mother in the name of profits.
i want to live in harmony with the earth.
and make beautiful music.
and feel sustained and abundant.
and happy and connected.

i want it all-- the lights, the laughter, the glamor onstage.
the crisp audio files and high-end tours.
the adoring fans and the heightened performance.
raising the vibes. getting everyone high.
on emotion. the collective feels.

i want to write the perfect song.
the one that will reach out and stop your heart--
then start it again.

i want to garden out the wazoo
and eat the freshest most perfect gifts of the sun and rain.

yet there is no better feeling than rockin' with my musical friends
with an audience as witness
and then selling a CD        !!

--- money, in exchange for the gift that was given two ways--
to you and to me, simultaneously.
you see, these songs, they fill me as they fill you.
like a simple cup, i become full up of the sound waves
which then cascade over the edges of my limited self.
And you can drink here too, satisfy some invisible
unnameable thirst.

I can be who I am here.
I can expand in every direction
through the sonic waves.

I rise to fill the room
and trust the songs
will keep traveling out into space
forever and ever.

My musical accomplice, Miss Renee of @FrolicChocolate faux-modeling @NellieRose raw silk frocks at ArtSpring in West Virginia.

My musical accomplice, Miss Renee of @FrolicChocolate faux-modeling @NellieRose raw silk frocks at ArtSpring in West Virginia.