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little strike

It’s May, and I’m artist of the month on the Deli Mag site. That’s really nice but more importantly, I got the chance to express some thoughts on china, materialism, various social issues, and cesaria evora.

My interview went exactly like this:

The Deli: How did you start making music? 
Tamar Dart – Little Strike: I started making my own music after living in China for a year in 2012. Seeing so many people struggling, it reminded me to feel lucky to have access to instruments, shelter, food and a little bit of space too. It gave me something to say.
TD: Where did the band name Little Strike come from? 
TD – LS: Little Strike is me. Strike means both action and inaction: to hit or to halt. It’s insane. I love when language does that… Ambiguity like this allows for poetry, and all poetry, even bad, is at least very honest. Little Strike is like making lots of eye contact and being very honest. I thought of this name after finding a tiny miniature key in my house when I first moved to Philadelphia nearly 2 years ago. A light went off.
TD: What are your biggest musical influences?
TD – LS: Radiohead, Nina Simone, Cesária Évora, Sam Cooke, Stromae, Aphex Twin, Leonardo Favio, Ali Farka Toure, tropical fruit, deep-sea friendships, every language ever, relentless positivity, people taking action.
TD: What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?
TD – LS: If you’re looking for brilliant musicians, here they are: Dead Beat Dad, Sports Coach, Kidaudra, Snow Caps, Spiral the Turntabalist, Willow Talk, Commonwealth Choir, Shorty Boy-Boy, The Dewars, Acres of Diamonds, DJ Mouth Kisser, The Original Crooks and Nannies.
TD: What’s the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?
TD – LS: My first concert was CKY at the Culture Room in South Florida. The Culture Room, the perfect name for a room you don’t feel like taking very seriously – it’s nice. I like it! It was right after I moved to the U.S so back then watching any performance in English was exciting for me. Nowadays, I primarily look for music in languages that I don’t understand. The first album I bought was Aerosmith’s Big Ones. So. Much. Rock.
TD: What do you love about Philly?
TD – LS: Philly is cool. I love when I hear people being honest about real topics; in other cities I’ve lived in, people often talked about their hats and their belts. Personally, I don’t think about hats and belts before I fall asleep.
TD: What do you hate about Philly?
TD – LS: Winter.
TD: What are your plans for 2015?
TD – LS: In 2015, I plan on being really honest while making music and living my life. I’ll continue to talk about important things, such as shattering the myth of materialism ever bringing lasting joy (can any amount of shoes truly satisfy you?), mangos (I’m a big advocate), friendship and the importance of breathing in. I’ve been writing essays about my experience as a performer. I’ll continue to produce earnest prose, go to my website for a taste, or come to a show; let’s have a talk.
TD: What was your most memorable live show?
TD – LS: My most memorable live show was the first show I ever played. It was last summer, and it took place in a lovely South Philly home. It was on my birthday, and it was a complete beautiful disaster. It made me realize that live performances shouldn’t be selfish. It’s not just about me; it’s about everyone and how we all feel together in the same room. If mistakes happen, so be it. What matters is how we handle tough times, mistakes, and blunders; they’re not the end of the world. In fact, those tricky moments – that’s when I discover something new about myself and who my real friends are. Nothing is a big deal. Not everyone has to like me, but as long as I’m honest, I have nothing to hide. Still one of my favorite shows.
TD: What’s your favorite thing to get at the deli?
TD – LS: Ideally, I’d be walking into the same deli that I’ve known for years. I’d greet my friends; then finally, I’d purch

 

I wrote an essay about my recent experience performing. Hope it’s fun for you, enjoy:

little strike

Why do I play shows?

“The cliché of what a rock star is – there’s something elitist about it. I never related to that. I’m an entertainer. I think of it as, you’re performing for people. It’s not a self-glorification thing.” – Beck

So, wait: do you believe him? Maybe you’re at that point in your cortical growth where you’re doubting the smooth talkers; figure heads have been letting us down for ages, and preachers lie all the time. Ever met an idol of yours? I’d avoid it. I’d also avoid the word idol, when possible. We’re surrounded by marketers and makeup, but I always try to remember what musician, author, and drag queen Rupaul said: we’re all born naked and all the rest is drag. And all the rest is drag.

Let that ring. C00L.

So what should we believe? It’d be nice to believe Beck, but if you’re finding this hard to accomplish, try trading belief for the next best thing: acceptance. Accepting, in this case, means listening to Beck’s words, letting them drape our brain like a red velvet scarf (ah yes performing “FOR the people”, not just for the “ego”).  I’ve become more tolerant to the idea of ‘not practicing what we preach’. I’ve traded my stubbornness for acceptance.

So what? We’re trying, that’s all we could ever do. It’s much better to preach something nice and not to practice it, than many alternative scenarios, like preaching something negative while also practicing it. Like over-glorifying materialism as a means to lasting happiness, or sean hannity’s face. Not even going to capitalize his name. If you find that offensive please stop reading these words, go outside, grab a human body and beg them for a hug. You deserve one, friend.

I accept what Beck is saying even if it’s not true, and I accept it because I want to believe it is true. It seems like the healthiest way to think about performance. I’m tempted to state that the word ‘healthy’ does not belong in the same sentence as the word ‘performance.’ Honestly, the mere desire to perform is quite disturbing. Before I inspire eyebrow raises and severe finger pointing, I’d like to make a clear distinction between “acting” performances and “music” performances. Acting, in most cases, involves becoming something other than yourself. Relinquishing all responsibility of one’s actions, allowing a strange freedom to be someone bad, good, funny, despicable, all the while completely escaping the reality of one’s own heart. It could be read as submissive behavior: submitting to the character, the writer, the director, the camera, the eyeballs in the room. It could also be read as powerful: a good liar is always powerful to some degree. In a way, actors are benign con artists: there’s an unmistakable charm to them, a spark (not to be confused by real life), an emptiness. // There is always an emptiness when avoiding the truth. I have here for you a related and distracting gum theory: I am convinced that 75% of gum chewing is an attempt at avoiding some sort of wicked truth. In other words, an attempt at quieting down a reality, curbing a sugar fix, avoiding a brush or even dinner altogether. Gum is heavy, despite its apparent casualness. Gum is emptiness. I mean, what the hell is gum? We’re not meant to swallow it, is it even food stuffs? Oh and also lying never works. Chewy.

gum

Ok ok new-age gum analysis aside, one point cannot be ignored: it is strange to want to be a con artist. It is strange to want to escape yourself, in a room full of watchful, judgeful* eyes. It is just plain strange. Seeking approval? Partially. Seeking love? always. Seeking art? Definitely. Finding love? Evidently and unfortunately, no. A need that cannot be met smells a little like still water in a cup inside of an abandoned karaoke bar: sick and alone.

Music performances: unlike acting, we associate music performances with a vulnerability that comes directly from an honest source. Raw spots. You. And like any language, music is an expressed desire to relate to others. To make friends, to talk to gods, to let out a shout, to share the feels. Unlike Estonian, everybody speaks music ! We feel in our hearts and on our skin the intention of a piece of beautiful music. A good musical performance is well thought out, well executed, confident, cohesive. A great musical performance is when the musician lets you in on the moment of creation. The moment of art. Stay with me:  it is undeniable, it is them. There’s no acting, there’s certainly no escaping now, and sometimes it’s almost painful to watch, like at your wedding, when your best friend tells you they’ve never seen you this happy. “He can see that??” you think to yourself; of course he can see that. Of course we can tell. I like this idea for musical performances, the honesty, the raw onions. Crunchy.

I am new to this performance thing. I’m still making sense of it all, the how, the who and the haunting and eye rolling why. Why? Why am I doing this.

I ask myself this question every time I have a show. In fact, the day before a show I plunge into this mindset jam-packed with one heavy heart and  a couple of audible sighs. Why do I do this?

I wasn’t born to act. I never experienced a day dream in which i became someone else on a mood-lit stage, in front of humans. When it came to public speaking (or any scenario that consisted of the amplification of my voice in front of people), I wanted one of two scenarios: a funny joke to break tension, or some useful insight — simply put, I wanted to be me. This deduction of wanting to be me took longer than one can imagine, but here we are, there, further along the self reflection river. So why do I play shows?

I started playing my own music, by myself, this past summer. That’s 9 months ago // I’m a new mom. I’m watching my baby learn how to open her eyes. I know she recognizes me because every time I pick her up she makes the same sounds// In fact I played my first show on my birthday, July 24 2014. It was a coincidence by all accounts, and a healthy one at that: a slice of sympathy birthday quiche was served, enough to feed every one. The rather intimate audience of roughly 25 people included some old and new friends. It was lovely, in theory. However, and we all know this to be true, beginnings are always quite rough. If I had the tools to use statistics and cross reference facts, I would conclude that this show that I played on my birthday, my very first show of original songs – friends and smiles aplenty – was, in reality, an utter analog and digital disaster.

–End of part one–

*Not a word; but words are made by people. Step one.

the deli little strike

 

This was nice. This. ahem. media,etc.

Playing shows. I have words about it, I have thoughts. I’m performing, which….. why? why am I doing this? The short answer is people are asking, and I want to be there for them. If anybody is enjoying my music, I am grateful. I’m writing a 3 part essay about this topic, I’m told it’s compelling. I want to be there for you.

Lots of shows in April and May, please come if you want to hear music and feel nice. They’re here.

Hope you’re having a beautiful day. Tell someone you love them

love

t

Little Strike Little BerlinLittle Strike @Little BerlinLittle Strike-4

Early October, @ Little Berlin, Philadelphia.

I started the show as a wave but quickly, evidently, I turned into a particle among an impressive line of similarly minded particles; Party Particles we called ourselves. Had a blast with my light homies as well as with the other bands, Supermagical and Ne-Hi. Thanks, light !

Now I’m working on a music video for my song If You Want to Fight. Editing should be done within 2 weeks, and along side the video i’ll make the song available for free download because sharing.

Share stuff forever. Be assured that if you share, things will come back to you. Strange things with thoughts and feelings and couches. yeahh

love you

bye

t

 

homegrown little strike

 

homegrown little strike

 

In September I played music sounds  at a local vegetable garden. There were children there; one of the children tattooed my wrist with a jazz lizard. Rock ‘n roll runs deep in this garden community, and I, myself, am no dried plum. The show was a part of the Philly Homegrown Music Fest, a brand new endeavor aimed to support local music and local farms ! Peppers and beats, that’s plenty to gnaw on.

There were fun activities for kids happening, while I spent my mic time singing about that point when eternal pain becomes infinite pleasure. in Spanish.

I’m excited to see this thing grow with time. I believe every vegetable garden should have a voice, sometime in Spanish ! I’m excited to support anything that isn’t evil, and everything that promotes a sense of community. My year of 2012 was spent in a city of 14 million people: I know what it means to feel  d i s c o n n e c t e d. Begone, disconnect ! oh why hello there turnip…… give us a x

x,

-t