Hey y’all. What a summer, how do we feel about it? I’m grateful. Ups and downs, you know the deal, but I cannot complain. It wouldn’t be right. Got to travel around a bunch both for pleasure and for music pleasure; I saw so many lakes and hugged a lot of good cats. Here’s what I’m up to, followed by an essay about puppies and perfectionism. And the media. And you.
I’m doing that right now~! It takes forever to work with a studio because everybody has a life, and adult time takes time you know. Nonetheless I can’t wait to share these sounds ! They’re straight from my brain to –> my spine to –> my torso and out my hands. I promise they will contain full disclosure of true feels. Raw husks. Big mangoes.
Hopefully an EP by mid-end winter. Ojala.
09.19 Sat — Philly @ The Fire ~w/ Ill Fated Natives (philly), Svvje, irCasim
09.26 Sat — Miami @ House (Facbook for details) ~w/ with Bora, Cyril
10.09 Fri — Philly @ Girard Hall ~w/ Ill Fated Natives (philly), & more !
10.14 Wed — Philly @ Bourbon & Branch ~w/ Houston in the Blind, Shorty BoyBoy
10.15 Thur– NYC @ Matchless (CMJ Showcase) ~w/ Houston in the Blind, & more
10.16 Fri — DC @ Velvet Lounge ~w/ Houston in the Blind & more !
COOL LIFE: If you’re good at pattern recognition, you might have noticed that I will be going on a mini tour with the Atlanta band Houston in the Blind. It should be lovely because their music is beautiful, and also because their drummer is an old friend of mine: we met 10 years ago on a bus. That night he told me he would give me one of his drumsticks — but he never did ! We talked about it for years, a promise left un-kept like a penny in the washing machine, clink clink… I’m thinking this tour can change it all~~ I’ll let y’all know, next post. 😉
Related unrelated: I’m proud to say that these days I only play with bands I admire. These shows are parties. Make a friend, feel nice. Comeeeee.
At the bottom of the post is an essay I wrote. This one is about confidence, anxiety, puppies and teeth.
Thank you kindly for reading, listening, participating, and breathing.
Be well please. x
The Performer: Part 4
Perfect is Never the Real You
Since I’ve started sending these essays I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback — I can’t explain how much that means to me using words, because there are none. Knowing these thoughts are useful for even one person energizes me beyond compare; I file it under the beyond section. Far.out. Please please feel free to share a response with me if you feel inspired, or maybe even suggest a new topic for an essay. I’m open like that ocean on your maps ok?
This one is about confidence, anxiety, puppies and teeth. Here we go:
Brushing our teeth is a direct reflection of our central nervous system. Hear me out, here’s how I see it: it is a moment spent usually by ourselves. Often it’s forced into our day, aggressively, either due to hygiene or habit, or both. Hopefully there’s some level of joy to this ritual, because any habit stuck in pain city is a habit waiting to get out of town. Brushing your teeth is an action, often forced, in between moments. This brushy, wet, foamy time is an opportunity to connect with the real you! Do you take it? I have noticed within my own ritual that there are times where I am looking at myself in the mirror, staring into my own eyes, and seeing right past them. It’s blankness, and it means I’m somewhere else, time traveling two minutes into the future, right over the brush and into the day (or night). Rinse and repeat. I’ve caught myself brushing feverishly, with an almost anxious agenda to be anywhere else but here. That’s not a good reflection, and a misuse of mirror time (to be frank there are a lot of those going around). Any opportunity to be involved is one worth taking, and if I can’t spare two minutes each day relaxing into that notion, feeling the minty cleanse, and being thankful for maintaining any healthy habit, then maybe I do need some chill pills and a hug from a really nice puppy. Unrelated: any puppies reading this?
How does this relate to stage performance? I want to take this opportunity to remind you that ~everything is the same and nothing is equal ~. Annoyed by my curtain of vagueness, yet? Read that again and think about snowflakes. Ok ok more specifically, what I mean is that the action of brushing our teeth can very well reflect our general anxiety to some degree, but we can’t be held responsible without mercy. This can’t define us. One type of confidence does not imply a perfect state of confidence. If I’m relaxed, zen-ed out, and one with the universe while I cleanse my mouth, I can still be terrified of Karaoke. When people see me play and then subsequently talk to me after the show, I often hear them make inaccurate assumptions about their own confidence, as well as mine. Sure, maybe I am brave for trying to share my music , my thoughts, my pain with you; yes, being vulnerable is being fearless. But there are endless ways to be vulnerable, and we can’t be good at everything all the time. I can’t be good at everything all the time. And it’s ok. It’s ok, puppies.
If you’re looking for perfection from humans, you will end up getting lost in a sea of flaws. The reality of perfectionism is misery. I believe that is essentially the celebrity experience. When we put a person in front of a camera – a relatively new phenomenon – photoshop off their flaws, share their image with the world and then paste unto them a glorious myth (perhaps that they are fearless singers, fearless actors, fearless politicians), we imply perfection. An aura of confidence glows brightly around their beautiful skins. And thanks to the privately owned media and its privately owned agenda, their flaws have been surgically and meticulously removed. This is done in an effort to sell a song on iTunes, or maybe sell a movie on Amazon, or even more egregiously, start an oil war in the middle east. These ideas, bound masterfully by sticky economic thread.
These men and women of media are, in a way, our modern heroes. We look up to them as we watch them climb up the food chain, into this perceived five star buffet in the sky. But they don’t serve mangoes in this buffet, and in fact every piece of fruit up there is plastic, even those beautiful shiny bananas~! It all goes back to this point: nobody is perfect and confident about everything in their lives. No one, not even puppies. The media is very self-aware, and will gladly turn a mythical hero into an infamous villain. It isn’t fair. It’s not fair because we are all flawed and that is absolutely ok ! No human is capable of having true mythological powers. It’s ok, that’s why different cultures all over the world, over and over again, developed stories of myth: so that the burden is lifted from us.
I think the more we are able to identify with our friends, family, and even those we share a border with, the more we understand and accept ourselves. It turns out we all share the same basic flaws and the one big want. I don’t even have to mention these because they are so innate, but I will anyways, and perhaps we will discover even more similarities in the details:
Jealousy – I wish my memory was better, and I sometimes get jealous of this attribute in people.
Anger – I get really annoyed by certain sounds that people or machines make.
Sadness – The winter brings out very destructive thoughts in me. I don’t know how to control for that.
Hedonism – I can surely overindulge with food.
Vengefulness – Listen. I’m nice, but I’m not passive aggressive, and sometimes I can go too far for what I deem as justice.
The energy I put out to be returned to me as love.
You feel me?
“With every choice, something is gained something is lost” – John Green
Hey it’s tamar. Thank you for being in my life: every time we interact I learn something new. Here’s what I’m up to:
1. TOUR: I went on my first one in June. I wrote an essay about tour life and it’s both dark and light, and entirely honest. It’s at the end of this post.
2. SHOWS: I have a few shows coming up, but mostly I’m recording music, which…. I can’t WAIT to show you.
08.01 Sat — @The Sound Hole ~ with Sports Coach (MA) & Bronze Thesaurus (NJ)
08.11 Tue — @The Fire ~ with Ill Fated Natives (philly)
08.30 Sun — @Blair st b/w Dreer & Norris ~ Death Magic Sounds BBQ 1-8pm
All of these are supremely amazing parties. If you come you will make friends, which is my goal for you at every show I play.
3. REAL MOMENT: It’s nearly been a year since my first live show. My first show was on my birthday, July 24th. Coming up, y’all. Is it me or is every year getting better? I’m excited to mature: every year I learn more about what makes me truly happy, every year is less chaotic, more focused. Every year is a chance to bring people together. So I dedicate this 2nd year of shows to you, for coming together. To gather. You’re fun.
4. COLLABS: feeling saucy?? send me an email (email@example.com), and tell me of a recent REAL MOMENT you’ve had. It can be: “snuggling with my dog this morning made me late for work”. Or maybe “I was singing Sam Cooke in my car, and I looked over and a truck driver was waving at me and smiling at me.” I’m going to make a list and put it on my site. It’s going to make people smirk, a constant #lifegoal of mine.
Thank you kindly for reading, listening, participating, and breathing.
The Performer: Part 3 Tour life
I’m romantic, here’s why: I have always wanted to make music the reason I travel. In early June of this year I did it, I went on my first tour ! I hit Miami, Gainesville, Atlanta, New Orleans and Tallahassee, that’s 3 states and lots of driving. I now have some adult conclusions, which are entirely up for debate. Take a walk with me?
Why do I want to go away from my home? I almost always want to go, because more than anything on this twirling, glowing orb of an earth, I love learning about languages and cultures. For me, one adult issue has been rising steadily these days: I happen to absolutely want to maintain and grow personal relationships. Real love: I want real connections from friends and family. In other words I want to build and maintain my temple, not just hand out a pamphlet with my face on it and a cool slogan under it, like: “great meeting you, keep in touch.” It’s clearer to me now.
Tour. Tourist. I built my tour based on cities that I wished to be a tourist in, and cities that for me, overflowed with nostalgic meaning, which is why I called the tour Hurricane Nostalgia. Some cities were former homes, some were just a postcard, but all contained important people from my past: my friends. I booked my friends to play with me; friends that I’ve watched grow as musicians as well as people, over the years. I could not be more proud. These friends also got to see me, as tamar the human lady person, as well as Little Strike, a project that is the newest extension of my heart. None of them had seen this side ever before! This is a bit like seeing your little brother on his prom night with his prom date and he’s nervous but actually more than anything, he’s totally his goofy self, ready for that dance floor. His date keeps looking at him, laughing warmly at her goof, and you, you want to laugh too but you can’t, because you know that if you do you’ll eventually cry. You don’t want to embarrass him; He’s grown. He’s a big strike now.
It was beautiful to be able to share music and moments with my friends and family, and I feel grateful and honored to have people in my life I can share ideas with. Yes. But think about it: tour is a collection of separate, albeit special moments. It is, in essence, a bunch of chain-linked hello goodbyes. I kept thinking this while riding in the car with my touring mates, the fantastical band Bora from Miami: am I doomed to always be missing somebody?
Forever always leaving means forever always sighing wistfully in cars. My (tour) dates with my friends, so lovely and so short and so on my own terms, were a mere forkful of key lime pie. A tease. A great way to remember what I keep leaving behind. That’s a big part of tour: coming and leaving on your own terms. You go to play the show, if you’re lucky you already have friends that come see you, if not you make some. People tell you they appreciate what you’re doing, that music brings us closer to each other, that yeah, you have a nice voice and “wow cool shirt”. It’s all on your terms. You both hug, and then you’re gone the next day. Trust that I tried my hardest to blur this idea, and make the moments I share with people feel like they are ours, not just mine for the taking. But still, there’s something in this brief exchange, an emptiness — like bungee jumping from a building: the adrenaline, it’s thrilling, but you’re only inching closer to concrete.
Nonjudgmental statement alert: I find that the highs and lows of tour, including the beauty and rush of meeting new people, playing your heart out to strangers, revealing something honest about yourself, disassociating from responsibilities back home, sleep deprivation, delighting in getting lost and found in a new place, finding and losing money — it all smells a little funky and a little fresh. I find that this lifestyle, if pursued as a lifestyle, attracts people with addictive tendencies. No wonder, honestly, tour is one glorious escape.
Let’s talk real life: emails, phone calls and texts on tour. Emails, calls and texts on tour can quite frankly go suck a lemon. Let’s use our most delicate paintbrush here: unless traveling totally alone, while on tour you are constantly surrounded by people. Every moment minus bathroom time, and that’s pretty much every moment. It is very fun, very tiring, and also really damn fun. It is a fantastical distraction from wherever it is you call home, because traveling is sensory overload’s twin brother, and sensory overload is currently in a relationship with distraction city. One big family of fearless cowards (that seems harsh but it’s also an oxymoron, which shouldn’t be taken too seriously, y’all). The highs and lows, the excitement of new faces, new lakes, new snacks, snacks! little sleep , the generosity of strangers, the road, the music! All the music that you choose to either ignore due to sensory overload or completely get lost in, it should all be cherished as well as examined. Is there sadness in the joy? I don’t doubt it // Are we strong enough to maintain our avocado trees while we go planting papayas on some faraway island for months at a time? Maybe, but it is damn hard.
I’m lucky, I know this. I got to try out an idea I’ve had for years with three amazing people in the same vehicle. But I’m no kid, and I’m thankful for having some perspective; I can see that this tour life, prolonged, could be destructive to any real structure I try to architect back home. Highs and lows and escapes can be quite selfish, and all selfish endeavors are ultimately empty. Where’s the balance in today’s music scene? Musicians feel they have to tour to make money, so how do you make your life full of the things that aren’t empty? I don’t know this, but I sense it. I sense it involves carving your own pumpkin, making your own lane, and building something real //The ocean, helping others, being challenged creatively, staring at mountains, feeling respected, stretching, getting involved in a community, feeling empowered = bricks to one bad ass temple.
“If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s” said my best friend Joseph Campbell. So if the actions I perform tell the story of my life, it seems dishonest to tell someone else’s, right? I’m still testing what’s right for me and listening in, with tour, with music, with people; but I figure if I look over and she’s still there beside me, laughing warmly at my dance moves, I know I’m doing something right. Right?
End of part 3. Stay round for part 4